30 November 2015
The first time I paced her was in 2012. I ran the entire course and it was am Amazing experience! In 2013 I was injured so just ran the last four miles. In 2014 I was again recovering from an injury but this time managed the last 18 miles, carried all of Lucca's nutrition and helped Lucca to an all-time marathon PR. Nice! That year was FREEZING cold. This year I had signed up myself long ago to take advantage of the early bird pricing and originally the plan was for me to try for my own marathon PR but (a lack of) training and a vacation (I know, pity me) conspired against me so we ran together yet again. In retrospect, I'm really glad it worked out this way.
Lucca's husband Bil Vandegraff came along this year too to run/walk the half marathon, it was a family affair!
12 November 2015
Albeit Mount Merapi is a pretty small "mountain", it was the highest peak within my reach. And there was a trail to the top. And there was the chance to catch the sunrise. And it was an active volcano. Talk about an awesome dawn patrol opportunity.
10 November 2015
06 November 2015
04 November 2015
03 November 2015
Boom. And boom again!
This has become my Tuesday ritual and it's freaking awesome! Thank goodness Breathe Hot Yoga is on the way home as I tend to just not do stuff unless it's really damn convenient.
60 minutes of sweating followed by another 60 minutes of sweating. It's so much sweating that I have started bringing two yoga mat towels so I have a fresh one for each class. Otherwise I'm lying down in a lake. I know, lovely image, right? And I don't even sweat that profusely. This shit just works you over.
02 November 2015
November is the traditional start of stair season for Jim Kodjababian and I. This year travel and some work/life issues are going to majorly interrupt our schedule but I am determined to give it a go anyway. We'll see how it progresses.
At lunch I got out for a nice recovery run with the UW Run crowd. And we ran a new (to me) route that was super fun!
This was the first day that I have needed a long sleeve shirt during our lunch runs. Fall is here.
01 November 2015
31 October 2015
Being a Seattle native and having walked and run in Discovery Park numerous times I don't even think about stuff like getting lost up here. But guess what, not everyone is as familiar with these trails. And guess what, you can get hypothermia when it's wet and 54 degrees.
So begins this story.
19 September 2015
Last year when I ran the Crystal Mountain Sky Marathon I fell around mile 11 and sliced open my right thigh. Pretty dramatic looking stuff but luckily not debilitating and I finished, pretty well considering. This year my goals were 1) not to fall, 2) run healthy/injury-free and 3) to see if I could better my previous time.
ASIDE - #1 was also one of Shelley's goals for me.
[Thanks to Jodee Adams-Moore for these very cool (and kinda hippie) finisher medals!]
12 September 2015
Oh man, My edition of Passport2Pain really should have been called "Passport2Pain++" or "Passport2Pain plus More Pain plus Even More Pain" because upon arriving at the finish I realized I had lost my car key somewhere on Vashon Island. This meant I had to ride 10 more miles (mostly uphill) to the ferry and then 10 more miles (with two more hills) from the ferry dock home. Ouch.
That said, this ride was everything I imagined it would be. We practically rode up every hill on the entire frigging island! I'm so glad for 1) the perfect weather, 2) some great company and 3) the outrageous (read: totally excellent) amount of support on this ride!
06 September 2015
Pictures sometimes really do tell the story best, here is one of my favorites.
04 September 2015
25 August 2015
Her husband, Bil Vandergraff, was there to support her the whole time. He was nice enough to share some pictures, video and commentary; here is how it went.
17 August 2015
25 July 2015
24 July 2015
I almost took another day off today. Motivation is gone.
Luckily Jon Robinson gave me a shout and asked me to go running so I went.
I felt like crap! Right from the start I felt like I was breathing through the world's smallest straw, so much so that I was wheezing while my heart rate was just 125 bpm. We slowed down a bit and I recovered some but every time our pace would get close to 8:00 I was in a world of hurt. Shoot. I was laughing, Jon was just going for a shakeout run prior to racing the White River 50 Mile and I couldn't keep up. Sigh.
My ride home was very slow.
23 July 2015
Wow, what a difference a couple of days make.
