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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday night races

cyclingbehindtheorangecurtain blog for info.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The thick of it

I won't re write a blog that has already been written. See for details. But it was quite an epic ride.
One thing Patrick forgot to mention is not all, or should I say not many take on that A ride agenda.
As with most clubs there are rides within rides, as there should be. And ours is no different. When the split up from A to B or even A- takes place, the ride gets real, and I mean real as in real fast, real hard, real quick.
There are only a handful of people in our club that choose it and it's for good reason. So when Patrick says its EPIC and he nailed the climbs, you have to give credit where it is due.
He did just that and he did it well.
 And once again I am amazed that it only showed a 12 % grade at peak, I'm guessing the length of it added to the sheer agony of it all.
I will say personally that I was toast. Never with the thought of stopping, but certainly with voices screaming internally to take one more turn of the crank and get there without style or care. Just get there.
Although clearly not us, this is a real look at an 10+ degree pitch climb. Consider this for more than a mile and doing it more than once and it will give you some clarity.
At this point in this blog, you have probably figured out that my strong point of Multi sport is cycling. Strong point is actually overstated, I should say passion. I love to cycle and I'm not biased to the type. I love switchbacks, straight climbs, descending, fast peletons, and even the dreaded cornering in groups. I love the test of all of it.
At just shy of 200 pounds still, I am no true climber. My strength lies in the pure power I can put out and for the length and time I can hold it. I won't lie, I get my kicks on having people line up behind me and punishing the hell out of there legs and lungs. I'm still way off of my target cycling/triathlon idea weight ,but for now I just keep plugging ahead and making gains as I go. Some day's are good and some days are a challenge. But there all part of the journey.
At the end of the day 71.32 miles 5,650 calories spent in 4:16:05 minutes max speed of 46.2 mph. It was a good day. It was great to test myself and even feel some failure. It is these types of day's that really get embedded in my mind and keep me focused on what I need to do to go harder and faster. But at the same time keeping it real and fun.

Sunday was spent reorganizing the garage and hanging out.
Today was a 5:45 a.m. 24.7 mile loop at a recovery average of 18 mph, max speed only hitting 24.3 total time of 1:23:05. Now currently putting in another lovely 9 hour day of work, but hey at least I have a job, I'm really not complaining.

Train hard,train smart, and be healthy.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Faris Buellers day off

Well Faris wasn't there but he should have been.

Whoever followed  the previous post may enjoy this. The outcome.

Yesterday was my wife's birthday. I am normally not the most talented at making cool Little scenarios happen, (but she is). So  I thought I would take a crack at taking a special day and simple acts of joy and gratitude and see how it comes out.

I woke up early as planned. Snuck in the garage where I had previously hid decorations etc.. I did my best to stay quiet and set them up.
This is what she woke up and walked out to.
Not crazy, but she was super excited and impressed that I did it all covert.
From there it went on as planned. Coffee in the back yard (no rain !) yeah. And then off to the "Sugar Shack" down town HB.
She had the Pancakes as I suspected, And I had the Eggs Benedict with a twist. They add a slice of tomato and avocado on theres. It was awesome.
She wasn't too excited about the picture taking,but she endured me.

From there it was suppose to be a quick drive down the cost and then ?? But it was her day and she wanted to hit up Home Depot for soil and plants. She was now on the "i want to transplant a couple of things" kick.

So we headed over there (with a silent sigh) but a visible smile from me. It was what it was.
We got all kinds of stuff including 5 rose bushes to plant (WTH). We have never grown roses ??

Off to Luccis to get all her favorite Italian deli,breads, canolli's etc.. This place is old school and looks straight out of the Soprano's.

Then off again headed home to do said replanting.

o.k. so this ended up being a bit time consuming, and not really on my list. But again it was what was on her list and that is the one that matter.
I got a shot of the Jacuzzi finished product for you. Post cleaned, chemicals, and refinished and painted.

She loves it, and all that effort there was worth it too.

Eventually we headed over to get the messages and that was worth the wait. And felt great after all the stooping and digging etc.. I have no pictures of that, sorry.

After picking up Eric we headed back home to prepare the deli platter and wait for one of our other sons to show up.
The food was awesome. The Chianti was not bad either.And she loved that I didn't put all the candles on the deserts. Especially when they are canollis. But I did manage to get the candles lit.We made her endure the Happy Birthday song and she made her wish.
All in all it was an awesome day. I loved watching her enjoy her day all the way through it. I also loved that she truly acknowledged that I really put effort into it. And it was special to her. To hear that was worth it all.
Thanks for following and her well wishes.


Woke up this a.m. and got in 4 solid miles of running in an early morning down pour. And it was worth every step of it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nailed it.

No, I didn't get a new job. I really don't want one. I like where I'm at. And like most I would like to make more money. Why ? to buy more stuff of course. A new pair of Newtons. A race wheel set (I'm sure I can go faster). A new larger front Durace ring (I'm sure I can go faster). 2 CT princess cut black diamond for the wife. They make them in oval and round but princess is custom as of now, and custom = spendy.

