Thursday, October 13, 2011


Just started using Strava as a training tool. Pretty intrigued after the first ride. I can be lazy about uploading data from my Garmin, and Strava offers an iPhone app where you hit a "start" button and "stop" button for a ride and it automatically pushes it out to their website. Pretty awesome! I always take my phone with my on rides anyway, just in case.

The software looks great so far. At first I was nervous because the mileage was off when I finished my ride on the Strava app (not sure if it lost a satellite connection or what) but it autocorrected itself and matched almost exactly with my Garmin. It allows you to create "segments" for certain portions of a training ride. I love doing repeats on Berkshire Hill so I'm imaging setting up a "segment" for that to track my results over time. I think I'll be using this a lot!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Clay's Park

I was happy to get my first every OA win despite two big mistakes - 1) I followed a group of swimmers to the wrong buoy during the swim and 2) I lost my left shoe off of my bike coming out of T1. The swim had one of the fastest starts I've ever been a part of. I thought I got out good but found myself in a pack of flailing arms. Fighting for position I somehow got caught up in a small group that went for the wrong green buoy. I realized this about 20 yards from the buoy and had to turn 90-degrees and head back for the right one. I figure that added about 100 yards to the swim. I was pissed at myself for being a lemming and kicked it into high gear. I think managed to come out of the water 2nd just behind one of the relay teams. T1 was going well until I tried to mount the bike. I've never had a shoe come off during training, but somehow I managed to lose a shoe as I mounted the bike and had to turn around, put it on, and clip back in. Talk about a sloppy first 10 minutes of a race. I knew people were catching me at this point so I tried to hammer at the start of the bike but my legs felt heavy and tired. I put in a lot of miles on the bike this week and I raced last weekend so I think the training caught up with me. My legs were burning the whole ride but I held off a few charging riders and came into T2 in the lead, with another guy about 10 seconds behind and a few more just behind him. I came out of T2 hard trying to put some distance on the guy behind me. The course was a 2-loop out-and-back with an uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back. At the turnaround, the guy behind me was holding strong and I thought he might catch me. I decided to push the downhill a bit and by the time we hit the 2nd loop I had put some distance on him. I tend to run hills well so I surged on the next uphill. By the turnaround I had put more distance on the guy and cruised in for the win. First overall win for me and it felt good despite tired legs. Overall time was 1:01-ish. I was glad this one was a sprint because I don't know if my legs would have taken 2 hours of beatings! It was awesome seeing all of the BAFF folks on the run. It seemed like every other runner was wearing the BAFF kit. A special thanks to Steve for organizing the team cookout after the race! Fun times.

Edinboro Tri Race Report

Edinboro was my first of the season and my first race on my new P3 so I was anxious to race. Going into the race I hadn't done any open water swimming (thanks to the awesome Spring weather we had) and most of my riding has been steady, distance rides. Seeing Duecker and LaMastra at the start I knew I was going to get smoked in the water. I started off okay but felt like I was zig-zagging the entire swim. I probably added some extra yards but I was happy with how I felt. I came out of the water 5th (pretty much tied with 4th). Swim Time: 15:12 (NOTE: 1200 yards, not 1500).

I came out of T2 with another guy and he passed me a few miles into the bike course. The course was reported at 23.7 miles so I knew going into the race I wanted to be in at around an hour. I was really tight in my glutes in the first half of the ride, which I can't quite figure out. Weird. The bike course had a nice mix of hills, roller, false false, etc. I was hurting on the long, steady climbs by the end. Overall, I'd say my bike was average. I never felt like I had a lot of power but that's how it should feel in the beginning of the season when you're building mileage. Bike Time: 1:00:08.

I came out of T2 feeling a bit disappointed in my ride but my legs felt light. I was told by spectators that there were 2 guys within 2 minutes ahead of me, so that got me moving. I caught both by the two mile mark and was still feeling strong. I knew Jim LaMastra had 6 minutes on me coming out of T2, so that was out of reach. I hit 5:45 - 5:50 pace comfortably for the first 4 miles and was feeling smooth until a side-stitch attacked at mile 4. Not sure what that was about but it was a good one. My form started to suffer as a result and Mile 5 was 6:10. The last mile was downhill and I cruised in for a solid but not ideal run. Run Time: 36:24. Final Time: 1:53:55.

When I took my shoe off after the race my foot was covered in blood. I went to the medical tent and apparently I had stepped on glass at some point before T1. So that's been a bummer this week as I've only run once since the race and have been nursing it. I think Jeanne's disaster magnetism is contagious.

I thought I finished 2nd overall, but Kevin Park, who started 3 minutes after me with the older age group, got me by 26 seconds...and unfortunately his T1 was 31 seconds faster. Whoops. Oh well. I was pleased with this race overall and I took away a few things to work on: T1, cycling (still) and swimming straight lines. I was also pleased that I seemed to recover better from this race than I did for races last season, so hopefully that says something about my fitness.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Well, for once in my life I had luck in my favor. I looked into purchasing a CompuTrainer this winter but ultimately decided to just get a PowerTap come Spring for cost reasons. I was randomly searching for an "around town" bike on Craiglist and happened upon a used CompuTrainer for a really good price. I called the guy and he offered to hold it for me while I verified through CompuTrainer that the device was functional and not an obsolete model. When I got confirmation, I snatched it up. The guy was even nice enough to hold it for me even though several others called him about it and asked to buy it.

I've ridden it a few times and already see that it's going to help me train smarter. I'm even considering doing one training session on it during the summer. I have a lot to work on when it comes to cycling so anything to help deliver improvement is up for consideration at this point. Given the circumstances, I feel like my procurement of the CompuTrainer was meant to be. Hopefully I'll be sharing some workouts and progress as the winter progresses.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Just a quick update on the Winter progress so far. I took a few weeks of active rest after Tuscaloosa and spent most of October/November doing singles. My big focus of the winter is cycling. I cleaned up my dirty, unfinished basement and set up a TV with surround sound and have been jamming away down there more than any winter prior. I've almost exhausted all of the good movies from the Cleveland Heights library so I'm digging into Adriane's collection.

I spent a lot of time in the pool last winter and while my yardage is nowhere near last year's, I still feel pretty strong in the pool. Right now I'm doing 3 swims, 3-4 rides, and 3-4 runs per week. Last week was 7 hours on the trainer, 35 miles running, and 3 hours in the pool (shortened pool schedules due to holidays screwed up my schedule a bit). I also picked up Sheila Taormina's "Call the Suit" and have been focusing on my swimming technique. It's an easy read and I'm definitely noticing that I'm getting stronger and have a better feel for the water. I highly recommend it. On the running front, I've not done anything too hard. My long runs have been consistently between 12 and 14 miles for the last 2 months and I have a great group for long runs on Saturday mornings. So I guess the last 4th quarter of 2010 was consistent but not strenuous. Now that we're entering the first quarter of 2011, it's ready to ramp things up and really hit the training hard.