Monthly Archives: January 2009

Off Friday

I had another off Friday this week and it was a nice day with a high of 55* so I took advantage of it.

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I the day by going swimming. This was the first time I went swimming in a LONG time, the middle of October to be exact. It took me twenty minutes of searching around the house to find a pair of goggles.

My swim wasn’t as bad I was thinking. I swam for 2000 yards and for the first 500 I was able to swim at last years pace, but I got tired as it wore on and today my shoulders feel like they are going to fall off. I was happy with the workout and going to try and start swimming once a week as m off season winds down and the season starts again.

It was warm enough outside that all the ice and snow had melted and I was able to ride my bike outside very comfortably so I took advantage of it. I rode out of town to Sugar-loaf mountain, and climbed it and headed home. I rode just short of 30 miles. On the way back it got very windy and I was getting blown around the road.

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You can find the workout here. This was the first time I rode outside with my power-meter (review coming soon) and it definitely is a lot easier to put out higher watts outside then on the trainer, but a lot harder to be consistent with the output. Looking through the data I was surprised to see that 14% of the time I was not pedaling.

I finished the day off with a short 3 mile run. As it starts to warm up I want to make this a regular occurrence of getting in some extra bike miles.

Oh, and as I write this Maryland just lost to Duke 85-44, ouch!!

Damn Cold

It has been cold, cold, cold the last few days. Crossing the ferry this morning was interesting. Sheets of ice were floating down the Potomac bumping into the side of the ferry.

The ferry is on a cable and when it’s really cold the cable can have ice build up on it and jam the pulley so they have come up with a very high tech solution to combat this problem. A Fire Bucket. They have a bucket with a flame in it hanging below each pulley to thaw the cable.

I guess it didn’t work well enough today because the Ferry was closed this afternoon and I had to go around the beltway instead.

I just got done running and it was so cold I got some sweaticles.

Rest of this Year

I wrote earlier about my plans and goals for this year. The second half of the year is still up in the air depending on what happens with qualifying for other races. I think I am going to run a late season 1/2 or full marathon so I need one that isn’t going to fill up fast so I register in the fall. I did some searching and think I found one I like, the Las Vegas Marathon in December. Because any excuse to go to Vegas is a good one.

Thinking about the rest of 2009 got me to think about what race I want to do in 2010 and I came up with a good one, I better start saving now.

 The Monaco Half Ironman. How awesome would that be to go to the Monte Carlo Casino, maybe visit France and some other places in Europe for a week or two. Plus I have never been to Europe and I did take 3 years of French so I should have some of it left in my brain wanting to come out.

The Bike looks tough with 3 significant climbs. It looks you climb out of town and then ride through France then the run goes through downtown on a similar route to the famous Formal 1 race course. 

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 The next step is to read some reports from the people that have done this race to make sure it really is as good as it seem. Then price out how much it would cost and decide.

If I am going to do this race I would need a support crew to come along with because going somewhere like Vegas or Monaco is not as fun if you go by yourself. Just like everything else in Monaco the race directors have thought of something to keep rich guests busy during the day, the VIP spectator program. 

What do you get with the VIP program? A VIP breakfast and special access to the start area. Another VIP area with cocktails and food on the balcony of the Hotel de Paris, and a meet and greet with champions of the race. You also get a special VIP aid station out of the bike course.

Well if you have a VIP area at the start, how do you get out on the bike course if the roads are going to be closed? On a private helichopter that’s how. 

 

Sounds like fun. I probably won’t have the money to do this but what an awesome experience it would be.

Pancakes

Yesterday for breakfast I made some Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream. They were very easy to make and turned out fantastic.  I think the cream filled me up because after two smallish pancakes I was stuffed.

 

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 Later in the day I went to the bike shop to pick up a few little things. I have been contemplating buying a new road bike and possibly trying road racing in 2010 so I talked with someone in the store for a few minutes about the new 2009 bikes and if they had any 2008 closeouts left. One thing lead to another and I wound up taking a 2009 Cervelo R3 out for a test ride. All I can say is WOW what a great bike, it was so much lighter and stiffer then my current road bike it was absolutely amazing. I probably shouldn’t have ridden it because now I really want one.

