As I train for my next race my mind seems to wander, as I'm sure most people do in a similar situation. I might think about the things I should be doing around the house but, alas, the grass grows a little longer, the hedges don't get trimmed and edging, well, "I'll do it next week" I promise my wife. I try to block those thought for more interesting like, maybe I should adjust my bike seat post up 1/4". I wonder if I'd lose much power or how much time I could save if only I reduced my wind resistance. Am I happy with my grip tape? I suppose I could be happier with a different color and maybe some that's a little "stickier".
After reading a post on Facebook about gearing I decided to see what my bikes have and put them to print (blog) so I can go back and check months from now when I forget. Specifically, is a compact or standard crank the best for my upcoming races? I'm talking about the Ironman Augusta 70.3 and Ironman Florida.
For me the answer to this question is a no brainer! I'll be riding my QR CD0.1 tri-bike with a standard 39t/53t x 170mm Vision crankset and Flashpoint FP60 wheels with a 12t/25t Ultegra cassette.
My tri-bike came with a stock Quintana Roo branded Alex wheelset with a 12t/23t Ultegra cassette. I won't use them to race.
My Trek 5.2 road bike stock wheels include a compact 34t/50t x 170mm Ultegra crankset and a 11t/28t Shimano 105 cassette. It's great for hills but neither course is hilly, unless you're from Florida where bridges are hills.
The Augusta course is slightly hilly but nothing I shouldn't be able to handle with the standard Vision crankset. Florida is pancake flat except for the bridge which we'll ride over twice. So, that's it, a 39t/53t x 170mm crankset and a 12t/25t cassette.
My second random thought has to do with the Augusta swim course. Anyone who has ever thought about doing a 70.3 triathlon, and is concerned about the swim segment has invariably been told to register for the Augusta race. I'm a consistent 2:00 per 100m swimmer. In Augusta I'm a blistering 1:29 per 100m swimmer. Of course some of that has to do with the adrenalin of race day, but not 25%. So, obviously the river current has something to do with my improved Augusta swim pace. That's where my thoughts are focused. Theoretically, the water on the edge and bottom of the river is not moving at all. And, theoretically, the water at the center and top of the channel is moving the fastest. Anywhere between the center of the channel and the edge of the river bank is moving somewhere less than the fastest velocity and faster than at the edge of the river. I want to swim where the water is moving the fastest therefore, nearest the center of the channel as the kayakers will allow. Of course, this is not taking into account eddies from and bridge towers and abutments.
My third thought, has to do with Ironman training in general terms. As me and my 3,400 or so other competitors train for Ironman Florida the thought of injury comes to mind. Currently, I occasionally urinate blood, I have an inguinal hernia (going to the doctor tomorrow), and a knot in my eyelid that looks like a bug bite. It's no wonder with all the sweating, sneezing after every open water swim, and getting crap in my eyes. Training is like riding a knife's edge between extreme fitness and tragic injury.
My forth and final thought has to do with laundry. My cycling gloves stink so bad I could hardly stand to wear them today. I've got several pairs of gloves but I usually leave them in the garage with my shoes, helmet and other bike paraphernalia. I can't do that any more. There's probably more bacteria growing on my gloves than in my toilet. In the future I will wash my gloves when I wash my shorts and jersies.
Thanks for reading.