Monday, August 31, 2009

Garmin Forerunner 305 Review

Find Garmin Forerunner 305 Review on my new webpage!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Time to Run










I must say this week has been extremely busy at work which caused me some issues working out a few nights.  I think I am getting a taste of how life will be in the future months.  Two people are leaving, one from my old area, and one from my new area, leaving me to do both, and try and train 2 other people on both areas.

Since St. Paul was last Sunday, I figured I would have a light week at the start, but found myself pleasantly surprised at how fast I recovered.  The most sore area was probably my shoulders, see previous post about the wetsuit fit.  I think I am going to try and store it over the winter with some towels stuffed in the shoulder areas to stretch it out a bit more. 

I started out Monday with a nice 1300 yard swim, working on form and trying to glide through the water causing as little turbulence as possible.  This was not the case for the lady swimming next to me.  She was a quick swimmer, and by quick, I mean she was faster than I was which is by no means a standard of measurement of a swimmers ability, just their perceived speed in relation to mine.  This swim was supposed to be nice and easy to loosen my muscles up after the race and it turned into more of a training activity of group swimming.  There was water splashing everywhere, waves crashing over the ropes, and what felt like a large current below the water.  I was not even able to use this as an opportunity to practice drafting, but more fighting through rough waters.  It was fun!

We had Caesar salads on Monday, but I do not mess around when having salads.  I prefer to load mine down with meat and noodles.  I put together a nice sized salad along with some cottage cheese for additional protein and left enough salad ingredients to have another one for lunch the following day. 

Tuesday night I went for a run with Heather as she is preparing for the Twin Cities 10 Mile.  We ran 3 miles together and then I ran the same loop again for a total of 6 miles.  It helped me to run with her and keep my heart rate in a lower zone, although it did drift out towards the end.  I see a long winter ahead of treadmill time trying to get used to the lower zone heart rate training.  Running needs to be my main focus for the next 5-8 weeks.  With the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon rapidly approaching and my mileage nowhere near what it needs to be, I have quite the journey ahead of me to build up my distance.  I want to do all of this while maintaining what I have built for triathlons as well.  I think swimming and biking twice a week each, plus three runs a week will get me there.


As I get a little closer to the race, I will post what my goals are… I say that like I am competitive at 26.2 miles HAH!  I have a rough number in mind, but  need to see how some of my longer runs go to see if I will manage to hold a pace for the entire distance.  My time last year was 4:48:28 chip time, 4:52:04 from when the gun went off.  My goal is for improvement, how much is another question. 


Wednesday was a good bike ride, out and back just over 16 miles.  On my way out, I could not help but think about my last trip out on this path.  I think it resulted in a flat and getting a new rear tire after a phone call to the Mrs.  Biking is going to be my big focus over the winter months.  I want to go into next year with a stronger bike time.  I am not sure what I can realistically expect to gain, but it better be on the strong side of 20MPH average. We had dinner with Heather’s sister on Wednesday where I made a new pasta recipe.  It turned out very well and everyone loved it.  It will be going into my list of keepers, and I will eventually post it up here with some pictures to do it justice, lets just say it was very good and there were no leftovers between three of us although it was supposed to make 5 servings.

Thursday I got stuck at work later than expected before heading with Heather to a work function at the Casino/Horse Track.  I have never been to a track before, but had a good time, and we ended up a few dollars, not enough to buy me a new bike like I had hopped, but every bit counts right?!?!

Then comes Friday, I knew when I woke up in the morning I had to decide when I was going to do my long run, 12 or 14 miles, TBD.  The plan was to run it on Saturday, but about halfway through the day, I decided it would be better to get it out of the way.  I also looked at the weeks to come and decided I better run 14 if I could manage as my time is limited to build the miles.  Headed out of the house at 4:30 and started off.  This was the first time this year I used my Fuel Belt with newly purchased bottles since my last ones got left in the car and molded last year.  The goal was to finish my 14 miles, keeping my HR in my roughly calculated Z2.  This meant much slower miles than I was used to running recently, but after a while I got into the groove and just started running along.

