31 July 2013

walk home from bus stop

Wow... how interesting lame that I post a 1.6 mile walk. Then again, this is ostensibly a training diary and rest and active recovery are all part of training.

Today I just felt like taking a day off. Done.

Oh yeah, and I just happened to be wearing my GPS watch so was able to log this.

30 July 2013

core | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

Nice! Tuesday shaped up splendidly.

I had a good core routine at the gym and then at the Fleet Feet Sports Tuesday night run I posted what I think is my fastest time ever. I attribute this to getting ample rest prior to today, starting out mellow, a solid hill climb on the way back home and still being able to close at 6:30 pace. The freaking awesome day sure didn't hurt and looking at my GPS data I only stopped three times for any reason including traffic. I came this close to going under 45 minutes...

The only bummer was my mouth was DRY during the run. I kept peeling my tongue off of the roof of my mouth and was seriously jonesing for some water the entire time.

As I was climbing out of the Interlaken ravine on the way back to the store Angel Rossi Mathis and Tim Mathis were heading down. Angel said, "Hi Martin!" and I could only gasp some super brief reply. How cool to see them out and about in their vests and bottles.

On the sock front I may have found a winner. Today is my second day in Injinji socks and so far I love them. I've been using the nuwool (TM) variety.

29 July 2013

core | bike commute

I really punished my body at a friend's 50th birthday party Saturday night. WAY too much food, beer and then Shelley and I slept in a tent on the host's yard. Things were going okay until 2:00 AM then they got out the mini bike and started ripping around the house. Did I mention they also cranked up the music at that time? I think it lasted until 3:30. I woke up dried out, hung over, you get the picture.

Sunday we just drove home and did not much of anything.

Today was just some active recovery to ease back into the week.

On the upside, by the end of the day I felt good enough to take the long way home via my favorite loop through Discovery Park and then around the Magnolia Bluff. Man I love that ride and it was a beautiful day.

27 July 2013

Malakwa Lake, Pratt Lake trail run

Nice!

Today was a fantastic day. I got to do an incredible route with great company on a super day and in spit of feeling tired I did all right. I hooked up with Daniel Paquette and we ran from the Pratt Lake trailhead to the Denny Creek campground and then up to Malakwa Lake, over To Pratt Lake and then back down to the car.

Since we started late the trails were pretty crowded but we still found sections that were secluded. And we WENT FOR A SWIM IN AN ALPINE LAKE! Man did that feel good as it came a bit past the half way point at Lower Tuscohatchie Lake. And the water temperature was perfect. I felt like I was some sort of super field trip.

Today would have been a awesome day for a camera but I opted for the minimalist approach and left all my gear and shirt in the car taking just two hand-held bottles. Just doing that was a blast. I love being out in the wilderness with a minimum of equipment.

On the way to the run we saw fire on Mt. Si and on the way home I saw this burned out RV. Yikes.

I'm thinking this RV has seen better days.

26 July 2013

bike commute

Wow. After yesterday my crotch is sore! Add that to the list of things you lose when you stop racing and riding lots of miles.

Active recovery baby - say no more.

Interestingly, I was already looking forward to a trail run... :)

25 July 2013

RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day)

Oh boy.

Not even sure how to start this post, perhaps at the end since that is a dramatic picture.

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Today was the 30th edition of RAMROD and I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this event for as many years as I have. I started doing it in the late 80s and even when I stopped racing the first time I kept right on doing it. After having stopped racing bicycles this second time I have tried to keep on doing it but today proved to me that I need to adjust my standards as keeping up with racers is hard. That's an understatement by the way.

24 July 2013

core | bike commute

Went to the gym this morning and once again I was able to do all my leg lifts in one set...!

That means either I am still super motivated today like I was yesterday or I was obviously not working hard enough previously. I'm guessing it's mostly the later... Still, it's fun to step up like this.

The ride to and from work was slow, I felt tired. Just checking the 'active recovery' box as it were. On the upside I took a route home that I have never taken and that was fun. I rode across the Aurora Bridge and it's the first time I have been here since they installed the suicide-prevention fence on both sides. It sure messes with your view but I guess it's effective.

Riding north on the west sidewalk of Aurora is a trip... It's a freaking homeless jungle up there on Queen Anne Hill with tons of trails leading into the foliage, a totally overgrown sidewalk, this one massive hydroponics operation, one of the shadiest motels in all of Seattle; you get the idea. Super enlightening to see all this.

23 July 2013

core | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

After yet another two-day gap in activity I got out for my second run post Mt. Hood. And just like Saturday it felt pretty darn good. Obviously rest is key but I can't just continue to go hard, take several days off and then expect to be able to go hard again... that only lasts so long and then you lose fitness. But for now I'm okay with this.

