Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You know you are a Triathlete when...

As I get more and more into my Ironman training and racing, I realise how different a breed we are from the general public.  I mean, why the hell would anyone get up at 5am for a 10KM run when it is raining outside and the bed feels so good?...Yeah, that was me this morning! But you know what? It felt great to get out of the shower afterwards with a feeling of accomplishment and, more importantly, knowing that no matter what the day threw at me I had my training for the day done.
I have been doing a lot of reading on blogs, magazines and websites (as you do) and with every site or article I read I realise how different I, and my fellow triathletes, are from our old selves.  To prove my point, I have started a list I am hoping you all can keep going with al your points on our "breed".  
Look at the listed points and add yours under them. Do come back every so often to see what my fellow readers also come up with.

You know you are a triathlete when:

  1. You answer 35-39 when asked how old you are.
  2. You think an Ironman is easier than a Marathon because you dont have to start by running fast.
  3. You think it is normal to pee on your bike and on your wetsuit.
  4. ....
  5. ....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekly Trianing Report June 27th 2011

Last week while in Angola I upgraded my www.dailymile.com account to PRO, and I now have the added benefit of getting my weekly training reports sent to me with these details stats on distances, times, calories burnt, and next to the green triangle you can see the difference between this week's workouts and last weeks results.  I improved on all but that's because the previous week I barely did anything due to my travelling and lack of time, but, as I said on my last post, I am hoping to soon get int to the 5+ hours/week of training, but this weeks was obviously not the first one. Maybe next week.

This weekend was a great weekend and actually quite busy as well.  Saturday AM  I went for an early swim at the local gym and then I joined with a platinum (or whatever they call it) membership. More on this later!  I then took the girls to their tennis lessons and afterwards we went home for the girls to change to go to Drama lessons.  While Sofia was at Drama we went over to the open day event at their school where we could see all their work and paintings throughout the year.  Time passes by so quickly...
After we picked Sofia up from drama we had a quick lunch at McDs and then we were off to the Circus.  It was great fun as it was the first time our girls had been to a Circus.  Afterwards we met up with some good Spanish friends for a late snack at a great pub where the girls had lots of place to run with the other kids.

As I mentioned earlier, this past friday I decided to join the local gym only to be told the pool was going to be closed until September for refurbishment! I was not impressed but the young girls at reception immediately gave me swimming options for me to go for free while my local pool was Kaputz! This would have been a great solution had it not been for me finding out about a swimming center next to my office in Covent Garden, London.  I went to Oasis this morning and enquired about swimming there on a daily and weekly basis and it actually works our cheaper if I swim there than at the one closer to home.  Personally, I would rather get out of the house as early as possible so I can get all my workouts done early and then at night when I get back home it is to spend all my time with my three ladies.

Today was a great example: Out of the house at 6am, in the pool at 7am and in the office at 8am. By the time the rest of my team got there I was already done with my daily exercise and when I got home I was able to dedicate some time to my daughters and beautiful and lovely wife.  Tomorrow I will aim at getting up early to go for a 10Km run so that I can get on the 6:30 bus to the station... so that means I better get a quick running time otherwise I will be left behind.

Im getting busy with the 70.3 training plan so let's see how I adapt and react to it.  This Sunday STEELMAN triathlon. This is my first move up the distance ladder and it feels quite good to be honest.  A fe more days of training and Sunday I should be ready.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2XU Compression Calf Guards Review - Father's Day Gift

It feels great to be back in London next to my wife and daughters.  These trips, although necessary, can be a real pain, but I must admit the best thing about them are the hugs I get from my daughters when they see me upon my return, and this time they came with a nice father's day present. 

As we get back from picking up the girls from school I see Sonia handing them something in a box with WIGGLE on it! Hmm... it was either something for Sonia or for me, I thought. Anyway, WE get in the house and the girls hand me this box and they both start shouting HAPPY FATHER'S DAY.

