Sunday, May 31, 2009

Like a BOSS

I'm pretty proud of my friends and associates lately. They appear to all be manning up in a serious way. I don't hear complaining, I just see hard work. At the mere suggestion of a 5 hour ride, people used to cringe. Now they're doing them like whoa. Today was another Herculean effort for Alyssa and Stanford. Alyssa had run 27 miles yesterday at Susquehanna and was going to be upping her cycling ante by 30 miles over her previous longest ride today, while Stanford was fresh off a 130 mile weekend last weekend, including his longest ride ever at 78.

I had that solid workout on Thursday, but it took a little bit out of me. Enough so that I went out to watch the Magic game with Ben on Thursday night and stayed out pretty late. Friday was a little bit of a cluster during the day, but I got my bike fixed and then went out Friday night with intentions of going to the baseball game but we didn't get there til the 5th inning and I didn't want to spend $27 on tickets for 3 innings.

I wound up running home from Fed Hill (a little over 4 miles) and got home just before 2am. Probably fell asleep around 2:30 and woke up at 5:30 to head up to the race that Ben and I were timing. It looked like a nice morning to run, fairly cool but sunny. After the race headed to our team picnic, which, like everything else in my life, had a few hiccups but all in all it was a pretty sweet time. By the time I got home it was 4pm, and I didn't want to ride so I figured I'd run.

Until I fell asleep for about 2 hours. I'm pretty psyched as I never take naps and I definitely needed this one. I went back out for a little, actually, a while, as I got home again around 2:30, and woke up this morning to rain. For a minute I was pretty psyched. I wanted to continue sleeping and figured our 8am ride wasn't going to happen. Oh but the rain went away and the threesome went out at 9 with intentions of a 5 hour/80ish mile ride. It was the first time for either Matt or Alyssa riding on Route 40, which I'm sure was an interesting experience for them.

It was amazing out, cool temp, maybe 70 degrees, a little breeze, lots of shade. We passed through Edgewood and then headed up to Bel Air and toward Rocks State Park, one of my favorite places and definitely a well-kept secret of Maryland. As I put in a little effort for close to 15 minutes through the park and out of it, we found out Alyssa had flatted. Took care of that and continued on the roads. The next 16 miles are tough - generally uphill and now we were receiving the heavy brunt of unfavorable winds. I also couldn't get comfortable, my taint was killing me.

Around 55ish miles we stopped at a church for water and were invited to partake in a bbq. While the notion was tempting, we were in a little bit of a time crunch and I knew if I ate something I wouldn't start back up. We descended into Loch Raven and then I was going to put in another effort up and out of it. I let the two know that Providence road takes you out of the park, but neglected to say that you have to turn right to do so. After a minute or two with no sign of them, I rode back down to look. They had continued straight down to Cromwell Bridge Rd, and so then I made them turn around and ride back up the hill.

They were both riding well still at this point, and I can only imagine for Alyssa going about 2.5 hours longer than she's ever ridden she had to be pretty tired, especially with a 27 mile trail run just yesterday afternoon. The way home isn't really that easy, you still have a bunch of hills to go up. I was feeling pretty good, which I guess is a good sign. I can tell I still have some work to do and desperately need to get my bike operating smoothly again.

We made it back right at 3, so minus the 30 or so minutes of stopping for the flat and some food/water breaks, about 5.5 hours. I'll have to map it as none of us had operating computers, but it'll probably shake out to somewhere between 80 and 85 miles I'd guess.

Then it was run time. Since I didn't do the long run I had planned this weekend, I wanted to get the biggest bang for the buck. Thursday was only the 2nd non-race brick workout I've done this season and one thing I did more frequently in college was run off the bike. Even if it was short - 3-5 miles was more than enough - I felt it kept me sharper for racing. I recall the days in college when I'd do my 3 mile campus loop off the bike in 17:00 or just under, and the day I ran Hyattsville (5 miles) in under 29. Today's run was going to be my 9 mile Wednesday Night Run loop. The temp was maybe in the 70s at this point, very sunny, but a good temperature. I left the house and was again surprised to see a quick first mile: 6:15. It felt super easy and I decided to keep running that effort until I couldn't anymore.

I made it to the Harbor in a very quick 30:40, so probably averaging around 6:20 I'd guess, but I was in crucial need of water. I went into the bathroom at the Harborplace and was sad to have only warm water coming out of the sinks. Whatever, it'll have to do. I continued on my merry little way, now starting to feel the effort. I backed off a little and ran pretty easy back to the Square, which I hit in 52:20 something. I had slowed down considerably, but it was still a decent day, so I tried to run my last mile pretty quick. My legs could only muster a 5:55 and then I was done. The thoughts I had of going to the pool evaporated and I simply crashed on the couch in the fetal position, feeling shivery.

It wound up being the most I've ever run after a ride, and a pretty long ride to boot. I realize I'm two weeks away from Eagleman, but I've got the following time goals in mind for now:

Swim - I'd say I'm in a little better than 1:30/100m shape, so assuming the course is accurate and there is no absurd current, I'd like to be able to go 29:xx or better.

Bike - Hard to tell what my race fitness will hold. My first two races weren't stellar, but I've started to come around. I don't think I feel as good as I did last year, but I am pretty sure on race day I'll have it. 2:15 was my goal last year, which is an average speed of 25mph. That'll be the goal again this year. I'd accept 2:18, but I would be displeased with anything slower.

Run - Geez, where do I begin? Obviously the first thing is to not allow what happened last year to happen again this year. And by that I mean it would be a victory just running the whole thing. By Boston I felt like my open half speed was indicative of a 1:17 or better. While Eagleman is the flattest possible 13.1 miles, it's also sunny and hot. Do I believe I can run 1:20? Sure. Do I think I'm going to? No, and I think it'll be stupid to go out there with the intention of running that. I've felt good off the bike this week running in that 6:10 range (1:20:50?) but I think that would get old by 7 or 8 miles and I'd be cooked. At the same time I think if I go out slower, I'm still going to come back slower. 1:25 therefore seems like a good goal, that's 6:30/mile and should be reasonable. If I can go faster, great.

Adding up the splits, that would be about a 4:09 without transitions, so maybe another 4 minutes. 4:13 would be unbelievable. I don't know if that would be fast enough to win the age group, but it would certainly give me a shot.

