Archive for June, 2010

Going Rogue

Yeah that’s right. I’ve gone Rogue. Rogue Running that is. An opportunity presented itself to me a couple of months back. Rogue Running was looking for a few good people to become program ambassadors. So why not I thought? To become a better athlete I’ve learned you should surround yourself with better athletes. I first became familiar with the quaint east 5th street running store during some local races this past year. I began to notice an awful lot of black shirts with a spiffy little crown logo. The more I learned about Rogue the more I liked. It’s an all in one package with these folks. The store itself is great, and fully staffed with knowledgable runners. They host awesome partys…errr I mean running events. And the training programs are second to none.

Some of the programs that have just started or are about to start include Basic Marathon/Half Marathon Training as well as an Online Training Program. These starting now are geared towards the fall marathon season. For my tri geek friends, there is also a Triathlon Training Program. Rogues go from just ‘finishing’ races to a season full of PR’s. Rogue can move you from the couch to pavement in ways you never imagined. You can leave behind the thoughts of “I’ll never be able to be a runner” because with Rogue everyone IS a runner. So if you’re looking to get started running; kick-start your running; learn from some masters; run with some great people; get some additional motivation… these programs are for you. As an added bonus by mentioning me (Andrew Collins) and using the special code ‘Amb0610’ you can receive $50 off. But hurry as this will expire soon and the programs are starting. So what are you waiting for? Get running, with Rogue.

Seeya on the pavement or trails.

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Lake Pflugerville Tri Recap

So after the Rookie Tri, I thought I might be getting into the swing of things with Triathlons. So my buddies Matt, Luke and I registered for the Lake Pflugerville Tri. This was a no miss event for me seeing as the lake is only 8.5 miles from my house and the area where we do most of our usual training. The field was limited to 500 participants which was about half the size of the Rookie. The last month of training has been pretty solid, including some PR times on the swim and bike route for the race. I was also able to capitalize on the early daylight hours while in California for work last week. (more on that later)

We planned to meet at Matt’s house and ride the 1.5 miles from there to avoid traffic issues. BRILLIANT. It was an easy was to get in and a nice little warm up. We arrived just as the sun was beginning to rise and were able to pick some pretty descent spots in transition. My wife arrived with the kiddos in tow just before the pre-race meeting (this was father’s day afterall) and it was great to have them out there cheering me on.

The 8-year-old daughter of a friend who just returned from IronMan Kansas 70.3 sang the national anthem and the open division was off. The swim for me was pretty good. There was definitely much more bumping and kicking than I had experienced in the Rookie Tri, but that’s all part of the game. I tried to stick to my pace, sight the buoy’s and get as much oxygen as possible. All of these goals were met, and I in fact hit the first buoy square on. I made it to the beach and bolted to transition. I wanted to make sure and not ‘dottle’ my way to the bike. I’m pretty sure this may have been where my heart rate was indeed the highest through the race.

I made it to my bike, got my shoes on, helmet on and was ready to go. The only issue? I continued running past the mount line which was… silly. After a disappointing showing on my bike for the Rookie, I was out for revenge. I know the course by heart and was ready to go. I put my head down, eyes up and hands in the drops and I was gone. I began my assault and starting passing riders pretty quick. Once we turned past the Cele store, I knew the fun was about to begin, a series of rollers over a 4-5 mile stretch. And it was. Fun. Because I trained on it. And passed people on it. And owned. It. Average speed coming off was over 19mph. I was on target. The plan was to be able to turn up the pace after the rollers. I had a slight pause trying to get down some Hammer Gel before the final leg of the bike, but kept plugging away. The last leg of the bike was a little tougher for me than I had anticipated. It’s normally where the gas is able to be turned up quite a bit, but I was just maintaining. Before we turned I heard my buddy Matt yell behind me “come on Andrew, let’s do it.” Arg. Matt had finally caught up to me, which meant he was smoking his time. We stayed fairly close through the end of the bike route, but I geared down to spin up before the run.

