Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tour of Somerville '11 Photos

Here is a teaser set of some of my favorite shots from Monday's races.
Tour of Somerville '11 Favorite Photos
I'll post more later in the week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gluing a Tubular

I had planned on dropping of my wheel and having the shop and having them glue on a new tire for me. Unfortunately I couldn't get it there until Thursday night. Normally not a big deal but it's a holiday weekend AND I needed to pick it up on Tuesday. They said they could do it but I shouldn't ride it until Thursday.
Well I took that as my cue that I should do this myself. Typically I live near a bike shop that can do this stuff for me but there will come a time I would need to be able to do this myself.

So here are the steps I'm following:

Pre-Stretch tire on the wheel, for 24 hours. Some say more is better. Some say not at all.
Gluing the Wheel. 1st coat 24 hours dry time, 2nd coat 12 hours min dry time, 3rd coat about 20-30 minutes before mounting the tire? (Mount the tire when this 3rd coat's glue, pulls strands when you touch and pull away).

Gluing the tire: With tire filled enough to give it shape. 1st coat 24 hours. 2nd coat 24 hours. Mount tire to wheel, when 3rd coat of wheel glue is "stranding".

I also watched a bunch of the how to videos on this website.

The first layer of glue is on the tire and wheel. I'm hopeful all of this will go well because I have to say, I'm starting to like the whole tubular thing. I don't think it's as difficult as everyone makes it out to be, but maybe I should wait a few more months before making that statement.

Edit: Here are the video's that I found to be the best.
Removing Glue from wheel.
Video #1 All the steps in one video
Video #2 part 1 of 4. More discussion going on in these videos.
Video #3 Part 2 of 4
Video #4 part 3 of 4
Video #5 part 4 of 4
Video #2

Jersey Shore Kick Off Triathlon 2011 Pictures

Here is the link to the pictures I took that morning.
Jersey Shore Kick Off 2011

This is one of my favorites of the day. This is The 2010 Duathalon Champion, Dave Slavinski towards the end of his run.
Dave Slavinski

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bike Stuff / Columbia Triathlon Pictures


So I finally had a chance to check out that flat front tire. There is a tiny bit of sidewall damage. Instead of pumping in a can of fix-a-flat. I decided I may as well figure out how to pull the tire off and mount the spare as if it were race day.
I think the glue on this wheel is quite old. It's not very tacky. But I went through the process of mounting the spare anyhow. I had to use a tire lever but it wasn't too difficult. (The orange trainer tire was/is worse).
I'm now leaving that tire on to let it stretch. I have a feeling I'll be buying a new tire and having it glued on. This one will go back into the spare bag and I now have a bit more confidence that I could use it if I had to.

Training wise I'm in a weird spot. I get a couple good workouts, then I taper for Mooseman, which is a week from Saturday. If weather cooperates, I should be able to get some wetsuit swim practice before the race. Maybe that will help me break out from this 26 minute swim. The other thing going for me is that you can definitely see feet for a draft at Mooseman. (super clear). The trick is getting on the right pair.

Here is a link to the pictures Genine took at the Columbia Triathlon.
2011 Columbia Triathlon Pictures

Jogging with Jordon 5k


In Warren Saturday May 21. I walked. My new, I am under trained, don't want to hurt myself, don't want to look bad, default event. I did walk it to win it.

I didn't win. Took 4th overall walker. 1st in 40-49 age group male. I told Tamara I thought I needed to go 36 to even think about winning. I went 37:20. The winner went 35:48. I knew I was right on the time, I just couldn't do it.

But who cares about me. Levi, Maddy, and Eleanor walked. Dinah rode in front of Maddy. Levi was 11th overall and 2nd in the 19 and under category. Yea! Maddy, Eleanor and Dinah back a ways.

But here is the exciting news, because I know they wouldn't post it for themselves. Jerry Johnson and Todd Olson were there. They ran. Jerry was third, that is right third in the 40-45 male category with a time of 22:08. Todd was fifth in same category with a 24:13.