Tuesday I was on fire! Wednesday the motivation ebbed so I took a day off. Last night I met my friend Tony Callen at Fremont Brewing and that was the beginning of the end for me. I took the bus to work today and still felt like crap when I walked home. Some people learn things much slower than others.
21 July 2015
Great day! I was surprised I had this much energy but my lunch run was super mellow and I might still be coasting from all that speed last weekend. At lunch I ran with Steven Kurle who is always great to talk to and great company.
At the stairs I felt slower than usual but I still got in 13 flights in 45 minutes which is what I have been doing when I feel super so go figure.
At Fleet Feet Sports Seattle we started pretty mellow but then I was solid on the hill and picked up the pace just a bit in the last mile. Solid in other words.
20 July 2015
19 July 2015
Got a text from Todd Morse Tucker last night asking if I wanted to run today. I was SO close to saying no but in the end I'm glad I accepted the invite.
I think today was my slowest time on this loop but I finished feeling better than when I started so that's a good thing, right? I didn't have any pain or specific issues from the weekend, just overall tiredness.
18 July 2015
26 June 2015
My friend Martin de Vrieze has organized the North Bend Triple Challenge run for the last three years around his birthday. I was able to participate in the first one but missed last year from some reason. For various reasons like construction, etc. the route has changed each year but it has always included three summits – hence the name.
This is what the day is all about.
24 June 2015
Summer. Is. Here.
And I am liking it.
Went for a run around Lake Union and was joined for the lake part by Zephyr McLaughlin. When Zephyr peeled off I tried to twist the grip a little bit and was pleasantly surprised by the results. For the last three miles I went faster each mile AND (that's a big 'and') my body (read: hip) did not suffer because of it.
23 June 2015
Had to run an errand on the way to work today so I got back on the bike. And I felt super so taking yesterday off was the right call.
At lunch I went for a run with Thomas Frizelle and again I felt super! I like this feeling. We explored Capitol Hill, the Howe Street stairs and the Interlaken Park trails. We both remarked how fortunate we are to have this resource just one mile from work!
22 June 2015
After a solid weekend of being active I took a break! And it felt great.
Just a quick trip to the gym this morning to work on my hip and then for the first time in a long time I took the bus to work instead of riding my bike. It was really relaxing.
21 June 2015
Yesterday aggravated my hip just a little so to err on the safe side I skipped running today and got out on my bike. It was good call.
On the way past Duthie Hill I noticed that they had made some major improvements… like a giant parking lot. This has got to be a good thing as that place is busy, busy, busy these days.
We rode, we chatted we ate and drank. A perfect ride in other words. This over-the-top weather Seattle is having sure didn't hurt.
20 June 2015
Oh yes! The Seattle Stairway Foot Tour is one FUN event.
Normally I prefer to run in the dirt but when someone puts this much time into curating a route and incorporates lots of green spaces and the company is this good I make an exception. Plus I like stairs. I believe it was conceived of by Michael Yadrick (who I will henceforth regard as THE Seattle Stairway Authority) and I think this was the third annual edition. To sum it up, this is a running tour of ALL the 100+ step stairways in the Seattle area.
I know, mind blown! We live in a hilly town.
Last year I wanted to participate but injuries prevented me. This year I wasn't 100% but gave it a shot anyway. I lasted 29 miles and will definitely be back in 2016 to do the whole thing. It was awesome. Did I mention that the route gets tweaked/improved each year? Nice.
10 May 2015
15 April 2015
14 April 2015
It's spring at the UW and that means ducks are falling in love.
Whew, based on my gym numbers I'm getting a little stronger. And I'm realizing that my hips are way out of balance when it comes to strength.
No pain during my run again! I am liking this trend for sure. My heart rate monitor continues to entertain, once it settled down I started at 126 and finished around 141.
Today was a banner day so I had a treat when I got home.
13 April 2015
Another day of testing my body, this time with an actual run albeit indoors. I got a passing grade again. Yes.
This is the start of comeback #3. This year! And yes, I do want to do it right this time.
Saw this bike at the UW today, I love finding stuff like this.
