COLONY ZONES SWIM MEET IS FRIDAY ”“ ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSES TODAY MONDAY MAY 4 ”“ PAPER REGISTRATION IS ALREADY CLOSED ”“ SEE DETAILS BELOW (if you can swim 40 lengths, and you can rest on the walls ”“ you should consider coming and swimming this ”“ it is fun!)   Details below


Ok.   You may feel funny having a recovery week ”“ but you do.   The last three weeks were spend focusing on volume and what we call base building ”“ easy stuff during the week/longer slow things on the weekend.   Many of you *should* have raced the week before that.

In any case ”“ this is a recovery week.   Remember ”“ the weekend of a recovery week is the start of our next build cycle.   This weekend we will repeat the “Up and Over” Monocacy Ride which we had to abandon.   This ride will be on Saturday.   Sunday will be our local and very popular “epic boot camp” followed by something run form/education/injury prevention related as well as a Rando Workshop.   What is a rando workshop?   See below!!!

In this email:  

  1. High level overview of the activities for this week in Team Z
  2. Arlington Weekly Activities Details and Directions
  3. Maryland Weekly Activities Details and Directions
  4. West Weekly Activities Details and Directions
  5. Colonies Zones Swim Meet ”“ Friday! Registration closes today!
  6. Weekend Look Ahead


  1. High level overview of the activities for this week in Team Z

Here is our run down for this week, in general, at “the high level”.   This weekend we start our hard/major build weeks towards our mid season A race goals.   You will notice that there are a few rides this week, a few new happy hours ”“ this is not necessarily what our standard recovery week will look like next time around ”“ but we’ve been easing in our new locations for summer workouts slowly.

I wonder how the highlights will come through?   I’m calling out the socials for the week ”“ each of which has a workout before it.   I’m also calling out the start of the new Tuesday Ride from Wakefield Park (Westies).

Areas of Improvement needed:   Thursday social ride from Sears (Meet downstairs in the parking garage at the very back of the building).   We have a 5 mile loop. Do it once with me, do it 2-3 times if you like.   But more importantly we need to improve on the Dog Fish Head Happy Our on Thursday afterwards.   You Reston/Tysons/Fairfax Zrs ”“ if Arlington People can make it to Vienna (awesome run and happy hour), you can come to the Thurs Ride too.   It is the same course as Sleepy Hollow which is just down the road from where you do the wakefield ride on Tuesday.

We need cross over people.   Get off your rear!   Get it in Gear!   (Finish this song).

  • Monday there is a lunch swim in DC
  • There is a Monday Social Run at PRR in Reston Town Center.
  • There is a Monday Social Run at PRR Arlignton.
  • Arlington has aMonday  post social grub at The World of Beer in Ballston
  • Swims are on as normal on Tuesday
  • Tuesday rides are solo ”“ EXCEPT One new group ride from Wakefield Park- very nice neibhorhood ride
  • Wed there is a morning and lunch time swim
  • Wed there is a recovery run at Rock Bottom Brewery in Bethesda
  • Wed there is a Post Recovery Run Happy Hour at Rock Bottom Brewery in Bethesda.
  • Wed there is a recovery run at the Vienna Caboose Brewery, Vienna Va
  • Wed there is a Post Recovery Run Happy Hour at Vienna Caboose Brewery, Vienna Va
  • Swims as normal on Thursday
  • Thursday there is a PM Group Social Ride at the Sears in Falls Church ”“ Arlington people ”“ don’t be a whimp this is easy to get to!
  • Thursday there is post Sears Group Social Ride Happy Hour at Dog Fish Head Brewery and Ale House (Falls Church)
  • Yoga on Friday as planned.
  • Friday is the colonies Zones Swim Meet ”“ it appears it is still open for registration!


  1. Arlington Weekly Activities Details and Directions

*For the best presentation of this information/data – please set your preferences in your dashboard.   Go to Calendar Events and then elect Arlington Location Events. Select Arlington Social Events.   Then Save.   Then simply go to and your home page will present the details for all workouts in the Arlington/Alexandria area.

Or you can go to”¦.

Hard Copy of M-F events are posted on the website at   Then click on files, then on workout location events.


  1. ZMDC Weekly Activities Details and Directions

*For the best presentation of this information/data – please set your preferences in your dashboard.   Go to Calendar Events and then Select ZMDC Location Events. Select ZMDC Social Events.   Then Save.   Then simply go to and your home page will present the details for all workouts in the Arlington/Alexandria area.

Or you can go to”¦.

Hard Copy of M-F events are posted on the website at   Then click on files, then on workout location events.


  1. West Weekly Activities Details and Directions

*For the best presentation of this information/data – please set your preferences in your dashboard. Go to Calendar Events and then Select West Location Events. Select West Social Events.   Then Save.   Then simply go to and your home page will present the details for all workouts in the Arlington/Alexandria area.

Or you can go to”¦.

Hard Copy of M-F events are posted on the website at   Then click on files, then on workout location events.