The run was broken into two sections, and 8 mile loop starting and ending at home, and then another 6 mile loop after refilling my water bottles.  I run with 4 8oz bottles, so I intended to drink 8 ounces every 2 miles.  Since the temp was cooler and there was a pretty strong 10-15 MPH wind it was much nicer running than I have done in a while.  The first 8 miles went well, although when I got home I started noticing my left knee (same leg that had the sprained ankle) was starting to get a bit sore similar to how my right knee felt last year during marathon training.  I decided to keep running and luckily ran into Heather on her run when I was at mile 9.  A little “Good job baby! You look good, keep it up!” was all I needed to keep me going.  I pressed on, although I started noticing my knee getting more sore as I went on.


Long HR
I managed to complete the full 14.2 miles in 2:31:40, not bad considering it has been since July 7 when I ran 12 miles that I ran anything over 6 miles.  My time was slower than the 12 mile run, but I
am going to stick with the lower HR training in hopes that it pays off down the road.  I got home and was walking with a limp as my knee was sore, but after a little ice and relaxing the rest of the night after getting the $20 combo at Chili’s, it started feeling a bit better.  I felt my calves start to cramp up after showering so I had Heather hit them with The Stick.  I wrapped up my legs in ace bandages since I went to purchase some compression socks to try them out as I was told Walgreens sold them for less than 10 bucks.  No such luck they were around $35 dollars, for that price I would rather purchase a pair from DeSoto, Zoot, or 2XU. 

Although Heather said I looked like and old man with both legs wrapped in Ace bandages, I slept with them on and woke up in the morning.  I must say I was very impressed with how good my legs felt and almost no pain in my knee.  This gave me some extra hope for the marathon training.  I decided to purse something I have been debating for a while.  Stuffed Cupcakes! Some pictures below will show the process, not bad for a first attempt.  The batter turned out a bit more like a brownie, but I love brownies!  The filling was not quite as much fudge as I expected and will need some tweaking, we topped them with some chocolate cream cheese frosting which we bought at the store and would say they turned out pretty well.


You can see below the filling is white and the top ones are after being covered again with some of the batter.  Although the batch said it would make 30, I think I ended up with about 20, must have made bigger cupcakes than intended. IMG_0074 IMG_0075 IMG_0077


Sorry for the moderate pictures.  I took them on my phone since it was right there. I should have spent a bit more time to make them look more appealing, but wanted to get the post up.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

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St. Paul Sprint Triathlon

Where to begin? Let's start off with the weather... I do not think I could have asked for much better of a day for this race. I woke up and threw on my suit, a pair of track pants, shirt and a hoodie(this part for me is great!) Temperatures were cool over night which left plenty of dew on the ground and it stayed cool until the sun started peeking up on ride to St Paul, about 25 miles from home. The temp was cool when I arrived, but by race time had warmed up a bit to around 70 degrees I would guess. The race started at 7:30, but the sprint course started at 8 to give the International distance people some time to swim their second lap. I got in the water early to get used to it, and I was impressed with visibility, the best lake I have been in this year by far.

This was also probably my biggest race this year and so the start was a larger group of people, not just 25-29 Males. This made things interesting at the start. I spent the first 1/4 of the swim trying to get settled in and get around some of the people who got out ahead of me. When I got out, I realized my shoulders were starting to get a bit tired. Immediately I realized that after trying on about 6 dress shirts yesterday and finding they were all too small in the shoulders, I must be putting on some size... great... now I need to look for a new wetsuit for next season. I found my zone and went on with the swim. I was not real sure what my pace was going to look like, but I was shooting to be at 16 minutes.

Out of the water I go and into transition. I figured I will worry about my times later and started peeling gear off. I had a bit of a time getting my wetsuit off my ankles, but managed to get it torn off and out of transition I went. This was the first time I have raced with my clipless pedals and I have not done much work trying to get my feet into the shoe while on the bike so I put the shoes on in transition and ran out. Up and over the curb to get to the road... a bit of an annoyance.

