Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Powerman/Georgia camp diary

So we arrived in Georgia to very nice weather and went to work right away with a Friday 3 sport day with a run at the river and Sope creek trails of 9miles and a Dynamo masters swim at noon and a spin to Columns driver for 30miles with Angelo from Wilier. Good day perfect weather. Next day it was off to Birmingham for tune up workouts for Powerman and a great funny movie(Hall pass. Race morning it was threatening rain but pretty cool which we were happy about since there has been no heat training in Montana for sure. Team Magic does such a great job of doing races. It was a pleasure to toe the line at a race I have done many times before and I was thrilled to pay homage to Therese and Faye at Team Magic. The course was brutal with a giant 600ft accent in 1mile on both runs! The first run I went out a bit hot and finally settled into my numbers of 145HR. I came in the T1 in 3rd with another guy. On the bike I went again by the numbers and settled into a smooth pace, knowing that a 60k bike and that run again would be very tough in this early season. I was surprised how good I felt on the bike since the outdoor miles in Montana have been limited. I came in the T2 in 3rd place. As I came out on the second run I was passed by the guy that beat me on the first run and I said to myself " see if he blows up and keep him close" well he gaped me pretty good and I was alone in 4th. I decided to shut it down and cruise in feeling good. I was pretty pleased with my 4th place finish and felt much better than I expected to this day. Kevin also did very well placing 7th in his group.

I planned on making this trip a "crash" camp and so on Monday I was off to the N. Georgia Mtns. Since I was not crippled from Powerman, I went to work. I woke up and did some light bodywork at NRG( Patrick and wendy's personal training studio) Patrick and Wendy have been great friends and have taken me in for the week. After bodywork I went to Dynamo masters swim for a quick 3k and then I was off to the mountains where I did 3 gap from Dahlonega(50miles with 4k of climbing).

The first Gap(woody)we used to go up this 5mile climb in 20min today it took me 29min, I tell myself "dont think about the old numbers"

The dreaded sign to" Hog Pen" seven miles of hell--- I passed--- not today with the legs and gear I had.

or the highest point in Georgia--- Brasstown--maybe next time

Sunrise Grocery, we called this the cricket store, this place hasn't changed a bit-- and like 20yrs ago, it was a snickers and a mountain du!

and of course the boiled peanuts

Next my favorite climb "Wolf pen"

In North Georgia there is no doubt on the political lean.

Coming back from Dahlonega I spent the evening with Jon and Jo Adamson in Alpharetta. The fittest older couple on the planet! Jon is an icon and ages up to the 75 age group this year and Jo finished second at nationals in the 60 age group last year. They are great people and great friends for a long time! Thanks to them for putting me up in there great digs.

The next day it was back up to the mountains for another big day. This time I went back to the archives and did the reverse 4 gap from the church(70miles and 6k of climbing) and a 6 mile transition run( the loop) after. The weather was cool so I waited until noon to start so like the old days I finished at dusk. This ride was emotional for me since the start of the ride( the church) was 300yrds away from where one of my best friends in the world fell dead from a heart attack. Dave Freikin
was an amazing guy and someone that I rode this ride with many times(hundreds)I loved him very much and it still pains me to think that he is gone. This quest of mine has him in my heart.

Dave Freidkin's sign, 200yrds from my ride start on Tuesday

I returned to my rent a car at the church and went out for a one loop(6miles) transition run. 44 min. I remember when I did 4 laps of this loop( very hilly) in 36-40min but those days are gone for sure. I was again pleased with getting this done and I have to say that this quest is motivating me beyond what I thought I was capable-- so far-- tomorrow is another day.

On Wed it was an early wake up to a georgia spring T-storm and a masters swim at Westminster with my buddy the "duuude" Bruce Erskine and old clone DJ Fairbanks. Pretty wiped but got r done 3k.

later I treated myself to a massage with my long time therepist Lisa Browning at core bodyworks. We go way back to track practice with Roy Benson. She is the best and her shop space is real cool. Thanks Lisa!

Jeff Galloway and coachjay

At the end of the day I did my first speaking engagement at phidippides in Sandy Springs. Phidippides was my running store of choice in the ATL for all the years I was here. The Store is owned by Olympian and running legend Jeff Galloway. It was great turnout around 25 folks showed up for their weekly run and to listen to my story afterword. What was really great was seeing some of my old clones who showed up for the event. Jeff Lochmandy, Dave Smith, Jim Burt, all where there reliving old times with coachjay's workouts. Tomorrow I do another Talk at the Ansley Phidippides.

