a different approach

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The Noble Canyon 50k is this weekend and I can’t wait. A few weeks ago I posted about my “well rounded” training plan and wrote “I am not training specifically for any one race right now”. I’m not sure that came out right. There are definitely races that I want to run fast at but my training isn’t built around a single one. Instead it’s just been about getting super fit. To be ready for the races I want to do well at I am just dialing it back leading up. The Bulldog 25k and the Endure the Bear 30k were fun training races for me and I didn’t rest heading into them. Noble Canyon is one I want to nail.

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The build up to this race has been quite a bit different than how I started the year. I started the year with 100% focus on running with the Orflamme 50k, PCT 50 Miler, and the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 on my radar. Unfortunately I only got to the start line of one of those races… Oriflamme. I was fit and had a great race but shortly after I was down and out with a frustrating injury. What I thought was just gnarly shin splint ended up being a tibial stress fracture. Lame.

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From the start of the year through Oriflamme I was running a lot. Typically about 6 days a week and the one day I wasn’t running I’d usually go for an easy spin on my bike. I was also doing a lot of workouts and harder running. It was fun for sure but it started wearing on me a bit. After not following a specific training plan since 2011 I thought it would be fun and also help me get back some speed. I definitely put down some good workouts and was getting faster but it was burning me out mentally, and apparently physically as well. So after letting my shin heal and getting back to training in early June I decided on a different approach.


doin’ work at Nakoa

I basically had this skeleton schedule and for most part my weeks looked like this for past 12+ weeks:

  • Mon: Rest Day
  • Tues: Am 60-75 min run with Maggie, Pm Yoga
  • Weds: Am 1.5-2 hour hilly mtb, Lunch strength session at NaKoa (agility & high intensity)
  • Thurs: 60-75 min hilly run, Pm occasional easy 30 min jog with Maggie (only and handful of times)
  • Friday: Am easy 60-90 min spin, lunch strength session on my own (heavy)
  • Sat: Long, mellow run in the mtns.
  • Sun: 2-3 ride & 30 min run or 60-90 min easy run

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It was pretty simple and really easy for me to pull off with my work and life schedule. Taking monday’s off from running or riding each week was awesome and something I rarely have done in the past. Full days of rest didn’t used come regularly but as I’m getting older and still going for it pretty hard the day off helps a lot.  It also let me get extra sleep on monday mornings and took my typically fast recovery to another level.

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I tried to reduce the days of back to back running, ride my mountain bike a lot, work really hard in the gym, and just do the kind of running that’s fun for me. Like I’ve mentioned before the only “hard” running I’ve done in the past 10 weeks has been unstructured and 100% uphill or in races. No intervals, no hill repeats, no tempo, nothing… but it’s been working. What else I found with running a bit less is that running never felt like a grind. Holding myself back and not running as much had me even more stoked to get out there door on running days than I usually am. The weekend runs in the mountains were some of the most fun I’ve ever had running. Maggie and I have done so many awesome runs this summer. We’ve run all over tahoe, mammoth, baldy, san jacinto, east county san diego, and the santa ana mountains Those days had nothing to do with training. I never worried about how they would pay off come race day or how fast or slow were were going. It was just all about just being outside, up high, having fun, and exploring with maggie.

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A good sign that I’m fitter right now than I’ve been in some time was my run last Thursday at Mt Woodson. It’s a good local climb that I’ve run quite a bit and it’s a good test. There’s a Strava segment (Lake Poway Boat Ramp to Mt Woodson) for the climb and I had the 4th best time up the climb. Before I go any further… I know not everybody uses Strava and the CR’s/KOM’s aren’t necessarily the fastest time anybody has ever run that segment. Some fast local guys had run that segment faster than me so chasing the CR was good motivation to knock out one more hard effort before Noble.


I set my previous best time about a year ago at the end of last august after we got back form leadville. i thought I was in good shape and went 36:57 for the climb and it was basically everything I had. When I ran it last Thursday I went 34:32. Almost two and a half minutes faster and getting the CR by 35 seconds. I was stoked with effort and know I could clock a faster time. I blew by the turn at about 1.8 miles in and lost just over a minute before getting back on the right trail. I think something in the 33′s is doable.


the time on my watch is actually for a little before and after the actual segment


I’ve had a couple of good shorter races but I guess the question is how this will this all work out on Saturday when I have to run 30+ miles.

