30 December 2013

Howe Street stairs | alpine skiing

Let's get this out of the way, stairs sucked, I had to pull the plug for the first time in quite a while.

Jim Kodjababian and I had agreed to hit Howe Street today instead of tomorrow since we had missed last week. I shoed up early as usual to do my warm up flights and the first two felt okay but then they started to get worse. When Jim arrived I was still able to maintain a reasonable pace going up but each time we walked down I was going slower and slower and in more and more pain. It was actually Jim that finally said, "Martin, don't be a hero. You are going slower each time, take a break and get better." Thanks Jim.

I guess running yesterday was what did me in.

On the up side Shelley and I went alpine/downhill skiing for the first time in years! We are both super excited to get out in the snow more so it's a bit of a bummer that this winter has been so pitiful in terms of coverage. Still, we went to Crystal Mountain (mostly because it was open) and in spite of the fact that it was raining lightly all day we had a good time.

I felt like a total n00b all day but turns came a little easier by the end of the day. I got in about three solid hours of turns and it was great that we got a discount with our Snoqualmie seasons pass. And my knee tolerated skiing which was a concern of mine. Bonus.

One funny story - I was riding up the chair and this guy looks over at my ancient Rossignol Bandit XX skis and said, "On your rock skis today?" I wish.

29 December 2013

core | neighborhood run

Tried to sleep in, no dice. I seem to be in the midst of another cycle of terrible sleep.

Core was okay by my run was not. It seems my honeymoon of running is over as today my knee started to hurt after three miles and I still had two to go. I ran as gingerly as possible and made it home and I don't think there will be any ill after-effects but it did hurt more than it has in several weeks. Rats.

28 December 2013

weights

Man, everything was hard today. It's going to be great when I can ditch this gym stuff and go run in the woods instead.

It also looks like the holidays have caught up with me and my weight is higher than it has been since last winter. Time to reign it in.

27 December 2013

walk home from Link Light Rail

After a super early start to the day, the flight home, way too much hot re-circulated air, it was awesome to be able to walk home from the Link light rail. Nice that the rain held off for our walk.

26 December 2013

Pittman Wash Trail run

It's good to have a staple/known quantity and the run is that. I think I have been doing it for three years now? As a bonus, it's a fun route and could be extended if I was a bit fitter currently and if my knee was in better shape.

It felt like I was going slower than yesterday but turns out my pace was almost exactly the same.

The weather has been fantastic during our stay here. Temps are about upper 40s when I start and around 50 when I finish and then usually over 60 the rest of the day. With the brilliant sun that means shirts off for this NW native.

25 December 2013

Pittman Wash run | urban Henderson ride

This run along and in the Pittman Wash has become my staple when we visit family in Henderson. I usually head out on the paved path and then at my turnaround drop down into the wash and run back on the dirt paths. For an urban trail it's pretty darn fun.

Later that day I went for a little bike ride with Michael Reiter (my brother in law) and his childhood friend and Mike had his first cycling accident. Join the club Mike.

24 December 2013

Amargosa Trail run

I just got the best Christmas present ever. I went for a beautiful run on the Amargosa Trail and experienced ZERO knee pain. I mean my knee was not even on the radar! I kept trying to feel something and there just wasn't anything. Zippo. Nada. Pretty fucking fantastic.

23 December 2013

weights

My knee still feels a bit off (I know, that's the technical term...) so no cardio, etc. For some reason lunges and the leg press do NOT bother my knee. I guess that's good?

22 December 2013

core

I needed to give my knee a break today.

Core was a bit tough and I was not particularly motivated.

21 December 2013

Mailbox Peak

Mailbox Peak. What a NW classic.

P1000981

I knew this was probably going to be too much for my knee but when I got the invite from Greg Kauper I said what the heck and rolled the dice. The result? I could feel my knee acting up on the climb and it got really sore on the way down and I was limping around the rest of the day but I survived.

And the hike was a blast!

20 December 2013

cardio | walks to and from the bus

It snowed last night!

The coolest thing about this picture? All the bicycle tire tracks.

Turns out snow means my usual morning bus does not service my house so I had to walk through the I-90 tunnel to catch the bus I take on the way home. Beautiful!

I tried the elliptical trainer this morning for the first time in a long while and it went okay. No knee discomfort while I was on it but when I climbed off I was just a little sore for a couple of hours. Not sure why walking around and stairs feel fine but this and running feel so not fine?

plans change

For the last 1.5 years pretty much every run I have done was done while keeping my 'eye on the prize' as they say. That prize was to run in The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc or UTMB as it's commonly known.

Now not so much.

Yesterday registration opened up for this event and in spite of the fact that I qualified and that I've been staring at this day on my calendar for one full year I'm not going to enter.

19 December 2013

core | walk home from bus stop

Core at the gym this morning.

There were a bunch of brand new medicine balls available and so I decided to skip the usual 12 lb. ball that I usually use for one exercise and try the new 15 lb. ball. Three pounds is a big difference!

18 December 2013

weights | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

It's all about the gym baby! Seriously, I seem to be getting here more regularly than I have in ages.

Weights this AM, some Breathe Hot Yoga after work and then my usual walk home.

It sure has been a DRY winter so far in that I have not needed a raincoat for this walk since I can remember.

17 December 2013

Howe Street stairs | walk home from bus stop

Stairs baby! Sheesh, it's hard to get much better at these when it's the only aerobic activity that you do. Still, how great to have this resource handy AND that it does not seem to set my knee back.

Got in my usual five warm-up laps and then met Jim Kodjababian for '10' more. I put the 10 in quotes because two of our runners were actually one flight where we went up two sections, down one, repeat to the top.

With just one flight to go we met John Colver! That brought back memories as both Jim and I used to frequent his outdoor exercise classes with adventx. It was nice to see him.

My knee squawked a tiny bit but it actually got better as the workout continued and there were no ill effects after.

16 December 2013

core | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

What an amazing sunrise this morning! I tried to take pictures and all of them didn't do the spectacle justice but it was fantastic.

15 December 2013

weights

I kept going back and forth about doing something outside and eventually I decided to exercise indoors as I had lots of things to do at home.

On the plus side I increased the reps a bit today and boy was it noticeable. :) And boy was it tough to stay on the wobble disk after I toasted my legs.

How to sync the Windows Live Writer Drafts and Recent Posts folders with OneDrive (SkyDrive)

I love Windows Live Writer! This blogging program is part of Windows Essentials 2012 and I sure hope Microsoft updates continues support, for this one Essentials app at least. I also use several different computers (read: 'devices' in the mobile age) and really appreciate being able to save a draft on one device and then open it and finish it up on another. Oh sure, you can use the web interface of your blog to compose all of your blog posts and save drafts to the blog but Windows Live Writer makes so many things way easier and there are some really useful plugins to boot.

OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive (or any cloud storage service like Dropbox, Box, etc. for that matter), lets you easily sync files and folders on your computer to the cloud and when you sign in on multiple devices, to those devices as well.

Back in the day, syncing my Drafts and Recent Posts folders to the cloud was easy. I used to use Windows Live Mesh until that went away. Then I used SugarSync until they discontinued their free offering. Then I used SkyDrive and now Microsoft has re-branded it as OneDrive.

Well I want to have my cake and I want to eat it too and with the help of some smart people I finally figured out how.


14 December 2013

Howe Street stairs

Boom!

Another solid hour at my beloved Howe Street stairs. Two great things about today, 1) my knee held up and 2) it's warmer out! No longer do I need to wear a hat and gloves.

Interestingly I was freaking FREEZING this morning at home and in the car on the way there. Like heater on 11 freezing. But of course it only took about two flights and then I was fine. My body sure shuts down at times.

17 flights again, that seems to about what I can squeeze in for 60 minutes. When I'm alone I don't seem to be able to muster the will to run any flights but I am walking these pretty fast and my pace is really consistent.

13 December 2013

core | Expresso exercise bike | walk home from bus stop

Core in the AM, a little trainer action at lunch and then the usual walk home.

I had planned on hitting up Breathe Hot Yoga on the way home but turns out the 5:45 class that I am used to attending was not offered today... not sure if this is the deal every Friday but there I was staring at a locked door. I would have had to wait until 6:30 so just went home.

I was able to go a little longer on the trainer today but still not very far. At least I'm making some progress.

