Sunday, November 11, 2012


Mountain Bike Ride in the foothills of Boise - Nov. 2012
Today marks a special day in my life.  My move from Boise, ID back to Winston-Salem, NC.  It represents the closing of one chapter and the opening of a new one.  The chapter that I closed was one that has come with many unforgettable memories and experiences that I will take to my deathbed.  It has been bittersweet.  For the last 13 years, I have had a unique, once in a lifetime relationship with my oldest brother, Jeff.  Jeff is 11 years and some change older than I, so it made for perfect union between brothers.  Just as I was becoming a young man, Jeff was well on his way to a career and in a place to foster a relationship that has led to many opportunities and successes in this young life of mine.  He had  obtained enough life experiences and wisdom to help guide me in a direction that I am forever thankful.  
Fishing in Bennett Springs, MO
To take a trip down memory lane for us, here is a brief timeline of some of the amazing things we have shared together. 

1999 - I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Missouri-Columbia and had always been interested in medicine.  At the same time, Jeff was in Nashville, TN at Vanderbilt completing his Peds Ortho fellowship.  I came out for the summer and this was the beginning of a relationship that would lead us to an active lifestyle and lifetime full of memories.

2000 - After Nashville, I went back to Mizzou. Jeff to Winston-Salem, NC to begin working at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.  Our time apart only lasted 3 months and before I knew it, I was moving to Winston-Salem, NC to finish undergrad and move in with him.  It was W-S that we did our first triathlon together that would ultimately lead us on a crazy journey.
Omnium Cycling Race in St. Louis circa 2002'ish
2003 - We both did our first Ironman in Brazil.   Even though our days were very different, Jeff and I finished within a minute of each other. 

2002 - About 1 week from New Year's Eve, Jeff and I didn't have any plans.  At the last minute, we decided to head to NY and go to a Karl Denson and the Tiny Universe concert in Times Square at BB Kings.  We left late afternoon New Year's Eve, saw the 9P-12A show, then scalped some more tickets and went back to see the 12A-3A show.  We returned home mid afternoon on New Year's day, door to door in 23 hours.  What a trip!
Jeff and I at Karl Denson Concert - New York 
2003 (September) - Jeff was asked to speak internationally in Italy.  It just happened to be during the Vuelta a Espana.  In true form, Jeff asked if I wanted to go along to Italy and then over to Spain to watch the race.  Hard to describe in words how much fun we had.  Imagine, 2 brothers, in a Renualt "mini" car chasing the Vuelta on winding back roads for 5 days.  Driving like maniacs to get ahead of the race to see the peloton roll by for 20 seconds, 2 cameras in each of our hands, snapping photos, jumping back in the car, pedal to the floor on back roads trying to get ahead of them to do it all over.  Rolling through small towns, trying to use the little bit of spanish I know to navigate or eat some food.  At one point, we tried to get in the caravan of cars for the race, the police quickly stopped us.   One night, couldn't get a hotel room, ended up staying in a closet room with a bed in it, crazy!!! 

2003 (December) - Jeff became team doc for team USA at short -course worlds in Queenstown, NZ.  Off we headed to  NZ that marked incredible and lifelong memories, super crazy fun!

2005 (January) - Jeff surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Australia to go to Epic Camp put on by Scott Molina and Gordo Byrn.   Basically 12 days of training volume that I never thought was even humanly possible, if I recall, we did something close to 60hrs of training in a week, super nutty!!!

2005 (May) - We headed back to Brazil for redemption at IM Brazil.  Jeff qualified for Kona for the first time.  Pretty amazing given 2 years after we started IM he had success pretty quickly.  A feat that I am still chasing today 10 years later. 

2005 (June) - I finally started the stepping stones to a career in medicine as I entered in the Physician Assistant Program at Wake Forest.  I think Jeff had to pull a few strings on that one ;-)

2005 (October) - Headed to Hawaii for the first time to watch Jeff race at the IM World Champs in Kona.  Jeff had a banner day, awesome trip!!
2006 White Lake 1/2
2007 - Jeff had the opportunity to take a sabbatical and does.  I finished PA school that year and he heads out to Boulder, CO to train with Gordo Byrn as he is preparing to win IM Canada.  As I finished PA school, he offered me the opportunity to come live with his family in Boulder and train full time.  How could I say no!?!?!?  This was a dream lifetime experience, training full time and the opportunity to train with the folks that we read about in the magazines.

