30 June 2012

Leavenworth ditch run

Today I did one of my favorite things. I went for a trail run, with great people, on a new route and it was SO scenic.

My sister and two of her running friends invited me along on a run and we headed out from the Lodge at Copper Notch and followed the Icicle River for a bit. Then we went up a steep hill to an aqueduct that flows along the hillside.

At first the aqueduct was in a metal 'shell' and since the hill was so steep it was supported by a latticed framework. On top of this framework about two feet above the water was a wood plank walkway for workers. We ran along this walkway and it was amazing to be 1) just a couple of feet above all this rushing water and 2) cruising along this steep hillside with amazing views staring you in the face. If I ever needed a GoPro on a run today was the day.

The walkway ended and then there was a dirt path next to the aqueduct so we ran along that for a few miles and turned around. The return trip along the wood walkway was just as spectacular the second time round.

29 June 2012

core

Plans change!

Today I thought I would at least hit the gym for some cardio but meetings at work and the fact that I was bushed meant that by noon I was NOT thinking about doing anything physical so bagged out. Done.

My calves are sore from yesterday's pavement run but otherwise my body help up very well. I'm mostly tried from a shite night's sleep.

Oh yeah, my core routine felt pretty hard today. :( Especially the side plank.

28 June 2012

bike commute | Lake Union run

I had such a good time running yesterday I thought I'd give it another try today. But I had to be at work by 7:00 AM today so no opportunity to duplicate yesterday's big athletic trifecta meaning I had to miss the gym this time round. Oh well.

Yesterday I weighed myself on the IMA locker room scale before and after my run and discovered that on a warm day I lost two pounds of water weight in just 40 minutes. Today I repeated the scale test and was blown away to discover that I lost FOUR pounds of water weight in 1:10. I feel like I've been living under a rock as most athletes probably already know this…? I guess I did in theory but seeing the numbers is really making it hit home. Hydration will be a priority from now on.

I felt yesterday's run when I started today but after a mile or so I got warmed up. I also felt slower but my pace was pretty similar. That was a nice surprise considering it was almost twice as long. After I was done my calves were tight (too much pavement…) but otherwise I was okay.

I'm reading Eat & Run by Scott Jurek and one thing he emphasizes is cadence. He recommends 85-90 so that is what I have been focusing on.

27 June 2012

Ceramic bearings? No thanks.

Every so often a disease infects cycling and it spreads like an epidemic. Of course by 'disease' I mean fad and by 'spreading like an epidemic' I mean people seem insistent on shelling out tons of cash for no reason (or just because of effective marketing).

Ceramic bearings was (is?) one of those fads.

On the one hand I am a huge fan of anything that gets people out on bicycles and that pumps up the cycling industry in general but really, how bad do we need things like ceramic bearings? That's rhetorical, we don't.

core | Ravenna run | bike commute

Apparently I was inspired while at the gym this morning and managed to hold the plank for four minutes. Nice. And not bad considering I was up since 3:00 AM… What's with that? I hate not being able to sleep.
Then at lunch I went for a run. OUTSIDE. I know, I know… I'm crazy like that. Seriously, it was 70 degrees and sunny. As I left the IMA I smiled looking at all the folks on the treadmills because I was not one of them.

And my run was great! And then I got invited to ride some mountain passes down by Mt. Rainier! It was turning into a banner day.

My ride home was awesome. Awesome because it was still super nice out and because my chain came off but I did not hurt myself very badly. Whew. Sure looks tough though. It cracks me up that I took the time to stop, get out my phone and twist around to try and take a picture… :)

The dangers (and the badassness) of platform pedals.

25 June 2012

core | treadmill run | bike commute

Core felt okay and my run felt pretty good, that was nice. I really have the urge to go hit the woods on foot but I know it will be a pretty big shock to the system when I finally do give it a go again. :)

My last bike race is at the end of August, then I'll focus on running.

I'm also really pumped to ride my new mountain bike... more on that soon.

23 June 2012

WA State Masters Championship Road Race (Longbranch)

I was thinking yesterday that I feel better prepared to race my mountain bike for 100 miles/10 hours than I do to race my road bike for 50 miles/2 hours…

The Longbranch Road Race is a classic. It's hard without being ridiculous and if you can get into a break the hills are a bit easier than when you are in the pack. The only problem is that at the Masters Championship race there are no pretenders in attendance and getting into the break is more difficult than usual.

I was here with Ryan Dean and Greg Kauper for the 40-49 Category 1-3 race, it's been pretty much the three of us all year long so I figured the team was in good hands.

11

22 June 2012

core | cardio

Rain was in the forecast so I went to the gym. And then I did it again at lunch.

21 June 2012

cardio | bike commute

My motivation to do any kind of structured workout is hitting rock bottom again… I think life stresses are getting the better of me.

