Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rocket Science Sports Rocket Bag Transition Pack Review

Rocket Science Sports Rocket Bag Transition Pack Review

Big enough to carry all my 70.3 gear and is water resistant.
Quick Summary
* Dimensions: Height (20"), Width (13"), Depth (9"), Depth with pocket (10")
* Easily hold both running and cycling shoe (fits my size 11 US easily)
* Water resistant zippers
* Hard case glasses case.
* Smart-Compartment Design
* Includes Transition Mat
* Air-Flight Ventilation Padded Back
* Heart Rate Monitor Compartment
* Water Resistant Material
* Helmet Compartment (although it is a little small)
* 2 Expandable Dual-Sided Pockets with Zippers (Holds water bottle nicely)
* Removable Cell Phone Pocket
* Hard Case Glasses Holder
* Removable Wet-Dry Compartment
* Reflective Strips
* Inner Organizer Mesh Pocket 

Just before my first 70.3 in May I decided to give myself a gift.  I always wanted a transition bag.  Like always I did way too much research to find out what most people liked and recommended.  For some reason there is little information about transition bags on the internet.  There are very few bag reviews on the internet.  To make matters worse almost no stores carry them so you kind of have to go on blind faith (not something I like to do on an expensive purchase). After much research I took a leap of faith and decided to purchase the Rocket Science Rocket Bag from Rocket Science Sports.  Hey, it was designed by a rocket scientist so it has to be good. 
I have now used this bag for two 70.3s and I have got to say the bag rocks.  It rained cats and dogs at the beginning of 70.3 Florida.  There were large puddles of water in the transition areas.  I decided to not lay out my gear due to the rain and puddles.  I left everything in my bag.  Since the bag is water resistant all my equipment stayed nice and dry.  And since everything has its place in the bag (and is nicely labeled with pictures) it was easy to find everything with very little lost time.
The bag completely opens up a like a clam shell and has three areas.  Each area is made of mesh to allow your equipment to air out and breath.  The mesh is also see through so you can see all of your equipment without having to unzip everything thing.  Each area has a ton of space.
The first area has two separate compartments for your shoes.  One is label with a picture of a runner and one of a bike.  These two compartments hold my size 11 US shoes with relative ease.  It’s pretty easy to get my shoes in and out of these compartments.

Enough space for my cycling & running shoes (size 11).
Both are nicely labled.
The second area has a hard case for your glasses (labeled with a red sun) and a soft case for your heart rate/computers (labeled with a red heart). 

Hard sunglass case and soft heart rate pouch.
Also nicely labled.

The third area has removable waterproof bag for storing you wet and stinky clothing.  This is a nice feature.  It allows you to keep all your other equipment nice and dry.  It also allows you to quickly remove the wet and dirty clothing after a race and throw them in the laundry.

Removable waterproof bag.

The outside of the bag is made of a heavy duty plastic like material that is highly water resistant.  The zippers are also water resistant.  The bag has reflective tape and a place to hold a blinking light.  Both features are nice when riding in the dark to get to a race.  Each side of the bag has a pocket to hold your water bottles.  These pockets can be zip closed when you do not have water bottles in them.  There are several additional zipped areas on the outside of the bag.  One area holds business cards, pencils, money change, ID cards, etc. There is a large pocket that is suppose to store your helmet but is too small to hold my helmet.
The “Air-Flight Ventilation Padded Back” is a really nice feature.  The back of the bag is made up of several soft padded areas that provide air ventilation.  This makes the bag comfortable and cool to wear even when it fully loaded and hot outside.

The ventalated cushioned back
makes it comfortable to wear.

This bag is made to wear like a regular back pack.  This is a great feature.  When the race is over and you have to take your bag and bike to the car, just through the back pack on and ride to your car.  Riding a bike with the bag is a breeze and is safe.  I use to try this with a duffle bag and nearly killed myself a few times.

The bag also came with a water proof transition mat and a small computer carrying case.
My only complaints about this are:
1) It is expensive but isn’t everything in this sport.
 2) The helmet carrying area sucks.  It is way too small.  I usually use the straps to carry my helmet so it is not really a big deal
3) There are no Velcro straps to carry your floor pump.  Some other bags have this feature and I think it would be very useful.
4) It is pretty heavy but it is still very comfortable to wear on your back.
Overall this is a great bag and I would highly recommend it.  Since buying the bag I have seen and checked out several of the other transition bags and was not impressed.  Thus far the Rocket Science Rocket Bag from Rocket Science Sports is far superior to the other bags I have seen.
If you decided to buy a Rocket Science Rocket bag from TRIbug (or anything else for that matter) don't forget to use my 10% discount code/coupon. Just enter HalfTRIing in the promo code area during checkout.  They also offer free shipping/handling with many purchases.  Those guys are really cool and have great customer service.  See my review of here.

