Monday, December 17, 2007

Streak running...

As opposed to streaking. This is very Interesting. If you don't have much time just skip down to the part about Why...

"Almost 33 years ago, Robert Kraft started running out of anger, pissed that a song he says he wrote made somebody else rich. When he ran, he was a little less angry.

Maybe when he hits 100,000 miles, he'll find the peace he has been chasing.

If not, you'll know where to find him."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"I'm most concerned that the Governor of a state in this country is writing personal letters of support to convicted rapists in prison. That is mind boggling." -MattinSF

Nuff Said!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Who is the *we* in the following???

But we're never gonna survive unless...
We get a little crazy.
No we're never gonna survive unless...
We are a little...
No no, never survive, unless we get a little... bit...


Do you know these 2 words? I heard them both on the radio today and wondered why they were used in the context they were:

ex·is·ten·tial·ism (ěg'zĭ-stěn'shə-lĭz'əm, ěk'sĭ-)
n. A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.

gauche [gohsh]
lacking social grace, sensitivity, or acuteness; awkward; crude; tactless.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Some took to calling him 'Jesus.'"

This gives me goosepimples. I could have written it.

A slice of my childhood and definately part of who I am. Not that I'll ever be as cool as Earl or Clyde.

I actually had that Clyde Frasier book in the mid seventies. Rockin' Steady-A guide to basketball and Cool

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

NYC Marathon Race report

"All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why." -James Thurber

First, I got to run this race because I signed up to support a charity. If it hadn't been for that I'd have been running the OBX marathon or Richmond or maybe Marine Corps, again. Those are good races but New York is in a class by itself. So that's why I've been bothering you all about sending a few dollars. The charity is called Team for Kids. It's a group that promotes exercise, specifically running and healthy lifestyles for kids, in the US and abroad. So, if you missed it and you want to, you can still donate here. Please use my entry number(094565) and last name(Alston). I really appreciate anything you can do. Thank you everyone who has supported me in this.

This race was just totally awesome. I almost don't want to call it a race. This thing is an event. Going in to town on Friday, it just seemed like it was everywhere from billboards to the sides of buses to the conversation of the taxi driver to the front desk clerk, waiters and waitresses, all seemed genuinely excited about it.

Doing this race sounded like a great idea but I probably would have sat around dreaming about if it had not been for my friend Tracy. One thing I love about Tracy is that she has no irrational restrictions on her thinking. Another thing I love about her is that she mixes so easily with any kind of people. Well one day at work she shows up with a picture we took after the marine corps marathon a few years ago and written on it is "NY here we come". And the rest as they say is history. We went and had a blast. Probably the hardest part of this was arranging the logistics of how to get my kids there after school on Friday. Even that worked out great thanks to some very great people.

