Upcoming Races



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Culinary Exposition

On the menu in the Rocket house tonight-

Pan fried salmon, topped with asparagus, dill and a green curry sauce (coconut milk with thai green curry paste); with a side of stir-fry Kasha (Eastern European buckwheat) with spinach, brocolli, peas and beans.

I've come from a family where I can expect a meal on the table every time I come home (love you Mum), so I've had to teach myself how to cook since I've been away from home. I think I'm doing alright (modestly, this is the reason I've done this blog in the first place yeah?). From my last two homestays in Zurich and now Austin, it seems that I've fallen into the principle of 'you buy and I'll cook'. That works fine for me with supplies like this :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Big Dance

Welcome to Austin TX, a very homely city that greets you each day with a 40+degree (I don't know, maybe 106F if you prefer ancient and obscure measurements) punch to the face and a whole lot of sunshine.

It would seem that when you're doing most of your training indoors, you don't have many ideas for a blog and your life becomes rather mundane. But with the big dance now less than a week away, I have to get some jumble on here to let you chaps know I'm still turning the pedals.

Indoor training aside, I've had another great homestay here. I'm staying in the household where Rocket Science Sports was born. These guys are pumping out some really good shit, and are about to launch their new line for 2012. I'll be debuting their new swim skin (which is sick lad) at Des Moines next week, so if I lead out of the swim assume it was the skin and not my hard training. They will be launching an updated website soon with the new kit, so have a go at that train when it comes along.

I've been thinking of home quite a bit, and drinking American coffee doesn't help the longing. Watching classic Aussie films like Two Hands and The Hard Word gets me by though, and I have found Clarke and Dawe is really good at killing pain.

But I still haven't stopped thinking about the job next Sunday. I have sacrificed alot of my running training to make sure I'm strong enough on the bike to either ride solo off the front, or ride with the best. Swimming has been equally prevalent in my preparations. There's no point turning up to the race if I can't use my strengths.

I'll also be rolling the dice in my first 70.3 in three weeks time in Syracuse (New York state), just for a bit of fun. I'm going to be totally ignorant about what it will take to race and win a 70.3, so maybe this will work in my favor like it did for T.Bozzone in Wildflower '06 when he was 21.

So I'll keep preparing, and you might keep reading if I think of some ideas for a blog with meaning. In the meantime, you lads should give me a gee-up for the race 'eyy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Burgs Texas Ranger

I'm currently in Austin getting some training done before smacking down in Des Moines on September 4. It's hot here, very hot. Not a day cooler than 40°C, and no rain for the foreseeable future. I've only just started training again since the race in New York, I had to take 5 days off with illness. I not sure what it was from, I could have been carrying a bug for some time and the race put me over, or I could have simply got a bad dose of the Hudson down in me. Either way, I hope the time off helps me to pedal circles instead of squares.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No Cigar in NYC

I was really eager to get the the USA to show off my form, but it turns out I didn't really have anything to show at all.

NYC is a tough race. Even though it's the easiest swim in triathlon, the bike and run are quite tough. I swam 13.25 for the 1500m, which knocks Sun Yang's world record straight out of Manhattan. The only difference between his swim and my swim was we were swimming with the outgoing tide in the Hudson. Essentially, this race is not for swimmers, because all the weaker guys get a free ride.

I honestly thought I would be able to ride off the front in the bike, but just had no legs at all. I'm not sure what it was, but I just got worse and worse as the ride went on. I averaged 89 cadence for the ride, which just doesn't cut a fast time over a 40km TT. 110 average cadence gets you a quick time! The course was full of rolling hills, and I got caught and dropped by 4 guys (Collins, Bennett, Yoder, Thompson), and just had nothing to give. I ended up getting caught right at the end by a bunch of 6 or so, so it would have been smart to drop back to that bunch after the 20km turnaround, but who would actually let themselves do that in a race! Here's my file, note the shitty HR decline!

 ^^^ Sympathise with that grimace!!

The run was pretty cool. We ran down 72nd, and then into Central Park for a stroll around before the finish line on Dead Road. I started the run in 5th, but already 3minutes down on Collins. Only 2 guys from the bunch that caught me at the end outran me, and I picked up one place from the athletes ahead of me on the bike. The run was also full or rollers, and it was a reallt battle to keep a high turnover. I ran a 34.30, which I guess is okay after the disaster on the bike. I was just really happy to finish the race and get it over with! 