TRIBug Discount Promo Coupon Code * 10%: HalfTRIing

Don't just take my word for it.  Here are other reviews of the Rocket Science Rocket Bag

Monday, June 27, 2011

Training Days of Summer

Last weeks training:
Mon: 1 Hr Chest
Tue: 1 Hr Legs & 45 Min Triceps
Wed: 1 Hr Back & 1 Hr Swim
Thr: 45 Minutes Biceps
Fri: Off
Sat: 200K Swim
Sun: 43 Mile Bike Ride & 1 Hr on the treadmill
I hit the weight training hard this week.  The last two 70.3s were to close together for keeping a good base at the gym.   Everything I have done this week indicated my body still has not recovered.  I am not sore from the races but I just lose energy quicker than normal.  I started taking my protein again.  I stopped for a while because the thought of drinking any more of it made my stomach turn.
My gym week as kind of disappointing because of the lack of power.  My back and chest did not suffer but my triceps are really bad.  I lost a lot of my power in them.  When I did them this week I was sore for about 4 days.  I also did legs this week and was surprised I was not sore.  Last week my chest was sore for about 3 days
I am having a really hard time trying to get my runs in.  Early morning is hard because of work.  Lunch time is hard because I like to hit the gym and the outside temperatures are in the high 90s.  It’s just too darn hot to run outside.  Even after work it is in the mid 90s.  I may have to start hitting the treadmill more often.
How and when do you get your run training in during the super hot days of summer?

Monday, June 20, 2011

iMuscle iPhone Appplication

iMuscle iPhone Appplication
This weekend I purchased the iMuscle application for my iphone.  For $1.99 this has got to be the coolest application for your training.  The application shows a 3D image of the human body’s muscle group.  You can click on any muscle and the application will zoom in on muscle.  It will then show you exercises and stretches specifically for that muscle.  You can then mark any of the exercises and stretches and save them in your workout plan for when you go to the gym.  These exercises and stretches are animated and directions are provided on how to properly perform them.  This is really cool if you are having nagging issues and do not know how to fix them in the gym.
It hurts right there!

I had a muscle on my shin that always hits when I run.  I had no idea what it was called.  Well, I used that application and it is called the tibialis anterior.  IMuscle provided me with several exercises and stretches that I now plan to use to make this pain go away. 
Exersise to build that muscle.
Why does my butt not look that good? 

Oh no yoga!!
Next thing you know I will be eating quinoa
and wearing hemp clothing!

I also had a pain near my gluteus maximus and the application determined that muscle was call bonnieus paininthebuttis.  Unfortunately, iMuscle there was no suggestions on how to minimize that pain .  It seems to be a common pain that men suffer all the time. 
This iPhone application is well worth the money and should help with your training.  I found it really cool just to play with.  There is an even cooler version for the iPad.

Dude needs a serious tan!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coach, Team or Individual

Coach, Team or Individual
This week Bonnie joined a tri-team with a coach.  She is really excited.  She is the type of person who is motivated by a coach and must have someone lay out a training plan for her.  There is nothing wrong with that.  There are many people who need this type of guidance.
Now, I am the opposite.  I do not mind training by myself.  I also do not mind laying out my own training plan.  When I set a goal I will (and can) get it done with outside help. 
What I do miss is a teacher to once in awhile spot check me and tell me what to tweak. It would be nice to have someone to show me when my form is incorrect or how to speed train instead of going long.  Generally the internet serves this purpose for me but I do miss someone observing me once in a while. 
So what I guess I would like to have is a coach to do individual sessions only every once in a while to correct bad habits and form.  Being part of a team would be nice but not necessary.  I think I would enjoy that more just because I would have someone to socialize with.
How do you train?  With a coach, team, individual, etc? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Frost Bite or Halloween?

Frost Bite or Halloween?  You be the judge!
 Throwback Thursday - Frost Bite or Halloween?

