Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

A good three day weekend has come to a close. I was able to have a relaxing weekend. I got a couple of runs and bikes in and ate some grilled food!

I ran the Rock Run 8k on Saturday. The race starts at Murrary Park in Little Rock. The course follows the river trail. It is a flat and fast course. There is a slight uphill towards mile 3 and then back up towards mile 4. I ran this race last year in 37:28. Thus year I was hoping to beat my time. I started out fast and was able to hold around 7:14 min/mil till the 3rd mile when I started to struggle. I finished the 3rd mile in 7:54! I was able to pick it up at the end finishing the last mile around 7:30. My total time was a 37:08. I'm happy with this considering I really felt myself fading at the end.

I closed the weekend out with a long ride on Sunday. I took the route around Lake Maumelle. This was the first time I rode this route. It was a hilly route with some good climbs in the Wye Mt area and had some ups & downs on Hwy 10.

Now I'm ready for the short week by starting out heading to Florida for work. I will be exploring the East Coast of Florida from Daytona to West Palm Beach.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3rd Dan Certificate

I received my 3rd Dan certificate last night! It's interesting to see on all the black belt certificates how many people have achieved that rank in the organization. I'm the 160th person. Someone else received their black belt last night and was 1989. It takes persistence, initiative, and commitment to continue further along in the organization. Good luck to everyone training out there and keep up the hard work.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Memphis In May Race Report

My first race of the year is complete! I can say that it was pretty good race in which I was able to learn some things that I need to work on. Well let's get to the report.

I arrived at the Veranda Hotel on Saturday. The hotel and the race start were right next to each other, so it would make for an easy race morning on Sunday. The room at the hotel was nice. No issues there. After checking in, I went to packet pick up which was pretty easy. This was located next to the hotel. Following packet pick up, I went for a swim. The swim was in a lake behind the hotel. The water was nice. I wouldn't say that it was cold or warm. I was able to swim in my tri top and shorts comfortably.

The dinner options in the Tunica area are confined to the casinos. With recent flooding in the area, two casinos were still closed, Harrah's and Bally's. This left the Horseshoe, Road House, and Gold Strike as options. Also, the Veranda Hotel was having a buffet for $20, but it was BBQ and turkey with sides. Not my idea, of a pre-race meal. I ended up at the Horseshoe with some people that I know from the local tri club All in Multisport. We ate at Benions. It was a fairly pricey dinner, but it was great. I had the seafood pasta and hit the spot. The hotels also had buffets that were around $25. You could also drive up to Memphis or Southaven for food options. This would have been a 30 minute drive.

Race Morning
Woke up around 4:30 ate a clif bar, banana, bagel, and drink some Gatorade. I walked my bike down to the transition area around 5:30 to get a decent spot. The area were my bike was a pretty good location. The rack was located along the main in/out for swim/bike/run. Easy to find no matter where you put it on the rack. The great thing about the hotel being close is that I went back up to the room to relax after setting up.

Swim - 36 minutes 23 seconds

The swim is a time trial start with a person going every 3 seconds. You lined up by race number and waited your turn. They started about 7:00 am and by 7:15 was off in the water. The swim is not my best event. I started out with a pretty good rhythm, but then fell off that rhythm. I then kinda of struggled to find a good rhythm, but never really got there. I was hoping to finish the swim in 30 minutes, but didn't even get close! I finished the swim in 36 minutes!

Just before the swim start, I noticed some rain clouds moving in overhead. Was it going to rain? It started to rain while we swimming. It changed even more once on the bike!

The takeaway here is I need to swim more in the open water.

Transition 1/Bike - 1:11 transition/1:11:05 24 mile bike

The transition went smoothly and I was off on the bike. The course was a triangled shaped bike course with the first part heading west, then south, and finally back north towards T2. The wind was out of the SW for the day, so the first part was going to be slow followed by a fast back in!

The bike started off smoothly, but then the sky decided to open up! It started to pour. The rain was stinging and it was lighting. I just put my head down and rode hard. I also noticed that my Garmin had locked up, so I had to restart it. It took about 4 miles to get warmed up but once I did I was really able to push the pace.

The course was flat and fast and I enjoyed it even with the driving rain. The course was marked and managed well in my opinion.

Transition 2/Run - 1:45 T2/ 52:14 10Kish run

By the time I arrived at T2, I knew my shoes and socks would be soaked, but I put them on and off I ran. Not like, they weren't going to get anyways since it was still raining off and on.

