Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Couple Fun Rides

So I've had a couple fun rides lately - one where I hammered longer than I had ever before and one where I got soaked to the bone.

The first was a fun ride on the Eagleman Triathlon course with some folks from the Annapolis Triathlon Club. Noel and I headed out early in the morning and headed over the bridge to the Eastern Shore. It turned out to be one of the more fun rides I've had in a while.

I jumped on with the fast group out of the gate and didn't stop. We basically pace-lined for 56 miles without slowing down. We got things spinning up to a 21 ish mph pace and kept hammering at that pace until we hit the wind. We kept hammering as hard in the wind but didn't go as fast. And when I say "we" I really mean most of the other guys in the group who were pulling up front. I was operating a bit out of my comfort zone and needed to use all my energy to keep from being spit out the back. I pulled once or twice, but mostly I hung on the back. I wasn't a parasite, but it did take a bit of work for me to hang on. I was pretty impressed that I was able to hold a 19.8 mph pace over 56 miles without one rest break.

It was a huge blast keeping up a high rate of speed and not actually stopping for a break. I'm pretty sure I've never ridden straight through this far. Now I will say that the course was pretty flat and lended itself to hammering, but still a strong output. Here's the course:

Today I decided to ride in the rain. Well I really didn't decide to rain in the rain as much as I decided to ride when I knew I was going to get rained on when I rode. I felt a bit guilty about neglecting the bike to run so I decided that I need to get out on the bike regardless of the weather. I was hoping that I would at least get a little riding in before the heavens opened up, but I hadn't made it to the South River bridge (~1.5 miles) before it was raining sideways and I felt like I was getting pushed off the side of the bridge.

It poured pretty much for the rest of the hour long ride. The best part of the rain was that it rained so hard so fast that I was soaked to the bone immediately and just kind of settled in and enjoyed the ride. I actually felt really good about my ride once I settled in and felt like I rolled at a pretty good pace. 17.1 mph in sideways rain and strong wind. Not too bad. The map is below:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Not sooo Dreaded

So I finished my first organized 10 K this morning, the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K. I hit a couple of my main goals for the race. First and most importantly, I didn't walk any of the race. I wanted to make sure, regardless of the hills, that I ran everything. I did and I am pleased about that. I also wanted to do the race in a time that I felt was respectable for me. Considering I usually run 10:30ish when I am out running on the Mall, I wanted to run something in this area. I averaged 11:14 over the whole race. Considering that it was a pretty challenging course with 45 percent of the course being climbing I feel really good about that. That makes me feel more comfortable about being able to do the Annapolis 10 miler later this year.  The Annapolis 10 miler  has a 12 min mile requirement for finishers. (Annap. 10 miler gives away the most awesome swag, but you have to finish to get the swag - so finish I will.)

As for the course it was certainly challenging but I think I talked it up a bit in my head before the race. This probably turned out to be a good thing becuase I was ready for it to be horrible and it was only really tough. The hills themselves were pretty bad but the fact that you went down them on the way out was almost unfair. But the strategy of embracing the suck and chugging through the hills worked pretty well. I wasn't moving too quickly and there was certainly alot of "I think I can..." but it was good.

Great breakfast afterward at the City Cafe in Baltimore (HUGE mushroom omelet and a bloddy mary with old bay! Yum, Hon!). Great day so far and we've got some chicken sausage to be grilled out back coming up later today.

Elevation chart and map below.
UPDATE:Check out this video to get a feel for the course. Noel at 1:15. Me - nowhere to be seen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Race Tomorrow

For reasons still unknown to me I signed up for the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K. I've run 6 miles before but this thing is going to be extremely hilly and its going to kick my butt. I'm going to be able to do it, but I'm pretty intimidated. Its going to be a tough run, but I'll be ok with it. It will certainly be the hardest run I've done. Going to need to get a good night's sleep though.

The running has been going pretty well though. I was able to get a great run in with Jake Thursday morning. I'm looking forward to more runs with the kids. Assuming the weather cooperates we'll try to get over to the track at Jake's middle school on Wednesday nights.

Friday, May 15, 2009

2009 'Cross Calendar

If you've got a few minutes, you should really take a look at the 2009 MABRA 'Cross calendar (below) starting September 20th with Charm City Cross.

The calendar looks great with alot of established races and a bunch of new races. It looks like pretty much every Sunday there will be a race and sometimes two in a weekend. I'm pretty stoked about it. The only downside I can see so far is that it looks like Ed Sanders might be the same weekend as the Erev Yom Kippur.