Archive for the ‘triathlon’ Category

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Product Review: Phonak PFE – Perfect Fit Earphones

February 4, 2010

So I got an email the other day that went something like this…

Hey Jamie, remember the Phonak pro cycling team?”

“Yeah! Floyd Landis is the man! What a BAMF!”

“Agreed. Well Phonak primarily makes hearing aids, but they have some pretty sick earphones. Wanna test ’em out?”

“Heck yes I do!”


Unlike last winter when I was still teaching spinning classes a few times per week, I’ve been spending a TON more time listening to music by myself on the bike trainer (and even more once I really ramp up my running) so I thought this would be the perfect piece of new gear to review. Soon I got a nice surprise in the mail and started putting ’em through the SwimBikeRun product testing gauntlet.

Introducing the Phonak PFEs.

Phonak Perfect Fit Earphones

PFE stands for “perfect fit earphones.”

For such tiny little earphones, they sure promised a lot (a perfect fit and and incredible sound quality – without the distraction of ambient noise) so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After poking around and finding some pretty impressive reviews, including this one from CNet, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I tried to stay as unbiased as I could and give ’em a fair shake.

Continue reading the full review here: http://swimbikerunlive.com/2010/02/review-phonak-pfe-perfect-fit-earphones/

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Commitment

December 3, 2009

See Original Post HERE: http://swimbikerunlive.com/2009/11/commitment/

You may have noticed my regularly scheduled blogging has taken a few weeks off, but I felt like blogging about anything else would be just beating around the bush until I eventually answered the question in the last post. After plenty of soul searching, and finally getting approval and promise of support from Sam, I’ve decided to make Rev3 Cedar Point my first full Ironman! After three halfs in the books, I’m finally making the jump.

Rev3 Cedar Point here I come! 140.6 miles of speed, pain and roller coasters!

Since I already had the Half Rev at Quassy locked on my calendar, I’m really temped to make the trip down to Knoxville in May to do the entire series. Wow, the 2010 planning is going full-steam ahead and it isn’t even December!

In other news, I’m slowly getting back to training and I’m sadly realizing how much fitness a person can lose in 6 weeks of being completely sedentary. I’m taking a tip from fellow Trakkers teammate, Elaine, and focusing on consistency, especially with running. The goal for the next few weeks is to run 6 days a week, even if it is just for two or three miles to slowly trick my legs into being athletic again.

If any of you kids are planning to join me next year at any of the Rev3 races, hold up until next week. I’ll be getting a discount code for you to use to save some extra scratch on registration.

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Blog Moved: Update Your Feed

October 12, 2009

Just a friendly reminder, if you are still subscribed to the sbrtv.wordpress.com blog feed, it is dead and I’m only posting new updates over at the new URL: www.swimbikerunlive.com.

More toys and a sweet new layout over there. Check it out.

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THIS BLOG HAS MOVED

June 25, 2009

That is right. After over two years here (gawd, has it been that long?) this blog is moving!

www.swimbikerunlive.com

Don’t worry. It is the same ‘ol me, just a new URL, design and feed. Don’t worry, all your comment love is still over there too. If I’m in your blogroll, it’d rock if you updated that too. 🙂

If you read this in an RSS reader, you shouldn’t notice any difference (if I did it right, but I’ve never done this before, so I can’t promise anything). If you want to resubscribe, here is the new feed:

http://swimbikerunlive.com/feed

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On top of getting all fancy and having my own URL, it comes with some new toys that I get to play around with, so hopefully the new site will be a better creative outlet for some fun stuff that I’ve got in the works.

So I say it again, go check out www.swimbikerunlive.com!

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Specificity

June 24, 2009

Now that Rev3 is far back in the rear view mirror and the only thing in my sights for the rest of the season is Timberman, officially 58 days away. With some time on my hands before the next time I enter race mode, I’m taking a look back at everything, reexamining my training and changing things around a lot. The one major change that I’m making is MORE BRicks!

And in the spirit of making changes real fast, I’m heading back to Connecticut for my little sister’s college graduation party and decided to take advantage of the time back at home base to redo the Rev3 bike/run course. I feel like I still have something to prove out there. Not to anyone else. Just myself.