But for today, the champions were definitely Stanford (who was playing flip cup like a champion last night) and Alyssa who both rode the longest they've ever ridden, and Zero who rode over 100 yesterday on his tri bike.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Want To Go To There

I was completely trashed following the weekend, so took it easy for a minute. I took a complete day off on Tuesday, which worked out since the weather was terrible. And Wednesday I just ran the WNR (9 miles). I felt uncomfortable, but at least part of that was due to the fish-kill in the Harbor. Since the weekend it has smelled awful all around town. It's choking us out.

Yesterday was a prescribed day of pain. OJ and I rolled out at 8:30 for a 3 hour ride followed by 6 mile run. We rode pretty easy for the first hour, and then kicked into some harder efforts. The first was along a flat-ish stretch of road and ended with Manor Rd, which is a very hard, very steep climb. Easy spinning down into Loch Raven, and then another push starting just prior to the climb out of the park on Providence and continued a few miles to Goucher Blvd.

Another easy effort through Towson and when we turn onto Kenilworth we do a power effort for a little over a mile. We were holding 34mph for 2:15. More easy spinning before the last effort, from the intersection of Old Court and Falls, up the Princeton Sports hill and then hard up Bellmore to finish.

The last little thing we do is put in a big 400m sprint on Roland or whatever it is that goes into Hampden. A flat straightaway from the traffic light to the fire station, and you just have to go aerobic. Just under 35mph for the max speed. Super anaerobic.

It was a great workout, mixing in flats, hills, hilltop finishes, sprints and anaerobic efforts. As we came back down Guilford into the city, something stopped working on my bike. I could no longer shift. Apparently the cable for my shifting mechanism snapped. Guess that's what happens when you ride the shit out of your bike for 4 years. I rode the rest of the way back in a huge gear. Dammit. I hope I can get it fixed by tomorrow but not sure if that's realistic.

Anyway off the bike we went out for a run. It had been so humid on the bike that it was misting. Then it stopped misting but it got warmer and was still humid. On the run, needless to say, without water, it was warm. We headed out following the WNR course and I figured we were probably running 7 minute pace. Imagine my surprise when we (fairly comfortably) hit mile 1 in 6:08. At that point, we agreed we may as well push it til 15 minutes, so we rolled along the stinky water. Dead fish everywhere. I think we hit 2.5 miles in that time. Then some easy running through Fells and Harbor East before turning back up Fleet Street.

The goal was to run another hard effort from the intersection of Boston/Fleet back home, which is about a mile and a half (but definitely under). I made it all of a minute into the effort and thought I was going to have to stop. I was cooked. Nevertheless I made it home all right, but it was really hard.

It was the best workout I've had this year, and I was completely worked after. Not helping was the fact I went out on Wednesday night for a friend's birthday, resulting in a later than necessary night. Thursday was Emily's birthday so we had a nice little family night before she and Bryan head out today on a two week Mediterranean cruise. Nice.

Today's forecast is the longest run I've done since the marathon, probably 14 or 15 miles at Patapsco. Then tomorrow Ben and myself have our first gig as race timers for a small 5k in Druid Hill Park, followed by our first annual Team TWSS picnic. Mix in some baseball games and you've got yourself a great weekend.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Black Snake Moan

Also known as "What I did on my Memorial Day Weekend 2009"

Last year I used Memorial Day as a bigger than big weekend on the bike. On the Friday I rode the Eagleman course hard, then put in 101 and 104 respectively on Saturday and Sunday, before completely crashing on Monday. My intention was to go even bigger this year.

The weekend kicked off with an unnecessarily late Thursday night followed by an early Friday wakeup to drive out to Cambridge. I was meeting Joe (2:07 bike split at Eagleman 2 years ago, 2nd fastest of the day), OJ and another dude Kevin to ride the course. Joe of course gets there late and we don't roll out until 10:15. It was already pretty hot, and the sun was brutal. Everyone should be proud though, as I put on sunscreen. We warmed up for about 6 miles before getting into an hour of tempo riding. We had a headwind on the way out to the refuge, so I could tell we were going a little slower than last year (when it was just me and Joe). Joe was doing the lion's share of the work, and it was pretty cool to see the four of us riding TTT style along the roads. When I would try and ride side-up with Joe I think he saw that as a move of aggression and would try and move to the front again. That first hour went well as we covered 24.6 miles. We took a 5 minute break and then got into another session of hard riding. We picked up a little bit of a tailwind, but I wasn't feeling as hot as the first part. OJ and Joe got up the road a little bit towards the end, and they had averaged 26.6mph so I was probably just a little over 26. We were at mile 47 now and the hard part was over, an easy 9 miles back to the park and we managed to ride the course in 2:30. That's faster than most of the people will race. It was a quick day.

Off the bikes we laced up the shoes and went for a 4 mile run. We started out at 6:40ish pace and then I tried to pick it up in the last mile, but it didn't go so well - 6:22. The Eagleman course is brutal. People think just because it's flat that it must be easy, but that's what makes it so hard. There isn't an ounce of shade and it's always windy and hot. My legs got that all-too-familiar feeling in them where they were cramping up, so my hope is that the weather is better on race day. By 1pm, when we started the run, it was 90 degrees. Still cooler than last year's race day.

I was then running late to get back so I had to hustle, and went to the Orioles-Nationals game in DC with Brennan and his coworkers. A lot of fun, but didn't get to sleep until after 1:30. Woke up on Saturday at 5:30 to go up to the Dreaded Druid Hills 10k, helped out for a little and then rode my bike the 3 or 4 miles to Meadowbrook to meet OJ et al for the start of our ride.

It was now 8am and getting warmer. We rode pretty swiftly up to TriSpeed and by the time we got there to start our 78 mile ride I was already at 17 miles or so. We picked up Zero, Stanford and Alex and headed out. Alex and I sat on the front of the ride for 12 miles before people sprinted to the church at mile 13. We shed a few riders from there, most people don't ride more than 2, 2.5 hours at this ride. I was feeling alright but not great, definitely feeling yesterday's effort. OJ and Benda were feeling pretty good and were a little ways up the road. We regrouped in Hampstead and rode through the mayhem that was Route 30. It was like they were throwing us a parade. We finally turned onto Lineboro Rd and tried a little paceline work, and stopped at Leone Springs for water - my favorite part of the ride.

A little while later OJ, Benda and Alex took off to ride hard til we got to Glen Rock. I certainly didn't have the legs for it, and just rode it in. After a short lunch break we headed back out, and now it was really quite warm. On one section of the road I noticed what appeared to be a fairly large snake. I presumed it was dead, as it didn't seem to be moving. As we got closer it started to squiggle away and I nearly hit it - and I thought Stanford might have nicked it. He claims it hissed and jumped at him. Alex thought it was the coolest thing he'd ever seen.