  1. Colonies Zones Swim Meet ”“ REGSITRATION CLOSES TODAY Monday May 4

 IF YOU ENTER ”“ YOU MUST BE AT THE POOL IN PERSON BEFORE 3:30pm for the 1000/1650 or you can’t swim swim.   They verify you are there and re-seed the meet so that there are less open lanes and less “heats” of swimmers. And no worries ”“ you will be swimming with people JUST LIKE YOU.   Read on.

ENTRY CLOSES TODAY.   IF YOU WANT TO ENTER TODAY AND YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR TIME FOR 1,000 or 1,650 FREE ”“ TEXT ME SO WE CAN FIGURE THIS OUT.   OR ”“ BEST GUESS TODAY, THEN HIT THE POOL TOMORROW AND TIME YOURSELF FOR A 200 EASY PACE ”“ we can email the RD to make changes in times and they REALLY appreciate it.   Changes to your times to make them accurate is NOT a pain ”“ it is preferred!


 CLICK ON ME TO REGISTER   Or go to and click on 2016 colonies zones link.  

This swim meet will take place on Friday night. It is at George Mason University ”“ a very nice facility.   If you are a new triathlete, and more importantly a new swimmer ”“ this is something that I would highly consider!   There will not be an intimidating environment ”“ you don’t have to dive in, you don’t have to do flip turns.   You get your own lane, and a teammate or coach will be there to count laps for you!   This is a great (I can’t stress this enough) opportunity to prove to yourself that you can swim 1,000 yards or 1,650 yards (about the same distances as a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon swim) in a safe, and FUN environment.   Every year we send about 40 people (two years ago almost 100 of us) to this race and they always tell us how much fun they had!   Enter that 1,000 yard freestyle ”“ you won’t regret it!


  • Online entries are preferred.
  • Online entry deadline has been extended to Monday April 4.
  • Paper entries must have been postmarked by Friday March 25.
  • Competitors may enter up to 5 individual events per day, plus relays.
  • The meet is open to all Masters Swimmers holding a valid 2016 USMS registration card.
  • Your membership to USMS will be verified in online meet entry.
  • Age is determined by a swimmer’s age on April 10, 2016. 2016 USMS rules and regulations apply.


  • Meet surcharge (required) $25. Individual event fee $5 each.


  • You must check in Friday BEFORE 3:30pm for the 1000/1650 or you will be scratched.
  • Choose either the 1000 free or the 1650, not both.
  • The 1000 is limited to the first 112 entries received and will be swum in the shallow end.
  • The 1650 is limited to the first 72 entries received and will be swum in the deep end.
  • We will have our team there to count your laps for you. Please ask a friend to count for you in the distance freestyle races or let me know if you don’t   have someone.
  • Swimmers entering the 1000 free and 1650 free must enter using a provable time. It can be done in practice and signed off by a coach or come from the USMS meet results database.


  1. Weekend Look Ahead

Poll:   Please Vote Early!   Or:

  1. Saturday Group Ride at Monocacy (Up and Over) ”“ 8:00 AM (check ride notes below)
  2. Sunday is EPIC BOOTCAMP at Fast Track Sports Performance and Physical Therapy – 9:00-10:00 AM.   Bring a mat or towel, and bands if you have them (we have a bunch to lend but it helps if you bring some if you own them). We provide Kerri “Show-time” Kramer as the BC lead. We don’t have it dialed in yet ”“ but there will be a post Boot Camp Run Focus/Education/Injury prevention from say 10:15-11:30.
  3. Sunday is also our Randonneuring Workshop: 11:45 ”“ 12:45

For many people, Team Z functions like an exercise gateway drug.   People discover that they like participating in one or more of these three sports and that leads them to seek out longer and longer distance challenges.   Some take those distances even as far as an Ironman.   But there is a world of challenges beyond the Ironman distance.   For that reason the team has in the past been extremely supportive of both endurance swimming events (such as the Chesapeake Bay swim) and ultra-running events (the world of craziness that exists beyond the marathon distance).   But we have not yet provided any information about the world of ultra-cycling.

Until now.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 10th when the Team will be offering a clin ic introducing everyone to the world of ultra-distance cycling in the form of the sport of randonneuring.   This is not the madness of 24-hour racing or the sheer insanity of Race Across America.   Rather, as one of the oldest types of biking event in the world randonneuring (which got its start, as the name suggests, in France) encourages people to go long distances at a leisurely pace.   It is not a race, and events are adamantly non-competitive; cyclists are instead encouraged to set their own goals and above all to enjoy riding.   The philosophy of randonneuring is that if some riding is good, then more of it is inherently better!

The clinic will be led by Mark Mullen, with the assistance of Mike Wali (president of the DC Randonneurs) and Andrea Matney (DC Randonneurs outreach coordinator).   They will be offering a short presentation that defines randonneuring, explains why they have been d rawn to it, and offers information about how to get involved.   Randonneurs tackle the ride challenges on a wide variety of bikes, and there will be a range of bicycles at the clinic to help you get a sense of some of the equipment choices that riders make.

