29 November 2012

core

Got to the gym and then opted to take the bus to work because the forecast looked miserable. Turns out it was mostly dry but no regrets, I got to read a book on the bus which I love doing.

28 November 2012

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute

Yes! I finally got in a complete loop on Cougar Mountain. Thanks go to Bryan Estes for keeping me on track. I ran in front all morning but he would tell me when I made a wrong turn, there were only two times that I hesitated. The fact that it was not foggy out really helped.

When I got home I wolfed a quick breakfast and got on my bike and headed to work. Bonus. Riding after running seems like the perfect way to keep the legs loose.

27 November 2012

Howe Street stairs | bike commute

Stairs baby! Oh man, I think this is the first year I am actually looking forward to these workouts...! What is my problem? Getting up at oh dark thirty is another matter.

In the past I would usually do stairs but dread them. I think I started because some old-school cycling person (read: mentor) told me they would be good cross training and then I continued because they were great for skiing. Now I'm running so they are excellent!

Today I barely managed to squeeze in my extra flights before Jim Kodjababian showed up but I did it. Nice. Then we did seven flights (lucky 7!) together. Next week it gets serious with four runners.

Riding into work has been fun, it's cold and dark but mostly dry. Even riding at night on the way home has been fun, I attached a second headlight and taillight to my bike - safety first!

26 November 2012

core | bike commute

I got to the gym for core today! Seems like this is a rarity these days. Whatever.

It felt great to ride my bike after yesterday's run, I think I need to get out on a 'real' ride pretty soon so I don't forget how.

25 November 2012

pacing Lucca at the Seattle Marathon

As I type this bit while watching some live cyclocross and eating my breakfast I'm hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew...

A couple of weeks ago my sister Lucca announced that she had entered the Amica Seattle Marathon at the last minute and so just as impulsively I announced that I would pace her. During the entire race! Lucca is hoping to go sub 4-hours and that seemed entirely doable to me so I told her I would carry gels for her and carry sports drink for her and when you combine that with some food and drink for me (since I am not entered and can't use the aid stations) suddenly I am feeling like a pack mule. Not so fast in other words.

Did I mention I also volunteered to carry her phone so we can take pictures along the way? Yikes.

At least the forecast is for 40 and clear. Rain would have sucked. Besides, what are siblings for? To be honest, I have been looking forward to the day when I can really truly support Lucca at an event like this.

[Time passes while Martin and Lucca run the Seattle Marathon...]

How did it turn out for Lucca? PR baby, by OVER THREE MINUTES. Nice.

PR by over THREE MINUTES! Sub 3:56 baby. Awesome.

22 November 2012

Squak Mt dawn patrol | Lake WA Blvd run

Bonus. I got in TWO runs today. Who says you have to be lazy on Thanksgiving? Plus, there's plenty of time for that later in the day. :)

This morning I got out with the Seattle Running Club for a few miles on Squak Mountain and then about an hour after I got home I went for another run with my brother-in-law Michael Reiter. Good times.

21 November 2012

core | Discovery Park run

We have family in town and my brother in law Michael Reiter happens to be a runner (that just logged his 5000th mile!) and so we decided to hit some local trails. And what could be more local than Discovery Park? Not much. Thank goodness for me Michael is not avers to trail running.

We ran three counter-clockwise laps of the Loop Trail and on the second lap I managed to talk Michael into going all the way down to the beach and then up the climb to the bluff. I broached the detour option again on lap three but he declined. :)

Michael is running his third (or fourth?) marathon in 2.5 weeks and is hoping to go under four hours. Go Michael!

Oh yeah, I managed to squeeze some core in before we took off. About time too.

I still have a cycling hero and his name is Greg LeMond

Most people idolize some person or some athlete when they grow up and I was no different. I used to read VeloNews cover-to-freaking-cover back when it was a tabloid-sized newsprint magazine and of course I purchased all the World Cycling Productions films I could afford.

The person I idolized was Greg LeMond. I'm not sure if it was because he was American (probably not) or because he used to be a skier and then became a cyclist (as did I) or because he was the perennial underdog (probably). Whatever, watching Greg attack, win against all odds, come back from injury and show the establishment what could be done was incredibly inspirational.

I was reminded of Greg when I happened across this video today.

The Rapha Continental: Carson City, Nevada with Greg LeMond from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Which of course reminded me of this video.

Which in turn prompted this post.

Say what you will about Greg's reaction to the press doping in cycling has received recently or to the establishment or the way he lived his life since being a professional athlete, the dude seems like a straight shooter to me. If he has gotten into a jam, it's perhaps because he lacks the best filter and says what he thinks? Then again, I don't know the half of it and am just armchair quarterbacking it here.

