Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vegas, Interbike and Red Rocks

I'm just getting back from a few days at interbike, the bicycle and endurance sports industry trade show in Vegas. 

Interbike is a great time to catch up with industry friends, show new products, write orders and make new industry contacts.  Almost everyone in the U.S. and abroad who makes their living in the cycling world attends, flocking to "adult disneyland" to work and have fun.

Red Rock National Park, NV
I can take about two nights of Vegas and I need to escape.  On the strip, everything is so over the top, it makes my head spin.  The lights, the people, the music, the food... over stimulation to the basic senses.  While it's nice to indulge yourself a little , too much time can leave one feeling 'blah' and overloaded. 

I've discovered that the best way to cope with the strip for more than 2 days is to get away from it for a ride.  Now that i live in Tucson, I can easily drive the approximately 7-8 hr route with my bike.  My favorite interbike activity for the past couple of years has been to drive out to the Red Rocks National Park and do a 27 mile loop that has some of the most incredible desert mountain scenery!  It's amazing how the strip and everything overindulgent about it fades away when you're on the bike.  Below is a map of the ride if you'd like to give it a shot.

It's so nice to be home and away from the glitz and glam. I'm sure I'll look forward to my next 'vegas' excursion, but you can bet it'll only be for a maximum of two nights!

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reflecting back on Ironman Weekend

Me near the finish line chute at IMWI.
I spent this past weekend watching Ironman Wisconsin and cheering for the over 2500 athletes racing, including around 1200 'iron virgins'.  It was a great weekend for the athletes and the fans as the spectacular weather allowed for course records to be broken and the town of Madison hosted another inspiring Ironman experience. 

It was awesome to see our 2010 IMWI campers gather prior to the pre-race banquet and course talk and then sit together once inside.  I saw everyone out on the course too, giving it their all and becoming Ironmen and Ironwomen.  Great job and congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!

As the official coaching partner for Ironman, I couldn't be more pleased as I had uninhibited access to the athletes before , during and after the race... and got to meet a ton of them one on one.  I am always humbled by how many people come up to me and thank me for making the Spinervals DVDs and tell me how much they help them with obtaining their race and fitness goals.  That is so cool!

The great thing about attending an Ironman event is the sense of extended family one gets.  Whether it's before or after the race, people are quick to say hello, ask how you're doing and what your goals are, or see how the race went for you.  Even in the airport to and from the race, you can tell who the triathletes are and quickly engage in friendly conversation.  If you've not yet attended an Ironman race as a racer or as a spectator, you should... you'd thoroughly enjoy and be inspired by the whole experience.

Next up for me is Ironman Kona in October.  My staff is going there too and we'll have an expo booth, promoting our services and products. In addition, we'll be shooting a new 'On the Road' virtual training DVD of the Kona bike course, so athletes can train on the course at home in their living room and get to know the Queen K Highway!

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Headed to Madison to watch Ironman

Kestrel Tri and Road bikes
Sitting here in the Denver airport waiting on my flight to Madison to watch Ironman this weekend. I'm a little bummed to be banged up and unable to race, but I'm glad at least be training again, even if at low levels. It's amazing how blah you feel when you're forced to take time off from exercise.

I'm flying out with my 'breakaway bike'. This foldable bike comes apart at the frame and fits into a case the size of a regular suitcase. You get to bypass the unbelievably high fees airlines charge these days... nice. The bike is built with an ultegra kit and the frame is made of steel , so it rides well and serves it's purpose. I look forward to riding parts of the course this weekend and cheering the racers!

My favorite bikes at the moment are in good shape at home, resting quietly at home in my garage on my wall. I love my Kestrel road and tri bikes. The road bike is built with a Dura Ace group and has compact cranks, which I enjoy spinning on long days in the saddle and recovery days. The frame is rock solid and stiff, while being light weight and forgiving... a great combination of attributes. I'm riding this bike exclusively now so as not to put undue pressure on the healing collarbone.

