Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stick a fork in it, 2010 is finished!

My inaugural season as a pro-triathlete finished last Sunday in Nautica Malibu's Classic relay!

Just the day before, I had ventured to Pacific Grove, CA (Monterrey) to compete in Tri Cal's Pacific Grove triathlon. In a rare, local draft-legal race, I placed 14th in a time of 2:04:57. The swim leg was easily the most interesting piece of any triathlon I have ever come across. Referred to as the "kelp crawl", Pacific Grove's swim was so cluttered with live kelp, that at some points I could literally stand on it and have 75% of my body out of the water! This made it increasingly difficult for the lead swimmers to get away from the mediocre swimmers (me), hence the draft-legal pro race.

With that being said, I had a great swim, and fought my way into a pack of 4 or 5, just under 3 minutes down from the leaders. Upon exiting the swim, two mishaps would occur - one within my control and one not. In the midst of ripping my wetsuit off, my timing chip got stuck and cost me 10 vital seconds (in my control). After having worked my ass off to bridge the gap up to 4 other riders, off the back of the pack, I bent down to put my feet in my shoes, looked up and saw that a 25 yard gap had formed between the pack and the rider in front of me! The rider in front of me subsequently pulled out due to an asma attack (out of my control). Having already spent most of my energy to bridge that initial gap, I couldn't catch them because the wind was too punishing. So punishing in fact, at one point I was going downhill into a head wind at 8mph! Those two or three riders who escaped my grasp, finished the bike course over 4 minutes ahead of me, which was good enough for 7 places!

As soon as I was finished, Nousha and I raced back down to Malibu in time for the Nautica Malibu classic relay, the following day. Teamed up with my Dad and close UCLA bud, Austin Ramos, we took down every single relay team! This event was particularly significant, because one year prior, my father had undergone a full knee replacement and this race marked a one year full circle! Seeing as how I pale in comparison to Austin, as a runner, I swam, my Dad biked and Austin ran.

I wound up having the 8th fastest swim split, my Dad the 12th fastest bike split, and like a true anchor leg, Austin split the fastest run of the day. Together we finished atop the podium stand in a time of 1:22:32, four minutes faster than any other relay team!

And with that explanation point, my 2010 season comes to an end. My off-season base training will begin in October and I'm really looking forward to my 2011 season!

Keep on swimming, biking and running! Talk soon!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not a Bad Result for a Bad Day

This past weekend was the inaugural Tri-Cal SF triathlon at Alcatraz. While most associate a triathlon in San Francisco with Escape from Alcatraz, Tri-Cal was determined to make a statement with their own version of “escaping from Alcatraz”, and that they did!

I along with about 1,000 other competitors, braved a slightly shorter, but equally as tough 1.2 mile swim; a long 40k bike (as opposed to 30); and an agonizing 7 mile run – which included the deepest sand I’ve ever run through.

Race weekend called for incredibly windy conditions, those of which stirred up a 4 – 5 foot swell in the bay the day before the race, 57 degree water temps, and a 7am start (an hour earlier than EFA).

We dove off the side of the Hornblower Yacht and I immediately found myself in a dog fight. Another difference from the original Alcatraz triathlon (EFA), was that as opposed to starting 1 minute before the hoards of age-groupers, they jumped off 15 seconds behind us which meant they were breathing down our necks!

I exited the water just inside the top-30 and headed out onto the bike sopping wet and freezing! I had noticed prior to the race that a lot of competitors were sporting arm warmers. While at the time I deemed that to be completely unnecessary, once out onto the bike, I realized I was dead wrong! The day before the race, I had spent three hours at a local bike shop trying to figure out what was wrong with my bar-end shifters and why while riding my bike, it wouldn’t stay in the gear that I had chosen, particularly while going up a hill! To no avail, we were NOT able to fix the problem so the next best solution was to switch out the Campy shifter with a Shimano fluid one and ride the race without one or two gears available to use. Nonetheless I worked my way through the course and came into T2, around 20th.

For the first 3 miles of the run, my feet might as well have been two frozen blocks of ice, because I couldn’t feel anything! I guess the cold wind exposure during the extra 10k on the bike really had a major impact on whether I could feel/use my extremities at such a vital time like this. I didn’t know if my toes were in the right places, or if I had rocks in my shoes or what, but I soon found myself offering my feet some verbal motivation such as, “come on feet, WAKE UP!” or “let’s get GOIN feet!”

The issues I was having with my frozen feet soon materialized in my upper Achilles tendons as sharp, tightening pains, which made it death defying to run down hill. I thought to myself, “maybe this is how the numbness is working its way out of my can’t go down any further so it might as well go up.” I eventually found that finish line, having passed about 6 guys on the run and finished 13th in a time of 2:24:50.

Despite all the confounding variables, it was NOT a bad result. And despite being the toughest race of my career, I thoroughly enjoyed it! But that makes sense because as triathletes, we are supposed to take on whatever comes our way and some how defeat that obstacle(s). It is simply why we have found a competition that fuses three sports into one!

Up next will be Tri Cal’s Pacific Grove on the 11th of September, the last race of my 2010 season!

Hope everyone is swimming, biking and running! Talk soon.


Race Results:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last ITU of '10 Season!

