Monthly Archives: January 2010

10 Mile Training Run

1 mile warmup, 10 miles @ Marathon Pace (7:25 min/mile), 1 mile cooldown.

That was my running workout for Saturday and I hit it exactly right.


I wanted to run with as few interruptions from street lights as crossings as possible so I went to Leesburg to run on the W&OD trail.


After the warm-up I was able to get the 10 miles done in just over an hour and fourteen minutes for a 7:25 minutes per mile pace which was exactly the pace I was shooting for with this workout. It’s not a race but this would be have been a 10 mile personal best for me, I ran a 1:15:10 last spring.


But the part about this workout that I am most excited about is that once I got into a grove it didn’t feel like a hard effort and I still had a lot life let in my legs towards the end, all of this was at the end of a 35 mile running week too.

This feeling is backed up by the heart rate data from the workout. The fact that my heart rate stays level the entire time of the intervals (spike down was a bathroom stop) means that I wasn’t running out of endurance and that I could hold that pace much longer. If I was getting tired one of two things would have happened, I would have slowed down, or my heart rate would have drifted upwards as I had to work harder to maintain the same pace. The fact that neither one of those happened is a good thing.


So things keeping moving the right direction for having a good half marathon this spring.

Ga Tech Alumni Dinner

I went the winter dinner for the DC Chapter of the Georgia Tech alumni association last week to hear P.W. Singer talk about his most recent book.

I read the book over Christmas break and enjoyed it. It talks about the rise of robotics and how it has impacted war. He spends the second half of the book talking these changes might create ethical and legal issues. He writes by using a lot stories and pop culture references so it is a good read especially if you aren’t familiar with the topic. He makes it easy to visualize and understand what he is talking about. 

For his talk at dinner he did something similar presentation to his TED talk which is a very good summary of the key ideas in the book and he tells some of the stories as well. The book is 400 pages long so if you don’t have the time for that check out the video, it’s about 15 minutes. He was also on the Daily Show last year.

After the talk he stuck around to answer some questions from the group and I got my book signed.

Happy MLK day

I had a great time with my day off work for MLK day. The weather was perfect for spending some time outside. It actually got warmer then this, I think it made it into the mid 50’s this afternoon.


I started off the day by filling up with some Pumpkin Pancakes from Mimi’s cafe that were very good.

Next was a trip to Cunningham Falls State Park. The park is in Thurmont and right next to Camp David were the President goes for weekends away from DC. And as the name implies the main attraction is a waterfall.


It involved a half mile trial from the parking to the base of the falls.



I started out with some pictures from the viewing area but it was kind of crowed and not very good for pictures. So I wandered around the rocks and found some good spots to take pictures of the falls and .






But I decided to do some hiking and I climbed my way to the top of the falls. I saw some deer on the way up who seemed confused that someone would be climbing up. Can you find them in the picture below?


By climbing I got to see a whole section of falls that wasn’t visible from below.


I was the only one up there, it was like I had my own private forest.


IMG_0210 IMG_0209

I started to my way back down and it was a lot more treacherous then way up. A combination of rocks, slick moss, and ice made footing a big issue.


One section on the way down involved me sliding down an 8-10 foot rock that was too slick and steep to walk down.


This should give you a sense of the size of the first section of the falls. Looking down from my spot near the top:


Looking up:


I actually climbed a fair bit higher then these guys are and I went up and around the left side of this picture.

I had a really good time exploring the area around the falls and getting to take pictures with my new camera toy. I haven’t had a chance to edit any of the photos so after I do that they should be visible in flickr album off the right of the page.

I also took a quick trip to Sugarloaf to take pictures. But this time of year things are really blah and not that interesting.




I finished the day with some workouts. I started with my second bike ride in 3 days. It’s that time of year to get back to biking.


I’m happy my bike power hasn’t fallen off too much in the last couple months. I took off the last half of November and all of December from biking just to focus on running so It’s good to see things have completely fallen apart on the bike.


After the bike I went out for a run and it was so warm I was able to run in a pair of shorts! I wanted to do a trail run today so I headed to the greenway tail but forgot that it rained all day yesterday and this trail was basically flooded.


I decided to try the C&O canal instead and it worked out much better.


I was right across the river from what I think is the Landsdowne Golf course.



I was better for running but as you can see by the shoes post run it was still a muddy mess.

IMGP0108 IMGP0116  

So overall it was a very productive MLK day.

MCRRC Shooting star 4 miler

I had another Montgomery County Road Runners club race this morning at Sligo Creek Middle School.


And they don’t mess around when it comes to expectations as clearly stated by the sign.


I didn’t run this race last year but I believe they said the course changed this year. It was two loops with an extra little out and back on the second loop.


The start was a little bit odd because everyone started at the middle school parking lot


And then ran around the cars back out to the street. I guess they needed this extra little loop to make the course 4 miles.



Once out of the parking lot it was downhill and then a little off road section to get onto a trail



The course went on the trail for about a half mile and then back uphill through some neighborhoods and around the backside of the middle school to start the second lap.


My race went well. I ran with the same group most of the time and pushed my pace during the uphill sections. I had enough energy left that after getting over the final hill I made a really hard push on the downhill and ran away from the group I was with to finish in 27:20 for a 6:50 min/mile pace.



After finishing I walked over the rec center to get some coffee and a bagel.

And earlier this afternoon I got on my bike for the first time in a while to stretch out my legs and get ready for adding some swimming and biking workouts starting next week.

Cracking the big 4 0

I cracked 40 miles running in a week for the first time today. This is the biggest running week I’ve ever done and my body doesn’t feel that beat up. The week consisted of a 10 miler on Tuesday, 8 miles on Saturday with 40 minutes at tempo pace, and lots of easy runs the rest of the week. My run training has been going really well and I’m on track for meeting my half marathon goal in March. 


Mayweather Pacquiao

It looks like the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight in March isn’t going to happen.

I’m very disappointed, I was really looking forward to this fight in March. In fact, I have a nice little bonus check coming in a few in a weeks after I start my new job. I would have been very inclined to turn that money into an awesome Vegas trip and be there for a fight week to see the energy that comes to town. And if it would work out like the only other time I was in Vegas I could have even won my money back plus some more. That’s how it works every time right?


Come on guys, but the differences aside and make this fight happen.

MCRRC New Years Day 5km 2010

Just like last year I ran the New Years day 5k in Gaithersburg. The weather was a lot warmer this year which made things nice. The course is two loops through an industrial park with one small uphill/downhill on each loop.


I warmed up and then the race got started.


I went out at a decent pace but slowed more then I wanted going up the hill both times. Also the second time going up the bridge it took a while before I got my legs going again.


Right after the first turn getting ready to go down the hill.


Running the first lapDSC08823DSC08816

Second Lap




Finishing up


Setting a new PR. I ran a 20:40 a few weeks ago so it’s nice to see another 20 seconds off my time, and I’m inching close to breaking 20 minutes.


Post-race and then it was time to get bagels and coffee. DSC08855

That’s another really nice thing with these low key races. You just sign up to be a club member and pay $5 for your timing chip you use all year, and after that all the races are free. And they have free food afterwards! The races normally cost $10 so the membership and chip pays for itself after three races. 



I did manage to set a new PR for highest heart rate as well. I topped out at 199, I just couldn’t break 200.


I have been doing a lot of running the last couple months and it’s nice to see a drop in all my race times and it seems like things are on track for me to have a reasonable shot at meeting my goal for the half marathon this spring.