Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: bike

Random Link Dump of Recent Readings

It’s been a while since I posted a random sample of the stuff I’ve been reading. If you only read one of these articles, read the very first one.

Everyone a Harlot

In healthy patriarchies, men push themselves to earn the respect and admiration of other men. They work to prove their strength, courage and competence to each other. Men pride themselves on their reputation for mastery of their bodies, their actions, and their environment. They want to be known for what they can do, not just how well or who they can screw.

‘Marathon blues’ can affect Olympians and recreational athletes alike – Someone once told me there was a high rate of alcoholism for former top-level runners and former astronauts for this very reason. I haven’t seen numbers on that though.

This Handmade ‘Game of Thrones’ Board Game Is Gorgeous – The young’uns are loving strategy games these days. Can I justify this?

Cycle Workouts To Improve Your Cadence – Perfect for cross training workouts while marathon training, and a good investment.

Lost Photos – discovering lost photos in your email account – One of these days…

How To Make Caricatures Using GIMP – I hope to get around to doing this at some point.

The Benefits Of A Negative Bike Split – Wait…tell me one more time. It may actually sink in this time around.

Importing SharePoint 2007 list templates (STP) into SharePoint 2010 – Kick Aise. Quick and easy!

How the Lunar X Prize Is a Preview of the New Space Age – Popular Mechanics

How to Develop Film Using Coffee and Vitamin C! Srsly! | Photojojo – Is there anything coffee can’t do?


An Act of Great Cunning – Whoa!

Senate rules do not allow a filibuster when the bill under consideration has to do with imposing or repealing a tax. If the Republicans take the Senate and the Presidency, they can now repeal the individual mandate. They will not need sixty votes.

Your Gateway To The Pocket Chainsaw and More

Pocket Chainsaw – Genius! Please develop a pocket band saw and forklift as well please.

A Marathon of Measurements – I’m glad someone wants to do this. Wish there were more of these guys.

2:16 Marathoner Says He Can Break 2:00 – If he didn’t have to work. I could do it too…if I didn’t weight 200 lbs, had a coach and dietitian, and more flexibility in my hips. Oh yeah, I’d like a shoe sponsor as well. Geesh.

Custom themes in Gmail – Add photos to your gmail theme…cool!

The Libraries, Studies, and Writing Rooms of 15 Famous Men – Counting down the days to the time when I will take the room I want for my office!

Choose, Lace, and Replace Your Running Shoes Based on How You Run – Hopefully this will make a bigger difference than the podiatrist did.

Twitter moves toward the news system of the future – Or, as it is known in many circles, Google+

Better With Age – This is comforting

Thinking of going this route – FIRST marathon training plan

Never-before-seen photos from 100 years ago tell vivid story of gritty New York City – Awsum.

A Simple, Responsive, Mobile First Navigation

Google Semantic Search: Bad for SEO, Good for You – Make your SEO money now!

Featured Team Members: AnyBody Fitness

I have some big fitness goals for the next year, and meeting big goals of any kind means having a great team supporting you. This is probably going to end up reading like some sort of paid post, but it isn’t. It’s just some recognition of what my friends Sean and Jay at AnyBody Fitness have been doing to help me reach my goals. I try to help these guys out with computer/technical stuff when they need it to show my appreciation, but I also wanted to publicly thank them for their help.

One of the toughest things about training for long distance races is the amount of training time that’s involved, especially on the bike. Running in the dark is no problem, but I don’t feel especially safe riding the bike in the daylight, much less at night. So two big challenges for me are finding daylight hours to train when it isn’t brutally hot outside and maintaining my bike with all of those miles (I’m not a great bike mechanic). My solution was to change over to a spin bike for most of my training. Sean and Jay worked with me to pick out a bike with all the features I needed and none of the ones I didn’t. Another plus of a spin bike is that other people (aka The Missus) have it at their disposal. That’s something I could not achieve with a trainer.

I couldn’t be happier with the bike. It allows me to train indoors (out of the sun), at any time of the day, and safely (no cars). I can also watch Ken Burns documentaries or Coach Troy’s Spinervals videos the whole time I’m riding. And last week when I called and asked if there were specific SPD pedals I needed for the bike they were able to get me a set with SPD on one side and toe clips on the other in just a couple of days.

These guys are pros at fitting out large facilities with commercial grade equipment, but they also sell the same equipment to the public. This makes them a really good choice for people who are looking to outfit a home gym. They also buy and sell used equipment, so if you’re local to Knoxville or Nashville and looking for a good deal on a treadmill or bike that has been checked out by a professional before you buy they are a great place to start. No yard-sale-grade stuff here.

Do yourself a favor and check these guys out…they will treat you right!

2010 Health First Triathlon Race Report

First, let me say that this was a very well run race. Everything went smoothly as far as I could tell, there was a small army of very supportive and helpful volunteers, and the course was set up as a great venue for spectators to view the race. I’m not sure about the accuracy of the distances, but I’ll get to that later. In the end, that doesn’t really matter–everyone has to do the same course.

