Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 Ironman Florida Finish Time Estimates

Chip, Ken, Richard and I did the Gulf Coast Triathlon in May of this year.  Before the race I created a list of estimated race times for our wives.  My thoughts were that they would have the list to help them decide when one of us could finish a segment of the race and be in transition, and eventually when we could finish the race.  Of course, as the race wore on my estimates required some adjusting but, overall, they seemed to work well for the girls.  It helped the girls plan their day and allowed them to do their own thing during the time we all were out on the course.  Ironman Florida will do all that and more.  More time on the course, more time in transition, more time adjustments, and more chances for injury!

The mass start is at 7:00am.  All the times listed below reflect this start time.  For simplicity, I estimated 10 minutes for T1 and 5 minutes for T2.  To calculate the swim, bike, and run estimates I used the results from the Ironman Augusta 70.3 which we have all done, except Chad.  Chad's estimates come from his 2009 Rock N' Rollman Triathlon results.  In addition to the results from these half-iron distance races I used the results from their other triathlons and foot races.  Lastly, I followed the WAG principals for Wild Ass Guesses!

So, without any further ado, here are the breakdowns of my 2011 Ironman Florida estimates for our crew.

Swim (1 hr. 15 min.) 8:15am - T1 (10 min.) 8:25am
Bike (5 hrs. 26 min. – 20.6 mph pace) 1:51pm - T2 (5 min.) 1:56pm
Run (4 hrs. 10 min. – 9:32 pace) 6:06pm - Estimated finish time: 11 hours 06 minutes

Swim (1 hr. 20 min.) 8:20am - T1 (10 min.) 8:30am
Bike (5 hrs. 36 min. – 20 mph pace) 2:06pm - T2 (5 min.) 2:11pm
Run (4 hrs. 15 min. – 9:44 pace) 6:26pm - Estimated finish time: 11 hours 26 minutes

Swim (1 hr. 30 min.) 8:30am - T1 (10 min.) 8:40am
Bike (5 hrs. 50 min. – 19.2 mph pace) 2:30pm - T2 (5 min.) 2:35pm
Run (4 hrs. 50 min. – 11:04 pace) 7:25pm - Estimated finish time: 12 hours 25 minutes

Swim (1 hr. 35 min.) 8:35am - T1 (10 min.) 8:45am
Bike (5 hrs. 36 min. – 20 mph pace) 2:21pm - T2 (5 min.) 2:26pm
Run (5 hrs. 00 min. – 11:27 pace) 7:26pm - Estimated finish time: 12 hours 26 minutes

Swim (1 hr. 35 min.) 8:35am - T1 (10 min.) 8:45am
Bike (6 hrs. 13 min. – 18 mph pace) 2:58pm - T2 (5 min.) 3:03pm
Run (5 hrs. 30 min. – 11:04 pace) 8:33pm - Estimated finish time: 13 hours 33 minutes

After I estimated when each of us might finish the race I then had to see where we each might place in our age group.

2010 Ironman Florida Finishers
M30-34 - 1st place time 8:58 – Last place time 16:45 of 199 competitors – a 11:06 finish time is 61st place in A/G
M45-49 - 1st place time 9:26 – Last place time 16:59 of 283 competitors – a 12:25 finish time is 136th place in A/G
M50-54 - 1st place time 9:37 – Last place time 16:40 of 193 competitors – a 11:26 finish time is 32nd place in A/G

I won't be betting any money on who finishes when but I will bet that the girls will be happier not waiting for us on the sidelines for 12 hours in the hot sun until one of us finally finishes the race.  I hope this list minimizes their torment.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Down - Nineteen More Weeks To Go!

The first week of my twenty week Ironman training plan is done and I feel stronger than ever albeit a little sore.  The first four weeks of my plan are base building.  Sunday is a rest day with the other six days of the week for swimming, biking, and running. 
Fortunately, my family, my work schedule, and the weather allowed for a full week of training.  Having six weeks after the Gulf Coast Triathlon on May 7th without any structured training seems to have really helped me recover mentally and physically.

Swim: Susan and I went to the local recreation center to swim in their huge indoor pool.  Little did we know that it was summer and the pool would be full of rugrats.  Realizing our error, we turned around in the parking lot and went back home.  My swimming location predicament was solved when I decided to opt for an open water swim in the lake by myself, in lieu of a pool with Susan.  The recent reports of alligators in area lakes were definitely on my mind.  My plan for a gator encounter was to poke him in the eye.  I know, that's not much of a plan.  Anyway, my two OWS’s for the week went flawlessly.  The water temperature was perfect for a non-wetsuit swim.  The lake water level is still 8 feet below normal full pool level due to it being lowered to facilitate dredging during the winter.  The dredging is done but there has been almost no rain to refill the lake.

