Archive for March, 2010

Reap What You Sow

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on March 28, 2010 by brianestover

All in all not a shabby weekend. Met two of the athletes I coach, Noreen and John, which is always nice to do. Saw a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while. Hung out on the beach, went body surfing/swimming Friday in the ocean. Had breakfast with several of my Trisports.com team mates. Had several people over after the race to drink beer and grill some food. Got some first degree burns playing with the gas grill. I’ve never grilled on gas before and well, my wrist proves it.

I love the ocean and would really dig the So Cal lifestyle if the cost of entry wasn’t so high. $350,00 – 400,000 for a condo, that’s hard to swallow. Unless my back door opened onto the beach.

Endurance sports are great. Typically what you invest in is what you get out of them when you race. It’s hard to fake being fit for a 4+ hour race in a 4+ hour race. I’m not fit and there was no faking it. I did set a few PW’s (personal worsts) though. I believe my 29:30 swim might be the worst of my career. My 1:33:23 run was the worst and my overall time was only a few minutes off my slowest half ever. All in all about what I expected. The good thing is, besides being a long way to drive to find out your not fit, I saw some positives in there as well.

The fact that I ran 1:33 and was never in damage control or worried about maintaining pace is an indicator of how much I’ve run over the last four years. I actually felt like I was running about 1:40 pace. Instead it was about what I typically run per mile when I’m just out running. I’m also not as shelled as I usually am after a half. I rode very smart, using my watts uphill and into the winds then stayed low and aero with the cross and tail winds, stayed 10m back if a group formed in front of me which wasn’t very often (unlike #972 who didn’t even attempt to hide his drafting) and I stayed out of the crash #972 and 3 others almost got in. One dude on a red bike went down. 4 triathletes pressed against the cones = trouble. Red bike dude caught a cone with his front wheel and tumbled, hard lesson to learn about drafting. For those power geeks my Average Power was 206 watts, my Normalized Power was 224 watts which put me in with a 2:31:57 bike ride.

I also re-learned that Sram Red rear derailleurs suck. On Thursday at 4pm, as we were about to leave to head to CA, I had to take it to Phil at Pima Street Bicycles. He bumped my road bike off the stand where it was getting it’s 18 month annual tune up to recable the soon to have a DA or Ultegra rear dérailleur TT bike.

Could it have been better? Yeah, it could have been. Could have it been worse? Again yes. Do I need a new rear dérailleur? Damn skippy I do.

Do I really care?

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , on March 26, 2010 by brianestover

I’m sitting here the night before the Oceanside 70.3. I’m not excited about doing the race. I start in 10 and a half hours. I got about 5 hours of sleep last night which has lead me to be a bit tired and cranky. My freaking goggles that haven’t leaked in the pool in weeks, leaked all freaking day today while I was swimming. So we’ll see how it goes, I’m not really optimistic about having a good result, but I’m not resigned to having a bad result. All I really want to do it take a long nap, about 12 hours of napping. So my faithful 11 readers, check back in later this weekend and I’ll let you know how it went.

Ass Whooping

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

Another Tucson Tri Series race has come and gone. Surprisingly, I was 3rd Overall. In a time about :90 seconds slower then most of the 3rd place overall finishes that I’ve garnered in this series. I’m infamous for 2 things in this race series. I hold the mens course record for the most number of top three overall finishes without a win and better yet, the record for leading off the bike more then anyone else and not winning. Six times baby that I failed to seal the deal after starting the run with the entire field staring at my ass. For those of you interested in power numbers, my AP was 239w my NP 245w. The race got away from me at the beginning. The swim took me about :40 longer then usual. At one point, a mere 100 yards into the race, I looked across 11 other lanes. Each lane had 2 people in it, and no one was behind me. Not one freaking person. Nada, zip, zero, zilch. At that point I didn’t bother to look on the other side at those six lanes. A big congratulations to my friend Mike Montoya. He won the final race of the series last October and the series championships. Then he kicked off this year with a sprint finish win to put himself into good position to capture another championship. My other Trisports.com teammate, Leo, whom I’ve not met, finished 2nd giving Trisports.com a clean sweep of the mens podium. Too bad I was :90+ back at the line, a 3 way sprint would have been awesome. Except for one small thing. I sprint like a snail. I’d use old age and treachery against them if it ever came down to it, but they are both older then me, so I’m screwed. What’s up with the young people in triathlon in AZ? 8 of the top 10 men were in the 35+ age bracket. You young MFers are SLOW. The way you young guys race, you’re going to need more time here beginner triathlete.

A big thank you out to the guys at Genuine Innovations. Marty, their CEO was at the race grabbing 4th overall and handing out limited edition black 16g Co2 cartridges. This is a pros and bros only type of thing. I don’t qualify for the former but I do qualify for the latter. Now I’m sporting at least half a dozen limited edition cartridges in case I flat. Thanks Marty!

At the end of the day this result reconfirms what I’ve said. Oceanside 70.3 isn’t going to be pretty. I’m going to need some serious training if I’m going to get through Wildflower without wilting.

You Want Some Blame?

Posted in Swimming, Triathlon with tags , , , on March 15, 2010 by brianestover

I would love to lay blame for my pathetic fitness level on someone. Maybe even you, one of my faithful 11 readers. Who wants the blame?

Really though I have no one to blame but myself. These next two weekends should be interesting. I have the Tucson Tri on Sunday. It’s a sprint so I’m pretty confident I should make it through. It’s so short I’ll have to go train that afternoon as well. Then six days later, I’ve got the Oceanside 70.3 half ironman. This should be interesting. While I’m somewhat optimistic I’ll actually not drown, when your last two swims total 6000 yards and that is just about 35% of your yearly swimming, well, no good can come of that. The good news is I can’t go slower then 1:25 per 100 yards, the bad news is I can’t go faster then 1:20. Not to mention my power meter still won’t give me numbers. While it doesn’t read “You Suck” while riding anymore, it still says “Wattage to low to Display”. Sigh. Stupid f*cking computer.

On the bright side, while not fast, my running is coming along. On the downside, I’ve got one run over 10 miles in my legs since November. I’ll be going for the Area Under the Curve approach to the half run. Let’s hope that I’ve got enough 7-8 mile runs in my legs that I can fake the last 5k. Maybe I’ll go run long this week…twice.

Billy and Sarah have been telling me for months to get back into the water. In retrospect I should have listened. It seems to take longer then before to get back into shape.

Just like one year ago, my bike is still not sorted out. Instead of not changing anything so close to the races, I go and stick on new aerobars. Brilliant, in a stupid sort of way. I realized that the extensions are a bit long, currently, but I’m confident that I’ll grow into them. You need a special tool to shorten the bars. Of course I don’t own that tool. So I figure f*ck it. Maybe by April or May I’ll sort that out.

So kids what I’m trying to say is do what I say and not what I do. It’ll work out better in the end for everyone. Besides I’m a trained professional 😉

What’s with the rain?

Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff with tags , , , , on March 7, 2010 by brianestover

Third weekend in a row I ended up riding in the rain. Seriously, wtf Mother Nature? Although today I wussed out. 9 minutes into it I said screw it did a u turn and went home. My front derailleur was jacked up and I just couldn’t fathom 2.5 hours in the rain with my front derailleur dragging on my chain. So I went home and rode the trainer for 40min. I’m never going to get fit like this.

Yesterday’s ride wasn’t bad, I averaged for 150 minutes 6 watts below what I averaged at the duathlon. Oh well, maybe I only suck a little bit.

Back to the rain. I live in the Sonoran Desert which happens to be the most vegetated desert in the world. Everything is so green right now, it’s pretty awesome! Being in the desert we can use all the rain we can get, so I shouldn’t complain that much and it’s better then 105F temps. Typically we get about 12 inches per year though. This winter I think we’ve already passed that mark. The rain allows me to conserve water as well. I stick my dirty clothes out in the rain in the laundry basket and let Mother Nature pre-soak them. My washing machine is one of those environmentally sensitive machines. Senses the water level in the clothes and adjusts. If it’s going to piss on my parade, I’ll take advantage of it when doing laundry.