So I got way off track.
Project spa was a success, and my wife's actual birthday is tomorrow. I'm taking the day off and spending it away from work and with her.
Hope it goes like this.

Wake up 5:00 a.m., go to garage and pull out decorations I bought today.
Go to kitchen and hang said decorations.
Put out other gift I bought her (which includes,a box of Mike and Ike's red hots).
Quietly slip back into bed and wake up together a couple hours later (this part is private).
Have coffee together (hopefully relaxing in back yard without rain).
Go to breakfast (pancakes for her eggs benny for me) downtown HB @ Sugar Shack.
Around 11:00 go get reflexology massages.
2:00 go to Luccis Italian deli ( she wants some traditional Italian deli stuff for dinner). Well, she's Italian, and not very high maintenance,this doesn't surprise me.
3:00 ish open the surprise bottle of Chianti I bought today and have that with lunch (again hopefully not raining).
5:00 Turn on Jacuzzi and go pick up Eric to spend the evening with us. 
6:30 return home with said wee ladd and my other son will be there with Fiance for cake and the classic blowing out of the candles :-).
8:30 everyone either leaves or goes to bed. Except us,we hit the Jacuzzi (rain or not ).

I'm great at task management and getting stuff handled. Party planner, I am not. But I think she'll be pleasantly surprised and fulfilled.

Wish me luck. I'm a guy, we are stoopid (see). I'll need it.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm not sure why you want this info

But here it is;

A- Age : 45 going on 27. Unless you ask my wife. Then I'm going on 12.

B- Bed size :  CAL King

C- Chore I hate: Plumbing task under an enclosed sink. I'm broad shoulder and not made to fit down there so well.

D- Dogs : you've seen them. Spoiled rotten. Jack Russel mix, rescued 5 weeks old from Rosarito Beach Mexico (irony eh Patrick) and mixed Shepard,chow,lab. Saved from animal shelter.

E- Essential start your day item : Coffee !!!! oh and coffee.

F- Favorite color: Blue works.

G- gold or silver: white gold if at all. Id rather have platinum,

H. height : 5'-9" barefoot and head shaved with a # 3

I- instrument : guitar + me = failed

J- Job title - Parts and service director

K- kids- 3 boys, 2 grand kids (yeah you heard me, grand kids) 2 step sons, 30 and 27. Biological from 1st marriage 10 3/4 . Gk'S 8-10.

L- live : HB CA - Don't be a hater.

M- moms name : self absorbed.

N- nick names- BAM BAM- do to choice of hair color,strength and build. - Ive had others, this one stuck the longest. ( Partick needs one- I'm calling him GROUND ZERO for now, everything seems to start there.) I aslo liked "QUICK STEP" for him.

O- overnight hospital stays- yes

P- pet peeve- too much talking. Shut up already.

Q- Quote from movie : "I'll make you famous" Young Guns.

R- right or left : YES.

S- siblings- 2 older sisters.

T- What time do you get up ? : 5:15 a.m.

U - Underwear- boxer/brief.- Calvin Klein should really give me a ring.

V- Veggie you dislike : nope !

W- What makes you late : me, And it doesn't happen often.

X- X-rays you've had done : ribs, front and rear. Head multiple times. Jaw, multiple times. both arms,wrist and hands. Both legs from the knee's down.neck.

Y- yummy food you make : Blackened  pork chops.

Z- Zoo, favorite animal- I can't think of one I don't like.    

Monday, March 21, 2011

Missed opportunity

The time challenging scramble continued into Friday. I had the Jacuzzi hard wired (by a professional) I wasn't messing around with 100 amp breakers and 50 feet of 220 volt wiring. Late in the afternoon it got finished. Filled it up, pushed the buttons and bing,bang,boom, we had lift off.
This was a huge sigh in relief. I still had to fully clean it, add proper chemicals, and I was already prepping to refinish the outside skirt to match the house.
I knew this was all going to be a challenge due to having my son this weekend (though he is super easy and self sufficient). But the rain they called for was to be 2 days worth.
Friday evening my wife made the comment about maybe getting a ride in Saturday morning because Sunday looked bleak. At first I jumped on the idea, scrapping everything I had planned in my head for the home project. I made a couple of futile attempts to coordinate with Patrick but in the end I scrapped the ride idea at about 11:00 p.m. Thinking the weather would be crap anyways and I really needed to finish first, what I had started.
Sadly for me, but great for everyone else, it never rained Saturday.I really could have went out and got in the 45-55 miles on the bike I wanted to. At first in the morning as the rain stayed away, it really pissed me off and started effecting my thoughts. To the point of resenting what I was doing. Then reality set in, what I was doing was for my wife and It was super important to her, and in the end super important for me. I shook the resentment and got busy.
I primed and painted the complete outer skirt along with the entry stairs. Cleaned all the filters and jets. Tested and retested the chemical balance and over all got it looking and working like it was brand new. She was happy, and we ended up sitting in it for about an hour later on that night. It was all worth it.


