I have the POWER!

Yes, I know I don’t have pedals on Azul. They are on my road bike (perhaps someday I will actually buy a second set of pedals!)

Two weeks ago Azul (my tri bike) got an upgrade, a SRAM S975 Quarq powermeter! A powermeter is something I’ve always wanted, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen earlier this year due to extensive car repairs, but I received an unexpected (well, maybe not really so unexpected) bonus at work and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the powermeter. What also catalyzed the purchase was my need to switch from a standard crank (which came with my bike) to a compact crank due to my cadence issues and also I ride a lot of hills. BEST DECISION EVER! I feel much more comfortable and stronger on my bike now that it has a compact crank!

So, I got my Quarq about two weeks ago and my awesome bike shop put it on Azul for me. I got her home and put her on the trainer and tried syncing the Quarq with my Garmin computer. FAIL! No connection. Would not read at all! So, on Saturday I brought Azul back to the shop for troubleshooting. No bueno. Then I thought why not change the battery, even though this is a brand new powermeter and the battery should be fine, why not? I went to the store purchased the battery, replaced it in the Quarq, and BEEP “powermeter detected.” Seriously?! A new battery? Urgh, why did it have to be so simple!

Once Azul and I were home I put her on the trainer for my pre-long run easy spin. I made it 45 minutes before the new battery in the Quarq died. WTF?! Next morning I went out and purchased two new batteries at the grocery store. I put a new one in, the powermeter was detected for about 5 seconds, my Garmin succeeded to tell me that the battery in the powermeter was low and then finally died. Awesome! My Quarq was clearly defective and I was super upset. I tried calling Quarq, but of course, they are not open on Sunday. So, I emailed their customer service department to tell them about the issue and that I will be calling first thing on Monday morning! Later that afternoon I got an email back from Quarq (on a Sunday!)! On Monday they called my bike shop and decided to send me a new spider (the electronics part of the Quarq) because a Quarq that does not hold a battery charge is clearly not normal. I got the new spider in a couple of days and my bike shop put it on Azul by the end of the week. The new Quarq works flawlessly! I was very impressed with the Quarq/SRAM customer service. They were very professional and super fast! Thank you!

I’ve only ridden with my powermeter a handful of times so far, but I really like it. I’ve been reading various articles and watching webinars from TrainingPeaks about training with power. It is extremely effective to train with power on the bike and I know I will become a much stronger rider over time. My coach will now start giving my bike workouts in terms of power intervals compared to heart rate. This past weekend on my long ride I had some tempo and VO2 max intervals that were all written pre-powermeter and thus set to HR. I finally learned how to input my workouts into my Garmin Edge 800 so as I ride it just tells me what I’m doing so I don’t have to memorize my workouts. I set all my intervals for my HR zones, which turned out to be rather annoying because my Garmin would beep about every 5 seconds to tell me my HR was too high. Well, no shit, I just climbed a hill! But, I must admit, that I really love when I end a workout. My Garmin will “sing” a tune to let me know it’s over! It was rather amusing I thought.

I have my season opener triathlon on Saturday! I’ve decided to forgo my graduation ceremony to race the Tri for the Y in Freeport. It’s only a 325 yard pool swim, 13 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. It’s a short one, but my coach told me to go all out. I’m interested to see my performance. I have not done a sprint tri in almost a year and most of my training has been focused on long course, but I feel ready and I’m definitely itching to race. Two weeks from this Sunday is Mooseman 70.3! I’m still super nervous about this race. I think the main reason I’m nervous about this race is because I have high expectations for myself. I want to do well and I want to PR; however, from everything I’ve read and heard, this is not the race to PR on. At this point, my goal will be to finish in one piece and have fun. I definitely plan to push myself during this race, but my real “A” race is going to be REV3 OOB.

In other more exciting news, I have officially signed up to volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid this summer! You know what that means… 🙂

Happy Training!

Base Training: Week One

On January 1st I began working officially with my Coach! Today marks the end of week one of base training. I survived! For most of the fall I was focusing mainly on strength training and yoga so it definitely feels great to be back in the pool, on my bike, and pounding the pavement.

Monday began with a swim at the Cape Elizabeth pool, which was the only pool open for the holiday. I haven’t swam at Cape since high school freshmen year when I was on the swim team (We were state champs that year!). That was 10 years ago! I had a decent workout but just couldn’t find my groove. Half way through my main set of intervals the lifeguards had to move my lane over to allow the divers to practice. Of course this messed up my count and distracted me. Tonight I swam at St. Joe’s, which is pretty much my home pool, and I had a great swim!
This week was my first real week back running and so far so good. My glute/hip problem haven’t been bothering me, which means that my pelvis is most likely still align! My calves are a bit tight so I have been wearing my compression gear and making sure I stretch really good. I have an appointment with my chicropractor on Thursday to check my pelvis and work on my ever-tight calves.
Friday night marked the beginning of The Sustainable Athlete’s “Friday Night Fights” computrainer race series. Friday was suppose to be my rest day, but I wanted to join Team Allspeed in for the fun. The course was a rolling hill 10km course. The boys kicked butt per usual. They are both psyched for the upcoming races and for the upcoming crit races in the spring. You all better keep an eye on them 🙂 I’ve never done a TT before so I didn’t know what to expect, especially since I am not in bike shape. I tried to pace myself and not go out too strong so I didn’t blow up half way through the course. The last 1k of the course was uphill and by then I just wanted to die. I survived though and averaged 19.1 mph and 179 watts. Power doesn’t really mean much to me at the moment, but my coach said it’s not bad for where I am at the moment. I’m super excited to get a powermeter in the very near future!
On Saturday a friend and I checked out my friend’s bootcamp class at Fit212 in Falmouth. If your looking for a good all around body workout you should definitely check out his class on Saturday’s at 7:30am. I enjoyed his class, but it’s not what I need for my training. I’m more on a sport-specific strength training plan. However, if your looking for a good ass kicking, you should seriously check it out (My shoulders are a bit sore today, but shhh… don’t tell him that).
Currently I’m in my kitchen cooking up a storm for the upcoming week. I should hopefully start my new job this week, which means my time is going to be a bit limited with everything going on. I find preparing healthy meals ahead of time and freezing some of them helps me stay away from eating out or choosing the wrong, unhealthy foods. My new class started yesterday also so back to the grind with schoolwork. I think I will enjoy this new class though.
Weekly Totals:
Swim: 4100 yards (+/- a few laps because I can’t count)
Bike: 3 hrs (on the trainer so no mileage at the moment) + 19:27 min 10km TT
Run: ~14.5 miles
Strength: 1 workout with my personal trainer, 1 bootcamp class, 1.5 hr core classes
Here’s a great article on the science of base training!