Both these guys were very happy with these times. I thought they were awesome. This race had about 450 people between walkers and runners big race.

Hope all are well. Will try to post more or at least come up with comments.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Columbia Triathlon 2011 Race Report

A bit of pre-race story first.

I haven’t raced my bike in 50 weeks, so my race day toolbox was a mess. This is also my first race on the tri bike and hopefully riding the Hed3 Tubulars that Todd loaned me. So there are additional items that are required: Right angle adaptor for the air pump, spare tire, and fix-a-flat. As I was sorting through stuff I came across batteries, small ones like the ones that go into my HR monitor. These were the wrong model for my HR monitor tho’. So they were left behind.

You check in your bike the day before at this race. So after packet pickup, we head down to the park. I wanted to do a short ride if possible. The weather looks like it’s going to be nice so I commit to using the Hed 3s. The rear wheel magnet for my bike computer is in a different place on the Hed 3s. So instead of using my wired computer, I had mounted the front fork wireless sensor for my polar watch the other week. My speed isn’t so important to me during the race but sometimes knowing the distance travelled is. Well, it would seem that the battery for my polar speed sensor is dead. Yep, the spares are the ones that I left at home. (like there wasn’t room in the toolbox for this tiny item). I just couldn’t remember what it was for. Now I know.

Well if it’s not working, it’s not staying on the bike. I cut the front sensor off the fork and decide that I’m going to reposition the rear sensor so I can place the magnet onto the rear tire and it should work with my wired cateye computer. Everything checked out. Time for that short ride.

It turned out to be really short. The traffic was very heavy and there wasn’t much room at the side of the road. Maybe if I got further down the course it would have been better. I wasn’t comfortable with it and decided it wasn’t worth it. I had considered packing our bike trainer so I could spin in the parking lot. I guess that would have been the better choice for me today. I roll the bike into transition and head back to the hotel.

Should I do a short run? My legs feel fine, not tight and our dinner plans are fast approaching. No run. No worries.

I slept well. Easy wakeup and we are out the door on schedule.

I head down to transition to set up my bike and run gear. A nice upgrade to the transition area this year, they added letter signs at the racks. (Keith Jordan Style). My bike rack is the first rack in when running in from the water. Basically the same location as the pros. It’s the longest run to the bike in/out but that isn’t a big deal. I don’t have a problem running with my bike in this transition area with my bike shoes on. When it’s pavement or sand, that’s when I wish I would start with my shoes on the bike. I check everything over. Wheels and brakes are set properly, computers are working, chain is in the proper gearing and moving well and so on. One big decision to make, the spare tire (not the 10 extra pounds around my waist). I have a spare tubular but I don’t think it’s pre-stretched and I’ve never put a tubular on before. I decide that the fix-a-flat goop is going to have to be enough, I take the spare tire back to the car with me.

Back at the car I finish up applying body glide and all that in preparation of the swim. Then head for the swim start. I think my wave was 40 minutes after the pro start so I waited quite awhile before pulling the wetsuit on. I stood with Genine down the swim course, away from the start while she was snapping pictures. Oscar was there as well. I think being away from all the nervous people hanging around the swim start allowed me to be much more calm. When our group was called, I walked up to the front and swam as much as possible to get warmed up. Unfortunately, that meant I was not in the front row at the start because there were a bunch of us in this wave. 215 of us I think.

This is my first wetsuit swim since the Tango back in August of last year. I’m a big fan of the wetsuit swim but I sure felt like I was getting nowhere fast. I knew from last year that the swim is congested until you start swimming back towards the finish. That makes sighting simple but every time I looked up, I felt like I was seeing 200 of my swim wave ahead of me. I just felt SLOW. Nothing to do but to keep on pushing the pace and focus on form.

I have no way of knowing for sure but I felt that I stayed on line as well as I ever have during a swim.

Exited the water looked at my watch, it didn’t start or it turned off. Well that’s one way to keep from being disappointed in your swim time.

