Monday, December 28, 2009

Backpacking, Michaux State Forest

This past Sunday to Monday, Brian B., Mike M., Andy B., Kory E. and I went on a 14 mile backpacking trip in Michaux State Forest located in Southcentral PA. It was a fourteen mile loop that I came across on We did the the Rocky Knob-Quarry Gap Loop

We got on the trail at 11:30 Sunday and the weather was beautiful, however, the trail was quite wet due to the recent snow melt. In fact, we were forced to take a detour because we were unable to cross Birch Run.

We put in about 6.5 miles on Sunday, and made camp at the Birch Run Shelter, which was one of the nicest AT shelters I ever stayed in.

The temperatures dropped to about 25 Sunday evening/Monday morning, but having the shelter made things quite easy - the shelter, and a nice fire.

We got on the trail Monday morning at 9:00 and put in 8 miles on the AT. This is a really picturesque section of the trail. The going was fairly easy despite the recent snowfall and icy patches at various places.

We got off the trail at 12:30, and headed to The Pub in Gettysburg, where we had burgers and Brooklyn Brewing's Chocolate Stout.

It was a great two days in the woods.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Holidays and Winter Fitness

Last week I ordered the final pieces to my winter riding ensemble, and they arrived the day it snowed. I was, like in the past, planning to ride as much as possible over break, but unless the roads clear, I'll be confined to the trainer.

But, on a positive note, I was able to get back on XC skis again after at least a two year break. I had been downhill skiing, but the lack of snowfall and lack of travel time to get up to Crystal Lake, precluded me from hitting the trails.

The best skiing of the weekend came on Sunday evening. My buddy Scot H. and I got out along the river on the new trail. It was crisp, the snow was good (note to self, get glide wax) and it was great to be skiing along the river. I can't wait for the trail to be completed, which will add more miles for recreation.

I can't believe it is almost Christmas. I'm looking forward to the break and spending time with the family. I also hope to do some riding, more xc skiing, and going on an overnight backpacking trip to Michaux State Forest. I also need to look ahead, and start making some decisions as to what races/events I want to participate in in 2010. I'm signed up for the Got the Nerve Triathlon, so that's one. I have also been entertaining the notion of a 70.3 event.

Since I'm not planning on anymore races this year. Here is my recap of 2009.

Tri to Help Indoor Triathlon (February): 5th overall
Frozen Foot 5k (March): Ran with Kyler, 35:00
Hempfield Tri for Life (April): 23rd overall, 5th in AG (40-49)
Ride for Literacy (May): Metric Century event
Pinchot Triathlon (May): 2oth overall, 2nd in AG (45-49)
Got the Nerve Triathlon (May): 51st overall, 6th in AG (45-49)
Pasta Run 5K (June): 13th overall, 1st in AG (45-49)
Harrisburg Triathlon (June): 21st overall, 2nd in AG (45-49)
Jimmy's Grill 5K (July): 18th overall, 2nd in AG (45-49)
Seashore Striders 5K (July): 11th overall, 1st in AG (45-49)
Lebanon Fair 5K (July): 13th overall, 3rd in AG (40-49)
Livestrong Philly (August): Full Century
Speedwell Triathlon (September): First Oly. Dist. event; 59th, 8th in AG
Jingle Bell Run 5K (December): Ran with Kyler, 30:00

Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jingle Bells

Last time I updated, I was thinking of turkey, and here it is almost Christmas.

Kyler and I ran the Jingle Bell Run this past Saturday, and I was proud of him. I'm a bit of a fool when it comes to racing as I live by the motto that I first heard uttered by my buddy Rob D., that "DFL is better than DNF is better than DNS. " As a former Marine, DNS is not an option, and only death or severe wounds would keep me from finishing.

So, it was in that spirit that Kyler and I headed to Lancaster for the Jingle Bell Run despite rain and temps in the mid thirties.

We picked up our packets, and had about 25 minutes until start time, but elected to stay indoors rather than warm-up. It was so cold and miserable that we also decided to run with all our gear on rather than strip down. I may be a fool, but I'm not stupid, and I didn't feel like freezing.

We lined up in the pack, and we were about 30 yards from the start when the command was given. We had to pick our way carefully through the first half-mile, and never got into our 9:30 pace that we hoped for until around a mile into the run. Kyler was warm, and dry, but overdressed, and even though it was cold, he began to overheat. He also had to contend with running while carrying about 5-8 extra pounds of clothes, some of which was getting wet.

There was a brief moment in the run when Kyler's enthusiasm began to wane, but at this time another boy about his age passed us. It was enough to light a fire, and he picked up the pace, and was able to retake the lead. With a 1/4 mile to go, I opened up my stride, and forced Kyler to open up his. With about 100 meters to go, we raced to the line. I must say, my boy is developing a kick. And this is comes solely from playing soccer. Other than that, he has not trained for any distance running.

Final results: 30:40; 464/923 (overall); 27/39 (age group, 14 and under)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Well, not yet, but it is only a week away. I have also realized that I haven't posted anything in awhile. I'm not sure that matters, but in case there are a few souls out there who are unaware of my "status," and who actually read my blog, I'll bring you up to date.

I have no events on the horizon, and have been limiting my training to get over two injuries. I haven't ran in three weeks, however, I have gotten back on a regular swimming routine, and I have been biking when daylight and weather permit. I have also been hitting the weights, which has become a good alternative to running right now. I really feel it is making a difference in my recovery, and I think I will come out of the winter stronger, and more prepared to start up training for spring triathlons.

Work has been going well; I can't believe there is only about 30 days left in the first semester. On one hand that is nice, but on another, it serves to show how life is accelerating. I'm still teaching World History and Global Perspectives. I enjoy these subjects and certainly hope I can finish out my career teaching them. That is possibly only 6 years away. I really need to start considering what I'm going to do with phase II of my life. Besides academics, another teacher and I are going to start up an informal triathlon club at school. There seems to be a lot of interest, so we're going to "pilot" a club and see what kind of turnout we get. Lastly, due to time constraints, I am not planning on chaperoning ski club this year. This might mean that I won't ski this winter, it's just to expensive and time consuming. Hopefully, we'll have good snowfalls this year, so I can resume xc skiing again.

On the family front, things couldn't be better. Tina is teaching Pilates and now playing soccer in a women's over 30 league. The boys are doing well in school and thriving both academically and athletically. Tristan wrapped up his first season of soccer and Kyler had a great experience playing U9 Travel. His team, The Explosion, won the league championship. Kyler was voted "Most Versatile Player" and "Best Offensive player" by the coaches. Both boys also did well in the Race for Education. Tristan ran 3.25 miles, and Kyler ran 6.25 miles. Kyler's performance was the best in his class/third grade and he received a trophy for his efforts. He also entered the "6 Mile Club." Up next for us is the Jingle Bell 5K run in December.

That's about it as we head into the holiday season. Hope all who check in from time to time are doing well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Legends of the Fall

The title of this post could relate to my "fall" back in August while participating in the Livestrong Ride. To this point, I am still having shoulder issues which has curtailed my swim training. In fact, I have not swam in 3 weeks.

