Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Dam Half Training Update

I officially dropped my registration form in the mail for the 2008 "Dam Half" to be held at R.B. Winter State Park, October 19th. This race is my fall "Marathon." I wanted to do something this fall, but I didn't want to train for a full marathon. This is my compromise, a trail run in the Appalachian Mountains.

I have been training consistently for events all year, but in the last week I shifted my focus back to a longer running event. I'm doing a FIRST style program, but I'm not adhering strictly to the plan/distances/times. I have also shifted some of my training to afternoons as opposed to strictly morning runs. To do this, I have to utilize a quarter mile loop around my house, because I have to keep an eye on the boys after school. I get them situated then I run around the house. At no time am I ever out of view for more than 30 seconds. I had to switch to afternoon training because of work requirements. I can't say that I relish running quarter mile loops, but I can get a consistent workout, and stay in shape. I also find that the benefit is that I run better in the afternoons.

Sunday: 20 mile bike ride @ 16.5 mph
Monday: off
Tuesday: 5 miles with 3 miles at short tempo pace @ 6:40
Wednesday: 18 mile bike ride @ 16.5 mph
Thursday: Ran with the XC team, 7 miles total with 4x800 run "Indian Style." 21 minute cool-down
Friday: off
Saturday: 10 miles @ 8:15

Monday, September 15, 2008

Marshman Triathlon

I ran my last triathlon of the season yesterday, the Marshman Triathlon held at Marsh Creek State Park in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.


Got up at 4:00, ate a bowl of cereal, loaded my bike and took off for Downingtown around 4:30. The transition area was scheduled to open at 6:00, so I wanted to be early in case it was first come first served. Arrived at Marsh Creek around 5:45. Parking was a pretty good distance from the transition area, so I loaded everything in my bag and made my way to the starting area. Check-in was easy. Spots in the transition area were marked and luckily i got a primo spot located near the bike in and bike out area. It was also on the end of the rack, which gave me a little more room.


The water temperature was 75 degrees, so wetsuits were allowed. I decided to wear mine for two reasons 1) to gain a little advantage and 2) I bought the thing, so I wanted to get some use out of it. Start was in-water, and I was in the second wave, 5:00 minutes behind the first wave. Got off to a good start, but couldn't get a real good rhythm going after that, and seemed to be struggling more that I should have been. I was swimming straight though and rounded all the buoys close to the left side without having to swim in. Came out of the water a little disoriented as usual, but not too bad. had a long through the transition area, and was working my suit off on the go. Ended up on the wrong side of my rack and for a few moments could find my bike until I realised what I did. Got the suit off, changed into my bike attire and I was off.


The course is short, but hilly. I rode well, shifted at all the right times and was only passed by one person, which was somebody on the 20-25 age group who must have started late. I got in a few battles on the flats, but dropped everyone I was riding near on the hills.


Got my legs under me fairly quickly, but there was a fairly large hill - the biggest hill yet that I have had to face in a triathlon. I lost time going up the hill, but so did everyone else. It was an out and back course, so I made up some ground/time going the other way. I wasn't passed by anyone on the run, but did manage to reel in a few competitors before the finish.

Results and Final Comments

* 48th/497 - top 10%; 6th in my age group.

* The top 6 places in my age group were only separated by around 6:00 minutes.

* the wetsuit helped me on the swim, but my transition was slower, so I guess I didn't really gain anything.

* I should have pushed on the bike a little more, or at least pushed a little bit more on the downhills. I was off the pace of those in front of me by around a minute to a minute and a half. I coasted a little more than I should have.

*Run time was 4th best in my age group, bike was 6th best and swim was 6th best at least among the top 6 in the group.

* I was happy with my performance, and happy with the organization of the race. Piranha Sports does a great job.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Afternoon Afield

Having been cooped up all day yesterday compliments of Ms. Hanna, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather today and do some hiking with the boys and their friend Nick.

We first hiked up to Governor Dick Tower. The boys enjoyed climbing to the top, but weren't as impressed with the views as I was. They were more thrilled to simply climb up and down a few times and count the the number of daddy long leggers that were on the side of the tower.

After Governor Dick, we made our way to Dinosaur Rock. The boys love climbing on, over and under the the large boulders that make up the "dinosaur." It was good exercise for them and I had a peaceful ride home as they were either sleeping or looking out the window with that far-away stare.

(Governor Dick Monument)

(Atop the Tower)

(Giant Leaves)

(Behold the Dinosaur! Unfortunately this Jurassic age treasure is too close to a road, and an easy hike, which makes it accessible for any knuckleheads with a can of spray paint)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back In The Groove

School started for me this week, and things are going well. I have a room of my own and it is in a great far from the office as is possible, well almost as far as is possible. There is one room father than mine. I really like the classes I have, and it has been fun these first four days. I'm teaching three sections of sophomores (world history) and two sections of juniors (global perspectives).

I have made the adjustment of getting up at 4:50 to run, lift, swim or bike. It was a little tough at first as I was used to getting up around 6:00. As fall approaches, my biking program is going to suffer as it is growing darker earlier in the evening, and it is too dark to ride in the morning. I guess I will have to start riding on the trainer again, but I do plan on getting out on the weekend. I'm in the process of buying a new mountain bike, so I look forward to some trail riding in the woods when the leaves start to change colors. Running should be fine, and I can always get in for a swim early in the morning.

I have two races coming up. One is next weekend, The Marshman Triathlon, which is rather short - 400 yard swim, 12.5 mile bike and a 2 mile run.

I have decided not to do a marathon this fall for a number of reason, but I am planning on running a trail half marathon in October. This is getting back to my roots, so to speak, as the only race I did prior to my first Marine Corps Marathon was the Evansburg Challenge, which was a 10 mile trail run. I'm planning on doing a 10 mile run tomorrow morning to start preparing for longer distances, but Hannah might prevent that from happening.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Katfishin' with Kyler

Decided to head out on the river last night to do some catfishing. I'm back to the real world tomorrow, so it was my last chance to get out before I'm back in the school routine.

I took my buddy Matt and my son Kyler along. We got to the river just before dark and rigged up. It was a nice cool evening and the river was flowing calmly. It was also down from the last two times I was out.

We no sooner got Matt's and Kyler's lines in the water when Kyler struck into his first Catfish. At first he wasn't sure what happened. It was funny, because he said, "hey, what was that." I took the rod from him and knew he had a fish. I gave the rod back to him. He reeled with all his might, and landed his first channel cat of about 2-3 pounds.

About this time, it started to become dark and the temps went down quickly. I thought it was a perfect evening, but to a seven year old, the world became a scary place. It didn't help that he was tired. So, after his first fish, he was ready to pack it in. I convinced him to stay a little longer for Matt's sake and Matt ended up catching two nice fish. Kyler photographed the one pictured below.