2010 Ashburn Farm Turkey Trot 10k

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being that today is the last day of November I felt it appropriate that I finally got around to writing my race report for last Thursdays Turkey Trot. Having moved to Alabama in June, it had been a while since I’d been home and even longer since I had seen most of my friends. While my friend Jeff was busy organizing a reunion-of-sorts-dinner, I had the brilliant idea to propose we all get up and run a Turkey Trot; needless to say the idea didn’t go over well. My favorite response was from my friend Jonathan who appropriately answered with “yeah…um…No.”

In the end I only convinced three, Tim who didn’t really need convincing since he ran it last year as well, Michelle who didn’t really have an option, and Lindsey who was a late comer registering Tuesday night. The race followed the same format as last year offering both a 5K (3.1 miles for you non-runner folk) and 10K (6.2 miles double 5k) and followed the same course. Tim and I registered for the 10K while Michelle and Lindsey opted for the shorter option.

The race is promoted by Crossroads United Methodist Church and benefits a school in Lukojjo Village in Uganda, Africa named “Humble Place.” It’s nice to know where the money goes and before the race they had a slideshow with photos of the development of the village over the past 6-7 years. Just a quick approximation (926 (5K runners) + 605 (10K runners))= 1531 runners, 10K and 5K registrations were $20 and $30 respectively, summing to $36,670 before operating costs, generating somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 for the school pretty AWESOME!

Weather predictions early in the week included rain and cool temperatures, which later changed to only cool temperatures, which then changed back to rain and cooler temperatures. We woke up Thursday morning to a wet, dark, gloomy rainy day; imagine weather that makes you want to find a blanket and cup of hot chocolate…got it pictured? That was it.

Weather.Com when I woke up Thanksgiving Morning

Traveling home I didn’t think about what I was going to wear during the race, other then I knew I needed shorts, socks, and running shoes. I somehow managed to neglect my upper half which proved to be a BIG mistake. Out the door and on the road Michelle munched on a piece of pumpkin bread while I had no desire to really eat, I managed to swallow a few Jelly Belly Sport Beans and a Lemon-Lime GU. We checked in and got our numbers pinned and decided to spend the hour before the race in the warm car; parking is always a challenge there so arriving early is a must.

Michelle staying warm in Crossroads Church

Around 8AM, 15 minutes before the 10K start we headed towards the church and warmed up in there giving us some time to stretch and watch the slideshow they had playing on loop I mentioned earlier. When the called for all runner to the start we made the short ¼ walk to the start line where there seemed to be a much larger crowd then last year which was great to see.

Lots of Police which was great, stopping traffic and keeping runners safe

The scene at the start, lots of people!

At 8:15 off we went…well for a few short steps…and then like most big races there is some walking involved before there is really enough room to “run.” I started my watch at the beginning and hit the lap button as we crossed the chip start line (.01), impressively enough the Garmin measured the exact same distance as last year, 6.31 miles to the hundredth (minus that additional hundredth).

Shortly after the start before it had spread out

The view behind me

As a side note I decided to carry my phone this year, which acted as my camera, since I still have not purchased a rugged point and shoot camera (trust me its on the list). I took photos during the race, and while they may be kind of foggy (it was cold) and kind of a blurry (I was running) they place you at the race, in the pack and enjoying a perfect Thanksgiving morning, running.

My first mistake may have been telling myself from the start that I wouldn’t be able to match my time from last year of 47:20 a 7:38/mile pace. I went out a more relaxed pace aiming for 8:30/mile close to my endurance 9:00/mile from Sun Trust Marathon just over a year ago. Right away I recognized this was too slow but knew if I could gradually increase my speed I’d be okay. It may be the engineering or Type A personality in me but when setting out on these events like Sun Trust or this years Turkey Trot I choose these nice number as my goals, 4:00:00 and 50:00 respectively. Neither of which would require a gut wrenching effort but are both “challenging” in my mind to complete. At mile 2 I began doing the math and figured that with my current pace I wouldn’t make that “magic” 50 minute 10K, so I began gradually increasing speed. Around the same time I ran into two friends from high school who were moving at a decent clip and struck up a conversation about my Journey two summers ago. I latched onto them and stayed with them until 4.5 where I really started to push myself. When I hit mile 5 I knew I needed to kick it into gear to make 50 minutes and my heart rate reflects it.

The official results:
A total time of 49:02 compared to my Garmin time of 49:43, which make sense considering I started my watch prior to cross the chip line and stopped it in the chute after the finish.