While the day started out windless, we had managed to pick up an annoying headwind. We turned onto York Rd with 22 miles on the one road until we got back to the store. I put in a turn at the front for a while and maybe shouldn't have, because when the hills started, my legs were not great. It was also kicking in at 90 degrees again and there isn't any shade. I just wanted to be done and was becoming infuriated by the wind. Back at TriSpeed finally and OJ and I still had 9 miles to go, and I was feeling it. Made it back and to our surprise Alex was waiting with Slurpees for each of us. Definitely earned him the KC Masterpiece Award for coming through in the clutch. The finally tally was 105 for the day.

I got home and went to the pool, swam for a little to loosen up and then had a little bbq at the house. I could barely keep my eyes open and just wanted to sleep. When everyone had gone home I crashed out hard, but it was still 11:30.

Sunday, 6:30am. The most sleep I've gotten in a few days but still my body did not want to get up. Surely I could not ride another 100+ miles today. OJ picked me up at 7:15 and we headed out to Frederick. The plan was to drop off his truck at his parents' house, do the 53 miles of miserable mountains and then ride 57 miles back to Baltimore. Stanford and Zero were out for day 2, it was nothing short of impressive. The 78 miles they rode the day before was the longest ride ever for each of them. The temperature was fortunately cool and the first half of the ride has a lot of shade, so I was actually chilly at points.

Climb 1 is very hard and occurs early in the ride. You're barely warmed up and you climb 4 miles, 2.8 of which I would classify as very steep. My back was screaming bloody murder at me. My legs felt alright, but everything else felt tired. Made it to the top and really killed the descent, it was a lot of fun. Apparently only hit 50mph on the way down, it felt like it was much faster. Climb 2 is probably the hardest of the day. A little shorter at just about 2.5 miles, with maybe 1 mile at a disgusting pitch. It's on this climb that I've hit my highest HR ever on a bike (and yes, for the record I have a really low HR when I ride and the 165 that I hit felt like my heart was going to explode. I have seen 181 I think running, and that's the highest).

Once Climb 2 is over, it's a fun little stretch of flat road where we did some paceline work again. We then turn back onto Route 40 and it's Climb 3, a 3 mile trek up and over the Appalachian Trail (we cross it a few times on this ride). I felt better on that one, but didn't have the legs to really get after it. Following that climb is another serious descent, and then we're in Boonsboro for Climb 4 up South Mountain. I rode this one pretty comfortably, and after a water stop at the top it was time to turn it on. You can bring your average speed up 1mph over the last 12 miles because you can seriously fly. There's only one more climb and it's not that bad - unless you're tired and/or having a bad day. 53 miles down, 57 to go.

I found myself out on this ride with not many food sources. There is virtually nowhere to stop during the ride, and I only had one Gu with me. For 3.5 hours of riding, I'm okay with that, but the mere fact I had another 3.5 to go, it was just not enough. I had made myself a PBJ and left it at OJ's house for lunch, so I ate that, but I needed more. OJ and I continued on to get back to Baltimore. We ride along Liberty Rd. It's surprisingly hilly. Either way you go it's hard. And it again has no shade and it was warming up to the mid 80s. We stopped at mile 85 at a 7-11 and I knocked back a Coke and a Milky Way. Stuff of champions.

Geez are we done yet? This is getting ridiculous. I have spent almost the whole weekend on my bike. My taint was super tired and I just didn't want to pedal anymore. I felt a little better towards the end of the ride, and we were going pretty quick up to where we split. We were just about 100 miles into the ride and it was 3:15, and I still had 11+ miles to ride back up a few hills and through the city. It takes a while, and I have a mile long hill back to my house. Compared to what we rode today though it's like nothing. I finally made it home, 111 on the day and capping 272 over the 3 days. This eclipses my 261 from last year.

My legs were cooked. My body was fried. I hadn't gotten sunburned (yay for sunscreen) but I certainly got color. I was contemplating going for a run but it was so late in the day and I was exhausted. Headed down to Fed Hill for another bbq and man, what a good way to spend the weekend. Somehow I made it out until after 2, getting home at 2:30. It was entirely too late and I should have gone home, but it's all good.

I woke up today (late) and felt dead. I had intentions of riding today, but only if I felt up to it. Another 30-40 miles would have put me squarely above 300 miles for the extended weekend. That would have been huge. I erred in favor of my body and instead went to the Orioles game with Ben, Barf, Zero, Jen and Scott. Always a good time. Baltimore on Memorial Day is a weird place though, and we saw some seriously weird stuff going on.

On to Fed Hill Runners, the last piece of my Memorial Day Weekend. It had been raining since the 7th inning (somewhere around 3:30) and Baltimore seemed empty. Small group tonight, as expected. Me, Zero and Stanford were way off the back as our legs were trashed. And the Harbor stunk.

I think this weekend will go a long way in turning up my fitness. Last year I felt like I was in better shape to handle the efforts. The Friday ride was hard, Saturday I didn't feel great and Sunday I felt amazing. The weather was also cooler last year. This year was fairly similar, didn't feel great on Saturday and felt a little better on Sunday - but having to do Frederick in the beginning of a 111 mile ride is tougher than last year's Sunday ride.

Last year I had a wedding in Wisconsin the following weekend, and as such didn't ride Thurs-Sun. I will ride this year but probably do something shorter and may start throwing in a few more runs off the bike.

A couple good sound bytes from the weekend:

I was busting OJ's chops when we were leaving his parents' house, telling him to call his parents to let them know he got home safe. He says "I'll text you." His dad's response was "We don't have a computer"

In the car ride in the morning, profound wisdom from OJ: "never let a boner go to waste; you never know when you might not be able to get one anymore."

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 Columbia Triathlon

The short story:

I finished 32nd overall (1569 starters) yesterday at Columbia, there were 12 pro dudes and 2 pro chicks in front of me, so 18th amateur. My time was 2:11:00 with splits of 22:56 in the water, a 1:08:24 bike + T1 and a 38:46 10k. In the open division I finished 9th out of 21. Interestingly enough, last year I was also 9th out of 21 in the division. Those are my lucky numbers for the week.

