Monthly Archives: July 2008

Busy July

July was a very busy month for me with a lot of first. Of the four weekends in July only one of them I didn’t have something planned for the entire weekend and two of those I traveled somewhere.

I did my first Peachtree 10k in Atlanta on the fourth of July and had a great time.

I traveled north of New York City for the first time.

I got my first flat tire on a bike ride.

Unfortunately it happened during the bike leg of my first Half Ironman triathlon.

I spent a weekend in DC seeing a lot of sites and museums for the first time.

I tried octopus for the first time.

I started my F.I.R.S.T (Furman Institute of Running & Scientific Training) marathon program (this will be my 3rd marathon)

I am staying bust and starting August off by going to a sprint triathlon on Sunday in Culpeper VA. Maybe I can win my age group at this race and start August off with another first.


Yesterday my long weekend caught up with me. I had six hours worth of training Saturday and Sunday and then two and half on Monday with out as much sleep as I would have liked. It all caught up with me during my bike ride Tuesday.

It was just blah. About 28 miles of suck. I felt much better today and absolutely dominated my tempo run. It was a 1 mile warm up, 5 miles at marathon pace and a 1 mile cool down. My effort level wasn’t really high to keep on pace which is good. Hopeful my run focus will pay off with some good run splits in my triathlons the rest of the year.

Speaking of domination I dominated the “College Challenge” that the BAE Interns put on at work today. I was teamed up with Josh Baker. He was taking it very serious and even brought in a change of clothes.

Event #1 was cornhole. I had never played it before but knew how it worked so I was excited to play. The way it worked was you played against a team of interns, Brandon was talking a lot of trash about how he wasn’t going to lose any games all day. I took a few trys to get it but we were the only team all day to beat them. Dominate….


Event #2 Golf chipping

This event was a 25 yard chip trying to get the ball into a ring. Each person had five minutes to chip and get as many points as they could. The max amount of points you could have was 20. I wound up with 25. Dominate….

Event #3 Football Throw/Trivia

For this one you had to answer four Virginia Tech related trivia questions and for each one you got right you got to throw a football at a target. 4/4 Dominate…

Event #4 Boat Building

This was building a boat of aluminum foil to carry the most pennies. We reached the max of 50. Dominate…

Event #5 Trivia

This was random trivia you got 3 tries at each question, we got them all right. Dominate…

Favorite response of the day. Q: What explorer has a GPS unit named after them? Me: Garmin, Josh:TomTom.  

Event #6 More Trivia

This was trivia about intern program things. We got most of these right.

Event #7 Basketball

We did alright on this one but they changed the rules after us to let people have more shots.


Overall we completely dominated. And what did I get for my effort?

A $100 Gift Card to McCormick and Schmidts seafood. Sweet.

I also had some fun talking trash. I told Brandon ahead of time that me and Josh were going to win and I was going to enjoy my meal. Since we went first there was some time until it was official we won so after lunch I went up and printed out a menu for McCormick’s.

I circled what I wanted and brought it down to show Brandon and the other interns what I was going to have for dinner. They got a kick out of it, and I enjoy pull things like that and talking some trash.


So what did I circle? Crabcakesof course. Yum.

Based on the pictures can anyone complete the quote from one of my favorite movies?





Finish the quote. What Movie? What Character? And last, where was the scene shot?

I have a story about where this part of the movie was shot that I will share later.

I haven’t decided if I want to do this yet but if you can answer the questions maybe you join me when I use the gift card.

Summer in small town America

I would consider Poolesville a small town, my graduating class was just over 100 people and we don’t have a stop light so I’m classifying it as small town. I got a large dose of that small town feel after work yesterday.

I was at a BBQ on Sunday so getting up early to swim didn’t work out. I decided I would go to the outdoor community pool in town. I had actually never been there before and I enjoyed it. For one it was 25 meter pool which I had never swam in before, it took some getting used to going from yards to meters but I enjoyed it.

The ‘pool rats’ as I like to call them were out in full force. That’s what I was growing up, part of the group of little kids that would spend all afternoon playing at the pool. I found it funny that they do all the same things we use to do, try and splash the lifeguard, play sharks and minnows, and have diving competitions. I guess things don’t change that much.

After the pool I went up to the high school track for my run workout. As I was running to the track the neighborhood was full of families walking around and out enjoying the evening. Once I got to the track the youth football program was out doing tryouts/practice. There were little kids running around waiting for their older brother to finish up practice and parents catching up on how the summer had been going.

I went home and it was so nice out I decided to grill some stuff out back and just spend some time outside enjoying the day.  The only thing missing was if they would have been playing a movie or having a concert at the town park.

The point I want to make with this rambling is yesterday I felt like part of a community. I think that feeling is missing in a lot of places in America, and that is the cause of a lot of problems. I image yesterday was what it felt like everyday growing up a few decades ago.

Nowadays everyone gets so caught up in work and being plugged into the Internet, video games, etc..

