Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nutrition on Long Bike Rides

This may be the answer for bringing along enough food for long training rides!

I wonder if I can get a carbon fiber cart?

Maybe by Cervelo??

With aero wheels???

Oh, and a cooler!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yep, I’m Inspired!

My last post came a few days after a somewhat disappointing race and the onset of some mysterious bug.  I think it would be safe to say that I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired!  So, here I am a week later with a much better disposition about my training. 

This weekend I was invited to do a training ride with a fellow St. Pete Mad Dog.  Hartley Mellish is training for Florida Ironman in a couple of months and was looking for someone to do some long rides with.  We met at the Suncoast Trail at 7:00 and started preparing for several hours on our bikes.  I should note that I’ve met Hartley a few times – but really don’t know him.  My first indication that we would have a good day was when I looked at his bike.  I’m a techno-geek!  I love gadgets and electronics as much as anyone.  Or as much as anyone – until I saw Hartley’s Cervelo!

I’m not sure if I will get this all correct, but he strapped a Timex heart rate monitor on and hit some buttons on the Timex watch on his handlebars.  Next, he switched on his power meter.  I’ve never used a power meter, so I was feeling a little under-tech’d!  Making matters worse, he mentioned that he would have to wear three heart monitors if he was going to grab data for his Garmin 405.  Since that would be too many straps – no Garmin today!

The ride turned out to be about 60 miles.  We went at a comfortable pace of about 16 mph.  With breaks, we were a little over 4 hours and it was a great time!  You learn about someone when you peddle next to them for that long.  Hartley has entered six Ironman events and finished 4 – since turning 65 years of age!  That’s not a typo.  Hartley is 69 and is looking forward to his next birthday so he can race in the 70 – 74 age group.  He will have a better chance of earning podium finishes when he’s the young guy in the group!

When we finished our ride, I went for a quick 2-mile run.  It had gotten hot – so 2 miles felt like enough.  I ran a better pace after 60 miles with Hartley than I ran last week in the Sand Key triathlon.  I guess there are all sorts of things we can do when we have someone to inspire us! 

Hartley – Thanks for being an inspiration!  Looking forward to our next ride!

Take care my friends!



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life is Linear – Right?

I worked only a half day today. I spent the rest of the day on the couch trying to shake some type of bug that has me feeling down. It’s uncommon for me to sit for hours at a time and I’m afraid that all of this downtime has allowed me to think too much.

After a very average run at the Sand Key Triathlon this weekend, I am struggling to connect A to Z. I like to think of myself as analytical and methodical. I understand that everyone is not like me – but I do pretty well when I understand how I’m going to get from the beginning to the end of a task. It’s like school. You know if you go for twelve years and make passing grades – you’ll graduate and get your high school diploma. Four more years of the same effort and you will leave college with a bigger and better diploma. I can understand that and it fits well into my fuzzy brain.

That brings me to Sunday. I went into the race expecting to have an improved 5k run. I have literally quadrupled my running over the last two months and I was looking for a payout. I took care of myself on Friday and Saturday, the weather was a little cooler than previous races and due to big waves – we didn’t even swim.

So after a good ride on the bike, I pull on my shoes and head out for a quick 3.1 miles. I was happy leaving T2 because my legs felt good and my head seemed pretty clear. Not feeling overheated or too tired from the bike leg. Things were starting out as planned.

Then it hit. I’m not sure what it was – but it hit. My legs felt heavy and all I could do was just jog along slowly. I became the moving roadblock for all of the people that I had passed on the bike and many athletes that had started in waves behind me. I know that all of those athletes have worked hard and I gave words of encouragement to most that passed me – but I wasn’t at all happy with my pace! I’ve put in the work – and I want my results!

Okay, now that my temper tantrum has passed, it’s time to get back to work. I continue to be amazed at how my body responds to the exercise and change of habits. I haven’t seen my run times improve (enough) – but I continue to shed pounds. I’m still slow on the run – but I can now make good time up my training bridge on my bike. I’m the very slowest swimmer at the OWS, but I can run 10 miles without stopping. All of that tells me that things are improving – but they aren’t linear. Being an analytical guy, that bugs me – but all I can do is run my 5 miles before work in the morning and be confident that one day my body will decide we can do it faster!

Somewhere in all of this, there is a lesson in patience and perseverance. It's a lesson that I need to learn!

Cheers from the sick couch my friends!