Monthly Archives: September 2008

New Marathon World Record, How long could you keep up?

The world record for the marathon was broken on Sunday with a time of 2:03:59.

Here are his splits for the race:
5 km 00:14:35
10 km 00:29:13
15 km 00:44:03
20 km 00:58:50
half 01:02:05
25 km 01:13:41
30 km 01:28:27
35 km 01:43:05
40 km 01:57:34

That got me to thinking about my track workout today and how fast that actually is. I am planning on running just under 4:00 for my marathon or about 8:40 per mile, so a lot of my track workouts are in the 6 to 7 minutes per mile range right now. Which is about 1:40 per 400m.

Haile Gebrselassie’s pace for the marathon was 4:44 minutes per mile. That comes out to a 35.5 second 200m, 71 second 400m, 2:22 800m, 3:33 1200m, and a 9:28 2-mile. I was thinking about how long I would be able to keep up with him and my guess is for probably 600m (Revision after my track workout 100m to 200m ),  at the most, with me doing and all out sprint and him running less then 1/52 of his race.

How long could you keep up?

Government Bailout (Not the one everyone is talking about)

First an interesting article I read from TIME about how we are about to become more French then France.


The sneak attack came in late last night from Washington. The first in a series of $25 billion bail outs to the ‘Big 3’ Motor companies in Detroit (GM, Ford, Chrysler).  They are getting money at a discounted interest rate so that they can spend it to make more efficient and alternate energy cars. The ‘Big 3’ wouldn’t have gotten to this point if they had run their business better, but that’s not the big deal.

The big deal is that Chrysler is included in this program. What’s the big deal with Chrysler? Well if you remember they were purchased by a private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management. So the government is bailing out a private company. I think that is a bigger line to cross then bailing out Wall Street for $700B, there really isn’t much precedent for helping a private company with no stock holders. And looking back at history it seems like the government does something to help Wall Street out every ten years or so.      

Up and Down Sugarloaf Mountain


I did a fun workout last week that I had wanted to do for a while. I drove to the base of Sugarloaf Mountain and went up and down until they closed the park for darkness. I was planning on doing 5 repeats but was only able to do 4 before the park closed. My bike workouts had gotten kind of lazy and this was the kick in the ass I needed to getting going again to get ready for my last race.

It is a fun climb that enjoy doing ad include it on a lot of my rides. It’s about a mile long and you gain around 500 feet in elevation. The top of Sugarloaf is about 100 feet higher but you can’t get that high on a bike. I have gone trail running around Sugarloaf, and ran on trails from the base to the top, it’s a really hard workout. I’m going to do that workout a few more times this fall but I am going to wait until after he marathon so I don’t have to worry about spraining an ankle.

The climb on the bike is not very steep, the road switches back a few times and is mostly long stretches at a constant grade. The Garmin says it is in the high single digits most of the way with a few stretches in the low teens. You can make it harder by cutting the corners tight to increase the grade.

From doing this workout I have also found that I am wuss when it comes to descents. I was on the brakes the entire way down, I just didn’t feel comfortable making high speed turns, I think I will figure it out as I do it more.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to do this workout very often since the days are getting shorter. I will be able to do it on my off Friday every other week though. I don’t think I would do repeats on the weekend because the road is not very wide and there is fair amount of traffic on the weekends but it was part of a longer ride early in the day I would still include it.

I am going to New Hampshire in October and I am looking forward to some real climbs (not really doing that one). Once my marathon is over I think I will venture out to Skyline drive and maybe a few other places this fall to get some more climbing in.

More about homebuying

I have been really surprised about how competitive the foreclosure market has been. The last two weekends I have seen houses that I liked that were listed on a Thursday or Friday and then the next Monday they had multiple offers that they were taking to the bank. Probably one or two of those was more then the asking price as well.

These houses haven’t been in perfect condition either, the one I liked from this weekend would have required the carpet in the entire house to be replaced and some of the others would have required the kitchen to be redone. Going into the process I was expecting to be able to take my time with a decision and maybe offer less then the asking price but it looks like that is not going to happen unless it is a place that needs a lot of work.


Poolesville Day 5k

I ran the Poolesville day 5k today. I decided to do this race since I backed out of the Nations Triathlon last weekend and I haven’t raced in about a month. The race is part of the Poolesville Day celebration and is in it’s 17th year. It runs through the neighborhood going right past the house and is relatively flat.

Race morning all I had to do was roll out of bed and the jog the quarter mile up to the start line. I got to the start about twenty minutes before the race. It was chilly out so I kept jogging and doing quick pickups to stay warm and lose.