The longer, less interesting story:

I went to bed Saturday night and it was raining. At points, deluge was the more accurate term. My thoughts were with my beautiful bike. I envisioned it, hanging from the rack, alone and scared, until I realized it had 2000 friends in the same situation. The alarm went off at 4:00 on Sunday and I took a look outside. Wet, but not actively precipitating. It was super windy though, and the air temp had dropped from the day before. I pulled myself together, ate a couple of bowls of cereal and off I went into the dark.

I arrived just after 5am. The parking area was already crowded. I got numbered up, one of my favorite activities of race day. I dried off the bike and put my stuff down before chatting with a few people. I had intended on a 20 minute warmup as per usual, but all of a sudden it was later than I thought and I settled for a short mile-ish warmup. I didn't really care. I was just glad I didn't shard in my shorts. Oh wait...

And the answer is yes, I did. I made sure I visited the bathroom to clean up before I put on my tri outfit.

I put on the ultra comfortable Zoot Synergy wetsuit I'm rocking these days and waddled over to the start. Apparently the water temp was 71, which meant no wetsuits for the pros. I felt pretty bad for them, as the air temp was not warm and I figured there would be some cold pros. Fortunately for me that meant I could wear a wetsuit and in fact it's probably the warmest water temp at Columbia in the 7 years I've done it. Not sure how that worked, we haven't seen the sun in a while and it's rained a LOT lately. 6:45, pros go off. 5 minutes later, we in the Open division go. Despite there only being a few of us, a number of people were determined to swim into me.

I was swimming comfortably, and felt pretty good. It felt like we went farther this year, who knows for sure, but it felt long. When we turned and headed back west, I caught up to my friend Joe. He tried to get in my wake, but apparently couldn't keep my feet. I came out of the water and saw 22:40s, which was a little disappointing as I thought I could crack into the 21:xx range. After running up the grass I split 22:56, so about :33 slower than last year. The good news was that my rank relative to the field was 146, last year I was in the 170s. I got my wetsuit off reasonably fast and made my way up the grass with my bike.

Note: I've only attempted the "shoes already clipped in" entry a few times, but today I pulled it off without a hitch. I need to ask OJ how to station them with rubber bands so that they're not just dragging but I'll do that later.

On the bike now and the rain is really coming down. We make the turn onto 108 and within a few hundred feet I see a raccoon. It definitely had rabies. It was staggering around and it freaked me out - I could just see it jumping on me as I rode by. At the next intersection I yelled to the cops that there was a rabid raccoon, they must have thought I was crazy. I didn't feel as good as I did last year, my legs just didn't feel like they had it. The rain was pelting and it stung, and it was really windy out there. I felt like I was all over the road. I passed a few people, and then went back-and-forth with a couple. I would pass on the uphills, they would pass on the downhills. To me, passing on downhills is worthless if you're not going to hammer the ups. You can lose more time going slow up then you can gain going fast down.

I made it through the first stretch and was in good position, couldn't really see anybody ahead for a little while. At this point I still haven't taken so much as a sip from my water bottle. Entering the little lollipop section, Joe comes speeding past me. He lets me know he feels pretty bad and I utter the same. The truth was I didn't feel terrible, I just didn't feel great. I caught a few people on the relentlessly rolling roads before turning back out onto whatever road that is. I grabbed a water bottle from the volunteers and took my first sips of water since before the race.

The way back is pretty sweet. You can really fly, even up the hills. At a few points I even ran out of gears. The only frustrating thing was the number of vehicles on the road. They were reluctant to pass the woman pro in front of me, as we had a lane full of racers coming in the opposite direction, and they kept tapping their brakes. This made me nervous, because I didn't want to use my brakes.

I eventually caught a few more people on the hill back to 108, and with a half mile to go began to ease up as we headed back into the park. Unstrapped my shoes and had my bare little feet on the tops. I was feeling like I had barely been working for a little over an hour, so I was hoping for a good run. Successfully pulled off the barefoot dismount and raced into T2 to the cheers of Bryan, Emily, Jen and Brennan. My bike split + T1 was 1:08:24. Last year I had something like a 2:16 T1. Really slow. I'd like to think this year was about 2:00. That would mean my bike was something around 1:06:20-:30. About 1:45 off last year's great race, but I expected to be a little slower so I'm cool with that. And while it wasn't 13th best/2nd best amateur like last year, it was 19th overall and in the top 10 of amateurs.

Now since it was wet, and I have a terrible time with not wearing sucks as it is, I was going to put on socks. But I let the race dictate strategy here, and since I had come into T2 with a couple of dudes I caught at the end of the bike, I didn't want to waste time putting socks onto wet, cold feet. I ran out with the group after a 1:01 T2 (decent) and me and this guy Todd quickly dropped the two others on the nasty hill a quarter mile into the race. Todd was with me through a 6:10 first mile, then he fell back. It was at this point that I caught and repassed Joe. I was feeling comfortable, but couldn't go a lot faster. My feet were freezing. I ran a 6:05 2nd mile and was pleased with that.

Miles 3 and 4 are tough. They go through a neighborhood that seems to run completely uphill. I had slowed down in mile 3, that I knew, but was disappointed when I saw 6:32. This put me at a 19:30 5k. The quick math would suggest a 39:00 10k, which I was prepared to accept. I put in a little more effort in mile 4 to bring it back to a 6:26. I know the last 2 miles can be much quicker, and I quickened the pace out of the neighborhood to pass mile 5 in 6:12. One last test - the so-called "Gatorade Wall" - separates runners from the final stretch. I made it up without concern and tried to hammer around the lake.

There was a dude that was making up ground, so after mile 6 (6:08) I made sure I wasn't in trouble, and strided in. I again saw my friends and gave a little smile and thumbs up to the camera, and crossed in 2:11:00. Not quite the 2:08:40 from last year, but I wasn't disappointed. I chatted with some of the guys after the race and then caught up with the squad.

Some of the lowlights this year:

The food, which is always terrible, was more than usual terrible. What kind of post-race food consists of fake Oreos, bananas, homemade tortellini/pasta salad and grape soda? I pay $125 for this race and most of the race is paid for via its sponsors. Get some better food.

The shirts are awful this year. As Alyssa pointed out, they look like the color crayon that you used to use to color in white people, since you felt awkward using the white crayon.

The weather. I always anticipate the worst for this race and it did not disappoint. I don't understand why or how it gets so cold and rainy this particular weekend every May.

