Monday, September 21, 2009

Malibu Triathlon & Team Abu Dhabi

I've got 2 more weeks left here, it's kinda crazy. Then on to my new life in Colorado. I've got mixed feelings of course, but am excited for change. I've been doing some training lately with Faris Al Sultan and Swen Sundberg, both German Ironman athletes who I met at the pool. They're here for 3 weeks until Kona for the Ironman on Oct. 10. Faris won it in 2005, and is a powerhouse especially on the bike. On Friday we met up at 8:30 am, where I got a lesson on how to strap road flats to the aero bars (see pic), something I hadn't seen before, and rode 2 hours and ended up at the UCSB track for a track workout (after stopping for Coke and Twix of course.. crazy Ironmen, what's the deal with Coke in training, Terenzo drinks it too) with the main sets 5x200m w/200 float, followed by 5x1200m w/400 jog. It was a good workout, and while talking with them I realized I haven't been on the track enough this season, especially as an Olympic distance athlete. We rode another hour back to town, and later ended the day with a swim at the awesome Los Banos 50m pool at night, a pool I'm going to miss a lot.

Yesterday we all did the local group ride, along with Andrea and Werner. Andrea is also on their team (team Abu Dhabi - which is sponsored by the tourism district there, in the United Arab Emirates) and Werner is an ex-pro who's their team manager. It was one of the fastest rides out to the top of Hwy 150, I think because the local racers wanted to TRY to give it to the triathletes. We were flyin' on the way out with about 50 people. Aaron Olson, a local pro who used to race for T-Mobile and Bissell, and Kim Anderson, another local pro on Columbia-HTC who won the women's version of the Tour de France was there, along with Cody who is rides for the Bissell pro team. Most of the group turned back at the top of the hill, where about 12 of us did the whole 70 mile loop with Faris, Cody, and Aaron pulling for most of it. I took a few pulls for a few minutes but knew my legs were feeling the track work from Friday, so I stuck in 2nd or 3rd position staring at Faris' butt for most of it, shaking my head in amazement at their strength!
We all went out for steaks last night with Swen, Werner, and Faris treated, but said when I win the Ironman and get the paycheck he expects me to treat. He's a super nice guy and a lot of fun.
That's it for the update, I might race the OC Tri next weekend, haven't decided yet. Then it's the LA Tri on Oct 4, a move to CO on Oct. 5 or 6, then another race in Dallas to end the season Oct. 11.
pic: always-smiling Faris & a great shot of my right shoulder, Werner had some camera issues :)

I camped out in Malibu in tents with friends, always exciting with no sleep, and raced the Malibu Olympic tri last weekend; I took 2nd in the amateur field, which I'm pretty pleased about since it was a big race of about 1000 and my time was faster than a few pros. My bike is really coming along, as I've just hit about the 1 year mark of real cycling training. Finally I am seeing the rewards of the training as now I am much more confident in riding harder. 8 months ago my cycling was weaker than my swim. I had the fastest run split and 3rd fastest bike. I need to get my swim around this next off-season, as I can get stronger and need to improve the swim to come out of the water with the lead pack. Can't wait to get with the Riptide team in a month or so. They swim a ton from Nov.- Feb., exactly what I need, with a few double swim days every week.

Until next time.. Ryan
Santa Barbara Group Ride videos: some Saturdays we get up to 80 people, about 10-15 do the full loop

Friday, September 4, 2009

Colorado - bound

Well, I'm moving to Colorado in a month. I think it's time. I was accepted to be part of Riptide Multisports ( elite tri team for next season; composed currently of 1 amateur and about 8 pro guys, so it will be awesome being part of a group, which should help me continue to progress as I aim to earn my pro card by the end of next season, as well as give me a little social balance with training. Finding a part time job will be the not as exciting part of the move, but I'll be living with my sister for a little while to save $. It's a great opportunity, and I look forward to the change. Last week I got offered another job here as well as a good local sponsorship, but unfortunately will not be able to take advantage of them. I know there are good things in store in Colorado..I'm headed back "home" for a while. I know I will miss living in paradise though. That's inevitable.