Myself, Gordo and Jeff

Jeff and I at the top of Chautauqua Park in Boulder

Team Good Guys in Boulder 2007
 2007 - To cap off our experience in Boulder, we road tripped up to IM Canada in Pentictan.  Our Dad came along, great trip!!! 

2008 - Jeff moved to Boise, I stayed in W-S and began working.

2009 - In perfect form, Jeff established himself in Boise and was in need of a PA.  Well, who better....I am sure you can guess!!!!

2009 - Upon my return from Boulder and starting my first job, my training was put on the back burner and I was pretty out of shape.  Wasn't quite ready to get back into triathlon, but Jeff had this crazy idea to do this race in Sweden called Otillo as a team.  The race was across the Stockholm archipelagos, 19 islands, starting from the northern most island to the most southern island....all by your own means.  We ended up swimming 6.2 miles, running 30 miles and biking 15 miles.  Took 5th overall and 1st american team.  

2011 - We did 2 IM's together, IM St. George (he qualified for Kona the 4th time there) and IM Louisville (closest I've been to qualifying Kona, missed it by 4 minutes) 
Pre-Race IM Louisville 2011
Pre-Race IM Louisville 2011
Jeff and I in the finishing chute
As I reminisce about our life together, I am not sure there are many brothers out there that can match that road traveled.   It has taken us to Hawaii, Brazil (twice), New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Canada together.  As I close this chapter, my tears are of happiness.  Jeff, thanks!!! Looking forward to double these experiences as our family now grows!

For the new chapter, I couldn't be any luckier to go from one amazing relationship with a brother to a life-long adventure with the love of my life.  It has been nearly 6 years since Heather and I have been together....and we are finally aligning our lives to begin our adventure in this game called life.  Hang on baby, if the above aforementioned experiences are any indication of what its gonna be like, we are gonna have a great life......and as important, we'll be lucky to experience it with that other crazy Shilt household.

Humbly Lucky,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

13 hours til the cannon...

Prep has been unique this time around, but good.  I stand corrected this afternoon by Heather, this will be my 11th Ironman, I thought I had only 9 under my belt.  This will be 5th IM in 18 months and I was reminded by Marilyn that tomorrow's race is a culmination of the last 18 months.  2011 brought a great year of training and racing.  I had consistent training volume all year and every race course I stepped onto, I PR'd in something, including overall times.   I have been waiting to have that race where everything goes well....I feel prepared and ready.  As Jeff reminded this afternoon, I have experienced all scenarios - good swim/bike, not good run, good swim/run, not good bike, tough nutrition that I was able to recover from within the race, bad swims with good bike/run.   I just have to trust my instincts and stay within myself and have a fun day, times and PR's follow.  I have been chasing Kona as a "stated" goal for the lat 4 IM's, been within 4 minutes twice of qualifying.  This race is no different, its not going to be easy.  In the 30-34 age group, I think we will have 4 slots to Kona for IMCDA. The top 4 guys last year went 9:19, 9:29, 9:31, 9:43 - faster than my PR.  Its going to take a PR day....I'm prepared, I just need to execute - the toughest thing to do in Ironman.

As always, Heather is here and has all the social media covered: 2 iPhones - one with Mophie which is an extended battery life, a blackberry and of course the digital camera.  She'll have her hands full, but as  most of you that follow my race day coverage, she does a kick ass job at it.

In addition, I also purchased the My Athlete Live GPS tracker and you can go to their website and also follow me live.  Click on link above and then scroll down and search for my FIRST name.  If you are using an iPhone, tablet or mobile, click here. I tried My Athlete Live at IM Arizona and it failed me.  I tried it out the day before, it worked, however on race day, it had me at the airport the entire time. Hopefully this time around it works, I think it has the potential to be much better at live updating that what IronmanLive has to offer.  If you want any live updates other than me, just twitter to @QuadJRanch and ask, I'm sure she'll do her best.

The weather has been funny the last day or so, complete downpour last night, but no rain so far today and sunny.  Supposed to be 30% chance of rain early AM, hopefully it will hold off.

Good luck to all my fellow IM athletes.  Go out there and have the race of your life and most importantly have fun!  Most of us aren't getting paid to do this and being in this sport rewards us with good health, SMILE, the journey is well worth it.

To my fellow Wattie's, I hope the reason that I don't race in Bend for the Leadman 250 is because I'll be racing 3 weeks later, but if I'm not, I'll be there.  Hell, I'll be there regardless at least to chear all you crazy-ass's on!!

