Monthly Archives: November 2008

Charts

Here are some charts that I made with home price data from the census bureau, data is from 2006 to 1975 and is in 2006 dollars. The trends are what is important. The homeprices are median home price and income is median household income.

charts

Oh, home ownership went up to the highest levels every at the same time the difference between home price and income was the greatest. That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. And that disaster is happening now.

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Weird Night at the Track

Wednesdays are going to be tempo runs of about an hour for the foreseeable future. Most of these intervals are 1.5 to 2 mile range and the workout comes in around 6-8 miles total so that can get kind of boring on the track.

I had the great idea this week to do the run right after work so that I get to run in the daylight, and I packed up everything the night before but when I go out to the back from car after work it looks kind of empty. Turns out I forgot to pack my shoes and it’s hard to a run in these:

 

So I had to go home and do my run in the dark again.

 

It was cold, windy, and dark already so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone else at the track but to my surprise I was not alone.  

Here is what I saw:

  • A high school kid who was probably a wrestler trying to make weight because he was running stadium steps with about ten layers of clothes on to sweat off those last few pounds
  • A couple walking around the track with a dog. Both of them were talking on the cell phone most of the time. The dog seemed very confused by the headlamp each time I went by, I don’t think he ever figured out it was a person.
  • When I was almost done an older guy came out wondered around the football field on the inside of the track. He had a flashlight duck taped to the end of a tree limb/stick that he was carrying over his shoulder.

Also I got tickets and am going to the Maryland Flordia State game Saturday night.

2008 Year Summary

Yearly Totals:

Training: 400 Hours

year-weekly-hours1

Swimming: 79 Hours, 195,000 yards

swimming-weekly-time

Biking:  145 Hours, 2,500 miles

bike-weekly-time

Running:  117 Hours, 787 miles

running-weekly-hours

Largest Weeks

Swimming: 10,100 yards

swimming-weekly-distance

Biking: 120 miles

bike-weekly-miles

Running: 30 miles

running-weekly-miles 

 

I would consider my first season of triathlon to be a success. I have learned a lot of lessons and know I have a ton of room for improvement. The one “secret” I have learned is that to be competitive in the races it is all about the run.

I have been pleasantly surprised with the couple of age group podium finishes that I have had this year but there have also been a few races that I was in podium position after the bike and then got passed on the run.

The plan for the year was originally going to the centered around an Olympic distance race in July and the Beach 2 Battleship Half Ironman Race Nov 2 as the two major races. It turns out a wedding got scheduled to take place in November so I had to change things around and did the Rhode Island Half Ironman race in July and the Marine Corps marathon in October as the two major “A” races.

In hindsight this was a good decision because I was able to get ready for the half ironman and then focus on my run the second half of the year. Another result was my biking and swimming volume went down a lot in the second half of the year which was helpful with being able to get settled in at work.

Having the overall training volume cut down for the second half of the year helped me stay training related injury free. The only injury all year were the sprained ankle, and the bike crash, I actually have a scar on my ankle from the bike crash. 

You can see all of my race reports by clicking on the links on the sidebar of the blog. For the “A” races, the marine corps was a PR by a wide margin but I just do not have a solid enough mileage base to run quick times at that distance. The Rhode Island race was frustrating, I was in great shape and was having a great bike leg until I got the flat and had trouble fixing it. It left me wanting another crack at the distance and I am looking forward to laying down a fast time at Eagleman in June. Looking back at my races I think my “best” race in terms of pacing was Lurary because I was able to have a solid run after a difficult bike leg. 

Swimming

It’s amazing how much of an improvement I have made in swimming. At the start of the year I hadn’t swam laps since I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and was never on the swim team. I jumped in the pool and struggled to swim 100 yards in under 2 minutes. I have worked my way to point where the distance is not an issue it’s just getting faster with technique improvements and more hard work.

Getting the time to swim was a lot easier when I was at Georgia Tech when I could swim at the rec center in the middle of the day, but now with work it requires a 4:30 am wakeup call.

Looking back at the results for the year my swim times have been a little better then middle of the pack. My focus for the winter is going to be  lot of technique work rather then a lot of volume. Swimming is really the only leg of the triahlon that is technique based and because I don’t have a background it would be a large time commitment to get towards front of the pack and my time is going to be better spent then accumulating massive amounts of yards in the pool.  

Biking

This is another one that I went from zero experience to racing in less then a year. I had a little bit of background from BMX racing but ZERO experience in road biking. I was able to get a road bike last fall with some winnings from a trip to Vegas (I’ll write about that story later if you haven’t heard it).

I learned to ride and got comfortable by spending a lot of time on the Silver Comet trail in Atlanta last year. I have been surprised with how much I enjoy the biking and look forward to doing it a lot more next year, I think it’ the fact you can cover so much distance and see new places. On the Silver Comet trail one day I almost biked all the way out to Alabama and back, I was about 10 miles short before I turned around. 

When I got back to Maryland for work it took a while to get comfortable riding on the roads but that has opened up an entirely new dimension of riding. I feel that adding the varied terrain and climbing has improved my biking tremendously. That and the addition of my Cervelo P2C. Biking has been my strongest leg and by continuing to work hard I want to make it even better.

Running

I had been doing a decent amount of running and completed the Atlanta Marathon in November of 2007 so I had a decent base of miles coming into the year, a lot of it was just slow miles. I put in a lot of hard work in the second half of the year and I have set PRs at all racing distances this year taking 4 minutes off my 10K (was part of a triathlon so standalone will probably be more), 8 minutes off my half marathon, and about 30 minutes off my marathon PR. I am really going to put in a lot of effort this winter on my run and am looking forward to setting some new PRs on everything next year. Even with these improvements I am still just ahead of middle of the pack in the run leg of most triathlons so I know improving in this area I can make up the most ground.  

