Wednesday = Hump day

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Halfway through the week...well almost. The week has gone less than smooth so far, but instead of ranting and raving about poor me and bad days, I'll simply post my ride data and look forward to an awesome weekend of ACC Cycling in Boone, NC at Appalachian State.

Monday I got a nice ride in except for the mother (or Queen I suppose) of all Bee's stinging me on the hip and it swelling to ridiculously large proportions, other than that minor detail and getting soaked in the rain it was pretty decent.

Blogger is being stupid, so here's the PowerData from Monday's river ride:

I decided I would head west toward Craig Springs, the site of the VT road race in a few weeks to do some reconissance. I pre-drove the route before the ride to make sure I knew where I was going and wasn't just aimlessly riding looking for a turn that would never come. It's incredible the difference in driving and pedaling my fat butt up a hill or small undulation. Anyways the course is significantly longer than the race flyer states, which rumors each lap to be 15.1 miles, both my Garmin and PowerTap recorded 19 miles (18.95 and 19.19 respectively).

PowerData from Tuesdays Maggie Valley ride:

It was a gorgeous day but pretty windy so I wound up only doing one lap of the course. The cell phone pictures below are pretty blurry because my phone was in my back pocket and sweaty.

Tonight I'll attempt Wednesday Worlds in an effort to not get dropped. Other than that a few small other notes from this week:

  1. Training peaks - WKO Software doesn't run on a Mac, Cruddy.
  2. My bike is pissssed at me...and needs some serious work.
  3. School is ever consuming and I have unfortunately been slacking on both this blog as well as riding.
  4. My hip looks like road rash from a bee sting, really?
  5. I found some cool shots from GWCycling2006 on Webshots from the VCU/UVA weekend as well as NAVY, but Webshots doesn't have a Mac desktop application and therefore pictures can't be downloaded, so sorry for snagging your shots...but I tried I really did.
Pictures from Navy and VCU/UVA weekends:


Nick manning it up infront of me.

Notice there's still snow on the ground!

UVA/VCU Day 2:

I found the outside line really worked for me.

I love this photo, the John Hopkins guys is looking over at me as I'm passing him in the sprint for the finish and GW is wondering if I'm coming for him too.

So I only wound up getting the John Hopkins guy.

Hopefully I'll manage to get a race preview of this weekend at Appalachian State unlike last weekends race preview + race report Smithfield Triathlon.


Smithfield Sprint Triathlon

Monday, March 29, 2010

Since I didn't get around to writing a race weekend preview before I left for the weekend, I'll make this post sort of all encompassing including preview and race report.

I decided a few months ago to sign up for my first triathlon, it's something I've been wanting to do for awhile and finally decided it was time to man up and challenge myself with something new. I began "training" with a group called TriAdventure, who's goal was to help individuals of all fitness levels complete a Triathlon and introduce them to the sport. My interest in the group was solely the swimming aspect with a mission to improve my swimming abilities.

Throughout the 8 week course I attended only the swim practices on Wednesday night, since Friday evening swim practices conflicted with ACC cycling travel. I enjoyed the practices but often found myself exhausted from training for cycling and really wore myself down trying to do too much too fast.

As the race grew nearer, I was confident in my cycling (10 miles) and running abilities (5k) but nervous about the swim portion, having never successfully completed 300m without stopping for a break. I also only had one transition practice before the race, which is an area for improvement after seeing my times from this weekend.

A preview of the race is as follows:

It would begin with a 300m pool swim, each participant starting 15 seconds apart based on predicted swim time. The race began at 10:00AM sharp, I went in the pool at 11:27:00AM.

Following the swim a 10 mile bike ride on an open road course with a few small rolling hills and undulations:

Bike course.

Finally a 5K (3.1 mile) run leaving through downtown Smithfield which was setup as an out and back style run:

Notice where the course ends in this map and the Garmin map below of the actual run particularly the turn around.

Or that's how it was supposed to go...

