Friday, August 22, 2008

1st Annual Greenbelt Sprint Tri

Around the time this year when I first started training for a triathlon with my brother in law I decided that Greenbelt would be an ideal location for a sprint triathlon. The swim would have to be in a pool (which some may consider a benefit), but aside from that the location would be perfect. I started bouncing the idea around of organizing a tri there with some friends and they all seemed interested. So, while I won't be holding any kind of official event, I'm excited to announce the 1st (unofficial) annual greenbelt sprint (training/fun) triathlon!

While the date is not official yet, I'm looking at a date of October 25th and a "cost" ranging from $5 to $25 to $30 depending on the number of people who can make it. If enough people can/want to do it I'll set up to get shirts made for it so it'd be a bit more, though otherwise it'd just be the $5 to cover the pool usage fee.

If you'd be interested feel free to drop me a line and let me know. It really is a just for fun kind of event so there is no pressure to do well or even have any kind of triathlon background. If you've just ever wondered if you could do one or if you'd even enjoy it this is the event for you...

Swim -
500 Meters at the Greenbelt Aquatic Center

Prospective Bike Route (TBD)
Out Research Rd through the Beltsville Ag Center

Prospective Run Route
2 Laps around Greenbelt Lake (Buddy Attick Lake Park)

Prospective Bike Route (TBD)
Out Research Rd through the Beltsville Ag Center
Instead of writing a long boring post with a bunch of random stuff in it like usual I'm breaking this one down a bit.

Last year I remember hanging around my house one February weekend morning and suddenly hearing and seeing a steady stream of people running down the center of Ridge Rd. I had no idea what was going on but just figured it was running group... with a LOT of people, and spread out at some highly variable paces but still a running group.

Turns out it was the 47th Annual Washington's Birthday Marathon which start in Greenbelt and does a few loops around the Beltsville Ag Center and heads back into Greenbelt for the finish. I found that out when I headed out for my own run a bit later and accidentally "won" the marathon in a time of about 2:20 or something... They weren't too pleased when I threw my hands up in a "what is going on here" motion coming upon the finish... Sorry guys, that's my normal running route!

Anyway, I'm hoping they hold the race again this year because now I really want to run it. For one, it's in my backyard, and I train on the very roads it follows. My long run yesterday as a matter of fact I saw this morning was essentially a loop of the marathon coarse. In reading some reviews of the race a lot of people mention how tough the course is with the rollers around the Ag center and the "killer" hill at mile 25 which is where i do most of my hill work so I've got a definite home field advantage on that one.

Because of the fitness level I'm at right now I was recently considering grabbing up a transfer for the Marine Corp Marathon and running that though when I mentioned it to Aimee the additional training time didn't sit too well plus I don't need to pay out another $100+ to jump into another race. So, instead I'll have this to keep myself motivated, give myself plenty of recovery time after the 1/2 IM and most importantly spend some serious time on running specific speed work and endurance so I can really give it my all come February.

Here's to George Washington! Well, and a race start I can run to in under 5 minutes from my doorstep! :)
Been a while on the postings, but right now I'm waiting hours for a few application updates to complete on my historic computer here so I figure now is a decent time to post something. Training has been going very well over the last few weeks/months. Basically since I started using a laid out "plan" with day to day workouts. I like the structure and knowing what to do, not just making something up as I feel like it. Better yet I'm seeing results; my running is improving dramatically while I can see steady improvement in my swimming as well.

Sunday I did probably my longest ride of the year at about 60 miles, an easy spin over the Brian's down through Rock Creek and back and felt great. Wasn't too sure how I was going to fare since my longest rides lately have been in the 30 mile range but I felt great throughout the ride. Pace was pretty steady though I picked it up substantially for the last 20 miles and didn't feel overly tired or anything.

Last night I did my longest run of the year as well, and earlier this week my 3000+ swim was probably my longest as well while we're on the trend. This is my heaviest week training time wise so it makes sense. The run was 14 plus miles easy in about 2 hours and felt really good up until about the last 10 or 20 minutes when I just wanted to be finished. I think it was more mental then physical since when I finished I was heading to Aimee's and I haven't seen her for over a week while she'd been out of town.

