Thursday, May 31, 2012

Making a Tubular Flat Kit for a Trek Speed Concept Draft Box


My Trek Speed Concept Draft Box
The question often comes up what can you fit in a Trek Speed Concept draft box? The simple answer is a lot. For me I always used it as a flat kit and it would fit everything I needed to fix a flat tire in an Ironman triathlon.  I have since switched from tubulars to clinchers and I no longer use the Trek Speed Concept draft box, but when I did, I stuffed it with the following:

1X Genuine Innovations Air Chuck SL

- 2X 16g C02s: Have to have an air source to get the tires pumped up. You could probably get away with 12g cartridges but I always packed 16g ones.

- 1X Spare Tubular: See the following article for the secret tubular tire.  I pre-glue it and pre-stretch it.

Buy Genuine Innovations Air Chuck SL
- 1X Pit Stop Can and Cap: The key here is to take the cap off and have the white stick of the can sticking out the whole of the bottom.  You will only have the hole though if you don't use the hardware used to attach the draft box to the frame and instead use tape.  I'll use the Pit Stop if I think it will fix a small flat otherwise I will just replace the tire.

- 1X Genuine Innovations Flat Stack Multi-Tool: This is needed for at least attaching the Zipp Valve Extender to the tire before mounting.  It is handy as well if something else - like a seatpost - becomes loose during the race.

- 1X Zipp Valve Extender 60mm: I don't have this attached to the spare tubular already because the valve would be too long and the tubular wouldn't roll up as nicely.  The length all depends on what type of wheels you are riding.  If it is too long you may not be able to pump up a disc, if it is too short you won't be able to pump it up in any wheel.

- 1X Tire Lever: Can be useful in getting off a tubular tire before resorting to the razor blade.

- 1X Razor Blade: For getting a tubular off the rim after I super-glued it with many layers of Vittoria Mastik One.

Stock Up On Tufo Tape Today!!!
- 1X Tufo Extreme Tape: If you have ever ripped off a tubular quickly you know that sometimes all you pull off is the base tape leaving the basetape stuck to the rim.  If this happened in a flat situation I wouldn't rely on the pre-glued tubular and instead would put down the Extreme Tape. Be prepared for a struggle to get the tire on though with the extra thickness.

One word of note. I never used the draft box with the top and instead just covered it with a piece of tape.  I find that using the top really limits what you can get in because of the way the top attaches to the draft box.  3M Extreme Strapping Tape is amazing product that I use and can be purchased from Home Depot.  It is: ridiculously strong; somewhat transparent, isn't affected by moisture; is smooth; and can be peeled, put back, and re-peeled many times over.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For May 21st - May 27th


I've made it through my first week at my summer base camp in Madison, and despite no running, I felt pretty good about my training.  Usually it is this time of the year where I start to gain fitness thru racing, but with my Achilles tendinitis I'm not sure how much racing I am going to be doing.  Instead I returned to a base building period and I will continue this for a bit and focus on some other areas that often get neglected in heavy periods of training.

As for the Achilles, I took the first step towards recovery and got in my first ASYTM session at the PT this week.  I'll take it as a good sign that the PT couldn't visibly determine which heel has the issue, but despite that I'm not taking any chances.  I know that Achilles issues can linger for quite some time and even if I do get a few successful runs in I won't be declaring that I beat it.

On a brighter note my brother-in-law ran the Madison half marathon this weekend and I had two nieces and one nephew that ran the kids race.  All the races started and finished at the bottom of our building so it was easy to spectate and for once it was great to be the one that wasn't racing. My only was responsibility was making sure my youngest nephew - who wasn't racing - stayed hydrated.  Pretty easy to handle that with a Trisports water bottle filled with Drip Drop.

