Archive for rain

Back East

Posted in Random Stuff, Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , on October 13, 2011 by brianestover

I’m home, well sort of at home, where I grew up anyway. I’ve been back quite a bit this year, most, actually all of my trips back this year have been associated with bad events. The first was for my grandfathers funeral, the second was because my Mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the third trip was to hang out with her until she passed away, the fourth trip was to handle some stuff from her estate. I spent that entire trip running a fever and dealing with a sore throat. This trip is to unwind most of the rest of her estate.

I also managed to run today. In the rain. On my favorite trails, in the world. Hyde Park or the 3 park loop in London? Sorry not as good. Parc de Bruxelles? Nope not there either. Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rome, Sydney or the beach in New Zealand. No, no, no, no and again no. Although it was nice being able to jump into the ocean after the beach run in NZ. But it’s still a no.

It’s been over 15 years since I first ran these trails. Little trees that were blazed with a red rectangle marking the trail have grown up twisting as they grew, pointing the blaze off into the brush. Logs that were imbedded to be erosion controls have now decomposed to earthen berms. Branches that used to rip the hat off my head are now out of reach of my vertical jump. Park benches have been replaced, thrice. The muddy areas are still muddy, the clay areas still clay. Things change and they stay the same.

It was very enjoyable to run in the rain. Listening to the rain hit the canopy of leaves that are in the process of turning from green to golden. The occasional huge raindrop dropped from the trees exploding on one spot of my face drenching it. You could feel the mud clumping in the grooves of your shoes then breaking off as you ran down the next few feet of trail. Roots snagging the tips of your shoes as you toed off, reminding you that misplacing your feet could send you failing down the trail to a crash landing. Your feet sliding sideways on wet roots as you surfed around a bend in the trail. The quietness, just you, the rain, squirrels dashing out of the rain. No car noises, no people noises, no plane noises. Only the quietness of nature and you running.

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.

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 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 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.

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.