Monthly Archives: April 2010

Derby Time

Just a reminder that the Kentucky Derby is Saturday at 6 pm.

I love horse racing and am probably going to go make some bets tonight. I’m going with an Exacta box with the #1 (Lookin At Lucky) and #2 (Ice Box) horses.

If you aren’t familiar the terms, an Exacta is picking the first and second place horses correctly. The box means I’m buying all the combinations of those two horses. Meaning a finish of #1 then #2 or #2 then #1 and I win.

Mixed bag weekend

I had a mixed bag of workouts this weekend, some good and some not so good. Things started out not so good on Thursday.

I did my long run after work and it was one of my worst in a long time. I felt bad from the start and the first hour of the run at “easy” pace was a lot more work then it should have been. Things got a bit better during the second half of my run when I had marathon and half marathon intervals sprinkled but again it was much harder then it should have been. I don’t think I was dehydrated or out of energy because I ate when I usually do. Maybe it was just my double race weekend from last week catching up with me.  


Friday I went and played some golf after work and my round was a mixed bag as well. I would go on streaks of playing par golf, and then start sucking for a few holes. But I don’t get worried about it anymore. I figure since I don’t spend much time playing or practicing anymore I shouldn’t be expecting to go out and shoot in the low 80’s so if it happens great, but if not oh well. One thing I really enjoy about golf is all the different people you get to meet out on the golf course. For this round I met the host of My Generation, a TV show on PBS.

After golf I went and did some late night swimming in Leesburg. I swam from 8:30 until the close and 9:30 and had the pool all to myself which was very nice.

Saturday I had my long ride. This goes on the positive side of the weekend, I had an awesome 3 and 1/2 hour ride, one of my best yet. I hit all my wattage goals on the number and didn’t feel too drained at the end of my ride.


This ride was also interesting because of some of the crowds out on the roads. There was an charity ride that went through town that I knew about before I started. I saw the group of maybe 300 people leaving when I was returning to town at the end of my ride.

What I was surprised about was seeing a lot of runners on my bike route, and it looked like it was part of a race. It turns out the American Odyssey relay race was taking place this weekend. The race is a two day, 200 mile relay race from Gettysburg, PA to DC. One of the handoff points was next to the gas station I stop at to refill my water bottles. I talked with some of the people doing the race it seems like it would be an interesting experience and neat to be able to say you finished it. Oh, and the team that won last year won in 23 hours, which is about a 7 min pace and this is not a flat route. I found that very impressive.

Sunday I had a two hour ride followed by a half hour run. Because the weathermen were calling for rain and thunderstorms all day I decided to ride on the trainer. I hate riding on the training for anything over an hour and was very disappointed to see that it was bright and sunny all afternoon when I could have been riding outside. But because I rode inside in the morning instead of waiting until the afternoon I had some time to fire up the grill for the first time this year.


I made some chicken with a mango topping and grilled asparagus which I think turned out well.

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But the best part was the dessert that I made. It was strawberries grilled in a sugar/vanilla sauce. I should have taken a picture of the strawberries while they were grilling with the sauce the bubbling and looking good.

This was the highlight of the meal and was fantastic!IMG_1605_edited-1 IMG_1604_edited-1

Rumpass in Bumpass Sprint Distance Race Report

I didn’t get enough racing on Saturday so I decided to make it a double race weekend and do the sprint race on Sunday to.

(Updated with times when results are posted)

Overall (1:11:19, 19th, 4th age group)

Swim (13:21, 50th overall, 11th AG)

The course made the same triangle just not going out as far before turning right.  The race directors did make improvement over yesterday’s race and had every start in a line between the dock and buoy so it’s wasn’t a mess of people at the first turn buoy.


But the start of the race was still very interesting. While treading water waiting for the gun to go off someone had a panic attack, cramp, passed out, or something and one of the kayakers had to come and get them out of the water and I think the person went off in the ambulance. This added about 10 minutes of treading water before the start which would have sucked if that’s something you aren’t good at it.DSC00921

The wind wasn’t blowing so the water was a lot calmer then Saturday and this swim was better then yesterday’s but was still a little slower then I was hoping for. I used the tinted goggles so I was actually able to see where I was going. And I took much better line coming back towards the dock and saved myself some time.


T1 (1:33, 35th overall, 7th AG)

This transition sucked. It took forever for me to get my wetsuit off. It was chilly out so I decided it would be a good idea to put on arm warmers under my wetsuit to have for the bike. But when I took off the wetsuit they were soaked so I took take the time to get them off too.

Bike (33:33, 16th overall, 3 AG)

Not having the arm warmers made the first few minutes of the bike ride chilly but after a few minutes it went away.

