31 May 2012

core

Yikes…! Today was conspiring against me.

I still felt like crap when I woke up so no gym. Then when I got to work I realized I had not brought any workout clothes with me so was reduced to sitting in the sauna. Not that the sauna is bad mind you, it just isn't exercise.

I made the most of it.

And truthfully I still feel totally worked which I can't understand. The weekend should not have depleted me so much but I do feel really tired and my throat is torched. At first I thought it was from all dust I had sucked down while racing but now it feels like a genuine sore throat. Bummer.

30 May 2012

walk commute

I was not feeling so hot this morning and thus skipped the gym. I also skipped the lunch workout. At least I brought my running shoes to work so I repeated the walk home; and this time I took a longer and more scenic route.

How cool that I can do this! If I lived far enough away that I had to drive to work each day it would suck.

29 May 2012

core | cardio | walk commute

After doing a big, fat nothing yesterday it felt good to get back to it.

I wanted some kind of active recovery but the forecast was for rain so I did not ride to work and instead hit the gym for some cardio. And then since the rain never materialized I walked home. It was really fun!

And if you're going to walk home, why not do so via the Howe Street stairs. :)

At the gym I immediately realized that active recovery was the right choice for today. My legs felt like lead. LEAD. I took it way easy and that was the right call.

27 May 2012

24 Hours Round the Clock - day 2/2

Did I mention yesterday that it got cold at night…? Well it did. Reports from around the camp were that the temperatures hit the upper 30s. Brr!

After completing lap #3 last night I was still in a bit of an amped up state but by the start of lap #4 the initial adrenaline-fueled enthusiasm had abated and I was now needing to pump myself up. And it was pitch black! Holy cow was it dark. On the upside the stars in the sky were amazing (the moon was insignificant) and when it's truly dark your lights work so much better.

I kept hanging around the transition zone as they had erected a 'dismount bar' so riders wouldn't go zooming into the tent at warp speed and have some massive, tragic accident. Surprisingly I never say anyone get clotheslined by this bar…

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26 May 2012

24 Hours Round the Clock - day 1/2

It was just a matter of time and here it finally is, my first 24-hour mountain bike race!

Tony Bravetti, Jesse Nofziger, Aaron Griffith and I signed up for the Round and Round 24 Hours Round the Clock (I know, what a mouthful!) and today was the day. The categories were roughly these.

  • Solo
  • 2-person team
  • 4-person team (that would be us)
  • 5-person team
  • 'Corporate' (I guess this is where a bunch of people show, ride one lap and then start drinking)

Yesterday Jesse, Tony and I pre-rode the course and it was a good thing. Having a clue about what is around the corner and how long each climb is really helps. Since the race did not start until noon I had some time to walk around and take pictures. One of the coolest things going was the finishing arch that was getting constructed; people were hanging all sorts of bicycle paraphernalia on a steel frame. Little did I know they were going to light this thing up at night. Flame on!

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25 May 2012

24 Hours Round the Clock pre-ride

Tony Bravetti, Jesse Nofziger, Aaron Griffith and I headed over to Spokane, WA for the big deal this weekend.

After setting up camp we headed out for a lap of the course and it was like no mountain bike course I have ever ridden. One word: FAST.

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24 May 2012

core

Made it to the gym today but that was it. Oh well, I'll just call this a rest prior to my race this weekend.

Last week (or was it two weeks ago?) core felt great, this week it sucks. Me no get it.

23 May 2012

treadmill run | cardio

Another slooooow day. I think the rain is bringing me down.

Once I got to the gym this morning my run felt quite taxing, not sure what's up with that. It was difficult to breath at first and it took a solid 10 minutes for my body to stop freaking out about the effort and to settle down. After that I was fine. In fact, the longer I ran the better it felt. I guess 30 minutes just is not very long to figure shit out.

On the upside my right hamstring did not do anything today. Nice.

At lunch I went down to the IMA for some cardio. It was agonizing getting going but then once again I felt fine after about 10 minutes.

Not my day I guess.

