Author Archives: Edward

About Edward

Runner | Cyclist | Meathead Marathon 3:11:36 (2013) HM 1:32:10 (2015) 10mi 1:06:58 (2012) 10k 42:26 (2012) 5k 20:41 (2013) FTP 292W

M4, Week Four: Ups and Downs

Every training cycle has its ups and downs.  This week pretty much epitomized that.

Tuesday

I came into Tuesday feeling still a bit worn out by Sunday’s pickups workout.  So when I learned that The Dojo was heading to Iwo Jima for hill repeats, I was excited.  Short reps up a hill beats grinding around Hains Point, if only because you can physically see where the effort will end.  Unfortunately, my plan to join them was foiled when I witnessed a young man almost get run over by a bus.  He escaped unscathed, but his bike was essentially flattened.  I had to stick around to be a good citizen, thus missing the group and my window to jog another two miles to the hill.

So I instead found myself griding around Hains Point, the only runner out there on a bleak, rainy morning.  And whether it was those conditions or my own condition, I could not seem to get any real pace together.  For 4 × 1 mile, I expected to keep about a 6:45 pace.  Instead, I could barely get below 7:00, despite plenty of huffing and puffing.  If Sunday was confidence inspiring, this was the opposite.  But I reminded myself that not every workout can be a winner and resolved to move on from it.

Thursday

One of the best parts of my job is the lack of a fixed schedule: I decide when I work and when I don’t.  So I decided mid-Wednesday that I would take Thursday and Friday off, suddenly granting myself a five-day weekend.  But despite not needing to work, I headed into the office early Thursday because I couldn’t bear the idea of doing a seven-mile tempo effort alone.  I would run with the Dojo, suffering in solidarity.  Unfortunately, most of the crew was absent, and those in attendance were much faster than me.  So I found myself running said unbearable seven-mile tempo effort alone.  Twice in a week!

Only it wasn’t unbearable.  It actually went really well.  True to my philosophy this training cycle, I set off at a comfortably hard effort and tried to maintain or go faster as the workout progressed.  Unlike the previous week, I succeeded.  From 7:25 at the start to 6:46 at the end, I averaged 7:16 for the full seven miles and didn’t feel like dying.  Ups and downs, right?

But my time for being active wasn’t over.  I don’t (usually) take a day off from work to sit on the sofa, especially not with glorious weather.  So after I showered up and ate, it was off to Shenandoah National Park to hike Old Rag.  Ultimately, a later-than-intended start and warmer-than-expected temperatures kept me from doing the whole circuit, but it was a ton of fun climbing

Saturday

I generally prefer to do my long runs on Sundays.  This week, however, that was not feasible.  The Missus and I were attending the Made In America Festival, a two-day music extravaganza held annually along the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.  With a day full of standing and walking on Saturday and early-ish brunch plans Sunday, that meant a Saturday long run for me.

When I still lived in PA, I would often do long runs along Kelly Drive and West River Drive in Philadelphia.  Each loop is 8.5 miles of generally flat, uninterrupted trail and closed road, ideal conditions for a

steady effort.  Unfortunately, the same festival that forced me to run Saturday blocked off one end of the loop, so I instead diverted to the Schuykill River Trail.

As its name suggests, the Schuykill River Train runs along the Schuykill River from Philadelphia to Phoenixville and (eventually, in theory) up to the Poconos.  The section I chose (from Spring Mill through Norristown) is, shall we say, less than scenic.  Where later sections of the trail offer views of the river and fancy homes that overlook it, this stretch is lined mostly with old industrial properties, a SEPTA railway, and not one but TWO sewage treatment facilities!  Thankfully, I wasn’t there for the scenery.

No, I was there with the intention of running 18-20 miles at a steady effort.  And a did just that.  Mostly.  The lack of water sources along the trail had me aggressively rationing water, and so I was feeling seriously dehydrated by about 12 miles. Had I stuck to my original plan of doing two five-mile out-and-backs, I would have avoided this by refilling at my car, but then I would have had to deal with sewage stink four times instead of two.  I’ll take the dehydration.

Ultimately, though I neither kept the pace nor the effort I would have liked, I came away feeling good about things.  I had packed seven days of training into six and still managed to perform reasonably well.  In that light, it was a down but still a win.  And with that, it was time for some music!

