May 30, 2010

44mph to 0 in 25 seconds or how I had my second bike crash

After the crash

Well the title says it all - I had second crash today - on my bike that is. I was doing a nice challenging 70-75 mile loop and I was enjoying myself until the last downhill. It was a steep one and I was going pretty good until I hit the wet part of the road in the woods and had to start breaking approaching a T intersection. Long story short in 25 seconds I went from flying down the hill 44mph (or about 70kph) to sliding on my side, arms, belly, the other side, helmet (luckily I had one) as the back wheel of the bike lost grip. It seemed like a split second, but according to my log it was a long 25 seconds slide. I'm all bandaged-up now. Luckily nothing got broken. Just many bruises and road rash. I'm seriously thinking about starting to shave my legs ;-).

I'll spare you the gross pictures of my bruises and instead offer picture of my soon to be replaced helmet. In the other news Ian had great kids triathlon race and we all got to participate - Dasa swam with him, Veronika ran by his side on the bike leg and I ran with him the two laps around the parking lot. Good times. Blog post coming soon.

May 23, 2010

How to race Aquavelo in triathlon event

This morning was early raise - 4:30 alarm clock, small breakfast, strong coffee and off I was to Spruce run state park in NJ. It was the day of my aquavelo race as part of the Jerseyman half ironman triathlon.

I got to the park early, checked in, got body marked and setup my bike in transition - the usual morning pre-race ritual. After that I met with my friend Chris and after he got setup we went down to the water for warmup swim. Water was chilly, but not too bad and after few minutes of swimming I felt fine even with no sleeves on my wetsuit. After warmup we got out and waited for the start. We were both in the first wave and as usual with beach starts it was a mess until we reached the first buoy. I was actually sighting off of the very last buoy to avoid zig-zaging the course. There was some less experienced racer next to me who kept pushing me towards the second buoy so I slowed a little and let him go. No need to do that when there is a straight line to the very last buoy and all the other ones are on the left side as required by the race. After that incident I had very uneventful swim. Took a straight line to the last buoy, when I got there no one was around and before I rounded next corner there were only few people around and no one seemed interested to fight for position. No complaints from my side. The rest of the swim was ok and I pushed hard the whole way around as planned - goal was to swim strong and steady. Got out after little over 32 minutes and the swim seemed little long to me.

Before getting out of water I made a decision - since my ankle is not ok and i will have dnf there is really no point in running in T1. So I just walked from the beach to porta potties and the to my bike. My T1 time was something like 6 and half minutes. But that did nit worry me. At least I'll have people to pick off on the bike.

When I got on my bike I started executing the race plan - ride hard. About mile into the race I got into my shoes and it was hammer time. Just like on my fartlek rides I attacked pretty much every hill and rode hard on the straights. I did not keep count of people I passed, but I made my way through the field and when I rolled back into transition after 2:36 in the saddle there were only 8 other bikes on the racks. So even with my lousy transition I did pretty well. Lucky for me that was the end of my day. Not sure how well I would have run after that ride. According to my power meter I had averaged power 20 watts below my threshold so the run would probably suck.

In any case I'm very happy with the outcome and the swim and bike splits I recorded. This gives me hope that I may indeed do a sub-5 half this season. I hope to build up the run volume before IMRI and do that there.

May 22, 2010

Getting ready for my first DNF race

Tomorrow is my first half iron race of this season and I know going into it that I'll end up with my first ever DNF. How do I know? Well my ankle has been probed and checked multiple times. I had MRI done about 2 weeks ago and then few days later I saw specialist who made few remarks - one word he repeated several times looking at my MRI was 'IMPRESSIVE' which is not a very good sign when doctor looks at the pictures of your bones, ligaments and soft tissue.

That consultation was pretty scary for me as I really like to run. During the discussion with the doctor I learned about lose piece of bone in my heel (which is not a problem), few ligament tears around my ankle (which is likely caused by few ankle sprains and I should not worry about it much) and last which is more scary is swollen bone right under my ankle. That is the cause of all the pain I have been going through during and post runs. I have that bone slightly enlarged on my both feet which is genetical and should not cause issues. But the one on my right leg has swollen which causes some extra rubbing on the ligaments in that area and running is what irritates it. So I have been off running for over 4 weeks now and I have 4 more to go. Let me qualify that - I was not running on the roads, treadmill or anywhere else but the deep pool. I started to actually enjoy (if you can imagine that) my short runs in the pool - especially when Craig has me do some harder intervals. I get a lot of stares and few people wonder whether I'm trying to swim or what the heck I do. I got a lot of stares in Orlando when I went to the 50m pool and ran up and down the 50m lane while people in other lanes were swimming. Long explaining to do and they understood once I started swimming my cooldown 200 meters ;-).

So my ankle is the reason why I will be bailing after the bike tomorrow. I will much rather enjoy more years of triathlon than having one more race and then possibly surgery. Good thing in all this is that I can still swim and bike so we have been doing some more serious work in the pool and on the bike. We will see tomorrow how that is working out. I expect the swim to be pretty good and on the bike I'll be somewhat limited as I should not be standing up even on the hills so I'll need to grind up those two or three hills we have on the course.

Good luck to all my EnMu peers racing this weekend and also to all of you jumping into races over this weekend.

May 1, 2010 - new on-line log for Suunto owners

Early in 2010 I have been invited by Suunto to take part in the testing of new service they have been working on and just few days ago unveiled to public. It is the service that lets owners of Suunto Tx line or X10 line log their activities. The service is free for all users and you can use it even without owning Suunto watch. But frankly there may be other optons that are better in such situation - like TrainingPeaks free account or other free services.

This new service is a really good news for Suunto owners on both PC and Mac as Suunto now released software to download data from the watch to their web service on both Windows and Mac OS X. That is probably the biggest news for users that are waiting for Mac version of Suunto Training Manager or Suunto Trek Manager.

Suunto really emphasizes the social aspect of the site and lets you link pictures from Flickr and videos from YouTube to your 'moves'. You can then share your moves page with friends on Facebook, MySpace, Google, mail, Twitter and other social networks.

If you own Suunto unit and want to migrate from their PC based software on-line this is the way to go. Especially if you are Mac user and were running the software in virtual machine. I like the fact that Suunto lets you load our old logs from STrM to the web to get started. Very nice - I wish Polar did this for the PPT5 (ideally both ways). In any case if you do not use on-line log, own Suunto and want new on-line log check it out.


Well that did not last long

Plans are great, but life events can change them quickly. I was planning to do a duathlon race that is to start in about 45 minutes - well I'll not be racing today. Poor Ian has been throwing up the whole night so I decided to stay home with him and Dasa. Change of plans seems to be the theme of this racing season. There is a positive in this though - my ankle has been healing, but I'm not 100% sure what is with it. On Monday I should hear results of MRI that I had last night. So if anything is torn I will be in better not racing on it ... always finding positives in life's happenings. I hope your weekend is shaping up better than ours. I really hope this stomach bug will be gone soon and Ian will be back in biking shape soon.