Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reporting From the Desert

It's been a fun few days in St. George, and I thought I'd give a brief recap. I hit the road early Thursday morning, and after a 4 hour drive I hopped out and immediately rode the Ironman 70.3 St. George bike course. It was a beautiful day, warm but not hot, and not too windy. I would welcome such conditions on race day! I didn't go "all out," but wanted to put in a hard effort. This course has a lot of hills, culminating with the long climb through Snow Canyon. The nice thing is, what goes up must go down, so in most cases you're able to get some relief after climbing with a nice downhill section.

tough love from Snow Canyon

The ride took me right around 3 hours, and I really enjoyed it. Afterwards I came back to Sand Hollow reservoir (where the swim takes place) with my family to hang out on the beach for a few hours. The water was frigid... there were a few crazies water skiing and wakeboarding, but I had no interest in joining them. 

Yesterday morning I got a nice workout in at the local pool. From the several Ironman backpacks and other apparel on the pool deck, it was clear that other triathletes were in my midst. It had been a while since I'd swum a longer distance straight, so after a good warm-up I went 2 x 800, both at 14 minutes give or take a few seconds. I didn't feel great, but at least I could see where I was going. Afterwards we spent much of the day at Zions National Park, where I spent a fair amount of time searching for rocks for my kids to throw in the river. Their thirst for new rocks was insatiable, but it was a good time.

This morning I started the day with a shorter ride on part of the bike course, including the climb up Snow Canyon. I forgot that at the base of the canyon there are some small speed bumps... I took my eye off the road for just an instant, hit one of the bumps and was ejected forward. My left hand came off the handlebars, and my right shoe clipped out of the pedal. I thought for sure I was gonna eat the road, but somehow I managed to stay upright. Close one. The rest of the ride was less eventful, followed by running the course with my wife. We didn't go "hard," but running those hills at any speed is not an easy task.  

Some kids proudly running a lemonade stand on the corner provided some much needed post-brick recovery... an iced sugar cookie and lemonade never tasted so good.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stone Cut From the Mountain

I'm not quite sure how to say this with any grace or dignity, so I'm just going to say it.

I have buns of steel.

I'm not saying this to "brag," or to infer that this is good or bad... it's simply a fact. I think I was just born with this characteristic, with an assist from lots of activity over the years. At times my glutes have been a major asset to me. In college, word got around and they became a bit of a party trick. Girls would literally line up on occasion to give them a feel. I didn't mind this activity. At other times they've been a major liability. Yesterday going through security at the Charlotte airport was one such example. I stood in the high-tech security thing (the highly controversial one in which they essentially see you in your birthday suit) and assumed the position. 

As I walked out, the following conversation took place:

Security Guy: "Sir, do you have something in your back pocket?"

Me: "Oh yeah, my wallet" (as I take it out)

SG: "Sir, I need to pat down your buttocks"

Me: "Uh, ok" (I instinctively flex as this dude starts groping me)

SG: "Sir, do you have anything else in your pockets?"

Me: "No sir"

SG: "Sir are you concealing something?"

Me "No sir"

To make a long story short, I eventually showed them I didn't have anything else in my pockets. They did some test on my hands to check for traces of explosives. After passing that, I was on my way. Crazy times.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Good Charlotte

One of my favorite things about traveling is the adventure that comes from training in a new place. I don’t travel incredibly often, but when I do I like to explore. Over New Years I wrote about some epic runs in Las Vegas and San Diego, as well as a valuable lesson learned. Last summer I was in Detroit for a few days for my day job, and had some memorable experiences as well. I ran from my hotel to the inner-city Detroit YMCA, where I got a nice swim in and didn’t get mugged a single time. Not once!! Actually, I thought Detroit was cool (although I’d steer clear of the Robinwood St. area). I also had some nice runs along the riverfront, where you can look across the water and see Windsor, Ontario. I kept thinking how cool it would be to have a triathlon in which you swim across the border, bike in Canada, and run back across a bridge to a US finish. Sure, it would be a logistical nightmare (passport checks at the aid station?) but it would be cool.

a short swim between the US and Canada

 Anyways, I arrived in Charlotte, NC late Sunday night, and it’s been fun to scope out a new place. I did some research ahead of time and learned about a trail system called the Little Sugar Creek Greenway that was updated last year. If you ever find yourself in Charlotte, this is a must! I set out to discover it after work yesterday, picking up the trail on its beautiful downtown, “urban section,” before winding through some parks and local neighborhoods. I went 8 or so, and it felt great.