For comparison’s sake below is the 10 weeks before the Oriflamme 50k back in the spring and the past 10 weeks leading up to Noble Canyon.

week of – run miles (climbing) ,ride miles (climbing)

10 Weeks leading up to the Oriflamme 50k (4.5.2014)

  1. 1/20 – 52 (559) ,24 (1204)
  2. 1/27 – 49 (5490) , 24 (1230) (Xterra Mission Gorge 15k)
  3. 2/3 – 56 (4808), 18 (610)
  4. 2/10 – 61 (6969), 23 (1214) (Baz 21k)
  5. 2/17 – 68 (4798), 24 (1207)
  6. 2/24 – 76.5 (8707), 23.5 (1211)
  7. 3/3 – 50 (1300), 0 – MA/VA vacation/rest week
  8. 3/10 – 75 (7139), 45 (1923)
  9. 3/17 – 74 (8745), 48 (2142)
  10. 3/24 – 67 (5570), 78 (3045) (got my new road bike!)
  • Weekly avg: run 63/5408 miles/climbing, ride 31/1378 miles/climbing
  • 6786 avg feet of climbing per week combined
  • Avg 85 feet of climbing per mile running
  • Avg 44 feet of climbing per mile riding

10 Weeks leading up to the Noble Canyon 50k (9.20.2014)

  1. 7/7 – 33 (4561), 120 (11244)
  2. 7/14 – 47 (9228), 77 (6650) (tahoe & mammoth)
  3. 7/21 – 42 (6136), 70 (5820)
  4. 7/28 – 53 (9604), 48 (3976)
  5. 8/4 – 49 (11083), 77 (6516)
  6. 8/11 – 46 (5626), 42 (3596)
  7. 8/18 – 40 (5981), 85 (5023) (bulldog)
  8. 8/25 – 46 (8688), 102 (7703)
  9. 9/1 – 53 (7345), 60 (4528) (Big Bear/ETB)
  10. 9/8 – 34 (5342, 90 (5929)
  • Weekly avg: run 44/7349 miles/climbing, ride 77/6100 miles/climbing
  • 13449 avg feet of climbing per week combined
  • avg 167 feet of climbing per mile running
  • avg 80 feet of climbing per mile riding

Definitely some geeky numbers and I know just running and riding volume doesn’t tell the whole story. I knew I was running less, riding more, and doing more climbing so I just wanted to see how much. The really focused strength work, more rest, amount of fun I’m having, and good beer also have a lot to do with how good I’m feeling these days. I’m really interested to see how this all plays out on Saturday. Of course there are more factors than just the training that go into having a successful, fast race but I think I’ve got a handle on most of those variables. I’ve raced enough 50k’s that I have my nutrition dialed. I’ve run the entire course and as for pacing… that’s the easy part… gut myself. I’m just really looking forward to having fun, running extremely hard, and getting to bang elbows with bunch of friends and fast runners… and of course the post race beers.

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first beer i had watching the bolts take it to the seagulls


seek and enjoy

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last weekend we were up in big bear and for the most part it was a typical, awesome weekend for us. we ran, we raced, we hiked in the mountains with ruby, we drank good beer, but most importantly this happened:

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after racing saturday morning we headed out for a hike with ruby up to Castle Rock. after some exploring and route finding we found our way to quiet, killer little rock formation. a perfect spot to relax and have beer… and to ask Maggie to marry me.


Ruby looking very much like a wolf.

My life has been filled with all kinds of ups and downs, good decision, bad decisions, and mistakes… but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have no regrets. Sure there are things I could have done differently and situations I could have avoided but if I wouldn’t have lived the life I have and I probably would have never met Maggie when I did… and the thought of that scares the shit out of me. Life has never been so simple, easy, and awesome. I’ve definitely reached an all-time level of happiness… and it just keeps getting better.


Hands down asking maggie to marry me, and her saying yes, was the highlight of the trip but we also raced Saturday morning. It was the third year in a row I’ve run one the Endure the Bear trail races. In 2012 I ran the 50k and the last two years I’ve run the 30k. The course is rad, the vibe is laidback, and it’s just a good time.

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Last year I won the 30k and it was my first race back since my crash. I worked really hard had a good day and was pushed by Matt (now the race director) and a couple of others. It took all I had at that time. Coming into the race this year I was excited to see how’d I’d go compared to last year and to get another good effort before the Noble Canyon 50k on 9/20.

On the starting line I was feeling pretty lethargic from the last few weeks of training and with smaller field I was trying to motivate myself to run hard. The race started and up the first, mellow climb on the road Maggie and I were running together and already off the front. After a mile i decided to get to work. I ran steady up the first climb and then let it rip on the Skyline trail. The Skyline trail is one of my favorite stretches of trail anywhere so I was just having fun. My mind was wandering a lot and mostly about what I was going to do later that day.

By the time I came off the Skyline trail I was way off the front. I kept running hard through 10 miles and then put it in cruise control and just had fun. I got the win and ran 6+ minutes faster than last year. Last year I was on the rivet the whole race and pushing it as hard as I could. This year was the opposite. I ran very controlled and averaged 7:33 pace for the almost 20 miles, 3,000 ft of climbing, and all at between 6,700 and 7,800 ft of elevation. For sure a good sign heading into Noble Canyon.

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Maggie got the win and finished 2nd overall… also much faster than last year. I can’t wait to head to Flagstaff in a couple of weeks and watch her take on the Stagecoach 100.

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You gotta love a race that gives 12 packs of good beer for prizes.

I woke up Sunday morning and wasn’t sore at all from the Saturday race which was another good sign. After Bulldog a couple of weeks ago my quads were thrashed. We took ruby on a long morning walk around town, got some coffee, and then headed to Gray’s Peak for another run before heading home. Gray’s Peak is rad and run we do every time we’re up there. Such a rad trail and killer views.