All of my long workouts though felt great and lead me to believe I'm in a pretty solid spot for my upcoming races. Next Sunday I'm running the Larry Noel 15k which starts and runs through my backyard aka the Beltsville Ag Center. After that Brian and I head up to our folks' place in the Pocono's for some R&R/concentrated training time before Jenny and Aimee meet us mid week. The Nation's Tri the weekend after we come back and 2 weeks later its on to Jerseyman 1/2 Iron, my season goal!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Final results for the August Training Tri

The final results for the DCTri training triathlon were posted today and first off I did manage to run the time I was hoping to pull in. 20:58 for the 3.2 mile run, just barely under my 21 minute goal. Overall I came in 10th, though who knows on the age group/gender bit. I do believe I can do better then that though with how thrashed my legs were on Sunday and even Monday I'm not surprised or disappointed with the final results.

My swim pace was about 15 to 20 seconds off what I probably should be swimming, maybe more which I was excuse simply based on my seeding issues. I'm thinking I could easily have pulled in a 6 to 6:30 swim as opposed to my 7+. T1 was as suspected dreadfully slow at over 2 minutes but that doesn't necessarily bother me too much. I know I can manage a sub-one minute transition there when I want to.

The bike I think got windier as the race went on so an earlier start and faster swim might have given an advantage along with fresh legs. T2 was significantly faster at something like 48 seconds which was a nice surprise, while as I mention before my run was within my initial goal time (barely) of 21 minutes. Once again fresh legs and a little more motivation I feel fairly confident I could pull off a sub-20 minute 3.2 miles, much less my first sub-20 minute 5k.

So, there it is.

In other news I think I need to adjust my cockpit and seat hight on the CAAD9. While I am very comfortable in my aero bars I am probably not in a sufficient enough aero position to garner all the benefits of having them. I also feel, especially on the aero bars in TT mode when I slide forward on my seat a bit I have plenty of play (maybe too much) with my leg extension as it seems my knee is beyond slightly bent. I'll try some things out hopefully this week and next week to see if I can get things dialed in better. Still four and a half weeks to the Nations Tri to get things set correctly.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Friday I decided to make up for my missed 90 minute run from Thursday as well as complete my long swim scheduled for Friday. The day was perfect for a run and after staying home sick (more of a mental health day) I got out for my run around 1. The workout called for 75 minutes at an easy pace (perceived exertion around a 3) and the final 15 minutes bumped up to about a 5.

The first 75 was great, I did the beaver dam to springfield to powder mill back in on research and down and around greenbelt lake which got me to about my 75 minute spot and for the final 15 I trucked it a bit through old greenbelt and down northway and around the softball fields and back. I managed right at about 12 miles for the run, probably harder then I should have been going though I want to turn up the training a bit from the plan I'm following so I'm not too worried about it. All in all it was a very good run at a pace of about 7:30. Once again not race winning but solid for me.

The swim went well too, 800 in warm up followed by two 900's at an RPE 3 and a 200 cool down. I swam more like an RPE 5 or 6 for the first and cooled it down for the second more. Unfortunately sometimes if someone is swimming beside me I end to turn things up a bit. Friday night wasn't bad since I feel I got some solid work in and didn't crush myself but I still swam faster then I needed to. I used my new lap counter Aimee got me for the second 900 and was pleasantly surprised by my lap consistency. My fastest and slowest laps were separated by less then 6 seconds and the fastest was lap 1 and slowest was lap 9 (of 18) which I think is pretty promising.

Went to bed Friday night feeling pretty good about the workouts for the day tired but feeling ready for Saturday mornings' DCTri training triathlon...

5:15 came early! The training tri at Haines Point went pretty well. I seeded myself along with the guy in front of me way to low and ended up having to make my way past at least 4 people during the swim. Self timed my swim at about a 7:41 for the 400 meters. Probably could've done a lot better had I been seeded correctly for the start. As it was I'd probably put myself at least a minute behind where I should have been. Out of the pool and to t1 was alright. I felt like I was slow on both transitions but I wasn't too worried about the transitions anyway.

