Sunday, April 22, 2012

Brik Sunday

Today was a good day. I woke up at  6:30 and at 7:30 I was out of the door. The plan was to go to Box Hill and do a few rounds of it to strengthen the legs and get them used to hard climbs.  There was no traffic and it was a beautiful morning, very sunny and un British I must say, specially given the last few weeks of rain we have had.

At 8:00 I was at the top of the B2032 completely out of breath! That hill is a KILLER with over 120m incline in less than 2Km.  Here is the GArmin feed. Click the image for full details.

Here is the detail of the climbs:

When I got home I got the best welcoming anyone can get: 

As I got home my wife and girls were off to the park and I made a deal with my wife that they would go ahead of me and I would run to the park to meet them so I could get my brik workout done.   

I have a stiff neck and shoulders from being on the aero position on two continuous long rides so I need to a) stretch my neck much more and b) strengthen my shoulder muscles at the gym with some core exercises (plank).  This week I'll stretch much more and, hopefully, in the future the neck will feel better.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

23Km @ 5:00/Km - Shin Splints

Today I should have ran at 5am but it was pouring at that time. Needless to say, I got back in bed! Since I worked from home today I was locked in my office fighting off my daughters as they kept coming in the office wanting to play with me. I feel bad pushing them away, but they assume since I am home I do not have to work...doesn't quite work like that.

I had a heavy (but lovely) Spanish lunch my beautiful wife cooked up, and afterwards I dedicated 10 minutes to my daughters and allowed them to practice their face painting skills on me.  No photos of this, but let's just say that Dennis Rodman looked like a model next to me with my painting. 

By 6pm no clients were answering the phone so I decided to go for a run since it had stopped raining. Below is the 23Km route I usually do:

I had a bit of pain on my left shin and it slowed me down a bit on the second half of the run. I will be off my legs for a few days...but I gotta keep it up. Calella is less than two months away.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My @Argon18 E118

This view is precious....

The background is not bad either! View from the top Box Hill, Surrey.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Open Water Swimming at Heron Lake

Living in London we don't have the privilege of going down to the beach and swim along the shore like my mates in Barcelona, who have been bragging about the lovely weather they have been geting lately. Nor do we have safe canals to swim in like some clubs do in Cape Town, where I'm moving to in September.

We do, however, have great lakes to swim in, and I can't wait for Heron Lake to open.  It is a mere 20 minutes away from my house and last time I went it WAS PACKED with triathletes in training. The lake opens to the public on Sunday April 28th at 6am, and I plan to be there on time.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thames Turbo Triathlon - Race Report

I started the day nice and early at 5am, hoping to see no rain as I opened the window, but no such luck! It was bound to be a crappy day and I just had to get mentally ready for a race in the rain.

I got my bag ready, got the drink bottles for the Speedfill, a banana and a Powerbar for breakfast and I was out of the door.

I got to Hampton Court pool with plenty of time to check in, rack the bike and watch the first wave of starters as they took off. It was freezing, and I had not taken a rain coat, only a coton sweater, mistake I will not allow to happen again, specially when racing in this unpredictable UK weather.

My number was 101, and I noticed the 80's were already lining up so I went to transition, got my warm clothing off, placed it in my transition bag and ran off to line up by the pool. IT WAS FREEZING outside, and I was dreading the bike section as the wind factor would surely make it feel cooler, specially with the wet tri clothing on. Oh well, I had to MAN UP!

Soon enough I was on the pool ready to go. The marshall sends me off and I soon passed the first two people in front of me.  There was a bit of traffic in the pool (as always at  this race) but I got out in 9m:40s.

Transition time was ok, but not great, mainly due to the fact that there was a long run from the pool along the side of transition to let you in through the back.  I get the helmet on, get the bike and Im off, for another long jog before I can jump on the saddle.  T1 was 1m:07s.

I made the big mistake of not opening my shoes up when I put them on the bike so, once again, I had to struggle to put my feet on the shoes. I ended up having to stop and open up the velcro so I could put my feet in. Once the feet were in, I was off and did not stop until the end.

It was raining, the road was wet, and, as we all know, the white lines can be slippery, so I was not pushing 100% on the bike, it was more like 80%, but I still managed to pass quite a few people and, for the first time on my 2 years racing here, I was not passed by anyone.  This tells me my bike training at home with the turbo is going well, but I still need to work at it some more.  Total bike time was 39m:59s, meaning a pace of 30Km/h.

