Sunday, November 06, 2011

Time Travel

I've traveled in least in terms of this blog. Last post was pre-first born...over three years ago. Lots of changes: a financial system melt down (which honestly is that that great when you and your wife both work for different banks), survived a financial system melt down, got to be relocated back to DC from RVA, had a kid and worked a fair amount and basically forgot how to work out.

With a new child on the way (t-minus a few weeks or so), I'm kicking this blog back up. I'll think that I'll write about a few things:

1. How I deal with child number two in a busy working family.

2. Getting back into shape: I got shut out of the NYC marathon for the past three year, so next year I'm in like flynn.

3. Planning a renovation or expansion of our house for the growing family.

4. Where to eat with kids in my general neck of the woods.

Let's see how well I do - my history on this stuff not exactly stellar.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Photos from Recent Events

Below you will find some photos from my recent races and a photo of me in my new DC United Jersey with the VW logo standing in front of a stroller my parents purchased for the upcoming family addition:

DC United Jersey and phil and ted's sport stroller:

Finishing the "I love the Tavern" Triathlon

James River Splash

Finishing James River Splash

6th out of the water at I Love the Tavern - number 7 right behind...

Getting on Bike at ILT - number 18 of of the water passing me...

Great color co-ordination at ILT

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Long Awaited Update

My life is nothing but exciting, so here are a few updates since my last post (almost three months ago):

1. I did an open water swim on June 14th: James River Splash, which was part of an event called "The James River Games" that featured such events as the Xterra Triathlon East Coast Championship, an off road 10k, mountain biking and wake boarding. I finished 10th overall, 4th in the men and 1st in my age group. Not bad for no real training....with Dara Torres making the Olympics, perhaps I should shoot for a come back in time for 2012? Maybe Open water swimming?? I think that I might tri and start maybe some masters swimming?

The same day I flew to Atlanta for BPH's graduation from Chef School. Pretty cool, I cannot wait till he opens his own place, so I can get all the free beer I need, err I mean eat some really great food.

2. My competitions also included a triathlon - the second annual I Love the Tavern Triathlon. I did this same event last year in the lead up to the Musselman Half Iron, in which I was training quite a bit. My training this year was ok until the ING Georgia Marathon (i.e. I ran just enough to finish a marathon), after which I really did not do too much - a few swims here and there, a few sessions on the bike trainer at home and some running, not more than 5 miles at a pop. In any event, I went about 4 minutes and 30 seconds faster (even though my T1 and T2 were much slower). Perhaps I've discovered a new training method? I am pretty sure that my about 4 minute improvement on the bike is to blame, but I would like to think that it was my heroic beer drinking that did it.With that said - the P2C is great - a huge improvement over my last bike - very smooth and pretty comfortable.

I finished 1st in my age group on the swim, which is always fun. Everyone (basically) had a better T1 than me - I do not have a water bottle attachment for the bike yet or anything to put my tubes and co2 in, so I was spent time stuffing all of that stuff into my tri top. Folks were passing me on the bike, but not as many as usual, so I was pretty pleased with my time and the bike. My run was ok, i passed a few people, I was passed by a few people - i need to run more basically. My attitude was pretty great after improving over last year, so was pretty pumped to find additional races this summer, but the baby training might get in the way.

3. I attended something called Boot Camp for New Dads, which is a training class for Dads to be in which "Veterans" bring their kid to introduce the "Rookies" (me) to what life is like with a newborn. You can hold an infant, see a diaper change (actually change one if you REALLY want), and learn coping strategies for when the child will not stop crying. An interesting class - one of the kids was seven months old and (i kid you not) was 30 pounds. I think that perhaps the parents must be force feeding that kid, because he was H-U-G-E. A few good tips were picked up and I got a new T-shirt, so it was three hours well spent.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

P2C Photo and More

After a few week delay - below is a photo of my new P2C. As you can see this bike is the DuraAce set up. Waaaaay back in January, I had ordered the Ulterga set up. After waiting over two months, I get the call that the bike is finally in and roll down to my dealer to finally pick it up...and Ben the bike guy rolls out this Red and White Dura-Ace frame, to my dismay. After pointing out that my order was for a Ultegra set up and frame (sweet looking black and silver), the bike guy checks his notes (i reminded him that we discussed at "my level" - i.e. slow, the difference in price between the two set ups was not worth it.) and says - "yep, I have you down for the Ultegra, but I ordered the Dura-Ace...looks like I can get an Ultegra in a couple of months." The look of dismay on my face must have moved the bike guy and he offered to give me the DuraAce setup for a discount off the retail price. Clearly, I bought the bike and it is now sitting in one of my indoor trainers. You'll see that the front fork is red, which is some sort of unannounced upgrade (downgrade?) but is supposed to be pretty light weight. The bike feels great on the trainer and having real aero bars is a nice upgrade from the snap-ons on my fugi.

