Welcome Back!

So much has happened since the last time I posted something in here. Seems like forever! Here is a quick recap of where my life has taken me over the past twenty months.

In August of 2017 I embarked on my new journey as a full time business teacher with a Preliminary Career Technical Education (CTE) credential teaching Virtual Enterprise, Business Leadership Development, and Keyboarding (Typing and Computer Programs) at East Bakersfield High School. This allows me to use my experience in business as subject matter competency to teach students about business. As is typical being a new teacher, schools seem to always try and add coaching to the list of duties. Knowing that my life would already be crazy with being in school to clear my credential in business and math as well as taking courses to clear my CTE credential as well, of course I jumped at the opportunity when they said they would like me to take over the cross country and track programs because I am crazy like that.

After an amazing first year in cross country, Virtual Enterprise, and track wherein I was lucky to have the honor of working with some amazing kids. Since I was introduced to a life in education, from starting out as a mentor, to becoming a substitute teacher, to now working full time and coaching in high school, I have felt this sense of fulfillment in my career choice that I never really felt in construction management. Luckily, I was asked to return for another year. I love what I get to do! Regardless of how much work it has been to get to this point, I can honestly say it has been worth it!

Now I am halfway through this school year. I am finishing off my credential classes, working towards clearing my CTE credential in business and construction, single subject business, a supplementary in math, and a Masters of Education in Teaching Math. Facilitating the Virtual Enterprise class and coaching are my outlets. I love helping the students and student/athletes work towards being the best they can be in the classroom and on the field. I truly believe that I am where I am supposed to be right now and I am looking forward to being in this role for years to come!

Cheers to the end of a long hibernation?

It’s Friday! I’m 12 days into getting back into shape and things are starting to feel good again! After taking about 2 years off from racing in triathlons, I am finally ready to find a race again. I mean yes there were other times in the recent past that I may have said I was ready, but now I am really ready. My workouts are getting better and I’m feeling the motivation kicking in. I’m eating better and making sure that my efforts in the workouts are at the highest level of my current ability. I know that its going to take me the rest of this Spring and through the Summer to get back to where I was a few years ago, but my determination is there! I want to get into the best shape that I have ever been before the beginning of the 2018 triathlon season. As with any long term goal, I need to set incremental goals along the way. I am looking at doing a series of sprint triathlons this Summer and get into some longer races in the Fall. Can’t deny it, I am so excited! This hibernation is finally over!

In the spirit of getting back into shape, I have found that accountability to myself helps me to stay on top of my nutrition as well as my training. My goal is to post my nutrition, supplements, and workouts everyday (both the good and the bad days – full disclosure) as long as school, work, family time, and coaching allow for it. Sound good?

The format will be the same as it has been in previous years per the following format:

(This is a part of my post from 2014 when I was doing P90X2 and enjoying my time riding for Falco Bike. See the actual post here http://wp.me/p2pRzM-Ff )

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Got in some time on the Falco V just as the sun was going down. That felt nice. Got a little dark at the end ūüôā Finished up in time to get asked out for Sushi. I Love Sushi! I didn’t eat enough at dinner though. Should have gone for some sashimi. Oh well, peanut butter and almond protein works too!

Morning Weigh-in: 175
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology with Beachbody Vanilla Whey, 2 РSlimming Formula, 2 РCordastra, and Coffee
Lunch: 2 Pieces of Chicken Quesadilla
Snack: 2 Breaded Chicken Bits
Pre-Workout: 
Energy and Endurance Formula
Workout: 
Cycling 18.6 Miles
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula
Dinner:
 1 Fresh Sushi Roll and Cucumber Salad
Workout: P90X2 Recovery + Mobility
Snack: A Handful of Almonds, 2 Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Pretzels

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My hope is that through sharing my journey that some of you may find some inspiration to do something to help you become the best version of yourself. Thank you for taking the time to read this! I look forward to reading any comments you may have and meeting any new readers as well!

As always, Tri Hard!

Skin Cooler: Its the Coolest!

I don’t know if you have ever been to Bakersfield, California but chances are if you are a fan of football, movies, petroleum, NASCAR, or music you’ve at least heard of it. Besides being the hometown to¬†Frank Gifford, Earl Warren, David Carr, Buck Owens, KORN, Kevin Harvick, and a long list of other celebrities, athletes, and entertainers, its also where I was born and continue to call home today. Bakersfield has the unique distinction of being geographically located at the southern bowled end of the San Joaquin Valley which subjects it to unfortunately poor air quality and fairly hot summers. In fact I can remember some summers where we have had 30 days in a row of temperatures over 100 degrees. Growing up in Bakersfield I have become used to working out in the heat. High School Cross Country practice usually took place after school, so running in the heat of the day was something that became normal to me. Its very possible that this shaped me into the athlete I am today.¬†For instance, I think that training in the heat (as long as it is done safely) can be highly useful. Being able to perform in extreme conditions better prepares you for performing at a higher level when the conditions aren’t as extreme.

