Sunday, January 17, 2010

Busy Weekend - lots of training!

Whew! I'll have to post more tomorrow night, but here's the hilights of the weekend:
  • Ran on Saturday
  • Spin on Sunday
  • Did a really yummy broth and fish fondue on Saturday night for friends
  • Clarified the Valpolicello we have, and started yet another wine kit, a really nice Gerwurztraminer
  • Reading Ironstruck?, and I think I'm Ironstruck!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Remembering What to Pack

Well, we made it through week 1 of UCTC 2010. Don't tell coach, but it was easier than I expected. Don't get me wrong-- I'm very sore today (Thursdays are a bike/swim brick, 2 hours of training), but the toughest part of the week was remembering what I need in my Tri bag.

Tuesday, I forgot to bring a towel and shampoo-- as I grabbed my fins and paddles, I had a nagging suspicion that I was forgetting something, but I was imagining myself in the pool: goggles, cap, trunks, fins and paddles... okay, I'm good. Well, my gear closet is now stocked with a few towels, and my travel kit stashed in my bag.

Had to skip Wednesday's workout because Mom and Dad needed some help with their rental property-- they're cleaning it up, doing a few minor touchups, and we had a little reunion with a friend we haven't seen in about three years. Had to meet her Aussie fiance (great guy), and they asked me to be an usher at their wedding this summer!

It's been massively busy at work this week, but at least I'm in Calgary, and I have so much more energy. Next week I'm off to Medicine Hat and Lethbridge to visit clients, but probably just for Monday and Tuesday night. I'll just have to run on my own, I guess! No more trips to the US this year, hopefully.

Today's an off day, but the plan for the weekend is to go for a longish run tomorrow, then do a bike/run brick on Sunday. I was all ready to do Super Sunday with UCTC, but it was canceled this week due to a swim meet -- and there's something going on at the track, too.

Tuesday: 2100 m
Thursday: 2500m, got some great tips from Coach Tony (better roll without crossing over, more streamlined legs!)

... And I'm sure you've seen this, but I love this list of reasons to do Ironman!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First UCTC Workout of 2010 or Time To Read The Manual

Monday was the first UCTC workout of the year, and it was tough, but fun. It's so much easier to get through a workout when you've got to pay attention to the coach. Being in a big group helps, and although there are times where it's not possible to talk (spinning at 110 rpm, or standing for 2 mins...) but when you can, it sure makes the time fly by.

As great as it is to get back with the group, I sure am glad I've done the little bit of running and spinning that I have.

The workout was 1 hour on the bikes, doing three "hills" after a warmup. Start at 100 rpm, adding tension/a gear every minute, last two minutes standing, then spin back up to 100 rpm, then 110, then 120+, followed by a break. Run was on the track "at your own pace"-- I went pretty hard, but not so hard I couldn't chat. There was a lot of catching up with team-mates, and meeting new ones.

And I have my first major criticism of the Garmin. Well, actually it's more a self-criticism, because I didn't bother to set it up for the workout, and it became more of a nuisance than anything. What happened? Well, I thought about turning the GPS "off", but figured I'd test it to see if I got reception in the Jack Simpson at the University. I do, BUT... only on one half of the track. So when I was running, the thing kept beeping at me that it was losing signal. I would have turned it off, but somehow when I was trying to switch it from "bike" mode to "run" mode, I managed to lock the keys. Oh, and it's still running this morning-- according to it, the workout hasn't ended.

Like the title suggests, I really need to read that user manual. Even downloaded it. We'll see if I can find time today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snowboarding in Fernie - Part 1

I don't know what it is with me and "multipart" posts lately...

Just got back from a weekend in Fernie. No real fresh snow, but the weather was warmer than it has been, and the snow was pretty good. On Saturday, it was pretty windy, which was not so great on the chair or out in the open, but was awesome in the trees, where the snow would sift and settle into the tracks and dips. The morning was especially great, riding with my brother and his friends-- great, but exhausting. Little bro really knows the hill, and the places where the snow is good, and I almost had a tough time keeping up! The afternoon, I found an excuse to go from black and double-blacks to ride more of the open spaces, and the wind was vicious, stinging, and made it really hard to see where you were going, because there was a thin, mist-like layer of snow blowing across the ground, plus the light was flat.

Sunday was even warmer (hovering around 0 celsius), which was nice, but the light was for the most part still pretty flat, and the snow was much heavier, though not quite slushy. In the afternoon, the clouds really moved in up top, and it was like being in a big fog bank-- actually, the clouds were just so low! Once again, the best riding was in the trees.

Looking forward to going back in two weeks!

Photos are: brother and friend at the base on Sunday morning (top), most of the crew, somewhere under the Bear chair, lower Arrow maybe? (middle) and me at the top of Timber chair, next to the Lost Boys Cafe on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 310xt Review - Part 2 (or DVD fail)

The DVD fail part is the DVD player didn't work when I tried to run my new Real Rides DVD. :( Pretty sure it's the DVD player (a hand-me-down), but haven't tried it on the other player because it's been on the fritz too. Told ya, nothing lasts for me!

I've been using my Garmin plenty lately, and as promised, here's more on how it performs spinning. Not that it makes much of a difference, but for this "test", I went for an hour rather than the 20-30 minutes I have been.

I'm really liking the fact that I can set up what data shows in the main screen. Even better, I can set up Bike 1, Bike 2, Bike 3, etc., with different screen profiles. I especially like the HR Zone. For me though, like with the running features, the ability to easily track and store my workouts on Garmin Connect is by far my favorite feature.

Sometimes I'm a little forgetful. I forgot to turn off the GPS, and ended up somehow gaining 300m in elevation and almost a kilometer in distance. Not really the end of the world, since I just need to remember to turn it off, but kind of funny, and it does make me wonder if that's right?

My Setup

The Garmin is just strapped to my handlebars with the wrist strap; it tends to fall down a little, as does the iPod that's just in an armband-- but hey, it's not like it has to be aero!

The third little gadget is my cadence/speed computer. Got it at mec for a few dollars, and it's got both sensors (cadence and speed) on the rear chainstay so it works when I'm spinning as well as on the road. Like I mentioned in Part 1, I don't have the Garmin cadence meter.

You can't really see what's on the screen in the above photos, but I've set up the "Bike 1" with elapsed time, time of day, heart rate and HR zone. There's a lot of different data fields available - especially if you also have the cadence sensor and a wireless power meter. (I haven't dropped the coin on that yet... need to get the tri bike first!)

For this ride, the plan was to warm up for about 10 minutes, then go for 80-85 rpm cadence. About twenty minutes in, the plan changed to include going for 20+ km/h - normally not too difficult on the highway, but tough on the one-setting magnetic trainer. I think I did pretty good, but it doesn't track on the Garmin! I think I'm convincing myself I need that cadence sensor...

Cooldown was about 5 minutes on the bike, another 5 on the treadmill, and about 10 minutes of stretching and ab work.

Check out the "map" of this workout. Kind of comical.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tour of Sage Hill

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Tour of Sage Hill

I know I said part two of my Garmin 310 xt review would be about spinning, but I'm having too much fun with Garmin Connect, so more about spinning tomorrow night. Click the link at the top, then click on the "Player" button on the top right. It'll draw my route for you, and at the same time trace a chart that you can change to show 2 of elevation, speed, or heart rate. I think that's pretty cool, gives me a good idea of how I did.

Pretty slow run, but then it was a little cold, and there was some more snow on the pathways.

I also figured out how to get it into MapMyRide, and as much as I hate manually drawing out maps for that site, I don't think it's worth it. I think I'll just stick to Garmin Connect. The one thing, though, is that you can embed maps in a site with MapMyRide, but you can't (or I haven't figured out how) on Garmin Connect. Common routes might be worth transferring, but it's not going to be a daily thing.

For those who care, to get data from Garmin Connect to MapMyRide, I had to export to a .tcx file (easy to do from Garmin dashboard), then log in to MMR, click "map new ride", then find the new route> import route, then select my device, then choose do import the file and not re-download from the device, find the file with the browse tool, then click import. Yes, it's easier than drawing out a map on MMR, but it's still a lot of clicks for something I don't really need (especially if the map I've embedded doesn't work!)

In other news, we're signed up for the K100 next summer with Nicole's office-- not sure what leg I'll end up running, but yet anther reason to get the training in. We've actually got a lot of stuff booked already for next year! I need to put it all into my BB so I don't forget!

In other other news, Nicole started her own blog!