Saturday, August 22, 2009

Last Tri of 2009

As I mentioned before, today was my last tri of the season.

I was regretting doing this as I waited for the start this morning and hoping for any excuse not to go through with it. I felt sick, it was cold, I knew the swim was not going to be easy and on and on and on.

Most of today's issues were brought on me by me. Last night some dear friends of mine who happen to be of another culture and for some reason really love me, invited me to go to dinner with them for their daughter's 14th birthday. I have begged off on so many invites that I really would have felt awful adding last night to the list. So I went and the meal was huge, plus filled with dairy products. But I not only ordered something that I should not have, but then I ate the whole thing.

Then of course, I did not want to be rude and refuse an invitation back to their house for Tres Leche cake and chocolate milk. So I end up waking up in the morning feeling ill and with a 360BG and who do I have to blame??

None the less, my swim which felt like the slowest I had ever done, was a Personal best for the distance by 2 seconds. I had moments of realization, that I was finally getting on to how to move through the water quickly, followed by I wish I had more prep time with this.
I was actually able to draft off of a couple of other swimmers for a short time, but my control is so poor that I kept running up on the back of them, so I backed out and let them go. Finally I found footing and staggered out of the water into the transition and prepared for my favorite leg..... the bike!!

I had a little trouble getting going as the Transition area at Eagle Creek is a long sand, stick and gravel filled parking lot and running bare foot is pure torture. But it gets easier every time that I do it. I made a spur of the moment decision to go sockless and had not really prepared my shoes for that but I still think it was a good decision.
I had a little trouble getting up on my bike as I had someone dodge in front of me as I first got up on my pedals and shoes, so I had to slam on the brakes, stop and start again.
I'll have to say, I was so worried about getting my feet into my shoes that I didn't exactly charge up the hill and Eagle Creek is one of those places where I think you need to do that on every one to make good time.
I had some difficulty again getting into my shoes and I think I was probably 2 miles into the course before I finally got them snugged down.
The bike course was different for the third time in a row for me on the course so I am not really sure how my ride stacks up other than not being as fast as some previous. Also we were fighting a pretty strong headwind for about 2 miles or more on Lafayette road.
I thought about clipping out and running with my bike shoes on in T2 and I should have done that as I got passed by a bunch of people who were not wearing clipless shoes and did not have the same gravel and sand issues that I had with bare feet. So this was a bit of a slow transition due to the ouchy factor alone
Anyway my Zoot Shoes gave me a little bit of a problem as I did not put glide on them so I had to yank extra hard to get them on over my sockless feet and then apparently did the same with the speed laces which left the plastic pull hitting the ground and going clack clack clack as I left the transition. it took me about an eighth of a mile before this was driving me crazy and I stopped to fix it...... didn't get it fixed so I stopped again and just re did them.
Then it was off to the races :) I passed some people and got passed but I was sure that I was keeping a sub 9 minute pace. The stops must have cost me more than I realized as I ended up with a 9:30 minute per mile average. I finished strong and was kind of disappointed in myself that I didn't run a little faster and harder.
Noodles and Company put on a great spread at the end of the race and Michelle (will put name of place she works later :)) was giving free chair massages. Mine was great!!
It was a little bit of a cold day for August...errr... I mean.... this wraps up another successful event for CAPTAIN TRIIIAAATTHHALON!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

16 Strokes!!

Well training this week has been less than spectacular in a number of ways.

Equipment issues,my Garmin Forerunner quit working Sunday, but decided to fire up again last night, I put a speedometer on my road bike and didn't have time to get it set up properly for 3 days so rode with no idea of specific speeds or distances, had 2 seperate low BG instances, lost strokes on my swim at the begining of the week, blown out the back at 15 miles on the Nebo ridge bike ride, etc...

Some bright spots however

I did get some great training time in, started my strength training again on Wednesday, and the top story of this week happened this morning.

