Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Tri The Rock
The Tri Rock is completed. This was my first ever Triathlon. In the Sport of Triathlon this is a puny race - 300 yard Swim, 14 mile bike, 2.9 Mile Run. But it is what it is. I survived.

Of course my faithful readers know that I have been swimming and biking but I think that I have run only six times since February!

I got up before 5am and drove over to Rockwall arriving just before 6am. I unloaded the bike and grabbed a bag of stuff and made my way to the transistion area. I was number 43 - which was based on projected swim time. I had projected 4:25 for the swim.

After a lot of milling around and two visits to the portapot for me - we lined up at the pool. The starter was firing people off every 10 seconds. With one swimmer in front of me she paused the start allowing the first lane to clear. It was up and back in each lane then over. That was excellent for me because it meant clear sailing. No one passed me in the pool and I passed one person on the last length. We had to exit the pool at the deep end so there were these two dudes who yanked you out. The mat for the transition area was a good 20 yard sprint from the pool and I passed one person there! So my total swim time was 4:37.9 - which given the sprint meant I was probably pretty damn close to 4:25 in the water. I was 31st overall in the swim which meant I was faster than 12 sandbaggers in the swim projections.

At the transition I put on my glasses, headband, helmet, socks and shoes. Then I struggled to get my damn shirt on. Finally I pulled the bike and sprinted to the bike start. I passed another person in the transition area. My Transition time was 2:17.4 - almost half my swim time. And the slowest transition time in the top 55. I should be able to make up 60-90 seconds here.

The bike course was rolling. It seemed like it was always uphill into the wind. I had hoped to do 20MPH+ plus on the bike. I figured that to place I would need 22MPH. I passed eight on the bike and I got passed by seven. Coming into the transition I got my bike stopped perfectly and clicked out of my right pedal and promptly fell over to the left - I am still a complete idiot on the bike. I was sixtieth in the bike with a time of 43:04.4 at 19.5 MPH. I felt like I was 100% throughout the bike - but I would need to get a few more minutes out of the bike to get 22MPH.

The next transition was easier - rack the bike - loose the helmet headband, gloves (which I put on after I had started riding (photo here)), and switch shoes. 1:13 total T2 time. which was not the slowest of the top 55 - it was the second slowest. Sheesh. So thats clearly 30-40 seconds I need to work on for T2.

Then the run. It was hotter than hell. And I was pretty much toast. I was sure I must have run 6 miles when the first mile mark came up. I survived the run in 62 place and almost 22 minutes. Now I should easily be able to run this in under 19 (with training that is). So lets say three minutes were left in the run. Three people passed me in the run and I passed no one.

So my total time was 1:13.05.9 good for 55th overall, 50th men, and 5th in my age group. I needed just over 7 minutes to place - so if I can pick up 2 in transition, 3 in the run - thats a no brainer - then that means I just 2 more minutes on the bike. That seems reasonable for sure. Also in case you have not been keepinig count I passed 11 and was passed by 10 - so net one for me!

Update: Date from my bike computer: Max Speed 29.7 Ave CAD 96, Max CAD 112


Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Getting Ready For the Tri Rock
Three days to go to the Tri Rock Triathlon. Frankly I am a bit freaked out.

Anyway - as I mentioned I installed the polar bike computer and tonight Reagan and I tested it out. I would have done this last night but it was actually raining when I left the office. The thunderstorm caused some power lines to drop on across the highway. That caused them to close the highway. Except I was still on the highway. For 90 minutes and not moving. Which meant that I spent two hours getting home. Which meant it was too dark to do any testing yesterday. But I digress.

So the polar is up and running and now hopefully I can report on my rides with all the metrics. Plus this new doohicky also has Cadence. Which I enjoy at the Gym on the trainers. Oh and there are no wires - so the cycle dude can't get pissed 0ff about my "dangerous wiring" habits. Although I am sure I must have something installed incorrectly in his opinion anyway.

And my helmet is up to spec.

And Serena gave me a training session about the transition area.

So that's pretty much it. Next up the Triathlon!


Monday, August 21, 2006
Polar CS200Cad
Well I never could get the cheap-ass 10 dollar bike computer to work properly. So as I mentioned previously, today I broke down and went to RBM and pulled the trigger on the Polar. Which is now mounted. Test ride tomorrow?

I needed something for the Triathlon! Right?

I need to check, but I think that my $15 helmet is not going to be sanctioned. I might have to upgrade that sucker too!


