Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wii Update

I located a stocked Wii supplier on-island. The markup (versus price on mainland U.S. plus shipping plus duty) had me pondering a little. I expect that when I get it the convenience of having it immediately safely in hand will be worth the extra cost to me.

The release date for the Wii version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed isn't until spring 2008. For those who just can't wait, perhaps they would enjoy the somewhat goofier fun of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (release date November 6, 2007). Some goofiness viewable here. Sadly, the Lego experience isn't much of a lightsabre simulation; review here. I think I can wait.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Week That Was

Monday: evening Masters swim session
Tuesday: evening 2.0hr. stationary trainer (zone 1)
Wednesday: evening 1.67hr. run (zone 1)
Thursday: evening Masters swim session
Saturday: morning 2.0hr. run (zone 2); afternoon 2.0hr. stationary trainer (zone 2)
Sunday: mid-day 2.0hr. stationary trainer (zone 1)

I reached a few markers: I had a two hour long run, I burned well over 5,000 calories in aerobic exercise (which for years has seemed to be a level almost essential for me to feel charged up - intensity and volume seem to matter less as individual variables), and I touched my pre-IMMoo weight.

I know it's better first to build soft tissues by increasing run frequency and then later to increase duration. That wouldn't have been a good match with my plans for trips and running with people in November, nor with my desire to not let too much aerobic conditioning melt away, so instead I've had a somewhat aggressive ramp-up in run duration.

Eventually I'll have some increase in intensity, but the next major stressor should be shoehorning additional sessions (including weights and drills/plyometrics) into the week. I expect that I'll increase duration on the bike simultaneously.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Triathlon Keeps Us Young

I renewed my driver's license yesterday afternoon.

I obtained my Cayman Islands driver's license in October 2005 on my last trip before my permanent move (already owning my condo and holding my work permit); I had done the Canadian Iron-distance triathlon about six weeks before. Now in October 2007 I was renewing the license, having done Ironman Wisconsin about seven weeks before.

The whole process was once again quick and painless (unlike Bold's ugly adventures with the Colorado DMV) - 50 minutes from the time I stepped out of my office until I returned with new license in hand. The cute bit came when the nice lady prepared to take my photo and called up my computer file, including the digital picture from two years ago. She looked at the old photo, looked at me, and said she didn't require an updated photo, she would print the new license from the old photo on file.

Triathlon keeps us young!

I renewed for five years. I expect that I'll need a new picture then.

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Local Tri Coverage!

Another fine article in the local press (the Caymanian Compass) as we see the local Big Show (the Cayman Islands Turtle Tri) looming on the horizon!

The article does well to emphasize that it's not only ex-pats in the Swim-Bike-Run community. Here's a photo of Emma, out on the run. I pulled it from our photo gallery for the build-up tri, where you can also see that we had some surf that day.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spring Forward: Entirely Evil or Just Overwhelmingly Evil?

For those who need any convincing, here is yet more evidence of the evil that is Spring Forward: link

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Week That Was

Monday: evening Masters swim session
Tuesday: evening 1.0hr. stationary trainer (low zone 1)
Wednesday: evening 1.25hr. run (zone 1)
Thursday: evening Masters swim session
Saturday: mid-day 2.0hr. stationary trainer (zone 2); late afternoon 1.5hr. run (zone 2);
Sunday: mid-day 2.0hr. stationary trainer (zone 1)

I'm not holding back in Masters swimming. Otherwise, I'm trying to hold some fitness in zone 2 (where my type IIa muscle fibres actually seem to do something) while rebuilding in zone 1 (where it seems only my type I fibres get a training effect).

Updated my Zulu's two mile sea swim post with a couple of names and my time. Article and results in today's Cayman Net News (the Cayman Compass had an article on Friday).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Triathlon Subterfuge

I could use this to justify buying this, but it might really be about this.

Yeah, I was a 13-year old male in the summer of 1977.

