Sunday, September 27, 2009

ChesapeakeMan AquaVelo Results

55 - 59 Male Age Group Results

Willie did the ChesapeakeMan AquaVelo yesterday. As you can see, he grabbed 5th place in his age group. Is there a race report to follow?

-- TJ

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Race Results 2004 - 2009

The Ironman workout schedule is relentless. It does not stop. There is always another workout looming. It is like the Terminator. But, if I miss a workout or have to delay a workout until later, I will be obsessed almost to the point of being anti-social until I get my "hit"... until I get my workout in. And the feeling while the workout is "on"... overall, it is bliss. It is serenity. It can be painful... but after the pain, it is total satisfaction.

Some workout observations from the past couple of days...

1. I have had complete weightlifting workouts. Monday/Thursday... past two weeks. It helps me keep my muscle tone, helps with endurance and I believe it augments my cycling and swim training. Gives me more power.

2. The Thursday bike ride was on the stationary bike at the gym. As daylight is back down to less than 12 hours a day, it is difficult to find time to bike on the road (dammit, work... why do you get in the way of having fun?!?!?) and it is just too dangerous to ride around here when it's dark. I considered getting a trainer but I think the stationary bike is going to work for me. I really don't have enough room in the house to setup my bike. God bless my girls... but they have annexed the whole house and I have one little corner of one room for me and my stuff.

3. Friday morning swim... one of those moments of bliss... got in the outdoor pool at 6:30 am (that's when it opens)... dark and drizzly outside... only a few of the pool lights work at the SS YMCA... the reflection on the bottom of the pool... it was like the light was dancing on the bottom of the pool at the deep end... just beautiful.

4. Friday after work tempo run... all I can say is "OUCH"... "VERY OUCH"... that hurts. My lungs were burning. iPod Shuffle mix was awesome and helped me keep the pace up. I think I did sub 8 minute miles over 10k. Getting faster...

5. Saturday long ride... I rode with Travis and another guy... I think his last name is Carlson... good rider (both of them!). I felt pretty good, though. I managed to get in 80 miles. We toyed with doing 100... but I ran out of road. I was definitely strong on the bike today and led most of the way out.

-- TJ

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Willie Update

I heard from Willie. He's been away on business on several occasions but has been training. He reported that he hasn't been swimming much but has run and biked. He ran along the Bay in Burlingame.... loves the California air. Tell me about it! He'll be doing the Chesapeakeman Aqua Velo this weekend and then the Sea Gull Century in early October. Keep it up, Willie!

I lifted weights on Monday, swam for a half hour at lunch yesterday and got in a 18 mile run this morning. It was humid out. I woke up at 3:50 am and got to running about 5:10 am. Sunrise is at 6:40ish so most of the run was done in the dark. I brought a light with me today.

Next week, long run will be back down to 10 miles and then I'll pyramid up again week after week to 18... (10, 12, 14, 16 and then 18). Then, I'll bring it back down for the taper and should be primed for Ironman Arizona.

By the way, the race is two months from yesterday... so we're really starting to reel in the days. It'll be here before we know it!

-- TJ

Monday, September 21, 2009

Threat Assessment

Approaching River and Falls Road

On my brick ride the other day, I got to thinking about cycling. I was riding around the noon hour on a beautiful Sunday in September. I live in Montgomery County, MD... a very urbanized area. Sometimes, my mind can wander and I was riding on Randolph Road and realized I wasn't paying attention to the road for about 90 seconds. This is not good and actually can be very dangerous.

Typically, on a bike ride, I am constantly doing a threat assessment. Approaching an intersection, lots of data needs to be processed. Is the light red, yellow or green? How many cars are around me? Are there pedestrians? Is there anyone pulling out of the driveway? I even look at drivers and make assessments based on what I see. Someone with a bike on their bike rack is viewed as a friendly. A mom in a minivan with kids and out of state plates is eyed warily as they may get distracted or not be used to driving while there are cyclists around.

