3.1, 6.2, 12.4, 13.1, 26.2
There was an error in this gadget

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hard Plastic and Steel Tips

T-minus seven weeks to the Des Moines Marathon. The countdown is on!

Saturday’s training run felt great; a nice, peaceful run through downtown and the ghetto by Drake University. 12.5 miles at a 7:40 pace. And it’s a good thing I was moving along, because we ended up having a busy weekend.

But rather go into that, I have a question for everyone: since when did Ladder Golf go from one ladder to two? I ask because when I went to Google the blueprints to make my own (there’s no way I’m going to pay $50 for something plastic when I can build it for $14 out of PVC), there was site-after-site outlining how to make two of them. When the heck did this happen? When I first learned how to play Ladder Golf (or Bolo Golf or Ladder Toss or whatever you want to call it) a few years ago, there was just one ladder. A player from each opposing team stood on either side of it, 20ish feet away. While two players tossed golf ball bolos, the other two would stand dangerously close to the ladder, drinking beer and heckling the players tossing balls. And the ladder was small and hard as hell to get a bolo to land on. Now, it would seem, that not only are there two ladders, they’ve grown to be twice as big as the original ladder I learned on. And what’s with the “golf balls” that come with the new game? They’re not golf balls; they’re more like soft chew toys for a puppy. Where’s the danger in that? Geez, can the make this game any easier or lazier!?! I mean, c’mon, it’s already one of the best “laziest games” ever, but having one ladder on each end the size of Buicks seems a bit much. Might as well call it “Even the Most Chemically Inconvenienced Person Could Hit the Ladder with the Nerf Golf Balls”.

As of now, I’m boycotting the latest double-ladder version of Ladder Golf. I say bring back the harder, more likely to get struck by a golf ball, version! It’s the whole Lawn Darts game all over again. Remember when those things were made out of hard plastic with steel tips? Injury was always mere seconds away at any given time when you played that game. That was the best part of the game; knowing that at any time you could be impaled in the foot by a dart. Man, those were the good old days. And then “they” deemed it too dangerous and came out with the Diet Coke version of the game with bean bag weighted tips and soft, bendy plastic for the body of the dart. What’s next, Styrofoam horse shoes? It’s bad enough that everything these days has smooth, plastic edges and with on kung fu grip (remember when Tonka trucks had sharp, steel corners?), but don’t mess with lazy, beer-drinking lawn games. Let the boycott begin!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hickory Grove Triathon Photos

OK gang, it's been a while since my last updated. Here's what's been going on...

For the past few weeks, I've been in a good training groove gearing up for the Hickory Grove Triathlon. Tuesdays are run/swim/run days that consist of running 2 miles from downtown DSM to Gray's Lake, swimming 2 - 3 laps around the buoys (at the beach), then running the 2 miles back to the gym downtown. I've been in this Tuesday training routine for the past 6 weeks. Thursdays are still medium length run days where I've been averaging 7 - 9 miles each run. And Saturdays are the long runs. In between those are the usual functional workout sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

My last few long runs have sucked. Yep, straight up been grinders that haven't felt good at all. Lately it's been my hips and lower back that have been bothering me a bit, but I think that may be from my shoes being old. In thinking back, I've had them about four months now, so time to get some new kicks. That's usually how I know my shoes have flattened out; when my back, hips and legs start aching.

Solid training, but challenging long runs for the past month gave me mixed feelings going into last weekend's triathlon. The Hickory Grove Tri - at Hickory Grove Park by Colo, IA - was my first tri since Cyman last September. Though I felt ready training-wise, I was still nervously excited to get it over with, so to speak. Because last year's tri was my first, I felt like I stood a good chance to post a better time with the HGTri. HGTri is a sprint triathlon consisting of a 500 yard swim, 15.5 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run. Cyman is also a sprint tri and since it was my first one last year, my goal was just to finish it. With the HGTri, I was hoping to better each of my leg times. And I'm happy to say that I did just that! Here is a breakdown of my times:

500 yd Swim - 10:52
Transition 1 - 2:20
15.5 m Bike - 48:47
Transition 2 - 0:47
3.1 m Run - 22:30

Total time - 1:25:18

I bested my 2008 Cyman time by 22 minutes! The 2009 Cyman Triathlon is in three weeks where I'm hoping to shave off a few more minutes of my overall time. I think where I can improve the most is in the swim (I'm hoping for a 10 minute swim) and on the bike (Cyman is a mile shorter bike route, so hoping for 45 minutes). I'll keep everyone posted as to how Cyman goes in a few weeks. Until then, here are some pics that Shannon took at HGTri. Enjoy...

Getting In…



Swimming along…















Making sure I’m not the last one out of the water in my heat…























Heading to Transition Area…





















Hitting the road on the bike...
















