Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winter Projects

Finally, after about a billion delays... The end of the CR1's rebuild is almost upon us. It's been a monster of a project that has spanned YEARS, been put off time and again, been plagued with unexpected setbacks and has just generally sat in the back of my mind (and garage) waiting patiently to be finished. It has also taught me an astonishing amount about carbon fiber, bike building in general and possibly most importantly... patience.

After finishing up with the carbon wraps and filler (getting it to an acceptable level of smooth/evenness. I'm sure a better body man would laugh at my feeble attempts) it was finally time to pick my tools for painting it.

I use the Vasa for more than a stand, I swear.
It came down to whether I wanted to put up the money for an airbrush, or go the rattle can route. Eventually I would like to have an airbrush, but since I should be saving for Black Friday (the missus wants an Xbox) I decided the CR1 would be getting the can job. It had turned out fairly well on my CAAD, so why not.

Eastwood Epoxy Primer

The problem there is finding a primer I felt confident in using. After a good amount of time scouring the internet I was led to Eastwood Paints. They make a 2k two part Epoxy Primer that comes to your door in a rattle can! I was skeptical, but after spraying down the Frame and Fork I have to say it was worth the price. There was just enough in the can to do the frame/fork with a light-medium coating, so if you were planning to lay it on thick you may need more than one can.  Anyways, here's what we were left with.

The fork is looking great!

The frame is a little spottier, but should look slick with the paint applied.

For the actual Paint I'll be using Dupont (matte black) from the local automotive store. Then some stickers I picked up from ebay, and finally some Eastwood Matte Clearcoat on the top. I'm excited to almost be done with this... what started with a small crack in the top tube turned into a nightmare and is finally coming back together as a great learning experience.  Hopefully I'll be back on the CR1 before Christmas.

Being that I can't work on the Scott all the time (between the weather cooperating and having to let primer dry.) and that both my other bikes and my Corvette are all in good shape... I needed something else to (right?) keep me busy. (It's not like I'm going to do housework.) So, I present you with my first try at building a Lightsaber.

Yet another fascination to spend time and money on...

I built this one (so far) for a little under $20 (and some random bike parts I had laying around.) not counting the internals I plan to add to it (battery, LED, etc) It's all good fun, so I suspect I'll be building some more in the future :)

/ End Star Wars Nerd Out

Thursday is both Thanksgiving AND my 5k. Hopefully I'll have a good race, I'm still not convinced an 18:5x is going to happen, but I'm confident I'm well on my way to it and that Thursday will be a step in that direction.

* less than a week for you to apply to the Cobb Mobb 2015 team! Last Chance!

Thank you all, as always, for reading. I really appreciate it. Have a Great Thanksgiving.

- Christopher Morelock

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Well... it's cold.

I just can't resist a good Sean Bean post.

It's officially cold in Tennessee. Actually it's cold, rainy and all together nasty at the moment. Honestly, that doesn't bother me quite a much as it does most of the folks in the area, mainly because I do most of my riding inside on the trainer year round, so it's not such a shock of misery every time mother nature decides to dump on us. Running requires a little more planning in the early mornings (breaking out the gloves and jackets) but is actually kind of refreshing after a few months of running through sticky morning humidity. Of course swimming is unaffected other than getting strange looks from my neighbors when I make a mad dash to my car from the house in a t-shirt and shorts as I head to the pool.

IMAZ was Sunday, and that pretty well wraps up everyone's tri season. (if it wasn't already) This is the time of year I both look forward to and dread... running season. This year (after...knock on wood... having a streak of no run related injuries) I've started adding speed work back into my routine, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to break my streak of 19:1x 5k times by (or on) New Years. With all the Turkey Trots, Santa Hustles and whatnot there are going to be quite a few chances between now and then. I've had some track workouts that I'd consider "positive" in predicting an 18:5x, but nothing that makes it a foregone conclusion, especially given my tendency to go out too hard.

Speaking of Santa... yes I'm going to whine that the Christmas music is already playing. I get it, being first to roll out the deals / songs / whatever is worth something, but jeez, I walk in the mall on my Birthday and am already assaulted by Jingle Bells.

I know, right?

Finally in a break from my random bandwidth wasting post, I'd ask a moment of something less lighthearted.

The plans are in the works to do the Sufferfest Knighthood challenge  sometime in January. For those who aren't in the know (and are too lazy to click the link) that's 10 Sufferfest video's in a row (10' breaks between) usually done by the insane for a charity. Normally I'm not much on faceless charity, but a close friend of mine son (who is under a year old) will be having open heart surgery in December, and I'd like to try to set this up to raise money for them. I unfortunately have about 0% knowledge in this field, so if you've done any "personal" fundraising I would love to hear some input.

In my mind it would be a direct "donation" to his paypal, that way there's no middle man touching the money.

Other plans I'm going to try to iron out between now and then include
- live stream (twitch maybe?) of the 10 hour session
- Frequent updates/communication on FB/Twitter/Here/etc.

I'd also love to hear other opinions/suggestions on this.

Thank you all for reading, as always. I'll have more information on the challenge as things become a little more clear to me.

- Christopher Morelock

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Birthday FTP test + quick thoughts

So Friday was my birthday, and despite usually not making a "deal" out of such things, I figured it would make a good day to do an FTP test. It's been a good while since I've done one, I've had my "break" after September to get lazy, and I figured I'd need a solid "grounded" number to work on over the winter.