Expresso_2013-12-13

12 December 2013

weights | walk home from bus stop

Back to the leg weights. My PT (Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT) is encouraging me to maintain some strength in my legs while running is off the table. It's a bit hard to get excited about lifting these days to be honest but I am not trying to move any heavy iron so that helps me check the box.

After work I walked home from the bus again.

11 December 2013

core | lots of walking

Haven't been doing any core for a while so I got back at that this morning at the gym.

Then I walked to my knee doctor (Neil Roberts) and after work I walked home. For me right now that is a lot of walking! My knee got a little sore on the way to doctor and didn't feel much better in the evening. Crap.

10 December 2013

Howe Street stairs | Expresso exercise bike | walk home from bus stop

Nice. Today went much better than last week. Last week I had purposely tired myself out because I knew Jim Kodjababian was going to be tired from his power test but this week I came off of a rest day and I felt way, way better. Four runners this week, next week it gets serious with five.

Not much sleep but my left knee hardly complained. Of course I almost asphyxiated after the last runner but hey, my legs were fresh enough to be able to go that hard. My glass is half full.

I took a new pair of shoes out for a spin on the stairs today and they felt great! I got the Brooks Glycerin 11 just last night from Fleet Feet Sports; I was looking for a durable, meat-and-potatoes trainer and they seem to fit the bill. And they're comfy.

At the IMA I was hoping for two short trainer sessions but my knee piped up after just one so I pulled the plug. Hey, at least I am pulling the plug instead of forging ahead.

It is still COLD in Seattle. man. Too bad there isn't any precipitation, I love the snow.

Expresso_2013-12-10

08 December 2013

Howe Street stairs

Nice, obviously I can't get enough of these stairs. :) Truth be told, stairs are an incredibly efficient way to workout. And you don't need a boatload of gear. So I got this done and was pretty psyched to get in 17 flights in one hour.

The hour was my goal and after 40 minutes I could feel my left knee start to complain but it did not get back so I carried on and in retrospect I think it was okay that I did.

Could this be the first sign that I am getting better? I hesitate to even say the words.

07 December 2013

hot yoga

Too tired to go to the gym in the AM and not enough energy to do anything outside so I went to Breathe Hot Yoga. Glad this is conveniently located.

06 December 2013

weights | Expresso exercise bike | stretching | sauna

I was (naively?) hoping to get in more than just one short session on the trainer today but after the first one my knee was not happy so I called it quits. Oh well.

I did lift some weights at the gym so it's not surprising that two days of weights plus one day of stairs is all I can handle. Since I had time I did some dedicated stretching and then hit the sauna.

Expresso_2013-12-06

05 December 2013

Howe Street stairs | walk home from bus stop

Some day I need to write an ode to Howe Street... I have been working out on these stairs for SO many years. Back in the day it was for skiing, then cross training for cycling, then for running and now because it's the closest thing to running on roads/trails that I can manage with my IT band injury.

Met up with Jim Kodjababian again after my warm up flights and today we did eight together alternating walking two at at time with running two at a time.

Holy crap were my legs noodles after yesterday... I managed to finish but I was barely running by the end.

After work I walked home again. Someday I'll be able to commute on my bike again.

04 December 2013

weights | Expresso exercise bike | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

This week Jim Kodjababian had asked me if we could move our stair workout to Thursday as he was doing a FTP test on the trainer today and wanted to be fresh. That was no problem for me and in an effort to be similarly tired I tried to work hard today.

Weights in the AM, trainer session at lunch and yoga after work to top it off.

Expresso_2013-12-04

03 December 2013

core | walk to FootWorks PT | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

Uh oh... Martin got in TWO walks today. Look out.

I had an appointment with Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT this morning so since it was freaking beautiful out I decided to hoof it. At one point my knee complained a little but it never was bad.

02 December 2013

core | walk home from bus stop

Made it to the gym this morning for my usual core routine and my left knee was just a little sore from yesterday's run. Nice. It held out for my walk home and so I opted for the up-and-over route instead of going through the I-90 pedestrian tunnel. I love this route.

I have come to the realization that I need to stop sulking around to something/anything or it's going to be murder ramping up when I am finally able.

And I was able to add leg extensions back into my core routine with no knee pain!

01 December 2013

pacing Lucca at the Seattle Marathon

In this case a picture does tell the story.

Someone is going to Boston! With a PR!

30 November 2013

hot yoga

After Thursday's jog and yesterday's aborted stair workout it seemed prudent to not push it. Breathe Hot Yoga to the rescue.

I am not sleeping well. My brain is way too busy at night.

29 November 2013

Howe Street stairs

Originally I was thinking I'd like to join TNAB for their annual Turkey Burner hike. I posed this plan to Shelley and she gave me 'the look' and I have to say she was right. I tend to push too much too soon and this would have been a disaster in hindsight.

So I opted for a workout that would let me bail at any time. I was hoping to log one hour today but my knee would not cooperate so I pulled the plug and went home. I'm probably being overly optimistic about what my IT band is capable of. As usual.

Great morning though, not too cold and dry and peaceful.

28 November 2013

Lake WA Blvd walk/jog/walk

Last year around this time I was getting ready to pace my sister at the Seattle Marathon. Even just one month ago I still held out hope that I would be able to do it again but unfortunately this year things are different.

My sister and her husband are spending a few days with us for the holiday and for my father's birthday which is pretty cool. It seems like we don't see Lucca much. This afternoon she wanted to get in a short shakedown run and I impulsively joined her. She was just heading down Lake WA Blvd and back so I figured I could bag running and walk if my knee started to hurt.

Well it didn't hurt. And I actually jogged for about 2.5 miles at a 9:10 pace. And when we did meet her husband on the way back and started walking it kept on not hurting. I was so elated I took them on a detour up some stairs and through a park on the way home. Still no hurting.

That isn't to say I couldn't feel my knee, but I'm positive I did not overdo it today. Never has running at 9:10 felt so good and made me so happy.

27 November 2013

core | walk home from bus stop

Core workouts are starting to feel good again! As in I am getting a little stronger.

My knee felt totally fine walking home today. Nice. I also got off work a bit early due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Not a bad day. Did I mention it wasn't raining? Oh yeah.

26 November 2013

Howe Street stairs | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

Okay, believe me when I tell you that stairs are hard as hell when you do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE ALL WEEK. I was wicked winded today. Come to think of it, the only aerobic workout I have done in the last three weeks is two sessions on these stairs. Ouch.

Today I walked three (because I was scared that more would be too much for my knee) flights on my own and then connected with Jim Kodjababian for seven more alternation waling with running.

I was prepared for the worst but my knee/IT band survived. I do feel like I am totally and aimlessly treading water though and need some direction for a recovery. Hopefully soon.

on the bright side my knee felt good all day at work and also while walking home from the bus.

25 November 2013

core

After a few days of doing nothing and moping around I managed to get to the gym this morning. It's slowly dawning on my that doing anything, even if I can't do the activities that I would if I was healthy, is better than doing nothing. But damn, it is a s l o w dawning.

My cold is pretty much gone now. Whew.

22 November 2013

walk home from bus stop

I must admit I do think it's pretty humorous that I am posting one mile walks in a training diary that ostensibly is for an endurance athlete. Just over three months ago a 10 mile run was a 'short' run and now I feel like a contestant on The Biggest Loser or something where the challenge is just to do anything active on a regular basis. No, I don't feel fat but yes, my self-esteem is low.

Anna Frost says it better than I can

As I struggle with my worst injury to date I am finding that EVERYTHING is affected.

It isn't just my self-esteem, it's my relationship with my wife, my ability to have fun doing other stuff, my attitude toward food, even my ability to watch others do something athletic or to read the online training diaries and blogs I used to frequent. Even uploading my (pitiful compared to what I used to do) workouts to athletic social networks and online training diaries is hard as I can see what I used to do and what others are doing. It's been shocking really how much I identify as an 'athlete' and how un-whole I feel when I can't live up to that self-imposed standard.

21 November 2013

core

Made it to the gym again and my cold is improving even more. Whew, not sure why I get hit so hard with these annual colds but I'm glad I'm getting better.

I tried to keep ALL walking to a minimum today. My left knee is still sore. My knee is to the point where I have stopped doing my leg extensions as just bending my knee repeatedly with no weight on the leg at all hurts. Seems almost comical to me at this point.

20 November 2013

core | walk home from bus stop

My cold continues to improve and my knee continues to get worse and worse. Just walking on he FLAT GROUND hurt today and going down the stairs in our house this morning so I could head to the gym was an arduous process.

