A big weekend

We’re now just 3 weeks out from Timberman, which means one more heavy week of training and we slowly start to taper our training up until the race. Our first taper week isn’t really much of a taper, but the second week our hardest workout is a 1800 yard swim, so you know that’s an easy week.

The next 9 days however will not be easy. We start tomorrow with a 1800 yard swim, spend 55 miles on the bike climbing hills, and end the day with a 2 mile run. I may actually have to be carried during the 2 mile run. I’m not sure Rach’s little guns are up to the task, so maybe we can hire movers who will simply push me two miles on a dolly. Until an off day on Friday we don’t have a workout day less than 3 hours.

We’re going to be ready for this race. As Rach has planned for my physical preparedness, I’m building up my mental preparedness.

- I printed out the elevation chart of Timberman bike and put it on the wall of my cube. Every time I want a cookie or snack, I’ll look at that and think twice. Every time I want to take a day off or skip a workout, I’ll look at that and know I have to have the strength in me to do it in 4 hours.

- I have the workout plan for the next 3 weeks on the wall right below the chart. It helps me to see that while those two big peaks in the bike climb are gonna be there; the training I need to be able to tackle them will be there too. I should put up the workout calendar for the last 9 months too, which would remind me of the work we’ve done all year. (But that would probably just make me lazy).

- I’ve been talking to a bunch of the folks on Beginner Triathlete who will be doing the race as well, and it’s providing both extra motivation and reassurance. I’ve never done a race like this, and right now the course is just a series of numbers and pictures and my head. Mostly evil pictures filled with Death Stars, broken glass all over the road, and steep climbs lined with a great many clowns. Yes, I said clowns. While I dislike long days at work, and I loathe really difficult climbs, I despise clowns. And the only thing that could make a big climb harder is having the spectators all be dressed as clowns. Although that may actually creep me out enough to give me an extra adreneline surge to get up the hill faster. So having these folks help me put the difficult parts of the race in perspective really helps. Many have done the race in the past. Others have already scouted the course.

- Talking to Rach. We’re in this together, have been all along. And while this blog has focused on my own personal struggles, none of the hard work I’ve done or successes I’ve had would be possible without her. On the days I can’t make myself train, or the days that I feel like I’m going backwards, she’s there to point me back to where we’re headed.

less of a pain in the butt

If you ask my friends about me, they’ll say “nice guy, but a pain in the butt sometimes”. Aside from my often incredibly good luck, I also have the knack for not making things easy on people. It’s not always a bad thing, but it often is. I’m sure even my wife will tell you (in great detail when prompted) that I am a pain.

One of the many things I’ve been working on about myself aside from losing weight (and by physically being smaller, I technically will be less of a pain in the butt),  I am looking to make things a bit easier on the people around me. I have a lot of areas where I can grow, and some of those things are evident in preparation for triathlon. The two biggest issues I think I can define easily.
dedication – I still have room to grow in my general ability to be dedicated to things. Sure, i have an addictive personality, so the things I like, I really like. But a couple of months ago, I was talking to Bengi, and I realized that the things that are hard for me I usually don’t push myself to keep working at. It’s part of why I’m still fat. A lot of things come easily to me, so the ones that don’t I don’t always work as hard at. I’ve noticed a big change in that in terms of my dedication to triathlon. Sure, I have bad days, on in the case of the time before the honeymoon, bad weeks. But even though I’m not particularly good at this sport I keep pushing myself anyways. Unless it’s 5:30 AM, and I don’t want to get out of bed.
self-restraint – On my gambling trip to Mohican Sun, I spent more than I had planned. While thankfully this doesn’t usually happen on gambling trips, it tends to happen on other vacations, or just whenever. My self-restraint is especially bad when it comes to food. Like I said, when I like something; I really like it. I think has been my single biggest problem with food. Sure it’s gotten better, but my ability to control my food intake has definitely affected my performance at triathlons this year.
Doing better at both of those things will make me less of a pain in the butt to the people around me.
Speaking of less pain in the butt, the new saddle definitely seems like it’s going to work. I’m still playing around with it, and getting my bike fit to my size without paying someone to do it. That makes a difference into how I ride in, and out of, the saddle. Either way, it was definitely less painful after we got the saddle changed yesterday.
- Rach is still sick and I’m starting to worry. She’s feeling better but she’s still getting tired on longer rides, especially these past couple days. If this keeps up through the weekend, it’s back to the doctor for her.
- Rainy day today, but thats fine as we swim this afternoon, and then just 5 miles running. Even if it’s raining that’ll be a good workout.

