Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Beware the Ides of February

I have an Ironman World Championship wall calendar. Look at the dates for the last week. I wonder if they make the same mistakes when marking their race courses?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

My New Wheels

Friday, February 23, 2007

How I Roll

I got a new pair of Flash-Point FP-60 wheels.

These wheels are by far the nicest part of my bike (excluding my Killer Whale Squeeky Horn, of course.) They arrived in the mail, and I didn't even take them out of the box; I didn't trust myself to install them so I brought them and my bike to the shop last night. I never saw the wheels in person, only in photos. When I was pulling into the parking lot today to pick up my bike, there was a bike locked up outside that had Flash-Point wheels on it. These were the first wheels I had seen in person, and I was excited because I thought "hey, those look pretty cool!" Then my eyes sort of looked up and focused a bit and I realized "hey, that's MY bike!"

My bike is noticably lighter now, and here's a huge "little thing": I always had trouble removing my front tire. It would always catch on something, I could never figure out what, but it always ALWAYS took me several attempts to wiggle it free. This new wheel just glides right out.

So how do the wheels feel on the road? I have absolutely no idea. Haven't gone riding yet. But who cares? I'm very happy with them already.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Big Brick

I have some bad news.

Today we were supposed to do a 4-hour bike followed by a 2-hour run. The bike stretched out to about 4:20, but that's not the bad news. It was 89 degrees when we started our run, but that's not the bad news. We scaled down to a slow 1-hour run, but that's not the bad news.

The bad news is... I felt pretty good.

So now after all the hype over today's workout, I have no funny anecdotes to share. Where's the conflict? The human drama? I've got nothing. "It was windy." Whoop-de-doo. It's ALWAYS windy along the path.

As it turns out, this was excellent preparation for Wildflower. We did the same same bike distance today, and I'd like to finish in about 4 hours. I'd like to do the run in 2-2.5 hours, and even though we only covered about half the distance today, I felt like I could go for another hour.

So all-in-all, it was a good workout today. I'm sorry.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The End Is Near

I went to the bike store to pick up a second water bottle cage, and ran into Species 8274 and "USA Triathlon certified Level 1 Coach and USA Cycling certified Club Coach" Brandon. Both are accomplished triathletes and cyclists, and they invited me join them for a group ride tomorrow. I told them I couldn't make it, because I had a rough workout scheduled with IronmAnnie, doing the 4-hour bike and 2-hour run, and I was worried about it.

I was expecting (and hoping) that they would lie to me:
"Wow, sounds like a really good workout!"
"You'll do great!"

Instead, they both sort of cringed:
"Oh.... man, that sounds rough."
"4-hour bike? Most people would only run 30 minutes after that... maybe 45"
"At least you picked a hot day for it."

Now then, when you see two Ironmen wincing at your training plans, it sort of makes you wonder if this is such a good idea after all...


Last Will

This may be my last post ever... Tomorrow I am supposed to do a 4-hour bike followed by a 2-hour run. I do not know if I will survive.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Just Spinning My Wheels

The only bike rides I have been doing have been the long rides on Saturdays. 84 miles, 112 miles, 28 miles after bonking... That really isn't a good way to train. The problem is that it's too dark to ride after work, and there is no way I can get up in morning to go for an early ride. It simply won't happen.

My condo building has a small gym in it, so last night I decided to give the stationary bike a try. I suppose it's a pretty good one- it has programmable workouts, heartrate monitor, even a cup holder for your Mountain Dew. (no, I just had water.) I dialed in the 30-minute Hill Interval workout.

I worked up quite a sweat. You don't really appreciate how nice coasting is until you can no longer do it. I was pretty bored after just 20 minutes but I think I could do an hour with an iPod. I'm hoping that one or two nights midweek can hold me over until it's bright enough to ride outside after work again.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Blogger Buddy

I may have found a new kindred spirit in the Tri Blog world...

Not so long ago, Steve did his first Century ride.
Not so long ago, I did my first Century ride.

Steve uses dolls... er, Action Figures, to tell his stories.
I use dolls... er, Action Figures, to tell my stories.

People think of Steve as a dork, but he's actually buff.
People think of me as a dork.

Anybody with a post titled "Bloodiest Ride Ever" can't be too bad.

Steve's Blog

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'm a Whore

Triathletes have a reputation for being Gear Whores. They love getting new wetsuits, and GPS watches, and every possible contraption that will fit on the bike. In all honesty, I think I've refrained from such behavior. I certainly ramped up quickly when I first started doing tris, but since then I really haven't spent a lot on new gear. For me, my obsession is magazines.

I LOVE getting magazines. And every time I register for a race, I can either "click here for 6 free trial issues of AdPacked Magazine!" or there is a table at Registration handing out free subscriptions. Some magazines I did have to pay for, but most of them are free (up until the time I forget to cancel, and then I am conveniently billed $19.95.)

My current triathlon-related subscriptions:
Inside Triathlon
Runner's World
Running Times
Swimmer's World
Velo News
Men's Health
Fitness (it's a women's magazine, I didn't know what it was, it was free, I clicked "YES")

I'm sure I'll add another one or two at my next event. If I'm missing something, let me know and MAYBE I'll order it, but mostly I just go for the freebies.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Do I feel lucky, punk?

I registered for the Kona Lottery.

The Ironman Triathlon World Championships are held in Kona, Hawaii. The top 50 or so finishers in 27 different Ironman and Half-Ironman events qualify to go to Hawaii. But the Founding Fathers declared by edict that there would always have a mechanism to allow "normal" people to participate in the World Championships (not that people who try Iromans are normal). About 200 slots are available in a lottery system. It's very cool. Imagine being able to win a drawing to compete in the Olympics; that's what this is like.

Because Kona is THE triathlon event of the year, thousands of people enter the lottery so it becomes a numbers game. The more years you apply, the better your chance of making it in some day. This would be a bit early for me to try an Ironman, but I figure I both can't win and can't lose here. (Or I both win and lose.) If I get a spot, it will be an AMAZING opportunity, but my life will be ruined for the next 8 months of training. If I don't get a slot, I'll be disappointed but greatly relieved.

Most of all, I want to be part of the excitement on April 15 when the lottery results are announced. The Island Gods will determine our destinies.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

All I Really Need to Know About Triathlon I Learned From World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is an online Dungeons & Dragons game. You get sent on quests to slay monsters to gain experience. When you gain enough experience, you go up a level: your character has attrbutes such as "Strength" and "Stamina" which increase with each level. Many of the quests can be done alone ("soloing"), and then there are dungeons which are more challenging and designed specifically to be done with a group. Typically, I will spend several days or a week soloing trying to gain a level, and then on the weekend I may join some friends to do a dungeon. Then I'll go back to soloing again, go up a level, then do a higher-level dungeon the next week. And so on.

Today we were supposed to do an 84-mile bike ride. (3 laps of 28 miles.) The last time I was on the bike was our previous long ride 2 weeks ago. I did the first lap today and I was done. I wasn't really sore, or sick, there was just absolutely nothing in the tank. I also had a bad run last week while out with the Axis of Evil. The problem is that I've been doing tough bike rides on Saturdays, then I think I deserve a couple days off, then I do a tough run on Wednesday, deserve a couple days off... you get the idea. Today I realized that I've been doing all the dungeons but haven't done any soloing.

Some of the people I'm going with are Level 70.3; others are already Level 140.6. Me, I'm only a Level 26.2. The dungeons are too high-level for me, and without soloing I can't keep up. So I'm going to go out on my own a bit, do some quests to increase my Strength and Stamina. Then I will be able to survive the dungeons.