I know that I can push through the bike and still have enough juice left in the tank for a solid 13.1 mile run. I’m dubbing this weekend my “Rev 4 BRick Workout.” I don’t know if I’ll be able to sneak my way into Quassy for an early swim, but if not, it will be a nice hard 69.1 miles of LOVE this weekend.

Hopefully this time I won’t bonk like last time and have to drag myself across the finish line. Wish me luck!

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Video: Rev3 Half Iron

June 10, 2009

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

I handed over my Flip camera to my little sister to shot some video during the race. Check it out peeps.

My family even makes a cameo. My mom shows how much see needlessly worries about me while I race, Allison explains why she will never do a triathlon and Kelsey explains her new crush on Matty Reed. She decided that they can never have kids because they both have chicken legs and their kids wouldn’t be very good looking. But that may have changed when she heard his accent.

And, conveniently, I edited myself coming in to T2 just after Matty Reed. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

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Rev3 Half Iron Race Report

June 8, 2009

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

After packing up the car early on Friday morning, I hit the road right after work on my way down to Connecticut to stay with the family. I grew up only about 20 minutes from the race site, so it was great to spend some time with the family too. While there are a ton of reasons that I was so psyched about this race originally, that was definitely a big one.

That being said, it probably wasn’t the greatest idea to stay out until 1a.m. at the bar with my mom, sisters and neighbors. Oh well. I’m not that focused on time anyway. I decided that (for a number of reasons, especially the bad-ass course) this was all about the “experience” this weekend, not the “race.” I still have a lot to learn before I can start getting in the mindset of “racing” 70.3s.

After rolling out of bed early on Saturday with a mild headache, I headed off the the race site to meet up with Team Trakkers for a short run and to man the booth for the morning. Bree Wee, Lisa Mensink and Chris Thomas joined us too. They were very kind to us age groupers and didn’t leave us in the dust.

At the Trakkers booth I was helping set people up with GPS devices so that family/spectators could track them during the race on the Web. Because Trakkers is still in still in early beta, cell service isn’t the greatest on the course, there were plenty of hiccups. Even despite some product issues, people were still really amped to try them out, knowing that there was a good chance that it might not even work at all. It was great to see people supporting the idea behind the product, even when the product hasn’t fully come out yet. Good times and I got to meet some cool people.

After doing a short bike on the run course with Kellie, chatting it up with Christine, Javier and Phil (seriously, who WASN’T a this race?), I called it a day and went home to do final race prep for Sunday’s race.

I went out to dinner with Team Trakkers and Michael Lovato showed up. I’m not usually not one to sit there and drool over pros, and get just as motivated by seeing age groupers do amazing things out on the course, but sitting down and chatting about his plans for prepping for Kona this year was pretty cool.

Dinner with Michael Lovato

Race Day:

I actually got a pretty good night’s sleep! I never sleep that well before a race, so this was an accomplishment in itself. The alarm went off at 4:20 a.m. and I shoveled some cereal, juice and some mini corn muffins down my face, and I was on route to the course by 5:00.

Set up transition. Triple checked everything, set up my Trakkers GPS and off I went to the swim start. Apparently they had changed up the wave times, and I wasn’t sure what time I was supposed to be going, so I didn’t get a chance to warm up. I just splashed some water down my neck into the front of my suit, jumped into the middle/back of the pack and off I went.

The warmup/commute/race strategy worked wonders for me during my two half marathons this year, so that was the plan again today. Keep it extra cool on the swim (don’t worry about maybe giving up a few minutes), warm up on the bike (and never really push the pace, the course is hard enough, it will push back), and once I get my running legs under me THEN I can start racing.

And I even got my own name printed all fancy on my bike rack. Classy, right? Rev3 doesn’t mess around.

Swim:

I started off pretty smooth. My arms/back was a little tight, but not too bad. I definitely wished I had warmed up, but it was fine. If anything it helped me stay nice and slow. Some jerk was constantly tapping on my feet every two strokes. I’m fine with having you draft off of me, but when I am leading the pack, I have no one else to draft from, and I get the feeling that you might have a foot fetish, I’m done. A few breast strokes to the right, I watch him give me the sad puppy dog eyes as he swims past, and I get back into my rhythm.