Walking back to my hotel post-run, I made another nice discovery… the “Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center” only two blocks away. Score! I woke up early this morning to hop in the gleaming, 50 meter pool. Unfortunately this experience wasn’t as great as yesterday’s. For some reason I packed my old goggles… I think it was an effort to not scratch up my new ones or something, but in hindsight it was a mistake.

I had a college roommate who came home one night distraught about what he described as a bad “kissing performance” with some girl he liked. He claimed that he was in an awkward position on the couch or something, and “couldn’t get a good seal.” “I’m a champion kisser, but now she’s gonna think I’m terrible,” he went on to say. “I couldn’t get a good seal!” So was the case with my goggles this morning. I couldn’t get a good seal, and they leaked like the Titanic. I was reduced to swimming with my right eye closed half the time, and stopped at each wall to drain them. Following an abbreviated workout, I tossed them in the garbage on my way out. Oh well, at least I got a little something in, and it definitely helped wake me up.

pour some sugar on me

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bring it on, Wind!

Earlier this week I saw the following message from the Ironman 70.3 SG race directors on Facebook: "Being the US Pro Championships we have spotlighted one of the most amazing Pro fields ever, but we want to let you know how excited we are to host all the amazing age groupers toeing the line on May 4th. Reply in 3-5 words saying why YOU are doing St. George!" 

I don't usually respond to stuff like that, but for some reason this time I typed out the first thing that popped into my head...  "Bring it on, wind!"  

This video gives a recap of last year's race, the last year for the full Ironman distance. The few seconds from 1:54-2:01 sum it up pretty well.

Hard to believe that it's almost here again, albeit a 70.3. I'll be in Charlotte for work tomorrow through Wed, but then excited to spend a few days training in St. George. I'm fully expecting tough conditions again on race day, but hope the RD doesn't overcompensate by canceling the swim if there's chop. Windy or not, here I come.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Madness: The Sequel

Posting the Ironman Challenge a few days ago got me thinking about “March Madness” as it pertains to the triathlon season. There’s definitely a buzz in the air this time of year. The temperatures (at least in my neck of the woods) are finally above freezing on a consistent basis, and the days are getting longer. At least locally there’s also the first race of the season, a sprint aptly named the “Icebreaker.” I’m not doing that one, but it definitely makes the season feel more real knowing that a race is less than two weeks away. Hopefully they have good conditions… it could be anywhere from the mid 60’s (16 C), to a late season snow storm. The first feeling of spring in the air has me excited for my own schedule. Like me, a lot of people have either locked down their races and have registered by now or have their schedule at least planned out in their head. In fact, here’s my response when someone tells me that they still have “no idea” what races they’re doing this year.

First up on my schedule is Ironman St. George 70.3 on May 4th, which is creeping up, now just over six weeks away. I’m heading down next week for a few days to see my in-laws and get some training in on the course. The plan is to run the course with my wife on Thursday, create some type of swim challenge for Friday, and ride the bike course on Saturday. If any local readers are also heading down next week let me know!

Here’s how the rest of my race schedule is looking. I've registered for some... for others I haven't yet put my money where my mouth is but I'm planning on them. I usually try for around ten total races in a year, between tris, road races, etc. Two of this year’s races are free, thanks to volunteering at a race last year (Daybreak) and placing top 3 in my age group at another (SOJO). There was definitely an element of luck with that one... I think I finished 25th overall, but somehow managed second in my AG. 

1) IMSG 70.3 – May 4
2) Daybreak (Olympic) Salt Lake area– June 8
3) Provo (Sprint?) – June 22
4) Park City Trail Run (10k) – July 6
5) Echo (Olympic) Park City area – July 13
6) Spudman (Olympic) Burley, ID – July 27
7a) Milwaukee USAT Champs (Olympic) – Aug 10 (at this point a maybe depending on cost, qualification, and a potential family conflict)
7b) Jordanelle (Olympic) Park City area – Aug 17 (if don’t do Milwaukee)
8) Ogden Valley (Sprint) – Sep 14
9) Salt to Saint bike relay – Sep 21
10) SOJO Half Marathon Salt Lake area – Oct 19

It’s crazy that I really only have 4-5 weeks or so before starting my taper for St. George.  I’ve put in some good training, and I’m ready for the distance, but I definitely don’t feel ready to race the distance at this point… hopefully I’ll be inspired over the next few weeks of NCAA March Madness for some madness of my own. Time to get after it!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Selection Sunday (Ironman Style!)

