Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Bike

I'm super excited to unveil the speed machine I'll be riding in 2010. Actually it's the same bike I've ridden the past two years but with lots of new speed courtesy of Zipp Speed Weaponry. I'm still riding on the Orbea Ordu Limited that I purchased from Healthy Habits in 2008. This is the same frame that Craig Alexander won the past two Ironman World Championships on in Hawaii. The bike is also ridden by Andrew Starykowicz who raced to the world record bike split in the 1/2 Ironman distance last year in the 70.3 World Championships. Healthy Habits still has one of these 2008 models in the shop that I know the owner is ready to get rid of for a steal of a price. If you want an extremely fast and aerodynamic ride that has proven success stop in to check out how much you can save off what this bike retailed for.
For 2010 I'm looking to get from T1 to T2 as quick as absolutely possible. I know I'll be down to most of the field when I exit the water in the pro races. My game plan will be to close that gap down and get myself back in the race during the 56 mile bike leg of the 1/2 Ironman. I'm preparing myself for a suffer fest on the bike. I'll have to be able to maintain a huge effort and I know I can do it if I prepare to ride that way in my training. I certainly won't be able to blame my equipment for lack of performance. I'll be riding all new Zipp Zedtech wheels in 2010. Zedtech is Zipp's custom program that allows the customers to select the top wheel parts in the world to put together the wheel of their dreams. There are only 3 guys in the world who are certified to build these. Some of the advantages of Zipp's Zedtech wheels over the already ridiculously fast standard wheels are that the bearings are ceramic. Zipp makes the best quality ceramic bearing in the world. Their alumninum bearings are better than most companies ceramics. All the hubs on the Zedtech wheels are dimpled. In the wind tunnel this helped riders shave precious time. Along with those benefits Zipp also allows you to customize colors of various parts and logos. Pictured on the bike is a Zipp sub-9 disc wheel with a 1080 front wheel. This is what I will race with on relatively flat courses when the wind isn't out of control. I believe this is simply the fastest wheelset on the planet for anyone riding a relatively flat course. The sub-9 is the only disc in the world that has been tested to actually provide riders with forward lift while riding at high speeds. If the course has tough hills or the winds are a problem I'll ride the 808 front wheel with the 1080 rear. I went with this combination in 4 races last year and won all of them. If I had to pick 1 Zipp wheel to own I would go with the 808 because it is so versatile under all conditions. It's what Craig Alexander rode 2 years ago in the legendary crosswinds of Ironman Kona. I will be using Zipp's double wheel bag to protect my extra wheels when traveling to races. It makes carrying the extra wheels very convenient.
The other new thing I've added to my bike is the Zipp VumaChrono crank. Besides looking really sweet and matching the bike to perfection this crank is super stiff and I've noticed a difference in my few outdoor rides with it already. The VumaChrono comes with a bottom bracket that is equipped with Zipp's ceramic bearings to make it that much faster. Along with that I also upgraded water cages to the Zipp carbon bottle cage. I'm not sure why I was still riding an old aluminum cage on such a nice bike. The combination of my 110000 new position on the bike and these Zipp products to go along with the Orbea Ordu I'm really excited about the potentials of the bike this year. I have to give lots of thanks to the guys at Zipp Speed Weaponry for producing such amazing products and also a HUGE thanks to the guys at Healthy Habits for getting this machine ready to conquer the course and allow me to reach my goals. Healthy Habits carries all the tremendous Zipp products if you're looking to upgrade. Without the help of these two companies I would not be riding this dream machine. Now it is time to build the engine!! Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Road Block...week 18 Summary

Week 18 began with a bad start. I woke up Monday with a really sore achilles tendon. It hurt in the exact same spot I had the cyst removed last year. It was really painful when I tried to run and then I went out for a fifty mile bike ride and turned around after 1 mile. Besides the shooting pain through the achilles tendon it was a really nice bike ride. I made it off my street and almost got out to the Le Claire city limits before reaching a mile and deciding it wasn't worth the pain. I went to icing lots and called to make doctor's appointments. On Tuesday I did 2 swims and also felt good enough to do a time trial on my bike. I had a feeling the time trial would be my last ride for a few days so I wanted to make it a good one. I decided if riding was going to make the achilles hurt I needed to get my money's worth. I went 12.15 miles in 27 minutes and 28 seconds. It was an average speed of 26.5 mph. I did this time trial last year a few weeks later and averaged 25.7 so I'm ahead of where I was by a good amount. There was also much more wind this year. I had to work super hard to the turnaround on the out and back course and was only at a 23.4 mph average speed. When I turned it was complete fun for the next 6.1 miles. I averaged just over 32 mph on the way back with the wind at my back. The Zipp Sub-9 disc wheel is ridiculous at high speeds! The achilles pain did not allow me to run all week. I was able to tolerate the pain biking on Saturday and Sunday. I'm hoping to get it taken care of this week but every time I think it's better I work out and the pain returns within 90 seconds. It was pretty frustrating. I spent some time being a baby and worrying about it. "You can't control the uncontrollable." I have to remember that. I need to work harder at what I can do. When you have an injury it can be tougher on you mentally than physically. After my initial disappointment I decided to take the advice of "Red" from Shawshank Redemption..."Get busy living...or get busy dieing." Laying around feeling sorry for myself will not help me at all. It won't make me tougher in a race when things aren't going as planned. Although my volume was down I'm going to be tougher mentally from how I handle this injury. Every great story has a character that overcomes adversity. This is my first bit of adversity in 2010. This story will have a great ending on September 12th in Sandusky, Ohio. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Healthy Habits and Zipp Sponsorship