I had decided after my Sunday and Monday swimming results to only do one more Triathlon this year (the Eagle Creek Sprint on Saturday morning)

I did a Total Immersion Swim Clinic about a month ago and one thing that they did not really want me to do was actually swim for about 6 weeks afterwards, in order to imprint the new and somewhat counter intuitive swimming technique that I had learned in 2 days at their clinic

The clinic took me from taking 30 strokes to cover the length of a 25 yd pool, to only 20 strokes in 2 x 4 hour sessions

The idea is to do drills (which include some actual free style drills) to imprint, aerodynamics, balance, etc... on your swimming so that you make the movements in the way they are supposed to be made - automatically - with no forthought or malice :)

If I find my form slipping when freestyling, I am supposed to stop, catch my breath and then start again, even if I am in the middle of the pool.

So a 1500 meter swim when I had not done more than 300 consecutive yards for since the Mores Triathlon in June was a formula for poor form at some point as soon as I got tired.

Monday morning, I started drilling again and did my test at the end of my workout and I had gone from 18 strokes (my improvement subsequent to my TI workshop) to 24 :(

So I drilled the rest of the week and today for grins and giggles thought I would just do a lap and count my strokes. Imagine my suprise when I came up 17 strokes :-) at first I thought I must have miscounted, so I did it again. ..... still 17 strokes.... one more lap just to be sure.... 17 and then..........16 strokes!!!!, now that had to be a fluke,,,, one more time just to be sure and I had a little unco-ordinated mishap mid pool and still came up 16 strokes!!

I did one last length just to get back to the proper side of the pool for exit and 16 strokes again!!

I have to swim 500 yards in the morning and hopefully can hold my form together for most of that, so I am expectling my final sprint of the year to be another personal best!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tri Indy - my worst equipment day

The water looked great for the swim as Melissa and I walked the canal on our way to the start line near 16th street.
I had been running high Blood Glucose levels all night and with a 299 when I got up at 4am and then 198 with double down arrows on my CGM at shortly after 5am.
By the time I got my transition set up (about 7am) I seemed to be slowly dropping at 105 so I ate a gu pack to give myself a little boost to get me through the swim.

The water felt nice at first but with the wind picking up and having to wait a long time for my turn to go. (I admitted that I swim slow, so I went in the last wave) I was wishing that I had worn my wet suit.
Finally my number was called and I got to go. Melissa said that I was swimming pretty good at first but the farther I went the worse my body position became. I was lifting my head to breath, instead of just rolling with it.
My right calf started cramping about half way through and I had to stop and stand up finally about 20 yards from the finish after some chick put a hand on my head and shoved me to the bottom of the canal. The seconds ad up :)
Anyway, I finished the swim in 48min 28 seconds, a full second ahead of the year before (which makes me think that last year was actually a lot slower than I thought, unless the wet suit really makes that much difference.) Also, in order that my CGM maintain wireless contact with my transmitter, I had stuffed my pump in a ziplock freezer bag and then clipped it to my suit through the bag. While this did serve it's objective of protecting the pump and keeping me in constant contact with my BGs, it did wear a nasty sore on my waste, so I am rethinking that idea currently.
So I had a relatively fast transition 2 min 16 min 8 secs, I was fumbling a bit and should have probably done it about a minute faster, but way better than last year.
Finally I was on the bike and after an initial problem with my pump (I somehow managed to break the clip off of it during my mount and shoved it down in my shorts, which proved to be a problem latter, then getting my left foot located in my shoe, I began passing people.
I did not get very far however before I realized that the route was much rougher than last year as the first hard bump that I found on Washington street just about launched my water bottle clear out of my Aero bars and spilled sports drink all over my bike.

But I stayed down as much as I could and just made watts. The course goes up to the velodrome and back with 2 loops required to go 24 miles. Aside from my water bottle wanting to launch almost the whole time, the only real difficulty that I had was when I stood up to make a small climb and my pump began to slide deep into my shorts. Feeling like an idiot, I remembered that I have pockets in my shorts, so I pulled it out of my pants and shoved it into the pocket closest to my GGM transmitter.
This course is semi open so I had to pass one car and keep an eye out for traffic all the time. I passed a lot of people, had a total of 2 people that got by me but I had a respectable time 1 hour 17 min and a 19.4 mph average (1.4 faster than last year and this year there was a definitel wind factor)
When I rolled into T2 I had a picture perfect dismount, hitting the ground at a full run, just in front of the timing matt and then running right past the bike entrance, right through the orange cones and having to do an about face to get back into T2 in spite of this faux pax, I still managed a 1 minute 38 second transition and headed out on the 10 k run.