Obviously yesterday was too much even though it didn't feel that bad at the time.

Lame.

19 November 2013

Howe Street stairs | walk home from bus stop

Dang. I'm just now feeling like I can do anything after a cold wiped me out for almost an entire week. Sometimes I wonder why I'm so religious about getting a flu shot...

On the stairs it felt like I was breathing through one of those tiny stirring straws you get at McDonald's. Not. Big. Enough. Obviously I am not totally over this cold. And surprise surprise, my left knee is still fucked up. I felt it twinge some on the stairs but then it got slightly better so I finished the workout. During the course of the day it just kept getting worse and worse and walking home was not fun.

I'm not out, just kinda down currently.

13 November 2013

core | walk home from bus stop

I decided that since I have not yoga in a while and have not done my core work in a long while it was time to check in. The verdict? Ouch!

Guess what, time off makes exercise harder.

Pretty much every core exercise that I used to go was harder especially the side plank, side leg lifts and push-ups.

Then as the day wore on I got a cold. It was one of the fastest progressions from healthy to sick that I have ever experienced. In the AM I'm fine, by lunch my throat is sore and by the time I walked home I was hating life and wanting to take tomorrow off from work with aches and that awesome (not) 'hot' feeling.

Drat.

12 November 2013

Howe Street stairs

Dang it, dang it, dang it...

My IT band still has not fully recovered from last Saturday's ride and with a couple of flights to go it flared up.

So much for riding to work.

On the bright side, these conditions are perfect for stairs. Not so cold that you need gloves or a hat and not so warm that you overheat.

09 November 2013

carnation ride

Today I (once again!) found out just how much is too much for my IT band/left knee.

From previous experience I know that I can ride three hours if the pace is not wicked fast. Looking for something longer and wanting company I did a bit of research meaning I talked to Jim Kodjababian last Tuesday when we were doing stairs and asked him what the Saturday Fisher Plumbing Cycling Team ride was like. Jim said it would not be fast so I hooked up with Rick Benson the ride organizer, got the start time/location and showed up.

Boy was I wrong, on ALL counts.

DISCLAIMER - I also found out I all too easily fall into the role of salty old cycling know-it-all; aka the guy that thinks he's constantly right and can't give the new guy a break. Oh well, I choose not to fight my assigned role in the grand scheme of things.

08 November 2013

Howe Street stairs | walk

I think I had some inner demons to work out today as I was on a roll and just kept going.

At first I just wanted to get in a solid 30 minutes and then I figured why not go for 40 and then I figured why not just round up and try for 60. I did it. I started to feel my left knee with about three flights to go but it never hurt so I finished up the workout.

I walked all the flights today, two steps at a time at a brisk pace with no fucking around at the top or bottom. And I carried a water bottle the whole time to further 'enhance efficiency' (or whatever).

All day I was worried that my IT band would flare up but it didn't and walking home from the bus actually seemed to make everything feel better.

Nice.

07 November 2013

hot yoga

Breathe Hot Yoga again, this is a great place. Lots of sustained lunges and chair pose today, not easy but good stuff.

I was too tired to hit he gym/stairs/etc. this morning. I have not been sleeping so hot. Life stresses and all that...

06 November 2013

weights

Gym time!

Another day of eccentric leg exercises because I can't run. A little heavier today and guess what, heavier is harder... I know!

05 November 2013

Howe Street stairs | bike commute

After realizing that it is still SO easy to overdo it when it comes to impact activities last Saturday I rested up and went back out to try these stairs one more time. Thank goodness today was much better.

Today was also the first day of stairs with Jim Kodjababian who has been my training partner here for the last umpteen winters. We always start in November, add one flight per week and stop when we hit 15 which is usually sometime in February as we invariably miss one week (and sometimes two) because of the holidays.

As always, we started the 'stair season' with four flights. alternating walking one flight two steps at a time and running one flight two steps at a time.

Just like last winter I managed to show up early and sneak in six walking flights prior to hooking up with Jim to make this a more substantial workout. Today was my first time running these since last winter and holy cow does that spike your heart rate...

Training partners are good to have.

04 November 2013

weights | Expresso exercise bike | hot yoga | walk

Today was my first day of trying to lift weights like my PT told me to. The goal is to maximize the eccentric contraction so I push with both legs and then return the weight with one leg. How did it go?

I. Am. Weak.

On the bright side, when you start at the bottom it's easy to improve.

Expresso_2013-11-04

03 November 2013

shopping in the International District

Tonight Shelley wanted to try this yummy sounding Mahogany Chicken (but more authentic than this recipe) so we figured why not head down to the International District and shop for ingredients. And since it was such a gorgeous day, why not walk!

It was beautiful out and came home via the bike path which offered up some really cool views of Seattle and Beacon Hill that I have not seen (at a walking speed anyway) before.

The Seahawks were playing, the fans were LOUD and it was so good to be outside.

Nice.

02 November 2013

hot yoga

What a letdown.

Just as I thought I was recovering I get a dose of reality. Friday I went for a little treadmill run and it felt reasonable. As soon as I experienced any discomfort I shut it down. I was a little sore after but walking home from work actually made my knee feel better. So this morning I went to the Howe Street stairs for a workout and I lasted exactly half of one flight.

Crap.

I guess my IT band got much more irritated than I thought yesterday and I still need to cool it when it comes to impact activities. As usual, I want to rush things and it is taking a super-human (to me anyway) effort to not screw this recovery up.

01 November 2013

treadmill run | walk

First run in a while and it was both good and bad.

Good in that I was able to go slightly longer than last time, bad in that even though I shut it down as soon as it got uncomfortable I could feel my IT band for the rest of the day. Sigh.

At least the effort felt fine.

30 October 2013

weights | walk

I'll admit to being a tad sore this morning... It could be from weights Monday but more likely it was stairs yesterday.

I went and saw Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT again today just to check in. I feel like I'm treading water here. On the one hand I want to let my IT band heal and on the other I want to do something so that when I can run again it isn't such a shock to the system. Knowing you are supposed to be resting one part of your body while trying to stay active and not knowing the most effective way to accomplish this is the kind of thing that drives me crazy. CRAZY.

And I got what I wanted!

Neal explained that running is mostly eccentric muscle contraction and there are ways to work this without actually running. He prescribed some heavier weights in the gym and suggested I lift the weight with both legs and then lower it slowly with one; repeat to failure. He also suggested some single leg stepping (lowering actually) exercises and since I am able to tolerate some impact currently, some hopping exercises as well. Hopping around is okay because it does not last as long as running.

He told me that cycling, although great for cardio, is concentric muscle contraction so won't help me run per se.

Once again, I have my rehab work cut out for me. This is good in that I like moving forward with purpose but god am I getting tired of doing stuff other than what I really want to do. I know, pity me.

29 October 2013

Howe Street stairs | bike commute | cardio

Gosh, it's been a while. But fall is here and for as many years as I can remember that means Howe Street stairs time.

Yesterday I got an email from my good friend Jim Kodjababian - who I have been doing these stair workouts with for years - telling me, "It's time." So I figured today I would take them for a test drive so to speak in hopes that next week when I hook up with Jim I don't suffer a heart attack. I passed, and so did my IT band thank goodness.

I managed 10 flights. After about four I kept expecting my left knee to complain but it didn't so I just kept on going. I was just walking them today but that was still big progress for me. here's hoping I can manage a runner or two next week.

28 October 2013

weights | bike commute | Expresso exercise bicycle | hot yoga

Big Monday! Or something like that. Fitness, fitness, and more fitness. Yeah fitness. Yeah me. Yeah positive self-affirmation.

Expresso_2013-10-28

26 October 2013

Grand Ridge + Duthie Hill

Yes!

Even after taking what feels like a lifetime off the bike (not to mention mountain biking) I can still ride. This was a blast! Thanks to Greg Kauper for the invitation.

The pace was mellow, I did not fall down while riding in Duthie Hill and my fitness was totally adequate. My skills? Let's just say they got better the more I rode. :)

And it was beautiful out. These giant, red, yellow and orange leaves were everywhere. Did I mention that the trail conditions were epically good? All we had to worry about were some wet wood bridges. In fact, the fog was making the paved roads around here pretty wet while we were nice and dry all day.

The bike I'm on is heavy, the gears are not quite low enough and it has 26" wheels. NONE OF THAT MATTERED. I had fun.

