26 July, 2015

Progress and changes

Category: Biking,Body,DC,Exercise,Parks,Running — Moose @ 2:48 pm

Been mostly following my training plan for the marathon this fall, but I suspect I’m going to need to change some of the weekday workouts. I’m supposed to be doing around 8 miles on Wednesdays and Fridays, and I think it’s just a touch too much most weekday mornings. So I think I’m going to pop them down to 6 miles, with an option to do more if I feel I have the time for it.

One of the things I enjoy about the plan is that it mixes in cycling two days a week, and occasionally substitutes a long bike ride for a long run. Today was the first of those. Most of my bike riding during the week has been at Hains Point these past couple months (i.e., flat, flat, flat), but this morning’s plan called for 50 miles, and Hains Point, while nice, is not where you want to go 50 miles (picture endless loops of either 3.2 miles with less traffic, or 5.5ish but with a lot of traffic as the day gets later). So I headed out on the Custis trail to the Washington & Old Dominion trail, which is pretty much the complete opposite of flat. I think my quads and glutes are going to be paying for that choice tomorrow. On the upside, it was a lovely day, and a nice ride to Herndon and back.

I wish my long runs had been going as well, though. I seem to have a 10 mile problem – up to 10 miles are fine, but over that has had a block of some sort. I can’t figure out if it’s nutrition, heat acclimation, hydration, or what. It’s not been helped by my new acid reflux, which doesn’t seem to like bubbles (which are found in my favorite non-caloried sports drink tabs) or too much in the way of sweet calories (found in pretty much every other portable nutrition product). Trying to dial in the balance has been a chore. I’ll get there (I’d better!), but it’s a tad obnoxious.

24 July, 2014


Category: Biking,Body,Coaching,Exercise,Running,Stuff — Moose @ 9:55 pm

I didn’t quite make it an entire month, but that’s okay. I’ve done two short (2.4 mile) runs this week, both slow, both careful, and both without pain. The weight routine, though not as much as I was intending to do, has definitely helped, as has the time off from running. No pain after the runs, either, so I seem to have licked this case of runner’s knee. Thank heavens.

So, with this coming back, I’ll be looking at what kinds of training I want to be doing to better build up my fitness base for racing next year. Never did try cycling on the trainer, though I will try it out on the road next week. I finally got my commuting bike fit done, in time to realize that when the bike shop added the rear rack they did in a way that prevents me from easily getting the bolts off the rear wheel. Did get them off, but I think I’m going to have to go ahead and put quick-release skewers on there instead of the screw on bolts. As much as I enjoyed knowing you couldn’t remove my tires without a wrench, it’s not worth the effort now. And it’s not like I don’t lock up the wheels when I lock up the bike if I leave it somewhere. So, another trip to a bike shop this weekend to pick up quick release skewers so I can ride to work again.

3 August, 2010

Replacement Parts

Category: Biking,Knitting,Stuff,Triathlon — Moose @ 8:43 pm

I swear, by the time this season is over, I’m practically going to have a new bike. The tri bike is in the shop to have the bottom bracket replaced overnight. Hopefully this will solve the ‘creaking’ problem it’s been having. Replaced the tires last night after blowing out the front one on Saturday’s ride. They were five years old, and I’d had new tires, just hadn’t replaced them yet. Did discover I need to shift the back one around a little bit so it’s lined up with the stem – makes it easier to see where there might be an issue, evidently.

Dropped off the commuting bike as well. I’d had it in for a yearly checkup & got the bars retaped. In doing that, they didn’t put everything back evenly, so the steering ergonomics were all off. Thankfully this annoyed the manager almost as much as it did me, so it’s getting fixed. In the meantime, I’ll walk to work again. Fun.

Feeling this week like I just want the IM over and done with already. I feel like I’m ready to move on from the mega-long workouts back to more normal stuff, and focus on some different goals. This is one of the definite downsides to the planning aspect of triathlon – while you’re in the middle of one phase/season you have to start planning the next one. It’s almost as bad as Federal budgeting, always trying to anticipate what you’ll need a year and a half before you need it. Trying to just focus on what needs to get done now, but thoughts of fall training intrude.

I’m also feeling this odd urge to knit a sweater. I don’t know why, I don’t particular enjoy wearing sweaters, but I feel like I should knit one. I suspect it’s all the talk of knitting from my new attorney at work, she’s been on a tear lately. Of course, I have several other projects I could do/finish before I should even think about buying more yarn, so I suspect I’ll just let the sweater urge die again until I’m finished with some of the other things I can do with already invested resources.

