Friday, September 11, 2009
There was a few changes prior to race day. The lower picture is the final race day gear in comparison to what I planned to use in the top picture. I will comment on a few things and leave some others for a different post.
My "secret weapon" was the pull buoy carved out to stuff our required gear and fashioned around our waist with a old tube. It worked brilliantly. I was able to store all of my necessary gear in the buoy-the cell phone or GPS unit, whistle and compass fit there without difficulty. I had tied the pull buoy tight enough that it didn't bounce when running at all and with one easy pull would fall into place between my legs for the swim. When I would stand up from the swim, it would pop back into place on its own. Seamless transitions in that regard.
There were a changes with a few items that we were on the fence about. The webbed gloves vs paddles debate literally continued up to race morning. However, the edge was given to the paddles b/c they were faster in my pool TT's and weren't as fatiguing. The fingertip paddles were the ideal size in that they were definitely faster, but not excessively tiresome. I ended the day without any huge issues from them at all. However, they weren't easy to transition and they were a real handicap getting in and out of the water. On the steep climbs immediately out of deep water required a lot of additional strength that I didn't really have. The gloves would have been nice to get that extra grab. My ideal solution would be to have thin neoprene gloves with finger paddles. I would add a carabiner to my tube to allow me to carry them on the long runs.
There are many things I would do different. Poor equipment choice alone cost us 30 minutes...very frustrating. More to come in my race report.
Now recovering and back to work,
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Last fall my brother called me after Jonas Colting had won and wrote his race report on a unique race called O till O. It was intriguing and Erin suggested that we go do the race to celebrate my brother’s 30th Birthday.
So, here we are. We’ve spent the past few months accruing run miles and swim yardage. My largest week included 70 miles of running and 25k of swimming, so nothing astronomical. Despite 5 months of base training, I biomechanically challenged myself that week. Fortunately all is well and we have no injuries to speak of.
One interesting aspect of the race is the lack of formal transition areas. Despite going from swim to run ( and one bike section) 40 times, you keep all of your gear with you every step of the way. People have tried many different solutions for gear, including kick boards, flippers, water-tight bags for shoes, etc. We’ve taken Jonas’ advice and decided to run in our wetsuit and swim with our tennis shoes and avoid any gear changes. This put heightened awareness upon our gear selection. We’ve spent a few sessions testing different combinations. What you see above is my final section, minus my “secret weapon”….I will disclose that after the race, depending on how well it works. A couple of choices you might find interesting…the Blue Seventy webbed gloves will serve dual function in warmth and providing a paddle effect. One of the test sessions I soaked 4 pairs of different shoes and then weighed them…the Zoots won, saving 2 pounds of dead weight. My shoulder hasn’t quite recovered enough to overcome the resistance of a sleeved wetsuit, so I’m going sleeveless. Infinit remains my nutrition of choice…no worries about the right mix of calories, electrolytes and sugary taste. The pic above contains nearly my entire race kit.
Hope the rest of you are enjoying your summer adventures. You can see mine live tomorrow by watching real time GPS updates online.