So, what happened to my body after a 5 year layoff?!?!



stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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daveryanwyoming said:
Trouble is HR can climb or drop due to a variety of factors including: hydration, nutrition, ambient temperature, emotional state, fatigue, etc. Those ranges might or might not mean anything but a lot of folks can't let go of HR based training even if they're riding with power meters.

Wouldn't power output also be directly effected by the same exact criteria? Hydration, nutrition, fatigue, etc?

If I'm plowing along trying to hold "***" watts and I'm really to fatigued to do so... isn't that the same thing as watching my heart rate given the same level of fatigue? I do understand that HR can lag behind say 20-30 seconds. I get that part.

If you can't hold "***" watts due to the burn, and can't hold "***" HR due to the same level of burn, you're gonna back off or die regardless of which meter gives you the bad news based on your level of fatigue.

We don't need to debate it here. My personal opinion is use what you have, get close, improve and use what you've got as a guide to get you closer and your body to tell you the rest. I didn't need a HR meter to tell me I was toast and gave up, that's just what the HR number was...WHEN I FINALLY couldn't take it anymore, so it's a starting point. Backed off 5 beats and survived. Just like the person holding 200 watts finally giving up and trying to hold 190. Either way, you come to a line in the sand with either meter, you can take the punishment or you can't. ;)

My watts and HR are all over the place right now. They're just a guide. They get me close to where I need to be to maximize whatever fitness I've achieved. If I'm feeling good, they are both wrong. If I'm feeling bad, they are both wrong. Just in the "neighborhood".

ultimately, it's up to me to interpret the data and how I'm feeling. :) if I was dying and looked down and it said "***" watts, My initial reaction would be to back off a few watts and see if I felt better. Same with the HR. It's just a guide, not a rule.

I'm starting to remember these debates from last time. I don't particularly care either way. I don't need either meter to tell me when I'm to exhausted to continue. ;) To me, either meter is better than no meter at all.
 

stormer94

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I'm not set on anything, I'm a rookie again... I have no ways. ...lol... I'm just happy to do either, and happy with either result as opposed to no results at all. I'm actually quite open to all ideas.

Both will tell a person when they are about to cross a line in the sand. Especially better than no meters of any kind and rough guesses.

Then I'd be in here with questions like... so, I don't feel all that good and breathe hard at 19mph. With no empirical data whatsoever. :D

Just trying to make do with what I have at my disposal. :) and part of that is asking folks in the know for the best possible way to use the equipment I have.

Right now, I have no way of reading watts when NOT on the computrainer. All I have on the actual road is the ability to extract a good guess based on HR and perceived exertion. So for me to "burn my HR monitor" would leave me with nothing at all to share information from.

That's what I have to work with. I'll get the good stuff some day. :cool:
 

DancenMacabre

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daveryanwyoming said:
Agreed, it's your adventure, not a lot of point arguing with someone set in their ways.

Good luck,
-Dave

I dunno but you got (excellent) advice from one of the most savvy posters in this forum. Not sure what else you were hoping for.

In having to chose between RPE & a HR monitor (w/ no option for a PM), I'd opt for RPE with no worries.

In fact, my approach would be to do my structured sessions on the CT, with power, and then do some unstructured, RPE-based rides outdoors.
 

stormer94

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DancenMacabre said:
In fact, my approach would be to do my structured sessions on the CT, with power, and then do some unstructured, RPE-based rides outdoors.

Based on the equipment I have, I'm thinking that's about the best plan I have at this time.

My problem is that I just don't have a good enough base or current experience to "really" know much exertion is to much before it's to late and I've pushed to hard. "perceived" is different to me every time I ride.

If you look at that last chart I posted, that 3rd 5 mile interval, felt about the same as the first one... clearly it was a LOT worse. Which I wouldn't have known unless I was on the CT.

I just need more time. maybe I'm looking for an easy answer, and technically, there really isn't one until I get more saddle time and settle in a bit. Then I'll have more knowledge about my physical state to offer in return.

I know there's no magic bullet, just gotta grind it out and see where I end up. Helps to have a sounding board to run ideas around, or find out what others are doing when in a similar situation.

