Monday, September 27, 2010

We're here to Share

A lot of people can't believe it when I tell them that Kim join me on my long bike sessions but not on the bike but driving behind me.

After my experience Saturday and seeing the newspaper headline this morning about another cyclist that got killed over the weekend I am so glad and thankful for having a wife that's prepared to do it.

I guess this debate or rage between motorist and cyclist sharing the road will never end and even if you do whatever possible and obey the rules there will always be someone ignoring the rules.

During Saturday's ride I decided to train on a road I never used before, the road between the towns of Ogies and Witbank as they resurfaced the road recently and I thought it will be OK to train on.

How wrong was I, first of all the road surface was left rough and they didn't finish the tar to be smooth. My bike was shaking so badly that the one "bomb" rattled out of the holder on the rear of the bike and Secondly the drivers was just reckless, especially the truck drivers.

Even with Kim driving behind me they showed no respect and that was with her driving in the yellow lane section and with two wheels off the tar. One disadvantage of living in a city surrounded my coal mines, lot of trucks on the road.

This picture is one of the few truck that gave us some space but when another truck pushed Kim of the road, we called it a day. I didn't know this at that moment but it was weired when the truck drove by so close to me as Kim was driving behind me as this could not have been possible.

I decided to stop and the first words that came from Kim mouth was: "I am really scared, this is a sh!t road" and that's when we decided to load the bike in the car and we drove to another section I am familiar with, where I finished my bike session.

My brick run session was then done as I finished my bike session close to the Steel factory. I must say running at 1pm while being out there with just the Steel factory in the distance it reminded me of running at the Energy Lab in Kona, hot and lonely!

Apart from the truck incidents I had a great session, averaging 35.9km/h on the bike and 4:21min/km on the run.

Sunday I had an 1 hour run and this also went great averaging 4:42min/km.

Today was a rest day before I have another three days of hard training and then it will be an easy Friday and Saturday before Sunday's race.

Below is some pictures of us having a BBQ on Friday as it was a public holiday, Heritage Day but also know as BBQ day to welcome Summer.

DJ is also attending a week long Dance training camp during this week long school holiday which started last week Friday on the public holiday. Her knees are blue from all the dancing but she's enjoying it and don't mention the word "stop" to her.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some Motivation

Bryan made the remark on his blog yesterday that he would enjoy some motivational video to watch in his lead up to Kona. Well this is not much of a motivational video but it is my video of my Kona experience last year.

Sharing the experience with Kim and DJ and that feeling of having an Ironman World Championship medal around your neck is just priceless and something that will stay with me forever and something I'll never forget.

Definitely the highlight of my Ironman career.

Enjoy the video B and stay focused to get that medal on the 9th of October. Staying motivated and focused is hard, especially during the final two weeks leading up to the race

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Kona 09 the Tri-Stemmet experience

Here's the video of my experience at the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Hopefully I can improve my video making as my Triathlons, being my first video. Enjoy
Video Cover ImageWatch the video and leave a comment!
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What is this? Animoto makes killer videos from your photos. It's free for 30 seconds. Make your own.

Copyright © Animoto Productions, 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Below is also a piece, titled "The Real Secret of Success" that was written by Walter P Chrysler. It is all about enthusiasm and something I live by daily. I have made a small card with these words on it and carry it in my wallet.

If you aren't enthusiastic about something anymore, stop doing it as you are busy wasting your time.

"The real secret of success is enthusiasm.

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hope rise to the stars.

Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eye, it is the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand,
the irresistible surge of your will, and your energy to execute your ideas.

Enthusiasts are fighters.

They have fortitude, they have staying qualities.

Enthusiasm is behind all progress.

With it there is accomplishment.

Without it there are only alibis!"

-Walter P Chrysler

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Baby is Back

Everything is back to normal again after DJ returned from her camp. She arrived just after 2pm yesterday and you can imagine how happy I am. So glad she is safe, enjoyed it and with no incidents. Picture above the morning before the camp before Kim went to drop her off.

I can see that she enjoyed it as she was talking not stop the whole afternoon. The picture is their school group but I believe they were four schools in total at the camp.

Not that the house was quiet as Kim volunteered to look after her sisters 5 week old baby to give her sister a little break just to relax after the birth of her child.

If we ever thought of getting DJ a brother or sister, I can tell you that it is definitely not gonna happen after our guest this weekend. Boy I forgot how hard work a baby is.

DJ's dog, Dolly was also sad the whole weekend and wasn't in the mood for playing and just ignored us all.

With no training on my schedule yesterday I decided to have a Fish BBQ. I invited my mother and sister but warned them beforehand that I can BBQ meat to perfection but not fish. I think I can count the times I had fish on the grill on one hand.

