More Changes

My cycling co-worker (Cycling Dude) bought some newer brakes to replace the new brakes on his relatively new Trek 1200. Don't ask me why, he just did. Anyway, he gave the oldish-but-new Bontrager brakes to me for free. Well, almost free...$10 is all he'd take as I couldn't take brand-spanking-new brakes for absolutely nothing. I put them on Salsa Verde last night and they shine bright. They're also much more aero than what I had on there before. Not that it's going to cut that much time but every little bit helps. Thanks Cycling Dude! Very nice bling for Salsa Verde. That brings the cost up to $515.

I rebuilt the bottom bracket while I as at it. I thought it was rusted and I'd have to get a new one but the rust came from the Bianchi frame and not the pieces of the bracket. Whew! cleaned it up, regreased it and put it back together. Very smooth.

The temperature is now past 90 degrees for the afternoons so it's time to revert back to morning workouts. I probably could hang in there for another couple of weeks but I'm relying on the NUUN tablets (electrolyte replacement) too much and they ain't cheap at $6.50 a tube. I ran the neighborhood route (5M) going up to the Costco crushed granite track this morning and 70 degrees feels a hell of a lot better than 90 degrees. No NUUN required.

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Keep On Keeping On

Regardless of what the CapTexTri officials do with the cancelled triathlon, I decided to keep up the workouts to maintain fitness for a couple of weeks. That means intervals and speed work. It's really just to the end of this week and then they should've posted what's going to happen. This morning I dropped into one of my bike guru's spinning class at Castle Hill Specialized Fitness at 7:00 am. Fifteen like minded people were spinning already on their stationary Tomahawk bikes.

An hour's worth of sweating while climbing imaginary hills.

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Triathlon Cancelled

It was a very triathlon-like weekend even though no triathlon took place. Rained out. Flooded out is more like it. At 5:30 am, my temp tattoo #139 was still drying, I sat next to the transition area with my yellow raincoat top hood pulled over my Nike cap, watching my cell phone in a zip-lock baggie for a text message stating the swim was cancelled. It never came but another athlete sitting next to me got one. "The swim is cancelled. We'll evaluate and inform you at 7:30 am." I left to go back to the car and at least warm up a little and drop off the wetsuit. I knew what had happened before the text message came and before 7:30 am arrived. People started walking past my car with their bikes. One person and a bike could've meant he'd had enough. Ten people with their bikes and walking to their cars meant the event had been cancelled. It had been.

At that point I was ok with the cancellation. I mean I didn't sign up to do a duathlon. The swim had to be part of the event. I also wasn't so sure of my bike at that point. See, I bought a used Cannondale CAAD4 Road frame for $35 on Saturday and then proceeded to see if I could get all of the components transferred to the new frame and re-cabled in time for bike check-in. Kind of crazy but it all worked. I got the new bike set up by 3:00 pm, Sunday and checked it in to the transition area. For the first time, my bike blended in with the other tri bikes. It wasn't a pawn shop bike with serious components. It now was a tri bike that looked like the others. By the way, not only did I get the 2.8-pound frame for $35, but I also got a carbon seat-post for $5.

The bike swap-meet went well. The above bling-bling was paid for by selling all the wheels and spare parts I had putting the last three bikes together. The "Lawsuit" wheel was the first to go. The Shimano front wheel was next. The swap-meet brought out all types of cyclists; hairy legged, no hair, old schoolers, Yellow Bike Project wrenchers, and of course a couple of triathletes. Go to for more information.

So today my mind and body are out of whack. They don't know what to do. I was supposed to be recovering today with a break from exercise for the rest of the week. Now, I have to wait and see if the event will be rescheduled, cancelled altogether or some other option. So I guess I'll keep the workouts scheduled until I hear what's going on. I wouldn't imagine they could reschedule for this coming weekend so it would make sense not to continue to taper but go back to full interval/speed training and the corresponding diet. I was so looking forward to being able to eat and drink anything I wanted this week, but it's not to be.

BTW, I couldn't resist the suds. Who could unless they didn't drink at all. Sitting in a beer garten and not having a beer. Who was I kidding?