25 October 2013

weights

Ha! Who would have thought that Martin would be lifting weights again? I so feel like I'm treading water here and so figured I might want to do something about all the strength I have lost these last two months. My doctor said it IS okay to do stuff that does not hurt so I used some very light weight and had at it.

You know what? It was sort of fun. And boy am I weak. I should do this a bit more while I'm letting my IT band recover.

24 October 2013

treadmill run | bike commute | massage

Figured I would give it a whirl again, running that is. The verdict? My IT band still is not healed up. I felt 100% for 20 minutes and then my left knee started to make itself known. This is getting OLD.

At least the effort felt really easy.

On the way home I stopped off at Rain Fitness for a massage with Tucker Roy. Damn this guy is good. To be a bit more specific, he understands athletes (because he is one and has worked with many at a high level), he's strong and he really has a bunch of skills/techniques that he can bring to bear. Good stuff.

23 October 2013

core | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

I woke with my alarm but was SO tired and by the time I finally drug myself to the gym I had very little time so had to skip a few core exercises. Still glad I went.

After work I went to Breathe Hot Yoga and I think I finally got it right today. Per Shelley's urging I took it easy, did not push the bends and stretches and something the instructor said clicked with me today and I also engaged my core and legs/glutes before moving and everything felt much better. Nice.

Walking home from the bus I took a new route, directly through the pedestrian/bicycle tunnel this time. I am really digging this urban exploration. As long as it's not dumping rain, I love walking.

22 October 2013

cardio | Expresso exercise bike | walk home from bus stop

Back to the elliptical trainer for me this morning and I had a reasonable session so bonus.

At lunch I got on the Expresso Exercise bike for a crazy entertaining ride... it was called 'Odyssey' and I was riding through a land filled with giants, sea monsters (which were battling the giants!) and Minotaurs. It was cool.

On the way home I went up and over my new favorite set of stairs again.

Expresso_2013-10-22

21 October 2013

stretching | hot yoga | walk

No core, cardio or bike commute today. I got to the gym and wasn't feeling it so just did some stretching. As usual, I needed it.

After work I went to Breathe Hot Yoga for another practice, obviously I am enjoying this although I feel like I'm not getting any better yet. I wonder sometimes why I am in such a rush to improve? Not only am I not getting any better, today I feel like I messed up my back.

I was doing some transition and went much too fast and suddenly I was in pain. I had to back way off for the last 20 minutes of class. Sigh.

On the way home I found a new set of stairs that climb up and over the ridge directly on top of the I-90 lid. Awesome. There is so much to explore!

20 October 2013

May Valley + Newport Way on a single speed | walk

I had so much fun yesterday and this foggy fall weather is so cool I decided to do the same thing today.

Today I decided to get away from the cars and headed out into May Valley. I almost turned on the auto pilot which would have taken me up McDonald's hill until I thought this might not be very fun/possible on my single speed so took a more gradual route up to the valley instead. I think it was a good call.

Music was my friend again today, man is it fun to ride with tunes.

There were a couple of sections today where I got on the drops or rested my forearms on the tops of the bars and maintained a good pace. Not 'hard' but not taking it easy. It felt good.

When I got home Shelley and I went for another neighborhood walk. These are a great time! We get to talk, enjoy the scenery and I just love getting out of the house.

19 October 2013

around Lake WA on a single speed

Nice.

I've been riding my commuter bike so long I forgot how fun a real road bike is. it's FAST. it's EFFICIENT. And I'm not wearing a messenger bag. Good times.

I love my Kona Paddy Wagon. Single speed bikes are a blast. If you're seriously training you could argue that single speeds let you coast too much but I'm not training so having fun was paramount.

Bike + iPod + beautiful fall day = mission accomplished

I've just about run out of my favorite liquid food powder - Perpetuem - so I used Recoverite instead. I figure it's close to the same recipe, right? What do I know. It works.

18 October 2013

core

Made it to the gym this morning and had a good core workout. It's been a while since I did this workout so perhaps yoga is tiding me over? Nice to feel good regardless.

17 October 2013

bike commute

Too funny. After my inspired day yesterday I was too tired today to do much of anything. It's part mental as well, I'm not 'training' for anything and am still 'recovering' from my IT band injury.

Still, I rode to work and back home. Staying active is good.

16 October 2013

cardio | bike commute | Expresso exercise bike | hot yoga

Today was one of those inspired days I referred to a while back. One of those days where you try to fit in as much 'stuff' as you can. For me, 'stuff' usually means exercise.

Ready, set, go!

Expresso_2013-10-16

15 October 2013

cardio | bike commute | hot yoga

Today I did make it to the gym for some delicious cardio. And I increased the incline AND the resistance just a bit over the last time I was here.

And for dessert I took the long way home for a change. It sure has been a while since I did that. I avoided the big hill coming out of the Ballard locks so as not to aggravate my left knee.

Since I Had to leave work early for a dentist appointment, I had time to squeeze in more hot yoga at Breathe Hot Yoga. I think I am starting to like this.

14 October 2013

bike commute | hot yoga

We're back home and I'm back to Breathe Hot Yoga for more stretching and strengthening. This has got to help me, right...?

Today I rode from work straight to the yoga studio and let me tell you, it's pretty tough to put your cycling clothes back on when you are this sweaty. And stowing a yoga mat in my messenger back took some thought.

I did not have any desire to hit the gym this morning. All this rest is making me tired.

13 October 2013

walk | cruiser ride

We are on vacation!

I did the little loop again this morning and even jogged some along the train tracks. Technically this is still verboten by my doctor but I couldn't help myself. Thank goodness it did not hurt my knee.

Later in the day we all (Daren Doss, Lisa Chadbourne, their daughter, Shelley and I) hopped on some full on jalopy bikes and rode into 'downtown' Astoria.

First of all, riding these bikes was a blast. Crabon is overrated. Secondly Astoria has lots of fantastic beer. I drank too much. Then we rode back home. Naturally. Third, I was not so drunk that I didn't try to record all of these activities with my GPS. It's a sickness. Fourth, something crapped out on the ride back home obviously. Thanks for nothing Garmin. [That's the alcohol talking there Garmin...]

12 October 2013

walk | stand up paddle board

What a treat.

This weekend our architects chadbourne + doss invited Shelley and I down to Alderbrook Station for a weekend getaway.

Awesome!

This place is a house on the Columbia down in Astoria. Astoria is pretty cool all by itself but this house is amazing. So comfy and open yet cozy and quiet. Right behind the house is an enormous net shed that was used to repair fishing nets back in the day. Now it's a giant party space and artist lofts. There is also a wood-fired hot tub in back.

Did I mention that one of our architects is a huge surfer? It was so nice we went for a little paddle in the afternoon. The water was glass.

In the morning I walked this fun loop around the bay that the house sits on. Super scenic.

10 October 2013

cardio | bike commute

More cardio for Martin! Today I increased the incline just slightly on the elliptical trainer from 10 to 12. 12 is what I used to call an active recovery workout for whatever that's worth. As a bonus my IT band felt great.

Then I rode to work and back. And today my left knee felt fine on the bike.

09 October 2013

cardio | bike commute

I got a little motivated today.

I go through spurts of this every time I'm injured and can't do the activities I really want to. instead I throw myself into some alternate/cross-training/rehab activity. It usually doesn't last long.

At the gym this morning I did a little cardio on the elliptical trainer and then did it again at lunch. I know, EXTREME. It's how I roll.

The IMA is an incredible facility. After my lunch cardio session I spent some time in the sauna. I would LOVE a sauna at home.

Did I mention that I went to the eye doctor (that's optometrist if you want to impress people at a party kids) this morning? I think I finally need glasses. Just another overt sign of aging! Now I get to be that guy who loses his glasses all over the place as my memory fails as well.

07 October 2013

stretching | walk | hot yoga

I got to the gym this morning but immediately had no enthusiasm to work out so did some stretching instead. As usual, I needed it.

After work I hit up Breathe Hot Yoga again for what was more of an abbreviated Bikram yoga class. Good stuff. I have so much to learn.

On my way home I walked rom the bus stop and during my walk I was actually scared of my knee! Argh... being scared about an injury is no fun.

06 October 2013

walk | hot yoga

An awesome day really, it feel like fall is here.

Went for a walk with Shelley in the morning and then since I can't do the things I currently want to I decided to try some hot yoga in the afternoon. It was great!