We love fish but that is Kim's department in the kitchen. At the end of the day I think it turned out pretty well and everyone enjoyed it. Kim's sister and her husband also joined us when they came to pick up their child.

This week it is running interval time as it was interval time on the bike last week. Intervals are not easy but add some biking, swimming and gym sessions and it can become really hard.

I am really looking forward to my race next weekend. Not that it is a "A" race and with me only doing a semi taper I think it is really going to be hard. I think the main reason is that it will be my first proper race in more than five months, can't wait!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Speed Week

This week is definitely a week where I've done the most intervals in a week in all of my Ironman training . One thing I can say about CTS is that the training program is never boring and it's something different every week.

With my previous program I knew which workout on what day, months ahead and it was just the time or distance that differ. Now I can't wait to see what my next block of training looks like, which is usually three weeks in advance but can change daily depending on what the coach see in my training data which I upload.

Beyond that I have no idea what to expect but is trusting my coach 101% to guide me towards Kona 2011.

I can't say this will continue or if it is just the beginning of a lot of intervals but being used to going slow for very long times this week's intervals is just so much harder even thou the training time is shorter than what I'm used to.

But before I tell you more about the training, the picture above is also about speed but in a totally different way.

Driving 105km to work and 105km back home everyday on the same Highway for the past two years, one get to know the road very well. One thing you also get very familiar with is the law enforcement officers doing their job by catching people, speeding.

Everyday there's between two and three "speed traps" on the road catching people and they are always at the same spots. I make sure to be within the speed limit when I approach these spots.

On Tuesday I saw something that I've only heard of before. As I approached one of the "hot spots" I slowed down to make sure I was within the limit and this guy just flew past me.

Needless to say less than a kilometer down the road the traffic officer jumped up to stop him. He didn't even slowed down and just kept going. If the officer didn't jump out of the way it could have been a nasty accident.

Obviously this guy was in a big rush, had something to hide or was drunk. Doing that with your car registration number on camera can't be wise.

To get back to a different kind of speed here's what I've been up to so far this week.

Monday was a run session with 30 seconds all out intervals. Tuesday was a Gym session and a Swim session which included 15x100m sprints.

Wednesday was my hardest day of the week with a bike session in the morning with the main set being 10x2min all out power intervals and a run session in the evening which included 4x2min all out sprints as part of the main set.

Today it was a gym session and a swim session with 3x500m at race pace. Tomorrow it is another bike session with 3x10min at "Steady State" pace.

On Saturday it is a brick session which include a 2h30 bike session with 4x10min intervals at Tempo and "SS" pace followed by an 1 hour run session with 30 minutes at 10 kilometer race pace during the middle stint.

As you can see a lot of intervals and at a very high pace but luckily I have Sunday off before I start again next week with the focus on running.

Family wise Kim ( and I think me more than her) is really worried as DJ is going on a Church camp and is leaving tomorrow afternoon and is only returning Sunday evening.

The camp is more than 200 kilometers from home and they are camping out. DJ is looking really forward to this and will try out her new sleeping bag and all the camping stuff.

One thing I know is we won't sleep that well this weekend with DJ not at home.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Full of Ups and a Down

One thing I've learned from Triathlons and enjoy doing is getting there the day before a competition. It makes the morning before the event less stressful in a big way and I'm glad I've adopted this strategy to DJ's dance competitions.
wish I was this flexible

DJ did great and as I said in the past, dancing in her first year of competition she is doing awesome. In both the Freestyle and Slow dance divisions she reached the semi-finals in her age group and the competition was again one where everyone danced together, no matter what experience level.

can you spot nr152

Dancing against girls who's been dancing for years and still doing that well is just awesome. What I liked about the competition poster is, it said: "The best dancers of South Africa will be competing". If you look at the poster the guy on it, is DJ's coach.

Wouldn't it be awesome if a Triathlon or Ironman flyer's says: "The best Triathletes of the country will be competing". I am sure that will give a lot of athletes a boost.
With her doing so well it was quite a rush getting to the Parlotones concert after the dance competition. The concert started at 8pm and we arrived 30 minutes late but luckily it was still the supporting bands playing and we didn't miss out on the main act, which was just amazing

With the concert finishing at 11h30pm and with us still to drive back home, which is a two hour drive, we arrived back home in the early hours of this morning.

Amazing how many cars are on the road that time of night. I said to Kim I think more than half the people on the road at that time of night must be drunk as they were just flying past me and I am not a slow driver. Where do they need to be in such a rush after 12 at night?

This morning I enjoyed my maiden ride on my new bike and it was actually scary at first. Amazing what three weeks on a road bike can do and then suddenly riding in the aero position with cars passing by. It took me a good hour before I was comfortable again on the TT bike.

But I'm glad to report back that Roxy did just great with no hick ups and everything worked 100%. One thing about those Zipp R2C shifters, they are just awesome.

