Monday, May 29, 2006

Iron Pol ≠ Iron Chef

Hugely popular in Japan, Iron Chef can be seen on Food Network in the United States. This show pits so called "Iron Chefs" against highly qualified chefs from around the world. The two hallmarks of the show are that the chefs have a limited time to complete their meals and that there is always a secret ingredient, which is announced only moments before the contest begins. These masters of the kitchen must utilize that ingredient in every dish. I am constantly amazed at how quickly they adapt to what is thrown their way. Only years of training and hours of planning can prepare them for this challenge.

Training is often like that. And yesterday, I was tripped up by the "secret ingredient." Actually, the entire recipe of my long run was wrong. It started with three nights with insufficient sleep. To that, add meals that weren't really aimed at meeting the demands of a long run. And to totally screw things up, add in the secret ingredient. A hot, sunny day with temps hovering around 90F, with high humidity.

Prior to yesterday, the hottest running day I've had was 73F. That was only a three mile run. And the second hottest day was only 63F. So, my scheduled 13 mile run was being done in temperatures a solid 25 degrees higher than previous runs. With the poor diet and lack of sleep, I should have known things would go poorly.

I realized around mile five that things were going to get ugly. I skipped on possible turn-off that would have cut the run down to about six and a half miles, and kept on my 13 mile route. At mile six, I knew I was going to run out of fluids, and changed course. I had dropped off my pace and started walking some, as my legs were dead and I was overheating. I also knew that the shortest route home was going to still be another two and a half miles.

In the end, I only did nine miles, and that at a brutal 10m 45s pace. Two lessons learned? First, rethink runs when dealing with 20+ degree spikes in temperature. Second, figure out a way to replenish fluids if I don't plan on short loops. I guess there is a third lesson. Learn to be like Iron Chefs and deal with the sometimes horrible ingredients you are given. Make the best of what you have and create something of which you can be proud.

Finally, a bike update. Mrs. Pol and I have discussed things, and she has approved the requisition to buy the S25 the store is getting. That will include the shoes, cages, and other sundry items that will be needed. Hopefully, things will improve vastly in the biking arena with the new bike. I did a 27.5 mile ride, this morning in just under 1 hour and 50 minutes. That works out to about 15 miles an hour.

How will the new bike improve things? Let me count the ways:

1. Incredible reduction in weight (from something like 33 pounds to 19)
2. Racing tires instead of off road tires
3. Aero bars
4. Much better gearing, better gear ratios
5. Clipless pedals and biking shoes instead of flat pedals and sneakers
6. I'll look cooler
7. I'll feel cooler
8. My training miles will go way up, as Mrs. Pol will kill me if I spend this kind of money and DON'T put more miles in
9. Did I mention aero bars
10. There isn't a 10, but it's a nice round number on which to end

1 comment:

Kewl Nitrox said...

What a cool looking bike! I am green with envy!! And it matches your team colours perfectly too.

Hey, you counted aero bars twice... that's cheating! You made the right decision though, having the right bike makes a lot difference. And I am so glad you got the right size - with tri bikes, proper fit is EEVRYTHING.

I would definitely go with the tri bike over the mountain bike, but do go for a EASY trial ride to sort out your position, don't risk getting a sore back, neck, shoulders, butt, etc... on race day. :)