Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weekend Shenanigans and Athens Twilight Criterium

Hello Everyone!

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a weekend of training as well as any other fun things you might have been able to accomplish over those two glorious days (wait, there is something other than training to do on the weekends???). 

The weekend started Friday evening with Patsy and I heading to a dual birthday party hosted by our friend.  We got there after everyone arrived from dinner.  This portion of the evening was to be the pre-party event before everyone headed to the highlands in Atlanta.  I told myself that I had to be at Mike's condo by 8am to pick him up and take us to lake Allatoona for our first OWS of the year.  Ha - side note - first tri of the year is in 12 days and I am trying to do my first OWS two weeks before the event.  Oh well who needs sighting anyways :) ?  Back to the story... We somehow got out of there by 12-12:30am when they finally caught their cabs.  People think I am lame and just don't understand why someone like me would want to wake up at 7am on a Saturday morning to go swim ;) 

Fast forward to the morning and it is storming... I was kinda pissed.  I will swim in the rain until the cows come home.  But lightning?  Heck no!  So Mike and I changed our plans and we hit up LA Fitness for an hour under his guidance (he is the better swimmer, swam in high school).  He wore me out, and then dropped me off, telling me he would be back to pick me up around 1pm so we could go to Athens.

Ahhh.... Athens.  Home of my Alma Mater.  We got there arond 2:30pm and checked into the hotel.  We had missed all the morning qualifying runs, but the main events began around 5:45pm, with the men's race beginning around 8:45-9:00p, so we were not too worried.  This just means an excuse to walk around downtown Athens and drink/eat bad food.  Also one of my fraternity brothers, Jay Lowe, and his band, Argus, were playing at Tasty World so we stopped by there for about half an hour to watch the band play before leaving and meeting up for dinner.  Dinner was at Doc Chey's.  Man that Siracha sauce is damn hot, but I love it!  The women't pro event was in its final laps as we finished dinner, so we then hit up one of the beer gardens outside to watch the finish of the race, and then get some primo standing room for the men's event. 

The men's pro event started a few minutes late, and the rain was beginning to pick up (for those of you who heard about tornadoes and such passing through Mississippi and Alabama on Friday night/Saturday morning, that hit Athens on Saturday night.  Definately rain, and some lightning, but the race must go on!  This is a 1km course in downtown Athens, and the field must complete 80 laps.  I don't know how many laps into the race the referee quit cutting people who were lapped, but by about 25 laps in, half the men's field had been cut out of the race!  It kept raining on and off (pretty heavily I might add) and so it was back and forth between the tent and the fence separating us from people riding 25mph+ on their bikes.  As the race got closer to the finish, we moved across the course and down to about 30-40 feet from the finish line.  The funny thing is that from my perception, the lead riders (6 in the lead group, had about 40 seconds on the pack by the end of the race) went faster on the bell lap than they did on the final lap.  Or maybe that was because 4 out of the 6 riders whizzed by my face (literally, 8-12 inches away).  All in all, good times.  Sunday was a rest day.

Rev3 is not an "A" race for me, so while I will tone down the training volume next week, there will really be no taper for this coming race, more of modifying my training so that there is a rest day or two before the event.  The week after will be a light week and then right back into training.  Patsy and I may do the VA Highlands 5K on June 5th, and then I have the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July (10K).  Still have not signed up for the Chattahooche Waterfront Tri yet, but that is on my radar for July as well.  I really want to see how I do in Rev3, because I would like to qualify for Age Group Nationals at Myrtle Beach if I can.  After that it is Good Old Peachtree City Triathlon in August (an annual mandatory event since that was the first triathlon I have ever done), and then we shall see how the rest of the year pans out.... I am trying to get something together that will hopefully make the rest of this year and years to come pretty exciting!!!!  Will know soon (within the next month).

Anyways, this post spans two days (I was too lazy to finish yesterday), so I am going to close saying have a good rest of the week and I will find something else tri-related to blog about soon enough :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

F#@&ing Bike Gremlins :)

You didn't know about bike gremlins???

Are you serious???

And you always wondered why in the hell things with your bike all seem to happen around the same time.  The bike gremlin, as shown below, is a small creature that roams our lands in search of dedicated cyclists and triathletes who are serious about their cycling.  Once they find one, they blend into our natural surroudings and wait for an opportune moment to strike.  This usually results in flat tires, improperly functioning shifting, wheel spokes snapping, front and or rear derialleurs not working properly, bottom bracket creaking, etc...

There you go!  Damned Gremlins!  If you see one of these buggers, make sure you take it out! 

So this week's workout schedule is getting filled out fairly well.  I have hit all but one workout this week.  As for the gremlins I posted about, It all started last week with a flat, and then another flat on Wed night before the Atlanta Cycling ride.  It was the front wheel, and as I took it off, I saw that the puncture/rip on the tube was at the stem again.  I looked at the rim, and I realized that the rim tape around the valve stem hole had worn down so much there was metal visible.  I took the wheel into the shop and they put on new rim tape, and also showed me a neat trick.  You take an old tube, cut a small square piece, and then poke a hole big enough for the valve stem.  put the piece of tube around the valve stem, and BAM! you have extra protection for you tube around the base of the valve stem.  You learn something new every day.  Second, I have had problems with shifting and the rear derailleur for the past two weeks.  Shifting has been horrible.  I know it has something to do with adjusting those screws in the back, but I still have not tinkered with the gearing enough (yet) to be comfortable with it. 