I returned earlier this week from my final ITU race of the season, in Kelowna, British Columbia. It also happened to be the Canadian National Championships so the start list was chock-full of worthy competitors!

Race morning was cold, windy and wet, as the rain had fallen upon us and the water temps were hovering around the wetsuit cut-off of 68 degrees. It was a 2-lap lake swim, followed by a 6-lap bike with a TOUGH hill, and then a pancake-flat 4 lap run. Like my last race in New York, I was determined to crush the swim, regardless of whether it might compromise the rest of my race. And that I did!

During the first lap, I was hanging onto a few swimmers’ feet but eventually lost them by about 10-15 yards headed into the second lap. We exited the water, ran around a beached cone and dove back in. At this point, I knew the other racers’ heart rates were through the roof, LIKE MINE, and it was merely a matter of who could dig deeper and fight through that pain! Halfway through the second lap, I not only found those pairs of feet but I swam right past them and didn’t stop! I exited the water in 48th (out of 64), my best swim result to date!

Out onto the bike, I was ready to eat up the road ahead of me when it was quickly put on hold during my mount out of T1 – one of my bike shoes had flown off my pedal and I had to stop, turn around and retrieve it! Once I was headed in the right direction and with all the equipment in the right place, my group of 5 riders and I started eating up the stragglers! Soon our pack had grown to 15 and we were making up ground, despite the unrelenting sub-par weather conditions! I came into T2 in 41st and was ready to unleash the beast on the run!

As I mentioned, the run was pancake-flat and quite scenic, as most of the run was along the water’s edge. Being a weaker swimmer on the ITU level, when I get to the run portion of a race such as this, nothing but desperation drives me to the finish. It is an almost panic-like style of running, because I have such a deficit to make up. Whatever you want to call it, it worked for me, because I crossed the tape after having passed 14 guys en route to a 27th place finish (7th American) in a time of 2:03:19.

Despite not having reached my top-20 goal, I was pretty pleased with my performance for a couple of reasons. One, being the Canadian Nat’l Championships, this race drew quite the quality field which I faired pretty well against. Two, even though I’m still pretty far back in the swim, this result showed that I’ve been making some serious progress in the water and it’s a good predictor of things to come, especially after my upcoming off season where I plan to swim 400,000 yards in 3 months! And lastly, this race was coming off of a two week sinus cold of which has materialized in my lungs and I’m still working it out of my system to date! Points or no points, it was a great experience and I look forward to ITU ’11!!

Race results can be found here:

Up next will be my final two races of the season – Tri Cal’s inaugural Alcatraz triathlon this weekend (Aug. 29), followed by Tri Cal Pacific Grove on the 11th of September. And last but not least, a fun relay at the Nautica Malibu Tri on the 12th of September!

Hope everyone’s racing season is going well. Keep up the good work and thanks again for all the support, it is simply invaluable!

Talk soon!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Solid Training Day!

Today’s training schedule:
6:30am Ocean Speed Circuit swim (4 – 500yd loops, ea. w/150yd run in btwn.)
10:30am Moderately paced 7.5 mile run (at 5:43 pace)
5:20pm 35 mile bike ride, which included a little over 7 miles of Bike Hill Repeats (BHR)

Today’s swim was freakishly cold, arguably the coldest of the season. One reason why we LA triathletes plunge into the Pacific Ocean at the crack of dawn on various days of the week, is because the water temps are quite manageable, normally ranging from 65-72 degrees. As a result, EVERYONE was completely taken by surprise, particularly those that tend to brave these swims sans a wetsuit! Despite the bone-chilling temps, it turned out to be a great swim workout and a beautiful early morning at the Santa Monica beach.

After a second breakfast, I hit the roads for my 7-8 mile run with the total intention to cruise. Normally I define “cruising” to be a 6:00-6:15 mile pace. For some reason today, my “cruising” pace was upped to 5:43s and I have no real explanation for it other than the fact that I was wearing a new pair of K-Swiss Keahou IIs that I had yet to try. Nonetheless, it was a great feeling run and I was pleasantly surprised!

I had lunch, ran a few errands, wrote a few emails and was ready for my BHRs. I headed North on PCH to Temescual Canyon where my BHRs commenced. After a well executed 7.5 mile workout on the hill, where I focused on my circular petal strokes, I was finished with my day and ready to head home.

Looking back on the day, I feel great, felt great, and I remind myself that its days like these I need in my training regimen in order to help me get to where I need to go. I hope everyone’s training is up to par!

More training updates to come in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for checking in!

Talk soon.


Monday, July 19, 2010

I Found Some Carrots!

This morning I raced in the Nautica NYC Triathlon and had quite the rewarding result, finishing 7th in a star studded field!

Coming off a mediocre performance last weekend in Minneapolis, I was determined to take advantage of the swim that favored the weaker swimmers due to the positive current in the Hudson River.

The night before, my fiancee told me to swim harder than I ever have, and I did just that! Due to the slight wind and the various boats passing by, it made for tough, choppy conditions.

I quickly found myself in a full-on fight against the Hudson River! Pounding through wakes, I noticed I was actually passing other swimmers! In my post-race analysis, I realized that this type of swim called for A LOT of aggression and if one wasn't ready for that, then it was a bad day for them!

