Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cache Valley Sprint Tri: NEW PR!!!

First of all, sorry it's been so long since I posted. Hopefully the length of this one will make up for it, if it doesn't just make it unbearable to read.

Last winter, my brother, my sister-in-law and me had this great idea that we would all do Spudman up in Burley, ID in July. And, even though they were online ready to sign up when it opened, screwed them over (as they have a tendency to do) and they weren't able to get in as the ~1600 slots filled up in about 10 minutes and they kept getting kicked out of the system. I, on the other hand, was able to get in. So, I'll be racing Spudman alone. The reason this applies here is that my sister-in-law now didn't really have any race to do. She decided to do the Olympic distance at Cache Valley, and I figured the Sprint distance would be a great way to prepare for Spudman (Olympic).

So, this was a B race for me, and I didn't really taper at all before the race. I didn't really have any time goals going into the race, but my PR last year was 2:05 at sprint distance, so I figured I'd be happy if I came in under 2 hours.

So we showed up super early, as I like to do, and the weather looked perfect. Here's a pic of my sister in law, myself, and a friend of mine who raced too (it was his first tri ever and he finished in 1:31).

Cache Valley (All 3)

Here's a pic of us basically intimidating the rest of the field. Some people find it intimidating to see everyone else's gear and stuff, but I choose to intimidate my competitors with my physique. As a side note, I swore to myself that I wasn't going to forget anything for this race, and in the rush to get everything packed I forgot to shave my stomach/chest, and you can't see it in the picture, but I also missed my back. I'm sorry if this offends any of you hardcore shavers. I'll try to remember that for my next race.

Cache Valley  Intimidation

The horn blew, and off I went. I am sad to say that I didn't train much for the swim. I was concentrating so much on the bike and run, and figured I'd probably barely make it through the swim anyways. But, I was very surprised to find that I loved the swim. I was able to freestyle almost the whole length, and it wasn't too crowded. The only bad part was right at the end. I was right in front of a guy who apparently blacked out. I couldn't hear much as I had a neoprene cap on underneath my swim cap, but as I was coming up the stairs leading out of the water, I could hear people yelling "MEDIC!!". You can see that I look kind of confused in the pic coming out of the water, and you can also see the EMT jumping over the railing to go help the guy.

Cache Valley T1

I think I swam right by the guy (which I feel terrible about), but I honestly had no idea. I didn't really know what was going on, but my transition spot happened to be right at the top of the stairs, so as I was getting changed, I kind of freaked myself out as I was watching them do CPR on him. Luckily my brother was there to tell me that I was still in the race (honestly, thanks so much), and that I needed to get on my bike. So off I went. Here are my times so far.

Swim: 19:12 (which is amazing for me)
T1: 3:49 (also a new PR for me)

Cache Valley T1

So, I got out on the bike. I had heard it was a fast bike course, but there was a pretty steep uphill at the beginning. I kind of felt lied to, until I got to the top, and it was pretty much flat or downhill for the rest of the course. It was a great course, and I felt so good. As some of you know, I just got my bike back from getting a frame replacement about a week and a half ago, so I was a little worried that something might not be tight, or that something might not fit quite right. I actually felt better than I've ever felt on the bike. I found a good rhythm for me, and just started spinning my legs. I was passing quite a few people, which felt good, but more than anything, my rhythm just felt great. I kept the same cadence for almost the whole course, and I would just shift when I needed to. It was funny because I felt like I finally learned how to ride a bike. Here are some pics of the downhill at the end of the course. You can't tell in the pictures, but I'm pretty much going like 65 mph. Luckily that cop didn't pull me over.

Cache Valley Bike 1

Cache Valley Bike 2

I pulled into the transition, and my wife and my mom were at the transition area waiting for me. The first thing I thought to do was ask one of the helpers if that guy was okay, and sadly they said that they were still doing CPR on him when they put him in the ambulance. I had a quick chat with my ladies while I changed my hat/shoes, and off I went. Here are my times.

