One month until race day! Where did time go?

Wow how time flies! I just realized I have less than a month to go before my first tri this summer. I finally “officlally” signed up for the Lake Metroparks Lighthouse Fairport Triathlon yesterday. I did this race last year and it was great. Clean beach, interesting bike course and spectator friendly—and the registration fee is only $20! They also have a kayak option for non-swimmers that want to try out triathlon. It’s a 500m swim, 20k bike and 5k run on July 28, 2013.

2012 Fairport Tri, Beach
2012 Fairport Tri, Beach

I think I’ve been spending too much time lifting at the gym this year and not enough time doing cardio. My recent times have been kind of slow. To be honest, I’ve had less motivation to swim/bike/run lately and more motivation to lift. It’s also summer so I want to look good.

I need to do more cardio over the next month—and somehow find the motivation to do so. I’m taking a trip to Put-In-Bay for a few days around the 4th. The place we stay is good for training because it’s on the lake so I should be able to get some open water training in. Biking on the island is a challenge. Three times around the island is about 16 miles. There’s also no gym, so I’ll be limited to body weigh strength moves.

Motivation. Needed.

Shoe in grass, Road ID
Shoe in grass, Road ID

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Share the road, please!

Today I went out for a typical Saturday bike ride. Although I was a little disappointed with the unseasonable chilly weather, I eventually warmed up and started to get into the ride. Then, about 3/4 into the workout, I crashed.

It happened at Clifton & Warren in Lakewood. I was moving East at around 21mph through the intersection while an SUV coming West was in the turning lane, ready to turn. There is no stop sign at this intersection, therefore I clearly had the right-of-way so I didn’t stop or slow down. All of a sudden the SUV makes the turn. I slam on the breaks to avoid hitting it, the bike flips forward and I’m on the pavement while the SUV drives off.

Workout data from Strava at the time of the crash.
Workout data from Strava at the time of the crash.
Scene of the crime.
Scene of the crime.

I blacked out for only a few seconds then made my way to the sidewalk. I didn’t realize how bad I was and for a second contemplated getting back on the bike to ride home, but I didn’t know which way to go. A few people passed by and asked if I was OK and needed help. Someone had called 911 and a cop quickly showed up. I was having trouble talking to him so he called a medic. My blood pressure was high (looking at my workout data, it went from 144 bpm before the crash to 185 bpm right after) and at first I wasn’t remembering things so they put me on a board with a neck brace and took me to Fairview Hospital. In the ambulance I started to remember things and became more cognisant.

The nurses cleaned up my face while a doctor examined me. He used three sutures to close up a cut in my eyebrow and ordered a CT scan of my head and spine to make sure there was no brain bleeding, broken bones or misalignment. The CT came back showing there were no major problems and I was discharged hours later. All and all, I ended up with some bad bruises on my face and back as well as a cut in my eyebrow. Thankfully, I was wearing a helmet. If I wasn’t, things probably would have been a lot worse! WEAR A HELMET! 

Thanks helmet!
Thanks helmet!

Drivers need to realize that cyclists follow the same rules of the road as drivers. I realize that some don’t, and that’s their fault. But unless this driver was distracted and didn’t see me, they likely thought I was supposed to stop for them. This exact situation has happened to me a few times before, although in the past I was able to stop or move out of the way. In one instance, the driver actually gave me the finger for not stoping for him.

Unfortunately this driver will likely get away with it. But if the witness did get the plate number, the driver could be charged with a hit-and-run. I had actually contemplated putting my GoPro on my handelbars facing forward prior to the ride but ended up rushing out the door and not doing it. I was I had, then I would have got the plate on camera (and have some cool footage to share!).

I’m sharing this story in hopes that it plays a tiny part in raising awareness. More people are using bikes, especially in urban areas, and we all just need to share the road. Just this past week Chef Jonathon Sawyer made local headlines when he was clipped by a city bus while on his bike, thankfully he was ok. Its unfortunate that it takes people actually getting hit for this conversation to happen, but I’m glad it’s happening. Ironically, I actually responded to Channel 5 reporter Kristin Volk on Twitter a few days ago sharing this same situation. She was asking for examples of drivers not sharing the road. Little did I know it would happen again today resulting in a crash.