I exited the swim in 12th (out of 16) and quickly picked off 3 other racers on the half-mile run to T1. During the bike, I was able to pass two more competitors, but then subsequently got passed by 4 other riders. I headed into T2 in 11th and was determined to catch at least one competitor to get that coveted top-10 finish!

Sure enough, within the first mile I had moved into 10th, but I wasn't finished! By the time I had reached the 5-mile marker, I was sitting pretty in 8th and could see 7th place about 150 yards ahead of me! I dug deep, hit the up-hills hard, and secured 7th with a little less than a quarter-mile to go!

I crossed the tape in 1:54:15, roughly 1:25 out of the top 5. In all, I had an awesome swim, an OK bike, and a good run. I was really pleased with my performance and I think it was a good recovery from my result the weekend prior.

Up next will be another ITU race in Canada on the 22nd of August, followed by a second Alcatraz triathlon on the 29th.

Thank you all for the support during my 11 day trip, I truly appreciate it!

Results can be found here:

Talk soon!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

On the Eve of the NYC Tri

Tomorrow morning at the early hour of 5:50, I along with thousands of other crazed triathletes will plunge into the Hudson River. Without a doubt, the most common question anyone will be asking themselves is, “when was the last time I got a tetanus shot?!”

Sure that thought will be in the back of everyone’s mind, but in any competition, once that gun/horn/whistle/shriek goes off, adrenaline washes it all away!

I’m not entirely sure who’s in my portion of the race, but I try not to let that ever bother me. Come race day, it’s important to focus your energy on yourself and beat that competitor within first and foremost. Racing IN Manhattan is such a unique experience and I couldn’t be more excited!

The swim is downstream, making it more difficult for the faster swimmers to escape the desperation of the slower swimmers to keep pace (like me!), and the bike is deceptively tough (so I’m told) with some ups and downs and a punishing hill at the turn around point in the Bronx. The run is one reverse loop (clockwise) through Central Park, which is also rolling.

Should be a lot of fun tomorrow, especially since I have some familiar faces in the crowd helping me cross that finish line!

I’ll be sure to deliver you all a full race report as soon as I get a chance! Good luck to everyone racing at Strawberry Fields this weekend!

Talk soon.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

13th? Where Were the Other Racers?

Yesterday I competed in the Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I finished 13th in an incredibly stacked pro field that featured athletes like, Matty Reed, Greg Bennett, Craig Alexander, Matt Chrabot, Cameron Dye, and David Thompson. While they had all toed the line, I might as well have just raced by myself because that’s what I did!

The swim was in beautiful Lake Nokomis – calm, 80 degrees and the course was one big inverted triangle. When I thought I was getting a leg up on the field by wearing a speed suit, I got to the start line and noticed everyone was wearing one! Normally, in a race like this, I’m able to maintain in contact with a few swimmers, but miraculously, I got dropped within the first several hundred yards and the next slowest swimmer was 2 minutes ahead of me! Mind you, this isn’t because I had a bad swim by any means, I actually thought I had a good swim – felt great, evenly balanced effort, and was able to dip under 22:00 for the first time in a triathlon (21:50). It’s just that when I’m going up against a field where the average swim time for this race was 18:25, it kind of puts me in a hole right off the bat!

Out onto the bike, I started putting out a pretty good effort in an attempt to slowly reel my competitors back to me. Apart from passing a few DNF’s, I was never able to make contact with the field who had built up such a large lead out of the swim. Again, it wasn’t because I bonked on the bike, but rather I felt like my effort was solid and I was working well through the rolling hills.

I got off the bike after having split a 1:02 and headed out onto the run, not sure of my place or time back from the other racers. So as usual I took off in anticipation that I would slowly start to come up on a few struggling competitors. It never happened! And again, not because I had a bad run (I split 33-mid and it was one of the faster splits), but just that EVERYONE brought their A-game today and it happened to be that I found a ridiculously talented field that I couldn’t quite crack! Being stuck out in no man’s land, I was racing no one other than myself and never really found that extra gear because I didn’t have any carrots on the course. In fact, my only carrot was the finish line.

I was able to cross the line in just under 2 hours (1:59:52) and I have to say despite the place, I feel pretty good about my result. As I said before, I might as well have raced by myself, because that’s what I did.

At the end of every race, I try and analyze ever facet of it so I can learn from my experience and utilize my new knowledge the next time I toe the line. I would say that this was about as good a field as it gets and I knew going in that I had quite an uphill battle. But as a pro now, I want to race against the top fields because I want to know where I need to get to in order to truly compete in this sport. This is my first year as a pro and it’s only customary for me to get my butt kicked! I’ve been doing this sport for less than two years and to be able to even hold a candle next to guys like Reed, Alexander, and Bennett who all have been doing this for 15+ years, is inspirational in itself for me to continue to work hard and come back next year and show them what I have to offer then!

Race Results:

I’m next heading to NY where I will be getting ready for another Life Time race next weekend (July 18).

Thank you all again for the “good luck” notes and the congratulatory remarks, it truly means a lot and I carry that with me as fuel during my training and racing.

Check back soon for a mid-week report and then of course all my coverage before and after the NYC tri!

Talk soon!


Friday, July 9, 2010

LTF Tri Tomorrow!