Wow, do I look frost bitten in that picture!  Needless to say this picture was not in FL.  This would have been taken when I lived Michigan.  I am either frost bitten or it was Halloween.
Training has been difficult lately.   Living in FL is nice except for when you have to heat train in 100-105F heat index (which we are currently facing).  After a bike ride the last thing I want to do is run in this heat. 
If the heat is not bad enough we now have forest fires in my area so it even smells like you are running in a smoker.  You are truly hickory smoked after training.
Due to the last two races my weight training has been slacking.  I did a small chest routine on Tuesday and my chest is still sore.  My next race is far enough away that I am going to kick the weight training back into high gear.

Are you slacking on your weight training?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon 70.3

The Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon 70.3
Sunday marked the completion of my second 70.3 race.  The race was called “The Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon.”  And boy did it live up to its name.  It made Ironman 70.3 Florida look like a walk in the park.  It had it.  It had hills, more hills, heat, serious heat (Heat Index of 100 -105F) and humidity (35%).
The swim was held in a large lake that was pretty dark and the water temperature was probably somewhere in the hot 80’s.  It felt like swimming in bath water.
All the men (of all age groups) started in one large wave.  The entire 70.3 only had about 130 people so it was not so bad (93 were men).  I was a little scared with so many people with so many different swimming abilities starting off at once but in comparison I had almost twice that many people in my wave at Ironman 70.3 FL a few weeks ago.
The beginning of the swim was harder than normal for me.  I could not get the path to the buoy correct.  I keep weaving.  I should have started more towards the front of the back because I spent too much time trying to pass people. 
My left rear deltoid was on fire for the first ½ mile.  After that it settled down but for that time I contemplated dropping out it hurt so bad. 
Overall the swim did not go so bad for me.  I finished in 43:14.  That is 56 out of 98 in the entire men’s division. 
Here is a little tip for those learning to do triathlons.  BEFORE you get onto the bike remove your cleat covers.  LOL.  The bike ride started off right on a hill.  I kept trying to clip into my pedals but was not having any luck.  I thought I may have had dirt in the cleats so I kept kicking them onto the pedals.  Then in the middle of the hill it dawned on me that my cleat covers where still one.  <head slap> I had to stop in the middle of the hill take them off and walk up the hill.  I felt stupid.  :-)
They describe the bike as “No major elevation changes, but you will experience a few rolling hills and a steep but short climb up Sugarloaf Mountain”  WRONG!!  As I rode the course I noticed we were following most of the metric century Horrible 100 route.  That should have been my early warning for what was about to come.  They did not mention the next set of “rolling hills” which included North Buckhill, South Buckhill, The Wall and Cherry Lake (twice).  This was a mini Horrible 100 race that was preceded by a 1.25 mile swim and followed by a 13.1 mile run. 
The bike ride kicked many people’s butts.  It was HOT (at least 95F with 35% humidity).  It was really hilly and seemed to take forever.
Something went wrong on the ride for me.  My kidneys and lower back where on fire.  I lost a ton of time trying to stand up on the bike to get them to stop locking up.  Nothing helped and no position on the bike would stop the pain.  For the first time in my life I wanted off the bike and onto the run.  If I had my Advil maybe that would have helped but I forgot to put them onto the bike. 
I also made sure I drank enough liquids.  I think I went through about 8 bike bottles of water in 3 hours.  I was drinking none stop.
Over the bike was not bad for me.  It could have been much better if it were not for the constant pain in my back.  3:28:04 77 out of 98. 16.1mph  That is with the major hills.
This is where I was scared.  I personally know of about 5 people who have dropped out of this race in the past on the run due to heat exhaustion.  The heat on the run is known to make people drop like flies.  Looking at the results it looks like 9 people did not finish the run and had to drop out.  That is 10%.  Not pretty. 
Boy was the run hot.  The temperature was at least 95F with 40% humidity.  80% of the run had NO SHADE.  It was brutal.  I had so much ice in my tunic that you could hear it sloshing as I ran.  There was enough ice in there to carry a six pack of beer (which would have tasted awesome at the time).  Even with that much ice in my tunic it would melt in less than 10 minutes. 