Next time it’s nice out take the time to spend an evening outside, unplug and just enjoy the day

Busy Weekend

Joe was in town this weekend so I spent it hanging out with him and fitting in my weekend workouts.


This was a day of doing some of the non mainstream DC Tourist things. I met Joe in DC and we picked up some tickets for the Washington Monument tour. We also picked up tickets for the bureau of printing and engraving tour.

Then we walked over to the Jefferson Memorial. I rarely make it over here when I visit DC and it is a very inspirational monument, Jefferson is a very smart guy.

We heading over to the captial to try and get tickets for a tour. Unfortunately they only had tickets for the same time as the Washington Monument tickets later in the day.

Next was the library of Congress. I had actually never been in here before. The architecture and decorations on the inside where fantastic. We spent a lot time in here looking at exhibits. The section on Native Americans and the Europeans was very interesting.

I need to find a reason to come and use the actually library, that would be really cool.

Next we stopped by the Supreme Court, unfortunately the actually courtroom was closed for renovations.

After that a quick lunch and back to the Washington monument.

I have never been to the top of the monument which is kind of sad considering I have lived near DC my entire life. We got lucky with a clear day and had some great views.

After that was the bureau of printing and engraving. This is where they make the money. It was a quick tour taking you through the steps in the process. You weren’t allowed on the factory floor, which I can see why they do that but it was kind of disappointing.

Next we had some time to kill so we went over to the air and space museum. They had two new exhibit since the last time I was there. One was about civil aviation where they had a few mockup cockpits that were interesting.

There was also a new exhibit about UAVs. They are going to play an even bigger role in the armed forces as time goes on. I personally belive it won’t be to long until we start to see more unmanned then manned vehicles out there.

Next we headed back to Ballston and got some dinner at a very good Lebanese place.


It started off with a 13 mile run as the third workout of my marathon training plan. This is the first one I have done in a while. I didn’t leave enough time after eating before I started running and had what can be referred to as “gastrointestinal distress” so I got a quick 2 mile loop back home that I wasn’t planning on. The run actually went really well. I was able to hold the pace I was looking for and felt like I not was working working hard at all.

In the afternoon we went over to the Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport. This is another great museum and must see if you are even sligthly inerested in aviation.

Next was the always good Gordon Biersch over in Tysons Corner.


Started with my long bike ride. I put together a couple of after work loops and made a 50 miler that included a climb of sugarloaf again. I average just under 18 mph for the ride and considering I was on my rode bike and the climb I am happy with that speed. The weather was cool and ride was good except for one spot they where repaving which made me hesitant based on my past expirences.

Some thunderstorms where going through so we waited until the afternoon and went to the DC fish market to pick up some fresh fish to grill. I wound up getting some sea bass and shrimp.

Joe also picked up some octopus. I had never had that before and it was good, it’s tougher than other sea food. Everything turned out good on the grill and fresh sea food on the grill is always fantastic.

Overall this was a fun and busy weekend.

Today’s Headlines

I saw some interesting articles that I thought I should share.

What is it with people in New Zealand and baby names. I saw this one last year about a couple that wanted to name the baby 4real but couldn’t because it started with a number, so they named him Superman. It appears that a judge has finally decided that he has had enough and will let a nine year old girl change her name. 

You may be wondering what her name is. Well it’s “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii”. WFT are these people thinking. I think that is inexcusable for the parents to do that to a child.

Here are some other names that were reject by the government:

“Among the names Murfitt cited: twins named Benson and Hedges — after a brand of cigarettes; Violence; and Number 16 Bus Shelter.”

“The Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages said in a statement that it had rejected names including Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi — a staple food in Polynesian cuisine — and Sex Fruit.”


Hereis another good one. According to Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Apllo 14 astronaut and one of the few men to walk on the moon we have been in contact with aliens and it has been covered up by the governments for over six decades. He said this during a recent radio interview which you can find here. According to Dr. Mitchell Roswell was real. The aliens are ‘technologically superiour’ and it’s good they are not hostile because they would have wiped us out. Also according to his description of the aliens they are tiny and look like this guy:

My name is Andrew and I have a problem…

…with buying triathlon related things.

I was out in the garage today after I got back from a run and noticed all of the triathlon related things that I have accumulated in the last ten months and the amount of money I have spent.

It began with getting a rode bike with my winnings from the Vegas trip.

There was also the purchase of bike clothes, shoes, helmet and car rack at this point.

Next was a wetsuit because you know it’s cold swimming in those early season races.

I did my first race and figured triathlon specific bike shoes would be a good idea

Then I got some fancy running shoes. I actually like these so much I just a new, lighter pair for races today.


After a few more races and when I was really sure I am going to be doing this for a while came the triathlon bike purchase.

Well you can’t have a fancy triathlon without an aero helmet and a set of race wheels. It’s just one of those things you have to do.



Then there was the Ironman race in Rhode Island and everything that went into that.


This doesn’t include all the race fees, hotels, and other triathlon related clothing purchases I have made.



