Sunday, November 21, 2010

The route of the Rome Marathon March 20, 2011

Visualizza Maratona di Roma: racecourse 2010 in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori

Start + Finish
KM 5

KM 10
KM 15
KM 20
Half Marathon - 21,097km
KM 25
KM 30
Percorso Maratona
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 7,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 12,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 17,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 22,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 27,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 32,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
KM 35
Rifornimento / Refreshment
KM 37,5 + Spugnaggio / Sponging
KM 40
Rifornimento / Refreshment
Ultimo Chilometro - Last Kilometre

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Bike Training in Chicago

It may sound a bit strange to suggest that a naturalized New Englander should travel to Chicago to do cycle training a week before a Triathlon, but that is what I have done. I hadn't been to the City in more than 20 years, other than to connect flights going elsewhere, when a friend of mine (art historian and teacher Luc Travers) invited me to attend his informal lecture/presentation at the Art Institute. Well, I'll admit I had perhaps only been to the Art Institute once in my life before that, and it had been such a busy trip that I had no memories of it. I may not even have any photos from that visit, and if I had, they are tucked away waiting to be filed in old attic boxes.

Still, I jumped at the chance to go to Chicago, and when I replied that I'd be attending the lecture on Facebook, another Objectivist friend (Cloud) invited me to ride with him the day before near Crystal Lake. Upon further investigation, I found a nice place downtown to rent a road bike, and Cloud was happy to send information to me about getting to Crystal Lake by train.

While this was quite a trip involving the EL, airport shuttles, CTA buses, and a Metra Train, I managed to get out to meet Cloud, for what became a 50-mile flat ride through some nice farming areas, not to mention the Crystal Lake itself. It was bright sunshine all afternoon, and blisteringly hot standing still, but the breeze and the head-wind made the cycling perfect. While I've found I am in no kind of shape to do long breezy rides (in excess of 45 miles) these days, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Cloud was very patient with me, allowing me to draft him most of the way back from our foray out westward, heading back into a steady eastern breeze.

Well, I was too slow to make my train back to town at 6PM. Cloud's wife Bonnie even tried to help me make the train at 6PM by picking me up on the way back in their cargo van, but just as well, we weren't able to make the earlier train. I was rewarded (!) with a nice dinner and apple crisp, along with good company  and hopefully friendships that can endure. There was an 8PM coming later on. I was back to my Midway Airport area hotel by 10:30PM, a little worn out, but none the worse for wear.

Cloud also set me up with another rider for Sunday afternoon, along the shore of Lake Michigan. A 2006 Chicago bike map shows a reasonable number of recommended Chicago streets for bikers, as well as a sexy looking lake-shore bike route that was bound to be worth at least a brief run. Jason took me south along the lake shore path for at least 10 miles, this time into the breeze first, so we could sail back north easily in time to return my rental bike. I was much too street-soiled to expect to eat downtown after the ride, so I returned to the airport area, where I treated myself to a stuffed pizza-and-beer supper. We train so we can eat.

I'd have loved to have my wife or my sons join me on the trip, but they wouldn't have liked the bike rides as much as I did. I'm sure they'd have been able to amuse themselves adequately while I cycled, especially at the lake shore. BTW, the art lecture was excellent and very enjoyable; quite a contrast from the brisk pace of the cycle runs. I wonder what art works can elicit the visceral sensations of a 50-miler? Maybe I'd better just have two scrap books for this trip after all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Open Water Swim

It was bound to happen eventually! We've finally done some open-water swimming two weeks before the race. It happened on Sunday, May 22 at Upper Mystic Lake in Winchester, MA. Now there wouldn't have been anything so tough about getting to lake water in MA, except that we've had so much rain that most of the open water has been closed, to swimmers that is, until now. We must have done about 1000 yards in various intervals, mostly getting used to the feel of our wetsuits. It was chilly enough letting the unheated water inside the rubber panels, but I really didn't find it bad at all standing out there for the photos and the lessons. Moving through the water was surprisingly easy, even though the full-armed suit can be rather confining. Once I was confident enough that I could rock and roll out there far enough to get a clear breath on either side in my freestyle stroke, it started to be fun. I'm pretty confident now that I'll have no real trouble getting through the 1500 meter swim at Newfoundlake on June 5. But lemme tell  you something: about 90% of these folks can out-paddle me out there, and it's going to take some discipline just to stay in my own groove.

