The Sufferfest – Chrysalis review and video giveaway

I mentioned earlier this week that something was coming and hinted at a Sufferfest video with the Bleeding Eyes logo on my Instagram account. I was lucky enough to get chosen as a reviewer of the upcoming ‘Chrysalis’ triathlon brick workout video.

For those that aren’t familiar with The Sufferfest here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Pro Tour footage
  • HARD intervals
  • IWBMATTKYT (I Will Beat My Ass Today To Kick Yours Tomorrow)

So, I have a love/hate relationship with The Sufferfest. It is such an incredible workout and I am so much stronger for having used the videos in training, but as one of my friends put it, “I wish I could record my inner dialogue during the intervals.” Chrysalis is no different, only that it uses footage from DATEV Challenge Roth rather than the TdF or Giro. It puts you through multiple intervals of running and cycling.

Setup: This is best done either at a gym where the bikes and treadmills are co-located or if you’re lucky enough to have a treadmill at your house setup next to your bike. I’m in the process of moving across the country and don’t have a gym, so I used a week pass to X-Sport to get my workout in. Make sure you have water handy, leave a bottle at both setups if you can. And I suggest bringing a sweat towel, nobody appreciates swimming through the lakes of sweat that you’re going to have if you don’t wipe it up.

The Video:

You start with a warmup jog, then a warmup bike, then run, bike, run, bike, run, bike, run.

No joke, I thought it would be a hard bike followed by a hard run, but this allows you to get really good at transitioning and getting your legs used to running off the bike. In all there are four bricks, each consisting of one bike and one run. The bike legs are 8:00 and the run legs are 4:00. This video hasn’t been run through with TrainerRoad yet, so you’ll have to go off of perceived effort with this one. Don’t worry, the scales are given.

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In true Sufferlandrian form, we crush the competition. You’re going to follow a few of the pros through the run and bike course, surging to attack up a hill, which is especially cool for the run since they have you increase the incline and pace depending on where the pros are on course. And those surges and inclines are tough. Not tough enough to break you before you’re through, but enough to make really dig deep mentally. You’ll have great music to listen to while you’re destroying the competition to help you zone out of the burn.

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ATTACK!!!!!

    Thoughts:

This video is tough. And I’ve ridden the Tour of Sufferlandria and beaten the peleton up Mt. Sufferlandria while the floes of lava flowed down around me. I’ll definitely be throwing this into my bag of tools when it comes time to nail down a triathlon training plan or if I just want to put some extra hurt on my legs aside from cycling. The music is awesome, the footage pumps you up and the intervals are short and hard. If your engine doesn’t work better after doing this workout, you didn’t do it hard enough and Grunter Von Agony is going to be very upset with you.

This video is a great workout and the prices over at TheSufferfest.com are cheap compared to the training value you’ll receive from it. I highly recommend that you pick it up on February 4th when it’s released. You won’t be sorry that you did. And while you’re there, pick up their other videos, too. You’ll be glad you did. I’m a triathlete turned cyclist because of the Sufferfest and I will continue to IWBMATTKYT.

Want to get a video for free? I’ll be giving away a video code to 3 lucky people! Sign up below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Recipe: Baked eggs

This year, through a coworker, I discovered Skratch Labs and their recipe book for endurance athletes. They have two books, Feedzone, which goes more into full meals, and Feedzone Portables, which is what I have and use.20140105-164510.jpg

When that same coworker mentioned that he had made baked eggs over the weekend and how easy they were, I decided to try it out. I like to be up in the morning early for a workout and if I have to spend more time than necessary making food, I often run the risk of not getting the workout in. So, here’s what you need:

Ingredients:

  • Muffin tin
  • Pam non-stick spray (or something to that affect)
  • 6 eggs
  • Grated cheese
  • Turkey bacon (Or the real stuff if you hate your arteries )

Start out by setting your oven at 350 degrees.

While your oven is heating, spray 6 of the muffin spots evenly, making sure to get all the sides to make it easier to get the eggs out. Once coated you can start the bacon.

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Cook the bacon how you like it. If you like it extra crispy, go for it! If you’re like me and want to have some flavor, don’t let it get that crispy! Whatever you want! Once you’ve got it done chop it into small bits. These will be used as sprinkles later on.

Your oven should be just about heated up by now. With the eggs you’ve broken into the muffin tin, now it’s time to sprinkle the goodies on. Take the grated cheese and the bits of bacon and sprinkle them on top. The book says to do it after the eggs have cooked, but I found it works just as well if I do it beforehand.