Today I was running with this kid in a Blue Rooster Cycling Team kit (he had on a jersey and baggy shorts over his cycling shorts) who kept telling me how much he loved the cycling team and how much he loved running as it was such efficient cross-training) and as the front bunch slowly pulled away he finally said, "I'm going to catch those guys, they really pushed me last week and it was great!" And so he did. And all I could do was watch him go. Nice. I'm pretty sure it was this guy and because my mind is a sieve I have forgotten his name by now.

Blue_Rooster_roster

20 July 2013

Cougar 10 trail run | trail work party

Finally, my first run since Mt. Hood. I guess all that rest paid off! BIG TIME. The result? a PR for this loop; by over three minutes. And I finally went sub 1:20. Nice.

Then after our run I headed up the hill to join the Seattle Running Club for a trail work party. Talk about hard work! I am such a wimp when it comes to manual labor.

02

Then I went home and did yard work for two hours. My back is torched.

19 July 2013

core

Had to take the car in for service today so no bike commute.

I forgot my watch at the gym this morning so skipped the plank. Oh well. Everything else felt good.

18 July 2013

bike commute

I didn't sleep super so when the alarm went off I decided no gym today.

On the other hand I took the long way home. It has been an awesome summer and my foot is feeling better and riding does not put the same pressures on it as walking/running so I rode my favorite route home.

So. Incredibly. Scenic.

My legs are feeling great! I can't wait to run.

17 July 2013

core | bike commute

Same old thing. Core in the AM and then cycling to and from work. Just trying to let me dumb blister heal up. Core felt pretty darn good today!

My legs continue to feel way better than I expect them to. Not sure if it's a false sense of security because I am riding instead of running but we'll see soon enough.

One bummer is my stupid blister is not going to be in shape for me to run tomorrow like I planned on. Darn. I'll need to wait another day or two.

I got a massage today in hopes it would help even more but it turned out to be one of the least helpful massages I have ever received. Not sure what went wrong there...

16 July 2013

core | bike commute

After one day off to travel back from Mt. Hood and then another because my right foot is just too blistered to contemplate doing anything I dipped my toe (the ball of my foot actually) into the water and rode my bike to work.

I would have gone to the gym yesterday for some core work but my foot was so sore I didn't even think I could hold the plank. :(

As it is things went okay and I hope to try running in a few days. My legs feel surprisingly good. that is to say they don't feel good, they just don't feel as ruined as I was expecting them to feel. If my blister cooperates I hope to run Thursday.

13 July 2013

Mt. Hood 50 mile trail run

I woke up at about 3:15 AM which was 45 minutes earlier than I had set my alarm for. That's just what happens to me on the big day I guess; and what has to happen when the start is at 6:30 and you want to eat breakfast and then have to drive 30 minutes to get there.

Today I was running the Mt. Hood 50, my longest trail run ever by 20 miles(!). I have been asked by a few people (and I used to ask people), "How do you train for a long event? Do you run the same distance or close to it?" The answer is usually a resounding NO. Not many people can run 50 miles in training - at least not often - and still hope to put in quality training on top of that. The way to approach these things, in my humble opinion, is to ramp up your volume slowly and instead to do back-to-back runs of a relatively long distance. Like 20 or 25 miles. Or even 20-25 one day and then 15 the next. Combine that with some faster tempo efforts and quality rest (so you can do it again) then come race day you just rest up, start slow and hopefully you can accelerate as you finish.

Which is just what I was able to do. Oh happy day.

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[Martin looking guardedly optimistic before the start...]

This event can be summed up in a few short stories so here you go.

11 July 2013

core | bike commute

My legs feel good! And I guess that is exactly what you are supposed to feel before a long race. Bonus.

I checked the core box this morning and I gotta say, it feels good to do this on a regular basis... WAY easier than when you do it infrequently.

10 July 2013

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute

Today is my last run prior to the Mt. Hood 50, thanks to Edgardo Balansay for giving me some company.

I just wanted to go mellow and that is exactly what we did. I also wanted to not aggravate my damn blister but that unfortunately didn't work out so well. :( It ended up puffing a bit more and now I'm not so sure what to do prior to Saturday. Hope for the best I guess.

It was an amazing morning. Dry, warm, and the sun was poking through the trees by 6:00 AM. Freaking beautiful. We chatted and jogged and I felt fine. The start was mellow and we only accelerated as much as you naturally do when you warm up.

I took my Brooks Cascadia 8s out for a spin this morning and I'm thinking this might be the shoe for the weekend.

Riding to and from work felt super! That part did get me pretty pumped up about Saturday.

09 July 2013

core | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

Nice.

Today was a good day. I got to the gym, had a good core workout (and didn't forget to do any exercises!) and then went for a run after work. I felt pretty fresh for the run and managed to go a bit quicker than usual. Bonus.