In addition to a dinged up shoulder, I have been having all the symptoms of a "sports hernia" again, however, it has subsided somewhat, because I have been resting. Resting is something that I don't do well.

Despite resting, I have participated in a few athletic endeavors including the Race for Education with both of my sons at their school. Kyler, 8 years old, was able to get into the 6 mile club. We averaged around a 9:40 mile. Tristan, 6years old, was able to run 3.25 miles. I was quite proud of both of them. Up next for Kyler and me is another 5K in November. Other than that, I have ridden my bike a little bit and been out hiking.

The fall has been pretty nice, but there has been a lot of rain. Soccer has kept me busy, both coaching and spectating. School, as usual, is also a source of constant focus and energy depletion.

That's about it right now.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marathon Season Week 3

It's over. I have decided not to run the Harrisburg Marathon, because of an injury that has become aggravated by the increase in mileage. I plan on resting, then beginning an off-season weightlifting plan to prepare me for the Spring. I will also run, bike and swim, but at a reduced volume.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Marathon Season Week 2

Last week went well despite fighting a cold. I took Monday off. Tuesday I did speed work: 10:00 warm-up; 4:00 @ 6:20; 4:00 easy x5; 5:00 cool-down. Wednesday I swam for 30:00. Thursday: 10:00 warm-up; 25:00 @ 7:10; 5:00 cool-down. Friday: off. Saturday: half marathon, 1:42:25, or @ 7:50 pace. This was not a race, but I was well under BQ pace. Of course, the question is, can I hold that for 13.1 more miles. Sunday: 20 miles on the bike @ 19.1 mph.

I really think that I will have no problem running a BQ time. The biggest difference between now and when I ran a BQ time before is my lactate threshold seems to be higher, which means I can run faster, longer. I attribute this to a successful triathlon season/5K season. I put in a lot of speed work over the summer, and a lot of tough riding.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marathon Season Week 1

Well, as I have already posted, I have decided to run another marathon. I'm doing it for a number of reasons: 1) I can, 2) my friend Kirk Luther is laying in the hospital after emergency heart surgery, so in a way I'm doing it, because he can't, 3) I have run four, and that seems like a weird number and 4) it's one thing that actually fits into our busy family schedule since most of the training is done early in the morning.

So, what's my plan? When I ran my first marathon, I followed Hal Higdon's plan, which was simply an increase of miles from week to week It worked, and I ran a 3:46. For my second marathon, I used the Furman FIRST program, which was three core runs and cross-training, results, 3:22, a BQ time. The third marathon was run two weeks after the second one, so there really wasn't any training plan used, results, 3:21. For Boston, my fourth marathon, I basically followed the FIRST program with slight modifications, results, 3:36 (cramping and heat hindered me). For this one, I'm trying something of a hybrid plan. I'm going to use the FIRST concept with my own variations and simplifications. I have six weeks until the marathon, and I have an excellent fitness base from triathlon season, so my weeks are going to look like this:

Monday: Off or cross-train, most likely swimming
Tuesday: Speed work, 4:00 on/4:00 off x 5
Wednesday: Cross-training, swimming
Thursday: Tempo work; 20:00 at 7:00 per mile
Friday: Off
Saturday: Long run, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20, 15
Sunday: Bike 20-30 miles

As you can see, my speed work is going to simply be around 3 miles a week, nothing fancy, 4:00 intervals, or around 5x1000 m. Tempo, 1:00 below goal pace for 20 minutes, and a gradual increase of mileage for my long runs.

In a sense, I began training on Saturday as I was out running what I thought was going to be an easy five miles. I was off yesterday, because of a trip with my son Kyler to State College for the football game. Today I biked 30 miles at a 17.7 mph pace. This weekend will be the true test of my readiness, as I'll begin increasing my long-run mileage.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Harrisburg Marathon

Nothing would have convinced me that I was going to begin training for a fall marathon when I awoke this morning.

I was going to go for an hour trail run, which then turned into planning on doing an easy five around the neighborhood. I had a cup of coffee, read the sports section, laced up the shoes and departed. There was a crispness in the air, and the tell-tale smells of autumn, and I quickly fell into a comfortable 7:45 pace. I kept running, but turned right onto my seven mile route, forgoing the five-mile plan I began with. Then, I kept going past my seven mile turn, and stretched my run out to ten miles.

Along the way, I heard the "call to adventure," and mentally began to calculate what I would have to do to get ready for a marathon six weeks down the road. I decided I had the time, and I was feeling very good, so the decision was made. Harrisburg Marathon on November 8th, BUT, I'M NOT RUNNING BOSTON IF I BQ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Speedwell Triathlon

Three weeks ago, I banged my shoulder up in the Livestrong Ride, and was glad that I hadn't signed up for the Marshman Triathlon. Two weeks ago, I got a wild hair up my ass and decided to to try and enter the Speedwell Sprint triathlon, which I was able to do. The night before the race, I got an even bigger wild hair up my ass and decided to once and for all get the monkey off my back, so I transferred into the Olympic event.

Race Day

Conditions were wet and muddy in the transition area. The temperature was in the mid 60s and there was a steady drizzle. The water temperature was 65.

I arrived about 1 hour and 45 minutes early, which gave me plenty of time to set up and hob nob with my fellow racers. at about 7:30 a.m. I went for a mile warm-up run then returned and donned my wetsuit for the swim. After the race announcements it was down to the lake.


This was the real monkey on my back, a 1 mile swim in open water. It wasn't so much the distance, but open water swims tend make me a little crazy. There is something about being in murky water and not being able to get your bearings that drives me nuts. Nonetheless, there I was, and when the gun went off I began to swim, and swim, and swim. And, to be honest, it wasn't bad. I was able to get into a rhythm much faster than in a sprint and I was very relaxed. My time was a little slow, 30 minutes, but for my first swim, I was pleased as I swam a little faster than my usual 2:00 per hundred yards. I was a little wobbly getting out of the water and back onto land, but my transition was right around 2:00.


I didn't know how to pace myself on the bike knowing that I had to run a 10k as opposed to a 5k, so I took it a little easy, which was probably good because of the road conditions. I was passed by very few people and managed to do my share of passing on the long slow climbs up Long Lane. I managed an 18.7 mph pace, which looking back was a little to slow, because I had pretty much left in the tank when I started the run.


6.2 miles over a tough, hilly course. I did well here and finished in the top 25 of all competitors (I'm not counting those people who ran as a relay) in this event. I managed a 7:13 pace, and could have managed that even if I would have pushed a little harder on the bike.

Results and Final Comments

*2:43:58; 59th place overall; 8th in my age group

* Need a little more work in open water swimming, but that will come with experience. The monkey has been removed, I'm ready for another Olympic event.

* Could have pushed a litle harder on the bike, eased up a little too much when I wasn't around other competitors.