2009 Race Results
2010 Race Results

I was pleased with my finish and surpassing my “ideal” goal but this race has really motivated me to train regularly. I think one influencing factor was my training load in the weeks prior to this and last years Turkey Trot, or lack there of is more accurate.

Last year just 12 days prior I had completed the Sun Trust Marathon and according to my Garmin connect I ran 56 miles in the 8 weeks prior, although I believe I ran more but just didn’t use my watch, and only 22 this year, over 2.5x more miles last year in the 8 weeks leading up to the run.

When all is said in done, training=results. Period. So I’m going to throw this out there now, next year I want to run sub 40. That would put me in the top 20 this year, and although 9 minutes off my time in such a short race is drastic, I think it’s a great goal to shoot for.

2009 vs. 2010 Data

Post race there were plenty of refreshments provided including oranges, bagels, and LOTS of pizza.

Lindsey had left by this point; but the three of us

At the end of the day it was a Turkey Trot, not run but Trot and that is certainly what I did. For me a true source of happiness, probably due to increased endorphins, but I really love waking up being productive and accomplishing something early. There really isn’t a better way to start your day.


Food - Recipes & More

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've really been enjoying finding new foods to cook lately. Each time I go to the grocery store I pick up something I haven't cooked with before and then find a recipe that sounds good or figure out a way to incorporate it into a meal, it may be somewhat backwards but it seems to be working for me. Below is a list of some food related posts with photos and maybe some directions/recipes

Tomato, Spinach, & Feta Omelet

Steak Involtini

Tomato & Cucumber Salad





Garmin Connect Update/Joe Friel Webinar

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Let’s face it; Wednesdays are somewhat of a drag. Not exactly halfway through the week at the start of the day and at 5pm there are still two very long days until the weekend. This morning was much of the same, I logged onto Garmin Connect in hopes of updating the unit software on my Edge 305, which has been neglected somewhat since the purchase of my Forerunner 310XT. The Edge 305 is a great unit that I tracked my entire trip cross country with, or all but a few days that I forgot to recharge it the night prior. The 305 doesn’t integrate with my power meter which forces me to carry two devices including the 305 and PowerTap head unit. With the Forerunner 310XT I can capture all of the data by with one unit, even though I still carry the PowerTap unit because of different sampling rates between the two units, but in “theory” I only need to carry one unit.

The reason behind me digging out the 305 is because my 310XT is 400 miles north in Blacksburg where I forgot it after Tech Cross a couple weekends ago. Long story short, when I logged on this morning I was prompted with the images below, both of which I found quite amusing:

So while Garmin worked hard I found that my software on the 305 was in fact the most current version.

Garmin software support page.

My Edge 305, Software version 3.20

This was hard to believe since they’ve released several new units that have improved algorithms for quicker satellite acquisition and accuracy that could be applied to the Edge 305, I believe.

Garmin Connect Twitter feed.

Eventually they finished their work and Garmin Connect was back up and running, I however was not. I decided to take the evening off from running after two days and 10 miles in preparation for next weeks Turkey Trot. The most recent update added a few neat features but STILL has not resolved the request for bulk downloads from Garmin Connect, or exporting all activities to save externally in the unlikely event the Garmin servers ever crashed.

Garmin blog homepage.

During the afternoon I listened in on a webinar with Joe Friel about creating an annual training plan, which was really a big plug for Training Peaks software and a walk through of their ATP (Annual Training Plan) feature within Training Peaks. The webinar was Joe Friel walking a “Triathlete” through the ATP feature, inputting his overall goals for next year, and it “creating” a training plan. It was somewhat comical because the “Triathlete” didn’t believe “he really had many weaknesses” which left Joe pulling teeth trying to input one of 5 predefined “limiters” when most didn’t apply to the particular individual.

I don't know how many users were logged into the webinar, but it seemed like the login beep when joining go to meeting was a solid tone.

The ATP began with key dates, start and end of training plan.

Followed by big goals and training objectives.

Each event is rated by priority A, B, C, or D.

It "magically" generates your training load for the year to achieve your goals.

Entering limiters, which the triathlete "didn't really have" which I think even Joe thought was funny.

Assigning workouts to respective days.

...and you have a training plan.

I was mistaken below when I said Training Peaks does not work on a Mac. Training Peaks is actually a web-based application, however WKO+ a power/cycling software from Training Peaks cannot be run natively on a Mac.

