Adventures in Smarshland

October 9, 2008

Marathon Result

Filed under: Athletics — Tags: , , , — smarsh @ 7:24 pm

I ran the Portland Marathon last weekend.  The result was far below my expectations (4:20), but rather than disappointment I rather feel a great determination to try again to best the result.  If I can simply avoid blowing up on the last three or four miles I should be able to break 4:00 hopefully.  That will have to wait a while as I already have a busy schedule over the next month.  I am sitting for the MFE section of the third Actuarial exam on November 4th and then traveling to China for for almost three weeks.

September 15, 2008

Yasso 800 Results

Filed under: Athletics — Tags: , , , — smarsh @ 10:43 pm

I completed a set of 10 Yasso 800’s, a famous predictor of marathon performance.  The concept is quite simple, run 10 sets of 800 meter intervals with 400 meter recoveries between each 800 meter effort.  If you are able to average 3 minute 30 second 800 meter times, then you should pace for a 3hour 3 minute marathon.  In other words each second on an 800 meter effort corresponds to a minute on your marathon time.  I have heard anecdotally that it somewhat underpredicts by maybe around 5-10 minutes.

My results were:

  1. 3:12
  2. 3:27
  3. 3:17
  4. 3:25
  5. 3:19
  6. 3:21
  7. 3:17
  8. 3:26
  9. 3:22
  10. 3:30

Average: 3:21.6

I think I will go out at 3:35 pace and then adjust pacing accordingly.

September 7, 2008

18 Mile Down, 20 Miler to go

Filed under: Athletics — Tags: , — smarsh @ 2:13 pm

I finished my 18 mile long run yesterday.  Surprisingly I felt better doing 18 miles this week than I did 16 the week previously, likely due to more favorable weather.  It was raining this week, but the temperature and humidity were much better.  I plan on doing some Yasso 800’s this week, a 20 miler next Saturday and then begin tapering.

August 31, 2008

Dense fog, Long run

Filed under: Athletics,Photography — Tags: , , — smarsh @ 11:42 am

This morning I got up very early to get in my long run for the week in preparation for the Portland marathon, which is just a matter of weeks away. The run was 16 miles. It was a though run, but I made it to the end kicking. Hopefully race day will have better conditions then today which were made worse by the incredible humidity, which you can get a sense of based on the dense fog in the pictures below. I’m running 18 next weekend and 20 the following week, then tapering volume until race day October 5th.

November 18, 2007

Fresh Mud on New Mountain Bike

Filed under: Athletics,Life — Tags: , — smarsh @ 10:13 pm

I took my bike out for its first spin at West Branch, which is a State Park near Ravenna Ohio. Now the bike is official broken in with fresh mud. Unfortunately, the park is closing for snowmobiling and hunting season, so I guess I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go buy my season pass at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike park. Anyway check out the new bike:

November 10, 2007

New Mountain Bike

Filed under: Athletics,Life — Tags: — smarsh @ 1:13 pm

I ordered a new hardtail mountain bike from bikesdirect, which as it sounds is a direct mail order internet bike store. I ordered a 20″ Motobecane.

It has a lockout on the fork which means that if you are riding it on the street or other surfaces free of bumpy terrain you can use the lockout to prevent the shock from moving and therefore from zapping the energy that you are putting into pedaling. You might ask why I would buy a bike just before winter hits. Because Cleveland has this cool indoor mountain bike park called Ray’s which you can ride all winter long.

July 27, 2007

A Successful Bike Ride After Long Week

Filed under: Athletics — Tags: , , — smarsh @ 7:41 pm

I’m of the theory that the best way to forget the office is to hit the open rode using nothing but human power. Today’s ride fit the bill. Just over 50 miles makes it close to the distance I’ll be racing for my Half Ironman, except then there is the matter of the 13.1 mile run which follows. As far as where my training is now, I think I will complete the race, but will be pretty whipped afterward. More information on the race here:


The race course is very fast and flat, looks like this:


With an elevation profile that looks like this:

Race Course

May 12, 2007

Bike ride and Cramming for Test

Filed under: Athletics,Life — Tags: , — smarsh @ 8:06 pm

Here was the bike ride I did after work on Friday:


Seems like a short ride, 28 miles, but there is 2500 feet of elevation gain and decent so it make for some good gear grinding. After getting some energy out it is on to studying for my Actuarial Exam which is next Thursday. And on that note, it’s time to head back to the studying.

April 15, 2007

Human Powered Vehicle

Filed under: Athletics,Design — Tags: , , — smarsh @ 10:54 pm

Check out these videos of human powered vehicles going really fast. These are recumbent bikes fitted with aerodynamic fairings.

Here is what we hope doesn’t happen:

This video gives you a sense of just how fast these bikes are going:

An interesting video about the Battle Mountain HPV speedweek

March 23, 2007

More Cycling

Filed under: Athletics — Tags: , , , — smarsh @ 11:03 pm

I went out cycling with Dominic again after work. This time it was a little colder, but still enjoyable. We went to Chagrin Falls which is a cute little town outside Cleveland just out in the countryside. We had some ice cream or rather I guess it was strawberry sorbet at a place where apparently George Bush stopped on one of his campaign trips in 2004, pictures of which were hung around the shop. I forgot to bring my camera again, but will try to remember next time. I did find a website that lets you plot you route and it gives you information about the distance traveled and an elevation profile. The two big jumps in the elevation profile are us decending into the Chagrin river valley which we meander along and then going up the valley to Chagrin Falls and then back down to the valley and then back up it on our return. Here is the link to the ride map.

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