Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Ultimate sport watch - Garmin Fenix 2

Received my amazing new Multi-Sport watch yesterday,  the Garmin Fenix 2!
The wife took the photo above and texted it to me upon arrival.  Given I had 3 hours left in my work day, I felt that was particularly mean spirited!  :)  Soooo, what's this watch all about?  Well, it's basically the the most advanced and diverse sports/outdoors watch on the market.  Because of it's diversity it's a bit complex but having read a couple reviews (several times over) and the entire manual (twice) before getting my hands on the real deal, it wasn't too daunting.
Here's a sample of what the watch is capable of...  GPS navigation, magnetic compass display, altimeter, barometric pressure, navigation, run tracking, cycling tracking, both open water and indoor swim tracking, connection to external sensors via ANT+ wireless technology (like my heart rate monitor and bike speed and cadence sensor), pre-programmed workouts, estimated recovery times based on workout intensity and the users profile... those are just the ones I'm likely to use... there's also Jumpmaster mode (sky diving anyone?), Sunrise/Moonrise tracking, hunting and fishing data, xc and downhill ski/snowboard modes... yah, it's crazy.
For me, the watch is all about multi-sport functionality and using my addiction to geeky technology to continue to motivate my attempts to get healthier.  Using the companion Garmin Connect Mobile Application and the Garmin Connect website, the watch is a really advanced tool in measuring and planning my workouts and races.  I took the watch out for a quick 1 mile jog just to log something before I had to work.  I've placed a screen shot of what the Mobile app displays for the activity.  Of course this is just the tip of the ice berg.  I can scroll through graphs of my heart rate data, run cadence, speed/pace, and even vertical oscillation (do you bounce too much when you run?  I do!).  Using the web interface there are analysis tools and training plans that help me design a fitness plan that is based on real metrics about where I am and what I need to do to get better!
And of course, on triathlon race day, this one device will track my actions from start to finish, showing me exactly where I did well and where I can improve!  It's a crazy device (and crazy expensive).  I've worked my way into the gps sport watch market and didn't mind selling off a few other toys to make this purchase (which I also see as an investment in my health... better than dropping another $400 on a new golf club... something I used to be prone to do). 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kiss me. I Finished!

3 amazing things about this race -
1.  My Wife was my champion and I love her for loving me where I am and pushing me to improve.
2.  Chocolate Stout from Shannon Brewing Co. in Dallas, TX at the finish line!
3.  A kilted bag piper on the diving board belting it out for more than an hour of time-trial start swimmers!

My medal says "Kiss me. I finished"... it probably ought to say "Kiss me, I got my ass kicked and I'm still standing."  45 degrees and wind gusting 20 to 30 mph for the duration of the race made for a difficult start to the year.

Swim - 7:23 (34th/52 in my age group) - The swim went fine.  I was slower than I expected but I felt great.  I kept my rhythm and pace throughout and really thought I was faster than this, but fast wasn't really my goal.  I focused on my form and  my breathing and felt great as I came out of the water.

T1 - 3:24 - Out of the pool and out the door into - Holy $%^& it's cold when you're soaking wet in lycra/spandex and it's in the 40's... no issues in transition though.  Took a little longer as I dried off a bit more than usual and took the time to layer.

Bike - 50:31 (45th/52) - so I hadn't biked nearly enough in the past 3 weeks... add rolling hills, cold, and the worst wind I've ridden in (ever), and it was brutal.  Honestly, it was a little scary.  More than a few folks were bloodied in the gusting wind, I wasn't one of them and honestly felt that I performed relatively well.  Unfortunately I haven't been riding and hugging my bike as low as possible to stay out of the wind ended with back spasms by the time I reached transition.

T2 - 3:39 - I tried to stretch but it was rough.  I plopped down, changed shoes, and headed out on the run.

Run - 46:15 (52/52 personal worst time) - I could hardly walk... smarter and less prideful people probably would have withdrawn at this point in time.  I couldn't do that.  I stumbled my way through the 5k, my wife encouraging me every step of the way.  I seemed unable to catch my breath more because of the pain than a lack of fitness.  My EVERYTHING hurt.  I walked.  Even the slight lean forward to walk/jog seemed to spark spasms up and down my spine.  Like most of my race experiences I stumbled through the run portion in a fog as racer after racer that I passed in the pool or on the bike flowed past me on the run.  It's not my intention to cry about it or focus on how pathetic I was... but it WAS pathetic and I have to figure out how to  do better here.

Finish - 1:51:14 (48th out of 52 in my age group) - Let's just say I left SOOOO much room for improvement in 2014.

Did I mention I got a free Shannon Brewery Mug and Chocolate Stout at the finish!?!  ;)  Need to focus on those positives!

Shout Out to Mr & Mrs Martin who absolutely crushed it out there!  Especially Mrs. Martin who crushed the run and broke the 2 hour mark with ease!  Nicely done!!!