12 April 2015
10 April 2015
09 April 2015
08 April 2015
On my way to work I got another massage. Living the dream for sure. This time it was from David Wilson at Evergreen Chiropractic.
On my way home I took a really long route. I love exploring Seattle neighborhoods.
07 April 2015
Well, I can't run so I did some strengthening this morning. It's been a while so I kept it pretty light.
06 April 2015
I was able to do all of my core exercises today! Just two weeks after surgery, nice.
I think I have been posting about all my injuries but just in case here is the catch up.
About two weeks prior to getting my hernia (right side) definitively diagnosed I started experiencing discomfort/pain in my LEFT hip. Running hurt but I didn't pay much attention to it as I figured my body was just getting used to the movement again after some time off.
Then I got the hernia diagnosed, had the surgery and took more time off. I figured this would cure my left side. Not.
The very first run after my surgery my left side hurt. I took it super easy but it only got worse.
I saw Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT this morning and we think it's my left sartorius (the same thing I injured some months ago). The plan this time is to rest and then specifically strengthen that area and then try to come back slowly. Again.
It's pretty depressing if I think about it too much and for the first time I'm starting to wonder if I will be able to accomplish any of my goals for this summer. I sure hope so.
I'm throwing everything I can at this and have started seeing a chiropractor, I'll start back up with massage and I will even try acupuncture. Hopefully all this plus doing the right exercises/rehab and stretching will finally get me up and running. Literally.
Did I mention that being active is essential to my happiness? These last two years have taught me just how true that is.
05 April 2015
04 April 2015
03 April 2015
Judging by the rear wheel, the front wasn't even quick-release.
I connected with Thomas Frizelle (an ultra runner!) and we ran up to Interlaken, through Interlaken to the Arboretum, around Foster Island and then a quick loop through the wetlands behind the shell house just to get the miles up over 6.
Thom is super fun to talk to, bonus. And it sounds like our pace is about the same when I'm healthy so hopefully this is another running partner for the summer.
My heart rate monitor skied at the start - as usual - and then cooperated. I kept it under 140 which is a tad high but it felt good. Oh well. My left hip bothered me just a little.
02 April 2015
My heart rate kept climbing (up to 148) so I throttled it back one click, it helped a little but I still finished around 146. :( Not exactly under 135 like I'm shooting for.
At least my weight is down.
Once again my heart rate monitor freaked out at the beginning of this run, I wish could just snip the first 10 minutes and then track the rest of my workout. After the freakout it was in the mid 120s and climbed from there.
01 April 2015
Hit the gym this morning and managed to do a mostly complete core routine for the first time in FIVE WEEKS. My back sure has suffered.
I could not do back extensions or the Roman Chair knee lifts, these still hurt my abdomen too much.
On my way home I saw this. Pictures really are worth 1000 words.
31 March 2015
How hard were the stairs? Oh man was I huffing and puffing.
30 March 2015
One week after surgery and I'm running! For sure I feel sore but no pain. Yes!
Saw my surgeon this morning and he gave me the green light to be active again. He also said that three weeks after surgery (which is two more weeks from now), "anything goes". Amazing.
28 March 2015
27 March 2015
25 March 2015
It's just two days after my surgery and I'm already going nuts.
ASIDE - if only one could harness this kind of pent-up energy during a regular training cycle, eh? That would be super productive.
I had an appointment with Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT today. The premise being I wanted to talk about what I could do safely once my body was up for it. I have not done any core work in one month and am looking at another break from aerobic activity. I decided to walk downtown in part to see how I felt and also because my primary bus only runs during peak commute hours.
I walked in the door of FootWorks and the conversation went something like this.
That's what I got last Monday.
Here is some information about the procedure.
ASIDE - when I first met Clayton I noticed he had a bit of cauliflower ear. Since you never know whether or not this is the result of an injury or a natural condition I shut my mouth. Plus I was thinking to myself, "How did this guy have time to do any MMA while going to medical school...?" Then just now I read his Polyclinic bio and see he's a fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Mystery solved. :) And kudos to you Dr. Hackerman.
