Another 12 miles with Team Williams

It was 26 degrees today (at the start anyway, it was probably less than that 2 hours later when we finished) but at least it was clear. We unanimously decided we prefer 26 and clear to 38 and rainy! And while some people would consider 26 balmy (a friend ran yesterday morning when the wind chill was 6 degrees) we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.

Conversation topics ranged from our preferred training conditions, bike trainers, and why Glen wore sunglasses, to business marketing ideas and the relative benefits of mid-trail modified Tai chi for an audience of goats.

It was a good run for me. I felt good even though it’s the first long run we’ve done under the 10min/mile average. Mackenzie was especially stalwart, having not run in 10 days and missing last week’s “recovery’ 10 miles.

Activity details here.

The post-run photo is becoming a fun “thing” so I’ll keep posting them, to liven-up my dry blog entries if nothing else.


12 more miles with Tim and MJ

One nice thing about training in the cold is the B&A Trail is a lot less crowded. This stands to reason: the sane people not only have no need to prove to anyone they can run/walk/skip/ride/amble in the cold, but they also know to simply avoid the crazy people who do.

Cold and clear and hard. This is my first ever run on the B&A. I’ve biked on it some, but it’s nice to be able to move slower and actually see what’s around you. On the bike I end up so busy concentrating on staying on Tim’s wheel and navigating around other trail users that I don’t get to see much of the scenery. I also never noticed just how long and steep the hill is that leads from the parking lot to the trail head. Pushing up that half-mile hill right out of the starting blocks, before I’m warmed up and comfortable, is…well, uncomfortable. (One of the reasons for my sub-mediocre endurance athleteness is that I don’t suffer well. Sure, spin me around in an airplane, turn me green in an Atlantic Ocean gale, or ask me to eat the same thing for lunch for a year and I’m fine. Actually with aplomb, as I’ve been told. But push me into the red-zone during a long training session and I’ll get quiet and really, really want to stop.)

Highlights included finding two lacrosse balls, separately (which kept me entertained for quite a while), the new sport of the “bamboo javelin toss” coming to a winter Olympics near you, and a very brief juggling exhibition consisting of lacrosse balls and a basketball. I eventually donated the lacrosse balls to the Williams family sports equipment inventory and no, I did not carry the basketball with me during the run…it was left where I found it.

Activity stats from my Garmin

To quote Mackenzie, “It looks like Glen gained ten pounds on the run.” It’s the camera adding weight, I swear.


12 miles with Tim and Mackenzie

This was a satisfying run to finish. Cold, rainy, grey weather made the motivation hard to find. (I found mine hiding behind a chain link fence; my motivation isn’t that bright.) Starting at City Dock, we went out to Greenbury Point and back. We were all surprised by the number of dog walkers and families we passed on the Greenbury loop. The cold rain and muddy track would have made me go elsewhere if I was just looking for a nice place for an afternoon walk.

I feel pretty good right now, except for my all of my legs, back, shoulders, torso, and head.

Stats and track here.

To celebrate the event, and provide some evidence of our hard-coreness, here’s the post-training mugshot.


Camp Letts Turkey Chase 10K

The Camp Letts Turkey Chase 10K is a nice local event that is the camp’s largest fundraiser. The camp sits on a great little peninsula sticking out into the Rhode River, off Chesapeake Bay, just south of Annapolis. It was a good fit for us when we were looking for a local Thanksgiving Day event to kick-start our marathon training. And it benefits a good cause!

The grey drizzle wasn’t that inspiring but of course we managed to have a good time anyway. We had family visiting for the Turkey Holiday and the house was quiet and warm when Tim and Mackenzie picked me up about 7am. We showed up early enough to avoid the worst of the traffic. After looking around, learning the layout, finding the start line and generally settling in, we had some time to kill. Tim and I geeked around with Angry Birds on his iPad for a few minutes, holding it under the open trunk of his car to keep it out of the light drizzle. Mackenzie was smart enough to sit in the car, stay warm, and generally be embarrassed by her father and his friend. Andréa came out later to cheer for us, even though she wasn’t running. (When she does run, she actually wins these kinds of events!)

57 minutes! A new PR for me. I felt like I’d cooked myself at about mile 4 but recovered enough on a small downhill that I didn’t slow down much. It was a nice track, lots of wooded trails and not much pavement.

Mackenzie took the prize for our group in 51 minutes and Tim was a scant 45 seconds behind her.

Data from my Garmin 305 here. “Official” results here. (It’s a nice low-key event but they do give prizes, so the placing is important. At least to those of us in danger of winning.)

Mackenzie joins the campaign

Tim’s 15 year old daughter Mackenzie will be joining our running “group”. I think it’s really cool that she wants to do this with her dad. And I’m impressed that she can even consider spending that much time with us.

Mackenzie, let me apologize now for the endless hours of geek-talk to which you’ll be subjected. Your dad and I can talk about smartphones, mobile apps, new web technologies, sailboat racing, swimming/cycling/running, and anything remotely related to any or all of these for hours.

You have both my heartiest respect and my humblest sympathies. 🙂

Welcome aboard.

Basement Training Center

So I’ve only been active in triathlon for a couple years and am not what I would call hard-core, especially in terms of “performance”, but I don’t have a problem running or riding outside in the cold. (Here I’m talking Annapolis, mid-atlantic cold…not Minnesota cold.)

Treadmill and trainer

New basement decorations - Treadmill and trainer

But this winter has been terrible for getting outside to do either. Freakin’ El Niño (which is Spanish for “the niño”) has dumped record snows and the temps have kept those twelve dozen feet of snow on the ground longer than usual. Two weeks after the this last storm and the sidewalks are still covered, travel lanes narrow, and almost every intersection is a blind turn thanks to the piles of dirty white stuff. Translation: train indoors or just plain nap. While I’m an inappropriately huge fan of the practice, no amount of Nap Mastery is going to get me through a half ironman un-embarrassed. With a new house (read: more space and less money) we’ve dropped our various gym memberships and have gone anti-social. A craigslist treadmill and a cheap, sale-priced-plus-membership-club-discounted cycle trainer have become my torture dujour.

Basement view of the South Forty

This indoor stuff is all new to us but I’ve already found the motivation to start work on the “distraction center”. 30 minutes on the treadmill is doable but, even with a nice view of the snowy south forty, 90 minutes on the trainer without more stimulation (read: brain candy) is just cruel and unusual.