Thursday, December 30, 2010

For your viewing pleasure

I just added a new page to the blog dedicated to my 2011 Trakkers teammates.  This has been a very active group from what I have seen in the past few weeks with a lot of helpful training tips, comedic adventures, cool giveaways, and just general good reading material!  I know there are a couple of broken links, but feel free to check out their blogs, you never know what one may peak your interest! 

 Trakkers Teammate Blog List

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 in Review

I have seen a number of Year-in-review posts on blogs, and everyone and their brother is doing a year in review of pictures from facebook, but I just got inspired after reading Colleen's recap and decided to take a look back at my 2010. I did happen to stumble on my 2010 Goals, posted in January:

Resolutions/Goals 2010:
  • 160 lbs by May 1 (8 lbs or so since I put a few back on during the holidays) - Yikes, not even close - May have made 164 at some point in the season
  • Find a good work, life, exercise balance - Well executed!
  • Do not stress about little things (also realize that most things are little) - Well executed!
  • Update the blog more often and include more pictures - Getting better
  • Start using my DSLR more - Getting better
 Tri Goals:
  • New Brighton Race (6/5/2010)
    • 1:30/100 yd swim over 1/2 mile - 1:31/100
    • 20 MPH Garmin Average on bike (<42 min bike, 14 miles) - 22.8 MPH
    • Sub 22 min run (3 miles) - 22:11
    • Overall time under 1:20 - Check
    • Ideally shooting for 1:15 - Check 1:13:50
  • Sprint course 21 MPH Average - Done at New Brighton
  • First "test" FTP = 260, Improve to 286 by race season - HAH Yeah Right

Well I missed the weight goal, but also did not approach it very well.  2011 is a new year!  Blogging and taking pictures is on the up, I just need to continue being active on both of those.  As for tri goals, I missed the swim by 1 second per 100 and the run by 11 seconds. I was close, but fell short, although my overall performance was good.  FTP... yeah that thing... I am not sure I had it calculated right (especially looking back at all my races...) Again 2011 is a new year.

Noteworthy Events:
- Amazing ski trip to Colorado
- Broken wrist in March
- MS150 bike ride
- 20 minute improvement at New Brighton
- Active Team Marathon 2010
- 20 minute improvement at Waconia Tri
- 8 minute improvement at St Paul Sprint Tri
- Set Half Marathon PR (beat goal by over 5 minutes) 1:39:34
- 4 AG podiums
- Selected for Team Trakkers 2011!
- Mission trip to Africa

I need some time to compose a new goals post for 2011, this will require some careful planning and thought, I know my schedule will not have as many races as last year (EPIC August was not good to my performances)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Apparently I did not set the post to upload at the right time, so I am manually uploading on 12/26, sorry it is late, but you get the point.  The holiday season is a busy time.  Time for food, family, traveling, and Christ.  We had all of this and more packed into our few day weekend.  What would some travel be without weather.  While going from one place to another, our plans to stay in a hotel overnight got cut short due to a threatening storm that was going to drop 8+ inches of snow.  We loaded our vehicles up and took off at 11PM to make a drive about 120 miles closer to home.  It started off well, then progressively got worse for driving. 

IMG_0503Interstate 35 was starting to look like another field in Iowa.  Luckily we arrived safely, but we did drive most of the time at 35-40 MPH.  It was about 2AM when we arrived! I have driven in bad conditions before, and this was stressful.  The good part is that you know the roads are bad, and people are mostly going the same speed, the occasional car would come flying past way faster than they should, but to each their own.  We saw a handful of cars in the ditch, but I was expecting to see more than we did.


With traveling and all the activities, I had a little trouble getting workouts in as scheduled.  Luckily I packed clothing to run inside on a treadmill or outside if I felt inclined.  I picked outside while it was still snowing the next day.  At the time I headed out, there was probably around 10 fresh inches of powder… what I would have given to be in Colorado skiing!  I headed out and felt good, the temp was perfect, and outside of getting some flakes in my eyes, I was very comfortable.  Since the sidewalks had not been plowed or shoveled yet, I had quite an amount of snow to run through, looking at my Garmin, I noticed I was still running 8:30 miles… that did not last long.  I got on the trail that runs by the river, and my heart was pumping HARD!  

At times I was in snow nearly up to my knees.  It makes you really pick up your feet when you run, that or pull them through the snow. At one point I stopped to snap some pictures.  I don’t mind running in a little snow, but that trail was brutal!  Intervals have nothing on trudging through snow on a trail.  I made it on the trail for about a mile and a half, then cut off on another trail to hit some streets or I would have possibly had a heart attack.  Once I got on the streets, I got some looks as a car or two would drive past or someone was shoveling. 