Here is a rough timeline and redux.
23 March 2015
21 March 2015
Gosh, I think this is the farthest and fastest (I hit 45 mph descending from West Seattle!) I have ever ridden my single speed commuter bike. It was fun!
I had a vague/general idea of where I wanted to ride but had to stop and check my phone once. So much for being non-reliant on technology! :) I rode the Duwamish Trail and the Green River Trail, I have not been on either in I don't even remember how long. The pavement on the Duwamish Trail was fresh! Could it have been that the last time I thought I was on the trail I was really just riding on surface streets? Looks that way in hindsight.
20 March 2015
I met some friends after work for beers at the College Inn Pub so figured it was prudent to leave the bike at home and took the bus for a change.
You really see lots of beautiful and ugly on the UW campus. This is beautiful.
This not so much. Perhaps more funny than the opposite of beautiful. Note the angle of both sets of barends...
19 March 2015
18 March 2015
Back to the gym in the morning for more elliptical and then off to the Polyclinic to talk with my surgeon to discuss options. After chatting he was able to fast track me so I'm getting my hernia fixed Monday.
Since my hernia is small and since I seem to have some other inflammation/issue on the right side of my hip there is no guarantee that this will relieve all the pain but it does need fixing so better now than later. I was told that this type of hernia will only get worse over time.
Gotta love those definitive diagnoses...
But in a way it's a relief. No more guessing. And thanks to my doctor and the person that bailed on their appointment so I could get in so quick. The summer is still long and I have lots of goals in the second half.
I rode home via my new favorite route again. This is such a cool way to go but you can't be super tired or the hills are too much on the single speed. These days I'm pretty fresh.
17 March 2015
No running because of a hernia equals cross training - as long as it does not involve impact that is. Enter the elliptical trainer.
I have found that an elliptical is perfect for active recovery and warming up and now also for keeping your heart pumping when you are injured. Too bad it's so boring. It seems like someone always turns ALL the televisions in my gym to ESPN or some talk show first thing in the morning. Or at night, and then it just never gets changed in the AM. Oh well.
16 March 2015
The big news is that I got a call from my doctor and after he spoke with the Radiologist I do have a hernia. I guess my hearing was somewhat selective during the ultrasound and it's actually fairly clear.
"On the Symptomatic right side, there is a broad bulging of tissue with Valsalva maneuver, including bowel anterior and inferiorly at the level of the epigastric vessel origins, which is constant with a small hernia."
The next step is to consult with a surgeon to see if this warrants fixing. Oh yeah, my PT said if I have a hernia I can't run. I guess this seals that deal. Crap.
I cheered myself up by taking pictures of bicycles on the UW campus. This gem had a frame with track dropouts (and no eyelets), a touring fork (with double eyelets), was set up as a single speed, had carbon fiber Easton handlebars and desert camouflage paint. Awesome.
14 March 2015
13 March 2015
Today my right hip maybe felt better?
It was a beautiful day - 65 degrees! I ran with Frank Barber again and we chatted the entire time. Man it was nice to be out in the sun. We added a tiny extra piece of Interlaken trail to our Foster Island loop. Good times.
I left work early and headed up to Seattle Radiology to get an ultrasound on my hip/lower abdomen. The goal here was to finally prove/disprove the hernia theory.
12 March 2015
11 March 2015
10 March 2015
When I got home and cleaned myself up I walked down to see Jenny Dailey for a massage. Awesome stuff.
09 March 2015
But when I'm not clogging my arteries I can also enjoy the electronic variety. Here is a message I got just this morning.
Hello! This is me, Olga, from Moscow! Remembered me?Of course "meeting will happen" was a link to a place you don't want to visit.
How are you? Still got no message from you! I miss you actually! When we will go out for a date?
I'll be waiting for your suggestions and I hope that our meeting will happen as soon as possible!
Not sure why but it's vaguely reassuring to know that somewhere out there a robot is churning out millions of messages and that I'm special enough to be a recipient. Because sometimes that's all the self-actualization it takes to make my day.