My friend Andy let me borrow his aerobars and TT helmet for the weekend which either made me look really fast or look like a tool, either way though I was glad to use them.

The gear, minus my Oakley's which got back from warranty last Tuesday and my mom brought them.

My bike looking super fast with aerobars.

Michelle and I headed to Richmond Friday afternoon to stay at my aunt and uncles house, before traveling to Smithfield on Saturday. On the way we made a quick stop at Pop's Ice Cream Bar & Soda Shop where we enjoyed a delicious grilled cheese and milkshake, proper pre-race fuel of course!

Michelle got a bike so we brought it along and rode some on Saturday after the race.

Pop's special of the day, grilled cheese with red beans and coleslaw with a side of cheddar popcorn.

Saturday morning came early with my alarm going off at 5:15 for an early start to the ~2ish hr. drive, arriving early enough for a pre-drive of the bike course and to pickup my race packet. My grandmother and mom both came along for the day which was awesome to have family and Michelle there supporting me during the race. After I picked up my shirt and number I headed toward the transition area to snag a decent spot and layout all of my stuff.

(If you notice any discontinuities in my transition area it's because I changed my mind of where I had my stuff setup and moved it in the last 5 minutes before the area closed, put on my power meter and un-clipped my shoes.)

The first iteration of my transition area.

Towel was on the opposite side of handlebars so I moved it to the other side.

After my area was all set I headed over and got marked with my race number and age, which is pretty funny because you basically strip down to nothing while they write all over you in 40 degree weather. Then the waiting game began, about 2.5 hours of it, we decided to walk into town and get breakfast. I headed back early to put my PowerTap head unit on my bike which I had left in the car, and decided to change around my transition area while I was at it, after that I sat around in the warm gym for about an hour trying to relax.

Killing time in the gym, obviously a little excited!

Around 11:00 we were called to get in line for our swim start, more of the hurry up and wait business, while we all stood in line around the pool slowly crawling forward as swimmer after swimmer entered the pool at 15 second intervals.

Agonizing waiting to start.

A guy in the water counted you down telling you when to start.

first 25m, feeling strong still.

The swim portion didn't go very was atrocious...I nearly drowned...lots of room for improvement right? I predicted a 6 minute swim assuming no break and swam freestyle the entire time, well I swam back stoke for about 75m of the swim and finished in 7:16.

Out of the pool fiddling with the Garmin which wasn't cooperating.

After the swim I quickly hustled over to my bike and began my transition, I had some trouble with the Garmin 310XT not starting my transitions when I hit the lap button on my watch, so I wound up not having times for them.

Rolled the socks, not sure I approve of the method or whether unrolled would be faster.

Look where she is now.

I put this picture in there because this lady in the purple shirt must have cost me 15 seconds, granted this is a friendly triathlon for athletes of all abilities but move out of the way, she literally walked the entire transition and right in the middle might I add. In the next picture you can see how far I made it before she even crossed the mount line.

Still hasn't moved much.

I replaced the battery in the PowerTap head unit the night before the race and didn't reconfigure it with my computer prior to the race, so I only had the Garmin data for power and the ride, but was pleased with how the ride went and finished with a time of 28:32, 35th overall for fastest bike split and fastest novice men's bike split. Complete Garmin data Here for the bike leg.

PowerData from the bike leg.

Satellite image of the bike course.

Returning from the bike.

My second transition was pretty quick except for the fact that I forgot my number belt and had to go back into the transition to get it adding time to my run since I had already crossed the timing line.

Switching over to running shoes.

This was my Oh Sh*t moment, where I turned around for my number.

Try 2, got my number this time.

The run hurt, period. The course was much longer than I expected and I forgot to hit my watch until .3 into the first mile. Once I reached the halfway point, which differs significantly than the race preview details I felt pretty good and picked up the pace on the way back. Total time for the run via timing chip was 23:01 including my dash back into the transition area for my number, placing 65th overall in the run. Garmin run details Here.