The timing system. You just spent $70,000 on this IPICO timing system that you debuted (as in, used for the first time) at this big event. As I peruse results, a much higher number than normal are missing splits, including Alyssa, whose bike split was somehow missed. More annoying is that it lumped T1 and the bike split. I may be nitpicking, but I am definitely the type of person who likes to know what his T1 and bike split are separately so I can know what I need to work on.

The highlights:

The field was stellar. The young Andrew Yoder placed 2nd again, this time by 10 seconds on super 70.3 athlete Terrenzo Bozzone. Of course, Andrew did have a 1:45 advantage going into the run, but that's neither here nor there. He went 2.5 minutes faster than his 2008 time, with a non-wetsuit swim (on what was probably a little long of a course anyway) and then had the fastest bike of the day by 2.5 minutes (in that weather) and a solid run. Great job.

Reigning two-time Ironman World Champ Chrissie Wellington was there. I had the opportunity to chat with her in the morning and she seems like a pleasant person, one who is genuinely into the sport. I fully expected her to put me into the ground, and was glad she was starting 5 minutes ahead of me. I did not expect to pass her on the bike, after all, this is the woman who had the fastest bike split of the day at the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon. Then I was worried that she would run me down, but fortunately there was none of that. She still finished 6th, and I know she's not a short-course specialist, so good on her.

A lot of my friends were doing the race, and while nobody had super stellar, out of their mind performances, nobody did terrible. Alyssa, Stanford, Claire, Tall Matt - all great jobs. And a few of my friends were doing their first ever tri/first Columbia, and did really well.

So by 9:01am I was done, and it felt like I had been up all day. But the day was just beginning. Following the race I met JK, Alyssa and Stanford at Kisling's for wings. Then it was Bike Jam time to watch some sweet bike racing in Patterson Park. The day's final event was the croup d'etat: a beer mile, in the parking lot of Ravens stadium. It was a ridiculously amazing event, and nothing will replace the experience of watching the crew run around in absurd outfits, crushing beers, vomiting, and not a single passerby batting an eye. Ahh, Baltimore.

Now that I've managed to make a really long post, I'll wrap it up. My knee is killing me, and I need to do something about it before this weekend. I've got big bike plans, just like last Memorial Day. And I know I'm only a month off the Boston Marathon, but I haven't been running that much. I talked to Matias and concur that I can afford to "run off that fat" for a while, but I don't want to skimp on some long runs and harder efforts between now and next set of races.

I feel pretty good about Eagleman. I'm confident in my swimming right now, and feel I can make a few improvements in the next 3 weeks. On the bike, I'm sure I'll be back to feeling normal after a good hard weekend, and running, well, if my knee would stop hurting I'd be fine.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Columbia Pre-Race

I think last year I was looking for a lot more out of myself heading into Columbia, and as such I made it a bigger deal in my head. The first year I did Columbia, in 2001, it was so new to me I don't think I knew what was going on. It was a serious race, but wasn't big time, at least not yet. Each year I was looking for more and more, and the pressure seemed to get bigger and bigger.

I then had my two year hiatus from the race, and when I came back in 2006, it was like nothing had changed. I head down to packet pickup, get psyched just looking around at all the bikes, posers and clowns. Then I head to the park, more of the same. There's a feeling you get when you're at Centennial Park the day before. It's almost always nice the day before, but on race day it's usually pretty shitty.

Back to last year. I was hoping to finally have a race that I could be proud of, and I did. Everything clicked. I said then that I could leave the race alone, but of course felt like I still had some time I could take out of it.

This year has been different, and I'm interested to see how it turns out. I haven't been putting in the same training as previous years, and don't feel as good as I did last year. Going to the packet pickup today was weird because for the first time since I've done it, it wasn't where it normally is. I headed over to the park, and my rack was in a completely different spot than it normally is. Everything just seemed weird. There was no bike check, no helmet check. Weird.

I feel pretty relaxed, and just want to go have a good race. The weather might not be ideal, but that's what makes it Columbia.

And as it turned out, my Uncle Frank and cousin Connor were in town today, so I caught up with them for dinner at Ruth's Chris. My first time there, and it was pretty good. Our waitress looked like Lady Gaga aka she was kind of dope. I also have to not forget to post about some of the funnier conversations I've had over the past few days with some of the crew.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

This is the stupid name of some band that I feel Alex would listen to, but it's also what I was thinking about during my pedestrian run today at Robert E Lee. I thought about a lot of things. First, I thought about how much I hate that I live in a place where there is a park named after the Confederate General. It's like really, Maryland? Whose side were you on?

Next I was thinking about how often I am perceived as being offensive, and how little I care about those opinions.

I was also thinking man, why don't I ever feel good anymore while running?

I was thinking of the hilarious story I came up with about otters. My friend Shari tells me yesterday that she believes she saw an otter in the water down by the Safeway. I feel there is no way that any kind of otter would be living in the Inner Harbor. Her boyfriend tells her maybe it's a "kitty cat" - to which she replies "there's no way it was a kitty cat, it was an otter, like a beaver but it didn't have the fat tail to smoosh things." I'm laughing and tell her it was probably a rat. No way on earth it was an otter.

But then I felt bad for crushing her dream, and since today's her birthday I told her that I did some research and found out that the neighborhood in Fed Hill that is called "Otterbein" translates to "Bath of Otters" in German. When the first German immigrants settled in Baltimore, the Inner Harbor was a bunch of marshy waterways, perfect for families of otters. Over time, industrialization pushed them out, but a few still exist. There is a website,

On my way home, while listening to the fresh tracks WTMD was playing, I noticed the billboard for the lottery. It's at 38 million dollars. I don't often play the lottery, but it had me thinking: you can't win if you don't play. I usually drift off and think about the sweet things I would do if I won the lottery, but I started thinking about how so many people I know talk about how they're going to get into the sickest shape ever and they're gonna do this and do that - but they never get beyond the talking. While I may fail, time and time again, the one thing that I'm immensely proud of myself for is that I'm always in it. I raced 27 times last year. I've raced at least 90 times since 2005.

As I begin starting the journey towards Ironman and other long races, I'll probably post a little more on the training I'm doing. Most of what I do now is just bullshit. I go out and do whatever I feel like on a daily basis. I have routines and things I try to stick to, but it's pretty loose right now.

I went down to Columbia on Wednesday to ride the course. Even though I've ridden it a hundred times and know it like the back of my hand, I always like to ride it before the race just to see if anything's changed. It really does suck. It's just not a fun place to ride a ride. Race day never seems to be that bad, but the traffic at rush hour gets balled up, there is no shoulder and the roads are hard. I met up with a few people and we rode about 1h20m. On race day I'll need to be, oh, about 17 minutes faster. Then I went for a little run around the lake.