My tri-bike is the Airfoil Pro. Again, it's carbon, stiff for maximum energy transfer and lightweight. I posted some good times on it this summer at both Olympic distance and Half IM distance, so I'm very happy with it. If you're looking for a new steed in 2011... consider the Kestrel. Full disclosure... I am sponsored by Kestrel... but I make it a rule never to endorse a product unless I truly believe in it's quality and value.

If you're doing IMWI this weekend, be sure to stop by our Spinervals section in the Ironman store and say hello. I look forward to cheering for you as well on race day. And for everyone else fortunate enough to be racing and challenging themselves this weekend, good luck!

- Coach Troy

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Recovery Report & Setting Goals

The road to recovery from my bike crash and surgery is coming along! Yesterday was a breakthrough day as I did a 50 mile road bike ride then ran 5 miles in the 100 deg. southern Arizona sunshine and heat. It felt great! I can tell my fitness took a few steps back, but it felt so good to get on the bike outdoors. And my run, even though the broken ribs still made things difficult, felt stronger and faster since I started running again last Wednesday.

I almost started to entertain the idea of starting IM Wisconsin this coming weekend, but then reality set in... I can't swim yet! Then I thought, "maybe I can swim with one arm and kick?". I then probably have enough base fitness to get through the bike/run in a respectable time. Hmmm.

Nah, I need to step back and let the body heal for a few more weeks before placing it under high stress levels/ workloads. I am planning to be as ready as possible for Ironman AZ, which is in less than 11 weeks now. If I can get back into the water in 2-3 weeks, I should be ready to go. I know my form won't be at peak, but I'm ok with that...just being able to participate will be a blessing!

I don't know about you, but for me ... having a goal is essential. When I crashed out at Leadville, I immediately knew that IMWI was out of the picture. Initially, I thought the entire season was over with, but decided to entertain the thought of getting ready to participate in IMAZ in late Nov. That goal gave me the 'push' do what I could to maintain fitness and get 'back on the horse' as soon as possible. Now, it's starting to feel like that racing IMAZ, and even regaining enough form to do well, is a strong reality. Ah, the power of setting goals. :)

Train smart,
Coach Troy

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Clavicle Rehab Report

Today I went to the surgeon who operated on my clavicle at the Tucson Orthopedic Institute for my first follow up visit post-surgery. He took X-rays and went over my progress with me. Good news! Things are healing quickly and I was given the green light to start running gently! Wooohoooo!!

It's been almost 3 weeks since the crash and 2 weeks since the surgery, so I'm pleased overall. The real drag right now are my ribs. New Xrays revealed two fractured ribs, not just one as originally thought. This is likely why it hurts so much to move my torso or engage my core in doing things like sitting up and breathing! :)

So, to celebrate my progress, today I went out on a very slow and very painful 5 mile run. Every step hurt the ribs and I had to wince due to the pain. It felt like those last few miles in the marathon when you're digging as deep as you can into your 'suitcase of courage' (credit Phil Liggett), but it also felt great to finally get back out and run as opposed to walking, as I've been doing now for a few weeks.

I can also ride the trainer as much as I can tolerate (umm, that would be about 45 minutes!:), so I'm starting to bust a gut and do some tempo work with power ranges in the low 300 watts to start getting my bike mojo back. I might sneak out on the road soon...but don't tell my doctor. :)

Swimming won't be for another 5 weeks as it takes 6 wks for the bones to 'knit'. I have a 6-inch plate and 6 screws on top of the clavicle , and then one screw holding a couple broken pieces together. The doc said it was one of the most challenging surgeries on a collarbone he's ever done! He did a good job and says I should have full range of motion too... so if anyone needs a good doc, let me know.

So, that's my progress report. IMAZ is still in the realm of possibilities for late November, although it'll be sllllooowwww.

I'll be in Madison for IMWI next weekend so stop by our booth in the Ironman store to say hi if you're in town. And good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Train smart,
Coach Troy