Easter Olympic

I had a mock olympic tri on the schedule this weekend; which means that I have a rest day on Easter.  HOORAY!!!!

Easter Olympic SwimNick and I started the morning at the pool.  We initially had to share a lane, the pool was busy for an early Saturday morning.  At some point during the swim, Nick moved into another lane.  He had a swim with drills, while I had a continuous 1500 yd swim.

The swim was good.  My coach entered a completion time estimating 2:30/100 yds.  When I saw the time, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to maintain the speed, but tried to keep a consistent pace.  I can hit the pace in drills, but hadn’t done it on my longer swims.  I missed the time by 1 minute, which gave me a huge feeling of accomplishment.

Nick and I finished the swim around the same time and drove home.

Swim Time 38:34

Once home, we changed into bike gear for a ride the bike on the trainers.  I had a 90 minute bike session, focusing on power.  Nick had a 3 1/2 hour trainer ride.  The ride was fun and boring.  We listened to music, and had a few jam sessions.  At this point in the “winter” I’m ready to be able to ride outside.  With snow on the ground, an outside ride is out of the question right now.  Soon, very soon – or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Bike Time 1:30:02

I hurried off the bike and headed upstairs for another wardrobe change.  I had a 10k run.  I chose a difficult route, both physically and mentally.  It’s an out and back, that is mostly downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back.  Once out of my neighborhood, I can see the turnaround point the entire way out.  (Look closely in the picture on the left, in the middle in the distance, you can see the clock tower above the trees).  Easter Olympic Run

I decided to run this route because I needed a victory.  Last time I ran it, I cut my run short at 4 1/2 miles.  I knew it would be a challenge.  I trusted my training, and the mental toughness I’ve been working towards, and completed the run.  I even made it up a pretty rough climb that began just after I hit mile 5.  The last mile was my biggest elevation gain, by over double the rest of the miles, and also my fastest!

Run Time:  1:09:43

Confidence in the Pool

I had a good swim today.

My day at work did not start off so well.  As the day went on, my stress level increased.  By early afternoon, I was at wits end.  I left work and went straight to the gym.  My goal was to swim, then go home for a little while to walk the dogs, and return to the gym for my swim lesson.  My afternoon did not go as planned, it was better.

As I walked to the pool, the water was smooth.  Yes!  I had the pool all to myself.  Before getting in the water, I emailed my swim coach to see if we could meet earlier than we planned.  She didn’t respond, so I began my 1500 yd swim.

My first 200 was better than I expected.  I kept going.  I finished my first set of drills, and saw someone walk into the pool area.  It was Nick.  I completed my second set of drills, then my cool-down.  As I was taking off my swim cap and googles, another person entered the pool area.  It was my swim coach.  She happened to show up to the pool early for her 4:45 session, so we had a quick lesson before I left.

We chatted about my progress in the pool.  She watched me swim and gave me a few more items to work on.  She complimented me, saying I looked much more comfortable and confident in the water compared to when she started working with me a few months ago.  I finished with her as Nick was getting out of the pool.  Talk about perfect timing!

Even though I had a rough start to my day, it ended on a high note with a fantastic swim and positive feedback on my progress in the pool.

Creating Triathlon Decals

The other day, Nick and I were discussing ideas to get more connected in the triathlon community.  We enjoy the sport and decided it would be fun to begin making a few things to commemorate (y)our efforts/accomplishments in triathlon.

As with many of you, we wear several t-shirts and workout shirts each week.  Nick and I spend so much time training, we thought it might be nice to have a few fun/witty triathlon shirts to wear through the sweat and tears.

So we purchased a die cutter to be able to create our own designs.  This weekend I had the chance to try it out.  Here are a few of the decals I made.  I also played around with some old t-shirts I had lying around the house.

Triathlon Decals  Triathlon t-shirt decals

Our goal is to have these, or something similar, available for sale on the site in the coming weeks.

Since we have the ability to customize these quite a bit, is there something you would be interested in having?  If so, please let us know – either comment below or send us a message via the “Contact Us” page.  In the meantime, we are going to put together some fun things to have ready.

Hooray for a Rest Day!

Friday was the first time in a few weeks that we got an official Rest Day.  Now, Nick and I have taken some “unofficial” rest days recently, due to being sick or tired or overall not feeling like working out.  The coach hasn’t been overly excited about these impromptu rest days.  But, Friday, nonetheless was a scheduled rest day.

