Monday, June 30, 2008
Mrs. Clyde: Can you pick up some balmex from the store on the way back? (For our little one you sicko's, not me)
Me: 10-4, and just so you know, you left a floater this morning.
Mrs Clyde: I know, I left it for you.
Me: Awesome, that's hot.... and just so you know, this is sooo going on the blog.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
1. By far the most important thing I learned was that you absolutely CAN NOT blow your wad on the first loop. After riding it yesterday, I 100% expect to pass a bunch of carnage on the course (probably those who have not rode the course before hand) on the second loop. I knew coming into it you had conserve yourself from other blogs, etc.....and I had an idea of how much to hold back, but riding it confirmed that even more, and I realized that even I would have gone out a little too hard initially had I not previewed it. The first loop you absolutely have to reel it back, no matter how many people are flying by you or how good you feel at the time, or how bad you want to go hard because "I'm doing the Ironman"......you have a 100 or so miles left by then (not to mention the marathon after it) and you have to keep that in mind and stay disciplined. No two ways about it, you go too hard and get burnt out before the first lap is over and it'll be a VERY long afternoon. If that happens a DNF becomes a very real possibility.
You have to ride patiently, stay within your low heart rate range, and just keep spinning up the hills easy, no matter how slow you may seem to be going. The best visual I can think of is to think of the hills you see in San Francisco, the hills are of that steepness, just not as long.
2. That being said, there were really only two hills I remember that require extra special attention, however they are pretty close to each other towards the last 1/4 of the loop. The rest are best classified as rollers, albeit some pretty big rollers.
Old Sauk (I believe that is the road name)gets special attention just because it's a little longer of a climb as it snakes through some trees. You kind of get into a rhythm on the course of these steep climbs that are over in a few minutes, followed by a downhill and then BAM this one comes along and messes with you as it keeps snaking around in the trees, going up, up, up. (Notice the guy walking off to the left. The pic doesn't do it justice)
The one pictured below that follows it not too long after. I forget the name of the road, but it is the one in the two pics below...notice the tree tops way in the background of the second one especially.
This one gets special attention because it's just so d@mn steep. Period. The pictures above, again, do not do it justice. I think my coach said it best...."Most spectators will be on this hill on the second loop because it's where bikers will just fall over from the grade of the hill." ....then he laughed.
3. As much as the hills are brought up about the course, people don't always mention that when you're on the bike, you're going to be very busy. You hardly are ever in the same gear for more than a few minutes, so getting down your gearing is critical. Like Coach said, you'll see people drop their chains because they are switching around so much and I could see how that could happen pretty easily on this course. Make absolute sure you get a bike tune up a week or two before the race and have them check all your gearing components.
4. Along those lines....the course keeps you on your toes. For the most part you are always turning somewhere or moving around on the bike. There are a few sections where you can sit in aero and hammer for a while, but expect to be on the bullhorns quite a bit as well.
5. Another thing people forget to mention is some of the awesome downhills on the course. Now I'm normally one who has a pretty big sack when it comes to bombing down a hill, but I have to admit with even just the light winds out there on Monday, combined with the steep declines, there were a few times where I had get out of my aero bars to get down on the bullhorns to put my mind at ease. I hit 40+ a couple of time on the course and high 30's a few other times. So yes, you do some climbing, but you also get to enjoy some real sweet downhills as well.
6. Oh and get a 12/27 if you don't have one already, you WILL thank me for it later. No matter what "others" may say, there were times out there I was wishing I had even a higher toothed gear. Just my humble opinion.
7. I will be heading back up in a few weeks to do two loops. I will bring my camera this time and take a little better visual presentation of the course, but that's what I got for ya'll so far.
Also for those of you not aware...Simply Stu has a nice little video of the bike route you can watch that goes over it VERY well....once again though, the video doesn't do justice to the steepness of some of the hilss.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
...in Milwaukee for the weekend, going to be a nice change of pace to do some workouts in new (yet old..I attended Marquette in Milwaukee) surroundings......
Monday, June 16, 2008
Thursday: 1 on 1 training session with coach (1.5 M swim/35M bike). This was more fun than I've had in some time in the water. In order to prepare me for IM, coach decided we would do a simulated IM swim start. What does that entail you ask? Well it was coach basically doing whatever the hell he wanted to me during the first .6 miles of my 1.5 mile lake swim. Hitting me, swimming over me, pulling me down, splashing water in my face as I came up to breathe, ie simulating everything I'm going to see in Sept. It was GREAT training tool, but to be honest, there were times I was almost on the verge of laughing....I kept imaginging what people on the shoreline (if any) were thinking. Seeing these two guys in yellow caps, with one just blantantly molesting the other one, it had to be a site from the shoreline if anyone noticed.