Wow, it’s been so long since my last post, I almost forgot how to do it!

I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday morning EARLY, for my first Life Time Fitness triathlon this Saturday!

I know there's always talk of this "Southern hospitality", but I have to tell you, the people here in Minnesota are incredibly friendly! I had a couple of friends in college from MN who were great guys as well, but I didn't think everyone from here was like that?!

I rode the course yesterday and was able to take in the surrounding neighborhood, which is very nice! It's a pretty straightforward bike course although there seems to be quite a bit of cracks and potholes in the road. I'm told, however, that the potholes are a standard thing in Minnesota! At one point, I came across a pothole so big, that if I fell in, I don't know I'd be able to get out! The swim and run are based at Lake Nokomis, a beautiful lake that's about 80 degrees!

I feel pretty good going into this race. As of late, I've tweaked a few things in my bike training that seem to be working out and my run quality has returned as well. As far as my swim, it’s the same as usual – TONS OF YARDS.

The competition is pretty top notch - Matty Reed, M. Chrabot, G. Bennett, Craig Alexander - although a small field (16 or 17 competitors). On an ideal day, I’d like to crack the top 10, but I’ll have my work cut out for me!

Gun goes off tomorrow at 7am (5am PST). It’s a good thing I’ll be done by 9 (hopefully), because it’s hot here!

Wish me luck! Talk soon.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

TTT State Championships!

Yesterday, I participated in the Team Time Trial State Championships (TTT) for cycling. I had never done anything like this before and it was a ton of fun.

Fellow TTS athlete, Drew Haberkorn (recent triathlete pro card recipient, but deferring until ’11) and I joined forces literally for the first time and competed as a two man team. We had ridden together prior to this event once, in a practice session specifically for this race!

The course was set out by Lake Los Angeles, in the raw desert! It was basically a large box with four 90 degree right turns. All flat, less one minor rise and some light wind.

Drew and I worked together to get the job done and wound up placing 4th overall, mere seconds off the podium. For the 23.5 mile course, we split a 50:11 – roughly averaging 28mph! Of the 3 teams that beat us, two were pros and the winner wound up less than 90 seconds ahead of us. So for our first ride together and for our first TTT or even plain TT, 4th is pretty damn good!

Thanks to my TTS skin suit, American Classic wheels, and of course my SuperCharge potion from NPN, I was able to find that finish line!

In training mode for the next several weeks, so check back later for training updates and what not. Thanks again for the support!

Talk soon!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rolling With the Punches

Oh Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Ixtapa...

Saturday was a hot, unrelenting day in Southern Mexico. So unrelenting in fact, the swim was canceled due to the abnormally large surf! The triathlon was turned into a duathlon - 3K run, 40K bike, 10K run. Not your conventional duathlon as the long run is normally before the short run, but as a triathlete, you roll with the punches and take on the conditions for what they are.

On one hand, I was excited because the duathlon basically took out my weakness - the swim; and emphasized my strength - the run. On the other hand, I had traveled down and prepared for a triathlon, not a duathlon. Needless to say, there was nothing I could do about it and again, I just had to roll with the punches.

I'll tell you right off the bat - it was not a good day. I guess in triathlon lingo, you would call it a complete BONK. I came into T1 with the lead pack of 5 or so. Since I didn't have time the day before to inspect the bike course, all I knew was that the road conditions were tough, lots of speed bumps, and rolling hills. After a grueling bike, I came into T2 with the leaders and headed out onto the run. Through the first of four laps, I remained in contact, and then the BONKing started happening! I might as well have been running the course backwards, because that's what it felt like as probably 15 guys passed me.

I wound up finishing 22nd in a time of 1:48:29. It is very hard to pinpoint why my second run was so disastrous. I don't like making excuses for my sub-par performances, but results like this don't occur for no reason. What I will say affected me the most was the fact that it felt like we were running in an oven! I had heard that temperatures got up to 36 degrees Celsius (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit). For me, it was so hot that I felt claustrophobic in my race suit. No amount of water from the aid stations could cool me down. It was an uphill battle and I was rolling backwards. While I had a terrible day at the office, I wasn't the only one, as there were 19 guys who wound up succumbing to the conditions and were not able to finish the race. I certainly felt like stopping a few times on the run, but I kept moving forward one step at a time and eventually found that finish line.

I have four weeks before my next race. During that time I need to return to the drawing board and figure out what I need to tweak in my training.

Thank you for all the support, as usual. I can't do this without you. Check back later for training updates, and perhaps an answer to how/why I BONKed so hard!

Sorry about the length! I needed to vent somehow..!

Race results:

Talk soon!


Friday, May 21, 2010

ITU Ixtapa Manana!

On the eve of yet another ITU race, I find myself in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. On the flight down, I happened to sit next to a family friend who was heading down for a surfing excursion. I soon found out from him that Zihuatanejo was currently getting hit with a 10-18 foot swell (which would explain the hoards of surfers on my flight)!!

I’m staying at the host hotel right in the center of it all and that has proved to be a good decision, as it is quite chaotic down here and it makes my job a whole lot easier to figure out where to go.

A pretty good sized pro field (roughly 60 competitors) and a somewhat unconventional bike course, at least for the ITU standard. Instead of the usual 8 laps of 5km, it will be 2 laps of 20km, so this should make for yet another fulfilling ITU experience!

