Saturday, June 30, 2007

Theory of Specificity

The Theory of specificity states that you should train in similar conditions as you are going to race in, and that was the purpose of today's workout. Damian, his friend Matt, and I started at 9:15am to ensure that we get a lot of heat training since Vineman will probably have temperatures into the 80's and 90's.

I slapped 6 pieces of a power onto the top tube, taped 3 gel's to my stem, filled up my water bottles with exactly what I am going drink during the bike, and did a 3 hour and and a half hour bike ride, finishing at about 1:30pm (we had to stop a few times). Matt opted to pass on doing the run for the most incredible reason: he had to go home and take a massive shit. Of course I offered my restroom facilities in my apartment, but he said "Dude, its gonna be a newspaper shit, and I dont want to hold you guys up." I told him that I understood, and we parted ways.

Damian and I made our way through San Elijo Lagoon for about a 9.5 mile run afterwards, and I must say, it was freakin' tough! It was HOT out there today, and my pace was a little faster than my typical base building, but my heart rate was through the roof due to the outside temperature heating up my core temperature.

Afterwards, we hit the pacific ocean as we normally do, and completely passed out on the beach. After I woke up...

I didn't realize that Amtrak built a raidroad that led right up to where I was passed out on the beach. I tried to get up, and almost signalled for assistance! Holy crap. I was in a world of hurt!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Real San Diego Intl Race Report

Before I go into the real race report, I must start the story from the day previous...

Don't eat spicy thai food for dinner at 9:15pm the night before the race. I won't go into details, as you can probably draw your own conclusions, but I wouldn't recommend doing something like that to yourself. If greeted with the opportunity, pass on it. Trust me.

SDI was a transition practice/fun race/speed workout/revenge against the course race for me this year. I am also happy to report that it was everything that I just mentioned!

As usual, the alarm went off a bit on the early side after not falling asleep at an early enough hour. I got to the race, sufficiently fueled and hydrated, and started with my pre-race warm up. I was happy to be racing, but not "into it". 20 min bike ride up the hill, followed by a 10 minute run. I made a big mistake last year by spending way too much time in TA bullshitting with Paul and Jay, and was sure not to do that again this year. Especially with a 6:45am start. I finished my run, and noticed that there was only about 7 minutes before my wave was supposed to start. Shit. That left me about zero time to stretch, 3 minutes to put on my wetsuit, 3 minutes to get down to the beach, and 1 minute to swim out to the floating start. And thats about exactly what happened. Shit. For the second year in a row, I didnt do any warm up on the swim, even though I wanted to. Shit.

Well, not warming up paid huge dividends. The swim was atrocious to say the least. Like last year, within minutes, I was flustered, overwhelmed, practically hyperventilating, getting kicked punched, and stopping every few minutes to catch my breath.

Great, new year, same shitty start to a race. I finally made it to the beach, got out of the water, took off my goggles and processed the following things:

1. My watch said some time below 17 minutes, which I was happy with.
2. My Heart Rate Monitor read 95%. I was really hoping that there is a large margin for error when wearing a HR in the water
3. I barely knew what planet I was on.

4. Jess Motyl, who is Pats Girlfriend, started yelling at me as soon as I got upright: "DENNER, YOU ARE SLOW!!!! EVEN PAT BEAT YOU OUT OF THE WATER!!!! PICK IT UP!!!"


Oh yeah, this is a Type A personality/competitive sport.

Pat and I usually swim in the same lane at swim practice, but he has much more Nazi like tendencies when swimming, so him beating me out of the water was no large surprise to me. However, running through transition, I could see him running to his rack, so its not like he beat me by much :)


The bike was hilly, yet fast, as it is only a 30K bike. Really the only thing to note on the bike is that I had my first ever chain drop (thats when the chain falls off the bike), and had to stop to pick it up. This of course all happened going up hill. After I got my drivetrain back working, I was passed by the Pro Peloton group. Some people say there is no drafting in triathlon, but it was plainly obvious that quite a few pro's and elite's were drafting. The good part is that Michellie Jones passed me, and I got to see her rear...

... disc that is.

I said F&*k it, and drafted off them for a little while, but they dropped me like the MOP'er that I am. I finished the bike with little or no errors, and was now thinking of the run. I made a polished transition off the bike into my running shoes to start the 10K.

With aviators and my trust de soto trucker of course :)


The run was great. It's probably the flattest 10K in all of triathlon, and the weather was perfect. 60's and overcast. I knew my first few miles were at about a 7:05-7:10ish pace, which I was happy with. I was slightly concerned with the run since my running has taken a little bit of a backseat this summer with a slight injury I had, but I hit the halfway point and was feeling good. The second half of the run was about the same as the first half, fast, and going at a great pace.


