31 August 2012

bike commute

Just the shortest way in to work and then home today. No bells or whistles.

30 August 2012

core | bike commute

Rode home through downtown today, just because it's fun.

29 August 2012

walk commute

Since yesterday's run was such a disaster, I opted to walk home today instead. It was great!

Of course I also opted to head up the Howe Street stairs... damn these are long if you start from all the way at the bottom.

walk commute

Since I was almost literally not running yesterday I opted to walk today.

This is fun! Plug in the music, walk sorta fast and watch the people go by. Of course I went up the Howe Street stairs... damn these are long if you start all the way at the bottom.

28 August 2012

core | run commute

Got to the gym in the AM and then tried to run from work to my father's house where I was going to meet him.

I forgot my GPS so wasn't able to track the run and I was wrecked so it barely was a run... I was shuffling/walking more like. Man were my legs blown.

Fortunately there are free services like MapMyRun that let me record this commute. What is unfortunate is that even though I was able to export the GPX file, neither Garmin Connect nor Strava would accept the file.

27 August 2012

bike commute

Just rode to work and then to a team social and then home.

Nothing like beers and bikes...

25 August 2012

Capitol Forest 100

BANG. It's Martin's last mountain bike race of the year, the Capitol Forest 100. Here is the pessimistic perspective of how it went.

100

And here is the optimistic perspective. That's me there on the left.

CIMG9157

Once again 4th Dimension Racing and the NW Epic Series put on a fantastic event and I'm glad I showed up. For all the rants and Martin-centric play-by-play read on.

24 August 2012

core

No aerobic activity for me today! I was actually debating with myself about taking the day totally off but decided that since I was not taking my race tomorrow super serious my back would be fine (read: plenty rested) even if I did core today.

23 August 2012

cardio | bike commute

The elliptical trainer has become my go-to when I want to loosen up (especially if I have been running) as It's zero impact. It also incorporates the upper body some which is nice.

So this morning I hopped on for 30 minutes and then rode to work. Done.

22 August 2012

core

Only time (motivation?) for the gym this morning.

On the upside I'm down to just a couple of bandages.

21 August 2012

bike commute

I wanted to see how I was feeling after the weekend so I took the long way home. And the survey said...?! Kind of not fresh. Poop. Oh well, resting more is easy.

20 August 2012

core

It was a conscious decision not to ride or run today.

One thing I have learned is that if you are undertrained for a race, you should at least show up well rested and NOT try to cram in a bunch of hard efforts right before the event. Besides, I'm good at resting.

I am finally down to just a handful of bandages. But I still can't do the plank because of my scrapes and soreness.

19 August 2012

around Lake WA on a single speed

What's that you say? I have a race coming up in a week? On a bicycle? Yikes... I suppose I better remind myself what it's like to ride one then.

Since I'll be racing a single speed it seemed appropriate that I ride the same thing.

I took along some music but was not able to push very hard... I suppose yesterday took more out of me then I wanted to admit.

It's just now that I'm realizing why I took the long way home pretty much every day last week. It's because of this upcoming race and because I could not find the motivation to actually get out and 'train'. It's pretty obvious that my bicycle racing season ended with the High Cascades 100 which was three weeks ago. And you could argue that it was even earlier.

This ride was fun! It has actually been quite a while since I was on these roads so n spite of the fact that I have covered them countless times, this time was not boring or tedious. I enjoyed the scenery and even passed a couple of geared bikes. :) I did forget just how heavy this machine is though, my road race bike and my mountain bike are so light in comparison. Still, it's a super fun ride. These days that matters more to me.

18 August 2012

Malakwa Lake + trail run

So many epic/phenomenally scenic trails in the NW and so few days to check them all out! :( I just want to DO MORE. All I need is that proverbial eighth day in the week, right?

ASIDE - I think the mental shift has taken place. These days when the weekend rolls around I want to go for long runs and hikes and not long rides.

Today I got out with Bill Huggins and Bryan Estes for yet another classic route. There are about a million different variations of this and today we just did one. This run had it all.

  • Massive views
  • We swam in a mountain lake!
  • Awesome trails.

Did I mention that I fell down again...?! Sonofabitch. At least this one was not as bad as the three falls last week. Still, what is my problem? At this point I'm just adding scar tissue on top of scar tissue. It's getting old. OLD I say. But I did finish running and overall it was a fantastic experience. My elbows would argue otherwise.

I need to invest in a waterproof camera big time. All these memories only last so long. Plus I like to share.

17 August 2012

core

Just got to the gym today. Then again, I got to the gym.

My recollection is hazy but I think I was able to eliminate two bandages by now. I still can't do the plank though, no way.