A little information goes a LONG way…

Back a few hundred years ago, power came from having a sword and a bow, or even having an army of people with swords and bows. Nowadays, when bows and swords will only get you laughed at as a nerd, power comes from information. The more information you have, the more powerful you are in terms of what you know, what you can learn from, and what you can prepare for.

I have mentioned in the past that when I’m not practicing for my role as a half-ironman superhero, I work as an analyst in an IT department. And one of the things I’ve learned is that unfortunately, a little information can go a long way. And by that I mean that it’s often having just a little information that makes us feel less prepared than we actually are. I have two examples of this, both related to Timberman.
A couple of months ago, I stumbled across Women’s Ironman World Record holder Chrissie Wellington’s web site. On the site she recounts her 2009 Timberman win. She mentions the bike course being “rather hilly” in an off-hand sort of way. When one of the best triathletes on the planet says “rather hilly”, well that probably means it’s a giant *&^%$( mess of climbing torture. So of course I went back to my buddies on Bike Forums with my tail between my legs and a graphic of the course elevation and said “HELP!”. Of course, by the end of the thread, they told me to stop worrying about it, that the elevation averaged out to about 2% grade, which with training they said I’d be able to handle without too much work. Sure, there’d be some tough climbs, but I’d get through it. Just go out and train by riding some hills, which I did and continue to do.
Then today, I was looking back over the Timberman site, thinking about making a trip up there this weekend to look at the course, and I noticed something I missed previously; the course grade includes a couple of climbs at or above 9%. When you think about numbers and how most people use them, 9% doesn’t sound like very much. I mean, if I say “I ate 9% of a bag of cookies”, that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of cookies. When used to mean a percentage of total, it’s a small number.
But that’s not how road grading works. The percentage indicates how much a road climbs over distance. For example, if a road climbs 200 feet over a mile, it’s grade is calculated by taking 200/5280, and then giving that answer as a percentage (in this case 3.8%). To achieve a grade of 9%, would mean a 475 feet change in elevation in just a mile. That’s a lot of climbing, and based on the course map, there seem to be at least TWO climbs like that on the course. 
So the insecure, fat, lazy, double cheeseburger eating part of myself is pretty damn scared about the bike course right now. I don’t think I’ve climbed a hill that steep once yet, let alone twice in the four hours I’ll need to do it in to have a decent shot at finishing the race inside the time limit. I know what I’m capable of in the swim, and on the run, but it’s the bike, my favorite part of the race, that will really make or break this race for me.
Thankfully, I have my friends at Bike Forums, Beginner Triathlete, my readers here, and of course my inner cycling wunderkind to remind me that I CAN and WILL do this. These hills are small pieces of the race, tough ones, but small pieces none the less. And they are pieces I can get through, even if it means walking the truly tough parts of the bike course to do it. So, I’m going to try and find a hill here locally tonight that is close to that level of difficulty and ride it. And then maybe try and ride the one on the Timberman course this weekend. 
By doing that, I’ll have more information, and therefore more power…
But I’m still gonna bring my sword, just in case. (Yes, I have one. Yes, I am that big a nerd.)
- Last night I replaced the factory pedals on the new bike with platform pedals I had taken off the GMC Denali bike when I got it. These will make me more comfortable on the bike for at least the next week while I decide between SPD shoes and cleats (already have compatible pedals) for the race, or working with better toe clips/cages that fit my shoes. The determining factor is balancing the pedaling effort lost by using standard pedals versus any issues I might have walking in SPD shoes pushing the bike up hill. I know I wouldn’t want to do too much of that in the old road shoes I have, thats for sure. More to come on this front next week.
- While the pedal decision can wait, the saddle decision couldn’t. I really liked the saddle I had carried through from my first mountain bike all the way through to the bike that was stolen. Unfortunately, there are no Performance Bikes here locally, and I can’t wait for one to be shipped from their web site. There are two bike shops within walking distance of work, so I wandered over to the one with a better selection of accessories, and with the help of the nice folks there walked out with on very similar to my old saddle. It looks a tiny bit longer, and it’s 1 cm narrowed, but otherwise it seems to be similarly sized and looks pretty similar in design, and is a better built saddle. I’m anxious to put it on tonight prior to the 30 miles we’re putting in on the bike. 
My butt is already thanking me.

