Thursday, July 29, 2010

Training Time Out

Last week was a pretty intense training week for me and by the end of the week, I was just flat out tired. My body was talking and for once in my life...I listened to it. I decided to take the weekend off and that meant, no running, swimming or biking. Usually I do my long run on Saturday and a 15-25 mile bike ride or a brick workout on Sunday. While I felt strange sleeping past 5:30am on Saturday and not heading out the door for a run, it was nice to sleep until almost 7am and get started on the list of things I wanted to get done. I spent most of the day working on a couple of medal racks for a couple of my favorite running gals, before heading off to a dinner party with some old friends.

I feel taking a few days off really helped and my body felt much better come Monday morning, although I skipped my swim in favor of some extra zzzzz's as I was up late on Sunday night. I made up the swim on Wednesday morning along with working out with the LA Tri Club doing their weekly brick on Wednesday night. That workout proved to be tough as we did almost 18 miles on the bike with close to 1000 feet of climbing followed by a 3 mile run.

Bike Data from Garmin

Run Data from Garmin

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My New Swim Goggles...

Up until recently, I had been using the same pair of Speedo goggles for the last 2 years and I really like them. I was reading an article and it mentioned that you should always have a back up pair of goggles in your bag. My first race of the season was about 2 weeks away so I decided to go and buy a new pair of goggles. After shopping around at different stores, I ended up with 3 new pairs.

Aquasphere Kayenne - $20

I had seen these in magazines and they looked interesting to me. I liked the wider field of vision and they looked comfortable. I was able to find them at Sport Chalet and had my son get them with his employee discount. As soon as I got home, I put them on and jumped in my pool. The fit was good and they didnt leak at all. The next morning, I headed to the gym and swam 1000 yards with them. I only had one issue and that was that there was some condensation on the inside of the lens after 1000 yards. I have made these my primary pair of goggles and have resolved the condensation issue, I think.I used these in my first sprint race a few weeks ago and they performed well.

TYR Technoflex 4.0 - $10

I found these at Big 5 and decided to give TYR a try this time since I couldnt find the Speedo goggles that I have been using. I put these on in the store and the fit felt very good, they were comfortable around the eyes. I took these to the gym and swam 600 yards with these on. They were completely leak free and fairly comfortable in the water. I found them to be not quite as comfortable as the Aquasphere Kayenne goggles, but I feel I could wear them for a sprint or olympic distance race. These are now my back up pair and I try to swim with them every 3-4 swims.

Speedo ??? - $8

I thought that these were similar to the speedo goggles I had so I got them as well. When I put them on in the store, they fit pretty well, in the pool, a whole different story. These were the most uncomfortable goggles I have ever worn. I swam with them for a bout 5 minutes and I knew they would never work, even for swimming laps at the gym, so I took these back to the store.

Coming soon - my review of the H2O Audio Ipod shuffle enclosure and H3 headphones.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strawberry Fields Triathlon...From Behind the Camera.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to escape from the terrible heat we have been having in the Valley and spent the weekend in Oxnard, Ca. Not only was I excited for the cooler temperatures, but the Strawberry Fields Triathlon was happening at the very same time, right next to our hotel. This would be a perfect opportunity to bring my Nikon D5000 and get some pictures.

Sunday morning, I was up early and was down on the beach before any of the athletes showed up. The first thing I noticed was the buoy's for the swim course were parallel to the shore instead of heading straight out into the ocean. The second thing I noticed was the orange buoy's that marked the sprint course and they seemed to be 50 yards off shore where the waves were breaking. As the athletes warmed up in the water, I roamed around taking some random shots and then positioned my self near the water for the start of the race. The siren went off and the first wave ran down the beach and entered the water. After the first wave made it to the first buoy, I headed over to the swim finish and proceeded to shoot pictures of the athletes as they exited the water. I finally saw Liana (@fittorent) who was in the 4th wave. I walked up the beach to T1, which was the longest run from the swim I have ever seen. I raced through the park and made it to the area where riders exited the park and headed out onto the streets of Oxnard. I managed a few shots of riders leaving but a majority of the bike shots were coming back into T2.

As I was running through the park, I stopped and got a few shots of the athletes coming out of the transition area. I was looking for Sheila (@sheswimbikerun) and as dumb luck would have it...she was running by. I snapped a quick action shot and moved on to find a place to shoot the run portion of the race. The finish was too crowded, but about 100 yards from the finish, there was a nice spot that wasn't crowded and I felt it would be a good place to shoot from. I started shooting a picture of just about every runner. There was one person that really stood out....he was an eleven year old boy. I love to see kids get into the sport of triathlon at an early age. I waited for Liana to come around and finish and then I headed back to the hotel for a quick cup of coffee and back out to the bike path to catch some of the runners from the olympic distance race. I saw Sheila run by a couple of times and she was looking strong. I used this opportunity to experiment with the settings on the camera and really learn to use the camera in varied lighting conditions. I still have a long way to go with this camera. I am looking to put this race (olympic distance) on my race calendar for 2011.