Turns out Breathe Hot Yoga has a location at 19th & Madison and they have free parking. And they have a fabulous discount for new members - two months of unlimited classes for $99. Done.

04 October 2013

core

Got to the gym nice and early today but my heart just isn't in this right now. Today I at least managed to go through the motions and check the workout box.

02 October 2013

IT band update

After riding the all too ridiculous injury roller coaster for the last three weeks I figured I need to get a handle on what the hell is going on in my left knee so that I can finally heal up proper.

Last Friday I got a MRI and today I saw my doctor Neil Roberts to discuss the scan. Here is what he said.

  • My problem most definitely is IT band inflammation, that was vividly evident on the images.
  • Since I have obviously been re-aggravating my IT band over and over it was time for a reset.
  • I got another cortisone shot in the bursa of my left knee.
  • Neil also prescribed some topical anti-inflammatory cream.
  • I'm supposed to rest for one week.
  • Then I can do some light cross training for the next week. In this case 'cross training' means anything that does not bend my knee too much like walking, cycling, weights without the full range of motion, elliptical trainer, swimming, etc.
  • After these two weeks I can finally start to run again. Slowly.

On the one hand it's a huge relief to know what is wrong and what I need to do and on the other it's pretty frustrating to have this almost four week delay in my recovery. Especially since it's essentially my fault.

I was still kind of holding out hope to run some races this year but now it appears I will not have any fitness until 2014. So what's my next goal? The Orcas Island 50k next year. It's perhaps ironic that this event is what put me out of action this year and started the (what seems like endless) series of recoveries from injuries. Here's to running this event healthy!

The moral of this story is address shit as it comes up and don't delay.

core

I just ran out of gas today. And by 'gas' I mean motivation to do the same old thing.

I got to the gym plenty early, started to do the plank and after just two minutes was in no mood to continue. I tried to salvage the workout with some other,more traditional ab exercises but even that didn't last and after 25 minutes or so I just called it a day and went home.

Rats.

01 October 2013

core | bike commute

After resting two days I was able to ride to work. The weather didn't even cooperate that much and I still had a great time. I got soaked at the very end of both commutes but it was warm.

I always find it illuminating how fun a stupid little ride like this can be when you are not able to do much else or even this on a regular basis.

30 September 2013

core

The usual core routine, I felt pretty indifferent today.

29 September 2013

Cougar 10 trail run

Sometimes you realize you have made a mistake too late. Sometimes it's just a little too late and sometimes - like me today - it's weeks too late.

I went running with Todd Morse Tucker and the conditions were awesome. It was 55 degrees (meaning it was not cold at all), the trails were damp but not soggy and our pace was leisurely so we chatted the whole time.

The mistake was fully realized about six miles in when my let knee started to complain. At first it was very manageable but then it quickly became way worse than I wanted and with about 1.5 miles to go it hurt. And it didn't stop hurting. I'm writing this four hours after the fact and it still hurts and I'm still limping around the house after four Ibuprofen and loads of icing. Shit.

My mistake was probably not just running today after feeling my knee yesterday, it's been trying to force running this entire last MONTH. Sometimes people are so stubborn...!

I did get an MRI Friday and I will see my doctor Wednesday to discuss the results. I am not going to run until then and hopefully we can finally accurately diagnose this thing and then I can get a definitive treatment plan. If that means an extended rest I guess best to start it now rather than later. Double shit.

28 September 2013

Frink Park run

I really wanted to go running today.

The weather was pretty epic with high winds and some super heavy showers but the temperature stayed at 60 degrees so around noon during one crazy episode I decided to heard out. I figured it would be pretty cool to be out and about in this and hey, it wasn't cold. Of course as soon as I changed my clothes and got moving the rain had almost stopped and it did in fact stop by the time I finished. Oh well.

The wind sort of scared me into layering and it was NOT necessary. I knew within 10 minutes that I had overdressed.

My left knee was fine for maybe half of this run and then I started to feel it. No outright pain but this is getting old. OLD I tell you.

Frink Park was still fun.

27 September 2013

treadmill run | bike commute

I am hating not being able to run. And just three years ago I hated to run. Ironic? Karmic? Hopefully not the later.

On the other hand, I got featured in the press.

Twitter_2013-09-27

26 September 2013

core | stretching | bike commute

Same old, same old...

Core workout in the AM (it went okay), some foam roller and stretching after (I needed it) and then rode my bike to work (I felt fantastic). It was a bit colder this morning than in the past - fall is coming! It was also incredibly beautiful riding along Lake WA as the east side was shrouded in heavy fog and the sun was poking through like laser beams. Bellevue was glowing! I almost pulled over just to watch the show.

25 September 2013

walk home from bus stop

It's funny, the less physical activity I am able to do, the more I post ridiculous stuff like this.

I had no motivation to hit the gym and my IT band was pretty trashed after yesterday's commute run and I almost did nothing but then when I missed my second bus - and knowing it would be 30 minutes until the next one arrives - I said fuck it and walked home. Walking only takes 30 minutes so I was going to get home in half the time.

Did it hurt my left knee/IT band? Luckily not. But I swear, I am 'walking scared' as ridiculous as that sounds. On the descents I am totally favoring one leg. Rats.

24 September 2013

core | Fleet Feet run | run commute

Core was better today than yesterday except for push-ups. I gotta say, I straight up SUCK at push-ups; always have and probably always will. I pretty much suck at all upper body stuff (but especially exercises that involve your own body weight) unless I really focus on them. Guess what running and cycling do not focus on...

Once again the weather forecast was for crap and then it was nice out. Super nice in fact. I was expecting increasing rain after a damp morning and got increasing sun instead. You might be asking, "So why are you whining...?" Because I can't ride my bike to work when it's wet on account of there is no place for me to store a wet bike or dry wet clothes at work. Whatever.

The Fleet Feet Sports run went great! I decided I would try to keep up with Natalie today and I did it. In fact, at the end I could have gone just a bit faster which felt awesome. I didn't fully rip the descent but I was running the downhill today instead of checking myself all the way and that was very fun.

Since I did not have my bike and since it was probably going to take at least one hour to catch two or three busses home I decided to run home. Surprisingly my messenger bag (which was really full) felt okay to run with. What did NOT feel okay in very short order was my left knee/IT band. Within about half a mile it flared up and I had to walk/jog the rest of the way home. Bummer. Ice, Ibuprofen, frustration. I bet carrying all the extra weight didn't help.

That said, it was a nice route home! One little climb and then all downhill and through the pedestrian I-90 tunnel. It's almost as nice a route to run as it is to ride.

23 September 2013

core

Almost didn't make it to the gym today but instead I get a gold star.

Pretty much every exercise was tough today, and it stands to reason since the last time I did any core work was last Wednesday.

The weather forecast was for wet so I took the bus to work instead of riding my bike and it ended up being really nice. Sometimes I hate meteorologists.

21 September 2013

Cougar 10

My first trail run in one month! And overall it felt great.

I connected with John Phillips (and old bicycle racing friend that also runs) and did the staple 10-mile loop on Cougar Mountain. Good times.

The weather was perfect, the trail conditions were excellent and my left knee/IT band held up like a champ until about one mile to go when it started to twinge. Luckily it didn't 'hurt' so I kept going and the discomfort abated and after the run I felt fine so no damage done.

This was one of my slowest times on this loop but also one of the most enjoyable. Lesson learned hopefully.

Man it felt good to get out on the trails.

20 September 2013

core | walk

What a bust!

I made it to the gym but I debated it for about 20 minutes at bed after waking up. Once I got there I had zero motivation and called it a day after just three random exercises. I should have slept in.

I didn't even feel like riding my bike to work so took the bus.

The one positive thing is I walked home from my bus stop and felt NO knee/IT band pain even on the last three blocks which are steep downhill. Progress.

19 September 2013

cardio | stretching | bike commute | massage

Just some light cardio to warm up the legs this morning (and for some active recovery I suppose) and then 25 full minutes of dedicated stretching and foam roller. Man was that needed after yesterday...

After work I saw Tucker Roy and damn is he good. This kind of massage (IT band, lateral quad) is NOT comfortable but it sure feels good after.

18 September 2013

core | stretching | bike commute | SRC Cross Country workout

Went to the gym this morning and had a great core workout. Followed that up with some dedicated stretching and foam roller.