- We only did 10 miles last night. Rach is still not 100% and just didn’t have it yesterday to do much more. I on the other hand could have gone for quite a bit longer, but I was happy to have an easier day with the next 4 days we have looming.

- Lastly, Rachelle’s blog for today. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but the last couple of sentences really made me laugh.

Perception makes all the difference

So, for a long time I thought it was preparation that made all the difference in racing. I’m coming to realize while preparation is indeed very important, perception is even more important.

I’ll give you an example. On January 1st of this year, I participated in the Lowell 1st Run. To say I felt it went poorly would be a gross understatement. There I was in FREEZING weather, having celebrated New Years Eve with a big dinner, running without much preparation. I came in last, with a time of around 1:32. It was a dreadful day. I felt slow, fat, and unhappy. In the end it turned out to be the starting point for this years weight loss, but it’s still a feeling I wouldn’t be happy to repeat.

Which is where the perception comes in. Last night, I did 6 miles out on the Esplanade. My GPS time for the distance was 1:23. I paused the clock for short water breaks after miles 2 and 4 because I had to go out of my way to get the water. Even with the water breaks, I’d have been no more than 1:25. While it’s only 7 minutes faster (and .2 miles less) it felt worlds better than what I did in January. Weather conditions played a part I’m sure, but just having done so much work, and gotten into better shape.

Unlike in January where I made myself jog past the point of being tired, last night I did intervals of 5 minutes of jogging followed by 2 minutes of walking. I was able to keep that up through the entire time, and was only really feeling tired the last half mile or so. Considering I have less than 3 weeks of hardcore training time left until taper week, I’m going to have to push my miles these next couple of weeks but I am really starting to feel confident that I’ll be able to push myself through the half-marathon after the swim and bike.

As I’ve always stated, my goal for Timberman is just to finish. I’m basing all my estimates, plans and goals on the fact that my run is my weakest leg, but that it’s reliably weak. I’m fairly sure what times I’m capable of putting up even with tired legs. I feel that training for ~13:30 miles will allow me to average no worse than 15:00 miles on race day, meaning I need 3:17 to finish the half-mary. My previous 2 half marathon times were right around 3:20, but those didn’t follow a 56 mile bike ride. Giving myself some extra wiggle room means I need to allow 3:30 for the run.

So if I need 3 1/2 hours for the run, that leaves me 5 hours left for everything else. Assuming the swim takes me an hour or so, and say 15 minutes for the two transitions means I have approximately 3 3/4 hours to do the bike ride, so I’ll have to average 15 MPH. Not an easy ride, but certainly doable. If I can keep the second transition down from a time perspective, I can probably give myself a few extra minutes for the bike.

While none of this is going to be “easy”, and I am starting to get nervous (it’s less than a month away!), I honestly know this is something that I can accomplish. It will take significant effort. It will hurt somewhere along the way. I will be tired, and I might even want to quit at some point.