Bike: 43:12 (17.2 mph avg)
T2: 2:16

Luckily my brother and dad were right at the beginning of the course to cheer me on. My bro said "Go Cole, keep it up" or something of the sort, and my dad said "Go Cole, you totally don't look gay in that pink shirt". I thought that was a pretty low blow, especially since he gave the shirt to me, but I'm nothing if I'm not totally secure in my manhood.

Cache Valley Run 1

I felt good heading out on the run, but I could quickly tell that I had underestimated the effect the bike would have on my legs. I didn't do any brick workouts, and I probably should have. But, I kept plugging along, and I actually ended up walking very little (probably less than most of my training runs). About .5 mi. into the run, there was a pretty steep hill we had to climb. I kind of tried to run up the beginning of the hill, but when I looked down at my Garmin and realized that I could walk faster, I pretty much walked the rest of the way up the hill. It was definitely speed walking though. I had my arms swinging and everything. All I needed were some 1.5 lb weights in my hands and I would have been pro. As I came up to the second water table, I was kind of all by myself, so it was pretty funny when the girl asked what I wanted and I said "water". I was still kind of far away, and I think I was walking at this point, so she got it, and waited, and waited, and I finally said "I'll get there eventually". It was pretty funny. Here's a pic that will give you an idea of just how fast I was running (thanks tsilcyc).

Cache Valley Cape

The turnaround came, and I still felt pretty good. And I was definitely looking forward to going back down the hill. Right before I reached the downhill came the highlight of the race. I heard someone yell from the other side of the road "Hey, ChunkyB (my nickname on the Trifuel forums)". So I said "Hey, Callco, what's up" or something like that. I'm sure it was pretty hard to understand though, since I was coughing and wheezing by that point, but the thought was there. Honestly, Callco, that totally gave me the kick in the butt that I needed.

So, I came speeding down the hill (gravity + MASS = acceleration) and when I got to the bottom I had to walk for a few steps. I probably would have walked longer, but I heard my mom in the distance cheering (screaming) me on, so I started running again, and ran the half mile right into the finish. I ended up doing the run in 33:11 and I couldn't have been happier. It was honestly the greatest feeling crossing the finish line and knowing I had done so well. Part way through the run, I started thinking how awesome it would be if I could finish in 1:45. Here are my final times, and a few pics.

Cache Valley Finish 1

Cache Valley Finish 2

Run: 33:11 (10:43 min/mi avg.)

Total: 1:41:43

I can't even describe how good it felt to put so much work into something and have it pay off like that. Thanks for everyone's support (especially my beautiful wife). Now wish me luck on training for Spudman.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wii Fit (and weighing my bike)

So, as some of you may know, I recently got Wii Fit, and it's pretty fun. It weighs you every day, and then it has tons of games and exercises. The moral of the story is that it told me I'm obese, so there's one more reason to lose some weight.

So I had this brilliant idea. Well, it wasn't really my idea because the game tells you that you can weigh things if you weigh yourself and then weigh yourself holding the thing. So, long story short, my new bike weighs 20.3 pounds. I know that sounds pretty heavy, but I was actually pretty surprised that it was that light. I'm perfectly happy with that.

Anyways, that's what I do with my time. Use video games to weigh random objects.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My New Bike

So, I finally got my bike replaced from when it was cracked a month ago. I'm actually really happy with what I got, especially since it was free. Here are some pics. The frame is a Raleigh Prestige EX, and I have not idea what year it is, but it's made of Kinesis Kinesium, which is apparently some alloy that's better than most. The fork looks a little weird, but I think it will grow on me.

