Tag Training

Coming Back with a Bang

Mid October was my return to being a full time professional triathlete and I have been absolutely loving it. The year off to refresh and reset worked perfectly. There were many up’s and down’s along the way (as is life), but I’m stronger and more hungry than I’ve been in a long time.

I’m hoping to start my 2016 season off with two of the XTERRA Asia Tour races – Guam & Saipan in March. Fingers crossed I can get back into race shape that quickly after so much time off. Guess it’s time to put my pro pants on and do some work!

So what better way to start back into all this than by doing something completely ridiculous. I mean…. that is kinda my thing… so here it is – do the Rim2Rim2Rim Run. Basically that means running across the Grand Canyon and back.

It took me over 12 hours to traverse the 52 mile route, but you can watch the whole thing in under 6 minutes.



2013 Check List


I got all the items on my 2013 checklist marked off. Did you?





Go for some amazing mountain trail runs in the Colorado Rockies…check.







Accept the fact that I have enormous hands…check.








Get support from a company that I love and truly believe in…check.







Complete my collection of Ouachita Challenge wrist bands…check







Completely fill the freezer at home with all the fish from our family fishing trips…check.







Race with lucky #13 and get my ass handed to me…check.







Get mistaken for a fat cross dressing clown…on multiple occasions…check.







Do free remodeling for fellow Boulderites after the 500 year flood caused feces to spray out of their toilet like a fountain…check.







Put on a kids triathlon clinic with Boulder Tri Club and spend just as much time laughing as mentoring…check.







Crash so hard, I get the wind knocked out of me and even the Caveman goes “Damn!”…check.







Be a goofball as often as possible…check.








Finish on the podium again at my favorite XTERRA in the USA (Richmond, VA)…check.








Go for an 8 hour float trip in Montana and repeatedly tell the story about the big one that got away…check.







Get artsy with an iPhone…check.








Train with the best…check.








Be an Arkansas Princess…check.








Celebrate my birthday in Mexico for the 3rd year in a row…check.







Run, run, run in some amazing shoes…check.








Do a Lemond style start to my first 12 hour mountain bike race…check.







Laugh at all the hilarious ways that Macey can sleep…check.







Drive through FEET of flood water in a 500 year flood…check.







Do an off-road super sprint triathlon and be right in the mix of it…check.







Train with more of the best…check.







Learn my lesson about proper recovery by riding 60 miles on Saturday on the mtb and then racing the same 60 miles on mtb the next day, only to build up a 4 minute lead and then lose it all during Sunday’s race…check.







Enjoy fresh made milk shakes at a small town diner after a solid day of training in Montana…check.







Make some $$$$ at a race…check!








Throw down on my favorite XTERRA course in the USA (in Richmond, VA)…check.







Eat an entire 3-layer red velvet birthday cake…by myself…check.








Go on a hut trip with the fam…check.







Finally have a good race at XTERRA Indian Peaks (2nd place overall)…check.








See my favorite artist for the 3rd time live in concert…check.







Visit some new places that you didn’t even know about before the trip…check.







Smile and have as much fun as possible while suffering like a dog…check.







Go fishing with my dad and Lil and not tip over in the canoe because Lil won’t hold still…check.







Run the Dirty 30 with my amazing girlfriend Jennifer…check.






Race a trithlon-switched-to-duathlon-because-of-flood-waters and be right in the front with the best…check.








Have a beer at a local dive bar and hope that we don’t get shot for being “city folk”…check.






Race so hard, I drool on myself while flying through Blood Rock and the other sweet trails in Birmingham, AL…check.








Laugh at the hilarious names that they named the caves after going on a 3 hour caving adventure…check.






Be reminded of the brotherly love I share with my little bro Travis…check.








Play announcer at a race…check.








End my race season early (but not my career), by getting hit by a truck while riding my bike…check. (I would have rather not checked that one off the list).









Coaches Words of Wisdom

I had a 500 yard swim for time at the end of last week. It was meant to be a bench mark, but unfortunately I couldn’t even finish it (I guess that sort of is a bench mark). Sluggish during the warm up, my brain said go even when my body was saying stop. Once the 500 started, my brain finally realized the body was right and they both stopped. Afterwards I voiced my concern to my coach Grant Holicky. I say concern because “sadness” or “depressed” or “bummed” were not the right words. “Frustrated” and “concerned” were better terms that reflected my mental state. His response was roughly this (paraphrasing).

