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!