I figured Sunday would be a scrap for sure. I kept up to date readings of hour to hour weather reports for Sunday via the Internet. Everything pointed to rain starting at 3 a.m. and continuing all day long. Not wanting to give in to mother nature, I told my wife I was still getting up early. If there looked like a window was going to be open I was going.
I got up at 6:00 a.m. and spent 40 minutes waffling about going or not. Their was wind and dark clouds everywhere, but no rain.
Finally I geared up, grabbed a rain jacket and said to myself, I'm getting wet. I have no issue with getting wet, it is more about the time to tear down and clean a soaked down, road grimed back in the aftermath.
The was a wicked South/East wind already present, so opted to take my lumps early in the ride and head S/E for the first 10 miles or so.
It proved to be a very tough effort right from the start.You tend to forget how the nice shelter of a group is, especially in stiff head winds.
Finally getting to make my turn West to the coast  figured I could pick up the pace a bit. I made my turn and looked over my shoulder to see some flashing lights about a half mile away. I was hoping it was an early rising bike club. Not taking much stock in it, I just rounded the turn and put my head down. Guess what ? the wind is swirling, I'm still in it, and it may be just as bad if not worse. Crap !
Stay stong, stay focused, this is how you get better,stronger, and faster.
Within minutes a 5 man rotation came freight training by. I had enough sense to jump up out of the saddle and grind hard to get on the rear wheel. AHHHHH, breeze no more :-). Well almost. I noticed 4 race kits the same and the back rider, Nada. So the front 4 kept rotating for a couple of miles. Finally I figured I wouldn't be just a hanger on. I peddled up front to the lead out and asked where they were headed. He told me and so I asked if he minded me getting in front and doing some work. He looked me up and down, smiled and said hell no, knock yourself out.
I kind of figured he was sizing me up a bit. I mean you normally just don't jump in the front of another crew and ask to do work. But it was such a wicked wind that I don't think he gave a damn. He was open to anyone that would take the wind in there face for a bit.
We had been pacing about 21 mph in to this wind and I quickly realized that was just in the back. Up front I gave it all I could to keep us just at 19.5. I pulled for way longer than I should had, but I also figured it was the right thing to do seeing how they let me wheel suck for 5-6 miles prior to that.
Finally I cracked, flicked an elbow and I was pulling off. At first I thought well, I'll just hang on the back wheel for the next and final 1/2 mile. But I couldn't even put the effort up to get back on and I watched them scoot away. I also noticed that the 5 had turned to 4 and the odd man had dropped off somewhere along the line.
I labored my way further West to that magical turning point of "NORTH" !!
I made that turn very tentative, thinking oh please, no more wind, or at least less.
And as it should be, a very stiff tail wind !!! Yeah !! I got started with a smile and a jump in every turn of the crank.
Then I looked  up and further down the road to see another cyclist and what appeared to be a runner. I glanced down to check the Garmin for speed. Looked up again and no runner ? Did I imagine that, it was quite aways away ?
About 300 yards later a came upon a female runner. She was sitting but balled up, knees tucked to her chest, and head down.
I pulled over noticing first some bad abrasions on her right elbow. She was in tears. I also noticed she was super fit and wearing a Boston hat.
I asked her if she was alright? She looked up in tears and said, "yes I'm fine, I fricken fell. I'm sick and I know I shouldn't be out here".
I told her I get it. It's who we are and what we do.
Come to find out, it was
A. her birthday. She had been sick all week, but vowed to run on her birthday.
B. she BQ'd @ Surf City, and was in the thick of her training for Boston.
C. she couldn't call her family, because they would be pissed that she was out there. Not only sick, but trying to get in a long run. You see, she was 10 miles into an 18 miler. And it was not pretty out there.

She asked if  had a phone so she could call a close friend to come get her. She was scrapping the run.
By this time an off duty security guard had pulled over and offered up some bandages.
I asked if she wanted some water, and or needed some calories. I only had a GU, but she was welcome to it. She said no and I just kept her occupied with conversation about running and commitments and how life gets challenging with what it is we love to do.
She had since stopped the water works.Although I think she was bumbed and disappointed of how her birthday run went, she seemed to be o.k. with it.
I think she was also relieved and encouraged with life that people would pull over and take the time to make sure another person was o.k.
The security guard left and I waited another 15 minutes or so for her friend to come get her.
I have to say all the while, I had one eye planted due North watching the weather get worse. It was literally changing by the minute.
Her ride showed up, and I wished her a happy birthday again, along with a good luck in Boston. And headed off.

That was quite a little experience, and I was glad it all worked out. But I quickly got over it and re focused on what I was very quickly going to be heading into.
I'll finish this off fast, due to the length of the above.
The winds were recorded at 19 mph, I'm calling bull shite ! I made it back to my house, some 13 miles in just about 22 minutes.
Me and another guy hooked up at the first red light and rotated pulls for the entire way back home. At times I could not pedal my bike any faster on the flats, 37-39 mph. And though we were pumping, it was like being in the middle of a huge pack.
Shortish ride of just under 28 miles. But quality work. Never felt more than a dozen drops on me the entire ride. 30 minutes after returning home the skies broke open and the winds got stronger. I'm glad I got a ride in, I'm glad I was there for that runner. I'm glad I got my wife's present done.
Though I feel starved for miles. I still say mission accomplished.

