Archive for February, 2010

What a difference a year makes :-(

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by brianestover

This time last year I was building my Lucero back up for the Desert Classic Duathlon. The big question wasn’t how was my fitness, although I was wondering about how it would pan out, but more like are my cranks going to fall off at some point, did I tighten the seat or did I remember to tighten the bolts that hold the brakes in. Stopping is important after all.

Now one year later, I have big questions about my fitness. Actually that’s bullshit. I have no questions about my fitness, I’m just not fit. Comparing year over year for the last three years at this time my FTP in 2008 was 272, last year 290 this year a burly 235w. I’m heavier now as well. Nothing says getting your ass kicked better then being fat and having a low FTP. Fortunately the news gets no better on my quest to set a PW (personal worst) on this course. My run pace two years on the first run was 5:42, last year was 5:31 per mile. This year, I’ll be lucky to be below 6:15. All in all I figure I should be out on the course for about 4-6 minutes longer then it’s ever taken me for this race. That doesn’t sound like much, but at last years race, I ran sub 6:00 for the second run. So I’ll be at least 1 mile behind where I was. 1 mile is a beat down.

Any punters on how slow I go compared to last year? I’ll lay $15 on 5:47 slower. What’s your bet?

What can you do? When the fitness isn’t there there is no faking it. I’m going to get my ass kicked for sure. There should be several happy people in my age group. I noticed several names on the start list that have never beaten me before, many of those guys are 0 and double digits against me. Sunday is their big day!

The only bright news heading into the race, is I’m running a slightly faster wheel set and a faster frame then last year. That should get me, oh call it :15-:20 seconds back.

There it is, the old, new ride. I need to come up with a nickname for it. My old bike was the Bad Ass Lucero. It was black so what did you expect? This is red. Bad Ass and red bikes just don’t go together. Maybe the Cute and Polite cycle? Or Thank God I’ve got black wheels otherwise I’d be a poser bike. Seems kind of long.

Check back in next week kids to see how bad I get my ass kicked.

Rude dude

Posted in Random Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by brianestover

I’m running at the gym over lunch today. This older guy, keeps getting on the chin up bar. He proceeds to do about 20 chin ups. Not bad for an older fellow. But his chin ups consists of him lower himself about 4 in down then back up. He then disappears. About 10 minutes later, he comes back. Does the same thing and disappears. 10 minutes later here he comes again. About the 5th time he does this, I’m finally walking a bit of a cool down. He proceeds to tell me he did over 60 chin ups and he is 65. Like I really care. So I told him if you are only going to lower yourself 4 inches, I wouldn’t really count those as doing chin ups. He then proceeded to call me an asshole. Unbelievable.

F you UCI

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by brianestover

Thanks for screwing things up (again). You’ve ruined my great plans for new aerobars. All because you can’t get out of your own way while putting arbitrary, at least in my opinion, length x width rules in place. The stupid 3:1 rule. Now the people who make the handlebars I was going to get don’t make them anymore. So instead I’m going to end up with some aero bars that aren’t as aero. Maybe they should be called semi-aero bars instead. Or I could spend 25% more and get aero bars that are as aero. And if I do, I’m showing up at my local time trials and beating down some UCI approved aerobar aerobar riders. I’m a triathlete after all. Rules? I don’t care about no stinking rules.

Rider positions, frame design, aerobar design, frame shapes, they shived the Shiv, took the drink right off the P4, and on and on. Jean Wuthier is an idiot and the UCI can’t even interpret their rules consistently. The UCI would rather have people go slow them come up with ways to make a bike faster. Everyone wants to go faster. Faster riders, setting records draw more media attention and fans. Fans buy more stuff. It’s a positive feedback loop. By their own rules, anything shaped faster then the slowest shape you can design should be illegal.

Maybe I’m just po’d that the great idea I had to put on new aero bars got foiled by some dummies in Switzerland.

On a side note, I tagged a previous post with the word porn. Seems lots of people surf wordpress blogs for that word. I got a ton of hits off that key word. So many in fact, I’m tagging every post with the word porn.
Hell yeah, I’m whoring my blog out!

so so wet

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on February 20, 2010 by brianestover

No it’s not a porn review, that’s my other blog 😉 It was raining again in Tucson today. Unfortunately, I enjoy riding in the rain. Call me crazy or odd, go ahead, you won’t be the first. I’ve got all the proper kit somewhere. Rain cape, neoprene toe covers, water proof booties, neoprene gloves. Add in some leg/arm warmers plus an undershirt under the long jersey and you are pretty much set for a sort of comfy ride.

Since I’m participating in a race next weekend, I figured let’s go with the Specialized Transition. Lets call that mistake #1. Even though it was sprinkling when I left the house, I choose to leave the rain cape on the couch and go with the vest. Lets call that mistake #2. The neoprene gloves were left on the shelf where they normally rest. And you see where this is leading to, mistake #3.

Once it actually started to rain, it wasn’t so bad. Kind of warm, a light drizzle and a tailwind that would push me up the back side of Gates Pass with it’s 14% grade. My kind of climbing! Prior to that, rolling along Kinney Rd the side wide and a little lean and you were motoring along at 27mph.

But once I hit the bottom of Gates, I noticed I could see my breath. No good can come of that. Cold and wet facing a 5k descent after a climb. The wind started to pick up and it began to rain harder during the climb. One over the climb, going down the descent was sketchy. Sketchy because every horror story you’ve ever heard about Specialized Transitions brakes is true. They don’t have the best stopping power normally. When wet they have almost no stopping power. I was going 25mph downhill with a death grip on both brakes. Full squeeze and no slower. Normally I don’t mind going 35+ downhill. But when it’s wet, and you have slippery aluminum base bars with almost no place to put your hands when braking, it’s a little sketchy.

This is where mistake #2 and 3 come into play. With a rain cape, I probably wouldn’t have been shivering. Cold + wet + 5km downhill = lots of shivering and numb hands. I’d have called someone for a ride but there was no way I could use the buttons on my phone. Awesome!

The aftermath:
A pile of wet clothes and shoes minus jersey and undershirt which are in the washing machine.

Warming up:

Oh so much fun, once I stopped shivering after I got home. I sure hope my shoes dry out before tomorrow’s ride.

Triathletes read this

Posted in Random Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by brianestover

I’ve already given you advice about your fashion mistakes. I’ve tried to tell you how to dress. But you refuse, for some odd reason, to listen to me. I’m saving us all embarrassment, and by us, I mean mainly you. I knew you were a triathlete even though you were riding a road bike. How did I know? It was easy. You thought you were fooling people. No such luck. No cyclist is going to be wearing an Ironman jersey. Nor will they wear cycling shorts, knee warmers and CEP white compression socks. No cyclist will have compression socks pulled up high enough to go under their knee warmers. If you are going to do that, please, please look in the mirror before you leave the house. If you need compression socks and you need knee warmers what you really need are full leg warmers.

But wait.

That’s not the only reason I knew you were a triathlete. Did you know your cycling jersey comes with pockets? “OMG I didn’t know” you say. Yes, 3 pockets I very kindly tell you. You can remove that overstuffed bento box from your top tube and put those gels, clif bars and only God knows what else was in your bento box in your cycling jersey pockets. But how you say? Glad you asked. Here is a simple way to stuff your jersey. Cell phone in the middle pocket, gels on one side, house keys on the other side (Seriously though, who even locks their house when they go ride or run?). What more do you need? Chapstick? Stick that in with the keys. If it’s a long ride and you might need more then 1-2 gels, put two in each pocket and dump the keys in with the cell phone in the middle pocket.

There you go, some more sensible fashion advice. Please start looking in the mirror before you leave the house, follow my fashion advice and do us all a favor.

So Long Bridgette

Posted in Stuff with tags , on February 11, 2010 by brianestover

You’ll be missed very much.

I had a last few weeks with her knowing this was the end result. I’m not yet sure if that makes it less or more painful. It’s weird coming home to a dog free house. First time in a bakers dozen that I’ve been faced with this.

She was different then my other dog, more aloof, liked to hide in the closet, make me step over and around her while trying to get the shirt and tie on in the mornings. Bridgette was the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned. I could walk her off leash with no worries. A quick whistle and she came right back to me. She was always in such a hurry to get out of the door for her walk and get back into the house when done. If in the future when I get another dog or two, if they are half as sweet as her, I’ll be one lucky bastard.

From good to bad

Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff with tags , , on February 11, 2010 by brianestover

Yesterday’s run was great. It was cold and raining. There was snow hanging low on the mountains. It was the longest run I’ve done since the day after Christmas. 7.2 miles. The sun popped out about halfway through for 3 minutes, giving me two huge rainbows to guide me back home. There was no one else on the path, just the sounds of my feet landing on the wet spongy ground. It felt like I was running, like I’ve turned the corner towards being a runner again. It felt good!

Last night Bridgette got worse. I’ve made the decision to put her down this afternoon. I’m hoping the vet can squeeze me in. When your dog can suddenly no longer stand up by herself when she has been laying down, it’s time. She has been struggling some with getting up, but has always managed to. But not now. I’ve made her breakfast for the last time. Only one more walk to go. A short jaunt down the alley to the park this afternoon to let her sniff around, then her final car ride. Even with a few weeks to prepare for this, one would think I’d be prepared for the finality of it. I’m really not.


Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff with tags , , , on February 8, 2010 by brianestover

Over the last few weeks I’ve been struggling. Struggling with trying to get back into shape, struggling with having to now put down Bridgette which has caused me to rethink lots of other things. I’m struggling to find a house I like enough to buy, struggling to get stuff around here done as efficiently as I used to. It’s kind of like I’m in some sort of haze which is making me go at 90% while everything else is full speed ahead. Lately I find myself questioning everything, things I used to take for granted.

Having to put Bridgette down this coming Saturday has really thrown me for a loop. If the appointment wasn’t already scheduled, after tonight’s walk, I’d put her down sooner. I could actually see her ability to walk decline as the walk progressed tonight. She became a little slower, started scraping her back paw against the ground more and she started limping. It was sad, I cut the walk short, I couldn’t deal with it. On the other hand, the prednisone has made her act 2-3 years younger. She is playing more around the house at least in spurts, squeaking her toys more then normal, flipping them around and chasing after them when she launches one across the room. It brings a smile to my face to watch her. It’s going to be weird not owning a dog after Saturday, or at least not having one around. Over the last 12 and a half years, I figure I’ve walked my dogs over 5,000 miles. That is a lot of time to spend with your dog. That seems to be the one thing I’m not questioning is having my dogs. I never really though about the day I’d have to stick them down. I don’t think many people get a dog with that end point in mind. Hey lets get a puppy, get really attached to it, spend all this time with it, have it amuse me for a 10+ years then put it down. I bet if they thought about how much sticking your dog down sucks, there would be less pet owners. I’m going to enjoy the last few days with her, gently playing tug of war with her, snuggling with her before we go to bed and petting her often. While I’m doing that, hopefully an answer or two will come to me as well.


Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by brianestover

Since getting back into decent shape is proving to be a struggle, I need to be pragmatic about the early season goals I set out for myself. While doing well at the Desert Classic Duathlon would be great, and racing at the front of my age group and the amateurs in Oceanside was a goal, given that I’m in piss poor shape right now, maybe a reset is in order.
It’s one thing to be optimistic, it’s another thing to be unrealistic. Realistically, I don’t have the time to get into the shape I need to be to meet my original goals. This is the worst shape I’ve been in in the last 6 years or so. Since October, the pool has seen me once for 800 yards and I’ve yet to make an appearance this year. After crashing my bike, I didn’t run for 24 days. Over the last two weeks I’ve managed almost 37 miles of running. That is not going to help me get to the finish line in a speedy manner. Neither is running at the speed I’m currently plodding along at. My cycling has been almost none existent as well, maybe 150 miles since the crash. At least that seems to bounce back fairly quickly if past history is any indication.
What needs to be done? As I’d tell any of the athletes I coach who are making a comeback from injury or illness, consistency is the key. No days without working out. A workout or two or three a day keeps the rest of the competition at bay. Or at least gets them closer then they would have been. So that’s the plan. Workout and workout often.

On a side note, congrats to Erin, 3rd place at the U of A crit in her category!