Archive for March, 2008

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Glutton for Zone 1

March 27, 2008

A funny thing happened at spin class on Tuesday…

I came in looking to lead a nice hour long endurance ride.  I know, one hour doesn’t seem like a real “endurance ride” by base training for a half IM standards, but it was longer than my usual class and we stayed in zone 1 and 2, so that counts as “endurance” to me (at least for spin class). And partially, I was just being selfish because I need to get a lot more time in zone 1 for the next few weeks of my base training until I start to kick up the volume/intensity a bit.

After doing some form work/drills and a few long easy hill sets and light sprints, we cooled down, stretched and called it a day.  Now, I’m not sure if this is just me being neurotic, but no one had that big “man I just got my ass handed to me” smile after class, and I like those smiles. They tend to make me feel like I’m actually not too bad at this spin instructor thing.

Honestly people, what part of “burn fat more efficiently” and “cardiovascular strength” don’t you understand?  That is what I told you this ride was for. Be happy. Please?

Oh well, I’m just rambling now about people that probably weren’t even upset with me. But I’m a sucker, so I’ll just have to go back to kicking their ass and handing it to them on a big sweaty platter next week. 🙂

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What is in a name?

March 25, 2008

As I mentioned recently, I’ve had this weird struggle with embracing the whole “endurance athlete” thing. I haven’t exactly figured out why, but it has been slowly wearing away. I guess a pound full of leg hair at the bottom of a bath tub will do that to you.

A few weeks ago while flying down to New York on business, a coworker saw me pick up Bicycling Magazine at the airport book store. Despite riding to work for almost a month straight last summer when I busted up my car, she didn’t know I rode and asked me if I was a cyclist, but that is a different story all together.

By no means am I a “cyclist” and I felt like I should have corrected her and told her that I was a “triathlete.” But for some reason I didn’t even want to bother. It isn’t like I’m ashamed of being a triathlete, I’m actually really proud of it and it has ridiculously happy that it has become such a big part of my life over the last two and a half years. Maybe I was just tired of explaining that just because I’m a triathlete doesn’t mean that I’ve done an Ironman, or what the order of events are, or how long each distance is.

One of the most important things that I learned at the training seminar I went to a few weeks ago was that no matter how much I swim, I’m not a swimmer;

No matter how much I bike, I’m not a cyclist;

No matter how much I run, I’m not a runner.

Being faster at any one of these sports individually ultimately doesn’t matter to me. It is the end, all I want is to cross that finish line with less time on the clock after doing them all back-to-back (or at least with the same time and less pain).

So after 1900 meters in the pool before work, and 4 miles on the treadmill tonight I decided it was over. I’m no longer a swimmer, or a cyclist, or a runner, or a gym rat, or an all around fitness buff.

I realize I may be a little late with this, and it is almost an awkward argument to have with myself almost two years into this journey, but I’m done with just being “a guy who has done a few triathlons” and need to start owning up to my “triathlete” title.

TADA!

I feel like I need to go bang a gong or pop open a new box of Clif Shots. Oh well. I’ll just do a swan dive into bed and slide around under the sheets with my new slippery legs.

G’nite tri-studs.

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Left out in the cold

March 23, 2008

This morning was my tri team’s first Saturday morning ride starting from the local tri shop and I was pumped about it. Actually training during the winter has me feeling super cooped up and I was SO looking forward to it. The weatherman said it was supposed to be high 40’s and windy, so I was prepared to bundle up.
Last night I pulled off the junky back tire that I use on the trainer and put on my nicer road tire. After brusing my fingers trying to pull the tire back on the rim, tearing a tube, and getting grease all over my hands and arms, I decided to give up and hope that someone at Wheelworks (my team’s bike shop) can help me out before the ride in the morning. I can hold my own with most basic bike mechanic stuff, but stretching the tire back over the rim just isn’t my bag baby, but I just blame my really stiff tires.

Here is me with Angela (my bike’s name) dismantled in the back seat on the way to the first group ride of the year.

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After a humbling experience at the bike shop as they toss the tire back over the rim and pump it back up without even so much as a blink, I was good to go, at least until I saw the rest of the team that showed up for the ride. All of a sudden I felt really under dressed for the weather. Oh, and I also ran into fellow tri-blogger, and Wheelworks employee/team member Jared who was just starting his day at work. Working at a bike shop looks so fun. It make my cube-town of a job look like some sad joke.