Train hard,train smart, be healthy.



Friday, March 18, 2011

Like sands through the hour glass

Yeah, not so much. My life is hectic, but no soap opera.
All kinds of things cropping up some good,some bad, some par for the course.

I have managed only a couple of work outs this week. Be that as it is, I made them high intensity and worth every minute I was out there.
 It's an odd time in my life right now where there is a lot going on, and yet I feel we aren't making much headway.
So I make sure I get up, throw a smile on, keep my sights focused and move forward. Daily plans change hourly, and hourly plans change daily.
This too shall pass, and come hell or high water I will come out with a victor.
As disciplined athletes, weather amature or otherwise, we have an edge that keeps our intensity up and our minds sharp. Alert for the roadblocks and ready for strategy changes. It's who we are and what we do. I take advantage of this skill and use it daily.


St. Patricks day came and went. For me, being of 2nd generation Irish decent, I used to celebrate this day as If I was standing in downtown Dublin or once again hunkered up to my favorite bar Brandon's in Kilarney. But any more it's just not who I am. And certainly not what I'm about. However I have managed to eat cornbeaf and cabbage twice this week. Not the healthiest of meals, but I love it. That being said, Irish food is horrible and is always a rude awakening when your there. I have lived on eggs,cereal,fish & chips, and Guinness for days on end there. No offense to my fellow Gaelic Celts. But this is the truth and you know it.

I have been trying to be a good husband and keeping my ears open for the perfect or at least right birthday gift for my supportive wife. Sometimes I fail at this, and other times I do o.k.
This year I'm hoping I did o.k.
I listened and this is what I heard.
It is used, but in great shape. It fits 6 comfortably and is being hooked up for her right now. The price was right and I think she will be super stoked.
Along side of this, there is many times I would like to come home from a long 8-11 mile run, or a 50-70 mile bike and take a long soak.
So I see it as a bit spendy, but worth it.
How did I do ??


I slipped out for a nice 4 mile run at a 9:09 mpm pace and it felt like I was literally trotting. My breathing was sold controlled and my HR so down it was almost scary. Pushing myself hard on the bike, be it up long or short climbs and or hammering on flats has really seamed to get my anaerobic threshold to another level. Granted the run was not fast, but if I had been out to push that run pace it would have been easy to do.

Safe and happy weekends to all.

Train hard,train smart, and be healthy.    

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Season of change is upon us, and it's got its own agenda

That's what I'm hearing allot of out there. And I have to chime in a say the same.
Although daylight savings is an awesome thing (I'm really not complaining). It HAS really been an issue to get up at my normal 5:15 a.m. and get motivated to start and finish an hour to hour and half session in the dark.
Although the run is kind of a non issue. I like the solitude. But the bike is super tough. If I didn't have the absolute passion for cycling, I would be in self destruct mode right now.
That being said, there is always afternoons and evenings. But as so many have said before, I'm a father,husband, one of two household providers.I love my house, and like doing things to it myself. I work no less than 9 hours a day and some days 10 +. That goes with the territory of my business.
The wife is super supportive and understanding. But when is too much, too much ? Only you know that.

So we press on and make it happen the best we can. I guess I'll only speak for myself here. That is what I do.
So they are calling for a possible rain out weekend here in California. But at least it's not snow. In which I'm being told the Midwest is still getting. I really feel for you peeps. True warriors of the soul.

Today was once again a challenge to get up at 5:15 and hustle to get on the road quickly. My plan called for 26-30 miles of steady to hard pace riding. 15 of which would be hard effort intervals holding 25 mph for 1.5 mile at a time. .25 mile recovery not dropping below 20 mph and then back up to 25 mph.
I opted for a route that was different than I have road to date for this. Leaving my house and heading east 8 miles to a river trail. This is where I could get a huge chunk of uninterrupted fairly flat and fast miles. All went great getting there with front and rear lights flashing. As I made my turn on to the river trail I then realized I would be flying pretty blind, as the riverbed was holding all the moisture and fog. The good news is over the past 20 years I have road on this trail on many different occasions. And although there can still be debris on the trail it is well traveled and usually pretty clean. It was fast and freaky at the same time but made for some great focus and concentration. About 3/4 of the way down there is a large bridge you have to traverse to get to the other side. I stopped and took a shot. This is how 75 % of my ride looked this morning.

And although I see this next photo really is shite !!! I think it still tells a story.

Certainly not the most attractive photo but I think you get the idea with all the water beads on my clear lense glasses. Along with the fact I am soaking wet as if I was riding in the rain.
Mostly I'm not looking forward to breaking my bike down completely to be thoroughly cleaned and re lubed. But I will do it.
26.7 miles in 1:18:36  and I really wished I had more time, because I was feeling like I had another hard 15 or so at the same pace.

Train hard,train smart, be healthy.


Monday, March 14, 2011

does getting beat equate to winning at times ?

