I love this Tri Heart Design by WHOOHA Gear:
Perfect for Valentine’s Day!
(via 623 Tries)
British studies have shown that TODAY is the saddest day of the year. The idea is that by this time (the third Monday in January to be exact), the high from the Holidays have worn off (presents have been opened and exchanged if needed, New Year sales are dwindling down, relatives and friends have gone from visiting or you’ve returned from travels, etc), resolutions have been made and broken, the daily grind at work has started up again… I found it a little surprising when I heard this since the third Monday in January is usually off (for schools and federal offices) in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr,’s Birthday… but seeing as how this was a British study.. you get the picture. Perhaps this will explain why I’m feeling abnormally depressed and out-of sorts today (especially since I don’t get today off).
Anyway.. Working out has been better since I got the gym membership. I’ve been trying to hit the gym for swim and/or weights and Stairmaster about 3 to 4 times per week. Haven’t been back to running since my legs are still hurting (I’ve self diagnosed my shin-splints to be caused be overuse and jumping back into running to fast too soon on the treadmill). I’ve decided to give it time to heal up before I aggravate the injury further. FINALLY got back on my mountain bike this weekend since BEFORE the holidays…
Minh and I took an “easy” ride up Maple Springs to Four Corners. I was DYING… so we decided to turn around there. It was actually a beautiful day for a ride, and I’m very happy that we went, but was a little disheartened that I wasn’t able to go further or faster. Looks like I have a lot of building I need to do to be ready for Traverse in May.
The rest of the weekend was spent recovering and getting errands run. Tested out the BOB trailer on the back of my road bike (since the skewer was not long enough for the mountain bike)…
Pretty cool, huh?
And.. I’ve paired down the race schedule a bit because I’m not nearly as ready as I wanted to be at this point, and feel like removing some races will make me better at the ones I really want to do well in. So.. Mostly, I’ve elminated most of the Kenda Cup West races, with the exception of Bonelli because it’s close. Since the real focus this year is Xterra and Traverse, I want to make sure that I’m ready and in tip-top shape for those.
Hopefully my sad state-of-mind will end when the saddest day of the year is over.. till then.. HAPPY MONDAY!
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Minh and I have beed duped! Actually.. correction.. Minh has been duped and I was just a victim of his duping. It goes all the way back to my very first triathlon.. …
Minh and I headed up to LA back in October 2009 for the LA Triathlon. At the pre-race expo/athlete check-in, we were introduced to one of the new discoveries to enhance athlete performance… tiny discs (like mini CDs) which have special frequencies embedded in them which mirror your body’s natural frequencies to promote good health, increase stability and balance, and enhance performance. I’m not going to name any companies or brands since Minh was joking around about how I’ll get sued for libel.. but you know what I’m talking about. It’s those plastic/rubber bracelets with those things on them.
The representative at the Expo did the whole demonstration with us.. TWICE.. once with Minh and once with me. I thought it was pretty cool, but the price was pretty steep for something that seemed too good to be true. We told the guy we’d think about it and continued our way around the Expo. Minh couldn’t stop talking about it, saying how it doesn’t hurt to try it and if it works then it’s a BONUS.. and if it doesn’t.. well.. oh well. So… with Minh’s convincing argument, we went back and bought two (they were having a deal – 2 for $50). I have to note that it also helped that there seemed to be lots of professional athletes endorsing this product (or this type of product) by wearing them during competitions/games and interviews.
I used mine a handful of times during training and mountain bike rides, but didn’t really think it was helping. It was yet another thing I had to wear on my wrist to give me a tanline and seemed unnecessary (unlike the Garmin and the Road ID), so I stopped wearing it. Minh wore his for most of the year, but eventually stopped wearing his, too. It didn’t seem like it was “enhancing” our performance, but it wasn’t hurting us either. It was just a bracelet.
Fast forward a year, and Minh stumbled upon this video….
After watching this video.. I realized that we (i.e. Minh) were total suckers and fell for the “fake science”. What I don’t really understand is how this type of product made it’s way from the “healing holistic paranormal” realm of conventions and expos to the sports arena. I’m hoping we don’t get duped again, but who knows what new-fangled “discoveries” will be available at the next race expo? In the meantime, I’ve got a pretty useless plastic/rubber bracelet for sale.. and takers?
Have you been duped too?
To help with my impending “off season” training (and with training in general), Minh got me one VERY COOL thing and one marginally cool thing.
Thing #1: The VERY COOL Thing – Core Wobble and Balance Board
Apparently (and it’s not really a surprise to me), I have very poor balance. I’ve been looking at getting a balance board for a while, but most times when I make mental notes like that, I just forget about it. I tried it out for about 15 minutes when I first opened it, and could already see some improvement in that short amount of time (actually being able to balance for a few seconds). The plan is to use this daily to help work on balance and core stability. Then, hopefully, it will help with my balance and stability on the bike and help with ankle stability during running. Plus.. I’m hoping it will help get me some nice toned abs.