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the weekend couldn’t have been any better.

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Bulldog 25k Race Report

A good friend of mine always used to talk about “putting your hand in the fire” in reference to not being afraid to get in the mix and go to your limit in a race or training session. You see it all the time… athlete’s that are in good shape, talented, and have the ability, but are afraid or hesitant to get in the mix, put it all out there, hang on for dear life, and suffer on race day.

lyrics of one of my favorite rise against songs about the same thing, Satellite:

“You can’t feel the heat until you hold your hand over the flame
You have to cross the line just to remember where it lays
You won’t know your worth now, son, until you take a hit
And you won’t find the beat until you lose yourself in it


You can’t fill your cup until you empty all it has
You can’t understand what lays aheadIf you don’t understand the past
You’ll never learn to fly now
‘Til you’re standing at the cliff
And you can’t truly love until you’ve given up on it”


For me the that feeling is what it’s all about. It’s the reason I always get nervous on the start line. It’s not because I’m worried about how I’m going to do or how the race is going to go it’s because I know I’m about to willingly put myself in a lot of discomfort (putting my hand in the fire). Saturday I got a chance, after many months and another injury, to get back out there and get to that place and feel the “heat”.

Like i wrote about in my last post my training has been going really well with more of an overall balance. I was looking forward to racing to see just where I was race fitness-wise. The only hard running i have been doing has been uphill. That lets me work hard and minimize impact and overstriding. I don’t worry about pace. I just make sure I’m properly hurting on the climbs. I haven’t done any structured workouts either. I’ve just been trying to better my times on all my local climbs and chase some Strava CR’s. Maggie and I were talking on our run last tuesday about I probably hadn’t run a sub 7 mile since racing Oriflamme back in April. So Saturday was truly a test of how my new, sustainable method of training, would translate into racing. I didn’t rest at all going into the race. Monday through Friday leading up to the saturday race was just liked all the past weeks. 2 runs, 2 rides, and 2 hard strength sessions.


The race went very well. There were quite a few quick dudes on the start line ready to rip. Straight away I was in a 5 man/1 woman pack. Some cross country kids (college & HS) were leading the charge and I was just sitting in. We went through the  first mile in 6:15 and it felt good, not hard at all, and it was by far the fastest mile I have run since racing oriflamme.

we hit the first little climb and 4 of the guys surged and got a little gap on me. i was thinking “shit they’re either going to smash me or crack”. I kept running my pace and a minute later they all came back to me and I took the lead. they were breathing really hard so I surged over the top and rolled the short descent opening up a gap. then it was on to the single track before the bulldog climb. i rolled it figuring my technical skills were better then theirs. by time i hit the start of the climb at 3 miles i couldn’t see anybody behind me.


making my move

i ran steady up the climb and then had a solid lead. i unleashed it on the descent and was hitting sub 5 min pace at times (probably why my quads felt like they hand knives stuck in them for two days after the race). the race was pretty much over at that point. I ran steady/hard the rest of the way but didn’t kill myself.


It was a really fun and good day. I’m always stoked to get a win but more than anything it was just good to feel everything (good and bad) that goes along with racing.


Maggie was the first woman and 4th overall in the 50k and set a new course record. She worked hard for that one. I saw her come through the last aid station and she was suffering but she kept her head down and got the course record by 30 seconds!


As we often do we celebrated that night at Priority Public House with some awesome beers and killer food.


Up next is the Endure the Bear 30k on 9/6, and then the race I’m really looking forward to, the Noble Canyon 50k on 9/20. I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing as it seems to be working.


morning miles with the wolfpack


Well Rounded


I read this post by Dusty Nabor a while back and it got me thinking a bit.  For the most part I agree with what he has to say.  I mean to be the absolute best at a specific sport/skill you are better off focusing solely on that skill rather than trying to do many different things that have no positive influence on your goal…. that is if that is goal is to be the best (or best you can be) at a specific sport/skill/discipline… i think that makes sense.  I’m not saying that there is no place for some cross training because I definitely do… but at the end of the day you have to be focused on your sport whether it’s running, cycling, or hitting 90 mph fastballs. However, I also think that there are far too many people that think if you just randomly train, with no purpose, accumulate massive training hours (and massive fatigue), they will some how transform into some kind of super athlete. It doesn’t work that way.

Admittedly I am not good at just focusing on one sport because there is just too much I like to do.


For me I definitely notice a crossover effect from sport to sport.  When I am running and riding I do feel better at both but I also know when I have focused on single sport (running or cycling) I have definitely gotten better at that sport… but that singular focus typically leads to me get bored, burned out, and injured. These days I don’t have a particular desire to be “my best” at specific sport and enjoy being “well rounded”. I want run some ultras, i want to race my mtb, i want to lift weights and be a strong man, i want to go to yoga with maggie, i want to surf, i want to paddle, I want to hike and jog with ruby… a lot of different things and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few months… and I’m feeling great.


