Bike to Sunken Meadow State Park

Weather went back and forth with 60% chance of rain during this bike ride to 0%. I was looking forward to somewhat testing my aero helmet in rainy conditions but a dry ride is always better.

85 miles out and back from Sunken Meadow while encountering 25mph wind gusts.

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42 miles away from home

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Short clip of an empty Sunken Meadow beach due to the weather

 

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Continuing the day with a run to the pool

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Did a straight 30 minute swim.

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Enjoying post training grub. It’s a training day wrap

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Run to Long Beach

Last week I ran to Rockaway beach which was a 2 hour and 30 minutes run. This week I needed to log in a longer run, preferably 3 hours to conclude my peak week of training heading into the last 4 weeks to IRONMAN Kalmar. After browsing google maps and planning a run around a family event I decided to make the destination Long Beach. That was a distance of about 19 miles, if I needed to add on more miles the boardwalk would be ideal. Also Long Beach was within 30 minutes of the party.

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Run to Long Beach – 20.2 miles

A next perk of running to the beach was the fact that there were showers on the boardwalk so I would be able to change into clean clothes there.

My nutrition was a 24 ounce bottle of my goto mix of maltodextrin and accelerade. When running in an urban setting there are plenty of delis, supermarkets along the way to stop and make a hydration purchase.

The earlier part of the run was quite familiar but some sections like Jamaica, were not. Those sections were not entertaining whatsoever to be frank. The city desperately needs to clean up the pedestrian stretch of Rockaway Blvd that leads to the beach.

There were areas with much higher grass than this. At 6’3″ like I am

The best part of the run was about the last 8 miles or so. Upon reaching the pedestrian path in Lawrence it was photo op every step thereafter.

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Lawrence, NY – for the next 8 miles it was fun scenic running

The run route also took me through Atlantic beach which has some beautiful houses along the way, this made for a very enjoyable run.


I stopped at Atlantic Beach Bagels for water. There I took in the SIS nutrition sample I got earlier in the day from a Science in Sports ambassador. This was the caffeinated option. I have to say being low on energy at that point it really did the work as promised by the label. It gave me fast energy, alertness and concentration to get a much needed boost.

SIS (Science in Sports) nutrition samples were handed at a CRCA race


Note here, if you want to access the beach at Long Beach, meaning step from the boardwalk to the sand/water there is a $15 charge per person. In my case I was just making use of the boardwalk and shower so no charge there.

Long Beach seems to have plenty to offer beachgoers as per concessions etc.


Getting to the boardwalk my legs felt an immediate relief as opposed to the asphalt the last 15 miles or so, this added more zest to the run. Having this new found adrenaline in my stride I pushed the last 3 miles at tempo pace and felt awesome.


At the end of my run I was able to relax after a shower on a picnic bench and have a lemonade from one of many food trucks that were at the Riverside Blvd entrance.

Great run day and peak week. Concluded the run doing 20.2 miles. Looking forward to the 2 remaining race specific weeks of training then it’s taper time 😀

Bike to Orient Beach State Park

Now that I’ve biked to the southern most easterly part of Long Island, Montauk, this particular ride would be to the northern most easterly part of the Island, Orient Beach State Park.

Ride to Montauk – 127 miles

 

Bike to Orient State Beach Park – 110 miles

The ride distance would be 110 miles (2 miles shy of the IRONMAN bike distance) so I needed to allocate sufficient calories for at least the first two-thirds of the ride. I packed 6 gels (100 calories each), a bottle mix of approximately 1000 calories of accelerade and maltodextrin. Enough salt tablets to consume 3 every hour and Gatorade in my behind saddle bottle cage.

I opted for the aero helmet to keep up to race specific gear choice.

Last week I went to ACME Bicycle for a fit tuneup (included with the fee of the initial bike fit) since I was having a slight back issue in aero. Jonathan Blyer, owner and fitter extraordinaire swapped out my spacer stack on the aero base with a more specific 40mm option.

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New Spacers were installed

We did some testing on the trainer and the back issue seemed to have been corrected. However the true test would be on this ride.

In contrast to my 127 mile ride to Montauk which ended at the lighthouse and doesn’t have a designated beach area, the ride to Orient Point would conclude at the beach. So that would be perfect to have a cooldown recovery swim.

It had rained the night before and the weather for the day would be perfect with zero chance of precipitation throughout Long Island.

Most of this ride or at least two-thirds of this route I have done before on my rides to Montauk, Splish Splash and Harbes Farm. I was looking forward to new riding territory.

Calverton – home of Splish Splash

I packed my run shoes in the car as Anh would be joining me with the kids at Orient Park. I needed to do at least a 20 minute brick run off this ride for more race simulation.