16 August 2012

bike commute

Obviously I am enamored by this route home... and in truth it is an amazing route. You go through no less than five (Fremont, Ballard, Magnolia, Belltown, Capitol Hill) unique neighborhoods, you get to see the Ballard Locks, Discovery Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, the Seattle Waterfront and then climb up through the Pike Pine Corridor. I love it.

One word: culture!

Another: diversity!

Speaking of diversity, Hempfest is coming and they have been setting up for this 'alternative' festival in Myrtle Edwards Park the last few days. Picture any stereotype you want that is associated with hemp (read: marijuana) and they all come true here this time of year. The last couple of days I have seen everything from the truly homeless person cloaked in what looked to be a rug with a hole cut in it for this guy's head to poke through to what were obviously some richie rich kids trying to rebel against their (most likely east side, white, sheltered) parents.

That's right Jeff Reed, I said 'east side'! :) Obviously I also likes me a good stereotyping. Feel free to fire back in the comments section as I'm sure I fit into at least a half dozen myself. No one is immune!
Did I mention the smell...? Oh yes, that's not hemp people are smoking, no sir. I rode through cloud after cloud of it in the park.

When I got home the other day I was talking to Shelley and expressed my disbelief that some of these people at Hempfest could hold down a job. She assured me they don't. It all makes perfect sense now.

15 August 2012

core | bike commute

More core and more riding to and from work and more detours along the way to enjoy this splendid weather we are having.

I'm still at 12 bandages!

14 August 2012

treadmill run | bike commute

Hit the gym this AM to try and loosen my legs up and did all right. And since the weather is still fabulous I took the long way home again. Love it.

I'm still at 12 bandages.

13 August 2012

core | bike commute

Oh man... in spite of hitting the deck no less than three times two days ago I managed to get to the gym this morning and then took the long way home after work.

The plank (a usual part of my core routine) was not possible as my elbows and forearms were trashed. Instead I opted for some leg lifts while in the plank position with my hands on the floor and my feet on a ball. It worked. And it was hard! :)

It is taking 12 bandages (count them!) to cover all of my scrapes. :( Surprisingly I don't feel that crappy though, just the expected tiredness after running 20+ miles. Nice.

It was a beautiful day.

11 August 2012

Pacific Crest Trail run

God do I love new trails…! The Pacific Crest Trail certainly falls into that category for me since prior to today I have never set foot on any part of it. I know... and I call myself a NW native. :(

I hooked up with Bill Huggins (much faster than me) and Jon Robinson (also much faster than me) to explore some new terrain. Here are some highlights.

  • It was epically beautiful. There was hardly a cloud in the sky so you could see for miles and we were right in the middle of the mountains for crying out loud. So freaking amazing.
  • Lucky for me both Bill and Jon were not trying to go hard so we stuck together all the way. On the way back I was actually pulling ahead a tiny bit on the climbs. Who woulda thunk? Of course it might have been the case that Jon was just coming off of a 100 mile race (his second this summer) and it might not.
  • I fell more often (THREE TIMES) and harder than I ever have on a trail run. It would have been laughable if it had not hurt so much. Actually, I did laugh. What else could I do? When I got home there were no less than 12 bandages involved.

09 August 2012

core | treadmill run

Core. I am too random in my efforts to help my back and of course I pay the price. It used to be the case (when I was super regular) that only long rides hurt but now longer runs hurt some too. Sucks.

Am I whining? Sorry. Blue moment obviously.

In brighter news, Martin got to the gym and not only did his core routine but was there early enough and had enough motivation to go for a run as well! Let the champagne flow.

08 August 2012

bike commute

My saddle sore is STILL NOT HEALED UP ALL THE WAY. Oh man is this getting old. Oh sure, it's getting better but it is not yet 'comfy' sitting on a bike. Super demoralizing to tell you the truth.

Thus no long way home today. Bummer.

On the upside our house is coming along. Here are some new pictures. Luckily that is super exciting.

So you are a great Mountain Bike racer

Funny how memories can be triggered by the most random thing.

I was recently looking at some old email and came across this one from the organizer of the TransPortugal mountain bike race that was sent to me in April of 2005.

So you are a great Mountain Bike racer, you've won podium places in the races you've gone to, or you have been a finisher in the most demanding and outrageous races in the world. You´ve been everywhere and you've done all that with the caring help of your support team and the "provide it all" Race Organizations.

Now, suppose that you have to do it all on your own, in a race where support is not allowed, there are no aid stations along the race track, you race in complete isolation through the most remote country side, alone and following an unmarked trail, no arrows or ribbons.

Just how good a racer are you then?

You will find this challenge in Portugal next June. A different endurance race where your toughness is put to the test in 11 racing days along 1200 kms. But the Transportugal is mostly the race where you challenge your limits. The terrain adversities are numerous but the main adversity is heat.

How good a racer are you when the variables you have to deal with appeal to your best planning ability and adaptability is your wining edge?

