Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Didn't sleep more than an hour on the plane and then immediately headed off the plane, through customs and on the taxi to the hotel to check in early. The hotel is quite nice (small bed, but still...). Unpacked a bit and then got dressed for a run in the cold weather (40's with a stiff wind off the Baltic Sea). I started off heading south toward the water, scooting along the coast to get a nice view before climbing up into a park to see an old observatory. I climbed back down to the coast to run along the shore and then cut back into the city through another park, taking in the sites along the way. Beautiful city. Got to see a number of really old and beautiful Gothic churches and really old medieval looking buildings. The streets are all cobblestones or separated stone, so it was a bit of hell on the knees, but still well worth it. Later on took a long walk through the city taking photos (see facebook) with Sharka before heading back for a short bit before dinner. Exhausted now, really hope I sleep well tonight!!! Anyway, overall I averaged an 8 min mile, despite some reasonable climbs into the various parks and got to see alot of beautiful scenery too!
Monday, September 28, 2009
I ACTUALLY got home at a reasonable time TODAY! Anyway, got home and got to grab the baby boy and get out for a quick 4 mile run! Just went out nice and easy, keeping about an 8 min/mile pace. Felt pretty good and had a good time playing with Cole! The GPS did run out of battery half way through though, so my pace is just a guestimate...
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Here are some Photos from General Smallwood Olympic Triathlon Last weekend!Getting stretched out for the 1500 meter swim. Water Temp in the Potomac was 71C, hence the wetsuit. I did get a kick out of the 'No Swimming' sign...
Even Cole got into it, he wanted to do the race too, but it wasn't swim floaty or tricycle legal, but he did the running NO PROBLEM!!!
Out of the swim and getting the wetsuit off. It was a LONG transition, about 1/4 mile run from the water to the bikes!
After a good transition, I got on the bike and started going. Kept my average up around 20 mph the whole time...
I don't remember being this happy at the start of the run, guess seeing Cole and Betsy made me smile temporarily?
Well after dilly dallying all morning, Betsy and I finally motivated to go run around 9am. But because of the overcast skies and cool weather (high 50's) it wasn't so bad. But we both wanted to do something different, so we started up at Gravelly Point by National Airport, letting Cole watch the planes fly in overhead for a bit before we got started. HE ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT!!! Anyway we got going without any definite plan for where to go, so when we got up towards the memorial bridge, we quickly thought that running over by the Mall might be nice. Once across (me taking time to explain to Cole who each of the monuments is honoring... why because I am a dork), we headed down around Haines Point before heading back over the 14th ST Bridge to get back on the Mt Vernon Trail for the last little bit back. Overall, we put in an 8.8 miles in 1:14 for a 8:25 pace for our final long run before I head to Europe. Looking forward to my trip, but definitely not looking forward to the extended time without Betsy and Cole.
Friday, September 25, 2009
After months of not meeting up wiht Mike for running due to scheduling, weather and travel related issues, we finally got together for one more run before I leave for Europe. With me still recovering from the triathlon last weekend and Mike being towards the tail end of his taper for his upcoming double marathon in 8 days, we tried to take it really easy. Got going and enjoyed the run as more of a way to catch up after not hanging out for a good long while, talking about Zoe and Cole, races and work, we kept the pace at about 8:20 min/mile for the 10k. It was a good run, no side stitches and felt fairly good the whole way through. Looking forward to running in Europe now!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I am giving a colloquium on my research at the Materials Dept at Case Western University today. Following a wonderful dinner with my host last night, I got in and went through my talk once more before closing up for the night and hitting the sack after the Daily Show. I got up around 6 am to realize that sunrise isn't until after 7:15 up here, so I dallied around a bit before hitting the road on the course I designed last night on mapmyrun.com. I accidently went in reverse though which led to a great deal of confusion for me and caused me to stop a couple times. There also was there terrible side stitch kicking in my gut towards the beginning that slowed me down some, but overall it was a fairly reasonable run. I got in just under 4 miles, putting in a solid 7:45 min/mile pace and got to see alot of the university while I was at it.