Lake Spivey with the water level lowered for dredging 
My OWS swim course took me from the dock area in the image above.  I swam to the west around a small island and back but not the whole distance in the map below.  Longer distance swims won't come until August during week 9.

Bike:  I rode with Southern Crescent Cycling club members on Monday from Epic Bikes in McDonough. Wednesday’s SCC group ride ended up being a solo ride for me.  The threat of bad weather must have scared everybody away.  My ride ended up being the coolest temperatures I’d ridden in for several weeks.  I even rescued a wayward turtle from the road. I can use all the good karma I can get!  My long ride on Friday was another solo affair.  For safety I stayed close to home.  Friday afternoon is probably the worst time of the week for distracted drivers.  There were also some pretty bad thunderstorms that were expected to hit the area in a few hours.  I rode several long loops through the neighborhoods near my home.  This allowed me to get in the mileage I needed while straying only a maximum of 15 minutes from home.

Southern Crescent Cycling club riders
Monday and Wednesday evening club rides follow similar route to that indicated in the map below.

My Friday ride close to home is indicated in the map below.  I rode the route clockwise to take advantage of as many right turns as possible.

Run:  My three runs during the week got progressively better.  I hadn’t run in a few weeks so it was good to finally hit the road again.  I ran the same 5K route on Emerald Drive near my home on Tuesday and Thursday out and back from home.  My long run on Saturday followed the same 11 mile route I rode on Friday.

My plan called for 10 hours and 45 minutes during this first week of training and my weekly training total was right at 10 hours and 55 minutes.  The breakdown is swim 2:01:25 (Approx. 2.7 miles), bike 5:41:41 (109.25 miles, and run 3:11:38 (23.4 miles).  My bike pace was 19 mph or better on all 3 rides.  My run pace average was just over 8 minutes per miles for all 3 runs.  So, I think I’m starting out pretty good!  I hope the trend continues.

On the mental or motivational side of things, I recorded and watched both the 2011 Ironman St. George and 2011 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas on TV.  They were both broadcast on Universal Sports this week.  I installed an over-the-air antenna last year specifically for events like these.

My next week of training is exactly the same except for an 80 mile Silver Comet Trail ride scheduled for Wednesday with Chip and Richard, weather permitting.  The following week brings a trip to the Peachtree Road Race Expo on Sunday and the race on Monday, July 4th.  This will be my first trip to the PRR Expo.  I'm looking forward to that.  Look for bib #1181 during the race.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Homey Needs a Haircut

If you're older than 20 you'll probably remember the TV series In Living Color (1990-1994).  One of the many popular characters on the series was Homey D. Clown played by Damon Wayans.  Homey was a clown with big hair and few redeeming qualities.

I have my own hair and personality issues but since this blog is about haircuts let's focus on that.  A discussion of my personal failings will have to wait.

This is a picture of me when I was in high school.  You can bet that I'm very proud of my disco era style and fashion sense.  Thank goodness I can't find my 10th grade yearbook picture.  I had really big hair for that one!

Homey Needs a Haircut
While obviously stylish, I've found that the big hair look is less than optimum with regard to staying cool and being aero.  Afro yes - Aero no!  I'm sure that wind-tunnel testing would verify my findings.  All that hair is really hot too.  On a recent ride it was very hot and I was unable to maintain the pace of the group.  As you can see in the next image, the temperature was up to 96-degrees at one point that day.

The Car Temperature Showing 96-Degrees
So, as you can see, I have curly hair and as it grows long it also grows out.  It can get a bit "fro-ish" so, whenever my hair gets too long my wife says "Homey needs a haircut".  To stay cool in the summer I try to keep it cut short.  I also try to get a haircut before an important race.  I think I'm not the only one.  When I ran the 2011 Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Florida last March I noticed a lot of dudes that had obviously taken a trip to the barber in the days preceding the race.  You can't blame them with the high humidity, not to mention all the cameras.

