Monday, March 26, 2007

Tri Scottsdale, a non-profit organization dedidated to promoting health and wellness through the growth of the sport of Triathlon in Scottsdale and the surrounding communities, has generously sponsored Amanda and me for the upcoming races at Oceanside and Tempe.
Please see their newly launched website:

This is an incredible group of people who, in addition to sponsoring athletes, and promoting the sport of triathlon, are involved in the production of The Tri for the Cure:
In addition to this great event in May, Tri Scottsdale is promoting another event Thursday prior to next month's 2007 Ford Ironman Arizona. If you find yourself in the Scottsdale area on April 12th, please stop by our seminar:
Tri-Scottsdale , the RedRock Co., and Max Muscle McCormick Ranch invite you to join us for a Free clinic and question and answer session with Defending Ironman Arizona Champion Michael Lovato and his Wife, Professional Triathlete and former Soma Triathlon Champion, Amanda Lovato.

Topics will include but not be limited to:
· Nutrition - day to day and pre and post race day secrets
· How to do well on the IMAZ course
· Thriving not just Survivng the1/2 Ironman and Full Ironman Distance.
The Lovatos will also entertain questions and answers on any triathlon related racing topic.

Date: Thursday April 12, 2007
Time: 6:30 - 7:30pm
Location: Max Muscle McCormick Ranch 7353 North Via Paseo Del Sure, Suite 430 Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Please R.S.V.P. to

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I love long runs. When the fitness begins to come around, and the tolerance for the longer miles starts to add up, I love running long. I have a few great loops here in Boulder, and I'll generally alternate them in an Ironman build. This year I did a long run down in Austin, and one in Tempe. So this really only left me with three up here on my home courses. Well, the first one sure was a memorable one...

Two weeks ago, late in the afternoon, I was finally getting myself together for a 20+ mile run. My sister-in-law, Diana, was in town for the weekend. And Jarrod, my brother-in-law had also come up with his girl, Carrie. We were enjoying family time all weekend, so the normal start times were pushed back a tad. (This is my excuse for starting a long run at about 1:00pm on a Saturday afternoon!)

Well, the run I had chosen was a loop from the house. It involves a few challenging, but short, climbs, a lot of rollers, and plenty of false flats (and some flats). It's pretty much got it all: dirt, trails, concrete, ashpalt. The nice thing is that it starts and finishes at my house.

The nice thing about this run, my first one back at altitude, was that I had some company. Diana decided she would accompany me on Amanda's cross bike. She's a great athelte, but it's been a few days (weeks, months) since her days of regular bike riding. I assured her we'd only be gonig about nine to ten miles per hour, and the terrain was moderate.

This assurance was only partly true.

About five miles into the ride, we took a turn to the north on Lefthand Trail. This one winds up north from the Rez area and connects with some great dirt roads. On a normal day, the path is a fairly mild one, and a cross bike is well suited for the trip. That particular day was, evidently, a bit too soon after Boulder's last snow fall.

For about three miles, we were faced with a nasty combination of soft dirt, sticky-thick clay-mud, snow, deep snow, crusty snow, and other various debris and obstacles. Let me just say that Diana is one hell of a good sport; and one heck of a tough gal!

Considering this was her first ride in several months, and she was only up from sea level for about 2.3 days, she hung in there very well. A highlight (in between segments of serious huffing and puffing) was when she took a break from following the actual trail to forge her own route. Rather than follow the more dangerous switchbacks (covered with snow drifts), she bravely cut her own trail straight down the slope, over cactus and weed, to reach the bottom ahead of me. I looked over, and truly wished I had a camera to capture her masterfully throwing her weight about ten inches behind the saddle to keep from nose-diving into a yucca plant. Ah, that photo would have been priceless.

After an eternal three miles, we finally made it back to the more manageable terrain I had promised her. We both picked it back up, while easing up the effort!

The remainder of the long run was quite enjoyable. Diana managed to drop her heart rate back into the safe zone, while I pushed it a bit harder (in great part due to Diana's spirited cheers and coaxing).