I opened the box and it was a set of the 2XU Compression Calf Guard w/ Stirrup.  I was really surprised as I was not expecting anything really.  I tried them on right away (the wrong way) and they felt great. After I looked at the box I realised I had them on the wrong way and immediately changed them.  I was eager to go out and try them on so this morning after we dropped the girls off at school I went for a quick 30 minute swim and then took Sonia for a 10Km run to help her get a quicker pace than her usual 5:37min/Km.  On trying them on this is my overview:

- Fit: They fit great around my calve.  The pressure is on the back of the leg and it really keeps the muscle from wobbling while one is running.
- Comfort: great comfort and not too tight either, just right.
- Stirrup feels a bit like it is going to slip from under your foot, but once you put your sock  and/or shoe on it actually holds on quite well.
- Snags: If any, I would say the angle of the bottom strap which holds on to the bottom of your foot is a bit too small.  I thin it actually holds on tighter to the foot if it is worn with the large X facing the front, but thats just me.
- Price: Varies from £25 to £31 depending on where you look. My wife bought mine with our www.wiggle.co.uk account since we always get a minimum discount for being return costumers.  Other retailers are the usual suspects like Amazon and Chain Reaction Cycles. I suggest creating an account on Wiggle if, like me, are an addict to gadgets and Tri gear.

They come in three colours but I actually like the black one better than the white or tan one.  I am looking at buying the new Fusion triathlon suite in white and I think it would go well with this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NEW - Ironman TV on my Blog

Today was an easy day off work and training, waiting for tonight's flight back to the UK. We went off to my parent's beach house and relaxed for the day and while I was waiting for the team I created a blog gadget to feed Ironman videos to my blog. Check it out and please do leave your comments. Tomorrow back in the UK and in the pool as I need to spend some good 6 hours in it before my next triathlon to prepare.

Next week I'll kick it off with my training program and will also start posting weekly training reports. I need to pick up my training from what has historically been 2-3 hours/week. I gotta get above 5/week if I want to improve my times.

14.7 KM @ 4:50min/Km - Another PB in Angola

I'm still at awe with my pace this afternoon.  I've gone further and was still able to shave 10secs/Km off my pace from yesterday's PB.  I won't make this a long post as its almost midnight here in Angola and I have an early meeting tomorrow at 8AM to chose a venue for an event in June next year (this is Africa, dont ask!!).
Bay of Luanda - This is between Km 12 &13 on the route
The day started off pretty shitty as I could still feel the stiffness on my legs from yesterday's run. It felt great to have gotten a PB here in Angola and I now know the hilly runs back in the UK cannot be used as routes to try and get PBs or anything close.  It got worse when I got stood up for my 11am meeting but hey... this is Angola and I should not be too surprised. About 30% of my scheduled meetings do not happen at first and I always need to reschedule, which I did, for 6pm today.  so what do I do in the meanwhile? Go home and work on the laptop right? WRONG! Remember where I am right? That's right, Angola, which means power cuts from 9am to 9pm! I have both my Macbook Pro and my Toshiba laptops on me, but the batteries do not last forever.  Luckily enough my sister has a generator, just like everybody in Angola, and I was able to turn it on for a while in order to charge up my laptops, get the AC in the living room going, and watch some Zone Reality TV shows on cable while I worked on a presentation for my 6pm meeting, remember I rescheduled it right? So what do I do at 7:00pm in Luanda with no electricity at home, no way to get to Mussulo island for the night, and no car (the driver leaves at 6pm)? Well, put on my sneakers and hit the road I suppose.  I had agreed with my colleague that we were going out for some early drinks with the team so I needed to get out of the house quickly.

Sneakers on, shorts and shirt on, iPhone on (hidden under my shirt), energy drink down and Im out of the flat.  Same route, but I went for it from the begining. Anyway, won't bore you with all the details but yeah, I almost got runned over by a local taxi while I was trying to avoid getting hit by a bike who did not stop at a stop sign. Range Rovers, Hummers, Porsche Cayennes, all went past me, along with the odd Ford Fiesta, on what was another blind run on most of the route, specially on Kms 3-8. I kept pushing hard and while on the Bay, going back from the port, I saw a friend of mine who was a past candidate we placed with a client of ours. I waved but she didn't recognize me, specially because she know I live in the UK but I later got a call from her asking me if I was the crazy jogger who zoomed past her on the bay.