20 July, 2010


Category: Biking,Exercise,Mood,Racing,Weather — Moose @ 8:34 pm

Feeling a bit worn out this week, likely still feeling after effects from the all-day ride this past Saturday. The ride went fairly well, though I pulled out after lunch (108 miles), then reinserted for the last 17 at the last aid station, putting my total mileage at exactly 125 miles. Had some heat & nutrition issues, though was never dehydrated. Far from dehydrated, in fact – every chance I got I was peeing! And while there was a twinge or two in my inner thighs, I feel like I mostly did okay with nutrition, until I started adding in too much sports drink. Stomach couldn’t handle that many calories at once, so had to stop taking stuff in, which wasn’t good, and probably contributed to the post-lunch slump. So, either diluted sports drink this weekend, or perhaps try the “nuun” stuff (fizzy, electrolytes, but no calories).

The heat was definitely a factor, with several participants from previous years saying this was the hottest the event had ever been. Not that I’d have felt bad dropping back even if it hadn’t been ungodly hot, but it does help that the external factor of the heat was known and acknowledged by the group.

It was a good learning experience, though, which was what I needed for the IM. I’d still like to be faster going up hills, but that’s for next season I think. I’m also thinking after some down time post-IM that I really, really need to do some weights this fall in the off season. Might help, and can’t hurt.

But in the meantime, I’m trying to get back into a groove, and I’m just not there yet. I’ll get there, but until then I’m just trying to rest and recuperate. Another lesson from Saturday – give yourself adequate time to be down and recuperate. But I’m feeling tired of being tired.

5 July, 2010

The Worst Ride

Category: Biking,Exercise — Moose @ 10:57 pm

This past Saturday I had a 100 mile bike ride that can best described with two phrases:

1. It was absolutely the most unpleasant bike ride I have ever done, bar none;
2. It was a great learning experience.

What I learned was basically that I have to get a lot better nutrition before a long ride in the heat, and I have to ensure I drink a lot more water & sports drinks. I managed to get dehydrated (though I didn’t realize it) in the first hour as I dodged runners out for their marathon training runs. I was drinking like I was out on an olympic tri, and that wasn’t good enough. I don’t think I had enough breakfast before I left the house, nor had I taken in enough water before I left home, either. All of this snowballed, and despite taking in several bottles worth of water at the turn around point, the damage had been done. The way back was full of muscle cramps, at least once I had to stop while pedaling because my right calf had completely seized up.

I also didn’t bring enough nutrition, I should’ve been eating more, and taking some more electrolytes in. Around the 5th hour in I ended up stopping off at a McDonald’s to grab some food because I knew I wasn’t going to have enough in me to make it back without food. The meal did help, though I still had some cramping in the remaining time back. Once back I sucked down water and sports drink like there was no tomorrow to rehydrate my poor, abused body. Took a good 24 hours to feel like I’d fully gotten myself back to normal, especially with the record heat we’re having here in DC this week.

This was actually a good wake up call both for Total 200 in two weeks and for IM Louisville in two months. Both are going to involve more heat, so I’m going to need to adapt, and to learn to drink more and take in more nutrition. So, I’m going to do it all again on Saturday. Same route, improved nutrition and hydration. If nothing else I need to prove I can do this without completely melting down, since I’m supposed to do twice that distance in two weeks, and I have to be able to run after doing 112, so I’ve got to find what my body needs to make it happen. And the sooner the better.

13 May, 2010

What’s Going On

Category: Biking,Books,Club,Dating,Exercise,Games,Running,Swimming,Weather,Work — Moose @ 9:30 pm

Keeping myself busy with work and training and attempting to get sleep. Last night was the first good night of sleep I’ve had in about a week and I’m hoping to follow up on it with another good one this evening. Between a weather front that’s been passing back and forth over DC (hot, cold, hot, cold, and always wet) and just being drained at work I was a mess the past week. It seems to be evening out finally (though the oil spill is not helping…), and I keep reminding myself that the work front should be busy but in a different way once the other fiscal attorney comes on board after Memorial Day.