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I passed a bunch of people in the first two miles and then would see a person a few hundred yards up the road and slowly reel them. I did this until about the 9 mile mark when I saw two people up the road who I wasn’t able to catch before the end of the course. Part of the reason the course was so empty on the bike is only 6-7 other people had finished the bike before me.


The wind picked up on the bike today and was much steadier. This was backed up by my power meter and is one of the reasons I really like having it. Today I averaged 270 Watts and went 22.4 mph, yesterday I average 256 Watts and averaged 22.6 mph. So by having the watts, which is independent of the weather conditions I can see that I had a strong ride on Sunday even though it’s not reflected in the speed. If I didn’t have the power I could say it was winder but would know how much an impact it had or maybe assume my legs were tired from Saturdays race when that wasn’t really the case.

T2 (0:54, 10th overall, 1 AG)

Run (22:00, 37th overall, 4 AG)

This was a frustrating run. I improved from last years time but it still wasn’t enough. I got run down with about a 1 1/2 miles to go and came in 4th in my AG just missing the podium.


I came out of transition feeling really good and when I got through the trail and onto the road the course was EMPTY. I saw one person a half mile up the road and that was it. I was running by myself until I got passed by someone a mile into the run. After hitting the turnaround I got passed by a group of four people that included someone in my age group and I tried keeping pace with them but wasn’t able to hold on and slowly watched them run away from me over the last mile.


I was running by myself the rest of the way and just keep pushing to finish line.


This is the fourth weekend of races I’ve done and this location and like always I really enjoyed it. This is a really nice location for triathlons and I look forward to coming back in the fall for the Giant Acorn race weekend.

Rumpass in Bumpass Olympic Distance Race

I finished in 2:20:xx but I would have really liked to get under 2:20:00. Considering how the day started and the fact I took 5 minutes off my time from October on the same course I can’t complain to much.

(I’m going to update times and places once the results come out)

Overall (2:20:27, 45 overall, 9th AG)

Swim (28:56, 133 overall, 16 AG)


The water was 66 degrees and I didn’t think it felt too bad. With the weather front that went through the night before it was windy and the lake had lots of little waves in it making the water rough. DSC00751

This was an extremely disappointing swim for me. I was expecting to swim much, much faster. I’ve been seeing lots of improvements in my pool times and on Friday I swam a 1000 yard time trial in the pool with my wetsuit on and averaged 1:21 per 100 yards which is way off from this swim result.

I was probably swimming in the mid 1:30’s but went so far off course I swam a lot of extra distance. The race didn’t start until 10 so I made the mistake of thinking it would be ok to not use tinted goggles. Why I thought this was a good idea I don’t know but it was a big mistake. After making the first turn I was having trouble seeing more then 200 yards ahead because of the sun reflecting off the water so I was doing a lot of zig zagging  and around the last turn buoy I took and extra long line to get to the finish.

The one complaint I have about this swim was the start. In the past they have had everyone line up between the dock and first buoy and start that way with the first turn maybe 400 yards away. Today they have decided to have everyone line up at the dock, swim ~75 yards and then make a right hand turn at the buoy, which caused a lot of congestion that wasn’t necessary. They did change this for Sunday which made things a lot nicer.


I used my new Garmin 310 for the race and it does a good job of getting the outline of the swim course fairly accurate. It’s not intended to give you a good GPS reading while you are swimming because the signal drops in and out with each stroke as it is submerged but it is waterproof so you can get swim times and not have worry about putting on a watch in transition.



T1 (1:17, 25th overall, 5th AG)

Biking (1:04:05, 38th overall, 5th AG)

I’m happy with my ride and I hit the watts I wanted without having to work to hard and I did a good job of staying hydrated. This ride went like most of my Setup Event races, I pass all the swimmers who can’t bike in the first 5 miles and then I don’t see anyone else for several more miles and ride by myself. This course was two laps and the second lap was more crowded with the people in latter waves but after getting through the first 5 miles of the second lap things cleared out again. And I finished up feeling good.



T2 (1:02, 36th overall, 11th AG)

Run (45:09, 65th overall, 10th AG)


It was nice to see all my running this winter pay off with an improved run time. This was a 3-4 minute improvement over last fall and 7 minutes over last spring on the same run course.


The course started by coming out of transition and going on trails to get to the main road and I was nervous about this section because of my rolled ankle from earlier this spring. But I watched where I was stepping and didn’t have an issues on the way out or back on the trail. After the trail it’s two loops on some rolling country roads and I keep a steady effort, I slowed a little the last couple miles but that’s expected.