* Running is my bread and butter, but I have to put myself in a little better position by improving in the first two events.

* Volunteers were great; course was fine by me. I'll do it next year.

* Semper Fi and OOHRAH!! to Chris Kaag the race director.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Livestrong 2009

Another Livestrong Ride is in the books!!!

I had the pleasure to once again honor my mother and support my friend Rob D., a cancer survivor. It was a pleasure riding with him over the length of the course, and his booming shouts of "streudal" in a German accent as we were climbing hills lifted my spirits and the spirits of those around us. Rock on Streudal!!!

This year's ride was pretty much like last year's ride, with a few minor changes to the course. The best stop along the course was once again at Landis Store.

I felt that I was in better cardio shape this year for the ride, however, the lack of training rides exceeding 30 miles prior to this century had my butt screaming for mercy. I also took a spill this year. At first I was worried about my knee, which was awfully stiff after getting myself up off the ground. As it turns out, it's my shoulder that I will be seeing the doctor for later this morning.

Up next? Hopefully the Seagull Century in October.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pinchot Park Camping

This past weekend, the boys and I along with other fathers and/or uncles, spent the weekend camping at Pinchot state park in York County, PA.

It's always nice to pull into a state park, set up a tent, and just relax. The cost is so low that you never have to worry if you're getting your money's worth, and life is reduced to its most simplistic state. It's also a real joy to watch the kids run around unfettered, and not have to worry about them. It reminds me of my childhood 40 years ago when we ran around our neighborhood all the time playing, and not under the supervision of adults.

Activities for the weekend included fishing, shooting BB guns, swimming, exploring the trails, and an owl program/walk. Of course, this was primarily the kid's agenda. The adults pretty much enjoyed the downtime when the kids were playing the latest game they invented. Their creativity is heightened when they are without electronic devices.

Hopefully, we'll get out again before soccer and school get underway in full force.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lebanon Area Fair 5K

After my success at the beach, and two good weeks of training, I decided to enter the Lebanon Area Fair 5K.

I was hoping to break 19:00 minutes again, but there were two factors working against me: 1) the race was on a rail trail, and 2) it was humid.

I started out well, and hit the 1/2 mile mark at 3:02 and the mile at 6:04. During this time I was challenged by two other runners, but was able to make a successful surge and opened up a 10 meter gap on them. At the two mile mark, I knew I was wilting a little, because my split went to 12:32. I held on for the remainder of the race, and was able to reel in one more runner to move up a place.

Final time: 19:33; 13th place overall (again); 3rd in my age group (40-49)

All in all, this was a great race, and well run. I'll do it again next year if it works out.

Congratulations to my current training partner, Chop Leader, who won the 60-69 age group in 20:30.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Livestrong Philly, 2009

The team "Fish or Cut Bait" is assembling, and we're ready to ride. The date this year is August 23rd, and I/we have begun our fundraising. If you'd care to help us, please visit


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Press Coverage

Usain Bolt is not the only one who makes the running news:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rehoboth Beach 2009

It's Monday morning, and I guess vacation is officially over. Well, the vacation within a vacation seeing as how I'm a school teacher, and the summer break is only half over.

We had a great time at Rehoboth Beach. The weather was perfect; I was reminded of the low humidity days of late summer into September. We didn't have a drop of rain, and every day on the beach there was a cool breeze.

We left on Friday the 3rd and stayed the first night in Dover, DE. We have found that this makes for less stress when packing and traveling. The hotel we stay at, Country Inn, has an indoor pool, which the kids love. On Saturday, we can then get up at a leisurely pace and finish the drive to Rehoboth, beating the heaviest traffic.

Our days were eventful, and followed this basic routine: Arise, breakfast, go to the beach, late lunch, Funland/the Boardwalk, supper, then the boardwalk. Of course, nothing was set, and we did vary things, such as going to Jungle Jim's Water Park, and for me, running some races, which I'll report on at the end. Tried doing some fishing, but the croaker weren't in, and ended up getting skunked the one morning that I was out.

It was nice to be down there, Rehoboth is funky and a lot of fun. And, our family had a nice week to bond without the distractions of every day life.

Here are two new finds:

Great Breakfast: The Retro cafe and Grill
Great Mexican Food (try the fish tacos): Dos Locos

And and Old Standby:

One of the best brewpubs in the East: Dogfish Head

Here are some photos:

Race Reports

Jimmy's Grill 5K: 19:17; 18th overall; 2nd in AG.
Seashore Striders 5K: 18:49 (PR); 11th overall; 1st in AG.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Black Forest Trail

For the past four days, my friend Tim F. and I hiked the Black Forest trail in Northern PA. The last time I completed it was 14-15 years ago. This trail is a 42 mile loop through some of the most remote and beautiful sections of the state. The area also contains some of the best wild trout fishing in the Mid-Atlantic region. We planned and executed our hike to take advantage of the angling opportunities. To be able to fish a different stream each day, we began our hike on Rt. 44 as opposed to Slate Run Road, which is the actual starting point listed in the Black Forest Trail Guide.

Day 1: Rt. 44 to Little Slate Run (23.61 - 35.82)

Began hiking just after 2:00 p.m. Pretty level hiking from Rt. 44 to to the descent into Callahan Run. First tough ascent out of Callahan Run up to Hemlock Mountain. Clear day, great vistas. Began seeing a lot of toads, which would continue to be obvious the rest of the hike. The laurel was past peak, but still blooming at places. Blueberries were just starting to ripen. Tough descent in to Naval Run, then a tough ascent up to the ridge overlooking the Pine Creek Valley and Naval Run. Descent into Little Slate Run, or so we thought. We were tired and didn't realize we had to make another steep climb. Tough going, but then we descended into our camp. Arrived later than expected. Set up camp, made supper and decided to fish in the morning instead of the evening. Fished Little Slate Run in the morning; picked up numerous brook trout on a parachute Adams. A few were pushing the 7"-8" range. Nice fat brookies for a stream of this size. Packed up and began day 2.

Day 2: Little Slate Run to the mouth of Red Run (mile 35.82 - 7.20)

Tough ascent out of Little Slate Run, then fairly level hiking until the descent into Slate Run. This descent was tough, and hard on the quads, but a beautiful section of the trail as it passed cool rock formations. Great vistas overlooking Slate Run. At the bottom, we had a little trouble finding where the trail crossed the road. Had to bushwhack and linked up with the trail again. Continued hiking on the BFT, but made a detour for lunch at the Hotel Manor. Great burgers, and worth the stop. Crossed Slate Run near the Hotel manor and linked back up with the trail. Tough climb out of Slate Run into the Algerine Wild Area. Cool rock formations on the way up to the old slate mines. Hit by our only thunderstorm of the trip. Waited it out under the trees for about a half hour. worst part was hiking through the wet laurel afterwards. Should have brought gators, because of all the water that was channeled down into our boots. Wet feet for the next day. Tough ascent into Red Run, then camped on Slate Run. Again, because of delays, we were unable to fish Slate in the evening. Got up, had breakfast then fished Slate Run. Used a bead-head green weenie and hooked but lost three nice trout including one that was probably pushing 15"-16". After fishing Slate Run, we walked up Red Run to see the mini-glen. Took our rods and caught a few wild brookies. Began day 3.

