Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Annual Stockholders Meeting

Next week we will have the 4th Annual Cort the Sport Stockholders Meeting, also known as "my yearly lunch with Coach Jim." It's a post-season meeting (not on bikes or in the pool but in actual chairs like a real meeting) to reflect, assess, and plan.

I spent some time this week organizing my ideas and thoughts into a document. Every year the format changes some, but the main topics I included this time are:
  • What went well in 2013
  • What was not so good in 2013
  • What I want to improve for 2014 (training/performance related)
  • Goals for 2014 (race related)
  • Out Season Training ideas (broken down by swim, bike, run, gym)
  • 2014 Race Season schedule
  • Misc thoughts
  • Equipment changes
  • How can I be a more coachable athlete?

I type out my thoughts and share the document with Coach Jim a few days in advance. (It's coming soon, Coach, I'm still tweaking it!) I also look at my notes from the prior year to see if I met my goals or made the desired changes. Then he makes his own notes and supplements them with charts and graphs that make sense of my ideas.

Whether or not you have a coach, this is a good post-season exercise to do -- with a friend or even just for yourself.

We leave the meeting with our expectations and ideas in alignment and it saves a lot of time and guesswork through the year.

Related to this post - Training Peaks had a good article today, despite its unfortunate preposition-ending awkward title:
How Long Do You Need a Coach For (ugh)!
I would attest to the value of a long-term "relationship" with the right coach!!

And now we return to our regularly scheduled rest and recovery!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Race report: PPD Beach2Battleship - 1st Masters

I thoroughly enjoyed my season finale at the PPD B2B half-iron distance triathlon this past weekend in Wilmington, NC - about a 5-1/2 hour drive from the house. I had no expectations for this race other than to have some fun, so it was certainly the icing on the cake to finish tenth overall, in 5:15:26, and receive the engraved plaque for first place female master's winner at this distance. The plaques were made from the original teak deck of the Battleship North Carolina -- which was moored right across the water from my hotel room -- and engraved by the "Kids Making It Woodworking Program." How cool!!

view of the Battleship NC across the river from my room

Now to backtrack and recount the details of this really cool and unique race voted the fifth-best iron-distance triathlon by Triathlete Magazine. Friday was spent attending to pre-race details. I checked in at the Wilmington Convention Center around 10 am when it opened, then browsed through the vendors and merchandise at the expo. It was very well-stocked and you could pretty much find anything you might have things maybe you didn't know you needed but "had" to have!

I also got a photo courtesy of Cape Fear Land Rover with my Tri-Sherpa for the race - my good friend Bryan, owner of Solar Connexion and a race sponsor. I'm not sure he was fully aware of just how busy he would be when he said he would come and help!

Tri-Sherpa means a certain amount of carrying/holding

At the expo I had the chance to meet some people in the triathlon community with whom I work, but had only previously corresponded with online. I was so glad to put faces to the names and meet these great folks in person!

We attended the required athlete meeting to go over details of the race that were outlined in the athlete guide. With T1 and T2 in different locations, and both half and full-iron distance races involved, the logistics were quite a bit different than at our local sprint and olympic races. It was at this meeting that I met up with Roanoke triathletes Karen Bowers, also doing the half, and Ron Bell and Nancy Hans doing their first fulls.

I first met Nancy at the Y in Salem Sprint Tri in 2011 and was immediately
drawn to her positive energy.  This was her first full iron distance and she cranked it out!!

Karen finished IMKY in August and came out to B2B to do the half.
She juggles tri training and racing with med school!

Athlete meeting (one of the three offered)

We checked in numbered Bike-to-Run transition bags at the convention center. Mine contained my running shoes, socks, running hat, and my race number belt with two gels. It was a little strange relinquishing "control" of those vital pieces and I had to squelch a few wildly irrational "what ifs" that popped into my head.

After the meeting Bryan drove the bike and I to T1 in Wrightsville Beach with an emergency "I'm STARVING NOW" lunch stop for me along the way. I racked the bike, then spent the requisite amount of time obsessing about silly details before saying goodnight to the Roo and leaving.

Tri-Sherpa loading Roo on Yellow with Battleship NC in the background. 

Off-loading Roo at Wrightsville Beach

Tinkering with hub orientation. I like it a certain way. (Look at that blue sky!!!)

I returned to the Expo to meet up with the CEO of the fortyninegroup, John Jones, and some work associates and it was past 5 when I wrapped things up to get ready for race day.