In addition I have since spoken with a coach and hope to begin training after my move in January and have since purchased a premium training peaks account.

I haven’t had much experience with the software but my major deterrent is it not working on a Mac platform which forces me to use either a virtual machine or a separate windows machine, neither of which sound I’m inclined to do but I may eventually concede.

The reason for listening in on Joe’s ATP webinar is my recent consideration of hiring a coach with my upcoming move to Orlando. I’m in the early stages of deciding what type and how much interaction I’ll want/need and figuring out cost as well, but feel like this will help me real my goals in the sport.

More on that later!


Tuesdays - This & That

Monday, November 15, 2010

The weekend came and went in the blink of an eye and I continued my streak of non riding which I currently don't have a huge issue with, although after taking a look at my year in review today I wish I had stayed with my cyclocross schedule I had set out.

Michelle showed up on Thursday evening unannoucned which was a welcome surprise and since I didn't really have any plans of riding I was able to adapt as the weekend went on. Saturday was spent with an incredible day in Chattanooga with un-Fall-like-weather that encouraged us to spend the entire day outside. The downtown/river area of Chattanooga is just so neat with three bikes shops (we visited all three of course), local art galleries, and great restaurants.

Sunday was productive including fixing the wobble in my Thule T2 rack from a hitch extension to clear my spare tire and doing some much needed cleaning. First up in desperate need for a cleaning was the cassette on my road bike which I had pulled off recently when switching wheels on the cross bike. I used a diluted "Mr. Green" because Wal-Mart didn't carry Simple Green, and let the cassette soak in it for about 20 minutes before taking the brush to it.

"Mr. Green" Bath (Dispose of this stuff properly).

A firm bristle brush.

Nice clean cassette when all was said and done, I let it air dry for a few days because I'm lacking an air hose.

Since I was in the cleaning mood I decided I would investigate the pair of Candy pedals I had been riding on my SS bike for a while, which ultimately caused some damage to my crank. They were practically new when I used them for the Fools Gold 50, and haven't seemed the same since, however I understand why.

Both felt pretty rough.

As I was unscrewing the end cap the dirt began falling out.

A 6mm wrench is needed to remove the nut axle nut.

Crank Brothers has a real nice video up in the tech section on their site that goes through rebuilding a set of their pedals. I didn't buy one of their rebuild kits but I wanted to take it apart and see how bad the damage was from that miserable day. As I expected I found lots of dried up mud inside the pedals, mainly on the threads of the cap but some also made its way down onto the outer bearing. The bearing didn't feel like total crap, just a little like crap. I cleaned them out and greased the axle's before re-assembling them, the non-drive-side pedal turned out great but the drive-side still feels really rough, I may need to purchase a rebuild kit.

I also decided I would retape my bars as the Fizik tape has finally begun wearing through:

Really like this tape, it's good stuff.

Eventually I got around to cooking some dinner:

And yes I did eat more then asparagus, but this was the photo I took.

Yesterday I got the bright idea I would go to the gym and see if I could remember how the whole "running" thing is supposed to go because I had the brilliant idea to run a 10k Turkey Trot next Thursday. I've decided I was going to see if I could still run 6.2, which I knew I could but wanted to see how it would feel. Around 3 I wasn't considerably happy, nor again at 5, but at 5.5 I decided to increase my speed each minute for the remainder of the work out. A total time of 55:14, or 8:57 a mile, not too shabby considering my last run was in June.

This morning while at work I decided it was time to commit and sign up for the 10k.

It's the same run we did last year, which was pretty fun but I'm not too sure I can match the 47:16 I ran last year. So with that a short 5k run this evening again at the gym to prevent muscle soreness.


Hump Day - Update

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So no riding as I mentioned here. Counter productively I've been focusing my energy on cooking and have had some success in the past few nights cooking.

Latkes, poached egg, and prosciutto asparagus.

Steak Involtini with baked asparagus.


Tech Cross - Day 1

I haven't been riding...well at all really for the last three weeks. So I knew the Saturdays race wasn't going to go well, for that I have only myself to blame; I decided to race anyways. I drove up to Blacksburg, VA Friday evening arriving late and getting to bed as soon as I got there. Saturday morning I awoke early for for my 11AM race. Breakfast included cereal and an apple before I began loading up my gear. I headed out to Kentland Farms, a historic site near Blacksburg that was hosting the races for the weekend.

I arrived around 10 with an hour before my first race, so I quickly registered and started getting ready so I could get in a decent warm-up. My parents made the trip down for the weekend which was awesome because even though I saw them in August at the beach it felt like June since I saw them.

