Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back to Swimming: Updated Curtlo report

Despite the fact that I still have bronchitis I went to swim class. I missed two full weeks of class (or 4 classes) most of them because of the stupid illness. I feel fine expect for the fact that I start coughing if I do much of anything. I am going to ride to work today, and hopefully I don't lose a lung. That would suck.

Anyway, I get into the pool this morning and start our warm-up exercise. It is unusually long. When it is unusually long that usually means that the coach is going to have us do a timed 500 yards. And sure enough, after we finish he tells us that this is what he has planned for us.


My lungs are feeling sort ok at this point, mainly because the warm up was pretty easy. A 500 is going to suck because of my lungs and because I have been in the pool exactly ONE time since Vikingman a month ago. So I thought to myself "screw it", if I am slow, at least I have a great excuse. I had already had stopped to cough a couple of times during warmups so it was evident I wasn't faking. So with a good excuse in hand and started out.

I should have the "screw it, it doesn't matter" attitude more often apparently. Even though I had to stop for about 5 seconds after 400 yards to catch my breath because I just couldn't get enough air, I still finished with a personal best 9:35. Cool. I did feel pretty smooth for the first 250 yards, which I did in 4:44. My second half was a slower 4:51. What this means is that once I get back into swimming shape something in the low 9 minute area should be within reach soon. At the beginning of this year I was swimming near 12 minutes for the 500. Last year around June it would have been probably 15 minutes.

In other news, as mentioned before, I am riding to work today. On the 53 tooth equiped Curtlo too. By the way, I had to put a new chain on that was longer. I put a 9 speed Dura Ace/XTR chain on and it didn't have to cut it at all. It was the perfect length to wrap the 53 to the 34 in the rear. Sweet! Chainline if decent too. I don't have any chain retention devices on but I don't think I will have any issues.

So the ride to work went well. I noticed that the chain makes a little noise when I am in the 34 tooth in back. Not bad, but I don't consider this ideal. However, I won't be swapping this ring out anytime soon. I like the set up over all. The steps inbetween gears are a little large, but I got used to it pretty quick. I didn't ride home because, it took my lungs awhile to recover from the ride and so my wife pressured me to accept a ride home. I think it was not so much to save me any discomfort but so that she didn't have to hear me cough for a couple of hours afterwards.

Anyway, I an calling the 53 tooth 1x9 experiment a success. I will be riding it quite a bit in the near future.

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