As for my training - here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 238 Miles / 25 hours 11 minutes

Swim: 32,182 yards / ~18 miles / 8 hours 51 minutes
Bike: 220 miles / 11 hours 50 minutes
Run:  0 miles /  0 hours 0 minutes
Core:  3 sessions / 4 hours 30 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Open Water Swimming in Madison, WI - Four Swims in Four Days

I have been back in the midwest for four days and I have got in four great open water swims in downtown Madison. The number of swims in Madison and the surrounding area is endless but I thought I would post the following in case other triathletes or open water swimmers were looking for some ideas. Now I never advocate people trying to replicate these swims, but personally I take my chances, and while wearing a bright yellow cap I find it more peaceful than getting buzzed by cars on the open roads.  I used a Garmin 910xt for all these swims and I must say it does a pretty good job of getting the job done.  I noticed some of the overlays are slightly off as I stopped at very specific points that don't match exactly but overall I couldn't be happier with the 910xt and I'm really digging the fact that I can just pick a destination, start swimming, and know how far I am out.

#1 - Extended Ironman Wisconsin Swim in Lake Monona - ~4250 yards or 2.4 miles - Start at the Ironman Wisconsin swim start and swim the Ironman course but instead of turning around continue on hugging the shore line until you get to the sail boat that is docked in the middle of no where.  Ends up being about 2.4 miles, or the exact length of the IMOO swim without doing two loops.



#2 - Swim Across Lake Monona - ~6000 yards or 3.4 miles - Start at the Ironman Wisconsin swim start and swim straight across Lake Monona


#3 - Swim to Picnic Point #TheRealWay -  ~6000 yards or 3.4 miles - Start at James Madison Park and swim straight across to picnic point.  There are other great access points like starting at the Memorial Union Terrace or along the lake shore bike path but if you want a real challenge start at James Madison Park.  On this particular day there are were 25 mph winds kicking up some serious winds and this will probably always be the toughest of the four swims listed.



#4 - Swim Across Lake Wingra - ~3200 yards or 2 miles - Start at Vilas Beach by the Madison Zoo and swim straight across to the boathouse at Wingra Park.  I added on to the swim to bring it up in yards but it is about 1600 yards straight across.  The only downside to this swim is I find it gets weedier and weedier every year.  There were some points that I was just in thick thick weeds and all I could grab was weeds and very little water.  The overlay shows some of this with some sharp edges where I was navigating trying to find cleaner water to swim through.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For May 14th - May 20th

This week was a transitional week as I wrapped up things in Tucson, packed the car, and headed home for Madison.  Early in the week I signed up for the Kansas City Triathlon and decided to abandoned the idea of Ironman Texas in favor of something shorter.  Unfortunately, my *minor* heel issue last week showed no improvement and each day I woke up with a stiff heel.  I didn't run on it all week but I continued to do some biking and swimming, but in reality I was consumed by packing everything up and driving across the country.
Home Sweet Home in Madison, WI
Secretly I was hoping that a couple of days in the car would help heal it up, but on race morning it was stiff so I decided that I would just swim and bike at the Kansas City Triathlon.

Unfortunately I'm not sure when I will be running again and my plans are definitely changing with regards to training and racing. I am fairly confident I have insertional Achilles tendonitis and I have heard that this is a very stubborn injury to rid.  My only saving grace is that I am NOT one of those athletes that has problems with stepping away from training.  I know how long fitness lasts and if I can't train at a 100% I'm not going to gain any fitness anyways.  I'm going to take things day-by-day and work towards Ironman Wisconsin.  If it means no running for 6-8 weeks then I'm totally fine with that.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 88 Miles / 6 hours 17 minutes

Swim: 6,900 yards / ~4 miles / 1 hours 57 minutes
Bike: 84 miles / 4 hours 20 minutes
Run:  0 miles /  0 hours 0 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For May 7th - May 13th

Doing LEADMAN 250 Course Recon @ The Valley of Fire
Post Ironman week is always an unusual week and is one that I play very much by ear.  On Monday I felt awful and Tuesday wasn't much better, but by Wednesday things started coming around and by Thursday I actually felt great. Usually I take a full 7 days off running post-Ironman, but by Thursday evening I felt so good that I decided to head to the track. At the track I felt myself moving around at lightening speed and with a turnover that was so quick that it made me feel like I was floating.  I could hardly believe that just a few days prior I had done the hardest Ironman of my life.   Anyway, on Friday I made it back to the track and I felt some tightness in one of the auxiliary ligaments that attaches to the heel.  No it is the Achilles, but I remember feeling the same tightness during the early segments of the marathon at Ironman St George.