Rockin' the W,
Crazy J

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cold Water Swimming Tips

Post IMCDA practice swim 2012

Swimming in cold water can be anxiety provoking, after all, its not normal to jump into 55 degree (12.7 C for all of my metric system friends) water WILLINGLY!!! Many times in Ironman or half-Ironman races, we are faced with this exact situation, it's never comfortable. However, with a little physiologic understanding, preparation, and having the right equipment, we can give ourselves the best opportunity to be successful and can make a world of difference in our perception of cold water racing.

Preparing for cold water is important because it can effect not only the acute swimming portion of a triathlon, but downstream on the bike it can make a big difference....and if we can curb our natural physiological responses to keep us warm, we can also save some energy.

This morning, Kate, Guy and I took a dip in Couer d'Alene Lake at the swim start. This was a key session in the preparation for Sunday's swim. It helped me set expectations, dial in how long I need for my body to acclimate appropriately and give me an opportunity to make sure the gear I have is appropriate and functioning properly. But first, here is a little science to give background.

Hypothermia is defined as body core temperature dropping below 95.0 F (35.0 C). Typically normal body temps are around 98.6 F (37.0 C) with some variation on both sides of the "coin." When the core body temp begins to drop, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in and we physiologically begin making changes to preserve our normal body temp such as shivering (increase heat production), vasoconstriction of surface blood vessels (decrease the amount of heat loss), tachycardia (increased HR), and tachypnea (increase breathing rate as a result of initial increase in metabolism) all in an attempt to maintain homeostasis or normal thermoregualation.  All of these responses make it difficult when we are trying to perform, not survive!

Also, many times when we swim in cold environments we experience vertigo (dizziness) and/or imbalance. Many times nausea can be present as well. This phenomenon is well known in the medical world, also known as the Cold Caloric Test. This test is used by physicians to test our vestibular-ocular reflex, in laymen's term, the caloric test is good at assessing the integrity of the brain stem. In short, our brainstem is a very important part of the brain as the nerve connections of the motor and sensory systems pass through brainstem, therefore, if it isn't functioning, WE AREN'T FUNCTIONING!! (this test is used mostly in the unconscious patient to test brainstem function) One part of the test places cold water into the external ear canal. As a result, an intact brainstem causes the feeling of vertigo. So in essense, when we jump in a cold lake, we are eliciting the normal response of a cold caloric test.....for 2.4 miles!!

As I have belabored the point enough, what does this come down to?? Having the right equipment for cold water swimming decreases the normal aforementioned symptoms that cold water will induce and hopefully help improve your chances for a better swim in suboptimal conditions.

For the swim at Iroman Couer d'Alene, I will have the following:

1.) Full wetsuit (Blue Seventy Helix)
  •  A full "wetty" facilitates in preservation of core temp by minimizing shivering and initial, anxiety provoking shock. We can lose a significant amount of heat to radiant heat loss at our skin. 
2.) Thermal Skull Cap (Blue Seventy makes one with wool on the inside)
  • Remember, when the body is exposed to cold water, our peripheral blood vessel constrict, in an attempt decrease heat loss. This does not happen to our cerebral bloodflow. As our blood pressure rises as a result of increase HR, more blood is pumped through the carotid and vertebral arteries and we can lose up to 50% of our body heat through our head.  Cover the "noggin."
3.) Neoprene Swim Socks
  • In cold water survival situations, our feet don't really matter, but remember we are participating in a triathlon and the bike is next. Therefore, escaping numb feet after an hour is a nice luxury....nothing like riding the first hour of the bike on "stumps" because you can't feel your feet. 
4.) Ear Plugs
  • Remember that cold caloric test, if no water gets into the external ear canal, no dizziness, imbalance or nausea.
Next time your are prepping for a cold water swim race , try these few easy "tricks" of the trade and overcome your normal physiologic response! 

Swim fast,
Crazy J

These are just opinions of mine and in no way do I claim to be an expert in hypothermia, these are tips from my experience.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"A" race right around the corner

I can't believe I am already lining up for my "A" race this year, Ironman Couer d'Alene, 1 week from today.  I've had a pretty busy summer thus far having raced 2 half-Ironmen (Oceanside 70.3 and White Lake Half in NC), organizing Boise's newest off-road triathlon the Les Bois Off-Road Triathlon (, having a Wattie Ink weekend at Boise 70.3, and prepping for IMCDA. 

White Lake Half Bike

One of our more favorite things to do when
I get a visit back to NC is to see the Petty Boys!

