Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm back...sort of

I made an interesting discovery today.  Apparently my Garmin loses its GPS data after a couple of months of not being synced.  I had some activities to upload from the summer.  They uploaded, but no GPS data.  I haven't been as lazy as last summer, but I haven't stuck with my plan like I wanted to.  Anyway, Sunday afternoon, Tony and I took a trip to Luton.  I didn't feel too bad, I didn't have the confidence that I had earlier in the summer.  That was probably a good thing considering my previous MTB ride involved landing on the end of my handlebars and giving myself a massive hematoma very close to a sensitive area.  It was a pretty fun ride, neither of us had gotten in the miles that we had hoped for in August so the ride was a bit slower and relaxed.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Since Ft. Custer

I'm trying not to turn into a lazy slob like I did after the triathlon last year.  The week following the triathlon was so busy that I didn't have time to sneak in any exercise.  We went up north for Memorial Day weekend and the week following.  Once we got to Rachael's parent's house, I did get a couple of runs in.

Tony and I did get out for a ride at Luton Park.  Apparently the rodents/chipmunks had given up the will to live and had been laying out in the trails to get run over.  There were dead animals laying all over the trails.  I was not having a good night though.  I had drank too much water and was feeling nauseous.  Not sure what was going on, but at the beginning of the yellow loop my bike decided that it was done behaving and started giving me shifting problems.  I adjusted things, and it kind of helped but not really.  Tony wanted to ride a second lap, I thought I would try to continue on and hope the nausea and shifting issues would get better.  They weren't, so after the black loop I decided to bail after that and head home.

During training, I really enjoyed running to the gym and jumping in the pool for some laps.  Saturday afternoon in the dreadful heat, I decided to do just that.  I didn't get many laps in at the pool, but it was still an enjoyable session.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Xterra Last Stand at Ft. Custer

I got to Ft. Custer at about 8 AM, a bit later than I should have. I would have been there sooner, but had to make a stop at a gas station to drop a deuce. Apparently so did the chick that was using it before me, because she was in there for an eternity. It must have been the nerves, because I had to visit the facilities again once I got to Ft. Custer. All of this meant that I didn't have any time to got for a warmup run or bike. The best I could do in terms of a warm up was to swim a bit on the way to the swim start.

 The Swim - 15:57

Apparently last year a bunch of us had cut the swim course short.  This year the course was setup to prevent that sort of thing from happening.  Most people were lining up so that they were swimming more on an angle out to the first turn.  I decided to go as far down as I could for a straighter swim.  I'm not sure what the point was of the orange buoy in the picture, because it wasn't a turn.

The horn blew and away we went.  I started out swimming too hard, but was moving through people pretty well.  I then realized that I needed to try to settle into my rhythm, and not try so hard.  Just as I got settled in, BLAM!!! Heel to my right eyebrow.  That threw me a bit.  I tried once more to get into my rhythm, but was having a hard time getting my breath.  I swam for a bit, and realized that I was heading off course, and changed direction and headed directly for the buoy at turn 1.  I saw open water, where I thought I could get into my rhythm and race my race.  Every time I went for open water, someone else was banging on me.  We make it to turn #2 to head to shore.  I start to realize my swim camp is coming off.  I try to pull it down a couple of times, to no avail.  I then decided to pull it off and try to tuck it into my goggle strap, that worked for about 30 seconds.  Swim cap gone.   No biggie.  I start to get into my rhythm and some dbag starts swimming into me, so I try to swim away and he stays there hitting me.  I said "eff it", and backed off and swam around behind the guy to get on his right side.  Dbag decides that he needs to start swimming to his right and is getting into me again.  I didn't have enough to be able to get away from him, so I let him go.

T1 - 2:26

T1 was faster for me this year.  It would have been even faster, but I had forgotten to get the chia gel out of my bag before the race.  As I was reaching down to get my Garmin, I see my heart rate.  My heart is still blazing away at 174 bpm, after being out of the water for a good minute by this point.  In trying to get my HR down, I decide to walk out of T1.