The training session was a 3 hour ride with 4x20 minutes intervals. Two at Tempo pace and the next two at Steady State pace. With my new power zones and with me getting somewhat confused last week about the zones, I decided to give myself a visual reminder.
One thing of having a coach and something I am so thankful for, is that coach pick up on things I don't. She picked up that I was pedalling at a lower cadence with each session.

I didn't notice it but I used to pedal at 90+ rpm but lately as I am pushing it to maintain my power output, my cadence has dropped. You don't realize it but you go from 90+ to high 80's, Then as time goes on you drop to the mid 80's and before you know it you are pedalling at high 70's to maintain the power.

The bad thing about pedalling at a low cadence is it will bite you big time during the run after the bike.

So the instruction from coach for my next block of training is to maintain 90+ rpm no matter what, even if I have to loose some of the power.
I am glad to say, I could manage my power range and my cadence is back up for the intervals today, just focus.

The only sad thing about this weekend as everything else was so great was Kim losing her ring at the dance competition. It's a very expensive ring I bought her for her 40th birthday and needless to say she is very sad about it.

To cut a long story short, how did she loose it: stupidity, and that's her words not mine.

Bike session:
3hrs, 95.8km, 89rpm, 32.3kph, 139bpm, 246 watts

Friday, September 10, 2010

Meet Matilda's Sister

Well here she is, Matilda's younger sister. Wednesday morning I went through to Cycle Tech and picked up my new/replacement bike. To me the 2010 model with the red inserts make it not as dull as the 09 model that was black and silver. The wording on the bike is also white instead of silver.

It's just looking a bit brighter. Since the rear derailleur got damaged on the previous bike and after reading up on the Internet I decided to go for the SRAM Force derailleur instead of the Red.

The Force is not the top of the range but is more durable and as I am using the bike for training and racing and not only for racing I think it's a better call.

All the rest of the components are the same and was just moved from the previous bike to this one.
I've also asked them not to cut the fork as I will do it after I am 100% sure of my position on the bike. With Matilda, we've cut the fork based on the P3's position and it was just right but if I had to adjust the handle bar upwards it wouldn't have been possible.
Don't feel like buying a new fork soon.

Since they had to fit new cables I decided to fit this "Bento box" or as I call it my mobile food station. I bought it last year in Kona and wanted to put it on Matilda but kept postponing it as it's one hell of a job re cabling this bike. I've made little hole at the bottom where the cables run through.
I've also decided to replace the SRAM shifters with Zipp R2C shifters. For those who are not familiar with it, what it basically mean, is the shifters work on a ratchet system and keep pointing forward and doesn't change position.

As you shift gears the shifter returns to it's position.

And then I had to add "Skillie" (Turtle) to the bike. I just can't see myself biking without my "trademark" on the bike. Can't wait for Sunday's 3hr bike session on my soon to have a name bike, haha.

Training wise I am having an easier week than usual as my next training block starts Monday. With my first race approaching fast the following two weeks is high volume before a semi taper week. Can't believe it's only three weeks and then the racing starts, new season new goals!

Talking of races after emailing and discussing it with my coach we've decided on the races I'll do up to the end of the year. I was thinking of doing all the races in the Energade Sprint series but coach feel it will be better to concentrate on training insteadof doing Sprint Tri's.

As my goal is Ironman it will be better putting in high volume over the weekends than doing Sprint distance racing.

The races I'll be doing are:

Afriman Duathlon October 3

Huis Betsie 12 hour bike challenge October 24 ( more of a fund raiser than race but will still be hard)

Sun City Olympic Tri, November 7

Double Century Bike Race November 27

Prestige Half Ironman, December 16

Well that's it, family is waiting for me. DJ has another dance competition tomorrow and we are leaving today and are sleeping over, close to the venue. Luckily I'm packed as I took the day off work and could also fit in my training for the day before we leave.

Week's Training:

Monday: Swim 2500m, 53 min

Tuesday: Run, 45min (at endurance pace), 9.4km

Wednesday: Bike, (10x2min Power intervals) 57min, 27.4km

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Swim 1600m, 36min. Run, 45min (endurance pace) 9.8km.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Year Ago

Yesterday One year ago this little fellow was born and boy did he changed our life's. We are animal lovers and have our fair share of dogs and cats but he just takes the cake.

When my favourite dog of all time, Juba the Bullterrier died after a long battle with skin cancer, I didn't want to have a replacement dog immediately. When the Vet call you by your name and give you preferential treatment, you know that you've spend lots of money at his practise.

I got Eddy the day we arrived back in South Africa after Kona and that night I wasn't that impressed with him. Not nice having a puppy besides your bed when you just finished traveling 20+ hours and have serious jet lag.

