Archive for February, 2009

How many flats can I get?

Posted in Random Stuff on February 28, 2009 by brianestover

Seriously, how many flats in one month can someone get?  I’m on my third tire, approaching 10 tubes and I’ve installed new rim tape. Another flat and I’m heaving my back tire into traffic to teach it a lesson. Did I mention they are all on my rear wheel?  WTF?  There has got to be a limit on getting flats.  To make it worse there are only 28 days in this month.  If there were 31 I might feel a little better, I could actually be going 2.1 rides per flat instead of every other ride.  F*ck riding today, I’m going to take a nap.

Desert Classic Duathlon Recap

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on February 24, 2009 by brianestover

The first race of the year is in the bag.  The Desert Classic Duathlon results are here: 

All in all not a bad first race for the season.  Things seem to be on track, runs were a bit faster then last year, bike was faster, power numbers higher (np 297 ap 285).  Missed setting a PB on the course by about :35 and was just over :50 faster this year then last.  The transitions were longer this year but with a record field the transition area grew quite a bit from previous years, especially compared to 2002, when I first did this race. 

The race played out much like this race always does.  There is a mad rush from the line since it hits a trail about half a mile into the run.  I was sitting in ~15th place once again after the first minute. Dominic made a big move from behind me to bridge into the first group of 4.  Made me nervous for a second, I thought he was going to keep heading up the road which meant I was going to have to make a decision on holding steady seeing if he came back or go forward sooner then I planned. There was a small gap then a group of about 10. Another small gap then the group I was in, each gap was about 3 meters.  At this point I was still in contact with the leaders more or less and running rather comfortable. As we were making the left hand bend before the final stretch to the fencing that funnelled us onto the trail, I bridged up on the right side of the road.  Surprisingly easy especially since I went from ~ 14th to 5th or 6th in about 10m, but this is the point where many people realize they have been over enthusiastic from the gun.  Passed another person or two right before the trail to enter in 4th position.  We were 3 wide and it really doesn’t work well on that trail.  The tall guy in the middle drifted towards me, we bumped, he moved back then drifted back towards me.  I placed my hand on him and firmly guided him over (ok I admit it was more of a shove out of my way since he was slowing and I wasn’t, sorry dude)  into the person on his left and went around him.  I think he was less then thrilled judging from his comment. This move put me in second position on the trail in my wave.  My skills from college xc days still come in handy here and there.  Hit the first mile marker and looked at my watch, it said 5:36. I’ve done about .5 miles of running this year faster then that and I started to over analyze my pace.  

Mentally I just cracked there and started to worry about if I was running to fast to soon, does my training support the first mile’s pace etc.  The string to the first guy stretched and snapped.  The first marker was short from everyone I talked with.  It really was a big mental laspe on my part.  Finished the run a bit pissed at myself for cracking like that as the pace was never too much and there was never pressured from behind on the first run. Decent transition for me, only one dude rolled past me in T1 plus the lead runner flatted so I grabbed the lead in my wave for a bit.  A short bit. Guy in my AG rolled past me so fast I didn’t even see what he was riding.  My thought was just keep him in sight then outrun him on the second run.  The dude forgot to consult me for the game plan and proceeded to put about 4:30 on me over the next 19 miles. Yeah, I’m big enough to admit I got spanked on the bike.  I don’t feel too bad because he outrode the entire field, elites included.  Later I found out he was a recently retired pro cyclist. My prediction is he causes lots of headaches for duathletes all over the country in all age groups.  I really hope he can’t swim because if he can, then I predict he casuses lots of headaches for triathletes across the country, or at least So Cal where he lives.

One more guy passed me on the bike. I recognized him from some other races.  We have the he gets outrun, he always passes me on the bike and he gets outrun in run 2 pattern.  I passed him back on the 5k climb into the park, he rolled past me into transition, I rolled onto the run course before him and that was that. I was able to take the downhill section coming off the big hill on the run pretty easy, as well as some of the rocky sections. No need to trip, fall or twist an ankle since there wasn’t any pressure from behind on the second run.

So all in all not too shabby for this time of year.  2nd in my AG, 6th or 7th AG overall, with solid runs and ride. Qualified for Duathlon Worlds again and got some good feedback on how the last few months of training has been going.  Big props to one of the guys I coach.  Billy set a PR on the course by 1 minute.  He keeps getting faster as he gets older.  Also my friend Jeff, set a PB as well including PB’s on the runs and bike.  Congrats.   Big congrats to the Phoenix Triathlon Club,  the RD and their crew, the volunteers and for supporting duathlon in the US and putting on one of the best season opening races anywhere in the US.

The Bad Ass Lucero gets the Nod

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , on February 19, 2009 by brianestover

The srm has been switched over to the Lucero.  Looks like I’m going to get another race or two on this bike.  Now I just have to rummage through my parts and find a seat.  The seat that was on it is on the Specialized which is at the shop.  So now it’s just a getting through each day waiting for Sunday to roll around.  There isn’t a taper for this race, in fact I’ll still put in over 3 hours of training the day before since the first race I really care about isn’t until April.  Have to do the work now to get the results later.

The first race of the year is always a bit nerve wracking for me.  All the unanswered questions about your training get answered.  The objective data says things are good, power numbers are about where they were mid June of last season, average running pace is a bit faster then this time last year, average length of my bread n butter daily run has gone from 6.8miles to 7 miles. I’ve done much more running in the 7.5-8.5 range but not as many long runs.  So we’ll see.  Subjectively I oscillate from being fairly confident that it won’t be too shabby Sunday to what if I get smoked out there?  So many people look fit and fast before the race starts.  I’m hoping this sorts itself out, as in previous years, shortly after the gun goes off.  After the initial rush from the line, things usually shake out quickly, the fit and fast to the front and the I look fit and fast but am not so fast or fit tend to hang around for 3-5 minutes then fade.  Of course this is relative, if I raced elite I’d be neither fit nor fast and would fade from the gun.  The forecast calls for sunny and mid 70’s for the high so racing conditions should be fairly good.  I’d prefer a bit cooler and cloudy but Mother Nature seems to have other ideas.

1 Week to go until Race Time!

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2009 by brianestover

I still have not sorted out my TT bikes.  I’ve got the Lucero but without the SRM and a seat, riding that bike looks a bit sketchy.  I’ve got the Specialized Transition with half a back brake zip tied to the downtube. Riding that bike seems a tad dangerous if I need to stop.  Me thinks I’m going to have to pull the SRM out of the Transition and re-install it in the Lucero at this point and swap the seat.  Of course I’ve still got 7 days before the race so plenty of time to sort it out….sort of.  Although it would be nice to ride one of them this year before the race. At least to make sure they shift while going uphill.

I race the Desert Classic Duathlon next Sunday.  Should be a good season opening hitout, hopefully.  My power data says my riding isn’t too shabby right now.  The big concern is since Thanksgiving week, I’ve been averaging only about 43 mile per week of running.  This time last year I running on average 57mpw, with a higher frequency as well. That’s a fair bit of running.  But since I’ve been riding quite a bit more then last year at this point, my thinking is, if I give anytime back on the runs I should more then make up for in on the bike leg.   It’s just a thought. We all know thinking is dangerous. 

Here is a pic of the Lucero in it’s current state and two of the specialized.  Note half the brake zip tied to the cage.


Wonder how fast this thing goes

Wonder how fast this thing goes?


The new ride

Stopping = sketchy at best





The new TT ride

The new TT ride! With the repair ticket on the bars.

New Territory

Posted in Random Stuff on February 12, 2009 by brianestover

Not even three years with this company, about 1 month short and I’m getting ready to get my 4th territory with them. At least I kept my job, my territory is smaller and surrounds my house basically.  So now I have bought some time to put some other plans into place.  Primary goal is to keep saving and conserving cash.  I’m not going to stop my job hunt either.  Stability is a good thing, not sure my current company is very stable.    I want to say thank you to everyone who sent me good wishes for today.  I just found out as I’m typing this that a good friend lost their job.

The Waiting Begins

Posted in Random Stuff on February 11, 2009 by brianestover

The waiting begins.  Tomorrow the phone call will come.  I’ll either have a job or not.   A bit stressful. All in all I think I’d rather watch paint dry then be faced with today being the last day of employment until I find something else. Hopefully it will end not to shabby for me, even though I know out of the group of 9 of us, probably two people are going to be out of a job. Good times and I guess tomorrow I’ll know something bad or good or good or bad depending upon how it’s viewed.