I am not training specifically for any one race right now. I am going to race in the coming weeks/months and for the most part, pretty much just for fun (type 2 fun = suffering)…. that’s why I race in the first place. When I toe the line I will for sure go for it and give it everything I have. I know I’m getting pretty fit right right now with the combination of running, riding, strength work with Rob at NaKoa, and getting to yoga once a week is helping keep me loose and injury free. Going all in, doing specific workouts, and focusing just on racing doesn’t sound like fun right now. What sounds like fun is getting into the mountains and running with maggie, ripping single track on my mountain bike, and getting my ass kicked in the gym. At the end of the day, and on the starting line, this approach may bring some good race results but if they don’t….well…  they don’t. I’m not putting in any huge running or riding volume but a good mix is keeping me fresh and hopefully injury free.


So I like being well rounded or what some people have called me on many occasions “jack of all trades and master of none”. I enjoy and take some pride in the fact that I’ve competed in so many different sports (running, road cycling, cyclocross, moutain bike, triathlon – xterra to ironman) and been able to win my fair share of races in each discipline. It’s been more fulfilling, to me (all that matters), than focusing solely on one sport year after year after year.


So I hope to keep rolling along like am right and let the fitness come to me instead of chasing it like I did last fall and earlier this year. I’d like to think that I’ve finally figured out the approach that works for me but only time will tell.

This weekend Maggie and I are heading up to Malibu for the Bulldog races. Maggie is running the 50k in prep for the Stagecoach 100 miler at the end September and I’m jumping into the 25k. I haven’t done a running race since the Oriflamme 50k in early april so I’m definitely stoked to be pinning a number on and toeing the line again… healthy… and I’m hoping I remember how to suffer.


more mountain miles

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a couple of weeks ago we took another trip up north to tahoe. the original purpose of this trip was for me to race the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler but another injury (shin – mid april, all of may, first 2 weeks of june with no running) kept me from toeing the line. since we already had the trip on our schedules we decided to still go up to hang out with our friends, make new ones, and get more time in the mountains.

every day was awesome and spent exploring places we’d never been before and every night was spent hanging out with friends and drinking good beer. it doesn’t get much better.

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we made a last minute decision to leave wednesday night, as opposed to thursday morning, in order to spend some time in mammoth on our way up south tahoe. maggie had never been to mammoth and I had only been in the winter to snowboard. we drove until about 10pm wednesday night and then were up and back on the road first thing in the morning on thursday.

thursday: Duck Pass Trail to Duck Lake

i asked my friends for recommendations on where to run in mammoth and Jon and Sean both recommended running the Duck pass trail up to Duck lake and back. so that’s what we did. the views and the trails were unreal. the run was rad and what made it even better was cooling off and cleaning up in an ice cold creek after and then grabbing a delicious IPA from Mammoth Brewing Company before hitting the road for Tahoe.



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Friday: Mt Tallac

On Friday we left our house in South lake Tahoe and made the 15 minute drive to the Mt Tallac Trailhead.  we really didn’t know what we were getting into. i had done a bit of research online and knew it was one of the highest peaks in tahoe and that it was a fairly popular hike. the first mile or so was pretty runnable but then it was a steep, technical uphill grind to the summit. the views from the summit were definitely worth the hands-on-knees grinding though.


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Saturday: Tahoe Rim Trail

Originally I had planned on racing the Tahoe Trail 100k mountain bike race but decided to bag it. I didn’t really check out the logistics of the race or how close it was to where we were staying until Friday morning. the race was at Northstar and was an hour drive from the house. I would have had to check in on Friday afternoon and then head back super early Saturday morning for the 7am start.  That’s 4 hours in the truck to race a race I was just going to do for fun. so it was an easy call for me to bag it. instead maggie and I headed for the Van Sickle trail saturday morning which was only a quick 5 minute drive.

Maggie ran and I was on the bike.  We climbed the 3+ miles until the Van Sickle trail intersected the Tahoe Rim Trail. we split up there and both headed north. I ended up getting almost to Spooner Summit and finished the day with over 4 hours on the bike on some the best trails i’ve ever been on. Maggie ran up to Castle Rock before heading back the way she came. killer day.



another good reason for not doing the race was being back in time to watch our friends finish the TRT 50 miler.  Cam killed it with a huge PR.

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Sunday: Marlette Lake Trail – Flume Trail – Tahoe Rim Trail

sunday, our last day in tahoe, we were up kinda early to knock out one more day on the trails. we headed back to the TRT start and finish area at spooner lake.  from there we took the marlette lake trail up to marlette lake, headed north, and connected it to the flume trail. i hadn’t been on the flume trail since my last xterra nationals race in 2008. it was just as awesome as I remembered. we ran the entire flume trail and then headed up to the TRT again. we hit marlette peak and then bombed back down to the marlettle lake trail and then back to spooner. it was an epic run. it’s so beautiful out there.

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Sunday night we all headed out for food and drinks. right as we got to the bar a gnarly thunderstorm rolled in that ended up knocking out power for hours.  Kevin got a killer shot of lightning from the deck of the bar.

