The Plague, a Cruise, and Training Camp

Where Have You Been?

The week before Christmas I came down with “The Great Plague”. You know…the one that caused everyone you know to be sick. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat. It was a blast. Falling back on old advice, I took some time off from training. In fact, I went 30 days in between runs in December. I did get a handful of rides and swims in, but merely to stop the fitness losses from occurring.

Warm Weather and a Cruise

As part of our kid’s Christmas gifts, we surprised them with a short three-day cruise to the Bahamas. It turned out to be great as the warm tropical air helped kickstart the recovery from The Plague. Our cruise ship left out of the Port of Miami, stopped in Nassau, and of course a beautiful private island known as Great Stirrup Cay.

The ship was excellent. Pools for the kids, decent (enough) food, and a great kid’s area allowing the adults a little time to do things while they had fun too.

Norwegian Sky. Our cruise ship.
Norwegian Sky. Our cruise ship.
Miami at sunset
Miami at sunset
Cruise ship at night
Cruise ship at night
Just a tropical beach. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Just a tropical beach. Nothing to see here. Move along.

On the same beach where the Corona picture above was taken, I decided to attempt a little open water swim. I learned a few things about ocean open water swimming:

  1. I know why triathletes use wetsuits. Added buoyancy would have been really nice.
  2. Don’t start a swim into a strong ocean current. I should have hiked to the top of the island and swam down current like the one guy I saw.
  3. Swimming with an upper respiratory infection sucks.
  4. GPS on the watch cuts out below the surface of the water.
  5. I now know why triathlon buoys are so big. Sighting the itsy-bitsy orange one was damn near impossible.
  6. You’d better know how to swim. The lifeguards will let you get 300-400 yards off the shore.

Read on for more.

A New Family Member for Training

After returning from the cruise, it was time to get back into the swing of things. Before we left for our cruise I placed an order for something I’d been wanting/needing for some time. A Felt B16 Triathlon Bike. It wasn’t my first choice (Cervelo P3), but it was in the top 3. The thing I liked about this bike was it uses the same molds as the Felt DA line (though DA uses lighter carbon fiber), has a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, and had compact cranks. Of course there is still plenty of upgrading that can be done…wheels, bar, brakes, shifters, saddle…

Felt B16
Felt B16

This is the 2013 version which is before they changed the components to Shimano 105. The picture above was “as purchased” and before I started fitting it. I wound up flipping the stem over for a negative drop and slammed the stem two spacers. It’s far more comfortable now. It was also interesting to note that as this is my first true TT bike, the geometry is much different than my older Litespeed road bike. I can ride hard on this TT bike and have enough legs left over for runs.

January is Training Kickoff

With the new bike and a new year, January was training kickoff. I used Christmas money to sign up for the King Pine Triathlon at the end of May. I also officially registered for the Timberman Half Ironman in August. January 2015 will go down as a new record for amount of time training. I’ll have more than 30 hours of training and over 35 individual activities.

To complete the month I’m riding the Tour of Sufferlandria. It is nine days of relatively intense workouts (to Sufferfest training videos) which also uses the TrainerRoad.com software. It will be about 13 hours of riding over the course of the nine days. I think of this as my training camp kicking off the new year.

Tour of Sufferlandria. A.K.A. Training Camp 2015
Tour of Sufferlandria. A.K.A. Training Camp 2015