Like every race morning, this one came all too quickly. Bryan and I met up to drive me to T1 where I pumped my tires, checked the bike over, and set up my bike gear and my Swim-to-Bike bag. At 7:45 I took the shuttle from T1 about a mile or so up the road to the swim start - a set of docks on the channel.

Race morning was only in the upper 30's but thankfully I had prepared well, unlike many others. Per B2B instructions I knew to wear clothes to the swim start that I did not need back, and I had plenty of layers for the lengthy wait until my swim wave, which was the last wave at 9:25. I had on my wetsuit, insulated pants, a thick hoody sweatshirt, a windbreaker, socks and my kid's old outgrown shoes, a hat, gloves, and chemical hand warmers! (Just what you think of for "swimming"! I wish I'd had a picture, I looked pretty funny I'm sure.) In contrast, I saw people standing around in nothing more than a wetsuit, flip flops, and a garbage bag. I watched them shake with chattering teeth for an hour or more. Not smart!

I watched the full iron swimmers go by and then wave after wave of the half iron racers left the beach. There was a really neat "drone plane" with a camera filming the starts. Finally it was time for the over-45 women! We stripped down to wetsuits, left our clothes in the Salvation Army donation truck, and got in the water for our 1.2 mile swim, which at 70 degrees felt OK. I had two swim caps on for a little extra warmth. We saw that the rising tide had indeed brought the current and we had to swim upstream to stay in line with the start. Then the airhorn went and we were off!

I saw a few women sprint off and the swim crowd thinned. I found myself beside another swimmer who seemed to be going my pace so I tucked in off her right hip for a while. The only buoy we had to sight off of was the turn buoy at about the half way point. After the turn, it was hard to know the best path to take toward the finish that I couldn't quite see, so I just tried to position myself so that there were swimmers to either side of me. I lost my "swimming partner" a few times but we always seemed to end up back together. I think without speaking a word we were just helping each other to find our way and as we exited up the short ladder to the dock, she turned to me and said, "good swim!"

(I was SUPER excited to discover that my swim time was ranked 40th out of the 331 women who completed the swim -- percentage wise I am very VERY happy with that!!)

This was my first experience with a "wetsuit stripper." Yeah, that is what these great volunteers are called! I was unzipped, told to sit down and grab the back of the bench, and the next thing I knew that wetsuit was yanked right off of me!! I ran through the warm shower zone but did not stop. At my bike I put on arm warmers and full fingered gloves but opted out of the extra long sleeve jersey I had in my bag. I also had toe covers on my shoes. I shoved all my swim stuff into my T1 bag, tied the top as instructed, then off I went into the bright but cold morning.

In the first mile and again in the last mile of the bike course we rode over drawbridges which meant riding over about a 100' section of metal grating. We were told to keep between 15-20 mph and just go straight and indeed it was fine.

I quickly found my groove and just dialed in a 154/155 heart rate per Coach Jim's instructions, trying to keep my cadence in the low 90's. Easy speed was what I was after, and even so, I was passing cyclist after cyclist. I felt really good and had a blast picking people off on the smooth, wide roads. I also knew I had made the right call on what to wear for the bike. I saw some very overdressed/overheating athletes and others who had worn very billow-y, parachute-like very non-aero tops and jackets. Always plan for cold weather contingencies!! I gave a shout-out to the PPD heroes I saw out on the course including Eric and Garrett Miller on their tandem bike!

While I was out racing, Bryan's Tri-Sherpa responsibilities extended to helping out the drone helicopter pilot/photographer who was getting aerial shots. I watched this helicopter at the swim start and was fascinated by how smooth and steady he kept it.

 the drone helicopter "pilot"

There was one cyclist with whom I found myself in a game of "cat and mouse" - Len from Cincinnati. We must have passed each other 20 times, with each pass having a brief little non-drafting conversation. The back of his trisuit said "Mojo" so of course the "Buttercup" in me kept thinking of Mojo Jojo (Powerpuff Girls reference). I figured it was a good omen!! The 56 mile bike ride flew by and I averaged about 20.3 mph but even better, I finished feeling awesome and fairly fresh!

After all those miles of quiet introspective cycling, it was a little bit of a shock to come up on the convention center, where the bike course narrows, spectators are thick, and runners are headed out. It was a bit of sensory overload.

