Monthly Archives: September 2009

Flat tires and Alpacas

For my Saturday ride I went out early to get ahead of the afternoon rain. I did my Middletown ride which includes a climb with a couple of very steep sections, it tops out at 15% in the first section, and 12.5% at the end.



I find that climbs like this that are short and steep are a lot harder for me then longer more gradual climbs like along skyline drive.

I was having a very good ride until about 30 miles in when I got a flat on my front tire and I almost crashed going around a corner. I got the tire changed and went riding again. It turns out I also had a flat on rear wheel. Which sucked because I only brought one spare tube with me so I pumped it back up and rode back with a semi-flat tire. I think what happened was I hit a pothole at high speed and it caused a “pinch” flat in both wheels were the tube gets stuck on the rim and punctures. This is probably what happened because when I got home I took both tires off and looked for any debris or cuts and didn’t find any. I decided to change the tires to a pair I had sitting around the garage anyway and I haven’t had any trouble since.

I have been very happy with biking the last couple of weeks, and where my power numbers are at. I have put in a lot of miles and a ton of climbing so I’m excited to see how this translates to my race this weekend where I doing an Olympic distance race on Saturday and a spring on Sunday.


There is an Alpaca farm near Frederick that I also drive by and they had an open house so I stopped by to see what they look like up close. They are some hideous looking animals.


They are very docile as evident by little kids running around with them and that they are very friendly with feeding.



Alpacas are a lot like sheep because their main function is for wool. They had some things for sale at the open house so I might go back in a couple of days and get some Alpaca gloves.


Skyline Drive

I went biking on Skyline drive in Front Royal, VA on Friday. All I can say is WOW! That was an awesome bike ride. I’m kind of upset I didn’t got there earlier this summer. I got there really early in the morning and there was not a lot of car traffic, I think I saw more cyclists then cars but later in the day when I was done the park was starting to get crowded. I could see if being a bit of hassle if you went ride on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

I rode an out and back loop for a total of 40 miles.


This is going to be my new computer wallpaper:


Since there isn’t any parking at the entrance to the park I started at the visitors center about 5 miles into the park about 1,000 feet higher then the entrance. I started my ride by descending back to the visitors center and climbing back up instead of getting the large climb at the end of my ride. Really I didn’t think it was a bad climb, just get in the right gear and spin my way up. Having the power meter was nice because I could get a reasonable watts and just stick to that number.

I would consider this my first ride of serious climbing and my descent from the visitors station was fast and chilly, I had on a wind breaker but my teeth were still chattering. Even after the first climb it was still a lot of climbing the rest of the way but it never really got that steep and I was able to keep a good rhythm most of the ride.

While stopping for pictures I forgot to restart my Garmin and because the next few miles were a fast 30+ mph descent I wasn’t looking at my computer so I didn’t notice it for a while. It looks like the software took the last point before I stopped and the point where I started and just interpolated a straight line between the two for all the measures.




Here is an album of pictures that I took along the way.

This was a very cool ride and one I plan to do again. It should get even better as the colors change this fall.

Timberman Triathlon


Pre race

Lots of prerace stuff in the days before. The trip to New Hampshire worked out perfectly with my brother returning from school work for the summer in Grenada so the trip to New Hampshire involved a stop at JFK to pick him up.




The day before the race was packet pickup at the Gunstock ski resort. On the way there we stopped and picked ups some lobster rolls, yum!


They had the lift open so I went up to the top after getting my race packet. The views were amazing and the lakes region in New Hampshire is gorgeous.


The race took place off to the right off this picture.


Overall (5:43:42, 58 AG, 652 overall)

This was about the result I was expecting given the lack of focus in training post Eagleman. As for the race, the course and surrounding area is beautiful and defiantly worth a trip up here. Logistically it is a bit of a hassle in the morning because there is only one entrance to the park so when it come to race morning the earlier the better.

The community support is great. I saw lots of people cheering on the bike course, and the run course was packed with spectators and themes at all the aid stations. These guys made an appearance at the swim start and also appeared on the run course as well. Why drag? I don’t know but it helped to lighten the mood and relax everyone before the race.


Swim (35:48, 659 Overall)

The race start was delayed by 45 minutes because someone on the bike course had an accident with a deer and police needed to clear out the area. After that got taken of things go going again and went smoothly, I was in the 9th wave so I warmed up for a bit and wondered over to start the race.


The lake for the swim was gorgeous. It was crystal clear and surrounded by mountains with fogs and clouds burning off all morning. Not really much to say about the swim, it was another race with about the same time. I think all my half ironman swims have been within 30 seconds of each other. I guess I am consistent? I lost the main group I was with in the middle of the swim when we caught up to the slower people in the earlier wave so I was putting out more effort then I should have been.


Not me but I thought this was a good picture of what the swim looks like at a big ironman race.


Bike (2:48:02, 20 mph average, 533 overall)

This result was on par with what I was expecting and given what the course actually looked like I am very happy. The first and last ten miles were very hilly. It didn’t look that bad on the course profile but after driving the course and then riding it, there is some climbing.



The middle section is actually very fast and if you are light and climb well you could easily put together a fast time on this course. I don’t climb very fast but I put in the effort that I wanted and kept my watts where they needed to be.




Run (2:12:59, 10:10 pace, 847 Overall)

1) I need to run more

2) I need to learn to suck it up and not start walking

That’s really all there is to say about the run.



I made it through the first loop but the second turned into a run/walk/shuffle. I haven’t been running as much I should be so this was expected but it’s always disappointing.

The course it’s self was great, it was two loops along the lake with tons of aid stations and crowd support.


Post Race

This was race number 2 for the year that I got my medal from Chrissie Wellington. That’s always a treat, and she seems like a genuinely nice person.


I grabbed some food and sat down. This is me realizing I probably ate too much and I’m not going to be feeling good in a few minutes. We hung out for few minutes, and I went in the lake to cool off for a few minutes.


I got change and we headed out for the 2 hour drive. This is about ten minutes into the car ride back to Keene to drop my brother off at school. I just passed out when my head hit pillow and I think I slept for 10 more hours that night.