It was a fun race! I beat last year's time by over 15 minutes, which I was happy with. Here is the breakdown:

Swim (1K): 16:02
T1: 1:11
Bike (30K): 51:43
T2: :59
Run: 43:50
Final: 1:53:45

13/75 in my Age Group
82/840 Overall

I feel that I need to put another section in here on transitions., and that's because I absolutely smoked my transitions. Hey, I said I wanted to use it as T practice so....

Things to note:

* 21st overall in T1
* 6th overall in T2
* 6th overall in total transition time
* Total transition time: 2:10, Avg race transition time: 5:52
* I passed 9 people in my AG @ T1 alone

One thing that I definitely learned is that I DONT like going that long between races. Lavaman was my last race, and it was way too long!

Now, its onto Vineman!

Thanks to everyone that came out and supported!

More race pics here:

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Sorry for not posting a Race Report from San Diego Int'l - things have been busy w/ work, personal, and training but I will get to it this weekend, w/ stories, pics and detailed nerdy analysis.

Stay tuned (and Gunn, get off my case!)

ps- I've been "training" w/ Luke Walton, hence the tardiness :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Photo Essay: San Francisco

I was up in San Francisco last week for training. Work training that is - not triathlon training. In fact, there was little to no triathlon training at all due to the fact that I was sicker than a dog monday and tuesday, with wednesday and thursday being days where I could finally get out of the cloud I was in. It was a really cool trip since I stayed on OFarrell St, which is about 2 blocks from Powell and Market st - pretty much downtown financial district of San Francisco.

It was definitely a happenin place to be. Few things to note about the city:
* Way more liberal and a nice change from conservative San Diego
* Some beautiful, and not so, people in the city by the bay
* More bums per square block on Market than I have ever seen in my life
* They have a fantastic public transportation system, and even getting on the wrong bus can still get you back to rigth area (relatively speaking)
* Very cool being back in a urban/big city scene

Here are some photos I took during my stay:

Walking down the street, you are likely to be greeted by musicians doing their thang:

As noted above, there were a lot of bums on Market St. (hey, they know where the money is, right?). San Francisco, always on the brink of technological innovation, actually has tincan robotic bums asking for money:

Interesting Architecture:

A starbucks, literally, on every corner...
View of a Cable car from the street:
View of the street from a cable car (at night):

the always popular tourist attraction GGB:

Out of the box advertising from the tourism industry:

and finally, sunsets aren't just for SoCal...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Solana Beach to Ramona - Part Deux

This morning, Damian and I ventured out to Ramona. We got a little bit of a late start due to Damian's "Late Night", but I wanted to get in some heat training today, so I was cool with that (no pun intended). The route was to head east on del dios, cut over to the 78E east of Escondido, connect to the 67W in Ramona, head west on Scripps Poway Parkway, up Black Mountain Road, and west on the 56 bike path, making for a 65 mile-ish ride with a respectable amount of climbing involved.

Overall, it was a great ride, but it had some challenges. The first, and by far the biggest challenge, was the climb into Ramona at about 12:30pm - ie. the hottest part of the day. It was a pretty long and gradual climb - nothing to bad, but it was the heat and lack of wind that made it most challenging. I was putting out moderate power output - nothing to hard, but when I looked down at my HRM, it was registering in the high 80's (%). I realized the heat was making my core temperature rize significantly. There were a few points where I was worried about overheating, and the worrisome thoughts were not helping. It must have been in the 90's, with little wind, a long winding climb on a road I have never been on, with no end in sight. There was a few times when I realized that I might have to stop on the side of the road and find some sort of shade to try and cool down under, but out in the desert, one is hard pressed to find such luxeries. At any rate, we ended up making it into Ramona fine. But, we definitely stopped and got a ton of water and gatorade to fuel up for the ride back.

When we stopped, we met a cool dude named Seth who is training for Ironman Lake Placid, and just moved here from New York. We chatted for a while, and shared a laugh at the fact that it seems that whenever we ride in East County - no matter where in east county, that there are some idiot drivers out there. I also seem to get honked or even yelled at, for biking on a ride with no bike lane, and about 6 inches of road between the white line and the edge of the road. Stupid hicks.

It ended up taking us 4.5 hours to complete the 66 mile venture, and we finished up with a half hour transition run. We were pretty toasted afterwards, and hit the ocean to cool off and veg out on the beach.


Damian was having some chain issues today, and had to stop a few times to fix his chain. Now, I have no idea how, but he must have literally wiped his upper lip after touching his greasy chain, because he was sporting a dirty sanchez 'stache all day today. There were a few times during the ride when I would look over at him and just belt out laughing because he looked he was 45. Here's a mug shot:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Friday Happy Hour

When Friday COB comes around - some people hit the local watering hole for some happy hour refreshments, laughs, and to let loose with some friends.