It was a very humid day so I ran short of hydration early. At mile 80 or so I stopped and bought some needed fuel. I bought some refreshing coconut water, an organic ginger/lemon drink and a litre of water which I distributed in my two aero bottles and drank the rest before remounting the bike.

The endless farms and small family owned restaurants always gives me the urge to pull over and indulge. However one of the perks to having someone meet you is the urgency to be on time. (one day I very much look forward to just planning out and having a tour out East with Anh so we can leisurely enjoy all Long Island has to offer – including the North Fork winery trails 😀)

Orient Park Entrance

At the pay booth to the Orient beach there is a 2 mile stretch of just beach which couldn’t make for a more scenic beach entrance.

From here on 2 more miles of nice beach front to finish the ride off

I got to the park and did some light spinning then relaxed at a picnic bench awaiting the family to arrive by car.

Orient State Beach Park provides quite a bit of amenities, including bar-b-que grills, playground facilities for the little ones, lockers, showers, concession. Whether you bike, drive to Orient Point you won’t be disappointed while enjoying a full day of beach and relaxing fun.

Enjoying with the little lady below.

Mama and the little man swimming around

Just chilling with the Iron horse


On our way back home we stopped in Greenport for dinner and dessert. A next town that has places to explore, wish we had time to stop by the carousel at the harbor with Miles. One can also take the ferry to Shelter Island from Greenport.

After some Latin dinner we had some pastries from D’Latte in Greenport

 

Run to Rockaway Beach to test Cold Swim Gear

After taking a day off for recovery after the SOLMAN half I planned out a long run to Rockaway Beach. The run would be 2 hours 30 minutes in duration. Then afterwards I needed to test the Blueseventy thermal swim cap and swim booties I bought in case of a cold IRONMAN kalmar swim in Sweden.

It was a hot day (89F high) so I made sure to put sunscreen on. Went out with my tentative racing kit (Castelli San Remo Short Sleeve skin suit). Also wanted to test how it feels swimming in the Castelli skin suit beneath my full wetsuit. Lots of testing in prep for race day. Goal is to eliminate surprises I can control.

The run was pretty uneventful and my legs despite being a bit sore held up pretty well at a sub 9 moderate pace to the beach. The furthest I’ve gotten to the Rockaway beach is the the Broad Channel bridge with Anh, during marathon training.


Getting to Rockaway Beach is approximately 12 miles from home, under the 2 hour run mark. So I needed to make up the remaining miles on the boardwalk.


I wasn’t sure how long the boardwalk was but after asking some locals they said it’s about 6 miles, base on the book of knowledge wikipedia it’s currently 5.5 miles. I ran to the end of the West end of the Boardwalk which is at Beach 126th Street then headed back to Beach 96th Street which is where I entered.

End of the Rockaway Beach West Side Boardwalk

I needed to finish at Beach 81st which is where I would meet up with Anh and the kids for a beach morning.

A quick break for a Plank shot

Continued running East on the Boardwalk then turned around Beach 50th and finished off the run at 81st as intended. The duration of the run was the scheduled 2 hours 30 minutes, a bit over 17 miles.

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17.4 miles of running

I am very content with how well my legs held up given my hard effort during the SOLMAN 8 mile run portion.


As mentioned I also wanted to test my cold swimming gear. So after recovering a bit on the beach with the family I did a short half mile swim to test the gear out. I did Emilio’s Swim Cap Sandwich and wore the Blueseventy swim booties as well. All tested fine and I barely, if ever felt the temp of the water which would indicate that a cold swim would be okay.

I’ve got Daddy’s Thermal cap and Swim botties on 🙂

A local also mentioned to me that there was a Half marathon yesterday. Now 5 weeks to race day………..

Enjoying a beach morning

Inaugural SOLMAN Half Triathon

Transition area all ready

After posting that I would be doing a self supported Half Iron distance triathlon on Facebook a friend of mine, Rahmin, decided to join in. That was immediately going to be double the fun of the event.

Breakfast of Champions

The format of the SOLMAN half, would be the usual swim bike run with a twist. The original plan was to bike to the pool using our road bikes which is 2.3 miles from my home, do the swim then bike home to transition to our TT bikes for the remainder of the 56 mile bike. However due to logistics we decided to run to the pool instead. So the day would consist of a run -> swim -> run -> bike -> run.

The weather heading into SOLMAN called for showers on the bike. The severity of the rain fluctuated between 10% precipitation to 90% leading to the morning of our event. Not ideal to bike in the rain, but again we both agreed to move forward with the date as training in the rain is an essential element you must be used to especially the fact that it could also occur during race day.