I have to get to the athlete briefing but I wanted to drop you all a line first. Gun goes off tomorrow at 10:30am (8:30PST) and I will be sure to write a post-race report as soon as I get a chance.

Wish me luck! Talk soon!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ocean Swims are BACK!

There is simply nothing like starting off your day with a plunge into the Pacific Ocean. After much anticipation (at least by yours truly), the exciting Wednesday morning Ocean Speed Circuit swims have finally returned! A number of crazed, sleep deprived triathletes and swimmers alike, braved the 57 degree waters last week, and then again this week. Only this time, we were greeted with a playful school of dolphins, yearning for us to come and join them out by the turn-around buoy!

One might ask, "why in the hell would someone get up at 5:30 so that they could go jump in sub-60 degree ocean water by 6:30?!" And I might respond, "because it's what we do. There's no rhyme or reason, it's just part of the multi-sport lifestyle!"

A friend of mine aptly put it, " man, when you dive through that first wave and that cold water hits your face, it is quite a shock! It takes about 3/4 of a lap to get warm!"

Yes, perhaps the first couple (more like 5 or 6) Wednesday swims, the sheer thought of jumping into the water barely before sun rise sends a shiver down your spine. But, as the season begins to change from late spring to early summer, the water gets warmer, the crowd of crazed individuals becomes vast and more enthusiastic, and what we're doing down on the Santa Monica beach at the crack of dawn soon lends a response to the question, "why in the hell?!" -- BECAUSE IT'S WHAT WE DO!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

EFA Race Report!

Just finished Escape from Alcatraz on a picturesque day in the best city in the world! While I didn't quite reach my goal (top 10), I finished 12th in a time of 2:09:29 and was really pleased with my overall effort.

The swim was super fast this year and I attribute that to the current, NOT to my 40K yard swim weeks! Came out of the water only 4:30 back from the leaders this year, as opposed to 9 minutes last year. My new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit got a little caught up on my timing chip in T1 but I was quickly off to the races in no time!

Despite the fact that most of my training has been focused on the swim, my bike split was roughly 75 seconds faster than last year! The run was a little funky for me for some reason. I was basically two minutes slower than last year and that is probably due to a couple of reasons. One, my runs have not been quality-oriented as of late, because of the emphasis on my swim training. Two, last week in Florida I felt like I lost a lot of steam in the latter half of the run and I didn't want that to happen today so I went out probably too conservatively. And three, I felt like the beach portion of the run this year was A LOT tougher than last year, especially the first part of the dreaded sand ladder. Speaking of which, I was 1 SECOND away from winning the sand ladder time bonus! Just my luck!

All in all, I feel really great about my performance today and every race I'm creeping up on the winners slowly but surely!

Results can be found here:

Next up for me is another ITU race in Ixtapa, Mexico on the 22nd of May. Till then!

Oh! Thank you all for the kind supportive notes prior to the race and for the congratulatory notes after the race! It is truly motivational!

Talk soon!


Friday, April 30, 2010

In SF for EFA!


I arrived in San Fran this morning, anxiously awaiting the start of my favorite triathlon, Escape from Alcatraz! The forecast for the weekend is blue skies and warm - that's always a plus when having to brave 55 degree water temperatures!

The gun goes off Sunday morning at 8 down at the Marina Green. We start off by braving the icy bay waters for a 1.5 mile swim. Then 18 miles of biking, riddled with classic SF city hills and finally an 8 mile run through the historic presidio forest which includes a daring ascent up what is known as the 'sand ladder'. The sand ladder is such a monumental piece of this course that they award the pro with the fastest split from the bottom to the top!

I competed here last year for the first time and upon completion I truly felt like a triathlete, more so than any other race. I'm really looking forward to toeing the line with the world's best on Sunday. The field is stacked! Potts, Kemper, Docherty - they're all showing up! Game time!

I'll write up a full report as soon as I get a chance. Wish me luck!

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Performance Nutrition and Evolution PT

While all of my sponsors play a pivotal role in the success of my triathlon career, I wanted to plug two in particular that really keep my gears well-oiled and moving in the right direction.

For the last 16 years, New Performance Nutrition has provided custom nutrition programs and products to all sorts of clients, whether it be pro-triathletes and cyclists, or those that want to curb health risks such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiac risk. Their motto is simply, "stay pure". As such, their products and supplements reach a level of quality, performance and peace of mind one won't find anywhere else. NPN's products range from whey protein to energy bars to supplements and vitamins. My favorite product is called Super Charge which is great to use when you want to "supercharge" the muscle with accessible energy (glycogen) and really perform beyond your standards during workouts and especially on race day! Whether a consultation meets your fancy or if you would prefer to purchase the pharmaceutical-grade products online, visit for more information. You can also follow them on facebook at New Performance Nutrition.

Darwin Fogt, the President of Evolution Physical Therapy has created an unrivaled PT facility in Playa Vista, CA that caters to any and all needs. If you're recovering form knee surgery, go see Darwin. If you're suffering from rotator cuff syndrome, go see Darwin. If you simply need to unwind in a yoga session during your lunch hour, go see Darwin! Evolution PT has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, including my favorite machine, the Anti-gravity treadmill (G-trainer).
Even if you don't have an injury and want to try a really cool machine, give Darwin a call and sign up for the g-trainer. I use Darwin and his facilities on a bi-weekly basis and I will continue to indefinitely. Check him out at and follow him on facebook at Evolution Physical Therapy and Fitness.