Next Year

Right now Columbia and Eagleman are the only things on the calender. Eagleman is the main goal for the first half of the year. For the second half of the year I am leaning towards the Augusta Half Ironman race. Hopefully I can get a Clearwater slot for the half Ironman world championships at one of those races. That is a “stretch” goal but is something I think could be in my reach if everything goes right.

I also want to do enough races in the Setup Events Virginia Triathlon Series to qualify for the points standings. There are a couple of races at Lake Anna that I plan on doing and I liked Lurray so I might do that again. I need to decide the “A” race for the second half of the year and then build everything around that. I don’t think I am going to do another Marathon next year but will probably do a half at the start and end of 2009.

Last year I tried to develop my  own training plan and had a decent amount of success. Looking back the problem was a lot of my bikes and runs where all at the same pace, I didn’t have a goal for each workout or do much interval work. From the marathon training I saw how much improvement can be made from a consisent base of intervals and I want to incorporate that into my biking and running more. 

This year I have a training plan that I am going to use to get me through the winter and get ready for Eagleman. It is exactly what I was looking for with lots of focused intervals on the bike and run and technique work on the swim without a lot of volume. Plus I don’t have to worry about creating my workouts I just do whats on the plan.

Looking ahead to next year I am really excited about what I have planned and how I will fill out the rest of my year. I am also excited about the prospects of taking home more hardware (awards) and the outside chance of a clearwater slot.  

Awkward

Bush and Obama met this week and it seems like it went really well and they had some productive conversations.

In the spirit of goodwill and cooperation Bush has decided to show the Obama campaign Dick Chaney invited Joe Biden and his wife to his home lair at the Naval Observatory today to discuss the transition of power.
In the past Biden has said Dick Cheney is “probably the most dangerous vice president we’ve had” andBiden has also said he will not run his vice presidency like a “shadow operation”.

That’s going to be an awkward first couple of minutes today. 

Mr. Biden, even if things seem to go well today and Cheney ask you to come back to meet with him again and maybe go hunting, just say no. It’s all part of his evil plan. 

Round and Round

Today was a track workout, so round and round I went. I ran in the dark with the headlamp again and I’m getting use to it. I actually like running around the track at night, it’s very peaceful. No one else is around and it’s completly silent. Today the problem was that it started to rain halfway through my workout. It was in the low 50’s so it wasn’t to bad outside but I forgot to put gloves on so now my hands are all tried out from the cold and wind.

The good news is that my legs feel like they are completely recovered from the marathon. I was doing my mile repeats at a zone 4 heart rate which is a hard but not an all out effort and I was able to keep the splits all right at6:40 which is where I was at leading up to the marathon so that is good news. I think a realistic goal for the next couple months is to break 21:00 minutes in a 5k.

They’re all laughing at me

Today’s workout was an hours worth of intervals on the bike inside and then quick 30 minute run. This gave me a chance to try out my new toy:

headlamp1

I was also wearing a reflective vest for safety even thought I was on sidewalks most of the time.

The returns were mixed. The headlamp worked great, it stayed in place and the spots on my run where the street lights are spaced far apart the headlamp was enough for me to see where I was stepping. The negative is I looked like a total dork and got laughed at by two different people out walking their dog, one snicker and one laugh. I think what contributed to this is for about 85% of my run I don’t need the light and if I was out for a walk there would be no need for it at all, the issue is my history of sprained ankles so any help I can get I’ll take.

I guess I’ll just have to deal with the looks, because it’s going to look even funnier tomorrow night when I run around the track with my light on

Getting Back to it

I took a couple of weeks off after the marathon and this week felt rested up enough to start training again. So I started my “off-season” training plan. It is not going to be a lot of volume, about 6-7 hours a week because of the limited day light I have available. Since they are shorter it is going to be a lot of high intensity intervals, and lots of hard work. It is going to be light on the swimming, about once or twice a week, I just see the ROI of getting up at 4:00 am every morning to go swimming when my next big race isn’t until June.

One of the things I did this week was a 5k to gauge my fitness and set some heart rate training zones. I did the Candy Cane City 5k put on by the Montgomery County Road Runners Club. It was a club race so it only cost $5 and was a lot more then I was expecting, I wasn’t even expecting race numbers. I ran a 22:10 which was 20 sec slower the pre marathon 5k, I guess my legs are still a little tired, and the 5 pounds I put on since the marathon probably didn’t help either. The race was in Rock Creek Park, which I haven’t been to in a long time but I can remember taking trips to this park when I was younger (~4-5 years old) to visit the horse barn. 

One of the reasons I like Montgomery county so much was this weekends outdoor activities. I did the 5k in Chevy Chase, which actually went into DC a little bit and is very Urban feeling and then I did my 30 mile bike ride this morning on back roads in western Montgomery county and saw about ten cars the entire ride.

Because most of my workouts are intervals at certain heart rate zones I decided to use the workout feature on my garmin for the first time today. You create the workout on the computer, upload it and garmin beeps at you if you are out of the desired zone. I was very impressed with the feature and kind of upset I have not taken advantage of this in the year that I have had the device, I am going to be using it a lot more.

I am also starting to look into what I want to do with the next year. I already have Eagleman in June and the Columbia Triathlon in May. I am leaning heavily towards the new Augusta half ironman race at the end of September as the big race for the second half of the year.

For filling out the rest of the year I am thinking about St Anthony’s Triathlon, and possibly something like the Longhorn half Ironman or Las Vegas Marathon or Half Marathon     to end the year depending on how things are going. I enjoyed the Set Up Events races I did this year and will try to fit a few in. I am also would to get back to Atlanta for the ING Hal Marathon.  And then there is always the possibility of a trip to Vegas for Aviation Nation in early November.