Monday, April 16, 2012

Training - Week 11

This week was a great week. It might have had something to do with my impromptu rest week last week, and quite possibly because I took a few days off work, and I'm certainly not complaining about this amazing weather we've been having... whatever the reason, I'll take it!

But even when everything seems to be going great, life can still throw some curve balls your way...

Wednesday, April 11th - 3 hour 1:45 bike ride + 6.5 mile easy run

Jennifer had a 3 hour ride to get in this week, and of course, I jumped at the opportunity to go with her!

It was a little chilly when we started, so we layered up. The wind was cold enough that Jen opted to get ready in the car.


And of course, I was decked out in my ninja mask :)


But aside from the cold and the wind, you couldn't ask for a prettier day.


Before setting out, we made a pit stop at a porta potty the Farnsley-Moremen folks have provided for their community gardeners.


Doesn't look like they've started on their gardens like we have.


Like last time, the ride on this path was absolutely perfect.

I noticed a small clicking noise coming from my pedals pretty much right after we started, but I didn't think anything of it -- just that something was probably loose. I'd look into it later.

We went to our turn-around spot and back before stopping at the car for fuel and to shed some layers. We did the 17 miles in 1:20, and our pace was picking up, so we set a goal to do around 40 miles in the 3 hours.

A few miles after we set back out, the clicking grew louder and Jen made me stop to look into it. Turned out the noise was coming from the rear gears -- it appeared they had come loose.

While I took the wheel off, Jennifer rode back to the car to get the bike tool. I thought I'd be able to tighten them back down and we'd be back on our way, but unfortunately it wasn't that easy.



I messed around with it a while before throwing in the towel. I wasn't getting anywhere, and I didn't have the tools (or Google) out there on the path to know what I was doing.

With that, I rode the bike (carefully) back to the car, preparing to call it a day. It took a little encouraging, but I managed to convince Jennifer to finish her workout. She felt bad leaving me like that, but that was the only time she'd be able to fit the ride in so she really didn't have a choice. I was okay to sit in the car for another hour, researching how cassettes (the rear gears) and freewheels/freehubs (the thing the gears mount to and spin around) work.

After a few minutes, though, I decided I wasn't going to waste the day, either. Even though I only had my old running shoes, I decided to do a brick and set out on a run.

I figured I could get in 6 or 7 easy miles before Jen came back. She caught me a little sooner than I was hoping, and ended up riding next to me back to the car for the last half-mile or so. Instead of wasting away an hour, I ended up getting a 6.5 mile run in!

As for Jen, she ended up getting in 42.04 MILES!!


Yeah, that's only 14 away from what she'll be doing in her Half-Ironman! Crazy!

Of course, I messed around with the bike more when we got home, and learned quite a bit about how to remove and install cassettes... but I never could get the cassette off my bike.

I decided to look at Schwinn's website to see what their warranty policy is. Turns out, all of their bikes come with a year warranty and there's no registration necessary. In fact, the fastest way to submit a claim is to submit a picture and they'll send the necessary replacement parts. Talk about great customer service!

So I took some pictures and wrote up the email, hoping for the best. The next day, I got a reply saying they were shipping me a new rim and gears!

Even though I've already ordered a new bike, the plan is to sell this bike and put that money toward the new one, so I'm really happy that it's getting fixed for FREE!

Friday, April 13th - 1300 yard swim

With a race coming up on Sunday, I wanted to make sure I got at least one more swim in.

Once again, I didn't have a specific workout planned. Since it had been about two weeks since I've been in the pool, I just wanted to get back in the water and make sure I hadn't forgotten everything.

After a warm-up and some drills, I decided to do a timed 200, which only took me 4 minutes! (If you recall from week 9, it took me 4.5 minutes!)

I took a quick rest and then did another 200 yards in the same amount of time!

After that, I did a few more drills before doing a timed 400... in 9 minutes!! It took me 9:36 to do it in the last race, so I'm pumped!

Honestly, it's not necessarily the time that I'm proud of -- I'm more excited that I'm improving so quickly. I definitely still want to get a few lessons, because I know there are so many things I need to correct with my form, but at least I'm going into this race on a high note!

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