I got as short a haircut as was aesthetically acceptable by my hair stylist this past spring before the Gulf Coast Triathlon on May 7th.  I was surprised, as a native of Florida, that I got sunburned on the top of my head on race day.  This may have been a result of my haircut or the fact that my hair is slightly thinning.
Manuel's Hair LTD. Sign
Manuel's (not my truck or motorcycle)
The Before Shot
Manuel, Monica, Brittany, and Me Before my Haircut
The Bare Spot is Still There
The After shot
Susan standing beside Manuel's Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
I rode in a Southern Crescent Cycling Wednesday evening group ride after getting my haircut and I kicked butt.  The point of this blog is that whether it's getting $2,000 carbon disc rear wheel or a $20 haircut both will help your performance.  I can afford a haircut, the rear disc, not so much!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Southern Crescent Cycling Wednesday Ride

I rode 30 miles this evening with about 30 cyclist.  Most of the riders are in the picture below.  The ride left the Epic Bikes shops on Jonesboro Road at 6:15pm.  The temperature when we left the parking lot was in the 90's.  Most of the riders are members of the Southern Crescent Cycling club with the majority living in Henry County, Georgia and a few, like myself, live in Clayton County.  The Wednesday ride usually separates into 3 groups of riders, A, B, and C.  No Newbie ride on Wednesday!  On this evening, the A group rode with the slower B group.  That's the group I rode with.  My bike computer showed that I averaged 18.3 mph.  The C groupers tagged along behind us somewhere.  I think they may have even ridden a shorter route.

Southern Crescent Cycling Wednesday Ride
Our route took us south from the shop to GA-20, south again to Hillview, through Sunny Side, north on old Ga-3 toward Hampton, west on GA-20 and around the Atlanta Motor Speedway, and finally winding east back to the shop.

A map of our ride.  The group ride routes change periodically and sometimes even as they're being ridden.

Happy birthday to Junior.  Junior is 23 years old (at least that's what he said) and is one of the Newbie ride leaders on Monday evenings.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Ironman Training Plan

My 20-week Ironman training plan is ready to go.  I'm not so sure about my body.  Brain to Knees...Just hold on there little fellows, it won't be that bad!  Brain to Back...Don't you dare give me any trouble!  I finished my plan several weeks ago but haven't looked at it since then.  I uploaded it to Google documents in pdf format, should anyone get a wild hair and want to take a look.  The plan.  I've also included images of 5 pages of my plan.  The plan starts on Sunday, June 19th and ends race day on Saturday, November 5th.
The first page of my plan (weeks 1-6)
The second page of my plan (weeks 7-11)
The third page of my plan (weeks 12-14)
The forth page of my plan (weeks 15-17)
The fifth page of my plan (weeks 18-20)
To create my training plan I simply modified my plan for the 2010 ESI Ironman Augusta 70.3.  I multiplied most of the durations by 1.5.  If my 70.3 plan indicated that I should bike for 2 hours than I changed the duration to 3 hours for my full Ironman plan.  It's as simple as that.  I don't get into zones at all.  I know myself and I won't stick to the plan if it's too complicated.  When I train, I try to go with how my body feels that day.  If I'm feeling good I might really push it and if I'm feeling tired, I won't. 

I set up my plan to indicate hours of training as opposed to distances just because it was easiest for me to calculate.  My weekly training load of swimming, cycling, and running goes from a minimum of 10 hours and 45 minutes on week 1 to a maximum of 19 hours and 45 minutes on week 17.  Trying to fit these hours of training into a finite number of hours in the week, and still have time for the family, to work and sleep, will be a challenge.

As the weeks pass, I hope to chart my training mileage in the same way that I charted my foot race pace.  I like playing around with Microsoft Excel.

Foot Race Pace Chart
Well, that's about it.  I hope all my 2011 Ironman Florida competitors have their training plans ready.  I know some of you started weeks ago so I guess I've got some catching up to do.

Good luck to all and stay safe.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

XLAB Torpedo Bottle Mount Review

My current hydration setup consists of an XLAB Carbon Wing with 2 XLAB Carbon Gorilla bottle cages.  I also have a Bontrager Aero Race Pack that I've used twice, once during the 2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 and again during the 2011 Gulf Coast Triathlon.  Both experiences made me think that there must be a better option.
My bike with the XLAB Carbon Wing and XLAB Gorilla Bottle Cages
Bontrager Aero Race Pack
I purchased an XLAB Torpedo aluminum mount last week.  I took the opportunity this week to install the mount and take a few pictures of the process.

The XLAB Torpedo Aluminum Bottle Mount
I opened the package and perused the instructions.  Perusing to me means looking at the instructions without actually reading them.  I took the partially assembled, straps attached, into my garage and placed it on top of my bar extensions.  The bars were too close together to install the mount as designed.  I'd have to widen the space between my handlebar extensions by about 1/2-inch.  I should have done this when I used my aero pack because it was a bear to get on and off.