Turns out I finished in 26:16 65 AG/ 320 Male. That’s 11 seconds faster than last year but still that 1:45/ 100 meter pace I know so well.

T1 2:21 :26 faster than last year.

As I’m running up towards transition, I hear someone cheering for me. It’s Oscar. Genine captures my reaction to Oscar’s cheer.

(click to enlarge)

I have a pretty good transition HR seems to be well under control. As I get to the mount line, I see people struggling a bit getting started. I decide to step ahead of them. Fortunately I clip in very quickly and I’m off. Genine is there cheering me on and taking pictures.

(click to enlarge)

Alright this should be interesting, last year the course was wet and I played it safe at times. I’ve got a dry course, a tri bike, race wheels and a good training plan. I figured I’m going to break 20mph avg on the course today. At the same time, I’m hoping to pace myself well enough that I improve my run as well. My watch is showing HR, my computer is showing cadence and distance. My HR is definitely higher than I expect but it feels right so I guess I’ll go with it. About 7 miles in I look down to check my cadence and it’s not registering. I slide the computer forward and then lock it back into place and we are back in business. Around the half way mark, I move from my bullhorns to my aero position and when I make this move I drag my forearm across my bike computer. It breaks free and is gone. It was at a manned “intersection”, I’m guessing someone there picked it up. It’s odd that this happened, this has never been an issue. I guess I’m just moving differently with the race day intensity. So I’m without cadence and distance now. All I’ve got is HR. Not a big deal. Although if I had the spare battery my watch would have had speed and distance for me. I guess what made the whole thing even more comical to me was as we got to about 5 miles left to go, faster bikers from later waves would pull up along side me and ask how much further we had to go. I wonder if they believed me when I said that I didn’t know. (it kind of killed me how fast they would drop me).

When I finished the final climb, I looked at my stopwatch and saw that my goal of 1:15:00 was a reality but I was going to have to stay on the gas to make it happen. I was feeling great and was passing quite a few people and then. PFFFFFFFFFT. My front tire goes flat with about 1.5-2 miles to go. I have no idea why. I didn’t hit anything… My options were to stop and try the fix a flat goop or ride it in flat. I decided it would probably just as fast to ride it in slowly on the flat. Also I knew I’d be finished rather than finding out the goop doesn’t work and then I ride it in flat anyhow. So I sit up and pedal it in easy. The first guy to pass me is a guy I just flew by. He asks if I’m alright, he probably thinks something must be wrong with me physically since I’m still riding the bike. I tell him I’m fine and he keeps rolling. I’m guessing 20 or so people go by me as I ride back into transition. Without the computer data, I can only guess if 20mph was really going to happen today. Genine and Chris cheer for me as I ride into transition.

(click to enlarge)

One other thing, I thought the speedfil was great. I was never messing around with bike bottles.

Bike 1:18:21 19.5mph 92 AG/ 368 Male. That’s 1:53 faster than last year.

T2: 1:41. 28 Seconds faster than last year.

Now for the run: Last year I was dying on this run course. I walked a number of times. It was a tough mental battle. It’s a tough course. I really wanted to have a good run today. I pulled socks on in transition. I didn’t need blisters today. I also tried to turn on my foot pod for pace. Once again, I was unsuccessful. I could have stopped at any point to turn it on but it just didn’t matter to me. I figured I’d just take my splits along the way. Well there were no mile markers. Maybe that was a good thing. It’s tough seeing those slow splits for the first 3-4 miles. The most uncomfortable part outside of the hills was the fact that my abs were cramping. I guess running hills after a tough bike will do that to you. The good news is that mentally I did not give up at any time. There was no walking. I was thrilled when I got back to the ball fields. I guess it’s about 1.5 miles to go and no hills to speak of. Finally, I am running and I’m passing people. I definitely moved up within my age group during this final 1.5. I’m getting into the final turn and I hear someone call out my name. There is Chris he was the first of the high fives on the way into the finish. I make the turn and I hear Genine cheering. The little kids are lined up at the sides waiting for high 5’s. This always makes me smile. It’s better than a sign or a cowbell in my opinion.