My Meathead Marathon Misadventure
Week Four (8/28–9/3)

Run  Bike Gym Crosstrain
Mon Strength
1:30 | 43,350 lbs
Tue Intervals: 4 × 1 mi
1:20 | 9.85 mi
Wed Easy
1:10 | 7.89 mi
Thu Tempo: 7 mi @ PMP (7:16)
1:25 | 10.90 mi
 Shenandoah Hike
2:23 | 6.37 mi
Fri Long-ish
2:21 | 43.9 mi
241 W
Strength
1:30 | 40,280 lbs
Sat Long
2:28 | 18.00 mi
Sun Volume
1:15 | 42,640 lbs
15:22
96.97 mi
6:23
46.7 mi
2:21
43.9 mi
4:15
126,270 lbs
2:23
6.37 mi

My Meathead Marathon Misadventure: Week 3

After sixteen miles on Sunday, my longest run in months, I expected to start the week exceedingly sore.  To my surprise and delight, that was not the case.  I can’t say I was daisy fresh, but I felt pretty good.

Since I didn’t do much stretching or foam rolling, I attribute the rapid recovery to my trusty TENS device.  This $20 gizmo provides “non-invasive nerve stimulation intended to reduce both acute and chronic pain” through the application of electric currents.  Or, as I describe it, it electrocutes my legs to make them feel better.  And it works, at least anecdotally. The sight of my muscles twitching really freaks out The Missus, so she’s less of a fan.

Tuesday called for 2-3 sets of alternating 1-mile and half-mile intervals.  Poor planning forced me onto the treadmill again, which was unfortunate as I think the gym was more humid than the outside.  It’s always great when I get done running and my shoes are soaked despite the absence of rain, but I digress.

I went a bit too easy on the first mile, barely clocking in under seven minutes, but the ramp up (down?) from there worked out well, with subsequent miles at 6:42 and 6:36.  There was a time when I could hold that pace for 10 miles, and perhaps there will be again.  But not today.

In addition to improving paces, I’m pleased to see my heart rate dropping a lot faster and lower between intervals.  I’ve always found that to be a decent indicator of fitness, a sign of how hard I really had to push to hit a given pace.  If I can’t get the ticker to slow below 150 BPM while jogging between efforts, it’s probably a sign that I overdid it.  YMMV.

When Thursday rolled around, DC’s usual swamp-like weather had given way to a cool, temperate morning.  Determined not to miss out, I got out the door early enough to join my Dojo of Pain colleagues for some suffering around Hains Point.  It was, if not a fully humbling experience, definitely a reality check.

The prescription was 6 miles working down from marathon to half marathon pace.  I figured I would hang with the “slower” group until the turnaround, then see what happened.

…I got left behind.  It was partially my fault for turning after the group did (Garmin OCD!), but mostly it came down to not having the fitness I expected.

Initially, I put this down to the dreaded treadmill effect.  After all, we were maintaining the same paces I did for seven miles last week, and yet I struggled to last for six.  On the other hand, I ran as fast or faster for the final six miles of Sunday’s sixteen, so maybe it just wasn’t my day?  Eating, drinking, and being on my feet at an event the night before may also have played a role.

With Thursday’s experience fresh in my mind, I approached Sunday’s workout with a bit of trepidation.  On my calendar: the beloved/dreaded Pickups workout: A two-mile warmup followed by sets of 4, 3, 2, and 1 miles at marathon pace with one mile jogs in between.  In total: 17 miles, 10 at marathon pace.  It’s a ballbuster, a real test of fitness and control. I haven’t exhibited either of those lately, hence the trepidation.

To the latter point, I clocked another 60+ miles on the bike Saturday.  As with previous weeks, it was supposed to be an easy ride, just casual cycling to improve my aerobic fitness without stressing my legs.  And it kinda sorta was, but not really.  My heart rate generally stayed where I wanted it to, but I was pushing more power than I realized.  Whether it was newfound fitness or the beautiful weather, the world may never know.  But it was probably more than I needed before a long, hard run.

While any long run goes better with company, the pickups workout practically requires it.  Fortunately, I found myself a partner in David, a friendly Kiwi with whom I’d not run before.  While we warmed up, I learned that he is in the final stages of preparing for the Berlin Marathon, his eighth marathon in four years, with each successive one a PR.  Suffice it to say he’s a much more committed runner than I have been.

I knew from our conversations before the run that David is targeting a 3:10 at Berlin.  My PR, four years and almost 20 pounds ago, is 3:11.  As such, I wasn’t expecting to keep up.  But when we started our first set, I found myself farther behind and working harder than anticipated.  A few minutes later, I realized why: I clocked the first mile at 7 minutes flat, 15 seconds below David’s target and 20-30 faster than I’d hoped to run.  Oops.