I started the race near the front, just behind the high school cross country team. I ran the first mile a little faster then I wanted to but still felt alright, you could see a lot of people going out a lot faster then they should. I settled into my pace for mile two, and then picked it up and was passing a lot of people on the last mile. It was a quick and uneventful race, I probably could have ran the last mile faster but my legs just didn’t want to turn over that fast.

I finished in 21:40 which is about 6:5x minutes per mile. I think I have run faster 5k’s in a few triathlons but those were probably short and not a true 5k, so I will call this a PR. I finished third in the 20-29 age group and 21 overall, of the twenty people ahead of me 11 were on the cross country team. It wasn’t a very fast field but this was the first time I have ever won an award in a running race, so that was cool.

I was surprised that they gave out prize money at this race. They went $100, $75, $50 for overall men’s and women’s. An 11 year old girl came in third overall on the women’s side which I thought was impressive.


And after the race I went and got 10 more miles of running done along the C and O canal.

How to Survive the Eminent Collapse of the Economy

I have thought about this for a few days and developed a full proof plan for how I will make it through this crisis on top and have still have a comfortable retirement.


Short Term:


First I plan on taking sailing lessons then I plan on selling all my stocks and taking every penny I have out of the bank after work today. I am going to keep it in my mattress for a few days and then once gold has reached $1000 again I am going to sink all my money into gold, that and a few pork bellies 🙂



Mid Term:


I figure this is a good two pronged approach to get a jump on the impending doom. The way I imagine this unfolding I will have the pork bellies to use for food for the next couple weeks/months until the stock market goes to 0. Once that happens all my gold will go up exponentially in price and I will be able to buy all the pork bellies I need.  


We will devolve into a barter based economy and I will use my gold to trade for goods and services. I imagine it looking something like this movie after a couple of weeks:




Long Term: 


I will also use to my gold to buy a large sail boat and fishing supplies. Why a sail boat, you might ask. Obviously we won’t have anymore gasoline and wind is a renewable resource so I will be able to get around on my boat. But why a boat?  


The connection that I have yet to see anyone make is how this relates to global warming. The government will have no money or desire to pay attention to the doom that is being caused by the melting of the ice caps and within ten to twenty all the landmass on earth will be covered in water. I will be set because I have my sail boat and fishing supplies. The only problem now will be pirates and other people that have boats. Again I imagine it looking something like this movie:


That is how I envision my adult hood playing out.



I have had the coordinates of the peak of mount Everest tattooed onto my lower back into a code that only I know. I figure that will be the one piece of land that is still visible and because no one else was prepared for the flooding I will one be of the few people that can find dry land and will retire there comfortably.


(In case you don’t rember that is what happens at the end of the movie)


Alternate Plan:

Of course I could be over reacting and this might just be part of a cycle that economy goes through and it has done this is the past. And because I was a disciplined investor I had a diversified portfolio with a certain percentage as cash on hand so that I could take advantage of a drop in the market.



I think I am going to put my cash reserves into the market gradually over the next couple days but I am going to keep an eye on the price of gold and watch Mad Max and Waterworld again because you never know what can happen.

This sounds Familiar

It looks like top executives from some big banks and the Fed having been pulling all nighters trying to get a package together to try and solve the credit crisis and prevent some of the horribly managed banks and investment firms from failing.

Midnight meetings to bail out banks so the whole market doesn’t crash, where I have seen that story before? Oh yeah that’s right it sounds exactly like the prologe to this book:

I read this book last summer when the mortgage issues started to make their way into the headlines and it has been amazing how that mess in the early 90s and the current mess parallel each other. This book is a quick read and I would recommend taking the time to read it if you haven’t already.


In other housing realted news I went and looked at some foreclosed properties this weekend and that was a lot differnt experience then the new construction properties I had been looking at. Some of the homes had just been neglected for a couple of months and it showed. 

There was more then a few that you could see someone intentionally damaged the house. They had thing like a hole taken out of the bathroom sink, door frames broken, a hole punched in the wall, and other things like that. I think it is ridiculous that people are doing that and they need to be held accountable when that happens. You should have know what you were getting into and it’s not the banks fault you couldn’t make you payments.

I found one that really liked in Ashburn, it’s in a great neighborhood and a great price compared to the houses around it, they are ~$400K but I have concerns that there may be some water damage.

Also the bank is trying to get everyone to rush into making offers, the listing went out on Friday and they want all of offers but the end of the day Monday.  Almost all foreclosures area “as is” and apparently with some the banks won’t let you do an inspection before making an offer. WTF is that about?

So I said no thanks to making an offer for Monday and if they don’t get offers they like and open it back up then I’ll take another look.