Monday, June 30, 2008

How to date & train with someone who is faster

How to Date and Train with Someone Who's Faster

Great blog above. I agree that finding a partner to train with would be spectacular. But what do you do when they are much stronger than you? Yes we are independent women and all, but when your significant other leaves you in the dust it is not always OK.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3 bike course

So I've agreed to take on the Ironman 70.3 bike course on this Sunday. Several of my teammates will be racing this next weekend and I wanted to try out the course. This will be the most difficult ride for me ever. My friend Rusty tells me that it is a technically challenging course. It is moderately hilly with steep downhills. I must admit I am a little anxious, but I know I will learn a lot. My plan is to do 1 loop of the course.

The Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3 is a qualifier for the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships. I plan to be there to cheer people on.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Biking the Chinese way

A good friend of mine was in town this weekend. David, an ex-Microsoftie who now resides in Beijing is trying to build his new technology start up. Somehow, the subject of bicycles becomes the center of our conversation. Now, most of us know that almost everyone in China commutes by bicycle. All roads accommodate cyclists, or should I say all roads can accommodate cars? There are even traffic lights to direct cycling traffic. It is truly the bicycle capital of the world in my opinion. But, professional cycling is much too expensive for the average Chinese citizen. A factory worker makes about $4000 USD/year while an office worker might make around $12000 USD/year.

Now bike theft is very prevalent in Beijing. David has already had 2 of his bikes stolen so far. He said his first bike costed him about $10, even with a lock it was stolen. His second bike costed him $6, had two locks on it and it was also stolen. He said you can even pay some dude, show him a bike, and he will go steal it for you. How crazy is that?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

5:30am ride with JFT

This morning, before the birds were up, I met Jill, Heli and Melissa at Idylwood park to ride the Lake Sammamish loop. With the exception of the Issaquah Tri, I don't think I've ever woken up so early voluntarily in my life. So the night before, I had packed up my SUV with all my gear and set my alarm to 4:30am. Of course, I was really excited because that meant I would be trying out my new bike. So excited that I could not sleep a wink.

The ride began at Idylwood, and within a few miles I noticed a thumping feeling in my backside and I was slowing down, it turns out that I had a flat. Now, I've never had to change a real flat in my life, so this was interesting. Jill had also stopped to help me out. There are a bunch of little details that I didn't know about that make changing a tire much easier, like to work with it on your feet. When applying the C02 cartridge, make sure you have your tire on the ground and you fill the tire pressing down on the valve. Also, to fill the tire on the side where your cassette is facing away otherwise, when you remove the cartridge you might bang your hand on it and it will hurt!

Now the hard part is actually putting the back wheel on properly. We somehow got the wheel back on after quite a bit of fiddling. It turns out that it wasn't quite on right, but I'll get to that later. During the ride, Jill had me working on my big ring to build strength. It turns out that on my standing climbs I should be using a bigger gear because I am still wobbling. Also, she mentioned that I should practice my balance a bit more as I tend to not stay on a straight line. Lastly, we talked about focusing on the hamstrings and gluts because that is where all the power is from. This was a really great learning ride for me, now I have things to work on. One day I would like to bike to work. The Lake Sammamish River trail is only about 1 mile from my home and I could take that safely to campus.

Jill had mentioned that I should remove 1 disk from my stear tube to get better handling and that I should fix my seat. So I took it back to Performance Bikes this evening and Matt my bike tech was there and he cleaned up my bike, fixed my seat, removed the disk, changed my water bottle cages, gave me new ties to transfer my cyclo computer to my new bike and gave me some suggestions to heal my knee faster - I swear this guy has a crush on me. It also turns out that we didn't put my back wheel on properly and I forgot to close my rear brake - oops. Lastly, it turns out that Matt also works on Jill's bike as well and told me to tell her not to let her husband work on her bike anymore. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fuji Supreme

This weekend I spent some time shopping for a new bike. I bought a cheap Trek bike to see if I would like the sport at the beginning of the year. After doing my research, I have come to the conclusion that I would never be able to get a triathlon bike unless it was custom - and I was not about to spend 6-7 thousand dollars on that. I know that I wasn't completely happy with my current road bike, though it did well on climbs, I had trouble keeping up with people because it was heavy (21 pounds) and had 650 wheels which made it a little harder to maintain speed. Another thing is, my neck would hurt after my rides - thus it didn't fit quite right. Today, after trying out a bunch of bikes - I even had to wait for them to build me the bike I ultimately ended up purchasing, I took home a brand new Fuji Supreme RC. It is the 44cm and weighs only 15.4 pounds! The frameset weighs around 850 grams. And guess what? I got it for over 40% off because Performance was having their 25th anniversary sale and it comes with 700 standard size wheels! So what I will do in the future is slap on clip on aero bars and call it a day.

FRAMESET: C-10 SuperLite High Modulus carbon with 3K weave, Continuous Fiber Technology (CFT), integrated aluminum cupped head tube, double water bottle mounts, shaped ride-tuned Energy Transfer Chain stay, replaceable hanger

FORK: FC-330 Fuji Carbon Monocoque Integrated 1 1/8" Carbon steerer , 350g

DRIVETRAIN: FSA Energy Compact MegaExo w/ integrated spindle, 7075 CNC 34/50T, NEW SRAM Rival Exact Actuation derailleurs & double-tap shifter/brake, 20-speed

WHEELS: Cane Creek Strados

FEATURES: Ritchey Pro Biomax II alloy, 31.8mm bars, stem, Ritchey Pro carbon seat post, Selle San Marco Aspide Glamour women specific saddle with titanium rails

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Underwater treadmill

I was chatting with my PT Shelly yesturday about how my knee injury has been hampering with my regular activities. I cannot run, I cannot bike and even daily things like walking down the stairs I need to becareful. I am also worried that my cardiovascular abilities might diminish. Shelly gladly mentioned that I could train on the underwater treadmill and that it would be covered by Microsoft. Woohoo, the ProClub rocks and so does my insurrance plan!

So I've setup 2x underwater treadmill classes a week, swim 3x a week and do strength training, intervals in boot camp 2x a week. This is the best I can do until my knees heal.

Lastly, I bought the Yakima King Joe bike rack for my car. I tried to figure out how to set the thing up, but no luck. There are so many straps and clamps to make your head spin. I guess I will bring it back to the shop.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Triathlon bikes don't come in my size

I stopped by Sammamish Valley Cycle this evening to pick up some neoprene booties for my swim tomorrow morning. While I was at the shop, I figure I might as check out their tri bikes. They had the Cervelo P2C and P3C, QT, Scott and Light Speed bikes. Unfortunately, none of them fit me as the standover height was a little too high. The 48 cm Cervelo came closest to fitting me, but my crotch was still touching the bar. She recommended that I get a custom titanium Light Speed made for me when I am ready for a tri bike. Did I mention the price would be $6K? Presently I have a Trek road bike. When I looked on Trek's site, they did have a 47 cm women's specific tri bike that might fit me. Felt also had a tri bike in 48 cm with a low stand over that might fit me as well. I know that standover height is not how you judge fit, but it is a quick way to rule bikes out. Man, I wish I were bigger :(

Anyways, on another note, it looks like I will be doing nothing but swimming and strength training for the next 2 weeks. I read that with my injury I need to really baby my knees, so no running even cycling during this time - must focus on healing.