I think it is all how we view things in the big picture.
Sometimes we just have to take our lumps to get ahead of the curve. I know it generally works this way for me.
I am super competitive, I'll be the first to admit it. I wouldn't use the word hate, but I would have to say I strongly dislike to lose.
This has played out for years in everything I do. From life, to business and on through sports and activities. Fortunately, I am a pretty humble looser. This comes from many attempts at success and coming up short.
I have had my fare share of wins, and sometimes I discount the impact and importance of them. Only to get back out there and chase that invisible carrot. Other times I let it soak in and revel in the glory of what took place and what it took to get there.

I have talked allot about cycling in the last 2 months.
I have felt more comfortable on the bike in the last 3 weeks than I have maybe ever felt.
Am I in my purest race condition or at optimum race weight ? No, not really.
I'm 45 years old now and have to realize I can never get to the pure condition I was 15 or so years ago.
But what I can do is use my years of experience to get in the absolute best condition for this time in my life, right now.
I can continue to go out and train in swim,bike, and run.
Moving on.
This weekends long ride was penned out as a 67 mile route that would have some fun, flat sections. Some short,stiff climbs. Some long tedious false summit suffering grinds. And some flat out can't pedal any faster descents.
There was a misunderstanding on my part with Patrick from We rode out together as normal. It was great to see him as normal. And we started our ride. I got talking with another rider and past friend about this upcoming race season and didn't get in the normal chat time. Before I knew it we were 18 miles deep in this ride and some hills were coming. We made our 1st stop for regroup and headed on our way. Having not been on a ride in this area for along time, I had forgotten that the hills not only keep coming, but they just get deeper and steeper.
I was trying my new tactic of staying in the lead 4-6 riders of the group. There is always shelter to be had in numbers, so long as you take your turn up front, you'll almost never be denied a place.
By the time we got to our next turn off and regrouping spot,our pace line and group of 16-20 riders was down to 9. It was then I realized there was no announcement of the ride group split. Patrick obviously decided to go the other route, and talking time with him was now non existent.
For the record Patrick, If I would have known this I would have planned things differently and rolled together.
At this time we are about 25 miles deep into the ride which puts me at about 30 or so. The pace is fast and yet still friendly. Then I start realizing we are on a major rode that crosses over a mountain pass.Not that we are climbing over this said pass. But this road starts on an incline and never really stops until the summit.
Our trek takes us up about 4 miles and then starts traversing over and through all the most recent (past 10 years) suburban developments.
Someone behind me calls out "uggh, now the real fun starts". I'm thinking WTH ?
As fast as he said it, we merge left and start a false summit climb that absolutely cracked me within 1000 meters. It was one of those things where, you haven't done it and you can't see an end in sight.
When I say cracked I can assure you I didn't stop or quit, but I did continue to watch every man but 2 slowly pedal away. I don't know what the exact climb elevation right there was, but I can tell you I hadn't done one this long in 2 decades.
We made it to the bottom for a regroup and nature break. I was relieved to get there, having gone through every last ounce of liquid I had left on that climb.
Defeated mentally ?
Admittedly a little.But I also know that climb will never, ever be that hard again.
From there is was more meandering through cities I had never visited, with some short burst climbs and some very fast downhills. Along with a 5-7 mile pace line rotation with the last  7 of us on board. 2 had said We are out the back and done, don't wait.
Bonus to this pace line was 2010  So Cal masters time trialist was one of the players and not even the strongest of the day. Needless to say the pace and tempo was high and fast. Taking pulls only as long as you cleared the first mans wheel. Then it was clear and the next man was already in the wind. It was so synced we never said anything accept clear and last man for miles.
Finally back into local territory and heading back in through Newport back bay towards PCH.
We again got into a rhythm but at a safer more relaxed speed. Anticipating the turn onto PCH and the flat out 5 mile sprint to the end.
I held onto the chain for as long as I could, dropping out the back with another rider and then picking up one of our other club members who had strayed away from the other group ride and was slugging it out on his own head into the wind.
He was happy to see cavalry and I was happy to help.
I was thinking to myself about how I couldn't wait to get off the saddle and grab a flat seat for a few. Only to then remind myself I still had another 8 mile ride after that to get home.

Total ride completed at  78 miles in 4:33:57, climbing just under 3,000 feet.
 Just over 6,000 calories burned. Max speed 40.1 mph, Average 19.6 mph.
I was really wrecked after this ride, although I feel great today.
I got my butt handed to me quite a bit in this ride. I was also able to dish some out early on and then later in the day. I could see it as a loss, but I see it as just another step in the ladder of getting where I want to be.

This is long, so I hope you read it and didn't get to boared. Or maybe even pulled something out of it.

Train hard, train smart, be healthy 

Friday, March 11, 2011

WOW is all I can say

After steadily viewing the horrific pictures from Japan.I really am speechless. If Christchurch wasn't enough.

We have had a significant reseeding tide line on the west coast and all will be normal.

But Japan is the next large land mass that is down for the count.

I got nothing here __________ *** GOD SPEED ******* 

Group ride tomorrow of 67 miles plus my added 12 or so, to and from meeting point. Roughly 80 miles in the saddle tomorrow and I feel overly blessed. Sunday will have some type of 5-7 mile run involved.