Day 3: Red/Slate Run to County Line Branch ( mile 7.20- 16.17)

Crossed Morris Run, nice waterfalls here, then a tough ascent out of Slate Run, but gradual. Level hiking the rest of the day. Was able to get brief cell phone reception in the vicinity of mile 11.74 (normally, I would not give a hoot about this, but having two young children has changed my priorities. It was nice to hear that they were doing well.) Stopped at Rt. 44 for lunch, and to dry things out in the sun. Flies were bad, but they were not the biting kind, just annoying. After lunch, gradual ascent into County Line Branch. Made camp early just before BFT crossed the stream and headed up. This is a nice camping area. Two other parties were also in this vicinity. Headed downstream after camp was set up and fished my way upstream. Caught about 20 wild brookies including some really nice 8" fish on a yellow stimulator. I was impressed with this stream and it's trout population. Made supper, and sipped the rest of the scotch that I brought along. Nothing better than a good Scotch cut with mountain water.

Day 4: County Line Branch to Rt. 44 (mile 16.17 - mile 23.61)

Tough ascent out of County Line Branch including a rock scramble near the top. After negotiating the rock scramble, it is level hiking for the most part with the exception of two short but steep climbs. Passed through a really neat high country meadow and a dense stand of Rhododendron, which was still blooming at places. Made it back to the car around 11:15 a.m. Drove into Waterville and had subs at McConnell's Country Store. They were great (A half sub was larger than most places whole sub, tasty, and reasonably priced.) and I was also able to get a Frozen Run Birch Beer , which is a must when in the Pine Creek Valley.

Packing List and Lessons Learned

Tent (Time brought his Kelty Tarp)
Therma Rest with lounger
Sleeping Bag
Two wicking tees
Two shorts (one pair convertible)
Two pairs of socks
Lycra shorts
Polar fleece
Food and snacks)(I highly recommend Enertia Trail Food)
Rain suit
Ditty bag with knife, headlamp, rope, 1st aid kit, snake bite kit, lighter Charmin to-go and candle lantern
Fly rod, reel and small chest pack
flip flops
wading shoes
trekking poles

Next time, or future trips: Poncho instead of rain suit, because of versatility; gators are a must because of stinging nettles and in the event of wet vegetation; find a shoe that can double as a wading shoe and camp shoe. Teva Proton might fit the bill, I'll have to test it. One extra pair of socks would have helped. Despite being in shape, more "sport specific" prep is need to strengthen backpacking muscles and toughen up the feet.

All in all, a great trip, relaxing and wild. Enjoy the photos.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Harrisburg Triathlon

I spent the first part of Father's Day competing in the Harrisburg Triathlon. This event wrapped up my spring schedule, now it's time to begin looking at the second half of the year, which could possibly include an olympic tri, some century rides, 5Ks and some longer trail runs. When it comes to triathlons, however, as much as I think I'd like to do a longer one, the convenience of training for, and my schedule, makes the sprint triathlon the ideal event for all around fitness for me.


Nothing new here. My routine has been pretty much established: up early, a bowl of cereal, a cup of coffee, and out the door and on the road. After checking in and securing my spot on the racks, I went for a 10 minute ride and a short run to warm-up. I also had an XS Energy Blast drink, which someone gave me to try.


I knew this was to be a PR day even before stepping foot in the water. The river at Harrisburg was almost at 6.00 feet, which meant I would be moving at a Phelps-like pace.

The swim began in three starts; I was in the third wave. As we were watching the first wave get ready, I noticed swimmers being sucked downstream and having to fight to regain their positions. This was only a few feet offshore. Last year in July, we had to swim out a about 20-25 yards to get in deep water. Fortunately there was a line in the water and most swimmers were able to secure a purchase on it.

When our wave was on deck, I grabbed a hold of the line, but didn't like my start position so I decided that with a minute warning, I was going to swim out and try to move down a little: big mistake. You would have thought that I would have learned my lesson by watching the previous waves, but I tried to go out a little and was immediately over my head. Next thing, I was being swept downriver, and knocking into people. Fortunately, they thought it was amusing. with about thirty seconds to go, I had no choice , but to point up stream and swim like I was in an endless pool. When the gun sounded, I simply turned around, and I was on my way downstream.

What a great swim. Normally, when I look up to sight on a buoy, I think, "wasn't the buoy that far away the last time I looked." Not yesterday, with the current, the buoys came into view, and were passed in no time. I was able to stay with the pack, and came out of the water just a little after the swim leaders. I knew my chances were now good, because my better events were coming up.


Harrisburg is a flat course, and last year I had trouble transitioning, because of all the spinning and unvarying terrain which didn't allow for position changes on the bike. I went out fast, and was right behind a guy in my age group. we were in a narrow part of the course, and I thought about passing, but didn't. After crossing the river, we headed up it, and I was right on his tail. Two things happened then which caused me to separate: 1) I felt my timing chip begin to come undone, so I had to slow down and fiddle with it, 2) my GPS wasn't on its mount properly and almost fell off, so I had to fiddle with that as well. When I looked back up, I realized I allowed a gap to open up, and it was a gap I wouldn't be able to make up. I did, however, pass riders at a steady clip, and passed another rider in my age group. I wasn't passed by anyone, but I couldn't gain ground on the rider I was initially right behind.


After a great ride. I quickly got my shoes on and began to run out the transition area. I had caught up to a buddy of mine, Don A., on the bike and was focused on staying with him on the run. He quickly changed his shoes, and was gone, which caused me to hastily try to keep up. I got my shoes on, and went after him, but right before the timing mat realized I had my helmet still on. What a rookie mistake. Fortunately, I was able to place it on the ground without having to run back to my transition area. My legs recovered quickly and by the halfway point I was able to really open up my stride. I was trying to catch up to the guy who got ahead of me on the bike, but I couldn't find him. Then I saw him about 400 yards out. After crossing the bridge, I narrowed the gap to about 50 yards with only about 200 yards to go. I couldn't, however, catch him, and as it turned out, the 18 seconds between us was the difference between winning the age group and second place.

Results and Final Comments

* Time: 1:13:14; 54 seconds per 100 yards on the swim (current aided); 21.9 mph on the bike; 6:30 pace on the run. 27th overall; 2nd in my age group. I was the 4th fastest swimmer in my age group, 2nd fastest on the bike and fastest on the run.

* Once again, another great event by Chad Krebbs and his family. Thanks for all you do to make these races possible.

* One of the greatest moments of the race was when an organization called Athletes Serving Athletes crossed the finish line with a challenged athlete who completed his first triathlon. I'm not sure who the individual was, but he swam with the boy in a boat, biked with him in a trailer and pushed him in a jogging stroller on the run. I introduced myself to members of the organization, and am hoping to get involved in some way. To begin with, we're donating our jogging stroller to the organization, because equipment is one of their needs. Check them out:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

5K Pasta Run

The 5K Pasta Run, sponsored by the American Lung Association, was held last evening on City Island, Harrisburg.