(click to enlarge)

Run : 49:25 7:58 min/mile 48 AG/ 256 Male. That’s :55 faster than last year.

So AG Results S/B/R 65/92/48 landed me in 59th place of 215 finishers. (yes of course I looked, 3 minutes faster would placed me at 49th , 23%)

Male Results S/B/R 320/368/256 landed me in 276th of 1064 finishers. (3 minutes faster on the bike would have me in 227th and about 21%)

I’m happy with the results. I don’t feel that I’ve done anything spectacular with my training that would have led me to believe that I should have done better. The one difference I keep noticing at all of my races this year compared to last is the mental battle. Last year during races my brain was constantly pleading with me to stop and rest. This year it seems to be asking the legs for more and the leg speed/strength just isn’t there. The other thing is that I can now see how I might change my training program next year if I keep the same schedule. My schedule is built with one purpose this year, the half iron in August. I haven’t had any scheduled speed workouts yet. They actually start this week. Next year maybe I’ll build two peaks into my schedule. Then I would expect more improvement from myself.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Please don't cancel the swim.

Really found my stride Tuesday night on my hour run. I had to stop a few times to stretch my hamstrings out but the legs felt great. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt like that during a run. It’s probably because I missed a few workouts over the weekend and they were more recovered than I typically am. Or maybe it’s because I switched back to running in Brooks Adrenaline? (joking… sort of).

I hadn’t raced a triathlon in so long. (about 50 weeks and the swim was canceled). That I didn’t have a pair of run shoes laced up with stretch laces. I took care of that problem but I don’t think I can run in these shoes sockless without blistering. I have some other ideas on how to address this problem but I haven’t tried them. I think I’ve run out of time in terms of trying new things tho’.

I did some weight lifting after my run. That also went well. Tuesday turned out to be a good day.

Wednesday morning I went to the pool early. It wasn’t pretty. Anytime I lift the night before a morning swim, I know I’m not going to be happy with the times I see on the clock. It’s not race day, just knock out the distance and move along.

After work I was a trainer ride. I made a point of making this a really good session. Steady effort the entire way. There are times where I really would like a power meter. Tonight was one of those nights. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was actually doing a bit too much considering I’ll be racing Sunday. Not a big deal, it’s just where my brain went while spinning.

Thursday, back in the pool in the morning. Shorter set today, I really wanted things to fall in to place. It took awhile but I think I pieced the stroke together into something I felt good about. I guess it’s good that I had to think about my fixes. I’ll just keep those things in mind on race day and work on staying focused on them.

I think one of my problems when I swim is that my “easy” stroke is not anywhere as good as my focused/fast stroke. I think I turn easy into lazy, which means I’ll practice bad habits. Something to work on, for sure.

I just saw an update about Sunday's race on Facebook (Columbia Tri). They are concerned about the bacteria levels in the lake. I really hope we get to swim. I can bike and run outdoors anytime. I don’t get to open water swim often tho’. It’s always my strongest event in terms of placing. (not that it gives me much of a lead). But more importantly, without the swim it’s just not a triathlon. Obviously I’ll deal with whatever happens but I really want to swim.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tri season is officially started for us.

Genine raced down at the Jersey Shore on Saturday morning with our friend Alexis. So we got a bit of a reminder of how much goes into getting ready for race day. Here were some of the surprises for us this time.

Wetsuit: It hasn’t been used in a year so we pre-soak it to give it some flexibility before putting it on. Well even before we soaked it, Genine noticed her suit had separated at one of the seams. Fortunately, we still had some wetsuit glue around and it was a simple fix.

Bike: Genine’s bike has 650cc wheels on it. Which means not many people are going to have a spare tube or tire for her if she needs it on race day. Fortunately we had a spare tube in her bike bag because when she went to inflate the one tire, it ripped the tube right at the stem. This was the first tube change for this bike, keep in mind this was “new” to us this winter but it’s a 2008. That tube was stuck into that tire in a big way. I’m really glad this didn’t happen during a race. It took much longer than normal to make that change. We also know that we need to pull the other tube, just to free it from the tire before the next race.