And, that's a whole 'nother thing. When riding with a group, it can be very hairy. I float towards the rear or try to ride off the front so I can minimize how much information I need to process. Conditions of the road are another thing. I was on a ride a couple weekends ago when three guys all hit the same pothole. When you're moving fast, even hitting bumps in the road can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Anyway, I thought I'd post about this because I did drift off mentally the other day. I have to remain vigilant at all times. Recently, a DC Tri guy who was training for Ironman Florida wrecked on his bike and broke his clavicle. His Ironman dream is over... for this year (Tuan will be back, though... I'm certain of it!).

I was reminded of a scene from "The Terminator". That's kind of what it looks like to me, sometimes.

"And it absolutely will not stop, ever..."

-- TJ

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Putting it all Together

Glorious weather this weekend. Though, a crisp fall chill is in the air as the sun comes up. It reminds me why doing a late season Ironman can be difficult.

I had a nice long ride yesterday. I rode with Davis, another neighborhood dad who I've ridden with before, and then we were joined by Eric Guzman-Alvarez at the BP (River and Falls Road). A DC Tri Club member, Eric is doing IMAZ, too. Eric rode out to Poolesville with me. I felt real strong on the bike and I was definitely leading the way and even felt good on River Road. I flatted on W. Williard Road outside Poolesville and we didn't have enough CO2 to complete changing the spare. But, a couple of Columbian dudes stopped and had a pump. It was funny, Eric, who is from Puerto Rico and these two Columbians were helping a native Montgomery County guy change his bike tire outside Poolesville, MD. I don't know... I think it's funny.

Anyway, I got in 78 miles. Really felt strong on the bike. Though, near the middle of the ride, it was clear that the cleat on my right bike shoe is too worn out. I slipped out of my pedal a couple of times and I had to concentrate on holding it just right to stay clipped in.

Today, a brick workout was on the schedule. I was planning on riding 50 - 60... but I wasn't able to get all that in. It was chilly this morning and I couldn't get it going in time. Davis was going to ride with me but texted that he couldn't make it. So, I admit it... I was not really interested in getting out there in the cold. So, i waited until the sun was out and things warmed up... but because Linda was at a work thing, I had to keep the ride short as I couldn't leave Jessica Rose along too long. It made for a good run, though... felt great... I think I'm starting to put it all together.

Here's a little post-workout summary...

Chocolate Endurox... my favorite post workout drink.

Hey... anyone seen Willie lately?

-- TJ

Friday, September 18, 2009

Training Build

Started another training build this week.

Too tired to write

-- TJ

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Training State Update

My sister Jessica and I before the 5k

My rest from training has continued somewhat. On Sunday, I ran in a 5k with my sister. The Victims Fund Run in Anne Arundel County. I met Jessica at her house and we rode the 10 or 12 miles on bike over to the race site. Then we ran. Then we rode back to her house by way of Annapolis. That part of the ride was about 20 miles, I believe. I can't remember. It wasn't much but it was still a nice workout. I placed 5th in my age group (40 - 49) with a time of 23:42 in the 5k. That is 7:38 miles which is pretty good for me. My heart rate on that was 158. I was definitely pushing it. All in all, a nice brick workout.

I took Monday and Tuesday off again. It has been a while since I've lifted weights. I did do the long run this morning. I think I did about 15.5 miles in a run time of 2:23. Avg. HR was 134. That's 9:16 per mile pace which is not too shabby for me.

Tomorrow... I'm going to try and fit in a bike ride and also hit the weight room. No weight room also means no core exercises and I'm already starting to feel fat.

Annapolis City Dock. Beautiful Sunday morning

Last... a shout out to Chad who completed the Everest Challenge. He climbed over 29,000 feet of mountains in California over 2 days and over 200 miles. You should see the elevations. Mr. Adorable is now Mr. Mountain Goat. Well done, Chad. Well done.

King of the Mountain from IMFL Class of 2006

-- TJ

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bear Week

I cracked this week. I admit it. I was so toasted that my workouts dropped off the table. Here is what happened...