The damage to me. Neck brace was just a precaution before they did a CT scan.
The damage to me. Neck brace was just a precaution before they did a CT scan.
The only damage to my bike. Apparently I shielded it from the road.
The only damage to my bike. Apparently I shielded it from the road.
My trusty Oakley Flak Jackets I've used for at least four years. Partially protected my face, but also cut my eyebrow. There's dried blood on the frame. Looks like it's time for new lenses.
My trusty Oakley Flak Jackets I’ve used for at least four years. Partially protected my face, but also cut my eyebrow. There’s dried blood on the frame. Looks like it’s time for new lenses.
Bike waiting in the ER. Thanks to the medics for taking it with us and not leaving it.
Bike waiting in the ER. Thanks to the medics for taking it with us and not leaving it.

 

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Tri Season: It’s time!

Leaves are on the trees and it’s getting warmer—that means it’s time to start focusing on tri-specific training. Over the winter I’ve focused more on lifting, partially because I don’t like running and cycling indoors, but also to build strength for the season.

I had previously stated on here that I was planning on doing a week dedicated to each; swim, bike, run to kick off the season. I’ve decided this was a bad idea because it meant two weeks of not training other areas. Instead, I’m gradually reducing strength training and replacing it with cardio. This means the time I do spend in the gym needs to be focused on efficient full-body moves vs specific days dedicated to arms, legs, abs etc.

One thing I want to do more of this year is more interval training in all three disciplines. Last year I did with running and it paid off. This should really help in the short course, sprint, races that I compete in. The great thing about interval training is it takes less time will still being a very effective workout training fast-twitch muscles and learning how to pace yourself.

On another note, I’ve decided to try a paleo-ish diet with the hopes that it will help with lean muscle-mass. I say “-ish” because I like carbs way too much and intense cardio training requires carbs. Basically I’m trying to focus my diet on lean meats, fruits, nuts and vegetables along with limited whole-grain carbs, mainly in the first half of the day.

Healthy Dinner - blueberry greek yogurt, banana smoothie + organic kahl/baby spinach/chard, carrots, dried cranberries and chicken salad
Healthy Dinner – blueberry greek yogurt, banana smoothie + organic kahl/baby spinach/chard, carrots, dried cranberries and chicken salad (no dressing)

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Bike to run pain

Now that spring is here, it’s time to start getting back into core triathlon training. The weather was awesome this past Saturday so I decided to do a bike-run brick workout, which I haven’t done in a while. The bike ride went great. I felt good and kept up a respectable speed. I finished up at home, changed into running shoes and headed to the park for a run.

The first mile went fine. I felt like I was going slow but at the one mile mark I realized I was going at a pretty good pace when the Runkeeper lady told me my pace. About a quarter mile later, that’s when it went downhill. All of a sudden I got a sharp and uncomfortable pain above my right knee (I looked it up after, the exact muscle was the vastus medialis, part of the quadriceps). It almost felt like it came out of place or something. I stopped and sat on a bench for a moment trying to work it out with my hands. I could feel a tightness in the muscle and an obvious difference from the left side. Eventually I got up and started walking around a bit. Still a little sore, I decided to cut the 5k run short and just run back to my bike.

After I got going, the pain was completely gone; until I climbed a big hill. The pain was back, only this time it was on both sides. I tried to keep going as I only had about a quarter mile to go but I couldn’t. I had to stop again and manually massage my legs. Eventually the pain went away and I finished. The rest of the day and even the next day (as I’m writing) just a slight soreness remains.

I’m not sure if I hurt myself or if my body just needs to be re-conditioned for that bike to run transition. I’ll work it out with a roller this evening on the couch and maybe use some KT tape. Hopefully the next time it won’t happen.

Roller & KT Tape
Roller & KT Tape

On another note, I have decided not to kick-off the tri season with three weeks dedicated to each sport (one sport per week) as I had previously planned. After thinking it over, I think it would be a bad idea as it would mean two weeks of not doing each sport. Instead, I’m going to gradually decrease strength training over the next month from 3-4 workouts per week to eventually 1-2 workouts per week and increase cardio (swim/bike/run).

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