Post race

I was really bummed out with the swim because I could have been in the 1:17-1:16 range if I swam like I’m capable of and that would have been a big improvement in time for me. The biking was fine considering I took most of the winter off to focus on running and the run was a big drop in time too. To improve the swim I think I’m going to sign up for the Reston lake swim in May to get as much open water swimming in as possible so that I can improve my ability to swim in a straight line and getting better at drafting which I am still horrible at. One thing I’m going to look into is prescription swim goggles. My eyes aren’t that bad but since I don’t wear contacts and use prescription sunglasses for the bike and run this is something that might help.

While getting some post race food and checked the race results I ran into DC Rainmaker who’s blog I enjoy reading.

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Race Report

I finished a big training week the cherry blossom 10 miler today. I had my long ride yesterday so I really wasn’t sure expect. But I finished in 1:11:22 which is a four minute improvement of last years ten miler so I’m happy.

I took the metro to the race and got to the start area with plenty of time to spare. IMGP0141_edited-1

So I was able to walk around and snap a couple of quick monument before I went to warmup.

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For a warmup I ran over to the Lincoln memorial which was really cool looking at this time of day.


I got back to the start area and took care of some last minute stops (secret: the bathrooms by the 5km start are a lot less crowded) and got into my assigned corral.

One benefit of getting faster over the years is that I usually get to start in the first corral at these big races and I think it makes a big difference in terms of enjoyment and ability to have a good race. It’s a lot less crowded and everyone tends to know what they are doing so wasting energy weaving through crowds is not an issue.

For the race itself the weather was perfect and I think I did a good job with my pacing. I didn’t go out too fast and settled into an even pace. The drop in miles 3 and 4 is due to a lost GPS signal when we ran under the overhang by the Kennedy Center not an increase in pace. I didn’t really have a “goal” for this race I just wanted to put in a hard effort and what every was left in legs at the end of this week is what the results would be so I was surprised to see myself running low 7’s relatively easily.    


I thought the course was ok. It’s stays along the water most of the time which is nice but I found the Hains Point portion of the race to be kind of boring and without a lot of spectator support. The sections by the mall and Washington Monument were fantastic and packed with cheering spectators which is always nice. 


The longest part of my day was the trip home. I decided to walk back to the metro center stop so I could get on the red line and not have to transfer trains. The walk took me by the White House and I was able to see all the extra security at the Willard hotel for the delegates coming in to town for the nuclear talks this week.  But the bummer was the metro ride home. Apparently there was a fire on one of the tracks between rockville and shady grove (my stop) which caused the trains to run on a single track. This means long waits at every station and the ride home took forever.  

Eagleman Pre-Ride

On Saturday I went out to Cambridge to ride the Eagleman course to get accustomed to riding in the wind and staying in the aerobars for long periods of time since it’s so flat. I plan on doing this several more times before the race in June.


The weather forecast was looking good and was suppose to be in the high 70’s but it turned out to be overcast and cold, it was probably in the high 40’s when I started. Luckily I had a coat and two pairs of arm warmers with me and I was to use one as an improvised pair of leg warmers which worked out good and I used for the first half of my ride. DSC00517_edited-1

I have ridden this route three times including the race and training rides but this time I managed to get extraordinarily lost as evident by my GPS track. It should head towards the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and make a circle back towards the start and that is not what I did.


I started to follow the pavement markings for the Chesapeake Man race but I soon learned that is a different course when I saw a lot of unfamiliar terrain. And I managed to lose the markings for the Chesapeake Man route which is my dead end up in the top left.  But for this area everything is flat and windy so the fact I didn’t ride the actual course isn’t that big of a deal. I got to see some sites I wouldn’t have gotten to see like some more waterfront views:DSC00500_edited-1

And a couple of goats:DSC00498_edited-1

As for my actual ride it wasn’t a steady effort but I had a series of intervals to do for the ride and it was really interesting to see the impact of the wind. For the first few there wasn’t much wind and I was averaging 23 mph but for the last few I had a side/head wind and at the exact same wattage (+/- 5 watt average) I was only going 19 mph. And because everything is pancake flat that 4 mph difference was due entirely to the wind.      DSC00526_edited-1 DSC00533_edited-1   

After riding I drove out to Assateague Island park near Ocean City and I was freezing at the beach because I only packed a pair of shorts and it was overcast and windy. I decided to see if digging a hole to sit in would help me stay warm but it did not work. So I went with the conventional blanket route instead.


This is the beach where horses from the national park will occasionally walk out to beach and I have seen this many times. But I saw a new one on this trip to the beach, people brought their own horses to ride on the beach.DSC00616_edited-1

And then on the way out of the park one of the wild horses wanted to meet the new horses.


I wrapped up the weekend with a two hour ride and half hour run on Sunday for another solid weekend on training. Next week I have the cherry blossom 10 miler on Sunday and the week after that is the first triathlon race of the year!