Friday, April 29, 2011

My New Bike–a first look

Today was a great day.  I ran for the first time in almost 2 weeks, 30 minutes at better than 8 minutes per mile, that felt really great, no pain at all. 

What felt even better was going to pick up my new Triathlon bike – a Trek Speed Concept 7.0.

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the quality of the photo is not great – because it is dark and I used my phone.  I’ll take some better pictures this weekend.  I can’t wait to take it out for a spin on Sunday.

I went into the fitting process liking both the Trek, and a Felt B14/B16.  After a couple of hours of fitting and testing both the Trek and Felt, I decided to go ahead with the Trek.  I really liked the look, black was my preferred color.  I also liked the feel of the brakes and the gear changing mechanism on the Trek better too.  The other advantage are all of the integrated components, like the draft box for spare tubes/tools etc. and the duotrap speed/cadence sensor that when installed fits flush with the frame.

I haven’t finished yet, still have to install the speedfil for hydration – but so far not a single zip tie!  I am also wondering if the shop installed the top tube box backwards.  A quick look at the trek website seems to indicate that it is. 

I spent a total of 3.5 hrs at the bike shop making my selection and getting fitted.  It feels great, but the fitting process is still not complete.  I will ride it as is for the next few weeks, and get used to the aero position.  After that we’ll probably steepen the seat angle and lower the front to get into the best position possible.  At that time the new pedals should be in too (speedplay X/2). 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Good news and bad news

First I’ll start with the good news.  Last week I had a great long run on Thursday and followed up with an equally good long ride on Sunday.  I started at 6am Sunday on the CompuTrainer so I would still have a time with the family.  I chose to do the EagleMan 70.3 course (56 miles) figuring that it would take me around 3 hours.  My last long ride was 2:30 on the same course (50miles of it) and my legs were fried after that effort.

I started with a warm-up and after calibrating the CompuTrainer I settled into a good pace, around 19-20mph.  I chose to drink only water for the first 90 minutes, then had 2 gels in the next 30 minutes and finished the last hour with Pertetuem – as a test to see if it would work on race day.  This was an effort to start training with the nutrition that I want for the 70.3 race in June.  I managed to finish the 56 miles in just under 2hrs 49 minutes, a time that I’d love to replicate on race day.  Average watts were 184 for the whole ride and my power split was close to 50/50 too.  This is all great!  I felt that I had some in reserve and after the ride I had plenty of energy, so I complete a short brick run after the ride.  I did notice a surge of energy once I started with the gels.  The other encouraging thing is that I have read some recent discussion forums that people often see 1-2mph speed increases over the CompuTrainer when they are riding outside, I’d love to see that happen!

I have completed 3 brick runs in the last few weeks, all have been average at best – legs feeling heavy and a pace that is a fair bit slower than my normal runs.  Sunday was different – I felt pretty good immediately running sub 8 minute miles, which is really good for me.  My goal was to run for 30 minutes, and gradually build this up for the next month prior to EagleMan in June.

Towards the end of the 30 minutes I felt a little tight in my left calf – so I slowed down and and didn’t push too hard.  I went through the usual stretch routine that I learned from all of the Physical Therapy for the right calf in January/February.   

On Monday I was a little stiff, which I was ok with, considering that it was my first 3hr ride in a long time, and I was coming off 2 weeks of a heavy cold.  My only workout for the day was a 2000y easy swim (10x200).  I figured that it would be good for recovery.

Tuesday morning I still felt a little stiff, so instead of a hard bike interval session, I decided on a slow 30 minute run.  I took it much slower than normal, in the 9-10 minute mile range – and after 20 minutes felt some tightness in the calf again.  I stopped and walked home, then worked for the day before going to a masters swim session in the evening.  Once the swim session started, I could feel the calf even with my almost non-existent kick.  With each lap it seemed to hurt a little more, and for the first time I had to leave the session early.  At that point it was really hurting Sad smile

Wednesday morning I woke up and could really feel it.  this is not good news.  I was hoping that it would magically go away, but no, it is definitely a muscle tear.  I followed the R.I.C.E method (rest, ice, elevation, compression), which has helped, but I fear that I’ll have to go back to Physical Therapy to accelerate my recovery.

I’ve really disappointed that I have another setback to my training, but I am determined to do the right thing and not hurt myself any more.  I am so close to good form, my running has been great recently and the bike is coming along too.  I’d hate to go backwards from where I am, but I am hoping that it means missing a week or two of running.  I am hoping to race the Kinetic sprint on May 15th as a tester to see how my form is before EagleMan.

