Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ride your dreams

I'm always looking for people to ride with for my long rides. I really miss having my gang to ride with...they knew me and my strengths and we were on the same path together towards IronMan...so we were building up the same pace and distance together.

So I keep trying out new workout groups to meet people...this past weekend it was a ride of 67 miles that had little elevation (1300 feet) and it was also in support of a charity drive called "Ride Your Dreams Everyday"

I met this amazing guy called Henry that had both of his parents die from cancer and vowed to set up a foundation one day to help others with the same disease. He suddenly got to a point in life where he said "now is the time" and 7 weeks ago he decided to bike 4,000 miles across the country, collecting donors for the national registry along the way.
This ride was the kick-off for the trip and a group of us helped see him off proper. What a cold start to the day..you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background (just!).
Seeing off Henry on his 4,000 mile adventure
Thankfully the weather got warmer the further North we biked. The planned route was below at a 2,000 elevation climb for the trip and a straight out and back route. I chose this route because of the elevation gain being low, due to my knee being a little less functional on hill climbs....

The original ride

Side Note: Knee update - went to a orthopedic doctor, had X-rays and a review and looked like definitely a tight IT band on the top left side, but also trying to diagnose the high pain that hits. X-Ray said might be a stress fracture and the doctor pushed hard in a spot making me yell out in pain. An MRI is planned this week for more information.

Back to the bike ride...

We stopped at Point Reyes town for lunch and had a long break sitting in the sunshine. At this point we split off from Henry so he could continue on his quest...100 miles a day for 40 days is a big quest and I wish him well.

Our group turned back but I soon realized that we were going a different way back. The view was beautiful as we rode around the beach areas...but uh-oh we hit Stinson Beach and the group pointed at the VERY large hill and said "it's a steep 3 mile climb". Hmmm... not good as the knee was already in pain.

The actual ride

I was super lucky that the support car for Henry drove by. Why? They had forgotten an item back in San Francisco and were en route to pick it up. I flagged it down and got a lift to the top of the hill. Phew...crisis averted! More riding and then a flat...man was my luck out today.

Got back after a heft 8 hours out on the field. It was 4:41 hours of biking and somehow it turned into 8 hours of biking...that is a LONG LONG day!

Total Details
Hours             8 hours
Hours Biking   4:41 hours
Mileage           67 miles (skipped those middle 3 thank goodness)
MPH               14.2 mph average (good with lots of hills I guess)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Open Water Swimming

Another great weekend of training...this time I hooked up with the Silicon Valley Tri Club (SVTC) for an open water swim in Redwood Shores Lagoon.

Redwood Shores Lagoon

It's quite a drive from the city, but it's lovely as the weather temperature increases 1 degree for every 2 miles you drive south...so a lovely 75 degree weather temp.

The lagoon is a semi-closed system that feeds from the Bay so the temperature can really vary based on the weather in a few days. A SVTC member carries a thermometer with here everywhere so she knows what wetsuit to wear and declared it was a perfect 72 degrees!

The closed system of the lagoon means that it is slightly salty, but not as much as the pure ocean swim approach, which is great for me. I seem to have a habit of swallowing water and then of course gagging. It does not make for a calming experience in the water...

I also am not a straight line swimmer, I have a lovely hook and slide depending on the side I breathe on. The lagoon has a series of 2 buoys that makes it easier in this open water to follow some-what of a path.

Buoys in lagoon making it easier to swim

Our group of 10 had a little chat at the start and the seasoned lagoon swimmers let us know the distances from landmarks and points. I was aiming for a long swim of over 1 mile, and seemed many of the swimmers were going for a 0.9 mile swim. Good to go....but there was an issue mentioned with swimming past the bridge (see map below) of the sea grass that grows abundantly. Yuk!

After the bridge it did get a little grassy but not too bad...looks like the mowing machine had come in...

Grassy Mower for the Lagoon

Swimming was easier than it has been in the past...really feels like I have improved in my technique, slowing my stroke down a bit to focus more on getting a full stroke and power and distance through the arm. But I still need to get the speed combination with the power...guess more swimming with the SVTC in the future.

Final details

Distance: 1.3miles
Time: 1:02 hours

Swim Details for 1.3miles

Monday, June 20, 2011

It had to happen eventually....

Well, I guess it had to happen eventually...

I joined a group bike ride at the weekend for a "Vineman Simulator" that was a 40 mile bike ride on fairly flat elevation and on the Penninsula, so getting some good heat to practice in.

A good turnout with 9 people...I tend to say hello to folks at the start and that's it...never see them again as at the back.