Anyway, I kept pushing and eventually got to the end of the route with a total time of 1h:11m:13s. Needless to say I was extatic with this new PB. Tomorrow I am off to an early meeting at 8am with the team and then Im taking them to my parent's beach house on the Island of Mussulo. I might take some photos to share with the Blog.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Personal Best - 14.4Km at 5:00/Km in Luanda, Angola

I took my energy drink 30 minutes before going out and actually felt pretty good after the initial stretches and first 1Km.  As you can see from the incline map above, there was a slight uphill incline at first but from Km 2 to 3 it was all downhill, which was appreciated. From Km 3 to 8 it was pitch black, and I could only see when the odd car would drive by.  I must admit I was a but scared here, hence the fast running pace :)  I was jogging against traffic and a couple of massive 4x4s almost took me with them so good thing I still have my quick reflexes.

At Km 8 I rejoined traffic and the roads where lit, but the mad traffic was still quite scary, specially since I was going against it. The photo on the left was taken at Km 9 to show the heat at 7pm here in Angola. I will not complain as barely have that heat in London during the day... in the middle of the Summer, let alone winter!
I really picked it up from 10 onwards since I was chasing various groups of slow joggers and, as you know, its always great to have targets to go for on a jog or bike ride.

 At Km 12 a young chap caught up to me and I was pretty pissed about it so I changed gear to stay with him and let him pull me.  We went at it for about 1Km and then I had him bite my dust... as you do! :) At this time it was just a matter of getting home with no injuries, and I was pretty amazed I did not stumble upon anything with all the darkness of this jog.  I was trully lucky.

All in all, it was a great jog.  Taking into account I must have stopped for about 40 second to take several photos with my iphone on the temperature sign, and I then had to put my iphone on the jogging strap again, the 1h:12m is actually not accurate because I did not take this time into account so it whould have actually been a bit better, but hey...I'll take a 5:00/Km pace any day of the week.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

9Km in Luanda - Angola

After a very long 13 hour day I had very little energy left in me but made the effort to get out of the house and get some sweat out of the system.  To be honest, I did not want to do anything other than shower and hit the bed sheets, but I got home and saw my sister training to her Insanity Workouts DVD and that pumped me up to get out of my suit, put my shorts and sneakers on and hit the road.

I was a bit worried about running with my iPhone strapped to my arm but I figured people would be more curious as to why I was running that late at night than figuring out a way to rob me.   I forgot my Garmin Forerunner 310XT at home in the UK so I had to figure a way of counting my Kms and, most importantly, my time.  Time would not be an issue as the wonderful designers at Apple in California found a way of putting in multiple timers on the phone.  I used the stopwatch to count my time as even if I wanted to use any of the multiple running and GPS tracking aps available for the iPhone, unfortunately,  my mobile carrier (3 UK) does not have roaming here in Angola so they would not work anyway.

I get out of the house and hit the road, and immediately I start feeling pain all over... it was my left hip, right shin, and left knee! I was not going to last long if this pain were to last for long! Fortunately t didn't and I managed to actually go the longest I've ever gone in Angola.  Went down to the bay then to the island where I was able to, for the first time, jog on the "Calçadão" made specially for leisure in the Island of Luanda.  It was nice to see the young and the"not so young" jogging, running or walking on the beach on what was a very pleasant  evening.  I even saw a couple of newly weds taking photos by the beach with their families, which is not uncommon here in Luanda.  All in all it was not a bad jog taking into account my long ass day before that.  According to www.Dailymile.com I ran 9.24Kms, and according to my iPhone's stopwatch I did it in 52m:33s, giving me a pace of 5:34/Km which is pretty crap for a normal day, but considering my 13h day I'll keep my mouth shut and won't complain too much.