But I can and WILL do this.

The long ride is over

As with all big new purchases, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the purchase of the replacement bicycles. And by bicycles, I mean bicycle. Rach was happy and relieved to have hers, but excitement was probably too big of a word to explain her feelings about it. She was merely getting a bike she already had before. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic.

Until we took the bikes for a long ride on Saturday that is.
When you’re riding a bike there are 3 contact points between you and the bike: The hands, the feet, and the seat. If any one of these are a bit off, you can overcome it with a minor adjustment to the component, or changing your position on the bike. But when 2 of them are off, it can be a real cause for concern. The problem is you can’t really tell how far off the contact point is off until you’re about 20 miles or so into a ride. By that point you’re getting tired, and the muscles that can counteract the discomfort no longer work as well.
And about mile 20 of a 45 mile ride is where I found myself really feeling the discomfort coming from my feet and my seat. 
Let’s start with the pedals. They’re really nice pedals with integrated toe clips and straps to make pedaling more efficient. The problem I have with them is that they are too small. For a personal with regular sized feet, and with shoes that fit properly, they’re probably the perfect pedal. Unfortunately, I’ve got size 12 1/2 feet and am wearing a size 13 shoe because I have trouble finding comfortable shoes. Because of the toe clips, I wind up pedaling with my toes, and just the front of the balls of my feet. Not enough space to apply my foot in order to generate all the power I can. I wound up with numb toes for the better part of 25 miles.
Then there’s the seat. Have you ever straddled the point of a roof? If so, you have an idea of how I felt riding on my new saddle. To start with, the saddle is too narrow. Instead of being nicely supported on my sit bones (sit bones: the bones in your butt), I wound up having all my weight carried on the soft tissue (soft tissue: muscle and fat) in between the sit bones. By the time we got to the the halfway point on our ride, my bottom was good and sore. Plus, this saddle has the added “benefit” of having a slightly raised nose, so that not only did my rear hurt, but the other areas you ride on (aka the man-bits and associated areas) were extremely discomforted as well. For most of the ride I home, we were taking breaks every 5 miles or so for me to stand up and give my behind a rest. 
I will say it was the first time that at the end of a long ride that my legs were the part of me that felt the best. For 45 miles, with a decent amount of climbing, I felt like I was overall doing pretty well. There were a couple of spots I needed a breather and we skipped one particularly brutal hill, but otherwise it was nice to have a successful ride with climbing a week after DNFing during the ride at MA State Tri. In fact, one of the hills Saturday was very similar to the hill last week, and I had no problems with it.
And while we were finishing our long ride, so were the guys in the peloton of the Tour de France this weekend with a Time Trial on Saturday and a fairly easy ride into Paris on Sunday. In the end it was Alberto Contador “three-peating” as the yellow jersey winner, with a 39 second difference over Andy Schleck. A 3 week race, decided by 39 seconds… man that’s gotta sting. The kicker to all of that is that Schleck had a mechnical problem caused by a shifting issue in the mountains that accounted for that exact amount of time.
Finishing an even longer ride (metaphorically speaking) was Lance Armstrong, who ended his professional cycling career (at least in terms of the Tour de France) on Sunday. Team Radio Shack won the overall team classification, which isn’t the most highly sought after prize in the race, but a podium none the less. Lance has already announced he’s moving on to triathlons next year, so it’s not like he’s completely getting off the bike. It’s just that he’ll be even more relevant to this blog, so expect to hear more about him next season.
We took Sunday as our rest day to recover and other than some walking, doing a lot of cleaning for family that will be visiting soon, we had a pretty laid back weekend. It picks up again today with a good long run. And the rest of the week will be pretty high tempo as we start barreling closer to Timberman.
- Here’s a pic of my old saddle. A good shape, a little bit wider, and a nice cutout in the middle to take some of the weight off the important stuff. I’ll be looking to buy something similar to this very soon. Long term, I’ll experiment with some higher end saddles, but I don’t have time or money for that right now:
- It is REALLY hot out, which is not great for enjoying your day, but it’s great for training. If you can suffer through a few hours in 90 degree weather, you can suffer through the same in 70 degree weather.