And he is off! Hoping to average 20 MPH and meet my goal that carried over from Waseca. I did not feel very prepared as I had not mapped out the course to see what my elevation changes looked like or where they were located. A lady before the race said she had driven it yesterday and there was a bit of a snake path up a hill, I asked her if she was from Colorado, because a hill is sometimes relative. A few people chuckled at the remark.

It took me a bit longer than expected to get my heart rate regulated on the bike, and it still was not very steady. I saw a hill that would be on the way back that looked like a fair climb, but I will worry about that when I get there. It did not take me long to realize I was not cruising at a 20 MPH pace and there was one point that I felt like my legs had nothing in them, not good! I also have to add, that even though I do not have my review done of the Profile Design AquaCell, I do not see myself using it much longer. The roads were a bit bumpy and one bump freed the bottle from the velcro holding it in place and liquids went everywhere. The rest of the race I had to hold part of the bottle with my fingers in the aero position to keep it from rattling the whole time. I get to the first turn around, not too bad as it was fairly wide, but required slowing down and being mindful of others. Back towards the start! The hill I thought was going to be bad was not nearly as tough as I thought.

The way back my legs came to me and I started picking up pace. I rode at a higher cadence than normal as my legs were not feeling too strong and I wanted to make sure I had something left for the run.

I could tell the bike was going to be short, based on things I had heard about the course prior to the race. I did not realize it was going to be nearly 3 miles short. My Garmin said 11.32. Since my legs came back under me, I think I would have made my goal of a 20 MPH average with those extra few miles. 19.6 according to Garmin, improvement none the less.

I get back to the dismount and pop one shoe out, struggle with the left shoe, but finally get it out and into transition I go. Drop the bike off, almost forget my helmet, switch to my Zoot Ultra Shoes, grab the Garmin off the bike and away I go. Any guesses what I forgot? My race belt and number, I almost went back for it but decided it is not that important.

Ahh for the run, at this point the sun had come out in full force and was putting off some nice rays, great for laying at the beach, warm for the run. I do have to say I would rather run in hot humid weather than cold like the marathon last year. Hoping to make 8 minute miles to meet that goal this time. It did not take me long to get my running legs on, maybe it was the hilly start, look down at the watch, see my HR at 175 and figure that is sustainable, my 7:10 pace on the other hand would probably slow down. Letting off the throttle a while, I coasted along, trying to keep below 8 minute miles. I got to the first mile and felt good so the second mile was kept around the same speed, I say that like I can actually maintain a constant speed... hah! When I got to the point of my watch saying 2 miles I thought to myself this is probably my last race of the season and I said I wanted to cross the finish line knowing I left everything I had out there. I picked up the pace and ended up finishing at a solid sprint at the end feeling strong as ever. In hindsight I could have pushed myself harder for longer, but I would say my 7:39 average was well ahead of my goal of 8 minutes. Although the run was just at 3 miles, I do not doubt I could have held my sprint for the remainder of a 5k. According to the Garmin, I peaked at 12.9 MPH at my sprint, not too bad.

The Results:
Of 565 finishers on the short course, I finished 78 with a time of 1:16:03
This time put me at 7/42 in my AG. I was very pleased with this outcome.

Hope to upload some pics as soon as I get my hands on them, although I heard they had a hard time with some of them (taking picture of the wrong swimmer and bike course being so much shorter they were not read)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Installing Garmin Forerunner 305 Bike Quick Mount Kit

If you are looking for directions to Install Garmin Forerunner 205 Bike Quick Mount, just click on the link as it has moved to my new webpage.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have been spending some free time working on some revisions of a few product reviews that I should have ready this week. I have been working to get them finalized with pictures and the whole 9 yards. The first two that I will be releasing are for the Garmin 305 and Profile Design AquaCell Hydration system.

Last week was below sub-par for my workouts. Since Heather, my wife, and I had Monday off and spent the day at Valley Fair with my brother and his girlfriend I did not workout Monday and used it as a recovery day although I was not terribly sore. In hindsight I should have spun around on the bike a little to loosen things up. We spent the day at Valley Fair and when they headed back to Iowa, Heather and I went from the southwest suburbs to the northeast side of the Twin Cities to return her wetsuit she rented. While up there we decided to purchase a wetsuit for her, a Zoot Zenith. She rented the full sleeve the first time and had to use a sleeveless for this race. She ended up buying one with sleeves, a smart decision for her. We both also picked up a pair of Zoot racing shoes. I will probably review them at some point as well.