As a result of the tightness I have to reassess my plans for the weekend of racing.  I was really excited about rolling over my fitness into Ironman Texas, but I'm not sure that is what is best for me so you may find me at Memphis in May instead of Texas.  I head back from Tucson to my summer training base in Madison this week and both Memphis and Texas are right on the way.  Another possibility is that I spend one more week in Tucson and head to Cap-Tex the following weekend.  Regardless it will be a game time decision on Tuesday night.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 158 Miles / 16 hours 36 minutes

Swim: 21,700 yards / ~12 miles / 6 hours 30 minutes
Bike:  138 miles / 8 hours 25 minutes
Run:  7 miles /  0 hours 57 minutes
Core:  1 sessions / 1 hours 30 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A


   

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2012 Ironman St. George Triathlon Race Report

Last year I signed up for Ironman St. George a few days before the race - the race turned out to be a disaster, but I finished.  This year I returned to St. George with some actual race specific fitness and I was hoping to parlay it into my first Ironman podium.

All week I kept checking the weather and it was looking like a banner forecast with temps in the low 80s, clear skies, and calm winds.  However, on this particular day the weatherman got it wrong, very wrong.  For those that didn't hear, an incredibly powerful wind kicked up just after the swim start and made for the most challenging day I have ever faced. There are no words, pictures, or videos that can accurately describe it, and only the participants on that day can truly understand how brutal the day was. Mike Reilly said- "I have called 110 Ironman Events, and never called in a champion at over 9 hours...". The DNF rate on the day was an astounding 29%.  With that being said I loved every minute of this race, I smiled almost the entire day, and raced myself up to my first Ironman podium.  It was a great day and here is a recap:

Out in the Washing Machine
Swim (59:19 / 9th) :  My goal of the swim was to grab Chris McDonald's feet and hold on like my race depended on it.  As the cannon went off I did just that and I was actually surprised how easy the effort was as I kept taping the back of his feet, but it wasn't meant to be. After about 300 yards or so I swallowed some water and had to take a few seconds to cough it up and regain myself. When I did regain myself the feet were gone.  Fortunately some new feet showed up just in time and I road them to first turn bouy.

Three of us reached the first buoy together and  we rounded it and continued on to the second. Now this is where things started to get interesting as I noticed there started to be some rolling waves that we were swimming parallel with. They were nothing crazy but nonetheless they were unexpected. As we rounded the second buoy I started to realize that this day was quickly changing. Big rolling swells started to pound away at us, and with ~1800 meters on this leg, I knew we were in for a challenge.

The three of us continued swimming but the man in the middle was having trouble maintaining contact with the lead swimmer.  At that instant I made a decision to forge ahead and got back on to the feet of the lead swimmer.  I got back on the swimmer's feet and let him dictate pace and direction.  At times it felt like we were not even moving.  As a "strong" swimmer who was having some difficulty I felt for all the other participants and I stated to wonder if the event was going to be cancelled.  I kept waiting for the sound of the horn but it never came.  Eventually I reached shore and I was surprised to see that my swim time was under an hour.


Bike (5:33:54 / 6th): As I headed out of transition towards my bike I couldn't help but notice the flags violently whipping back and forth.  I was all for winds and tough course, but I knew that riding an 80mm deep front wheel in the winds was downright suicidal.  Had I known the winds were going to be what they were then I would have never used such a deep wheel. Regardless, there was nothing I could do about it and I got on my bike and focused on moving through the field.

