Weekend Part I – Luray Triathlon

For all three of you who may have noticed, I haven’t posted since last Thursday (almost a week ago!).   That’s been due to a lack of internet, land telephone or even cell phone coverage where I’ve been staying since Friday.  But now that I’m back in the ‘real world’, I’ll try and get all caught up.  And we got lots of things to cover, but first…the Luray Triathlon.  With the Girl and other friends racing the Olympic distance, and a bunch of runner friends doing the Sprint relay, it left me to enjoy the weekend participating in the triathlon in the best possible way – by being a spectator.

With that said, here’s a bunch of pics I took on Saturday and Sunday.  As usual, you don’t get pics of the girl, but you do get lots of other random pics I took along the way.  First up, arrival at the lake:


Now, my bike is up there as I also had a ride to accomplish after the whole race had concluded.  So while she was getting all sorted out, I wandered down to the lake.


They were still getting the swim buoys all blown up when I stopped by.


And I even found the starting horn sitting on the dock…oh the fun I could have had with it…


After that, I headed up the stairs to the setup area, as the fog continued to lift off the lake.

IMG_0356As always, people were getting all ready to go, with body marking, bike marking, helmet marking, you name it – it got marked.

IMG_0361 But soon it was time for some swim action, so back to the lake I went…

IMG_0388 I find the above photo kinda funny…virtually every single person is looking at or holding their stopwatch, ready to hit start.  Though, from the below photo, it’s clear that some folks are a bit more ready than others.  As you can see, the horn has gone off and half the lead wave is already starting to swim, while the other half of the front line is still pressing buttons.  As a little tip, to avoid this problemo, I simply start my watch at the 10 second warning.  Much easier.

IMG_0389 Off they went…



A short bit later after the Girl’s wave went, I walked down to the first buoy to watch the turn.  Suffice to say, this green cap below got pummeled.  The wave five minutes behind them caught up at the moment of the turn buoy, making an already ugly situation worse for poor green cap.

IMG_0447Following this, I had to high tail it out to the bike course…via walking.  I ended up walking about 1.5 miles down the road into the corn fields to get pictures of the bike course.  Though that did involve a few pretty nasty hills.  Here’s a few pictures I took, most of them came out pretty well:


Perhaps the best picture I caught all weekend of a guy getting chicked.  I love the expression on his face while she cruises on by all cool.

IMG_0494 The below guys did not get chicked however…

IMG_0660 IMG_0662

Here’s a pic of me taking pics (courtesy of the fence keeping the cows at bay):

IMGP5758A And here’s the picture I took above…below:


And if you were out there, I likely have a photo of you on the bike.  I took a LOT of pictures…of just about everyone out there.  If you were there (on the bike), and want a pic, shoot me you’re race number and what you were wearing, and I’ll shoot ya your pics.  I will say I was trying a lot of different camera settings, so some of them didn’t quite come out as well. 

I also have to hand it to Team Z folks, they were always smiling:

IMG_0544 IMG_0547 IMG_0583Soon enough though, I had to walk my ass all the way back through the hot sun and lonely roads.  But…at least I didn’t have to bike up this hill.

IMG_0727 Oh wait…I had to walk up it instead.  And then later…I would have to bike up it.  Well nevermind then.

Eventually I found myself on the run course:

IMG_0744 And then a short bit later…at the finish:

IMG_0765 And then…I was done with my picture taking responsibilities.  Though, the next day I would come out and mostly do it all over again, except this time without the long bike course walk….which was nice.   Meanwhile, the girl was busy checking out here placement in the top five of her AG…


So with my photo taking responsibilities out of the way, it was time to get my workout out of the way.  So at a touch after noon, I headed out on my 65 mile ride…on Skyline drive…from Luray.

I was excited about this ride for two reasons.  One – it was a relatively short ride.  And two – it was my first Skyline (or really, ever outdoor) ride with a power meter.  My Quarq Cinqo had arrived the day prior (ahead of schedule…Thanks!), so I was interested to see how my numbers would look.

Anyway…I bumbled on out of the triathlon area and on my way towards Skyline drive.

IMGP5767 I tried to take a picture of the power meter while still cycling, but despite my few attempts, I generally failed.

IMGP5766 IMGP5783

But I did manage to get a picture of my Garmin 705 showing power numbers…mostly cause that was all of 12 inches in front of me.

IMGP5769 And later on, on the way back I also got a picture of the cows and me as I strolled on by:

IMGP5781Oh, and I forgot – I also successfully snapped a photo of the sign…leaving Skyline drive via bike for the last time this year (I hope…anyway).