Bike - 1:02:58

I forgot to start the Garmin until about a half mile into the ride.  I nailed a chia before we got to the trail.  I got stuck behind a guy that was unwilling to let me pass.  Right after the trenches, there was a tight spot between a couple of trees.  I hit the first tree with my shoulder and right hand, which spun my handlebar and sent me off the trail.  That tree has some of my skin.  I lost a bit of time there, but quickly recovered and started passing people.  Once of the real bright spots of the ride was the first halfway decent hill, and I'm blazing up that hill and passed about 6 people running in granny up the hill.  Didn't see many people the rest of the way to the finish.  Granny's garden didn't treat me too well.  I had to get off my bike a couple of times, and run up the hills.  I got to a part of the trail that seemed like a good spot to pull out Chia #2.  I struggled getting the gel out of the baggy.  It took too long, and when I was done I tried stuffing the gel back in my pocket to no avail.  I see a sharp downhill turn coming up, and with the Chia problem I wasn't prepared.  I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the carnage that ensued ranked among the hardest and most painful falls I've ever experienced.  As I'm heading to the dismount line to head into T2, I attempt my dismount and almost crash again.  As you can see, that rear tire is a bit too far off the ground.
And now the bike is a bit sideways.

T2 - 1:01

Pretty uneventful in T2, just pretty much in and out.  Rachael had no idea she was getting the pics above, she was too busy noticing the dirt and look for blood. 


Run - 36:00
I left T2 with a few people ahead and behind me.  The first mile is probably the worst, a run across the beach and then a sandy hill climb.  My legs were burning at the 1 mile mark.  For the majority of the run I was completely by myself.  To keep myself going, I was telling myself that I was in the lead and that I was the greatest.  I knew it was ridiculous, but it was working.  I had to make myself be patient with the run, because I knew I wouldn't have enough in the tank to make it to the end.  At mile 3, I allowed myself to amp up my pace a bit, and at 3.5 I started to work my pace up to a full on sprint to head up the chute.  There's nothing better in my opinion than emptying the tank in the chute.  I actually crossed the line at 1:58:21 according to the timing system.

I made some mistakes in the race, but I was very satisfied with my effort.  My goal was to finish in under 2 hours.  I had no idea what my time was until I was almost to the finish line.  Here's a link to the official results. http://www.eliteendeavors.com/results/laststand/2012/XT-12-LS-TRI-OA.htm  With a baby on the way in December, I'm hoping to be able to do this race again next year, but not sure if I will have the time to devote to training.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tapered and ready

I read an article(?) from Gazelle Sports a couple of weeks ago that was talking about training for the 53 River Bank Run. Basically, the gist of the email was that the worst is behind you, you've made it through the training and are now tapering, and it ended with treat the race like your victory lap. I'm trying to keep that mindset going into Sunday. I did my last swim and bike ride today. Tomorrow, I'm going to take the dog for a long walk as a bit of recovery and make a fresh batch of chia gel. One thing I'm not trying to focus on with this year's tri is the fact that I managed to fall many times during last year's race. I think I might have taken care of that on Tuesday's training ride, I'm not sure what my problem was, but a stiff breeze seemed to be about all it took to knock me over on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In memorarium

I did something Sunday night that I didn't think I would ever do. I bid farewell to a trusted companion. This companion was with me on some great adventures to the North Country Trail, "The Loop", The White Pine Trail(a.k.a. Trestle bridge/park), Fort Custer, Yankee Springs, The Poto and more This companion was great on drunken midnight rides through the Ferris State University campus and downtown Big Rapids. Ah the memories of the Smoked Chrome 1995 Mongoose Hilltopper. My old pal has a new home, someone who needed a bike worse than I needed two bikes. I donated the bike to a young man from my church who's bike got stolen while at church this past Sunday. In addition to my act of kindness, I had to say goodbye to the beard and my amazing white man afro today. This is a good thing though, because tomorrow I have a job interview that is very promising. I figured I should make myself look presentable. I'm no longer a bearded triathlete, but I kept the goatee. I guess I'm still kind of bearded.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Training update 04/25/12