Some Instructions
The Complete Package of 2 Hex Screws and Nuts, 4 Padded Velcro Straps, and Aluminum Plate 
The Assembled Mount with my Zefal Bottle Cage and an extra set of Washers
The Distance Between the Handlebar Extensions Before Widening
I placed a paint stirring stick across my handlebars and under the extensions to keep them aligned.  I loosened, adjusted, and re-tightened one extension at a time to ensure I kept the alignment.  I found that I may need to apply a small amount of up or down pressure to the extension (or the stick) to keep things lined up.  I later realized that the handlebars and extensions are notched so this may be a mute point.

A Paint Stick used to Align the Handlebar Extensions
The Handlebar Extensions After Widening
I already had a Zefal WIIZ side opening bottle cage to use.  I may replace the cage to one that is less bulky.

The XLAB Torpedo Mount Installed
As I contemplated adjusting my extensions I searched the Internet for other installation options.  I found that some riders forgo the straps and use tie wraps.  Since I want the capability to easily install and remove the mount I elected to move the bars.

The Mount with a Small Water Bottle
The Mount with a CamelBak Podium Insulated Water Bottle
The Mount with a "Polar Bottle" Insulated Water Bottle
Even with the longer Polar Bottle installed there is plenty of room on the extensions to grip the bar while riding.
The Three Bottles Set Side-by-Side for Comparison
Another Image with the Small Bottle
Another Image with the CamelBak Bottle
Another Image with the Polar Bottle
As I see it, this type of mount offers several advantages, the greatest of which must be efficient bottle replacement during an extended ride or race. 

I also recently bought 2 new Polar Bottle insulated water bottles.  I think I'll like these better that the CamelBak Podium Chill bottles I already have.  The primary difference in the Polar and CamelBak bottle is the valve.  The Polar bottle uses the standard, easy to clean, water bottle valve.  The CamelBak bottle valve is self-sealing to reduce spills and splatters making it difficult to clean properly.  The Polar bottles are made in the USA and cost about $5 less than the CamelBak bottles.  The CamelBak bottles are made in China.

Update: Today was my first ride using the torpedo mount.  I used the small water bottle.  At the 7 mile point the bottle popped out of the cage and fell to the street.  Obviously the Zefal cage will have to be replaced.  I also noticed that using my right hand to adjust my front derailleur took a bit getting used to.   Other than that, it worked like a charm which means less reaching around behind me to access my wing mounted water bottles.

All Bake and No Shake

When I first rode with Chip and Richard last year I had just seen the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.  In the movie, Ricky’s sidekick Cal Naughton, Jr. would say “Shake and Bake” to motivate fellow stock car driver Ricky Bobby on the race track.  I was feeling spunky on that ride and was Shakin’ and Bakin’ a lot.

Now, fast forward to the afternoon of Thursday, June 10th when four co-workers and I rode 34 miles from Harps Crossing Baptist Church south of Fayetteville, Georgia.  It was my first ride in about 2 weeks.  The temperature was in the mid-90’s.  It was HOT!  I had already drunk a bottle of Gatorade during the drive to Fayetteville.  I also brought with me 2 large insulated CamelBak Podium water bottles to drink during our ride and a bottle of water for afterwards.
Three of the conspirators (Chad, Richard, and Chip) as they plot my demise before the ride
Richard was getting ready when I arrived at Harps church.  Chip and Chad followed soon after.  A minute or so later Jeff showed up.  I hadn’t ridden with Chad or Jeff before so this was going to be interesting.  Chad is doing Ironman Florida too.  I had heard from Chip that Jeff was an avid cyclist.  The two newcomers both had road bikes.  Chad rides an AeroCat and Jeff rides a Giant.  I knew I was in trouble when Jeff showed up wearing a Hammer Endurance Nutrition kit and immediately gave out sample packets of Hammer Endurolytes capsules to the rest of us.  Did he have a sixth sense that told him that I would need all the help I could get?  Did I look out of shape?  I washed down 2 capsules, just in case he did and I did.

We left the parking lot at 2:30 pm heading south toward Brooks, Georgia.  Chad took the lead with Jeff, Chip, Richard and I following behind.  This would be the first of many long pulls for Chad before our ride was over.  I was saving myself for the second half of our ride.  That would be the point where I limped back to Harps church.  At around the half way point my heart rate was so high I had to stop to catch my breath.