- I had a tremendous Labor Day weekend build of training. Two weeks in a row I did the Sugarloaf Mountain ride, which is a harder ride than you'd expect. Running... swimming... I don't think I'd missed a day of training since early August.

- I took Tuesday off.

- Wednesday, I did the long run after work.

- I haven't been taking my asmtha medication and I started experiencing some real breathing issues this week... on Tuesday is when it really started. I had a pain in my right lung, closer to my back. It only hurt when I breathed (HA!). It also felt like the vessels in the right side of my neck were constricted... it felt tight or kind of like a pinch. A lot of mucous build up, too. Spitting and sniffling stuff out of my nose. Glad you read this bullet point?

- So, I was toasted on Thursday. Was supposed to ride. No chance. I did go to the gym after work. I changed into my gym clothes. I spotted for Linda on flat bench. Then I just watched as she did the rest of her workout. One of the dudes who lifts heavy even made a wise crack about how my workout was going. I managed to NOT lift a weight, do any core... or even stretch. A total goose egg.

- Friday... morning swim on the schedule. I woke up at 5;15 am. Immediately texted Colette and informed her I was out. I could barely breath and was coughing up a lung. No chance. Tempo Run at lunch? Forget about it. Not even close.Plus, I had my one year checkup with Dr. Vu. He thinks my eyes look ok but the right eye does have a couple of thin spots in the retina. Honestly, I was starting to get more concerned about the breathing thing.

- Today... woke up late... puttered around the house. I was scheduled to ride long... but only like 60 miles. About 11 am, I clipped in and headed out. I actually felt better and the chest pain was very minor. I managed to get in 54 miles. Rode downtown... lots happening... Nations Triathlon tomorrow so everyone was racking up their bikes today. There was a Tea Party, too. Linda went down there and I rode over to the Capitol to spend a little time with her. Thousands of people were there. Seemed like a big crowd. Sitting here on the couch posting to this blog, my chest feels the best it has all week. Strange, isn't it?

Big shout out to Chad who is doing the Everest Challenge as I write this. 120+ miles of riding today with like 15,000 feet of climbing or something retarded like that. Go get 'em, Chad!

Tomorrow... Victims Fund Run in Severna Park, MD. I'm doing the 5k with my sister. We're going to make a brick out of it. We'll ride our bikes there, run, and then do a longer ride back to her house. Should be fun.

TJ & Linda in front of the US Capitol at a Tea Party

-- TJ

Friday, September 11, 2009

God Bless America

Never Forget

I love America. I am proud to be an American. And I am grateful for the men and women in uniform who served and are serving my country.

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
- John F. Kennedy

-- TJ

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Long, Slow, Distance Run

Longest run to date this training season... 1:52 run AVG HR 133... I think it was about 12 miles. Some things to note about this run...

1. It came AFTER work... was still torched this morning when alarm went off at 4:15 am. My running buddy, Colette, had already bagged the run as she texted about not feeling good last night. I held off until after work and work was a long tough slog today. Tough day.

2. I didn't eat a lot today. But, still my stomach was a little sloshy went I ran out. I don't think it ever settled down.

3. DANG IT... iPod Shuffle wasn't charged... so no music for the long run. There is no music race day but there is a lot of stimuli... running around Sligo Creek and Wheaton Regional Parks (for the 100th time... at least) could use a little 80s Metal spruce up.

This part of Ironman training is the tough part. Everything is long distance on long day and now I'm adding the speed workouts, too. My weight training has already decreased as I missed Monday and last Monday was really a haphazard workout. Supposed to hit the gym tomorrow but also manage to get in a bike ride. Rain is in the forecast so it might wind up being a stationary bike ride. We'll see...

Anyone heard anything from Willie?

-- TJ

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cynthia (Cindy) Reichhardt - Rest in Peace

She fought long and hard. She was a beautiful woman and a wonderful mother. Linda and I will miss you.

Cancer does not spare even the kind and gentle people in our lives.