The coolest part is the head badge. It's an actual head badge, instead of just a paint decal, so that's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Race Mode

So, I did my short bike ride for the week tonight, and I was really trying to go as fast as I could. I went up to Nuuns Park and back, and it was a great ride. As usual, it took about 20 minutes before my legs could really get into a rhythm, but after that I felt great. I ended up going 17.6 miles, and my average speed was 15.2 mph. I was really happy with that, even though it seems pretty slow. The elevation profile is below, so there was actually quite a bit of climbing, and I guess that's why it's slower than I was expecting. Either way, I felt like I was doing really well, and my legs felt great. Here's hoping I can be in tip-top shape on June 21 for Cache Valley.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Nice Scenery Here In Provo

Since most of the roads I usually ride are currently torn up, I decided to head up North today and ride up Provo Canyon. I am so glad I did. Over half of my ride was on the multi-use path, which I don't like a lot of the times, but it was great. I was able to find some pretty ridiculous hills on the way to the mouth of the canyon, so I tried my legs at some climbing. It went really well.

Once I hit the path, it was pretty crowded, but it didn't really bother me. It was actually a welcome change from the 55 MPH traffic zooming by me during my whole ride. I had ridden up here before, but I decided to go further than I usually do. Here's a picture I took of what I saw. I didn't realize that Bridal Veil Falls was that close, so I was pretty happy to see it. It was kind of weird because there's about 50 yards of "Pedestrian Only" area, so cyclists have to get off and walk. I ended up going up past Vivian Park. In all, it was 29 miles with 1500 feet of total elevation gain. I felt really good, especially after about the first 45 minutes, which is pretty usual for me.

As a side note, the shop got my new frame from Raleigh on Friday, and apparently there's a pretty big paint flaw. They said it looked like there was a bump in the aluminum that they just sanded down and spraypainted over. I was pretty bummed, because it look like it might be another 3 weeks or so until I get my bike back. The good news is that the frame was an upgrade from my old one. It's still a 2004, but it was a Prestige, which was their top of the line road bike from that year. So, we'll see what happens there. I might go check it out and see how bad it is, because I just want my bike back.

Look, Super Nintendo Chalmers, I'm Learnding!

So, I'm starting to learn more and more about my training and stuff. Here are a few things I've learned lately.

First of all, I like morning workouts better than evening workouts (once they're done, that is). Logistically, they're tons better. I don't have to shower twice a day. I don't get all hyped up right before I got to bed. But, the main reason I've switched is because I found myself kind of dreading my workouts all day. It's not that I don't like the workouts, because I've actually started to like them a lot. But I just know that I had to do it, and I knew I would feel guilty if something came up and I couldn't do my workout.

Second of all, I think I get really hot when I workout, maybe in more ways than one. I was riding today, and I was able to refill my bottles so I had tons of water, so I decided to squirt some on my head, and it made a huge difference. I don't know if everyone is like that, or if I might get hotter than most because I'm so big or something, but it really helped, and I'll have to try that more from now on.

Third of all, stretching and massaging really really really help. I got one of those super dense foam rollers so I could do some self-massage, and I can tell a huge difference after workouts, and especially the morning after, if I use it.

Anyways, those are just some of the things I've learned lately.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hill Repeats

I just got back from doing some hill repeats, and boy are my arms tired....I mean legs. 

I finally decided that I need to stop making excuses on hills, so today I set out to just climb a bunch of hills. I have my red bike (sans granny gear) so it was pretty low cadence, but I felt really good. I rode for an hour, and basically just rode up and then back down every hill I could find. There was one hill in particular that I have climbed before and it almost killed me, and that was with my granny gear. I felt a lot better today, and that was really exciting. Plus, it was just more fun then I usually have when I ride. There's something about getting to the top of a really hard hill. Anyways, I'd post my elevation profile, but it would just show what a wussy I am because the hills probably aren't that bad to normal mortals.

Oh, and some more good news. Raleigh is going to replace my frame, and the rep seemed to think I would actually get the same frame. He said they usually keep a few around for just such an occasion. Plus, they're going to renew my "free lifetime service" thing, so I can get free tune ups and everything. I'm hoping to have it by the end of next week, but that's probably a bit optimistic.