Is anyone out there?

28 01 2011

Hey, it’s no longer just about triathlons.  I started a new blog that will follow some of my new adventures and activities.  Check it out at http://outsidebrian.wordpress.com

 

See you kids outside!





Are those crickets I hear?

29 07 2010

Sorry, it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  As they say, sometimes life happens.   I have many reasons for not posting lately, but it all really boils down this; I’ve been lazy.

I’ve been too caught up with work and working on the house and trying to get the occasional run in.  After all that, I just haven’t had the motivation to write a blog post.  But here I am and since I’m writing anyways I’ll give you a roll up on my life since Columbia;

two weeks after finishing that triathlon I did something really stupid.  I tried to run an ultra marathon (of the 50 kilometer variety).  I thought I would have my legs back in enough time and I’d be good to go.  I was wrong.  My longest run up till that point was a 23 mile training run, which was 4 weeks before the race.  Frankly, I wasn’t prepared enough and it showed.  Add that to the heat that descended upon the DC area that weekend, and it was a mixture ripe for disaster.  I won’t get into the gritty details, but after nearly passing out from heat exhausting at mile 16, quitting at mile 18, un-quitting an hour later (much to the dismay of the paramedics) and hating life for the next 13 miles and 3 hours, I finished.

It was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it have me a lot of respect for that kind of distance running.  Even though I lost about 11lbs during the race, became badly dehydrated, developed blisters the size of pancakes on my feet and lost 4 toenails, I still enjoyed the experience for the most part. And believe it or not, another race (for which I will be much better prepared for) is in the works.

Since then, I’ve taken a well earned break from training.   I’m still getting a few runs in here and there, but nothing more than 6-7 miles at a time (most are 4-5).  I’m going to do a few more races at the end of the year (Army 10 Miler, maybe another triathlon and hopefully a few trail races (half marathon or less).  But for the rest of the summer, I’ll be focusing on working, getting a few long runs in where I can and basically enjoying the rest of the summer.

Till we talk again, see you on the trail!





Columbia Triathlon

26 05 2010

I’ll do a full write up later, but I summarize the experience by saying this was probably about twice as hard as the Nation’s Triathlon. The hills were a killer and as a result my times suffered. I finished in 3 hours and 4 minutes, which is actually better than I thought it would be.

Anyway, here’s couple of pictures from the event:





Back to the beginning

19 04 2010

April 18th, 2009 was only a year ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago.  My living situation has changed, my job has changed (twice actually), even my car has changed.  While the same person on the outside (albeit a bit skinnier), the person inside has changed dramatically.  It’s interesting how much can happen in a year..  I think this to myself and I toe up the starting line at the Silver Spring Earth Day 5k this past Sunday morning.

A year before I was at the same starting line (ok, they moved the starting line to different street, but just indulge me anyways).   I had never been in a race before that day and I had no idea what to expect.  I had just begun my journey towards becoming a triathlete and I hadn’t a clue as to what lay ahead of me.

It may sound silly to you, because it does to me a bit, but I wasn’t sure if I could even finish this 5k race.  What if I had picked the wrong sport to get myself involved in?   I mean, I’m not a runner.  Just look at me!  I was built for football or maybe something like hockey.   What if I couldn’t do it?  Would I quit halfway through the race and subsequently throw in the towel on the rest of this silly quest to become not just a runner, but a triathlete?

But then I remembered something I heard once.  Don’t ask me where, probably a movie or something.  But it went something like this:  “Don’t be afraid of quitting.  Be afraid of finishing.”

I didn’t know what that meant until just then.  But like most moments of clarity, it came to me right then when it was supposed to.  And it means just this; Quitting is easy.  It’s simple to pack it in and head home.  Hell, you can probably even tell people you did it and they’d believe you.  You might even get out of there in enough time to grab an Egg McMuffin on the way home.

But if you finish, it means you can accomplish this, and who knows much more.   It’s frightening when you think about it because we never know what were capable of until we put ourselves to test.  If we don’t quit the results are usually surprising and sometimes scary.

If I finished the 5k then I could train for, and finish a 10k.  Then a triathlon.  Maybe an olympic distance triathlon.  And maybe next year I’ll be doing a few triathlons and maybe even an ultramarathon or two….  Ok, maybe I didn’t think that far ahead.  But I decided that it was okay to finish.  And though the rest of my journey was still unclear, for the next 30 minutes or so I only had one mission, and that was to not quit.

So I ran that 5k.  And I while I was out of breath at the end and I had to walk a few times, I finished.  And that one race, that took me almost 28 minutes, set everything in motion that is happening today….