One of the little games I play with my would-be donors is to ask them which one of the team is actually me in the picture. So I'll set that up again here: where am I in the photo above? To find out the answer, check out my fund-raising web page at

Man vs Mooseman - Fundraising

My fund-raising team and I have come a long way from my slow start in February, to the pre-race fund-raising deadline of 21 May 2010, last Friday. While I have raised the minimum required ($2700) earlier on, I have also sent out mailings, emails, made Facebook appeals, and talked this up with friends and colleagues. Many have responded. I have taken to calling all my donors and I my fund-raising team, to incorporate the Team concept we use with Team In Training. While each of us has our own web page and individual resources, we watch each others progress, and attend one another's fund-raisers, and share ideas to generate more dollars for our cause--to eliminate blood cancers in our lifetime.

Currently, my dollar total stands at $4600, just $400 short of my goal of $5000.  I know a number of people who have broken that figure in single events they've done over each of the previous three years I've worked with TNT. My team of donors and I want to make a habit of breaking that $5k barrier every year. I know that means a higher an higher percentage of what we raise goes to support research for new drugs and treatment systems, as well as support for families of (first-hand) cancer-fighters. So if you haven't joined my donors team yet, there is still time. Let's try to close this out by June 5, race day. I need 16 more of you to do it. See my Facebook profile page, or my Team web page at Thank you!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Man vs Mooseman: Training in Wisconsin

I just spent three days in Madison with my wife and son. Evan (Numba 2 Son) is considering attending at U-Wisconsin next year, so this was his orientation date. We got to sample some of Madison's almost infinite array of restaurants, look over the lakes and parks, and renew old acquaintances.

I also got to do 2 quick 20-mile bike rides for training since I was away from the Team for a while, and missed two more practice sessions. I should have had the camera along with me for the rides, and at least taken a photo of the very fine bike I rented from Budget Bicycle Shops in Madison. It was a Fuji Race Team 2010 model, all composite down to the cranks, and light as a feather. Even a little lighter than my own Felt F-55 aluminum, and I scarcely got out of breath on the thing, it was so easy to ride.

We kept up a pretty good pace through both rides, both of them through the UW-Madison Arboretum area, to the southwest of town, and onto a southern bike path heading east, then north up to the west side of Lake Monona to the Isthmus near the Capital building. Then back west to the InnTowner Motel. I took the bike for granted the whole way, never even worrying about chain jams or shift problems. It was new, and pretty darn tight in its operation.

Then I found out the thing sells for $4040.00! I had guessed only half that much. Oh well, at least I had it for 40 miles. Like the pretty thing you used to admire but never got to kiss. :-) My Felt will have to do for the foreseeable future. Think I'll just get her a new chain...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Fundraising

The Moose is on the loose!

(But this time, he's been able to keep his wallet put away. My donors are large and in charge!)

Our fund-raising efforts are bearing significant fruit now, as my donors and I have accumulated over $3800, which is 76% of the goal I set last month. I want to raise at least $5000 to fight blood-related cancers in this Triathlon campaign, by the deadline of 21 May 2010. That means we all still have more than one month to get there. Don't be discouraged even by the 66% my fund-raising page with TNT is showing--That doesn't include over $300 in checks that are still being processed by Paycor for the LLS. And more are on the way, I'm sure, in the snail mail. So I don't think Bullwinkle or his buddies will be shelling out late in the game this time to put us over the top.

I'd like to remind anyone still interested in contributing to my favorite cause here, that the fastest, safest way to join my proud team of donors is to use that little green "DONATE NOW" button on my TNT page, and also on my Facebook Profile page. You can use a credit card or cash card with limited personal information, and the donation is credited right away to my Paycor account. A check works, too, but takes Paycor two additional weeks to process. Checks must be made payable to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and mailed to my home address, or hand it to me next time you see me!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Man vs Mooseman -- Back on the saddle finally!

Actually awake at 05:00(AM)! Must be getting edgy in my old age...

It has taken a while to get some safe conditions for a hard bike ride, but there is plenty of spinning going on, and I'll admit I prefer a good hard hour of spinning to an out-door slosh and wash. Particularly if I have to do the wash at work. (My road bike prefers it too, just ask her!) So, I'm glad I got to Wellesley today for a Spynergy class. Never did one with such high (>120) cadence before. Usually the coaches want to stay around 60-80 rpm, and load on the resistance. I got plenty hot and sweaty in there, and only had water and part of an apple beforehand. No cramps or roll-ups on the bike, so I'll take that as a healthy workout. I'll be swimming later on today hopefully at Zesiger, which I hear is frequently underused in the afternoon.

Checking back in now at the end of the day, and I did get to the pool for only about an hour of work at MIT. It is a very nice facility, and I'd love to get the family over there for some long-term lap swimming. Makes me wonder if the lads could do an effective swim anymore if their lives depended on it. And it would be great to see Carol in a Speedo sometime. (She just needs confidence.) Should have done photographs.