I dismounted the bike, and just after I crossed the timing mat the Roo was whisked away from me and I continued running the perimeter of the room. A volunteer with a megaphone yelled my number to another volunteer who found my bag Bike-to-Run bag and handed it off to me. I continued around, making a left for the rest room rather than the changing room, where I put on running shoes while having a pee! (Hey at least I was hydrated...but that accounts for the less than stellar T2 time.) All the bike gear went into the bike-to-run bag, and that was tied off and handed to another volunteer at the exit. (There were legions of volunteers and they were fantastic, truly fantastic).

trying to get my race belt on

still messing with my race belt

The run starts with a short out and back section toward the PPD building, then we headed out for the main part of the run along the river boardwalk and toward a park and lake then back again. I had a hard time getting my cadence up and watched my pace start to slip a few miles in. I knew it could be a tough run, particularly since I hadn't done 13 miles since last spring and had only recently had the healthy legs to be able to ramp up my running at all. My heart rate was higher than I wanted for the paces I had, but I was reluctant to slow even as I saw my desired run pace slip away.

This guy showed up on the run course. I thought the signs about
not feeding the alligators were a joke! Guess not!

At the turnaround, I found myself behind a guy and girl who were running easily, chit-chatting and encouraging other runners all the while. I tucked in behind and asked if they'd mind if I ran with them for a while. (Drafting!)  I just needed to tune in on someone else and tune out the negativity of my own head and I stuck with them until the final mile. I listened in some and then he brought up the Bone Island Tri in Key West. We chatted about that for a while since it's the "sister race" to B2B and another great race we work with, but mainly I listened, and marveled at how easy this run seemed for them! At the final aid station, I must admit that I wimped out and walked while I had some water. I should not have done that, I caved. But I got rolling again and as soon as I saw the finish I burned up whatever was left in the tank and sprinted through the chute, passing another woman as I went. I was so, so happy! Yeah the run was tough, but it was all-over body tough, not injured-leg tough!!

I found my running buddies and we exchanged some high-fives. I walked off with my finisher's medal and my finisher's PJ bottoms (awesome!) and met up with John and Bryan for the post-race debrief. After being so quiet for 5+ hours, I get especially chatty.

Love the top and PJ bottoms - really nice and soft!! Unlike most race stuff, I'll be wearing this a lot.

I headed off to shower and return for the awards ceremony where I sat with John, Bryan, and Karen. I have to say it was one of my greater racing surprises to be sitting there and hear for the master's awards...."from Blacksburg, Virginia"

With John Jones, CEO of fortyninegroup

A sun-bleached photo of a shocked and super-happy me on the podium.

Here are the stats if you are interested (full results online)

Swim - 0:35:21 (40th out of 325)
T1 - 0:4:38 (11th)
Bike - 2:45:31 (8th)
T2 - 0:03:35 (45th)
Run - 1:46:23 (26th)
Overall - 05:15:26 (10th)

I enjoyed the whole post-race party and the continuous flow of athletes across the finish line. I was treated to a celebratory Solar Connexion dinner in Wilmington and afterward the athletes were still coming through to the finish! I'm still not sure I'm up for an entirely FULL day of racing but if that's to your liking, Wilmington and the PPD Beach2Battleship race is the place to do it.

I can see why this race has such a loyal following. It's a really fun point to point race, with more than one volunteer for every two racers. It has tremendous support from PPD, the Wilmington Family Y, and the involvement of the PPD Heroes who race having overcome tremendous medical conditions through medical trials and the work of PPD. The courses are lovely and the city is extremely welcoming. It's easy to see why racers LOVE this race and return year after year.

Congratulations to all the finishers including local triathletes Karen, Ron, Nancy, Janet, Gary, and my One-on-One Endurance teammate John King who had a fantastic debut iron distance race with a 10:49:03 finish!! Congrats also to newly minted iron distance woman Emily Read!!

Giant THANK YOUs go to Coach Jim McGehee of One-on-One Endurance; beloved family Robert, Spencer and Grant who allow me to train and race; Oma who fills in admirably while I am gone; my mom and dad who have always encouraged me; Bryan Walsh and Solar Connexion; and all my friends and fellow-triathletes who make this sport so welcoming and meaningful.

Let the off-season/out-season begin!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Beach2Battleship Pre-Race Report

I am ready!!