Swim (1500m)
I’ve heard that you can’t win the Ironman on the swim, but you can lose it there. This wasn’t an Ironman, but I think that’s what happened to me today. I did a 28:22, which I would normally be very happy with for an open water race. I had a bad start because the water seemed to never get deep. I actually started swimming once, but my hands were dragging the bottom, so I got up and ran into the water some more. Running in water really jacks my heart rate up, and it took me a while to calm down from that. Throw in the usual punching and kicking and the fact that I didn’t do a single open water swim leading up to this race, and I probably got the results I deserve.

I found some really good feet to draft off of when we started the longest leg of the swim, which was headed north against the wind. This gave me a good chance to rest and settle down. That’s my usual goal for a non-sprint swim anyway–just take what the course give you, and don’t expect too much.

I never really thought I got off course that much, and my time doesn’t seem to say I did, but I ended up 96/195 over all and 6/9 in my group for the swim.

Weird results. Were there really 3 guys over 200 lbs who swam that under 23:00?!?!? In the past, I’ve usually in the top third or so overall on the swim and near the top in my group. This one has me a little flummoxed. Did I swim a really slow short course?

Let me just say that both of my transitions were really bad so I don’t spend any more time on them. I spent enough time on them during the race.

Anyway, I didn’t have my watch on for the swim and didn’t know what to expect from my time, but coming out of T1 I heard the announcer say “We’re now starting to see a more steady stream of swimmers arriving to transition.” That had me thinking I was right where I usually am–top 1/3 or so. Wrong.

Bike (27 miles)
I jumped on and quickly accelerated up to ~20mph, when “wirrrrrrrr’ a guy zoomed by me with a disc rear wheel. Oh well, not catching that guy anyway, right? I was soon passed by another cyclist, which had me (again) thinking I had put in a pretty good swim–all the guys who are fast on the bike and weaker on the swim are passing me. However, I passed that guy back in the next mile or so. I was a net +17 passes on the bike. There may have been a couple more, but once the sprint distance racers were in the mix it was harder to keep up.

The heart rate monitor I’d spent so much time putting on was completely non-functional. I probably gained back all the time it cost me to put it on just because it wasn’t working, and therefore wasn’t holding me back at all.

My strategy was to push the northbound sections of the course (into the wind), take it easier on the southbound sections (wind at my back), and blister the causeways. If you are from the area and are reading this, let me apologize, but…Those. Are. Not. Hills. I knew I would have a psychological advantage biking and running those causeways because I’ve spent most of my life riding and running big hills and mountains. I know a lot of people here train by riding the causeways, but I think my method of getting on the spin bike and doing 5-8 minute intervals of “hills” on there is a much better training method.

The one hiccup on the ride was at the water bottle exchange. I had about a third of my water left, and threw it to the side. I then dropped, 1, 2, 3 different bottles the volunteers tried to hand me. Oh well…only 10 more miles to go–hydrate more in T2 than planned.

I have to say, that’s the best ride I’ve ever had during a race. My time was 1:13:55, 35th overall and 2nd in my group. I put in a lot more time training on the bike for this race than I usually do, and it really paid off. I didn’t care if I cooked myself because my run hasn’t been that great lately. I wanted to have a good bike.

Run (6.2 miles?)
My run definitely isn’t at it’s all-time best right now, and I knew I was going to tear it up on the bike, so I didn’t have very high expectations for the run. Strategy was to start off slowly and try to build something decent–no use trying to run fast off the bike anyway, because that wouldn’t happen. I estimated I was doing 9:30 miles, but when I clicked my watch at the first mile marker it said 8:30…huh?

Mile 2 was 7:48…what? Mile 3 was 8:4x…ok, maybe. But the next two miles were down into the mid 6:xx range…no way. My 5k PR is a 6:50 pace, and I clearly remember my entire body being on fire for that entire race. That isn’t what I was feeling during this race. The last 1.2 didn’t feel especially long, but my watch said I ran it at 9:36, and I know I was going faster than that. Probably closer to 8:00 miles at that point. I felt pretty good the whole way, and I followed through on my plan to push the causeways, where I think I gained some good ground. There were lots of people walking up.

Final run time was 49:43. Being honest with myself, I think that’s about what I could run right now in a stand alone 10k, but not in a tri. Regardless, we all ran the same course. My time was 2nd in my group and 78th overall.

My overall finish was 2:35:52–65th overall and *gulp* 5th (?!?!?!) in my group. Swim really killed me. I still have a hard time believing I finished in the top third overall and in the middle of the Clydesdales. Two and a half minutes out of the money. Ugh. Probably could have pulled another minute of that back from the transitions as well.

That’s the cool thing about triathlon though. You focus on one thing (bike) and slip someplace else (swim). You don’t practice transitions, and you have bad transitions. And that’s what keeps you coming back–there are so many should’ve and could’ve situations you can improve on.

I’m dropping down below 200 lbs for a while to do some running, but I think I’m going to be back with the fat kids next year to vindicate myself!

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