May 15, 2015

My first Duathlon

Transilvania Cross Duathlon was my first duathlon and it was a though one. I never trained specifically for a duathlon, I've never run after  or before a bike ride, but it was in my bucket list for a few years now. 

It was a very hard race but I felt good and aside from some small mistakes everything went ok. And I had a lot of fun especially on the downhill of the bike course (I got a new pair of tires and I will write about it soon).

I picked up the timing chip and the race numbers a day before the race so I arrived at the course about 40 minutes before the race. I left the bike and my stuff in the transit zone and left for a very short warm up. I tested all my setup, my racing clothes and the bike with the new tires but I didn't test how much will my phone wobble in my back pocket. This was a big mistake because it wobbled too much so I knew that I will have to run with the phone in my hand again. This wasn't such a big problem because I am used to running like that, it is just a small setback, especially in trail running. I thought that I know the course well enough and I will recover some time on the bike. 

The start was fast but not fast enough because the trail wasn't wide enough and I couldn't pass the others like I wanted. Soon the trail cleared up, I passed a lot of people and I could run in my own rhythm the two laps (about 5 km). I was passing people all the time, and just before the end of the run I eat my second gel (the first I had eaten just before leaving the transit zone before the start). I was the first time when I had to change equipment in a race so I made some small mistakes. I run passed my bike so I lost a few seconds and I should have run with my bike gloves or I should have carried them in my back pocket. 

The first transition was  a bit slow but once I got on my bike I was back in the race. I knew the course very well and the adrenaline helped me to be even faster. I passed 3 or 4 people on the first descent. Then on the first climb I lost all my followers, although I wasn't so fast, and then I raced alone. I made another mistake before the end of the first lap, I lost my bottle. I was lucky that a photographer picked it up, and I yelled that he should give it back in the next lap. 

I completed one more lap, without water, passing a few more contenders and paying more attention to the details of the track. There was a steep section, which I climbed in training when it was dry and I tried to climb it on the bike in the first lap but it was too slippery, I had fast but not grippy tires on the back, so in the second and third lap I was prepared to jump off the bike and run up the hill. I completed the second lap of 6 kilometers pretty fast but I had to stop to get my bottle back. The photographer wasn't prepared to give it back so I lost a few minutes but at least I could eat another gel. While I stopped a guy from a relay passed me, that was the only time somebody passed me on the bike course. 

The last bike lap went ok, I was tired but I still passed a few people, and even handed my tools to a guy who broke his chain. After finishing the lap my muscles from my legs were so tense that I barely managed to jump off the bike where a referee was signaling. The second time I payed more attention to were my stuff was in the transit zone and I put down my bike very fast, threw down my helmet and glasses and the gloves. I changed my shoes very fast and got my phone case. The first few meters went very good. I manged to put my phone on my hand and my legs were cheering, from the impact with the ground, my sore muscles were getting a gentle massage. 

Everything was fine until the first climb. I walked a little bit and than grinding my teeth I started running for another 10 minutes. When I started hearing he noise from the finish line I got some extra power and I started preparing for crossing the finish line. When I got out from the forest I heard my family cheering so I passed the finish line with a big smile.

I finished in 1:52:26 and I was very happy that this hard race was over. I found out after about an hour that I arrived in second place in my age group so I was ecstatic. On the downhill from the zoo into the city I was so happy, it was a great satisfaction. All that hard work, all those hard trainings, all that thinking and preparations and all that money invested in the equipment just paid off.

I was happy when I saw the final result that I could have gotten first place with a little more preparation ( I was still a bit tired after the semi marathon) and this was finally a race where no girl passed me, not even the pros :)

I hope I can race duathlons again and will have at least the same result.
please let me pass you :)
at the time I didn't know that I was showing my position :)
the joy of the finish line
on the podium
shaking the hand of a legend

May 8, 2015

Mures Half marathon - race report

Last Sunday I run almost a half marathon, the Mures Half Marathon. It was a good race for me, I finished 5th in my age category. I didn't take too seriously this race, it was more like a test. I didn't really prepare for it, I wasn't rested and I didn't have the proper setup. I run with an old pair of nike trail shoes and the course wasn't off road. The shoes are so worn that my toes started to hurt after about an hour of racing. I didn't have my phone case, so I run with my phone in my hand and in the other hand I carried a gel for half the race(which I dropped in the second lap and I had to stop).

Like I said before this was a very good race. I started very fast, the adrenaline kicked in and it lasted for almost 1 kilometer. After that I tried to run in a steady pace, accelerating sometimes and slowing a bit when I felt too tired. I tried to go faster in the last two laps but I was too tired. I managed to sprint on the last straight so I finished in 1:22:05. I am satisfied with my result, another 5 minutes I could get on the podium, maybe next year.

It was a good experience, I saw a lot of good runners and learned a bit more about running :)
This weekend I am racing for the first time in a duathlon and I hope I can write a good race report next week also :)

April 30, 2015


I love my bike(s)

April 10, 2015

Jeans and cleats

Oh yes!
And a nice ride from yesterday, without jeans ;)

March 27, 2015

Whitening my ride

I've wanted to write about the small upgrades of my trail bike last year but I was too lazy. Last year I changed the seat of my mountain bike with a white second hand Selle Italia seat. The original seat got to my city bike so that bike got a little bit sportier and more comfortable (it had a big bulky city seat).

Also last year I changed my bottle cage because the aluminium one was making my bottle dirty so I got a white plastic bottle cage and change the yellow bottle with a white bottle :)

Last year I started to have bigger problems with my pedals, one of them was broken for a few years, but after falling too many time because I could get my shoes unclipped I decided that I should get new pedals. Given the options of silver, black and white I chose some nice white pedals. 

Last week I changed the pedals (I want to change the cleats also, but I need a lot of tome for that) so this Sunday I went for a ride with the new white pedals. 
The trail was nice and dry, the ground was a bit to hard but it was a nice Spring ride.
And a picture white my whitened bike:
And a close up with the new pedals from Rosebikes:
I wonder what is the next bit that is going to be whitened... Too bad they don't make white Nobby Nics with reinforced side walls...

March 19, 2015

Races in May

In May there will be a lot of races in town so I made a list with all of them:

  1. Sunday May 3 –
    • in the center of the city
    • I've participated 2 years ago, it is a pretty good race
  2. Saturday May 9 – – Transilvania Cross Duathlon Balcan and Romanian National Championship
    • it's around the Zoo (First Run 5.5 km – 2 laps x 2.75 km, total elevation 162 meter, Bike 19.5 km – 3 laps x 6,5 km, total elevation 594 meter, Second Run 2.75 km – 1 laps x 2.75 km, total elevation 81 meter)
    • I want to race in a duathlon race for some time now so I would like to participate
  3. Sunday May 10 –
    • approximately 12 km of trail racing
    • I've participated last year and it was a lot of fun so I hope I will be there this year also
  4. Sunday May 24 –
    • half marathon, trail running (21 km, total elevation 584), in the forest near the Zoo
    • I would like to participate because I like to run in that forest

If it will be possible I would like to race in all of these events, but I would be satisfied if I could race in at least the duathlon and the half marathon :)

March 12, 2015

Canon 600D

I finally bought a dslr, a Canon EOS 600D
It is a great camera, the best I had so far. I bought a refurbished camera because it was cheaper and it was almost new. When I received the package I started wondering if there is any way to find out how many picture were taken with it. After some searching on the internet I finally found a solution that worked, it is called Canon EOS Camera Info v1.2. I tried a bunch of other software but none of them worked. 

It supports a bunch of cameras: 1000D, 450D, 500D, 550D, 1100D, 600D, 650D, 700D, 100D, 60D, 6D, 7D, 5D and 1D. You can download it from here. It looks like this:
It says that 387 picture were taken with my camera (about 100 were taken by me) so it is almost brand new. It is important to know the shutter count of your camera because the average life of a 600D is about 150.000 pictures and then a costly repair follow :)

March 5, 2015

Specialized Sub Zero gloves

I've been riding with Specialized Sub Zero gloves for a few months now. I mainly use them for the commute to work but I used them for a few other rides also.
The description on the Specialized website goes like this:
The Sub Zero features a removable liner glove for essential warmth and a waterproof outer shell for temperatures plummeting below 25°F/-5°C. Plus, Wiretap technology makes this glove touch screen friendly so you can keep your hands covered while using mobile devices in cold weather.
And they are spot on with this, the gloves are perfect for temperatures around -5 Celsius and above freezing you can just remove the outer glove.

I wanted a glove that is perfect for the very cold weather from the winter mornings and I didn't quite get that. In the morning when there were bellow -5 my hands were cold. Part of the problem was that it is a short commute and it's mainly downhill so my muscles don't produce enough heat and I'm a bit sleepy in the morning. Yesterday morning there were -3 degrees and my hands were kind of feeling that it is cold outside :(

My solution, an upgrade for these gloves, just get a thicker glove and replace the inner glove:

On the other hand the inner glove is just perfect for when the temperature is below 10 Celsius and I go for a ride. I even used them in the snow and they were just perfect, perfect grip and they kept my hands warm (my muscles were generating enough auxiliary heat)

February 24, 2015

Ordering from Rosebikes

A few years ago I had a bad experience with an order from a German online store, bike24 (since then I bough a running shoe from them and had no problems) and now I tried ordering from another store from the same country. This order from rosebikes was interesting to :)

I had two packages on route to me, one had tracking, the other didn't. So one day I got an email that they couldn't deliver one of the packages and it got back to the store. I explained that the package was probably not sent because it had no tracking and asked them to send it again. I got the package after a few days.

They speak very poor English, I asked for a tracking number and couldn't get a link. Luckily they have a very good country manager, Alex Ciocan and if you have any problems you can contact him and he is very helpful.

For the next order I will be extra careful to chose UPS for the shipping because the package that was shipped with them had tracking and arrived in time.

Two good thing about this order:
  • they have sent a super cool bag as a new customer gift

  • the boxes are also super cool so I will be keeping them for storage
Rosebikes have very competitive prices so I'll be ordering from them in the future again :)

February 3, 2015

2014 retrospective

As always I'm late again with this post, I did't have the mood to write lately.

There were a lot of interesting things last year, but I didn't write about them. I hope this will change this year because I have big plans for this website/blog.

I made a total of all my Strava activities and it looks like this:
 - 1008.8 kilometers ridden on my bikes (probably I have twice as much on my city bike - I don't use Strava for that)
 - 162.7 kilometers running (16 hours and 9 minutes)

Iteresting things from last year:
 - I started running, participated in two races
 - I rode in a gentlemans race - 188 kilometers
 - I tested some very expensive bikes

 - fixed/upgraded all my bikes
 - and a lot of new things in my personal life :)

For this year I have big plans:
 - fix up this site/blog
 - ride more
 - run more
 - build at least one android app
 - build more website/tools
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