ASIDE - the foam roller just never seems to get easy... it might get a little less painful but that's all.

The big news today is I participated in my first ever cross country workout. It was organized by Uli Steidl, a fellow Seattle Running Club member and not only did he plan the workout, he also marked the course and kept track of everyone's splits while encouraging folks and handing out technique tips. Awesome.

And HARD. My fitness was not exactly ready for this but the good news is my left knee/IT band didn't have a relapse.

17 September 2013

bike commute | Fleet Feet run

IT band progress continues.

Riding my bike is almost totally pain-free (perhaps 'discomfort-free' is more accurate these days) now and I upped my running distance a little and survived that as well.

I took it nice and easy at the Fleet Feet Sports Tuesday night run and it was the right call. I'm also lacking in fitness so it was about all I could do. I an still feel my left IT band but it's more of a dull ache now instead of a sharp pain and it does not last meaning the discomfort passes pretty quickly. I was also able to run down E Galer albeit at a super moderate pace. Still, that's also an improvement.

Amazing the difference one minute per mile makes in terms of effort.

16 September 2013

core | stretching | bike commute

Core continues to go well and riding my bike today was almost pain-free so things are starting to look up. My knee felt good enough that I added the Magnolia loop to the ride home.

We had an all-school retreat at work today and it was in Ballard so perfect for riding to and from. Going over the locks is always fun and today fish were jumping everywhere!

UTMB - the dream continues

UTMB_logo

About 1.5 years ago I got this (typically Martin-ish as Shelley would say) idea to celebrate my 50th birthday with an epic run and as incredible as it seems to me right now, I have done what I set out to accomplish in 2013; I have qualified for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc lottery. This doesn't mean I can run it in 2014 but hey, you can only control so much.

Back in February when I toasted my left ankle (for the second time!) I figured no way. You need seven points to qualify for UTMB and on the day I injured myself I had just managed to acquire one. ONE. And now I was looking at two solid months off from running.

Here's the deal.

  • A qualifying 100 mile race is worth four points.
  • A qualifying 50 mile race is worth two points.
  • A qualifying 50 km race is worth one point.
  • You are only allowed to accumulate points in a maximum of 3 races which means you have to run at least one 100.

15 September 2013

Colman Park run | massage | Seward Park ride

Nice.

Today was my first run since I messed up my IT band. It did NOT feel good it felt GREAT to be out doing something. I was breathing hard (stand to reason after three weeks totally off) and my quads were all tingly like when used to start running after a summer of only riding my bike. In other words my body was not used to this.

But it got better as I went! My IT band is not healed up yet but every time it twinged and I wondered if I would have to stop it got better and I was able to continue. Whew.

Then I hopped on my bike and rode to get a massage from Jenny Dailey which was super. More IT band and quad work. Turns out not only is my IT band tight and adhering to everything, so is my lateral quad muscle.

On the way home I decided why not go to Seward Park... It was warm and muggy out and on the way I got caught in a massive thunder shower but I never felt cold and it was pretty fun to tell you the truth. It was also Bicycle Sunday so on the way home I slalomed in and out of the yellow line on Lake WA Blvd all the way home with nary a car in sight. Nary a bicycle too I might add, I guess the wet scares people away.

Good times.

13 September 2013

core | stretching | massage

Oh man, if the core Olympics were coming up I would be peaking.

I set what I think is a new PR in the plank and the rest of the workout felt really good as well. If I had been incredibly motivated I could even have gone beyond 6 min today but there wasn't anyone with a gut, in tight gym shorts and a whistle around their neck yelling at me to "push it" so I just stopped.

After work I got a massage from Tucker Roy and OMG was it painful/good for me. I was on the table and Tucker said, "I'm going to work on your IT band and you tell me when to stop..." I lasted about 30 minutes and then had to cry uncle. After he switched to my right leg and shoulders (which I had been tensing the entire time in a vein attempt to combat the discomfort). That was incredibly good for me but incredibly hard to relax through.

11 September 2013

core

This is getting old...

I went to the gym, had a good core workout, and then did nothing else. But I did go to another knee specialist after work and he gave me a shot. Here's hoping this helps me get back at it; #StirCrazy and all that. I was told rest for 72 hours and then try an easy run. This injection is supposed to be the shotgun of anti-inflammatories. Pull the trigger I say.

Twitter_2013-09-11

10 September 2013

core

Another day of core only. But hey, core is feeling really, really good and my plank time has gone up so that's something.

And I slept well last night. Finally.

09 September 2013

core

With my left IT band so inflamed that I can hardly even walk I am reduced to doing zero activity that involves my legs.

On the up side, I saw my PT (FootWorks PT) today and it took all of 10 minutes for Neal Goldberg to tell me that I was beyond rest and that I needed a cortisone shot to calm that shit down. So I scheduled an appointment with yet another sports medicine specialist and will see them Wednesday. Here's hoping this does the job. Currently even just walking around is making my IT band flare up and so just going to work is making things worse and preventing healing.

07 September 2013

errands by bike

Since my left knee is pretty jacked up when I run or walk I figured why not go for a ride. No dice. I could feel it even while dorking around today on my town bike. The slide into depression continues.

There were some bright moments today.

  • I tried to ride up Queen Ann Hill. Normally this would be out of the question when using one one gear and platform pedals but I found a circuitous route that almost got me there. In the end I had to walk one cobbled block but it was fun to try.
  • I rode around the summit of Queen Anne on roads I have not traveled in ages! And they were beautiful!
  • I stopped by Seven Hills Running Shop for the first time and chatted with Phil Kochik about running packs. I gotta say, this is one awesome location for a running store in terms of access to Discovery Park (trails) and various road running routes. I didn't see any obvious parking but here's hoping he has that too.
  • On my way home riding along Elliot Ave. I had a tailwind and so was able to maintain 18-19 mph on my town bike which is pretty darn good.

06 September 2013

stretching | sauna | walk home from bus stop

Oh man... I hit a low point today.

My left knee - I'm fairly certain it's my IT band but I am going to see my PT to make sure - has been absolutely killing me. I aggravated it at Cascade Crest, too one week off, tried a stair workout (because running hurt too much) and ever since it won't leave me alone.

I had a low point today where I let a wave of self-pity wash over me. It feels like these last seven months have been one long, continuous recovery from various injuries and I am tired of it! I just want to be like those guys that run all the time and don't hurt themselves. I see athlete after athlete posting mega mileage weeks and never once mentioning any sort of maintenance or injury or issue. I know my body is not so durable as others when it comes to running and I guess today the difference just felt extreme.

Not to mention this is the time of year that all my friends go and do these incredible 'fun' runs and hikes on cool trails.

I'll get over it but today sucked.

In other news I went to the IMA to stretch, couldn't find a foam roller so just hit the mat. it was okay but I need the roller! In the sauna I almost fell asleep; work has been stressing me more than I would like and my sleep has been the victim.

I was originally going to take the bus all the way home but then I heard that Shelley had just returned from her trip so I impulsively walked to get there faster. My knee was fine on the flats and then once again, on the last three blocks where it's down a steep hill I literally had to come to a stop and figure out how I was going to negotiate this last section. It just hurt too much to walk down normally and I ended up doing a prissy, tip-toe down the hill on the balls of my feet so help ease the impact. I felt retarded and super dejected.

05 September 2013

core | stretching | walk home from bus stop

I had a great core session and then spent some quality time stretching and using the foam roller on my IT bands. Stick a gold star on my forehead already.

After aggravating my IT band yesterday while running just one block I decided not to run; and try walking instead. It worked fine as long as I was on the flat or even going uphill but as soon as the road tips down my knee (read: IT band) complains. This is miserable.

When I got home I pulled out of the Cle Elum Ridge 50k that I had really been looking forward to running and moped around. All my injuries are pretty darn minor compared to what some people have to overcome but it sure feels like this summer has been recovery after recovery and it's getting old. OLD I tell you.

Oh yeah, I also slept like garbage because work is hella stressful right now. Woe is me.

ASIDE - can guys my age even use 'hella'? I'm thinking not. Strike two.

04 September 2013

core | bike commute | Expresso exercise bike

Core went better today and then at lunch I busted out my best (ever?) workout on the Expresso exercise bicycle at the IMA. Kind of hilarious that I'm killing it on a BICYCLE trainer right now... :(

Expresso_2013-09-04

03 September 2013

core | Expresso exercise bike | sauna | walk home from bus stop

Well, my left IT band is officially injured/irritated. CRAP.