In honor of today being "Selection Sunday" for the NCAA college basketball tournament, I'm proud to announce the inaugural Triple Threat Triathlon Ironman Challenge! You can download and print your Ironman bracket from the homepage of 

Instructions: The concept is simple: given the option of two races, which would you choose? Assume you just won the lottery and money is no object. Also assume zero travel time... a snap of the fingers and you're checking in at the race site.

Methodology: I began by taking the entire list of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races in the world (80+) as listed on trimapper.comI know there are lots of great non-Ironman brand races out there, but for simplification I went with Ironman only. Just like the NCAA tournament, not every team made it in... I had to make some painful cuts, whittling the field down to 64. I also excluded the two races that require qualification (Ironman World Champs in Kona and 70.3 Champs in Vegas) in order to level the playing field. Otherwise almost everyone would take Kona to "win it all."

For the bracket, I arranged the races in alphabetical order according to the host city, which I got from the trimapper list. This made it a little more interesting than seeding, creating some tough match-ups in the early rounds rather than the higher seed automatically moving on.

For my own bracket, I tried to pick the race I'd prefer doing based mainly on my gut instinct. The more "exotic" locations didn't always advance, and on the flip side some races in more "boring" locations did due to sentimental reasons. For example, I grew up in Indiana, so Muncie 70.3 made the field of 64, even though it's hardly a tourist hot spot. Similar stories with Steelhead (Michigan) and Boise (Idaho), being races I've done in the past and have good memories from. I obviously don't have tons of insight into every race... some that didn't even make the field of 64 may be among the best. Pardon my ignorance if your favorite race didn't make it in.

In summary, there are no right or wrong answers... I enjoyed filling out the bracket and hope you will too!

Without further ado, here's my bracket:

Once again, you can download and print your own Ironman bracket from 
You might have to do a little research to figure out what countries some of the races are in. The above mentioned or Ironman's site are good references if you need them.
I'm interested to hear your feedback... with the bracket laid out how it is, what was the toughest match-up for you? Who made your Final 4, and who do you have winning it all?

Friday, March 15, 2013


Wow. The phrase that I used in an earlier post, “be careful what you wish for,” held true again this past week. Last Saturday I was so excited to ride outside. Even though the forecast was for chilly temps and wind, I was set on breaking out of the pain cave no matter what. I changed out my trainer tire for a road tire, attached my trusty Speedfil, put on some warm weather gear, got my nutrition ready, etc… man! I forgot how long it takes to actually get out the door. Where I live, riding isn’t great going east or west… too much traffic and stoplights. The best options are heading south. My plan was to ride 25 miles one way out and back along a nice new road that was finished a few months ago. It’s smooth, has a dedicated bike lane, and some challenging hills. The wind was blowing from the north, so by heading south I immediately had a tailwind. Initially I felt great... I was plenty warm and loving it. I knew I had the wind at my back, but had no idea how strong it was. It’s strange that you seldom realize the extent of a tailwind helping you. It gets quiet, and you feel like you’re moving pretty well, but you don’t fully appreciate the push you’re getting. My objective for this ride was just to get a nice, long outdoor ride in. I had no speed goals, and wasn’t pushing hard at all. I made it to my turnaround point in just over an hour. “Man that went quick,” I thought. I turned around, headed north, and immediately realized I was in for an MMA-style cage match with the wind. 