I haven’t done much cold-weather riding, but thought I had a pretty good idea on what to wear since I’ve been running outside a lot. Two shirts, a windbreaker, gloves, scull cap, bike shorts and knee warmers. More than enough, right? I guess not. I tried not to be too much of a wuss and hoped by legs would warm up once we got riding.

Once the cold wind blowing through my shoe vents started to make my toes all tingly and cold about 4 miles in , it was time to suck it up and turn around.  It was a hit to the ego, but better doing that than getting sick and not being able to ride another day. Next time I’ll have to go for full-length tights and thicker socks/plastic bags in my shoes before I do any sub-fifty degree riding again.

After drooling over some new tri bikes and picking up some new tubes to replace the one I tore apart, I decided it was time to hit the pool since my cycling workout didn’t amount to much. Good plan, right? Wrong again. Pool Closed. Why? Just because. Awesome

For those keeping score, Jamie is pulling a big 0 for three today.

I gave up and decided to just get some run miles in on Easter morning tomorrow. I can’t screw that up, can I?

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Tales of a leg-shaving triathlete

March 17, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

 

I did it it.

I had been thinking about it for a little while, but finally sucked it up and took the plunge this weekend. For the record, no, I didn’t do it with some grand expectation of shaving off seconds (or even minutes) on race day, or secretly expecting to have some sexy ripped legs under all that hair (although that wouldn’t be so bad). I didn’t even really care about taking care of the inevitable road rash or making my legs easier to massage after a workout. I decided to take the leap in the shower this weekend as a way of getting a daily dose of training motivation beyond the regular 2 week boost I get after registering for another race.

I’ve also been batting with this idea of actually starting to consider myself as an “athlete” instead of just another guy who works out a lot and does a few races every year. In some weird backwards way this is almost my way of taking that leap from gym rat/runner/recreational cyclist to a full fledged “endurance athlete.”

So, after some deliberation and ensuring myself that leg hair is not what makes me a man, I collected some supplies, and went at it. Thankfully I had prepped with some good advice from the all-wise SteveinaSpeedo.

Before:

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The Supplies:

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I did the best I could with the trimmer before I lathered up and used the razor. I never thought I was really all that hairy, but as my beard trimmer sputtered and coughed all the way up my leg, I had began to think otherwise. It may just be because it is a few years old, but that thing is clearly on its last legs. It practically sparking and smoking as it tried to slice its way through all the hair.

The casualties:

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After I did the best I could with the trimmer, and was left with two legs full of stubble, I finished up with the razor. It was then that I started to realize how long of a process this was. I had been in the bathroom for at least 20 minutes already, and was still pretty hairy and prickly!

“Damn, I hope it doesn’t take this long every time!”

The end:

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Now, a day later, I’m still finding little hidden hairs along my quad or on the side of my ankle that I somehow missed. Clearly I’m not too good at this leg shaving thing just yet, but I was happy just to have somehow made it through without slicing up my legs and ending up a big bloody mess.

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Deep (base training) Thoughts

March 14, 2008

Now that my training is in fully swing, and I’m spending plenty of time out on the road running, on the spin bike, and going back and forth in he pool and I’ve got plenty of quiet time to myself and my thoughts.

My brain tends to go completely random places even when I’m busy, but when I’m staring at my handlebars for an 90 minutes at a time… lets just say I’m glad no once can hear what I’m thinking. Most of my thought trains aren’t worth their own posts, but here is an short list of some of what I think some of my more entertaining and hopefully some of you guys can relate.

  • Fans built-in to treadmills don’t seem so ridiculous when the guy running next to you rips a big juicy one.
  • I never thought to bother washing my heart rate monitor strap, until I smelled it.
  • Running past people smoking makes me feel even better about myself for getting up early and heading out in the cold for a run (except when I can’t escape the smoke trail behind them).
  • I can somehow watch I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and shop for a new speedo online without feeling the slightest bit gay, but definitely feel like I shouldn’t be so comfortable with it.
  • Morning runs are a little bit lonier when the usual crazy homeless guy that yells gibberish at you as you run by isn’t there. Is it weird to be concerned about a the local crazy?
  • 70.3 miles is a long freaking way to race. I hope I’m ready!
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Testing. Testing. toast. Toast. TOAST.

March 13, 2008

I’m having some trouble with the videos posting in the last two posts.

I just thought I’d do a call out to see if this was just on my end or if anyone else was seeing them coming up.

Thanks guys! Lemme know.

-Jamie

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SBR TV Sponsor Update: Power Thirst

March 11, 2008

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/

You’ll have so much energy, you’ll be too good to compete at regular sports, and have to do three back-to-back-to-back.