Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nothing Fancy

Stockholm Syndrome - Stockholm Syndrome is when a hostage, kidnap victim or abuse victim (triathlete) develops a sense of loyalty or co-operation towards their captor or abuser (triathlon coach), disregarding the abuse or the danger and protecting or sustaining the perpetrator.
Gotta think about something on a long ride :-)
This past Saturday, I hated my coach. My “non woosie” ride felt slow. I was probably still feeling the effects of my 2+ hour interval ride in 100 degree heat two days prior. Anyway, all I could think about during my ride was how tired my legs felt and how Coach K had a 22 mile run scheduled for me the next day. Is that man insane? Is he trying to kill me? What is wrong with 18 or 20 miles? Does this extra 2-4 miles really do anything for me other than torture me for an extra 20 minutes?

Breakthrough Run

Coach K called the 22 mile run a “breakthrough” run. He described it asNothing fancy.

Especially on a 22 mile run!

During my super slow “breakthrough” run (I think he meant “breakdown” LOL) I had plenty of time to ponder the error of my ways. What was I thinking signing up for a 140.6 mile race? Coach K isn’t the insane one, I am! On top of that, I’m paying him money to come up with ways to torture me! How stupid is that? Sunday’s thermometer was relatively cooler at 90+ degrees, but it was still hot and my slow pace gave me plenty of time to work on my tan and think about how stupid all this training is.


Monday I checked in with Coach K and reported the following…

He explained that it was an overload so slow was OK. He then gave me a “complete rest day” with an easy ride the following day? OMG!

This guy is the BEST COACH EVER!

     The man is a genius!

          A complete rest day!!

               Two Mondays in a row!!!

                    What did I do to deserve this???

And that is when it dawned on me that I may have Stockholm Syndrome. A mere 24 hours earlier I was cursing him and his stupid workout schedule and now he is a freakin’ hero?!?!

Taper Time

Pretty soon he’s going to be scheduling my taper. I can just see it now…

Coach K: “Here’s the first week of your taper…time to ease up a bit”
Me: “Really? I get a taper? Y-O-U  A-R-E  A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!” 
Coach K: “Yeah, I know…but first you need to rob a bank.” 
Me: “Hmmm, OK…but I get to taper after that, right?”

Monday, June 22, 2015

Short and Sweet (Unlike My Workouts)

Tale of the Tape
  • Swim = 4,200y, 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Bike = 109 miles, 5 hours 42 minutes
  • Run = 20 miles, 3 hours 9 minutes


I did my longest swim to date…and I mean EVER in my life!  I managed to get 4,200y done in about an hour and 20 minutes and that included my time on the wall. Not bad for me. Now if I can swim that well in the race J


I was at a loss for where to ride on Saturday. I wanted to go do the Vineman course, but there was a scheduling miscommunication, so that ride was moved back a week. Instead of Vineman, I opted to do the Pancake ride. Since this ride is typically about 4+ hours, I got on the trainer for roughly an hour before the ride. Once I got home from the ride, I did loops around my neighborhood for another 45 minutes to try and reach my scheduled 5-1/2 hour ride time.

I was pretty pleased with myself until I saw Coach K’s comment on next Saturday's long ride…”no woosy flat rides.” Whatever!!!  LOL


This was the toughest workout for me this weekend. Mentally I was done. I had no desire to get up and go run. When I finally managed to get dressed and out the door, I just wanted to cry. I stood in front of my house waiting for my Garmin to sync up with tears in my eyes. I don’t want to do this…I want to go back to bed…I don’t want to run.

I need to be more like Carl

Please, please, please I begged my legs…just one step, it will get better…I promise. I eventually started moving and when my Garmin chirped at the completion of mile one, the only thing I could think was “one down, nineteen to go”. It was enough to almost make me start crying again. Somehow I managed to get through all 20 miles and at a slightly better pace than last week. I was never more happy to be done with a workout than I was on Sunday!

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Thumbs are Killing Me

On May 24, I reported to Coach K that my ankle was sore after my long run. I wasn't sure if I should say anything because my achilles always seem to end up bothering me, but I figured it would be best if he knew. A week later, things were still stiff and sore so I was given a revised workout schedule that did not involve running.

On June 5, Coach K checked in with me to see how things were going after my bike/swim week. Physically (and mentally) I was a wreck...

...my response continued...

