Perpetual motion

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Archive for the 'jvance' Category

Epic Fail

I signed up for the Total 200 back in May when I didn’t know what I would do with myself with a total lack of goals for the rest of the summer. It seemed like something cool to do with my fitness, and a way to meet some really cool people in the area.

Woke up at 4 AM. No breakfast really, just some water and soda to get a few calories in my stomach, which was already beginning to feel a bit unwilling to cooperate. At 5 AM, showed up at the organizers house, get my special needs bag set up and get ready to go. We head out almost immediately at 6 AM (6:00.33 AM to be exactly). For the first few miles, we tour the center of DC and then head out of the city as a big group, which gets fractured by stop lights. We pass a few people changing flats but for the most part, we make pretty good time to the first aid station at 20 mi. in. Have a clif bar, refill on water, and top off my inifinit concentrate bottle with water, then continue on through rolling countryside for the next 25-27 miles or so before we hit the next aid station. We’re pacelining, so we’re making pretty good time, though we stop a few times to regroup. At the next stop, we decide to form a much larger group for the 3rd leg. This group splits in two, and I end up in the front group (I actually bridge to the front group as it looks a bit more fun and organized). Once there, we end up rotating 2 minute pulls at the front and hit the 3rd stop feeling pretty good. Well, for the most part, I feel pretty good, but I could probably use a bathroom. But we decide to push on as we’ve got a pretty big bridge to go and some people are antsy to leave the stop. Cross the bridge, and one of the riders asks me if this is harder than the ironman. Harder? No. But very different. Make it to the lunch spot after we swallow a few more riders and spit some out, and I use the facilities. Not great results there, but we decide to continue on with an even stronger and larger group. We make it about 13 miles when one guy starts dry heaving and another flats. We stop at a gas station and I get a red bull as well as top off on some water while we wait for the flatted rider. Get back on, go back over the bridge and make it to the rest stop. I’m tempted to drop off my extra tube (I have 2) with one of the volunteers, but I decide against it…

Good thing too, as I flat 1 mile from the stop. The group stops and waits as I attempt repair #1, but immediately on inflation, it flats again! So I tell them to go on and I’ll catch a group that was arriving as we left the aid station. Tube 2 goes on fine, but I get passed by the group that I wanted to catch. It looks like it’ll be just me for the next 20+ miles to the next aid station. Good chance to spend some time aero. Turns out we’ve got an awesome tail wind, so I start making great time. Pass the two riders from the group I wanted to catch as though they are standing still. Doesn’t appear like they want someone to pull for them, so I keep going. 5 miles from the aid station I run into K, a really strong female rider who had the same problem as I did, as well as C, the rider who had been dry heaving before. We also get topped off with water and some soda from my friend S who was awesome and volunteered. She was on her way to aid stop 7 (also the first one we hit). By the time we hit the aid station, I’m beginning to feel ill. Bloated, I suppose, but just a bit ill. However, the group is leaving and I’d prefer to not ride solo, so I decide to soldier on with them after getting some quick soda and topping off the bottles again. We head out and I’m pretty much hanging in the back. The last 25 miles alone didn’t kill my legs as they are pretty fresh feeling, but the rest of my body is in trouble. Every breath feels like it gets caught in my chest. I’m continuously accelerating to catch the group and constantly looking for an area to pull off and call for a SAG wagon. I’ve stopped having fun, and now it’s all about survival. Survival that comes in the form of a Citgo station almost immediately after I get spat out the back of the group. I use the facilities there twice, reload on water, have some gatorade, and dump some water on my head. I feel better, but I’ve decided the next aid station will be my last as my body definitely doesn’t want to continue. I make it to the aid station with great pace and call it a day at 183.5 miles.

I don’t feel awful about my decision. I think it was the smarted decision, but I think I possibly could have finished. But my mind wasn’t in it, and I wasn’t really in the mood to have my body shut down. So: great experience, and if it fits in with everything else next year, I’ll probably do it again. And hopefully finish.

Power stats:

Entire workout (136 watts):
Duration: 9:21:48 (11:48:44)
Work: 4544 kJ
TSS: 503.6 (intensity factor 0.737)
Norm Power: 172
VI: 1.26
Pw:HR: 4.76%
Pa:HR: -4.77%
Distance: 182.481 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 667 136 watts
Heart Rate: 99 168 138 bpm
Cadence: 29 193 83 rpm
Speed: 1:34 0:00 3:03 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 354 49 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 1059 147 lb-in

Power-Tap #1:
Duration: 1:17:56 (1:25:58)
Work: 637 kJ
TSS: 73.1 (intensity factor 0.753)
Norm Power: 175
VI: 1.28
Pw:HR: -2.24%
Pa:HR: 17.29%
Distance: 24.725 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 585 137 watts
Heart Rate: 107 160 133 bpm
Cadence: 30 174 81 rpm
Speed: 1:53 20:59 3:08 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 273 52 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 1059 154 lb-in