 On the Bike
As I headed out of the Sand Hallow Reservoir I couldn't help but notice that I was pushing 330 watts but only going 12mph on a flat section.  Then I reached the end of the reservoir and made the turn towards St George.  Despite being a significant climb I found myself going over 40mph with minimal effort with the help of an incredible tailwind.  This was pretty much how the entire day went - you were either going painstakingly slow, or rip-roaring fast.  Anyway, I worked on reeling back in a few competitors and I did so early on but unfortunately none of them were too keen on riding with me and popped off the back.  I forged ahead alone, pushing conservatively with tailwinds, aggressively into the headwinds, and I held on for dear life during the crosswinds.  For roughly an hour I saw no one and had no idea what place I was in.  Then I caught and passed Meredith Kessler and Heath Thurston on the way up to Gunlock.  On "The Wall" I got my first update that I was 22 minutes back.  22 minutes!!!  How in the heck am I 22 minutes down.  I started having visions of Ben Hoffman, Maik Twelsiak, Chris McDonald and Axel Zeebroek, all riding together and running away with the race.  I needed some help from the other great cyclists like Matt Russell, Kevin Taddino, and Mike Schifferle but they never came and I continued riding alone.

By mile 50 I had developed a blister on my hand from clutcthing the aerobars so tightly - it was a first.  I have never had so many close calls in a single race and and was blown off the road and forced to unclip at least three times during the first lap and scared out of the aerobars for a significant portion of lap one.  At one point sand whipped up so fast and so hard that it felt like 1000s of stinging bees hitting you all at once.  By mile 56 I was done and ready to get off my bike and I had no idea how I could do another 56 miles.  My only saving grace is that I knew the race was going to be a war of attrition and I can win wars of attrition.  Then in a blink of an eye I found myself at mile 65 and starting lap 2 of the ride.

Lap 2 of the ride was much more pleasant.  The winds had greatly died down and I found myself going faster on fewer watts.  I had tons of rabbits ahead of me and they were being caught at a rapid pace.  Each time I passed one I kept thinking that they had no idea what these winds were like just 2 hours earlier.  Despite the decrease in wind speed I found myself running out of fuel even though I packed 2400 calories for the ride.  As a result I switched from water to Powerbar Perform to increase the calories and save what was left of my concentrated gel bottle. Surprisingly, despite consuming roughly 3000 calories my stomach felt fine.  When I reached "The Wall" the second time I was relieved to learn that the 22 minute lead had only grown to 28 minutes and I soldiered on down the back side of the course in record time.

Finally, in the last few miles I got a glimpse of a few competitors ahead of me.  I could tell they were Chris McDonald and Kirk Nelson, and I was stoked to have been able to reel back in Chris.

Tracking Down Kirk Nelson in the Distance
Run (3:12:14 / 4th):  My run started out great and I found myself feeling fresh and running strong.  When I exited transition I found myself running in 6th place at a smooth 6:30 pace.  Early time checks suggested I was running the same pace as Chris McDonald (4th) and just a tiny bit slower than Kirk Nelson (5th).  7th place was nearly 10 minutes down. I soldiered on and focused on getting in calories taking a gel ever two miles and supplementing it with cola and Powerbar Perform.  Additional time checks showed that Nelson was still gaining time on me but the gap to McDonald was falling.

I continued on at my own pace knowing that I would pass McDonald naturally, but then the unthinkable happened.  The juggernaut of Ironman, Chris "Big Sexy" McDonald, pulled the plug on the race at mile 6 and I found myself in 5th place with a lead biker at my side. It was at this point I saw Jayme from 2XU and all I could do was smile and reflect on how far I have come as an athlete.  When I first got into the sport "Big Sexy" was one of those guys that I looked up to and just this winter I found myself picking his brain at a Christmas party, now I was passing him for a podium spot.  I knew I had a long way to go and had to focus on finishing the race but I was stoked and set my sights on Nelson.