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wow, what a day and what a race! I was beginning to dread this race this week, feeling tight from soccer and the mountain riding out in WV, late work nights, difficulty sleeping and just stress with all my presentations coming up. In fact, had you asked me last night if I woudl take a refund if it was offered, I wouldn't have thought twice about taking the cash! But wow, did I ever surprise myself! Got down to warmup for about a mile, feeling ok then pulled on the wetsuit, tested out the water and then prepared for the inevitable. It was an in water start, with 71 degree water, so it was wetsuit legal, and when the whistle got started. Typically the swim is my strongest part, but without having the pool at NRL to use anymore, it was a bit tougher to get the necessary workouts in in the time I had. I felt pretty crappy during the swim, getting the inevitable swimmers crawling over your back at times, and even getting punched in the goggle to the point that I thought I was bleeding and getting a black eye about 1/2 of the way through. But when I climbed out of the water for the 1/4 mile run to the transition area I looked at my watch to see a 28:38 swim. Not fantastic, but still only about 15 sec off of my time at this course in 2006 when I was able to get much more swimming in. I felt pretty rough on the run to the transition area, but had a quick switch, and getting on my bike and going within 4:02, besting my 2006 time by about a min, so I was now in the black time wise in my attempt to beat my time here 3 years ago. Once I started on the bike things started to click, I was consistently surpassing 20 mph on the relatively flat course, passing a number of other racers while only getting passed by 3 or 4 myself. I started to labor towards the end, getting a pretty nasty side stitch and feeling nature calling pretty terribly. I got back in with a time of 1:15:33, a full 3 and a 1/2 mins faster than my 2006 effort! The second transition was pretty quick, about 1:21, but it could have been better with me looking for my hammer gel for a good 20-30 seconds of that, which I never found. It must have been eaten by the guy next to me on the bike rack. Oh well, I grabbed some sports beans and hit the run. The run started off pretty tough, with me deciding after about half a mile that I had to stop to take a pee in the hopes that it might cure my side stitch. Oddly enough, it did. After the nature break, I fell into a pretty comfortable pace, regularly knocking down miles between 7:25 and 7:51 min/mile! I finished the run in 49:03, a great time for me. Overall, I finished the tri in 2:39:02, my fastest Olympic ever!!! Furthermore, I found out that I finished 20th overall and 1st in my age group (and NO I was not the only one in my age group!). This was by far my best race ever, I couldn't have asked for more!!! Betsy has the sprint race tomorrow! Will give an update and upload some photos tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Well after realizing that a couple of the choices I made for my ride yesterday to deviate from the published rides on Mapmyride.com didn't turn out to be quite such smart choices, I decided for my ride today that I would follow the roads that were used in many of the rides posted. Well, you can't win for trying they say. I started off down the same path as yesterday, with the sharp initial descent, but instead of turning toward the town of Wheeling at the base, I headed NE, up the first climb of the day, a 1.1 mile 4.4% grade. Nothing too terrible, although the grade did hit up to 9% on two occassions, but for the most part it was just a spin fest to the top. I then started the descent, a nice trip down on smooth pavement but turned at the wrong place losing all my momentum before the second climb. Luckily, while this was the longest climb of the day, it was also the easiest, only keeping 2.7% grade, although just about at the top I got chased by a huge dog causing me to stop at the steepest section, a 19% grade. Trying to get started after that was fun, but I did it and then quickly started the second descent, this a fairly steep trip down on fairly rough pavement. Here is where the idiots on mapmyride got me. So I am now about 7 miles from the hotel, behind me are three dogs that wanted a piece of me and the road that multiple people told me to turn on, even those who commented on their rides, turns out to be GRAVEL!!! What are these guys smoking? Thank GOD again for the GPS. I looked at the map, quickly rerouted and cut across, in effect shortenting my ride by about 8 miles. This cut me through a nice smooth valley where I was able to get the speed up again and get into a rhythm and start to really feel good before hitting the 3rd, and by far the worst, climb of my entire trip. This was out Cherry Hill Rd and Table Top Ln, which combined amounted to a 1.2 mile, avg 7% grade, where instead of the typical peaks and valleys to burn you and then give you a break, it just stayed at a constant 6-9% the entire way up. By my estimations this would have been rated at about a Cat 3 climb. I then started the next couple miles of rolling hills, hitting the highest elevation of the day, 1271 ft up, before dropping into a nice slow descent before starting the final climb back up to the hotel. This is where for some reason the GPS crapped out on me and I restarted it and for some reason it didn't restart time even though it displayed the map again. Not sure what happened, but overall it missed about 2.6 miles of the end of the ride, which stinks because I was solid the whole way up, unlike yesterday. Anyway, I averaged somewhere around 16.5 mph for the ride, not too shabby for a coastal rider! When I got back I even went out for a few hours of soccer with some of the other guys here for the conference and despite it being my first time playing since grade school I scored twice!