After pinning my number on I went for a quick warm-up before heading to the line. The course was going to be hellacious, so I was glad that I had a couple hour break before the SS race. I got to the line and waited around a few minutes before the official, Ben Warren, a Tech student asked me if "I was racing Masters?" With a confused look I took a quick scope of the field and realized I had in face lined up with the masters, but how did I make this mistake?

The culprit...Mr. Andy Reagan! He decided to post the Tech cross race on the VT Cycling page, but didn't change the file when the race schedule was changed, so those of us NOT using BikeReg.com didn't know. Grrr to you Mr. Andy Reagan, GRRRR. It may be changed now, but somehow or other I got the times confused and it's just fun blaming him.

So with 3 hours to kill we went and grabbed a quick lunch at Quiznos before heading back out to Kentland Farms. Some more waiting and it was time to get ready...again! This time I had the right start and after another warm-up I headed to line...again! So the race got off at a little after 2PM and the collegiate C field right after, missing those days! I looked good for about the first half of a lap, then it was over. Not riding, racing for the previous 4 weekends had done its toll. About two laps in I considered stopping knowing I had 2 or possibly three more times up the massive hill. I finished. Miserably but not DFL.

My dad was kind enough to take some photos of my suckness...Thanks DAD!

Stressed and rushing getting ready for my first race...that well wasn't really "MY" race.

Line up at the line for the first time that day.

Okay...got it...this time I had it right.

Gorgeous place for a race.

Again...not a better setting for cross anywhere.

I decided not to include any of my suck face photos but then just couldn't resist, how can I look this bad when I'm only racing 4's?

So needless to say when I finished my race which was 45 minutes, my longest cross race to date. I decided not to race the SS race 15 minutes later. I got some grief for it from Justin, but I just didn't have it in me physically or mentally.

The one positive of the race however was that I used my TriCross for the whole race, which meant I had an entire race worth of data, I can't really determine much from it but...its dater (pun intended). Somehow it got split during the race though and I forgot to merge it as I brought it in, anyways:

Sunday...well I did get up early but there was no way I was racing, instead Michelle and I just hung out for most of the day after a phenomenal breakfast at Gillies with the Rents!


Virginia Tech Cross - Weekend Preview + Updates

Thursday, November 4, 2010

This weekend will be kind of a "Homecoming" for me. I've been back to Tech for the past 4 weekends but going back for a home race is different. I'd really have an advantage if we were racing the same course as in the past, but this year is different. All of the emails I've been reading have said there's a monster of a hill that will most definitely be a run up. If you're anywhere near the area you should def. make it to the race as Blacksburg is gorgeous this time of year and more spectators always make things better. Race flyer HERE or register HERE.

Be forewarned however that flurries have been predicted for Saturday!

Last years Tech Cross weekend featured Saturday's "Race Under the Lights" with Christmas lights guiding some of the course. Unfortunately this year won't have any of that, but it'll be great racing at home with other Blacksburg locals and having my parents there to see me race. I do have a confession, I haven't been on my bike since last Sunday which is definitely not going to help my case, either way I'm looking forward to it.

In other news I had a package waiting for me when I got home with a bunch of Defeet stuff. I was bummed that they separated my order into two which meant I didn't get my HiViz Gloves.

A bunch of much needed Defeet gear including HiViz arm-warmers and shoe covers for my commute.

I follow a bunch of blogs using an E-reader and have been a fan of Fast Boy Cycles for a long time. Ezra is appears (never tasted) to be an amazing cook in addition to his beautiful frame building which is always incredibly photographed! He's posted a few of his recipes and last night I decided to try one, making gnocchi from scratch. I've never had it before so I don't really know what to compare it to but it turned out okay for my first attempt I think.

Boiled russet potatoes riced by being pressed through a flour sifter with a spoon.

Add an egg and some flour to hold them together.

Rolled into half-inch snakes.

Little pillows, not traditional gnocchi with the ridges but like I said I followed Ezra's recipe.

Once they floated to the top they were done and dunked in the ice bath below.

The ice bath puts them in a suspended state that allows them to be cooked or put aside for later.

A finishing touch in the pan with some EVOO and butter.


I may have gotten a little aggressive with the wrist flip and lost some of my gnocchi!

On a side note November Bicycles deal on ordering frames ends in just over two weeks (November 19th) . It's a pretty awesome price on a carbon frame, so take a look and get that order in!

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