In an attempt to minimize the affect of the elements during training I am constantly searching for ways to improve my performance and endurance. Because I am open to trying new things, I have been lucky enough to be paired up with a few companies over the years¬†to try out new products in the way of supplements, apparel, and accessories to serve this end. Of all the products that I have tested since returning to the triathlon scene, I have found a few that really work well and do what they say they are going to do. One of the products that I have come to love is Skin Cooler fabric from De Soto Sport. De Soto Sport is a company that started back in 1990 making cool products geared towards triathletes. And they are still at it today making some of the “coolest” products I use!

If you didn’t¬†know, the production of sweat is our bodies way of cooling us down. Our sweaty skin is hit by the air and produces a cooling effect as the air passes over it. However, in extreme heat, that sweat evaporates quickly and reduces the¬†duration of the cooling effect. So if there was a product that slowed the evaporation of sweat then that would help us stay cooler for a longer period of time, right? Luckily, my favorite triathlon gear company happens to have such a product in their arsenal of awesomeness.¬†As athletes we commonly see products that are moisture wicking in an attempt to keep our bodies dry. In a cold environment I totally see the practical application for these materials, but when we are trying to stay cool, keeping the moisture near the skin seems like it would be more beneficial. De Soto Sport¬†utilized this thought process in their Skin Cooler product line.

This past summer I had the opportunity to purchase some Skin Cooler products to try out. I picked up a Skin Cooler SDS Long Sleeve Shirt, a SDS Helmet Beanie, a Riviera Tri-Top, and a Skin Cooler Run Cap.

Now I have used the Skin Cooler Run Cap before and loved it, but sadly I donated my last one to an Irish Pub in Milwaukee back in 2013 during the USAT National Age Group Championship weekend. I thought it was a great running cap and loved the fact that it kept my head cool when it was hot outside. In fact, its replacement worked really well this past weekend at the Bakersfield Marathon, especially in the second half when it started to get hot!
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(Shown here wearing the Skin Cooler Run Cap and Riviera Trisuit – Sleeved 2016)

The Skin Cooler SDS Long Sleeve Shirt was definitely a favorite of mine this past summer. It not only kept me cool, it also helped to save me from getting burnt in the afternoon sun. I chose the all white version of this shirt.
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It looked great up until the point I used it with my aero bars on the bike. Unfortunately the elbow pads on the bike stained the elbows with a black smudge. If I could go back in time and order the blue and black version of this top, I probably would, but all things considered, this top definitely served its purpose this past summer.

The 2017 versions of this top are all white with different colored graphics on the front. They are also made with Skin Cooler 90 material which is a bit more durable and aerodynamic than its predecessor Skin Cooler SDS.
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A very useful design of this shirt is the use of pockets in the back to hold ice or wet sponges to help aid in cooling.

The last two skin cooler items I used this summer are the SDS Helmet Beanie and the Riviera Tri Top. (Shown being used in the following picture)
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The Skin Cooler Helmet Beanie is one of my favorite items in the Skin Cooler line. It really helps keep the head cool underneath the helmet. When your extremities (head, hands, and feet) are kept cool, it helps to keep your whole body cooler. This beanie also keeps the wind out of the ears which can be nice if you have sensitive ears. I also like it because it keeps the sun of the tops of my ears which tend to get burnt on hot and sunny days.

The Riviera Tri Top is a great option for triathletes or “cyclists looking for a sleeveless option for hot days.” It uses compression fabric and Skin Cooler panels to provide support, comfort, cooling, and slimming effect. The neck does ride high to deter scooping air when in the aero position, but you can unzip it while on the run or when its under your wetsuit if you prefer a loosened fit.