I had bought a new set of Zoot Tri Running shoes, which were great in transition, but I have had a few issues getting used to them as they have put some sores on my feet.

They are mean't to be used with out socks, which would have been preferable for faster transitions, but I wore socks today as the following photo indicates,,,,, I had a little bit of a problem during the break in period.

I anticipate getting beyond that and enjoying faster transitions all the time. They were great to run in but I still had a slow run as I was aparently closing in on a low BG when I started the run, but my CGM was showing mid 100's so I didn't catch on to the cause of my lack of running enthusiasm until about 5 miles when I had a 134 with down arrows. I ended up having to walk for about 10 minutes to get that all sorted out and took off again trying to make up for the walk in the closing mile.

I made it across the line at a full sprint, but had another crash almost immediately afterwards. In addition, I had gotten a bit dehydrated so I am definitely rethinking my bike fuel and hydration stategy for improving my run.

My run split was better than last year, but still way slow over what I am really capable of with 1 hour 12 minute 0.7 seconds my final.

Total time was 3 hours 21 minutes 21.3 seconds - not what I had hoped for, but still about a 15 minute improvement over last year.

Next week will be my last tri of the year at Eagle Creek as I am going to really work hard on getting my swim stroke imprinted and getting my swim conditioning up before the spring, so that I can ride with the faster cyclists in the in the coming year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swimming and Riding

So Saturday, I rode to Whitestown,IN to rider with my buddies on the JDRF team. The planned ride was 50 miles and with detours for a bridge out I ended up riding about 25 miles to get to the start.

I did not realize that the route was going to be so hilly, which was cool as I got a lot more workout than I bargained for (one day, I will be an adequate hill climber)

I was still quite unrecovered from the stinging that I took from the killer B's on Thursday and so it seemed like every pedal stroke was a struggle. On the first loop Fishback hill left me feeling like every muscle in my body right down to my finger tips was going to explode and then cramp up.

But I made it back to the start to head out on the second loop that was supposed to be 22 miles. Things were going all right aside from my CGM deciding that it was not going to calibrate and there fore I did not have real time Blood Glucose feedback

This was compounded by the fact that I apparently spilled some of my sports drink on my hands and my One Touch was telling me that my BG was running mid 100's suspiciously 167 every time I checked.

The long and short of this is that I was bonking before the end of the loop and ended up getting lost and riding a bit further than I intended (going to Lebanon) but I finally made it back to the start, just as my team was packing up and heading out and Alex gave me directions to the nearest Starbucks (oh yeah, I went all morning without caffiene arrrggghhh) where an Americano and spinach wrap solved all of my woes.

So my wife (Melissa) picked me up at Starbucks (prearranged plan to get picked up after the ride :)) and took me to the Runners Forum where I bought a pair of Zoot Ultra Race 2 shoes (I will post a pick later) These are designed for use without socks and I have to say that they are the nicest running shoes I have ever owned.

The only problem is that the loops that make getting them on so fast also can rub your ankles so after 2 5k runs, I have a blister on the back of my left ankle :(

Oh yeah the swimming ( i should have titled this riding and swimming)

My last time in the pool, my stroke per lap count came down to 18. That is 12 less strokes than before the TI training a few weeks ago. This morning, I did not count but was focused on keeping my head down and stroke and glide, stroke and glide. Tomorrow, I am going to work on breathing relaxed to my left side as I seemed to be having a few issues in that direction this morning

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mission not accomplished

While I made my brag that I was going to stay with the killer B's until the very end last night,,,,,, I fell a bit short of the goal hanging on until about 26 miles before blowing up due to a bunch of decelerations followed by hard accellerations.