How good a racer are you in a race where your younger age and gender is levelled out with the rest of the field, and you can be beaten by an old man or a woman?
Put yourself to the test, come and race in Portugal next summer. See it all in www.supertravessia.com

Best regards
 
ANTONIO MALVAR
CICLONATUR DESPORTOS LDA. Rua Manuel Teixeira Gomes, 15 H
2795 - 540 CARNAXIDE, PORTUGAL Tel: +351214170907

In retrospect I'm not even sure why I got this email. But boy did it plant the seed. And in 2007 I ended up participating in the race. Ah memories…

Oh yeah, everything Antonio claimed about the race was true. The night before each stage they would upload the following days' route to your GPS and then the next morning they simply said, "Go…!" See you at the finish. You had to follow the route or get lost. Competitors were handicapped by age meaning the older you were the bigger your head start was.

07 August 2012

cardio | bike commute

Hit the gym for some moderate cardio to loosen the legs after my big trail run last weekend and interestingly I felt worse today than yesterday. I guess I should know that is pretty much going to happen by now. Still, I did not feel broken or anything, just some tightness and soreness. Pretty darn good considering the amount of time I have spent running actually.

Ultra low impact cardio was a good decision.

06 August 2012

core

Big run yesterday so no guilt about taking today off. :) And by 'off' I of course mean no aerobic activity.

I did however experience regret for not getting to the gym on a regular basis and doing my core routine as it kicked my ass today.

05 August 2012

Tiger Mt Cottage Cheese Ass loop

Yesterday's road run went well and was not hard so today - since I seem to be on this non-cycling binge of activity - I went for a trail run. Not just any trail run, longer loop on Tiger Mountain. Man, you could run for DAYS out here.

I think I have said this before but there is an annual event on Tiger called the Fat Ass and this loop is slightly longer so some friends of mine gave it a similar name. Gotta like that.

It was my first time running this loop solo and I did not get lost! I did have a few double-take moments and went the wrong way once but figured it out within about 20 feet so no biggie. Whew. A wrong turn up here and you might cover significantly more miles…

It was a beautiful day. Hot actually. The views from the summit(s) was astounding! I could see Mt Rainier, Bellevue, you name it pretty much. Oh yeah, there were Salmon Berries and Huckleberries galore on the trail. I almost didn't need my food… almost. :)

I wore my Hoka Combo XT shoes because longer and rocky runs feel better with more cushion but they are falling apart. :( Also, my foot is moving around too much in these things and on the descents I was jamming my toes in the front in spite of them being plenty big. I changed the lacing up once while running and it did not really help. Besides, I hate having to lace shoes super tight.

I took two bottles and could have blown through them. I really metered my liquid consumption which resulted in them lasting but in me getting a bit dehydrated. Oh well, no cramps or anything and there is a creek on this route that I could start using. On my way down I passed about one million hikers many of whom were not carrying any water at all! Totally nuts. Then again, some of these people were wearing jeans in the intense heat so that explains a lot.

I have not ever done this loop with the intention of going fast but today was a PR for me. Probably because I practically never stopped…! That's what happens when you run alone I guess. I was being very calm on the descents and the climbs felt like they were super moderate. In the last mile I tried to pick up the pace and succeeded. Some. Obviously I have room to improve which is exciting. Good times!

04 August 2012

Lake Union run

Went for a real road run today. My first one in quite some time. It seemed like the thing to do; give me under carriage yet more time to heal and Shelley and I had plans for the day so doing something that did not require getting kitted up seemed prudent.

It was fun! I left my music at home and just enjoyed the scenery.

I did NOT go fast… (I couldn't) but I also did not slow down. Nice.

As I was about to take my first step my Garmin Forerunner 405 told me the battery was about to die so I went back in side and grabbed my cycling GPS. This meant I did not get any mile splits but whatever.  it worked great.

Thanks goodness I have a plethora of gadgets.

03 August 2012

walk commute

If you can't ride then you walk. Again, I am so glad I live close enough to work to be able to do this.
Today I went up the Blaine St stairs, a bit longer than the Howe Street stairs but also with more flat sections. Bottom line, both of these flights are tough!

02 August 2012

bike commute

Rode my bike to work and I'm still not feeling healed… I can't believe how long this is taking. :(

01 August 2012

core | bike commute

I finally mustered up the will to hit my core routine again… I think it's been about 10 days since I did it last. And it was correspondingly difficult. It seems that I can miss about one week (if I have been very regular) and it's okay but more than one week (which was the case) or if I have not been regular (which was also the case) and I suffer. That's one lesson I will never learn. :(

For various reasons I had to ride my bike into work today. Normally that would be excellent but I was still trying to give my saddle sore time to heal and getting on the bike today reinforced the fact that it was still too soon to be riding anything. Bummer.

So I went home up some steep hills to get myself out of the saddle. :)