Frankenbike Photos

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The day has come to attend Frankenbike and sell some of the spare parts that went into making Salsa Verde and Salsa Roja. I debated on whether to cancel until next month, as this month's meeting place is Scholz Beer Garten. I think I can resist the suds. I think I can, I think I can.
John Wayne Movies UFC 71 Paul Simon Macaroni Salad Dog Training Surf Reports BBQ Sauce Baseball Stadiums Coen Brothers Grilling Recipes

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Pho Soup is in the Tank

Three people around me were not feeling well and it's the Friday before the race so the only thing to do was to down a big bowl of pho soup with lots of peppers and sprouts from the Vietnamese restaurant next to UT. Mmmmm, that'll boost the immune system to thump any germs that come around.

The weather forecast now has over a 50% chance of rain through Tuesday so it could be a very wet triathlon. Some estimates are for three-to-ten inches of rain between now and Wednesday morning.

I watched an interesting program on FitTV last night. Gabrielle Reese was interviewing Barry Zito for the show Insider Training and Barry went through some of his routines for warming up and training. Let's just say very inspirational and eye-opening. The yoga inclusion, the elaborate warmup before throwing a single pitch or even a single toss of the ball. I checked the Web site and they're going to rerun the episode a couple more times this weekend.

Interesting NY Times article on interval training and the impact on fitness. I agree with the research, I just don't know if it's the thing to do year-round. I would definitely do an interval workout once a week each for a swim, bike and run for six-to-eight weeks prior to the event.

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Last Three-Workout Day Until August

Yesterday wrapped up the last of the three-workout days before the Capital of Texas Triathlon on Monday. A swim in Barton Springs for distance, a 38-minute cycling session with countdown intervals of hills versus cadence, ending the day with a 3-mile tempo run at Town Lake. Three workouts turned into four workouts while I was cooling down from the run, my next door neighbor called and said he was heading to the veloway for a couple of laps. I couldn't pass that up.

When I got back from the veloway, FedEx had left a package from It was my new 12-21 cassette. I put it on and took Salsa Verde for a spin. OH, OH, OH what a difference. In the Jan/Feb 2007 Bicycling Magazine Kenneth Acklin, a bike mechanic for 36-years, stated that lube and air were the two best things you could do for your bike. Not to disagree, but I think getting the correct cassette for the terrain would be a strong third, if not after air and before lube. The new cassette worked better than the old with the bar-end shifters. Just a little adjustment on the derailer and voila, a smooth riding machine.

The new diet started to kick in and the second ten pounds is being shredded before Monday. No telling how close I can get to race weight but it'll be closer than any other race the past few months. That is as long as I can stay away from the suds for the next few days.

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Race2Replace & Taper Week

It's taper week before the Capital of Texas Triathlon next Monday. This week is a the same 'ol workouts, but for less time. It's also motivation week to try and get psyched for the race. So as I'm spinning I'm listening to a lot of podcasts on transitions, tips and techniques, interviews with racers, etc. I finally got my proxy server to cooperate with iTunes so a whole other world just opened back up. I'm a year behind on the Race2Replace - Discovery Channel series showing the Team Discovery Cycling Team. That's ok, it's great motivational material for this week. Nineteen episodes are online so that should keep me busy until the end of the week.

I ordered a new cassette for Salsa Verde from As the CapTexTri Olympic distance course won't have any monster hills on it, I opted for the 12-21 (12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21t).

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Bike-To-Work Day

I shouldn't have been riding into work this morning for Bike-to-Work Day but I couldn't pass it up. My calves were still toasted from the Tuesday time trial. I worked on them last night with rollers, electric massagers and tea tree pain lotion and they felt ok by this morning. Actually they felt great throughout the ride.

The weather cooperated and was in the low 60s with no wind and 72% humidity. This is to be the last cool week before the fall, so it was great to get out and experience the last of it.

I stopped by Jack and Adam's Bicycles and Jack was there greeting cyclists as the grabbed what was left of coffee, juice and donuts. The bagels were all taken by the early-birds. After downing a couple of donuts I headed north to Whole Foods Market. There, REI was wrenching bikes on stands while Whole Foods folks were handing out fruit, water and various pastries.

The cagers were actually friendly today. I mean they stopped and gave me the right of way. I saw a couple of them with their bikes on the car rack. I wondered if they were traveling a long distance and were going to stop and ride part of the way. How far would part of the way be? Maybe a sofa spud who huffed and puffed and called in a pickup by their significant other.

Each place I stopped had a signup sheet. I noticed the longest commute was 54 miles. Hopefully that person wasn't on a mountain bike with fat knobby tires. I saw quite a few of those today. I didn't see any other single speeds out there.

The Tour de Cure is this weekend. A great cause but I really can't afford to toast the legs before the taper next week. Even if I chose the short distance, I'd still have to hassle my friends into supporting me and that's not in the cards for this year.

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First Run-Far Bike Time Trial of the Season

Official Results    23:02    20.8 mph

It must've been the pre-race meal of chocolate pop-tarts and orange juice with honey that gave me a little extra zoom-zoom tonight. The hill that usually eats my lunch did so tonight but instead of recovering at the top, I pedaled through it. And surprisingly, I had a little left for the hill at the end of the eight-mile course. The quads burned, but not as bad as in the past.

I sat around afterward, people watched, bike watched and determined I definitely had the cheapest bike on the course tonight. I also was the only one out there with hairy legs. I'll get out the razor next week before the triathlon. Salsa Verde passed many a bike hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more expensive. It was also passed by a few expensive bikes with riders in full team kit, disc wheels and aero helmets.

I'm happy with the results. Two miles per hour faster than last year, yet another year older. I can now feel much better about the winter training and that I'm ready for the Capital of Texas Triathlon on Memorial Day. This season was to be about Kaizen and so far it has with new 5K, 10K, and now a bike TT PR.

Thanks go to Run-Far Racing Services for providing the timing service. It was even owner Raul's 40th birthday tonight and he was out there with the riders. Very cool.

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Personal Bike TT Done

My own bike time trial ridden on the Run-Far course is done and I'm a little disappointed. The time was the best so far but didn't break 20 mph. As the swim improved so much with so little swimming and so did the run with so little running over the winter, I thought sure the bike would be the most improved. I spent most of my time in the weight room and on the trainer. But as my post last week pointed out, changes are slow to come. It may be another year before I realize 20 mph on that course. There's an actual TT next Tuesday so we'll see if the time hits 20mph.

I warmed up on the veloway for about 2 laps (6.2 miles) and the wildflowers were incredible. The cacti were blooming, and I counted about ten different variety of wildflower. Cardinals flying past and bunnies running in the distance. It's definitely still spring.

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Drunk On Training

I don't know if it's because I did more swim sessions this week, which always make me light headed, or it seemed I was always going to do another workout. When I was driving home tonight, I felt the same feeling as when I've had one too many beers. I thought it could be over-training but I still look forward to the workouts. It's the first thing that pops into my head in the morning. What's the weather going to be like today? I was more tired this week. I was hungrier this week. After todays swim I had no problem with the Monster Freebird Burrito and then four or five oatmeal cookies. One more intense week before the taper to the Capital of Texas Triathlon.

Looking at the workouts, they were on par with the other weeks but the intensity has ramped up quite a bit. Everything has been tempo pace or intervals. Everything just below lactate threshold. Even when I planned to go easy to have a recovery day the workout went tempo again. I told Da Fish when we ran seven miles the other day that I wanted to stay at 150 heart rate. It was higher and on the second loop averaged 159 which meant it went in the 160s at times or average miles were in the 7:30 range. I think my subconscious took over as coach and had me pushing each workout a little bit more. Thank my lucky stars I found NUUN tablets with the heat and humidity. Headaches and dehydration are a thing of the past.

The time trials have been going well. The swim test came in faster than the targeted 33:00. 31:30 for the 1500K on Tuesday at Barton Springs. That's 2:08 per 100m which not great but much better than last year. The run came in a minute faster for each average mile. The only thing left is finding out what will happen on the bike. Tomorrow I'll go out and do a 24-mile TT on the Mopac 8-mile TT route. With all the time spent on the bike this winter, I hope it's at least a little faster. If it's not, there's not much I can do about it now.

I also spent the week checking out the Race Athlete triathletes at Wildflower. Iron Kahuna and the merry band of the Tri-Geek Alliance were in rare form early in the season. The smack-talk was thick before the race but it came down to Bolder getting spanked by Simply Stu and Rural Girl taking Roman to school. I wanted to go but other plans had me in Dallas last weekend while "K" won her first three first place gold medals at an ice skating district championship. Maybe I'll meet up with the tri-gang in 2008.

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