Overall I feel that De Soto Sport provides quality products that are useful to their intended customers at a fair price. I am one of those people who will wear the heck out of something if it fits and looks good. If you know someone like me who enjoys quality apparel for swimming, cycling, and running, then they would really love anything from De Soto Sport! Check out their website to find something for yourself or for that special triathlete in your life today!

www.desotosport.com

Week 2 – Starting to Feel Like Myself Again

So far this week has gone pretty good. The workouts are still tough but once I get going and warmed up they get easier. Trying to get home, get the workout in and off to swim practice has been tough logistically but I am making it work. Next week I’ll begin giving some private lessons, so I may have to start doing the T25 workout in the morning before school. Traditionally I am not a morning worker-outer so this is going to be tough for me, but the reward is I’ll be done in the morning and have more energy throughout the day. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. I never got around to taking “Before” pictures of how my body looked before starting the program, but its pretty much the same now as when I started a week ago. My starting weight was 175. That was taken in the morning on October 24th. 8 days later I weighed a few pounds more, but I am not worried. At the beginning of a workout program the norm is to gain a little bit of weight. Its usually water weight as the muscles tend to hold on to water as part of the muscle building process. This week I’ll also be adding some additional workouts to help me get ready for the Bakersfield Marathon in 11 days. Most of this will be on my spin bike but I’ll probably get out for a run or two just to test the legs out I am sure. In a effort to save my legs for the Marathon though most of my training is going to be low impact leading up to the 13th and focused on cardio vascular endurance.

Here is my Workout and Nutrition Log for the last few days:

Day 8 РMonday, October 31, 2016 РHappy Halloween
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 2 РAcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Turkey and Provalone Sandwich with Mustard on Sourdough, Corn Chips, Carrots, Granola Bar, a Halloween Cookie, and Water
Workout: Focus T25 РCardio with Beachbody Hydrate and Energize in Water
Post-Workout:¬†P90X Results & Recovery Formula¬†and ¬†3 –¬†The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Pizza, Cupcake, and 4 pcs of TWIX (Trick or Treat)

Day 9 РTuesday, November 1, 2016 РAll Saints Day
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 2 РAcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Corn Chips, Carrots, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout: Focus T25¬†–¬†Total Body Circuit
Post-Workout:¬†P90X Results & Recovery Formula¬†and 3 –¬†The Final3 Capsules
Dinner:¬†2 –¬†Ground Beef Tacos and 1 – Lettuce Wrap (Chicken)
Snack: Cupcake

Weigh-In: 179 lbs. and Progress Photos (Current Baseline Photos)
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Day 10¬†– Wednesday, November 2, 2016 – Hump Day ūüôā
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 2 РAcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: 2 РSmall Burritos, 2 РSmall Carne Asada Tacos w/ Onions and Cilantro
Workout: Focus T25¬†–¬†Total Body Circuit with Beachbody Hydrate and Energize in Water
Workout #2: Spinning for 1 Hour – 22.4 Miles
Post-Workout:¬†P90X Results & Recovery Formula¬†and 3 –¬†The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Pasta with Meat Sauce, Salad, 1 Small Piece of French Bread, and Water, Water, Water
Snack: Cupcake

Call Me Crazy

A couple days ago I set out on a path to what most sane people would describe as crazy. Heck I even think I am a bit crazy. But if I am ever going to get a marathon under my belt, the one in Bakersfield next month¬†is my best bet. I mean really, since I haven’t been able to get to a marathon in any other city, I had better take advantage of the one being brought to us here in Bakersfield. Its been in the process for a while now, but the Bakersfield Marathon is finally going to happen. It’s inaugural running is going to be on November 13, 2016; a little less than 4 weeks away.¬†So I guess its better late than never to get my conditioning up so I don’t completely die. I wouldn’t suggest that people only train for a month to complete a marathon, and I am not trying to minimize the effort that it takes to complete a goal such as a marathon. But if you know me and know a little about my recent past, then you know I have a decent athletic base on my side. My biggest issue is going to be keeping my pace slow enough so that i don’t blow-up and end up with a DNF (that’s a “Did Not Finish” for those of you who were wondering). I figure that if I can work up my conditioning to allow myself to be able to workout for 4 hours steadily, then I should be able to shuffle a marathon at a 9 minute mile pace. That should bring me across the finish line in just under 4 hours. I really just want to finish and be out there with everyone else who is supporting this local event. The running community in Bakersfield is awesome and I can’t wait to be a part of this!

So with that goal being set, this week I started the only workout I know that can get me into running shape fast. Focus T25. Over the next month I’ll be logging all of my workouts and nutrition because I know if I don’t it will be difficult to keep myself accountable.

