The Almost Half-Iron

Just a quick training update (see, I can be quick on occasion).

Yesterday I did a nice brick in the mountains, starting from Luray.  Luray is a town in the shadow of Skyline drive, where I usually do my long rides on.  It’s also the site of a sprint/Oly race here in two weeks (one the Girl is doing).  So she’s been training there lately, and I’ve been training nearby.

My schedule for the day was:
– 30 minute swim
– 50 mile bike ride
– 60 minute run

So let’s start with the swim (logically).  It’s a rather small lake (man made I think), so I decided to see exactly how long it was all the way around.


My swim called for 30 minutes at ‘moderate’ effort.  So into the water I went.


I plopped out of the water 30 minutes later with one complete lap of the lake (plus a tiny bit extra to get to the boat ramp).  Turns out it would be 1.05 miles, though I swam a bit extra around a fishing canoe (on the right side below in the image), so the actual perimeter is probably closer to 1.00 miles.

image (Route as seen using my Garmin 305 in my swim cap)

From there I joined forces with my bike and headed out for a loop on the Oly Luray course (17 miles worth, skipping the secondary loop).   I printed off the handy cue sheet from the races website, and off I went.


It’s actually a really fun course if you like climbing and descending…and cows.  Lots of cows.  And corn.

IMGP5573 IMGP5576The mountain you see in the distance below, that’s where I’d eventually be climbing up to.


From there I climbed up a sweet 12% grade hill and then across a bit of an unexpected dirt/gravel road to get to the main road leading to Skyline drive.  Mountain biking with a time trial bike…now that’s style!



After reaching Skyline (took about 1,200 feet of climbing to get onto it), I did about 20 miles in an out and back section, including one solid climb in upper heart rates.  Quite a bit of fun though.

IMGP5586 IMGP5590 IMGP5591

From there I zipped back down into the valley and did some more mountain biking across the dirt road before finally ending up back at the lake.

We were running a wee bit late, so instead of doing an out and back run, I decided that I’d simply run in the direction of home, and the Girl would pack everything up and come pick me up an hour down the road.

Of course, given that home was some 90+ miles away (and I first had to run in the wrong direction to get on a road in the right direction), it seemed unlikely I’d beat her home.  Nonetheless, I put in a effort.  In that 60 minutes I covered about 8 miles over some rather hilly terrain (some solid couple hundred foot hills), so I was fairly happy with that – and I had to stay in zones (though, my ability to stay in said zones was questionable). 

It should be pointed out that all the folks out there driving around the country roads were super-friendly and always gave me tons of room and even waved.  Nice!

Here’s a picture from Google Earth showing all three routes overlaid together.  Red (barely visible in center of picture) is my swim, followed by the blue bike, followed finally by the yellow run (click to expand to get a better view).  All in about 4.5 hours of training, and just a few miles short of a Half-Ironman.


Following the Girl picking me up on the side of the road we bee lined as fast as possible to her sisters soccer game.  Though we were a bit late, the game went into double overtime and then penalty kicks – so we got to see the good stuff anyway…namely them winning.


A had a short swim today, only about 3,000 yards – so it was rather relaxing and I’ve been getting all sorts of things done around the house.  My list of chores is long, but I’m making good progress.  Catch ya later!


Quick side note, I happened to notice at Best Buy this evening that the Garmin Forerunner 305 is on sale this week for only $129.  Which is the cheapest I’ve ever seen it for (and no rebate required).  Anyway…FYI.



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  1. Aw man! You are such a tease! They don’t have any 305s in any of the BB near me. I’m so sad! My 101 is on its last legs and my HRM is acting up too. Boo!

  2. I just love the pics of your bike rides…gorgeous place…

    I did not know the 305 was that cheap to check it out…maybe for my son

  3. A (almost) half iron in training, very impressive. Keep it up and you will rock in Canada.

    Love the map showing all your effort, it really puts things in perspective doesn’t it?

  4. Climbing and descending and cows? Oh my!

  5. So when you went swimming, did anyone (or was there anyone) give you a hard time for swimming outside the roped play area? I always wondered about that and if you can just jump right in and go swimming or have to battle with anyone. I’m sure you’re not supposed to, but just curious if there was any issue, especially given the time of day you went at.

  6. All in all a nice day’s training! 305 for $130, now that’s a good price!

  7. super fun your mom is doing her first tri!!! love it!

  8. I need your data skills… my Garmin data just sits… not nearly as cool. That’s a really solid workout and it looks like it was beautiful out!

  9. Todd

    Awesome report. I am assuming you did the route images through SportTracks…which is awesome. What plugin did you use for the 3D Google Earth view with all three routes?!? That is schweet!

  10. To answer a couple of quick questions:

    Lessor on swimming – Actually, they’re totally cool with it. As long as you start OUTSIDE the ropes, they don’t care what goes on there. We asked and they said it’s very common for swimmers/triathletes to train there, and we saw a number of others doing it as well.

    Todd on Sports Tracks – Yup, all that functionality is inbox to Sports Tracks (free from I just used the “Export to Google Earth” button on the left hand side, and then did that twice more (once for swim/bike/run), and then simply zoomed out a bit and zoomed around until I had the view I liked. That’s it!

  11. nice pictures. riding in the country always seems to yield decent people willing to not run over you.

  12. Nice job with the brick! Man, and I just bought the 305 2 weeks ago from Costco for $150.