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Who Wants to Get Active: Team First Triathlon

7 Posts tagged with the ellis tag

Century Sunday

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 31, 2009

The thought of riding a 100+ mile bike ride has been on my mind for a while, but I had some serious doubts if I could do it or not. Not because I was afraid my legs would blow out, but a lot of other factors such as overall body fatigue, if I could sit for that long, how I could stay properly nourished, etc. All of those things made me fairly nervous about the concept, but I got over it pretty fast when my training partner invited/challenged me to a century ride this past Sunday. Just him and I on a 100+ mile loop which I ended up mapping out and putting together (big mistake). So let me go ahead and describe the various stages.


Pre-Ride: I went out into the garage to check my bike over, lube my chain, and adjust my seat. Immediately, i saw that I had a flat which I took as a bad omen. This forced me to head to the bike shop where I got some excellent advice on nutrition for the big ride. They loaded me up with about 1500 calories of food and suplements along with a freshly fixed flat and sent me on my way.


Murrieta - Fallbrook: The ride did not start easy. We took a bike trail pretty casually down to the base of the De Luz area and began our mission through the hills on our way to San Diego. The first hill is a 2 mile 700ft elevation climb which I figured was going to be the hardest of the ride. Not really something I wanted to start with, but probably good to get it out of the way right off the bat than deal with something like that towards the end... so I thought.


Fallbrook - Leucadia: Once we got into Fallbrook, we started descending for like 20-30 minutes, diving down to sea level from some pretty good elevation. I am not sure what the elevation change was, but it was the longest decent I have ever done. Once we got down into the Oceanside area on our way to Leucadia,  we started hitting some barn burning hills. None of them were unbearable, but it was just a nasty 15-20 mile stretch of rolling hills which were all unexpected. Here I was expecting a nice flat road that ran parallel to the ocean and it was not by any means. The last hill we hit coming into Leucadia was probably the second worst of the ride to this point as well which was painful. At this point, we were almost exactly 60 miles in.


Leucadia - Oceanside: Finally a break! At the turn around point,  we had a leasurely 15 mile trek up Pacific Coast Highway which was awesome. A nice tail wind was pushing us along and we were using this time for recovery. Unfortunately, some old man on a Townie decided to show me the wheel at one point which inspired me to take off and beat myself up for this stretch that was supposed to be relaxing. My friend got a flat  a couple hundred yards before the burger shop we planned to stop at, so he fixed that and then we rested for about 30 minutes while we refueled on some delicious french fries and hamburgers. Yum Yum.


Oceanside - S. Fallbrook: We took off from the burger joint, bellies full and relaxed, ready for a nice leasurely 15 mile stretch before heading back up the hills into Temecula. That lasted for about 3 miles until we hit an unexpected hill which got us right back to questioning how we were going to make it another 45 miles. Ahhh. Luckily, after that, we did get a 10 mile stretch that was pretty easy before we hit Gopher Canyon Rd. At Gopher Canyon, I think we still had another 35 miles to go and this is where it started to get brutal. At the end of Gopher Canyon, we hit a 9% downgrade which got me going 51 MPH. That was super fun! Though, this also meant that I was just going to have to climb that much more after I got to the bottom... the pain begins.


S. Fallbrook - Temecula: Oh my gosh... After I calmed down from that high speed descent I realized I was about 90 miles into my ride and had about 15 miles of serious climbing to do. This was the strongest test of my will that I had ever gone through. I've played through pain and injury before becuse adrenaline would just take the hurt away. That was different because I was playing in a game where I'd be able to rest and recuperate in between action. When I looked up and saw the road ahead of me I knew it would take more than a little excitement to get me all the way to the finish. I dug deep and started the climb.


    • Hill 1: This was the worst (it was possibly the hardest of the whole ride, but I was so beat by this point, its hard to give n honest opinion) of this climb. I believe it was about 3-4 miles in total length and half of it was up a 7-9% grade and that was at the top. This hill was the closest I came to actually clipping out and stopping, but I held it together and made all the way going 4-5mph at the top. The backside of this hill was a 7% downgrade that was another lengthy decent that I had a hard time enjoying due to the fact that it just made the next hill that much steeper and longer.