IMGP5776 And then…finally, the way back to the lake on country roads:

IMGP5779 I’ll save all the details on power stuff for another post, but I was surprised to see my power levels as high as they were for a long of a ride as it was.  The ride was 3hrs and 25 minutes (for 6,000 feet of climbing), and my power distribution was fairly solid for being a Z2 ride with only one climb in Z3/low Z4:

imageThe above picture is from Training Peaks, which has all sorts of pretty graphics.  For now, I’m pretty much in ‘data gathering’ mode with respect to training and power.  As it’s too late to really change anything with Ironman Canada less than two weeks away – I’m all about staying the course there.  That said, for those that are curious…here’s a bevy of numbers from the ride.  Some day I’ll explain them all…

imageBut that day is not today…or tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m off to bed.  Plus, I’ve got the rest of the weekend to tell ya about first…


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  1. Those are some impressive numbers, indeed! You’re right that it will become much more valuable over time as you accumulate data. Good luck with the taper.

  2. Great post as always! I was there and raced the Oly. I’d love pics if you have them. I was number 196 – a team Z-er with a pink helmet and pink handlebars.

    Guess what! I saw the girl. I swear it. I was walking around after the race and I saw a female carrying a gatorade water bottle holder. I thought to myself, that looks familiar. Lo and behold, I recognized it from your blog. I thought to myself, “that must be ‘the girl.’ Ha!

    Thanks for the compliment on Team Z. We’re a pretty happy bunch.

    Mind if I link to your posting on my blog – or use some of your pre-race pictures?

  3. Nice pictures! What setup are you using? I dabble in photography with a Sony slr. Even the pics on your bike look good but I assume you use something a bit more compact for those.

    Good luck in the next couple weeks for IMC

  4. Very impressive power numbers!

  5. Michele

    This was such an enjoyable post to read. I wouldn’t have known about it had it not been for a fellow Team Z’er who pointed us to it.

    If you have any photos of 639, I’d love to see ’em. I’ll even pay for them since you were kind enough to offer them up. I was on a sky blue colored bike, blue jersey and black shorts.

    Thank you so much and I hope you have a great day.

    And again, great post!

  6. I’m #532! How fun that you got my picture. Could I use it for my blog??

    Thx, #532

  7. nice pix as usual. i love all the numbers: reminds me of physics class!

    I’m trying to get back to skyline on sunday. I wasn’t feeling it though, til you posted this. so, thanks! (and i wasn’t all that sad that you took a break. This way, i’m only 3 posts behind, instead of 30!)

  8. Nice pics. I should fly you out to Madison in a few weeks. The pics would be a helluva lot better than the ones we’ll end up getting.

  9. Those are some great pics from Luray! Love the ones of everyone looking at their watches before the start of the swim!

  10. That first/last hill at Luray is a great place to watch all kinds of strange things happen. You’ll see everything from guys getting chick’d to people falling over sideways to hike-a-bikers. Well worth the 1.5 mile walk to get there!

  11. Oh my goodness, the blogging community missed you!

    I think all the racers were smiling because they thought you were an official race photographer (you probably got better photos than the photographers anyhow).

  12. Loved the look on that guy’s face. Now it he would have had an aerohelmet, he might not have gotten chicked!

  13. Hi Catherine & Michele-

    Looks like I missed both of you, you must have snuck in-between when I was moving to a different spot to take photos. Sorry! Catherine – Feel free to use the photos however you’d like though!

    Jvanis –

    I was using a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with a Sigma AF 70-200 / 2.8 EX DG II APO Lens. Some of the initial shots of the lake were with a Canon 50mm lens.

    Anyone else – I think I’ve got to all of the folks who e-mailed asking for pics, but you haven’t heard back yet – please ping me and I’ll see if I have a pic.

  14. Great article and pictures, I really enjoyed them.

    I would love any pics you might have of me – #14, Team-Z’er, at the (very) back of the pack, and on a black and red QR.

    I’ll pay also, since you’re so great to offer this up.

    Thank you!

  15. Al

    Great pictures…I’m actually in those swim wave start pictures and on top of that you got my first and only real swimming picture. My number is #516 and I have a red tri-top. Not sure how you can get them to me…you could post a link on my blog.

  16. Fantastic photos. Did you capture any with racer #422 by chance?

  17. Do you have any pic’s of 349, 350 (Saturday) or 351, 352 (Sunday)? BTW, I love the penguin!

  18. TriDave (#422)-

    Sorry Dave, no luck!

    Al (#516)-

    I actually have a really really nice bike photo of you. PictureID#0669 (so i can remember later). I left a comment on your site to e-mail me.
    I can also send you a bunch of those swim ones, as I have a full series there of the start.

    Vans (#14)-

    I can’t seem to find any Team Z folks with #14. Sorry :(

    Lisa (#349/350)-

    I only took photos on Saturday (aside from a few on Sunday). That said, I don’t have any of either of you on Saturday.
    I seem to be striking out a bit in this latest batch of request, though I still have tons of photos (over 280 on the bike).


  19. Hello,

    great post… I love it.
    What software are you using for power analysis?

    Do you have any pictures of my bike (#343)?


  20. No worries, but thank you for taking the time to look for my photo. I appreciate it! Take care.