“Look at what you’ve done up to this point. Where you’ve been and where you are now. You’ve had good days and bad days. The good days aren’t a fluke. You can’t fake good. If it’s not there, it’s not there. You just can’t fake the improvements you’ve made. Even if you have bad days in between, your true fitness is shown on those good days. Now we just need to figure out how to have less of those bad days, otherwise we’ve got a problem. Focus on the positive, not the negative.”

I can’t even begin to describe how those words have resonated through my mind since then. It’s times like that, that make me realize that having the right coach can make all the difference in reaching the next level of mental and physical fitness necessary to be great.



Just for Kicks

Over the past 4 years, I have run almost exclusively in the New Balance 790 (shoes on the right side of the pic). They are a very minimal, low profile, light weight shoe that I absolutely loved. I loved it so much that I bought several pairs once I heard they were going to discontinue it. But now that those reserve pairs are almost gone, I’m looking at a replacement for it. The first shoe I’m going to try is the Nike Free.

One of the best things about the 790 was that there wasn’t much to it. No rock plates, no support guards, no energy return systems, no nothing. They were an 8oz, low heel to toe drop speed machine that allowed me to feel the ground below me. With this shoe I ran the TransRockies Run 2x, over 50 XTERRA’s,  dozens of 5k’s and 10k’s, and more miles than I can count for training, and all without a single injury.

One of the reasons that I haven’t run in a different shoe than the 790 is that I couldn’t find much that matched it. Even in the Free, there is more cushioning and more of a heel to toe drop (pretty obvious from the picture). I am a little nervous about heel to toe drop difference, but I’m willing to try it out and see if I can really feel the difference. Another big difference between the Free and the 790 is the thickness of the sole. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing because the sole is still very flexible and soft (won’t inhibit proprioception). Another concern arises from the fact that I run almost entirely off road and with the upper of the Free being a bit more light, I hope it is as durable. We’ll find out!

I also plan to try out the Altra Instinct and the Inov-8 F-lite 195. I’ll post more blogs about my findings as they develop.

I hope this serves as a guide for others, that you should try out various types of shoes and models to find what is really best for you. Swing by your local Fleet Feet and ask to try on ALL the shoes that interest you and run around the block in them. You’ll really start to get a feel for what works for you.



Da Power of Da Needle

At my training camp in Tucson (video to come), Craig, Matt, and I absolutely destroyed ourselves in 4 days. I can honestly say I have never been that sore from training alone! To help take full advantage of all that training, I wanted to recover properly.

I went into Alta to see Mike 2 times for Trigger Point Dry Needling. I was kinda sore the following days after each treatment, but WOWSERS! It made a world of difference! Let me start by explaining TDN.

Trigger Point Dry Needling, or TDN for short, is a technique that uses acupuncture needles to release tight muscles and deactivate trigger points. Trigger points are irritable, painful spots within a taut band of skeletal muscle. When the needle is inserted into the muscle and through the trigger point, the muscle involuntarily contracts causing a twitch. When this happens it promotes healing by creating a local inflammatory response.  So this means when they stick you with a bunch of needles, you’re gonna spaz, and then feel really good in couple of days. That simple.

During my first treatment, Mike focused on lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. The sensation you get from those tiny little needles is kind of hard to describe. I wouldn’t use the word “painful,” but rather “intensely uncomfortable.” It doesn’t really hurt, but I was squirming around on the table a lot. In this picture, you can see how Mike lines up exactly where he wants the needle to go with a little tube. Once that’s lined up, he just taps the back end of the needle and VOILA! Its in and you can barely feel it… you can barely feel it until he starts moving it around. Then  you get that twitchy, jumpy response from the muscles as he hits the trigger points. Again, I want to emphasise that it is “intense”, but not “painful.” Two totally different things.

About a week later, I went in for a 2nd treatment. This time around Mike focused on my Gastrocnemius (aka calves) and my Soleus. These areas were far less intense during the session, but I felt them a lot more the next couple of days.  I can’t say enough good things about this method of treatment. I think it’s a fabulous way to prevent injury, help speed up recovery, prevent injury, and specifically target an injury to treat it. I listed prevent injury twice because I a big fan of it. I’ve referred to it as “pre hab,” in previous blogs and I totally believe in it. If you do the extra little things ahead of time, they will make a BIG difference in the long run.

Mike needling my calves. I was sore for a couple of days afterwards, but then I was ready to rock and roll! I can’t imagine how long it would have taken for them to recover if I hadn’t done TDN.

Close up of the needle. It doesn’t really hurt. It was funny to see this picture because my first thought was “That was in me?!?” I’m glad I didn’t watch because I have a slight fear of needles.