Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tidyman's Carpets

This one is an absolute friend Dave and I used to recite this on a daily basis walking back and forth from school...

classic North - South humour!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

my first ever Sprint Triathlon!!

Although the Mack Cycle Trilogy #1 race in Key Biscayne FL was my 30th multisport event it was first ever SPRINT distance triathlon! The race was due to start at a nice and civilized 7:30am so i ambled over to registration around 6:30 and got myself set up in transition. In retrospect I should have arrived much sooner and had a proper bike warm up but as it was, being a "newbie" at the distance i only had time for a 5min spin before it was time to head over to the beach.

Swim - 0.25 miles, 6:22mins
The swim was none wetsuit (Water temp 82F) and being so short i debated whether to wear my Xterra speedskin wondering if it would take more time to take off than the time i might gain from wearing it. I tested it out in the pool last week and was convinced it would be worth it. The pool was a beach start out to the first buoy then a left turn to a straight away parallel to the beach then the exit. My wave was quite large so there was a decent amount of mayhem going into that first run but quite honestly the swim was over so quickly I can't remember anything else!

T1 - 0:54mins

T1 involved a decent beach run, through a nice deep puddle from the storm the night before which served nicely to get rid of any sand from my feet and then into the grassy transition. Pulled off speed suit, Grabbed helmet and was on my way...

The Bike - 10 miles - 25:39mins

Went against all rules of power meter pacing and pretty much just went for it! the course was a simple out and back with a short climb over the flyover bridge once in each direction. Instead of "managing" my work over the bridge ascents I just hammered up in the aero bars both times and perhaps paid for it as my watts dropped slightly from what i thought i should be able to hold in the latter miles.

T2 - 0:45
Not my fastest ever T2 but ok. had to navigate a few large puddles and didn't have an optimal location in transition....was nice to come in and see so few bikes though!

The Run - 3.1 miles - 19:17mins

Went hard from the start with no regards for the heat figuring it was 3.1 miles so I should be able to hang on regardless! First section was 0.5miles out and back so I soon saw (as expected) the phenomenal John Reback (one of US Olympian Laura Bennett's brothers) as race leader and was pleased to see there was not too many folks between us. Unofortunately there was a duathlon going on simultaneously and also other fast age groups starting in waves behind us so it was really no indicator of where i was in the field. I just kept looking for the next guy ahead and aim to reel them in. By the finishing final long straight before the finish I could see a couple more ahead but just didn't have any kick in my legs so just kept up the same hard pace. Felt great crossing the line after a good short sharp "workout" and after spending a few moments to recover and cool down I enjoyed watching and cheering folks coming into the finish.

Finish time - 0:52:57
3rd/89 Male 35-39
17th/771 Overall

Bike Power info:
(this is having removed the coasting in and out of transition and putting on shoes etc..)

TSS: 40 (intensity factor 1.009)
Norm Power: 241
VI: 1.04

Min Max Avg
Power: 0 397 231 watts
Cadence: 61 108 95 rpm
Speed: 11.1 35 24.0 mph
Temperature: 80.6 86 84.3 Fahrenheit

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Classic cycling from 1987

I found this clip on You Tube from the 1987 Tour De France - it is one of the most memorable stages of all time and from the era when I first became a fan of the race.

Ireland's Stephen Roche had lost a bit of time to race leader Pedro Delgado but made a miraculous ascent up to the ski station town of La Plagne taking about about 1 minute appearing round the last corner seconds after Delgado. Roche then went on to win the Tour...skip to about 2mins into the clip to see the finish and witness Phil Liggett (Commentating) at his most excitable!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

hot! hot! hot! (Eagleman 70.3 Race Report)

I had been really looking forward to this race and hoping to finish even faster than my PR day last year. I have recently changed up my training routine some and noted some good improvements in training, particularly in my swim and bike…..That was until a) I foolishly thrashed my body water skiing the weekend before the race resulting in severe aches and pains throughout most of last week and b) finding out the race day weather forecast – 95F and insane humidity! Still – I was raring to go and felt great race morning, albeit hot and sticky as I entered the Choptank River in my wetsuit.