Of course the other problem is that she just used her spare and the one we pulled I can’t patch. I need to work on a better race day toolbox for the car. Having the extras in the basement at home isn’t helpful.

It was predicted to be a bad weekend of weather. Fortunately, other than a wind off of the ocean it turned out to be a decent morning. Which meant I got to run around with the good camera and have fun. I’ll leave the race report to Genine.

By the time we got home, cleaned up, got something to eat and looked through pictures, we found ourselves totally exhausted. The 3AM wakeup had caught up with us. I had a number of workouts I should have been doing, especially considering that Sunday was much more likely to rain with lightning. Next thing you know, 3 hour nap. Ah well, you can only do so much. Today was spectator day and it was fun.

Sunday: If I was really inspired (and if I believed the weather wasn’t going to cancel the event), I could have gone to an early morning open water swim practice (40 min away). I really wanted to go but didn’t want to take another 2-3 hours out of my weekend on a chance that it would be canceled. So I slept in. The key workout I wanted to do this weekend was the bike. I really needed to put some more miles onto those Hed3 wheels to determine if I am comfortable enough on them to race them next weekend.

Genine was off running a 5K (Susan G Komen) with friends from work. When she finished, she had some lunch, then we headed out to ride 2-3 hours. The roads were wet but it was never raining on us. I had on my full race gear for next weekend just to make sure everything was comfortable.

There was one new piece of gear this week. This was a purchase that took me awhile to finally decide to do. I got a good deal on a pair of Oakley Jawbones. I’ve got a solid pair of polarized lenses and I also have the vented yellow lenses. My review? They are fantastic! The yellow lenses on a rainy day like Sunday really brightened everything up. Super sharp and clear. It was also a good day to test the venting. They definitely fogged over on some of the climbs but once there was some airflow as you sped up they cleared off really well. With my other glasses I’d have to move the glasses down my nose to create that airflow behind the lenses to get them to clear. I’m very happy with my purchase. Now I have to make sure I don’t lose em!

The road was wet but it never really rained on us beyond a bit of mist. Last week I said the Hed3 braking was pulsing and I was very uncomfortable with them. I think between the fact that it was a little wet and that the brake pads were worn in a bit (Swiss Stop Carbon pads), I really was feeling better about riding on them. (no 15 minute descent like last weekend either tho). So the 2nd lap/hour, I decided I had to let it fly on the descents, just like I was racing. It went well, I was 41-42 mph on the one descent. Feeling good about the wheels. Now I’ve got to pickup some of that Pit Stop goop or foam to use in case I flat.

The other exciting moment on the 2nd lap was during one of the descents going about 30mph or more a deer runs out and crosses the road not too far ahead of me. I hop on the brakes. Where there is one, more are likely to follow. Then something shoots out towards my front tire, now I’m really jamming the brakes. I thought it was a rabbit at first but it was a squirrel. I was as close to running over that squirrel as you can get without actually hitting it. We are both lucky he didn’t decide to get caught up in the trispoke wheels. I look up and that deer runs back across the road to the other side. Alright, I get it, I’ll slow down for a few minutes.

We completed 2 hours or riding and Genine was done. So we headed home, cleaned up the bikes and that was the weekend.

I missed a few workouts last week. I’m not that concerned about it. I feel like I got the important ones done. I also know that after the long runs my heel was hurting the next day. I don’t need to get into the problems I had last year with my feet.

Less than a week out from Columbia, what do I think?

Swim: Will probably be the same ole 1:45/100m (26:30ish) I always swim if all goes well. Of course I’d like to think I’d do better than that but I’m not sure that’s realistic. I do feel that I’ll come out of the water comfortably and ready to ride.