Monday, September 14, 2009
I slept terribly last night and woke up this morning drained and soon to be dissappointed when I looked out my window to see a thick fog covering the ground. Definitely not a good morning for a bike ride. So I decided to be productive and got working on my proceedings papers before heading down for the conference around 9am. Well after lunch there was a brief industrial demonstration session that I decided to skip to hit out on the roads for my ride. The weather was great, low 70's and sunny, a bit windy, but nothing too terrible. Got started following a 20.6 mile route I found on www.mapmyride.com, starting off with a steep decent into the valley near Wheeling, before turning up into the first climb of the day, a 556 ft climb over 2.45 miles for an average grade of about 4.3% with grades hitting up to 10% (approx. equiv to a Cat 3 climb). After reaching the top I reached the decent where I deviated from the online course... BIG MISTAKE. WOW, terrible road conditions on the descent, had to ride my breaks the entire way with a ton of pot holes and debris. Well then I reached the intersection where I turned left into the second climb of the day, this one starting off more moderate, a 2 mile stretch to start climbing only 160 ft so I was able to just keep the cranks turning and drive my way up. About 1/2 way up I turned onto my second deviation from the online route, again BIG MISTAKE. THis one I quickly figured out as I was chased by 2 dogs and forced to turn around and adjust my ride. Thank GOD for my Garmin Edge 705. I was able to use the map to make the adjustment without getting lost, picking up on the route shortly thereafter. This deviation of course also led to a more difficult effort, as the grade quickly steepened, leading up to a difficult finish, with the final 1/2 mile at an average 5% grade with values up to 11%. This descent was actually rather enjoyable and led quickly to climb three, a brief (0.8 mile) climb, but the steepest of the four, with an average grade of 6.9% and multiple sections > 10%, which is consistent with a Cat 4 climb. This led to the final descent, a nice winding drop into the valley before the final climb back to the hotel. This was a 1.2 mile, 5.3% climb, again another approximate Cat 4 climb. Tough riding and has made me realize that I need to reconsider my route length and choice of path for tomorrow. Will be figuring it all out shortly. Overall, a really challenging, yet enjoyable ride through some new country with significantly more difficult terrain than I am used to!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Got to the resort in West Virginia just in time to get in a short ride before the evening reception. Got in a quick 4 1/3 miles. Wow it is quite hilly! Anyway, got started from outside my building and just ran around some of the trails cutting in and out of the golf course here, running by the lake, the horticulture garden, the zoo and other places. Really was quite enjoyable! Anyway, got the miles in 8:13, 7:39, 7:53, 7:42 and then the final 1/3 mile at a pace of 7:37 min/mile. Looking forward to an early morning bike ride tomorrow!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I got an email from the President of the Oxon Hill Bike Club yesterday saying that the county had finally finished the Rail Trail, so I talked Betsy into doing our long run down there! So we hopped in the car, with Betsy initially saying she still wanted to go to Belle Haven, but then at the last min changed her mind and turned south. It turned out to be a really nice run, nice and cool, not much traffic, hardly anyone on the trail and wonderfully flat (until the very end!). Went out from Indian Head about 6 miles and then came on back. Put out some really nicely paced miles, knocking them out in 8:17, 8:16, 8:19, 8:11, 8:14, 8:10, 8:12, 8:08, 8:13, 8:24, 8:18 and finishing the last mile in 8:20 for a total time of 1:39:04 for an 8:15 min/mile pace! Overall a great run and to top it off spent some time at the playground with Cole afterwards!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I wanted to get out for a run at the end of the day yesterday, but by the time I got home, I ended up getting a migraine and missed most of dinner, bedtime, and then slept right through the night. So I had hoped to get out for a pre-work bikeride. But, as I should have expected it was raining. Not to be deterred, I decided to do a brick workout at the NRL gym. I started off doing 30 min on the stationary bike, getting in 10.8 miles, with the first 15 min doing the 'cardio +' and the second 15 min doing a manual workout. I kept the cadence around 100 for most of the ride, with the exception of a few min when the cardio + session increased the resistance to some ridiculous level. I got off and quickly switched over to the treadmill, running 4 miles in 31:08. I felt really great the whole way, looks like I am prepped as best I can for the Triathlon next weekend.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
3x1 mile.... ugh... I hate that practice, but it went fairly well just the same. Got in a 1 mile warmup with Betsy and then stretched out some, before getting into the workout. Got the first mile in in 6:31, then 6:29 and then finally a 6:39. Of course the GPS showed them to be longer than a mile (1.06-1.08 miles with lane changes) and estimated my pace at around 6:06 to 6:09. Perhaps I need to map out a mile and see what I can put in for a time now, maybe I can finally break six minutes?