You probably don’t want to read about another nine miles of huffing and puffing any more than I want to detail it.  Long story short, I kept up better than expected, despite our generally running as fast or faster than David intended.  It was definitely more encouraging than Thursday’s workout, even if I hated my life for part of it.

And with that, it’s time to recuperate and get ready for Game of Thrones!

My Meathead Marathon Misadventure
Week Three (8/21–8/27)

Run  Bike Gym Crosstrain
Mon Mixed
1:15 | 27,890 lbs
Tue Intervals
3 × 1 mi/0.5 mi alternating
1:15 | 9.08 mi
Wed Easy
1:00 | 6.77 mi
Thu Tempo
6 mi @ PMP→HMP
1:20 | 10.30 mi
Mixed
1:30 | 46,500 lbs
Fri Aerobic
1:00 | 17.2 mi
221 W
Elliptical
0:30
Sat Long
3:21 | 63.3 mi
237 W
Sun Long Progression
2:16 | 17.30 mi
13:27
120.9 mi
5:51
43.5 mi
4:21
80.5 mi
2:45
74,390 lbs
0:30
?.? mi
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My Meathead Marathon Misadventure: Week 2

My first real week of marathon training went well.  Through forces beyond my control, my two hard workouts were pushed onto the treadmill.  Though they proved quick enough, they didn’t exactly inspire confidence.  Here’s why.

Even with my trusty Garmin Footpod measuring pace, I’m never entirely convinced that a treadmill effort really matches that of an outdoor run.  The usual lack-of-wind-resistance argument is only exaggerated where, as a colleague told me the other week, I “block a lot of wind.”  Oh, and I’m almost 200 pounds, so little things like hills and turns seem to make a bigger difference than they might for the typical running waif.  In short, I’m never sure how well treadmill runs will translate into the real world.  But I digress.

Tuesday’s interval session called for 8 × 0.50 mi at 5k pace on 2:00 rest.  I haven’t raced in over two years, and I haven’t raced a 5k since 2013.  Ergo, I have no idea what my 5k pace is.  So I guessed.  More precisely, I picked a pace that seemed roughly appropriate (6:45/mi), then tried to go a bit faster each with each successive interval.  Mission accomplished—I logged my final rep in 3:05 (6:10/mi pace).

In hindsight, I probably should have referred to Capital Area Runners’ trusty Interval Pace Chart, though that would require knowing my target marathon pace.  When I first/last ran MCM in 2012, I finished in 3:32:19, so I guess my target is anything faster than that?  As you can tell, I really haven’t thought this through…

Thursday’s tempo run called for 7 miles at Proposed Marathon Pace (PMP).  A 3:30 marathon is an 8:00/mi pace, but that’s not sufficiently challenging—I’m pretty sure I could run two hours at that pace right now, without preparation, and not feel like I was going to die.  So I again, without much thought, picked a pace that seemed reasonable and tried to get faster throughout.  End result: from 7:25/mi down to 6:55/mi, averaging 7:20/mi.  Maybe I’m in better shape than I realized?  Or maybe it’s the treadmill effect?  Time will tell.

Saturday I went for a long ride out-and-back on the W&OD Trail.  I’ve found rides like these to be extremely effective at building endurance and developing cardiovascular conditioning without being too punishing, but that requires doing them correctly.  For me, “correctly” means capping the effort such that I’m not burned out the following day.

I did a decent job of keeping myself in check for the first half of my ride, but I may have opened up the throttle a bit more than I needed to after I turned around. A 25-mile stretch at over 20 MPH solo isn’t hard for me, but it’s also not a recovery pace.  I’ll attribute it to the super steep -0.1% grade and not my being undisciplined.

Sunday called for a 16-mile progression run out-and-back into Rock Creek Park, with a planned pit stop at Peirce Mill, seven miles in.  Fortunately, Saturday’s exertions didn’t seem to do much damage to the legs, and I felt reasonably strong from the start.  Unfortunately, something that I ate the previous day wasn’t agreeing with me, and I almost didn’t make it to the pit stop.  Take note: due to construction around the zoo, there are currently NO public restrooms between Georgetown and Peirce Mill

With the crisis averted at my pit stop, it was time to get moving again.  In my rush to get back on the trail, I didn’t take in much (any?) fluids during my stop, a decision I would later regret.  Also regrettable: picking up the pace from the turnaround at eight miles.