Looking back, I've done 4 races over 5 weeks, and this has probably affected my ability to hold good form throughout. I knew this would probably be the case, so I've learnt more about my ability to race until certain pressures. Now I can really focus on 4 good weeks of training ahead of Des Moines on September 4. The course and my prepartion will be very different to here in NYC, so I think I can expect a different result, hopefully an improved result where it really counts!

I'm off to Austin Texas now. I'll be checking in next time from there :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pool Reviews- Teil Eins

A traveling triathlete faces many adversities. Luggage/bike fees, accommodations, fiscal nightmares, training inadequacies,  and sometimes just a simple longing for home, not to mention the depression when things go to shit. One major pain in the ass for a traveling triathlete will always encounter is swimming. Every country has its own take on swimming, how it should be done and what is considered an adequate swimming facillity; they all have their own minor and major frustrations.

In this new reviews section, I'm going to one by one expose and debunk the pros and cons of European pools, beggining with Freibad Annen in Witten. I'm clearly not in Witten Germany anymore, but I prepared this blog over and over in my mind while living the nightmare that is this pool. Now I don't sprechen ze Deutsch, but I believe freibad means outdoor pool. So that's a start, it's an outdoor pool. This is a picture from last year, but as you can see its an aesthetically sound pool and a nice facility, with a pleasing dash of ambience from the green foothills above. One tick for the freibad Annen.

Initially, being an ourdoor pool in Europe, you can expect that when the suns being dominated by the clouds (which is most of the time), that this pool is cold. While this is always going to be the case with otudoor pools in Europe, the pool is at a constant 27degrees celcius, so it's actually quite pleasing, most of the time. When the weather turns, let's just say 'typical European', the pool has some facilities to make up for the cold. So that you're not freezing your sexual organs off undressing, drying and dressing again in the open air, the freiban Annen compensates with a nice changeroom facility. Here we see this neat little trick, the changeroom where you can enter or exit the water via a hot shower.

But is a hot shower a good thing? Not when you have to pay 10cents for 30 seconds. 30 seconds of warm liquid goodness is just a teaser, which leaves you begging for more, and also begging for 10cent pieces. Who has any of these anyway? No tick here.

Staying on the fiscal topic, the freibad Annen wins in respects with pool entry. If you're sly enough you just walk in any claim you're with the local tri club and not get charged. Alternatively, you can pay a 2euro student fee. I got a 10 trip pass for 17euro. Big tick.


It would seem the pool thus far is of a high class. But what happens when you dive in the water? I have heard of German efficiency and precision, but I'm sorry, I see nothing but carelessness and callous ignorance when swimming in this pool. A big fat bratwurst sized cross for the freibad Annen here. German's need to learn some simple pool etiquette.

Freibad Annen, where the hell are your lane ropes? In the first picture of this review you can notice 2 laneropes to the left side of the pool. You have seen these on a lucky day. It is to my understanding that those two lane ropes are the only two laneropes Freibad Annen own, and they are also very seldom in the water. Consequently, the functionality of this pool is brought into disrepute.

Chances are if you go to the Freibad Annen, there will be no short supply of hobby swimmers in the pool. Now while I have no problem with people excercising, I have a problem when people excercising don't give a curry wurst about others, and swim in every direction of a 360degreee circle. These German's don't give a shit, and would swim over Claudia Schiffer if they could. On considering this, I have to ask myself is are they actually even swimmers, and is this actually even a swimming pool? Let's examine the evidence. Here are some of the styles of 'swimming' you will encounter at any given time when using this facility. 

The Frontal Crawl (with specialty webbed gloving for increased hyrdrodynamics)

 The Frontal Crawl (floatation assisted)

The 'float 'em if you got 'em' 

The Semi-Indecent Exposure

Vertical Breakstroke

Reverse Breakstroke 

Scissor Kick Variation 1 

Reverse Scissor Kick Varation 2

Even a Siberian living on the steppe can conclude that none of these styles are in fact swimming. With no lane ropes, the Freibad Annen pool is a maelstrom of arms, legs and Germans all up in your face. Please install some lane ropes and order to this pool. I just want my own little space please! Did I mention that when the sun comes out, you can't actually swim at all because there's so many people? Not even a paddle to the face can sort these folk out. On the rare chance you will stake one of the two lanes to yourself, be prepared for 50 school kids to jump on you without warning.

So that's the freibad Annen reviewed. Next up, Zollikon freibad/hellenbad, when I feel like it.

*this review was entriely satyrical so don't take offense, simply because I've written this disclaimer*