I'm sure after that response he was sorry he asked! LOL

Anyway, that little tirade earned me 3 days off from training...3 days to rest and get my head straight. Luckily, it worked. It almost worked too good, because on the 4th day I really wasn't sure I wanted to start training again. I was really enjoying the come home from work and kick back lifestyle. I had time to clean up a bit, catch up on laundry, and cook dinner at a reasonable time. It was all I could do on that Thursday to get back on my bike.

Who has two (SORE!) thumbs and loves riding on the trainer?
This girl!
I'm Serious About My Thumbs

People think I'm joking when I tell them that my thumbs are killing me but I'm dead serious...my thumbs HURT! I keep trying to figure out what the problem is... Too much shifting on the bike? Hanging on too tight to my hand paddles when I swim? I don't get it... but I think I may have just figured it out.

As I was writing this, I decided to look for a funny image or something about sore thumbs. I Googled sore thumb images and got lots of stock "thumbs in a bandage" stuff, but I also discovered a comic book called Sore Thumbs. Now, mind you, I have no idea what this comic is about, but it looks like it may be a little risque. Anyway, one of the covers show a female taking off her shirt...

This was my "ah ha" moment. Have you ever tried to take a sweaty sports bra or tri top off? It can be quite a task. I often give up and have HS help me. I think this could be the cause of my sore thumbs! Hitching my thumbs into my sports bra and trying to wrestle it up and over my head? Mystery solved! LOL


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Long Weekend (5 more to go)


Since I was off work Friday, I took care of some much needed housework and laundry. I also ordered the replacement parts for the cockpit of my bike. Once I was sufficiently caught up on everything, I started looking at my training schedule for the weekend...this was going to be a long, hot weekend...

90% of my laundry is workout clothes...it doesn't need to be folded :-)
Although it wasn’t on my training schedule, I decided to go for an easy 60 minute run in the afternoon, just to start to get better acclimated to the heat. I’m not sure of the exact temp, but it felt hot and I wilted within a couple of miles. I finished off the afternoon with the scheduled swim workout, but pulled the plug early due to toe cramps (no doubt caused by my impromptu run).

That afternoon I got a message from Coach K…”Racing or training?” I replied that I was training. I had been thinking about doing the Sacramento International Triathlon on Sunday. However, when I floated the idea past Coach K he asked me “Do you think you need endurance or speed?” So I thought about it and decided that endurance is what I needed because there probably isn’t going to be anything speedy about Vineman.


Since HS was unable to ride with me, I decided to do Spinervals Hardcore 100. Actually, I only intended to ride for 4-1/2 hours (my scheduled workout) but once you are 4-1/2 hours into a 5-1/2 hour DVD/trainer ride, you just can’t stop…not that close to the finish.

My view for 5-1/2 hours

After I finished Spinervals, I changed out of my soaking wet riding shorts and into some running shorts and headed out the door. It was hot and it wasn’t even noon yet. Those were the longest two miles I have ran in a long time! 

Trying out a GU alternative
Saturday afternoon while shopping with HS, I told him I was probably going to die on my Sunday long run because it was so hot out. He replied “You need to get used to the heat.” I agreed and added that it was going to be a long, slow 18 miles. “Oh, you have to do 18 miles?” he asked, sort of surprised. I answered “Yes! That’s why I think I’m going to die!” LOL


Early, early Sunday morning the dog started whimpering to go outside. I let him out and crawled back into bed and started weighing my options. How early would it be light out? How hot will it be after church? Should I split my run? I laid there for a while wishing I could just fall back to sleep and forget all of this running stuff. At 3:40am HS rolled over and asks “If you start running at 4:00, you’ll be done by 7:00, right?” He was trying to figure out if we would still make it to church on time (he has to be there early when he is head usher).

“Yeah, in theory” I answered. Was he serious? “You want me to make coffee?” 

I rolled out of bed and headed to the kitchen to start some coffee. The next thing I know is HS is standing there in the kitchen, dressed and ready to go. Crap! He’s serious. I shoveled in a bowl of cereal and went to change into my running gear.

Holy head lamp, Batman!
The run went pretty well. I started out slower than normal because I couldn't see my Garmin in the dark. That may have been a blessing in disguise. I was able to finish my run a little faster than I started and not feeling all that bad. I did end up with a blister on my heel because I opted for a different type of sock. My Feetures! socks always feel like they are squeezing my feet so I wanted something a little more comfy. That was a stupid mistake and by the end of my run, the heel had slipped a bit and rubbed a hole in the back of my ankle.