it's a bad sign when these guys get spinning

I got as aero as I could and tried to think of it as a good mental challenge… similar to how it might be again at St. George, I thought, and I focused on not letting myself get frustrated. I made it a mile or so. An onslaught of tiny pebbles bouncing off my face triggered my first complaint, as I spit out some dirt and muttered “are you kidding me??” Last year around this time I rode 80 miles in similar conditions, but that was with a friend who I drafted behind half the time. On this day I was alone and completely exposed to the elements. I hit the first major hill and could barely turn the pedals over... it took all my strength just to stay upright. I finally crested the hill, which would normally send me flying 30-40 mph down the other side. Instead, I topped out at 14 mph! My goal of staying positive deteriorated more and more with time, and I periodically yelled my disapproval into the raucous wind. I couldn’t wait to be done. My goal became simply to keep moving, but as I became more and more exhausted I welcomed red stoplights with open arms. Eventually I had to stop to relieve myself, pulling off the side of the road and making sure to aim south… let’s just say I got incredible distance. What took me around 1:10 out took me ~2:20 back. I finally pulled into my driveway, happy to be home. While I hate riding in conditions like that, hopefully that experience will make me stronger for the next time... both in body and in mind!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's a Balancing Act

Similar to most triathletes, my schedule is tight. Like, Spandex tight. It’s a balancing act to juggle work, family, training, this blog, and other commitments. My day job could be a lot worse, but as a traditional “9 to 5,” it’s not extremely flexible. In addition, I try to do a lot of my training while my two kids are asleep, which requires some creativity. My wife (a triathlete as well) has a strong aversion to working out in the evening, so I concede the early morning time slot to her the majority of the time. Our 5-year old is up earlier than most farmers, so I often take the morning shift on “Sean duty.”

Lots of people train more than me, but I do the best I can with the time I have. My focus is on consistency as opposed to crazy hours. Here’s how I attempt to pull it off: 

Mon & Fri AM: alarm off at 5:30. Stumble out of bed and toss on some clothes. My wife gets up super early these mornings to cover Sean duty when she's done, and is already at work in the pain cave. I tiptoe past my son’s room as quietly as possible, but half the time he’s already bouncing off the walls. Turn on a cartoon with low volume for him to find if he does get up before my wife is done. You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him. Grab my stuff and head out into the cold, dark morning. Getting to this step is half the battle. Next is a 10 min drive to the gym, which gives me precious time to mentally prepare myself to jump in a cold pool. I blast the hardest “rock and roll” music (as those crazy kids call it) I can find. Arrive at the pool and summon the courage to walk the plank, which is the other 50% of the battle. Cranking out intervals once I’m awake and warmed up over the next hour is the easy part.

ok, this is tougher

Mon & Wed PM: home from work, eat dinner, play with the kids and eventually help get them ready for bed. Usually they’re either in bed or really close to it by 7:30, my signal to descend by torchlight the dark, spiral staircase that leads to our pain cave for a 90 min ride. I prefer morning workouts, but evenings have grown on me a bit. I guess you get used to anything if you do it long enough.

Tues & Thurs: unless it’s an extremely busy day, I try to run around lunchtime. Usually I can get 5-7 miles in. If I need to go longer I push it to the 7:30 evening time slot. I have this down to a science. A few hours prior I plan out my route, then stealthily slip out a little before 12. I head to my car and drive a short distance to my starting point. I’ve gotten to the point where, if I need to, I can complete the full change while en route. This has taken practice, and I don’t recommend attempting the maneuver while in motion. Thankfully I’m a very light sweater... during the dog days of summer I need some time to dry off and cool down, but on most days with a little Old Spice I’m good to go. I know it sounds disgusting, but trust me, I’m an unsweaty freak of nature. Later in the day I find a couple minutes to devour my lunch Tasmanian Devil style. In the evening I typically do a little core workout once the kids are in bed… 30 min or so of squats, abs, etc.

Sat: multi-hour brick, attempting to overlap as much as possible with my daughter’s nap time. If it's going to be ridiculously long I encourage my wife to make plans ahead of time so she's not cursing my name all day.

Sun: rest from training. Opposite of that with kids.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Slater Fletcher: Dream Crushing at its Finest

Along with the traditional "Contact" and "About Me" pages on Slater Fletcher's website, you'll find a page entitled "Adventures." Click again and you'll find a jaw-dropping list of races and accomplishments over the past few years, ever since this now elite athlete decided to change his life from the guy known to friends as "big booty." One of his recent adventures was a trip from his California home to Panama for the Latin American Ironman 70.3 Championships, in which he was the 2nd fastest age grouper (amateur) and 19th overall. I caught up with Slater to get his thoughts on that race, plans for 2013, how much of his success is DNA vs. training, and other random questions. 