08 July 2013

core | bike commute

A little bit of active recovery today after yesterday's relatively long run.

Core went well except that I forgot a watch so could not time my plank. I just ditched it in favor of some other exercises.

The ride to and from work went well, I'm a bit tired but that is to be expected.

On the way home I saw this.

You know what this means, the pinnacle of NW recreational cycling is just around the corner!

So you know what's coming...

one thing leads to another

A few days ago I was riding home and noticed that the rear wheel on my commuter bike was wobbling. I figured I had broken a spoke but when I got home and took a look the right flange on my hub had fatigued and a piece had sheered off causing me to lose TWO spokes.

broken_hub

So I grabbed a wheel off of my mountain bike.

In the process I noticed that not only was my front tire pretty sketchy (several cuts has been patched with duct tape) but my rear tire was worn down to the threads in no less than FOUR places. Yikes. Guess I need to cool it on the skids.

Lessons learned.

  1. Having spare parts on hand is great! I had a spare wheel, two spare tires (thanks to Recycled Cycles) and I was ready to roll in relatively little time.
  2. No bike gear lasts forever and this Neuvation wheel has been on my commuter for years. I would happily buy another but they stopped selling 26" wheels some time ago...
  3. Getting a 20% off email coupon from one of your online bike parts sources when you need it rocks.
  4. Disc brakes - like it even needs saying - are the bomb. No way could I have ridden home with my rim wobbling around this much. I can honestly say I have purchased my last caliper brake bike.
I've got a new rear wheel and some more tires on the way.

07 July 2013

Cottage Cheese Ass Tiger Mt trail run

For some reason I was NERVOUS before this run...?! What is my deal? I think it's a few things.

  1. I have the biggest running race of my life coming up in six days.
  2. My preparation has been far from ideal with my ankle injury taking me out for two full months.
  3. My running lately has been somewhat sporadic with long runs to try and ramp up my endurance as fast as my body can tolerate it interspersed with lots of rest and/or cycling so I can do it again later.

Let's just say I had that funny feeling in my stomach driving out to Issaquah and it was kind of freaking me out.

06 July 2013

Blake Island

Today Shelley and I took an Argosy Cruise to Blake Island and it was awesome!

Funny, you live in the same geographic area for most of your life and then you discover this gem that you have never been to. So cool.

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04 July 2013

Rosyln Ramble - North Bend to Rosyln and back on cyclocross bikes

A couple of weeks ago I got a Facebook invite from Ben Spencer to attend the Rosyln Ramble. I kept thinking there was some sort of mistake as people were talking about the 'RR' and I kept saying, "Hey, I'm done with road racing!" Hahaha... I'm an idiot.

It was awesome! And the group was so big! I reconnected with some old friends (Rick Heckenlaible, Peter Stocker, Ben Spencer) and met some new ones and spent 10 hours outside away from cars. Happy 4th of July indeed.

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What is the Roslyn Ramble? It's a ride from North Bend to the Brick Tavern in Roslyn and back almost entirely on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. It's the closest I have ever come to riding a Gravel Grinder.

03 July 2013

core

Oh man, I went to the gym this morning and did my core routine but that was all.

The rear hub on my commuter failed. The right flange broke and I lost two spokes so I could not ride to work. I really did not feel like running to work so I took the bus. Done.

My left foot has been hurting just a little, the top of the arch is sending me these little, shooting pains when I put weight on it. Sometimes. Nothing worse than 1) pain from something you thought was healed up and 2) having be intermittent so you have no ideal what the hell is going on.

I did walk home from the bus (1.6 miles) and that was fine. WTF?

More ice please.

02 July 2013

core | run commute

Man, how quickly a day can turn south.

Core was okay, a little difficult but okay.

Yesterday I broke a spoke in my rear wheel so needing to ease back into running anyway I figured why not run to work? The way in was fine. my head was not into it but my body felt good and my pace ended up being not bad at all.

ASIDE - I had to unfortunately re-learn a few things about my pack like it rubs my left arm when it's not full and it pulls my shirt up in back so don't wear a short one but that's life.

During the day my left foot started hurting just a little and when I started my run home it didn't get any better. And then just two miles into my run my brain quit. Suddenly I had zero desire to run at any speed. The further I went the more I was walking. in an attempt to stave off total disaster/walking all the way home I took a detour through some trail near our house. It didn't help.

I was so glad to be done when I finally arrived.

My foot did not feel good so I took three Ibuprofen and hit the couch with some ice.

I felt SO slow and SO unmotivated. I need to just write this day off and start over tomorrow.

01 July 2013

A funny thing happened at the Pride Parade the other day.

I've been going to the Seattle Pride Parade for years. It's awesome!

