Monthly Archives: May 2011

Getting ready for Eagleman

I’ve spent the last two weeks with my long bike rides targeted at Eagleman (flat, hot, and windy). So that has meant trips to Cambridge and Queenstown MD the last two Sundays.


Last week I went out to Cambridge to ride and run the actual courses. My ride was scheduled for 3 hours of easier riding and the last 45 minutes with harder intervals. So I rode the Eagleman course for the first 2 hours and 45 minutes and then did an out and back section for the last 45 minutes, but I had some trouble with my mental math and ended up 5 miles from the park when I suppose to be done so I actually rode for over 4 hours and about 84 miles.


After the bike I had a run that I did the first 4 miles of the Eagleman course and was very happy with the results, I was under 7 min pace for all my sections of the run which is awesome. What was not so awesome was how I felt afterwards, I felt like death when I was done and had to keeping moving around taking in Gatorade. It took about 30 minutes and I was feeling fine again.


I was also looking forward to lunch at the BBQ place in Easton I had been to a couple of times. But much to my disappointment they changed hours and are now closed on Sundays and Mondays.

On the ride back from Cambridge I encountered a lot of Bay Bridge traffic so this weekend I did my ride in Queenstown which is just across the bridge and about an hour closer. This ride was a little bit shorter but my difficult with the first 40 miles easy, then 20, 10, and 10 miles of building intensity on the way back.


The ride reminded me of some things from my past. I went past Chestertown where I played in a couple of state championship baseball tournaments as a kid. And then went by Washington College where I went to visited in High School and was thinking about playing baseball at in College.


The workout was not one of my best. The first 40 miles went fine, and then next 20 mile section went well but the last two sections sucked. It was my highest heart rate sections and I was riding into a really stiff headwind so my effort was not producing much speed. I found this to be very disheartening and I just couldn’t get my HR going. Notice the jump in HR after the break at 2 hours, there should be another jump at 3 hours and then at 3:30 but I just couldn’t get it done.


Plus it was starting to get really hot out.


I still had my run to do and I slogged through it, a little bit slower then last week but not to bad considering how hot it was getting out.


I finished off the workout with a nice crabcake and a milkshake.


The last two weeks have been big volume weeks for me at 15 1/2 and 16 1/2 hours each so with those two big weeks in the books it’s time to taper down and get rested up for Eagleman.

Broccoli Workout Day

I’ve written about my usual Thursday workout before; but after just completing the last “full” version of this workout before Eagleman I’ve decided Thursday is now broccoli workout day. 


Why broccoli workout day? Because this workout is like a little kid with vegetables, I might not necessarily like it, but it’s good for me and will help make me grow strong.

In fact, if I do this workout in the evening I actually think about it during the workday and tend to get nervous about the amount of discomfort and work I’m going doing later in the day.

But I know it’s working and I’ve increase the starting point for these intervals by about 30 watts while also losing 5 pounds this spring which is a nice jump in Watts per kg which is what matters in cycling. And it’s netted some good bike splits and race results.



Kinetic Sprint 2011

Overall 1:20:32, 12th Overall, 2nd AG

I did this race last year and was able to take 6 minutes off that time which for a race this short is a huge improvement. Given the disappointment with the Rumpus race last month I am very happy and I think this race is a better indication of where my fitness is at and the improvements I’ve made.


The lead up to the race went fine and traveling there was uneventful. I did have to deal with my bad case of poison ivy and infection, so I was coming off some antibiotics this week.

I got to the race site with plenty of time to spare and was able to take my time getting set up and get in the water for a good 10 minute warmup before the start of the race.


Also, I used my brother’s wetsuit for this race which fits me much better then mine and I think made a big difference with the swim.

Swim (12:31, 5th AG, 47 Overall)

This swim was a triangular course with a beach start where everyone runs into the water at the horn.




After the initial start everyone settled in and there wasn’t much contact at all. This time I did a much better job with my sighting and making sure my stroke didn’t sloppy. The swim was uneventful and 12 min later I was out of the water and ready to start the bike.


T1 (1:51, 4 AG, 29 Overall)

Transition was a short run along the beach,


and then a longer run along a path and up a little hill to all the bikes.


Bike (46:20, 2nd AG, 14th Overall)

The bike course was 2 miles to get out of the park of and then a roughly 10 mile loop with some rolling hills down and around lake anna.


Coming out of transition is a short hill which could make it difficult to get up to speed if you are in the wrong gear or tried to slip your feet into a shoes without enough speed. So I got up to speed and waited a while before slipping my feet into the shoes.


