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Monday, March 31, 2008

Kona or Bust!

That is exactly what Rachel wrote at the top of my last year's training programs and I had to stare at it everyday before my workouts, whether I believed it or not. And, on Saturday at Oceanside, that dream came true. I qualified for Kona by taking 2nd in my AG at the California Half Ironman in Oceanside. (Final time: 5:11:17)



I had a strong race and finished without a smile on my face- just like Rachel encouraged me to. I didn't want to save anything the way I usually do on the bike, and thought I would be a bit more aggressive than usual, and then if I had to pay for it on the run, I had to pay for it on the run. But, that didn't happen. I ended up running a very strong, 1:41 Half-Marathon (7:47 min/miles) and I felt great. (Sunday I was really sore, but that is besides the point). I had an easy spin today and a swam about 2000 tonight to stretch things out. I feel pretty good, but heading to bed. I will do a full race report soon, but just wanted to get out the official news that I indeed qualified- now, to kick butt in Kona...

Back to the drawing board...

HAVE THE BEST WEEK AND, WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH PURPOSE AND TRAIN HARD!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Saugoydian Rides Again

I got an original Felt road frame with all of Gonzales's old components and now I am ready to ride. After all, it is not about the bike, right? I am even lighter now than I was on the Kuota, believe it or not. If anything, the Aluminum frame is just a tad rougher on the ride, but nothing THAT significant. After all, it is about the rider- about my legs cranking harder, faster. Not the damn bike.

One thing about taper week is that it is hard- hard to not work out. Did nothing today. Just relaxed. Well, I worked on my feet all day, and gave a volleyball lesson, but besides that, didn't do too much else. I am visualizing for the race, getting ready for breaking 5:09. I want to at least go faster than I did last year- that is my 1st goal. 2nd goal: to break 5:00. 3rd goal: to get the qualifying Kona slot in my AG. Hey, I can have the race of my life- you never know. Hence the 3rd goal. If the water is anything like the temp was at Laguna last weekend...my swim will be very very fast.

Well, Alwyn Cosgrove gave me some good advice for this week- with the taper. He said...
"Be careful...there's nothing you can do to get better, but there is a whole lot that you can do to fuck it up." And, so I believe his advice and I will do well in the race...

Thanks AC. Have a great training week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Setback is just a Setup for a Comeback




I heard this today from a fellow strength coach of mine and it really rang true for me- for this week. I had a very eventful weekend, which was full of some adventure, some grief, some challenges both emotionally and physically, and most of all, some mental strength tests. Sometimes you wonder why life is the way it is- without sounding too cliche. I had been in Canada for the weekend to visit a friend for my birthday. I had a good time, but a friend of mine, Peter Mendes, sent me an email to let me know that Kristy Gough had been killed. Kristy was a young pro triathlete who had been hit on her bike by an oncoming car on March 9th, the day my father passed 7 years ago to the day. I used to swim with Kristy and remember her as such a positive, shy girl who was extremely modest, and very encouraging. She was always telling me to swim in her lane- the #2 lane, and get out of the #3 lane because it was too slow for me. She explained to me that it wasn't too hard to be pro and that her and Clas (her Swedish pro boyfriend at the time) really enjoyed training together. I admired her for her teamwork with him and her work ethic to become the type of cyclist that she had been. Kristy will be remembered in my mind as that and in the sport that we compete in, death on the bike is something that we will deal with more than a dozen times in our lifetime.

I came back from the weekend pretty tired, yet ready to head back to my job because I love it and because seeing the clients and their progress always makes me happy. I had only a couple of hours to workout, one hour at a time, so I ran 7 in the morning break and then biked 20 in my afternoon break. During my ride, I had a crash- with another cyclist and my carbon fiber bike cracked significantly. I, of course, flew off the bike, yet was pretty unscathed. Bloody shins, bruised quads, sore back/shoulders, and wounded pride. And, Gonzales was toast (my 1-yr old Kuota). But, I took it in stride and thought about Kristy and couldn't be too upset. I got up, rode back to work, and then finished my night.

