Something’s Missing

This week I became really interested in virtual bike training apps.  Watching tv on the bike is just another form of torture for me.  For example, in a 2 hour training ride I have to watch four 30-minute episodes of something.  If I’m watching commercial-free, that means I have to watch five episodes.  So the entire time, all I’m thinking is “hurry up and finish this episode so we can move on to the next one.”

When we were in Wisconsin, Nick and I would train together.  Sometimes we’d watch football or play video games against one another, or find ourselves in a movie marathon.  Right now, I’m training solo due to our opposite schedules.

After much review – reading DC Rainmaker’s Training App Guide and reading a few reviews on Facebook, I’ve narrowed it down to three possible apps.  I’m going to take advantage of their free trials before making a final decision (a great suggestion from a facebook tri group).  The top contenders are:  Rouvy, Zwift, and Trainer Road.

I have a coach, so there is no need for training plans.  I am interested in these purely for entertainment purposes.  I want something with different courses, a way to “race” other players, and the app to control the trainer based on the course/workout.  It’s a way for me to not stare at a blank wall for hours on end.

First up is Zwift.   Since I was originally going to download Zwift (not realizing how many options are out there), I figured I might as well start with it.  To be honest, I’m less than impressed with their website.  It took me awhile to even find the free trial or how much it would cost per month if I choose to continue.  The drawback that many people have pointed out is the limited number of courses available.  Although, the website does state there are “hundreds of events” in the group rides.  Now that’s not to say that it isn’t all on the same course.

I download my free 7-day trial.  This took some time, probably 15 minutes are so.  Not the three minutes my computer claimed it would take.  I set up an account, and then began to connect sensors.  My coach prescribed an interval workout today, so I manually replicated the workout in Zwift.  The entire setup probably took 30-45 minutes.  (I am a little inept when it comes to computers and smart devices, so the average person may not take as long).

Everything was ready for me to start my ride.  I walk over to the bike, and realize something is missing.

QR, bike trainer

While taking my sweet time setting everything up, I was ignoring my puppy.  So Olive decided to get me back by hiding my shoe.  Another 5 minutes wasted, and now I’m good to go.

I must have been distracted or exhausted or exhilarated that I finally got everything connected and working properly.  Five minutes into my 90 minute trainer ride, I realized I forgot to start my watch.  Yes, that happened.  I hit start on my watch and continued pedaling; my coach would forgive 5 minutes of a warmup.  My speed connected, then cadence, then heart rate.  But my power wouldn’t connect.  So I deleted the workout and restarted.  Power still wouldn’t connect.  After fidgeting with it for another few minutes, I gave up.

This workout would just have to wait.  My power wasn’t picking up and my watch had 17% battery.  With my luck, my watch was destined to die before completing the workout.  Now that everything is setup, it should be a breeze this afternoon when I attempt it again.

Good Deed of the Day

I woke up this morning feeling awful.  I’ve been fighting sinus/allergy gunk all week long. I knew I had an 8-mile run scheduled for today, and I couldn’t afford to miss it.  I only have 5 weeks until my half marathon and my training has been lacking, to say the least.

Anyway, I set out undecided how to tackle the 8 miles in front of me.  Originally, I was going to just walk all of it to cover the ground.  Just before leaving the house, Nick suggested running some kind of intervals just at a much slower pace.  So, I ran 2 minutes, walked 2 minutes.  The run was really taxing me (I know, it sounds sad, but that’s where I am right now).

Continuing on, Lou and I ran what’s become our normal route – several little out and backs to make the 8 miles.  Coming up just past the halfway mark, we cross a highway and run on that side of town.  While we were waiting for the light to signal us to cross, I saw two cars facing me, pulled over on their far right side of the lane.  I figured it was a small fender bender and kept running.  As I approached the second car, I noticed the guy from the front car walking to the rear of the second car.  I could see two people in that vehicle, and the man began pushing their car.  Once I was close enough to the second car, I realized it was an elderly couple in the front seat.

Passing the second car, I asked the gentleman if he needed help pushing the car.  He responded yes.  So, Lou and I began helping him push the elderly couple’s car up the overpass.  As we pushed, the man apologized for ruining my run and asked about my training.  Coincidentally, he ran the San Diego Rock N Roll in June.  We chatted for a few minutes.  As we began descending, the gentleman thanked me and said it was all downhill from here, just a few more feet to the stopping point, a nearby gas station.

Lou and I turned back around and continued on our run.  I took a much longer walk break, as pushing a car uphill for 1/10 mile is quite a battle on already labored lungs.  Although, helping out a stranger really made my heart happy.

Running with dogs

The remainder of our run was uneventful.  We made it home and Lou was wrecked the rest of the day.

Olive’s First Run

We’ve been taking Olive to training, teaching her to sit, stay, wait, place, heel, etc.  She “graduated” from her training yesterday.   And while “Heel” is still a work in progress, we decided to introduce her to running.  She will turn in 10 months in a few days, so this is the perfect time to start, plus the weather hasn’t been too hot.

Today was Olive’s first run.  1 mile in the books!  She could definitely go further (and much faster), but we will take it slow until she’s ready.

GSP, Running Dog, German Shorthair Pointer


Shirts and More Shirts

Now that triathlon season is in full swing and we’re finally settling in the house, I’ve been busy making shirts.  Tonight when I got home, there was a much-anticipated package waiting for me on the front doorsteps.  My business has increased recently, and I’ve had to restock my inventory!  Needless to say, I’ll be pretty busy this weekend filling orders.

Next level 6010


We moved to Las Vegas a little over a month ago.  We’re finally in our house and getting settled.  Things are becoming a little more routine, and we are no longer living the hotel life.

Here are a few pictures of our adventures from Washington to a temporary stay in California to our final destination of Las Vegas!

On the Road Again

Well, we’re moving….again.  Nick and I packed up last weekend and drove to California, with the three dogs.  They slept the entire 12-hour trip, which was amazing!

We will be living the hotel life in Cali for the next 3 weeks, then on to our final destination, Las Vegas!

Since the weather is much nicer than the Pacific NorthWest, I’m hoping we will quickly get back into our swimming, biking, and running lifestyle.

Weekend Updates

I’ve been working this morning to update our blog.  I noticed our Races page didn’t even have all of our 2016 races in there.  A few things to look for:

  • Races page is now up to date.  This year, we are taking it one race at a time.  We won’t fill up the calendar all at once, but will have a race on the schedule.  I’ve also split out running races from triathlons.
  • Online Store page links directly to our store, saving you a few clicks.
  • Still working on sprucing up the site and the store…more changes to come.

This weekend brings more rain.  Nevertheless, we do have a fun night planned.  We are going to see Alton Brown live at Paramount Theatre.  There are no cameras allowed in the venue, but it’s sure to be a fantastic show.

And last but not least, I (finally) received my Garmin 5S yesterday!!  I ordered it several weeks ago and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.  I’m super excited to have a new toy.  Once I have a few activities logged, I will post a review.

Garmin Fenix 5S