Cali is somewhere that way

As the elite athlete that you are, I was surprised to read the following on your site:
“After college things gradually kept sliding downwards. I travelled a bunch for work and had the company AMEX and would order appetizers, dessert, you name it. I ended up around 215 pounds, which is really big for my height. One day we went on a hike with our church and halfway up the mountain I thought I was going to die. I had never experienced exhaustion like that and it kind of hit home. I remembered how much I loved the outdoors but I was so unhealthy that I could not even enjoy it. That got me to buy a mountain bike and get outside and do more.”

What timeframe was this, and when was your first triathlon? When did 
it first dawn on you that you were pretty good at this?

It was my late twenties and just about the time I got married. Most people are skinniest when they get married but that was about the time I was my heaviest. I remember a nickname I had at the time was “big booty” among my closest friends. My weight never really bothered me but when I realized there was so much I wanted to do and I was not in a place physically to even start, I knew it was time for a change. I did my first triathlon, an Xterra, in 2006 and it was brutally hard and way over my head at the time. However, I learned it was not all physical and that got me hooked! I raced some shorter races for a while but it was not until I raced long (having not trained long) at a 12 hour mountain bike race a couple years later that I knew I had a knack for endurance – I just didn’t slow down and loved the challenge. 

How would you sum up your 2012 season? Where did you race, and 
what was the highlight/lowlight?

The year ended up being a big running focused time for me. I say ended up because I started a new job the year before and was really focused on setting up my life so I could do the training in 2013 and beyond. This was also the first time I have been single sport focused, and running allowed me to get my everything out of a single discipline and still get a lot of great experiences along the way. Running requires little time and is so simple and pure. It was also a limiter for me, so I got to focus on running further and faster than I ever have before. I did my first 10K and just about every distance up to a 100 mile run, but most of the year was Ultramarathon style running. Trail time fun! 

Finishing a 100-mile race was definitely a highlight. The way the race played out, and having my "A Team" crew there was a true dream crushing experience. A low for me was probably a late season 100K race where I DNF’d - although it has provided the best learning for me for the year. I knew I had the endurance after running 100 miles, and I had the best prep going into the race. For the first time, I took the lead early on without looking back. I finally felt like I could run with anyone during that race, but I ended up spraining my ankle and pulling out. It would have been nice to see how it turned out, but the build up and start of the race was enough to prove (to myself) that I had become a runner.

From your website it’s clear that you’re involved in a wide variety of endurance racing (triathlon, xterra, ultra races, etc) and each year seems to have a slightly different theme. What’s the theme for 2013, what are your “A” races, and what are your goals?

Yeah, I like to mix it up and I think that is what keeps me motivated. This year is a return to triathlon for me but with a very different approach. I know I can do the work physically/mentally, but I also think there is a more efficient way of getting it done that will leave me fresher and fitter on race day. If I had a theme, it would be “less is more” and I am out to prove I can be faster and stronger by cutting out things that are not specific to my goals throughout the year.

Next week (March 17th) I am racing Ironman Los Cabos, and I am also signed up for Ironman St. George 70.3 in May and Ironman Coeur d’Alene in June. Those are key races until I qualify for Kona, but to be honest my main #1 goal is to run sub 3hrs off the bike at an Ironman. I know my other goals (Kona, Sub9 finish, top amateur, etc) should fall into place if that happens, and it will be more rewarding to me than anything else. It may not come to pass right away but I am keen on putting in the smart work to make it happen.

Besides learning about its famous canal in 5th grade history and Yankees legend Mariano Rivera, I don’t know much about Panama. What 
led you to race there and how was your experience in the country?

Panama is such an international hub and you really get a feel for that in the city, people and variety of food. The people are as friendly as that place is hot and humid! I wanted a hard early season race, a tune up for Los Cabos, and I also wanted to do the two 70.3 pro championship races (IMSG is the North American). I kicked the idea around for a couple weeks with my friend Josh, who I have been on a few remote adventures with in the past and then we both realized the more you think about it the less likely you are to "just do it," so we booked our flights and made it a done deal.

doing work in Panama

Can you give us a brief synopsis of how the race played out for you? I take it you qualified for the 70.3 Championships in Vegas… did you validate the Vegas slot or is that not in your plans for 2013?
I had a solid swim but was freezing the entire time. The bike had a good amount of climbing and either a head or cross wind the entire time. I kept thinking we would flip it around and get a tail wind but it just didn’t happen. Ah! It wasn't gusty like in Kona, but always pushing. My cycling legs are starting to come back, and I managed to have a personal best power output for the course and got off the bike as the first amateur. Then it was down to the run. 