22 May 2012

treadmill run | core

I took yesterday off because I deserved it. :)

Since the forecast was for rain today I planned in advance NOT to drive down to Pacific Raceways and so hit the gym this morning for a nice, little jog. How did it feel? Like it's been too long since I ran. :( Oh well, that will come back and no doubt next year when I try to focus on running I will end up jonesing to ride my bike. Such is life.

My weight is WAY up. Damn.

Core was really hard.

Today was discouraging.

20 May 2012

my own personal Rocket Ride

I met Gabe Templeton and Travis Dougan for a social outing today. The weather (and my legs!) were not as stellar as yesterday but hey, it was dry. For a short while anyway. Today we decided to ride the HSP Rocket Ride route - albeit at a less than Rocket Ride pace - as this loop is super scenic.

Here is an abbreviated (cuz I'm beat) summary of what transpired.

  • Riding to Log Boom Park I'm thinking, "Hey, it's pretty warm out! I could have left this vest at home."
  • I take my vest off.
  • As I sat down at the park to wait for Gabe and Travis I got sprinkled on. What…?!
  • We took off and after Norway Hill met Tony Bravetti who professed to be just as tired as I was from our MTB race yesterday but then proceeded to drill it up Hollywood Hill.
  • I get another nose bleed. WTF? This sucks.
  • As we climbed it started to sprinkle (mist?) again.
  • On the descent Tony turned off and went home. Whew.
  • In the Carnation Valley Gabe went to the front and pulled at about 25 mph for about five miles.
  • Gabe has a fancy rain bike with fancy fenders that I saw a lot of during this stretch.
  • Gabe imploded.
  • The mist becomes a light rain.
  • I put my vest back on.
  • Travis and I start dropping Gabe on every little incline.
  • My hands start getting cold.
  • We drop Gabe off, I drop Travis off and suddenly I'm faced with 15 miles of solo riding to get home. Did I mention that I'm wet, cold and filthy dirty?
  • I almost pull over to have a good cry.
  • There is some organized ride that goes from Redmond to Seattle and back on the trail and I am like a salmon swimming up stream heading home.
  • I manage to man up enough to not stop riding.
  • AS I get close to the UW it warms up about two degrees.
  • My spirits lift some and as the distance left to cover gets to be less than five miles I feel like I can do it.
  • I get home and can't unbuckle my helmet unless I use two fists to compress the buckle.
  • I clean my bike, wash my clothes, shower, eat some food and pass out.

That was what they call a 'tank emptier' for sure.

19 May 2012

Stottlemeyer 60 MTB Race

My season started today.

Everyone has their "A" races and for me in 2012 it's the NW Epic Series (put on by 4th Dimension Racing).

I used to mountain bike a lot. For some reason that tapered off dramatically some years ago. I guess road and track took center stage and you can only do so much on any given day that the weather is nice. But then two years ago I lost some of my enthusiasm for the track and then last year I entered these races on a whim. What a blast!

ASIDE - this series has a short course option and a long course option. Of course I opted for the long course. :)

The Stottlemeyer 60 was a bit of a rude introduction to mountain biking when I rode it last year for sure as it's quite technical (and I bit it twice!) but the rest of the series was tons of fun and today I had a MUCH better day than last year. Talk about night and day.

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18 May 2012

BIG FAT RETRACTION

How does one even do this? Once you post something it's out there and in a very real way you can never take it back.

Tuesday I said that, "Dave threw a hissy fit" and I was straight up wrong. Turns out he was just expressing some personal frustration regarding being able to get in the type of workout he wants at Pacific Raceways and I made the bone head maneuver of taking second-hand info as gospel.

This just goes to show that:

  • Martin has a big mouth.
  • Martin is no journalist (one with ethics anyway).
  • Positive statements are good, negative statements are bad.

Dave has got to be one of the most upright people I know and does pretty much everything that he does do on principle meaning for a reason. I so admire that.

My errant comment - regardless of how it was meant - severely impacted a very important friendship and for that I am very sorry.

17 May 2012

core

Man, all I felt like riding today was a couch! I made it to the gym but that was all she wrote. No cardio, no run, no ride. I'll just call this the taper for the weekend. :)

I barely even made it to the gym! Once again I dorked around for way too long after waking up and almost ran out of time. I had to blaze through my core workout ultra fast and I was really out of breath at the end. But I did it.