Tuesday I went for a bike ride after installing my Speedplay Zero pedals. First time riding with my clipless pedals. Similar to the comment I made about people naming lakes Clear Lake that are not clear why do they call them clipless pedals when they actually do clip in? Regardless, it went well until I got home and came up my driveway, towards the garage door, and started to brake almost to a stopCRAP! I forgot to unclip and cant twist out quick enough. The bike starts leaning left and I feel myself reach a point of no return, over I go, reaching my hand out to brace the fall thinking this will be something like falling on a snowboard, which I did multiple times last winter as I learned. Luckily I came away scratch free, only a slightly bruised ego and a small scuff on the bottom of one of the shoes, no damage to the bike.

I decided to put my Zoots to use on Wednesday on a quick 4 mile run in the morning since I had kickball that night. I wanted to push this run a bit harder than my normal runs and it felt good, until about a mile away from home when I could feel the backs of the shoes rubbing my ankles, but I pushed through and managed.

If I were to show you the picture below, it is only natural most people would think that it came from my little bike incident, oh no, it came from kickball.

This was the second seasons our team from work played this year, after having a great first season and then getting beat first round of the playoffs, we came back for revenge the second season. We only lost one game in the regular season, won our playoff games and made it to the final night of games on Wednesday. We won our first game, putting us in the championship game. Who were our opponents? The team we lost to during the regular season. This did not resonate well with me because that was also the game I sprained my ankle. The game was low scoring, but we ended up losing, I blame myself for some of their runs due to an error or 2 I had. The below picture is from one such instance. I botched a throw to second base for a force out, and then as the ball was thrown in I grabbed it and tried to run down the guy going from third to home. As I got ready to throw, he hit the brakes trying to dodge the ball, so I stop to line up before the throw, release, and then tumble over.

I walk away with a bloody knee, palm, and a huge scrape on my lower back/butt region. I keep playing, but we ended up getting beat 4-2. I am not a part of the team next seasons, but this is by choice. I need to focus on training for the marathon.

I did not register for the Square Lake Sprint Tri and after a couple days of website issues, it comes back up, and the race is full. This was supposed to be our last race for the season, so now we have to try and find something else. We wanted it to be the last race since it was a ½ mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 5 mile run. A good distance for Heather to prep for the Twin Cities 10 Mile race she is running.

Needless to say my training was bad last week, so I got in 6 miles on Sunday, a bit better, but man it was hot enough to make me suffer a bit and my heart rate climbed through the whole thing. Again I cannot wait until the marathon is done so I can start HR training for a few months and get used to running in lower zones. I will have to push this week as much as possible and maybe even into next week before I taper for St Paul. I hope to do very well at this course. Since it is the same distance as my first tri in New Brighton, I hope to show some good improvement. I will put my goals up in my next blog.

On a side note from everything, I got signed up on and plan on using some of the training plans over the winter to bui
ld, hopefully starting next year off on a strong foot. After getting off the scale this morning, I realize I was doing so well watching what I ate a couple weeks ago and started to notice it, this week I slipped and it shows, back to 179 this morning ugh! Time to be healthy again. Looking forward to this weekend, and hopefully getting out on a lake on a boat this time, although I may take my wetsuit and do an OWS for the heck of it. We are going to a pyrotechnics show Friday night, have Friday off! We are also helping with a garage sale and plan on taking our bikes with. Heathers stepbrother Russ will be there so hopefully he brings his wakeboard and I can give it another go this year after learning to snowboard I think I will be much more brave, just need to keep it in reason so I do not injure myself.

Edit: This was posted after the weekend I spoke of, next post should include the weekend stories.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Waseca Triathlon

Well... I realize it has been a while since my last blog and I found the draft that never got posted. Last week was supposed to be a taper week before the Waseca Sprint Tri. I was out on a bike ride and was feeling great moving almost effortlessly, low heart rate, winds at my side, and higher than normal speed.... BOOM... flat tire at mile 7. It was a big disappointment since I was cruising along so well. I will make a longer blog short by saying I ended up having to also replace the tire that only had about 450 miles on it because it tore through or got cut. The good news is that I put on a Continental Grand Prix 4000 as a replacement.

While I was waiting for my wife to come pick me up as I did not have a spare tube, and it would not have done me any good at that point, I decided to snap off a picture of my cockpit. Old school ipod armband to keep my phone secure on the aero bars, Garmin 305 with quick release mounted to the stem, my older Cateye Wireless mounted to the top tube to give me distance while the Garmin shows time, cadence, HR, and speed.

I just picked up a Profile Design AquaCell with brackets for 15 bucks minus 12 something in eBay bucks, I ended up shelling out a whopping 3 dollars for it all. I saw one last weekend, and it was fairly big, but I will wait and get it installed and then do a review! I also picked up a set of Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals and Bontrager RXL shoes and plan to start using after the Waseca Tri.

Waseca Tri
Where to begin...The day turned out to be great weather. My overall results were pretty close to what I had imagined which should be good, but I was not quite satisfied with my results.

My wife and I waiting for the sprint start:
The swim
The course must have drifted somewhat because it was not .25 miles. I took a look closer at SportTracks and I must say the more I learn and use this tool, the better it is. First I will gripe a bit about the course layout. Wave 1 - Long course M, Wave 2 - Long Course F, they left 25-30 minutes ahead of everyone else, so on this course where it is a shared course and they just swim further out into the lake, it did not work out very well. The first male swimmers were starting to come back in as Wave 3 was going to start. This wouldn't have been so bad if it would have been a triangle shape, but the entry and exit was at the same point, it caused issues. When we started, we had to swim to the right of the public beach ropes, then back to the left to the course markers. As you can see my start and finish paths cross each other.

So lets say I was not swimming perfect lines of the course, I go back and see in SportTracks that my point next to my starting point is .35 miles with a time of 9:38. I back track a ways and lets say I swam an extra .05 not being efficient. so .3 miles of swimming in 8:37, much closer to what I was expecting, or at least my training swim. Regardless to say, I did not get my swim time below 8 minutes as planned.

The Bike
Pretty easy course with very little elevation change. I did not realize we had the wind at our back on the way out because I was distraught that neither my Cateye distance nor my Garmin cadence were reading correctly. Note to self double check these things before the next race. I averaged 18.8, slower than my last race and I do not have much to say about it. The course was easier, shorter and less windy than my last race so I have no clue what happened here.

The RunAs you will hear me say from time to time, although I ran the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon, I am not a runner. I train for distance running and 9 minute miles normally make me smile if I can even sustain them. Shorter runs are not my specialty, so needless to say my 8:10 average over 4.4 miles was gladly accepted. This was very close to my goal of sub 8 minute run average. I do have to give props to the guy who ran with me and made me push myself a bit harder than I probably would have if I were alone. I heard him running up behind me, our cadence almost identical. He then said "Hey I got you on the swim and you beat me on the bike, lets finish this out together" I was not sure if I would be able to keep up, especially after nursing my ankle and not having any long runs recently. We chatted and although my heart rate was above what it normally is, I was still comfortable running and talking.
I finished 46th overall out of 134 finishers, not too bad. My age group was a bit tougher as I finished 7/10. Swim and Bike rankings were both 35th which was also good for me. I hope to keep improving my run times, and get back on the bike and build up for St Paul Tri in 3 weeks, 2 hard weeks to learn my clipless pedals and shoes and build, then a taper week before.

I also picked up a pair of Zoot Ultra TT shoes. I will be trying both cycling and running without socks for the sprints. This will be a huge change for me since my feet sweat like crazy.

More to come later this week, but here are some pics that my brother shot with my Sony Alpha 300 DSLR and his first time using it.. not so bad. Also should add my wife accomplished her goal and was coming off a week and half break due to having her wisdom teeth pulled.

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