Everything is new to me, again. Blank slate. I'm even making an effort to ride when it's cold... never used to do that.

<--- nancy-boy only rides outdoors when it's 65+ degrees. ;)
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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stormer94 said:
I know there's no magic bullet, just gotta grind it out and see where I end up.

With that approach you'll make little progress. You NEED a goal. It needs to be realistic but challenging. It doesn't need to be solely based on power but you could have a 'sub goal' to achieve a desired wattage, another sub goal to reach a desired weight with an overall goal of a special event at some point in the year.

Making real progress is like piecing together a puzzle. You need to find what little pieces are important for your progression and when you find them it's just a case of slowly putting it all together. Riding the bike at a given power output is sometimes the easy part...

If you have health insurance of some description, don't leave it until you're sick before you go to the docs. From personal experience the doc likes to see healthy people who are set on a path to increase their own health... get a full blood panel (including iron/ferritin) and a lung function test. See if there's any definciences or things that could be improved. Even small improvement in iron levels (if you're low) or lung function (I could pop the top off a peak flow meter at will but sucked royally at all the test thrown at me in the hospital until I received the right meds) will bring good gains - quickly and easily.
 

stormer94

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swampy1970 said:
With that approach you'll make little progress. You NEED a goal. It needs to be realistic but challenging. It doesn't need to be solely based on power but you could have a 'sub goal' to achieve a desired wattage, another sub goal to reach a desired weight with an overall goal of a special event at some point in the year.

I'm with ya. I'm very goal oriented. My goal, at this point is simply to do as well as possible (being humble... I wanted to write KICK-ASS) at this upcoming event I have on the 19th.

I've lost a lot of weight over the last few months, and courtesy of you guys I took some good advice and am not going to lose the last 5 pounds and find myself malnourished for most of the rest of the time I have to ride until the event. which is a good trade off for only 5 pounds. That's a good idea. I'm working on that one. Excellent tip, 5 pounds isn't worth malnourished.

Right now, my goal is to as accurately as possible, and with the tools I have at my disposal, HRM and computrainer, determine the maximum level of intensity I can survive at (while making good power) for say 27-33 minutes. So I don't pop early in the short TT and turn in a lower time than I could have.

5 years ago, is not today for me. I am not trained at that level, don't particularly remember all the ins and outs, and am struggling a bit to find some kind of base to work with. That doesn't mean I don't have heart, will, and drive. I'm looking for ideas that will give me the best possible chance of success, with the tools and limited fitness I have at this time. Like the last 5 pounds I was gonna lose. Good idea on that one to NOT do it this late in the game.

I have no other races, and nobody to ride with. I'm isolated. and I'm racing in 15 days. :)

Unless I hear differently, my plan at this time, is to do a few more base rides on the CT to see where I'm putting out my best power at various levels of perceived effort and cadence. If I don't make good power at 96rpm at any effort... then I'm comfortable abandoning that rpm for whatever does. etc... etc... Right now, looks like my best power and smoothest spinscan results verify around 89 rpm to be a good place to be for my current level of fitness. At a given wattage, I have a lower HR at 89 than 93 and it gets worse at 96. Lower cadence for me, better power with less actual effort.

I need to be able to find my functional threshold power and identify it with the tools I have and be able to duplicate it on raceday. Without a power meter on the bike, I'm feeling that my best bet is to find a HR that gets me within say 2-3 beats of the threshold and get a "feel" for that effort on the CT watching for improvements to be made at various rpms. Then on race day, use that HR estimate to get myself close to duplicating what I could on the CT and then feel around for the threshold ignoring the HRM and going with the perceived effort method we've tossed around here, once I'm up to speed on the course.

I'm looking forward to the suffering... Not sure why either. I think a TT is a true measure of not necessarily your fitness, but also of yourself. Can you break yourself mentally? I don't think I can. All out is all out, no matter who you are. It's just as hard for everybody (some will just do it faster).