Bike: I feel that that this is where I have the most potential to improve over last year. (not that I was disappointed with last year’s results 1:20:14, 19mph). I very may well have cooked myself on the bike last year, so if my time ends up close to the same, I won’t be disappointed.

Run: 50:20/ 8:07 pace last year. I don’t know. I really don’t. I missed run races each of the last 2 weekends that would have given me a clue as to where I am and maybe some confidence. I’ve got some ideas in my head as to how I’m going to try and get through the first half of the run course (hills) and I’m hoping I finally let it fly once the course becomes a bit more friendly.

We will see how it all plays out on Sunday. I’m looking forward to the whole weekend. Not only do I get to race but I’m going to catch up with 4 other “groups” of friends that aren’t racing. It’s going to be busy but it really makes the trip that much more enjoyable.

I’m sure there are a ton of other things I want to post but I’m just not finding the time lately. I’ll post up the randomness as I think of it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Possible bike setup


As you know, last weekend I had to ride my road bike because of technical issues with my tri bike. Well some of those issues were the result of making changes so that my bike could look like this.

Nice right? These wheels are part of the reason I never bought a power meter this year. I was going back and forth as to what I was going to do about all that and then my friend Todd offered me his HED 3’s to use for the season. I couldn’t pass that up. This “demo” will help me make decisions about what I buy in the future. (if anything).

So I finally got them on the bike with the proper brake pads and all that this weekend. The ride I chose to do this weekend was pretty generic tho’. I decided I’d do a hill climb that was about 30 minutes up 10 minutes back down, a few times. Obviously this doesn’t allow much in terms of getting a feel for the wheels… except for the descending. The descending run can be crazy fast but with the gusting wind, and my lack of feel for the braking on these wheels, I had to take it slow. This wheelset has some serious pulsing when braking, that made it impossible for me to just “let it fly” down the hill. I also have to say that I was much more confident riding in the drops on my road bike on a descent of this kind, than I am riding the bullhorns of my tribike.

Next weekend I should be on a much more “triathlon-like” course, there I’ll be able to get a better feel for the wheelset. The first race is in 2 weeks. I’m running out of time! Seriously tho’. It’s not that big of a deal if I don’t use them. It’s definitely cool to try out different gear. You can look at stats and prices all you want but the test ride is key.

On a flat course, I’d definitely be racing these wheels. Columbia, I remember there being at least one good descent. I will try to drive the course prior to race day.

Mooseman not only am I concerned about the descents but road conditions are a factor. I have a feeling there may be sections of Mooseman that will be rough. Ye, these are tubular tires which are less likely to pinch flat but if I do flat, I’m uncertain of my chances of repairing and getting back on the road.

In other news, my brick run felt awful this weekend. I’ll admit that thoughts of another bad run at Columbia entered my head. I’ll also admit that I feel I want to sign up for a flat race somewhere, just so I’ll have a race where the numbers look nice. Not sure that’s going to happen, so I’d better give it my all one the hilly courses!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Every time I go to the pool, I always go in thinking that it’s going to go well. I don’t let the workout intimidate me, meaning I don’t take it easy because I know what the next set is going to be brutal. Never the less, my swim technique is far from consistent, which causes significant variation in my pace and feel.

Certain drills and warm-ups may be a factor. I don’t get to use the pull buoy much in my workouts but it’s been in the mix lately and I think it may play a part in getting me into a good groove. I’ve fixed a number of problems with Coach Q’s help over the last couple months. Using a pull buoy allows me to focus completely on my stroke. By having a pull set early in the workout, I seem to correct some of my bad habits because the feel is so much more pronounced for me. Currently the 3 things I’m aware of doing poorly are:

Right arm wants to pull underneath my body.

If I’m going for speed, sometimes I’ll actually crunch on my right side during that pull, which really changes my body line and I’ll fishtail down the lane.

On the left my biggest issue is my reach to the catch. I think it’s still too high which doesn’t allow me roll to that side very well.

