Yet another blog from some random dude training for Ironman and beyond

Cycling

Curiouser

So I downloaded the file from my Garmin after Saturday’s ride around the Veyo Loop.

I though it looked funky on the display and now I know … it’s screwy.

According to my Garmin 705, I pedaled for only 43 miles at a sluggish pace of 11.5 miles per hour. My max speed was just 30.9 according to Garmin despite tripping one of those “Your Speed Is” signs at 42 miles per hour descending Snow Canyon. Another indicator it’s screwy? I didn’t ride with a heart rate monitor or a cadence monitor but got readings for both.

So I plugged the route into MapMyRide.com and got a more accurate, I hope, picture of my ride. 55 miles for an average of 15.7 miles per hour.

Methinks it might be time to replace the Garmin … or at least get it’s GPS software updated.

Advertisements

Climbing

This past weekend I hit the road and visited St. George for the Intermountain Race Managers Roundtable.

I’m not technically a race director, though that might come in the near future. I will, however, promote a handful of events that — if I’m lucky — will attract several hundred particpants. So I thought I’d sit around in sponge mode and just learn as much as possible from the 20-30 race directors that were there to discuss ways to make their events more successful in pretty much all areas.

We talked about social media, caps, lotteries, planning, marketing, etc., etc.

Lots of good information and I met a lot of good people with some great ideas. Hopefully I can take some of those ideas and use them.

Not entirely coincidentally, I took my bike. And my running shoes.

I mean, it was 60+ degrees and sunny skies. How could I not take my bike and my running shoes.

As part of the IRMR I was given an entry into the St. George half marathon or 5K. I didn’t quite feel up to 13.1 miles, so I opted for the shorter run and had a pretty good experience. I didn’t push the pace at all and just ran tempo but clocked in at 26:09 — good enough for 11th in the Men’s 40-44 age group. Not too bad, not too good, but OK. I was just working out, not truly racing, so my time and place weren’t really a consideration.

I’m not even ashamed to admit I got chicked — by a mom pushing a triple stroller with three kids in it. (more…)


Carbon

It’s a wonderful bicycle building material … until you fall down and go boom.

Then it kind of sucks.

Tuesday, trying to sneak in some December 14 miles while also doing some recon on a course for a century ride, I found myself riding up Redwood Road in northern Salt Lake City when the Jordan River Parkway trail comes very close to the road — 10 feet close, in fact.

So I did a little hike-a-bike from the road and while lifting the bike over some big rocks placed to prevent motorized vehicles from doing the exact thing I was doing, I slipped in some mud. I fell and landed with the bike between me and one of the big rocks.

Apparently, my bike didn’t like the rock and the carbon frame is now a lot less stable and safe than it used to be.

Saddened, I continued on my ride — I had to get home, after all — and finished up 30 miles along the Legacy Parkway Trail all the way to Farmington and back. While riding, I followed the trail as far south as it goes.

That would be the Davis/Salt Lake County lines where, unfortunately, the trail comes to an abrupt end.

Which is a pity. The trail is such a wonderful resource for cyclists. Recreational cyclists, commuters and even training competitive cyclists should be able to ride the Jordan Parkway all the way from Provo to Farmington, but there are odd stretches of a mile or so here and there that are not complete. I’ve been told the stretch from the Davis County line to the Rose Park Golf Course (only about two miles) will be completed in the spring.

Which is good news. I’m looking forward to a few long rides from Murray to Farmington this summer.


The next challenge

My strange summer and fall continue to be strange.

That job I took a month ago never felt like the right fit. So, late last week, it became my latest former job. My boss and I recognized the square peg and round hole situation and, and after both of us expressing frustrations a few times, we decided it was in our best interests to amicably part ways.

So, I have decided to be ‘self employed’ for the time being and to be very patient while looking for the next big thing. I want it to be right for me, right for my next employer and right for my family.