16 May 2012

(long) bike commute

This morning I turned my alarm OFF in hopes of getting some decent shut eye. It sorta worked.

It was sunny out so I wanted to ride! I also figured I would attend the Ride of Silence after work which is for a great cause. But all did not go as planned and here is what Martin learned today.
  • As fun as my Town Bike is to ride, 29 miles is a bit much and I was ready to call it quits at around 25.
  • It got kind of breezy later in the day and me in my sleeveless shirt (trying to maximize that UV exposure dontcha know) was getting cold.
  • The Ride of Silence is a great idea but lacks something in the execution. I'm not sure how a bunch of slow moving cyclists with no signage or news coverage holding up traffic will do anything to bring awareness to the issue of bicycle accidents in traffic? I had every intention of participating but then when I realized I was getting chilled and the 'ride leader' asked us all to move way over there so he could speak (which would make me even colder) I bailed and went home. Plus I was starving.

15 May 2012

cardio | bike commute | Pacific Raceways

The last time I went for a run I got sore. Doing some zero-impact cardio the next day seemed to help so I did it again. This time I was not nearly as sore (my run yesterday was mostly on dirt and I wore my Hoka Combo XT shoes) but why mess with a successful routine?

I have NOT been sleeping enough and I suspect it will catch up to me tonight. Yikes. Of course last night was voluntary sleep deprivation because I went to the best f'ing concert I have attended in years - Rammstein were in town! One word: AMAZING. I took my lame-ass camera along and got some pictures and video but they don't do the show justice.

In other news the weather is still KICKING ASS which is just fine with me. Any time I hear someone complain about cramps or that it's too hot (it will come, trust me…) I feel like slapping them. And telling them to think back just one or two months. We NW natives need to relish the summer weather that we get. I for one am going to do that every damn day it's warm and dry.

14 May 2012

core | bike commute | Ravenna Park run

Sun! That's what was out today. I love it. I exposed myself to it. It was good.

In the morning I got back on track at the gym and did my core work and then I rode to work. On an impulse this morning I took my running shoes along and then went for a little trail outing at lunch. It's pretty cool how you can piece together a route that is 90% dirt from the UW in MORE than one direction.

Sun + Warmth = Martin takes his shirt off

Yep, today I was that guy. But I was too embarrassed to walk out of the IMA with no shirt on so I wore a shirt until I got outside and then carried it in my hand during the run. People (read: me) are weird.

But what a liberating feeling. The no shirt thing that is. What was not liberating is how freaking thirsty I got in just this short amount of time! It was nuts… and I even made sure I was hydrated at the start. Not 20 minutes in I was wishing I had my hand held bottle. Acting on another impulse I weighted myself after my run and I lost two pounds! In just 40 minutes! And I do not consider myself a heavy sweater by any means. Just goes to show what this weather is capable of. And it's not even 'hot' yet. Bring it!

Another non-liberating thing was the massive Marmaduke (is that redundant?) dog I met on my way back to the IMA. He was (of course) off-leash and came bounding up to me. I kinda stuck my hand out to wave to the dog's owner and maybe deflect this moose of a dog some. This beast comes catapulting right at me, hits my palm and practically sprains my wrist as I'm running. I must have visibly winced because the owner was like, "SORRY! I'm so sorry…" I just kept on running. Why do people feel entitled to let their dogs run around off-leash? And why do people feel like it's an accident when they do something wrong deliberately and then get caught? Oops, I did not know you can't run your dog off-leash in public parks. Right. For the record I have owned three dogs and so can see it from both sides but c'mon people.

13 May 2012

Bicycle Sunday

I did nothing today except go for a short ride with Shelley. We took our single speed town bikes to check out our new house and see what progress has been made and then took advantage of Bicycle Sunday. Thanks you Cascade Bicycle Club for putting this on.

It was incredible outside. And everyone was out. Lake WA Blvd was so full of strollers, in-line skaters and recreational cyclists that Lycra-clad racers looked very out of place.

