Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - Year In Review

Happy New Year World (2010)Image by Lel4nd (be back soon in Dec) via FlickrBy: Jeff      

Brent and I have come a long way since starting this blog on January 6, 2010 [see original post], we have ran/biked 1,812.45 miles to be exact!  With our original goals of this blog being to document our pursuits in becoming more fit, reviewing products, and reviewing races; I would say that this year has provided us with a great start to pursuing those goals.

One of the first big mile markers of the year was Brent's training for a marathon. This training culminated with him running the Glass City Marathon in Toledo [read about Brent's race here ].  What a great feat and a sense of accomplishment for him. Then in June we both ran in the Sunburst races in South Bend.  This is one of the several races that Brent has done on mulitple occasions.  I imagine it will be one that is on our calander every year, as it is practically in our backyard.  Brent did the 10k version while I did my first 5k race ever [read about my 5k race ][read Brent's 10k race here ].  After that we had a bit of down time until we made two important purchases.  In July I purchased my Cannondale Synapse 6 bike [Read about Synapse purchase ].  About a month later Brent purchased his new ride, a Cannondale Six Carbon 5 [Read about Brent's purchase here ].  These purchases allowed us to do some serious road bike training and allowed us to participate in our first organized riding event.  At the end of September we participated in a huge annual cycling event know as the Apple Cider Century.  We decided on riding the 50 mile version of this event [rear about our ACC ride here ].  After that we again had nothing scheduled so we didn't train as much, however we did start riding with the Elkhart Bike Shop's group ride.  In Novemember we decided that we would break out our mountain bikes and do some trail riding.  Our first adventure was to Dr. T.K. Lawless park, this provided for some nice single track [read about TK here ].  With that adventure we wanted to capitalize on our momentum, which led us to try out another park, Rum Village [read about Rum adventure here ].  We really liked this park, but it led to my meta-carpel mishap [read about my broken hand ].  So as we went into December my training would have to wait until the end of the month, and I have been able to get back on the trainer.  Christmas was good to both of us, we both got some new gear, that we will be reviewing in 2011.  Also in early December Brent realized that he had a real chance to end the year with over 1,000 miles of movement.  I am happy to announce that with his bike ride this morning Brent now has 1,002.55 miles for 2010; that breaks down to 388.02 miles of running and 614.53 miles of cycling!!!  I'm sure that we will both do even more miles next year!

With all of that I will say that it has been a pretty succesful year.  As we still try to figure out and utilize this blog we would like to ask all of our readers to post a comment about what they would like to see us do and write about next year.  Also to all you cycling and running companies out there we would love to review your products, do you hear me Cannondale, Trek, Specialized, Asics, Nike, Garmin, Fizik, Saris, Pearl Izumi, Sugoi, Louis Garneau, Giro, and any others!!!  We wish everyone a very happy new year!!! Look for our 2011 preview post soon.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Minute Switcheroo.

By Brent:   

During the day Jeff and I had been talking and prepping for the group ride when we decided it would be in our best interest to call the shop to confirm there was a group ride to go to. GLAD WE DID! The owner of the shop was on vacation so there would be no riding. We quickly came up with a new plan. Once again Jeff would come over and ride our stationary bike, while I would use his trainer again and log miles on my bike. I was able to show off my Garmin Edge 500 to Jeff and we kicked on the TV. To keep with the spirit of cycling we watched the Cervelo Test Teams podcast called Beyond the Peloton. It is a personal favorite and well known series within the biking community. Now with the demise of the CTT cycling team and its joint venture with the Garmin cycling team, there are many people hoping these podcast continue on.

So with everything set up we hopped on our bikes and set off down the non existent road and pedaled our little hearts off. I managed to log another 16.51 miles averaging 76 rpm's and maxing out (for a split second) at 56.0 mph. The trainer gets buzzing pretty good at that point. I can only imagine the damage should some bolt give out and your rear tire would make contact with the carpet. It would be quite the sight to see.

With this 16.51 miles added to my previous figures, I am now up to 992.87 miles leaving me 7.13 miles to go to hit 1,000 miles of running and riding. This is something I will be pretty proud of and look forward to crushing next year. Can I hear 1,500 or 2,000 maybe?

