Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week Update

Sorry it's been a while since I've updated this blog. Not much exciting has happened this week. It's been normal in terms of training. Coach Mike has recommended that since I've been having some shins issues while running that I spend some extra time on the bike. Since I've not been running, my calves have loosened up considerably while using the TP Roller, The Stick, Compression Socks and icing. All this extra time on the bike has unfortunately led to getting more flat tires though. It seems that since we started riding here we have two flat tires a week. There is a lot of tiny broken glass on the roads here. It really is a party town. Especially this week with Thunder Rally (the Harley Biker Week) going on. It's cool seeing all these bikes in the parking lots and streets but it's starting to wear on me at 1 am when all you can hear is these Harley's on the strip. We've bought some new Michelin bike tires with greater puncture resistance online for a great price at (I just couldn't believe the prices from this website, it took only about 4 business days to receive the order). I've already had a flat with these tires, but the tire didn't shred itself to pieces like the original Vittoria tires had.

We've spent a good amount of time at the beach this week and Tammy's started calling me the sandman with the amount of sand that I track into the condo.

This week and next week are probably are busiest in terms of training hours, we are focusing on getting through these build weeks and probably won't have much to report for another week.


Monday, September 24, 2007

I think I'm in Trouble

I don't know how this happened. Tammy was gone for a couple of hours and when she came back this was in the sand just below our condo's deck.

Today was a swim and an easy bike. The swim was fine itself but it was made difficult by the pool staff not being organized in the morning and claiming that we've been swimming for free for two weeks. That wasn't the case, but, it was still an hour and a half of stress and extra time this morning.

Today is also the unofficial start of Bike Week here in Panama City Beach. Thursday is the official start and we aren't sure if we are looking forward to this. Basically bikers, Harley's not Cervelo's, descend onto the streets by the thousands. Most of the friendliest drivers to us have been these bikers, so it shouldn't be too bad. It's weird though, with Florida's laws allowing motorbikes to ride helmet-less, Tammy and I are usually the only people here that wear helmets.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

There is blown and then there is really blown

As the subject line has it, today was a really blown apart day. The schedule called for a 3:30 bike with a 15 minute run. Well yesterday I ran 20 minutes until my shins stopped me. I'm not risking running further than I have to right now so I already decided that I won't be doing the 15 minute run today. We rolled out just after 8:00am this morning, and it was hot and humid, within an hour Tammy and I were both drenched in sweat from an aerobic effort. With about an hour left in the ride the rise in temperature hit me hard, and my perceived effort and heart rate went up dramatically. Tammy came by and I clung to her wheel (draft zone) like a fat kid on a smartie. After that effort I ate some food, napped, and played in the surf. I am off to do some stretching and self massage to my calves (the source of my shin problems).


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dark Shapes in the water

These pictures of rays were taken right along the shore. I would've gotten in the water (our camera takes underwater pictures) but I was wearing pants and didn't want to get soaked. These rays are a common sight along the shore here. We have also seen dolphins hunting schools of fish (no pictures, sorry).

Tammy and I have a rest day tomorrow so we went to the 16 screen movie theater. We expected it to be packed like it always is in Victoria. When we walked in to the theater it was like we had rented the entire theater to ourselves. The theater is really nice too with reclining seats and wide isles. We saw The Bourne Ultimatum. We liked it. I just can't see how that movie theater is in business, or at least taking business away from the older 10 screen one.

Thats it for now. We are watching the water for those dark shadows.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lovebugs everywhere

There are billions of these little bugs everywhere in Florida, just standing around outside you will have on average one a minute land on you. They don't bite, or sting, but they are very annoying little bugs. Doing a little internet research (Lovebugs), they are around for 4 weeks twice a year and 2007 is a really bad year. They don't have any natural predators in Florida so they get outta control fast here.