For a quick brief, the White Lake Half was 4 weeks after Oceanside 70.3.  I have raced this race a few times, but it has been quite some time since I last raced here, I think it was 2008'ish.  It is always fun to go back where you started triathlon and I had raced in the Set Up Events race series for nearly 9 seasons before I moved here to Boise.  Long story short, I had a descent swim, good bike (PR for avg bike power for a half) and gave myself an opportunity to win by leading into T2.  However, didn't really have the run legs that I had at Oceanside, more than likely due to the effort I put on the bike and ended up 4th elite

Since that time, I have been a busy "bee" getting the Les Bois Off-Road Triathlon off the ground.  I finally was able to get the city permits approved to put this race on.  It has taken me 2 years, but I think it was well worth it.  The venue at Lucky Peak is perfect and I think it is a course that will be fun for everyone.  If you are looking for a late July race and a reason to travel, Boise is a great place!!!

The best weekend fun I've had all summer was this past weekend at the Boise 70.3  I didn't race this year as I had already punched my ticket to Las Vegas for the 70.3 World Champs and a bit too close to IMCDA.  We had an awesome contingent of Wattie Ink Elite team here and when we all get together, there is only one thing on the agenda.....HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!  This we did indeed!!  Even though the Boise 70.3 turned to be less than desired by many, it didn't "rain on our parade" the evening after the race.  I'll leave you with the picture below.....the pic says a thousands words!  Triathlon is a special sport.  I can't think if of any other sport where you make lifelong friends that you only see once or twice a year.  The Wattie Ink team has created exactly many more parties!!!

Things when from this........ THIS!!!

The White Lake Half was 8 weeks out from IMCDA, so I had a couple weeks to fully recover from Oceanside 70.3 and WLH to fully put all my training "eggs" in one basket.  6 weeks out, I started the build and had a great training boost for the first 2 weeks.  At the end of the 3rd week, I had a little hiccup in my training after a 2hr training run.  I came up with a good bout of Achilles tendinitis that put me in a "boot" for 3 days straight and not running for 9 days.  I have to say that I have been quite lucky in the past 12 years as triathlete to never really have any injuries, so going through this was something new, especially 4 weeks out from my "A" race.  The good news is after 2 weeks of patience, a bit of rearranging of my IM prep block and a bit of consistency, I think I have skated by this injury and feel back to normal.  I ran my last long run today of 1.5 hours feeling as peppy and strong as I would have hoped to be prior to any other IM prep, no pain and back to normal training pace.  My swim the last 2 weeks has been as fast as I have ever been, my last longer swim session with Guy and Kate at 50 LCM (doing 300's) is as fast as I have swam.  My bike has been relatively strong all year.  The work is done and now the hardest part is left, execution.  I'll toe the line Sunday for my 10th IM distance 5th in 19 months.  Looking to race one more IM this year........... :)

As always, my "trusty" partner in crime and better half, Heather, will be there tweeting and keeping the race as live via twitter and facebook.  I have also ordered My Athlete Live tracker to help with live coverage.  I'll update everyone later this week with how to tune in.

As my coach would say, "Keepin' my eyes on the fries!"


Monday, April 2, 2012

Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

Racing for me, most often, means meeting up with good friends. I often choose a race venue dependent on where my buddies live. San Diego was no different. My best friend, Greg aka "GP", from PA school at Wake Forest lives there with his wife Emily (who happens to also be a classmate of mine from PA school) and their 2 twin boys that are 3 months old. When Oceanside 70.3 opened up last year, it was a perfect marriage for a trip.
1.) Got to catch up with GP and his fam
2.) Great place to start the triathlon season in sunny SD and it wasn’t a full IM (I raced IM St. George IM last year and it was a bit much too early to chew)
3.) San Diego is a great place for Heather and I to visit and enjoy the warm weather, HJ is a beach bum! ;-)

I arrived on Wednesday evening and was super excited as I haven't met the boys yet, only saw tons of pics.

Once there, I awoke Thursday AM for a nice little bike/run and got it out of the way. GP had plans to go to the shooting range, so I obliged and off we went. What an experience! Growing up around a farm I have shot various guns for fun, but never been to a shooting range. GP has a few himself so we "tested" them out. A doc buddy of his came along and we decided to have a marksman competition. Needless to say, I am not a sharp shooter. I passed on the semi-automatic 12 gauge as I figured I didn't need a sore shoulder for the race.