It seems like I can never have a race without any technical issues. This time my Garmin decided to give me a message of “multiple HR monitors detected” and never started reading mine even when I was nowhere near anyone. Luckily my coach does my race plans as a combination of HR, watts, and effort level so I mainly focused on watts today.


The first 5 miles of the ride was to get settled in at a moderately hard effort level and I was able to get 21 mph on 256 watts. The last 12 miles was at a hard effort level and I was trucking along at 23.8 mph on 270 watts.


The bike felt like it went by in a flash. Being towards the front of the race the ride was a mix of passing people, riding by myself for a few miles, and then passing some more people.


I’m also very happy about the weather holding off. The forecast was originally calling for rain and thunderstorms all day but thankfully it held off all morning and didn’t start until the afternoon.

T2 (0:46, 2nd AG, 11th Overall)

Another very quick T2. I went with the flying dismount coming into the transition area,


And because the run was only 5k I decided to go sockless and save some time there. The only little fumble was I missed my shoe trying to put one foot in and had to reach down and adjust it, but overall it was very quick.


Run (19:05, 3rd AG, 13th Overall)

The run was a loop with the first mile being uphill, an out and back section, and then downhill to the finish.


Just like last race I am very happy with how my running is going. The hard work, and dropping the extra lbs has made a big difference. My race plan was basically broken into four parts, up the hill, to the turnaround, back, and then the downhill to the finish.


The first part was to put in a solid effort going up the hill in the first mile and I was able to put in a 6:38 pace.


Next was to ease off a bit and take advantage of the downhill to the turn around. I didn’t see anyone out of the course in the first mile but in this section I saw the leaders coming back from the turnaround and counted about 8 people in front of me but everyone was at least a minute up so I was unlikely to be catching anyone. I was able to run a 5:59 pace for this section.

The third part was to put in another hard effort going back uphill from the turnaround and I put in a 6:09 effort here, but I did get passed in this section. At the turnaround I saw two people about 15 seconds back. I knew that one of them was in my age group because I passed him in the last mile of the bike course and made it out of transition before him. I got passed just after the turnaround by the guy that wasn’t in my age group and he was running to fast to try and stay with.


The last section was to go downhill to the finish as fast as comfortably possible. I just focused on keeping the guy that passed me in sight and making sure no one snuck up and caught me from behind and I managed a 5:44 pace here and just missed going sub 19 in a triathlon 5k.

Post Race

I managed to snag an age group podium and get an award. SetUp events usually does good awards but this was probably the best I’ve gotten so far.


It was a bottle of lake Anna winery wine, a Setup Events water bottle, and an insulated bag which I think is intended for picnics.


This was the last race before Eagleman so now it’s time to put in a solid month of training and getting ready for a solid race.

Not a Fun Weekend

Warning, there are some gross pictures  so don’t read below if you don’t want to see them.

Well, I have learned that I don’t react very well to poison ivy. I’m not sure how I got it but my best guess is during my long run last Saturday.  I probably brushed against some poison ivy on the back of my leg and the oil got onto my calf due to the sweating. I didn’t notice anything until Monday when I started to have a little bit of itching and some redness.

Tuesday I went on a trip to Saint Louis for work and I’m thinking that being in so many public places had something to do the problems that happened. Tuesday it started to itch but I didn’t think much of it other then regular poison ivy, and Wednesday was more of the same with it being a little itchier but nothing I didn’t expect.

Thursday while traveling home was when it started to feel really bad, it felt like my skin was tight and I was having trouble fully bending my left leg. By the time I got home the back of jeans even formed a little bit of crust from all the puss that had been oozing out of it.     

And here is what it looked like on the back of my leg Thursday Night. It looks swollen in the pictures but I don’t think they do justice to just how swollen it actually was:



First thing Friday morning I went a Doctor and not only is it bad poison ivy but I managed to get it infected as well. My gut reaction is that the infection was a result of the open skin from the poison ivy and being around so many germs on the plane, hotel, and travel in general.

I got some prednisone and an antibiotic that I’m going to be on for the next week and it’s amazing how fast they work. It’s Monday night and it sill looks nasty but it is much better and the swelling has gone away.





One interesting side effect I did notice this weekend was the prednisone’s impact on my workouts. I’m still able to exercise like normal but being on the medication messes with your resting HR and my HR zones won’t really apply this week so all my workouts have been on perceived level of effort.

And why is that interesting? Prednisone is a “steroid” so it will heal the poison ivy like intended but it also helps with any other inflammatory issues and increases the level of plasma in the blood which has some positive side effects for sports. So after a three hour bike ride where I was putting out my best watts of the year I had my 30 min descending pace run and went out and ran 7:00, 6:30, 6:20 and that was without even getting my HR up to the numbers the workout called for in the last interval!