Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hey, It's 2013

Well, it's been a long time since I last posted. Not much of a current blogger. IM CDA 2012 was better than 2011. I'm never going to be "fast." My only hope of reaching Kona is to outlast people. Maybe in my 70s I'll make it. But the plan is to do one 140.6 a year for the foreseeable future.

I'm back in early season mode. I've signed up for Wildflower, IM CDA, and as a team for Challenge Penticton. Of those three the only one I'm certain (as I can be) I'm doing is IM CDA. I changed jobs this year so I'm not sure what time I'll be able to get off.

This year I'm adding Crossfit to the training. I like it and last year when I was feeling fatigued I would choose the strength training to skip. Hopefully changing to Crossfit will keep my interest.

Here's to a great 2013.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Training for IM CDA has been going well. Finished the last day of my build, with no cooperation from Mother Nature I might add.

Last night I took my bike outside to give it a good cleaning. Lo and behold, what do I see, but a nice crack on the leading edge of the seat tube staring back at me.

Not awesome at all. So I contacted Jim and Cyclemetrix (awesome guy, by the way) and I have a nice appointment with him today to bring the bike out, check it out, and see what we can do. He's going to contact the US distributor about getting a frame sent up here ASAP. But in the meantime, the old Specialized will be built back up with some extra shifters and deraillers I had laying around. Got to fill the gap until we figure out what is going to happen with getting a new frame.

Last year, 2 weeks before IM CDA, I dropped my Garmin and shattered the face. Since I bought it at REI (which I will do every time now because of this) they replaced the watch no questions asked. This year, it's a cracked frame. Give me a cracked watch any day over a cracked frame!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Galveston 70.3 Race Report

On April 1, 2012, I participated in Memorial Herman 70.3 for the first time. No, I did not beat Lance Armstrong.  Also participating with me was former Spokane, North Idaho resident and neighbor, Stefanie Lagomarsino.

This was a "B" race for me and was ideally a way to gauge my progress towards Ironman Couer d'Alene. Last year I was supposed to race in California 70.3 but my frozen should prohibited that. I feel as though I am in much better shape than last year at this time and while I didn't expect a world beating time I didn't expect to do poorly.  Ideally, I would have liked to have seen 37 in the water, 2:56 on the bike, and 2:00 on the run, giving me about a 5:38 including transition. Realistically, I expected just under 6 hours.

I've been swimming light years better than last year so my time should have been doable. I knew I would have some difficulty on the bike because it was only my third time riding outside year to date, and only the second time on my new steed. I'm running better this year, trying to increase my cadence, and have been running a lot of hills.  Galveston being flat, I thought I would beat my times as my "long runs" to date have been 11.5 miles at a 9:00 pace, but not approaching threshold.

We made our way down to Galveston on the Friday before the race. It being my first time racing in salt water Stef and I decided to try our hand out open water swimming on the ocean side of the island.

My hairline is seriously receding!

My hotel was the Hilton on the seawall and was a few miles away from the race start.

After being beaten down by crashing waves (and Stef's wicked left kick) enough was enough and the open water swim quickly came to an end. I was convinced I would not survive the swim.  I didn't then know that the race venue was on the land side of the island thus protecting it from waves.

The next morning Stef and I went to find her bike because she had shipped it by Tri Bike Transport. We couldn't get her bike until 10ish, so we headed back to the hotel where I changed into bike gear and about 10 rode to transition where Stef met me and we went on a ride on the course. Months before the race Roger Thompson told me it was a flat course but never in my wildest dreams would I imagine it was flatter than a pancake.I did see Dave Erickson running that morning and stopped and talked to him.  Pre-race ride done we headed back to transition with the bikes for the athletes meeting at 12:30 and then to check our bikes in.
One complaint, bike check in should have begun immediately after the athletes meeting.  Making us wait in the sun for an hour and a half was ridiculous.

The next morning's breakfast was english muffins, peanut butter, and a power bar.  We then headed to transition, parked about a mile away, and walked the rest of the way just as the rest of the lambs going to slaughter did (except the pros who got to ride their bikes and rack them that morning).  In retrospect we should have arrived earlier than 6:20 because we forgot transition closed at 6:45 (stupid mistake).

I ran into Ken Collins in transition, hurriedly unpacked and organized all my gear, nutrition, and water, grabbed my wetsuit, strapped on my Garmin 310xt to my wrist, and exited transition with a minute to spare.  I then spent the next 75 minutes waiting for my wave to start, which was agonizing.  Stef went off at 7:45 and I went off at 8:00.

I jumped off the pier for my wave start at 7:56, treaded water, "got warm", and positioned in the center, but three or four rows back. In retrospect I should have been in the first or second row.  10 strokes into the race I was kicked in the nose and left eye and my nose starting spurting blood.  I stopped, regrouped, adjusted my goggles, thought "well, nothing you can do about the nose now" and headed off.  I lost probably 2 minutes or so there. Unfortunately, I was stuck behind all the other people in my group and thinking I could find some open water on the inside of the buoys headed there; I was wrong.  I spent the next 10 or so minutes trying to find open water. I think everyone complains about finding open water and I am no exception.  I exited the water in 39:50, 17 seconds slower than my best half swim (Troika 2010, but everyone knows that course was short that year).  I was not too disappointed in the time but missed my goal time.  I also lost over 2 minutes to Stef who absolutely rocked her swim.

I am a  slow transition guy (filmed walking out of the water one time) and this time was no exception. I enjoyed the shower they had to wash off salt water and took my time getting my bike gear on. Just like I did for Lake Stevens 70.3, I wore a tracker from My Athlete Live on my race belt (in retrospect, I won't do this again, the coverage is too spoty, I might try the new one Jordan Rapp wears).

