27 August 2011

Capitol Forest 100

Oh man… I will be the first to admit that 'epic' is WAY overused and extremely tired. And I won't use it here either especially since the series name - NW Epic Series - already has it in the title but this was an amazing race.

Just the other day I was reminiscing about 100 mile mountain bike races and getting a little worried but since Capitol Forest is such a blast to ride in I was hoping the Capitol Forest 100 was going to be a big adventure instead of a chore.

And mostly it was. Good times were definitely had.

26 August 2011

one man, one dream, one speed, 100 miles

Occasionally one feels the need to strike out and try new things. in 2011 that new 'thing' I wanted to try was racing my single speed mountain bike. I've ridden a single speed and fixed gear road bike for years but in the dirt…? That was totally new.

I was originally inspired by my friend Tom L who I met when we both competed in TransPortugal. This guy shows up on a 3-speed, fully rigid mountain bike and does very well! Since then I met others that rode single speeds in the woods and even a single speed mountain bike tandem(!) so obviously I was not going to breaking any new ground here.

But it was so damn exciting! One of the appeals about riding a single speed on the road is the huge mental relief. You never need to worry about what gear you should be in because you only have one. With that incentive in mind I built my bike and headed out for a ride with friends.

25 August 2011

cyclocross practice | stairs

This morning I met Jeff W, Ryan D, Nelson J, Lane S and Dean J at Woodland Park for a bit of skills practice and then 20 minutes of riding a circuit. It sure was a wakeup call for me…

To fill you in on some history, the last two years my back has not tolerated cyclocross well at all. I think I was able to do two races each year and then had to throw in the towel as I was in too much pain.

Having been more diligent about my core work I am hoping that this fall will be the year I can participate in a semi-full cross season. Here's hoping anyway.

24 August 2011

I like beer

For many reasons.

  • It tastes good.
  • It's refreshing.
  • Although you can certainly be a beer snob connoisseur, there are so many great types and good brands available why bother.
  • You can get it in small, normal, large, XL and ridiculous size containers.
  • Loads of beer commercials are funny as hell.
  • It comes in cans AND bottles. Some of which are so cool looking you hardly want to crack the seal. Almost.

core | run | commute

Made it to the gym, hit the treadmill and took the long way home. And really, this did not cramp my style too much and turned into what most any active day could be like.

Assuming you have this gorgeous weather.

23 August 2011

commute | Pacific Raceways

Sometimes it takes a village. Or a team. Whatever.

Tonight at Pacific Raceways Dave H and I managed to lock up the series by doing exactly what we had to.

Mark M from Starbucks is really fast. On the flats there really isn't anyone that can beat him so the best you can hope for (unless he eats a ton of pizza right before the race) is second. Dave had a reasonable lead in the points going into this race but if we did nothing and Mark won everything it would come down to the last race and that is always a crap shoot. In other words not what we wanted.

So the goal was to try and get as many second places as possible. Which is exactly what we did.

22 August 2011

ride

Knowing that we had to pack up kind of early today and that my foot/toe would probably not survive another run Shelley and I squeezed in a quick ride on the Discovery Trail again.

This time we went just past where the trail turns inland and saw lots of frogs and slugs on the ground! Nature is cool! We had to ride carefully so as not to squish anything. The frogs were multicolored; I'm always amazed by how far they can jump.

21 August 2011

run | ride

In spite of 'injuring' myself yesterday I did not want to sit around and so decided to try another run - with shoes this time - just to see if it would work. Luckily it worked okay.

The wind had swapped directions so I did likewise and headed south to start.

This direction seems somewhat less touristy but still very pretty as you can see hills with trees behind the beach. The wind was also a little stronger so the surf was fun to watch. As were all the birds! Tons of seagulls and some that looked sort of like pelicans… obviously I have no idea what I'm talking about but they were fun to observe regardless.

Later in the day I rode the Discovery Trail to the end which was a blast!

20 August 2011

run

Shelley and I packed up the van and drove out to Long Beach with her sister Shannon for a bit of a family reunion.

This place bills itself as some sort of house of fun but in reality the weather is not that nice much of the year and if there isn't an event like a kite fair, etc. going on it's kind of a ghost town in my opinion…

Still, when you are sleeping right next to a fabulous beach what could make more sense than a barefoot beach run. Nothing, that was rhetorical.

18 August 2011

ride | run

Got in the morning hot lap around Mercer Island again.

I think many people forget what a great route/resource/place to ride Mercer Island really is! If you take your time and open your eyes the scenery is amazing, the views are even better and the road is smooth, twisty and a ton of fun. I guess I felt that needed to be said. :)

I hit the Seward Park trails for real after work.

I started by going half way around the park on the road and then up into the woods on yet another new route. At the top I took another new turn to explore and this time I was on genuine singletrack. I had to hop over logs and came to a full stop at least twice to negotiate a turn.

16 August 2011

ride | Pacific Raceways

Tried to do the double today and was NOT feeling it in the morning…

I just followed wheels and only pulled once if my memory serves me correctly. Still, this morning group is great to hang with.

At Pacific Raceways I tried my best to animate things and also was not able to do anything. Sometimes that 'hill' really kicks my butt. I guess if you don't train you can't expect to race…? Stay tuned for more universal truths by Martin.