Monday, September 7, 2009
Well Betsy and I decided to take out the boy for a bike ride and some time at the Bensville Rd playground this morning. We got up around 8am, letting ourselves sleep in a bit and then we packed up the bikes and the bike trailer and hit the road, starting at the parking lot of the playground, dropping down the hill and hitting the Indian Head Rail Trail. We started off riding towards White Plains, getting to the end and turning around and riding out all the way to 227 before turning back. Let me tell you, that trailer is quite tough to pull around, REALLY adds to the workout! Anyway, finished off the ride by pulling Cole up the hill to the parking lot and then running over to the playground for some time on the slides and swings!!! Cole now can slide on his own, climbing the steps,crossing the troll bridge, sitting down on the top of the slide and pushing himself down to start! He is SOOOO proud of himself too! After Betsy and Cole left, I started back out to get a bit more of a ride in. After the ride with Betsy and Cole, I got going for the final push to get home from Bensville Rd. I started off down the Rail Trail, out past Bumpy Oak Rd (they finished a lot more of the paving!), getting down a bit before I realized that they hadn't finished the whole route. I started around and came back to Bumpy Oak and climbed the hill before finishing home. There were some heavy winds on the ride, guiding me to a great ride in one way and a rough one going back. Overall it was a great ride and so glad I got to finally take Cole out in the trailer!!! What a great end to such a wonderful weekend!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Betsy and I got up nice and early drove out to Shenandoah National Park to take Cole for a hike in his new Deuter Kid Comfort II carrier (my father's day gift). It started off with some extremely steep sections, hitting grades up to 31% at points. I was quite surprised how comfortable the Deuter really was and Cole seemed to really like it as well! The views from Mary's Rock were fantastic, and we took a few min to let him run around, take some photos and eat some snacks before heading back down. Initially we were thinking of hiking down to Thurmond's Gap, even starting down that part of the trail a bit before realizing that Cole not having a nap this morning was doing him in. So we turned around and started back to the parking lot. Well it wasn't long before he let his head down and fell asleep allowing us a bit of an outshoot to Byrd's Nest Lookout, before we took off back to Skyline Drive. Afterwards we drove down to a picnic area, had some lunch and played a bit before heading back home. Great hike and great time with the baby boy and Betsy!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
We got up early this morning, but turned out a bit later than we wanted (again), not getting started until about 8am. Of course that meant it was already 70 degrees by the start. It was rough. We ran north through Old Town until we got out to Gravelly Point, just past National Airport, where we took a bit of a break to let Cole watch the planes fly over head. HE LOVED IT. Watching the planes litterally pass right over is really pretty cool, even if you aren't a toddler infatuated with planes! Anyway, seems we stopped a bit too long, letting the legs settle too much, so when we finally got going again, the quads were REALLY sore. We kept up the pace, averaging an 8:19 min/mile, but by about 10 miles we ran out of water and had to call Elana to meet us on the trail so we could refill. The ironic thing is that both Betsy and I mentioned that we needed a second water bottle in the stroller and STILL forgot it. Anyway, by mile 12, my quads were screaming, but we stuck it out, finishing strong with an 8:08 min mile. Overall, we finished the miles in 8:28, 8:10, 8:26, 8:15, 8:17, 8:19, 8:15, 8:26, 8:17, 8:35, 8:16, 8:14 and then the 8:08.
Friday, September 4, 2009
After a long week, and finally a few days without rain, I got out to Rosaryville State Park for a morning bike ride. Felt a bit out of sorts, but took the opportunity to explore some additional trails that I haven't done before. One trail was quite nice to know about, the other two... errr... brought me to new areas, out to a farm in one case, but not really useful for additional rides in the future. Got to do some technical sections once again, quite nice ride. Overall, looking forward to heading out again...
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Well the Olympic Tri is in two weeks and I had yet to swim anything further than a 200 yd stretch without taking a break, so I decided to get in a 2000 straight. I felt pretty strong, my arms holding up well, even getting in a good sprint for the last 50 yards or so. Hope to get one more swim in before the pool closes on Monday.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Went out for an afternoon run with Cole after working from home for the day. I decided against track due to the recent soreness from this weekend, good thing too. Had a decent run, keeping just under an 8 min mile, but after one of the stops I got going and my left knee gave out a bit. Stopped for a few mins before getting going again, and despite it being a bit weak, I still finished fairly strong. However, I did end up getting some nasty blisters again. Looks like me and mole skin once again.
This year, like last year, I will be riding for Mary Payton's Miracle - My friend Steve Kogos from Trigators informed me that his friend Joe's daughter, Mary Payton, was diagnosed a number of years back with Late Infantile Batten Disease. This is a disease with no cure, however, there are special experimental (and extremely expensive) treatments which have shown some significant signs of success! In order to assist with the costly treatments and research, Mary Payton's Miracle was created to raise money to find a cure, hopefully in time to save little Mary Payton as well as the many others affected by this terrible disease!