Time: 37:11 (1:46/100yds)

T1: 4:22

Bike:


Exiting transition I got to use some of my cyclocross skills and did a running mount. Went perfect and I blew right pas that awkward pack of people that always gets clogged up with people who leave their bike in to hard of a gear. SaWEET.

I started off nice and smooth, kept my cool on all the hills and still managed to pass a bunch of people while climbing. I guess my bike has gotten a lot stronger! I normally aim at taking down one bottle per hour and it is a little bit of a chore to stay on schedule. I found myself easily sucking down each bottle in about 50 minutes. I was proud of myself for staying ahead of schedule. Two bottles of Infinit. Two bottles of CeraSport (the course drink). Looking back (only just now) CeraSport has only 160 calories, while my Infinit has about 280. I probably should have sucked down a GU with each bottle, and taken in a fifth bottle. While I kept the pace pretty cool, I just didn’t realize that the hills had taken so much sweat out of me. Stupid mistake. Seriously though, this course was a beast. But if it was easy, they would call it football, right?

I hopped off the bike feeling pretty cool and collected, not yet noticing any dehydration, but sucked down the very last bit of the remaining bottle on my bike. I even popped my feet out of my shoes with .5 miles to go and did a rolling dismount off the bike. Cyclocross definitely made me a lot more confident about my bike handling. Great stuff.

Time: 3:20:06

T2: 2:29

Run:

My run legs weren’t quite there when I started. I kept it super slow and easy to let them switch over, but it wasn’t happening. I took a one minute walk break at each mile marker and sucked down some water. When I was running, I felt good and held a decent pace (mabye around 9:30?). When I decided it was time to start walking, not so hot. Eventually around mile 5 or so, I could feel my pulse pounding in my head. My HR was only 156, but my head was pounding. My lack of water on the bike had fully caught up to me.

I upped my water intake and walked through each water stop to try and offset it, but it was too late. The hurtin’ was in full effect. To make it worse, the run course totally changed from the original course taht I ran. WAY Harder. The good part was that the first 10 miles was one long out and back that wrapped around the lake, so I got to see a bunch of the pro women and everyone else as we ran. It was fun to see everyone and cheer ’em on. I love the run because it is the only part of racing where you can be a little social and make some friends.

I had to drag myself a little, but I eventually made it to the line. One girl that I caught at mile 12, and hung on my hip for the last mile yelled out “Let’s Do This!” as she sprinted past me. I think we had very different interpretations of “this.” She wanted to kick my ass. I had no interest in sharing the finish line and let her go without a second thought and happily ran straight through the line all by my lonesome.

Run: 2:24:12 (11:00 min/mile)

Total: 6:28:20

It was a whole 28 minutes over my first 70.3 last year where I was undertrained and injured, but I’m still calling this my new PR. Not anywhere near the 6ish hours that I was hoping for, but given how seriously tough the course was, I have no regrets (well, except for the whole nutrition thing). Other than that, It was an awesome experience. (Notice, I said experience, not race. Hopefully One of these days I’ll be racing this distance, but that day hasn’t come yet).

The post race festivities began. I sucked down a Corona, two burgers and jumped back into the lake to try and cool of the legs.

Rev3 half iron triathlon in the books. Amazingly hard, but even more fun.

Oh yeah. And that new bottle of sunscreen that I bought? It doesn’t do much if you don’t use it.

Hanging out with Bree after the finish.

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Trakk Me At Rev3 This Sunday

June 4, 2009

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

The taper is going well. I’m eating better, keeping my weight at a steady 172 lbs and getting tons of rest. I even took a nap yesterday after work. I can’t remember the last time I actually took a nap! Coach Brett is a big fan of listening to your body and the saying “Eat when hungry. Sleep when tired.” I was tired, so I slept. Simple, but it felt great.

The lack of exercise is even starting to make me a little anxious to hit the race course. My legs feel fresher than they have in months and I am feeling SOOOOOO ready to race.

As you may remember, I got sponsored by Trakkers earlier this year. They have been doing a ton of product testing and are making their big public launch at Rev3 this weekend. In short, Trakkers makes a GPS device for athletes. Unlike Garmins and other GPS watches that show your pace, time, etc, Trakkers is all about communicating data to other people, not to the athlete wearing the device.