The new bike

It’s funny how things happen.

Sunday night, our bikes were stolen. Bikes we treasured, bikes we loved. Bikes we sweated on, trained on, and raced on. A bike that felt like it could make me, a slow, fat man, fly. It wasn’t much, but it was mine. It made me happy not just because riding it was the one area I felt like I could compete, but because like myself it started as not much to look at and didn’t work all that great when called upon in a race. But with some effort and improvement it got through most of the races and I failed it more than it failed me (except that dumpy front derailer).

So last night when Rach and I stopped by International Bicycle looking at Treks, it was with a mix of emotions. I was excited to be buying a new bike, but disappointed that I wouldn’t be given the opportunity to do any of the work myself this time. At least in the short term. I was also excited to be buying Rach the bike she wanted again, replacing her stolen wedding gift with the same bike. And while I really liked the Trek 1.1 (women’s design) for Rach, I was only so-so about it for me. I’ve become a bit of a bike snob, and while almost any road bike would meet my needs, I wanted something that more than met my needs. Unfortunately, based on the insurance check and what we could afford to add it prevented me from going beyond an entry level bike.

Or so I thought.

Today, as I perused craigslist, I came across an unusual listing: a brand new bike still in the box. Not brand new per se, as it was a 2009 model year, but unassembled and unused, in pristine virgin condition. Amazingly, not only did it appear to be my size, it was also in our price range. And for the money, about 2 levels up in terms of components, which is what I was looking for. What was probably the most surprising thing of all is that it was a Fuji. If you’ll remember, the road bike I sold a couple of months ago was a Fuji, and I’m a member of Team Fuji for the season.

So, before we headed over to International Bike to pick up the bike they’d assembled for Rach, we stopped out to take a look at the bike I found online. The seller tried to play hardball on the price, but in the end I got the bike for $24 less than I would have paid on the entry level Trek after taxes. Plus, because it’s new, I have a full warranty from the manufacturer. And because it came in the box, I got to put it together myself. I’ll still want to get it tuned up by a professional at some point, but I can certainly get some riding in before then. The only thing wrong with it is that it isn’t blue.

Without further ado, my new Fuji Newest 1.0

From humble beginnings…
Add a little elbow grease…
In the end you get something wonderful
For those who are into bike specs, you can read them here. For those who don’t know much about bikes let me just say a couple things:
  • The current model with almost exactly the same features sells for the $1,099
  • All of the components except the rear wheel are better than anything I’ve had before.
  • The front fork is carbon, which makes it a lighter, smoother ride
  • Just look at it, it’s freaking awesome
It came partially assembled, so I was able to get it ready to ride in about an hour, and put in a quick 1 mile ride on our well lit street. I didn’t get my 30 mile ride in today, but I can guarantee with the new bike that ride will be made up for by the weekend.

This weeks workouts and some other stuff

As I continue to implement “The Plan”, i’m having to be agile enough to adjust it to fit the hectic schedule I’ve had going on. From yesterday, you may remember that I got in 4 miles in the morning in the form of 8 reps of 1/2 mile each. I’d been having some pain in my left leg, which strangely went away when I ran.

I had planned to swim last night, but I realized during the day that International Bicycle had a sale going on Trek Bikes through the end of le Tour. This is the time of year that the new model years bicycles start to come out, and deals can be had on the prior years models. Looking into the bikes, we found that we could replace Rach’s bike with exactly the same bike for $59 less than I paid for it in September.

