Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It’s been awhile so it’s time to catch up...

1st results – we got ‘em.

The shaved legged tough guys opened the early season to a college crowd in Gainesville with a TT and a Crit. Curtis, Jeff and Sweeny had great results, Jeff was 6th in the TT and Curtis scored a win in the 35+.





It’s not very often that I get a chance to watch them race so Josh and C-bone and I pulled up a sit to watch the action…these guys are fast. Bone and Josh also had a chance to ride Santos Mountain Bike Park in Ocala and C-bone worked on his mountain bike equivalent of a bounce pace at the kids BMX track. Josh did a run or two on the Vortex just for fun.

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This past weekend the boys were down in Lake Mary for a Crit and Curtis continued his winning ways in the 35+ with another 1st – congrats Curtis!!!


The Patchouli crew was in Santos for a 12 hour MTB Team race and the original long haired hippy freak Sean Crichton (13th) and recent VMS addition Rad (11th) stepped it up for the 6 hour solo. Trek JAX put a team of wrenches together with Josh, Austin, Cody and Alex…coming in 8th – congrats boys.

The tri-geeks have a few early season openers but the distances are pretty random, the fields smaller but VERY competitive. Billy Hart was down in Clermont last weekend for the Escape to Alcatraz race and placed 3rd in his AG and very high in the overall. If you think it’s not a competitive field…this years Olympian Jared Shoemake took 2nd :) Congrats Billy – his finish scored him a ticket back on the boat to the real Alcatraz again this year – way to go.

The 26.2 with Donna National Breast Cancer Marathon and Half Marathon was in town and we had a bunch of people racing with really good results. 1st props go to Vann Simmons for the HTFU award for running the 2nd half and more with 2 fractures in his foot and finishing in 3:45 – not too sure that was a great idea but seriously tough none the less! Kerry smacked it in a 1:24 and change on a course that is NOT fast and having done a 3:00 bike the day before…I think the plan is working for him :)


Saswata, Tony and I all finished together and shortly behind us were Peter, Will, David and the rest of the crew. In a PR and winning the best dressed new addition award to the Crew is Berny Soza (Breast Cancer Survivor)…in her 1st EVER running race she did the ½ in 3:15 with Josh at her side…she is signed up for the River Run – congrats on sliding on the slippery slope – too bad Josh wimped out on that one :)

More results coming soon but that is all for now…

The 3rd Annual VMS Training Camp – Destination San Diego

The season is getting cranked up and part of my plan for the last few years has been a serious overload training camp in late February. For the last 2 years it has been in Tucson and this year we traveled to the birthplace of triathlon – San Diego.

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Tony, Saswata and I logged an incredible training week. 23-27 hours with swim’s in 50M long course pool, great rides in the hills and coastline of San Diego County and runs along the Bay. All in all it was an incredible week.

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There are too many “stories” to tell them all but I will bore you with one.

The plan for the 1st day was an 80 mile mountainous ride starting in Escondido where the final stage of the Tour of California was on Sunday. The weather forecast was for light showers on and off in the afternoon but nothing significant. We met Paul Cantin (VMS Client #1) who drove down from Orange County and departed at 9am.


When we left the car it was 65 and sunny and we were dressed for that – shorts, base layer, shirt and arm warmers. About 1 hour into the ride it started to rain really hard and we realized that it was also getting colder. We made it another 30 minutes to the town of Ramona in what was now a driving rain storm and dropping temperatures. At only 1:30 into the ride we new we had to make some adjustments. There is only one small bike store in this town so we went in a bought ALL of their cold weather / rain ($299 in total). The shop owner was super cool, let us warm up and said that it should be better once we got through the “pass” so we headed out all decked out and warm and dry at least for the moment.


The rural inland mountains of Southern California have a completely different look, feel and attitude to the coast communities 40-50 miles away. This is farm land and very few people live up here. The scenery and the roads were spectacular!!! No cars and great views. We made it about another 1:30 and then it really started to get cold and the hard rain started again. We were now up at 3500’ from our sea level start and there was snow falling at 4500-5000’. The temperature dropped down to 42 and things started to get a little dangerous.

At about the 3:15 mark, Paul and Saswata were shivering uncontrollably on the descent to Lake Henshaw and we decided we need to do something before someone really had a problem. We quite literally took shelter in one building that makes up the town of Lake Henshaw…a restaurant and general store. The owners saw that we were pretty screwed and got a heater out and tended to our needs. Another few minutes and less facilities and this could have gone a lot worse. Hypothermia was really starting to be a serious consideration.


Hot coffee, Hot Chocolate and heat we served up and we literally shivered around the space heater the staff had cranked up for us. After looking at the map, we realized that after 3:30 or riding and climbing we were only 45 miles into the ride and we had another 35 miles to go. We asked for weather advice and route advice and pretty much everyone said that it was at least an hour away by car and the weather would only get better once we got back to the Valley Center (about 20 miles away) and down 2500’.

The long and the short of it…we were stuck and pretty much screwed. Without too many options – we got a little food and tried to come up with a plan.


We started asking around if anyone was going towards town and the owner or the General Store called a few local residents for us. She found Dave and Dave had a minivan and wasn’t doing anything…he agreed to take us back to our car.

Dave seriously saved our a$$es. The rainy snowing descent in minimal gear would have been stupid and most likely gotten someone really hurt. The heater in the van worked and we did our best to sweat Dave out of the now converted Bikram Mini Van bike recovery vehicle – we had the heat blasting!!!


By the time the hour was done, we were back in the Valley with Dave a few pounds lighter in water weight :) The weather was colder then when we started but the rain had stopped for the day. We squared Dave up 1 large for his efforts and he was stoked. No doubt we each would have paid that not to have to suffer another 2 hours in the freezing rain.

It was late (3:30pm) and Paul was still not 100% so he headed back to OC. Tony, Saswata and I did a few more miles up the mountain again and then can back to the car with 5:00 hours total for the day – a little more fit and a hell of a lot tougher. We were also very thankful for the generosity and kindness of others. Big Props for the crew at the Round-Up BBQ Grill and General Store and big thanks to Dave.

From Tuesday through the end of the week – it could not have been better weather...

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sunny and beautiful and the only gear we needed was sunscreen and arm warmers for the first few miles.

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We rode, ran and swam in the hot bed of triathlon and did our best to support the economic stimulus package in the local tri stores :)

We had another incredible trip. It is really easy traveling with these guys as they are fun and very funny.


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We even had a chance to catch up with Miah (my sister) and new addition to VMS Coaching for a few meals and get to check in on my niece and nephew – Grace and Jimmy.

In total, we logged 1165 TSS, 12,000+ kJ and some massive hours…10-14K in the pool, 250+ miles of riding and 40-50 miles of running.

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Next year it is back to Tucson and the double ascent of Mount Lemon (24 miles up x 2:)) – the pie is worth it.

That’s all for now…Kia Kaha.

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