It was also incredibly leisurely feeling to just cruise along with NO agenda and chat with Shelley. It seems all of our rides lately have been on a tandem and this was kind of fun.

roller races at the MVA Season Kick-off Party

Last night was the second time I have ever tried a roller race and it's amazing how they can make even 20 seconds feel like a freaking age!

The first time was just prior to checking out the Bicycle Film Festival way back in 2010 and last night the occasion was the MVA Season Kickoff Party at the Hales Ales Palladium. This is where they hold the annual Moisture Festival by the way. I guess they call it 'moisture' because it's in Seattle…? Whatever.

Back to roller races. They are exciting! And at only 20-25 seconds long very spectator friendly. I was pretty much not going to participate in this spectacle but Tom Wick corralled me and convinced me to ride in the first grudge match of the evening in an attempt to coax the attendees into participating. It worked. It also made my legs pretty shaky!

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12 May 2012

Ravensdale Road Race

Restless night… not such a great sleep. But it sure didn't hurt me any today.

Our team raced really well today - it was fantastic to see and be a part of. The end result was 2nd and 3rd place. Nice.

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11 May 2012

core | bike commute

I woke up this morning and felt rested; finally! What a great feeling. I went to the gym and promptly had a super core workout. Nice.

The temperature is starting to rise and I love it… mid 60s are forecast for today and mid (upper?) 70s for the weekend! I can't wait. So of course I rode my bike to work and took the long way home.

10 May 2012

bike commute | ride to Nutrition Clinic

Boy was I tired last night! I went to bed by 9 and turned off my alarm and woke up at 6. That was not non-stop sleep but still…

Needless to say, no gym this AM!

After work I rode to Renton for a nutrition clinic at The Balanced Athlete which was being conducted by Justin Angle. Justin is sponsored by PowerBar and as part of his sponsorship he conducts these clinics from time to time. Very cool. And Educational too, I consider myself an enthusiast of all things like bike fit, training techniques and what to put in my body but this taught me some very specific stuff about and I can't wait to try them out.

And what a day, so nice to be able to ride where you are going!

On the way home I went up Madrona and it was a bit of a chore on the single speed but I managed it all the way in the saddle. One big 'tension interval' I guess. :)

09 May 2012

core | bike commute

Just an easy to day to recover from yesterday's race.

My core routine went well and then I rode my bike to work. And then to the grocery store on the way home.

08 May 2012

cardio | bike commute | Pacific Raceways

After a solid weekend of racing and making my calves really tight from running I wanted to loosen the legs up some prior to going fast again tonight so since I did not really have time for a ride I went to the gym and did some zero-impact cardio on the elliptical trainer at a moderate resistance. I think it helped. A little.

The racing tonight was excellent. Garage Racing had no fewer than NINE riders in the Masters field so Dave Hecht, Greg Michler and I had our work cut out for us. Phew…

07 May 2012

core | bike commute

Went to the gym, did my core thing, ran an errand downtown, had dinner in Pacific Place and rode home. It was beautiful out. And getting everything done on the bike really makes my day.

The people watching downtown is always good too.

Riding to dinner I was doing a track stand at an intersection waiting for the light to change and some douche rolls up behind me and starts heckling me. I had my iPod turned up to 11 so could barely hear him and couldn't really turn around as I was trying not to fall down but he said something like, "Hey, are you a racer?" and, "Do you shave your legs?" I found out later that douche was my friend and teammate Ryan Dean. Guess the egg is on my face.

Just you wait Ryan… when you least expect it, expect it.

06 May 2012

Rainier Duathlon (long course)

My first 'real' (read: TT bike, etc.) duathlon, how cool!

I had the Rainier Duathlon on my calendar for a couple of weeks and was excited for several reasons.

  • It was going to be my first time on my TT bike this year! It seems like everyone else on my team has already raced a stage race and/or a TT (or even a TT stage race!) but not me…
  • All the running was on pavement. Although not my preference it is fast and it is dry and it is a good gauge when comparing yourself to other people.
  • The bike leg was essentially around the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race road race course which went up Mud Mountain Rd and then down Hwy 410. It had a little bit of everything, some climbing, a good descent and some flats. It was fast. I like to go fast.