The next day, I went to the bike shop and, with all the luck in the world, was offered a frame (an original Aluminum Felt frame, perfectly my size) at Newhall Bike Company and Roger, who worked so hard to put it together for me, was so awesome. I thought that my triathlon season was over when Gonzales cracked, but now- with my new bike (to remain nameless until tonight when I go pick it up) I have a whole new attitude about the season and another reminder about how precious life really is.

Not one day is guaranteed. Do something each day that you have to think twice or three times about because it might scare you. Call a friend you haven't in a while- book a trip to Hawaii- spend time with your spouse and kiss them a little longer than you normally do- workout a bit harder, because you know that Kristy would have. Be kind to the people who you come into contact with. Clean your car. Ask yourself, "did I grow today?". Thank the ones around you. Smile more. Drink great coffee. Take a walk. Take a deep breath. Live life. Be passionate. Mean what you say. Love life.


Get out there and live it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snowboard When Bored...

If you ever want to try something new for your workouts, don't fear stepping outside of the box and skipping a swim/bike/run to do something else active that your really enjoy. This time of the year, I enjoy the ocasional drive up to Mountain High (local ski resort) to snowboard. I got into snowboarding about 5 years ago and spent 4 years in a row heading to Big Sky, Montana to ride for 5 days or so in a row. I hadn't snowboarded yet this year, so last week, I took my board in to get it waxed and the edges sharpened so I could shred the gnar on Friday.

I headed to Mt.High and had a great 4 hours. I went on the black diamond slopes a few times and left just in time for the snow to get really wet and slushy. It was almost too warm to wear the jacket I was wearing, and sometimes I went down sans gloves- which wasn't the smartest thing to do on my last run, when I touched down and scraped my hands against some really sharp, icy snow- very painful. For my birthday, I am meeting a friend up in Canada and snowboarding in Whistler for at least a day. Should be a great time.

So, my point- I was going to do a short brick on Friday morning, but instead- went snowboarding. I didn't feel bad about skipping my "workout" one bit- had a blast, and was actually sore the next day. Still sore :)

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 3, 2008

We Only Live Once...

Ok, well I was talking to a dear friend of mine, Jeff Buhr, who trains in Kentucky and is himself, in his own right, a very talented athlete. He is also a very hard working guy, putting in an honest 40-45 hours a week of work, on top of living life like any normal single guy would- expecting to have some semblance of a social life amongst his hours of training. It is not quite Summer yet, and so to get in workouts sometimes, he needs to get up at 5 AM, or perhaps, wait until after work, to get a ride or run or swim in. Whether or not he is actually training for any race right now, he was asking me why he puts so much pressure on himself to get up early or go out into 0 degree weather to train, 12-15 hours a week, and he isn't even a "pro." I thought about it, and I started asking myself the same question. Why do we do this? Why do we train so hard as triathletes? What do we get if we train that extra hour, or wake up early, or sacrifice a night out with friends so that we can get a long weekend ride in? WHY? If we are not "pros"?

Because...

1. We are driven
2. We love to push our bodies to the limit
3. We are our own best coaches
4. We expect nothing less than our best
5. We are insane
6. We are successful people in our everyday lives
7. We have expectations
8. We love to feel strong, fit, and happy
9. We are good examples to our friends and family
10. We enjoy doing well at races
11. We are not drunks
12. We love spending money on things that make us more fit
13. We have friends that do the same things as we do
14. We love to sweat
15. We enjoy pain
16. We enjoy massages
17. We can't control our Type-A personalities
18. We want everyone to feel as good as we do
19. We think triathlon is a lifestyle
20. We love our lives

Get out there, be thankful that you have your health, and enjoy your next workout. You don't need to be Pro and workout as much as you do as any kind of athlete. If you enjoy being fit, be fit- and keep it up. You are a better friend, husband, wife, lover, co-worker, and/or person for it. Most of all, have fun. We only live once.

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!