As for my new bike? Unless you’re from Bike Forums and privy to my decision, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

So, back to the Tour for a minute. There’s been so much going on in my life that I’ve sorta not had time to post about what’s been going on in the most famous bike race in the world. Today isn’t the final stage, but it is the most important one. The two leaders, Contador and Schleck are a mere 8 seconds apart on a stage that ends with an insane climb, after theyve already made 2 other insane climbs. I’m taping it for later, and still streaming it live if that tells you anything about how excited I am.

Oh, and you’ll probably remember me talking about the workout plan for the rest of the week. After some reorganization, here it is.
MON                     TUE                   WED                    THU                    FRI                       SAT

Week 10 (4)
AM: Speed Run 8 x .5mi

PM: Bike 30mi

AM: Swim 2500yd
PM: Run 5/6mi

AM: Swim 1700yd
Bike 45mi
Run 1mi
A lot coming up, but nothing we’ve never done before except the bike distance. And we’ll get through that. 
- I was mentioned in the new USA Triathlon in regards to the photo caption, and even better, Matty Reed (who I mentioned in the caption) re-tweeted another readers mention of the caption.
Matty Reed sharing my work with his followers

And she was kind enough to share a picture of it as well, and my name is even visible. Saving me both the time and effort of scanning it myself. We get two copies of the magazine, so we already have ours for posterity.

In sickness and in health

There’s a part of the traditional wedding vows that I think people might not always put enough weight on and that’s the “in sickness and in health”. I’m not talking about something life threatening like cancer, heart disease, or anything else like that. I’m talking about the changes that happen in your daily life when someone has an illness that makes them just need more space, so sitting on your very small couch next to them is impossible.

Right now, Rach is that sick, and has been really since before the honeymoon, and it worsened enough that for a person who never really complains when she’s sick, she’s now visiting the doctor a second time. The first visit to the doctor provided cough medicine and antibiotics. The second visit today yielded more of the same plus being told to take sudafed. They believe it’s a viral infection and those simply take time to work through. At least her cough medicine has codine, so she’s able to get a little bit of physical relief from the aches and pains.

The problem is of course that we don’t have much time with Timberman now just a month from tomorrow. We obviously don’t want her overdoing it, but at the same time, right now is not the time to be missing training. I haven’t been feeling well myself, and wound up taking last night off of training for an early bedtime.

The good news is that I have at least a temporary bicycle. My friend and co-worker John had a steel framed 10 speed in his basement, a quality bike he wasn’t using, and gave it to me. It’s a bit tall, and I haven’t given it a ride yet, but it does seem like with some new tires and tubes it will service until we’re able to get me a new bike.

And, this morning I was able to do my planned AM workout 8 x .5 miles running. It took me a bit over an hour to do, but I was averaging 7 minute half miles, which isn’t terrible at this point considering how little running I’ve been doing. I need to do 15 minute miles for the race if I expect to finish, so being under that right now is a good start. I had a short break each half mile so my total time was like 1:04, but by the time race gets here I know I can have that ready.

We’ve got a decent length swim tonight, and it’ll be interesting to see how Rach gets through it. Plus, hopefully we’ll be able to go replace at least her bike tonight.

Rolling with the punches

As you can read for yourself in the previous posts, the past 48 hours really didn’t go much at all as planned. In fact, I would say dropping out of the race and having our bicycles stolen really is basically the exact opposite of anything I had planned to start the month between the MA State Tri and Timberman. But now that the shock from all of that is out of my system it’s time to react and plan.

The reactions:

- First and foremost, I need to recover from the way I felt on Sunday. Monday with all of the craziness of filing police reports and insurance claims, I barely had a minute to breathe. I was late to work which led into a day filled with paperwork and stress. And with various parts of my left leg still strangely feeling the effects from Sunday, I decided that last night was not a good day to run. I’d have biked, if I had one.

