Monday, July 21, 2008

New Blog & Website

My blog is now located at

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Xterra Highlight VIdeo

I came across this video footage from the Xterra Southeast race a few weeks ago. Some great slow motion of me on the mountain bike....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Xterra Lock 4 Race Weekend

My wife Kira and I kicked off the fourth of July weekend with Xterra pro Craig Evans and family in Spring Hill TN. After a fun Friday evening watching Dara Torres make swimming history and ducking the neighborhood fireworks shrapnel, the rest of the weekend focused on racing. Craig and I met up with local triathlete Bruce Gennari for a Saturday morning road ride. Since we were all racing the next day, I figured it would be an easy 2 hour stroll through the countryside. Unfortunately Bruce and Craig's idea of a stroll ended up being a 3 hour 60 mile sweat fest. Although it was a stronger training effort than I intended, I got to ride on the beautiful Natchez Trace parkway, and still had enough fuel in the tank for Sunday's Xterra. Despite being down for a few weeks after the crash, I still managed to put together a pretty strong race. Weather and course conditions held up beautifully and I rolled across the the finish line second overall behind Craig and over 5 minutes faster than last year. Although I felt strong for most of the race, the lack of running over the last few weeks really made the 4.5 mile run hurt. I managed to make it through the run with slight abdominal muscle cramping and achilles pain that would have been debilitating if I pushed it any harder. It turns out that the achilles pain, which I thought was plantar fasciitis, is actually achilles tendonosis. With three weeks until my next Xterra, the JCC will consume more of my training time than usual. Core work and physical therapy on my bum foot will suplement running and most of my cycling time in the immediate future. I also have a Strassburg sock on order to try and speed the healing...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Slow Return

It’s now 10 days into the aftermath of one of my worst cycling crashes ever. While I hoped to be back in the full swing of things by now, that is still a dream. Although the bleeding has ceased, the 30mph asphalt Slip & Slide has left portions of my back still completely raw. While it’s healing well, there is a 16 sq inch section of road rash spanning my lower back across my waistline. Although cycling shorts ride high enough in the back to cover it, my swimsuits cut right into it. I’ll have to try swimming in cycling shorts for a while, making sure to limit the sun exposure to the rest of my unpigmented skin. To add insult to injury, I have developed a case of plantar fasciitis in my left foot. Most people get this from overuse, however a full week of walking around either barefoot or in unsupported flip-flops seems to be the root of my problem; you would think this would be a more natural, and thus healthier, state of being. Hopefully proper stretching and a few more days of easy riding on my trainer will allow my body time to heal.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Buster Britton Race Report

What do you get when you mix a road bike, high speed turns, wet roads, and a take no prisoners attitude? A recipe for disaster. As I approached the bottom of a short downhill tucked in my aero bars, the road swept gently to the right. Feeling overly strong and confident, I overtook the lead motorcycle. A few seconds later, disaster struck. I hit a small dip in the road and felt the front wheel start to slide. I quickly came out of the aero bars, grabbed the handlebars, tapped the brakes, and tried to put a leg down to regain composure. Unfortunately, the +30 mph speed was too great to overcome and gravity won. The bike swiftly flew out from beneath me as I launched through the air onto my back. After sliding headfirst down the pavement on for about 15 yards, I came to a stop. I knew it was bad, but with the adrenalin still flowing I quickly got back up and mounted my bike. About a mile and a half down the road, and just as I approached the ambulance, the extent of my injuries began to set in. I decided to call it quits for the day. Although I didn’t need to take an ambulance ride, I did end up in the ER with severe road rash that extended from my butt all the way up to my shoulder on the left side of my back. My left elbow and the outside of my left calf received the remainder of the road rash. Luckily between me and my equipment, the only thing broken was my helmet. The next few days are going to hurt… Thanks again to Diane Jacobs for getting me to the ER in my truck (wife doesn’t drive a stick)!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Xterra Southeast Championship

It’s always satisfying to put together a solid race after months of training. With an age group win, 2nd place overall amateur finish, and a hand-full of pro’s in the wake, yesterday was no exception. Although I placed well, I was most thrilled about my huge improvement over last years’ performance. Even with a slightly longer course and hellish water and air temperature conditions, I managed to knock 8 minutes off of my time from last year. Unfortunately, my overall improvement was not reflected in the swim. Although the 81 degree water temperature didn’t help matters, I still ended up over a minute slower than last year. I have three theories about this: · I have no way of verifying, but the first swim buoy looked a whole lot further out than last year. · After averaging less than 10,000 yards a week for the majority of the year, including a few weeks completely out of the water, my total time devoted to swimming was less than adequate. · Increased muscle mass from additional cycling and running is turning my legs into anchors in the water Since most of the elites were slower than last year, I’m leaning towards my first theory. Regardless, more time in the pool to increase core and upper body strength should help to offset any added leg mass, and restore that torpedo like body position from my college swimming days. I felt very strong on the bike this time around. Although having home course advantage definitely helped, I had a much stronger engine this year. I was able to maintain a much quicker and smoother pedal cadence. This was a result of more than doubling my saddle time since getting on a road bike last year. I also have to give credit to having one of the fastest mountain bikes for the course. While the majority of my improvement came from a much stronger bike leg, I also had a better overall run. After leaving transition, I got an immediate side cramp. This slowed my pace considerably for the first 3 miles. After mile 3, it finally went away in time to tackle the infamously technical and steep yellow trail. Additional attention to hill repeats in training this year gave me the capacity to actually run the entire course without stopping or walking. Although cramping while on the run continues to be an issue, I feel like I have gotten much more control over it. Through better conditioning, a more dialed in prerace diet, and better race nutrition, I am finally getting a handle on it. Next up: Buster Britton… Check out the race photos at (I’m in #19)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bump & Grind 2008

Sometimes a race just doesn’t go your way. That was the case for me this past weekend at the Bump & Grind MTB race at Oak Mountain State Park. 45 minutes into the race, I was drafting two other riders on a smooth fast section of fire road. While traveling at over 30mph, a brick sized rock was kicked up by the wheel of the rider in front of me and slammed into my rear tire. Even the tubeless tire was no match for the impact. The result was an immediate flat, a bent rim, a long walk, and a big DNF next to my name on the results. Although I was disappointed, I wasn’t angry (like when I was once directed the wrong way on a course). This was just a freak accident that can’t be blamed on anyone. Bad draw. In hindsight, it’s probably a blessing. Since my focus is Xterra triathlons, and the Southeast Championship is this coming weekend, the 45 minute effort last weekend was probably the perfect event from a training standpoint. I even made a point to go ahead and get a 5 mile trail run in afterwards. I am soo ready!