Friday AM I slept in. Typically my sleep 2 days out is the most important and this one wasn't any different. I got my pre-race workout completed of a quick little S/B/R session with a few quick pick ups to prime the body. For the swim, Greg had this grand idea to take me to La Jolla Cove where many swims leave from. However today, I would head out on my own. We picked a buoy that was about 800 meters from shore and the idea was to swim out and back. Now mind you, I haven't been in the Pacific before and I knew it was going to be cold, but I figured it wouldn’t be that bad. Afterall, in 2009, Jeff and I raced at Otillo, which is a race in Sweden and the water was like 48-49 degrees farenheit, so I figured I could handle it. Besides, last year St. George was like 58 degrees and this was similiar. So I threw on my new BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit ang goggles, but didn't bring a swim cap.

Now to start things off, I am not too keen to swim in the ocean alone, so my anxiety was a bit higher than normal. Secondly, there were 100+ seals on the rocks and playing in the water near the shore. Again, not too thrilled. Don't sharks like to eat seals....yeah I'm pretty sure. So off I went and BAM....the water was SHOCKING!! But I thought, no worries, it will get better. I got pass the break, finally, and I am swimming with my head out of the water for 3 strokes, face in the water 1-2 strokes, then head out of the water for 3 strokes, etc because my head is freezing. I do this for a bit of time and the water on my face/head is not getting better. I began having a shreaking headache at this point and now I am out in the middle of the ocean, frolicking like a wounded seal 400 meters from shore. Yeah...lets just say that "warm up" swim ended a bit quicker than planned. The good news is it reminded me what I needed to do for the race the next day. Double swim cap and use my silicone ear plugs.

Peter and I Post race

I rode and ran post swim and got checked in at the race expo. There athlete check-in process was nice. They were very expeditious in getting everyone in and out without too much hassle. At the same time, I bumped into 3 other Wattie Elites and it was good to finally meet them.

Race morning was a bit different than normal. I was in the last swim wave, of which I have never been. This meant that I went off an hour and eight minutes after the pro's went. It was kind of weird watching people come into transition and I hadn't even put my wetsuit on.

Once I got my wetsuit on and got into my corral, it wasn't long before the gun went off. The water was quite shocking, but with the silicone ear plugs and double swim cap, it was bearable.

I lined up on the buoy line....BOOM, the gun went off. I sprinted out for about 200 meters to steer clear of the folks behind me. I sighted and saw 3 swimmers up the way. I was happy where I was so I decided to stay on my plan. Not long after, we began coalescing with the previous waves. I felt descent in the swim. About half out, we made our turn to head back which was basically at the mouth of the bay and swells kicked up.. I stayed tucked, next to the buoy line and really didn't get bothered too much. Finally made it to the boat ramp, and made it into T1. I briefly looked at the clock and I knew I had swam 30:XX. Slightly disappointed, I ran steadily to my bike.

Upon arriving at the racks, all the bike were still there and there were only 2 other guys standing their getting ready. Maybe my swim wasn’t so bad after all. I was able to make it out of transition fairly quickly and out on the bike course. The weather was quite misty as the marine layer was in full effect.

As you can imagine going off in the last wave, there were a ton of people out on the bike course. The bike course was much more difficult than one would think. There was one steep hill on the back half of the ride that was 39/28 gear worthy. IT was tough. I finished pretty strong and hit T2 ready to run.

Out on the run, I was able to settle into my pace pretty quickly, but I didn't dare look at what pace I was running.

For me, pace doesn't really matter in a race, I run as hard as I can at a pace that will get me to the finish line the fastest. Ultimately, regardless of my pace, the pace work is already done during the previous weeks training. After 5K, I looked down for the first time as this was when I really felt settled in. Upon looking at my watch, I was running faster than I had ever in a half.

Thanks to fellow wattie Bill Risch taking this awesome grit pic
Not long after, I was passed by someone in my age group. This guy was running a pace that I couldn't even respond to, so I kept at my game plan. Around mile 6, I was passed by another guy, this time not so handedly. I kept his pace over the next mile, however, I was getting quite uncomfortable and I questioned whether or not it was a pace I could for the remaining 6 miles, so I settled and returned to my previous pace which was well faster than anything I had done before. Not much changed over the ensuing miles. With 2 miles to go, the first guy that passed was walking and I made sure to pass with authority. Not long after, I passed another person that I had never seen. The 2nd guy that passed me was still up the road, I could see him. I kept pace, but so did he.

I finished strong and ended up on the podium. This was my first podium at an Ironman event, a nice "notch" in my belt buckle. It was great racing with so many fellow Wattie Ink Elite Team Members, I would have never thought how much it really makes a difference. It's incredible to have great support putting us in the best gear that triathlon has to offer. Thanks again to all of our sponsors (look to the right of the page).

