Life as a triathlete, Vehicross's and off-roading

Duathlon

’14 2-10-2 Duathlon

3 May 2014 the alarm rang at 4am. Early wakeup could only mean one thing…race day! After a quick breakfast I made the 1.5 hour drive to Ft. Huachuca. Upon arrival I picked up my race packet and set up my transition area.

Ready to roll

Ready to roll


After catching up with old friends I went for a quick run to warm up.
After the National Anthem I made my way to the start line. I positioned myself at the front. At promptly 7am the horn sounded and we were off.
The opening run was 2 miles…1 mile downhill to the turnaround and then 1 mile back up the hill. A steady 134 feet of elevation. The lead group went out fast. I ran my pace and was about 45 seconds behind the leaders as I ran in to T1 in 12:20. I was in about 9th place however several in the lead group were relay teams.
T1 was shoes off, helmet on, grab bike and go…:48.
The bike course was 10 miles of constant up and down…no flat! 1000 feet of ascending. I quickly got up to pace and began passing riders. I had one rider that would pass me on the climbs only to get repassed on the descents. I made up a lot of ground on the descents…some people just don’t like going fast! The turn around was at the bottom of a fast descent. I came in a little to fast and ended up locking up the back wheel but made the turn upright. As we neared the end of the ride I was trying to catch the rider in front of me. I was paying attention to him and followed him the wrong way. We made a little loop through the back roads and found our way back to the transition area…adding about a half mile to the bike. That set me back a few places. Bike time was 31:03. I averaged under 20mph! Top speed on the downhills was 40mph!
T2 was Helmet off, rack bike, running shoes on…1:21.
Run 2 was a repeat of run 1 with the addition of tired legs. I ran 13:23 and worked my way back to the last spot on the overall podium crossing the finish line in 58:55.
Crossing the finish

Crossing the finish

The podium…1st Brandon Nichols, 2nd Brian Hayes, and me in 3rd.

Mens overall podium

Mens overall podium

Thank you TriSports.com for your continued support and Accelerate3 for the go fast coaching.

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Miles and miles of miles

3 months into the year and the miles are adding up.
The month of January consisted of 76.41 miles of running, 682.95 miles on the bike and 28.52 miles in the pool.
February the mileage bumped up to 93.74 miles of running, 713.63 miles on the bike and 26.14 miles of running.
March continued the climb. 129.75 miles running, 725.83 miles riding and 25.23 miles of swimming.
That makes 299.89 miles running, 2122.42 miles riding and 79.89 miles swimming.
A total of 2502.19 miles covered in 3 months.
The journey continues…


Looking forward to 2014

2013 came to a close with USAT All American honors in my final year in the 45-49 age group.
The first race of 2014 is just around the corner. This year my schedule will include the Tucson Triathlon series (Tucson, Firecracker and Tinfoilman), the 5430 TriZona, Toughman Arizona, HITS Havasu Full, and a bucket list Rim to Rim to Rim run at the Grand Canyon for the big five-o!
Again this year I will be representing TriSports.com. Triathlon super shop! If you need it they have it…Brooks, Newton, Asics, Zoot, Kestrel, QR, Orbea, Zipp, HED, TYR, Speedo, 2XU, Orca, Blueseventy….just to name a few.
If you are looking to save a little of your hard earned dollars send me a message and I will send you a one time use code for 20% off your purchase (see website for exempt items).
Coaching duties will once again be handled by Accelerate3 coaching. If you want to step up to the next level, podium or win the big races Brian is the one to get you there!
See you at the races!


Southern Arizona cycling…a gear guide.

If you enjoy netflix and indoor trainers read no further. If you have more than a few years riding experience read no further. If this is your first winter riding and you live in southern Arizona (or a similar climate) read on.
With winter comes morning temps hovering in the 30s which can climb into the mid 60s-mid 70s by rides end. Not enough clothing can make for a frigid start, too much clothing will leave overheated by rides finish.
So, here is a list of gear to get you through our winter months.
Winter means the sun comes up later and sets earlier. If you ride before or after work safety should be a concern. A good headlight/tail light will increase your visibility and allow you to see and be seen. Cycling lights range from basic lights to “light up a football field bright” with prices ranging from $20 to $400+. Choose one that is appropriate for your needs.
Along with your favorite jersey and bike shorts/bibs…
Arm and knee warmers will keep your arms toasty and then are easily removed and stored in your jersey pocket as the sun warms you up.
A cycling vest will protect you from the chill and wind.
Toe/shoe covers will keep your feet warm. Toe warmers are usually all that is needed however on colder days full covers may be needed
Gloves are a must to keep your fingers from freezing. On milder mornings I use an inexpensive pair of knit “runners” gloves. For colder days a full fingered winter cycling glove is a must. I like my Garneau convertible gloves.
A light to mid weight cycling jacket that is waterproof and breathable is good for colder morning rides or that descent of Mt Lemmon.
A skullcap or thin beanie will keep your head/ears warm. At a minumum a ear band is needed.
And finally a base layer will help to pull moisture away from your body to keep you warmer.
Many of these items can be used to keep you warm during your runs also!
So, get out there and enjoy outdoor riding during our mild winter months!


