Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You know it’s close to Independence Day in DC when…..

I had jury duty today and the trial goes into tomorrow which really messes up things at work.  However, I did want to get picked.  So many people complain about jury duty, but hell I would rather intelligent people on the jury (especially if my ass is on trial) than Judge Judy watching whiners who think the system is out to get them or they think the $30 a day is a lot of money. 

This morning I was up and at the pool.  I arrived a little late, but I was still able to get in 2200 yards.   I started out with a 350 warm up and the rest went like this:

  • 5 x 100 odds hard, even easy
  • 1 x 500 free
  • 3 x 100 kick
  • 8 x 25 sprint
  • 5 x 100 free odds hard, even easy
  • 4 x 25 sprint
  • 150 cool down

I felt good in the water and I am always glad when we work sprints into some longer swims.  I need to work some 1000 yard plus sets in soon. 

After we left the court today, I picked up the bike and headed out for an hour ride.  I got out to Hains Point to some loops and the gates where locked.  Then it dawned on me that the 4th of July is Saturday.  They store can secure the fireworks at Hains Point.  No one can get to them and if they did, then the explosion would not really effect anything. 

On the way back I stopped to watched the planes landing at Reagan National.  I love it when the planes land from the north.  They flight right over your head.  Final As you can see from this photo the plane is following the Potomac and is on final  to land.  The planes come in at about 70 or 100 feet and you can feel the wind from them.  Landing



It really is a sight to behold.  If you ever get to the DC Area make sure you stop at Gravelly Point to watch them land.   Then I looked over and got a view of the Capitol Dome.   One clear days like today it reminds that I am lucky enough to live in a pretty cool place.  Capitol

Tomorrow is back to court and then heading to Georgia to do some more work on my mother’s house.  I hope everyone has a great Independence Day and remember the real meaning.  The beer, burgers and fireworks are just a way to celebrate, they aren’t the meaning. 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crossing the Wilson Bridge

The Woodrow Wilson crosses the Potomac River on I-95/495 as the southern point of the Washington DC beltway.    We here in the DC area have been dealing with the congestion that goes with constructing a new bridge for years now.  The old bridge was completed in 1961 and was designed to handle 75,000 cars a day and by the end of the 90’s was handing something like 200K a day.  Needless to say there was one of hell of a bottle neck.  The new bridge which was completed this year has a bike/pedestrian lane which I have been dying to traverse.

So this morning as I started my 2 hour ride, I headed down to Old Town Alexandria and across the bridge into Maryland.  The bike lane is at least 8 ft wide and handles the flow of traffic for walkers, runners, and riders very nicely.   At the apex of the bridge are a couple of stations for looking back into DC and the Alexandria waterfront.  Old-Town You can watch planes lining up to land at Reagan National Airport, view the Washington Monument, and the see the dome of the US Capitol. 

After I crossed the bridge I rode over to National Harbor which a new and very large convention area.  The bride and I have been been over there for a food and wine tasting in the past and it a very impressive facitilty.  Disney is even going to be opening a hotel there sometime in the future. 

When you are coming from the Maryland side you get a very good idea of just how massive this bridge is.  Looking-over-the-Wilson-BriThe grade is not too steep but  for those us who bike in the flat lands around here,  it is nice to have a something to climb.  I then biked through Old Town and headed over to Hains Point to complete the two hour ride.  I was rather disappointed in my overall mileage.  I only did 30 or so miles in the two hours.  But riding on through Old Town with all the stop signs and then fighting with “social walkers/riders” on the Mount Vernon trail on a Saturday morning can be a real pain in the ass.  I was very happy with my hard 8 miles at Hains Point.  I was able to average close to 18mph for the 8 miles of limited traffic that makes Hains Point just a good place to ride. 

After the ride, the Bride and I headed over to the Alexandria Pool and I got in an easy 1000m of swimming.  This evening we are heading out to one of favorite restaurants and tomorrow is an hour run with running buddy.  I hope everyone had as good a Saturday as I did.   

