Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's all downhill from here

Before I tell you about my mega brick, let me catch you up on the rest of the week.

Wednesday after work, we pick up my car. They replaced a radiator hose, a vacuum hose, and did an oil change. Since we were not going to drive the 15 miles back the way we came to the gym, I decided to go join the local Reality Bikes group ride. This is a seriously hilly ride. I ended up doing the C Ride plus a little 5 mile loop. I actually felt pretty good going up the hills. It was a 22 mile ride in an hour and 20 minutes for an average speed of 16.7 mph.

The biggest climbs on this ride are on Sawnee Mountain. This is the mountain by my house that I like to run on the trails. So Thursday I decided well since I rode it on Wednesday, I might as well run it on Thursday. I hit the trails for a decent run. I did not have to stop at all, though I did have to walk at times.The only bad thing was I did manage to play superman twice and went flying face first. Both times I skidded on the same knee. My knee is pretty scraped up, but luckily I did not injure myself. No more trail running till after the 1/2 Iron. I ran 4.87 in 58:54 for an average pace of 12:06 this is 20 seconds per mile faster then last time.

I took Friday off to rest up for Saturday's mega brick. I woke up at 5:30, had a PBJ sandwich and a banana and headed out about 6:30 for the silver comet. After stopping to fill up my car with gas and buy a pre ride bottle of Gatorade. I got to the comet before 7:45. I set my bike off, had a power gel, and I was off about 7:45.

The bike went spectacularly. My nutrition was spot on. I had 4 bottles of my weakly made gatorade. I took a gel every 20 minutes. At 1:40, just before my turnaround, I had a cliff bar. I started from the Silver Comet Depot and turned around at rockmart. I hit 65.79 miles in 3 hrs 45 minutes for an average speed of 17.5 mph.

At "transition", I put my bike in my car, grabbed my fuel belt, my race belt/gel holder and a cliff bar, made a quick pit stop and headed out towards the Mavell Rd Trailhead. The first couple of miles went great (9:58, 10:07), but it all went downhill from their. I ate the cliff bar in the first two miles, I think this was a mistake. At that point, all I could stomach was my gatorade until after mile 5 where I was able to force a gel down. My legs weren't necessarily tired, but they were suuper stiff. I was walking every half mile. I just couldnt seem to get my legs to go fast. I didnt hurt at all, which leads me to believe I might have been able to push faster

What I learned yestrerday

  1. I need to adjust my cleats, or possibly change out to the older pedals on my road bike. I am having some pain in my left knee that I am pretty sure has to do with what direction my toes were pointed and how my knee was anglng out on the upstroke. My current pedals have almost no float on them so it makes cleat position that much more important. My older pedals have much more float

  2. I may not be able to use my new tri shoes. They might be too tight on my right foot. I am having pain on the outside of my foot that I am almost certain is due to my tri shoes. I may be able to use them on shorter races, or I may just sell them on ebay. I have to look closer at them.

  3. I need to focus on ankle flexibility: My right achilles was aching about two thirds into the bike. It obviously has to do with the flexion in my ankle when I am pedaling

  4. I need to work on flexibility overall. I am going to focus on stretching, foam roller, trigger point, yoga, and maybe even a pre-race massage. If I can keep my legs loose, it will make the run go much better, plus it may alleviate some of my knee problems on the bike

  5. A cliff bar at T2 is a mistake, and I may not be able to stomach gels during the second half. While I will not have another chance for a long brick to test the changes out, I feel confident in my new plan. I will not be changing anything on the bike. During the run, I plan on taking shot blocks, which I have used before, and gels if I can stomach them. My nausea is most likely due to the cliff bar. The one gel I did take on the run didnt bother my stomach at all, but I nearly gagged trying to take it down. I think I may bring a few different flavors of gel on the run to see if that helps.

  6. I will not have a problem finishing this race. Can I do it in 6 hours? Only time will tell. I think it will really depend on how my legs feel. I like the fact that it is a two loop, out and back course. There will be lots of tri club and blogger peeps there to cheer each other on

I am not too worried at this point about the hills on the bike

Wednesday's Hills

Satudray's Hills

The Race's Hills


Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

is there a reason you don't just go back to your old pedals? tried and true and you say they have more float...shrug.

teacherwoman said...

I was wondering how you scraped up your knee. :) I sometimes judge my workouts by how I feel the next day, whether I pushed myself too hard, or sometimes (in my eyes) not hard enough... especially when I expected to be sore after a specific workout.

Keep up the great work, Kevin!

D10 said...

Your Brick may not have gone exactly how you wanted, but I think learning lessons is huge. What you take from your training is only going to help come race day. Nutriton (while running) is one of the harder things to figure out. I know when I break in to the gatorade aroud mile 18 I have to chase each sip with water so it doesn't mess with my stomach.