As I started the second lap I saw fellow pro triathlete Kevin Taddino on the sidelines and he was giving me some words of encouragement and told me that Maik Twelsiak in (2nd) and Axel Zoebroeck (3rd) were looking terrible and I could run them down.  I was still feeling great and picked up the pace.  At the next time check I was only 2:26 down from Kirk Nelson, and then 2 miles later the time had dwindled to 1:46. 2 more miles rolled by and I had dwindled the time to zero and made the pass and moved into 4th.

From that point on I went into damage control mode.  There was little chance that I could catch Axel and Matt Sheeks was 10 minutes back in 5th place with 8 miles to go.  At mile 21 me form finally started to falter a little bit, and the signature smile faded as I returned to my old janky running style that you can spot from a mile away.  The time gaps with Sheeks were coming down fast but in the end he would run out of real estate as I smacked hands with anyone I could en route to my first Ironman Pro Podium.

Overall (9:49:00 / 4th Place):  Overall I couldn't be happier with my race.  Obviously the importance of a good swim can never be discounted and who knows what would have happened if I could have gotten out with Chris McDonald on the swim.  It is certainly something I have to continue to work on, but any day you can finish 4th on the podium behind two guys that have multiple Ironman victories on their resumes, and another guy who had the fastest bike split and finished 13th in the Beijing Olympic, is a good day.

Looking forward I plan to race at Ironman Texas in less than 10 days.  Realistically my body won't be recovered, but I want to explore the capabilities of my swim/bike fitness.  I need to have a day where I blow up to see exactly what my body can and cannot handle and I can't remember the last time I blew up.  As a result I'm using Texas as a learning experience, both of my own body and of the course.  Then it is back to Wisconsin as I set my sails for an Ironman win at Ironman Wisconsin.



Top 5 Male Pros Finishing

As always I want to thank the people and companies that make this happen including:

Carol and Locke Ettinger - for an awesome homestay filled with lots of fun, food, and memories.
WTC - for putting on a great race.
Trisports - for all the great tri gear you carry and for providing it in the most earth sustainable way.
2XU - for the wetsuit, compression gear, and everyday training gear that rocks!!
Powerbar - for getting me to and thru races with your fantastic nutrition products!!
Drip Drop - for making sure I stay properly hydrated.
A to Z Cares - for your continued support of my training, racing, and overall well-being.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Professional Triathlete Training Log - Weekly Swim, Bike, and Run Miles For April 30th - May 6th

This week was the big lead up to Ironman St George and finally the execution of Ironman St George.  I ramped down my training pretty quickly this week and did a fast 20 minute interval on the bike on Monday, 3x1600 track with 400 recovery on Tuesday, and also 2x(8x100 descending) in the pool on Tuesday as well.  Wednesday was a travel a day.  On Thursday I went for a shake out ride and felt ok but not great, I also went for an easy swim.  On Friday I went for another shake out ride and a shake out run.  Neither felt great and I actually felt pretty sluggish on the run.   Saturday was Ironman St. George.  I have a separate race report up for that race.  Sunday was a day of rest.

I didn't do any core this week as I was starting to feel worn down and wanted to give the body a chance to recovery.  In addition on such a major week it is pointless to check body weight.  For instance on Saturday I weighed in at 154 lbs but on Sunday I weighed in at 167 lbs because of post Ironman bloating.  In addition, on such big weeks I don't count food as I want to make sure I am listening to the body more so than following a plan.

Here are my weekly swimbike, and run totals:

Total: 225 Miles / 16 hours 36 minutes

Swim: 12,500 yards / ~7 miles / 3 hours 19 minutes
Bike:  184 miles / 9 hours 12 minutes
Run:  34 miles /  4 hours 04 minutes
Core:  0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes

Weight: N/A
Body Fat: N/A

Calories Consumed: N/A
Calories Burned: N/A