A bunch of things happened today. Here’s what’s what!
1. My race tires finally arrived!
Got home from work to a package I thought would never arrive. My new race tires are here!
This season I’ll be racing on a sweet set of 60/88 Blade Carbon Wheels. I thought I needed some excellent race tires to really take full advantage of the carbon wheels, so I ordered a pair of Continental Grand Prix TT 23c tires. Turns out a shop in Northern Ireland was the cheapest place to get them. I got a few other things as well, so it made sense to order everything from the same spot. I considered going with the “typical” Conti 4000s ii, but the TT ones apparently have slightly better rolling resistance. And I wasn’t looking for training tires, so why not?
Free shipping is nice shipping, but free shipping is slow shipping. I’m sure that’s not their fault – they can’t help being far away. Probably customs. Stupid customs.
But they’ve finally arrived. And now I’m waiting for my wheels to arrive – should be next month. Once I have them I’ll be able to share some thoughts on both the tires and the wheels. Spoiler: they’ll be fast.
Also in the package of goodies is a Ultegra 6800 11-25T cassette for the new wheels, a Shimano lock ring removal tool, and a Park Tool chain whip. I do the vast majority of my riding on my turbo trainer, and I don’t want to swap on and off a clincher turbo trainer tire every time I’m inside to outside to inside. So setting up the rear wheel (the 88) as an outdoor wheel with a stock training tire (Mavic something), and the stock wheel as an indoor wheel with the clincher, I can swap reasonably quickly. It isn’t complicated, and I’m happy about it.
2. I managed to do a fitness test in the pool!
Recovery weeks are usually also fitness test weeks for me. This time around, I should be doing a cycling test (again.. because of the crank length issue I mentioned here) and a running test also. But I don’t want to. I don’t want to cycle-test just yet. I have a pretty good handle on where I should be there. Besides, I have another scheduled for three weeks from this coming Tuesday. Close enough. The running one I might do. I haven’t decided yet. Depends on how my legs feel towards the end of this week (I’m still not feeling strong – aka not recovered). More on this later.
Tonight I did my first ever fitness test in the pool though. Not sure why I’ve never done it before, but I just didn’t until tonight. The test was straightforward: warm up thoroughly, 3 x 300m as fast as possible with 30s rest between each. Average your time and divide the average by three to get an average pace per 100m. I came in at 1:32/100m. A bit slower, barely, than what I was hoping for. I thought there was a chance I’d hit 1:31 if I had a good night. But then again my wife and I ate friend chicken and Pepsi for dinner. So there’s that. A 1:32 after a trip to Wild Wing is nothing to complain about.
The only downside to fitness testing is that it means I can update the TrainingPeaks with proper FTP scores for each discipline. I say downside because that means the TSS scores will be based on the new FTP scores, which means it is harder to accumulate TSS than it was pre-test. This I suppose is a good thing… since it will ensure I’m at the right intensity.. I guess.
Nevertheless, 1:32/100m, I’m pretty happy.
3. I’ve decided to buy new running shoes. Spoiler: I hate shoe shopping
I think it is time to retire my Saucony Triumph ISOs. they have ~ 550km on them (of course I keep track). A bit on the shorter side of life for shoes but I’ve been having some issues lately that I think might be attributable to the shoes just being flat & empty.
There are at least two problems with shoe shopping. First, it sucks. Shoes are expensive and wear out quickly, and if I buy the wrong ones my feet hurt like hell and then I have to buy more. All the websites say “shoes are personal. doesn’t matter what we think” which is about as useful as a poopy flavoured lolly pop. So the only way to actually know if the shoes you buy will be good is to have a freakin time machine and go into the future to ask your future self if they suck or not. And I’m pretty sure that time travel is impossible, which means buying shoes is also impossible. IMPOSSIBLE!
Second, I buy Saucony shoes generally. That’s not the problem. The problem is the Saucony outlet that I buy my shoes from – where they sell year-old models for huge discounts – had an “out of business” sign on it when I went there today. Worst part is that they closed last week. Meaning if I had gone then, when I first started thinking about it, my sale might have helped save that store. Ok, that’s a joke, but I’d at least have gotten some shoes for cheap.
4. Recovery week doesn’t feel very recovery-y
I’m not working that hard this week, but I’m really not feeling like I’m recovering much. Maybe I was really fatigued as the form score had indicated, and I’m still fatigued. Right now my form is about -43, which is better than the -69 or whatever it was on Sunday.
This recovery week I’ve dropped the intensity on the rides but not the duration. I’m at an IF of about .7 for each ride. It feels so different to ride at that intensity when I’ve been used to higher intensity intervals. I’ll have to monitor how this feels going forward. Not sure yet what to make of it, if anything. Probably just over-analyzing. I tend to do that.
Hopefully tomorrow is better. I have a 30 min ride, nice and easy. Still up at 5 AM though – gotta keep my body on schedule. I’ll do some extra stretching and stuff. Hopefully that’ll help.