The New Drive Through at Jay's
This just in from Dad (Jake) and Stepmom (Carol) about their recent trip to Vermont (The Bridges in Warren, VT to be exact):
Ok, I said that bad things came in threes. Here is the countdown.
1. Day one and two in the nineties and NO air conditioning anywhere in Vermont.
After the first week which was both rainy and hot, temps leveled off to the high 70's and the weather was fabulous.
2. Also Jake had the four day nasty head cold syndrome. Worst, more like chills & fever flu like for Carol.
3. We had just gone into Jay's Restaurant to get lunch. We were sitting in the front booth looking at menus.
An older driver (80 plus) from Florida, parking his rental car, stomped the accelerator instead of the brake.
He drove up over a stone curbing and launched his large sedan through the side of the building.
Car was pointed directly at Carol. It sounded like an explosion when the car hit the building.
The large plate glass window at our booth crashed inward, shattering in hundreds of pieces like a glass waterfall.
Carol had to go to the local "health care center" because the nearest hospital (Burlington) was 1 1/2 hours drive.
At the health care center, a nurse-physician picked the glass pieces out of both legs.
She Dermabonded the largest cut, about three inches long. on Carol's calf.
The Dermabond couldn't get wet; therefore, it kept Carol out of the pool for the rest of our vacation.
Although he was covered with glass pieces and dust, Jake wasn't hurt at all.
No one else in the restaurant was injured, although there was glass dust and glass pieces everywhere.
Later an adjuster for Sate Farm Insurance asked if we had gone to the Hospital Emergency Room and had seen a doctor.
We told him to get real, that in most of Vermont if you could see the local vet you were lucky and ahead of the game.
The insurance matters are still to be resolved; to be continued on this.
We still can't believe we emerged with eyes, and hands, and life intact!
Miraculously, we escaped with relatively little damage. All guardian angels were working overtime and on turbo charge.
All the locals are telling Jay's that it is time to add a drive thru window. Ah, Vermont country humor
In spite of the bad threes, we still had a great vacation. Vacationing in Vermont is almost like going to a different country.
But a nice clean easy going country. Already miss it.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006
No Splash and No Dash either
Given that Lake Lavon is 14 feet below conservation level it is not surprising that the Splash Dash has been canceled. This is not a good streak for my first USAT sanctioned event. Oh well. I did however obtain a USAT card! You may now refer to me as member 489500. Below is my correspondence with Merry about the Splash Dash.
Thanks for asking. Unfortunately registration is closed because I had to cancel the event. The water at the lake is so low that we are unable to get our swim in. I sent an email out but active does not allow me the opportunity to take it off because there are registrants already signed up. They only let me turn off the registration.
Hope to see you next year at the spring version (No Sweat Aquathon) or the fall one (Splash Dash).
Let me know if you have any questions.
Merry Prather

Chris Hughes wrote:
I see that Online entry is now closed. I was hoping to register and pick up my packet on Friday at Run on. Is there anyway that will work if I mail in my entry tomorrow? Thanks, Chris
PS: For those of you reading outside of Dallas, Lake Lavon supplies the drinking water for much of the Dallas area. Because of the low water level in the lake we are in a "Stage 3 - Severe" drought situation. Stage 1 of the drought was put into effect at the end of October 2005. For the last 18 months we are 32 inches of rain below normal which represents 55% of our expected precipitation over that period.


Sunday, August 13, 2006
Splash but no Dash
Faithful readers will know that I am planning to do my first Triathalon ever at the end of the month.

While researching the event I noticed another interesting event scheduled for next Saturday, The Splash Dash. It features either: 1 or 2 mile swim in the hopelessly dried up Lake Lavon; or a 1 mile Swim plus a 5K run; or a 2 mile Swim plus a 10K run.

Terry and I discussed this and I think I have him convinced to sign up. In addition, I proposed that we bike out there. Its about 15 miles from the homestead. I will do one of the Swim Only events; I am not sure which one.

Fran agreed to handle the children - so its pretty much a done deal.


Week Ending Aug 13
Aug 7 - 4.1 miles LeMond Trainer, 106 ave CAD - Still Splattered from Saturday's ride.
Aug 8 - 2000 Meters Swim (4x500)
Aug 9 - 3 miles jogging (30 min), 4.2miles LeMond Trainer (15 min)
Aug 10 - 2500 Meters Swim (4x500+5x100) - 1 hour
Aug 11 - 16.6 Miles LeMond Trainer (1 hour, 105 ave CAD)
Aug 12 - 72 Miles - 2 loops of the RBM Ride.