Lifeguard, save me

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2010 by brianestover

I’m drowning. Well not actually, much to at least one person’s dismay. But damn, I’m slow in the pool. Every year I say I’m not going to take much time out of the water. Every year I take time away from the pool. This year I swam 800 yards in 5 months. Now I can’t even hold for 200’s what I used to do repeats on. Tonight’s ended up being all around 2:50 leaving on the 3:00. Last August I was leaving on the 2:40. I guess I better get in lots of swim in the next 17 days. Yikes, 17 days until the first tri of the year.

Part of the reason I stay out of the water is they play country music at the pool (or at least that’s what I tell myself). Not that there is anything wrong with country music. But there really isn’t anything right about country music. Sure I can listen to it in small doses. Very, very small doses. But no, where I swim, it’s country song after country song. That’s just wrong.

I don’t not suck.

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

Cold. Wet. And not just your girlfriend. That was what we were faced with at the Trisports.com Desert Classic Duathlon on Sunday. The trails were a muddy, sloppy mess, as if mud makes any other type of mess. Judging from my kit it sure doesn’t make a clean mess. But damn it, it’s so much fun to run in the rain. Especially on trails dodging cactus and stomping in puddles. My high school and college xc skills are still there. My leg speed, um, well, not so much.

It wasn’t so bad on the bike, the weather that is, not my riding. My riding, now that was an awesome display of patheticness. With all the kit I had on the only cold part came with the 5k downhill that saw me cruising along at 29+ mph. Couple that with a chain that skipped unless I was applying some upward pressure to my shift lever and the fun factor wasn’t near an all time high. The front Zipp 1080 is a bit twitchy at times. Sort of felt like I was hydroplaning. Hydroplaning, twitchy and wet roads = some puckering here and there. The rubber stayed down and the Styrofoam stayed up is a decent summary on my biking. Other then I suck, which is the best assessment of it currently.

I accomplished my goal of a personal worst time on the course. 1:39:21. A PW by 4:31! F*ck yeah I rocked it! I was still 2nd in the Men’s 35-39 Age Group. The streak of never finishing out of the top 3 in my AG in this race continues. This is a very sad reflection on how pathetically weak this AG is in AZ. Next year I get to play with the big boys in AZ, the M40-44 AG. When did I get so old?

The run went somewhat well. I’ve never witnessed this race from so far back. I was 25th in my wave in the first minute. The gun went off and I just cruised out from the line. About 100m from the turn to get on the trail, just like when I’ve been up front, those in the back suddenly started to slow. Who knew? I moved up 5 or 6 places in the 25 meters before the turn. Ran past a few more and hit the first mile in 6:10. The first mile of this race is more or less downhill and flat. The real challenge on the first run is between miles 1 to just beyond 2. The course goes uphill the entire time. Hit the 2 mile mark in just under 12:40. Just beyond 2 miles, the course turns downhill again. The smart play is run the first mile within yourself and the second mile hard to make time on those behind and/or pull in those in front. The section from just beyond mile 2 to the end of the run takes care of itself…..if you’ve run smart up to that point. Hit 3 miles in just over 18:10 and continued to push. I got passed around mile 3 then just clung to the dude and let him pull me. When all was said and done, it worked out to about 6:02 per mile for a 21:06 3.5 mile opening leg. Last year I ran 19:30. sigh…..

You know triathlon/duathlon really isn’t that hard when you aren’t pushing the bike leg. I can’t say except for the steep pitches back into the park that I really rode hard. My 202 watt average power would confirm that. Like I said, I Suck.

Second run was fine, had to tie my shoe starting the run, which consisted of struggling to get my neoprene gloves off then tying my ghetto lacing system. I’ve got wide feet and hate my running shoes flopping around, what can you do?

Some dude sprinted past me near the finish. Crossed the line, walked for 2 min then went straight to the Trisports.com trailer where all my (dry) gear was. Got naked, dried off the best I could, put on my dry clothes and got back to the hotel for a hot shower. If you were running up the final 75 meters to the finish line and saw a skinny dude with a really white ass in the back of the trailer, that was me.

The nice thing about racing is it allows you to objectively assess where you are at. Running, I’m ok. A few long runs and some miles consistently and things will be good. Cycling…well I’m going to need a moped if I want to go fast.