Last night a few of us went to Gunpowder State Park for an open water swim. I guess the body of water is some kind of river that empties into the bay. It looked like an ocean last night. Waves seemed huge and it looked like it wasn't even going to be possible to swim. Fortunately we made it without incident, swimming for about a half hour. Always good practice because you never know what the appropriately-named Choptank River will be doing at Eagleman in June. Water temp was pretty nice, which is good for this weekend.

Today I ran about 7 miles at Robert E Lee. It was nice to be off the roads as my body just did not want to run the same old loop today.

My pre-race for tomorrow is usually a 30 mile easy ride, maybe hop in the pool just for a couple hundred meters, and then head to Columbia for packet pickup, bike racking, etc. I've got to help Jim work the expo for a little and then I'll head home and run 3-4 miles before calling it a night. 4am wakeup on Sunday always comes early and if history has taught me anything, my neighbors will be unruly due to Preakness. I hate that fucking race.

If all goes well on Sunday, my 6:50am start time will parlay itself into an 8:58 finish. Last year I went 2:08:40 with splits of 22:23, 1:04:44 and 38:17. With the exception of the swim time, they were all PRs. The bike was the big one - 5:20 faster than the previous year and 13th fastest on the day. I'm feeling surprisingly good while swimming right now and would like to crack the 21:xx range, and if I could ride as fast as I did last year or maybe a little faster I'd be really psyched. The run I'm not as concerned with. I probably won't ever run worse than 40, but a few weeks ago (before Boston) I felt like I could go 37:xx. I'm still going to make that my goal. It would be nice to be able to go a little faster than last year but even if it's close or just over, it won't be a failure.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Every Mother's Day should have a Mother's Night

Milk Was A Bad Idea

A text conversation with Ed aka Cheese:

EA: I've got a proposition for you...we'll talk tonight
RM: No Ed, I will not sleep with you
EA: Now I'm getting mixed signals

My beard right now is completely out of control. I can't remember the last time I shaved. For starters, I don't have a need to shave everyday right now. And also razors are expensive and I'm lazy. It'll be going away for this weekend's race though.

I forgot to mention in my race post that I also rocked my sweet new aero helmet, another gift from the team. I had always been anti-aero helmets cause they made people look like complete tools, or at least like Dark Helmet in Spaceballs. But as peer pressure often accomplishes, I caved. In some of these races the difference can be seconds, and you've got to give yourself every advantage. So the answer to the age-old question is yes, I would in fact jump off a bridge if everyone else in the race was doing it. And if the water was borderline boiling but they gave it a nice measure at 77 degrees and everyone was wearing a wetsuit, I would too.

Columbia 2009 is shaping up to be the sickest competition the race has ever seen. It is totally stacked. The collective CV of the pros is absurd, I wish my real resume looked like it. The open division is enormous and there are tons of super competitors. I'll be happy if I can just do about the same as last year, and hopefully the knee won't give me much problem.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'll Be Your Mother-Lover

"I'm a be the syrup she can be my waffle" ~ JT

Justin Timberlake hosted SNL this weekend and it was pretty much the best episode, start to finish, I've ever seen. Every skit was funny and on point, and there was another magical digital short courtesy of Andy Samberg and JT.

A remark about my race from Thursday before I move on to Sunday's event:

"YOU GOT GIRLED?" Thanks Jennifer, yes, I did get girled. It was great.

Then from Alyssa's trip on the train to NY:

"The woman next to me just asked me if I was allergic to PB so she could eat a Reeses cup. And then she didn't offer me one and she had a King Size pack! The world is cruel."

To which I replied, what, you think she's obligated to give you one?

"We are sitting within inches and not even an armrest to separate us. Obligated is an understatement."

Onto the Kinetic Sprint Triathon...

Overall I would rate my performance as a B. Nothing about it stood out as being particularly awesome or particularly terrible, other than my horrendous T2. I went into the race relaxed - almost too relaxed - and that showed in how slow I performed simple tasks such as putting on shoes.

I've been feeling pretty broken lately, which really has me down. This is normally a time of year when I feel good, but for the last 3 weeks my knee has been really bothering me. If I don't get it worked out soon, I'm going to be in SERIOUS trouble for the next two months.

I woke up at 4:15 on Sunday and it was windy here in Baltimore. This guy David picked me up and we drove down to VA together. Travel time was right on 2 hours. It was gorgeous down at Lake Anna, in fact, it was likely the nicest weather I've ever raced in. Temp was perfect, water temp was comfortable, no wind, and sunshine and blue skies abound. It was weird. Especially considering how nasty last year's race was. OJ and I warmed up with 2 pretty quick miles, and then I put on my new Zoot wetsuit (a big thank you to the team for presenting me with that). The start was hectic as they've done away with Open division at this race. This upsets me because, as a not-great swimmer, I prefer not having a ton of people thrashing around me, for me to just end up passing them later. I've never been stopped dead in my tracks as many times as I was during the first half of this short swim.

Once I found some open water I really started moving. I passed a lot of people and headed into T1 in a decent position. Upon examining the results, my swim time was 11:00/43rd fastest of the dudes. Since they had obviously shortened the course from last year, it's hard to say if it was faster or slower than last year's - so I use OJ as my measuring bar. Last year he swam 10:15 to my 13:45; this year he was 8:23 to my 11:00. While I'm sure he didn't swim completely all-out, I clearly didn't either, so I'll take a 2:37 deficit. Maybe things are looking up for the swim this year at Columbia! Wetsuit felt awesome.

I got onto the bike and yet again had problems with my cleats. I better figure it out in the next few days. It feels like they're too tight for the pedals, but I don't know how that would happen. So here I am, trying to ride uphill with one shoe clipped in and the other not. I rode the first mile of the course with my left shoe unclipped before finally jamming it in. Once I got that squared, I was good. I don't think it cost me a ton of time, but it was definitely worth something. I then blasted up the opening climb and onto the roads, passing a bunch of people early. Then it was quiet. Eerily quiet. Nobody behind me, nobody in front of me. I would rate my effort out of 10 as a 6. I definitely had more in me, but not having done much on the bike this year left me cautious. If I was limited by anything yesterday, it would have been my legs, not my lungs, which is good for now.