Power-Tap #2:
Duration: 1:21:12 (1:37:03)
Work: 696 kJ
TSS: 86.3 (intensity factor 0.801)
Norm Power: 187
VI: 1.3
Pw:HR: 14.6%
Pa:HR: 0.97%
Distance: 28.2 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 667 144 watts
Heart Rate: 107 168 142 bpm
Cadence: 29 170 86 rpm
Speed: 1:34 26:06 2:51 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 324 48 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 1016 149 lb-in

Power-Tap #3:
Duration: 1:19:00 (1:20:58)
Work: 701 kJ
TSS: 69.1 (intensity factor 0.727)
Norm Power: 169
VI: 1.14
Pw:HR: 3.84%
Pa:HR: -11.23%
Distance: 24.906 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 526 149 watts
Heart Rate: 122 162 143 bpm
Cadence: 30 156 82 rpm
Speed: 2:05 22:59 3:09 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 346 55 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 844 160 lb-in

Power-Tap #4:
Duration: 6:53 (28:35)
Work: 44 kJ
TSS: 4 (intensity factor 0.602)
Norm Power: 140
VI: 1.25
Pw:HR: -19.71%
Pa:HR: -4.62%
Distance: 1.615 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 326 112 watts
Heart Rate: 122 144 135 bpm
Cadence: 29 114 72 rpm
Speed: 3:06 26:06 4:03 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 185 45 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 549 135 lb-in

Power-Tap #5:
Duration: 1:36:02 (2:39:12)
Work: 691 kJ
TSS: 65.4 (intensity factor 0.643)
Norm Power: 150
VI: 1.23
Pw:HR: -0.22%
Pa:HR: 4.87%
Distance: 31.127 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 461 121 watts
Heart Rate: 111 162 139 bpm
Cadence: 31 178 85 rpm
Speed: 1:52 26:49 3:03 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 290 42 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 821 126 lb-in

Power-Tap #6:
Duration: 2:25:07 (2:54:02)
Work: 1195 kJ
TSS: 126.8 (intensity factor 0.728)
Norm Power: 170
VI: 1.22
Pw:HR: 0.13%
Pa:HR: 1.29%
Distance: 49.722 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 476 139 watts
Heart Rate: 99 156 136 bpm
Cadence: 31 178 85 rpm
Speed: 1:44 0:00 2:53 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 310 48 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 828 144 lb-in

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An update

I started training again a month ago (2 months after IMAZ). I don’t really know why. That’s a lie. I know why. I finished IMAZ, and yeah, I accomplished all my goals, but it wasn’t enough. I can do better. I can do a whole lot better. Anyhow, I’ve taken my training to a higher level I suppose. My legs haven’t felt this shelled since I started training… holy shit, more than a year ago. I’m a bit slower running right now, and perhaps a bit slower on the bike. But in the end, I’ll be faster than I was.
Anyhow, I’m doing the Total 200 this weekend and the NY Triathlon the weekend after. I should have some interesting data to show afterwards.
Perhaps the weirdest thing now is setting goals within events given the overriding goals of my training (be able to push more Watts, be able to run faster longer). In any case, it’s weird trying to decide whether a race is worth going all out in or whether i should throw in some training elements (intervals, etc.).

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What are you afraid of?

The question above, when asked by me of others, has led to nothing but trouble and heartache. I ask it when I believe I know the answer, or when I know the answer I wish were what the other person believed, but the outcome, invariably for me at least, is negative. Given the recent events of less than 3 weeks ago, it’s time to answer the question for myself. What am I afraid of?

Short term:
I’m afraid I’ll get fat and lazy again without another big race on the menu. Right now, aside from two olympic distance races and either an epic bike ride through the National Parks of southern Utah or a third olympic, I’ve got nothing to train for. I’ve enjoyed being lazy for the past two weeks, but I feel that it’s time to move on and get back to what I’ve been doing for the last year: doing cool shit with my fitness and pushing my body.

Long term:
I’m afraid I’ll forget the feeling of finishing, of pride, of accomplishment. Of Happiness. Those who were there saw it. I’ve never been so happy in my whole life, at least, never so happy as a result of something I had worked for or done. Never so proud of myself either. I finished. I said I would do something, started the process, and finished it. I’m slightly afraid that the sometimes, or oftentimes, dreariness of daily life (work, I’m looking at you), will continue, not to flatten my spirit, but to drown the memory of my accomplishment and happiness. I’ll always have the memory of finishing, but I’m afraid that it just won’t be as powerful.

Not:
I’m not afraid, anymore at least, of being alone. I may not like it, but I am not scared by the possibility of being alone for a significant portion of time. If this process taught me anything, it’s that I have a great group of family and friends, but even more so, I can find cool shit to do. I can find other stuff to do as well (I did yoga once, and while I liked it, well, I’m not sure it was for me). I’m not sure how much of that would have been possible with a significant other in the picture (mainly because there wasn’t one to find out if it was possible), and while I figure most of it is possible, I know I can do it without a significant other. It may get lonely, but then, you can be lonely with people too.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I’m afraid of, but in light of this process, these are the significant things that come to mind.