Next Weekend

I like knowing what Coach K has in store for me, so I always look ahead on my training calendar. I think I'm secretly hoping to see the start of my taper (less than 40 days to go!!) Anyway, I took a peek at next weekend. It's going to be longer (and probably hotter) that this past weekend. What can I say? Bring it!!!

I'm ready for next weekend!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Bike and the Specialized Aerobar Recall

Let me start by saying that I love my bike and up until the recall fix, I was extremely comfortable on this bike. It didn't matter what kind of ride was scheduled, my #Specialized #Shiv was my bike of choice.  Then I got the email from the bike shop on April 25, 2015 saying the aerobars had been recalled and that I shouldn't ride the bike until it was fixed.

My original fit session...I loved this bike!!!
I went ahead and scheduled the fix because I didn't want it to affect my training or, God forbid, the actual race. I took my bike in on May 13, 2015 and picked it up two days later. Unfortunately the recall fix changed the bike and the fit was not the same.

Recall notice
After installing the recall parts, the mechanic/shop manager took it upon themselves to move my seat forward to try and close the gap. I asked if they could check my fit before I took the bike home and the "fit specialist" (the same one that originally fit me on the bike) moved my seat back, and then lowered it too! WTH? Have I been riding with my seat too high for over a year and a half or are you just changing things to change them?

Then, as a stop gap measure, the fit expert guy was going to take a stem off of a lower quality bike and swap it with mine. Now, this is not my first rodeo...when I bought the bike I found that they had swapped the seat with a seat off of a lower quality bike and I had to drive back up to the shop (45 minutes) to get the spec seat. Anyway, I was not about to let them do this again. I told them I didn't want the other stem. The fit guy tried explaining that I don't steer from the extension bars and the shorter stem shouldn't affect the handling. Really???

So, I brought my bike home and took it out on a century ride the next day. I was miserable. My shoulders and neck were on fire by the end of the ride. I contacted the shop on Monday and let them know. After a couple of days they responded that a shorter stem was in order to fix the 1 - 1.5cm difference. I informed them that I took measurements before and after the fix and that it was, in fact, an INCH and a half difference...not a CENTIMETER and a half!

Before recall fix - arm rest behind base bar, after recall fix, directly above the base bar :-(
I guess the LBS conferred with Specialized and it was agreed that I would get an aftermarket set of areobars. Specializied would replace alloy with alloy or carbon with carbon or give a $150 credit if I decided to upgrade from alloy to carbon.

My problem was that my bike is matte black and most (except the very cheapest alloy bars) were GLOSS black. Why should I be forced to replace my matte black alloy bars with shiny gloss black bars? I decided to look at carbon. I was faced with a similar problem in terms of gloss vs. matte, but eventually found a matte black base bar by Profile Design.

Here's some matte black, alloy bars...NOT! Do these even look close to the recalled bar?
Gee, really? Could I get a round base bar to replace the one that came on my bike?

Because I was not only trying to remedy the fit but also the look of the bike, I decided that I would go with the Profile Design Svet Zero base bar. It was one of their few offerings that came in matte black. If I paired it with a set of alloy bars, I would be able to get my fit back to where it was. My question was, will this work?

I emailed Specialized and let them know that I wasn't happy with the $150 credit and a final out of pocket expense of $400+. Really, you have to sell the parts at full retail? Anyway, after some negotiation, I was told that I could use my additional $100 of Specialized $$$ on the bars instead of strictly Specialized gear. Ok, this will knock the price down a bit. The final piece of the puzzle was to confirm with the bike shop that the base bar and extensions were going to get me to where I needed to be.

I emailed the shop and got an email back that they called and left a message and that I should call them back. I called twice the next day. First time, no answer... second time left a message. No response. So I sent another email the first thing next day (hey, I can only do so much during the day). Here is the response I got...

Really? You couldn't have told me this two days ago?
So here I am, less than two months before my race...a bike that is painful to ride and a LBS that has been less than accommodating. I get it, I only spent $3,000 on a $4,000 bike (end of year sale) and it pales in comparison to some of the more pricey models...but cut me some slack! I still bought local, I didn't buy it off the internet, and all I am asking is that my bike is returned to what it was in terms of fit and looks at the time I bought it.

HS has told me to just order the parts and have it fixed locally... I guess that is what I am going to do...

#Specialized #bike #aerobar #recall #profiledesign