I trained for this race more thoroughly than any of my previous 6 marathons and had PR(personal record) in the back of my mind... OK, I'll admit it, it was in the front of my mind. We(Tracy and I) had basically done three 20 mile runs. Ran half marathons in early September and mid October. Plus I had several weeks where my total mileage was over 50 miles(not much by many standards but huge for me). I felt confident and prepared leading up to Sunday morning. Team for kids chartered buses to take us from midtown Manhattan out to the start at Fort Wadsworth, on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge. We probably got out there before 8am, which meant alot of cold waiting around until the 10:10am start. But since we were part of Team for kids, we got to relax in their nice warm tent. This tent had enough porta-potties out back so that there were no lines to use them. These two things might not seem like much(the tent and the no lines) but they really made the wait very comfortable. They also had bagels and gatorade in the tent. At 9 am we removed all outer layers and checked our bags at the UPS trucks. These would be transported for retrieval at the finish. At 9:42 we were lined up in the blue start area. A zillion excited people crammed into a very small space, organized by bib number. Somewhere in there we got our pictures taken, thought we heard the national anthem and never heard the starters gun. We also took a moment to pray. A little after 10:10 the sea of people in the blue area started inching forward towards the starting mat, leaving behind all manner of discarded clothing. It took fifteen minutes of shuffling to finally cross over the starting mat. And then we were on our way. The sight was overwhelming. The Verrazano-Narrows bridge and all those smiling faces, the views of the Manhattan skyline... spectacular. The plan was to run a mile with Tracy and then go ahead. Well that plan went out the window as soon as we crossed the mat. I was so excited I pulled away hoping she'd go with me. She didn't. Sorry Tracy. Once we were off the bridge, the crowd of cheering people started and except for a few spots (The Queensboro bridge for one, which was dark and dreary), did not let up until the finish. This is the thing that I'll never forget, people cheering every step of the way. That and... the sound of my name. This was the first race I ever had my name printed across the front of my shirt (applied at the last minute in the tent) and I bet at least 500 people called me out by name, cheering me personally onward. At first I thought, how do all these good looking women in Brooklyn know me. After I figured it out I just felt like a rock star. Running and smiling. Through Brooklyn and Queens and all the various ethnic neighborhoods combined with people from around the world running the race gave it all a huge international flavor. I kept thinking this is like a moving international festival. There were bands all along the route. Each seeming to convey the spirit of the neighborhood. I heard everything from the Korean drum people in the Bronx, to various Rap musicians, to school bands to metal Rock to Gospel. People just out having a good time.

The thought process you go through during the marathon is a very interesting aspect of the race, for me. I've thought a lot about what is the proper mindset with which to successfully overcome this challenge. Profundities escape me. Here's my formula, Preparation(pre-race training and nutrition+in-race nutrition), Patience(don't think about the finish, work out the details of how to survive the next half mile), Positivity(stay positive, no matter what, as the kids say, it's not that serious),Pain acceptance(there will be some discomfort, welcome it as a friend) and before and after all else fails, Prayer. During this race my preparation and patience were so good that whenever things went wrong, my positivity never waned. I was just that confident about doing well in this race and that confidence just grew as the race progressed and that felt good!

Normally, I run out of gas around mile 19 or 20. That didn't happen this time. That may have something to do with my breakfast(an 8 ounce bottle of Ensure Plus(350 calories!)as soon as I woke up, plus 2.5 bagels as I waited in the tent). Plus, I was eating all the way. A mojo bar and bag of sport beans before mile 10, plus a couple of gels before mile 18 and another bag of beans, had me feeling very strong coming through Harlem and into Central Park around mile 23. That’s about where the crowd noise increased and it was like entering a stadium. People pressed against the fence on both sides encouraging the runners onward. I was passing people left and right. The biggest problem in this race was just that there were so many runners it was hard to get room to run. You'd get going good and then get boxed in behind slower runners. I did a lot of zigzagging. The number of runners was also a blessing though, since I was so busy ducking and dodging that I never really noticed the hills. I knew I was right on a PR and ran mile 25 at an 8:23 pace and mile 26 at 7:47. My heartrate reached a max of 169 at the very end. I crossed the finish line at 4:00:01... about 2 minutes slower than my PR, even though when I ran the PR, I stopped to use the Porta john twice and walked a bunch between mile 22 and 25. Doesn't matter, I feel so blessed just to be able to run.

This was a great experience. I consider it my best marathon, so far, even though, not my fastest. I was on cloud nine throughout the race but especially in that last 10K. It was the first time I've run all the way in a marathon and actually negative split the second half. Garmin(GPS) says I ran 26.78. My support crew was awesome. My kids, my mom, my aunt, my sister, and my nephew all made it to NY to hang out and support me. They make all the difference in the world. Interesting thing is that my teenagers had a ball in NYC and are talking about doing this race some day. Ha, my plan to run a marathon and do a triathlon with each of them is slowly winding it's way to fruition!

Official Race photos!

Pictures. Most were taken with the disposable camera I ran all the way with.

My Peeps at the finish

Staying warm at the start

Finally running!