After the riding was over it was "Geek Time". We hooked the Garmin up to the computer and uploaded all its information to Garmin Connect. This is some cool FREE software. Check out below my ride (mind you I forgot to turn off the GPS portion of it so the map is a little awkward, yet in the same breathe be impressed that I was in the basement, and I still picked up a signal!)

After "Geek Time" concluded we began plotting our outings for 2011. We will post those hopeful outings soon and add them to our Schedule tab.

See ya in 7.13 miles!
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Quest for 1,000 and Holiday Cheer

Milestone km 1000 on the SS16 road (closer look)Image via Wikipedia
By Brent:

Happy Holiday's everyone! I hope all is well and the cold isn't keeping you down to much.

As November turned into December I caught a nasty flu bug that really set me back and working out really didn't feel like the thing for me. I knew that I could hold off the holiday binge eating and that should be good enough. Well time kept passing and I kept not working out so finally on the 14th of December I finally mounted back onto the stationary bike and logged 8.3 miles. I did my monthly tally of what I had run and walked in November and honestly it wasn't bad, but the numbers didn't "wow" me. 107.48 miles biked and the ever impressive goose egg in the running category. All I could do now is total up my year and see if that makes me feel any better. As I did that I realized how close to the 1,000 mile marker I was. 900.07. Well now to settle at 9XX miles seemed like a real disappointment so I sat down to figure out with the days left what it would take to hit 1,000.

6.2 miles EVERYDAY. 6.2 was kind of a interesting number. 6.2 miles is known as a 10k in the running world. Why all of a sudden we decide to go metric, I will never understand, however, it is what it is. So after thinking 6.2 miles isn't that big a deal, then realizing that that has to happen EVERYDAY for 16 days, it starts seeming a bit worse. My game plan was trying to do no less than 5.0 miles on bad days, try for a longer (like 12.0 miles) 1 day a week and rest 1 day a week. If I had the ability to get out I wanted to add running back into the mix but with the bitter cold, I knew that was going to be few and far between.

At this point I am sitting right on target. I managed one (blistering) cold run. It was the kind where when you finally get back to the house after 4.91 miles you realize your breathe has turned your goatee into an ice sculpture. Everything else has been done on the bike. I have taken 3 days off total so far but after last nights 8.06 miles my grand total is now up to 976.36 miles moved. What this means is somehow I must have missed a day that I thought I had covered on a previous workout and now with 3 days to go I must average 7.88 miles each day. The good news is tonight is a "group ride" night at All About Cycling for an hour so I should be able to rack up some good mileage there, the bad news is I can feel the head cold rushing into me quickly.

Part of my motivation these last couple nights is my new toy. The Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer. I will be writing a review of it soon but I personally must tell you the 2 reviews that I used were by fellow bloggers, the always funny Fat Cyclist here, and the always overly informational DC Rainmaker here.

3 days to go! I'll post when I break 1,000 miles of moving. Current tally, 388.02 miles run, 588.34 miles biked. Man were cutting it close!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Topeak Joe Blow II vs. Serfas FP-200 se

By: Jeff

The Competetion
Last Friday Brent and I decided to conduct a very informal, yet highly scientific competition between our two bicycle pumps.  Brent own a Topeak JoeBlow Sport II Floor Pump.  I own a Serfas FP-200 pump.  First lets compare price; the Topeak has an onsale price at of $29.99, the Serfas is offered at for $39.99.  The Topeak has a bright yellow color, the Serfas is offered in six different colors (mine is white).  The Topeak has a dual sided head with a switch that locks it in place, the Serfas has a single head with a switch on top. Both pumps fit Presta and Shrader valves.  Here are some other random technical specs:

Topeak JoeBlow Sport II Floor Pump
GAUGE: Elevated Mount
HEAD: Dual
MAX. PSI: 160

Serfas FP-200 Silver, Black, Satin Silver, Yellow, Red, White (tested)