That's all for now. Talk soon!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Overall a TOUGH weekend..

It started with a quasi-terrorist threat on my flight out to Tampa, which resulted in an emergency landing in New Mexico and a subsequent three hour delay. In addition, there was a one year old who cried bloody murder in the row in front of me the ENTIRE red-eye flight.

I broke my goggles the day before the race and had to frantically search the expo for a comparable pair. Later that day at the athlete briefing, I found out my USAT elite membership had expired and I was unable to race. After bickering with a stubborn official, who took his job way too seriously, I was finally able to renew my membership (only after writing a $100 check) and thus cleared to race.

When I toed the line at 6:52am on Sunday, I should have known based on what I had already endured that weekend, this was not going to be the best race of my life. And with that, it was NOT. Instead, it was a sub-par race, and one in which I could never find a rhythm. I finished 22nd in 1:59:53 and felt completed defeated.

But wait, the weekend wasn’t over. The next morning, my 7am flight was cancelled and I was re-routed to Atlanta where I would subsequently sit standby on three flights before I was able to go home. After 6 hours at the Atlanta airport, I was finally heading home! I arrived in LA 17 hours after the fact, only to find that my luggage and bike box had been displaced somewhere in the Midwest!

I write this now a day later. I’m home, my bag and bike box were just delivered, and I’m about to go to bed and wake up for the start of this year’s Santa Monica ocean speed circuits and I couldn’t be happier!

I’m heading up north later this week for my favorite race, Escape from Alcatraz, and I already know it will be a better experience than Florida, for I’m driving not flying!

Thanks for checking in, talk soon!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another successful ITU race in the bag!

Hey everyone!

ITU Mazatlan was a success! I finished 23rd with a time of 1:58:32 and thankfully this time, my legs actually chose to properly function coming off the bike!

Consisting of a stacked field with at least three former Olympians by my count (J. Shoemaker, V. Plata, F. Serrano), today’s race was fixing to be a tough one!

Going into my South America tour in January, I was coming off a Christmas break where I was all over the map visiting friends and family. With that, I didn’t really have a consistent amount of training under my belt as I headed south of the equator. This time however, I had a solid 8 weeks of training at my home-base in Los Angeles. Though of course as luck would have it, as my fitness improved, so did my competition in Mazatlan.

The swim course consisted of two laps and an exit/re-entry after the first lap. The conditions were choppy and as the day went on, the wind picked up. I tried a different, swim warm-up this time and it worked beautifully. I didn’t blow up in the first 200 yards as I have in the past, I felt like my pacing was stronger and more consistent than it had ever been. I came out of the water in 48th (out of 52) with a split of 22:04, 3:18 off the leader.

The bike course consisted of 6 flat, out-and-back laps, with a nasty head wind going north. To give you an idea how nasty it was, I clocked my pack riding on average 20/21mph into the wind and 28/29mph with the wind! So, I jumped on my bike and bridged up to Ryan Borger (USA) and two Mexican competitors. Together we bridged up to Americans Jimmy Archer and Sean Jefferson and started working pretty well together. I was so elated to find myself in a pack with Americans, with whom I could communicate, as opposed to yelling “vamos” a hundred times! We then picked up two or three other competitors, one of whom was Victor Plata (USA). Going into T2, I split a 1:03:27 on the bike (which I believe was a touch long, based on my Powertap readings) and was off to the races cramp-free!

The run course consisted of 4 flat, 2.5km, out-and-back laps. By this point it was 1pm and temperatures were easily in the high-80s. Coming out of T2, Sean Jefferson (multi All-American and mile best of 3:56) and I hooked up and ran the entire way shoulder to shoulder. I was able to count the number of competitors in front of us on the first lap and we were sitting in 38th and 39th. My legs felt great and I was at complete ease during the first half of the run. I started to feel our pace a little in the third lap and even more in the fourth. On the final lap, I had lost track of how many people we had gobbled up and now it was a mano a mano battle! What I live for! Half way through the last lap, I could feel our pace quicken and we were still, literally, shoulder to shoulder. With about 300 meters to go (or so I thought), I quickened my cadence for just a couple of steps and saw Jefferson’s shadow fall a little behind. So I picked it up more! And then more! And what I thought was the finishing arch, was actually a fake and the real arch was another 50 yards past that!! I thought to myself, “holy *&#@! I went too soon!” So I gave it one last, desperate push, and crossed the tape just ahead of my worthy opponent! Yes!!! I split a 31:36, second to only Jarrod Shoemaker and had passed 16 people to claim 23rd!

If you all recall, I split a 36:50 off the bike in my first ITU race, because my legs were shot. With that being said, Jefferson did a fantastic job and I’m sure he will return the favor in due time as I anticipate a great rivalry with him for years to come!!

My goal going into this race was to score some points and there are two criteria that you must meet in order to do so. One, you need to finish in the top 20. Two, your finishing time needs to be within 5% of the winner’s time. With that being said, I did not meet my goal, as I finished 22nd (among Pan-American competitors) and 4.4% off the winner’s time but in hindsight, the competition here was better than one would find at most Continental Cup races, so I feel pretty pleased with my end result!

My next race will be another match up with Sean Jefferson in his home state at the St. Anthony’s triathlon in April. Check back soon for training updates!

Thanks again for all the supportive emails, texts and phone calls, it is truly motivating!

Talk soon!


Friday, March 19, 2010

On the eve of ITU race # 3

Hey all!

Been a while since my last post and I figured what better timing than the night before my ITU race in Mazatlan, Mexico!

Tomorrow's race should be a lot of fun as the start list includes two-dozen Americans! This is great because it means I will actually be able to communicate with some of the athletes on the bike!

My training all around has been going really well lately. I feel like I'm in a much better place, fitness-wise, now, than I was heading into my South America trip in January. My main focus has still been in the water and I have taken that to the next level by joining forces with Gerry Rodriguez at Trifit. Just in the last month, I feel I've become a stronger swimmer and I not only attribute that to Gerry's workouts, but also the other triathletes like Chris Foster and JJ Kaye who frequent his workouts as well and kick my butt all over the pool!

Tomorrow promises to be good weather, better competition, and a ton of fun!

I will be sure to give you all a full race report the first chance I get!

Thanks for checking in.

Talk soon!


Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Dreaded 1-hour Swim...Complete!

Hey there!

This morning, I participated in the nation wide one-hour swim competition. A competition for distance, this swim was a great way for me to gauge my improvement over the last year.

I began swimming with the Bruin masters program in September of 2008 and a few months after the fact, I participated in my first 1-hour swim, hitting the wall at 4,000 yards on the nose (equates to 1:30 per 100yd average). Today, one year later, I hit the wall at 4,810 yards which equated to an average of basically 1:15 per 100yd. I was more than elated with my result! I have worked so hard over the last 15 months and it has completely paid off.

Going into today's swim, my goal was 1:15s or 4,800 yards, however I thought that that might have been a bit of an ambitious goal. This is especially due to the fact that I had missed some crucial longer set workouts during the first three weeks of January while I was racing in South America. With that being said, my result is a testament to my swimming fitness and I couldn't be more pleased!

The swim itself went relatively smoothly up until the 35th minute, where it then got pretty interesting...

At that point, my goggles completely filled up with water (I'm talking 100%) and I could no longer see the two pool-side clocks that I was using to pace myself. It was so bad that I didn't know where the walls were until I was within two strokes from them! While it seemed like having to endure this annoyance for 25 more minutes was a total disaster, it actually wound up being a blessing in disguise. Instead of dwelling too much on my pacing, it forced me to lower my head and continue ticking off the yardage.

I was able to see the "10 minutes left" sign and figured if I swam my 1:15s, I could get 800 in during that time. Sure enough, I was able to get 860 yards in and finished on a good note!

While I was very excited about having met my goal, the best part about that hour was being able to rip my goggles off after 25 minutes of torture!

I wanted to thank my fellow Bruin masters members for kicking my butt all over the UCLA pools for the last 15 months, for if not for them I'd still be swimming doggy paddle!!

That's all for now. Check back later for more training updates!

Thanks again. Talk soon!


Monday, January 18, 2010

A Successful Trip to South America


I wanted to give you all a quick update on my race in La Paz, Argentina.

Going into my first draft-legal triathlon, I anticipated that I wouldn't have to do too much work on the bike and therefore conserve my energy for a killer run. I was COMPLETELY wrong!

I came out of the water really far back and right from the start I began working my way up through the field. Blowing past stragglers and small chase packs, I found myself hooking up with the second chase pack and remaining there for the duration of the bike leg. In this pack of 12 or so riders, no one opted to share any of the work with me, except for a few Argentineans. I must have yelled "Vamos" 50 times over the course of the bike leg to try and get these guys to work a bit!

Coming into T2 I was in 26th and more than ready to start picking off my competitors on the run. One small problem - my legs were shot! For the first 2 laps of the 4 lap run course, my legs would not move! On a cardio basis, I was completely fine however physically, my legs were a wreck! I had never felt so unable to use my legs in my entire life. You may think I'm exaggerating but I would honestly say I haven't run that slowly in a competition since the 6th grade! At the same time, I’m a fighter so while my legs were completely dead, I made sure not one person passed me, and I was successful!

By the third lap I began to find my legs although it was still a struggle (and the 100 degree heat didn’t help). I wound up finishing 19th as the third American behind Chris Foster (2nd), Manny Huerta (4th), and just ahead of Nicholas Vandam (21st) and Richard Swor (22nd).

Apart from finishing my first ITU triathlon, the highlight of the competition was the thousands upon thousands of Argentineans that lined the streets chanting and cheering! Over the course of my run, despite hurting terribly, I must have high-fived 100 hands. To them, it didn’t matter whether you were 1st place or 40th place; they embraced you all the same. Frankly, they made my first ITU experience that much more enjoyable and I am forever grateful.

We are currently heading back to LA and in my eyes this trip was a complete success. Even though I was “lapped out” in the first race, I still feel I gained invaluable experience in ITU racing that will help me tremendously throughout my career. For the next two months I will be living underwater at the UCLA pools and prepping for my next competition in Mazatlan, Mexico on March 20th. Check back later for training updates and the like.

