Monday, June 23, 2008

mad skillz, team dirk, and racing

First off, I have some mad French skillz. This past Saturday was the St. Jean De Monts Triathlon team presentation. It included all kinds of media interviews and promo stuff. We had a news crew follow us around while the team swam, rode, and ran. After that it was off to one of our sponsors, Super U, for a live radio interview. As one of the foreigners, I was asked to give an interview. in french. I only began studying French 3 months ago and have been here for one month. It was tough, and I had to ask the lady to repeat a few questions, but the team and (espcially me) were very happy with how I did. They even said they could understand everything I said!! I was pretty nervous but pulled it off. Since this was do-overs!
listening intently
After the interview, we had a dinner and the presentation at Bessau Auto's that night. Here are some picks of our team from the presentation

the entire D2 team
Mattieu and I discussing franglais (french-english)....notice the hand movement!
The D2 team with the entire club in the background
So that was fun. The next day Adam and I hopped in the car for a 3 hour drive to St Calais for another Sprint Race. This time the race was non-drafting. I had a huge run week and thought I might struggle a little on the run, but it was the bike that did me in. I had a bad swim, but still managed to exit 3rd right with the leaders. I mucked up T1 pretty bad, and subsequently missed the "pack" The pack of twelve were riding quite close together and it was impossible to bring them back. The ref tried to give the entire pack a penatly, but there was a little confusion and it ended up that only a few got penalties and others didnt. I am not going to go into frenchie rules and regs, but 6 people got DQ'd and I moved into 6th. Yeahh! (that was written with incerdible sarcasm).

Beginning to get a little worried that I am too tired, but pressing on. I finished my three week run block with 71 miles and three quality sessions. I did an 1:30 run on Wed w/ 3 x Moneghetti set (A hard fartlek about 39 min in length) and 20x200 w/ (3 on 60, 1 on 90) x 5 on Friday and nailed both the sets. Held 34's for the track workout the entire way. Through in the 5k run in my race and another solid run week. This has been by far my best and most consistent 3 week running block ever. It hasnt payed off in my races yet, but with my much needed taper week, I should come right this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend I am racing the World University Triathlon Championships in Erdek, Turkey. I head to Paris on Wed, then fly to Istanbul, race on Saturday, and return to Paris next Monday. Here is where my next adventure begins.... I am going to do a 2.5 week training camp with the famous Dirk Boekel, Luxembourg triathlete extradonairre. Dirk has just recently secured his Olympic spot for Beijing and has asked me to come up to the Lux and train with him during his Olympic prep. It is a big honor for me and I am excited. I have been to Luxembourg and it is one of the greatest countries in Europe. Awesome secenery and really good for training.

The camp will work perfectly with my race schedule. The camp will lead up to the Kitzbuhel World Cup and then my next French team race the following week. Hopefully I can help Dirk and continue to build on my own fitness. Dirk has legs the size of tree trunks and is one the best cyclists on the circuit, so that will be good for me. It has been pretty tough for me training through these past few races and struggling with results, but I am continuing to add to my foundation and confident that I can have a breakthrough race soon.

Well thats all for now!



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

another week, another race

Heading out on the run....

The race went ok, but not great. I felt really tired (with due cause) leading in and suffered a bit (again) on the run. I was content to sit 2nd wheel on the swim and stayed that way through the entire swim. The bike was a large group and the run, along with some GI issues that involved a post-finish line sprint to the toilettes and me not being able to find my legs, was a bit tough. I ran for an 8th place finish. It is hard sacrificing these local races, but I want to do well when it counts!

This week was the second in my three week run-focused training block leading into World University Championships. All in all it was a solid week of training. As far as total hours go I am only hovering above the 20 hour mark. Because of the swim situation here, I can only get in about 16-18k per week. If I was really struggling in the pool, I would do heaps of open water to bring it up to 25k or so, but that is not the case. In fact, I am swimming better now than in the last 5 years. The last few years my running has slowly improved while my swimming has almost gotten slower. The foundation I laid with FAST this winter is paying off. Biking was solid this week with 4 rides and some solid threshold work.

The run. This week was perhaps my best week of running in quite a while. While the race on Sunday didn't quite show it, I had a great week. Total miles were 69, so 1 short of "the goal" (the goal being an arbitrary number I made up), but the real story lies between the numbers. On Tues I did 15x150m uphill sprints, on Thursday me and my roomie Adam took it to each other on the track. The set was 8x400 on 2:00 straight into 8x200 on 1:15 w/ all efforts D1-4. There were heaps of 68's and a 66 and 65 on some 400's. I didnt even know I could run that fast (this was on a cinders track as well). We got even more fiesty on the 200's and popped off a 30 for number 4, so of course number 8 would be completely on. We both dropped a 29 for number 8. I have not seen that number on the track since good 'ol days of high school. A "tempo"type run during the race on Sunday brought the week total to 3 solid sessions. I am on the verge of blowing up. One more week of this stuff and I will be done! This week should be the biggest with around 20k swimming, 10 hours biking, and 75 miles running w/ three key workouts. Another race this Sunday and then REST, REST, REST for the Uni games the week after.