Today was the first day of our event in Luanda and, again, it has been a long day. I'll see how I feel when I get home and hope to do about the same distance tonight....if my body allows me to.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

15Km of Running

It had been some time since I went for a 15Km run but it still felt pretty good. Thats twice in a row that I have been able to shave time off this particular distance and it feels great to see my times improving.  I am still looking for a flat 15km course as this one is quite hilly as you can see from the detailed Garmin feed (cick View Details).  Hopefully, if I am able to find one nearby, I can beat th 5min/Km pace which seems quite hard on this course if you look at the elevation gain below:

Elevation Gain: 521 m
Elevation Loss: 521 m
Min Elevation: -298 m
Max Elevation: 106 m

I am currently in Luanda, Angola, and doubt it very much I will be able to fit in anything other than the odd 5Km.  If I do, it will be interesting to see how I survive under this heat and humidity.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Relaxed 5Km

This morning was my first jog since last week's triathlon and the legs felt it a bit.  It was an easy 5Km to get the legs back into action before, hopefully, running 15Km tomorrow before I jet off to Angola.
As I push myself to get in shape for the London triathlon I come to the realisation there is no way I will have enough time to fit in as many sessions as I should.  Even with my 5am wake up calls, there is only so much one can take before hitting that snooze button over and over again.  The Steelman Triathlon is around the corner, less than two weeks after I return from my trip to Angola, and I will only be able to jog while out there.  How often? Well, we are still to find out.  One thing is for sure, I will not be able to practice my weakest link, which is the swim.

I have decided to take on the Triathlon Europe 70.3  Training Plan for time restricted triathletes and hope to soon be able to see some positive results, specially on my swim times.  I will soon post it up on the training tab.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hever Castle Triathlon - Race Report

Anyone who has ever raced the Hever Triathlon will agree with me that it is an unbelievable venue with great organisation and great atmosphere.
This was the midweek sprint series which is much smaller in size than the original event usually held in September, for which I am registered to compete in the Olympic distance.

Registration done.  Ready to set my transition zone
My wave was the 6:45pm start and I was actually quite surprised at the low number of athletes in transition zone.  I suppose I was expecting the same or similar numbers as the September race but that was an unfair expectation since the September race has 2500 people over the two days of racing, and this is a midweek series with no more than 30 people per wave, and it had about 8 waves today.

While setting up transition it started raining and all the guys around me looked at each other and we all knew what each was thinking...(oh crap... the bike leg!!!!).  Anyway, it was just a bit of a scare as it actually cleared up pretty quickly and soon enough the sun was out again.  Since transition was quite empty I was able to spread out my stuff comfortably in order to easily find my gear on the way out of the water (it didn't happen that easily...keep reading).

One of the guys next to me started chatting and we went to the start up together in order to relax a bit.  As we get down to the bottom of the hill I finish putting my wetsuit on, with Sonia's help, and play around with Sofia and Alexia before the briefing started.  Soon enough we were in the ice cold water swimming to the start line.  As I have mentioned before, the swim is my weakest discipline but from having looked at the previous results I was solely aiming at finishing the 750m in less than 25 mins.  The first 200m were actually fine as I was soon going by the third buoy and aiming for the last one in order to turn around.
Very Slippery exit from swim
It was when I got close  to the last buoy that I started to feel the pain.  Up to that pint I was swimming freestyle and then taking a quick rest, but I decided to change my strategy on the way back so I could keep the rhythm.  I decided to swim for 20 40 strokes and count 15 second of rest.  Luckily enough the lake was neck deep so anyone over 170cm could stand in it, and, needless to say, I took advantage of this at times.  I made it out of the water in 21m:14s, which was under my planed time of 25 minutes.  On my way up to T1 I caught up with one of the guys I was pacing myself with on the swim and that was a bit of a boost.

On T1 I took my gel, drank a bit to keep hydrated, and hit the road.  I must say that I have a thing for not checking out the tracks and expect them to be flat as a pancake! I was also wrong this time, just like on my last triathlon in Tonbridge.  As soon as we exited the castle grounds we started hitting the hills.  It was not as hilly as Tonbridge or as the last long ride I had gone on, but it was still pretty steep, specially for someone who had just swimmed 750m with no previous hardcore swimming training. I got passed by one of the guys before we got to the top of the first hill, and later on by someone else.  I did, however, manage to pass two people, one of which passed me again after I missed one of the marshals and wasted about 20 seconds getting back on track.