Not much room to run!

Trudging over Queensboro

Monday, October 29, 2007

my marathon PR... Shamrock(March 2007)

jka52:568:501:57:218:582:40:168:553:57:459:05 3:59:22

taper, taper, taper...

That's were I am. Tapering(and trying to eat right!) The NYC marathon is in 6 days. I've probably trained better for this one than for any of my previous 6 marathons. I'm hoping number 7 will be lucky for me. Ran 8 yesterday and probably won't run much this week. Maybe a couple of 2 or 3 milers. My last 20 miler was a week ago and the weekend before that I actually ran 33 miles. 20 on Saturday and then a Half marathon on Sunday. I helped pace Madia and Tracy to PR's. The 8 miler yesterday started out tough. It was very windy and then around mile 3 I felt out of fuel. But I was able to run strong after that and ended up doing it in 1:06. That's averaging in the low 8's. Maybe 8:15. I needed to break in my new shoes. So they'll have at least 12 or 13 miles on them by next Sunday morning. These are the 4th pair of Asics Cumulus I've had in a row. I loved the Cumulus 7, best shoe ever. Had a couple pair of those. Then Cumulus 8, which I ran to a PR at the shamrock marathon last March. They were ok but not as good as the 7's. And now Cumulus 9, size 11 4E. They felt great yesterday. Along with the short runs this week I also plan to swim at least 3 times. Good low impact cross training with an eye towards Eagleman, next June.

I feel ready for NYC. Only things left are to think about what to pack and to work out some logistics about how to get everybody there. The Fundraising has gone along ok, I have some very generous donors but I'm not quite where I'd hoped. Doesn't really matter though. I feel blessed to be able to help somebody while also getting a chance to run the NYC marathon. I think this is really just showing me that I can do much more to help others than I've been doing. That's one good take away from this whole experience.

This is the word for the week(I love this word, from time to time I see it and it just sort of lingers with me for a few days):

n. pl. en·tel·e·chies

1. In the philosophy of Aristotle, the condition of a thing whose essence is fully realized; actuality.
2. In some philosophical systems, a vital force that directs an organism toward self-fulfillment.

New word: Run-entelechy...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Race Report

* Note: I posted this report on another site.

Osprey Sprint Triathlon
Oct 6, 2007
Public Landing, MD.

I hadn't seen this race mentioned here so I thought I'd try writing a race report. This was the third year I've done this one. It's sort of small and unassuming. Almost laid back, if a triathlon can be that. No chip timing, no USAT fee, no age on the back of the leg. But a very nice venue and only 2 hours from Hampton Roads, up the Eastern Shore. Also, this race is a fund raiser for the Maryland Coastal Bays Foundation. An organization working to preserve Marylands' coastal estuaries. For me, a nice respite from Saturday morning long runs and a good way to get that last triathlon fix for the season. Anyway, I dragged my 2 teenagers out of bed to drive up Saturday morning since they had previously agreed to go. They were pretty agreeable at 5:30AM on a Saturday. So, we get to the bridge tunnel and surprise, they don't take credit cards(I never have cash and of course teenagers have no money) so I had to go in and fill out some promise to pay paperwork. Not good since I'm already starting to stress about whether we have enough time to get there, do packet pickup, rack the bike and hit the porta-potty before the 9AM start. We ended up getting there at around 8:15, do the packet pickup, body marking, find a little corner of a rack where people grudgingly give up a few inches of space. That's another thing about this race, you rack your bike, not by number but anywhere you want. I liked that idea at first but it would come back to bite me later. I always enjoy the excitement of walking with a large group of wetsuit-clad people to the swim start. Even though I'm always apprehensive about the swim. When my wave goes off I feel pretty confident and focused on the task at hand. Only 750 meters. Just relax and breath to both sides, that way I can get into my own rhythm and hopefully pull evenly with both arms. This has been a problem in the past where my right arm hurts days later because it does all of the pulling in survival stroke mode. I think I actually passed some people, getting out to the first buoy even though I kept reverting back to only right side breathing. As I'm swimming I see people beside me walking... the water is only about 5 feet deep in places, but I'm determined to not walk. I roll along and after a while, just as in every tri I've been in, I see a steady stream of orange caps go by(the next wave). Very humbling! I feel like a truck chugging along while the sport bikes zip from lane to lane. I do take solace in the fact that I got out of the water with someone from the wave ahead of mine(he probably walked all the way or learned to swim last week). The swim exit is up the steps at the end of a pier, down which you run, on carpet to T1. The carpet was white and as I ran I kept noticing little splotches of blood. This made me realize that the bottom of my right foot was hurting. Guess I had cut it on the rocks at the swim start. T1 Went well and I was off on the bike. These are all country roads and smooth all the way. I just hammered it as best I could, passed alot of people, maybe 5 or 6 passed me, all wearing aero helmets and riding nice bikes.