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so another awesome trip with maggie and more incredible times on the trails… we have some more trips planned for later this summer and the fall…

missing the mountains


so it’s been just over a week since we got back from an epic trip up north and a lot longer since I’ve posted anything on here. tahoe remains one my favorite places on the planet. being up in the mountains solidified something maggie and I have been loosely planning since last summer… and that’s to move to the mountains… more specifically colorado.


something just feels right about being up in the mountains and and being blow away by the peaks, trails, and mountain air.  i’ve lived at the beach my entire life and maybe i’m jaded but it’s not doing it for me any more.  don’t get me wrong I still believe encinitas, and the entire north county of san diego, is one of the best places on earth, but we’re just ready for something different.  The plan is to suffer through one more harsh winter here in paradise and then pack the bare essentials and head to colorado.  that is if we can wait that long.


the reason for our trip was for maggie to race western states.  in the days leading up I think I was more excited than she was… I’m sure that’s not the case but she’s got a good game face.  i watched her train hard and smart this year and I knew she was ready, rested, and ready to let it rip.  Unfortunately her race didn’t go as planned but i watched her battle as hard as she could until mile 78.  it was a mix of some nutrition stuff and taking a digger at mile 12.  she was rightfully pretty bummed but maggie is a fighter and rather than sit around and dwell on what could of been she wants some redemption.  So a plan is in the works which means another fun adventure for us in a couple of months.


while we were in squaw valley I got to do a bunch of fun running… and relaxing.  luckily my shin healed a couple weeks prior and I had been slowly getting back in the swing of things.  the trails right out of squaw were rad.  tons of epic single track.  it’s the kind of running where i don’t ever think pace or my effort.  I’m just in exploring mode and the only goal is to run up a mountain. that is, hands down, my favorite type of running.


tahoe will always be one my favorite places and it’s the reason I wanted to do either Western States or the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 as my first 100…. and that’s still the case. Watching the race at WS definitely fueled the fire. i love being on the sidelines and watching everybody going for it and suffering… and I can’t wait to get out there myself.  I just gotta find a way to stay healthy, get to the starting line, and of course find a way to get in.

we’re heading back up to tahoe in about a week.  the trip was originally for me to race TRT but that’s not happening.  At first we were going to bag the trip but since we already had the days off of work and we’re staying with a bunch of friends we decided to charge it. I also found a mountain bike race to do on 7/19.  The Tahoe Trail 100k is on the same saturday as TRT so I’m going to go smash myself in that and the head back over to hangout at the 100 miler.


Why I Race

the weeks continue to fly by and as I sit down to start this post (monday morning) it’s been over 3 weeks since I last ran.  kind of hard to believe.  the good news that i’ve zero pain in my shin for a couple of weeks now.  even when i went in for the bone scan early last week i wasn’t having any pain.  i’m pretty sure my shin is healed now but will keep playing is safe and really hope I can get back to regular running very soon.


with the lack of running my cycling fitness has been steadily progressing and with that being the case, and the fact I got a new mountain bike, I decided to jump into some races.  i didn’t really feel like i was ready to race and compete on my mountain bike because the racing is so much different than I’ve been doing the past couple of years but I wasn’t going to let that stop me though.

Over the past couple of months i’ve really thought about why I love racing so much.  i’ve spent years racing all different kinds of sports and they all require a different kinds of fitness and different sets of skills.  the one thing they have in common is that if you want to race near the front and get the most out of yourself you are going to have to dig deep and suffer.  so whether I’m racing on my feet or riding my bike i can get to that painful place…. a place I can’t get to in training no matter how hard i try. for me it’s a mental thing and a switch I can’t seem flip unless there is a starting and finishing line.

i like the feeling of being on the rivet and not being able to give up. I mean you can always give up but I’m not really wired that way.  once i commit I’m all in. that’s why in running races i like to race at or near the front and i’m not afraid to take the lead.  It’s not arrogance, but i maybe some stupididy, but i like the pressure. the pressure keeps me honest and i like the thrill of running scared.  it’s the same adrenalin rush i got as a kid playing hide and seek and probably the closet i’ll ever get to knowing what it’s like to rob a bank (i may have watched point break a couple hundred too many times). it’s not always the best strategy but regardless of how i finish the race I know I will be satisfied with my effort and that feeling is why i race.


Those feelings of suffering are why I decided to jump into last wednesday’s quick and dirty race and Saturday’s 6 hours of Temecula “coming off the couch”.  I hadn’t had a solid dose of suffering since the Oriflamme 50k on 4/5 and I was need of some time in the pain cave… and not really having the fitness to race like I would want to would provide even more suffering.

The quick and dirty races are a super fun weeknight mountain bike race series that I’ve wanted to jump into since they started a year or so a go.  I rolled up Wednesday night last week and was blown away by how many people were there to race on a weeknight.  awesome.  before the race I got  in a couple of warm laps on the 2.5 mile loop and toed the line ready to go.  I’m a cat 1 for mountain biking (or at least I was) so I singed up for expert (the highest class they have out there).  The main reason is because I wanted to have to ride 6 laps and have people to chase.