T2 was soon here and I finished the hilly courese in 50m:10s, which was more than what I had anticipated at 45mins.  On T2 i run my ritual of gel, drink, cycling shoes off,  running shoes on, race number on, hat on, shades on, and off to the road.  As always, the first 1Km I had jelly legs and was a bit wobbly to tell the truth.  However, as always, I used the people in front of me as targets to push harder and keep going.  I was not passed once on the 5Km run and I must have passed about 5 people. which was good to keep my motivation high.  The running course can be tricky specially if one is not used to running on uneven surfaces as it is a course that runs through the castle grounds and surrounding areas.  It is a lovely scenery as you see the castle twice on your way around (or maybe that was me imagining things), and you run through other lakes in the grounds as well.  I was soon over the 4km mark and the last push needed another motivation.  I was able to catch up to two guys who I had in sight for some time and I passed them both with about 1km to spate.  At this point I just wanted to finish and I put the cruise control on in order for the to just get home safe.

Soon enough I could  see Sonia's red jacket and Alexia's bright pink jacket in the distance and that was the final motivation I needed.  As I passed them I sprinted to the end and crossed the line of my first "complete" Hever Castle Triathlon.

Although it was a slower time than any of my previous efforts, this was a different sprint as the swim was longer than any of my other triathlons, it was open water and not pool, and the bike and run were hilly and uneven respectively.  It was, however, a good experience ahead of my next 750m swim triathlon in Barcelona in 6 weeks time.  This was another eye opener for both my swim and bike legs, which are the ones I need to work on in order to start getting some decent times in.

I reckon over the summer I will be able to step up my training since I will be by myself most of the time.  This way I will not think about the fact that the girls are away from me so often... or at least I'll be busy even I do think about it that often, which I can anticipate will happen.

Total Time: 1h:42m:44s

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day before Hever Castle Triathlon

Today is tuesday and yesterday was my last training session in the pool and I easily got distracted.  I did about 40 minutes but I lost count of the distance as I was lucky enough to have three lovely girls cheering me on at the pool!....Sonia, Sofia and Alexia were up on the stairs cheering me on and constantly asking "how much longer, how much longer?" I figured I needed to fit in a good swim session before tomorrow night's Hever Castle Night Triathlon.   The wetsuit had been in storage since..well... since the last Hever Castle Triathlon in September and I quickly tried it on again over the weekend to make sure all was well and ready for the race.

Today I decided to not do anything as  I am really feeling like crap from this sore throat I have been dragging.  I was in pain the whole day at work and could not wait for Sonia's soup at dinner time.  For tomorrow's race I am just hoping to be able to come out on the top 50% of my age grou as these fight racers are usually pretty hard core and ft individuals. I will report tomorrow after the race and hopefully it will not be a bad one.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Links and Resources

Over the last couple of months I have gathered a group of links I constantly refer to in order to swim, bike, run better and faster, and have decided to post a page sharing some of them.  Here they are:

  • WiggleUKs #1 online bike shop you can buy a wide range of bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes,cycling apparel.

  • Dailymile - It's the facebook of athletes of all kinds.  Very US based but I am still able to find some good UK and Europe based athletes to share workouts with.

  • Tri247 - Great site for Triathlon news in the UK and internationally. Great site for UK tri schedules and results.

  • F3 Events - Lots of information on everything tri un the UK.  One of my usual stops
  • 220 Triathlon - Top uk and International Magazine. One of my favourites.

  • Human Race EventsHuman Race aims to provide a balanced programme of events catering for varying groups of multisport enthusiasts. As well as catering for the domestic athlete at all levels of ability, Human Race also aims to provide high profile events in the UK which will elevate the profile of triathlon at an international level. Human Race crew members are regular volunteers at ITU World Cup events, both in Europe and further afield.

  • Sprint Triathlon Training - Great source of FREE information and training guides for first timers in the sport.  Coach Suzanne will answer your questions and help you conquering your fears.  Give it a go and you will not regret it.

  • Castle Triathlon Series - Great triathlon series with unbelievable venues in the UK and France.  All races are in castles and amazing grounds perfect for a race and family day out.  Olympic and Sprint distances available.

  • Polar Triathlon Series -  Triathlon series throughout Spain in places like Madrid and Barcelona.  I'm racing Barcelona in July 2011 as an excuse to travel to Spain :)

  • Triathlon Zone Store - St. Albans based triathlon store is one of the few in the country which sells Planet X bikes.  

I am sure there are other pages I haven't mentioned here, but I will try to keep this tab updated with interesting resources we can all use.

