Thursday, January 29, 2009

Medals for princesses

They just unveiled the medals for the Disney Princess Half Marathon that I'll be running in March, for (I think) my 38th half marathon.

Or rather, an elderly Snow White will be running.

Should be great fun!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow day

We had a snow day today. And the snow was too fluffy and non-sticky so we couldn't make a snowman.

So we played dress-up. Catherine wore the Belle dress (from Beauty and the Beast) that she just got as a reward for kicking one of her, uh, nighttime habits that we've been trying to extinguish for a while. (Fortunately I was able to get it cheap on sale from Disney).

She loved it. The only drawback was that she kept insisting that I was the Beast all day, and that I had to dance with her because she was wearing her beautiful dress.

Don't let the demure appearance fool you. Shortly after this she transformed into Catherine Power Princess who was a superhero who was going to fly off to rescue someone from the volcano.

Versatility is good.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Help me decide!

Dear readers,

I've been trying to decide whether to include posts about remodeling the new house in this blog or to start a separate remodeling blog. Please help me decide by marking your vote in the blue poll box in the right sidebar! Be forewarned that the remodeling posts may include endless photos of exciting topics like flooring adhesive or sheetrocking crawlspaces.

Register your vote now! I'll keep the polling box up there for about two weeks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cambridge Maryland

Over the Choptank
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Update: We took the girls for a short flight down to Cambridge for lunch. Gotta love technology - I sent a photo of my training buddy Dave's house to him from the air captioned "I C U" and got an email reply before we even touched down! The restaurant at the Cambridge airport there is unexpectedly great! I had a crab melt and some wonderful old-fashioned layer cake with chocolate buttercream icing for dessert.

Looking at this shot of the Choptank River it's hard to believe that I once swam double the distance from the bridge to the first peninsula directly above the center of the bridge, but I did it once for Chesapeakeman - and may do it again if they don't change the course because of the tides on race day. That peninsula is where the Eagleman half Ironman is based in June.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New house?

Here's what is probably going to be our new house in a couple of months:

It's just 100 yards from our current house! That's a Good Thing because we love the neighborhood. It's much bigger inside than it looks, and the best thing about it is that it's on a half acre with a huge back yard with a nice view of the cove. If we get it, be prepared for a long series of remodeling photos, because it needs one heck of a lot of work! We're still in negotiations, so it's nothing definite yet, but it's looking hopeful!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Four years of blogdom

In another very few weeks it will be four years since I started this blog! Whew, that's a lot of posts! I'm nearly up to 200,000 hits. It would be nice to surpass that number by my blogversary on March 31st, so keep coming back!

I've slowed down in posting and I'm much more scattershot in my approach. I post about what my family is doing or strange things I run across on the Internet (though I tend to use Facebook for that these days) or sometimes about training or a race or whatever. No special theme here and no limits.

I still tweak things a bit. Today I just added a table of my personal performance records in the right sidebar. Scroll wayyyy down to find it. They may not be super-speedy but they're all mine, and I think that all of them are from the last four years and documented somewhere in this blog.

Feel free to poke around or steal the code if you wish to use it on your blog.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

4th place: I'm almost good enough

Last summer I rode in two individual cycling time trials in the attempt to qualify for the 2009 National Senior Games in California. Except that I got 4th place in the 5k time trial and 4th place in the 10k time trial, and only the top two finishers qualifed for the Games. So (even though I did qualify to compete in triathlon at the Games) I scrapped that idea and concentrated on other things (like another iron-distance triathlon in November).

Well, now it turns out that they are increasing the rolldown and allowing 3rd-place and 4th-place finishers to attend the Games - I suppose due to the economy they're not getting as many entries as they expected.

Which did give me a moment of temptation. Maybe I could go out to Stanford for a few days after all and give it a go, just for fun. Even though nearly everyone else in the event would have had five more months of event-specific training than I have had.

But then I read that the 4th-place rolldown applied (inexplicably) to everyone except tennis players and cyclists. Go figure.

So it's out of my hands. I'm not going to travel all the way across the country just to do a sprint-distance triathlon (heck, I haven't done any sprint tris since 2005!

If I want to work really hard on my time trialing this year and challenge myself, there's always the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, June 28 – July 4. I'll think about it. But first I'll have to wait and watch the calendar to see when some earlier ITTs are held locally to try my luck and test my training.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In today's supernatural events

I met the girls after school today, as I always do, and asked Catherine why she was wearing her "emergency" pants instead of the ones I sent her to school in.

She said that an invisible person came out of her head and sprayed her with water because it wanted her to turn into a mermaid.

I think that's as likely an explanation as many supernatural stories that I've heard.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reference Snow White

I'm just saving this image for reference here, since it's what I'm prepared to look like in 8 weeks. Only different. Maybe we can do a compare-and-contrast post when the photos are available. Or not. She's working on the uniboob sports bra look, it seems. . . . I'm glad my costume doesn't have the stand-up Elizabethan collar, because that might drive me insane. Er, more insane. My costume color and trim is a little different too, but they probably had to do it for copyright reasons. I'm sure a more authentic (c)Disney Snow White costume would have cost more than I wanted to pay for one wearing in a race, and I'd have to cut off the long skirt for running anyway.
I actually wanted to go as Pocahontas, since she's the most athletic Disney princess by far, but I couldn't find any costumes that looked like her, only Sexy Indian Maidens. No thanks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do you obsess about your weight?