-- TJ

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Training - A Tale of Two Bricks

My favorite road sign in the DC Metro area

Labor Day Weekend training build is over. Whew. I was thoroughly trashed after Saturday's 100 mile ride. This Ironman training is no joke. Definitely a challenge and not for the faint of heart. It took me over 24 hours to recover from Saturday's ride.

I managed to start a workout at the 3:45 pm adult swim Sunday at our pool. Another guy was swimming laps and I think I spotted a DC Tri Club water bottle at his chair by the pool. But, we didn't talk as I knocked out a 35 minute swim. I haven't been counting laps this year, so I don't know how far I swam, but the other guy did lap me in the pool. After the swim, I had conveniently staged my bike at the front of the pool clubhouse. So, I hopped on and did a 20 mile ride. Took about 70 minutes and I was just blowing out the lactic acid in my leg muscles. I actually felt good by the end (the ride started with a 1/2 mile uphill to University Blvd.) and did a big hill near the end of the ride... up Wayne Avenue between Sligo Creek Parkway and Flower Avenue. I think by the time I was finished, my legs were just getting ready to get going. A good feeling.

Halfway up Wayne Avenue

Today is Labor Day. A traditional day off work. But, still I woke up at 5:30 am to get ready for a 6:45 clip-in. I had scheduled a brick with Travis from DC Tri. Had to meet him in Georgetown at 7:30 am. As I was riding up the hill from K Street (if you don't think DC area is hilly, go with me on a ride sometime), I could see Chad at Wisconsin and M. He was alone. As I stopped, he informed me that Travis had overslept and that it was just going to be he and I today. "We're getting the band back together."

Missed the text... was on the bike. But, Chad was indeed waiting. He was early, too.

My Bash Bro Simon had written in a race report once about how the elemental representation of Ironman must be "Earth". It's not just the training or the race... it's also the people. Seeing Chad waiting there and riding up that hill in Georgetown (another friggin' hill!?!?) towards Reservoir Road was... well, like seeing an old landmark... like a tree on hill... or a meadow on the way to school... a bridge on the way to the beach. It reminded me of some rides back in winter 2005-2006, as we were both prepping for our first Ironman. Though I'm training now for my third and Chad is about to embark on the Everest Challenge, here we were again... riding out and enjoying... well... the Earth. Outdoors in the elements and being physically challenged... passing many homes whose occupants were inside slumbering away the Labor Day morning.

I've been very fortunate... a lot of rides have taken us by the Supreme Court, US Capitol, Smithsonian,Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and other DC landmarks. The last few rides, I've done the 12 miles down Rock Creek Park to Georgetown. Very peaceful. Of course, the approach to Sugarloaf and the views from the top on these picture perfect days really are beautiful. I won't take it for granted. I know a lady, training for IM Cozumel 2009, who trains in her basement on a treadmill and stationary cycle. She calls it her dungeon.

Anyway... so much for the mushy stuff. We rode out River Road and came back Esworthy/Query Mill/Glen Road. We stopped to take some pix at my favorite road sign... NORTON ROAD... which means Falls Road is only about 1.5 miles away and it's all downhill to the BP. We parted ways at Oaklyn Road and I blasted home. Felt good those last 12 miles. When I got home I transitioned to a run. I felt like crap the first five minutes but then the inevitable happened... my body adjusted and I fell into a groove. No sun today and relatively cool but there was some humidity... definitely worked up a good sweat.

Bike: 60 miles, 3:24 ride time, 124 avg. HR
Run: 3.6 miles, 33 minutes, 132 avg. HR

Tomorrow... taking the day off. I am supposed to go to the gym today but I don't know... if Linda wants to go, I'll do it. I sit here on the couch, posting on this blog and I am definitely toast.

Ironman is hard. Brick workouts don't make it any easier.

-- TJ

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Training - Sugarloaf & Bay Country

Potomac Overlook, Sugarloaf Mountain... again

Separately, Willie and I knocked out 100 mile rides yesterday. I rode out to Sugarloaf Mountain... the second Saturday in a row. I think that is a first for me. I rode down to Georgetown by myself, and joined a group that rode to Falls/River Road together. We had a slow start as there were two flats in the five miles out of Georgetown (Laurel and Chad).