There were a few turns on the bike course but plenty of volunteers to steer you right. I was pretty happy with my bike split, bike computer indicates I averaged close to 21 mph but race results say 19.6. This is probably due to the fact that T2 time, in the results, is combined with the bike time and I ran around in T2 for a considerable amount of time. Couldn't find my stuff. This was a result of not racking by bib numbers and not having enough time to really scout out the full layout of things before the race. But I finally did find my stuff and got out of T2 thinking... well... thinking, this hurts. But keep pushing because this is supposed to be where I become the sport bike. The run course is out and back. Always nice to see who is in front of and behind. Lots of motivation to not let up. Plenty of water on the course and very nice volunteers. Had a stitch in my side for a while but that went away and I was able to finish strong and feeling great. Of course, my teenagers were nowhere to be found so I'll have to rely on the official race photos if I want a finish line photo. I took almost 6 minutes off my time from last year. Just about all of that was on the bike. My swim focus from last winter hasn't taken yet. :-) Plenty of drinks(gatorade and bottled water) and good music afterward and the food was a bag lunch. Turkey, Ham or Vegi sandwich and chips. My teenagers ate my turkey sandwich. They report that it was good.

I highly recommend this race. Great community support. Great Venue(swim is in Chincoteague bay), bike and run on well maintained roads, close to home. And it always ends up being an exceptionally beautiful fall day.

"My concern is not just about surviving. I would not live at any cost My attempt is to do better than just survive, but to thrive and to thrive with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
-Maya Angelou

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sandman 07

"Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, until you can do it well." -Dave Packard (HP)