It would 100% by the time we got on the bikes

Run to the Pool – 2.3 miles 

The run to the pool was at a very easy pace. The intended workout here is the 1.2 mile swim. In my run bag I carried along: my sleeveless wetsuit, goggles and spare, swim cap and spare, lube for the wetsuit (to prevent chaffing – instant burn if you ever forget to put lube on) We got to the pool about 10 minutes prior to opening. Pool opens at 6am. So I used that time to put my wetsuit halfway on and switched my run shoes to flip flops.

Swim – 1.2 miles 

Rahmin is a faster swimmer, so I got an initial 4 minutes swim start on him. Being to the pool at opening made for a great swim as the lanes were not yet crowded. The Flushing Aquatic Pool is not strict on lane usage. So the fast lanes will have occasional breaststrokers just cruising along at a slow pace. Not today it was Rahmin, myself, a friend of mine, Janinie who is doing IRONMAN Lake Placid next weekend and one of those slower swimmers, he was never in the way. The swim was uneventful. I just kept it nice and easy for the first 1000 meters focusing on long smooth strokes. It would be the last 500 meters that I picked my swim pace a notch. We concluded out 80 laps of the 25 meter pool and transitioned back to our run gear.

1.2 mile swim done!!

Run home – 2.3 miles 

Again this leg was just a transition tool to get to out TT bikes. I made sure to prepare all that I needed the night before including nutrition, finding stuff in the morning only adds wasted time to an already time-crunched day. One of the goals of the day was to get to the Hilton Club hotel in the city to see Norah participate in the NYC Triathlon baby derby. Anh was slated to get there by 12pm for registration. If I was running later I would without hesitation cut my 13.1 mile run short to get there on time as the baby derby started at 1pm.

Bike – 56 miles 

Fresh Gatorskins – Race day will be 4000S II

We would undoubtedly encounter rain during the bike leg. The bike route would take us out East to Long Island and the turnaround would be at the 28 mile mark which would be in Woodbury, NY. When we started the rain was just a drizzle, not a big deal. I choose to wear a long sleeve jersey over my tri top because with rain it would be a chilly ride as well. I made sure to pack my phone in a waterproof pouch and a second spare inner tube. The night before I had received my order of fresh tires (Continental Gatorskins) and bought some inner tubes from REI (Qtubes 80 mm for just $6). So I was ready!

Garmin Extended Front Mount

Also added to my bike setup was a quick realease for my Garmin 910xt and a Garmin extended out front mount. All those would be ideal to test on the day. Then came the rain. Holy! Yes it was torrential downpours. As heavy as storm rains passing throught my home island of Saint Lucia. It was heavy. I wear contacts so the worse part of the rain was rain entering my eye. I choose to use my Road helmet with clear sunglasses due to the weather. But in retrospect I wonder if my Smith Podium TT Aero helmet with the clear shield would have worked better. Guess I need a next rain day test? On the day I ditched power numbers and just rode moderately hard on perceived rate of exertion (by feel). The test here was to evaluate how I can run off the bike pushing over 75% FTP which on the main segments of this ride I was clearly over glancing on occasion at my Garmin. At one point on the way back I encountered several deep puddles of water, one must have been a foot deep (could have been a good photo moment there). First time riding with Rahmin, despite the heavy rains the ride went on quite well. We took turns pulling from the front and kept mostly at legal race distance of 12 meters apart or so. Thankfully on the day the bike concluded without incident of mechanical.

Monsoon 56 mile bike completed ✅

Run – 13.1 miles 8 miles 

The initial plan was to run to the NYC Triathlon expo (home of the baby derby) then head to Central Park to add some more miles to make up the 13.1 miles. However due to the fact that I needed to get to Anh and Norah by 12:30pm I decisively reduced the run distance and opted to finish the run at the expo without the additional miles. Rahmin just qualified for the Boston Marathon and is an uber runner, we both decided to run our own pace since.  He would turnaround at the city side of the Queeensboro bridge and we would be able to catch each other on his way back. I felt surprisingly good running off the bike. Yes at that point it was only mile 1, but I was able to keep a very fast pace throughout, making sure to play close attention to my run form. I finished off the run averaging 7:41 minute / mile.

Running to baby Norah

It was a great and successful event of swim, bike run today and the inaugural SOLMAN half. I decided to opt for this simulation half distance as opposed to signing up for a race this weekend to save up $$$ for my “A” IRONMAN distance race in Sweden coming up in 5 weeks. In conclusion I would gladly do an event in this format again.  Friends you are welcome to join….

