Sunday, May 24, 2009

The first 100 miler of the year...

Went out Friday (was off work) and did a 100 mile bike ride. First one of the year, so the ending 15 or 20 miles were a bit of a grind. That's where you just keep pedaling and try to think of other things besides how slowly the miles are going by! It was made worse by the fact that my normal bike needed some gear adjustments; and I therefore had to ride my old Trek 1000. Heavier and slower, which is not a great combination :) But, I did finish in a reasonable time, and I did a 4 mile run afterwards, which actually went very well.

The next day I helped out at an open water swim clinic. I really enjoyed that, as I think most of the people that were there got a lot out of it. Open water swims, and triathlon swims in particular, can be very intimidating - even if you've done them before. The clinic gave them good pointers, and also let them try out some practice swims in the lake. It helped re-enforce the direction I'm going in regards to coaching. I can spend hours helping out with something like that and answering questions, and I enjoy every minute of it.

Now it's time to enjoy this long holiday weekend! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

Couple of equipment changes are in the works, starting with a new bike! I finally found the right bike at the right price, and was able to purchase a new Cervelo P2. It should get here in a week or two, and I'll have to post a couple pics once I get it set up :) Now I just have to figure out which of the older bikes to sell. I could get a little more money out of my Cervelo Dual, but since the geometry is the same and it's been such a great bike; I could also keep it as my backup bike (or for rougher rides) and use it in the computrainer. The other bike is a Trek 1000 that has hardly been ridden outdoors, mostly just had it on the trainer. It's a convenient way to go, since I just leave it hooked into the computrainer and don't have to worry about setting it up and breaking it down. Decisions, decisions...

Speaking of computrainer, that's the other equipment change. I was able to get a great deal on a new Lab version, which seemed like a good idea since I know I'll be using it for years to come. That leaves the older one that needs to be sold. I'm not a big fan of the whole selling used equipment process, but hopefully I'll be able to get these things taken care of without too much hassle.

OK, back to training now. Gonna try to get in a 100 mile bike ride tomorrow, cause that's now my definition of a vacation day! Don't forget to check out the link to the Hope For Kidz website, it's a really great cause for some really great kids.

Please see this website to read more about the HFK program and to make donations:
RMI Hope For Kidz Website Link


Sunday, May 17, 2009

How do you make a 3 hour bike rider harder?

How about doing it on a bike trainer? Had a very rainy day on Saturday, so biking outdoors was out of the question. I decided to see how much of the planned ride I could do on the computrainer. I managed just over 3 hours (with a couple breaks thrown in for sanity), at which point I finally threw in the towel (literally). Took a number of distractions... Watching the computrainer main screen, working on the spinscan to even my pedal stroke, listening to music, and even some reading. It would have been easier if I would have started first thing in the morning, but I had an appointment and couldn't get started until around 10. The good news it that it sure beat the option of not doing any biking at all!

Here's to sunny outdoor bike rides with some good friends :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sometimes finishing is a victory in itself

Some days the victory is just finishing at all, and yesterday was one of those days! I was riding in a local organized/supported bike ride called the Armadillo Hill Country Classic, with a couple friends. First we had problems getting started, ended up crossing the start line about 10 minutes late. No big deal. That was followed by confusion over the turning back point for a couple riders that were going on a shorter route. Once all that was sorted out and the rest of the group had split off, my friend Barry and I headed off for the last 55 miles of our 80 mile bike route. We turned onto a middle-of-nowhere country road and went a few miles, when it started occurring to us that we were not seeing any signs or any other bike riders. After we crossed a few cattle guards, we really were questioning if we were on the right road. We had maps, but there were no signs for what road we were on!

Around that time, as our minds were still on trying to figure out if we were on the right road; we came to a low-water crossing with just an inch or two of water. Barry went thru it with no problem, and I came thru next. Or at least started to...

The next thing I knew, I was lying on my back in a lot of pain, with my bike laying a few feet away. Apparently the water was stagnant enough, and there was such little traffic on that road, that a nice film of algae had formed on the road under the water. I must have hit that just right, and my bike slid sideways so fast I didn't even know it happened until I hit the ground. We surveyed the damage to both myself and my bike, and it didn't appear to be anything major damaged on either. I had a good strawberry and bruise on my hip, but the elbow had taken the worst of it. I thought for a while it might be broke, but it was just badly scraped and bruised.

The good news was that as we were dealing with the aftermath, a number of other riders came by; so at least we knew we were on the right road. And a very nice elderly lady stopped her car and gave me a couple of Tylenol. So, 15 minute or so after the wreck, we were ready to roll. We figured we would get to the next rest stop and I could get the scrapes cleaned up and looked at, then see where we went from there.

In the few miles it took us to get to the rest stop, two mechanical difficulties surfaced. The first was on my bike, as I started having difficulty with the gear shifting on the rear wheel. Nothing major, but it was definitely annoying. The more serious one was actually with Barry's bike. He had started going real slow... really slow... and we finally figured out his rear tire was half flat! We put a little air in, and finally made it to the rest stop. At the rest stop, I got cleaned up and bandaged, and Barry put some air in his tire. We also got some food and drink, and then we were ready to go again.

Didn't take long before Barry's tire was going flat again, of course. This time we were coming up on another rest stop, and there was no question that we were changing out the tube. Bike support pulled up about the same time we did, so they helped us change out the tube. That was around 50 miles into the ride, and thankfully was the last difficulty we had to deal with (other than the annoying shifting issue I was having).

So, we finally finished the 80 miles and got back for some good food and some needed rest. Certainly not a time or pace that we were going to brag about, but sometimes it is a victory just to finish, and this was one of those times.

One final word... everyone that participates in these events owes a HUGE thank you to all the people that volunteer and help out! It's really amazing when you think about all those people spending hours making PB&J sandwiches, cutting up pickles, driving around in bike support vehicles, etc. Make sure and tell them how much they're appreciated :)

Please see this website to read more about the HFK program and to make donations:
RMI Hope For Kidz Website Link


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Here we go again

Back into full-blown training mode now. Multiple workouts most days, lots of miles... fun stuff! Did a 73 mile bike ride on Saturday, followed by a 3 mile run. Then 8 mile run on Sunday. Trying to get plenty of swim/bike/run during the week; and then next Saturday I'm doing an 80 mile organized ride (Hill Country Classic). The long rides and runs seem easier than they did a couple years ago, but they still take a lot of time. That's really the biggest issue for me, the time. I enjoy the physical part of the training, but there are only so many hours in a day and lots of other things to get done. That's part of the reason I'm enjoying the computrainer so much, as it allows me to be more flexible in the timing of the weekday bike training (plus there's not as much prep time involved).

Another thing I'm doing this year is participating on a race committee for a local triathlon. I'm responsible for the swim portion. The race directors know their stuff, so I'm mostly just following their lead and trying to learn something in the process. It's amazing how many details there are to consider.

Please see this website to read more about the HFK program and to make donations:
RMI Hope For Kidz Website Link


Friday, May 1, 2009

USAT Level I Certified Coach

Just received my coaching certificate in the mail... I am now an officially certified USAT Level I triathlon coach! I mostly just coach myself, but I do mentor a few people; and really enjoy helping other triathletes. I wanted to go through the certification process to get the training, ongoing education, and support that it provides. Pretty excited to get this started and see where it leads...