Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Compete in Triathlon - Check!

I have an unofficial list of things to do before I die and competing in a triathlon was one. I decided back in late April to enter the Tri the Midlands triathlon and made a promise to myself that I would limit the training days to 5 each for the other 2 disciplines - swimming and running. Reason being, I have limited access to a swimming pool and the only time I'm running is if I'm being chased. I held true to my word and swam 5X but only 4X - 1X running a full 5K.

With this being my first triathlon, I entered the Novice category and we had a total field of 42. Of the 3 disciplines, the swim would be my biggest challenge. 500M isn't far but when you only trained 5X and couldn't string more than 75M of freestyle together at one time, I knew I was in for a long swim. I made a Novice mistake by lining up in the middle and being a left hand breather, I should've started on the inside or outside. For this course, the outside would've been preferred as it would've been the shortest line to the first bouy. I'm always amazed how body fat keeps people afloat and allows the heavier people to outswim the skinny ones.

The official time with the long run T1 was 13:52 and I was 18th out of 42 coming out of the water.

Next up, the 12 mile bike leg. I knew I had alot of ground to make up as I was in the water way too long. The new Scott Plasma was amazing but I wish I had more than a week to get acclimated to the bike and position. I started out a little conservative as I had no idea what to expect coming off the bike and running a few miles. On the flats I was able to maintain speeds of 26 - 27 mph and had no problems powering over the rollers. I was a little frustrated at the local police as I had to come to almost a complete stop at one of the intersections as a person they flagged through stopped in the middle of the intersection to take a picture of the cyclists and the cop just stood there and waved at the person taking the picture. On the final right turn before heading back into Lake Carolina the same cop allowed a car to turn right in front of a group of 3 riders and the car was in no hurry to pull away and all three of us had to brake and lost all momentum coming out of the turn. Once in the neighborhood, the number of riders tripled and people were not staying to the right and the faster riders had to weave in and out, trying not to lose too much time.

T1 was 1:19 and now that I've done a tri, I know how to shave some seconds in this area. I completed the bike in 31:16 and finished 1st out of 42 and 20th out of 240. T2 was 57 seconds.

The legs felt OK off the bike and they finally came around in mile 2. I wasn't anticipating the course being as hilly as it was and the 4 days I trained for the run were on a flat course. The walking trail was a little awkward to run on but once I got over the last hill and onto the flat towards the finish, I opened it up and pretty much sprinted to the finish line. My time for the 5K was 23:45 which was 8th in my group.

Total Time: 1:11:08, 2nd place Novice division, 70th place overall. Congratulations to Nick, my Harrell's teammate who finished 1st in the 30-34 division and 8th overall.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Scott Plasma Pro is finally here!

I got fitted for my Scott Plasma Pro today and headed out for a 90 minute ride after lunch. My position isn't as low as anticipated (tension in shoulder due to reaching) but I think I'm aero enough. My personal opinion is that people are riding bikes in positions that may be aerodynamic but uncomfortable as all get out. After 90 minutes on the bike, no soreness or stiffness in my back or neck.

Wow! This bike wants to go fast. With the stock Cosmic Elite on the front and my Mavic OP rim with PowerTap SL on the rear, I was riding along at speeds of 25+ with little effort. The aero benefit of this bike allows you to go faster on fewer watts. What a beautiful thing.

One area of concern is my heart rate. Once in the aero bars, my heart rate shoots up to 160+ with moderate effort. I might need to open up my chest by moving my bars out just a little bit to see if this helps. Then again, it could be my lack of hydration before heading out for a ride in 92+F weather.

Can't wait to see how my Zip 404's and Giro Advantage 2 helmet help me beat the clock next Saturday. I'm out of pocket a few days but will post some pictures later in the week. By the way, the JTek ShiftMate worked great. My Campy wheel is working fine with a Shimano chain and rear derailleur.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Put a fork in me, I'm done!

I was planning on heading out at 6:30AM for a 3 hour ride but was informed by my children that their cheerleading camp performance was at 11:15AM. It was doable but I'm married to a night owl and getting her moving in the morning is tough, so I help out by getting the kids fed, watered, and supervise the teeth brushing while she showers and gets dressed. If everything goes as planned, they head out at 8:45AM for a 9:00AM camp. Not enough time for me to get my ride in.

The performance was over by 12:00 noon and on the way home, I checked the outside air temperature and it said 99F!!! My ride was not going to fun. I'd been hydrating all morning and added a little extra salt to my bottles and checked my weight and hydration on my scale before heading out. 157.2 lbs and a hydration level of 61.2% which is above where I normally am for this time of the day.

I headed out and decided to do the flat to rolling route to minimize fatigue from hills and immediately noticed a significant headwind. Nothing like a hot headwind to zap your energy. I felt sluggish after about 45 minutes into the ride and decided to pull over at a convenience store and get a cold bottle of water and something to eat. This did help and I made it a point to stop every 30 minutes thereafter just to get out of the sun.

I didn't quite make the goal of 3 hours but ended up with 2:30. My weight dropped to 154 and my hydration level actually increased to 62.4%. I checked when I got home and they showed the high for this afternoon to be 101F with 15 mph gusts. You've got to love the summer time in the South!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sunday's workout

The plan called for intervals consisting of 4X9 on 5 off. During the 9 "on", I alternated between 260W and 300W each minute. Pretty good workout and ended up with a TSS of 85 for a little over an hour.

More intervals on Wednesday and a long ride for Thursday before taking 2 days off to start the 4X10 on 5 off on Sunday.