So this week I have adjusted my plan, reduced the workload and made an appointment with my physical therapist.  I am hoping that riding won’t cause any discomfort, and I think when I swim next I may use a pull buoy so I don’t have to kick at all.  Fingers crossed I can recover quickly and get back to training soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2 months to EagleMan

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Today marks 2 months to go until my first long distance triathlon – the EagleMan 70.3

My preparation has not been ideal, but I am really looking forward to see how I can handle a longer race.  I am also excited to see that some top level pro’s like Craig Alexander and Mirinda Carfrae are competing too (go aussies!).

The organizers of the race have recently posted the swim wave times – I’ll be in the 2nd 40-44 wave starting at 7:26am.  This is great.  The pro men/women start at 6:45 & 6:47 then wave 1 is M55+, Women 50+, Para triathletes @ 6:50, Wave 2 M 50-54 @ 7:10, Wave 3 M 40-44 A-K @ 7:18.  Since the run leg is out-and-back I am hoping that I will get to see them while I am starting the run.  Most of the first 4.5 miles of the run is also on the bike course, so even if I am slower than expected, I should get to see some of the pro’s.  This is the first event I have entered that has a pro field, and the first Ironman branded event.

At the start of this year – I published some race goals – at the time I was hoping for somewhere between 5:30 and 6hrs to finish 70.3 miles. To finish in 5:30 I am going to have to do the following:

  • Swim 0:37 (1:45/100y)
  • Bike 2:50 (19.76 mph)
  • Run 1:55 (8:47/mile)

This allows for 3:00 each in T1 and T2 and I’d be at 5:28 total time.  If I have a great day, I think I can go faster than that – at least for the individual sports.  What I don’t know is how putting all 3 together for the longer distance will change things, especially when including environmental factors such as the heat/wind that is a common occurrence at this venue  and of course whether it will be wetsuit legal.  For me, a wetsuit makes a huge difference.

Over the past year running has been the toughest for me.  I have finally managed to run consistently for the last 6 weeks.  The physical therapy seems to have really worked.  Last weekend I had my longest run of 1hr20mins, and need to get up to 2hrs in the next 6 weeks. 

I have 2 races planned before EagleMan – the Kinetic Sprint Triathlon  on May 15th and a open water swim in Reston on May 29th.  These races should give me a good indication of how ready I am going to be come race day.  My mindset is now not whether I can make the distance, but how much faster can I get between now and race day!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

March Totals

Wow – the year is 1/4 over as far as the calendar goes.  January and February for me were focused on physical therapy, to fix the problems I had with my calf and the hip imbalance's that we found.

For march I was finally able to start running again, building up from 45 minutes to just over 1hr for the longer sessions.  Here’s a summary from training peaks.

Swim 17,350 yards   5.5 hours
Bike    229 miles         11.8 hrs
Run    89.6 miles        12.6 hrs
Mtb    14.9 miles          2.5 hrs
Other (stretching)     11 hrs
Days with no training - 3

Overall I am happy with that – I thought I had spend more time on the bike, but it has been hard with some of the traveling that I have been doing, including a 4 day weekend at the beach.  If I add the 2.5 hr mountain bike ride the bike total looks a little better.

April has started off quite a bit differently.  Since returning from California, I’ve managed to bring back a nasty flu that has meant no training for the last 4 days.  I am hoping that tomorrow I can at least get some light exercise for 30minutes.  I did have a flu shot last year, I guess that it has worn off by now.  I haven’t been as frustrated as I thought, since I really have been feeling off.  Today is the first day where I was feeling a little agitated.  I’ll take that as a sign that I am getting better.  All of the coughing that I have been doing has worked out the abs though!

Monday, April 4, 2011

MTB Ride in California

I often travel to my company’s headquarters in Redwood City, California.  Last week I managed to get in an afternoon mountain bike ride in Belmont, out of the Passion Trails Bikes shop.  they set me up with a sweet full suspension 29er (Pivot 429) and off I went with a friend from the office.  The people there are really great, and they had a bbq after their usual Wednesday evening ride along with a few beers, what more could you want!

We managed to squeeze in a 2.5 hr ride before the darkness set in.

I haven’t ridden an MTB for many years – it has got to be about 10.  The training over the winter in the basement seems to have paid off as I was easily able to keep up and power through the whole ride.  I thought my bike handling would be a but rusty, but after the first few descents I was ready to go.  The terrain there was really varied, a lot of narrow single track and many steep & technical sections.  There are a lot of trails that intersect and the view from the top of some was magnificent.

Here’s a few that I managed to snap off – they aren’t the best, I was focusing on riding and not playing tourist!

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It was such a beautiful day, in the mid 70’s.

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from near the top – you can see the bay close to Foster City.

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this one is looking more towards redwood city – we rode the trails all over the valley in the foreground. 

this last picture is not one of mine – I grabbed it from the Passion Trail website.  I remember riding this section both up and down.  it is actually steeper than it looks.

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I am really looking to getting back there again for my next trip – which is looking like it will be the end of April.