Monday, July 28, 2008

Remember These Days?

Enough said.

Downer Ave Superweek

Weekend update: The Saturday Night Version

Wow! Thrills! Speed! Corners! Every lap the excitement changes. We walked around the circuit at least one full turn to see action at each stretch of the road. It's really fun to see the speed of the backside straightaway. Watching the south end double corner was something else. And the overall death defying tightness of the pack. I can imagine myself doing lots of things in the name of fun, but hats off to these guys.

Admittedly, I missed out on the all Belgian Beer Festival aspect of it. We had the wee tots with us and I had to keep my wits about me. Then again, after a few juice boxes in them, I'm not sure a beer or two wouldn't have helped me a bit.

Never a dull moment (ok the introductions aren't whiz bang). All in all, great fun. Big crowds. A must see.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Product Review: Eurostyle Chamois Butt'r

Last week I stopped in the LBS looking for chamois cream. The salesman pointed me to the Eurostyle Chamois Butt'r.

Sunday I broke the cardinal rule of racing. "Never try anything for the first time while racing." I broke this rule at the Spirit of Racine 1/2 Iron distance triathlon. The night before my race, I lathered up the chamois with a fair bit of this Euro butt'r to let it soak in. The morning of the race, upon final suit up, I followed the direction and applied it liberally to the shorts and to me.

After a mile or so in the lake, I hopped on my bike. Right away I could tell the difference. I've done this race six years in a row. This was the first time I didn't feel the much less comfortable on the bike. If you don't swim first, it's not as bad. But as soon as you apply water to your bike shorts, the difference is significant. After one use, I'm sold.

This product may be the secret that everyone knows about. If you didn't already know, consider this your notice.

** review disclaimer - I purchased this product on my own will, with money out of my own pocket. I think what I think and wasn't influenced by the company that produces and sells the product.

SoRT 2008 Race Report

Gearing up for this race I was relaxed, but I didn't hold much hope in the PR I claimed to want back in January. My "on" weeks have been good. My "off" weeks have been plenty. And the two weeks prior to the race, I was choosing mostly sleep over workouts. This left a big gap after two good, hard weeks.

Having not done much in two weeks, I relied on the fact that I have done this race every year and just know it. I saw zero evidence of any speed in the workouts I had done. I was concerned about a bust year. As a result, the end goal was "to just have fun".

On the good side, I think I know what I'm doing in transition now. I'm completely relaxed and handle setup from a semi minimalist perspective. I had bags in case it rained, but got rid of them last minute as it appeared to be clearing up. I was calm entirely up to the gun.

During setup everyone was talking about the water temperature. It was reported at 55F (official USAT reading in three spots). That's "numb your feet" cold, folks. Looking out at the lake, I wondered "am I the only one who sees the fog and not the lake?" Shortly after, they announced a rolling delay in the race. Long story short, it was pushed from 7am to 8am to wait for the fog to clear.

About 7:00, I headed down the beach to the start. I got in the water to get acclimated a few times. Yep, it was cold. Though, I discussed with another entrant, "It's going to be a good day."

At 8:15 the horn for my wave goes off. I hit my watch. We were out of there.

It was cold getting in. It was cold on the hands and face. I'm not sure it was worth all the whining I heard. But it's fun to be miserable about something. I'm not small. If I was smaller, maybe it would have felt a lot colder.

I lost count of buoys and wasn't sure how many there were in the first place. The next thing I knew I was going for that final yellow buoy. Whoops, there is another yellow one to go way around out in the lake. I wasn't too far in before I noticed this. A few minutes later I was walking the sandbar and pulling off my stuff. Getting out of the water I glanced at my watch. I see "about 40 minutes" and smile, then I realize the swim was probably short.

Nothing eventful in transition. I'll have to wait for official results. I'll guess "about 2-3 minutes". Maybe 7.

Out on the bike, I took it stupid slow for a while. In the past, I have done this with some success. I break the bike into thirds and follow a slow, medium, harder strategy. And it's much nicer to be passing folks at the end of the bike. I didn't really follow a rigid eating strategy on the bike, and this may have contributed to my pace on the run.

I kept an eye on my likelihood to break three hours. My bladder and my "PR" were fighting each other. Finally at mile 45, I figured it would be a shame to lose on both accounts. I stopped at the aid station. Some guy went by me on the right, just before I went to turn in. He apologized and I was happy to narrowly miss a crash. Right after that I pulled up to the port-o-let and promptly set my foot down on what must have been ice. Next thing I knew I was picking me and my bike up. No big deal, but I don't want to be "one of those guys". Too late. I have a small knee road rash to prove it.

The last miles of the bike are nice and smooth, mostly downhill, and one of the more fun parts of the race. I cruised in somewhere around 3:05 - 3:10.

T2 was also uneventful. Grabbed my shoes, shirt, race number and took off. Hopefully I PR'd that one.

The run. Who turned up the temperature. I think it was warm, but I was overheating. The first loop I broke it down and it didn't even seem that long. That second loop I was falling apart. I was really over heating. My knee started complaining about mile 8-9. In lieu of tweaking it further I opted for more walking than I want to admit. I never completely gave up on running, but my run/walk ratio went way down.

The whole family was waiting down by the lake to see me run in. They are real troopers.

After I finished, I hobbled back to them to tell them I was going to eat. I was very hungry.

I grabbed a few sandwiches, some fruit, beans (the beans guy loaded me up like he was afraid he was going to have leftovers), and a soda pop. Sitting down to eat, I ended up chatting with Ron Ottaway, the reigning world champion at Ironman Hawaii in the 70-74 division. It sounded like he put down a 5:3x at Racine. Wow.

All in all a great day.

Post-OP. I am more sore than I thought I would be.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Last Minute Prep (aka First tri since September)

I figured out sleeveless was the way to go last year at IronMan. Sunday's water is going to be somewhat chillier (last hear 56F). So where exactly did I put my full sleeved wetsuit?

Otherwise I'm pretty much set for Sunday morning. Goals you say? My current favorite goal is to nail the transition time. I would have a sub-3 bike goal, but I'm really not feeling it. As always, my goal is to put my toes in the sand, wait for the gun to go off, and have fun.

Who knows, if I start to dig on mountain biking this could be my last tri for a while. I commit to nothing on this though.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spirit of Racine - T minus 1 Week

Who's in?

It's been windy, bring your full aero gear!

See you out there!

In other news, my taper today consisted of the following. 17.5 miles of SS mountain bike riding on my own. Then strap a kid on a trail-a-bike with a kite and we headed down to the lake for some kite flying. Whee! If you haven't done that it a while, I highly recommend it. Then back home. Tack on a few extra miles logged there and call it a day.

Cheers. Next week we start trail riding, no?

Monday, July 07, 2008


Ten hours 2 weeks ago.

Twelve hours last week.

Work has been hectic. Workouts are going well. I'm behind for the season, but it's all fine.

Swim this AM. Run this PM.

Mid-run. I wasn't feeling it. Shins were tight. Pace was slow. I was breathing too hard. The sky was looming. I had a dog walk to put in yet. I cashed it. It's no time to play hero and wear myself out.

Got the dog walked in lightning and rain. T-storms are a comin'.

I call myself lucky to call a two mile run and a dog walk a bad evening.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Better Late...

Not sure why I waited so long this year. But, I'm heading out to commute by bicycle.

More later, maybe. Don't run me over, please.