    • Hill 2: This will was the gift that just kept on giving. A 5-6 mile grinder that took you up and over the mountain range into Temecula through the small city of Rainbow. This was a diffcult hill to climb at this point, but i was thankful to be going up this thing compared to the last one I was just on. As a matter of fact, just about all I thought of for the rest of the ride is how much I never wanted to climb Hill 1 again.


Temecula - Murrieta: Payday! We hit one last nice decent through some windy rounds and a golf course into Temecula. Their were a couple very small hills that we hit on our way to a bike path which would eventually get us home. To my surprise, we still had some energy and ending up doing about 17-18 on the flats which I was pretty happy with.


Stats: The ride took us 9 hr 15 minutes total to complete with an actual 8 hr 15 minutes of seat time. We rode a total of 116 of the hilliest miles I have ever ridden. We averaged a little over 14mph and I burned over 6600 calories. I ate and drank about 1800 calories worth of food in order to survive the journey. We only had 1 malfunction which was a flat tire. 52MPH was the top speed of the ride. 4.2MPH was the low speed of the ride. 7 hours is how long I had to endure a stitch that was in the right side of my stomach before it went away. OUCH!


What I learned: 


    • Be prepared. If I had not loaded up on carbs a few days in advance and talked to the guys at the bike shop on how to stay properly nourished, I would have probably given up or had to stop more. Take spare tubes and a mini tool kit with you. 8 hours on a bike can bring up a lot of unexpected problems that you will want to be able to fix.

    • Do not do this alone. For one, you will want a friend with you to help motivate you and keep you company. Also,a lot of the ride took me places where I had no cell phone service. It would have been a nightmare if I was alone and my bike had broke or I got injured.

    • Pre-Run the Course: I had never driven on about 40 miles of the course and I paid for it. Looking back, I would never have planned the hardest hill to be at mile 80. That was a mistake and I won't let that happen next time.

    • Never give up: The longest ride I had done prior to this one was a 50 miler. It was my heart and determination that kept me going on this one. I found out alot about what I was actually made of and am extremely proud to say I accomplished what I did.If you set your mind to something, it will be accomplished.


Here's a snapshot of my route. Those little blue things are mile markers.


831 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: team, cycling, triathlon, active, bike, ride, wildflower, run, century, first, bicycle, sunday, mike, d, ellis, miked

Taking it Easy

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 19, 2009

It finally feels like I'm reaching the home stretch on training and I'm starting to feel like I am actually prepared for my first triahtlon. The workouts have definitley jumped to a whole new level of intensity between the 40+ mile bike rides and 7-9 mile runs on the weekend back to back. I'm putting a lot more time in at the pool too, but that does not suck the life out of me like the rides and the runs. So, I've decided to take it easy this week and not run or bike Today, Tomorrow, or Saturday. Instead, I am going to let my legs heal all the way up so I can get back to putting stronger efforts into all of my training. After this little "break" I am not going to not miss anything and just put my head down and focus on getting the most out of these last few weeks before I try to tackle the hills of the Wildflower.

657 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: team, triathlon, active, to, first, get, mike, who, wants, d, ellis, miked

Swimming like a Fish

Posted by MikeDiesel Feb 20, 2009

Well.... not exactly, but that's what I tell my self for encouragement. Each day I get in the pool I feel stronger. I am sure it is the drills and using the kickboard is really helping out as well. My roommate who was killing me in the swim is still swimming much farther, but I am at least able to hold pace with him which is positive. Below is a list of all my issues I still am having with the swim.




    • When are you supposed to breathe?  I am currenlty breathing on every other stroke, but only on my right side. I see an equal amount of people breathing out on both sides as I see breathing out of one side. This seems to be one of the hardest part of swimming for me.




    • Breast Stroke or Freestyle? I can go faster swimming freestyle, but can not maintain the speed or consistency do to my issues breathing described above. The breast stroke seems to be substanially easier for me and I can keep up a consistent pace using this swim technique. I guess what I am asking, is what will be better when I actually compete. A faster, less consistent method, or the steady and easier/consistent method?




    • Getting a stronger kick. I thought my kick was good until I saw a few of the other people in the pool using the kickboard and they just destroyed me. What workout outside of the pool can I do to improve this?








883 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: fish, swim, a, like, mike, d, ellis

Intro Video... Finally

Posted by MikeDiesel Feb 12, 2009

Here you go. Sorry it took so long Michelle. I hope the boss is happy.