Thursday March 31st

Got to sleep in today(8am) and started the day with a yoga class-- boy does my practice need work! then it was off to columns drive for a flat aerobic spin of 30miles, Next its a visit to my Chiro/health healer--Carol Samuels Carol took care of my crazy health as I torched myself in the ATL for years. She knows my body as good as anyone and it was a joy to have her work on me again.

next it was another talk at the other phidipides this time at the ansley location. And again it was a great crowd of 20+ and well received. It feels really good to do these talks and I believe it is helping me stay focused on my goal as well as(hopefully) inspiring others as well.

Friday April 1st

Early wake up today and a 5:30a swim at Dynamo. It was long course meters so that was really nice. I seemed to have lost my mojo a bit and I believe my altitude advantage has diminished since my workouts seem harder the last couple of days, or maybe its due to the 16+ hours of training thus far in the week, hard to say. but I got in 3400m this morning with oodles of 200s.

a bit later it was on to speedwork Dave Scott repeat miles x 6 at columns and I managed to surprise myself on these-- like most of you know sometimes you start out and have doubts you can do something but once you get going and get past that phase of doubt, you sometimes surprise yourself-- 9 miles total. Later this afternoon I made the trek up to "the dude" Bruce Erskine's cabin in Blue Ridge Georgia. Bruce and I go way back to the early 90s and he is a great Triathlete(has won age group nationals) and like myself likes and does many things that most triathletes don't. His cabin is awesome and was the inspiration for me building my cabin in Dahlonega.

The dude's mountain retreat

and the back with the bublin brook

Friday night we went out on the town in Blue Ridge for some very tasty and strong St Bernaird ales at the new Blue Ridge Brewery. We met friends AJ and Cristy and had a bunch of laughes.

Saturday April 2

After a late wake up and a St Bernaird obsorbing waffle house breakfast, it was on to the training of the day. A 67mile ride from Morgantown to the gaps and back. We met our friend Jerve, who lives on the route in Suches. The Duude has not been on the bike much the last 5mo. and recently had torn his groin while skiing in Utah. I did my Dave Scott intervals early on and tried to keep up with Jerve on the many climbs and steep rollers. The ride had 6k of climbing and took nearly 4hrs. I felt pretty good considering the amount of hours I had put in this week. ave 235w for the day.

Jerve and Bruce at the top of Wolf pen gap

And the Duude at the end of a hard, hilly, windy ride

Sunday April 3rd

after a night of college basketball and fairly low key, I woke up in the morning and per Bruce's instructions headed out for a 1hr 40min trail run. This was a great trail to run or mtn bike. I got it done per the Dave Scott's efforts and was very happy to wrap up the week of training with a whopping(for me) 23 hrs of training. Now its celebration time with a night with the band Furthur at the fox theater with the dude!

The trailhead for my long run in North Georgia/TN boarder

An unbelievable show at the fox with further and the set list was a great one. Highlights for me were, time, dear prudence and Terapin. So the week wrapped up with a bang and the
next day wrapped up with a floppy flop swim and easy bodywork at the concourse and on to the airport for a miserable flight(s) home with major delays. but all and all the trip was a success and I was able to get all my work in. I hope this block of training will get me another step closer to my goal. I want to finish this diary blog by thanking, Patrick, Wendy and Ryder Sheehan for letting me stay with them for most of the week. Bruce for some great Blue ridge cabin training and times, Jon and Jo Adamson for a great night of catching up, Angelo, for a Wilier spin to columns,Kevin Welsh for partnering with me for Powerman,Dynamo and Matt Rose for some great swims as well as Westminster masters for a workout. Phidipides and Jeff Gallaway for hosting my motivational talks on weds and thursday. also Peachtree bikes, Jerve, and my wonderful family for the support they always give me with my quest. also my sponsors, The Spoke shop, Time out sports, Wilier, Hammer nutrition, Desoto, Dave Scott, Rotor components, Quark, Billings Clinic, and all of you that have sent nice notes to me along the way. It really helps get me through the next thing.



  1. loved reading about your time in ATL. It's funny-or pitiful one or the other-that now that I live on the south side of town I never get to the mountains to ride :(. definitely miss it! Hope you can get back to ATL sometime soon-would love to meet you for a ride!

  2. WOW! You came to mind today and oh how I miss those awesome training days and races!!! Great to see you're doing so well - and sorry I missed you when you were in town! All the best, Kovak