I decided to run this to see where I stood in terms of aerobic/running fitness. Having trained for triathlons this spring, I was curious to see just how fast I could run a stand-alone 5K. Although I have been doing a lot of racing and running in the last two years, This race was only my 4th 5K. I used to run three miles as part of the Marine Corps physical fitness test, and set a PR at 17:01 for that distance. The first 5K I ran was around 15 years ago. I agreed to be on our school's team for an event held in the Lancaster area known as the Corporate Challenge. I don't remember my time, but our team did win the corporate challenge for our category.

The run was well organized and started promptly at 6:30. The weather was humid and hot. I started at the front of the pack, and went out fast. By 800 meters there was a fast group of 5-6 high school/college runners, a 10 meter separation, me, another 10 meter separation then the pack. I held my ground until around 1.5 kilometers, then was passed by two individuals younger than me. I was still holding steady, but the combination of heat/humidity and a small hill broke my pace around 2 miles. At this point I was passed by the individual who would win the masters category. I tried to stay with him, but couldn't. I think if I would have had a little more fuel in the tank, and could have kept him within about 10 meters, I could have out sprinted him to the finish. In the last 400 meters I did make up some ground on him, but not enough to close it up. He ran a smarter race than me; I went out a little too fast I think. I'm still learning the optimal pacing strategy for this race.

I finished 13th overall, 2nd master, and 1st in my age group with a 19:40, which ties my current PR. I can go lower, but it is hard right now, because of training for triathlons. Extra running means less time on the bike and in the water.

After the race, Tina and I took advantage of the pasta dinner, which was excellent: two types of pasta, salad, Italian bread, fruit, cookies and bananas. I recommend this mid-week race.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Flounderpalooza 2009

This is the third year that Andy B. and I have been making the trip to Cape Henlopen to fly fish for flounder. We always try to go this weekend, because it is National Hunting and Fishing day and licenses are free, actually, you don't need a license.

I left for Andy's Friday evening, and we, along with Andy's wife, Kim, had our traditional supper at Sean Bolen's Irish Pub in Belaire, MD. I had my usual, Shepherds Pie, and a Resurrection Ale by the Brewer's Art in Baltimore.

We left for Henlopen around 7:00 a.m., and arrived there around 9:45 with an outgoing tide. Normally we fish an incoming tide, but we decided to try the outgoing time this year as it fit into our schedule. When we started we could hardly wade out, but after about an hour, the tide was low enough that we could get out pretty far. The fishing wasn't bad, we missed a few and landed some, but nothing of any size.

Around 1:00 we packed it in and headed to Rehoboth and Dogfish Head Brewing. I tried two new beers, a 75 minute cask ale and a pale India ale (yes, pale India ale), both were tasty and the food was also good. I must mention that if you are at DFH and they offer the mango habanero chicken wings, get them.

After DFH we headed home. Next year we are planning on camping at Cape Henlopen State Park, so we can take advantage of more fishing and different tides.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blue Monkey Sojourn 2009

Sunday and Monday of Memorial day weekend have been reserved for the annual Blue Monkey Sojourn down the Schuylkill. This was the fourth edition of the grand event, and it was pleasurable one.

We put in on the Schuylkill at Auburn, PA at 2:00 pm. on Sunday. Our only mishap was a broken paddle 200 yards into the float. Fortunately we had a spare and the journey down the river commenced again.

The water was running a little high, which made for great paddling, and we made our first stop at the abandoned bridge, half way into the float. We had snacks, and did a little fishing and the kids had a wonderful time throwing rocks into the water and shooting BB guns.

We pulled into camp around 5:00, and other than a brief thunderstorm, we couldn't have asked for better camping weather. We enjoyed the evening fishing, swimming, and shooting the bull. The kids had a great time running around around like nature children unfettered and beyond the the normal bounds of civilized society. Tristan and Jackson especially enjoyed catching caterpillars, while Kyler enjoyed target practice with his BB gun.

The fishing was great, and we caught numerous smallmouth bass, although they weren't big. Nonetheless, the fact that we caught numerous bass is a testament to the recovery the river is making from its coal mining degraded state. One of the best signs of recovery was the large numbers of mayflies that hatched in the evening.

We woke this morning around 6:00 and had coffee and a quick breakfast. We were packed and on the river by 8:30 and arrived into Port Clinton by 9:00. After loading all the gear we went to 3Cs for a real breakfast. We then said our goodbyes, and headed home.

Here are some photos of the trip. Click on the slide show for larger prints.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Got the Nerve Triathlon 2009

GTN number three for me yesterday. I was a bit apprehensive after last Sunday's triathlon, because 1) my biking seemed to be slipping a little, and 2) I cramped during the run , which left my quads sore for the first half of the week.

Up at my usual time, had a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. Proceeded to the race around 5:30 and was checked in, body marked and set-up in the transition area by 6:30. This gave me plenty of time to warm-up and socialize. Triathlons, as well as road races, as I have said before , are movable feasts - only the venue changes.

I added two new things to pre-race preparation: first, I rode my bike for about 15 minutes, and second, I drank a Red Bull. It used to be that I would only run for my warm-up, but the short ride as well as a short run seemed to better prepare the muscles. As for the Red Bull, I have read numerous reports that a little caffeine before a race can enhance endurance. I used to drink coffee before a race, and still have a cup first thing, but too much coffee - which, because of habit, I tend to imbibe to excess - seemed to leave me a bit dry in the mouth for some reason. Thus, I experimented with a small Red Bull 30 minutes before the gun.


I think I could probably write the same thing here for all my races so far. I was planning to go gang-busters at the start to get out in front, so I could get a little separation, and hopefully get into my rhythm faster, but I ended up being conservative. This didn't hurt me that much, but it cost me at least two places. The problem seems to be, that I get out there in the open water, then get disoriented, and two, pre-race jitters cause me to get out of rhythm. In a pure foot race, pre-jitters aren't a problem, in fact, they help me start well. In swimming though, especially for me, a new swimmer it messes with my stroke. I did learn, however, that breathing every second stroke, may be better than my practiced bi-lateral, every third stroke approach. I came about this by accident, but it seems that in a sprint, the breathing on every second stroke might be an advantage. The bi-lateral breathing may be better for longer swims. Nonetheless, I finished better than over half my age group, and lowered my time by two minutes from last year. Time, 10:53, for a 2:11 pace (this includes a rather long transition run).


I was worried about the bike, but I made a major change to my style, which made a significant difference in time. My friend Bill L. suggested trying a set of TT bars, which he helped me procure during the week. We had trouble finding a pair to fit my OS bars, but he came through by the end of the week - thanks, Bill, I owe you a beer. Friday night before the race, I mounted them and went spinning around my neighborhood to get a feel for them. The new bars were also a reason, I went for a warm-up ride. All I can say is WOW!!. I always thought that bars would help a little, but I was able to add almost .5 to 1.0 MPH to my riding by getting into a tuck. I had the best ride ever, 20.4 MPH on a hilly course.