At my last lesson with Coach Q we worked on finding my cadence. To get faster, at some point you need to have a faster cadence. Although, a couple years ago leading into Timberman we found out a couple of interesting things while playing with the metronome. There was a window where I was very efficient. This was also very comfortable. As we increased from there even tho’ the cadence was faster, I cheated the stroke, was slower and more tired aerobically. As we moved higher, eventually it became a flailing effort as the form just fell apart.

That was two years ago, there have been many changes since then. So we are back to playing around with the metronome again. My first attempt at finding comfortable with speed isn’t far off from where I was two years ago. At which point my coach basically challenged me to work this out. He feels there are much faster times in me. I get glimpses of these from time to time. (Typically, at the coaching sessions).

So I’ve been doing my homework, looking for clues as to how I need to change my stroke or perhaps how I approach my swim. This past weekend was the Wildflower Triathlon. I came across this video.

(also if you watch the video to the end, it appears the winner runs with a metronome, I'm pretty sure that's what she turns off and puts back into her shirt)

When the showed the swim splits, I then googled the top swimmer’s name and came up with this.


The thing that struck me was the fact that her “all day stroke” was 90 strokes per minute. Doubtful that I’ll get there but I’m often only 60 per minute. So there is plenty of room to work with. The other part that interested me was the part about “dead spots” in the stroke. I swam a 3000m workout last night and it was my tempo swim. When I reached the mainset, I got aggressive and really thought about how much water I was catching and how early. It went well. I knocked out a 1000m set on very little rest, it felt good and my times were pretty good too. I left thinking about how that is exactly how I’d like to feel on race day. Which is only a few weeks away now!! That hasn’t sunk in completely yet, I’m curious when it’s finally going to hit me.

Speaking of race days. This weekend was supposed to be a 1.2 mile Swim Race Saturday and 4 mile Run on Sunday. Those 2 races aren’t going to happen. There is a chance another event might sneak in. Time will tell, I’ve got much to do this weekend.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Crazy Busy Weekend

Before getting rolling on the subject of this post, I just wanted to mention how amazing it is to me that people can think chiropractic is quackery. I spent 2 weeks with a hamstring that was basically partially cramped. I thought I had damaged it by over training. Nope, it was a pinched nerve in my lower back. One quick adjustment and it was immediately better. Within a few hours I wanted to run. The next day it was as if I never had a problem. Whew! I was starting to change my expectations for my upcoming races because of that hamstring. Now my biggest concern is allergies. Generic Claritin 24/7 and the netipot are my main weapons. Hopefully that is enough.

The big weekend:

I hate to say it, but the summer rush has begun. Last weekend was PACKED full, very little time to rest. Looking forward it pretty much stays like that until the fall. So what was going on that kept me/us so busy?

Saturday morning: Genine has a 15K race about 20 minutes away. This would be her longest run ever. Most people would make sure they are tapered and ready to take on the longest run they have ever done. Genine? Well she did a 3 hour bike and 30 minute run the day before! Her run went well. She is looking forward to getting faster but she hit her goal time and best of all, felt good after the run. Gronsky’s Pancakes for brunch following with friends is always a nice bonus. Then Genine had to go to work.

I on the other hand had some bike tech work to do. I wanted to make some changes before going out on my ride/run. This meant stealing some components from my road bike. Things did not go as planned. Something very simple stopped me dead in my tracks. I was swapping out the front brake and the cable had one bad wire in the wrap. When I cut the crimp off the end of the wire, that one thread unraveled all the way up and through the brake cable housing. Not a big deal, except I didn’t have another cable. Well there are 3 bike shops within 5 minutes of my house, I’ll just call and see if they can fix this for me so I can go do my ride before it gets too late. 3 calls, 3 strikes…. I guess I’m going out on my road bike. Only I had to swap saddles, pull pedals, put a brake back on and replace the broken areobar pad on the clip-on areobars, before it would be ready to ride. Not the bike tech job I was hoping to be talking about on the blog today. Ah well, I learned some good lessons.
I finally arrived at my bike course at 4PM. 3 laps around the Buckman bike course. That might sound boring to some people but I feel this is probably the best use of my time. The road bike felt foreign to me for about 30-40 minutes. The saddle was too low for the entire first lap. That causes huge low back problems for me, fortunately once I adjusted it up my back became agreeable again. I was surprised at how much slower I was riding that course on my road bike. Yes I was pacing myself for 3 laps but I also think that because I was trying to stay in aero, I was often in the wrong gear longer than I should have been. This is a course where I am shifting constantly. For the road bike to be as fast as my tri bike on this course, I’d have to do without the aerobars.