Baby Derby report: Norah would follow her brother’s footsteps – no pun intended and stay in position the duration of the race without moving a cm 🙂 Hey she showed up 🙂

Anh made me a goodie bag 🙂

Daddy is here…..

Yay made it to the baby derby

Happy Camper

Yeah I’m chillin’

Messing around with CoreML

 

I used a CoreML tutorial from Ray Wenderlich to get a quick hands on with Apple’s latest API introduced in iOS 11 with the focus on Machine Learning. The model that was used is GoogleNetPlaces. The GoogleNetPlaces model detects scenes from 205 categories such as an airport terminal, bedroom, forest, coast and so on.

CoreML opens up the possibilities for really cool and innovative apps come this Fall.

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FTP Test Fail

FTP Test ala Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan


FTP Test fail. It was way too hot in the garage this morning (I’m approximating the temp at 82F +) and I was under fueled for this ride. Note to self, when riding on the trainer in the summer bring a fan along. I on numerous occasions had to stop riding during the 20 minute Time Trial to cool down which compromised the test. However I still pushed to complete the ride.

First Open Water Swim of the Season

Did my first open water swim of the season at Rockaway Beach. This beach tends to be very wavy and makes for a great simulation of a choppy swim come race day. Again last year at IRONMAN Kalmar it was said to be choppy so I need to raise my confidence with such swims. I’m hoping to do at least 3-4 more of those at Rockaway beach. Hopefully the last of these swims is colder, again to simulate Sweden. This swim may have been at 60-65 degrees according to the lifeguards. Sweden’s water temperature last year was 60F. 

Bike to Splish Splash

As always with family days this ride was scheduled to start at 5:30am or earlier to meet up with the family at Splish Splash water park at opening 10am.

I’ve never been to a water park. What we had heard about Splish Splash is that the lines are very long. So we aimed to get there as early as possible to get the best experience possible.

The ride was approximated to be about 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Packing my bike essentials and making nutrition the night before always is the best way to get prepared for an early ride.

I got up my usual 4am for this early morning ride. I made sure to scope out the Splish Splash map of attractions in order to have a better idea and forecast of the activities we would be doing with Miles, our 4-year old. There were at least 4 toddler specific activities we could partake in with him.

My rides have been pretty much uneventful mechanically until this one. 15 miles into the ride I got a flat. It wasn’t any popping sound that made me aware of this but the back wheel wasn’t feeling as smooth so when I looked sure enough it was a flat. I came prepared off course with my flat kit mounted behind my saddle. I checked the tire to make sure there were not any sharp objects that may cause a next flat before moving on to conclude the fix. 2 minutes into this fix flat again. This time I was out of CO2s and an inner tube. Looks like I had 2 used cartridges in my saddle bag. Note: verify all cartridges are new especially on long rides!! A fellow rider stopped to help out, I was able to get an inner tube from him though it was a tard short since I was using a deep dish 55mm wheel. His tube was 60mm so I would barely get the inflator on. Sure enough the force I applied broke off the valve – ouch! Took a next 20 minutes to get a next rider in sight of where I was to help. Perfect he too had a deep dish and a spare 80mm tube. With success I was able to get this tire situation fixed.

The culprit – a wedged piece of glass

Off I continued towards Calverton, where Splish Splash is located. I made sure to inform Anh that I would be running late due to a flat(s) and that she too should adjust her driving schedule.

The rest of the way I made sure to be extra vigilant with tiny bits of glass etc on the road. This may have happened due to the fact the the roads were still very wet from the rain the night before. Wheels tend to pickup more of these potential flat causing objects in wet weather.

The goal for this ride was just to keep a moderately hard effort. I continued that pace throughout the ride not paying too much attention to power and just using percieved effort, PRE.

74 miles later from home I arrived at Splish Splash water park.

Made it to Splish Splash – 74 miles ride from home

The day at Splish Splash continued on perfectly. The lines were not too long. The atmosphere was great. Miles and even our infant had a wonderful time.

Fun with his sister

Going to Dino Falls with Mama

Cliff Diver – I took the 8 story plunge in 3 seconds

6 weeks to race day……….

SOLMAN Triathlon coming this July 14th

SOLMAN Triathlon coming this July 14th. It’s my self supported Half Iron Distance. 

Swimming 2000 meters at Flushing Aquatic Center – 1.2 miles. 

Biking to Woodbury then turnaround will be at the Woodbury deli to head back home – 56 mile bike. 

Finishing off by running to Central Park and ending at the NYC Tri expo (home of the baby derby) – 13.1 miles.

Swim – 1.2 miles 

Flushing Aquatic Center

Bike

Turnaround at Woodbury

Run 

Ends at the NYC Tri Expo