If I was someone who had slept in an oceanfront room on saturday night and got up for a little walk on the boardwalk, and seen the wetsuit-clad hordes, about 8AM Sunday, just strolling leisurely down to some appointed location on the beach. I'm sure I would have thought, these people are completely insane. The ocean does not look very friendly this morning yet they're about to jump in and go for a swim. Don't the red flags mean it's dangerous to swim? So it was that I found myself among the annointed, standing on the beach waiting to run into the surf. A mixture of fear and excitement simmering inside me. I should say that getting to this point has been an interesting journey. I'm really not much of a swimmer. But for reasons which I do not completely comprehend, I've wanted to do the Sandman Triathlon in Virginia Beach, for the last 3 years. I had made a special point to come out and watch in each of the last 3 years. Each time marvelling at the physical and emotional strength of the participants, and the size and ferocity of the ocean. I say emotional strength because a stern upper lip would surely desert many in this situation. This was my 10th triathlon and I actually felt ready(another point in favor of insanity). Having swam in the ocean 6 or 7 times before this day, and the bay dozens of times. But never in surf like this. Somehow the ocean seems to know the date of Sandman and works itself into a frenzy, after relative calm in the preceding weeks. In previous years I've seen people quit at the starting line, just walk away, get pulled from the surf by the lifeguard service, go into the surf to start, fight the waves a while then give up and return to shore. I was determined not to be one of those. I don't think anyone has ever drowned but I wasn't trying to be one of those either. The swim course was off 32nd street, swim out about 75 yards, right turn around the big orange(red??) buoy then south to the next big orange buoy at 24th street, and then right turn to the beach where transition is setup. I planned to be smiling as I exited the water at 24th street. It never ceases to amaze me, when the horn blows and my wave starts to head into the water, my own feet start to move forward and I'm right there in the mix. Insanity! The only thing I remember is diving under a few waves, then looking up and noticing that I seemed to be a bit farther to the north than my green capped compatriots, so I start swimming at an angle towards the buoy, figuring I can get around it with room to spare and without alot of traffic. I sort of fight the waves a while and then notice that I'm no longer in the breaking surf, I'm out in the rolling waves and headed around the bouy. Really not sure at this point how I got there but I get around that bouy(there was a lifeguard sitting on a surfboard at the buoy) and hear the horn for the next wave to start behind me. Now I'm thinking just relax and swim, and so I do. Normally when I get around the first buoy, I'm looking for the next one, this time I decided not to even look until I had swam a while. The presence of others around me is a mixed blessing, it lets me know that I'm going in the right direction and there are others as slow as I am, but it's somewhat unnerving as people hit or kick you. This happened a few times but I just kept moving forward, trying to relax and breath. I could feel waves pushing me up and dropping me down and sometimes I could see nothing but the wave that had just gone over me. Sometimes I was side-by-side with someone for a while or I could see faster swimmers go cruising by, still just doing my little ugly freestyle. Probably not much different from the stroke I started with 3 years ago, breathing to the right side. Which was also good because I could see the beach. I seem to always revert to this in races, even though I can breath both sides in the pool. This is really not like swimming in the pool. A couple of times I get hit with a wave and instead of a breath of air I get a mouthful of seawater and I'm amazed that I can just blow it out, get another breath and keep going. I think I remember passing a boat on the left and then I start looking for the bouy, for that last turn into the beach, cause this is starting to take a long time and I am starting to get a bit tired. I don't see it but I think, just stay calm, relax and keep going. Then I do see something red in the water but it's not a buoy, it's one of those things the lifeguards carry. At about this time I notice the jet ski coming close by and shouting or waving, and I notice that the other swimmers seem to have taken a right turn, I look up and see the transition area and figure, it's time to go in. So I make my way, uneventfully, to the beach, exiting the water 1/2 a block from the point everyone else is exiting. I have no idea how long that took and at that point didn't really care. I made it! And managed to smile as I made my way to transition. Later I learned that the second buoy had blown away... Wish somebody had told me!!! To be honest, the rest of the triathlon was anticlimatic, we had a strong head wind the first half of the 14 mile ride, which turned into a nice tail wind coming back in. A few passed me, I passed more. I spent way too much time trying to put on my bike gloves at the start of the ride. Bike gloves are not necessary on this short a ride. That cost me some time. The run was grueling, but I kept telling myself not to stop. The run is supposed to be my thing... right? Again, 2 or 3 passed me, I passed a bunch. I finished in 1:41:something. Not my best effort at this distance but I'll take it. I'm firmly in the middle of the pack. In my age group 22nd out of 44(2 DNF's). As is always the pattern I was near the bottom of the pack in the swim, 36/44 better on the bike 14/44 and best on the run 11/44. So basically I operate from the back and move up on the bike and run. Out of the water 36 out of 44, ending up 22 out of 44. That's actually how I like to operate but I do plan more work on my swimming. Some day I want to actually *race* the whole thing. The after party was cool. Some folks from the YMCA are talking about doing IMUSA in 2009. I'm considering it. More on that later. The muscles in my right arm are sore this morning, testament to my broken survival mode swim stroke. But who cares, I had a great time. Can't wait to do it again. Oh, forgot to mention, I ran 15 miles Saturday for a total of 40 miles this week. I want to be ready for New York.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rock and Roll Half 2 weeks later...