I on the other hand, take the non-alcoholic route.

For the past 2 weeks, I have been joining many friends and triathlon related groups of San Diego for Friday night "Happy Hour" at our local "watering hole" that is La Jolla Cove for a nice 2 mile "refreshing" swim. This has quickly become my favorite workout of the week since it really is a happy hour for all of those that come out to play.

You may remember some words from a previous post about the triathlon lifestyle. Since moving into a new job at work, there is this one guy is curious how often I go out (to party), how many beers I drink, and how I let loose after a long week. He doesn't comprehend the concept of spending hours a week working out. I told him that working out with people is my social life, and endorphins and long bike rides are a much better means of "letting loose" because let me tell you - I have had some interesting conversations with people at times about anything and everything, and alcohol isn't needed!

Yours in hydration,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Back On Track

I did my first track workout tonight for the first time in a month. Why a month you ask? I didn't do it the week before the PV Half, and also didn't do it for the past two weeks due to a foot injury and doctor's orders.

The very good news is that my foot felt fine.

The other news is that Mike Plumb welcomed me back with a nice surprise of a workout: 21 minutes of continuous running. 30 seconds of easy pace (read: jog), and 30 seconds of all out sprinting! Damn! Mike explained that some renowned physiologist in France did an extensive study, and came to the conclusion that all out intervals lasting 30 seconds were the most effective intervals for increasing one's VO2 max. Of course, doing this workout once won't increase the VO2 max, but if done often, it will work. Theoretically, increasing one's VO2 max would yield faster results in athletic activity due to your ability to process more oxygen, thus bringing more O2 to the muscles, blah blah blah.

The bottom line is that it was great to be back doing a track workout. Yes, it was a tough one. One peculiar thing is that my HRM at one point read 201, which is about 6 bpm higher than my previously recorded max value. I don't know what the margin of error is on HRM's, if taking time off from running had anything to do to it - but let me tell you this - during those all out sprint intervals, it definitely felt like my heart rate hit 201!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

70 miles - Woof

Holy Moly - did a 70 mile ride today spanning 4 hour and 40 minutes.

I met with Ginger, Elisa, Damian and Kim this morning at La Jolla Shores. The plan was to meet up with Greg and Pat after they finished their 6 mile train run this morning, and then we would all head out to the starting point of the infamous Iron Mountain Brick starting point, head back to La Jolla, and get in an ocean swim.

As time went on, the pack separated a bit, and Greg, Damian and I started off on our own. We reached the summit of the famed Scripps Poway Parkway hill, (about miles 28 into the ride) and at the top, we made the decision to ride down to lakeside to hit the Circle K and grab some more fluids. As we made our way to the CK, I noted that there was considerable head wind as we were moving south. I mentioned to Greg and Damian that I bet we would have a headwind also once we made our way back north. Sure enough, we were greeted with a headwind on our return north. Go figure.

As we hit the 3 and a half hour point in the ride, I started getting "pissy". My back and neck were a little sore from being in the aero position, and we started into what was a noticeable headwind. I also knew were at least an hour away from our cars, and got pissier.

In my few years of cycling, if there is one thing I hate more than anything, is riding into the wind. I just can't stand it. I might go as far as to say I hate it. Maybe it's the fact that you never know if it's gonna stop, it's invisible, but hits your like a freight train, or how it howls against your ears - whatever it is, ugh - No Thanks. Since we were heading back west, I knew there was gonna be no hope in sight for the wind ending.

Eventually, Greg and I go to his car, and Damian was waiting for us at that point. When we got to Greg's car, we were at about mile 60/4 hours into it. I didn't even stop - I slowed down, said to Damian "I'm f'n miserable, let's get the f out of here". Damian laughed at me, and I just started hammering. I was annoyed. I had been on a bike for over 4 hours, my back and neck were considerably more uncomfortable, and I just started hammering, and I didn't care that I still had to go UP Torrey Pines to get back to the car.

We eventually made it, grabbed some food (A LOT OF FOOD FOR ME), hung out on the beach, and actually went for a little swim. All in all, it was a good, yet long, DAY. Even though I was moving for 4 hours and 40 minutes, it took us nearly 6 hours to do the ride due to lights, picking up people, Pat's mechanical difficulties, and stopping for liquids.

BUT, one good thing that came out of the ride was the fact that I had enough in me to hammer the last 10 miles after riding for 60. On the flats, I pushing 22-24 mph, and although I was working, it wasn't all out effort. I also climbed Torrey as if I was doing a hill repeats workouts. As crappy as a mood as I was in (do I sound bitchy), the workout was a mental confidence builder to do 70 miles, and to finish as strong as I did. I also seem to be developing a "taint of steel", and my under carriage was not as uncomfortable as you'd think after 4 2/3 hours.

Now, it's time to sleep :)