Here is a link to all of the pictures on picasa

As far as training has been going...well I am still on track with 2 swims, 2 bikes and 3 runs per week. For the last couple of weeks I have been going to the LA Tri Club's Wednesday night brick workout in Griffith Park. I have met some really great people and it gives me some fresh faces to train with.(Dont worry RP...I'm not replacing you, those are big shoes to fill!) Every other Tuesday night I have been meeting Craig Moss and his Mt Gleason Runners for some trail runs in Griffith Park. Last night we did a 7 mile run with lots and I mean lots of elevation gain. I would love to tell you the exact amount but my garmin's battery died 1/4 mile into the run.
I will try and re-run it this weekend with the garmin to get an exact number.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Castaic Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Castaic Sprint Triathlon (400 yd swim, 10 mi bike, 3 mi run)

**All times are approximate (my watch and garmin) as this race is not chip timed.

I arrived at the lake about 6:30am and met up with Liana (@fittorent) and Bob (@rcmcoach) and headed down to the transition area to find a spot to set up. I quickly nabbed one of the remaining end spots and headed over to register. After I got my transition area setup, Liana, Bob, myself and JT (not on twitter) stood around and talked until it was time for the pre-race meeting. Once Dave (the race director) went through all of the final instructions, we made our way down to the water. I dove in and did a few minutes of warm up before they closed the warm up area.

Myself and JT were in the 3rd wave to go and when the siren went off, my heart started racing. Over the last few months, I have really been working on my swimming and was ready to tackle this open water swim. I eased into the water and tried to stay on JT's heels but I got cut off by 2 other swimmers, so I just decided to go it on my own. I found a nice rhythm until I got between 2 other swimmers that ran into each other just in front of me. I flipped over on my back for a few seconds to let them get ahead and for me to re-group. Other than the turn at the buoy, the rest of the swim went well. I made it out of the water in 6:26 which is over a minute faster than last year. I made the 200 yd run to my transition area feeling a bit spent. I quickly put on socks, bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses and my garmin and away I went.

The ride out of the transition area is slightly uphill, so I was glad I put my bike in an easy gear to get started. Once I made it out of the park and onto the streets, I was feeling pretty good and started to really move. I passed a few people on my way to the prison, one of which was a girl about 15 or so, on a beach cruiser. I felt really bad because I know there is a pretty good hill that is about 1 mile long that she was going to have climb on that bike with only one gear. I hit the hill and worked my way up. Towards the top, my legs were starting to burn, but I knew just a bit more and I would be at the top and heading back downhill. I was excited to finish the bike without any problems, 2 years ago I dropped a chain and last year I dropped a water bottle early on. Bike time: 34:36

After throwing on my shoes and tying them (I still havent migrated to Yankz, etc) I headed out for the run. The course was changed back to the same run course as in 2008 which was a 1.5 mile out and back around the lake. For the first 1/2 mile, I found it difficult to find a breathing rhythm, but once I did, I got into a nice pace. I just followed the string of people out to the turn around and then picked up the pace a bit coming back. The last 1/4 mile, I really picked up the pace, running sub 8 min/mi and sprinted across the finish.
Run Time: 26:05

Total Time: 1:11:13 (over 3 minutes faster than last year.)

 (Myself, Liana, JT) at the finish.

Final thoughts: I really enjoy this race for several's small, about 200 participants, it is a fund raiser for the Canyon HS Cross Country program and it has some of the best volunteers that I have ever experienced at a race. If you are looking to do your first triathlon or just want to have some fun, the second sprint triathlon in the series is on August 7, 2010...hope to see you out there.

I also want to say a special "Thank You" to Liana and Bob for coming out to cheer all of the racers guys rock!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Week #3 of the "TTGFS" Training Plan Recap

Week #3 was by far the best week of training so far. I was able to hit all of my goals for the week. The only setback was the 7 lbs that I seemed to have found after last weekend's cruise. Fortunately, I was able to shed most of those by the end of the week.

Here is week #3 by the numbers...

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Swim 1200 yds, Bike 20 miles w/ hills
Thursday: Swim 1700 yds,  Run 6 miles @ tempo
Friday: Off
Saturday: Run 6 Miles w/hills
Sunday: 11 mile bike, 3 mile run (Brick)

This week will lead me into my first triathlon of the season. It is the Castaic Sprint. I have done this race the last 2 years and I really like it as it has a small, hometown feel to it and it raises money for a local school's track and field program. It is a fun, fast race (400 yd swim, 10 mi bike, 5k run). I am hoping to shave 4-5 minutes off of my previous time.