The truth is that triathlon is a pretty shitty spectator sport. Over the course of 6 hours, any friends or family that come to support me will probably only see me four or five times. Even if I wasn’t sponsored by them, I’d think the idea of my support crew being able to follow me instantly as I race is wicked cool.

This Sunday, I’ll be wearing a Trakkers GPS. On race day, you will be able to log online and see a blinking dot on a map of the race course that will move along throughout the day, transmitting my location, speed, etc. I hear that it will show the elevation and HR too, so that should explain it if you log on and see me slogging away at 11mph up one of the steep climbs. 🙂

If you want to track me during the race, go to http://www.trakkersgps.com/ click on “Track Events” then “Rev3” and click on “Jameson Bull”. From there you should be able to see my progress throughout the day and stalk other triathletes from your couch.

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My swim wave is set to start at 7:20 a.m. I’m hoping to be out of the water and on the bike by 8:00, back into T2 and on the run course at 11:00ish, and finishing somewhere around 1:00 p.m.

Carole Sharpless (the awesome Team Trakkers Athlete Coordinator) and Heather Gollnick will be doing live commentary during the race on http://rev3tri.com/. Lars Finanger will be sending text race updates to Slowtwitch.com.

Honestly. This race is so amazingly connected that the only way I could keep everyone more updated is if I was live tweeting during the whole thing. Sorry kids, that isn’t going to happen.

When racing, only race.

And kick butt!

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Tapering Diet

May 29, 2009

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

 

Now that my taper is in full swing and I’m letting the legs completely rest before Rev3, I realized that I need to make some serious changes to my diet. I’ve gotten pretty lean with all the HIM training, but I’ve also been eating a ton to try and make up for all the extra calories that I’m burning.

I’m a huge snacker and eat something different every hour or so. If I kept that up during the taper I’d blow up like a baloon and I’d be rolling myself across the finish line. Either that or I’d get DQ’d because I couldn’t even fit in my tri top.

I emailed with Coach Brett about it and he had some good tips that helped put things in perspective, but I decided to go straight to the source and hit up Team ZenTri’s nutritionist, Christine Lynch (@holisticguru). I sent her everything that I ate the day before, and asked her to basically tear it apart. And she did. I probably didn’t pick the best day to send her, since the only veggie that I ate were some pickles on a BBQ sandwich. Some days are better than others, and this clearly wasn’t one of the better ones, but at least I get points for honesty, right?

Here is my mini diary:

7:00 – bowl of frosted flakes w/ 1% milk. Multivitamin and fish oil pill
9:00 – tea w/ stevia and half a grapefruit
10:00 – peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread
12:00 – another PBnJ or some sort of chicken sandwich
3:00 – hand full of fig newtons or something else stashed in my desk drawer
6:00 – stuff something fast down my face before PM workout. Usually reheated leftovers or BBQ sandwich w/ pickles.
9:00 – bowl of cereal w/ 1% milk
10:00 – bowl of ice cream

If you want to read some really awesome tapering nutrition tips (and really just great nutrition tips for any time of the year) check out her post: http://holisticguru.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-think-you-should-blog-about-how-to.html

Here is my new tapering fuel plan that should keep me happy and lean for race day. I’ve got some shopping to do this weekend, but am really looking forward to trying it out on Monday.

7:00 – Steel cut oats (made ahead of time from HolisticGuru’s blog recipe) Multivitamin and fish oil pill.
9:00 – tea with stevia and half a grapefruit
10:00 – apple slices or celery with almond butter or peanut butter and raisins
12:00 – quinoa cooked with veg or chicken broth, cut up veggies and beans (sweet potato and black bean with salsa sounds yummy in my head right now and would only take 25 mins to make… you can make it while you’re cooking the steel cut oats)
3:00 – handful of dried fruit with dark chocolate chips and a giant glass of water
6:00 – hummus sandwich with veggies (lettuce, tomato, cucumber)
9:00 – quick omelet and a side of something leafy and green and maybe some potato wedges
10:00 – bowl of fruit sorbet, or a small amount of ice cream isn’t terrible

In the mean time, I did make some killer raspberry/papaya pie yesterday and cut out almost all of the sugar. (At least Christine can be proud of me for that). I had some leftover pie crusts from another baking venture a few weeks ago and not enough raspberries to fill it up. A big ‘ol papaya was calling my name at the grocery store, so I decided to throw it in with the raspberries and test it out.

