Chicago 2010 Triathlon Bike Recap, Part 4 of 7

Post Triathlon Recap Part 3 of 7. I started writing up a recap of my event, and it kept growing and growing and growing. I decided to break it up. The purpose of the recap is give new people the thoughts and ideas they can use to help them prepare for their own future first endurance event!

Whoa, am I cruising. I think this is the fastest, I’ve ever ridden my bike. The swim was rougher than I thought, but this bike ride is fun. Yet, How come I’m not passing anybody? Whoa, there goes a cool bike and another and another.

The bike part of the Chicago Triathlon was super fun. Normally in my training, I’m average between 15mph and 16mph. Granted, I usually train over curvey somewhat hilly Forest Preserve Trails. I can’t go much faster with my bike or my tires will slip out, and I’ll fall and crack my helmet. Still, I did some road rides, and I only averaged 16mph. During the Chicago Triathlon, I averaged 17.5 mph. I was cruising. Yet, I was passed more than I passed.

It was a little demoralizing to know that I am going as fast as I have ever gone, and yet I’m getting passed more often than not. I really thought I’d be faster on the bike. Yet, I didn’t let that get me down. How often do you get to Ride on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago? Twice a year: once during the Chicago Triathlon, and once during bike the drive. (Am I missing another time?)

The lakefront in the northern part of the city is awe inspiring. Its super fun.

Some unexpected thoughts: Wow, those cars are loud. I knew to expect cars, but I was surprised at how loud it was. I guess that’s what I get for having 70% of my training in forests rather than roads.

Man, there were quite a few bicyclists with break downs, tire flats, etc. I guess it happens, and I’m glad it didn’t happen to me, as I have all the tools to change a flat, but I have never done it on a bicycle.

Whoa, Lake Shore Drive has lots of potholes and dangerous spots for bicyclists. There were quite a few times where if you had changed lanes, your tire would have gotten stuck. Of course, since the bike stops, the rider would have gotten through off the bike right into fast moving cars. It was much more dangerous than I expected, and I had to stay more alert.

The Lakeshore Drive in Chicago is hillier than expected. This wasn’t as big a surprise, because I had read that on a few different blogs. Also, because my training rides include quick changes in elevation regularly, the hills were not that bad. Seriously, Illinois is some flat lands.

Things I learned:

I need to look into training with some more bike gear: Cycling Shoes, Aero Bars, Clown Hats (oops that’s for my circus blog.) to get my speed up to the 20 to 22 mph range.

It may behoove a newbie to participate in the Bike the Drive event http://bikethedrive.org/ just to get some experience on the Lake Shore Drive.

Eating on the bike is not the easiest thing to do, but I recommend it. Its much easier to eat a snack on the bike than it is swimming and running.

I recommend staying hydrated during the bike. You probably won’t carry a water bottle running. On the bike, it’s a little easier. Just make sure your water bottle cages are tight as there were quite a few random water bottles that flew off due to the crazy pot-holes.

Practice your T2 transition before the event. What are you going to do when you get off the bike? How do you plan on transitioning to the run? What gear do you need? Will you need to change any clothes?

Also, I think I need to do more interval bike training to help speed up my event.

Finally, I think I have to remember, not to use up all my energy on the bike. I was going faster than I ever rode, and I still had a 6 mile run to do. Sometimes, its best to conserve the energy.

During the bike, twice I got that super Runner’s High. It doesn’t happen to much for me when I exercise. Its that supreme feeling of peace and happiness. It was about 1/3 of the way through the bike route. I just realized that, I was going to finish a triathlon. It was really happening. I had done the swim, I was cruising along on the bike, and I knew that even if I had to walk the 6 mile run, I was going to do it. At that moment, I broke in a big smile, and I had to choke back tears. It was a super feeling knowing that my hard work was paying off.

Then, I realized, wait a minute, Don’t count my chickens before they are hatched. I still have another 15 miles or so to go of biking, and the entire run.

I then started cruising even faster. I felt so good on the bike, and I was setting myself up for a great run. My T2 was super slower than the average, but I decided to switch shirts. I felt I’d be a little cooler in a different shirt, and the weather was just starting to get hot. After the swim and the bike, I was on pace for a sub 3 hour time which was my unofficial goal. My bike was 1:26:30 and the bike rank was 2795/3905.