I’m a bit disappointed with where my biking is at the moment. I’m mostly happy with swimming and running. I took a run clinic earlier this month from the guy who wrote the book on the style of running I use and that was enormously helpful. I’ve continued to try and focus on form while I run, and just by that I’ve been a bit quicker than I was before, though I’m having to watch the heart rate. The beepy-thingey has been my constant companion (a metronome like thing that allows me to try and turn the legs over at a certain rate), much to the amusement of other people on the trail I’m sure. Swimming’s been okay, and the changeover I did to 100s, with each one a focus on a particular aspect of the stroke, has also helped. Biking, on the other hand, I feel behind on mostly due to scheduling things on the weekends. Not sure where I’d make it up, though if I keep waking up at 3 am and not being able to crash I might just do it in the morning rather than the weekend. Silly body.

Continuing to read like mad on training stuff. And I’ve started doing some reading into Buddhist notions of the self. Interesting take on things, and one which seems to resonate. Not sure where that will go, but the reading is interesting.

Trying to play through the video game Infamous on both hard mode and trying to play it as the good guy, and it ain’t easy. My old tactics while playing the evil side (blow ’em all to hell as quickly as possible) don’t work; I keep getting an “execution” bad karma hit that throws the entire mission off. Very annoying. But, challenging, and I’m keeping at it off and on. That might go to the side though, I just got a copy of Prototype to try out.

Had a date or two. Trying to decide which way a crush is going. But nothing definitive on that front at the moment. Which may be for the best; once the new triathlete stuff is done this year, training starts to ramp up a lot.

7 April, 2010


Biked up for errands this morning (dentist, picking up glasses, etc.), and there was a serious amount of stupid on the trail in Rock Creek. No helmet, helmet on but unbuckled (doesn’t do much good if it flies off your head when you fly off the bike…), people running on the left side of the trail, etc. Most annoying. Kinda makes you want to get “Trail Rules” signs like they have on other trails in the area.

Why is it that you say “I’m a triathlete” and suddenly you become all intimidating to some people?

I really, really wanted aero bars on my single speed bike this morning while down around East Potomac Park. File under “you know you’re a triathlete if…” you want aero bars on all your bikes. The instinct to get down on the bars while on a straight, flat stretch was pretty strong. Good sign that training on the tri bike is going well. Or at least has become second nature.

No A/C yet in the building, so while I wait for the cable guy to come by and slap a cablecard into the new TiVo it’s kinda warm. We’ll have it in two weeks once they transition the system over from heat, and I’m semi-okay with this because the new general manager here at the cult co-op is having his guys come by and do a comprehensive sweep and check of all the convectors in each individual unit to ensure they’re working, clean, lubed, etc. First time it’s been described that way (past just the usual “we’re changing the filters”), so I’m okay with delaying to ensure all the equipment is working at peak efficiency, or at least at a better clip than the norm. Having vacuumed off my own units, I have seen how nasty they can get, so I can only imagine what some of them look like. It’s nice to have a proactive manager for once; he’s been big on getting in to do preventative maintenance, which is much appreciated here.

Had plans with a friend to do some gaming, but he got called in to do more on a research project he’s leading at school, so no go there. A nap sounds like a good alternative. With the lack of A/C and temps in the 90s the past few days sleep has been elusive. Lots of tossing and turning and odd dreams, including some disturbingly vivid erotic ones. Waking up at 2 am with an almost painfully raging hard-on from one of those is not conducive to a lot of rest.

I’ve been indulging a crush, which has been fun. I feel like I can begin dating again, that I’m ready for that, with the result that I’ve been keeping my eyes open and my flirt meter at “medium high”. But I also feel like I’m looking more with an eye to finding something more than just casual. As always, nothing is set in stone, but we’ll see where the path leads.

21 March, 2010

Biking Around Town/Dyson/Hope

Category: Biking,DC,Exercise,Friends,Geek,Habits,Home,Stuff,Weather — Moose @ 10:11 pm

The first weekend of spring was absolutely glorious here in DC. Despite my normal thing that Sundays are supposed to be my one, true “rest” day from exercise during the week I managed to bike across town and back twice, and over to the Hill once. Grabbed brunch with friends this morning up in Dupont, stretched it to an almost two hour affair, until the sun came round the building and started to hit us. The Hill trip was to pick up new tires for the tri bike, which is off the trainer, hopefully for the season, and needed new ones to make up for the wear from using the trainer all winter. I’ll keep the old tires for next winter.

Five gazillion people were on and around the Mall both trips up to Dupont, and in the afternoon coming back from brunch. “When marches/causes collide” could have been the caption. One of the many reasons I love living here, you never know what stuff folks are going to be in town protesting or praising.