Up next for me is another half-distance race in North Carolina. I'll be racing the White Lake Half on May 5th back in my ole stomping grounds. Should be fun. THEN, the real training begins for IM Coeur d'Alene which takes place June 24th.

Last but not least, I have to thank my wonderful better half, Heather for traveling with me and ultimately supporting this crazy addiction callled triathlon, I couldn't be any luckier. And to my boy GeePeeZee, thanks for the hauling me around and cheering on race day, was awesome! Laura, Walter and the boys, it was awesome seeing you guys out there on the uphill corner! Thanks again!!

Rockin' the "dub",
Crazy J

Friday, March 30, 2012

First Race of the Year already...Oceanside 70.3

WOw....can't believe the first race of the season is already here. Made it here to San Diego a few days ago and have had a chance to swim, bike and run on the course. First off, man is that water cold!! I made the mistake of taking a dip in the fresh 58 degree water without any ear plugs and cap....yeah I didn't last long. My buddy Greg had a little laugh seeing me splash around like a wounded seal out there with my head out of the water. Needless to say, I was happy to have done it, I now will be prepared for tomorrow morning. I did IM St. George last year and was quite reminiscent.

Overall feeling descent, we'll see what that means tomorrow. Heather will be on my twitter posting updates when she can. It is a 1 loop swim, 1 loop bike and 2 loop run, so probably not much info early on. Apparently there is an iPhone app called IronTrac that you can track athletes easy, I think its like $.99.

Looking forward to a fun day, the backdrop here in Oceanside is awesome! Additionally, I really am looking forward to racing with the Wattie Ink Elite Team. Sean Watkins has done an awesome job organizing it and the support from the sponsors has been "big league."

Rockin' the 'dub',
Crazy J

Friday, March 2, 2012

EC Tucson Camp - Day 3 & 4

Its been a couple of days since I blogged, crazy how time can slip by you with a bit of a fatigue “on board.” Motivation to do the small things like blogging quickly goes out the door. Thankfully, today is a re-group day with just a swim and run this morning.

Wednesday was also a bit of a re-group day. We rode out and back over Gates Pass, but the morning started out with a hefty 1.5hr swim session that concluded with 5K. Afterwards, we popped out for a run/drill session which was nice. We got video of it so we’ll once we get it edited, we’ll try and post it and I’ll put the link up here as well. Doing the drills allows you to get into your run session much quicker than just running as a warm up and you actually get more run quality time for that session. Really good info.

Day 3 Totals
Swim: 1:30
Bike: 1:40
Run: :30

Yesterday was a tough ride up Mount Lemmon. We “commuted” to the base of the climb. The climb is 20.5 miles up. We all started as a group, but as you can imagine, it splits quickly. My personal goal was to ride sustainable steady up to the 10 mile marker, then once at 10 miles, raise my effort by ~5% and be able to hold it to the top. Climbing is something that I don’t really enjoy and usually I am a “head case” with sustained climbs. Over the last 2 seasons, I have tried to embrace climbing since it is quite a weakness of mine, I think I'm getting better. To overcome my "issues," I ride most long climbs on my own where I can dictate pace and effort. So yesterday, I did just that and as it has in the past, it worked well for me. I rode strong the whole way raising my effort the entire 2 hour climb. Good start to the year for climbing. Ride took us a bit under 5 hours.

Later that afternoon, Chris, Jeff, Tom and I went to the University of Arizona rec pool for a nice hour session. Given the days earlier session up Mt Lemmon, the main set was kept short, multiple 50’s.

Day 4 Totals
Bike: 4:40
Swim: :60
Run: :00

All in all, I’m feeling ok this late in camp. Legs are sore, but to be expected. I have been using recovery pumps daily which has been helpful. If there is one, simple, easy thing that aids in recovery, pneumatic legs pumps are well worth the investment. Nearly as important as a nice pair of race wheels.

Additionally, camps seem to revitalize my motivation to begin capturing my “numbers” again. I tend to get lazy downloading my devices to training peaks, especially after I start getting error messages attempting to download my device. After talks by Alan, it doesn’t make sense not to keep logs. Having the ability to track TSS (training stress score) which is a composite number that takes into account the duration and intensity of a workout to arrive at a single estimate of the overall training load and physiological stress created by that training session, gives you the visualization and capability to appropriately predict necessary recovery periods in a training block. A long story short, I’ll be using a more of a number approach this season, should be interesting.

Off to the morning swim and 1.5hr run this AM.

Crazy J