Tuesday, July 27, 2010

3 Days... Say What?

It's coming down to the wire.  All the work, training, dedication and determination will come to fruition in just 3 days and a few hours.  Holy Toledo!

All the i's have been dotted, the t's have been crossed.  All that's left to do is the execution.  There are, or rather will be, many factors which are beyond my control.  Things that I can do very little or nothing about.  About these, I must not fret. My only hope and wish at this point is that these are very few and far in between.

Recently I read that race day is not about fitness.  Race day is about execution.  To succeed you must have a race day plan.  Do I have a plan?  You betcha, I do.

And my plan is very simple.  To keep things simple.  In the swim, I must stay true to my strokes.  Three right, three left.  Should I feel the need to reduce the count it would only mean that I've lost my form.  Should this happen, I must slow down.  Three right, three left.  Slow, easy, steady.

In the bike I must begin and execute my fueling and hydration plan and this will begin in transition.

For the first 20 to 30 miles, I will just ride along, at about 80% of my maximum effort. Then I will shift to easy then to steady, about 85% to 90% of my maximum effort.  The last 8 miles or so, will be dedicated to getting the feet and legs ready for the run. back to about 80% of maximum effort.  By no stretch of the imagination a walk in the park, or rather a ride in the park but steady enough to save the legs for the last 13.1.

I will jog the first 2-3 miles of the run.  Keeping a pace that'll do no harm.  After this I will pick up the pace to a comfortable run until I get somewhere around mile 8-9, where I expect things to be very uncomfortable, but I will finish strong.  And this I will do only if I execute my plan.

The training for Ironman Steelhead 70.3 has been long and has taken it's toll on family and friends.  To all that have supported me, specially my wife and daughters, I owe you big.  I love you a lot!  I hope I make you proud.

To my coach, Barry Baird of Endurance Geeks... a great big thanks!  I hope to make you proud.

To my H.E.A.T. friends and teammates... thanks for pushing, pulling, tugging, nagging, and all other ...ing's along the way.  This would not have been possible without you.  You are now part of my extended family.  As well, I hope to make you proud.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last Minute Cramming

Lighthouse of Benton Harbor and St. JosephImage via Wikipedia
In just 9 days I will be competing in the Steelhead Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Benton Harbor, MI.  That's just 9 short days away.   And what do I need to be doing at this point?  Cramming for the final exam?

Not necessarily.  But that's the desire.

This is the first event in which I have used the services of a tri coach.  Up until now I have pulled plans from the Internet and adjusted to fit my needs, or rather... my likes.

I have understood the tapering period to be the week before the event.  That's when you cut back from mega miles to hardly miles.  This time around, my coach cut back the miles this week.  Next week, we're cutting back some more.

Last night I went to the pool.  On my schedule I had 2200 yards at slow to moderate pace.  I did 1500 at moderate to hard pace.  At the moment, it felt good.  It felt like I was cramming for the final exam and I was absorbing all that I could.  That is until I realized that I was not following instructions.  So, I stopped at 1500.

As with many of us in the sport, specially those of us who are newbies and don't quiet understand yet the importance of a proper taper, I feel like I need to be doing more.

So, for the rest of this week and next week, I will follow instructions as directed.  I will trust that what I have done is enough and I will enjoy the ride.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's Been A Hundred Miles

It's been a hundred miles since I bought my new bike.  The majority of those miles where logged in one ride, last week's 61 miler.  The remainder miles on random rides.

This morning I set out to do a 30 mile, easy ride.  Not sure why, but today i didn't want to venture far from the house, so rode to a nearby park and looped it several times for the majority of the miles.

I used today as an opportunity to test my familiarity with the bike.  The shifting, the aero bars, breaks, clips, etc.  Also, I wanted to know how fast I could push it.  The back side of the park lends itself to pick up some speed.

With each loop, I found myself wanting to go faster.  Because of where the Garmin had to be placed, a slight down look is necessary to see the data.  At the speeds I was approaching and because of the winding road, I did not feel to comfortable taking my eyes off the road to look at the speed, but I could tell that I had never "peddaled" that fast.

I was right.  When I downloaded the data to the computer, I saw that I had reached speeds of 28mph!  The average speed for today's ride was slightly under 17mph.

What I'm mostly enthused about is that with my previous bike, an average of 15mph was the norm.  What I'm most excited about is that after a bike ride, I still have legs left.

