Sunday, April 27, 2008

J-Hawk EarlyBird Tri

First triathlon is in the books for wife and I. It was fun. One of us got our ass kicked by the other. I won't say who beat who, but let's just say I'm not happy about it. G did a great job, placing 5th in her age group and 18th overall out of 100 women. She pulled out the big can of whoop ass today, and I humbly bow to her greatness.

As for me, I felt really good about the race until I looked at the actual race results. I did the entire thing without a watch so I had no clue what my actual time was as I went. I was guessing I could do 90 minutes, actually finished in about 95. It's only 5 minutes, but as far as immediate perception, it was disappointing. First time I finished slower than expected.

Swim (11:53)
Swim splits were taken as we left the building. I was in an earlier wave, and it was still damn cold out, so my time included a quick towel dry, putting on bike shorts, and pulling on a long sleeve compression top (not easy), was very wobbly going through this. I had to have been out of the pool in less than 10-minutes, which is a good 30-seconds faster than any 500 I've ever swam.

Bike (49:49)
Bike splits started from the time you left the pool building. From there I walked to my bike, got my socks, shoes, helmet, and glasses on, ditched my extra warm clothes and gloves, and walked to the mount line. Likely wasted another 2-3 minutes here.

Bike was largely uneventful. Slight headwind going out. With the wave starts there weren't many people on the course. I passed a few within the first couple miles, then it was pretty desolate until around the 7-mile mark, where I caught and passed the tail end of the the wave before.

Desolation again until about the 13-mile mark, when an older guy passed me. It was the first time I was passed on the bike. One of my prerace goals was to try and not let that happen, it was really only 17 people I had to hold off, minus whoever beat me out of the pool or transition. Two hills were between us and the finish and I caught him at the top of the first hill and beat him in. Small victory.

Run (33:06)
Run splits started the moment you arrived at the dismount line. I again walked back to the rack, changed shoes, threw on a t-shirt, and walked back out to start the run. I had a brief talk with the guy who passed me while changing. He said he was behind me the entire race and was thankful I was out there to pace off of. I never knew he was there. Probably killed another 3-4 minutes in T-2.

The run was a meandering off-road course. At times I felt like a lab rat in a maze trying to find his way to the cheese. Only saw three others on the run course with me, two I passed, one passed me. With no watch and no mile markers, I had no idea where I was on the course. Mile markers (and someone to chase) would have been nice. Nothing really noteworthy, had too much liquid in me from the bike and it was tough to get going.

I thought it was a well run event, other than mile markers on the run course, everything was well marked and very clear, and everyone I encountered was very nice. I think G and I will likely due another sprint before Bigfoot. I need me some revenge, and between you and me, I think she's hooked.

I feel pretty good, legs are a little fatigued, but not bad. Time to get back on the training plan. The last couple months have been very hit and miss. I blame the weather, couldn't possibly be my doing.

And the old guy, he beat me out of transition and I never saw him again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm at a loss for a title

Deal with it.

Amazingly, my Sunday ride didn't put me out of commission for the week. I was actually surprised how good I felt already Monday morning. Tuesday afternoon I rode for about an hour. No issue with the legs, the sit region was still a bit tender, but bearable.

Min, thanks for the comment, it was a big confidence boost to know I could go that long. Now I need to figure out if how to run after such an effort. Sunday walking to the end of the block and back was a major effort. Good luck on your long ride.

J-Hawk sprint triathlon is coming up sunday. This should be fun, I'm really looking forward to it. The weather looks to be crappy but not much I can do about that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Going Places

Our daughter Mel and my sister's daughter Erin have birthday's one day and one year apart so we have joint parties for the duo, this year at their house in Lake Geneva.

The twosome at Christmas, now 4 and 3.

Being the bright one that I am. I decide it'll be a good idea to ride my bike down there. 60 miles by my estimate. This despite never having gone more than 20 something in one sitting.

The morning couldn't have been more perfect for it. Clear, slight winds but nothing unbearable, and warm. Left the house at 7:30 loaded up with various bars, gel, and gatorade. First hour took me past Albion, made one wrong turn off 106 that added a mile or two to the route when I realized I needed to turn around.

From there it was off towards Whitewater, probably the most trying portion of the whole ride. I've driven it a hundred times, and always expected WW to be just over the next hill. This segment also contained the only real drama of the trip when I lost my chain going down a hill trying to build up enough speed to carry the next one.

I managed to get lost in WW, never really getting into town, but instead skirting it to the southwest. I ended up finding my planned route out of WW 5 or so miles later and continued on, probably saved time with the alternate route.

About here I started seriously thinking about stopping for a break. Was about 2:20 in, first thought was the 40 mile mark, then I settled on 3-hours, since I was keeping track of mileage per hour. When three hours hit, I figured I was only a couple of miles outside of Elkhorn so I'd ride until then.

At 52-miles I finally stopped at a gas station in Elkhorn, ate my first solid food, took my first bathroom break, and called the wife to see where they were at. Part of me was hoping they hadn't made it that far yet and they could pick me up. Legs were shaky, ass was sore, and I was feeling the combined effects of two days in the sun. Unfortunately they were already in Lake Geneva so I decided to push on rather than have them turn back to get me.