But I know I can screw it up by not knowing my ABSOLUTE physical limits. And I only have a loose grasp on them 15 days out. But I feel I can make my way through it. But it might cost me 1-3 minutes overall by not yet REALLY knowing myself, physically. At this point, odds favor me not going all out and missing that last little extra bit I could have had.

But as plans go, that's better than blowing up early and recovering for 20 minutes during the race.

AND, it really comes down to who else is there. I'll ride a wheel like I don't have a conscience if need be. :)
 

taricha

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Aug 20, 2009
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stormer94 said:
Right now, my goal is to as accurately as possible, and with the tools I have at my disposal, HRM and computrainer, determine the maximum level of intensity I can survive at (while making good power) for say 27-33 minutes. So I don't pop early in the short TT and turn in a lower time than I could have.

I have no other races, and nobody to ride with. I'm isolated. and I'm racing in 15 days. :)

I need to be able to find my functional threshold power and identify it with the tools I have and be able to duplicate it on raceday. Without a power meter on the bike, I'm feeling that my best bet is to find a HR that gets me within say 2-3 beats of the threshold and get a "feel" for that effort on the CT watching for improvements to be made at various rpms. Then on race day, use that HR estimate to get myself close to duplicating what I could on the CT and then feel around for the threshold ignoring the HRM and going with the perceived effort method we've tossed around here, once I'm up to speed on the course

But I know I can screw it up by not knowing my ABSOLUTE physical limits. And I only have a loose grasp on them 15 days out. But I feel I can make my way through it. But it might cost me 1-3 minutes overall by not yet REALLY knowing myself, physically.

Honestly if I were in your position with 15 days left and not a good grasp on what my ability was, or my pacing strategy should be, I'd go out and do a TT immediately. I'd tape over my HRM, cadence meter, power meter, I wouldn't even use the spedometer, only the odometer/clock, so I knew where I was on the course. Just go balls to the wall on perceived effort, at any cadence that feels right.
Then I'd check my data after the fact, see if it's possible to determine where you blew up, or if you maintained that effort.
I might even do a second TT in 5 days with the benefit of the previous run, try to make it to the very end before suffering a dropoff in effort. That still leaves 10 days to rest, and I would on race day go out at just slightly better than the best average effort from previous attempt, and try to negative split the course, effort-wise.
Two time trials would make me feel much more locked in on what I could do than interpreting HR, cadence, computrainer efforts, etc. And that confidence that I can hold the effort (because I already did hold comparable effort) makes the effort much less difficult mentally to hold.
Just my $0.02.
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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stormer94 said:
I'm with ya. I'm very goal oriented. My goal, at this point is simply to do as well as possible (being humble... I wanted to write KICK-ASS) at this upcoming event I have on the 19th.

I've lost a lot of weight over the last few months, and courtesy of you guys I took some good advice and am not going to lose the last 5 pounds and find myself malnourished for most of the rest of the time I have to ride until the event. which is a good trade off for only 5 pounds. That's a good idea. I'm working on that one. Excellent tip, 5 pounds isn't worth malnourished.

Right now, my goal is to as accurately as possible, and with the tools I have at my disposal, HRM and computrainer, determine the maximum level of intensity I can survive at (while making good power) for say 27-33 minutes. So I don't pop early in the short TT and turn in a lower time than I could have.

5 years ago, is not today for me. I am not trained at that level, don't particularly remember all the ins and outs, and am struggling a bit to find some kind of base to work with. That doesn't mean I don't have heart, will, and drive. I'm looking for ideas that will give me the best possible chance of success, with the tools and limited fitness I have at this time. Like the last 5 pounds I was gonna lose. Good idea on that one to NOT do it this late in the game.

I have no other races, and nobody to ride with. I'm isolated. and I'm racing in 15 days. :)

Unless I hear differently, my plan at this time, is to do a few more base rides on the CT to see where I'm putting out my best power at various levels of perceived effort and cadence. If I don't make good power at 96rpm at any effort... then I'm comfortable abandoning that rpm for whatever does. etc... etc... Right now, looks like my best power and smoothest spinscan results verify around 89 rpm to be a good place to be for my current level of fitness. At a given wattage, I have a lower HR at 89 than 93 and it gets worse at 96. Lower cadence for me, better power with less actual effort.