Other than the lovebugs problems, things are going well here. The temperatures outside are starting to comedown from 38 to 32 during the day. Tomorrow we are supposed to have a huge rainstorm hit us for a couple of days. Hopefully it won't last too long, but maybe it'll help with the lovebug problem here.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Recovery Week

Today is the first day of recovery week. It's a much needed rest from the last of the building periods and lets our bodies recover. Yesterday Tammy rode the bike course (approx 173km from our condo), and had another awesome day. I drove support and took pictures of the day.

The last picture is the one "hill" on the ride. It's a bridge that we ride up twice. This is a flat course. Being so flat we have to contend with the winds and riding in an aggressive aero-position.

Today was a simple swim in the outdoor pool at 7am. It still amazes us how fast that warm water exhausts us.


Saturday, September 15, 2007


So today's run wasn't looking good to me. I started out well, but with all the asphalt running we have been doing here my shins let me know that they have had enough. I returned to the condo after 40 mins. Tammy came in a while later from having an awesome run. She then cheerfully said to me, "Why don't you bike the course today?" I told her, "I don't like you." Then I quickly got my bike gear and water bottles from yesterday's disaster ride. I was out the door ten minutes later at 10am. It was going to be a hot ride. Tammy drove support and was everywhere on the course that I needed her to be. She drove through the plague of lovebugs that have overtaken Florida (these things are everywhere). While I could only close my mouth and be glad to be wearing sunglasses.

As the day got hotter, and I got faster with the headwind out of the way, I stopped for my special needs nutrition and some extra sunblock. A kilometer later I figured out that I was leaking air from a puncture that I repaired last Thursday. It was a busted tire, and without a spare tire I hoped in the car and we drove on back home. It was a bit of a disappointing couple of days with the rainstorm, shin splints and busted tire. But it was still a hard day of training. Tomorrow Tammy is riding the course and I am driving support.


Tropical storms and biking don't mix

We have been in Florida just over a week now. And we thought that we should write a blog to let family and friends now how we are doing here.

We bought a 2002 Suzuki XL7 for our transportation down here and it suits us well. We feel we got it for quite a deal and the dealer that we bought it at was an Ironman athlete so we were also able to get the Ironman deal and poke his brain for information for Ironman related products.

Life in Florida has been quite the adjustment. We have found that we need to be doing long runs starting at 7am as the "feels like" temp at 9am is near 39 degrees most days. We also discovered that swimming in a very warm outdoor pool in the Florida heat has drawbacks as well. Mostly that if you are doing a hour long set at 11am you should have put on sunscreen. So we are trying to swim at 7am there also.

Our open water swims in the Gulf have been very interesting, Tammy's been stung by a jelly and just after that happened she motored to the shoreline. I swam over to talk to her about why she was stopped, just as I got to her we saw some dark shadows swimming very close to us. We got out of the water just as some stingrays jumped the surface of the water. Rays are pretty docile creatures but we don't want to be near them when they want to jump.

Tammy and I had planned on doing our long ride this Friday and Saturday. We broke the days up so we could each have a support vehicle for the ride. Well I started Friday at 7am, and I was mentally focused that this was going to be the day I set a new PR (personal record) for the 182km's. I flatted 3km into the ride, changed it quickly and was on the bike with the same determination. Then the weather started to look quite different from anything that we have seen before. There was lots of lighting and thunder and even more rain. This was the type of rain where if you were driving you would have to pull over and stop, and hope that when you stopped you didn't park in a 2 foot deep puddle. We had a short run through something like this earlier in the week so I thought it can't last too long. But as the road straightened out, I saw that I was to be heading directly into the heart of the driving rain and lightening. Not fun! Just then I spotted Tammy in the support vehicle and I quickly loaded my bike in the back and we slowly made our way home. So it was a weather induced day off. The day was awlful all day but we made the most of it as we managed to get in for massages and do some shopping (Tammy really did the shopping).

Well today we are running so I have to finish my coffee and brekie (the weather looks like it'll be good), Sunday and Monday we are going for a second long ride attempt, hopefully minus the tropical storm in the area.