With that in mind, I am devoting my personal energy to two things — a new small business venture a friend and I have discussed for months and actually training for races. I’ll also keep myself busy with occasional freelance writing opportunities as they present themselves to me.

A big part of my strange summer and fall was a mental block I had when it came to training. I hope to be past that now and, with 38 weeks to prepare, I signed up for the Vineman Triathlon.

It appears to be the perfect 140.6 triahlon for me in most ways. It’s not a huge climbing race, it is exceptionally well organized, it is about half the price of a WTC Ironman event, it is held on a Saturday — I try hard to not race or train on Sundays — and it’s not terribly far away in the Sonoma area of northern California.

Race day is 38 weeks away and I have, coincidentally, found a 38-week 140.6 training program that should take me right up to the event. I won’t be able to follow it to an exact degree — I’ll race a lot of weekends until Vineman arrives and have to take a day off here or there — but it will be my guide for the next several months as I train.

As for that small business venture, it will include bikes, trains and hopefully about 1,000 people two or three times a year. More details coming as they get solidified.


Hard to rely on good intentions

It’s been a pretty rough season of cycling and training for me. I didn’t do enough of either and I always had a great excuse (or 10) why. Usually, those excuses came flying out after I made a public declaration of what I hoped to do on a training ride or at a race the next morning … but failed to actually do.

I made those declarations hoping to create some accountability in my good intentions.

It’s hard to rely on my good intentions, when my head’s full of things that I can’t mention.

Hopefully this blog post comes across as an explanation and not just another excuse.

I began the 2010 season with the grandest of intentions. I hired a coach, I followed his training plans as religiously as possible and I was seeing some legitimate progress and results on the power meter and at a couple of early-season races. But as I trained harder and longer, I noticed some lingering pain in one of my ankles. I felt it especially after long runs.

So, after treating it with Ibuprofen for a month or so with little real improvement, I visited a doctor, had it examined, got some x-rays and the early diagnosis was exactly what I did not want to hear — a possible stress fracture in the bone just above the ankle.

My positive mood immediately went into the crapper as I was told to not train for at least two weeks. That turned into four weeks and then some. (more…)


Labor Day ride derailed

I had big plans for a nice long ride on Labor Day. I wasn’t worried about any taper-week problems with LOTOJA just a few days away. I’m ‘racing’ LOTOJA to finish it and enjoy it. And that’s about it. As long as I finish I’ll be happy.

So after I helped the kids finish their first-ever triathlon, I loaded up the cyclocross bike with great intentions to ride from Bountiful to the Francis Peak radar domes — a hefty 21-mile climb with about 5,000 feet of vertical. But just as I hit the freeway on my way to the start my riding partner called to cancel because of another family obligation.

So I flipped around — I figured a solo rode on that remote of a road wasn’t a smart idea — and had a nice lunch at home. Then I hit the trails closer to home.

Specifically, a lot closer to home — as in two or three blocks from home.

The Jordan River Parkway has a relatively new section of trails developed. Lots of single track along the river with some dirt road mixed in to keep you busy.

It’s screaming to be turned into a cyclocross race course.

Anyhow, I went for a short but sweet ride and only crashed once — hit a patch if sand on a sharp corner at about three miles per hour and came to an abrupt stop and enjoyed an endo. Seriously, I enjoyed it. Got up laughing, smiling and thrilled to have a face full of dirt.

I pedaled around for 10 or 11 miles just repeating what seemed like endless loops around the parkway without seeing much of the same track more than once.

There were little climbs, sharp turns, stumps to jump, bridges over small streams and all within ear shot of the river.

If you have a spare hour or two and don’t want to drive all the way to the mountains or if you find yourself in the middle of the valley, I highly recommend stopping at 5400 South on the Parkway trail system, pointing the bike north and just letting it go for a little while. Just to the west of Germania Park is where all the single track is being developed. It’s not huge, it’s not fancy, there’s not a lot of climbing, but it was a very welcome diversion after my original ride got derailed.