08 March 2015
I knew that there was a paved path down the grass median of Beacon Ave so climbed up the Cheasty Blvd green corridor to connect with that. On my way south I rode under some power lines that ran down a greenbelt and there was another paved path in the middle of that so on my way home I took that route.
There are some stout hills on this route! Especially on my single speed. But it was a blast.
The day was so nice I went out again in the afternoon with Shelley and we rode down to Seward Park and back.
07 March 2015
I combined one of my favorite routes home from work with a little extra exploration and bingo, an awesome urban bike tour. I got to see all of the following neighborhoods.
- Mt Baker
- Myrtle Edwards Park
- Discovery Park
- Lake WA Ship Canal
- Capitol Hill/Interlaken
- The Arboretum
I am loving my new Schwalbe Big Apple tires, so smooth!
06 March 2015
Last night I attended a reception for the incoming PhD Students at work. They had some excellent local beer and wine and I over indulged. By a lot. It was delicious but my ride home last night was s l o w and this morning I felt rather under the weather.
Somehow I made it to the gym but I had no motivation to do anything else. I was also meeting some friends after work for a drink(?!) so didn't ride my bike either.
Anti-training for sure.
05 March 2015
Unfortunately my hip is still not happy at all. In retrospect I should have not run today... we went nice and slow and even walked a couple of times but I still didn't feel like this did my body any favors. Suck! Being injured is a massive drag. Still, Foster Island is so pretty, it was great to be out here.
I ran with Brad Coston and as we went under all the new 520 bridge construction he told me all about American Piledriving Equipment. Turns out they have some revolutionary technology and it sounds really green to me. They vibrate stuff into the ground instead of just pounding it. And I think Brad said all the hydraulics are filled with linseed oil making leaks a relative non-issue. This is the kind of progress I love.
Walking around the UW campus I see tons of bikes. I also see lots of victims of bike theft. Boo.
I also see some crazy bikes, like this one. Is that name supposed to appeal to customers?
04 March 2015
A day of fitness!
This run was an eye opener. Usually I'm the slow guy when I run with my friends. Well Brad and Frank are just getting into running so for a change I was the fast guy. It worked out perfectly as my hip was making noise even at a recovery pace and I was forced to go slower than I might otherwise have gone. Plus we talked a ton which was cool.
After work I rode over to my friend Tony Callen's house to meet him and a friend for one of Tony's urban MTB rides. It was a blast! Except I took some of the dirt sections too fast and fell down twice. :( No damage but I got home really dirty for having ridden in the city. :)
03 March 2015
Another day of riding my bike to work! Impulsively I took the long way home up around Discovery Park and the Magnolia Bluff.
It was a beautiful day but boy were those hills tough on this bike...
NOTE - see what I did there? I blamed my lack of cycling fitness on my bike. :)
My sit bones are also kind of tender. Who would have thought I would get that out of cycling shape?
02 March 2015
Today was my first commute by bicycle in months! I rode to my doctor (Oren Townsend) on the way to work and then home.
I went to see Oren to try and sort out this hip issue I've had for the last couple of weeks. On the up side he said that if I have a hernia it's a very small one. He noticed a tendon/ligament that was much tighter on my right side than on the left so he recommended I take it easy for a week and take Ibuprofen for that time as well. If the Ibuprofen helps, it's probably not a hernia, if it does not we'll proceed with an ultrasound.
Riding my bike was so much fun! I got some new tires that feel awesome but they are much larger than what I used to use which in a single speed mean a larger gear... the hills are harder. :( But I'm also not used to this so I'll give it time.
01 March 2015
Oh MAN did it feel good to be out in the woods again but my right hip did NOT cooperate. I was not comfortable. It made itself known pretty much from the start and just kept getting worse as the day wore on, especially on the descents which is a giant shame as I love to go downhill.
Luckily it was a super day! The weather was awesome, the trails were in great shape and I ended up connecting with Steven Kent and Michael Linscott who lucky for me were fresh off a 50-mile race so we were the same speed. It's so fun to have company.
27 February 2015
No running today but my hip (guts?) didn't feel that great doing core either. It almost feels like I have hernia and after seeing Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT he tentatively confirmed that diagnosis. Rats. Next I need to see my doctor to confirm/deny this.