In the end, I had the 10th fastest bike split at 45:45. Disappointed because last year in the rain I rode a 46:05, and it was three weeks earlier in the season. So from that point I had nearly a month until Columbia to get in better shape. This year I've got just a week. So I don't know what to expect next weekend, but I hope to ride about the same as last year. I'd take that.

Into T2 and I really don't know why it took so long, but I felt it. It was like I was being too neat putting on my socks and shoes. I should have just said screw the socks, I definitely would have been fine without them. There's 10 seconds. Then I went the wrong way, there's a few more. Blah blah blah, better fix it before next week.

Onto the run and I was feeling alright. I felt like I tore into it, sprinting up the hill. I saw a 1 mile marked on the road and looked at my watch - 4:56. Clearly not a mile, but I figured I had to be running pretty quick. Then I see the 1 mile sign, and it was 6:16. Ouch, that's real bad news. Granted it's a hard, completely uphill mile, but Columbia is just as hard. The 2nd mile I was stuck in limbo. Not really picking anybody up, not gonna get passed. Just kept pressing and ran a 6:15. Arrgghh. Now the downhill last mile, thought I could pick it up but I felt like I was slowing down.

I brought it home, crossing the line with a 19:23 5k. That is 1:06 slower than I ran last year - again, in the rain. I figured I could walk under 18 this year. Guess not. This is the most disappointing part of my race. With a week to go before Columbia, I could have used the confidence of an 18min 5k off the bike.

The end result was another 11th place finish. 4 dudes from the wave behind (35+) beat me on time. Of all the disciplines, today I'm most pleased with my swim. I am very frustrated, though, with how my knee feels. It feels broken. And the inside of my left ankle too. I'm falling apart and I'm just at the beginning of the season.

Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I hadn't run as much as I did this winter. Let's face it, I'm going to run just as fast or slow off 45 miles a week as I am at 70+ if I'm doing the riding and swimming too. Now I've got to amend my little plan, taking it pretty easy this week and going into Columbia rested, and might have to recover for a few days after that.

The good news is that OJ got the win, leading wire to wire. Always nice when your friends have success, so good job buddy. He had informed me a day or two before the race that I was the highest place returning finisher from last year, which was a first for me. Now we've got to go back next year so OJ can defend the title. David, who drove me down, did well, as did DC-friend Kelzie, who finished 5th for the women.

Friday, May 08, 2009

1st Annual Alumni Mile

When I first heard that Maryland was going to host an Alumni Mile, I was super psyched. That it was on a Thursday night was even more awesome - a twilight meet! I figured it would be part of an intersquad meet, just to give the kids another chance to run before heading home or onward to regionals, IC4As, whatever. Then I found out that it was a quasi-legitimate "last chance" meet and there would be some fast people.

I tried to rally support for the Alumni Mile, encouraging as many people as I know live in the area to come out. The attendance was not as great as it could have been, but those of us there had immeasurable amounts of fun.

I picked up Doug Allen, my old roommate, and we headed down to the meet amidst intermittent (wait for it...) rain. It has rained every day for a week now. Wednesday night I thought was a culmination, but it was just as bad during the day Thursday. Nothing like screwing up my ability to ride outdoors this late in the spring. Back to the story. We get to campus and run into a few people right away, including Matt Sanders. The 3 of us, plus Tom Stott, were all psyched to be there.

Tom and I head out for our warmup, and I wanted to run around as much of campus as we could so we toured North Campus, weaved in and out and finally ran back up Campus Drive to the track. I felt terrible. My legs are beyond beat, which is to be expected given my increased volume of other things, so I was just hoping to not completely embarrass myself in this short race.

Fast forward to race time and we've got the 4 of us, Bobby Van Allen, Pat Reaves, TWSS teammate Denise Knickman, Maryland women's mile record holder Rosalind Sheppard and the trio of Laurel Jefferson, Ali Carney and Shari Gorga. I didn't realize we don't have a "line" to indicate where a full mile should start so they broke the measuring tape out for the "whole 9" and lined us up. Gun goes off, and honestly after about 50 feet I knew I was in for a rough day. I really just have not been running well, feeling well or enjoying running for weeks now.

I come through my first lap in something like 75, and if that felt hard, I was obviously not going to run any faster than that, so 5:00 was out of the question. I traipsed through the puddles in lane 1, sitting a few seconds back of Tom, Matt and Laurel. While the view from behind on Laurel was not one I would complain about, I was not enjoying my inability to not run faster than her. The gap would stay pretty constant for the remainder of the race, and I would finish at a sad 5:13. I'm glad that I can go out for my first mile of a 10 mile race in 5:20 and have it not feel as hard as that did. I really just didn't have the legs today!

Doug somehow ran a 4:44. That kid is amazing to me. Sanders, who allegedly has not run in 3 years, and was also sporting a Tier 3 sex offender mustache, slipped under 5 (4:59). PR ran a PR, 4:36. Tom was 5:01 and Laurel was 5:05. Quick little girl.

The race seemed to be the highlight of the meet; the attention of the sparse crowd and teams was completely focused on watching us, which was pretty cool. After the race they had brought in some delicious Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, so I ate one as we cooled down. I figure I need to learn how to eat chicken sandwiches while running for later this year. Tom and I cooled down for about 30 minutes, running down Knox to Route 1, then up to Queens Chapel and down through the old neighborhoods, before running up College Ave and campus. Then I ate another chicken sandwich and watched the rest of the meet, including TWSS teammate Ed "Cheese" Aramayo run a 4:07 1500m.

As everyone parted, it was time for me, Doug and Sanders to hit the town. It was 9:30 but Santa Fe was like a ghost town. I loathe paying covers too. We stayed there for a little before heading to Cornerstone, which was marginally more crowded. After a little while there, Sanders was informed of a track party taking place and the three of us tools began walking about a half mile away, only to have him not remember where the house was/not get a call back from the person with whom he was communicating. Back to Cornerstone. Now it was really crowded, and we left there after a minute and headed for the trifecta - Bentley's.

In college this was pretty much the only place I went. I don't know why. I hate it there. Being there last night reminded me why. I guess a lot of people go to that Thirsty Turtle place now, which, alas, I've been to.