5251JKAChesapeake VAM-47Half Marathon
Gun:7:00:56 5k 10k 10 Mile 11 Mile Finish
Chip: 7:07:19 26:26 52:01 1:21:47 1:29:30 1:45:11
Race Pace:  8:32 8:23 8:11 8:09 8:02

This was maybe the best race I've ever run. I think I had a smile on my face the whole way. I don't think I can say the strategy worked. I forgot about strategy and just ran. Maybe the biggest factor in that 1:45:11 was the weather. It was cooler then it had been in previous years. Or maybe the key factor was that I've learned enough about running a race like this that I understand most of the salient points and can just run and not overthink the thing. There are always huge numbers of people in this race, which I think really adds to the fun factor. This year there were about 17000 finishers. My most vivid memory is of the people who pass by. I like feeling that sense of camaraderie as you run along with and chat with, sometimes friends and acquaintances, sometimes perfect strangers. Maybe people can't be considered strangers in a situation of shared suffering. Or maybe we're all brought together by a shared goal. Anyway, this was my seventh year running this race and my fastest time, by 6 minutes. I'm very proud of the race pace listed above. It shows that I was getting faster as the distance increased. Ran the last 5K faster than the first. If I could run a full marathon like that I'd probably end up qualifying for Boston.

"If your heart is closed, then you will find behind that door nothing to light your way. But if your heart is open, you will find behind that door people who, like you, are searching, and you will find the right door together with them. None of us can save himself; we are the instruments of one another’s salvation, and only by the hope that we give to others do we lift ourselves out of the darkness into light. "

- Dean Koontz, One Doorway From Heaven

Monday, September 10, 2007

The world, On time!

Had a problem with my iPod. Sent it back and they determined that it needed to be replaced. Here's the FedEx tracking log. I think it's amazing that I can get something all the way from China, in just a few days.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Check this out. $40 round trip. How much Luxury can you get for $40?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strategy for the RnR Half

Pretty much the same strategy I always have. Go out conservatively and speed up depending on how I feel. I'd love to be under 1:50:00 this time but the heat makes that tough. There will be pacers for people looking to finish at various times. there's one for 1:45:00 and 1:52:00. The idea is to just stay near them and you'll finish in that time. I'm thinking of trying to stay near the 1:45:00 pacer and just hang as long as I can. Just make sure I stay ahead of the 1:52:00 group.

The question keeps coming up, why I do this. Meaning not just the half but the marathon and the triathlons. I really can't answer this question. It has to do with some of the following:

1) It allows me to challenge myself. Something I don't get in other aspects of my life.
2) I enjoy the discipline. Even though I hate schedules or being bound to exact times.
3) Stress relief.
4) Keeps me fit, in shape and feeling good.
5) Gives me a sense of personal accomplishment. Hard to get in other aspects of my life. Somehow this is related to 1.

Friend of mine(M) found this and said it describes me. Might not be true but I claim it:

"Some people imagine that I'm a bohemian mystic who lives outside the system and disdains conventional wisdom. That's half-true. I'm also a disciplined artist with a fondness for analytical thinking and a commitment to self mastery." -Rob Bresny

We had a great ocean swim last night. Heavy surf and we were just rolling along like it was nothing. Loved it! And there were some cool people out there too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

10 mile monday

Ran 10 miles this morning since I went and watched the practice tri yesterday(Sunday) I rode the Patriot Half Ironman bike course on Saturday. Usually I like to run long on Saturday but there were some folks who were gonna ride the course so I joined them. My GPS lost the satellites at 8.3 miles on the run today. Not really sure why. Maybe I was under some trees and too close to a stone wall, in sort of a sheltered area. It's hard to reacquire sats while moving, and I didn't want to stop, so I'm guestimating the last couple of miles. The Rock and Roll Half marathon is next Sunday. This will be my 7th. I'm probably as ready I'll ever be. My Half marathon PR is 1:41 but my best in this race is 1:51... the discrepancy is due to heat at the RnR every year.

