Spirit of Triathlon:
bike: 4 miles
run: 4 miles
swim: 0.5 mile
bike: 4 miles
A glorious day at the beach.
Got out and back before lunch and before the mid-afternoon downpour. Did the whole run segment without stopping to rest. I must be getting lighter again. The water was slightly cooler, with just enough wave action to keep the swim interesting.
The lifeguards had the yellow flags up. The girl manning lifeguard stand #5 said it was due to an undertow condition. After my swim I could see what she was talking about, but the conditions I swam in would cause yellow flags only at Clearwater Beach. It was a beautiful day for a swim. The guy at lifeguard stand #2 agreed, although he said he had swum a mile or so earlier in the morning, and the undertow condition was more pronounced then. Lifeguard #2 also mentioned that he will be doing a longer swim out in California, the Escape from Alcatraz even. Now, that could be a place with reason for yellow flags.
I cannot bring myself to spend $15-20 for roller ski ferrules. I have been disappointed with how quickly they become rounded and start slipping on asphalt. Forget about concrete. For that price, I expect better. I have also tried rubber tips, but those lasted no more than a week or two before the aluminum tube of my poles began to slice clean through. Since the steel tips will be rounded and start slipping after a few ski åknings, I came up with a dime-a-dozen solution. Well, it is really about a five-or-six-dollar-a-dozen solution, and it involves archery target tips.
I obviously left my old tips on a wee bit too long, but there is still enough plastic left for the steel threads to bite into. There shouldn’t be a problem with them staying attached.
I have a theory that having pole tips that tend to slip at very low angles is a good thing for encouraging development of proper leg technique and strength. I believe in letting the lower body do the majority of the work while the upper body assists with balance and maintaining the inertia gained by the legs. This is the exact opposite of swimming, which gets 80% of its power from upper body parts. Since I like to swim, too, I will maintain this dichotomy, at least during my summer training. So, when my target tips begin to wear, I do not even bother to rotate them 180° to expose the sharper edge to the pavement. This does work to make the tips bite better, but the effect is short lived and tends to encourage more reliance on upper body strength.
When I do eventually get onto actual snow with frozen ground beneath it, I may change my mind about letting the upper body “kick in” more.
Michigan has more than just the North American Vasa?
This morning before heading out for my Spirit of Triathlon, I discovered two more Michigan Nordic distance events that I simply must add to my schedule! Yesterday I was watching youtube videos of biathlon athletes, equipment, training and racing, when I had the stupendous idea of Googling [traverse city bithlon]. Google kindly corrected my spelling and showed me results for [traverse city biathlon], which included a 2016 article titled, Winter Brings Fierce Snowsport Competitions to Traverse City, . This article mentioned something called the White Pine Stampeed, and somehow I also stumbled upon the Noquemanon Ski Marathon.
I am so excited to have these new goals in addition to the North American Vasa. I am jazzed because it seemed a bit senseless to move to Michigan for two months, just for a race. I was considering attempting Saturday’s 48 km skate and Sunday’s 30 km classic races, back-to-back, which worried me. The 48 km still feels a bit daunting. Even though I completed 56% of the distance in a single åkning, heading back out and repeating that distance is not yet real to me and I have not had a chance to train with classic technique.
Well, now I have three skate events in the 50 km range, each a whole week apart, the first in the U.P.*:
Noquemanon Ski Marathon
50 km; Saturday, 2018/01/27
White Pine Stampede
50 km; Saturday, 2018/02/03
North American Vasa
48 km; Saturday, 2018/02/10
#excited #jazzed #stoked #happySkier #OffToTheRaces
*U.P.: Upper Peninsula; the northern part of Michigan, across the Mackinac Bridge from the Lower Peninsula; The Lower Peninsula, however, is never referred to as the L.P.; The Northern part of the Lower Peninsula is referred to as Northern Michigan, but lies south of the Upper Peninsula.