I got to the gym and really was not sure what I should do so hopped on the elliptical trainer. The first few minutes felt like utter garbage but then my legs warmed up and the last 20 minutes felt pretty good. Whew.
I had a great/peaceful/productive day at work which helped lift my spirits some and then the ride back was super. I was cruising up all the hills with very little perceived effort and made it to my massage therapist in record time.

ASIDE - Jenny Dailey (one of my favorite massage therapists) is fantastic. she really knows what a runner/cyclist/whatever needs.

That massage felt SO good. It has been way too long since I got one.

how to use photobucket to host images on your website

This has been bugging me for MONTHS.

I have been wanting to display a bunch of thumbnail images in a footer on my blog and just was not able to do it. It was of course easy to insert images into the body of a post on my blog but the footer is just a code snippet that gets loaded at the bottom of every page so when you create it there is no way to insert images via the GUI.

No problem I thought, I’ll just upload the thumbnail images to Google Docs (now Google Drive) and reference them. And it worked… but only for a few minutes.

20 June 2012

core | bike commute

I got to the gym this morning and just was not feeling it. So I figured I would mix it up and try some different exercises. It didn't really help. I ended up doing mostly ab exercises instead of core exercises but oh well.
It was beautiful out and I took the long way home, that made up for it. Until I got this flat anyway.

If you're going to flat, do it up proper.

the best spam subject line ever

At work we get a TON of junk email. I usually just select it all and hit delete but this morning we got an exceptionally entertaining message.

Subject: CONFIDENTIAL LETTER OF BEQUEST Do not treat as spam.... [No virus] OPEN ATTACHED FILE,Call me for more clarification

Body: Open attached file for full details...Paul Alexander

I've got to hand it to 'Paul', not only did he claim this email was not spam AND that it did not contain a virus, he was even so pro-active as to tell you to open the attachment. Nice. Paul gets an A for effort that's for sure. The only way to earn an A+ would have been to actually include a phone number.

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19 June 2012

cardio | treadmill run

I felt much better today! My hands are still a little sore from Saturday but my legs are coming back to life.

Since I was not heading down to Pacific Raceways today to race I got in a little cardio in the morning and then a run at lunch. Both felt refreshingly good although I was breathing pretty hard while running. I guess I'm just not doing it often enough these days for it to feel super relaxed. And that's okay.

18 June 2012

core

Oi… After riding my brains out on Saturday and then driving home that same evening I did not feel bad at all about taking Sunday off. But I wanted to at least get in some active recovery type of activity today and work prevented it. Rats.

At least I got to the gym this morning for my core routine. And yes, it was pretty tough. My body is sore in all kinds of places.

16 June 2012

Test of Endurance 100 MTB race

I ran out of descriptors for the hills after finishing the Test of Endurance 100. Here are a few that I can remember.

  • soul-sucking
  • leg-breaking
  • mind-numbing
  • 17,000'
  • really, really hard

This race was four laps of a 25-mile loop and after just one lap I was not sure how I was going to finish this thing. But I made it. And obviously perseverance pays off.

CIMG8788

15 June 2012

core

After doing nothing yesterday other than 30 minutes of stretching (I SO needed that) today I just had time to hit the gym before taking off to my big race tomorrow.

Once again someone had hidden the 12 lb. workout ball so I used the 10 lb. one for my twisters. And I opted to trim the hip abductors from my routine today, just no interest…

At least I'll be well rested.

13 June 2012

core | bike commute

After lots of rest my legs were supposed to feel good and they did. Nice.

I didn't have time for any kind of extensive ride to take advantage of this feeling but I did head up Belmont Ave E on my way home which is about the steepest hill I can ride on my town bike without needing to paperboy (read: zig zag). I went up it as hard as I could and paced myself so I did not blow after the step section and kept the power on across the false flat and then up the last two risers.

ASIDE - there should be a Strava segment for this hill that is restricted to single speed bikes with platform pedals (ridden by 48 year old men who are over 6' tall and carrying a messenger bag). I would so own that segment. :)

How to transfer your Google Voice number to your Google Apps account

Finally…

Ever since I started using My Google Apps account exclusively for my email I have been searching for a way to do this. I looked for months and in the past all the documentation I found led to dead links or terse statements that Google was not supporting a transfer at this time. But it appears that is no longer the case.

Go here to transfer your Google Voice account to your Google Apps account:

http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1378061

Google Voice is an amazing service. I have been using it for years now but acquired my number before I acquired my Google Apps account. It was always a drag to have to sign in to everything (except Google Voice) with one account and Google Voice with another.

As of this writing I just clicked the final button to confirm the transfer and the disclaimer says it could take 'up to five days' so here's hoping it works. I will post an update once it has transferred to confirm this works.