As a side note: Today is the first day of the Chicago Triathlon 2011 registration. I still haven’t fully committed to doing it yet. So, I haven’t registered.

Tune in next time to see how my Run went.

Part 1:  Expo Day
Part 2:  Transition Set-up
Part 3:  The Swim
Part 4:  The Bike
Part 5:  The Run, if you must call it that.
Part 6:  Post Race.  Will I do a triathlon again?
Part 7:  Race Day Gear Thoughts

Knock some posts out of me.

“…Man this feels good. …fast, smooth, smile… Come on pops, Keep going… You can do it!… Fast, smooth, smile… I’m cruising today.  FAST, smooth,smi–Oooowwww – Thunk!”

Thoughts of Scott while cycling Tuesday, Aug 10

Wow, It took a nice nasty crash to knock a blog post out of me. Yes, after owning a bicycle since March 2010, I finally crashed. I have a hybrid bicycle that’s more of a road bike with skinny tires. Those skinny tires sure do not like to take packed gravel turns too fast. I came up on some loose gravel while trying to fly/ride home to get to my son’s T-ball game on time. I was riding what felt fast for me on these types of trails, but I felt in control. Then my wheels just slid out. I felt my legs scrape, man hands braced the fall. I’m kind of glad I chose not to buy cycling shoes this year. I think it could have been much worse.Broken Bicycle Helmet

I’m also terribly glad I had my helmet on. My head hit the ground really solid. In fact, I broke my helmet. (Do these things have warranties?) Right now, I’m trying to keep my computer clean from my scraped up hands.

I’ve neglected blog posting this summer a lot. I’ve been active on twitter and I still read tons of blogs through google reader and instapaper.  While reading, It seems like I’m not the only one in a funk:

I saw that Sean is having the summer malaise.  I’m right there with you with summer burgers and ice cream.

I see that Steve said he was struggling, but looks like he’s about to get his workout on!

I see that Andrew is having the issues.

Even Mac hasn’t been his steady blogging self. Although, he’s having a banner year when it comes to goal achievements!  Excellent Work Mac!

About the only dude fitness blogger not going through this summer funk is: Ryan.  He’s been a blogging / twittering machine. Yet, he reminds us not to compare which is exactly what I’m doing right now.

Why is it that the women fitness bloggers seem so prolific in their sharing of food and activities, but us guys just seem to be going through funks?  Does it have anything to do with the female fitness and food bloggers are more a community?  I don’t see guys chatting and hanging out much on twitter talking about fitness.  Is fitness really a female type topic?  Or, am I just not following and interacting properly on twitter?  Then again, if you look at who I am following on twitter, many of them are tech guys who may or may not be writing code as we speak.

For me, this has been a year of action.  I’ve been working out a ton.  I’m two and half weeks away from my Olympic Distance Triathlon.  I feel good.  I feel rather nervous especially since I haven’t really followed a specific workout plan.  My plan has been and is to swim, run, bike as far and as fast as I can as often as I can while throwing in some weight workouts on those rainy days.  Of course, I listen to my body and take breaks when I feel I need it.  I’ve been good for a minimum of 3 days a week.  Many weeks have been 6 workouts a week.  Recently, its been more like 4 days a week.  Running is just not my strong suit these days.  I can do it.  I run about 5.5 miles consistently at 8:40 minutes/mile.  I’d just rather be biking or swimming.  Swimming is fun, but I am probably about average speed.  I know next year (Doh! – did I just commit to doing Triathlons next year too), I’m going to have to work on my speed interval workouts.

While I have been very active, I have to admit, my eating habits have not improved.  All my exercising just gives me more freedom to eat what I want when I want it. Of course, with all the exercise I’ve been doing, I have lost a little bit of weight.  I’m averaging about 176 pounds a day.  Which is great considering at the beginning of the year, I was over 192 pounds a day.  I feel my waist is thinner since my jeans are too big, and my belt needs to be as tight as I can make it, but I still have some belly fat that many of the experts say is so detrimental to our health even if you exercise.  I know it is directly related to my eating habits.  I’d like to lose about 16 more pounds.  We’ll see if I can reign in my eating habits.

So, I’m still in a blogger’s hide out for a while.  I will write more.  I’ll definitely do some follow-up after I do my triathlon. I have some thoughts on triathlon preparation.  I just want to stay active, get sleep, and be action focused!