This is what Chris and the boys do while I’m racing…
















Out of Transition…





















The final sprint…





















The finish…






















Heading home…
























The countdown is on to Cyman Triathlon on September 13, 2009. I invite everyone to come out and check out the action. Oh, and to see me in a Speedo! OK, that’s probably not the best way to recruit a large cheering section, but nonetheless, it’s a spectator-friendly tri and I’m sure you’d have a good time.
Until then, I’ll stay in training, drinking my “girlie beer” as Weirson would put it, gearing up for the next event…
















Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Greatest XM Channel Ever?

Run/Swim/Run again today. Swim felt the best it’s felt since I added it to my training routine a couple months ago. Usually my stroke feels good, but my breathing is rushed (get your minds out of the gutter). Today everything fell together and it turned out to be a solid swim. And I need a few more swims like this one because I signed up for the Hickory Grove Triathlon earlier this week. It’s at Hickory Grove Park (by Colo, Ia) on Aug 23rd. It’s a very spectator friendly tri, so I invite everyone to come out and enjoy the atmosphere. And don’t let the fact that I’ll be in a Speedo scare you off. Ok, enough about training…

So I got XM Radio for Blackout (what is what the boys named my Tahoe) and it didn’t take me long to find the Hip Hop channels. And sure enough, one of the first songs I heard on XL Backspin (the “throw back” hip hop and rap music channel) was ‘Posse on Broadway’ by Sir Mix-A-Lot. I hadn’t heard that song since 11th grade. Man, I was dope bumping that jam in my 1978 Honda Prelude. Booyah! Since then I’ve heard other great throw backs like; ‘Joy and Pain’ by Rob Base, ‘Ditty’ by Paperboy and even ‘3AM Eternal by KLF. I think this music channel could possibly be the best channel ever invented. Ever.
Quick show of hands, how many have not even heard of any of these songs? Almost everyone? Thought so!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Active Training Weekend

Greetings and happy Monday to everyone.

The Jones household had a busy training weekend. I was all set to run Saturday morning with the Capital Striders, but when my alarm went off at 5:15AM, I promptly turned it off and rolled back over for more sleep. I woke up when Spencer and Ty came in at 8:22 and were looking for breakfast. So I didn't get to my run until later that afternoon.

Since is was cool and breezy, I went ahead and ran my step-back 16 miles in the middle of the afternoon. I don't normally run my long runs at that time, but I thought I'd give it a shot since the weather was cooperating. The first 6 miles flew by and everything felt good. By mile 7 I was getting tired for the first time and was stuck running into the wind from DMACC to Casey's at 3rd & Ankeny Blvd. After a quick stop for water at Casey, I continued to 1st St, down to Trilene and by the time I got to Briarwood Golf Course, I was officially tired and looking for water. I was able to make it to the Casey's at 36th and Hwy 69 for another water break, but was getting more and more tired by the minute. I walked a bit then headed west on 36th to State St. Which was all up hill. Which I hadn't realized until I was running it. Isn't it amazing how you never really see how hilly a street is when you're driving on it? The entire time I was on 36th, I was running up hill. And it sucked. I was running against a cross-wind the entire way and there is nothing out there to slow the wind. But, the good news is that when I turned south on State St, It was downhill and down wind. Totally made up for the last two miles I had run on 36th St.

By the time I got to 18th & Irvingdale my legs were tired and heavy. And my right hamstring was tight and getting tighter with each stride. To protect both my hammy's, I ended up walking a few times during my last 2 miles in. I don't normally walk that much (shot my per/minute time), but was worried that if I over did it, I'd possibly pull a hamstring. And that would be the end of the DSM marathon just like that.

In the end, 16 miles in 2:18:00 (8:37/mile). Not what I was hoping for time-wise, but finished it without an injury. Next week's long run is 20 miles. Hopefully that will go better.

So that was Saturday. Sunday Shannon ran 6.4 miles in the morning and I went for a quick 10 mile bike ride. I had taken my tri bike (Specialized Allez Elite) in on Tuesday for a tune up and didn't get it back until Saturday. It was nice to be on the wheels again, but I had forgotten how tiring biking could be when you're trying to maintain a certain mph throughout a ride. For now, I'm trying to keep it between 15 - 18 mph until I can log some longer rides. Then I'll think about kicking up to 20 mph. We'll see how that goes....

So after a long run Saturday and a bike ride Sunday afternoon, I played volleyball in league Sunday night and, surprise, surprise, had no legs whatsoever. It felt like I was trying to jump out of quick sand. I just couldn't get my legs to come around. So, lesson learned for me - no biking in the afternoon, two hours before volleyball. DOH!

On a side note, I'm going to try and get my hands on some pictures from the events I've done this year. I'm hoping to get them posted yet this week. Stay tuned...