I started the run off pretty strong, but my pace started to decrease by mile 3. After passing mile 3, we headed to the turn around point and just after that my watch hit 4 miles, before the marker? By the time I hit the 4 mile marker, my watch was 4.5 miles. I started thinking that my watch was off. I didn't think I was running that slow? After passing, the 4 mile marker. I was to able to again reduce my pace through the next 2.7 miles. I felt that I had a good push until the end. It turned out that the course was longer than advertised, but you have to prepare for the unexpected. It was 6.7 miles instead of 6.2.

The run course was flat and fast. The aid stations were well stocked and placed in good locations. If it had been hot, they would have served themselves well. The rain and clouds keep things cooler.

Overall I was happy with my bike and my run. I still need to work on the swim. I have another race coming up on June 4th were I will do a 1.2 open mile swim. It will give me a good chance to practice once more before Buffalo Springs at the end of June!

I would do this race again next year assuming it's at the same location.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Headed Back Home

Headed back home today! Just in time to leave tomorrow for MIM triathlon in Tunica on Sunday.

Nothing like relaxing in the empty Sky Club before my 530 am flight.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rental Car Lottery

Sometimes you never know what rental car you will get? I reserved mid size and ended up with a mini van! The Toyota Sienna is my car for next couple of days. So far I can't complain. It's nice. I thought about asking for different one but I was ready to get to the job site.

At least it's not a Kia!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Busy Week Ahead/Trying to get into Seattle to Portland

Last weekend was another good weekend. The weather was excellent and allowed for me to get a nice long long ride on Sunday. I rode to Atkins and back along Hwy 64. It was a tough ride out there with the wind out of the W to NW at 10 to 20. However, the ride back was fast and really enjoyable. Riding into the wind is a great challenge both physically and mentally. I would say it is more mental especially when you know how long of ride it is going to be. This ride concluded a tough week of training and this upcoming week will be light/easy week with the Memphis in May Triathlon on Sunday!

Another reason, the training will be lighter this week is I have to head down to Florida for work. I will fly into Orlando on Tuesday morning and then visit/help out on a site in Sarasota and Zephyrhills before heading back home Thursday. It will be a good time to rest up and relax even though it is work. I doubt I'll get the chance to experience Florida though it will be all work.

Of course, on Saturday, I will be heading to Tunica for the Memphis in May triathlon. The course is clear for the weekend of racing even though the casinos are closed. The race directors even sent an aerial photo of the race site showing that it wasn't flooded. I bet they were getting tons of emails and calls about the event and the previous statements didn't help, so nothing says that it's clear than a picture.

The only other big news that is going on is I'm trying to get into the Seattle to Portland bike ride. I just missed the general registration and am now trying to bid on a charity slot. The bid closes tomorrow afternoon and by then I will know if I'm going. If I don't go, I think I will still probably head out to the area. I've never been out to Seattle/Portland and I think now is a good time. I'm think of heading out around the weekend of July 1 and stay until July 10th.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekend Outlook

The weather is looking great for this weekend! I'll be ready to get outside and get a long ride and run in. I'm sure there will be other chances for more outdoor activities as well.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

North Loop

On Sunday May 8th, I rode the North Loop for the first time. I had heard that it was a pretty good ride with some climbing involved. This route from my house is 56 miles. The total elevation gain is around 2,275ft. The loop itself is around 50 miles.

The route starts at the corner of Hwy 25 and Hwy 64. This part of the ride has most of the climbs. The first half this course is pretty good pavement as you go past Beaverfork Lake, through Wooster, past 225, and finally Burkett Flat Rd. There is a good climb going into Wooster and then another before 225. After passing Burkett Flat Rd, you begin another climb and the road turns into chip seal. Also during the first climb, you may watch out for some dogs. The downhill on after the climb is rough, so be careful. It doesn't allow you for you to cruise downhill and recover. Once reaching the bottom, you begin another climb and downhill that has the same road conditions until you reach Hwy 124 and turn. The traffic on this road was light on a Sunday morning. There is no real shoulder on this route.

Once you turn left on 124, you go downhill a little before you begin to climb again. Upon finishing this uphill section, you are able to cruise downhill in to Springfield. Where you turn left on Hwy 92 and head south towards Plumerville. Hwy 124 is still chip seal but the road is in better condition than the route on Hwy 285. The traffic was still light on this road. There was no shoulder on the road.

Hwy 92 into Plumerville is pretty uneventful. There are a couple of small uphills, but it is maily a rolling route. There is a shoulder on this road. The traffic was heavier on this part of the route and you do encounter more semis. You finally reach Plumerville where you turn left onto Hwy 64.