New Years Resolution

I’m not a big fan of new years resolutions. I think if you want to change or do something new there is no need to wait for the new year to start. Get it done now.

So while I don’t have any New Years resolutions I will share some of my goals for the 2009 Triathlon season.

My Big race for the first half of next year is the Eagleman half Ironman triathlon, so here are my goals for that:

  1. Beat my half Ironman time from last year (as long as I don’t get another flat, this is a given)
  2. Break 5 hours (35:00 swim, 2:35 bike, 1:45 run, 5:00 for transitions) 
  3. If I get lucky get a slot for the half Ironman world championships  

Other racing goals:

  1. Break 20 min in a 5k
  2. Break 1:40 in a half marathon
  3. Go under 2:20:00 in an Olympic distance triathlon

I’m not going to set goals for the second half of the year because depending on what I happens with goal #3 for Eagleman I might have another half Ironman in November, but if not I will probably do a marathon, or another half marathon.

There are intermediate steps that go into meeting these goals, it will be hard work but I know they are in reach. I had a good first triathlon season and I’m looking to keep the ball rolling heading into this year.

Harpers Ferry

Last week I went hiking with my brother in Harpers Ferry West Virginia. Harpers Ferry is where Maryland, VA, and WV meet and the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. Because of this the town is surrounded by high ground and there is some nice hiking and views.

The Appalachiancan trail and C&O canal run through town, there is rafting during the summer, and a  lot of Civil War history took place here so it’s a great place to visit.

 The hike we did was up to what is know as Maryland Heights and was about 8 miles of hiking. We parked in Virginia and walked through town, crossed the river and went along the C&O to get to the trail head. 

Here is a satellite photo of the area, and the elevation profile. The hike was not technical but I was surprised at how hard it was to get up some of the steep sections on the way up the trail.

For the hike I used my new GPS toys that I am going to write about in a week or two once I get a chance to try something else out.

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 Maryland heights has two trails, the more strenuous one is the first peak on the elevation photo and the long skinny section on the GPS. Once you got near the top you went along a ridge and had some great views of the valley and back into Maryland. If you come back during the fall there should be a lot of great foliage views.

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The second peak on the chart is the less strenuous trail and takes you to some rock ledges overlooking Harpers Ferry where the rivers meet. 

Below are some of the pictures taken throughout the day. All told it was 3 hours of hiking including all the stops and picture taking.

I had a great time and the hiking was harder then I thought it would be and I am looking forward to doing it again, I might going hiking somewhere near skyline drive.

MCRRC New Year’s Day 5k

I ran a New Years day 5k with the Montgomery County Road Runners Club. And it was cold! Luckily the race started at 10 so it had warmed up a little bit.

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The race was in Gaithersburg back in an industrial park and was a two loop course with a couple of quick hills. I did a MCRRC race in November and was happy with the low entry fee and organization of the races, so before the race I signed up to be a MCRRC member and am now able to enter MCRRC races free for the rest of the year. I am also planning on going to some of the weekly runs with the club.

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I warmed up before the race and got ready to go. The race made a hard right hand turn 200 yards after the start so I lined up towards the front and went hard from the get go to avoid the squeeze of people. I wound up going a little harder then I wanted for the first mile and ran a 6:30. I paid for this latter in the race and slowed down significantly.

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I made it through the first loop feeling good and on pace to break 21:00. Going up the little hill on the second lap I started to tire and slowed down on the second loop.

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I tried to pick it up a notch the last quarter mile but just didn’t have anything and finished in 21:03. Close to my goal but I didn’t get it, although I was 8 seconds faster then my best so this was another PR.  

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I would really like to be able to break 20 minutes by the end of February and I think that is as reasonable goal and one I can achieve.

 

Also here a couple of good pictures for the fist two runners early in the race. If you come across these and want the picture shoot me an email (howarda20837@gmail.com) and I can send them to you.

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