It's been a rough couple of weeks from a training perspective. Two weeks ago I went with Rachael down to Indy while she went through training for her new job. The following week was my last week of classes, and I had a crap load of work to do. Now I'm good to go for training right up to the triathlon. Since my last post, me and the Peace9r went to the ski hill for our first trip of the season. That night was so great, I had to do 2 laps. The course felt so fast that night. I think this course is where I fell in love with the Peace9r. Indianapolis was not a good place to run. The area where I was was mostly industrial. I did run past the headquarters of a few race car teams: Andretti, Chip Gnassi and Tony Stewart. Indy does have a decent rail trail that goes from the northern suburbs to downtown. Here's the run and ride I did while I was there. Last Saturday was a truly great ride. It was the first ride of the season with Ridefast. The other great part of the ride was it was the "MTB Trifecta", Cannonsburg State Game Area, Cannonsburg Ski Hill and Luton Park in one sitting. I did this ride last year as a part of my training plan, but fell short of completing it. The amount of hills on this ride is nothing to mess with. Ridefast is much better at road riding than myself, and tore me up on the hills. The state game area felt Custerlike with some rooty sections and some nice downhills. Overall, the Cannonsburg trails were good to me and felt pretty quick. After the hills on Myers Lake Rd, Luton was a challenge. I didn't want to do the full trifecta again, so I did what I'm now titling "A Tale of Two Cannonsburgs". Overall the ride was good. I did fail to climb the one hill that is my #1 goal whenever I ride the ski hill. I missed the correct line and got into some softer stuff. I weighed in at the pool today after my swim, and I managed to gain a pound over the last couple of weeks. I guess that's what I get for not keeping up with my training over the next couple of weeks. Tonight, I decided to check out Luton park while we were in the dry slot of some rain. The place was deserted.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ft. Custer and Homemade Chia Energy Gel

It was a bit of a cold week, which cut one of my rides short.I probably should have cut Wednesday's ride short too, I couldn't feel a majority of both feet by the end of the ride. I was so sick of the wind by the end of that ride. I checked the weather forecast, and it said wind out of the west. I chose a more north and south route so I wasn't battling the wind as much. Well that effing weather forecast was wrong, 20 something MPH winds out of the northwest. I was getting hammered by the wind most of the ride. Here's those two rides.

Ft. Custer

I was supposed to do a ride/run brick at Ft. Custer on Friday, but the weather didn't cooperate. I decided to ride and run Custer on Sunday instead. Overall Sunday was a good day of training. I did have a bit of an issue about mid way through the red loop at Custer. I just finished climbing a pretty decent hill and turned a corner onto a flat and wide portion of the trail. Huffing and puffing, I spot a gray haired woman walking in the middle of the trail. I smile at her as I approach, when b!tch says "Please do not ride mechanized vehicles in the woods.". I'm disappointed in my response, as I only could come up with a "whatever" as a retort. I biked for about 2 minutes and came to a stop thinking about turning around and laying into this woman walking on a "Mountain Bike Trail"!!! I decided that it wasn't worth it, and kept riding. Rachael said it was probably best, because the woman was probably irrational and it would've done me no good to go back. Here's how the ride looked.

I learned something while running on Sunday. I remember having the urge to walk part of the run course during the triathlon last year. I allowed myself to walk, and was upset with myself for doing so. I had that same feeling on Sunday, and walked for just a couple of seconds because I was lost transitioning from the beach. Other than that I didn't walk the rest of the run. I've been thinking that it has something to do with my legs and body transitioning from biking to running. Here's a look at the run. My run Sunday was faster than my run in the triathlon.

Chia Energy Gel

I decided to try out making my own energy gel. It seems to work and doesn't taste too bad. At the bottom is the link to the recipe. I made some changes to my version. I used honey(I have a lot) instead of brown rice syrup, and used kosher salt instead of salt substitute for my electrolyte mix.