Not much to report here except one big thing. I felt good off the bike, and for the first time, I went under a 7:00 pace for the run, WOOHOO!!!! A 6:42 pace, which is only 20 seconds per mile slower than I ran my fastest 5K last year. (Now I need to enter a 5K and see if I can lower my time)

Results and Final Comments

* Overall place, 51st, 6th in my age group

* PRs, all around (not a swim PR, or a bike PR, but PRs for the course): Swim 10:53, 2:11 pace; Bike 47:21, 20.4 MPH; and run, 20:47, 6:42 pace. My only faster bike was in Harrisburg, which is a flat course.

* I didn't place in the top three this year, but I'm much happier with my performance.

* There were 100 more competitors on the course this year (700 total), and Chris Kagg, the race director handled the race with aplomb. Great event, great volunteers, Semper Fi, Chris, and OOHRAH!!!

The photos below were taken by Phil M., Thanks, Phil.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pinchot Triathlon 2009

I ran my third consecutive Pinchot Triathlon yesterday. The weather was cool and overcast. There was a pretty strong wind at the beginning of the race. Fortunately, the rains held off.

I got up at 4:30, ate some breakfast, loaded my gear and then drove to Sheetz to meet Bill L. I met Bill through my blog. He raced at Hempfield, and as it turns out, has been casually reading my blog for a little while. He was the individual that I mentioned in my Hempfield race report. After reading the report, he emailed me.

We had a nice ride to Pinchot, and after checking in got set-up in nice positions on the racks. Another friend, Eric D. passed us on the way to the race and met us at the transition area. This was to be Eric's first tri.


I have been working diligently on improving my swim, and wanted to average 2:00 per hundred, which is not too bad for an open water swim, especially for someone who only began swimming two years ago. It was decided at the start of the race, that all swimmers were going to go out at the same time. Last year this would have unnerved me, but I wasn't bothered this year. At the horn, we were off and I got into a rhythm faster than I ever have. I quickly rounded the first buoy and was off on the long stretch of the swim. Things went well, and I was holding position, and actually passed people. The only bad part of the swim, was when I rounded the second buoy. The wind had created chop, and it came over my face as I went to breathe. I got a mouth full of water, but still maintained form and came out of the water in the top third.


I haven't been biking as much as I would have liked, because of weather and schedules. I started out well, and felt fine, but the first hill seemed harder than I remember. Then, on the back stretch, the wind was directly at my front, which made maintaining speed difficult. I held position, and managed to win most close battles, but my time ended up slower than last year. I did catch one individual in my age group, and passed him. He would get ahead of me again at the transition, but he couldn't hold me off on the run.


My run wasn't great, but it was the best time in my age group, so I can't complain. The lack of biking, also meant the lack of doing bricks, so I think I started a little too slow.


I continue to improve here, and no longer lose significant amounts of time.

Results and Final Comments

* Overall time: 1:38:47; Swim, 14:11 (1:53 per 100 yards, goal met); Bike, 1:00:21 (17.9 mph, work needed); run, 22:24 (7:28 per mile, brick work needed), T1, 1:16; T2, :35.

* 20th place overall; 2nd in my age group. 2:30 faster, and I would have been 1st. I'm getting there, but can't seem to excel at all three events at the same time.

* Well run event with great volunteers

* Must find ways to shave a little time off the bike for the next race. I'm going to try a set of add-on grips to bring my arms closer together and narrow my frontal profile. I also need a little more conditioning. Bill L. who was a former bike racer has suggested two key work-outs: 5 minute all-out repeats, and 20 minute LT repeats.

* Congrats go out to my buddy Eric D. for completing his first tri.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ride for Literacy 2009

This past saturday was the sixth annual "Ride for Literacy" sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary in Lancaster, PA. There were three options, and like last year I rode the 43 mile "Triology" with members of my high school cycling club. Five of us began the ride at 7:30, and we set a pretty good pace over the length of the course. We even took the "Cat's Back Mountain Challenge." This amounted to climbing a fairly large hill - by Eastern Lancaster County standards. It was a great time, and the food was superb.

View Larger Map

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

It's sometimes hard to believe that my mother has not been with us for almost 25 years. This year will mark the the first time that I have spent more time on earth without my mother than with her. She would have adored, and been proud of her grandchildren. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. We love you and miss you.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SNP 2009

We, friends and I, have been going down the the Shenandoah National Park every spring since 1993, or '94. We made the discovery that some of the best wild brook trout fishing in the east can found in the many tumbling streams off the slopes of the mountains. This year, I had the pleasure of taking my son Kyler along for the first time.

We started our adventure at the Holiday Inn in Winchester, VA Friday evening. We had a great time swimming and then watching Friday Night Smackdown. We got up early, swam again, had breakfast then proceeded down to the park

We arrived at the trail head around 9:30, and began the 3 mile trek up to our favorite camp to meet Andy B. and Kyle F. For his first time backpacking trip, Kyler did great. We established a nice pace with frequent breaks, and made a few minor adjustments to his pack. We arrived in camp around noon.

After setting up the tent and eating a little lunch, we headed downstream to fly fish back up to the camp. Kyler got a little frustrated because of stinging nettles and the cold water. Also, the Hughes River is tough to fish up near where we were. I should have taken him downstream a little farther. In any event, he persisted for a little while, and almost caught a trout, but the nettles got the better of him, and he wanted to head back to camp. I took him back to camp, then fished just below where were set up, and managed to bring in a few brookies. When I arrived back to camp, Kyler was out like a light. He had a tough day, and the nap did him good.

After supper, we took a little hike upstream to play on some big rocks. Later, when it grew dark, we went on a salamander hunt, and found some really nice species.

After the hunt, Kyler tucked in. Andy, Kyle and I sipped a little scotch cut with mountain spring water. The moon was out and it was a nice evening. We were fortunate to not get rained on.

Sunday morning, the rains finally came and we packed up in a steady drizzle. Kyler and I hit the trail around 9:00, and we busted out in just a little over an hour.

Kyle and Andy came down after us, so Kyler and I drove the car to the trail head and picked them up. We then headed into Sperryville to our favorite lunch stop, Rae's.

It was another great trip to the park, but I was unable to take Kyler up Skyline Drive, because of the weather. Oh well, we'll be back down soon enough.

SNP 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

D.F.C.A. Kid's Fishing Derby 2009

Today was the 2009 Donegal Fish and Conservation Association Kid's Fishing Derby, which is held at the reflecting pond of the Donegal Presbyterian Church. This was our 15th derby and our turn-out was about 100 anglers.

We stocked around 350-400 trout last evening including two monsters pushing about 4-5 pounds. They, however, are still at large in the pond. The biggest fish landed was caught by a 5 year old girl. It was a 17 3/4 inch brook trout.