I'm looking forward to see what I can do at the Steelhead Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in 12 days.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fourteen Days...Just. Fourteen. Short. Days!

Two weeks from today, it's Steelhead Ironman 70.3 Triathlon!

Yesterday I received my last two weeks training plan from my coach.  In the body of the email it read:  "It's taper time my friend!"


Friday, July 16, 2010

Struggles to Tackle and Resolve

The date of my next "A" event approaches rapidly.  July 31, 2010 will be here in no time at all.  As of this post, there are only 14 days left.  In the world of triathlon training, that is no time at all.  Steelhead Ironman 70.3 Triathlon is in the horizon.

To cram or not to cram?  To go hard, harder than recommended?  To go outside what you know is best?  Sometimes just doing the "right" thing is the hardest thing to do.  In just a couple of days I will enter the taper portion of my training.  If history is to repeat itself, this will be a very difficult time.

Difficult because doubts will set in.  Have I done enough?  What else could I do?

Discipline will have to be the rule of day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Featured on Endurance Geeks Website

I have recently received the honor of being the featured athlete on my coach's Client Spotlight page of  his website!

This for me is a great honor in many ways.

First and foremost because I have not been one to think that what I have done so far is worthy of comparison to the achievements and accomplishments of those tremendous athletes around me.

I thank my coach, Barry Baird for thinking that I am worthy of this honor.  I will do everything in my power to make you proud.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Quintana Roo Seduza Vs. Cervelo P2

As I have made the decision to embark in the quest to complete the Louisville Iromnan 2011, I also realized that it was time to shop and acquire a new tri bike.  I have been riding on a road bike for the past three seasons.  I have enjoyed my Felt Z80 for it has taking me where I've wanted to go.  But now it's time to upgrade.

I've researched brands, models, components and more important pricing.  Yes, pricing is a big issue.  I do not want to overspend, I do not want to underspend.  Once I learned that for my goals I should be prepared to spend between $2,000 and $3,000 I set out to find options.

I visited with my  local tri store, ACME Multisports in Goodlettsville, TN. several times.  I asked 1,436 questions and they answered them all, every last one of them.  Thanks guys!  The options were narrowed to two:  The Quintana Roo Seduza and the Cervelo P2.

I have also done my homework and read several reviews online, both bikes fared pretty much the same.

There are three "major" differences between the QR and the P2.  As explained to me these are:  The handle bars, the front derailleur and the seat.  Apparently the P2 version of these is what justifies the price difference.  Everything else is pretty much identical.

On Thursday, July 1st I took the QR out for a 15 mile ride.  On Saturday, July 3rd I took the P2 for the identical 15 mile ride.  I also did a 15 minute brick (run) immediately after each ride.

This was the first time I would be on a tri bike for any distance.  It took me about a mile or so to get comfortable with the machine.  After that it was just a matter of getting the feel for it.  How would it shift, how would it pedal, how it handle, how would it turn, how would I feel on the aero position?.  The QR was delivering up to my expectations.  The pedaling and the shifting were smooth as silk. The effort to turn the wheels was dramatically easier than on my road bike.  I guess this is what a tri bike is supposed to do.

The aero position took some getting used to.  It felt like I was going to fly off the bike.  I sat back on the saddle but the pedaling was not as smooth, so I moved forward (as instructed) and it became better.  After a couple of miles, I became one with the bike and I continued with my test drive.

Somewhere along the ride I thought it would be smart to do a brick following my ride.  How would I feel after the ride?  Would the bike make a difference?  The answer to this was a surprising one.  The first half mile or so, my lower back was bothering me.  It had never done that before.  After the adjustment, the run became easier than it had ever been following a bike ride.  So yes, the bike did make a difference.

Then it was the turn to test the P2.

I set out to do the same, identical ride.  I wanted the conditions to be as equal as possible to make a smart, informed decision.  I rode the same route, I ran the same brick.

Everything I found on the QR I found on the P2.  No difference in the pedaling, no difference in the shifting, no difference in the handling.  So, at this point I set out to do the only thing I could.  I wanted to find $800 worth of difference.  I couldn't.

The decision was made.  I went with Quintana Roo.  One minor add-on.  I bought the Cervelo saddle!  This was more comfortable.  For the money, I feel I got the best bike.
Enhanced by Zemanta