Race Reports

After swimming, riding and running come the hugs
Tonbridge Triathlon - April 2011 Once again this had been a 5am wake up call and the girls were half asleep when we got to Tonbridge school.  Sonia and the girls usually stay in the car sleeping or watching a movie while I check-in so this was not different from any other race.  I get the bike and gear out of the GL head out to the check in area.  As I approach the school, I was really impressed by the facilities. OMG, these guys had a tarmac track and an amazing indoor swimming pool with incredible facilities. Great facilities which reminded me of my high school years in the USA. After check-in I head out to the transition zone and we were already seeing some of the earlier start guys heading out of T1 with the bikes.  Loads of Tri club jerseys mean there were supposed to be some fast people around.  Oh well... I was there to have fun.  I hit the water and did my lengths in 10 minutes, which was my best time at 10m:34s. Out of the pool, T1, gel down and up on the bike... I was in for a big surprise on the course.  As soon as I get out on the road and follow the signs I notice the incline ahead of me.  These were probably the hardest 25kms I ever did on a bike.  We had 34mph side winds and crazy inclines on the course.  It was a mean course which felt long as hell due to the low number of participants, compared to thames turbo or Hever castle which have about 3 times as more participants.

I finally get back to T2 and I quickly (yeah right....2m:09s) get my running shoes on and sprint out to the course.  It was a great course which was very easy on the knees due to the grass field.  I chased about 4 people and got passed by two on the run, and as I entered the track course for the final two laps I could see my angels waving and waiting for me.  "Go daddy, go daddy" was all I coud hear when I went by them and on the final sprint I had Sofia trying to chase me down the track. Both my angels gave me the biggest hug a daddy could wish for as I asked "who won the race? Who won it?", and they obviously said "You did daddy!" :)

400m Swim:  10m:34s           T1: 2m:45s
20Km Bike:    1h:03m:55s    T2: 2m:08s
5Km   Run:     22m:22s        
Overal Ranking:191
Category Position: 74 

Thames Turbo Race 1 - April 2011

I was barely able to get any sleep as this was my first triathlon of the year.  I was up and out of the bed at 4:30 and I was hoping we could get out of the house by 5am.  I had already placed all my gear in the car the night before so it was a matter of getting the girls out of bed and basically put them in the car as they were, pyjamas on and everything.  We got out of the house at roughly 5:10am and go to the venue with about 10 minutes to spare before check-in closed at 6am.This was my second Thames Turbo so I was a bit more confident than last year and I was hoping for a faster time as well.  I checked in fine and after the briefing I proceeded to rack my bike and get my transition zone ready.  These triathlons are very well organised and this time around they even had port-a-loos outside the main entrance to avoid the huge lines we had last year. If you were there you must have seen the huuggggeee lines! I hit the water hard and for the first 5 lenghts I did not stop, although I felt my lack of swimming shape from then onwards.  I must have passed about 5 people and there were two guys who passed me before I finished.  It was when I was going for my last couple of lanes that I heard Sonia and the girls shouting "go daddy, go daddy" which obviously gave me an additional boost for that final swim sprint.

I got out of the water and into T1 quite pumped and after I sucked my energy gel down I hit the bike course.  I gave it my all and I was very pleased to see that within the first 5km I must have passed about 10 people who I had seen start before me on the swimming pool.  I was very confident about my bike leg and gave it 150% all the way.  So much so that only one of the pro guys passed me, unlike my first Thames Turbo race. T2 was soon around the corner and on these races you have a 7 minute no racing time between a timer and bike dismount.  During these 7 minutes we usually take a bit of a break but I was cramping so much that I was just trying to stand on my cramping leg to make it go away.  I was in serious pain and did now know if I was going to me able to do the run. After passing the bike dismount zone, I started feeling a bit better and on exiting T2 I decided to just push it for the final 5km.  I took my gel and after a short spring out of T2 I get on the course trying to chase a couple of apparently slower runners ahead of me.  I used them as a "target" and it helped me step up my pace, which I had set up on my 310XT as 4m:35s/Km.