Train hard, train smart, be healthy.     

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kovas inspired, memory lanes

Just like Kovas I grew up in Huntington Beach Ca. As I have stated so many times, this is the place for me. But in reality I was born not so far from where Kovas lives now. I was reared and hatched in Batavia Illinois and moved here just before my 7th birthday.
I too took up skating and early punk rock shenanigans. And although I may not be that proud of some of the things I did at that time in my life, there are some great memories.

We also had, and have a huge Motocross scene out here, and even though I was the surfer kid from HB, I could throw down some solid laps on a dirt bike. Letting it hang out on a whooped out 100 yard stretch 5 gear pinned.

Or ripping through a down hill off camber turn to a sprint finish and win a moto.
 Just like he has done. Ive tried to introduce my sons to the sports I loved and love.
But when it comes down to it, they have to make the ultimate choices of who they are and what identity and foot print they want to leave.
My enthusiasm for high energy sports goes around and AROUND. But it never stops turning.
I'll be engaged in something until the day I have completely wrecked.

For now it is swim;
bike :

and run :

We are not only living the dream. We are the dreams of so many.

What keeps you burning ?

Train hard, train smart, be healthy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Quick recap of some Tuesday things that happened, that are good, unexpected, blessings, or whatever you want to list them under.

1st bonus-One of my wife's occupations is a property manager/agent. She oversees a local property that has multiple tenants. It was her suggestion to remove some rental washer and dryers. Purchase some wholesale units and suck up 100 % of the profits from usage. Obviously there can and eventually will be cost incurred with upkeep etc. but that's what warranties are for.
Not going to deep, she bought some units and they did direct delivery to our home. Being that I have some mechanical back ground, I told her if she painted and prepped the room I would install them.
Total time for her to prep,paint and she even laid down some flooring remnants was 2 hours. I, with her help unloaded, hooked up and performed test runs in 1.5 hours. Total time 3.5 hours. We thought $ 300.00 was lucrative yet fair. The property owner was so excited about the pictures and how smooth it went down that he sent us $ 500.00. 

2nd bonus- I went to buy some new bib shorts, fully expecting to pay $100.00 to $140.00. I find  LG's fit sensor 3-D are best for me.
Found them locally, they showed on sale for $ 79.00 ( I SHOULD HAVE GRABBED 2) I took  them to the counter and they rang up @ $120.00? "WTH"
I comment that they showed $ 79.00 on sale upstairs. Fully expecting the guy to laugh at the price (like I originally did), he said hang on. He got off his butt went upstairs and checked.
The price was for there brand, but he said because someone racked them all wrong he would gladly honor it. " STOKED !!!!!

3rd bonus- ordered grande ice coffee non fat, light ice - I get to the window and it's a Vente. My first thought was how I was going to be geeking at 8:30-9:00 at night.
But without hesitation she realized what she had done and said, "no worries" I'm just charging you for a Grande, have a nice day.

They may seem like small victories, (and they are). But it is nice to have any victories at times. And besides they all made me smile and happy.

Morning ride was out of the garage @ 6:00 a.m.,with NO lights !!
It said sunrise was 6:12 a.m. but I'm not complaining. It was light and warmer than it has been.
With the extra time and deadish wind, I opted for a longer route and headed north first down into Belmont shores, then Long Beach area.
Eventually looping back down through Bay shore and in through Seal beach. I was solo until the Long beach Marina turn ,where I was changing from clear lense glasses to full UV.
A guy on a glossy Felt f-2 pulled up and what I thought was going to wait, then darted off ?
 I figured with the bike, likely he was a player or he just had an extra $ 4000.00 laying around when he bought his bike.
 So he got out there pretty quick and I labored forever to get on this guys wheel. I was Garmin free, so I have no idea of speeds on the pursuit. I do know I was giving it most everything I had to bridge up though. Finally getting up to him, I stayed back deep in the slipstream to try and catch my breath a bit. It was my intention to get my breath and the take a pull or at least get up and small talk.
The road came to a fork downtown Seal beach, and lets just say I zigged and he zagged, CRAP ! I wish that wouldn't have happened so quick. I was still trying to recover.
 So off I went again, the chase was back on.
It was at this point that I realized he was using this chase for training. He was putting in hard surge efforts and staying in big gears. Sweet, cat and mouse was on. Only me the mouse was cracking. Never getting that recovery and always had been pursuing.
Finally about two miles later at a bridge I caught him on a slight uphill. The bastard looked at me, nodded, smiled and hammered again. I was done chasing. I had about 3 miles to my turn out and I just couldn't recover enough to go again.
So I watched him motor on and away. I felt a bit disappointed in myself for not making myself go, but I was wrecked.
About a mile later there he sat at a red light and looking anxiously over his shoulder. I'm sure he was wondering where the hell I had gone to.
I had to laugh, the guy had just chewed me up and spit me out. So I just proceeded to the light and timed the green. I was on a slight down hill and just rolling in the drops. I passed with a smile and I think he was trying to jump on my wheel, but my turn off was only a mile or so up the road.
 He never made it up and I had to turn off PCH and head home.