I need to be able to find my functional threshold power and identify it with the tools I have and be able to duplicate it on raceday. Without a power meter on the bike, I'm feeling that my best bet is to find a HR that gets me within say 2-3 beats of the threshold and get a "feel" for that effort on the CT watching for improvements to be made at various rpms. Then on race day, use that HR estimate to get myself close to duplicating what I could on the CT and then feel around for the threshold ignoring the HRM and going with the perceived effort method we've tossed around here, once I'm up to speed on the course.

I'm looking forward to the suffering... Not sure why either. I think a TT is a true measure of not necessarily your fitness, but also of yourself. Can you break yourself mentally? I don't think I can. All out is all out, no matter who you are. It's just as hard for everybody (some will just do it faster).

But I know I can screw it up by not knowing my ABSOLUTE physical limits. And I only have a loose grasp on them 15 days out. But I feel I can make my way through it. But it might cost me 1-3 minutes overall by not yet REALLY knowing myself, physically. At this point, odds favor me not going all out and missing that last little extra bit I could have had.

But as plans go, that's better than blowing up early and recovering for 20 minutes during the race.

AND, it really comes down to who else is there. I'll ride a wheel like I don't have a conscience if need be. :)

You can use heart rate for your TT with two major caveats:

1. Any HR you test for use must be tested outside. Heat can elevate HR so the levels you get on the trainer are not the same for the same effort as you'd get on the road... Unless you have the 'mother of all fans' simulating a true 20+ mph wind across your entire body.

2. You set off in the TT sensibly and have a damned good warm up. Ignore the HR for the first few minutes - it'll take around 5 minutes for it to catch up with the effort.

The importance of the warm up cannot be stressed enough. 20 minutes of increasing pace with a few hard (above race pace) efforts for a minute. You want your body to play 'catch up' here so you're firing on all cylinders at the end of the first minute following the start.

Practise your starts during your rest days. several 30 second efforts getting upto race pace. Throw in one or two that are a little bit too hard so you recognize what they feel like. Similarly, if you have a special tt bike, not only do the starts on that but get used to throwing that bike around similar corners that you expect to see on the course you are racing.

As for cadence just use whatever gives you the most speed. There's no magic number. The result is determined by average speed not average cadence. Try several different gears resulting in rpms ranging from the low 80s to high 90s. The one that gives the fastest speed wins.
 

stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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taricha said:
Honestly if I were in your position with 15 days left and not a good grasp on what my ability was, or my pacing strategy should be, I'd go out and do a TT immediately....Just go balls to the wall on perceived effort, at any cadence that feels right.

Appreciate the note, good thoughts. 2 days ago, I did what I would call a SOLID hardcore effort it's the middle effort on the last graph I posted. I believe that effort is all I have to offer, at this time. and I blew up at the end with little or no improvement on the watts, just poor form and less performance for the blown up part. Mind you, my diet has been better over the last 5-6 days. as I quit losing weight and am holding. and I do feel better. Todays ride, I felt GREAT. Just a nice recovery day and spent time in the drops.

swampy1970 said:
You can use heart rate for your TT with two major caveats:

1. Any HR you test for use must be tested outside. Heat can elevate HR so the levels you get on the trainer are not the same for the same effort as you'd get on the road... Unless you have the 'mother of all fans' simulating a true 20+ mph wind across your entire body.

You got me curious on that. I have 3 fans on the CT. a big box fan down low and two 16" at chest/head high. I just tossed an anemometer in there, 10.8mph-11mph. Without a fan, it's like you're just standing in the shower. Even one fan keeps the sweat from being excessive. I tend to run the 3 of them simultaneously on low with good results.

swampy1970 said:
2. You set off in the TT sensibly and have a damned good warm up. Ignore the HR for the first few minutes - it'll take around 5 minutes for it to catch up with the effort.

The importance of the warm up cannot be stressed enough. 20 minutes of increasing pace with a few hard (above race pace) efforts for a minute. You want your body to play 'catch up' here so you're firing on all cylinders at the end of the first minute following the start.