My recovery from the ING Georgia Marathon is finally over. The first week I was hobbling around until I got a sports massage, which made me feel a world better. My first run was one week after the marathon in a hotel workout room in Orange County, CA. When the speed got over 6 mps, my Achilles tendon started to kill, so my recover got an additional week added to it. This week has been fine with 3 runs including some "speed work" today. Next on the schedule is to start getting back into the water so I can remember how to swim...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

ING Georgia Marathon 2008. A tale of two cities.

I ran the ING Georgia Marathon last weekend (March 29, 2008). It feels pretty great to actually have run a marathon. Pretty damn good actually. Let's dive into some details:

1. Some time ago, say about 10ish years ago, I made a bet with my older brother ("MDH") that when I ran my first marathon I would "crush" his best time. I may have said this after a couple of beers, but I was very much feeling my oats as an ex-college swimmer. At that point in life, I was sure that my athletic accomplishments and dedication to training would ALWAYS be stronger than MDH's. I had just spent about 8 years of my life swimming six days a week for about three hours a day. MDH, granted, had done some good things - nice undergrad grades (4.0 ish), got in to a nice top MBA program (MIT) and he may have been a better basketball player than me, but he had never swam a mile in under 15 minutes and 50 seconds. So, there was no way that he would ever be able to actually do better than me in a real athletic event. We might have been on the T in Boston - details are fuzzy but I like to think that we were on the T - and said something to the effect that "I bet a case of beer that the first time I run a marathon, I will beat your best time - a case of the good stuff- Sam Adams!" (note: actual conversation may have taken place in a different location and involved a different beer).

"A Brewer and a Patriot"

Well, ten years later - it turns out that this was a bad bet. Ten years of working has taught me many things (list to be included in a future post), but one thing is for certain - MDH is a better Marathoner than me. He has qualified for Boston. MDH finished an Ironman in less than 12 hours. MDH has run about 20 marathons. I, well I just barely beat Oprah in my first attempt. So, MDH and KSH will be getting a case of Sam Adams beer. Here's hoping that it helps with the transition from city living to the suburbs!

2. My time was 4 hours and 21 minutes. The run was a tale of two cities, or two halves. The forecast was actually pretty good compared to the initial running of the peach - last year was super hot (record high?), this year was cool and cloudy with rain in the forecast. The rain ended a few hours before kick off, so no issue.

A few weeks prior to the race, during my last 2o mile run, I rolled my ankle, which limited the training for the last few weeks, so I was actually not that excited about the run when MMH (w/ peanut!) and I flew down to the ATL. In fact, I was considering switching to the half marathon. However when I got down to the GA Dome for the Expo, I figured that I would simply stop at mile 14 at my parent's house if my ankle was hurting too much. So after my dad dropped me off at Centennial Olympic Park at 6:15 in the AM, I guessed I was ready to go.

It was dark, cold and a little strange in downtown ATL - the damage to the park and broken windows on some of the highrises from the recent tornado was almost unreal to see. I lined up with the 3 hour and 50 minute pace group. I wanted to break four hours and I thought that my training runs had been pointing to around this finish time. At a bit after 7 am we were off. It was pretty crowded in the corrals and I was not as skilled at pushing through the crowd as the pace leaders, so I was a fair amount behind the pacers when I crossed the start pad. I eventually caught up and stayed about 10 feet back. Nice run through GA State, looping around the King Center, up to Little Five Points. I was feeling pretty good keeping pace and in little five points, I dropped my long sleeved shirt with my parents and declined to pick up a Gatorade from MAH for the first time. We then proceeded a bit toward the Carter Center and the half marathon people turned toward home while the marathoners turned toward the unknown, I mean Decatur. We continued up a nice hill next to the Candler Park Golf Course (where I think shoes are optional). We then ran toward Ponce De Leon.

At this point, I was up with the pace group and a few things happened. One girl in the pace group fell a couple of times (the course was wet at this point) and I started talking to one guy running along who pointed out that the pacers had run the last two miles 30 seconds a mile too fast. So as we ran up a really long hill from Clifton and Ponce to a Marta stop, I backed off a few second a mile. The course finally flattened out a little after we reached the Marta stop and ran down College ST (ave?) and had a really quick jog in Agnes Scott College (ASC), which had a water stop staffed by the students.

The girls at ASC were cheering really loud and made me feel a bit like a local celebrity walking (running) the red carpet. In fact, I would say that ASC won my vote for best cheering on the course and crushed the college competition - GA State - No student support (it was 7am in GAS's defense), Emory - NO STUDENT SUPPORT (hugely disappointing - were they on spring break?), GA Tech - comes in second with decent support, but honestly nothing like the roars coming from the ASC students.

After ASC we turned toward downtown Decatur. Decatur went all out to win the cheering award - bunches of signs which said something like "Decatur is a great place to live, but not sure that we would run a marathon!" The run through downtown Decatur is pretty neat - good crowd support and views of post marathon beer options. The halfway point is located here - I crossed the mat in 1:53:07. That was only 3 minutes and 8 seconds slower than my run of the half last year! This is was a pace of about 8:37 - right about on pace for a 3:50 finish and looking good for for a sub four hour run. MMH and my parents were there and took some really great photos. I turned down Gatorade from MAH (again).