Also a big thanks to Profile-Design. I just signed on for another year with them and this year they are my wetsuit sponsor as well. The Gold Cell Suit is by far the fastest and most flexible suit I have ever worn. It is also the only suit that I do not have to cut the legs to get off. What a concept......Why don't we make a suit that is easy to get off? Well, no other company does. I plan to lead out quite a few more swims this year with it on. It is always nice toeing the line and knowing you have the best equipment.

until next time,


Monday, June 09, 2008

a "rest" week

pics from last weekend (the last time I will be in that wetsuit! more to come on that...) leading the swim

Last week was a recovery week, but I raced a small sprint race in Jard-Sur-Mer for some grocery money on the weekend. I absoutely hammered start of the swim and won the swim prime. First time leading out of the water in a while! The bike was the bike (draft-legal), and I had a run like I had just taken a recovery week: sluggish. I finished 4th, but our team took the team title. A solid day.

This week was my first weekend off racing in 7 weekends. Originally I planned in racing an Olympic Distance race, but decided to take the weekend off to recharge the mind. There is a race every weekend here, they always have a little money, and are always within a few hours drive. Thus, it's very hard to skip races. Then after a while, you realize you are killing yourself for 100-200 euro and your results have stagnated. Plus, even with this week off, I am still racing the next 5 out of 7 weekends, so I am not too worried about a lack of races.

Since I have some bigger fish to fry in 3 weeks (World University Games in Turkey), I decided to put in a massive 3 week run-focused training block. So far this season my swimming has been spot on and I have made the front bunch at every race I have done: 7 races and 7 front packs. I have never been this consistent in the water. I have only been biking 4-7 hours a week for the last 6 week because of racing, but it seems the hard efforts on the bike each weekend have maintained my fitness, so my biking has been good too.

now about the run......This has been a different story. My run has been solid, but just off the mark. I have had trouble running off the bike this year. I had some great workouts this spring, but havent converted those into stellar runs in a race. I think the lack of miles in my legs and the constant travel have hurt my run most of all. I think I am strong, but not fast. Every race I can run steady, but can never pick up the pace. So back to the drawing board: Big, Hard Miles!

This week was the first of my 3-week "run camp" leading into World Uni's on June 28th. I logged 65 miles on the run (biggest week so far this year), 11 hours on the bike, and just over 16k in the pool. I had three quality sessions on the run and they felt good. The plan is to continue the run build over the next two weeks in both quality and quantity with holding the biking at 10 hours or so and the swim at 20k. Next week should come in at 70 miles or a little more. I am racing a sprint again this weekend. It will be a good training race, and hopefully I can land on top of the podium.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

cool video

Great Commercial. If only we had more of this in the states.....

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I have finally setteld down from all my travel and am getting used to life on the beach in St Jean De Monts, France. I had no idea France had such nice beaches. The town is a quaint little place full of seaside cafes, the occasional disco, and plenty of patisseries. Every day after training you can hop on the beach cruiser and take a 2k jaunt to the centre ville and buy a hot baguette, or grap a board and go hit up the beach for some waves.

doing a lot of this lately
As you can tell, training this week, if anything, has been lax, unstructered, and very little volume. I have put my body through a meat grinder the last 6 weeks, and I really needed some recovery. This week was lots of sleeping, way too much eating, and just a little training each day to make sure the body keeps moving. I am racing later today (not complete recovery), but it is a draft-legal sprint race (750m sw/20k bike/5k run) about 1 hr drive from my doorstep so hopefully won't be too hard on me. So while I am keeping my string of consecutive races alive (in three hours it will be 7 races in 6 weeks), I wont have to travel anymore. Four weeks of sleeping in my bed EVERY night!

Here are some facts about the last six weeks:

Races: 6--four Olympic Distance, 1 sprint, 1 half-iron

DNF: 1--Dropped out of half on the run

Time Zone Changes (must stay in time zone for more than 24hours) : 9 (5 being greater than 7 hours)


Cities Stayed in (must spend at least 24 hours, leave airport): DFW; Mazatlan; DFW; Tongyeong, South Korea; DFW; San Francisco; Pasa Robles; San Francisco; DFW; Toulouse, France; Mimizan, France; Toulouse, France; Paris; Charleville, France; Paris; Yicheng, China; and St. Jean De Monts, France

Total Miles Flown in Air: 36,200 Miles

Sleepless Nights: too many to count.......

Will update soon on the races coming up!