The bike went well but not great. Coming back the far side of the point and especially heading down all the way to the turn around near Independence (?) was extremely windy, especially the second and third laps. I fought hard into the wind but I'm sure it broke my spirit a bit. I passed a bunch of people which is always helpful for the psyche but the ride was tough no matter what. I didn't keep specific bike time, I think I basically had from the end of the swim to the start of the run times which came out to something like 49 minutes. I'm guessing somewhere around 45 minutes for the 16.8 mile bike at an average of about 22 mph.

T2 and out for the run. My legs started to give the tell tale signs of coming cramps in the calves so I started out easy trying to just get a good turnover going without really pushing it too hard. The feelings passed and I worked on staying focused and running a bit out of my comfort level. I think I did alright in that regard as I kept myself pushing a little as opposed to settling into a comfortable pace for the majority of the run. Crossing the line I was a bit disappointed with my run time as I was hoping for at least sub-21 if not a sub-20 but I ended with a 21:21 run time for the 3.2 mile loop at a 6:41 pace.

Can't say I'm too disappointed with my performance considering though at the time I didn't quite see it that way. Afterwards I came home and passed out for a while before helping my brother in law finish his wood flooring. Needless to say I slept well last night and my legs are pretty thrashed today. Luckily today is a rest day, though I do really need to get some lawn work in...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Training Post - Milestone broken

Back in middle school, a couple of times every year the gym coach would get his truck out and drive around the fields back behind the school using the tachometer to measure one mile and placing cones along the route in the grass. No one every really enjoyed these days but I never really hated them since I'd taken up running with my father occasionally starting in elementary school. I knew I could run the distance and even run it fairly quickly compared to everyone else. There were certainly the exceptions, like Michael Della-Russo (who now plays on an MLS developmental team in texas) who ran 6 minute miles in 6th grade, but for the rest of us 7 minutes was FAST.

That was probably the last time I'd ever tested myself in the mile so for the majority of the past 10 or so years I've believed I was a seven minute miler. No longer fast at all and certainly no where near a race winning speed. Recently I've started clocking sub-seven minute miles in some 5k's so now I know I'm faster then I believed for the longest time. A lot of that extra speed I'm positive has been developed just over the past year or so as I've upped mileage and actually started some running speed drills and such.

Last night I was supposed to get out for a long run but after dropping Aimee off at the airport and sitting in traffic getting home for an hour I'd pretty much be running in the pitch black which didn't support a 90 minute run considering the routes I like to run around here. So instead I found the local high school track just a mere 1.2 miles from my front door and then decided to do a mile test. I got about a mile and half warm up then picked it up for my mile. Took it pretty easy the first lap just kept a quick but steady cadence and not trying to kill myself still believing I'd try to do the full 90 minute run. lap 3 I still felt pretty good so I started picking it up a bit and by lap four I'd really turned it up. Held through and gave the rest of what I had for the final 75 or so meters and stopped the clock with my first sub six minute mile.

I know it's no Olympic record breaking speed but going from believing I ran 7 minute miles to below 6 I feel pretty damn good about things. It's also a great baseline to test myself with in the coming months/years as I continue to train. I really feel like had I known that would be my goal for the run I could have given a bit more earlier in the piece which I'm thinking would be another 10 to 20 seconds off but my time last night was 5:54.

I think the biggest boost this will give me is completely mental; I've been wishing lately I could post a sun 20 minute 5k but so far I haven't been able to, and thinking I could just barely break 7 minute miles it didn't seem like I'd officially be able to. but now with the mental edge of knowing I really can I should be able to convince myself otherwise during a race. According to the Runners World pace calculator I should be able to run it in just over 19 minutes which I should clock a marathon in a bit over 3 hours... My only attempt at a marathon was 3:48 though I was running with buddies and we weren't racing as much as we were bs'ing. I know I can only take so much from that but the mental aspect of my running I'm sure holds me back more then any other part. Saturday will be my first test of this hopefully helpful mentality when I do the DCTri Club practice sprint triathlon. We'll see how it goes.