Work done ahead. Family schedule set. Laundry finished and house in good order. Kid Halloween costume assembled. Rotted pumpkins replaced with store-bought plug-in kind. Car washed. Race book read and re-read. Bike tube changing practiced. Bike waxed.

Bar wrap ends retaped with "the good electrical tape" in white.
(Like the rider, recently it has been tending to unravel. The tape will hold till I redo it in the spring.)

Repair kit mounted in stealth mode! (Taped the CO2 cartridges behind my bottle cage, and I wired the valve to the bottom.)

Spare tube stowed beneath seat.

Packing complete.
(All the stuff for race day -including breakfast- plus the bike and pump. The giant bag in the middle is what I'll wear to the swim start - hoodie, jacket, hat, gloves, heavy pants, kid's old shoes. It all gets collected and donated. I am not taking a chance on being cold with temps in the 40's while waiting to swim.)

Sherpa hired. (Spotted this in Kroger parking lot!)


As is usually the case, I am a little frenzied at the moment and my brain is not yet in race mode, but the drive to Wilmington will take care of that! It'll be nice to get off the "crazy express" for a few days. I am feeling no pressure and just happy for the chance to have one last race this year, one that is longer and, one that calls for a different gear and strategy. I'm running happier and healthier than I have in months and I feel well prepared to have a solid and fun race. I've put in the time, the miles, and the effort so yeah...

I am ready!!

Have a great rest of your week!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Music Appreciation, Triathlon Appreciation

On Thursdays I've been attending my son's quartet practice. Spencer is in his sixth year of cello with the Virginia Tech String Project and Youth Orchestra. It's been such a treat to watch (and hear) his playing mature and witness his love for music grow. What has made this year extra special for me is to listen in as Alan Weinstein, cellist in the renowned Kandinsky Trio, teaches these four budding musicians to more deeply understand their music and their relationship to one another and to their instrument. They've learned about the subtle ways a quartet can work together, to hear the music and each other, to plan their bow use, and break down difficult measures. They have come to recognize the layers of the music and the dialog among instruments and the importance of properly timed rests! (That's my layman's interpretation of it!!)

Without Alan's guidance, the group would be playing mechanically, forming the notes individually but together. He has taught them how to think about their music, how to think about their role within the quartet, how to judge their own performance. I enjoy listening as he gives them the language, the thought processes, and the tools to more deeply appreciate and make the most beautiful music!

Of course this comes back around to triathlon and what I consider the vital role of coaches and experts to help us learn how to think about our training, how to think about our physiological responses, and how to judge our performance. Coaches know when we are ready to learn the next thing or to peel back another layer. They give us the language, the thought processes, and the tools to more deeply appreciate and make the most of our sport.

To outsiders, triathlon probably seems like just swim, bike, run. Simple. Do the sport! Play the notes! But we have learned that it is so much more. Primarily through my interactions with Coach Jim, as well as other coaches along the way, and things I read, I learn how to think more like an expert and less like a newbie.

Our developing understanding of the sport (or music) is a big part of what keeps us engaged. It's the ongoing learning process that keeps it interesting and coaches and experts provide a big leg up there.

Who knew there was so much to a quartet? Who knew there was so much to triathlon?

Oh, and by the way, Alan is a long-time road cyclist. I wonder what cycling has taught him about music and vice versa?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The meaning of race numbers. 10 days to go.

Race numbers just came out for the October 26 PPD Beach2Battleship race. Isn't it funny how excited we get for our race number? It makes it all legit!! Most people automatically try to find some meaning or inspiration among the digits. My bib number is actually the year my youngest was born - 2002 - so I like it a lot!

Getting our race number reminds me of this scene from "The Jerk" where Steve Martin gets soooo excited to see his name in print in the new phone book!!

I just started packing for this race, mainly because I need an outlet for the already growing "heebie-jeebies" of taper time. Packing for this race feels different from my usual sprints and olympics because (1) it's a point to point race with different T1 and T2 locations and (2) with a longer race, comfort becomes a little more important.

We check our bikes and T2 bags in the day before the race, and the T1 bag the day before or morning of.  We'll all be watching the weather forecast closely to fine-tune what goes in those bags (mainly T1) depending on expected temperature and precipitation. Come on 10-day me what ya got!

