Sunday, July 21, 2013

Triathlon Spectating

I have had so many things I wanted to write at various times this week but have just had ZERO time to blog.  You might be seeing less of me with this new job. :(  My free time is pretty much used up with studying, working out, and keeping the house clean.
I got different shoes for work.  Aren't they hilarious??  I actually will probably take these back too.  They squeak.  

News: I have done 2 walk/runs pain-free without my ITB strap. HUGE win.  Tomorrow I'm up to 4:30 runs with 0:30 walks x6 for 30 minutes total, then the next time will be 30 minutes continuous running, and I'll officially be back! Just in time to squeak out a 5K in my first ever triathlon in T-7 days! The only bad thing about being able to run now, is that I'm having a hard time squeezing in all my workouts, between running, biking, swimming, and lifting, it's hard to work it all in to a week.  I haven't taken a rest day since June 29th.  Normally that would be okay, as long as I was alternating focuses, but I'm finding my legs are getting hit pretty hard most days.  I run and do lower body lifting every other day, and any time I bike on the in between days it feels like my legs aren't getting enough rest.  Oh well.  I'm less structured with my swimming, core strength, and upper body strength workouts; I pretty much just fit them in willy-nilly.  Same with yoga and pilates and what-have-you at the gym.

Workout calendar over the past month.  Click to enlarge.  Or go to my training log here to be able to mouse over or click the entries for more details (ie time).  Yoga on Friday the 19th was supposed to be a rest type yoga in my head, but it was "Power Yoga" and was really hard.  I was really sore from it so it wasn't very rest-y!  
One more thing before I get to the subject of this post.  My swim workout today was sort of interesting, IMHO.  I decided to do 50 yd intervals to work on speed.  Swimming has been feeling more difficult recently I'm not sure why.  I've been having a hard time finding a rhythm, and feeling out of breath a lot.  Probably because I'm doing it so much less now that I'm "running" again.  Anyway, here's the data from today's workout:
Or, as always, check out the complete details on Garmin Connect.  
The 50s were pretty hard.  I was pretty ready to be done at the end of each lap.  I thought the workout was interesting because of how consistent I was.  After the first 2 intervals (finding my groove I guess!) the rest of them were really close (the yellow section).  My rest interval was always double the work interval.  So if my last 50 yds took 50 seconds, I would rest for 1:40 (100 seconds) before starting the next one.  The warmup and "cool-down" freestyle sections were really close in pace too.  I say "cool-down" because I decided to play around with different strokes and flip turns after that.  My butterfly lengths were pretty much dead even in pace too!  Also, FYI, I HATE BREAST-STROKE.  My legs and feet don't do what they're supposed to and it's awkward and dumb.  That is all.

Moving on.

Today I was up at 4:30 am to volunteer at a triathlon in Grass Lake at Waterloo Recreation area.  (In retrospect, I should have taken my bike and swimsuit to the triathlon and done my workout there after it was over.  Live and learn.)  I originally was just going to do this race, and then I was going to spectate, and then I finally decided to volunteer, so that I would have access to the transition area.  The point was for it to be a learning experience so that I would be less confused at my own race next week.  Mission accomplished.  I feel ready, and no longer think of triathlons as pure "chaos and danger".  I kind of wish I would have done it though, because the medals were really cool, and the weather was actually really nice (read: not too hot) this morning.

This is me.  I have a flag, and therefore must be obeyed.  
Some of my co-volunteers.  Also the photographers for the photo above.  

Sunrise swim! 

A long transition from the swim to the bike, I thought. 

Mandatory beach meeting. 

Transition: loaded and ready.  

The bike mount/dismount line. 
I ended up being there volunteering from 5:30-10:30 am.  Kind of a long morning, considering my actual assigned/scheduled shift was only 7:00-8:30am.  I did body marking and directing people to registration at first, then I directed runners entering transition (for the duathlon), leaving transition, and into the finish area.  It was actually a needed position, because people tried to go the wrong way a lot.  I had to move some cones around to create a barrier where people were frequently trying to go off-course.  I did learn lots of things too.  For one thing, bring a helmet.  There were a group of 4-5 people that didn't bring one so they weren't allowed to ride until people scrounged up some extras.  I also saw a girl run in her swimsuit, but just threw on a sports bra and shorts on top of it!  Smart.  Support and no boobs popping out by accident. And so much cheaper than tri specific clothing! Some people did just run in swimsuits (I saw a 60 year old guy bike and run in speedo-type bottoms and a tank top... you go dude.)    The most important thing I learned was how to rack my bike, because I had no idea before.  It's not like any way I've ever racked one before! Oh, here are the medals, which are really cool:
The women got the blue character with the pink ribbon, while the guys got the pink character with the blue ribbon, and two could actually snap together.  Neat idea!  If it wasn't $85 a person, Jeff would have done the run, while I did the swim/bike, for a 2-person relay.  
While, we're talking about bikes, I came *THIS* close to buying a bike today.  I went to the bike shop (the one I mentioned before with the good bike fitter chick) to get a floor pump and a CO2 cartridge adapter, and it turns out they have some good deals on some nice bikes.  The one I literally almost walked out with was a 2012 Specialized Dolce Comp, which was on sale for $1000.  The alternative was a tri bike, on sale for $1100 because they're being discontinued for 2014 (normal price $1500 or $1550, I forget what they said).  It's the Shiv Elite Apex Mid-Compact.  Now I'm leaning more toward that one.  The only problem is that the Dolce was in stock and he measured me and adjusted it to fit me so I could ride it for real, so I know it felt good.  The tri bike will have to be ordered.   Here's the tri bike:

Find it on the Specialized website

I didn't get one, but I think I probably will soon.  After riding that Dolce road bike around the parking lot a few times I got totally spoiled and my clunky slow hybrid just isn't cutting it anymore.  I did get some bike shorts and bike jersey (which is a men's medium and apparently too big, but I didn't like the skin tight fit of the women's medium), both for 40% off, as well as a floor pump (I was using a weird pump thing that plugs into your cigarette lighter in your car).  I think that's "all" I got.  I told myself I wasn't going to go crazy on tri gear.  It looks like I'm failing at that, huh?  Does anybody have any tips on which bike to get??  Or neither?  What do you recommend??

...until next time, which will unfortunately probably be next weekend!

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