Wetsuit Testing DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Random Stuff on February 7, 2009 by brianestover

Finally.  I’m in the process of writing up a report to send to the manufacturer’s and to discussing what I found out. There will also be on my website soon, some articles about what I feel makes a wetsuit fast or not, besides fit.  I noticed several common things that the fastest wetsuits did or did not have or did better compared to the slower wetsuits.  I’ll also post some pics so that you can see what I’m describing and why it may be better to look for these design features….or not.

Here are round two times in no particular order. All are 4 minutes and I’ve just listed the seconds.

:32 :32 :30 :30 :29 :28 :28 :28  :27 :27 :27 :25 :24.  I think that is all the times for round two.  

For each suit I’ll list all four swim times plus give an average swim time.  But suffice to say, the difference between the fastest and slowest suits are only a few seconds per hundred. Extrapolate that out over 1.5k, 2k or 3.8km though and you get much more then a few seconds. 

There were two suits that I was really, really impressed with and two more suits I was really impressed with.  I’ll have an objective and subjective write up for each suit.  The subjective part is just that, subjective.  You could try on the same suit and think I’ve really missed the boat on that suit.  The subjective is what I felt, the objective is how fast or slow I swam in a suit. I’m much more concerned about one then the other. I’ll let you guess as to which.

I went to Skool today

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , on February 1, 2009 by brianestover

Or more frankly I got skooled on Mt. Lemmon today climbing.  Started the climb with a small group of about 25 riders or so.  Rather casual pace, first two miles go through roughly 230w effort or level 2.  Then my friend Kelly, Eric who is in town from S. Korea and a couple of other guys ratchet up the pace to ~250w.  Still no big deal.  Hit the first steep ramp ~ 2.5 miles into it and we shed everyone but four of us.  It’s Eric, Kelly and I.  We are working against this old dude.  Old dude wearing old school Ray Bans.  No shit those Ray Bans looked about 20 years old and the guy was at least in his late 50’s or early 60’s.  Riding a straight block. His largest cog looked to be about a 21. I’ve got one of those, a 23 and a 25.  Yeah I have a dinner plate size cog on my bike.  No one has ever accused me of being a climber. Old dude attacks, we respond, he surges again and again.  All these surges have me over 300w to cover the moves.  (FTP ~265w currently).  At one point old dude throws in a 4 min effort that has me averaging 308w to cover it. We are not even at MP 5 yet.  I’m thinking WTF?  Dude is wearing Ray Bans, more clothes then any two of us, has to be sweating his ass off.  I’ve got my full zip jersey almost completely unzipped, sweat is dripping from my helmet and old dude is laying the wood to our asses.  We are passing other riders going up the mountain like they are standing still.  2-3 min gaps to riders up the road are closing so fast we  almost crash into them.  Old dude is pulling and whipping ass.  I’ve had enough of this shit and throw in a :50 surge at 375w.  Old dude goes away, you could barely see his lime green jersey behind us. Kelly and Eric cover, plus I moved to the outside to give Eric a draft and isolate old dude as I mad my move.  Just after I tell Kelly lets ride sensible for the rest of the climb and he agrees old dude latches back on.  We roll through MP 5 and again I’ve had enough.  600w for :30 and everyone goes away (although this was a bad spot to attack as the road flattens out right where I went, I should have waited but).  Sure enough about 2 min later old dude rides by with Kelly barely on his wheel and Eric is off the back.  After latching on and closing the gap, I’ve fully embraced the realization old dude is not going anywhere and came to play.  He starts ratcheting up the tempo again and again. No surges just a steady increase in the pressure. I cling to Kelly’s back wheel for dear life.  Lose that wheel and I know I’m gone. Keep looking down and the powermeter says 295-310w.  After a few minutes of this old dude pulls to the side looks at us and says “I hope you have at least 4 min at 300w in your legs because I’m about to go”.  What he really should have said is I hope you have more then 1:30 at 390+w because I’m about to go.  WTF? I”m already at 310w. About 1:15 later and I officially went off the back.  Kelly was clinging for dear life weaving and bobbing all over his bike. For the next 1.5 miles I never dropped below 265w and never got closer then 80 yards to them. Kelly attacked him just below Prison Camp and opened a gap.  Didn’t matter, when Kelly turned to head down around old dude just keep motoring.  I never saw him again.  Realizing I’ve been used, abused, and utterly destroyed I turned, chatted with Kelly for a bit and waited for Eric to get back on.  Eric and I then  rolled up to MP 19 never seening old dude again.  We got totally destroyed today but an old dude wearing the oldest Ray Bans I’ve ever seen