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You Clean-up Well

This morning I was back in the pool for the first time in ages.  I have been having early morning meetings that preclude me from swimming in the mornings.   Today’s work out was 2100 yards with both some distance and speed work thrown in.  As much as I hate those workouts I like them too.  It is what I need.   This work out took me 49:17:

  • 250 warm up of swim, kick, and pull
  • 5 x 100 odd hard, even easy
  • 8 x 25 sprint
  • 5 x 100 free odd, choice even
  • 1 x 500 free
  • 150 cool down

After the workout, I was talking with the Aquatics Director in my suit with a towel  wrapped around my waist when one of the other lifeguards came in to work.  I finished my conversation and changed into my work clothes (I wear a suit and tie every day).  As I walking out the same lifeguard who had seen me soaking wet did a double take and then said to me, “Wow, you look different.”  I jokingly responded that I clean up well.  She agreed just a little vigorously. 

After work today I hit the road on my bike for a little over an hour and I did about 17.5 miles.  I was pretty happy with the main set as I averaged about 19 miles an hour for it.  I slowed down a little to take these photos:


If you look closely you can see I was doing 18.9 mph.


This is not a “cleaned up” photo of me.  Don’t you love how my helmet is all crooked. 

Tomorrow is a run day. 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dextro ITU Triathlon Weekend

One of the great things about living in the Washington DC area are thing the things that you get be part of that for most people are out of the ordinary.  As a kid travelling the 50 some thing miles to Atlanta to watch a Braves game was the height of adventure.  Now I just catch a cab or hop the Metro to Nationals Park to watch a game.  Friday night the Bride, some friends, and I headed over to watch them take on the Blue Jays—and they actually won. 

Saturday evening I had been invited to a VIP dinner and drinks function for the Dextro ITU Triathlon.  Now don’t get any wrong ideas here, I am no VIP.  However, I do know the VIPs and luckily I get invited to certain events.  The best part of this event was the free food and beer.  I met up with Running Buddy and some other friends for the festivities. 

Sunday the Bride and I rode our bikes in to watch the pro races.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with ITU races the men and the women typically race separately and their are no age groupers on the course. 

We started a little late and got the men’s race in the middle of the bike course.  Dextro-2In ITU racing you can actually draft and the race course is typically a smaller loop where spectators get to the see the participants many times.  The course here in DC was an 8 loop course and the pack of riders were typically flying by.  The cool part was the chance to see the people you only typically read about up close and personal.  I was able to see Hunter Kemper, Hunter-1Andy Potts, and Matt Reed.  In addition to these stellar American triathletes, Tim Donn from Great Britian is also a short course favorite. 




After the  men, we headed down to the Potomac and watched the start of the Women’s Race.  Have the chance to get this close to some many Olympians was a great experience.  It is not every Sunday you get to see Emma Snowsill, Sarah Haskins, or Laura  Bennett. 




While we were awaiting the start I also got talk with DC Rainmaker for a few.  It is always good to catch up with your bloggy pals.  Then the Bride and I continued our ride back to the house in order to complete those mundane tasks that have to be accomplished prior to a new work week.

Another one of those interesting things that occur in the Great DC area is the President had ice cream with his kids in my neighborhood this weekend.  As the Bride pointed out, it is a great business model to have President Obama come to your establishment.  It has to greatly increase your business. 

Monday, June 15, 2009

How to look like a Bone Head


This weekend was another weekend of Battle Assembly.  Because of that, I did not get in a workout at all.  When you only see  everyone two days a month there is a lot to do, especially when you are the commander.   Everyone wants a minute of your time, so this weekend was merely mental exercise. 

Friday I did something funny and stupid.  I think it was because I had my Army Battle Assembly this weekend, I was not thinking that Friday was Friday.  I thought it was Thursday when I got up.  (Yes I know it is better to think it is a day behind instead of a day ahead).  So I cussed myself for not putting out my work clothes and headed to swim.  Since there actually is a swim class on Friday I still did not realize that this was not my normal Thursday class.   Now keep in mind that Running Buddy is awaiting my presence at the running link up point.   I am blissfully unaware that Running Buddy was wondering where in the hell I was and probably cussing me like a whore in church.  I finished and headed to work.  It was not until I got to work that I realized it was Friday.   She got a big chuckle out my boneheaded play. 

I just finished some core work and stretching.  Now off to work. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final Trip Report to Hawaii or How I finally made to Robin’s Nest

And we come to the close of our Hawaiian adventure. This is my last post on this wondrous trip. In addition to the adventures I have previously mentioned we did just a lot of regular exploring around the hotel and going to see some of the sights from our favorite TV shows (Lost for the Bride and Magnum PI for me). It even worked out better when the site we visited was featured on both shows.