As always, the final Km was the hardest and I just wanted it all to finish.  I chased and passed about 5 people and got passed by 2 pros.  As I reached the finish line I could see the crowd and I was obviously looking for my daughters and wife amongst the people.  I saw my little angels once again cheering me on as I yelled my number for the final time station at the line.  It had a been a great race and I was adamant I had shaved at least 10 minutes from last year's time. Later that afternoon, after a lovely lunch and day out with Nick, Manjula, Gillian, Garreth and all the kids, I checked the website and to my disappointment I had only shaved 3 minutes...3 minutes from my previous participation.  Not a good result, really as I was counting on close to 1:10 or 1:15.  Oh well, I will have to come back and try to get under 1:15 next time. Let's wait and see when I can do that.

426m Swim:  13:03   Overall Rank: 363   Category Rank: 116    
20Km Bike:    44:00  Overall Rank: 291    Category Rank: 101 
5Km Run:      24:47  Overall Rank: 232    Category Rank: 89 
Overall: 1h:21m:54s  http://www.thamesturbo.com/ 

My next bike - Planet X Exocet

UPDATE: I ended up not getting this bike! I got this one instead.

Now that I have my dates set for my first half and full ironman next year, I think its time I consider spending some cash on a proper TT/Tri bike for the second half of this season.  Since I currently ride a Trek I have obviously  been looking at Trek TT bikes but, as I am sure you are all aware, they are quite prohibitive in price, and this has led me to look elsewhere for options.

On a recent trip I did to Lisbon I entered a Specialized Concept Store at a mall and I saw the Transition Tri bike which is a beauty to look at, and Im sure feels even better when you ride it, but again, prohibitive in price for someone of my level who, to be honest, just started with Tri a little more than a year ago.

On this months edition of the 220Triathlon magazine there was a very detailed review of the Exocet compared agains the Quintana Roo CD01 Ultegra and guess who came out on top? Thats right, the Exocet did.

After very in depth research I have made my decision on a very important point most triathletes base their decision on: IT LOOKS GOOD!...ok, and its the best £2,000 bike out there on the market according to 220Triathlon.  In my case, If I spend anything more than £2,000 will result in a divorce from my wife and I am not keen on that since I love her very much! :)

Now, looking at my schedule I am thinking I could potentially hold on buying this until after summer but the question is... will I be able to hold on the temptation?  Apparently you can only buy Planet X Bikes directly from the manufacturer on from a handful of direct distributors and I found a store in St. Albans who can properly fit me for the bike at the same time.  I am guessing what I will end up doing is I will probably go up there in the summer time and speak to them about the bike in order to get some more details before I buy it. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

I have chosen my first half distance race

It has literally been a year since I entered the triathlon world, and as I look back on those days I am more and more thankful to the decision I made last year in April.  I have taken on different challenges, I have improved my health, and I feel like I am showing my daughters how to have fun in a competitive, fun and healthy way.

I started, as you do, with sprint triathlons and this year I am moving to Olympic distance races.  I do, however, feel I need to take on a new distance and the 70.3 is the usual move.  On my search for the perfect race I looked at one which would tick most of the boxes..not necessary all of the boxes: ease of access, family fun, flat course, great environment, and access to friends and family to see me race. Did I say most of the boxes? Well, Challenge Barelona ticks all of the boxes!

This race wil be in it's 4th year in 2012 and the organisation seems to be flawless from the research I've done.  SOnia and the girls will enjoy it as it will be in Barcelona, home for Sonia.  I will be able (hopefully) to survive the course as it is quite flat compared to others, and I can recruit some local friends and family members to cheer me on as I swim, bike, run and hug my daughters on the finish line.
I suppose the challenge will be to get the necessary training to do a 70.3 but I suppose with more than a year to prepare I should have no excuses by May 2012. One of my main goals will be to improve my times on the Thames Turbo sprints in order to get in shape for the Challenge, and I will also register for the London Marathon in order to prepare for the long run. Im sure 2012 will be a challenging year as I plan to not only do my first 70.3 but also my first Ironman as the half is in may and the the Ironman is in October.  

I need to find time to swim, bike and run more often otherwise there will be no hugs from my daughters if I don't cross the finish line! Well, Im sure they will still be there but it will be harder for me to convince them daddy won the race, as I do with every race.
Oh well, I thought I'd share this on the blog and hope to post my training and 2011 results leading up to my 70.3 debut next year.