Monday, June 22, 2009

My New Dubs

Got my new (used) wheels on Friday, a pair of carbon fiber HED 3's. Supposed to be some of the most aerodynamic wheels available, which helps offset the big fat lug on top of the bike. I rode with them on Sunday for our 60 mile ride in Cleveland. Yes, I was still slower than Dave. But it felt faster than before.

Turns out that the Cleveland ride is a great approximator of the Vineman ride. The graph of the elevation change (in meters) for the Cleveland ride vs. the Vineman is in the graph below. That climb in the middle of the black graph (~mile 30) was a real gut buster.

2 more long training rides left before we ship the bikes to California...

The new gear:

Thursday, June 18, 2009


With the Big Race in 30 days (no, not a LeMons race), its time to change the theme of the blog somewhat to include triathlons. Fellow Slaab driver Dave Tessin and I are wrapping up the 6 month build up to the Half Ironman (plus the 5 races we did in 2008), with over 60,000 meters of swimming done, almost 300 miles of running, and over 600 miles of riding (not nearly enough)...its almost time. Assuming we survive this race, I'll be posting our race summary here LeMon's style.

The race? Vineman 70.3
The distance? 1.2 miles swim / 56 mile ride / 13.1 mile run
The date? July 19th - 7:58am start time.
The goal? Me - break 6 hours. Dave - 5 hours 30 minutes. (oh, and do not die is goal #2)

Vineman Triathlon

Here is my race report from the Cap Tex Triathlon in May, the last triathlon prior to Vineman:

Yesterday was the last triathlon / warmup before the Half Ironman (which is in 7 weeks!). This was an Olympic distance race (think – ¼ Ironman), and is similar to the race we did in Austin last August (and the one we did earlier this year in Galveston). Goals were pretty aggressive for this race – I wanted to lower my time by 13 minutes compared to a year ago. This was going to require better times in all three events…

Let me summarize the race easily – DISASTER.

Early Morning / Preparation –

· Alarm didn’t work that morning, so my morning routine was all messed up. Woke up to the sound of my phone ringing (Dave calling to wonder where I was). Not good.

· In the transition area before the race started, I went to pump up my rear tire, and accidently unscrewed the entire stem from the tire (instead of the end piece to fill it up). Woops.


· Swim was 1500 meters (Vineman race is 1900M). Water was 69 degrees – which is pretty cold. Anyway – the swim went very very well. I got comfortable quickly and felt good. The 2nd half of the swim was pretty consistent, and was passing people pretty steadily (a good sign). Had one incident where someone kicked the goggles clean off my face (that was a surprise), and another instance where I purposefully elbowed someone in the ribs (MOVE OVER!) while dunking someone on the other side (YOU TOO!). Needless to say, they stopped swimming for a moment and I passed them. Goal time for the swim – 27:30. Actual time -27:32. Best swim yet in two years. That was in the top 28% of all the swimmers out there (1,300 people). Dave swam it in 26:09 (top 20%).


· Another slow transition for me. Goal was 3:30, and actual was 4:15. Hard to sprint straight out of the water and straight onto the bike without catching your breath somewhere.


· Got onto the bike, and the first 2 miles or so is uphill. I was amazed at how dead my legs were during this part. Once we got to the top of the hill near the Capital Bldg, there was a downhill section and I hit 30mph, which felt great. Until my tire burst. At 30mph.

· On the side of the road – I figured my stem broke after my incident earlier that morning with my tire. So I tightened it up, got my CO2 canister out, and tried to fill the tire up. Didn’t work. Then I took my tire off (I carry a spare tube), and broke the tire tool which helps get the tire/tube off the rim. At that point, my tool was broke, my CO2 was empty, and I was seriously pissed.

· I started walking the bike back to the transition area (I broke down around 17th street. The transition area was around 1st street. A long ways). Got about ¼ of the way, and decided to try again at removing the tire, and I would attempt to flag Dave down when he rode past to take his CO2 from his bike (bike route was 4 laps…so I would see him multiple times). Dave throws me his CO2, I had the new tube on the tire…things were going GREAT. Got the CO2 working right….filled up the tire….put the tire back on the bike….and the tire burst on the spot.

· At this point – I’m done. I walk the bike all the way back to the transition area….stopping to talk with Candice / Landon / Caroline (who were wondering where the heck I was on the bike route)…and Candice talks me into going and at least finishing the race by running the 6 mile run.


· Man – I felt great on the run. Of course – I hadn’t done anything since the swim, so that’s obvious. My goal was to run a 9 minute average pace. First mile – 8:52. Second mile – 8:15. Third mile – 8:50. Fourth mile - ~10:30. Fifth mile - ~9:30. Sixth mile - ~9:15. Which one doesn’t belong?!? I have no idea what happened at mile 4….but clearly I passed out somewhere on the road. I ran the race at a 9:20 pace, which is really irritating since a) I was fresh and b) my pace was so good for most of the run. I also was trying a new product out on the run (for the Vineman) which was called LiquidShot (400 calorie gel). Really interested to see how it would work. Yeah – it fell out before mile 1. Never got to try it. Run was in the top 46% of the race, by far my best result in a race….and by far the most tainted since I didn’t do the bike. At one point – some old geezer told me I was doing great as I passed him. I turned around and said “YEAH – BUT I DIDN”T DO THE BIKE!”. He looked at me, and said “REALLY?!?”

· Dave almost made his goal – he wanted to finish in 2 hours 24 mintutes, and missed it by 4 minutes. His finish time was around 15 minutes faster than my goal time.

Anyway – not a great event to lead into the BIG ONE for me. But oh well. We still have a ton of training to do to be able to finish a longer event. Dave and I both agree that we’re going to have to really slow down our pace to finish Vineman (we’re pushing our times pretty aggressively in these shorter races). We’re in great shape for the swim….the bike is getting there…and our run will have to slow down to get more distance. Vineman – swim will be roughly the same as we just did in this race…bike will be double, run will be double.