Biked back up to Dupont for a last minute dinner/drinks (club soda for moi) thing with my friend M who is vaguely trying to hook me up with another cute friend of his, P. This was the second time we’d met, and P seems a little bit shy, but was generous with a hug both when I got there and when he left, so we’ll see.

In between bike trips I managed to take care of bills, update the financial software, sort mail, and vacuum, but not a lot else. Gotta say, I’m quite happy I picked up a little Dyson 24 from Woot last month, it’s been a peach, and has cleaned a hell of a lot better than my old vacuum did. I’m trying to keep the dust population down this year, hoping that will help with ye olde allergies, and this sucker has been very good for that. The sole complaints I had with it are that there’s no place on the unit to store the extra little non-carpeted-floor attachment that came with it (no biggie, I just toss it in a bucket I keep in the same hall closet), and that the cord is too short to get the entire apartment from one plug (it’s a small apartment), which has been remedied by use of an extension cord I had lying around. It gets under the bed easily with the little floor attachment, and it’s small enough to carry around when I’m using said attachment around the hardwood floors. Definitely a good purchase.

Goal for the week is to complete recovery from the race and prep the schedule for the next two to three races. Really happy with how the season has started, and hope it continues in the same vein.

20 March, 2010

National Half, 2010

Category: Biking,Club,DC,Racing,Running — Moose @ 5:16 pm

It’s dark at 4 am when you get up for a race. I had to wear my glasses to bike over to the race this morning, since it started at 7, which was about 15 minutes before the sun came up. Switched to the sunglasses even in the dark because I knew I’d want them on the course, but not for biking over.

Nice, cool morning. Bike ride over was easy, though it took me a bit to find bike parking. I was the only one on the actual rack near the finish line – most people just locked up to street signs. Changed into running stuff, ran into club folks who were volunteering, club folks who were running, and other friends and coworkers who were running as well while we waited inside. Seeded myself back according to the time I thought I’d do. Interestingly, they assigned us to “corrals” according to our speed, but then didn’t put numbers out for the corrals, just the expected times. Ooookay.

They threw the professionals out on the course and then began the slow crawl toward the starting line. Once we got going I did pretty well pacing myself at just under 10 minute miles (and the results show my 10k split was at an average page of 9:55 min miles). The last half was a bit slower as we hit hills and I tired out some, but the 2:15:03 finish time was perfectly fine by me. As the first race of the season I wasn’t looking to break any personal records, just to get out and do the distance before the tri season got started. The course itself was good, the right level of challenge for an early race, though it was a tad quiet since a good chunk went through downtown’s business district and some sleepy neighborhoods. Adams Morgan was nice and cheery, with a good crowd, and there were good pockets of cheering here and there as well through North Cap and the Hill. I had fun giving high fives to a bunch of little kids along the race course where I spotted them in time. In any case the kids cheering always brought on a good smile.

Mile 11 seemed to be the missing mile for a lot of people, as in we hit 11 and then the next thing you knew, you were hitting the marker for 12 and thinking, “where did that last mile go?” At least 2-3 other people I talked to had the same experience. The last couple miles were challenging, and I was thanking my lucky stars I was just doing the half as it was starting to warm up as we came into the finish chute. I’m nicely sore this afternoon after a short nap and some goofing off on the PS3, post-race, but not injured and feeling pretty good. A good way to start the season, and I look forward to the rest of it.

National Half Marathon 2010

15 November, 2009

Gut Feelings

Category: Biking,Body,Exercise,Habits,Motivation,Stuff,Triathlon,Weather — Moose @ 6:00 pm

My gut decided it didn’t want to behave for the past week. A combination of allergies, lack of exercise & water (traveled home in the midst of the remnants of hurricane Ida), change in diet (see last parenthetical), &c. just left ye olde gut very, very unhappy with me. Finally managed to calm it down yesterday morning in time to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather with a good 20 mile ride. Also got over to the Hill and fixed the fixie, which was a relief. It’s a shame there’s not a closer hardware store, but it’s all good now so I can ride to work again without problems.

Seven months until the half iron, six until the Olympic, and nine until the IM. Time to get out of off-season mode and back to training, hence the desire to get back onto the road yesterday. I also want/need to lose a few pounds as this season progresses so working out now is as important for that as it is for base building. While I’ve done some half-assed calorie counting I haven’t gotten really serious about it yet. Need to knuckle down on all fronts and get back to being serious about being a triathlete.