The combination of (relatively) quick running and dehydration made the last four or so miles pretty miserable.  I stopped once at the Georgetown Waterfront in a fruitless search for a water fountain, only to be saved a few minutes later by a local running club (thanks, PR!).  The final two miles, slightly uphill on the Capital Crescent trail, were brutal, but I fought it out without stopping again.  In my heyday, the 7:55/mi average pace would have been laughable, but I came away quite pleased.  It’s all relative, right?

My Meathead Marathon Misadventure
Week Two (8/14–8/20)

Run  Bike Gym Crosstrain
Mon Mixed
1:30 | 33,315 lbs
Tue Intervals
8 × 0.50 mi descending
1:10 | 8.55 mi
Wed Easy
1:05 | 7.35 mi
Thu Tempo
7 mi @ PMP
1:15 | 9.56 mi
Fri Aerobic
1:00 | 17.6 mi
Mixed
1:15 | 26,120 lbs
Sat Long
3:16 | 61.8 mi
Sun Long Progression
2:07 | 16.00 mi
12:38
120.9 mi
5:37
41.5 mi
4:16
79.4 mi
2:45
59,435 lbs
0:00
0.0 mi

My Meathead Marathon Misadventure

As much as I enjoy running, you wouldn’t know it from looking at me.  By all outward appearances, I am a gym rat, a cardio-fearing meathead.  Not too long ago, I was tipping the scales at 205 lbs, though I have thankfully backed down from that high.

This makes my recent decision to sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon all the more ridiculous.  I’ve run eight marathons before, and I always found my weight/size to be an issue over that long distance.  That was 10-15 pounds ago.  All the same, I’ve paid the fees.  It’s happening.  This meathead is running another marathon.

On the plus side, I finally have something to write about.  This blog hasn’t been updated in six months, largely because I find my own life rather mundane, even tedious.  But a near-200 pound oaf trying to run a marathon at a respectable pace?  That’s entertainment!  Well, maybe not, but it’s something for me to discuss.

Over the next 11 weeks, I’ll be cataloguing my workouts and associated feels, both highs and lows.  I hope to put together a few additional posts explaining my training philosophy, why I’m not skipping gym sessions, etc.  If anyone is actually reading this and would like specific questions answered, don’t hesitate to reach out

My Meathead Marathon Misadventure (M3), Week One

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon Mixed
1:15
Steep Treadmill
0:30 | 2 mi
Tue Intervals
5 × o.75 mi @ 10k pace
1:10 | 8.31 miEasy
0:20 | 2.31 mi
Wed Easy
1:01 | 7.05 mi
Thu Tempo
6 mi @ PMP
1:00 | 8.01 mi
Fri Aerobic
1:00 | 17.3 mi
Mixed
1:00 | 28,045 lbs
Sat Long
3:14 | 61.6 mi
Sun Pickups
4 + 3 + 2 + 1 on 0.5 mi
1:45 | 13.70 mi
12:15
120.3 mi
5:16
39.4 mi
4:13
78.9 mi
2:15

 

0:30
2.0 mi

 

 

The Highlight Reel: 13-19 February

Besitos

This makes two weeks in a row without scheduled after-hours work commitments.  I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

In case you somehow missed the excessive marketing, Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  The humor in my having lunch with a male friend that day was apparently not lost on his wife, who told him to “enjoy your date.”  Keith always enjoys District Taco, so I think he did.  Ironically, I had to pass on a free taco bar at the office in order to pay for tacos out, but I enjoyed it all the same.

The evening was similarly low-key.  When presented earlier with the choice of squeezing into a busy restaurant or getting delivery, The Missus didn’t even have to think.  Thus…Pizza Hut, complete with wings and her beloved breadsticks.  Happy wife → Happy life.

On Friday, we traveled back to PA again to visit family.  In the interest of leaving at a reasonable hour, we decided to forego cooking for the second time this week.  The Missus has been seeking a decent cheesesteak close to home since we moved to Virginia over a year ago.  It recently came to my attention that there is a Jersey Mike’s in Merrifield, just ten minutes from home, and I found a half-off coupon.  Fate.  Oh, and the cheesesteaks are legit!