Thanks Greg. For making this sport called cycling that much more magical to me. Your inspiration and this sport has served me well for most of my life.

17 November 2012

run around Mercer Island

Just last year I was riding across the I-90 bridge gabbing with a friend and I swore up and down that I wouldn't be caught dead running across this thing.

I mean how un-scenic can you get? 1.5 miles of concrete with loads of cars right next to you.

Well today I was that guy - the one that is running across the I-90 floating bridge. Here's how that came about.

16 November 2012

treadmill run | bike commute

Okay, today felt better than yesterday.

I got to the gym, did a reasonable run and then rode to and from work. My legs and my breathing actually felt okay on the treadmill. Hooray for me.

15 November 2012

core

Core. Work. Home.

Not even a cycling commute today. I think I felt like reading on the bus. It's hard to read while riding.

Did I mention that I can hardly do 10 push-ups now? Yep, this is me now; just call me 'Mac'.

charles_atlas

14 November 2012

Cougar 5

Well. I no longer have any excuses (but you're going to get some anyway because that's more fun). I have run this loop plenty of times now and sure it was dark and sure it was wet and sure it was foggy but I also should know the way.

Nope.

Here is what the Red Town Trail looks like on a nice day.

Red_Town

Now take a big, black Marks-A-Lot and color the entire picture. Then take the picture into a steam room. Then turn the temperature down to 45. Then put a bunch of rocks and roots on the ground. Then try to run out of the steam room. Oh, and occasionally you'll need to throw glitter in the air and turn on a strobe light so it reflects off all the sparkly bits. That's kind of what today was like. And I am so not exaggerating.

13 November 2012

Howe Street stairs

After running both days last weekend I took Monday off and then tried to hit the stairs today. I'll just say that it is a DAMN good thing I have made a habit of showing up early and walking some flights before I try to run.

One word: tired
Two more: tired legs

There were more leaves on the ground today, the stairs looked sort of like this. Except it was really dark.

howe_street_stairs

11 November 2012

Bellingham Trail Marathon

Nice. Sometimes there is truth in advertising and the Bellingham Trail Marathon does a good job of connection two major trial systems with a minimum of boring stuff in between. Yes, there was a two-mile section of pavement we had to run (twice) to make the connection but in hindsight it was not that bad.

Today I accomplished some firsts and some seconds for me.

  1. This race was the day after a longer (for me) run on Saturday. It's the first time I have done two long runs back-to-back and it went surprisingly well.
  2. For a change I exercised patience and started slow. This is only the second time I have had the discipline to do this (Chuckanut was the first) and it paid dividends in the end.
  3. Even after two substantial runs my joints were not kaput! This is HUGE. In the past, every time I finished a longer run my knees and leg muscles would be toast from the impact and limping around was pretty much the norm. This time I was tired but not sore and only a little stiff. Ditto the following day. My body is adapting to running!

04

10 November 2012

Tiger Mt Cottage Cheese Ass loop trail run

Oh man, today was a true bluebird day, just without the snow.

Bryan Estes and I got out for a lap around Tiger Mountain and the trail conditions were just outstanding. Out-f'ing-standing.

If only my mood matched the weather and trail conditions. I was feeling much better but still feeling the after effects of my meltdown yesterday. Oh well, it's getting better. Lucky for me Bryan LOVES to talk and he chatted me up one side of Tiger and down the other. But in a good way. We talked about running (just a little), the local tech start-up scene, various technologies, how smart phones are changing our lives, what makes a good baby stroller, how not to pee on your bottle and all kinds of things I can't recall anymore. I gotta say, it's great to run with someone that has the same interests!

08 November 2012

run commute

Oh man. Today was a new low in so many ways. :( Not to get overly dramatic and drag this mostly upbeat and sarcastic blog into the swamp of emotion but today I had some family shit hit the fan and it just killed me running home.

See what I did there? I took something heavy and made it light. Light, light, light; let's keep it light.

But we'll start at the beginning.

07 November 2012

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute | core

Nice. I love these dry fall days. Today I got in the fitness trifecta if you will, a trail run in the morning, I rode to work and I squeezed in my core workout at lunch. And I think today is the absolute peak of the fall leaf-falling season, the colors are absolutely eye popping.

I met Todd Morse Tucker and Bryan Estes at the Red Town trailhead on Cougar Mountain at the completely ridiculous hour of 5:30 AM (experience has taught us that traffic coming home sucks if you start later...) and we had a great run.