The race quickly got away from me as I was behind a crash in the first corner and I’ve just never been a good starter in bike races.  I spent the 6 laps chasing, being chased, blowing up, recovering, and just having fun.  It was fun having Maggie and Gordon out there heckling me every lap. Unfortunately I only got one beer hand up the whole race.  Thanks Andrew… but we need to work on your consistency.  I finished some where mid pack, totally blown, and super stoked.  I had forgotten how bad going anaerobic for 60 minutes hurts.

And if that wasn’t enough suffering I signed up for the 6 hour of Temecula on Saturday.  I had done the 12 hours of Temecula a few times over the years on teams (4, 3, and 2 man).  The 2 man team I did with trevor back in 2007 may be one of the hardest things i’ve ever done!


My plan for the day was to just do my own thing and try not to get caught up in the race.  I had only done one 4 hour and one 5 hour ride since getting back into riding a few of months ago so trying to “race” for 6 hours wasn’t going to happen.  The race started well and on the first, shorter, lap I got into a good position but didn’t push the pace to catch the leaders.  after a couple of laps It’s hard to really know who you are racing out there with all the team and solo 12 hour racers all starting at the same time.

On the second lap i moved up a bunch of places on the climb and was feeling good.  Maggie was crewing and cheering for me.  I would see her on various parts of the course with Ruby and then back at the pit where I would refill on skatch labs drink mix and Rise Bars…it was rad.  she kept me motivated. I just rode steady all day and never cared, and didn’t want to know, what place I was in.  I really only one rough lap (lap4) but a caffeinated gel and turning on my ipod turned that around.


busted. i was pretty smashed after the race… so much that it took about 45 minutes before i could even contemplate drinking a beer.

I completed 8 laps (68.1 miles and 8,123 ft of climbing) in 5 hours and 30 minutes.  The laps were taking me ~45 minutes so I didn’t have time for another. I checked the results after the race and was kind of shocked to see I finished the race in 3rd Place on the 6 hour open.

It was super fun day and after racing my mountain bike twice last week it definitely leaves me wanting to mix it up some more over the summer and fall.


trusting my gut…


the last couple of weeks have been pretty full on.  i spent spent 6 days in the Bay area, then maggie and I went straight to auburn for the western states training camp, then it was home for 2.5 days before heading to St. Louis to visit Maggie’s family.  A lot of fun was had in those 2 weeks but I’m very happy to be home.

photo 5

the trip up north was rad.  I was in SF for Cisco Live and took my bike.  I was able to get in some killer riding with Brad and Todd in Marin.  Later in the week Brad and I did a killer ride out or Redwood City. On Friday I picked up Maggie from the oakland airport and we drove up to aubrun.


the weekend in auburn was killer.  unfortunately i wan’t able to join maggie and run the training camp.  i was pretty frustrated about the whole situation with my shin and not being able to run when we got to forest hill on Saturday morning.  All the runners were checking and getting ready to board the buses to be taken the start of the run.  I really wanted to be on one of those buses with Maggie.

photo 4 (1)

However, being bummed would be short lived.  there is some killer riding in that part of the state and i did some research and had planned a ride from forest hill.  About 5 minutes into my ride I caught up with a group of 4 descending Mosquito Ridge Rd.  I followed them down the 10 mile descent until we reached a bridge crossing where they stopped to regroup.  I asked about the riding around there and they told me that there was no water or food any where out there.  they were riding a 75+ mile loop and had a friend driving SAG for them… and told me i was more than welcome to join them.  Awesome guys and a girl.

photo 2 (1)

i need friends like this that are willing to set up full on aid stations on my rides!

I joined them for what ended up being one of the best road rides I’ve ever done.  I had to split off with 35 miles to go in order to get back to pick up Maggie.


I think I saw maybe 10 cars all day and only 2 in the final 35 miles.  Just an epic day on the bike.

photo 1 (1)

I got in a couple more killer rides up there while maggie pounded out 72 miles over 3 days.  There’s no doubt she’s ready for western states.  On monday after the final run we bolted for the airport and barely made our flight.

photo 3 (1)

my shin…. the week before my trip to SF my shin was getting considerably better.  due to the MRI not showing anything I got some more ART and went to see Moxey for some PT.  the last time I ran was the sunday before heading to SF.  Like i wrote about in my last post after that run my shin was pretty sore.  I wasn’t convinced it was something soft tissue related even though that’s what everybody (doctors/PT/etc) was telling me.  So I decided not to run until I could get bone scan.

On monday I finally got that bone scan and got the results on Tuesday.

1. There is a tiny abnormal focus of increased scintigraphic activity of the distal medial right
tibia which is consistent with stress fracture.

bonescanSo i guess I should have trusted my gut feeling weeks ago when I thought it was something more than soft tissue.  the good news is that after talking with my doctor is that what they found is very small which means it’s most likely almost healed… i sure as hell hope so.  I wish I would have gotten the bone scan done initially so I wouldn’t tried to run on it… but nothing i can do about that now.  All I can do now is not run and hope to be back jogging soon.