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Once you have the sprinkled with goodies to your heart’s content put them in the oven. set a timer for 6 minutes, when the timer goes off turn the tray around and put them in for another 6 minutes. When they’re finished the white should be cooked through and the yolk should be mostly cooked through, it’ll set itself completely as it cools down. 20140105-164538.jpg

Take a butter knife and go around the edges and pop them out. Get yourself some paper foil, cut them to size and fold them up!

How to prepare foil paper for wrapping:

How to wrap:

And viola! You have just made some Baked Eggs! I hope you like them!

Wheelbuilder and Team RWB

After losing my Zipp 900 disc due to some structural carbon cracking underneath the brake track I was definitely super bummed. I’d been told by Zipp that a crash replacement would run me about $1,000, which was definitely about $1,000 outside my budget.

Zipp wheel crack

Luckily I’d been able to get my hands on a Wheelbuilder Aerojacket for one of my wheels. I had been wanting to put a logo or paint scheme on my Zipp when it was still alive, but never got around to doing it. With the Aerojacket being simply vinyl plastic, it was a lot more enticing to try it out, as the consequences of messing up were a lot less. But what to put on it?

This year, at the same time that I was asked by my friend, Nicole, if I wanted to do a relay with her at the Leon’s Triathlon, I also found out about Team Red, White and Blue. Now, if you’ve never encountered Team RWB, you are in for a treat! I have never come across such a dedicated and friendly group of athletes. I’m a part of both their Triathlon and Cycling groups on Facebook and every single person is friendly, helpful and just plain awesome! An organization dedicated to helping veterans, it is not just relegated to military folk, there are also many who have never served that believe in the mission of Team RWB,

to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.

Well, that got me thinking. I already rock the Team Red White and Blue Zoot one-piece tri suit, and for Christmas I received the Pactimo Team Red, White and Blue cycling jersey. Let’s keep this going with Team Red, White and Blue.

Supplies:

-Wheelbuilder Aerojacket

-Americana ‘Cool White’ and ‘Cherry Red’ acrylic paint

-Blue painter’s tape

-Exacto blade

-Time

Since we weren’t doing anything at work I decided to get going on cutting out the stencils I would use. If you’d like the stencil, I have it in a word document and you can just email me for it.20140102-185752.jpg

When I got home we went out to the store for the remainder of the supplies at Michael’s.

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Then I got to work. I started off taping all the way down the side, making sure there were no gaps in the painter’s tape. Once It was taped I proceeded to carefully cut out the Eagle so I would be able to remove the dead space and begin painting.

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It took about 5-6 layers of paint to really start to show the true color without any black showing through. The white was much friendlier about layering. Once the paint dried I used the exacto blade to trace around the edges, that way when I peeled the tape off it wouldn’t pull the paint and mess up what I’d just finished.20140102-185827.jpg20140102-185800.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

The overall look turned out very good, I think. If I were to do it again, I would use a Krylon spray paint instead of brushing it on. It would probably have saved me a lot of time, but I did get to sit in the living room and paint with my wife nearby to chat with, rather than spending all my time in the garage spraying. All in all, well worth it.20140102-185837.jpg20140102-185849.jpg

 

 

 

 

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New year! New Goals!

So, I’m going to add to the long list of blogs that are doing a year in review/2014 goals posts. I’ve found that this year I’ve done more consistent training to a point. A few times I fell off the plan, but made my way back before it got too detrimental, this last time I fell pretty far. So, total miles (according to Strava)

Ride Run Swim
Total Activities 116 96 5
Total Distance (mi) 1909 414 4
Total Time (hrs) 102:35:20 61:16:08 1:06:36
Average Speed 18.61 mi/hr 8:53 min/mi 3.22 mi/hr
Total Elevation (ft) 36506 9225 0
Total Segments 185 20 0
Longest Activity (mi) 80 13 1

I discovered a true love for riding my bike this year, and it really shows. Most of my time was spent on my bike when I had the opportunity. Coming into this new opportunity starting in March, I should have a lot more regular and consistent mileage being built in the mornings, as there isn’t PT until the afternoon and class starting at 7:45. That gives me good time to get a workout in and then be energized for the day.

For those of you who use Strava and you’re looking for a good way to track your annual mileage/hours check out this API.

http://www.jonathanokeeffe.com/strava/annualSummary.php

So, as for 2014, my goals are pretty simple (and maybe a bit high reaching).

-2014 total running miles (at least) in 2014. An average of 5.5 miles a day.

-an FTP of 275 by the end of the year, a 75 watt increase. A huge help from TrainerRoad and The Sufferfest to get in those hard, targeted workouts.

-Two 3:00:00 or less marathons. One to qualify for the 2015 Boston Marathon and one for the 2016 Boston Marathon.

