Friday, January 28, 2011

Western States - An easy decision

When I applied for the WS100 lottery I knew I had a slim chance of getting in however I had fun doing some Ultras in 2010 so I thought hey I qualified, I deserve to apply.  Someone had led me to believe that you basically don't get a look in if its your first year applying so I thought what the hell apply and let fate deal your hand.

Well as fate had it I got selected.  A double edged sword as I knew it was the same weekend as Ironman Coeur d'Alene a key race for many of my athletes and for several their first Ironman.  I can honestly say I don't really have any personal ambitions left in the sport that I want to achieve.  Don't get me wrong I will always race 'hard' when I race and if I am in shape then hey who knows what the outcome will be but long gone are the days when I get worked up about the outcome of a race.

A number of weeks have passed since I got the 'news' I was in WS100 and many weeks of trying to get my head around Ironman St George a race quickly creeping up on  me and at the forefront of my mind.  Also many more weeks have passed for my athletes preparing for Ironman Coeur d'Alene and as they are changing gear and really getting into some consistent meaningful training my mind keeps drifting to IMCDA 2010 where a good number of Team Vo2Multisport athletes and supporters alike made the journey to race and support.  I have not missed an Ironman Coeur d'Alene since I moved to the US and in the process I have made some wonderful friends and collected some fabulous memories.  A special mention at this point needs to go to Susan and Robert Cliff who have been the home stay of Cindy and I for the last several years and have the 'best' house in town (those of you who know where we stay can vouch for that).

I asked myself the question, how would I feel not being in Coeur d'Alene this year and the answer was heart broken.  I love being there for my athletes and simply put have such an awesome time helping them get through their day and the lead up to the race that I don't want to miss it.  So in short I am withdrawing from WS100 and am instead going to do what I love, look after my athletes, help them when they need me and generally enjoy the warmth and splendor that Coeur d'Alene has to offer.

The Vo2Multisport Inspiration station will bigger and better than ever before so stop by during race week, or give us a shout or a smile on race day.  We will be there for you and will cheer just as loudly for the first person as the last ;).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Road to St George - Weeks 9-12

Okay I admit I am woefully behind with my blog.  Time to catch up and make amends.  A lot has happened since my last update, some fun trips and a couple of decent races.  Still very little in the way of meaningful long workouts but none the less I actually feel in a good place.  Health status is great, this is something I take pride in and employing every recovery protocol that is practical after my workouts certainly helps my recovery and allows my body a fighting chance to hold up to the intensity/volume.  Point of note here is the last two weeks executing back to back races (RnR AZ and 4th Dimension Off Road Duathlon), performing well and recovering after them in a timely manner with minimum disruption to the 'plan'.

Going to focus on highlights from the last several weeks rather than detailed training summaries as in previous posts:
  • New Year at Sage Cliff (Cave B) with Cindy and the dogs.  A great time had by all, nice and relaxing and a chance to re-charge the batteries a little.  Good food, good wine, wonderful company and of course a couple of short very very cold runs.  Beautiful views of the Gorge and the Columbia River, will explore this area more in the Summer fingers crossed ;)
  • First Week of the New Year.  A great training week which saw me hitting 16 hours or so of training with great balance.  Only downside was getting lazy about signing up for Bridle Trails and for the first time in its history it sold out leaving myself and many other team mates out in the cold.  I see this as a good thing though as it means the popularity of trail running is continuing to rise and people are gettting outside and getting it done.
  • Rock n Roll AZ.  A much needed escape to the sunshine with our training group who had been preparing for the last 20 weeks or so.  Cindy and I left late on Friday which was not optimal but once there soon found our bearings and with the use of our good friend Eric Wynn's condo and car for the weekend we were all set.  The Saturday was a bit of blur, woke up, ate breakfast, did some work, went to register, ran a solid six miles, then out to dinner with the team at Oregano's and back to the condo ready to get some sleep after getting race kit ready for the morning.
  • The Race. Well what can I say I had an absolute blast pacing Max (and Joe for a while but he was suffering with some kind of stomach bug from earlier in the week, long story but between porta potty stops he still locked down a Boston qualifying time) to a huge marathon PR (over 20 minutes) and enjoying the atmosphere along the way.  It was a great way for me to help a team mate and get a solid training run in.  Max finished in 3:09:54 and was rock solid all day never once faltering even under my shouts and screams to hold things together in the last 8km (which he did) when the going got a little tough.  We essentially even paced the entire run with mile splits ranging from 7:10-7:15 for the first 22 miles then a combination of the climbs and the fatigue slowed the next three miles to 7:20's before the final mile where I ran strong knowing Max would do his best to come with me and in the process break 3:10.  He only needed to go sub 3:20 for Boston so he really knocked it out the park, awesome experience.  I will do more pacing in the future (truly enjoyed it) so if anyone wants to shoot for Boston who knows they are a little erratic and/or need a little motivation when the going gets tough look me up ;).
  • Team Mates.  Cindy had an awesome day in the half for her comeback race after getting hit by the car several months ago and ran 1:35.  Not her best time but considering the lack of any speed work and limited mileage a great performance.  We had five Boston qualifiers as a team and a bunch of people with PR's and satisfying experiences on race day.  A real success for the Rock n Roll run program and something we will repeat for next year with a few tweaks here and there.
  • 4th Dimension Racing.  Roger Michel and Kevin Reinkensmeyer did a fabulous job of putting on a super great Off Road Duathlon at Ft Steilicoom this weekend.  It was race one of a two race series and was a blast.  I am no mountain biker but thankfully there was nothing too technical and other than couple of rookie errors I got through the ride okay, so don't fear the bike course you guys, come join us for race two on Saturday February 26th.  Some great racing to be had, what a way to test your fitness against some very elite MTB's.  Now if only that second run was 20km ;).  Thanks to all the volunteers (many provided by Team Vo2Multisport) and Roger and Kevin for such an awesome awesome race.
Okay we are now at the start of a new week (today is January 24th) and only 15 weeks (eek!!!!) until Ironman St George, so time focus on staying healthy and injury free, building cycling volume, introducing some 'course' specific run training and generally having fun with this wonderful lifestyle I am able to be so deeply involved with......bring it on.

Thanks to everyone following this blog and those of you that are supporting me in my coaching, training, and racing.  My sponsors Brooks, GU, TYR, nuun, Sports Reaction Center, Headsweats, Dilettante, Rudy Project, QR, and Orca Compression all make my life so much easier as I have everything I need to race fast, recover well and look sharp.