Back to this past Sunday.  I ran pretty well, though I haven’t been training for short distance races, and manage to knock almost 3 minutes off my time last year.  I feel good through the whole race and think that I could probably even gone a bit faster.

After I finish the race I stop to turn around see people finishing behind me.   I wonder how many of these people are finishing their first race.   How many doubted their finish earlier this morning?  I want to go back and give them all fives but I think better of it.

Instead, I  turn to walk away and think of all the first steps that happened here today and it makes me smile.





It’s a new playlist for 2010

15 04 2010

So I haven’t done this in a while and I thought I’d share some of the new music I’ve been listening to lately.   I have to admit that with all the running I’ve been doing lately I’ve started to add podcasts into the mix.  I won’t go too much into that in this post but suffice to say there is a wealth of really interesting and entertaining podcasts available out there for free download.  Maybe I’ll make that my next post….

Hmm.. anyways, here’s the music I’ve been rocking out to recently on my 10k tempo runs:

1. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley (This song helps me clear my head, get positive and get into the mood to run)

2. Let’s Get It Started – Blackeyed Peas (When this song comes on, it’s easy for me to get pumped up for the miles that lay ahead)

3. Young Forever – Jay-Z ft. Mr Hudson (blah blah blah something about living in the moment blah blah blah.  Jay-z takes a whimpy 80’s ballad and makes it cool)

4. Let’s See How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox 20 (A favorite from last year.  It reminds of the final weeks before my first triathlon)

5. One Day – Matisyahu (Inspiring song from a very unique artist.  Always make me feel positive)

6. Miley Cyrous – Hath Banger (Miley Cyrus and Notorious BIG?  Why not!?)

7.  Bad Romance  – Lady Gaga (Ok, i’ll admit, I love the GaGa.  Don’t take my man card away)

8.  Hitchhiker Joe – The Rugburns (Now that I’m about halfway through the run I need something to make me laugh and this fun tune from one my favorite obscure bands does the trick)

9. Uprising – Muse (I saw these guys in concert recently and they opened with this song.  Gets me psyched for the last leg of the run)

10. Turn the Page – Metallica (If you have this playing on your iPod you instantly become about 20% more manly.  Women, this may or may not apply to you.  Use caution)

11. Sinnerman – Nina Simone (Oh wow, the run’s almost done.  Time to turn on the afterburners and finish strong with this uptempo blues piece.)

*WARNING* if your feet burn off due to this playlist being so awesome, don’t blame me.🙂





Off-roading – Lake Accoutink

30 03 2010

I was sitting here in my office yesterday looking at the window as the rain beat against the window and I wished I could be outside running instead of working on IT proposals.  I stepped outside around 3:30 and saw the rain had subsided and it even warmed a bit into the low 60’s.  I ran back into the office to check the weather report and saw the rain was going to hold off for a few more hours.  Sounds like a great excuse to cut out of work early and check out a new trail I found on the interwebs.
Just a few miles south of my house in Springfield is the Accoutink Lake Park.  While not much of a park (there’s a pavilion and some canoe rentals, in addition to an old timey carousel), the trail that surrounded the lake looked to have some promise.  So I threw on my trail shoes and drove down to check it out.

I pulled in at the Danbury Forest Drive and jumped on the trail there.  For about 2 miles it’s pretty much all gravel trail running alongside a brook (or maybe a small creek – what’s the difference anyways!?) until you hit the park proper.  I emerged out of the woods onto a beach with a great view of the lake and a paved path to the dam crossing – which I suppose is what created the lake.

Running past the dam and back into the woods the trail starts getting more exciting.  While the main trail is pretty tame, there are detours aplenty and most of them are simple dirt trails with some pretty challenging/steep parts.  I took several of these.
I took one of these detours all the way to the end and looked down to see I had put in a little over 4.5 miles.  I took a minute to catch my breath and have a drink and then turned around for my run back.

By the time back I got back I was pretty sick of running on the big gravel trail but overall pretty pleased with the experience.  While not as challenging as the Potomac Heritage, it’s a nice close option if I ever want to jump out for a quick trail run.  And based on what I’ve been reading online, I think there are some option trails to be found that could make it a completely difference experience.

Till next time, stay muddy my friends.





On Running Form..

24 03 2010

In an earlier post I talked a bit about running form and how mine is pretty much awful.  Ok, not pretty much…  it is awful.  But the good news is there’s plenty of room to improve.  Lately I’ve been using the drills in the video below to help me become a more biomechanically efficient runner and reduce my chance of injury.  I think it’s a good watch: