Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
They fit comfortably and feel good while wearing them. They do feel supportive and feel like they are making a difference when I have worn them working out. I am interested to feel the affects of wearing them while running. I also like they way they look. The left one is pretty worn out from wearing it under the walking cast and swimming with it on. I will probably buy another pay when these are worn out.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
In mid-October Jackie and I went down to Kenosha, where some of my family lives. We went there to visit my family, go to the family gathering for my older half-brother's birthday, and to do the Dousman Duathlon. This was the 4th year of the Dousman Duathlon and I would be doing it for my 4th time, in a different context than usual. Jackie did it with me as a relay, this was her first time doing something like this. The big thing was her finishing the 2mile run, wait for me to finish the bike, and then do the second 2 mile run, which she did fantastically.
I did ok. I did the 20miles at 20.3MPH (59:08). It felt ok. I am still not in fantastic shape.
It was the first time Jackie did something like this and she did exceptional. It was great to see her out there doing it. She was super nervous. That was another reason it was so great to see her finish. She seemed very happy, and relieved, to be finished.
The next week, my very good friend Matt and I did the Cannon-Wells Duathlon as a relay team. This was the first time Matt has done something like this. He has not run a race since April, and has spent the last month training for the Twin Cities 10 mile. I was not sure how he was going to do. He was fast. Swimming over the last year and focused run training over the month had really paid off. Paid off so much that we finished 3rd out of 15 teams. So we got some hardware, which was nice. I had an ok bike. The course was hillier than I expected. Also, it started cold and warmed up quick. I probably over dressed. Coming into transition I was thinking about getting out my shoes on the bike and doing a moving dismount, but decided against because of the still healing leg and the fact that I have not practiced it this year. So I came to a stop and broke the cleats out of the pedal. Except my right leg did not. The screw I put into fix the last screw that broke, broke. Leaving me hanging in the cleat. So Matt ran over while I struggled to drag my bike forward. He took the chip off my leg and ran off, while I pulled my foot out of my dangling shoe. I need new cleats in my shoes.
I will probably be doing this race again next year. It was a pretty nice little race.
It was a 14 mile bike that I did in 40:28, about 20.8MPH. I still have work to do, hopefully this off season will see my back speed and endurance head back up.
So, these two duathlon were basically the end of my injury shortened season. It was a very good way to end this somewhat depressing "season". I was able to do relays with two of my favorite people, and I don't know if things can get much better than that.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Clif Shot Bloks (Lemon-Lime) – I like Clif Shot Bloks. That being said, I would not eat them as a snack, but I do use them in races and training for nutrition. They stomach well with me and are easy to consume when biking and/or running. I need to drink a bit of water before and after to get them down, and they tend to stick in my teeth, but once they are down, they stay down. I have tried different flavors; in this case I was given Lemon-Lime, which I like. The red flavors are pretty good, Strawberry, Cherry, Fruit Punch. I didn’t care for Margareta. The new package is much better than the old one. The new package lines them all up, which makes them easier to squeeze out and eat. The old package was just a bag and it was difficult to get them out at times.
Clif Shot Electrolyte (Lemonade) – This I like and I have purchased a large can of the powder for myself. I have used it in training and during a race and so far I like it. I am trying to get away from sports drinks with high fructose corn syrup because they are too sweet and hard to take down during a race or workout, even though I have been doing it for years. The Lemonade flavor tastes good and goes down pretty easy. The taste is not too sweet and the consistency is not too thick.
The QR is easy to get on and take off, and the break away zipper is fantastic. It is by far the best feature of the wetsuit. It works perfect and makes getting it off much faster. The break away zipper allows you to reach back with one hand, give the zipper a good solid yank upwards, and the zipper opens all the way down the back instantly. The QR wetsuit also has a feature known as a Virtual Pull Buoy (VPB). The VPB increases the buoyancy in the hips and thigh area, thereby reducing drag and fatigue.
The other issue I have had with this wetsuit is that after the third time wearing it the groin area ripped. It did not rip all the way through, just across the surface. Then recently it ripped again, near the previous rip. Again, not all the way through the suit, just across the surface. I tried to patch the original rip, but the location is bad and the patch does not hold.
When I buy another wetsuit I will definitely give QR a try, but I will also look at other wetsuits for comparison.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
On Tuesday, I did my second Tuesday Night Time Trial (T'N'T) of the year. Leg still not fully healed. Some times there is some pain in the area of the stress fracture, but I cannot attribute it to any particular activity. Sometimes it just hurts. Also, there is pain in my knee (sometimes sharp), ankle, hamstring, and the muscle across my leg. Enough about the pain, on Monday morning I did my usual morning swim at Masters, about 2600 yards. Then I went home and did a workout that was stepping up and down on a chair 20 times, and then getting on the bike and doing a 30 sec sprint (not out of saddle) and 60 seconds of rest, repeat 5 times. Repeated the whole chair and bike thing 4 times.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The show was a mix of news, commentary, and some skits. The last part of the show, usually a half hour or less, was both of them, or near the end just Mark, taking listener and viewer comments and questions by way of IM, email, and text. This show was a great example of how mulitple communication and media platforms can be used to do a talk show effectively.
Brillant at Breakfast had this to say - http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com/2009/07/day-teh-funny-died.html
I agree with the commentary. Along with commentary by many others
Hopefully, Maron and Seder can find a place to display their funny and intelligence
RIP Break Room Live
RIP Air America?
A disclaimer, I have never ridden another set of race wheels, either by a different manufacturer or a different Zipp model, and would like to try something else to see if they make a difference. I will also admit that after riding on one set of Zipp wheels it would be hard to imagine racing on something else.
When I bought my first tri bike, it was 7 short months after I bought my first new bike, road bike (LeMond Sarthe), in about 12 years. After spending the summer doing duathlons on the road bike, I decided that the next year I was going to add triathlons, and to do that I should get a new bike. When I went in and bought my bike, a Quintana Roo Seduza, I asked what upgrade(s) would have the most impact. The answer was race wheels. I did one race on the Seduza before the end of the year and it was on stock wheels, I was impressed with my new tri bike. Over the winter I bought the Zipp 606 wheelset, with Continental Competition tubular tires, Zipp Titanium skewers, and an Ultegra cassette. At the time, the wheel set was approximately $2400. I bought them on sale for about $2000, this does not include the cost of the tires, skewers, and cassette. I believe the 2009 set is going to be about $2400. I anxiously awaited the start of the 2007 season and I was not disappointed. I have only ridden on stock wheelsets my whole life and all those were clinchers, going to carbon fiber race wheels with tubulars is a huge difference. Over the last two seasons, plus one race, I have amassed 850+ miles on these wheels, 33 triathlons and duathlons, plus 14 time trials, and some extra mileage for riding on the wheels during warm-up. I have never put any training miles on the Zipps, they are only used for racing. The wheels have been ridden on the city and county roads of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. They have also seen the streets of San Francisco, St. Petersburg, FL, and the county roads around Austin, TX.
The hubs with the ceramic bearings are amazing, they are incredibly smooth. I have demonstrated the smoothness of the hubs by either holding the bike up and spinning the wheel freely or I have a person hold the wheel and spin it. People who aren’t familiar with racing wheels want to know what makes wheels like this so great, at such a high price. By doing this you can feel, and see, the difference between these hubs and other hubs. When you ride the bike the feeling is dramatic, the smoothness is apparent, especially on flat sections of road where you are really cranking away and you can feel the road, the wheels, and the bike. It is difficult for me to describe how these wheels feel. I don’t have technical cycling racing background, so I don’t know how to couch it in the proper language. They definitely feel stiffer, some might say harsher, than non-dished wheels. They feel faster, but they are also faster. You can feel it and see it in the times. Not just my times, but other people who ride these wheels, from amateur to pro. I have no complaints about the way these wheels climb, accelerate, or corner. It would be hard for me to imagine anything better. If you are serious about racing, purchasing a set of race wheels like this is a necessity.
The 404 front wheel and 808 rear wheel give you the aero advantage at the rear with the deeper dish and the handling advantage at the front with the smaller dish. The 404 front weighs approximately 560 grams and the 808 rear 780 grams, for the tubular. The front has 18 bladed spokes and the rear has 24 bladed spokes. Zipp has done a tremendous amount of engineering both in and out of the wind tunnel to come out with a wheel design that is both strong and aero. You can tell the amount of work that went into these wheels when you ride on them.
Another great thing about this wheelset is how they look on a bike. I have gotten a lot of compliments from strangers on how good they look on my bike. As we all know, there is a lot to be said for curb appeal.
I have done about 18 triathlons/duathlons and 7 time trials and I have to say I like these aerobars a lot. There are no issues with restricted breathing or control. I am very comfortable on them and they provide an excellent riding position. Up to this point they are the best aerobars I have ever ridden on.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
All I have ever worn are traditional two lens goggles for swimming. The TYR 180 Race Mask is the first mask I have ever worn. I have to say that I like it. The mask is comfortable and the vision is excellent. I have never worn goggles that have 180 degrees of vision and it is a totally different experience. The only issue that I have with this mask is that after about 200 yards there is too much water in it to swim anymore. I tried to adjust the goggles in multiple different ways but they still leaked. The leaking is occurring around my cheeks. Apparently my head is the wrong shape for these goggles, which is a shame because I really like them. There is a clasping mechanism on each side of the goggles to hold the strap in place. If you lift the clasps up you can move the strap and when you close the straps it keeps them in place. The only issue is the strap has ribs in it that help hold it in place when the clasps are closed, but these same ribs make it difficult to adjust the straps when the clasps are open. I think that I would like to try and find a mask that fits my face better. I would like to try a mask with this kind of vision in a competitive environment to see what benefits it has over traditional goggles.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
These are the first tubulars I have ever ridden on, and I may never use another brand of tire again. When I purchased a Zipp 606 wheelset I also purchased these tires. At first I choked on the price, about $100 a tire, but after riding one set for over two years I am a believer. If you are going to drop a lot of money on a wheelset, there is no point on going cheap on the tires. I rode my first set of Continental Competition tubulars through a combined 33 triathlons and duathlons, plus 14 time trials, for a total of 850+ miles without a flat on either tire. I never road the tires for training rides, only pre-race warm-ups and races. The tires were ridden on the city and country roads of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. These tires, and the fantastic Zipp 606 wheelset, have also seen the streets of San Francisco, St. Petersburg, FL, and the county roads around Austin, TX. After all this, and not wanting to push my luck, I removed the tires and put on new ones.
I admit that my opinion is biased, I have never ridden another combination of tubular tires and wheels, but after riding this combination I can’t imagine why I would want to ride on anything else.
I have had two wetsuits prior to testing this wetsuit. My first wetsuit was a sleeveless and I wore it for a season. I decided it was insufficient, but sufficient for my first season, and that I was going to be doing triathlons for a long time so I went to a sleeved wetsuit. My second, and current wetsuit, is a full wetsuit and I have worn it for a season. I thought my current wetsuit fit me well and was doing a great job, until I tried on this wetsuit. Wow, the 2XU Velocity wetsuit fit perfectly. There is no sag or gap anywhere in the wetsuit, the fit around the chest, neck, shoulders, and lower body is ideal. In fact, until I wore this wetsuit I did not know what a perfect fit felt like, now I think I do. I only had a chance to swim in this wetsuit three times, twice in a pool and once in open water. I put about 6000+ yards in with it and it was great. Currently I have a stress fracture, so I was not able to really get a feel for how kicking in the 2XU Velocity wetsuit felt, but I have a feeling it would be just fine. I would really like to race in this wetsuit to see how it feels in a more aggressive environment.
The Velocity wetsuit retails for about $575.00 and has many features (http://www.2xu.com/swim/mw1273c.html), as do most high-end wetsuits. I will list the features of this wetsuit below and the details of the features. Do these features add anything to the performance of the wetsuit? Probably. Can I really compare and contrast to the features of my current wetsuit? No. I did not have enough time with the wetsuit, or the resources on-hand to give specifics on how, or if, the features are helpful. All I can say is that the suit feels faster, is faster, than my current suit. Part of that is fit, and the other part might be the features. I can definitely say that if I was going to buy a new wetsuit I would try on a couple more brands, but I would have a hard time not buying this wetstuit.