I got a bike beat down (kind of) this morning.
But it was in a good way. I wish we could have actually hooked in and did some rotations, but maybe another day.

Total ride length unknown, but approximately 26 or so miles. Total time 1:22 minutes.  ( not as important as what happened out there today) .
I got rung out and my butt handed to me and it felt GREAT !!       


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Organized Kaos

This is what live is sometimes.
But we get done what we can, smile about the good, bury the bad and turn away from the ugly.

Wanting to stay consistent is my goal as of right now. I will push forward and try and support all  your wonderful efforts out there. While trying to post up and share the best I can.

Yesterday was busy and off of training. Work was busy and a full day.
 Had some fantastic crusted Mahi-Mahi and sauteed spinach for dinner.

That is all I have to say about that.

I woke up to an 5:55 alarm this morning. Tired and ready to reschedule my run for lunch. But to my surprise my wife bounced up, looked at me and said "what no ride, no run " ? 
I spewed off my lunch time excuse, rolled over to look outside and see sunshine. Damn, get up !

Literally, threw on a shirt, run shorts, socks and shoes. Grabbed my Garmin, kissed my wife and said short run, see you in 33 minutes.

I was out the door and hitting start run. 
I labored for 500-600 yards. Huffing and puffing with NO I-POD by design. I sound like a diesel out of the gate. Not the smoothest,quietest runner.
But I settled in at 9:20 pace and felt good. 
It was still going to be a short run, but I did extend it to an even 4 miles. 
It was really a beautiful morning and thankfully the sun rise is up earlier now. 
I upped my pace while out there, relying on the Garmin to keep steady. 
Run finished in just at 37 minutes. It felt good to run at any distance.

Train hard,train smart be healthy.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mounting and covering attacks and fast rolling rides

The last couple of days just blew by. In fact, Saturday got so busy with the home projects, that by the time it was all said and done, well it was just that done.
I got allot accomplished but zero training. Unless you consider aerating the front and back yards with a four prong stand up tool by hand.

I watched a really stupid movie with my son "MONSTERS BEWARE". I rate it a 1 on a 1-10 scale. Rented 127 hours and never got to see it and have to return it today.

I watched my condensed DVR version of the Daytona Super cross, 3 hours into about 1:20.

Watched another DVR version of PARIS-NICE road race. And was impressed with some early season form of the Trek Leopard team. Astana team seems united and strong. The new Movistar team will make some noise. I was rooting for the condensed version of Radio Shack with there two hard core sprinters, but they got rung out and splintered.
I'm super psyched to see how this early race comes together this week.


I hooked up for a group ride with OC Velo. It was also team picture day. I was thinking it would be a very timid ride due to more people coming out than normal. I also figured it would be a shorter version of the normal Sunday recover ride.
I was right on the early pace, but the distance was business as usual.
We did meet up with a photographer on the road and get some group pelleton rolling pictures. This was my pictures after rotating to the back
   I'm guessing they had 40 + members show up. And although I told myself I was going to count I ended up getting wrapped up in the ride and forgot.

more to come at a later date with pictures from a real photographer.

So after that took place we regrouped and they issued the announcement that there would be some pace pick up and those who wanted to get down to training business would have the opportunity for the next 20 or so miles in.
We made our way to the first real climb of this ride, and although the grade is not to crazy it can get a bit stretched out.
I have been waiting to see how the extra miles on my new ride would pay out.
Full carbon road bike, in early but decent riding shape that fit like it was suppose to. This all seamed like a good mix.
I was missing my buddy Patrick from but he was doing this years first triathlon in the desert.
That being said it allowed me to focus on nothing but staying right of front and pacing with the lead out.
Yes they are training rides, but they always consist of internal attacks on flats and hills. I knew it was coming because I had watched them pedal away before.
I watched intently for the moves to come out of the front 4 as I was riding fifth wheel. But it actually came from behind me. One broke out to the left, then two by ,then the 3rd. With a quick glance over my shoulder, I shifted to a taller gear and mounted a chase. After a 100-150 yard dash uphill and hard out of the saddle we settled in with 6 riders and pulled hard to a regroup spot. I never missed a beat and my legs felt like machines.
After a quick regroup we head on again, knowing there was another climb coming up, I wanted more of the same. It didn't take long for the tempo to get fast and I moved myself third wheel to the outside. The same attacker set out again, as he was sitting off my shoulder. This time was my turn to punish. I jumped on his wheel within 3 feet of passing me, then just hammered past out of the saddle until standing wasn't an option anymore. I settled in and kept turning over big strokes. I put out as much effort as I could get blood to fill up and flow in my legs. I lead the entire pull from that point until the top of the climb and I was super happy with my bike and bodies response.

This was how I felt, although not taken at that moment.