812 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: video, triathlon, wildflower, intro, mike, d, ellis, miked

Starting to Understand

Posted by MikeDiesel Jan 6, 2009

Now that I have gotten accustom to the base training program, I am starting to recover a lot faster than I was before and am realizing why the work out schedule is planned how it is.


I pretty much consider day 1 of the schedule the longer Saturday run. I'm still not really looking forward to doing this every Saturday yet, but it does help out a lot to have a full day of rest before taking off on a run/walk/run/walk for an hour or more. This also gives me a full week of recovery before I am expected to put in this big of effort into running again.



On day 2, the 1 hour plus bike ride is a walk in the park and I just cruise it at low intensity. This helps losen all the muscles in my legs back up from the precvious day's activity.



The third day is also pretty relaxing with an easy warm up run or a few minutes on the eliptical. This doesn't really increase the level of soreness in my body, but helps me get accustom to the run even more. After that, the streng and core training I have been doing is making a noticeable difference in my recovery times.



The swim on day 4 is my more promising day in the pool as all the muscles I use for this portion are well rested and I have a pretty postive attitude going into it. Also, I don't have to put as much effort into the different parts of my legs that I used for running. At least that's what I keep telling myself.



Day 5 has got to be my easiest work out day. This is almost like a wind down coming into the latter part of the week. The warm up bike ride is pretty simple and fun since I pretty much take it easy riding to the gym or around the neighborhood. Strength and core training has also been fairly easy and I am just working on making sure to follow Gale's list of excercises to do.



On the final day, I am not looking forward to the swim, but realize all I have to do is get through this last day and I can finally enjoy a day of rest and that pushes me to finish.



654 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: swimming, triathlon, mike, d, ellis, mikediesel

After actually completing a full week of the base triathlon training program, below are my notes.


    • Running: As much as I did dread this portion prior to commiting to the triathlon, I feel like I have been making leeps and bounds in progress. The first day I ran 20 minutes straight, I didn't think I was gonna die, but I was questioning how the heck I would be running 90 minutes straight by the end of 8 weeks. I realized that I was running a bit faster than I should be and backed it down a fe notches when I ran for 30 minutes and that helped a bunch. Once I find the correct pace it should help me a bunch. I also bought a heartrate monitor to wear so I know when I am pushing it too much

    • Bicycling: Wow, I can't believe how much the little amount of running and swimming I have done has helped my cycling. On one of my short rides, I managed to average 17.5 MPH over 8 miles. I haven't been able to hold that pace for over a year! My bike needed a bit of tuning since I have been doing a poor job of maintaining it so I will have to hit the stationary bike at the gym tomorrow. Not my favorite, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    • Swimming: Uhhhh. I am sure glad to have gotten my first day in the pool out of the way. This was way harder than I was expecting. After doing two reps of 50 yards, I didn't think I was going to make it. I ended up relaxing and completed 8 reps total in the end. I could really use some tips on how you are suppose to breath while you swim. I know their is a special technique for freestyle swimming and I havent found any good info on that yet.


I think my key to successfully completing all the training is just to learn to relax a bit and not push so hard while building up my base levels of endurance. Maintaining a healthy diet has also been a tremendous help and I can feel a huge difference in energy levels when I am eating right.

695 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlon, wildflower, mike, d, ellis, mikediesel

Over the Hump

Posted by MikeDiesel Dec 26, 2008

Now that Christmas is officially over, I consider myself over the hump as far as the Holidays go. I used a bunch of Kristen's input on ways to get around gorging myself at the dinner table. I was already on a pretty good meal program before the holidays by eating 5-7 times a day in 2-3 hour intervals. I just made sure to stick to it and not save room for the feast. A couple of glasses of red wine was about all the drinking I did and that was a huge help too.


As far as training goes, I have just been getting myself accustom to the Active Trainer Base Training program. This tool has been really helpful in keeping me on track in getting ready for the tri. The only day I have missed so far was Christmas day. I was supposed to do 600 meters of swimming, but the holiday and the fact that I was super sore from my first swim on Tuesday put a cramp in my plans.



Today I am set for a run/jog/walk. I'll see what happens when I get out their. Until next week...



637 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlon, wildflower, mike, d, ellis, mikediesel