Thanks again for checking in!

Talk soon!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coming to you live from La Paz, Argentina...


After almost 10 hours on two different buses, we finally arrived in La Paz this morning at 4:45. When we eventually found a hotel with availability, it was bittersweet. Bitter because it was 7 am and we had just jumped off an 8 hour bus ride; sweet because it was great to have a spot to lay low for a few before we ventured out.

La Paz is a much different vibe from Vina del Mar. It's quite tranquil and quaint in it's size. The streets aren't crowded with people and/or meandering stray dogs. Since it had just rained, it almost seems like the town got a bit of a wash as well. The river in La Paz is very impressive, being easily the biggest river I have seen in person (nearly a mile across)!
Apparently the triathlon course has changed and it is supposed to be primarily within the town of La Paz which should be very interesting considering its not very big or well paved...

My race is Sunday and I'll be sure to give you all a full report afterward.

Thanks for checking in! Talk soon.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Race Report

Hey everyone,

I thought I'd take a minute to give you all a race report before we head off to another day of travel towards La Paz, Argentina.

In a few short words, I got "lapped out". For those of you unfamiliar, "lapped out" refers to when a competitor gets lapped on the bike course by the leaders and is therefore pulled from the race. This tends to occur if an athlete had a bad swim, a flat, a crash, or is simply not as strong as the other competitors.

There were a couple of reasons why I was lapped out. First, instead of being 8 laps of 5km on the bike, it wound up being 9 laps of 4km, which meant that the leaders had less distance to travel before they started lapping the slower competitors. With an extra 1km per lap, it would have given me a chance to bridge up to a chase pack and continue through the field, of which I was about 1/4 mile short from obtaining. The second reason is due to my swimming. Seeing as how I've been swimming for a little over a year, my ability did not come even close to those that have been swimming all their life.

Each bike lap took about 6:00 and if I'm coming out of the T1 5 - 6 minutes behind the group of 4 or 5 leaders, that clearly does not give me enough time to avoid being lapped out. After analyzing the way the triathlon went, my coach Ian and I realized that there was a group of roughly 5 competitors that got away from me in the swim and were able to make it into T1 20-30 seconds in front of me. That was the last group that did not get lapped out.

So, if I'm looking at the positive side of things, I'm roughly 20-30 seconds down from being in the thick of the competition. After having watched the remainder of the race, I know that my bike and run ability will easily match these other competitors. At the same time, this is not a duathlon, it is a triathlon so I still have a lot of work to do in the water.

Next weekend's race in La Paz is supposed to be quite hilly and a lot of fun (according to the Brazilians who will also be there). Not to mention, because it's a small town, virtually the entire place comes out to watch the triathlon and at some parts it's apparently like the Tour de France! Let's hope the bike course isn't short, but if it is, game time.

Thanks for checking in!

Talk soon.


Friday, January 8, 2010

A Day of Daze in Chile...

I finally arrived in Vina del Mar, Chile this morning after almost twenty hours of total travel time! Apart from trying to kick some terrible sinus congestion by being hopped up on Sudafed and Earl Grey tea throughout the flights, our travels went pretty well.

In all honesty, when I first arrived in Vina del Mar I was a bit culture shocked, although I’d like to blame some of that feeling on sleep deprivation, jet lag, a little homesickness, etc. Once I settled in my room and activated my world traveler call plan (not nearly as prestigious as it sounds), Vina del Mar turned into a pleasant place with an interesting architectural combination of older historic-looking buildings and numerous high-rise apartment complexes.

We eventually linked up with Chris Foster and went on a “shake-out” 70 minute ride north along the Chilean coast which was spectacular. Again, due to the sleep deprivation, jet lag, etc., the state of delirium in which we found ourselves made the ride that much more interesting… My coach Ian described the ride as “the 7th scariest ride of his life”. It also probably didn’t help that we started our ride at noon on a Friday…

What’s great is that we have a solid crew of U.S. athletes down here to represent good ole red, white and blue amid all the South American competition!
Tomorrow morning we have a swim group going to test out the 60 degree ocean waters! I predict the water will be wet...

Till then!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On My Way to the Deep, Deep South...


Tomorrow, as far as I am concerned marks the start of my 2010 triathlon season. I am shipping out south to Chile and Argentina for two weeks where I will compete in my first ITU-format triathlons! This entails a draft-legal format for which I have been anxiously waiting since I began competing in triathlons.

I love the competitive spirit that presents itself amongst a tight pack of energized riders (I know this from cycling groups), because everyone involved tends to feed off of one another, thereby propelling the peloton down the road at a quicker pace! In a triathlon, presumably, this allows the competitors to partake in real head to head battles once off the bike. I can't tell you how much I've been licking my chops for this opportunity!

It will also be great to have a few Americans down there as well like Chris Foster and Steve Sexton. Those guys are both very solid triathletes and I'm sure are just as hungry as I am to start their 2010 season off on the right foot!

The hotels down there claim to have wifi so I'm going to do my best to keep you all informed with the latest and greatest from the streets of Vine Del Mar and La Paz...!

Talk to you in a few. Thanks for checking in!