In transition, I was really starting to not feel so hot. Well, yes hot, but not in the good way. I slipped into my running shoes, grabbed my visor & bib number and headed out. I could see the wife and kids as well as our friends at the top of the hill cheering. I managed to make it up the hill in good form, then hit the trail. Ouch. The run was going to hurt. Again. The first mile was ok. At least I thought the water station was at mile one, but it wasn’t! If you’ve never run around Lake Pflugerville, it’s a great trail. Minus the 2nd mile section on the backside of the lake that somehow doesn’t get any air movement, and is always a sweltering furnace of pain. And I mean it. The comfort I took was knowing that I wasn’t the only one struggling on that side. There were many quality athletes that felt the pain. After hitting the mile 2 marker, I began my mental countdown. I didn’t want to look at my watch, but felt pretty sure I was on target for my goal of 1:30 finishing time. But I didn’t want to ruin it. So I kept plugging along, and only had the wind knocked out of my sail from a few amazing female athletes who coasted by me. I finally make it to the finish, arms in the air, eyes on the clock at 1:30, then over to my amazing wife and kids! It was done, I had finished it, and I felt…ok. I layed on the grass with a cold towel, regained composure, drank my recoverite and began to bask in the glow of another successful triathlon completed. It was a great day. My friend Matt had smoked his swim and bike. Luke also threw down a great overall time. So yeah this triathlon thing? Totally addicting! And Fun.

By the numbers-
Overall time- 1:30:24
500m swim- 14:16
T1- 2:28
14m bike- 43:30
T2- 1:16
3m run- 28:53
http://results.active.com/pages/oneResult.jsp?pID=87098681&rsID=95130

Why Even Wear a Helmet?

…if you’re not going to wear it the right way? I’m not really sure. But this has been bothering me lately. I’m seeing more and more cyclists out wearing helmets that aren’t on properly. I guess I just don’t get it. To err in their credit maybe they just haven’t been taught how to wear it properly. So shame on whoever sold them the helmet, or those who ride with them. So many people I see out just slap on the helmet and let it slip to the back of their heads. In the event they were in a rear end accident and landed on the back of their head they would be VERY well protected. But if they were projected forward (think about the momentum of the device they’re riding) it could be catastrophic because there would be zero to minimal protection.

This winter I had the privilege of joining ACA, Social Cycling and other groups out at a local elementary school to kick off their Freiker program. As part of it ACA donated helmets for all the kids. Not only that, but we properly fitted them, and taught them the correct way to wear them. So I thought I’d recap on my blog here to help the folks out I keep seeing. So for you, guy who commutes everyday around Round Rock with it improperly on your head and to the whole family of 4 I saw this weekend all with helmets on incorrectly, this is for you-

  1. Wear the helmet flat on the top of your head. You should be able to look up and see the brim of the helmet. Make sure the helmet covers the top of your forehead without tilting forward or backward.
  2. The straps form a V shape under each ear. You can easily check this by making a ‘peace’ sign with your hand.
  3. Fasten the chin strap below your chin — not to the side or along your jaw. There should be room for a couple of fingers, but you DO want it snug. Take a big yawn, the helmet should pull down on your head, if not, repeat step 2.
  4. If the bicycle helmet rocks from side to side or front to back, use the sizing pads that came with the helmet to get a better fit. Some of the newer helmets have an adjustable back which makes it easy to get the helmet snug without additional padding.

There are lots of great resources online that go into greater detail if needed, but that’s the gist. I really hope that the cycling community will continue to rally together and encourage cycling education, one part of which is safety. And especially if you’re a parent or older sibling please pass this information on and set a good example by wearing a helmet yourself. A well-designed and properly fitting bike helmet can prevent up to 88 percent of bicycle-related brain injuries, according to an industry estimate. I won’t go into the ins & outs of buying a helmet, there’s a lot to choose from. Just look for the certification sticker from ASTM, Snell, or ANSI. You don’t have to spend more to be protected more, all have to adhere to the safety standards. The more $$ you spend the lighter it can be, more aerodynamic, more airflow, warranty etc. My final thought is this, if you’re in an accident replace your helmet ASAP. Stay safe out there peeps, there’s a lot at stake.