It’s ironic that I spent last year running over 2600 miles and had no injuries, and now after getting back in the pool and on the bike I got shin splints just before this race. Although I wanted to run a personal best off the bike, I had to make adjustments for the conditions on the day and my condition. I did little to no running the couple weeks before the race and just had confidence I would still be able to run decently. It’s way too early in the season and I won’t run in pain. The day before the race I did a short, pain-free jog, so I knew I was ready to run again. When I got off the bike I never felt any shin pain or lack of running endurance. Good lesson to learn! I ended up running the same time as the overall amateur winner (1:27), but he started in a wave behind me. I was very happy to be able to run pain free and strong in that heat and humidity. I actually got the last bus back to the awards, so I missed any chance to get a Vegas slot and didn’t get any award. Anyways, I was not planning on going to Vegas so I wasn't too bummed.

on the run in Panama

What motivates you?

Crushing dreams! That has become sort of a catchphrase for me, but it really encompasses what motivates me. Having a goal big enough that demands your focus and is just outside the limits of what is reasonably possible (like running sub-3 hours off the bike for me) and then exceeding your expectations is dream crushing at its finest. The process of unraveling what it takes, doing the work, and crushing the goal is extremely motivating to me. 

You qualified for Kona in your one and only attempt (qualified at IMSG 2010, went 9:27 at Kona for 143rd overall, 29th in age group) yet haven't made another run at it. Why the hiatus over the past couple of years?
After I did Kona I followed it up with Xterra Worlds, Ultraman, and then some International Adventure Races within the next few months. I had about 200 hours of racing in 12 months and big training in between. I needed a break and also had a switch of focus last year to just running. I plan on going back this year!  

kind of a big deal
The competition at the top is notoriously fierce. Do the elite guys generally get along or just want to crush each other? Have you developed any “friendly rivalries” along the way?

I guess I am not close enough to the top to see that ;-)  For me, it is still an individual time trial and I don’t worry too much about what the guy next to me is doing. I have developed some good teammates over the last few years to train with, and if we race together we usually just push each other to crush ourselves or our own PR’s.

Are you a "fan" of the sport and if so do you have any favorite pros?  

Triathlon is an extremely demanding sport (I think the hardest) especially for the ones at the top of our sport. I look up to a lot of the pros who have a balanced life and continue to have consistent progression over the years. They are playing the part of a champion long before they win races. Linsey Corbin and Pete Jacobs come to mind… I will use Pete as an example since I just heard him speak tonight at our tri club meeting. He has the confidence to take a long-term, "less is more" training approach, and has a grip on the balance of life. Did you know that he raced 25 Ironmans before he finally became an Ironman champion? However, when he did win it was a big one. Never give up, never surrender.

Among the following choices, how would you divvy up the credit (100%) for a race gone extremely well? For these purposes let’s quantify that as winning your age group.

Coaching: 15%
Equipment: 10%
DNA/natural ability: 1%
Luck/feeling great “on the day”: 4% (all from items below!)
Mental toughness: 25%
Race strategy: 20%
Training: 25%

he'd still out-split you

Lastly, what advice would you give to those new to the sport?

Have fun! There is so much to learn in triathlon trying to master multiple sports at the same time. The more you enjoy your process, the deeper you are likely to learn, grow and develop over the long run. As triathlon requires so much time, it is essential that it is a lifestyle change, and that takes time and consistency. 

Log it - Keep a training log and write down your goals and why you enjoy getting out and “suffering.” It will help you to listen to your body, set reasonable goals, and give you a laugh some days when looking back.

You can follow Slater at his website, find him on Facebook (he's got tons of amazing pictures btw), and via Twitter handle @slaterfletcher

Thanks for the time, Slater... good luck at Los Cabos next week and beyond!