A second highlight was when we were making our way back to the 'hood, on Jay Road. In the midst of Diana's hooting and hollering, we heard a car horn honking. To our surprise, Amanda was making her way back to the office, after showing several houses to some clients. As all occupants of the vehicle craned to necks to get a look, Amanda grinned ear-to-ear as she realized they were overtaking her sister and husband!

To make up for my lack of photographic evidence of the SERIOUS mud and grime, I will include a pre-ride/run photo; one which clearly shows off our knack for workout style.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I'm trying to go in order, that way I feel like I did this the proper way. I realize this was over three weeks ago, but I wanted to share these fun photos I took while I was down in Austin. One day, while doing one of my favorite rides, I spotted a Texas flag blowing in the breeze. I thought it would make a good photo, so I jumped off my bike, and snapped a shot or two. This shows you two things: 1) It was moderately windy that day, so the trip from Austin down to Wimberley was a bit slower than normal and 2) I continue to take photos that I think would impress my High School Photography teacher, Mr. Pinto; even if the shots really aren't that impressive whatsoever. (I didn't impress him then; I don't impress him now!)

I wish I had the company of my riding bud and good friend, Todd; however, he wouldn't skip work with me that day, so I did the ride solo. The ride leaves Austin to the west, takes up Hamilton Pool road to Ranch Road 12. It heads south from there to Dripping Springs, and continues on to Wimberley. From there 12 takes a bend to the East, and you arrive in San Marcos. At that point, the 100-mile loop goes left, and back to Austin. Since this was my last ride in my 500-mile week, I opted to add on by doing an out-and-back toward New Braunfels. The fond memories of days gone by started to flood me at every turn (boiling water bottles; 110 degrees; my first taste of Coke and Snickers, to prevent a bonk). I love the riding in Boulder, but the early years in Texas sure were the formative ones!

Overall the training camp was a success. I enjoyed some lovely sunshine days; some great rides; some awesome food, and some awesome company; and I gave myself a nice mental boost for Ironman next month!

Ok, I'm realizing that I so far behind that I might not catch up. I'm a bit bummed I didn't make time to post this stuff sooner, but I'm living by the better-late-than-never motto!

I mentioned that I went to Austin for a bit of training. During my preparation for Arizona last year, I had a key block down there, and I wanted to duplicate it somewhat. I have learned over the years that my body never really requires the same training for each Ironman, nor does it respond the same to each bit of training in the same way. This being said, I thought the timing was just right, and the block was fun last year, so it would be fun again.

I showed up on a Thursday night, and the first thing I did was grab a delicious meal over at Magnolia Cafe. Those in the know understand why I so sorely I miss this restaurant.

The very next morning (Feb 16th) I went down to Jack and Adam's for a bike fit with my good friend and fit wizzard, Zane Castro. I've known Zane for a long time, and I continue to be impressed by how much triathlon and bike fit knowledge he crams into his Little Mexican Brain! (We always called him the Little Mexican!)

I'm posting a few photos from the fit I did with Zane. All in all, it was a great experience for me. I had not been on the Barolo yet this year; in fact, I had not ridden the race steed since Hawaii. I was anxious to check out my position, and dial myself in at a bit steeper, more forward set-up. My focus is IM Arizona, and this is a pretty darn flat race. I really want to maximize my power out there, so the goal that Zane and I set was to raise my saddle up, while brining be a bit more forward over the bottom brackete.

We did just that, and along the way we did some tweaking to the position of my cleats. I was able to find a bit more power with these adjustments to the cleat, and in doing so also made more efficient use of my pedal stroke.

If you're ever in the Austin area, I urge you all to check out Jack and Adam's incredible tri shop: They have EVERYTHING you need for our fun sport. And I mean everything! I also encourage you to enlist the help of the guy I sometimes call Dr Castro. Chances are good he'll get your bike fit where it needs to be.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Oh boy, it's been nearly three weeks since the last update. I'm slacking. However, this means that I'm not slacking in other areas of my life, therefore, I'm busy. That means I've got lots to say. Please tune in soon for updates on... my bike fit at Jack and Adam's; my training trip in Austin; my fun time at the Multisports camp in Tempe; and my super-duper training partner here in Boulder, Diana Gillam. Oh, and there will definitely be photos.