California Chicken Cheesesteak

Saturday night was something of a modified family dinner out.  My mom and I joined forces with The Missus and Little Sis for dinner at my buddy’s BBQ joint, The Lucky Well.  After a delightful meal, we made our way to Lansdale for my cousin’s art show.  She and other local artists were doing exhibiting the Art-a-Day pieces, wherein each artist was supposed to make one piece per day for the month of January.  In reality, some of them had far fewer than 31 pieces, while others included works previously completed.  In my opinion, my cousin’s stuff was the best there.  The Missus liked it enough that she bought one piece.

 

Weekly Workouts

As you might remember, last week’s attempt at mile repeats left me humbled.  Not so this week.  I knocked out five efforts at ~6:30/mi and came away feeling rosy.

Success continued into Wednesday when I once again hit legs.  Whereas last week I couldn’t even get out a single rep at 275, this time I did four!  Inspired and encouraged, I loaded another 10 pounds onto the bar.  Squat low! Push!  Promptly set the weight down on the safety bars!  A bit too ambitious, I guess

I again expected the hard leg session to leave me drained for my tempo ride.  Again I was pleasantly surprised.  TrainingPeaks has been pegging my FTP at around 295 watts for a while, but I’m reluctant to commit and adjust to any major improvements.  This workout (45 minutes at max effort) confirmed the data.   It also left me feeling pretty hobbled.

With a late-ish breakfast meeting in Tysons on Friday, I got to sleep in a bit.  I gleefully shut off my 05:00 alarm and waited for The Missus to arise at 06:30.  Though still sore from the previous day, I was too fidgety to sit around all morning, so I went for a short, lazy jog.  In retrospect, I think it did neither harm nor good.

Saturday further cemented the progress I’ve made on the bike.  A full hour at max effort led to another new FTP measure: 304 Watts.  That’s a record for me, though probably not in terms of power to weight.  Still, I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Sunday’s weather was beautiful: 65º F, calm, and sunny.  Under no circumstances could I justify running inside.  So off to the path I went, prepared for a long, easy effort.  Unfortunately, the only thing I would enjoy about this run was the weather.

A few minutes in, the little thing on my Fenix 3 that tells me my form said “-11, Deficient.”  A bit further in, I was in total agreement.  It seemed the week’s hard efforts had finally caught up with me.  Still, I wanted to enjoy the day, so I resolved to plod along at a moderate heart rate until I could no longer.

It really was a gorgeous day.  I tried to focus on that.  Still, at various points throughout the run, I stopped and wondered why I was doing this.  How long would it take to walk the remaining five miles home?  Would one of these nice strangers give me a ride to my car?  Would it be wrong to steal that little girl’s bicycle?  And would I even be able to ride it?  Ultimately, I decided to just keep plodding until I had about a mile left, at which point I preferred to run all out and get the damn thing over with.

But it was still a nice day, so I then went to the track and recorded some stupid running videos.  I’m not right in the head.

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon  Push
1:00
Tue Intervals
5 × 1 mi @ 10k pace
1:05 | 8.35 mi
Wed Easy
0:50 | 13.8 mi
Legs
1:00
Thu  Threshold
0:45 @ 301 W
1:05 | 279 W
Fri Easy
0:32 | 3.59 mi
Pull
1:00
Sat Threshold
1:00 @ 312 W
1:20 | 294 W
Strolling in the park
(does that count?)
Sun  Long & Ugly
2:08 | 14.50 mi
SUM
10:00
3:45
26.44 mi
3:15
61.4 mi
3:00  

 

The Highlight Reel: 06-12 February

{The Darker the Berry}Any week without an after-hour commitments is a good week.  This was one such week.  The missus and I actually had multiple opportunities to enjoy each other’s company.  I think we may even have cooked once, but I’ve already forgotten.  Hooray for laziness!

On Friday evening, we headed to PA to visit family.  The missus has about six million cousins, and one of them was having her quinceañera celebration on Saturday.  For the uninitiated, a quinceañera is an overblown Sweet 16 party, one year early.  In another sense, it’s like a vaguely religious Bat Mizvah, only with a frillier dress.  It was…interesting.  When you’re happy about a cash bar, that’s saying something!

Weekly Workouts

After many consecutive weeks of encouraging performances, I was due for a rough workout.  In that respect, my seriously hard, long run this past Sunday amounted to tempting fate, which showed its ugly face on Tuesday morning.