(I briefly stop this post for a PSA as well...if you roll with the cut off shoulder wetsuit like I do, PLEASE don't forget to put body glide on your shoulders and neck or you'll end up looking like this..... it still hurts today)
After the swim (he also had me swim without goggles which showed me I have to learn to sight better because I swam in a cirle), we headed out for the bike and a few intervals. It was a nice little 3 mile or so loop. On even laps he went at my pace. On the odd laps, I had to stay as close as I could to him, so that was fun, it's much easier do intervals when you're trying to chase someone than when you are just going against imaginary competition. On the last interval, he gave me a 10 second lead, and told me that I had to hold him off or break a secret to all you blog readers that he had noticed on the bike. Needless to say, he passed me (I had been staying within 15-25 seconds normally on these loops so 10 seconds was a little less time than what I probably needed) so here it goes:
Due to unfortunate circumstances, the brand new pair of bike shorts I have are apparently "thin" when I get into aero position....so yes, on Thursday, when I was in aero, I was the "crack guy" you sometimes see at races. I apologize to all those motorists I have offended. Like I said, they were BRAND NEW shorts, so I'm not sure what the deal is. Perhaps my backside is so muscular that no fabric can contain it? Yeah, that's it......
...now back to our regularily scheduled program....the rest of the ride went OK, I was a little drained for the last 10 miles (it was super hot and humid on Thursday, not good conditions for me)..but we also determined that I need to work on taking in more electrolytes, so I will be trying that out the next few weeks.
Friday - 10 mile evening run...hot/humid like it was on Thursday, legs felt tired. Took me about 10 minutes longer than plan, due to hilly course, a little fatigue in the legs, and the heat/humidity.
Sat - 20 mile real slow ride...this felt good after Thurs/Friday.
Sunday 80 mile ride: Get out the door by 7, get about 5 miles into it and meet up with the Tri group, when we notice the weather doesn't look so nice coming from the west (yeah I probably should check that before I leave, I've never claimed to be Einstein here)...turn around....storm beats me to my house.....driving rain, wind, branches falling on to the path in front of me for the last two miles or so...crazy stuff....took a nap, storm clears, get back out around noon.....get in about 55 more miles (65 total for the day) and at almost the exact location as in the morning, get caught in round two of the storms...but by this time I was like "eff it" I'm getting it to show 80 miles on this Garmin if it kills me...luckily the rain stopped for enough of a break for me to get the last 5 miles in without rain. Got to my garage and called it a day (I was suppose to do a 2 mile run after this, but going 2 for 2 for the day of getting rained on, I decided against it as another cell was moving through. )
So there you have it. A crazy, tiring, four days...but to be honest, this morning, my legs are as fresh as they have felt in a while, funny how that works.....
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
So cast your vote, yea or nay?
Obviously this one helps sway my opinion..... http://www.peirspeed.com/madass125.htm
The other option would be "possibly" this.....but this one would need some approval of the wife as I just got my other bike two years ago. Perhaps I can try Tom's approach (Seriously scoll down on that link to see what happens when a bike jumps off a car rack.)
Sunday, June 08, 2008
More on this tomorrow, but this pretty much sums up the NASTY winds (along with storms) we had in the midwest this weekend......the blue line in the bottom was my speed.....as you can see it takes a sharp decline exactly at mile 24.5, where I turned around.....the arrows and time show you how much faster my out vs back was......I earned every foot of every mile on the way back....
Recon was also canceled due to storms, but will be made up in two weeks, so no worry on that soldiers.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The hard part?
Well in order to get an accurate result, you have to do an eight hour fast before the test.
Excuse me, what?
AN EIGHT HOUR FAST?? No food, no juice, no caffeine, nothing........
Yeah, I think you and I are on the same wavelength here....the number of times The Clyde eats a day is a very close second to the number of times he breathes.....so to fast for eight hours, well to me that's an endurance event all in itself....
2 hours, 54 minutes, 32 seconds and counting....
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Suddenly this race that seems to be only happening in my mind is more and more becoming reality.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
If you were a bird, about to take a shit on my head as I bike, this is what you would see. My first feeble attempt to get a picture of the guys riding behind me.