It was a great feeling to be able to counter an attack and at least for a short time be the attacker. Normally this would not be the case on a Sunday ride, but we did get the go ahead.
Again after a regrouping we had a single pace line back another 5-6 miles to the bike shop for a full group photos. I know that I saw speeds at 28-29 mph in that short time.
The pictures were taken and everyone left after different times. I soloed out not wanting to wait around any longer.
This was tough because I had 11 miles back home into a stiff headwind/crosswind solo.
I made the best out of it by just be thankful that I got to ride. I get to experience something that most others never will. I was thankful once again for the opportunity, and the ability of strength and fitness to be doing what I was doing.
The ride didn't get less easier, but I sure appreciated where I was at on this day.

Total distance 56 miles.

Train hard, train smart, be healthy.

Friday, March 4, 2011


This week kicked off midweek Crit season with They run series for several months in several cities from here until September. They also incorporate some multi day and single day road races.
I really wanted to get at least one race under my belt this week, just to knock the cobwebs off of organized kaos at 23-26 mph as it is.
Tuesday eve at El Dorado park fell through so I attempted to prepare for Thursday at Great Park racing series. It also fell apart due to some work issues. I really know Im not ready to compete yet.
I need to get back out and engage in the mix. Knowing full well to expect to get spit out the back the first few races. I need to pull the trigger and get in there to see what my group pace is and get this base of mine more refined.
Next weeks another week and will see if I can negotiate life and a midweek bike race too.
I do like the added pressure on my bike volume along with personal sprint and time challenges.

I finally felt FULLY comfortable on my new Felt F-1 this morning.I put down a personal best individual effort of just 59:38 for just under 21 miles.
I never saw a number under 18.9 mph and seen some dead flat section efforts at 29 mph. There is really no hills up or down on this loop, but I did manage 38 mph tall gear grind on a slight down hill on CH and was able to hold that tempo for almost a mile on my own.
I still tried to do this with as little in my system as possible. Total fuel and calories was 1 cherry shot block cube at mile 8 and 16 oz of V FUEL through out the ride. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist doing this whole food and liquid test, but it does seem to be paying off.
Post ride was 1 scoop whey with table spoon of peanut butter, small plain yogurt,1 banana and flax seed blended with ice. I'll be starving by 10:00 :-). OH AND 3 CUPS OF COFFEE, YES i LOVE COFFEE. Kill me.  

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What was that a no work out Wednesday ??

Yep, that's what happened when everyday life got in the way. And I like that it doesn't kill me mentally. My patience has come along way.
I just stay on track with calories and the issues at hand when time slips away. It doesn't happen often, but does happen. So I just stay focused and turn the page.

So I moved yesterdays run to today and got up at 5 O dark and got it together.
It was actually several degrees warmer than it has been this  past couple of weeks at that wee hour of the day.
So I took full advantage of a long sleeve tech shirt and one of my new pairs of Nike dri fit shorts. Set up the Garmin, hit the I POD play and off I went.
I went by 4 other runners on this out and back of 5 miles. That was the most ever on that leg of a run, and certainly a record in my mind at the time of day. But it was great to pass by, wave and give a smile to fellow freaks of the dawn :-).

Very mellow run a solid even 9:28 pace. My fastest mile being the 5th at 8:36, which is good for me. I can really feel where the few extra pound I have shed this past month have helped me feel more nimble.
Well as nimble as possible. I also think the weekly cycling climbs in our group rides of 55-70+ miles have helped allot in getting my fitness to another level.
So far I continue to stay as loose as possible and injury free. My 2.5 day scare was good enough for me. I'm glad it came and went as it did.

I'm still looking for 2 more days of cycling this week, totaling another 80 + miles. Looks good to go so far.

Train hard,train smart, be healthy.       

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Say what you want

But 38 degrees is cold where ever you are.
Now I get the fact that in that temp I get to see rolling waves and a beautiful sunrise cresting over the local mountains.
But it is still cold and there is no way to shake that.
22 mile ride this morning on my Ferrari F-1, I mean Felt F-1. It wasn't pure joy due to the early morning whine session coming through my head. But it was nice to hammer out some miles and get in some more saddle time.

It was a joy to watch the dolphins body surfing and just lounging around in the chilly water. The wind wasn't too awful either way, but it's presence was there.
There were not many other people out yet, but I reckon they will get on it soon enough, as it appears that it will get up in to the mid 60"s and crystal clear with sun.
I did see about 10-14 La Habra team members duking it out in a nice fast rotation on the other side of the road. I was really wishing I was over there at that time because I was starting to fatigue a bit then.
I'm still rolling with the no food on the morning workouts for runs less than 5 miles and rides less than 20 miles. It did help me shed an extra 4.5 pounds in February and I was able to make that stick without changing anything else on my normal diet.
I eat relatively clean ( not perfect) but pretty good. My issue is portion control at dinner. Everything else is pretty spot on. That being said I have still managed to drop that weight,get under 200 and sustain it.
188 pounds has a nice ring to it and would put me at my best physical weight I ever competed at.
So we keep moving forward and trying things that work, and scrapping those that don't.

Life has been a bit hectic lately and has challenged training volume. But I'll keeping pushing back when it throws out roadblocks.
Scheduled in and hoping to get in a 5 mile run tomorrow. This will be my first run since last Thursday, which is where my butt muscle issue came shortly there after, so well see how that goes.

Train hard,train smart, be healthy.