- Replacing the bicycles. I’ve started looking already and we have plenty of choices for Rachelle’s all about the same price. We could probably find something cheaper online, but we can’t afford to wait the 7-10 days for the bikes to arrive. There’s a Giant brand bike store opening in our neighborhood this weekend, so we’re looking to make our final purchase by Saturday at the latest, letting us go for a good long ride on Sunday. If I wind up having to build mine up, I need to start buying parts Wednesday so I can finish the work by the weekend.

- Getting a new bicycle car rack. This will eventually have to happen, but for now we just won’t keep the bikes attached to the car, except when we’re at a race. Even the night before the race we always take them into the hotel. Just bad luck on timing I guess.

Now for “The Plan”:

- I’m going to work really, really, really, really hard to get ready for Timberman. We have a good solid plan for the next 3 weeks, which I’ll follow very closely. We might mix up some dates to account for the lack of bicycles, but Rach has spent a bunch of time customizing our workout plan and it should do everything for me I need in order to get past the DNF and ready for 70.3 miles of suffering. The plan starts with swimming tonight, and there will definitely be running tomorrow. 

- I’m going to eat like I’m supposed to. I woke up yesterday at 310 pounds, and being that I was about 314 the day before, it was pretty obvious dehydration was a big part of what happened to me at the race. So, I have cut myself off from the crap food, and started drinking more water. I don’t expect to go cold turkey on the soda, but I’m doing my best to limit even diet soda right now. I still need the caffeine from time to time though, and I can’t stand coffee.

- I’m going to make sure that each day I’m accountable for getting in the work I’m supposed to do so I’ll be posting the workout plan for each week and getting the work in against it. I have a tall hill to climb (literally and figuratively) but I’m going to do it.

Things finally start turning around…

Hello all. In a rare violation of my 1 post per day maximum I am providing much needed good news. Thanks to the help of a superior claims adjuster, we have already settled with the insurance company. Thankfully, the bikes are covered, and even after our deductible, we’ll have enough money to buy at least one bike and put a good chunk of money towards another. We should have the money in just a couple of days, and that should allow us to be riding again by the weekend at the latest.

The fun part of this will be getting to go bike shopping again! If you’ve been reading Rachelle’s blog about how much time I spent staring at Tour de France merchandise in Paris, you’ll know how much I enjoy shopping for bike stuff. And these are actual bikes! If it weren’t that Rach’s bike was my wedding gift to her, and that I had almost gotten mine exactly where I want it, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. We might even be able to get both bikes at the same time as matching models which would also be fun.

Of course, not everything is peachy about this: It clearly points out we need a new more secure bike rack, and further, I’m going to have to invest in another custom built rear wheel in time for Timberman. I don’t want to trust a lesser wheel and have it give out during the longest race of the year. I can probably train on something less for now, but I can’t let it go very long. We’ll see what this weeks paycheck looks like. Hopefully we can do it all in one fell swoop, even if it means I’m buying a bike off Craigslist and starting from scratch. Other than a strong rear wheel, It means more to me that Rach has a good bike to work with that won’t cause her problems. She’s a better athlete (and an inferior mechanic) so she should have a bike commensurate with her skill.

Speaking of Rach and skill, you should read her blog about this weekends race. While I disagree with her opinion that finishing last would have reflected less highly on her training and skill; she’s a proud person and has her own opinions on how she should be doing. She’s not only a better athlete than me, she may be a better blogger too.

Finally, in the last bit of bad news from the weekend, we left our swimwear at the hotel by the race, so we’ll need to go collect that stuff. Maybe we can head out there this weekend.


- My swim time for yesterday was 47 minutes. 1550 yards in 47 minutes is pretty good, especially for how I was feeling. If there is any positive from yesterday, it’s that I know I can finish Timberman swim inside the time limit. After that it’s all about putting in 15 MPH for 3 1/2 hours.

- Today’s little mishap is not going to stop my plan for VENGANCE at Timberman! I’ll post tomorrow about all of it. Tonight, a short run as I’m still not 100% from the race, and then tomorrow back into full time training.