-Venture forward into ultramarathoning and try a 50k, maybe even a 50 mile!

So, maybe my goals are a bit outlandish considering my rigorous school that I’m starting, but what’s the point of goals if they’re not lofty? I’ll have a good support team behind me to help me get there, thanks to Marnie, Genevieve, EnduroPacks and all my friends and family!

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I’ll have this monkey alongside me, too! What’s more fun than that?!

New Setup!

After spending most of the year on my SWEET FM098 that I ordered and built earlier this year, I had an itch to change things up and go to a TT setup for a bit. It happened to be prime time to do it because A) getting ready to move B) focusing on studies and running and C) it was time to give her some TLC for all the miles I got this summer.

So here’s what went down:

First, I was able to trade my SRAM Force Brifters (Brake/shifter levers) on Slowtwitch for a set of Specialized Shiv alloy time trial bars with SRAM brake levers and SRAM 500 shifters. I was VERY excited to get these bad boys in the mail.

I started off by stripping my bike of all the old, nasty cables that had rusted in some spots doe to crappy weather in IL. Next time I’ll make sure I get things cleaned regularly so I don’t have tons of crap sitting in the lines. Once I had everything stripped off I did a thorough cleaning of the drivetrain. I’ve come to really like the new line of bike products by WD-40. It did an excellent job on my nasty cassette, my grimy crank and just plan disgusting chain.

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I forgot to take before pictures of most of the stuff, but believe me, it was nasty and the WD-40 did an excellent job of cleaning it up. It even helped my sink stay clean when I rinsed everything.

Now was time to put it all back together again. This is the second time I’ve run cables on a TT setup and let me tell you, it is WAY easier than getting everything adjusted on a road bike. Especially with front derailleur as all you have to do is set the position and you can adjust it on the fly as you shift your rear derailleur. The only thing I found to be a pain in the but while setting this up was threading the brake cables through the internals of the aerobar. But, once I got it figured out by threading old shifter cable through as a guide it went way smoother. The final outcome on the setup looks amazing, I think. Only one adjustment is needed from this point and that’s finding a smaller stem so I don’t have to stretch quite as far, stressing my lower back. I’m very excited to take this out for some long miles in California in the coming months!

Without further ado, here’s the newest evolution of my machine:

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You’ll notice that I’m using the Speedfil A2 BTA (Between the arms) bottle cage with Garmin mount on top. This is the latest thing for hydration in an aero format. My Garmin Edge 500 is tucked behind my hands and, therefore, hidden from the wind, creating better aerodynamics.

Traditions

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Three holidays, just inside of a month and a half that have more traditions tied into them than any other part of the year. If you catch me on a normal day I have always had the tendency to be a bit of a Scrooge and Bah Humbug! to all of the holiday festivities. No to Christmas music, no to lights, no to the commercial spirit that prevails from Black Friday until the day before Christmas. While I still don’t, and probably never will, agree with the amount of commercialization that has come to eat it’s way into every holiday possible, I have come around to enjoy more of the family-centered traditions that my wife has brought to our family.

I don’t remember much of the traditions that my family had for the holidays growing up, other than driving around on the night before Christmas to look at all the lights on houses throughout town and black-eyed peas for dinner on New Years day. I don’t think it’s that my family didn’t have traditions, but more likely that I didn’t pay attention to them and thought of them just as something that was or wasn’t done and I didn’t make a big deal out of it. When I moved away from home after joining the Army I never stayed up with any traditions, never really got into celebrating for the Holidays.

This year is different. I was always told by my friend and coach, Jason, that I would change my attitude about it when my daughter was born. I would typically blow the thought off and just keep running, but he really had something to it.

While cleaning my mancave out a little over a week ago I decided that I would pull up the Christmas decorations. I had discussed it with Marnie and told her that I wouldn’t be bringing anything up until after Thanksgiving. Then I did it anyway. I kept thinking of how I wanted it to become a tradition and in my head I could see Genevieve’s eyes light up every year in the future when we brought out and put up lights and ornaments.

We had also discussed not getting a tree because Marnie was worried about Genevieve getting into it and causing a huge mess or even hurting herself. I grabbed the second half of the gate that we had ordered to cordon Genevieve off from the house and explained where we could move furniture to make it work. I could tell that Marnie was excited, and I was, too. Our first real tree in the three Christmas seasons as a married couple.

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My family is just beginning to put together traditions as we are still a young family. I see the importance of traditions for the family. There are lots of things wrong with how consumerism has affected the holidays, but I know we can help focus our little part of the world where things are most important.