Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nuts & Bolts Of The Moment

Get it?
I feel like doing a post, but I don't feel like coming up with some long winded narrative about something or other.  Perhaps some of you are relieved by that, I dunno.  Instead, there a few things that have been going on and/or running through my head the last few days.

New Shoes - I've been needing a new pair of running shoes.  Concurrently to this, I'd been thinking that dropping $175 for a new pair is a little bit crazy if at all avoidable.  I've been training in Newtons for two years straight and though expensive, they've been very good to me.  That said, there are two particular truths that come to mind when I now think about running shoes.  First, there are plenty of runners who log tons of injury free miles that don't wear Newtons.  Secondly, I'm a different runner than I was two years ago both in terms of improved fitness and form.  And because of that, how can I know for sure that Newtons are the best shoe for me without trying other pairs?  I can't.  So I did.

Zoot Energy 3.0
After some research, my choice came down to two choices - the Saucony Kinvara, which is Saucony's minimalist shoe, and the Zoot Energy 3.0, which not quite as "minimalist" as the Kinvara, but pretty close.  I went to Roadrunner Sports today to try them both on.  In the end, it was an easy decision - I chose the Zoots.  I've used Zoot racing flats since 2009, and I usually wear them without socks.  Despite the distance of the race or how how wet or sandy my feet have been when I've pulled the shoes on, I've never had any trouble with blisters or hot-spots.  This is because the inner lining of the Zoot flats are essentially seamless, and the 3.0's are no different.  I'll be trying them out tomorrow.  Roadrunner is cool because you can try shoes for up to 60 days, and if they aren't working out you can bring them back for an exchange.  So the absolute worst thing that can happen is that I don't like the Zoots, cough up another $75 and hope the Newtons will take me back.

Ridley Noah
New Bike? - I can't believe I'm writing this, but I might be putting my beloved Bianchi up for sale.  My friends at Outspoke-n Cycles are now Ridley dealers, and as part of the team sponsorship, they are offering Craig and I bikes at a ridiculously good price.  Ridley is a Belgian Bike manufacturer.  I figure that since Belgians seem to be born with a genetic predisposition to be hard-as-nails cyclists, Ridley is making hard-as-nails bikes.  I'm looking at Noah RS model - Ridley's aero-road offering.  It features a high modulus carbon fork and frame, internal cable routing, SRAM Rival gruppo and a full Deda cockpit.  All I need to do is throw on my Fizik saddle and this will be one heck of a bike.  Plus you have to admit it looks sexy as hell.

Kind of mad at you at the moment...
Speaking Of Bikes... - Today was not a happy day on the Specialized Transition.  First off, I put a SRAM 12/27 climbing cassette on my training wheels last week.  And though it works fine on the Bianchi (where I am running a compact crankset), I have standard cranks on the Specialized.  I know this may sound a bit Princess and the Pea, but I couldn't find the right gear for any situation all morning.  Or maybe it was just me.  Either way, It was really annoying.

Also, there was something going on with my seat-post - I couldn't keep my seat clamped on tightly.  It didn't matter how tight I cranked it, it kept loosening up.  Plus, it's a carbon post, so you have to be careful with how much torque you apply lest you may damage it.  And since I don't carry a torque wrench in my pocket, I was guessing anyway.  This too was annoying.

So your saying there's a chance?
Sub One Hour Sprint Triathlon? -  I love the Solana Beach Sprint Triathlon.  For starters, it was my first ever race.  Also, my mom comes out from Boston to visit the week of the race, so we turn it into a weekend trip.

The Solana Beach race is on the short side of sprint triathlons with a 1/4 mile swim, 9 mile bike and 3 mile run.  Two years ago, I did it in 1:20.  Last year I turned in a slightly more respectable time of 1:07.  Can I shave off another 7 minutes this year?  Maybe, and here's how.

Let's start with the "easy" part, which is the bike.  With the exception of 4 fairly wide u-turns, the course is entirely on straight multi-lane roads that are essentially flat and extremely well paved.  As long as there is little wind (which is a reasonable assumption for an early morning in the summer), I should be able to knock this out in 24 minutes.