Mile splits for the run minus .3 miles that were included in my transition time.

Notice the extra distance down the street where the turn around occurred, what gives?

Striding out the finish line.

Complete first triathlon. Check!

I finished with a final time of 1:01:16, 1:16 past my goal of 1 hour, but none the less pretty decent for my first triathlon. The preliminary results had me at 75th of 538, but the final results posted online place me at 68th, not too shabby.

I entered as a Novice Men athlete and placed second in my category, received a fleece hat for my place.

I had a great time and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the race compared to cycling races which are much more high-strung. I went out for a fun time and an arbitrary goal time, almost made it had I not forgotten my number and nearly drowned. I'll be back for more, hopefully with a faster swim and longer distances!


Week in review: A bust.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Epic fail.

That was the theme of this week and getting out on the bike, logging miles, and....oh that thing called training, yeah, didn't happen. Monday came and went before I even knew it began; between being locked out of my apartment for the entire day, running errands after being out of town for YET another weekend, and the stresses of life I failed to get in a SAYG ride or even make the team meeting. The one productive thing I accomplished Monday was receiving an email from a friend that she had taken two pictures of me from the race weekend, very productive.

Pictures by: Janet Rost

Tuesday I managed slightly better than Monday, attempting my first brick workout in preparation for this weekends triathlon, "Man, Am I in trouble." So the entire time I've been saying to myself: "how hard could it be; I ride pretty often and I've been a runner for a long time, I mean how hard could it be to do one after the other." Well Tuesdays workout shut me up pretty quickly. I began with a nice warm-up on the bike simply because I figured if I was going to do an extended effort I probably shouldn't just go right into it. After my warm-up I rode around 200 Watts for 20 minutes. I'm hoping the ride takes me less than 27 minutes, but we'll see how things unfold.

Riding on the trainer, pre-beard-shave.

My silly PowerTap head unit was being funny, so I only have data from the Garmin 310XT, which I finally figured out how to use in multi-sport mode just in time for this weekend.

Silly PowerTap head unit. The next day, it turned on. What Gives?

Garmin PowerData with heart rate.

After I finished my effort on the trainer I hopped directly off my bike, threw on my running clothes (tights and a long sleeve pullover since it was cold out) and out the door for a run. At first I thought to myself, this isn't so bad my legs feel great, and then about a half mile into my run there is a nice long gradual hill that made my legs HURT. After I recovered from the intense burning sensation that was controlling my lower body, I picked up the pace and pushed hard completing a nearly 3 mile loop.

Trying to push it a little.

In the pain cave.

Mile splits from Garmin 310XT, so this weekends run may be...interesting.

One thing that frustrates me with the 310XT is the fact that it take's a good while for the satelites to acquire, which generally means the first part of my run isn't recorded. So even though it shows 2.3 miles, it's really more like 2.65 says this run.

Wednesday I woke up early and practiced transitions at the track on campus. This was my first and only transition practice for the triathlon, so hopefully I have the kinks worked out, otherwise Saturday morning may not go smoothly. I practiced over and over running up to my bike, goggle and cap down. Next glasses and helmet w/ buckle on, grab my bike and hop on. I can't decide whether or not I'm going to leave my shoes clipped in or simply put them on before getting on the bike. I really don't want to risk eating it leaving the transition area because I was trying to look cool.

My Mock transition area.

Mock transition area - I'm open to suggestions.

Wednesday Afternoon Reid Beloni's weekly ACC race weekend recap was posted on and another one of my photo's was used. Read the full article Here.

My photo on VeloNews

I did have an opportunity Wednesday evening to ride out to Blacksburg Airport (the reason I have been so busy all week, VT Motorsports FSAE) and hung out with some cows and snagged this awesome shot.

Thursday followed suit with the rest of the week, not enough time in the day to get a decent ride in.

Farm near Airport Rd. in Blacksburg.

Tomorrow a race weekend preview for my Smithfield Sprint!

Oh yeah...pre and post shave.

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