From there, a group of eight headed out to Seneca. Then, five of us proceeded to Sugarloaf. I was the only one who knew the way (YIKES!) so they were following me. I rode strong and off the front for most of the ride until we got to the River/Seneca intersection on the way back... about mile 77 of the ride. Those dang hills on River Road killed me again and I was gassed by the time I got home. Chad will be happy to know that we cut over through Poolesville on Edwards Ferry and Partnership Road. So, managed to avoid the River Road extended trip from Mount Nebo. :-)

Willie did the Bay Country Century and he did report to me via email that it was a good one. Perhaps we'll hear some more detail now that he's on vacation and may have time to write.

A breakdown of my workouts this weekend so far are as follows:
Friday: 42 minute tempo run with Seth. 35 minute swim at Franklin Knolls Pool.
Saturday: 100 mile ride to Sugarloaf.

I was toasted last night and fell asleep on the couch in the first quarter of the Bama/VT game. I slept about 10 hours last night.

Today... I will probably do an EZ spin on the bike and perhaps swim some laps. As tomorrow is a day off work, I'm going to do a brick and may be joined by Travis Siehndel, who is training for Ironman Cozumel.

-- TJ

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Training - Words of Inspiration

DC Tri Club - Northeast Triathlon 2009

Reading DC Tri Club race reports from IM LOO. We have some awesome people in the club. Great triathletes. It's no wonder we're USAT Regional Club Champs five years running.

A few snippets from rr's that have me all jacked up this morning...

“The trick is not to make the butterflies in your stomach go away, but to make them fly in formation.”

“it’s a marathon, you just run it.”

"...the second secret of Ironman (the first being crises management): the winner is not the person who went the fastest, but the person who slowed down the least."

"This only means one thing: Next year I am gonna have to work a little bit harder, and earn that slot on my own."

"Sometimes I felt like people in the club had fewer doubts about how I'd do in this race than I did. That's a good feeling."

"Here I am 4 days after Louisville and still kind of can't believe it's over. It was the focal point for so long that I'm sorta sad it's over."

-- TJ

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Training - Bay Country Century

Willie has surfaced. Here is an email exchange I had with him this evening...

-----Original Message-----
From: TJ
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:23 PM
To: Willie Brennan
Subject: Bay Country Century

Are you counting on me to be out there on Saturday?

What time are you planning on clipping in and who else is going?


On Sep 2, 2009, at 9:31 PM, Willie Brennan wrote:

I'm going no matter what - you don't have to go if you are not able.
Right now Mike Lampe and I are definite for the 100 miles and Marsha
said she was signing up the morning of...stokes said
something to Mike S....just to bust on me...not sure if he's going or
not...looks like the start time is 7 AM...I want to start then...I'm going to the
beach after that for the week



-----Original Message-----
From: TJ
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:41 PM
To: Willie Brennan
Subject: Re: Bay Country Century

It's not that I am not able to go... I'm just lazy and would rather
not drive to and from a 100 mile ride when I have a couple of
different 100 mile options leaving from my front door.

BTW... I did jump the gun and rode 100 on Saturday. But, i could do it
again this weekend. I'm getting in pretty good shape. :-)

I'll know for sure if I'm doing Bay Country by tomorrow evening.

How is the shoulder? I swam 40 minutes last night... swim again on
Friday morning.

On Sep 2, 2009, at 9:44 PM, Willie Brennan wrote:

Yea - I feel behind on the bike - so I'm doing this one, CM and
Seagull to get in at least 3 100+

I had a cortisone and the shoulder feels great - I've swam twice since



-----Original Message-----
From: TJ
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:48 PM
To: Willie Brennan
Subject: Re: Bay Country Century

I think that was my 4th 100 mile ride and I did a 200 mile ride, too.

From: Willie
Date: September 2, 2009 9:48:38 PM EDT
To: TJ
Subject: RE: Bay Country Century

That's it - rub it in



-- TJ