Now I'm down to one workout a day and am trying something new - NO gym time, no strength training, for the two weeks prior to this race. My energy had gotten fairly low from a higher training volume on top of family/work life that seemed to have exploded to "11." I didn't need my limited energy further sub-divided and Coach Jim thought this was a good idea. I agreed to it, but it's hard not to feel a bit like a slacker. The upside is, I can definitely feel my energy rebounding, as it is supposed to do.

I'm starting to fret a bit about life post-race. It's a long time until the new triathlon season begins and all year I have had goals to focus on. After 4-1/2 years in the sport, and 43 races in the last four years,  I know I need some real honest-to-goodness healthy "out-season" time this year to recharge my batteries, change things up, and work on weaknesses, but it's a little scary not to have a looming race goal, or spring marathon.

This is what the day-after-race-day, October 27, feels like to me....YIKES! Okay, and a little exciting too. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Right now I'm just looking forward to my second ever half iron and having some fun in Wilmington!

Friday, October 11, 2013

What I am most proud of this race season

You might be expecting me to cite some specific race, some result, some outcome, some PR.

Well I'm not.

What I am most proud of is making the most of what my body gave me this year -- perhaps more precisely, what my left quad did not (discussed here under 'Body'). After a pretty stellar year in 2012 it was frustrating to find myself struggling so much on the run and never running to potential all summer.

So I am proud of persevering, bringing the best I had to each race, managing the doubt, listening to my coach, and adapting and finding work-arounds. I was fortunate that I could train through it to an extent, and I am happy to know that a season of rough running did not detract from my overall enjoyment of triathlon.

This week I finally felt truly back to normal for the first time in months. I ran 11 happy miles on Tuesday and when I finished the tears flowed unexpectedly and uncontrollably as months of pent-up frustration were released. The last time I ran more than 10 miles was June 9 -- nearly four months ago. Most of my runs this season have been in the 2-5 mile range, on a treadmill, and often with unplanned stops. As with any injury or setback, there are days you wonder if it will ever pass, or if it is just part of the "new you".

What prompted this blog post is that I found out recently I finished third overall female in the Virginia Triathlon Series. While I was pleased, yes, it did cause me to reflect on what I felt best about this year, and those feelings were not tied to any number, but just pushing through a frustrating time.

I also received my Boston Finisher's certificate in the mail this week. Nice to see that PR in print, even if that race was probably a contributing factor to the summer's "body detour". It was still worth it ;-)

Part of what makes triathlon so meaningful are the struggles through times when we are not 100%. It teaches us patience, acceptance, and faith. And that moment when you realize you have emerged....priceless!!

My racing year is not over. In two weeks I head to Wilmington, NC for the PPD Beach2Battleship half iron distance. I intend for that to be a celebration of the year (read=no pressure) and my return to happy running!

Triathlon certainly teaches us to make the most of ourselves. 

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, October 7, 2013

Filming RIDES: Virginia

On Saturday I got to do something pretty cool -- to be a part of the newest installment of the Endurance Films RIDES indoor cycling video series. These are on-screen coached bike trainer workouts that feature intervals and cadence work set on beautiful routes throughout the country. The series includes Florida, New York, Texas, Hill Country (KY/IN), North Carolina, Southern California, the Rockies, and Las Vegas. So rather than riding and staring at a wall in your house or watching reruns of Breaking Bad, you can actually experience varying topography and landscapes of the US. This one was filmed on my absolute favorite route, one that I have ridden and run on hundreds of times, so this project is really special to me!

We rode on behalf of Runwell, the Linda Quirk Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping those with drug or alcohol addiction utilize sports in their recovery.  We were outfitted with Runwell kits by Champion System, provide with helmets from Rudy Project, and sunglasses from XX2i. Solar Connexion provided lunch and Woods Family Heating and AC stocked our bottle holders. Ed Shepherd, one of our area Pro-Am cyclists, did a lot of the organizing and planning, and kept us all in sync on the workout.

We put in a full day and logged about 60 total miles for a workout that will be about 22 miles or one hour in duration. It was funny to see a tripod and camera poking out of the minivan sunroof, with Eric and Danny hanging out of the open hatchback to film us from the front. It was a lot of work to film us, and to be filmed!

This workout is NO JOKE. I was busting my butt and at one point after my partner Tim and I led two consecutive intervals, I had to drop off the back and recover. Some of the guys had pre-ridden the workout on trainers in advance and they said it was even tougher! This will definitely be a RIDE that will push you and help you to grow! (This should be available around Thanksgiving at Endurance Films for holiday gift orders.)