Practise your starts during your rest days. several 30 second efforts getting upto race pace. Throw in one or two that are a little bit too hard so you recognize what they feel like. Similarly, if you have a special tt bike, not only do the starts on that but get used to throwing that bike around similar corners that you expect to see on the course you are racing.

As for cadence just use whatever gives you the most speed. There's no magic number. The result is determined by average speed not average cadence. Try several different gears resulting in rpms ranging from the low 80s to high 90s. The one that gives the fastest speed wins.

Appreciate the note. Great ideas. :) on Cadence, you mention that the one that gives the fastest speed wins. I would only add one qualifier to that, The one with the fastest speed and least perceived effort actually wins to me. ;) I'm to untrained to hit it at 99.9% and pull it off without blowing up. So I'm aiming for perhaps 98% and a solid effort.

Also, seeing as we can draft and mass start, it comes down to a few other things. If I get out with 1-2 people and we work together that will help a pile. IF it turns out I'm strong, I can either choose to win by the least margin possible to conserve energy. OR, go flat out and see what I've got, no excuses. And I'm leaning toward the no-excuses thing. Even if I have somebody being a lazy ******* on my wheel. I had that last time 5 years ago. Kinda irritated me a bit, so I shook him at the turn around. It's a small local thing, but it's my Giro at this point. :) and I want to do well.

If the wind is minimal, and the course is exactly 10 miles, I'm going to predict a 31 minute run, no worse than 32:30. For my level of fitness and coming off of a major diet a few days ago, I would call that a solid result for a guy that can only put out 195 watts at this point. I still have 2 weeks, and I'm not going to waste them. Todays ride was GREAT! I felt strong for the first time out. I think it's the improvement in diet. Big difference between eating to maintain and eating to lose 3 pounds a week. AND THEN trying to fuel a race body at the same time... fail... ;)
 

stormer94

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Put in a nice 2 hour ride today... in a 35mph gusting to 50mph wind... I was hoping to put in a little more time but right knee started complaining about all the low cadence slogging along into the wind at 7mph at 75rpm.

I hate wind. The last 2o minutes of the ride, with the wind, and some high cadence, the knee felt better.

I hate wind... :(
 

stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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FINALLY, June 15th, the weather was nice enough for the first time this year, I was able to ride outside in only shorts and a jersey, no outer layers of any kind... Other than the 25mph wind, it was great... :eek:

My attention span SUCKS!!!! I think that's been effected most over the last 5 years. I'll tell myself I'm gonna ride at zone 4, in the drops for say 4 miles... 3 minutes later, I'm in zone 2 watching birds and thinking about cutting my lawn... I think I'm gonna fight that the most during the event. I might make a sticker for the bike, right on the top tube... CONCENTRATE... :)

Gonna start tapering for the event. Taking tomorrow off.
 

stormer94

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Race is tomorrow....

Gonna be a cold start. They are saying around 55 degrees.

I'm tapered, and feel damn strong right now. I've got that caged animal feeling...

I WANNA RACE RIGHT NOW!!!! :D
Gonna load up stuff tonight, clean and organize.
 

stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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RACE DAY!

Packed up early lastnight so I could let my mind relax and hopefully sleep. Still had trouble sleeping. woke up 4 hours before the start and had my pre-race meal, a big bowl of oatmeal and a heavily jammed piece of toast and went back to bed. Couldn't sleep.

Got to the event an hour early, unpacked, ate a banana and signed in. Warmed up for a solid 20-25 minutes. 10 minutes prior to the start had a gel. Gun went off and I was instantly ready to haul ass. Properly tapered over the last week, food was right on the money for me over the last 24 hours including a nice lasagna dinner last night and 2 LARGE bowls of cocoa puffs for a late night snack, knee was warmed up and felt good, and I felt GREAT!

I got some pressure from one dude early on, but he dropped off after about 5 minutes. *whew*. So just as with any proper TT, it's all about YOU, the race of truth. And the course this year was SHORT... just over 8 miles. last time it was right at 11. Still, though, fun to get out and race.