Nick, a little overzealous about the time off, updated the progress of his rest day in Training Peaks every couple of hours.  I, on the other hand, was just relieved not to have to juggle a long day at the office with exercising.  We had big plans Friday evening – beers with coworkers after work.  Our outing extended to dinner with said coworkers, then we came home and relaxed the remainder of the evening.

Pioneer Single Sided Power Meter

When I got the Wahoo Kickr Snap, I thought it would be great to get power readings while I trained indoors.  I didn’t really think about not having this for race day, or even for just training outdoors.  But this number became more important to me over time and therefore I decided to invest in a power meter.  The hard part of this decision was figuring out which one to get.  Garmin Vector seemed like a logical choice, but it meant I would have to change my pedals (I use Speedplay).  While they were the number one choice for a while, I continued to read reviews and look around.  I looked at Stages, but alas, then I would be bound to a single sided meter forever.  4iiii seemed like a good choice, but then my bike would be out of commission for a few weeks while it was installed.

Then I came across Limits.  Single sided, but allowed me to keep my pedals and for relatively cheap.  The problem is that it is an Indigogo campaign and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for them.  You can read their updates on Indigogo, but I also recommend that you read DC Rainmaker (Post 1, Post 2) if you plan to go that route.  I have even seen another of these pop up on Kickstarter with a short time frame for delivery.

Ultimately, I ended up on Pioneer.  I am starting with a single side, but it is upgradable if I choose to do so later.  And, with an added Pioneer head unit, a lot of useful data is given to the user.

I have done one ride with it so far, so I want to get a few more rides in before I give a final review, but:

  1. Install was easy (really easy)
  2. First ride shows slightly higher numbers than the Kickr (is it possible I was losing something between crank and wheel?)

I’ll put up a more in depth review in a few weeks once I have had some more time with it.

Something Fun?!

I feel like a lot of what I have posted lately has been a downer or a review of something silly.  (By the way, I have another review coming soon about the Di2 group set that I put on my bike in December and a review of the Pioneer single sided power meter)

As I write this, I am on my way to San Jose, CA to meet with a customer.  That’s fun, right? (I’m back from San Jose now)

IMG_0083

I am about 6 weeks away from Galveston and really excited to get a race in this season.  Living in Wisconsin, sometimes it can be hard to remember that these activities are intended to occur outdoors!  But a lot of great things are possible when you train indoors.

  1. We get to watch a lot of Netflix.  In the first few weeks of January, we watched How to Make a Murderer.  This was a fun series to watch, since it all happened about 30 miles from where we live.  Then we watched a tv show about a serial killer, The Following.  We cut this off as season 3 started because it started to get boring.  Recently, Netflix released 13 episodes of Fuller House.  I blew through those pretty quick between the treadmill and the bike trainer.
  2. We played some Forza.  Pretty self explanatory, but racing games while riding the bike is a lot of fun.
  3. We get to complain about our coach and question why he forces us to do all this (obviously it’s because he doesn’t like us and it has nothing to do with getting us prepared for these long distance races).
  4. The air condition vent at the gym is right above the treadmills.  I love running underneath it.  When it kicks on it feels amazing.

OK, well that was 3 fun things that we did on the trainer and one mildly interesting tidbit about the gym.

What else do I do while I train?  I think a lot.  I think about why I do this.  I think about what I’ll do next year.  I think about what each race will be like.  Most of all, I think about crossing the finish line.  I think about how great it will be to complete my second 70.3 in under a year.  What it will be like to PR the first triathlon I participated in.  I think about how amazing it will be to welcome my brother to the club when he finishes his first race and what I’ll do to support Emily when she competes in Door County.

When you train and race long distances you are left alone with yourself for quite a substantial amount of time and positive thinking is really the best thing you can do with your time. In my Austin race report, I wrote about the negative thoughts that went through my head. A goal that I have for myself right now is to be more positive.

During my swim this morning, I swam about 10 seconds faster per hundred than I have been recently and that brings on a lot of positivity as well.  Thinking about swimming the whole thing 210 seconds faster than I did last time, or cutting minutes from my time on the run or 30 minutes from my bike.

I guess my point is that the more training I do and the more I improve, the more positive I get and the better this all becomes.  Being able to watch Netflix, or play video games, or complain about our coach, or run under the air conditioner is just fun stuff I get to do while I get ready.