I did get in a couple of moves but no one else felt like committing themselves so they were doomed from the start. On the last lap I had planned to attack at the top of the hill since the finish was on the flats at the start but Garage Racing ramped up the pace so much all I could do was follow. Once on the flats I finally managed to up the pace for Dave H but it was a pretty lame showing on my part. Dave still got some points but he could have done better so we need to rethink for next week. It has been a tight series this year!

15 August 2011

core | run | run

I know… you're saying to yourself, "Martin ran twice in one day?" For realz, yo.

All self-aggrandizement aside, it felt good to try and run a little faster and to facilitate this I hit the treadmill at the gym in the AM. I just don't have a good sense of pace on the road so if I dial in a 7:30 or 7 minutes/mile pace often enough here then my body remembers and I can duplicate it outside.

At Seward Park I again ran half way around on the road and then hit the trails and this time went up a new way. Good times.

14 August 2011

ride

Nice!

It seems like it has been ages since I actually rode for real so it was super fun to head out today and do just that. I met Jeff D, Greg K, RC R (out for his first ride after breaking his collar bone!) and we did a moderate north end loop.

Pretty social, we regrouped at the top of all the hills and got good and caught up with each other. I felt okay and of course Jeff was riding super strong in spite of having just raced his brains out in Portland, OR and f'ing winning the Portland Criterium. Nice.

After the ride I was able to talk everyone into checking out the progress on our new house. I sure love going by the lot.

13 August 2011

errands

Just ran some errands on my bike today… can you call that training? I just did. :)

Went down to Recycled Cycles with a fork in my messenger bag (yes, I felt totally hip while doing so) and had them remove a crown race from a carbon fork I just got for my new cyclocross bike. Sometimes you just need the fancy tools.

11 August 2011

run | stairs

Ran down to the Howe Street stairs, walked five flights and got a ride home.

I like that last part. Thanks Shelley (who did the stairs with me).

Walking the stairs was not as brutal as I thought it might be, then again I was ready to pack it in after just a few. And… I was only walking.

10 August 2011

core | run

Made it to the gym again… I am a superstar. Or something much less.

I also went running on the trail in Seward Park for the first time. Just a heads up, these are pretty fun and I suspect there are more miles of trail in that little peninsula than you might imagine.

Today I took what must be the main trail through the park and I could see several smaller trails that went left and right. Must explore more!

09 August 2011

ride

Just another Mercer Island hot lap!

With no race at Pacific Raceways this evening (I guess dragsters bring in more revenue) I tried to go hard in the AM instead. It sorta worked… Just not feeling it.

08 August 2011

core | commute | run

Managed to get to the gym, rode my bike to work and then hit the bricks after. Nice.

I believe this is my first run with a hill. And by 'hill' I of course mean I went up one.

07 August 2011

Sunshine Coast MTB Trail Challenge day 2

Day 2 of this ride dawned clear and cool so since I tend to wake early I headed down to the beach and took some pictures.

CIMG7618

Quite the contrast to what we were in store for later in the day which was this.

CIMG7633

That's right, adventure racing here we go. Day 1 of this ride it seems was just the warm up.

06 August 2011

Sunshine Coast MTB Trail Challenge day 1

This event is something I have been looking forward to doing for quite some time.

I first heard about it from a friend and so I asked him a couple of years ago if he thought it would be suitable for a tandem. He said, "Sure, I think that would work…" That's pretty much proof positive that people don't have a clue about where you can ride a tandem unless they have actually ridden a tandem. Here is ours.

CIMG7566

Why is it so hard to ride there you might ask? Well, for anyone that has not heard about North Shore riding up in BC, our trip had sections of trail that were exactly like this.

04 August 2011

ride | stand up paddle

Training…?! Oh yeah, it's what real racers do.

I met Greg K and Tim F at the Dawg this morning and we hit Lake WA Blvd for some six minute intervals. Good times.

After I got home Shelley and tried Stand Up Paddle boarding for the first time. And you say 'multi-sport'? Oh yeah.

03 August 2011

core | run

My second run! OMG.

Core felt okay but sometimes I wonder how the hell (and how long) I'm going to be able to keep this up…?

Shelley and I went down to Seward Park again for our run and this time I went in the opposite direction as Monday. I know, TOTALLY different. I barely recognized the path and almost got lost. One word: GPS

Running still feels like crap meaning extremely unnatural but hey, it's just day two. It's is however not beneath me to point out that I went TEN SECONDS faster than Monday. And that's without looking at my watch once. Dude, I'm racing even when I don't mean to be racing. Two words: on fire

I like 'em big

So today I splurged and bought one. The Sturhrling Metropol.

01

02 August 2011

commute | walk

I was curious how sore I would be today from the jog yesterday and the answer is not much. Nice. And so much for all the hype.

I have found that walking is the best thing right after a run and maybe even the day after if you want to rest more.

01 August 2011

core | commute | run

Oh my… it's Martin's first run of the season. Time to hype the effort and the difficulty of the transition and make it sound like this is a big deal. It is not. I love to exaggerate for effect. Pretty much anyone can do this.