IMG_0515My route got cut a bit short of the plan, so I did a little out and back to get over 5 miles in.  I was feeling good toward the end, but running out of time, so I headed back although I really wanted to get another 2 or so in.  I have been craving a longer run, so I may try to get one in either Sunday or Monday.

We were home for Christmas Eve and got to attend our church.  Since we have only been in the Twin Cities a couple of years, we have always been out of town, but heard great things about the Christmas Eve service. 
  IMG_0517It was quite the experience.  They had live animals!  Camels, llamas, goats, ducks, cows, and donkeys.  Not to mention the sermon was also quite impactful.  We were blessed to enjoy the service with some other family members who were in town and then spent some time together that night.

I tried my hardest all weekend to be conscious about what I was eating.  Since I started to read Racing Weight  by Matt Fitzgerald, I am watching my food intake much closer than before.  Since making Team Trakkers, I am also wanting to improve my performance even more, and have taken a new stance on how I eat to better my performance and fuel my workouts.  I have steadily been getting back into a schedule.  This week is supposed to kick off a base week.  We will see what it has in store for me! 

For now, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, enjoy the time with your families and safe travels!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekly ramblings

It hit me today that I often need a schedule to hold myself accountable.  Being it is nearing the end of 2010 and people typically make New Years Resolutions, I am not going to make my resolution to post more, it just doesn't work.  What I am thinking, much along the lines of my training schedule. When I have a calendar that says Swim 2400 yards on Friday, I am much more apt to do it.  I think a weekly ramblings post may be in order to compile a mix of thoughts from the week, be it about workouts, life, recent happenings, or whatever I feel like typing. 

Last week was the first week back from our trip to Africa (meaning I owe everyone a post or 2), and I got back into working out.  I did run frequently while in Africa, but only a few miles at a time and not real fast pace.  I can tell I have had time off, but it feels good to get back into the swing of things.  After no weight loss while in Malawi...I came back and ended up losing nearly 4 pounds the first week home.  That was partially negated by an amazing dinner at a steakhouse real close to home. Our meal included:

Drinks: Martini(me), Glass of Pino Noir (my wife)
Appetizer: Spinach, Artichoke, Asiago Cheese Dip with fresh baked bread
Main Course: Hawaiian Mahi Mahi over lump crab(me), 7oz Fillet(my wife) - both included bacon-mashed potatoes
Desert: Carrot Cake

This meal was probably the best meal I have ever had from start to finish, amazing service, incredible prices, great atmosphere, and reasonable prices.

Everyone has heard recently that the average American gains 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  Anyone who works in an office setting knows how much food is around.  I have been much better this year about selectively picking what I partake in.  I cannot flat give up eating sweets especially this time of year which has many of my favorite treats.  With some self-discipline and some exercise along with the treats, I have still been able to keep weight steady or trending downward.

Starting this week I got more into my loose schedule (as I start planning for the 2011 season) I got in some bike workouts, a couple of runs, and a couple of swims.  I will start 12/20 with a week of prep before starting in on my training plan to take me to the Rev3 Knoxville Olympic  This will be my first shot at this distance, and I want to perform well... who knows what well means and I know I have a long road ahead based on current fitness, but it helps having a goal and a plan!

My swim seems to be pretty good for as much time as I have been off.  Endurance is lacking, but my 100 splits are not too far from what I was at previously. 

Nothing terribly new on the front here, getting to know the team and finding more details about sponsors as the days tick by.  I am still back and forth about which way to go for my new Kestrel ride.  I know the Airfoil is very similar to the P2 in terms of stack and reach, so I would know the fit pretty well.  It may even allow me to go a bit more aggressive.  I also know the 4000 is a very popular model, many big name pros are riding on 4000s: Andy Potts, Michael Lovato, Amanda Lovato, and Cameron Dye are just some of the names.  I believe the 4000 is a more aerodynamic frame as the full seat tube acts as a faring to the rear wheel.

Since my time has been spent on shorter distances, the aggressive bikes work well for me.  While my longer rides(40-50 miles) do not stack up to the IM or even quite to HIM distances,  I am interested to see if how aggressive a bike can get is swaying my choice.  I know each bike has a range that it can be adjusted and the Airfoil will probably get me low for the shorter distances and could be adjusted up for longer races, I cannot help but think how so many pros are riding the 4000.