And then there was the Buckhead Bellyache last night.  Oh yes I was going to go back to back 20+ mile nights during my training (for some of you laughing right now, that is a lot for me based on my training volume at this time).  I was going up a hill about 3 miles and change into the ride and... SNAP!  Spoke on the front wheel broke off the hub.  Damned bike gremlins!  I got about 6.5 miles out of the whole deal after I slowly rode back to the Cathedral.  I then decided I might as well do a brick workout and go over to Atlanta Memorial Park.  I did one lap.  I completely forgot to bring my watch and/or Garmin for the ride, so I just looked at my cellphone when I left my car and when I got back.  About 14 min for the 1.8mi loop.  Did not pay attention to how long the short ride took, considering that I had to go slow on the way back.

Going to take the bike today during lunch and get it fixed.  Got a run tonight, and then an open water swim tomorrow morning before I head up to Athens for the Twilight Crit.  One of my fraternity brothers, Mark Babcock, is racing in the pro event tomorrow evening, so if you are going to be there, please cheer him on!  Sunday I will get in a run (and a ride if I can get my bike back before then, my shop is closed on Sundays).

Just under 16 days until race day!  I don't expect to have a good finishing time.  I don't even think I am going to sub-3 hour the event.  But you know what?  I am damn excited for this season to be here, and I am damn excited for my first race of the year!  You guys work hard, party harder, and train like crazy!  Be safe, and have a good weekend! 

Thursday, April 08, 2010

"What's that coming down the track...?"


I am not going to finish this with the rest of a UGA fight song.  I was more referring to the fact that I was going to my blog today to click on all my friends links to read thier blogs.  I then saw my countdown clocks (one that needs to be updated - the running one) and the other is telling me that I have 4 weeks and two days left until Rev3 Knoxville

This will be my first tri event of the year, and I am very excitied about it!  I am not expecting too much from this race, since my training this year has been at best, erratic.  I just want to get out there again and race!  The best part is that I am going to have some of my friends there with me racing!  Mike is doing the Olympic Distance with me, and then Wes and Sarah are doing the Half-Iron distance even the same day.  Furthermore, Patsy and Melissa are coming along as the cheering section for Mike and I, and then I think that we will stay for Wes and Sarah to finish (no I have not told the rest of our group that, but I would hate for their not to be a cheering section for them as well!!!)

I have been getting more consistent about working out, but I have gotten sick 3 times in the last two months, all of them sinus issues.  They really set me back.  I can technically work out with them, but my swimming suffers because of the pressure, and some nights when I get home from work I feel like absolute crap.  Two nights ago I got home and felt like I could barely make dinner, much less go for a run, and last night I came home with the worst headache, as if I was developing a case of sinusitus again.  I need to get over this ASAP!!!!   (Is there a doctor in the house???)

My birthday is this weekend.  I am officially in the Men's 30-34 AG now.  Technically by way of USAT that was January first, however, my first race of the year is not until after my birthday.  I think I am going from the 4th or 5th hardest AG up to the 3rd hardest AG.  So much for my long term plan of being awsome before I got into a harder AG ;)  My girlfriend planned an entire evening for me on Sat night, and then I will spend Sunday hungover on  my birthday watching the Masters on my couch :)  But not before I get some workouts in prior to the debauched evening that will occur on Satuday night.  Do I feel older?  Hell no!  But I am beginning to notice that I don't bounce back as quick as I used to when I get injured or sick.  Oh well, I will keep enjoying life and forget about the age factor.  It does not affect my outlook on life :) 

The following weekend is the Sweetwater420 Fest 5K.  The awsome thing about that is it starts around 11am, rather than 7:30-8:00a like most races.  While it will be hotter than normal due to the time of day, there will be beer at the finish line, and that makes me happy.  I have done a few interval runs around Atlanta Memorial Park (1.8mi loop) and I have been running those in the 13:30 range, which is about 7:30/mi pace.  I think I am going to head over to Chastain Park in the next few days (2.56 mi loop) and see if I can hold that pace over that distance.  Methinks no (unless I want to throw up afterwards, which is an option).

I successfully signed up for the Peachtree Road Race (World Largest 10K and host to this years US Men's 10K national championships) after the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon.  I may have already told you guys that.  The ING is dropping Atlanta as one of the many marathons it sponsors.  Word on the street is that the new executive that they hired in charge of these events is not an avid runner like his predecessor.  Anyways, after Peachtree I don't have another road race until August which is a 5K and then September (US 10K Classic). 

Need to renew my USAT membership, it expires in May of this year.  Not that they need any more of my money :)  Just kidding, they are a great organization, I just wish that I could have a couple year's worth of entry fees back since I did fewer than 4 races in those years.  I do like how they show you your overall ranking once you have completed enough races for the year.  Not that I am going to come out on top, but I love stats and I like to see how I stand up to the field at the end of the year.

I hope everyone else's training is going well, and I will be trying to catch up with all of you guys and gals, as well as trying to update some more of my blog.