On second thought…

Maybe I don’t have a problem. I enjoy all the aspects that go into triathlon training and racing. I love putting in the hard work and seeing the results, which have been surprising good so far. So I am  going to go with no I don’t have a problem.


Note: Based on the title of my last two posts I may be getting some traffic from A.A. related searches in the next few days.

Back on the Wagon

After deciding what I want to do for the rest of the year it is time to get back to some serious training after taking it easy last week.

Monday started with an early morning swim. This was the first time I had gotten up at 4:45 in my morning for swimming in a while. It wasn’ to bad and I enjoy the feeling of getting a lot accomplished really early in the day and find it gets me going for the whole day. For the rest of the year I am going to spend a lot of my time working on technique and hope that pays off in some faster swim splits.

Monday afternoon was the first workout of my marathon training plan. I decided I am going to use the Furman Institute of Running & Scientific Training plan from the book I have. Instead of traditional high mileage plans that have you running 5-6 days a week this plan is based on three key workouts each week and then cross training, this workouts great for triathlon training. The workouts are focused and difficult and I found that out on Monday.

Monday was a track workout of a 10 minute warm-up, 3×1600 m (~1 mile) with 1 minute of rest, and a 10 minute cool-down. I Doesn’t sound to hard but what makes it tough is the pace.  My splits where just under 7:00 for the first two which was the goal and the last was at 7:15 which was little slow, the lack of rest between sets got to me. Tomorrow I have a tempo run to look forward to.

I want to wait a couple of weeks and then I am going to write up what I think of this plan but it looks like it should result in big improvements.


Today I went on one of my favorite bike rides in the area up to Sugarloaf Mountain.

I really like biking this route and climbing up Sugarloaf, it is very challenging and scenic. You go through rolling farmland, old churches, and small towns without a lot of traffic. This route brings out a lot of cyclists from DC and the surrounding area. You get a good mix of the really good bikers with their team gear on, some triathletes, the groups of older people out getting some exercise. And lastly is my favorite that I have seen out here a few times….


The unicycle guy.

Yes there is a guy on a unicycle out on the road. I have only seen him when he is going up a hill and it was a fairly step one, I wonder how fast he goes when going downhill? It seems like he is really good at it though and can move along fairly fast. This is the second unicycle guy that I have seen this year, the other was back in Atlanta at running trail in the Chattahoochee park. The Maryland one seems to be much better though.

Rest of the Year


So I have decided what I am going to do for the rest of the year. I will do the Patriot’s Half race in early September in Williamsburg, VA instead of the Austin Half in early October.

Two main things went into this decision. If I did the Austin Half in October I wouldn’t be able to the Marnie Corps Marathon at the end of October. I want to do a marathon this year and think I can blow away my two previous results. This will also force me to do a lot more running which would be  good thing.

Second is $$$. Austin would require a flight, hotel, bike transport,etc. I priced it out and conservative estimate would be slightly over $1,000. I don’t want to spend that much for a race this year.

Willimsburg should be fun, it’s been a while since I’ve been there so I might take a few days off work and go around after the race and visit Busch Gardens.

The Patriots Half is also part of the Virginia triathlon series. I am going to do some shorter races through the rest of the year and should have enough events to qualify for the end of seasons awards so I’ll see if I can win something in that.

Looking ahead the Patriots Half is a special qualifier for the 2009 USA Triathlon Halfmax National Championships. To qualify I would need to finish in the top 33% of my age group, and based on how I have done in local/regional level races this year I think that is achievable. The race would be in November 2009 so it might line up with airshow out there, or just be another excuse to go back to Vegas.

Ironman Rhode Island Race Photos

Here are the professional Photos from the Race


This one is from when I was getting ready to go for a swim on Saturday after checking in the bike. Ah it’s so white I’m blinded. It’s more of the lighting from the photo then my awesome farmers tan, but I do need to spend some more time at the beach. I might play around with this one in photoshop and see what I can do.


Getting out of the water. I’m not picking a wedgie I’m reaching to unzip the back of my wetsuit so I can take it off.

Getting started on the bike

Out on the bike course

Out on the run


Finishing up. Subtract 1:05:00 for my time, and considering the half hour lost with the flat tire issues I’m happy with that. Sub 5:40:00 is very achievable for next time.


Post Race picture.

Year to date summary

So far this year:

Total workout time: 258 hours 34 minutes average 9 hours per week

Total Swim Distance: 169,082 yards average 6,038 yards per week

Total Bike Distance: 1,896 miles average 70 miles per week

Total Run Distance: 409 miles average 14 miles per week


I am satisfied with this for the first half of my inagural triathlon season. For a non rest week those averages are a little higher and I did miss some time with the injury and moving but I did a very good building a good base without doing it to fast and hurting myself.

Looking at the numbers I definetly need to spend more time running the rest of year. If I can get my average up to a consistent high 20s week I should see some big improvements. 

I have a good endurance base with my swimming and now I need to take some time to improve my technique. I probably should have done it the other way around, technique then endurance but oh well.