Hope you have a great week,

Jess said...

Great job on the mega brick!

Xenia said...

God, I am totally blown away by all you tri people. That is some hardcore working out! I think you're nuts but I still have tons of respect for you and what you put your poor body through. Hope the knees heal up soon.

LBTEPA said...

I'm glad you didn't damage yourself too severely!
You must feel so confident about your 1/2IM now. That's cool

Marcy said...

Danngggg homie. Glad you didn't hurt yourself too too bad.

The whole nutrition thing stinks. I wish there was a magic one size fits all formula isn't of having to deal with trial and error.

Marcy said...

Sorry I meant "instead" not "isn't" BAH!

RunnerGirl said...

Great job on your brick :)

Wes said...

My feet were going to sleep in my new tri shoes, until I quit wearing socks. LOL... I can second the idea of only taking gels on the run. I plan to have some "real" food on the bike, but switch to entirely gels on the run.

Another thing that can muck your stomach up is TOO much carbohydrates in your stomach. Make sure you get plenty of water to dilute it.

Awesome brick Kevin! SC HIM here we come :-)

cindy said...

Great job on the brick! Yes, after doing those hills, you are so ready for the race hills!!

Mendy said...

It's so cool to see how focused you are. I amy try to be down there volunteering if I can for the half-iron. I'd love to see you and the others cross the finish line. Good job on that brick, and glad you're not too beaten up.

Steph Bachman said...

Whoo - can't say that you didn't try everything!

I'd have chucked that cliff bar on the run for sure (and I'm not a chucker). For some reason, solids don't go down on the run. I find the Gus work well if the HR is low but once it gets higher, they are tougher to tolerate. Gatorade or the Cliff shots are not a bad sub, though, if you can get enough in.

Calyx Meredith said...

Pedals and float? Yet ANOTHER thing I didn't know about. Sounds like you've got a good handle on the last little things to tweak. I love the comparative pics of the hills. No worries on that score!

As for the nutrition - I know you don't have much time to play around with it at this point - but I have had good success with having a gel with protein in it halfway or two-thirds into the bike. It seems to make the gels on the run easier to take in or absorb or something. Please note - I'm doing an oly - not anything near the distances you are, but I thought I might mention it anyway! Best of luck pal!

Stef said...

Yeah those hills on your race profile don't look like anything to lose sleep over.

I've read about taking no solids on the run so that sounds like a good call. Harder for the body to digest stuff while running.

Sounds like you have the race in the bag Baby! Very excited to see how it will all play out. Love your attitude -- I mean that's what training is for right to see what works and what doesn't. You are ready!

Rachel said...

Wow! Nice job and solid hills. Yeah, Cliff Bars are hard to digest. Better to stick to gels or cliff bloks for the run part.

triguyjt said...

get that forced stretching that they do for dara torres and you'll be back in business.... and probably sore!!!

good luck

Erin Leigh said...

I love how you put up all the info cause although I am not to the point you are at it is all sinking in. I am def impressed that you bit it twice and then kept going.

I am going to try the gatorade like you use cause I am big on watering it down as it is now. Def something I want to try.

Keep up the good work!!

akshaye said...

Nice big hills.. I hope getting the pedals sorted out helps. Great workouts!

Brian said...

Nice brick, you are a bad A$$ my friend!

I can't eat solids on the run, the best thing for me is the shot blocks.

Practice makes perfect.

ShirleyPerly said...

If I were you, I'd just swap out the pedals from your old bike and ride with your old bike shoes if they worked w/o any problems before. I use regular bike shoes for half IMs, not tri bike shoes, and I think few extra seconds in transition does not make much difference in long races. Comfort is much more important.

And from what I learned at an IM training camp, nutrition on the bike is only really successful if it sets you up for a strong run. That's where you'll take in most of your calories for the run since calorie absorption is greatly reduced when running. When you get off the bike, ideally, you should be close to fully fueled for your run much as you would for a standalone half marathon. With only a couple weeks until your race you may not have much time to figure this out but at least you have the confidence that you will finish, which is always a good thing when doing a new longer race distance!

Nitmos said...

You are Hill ready. Hill yes! What? Lame?

Gotta Run said...

This food stuff is my biggest challenge. We must have fuel to keep going. Just need to find our what magic our bodies can take it all.

Love the Mega Brick!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice job!! (even if the run went south)

Bricks are made to learn those things about your body! You'll be better during the next one!

J~Mom said...

Nice job!! It sounds like you are putting tons of good thought into your nutrition! Keep it up!

Sherry said...

Awesome report, Kevin. The realizations that came about post-workout are exactly why we do this type of tedious training.

I'm rooting for ya!!!!