The Swim (36:40)
For once the Choptank river was not living up to its name and instead was as calm as a mill pond. I positioned myself way to the right of the field to try to avoid too much hustle and bustle and took a few warm up strokes prior to start to loosen things up. From the gun I managed to avoid too much contact and soon settled into a strong rhythm that I felt I could sustain for the distance. I actually really enjoyed the swim for a change and definitely noticed my improve swim fitness towards the end as I felt strong throughout. I was slightly disappointed to see my split being slower than last year but realized the current in the river was probably against our favor so remained positive.

Coming out of the water

T1 (2:53)
Pretty uneventful although I did notice a few more bikes than usual in my section of transition so this gave me some confidence of an improved swim relative to my peers. The aero helmet straps present the usual fumbling but not too many lost seconds and I was soon on my way.

The Bike (2:32:13)
I did a race rehearsal 2 weeks ago at goal watts and felt perfect so I knew this was purely going to be a repeat exercise in patience and execution rather than any racing and I just went with my power meter for pacing right from the start. In my race rehearsal I had learned that in the past I had perhaps tried to consume too many calories on the bike which had led to bloating and discomfort on the run so today I went exactly as rehearsed and it worked perfectly. 2x nuun tabs, 2 ½ scoops of carbo pro, 2 gu packets and water was all I took and finally everything was absorbed without issue. By Mile 40 I had been steadily passing people and noticed there seemed to be a lot fewer folks on the course this year than last. This was probably due to me starting in a prior wave but probably also due to many people opting not to start the race due to the ridiculous weather. And then came a fairly large pack of about 8 guys, some of them guys I had passed in my AG earlier and others from the wave behind catching up and for the next 10 miles or so my even pacing strategy went a little out of the window. Although I a pack, for the most part everyone was proactively trying to ride the legal distance apart but the congestion added a new twist to what had been a pretty mindless pacing effort until this point. For a while I had to keep make surges to re-pass the group as they slowed and then had to soft pedal or coast to drop back when they pulled past and cut in right in front of me which was a little frustrating. I missed a water bottle hand off at the final aid station which came up much sooner than expected but thankfully one of the guys in the group offered up half his bottle. (thank you Scott from Maryland Tri club – you saved my race as that water was just enough to get me into t2!) After about 5 miles the group finally seemed to drop off the back but they caught and passed me again about mile 50 when I started to cramp up in my backside and hamstrings. I had been aero the whole time until now and pedaling constantly but I think the water skiing aches had finally caught up with me and returned sporadically for the remainder of the bike. I was optimistic they would not impact my run but for the next 5 miles my avg watts dropped fairly significantly as I would stand, coast, stretch etc.. every few mins to try to get rid of the pain. Coming into T2 I watch the seconds tick by and noted my split would be pretty much identical to last year. However, I noted during the ride how using the power meter for pacing had made me much more even than normal where I would inadvertently surge and then slow down even though I thought I was pacing evenly. I also felt incredibly fresh despite the heat of the day and was now ready for the most challenging part of the day in this weather.

Early in the race, no one around :)

Later in the bike, pulling along the Peleton :(

(Scroll down for Bike Power data)

T2 (1:42)
No messing around: rack bike, take off helmet, put on shoes, go. Wasn’t really going all out for the fastest T2 award but efficient enough.

The Run (1:50:18)
Last year I had an amazing run in this race and I felt my speed coming into the race was at least as fast as last year but my long runs had been sporadic at best in the last 2 months so the endurance could be questionable. I started out very conservatively in the heat and soon noted the lack of obvious mile markers so my pace was something of a mystery. I was pretty much passing people and only rarely being passed and I had no GI issues so my attention was focused on keeping cool and getting adequate but not too much hydration and nutrition to no upset the apple cart. From the first aid station I tried the “ice in the running hat” trick for the first time and was quite amazed how effective it was at keeping the core temperature down. As the ice typically melted a minute or so before the next aid station it became obvious how quickly things heated up without it so I knew I was onto something good and kept at it. I hit the turn around at mile 6.55 at exactly 50mins so got the first indication of my pacing. While certainly not close to my previous time on this course I was relatively pleased as I still felt I would have enough gas to pick things up in the last few miles and negative split the run. Then things started to go a little down hill. On the way back the aid stations were not in reverse order with ice coming up first which meant I had to stop to fill my cap before taking water/coke for drinking. I also had to make a bathroom stop so this started to cost me some time. Somewhere in the middle of the course there was a long stretch between aid stations which also seemed to be the most exposed and felt incredibly hot. This section really took its toll and I could feel my pace beginning to slow. By the time I got to the next aid station I was desperate for fluids and downed was too much water and coke. Minutes later I paid for this with a painful side stitch and was reduced to a combination of walk and jogging for the next mile or so until it miraculously disappeared just before the final aid station. Foolishly I didn’t take any ice or fluids at this stop and my pace ground down to a virtual crawl as I seriously started to over heat. By the time I hit the finishing chute I had nothing left in me to pick up the pace even slightly and I literally could barely walk another meter once I crossed the finish line. Following a 20minute lie down with a few bags of ice in the med tent I took a nice long dip in the river which was literally the most pleasant part of the day!