On the ride back Chip and Richard spent a good bit of time looking over their shoulders to see if I was still behind them.  I let Chip know that my wife expected him to recover my body should the need arise.  She must have a sixth sense too.  I had several excuses for my poor performance which I shared with Chip and Richard.  Chad and Jeff were too far ahead to hear my moaning.

It’s clear that I need to improve my cycling and install another bottle cage on my bike ASAP.  Richard and I both ran out of water about 5 miles before the end of our ride.  The Hospitality Highway Century is only a month away on July 10th.  I'd like to finish that ride without a trip to the medical tent.

My 20-week Ironman Florida training officially starts on June 19th.  Only a few more days of "relaxation" to go!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

2011 VA-Highland Summerfest 5K - Race Report

This is my first blog in a week.  My wife says I'm on hiatus.  I say I'm in recovery mode.  Recovering from training with my friends and not spending time with Susan.  I'm putting a little extra in the time-together bank ahead of the start of my Ironman Training on the 19th. 

The 2011 Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K and Art Festival was today, Saturday, June 4th.  Susan always likes this festival and I tolerate it.  This time I made sure to smile a lot and not mope around like my usual self.  Read on for details of my almost second unselfish act.  Disclaimer: My wife reads these before I publish them.

Susan and I and our friend Eileen arrived for the race at around 7:10am.  We were early and got a great parking spot.  We headed to the registration area, after a brief stop at the port-a-potties.  Registration was already buzzing.  We picked up our numbers and shirts, stood around for a few minutes, and took some pictures.  The shirts are light cotton with the logo in yellow and teal text.  The starting line was only 100 yards away.

Registration (number and t-shirt pickup) 
I had previously checked out the course on-line and even created my own mapmyrun map.  The course seemed different than what I expected.  I later review the USATF map to find that only the start was different.  The course was hilly, as I had been previous warned, and covered for the most part by a canopy of large oak trees.

The tail end of the race
The start was a bit hap-hazard with the runners unable to hear the race director and there were strollers at the front of the crowd.  The Pease brothers were also in attendance.  Their rig was not a problem.  I only saw them at the start and the turn-around.  They were ahead of me.

Dude with 4 dogs
The race started and the estimated 1100 to 1200 runners and walkers were off right at 8:00am.  The temperature was still relatively cool.  It wouldn't last!  I finished the race in a time of 19:44.  I was the 14th male overall to finish and 1st in my age-group.  I'm pretty sure I got chicked - twice.  After I finished I filled out my time card and headed backward along the course.  This is where my second unselfish act almost took place.  I had planned to run along with Susan and Eileen to the finish.  What a treat for them!  I walked about 1/2 mile along the course to the registration area where I waited for them to pass by.  After I'd waited about 15 minutes I realized that I must have missed them.  I trotted on back to the finish area where I found Susan waiting.  Eileen had gone to drop something off at the car.  Apparently, as I was running, they saw a garage sale sign and elected to forgo the race in lieu of some roadside bargains.

After the race I rinsed the sweat off of myself with a 2 gallon jug of soapy water I brought from home.  After a quick change in my mobile dressing room (the car) we headed to the awards presentation just a few blocks away.  If I could summarize the Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K race in just one word it would have to be - disappointing.  Good for them!

A sidewalk shower
Award presentation
After receiving my award.  We checked out all the artwork, food vendors, and old homes.  Susan bought some coffee mugs and earrings.  Eileen got an antique framed picture.

One of the many artist booths
One of the many cool looking older homes
As the morning wore on we decided to eat inside.  Murphy's was an obvious choice.

Susan and Eileen outside of Murphy's
After Murphy's we went to Green's Beverages on Ponce De Leon Avenue in Atlanta for some really inexpensive good bottles of wine.  Sorry, no pictures!

After Green's, our last stop was Podium Multisport on Zonolite Place.  We picked up a few things, petted the store mascot, and chatted with Matt and his girlfriend.  Matt did the fitting for my QR CD0.1 tri-bike last year.
Podium Multisport on Zonolite Place in Atlanta

Bikes and stuff
My new stuff
I picked up a Hammer gel bottle, 2 insulated water bottles, and an X-Lab Torpedo water bottle mounting bracket.  The X-Lab mount will replace my Bontrager Aero Pack water bottle.
To see more images from the race, Murphy's, and Podium Multisport see the galley below.
2011 VA-Highland Summerfest