The clinic will offer information about randonneuring events this year but even if that doesn’t fit with your plans this year we would encourage you still to attend if you are interested.   The philosophy of Randonneuring fits well with that of Team Z and even if you only do the occasional randonneuring event it can be a useful supplement to triathlon training in a number of ways.   And if you have biked a century in the past or feel you could work your way up to one in the near future, you are physically capable of completing the entry-level randonneuring distances.

Hope to see you all there.


Here are some ride notes provided by Mark   Mullen regarding the “Up and Over” ride at Monocacy on Saturday

Monocacy “Up and Over” Ride Notes

Distances: 70, 61, 52, 28, 15.   The first three distances also have the option to climb Harp Hill which shortens the overall distance for each by about 1.5 miles; these distances are designated with H on a tab for the cue sheet, e.g. 68H.

Rest Stop: For all distances above 50 there is one rest stop, the Sheetz in Thurmont, approx. mile 35-37 depending on route.   There are no other sources of water that we have been able to find.   Everyone tackling the longer routes should carry at least two bottles; consider carrying three if you are a steady climber.

Overview: This route introduces an area we haven’t ridden as a team before, the beautiful ridges and valleys surrounding Catoctin mountain.   In addition to many stunning views you will be treated to babbling brooks running alongside the road, picturesque cemeteries and churches, and an “interesting” variety of yard art.   The second half of the ride picks up familiar roads many of you will have ridden before, east and south of Thurmont as we make our way back to Frederick.   The shorter routes are also effectively new, because they take a couple of our traditional routes and reverse them.

Training Focus: Even if you are an experienced rider it can be easy to drop into a mentality where every ride is just about the miles.   Yes, getting the mileage in is important.   But it is also useful for every ride to pick one or two little things that you want to work on for the whole of the ride.   You might decide that you want to keep your average cadence at a certain level, for example, or use every turn to work on your cornering skills.   This ride has been designed with three training goals in mind:

  1. Patient Climbing: There is a lot of climbing in this ride but unless you take the Harp Hill option (see below) most of it is at relatively gentle grades.   There is an initial pitch up Rte 40 that is at roughly Skyline grades but that only lasts 2-3 miles.   The climb up Catoctin itself is almost 10 miles long, but the grade is gentle.   Set an easy pace, one you can maintain for a long while, and enjoy the view around you.
  2. Confident Descending: This ride offers one of the most fun descents in the region; moreover it gives you two different kinds of descending.   The first part of the descent down Foxville Deerfield gives you a chance to practice relaxing, backing off your brakes and just letting the bike run.   You will pick up some serious speed, but the road is long and straight with good sight lines.   The second part of the descent, down Sabillaville, is more gentle, which means you can shift into the big ring and practice some easy downhill tempo riding.   There is almost ten miles of descending into Thurmont and you will be at the Rest Stop before you know it.
  3. Careful Pacing: The climbing is massively front-loaded on most of the routes; depending on your distance, Thurmont arrives at between the 2/3 to halfway point.   This means that if you haven’t practiced patient climbing, and have instead over-cooked things in the first half of the ride, you will be in for a long ride home!

Challenge Yourself!   For the 70, 61, and 52 routes I’ve also included an option to climb Harp Hill.   This cuts out the first Wolfsville Rd section and is about 1.5 miles shorter overall.   Harp Hill, however, is a “bragging rights” climb; it is genuinely tough.   The designated climb itself is a little less than a mile long, but its average grade is around 11% which makes it similar to the grade on the final Mountains of Misery climb (so MoM folks, you should be doing this option).   But it gets steeper in the last couple of hundred yards, up to about 13%.   The views on either side of the climb are stunning, but you will be too busy suffering like a bastard to notice.   My advice is to start climbing this as slowly as possible, slower than you think you can; there are a few minute changes in gradient where you can catch your breath and recover marginally but you need to leave a lot in reserve for the top.   If you need to stop and catch your breath, do so.

Safety Notes:

  • Rte 40 is a busy highway but it has a generous shoulder, wide enough for two bikes.   I wouldn’t, however, recommend riding two abreast, since I am betting that there will be a lot of seasonal debris on the shoulder.   Maryland also seems to use diamond dust to grit its roads over the winter; I would suggest that as soon as you make the turn off 40 and onto Hollow road that you make a quick stop and check your tires and wipe off the grit.
  • Harmony Road has a surprisingly testing climb on it, even though it is short.   The downhill on the other side is glorious but stay alert; it ends abruptly at a steep intersection with a stop sign (mile 17 on all three long ride cue sheets).
  • Sabillaville Road: Depending on what is happening in the region and the time of day, there can be a moderate amount of traffic on this road.   You will be traveling fast, and there are plenty of straights where cars can pass comfortably, but stay single file and over to the right.
  • The 52 route passes through Thurmont; there will be traffic but the place is hardly a sprawling megalopolis.   Keep your wits about you and don’t be a dick by riding in the middle of the road, etc.
  • The stretch of Blacks Mill Road used on the 52 route is subject to flooding so there may be some broken pavement there; stay alert.

Above all, enjoy!   This is some very beautiful country and even when the weather is less than ideal there are still wonderful views to be had all along this route.