10 Offseason basic rules for triathletes

Be mindful without a trigeek focus.

#1 Always find your movement in the day (sitting for more than 6 hours can be worse for you than smoking)

#2 Have fun with your movement

#3 Focus on form

#4 Know what it means to focus on good form

#5 Work on your weakness

#6 Try new stuff (routes, exercises, equipment, nutrition).

#7 Find more time to spend with your family and friends

#8 Let your overall fitness slide a bit

#9 Let one or two sports slide a bit while keeping one sport near top from

#10 read #2 again…Have Fun!

2013 Season Recap

2013 Season recap

After a decade of racing triathlons I began to reach my potential and maximize my abilities as an athlete.  Despite some setbacks, the 2013 season proved to be the best racing season ever for me.  Winning the Los Angeles Triathlon will always be one of my best achievements as an athlete.  To win one of my favorite races and one with a lot of history is pretty sweet.

2013 LATRI Champion: Moment of gratitude expressed by kissing the family ring.

I have to laugh a bit at the misfortune of not completing my two ‘A’ races for the year, where I had primed my body and mind for a pinnacle performance.  My hometown race the Ironman Boise 70.3, was shaping up to be a wonderful day until coming down with a nasty head cold hours before the start.  It was no big deal unless you are trying to grit your teeth with some of the world’s strongest endurance athletes.  The virus forced me to wisely pull out of the race on the bike.

Fast forward to my last race of the year, The Lifetime Series Championship Triathlon at Oceanside and again the stage was set for a thrilling performance.  Often in a race, if you are deeply in tuned, you know how the race might go from the very first stroke.  My first strokes in both the swim and bike told me it was going to be an exceptional day.  The race situation was even better.  For the first time in the 2013 Lifetime series, I was about to take the lead on the bike.  Then, it happened.  I’m sliding 10 feet across pavement wondering how in the world did I get my first crash in triathlon, now!?  The marine layer had made for some deceptively slippery surfaces and while accelerating to move into the lead on a straight away; BAM!  Sudden end to the race season.

Fortunately, 2 weeks before both of those races I was able to capitalize on some high end fitness.   Two weeks before Boise’s Ironman I placed 5th at the Lifetime CapTex race in Austin.  Two weeks before Lifetime’s Championship I won the Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon.

Winning the Los Angeles Triathlon is a lifetime journey to find my best self.  It took 38 years to find it for a moment, the journey continues…

Other highlights included 3peating at the Pacific Crest Half, winning and setting a PR of 1:49:24 at another one of the premiere Northwest region races at the Emmett Triathlon, winning in a memorable Wind Storm at  the Y Not Triathlon and a strong 6th place finish at one of the World’s largest Triathlon’s, the Chicago Triathlon.

Here are the 2013 Results.

I am tickled pink to be racing so well and still feel like there is so much more to do and learn.  It is stunning to be 10 years into the sport and still just be scratching the surface of what is possible.  The 2014 season proves to be even better.  As exciting as the racing season is; being a dad and husband is the source of my true happiness.  Hortense, Lola, and Guillaume are the foundation for a balance to be my best self.

Coaching at the Y is rewarding on many levels.  Working with the kids and seeing the positive influence we will have on the rest of their lives being about as big a reward as you can get.  Coaching’s potential is limitless…finding a way to enable a passion for a certain type of knowledge is challenging and rewarding.  I’m very grateful to be able to use my service at the Y for a wide range of ages and abilities.

There’s an old proverb; ‘To truly know something, you must teach it’, and it is amazing how much a coach can learn from working with a wide variety of people in our Treasure Valley Community.  It makes me feel humble as the true lessons are coming from the athletes we work with through the Y.

I work with an All Star cast at the Y but also have an All Star cast of sponsors.

Scott Running Shoes keeps me healthy and running all over the Boise Valley with outstanding award winning performance.

Aqua Sphere swim gear is a top quality with their swimming tools, goggles, suits, and wetsuits.

CEP is the lone leader in compression wear with intelligent sports wear.

Asea is a supplement using Redox Signaling Molecules for supreme cellular health.

WN Precision is the leader in bike fits and pedal coaching.

Bandanna Running and Walking is the store for Boise’s running needs.

Idaho Mountain Touring provides the best for that wonderful outdoor lifestyle we have in the state.

Restwise is as valuable tool as one will find for discovering how to optimize your day.

Mom and Dad are always there to provide support!

JERRRY! 2013 Oceanside; Lifetime Championship

2013 Oceanside

Going into the last race of the season I knew the training was going well and my motivation and focus were high.  I was looking to celebrate my health with a passionate effort in the finale to the 2013 triathlon season.