I tried to dismiss it yesterday but no dice. It flared up good and proper while on the stairs so I got on the horn with FootWorks PT and got my 'prescription' for a rapid recovery; Ibuprofen, foam roller and ice. Here's hoping that works.

Until then, I'm back on the bike. Kinda feels like after I hurt my ankle. :(

Expresso_2013-09-03

02 September 2013

Howe Street stairs

Damn it.

I hurt the IT band on my left knee at Cascade Crest 100 so because of that and my insane blisters I took one full week off from any sort of impact activity. I guess it was not enough.

I was just walking each flight today and going up felt fine but going down after about 20 minutes started to irritate my left knee. So what did I do? Like an idiot I kept going. I need to work on knowing when to pull the plug on workouts. Especially since I have still have several goals for this fall.

About 20 or 30 minutes in this couple showed up both looking uber fit. After another 20 minutes they took a breather at the top and suddenly when I show up the guy says, "He Martin...!" Turns out it's Leif Clarke and wife Colleen. We chatted for a minute and agreed how efficient running is compared to cycling if you want to just get in a workout and then I got back to it; 'it' being making my left knee worse.

About 50 minutes in I finally had myself convinced to call it quits when this woman who had been there pretty much as long as I had said in passing, "You are an animal on these!" What does Martin do? He does one more flight instead of going to the car.

Now I am in pain, I feel stupid (because I AM stupid) and I get to see how long it will take for my IT band to recover.

31 August 2013

Grand Ridge + Duthie Hill

Sometimes I am SO glad I have a cycling background...

Today I connected with Greg Kauper [Happy birthday Greg!], Randy Daniels and Dan Peterson for a local MTB ride. We went up and over Grand Ridge, did three loops at Duthie Hill and then rode back over Grand Ridge to the car. I think we rode Step Up, Ryan's Eternal Flow (twice), this AMAZING variation of Boot Camp back down and then Boot Camp back up to the road.

It's so cool to have these trails close to home! It's also super cool that this ride did not hurt my feet, my left knee or my quads. Yes! And I was able to keep up on the climbs and descents. Bonus.

A ton of fun on a perfect day. 70 degrees, and the rain Thursday evening made the trail surface primo.

My Performance bike which I used to race as a single speed has been converted into a 1 x 9 and it's working well. My lowest gear is 34 x 34 but so far so good.

30 August 2013

cardio | stretching | bike commute

Hit the gym again for some stretching after a brief light cardio warm-up and it felt just slightly better than yesterday. At least I am out and about.

I forgot to mention it yesterday but today is day two in real shoes! And by 'real' I mean slip-on Vans. My feet are still a mess and still somewhat swollen, my body does handle long runs well it seems.

My left knee does feel like it is getting any better. I felt it on the elliptical trainer and I can feel it on the bike. It's not outright/sharp pain but my IT band is irritated for sure. Otherwise on the bike my quads felt like they are recovering which is nice. I can get in and out of the saddle without wincing.

After doing essentially nothing for the last four days except eating my weight is now over what it was when I started Cascade Crest 100. Time to reign it in.

29 August 2013

cardio | stretching | walk

Made it to the gym this AM for some light cardio just to warm up and then did some dedicated stretching. Which was HARD. Not just because my legs are wicked tight but because my right big toe is quite sore and some stretches put pressure on it.

I walked home from the bus again. Seems like a good way to transition to 'real' activity...

My left knee is still sore; more than I would like it to be. IT band issues perhaps?

28 August 2013

walk home from bus stop

I can walk...!

I walked not only to the bus stop this morning but then on the way home I walked from where my first bus drops me off to our house. On the flats I felt okay but the last three blocks are down a steep hill and that smarts.

Today it felt like the biggest limiting issue was the blisters on my feet. Not sure why I get these on long runs but if that can be solved I will be able to finish these races stronger and not hold back so much.

I had to wear my Crocs today because my feet are still too swollen to fit into anything else. They make me feel like I'm in a nursing home. That said it felt great to get out and walk.

Cascade Crest 100 - 3 days after

They human body is nothing if not resilient. Just not as fast as I want it to be.

Sunday I was barely able to hobble around/get in and out of bed/sit down on or get up from the toilet (dangerous!) and today I can walk up and down stairs without holding onto the railing.

If it wasn't for these darn blisters on my feet, which are healing fine but which are a giant pain in the ass, then I would be tempted to ride my bike today. As it is, and because me feet are still in pretty sad shape, I will wait another day or two.

Issues after the race
- Blisters on my feet.
- Swollen hands and forearms.
- Swollen feet and ankles.
- Tight quads, abs and shoulders.
- Lack of appetite.

Improvements
- The soreness in my shoulders, arms and abs is completely gone.
- The tightness in my quads is much less severe. If this was the only issue I would want to try an easy jog tomorrow.
- My hands and arms returned to normal within 30 hours.
- My appetite returned to normal within 24 hours, I thought it would be faster but no.

Ongoing Issues
- My feet and ankles are still very swollen. This is a recurring problem I have after long runs and running all day long only exacerbated it. I hope to wear normal shoes in 2-3 days but I suspect it won't be totally gone for another week. That's 10 days total! My body must have the worst venous return system on the planet.
- My blisters make walking really difficult. The only shoes that will let me tolerate the impact of the ground are my Crocs, lucky for me my feet also currently fit into them.


Just like some people seem more or less gifted when it comes to going fast, these lengthy efforts effect everyone differently and there is no guarantee that you will bounce back quickly. Looks like I'm one of those that bounce back somewhat more slowly.

27 August 2013

massage

Oh my.

It's two days after the Cascade Crest 100 and I am 1) incredibly swollen in my feet and ankles, 2) incredibly sore in my quads, 3) incredibly lucky that my left knee isn't worse off (IT band issues?), and I can barely perform basic functions like standing up or sitting down.

Shelley freaking dropped me off at work AND picked me up today because I thought I would not be able to walk to and from the bus stop.

I saw Tucker Roy for massage today who looked at my feet and said, "Dude, you're messed up..."

The massage felt great. I will need more.

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25 August 2013

Cascade Crest 100 mile trail run

Boom. Martin's first 100-mile trail race. And now I know how much a 100 hurts. It's a lot.

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[Before]

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[After]

23 August 2013

walk home from bus stop

My taper has hit its peak! I took the bus to work and only walked 1.5 miles home. Done.

I'm feeling rested and without too much hype, I hope I can enjoy the journey tomorrow that is the Cascade Crest 100. I need to keep reminding myself that this is what I wanted. :)

Wish me luck.

22 August 2013

bike commute

It's all about the taper.

No gym today, just riding to and from work. It felt good to sleep in a little, although I had a somewhat rough night and did not get all the sleep I wanted. Too much stress from all angles as in work and my upcoming race. Did I mention I think I broke a filling in my tooth and it's pretty sensitive? Going to get that fixed Tuesday. Except my race is Saturday. Oh well, 'embrace the journey' they say. I will try.

21 August 2013

core | stretching | bike commute | massage

The real taper begins now.

Just some core work and stretching in the AM, riding my bike to and from work and a massage after work. Nice.

At the gym this morning I opted to forgo the on-the-ball leg lifts that I usually do as they seem to sometimes - ironically - hurt my back. As a result, the entire rest of the workout was significantly easier and I felt great.

I got my massage from Tucker Roy who is workout of Rain Fitness these days, this guy is GOOD. And he covered a ton of ground for which I am very appreciative.

My only regret is I was a bundle of nerves last night both from a stressful deadline at work and Cascade Crest on Saturday so slept like garbage. Luckily I have two days to correct that.

20 August 2013

core | stretching | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

Today was my last full day of exercise prior to the Cascade Crest 100. From here I ease into the weekend.

At the gym my first exercise was really tough but everything else went okay. Ironically, that first one sometimes kills my back (which it is supposed to strengthen)...

My bike commute was nice, my legs still feel good and fresh. Bonus. That's exactly how they should feel.

At the Fleet Feet Sports Tuesday night run I resolved to try and hang with the leaders (which was just Joe Creighton today) and it worked until we got to the Arboretum. Then Joe proceeded to run at least 30 seconds per mile faster than I could and pulled away to finish about three minutes faster than me. Oh well, I have done zero intervals/speed work/tempo runs and today was still one of my better times for this loop.