Hwy 64 back to Conway is a flat to small rollers and is usually a fast section depending on which way the wind is coming from. The pavement is pretty good and there is a shoulder. There is traffic on this route but not real heavy.

Overall, I think this a pretty good route with the climbs and varying terrain. It is also pretty quiet in terms of traffic.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cycling News from The Ride

Here is some local cycling news from The Ride. Looks like plenty of events for National Bike Month.

May is National Bike Month, get on your bike and get involved

Conway Commuter Challenge
May 16-20 is National Bike To Work Week. Go to greenlightride.com, sign up and join the Conway Commuter Challenge and enter all of your commuter and errand miles for the week of Monday, May 16-Friday, May 20 for a chance to win the first ever Conway Commuter Cup. You may also choose to use your personal miles to help a team win the Team Commuter Cup. Email erik@therideonline.net with questions.

Bike to Work Day with Mayor Tab Townsell
Friday, May 20th is official Bike to Work Day. There will be groups riding to Simon Park from four different locations in Conway. Breakfast will be served and other festivities at Simon Park 7-9AM. For more information visit CAB online, www.cycleconway.org.

Bike From Work Happy Hour
Friday, May 20th, as you are riding your bike home from work, make sure to stop in at ZaZa's in Hedrix Village, 5-7PM for Bicycle Happy Hour. Again for mor information visit CAB online, www.cycleconway.org.

Progressive Dinner Ride
Sunday, May 29, 3:00-7:30PM. Beginning at Simon Park. Riders of all ages and abilities are invited out for Conway's first ever Progressive Dinner Ride. The route will be a 20 mile route. Appetizer and Salad will be served at mile 4, the Priest home. The Main course will be served at mile 10, the Pascoe home. Dessert will be served at mile 16, the Leamon home. We will then return to Simon Park. PLEASE RSVP with how many adults/children will be in your party to erik@therideonline.net. If you would like to help prepare some of the food, please contact Tara at leamon@allinancecable.net.

Cadron Trail Work Day
Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 4:00PM-7:00PM. Meet at Cadron Settlement Park so we can clean up the trail and clean up our section of adopted Hwy leading out to the park. When we're all finished up we'll head in to ZaZa's for some refreshment. Pizza provided by The Ride!!! Please RSVP to erik@therideonline.net so we can plan the work crews.

Group Rides
Monday-5:30PM, The Ride. Morrilton Out and Back. Pace will be moderate as an intended fun ride/recovery ride from a weekend of good riding. We will be leaving the shop via Donaghey to Tyler to Hogan.

Thursday-5:30PM, The Ride. ?????? This is not a no-drop ride, please know the route and have your own supplies with you (extra tube and such). Everyone can ride as hard as they like. Bring a friend with you to grow the ride and make sure you always have company.

Saturday-????, Shorty Small's parking lot. Route TBD. Usually a longer ride with stops for regrouping along the way.

Sunday-1:30PM, CRHFC. Route TBD. Usually 40-50 miles. Pace to be determined by participants.

The Ranch Ride Training Program
Thursday-6:00PM, Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center,.

Sunday-2:00PM, CRHFC, Paintball AR, see www.theranchride.com for more details and for maps of the routes.

It's been a week

I've been quiet on here for the past week. I can't say there is much to report, but I'll let you know some things.

We have moved into a new location for taekwondo. The new building we are located is well over double the size of the old building that we trained at. Also, they have put down a nice mat. I taught my first class there on Wednesday night. I've been thinking of different drills and things that can now be done with all this extra room. I'll have pictures this week since they put down the mat just last Friday.

The training continues for Buffalo Springs on June 27th. I've been able to get some rides in over 50 miles and have some good mid length rides on Thursday. This past weekend I did the North Loop for the first time. It was a challenging route with plenty of climbs. The descents were bumpy due to the chip seal roads. It made recovery on the downhills not so much of recovery.

It's now just two weeks away until the Memphis in May triathlon in Tunica, MS. Hopefully, the flooding on the Mississippi doesn't cancel the race. As of May 1st, the race is still on. The race is located outside of the levee.

Also, last weekend I went to a crawfish boil at my parents house. It was nice eating crawfish again and meeting some new people in their area. Also, It made me excited for summer. The lake sure looks nice for a swim!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rainy Sunday

It's a rainy and cool Sunday. It was raining thus morning so I didn't rude in the Tour de Toad. Some people still rode. I heard they were riding through lots of water and even some hail. Not for me, I just did a trainer ride.

Chili is a great meal when it's cold and rainy, so today made a great opportunity to make some. My dinner is pictured below!