The schedule called for 5 × 1 mi @ 10k pace.  I’d expected to run my workout on the treadmill, but unseasonably warm weather and a lit track at George Mason High School led to a rapid recalibration.  I changed quickly out of my monkey suit suit, jogged slowly to the track, and began to warm up.  My legs still felt heavy, but I thought they might shake out after the first interval.  Nope.

My first hard mile clocked in at 6:45, fully 10 seconds off what I’d planned, and not for lack of trying.  After an easy 400m recovery, I set out on the second repeat, and after one of four laps, I was having doubts.  When I hit the halfway point huffing and puffing at 3:20, I decided to bag it and jog.  Can’t win ’em all…

But when the following February morning is 58º F, one does not ride on the trainer, regardless of the schedule.  So I went back to the track in singlet and shorts, and ran easy for the better part of an hour.  Leg day be damned; this weather was too fine to pass up!

Only leg day was not damned.  Despite some initial stiffness, my squat strength was better than ever.  After easily repping 225 and 235 (setting new PRs in the process), I decided to test my strength.  So I kept loading 10 pounds onto the bar and squatting deep.  245? Check.  255? No problem.  265? Yep.  275? Uh, maybe after fewer sets.  I probably could have gotten in a solid rep, but it would have been ugly, so I wasn’t interested.  Still, hitting 265 a week after breaking a mental barrier is pretty great!

Oh, and despite the heavy leg day, I hit new FTP and threshold pace levels over the weekend.

 

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon  Pull
1:00
Tue Intervals (aborted)
1.5 × 1 mi @ 10k pace
0:54 | 6.53 mi
Wed  Easy
0:51 | 5.52 mi
Legs
1:15
Thu  Threshold
1:00 @ 296 W
1:00 | 284 W
Fri  Easy
0:45 | 5.06 mi
 Push
1:00
Sat Threshold
1:20 @ 306 W
1:20 | 286 W
Sun  Tempo
2 × 6 mi @ 7:00/mi
1:45 | 14.10 mi
SUM
9:50
4:15
31.2 mi
2:20
45.7 mi
3:15  

The Highlight Reel: 30 January – 05 February

IMG_20170130_073804_569

What a week!  After a blessedly quiet Monday, it was four packed days of meetings, lunches, conferences, and events. On Tuesday alone, I found myself in Falls Church, Downtown DC, Tysons, Judiciary Square, and finally in Crystal City for the Rising Stars of Real Estate awards presentation.  It’s amazing the number of real estate folks I know in this town, considering I’ve never worked in the field here.  I guess I gravitate towards the familiar.

I spent Thursday morning providing volunteer financial awareness education to a local veterans’ fellowship program.  What a smart, motivated group of folks—they were far more “aware” than I’d been led to believe, so I’m really glad I let them lead most of the conversation.

That evening was the 20th annual presentation of Transwestern’s Trendlines Washington report.  It was a who’s who(m) of commercial real estate in DC, plus this interloper.  I’m pretty sure the entire staff of Transwestern was there, too.  Good times all around.

On Friday, after work and a trip to the gym, the missus and I braved the cold for a trip to Bareburger.  I wish I had worked out more, because we ended up with a metric crapton of food.  The fries and onion rings were troublingly good, and my Wiki Wiki burger (wild boar, gouda, duck bacon, chickpea onions, grilled pineapple, brioche bun) was nothing short of exceptional.  It’s definitely worthy of a second trip.

wiki wiki

After multiple lazy weekends home, Saturday was our day to be productive.  Since rearranging our living room, the gallery wall we’d put up last year was largely hidden behind our TV.  No more!  I also got around to assembling The Missus’ new writing/makeup desk, and she actually put some of her makeup away in the drawers.  It’s a minor miracle.  Oh, and we got a new end table.

IMAG0450
IMAG0446

We wrapped up the week with a friend’s Super Bowl get-together.  Good times again, despite the result, and no hangover to speak of the following day.  That’s more than I can say for many of my coworkers, one of whom was discussing whether she should go to the bathroom and throw up.  Adulting is hard

Weekly Workouts

I’ve really been putting in the work lately, and the results are beginning to show.  If we believe the results of recent workouts, my Functional Threshold Power is approaching a level last achieved when I was cycling 200 miles per week.  My threshold running pace is not quite where it was before I ruptured my peroneal tendon, but I’m 10+ pounds heavier and running far fewer miles.