Heart rate was higher than I was comfortable with right off the bat, was thinking riding at a max HR of 154 with a 155 cushion (don't own a watt meter, would like to though). Perceived exertion wasn't there where it normally is at 154, And I felt good at 156-157 with the trips near 160 being what I felt a bit over the edge. So I went with it. But I was nervous about it the whole time. I kept thinking this isn't where I wanted to be, but it felt okay, so I rode it that way.

There was some light hills and dips, ended up being about 60 feet of elevation change. Considering I was NOT on my TT bike and with no aero gear on my regular road bike, and no drafting, I averaged 3:02 miles on the way out and 2:56 miles on the way back. Considering my level of fitness, I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE RESULT.

Regrets... not starting the sprint perhaps 200 meters earlier, I waited till about 300 meters, felt I could have started at 500 meters. and gone balls out redzone for 90 seconds instead of 60. I wasn't cramping, and speed wasn't fading, was still climbing a bit. AWWWWW, MAN! :)

NO REGRETS, and thank you guys for the advice. :D best advice I got was to stop dieting 3 weeks ago and hold my weight eat better. VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

I also, for fun, entered myself in the 1-mile foot race. What the heck! I don't run, but I like to do things to show my kids that dads a good sport and willing to simply "TRY". Important lessons for kids, I think. Was about 40 minutes after the bike race.

Did the 1 mile foot race in 6:06. Which flat blew my mind. Something wasn't right about that one. From my experiences on our treadmill (once a week), I run the mile in the 8-9 minute range, with interval work to get myself under an 8 minute mile. That was a month ago was the last time I ran, didn't want to waste any training on legs moving any direction but in circles. came around a corner at about 5:30 and saw the finish line???? Course wasn't marked and I was planning to start ramping up over the last 250 yards and KICK! That was odd, I wasn't ready to finish yet!!!! We checked the course later against 3 bicycle computers and a gps computer. The 1 mile course (wasn't a sanctioned event) was actually .78 miles...

AHA! that explains that. Although, I'm officially on record for running a 6:06 mile and that's the story I'm gonna tell around the campfire with a beer in my hand until I'm 110 years old! ...lol...

I could have run the mile just fine at the pace I was on, and if you divide it all out, I would have run it in 7:49-7:50, I'd say, given the information at hand, that would be dang close. Considering I don't "run", and ran in my bike kit (did put on some sneakers), I was happy with that. VERY HAPPY.

Thanks for all the help!
 

stormer94

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Information from the bike race and the "mile"... ;)

The mile I did all by perceived exertion and just kept an eye on the watch, figuring it was gonna be about 8 minutes, so I was gonna start ramping up for the last 400 meters at what I guessed was going to be the 6 minute mark. That was the plan.

Had a good time, Was a positive role model for my kids and that's what's really important. I don't run... but I still tried. :)
 

roadhouse

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nice race day report and might i add that comparatively at the tender age of 33, 2.4 miles of water, 112 miles of bike and then a nice 26.2 mile trot on foot seem like an easy task to conquer...at 33....daily. good to still be 'young' as i've heard of many others in their late forties to early fifties start to use the age excuse. ;)
 

alienator

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roadhouse said:
nice race day report and might i add that comparatively at the tender age of 33, 2.4 miles of water, 112 miles of bike and then a nice 26.2 mile trot on foot seem like an easy task to conquer...at 33....daily. good to still be 'young' as i've heard of many others in their late forties to early fifties start to use the age excuse. ;)

Please tell us all about your vast triathlon experience. :rolleyes:
 

stormer94

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roadhouse said:
nice race day report and might i add that comparatively at the tender age of 33, 2.4 miles of water, 112 miles of bike and then a nice 26.2 mile trot on foot seem like an easy task to conquer...at 33....daily. good to still be 'young' as i've heard of many others in their late forties to early fifties start to use the age excuse. ;)

So, you popped into my thread to talk about yourself and how you "Daily" do an iron man. :eek:

Thanks for the input. :rolleyes: