Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And then there was power...

I have been quiet for a while and wanted to put out a new status update.  I have been working on multiple things recently as well as battling a cold for a few weeks.  It was a rough start to the new year, getting a sore throat and sinus infection only a week in.  That lasted me up until mid last week which then tapered off to a dry cough that kept me up for hours on end at night.  Since I was feeling better last week, I decided to hit all my workouts in the week. I think I only missed a 30 minute recovery run, but I had put in some additional bike hours during the week.  I have less than 15 weeks until my first tri of the season in Alexandria, MN (pool swim) There are also less than 20 weeks until my first outdoor tri, New Brighton Sprint, my inaugural race.  I have been using a combination of a plan on Beginner Triathlete for Intermediate Olympic distance and a winter cycling plan from Jorge's Blog. While the workouts are not playing the best together, I have replaced all the bike workouts from the BT plan with his workouts.  I am slowly adapting to merging the two plans together.  I had started some of Jorge's bike workouts earlier but using the equation that comes with the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainer.  I am not sure how much I trust my calculated numbers versus the results I have gotten back from my Powertap... more to come later. 

Sorry, at this point, no pictures to share, in this blog at least. My new tool.  HED Jet 60 clincher rim laced into a Powertap SL 2.4+ hub, sporting the trainer tire at the moment.  I picked this combo up used with around 2000 miles on it for a great price.  I had been looking at the 2010 PRO+ model, but could not pass this option up, what can I say, I am a sucker for HED wheels!!!  When I received the wheel, I replaced the hub batteries, computer batteries, and swapped out a Campy freehub for a Shimano for the time being.  I ran into a small bump as I was building the rim back up.  I was told that it had been upgraded to ANT+ with the updater from Saris, turns out it was not the case, so working with the guy I purchased it from, I got a refund to cover the upgrade.  I started using the Little Yellow Computer to track my rides until the updater came and I could get the 310 working with the wheel.  Since I am now training with power, I started from scratch on the workouts and am getting to know how my gearing/cadence/speed/RPE efforts all tie together.  If you are a data junkie like me... this is heaven!

Hopefully I can use the results from my workouts to take my bike to the next level and be ready to rock and improve this season.  I tried to retest my 20 min TT, but had only fair results that must have been skewed by a longer ride the day before and still being a bit ill.  I did a 2 hour ride Sunday and averaged 205 watts over the course of the ride to give a rough idea.  I am currently basing my zones off my calculated 260 watt 20 min TT threshold.  Next test should give me a better idea.

The first race I mentioned is in Alexandria, MN.  We have some family that lives there and a few of us are registered to participate.  My birthday is at the end of April, and I remember multiple times there has been snow on the ground, hopefully this is not the case this year and it is warmer outside for this race.  I was recently looking at the race webpage and found that if you thought you would complete the course (600 yd pool swim, 13 mile bike, 3 mile run) in under 1:12, that you should enter the Elite wave, although you are still scored with your age groups.  Hopefully they can modify my registration as I did not initially think that I would fall into that category, but I now realize I could possibly hit that mark.  Unfortunately the race categorizes ages in 10 year increments, making it a larger pool of participants for awards.  I am not sure how competitive I can be that day, so I am only going to shoot for a time.  I think under 1:12 if I am starting with the elites is a good starting benchmark.  My thoughts are based on: 10 minute swim, 20 mph bike average, 7 minute mile run.  Depending how transitions are setup, it will be an interesting situation going from indoors to outdoors.  I think in my head, I am shooting to be sub 1:10.  Based on last year's results, it would take a sub hour finish to place, likely out of my league at this point.

My main thoughts right now are aimed at my upcoming vacation.  My wife and I are going to Colorado with her mom and step dad.  I also found out her step brother is going to join us for a few days as well.  This has been a long anticipated trip that is going to result in 8 days of skiing, so although there will be no pool to swim in, and no bike, I may have to take some shoes and Yak Trax to run on our non ski day.  Check back this week for the The Great Hydration Debate...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A New Year…2010

Happy New Years to everyone.  Although I have had some time off work, I have been quite busy with the holidays so I am just now getting to the first post of the new year.  Hopefully not a reflection of how the year will go!  As many know, I am from Minnesota, and if anyone follows the national weather much, you will know the weather has been quite cold here recently.  I say quite because there were a few days it has been in double digit highs… I decided to get a workout in on New Years Eve, but quickly found my plans to go by the wayside.  I got to the gym and found out the pool was closed, not good for me who wants to go swim for 45 minutes.  As I will post in more detail later, one of my resolutions is to not get overly anxious or worried about small things in life and allow them to get me in a bad mood.  I decided to improvise and what better way to kick off the new year by starting the resolution a day early.  I went home and started to bundle up… Luckily I received some pretty good gifts at Christmas which included Yak Trax, a very nice Brooks running shell, and a blaze orange Under Armor coldgear shirt. 