I stayed near the front until we turned south and the pace picked up to 29 mph and some change for probably 3-4 miles (it seemed like forever as I was kind of in survival mode for this leg)

I finally caught my breath and thought I had it made to the end and negelected to watch ahead for stop signs so that I could conserve my energy and stay off the brakes to have enough gas in the tank to stay with the group on the take off.

The good news is that after I got dropped, I was able to pull myself back together and catch another group of stragglers that got blown out and rode in with them. A bit of an improvement over last week.

So yesterday was Pool, lunch 5k and 30 mile bike ride.

Today is 600 yd pool, lunch 5k and possibly another 5k after work

Tomorrow I am planning to get up early and ride to Zionsville to meet my JDRF group for a 50 mile ride and then hopefully have my lovely wife pick me up for lunch and a "car ride" home

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Attack of the killer B's

OK so not the attack of, so much as the attack on.

I am riding with this group again tonight up at the Nebo Ridge Bike shop and they have dropped me 3 weeks in a row

first time at 12 miles

second time at 15 miles

Last week at 27 miles

Tonight..... no drops, I will hang in there for 30 :)

So far did about 500 yards in the pool this morning and getting ready to run 5k for my lunch.

Feeling pretty good today!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dropped again

Well it seems no matter how hard you train, there is always the possibility of getting dropped off even an easy group ride....... especially where diabetes is involved.

I went out with the BGI South group on Monday on what is typically an easy ride for me and spent most of the ride in the front of the pack.

We really had the hardest part finished and were on the way back with the wind at our backs, when I got double down arrows at 138 on my meter. The only reason I looked was because I had suddenly felt like I was out of gas. The thing was that I had one kind of ride in mind when we started, so I planned my start BG strategy with that in mind and the ride actually started a bit harder and faster.

So instead of adapting my strategy, I continued on as if nothing had changed....... a lot of room for improvement on this using my head thing here :)

So I got blown out the back and had to ride the last 14 miles home by myself. Fortunately, it was not in to the wind.

I will be going out with the fast group tonight from BGI South and so far, I forgot to bring a bike jersey with me, and have felt awful all day due to high BG issues yesterday, but I usually feel better getting exercise after the high BG hangover has subsided

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trying Duathlon

OK so I showed up to my 3rd sprint tri of the year yesterday knowing that it was really going to be my first Duathlon ever.
The lake at Indiana Downs had an unsafe e-coli levels so the triathlon was converted to a duo by substituting a 2 mile run for the 600 yard swim.

I had come down with a case of swimmer's ear that got infected on Monday and so this was a mixed blessing. While the Dr had said I was ok to swim, I was not looking forward to that split.

So we started out with 2 laps on the Indiana Downs horse track, which for some reason was a bit daunting. I was not able to put out the speed that I really wanted to only averaging about 9 minutes per mile on that split.

I got on the bike after a sub one minute T1 and was ready to rock n roll, when I pulled the strap completely out on my right shoe when trying to shove my foot in. Apparently I had neglected to secure it in the open position.

So I had to waste some of my hard core pedal time, threading threading the strap back through the top of my shoe while coasting. I finally sorted it out, dropped into my aero position and began picking riders off. (in the course of doing this, I also got picked off myself twice, but I didn't give those up uncontested and ended up getting both of those riders back in T2.)

It dawned on me about half way through the ride that all of the people I was passing were faster runners than myself and that was why they were ahead of me...... the implications were that as soon as I jumped off of my bike, they would be chasing me down in the final run. So I lowered my head and rode even harder. I had a pretty good ride overall, it was a windy day and the course seemed crowded, but I only had to hit the brakes one time from leaving T1 until coming back to T2

Speaking of which, I had a pretty fast entry into T2 and started on the 5 k run. I felt like I had more juice left, but my legs decided that I was going to continue running at the 9 min / mi pace. The good news is that I only had about 6 people pass me so I maintained most of my bike advantage and ended up with a 112 placement 10th in my age group and a time of 1 hour 32 min