Expectations, as you might imagine, were not very high. The last test I did was in the midst of a bike focus, where I was riding 4+ days a week. No way that's happening on my 2-3x current training. Nonetheless I have had some ok days the last little bit, so I was hoping to not embarrass myself too bad. It was also a good chance to play with my GoPro camera... I've actually had this thing for almost a year, but have never taken the time to learn the software so I have been hesitant to use it. Well... time to learn!

As for my actual test, I used a slightly modified version of Coggan/Allen's protocol. Since I had been training through I had a longer than normal warmup before my 5' "all out" to shake out the legs, then 15' instead of the usual 10' to spin/recover. After that it was time to go after it... conservatively. I started at something I knew I could hold (260w) and just held that for the first 5 minutes, slowly increasing for the next 10 minutes (I think I ended up around 274 or so by the 15' point) and then giving everything I had left for the last 5'. Of those last 5' I present this short clip of my suffering (and my cluttered trainer cave)

Excuse my poor excuse for editing skills... I've only had a quick crash course in the software, and even less experience with how Blogger deals with it.

I ended up with 285w for 20' or a 270w FTP. Still 4w/kg, but a pretty good drop (about 20 watts) from where I was. I do think I started a little too conservatively, but I was more interested in negative splitting than risking blowing up at 15' in.  I'll test again in a month or so and start a little more aggressively.

The video (assuming it actually works, which I guess is a big assumption) stuff was neat, and it possibly opens up a few more avenues of working on this blog. I definitely WON'T be moving to an all video type format (I personally don't enjoy them) but I can definitely see it being something I implement on certain occasions, especially for reviews where pictures + description won't totally convey what I want.

Anyways, the rest of my birthday consisted of me getting a little dressed up, eating lots of sushi, drinking a little too much sake and eventually ended with me ordering the parts to build a lightsaber... That's what happens when the missus goes out of town and I'm left to my own devices on my birthday.
With the hat to help hide how out of control my hair currently is.
Sorry that this post has primarily been useless to you guys, but it helps me (an incarnation of "chaos theory") structure myself if I actually put my thoughts down on some form of media. Next week I *hope* to have something interesting to show off, so long as I don't get distracted and actually get it finished. I'll also post some pictures of my lightsaber when I finish it!

I added this to last weeks post after Wednesday so in case you didn't see it (and just to put it out there again) Applications are open for the 2015 Cobb Mobb Team. Apply at this link!

Thank you guys for reading, I really appreciate it!

- Christopher Morelock

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Just some thoughts on what's new


I'm excited. It's (almost) my birthday and since I skipped going on vacation at the end of the year I figured I should get myself something nice...and useful. So here's a new addition to the home gym... the VASA Ergo trainer

Perfect fit...kinda...sorta...

I've only had it set up for a day or so, and only got to use it once (for a feeble 500m... this thing is tough) but I'm very stoked about this thing and the (hopeful) benefits for me. Being able to just go into the garage and bust out 500m before my bike ride of the day was/can be huge. My commute to and from the pool from my house/work has always been a "limiter." It can eat up over an hour traveling on a good day, sometimes up to 2 if traffic is bad. That means every time I hit the water it's got to be a "serious" workout... going to swim 1k doesn't make much sense.

This thing changes that. It lets me get some small time in that I can really focus on my pull/push (the parts of my stroke that need the most work anyways) without any more hassle than walking out into the garage.

After I've had it for a while I'll have a review up. Like I said, excited to use this thing. Price is pretty steep, but I nabbed this one used from ebay and put it into the realm of "justifiable," especially if I end up using it a lot... which I plan to.


Ironman Florida

It seems like it's been a super hot topic. For some reason I just feel like sharing my opinions on it, despite knowing better.

The swim was cancelled due to current. A lot of people were up in arms about this, that Ironman has gone soft...etc..etc. The question then becomes how you balance an "extreme" event with common sense. Despite the call for a damn hard race, using a venue that is obviously unsafe for the competitors is foolish from a business and moral standpoint. Double red flags means the water is off limits to the public in Panama City... as a race director how do you put athletes in the water in those conditions? If your safety personnel can't be where they are supposed to be because they keep drifting out, how do you put athletes in the water? Just hope nothing goes bad? Would I be bummed out if the swim was cancelled at a race... hell yeah. Would I understand in situations like this...yes.

Looks can be deceiving

Whether you call yourself an Ironman or not... it's up to you. I've always thought these discussions were odd. If you do a 140.6 at Rev3 are you an Ironman? What if you do an IM70.3... what if the swim is cancelled and you don't get but 138.2... what if you go off course and go 142.7. The key here is, 99.9% of the people that will ever see your tattoo or hear you say "I did an Ironman" will have any clue what the difference is between any of those. Call yourself what you want. A name won't change what you have done.


Just a shoutout

I don't usually just sing the praises of a company, but I felt I needed to give a special shoutout to Powertap, who despite having a reputation for some of the best customer service in the industry, went above and beyond to help me out recently. I won't go into details about it, but suffice to say, if you're on the border of deciding which kind of power meter to go with, this is one of those times I'd say go with the company that will stand behind their product and try to do you right.

Good product, great service

So, Friday I turn 31, nothing to do but get a little older I guess :) Fortunately as of so far, I've been getting faster as I've been getting older!

Thanks everyone for sticking around and reading, or at least skimming through. I really appreciate it!

- Christopher Morelock


It's that time... Application time! Join the 2015 Cobb Mobb team!

First year was a success, and only better things to come!
Apply here!