This is a great short story. Another something I should have read in high school.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Negative Splits...

Couple of things to look at from my very good run this morning.

This is data from my garmin GPS unit for my standard 5.8 mile run loop. Usually I feel good if I can do it in under 46 minutes. Today's time was 44:50, after really struggling on this same route a few weeks ago. The big difference was the temperature and humidity. It was nice and cool out this morning. Maybe around the low seventies. Things to note: in the table, each mile was faster than the previous one, this is called having negative splits and is what you want to happen in a race. I'll take even splits in the marathon. Even 9 minute mile splits gets me under 4 hours. The heart rate graph shows just a slow drift upward as the pace shows a slow downward drift. Getting those 2 lines to remain steady for up to 4 hours is the challenge of the marathon. I probably need my heartrate to stay under 155bpm and the temperature to be no more than 65F to be anywhere close to a PR in the NYC marathon.

Swam in the ocean Monday night, at Virginia Beach, off 55th street. We practiced getting the heartrate up as would happen at the start of a triathlon and then bringing it down after rounding the first buoy(while still swimming). It's good to see how this feels. My biggest problem is just keeping my head down and swimming. Instead I'm looking around trying to stay away from kicking feet and swinging arms.

Swam 1 mile last thursday.
Ran 9.7 miles last Friday(hot and high humidity).
Rode 57 miles on saturday.

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. -Gore Vidal, writer (1925- )

Monday, August 6, 2007


Is where I am this week. Seems odd to me, when people ask where are you going and I say OBX, they say, what's that. I can understand if you live out of this region but how can you live in the mid atlantic and not know what OBX is? Don't those all those OBX bumper stickers at least heighten your curiosity? Anyway, I'm here with the peeps, relaxing, eating and training. Rode(Map here) yesterday, swam and ran today. Click on the map and it'll show you where I am. We're staying right at mile 0 on the map. Very nice and relaxing place! I'll post pictures soon.

Ran 10.5 Saturday and I'm up to swimming 9/10(1600 yards) of a mile without stopping.

"Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in other people." -- Marian Wright Edelman

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jellyfish stings

At some point I'll write more about the NYC marathon. But right now it just seems so far away. November 4th is the date, but I have to be done with the fund raising by the end of September. Running distance is up to 9.5 miles. A long way to go on both fronts. We'll get there.

On Monday's I usually go swim in the bay. It's nice because its a scheduled weekly event(Monday and Wednesday at 5:30PM, May to Oct) and quite a few people show up. Various abilities. I'm hoping to build confidence in the open water. Seems to be working too. Today I was stung by a jellyfish. I saw it but it was too late to do anything about it. I felt the sting and just kept on swimming. I never saw one before that one or another one the whole time we were out there. Funny how things happen that way. It's so cool to be able to go out there and swim in the bay. If you had told me 10 or 15 years ago I'd be out there doing this, I would have declared you certifiably crazy. Maybe being out there represents *possibilities* to me. A world of possibilities. Possibilities that are always there and available if we're just open to seeing and taking advantage of them.

"A charmed life is an exuberant life. You get one by
loosening up, lightening up, and inviting in stimulating events
and people." Victoria Moran, Creating a Charmed Life

swam about 1200 meters today
rode 43 miles yesterday on the W&OD trail. I made it out to Hamilton, Va. Started in Herndon.
ran 9.5 miles saturday

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but only until it kills you." -Cousin Elwood(slowtwitch)

swam 1750 yards yesterday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Colonial Beach Tri, Race report

Well, I wasn't sure what to expect but I feel like I did accomplish the minimal goals I had for this race.