Our stay in Honolulu was at the Hilton Hawaiian village. The place is effing huge. It was not overly crowded when we were there, but it was still too many people for my taste. To put it in to perspective,Penguin it was like staying a very large hotel in Vegas with out the casinos. The room was very nice and we had a wonderful view of the tower next to us. Luckily, being on the 25th floor allows you to see a long way and watch the surfers on Waikiki. This freaking hotel even had penguins. Donna-and-Fire-GuyThese are black-footed penguins  native to South Africa.  The Bride even had her picture taken with the Fire Guy.  I think he lit more than just the tiki torches.

The primary reason we spent anytime in Honolulu was to be able to visit the Arizona Memorial. For those of you without a historical reference,USS-Arizona-2 the Arizona was the “Ground Zero” for World War II. In addition to being a Memorial, the still submerged ship, is also a tomb for over 1000 of the sailors who were unable to escape the bowels of this great battleship when the Japanese attacked. It was a very humbling experience for both of us. The  Navy does a first rate job with the transportation from the visitors center to the actual memorial. Kudos boys (and girls).

Finally we did a long drive around the perimeter of the island. The  one place I wanted to Kevin-at-Robins-Nestvisit was Robin’s Nest of Magnum PI fame. Those of you familiar with the show may be shocked to learn that the lay out of the property in the series is much different than reality.  However, I did make it my 1980s Mecca.  In addition we visited the Temple of the Gods.Valley-of-the-Gods-1  The funny part was that the Bride did not know what place I was talking about.  She was very happy to see that this was a location from Lost



This has been a rather busy week back in the Nation’s Capital.  I have been able to get in about 3000 yard of swimming, a track workout, and tomorrow is a nice run with the Running Buddy.  On Tuesday we were invited to a screening of Bedford, The Town the Left Behind.  This was held by Senator Mark Warner at the New Capitol Visitors Center.  It was very humbling to watch the movie and see what the member of the community and of the the unit form Bedford, VA went through.  Bedford Pic

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Workouts and a Few Things That Piss Me Off

This weekend was best workout weekend I have had in months. Friday morning was slow and painful run in 100% humidity. Running buddy and I were both feeling the effects of lacking of working out and then it being 70 degrees and 100% humidity. As hard as it was to get out of the bed, the outcome of the workout was needed.

Saturday morning I was up for a bike ride with another group of friends at Hains Point. Other than a few short spins on the trainer I haven’t been on my bike in months. I needed to get out , sweat, and get my legs moving again. We met up at the gentlemanly hour of 9:30 and I planned on riding for 90 minutes to get a decent gage of where I was on my cycling, but not over do it. After getting a slightly later start than exp

Map picture
acted I did about 20 miles in 80 minutes. I was not expecting to hit any land speed record, just to get my ass use to the saddle and my legs use to pumping. The only real issue I had with the ride were the morons cruising the route or the people trying to park along the road in order to play their softball games. However, more on that later. Sunday was another relatively short run. Running Buddy and I headed out for a 4.5 mile run since we had both biked the day prior and are not ready for a long run after biking. It was a beautiful morning and it really made me feel good.

During the ride I was very frustrated with people can’t drive. Hains Point is a semi-closed recreation area in DC along the Potomac. The route is not closed to traffic and I don’t think it should be. However, on Saturday mornings there are scores of walkers, runners, and cyclists. phone-carThere are certain people who like to cruise the loop. They are more interested in talking on their cell phones or hollering inappropriate comments at the ladies as they exercise. The other group is completely unable to parallel park and will stop suddenly nearing causing accidents.

After my ride I had to go to Whole Foods and get some meat for a cook out. I hate going Whole Foods. In my opinion freaking-out-at-whole-foodsa lot of self important and mean women go there. I was about hit twice in the parking garage just walking into the store. Once I got in the store it was not much better. On a positive not about Whole Foods, the employees are absolutely wonderful and professional. So as I was dodging mini-vans to get back I started thinking about all the things I really hate in the People Republic of Alexandria. Here is a short list:

  • Hypocrites in Hybrids who throw their cigarette butts out the window
  • A lot of the shoppers in higher end grocery stores who are “have to buy” organic because it is the hip thing to do, but their children are out of control
  • Che bumper stickers
  • People who don’t understand that blinky left means turning left and blinky right means turning right.
  • People with Peace Signs on the bumpers, but honk incessantly and/or yell expletives at cyclists or runners

I could go on and on, but I will stop here. Any thoughts or your pet peeves.