Except for the part where I got lost. I was in front and still don't have this darn route memorized and my light is underwhelming and I missed a turn (see GPS data below). At least we figured it out quickly and got back on track. With the end of Daylight Saving Time [It isn't 'Savings' people, we're not 'savings' time, we're saving it! C'mon.] we had some light at the end of our run which was also nice.

Since the weather was so fantastic I rode in to work again. Yes.

Core at lunch was wickedly hard; especially the side plank (which I did for the fist time in ages in lieu of the ball leg lifts). As were the hip adductors - holy cow! As in they have never been that hard. Ever. What gives? It might be time to stop pretending to do core work and actually do core work; especially more than like once/week.

06 November 2012

Howe Street stairs | bike commute

It's that time of year again...! Say hello to the Howe Street stairs.

howe_street

I think Howe Street has got to be the most famous stair climb in Seattle. Oh sure, there are some that are longer (but have flat sections) but this is the longest sustained climb that I know of. I've been doing this workout for years every winter and this year won't be any different. :)

Once again I was doing the stairs with my trusty companion Jim Kodjababian - I am SO glad he is up for this year after year.

Last year I started showing up early to get in some warm-up flights and it worked meaning I was more prepared to run once Jim showed up. I managed to do that again today and will try to keep it up. Officially (read: once Jim got there) we did four flights today. We'll add one each week until we get to 15. We alternate walking one flight two at a time with running one flight two at a time.

The ride into work was a nice way to finish everything off.

05 November 2012

bike commute | core

Managed to get to the IMA at lunch today for some core. The IMA has so many rooms/facilities but they don't have all of the same equipment in each space, turns out the room I chose had exercise balls but not the leg machines I use for hip abductors and adductors, oh well.

I am really liking my 'new' route home. Instead of staying down by the water (Lakeside Ave) I go up and over the hill on Lake WA Blvd. Less traffic and I don't have to paperboy that super steep block from the water to our house.

04 November 2012

USATF Pacific NW Masters Cross Country Championships

Oh man... what did I get myself into? On a lark I signed up for the USATF Pacific NW Masters Cross Country Championships.

Last time I checked cross country runners are f'ing FAST. Martin on the other hand? Not so much.

Still, the Seattle Running Club (the running club that I joined) has a small contingent of folks that enter cross country meets every fall and so I figured I would give it a go. Besides, this race is very close to home, gotta like that. It's supposed to be a 2 km loop in Woodland Park and Masters run this loop three times. How hard can 6 km be? See below.

WP_000064

03 November 2012

Lake WA Blvd run

After puttering around the house all day doing various projects...

Finally getting to all my computer projects!

I finally got outside. And you know what? It was a really nice day. It was in the mid 50s, mostly dry (just a light mist on the way home) and there were loads of other people out riding and running. Nice.

There were also some aggressive dogs out.

02 November 2012

treadmill run | bike commute

Okay, today was "use the treadmill at home" 2.0 and it went much better. As you might recall, the last time I ran indoors at home I activated our house alarm and woke Shelley. Not so good. This time I planned ahead by turning off our alarm before I started and I even grabbed a fan to augment the open windows. Much better.

I was hoping to go a little faster as I have entered my first Cross Country running race Sunday but it didn't really work. And really, it was to be expected. I have done exactly zero (real) speed work. As I increased the pace it got harder and harder to breath and I never was able to go as fast as I had hoped I would be able to. Oh well.

When I finished running as was cooling down with a few minutes of walking I suddenly remembered that some people use treadmills to power hike so I thought, "Hey, I'll give this a try too!" I cranked the incline up to 10% and that felt fine at 3 mph. Then I upped it to 12% and that still felt okay. Then I increased the speed to 4 mph and it was not easy.

So now I have a goal: maintain 4 mph at a 12% incline for an extended period. How long is 'extended'? I'll start with 15 minutes and see if I can work up to 30 perhaps? We'll see.

Since it was dry I hopped on my bike and rode to work. Wow... it feels like ages since I have ridden anything. I need to go for a real ride (on a real road bike) here and soon.

01 November 2012

core

Oh man... the procrastination monster got me today. :(

I made it to the gym in the morning but I had to leave work early so worked through lunch and did not get in my noon run. No problem I figured, I'll do it when I get home. After hanging out while a locksmith addressed our locks it was just about time for Shelley to get home. Did I still want to run? Not.

Oh well. I need this time of year to be about fun so should not beat myself up about it.

I did mix it up a tad today. On my last long run my adductors cramped up a bit and I think it's because I am not riding as much as I used to. Cycling works these muscles plenty (all that gripping the saddle action) so I never had to worry about it. Now that my cycling has tapered off drastically I might need to supplement? We'll see. Good to see my adductors are still much stronger than my abductors anyway. I kept it light so I would not get sore.