Most exciting for me, however, is my squat performance.  Of all the major lifts, my squat has always been pathetic.  Despite my enormous horse legs, I’ve always struggled to squat my own body weight (typically 185 pounds).  Blame long femurs, tight hips, and generally poor flexibility?  I dunno.  Whatever the reason, it’s bugged me for ages, but I was always more focused on running/cycling performance than gym strength.  Now that I’ve learned to balance the two, I’m seeing results across the board.

This week, for the first time ever, I comfortably squatted 225 for sets and reps (2 × 8, specifically).  I’ve squatted two plates before, but it was never for sets, and it was always ugly.  This time, after working up through sets of 185 and 205, it’s enough that I feel comfortable adding weight next week.  Hot damn!

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon  Push
1:00
Tue Intervals
8 × 1k @ 5k pace
1:15 | 9.34 mi
Wed Easy
1:00 | 15.8 mi
Legs
0:50
Thu  Threshold
2 × 0:20 on 0:03
1:00 | 266 W
Fri  Easy
1:00 | 6.91 mi
Sat Threshold
3 × 0:20 on 0:03
1:25 | 271 W
Sun  Tempo
3 × 4 mi @ HMP
2:00 | 15.84 mi
SUM
9:30
4:15
32.1 mi
3:25
60.3 mi
1:50  

The Highlight Reel: 23-29 January

This was one of those peculiar busy but totally unremarkable weeks.  I was up early and home late nearly every day, but most of it was boring work stuff.  There were some fun things, thought.

On Thursday evening, I attended MakeOffice’s launch party for their latest location on 15th & K.  MakeOffices is another co-working space, similar to the more famous WeWork but based here in the DMV.  The CEO is a fellow Georgetown Law alum, something I didn’t realize until we met that evening.  We’re planning on sharing war stories and discussing why we both left the law soon.

We had friends over for brunch on Saturday morning.  They don’t drink, so I guess you could call it a late breakfast, but I’m still going with brunch.  Any how, my slapped together sausage and bacon hash was really tasty, but I fear my friends left hungry—even though there was a lot of food, I found myself raiding the cabinets as soon as they left. Sorry, folks!  And shame on me for not taking pictures—photos or it didn’t happen, right?

Later that day, while the Missus continued her works towards YouTube stardom, I experimented with new cocktail ideas.  I’m generally pretty successful, but my efforts to incorporate even a splash of apple wine—delightful on its own—were repugnant.  I kept tweaking, adjusting, and sampling before starting over from scratch.  End result: I ended up slightly buzzed despite pouring what seemed like two full drinks down the drain.  Oops.

One of our close friends invited us to attend her family’s Tết celebration.  We weren’t sure what to expect, but a raffle certainly wasn’t part of it.  Unfortunately, we didn’t win any of the prizes, although we each came away with $10 from the lucky tree and extremely full stomachs.

Weekly Workouts

The past few weeks of consistent training are really paying off.  Despite weighing nearly 200 pounds, I am faster than I’ve been in ages.  What’s more, I feel great!  Here’s hoping the rest of the year goes just as well.  I’ll say this much though: I’m ready for a rest day.  LAZY MONDAY HERE I COME!

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon Easy
0:40 | 10.4 mi
Tue Intervals
11 × 800m, dec. rest
1:20 | 9.89 mi
Wed Easy
0:40 | 10.3 mi
Legs
1:00
Thu  Threshold + intervals
0:30 @ FTP + 5 × 0:01 sprints
1:00 | 17.8 mi
Fri  Easy
0:45 | 4.89 mi
Push + Pull
1:20
Sat Tempo
1:00 @ FTP w/ hard finish
1:15 | 261 W NP
Sun  Intervals + Threshold
5 × 0:04 @ 125% + 0:25 @ FTP
1:15 | 264 W
SUM
9:15
2:05
14.8 mi
4:50
84.3 mi
2:20
 

The Highlight Reel: 16-22 January

Short weeks generally seem to be uneventful weeks.  This was something of an exception, but only slightly.

Most of Monday was spent supervising the plumber as he ran water and drain lines to connect our “new” washing machine.  Quotations are warranted because we bought it over a year ago, and it’s been taking up space ever since.  To be fair, the first plumber we called out quoted us over $2,000 for a one-day, one-man job. The next plumber canceled on short noticed.  Eventually, installation just got pushed further and further down the list.  Having now used it twice without concern for whether we had enough quarters, I’m wishing we’d done this sooner.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BPVKjnlg39C/?taken-by=jackroseindc

Tuesday marked Jack Rose’s Second Annual KDA Meet & Greet.  I’m not one to idolize folks in the bourbon business, but it’s fun all the same to meet the movers and shakers in the industry.  In my experience, they’re all quite personable and down to earth.  Heck, Rob Samuels even bought me a drink.

