Ironman Maryland

  Background In 2022 I decided that I was going to step up my triathlon game.  I was going to do a 70.3 in 2023 to test the waters, so to speak, and then do a 140.6 in 2024 assuming the 70.3 went well.  The plan was to have the 70.3 be my A race in the fall of 2023 and then schedule a 140.6.  However, one of the bad influences in my life pointed me to a race-signup list that showed which members of the DIRT community were participating in which races for the year.  This particular bad influence, Jeff, plus a good influence, Andy, were both signed up for Ironman Maryland (along with a bunch more “maybes”).   I met Andy when both of our families happened to be at the same general beach area, and I got a run in with him early in my trip, which was the tail end of his trip.  However, I wanted to meet Jeff face-to-face and I thought that this would be a great opportunity not only to see some friends I interact with on a daily basis online in-person, but it would also be a great opportunity

Eagle Eye Guy

 My daughter's school has a program that encourages father's and male figures to participate in school by volunteering.  It used to be called "Eagle Eye Dad", but has been changed to Guy to be more inclusive. As soon as communication about the program came out, I signed up on the waiting list.  The program coordinator reached out to me and I got a day scheduled.  All I knew was that it would go from 7:30-11 on a Friday.  I was hopeful that I would get assigned to my daughter's room, but didn't know what it was that I would actually be doing.   Because I wasn't sure what I would be doing, I did not tell my daughter what I was doing.  I didn't want to build expectations in her mind that wouldn't be met.  The day-of, I left a bit earlier than normal and my wife walked my daughter to school at the normal time.   I checked in at the office and started helping in the car line, which was busier than normal thanks to the rain.  I got my itinerary and was h


It's hard to believe, but my daughter is starting kindergarten in less than a week.  She was in preschool two years ago.  Last year we had the ability to keep her home, so we spent the time going through a kindergarten curriculum of language arts and math with her.  I guess we figured if she wasn't going to get the social interaction of preschool, she might as well get the educational benefit. Now, she is going to drink from the firehose.  Our daughter is a bit shy to start, but warms up quickly.  I am excited to watch her grow and a bit worried about the fact that we are moving out of the phase of her life where her entire worldview is moderated by me and her mother.  She will now be exposed to other kids whose families have different values than ours.  I know it's not going to be anything crazy, I mean, these are the kids of our neighbors, but I fear this is when I start realizing that I am becoming old.  Or maybe I have until middle school before that. We did a "get

Sports Year in Review

 With my birthday coming up tomorrow and my workout for the day already in the books, I thought it would be a fun time to reflect on what I accomplished from a sports perspective in the last year. Some things that I found particularly interesting - I biked, ran, swam, or did some other activity on my Garmin 350 out of 366 days this year.  Sixteen days off in a year - a little more than one per month.  That is an average of 66 minutes of activities per day (56 minutes per activity).  That actually seems a bit higher than I would have expected.  I do strive for an hour workout everyday, but there are definitely days where I'm lucky if I get 45.  I guess the long sessions I had more than made up for it. Of the 1540 miles I ran, 621 were indoors on my treadmill.  In fact, I ran an entire marathon on my treadmill this year at the start of the pandemic.  Living in the suburbs, I'm actually extremely lucky in that I am not restricted in my outdoor running by COVID.  Typically I'm

Treadmill Marathon

At the beginning of April I got an email from Zwift announcing this season's Watopia Run Festival by Maurten.  They did this earlier in the year with races ranging from 1 mile to 13.1 miles.  For this iteration, they would be running those races throughout the week, but the festival culminated in a Marathon on Sunday. The timing was perfect in terms of tricking me into doing something really stupid.  You see, just a few days prior I had completed the last running route in Zwift, and I had therefore unlocked every running-related badge in Zwift (including the half marathon), with the exception of a marathon.  Prior to the event being announced, I just resigned to the fact that I would never get the marathon badge (technically, it's the "Going the Distance" badge), but that email came in and the seed of possibility was planted. I wasn't committed to doing the event.  I wanted to get the kit you get as a reward for participating so signed up for a one mile ra

Internet Grab Bag

One of the pieces of gear that I've wanted for a while is a power meter.  I've had my eyes on the Favero Assioma Duo, basically since it came out.  The cost/quality ratio seems to be off the chart for it - one that everybody that I read on the internet seems to think is reliable and very accurate.  Plus, it's something that I could install myself, and use on my trainer (and if I ever upgrade my trainer to a wheel-off trainer, continue to use on my trainer). Through work, for being healthy and physically active, I get a reward that I can convert to a gift card, or a specific product that the vendor's store carries.  While this particular program is new this year, I've had similar programs the previous couple of years and have used the reward to get an Apple Watch for my wife, and to put toward my Garmin 945 last year.  Since this is a reward for being active, I like to put it toward my active lifestyle.  The Assioma Duo fits the bill, and I started looking for wher

What's a Heart Rate, Anyway?

I've been having issues with my HRM-Tri recently where it just doesn't seem to give me results consistent with my relative perceived effort.  For example, starting out fresh on a treadmill at about 10 min/mile pace and the HRM-Tri shows my heart rate around 140 bpm.  I've been so annoyed recently with this perceived inaccuracy that I actually stopped my warmup to manually take my heart rate.  I completely stopped and took my pulse for 15 seconds and came up with a heart rate closer to 100 bpm.  All the while, my watch was showing right around 140 bpm from the HRM-Tri.  It didn't even slow down despite the fact that I was completely stopped, which is completely different from the issue that I have occasionally with the Scosche Rhythm+, which will lock on to my cadence if I'm not adequately warmed up and it's cold outside. I want the HRM-Tri to work because there are some metrics that are only unlocked if you have a heart rate strap, as opposed to an optical HRM