I have never seen a race where I saw so many people walking.  It was just too hot to run all the time.  Getting your core temperature down was key.  Everyone had to super ice down and walk or they would have passed out.  I know a few people threw up during the race and almost all people cramped up. Most people on the run looked pretty bad.
My knee totally locked up out of the T2.  It was as hard as a rock.  I literally yelled it hurt so badly.  I tried to rub it out and could feel the knot and the spasms.  Eventually it went away but it always nagged me.
The only thing that saved me from dropping out of the run was a nice 29 year old girl who ran the entire race with me.  She convinced me to do 2:1s with her.  I would have never finished without her.  She pushed me through that run.  She was from Atlanta and it was her first 70.3.  Her and her husband celebrated with champagne at the end of the race. 
My run time was not pretty.  2:50:36 13:02 pace.  To put it into perspective my 13.1 PR is about 1:56:00.  But it was so hot that I did not care and was happy I could just finish this race.
Thank god I'm done

Over it was a great race and was well run and supported.  No complaints and would give it a B grade overall.  If you like to torture yourself it is the race for you.  If you want a much easy 70.3 race stick with Ironman FL.  “The Intimidator” race made Ironman look like a pussy cat.  An older gentleman who ran 56 HIM and 16 IM said this was one of the toughest he had completed. 
BTW today I feel great.  Just minor sourness.  Bonnie also did her first Olympic distance and Triston did his first Du at this race.  They did great.  It was a day of family exersice.
The Bling
Almost there!

Anyone know what time it is?

Finish:          07:16:23  
Swim Place: 56  
Swim Time:  43:14  
T1:               89        
T1 Plc:         5:53  
Bike Overall: 77
Bike Time:    3:28:04
Bike Pace:   16.1 mph
Cum Plc:      76
T2:               4:17:10  
T2 Plc:         91  
T2 Time:      8:38   (had to strech the back out or I was going no where)
Overall Run: 71
Run Time:     2:50:36
Run Pace:     13:02

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Lazy Days of Summer

Remember those 1980's old plastic chairs? 
Remember how they ALWAYS folded up on you?
Remember how your body would stick to them?
Remember how they never would fold out correctly?
Remember the horizontal marks it left on your body? (Thanks Christi)

The lazy days of summer are coming fast and the temperatures here in Florida are hitting the low to mid 90s.  I figured I would do a summer throwback picture. 
Here I am in the mid 80’s chilling poolside with Bugs the bunny.   He’s enjoying a carrot and I was probably enjoying a cold strawberry soda (darn god I loved those as a kid).  I’m sporting the way radical (and stereotypical) 80’s sports shorts with the white trim.  It seems like everyone had those same shorts in the 80’s.  Look how blond my hair was.  I swam nearly every day as a kid so it was bleached out from all the sun and chlorine.  My god I was skinny.
This Sunday the whole family will be participating in the Clermont tri events.  Triston will be doing the duathlon (5K 20K 5K), Bonnie will be doing the Olympic and I will be doing the 70.3.  It should be a ton of fun.  How will you be enjoying this summer weekend?

Monday, June 6, 2011



For those of you looking for new pedals here is a great deal.  Look Keo 2 Max CARBON for $127.06 (US).  This INCLUDES s/h to the US.  Sweet deal!!  That is almost 50% off the MSRP.  I order a pair and am currently waiting to receieve them.

I am looking forward to my next 70.3 which is this Sunday in Clermont, FL.  It will be HILLS and HEAT!  The weather forecast is a low of 74 and a high of 92 with 40% humidity.  This race is known to be brutal and cause a ton of overheating.  It also includes the rolling hills of Clermont and the famous Sugarloaf.  This will be MUCH harder than my first 70.3. Wish me luck and as always I will have a review.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Johnny Depp Replacement

Throwback Thursday - Johnny Depp Replacement

Mr HalfTRIing on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. 
This is me as Mr Depp's body double.
They desperately needed someone to make him look sexy.

Little did you know but I had a great acting career before I became Mr Half TRIing.  That was until that no talent Johnny Depp came along and stole my role in to major upcoming films.  I was supposed to be the lead pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean but he came along and offered the directors half the salary I was demanding.  Due to monetary constraints they had to go with the cheaper, less talented and less handsome Mr Depp.   If I was in the film the film it would  have made real big in the box office.  Oh well, there loss.

I know Silly Girl and Caution Redhead only wish
they could have hair like this.
(Note: I really was born with roster red hair so I should be
able to be part of their cool bloggers club)

Then he had the nerve to try out for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and again I got bumped out of the lead role.  They got what they deserved though.  Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post criticized Depp's acting. "The cumulative effect isn't pretty. Nor is it kooky, funny, eccentric or even mildly interesting. Indeed, throughout his fey, simpering performance, Depp seems to be straining so hard for weirdness that the entire enterprise begins to feel like those excruciating occasions when your parents tried to be hip." 

SIDE NOTE: I am wondering right now if this is not one of those parental excruciating moments?!  Nah… I know I am a hip parent. :-)