Perpetual motion

Can't stop learning…

First thoughts

I was able to pick up a Garmin 310XT from Citysports. Did my first run today with it, and wanted to test it out compared to the Garmin 305. I had them both charged up pretty well (damn near full), and in the middle of Crystal City, the 310XT picked up satellites just a few seconds (maybe 30 seconds) faster. Running through the high rises bordering Crystal Drive, they both had some issues picking up satellites consistently and giving me a proper pace. Ran my normal easy run route and despite feeling like my aerobic capacity has been ripped out of me, was able to do a decent 3.7 mile run. Both watches were pretty close in terms of pace per mile, etc at the END of the run, but during the run (especially noticeable in the last .7 miles), the paces were 10-15 seconds different. I think some of it might have to be due to going through a tunnel. There may be some issue with how the two watches interpolate distances when satellite reception is poor. I think the only way to really solve this will be to do runs where the miles are marked well so that I can test them both against something solid.

Other first thoughts:
The 310XT isn’t any bigger than the 305, and feels considerably less bulky.
They added vibration to the watch that’ll alert you to miles/laps/messages.
I don’t know if they didn’t test this at all, but the design of the wristband (specifically, the little loop that holds the excess band in place) is incredibly poorly designed, though the design is understandable. The loop has two metal teeth that are meant to prevent the loop from sliding around, but these teeth don’t allow for much room at all to get the strap through the loop. I assume that this loosens up over time.
One of the things I really really liked about the 305 (once I learned about it), was the ability to hold down the MODE button for 5 seconds at any time to bring up a menu that not only allowed you to switch sports without going through a number of menus, but also allowed you to turn off the GPS feature of the watch (if, for instance, you were using the watch as a stopwatch for 30x30s or FTP intervals). The sport switching still exists in the 310XT, but the ability to turn off the GPS has disappeared from the MODE button menu.
I’ve had some issues getting the sync between the ANT USB dongle and the 310XT to work instantly. I upgraded the firmware of the 310 immediately, as I had seen there were some issues with the older firmware (the upgrade took ~15 minutes of sync and install time). I’m sure I’ll figure this out as time goes on, but for now it’s a pain in the ass.

Still need to get the ANT+ upgrade for my powertap, but when that’s here, I’ll try it out, compare it to the PT Cervo, and let you know.

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I got my mojo rising, there’s a poodle in my strudel!

Did the Dextro Energy – Washington DC triathlon on June 21. At the end of the day, I felt pretty good about the event. Yeah, if you look at my time, you might be wondering why, but here goes (skipping packet pickup because that’s the same pretty much everywhere: listen to a presentation, get your packet, find your goody bag).
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Chin up, cheer up

I signed up for the Kinetic Half a little over a month ago, thinking it would be a decent test of my early season fitness and a good way to end the first half of my season before going on a break for a week of golf. The last month of training had been somewhat up and down: a 10 mile run where I battled very tired legs and some side stitches (hadn’t had those in years) followed by a 26W increase in FTP. But the overriding, overarching feeling from at least the past month was that there was very little pop in my legs. I should have said something, should have taken some time off (more than a day or two) to recover. But being who I am, knowing how easily I can give up when something gets hard, I didn’t. I went into the race thinking right around 5h would be probably best case, but more likely was a 5:15-5:20 time.
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Putting my hands on her bottom… bracket

This years upgrade to Dorothy: compact cranks. Spread the shopping out over a few stores, and the final pieces (bottom bracket, chain, spanner) arrived today. I was down to just my business socks and all black (so I could put my hands anywhere and not get visibly dirty.
First had to remove the original chain, FSA cranks and MegaExo ball bearing. That took a bit longer than expected, as the instructions, while clear, are somewhat confusing (you have to leave the locking piece in and just force the crank out by unhexing/unscrewing the locking bolt. The whole time I was doing this though, I thought I was just destroying the crank (it’s hard to see whether the crank is actuall coming off, or whether you are just destroying the locking bolt). After that, getting the cranks off was pretty quick.

Finally figured out how to get the crank off.

Finally figured out how to get the crank off.

Getting the new cranks (170 mm R700) on was pretty simple, albeit greasy (like all things bike related). Hardest part of the installation was putting the new chain on. Ended up putting it through the rear derailleur backwards the first go at measuring the links, but once I figured that out, it was pretty much a snap. I’d say the total experiment was probably a 7 out of 10 for difficulty, and could have been a lot easier if I had paid a bit more attention.
Like most things, I’m sure the next time will be much quicker (down from 2 hours to maybe 25-30 minutes) all told. Got in 50 mins on the trainer afterward. Big test will come this weekend when I get it out on the roads.

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A Year On

I finished Ironman Arizona today one year ago. I’ve never been happier in my life. It wasn’t happiness because I was glad the suffering was over… it was happiness that I had taken the risk of failure and worked to not fail. I remember how I thought that feeling would change me – I’m not sure, a year on, that it has as much as I thought it would. I’m still doing many of the same things and making some of the same mistakes. I’ve still got some of the doubts about myself. But I can still get on my bike, get in the pool, get my shoes on, and that’s more than enough.

A year on, I know I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m more resilient. I’m a bit more prone to happiness. I’m a bit more confident. I weigh the same (in an entirely different way), look the same (in the same exact way), sound the same (don’t want to change that) but I’m not the same.

Today’s workout was a handful of fast 100s in the pool. A good recovery from being sick.

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I’m sick. Hell of a head cold right now. The throbbing in my head is worse than the pain of training. Hopefully I’ll be better for my ride tomorrow.

I was starting to get sick during the 10K and I’ve gotten worse since then it’s not gotten any better. Did a 2K swim (pacing like a metronome… a very slow metronome). Been sneezing all day today and now a headache is kicking in.

Lots of new gear is piling up. Rollers, new tools, a new crankset. I’ll add some photos of everything later on as I’m swapping stuff around. For now I think I’m just going to head to bed.

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10K Test of Stomachs

Ran a 10K (well, really 6.25 miles) this morning. All part of testing for the month of April. The short story is I ran a 41:48, increasing my Vdot another 0.5. But the short story leaves out all the interesting bits. So if you want the more interesting version, and you haven’t eaten in the last hour and aren’t eating anytime soon, let’s continue, shall we?
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Making do

Some days, I just really don’t feel like training. Or doing much of anything. But there’s something that drives me to train when I’ve got a workout on the schedule. Maybe it’s the fear of letting someone else down.

Got a lot of testing done over the last two or three weeks. Thanksgiving I ran a half marathon in 1:37.39. That’s 6 or 7 minutes faster than I ran last year, and since last year was the fastest I had run it… I’ve been doing something right. It helped that I had my sister to run with me. Or rather, to push me and push me and then to drop me with two miles to go. I don’t begrudge that at all. She should drop me when I can’t go as fast anymore. So she dropped me and ended up putting 20 seconds or so on me (most of that in the last half mile). That’s a Vdot of 46 or so, which is pretty much what I had been assuming.

Bike test last week was nice. Woke up in the morning, put on my windy/rainy day gear and got to do my FTP test outside. I’ve been riding pretty much exclusively indoors due to illness and/or foul weather for a while, so it was just really really pleasant to be outdoors and have my nose going as the awesome snot factory that it is. I’m beginning to find the infinit a bit sticky, but it seems to be doing the job so well that I’ll deal. FTP was 228W, again as my coach and I had been expecting/assuming.

Swim test of 1000 yds was last Friday. I think I did the right distance. I think. Not 100% sure, but also not sure what direction I was off in. Anyhow, ended up being about 1:36/100 yards, which isn’t all that much improvement over the last test I think (maybe even a bit of a slip). Oh well.

Now the real fun begins. I’ve got my targets and that’ll help really focus the training for some tough intervals. We’ll see how everything else pans out.

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It doesn’t feel like it’s been 5 weeks since I stopped doing anything. Feels far too soon to be pulling out the trainer again to ride and ride and ride and not go anywhere. Even so, it felt great to get out tonight and run for 30 minutes. Yeah, only 30 minutes, and maybe I went a bit harder than I should have, but still, it felt good. There’s a nip to the air now, which will, fortunately, make riding the trainer just a bit easier.

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How I’m Spending My Vacation

I’m taking a month off from training. After training pretty much nonstop from April 06 to last weekend’s race, I could kind of use the break. My body actually made it pretty clear this past week: I’ve gotten sicker than I ever was leading up to IMAZ, and sicker than I had been since. Basically muddling through the work week (and given the markets, I should not have been muddling, but c’est la vie). I wonder if it played a part in the blow up on the run (which, to be fair, was not unexpected and is still probably unrelated) given that I’ve been entirely congested this week, and that would explain the not being able to breathe…
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