Intensity 11

After a winter of base training and a solid first race, last week was the first of “real” intensity in the training schedule. Coach Brian Stover dialed the intensity level up to 11! Interval workouts, track, V02 and tempo are the terms appearing on the schedule. First week completed…legs thrashed!


Speedplay X2 rebuild…”new” pedals, less $$$$

Keeping your Speedplay pedals well lubed will result in them lasting for many happy miles of pedaling enjoyment. However, eventually the internal moving parts will wear. An alternate to buying a new pair of pedals is to rebuild your current set.
A Speedplay rebuild kit can be purchased from several online retailers or you can have your local bike shop special order it (if they don’t carry it). The kit replaces everything except the “bowties” and the spindle. The kit will cost you about $70, much cheaper than a new pair of pedals.

Kit parts

Kit parts


Speedplay x2 rebuild
You will need the following tools…
T20 and T15 torx key, phillips head screwdriver, adjustable or 15mm open end wrench
Tools

Tools


Using the 15mm or adjustable wrench remove the pedal (remember, the left pedal is reverse threaded)
Remove

Remove


Using the T15 remove the 2 bowtie screws and the bowties…set aside for reuse
bowtie removal

bowtie removal


bowties removed

bowties removed


Remove the dust cap by backing out the grease port screw enough to grip with pliers and pulling off.
Then use the T20 to remove the spindle end screw.
Speedplay x2 rebuild
Next pull the spindle out of the body.
spindle

spindle


Clean the spindle.
cleaned spindle

cleaned spindle


Slide new “o” ring onto spindle.
new "o" ring

new “o” ring


Grease the new bodies spindle bearings using a high quality waterproof grease and then slide the new body onto the spindle.
new pedal body

new pedal body


Tighten new T20 spindle screw to 32in lbs.
Place bowties in place, apply blue loctite to T15 screws and then tighten them to 40in lbs.
bowties on new body

bowties on new body


Align and tap in new dust cap.
Grease threads and reattach pedals to crank arms.
Repeat for other side.
This job took about 45 minutes to complete.
Pedals are now as smooth as they were out of the box new.


Getting older does not mean easier

The official 2012 USAT rankings have finally been tallied. For all you young speedsters out there, moving up the age groups does not mean things get any easier. The 45-49 age group is one tough cookie. In 2012 I placed no lower than 7th OVERALL in any triathlon I completed. What does that net you in the 45-49 rankings? 260th place and an “Honorable Mention” designation.
Fortunately I showed a little stronger in Duathlon, ranking 6th and “All American” status.
One more season (’13) then I get to play in the 50-55 ranks!


Tucson training at it’s best and worst…the tale of two days.

When you think of winter training in Tucson images of riding, running and swimming under clear sunshine filled skies come to mind.
Sunday I enjoyed a great long ride. Sunny skies and temps nearing 80. Although the 20-30mph wind kept things interesting.
Sunny days
Monday brought more sunshine for another great ride through the giant Saguro’s. Temps in the mid 70’s
Today woke to cloudy sky’s. Weather alerts were calling for blizzard conditions at high elevations. Figured I would try and squeeze in a ride before the rain started but I took my rain jacket just in case. Mid way through my ride the light cold drizzle began to come down a little harder. My trusty rain jacket was dawned and doing it’s job keeping me dry. A big headwind on the way out became a huge tailwind going home. About 4 miles from home the wind picked up even more, from 20-25mph to 30-45mph, the temp dropped quickly and in a matter of minutes the rain became slush and then full-on snow. Conditions quickly became near whiteout. It was cold! Fortuneately 15 minutes later I rolled into my driveway.
Blizzard ride
This was my front yard as I rolled up.
Tucson snow
I had survived the Great Tucson Blizzard of 2013!


Full steam ahead

Just a few thoughts and updates…
My 2013 season schedule is shaping up to include the following races:
The Tucson Triathlon series
USAT Duathlon National Championships
Deuceman triathlon
HITS Havasu Full Triathlon
and possibly a few more to be determined as the season goes on.

The weather has been great here in Tucson for training (with the exception of a few cold winter storms that blew through). I have been putting down 18-19 hour weeks and still building.

I am again very happy to be sponsored by TriSports.com and powered by Brian Stover at Accelerate3 coaching.
Get your gear at the best tri shop and save 15% by using code “BOLIVER”. If you want to become the fastest you can be, be sure to shoot Brian a message.


Dropping temps….the show must go on

Most people come to the “Winter Training Capital”, Tucson, to get away from the cold. This week probably threw a curve in a few of those peoples plans. Temps plummeted, with lows in the teens and highs struggling to reach 40. A rare accurance in the desert for sure. But the training must go on. A few extra layers of clothing, arm warmers, knee warmers and the luxurey of late starts helped to combat mother nature. Thankfully mother nature is returning us to normal…70’s by the end of the week!