UPDATE - that didn't take long, just a couple of hours after clicking the transfer button it's done and my Google Voice number has been transferred from my Gmail account to my Google Apps account.

NOTE - the transfer dialogue never seemed to stop (see below) but it worked.

transfer

12 June 2012

treadmill run | bike commute

Surprisingly running felt okay today. On the bike my legs still feel heavy but not so much doing something else. I'm glad I tried something else.

I took a water bottle to the gym and I was VERY glad I did. I ended up just carrying it for most of my run.

11 June 2012

core | bike commute

Since yesterday was easy I did not take today totally off. In fact, I took the long way home since the weather was still great.

Yes I was tired, so I just took it slow. Still worth it to get out and about.

10 June 2012

Echo Valley MTB tandem ride

Since Shelley and I were making a weekend of it, after yesterday's race we took the tandem out for one lap of the Echo Valley race course.

One word: fun!

  • We slept in.
  • The weather was perfect.
  • These trails are very tandem friendly.

Did I mention that my legs were totally shot? Oh yes they were…

I wish I had some pictures of us riding.

09 June 2012

Echo Valley 60 MTB Race

14 seconds.

In some situations it can seem like the blink of an eye and in others it's like an impossibly high mountain of time. I'm happy to say that today it was more like the former and less like the later.

I had what might have been my best mountain bike race to-date today and it netted me 2nd place at the Echo Valley 60 which is the second race in the NW Epic Series. In the end I finished just 14 seconds behind 1st place.

CIMG8734

08 June 2012

core | cardio

OH MY GOD, I AM NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP. I woke up countless times, read a book from 2:30-3:00 and then managed to sleep a little again thank goodness.

Not a lot of time today so I tried to squeeze two things into my morning gym session. It sorta worked.

Tomorrow is another big race and I have done squat all week so I figured it was important to try and get the legs moving just a little… especially since I have felt so freaking tired and lazy all week long. Elliptical trainer to the rescue!

Whatever. If you can't ride your bike you do what you can. I trimmed the hip abductors from my core routine and trimmed 10 minutes off of my usual cardio time. But at least I did something.

06 June 2012

core | bike commute

A dry day! Finally I can commute on my bike and I jumped at the chance.

Core was fine this morning. And although I woke up groggy I went to the gym pronto and didn't drag ass.
I was doing my plank when a friend said hello, I tried to answer and was pretty entertained by what came out of my mouth. It sounded like I was trying to speak after getting clobbered in the gut. That, or a subdued, breathy, bedroom kind of hello. Not sure which.

05 June 2012

treadmill run | cardio

A run! It's been ages! It didn't feel that bad! Even after sleeping like crap.

Seeing as it was going to be wet all day I opted to not plan on racing at Pacific Raceways this evening and since rain also meant I could not ride my bike to work I had to make due with a short AM and lunch workout session.

I felt like switching it up so dug out my running shoes and it felt okay. Mechanically it actually felt pretty good but I was breathing a bit harder than I wanted just running at a very moderate pace. Oh well. My Hoka Combo XTs were super comfy today. Always a plus.

At lunch I went a bit harder on the elliptical trainer than I have recently and was laughing at how much I had to focus to keep the effort up where I wanted it. Laughing at myself that is because my target effort was not very high.

04 June 2012

core | cardio

After racing on Saturday and then riding on the longest uninterrupted road in the world on Sunday I needed a rest. Done.

I got in my core work in the AM and then some light cardio in the PM to loosen the legs a bit. It worked.

03 June 2012

100 Miles of Nowhere

Well, who would have thought it? Here it is June and here I am again with my good friend Tom riding my bike a long way but not getting anywhere.

For the fourth year in a row Tom Wick and I are knocking out the Fat Cyclist 100 Miles of Nowhere and I must say that early on in the ride I was thinking this might be the last time… To try and stimulate ourselves we again chose the Marymoor Velodrome for our effort as trainers/rollers was a bit extreme and mind numbing. Not to mention crotch numbing.

CIMG8718

02 June 2012

2nd Ascent Ballard Criterium

The Ballard Criterium is an awesome race and last year I had a super ride. This year it was my first DNF in ages. Rats!

That said, I was going fairly well up until I had to bail. Here I am looking studly well before I pulled the rip cord.

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01 June 2012

cardio

This week of training sure doesn't look like it belongs to a cyclist. :(

The forecast for today was for wet so I had to leave the bike at home and again it ended up being nice and warm and dry in the afternoon. Thank you UW for not providing me with any place to securely store my bike in my building and my shared office for not letting me hang wet clothes. Okay, I'm done being pissy now.

I did do some cardio at the gym in the morning and it felt marginally better so that much is good anyway.