Oh, and I'd probably need something like this to go with.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Week That Was

Monday: evening Masters swim session
Wednesday: morning 0.5hr. run (zone 1); evening 0.5hr. run (zone 1)
Thursday: evening Masters swim session
Saturday: morning 1.0hr. run (zone 2); afternoon 1.5hr. stationary trainer (zone 2)
Sunday: 2.0hr. stationary trainer (zone 1)

Also volunteered at short informal triathlon Sunday morning.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Personal Race Report: Zulu's (Two Mile) Sea Swim (October 6, 2007)

Update approx. 09:05EST October 16, 2007
Updated names, time, and number of entries; thanks to Kim for forwarding results

We had a good day for the swim: no chop and cloudy. Sighting was relatively easy. Thanks to construction projects, there was a crane suitably placed for swimming south, and another suitably placed for swimming north! A bit of rain on the return leg made for an interesting feeling on one's back.

From the start I was able to draft for maybe five minutes before losing feet - certainly less than ten minutes. Then it was just me and the occasional tropical fish below.

After the event I heard about two sea creatures others had encountered. First, a few folks saw an eagle ray. Second, one of the swimmers DNF'd (Zack Myrie - he's fine) - he had to exit the water because a remora attached itself and refused to let go!

I used the event to experiment a little with my stroke. Not being sure of pacing, I was conservative on the first leg. Unsurprisingly, without the a line on the bottom I tended to drift to the right when double breathing to my left. Before I reached the turn-around buoy I'd settled into a pretty good rhythm, bilateral breathing and sighting on the sixth or twelfth stroke (always rolling to my left to breath after sighting). The big deal though was hand entry. Bringing my recovering hand into the water sooner and commencing the opposite hand stroke as the recovering hand entered the water helped timing. Further, forcing a higher elbow on recovery meant a steeper angle for the recovering hand entering the water, and so the hand would position to be relatively deep prior to commencing to pull - useful for me.

As I approached the turn-around buoy I recognized the one swimmer in sighting distance ahead of me: Kim, who was swimming second in lane 3 at Masters when I was leading it. He'd done a good mile, but I may well have negative split the event; I passed him right after the buoy just after upping my pace for the return leg. I dropped him hard enough that he didn't have a chance to get onto my feet. ;-)

I finished 31st overall (from 59 individuals - two of whom DNF'd - and we also had 3 relay teams), and 3rd in my division (from 8). Number 30 (Anne) swims in lane 5, number 32 was Kim, and number 33 (Rich) swims in lane 5, so my performance was in keeping with my current level. Time was 1:04:10.

My thanks to the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2008 Season - Fall Marathon Choice

Back at the end of June I posted a blurb on my 2008 season thoughts.

I've given some consideration to picking a fall 2008 marathon for an attempt to run my Boston Qualifying time. The choice: the Northern Central Trail (NCT) Marathon in Maryland over the US Thanksgiving weekend. For the curious, here's the write-up

I expect that I'll be visiting my friend JK and family in Baltimore, so by making that my marathon I put less pressure on my calendar by effectively combining trips. While the NCT marathon course isn't ideal for a BQ attempt, it is very good. Obvious possible problems include general weather conditions, wind-tunnel effects on the tree-lined straightaway sections of trail, and somewhat sparse aid stations. I'll accept the compromises - the consequence of falling short of the goal would be nothing more than perhaps wanting to try again. Anyhow, maybe I'll be motivated to train a little more, knowing that I won't have every possible advantage ;-)

As mentioned in June, the Cayman Brac Turtle Tri (April 6, 2008) is also in my plans.

I'm not yet settled on other events. With the late season marathon I have a bit more flexibility in selecting a 70.3; also, such things as doing the Las Vegas tri (perhaps just a relay leg) bear consideration. Amongst other things, let's see what raceAthlete comes up with.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Per: Form

Comm's left me a challenge in my comments section: I would challenge you to ask yourself a question for the next thirty days, write it on your bathroom mirror, "Is my form the best it can be in each event and how do I make it better?"

I'm not much on bathroom mirror notes, but I do have a few elements of style under refinement.