The morning after filming, I slept in until 7:30 am. That is extremely unusual for me, so that tells you something. After breakfast, I was out the door for a 2-1/2 hour brick workout. It was a great weekend of cycling and running, but I am glad now for a day off.

Scenes from the day:

This is my first Rudy Project helmet, and I have to say, I am pretty delighted with how comfy it is.
It's officially my new road helmet. And the Runwell kits included bib shorts which I had not ridden in before, but I like them!!

Laura and Ed during our mid-way lunch break to refuel and rehydrate on an unseasonably hot day.

Thanks to fellow riders Ed, Gordon, Tim, Emily, Rick, Tyler (who is only 12!!), and Laura.

Bryan brought a replacement rear wheel for Ed. He was the unofficial SAG wagon!

Tim wore a helmet cam for part of the ride to give a real riders perspective.

The final regrouping before the last few cooldown miles.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

RUN, don't walk!

Yesterday morning I had a track workout (yay!) and shared the track with the usual suspects - the semi-serious runner, the shuffle runner, the women with dogs, and the "let's meet up and walk" moms. Luckily no kids on bikes (which annoy me to no end, we have plenty of giant empty parking lots for that), and no guy-on-skateboard-pulled-by-his-husky.

Between mile repeats I found myself studying a group of four women walkers who were probably mid-30s to mid-40s. They all looked perfectly capable of running even just a little. Perhaps that was a big assumption, but I could not stop wondering, what kept them from running? Had they tried? Would they try?

Walking is fine and all, and certainly I recognize that not everyone can physically run. But if you can do it,  running is freedom and strength and capability and belief!! Just typing that I get excited thinking about running!

So finally as I was cooling down with some easy aerobic stuff at the end, I blurted out as I passed them, "why don't you all run a lap with me?"

And without hesitation all four broke into an easy little run! I was so shocked! I ran backward for a while and some rambling encouragement fell out of my mouth, and then I ran back to them and said, "you know, I started this way, running to a mailbox and then walking to the next. You all should mix it up and run a lap and walk a lap. You'll be ready for a 5K in no time!"

They lasted half a lap or so, and I let them be, but I soooo wanted to follow up, to coach, to encourage, to challenge. I hope maybe I planted a seed.
I fear that after a childhood of hearing "WALK, don't run," we've just beaten the RUN out of people. I want to tell people "RUN, don't walk" (if you can).

I think adults get so far removed from running that it just feels foreign, strange. And we can't think of where or why we would run, so we don't. But we should!!

I love the expression of "running is a dance that covers distance." It is that indeed.

We need signs like this at the track:

Yes, walking is better than not. But if you can run, it's worth a try.

Running is playing. It's breaking the "rules". It's freedom from the expected.

Don't walk. RUN!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: XX2i France 1 Pro Racing Optics

I am the happy recipient of a pair of France 1 Pro Racing glasses from XX2i as part of an upcoming project.

I would argue that my current cycling glasses, that are probably circa 2010, are just fine. Maybe not "fine" but comfortable enough. OK, maybe not comfortable at all but "serviceable." By "serviceable" I mean they do not fall off my face and do not leave too large a dent in the right side of my nose where the rubber pad has fully disintegrated.

It seems I have become one of those people who hesitates to buy new things. So it was good these came my way when they did!

When I opened the box with the glasses it pretty much exploded with accessories...extra lenses, cases, extra screws, screw driver, different color temples and nose pieces, holder, pouches, etc. They pretty much thought of everything.

So here are some of my impressions of the France 1 Pro Racing Optics. These glasses are comfortable for cycling and running (they are not quite so useful for swimming). They are lightweight, they stay put, and are comfortable. I like the frameless bottom, and the tops don't obstruct my vision when I am in the aero position on the bike.
    They are also customizable with different colored lenses, nose pieces, and temple covers. There is one other way they are customizable, perhaps a way XX2i had not really thought of. The temples (side pieces) felt long for me, so I removed the interchangeable rubber covers (they require some twisting to take off and put on), trimmed a bit off the metal with wire trimmers, trimmed the cover, and reinstalled it. Voila...perfect fit!

    I'm still partial to a photo-chromatic lens that changes automatically, but they don't give you the clarity on foggy days like you get with the yellow lenses.

    I'm off to ride in my functional and comfy glasses! It's still a sport, not a fashion show ;-)