Weekly Recap #15

A rollercoaster week that just made no sense.

After returning from Challenge Forster I was feeling pretty good and had another big week of training planned. It wouldn’t work out that way however. Its a long story that goes back many weeks which I cant be bothered typing the whole thing. The short version is I blew up my motorbike battery on Monday morning by hooking the leads up wrong when I went to jump start it :-(. With my road bike halfway through its Di2 to SRAM conversion and my tri bike in a mess after the race I caught the bus to work. Monday night I decided to clean up my tri bike so I could avoid the bus and ride on Tuesday. In doing so I jammed a pair of scissors into my hand spraying blood everywhere and leaving me in quite a bit of pain. Tuesday was hence another bus day. And so it goes on until the weekend when I just had zero energy probably caused by a bit of a cold virus probably picked up on the bus. Oh well.

Racing

After a string of weekend races, I had nothing this weekend. I had planned to race the Narrowneck Night Run with Running Wild but decided not to after the scissor incident. Probably a good thing given my complete lack of energy over the weekend.

My upcoming races are:
– Ironman WA
– Bogong to Hotham
– Buffalo Stampede
– Mount Solitary Ultra
– The North Face 100

Rego opens for the 6ft Track Marathon in a few weeks so hopefully it will slot in too. At the moment its The North Face 100 that will be my focus. The others will act as long hard training runs… assuming all goes to plan.

Training

So my training was a bit off this week. Between recovery from Challenge Forster, stabbed hands and feeling run down all weekend the week was very recovery focussed. I did run home from work one day. This was my first time running home and did it at a pretty steady but comfortable pace. The actual route is 17.5km and has plenty of uphill, 467m in total. I think I will do the run more in coming months as it is not a bad way to end the day.

By Friday my hand was feeling sufficiently OK to hold the handlebars on my Tri bike so I rode to work posting my second fastest time on the Wakehurst City Commute segment in the morning. The afternoon was HOT (30C+) so the ride home was tough, and made more so by being stuck behind a bus for most of Military Rd and all of Spit Rd.

Over the weekend I felt completely empty. I managed a solitary 2k pool session on Sunday afternoon. I am increasingly finding myself counting down the number of swim session I have left will IMWA. I hate swim training that much. Not many left now.

Other

This would be the section where I talk about blowing up my motorbike battery or stabbing my hand but I have done that already. Given I had no energy to train I spent the weekend working on my bikes.

Specifically, I finished off the SRAM Force/Red 22 install on my Merckx EMX-525 road bike (Eddy for short) and progressed my electric bike build pretty close to completion.

The install of a traditional mechanical groupset on Eddy is interesting as the bike is designed to be Di2 (or more correctly electronic) only. The 2014 frame model year of the bike has added a mechanical option and the factory did give me the option of sending the frame back for conversion but I didn’t really feel this made much sense. I had discovered I could actually run full length housing through the frame and using the Di2 ports get a reasonable cable routing with only a couple of issues/concerns.
1. The cable entry near the steerer tube was a little tight and placed the cables perpendicular to the frame. I will need to watch both the cables and frame for wear in this location but otherwise it seems OK and really not that different to the aero trend of cables entering on the top of the top tube.
2. The bike had no cable guide for the front derailleur. I went through a few iterations but eventually came up with a bracket that would screw on to the Di2 battery mounts and hold a conventional plastic guide.
3. I was unsure whether the full length cables would cause too much drag on the wires. They seem to be working OK at the moment however. Time will tell but I note there are a few other high end bikes using full length cables.

I also had quite a few issues getting the FD set up right. It just seemed like the hanger was too flimsy to let the braze-on bolt be tightened enough. In the end I switched the bolt and guide washer off an older derailleur that seemed a little larger and things finally settled into place.

One of the reasons I liked Di2 originally was its minimalist aesthetics compared to traditional solutions but I have to say that the solution I have come up with converting Eddy is pretty neat to my eyes. I am feeling pretty confident that Eddy is going to enjoy his SRAM gear for a few years to come.

The last piece I need to take care of is the crankset. I am installing a Force 22 compact crank with HSC ceramic bottom bracket. Assuming the 4iiii Precision power meter works well I will add one in the new year all going to plan and my Ultegra Stages crank will shift permanently to my Tri bike. As much as I say IMWA will be my last tri, it seems like there is part of me planning a comeback sometime next year. Maybe I will focus on shorter races…