It took about 3 cups of raspberries, one cut up papaya, 4 packets of stevia and 2 or 3 tablespoons of lime juice for the filling. Because raspberries are so sweet anyway, they don’t even really sugar or stevia anyway, but I was curious how well it baked, so I tried it out. Cover it like a normal pie crust, sprinkle with brown sugar (Okay, I couldn’t cut out ALL the sugar) and bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes.

TA-DA!

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The raspberry flavor also totally overpowers the papaya, but it is at least good having the papaya in there for some nutritional variety. Seriously, look at all the health benefits inside of Papayas! That pie is awesome. And no. I’m not sharing. Make your own, it tastes better when you make it yourself anyway.

This is what one looks like in case you get lost on your next trip to the produce aisle.

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Happy tapering fatties!

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Training Weekend 2009

May 19, 2009

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

Training weekend totally beat me up this weekend.

After making the road trip up to Franconia, NH on Friday, I woke up bright and early and headed out with the team for a hard 90 mile ride with a belly full of fruit and pancakes.

Last year I stuck to the 60 mile route, but decided to step it up this year and go for the long route. It was definitely a good decision. There were 4 or 5 different groups that started along the same route. I was able to keep up pace with the “A” group for a while, which was a nice fitness test.

Up through the first climb, descending down the other side at around 49 mph (which was pretty slow because of all the wind) and half way through the climb up the Kangamangus, I was able to hang on to the caboose of the”A Train” led by speed freak Toby Wells. I even felt pretty good hanging on the back as we climbed, but once the climb started to get really steep, my HR got dangerously close to my lactate threshold and I had to drop off. Mile 30 is way too early to blow up on a 90 mile ride.

While I love the company of my teammates for the whole weekend, one of my favorite things about training weekend is the views from the road. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, waterfalls an moose crossing signs every few miles, I couldn’t be happier.

While the route was already hard enough, the wind made it pretty brutal. It was gusting around 30 or 40 mph at some points. And when you are heading up the side of a mountain at 12 mph, and a head wind gusting down your throat drops you down to 7 or 8, you just have to do anything you can to stay upright and keep the rubber side down.

Eventually we did get a few headwinds to take us home. We closed it off with just shy of 6 hours in the saddle. I averaged around 15.5 mph, which seems slow, but it sounded like the A group averaged only around 17 mph, so I didn’t feel so bad.

Views from my 90 mile ride:

The next morning me and hardcore climbing machine Andrea headed out to test the waters for a “swim.” Ther wasn’t much actual swimming involved. It was more of just splashing around until the nerve endings in my face died and stopped screaming in pain. Yeah, the water was somewhere between 50 and 52 degrees. And yes, that is snow on the top of the mountain behind us.

Eventually once my face went numb, I was able to keep pretty normal form. It was less for building my swim fitness and more of just getting used to racing in cold water, but it was definitely a success. This was my first time ever breaking out the booties for a swim. They made a HUGE difference. I love ’em, but I can’t wait for the water to warm up and I can leave them in the car.

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The obligatory super hero flexing pose.

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Andrea and I discovered this megaphone on the side of Echo Lake.The sign below it says:

“This megaphone was originally used by guests of the profile house around the turn of the century. Removed after the 1938 hurricane, the only one ever to come inland in N.H., it was discovered and reestablished in 1981. Listen and you shoudl be able to hear two distinct echos.”

Funny how people entertained themselves back in the day, eh? I could actually hear three distinct echos bouncing back from the mountain across from the pond. Fun times.

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And remember that brutal head wind that I mentioned? Unfortunately not all of my Wheelworks team mates weren’t so lucky to keep the rubber side down. On the 60 mile ride, a big gust nocked down Natalie, and Sara went right into, and over, her. She ended up taking most of the impact to her face, but thankfully she ended up a lot better than the damage looked.

She had the best attitude throughout the whole thing. All smiles (or as much as she could muster up through the swelling) and jokes. And the whole team rallied around to help her out like a huge family. I love my team. 🙂

For the whole story, check out Sara’s blog post here. She is Bad Ass! She even had Natalie shoot some video of her on the backboard ad the hospital.

http://ironwoman.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/i-fought-franconia-notch-and-the-notch-won/

Crash Damage