Because of the ridiculous early start I had to wake up at the crack of [insert your favorite epithet here] to be able to metabolize some food. After getting that done I packed up, almost forgot my running shoes(!) and showed up nice and early.

ASIDE - remembering running shoes was tough. For a duathlon ALL your gear is cycling-specific except for one pair of shoes… I obviously still have a lot to learn.

05 May 2012

Vance Creek Road Race

Last year there was a dearth of masters racers in my category at events and promoters were eliminating the category that I race in (Category 2 but not yet 50 years old) which was kind of a shame as it meant I had to race with the Pro/1/2 field (which I can barely do) or just stay home. This year we have eeked out sufficient numbers to have races again and at the Olympic View Road Race last weekend it was actually a great field. Enough folks (28) signed up this weekend again so here we go one more time.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Vance Creek Road Race. It's hard enough that I suffer but I still seem to usually get in the break. That does not mean I routinely win the thing but I do well enough that I can taste success and keep coming back. One year I flatted out of the winning break, one year I stayed in the break but got last/6th, another year I kept getting dropped on the hill but chased back every time and another year me being in the break helped set up victory for a teammate so here goes.

CIMG8539

04 May 2012

core | bike commute

Went to the gym, had a good core  workout, rode to my JAMF Software training, passed my exam, went outside and it was POURING. So I took the shortest way home. It stopped raining at the exact moment I pulled up to my garage. One of those days. At least I did not get cold.

03 May 2012

treadmill run

Nothing special today… just a run with some tempo to try and get the legs turning over so my race on Sunday won't feel like a slap in the face.

I tried to accelerate the entire last 10 minutes and was unable to do so. I sorta crapped out with two minutes to go and had to throttle back a little bit. Oh well. Breathing was difficult.

02 May 2012

core | bike commute

I was dragging ASS this morning… At least I had a reasonable core workout once I got to the gym. Whew.
I took a test today in my training and passed the JAMF Software CCA but it was stressful. Holy crap. I am the greenest guy in the rom when it comes to knowing this material and I was literally cut off by the buzzer and did not finish. I think I was the only one that did not finish. But I passed. Thank goodness.

On the way home I had to vent some stress so in spite of being on my Town Bike I rode down to Seward Park and then back home. And it was great! The air was absolutely still, I had music blasting and it helped unwind me from a hectic day. I was having such a good time I rode around the outside of the park and then did the upper loop. Good times.

Climbing up Capitol Hill from Mt Baker Beach through Colman Park I tried to take the foot path but when it turned to gravel and then to stairs my single speed bike with platform pedals, no suspension and slick tires was not up the challenge. That's the long way of saying I don't have skills. But in my defense I also did not have any traction.

I was taking detours like this along the entire ride. I rode up and over the pedestrian bridge that crosses Rainer Ave, took the paved trail along Lake WA, etc., etc. This bike is so fun!

01 May 2012

cardio | bike commute (exploring under I-5)

I'm in some training for work all week long so other than the gym in the AM and riding to and from the training I think this will be a somewhat unremarkable week. Unremarkable except for the fact that my sleep has been shit lately. Last night I woke up at 3:30 and that was it, I could not fall back asleep. Dang.
My legs were pretty darn tight this morning and slowly working them out with a zero-impact cardio machine felt pretty good.

One the way home I was looking for a novel way to go and suddenly found myself on Airport Way. Then I found myself on the dirt under I-5. So I just kept exploring.

What an eye opener…!

I always knew objectively that people lived under the freeway and had seen some go here and come from here but had never been this close. As I rode north the density of tents and bed rolls kept increasing and suddenly around Massachusetts there were about 20 men milling around. Feeling like an idiot I opted to turn around here and found my way back down to Airport Way and headed home.

Here are some things I saw.
  • A Honda generator!
  • Massive tents, like sleeping eight people big.
  • Barbeques.
  • A tree that was surrounded by soiled toilet paper. Was this the designated 'poop tree'?