Thing #2: Pro-Gym in a Bag
This is supposed to be super helpful for traveling around with (either actual traveling or just going back and forth from Minh’s house). It doesn’t take up TONS of space like a home gym does, and I can do equivalent workouts to using machines at the gym.. so no need for a gym membership. Watched some of the videos and did some trial exercises. It’s a much different feeling from free weights since the resistance changes the tighter the cord is pulled. Also.. it brought to light how TOTALLY WEAK my arms are.
This is not a contest sponsored by me. Someday, I may have the goods to raffle off, but for now, I can only shamelessly promote other people’s giveaways in the hopes that I’m the one that actually wins.
A great giveaway for a Timex Global Trainer is going on over at DC Rainmaker’s Blog. Read the in depth review here and sign up for the contest here. The contest will run until Thursday October 14th, 2010 at 11:59PM Eastern Time.
Earlier this year, I convinced Minh that I needed a trainer. I bought it myself (if I recall correctly), but not after a lot of “arguments” with him on whether or not I’ll actually use it. I’m happy to say that I HAVE used it…. perhaps only 2-3 times, but still used it. The problem was that we got it near the tail end of “winter” and I didn’t need to ride on the trainer anymore (no more rain). That, and it wasn’t convenient (yet another one of those “things” that will be different when we move in together, whenever that is). Anyway, the Blackburn Trakstand Ultra that I have is great.. but you know what would be even better??
High Inertia Technology
Progressive Wind Resistance
Easy On, Easy Off Design – no need for a trainer wheel
More Stable Frame
Fits all road bikes (Shimano/Sram 9 or 10 compatible) and can be adjusted for mountain bikes
There are reviews all over the web right now since many people got to test it out at Interbike (which I did not have the pleasure of attending). From just reading reviews and looking at pictures, all I can say is that I want one, but I can’t justify spending $500 for a new trainer (especially when I already have one) or the extra $350 for the Power Pilot Meter. So for now, I’ll stick to my Blackburn and Spinervals.
I recently ordered a pair of new Avia Stoltz Running Shoes for trail running. I read reviews online that these are great for trail running, and I was in dire need of retiring my old trail shoes (that were never meant to be running shoes in the first place). Because I couldn’t find these at any local retailers, I ended up purchasing them from FinishLine online…. in chrome silver/firerose pink/yellow glow/black, of course. Took them out to Peters Canyon for a short trail run to test them out. Also, put a pair of Berry Superfeet in them for good measure.
The run felt great. The shoes have great support where I need it, but isn’t too tight or confining like some of the other trail shoes I’ve tried. They’re also super light, probably just a tad heavier than my race shoes, but lighter than my training shoes. The toebox is extra roomy, so I could still wiggle my toes, but not lose stability or support.
Of course there are some “cons” to the shoes. First being the stock laces. The laces are pretty thin and slippery feeling, so I’ve read that they don’t tie that well. To make up for this, they come with one of those spring adjustable cord-pull/lace-lock things (I dont’ k now what they’re called, but they come on drawstring bags and the like). But, when you tighten them, you’re left with some extra lace length dangling over the top of the shoe, which then needs to be tucked away or tied off somehow. I’ll probably replace the laces with some Yankz! when I get around to it.
The other downside was that even though I love all the room in the toebox, it allows a little too much shifting around on really steep downhills. I think, though, that I can get rid of this problem with some more practice on my downhill running form.
Overall, a great shoe.
I love weekends… not just because I’m not in front of the computer all day, but more because I just feel a lot more rested and less antsy.
After the race course pre-run last weekend, I decided that I really need a new pair of trail running shoes. The ones I have been using are nice and light, but they don’t give me as much support as I need. Minh and I stopped by three (yes.. THREE) running stores this weekend, and the search for trail running shoes was a failure. All I wanted was to try out the Brooks Cascadia 5 and Avia Stoltz and choose from those two shoes.. is that SO MUCH to ask???
First we went to Road Runner Sports. Minh wanted to try out the Shoe Dog and get a new pair of running shoes (he’s pretty much worn out the ones he has with over three years of “running” and two half marathons). He hates running, but has noticed that his endurance has been slowly declining since he’s stopped.
