Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bike Fit

Pre Fit
Took my bike into the LBS for a professional fit during my lunch hour.  I'm tired of having shoulder pain, plus I'm trying yet another saddle and was pretty sure that I had messed everything up from a previous fit about 5 years ago.

The bike fit guy is a Cat 5 racer which could have been fairly intimidating for a recreational rider like me, but he didn't balk at all when I told him that my desire wasn't to be in a more aerodynamic or aggressive position, but instead to relieve my shoulder pain.  We determined that the goal was to get me comfortable enough that I can tolerate my bike for the length/duration of rides that I want.

He first helped get my saddle/seat post in position for proper leg position, then he swapped out my 7% stem for one at 30% to raise my handlebars fairly significantly.  The idea is that this will put me in more of an upright position and take some pressure off my arms/shoulders.

Post Fit
My position on the bike certainly seemed better on the trainer and for a test ride in the parking lot, but the real test will come with attempts at longer riding.

I'm not sure how easy it is to see the change from the photos because they aren't from exactly the same angle.  I guess you'll just have to trust me, the handlebars are about an inch higher now than they were before.

How about you?  Ever have a professional bike fit? Or thought about it due to discomfort?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Live.Love.Tri 2013 Race Report

So...This is the third year I've done this event.  It's the only all-women tri in New Mexico and it's a lot of fun! If you read my last post, you know that I haven't done much training and was pretty much hoping to finish within 5 minutes of my previous times (which were 1 sec apart from each other). Mission accomplished!

Pre Race:  I found out that my race number was 118 and that I was starting in wave 3 a few days before the race.  Packet pickup went smoothly. The race shirts in the past have been short sleeve technical shirts.  This year it's a long sleeve light weight cotton shirt.  I like the shirt, but I wish now that I had gotten a large instead of a medium.

Got my stuff all packed up and into the car the night before except for two things:  the clothes I would be wearing over there and my bottle of Accelerade, which was in the fridge.

When my alarm went off in the morning, I had coffee and breakfast.  Then I fed the dogs and cats.  Got dressed and headed off to the race site leaving my bottle of Accelerade behind.  Oops.

They were racking by number, so I got all my stuff set up.  This is when I realized that I was without hydration (the bottle in the photo belongs to the lady racked next to me). Drat!

A friend of mine had an extra water bottle that she let me borrow, but I was only able to fill it up with water.  No electrolytes and no extra calories.  Oh well.  Not much I could do about it at that point.

Got body marked and found my other friends that were doing the race. All of us are well over 40, but were were out there doing it!  It's a reverse tri with a pool swim.  Here we are ready to run!

The Run:  32:50, 142 overall (previous: 32:39-2012, 31:13-2011)

It's a hilly run, which my cranky knee doesn't like at all.  It is also partly off road and it had rained the night before, so we were running uphill in deep wet sand during part of it.  And I had to jump over an area that was washed out.  Very "over the river and through the woods" kind of stuff.  I'm surprised that my time was only 11 sec slower than last year.  I would have guessed it to be off by a minute or more due to lack of hill training because of my knee issues.  All things considered, I'm actually okay with this time.

T1:  1:07 (previous: 1:08-2012, 1:28-2011)

It's a really weird T1 due to the reverse nature of the tri.  Off with running shoes, cap.  On with helmet and bike shoes. I actually practiced transitions on Friday and am happy with how smoothly this went.

The Bike:  46:15, 138 overall  (previous: 42:15-2012, 44:00-2011)

I expected my bike time to be somewhere in the middle of the previous two years.  However, right after the mid point, I experienced a really bad calf cramp.  Similar to a charlie horse in the middle of the night.  It was so bad, I couldn't pedal and thought I might not be able to finish the race.  I coasted for awhile and tried to get my calf to calm down.  Eventually I was able to start pedaling again.  However,  I lost a lot of time. Not at all happy with how my bike split turned out.  But I *am* happy that I was able to finish the race

T2:  1:01 (previous: 1:40-2012, 1:15-2011)

Again, a weird T2 because of it being a reverse.  Rack the bike, off with bike shoes, socks, helmet and race number.  Grabbed goggles and cap and put them on while heading to the pool.  I decided to swim in my shirt so that saved a little time too.  Very happy with my T2.

Swim:  10:33, 105 overall (previous: 10:05-2012, 9:51-2011)

Traditionally, the swim is my strongest of the three disciplines. I didn't expect a great swim due to the problems I've been having with my shoulder, but I figured I'd do okay.  I'm surprised at how close this was actually given the circumstances; however, I feel like my swim actually would have been on par with previous years if the pool wasn't such a  congested mess when I got there (sorry for the language, but a cluster f@ck is truly the best phrase that comes to mind to describe it).  It's up and back in each lane and you can only pass at the wall.  I felt like there was nowhere to swim for the first half until I finally got past a group of slower women and was able to swim my own pace.

Total:  1:31:44, 130 overall of 251 (previous 1:27:47-2012, 1:27:48-2011)

Well, definitely within 5 minutes of previous and I finished despite a killer calf cramp. So I shouldn't complain.  And by finishing, I got the snazzy finisher's bracelet which is very cute!