Simple Valve Pump Head — Fits Both Presta and Schrader Valves
Durable Metal Barrel and Base
Ergonomic Handle
Top Mounted Large Gauge
Equipped with Ball and Accessory Attachments
PSI Capacity: 160 PSI
Topeak on left, Serfas on right

Our Findings
We tested both pumps by seeing how many pumps it would take to inflate a tire from 50 psi to 110 psi.  The Topeak took 12 pumps and the Serfas took 14.5.  We also noticed that it seemed to take less effort to hook up the Topeak compared to the Serfas.  Both pumps are high quality, the Serfas has a slightly more industrious look.  We found that the handle on the Topeak was a bit more comfortable.  The Serfas has a guage toward the top which we liked, but it wasn't a significant difference from the low mounted Topeak guage.  We also found that the flatter base on the Topeak is a bit easier to use with cleats.  Overall we would recommend either of these pumps, but based on price and comfort we give the edge to the Topeak.

Topeak on left and Serfas on right
On a side note: My cast is off.  Just have to keep it wrapped for a couple more weeks.  I have permission to ride the trainer, but couple more weeks before I can ride on the streets.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hands and Feet!

By: Brent

So to catch everyone up to speed on the "Metacarpal Mishap" the official word from the Doctor was that Jeff had a inter articular fracture the base of the 5th Metacarpal bone (in line with the pinky finger but within the hand portion, not the finger) on the right hand and that the bone itself was also displaced (no longer in line with where it should be is how I interpret that) but after more testing it would not require any future tweaking to get it back to where it needed to be. This is now cast in a pretty blue hand cast. Per Wikipedia, this is also the most common bone to be injured when throwing a punch. At this point, Jeff will be placing his biking and MMA heavy weight title fight on hold for at least 4 weeks.
Jeff's arm in a cast

Also this week, I signed up to run my first half marathon in what will be 2 years. I will be participating in my second running of the "Indy Mini", part of the Indy 500 festival weekend. I was asked by a co worker if I was doing it this year and I said that I hadn't really thought about it. My first running of it, which was also my first half marathon was a slightly bitter experience which I wrote about here. Long story short, the Indy Mini brings in about 35,000 runners and my friend Jonny the Fox signed me up and put me in a terribly slow pace causing me to get stuck in a Corral S, plus the road we started on was under construction so by the time the gun went off to start the race, it was 45 minutes before I got to cross the START line. Keep in mind the people that win this thing, were crossing the FINISH line 15 minutes after I started the exact same race. But after the road now being fixed and I was able to talk my wife into joining me in this race and the co worker, and as I am signing up I am hearing about more and more people I know running this, I was a sucker to say yes.

So being a 3 time half marathoner and having run a full marathon this year I want to tweak my training plan. Running gets boring. In the marathon, no amount of music on an iPod can keep you that entertained, so to train for 16 weeks, then have to run the run, I have a plan for success.

1) Start running, but don't start "training". It's one thing to just "go for a run". It's another to have to "go for a run". See how "just" and "have" changed how exciting that sounded.

2) Don't get hurt, or try any stupid mountain bike tricks.... well, we'll see how that pans out.

3) Re-re-re-read "My life on the run" by Bart Yasso. Every time I read it, it makes me want to not only run, but make sure I am happy with the decisions I am making in life.

4) Slightly revise the amount of Ice Cream I eat in the evenings. SLIGHTLY.

5) Keep up with the group rides on Wednesday nights at All About Cycling. Nice change of pace from running, plus keep my legs for and during cycling season.

6) Portion control, portion control, portion control.

7) Reduce my training plan down to 10-12 weeks, but get myself comfortable on my own schedule prior to training actually beginning with being able to run 6-7 miles hard.

I would love to see myself drop the weight back to the 200 mark, however, I leave that decision up to God. I am not a "dieter" by any means. If I lose it, awesome, its less luggage I have to carry with me around the course, and I know I will benefit from it, but again, I always have this mental image of myself from high school graduating at 6'-3" and 154 lbs. I looked fairly sickly.

OK, I think thats it for today. I will let you know how things progress.

May 7, 2011. Indy Mini. Goal Time: 1:55.00. Current P.R. 2:01.51.
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