I tried on a couple of trail shoes that they had there, but unfortunately, they don’t carry Avia (at all) and didn’t have either of the Brooks trail shoes in my size. The shoes I did try on (um.. Nike, Pearl Izumi, and some other brand that has slipped my mind) didn’t work out too well. The Pearl Izumi shoes had the best feel, but still not quite right. Just the fit and the feel of the shoe didn’t work well for me. FAIL #1. Minh came away with a new pair of running shoes…
Saturday was a huge debacle in terms of training.. ok.. not THAT huge. Just a misunderstanding between Minh and me regarding what I actually wanted to do and what he thought I wanted to do. I originally wanted to head down to CDM for some open-water swimming and then a couple laps around Back Bay on the bike. What we ended up doing was only biking, straight from the house, up the river to Imperial Hwy and back. When we got to Imperial, we decided to stop in A Runner’s Zone to see if they carried Avia Stoltz (they don’t, but they are one of the few local running stores that even CARRIES Avia shoes). They only carried 4 different pairs of women’s trail shoes in only 2 brands (New Balance and Inov-8). FAIL #2. The ride home was tough. My legs started to feel like Jell-O. Probably because I was STARVING and had ZERO energy…. my first BONK in a LONG LONG time.
After we got cleaned up, we headed to Hot Off the Grill (just opened near home) for some cheeseburgers. They weren’t awesome, but weren’t too bad either. The price was good for what it was.
After lunch, we headed over to A Snail’s Pace to see if they had any trail shoes. I would have to say that the selection at a Snail’s Pace isn’t as large as Road Runner, but still more than A Runner’s Zone. They carried the Brooks Cascadia 5, but not in my size. FAIL #3. They also had a few Vibram Five Finger “shoes” and actually in my size, so I tried on a pair. I’ve been wanting to try on a pair FOREVER, but REI never carries my size. Now, I can say I’ve tried them on, and the verdict is IN! I don’t like them. Maybe my toes are just long or not “normally” shaped, but my big toe especially felt smashed and squished in the shoe. That, and the fit was still not right. It also seemed like over time, the straps or edges would start to rub and chafe. At least now I can stop thinking about getting a pair since I know I won’t like them. (Not the case for everyone, because my uncle LOVES THEM!!).
We headed back to Minh’s for the afternoon. He wanted to swap parts over from his S-Works HT to his old HardRock. He’s going to sell off the S-Works frame and some extra wheels we had and get himself a Hooligan. He’s finally decided that he’s just going to go ahead and buy it rather than waiting around for a deal to come up. He’s been wanting one for over a year. I had set aside some $$$ already to get him one for Christmas, but he can’t wait. So now what am I supposed to get him???
While he was working on his bike, I was working on re-evaluating my training schedule from now till the “end of the season”, which is the Silverman Triathlon for me (this year). It’s been tough for me to figure out a training plan that I can stick to that doesn’t make me tired or burned out.. and still allows me time to rest and do other things. I’ve finally got it figured out, at least for now. Once the “season” is over, I’ll be re-evaluating my training plan for 2011 and making my workouts more focused. Essentially, what I’m going to do is actually READ and USE Joe Friel‘s Triathlete’s Training Bible rather than just skimming it and reading captions.
I also went ahead and ordered a pair of Avia Stoltz from FinishLine. They don’t carry them in-store, but they do have them online. I found a sweet coupon too.. so it came out to just over $100. Hopefully, the come soon and I can try them out before the Xterra Point Mugu Trail Run.
Sunday was another change of plans in the training weekend. I was supposed to meet a friend to run the Back Bay Loop in the morning. He ended up cancelling because he had a late night on Saturday. So rather than driving down to run Back Bay alone (which I could have done), I decided to park the truck next to Mile Square Park and 12 miles (3 laps), using the car as an “aid station”. I ended up doing only two laps, but still made really good time. Cut the run short because my stomach was starting to act up and my knees were just starting to get a little twinge of pain.
The rest of Sunday was pretty relaxed. Closed out the weekend with a home-cooked meel (FINALLY!). Minh and I have been eating out pretty much every night lately, just because it’s fast and easy. It’s been getting a little tiresome though. I had some Sweet Potato Pasta from Pappardelle’s, so I decided to try out one of their recipes. Post and recipe forthcoming, but it turned out GREAT! Way better than eating out.
Minh and I were first introduced to Bicycle Polo back in May when we were at the Long Beach Bike Festival. We didn’t play in the match and we didn’t stay to watch much of it. Honestly, it looked pretty absurd. BUT.. if I were to partake in polo (of the horse type or the bicycle type)… I’d definitely need to turn my bike into a horse..
The designer, Eungi Kim, explains:
“Horsey” is an attachable bicycle ornament/accessory which makes one’s bicycle look horsey! the ‘horsey’ package includes wooden ornaments (horsey shape body), metal parts, and screws. the manual is very simple so that anyone can easily arrange it according to one’s needs. through this ‘horsey’ project. I wanted to give a special look to bicycles so that people would care about cycling not only as transportation but also as a lovely pet.
And I’ll want to top of the entire look with one of these awesome helmets from Yakkay.
The great thing about these stylish helmets from Yakkay (other than the fact that you just look like you’re wearing a cool hat) is that, like hats, you can change up your look to fit your mood or outfit for the day. The helmet underneath stays the same, but the covers are interchangeable. How awesome is that?
Looks like I’m on my way to taking my (bike) horse on the trails in style.