Swim: 4500 Meters
Bike: 93 Miles
Run: 3 miles


Correction Sept 11. Need to learn addition.

Week Ending Aug 6
July 31 - 1200 Meters Swim (2x500+2x100)
Aug 1 - 8.1m LeMond trainer 30 Min 101 Ave CAD, HR: 136ave 156max
Aug 2 - 2000m Swim (500WU, 400, 300, 200, 100, 500WD) - I like this workout!
Aug 3 - Visit with Sterling
Aug 4 - 30 min Jogging - No Way! Call it 3 miles. 1:00pm. Probably 95 degrees at least. HR: 152ave, 172max.
Aug 5 - 82 Miles Bike - Five Hours. Two RBM loops. Really hot. HR 152ave, 193max. That pretty much splattered me!

Swim: 3200 Meters
Bike: 90 Miles
Run: 3 miles


Logan's week in soccer
Yesterday Logan's Team played the first of 6 games over the next seven days! Really its a bit much. I am not sure what genius put this schedule together. Her team is also playing a year up. Yesterday they played the top team and did pretty good to hold them to an 0-5 loss (that's the fewest points allowed against that team).

Today they played against the Andromeda 98 B team. The girls prevailed in a 7-3 win. Logan played keeper in the first half and allowed one silly goal. She played defense in the second half, but was not on the field when the other two goals were scored.

Back to the insane schedule. They play tomorrow (3 games in three days), then again on Wednesday, then two games next Saturday. Unreal.


Saturday, August 12, 2006
Reagan's Team locks up second place
Today was the last game of the summer indoor season (U7 Girls) for Reagan's team. They played in a division one year older than their team. They finished in second place, beating all the other teams except the first place team!

In today's game they played with no substitute players. Reagan played left defender in the first 10 minutes; then she played left forward for the second 10 minutes. It was her best game ever. She attacked the ball on defense and she put herself in front of the goal on offense - nearly scoring twice. Reagan played keeper for the second half and allowed only one goal on the way to a 7-2 victory.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006
July in Review
OK really this time I am gonna post my July workouts!

July 1 - 50 miles on the bike with the RBM Big Dogs.
July 2 - 100 miles on the bike with Terry.
July 4 - 57 Miles with Terry White Rock Loop
July 5, 6 - On Vacation with Kids in New Braunsfels.
July 8 - 36 miles with the RBM Yahoos.
July 11 - 3x500 meters Swim
July 12 - 15 miles LeMond Trainer 52 min (110 ave CAD, 17 MPH ave, HR: 145ave, 169 Max)
July 13 - 1500 meter Swim
July 14 - 8.1 miles LeMond Trainer 30 min (HR: 129 Ave, 155 Max)
July 16 - 57 Miles with Terry and Kambiz around White Rock 3 hours. (HR: 148 ave, 180 Max)
July 17 - 6x300 meters + 4x50m Swim 45 minutes. 300 Meters hard in 4:50 (twice).
July 18 - 15 miles LeMond Trainer 52 min (105 ave CAD, 16 Mph Ave, HR: 139 Ave, 163 Max)
July 19 - Shot in the ass
July 20 - 4x500 meters Swim 42 minutes
July 23 - 60 miles with Terry and Kambiz, loop up to Farmersville and McKinney. HR: 137 ave, 175 Max)
July 24 - 2x500 meters swim.
July 25 - David's Funeral Baltimore.
July 27 - 8.6 mi LeMond Trainer 30 minutes
July 28 - 2000 Swim (500WU, 2x(200, 400) 300TT) 300 meters in 4:50
July 30 - Terry, Kambiz and I headed out for an easy 32 miler. Then on my way home, the last two miles are solo after those dudes peeled off, I hooked up with Mitch, Melissa and Michelle. Michelle is the former Michelle Hawkes, one of the top local runners in the area. They were doing a modified RBM loop - actually two loops, so that added on another 30 miles for, lets call it 62 total in 3:51. HR: ave 139, Max 186.
July 31 - 2x500m + 2x100m Swim

Bike: 469 Miles.
Swim: 11200 meters (about 7 miles)
Run: none.

Back to June


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Martin Update
Both pairs of Martins successfully fledged their young. The mature pair raised six and the younger pair raised four. They were coming around for a while but I think that they are now gone for the year! Which is a real shame. For the two months we would have 15 to 20 of them in the mornings singing away!


Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Oh I forgot to mention..
..that I have signed up for a freaking triathalon.

Please question my sanity at this point, considering that I have not run one step since February (Feb 27th to be exact).

The good news is that the whole event is pretty tame: 300 yard swim, which I predicted 4:25, 14 mile bike which I should be fairly competent at, and 2.9 mile run (yes 2.9 miles - only Iron Jack knows why its that goofy distance.) I have no idea how fit I can get for that 2.9 mile run - but sometimes ya just gotta throw caution to the wind.

Fran's only comment was that, "Don't come crying to me when your hip starts hurting." Where is the love I ask you??


To Run or not to Run - Now _that_ is the question!
Shakespeare had it wrong.

Two weeks ago I had the shot in my ass. I see Sterling on Thursday.

For the first week I really did not notice any difference. Then slowly, almost imperceptibly I noticed that the irritation was milder or non-existent. In the mornings and evenings when the celebrix wears off it comes back - but not as strong.

So I expect that Sterling will recommend a second shot.

I expect that I will press Sterling to begin some running. Maybe even tomorrow! :-)


Month in review
July was a pretty damn hectic month in the Hughes household. July 1st is the start of the new Soccer year and the date Marissa becomes a free agent. Last year this process caused quite a bit of stress on the Hughes Family. This year Marissa's coach Joe, told us that Marissa had a spot on his team again. That was all well and good, but until I had the contract in my hands, I would not rest easy. The other problem was that even if Marissa had a spot on the team - it was possible that the team would not have enough players to make. We went through this last year with the Longhorns. In the end we lost five players off of a 14 man roster - so things were looking dicey. Then on the first day of tryouts we had 21 girls show up. I was nervous about Joe keeping his word to Marissa. On day two Joe picked 16 players including Marissa. So that was one problem solved. Sheesh.

So with Marissa's soccer world sorted out it was time for some vacation. But since we did not really know when the whole soccer crap was gonna get sorted out - we had to make some last minute plans. So I took off of work the week of July 3. We spent one day out at Dinosaur Valley Park which is really cool because the girls can play in the River and see the Dinosaur tracks. Marissa and I chased some lizards that we don't have around the homestead. Later that week we piled into the excursion and blasted down to New Braunfels where we spent a day at Shlitterbahn.

Then, of course, it was back to work to find that my team had made some questionable choices in my absence. And working my ass off to get caught up.

The weekend of the 21st was nuts, as Marissa had a soccer tournament in far south west Arlington - which is half way round the universe and Reagan also had two games in Addison. So Reagan played her first game friday night at Inwood which I covered. Then we drove to god forsaken South West Arlington for Marissa's friday night game. Saturday we drove back to South West Arlington for Marissa's second game. Then Reagan and I drove back to Inwood for her game. And then back to Arlington for Marissa's last game. Sheesh. That was five games in 26 hours and hundreds of miles BTW. We got home at 10:30pm Saturday night. Which is when I got the message from my UVM roommate Andy.

The message on the machine said bad news. Which is generally not good news. Andy lives in NYC so it was 11:30pm his time. But bad news gives ya the right to call late right? Right. Our other roommate and soul brother, David Phillips had jumped to his death off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Needless to that send me into a huge depression and a state of shock.

I headed up to Maryland that Monday night July 24, where I hooked up with Andy and Jeff. I got into BWI around 10:30pm. Jeff and I hooked up at the Red Roof Inn where we proceeded to slam down some beer while waiting for Andy. Andy arrived at 12:30 just as they were kicking us out of the bar. But we got some directions to a seedy joint called "Howard's" in Glen Burnie where we proceeded to slam down some more beer until they threw us outta that place at 2:00am. This was all a very weird Deja Vu because last year my first cousin Ozzie died and I flew to BWI and attended his service in a church that was just around the corner from Howard's.

Tuesday the three us attended David's Funeral and the reception that followed. All of which of course was very sad. From there I high tailed down to Silver Spring and spent a couple of hours with my mom and then up to G-Burg where I spent a few hours with my dad. Then back to the BWI Red Roof Inn because my flight back to Dallas was scheduled for 0-Dark-Thirty in the AM. (And of course I missed that flight.)

Anyway, like I said July has been pretty hectic.

Now my intention when I sat down to write this post was to update my July Training Calendar. But its almost midnight. And this freaking blog entry is too long as it is. Lemme just add that I got a buncha really good rides and lots of swimming mixed in - believe it or not! So I guess I will post all of that tomorrow. Hopefully.


All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012