I am thrilled to announce that Healthy Habits and Zipp Speed Weaponry have agreed to continue helping me on this journey for 2010. Both Zipp and Healthy Habits have increased their level of support this year. I'm excited to pick up my new Zipp wheels with tires freshly glued on later this week. I don't want to spoil any of the surprises of what I'll be racing on this year but it has me pretty darn excited about the bike. Zipp Speed Weaponry specializes in making the best bike wheels and components on the planet. If you don't believe me check out the wheels that people are riding at the Ironman World Championships in Kona every year. Last year over 70% of the entire field was counting on Zipp to help them stop the clock faster. No other gear of any sort saw that kind of market domination in Kona. Zipp is simply the fastest out there. I am thrilled to have them supporting me again. Healthy Habits is a premier bike shop in the Quad Cities. It is where I purchased my first bike ever back in 1998 and I've been a customer since. I bought my Orbea Ordu and they have taken great care to make sure my training and racing bikes are in perfect conditions for training and racing. If you have any bike questions or needs stop in and see the guys there. Their mechanics are tremendous at explaining what things are wrong and teaching riders what they can do to avoid problems.

Week 17 was a solid week of training. I was mostly hoping to get over the pneumonia and get a decent build week in while preparing for a huge week this week since I'm officially on spring break. For the week totals I trained 23 hours. I ran 50 miles, biked 145, and swam 12,000 yards. I lifted weights 3 times, did speed drills and strides four times, plyometrics and lunges twice, and core work 5 times. I got my longest run so far in today with an hour and 45 minutes. I'm now just 15 minutes away from the long run goal I set to hit by the end of May. My best workout of the week was no doubt on Friday. I ran a 3.5 mile warm up and then did 4x 1 mile with 2 minutes rest between each. The weather was perfect for running fast and I went 5:16, 5:12, 5:08, and 4:57. I have never run mile repeats on 2 minute rest intervals near that fast. My target time was 5:20-5:30 so I was really excited about it. I also have begun doing 2-3 hard bike interval workouts each week now that I'm in phase two of training. It was great to get outside and ride this week and I look forward to doing more riding outdoors over break as the temps are supposed to mostly be in the 50's all week. I'm looking forward to beginning races next month. I'm feeling very only worry being some achilles soreness lingering...but as I type I have my leg in a bucket of ice water making that go away! Thanks for reading...DREAM BIG!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week 16 Summary

What a week! The highlight was definitely the birth of our son Owen on Monday afternoon. He and mom are both doing great. He got to watch me bike on the trainer today and I think he was reaching out for the must be in his blood! The night before we went in to the hospital I started coughing uncontrollably. I slept on the couch so I wouldn't keep Jen awake since we had to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. I fell asleep at 3:30 and Jen woke me up an hour later. The next few nights were terrible. I felt fine during the day but couldn't stop coughing at night. On Wednesday I moved to the couch early and at 1:00 a.m. Jen came in and told me I should go to the emergency room to find out what the problem was. We were both worried with me having these coughing fits around a newborn baby. I drove the the ER to find out I have pneumonia. Great...something else to slow me down. I had taken Monday through Wednesday off as planned and was planning to get back into training on Thursday. I was given an antibiotic to help get over the sickness. I trained Thursday-Sunday but not with any intensity as I don't want to slow the recovery of the pneumonia. I ran 30 miles and biked 120 but skipped out on the swimming. I lifted on Friday and did plyometrics and lunges. One thing I've noticed is that I'm really sore after working out and I hope it's from the antibiotics weakening my ability to recover. I shouldn't be sore even after three days off when I'm training at low intensity. I'm feeling better now but still coughing a little bit at night. I'm hoping to get back into a regular schedule of work and training this week and putting the pneumonia behind me so I can get a really big week of training in next week when we are on spring break and I don't have to work. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Owen Austin Paul

Owen was born yesterday at 1:50 p.m. Owen means "Young Warrior" and he's been quite that. He came down the birth canal so fast his face was a little bruised and then he was weezing a little last night when he was breathing so the doctors took blood from his foot...3 times! The first two times the blood clotted and they had to redo it. As a result his feet are really bruised. He's been super quiet...maybe we'll get lucky and have an easier time than we did with Payton. She had colic really bad for the first 6 months. I'm on a 3 day training break and I'm also enjoying some of the finer foods of life that I've skipped out on the past 15 weeks...pop, rice krispy treats with fudge, ice cream...more ice cream. Enjoy the pictures. Jen was fabulous and is hoping to start running soon. We're proud parents and excited to teach Owen to have a great work ethic and to always DREAM BIG!