I should also mention that I missed having my speedfil during the ride. I do a much better job with hydration using that system than with bottles on the down tube.

I was riding with my new Adamo Podium saddle. I adjusted it after each lap, it definitely felt the best during the 3rd lap. Just over 3 hours of riding.

After my ride I had to run, first brick of the year. It wasn’t very special. I couldn’t make my legs move quickly. I was 15 minutes into the run before things started to feel decent and my speed and HR started to rise. That’s not a good sign for the Olympic distance events that are fast approaching. Of course I won’t be on the bike that long before my run. Or at least I hope not. All in all a good bit of training tho’. Now it was time to EAT! (as in the Time to Eat Diner).

When Genine got home from work we flipped through the photos I took at the race that morning. Next think you know it’s after midnight.

Sunday: Up early to head to the NJ Marathon. Jim and some other friends from my hometown were racing today. I had figured we would talk on Saturday to plan how to meet up and all that. Well that never happened. I knew Jim’s goal pace, so I drew up a timeline and took a course map and headed for Long Branch. I had no idea of what to expect for parking or traffic. Fortunately, the drive down was simple. I had about 20 minutes to find parking and get to the course before they pass by. I luck out and find good parking right around mile 10. I walk over to the course and right on time (a bit early actually). There is Jim. I start cheering for him, but he was not expecting hear anyone on the course cheering for him. So it takes a bit before he looks over and sees me.

Shortly after that, I spot Chris and then Marty. Chris also eventually realized someone was yelling for him and saw me. Marty was with a pace group that was pretty thick and didn’t see me.

Well now I guess I’ve got a couple hours to kill before the finish. The half marathoners started to show up in the mix. I spot Bridget, one of Genine’s friends. We will surprise her with a bunch of race photos, I guess.

Fortunately it was a beautiful day. So I just stood along side the finish chute and cheered people along for a couple hours. Because the half marathon was finishing before the marathoners (well some of them did anyhow), when the escort for the marathon winner passed through the crowd of half marathoners, I never spotted him.

When it got to the time that Jim was hoping to finish in, I tried not to be distracted by the other spectators. (fascinating who you meet at these things, a set builder from manhattan, Mooseman athletes…) Anyhow, I’m watching for Jim and then I spot Chris. My first reaction is, DID I MISS JIM?!! But then I see he’s running right beside Chris. Ha! Not far off their goal pace either.

We eventually meet up at the finish and I go back to my car. Along the way I spot one of the guys from our old Masters Swimming group. He’s doing the Mooseman half and then Lake Placid. It’s funny to me to actually see people that I know considering the small percentage of people I do know in this area.

We went out to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. If ever you should be allowed to eat their dessert it would be today right? Well everyone talked about which cake they were going to get at the start of dinner, then nobody got one. Kind of funny.

It was great catching up with everyone.

Monday: Electricians working at my house so I stayed home to manage that. Then I had a 4000m swim workout, the mainset being 30x100 with :15 break after each. That was a big swim, it went well, the breaks seemed to get shorter and shorter along the way. The last 25 of each felt longer and longer as well.

Then I figured I’d head to the bike shop to get that cable fixed. Because it’s now bike season, it was busy. Fortunately I was able to get it fixed without leaving it for a couple days. More about the bike fixes next weekend.

Now it’s Tuesday and I don’t know if it’s allergies or my weekend, but I feel very very tired. I need to make sleep a priority.