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.