I ended the workout with a right-leg cramp in my calf, the toe-pointer muscle (gastrocnemius). I could have gone on for a while, but didn't want to tempt fate. Wasn't completely uncontrollable, but I had trouble working it loose. Drinking water didn't help, but walking did finally work it free. By that time I was cooled down and had to pack it in. A one-month pass to Zesiger for April will do nicely though! Run class tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Fundraising

I need to be clear about fund-raising in this political environment. I have posted a link button to my fund-raising web page on my FB profile, and it is included above and below on this blog page. I appreciate anyone who would help me achieve my minimum of $2700.00 as is required for me to participate in the Mooseman Tri with the Team In Training. I will donate any and all of the remaining difference between what I have and what I need by 28 March (Sunday).

Our present Congress and President have not put me in a good position to ask for charitable support for cancer research and cancer patients. No one now is, or should be, in a particularly generous mood. However, the issues of medical insurance and cancer research are still logically (and therefore practically) separable. For the time being at least, your support can be very efficacious for current cancer victims and their families. And it can definitely help see to it that blood cancers are eliminated within our lifetimes.

The only good reason to give to my cause is that you see blood-related cancers as an on-going threat to you and those you love. I certainly consider them a threat to me, though I'm not a cancer patient at this point. Additionally, you might support me out of respect for those you know who have battled these diseases, win, lose, or draw. I have decided this year not to solicit from anyone whom I know to be an immediate cancer survivor; they have already done enough to fight cancer. I'll take their part in making my goals.

However, if you are looking for a way to lend your support to leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma researchers, patients, and patients' families, here is a way to do it. Visit my FB profile and hit the "donate" button, or go to my donors web page now. Thank you.

- Dale

Monday, March 15, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Waterlogged in MA

Nope this isn't Newfound Lake, NH. It's my back yard. And right now it's not quite deep enough for me to practice the freestyle stroke in, but it is too deep for cycling or running. So to make a long story short, the weather is miserable for outdoor training. No excuse, though, as I've got a time limit: I need to be ready for anthing by June 5, so I've got to keep up the aerobics, the cals, the cycling, the swimming, and the run training. I'll be running in my trail boots for some time now, until the slop clears away.
It is Monday now, and the stuff keeps coming, as I hear it pounding away on my roof. And the wind is blowing too, so maybe that'll eventually clear it away and dry everthing out. So much for XC ski training to replace running. I'll have to be doing mud-daubing and puddle-slumming instead. But none of us on the Tri Team are going to let that stop us. We knew Boston area weather could be dicey and unpredicatble when we started this.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Man vs Mooseman - Training Log 5

Back on the bike (actually a stationary bike) at the Waltham YMCA, to get more spinning work with the Team. And it shows I've been off the wheels for too long. I've been away from training for a few days now, oddly enough they were all four beautiful days for being outside, and here I was stuck inside with other responsibilities. I should have just ditched them, since I didn't finish my paperwork anyway, and gone out for more aerobic base building. So, I'm behind the eight-ball again getting my training in order, can you believe it?
Seriously, the days of taking myself and my body for granted should have ended more than 20 years ago. But now that I'm pushing 50, the old news clips about guys like Mike Ditka and Dave McClain going into tough workouts and then returning home to have heart-attacks, are becoming too relevant and scary. The toughest discipline is not to go in too hard when you've been skipping for a while, and trying to make up for all the missed workouts at once.
I stayed on that bike for an hour or so with the group, and kept the old heart-rate down below 185 at least, which is about 95% of my maximum these days. I'm not your typical 49YO in that regard, as my heart has a small valve irregularity, and tends to speed up beyond the usual level for my age. I didn't feel faint, though I did get that old congestion that those of us who need more aerobic conditioning notice when we get back in the saddle, in the pool, or on the street, after too long a break. Still, I can see myself catching up again, once I get these silly paperwork tasks behind me. (Maybe what I need is aerobic letter-writing and tax preparation training?)
Well, enough fear-and-loathing in the workout room for now. I'll be back lifting weights, running, and swimming this weekend, and maybe get some wet running in today, just as a penance for my procrastination. I blew the good weather days, now for my comeuppance.
More later,
- Dale

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 4

Swim class again this morning, and this time some progress to report: I can do the drills now, back-kick, side-balance, hide-your-head, and I even added an arm-stretch stroke which I can use to practice free-style strokes. My right-side breathing is also much improved (I'm a natural left-side breather with the crawl, but you need to use both side for free-style.) And, I didn't have to drink half the pool, or rinse my sinuses, either. While I'm quite sure I'll have my bad days of training in the water in the future, as I'm not out of the reeds yet with my technique, I can see the headlamp of that oncoming train, and my head is now hard enough not to give way, even to that apparition. I've also got some photos taken of me, as mentor Anna was willing and able with my digital camera. See my photos below:

 Photo 1: Still a bit deep in the water, but my stroke is improving.