Hmmm, I don't know anyone like that, do you? Yeah, only almost every triathlete that I know! Well, here you go (so to speak):Don't thank me, I'm here to help.

Snow White in training

This is going to be me in 2 months, at the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Only different. Subtract the apple and red stockings. Add running shoes and a race number and maybe a race belt holding my camera. Cut the hair short and uhhhh, add a few pounds. And maybe (I'm not sure about this part) Lycra shorts under the skirt. I'll have to try it on and see if I can wear my royal blue ones or if I have to find some yellow or white shorts. At least my legs in March will be sufficiently white to be appropriate for the Snow White title.

Maybe I should put a sign on my back that says, "Not bad for a 72-year-old domestic drudge! I'm ahead of you, aren't I?"

It looks like they changed their course back to the same old half marathon course, starting and ending at Epcot and going through the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella's Castle. That will be fun!

Course info: I had a question about the characteristics of the course. Yes, most of the way it's pretty boring (4-lane concrete Disney access highways and ramps) but they do their best to dress it up with big lit-up mile markers, music, and occasionally characters. Course support is generally fine - bring a water bottle to the start to discard but leave the double-barreled water bottle belt carrier at home. The short 1-mile run through the Magic Kingdom midway through the race and the final short stretch through Epcot will be the real highlights. I recommend for race reports from the January half marathons - it should be very similar to those, only with 99% women dressed in pink princess outfits and tiaras. Average minimum temperature for that date in Orlando is 54*F, so plan for that at the race start, warming up quickly to an average high of 74*F in the afternoons. Bring a garbage bag or an old Mylar blanket to the race start to sit on or wear and discard depending on temperatures - it's always a long wait until the start. And it will be CROWDED! Don't plan to run for time, and carry a camera!

Friday, January 09, 2009


I have a tendency to cancel bike rides when the wind gusts start getting up close to 30 mph. But I love this photo Lance Armstrong posted yesterday on his Twitpic feed. Maybe it will inspire me to go out in the windstorm next time around and do battle with the elements.

But admittedly, I'll save it for warmer temperatures. He's out there riding on the Big Island, after all.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Ironman training re-start

Today was the day it officially re-started! Not an enormous long-distance workout for starting, just a modest speed workout on the track and a half-hour of upper body freeweights and core work in the living room. But it's a start.

I've got the week mapped out for week 3 of 24 weeks of iron-distance training, which will end up at the beginning of summer (when I was planning to do Eagleman Aqua Velo, which has been dropped from the schedule in favor of a vacation at the beach). I still need to find a fun event or two in early June to cap off my spring training.

Key workouts planned for this week are a 120-min bike (probably on the trainer inside tomorrow), a 70-minute run, a 60-90 min swim and a 70 min bike/20 min run brick.

Then over the summer the plan is to go to maintenance training while the girls are out of school and free time is more limited; then crank up the volume again 10-12 weeks out from Beach 2 Battleship on November 7th. Battleship or bust!

Oh yeah, here's my current tentative event schedule, subject to additions when I find some other fun events (mostly for summer/fall) that fit in well:
  • RD Seminar: 08 Feb 09
  • B&A Half Marathon: 01 Mar 09
  • Disney Princess 5k: 07 Mar 09
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon: 08 Mar 09
  • National Half Marathon: 21 Mar 09
  • Dorchester YMCA half?: 11 Apr 09
  • Oxford Day 10k?: 26 Apr 09
  • Potomac Marathon: 03 May 09
  • Columbia Triathlon: 17 May 09
  • Chesapeakeman Aqua Velo: 26 Sep 09
  • B2B iron distance tri: 07 Nov 09

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The week that wasn't

I log my workouts in increments of a week, starting Sunday morning and ending Saturday night. Each weekend I look back at my weekly targets and total up my distances for the week, and all this year I've been logging those distances in the right-hand sidebar (as well as in my own Excel log).

That keeps each week's workouts fresh and immediate and helps keep my goals in focus every day.

My official weigh-in day is Fridays, however, to hopefully give me 5 strong days of attention to diet each week before I backslide over the weekend.

Anyway, this year we've ended up with a week split 4 days in one year and 3 days in another. Which wreaks havoc on my system.

So I'm going to skip a week and count Week 1 of the year as starting on Sunday January 4th.

I'll confess that part of the reason is that I haven't done any cycling or swimming this week to log anyway. However, school starts again on Monday January 5th as does my OFFICIAL IRONMAN TRAINING. Here we go again!

Friday, January 02, 2009


I've got two loooooonng 2.4-mile tidal swims coming up this year, at Chesapeakeman and Beach 2 Battleship.

The B2B tides should be quite favorable for a fast swim, and that's the one that counts.

But I just looked up the Chesapeakeman tides, and they're backwards. We will be swimming against an incoming tide toward the end of the swim. Ugh. Fortunately not a huge tide that day.

Sa 26 Low 5:59 AM 1.1 6:56 AM Rise 2:53 PM 47
26 High 10:10 AM 1.8 6:55 PM
26 Low 4:07 PM 0.7
26 High 11:23 PM 2.5

Maximum current is predicted at about 0.2 knots IN OUR FACES at around 9:15AM.

Oh well, it's all training....

There's some indication the RD may be willing to help out us poor swimmers by changing the course back to the 2-loop they did in 2008, although the point-to-point starting at the resort is a nice way to start the day as well.