The derby is always a nice time, and a good way to introduce kids to fishing. Our club receives numerous compliments for the effort.

My youngest boy, tristan, caught 5 trout, so I'm making trout chowder for supper.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hempfield Tri For Life

Today was the Hempfield Tri for Life, which was held at the Hempfield Sports Complex. I felt that I was ready for this race, but you never know until you start.

I picked up my packet last evening, so I could sleep in a little longer this morning. Yeah, right. The tri was 10 minutes down the road and I was still there almost two hours before the race. It worked out well, however, because the transition area was first come, first served and I got a primo spot on the end. Met up with my buddy Doug A. from the gym and we went for a 15 minute warm-up run. Then I jumped in the pool for a few laps. Sufficiently warmed up, I was ready to go.


The swim was indoors. This is the first time that I ever swam indoors then went outdoors. In February, I did a race that was all indoors, so this was a good transition to the outdoor season. When registering, you had to give your 300m time. Everybody lined up according to their time and swimmers went every 10 seconds. I originally listed my time as 6:30, but changed it to 6:00. I was hoping I did the right thing, and felt a little nervous, but when I hit the water I was totally relaxed. I had my best swim ever, and even managed to pass two people in front of me. I came out of the water in 5:45, and was quite pleased. I attribute my results to the pointers I have been receiving from Scott G. at the fitness club. The biggest tweak I made the week prior was bringing my stroke more in line with my shoulders. I have also been trying to swim with paddles once a week for a few laps, and this has improved my strength.


Both my transitions were under a minute. Part of the reason T1 was under a minute is because I didn't have to contend with getting the wetsuit off. I also dispensed with all manner of gels, snacks and other frills. In an hour race, there isn't much benefit to be derived from eating. T2 was quick, because I invested in speed laces, and didn't have to tie my shoes.


The bike course was fast and the hill training I have been doing with Chris R. paid off. I remembered to have my bike in the small crank and quickly got up to speed and shifted into my big ring and stayed there , which I planned to do. I say planned, because my one blunder came on a hill when I was dueling with another rider, the only rider to challenge me directly on the course. He passed me coming down a small hill, then I retook the lead on a series of two short but steep hills. He then caught back up on a gradual incline. I should have stayed in my big ring, but I saw him spinning in his small ring and pulling away. I made the mistake of shifting, and my chain popped. Not too big of a deal overall as it only cost me about 40 seconds, but it did cost me a place, and allowed my adversary to get too far ahead. I guess now that I think about it it was a big deal. Nonetheless, I was able to reign in the other on the run. Overall pace, 19.6 mph


Not much to say here. I dismounted the bike and was off, and felt pretty good. Bike to run is never easy, but this course was fairly flat and I was able to get my legs under me quickly. I wasn't passed by anyone on the run, and managed to pass at least 10 runners who were in front of me. Overall pace, 7:06

Results and Other Observations

1:18:46; 23rd place overall; 5th in my age group, which was 40-49 (If there would have been a 45-49 age group, I would have been second)

In an indoor triathlon, be honest with your seeding time. I saw an individual seeded 11th who wasn't wearing goggles, and by the end of the first lap was swimming with his head out of the water. By the second lap, he was breast stroking.

Interesting sight: aero bars on a mountain bike.

I dispensed totally with the GPS and wore only my watch. I used a pace calculator by the Chicago Tri Club to come up with a goal time. This helped me stay on pace and was better than messing around with the GPS.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Is Springing, But Hasn't Quite Sprung.

I'm one week away from the Hempfield Triathlon, and I'm happy with the shape I am in. I have been getting in at least two swims, rides and runs weekly. My basic schedule looks something like this:

Monday: swim, 35 minutes continuous, w/ technique work at the end.
Tuesday: "Two for Tuesday" intervals in the morning, hard ride in the evening.
Wednesday: swim, intervals and technique work
Thursday: run, tempo pace
Friday: rest
Saturday/Sunday: long ride and long run

It varies somewhat depending on the week, but as long as I can get two of each workout in, I'm happy.

Right now I have to take it a little easy, because I did something stupid earlier this week. I was goofing off on my mountain bike, and rode over some rocks in a drainage ditch in our development. Of course I fell, and could not get unclipped, and my thigh struck a rock. It was the worse charley horse I have had in a long time. I can ride on it, but it hurts to run. With that said it is healing, and I'm going to try to go out for an easy run this afternoon.

Not much else going on, but I hope to get a race report posted after the tri. I'm also looking forward to warmer weather which seems a bit delayed.

Oh, I almost forgot, I now have both boys riding bikes. Tristan began riding last week. He's a terror, and gives me gray hairs the way he flies around. He wrecks consistently, but it doesn't seem to phase him.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Frozen Foot 5K Race Report

Kyler and I ran the Frozen Foot 5K in Elizabethtown this afternoon. Kyler was hoping for a PR, but the course was tough with a lot of hills. He finished in around 35:00. I'm proud of him, because he hung tough on the hills while fighting a side stitch. Tristan also ran today. He gave it his all in the fun run, and finished strong despite losing his shoe 100 meters from the finish. He completed the race with one shoe on and one off. Hemingway wrote that Paris was a movable feast; I think the same can be said about local road races. They're so much fun, and you see so many great people from race to race.


Yesterday morning Kyler and I performed the field work stage of his gifted challenge project for school. Kyler is doing research on dragonflies, so we spent some time looking for dragonfly nymphs in various aquatic settings. We started at a friend's pond, then went to a creek and finished at a spring. We were successful, and captured several nymphs which he examined, sketched and compared to other organisms we collected. It was a great morning to be out, and it was a joy to see Kyler so wrapped up in his project. I should add that Tristan was with us also. At first, he decided to stay in the car, but eventually he got out and was as involved with the project as the rest of us. In fact, he now has a new pet in our aquarium, a salamander.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Still Around

I'm sure that most people who read this are also facebook users, so you know I'm alive and well. Nonetheless, here is a little recap of the last few weeks.

I have two triathlons coming up and to those ends I have been training consistently. I have been getting in at least two runs, two rides and two swims a week. I can tell that I don't have the running miles under me like I did when I was training for Boston as I feel a little slow out on the road. Biking and swimming though are going well. I feel most happy about my improved swimming ability. Still not Michael Phelps, but I can hold my own in the pool, well at least in the middle of the pack. I'm relaxed, however, in the water, and that makes a difference when you are transitioning to the bike.

I'm looking forward to spring, and want to do a little more trout fishing. Guess I better get some flies tied, or another season will come and go and I won't be ready. I'm really looking forward to the annual trout fishing/backpacking trip into the Shenandoah National Park. I missed it last year, and still regret it. This year, if all goes according to plan, Kyler will be joining me for his first sojourn into the Park.

Work is going well, and today is the first day of Spring, so I have no complaints. I'm looking forward to getting outdoors with the boys and Tina, and I'm also looking forward to watching Kyler play spring soccer. He was moved up to U-10, so we'll see how he does with the older boys. Tomorrow is his last indoor game of the season, then we're back outside.

