Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Busy Bee, Banana in the hospital, and Bounding North

Busy as a bee over here! I've decided that it's a bit too ambitious to post daily (can you tell? I owe you like three posts already!), so I'm going to post periodically and at least weekly regarding training. The accountability will be there, just in bulk form.

This week in particular will be tres interesting, which is the extent of my French, even after too many years of study in high school and college. Anyway, two BIG challenges to training this week -- Banana and Plymouth.

First, Banana. My beloved bike. She went in to visit the great guys over at LoweRiders, my LBS, on Sunday to talk about the issues I've been having with the chain seizing up at the most inopportune moments...as in, when I'm going up super steep hills at blazing speeds like 4 mph.

Turns out there is an answer. I have chain suck. No, really, apparently that's a technical term. Without going completely into it, it seems that I've streeeeeeeetched out my chain with all these miles in the saddle and, as a result, it's not behaving properly when in my smallest chain ring.

Not only that, turns out that my cassette has been irrevocably bent out of joint during this process...slowly but surely. It "fits" the stretched chain, but needs to be replaced in order to accommodate a new chain.

And, frankly, this gives me a great deal of joy. Banana, bless her heart, has the original components on her -- Scimano Tiagra, to be exact. Yup, the group of components that are meant for "recreational use." Um...recreational use? Not exactly what I've been doing recently. Hmmm. Plus, these components (with the exception of the chain, which was replaced last year) have probably 5000 miles on them. I think we went beyond "recreational" a long time ago.

So, tonight I'm dropping her off to have a new Ultegra 12/25 cassette and chain put on. After the half iron race on July 1st, we're going to upgrade her chain rings as well, although I'm still debating whether I'll go for a two- or three-ring setup. I'm also going to upgrade the derailleurs, too. Because I love my bike. :)

Oh, yeah, and before I forget -- after MUCH wrangling and a horrible experience with an Ironman affiliated vendor, I finally received my new aerobars! I may or may not go into the tribulations that went on trying to get these. I sent a note to the owner/manager about my experience and am waiting for his reply. But, All3Sports came through for me perfectly and now I have my new bars! I'm in the process of getting them on the bike properly (the shims are not broad/thick enough to allow them to attach under the bar tape, so I'm going to re-tape the crossbar and try attaching them over the tape), but haven't tried them out yet.

So, this week's challenge, training without a bike. Does this mean I have to actually go back to a stationary bike??? Mis-er-able thought. Miserable!

Now for Bounding North. On Thursday, Mighty M's family has graciously invited me to travel with them up north to visit Plymouth Mass for a five day weekend. Wahoo! ROOOOOOAD TRIIIIIIIPP!!

Now, as a responsible little triathlete, I've already located the fitness club 2-miles away from the hotel, downloaded their pool schedule, and talked to their front desk about day passes. The sad part is that my bike training will suffer this week (which is a real bummer since I have a 100 mile ride next Sunday!), but the good news is that I will really be able to solidify my swim and run -- the run, in particular, which worries me come the half iron distance. Anyone run in Plymouth? I'd love to hear about good routes!

Okay, so time for some creative scheduling of sessions. I'm hoping that I can get at least one morning swim in each day and one late afternoon/evening run in each day. The latter will be hard, since I'm sure there will be dinners planned and other activities. Thankfully, M's family is exceedingly supportive of my training, so I don't think they'll mind if I slip out occasionally.

There you have it! Now, I'm back to getting through the bazillion things I have to complete before we take off. Goodness, this is a busy life! :)


Jeremy said...

Those new aerobars are sweet! I don't know any good routes in Plymouth, but since I grew up in New England I can say that it's a beautiful place and there should be tons of great spots to run. Oh...I think I might be doing the French Creek century as well. I need to do more of these organized rides! Have a great trip north.

Comm's said...

You are a busy little lady. Well Banana will love you and you will love riding what will feel like a new bike.

Wes said...

Everybody should spoil their bike :-) That's my motto, and those aerobars are primo kewl. Love'em. I was very impressed with the All3Sports brick and mortar shop when I stopped by to gawk at their tri bikes that were out of my price range. I'll go back soon, cause I'm sure I'll need some new digs.

Have you tried mapmyrun.com to locate a good running route on your vacation? Always worked for me, but your mileage may vary.

Siren said...

Yay for new bike stuff!!

I know you didn't ask for advice, but I couldn't resist putting my two cents in about making the choice between a 2 or 3 chain ring...

Go for 3. Especially for IMWI. You wont' regret it if you do, and from what I've heard from other Ironmen, you might regret it badly if you don't.

Bolder said...

one of my favorite movies is Joe vs The Volcano.

chain suck.


'course, if you haven't seen the movie, and don't know the line was brain cloud -- then, only funny for me.

sometimes, that's all that's important on Planet Bold.

Spokane Al said...

You also may want to consider going to a 12/27 instead of a 12/25 for those IM MOO hills (see Bold's post on the subject). That would probably allow you to go to a two ring front set up.

Concerning the chain suck and assuming your drive train gets fixed - you may want to investigate a Dog Fang - a nifty little piece that prevents chain suck, usually costs less than $10 and is used by professional bikers.

TriJack said...

all3sports is the best! i ordered a wetsuite from them yesterday afternoon, free shipping, and - oila - today it was on my front porch!
have fun in plymouth!

TriScott said...

Now I'm no pro, but I'd say go for the double chainring, not the triple. Sure climbs might be a little more difficult, but think about how strong you will get in your training. You will soon laugh at hills!

Make your training as hard as possible so your race isn't!

Nice, really nice aero bars, congrats!