Monthly Archives: May 2010

Rest Time is Over

Start time: 5/29/10, 7:00am
Location: Downtown DC
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 9:52min/mile
Total Miles For May: 41 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 280 miles

After my race on Sunday, I ended up taking Monday through Friday off. It wasn’t my plan to do so—I figured just a couple of days—but a slightly sore knee and other things going on meant that it just didn’t come back together. Today was an 8-miler with the group, which worked out well as always. We were a little variable in spots (oops) but on the whole it was a nice time. Good way to start the morning.

Afterwards, I stopped by the local running store and ordered a new pair of shoes (I can feel that these are on their last legs, and sure enough they’re around the 375 mile mark, plus added abuse from the tri and Disney), and also got a new bicycle seat to prevent some soreness problems I had at the tri. Phew.

(8:47, 9:57, 10:18, 9:03, 11:02, 10:19, 9:29, 9:58)

Wetness Everywhere

Columbia Triathlon
Start time: 5/23/10, 7:00am
Location: Columbia, MD
Distance: 1.5k swim / 41k bike / 10k run
Splits: 32:16 / 1:45:44 / 1:05:12
Total time: 3:36:12
Total Miles For May: 33 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 272 miles

The Columbia Triathlon was my first olympic-distance triathlon; I ran a sprint triathlon in July 2009 to see if I liked the idea of a triathlon, and it was good enough an experience to sign up for two olympic tris in 2010. This was the first one, and I must say that I hope the second one is easier in all regards, because this was definitely a hard one. It didn’t help that there was heavy rain and thunderstorms all night before; I got maybe 3 hours of sleep, and from there it was a very early drive up to Columbia. Once there, I set up my gear as best I could (my bike was already there), met up with Moose, and then headed into the water at 7am for the start of my swim wave. The rain had fortunately stopped a few minutes earlier, and the weather in general only pushed back the start by 15 minutes.

The swim was the first open-water distance I’d done since Boy Scout Camp (and the mile swim) back in the 1980s. This meant I had to learn “sighting” (aka keeping your eyes on where you are supposed to be going) on the fly; the first turn ended up being a little wide, but after that it sorted itself out. (When I got to that turn and realized I should be making a much tighter turn, another swimmer next to me stopped, looked, and said, “I think we need to start turning a little tighter.” At least I was not alone.) On the bright side, I never did get kicked in the head, something I was expecting. On the down side, the water was disgusting and at the end you actually swam through weeds. Ugh. Still, I was happy with my finishing time for this leg; it was actually the one out of the three where I ended almost exactly where I had thought I would.

After a really slow transition (I was mentally in “all done!” mode for too much of it), I headed out onto the bike course, which is pure hill from start to finish. Biking is still my weakest part of a triathlon, and this was a struggle. It didn’t help matters that the road was still wet and slick from all of the rain. I did pass one person who had wiped out on the course, badly; adding to the experience was that just earlier on that very steep downhill stretch, I’d felt my own bike slide a tiny bit on the course, but I had regained control almost immediately. I spent the entire bike ride eating spray from other bikes as they passed me (ugh), hoping I wouldn’t wipe out, and wondering how far along the course I was. I hadn’t brought my Garmin GPS, which was a mistake; next time I’ll just switch watches and call it a day. (It can’t go in the water.) I’d convinced myself that I was barely more than halfway through (and inching through the course) when I suddenly made a turn and realized I had about three miles to go. Oh, what a wonderful moment that was. I came in on the bike about half an hour faster than I’d expected, which was a really nice surprise.

The one downside to doing better on the bike than expected was that I didn’t have as much energy left for the run as I needed. If the course was flatter I might’ve been all right, but just like the bike course, it had large and steep rolling hills, and I’ll admit that I ended up walking a few of them because I just didn’t have the power left to move any faster. It was a disappointment, and while it wasn’t a bad finish time, it was the part of the race where I came in slower than I’d wanted.

I’m looking forward to my next race (the Washington DC Triathlon on June 20th) being a much flatter course, though!

Last Chance Run

Start time: 5/20/10, 7:30am
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:38min/mile
Total Miles For May: 27 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 266 miles

Wasn’t able to get to spinning last night for a variety of reasons, argh. This morning’s run is the last one before Sunday’s tri; we’ll see how it goes. I feel like I am in not as good shape for it as I should be, but as long as I don’t go splat I’ll take it as a victory.

(8:30, 8:42, 8:34, 8:43, 8:39)


Start time: 5/15/10, 7:00am
Location: Downtown DC
Distance: 7 miles
Average pace: 10:00min/mile
Total Miles For May: 22 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 261 miles

Went for a nice run with some of the guys on Saturday morning; we ended up running through some scenic parts of the area (Capitol, White House, Lincoln Memorial, around the Tidal Basin) and it was a nice change of pace. Stephanie and I also got a nice shock when we ran by a police dog in a parked cruiser that started barking like mad at us. We both gave off a little scream. 🙂


Start time: 5/13/10, 6:30pm
Location: North Arlington
Distance: 5 miles
Average pace: 8:31min/mile
Total Miles For May: 15 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 254 miles

Plan A was to get up before work, run 5 miles, call it a day. Got up. Stretched. Tendon to the right of my right knee was feeling much better. Changed. Started walking across parking lot.. and a different spot on my right knee started really hurting. *sigh* Decided to postpone the run until the evening, wondering if it was maybe the 50 degree temperature messing things up a bit.

Well, the good news was that everything was fine after work. No idea what the mystery twinge was. Ah well.

(8:31, 8:12, 8:27, 8:40, 8:45)


Start time: 5/12/10, 7:15pm
Location: TJ Community Center
Distance: 2 miles
Average pace: 8:00min/mile
Total Miles For May: 10 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 249 miles

I told myself last week that this week’s brick would go up to at least a 3 miler. But on Monday, I went for a belated bike ride (Sunday was just too windy out with its 40mph winds) and about halfway through, a tendon next to my right knee started really bothering me. It was still hurting on Tuesday, so on Wednesday I decided I needed to be careful and not mess anything up. In the end, just went for the two miles; I could’ve picked up more, but with the race on the 23rd it just seemed like a really bad idea.

(8:01, 7:59)


Start time: 5/8/10, 7:15am
Location: Rock Creek Park
Distance: 8 miles
Average pace: 10:37min/mile
Total Miles For May: 8 miles
Total Miles For 2010: 247 miles

Took a little unexpected time off; been having some slight stiffness in one of my calves so I want to make sure I don’t make it any worse. Ran 8 with the group today and no one was feeling it and then some. Thick humidity this morning signalling a storm that never actually showed up, and we felt like we were swimming rather than running. Just a big ol “eh” from everyone this morning, and I was ok with that.