What is not so awesome is that some people use this event and a confrontational style to espouse alternative viewpoints. I'm all for letting people say what they want but when they happen to be standing way too close to me and yelling in my ear it pisses me off - not gonna lie.

For at least three years now I have seen this same guy. You know who I'm talking about, he's the guy with the 'Jesus Saves' sign that has been laminated for durability in one hand and a bible in the other that has what looks like just about every other page marked with a stick-on tab so he can reference specific quotes on demand.

ASIDE - I gotta wonder what he is thinking, right? If he's trying to convert folks it seems he has picked the wrong event and even if some people were on the edge, his agro attitude is pretty off-putting.

This year was no different in that the parade was a blast and this guy ended up stationing himself right next to us. Dang.

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Jesus doesn't just save, he saves you from HELL people.

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Love the font he used for PERISH. is that flames?

So this guy launches into his extremely well-rehearsed, extremely loud tirade and then 2013 turned out different than previous years.

I'm not sure when it happened but at one point this kid is standing right next to Jesus Saves and starts waving a rainbow flag next to his head incessantly. I mean he keeps this up for a LONG time and never says one word. After a while another kid shows up and starts beating these two inflatable batons together that one float was schwagging people with. The sound of the batons was shrill and deafening and it did an extremely effective job of drowning this guy out...!

Suddenly these two kids are joined by a small mob of people how had obviously had enough of Jesus Saves and what I saw next made me actually laugh out loud.

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Note baton boy on the left and flag boy just next to him.

I love these kids.

With all due respect to my friends that do believe Jesus saves, you are my friends in part because you don't foist your views on me. At an event that is all about tolerance and acceptance, this guy deserved what he got.

bike commute

Man... I took my running shoes to work today in hopes of going for a lunch and the body (or was it the mind?) just wasn't having it. So I didn't run and instead took the long way home.

It was another amazing day in Seattle. Upper 80s, brilliant, blue sky, I am loving this weather. LOVING it.

On the way home I was in a hyper-critical mood for some reason and judging everyone I saw. There was the guy in long sleeves and black tights. Really? In this weather? And the woman who was sitting on her saddle but shuffling her feet on the ground like she was on one of those little bikes for children that have no pedals. Except her bike did. And there was Joe Commuter who had to dart in and out of all the pedestrians on the path through Myrtle Edwards Park endangering everyone who came within 20' of him. And there was the guy that I passed and who promptly sprinted ahead of me to regain the 'lead' even though we were not racing.

But then when I was about three miles from home I looked down and noticed that I had broken a spoke in my rear wheel and so now I was that guy riding along with a wheel that was wobbling back and forth. Serves me right.

As I crossed the wooden bridge that spans the railroad tracks by the Ballard Locks a train went under me. I have never timed it that well ever and it was kind of neat. Until the cloud of diesel smoke hit me that is.

how to turn off (or on) SMS sync with Microsoft Exchange and your Samsung Galaxy S4 (or S III)

I just got a Samsung Galaxy S4. Exciting!

While setting up all my accounts I added my work account which is hosted on Microsoft Exchange 2010. I kind of flew through the process and did not realize that one of the questions was asking me whether or not I wanted to sync SMS messages. And suddenly all my personal text messages started showing up in Outlook on my work computer.

Oops.

Here is how to turn that off (or on if you want to) on your Samsung Galaxy S4 (or S III for that matter).


  • Go to Mail > Menu > Settings > select your Exchange account
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom and select "More Settings"
  • Scroll down to "Sync SMS" and turn it on or off as desired
Nice.

What is unfair? How can you level the playing field? Trail running grows up.

Few people would argue that rules are rules. If you have them and they are clearly communicated it's pretty obvious when they are broken; and if you are diligent about enforcing them there is usually very little room for debate. If a trail race promoter allows pacers or crews or trekking poles or whatever then to me that conversation is over. Problems do arise however when rules are vague or only enforced some of the time like when it's convenient or when the budget allows.

There is no doubt in my mind that the sport of trail running is booming. In Europe it's already huge and we are not that far behind. When any sport blows up there are lots of consequences; many of which are great!

  • The word spreads and more people take up the sport.
  • Retailers sell more gear.
  • Sponsors get behind the sport making it a viable source of income for some.

One of the realities of growth however is that there are also some unfortunately consequences.

  • Increased competition, prestige and prize money leads to an increased desire to win; at all costs.
  • Super-human, drug-enhanced performances become the (unrealistic) standard.
  • Amateur athletes, some who live vicariously through professionals and some others that fall victim to their own perceived identity and ego and slip into the same traps thus spreading the disease.

I'm talking about doping or taking any performance-enhancing drugs. It's just human nature and combating it requires a couple of things; the kind of budget that most race promoters just don't have and the desire to everything you can which is not always easy to adopt when you are involved in a sport as 'natural' as trail running.