Once on the bike my plan was to spend the first 10 minutes drinking some water, getting out on the seawall, and getting my bike legs.  My nutrition plan was 800 calories on the bike through 2 EFS flasks (:knowing I would not get all the goo out of the bottle), 3 bottles of water, and a few electrolyte tabs.  I brought an EmergenC just in case I needed a pick me up. Looking back, I think that plan was right for me and I wouldn't change it.

This was also the first time I had raced with a power meter, having installed a Quarq powermeter on my new bike. Well, I couldn't get my Garmin 500 to pick up my heartrate or my powermeter; crap because I can't imagine not knowing everything about my ride. I reset the Garmin, recalibrated by Quarq, messed with the setting to no avail. It wasn't until 15 minutes into my bike I remembered I still had on my 310xt.  So I configured it to read the powermeter, and "right" had returned to my world.

A few minutes after configuring the 310xt, a "nice" guy pulled out in front of me forcing me to swerve. Unfortunately that swerve meant I ran over a lane cone that was waist high. I hit it, ran over it, and then started a loud noise out of my front end. I swore, pulled over, and noticed a spoke on my front wheel was bent. I ended up using my mad MacGyver skills and my tools to bend the spoke bike. I probably lost almost 10 minutes there.

The rest of the bike was uneventful and only 1 real change in elevation as I crossed over a bridge.  I randomly would stand to extend my hip flexors as this course did not require me to get out of the saddle.  I did see Stef when she was at mile 30 and I was at 20 (it's an out and back) and calculated I had made up some of my swim deficit.

My goal was to average 190-200 watts on the bike, having tested my threshold power about a week and half before the race. I don't know if it was the flat course, the heat, the humidity, but I was not able to maintain it. So I missed my goal time on the bike.

Seriously, what's wrong with my helmet fit. It's always tilted that way!

I again had a slow transition (not helped by the lack of porta-potties because those 3 bottles of water had to go somewhere).

My goal on the run was to run the whole thing and not stopping during the water stations. I knew the likely outcome would be to run-walk it (I can hear people saying "it's swim, bike, run, not walk" but that's where I am at in this sport). I brought 1 EFS flask with me, would consume it, and would drink 2 cups of water per aid station, switching to coke at about mile 9. Again, looking back, I wouldn't change my nutrition plan.

I stuck to my plan until mile 7 when I started walking the aid stations. The heat and humidity really got to me.  I was dumping water everywhere.  I kept sponges in my visor causing me to look like the Easter bunny and they flopped when I moved.

The out onto the private plane tarmac was insanely hot.  I would run 4 loops on that course to eliminate that part of the run.

Coming back from that crazy heat zone known as the tarmac

I ended up run walking way more than I planned or than I wanted and missed my goal time.  So, I missed my goal times for each part of this event!  I'm disappointed in my overall time, but I'll take the good parts, learn from the bad, and adjust my approach for IM CDA in June.  I'm relatively new to this sport and world. Every time I train or race I learn something.

I would do this race again. It was well organized (except the time between the meeting and being able to rack my bike) and the Lance factor was cool (:even though I only saw him once on the back portion of the bike).

Once word to the wise, if you think about shipping your bike by FedEx, make sure you add 2 or 3  extra days on the anticipated delivery date if you choose ground. I planned for 1 extra day and when I arrived at FedEx on the Monday before the race, contrary to what the online FedEx says about time, I ended up having to send it 3 day air which cost more than my airplane ticket.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hello Nurse!

It is finally here.

Because of the spectacular weather we've had lately (sarcasm) I've only been able to ride it once outside and once on the trainer, but it's glorious. We had a little difficultly getting the magnet to activate the Quarq powermeter. I ended up filing down the magnet cable guide bracket and flipping it over so that it pointed up towards the bottom bracket and it works. My basic caveman understanding of the powermeter is that it should help me train in a particular power zone and then on race day, I can regulate my effort based upon power instead of heartrate. Today I'm doing a 30 minute test to establish a base.

Over the last couple months I've also been using Restwise. The goal of Restwise is to help you measure your recovery. Every morning I wake up and test my resting heart rate oxygen saturation with a meter that I clip onto a finger. I then weigh myself and answer a few questions about number of hours and quality of sleep, urine color (TMI, sorry), appetite, etc. It then produces a score that I track to see whether  my body is recovered for training. Here's a chart of my recovery over the last couple of weeks.

Green is better. You can see I had a day or two where I didn't get enough rest and my recovery was low.  My coach then adjusted my schedule to allow me to recover and I got back on track.

I leave for Memorial Herman Ironman 70.3 Texas in a few days. Dropping the kids off in Phoenix then heading to Texas. Last year I signed up for California 70.3 but had a frozen shoulder and couldn't get the training in to do the race. I'm looking forward to shaking off the cobwebs and gauging my fitness as I progress to IM Coeur d'Alene which is a mere 91 days away.

If you are reading this blog then you are interested in triathlons. I suggest you check out your results in Athlinks. It tracks your races by year and distance, and then determines who your rivals are based upon the participants in the race. It's Facebook for athletes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Getting Closer

3 weeks until my first race, 70.3 Texas, and I haven't rode outside since September and my new ride is not yet finished.  It's getting closer though.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Ride / Argon E-116

It's finally in the Northwest.  Here's my new frame, an Argon E-116.

Can't wait until it's all built up.

Here's what it would look like if I had an extra $8,000 to drop on it.

Alas, Jim at CycleMetrix in Coeur d'Alene is swapping my components from the old frame to this new one.  Can't wait.

If only the snow would go away.