So the second half of the run starts down Clairmont, right by my parents' house. I was feeling pretty good at this point, so no thought of stopping really passed my last year about 97% of the starters finished and no way I was going to be in that 3%!. So I kept on trucking. Ran down to North Decatur Road and turned right toward Emory. We did this little turn into a local street for like 150 yards and then we turned into Emory. Now Emory's campus is not bad looking (it seems a little sterile to me), but having absolutely NO students out cheering was a big let down after the ASC students really got you motivated. The run continued through the campus and dumped out at Everybody's Pizza, my brother's old place of employment. Good pizza and good beer. I was thinking that beer would soon be coursing through my body as I still felt pretty good. Then the race turned to to Druid Hills....which proved to be pretty tough mentally and physically.

My parents lived on Oakdale Rd for a few years and I never really thought that it was all that hilly back in the Druid Hills...I was clearly wrong. You go up Lullwater, past the "Driving Miss Daisy" house and past the H's (not my H!) house who host a really great Christmas eve party each year. Then you run UP Ponce, then a downhill on Oakdale...where it felt like someone shot me in my left knee. Right about in front of my parent's old house on Oakdale I let out an audible yelp and spent a minute stretching at the 18 mile sign. You then run up another hill and then up another street and then up the by-way...lots of mind numbing hills.

You eventually turn down St. Charles street at which point I must have been looking bad because a few people passing me gave me the old pat on the back and "come on almost home!" yell. It worked a bit so I said - I'll hook up with the 4 hour pace group and tough it out for the last 6 miles with them....they went flying by me a few minutes later. At this point my knee was like "hey dude, let's stop." I suggested that we try some "walk- run combo as you don't really hurt when we walk."

I ran and walked through Virginia Highlands, Piedmont Park and Midtown. In Midtown, I going slow and started to feel cold, so I had to put my hat back on. Evidently I missed MMH, how rude and how rude's better half at 23 screaming at me...i was focused on trying to get to the finish, not signing autographs at that point. We eventually made it to GA Tech's campus, ran by the stadium and...hit more hills.

In general the race was really scenic, expect for mile 25, which was downright ugly. I think we passed a "gentleman's club" on mile 25. This area was basically somewhat "industrial" and seemed to have a couple of car decks. The finish line eventually came up, but the last area was this really weird maze like area where you had to go around a bunch of 90 degree turns. I heard that the finish was like this because of some tornado damage, so it seems hard to argue, but hopefully next year it will be different.

The race ended:

My mental state wasn't too bad - I wasn't as physically tired as expected but my knee hurt a bunch and I really didn't feel like going too much further. My guess is that since my knee didn't want to co-operate I saved some energy by walking. Also I consumed Hammer Gels every 45 minutes and got water or Gatorade at every hydration station. MMH, my parents and MAH were at the finish line...but had taken the Marta down, so we had to walk (hobble) over to the Marta for the ride back to Decatur.

Not hitting a goal time was somewhat disappointing, but actually finishing the marathon was pretty cool. I hopefully break the four hour mark next race, but I'll be focusing on some Triathlons this summer (i.e. no more three hour runs for a couple of months!):

Weekend of April 12 - A triathlon of visiting SF, wine country and Alcatraz. This is going to be tough as I really haven't trained.

June 14th - James River Splash One Mile open water swim....first half against the current. I won my age group* last year. (*only one person in my age group last year).

June 29th - I love the Tavern Triathlon - Swim, Bike and Run by and In the James River at Robious Park.

July 13 -Montclair Triathlon - International Distance Tri south of DC.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I finally got my Cervelo P2C!! Placed order on January 26th and I finally got it on March 22. I went to the bike shop (3sports - they are great by the way) and walked in and Ben pulled out the bike. Now I'm expecting the Ultera set up, which comes in black and sliver, and the bike which comes out is Red and White (with red front fork). I' m thinking - "did they start shipping the set-up I wanted on the red and white frame?" Nope - the bike is set up with the Dura Ace components. After some thought and a little back and forth, I ended up taking the Dura Ace bike (the Ultegra was going to take at least one additional month). It looks great and feels pretty smooth. MMH notes that my back is much flatter on the P2C vs my tri-setup on the Fugi.

I won't get any real time on the bike til the week after next - the ING Georgia Marathon in next weekend. I rolled my ankle three weeks ago and missed a 20 mile run (rolled it basically on mile 5). My ankle is still sore...sort of like a dull sore if I don't run and a more sharp pain after running. Hopefully this week will see some additional improvements...

Monday, February 25, 2008

It is nice to know that I am easily amused

What's more important? The fact that i'm on the moon or that I have three hands?

Perhaps you might find the fact that I am trying to grad the Eiffel Tower more important:

I suppose that the most important thing is that I am still easily amused...thank goodness for our new MacBook and Photobooth!