Final Thought:
I have a few closing thoughts for the post.  I have been talking with some people at ISM Saddles, and will have a road saddle on the way for evaluation and review.  It should be here next week, looking forward to it!  I also have another secret package that should be arriving soon.... stay tuned.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

And people rejoiced...

As long as the Garmin Forerunner 310xt has been out, it has received praise and criticism across the board.  My main selling point to upgrade from the Forerunner 305 was the ability to receive ANT+ signals and thus act as a computer for my power meter of choice.  When I broke into the power market, I started with a HED Jet 60 rim laced into a Powertap SL 2.4 that had been upgraded to transmit via ANT+ protocol.  The Garmin 310xt picked up signal and away I went.  The ability to act as a head unit is what draws many people to the 310xt.  At the time, Garmin only had the Edge 705 out which would also read ANT+ signals and had the ability to do 3 and 30 second power averaging, a staple in using power.  Since then Garmin has released the Edge 500 and now the Edge 800 which also do rolling power averages.  Saris has also released the Joule 2.0 which does the rolling averages as well, thus putting the 310xt at the bottom of the list for ANT+ receivers and useability.

Why would one want rolling power averages?  Well if you are reading this, I am sure many understand, but for those who do not, let us dive into it a bit deeper.  Each data point records at a specific point in time, and that point has a reading from the power meter.  Most people are not 100% efficient in their pedaling, just as in lifting weights, they may have a dominate side.  Think about doing a bench press.  How many times do people push the bar up slightly higher on one side, and then use that as a pivot point as they push the other side up?  This would indicate that they have a dominate side.   Let’s take that and apply it to biking.  Since you have two legs and two sides of the crank, each leg can be considered individually.  A truly inefficient biker will use the pushing motion(down in direction) to generate power peaks and when they are in the recovery (upwards direction) they are not applying any force upwards. 

 When one leg is going down, the other is going up.  So overlaying the two waves that each pedal sees would result in something like this, taken from Metrigear blog as an example:

Since each leg generates a spike, if one leg is stronger or applying more force, you can see the black spike in the middle of the graph applying a higher force than the other leg ever does.

If your sample comes at one of these moments, you will see a higher number reported, but if the sample is taken somewhere towards the bottom of your weak leg pushing down, you may see a drastically lower number.  This results in your computer screen showing very different numbers at each interval.

Is the problem becoming clear?  If you are doing an interval set, and look down to see only 180 watts, the gut instinct is to get your behind in gear and push harder, often overshooting the mark. 

The 3 or 30 second averaging allows the computer to take samples across the selected interval of time and compute the average. 

Current Power
Average Power (3 Second)


200 (200+200+200)/3
202.67 (200+200+208)/3
205.67 (200+208+209)/3
206 (208+209+201)/3
203 (209+201+201)/3

You can see the smoothing that is done by taking the average, and it would be seen even more if we did the 30 second average.  The averages help to eliminate spikes or dips in power if they only exist for a second or two since the majority of the points are closer to the desired range. 

For intervals, I still like to see actual power especially if they are shorter intervals. 

Larabar Giveaway

Take a peek at Megan's Larabar Giveaway, a fellow Trakkers teammate! If you have ever had Larabars, you will want to enter in this contest, and if you have not, trust me... you want to enter!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am going GREEN!

“Going Green” is all the rage right now.  While I make sure to do my part, I normally do not go terribly out of my way to go green.  Today I took the plunge.  I am going GREEN!


trakkers That is right, I am now an official member of Team Trakkers!  I cannot even begin to express my excitement when I was invited to the team.  I have been following the team over the course of the last year and found the members to be active, friendly, and knowledgeable, not to mention a family. 

I was just looking at my 2011 schedule the other day and trying to organize my races.  Look for me at some of the Rev3 races around the country in 2011.  I was asking for a reason to expand into longer distance racing, and this came as a pretty clear sign.  I know an Olympic distance will be in the books, but I am thinking a half will also be in the books!

I will be parting ways with my ‘old’ 2009 Cervelo P2 to begin riding a Kestrel.  I am in the process of using their fit calculator to find the correct model and size.  Luckily I think I have a fair range of choices that will work, I just need to find the best combination for me.  Here is a picture of the Kestrel 4000 in Trakkers Green!

kestrel-4000-greenI want to thank Carole for putting up with my emails and questions through the process.  I cannot wait for the season to begin and meet some of my amazing teammates.  Watch for more posts and some changes on the blog soon!

As an FYI, I made it back from Africa in one piece, despite what my mother may have thought!  We had an amazing trip (pictures and some stories to come) 

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