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This is my arm

I'm a bleeder
I kinda look like a redneck here, huh?

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What next?!

So, I’ve nailed the Ironman. Well, not so much nailed so much as finished and beat my goal. So what’s next? That’s what I’m struggling with now.

I’ve got a couple of Olympic distance races, an epic ride through Utah, and maybe a couple of Half Ironman races. But having the Ironman gone and over with, I need something to focus on.

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Race Report

So I’ve already posted an update from IMAZ before the race, so I’ll skip that and get right to race night/race day. My sister, whom I was sharing a hotel room with, was flying in the night before the race, and I was trying to fall asleep before she got in. I may have dozed off, but woke up as she entered at like 11:20PM. Slept fitfully for the next few hours until I woke up at 4 to get ready for the race.

My dad drove me over to the course at 5 AM. He went back to the hotel at my request (I get really cranky when I’m trying to get ready and feeling a bit stressed, but looking back, next time I’d have the whole family there, if for nothing else than to take pictures ).

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Bloggity blog blog

Ah… I may never leave Arizona. That’s right, I’m here, the weather is beautiful, the scenery is incredible, and I’m pretty much raring to go. But before I do, I figured I’d update everyone on how I got here, and review the things I’ve seen so far:

1. Flights to AZ: Thanks god for over-the-ear headphones. I have sennheiser 550s (or something similar). They can be quite loud, when needed. On a plane, especially towards the rear, it helps to muffle the sound of the engine. Also, helps to muffle the sound of the ugly baby behind me crying the entire flight. To be honest, it didn’t bother me all that much. I felt horrible for the parents, as I can’t imagine how self-conscious they must have felt. Hilarious note: the bags of peanuts that Southwest hands out? They’re processed in a plant that may process peanuts or other nuts. Look, I know peanut allergies suck, but if you need a warning on a bag… of peanuts, maybe well… yeah. Flights were a bit bumpy, but otherwise uneventful.
3.5 stars

2. Dollar: My mom hooked up a good deal for me on my rental car, and the deal got even sweeter. Turns out Dollar’s idea of a full sized car is a chrysler pacifica. That’s a minivan/crossover type thing, and for my purposes, perfect. It fits the bike in teh back, which is pretty much all I care about. Issues I have with it. Blinker signals? Not loud enough. Radio? It’s got Sirius, which is awesome, but you really have to look down to change the station, etc. The steering is far too smooth/loose. But overall, a pleasure to drive, and absolutely silent.
4 stars

3. The Ford IM Whatever the hell you call it with all the tents: Meh. Look, I just spent a bunch on Goldilocks last year, and I’m not about to buy a Guru or Cervelo yet (you may sense a bit of buyer’s remorse re: Goldilocks, but that’s because I wish I had taken more time and known more about what I wanted/needed). But I can understand why they are there, as this is, after all, a great chance for them to showcase their gear. Did get to talk to the guy from Infinit. Their product is great, and gets like a 5.5 out of 5 in my book. He was really nice, and totally threw me off, somehow, by asking where I was from. Got Goldilocks from Tribike Transport, registered (easy process), and picked up some IMAZ gear (totally jinxed myself methinks). I guess the reason the festival or whatever seemed so meh was just that there weren’t a ton of people there. I’m sure it’ll be more crowded tomorrow.
4 Stars

4. AZ weather: Perfect. It may be hot, but it’s a dry heat. No complaints from me at all.
5 stars

5. Dinner with Endurance Nation: Great. Got to meet other racers who I knew only from posts on the forum, as well as Rich Strauss. I was the youngest EN member there by a bit, I think, but it was still quite cool. I’ve learned a lot from EN so far, but tonight just reinforced how much knowledge there is to be tapped from those guys.

Drove the bike course today. Doesn’t seem too bad, with only one 2.5 mile hill (3x of course) right before the turn around. Also took a 20 minute jog. Plan on swimming some tomorrow morning, and taking Goldilocks out for a spin to make sure everything still works.

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I’m not saying sorry.

To everyone who heard me said I was going to do this, and thought that it was just another thing I said I would do, I can’t say I blame you. I wish I could say that I was angry at you, but… I’m not. I really can’t blame you. Just know that this whole process has changed me. I’ve grown up a bit, but there’s still a lot of growing up I need to do (not too quickly).

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Crazy weekend

Short summary of this weekend:
Saturday – Drive 90 miles to the Eastern Shore. Ride the Chesapeakeman course. Drive back. Total time: 11 hours.
Good news: finished the 112 mile course in 5:31.03 (20.3 mph avg). Could have gone faster, but I’m happy with that.
Sunday: Drive 150 miles to Cornwall, PA. Help Amanda put her stuff in storage before she heads off on her travels pre-B school. Train back. Total time: 11 hours.

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Don’t charge me with your rescue blues

1.5 months to go. I get through the long workouts by thinking about finishing and seeing my family at the finish line. But the long workouts are getting harder. I just want april to get here already.

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