Moving on to the run.  If I'm motivated enough, I can maintain a 7:00/mile pace or slightly better for 3 miles.  And all the motivation I'll need will be to look at my watch coming out of T2 and see that I'm 39 minutes or less into the race.  Enough said.

This only leaves the swim, which I'm addressing last because it's the wild card.  I figure I've got 11 minutes to get this done, since I need to allocate 4 minutes for both T1 and T2.  To many of you, 11 minutes is a lifetime to swim a 1/4 mile (440 Yards).  But remember, I suck at swimming.  I'm working at it though - hard, and this time I'm not kidding.  My 70.3 training plan is getting me to the pool.  Lately, I've been lucky with finding times to swim when the pool is relatively quiet.  And I've been enjoying it.  For me, that last sentence is huge.

I need to get my pace up to 2 minutes per 100 yards (which would make the swim just under 9 minutes), because I need 2 minutes to get from the beach to the transition area.  I'm swimming 2:10/2:15 per 100 yards in the pool now and I have about 7 weeks to improve.  This is doable.

So let's add the pieces together:

Swim - 9:00
Run to T1 - 2:00
T1 - 2:00
Bike - 24:00
T2 - 2:00
Run - 21:00

TOTAL - 1:00

I just need to find a few seconds somewhere....

Have a good rest of your weekend.


KovasP said...

Sub-7 miles?! You are smokin' these days! Ridleys are really good bikes, from what I've heard, so that's definitely not a step down. If you're looking for a few seconds, maybe work on the transitions, that's free time right there.

Jennifer said...

I agree with Kovas! I still remember some of your times a few years ago. Your improvements are outstanding! Sorry about the bike bummers.

Petraruns said...

Fantastically fast pace that - sub 7 minute miles is smoking! Nice one. Cool about the shoes - hope they work out. Can't quite get over how cheap they are in the states though - even the expensive ones...

Unknown said...

I've never heard of Ridley before - show how much I know about bikes. I've been thinking about a new bike, but I kind of want another road bike, not a tri bike... We'll see.

Ransick said...

Great goal for the Sprint tri! Sub-7 is smoking fast as is 21 minutes for the bike. Your swim times are like mine, but just like running and biking, you'll be faster than me in no time with your dedication.

Good luck!

Lauren said...

I know close to nothing about tri's. But good luck! I do know about shoes, and I need them so badly, I'm about to ask for donations (LOL). I love, love, love the album cover. I so wish I would have come up with that.

Pahla said...

T2 won't be two minutes long, you've got this in the bag! Plus, I think you'll surprise yourself on the swim and knock it out of the park.

Chris K said...

I admit, I skipped the bike part. I, too, have been thinking about trying something new (other than Newtons). I'm stoked that you will be the Guinea Pig. Please let me know the results. I'm curious why if they dont' work you'd back to the Newton's as opposed to the Kinvaras.

Please let me know the date of S.B. and I will come out to cheer you on.

XLMIC said...

Catch the wave, dude... go barefoot! Just think of all that transition time you'd save ;-)

What's going on with that seat? is it twisting back and forth? that could be fun. Is it sliding down? Not fun. But yeah, either way would get annoying.

That Dumb and Dumber reference gets used a lot around my house... But given the plan as you've outlined it, and given that you are really busting your ass in the pool... I'd say there's a better chance than Jim Carey had with Lauren Holly. You can break an hour.

Tri4Success said...

1) Cool you found some shoes you like. I run in the Kinvaras but that's the only pair I've ever had. No advice to give there!

2) Sweet bike!

3) I know the feeling. I used to ride a standard with a 11-28 cassette but had the same issue. On a 12-26 now which is much better as I get that 16 tooth cog I was missing before.

4) T2 is your answer. Definitely doable in less than 2 min.

Unknown said...

New bikes AND new shoes... it's like a holiday with the best presents (even if you have to buy them for yourself).

You have sub 1 hour... just sayin'

Emz said...

I'm thinking a few farts could push you ahead. Or turle heads. Idk.


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