Here's a recent picture of the boys:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Out of the Blogosphere

Facebook, is destroying my blog. Not that it was ever anything special, but it was my attempt at trying to stay up to pace with the 21st century. I have so little time to write, and now after answering e-mail and hanging out on FB, that time is even more limited. Blogspot will probably become just a vehicle for writing about events in my life that are out of the ordinary; I don't feel like I can keep up with the postings anymore.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Two Triathlons

This week I signed up for two spring triathlons - the Hempfield Triathlon in April and the Got the Nerve Triathlon in May. By doing this, my training is now focused, and it is easier to get and stay motivated.

This week went really well. My body is getting back into the swing of things, and my workouts have been harder. Fortunately, I haven't had any aches or pains. My goal for the rest of February, is to do some hard, but short workouts, which should set me up for longer hard workouts come March.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 1 mile warm-up, 6x400m @ 85 seconds, 1 mile cool-down and weights
Wednesday: swimming, 500 yard warm-up, drills, 6x100 yards @ 1:45, drills
Thursday: 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 6:50, 1 mile easy and weights
Friday: 45 minutes on the bike trainer
Saturday: off
Sunday: 5 miles @ 7:25; hiking in the afternoon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tri To Help Results

The results are in, and lo and behold, I actually moved up a place from last year. Last year I finished 6th overall in the male category, this year I was 5th. And, I won the bike. I was 3rd in the run, but my swim was, well, I swam like a turd.

Guess I need to focus on swimming, or just concede that part of the race to more aquatic competitors and work on the bike and run. To that end, I was on the track this morning for the first time in a few months. I ran 6 400s between 85 and 89 seconds. I was happy with that for this time of the year. Afterwards, I did a little weightlifting: split squats, bench press, rows and planks.

This springlike weather has me feverish.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Training, Backpacking and Triathlons

I haven't posted in awhile, because I think I'm becoming addicted to Facebook. I have been working out and today I had a chance to see how good of shape I was in. But first, a bit of background. Two weeks ago, I was on a pretty good training schedule and was starting to get back into speed work. A couple of snow days, hampered my training a little, but not much.

Last weekend was our annual winter backpacking trip. It was a great weekend to be in the woods with snow on the ground, clear skies and low temperatures. I went into the trip with a bit of cold, and after the trip, it got worse, which caused me to lay low all this past week. (I hope to have photos for this event soon)

This morning I competed in the "Tri to Help" indoor triathlon. I participated in this event last year while training for Boston. This event is a fairly good gauge to determine "winter fitness." I didn't think I'd do as well as last year, because I haven't been training as hard due to an injury, and I was sick all this past week.

As it turns out, the only event that I was below par in was the swim. I managed 21 lengths last year in 10:00, but only eked out 17 this year. Part of the reason was I had to share a lane with someone and never could get into a rhythm. My biking was about the same as last year, 13.1 miles in 30:00 and my run was only about .10 off from last year, 2.98 miles in 20:00, which surprised me, because I was running so much more last year.

Bottom line, I'm not in half bad shape for February, but I have some areas that need improvement.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Training Update

Ugh, last week was mid-terms week, and I spent the majority of my time correcting tests and projects, and wrapping up the first semester at school. Nonetheless, I was able to drag myself out of bed five mornings in a row to continue what I'm calling my winter maintenance plan. Basically, since I don't have any marathons on the horizon like I did last winter, I'm giving my body a rest. By that I mean I'm not logging excessive miles and I'm incorporating more weight lifting into my regimen (I have a new favorite leg exercise, Bulgarian split squats.). On a good note, I was able to do some speed work for the first time in awhile, and I also did a "long" run of five miles in well under 40 minutes.

Monday: 45 minutes on the bike trainer w/ five 1:00 intervals
Tuesday: inclement weather; back on the trainer for 40 minutes
Wednesday: 1 mile in the pool followed by kick drills
Thursday: 3 miles with 6X400m intervals at @ 80 seconds; weights
Friday: 45 minutes on the bike trainer
Saturday: off
Sunday: 5 miles at tempo pace @ 7:50.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Training Update

Last week started out good, but deteriorated towards the end. Mid-terms are coming up and I had to go into work early Thursday and Friday to get ahead. I managed to get a run in down at the beach on Saturday morning. It was cold; I had icicles in my beard by the time I was done. Later in the afternoon I went swimming...sort of. Some of us decided to do a polar bear plunge in the ocean. The streak continues, 11 years in a row.

Monday - 45 minutes on the bike trainer
Tuesday - 25 minute run; weight routine
Wednesday - 1 mile in the pool
Thursday - off
Friday - off
Saturday - 30 minute fartlek run
Sunday - Off

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rickets Glen

Got out on a really nice winter hike in Rickets Glen State Park on Saturday with Andy B., Kyle F. and Julious. The weather was perfect; it was nice to be in winter conditions. I really miss snow, so being up in northern PA with snow on the ground and falling the whole time we were hiking was enjoyable. I was happy to be in an environment where I was able to use my new crampons, Yaktrax and gaiters. We did around 6 miles of hiking, and had the area pretty much to ourselves. Winter is the best time to hike in the Glen, because the summer crowd is absent. On the way home, we stopped at Selinsgrove Brewing. It was here that I received a special birthday gift: I was carded on my 47th birthday. Woohoo!!!

Here is a sampling of photos.

Training Update

I had a really good week of training: two mornings on the bike, two mornings running and a morning of swimming. The good part of it was that I think I may be over the piriformis issue. I didn't really feel any twinges while running, and even managed to do some fartlek one morning, and was able to open up my stride. In addition to swimming, biking and running I went skiing Friday evening and did a great hike on Saturday.

Monday; 40 minutes on the trainer maintaining a 90 RPM cadence.
Tuesday: 3 miles running followed by weights.
Wednesday: 1800 yards in the pool; interval work
Thursday: 3 miles fartlek followed by weights
Friday: 40 minutes on the trainer; skiing in the evening
Saturday: 4 hours of hiking
Sunday: Off

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years 2009 And Slightly Beyond

New Years Day for the last 10 years has been spent psyching myself up to plunge into the icy waters of the the Myerstown Quarry Lake. This year, we decided to take a trip to State College, Pennsylvania to visit our friends the Longeneckers and to watch the Rose Bowl with them.

We had a nice trip through the mountains, and arrived at their house around 2:00 p.m. They have a nice home that sits at the base of Mount Nittany, and has a view of Beaver Stadium, and the mountains to the north.

I won't mention much about the Rose Bowl, other than to say that ABC's coverage was the most pathetic broadcast of a sporting event that I ever witnessed. The Lovefest showered on USC by Herbstriet and Mussberger was sickening.

We spent Friday tooling around State College, then headed down the line to my dad and step mom's place and spent the evening and Saturday morning with them.

It was nice to get away for a little awhile, especially to the mountains, and to spend time with family and friends.