Fortunately, H from Elkhorn to Lake Geneva was recently paved and was as smooth as one could possibly ask, making the last leg much easier. It was in this stretch I also hit my max speed of the route. 33 something mph on a long, long gradual decent. It was the first time I had it in the big ring in probably 2.5 hours.

Lake Geneva couldn't have come soon enough, and after 3:55 (actual riding time) and 62.6 miles I pulled into my sister's house on some pretty shaky legs. I'm feeling pretty good about the effort, I'm actually a 1/2 hour early for the party, am relieved to finally be there, and extremely happy I gutted it out.

This is where I think everyone needs a 4-year old to bring them back to earth. My daughter, who is playing in the driveway looks at me, while I'm still standing over the bike, and says, very matter of fact like, "Daddy, you're very late." Thanks Mel.

I'm sore but not nearly as bad as I've felt after some of my longer runs. I'm curious to see how I'll feel tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Anniversary (almost)

Nine years ago today, my soon to be wife and I took our wedding party to the Brewer's home opener. It was cold, overcast, and windy. I don't remember if it actually rained or not, but we tailgated, watched most of the game, then hightailed it home for rehearsal/dinner that night. Just after we left the Brewers turned a triple play.

This is us, not sure who the two idiots are in the middle.

So nine years has passed, it hasn't been all bad. I love you G, but I'm still going to kick your ass at j-hawk next weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Tale of Two Rides

Monday, get home from work, hop on tri-bike. Moderate wind, cool. Ride over to Oregon and back. 25+ miles, almost 16mph. Longest ride to date. Didn't feel to bad, ass is sore, but otherwise ok.

Today, haul mountain bike to office, plan to ride home. It's warmer, 60's, but windy, 20mph windy, out of the south, the very direction I travel home.




17+ miles, at a whopping 11 mph. Time on bike virtually identical to Monday. For maybe 2-miles the wind was with me, the rest was either straight into it or blow you off the road cross winds. Fun. And without the joy of riding a tailwind on a return trip.

To make matters worse, as I'm pulling into soccer practice at the end of the ride, I go to jump the curb and I just don't have enough in my legs to get the back tire up. And over I go. Only a dozen or so parents around. The little pride I have, gone.

If the wind is still coming out of the south, I may just ride back up in the morning. Ride the wind.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pull Buoys

I'm convinced pull buoys were at one point a practical joke from some insane swim coach, and are now an elaborate hoax carried on my masters swimmers, authors, triathletes, lifeguards, etc.  Hell, it's a full blown conspiracy to make us aspiring swimmers look like idiots.  Here, stick this thing between your legs and try to swim.

The swim plan I'm following, when I actually do swim, is based on the book beIronfit.  The first 10 weeks rotated 5 different workouts, once I did them all I forgot about the book and just swam some variation of them.  Now that I'm (well) into the second ten weeks, I decided to pick up the book again and see what was in store for me.  Today, in the middle of my swim, was pull, 400 yards, a first for me.

It's a good thing I wasn't in open water, amongst the big fishes, cause swimming with a pull buoy equated to me doing my best dying/injured minnow imitation.  I managed to throw an arm completely over a lane line on several strokes, and I think at one point my feet were actually leading the way.

As I was leaving, the lifeguard got up to hand me my pool pass and asked how my swim was.  I threw her in.  It's ok, most lifeguards know how to swim, and besides, I know she's in on it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The First Time

I took Wilson out for our first ride yesterday afternoon.  I now understand why a good friend of mine always refers to his mountain bike as a tractor.  Wilson is fast, tractor, not so much.  Tractor is cushy and comfortable, Wilson, not so much.  It's been a long, long time since I've ridden anything without fat tires and some sort of suspension.  The ride, while a bit rougher, wasn't as bad as I expected.

Hardest thing was the instability or twitchiness of the bike.  It doesn't like to go straight.  And heaven forbid you take a hand off the bar.  We got better as we moved on, but I'm pretty sure local law enforcement would have stopped us for suspicion of intoxication if we would have been spotted.

Not having brakes at your finger tips while aero also takes some getting used to.  I had one good "oh shit" moment going through a corner too fast while on the bars.  It wasn't too fast for the corner itself, it was to fast for all the sand and grit in the corner.  Or maybe it was this combined with the realization I have postage stamp sized slick patches of tire touching the road.

Overall, on our 18.5-mile lake route, we took just over 10 minutes off of our typical tractor time.  Good.  And I actually felt very fresh at the end.  Better.  The bad, I'm now scared of hills.  Mountain bike has a granny gear, wilson, no such luck.  Twice yesterday, I had to stand in the lowest gear to get up a hill.  A new rear cassette may be in my future.  Wife and I have a one loop date with the IMoo bike course next Sunday.  I have a feeling the decision will be made very quickly into this ride.

On other fronts, I'm somewhat back in line with running and swimming as well.  Still not 100% health wise, but better.  If the weather cooperates, I hope to put in a ton of miles this week/month.