So I'll be back in swim class when next we meet with the team, and hopefully not missing any of them in the future. I know I'll need the work.

Photo 2: My mentor, Christine complains about being photo'ghed so early in the morning, but Mentor Anna (far left) doesn't seem perturbed. Anna took the photos of me here.

I'm proud of being happy with my work in swimming, despite my tendency to be sardonic about my skill levels. I know I've counted on my body in the past to make "me" look good to my favorite people, with mixed success--usually because I think it should work better with less effort. I know I'm no Olympian, and certainly will never be in the water. But being coach-able is one of the prouder things an athlete can achieve, and it has certainly been no mean feat for me. And probably even harder on my coaches.

I'll be back next time with more stuff on training, probably getting in some running and cycling. Can't drop those two balls while I hold this one up, no matter how highly for the moment. Thanks for reading, and please help me out with my fund-raising! - Dale

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 3

Added another day of individual swim training at Bally's Cambridge pool. (Need to remember photographs next time.) I got in about an hour, though I was not in motion continuously for all of that. The balance drills went much better than they have so far. Also, it was evident after the piddling motion from my still-pretty-lame flutter kick that adding the arms with more stretch and focus did increase my distance per stroke. I've pushed the hands quite a bit deeper now instead of dragging them across my middle, and with a catch-up drill in the works, I was making it across the 20 yard pool in about seven or eight strokes. That's not very good yet, but it is a lot better than it had been. I'll have to go back and slap that guy who taught me those short-arm strokes; he put me in a bad habit all those 38 years ago. Funny I never recognized the problem.

I did indeed practice the back and side-balance drills, with a few of my own variations in the side drill. I'm not realizing much in gains from the balance yet, but at least my kick is getting stronger now. If I can keep those gains despite the humiliation drills from training practices, there will at least be some hope of improving my stroke, at least as long as I survive the frustration. And while I'm still getting water in my sinuses during that silly side roll, I may be able to cut that down with more practice. What a pain, though! And not very sanitary for the pool, either.

Anyway, I may indeed go back to the Saturday practice at the College, just to learn the other drills. I have to anticipate that it will be very disappointing experience again, and just resolve to get out of there when its over and go practice, which I may enjoy more now. I do need to use a longer, deeper pool from now on, because four feet is too shallow, and 20 yards is too easy to cover now.

For tonight, I need to either run in the dark, or cycle indoors.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 2

We've met once for some running on Feb 20, and once more for sports medicine and injury prevention at Marathon Sports Medicine clinic in Newton Corner. But I've had no end of trouble getting consistent workouts for this Tri! So, today, I've taken some leave time and gotten in some elliptical and some swim drills. I managed to hang in there for 40 minutes on the machine, at a relatively high level of exertion, but nothing like a good hard outdoor run. But the swim, though it was only for 1/2 hour was much better than I had expected. The float balances were not too bad this time, though I was probably more relaxed. I still need some serious practice with the flutter kick, but I can get some advice on that at our next swim training. Ironically, today's evening team-swim was canceled due to illness at the local college whose pool we use. So, I'm one up on them, if anyone saved their training for tonight.

I've got a chance for a ride-and-run on Saturday if the weather holds; but the team is meeting for swimming at the same time. I'll have to make some kind of choice on that one, since I need the outdoor work, but also need to practice and learn more drills. I'll be getting some work in the pool over the next couple of days (fingers crossed!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Man versus Mooseman: Training Log 1

Met today with the TNTMA Triathlon team at Simmons College, and got a long list of names for participants. It is indeed a huge team. Why can't we get numbers like this for Century Rides? Certainly not for the relative ease of training!!!
We started with intros and pictures being taken (by the mentors, can you believe it?) of all the athletes present. (After that they took my photo.) Then it was to the lockers and the pool.
Nice pool they have at Simmons. Not much of a locker room, but hey, it's a women's college, so not much reason for a men's locker room. At the pool itself we got divided up into lanes, and I made the "A" team. "A" is for inexperienced, though I thought I swam reasonably well.
But this week's drills did not play to any strength I have in the water at all. I wish I could say I learned to do a lot, rather than to have to admit I've forgotten more than I remember about crawl strokes. Instead I learned about several things I can't do very well at this point. Hope for better days, as I was pretty down-in-the-mouth walking out, with the promise of having to do back floats and leg kicks all week till our next swim class. It wasn't chemotherapy by any means. Just very disappointing. I was hoping to have time to emphasize running, but looks like my swimming is in even worse shape. Run class Tuesday (a shoe clinic.)