Although my time was 21 mins slower than last year I am very pleased with the outcome of the race and particularly my progress in the swim and bike. I finished a good 10% higher relative to the field this year in both those disciplines which gives me a lot of confidence the changes I am making to my training.

Fairly early in the run

Finish Time 5:03:44
142nd /1382 overall
26th /207 in M35-39 Age Group.

So with IMAZ in April, that is two races done this year and both in 95F+ weather conditions! Next race I hope for a bit of a break in the weather department! Even rain would be a pleasure!

Afterwards - please to have finished!

Bike Power Data
FT is 239, Goal Watts 198 (IF 0.83/TSS 173)

Entire 56 miles:

Duration: 2:32:00
TSS: 172.3 (intensity factor 0.825)
Norm Power: 197
VI: 1.02
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 664 194 watts
Cadence: 51 108 92 rpm
Speed: 5.7 27 22.5 mph
Temperature: 82.4 95 88.9 Fahrenheit

first half:
Duration: 1:15:55
TSS: 87.6 (intensity factor 0.832)
Norm Power: 199
VI: 1.01

Min Max Avg
Power: 0 518 197 watts
Cadence: 53 106 92 rpm
Speed: 11.1 25.9 22.5 mph
Temperature: 82.4 89.6 85.3 Fahrenheit

Second Half
Duration: 1:16:10
TSS: 84.8 (intensity factor 0.817)
Norm Power: 195
VI: 1.03
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 664 190 watts
Cadence: 51 108 91 rpm
Speed: 5.7 27 22.5 mph
Temperature: 89.6 95 92.4 Fahrenheit

Friday, June 6, 2008

a swimming mom...pretty amazing!

End of the school year

Lucy's time at Coconut Grove Montessori has come to an end :(

Graduation was on Wednesday and yesterday was their final day. She will miss her buddy Valentin.

Lucy and Valentin

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another reminder of younger Bob...

Here's our lass aged 18 months in Queenstown, NZ

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's a hard life living in Florida...

Well, we had a very fun and hectic weekend between stints of tedious tidying up necessary for getting the apartment ready to sell...

Saturday we went to visit Lucy's beau Valentin, his sister Josephine and mom Erika (Father Emanuel was away in France for work/family visit). The weather was superb so we spent much of the time playing in the yard, in and out of the pool and eating Brazilian snacks. Some photos below. Later we went to dinner on the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables and Lucy got to stay up WAY past her bedtime and ended up hitting the pillow around 9pm!

Lucy pretending to "go to the bathroom"

Lucy carefully considering a Marriage Proposal by Valentin

Valentin didn't take too kindly to the rejection

Sunday morning we were up bright and early for a day of boating on the bay with Charlotte's former boss and some colleagues. We spent most of the morning zipping around taking turns to water ski and i managed to learn how to mono-ski for the first time - naturally I was up and doing turns on the second attempt ;) We then moored the boat close to a sandbar and hung out for the afternoon relaxing in the sunshine, eating etc.. Was a lot of fun and we call caught our fair share of rosey-skin before returning back to dry land on Key Biscayne about 5pm. Our final social commitment was then a quick BBQ at our neighbours Lyndsey and Jason. They had a few other friends visiting and we went round for some hot dogs and the like before returning to more cleaning up and bed for Bob. A very fun but exhausting weekend was had by all.

Today (Monday) I am feeling stiff as a board and sore from head to toe from the waterskiing!