2 days prior to the triathlon; Friday Night Cruise to the Beach

Jerry was a restaurant manager at one of the Downtown Oceanside pizza joints but tonight he had off.  He loved to work on cars and he had just spent the afternoon fixing up his old classic.  With the night still young and the sun warming rays on full display he thought he would cruise over to the beach.  With no traffic it is just a 5 to 10 min drive but with the fine weather on a Friday night the cars lined up and all the car engines sat idle with irritated drivers.  Jerry turned up his radio to a little Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody and tried to work with the confines of sitting while dancing.  His car shifted from his movement and three little drops of oil fell from his engine and gushed into the pavement.

I was thrilled when Lifetime decided to have their championship race along the Pacific Ocean in sunny California.  One of my favorite places to race is California because the races and the settings are usually awesome and also destinations for vacations, it’s easy to get to from Idaho, and going west one time zone has it’s bonuses.  It was also exciting to have a mild to cool temperature race in late October.

Being able to bring my wife to a race, while the grandparents watched the kids was a win for everyone.  We were also fortunate to be staying with close friends and having time to reconnect with them enjoying some of the finer pleasures that southern California has to offer.  Life was flowing and in tune to the music of life.  The stage was set for the body and mind to soar.

Race morning conditions were outstanding.  A bit cold but when you work your body to its max in an endurance event, you heat up quickly.

The water was cool and felt awesome in the sleek, fast, and comfortable Aqua Sphere Phantom.  As usual in the Lifetime series there were a dozen or more excellent swimmers in the field.  When the gun went off my body responded well and I stayed aggressive in a line with all the leaders.  You find your flow and float on the energy that is presented to you just like a Pelican gliding the seas.  I kept the pace on, wanting to stay as close to the front as possible.  For the first time in a long while I used my kick (a mainstay in college) to accelerate when needed.

Suddenly, we were covered in fog and seeing more than a few feet became impossible.  Luckily, being close to the lead stand up paddle boarder helped.  Albeit, he didn’t take the best tangents and we zigged and zagged a bit.

I came out of the water a breath away from the leaders in excellent position.  Even more exciting than that was how strong I felt in what can be the toughest part of the race…running to T1 after the swim with a bunch of crazy fast, I’m gonna rip your heart out, triathletes that are gung-ho to make their competitors suffer.

T1 was just slightly off but my positioning was so good that it hardly registered as a problem.

I was giddy with excitement as I started the bike at the front of the race.

The first 2 miles were a slow; take your time, tricky corners, speed bumps and tunnel kind of miles.  I had scouted this section of the course earlier that morning and knew exactly what was coming and where best to ride.  Going up an on-ramp to the highway I stood up and passed all the riders except for Cam Dye.  I could not have drawn up a better race situation.

Entering the highway section and just completing the portion that I had scouted earlier that morning, I knew it was time to go.  I began the process of moving left to pass the leader and some words of encouragement were bubbling up in my mouth.  I was about to say to Cam something like, “Here we go…”  The words never came out of my mouth.  The next thing I knew, I was sliding across 10 feet of pavement in my bathing suit.  JEEERRRYYYYYY!  The whole time I was sliding I just wanted it to stop so I could get back on my bike already!  As soon as the skin and carbon scratching ceased a singular focus to get back up to speed took over.  I got back on the bike and pedaled air.  The chain had fallen.  I immediately got off, grabbed the chain, lifted the back wheel and turned the crank to line up the drive train and chain.  Voila.  I was back in business.

The crash took me by surprise, no warning, just BAM.  The marine layer that came in had mixed with Jerry’s oil spill and I rode over it at the moment I was accelerating; the rear wheel skidded and I hit the deck in an instant.  It is the first wreck in a triathlon for me.  Jerry!  Of course Jerry is just my way of making fun of my misfortune but it makes everything feel better when you shout out an exasperated, “Jerrrrrrry!”

I felt most of the impact on my right hip as it hammered the ground. I felt fine but I knew that was due to being in a race and being in shock.  As I was working on getting back up to speed and taking stock of the condition of the bike I noticed a whole lot of blood coming out of my right arm.  On further inspection I noticed a deep ‘bullet hole’ with torn flesh.  It was oozing blood and I could take my HR just from looking at it.  I slowed then stopped to check my arm and assess the bleeding.  For the first time doubt crept in.  Should I keep racing, can I keep racing?  I hesitated on what to do next, the seconds were ticking by and the race I had set the stage for was slipping away.

At that moment I made the right decision to call it a day.  It was very difficult to come to terms with what had just happened.  I was much more hurt by the fact that my race and season were over than the injuries I was dealing with.  I was full of emotions, powerful, disbelieving feelings.  The disappointment swept over me, I accepted it.  Then, I did my best to get on with the day.  “Jerrrry!?”  The rest of our stay in San Diego was awesome.

A lost opportunity.  However, it is exciting to know the training is working well because the race up to the point of the crash was outstanding.  Now I’ll have to wait a good 5 months before setting the stage for another primed performance.  As hungry as I am to maintain fitness, I know that letting it wane will help sling shot my fitness when I need it most.

Thank you, Lifetime, for a wonderful race series…see you in 2014.

Dreaming about the next time I’ll be in this situation