After thoughts:

This year they offered an aqua-bike which I didn't find out about until after I had already registered. I think I might try that next year so I can avoid running on hills and protect my knee.  Plus I'm guessing the swim would be a much less frustrating experience because the aqua-bikers get to the pool faster than the triathletes so it should be much less crowded.

I think the calf cramp may be related to not having my Accelerade - no electrolytes, just water.  Not sure though.  I've never had that happen before on a bike ride and hope it never happens again!  That was not fun.

This is still one of my all time favorite events in New Mexico.  Hope to participate again next year!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Upcoming Tri

While I've had a lot going on lately, most of it would not be of interest or relavent to my readers, so haven't had much to share. Given that Live.Love.Tri is in THREE SHORT DAYS, perhaps I should talk a bit about my strategy and goals going into this race.

A little background: it's a reverse sprint tri with a pool swim, definitely a weird format. The run is hilly and in sand. The bike is hilly on streets. The swim is a flat (hahahahah) serpentine pattern in a pool (up and back in each lane, then under the rope to the next lane, and so on). It's all women. It's very supportive and encouraging. They give out a jewelry (this year a bracelet) instead of a finishers medal and in the past the shirts have been cute. What's not to love?

 outfit I plan to wear, arm warmers only if needed
Oddly, one of the first things I've thought about is what to wear. This year I think I'm going to wear a bathing suit top under a technical tank with tri shorts.  I'm planning to run/bike/swim in the whole thing and then just change to a dry shirt afterwards.

Oh, and the requisite funky arm warmers if it's chilly in the morning.  Hehehehe.

I did get a chance to test out my shoulder in the pool this weekend. I got in a swim that was maybe 1000M and my shoulder didn't hurt too much. So that's good. I'm sure the 400M swim for this race will be no problem.

I haven't done much running or cycling in the past few weeks. I'm okay with that.

I've done this particular event twice already. My splits were significantly different each time, but the total time to finish was within a second of each other.

I obviously haven't been doing much in the way way of training for this race, so this time I'm really just hoping to Have Fun, and finish within 5 minutes of my previous time. Should be easy-peasy, right?

Then afterwards, I plan to get cleaned up and meet my daughter to go wedding dress shopping. Gulp.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gaining some confidence

Husband was off riding long with a friend Saturday morning.  He's preparing for a 100 mile ride over two days in northern New Mexico in a few weeks.  My normal running/riding partner had to go into work early. So it was just me and my shadow off for a short bike ride.  It was a pleasant morning.

Me & My Shadow
Later that afternoon, went for packet pick-up for Sunday's race.  Early registrants got technical shirts.  They seem like nice quality.  Unfortunately my shirt is all wrinkly right now and this photo didn't turn out very well. The race is a half-marathon and a 5K.  Husband and I were doing the 5K.  My running partner was signed up for the half marathon.

Nice technical t-shirt for early registrants
I was second guessing the decision to do this race when the alarm went off at 4:45.  From past experience, we know that we need to arrive at the venue early to get parking.  The half-marathon starts at 6:30, those participants fill the parking area up quickly, and it's a bit of a drive from our house to the venue.

It was a nice morning, and I felt pretty good on the run.  But wait, there's more!  I guess the fast people didn't show up, because somehow I managed to snag 1st in my AG with a 28:40 finish time.  Husband also placed in his AG (3rd).  I am super excited about this.  It isn't so uncommon for him to get an AG award but it happens to me very infrequently, so it was a big deal for me.  Woot!

3rd M50-54, 1st F45-49

Next up is Live.Love.Tri in two weeks.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I've tried the following distances/events:

  • Running:  5k, 8k, 10k, 15k, 20k, & half-marathon
  • Cycling: quarter century, half century, metric century
  • Triathlon:  sprint, Olympic
Of these distances, my absolute favorite is the half-marathon.  One small problem though, I have moderate arthritis in my left knee and have a hard time running past 7-8 miles.  I've resigned myself to shorter distances, but I'm disappointed that the half-marathon just doesn't seem to be in the cards.

Lately I've been wondering if I might be able to one though, if I planned up front on walking about half of it. Maybe something where I alternated running and walking each mile.   I'm not sure if my knee can handle being used for 13.1 miles even if half of it is walking, but then again, I'm not sure that it can't either.  I'm also not sure if walking half of it would make me feel more disappointed than just skipping out on it all together.  So for now I'm contemplating this as a possibility.  

Any thoughts?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

July tally


  • 40.9 miles walking
  • 41.1 miles running
  • 112.4 miles cycling
  • 3700 yds swimming
  • 1 5k race
  • 1 new bike seat
  • 1 injured shoulder
  • 1 injured toe
  • 1 massive storm causing flooding
  • 2 weeks resting/icing shoulder and counting
  • 1 daughter engaged!
  • The month started off great, but then injury and other issues got in the way of my planned training. It is what it is...
  • OMG, I now have a future son-in-law!  The proposal was very sweet, he did it in the airport shortly after arriving.  They have two weeks together and then he's off to his next duty station.
  • A 5k race and an all women Sprint tri later this month.