In case you missed it, Friday in our nation’s capital was kind of a big deal.  Against my better judgment, I agreed to venture to a friend’s inauguration party in DC…downtown…a block from the Capitol.  Had I actually arrived on time, getting there might have been easier.  I instead found myself fighting the post-speech Exodus, literally walking around bushes as the crowd headed the other direction.

Once I got inside, it was a great time.  Brent Elliott of Four Roses was there again, marking the second time I’d seen him this week and the fourth in twelve months.  Kinda surprising given that he lives in Kentucky.  I actually spent much of the party chatting with Brent and his wife—both warm, lovely people—and I did my best to keep the conversation away from bourbon.  Perhaps it’s just be my perception, but I think they enjoyed the change of subject.

Oh, and I made a logo for the blog.

Virtue and Vices

Weekly Workouts

I learned a lesson this week: Biking hard after leg day is okay; running hard is not.  Thursday’s seven-mile tempo run started off great then rapidly spiraled downward.  A brief synopsis of my thoughts throughout: This feels so easy → Seven miles is manageable → How much longer? → Mercy! I give up!  Duly noted.

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon Easy
0:50 | 13.4 mi
Tue Intervals
20 × 400m
1:33 | 9.86 mi
Wed Easy
1:00 | 15.8 mi
Legs
0:50
Thu  Tempo
~7 mi @ PMP
1:12 | 9.19 mi
Fri  Easy
0:50 | 13.3 mi
Push + Pull
1:30
Sat Threshold
3 × 0:22 @ 105% FTP
1:30, 259 W NP
Sun Long Tempo
2 × 5 mi @ HMP
1:45, 13.7 mi
SUM
11:00
4:30
32.7 mi
4:10
69.6 mi
2:20
 

The Highlight Reel: 09-15 January

I thought this was another boring week, but then I really thought about it.

The Missus and I met friends for Vietnamese food on Tuesday evening.  Our plan of going to Nha Trang in Eden Center was foiled by supposed kitchen renovations—I am somewhat skeptical—so we instead ended up at Little Viet Garden.  We, as a whole, very much enjoyed our food.  The Missus called her fried rice (the least Vietnamese item on the menu) the best she’s ever had.  From a veritable fried rice connoisseur, that’s saying something!   My “broken rice” (ordered on the basis of the name alone) was equally enjoyable.  We’d definitely go back.

I spent all day Thursday judging projects for the WBC Craftsmanship Awards.  My fellow judges and I were tasked with evaluating recently completed construction projects throughout the DMV to determine whether they were worthy of recognition.  Of the seven my group judged, only one was truly wow-worthy: the Monumental Staircase at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Spiraling upwards 45 feet while supported only at the top and the base, the stairs are as impressive as the museum’s name is unwieldy.

The Missus and I were out again on Friday to meet friends and celebrate their recent engagement.  The lucky lady was actually the realtor who helped us buy our home, and we liked her so much that we’ve stayed in touch.  Reach out for her contact info if you need an agent in VA!

We met the happy couple at Citizen Burger Bar in Clarendon.  We’d been there before for drinks; they, despite living down the street for years, never had.  The kitchen was backed up, so our food was slow coming.  It was worth the wait.  There’s no time to Instagram the food when everyone is aggressively stuffing their faces!

The Missus had been wanting to see Rogue One for weeks, so we decided a Sunday matinee was the perfect opportunity—two tickets + snacks for under $30 is hard to argue with.  As consideration for postponing my morning workout, She agreed to join me at the gym afterwards so that I could get in a run.  If you knew how hard it was to get my lady to exercise, you’d understand why this is worth mentioning.

Weekly Workouts

Run Bike Strength Crosstrain
Mon Easy
0:30
Push
1:00
Tue Intervals
Mile Repeats 6x
1:15; 9.68 mi
Wed Easy
0:40
Legs
1:00
Thu Threshold
2 x 0:21 @ 105%
1:05, 260 W NP
Fri Easy
0:55, 6.13 mi
Pull
0:50
Sat Threshold
30-20-10 prog
1:30, 257 W NP
Sun Long Tempo
3 x 3 mi
1:25, 11.5 mi
SUM
10:10
3:35, 27.3 mi 3:45, 65.3 mi 2:50