2XU Velocity Features (From the 2XU website):
Concave Water Entrapment Zone (C.W.E.Z) or “Catch Panel” - Channel water for greater water stability resulting in less sideways movement in choppy conditions. In still conditions offering a channeling water process for greater lift and cleaner water flow movement resulting in more speed through the water.
Propulsion Panel - New and exclusive to 2XU are the Propulsion panels, establishing a greater frontal region due to internal neoprene strips, along with 2xu’s propriety Strakes for more grip on the water for more stabilized power from the kick.
Velocity Strakes - Industry first Velocity Strakes, channel water for greater water stability resulting in less sideways movement in choppy conditions. In still conditions offering a channeling water process for greater lift and cleaner water flow movement resulting in more speed through the water.
Nano SCS Coating – The velocity wetsuit utilizes Nano SCS giving the wetsuit an extra 4% in buoyancy over standard SCS. The underwater coefficient of dynamic friction of the SCS Nanoskin is 0.026 in comparison to 4.0 of regular neoprene. Less friction = more speed.
Rollbar - Industry first Rollbar region improves the buoyancy in the core of the wetsuit. Better body position is delivered through maintained buoyancy when the body rolls off the front panel. This ultimately maintains higher body position (speed in water) and derives power from better positioned hips - enhancing the pull phase of the stroke.
39 Cell Front Buoyancy - Optimizing the maximum 5mm thickness allowed under the International Federation Rules, and incorporating 39 cell rubber - the most buoyant on the market due to the cell density (spec gravity=.13). Maximum buoyancy means less body in the water therefore less wetted surface area, and a faster overall speed through the water. Water is 1000 times denser than air, and has a drag coefficient 10 times greater than air. Buoyancy is the ultimate component of speed.
520% Stretch Lining - 520% Stretch Neoprene with 4 way stretch. This is in turn complemented by the highly flexible hollow polyester fiber lining. The high stretch hollow polyester jersey inner lining of underarm, and shoulder panels of the 2XU swimsuit maintain flexibility and reduce weight. Our polyester lining in the important flexibility zones is 4% more flexible than the nylon alternatives. The comfortable inner layer does not reduce the flexibility of the outer neoprene skin, so your energy can be focused on swimming and not wasted working against restriction. Secondly the polyester is hydrophobic and repels water, reducing weight down the arms by absorbing 70% less water than nylon.
Transition Panel Seam - New for 2008 and exclusive to 2XU, the lowered seem , helps minimise friction and increase hydrodynamic features of the suit. The most comfortable neck on the market. The neckline must balance tension perfectly to minimize both water intake and chaffing.This neckline solution is completed with an adjustable fastening collar system, allowing you to personalize the fit and maintain the perfect tension. Seamless front construction so less drag.
Floating Zip/Back Panel - Fundamental panels many other wetsuit brands underestimate. 2XU have engineered a back panel structure which is strong enough to contain the rigid zip, withstanding the punishment of constant use, but more importantly flexible enough to interact with the underarm panel, and allow the zip to float with body movement. This is achieved by the one piece floating zip panel, no seams so less restriction. The floating zip back panel enhances flexibility of our back panel which allows the zip (by construct non stretch) to move in partnership with the body, especially during the recovery and catch phase of the stroke – when your arm moves through the largest motion from beside your hip to entering the water in front of you, requiring the wetsuit to stretch along your back and shoulder. The 2XU floating back panel also has the advantage of contributing to better expansion of the chest cavity, therefore reducing restriction to the breathing motion. The less flexible 5mm front flotation panel is complemented by the hyper flexible 1.5mm underarm panel and 3mm back panels to promote core expansion and breathing.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
My new girlfriend's sister and brother-in-law have a nice boat on Lake Minnetonka. I have never been on the lake before and the last two weekends I went out on the boat on the lake. Both weekends were great. My new girlfriend is pretty great and so is her family.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I have not been running in 5 weeks. Probably the longest I have gone without running in 5+ years. I have been in an air cast for nearly 4 weeks. Next Monday I get new x-rays and we will see if I am healing, or, hopefully, healed.