December 30, 2011

Bike Lust + Swim Test

Since I'm finally tapering for Houston and only running about four times a week, I've been able to fit in some other workouts which has really helped me avoid burnout. Yesterday I met a coworker at a bike shop in Folsom to do a little window shopping before going for a ride. With Ironman in my future I'm in the market for a new, more aerodynamic bike. My little intro road bike has been great, but it's not the greatest quality nor the best fit, especially for such a long race. I still plan on keeping it, but will most likely be getting a tri-specific bike in the near future. This will be the biggest purchase I've ever made, so it's definitely a bit nerve-wracking, but exciting, too! I'm going to do a little more research before I bite the bullet, but I also wanted to have a chance to check some out in person.

Our first stop was Folsom Bikes, where I oggled a lovely 2012 Felt B16. It's got a full carbon frame and is reported to be one of the best intro tri bikes for the price. Speaking of, it's a tad over my budget, so I'll need to give that one a bit more thought. I did get to hop on it in the shop and test out the aero position, and all I can say is holy shit it is terrifying! And I wasn't even moving! Definitely something that will take some time getting used to. From there we hopped on bike trail and road into old Folsom for a stop at Bicycles Plus. As soon as I walked in the door, I spotted this beauty:

The 2011 Trek Speed Concept 2.5, the bike I've been lusting over for months! Now admittedly, I'm mostly drawn to it because it's so pretty. In reality, I can do a lot better with my money. It's got an aluminum frame and is welded rather than a single frameset. If I'm going to spend the money, I want to get biggest bang for my buck. To add salt to the wound, it also happened to be on sale! Thank god I had someone else with me to talk sense into me : )

After we'd had enough bike lusting for the day we hit the trails again for a loop around Lake Natoma before finishing with 17 miles back at Folsom Bikes. It was a beautiful, if not a little cloudy, day, and it was nice to get back in the saddle. Although pretty soon I'll be spending a whole lot more!

That evening I grudgingly headed to the pool to do something I've been putting off for way too long: my swim fitness test. My coach has instructed me to do 3 different fitness tests to gauge where I'm at with each one currently so that she can plan my schedule and training accordingly. I've had the forms for over a month with a due date of January 1, and only a few days ago did I realize how close that was! So after a nearly 2 month hiatus, I found myself at the pool, slightly nervous about how slow I'd be and how much the test was gonna suck.

I've mostly been avoiding the pool lately because, who're we kidding, nobody wants to get in an outdoor pool in the middle of winter! Granted the pool is heated, but it's the before and after I'm not keen on. I sucked it up and hopped in, and once I got moving I warmed up pretty quickly. The swim test called for 10x100 yards with 10s rest, with the goal being to maintain a consistent pace throughout the test. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well the tricky part was that in addition to actually doing the test I also had to record the data : / This led to me setting up an awkward little station at the end of my lane with towel, phone, and paper and pen. This meant that during my 10 seconds of rest, I was frantically stopping the timer, recording the time, then resetting and starting the timer before setting off again.
 at least I had a gorgeous sunrise to stare at between sets!

I wasn't expecting to be very fast, but I was hoping I could at least maintain 2:00/100 yds which wouldn't be too depressing, especially after such a long break. So I was pretty happy to find myself averaging a 1:55. I felt like I was working hard, but never like I was going to die. Definitely a win in my book! I know with more consistency I'll get faster, but I figure this is a good starting point. After a little cool down I rewarded myself with some time in the jacuzzi. With the promise of that after, I think I can come to terms with swimming more often : ) I still need to find the time to do the bike and run test (both to be done at the gym, and I'll need a heart rate monitor and assistant), but I'm glad to have at least one done... Especially since official training starts next week!
 despite the cold, there's just something about night swimming...


  1. Keep me posted with what bike you get. I need all the tips I can get!

  2. Good luck finding your new bike! I think aero position seems terrifying. I have a feeling I would fall over a lot. ;)