Well it's now one year later he is the centre of attention in the house and he knows that. There is not one night when I arrive back from work that he is not waiting for me in the bedroom and as soon as I take my socks off he grabs them and them run around and I must catch him or try and catch him. He will let you get close but as I want to grab the socks he runs away.

His reward for his birthday was this bone from the Eisbein I had today at lunch. Me, Kim and DJ went to a restaurant we haven't been to in months and they didn't disappoint, the food was excellent.
DJ got this funny ritual whereby she takes a slice of lemon and suck on it as we wait for our food whenever we go to a restaurant. Usually she gets the slice from one of our starter meals or if not she will ask for one. Can imagine the funny looks she get from the waiters asking for some lemon.

Yesterday as I got back from my bike ride I saw this guy on our neighbours roof. He is doing maintenance to the thatch roof and I got sweaty palms just looking at him. I don't like heights and seeing this guy work without any safety equipment was just too scary.
He must be doing it for some time I guess and when I came back from my brick run he was still busy and it really didn't seem to bother him.

Yesterday's brick session was great. I had to do it on the road bike as my P4 is not finished yet. They've build the bike but they still need to do some adjustment to the cabling.

I didn't want to rush them and would rather wait until Monday than have a bike with cables not working 100%.

The bike session was a 2 hour ride which included 2 x 15 minutes at Tempo pace and 2 x 15 minutes at Steady State pace. For the tempo session I maintained 270 watts and for the SS intervals 290 watts. This was my new power ranges and I was surprised to maintain it and still keep my heart rate in my aerobic zone. I was further away from home than expected and ended up doing 2h15.

After the bike I did a 30 minute run with the middle 20 minutes at 4min/km pace. I could manage the middle stint but had to really push hard and my heart rate was higher than expected.

This week is an easier week for me with a lot of recovery and endurance sessions with only one or two speed sessions.

Yesterday's Training:
Bike: 2h15, 67.9km, 30.3km/h, 133bpm ave, 225 watts ave, 260 watts(NP) ave, 1806 kcal
Run: 30min, 6.6km, 157bpm ave, 4:24min/km 418kcal,
Friday's Training:
Swim: 40min, 2100m( 7x300m on 30sec rest)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1 of 206 Million

Since my last post I had a lot of comments regarding my tongue. Just to clarify it, the picture of the tongue is not mine, just a picture I googled. My tongue is much "prettier"

For those still shocked by it, it is officially called a "geographical tongue" and an estimated 3% of the world population do have such tongues. That is roughly 206 Million people out of the 6.8 Billion people living on earth.

So it is not that unusual, I guess. O, by the way my elder sister also have a geographical tongue but my father, mother and younger sister have "normal" tongues.

We've been without power since Tuesday and what a pleasure to have a Generator. Don't think the neighbours are that pleased with the noise coming from our house but, that's life.

There was an explosion at the sub station on Tuesday that supply our neighbourhood with power and just as they fixed it one of the power boxes down our street exploded. That's the picture at the top.

They've installed a replacement box and we had power for about 3 hours tonight before it bombed out again. The bad thing about the whole situation is that most of our meat in the Freezer, especially the fish have gone off.
I start the generator up in the morning as we wake up and then shut it down as we leave for work. I then start it up again when I get home and shut it down at about 9pm. The time is just not sufficient to keep the meat frozen.

Some good news is I received my new Cervelo P4 frame after the mishap with the previous one. With Marco from the bike shop at Eurobike in Germany and the guy from Cervelo being overseas, I volunteered to go and pick up the new frame from Cervelo and take it to CycleTech as they were short of people and vehicles.

I must say the P4 in the new colours looks pretty good. When I dropped the new frame off, Liam from CycleTech promised me that he will build it and have it ready fro me by tomorrow afternoon.
The service from Cervelo was just mind blowing and beyond excellence. From the time I logged the claim to the new frame arriving in South Africa and in my hand from Canada, it took just more than 7 days. Now that is service!

Can't wait to go and do my long bike session on Saturday on my new bike. I've asked him to fit some new parts seeing that he need to build the whole bike over again, but more on that later.

On my way to the bike shop I saw this lady selling Fruits and Food next to the road. Amazing that she is doing it right next to the "No Hawkers" sign.
My Mother surprised me tonight with a set of Espresso Cups. Since I've got my Coffee machine I've made the Espresso's in normal cups but now I can use Proper Espresso Cups. Thanks Mom!

Training wise I am doing just great and one thing I can tell you is that my FTP (maximum power you can sustain per hour) on the bike has increased more than what I've expected.

One thing I've learned after my brave effort last Saturday on the bike is to stick to my training program. Did receive an email from Coach congratulating me on my effort and performance but in the same email increased my training zones.

Little did I know that I performed an unscheduled field test while I was out cycling at maximum power. With the power file available, she saw more into it than me and now my training zones (levels) are higher than before.