1:40 comes and it's time to leave, so Doug and I head to Cluck U, since there is no more WaWa. And here is where the best part of the night comes - Cluck U Pac is still working there! It has been 10 years since I started school and first encountered Cluck U Pac. The dude seriously looks identical to 2Pac, and apparently he and Pac actually did grow up somewhat around one another and were allegedly boys. Cluck U Pac even has an album or two that he sells out of his car. I remember the Diamondback article like it was yesterday... Anyway he gives me my Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and 10 chicken tenders and off we go. It is a mob scene down on Route 1, so we drive and eat in the car. I have now consumed 3 chicken sandwiches and a couple of tenders, and I get home at 3am.

What a night.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I Have to Levy a Duty

Toilet humor is the bane of my existence. It never gets old. Each and every day I live on this earth, it is my goal to come up with a new way to express the need to make feces.

These euphemisms get used at least 20 times per day, and are often put into action at least once per run. Sometimes more. Sometimes when you least expect it.

Here are a few of the good ones we have come up with here at Fleet St:

Release some hostages - as in, I have a hostage situation and negotiations are not going well

Grow a tail

Mudbutt - an oldie but a goodie

And this weekend while watching a History Channel production of "Bootleggers, Rumrunners and Moonshiners," we were inspired:

Levy a Duty - First, it sounds official. Second, it uses the word "duty." Doesn't get much better than that.

Just to show you how shit-obsessed we are, here is an email my mother sent me:

Before You Flush

Look inside the bowl to learn about your health.

Why is it that when it comes to bathroom habits, guys seem to turn into a bunch of 12-year-olds ("Just taking the Browns to the Super Bowl!")? But even if potty talk grosses you out, flushing and running isn't the best strategy either. Docs say that what's in the toilet can provide important clues to your health. Yale gastroenterologist Anish Sheth, M.D., the author of What's Your Poo Telling You? and Poo Log, says, "What comes out tells you a lot about what's going on inside." Here he explains what you should look out for. Take a deep breath. You can handle this.

Flush factor: Consistency What you should see: A stool that's compact yet soft enough to be passed very easily. What you shouldn't: A bowel movement that's broken up or watery. An ideal download shouldn't require a lot of pushing or straining, Sheth says. To achieve that, drink plenty of water and get at least 25 grams of fiber per day. On the other hand, stools that are looser than a Rock of Love contestant can signal food intolerance. The most likely culprits: the milk sugar lactose, the artificial sweetener sorbitol (found in sugar-free gum), or the wheat protein gluten. A food diary can help you determine whether grilled cheese, Orbit, or whole-wheat pizza crusts are to blame. If changing your diet doesn't get results, see a GI specialist. Your symptoms could be caused by a bacterial infection or an allergy.

Flush Factor: Color What you should see: Cocoa, mahogany, burnt umber, cafe au lait...What you shouldn't: Regular appearances from hues that aren't in the brown family Sheth is down with anything brown, but says not to worry if something you ate temporarily changes a stool's color. Blueberries and beets, for example, can tint your business blue and red, respectively. Persistent red or black stools, however, are often caused by blood in the digestive tract, which may signal stomach ulcers or hemorrhoids. Yellow floaters occur when there's fat in the stool, which means your body is having trouble digesting food properly. And pale gray stools typically result from gallstones. If an abnormal palette persists for more than a day or two, keep a record and take it to your doctor.

Flush Factor: Shape What you should see: A single, bananalike shape. What you shouldn't: A pencil-thin stool. "One long piece means you're getting enough insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to your stool," Sheth says. To get your fill of the rough stuff, have a bowl of bran cereal for breakfast, or snack on broccoli dipped in hummus. Skinny BMs can indicate a serious problem—namely, rectal cancer. See a doctor for a colonoscopy if your deposits are persistently scrawny or become thinner over several weeks.

Monday, May 04, 2009

3 Hour Tour

F*** land I'm on a motherf***ing boat - "I'm on a Boat"

It's felt like I've been on a boat since the rain started on Wednesday. Asides from a little respite on Friday afternoon, it's been wet and overcast and there is a feeling of malaise.

After about a week of no running following Boston, I got back into it this week with just a shade under 40 miles. I felt worse each day that I ran throughout the week, which is rarely a good sign. Tuesday I thought I would try my hand at the workout, which was a good one: 3x(1600 at tempo pace/200 jog; 800 at 5k pace/400 jog; 400 at mile pace/5min). The goal for me was 5:40-5:45 for the mile, and I ran 5:41. But my legs felt like garbage and I figured there was no point in making them feel worse, so I stopped.

The two highlights of the week were on the bike. I rode 50 on Thursday with OJ, and after the two big days from the previous weekend, I was feeling much stronger. We kept the tempo high and I was glad to have a good ride and also not get rained on.

Saturday's plan was a shorter ride than I normally do on the weekend, but we were doing intervals so any longer would have been tough. Zero joined us for what became his longest ride ever. The weather was not super cooperative, as we started our intervals on Mountain Rd - into the wind and rain, and for a few miles the road was grated and devastating on the bung to ride.

Nevertheless, we had a great workout, with timed intervals of 5-10-15-15-10-5 minutes in the middle of the ride. And while I was tired toward the end, we charged up the hills of Charles St in Towson and made it home with 63ish miles. Seems pretty paltry compared to last weekend, but I need a few more efforts like this before I'm ready to really get after it.

Sunday was the shittiest day of the week. I crashed at BrenJun's and planned on running back to Canton in the morning to watch some friends run the Making Tracks for Celiac 5k/10k, which started at 9. Around 8:50 I finally decided to start walk/running over there, which is probably about 3 miles away. It was miserable, and I was just shuffling along with my backpack, getting soaked. Just over the bridge by Pier 5 I heard someone shout my name out - it was my cousin, who was on her run. She and I ran together back to where I was headed for the race. I got there and it was 9:20 or something, so I had just missed a few of my friends finish. I then sat there and waited for the awards with them, which took until 11.

The rain picked up and the temperature dropped, so there was to be no riding for me. I was contemplating going to the pool, but didn't want to leave the house, so I called it a day.

The good news was that results from the team's efforts over the weekend were awesome!

This week I'm going to begin ramping up some harder efforts. I've got the Kinetic Sprint Tri this Sunday, hard to believe tri season is here. Last year it was 3 weekends earlier, but the weather forecast is probably the same. It was 55 degrees and POURING last year, the worst rain I've ever competed in. If it does the same this year I'm going to be pretty ticked.

But first I have the Alumni Mile down in College Park this Thursday night. I'm excited to go back and see some of the old teammates. The race is part of a twilight/last chance meet, so the competition for the real events will be pretty good. I'm just hoping to break 5.