Monday, December 29, 2003

Tom Demerly has a nice piece on riding with Normann Stadler and Scott Molina - I'm not sure how much I buy the statement that Stormin' Normann is salaried in the "high 6 figures" since it's my understanding that only superstar cyclists pull down that kind of cash, certainly not second tier (you're not first tier until you win Kona) pro triathletes, but what do I know... anyway it's a good description of holding the wheel of an elite.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Weather Report - I used to just link to weather.com by zip code to see the local radar and judge the odds of precipitation before heading out for a ride - but someone just pointed me to the NOAA national doppler radar map - this is one sweet page for checking the dumpage propensity for your area - no ads, nice zoomable animations (click "Loop" on the left side menu once you've found your local radar site). There is also a nifty tic-tac-toe clicker for adjacent radars so you can see what's coming your way from the next state over. Since I have no readers, no sense in me sounding the alarm for heavy afternoon showers in Montgomery AL today, but I could if I needed to.

Here on the lower left coast we're definitely in for a little sump'n sump'n this afternoon, possibly ranging far enough north to be the bitter cherry on the cake of their day for those shaken up by yesterday's seismic event in Wildflower territory (long course still not sold out by the way, although in fairness neither is Ralphs - the apparent backlash is nearly a real backlash! Is everybody really going to the Californiaman Half and/or World's Toughest?)

Swim/Bike/Run for today - first here's some slightly amusing coverage about a mano-a-mano (which means Hand to Hand by the way, not Man to Man) 200 meter freestyle showdown between the great Ian Thorpe and an Aussie radio DJ. On to the bike - dimunitive hammer dog Tyler Hamilton, ex of CSC and now sporting essentially the same colors as ye olde Team@Internet riding for Phonak, has relocated to Boulder for some winter training. As a side note, fellow colonist Bobby Julich has taken a spot (though not necessarily Tyler's spot) with CSC.

But enough slack seat angle surge and settle cycling attention, this is after all a triathlon blog - just tilting our hat to Ty for his ability against the clock. What about running? How about paying a visit to the Runner's World Training Pace Calculator to see if you are being realistic in your pacing this off-season. I'd go so far as to say at this time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere, you might want to add 30-60 seconds to the "Easy Run" pace. Just get out there, don't tear yourself up. It's a time of healing and rejuvenation, a time of donuts and cocoa and extra syrup on your flapjacks. Keep some duration in your runs but lay off the speed for a bit and give your connective tissue and cardiovascular system a shot at rebuilding. Unless of course you are training for an early season marathon in which case you should already be getting jiggy with it. Oh, and if you're a first time Ironman hopeful for 2004, NO you don't need to run a standalone marathon in March. The Ironman marathon is a completely different animal. Save your energy and your knees and arches for when it counts later in the spring. Despite posts like this which touch on the standalone sports, triathlon is one sport and you should prepare for it as such, not as a compendium of 3 mutually exclusive and concurrently abusive approaches.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Did you watch the show? Were you confused by Al Trautwig talking about the aerodynamic advantage of the chase pack because you thought Ironman racing was draft-illegal? Yeah, me too. Also, memo to the guy trying to help the passed out dude - if you come across me semi conscious and lying on my back with my head on the tarmac please don't try to pour water into my mouth until I'm a little more vertical, even if I do whisper "must....have....water" in my best dying army buddy with sucking chest wound voice. I'm liable to choke on it and then hurl all over your racing flats. Save that burbling forced fluid approach for when you find Nemo...

Forerunner is OK! - rumors of its dihydrogen monoxide allergy have apparently been greatly exaggerated - I just got the following from Garmin, who must have stumbled upon my comments below about the recall rumors in rec.running:

I can assure you that Garmin has not recalled the ForeRunner,
and we have not had issues with moisture behind the display. 
If you ever have any questions, please feel to email me and I
will be happy to assist.  Thanks,

Best Regards, 

Ben Hunter 
Product Support Supervisor 
GARMIN International 

All I can figure is some lame jealous Timex or Nike staffer was spreading rumors to put a buzz kill on Forerunner before the holiday buying spree. Fortunately for me, nobody reads this blog so my inadvertent facilitation of the bogus allegation was no big deal, but the rec.running reach is wider. Anyway, my Forerunner is working great and the Amazon link below works again, so go buy one and be somebody!

Friday, December 05, 2003

What is going on here? No big dance slots at KKT, a corrupted board of directors election at USAT, Roberto Heras leaving US Postal (there was some text about this on Lance's site but it's gone now, presumably Lance laid down the law - no ink for the traitor!!, and, back to triathlon, the Wildflower long course race isn't sold out yet. Actually, that last one isn't particularly surprising. We're not going this year, first time in about 9 years that we haven't at least signed up and intended to go, and neither are many other folks we've been talking to. And it's not just that unbelievably annoying music that plays when you visit the home page, although that certainly doesn't help!...just burned out on the logistics and the rising costs. It's a great course and if you've never been you should give it a try, but on the other hand there are a number of other races equally worthy of your attention. The buzz in the community is that maybe the boom is over and this is the first sign, but then again the brand name Ironmans are still selling out fast. I do think that once the "life checklist" crowd finishes getting their Ironman medals we are going to see a pretty significant contraction of the sport - it's so much more time intensive than marathoning, it won't become as ubiquitous as that, it can't. There will always be a place for the lifestyle triathlete, just maybe (hopefully) a little less hyped up, a little less expensive, and a little more soul.

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