On the upside I got to run with Brian Morrison once Joe dropped me and we chatted about Cascade Crest pretty much all the way back to the shop. He wished me well which was very nice.

Because of my early efforts in the run I had to slow down a little more than I would have liked on the hill and was pretty gassed cresting in Volunteer Park but still managed a reasonable closing speed. I did get my heart rate up to 169 on the hill which means I was working pretty good.

19 August 2013

core | stretching | bike commute

Things are starting to come together.

After some shorter runs, a few rest days and some bike rides (instead of runs) my legs are starting to feel pretty good. Hopefully I get the rest of this week right.

Core was fine, not great but just fine. After I finished I did some dedicated stretching since I made it to the gym nice and early. The stretching on the other hand felt great as in I really needed it.

On my commute my legs felt noticeably better than they did all last week.

As I left the UW I ran into Brad Coston and we chatted all the way to I-90 where he went east and I went home. That was nice.

17 August 2013

south end of Lake WA + Mercer Island on a single speed

I was debating whether or not to go running and since it sounded kind of laborious I opted for a bike ride. I think it was the right call.

My legs were not turning over that smoothly at first but the more I rode the faster my cadence got and by the end I was able to sustain 23 mph for short sections on the flat. That's not bad on my single speed all alone.

I had music along which rocked and when I jumped on my bike I realized that I had re-purposed the bottle cages on my cyclocross bike some time ago for a ride so went minimalist and just put the bottle in my jersey pocket.

There were SO MANY PEOPLE out picking blackberries, it must be the height of the season. Especially in the swamp between Bellevue and Mercer Island, this one guy had a ladder had put on/in a bush and he was going to town. Watching made me hungry...

16 August 2013

core

I made it to the gym!

I'm worried that I am not doing enough core work to ensure that my body lasts all the way to end of the Cascade Crest 100...

I had a good workout too, that was a confidence builder.

Then I took the bus to and from work. Bus = rest.

15 August 2013

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute

Nice. I managed to hit Cougar Mountain twice in one week.

Today I got out with Edgardo Balansay and right away I could tell it was going to be slower than yesterday. In fact, after we got off of the first hill, Edgardo almost dropped me! I kept fading a little further back and had he not gotten confused about which way to go at one intersection I would have eventually been out of sight.

Today confirmed that it is officially too dark to start this early with no light. I did not bring one but Edgardo did. Thank goodness.

After the slow start I felt like I warmed up a little by the half way point and I tried to speed up at 20-minute tree but it did not amount to much. At least it felt good running it in.

I felt tired! Not enough sleep for sure. Sleep = recovery!

I'm looking forward to doing nothing tomorrow.

14 August 2013

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute | massage | Trigger Point clinic

Kind of a big, Martin spends time on himself sort of day today!

First I hit the trails with Todd Morse Tucker, then I rode to work and after work I finally got a massage from Tucker Roy and then attended a Trigger Point clinic put on by Brian Morrison who owns Fleet Feet Sports up on Capitol Hill. Nice.

13 August 2013

core

Made it to the gym and did my core routine. Full stop. Chalk up one more rest day.

12 August 2013

walk home from bus stop

Man, motivation to do just about anything is L O W.

I had a good run yesterday and today no dice. Not even core at the gym. ON the upside I am not beating myself up about this, it's just interesting how motivation waxes and wanes. And, with the Cascade Crest 100 coming up it does not matter too much what I do right now.

I'm getting this weird twinge in my left hip/glute. It kind of hurts when I walk or go up stairs? I feel like I Need to stretch and/or get a massage.

11 August 2013

Lake WA Blvd + Seward Park run

After taking yesterday totally off I felt like I needed to get my legs moving again so instead of hitting the hills like I usually do I opted for a FLAT run. Turns out it was just what the doctor ordered and I had a good time.

This is a huge bonus as I normally don't like flat runs. Today I had music, I left my shirt at home and I had my favorite sunglasses on which make everything better. :)

I pretty much cruised along at whatever pace felt good which ended up being faster than I thought it was going to be and I managed a negative split. Nice. I tried NOT to look at my watch at all and succeeded in that.

It was a good day.

09 August 2013

core | bike commute

I had a super hard time getting myself out of bed today.

I'm starting to feel more recovered finally but the motivation to work out is not there. In the end I'm glad I went to the gym and I even had a good core session. Interesting how much running 90 miles in four days took out of me. I need to learn not to underestimate that underlying/deeper fatigue from big efforts.

Oh yeah, getting tons of sleep also helps recovery and I have not really been getting enough.

08 August 2013

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute

My first run since last weekend and boy was it tough to get rolling.

I hooked up with Edgardo Balansay for a Cougar 10 and I felt like dog doo right from the gun. About half way in I started to warm up a bit but when I tired to accelerate at 20-minute tree... nothing happened. Oh well, that's certainly all right and it was good to get out with some company.

I will say that at 5:15 AM it is not so light out in the woods, looks like it will be headlamp season soon if we want to keep starting this early.

I think I need a deep massage, my legs feel like they have a potent fatigue in them that just rest isn't going to get rid of.

07 August 2013

core | bike commute

Made it to the gym! My core routine felt okay but not great.

On the way to work I stopped to meet my good friends Ryan Dean and Greg Kauper for doughnuts at the Fremont Bridge. Thanks Cascade Bicycle Club.

Oh yeah, the weather was stellar once again so I took the long way home one more time. :)

06 August 2013

bike commute

In spite of being pretty wasted I took the long way home on my bike today. It was just too nice out not to. Plus I plan on lots more rest this week anyway.

My legs did feel dead but I had a good time.

05 August 2013

walk home from bus stop

Boom!

After yesterday (and the last four days!) I not only skipped the gym this morning I also took the bus to work. But the weather was so nice I only took it most of the way back home and walked the rest.

ONE AND A HALF MILES people... were talking active (barely) recovery here.

04 August 2013

Thorpe Mt. 50k trail run

Today will be my fourth consecutive day of trail running! Not only that, it will conclude my highest mileage block of running ever. When you start this sport late in life like me, firsts are easier to come by. :)

Once again we were covering a section of the Cascade Crest 100 route and I for one am glad I have seen this section prior to race day. It's an ass kicker in numerous ways. We ran (read: walked) the 'trail from hell' along Kachess Lake, climbed a long gravel road section and then summited all the 'needles' culminating in climb up to the Thorpe Mt. fire lookout. Massive. And all this starts at about 70 miles in. Ouch.

No fancy aid stations today, just a spring at the half way point.

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03 August 2013

Tacoma Pass to Guye Cabin 50k trail run

Wow.

Today was all on the Pacific Crest Trail and every time I am on this trail I am amazed at how pretty it is. No wonder so many people hike significant sections (or even all of it!). Case in point, we saw more than a handful of hikers today and at least three of them were going all the way. Nuts. Just like yesterday we were covering a section of the Cascade Crest 100 course to familiarize ourselves with the terrain.

We started at Tacoma Pass and crossed Stampede Pass along the way and finished up by running around the back/west side of all the ski areas up at Snoqualmie Pass and then finally right across one of the ski slopes at Summit West on our way back to Alpental and Guye cabin. No wonder I used to fall down so much while trail running, I can't stop looking around.

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02 August 2013

Easton to Goat Peak trail run

And so starts my biggest block of training ever (thanks to Arthur Martineau). If I can complete this long weekend then I'll be on track to running 90 ish miles in four days. Ready, set, go.

The goal is to cover sections of the Cascade Crest 100 to familiarize ourselves with the route. And to get in some fantastic time on the trails. Trails which I have never run by the way and that is always fun.

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01 August 2013

Cougar 10 trail run

Not much sleep last night... We lost our cat Tuesday evening and spent most of last night looking for her. In the middle of the night Shelley (dreamed?) she heard a meow and got up to look. There she was in our back yard. Life is good again.

This time of year it's still kind of dark at 5:15 but we were just able to hit it without headlamps. I met Bryan Estes and Edgardo Balansay for the Cougar standard and once again I had a pretty good day.

Bryan sped up at 20-minute tree and I tried to hang and did for a few minutes but then with about one mile to go I got dropped and had to amble in at my own pace. I did feel pretty rested which is a good thing as I have a solid weekend planned.

I tried a new pair of shoes today and liked them! I am also loving these Injinji Run Original Weight Mini-Crew socks. Never in my life would I have thought that I would wear toe socks and here I am.