After I got the news I emailed the RD for TRT100 and withdrew from the race.  So now I’m 0 for 2 in trying to train for and run a 100 miler.  Pretty lame.  Last year I was just a complete idiot with my training and then got hit by a car and this I thought I was being smart but it too just ended up being too much running for my body to handle.  So for the time being… and for the foreseeable future I am putting any thoughts of running 100 miles out my mind.  I’ve been dealing some kind of pain or injury for the past year and a half.  Most of that has to do with my bike crash (and the imbalances are likely what caused this latest injury) but I’m just over it.

So going forward I don’t see myself going all in on running again… it’s just not working.  The positive side of this injury is that I’ve really gotten the stoke back to ride…. and race my bike which probably wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t forced to not run.  I’m still pretty timid when it comes to descending which was more than evident when I rode with Brad and Todd in Marin.  These days it’s not really the fear of getting hit again but more just that I know what it’s like to hit the asphalt at 45 mph and that’s not something I ever want to do again.

So hopefully in a few of weeks I can start getting in some jogging.  Until then I have some fun stuff lined up on the mountain bike.

cutting it close


my view of the fire driving home

so I started this post last week before all the fires broke out.  what was happening around the county was pretty serious and it makes anything that has to with running or training pretty trivial. the poinesettia started less than a half mile from my office and by noon on wednesday we were evacuated.  the fire was burning about 4-5 miles from home but thankfully, due to the incredible work of the firefighters , it never made it any closer. the work they do is amazing and I’m grateful they are out looking out for our safety.


my work campus with the first just behind. gnarly

now by the time i post this it will have been about 4 weeks since I had to stop running to let my shin heal/recover.  it sucks but things could always be worse… way worse.  after 2 weeks of no running my shin was progressing steadily but not ready to run.  i started to get a bit worried that it may be something more that just a shin splint.  so i took my doctor up on his offer and got an MRI last thursday on both shins.  i was hoping they would find something that would maybe shed some light on why shin pain is something i’ve dealt with for years.

unfortunately that was not the case.  my MRI’s came back perfect.  I got the report friday morning and spoke to the radiologist who read my MRI.  there was NO soft tissue tears or inflammation and NO stress reaction or stress fracture.  he told me that there was nothing, based on the MRI, that should keep me from running.  then why the hell does my shin hurt only when I run?

after i got that news i sent a barrage of text messages back and forth with maggie.  at first i was thinking what the hell… I’ll go ahead and race pct 50 (the race was 5/10).  then 30 minutes later I thought better of it.  it’s not that i didn’t think I could do pct50 it’s that I hadn’t run in 2+ weeks and if I did run it would surely smash me and that would mean more time not running.  I was thinking I’d rather ease back into running this week rather than destroy myself on the pct50 course.


So instead I just headed out to support maggie, which in all honesty, is just about as much fun as racing myself.  I took my mountain bike out there and also brought some running gear.  my plan was to ride around to the aid stations to crew for and support maggie.  I did this by getting in a pretty killer ride.  I rode from the start up kitchen creek road to see her at 3.5 miles and then kept climbing to the 6 mile aid station. then it was more awesome climbing on the car-less kitchen creek climb.  I got to sunrise highway and then ripped the trails over to penny pines to see maggie at 22 & 27 miles.

while hanging out for a while at the aid station i found out the racers could have pacers.  i asked maggie if she wanted me to pace her the bit of the course and she said yes.  so i bolted down back to the truck the same way i went out and got on my running clothes.  my plan was to run backwards on the course unitl I saw her.  I was actually feeling pretty good running.  i could feel my shin a bit but nowhere near the way I did 2.5 weeks earlier.

I ended up making it to the last aid station 6 mile from the finish.  On the way i crossed paths with Mike on his way to the win.  I’m super stoked for Mike.  He was patient and raced smart all day and ended up crushing everybody.  I hung out at the aid station with Ramon, Dave, and Sonja, had a beer while waiting for maggie.  soon enough she was there and I ran the 6 miles back to the finish line with there.  that last descent is so brutal.  it was taking it’s toll on me and I could’t even imagine running it with 47 miles in your legs. maggie charged it and got the win and finished 5th overall.

It was a rad day for me too.  41 miles on the mountain bike and 12 miles of running and my shin felt good.  It felt good the rest of the night but when I woke up sunday morning it was sore.  Nothing crazy but more sore than it had been towards the end of the week before.  damn.



on tuesday i had an appointment to go over the MRI results and figure out what I should next.  my doctor got another radiologist (the guy he uses to read all of his college athlete’s MRI’s) to read my MRI just to make sure.  He also didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.  just to make sure Dr. D used the tuning fork all up and down my shin to rule out anything bone related.  that testing also came up negative.  next up was an ultrasound to look at the soft tissue which again didn’t show anything indicative of my shin pain.  a bit frustrating.  i left there with a plan for some more ART and to so see Steve Moxey (a PT recommended by Cam).