But it had to happen eventually....

I was NOT at the back of the group. In fact I was one of the front runners. Woo hoo!

After finishing the 40 miles, I even went and added another 15 miles to get a time trial section in and push up my heart rate and get some pace in.

What a great feeling! I must be getting better! P90x and Coach Troy workouts are helping me get my biking legs in better shape.

The bike ride was a great area to bike more often - I'm noting the 40 mile loop we did, and could use this as a 80 mile double loop practice session. Plus it was chock full of bikers everywhere....crazy in some places! There were 3 groups of pelaton racers...they just ride and cross the road with not attempt to stop. Scary stuff!

Heat was good at 70's temperature. The next day the weather turned to 90's so I was lucky in one respect for some cooler weather. But I also missed out on a true Vineman simulator..where temps are expected in high 90's. Sweating just thinking about it....

Now I need to focus on building some mileage. This weekend I have a 68 mile group ride planned...my longest ride yet..but with only 5 weeks to go to the 112 mile Vineman, gotta make it happen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Troy...How I Love and Hath Thee

Dear Troy,

I recently bought a few of your Spinerval DVDs to keep my cycling training moving forward and I wanted to share how after just 2 sessions this week I am learning to love and hate you at the same time.

Troy...How I love thee!
  • You know how to pack a lot in a short workout...busy people love you for this
  • You talk and inform me of little tid-bits of information like cadence targets, threshold targets, and more...
  • I sweat the most of any workout with you...
  • You make my heart beat faster (due to the heart rate training of course!)

Troy...How I hate thee!
  • You walk around the whole time...I want to see you on the bike sweating like the rest of us
  • You seem to wear baggy clothes and long sweat pants...show us some skin to prove you get the results from what you teach us....even a little calf will do nicely
  • Your timing is off...when you say 30 seconds...mean it! Don't add an extra 5 or 3 or even 1 second!

I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with you Troy....how I Love and Hate thee!

Yours sincerely,
An IronMan in Training

Sunday, June 12, 2011

San Diego Swimming

Took a little R&R trip back to San Diego....I had forgotten how gorgeous the weather is! Sunny and in the 70's.
Without bikes and unable to run, the weekend workout focus was swim, swim, swim! Oh and sleep sleep sleep....how glorious sleep is in my home with the sounds of nature and water around me...

Swam 1 mile in the Santa Clara point in Mission Bay. Open water swim in the wet suit.
It was a terrible swim...which is great for practice!
I had not swam for 6 weeks, since the wildflower race, and knew I wouldn't be great.
But I had thought with all the p90x workouts that have push-ups, pull-ups, bands, triceps etc....that my arms were stronger and therefore my swimming would show improvement.

Hmmm...not the case.

I felt slow and heavy. The wet suit just felt tight and uncomfortable from the word go. My hair came free from the cap and kept getting caught in the wet suit, ripping my hair as I turned my head to breathe. My 5th set of goggles still have not solved my eye-leaking problem, and I swallowed about 1 gallon of super salty sea water making me dry-retch away a few times.
I didn't have a watch of anything but it was easily over 1 hour. So not really a great time.
1 gallon of sea water swallowed today.....dry retch alert!

A great practice!!! AND a reminder I can't make excuses about not having swimming in my workout schedule....

The second swim was in the pool. I had a great endurance workout I did a while back and looked to repeat that one, completing 2,650 meters today. It's a great combo workout of drills for 1 arms, legs, pulls, kicks, and step-function length drills.
Total time was 1.5 hours for the full distance of 1.5 miles. Not speedy compared tot he fast swimmers, but last time it took me 2 hours for the workout with an extra 400m...so suggests some small improvements here.

Nigel has suddenly turned into a fish...so my competitive drive is also kicking into gear here. He has me down pat for the run with a bum knee, I've got a small gap in the bike, but thought we were equal for the swim, and now I see a large gap emerging here....so have to step it up!

VineMan - The upcoming AquaBike Race
I took a look at the course for the July 30th race I signed up for, to keep me propelling forward and not to get lazy (i.e. the swim weekend kicked me back into gear for swimming!)
How interesting this course is...in the Russian river with a warm temp of 72-76 degrees and the average water depth is 4-7 feet. i heard people stand up and walk when they get tired....that will be a new experience!

With 6 weeks to go for this race, I think I'll find a future weekend to go and do a short practice in this river...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Photos: SuperSeal Olympic Triathlon

It's a long time past the Olympic Triathlon I did in March, but I just bought the official race photos...so adding them here.

If you want to read the race report, it's in this prior post.