I started to bundle up:

Nike Pro Insulated Running Tights

Running Shorts
Long windbreaker pants
Dry fit short socks
Knee high wool socks
Compression style long sleeve top (pretty thin layer)
Under Armor Cold Gear Top
Brooks running shell
Under Armor glove liners
Heavier pair of winter gloves
Stocking hat
Yak Trax on my regular Brooks Trance 8s

I tossed the Garmin 310xt on the outside of the shell to give it a shot outside for the first time.  It was a tight fit over all the layers, but I got it worked out.  Off I went.  The workout called for 80 minutes with strides every 10 minutes.  I have not found exactly what is meant by strides, so I just extended my stride and increase the pace for a minute and then return to the normal running cadence/speed.  I was not sure waht to expect on my first frigid run.  I left and the temp outside was around 8 F.  The first mile felt good, brisk, but good.  I ran past a liquor store that is located on the south of the road I was running on, turned and headed north.  For over a half of a mile, there were cars lined up to go through the light and into the liquor store (the only reason to be in that lane and thus go straight through the light)  I would suggested that they add better planning to their 2010 resolution list!  I continued on my run, going to about mile 2.25 where I reached the first big intersection I had to cross.  At this point, I am warmed up and feeling stable on my feet although the sidewalks are packed snow.  I cross the intersection after waiting a couple of minutes.  I had to climb over a huge pile of snow to push the crosswalk button.  The sidewalk on this side of the road was a bit rougher than before.  A plow had gone by and kicked up chunks of snow, thus making my path feel more like I was trail running with softball size rocks.  I slowed my speed to deal with the uneven surfaces and then ran out of it half a mile later.

A few sections of the run had newly tossed snow that made my legs mimic the feeling of running in sand.  It added some challenge to the run, but I have run on the beach before when I used to travel, no biggy.  I kept pushing forward doing my strides, crossing a few more streets and continuing on my loop.  I decided to change from my 6 mile route to my 8 mile route since I knew I was on pace to be home much earlier than the 80 minute run scheduled.  A little past mile 5, I turn on the road that will take me almost the whole way home, a good solid 2 mile stretch with a fair hill to climb, oh yes, also directly into the wind.   I kept pushing through the run keeping my pace pretty steady, but now feeling the bite of the wind.  Every time I had to stop at a light, starting back up got a bit more difficult as the chill got a bit more intense each time.  I ran home, finishing 7.6 miles in 71 minutes, not too bad for the first time out in snow and single digits.  Note to self, I need to enable auto pause when running outside next time.

After i got inside and stretched out a little, I headed upstairs to start peeling off layers and I found this little present:
PictureYes… that is an icicle hanging from my hat.  They were on each side and over an inch long after I had been inside for a few minutes.  I cannot wait for the next run!

Speaking of resolutions, I have set some for myself.  Since they always say to write your goals, I did, and took it another step to let people know what they are so I stick to them.  Before I say my resolutions/goals for 2010, I will preface the first with saying a bunch of people I work with started up another health challenge.  In the past they have done it based on % weight loss, they now changed it to calories burned over a period of time based on an list of standard values by activity.  This will be the first challenge I have participated in.  I will try to post up the list of activities shortly.  We are using numbers for someone weighing 190 lbs.  Some activities I agree with more than others, but it is interesting.


Resolutions/Goals 2010:
160 lbs by May 1 (8 lbs or so since I put a few back on during the holidays)
Find a good work, life, exercise balance

Do not stress about little things (also realize that most things are little)
Update the blog more often and include more pictures
Start using my DSLR more

Tri Goals:

   New Brighton Race (6/5/2010)

      1:30/100 yd swim over 1/2 mile

      20 MPH Garmin Average on bike (<42 min bike, 14 miles)
      Sub 22 minute run (3 miles)
      Overall time under 1:20
      Ideally shooting for 1:15
  Sprint Course 21 MPH Garmin Average
  First “test” FTP = 260, Improve to 286 by race season

Sine I cannot control who shows up on at a race on any given day, I am not going to list placing in my Age Group as a goal.  I am just using numbers from last year to gauge finishing times that would be worthy of those positions for 2009 races.

On one final note, I lucked out.  My iPhone went on the fritz the past few days, vibrating when I would touch the screen as if it were toggling between silent and ring, except that it was almost always in silent mode, even when I wanted it to ring… not good when I am on call in the middle of the night.  I took it in to have it looked at, and walked out with a replacement, 11 days of warranty left… whew!

Next week will have some big posts, stay tuned!!!

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