T2 slower than T1 at 1m:44s.

Shoes on and off to Bushy Park. The run was ok, specially given the cold and rain. I set off at a quick pace but soon slowed down a bit. I was not passed by anyone and passed about 10 people on the run.

In summary, it was a good race due to the fact that I was able to shave abut 7 minutes from last year's time.  Also, taking into account that I was not pushing at 100% on the bike because of the rain, I could have easily shaved off another 2-3 minutes, making it a total of 10 minutes off of last year's time.

Now I have a month and a half before the Half Challenge in Barcelona and only one Olympic Distance race from now till then.  It's getting closer and closer, so I just hope I can stay healthy and injury free.

Swim: 9:49
T1: 1m:07s
Bike: 39m:59s
T2: 1m:44
Run: 21:40
TOTAL: 1h:14m:11s
AG: 29/70
Overall: 133/407

Full Results Here

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wish List - Triathlon Gadgets & Stuff

Well, here is yet another post about triathlon gadgets. This time It is about a few items I do not have (yet) but I am looking to get sometime this season.  Here we go:

Garmin Forerunner 910XT
The perfect watch for the Triathlete.
My 310XT is acting up after 2 years,
so I may give it to my wife and
get me this one by the summer.
Full review here

BikeBoxAllan - Box Case
With the E118 I cannot afford to take
it on the soft case I have. I need this
box to protect the E118 on my
travellings. Full review here.

Garmin Edge 800
The best bike GPS computer! Not
much left to say. Full review here.

Argon18 - Gallium Pro 2012

My E118 is not allowed on some
 races, and I also need a road bike
 to train. This bike is my dream  road
 bike, and its an Argon 18!
What else can I say?
Zipp Sub 9 Disc Wheel
A disk for my E118 is a must, specially
for the 70.3 and full IM distances.
No other disc is better than the Sub 9.

Now, I will come back to update this page if/when I buy any of these! Gotta save up BIG TIME!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

USN Dorney Lake Duathlon - Report

It was a lovely morning to race
This weekend I raced on the same venue as last week, Dorney Lake Olympic Rowing Center.  It was a perfect day to race and since my dad was in town for my young daughter's birthday I took him along.

Getting the bike ready

Got there with plenty of time, checked in and racked the bike before I warmed up a bit. We got our quick briefing before the gun went off and BANG, we were out on the road!
There I am on the top 10 
Feeling the pain!
The first 5Km were ok but not ideal! Not only was I not able to beat 20mins, I was also not able to beat my previous time from last weekend! Disapponted to say the least bu I cannot expect improvements in one week I suppose!

Pushing hard on the bike
T1 was looonnng!! I was a bit stuck putting my helmet on and it just felt like forever. 1m:01s is way too long for T1.

After I clock out of T1 I get on the road and I also struggled a bit to get my feet on the bike for the first 200m so some more time lost there! When i finally got up on the saddle I was able to maintain a good pace, passing most people on the course and only getting passed by, literally, 5 guys! Not bad, but my pace was down to 34.9Km/h from 38.5Km/h from last week! Tiredness? Disappointing....
Bringing it home after the 20Km
T2 was more of the same. Struggle to put the damn chip on the hand device the marshals had at transition entrance, rack bike, shoes on, and struggle to get the damn chip on the device again!!
Final 5Km. Chasing and being chased
Finishing...not so strong! 22nd position overall.
Almost home...
The second run was ok as well.  I managed to pass about 10 people, but there was a guy who passed me on the first run who I passed on the bike, but he managed to pass me again on the second run! B@stard! There was another guy who I got in T2 with and I managed to drop him in the first 2Kms. I have to constantly set my eyes on someone as a target in order to keep pushing myself, otherwise I let the pace drop, which is not ideal!

All in all I cannot say I was happy with the results, but I cannot expect improvements in one week, thats just not realistic. Taking into account the last time I rode my bike was at last week's  race, it serves me good to have a slower pace, it makes me pull my finger out of my ass and get the training done according to my schedule.  I finished 22nd out of 68 in my category, top 32%.

Next week I have my first triathlon of the season. The Thames Turbo was were it all started in 2010, and two years later I'm thousands of £s poorer, 14Kgs lighter, and completely addicted to this sport!

5Km Run     00:20:32 
T1                00:01:01 
20Km Ride  00:34:21 
T2                00:00:39 
5Km Run     00:22:58 
Total Time   01:19:31