A lot of the Zulu (Two Mile) Sea Swim on Saturday for me was strokework. I took the adjustments from that swim into the pool on Monday and am optimistic. I expect that for the next while I'll be working to solidify that basic stroke and trying to get more from the catch. I'm also looking forward to the 5K swim on November 10th as a big exercise in holding form. After a few more Masters sessions I'll probably feel ready for a 1000m timetrial - which will require shuffling a training week to get to a morning lane swim.

On the bike I'm due to go to see Jerome at Revolutions Indoor Cycling to do some benchmarking on their CycleOps 300PT. I'll also have trainer drills in my standard training week. Maybe someday I'll actually purchase a Compu-trainer in part to get the SpinScan analysis... but I'm not feeling the motivation.

For running I'm fairly content. As opposed to reworking form I'll simply keep counting cadence and trying to be mindful of standing tall. Here I'm more concerned about strength issues: core work, treadmill hills, and plyometrics.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Week That Was

Monday: evening Masters swim session
Wednesday: evening 40 min. run (zone 1/2)
Thursday: evening Masters swim session
Saturday: Zulu's (2 mile) sea swim
Sunday: 53 mile bike ride (zone 1/2)

Moved up a lane at Masters swimming.

Personal event report from Zulu's sea swim to come.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Roster of Potential Events - 2007 Season Stub

Here's a rundown of some upcoming potential events for me for the stub of the 2007 season:
o 2 mile sea swim (October 6 - but weather doesn't look good) [local]
o informal tri 400m swim/10km bike/2.5km run (October 14) [local]
o informal tri 750m swim/20km bike/5km run (October 28) [local]
o 5K sea swim (November 10 - there's a 10K too...) [local]
o informal tri 1000m swim/30km bike/7.5km run (November 11) [local]
o 10K run (November 18) [local]
o half marathon as leg of marathon relay (November 24) [Maryland]
o half marathon (December 2 - there's a marathon too...) [local]

The November 24th half-mary is a lock - goes along with my annual US Thanksgiving trip to visit friend JK and family in Baltimore. Everything else is just maybe (could participate, could volunteer, could avoid). There are a few cycling events too, but the folks haven't laid out the details on their website yet.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

2007 Season - Looking Back

I put together my 2007 season with an eye to seeing people. For IMAZ, I rendezvoused with my sister and we visited our uncle prior. At Florida 70.3 I saw some bloggy peeps and a bunch of Toronto peeps. At IMMoo I rendezvoused with my sister, we saw many bloggy peeps, and afterward I visited folks in Wisconsin and Illinois.

The resulting structure of the season led to compromised performance at events; nonetheless I did learn some performance lessons:
o  low heart rate training below my zone 2 is not my friend;
o  my recovery from an IM is on the long side:
   o  Florida 70.3 done 5 weeks after IMAZ still knocked back my trajectory;
   o  I could have used another month for IMMoo prep after Florida 70.3
o  stomach may be unreliable after 13 hours:
   o   should cram in more calories - more at breakfast, gel or sportsdrink before swim, and consider transition time/heart rate in starting eating on the bike;
   o  muscular endurance in zone 2 was OK by IMMoo, but burned carbs and had insufficient aerobic fitness to complete much faster
o  even without proper hill training, my build can get me through; and
o  on a windy day I give up a lot of time due to my non-fully-aero position on the Poor Little Blue Cannondale (this hurts bridging rollers too).

If I want to Just Keep Running on the marathon of an IM (or go beyond that and Leave It All On The Course) I suppose I had best train and equip to go sub-13. Contrary to that requirement, although I've very much appreciated my iron-distance event days, the training hours (and to a lesser extent season design) required by a performance focus are more than I've looked to dedicate.

So, that makes three iron-distance races I've done, with two being Mdots done this season. I've used the line: "Training for an Ironman is great; actually doing one is stupid." Really, the toll on the body from the day itself *can't* be good for us. But at least it's stupid fun!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Happy Bloggerversary To Me

My sister has already told the interesting bit of our one-day-apart bloggerversaries (thanks to TriFeist for reminding me of the appropriate term). I've already posted about the blogosphere and me in last week's bloggy thank you

Not much left to say about that other than: thanks for stopping by!

I see that this is my 178th post. Next week I'll re-institute "The Week That Was" posting in part to keep padding the numbers.