tuesday night i had a gnarly ART session with Asher.  he really got into my shin and calf and it had me squirming, sweating, and clutching the table… but i left there feeling much better.  each day after that it felt better and better.  thursday i headed out for a 30 minute jog on the coast and my shin pain was almost nonexistent. stoked.  after paddling with kurt on friday morning I did another 30 min jog around the hood and again the shin was all good.  it was still a little achey but didn’t hurt with the impact like it had in the weeks prior.

friday morning i met with Steve.  he practices “functional manual physical therapy”. he watched me run and immediately had some ideas.  he could tell how twisted up my body was.  since my crash i have not had any chiropractic work just your standard physical therapy.  after more testing it was pretty obvious how locked up my left shoulder (side of broken clavicle and plate and all 5 broken ribs) and right hip which was causing a bunch of tension all down my right leg along with a nice little heel whip.  all that was/is creating a lot of torque along my entire right side.  he did a bunch of adjustments, stretches, and some graston like stuff on the back of my right hip that had me about ready to tap out.

he kept doing stuff then watching me jog, based on what he saw he would do more.  after the final adjustments he had me jog down the street and i had ZERO pain in my shin.  my mind was pretty blown but only time will tell.  i left there feeling pretty good about my situation. he’s a good guy and I’m stoked Cam told me about him.  hopefully he’s on the right track to helping get this sorted.

Saturday I rode long and sunday I ran.  i did 6+ easy miles with Ruby and then another 6+ solo.  I felt pretty good and kept the effort really mellow.  I didn’t have any shin pain during the run but it was a little sore when i finished.  after my run maggie dropped me off at the airport so i could head to san francisco for Cisco Live.

I walked around the city a bit sunday afternoon and then met with brad for dinner at Hopwater Distribution…. a killer spot.  Later sunday night my shin was aching like crazy, but didn’t hurt to walk or anything.  so weird.  I woke up monday morning and it was still a but achy and more sore than the day before.  I’m over it.


chasing brad up one of the many awesome climbs in marin county

TRT100 is just about 8 weeks away so it’s creeping up. At this point toeing the line isn’t looking to be possible as of today.  I need to figure out what’s going on and forcing it and running through pain doesn’t sound fun to me… and fun is the number one reason I do all this stuff.  not being able to race bums me out a little but what bums me out more is that I am supposed to run the western states training camp with maggie this weekend.  i was actually looking forward to those 3 days of running more than TRT.


post ride breakfast in sausalito with brad, todd, and gordon.

In the meantime I am going to keep up what I have been doing.  More ART, mobility work, riding, surfing, and paddling…. no running. I am also going to get a bone scan.  I know the MRI didn’t show anything but maybe the missed something?  At this point it just doesn’t seem like a soft tissue thing.

i gotta be honest… I am getting a bit over “trying” to run ultras.  It’s just not working for me.  I’ve been trying to train smart, i do all the little things to stay healthy, but my body just can’t seem to take it.  Maybe I just need to refine my approach.. again.  I’m not sure but I do know I really love toeing the line and letting it rip on race day.

conquering demons


lets start of with an update on my shin situation.  it’s still jacked.  after taking a week off of running it is way better.  it seems most of the inflammation in my lower leg has gone a way but there’s still some pain there with any kind of running motion.  so I’m talking another week off.  I’m not the kind of person that feels the need to test it our running every other day.  I’d rather just commit to weeks at a time of not running.  I’m just going to keep up with the mobility work, ART/Massage, and if it’s still not feeling 100% on thursday I’ll take another week off.  not awesome, but I’m not going to rush it.

so with that being said… I have continued to get in some fun riding and surfing.  I can slowly feel some riding fitness returning.  For me, at least in the past, the more I ride the better my running has been.  However, the opposite is not true.  I really need to start logging some miles on the bike to start feeling good.  In the past month, since I got my new road bike, I have definitely started to feel a bit of bike fitness creeping in and it feels good.  I’ve also feel like I’ve unloaded a bit of fatigue that accumulated since getting back to full on training in January.  Just 7 days of zero running and I was feeling super rested.  It’s another good reminder for me that balance of the physical load I put on my body with a variety of sports always makes me feel better.


since i’ve been back riding I’ve mainly stuck to the coast, the 56 bike path, and double peak.  i’ve been really hesitant to head out east since it’s where I got hit, but it’s also where the best riding in north county is as well. on saturday that changed.  i met up with trevor for a long ride and decided it was time head east again.  we got in just over 4.5 hours riding hitting wohlford, woods canyon, lilac, circle R, san juis rey, and then back to the coast.  i won’t pretend i wasn’t nervous heading out but by the time we climbed wohlford i was feeling really good and pretty comfortable.  i’ve been riding with trevor for years so it was nice to get back out there with him.  i still look over my shoulder all the time like if i saw car coming at me from behind again I’d actually be able to put my self in the ditch instead of having the car do it.  hopefully with more riding that fear will go away but i’m not so sure.


getting hit from behind was just reminder of something that I already knew… that we are pretty much sitting ducks riding and there’s not much we can do about the drivers out there. being more conscious of that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  i will just be more aware of the situations i put myself in.


our favorite place in Encinitas. Blue Ribbon


Beer: Pliny the Elder