Wednesday, June 20, 2012

True confessions...

I have a race this weekend. An Olympic distance tri to be exact. I don't feel prepared. I have done some swimming, a decent amount of biking and have been running here and there but... Maybe the lack of brick workouts or not following a carefully laid out plan etched into a calendar months before is now messing with my head. Who knows.

Theoretically, I have even more time to train now with my new job. Realistically, the extra flexibility in mostly being able to set my own hours has thrown my workout schedule into a big mess. I know, cry me a river.

While I don't feel ready for this race, I am excited for it. I have started looking forward to the big races on the calendar for the fall and feel ready to "get with the program" after this weekend.

Ready or not, Lake Oconee here I come!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Retul Fitting...

If you have been following along, you already know that my bike was lost and then found.  It has also now been repaired.  It is still pretty scratched up even post-repair.  The bike was 12 years old to begin with, weighed 1000 pounds (at least...) and did not cooperate all that well when I pressed the levers to shift so it was time for a new one.  Don't get me wrong, it was a great bike and got me through B2B which goes to show you don't need fancy equipment to do an iron distance race but every time I showed up to a race, I would rack my little bike and look with envy at all the sleek new bikes around me.  CR and I had talked about getting a new one soon - as in maybe the end of the year - it just wasn't planned for this soon.  

I looked online to figure out what I wanted and when I saw a picture of the QR Dulce it was love at first sight.  When you know you know... has a showroom in Atlanta so I headed down there hoping to get a look at the Dulce in person.  They didn't have any on the floor but I was 99.9% certain this was what I wanted so I made an appointment for a fitting.

I showed up a couple days later with my bike shoes ready for my fitting.  In my mind, I had envisioned sitting on my actual bike while bars were adjusted and angles were measured.  It turned out that this was no ordinary fitting, All3 does Retul fittings.  Basically, the system reads your movements in 3D while you are in motion on the bike.   By getting a proper fit, it is supposed to "prevent pain that is common in the knee, hip, and lower back, particularly with riders who are trying to adapt their bodies to the bike they already have purchased.".  Sounds good to me!   I was led into a large office with a fit bike on a platform in the center.  My basic information was plugged into a PC and displayed on a large monitor on the wall.

The guy doing the fitting asked me what kind of bike I had in mind.  I told him the QR Dulce.  He says, "well, we will see if that is a good fit for you".  Uhhhh, what???  It had never occurred to me that the bike of my dreams for the past 48 hours might not be a good fit.  It made sense but the thought never crossed my mind.  Apparently, they do all the measurements and then make recommendations if, for some reason, the bike you had in mind isn't a good fit for you.  

Back to the fitting....  they attached all these electrodes at various points along my feet, knees, hip and arms.  Wires were then attached that allowed the computer program to read what was going on and measure my body angles.  I was asked to clip in and pedal for a bit.  I could see a little stick figure image of me on the screen and about 15 or so measurements.  You can see a sample report HERE)  From what I could tell, if the numbers were in green, they were good - anything in red required adjustment.  The fitter put on my seat of choice (ISM Adamo Road) and then adjusted the fit bike according to the screen.  I continued to pedal until he was satisfied that it was all correct.  

The entire process took about an hour but am told it can take up to two hours.  I was pretty impressed with the process as my previous fitting on my road bike was done old school style with a tape measurement and a "that looks about right".  It worked for me but I always wondered if I would have had a better fit had I gone to someone more experienced with triathlon but in all honesty just didn't have the money to spend on a proper fitting.  I do wish that I had a tri bike before this one so I could tell if the fit made a difference.  I can say that after riding the bike, it seems to be pretty spot on.  I don't feel uncomfortable in aero or have any weird spots that don't seem quite right.  

If you are interested, there are quite a few Retul fitters around, you can go to their website for a list.  The process can be a little pricey (mine was $75 with the bike purchase - without a purchase, I have heard $225 to $250).  If you have some aches and pains and think it might be your bike, it might be a good investment to have it checked out.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Annie get your gun...

Meet Annie, the newest member of the family. We haven't hit the road yet but plan on taking her out this weekend!