Workout/Nutrition Summary

Day 1 –¬†Monday October, 24, 2016
Morning Weigh-in: 175
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 3 РAcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Turkey with Deli Mustard on Sourdough, Corn Chips, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout: Focus T25 РCardio and 1500 yards swimming with the swim team kids.
Post-Workout:¬†P90X Results & Recovery Formula¬†and ¬†3 –¬†The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Bean, Cheese, Rice, and Chicken Burrito, 2 Asada Tacos
Snack: Bag of Popcorn

Day 2 – Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 3 РAcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Turkey with Deli Mustard on Sourdough, Corn Chips, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout: Cycling 30 Miles (Warm-up and Main Ride¬†used AcidCheck Granules and Pink Himilayan Salt in Water),¬†Focus T25¬†–¬†Speed 1.0
Post-Workout:¬†P90X Results & Recovery Formula¬†and 3 –¬†The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: 3 Homemade Ground Beef Tacos
Snack: Granola Bar and 4 small Shortbread Cookies

Day 3 РWednesday, October 26, 2016
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 3 РAcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Corn Chips, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout: Swimming 500 Yds with the swim team kids,¬†Focus T25¬†–¬†Total Body Circuit
Post-Workout:¬†P90X Results & Recovery Formula¬†and ¬†3 –¬†The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Part of a Bean, Cheese, Rice, and Chicken Burrito, Bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almond Milk
Snack: Bag of Popcorn

The workouts have been going good. Very sore after on the second day as expected. Day 3 the soreness wasn’t as bad but a small fatigue factor played into my workout in the evening. All in all I am feeling good and looking forward to pushing through the conditioning and getting into some real distance training soon!

Triathlete in Hibernation – Use it or Lose it!

“Use it or Lose it!” is a well known adage that has been adopted by pretty much any situation where attrition leads to non-utility. I am sure you can think of a number of situations where this may be the case. A coupon that expires, muscle tone after an injury, loss of libido….well you get the picture. The basic idea is the less you use something, do something, or are reminded of something, that something tends to disappear and the less you miss it. Unfortunately in my case,¬†the same goes for racing in triathlons.

Its been a while since I have talked about my history with the triathlon, swimming, cycling, and running. ¬†When I was in my early teens, it seemed like I was racing in a triathlon every other weekend. I was pretty fast for my age. At 14 I placed 4th at the Ironkids National Championship. At 15 I ran a 15:03 5k. By the time I was 16 I had dreams and aspirations of going to the Olympics so I¬†gave up triathlons to focus on running. My last 2 years of high school went fairly well and I decided to go run for USC. 3 days before the start of¬†my Freshman year I hyper-extended my knee in practice¬†and that sidelined me for the majority of the Cross Country season. I competed at the PAC 10 Championship at the end of the season and took last place over all of those who finished that day. USC shut down their Men’s Varsity Cross Country program after that year and I think that was the nail in the coffin for me. I wasn’t mentally in it anymore. I took some time off and tried to get back into triathlons¬†again a year later when I was 19, but I had been out for too long and didn’t have the motivation to train anymore. I didn’t understand it then, but I was in the downward spiral of a deep depression. The likes of which I didn’t fully understand until 2011. It wasn’t until I decided to lose some weight and get healthy again that I realized the source of my pain and anger.¬†I lost¬†60 pounds and got back into “running” shape. I decided that it was time to try my hand at the triathlon again. It was like I had returned to a world that I had forgotten. The feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself. The camaraderie. The sportsmanship. The family of crazy people who enjoy pushing themselves beyond any normal amount¬†of physical exertion. I was back with my people and it felt good.¬†19¬†years is a long time to go without doing something that you love, but the next few years were great! I enjoyed a busy race schedule with decent outcomes. I was able to travel to Milwaukee for the Age Group National Championship in 2013 which was an awesome experience. Being around some of the best in the sport brought out the best in me and everything seemed to be falling right back into place. I had become a faster swimmer and cyclist than I had ever been but my running seemed to be my new weakness. Weird that something I had been so good at when I was younger is now my Achilles heal when it comes to competitions. Makes sense though, I didn’t and don’t spend much time on developing myself back into a runner. I think I still to this very day hold that fear of getting injured again from truly unlocking my best potential.

Now I find myself in a new predicament. The last time I competed in a triathlon was April of 2015. I didn’t stop racing because of an injury or because I was sick of the sport, financially I just couldn’t justify the cost any longer. Triathlons aren’t cheap, especially when you are looking at¬†half and full triathlon distances — these races range in cost from $300 to $2000 — and frankly I just don’t have that kind of money to spend. So instead I focused on finding more gainful employment. A year and a half later I am still struggling to find the cash flow to get back into the race. Working a few jobs to make some of my ends meet has been rough and has taken up the time I used to have for training. So¬†I have been in what I would call a hibernation phase. Sure I have been able to get out and ride here and there or swim with the kids I coach, but the goal of competing in an Ironman seems so far off now. There is so much training involved and my hat goes off to all of those people who have completed this goal. But in my case, I guess if you don’t use it, eventually you do lose it. Even though I may not be as fast as I used to be a few years ago or even close to the shape I was in, I do know that it wont take me that long to get back to where I was a few years ago. I think my major issue is that I haven’t had¬†a goal set to kick start my training regiment back into gear.

So with that being said, I am setting a goal to complete the Bakersfield Marathon next month. It’s the inaugural running of this race and I would be remise to not take advantage of such a great opportunity here in my hometown. I have just over 4 weeks of training time left to mount an attack on the completion of this, my first marathon attempt. Now I am not going into this marathon with the hopes of winning over all or even placing in my age group. My goal is to simply finish in less than 4 hours which translates to an average of a 9:09 minute mile for 26.2 miles. Now this isn’t going to be easy by any means, but I believe it is a goal that I can achieve within the next 5 weeks of training. I think my biggest issue is, after paying for the entry fee of course, is going to be with pacing at that speed and maintaining enough caloric intake to get through it. Regardless of these challenges, I am ready to set this goal into motion and use this as a stepping stone¬†towards completing my first Ironman someday in the next year. Now all I need to do is figure out which career path I want to follow (go back to construction or keep moving forward with teaching) and maximize my earning potential in that field so I no longer feel this financial pinch and get to enjoy life just a little bit more freely!

All I know is, I don’t want to lose the feeling I get when I think about racing again. So its time for me to make my way back into the groove!

Thank you for reading! I look forward to seeing you at the races!

From Trash to Treasure

My job today was to help my parents throw away some old stuff at my parents house. Little did I know that a hidden treasure had been waiting to be found. As I was picking through the items to load into the truck, I came across a drawer set that I had used in my youth. As I worked my way down through the drawers I found old bike parts and deteriorated swim caps. But then to my surprise I found a drawer with a bunch of old race bibs from when I first started doing triathlons up through my Senior year in cross country.
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As you may have guessed, I was pretty excited. they were in basically perfect condition surprisingly for have been left outdoors for who knows how long. As I looked through them so many old memories flashed back in my head. I never would have thought that I would have found something as treasured as these. It definitely brightened my day. I was like a little kid again and it helped me hurry through and get the dirty work done and over with.

I goth the truck all loaded and tarped and headed down the road, but I was starving. I needed to get something and stopped at Carl’s Jr., against my better judgement, but I was hungry and ordered a Charlbroiler Chicken Club, small fries, and a coke. I very rarely eat this stuff, but at this point it was hot and I was thirsty and it tasted good. Eating fast food isn’t the problem. Eating fast food every day is. I continued along on my trip to the dump, which was hot and dusty on this Bakersfield afternoon. Everything I had was recyclable so I made the rounds and distributed the items in their appropriate areas.

After the dump, I headed home to get my workout in, jumped in the pool to cool off, and headed to swim practice. It was pretty hot there too, but good thing I am a swim coach and can jump in to cool down every so often. Plus the kids love it when I jump in with them for a social recovery kick after a long set.

After swim I headed home to be greeted with an amazing dinner. Cajun Crab Cakes and a Parmesan Baked Artichoke. So Yummy!
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Followed up this delicious dish with a 50/50 Bar and a bottle of water. Time to do my 22 Push-ups and head to bed!

Hope you all had a great day!

Training/Nutrition Log
Morning Weigh-in:
 179
Breakfast:  3 РAcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Charbroiler Chicken Club, Small Fries, Small Coke (Treat Meal for Dump Duty)
Workout: Day 2 of Insanity Max 30: Tabata Power (Maxed Out at 10:20), used Acid Check Granules, Beachbody Performance Hydrate and Energize mixed in water.
Swim Coaching: Swam a little with the kids while coaching swim practice
Post-Workout: 3 –¬†The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery, Half a Peanut Butter Sandwich, and Chewy Granola Bar.
Dinner: 
Crab Cakes and Baked Artichokes, 50/50 Bar, and Water

Disclaimer: As a triathlete,¬†I am not always eating with the intention of weight loss but rather to maintain weight and fuel my activity.¬†If you are not as active as I am, please don’t use my nutritional intake as your model. If you would like help finding out a meal plan¬†and workouts that would be good for you, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 775-722-8184 or Facebook me at¬†www.facebook.com/fityak. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Let’ Try This Again!

Focus T25 Alpha Phase Day 01 of 70 РDecember 7, 2015

It’s December and the weather is getting colder here in Bakersfield. The cross country season is now over and its time for me to divert my focus away from the student-athletes for a bit and back on my training for the next¬†¬†few months. I learned a few things about my personal training this cross country season while running¬†with the kids – one being that I am a faster runner when I don’t just train by running alone. I’ll share my thoughts on diversification of workouts¬†in a follow up post this weekend. For now though, let me start off this triathlon training log with Day 1 of my 70 day, get back in competition shape, effort¬†ūüôā

Now that I am teaching full time, finding the time to work out has been tricky. Luckily I was in a position while coaching the cross country team to workout with them. Historically I am not a morning work-er-out-er. I like to workout mid day or in the afternoon. That is why working out with the cross country team was great for me these past few months. But now I am not coaching for a couple months until the swim season starts up so its time for me to get back to a system that has proven to be successful for me in the past РFocus T25 coupled with spinning and sporadic swims. This time however, I am going to get in some additional run training to keep my legs used to the miles.

So here it goes! Let’s try this again!

Last night I didn’t get the best sleep. Sleep is important to be able to train at your best as well as to ensure proper recovery on a daily basis. I need to make sure that I am keeping to a decent sleep schedule from now on. I am a night owl, so hopefully this wont be too much of an issue. The following is my weigh-in, nutritional intake, and exercise regiment:

Morning Weigh-in: 179
Breakfast:  2 РActivit, 2 РSlimming Formula, 2 РCordastra, and Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, and Coffee
Lunch: Ham and Turkey Sandwich
Workout:  Focus T25 Cardio
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula
Dinner:  3 Tacos and a Sprite

New Beginnings

Has it really been over six months since I have written anything?

It’s seriously crazy how fast time flies. Way too many events and happenings to catch up on but here are some of the highlights: I turned 41; I had a few triathlon races to start off the early season; My daughter turned 9; My son turned 7;¬†I was able to spend some quality¬†time with the kids during the summer; We made a few fun family trips; and I was able to take some personal trips too. In all seriousness though, the past six months have been a time for me to reflect on the recent (last 4 years) my life. There is a saying that “hindsight is 20/20” and life definitely throws us some curve balls, but I also believe that our lives, actions, reactions, feelings, and emotions shape us into the person that we are today; good or bad. And even though I have made¬†plenty of mistakes in my thoughts, actions, and words, throughout my life, today is a new day to make a difference in the lives of the people that surround me.

Everything has changed so much over the past 4 years and accepting that change has definitely led me on an interesting path. After leaving Lake Tahoe in 2011, and effectively ending my career in construction management, I began a journey towards something. I had no idea as to what or to where this new path would lead me, all I knew was that I wanted to be a changed person when I got there. As I began this change, I started working with friends, family, and customers using health and fitness products that are proven and practical. They helped me lose a bunch of weight and get me to where I needed to be to feel like I could run, bike, and swim again РSomething that I have wanted to do for a while Рbut never had the courage to really get after until I started to lose the weight that had been anchoring me to a sedentary lifestyle. And so with the successful transformation from overweight to athletic, I began to enjoy a love affair from my youth, and the sport of triathlons quickly blossomed again into my passion. Over the last 3 years I was able to compete and do well in a sport that had one time meant so much to me and continues to hold a special place in my heart. Through all of this, my parents have been very supportive of my personal progress. They have helped me to be able to spend time with my kids and they are there to help when life prevents me from being present. I am thankful that I have been able to be here in Bakersfield to help my parents with anything they need too.

When I left Tahoe to be here I left the construction life. Everything that I had known for 15 years was just out of reach. I left a project before it was completed, and I had only done this one time before, again for the love of family, last time for my grandparents, and this time for my kids, however something happened this time. When I left I knew that I didn’t want to be involved in the construction industry anymore. Luckily I found something that worked for me and I have been working with people on¬†their health and fitness ever since. I got certified in this workout program and that workout program, blogged about health and fitness and racing, and got certified as a Personal Trainer in an attempt to reach and help as many people¬†as I could in an effort to help them feel better; similar to how I felt after my transformation. Even though I had good initial success in building a business, the realization for me was, I didn’t transform until I was ready to do it. My “Why” had to be louder than my “Not now”. And nobody was going to get me going until I realized that for myself. No matter what I do, unless it is the right time for someone to commit, I am never going to be able to help someone. Seriously, it didn’t take a coach to tell me that I needed to lose weight; I knew that. It didn’t take a coach to tell me that my energy level was on empty and that I needed to exercise to bring it back up; I knew that. It didn’t take a coach to tell me I was eating and drinking crap; I knew that. It took a divorce and the loss of time with my kids every night to understand that I had been¬†checking out on life and merely punching the clock for far too long. Once I realized that something had to change and it started with taking care of myself, it didn’t take a coach to check in with me every day to make sure I was pressing play and doing my workout; I wanted to. It didn’t take a coach to help me make better choices for my nutrition; I wanted to. It didn’t take a coach to tell me that I was ready to get back into running, biking, and swimming; I wanted to. What it did take however was a great support group of friends and family and I am very thankful to everyone for being there during my time of change. Change is good! But little did I know that over the last 3 years I have been working towards another change, something much greater than my own transformation.

My girlfriend, Annaliesa Lovan, is the Activities Director at Bakersfield High School. She is responsible for coordinating, advising on, and planning all of the events at her school. Being able to help her at the school events opened my eyes to how amazing the youth of today can be. Seeing how the kids light up when they are around her; how excited they are in anticipation of the events she plans, and helping to make events memorable and fun for these pretty incredible kids at BHS, has all been quite emotionally rewarding. It has been so rewarding in fact, that after some serious discussions I began to look into a career in education. I knew that I was going to have to go back to school and it may take a little time to find a position, but I seriously began preparing myself to pursue this path. One way or another, I was going to become a teacher. And no sooner than me making this decision did I find out about an option that would fast track me into this second chance at fulfilling this new calling. After a couple interviews, I was offered a position as an instructor at my high school alma mater and I said yes!

I am pleased to now introduce myself to you as the new Statistics Instructor, Publications Journalism (Yearbook) Instructor/Advisor, Technology Specialist, Assistant Cross Country Coach this Fall, and Assistant Swim Coach in the Spring at Garces Memorial High School. I am one month in and I love being a Teacher/Coach!!!!

De Soto Sport Liftfoil – Product Review

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Back in April of¬†2013 I ordered the De Soto Sport Liftfoil Speedsuit to be used in all of the races I had scheduled for that season. It was my first full year back racing triathlons after a 20 year hiatus and man oh man had the technology changed. Not only was my Kestrel 2000 (circa 1989) with Dura-Ace 7 Speed out of date, but I didn’t see too many “Speedo’s” out on the courses either. And the one’s I did see, I wish I could have unseen ūüôā But alas, seasons change and so shall trends. Thankfully for me, and countless other triathletes, swimmers, cyclists, and runners, De Soto Sport had been connecting advances in technology with style and comfort to develop the best gear available on the market for the previous 23¬†years! (Happy 25th Anniversary De Soto Sport! Keep up the impeccable work!)

Upon receiving the Liftfoil I was so excited, I put it on and went for a ride. The compression material was awesome. It fit like a glove but still allowed for unrestricted movement, and the 5mm Float Pad (Integral Non-Absorbent Cycling Chamois – see picture below, new 7mm Float Pad shown) was super comfortable.
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My first big race where I used the Liftfoil¬†was the Wildflower Triathlon – Olympic Distance. This was a race that I had not completed¬†since 1988 (as a 14 year old). It was a windy day, but I finished the race with the help of my new De Soto Sport Gear. I thought the pictures that were taken at the race were decent so I sent them¬†to De Soto Sport. They must have like them too since they later used them online to promote this trisuit. I didn’t even know about it until one of my friends sent me a link, and there I was wearing the Speedsuit, Compression Leg Sleeves, Skin Cooler Run Cap, and Race Belt!
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Such a cool gesture on their part! I was and still am surprised that those pictures are up today at¬†https://www.desotosport.com/collections/forza/products/riviera-mens-liftfoil-w-7mm-ceramico-pad. Thank you De Soto Sport for recognizing some of the age-groupers¬†in the sport. Your products help us all to be the best the we can be while we train and on race day. I love wearing your gear and look forward to upgrading the arsenal for this year’s race schedule!

Infact I like wearing the Liftfoil so much that it is¬†my primary outfit for training as well as racing and has remained so for the last 2 years. After wearing this trisuit well over 200 times I can report that it has held together beautifully. The flatlock-stitching has kept the panels together and the float pad in place with only minor thread breakage. The float pad has also remained comfortable and has not broken down due to the heavy use it has received. It has never become waterlogged and has kept me virtually rash free as it’s design intended. I look forward to using the remaining life out of this trisuit and upgrading to the new model in the next few months. Maybe before the next Wildflower as I attempt the Long Course this time? Who knows?

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Here is the info from De Soto Sport on the 2015 Model:
The 2015 Liftfoil has the¬†Patent Pending Integrated 7mm Ceramico‚ĄĘ Pad.
USAT approved, WTC Legal and now with coldblack¬ģ

WHY BUY THIS PRODUCT?

This suit will help you swim faster in triathlons that do not permit wetsuits. Unlike similar “swimskins” that require you to remove them after the swim portion, the Liftfoil, with its Floatpad‚ĄĘ, is designed so that you can swim, then bike, then run, all in complete comfort and without having to change. This pad floats and stretches which means it can be used as a race piece in a triathlon. On the bike, the pad stretches with the short and follows your skin as it moves with every pedal stroke, eliminating the friction that can cause irritation or rashes. It has no pockets and is ideal for shorter triathlons where you do not need pockets, and where you ultimate goal is to finish faster without ever changing. It also works well for longer triathlons that do not permit the use of wetsuits. In this case, we suggest the use of a fuelbelt, or changing from swim to bike to run given that the time required to change is minimal compared to the rest of the race.

This speedsuit has no rubberized material, no polyurethane, and no neoprene. It abides to WTC’s recent ruling on swimskins, speedskins, swim apparel…whatever WTC wants to call it.

The Liftfoil has no pockets and no lining. It is designed to help you swim faster during non-wetsuit swims. Designed with a front zipper (16-inch YKK¬ģ zipper) which allows you to ventilate by unzipping during the run. Our front-zipper design for men swims better and faster than rear zipper suits. We are the only company that has figured out how to do this so we are the only company with a front-zipper Speedsuit. Hydrolinear‚ĄĘ seamlines hug your body while allowing for maximum reach and glide in your stroke, with no friction against your skin.

Our tests have shown varied improvements of swim times of about 2-4 seconds per 100 meters, depending on the individual, over a conventional swimsuit. This translates to 1’00” for 1500 meters and 2’40” for a swim of 4000 meters. Of course, as with all our products, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Test it for yourself. If you do not find it performs to your expectations, you may return it for a complete refund.

To summarize:

  • 1. Swim faster in it and use it either as a speedsuit or a trisuit in triathlons.
  • 2. Swim, bike and run it it.
  • 3. Made for races that do not allow wetsuits.
  • 4. No rubberized material, no polyurethane, no neoprene.
  • 5. Now offered with coldblack¬ģ cooling and UV protection technology!
  • 6. 100% satisfaction guarantee!
  • 7. Approved for all USAT sanctioned races, and WTC legal for all Ironman and 70.3 races.

This garment is not designed for repeated use as a swimsuit in a chlorinated pool.

coldblack¬ģ: Sun Reflector ‚Äď UV Protector

Dark colors heat up stronger when exposed to direct sunlight compared to light colors. This no longer needs to happen! Now there is coldblack¬ģ, a special finishing technology for textiles which reduces heat build-up and provides reliable protection from UV rays.

coldblack¬ģ technology offers two innovative benefits:

1. Effective heat management

Light colored textiles reflect both visible and invisible rays of sunlight, meaning both heat and light. Dark colored textiles absorb both types of rays and therefore absorb heat. coldblack¬ģ reduces this absorption of heat rays, particularly in the case of darker colors, and in all types of textiles. The result is tangibly better heat management. Because textiles finished with coldblack¬ģ heat up less in all colors compared with material without a coldblack¬ģ finish.

2. Reliable protection from UV rays

The coldblack¬ģ technology guarantees a minimum UPF 30 protection (blocks 70% of UV rays) when applied to any textile in any color without affecting the look or feel of the product. As a result, textiles with coldblack¬ģ can make an effective contribution to protecting against harmful UV rays.

Riviera Ceramico‚ĄĘ Pad Dimensions:

     Max Thickness: 7 mm (0.275 in)

     Min Thickness: 1.25 mm (0.05 in)

     Total Length: 28.5cm (11.25 in)

     Front Max Width: 11.5cm (4.5 in)

     Waist Width Рmost narrow point: 8.5cm (3.5 in)

     Back Max Width: 16.5cm (6.5 in)

Inseam lengths:

¬†¬†¬†¬† Small: 10″ (25.5cm)

¬†¬†¬†¬† Medium: 10.5″ (26.75cm)

¬†¬†¬†¬† Large: 11″ (28cm)

¬†¬†¬†¬† XLarge: 11.5″ (29.25cm)

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