Here is a synopsis of my race results, which in a nutshell is the story of my triathlon career.

swim(1000 m): 195 out of 212 men (21:13) :-)
bike(40k): 127 out of 212 (1:12:35)(20.5 mph)
run(10k): 108 out of 212(48:02)(8 minute miles)

My goals were: 1) relax and swim(swallow as little of the Potomac river as possible) 2) avg over 20mph on the bike 3) run the 10K in under 50 minutes 4) have fun.

This was my first step in trying to move up to the Olympic distance and beyond. If you know anything about me you know that I'm always anxious about the swim. More so in this one because there was a possibility that wetsuits would not be allowed. I've lately built up
to swimming 1500 continuously, in the pool, and I've continued doing weekly open water swims. So I was able to keep the negative self talk to a minimum but was quite happy to find out, just before the start, that wetsuits would be allowed. Colonial Beach is sort of a sleepy little town on the Potomac, with a *beach* and *boardwalk*, out in the middle of nowhere. Good place for a triathlon. The river at Colonial Beach is wide and calm(at least on this weekend), another point that contributed to the positive karma of this race. My strategy for the swim is always to stay to the outside and start in the rear so as to avoid the pushing, and shoving and grabbing. Worked well this time, from the positive mental state standpoint, not so good from the fast time standpoint. I stayed out wide of the buoys and just cruised along at my own pace. About half way I started seeing yellow swim caps go flying by. Swimmers from the next wave. Looked like their turnover was about triple mine... Whatever. They had plenty of room to roll on by! I just told myself I'd see them somewhere down the road. The last leg seemed to take a long time but I never got tired or flustered. Someone later said that the current was against us on the way back in. I got out of the water feeling fresh and relaxed although my T1 time is not so good since it's a struggle getting my big feet out of the wetsuit. Any way, out of T1 and the race starts for me. I had no idea what kind of pace I should have for a race of this length, and a slightly hilly course, so I just decided to push as hard as I could for as long as I could. This again was a good choice of strategy because it allowed me to pass a ton of people, which added to my positive mental state, which just pushed me on to want to pass more people. There were a few pretty hefty hills on the course and half way up one I finally remembered, EUREKA, my bike has a small chain ring. The downhills were fast and fun! I was never passed during the entire bike portion(probably a benefit of coming out of the water near the back). I was drinking gatorade consistently and had one carbboom near the end of the bike. Off the bike and onto the run course I was a bit worried that I'd pushed too hard on the bike, so I just took it easy and decided I just wanted to finish without walking. That lasted about 5 minutes. Until a guy goes blowing by. Uh, wait! That can't happen, the run is supposed to be my "thing". So I pick it up to stay with him. After about a quarter mile thinking I'm going to lose a lung, I look at the back of his leg where the number 21 has been printed... hmmm... I'm suffering here and that guy is less than half my age.... back to the original plan about not walking. The run course is scenic and runs along the river for about 2 miles before it ducks around past a marina and into a neighborhood. I think it took about 2 miles for me to get my run legs. I had no idea how fast(or slow) I was going since I forgot to put the garmin on. But maybe that's a good thing since I just ran according to how I felt. In the final 2 miles I was hurting but running strong, tried to pick off a Final Kick jersey and a girl running just ahead of me but didn't have the kick to get it done. Doesn't matter, I enjoyed this race and although I wasn't sure I was ready, hindsight confirms that I was. This is a good race for anyone looking to move up into the longer distance tri's. I'm not the fastest person out there(and never will be) but I feel so absolutely blessed to be able to be out there.


I'll not be writing here every day. And I may say the same thing everyday for a week, or more. Sometimes I get stuck on something for a long time. If you're looking for profound truths... you took a wrong turn somewhere. I'm simply going to use this to post how my training is going. Sometimes I'll write about the things I see around me, not just in training or racing but in everyday life. I hope to have pictures. I love a good quote. Something to get my mind working towards clarifying a point or seeing something from a different perspective. Here's one to start out with.

“Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels, not of trade, but of thought.” – Henry David Thoreau

Ran my standard 5.85 mile loop yesterday.