To see if something is indeed wrong in the hernia region I took a Hot Pilates class at Breathe Hot Yoga after work and sure enough something is off in my core/lower abs.
While down at FootWorks PT I checked out Back Alley Bike Repair. What a cool shop!
26 February 2015
This might look like a big day but it wasn't really.
The run was just another test like yesterday and I can now report that my right hip is fully effed up. What a drag! I have an appointment with my PT Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT tomorrow to see what's up.
On the upside my heart rate is coming down while running! I am 5-10 beats lower at the same speed so bonus. I also saw a couple of interesting bike on the UW campus. Just in case you didn't know what a 'fixie' was, Kent is here to help you out. One word: yikes!
And back when I was in the bicycle industry, everyone was trying to get rid of stem shifters...
25 February 2015
Darn it! Something is not right with my right hip now. Just when my left side is starting to feel pretty darn good and I have ramped up my mileage... I tried a treadmill run in the AM to test my body and it did not cooperate. I went to the IMA to try another treadmill run and my hip did not feel good at all so subbed some heat for the workout. Plus the walk home felt very tentative so I didn't even bother going to the Seattle Running Club track workout.
Saw this bike locked up outside my building at work today.
I find it amazing and cool that someone would ride this kind of thing as a regular commuter.
- steel rims
- crappy brakes
- steel cranks
- steel handlebar & stem
Yet they lovingly covered the saddle with a waterproof cover. Awesome.
24 February 2015
I had the best intentions today but they kind of evaporated after I got home...
We had a fire alarm at work which ended the day prematurely. I got home a bit too early and had to kill some time before I needed to head out to the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run and by the time I needed to leave I was 1) starving and 2) had lost all motivation. I simply ran out of steam.
At work I visited one of our locations that is mostly underground. They had a webcam of Old Faithful up on a display, that was fun to watch erupt.
23 February 2015
Unless you take the time to diligently record everything that you do and learn from it, we tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. There are very few shortcuts in life but Hammer Nutrition has put together some very well accepted and proven tips for fueling during endurance activities that I think are really useful.
5 Secretes of Success for Endurance Athletes
You can add the booklet to your order or you can download the PDF for free. Nice. And useful!
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Hammer Nutrition Athlete Ambassador but I sought them out because I discovered that the techniques in this booklet worked for me and because I found their products to be superior.
Hammer Nutrition Endurance Fueling
22 February 2015
21 February 2015
Yes! A real trail run.
Crap! Everyone is faster than I am.
This loop goes by many names.
- Cougar 14 + Bear Ridge
- Cougar Ring
- Cougar 10 + Bear Ridge + Wilderness Cliffs + De Leo Wall
I met Jon Robinson, David Miller and Gretchen Van Dyke (ALL OF WHOM ARE FASTER THAN I AM) at the Red Town Trail and we got it on. That is to say they got it on and I struggled to keep up while my heart rate went through the roof. That first climb can be killer!
Not exactly the endurance pace run I had planned but in the end it was okay.
20 February 2015
Finally got back to the gym and had a good core session. Yes!
After work I headed over to Flying Lion Brewing for their Friday run. It was great but I pushed the pace a bit too hard I think. This is the first week I have done any fast running; Tuesday I pushed the hill, Wednesday was intervals on the track and then today I slipped into that pseudo-tempo pace that is killer. As in not good for me. Oops.
19 February 2015
18 February 2015
Oh man, my first Seattle Running Club track workout in at least five months! Good times.
The workout called for 6-8 x 1000 m (400 m easy jog between efforts) and I managed to run six. I started out with Herbert Sitz who I used to be pretty evenly matched with last summer but that was not the case tonight, he left me behind each time and each time the gap got bigger and bigger. I not only started the first few intervals too fast and faded by the end of each effort, it also felt like I got progressively slower times for each effort even though I didn't use a watch.
On the upside I did manage six efforts! And my sartorius/hip didn't flare up which was huge as intervals is how I injured myself last year. It also felt good running to and from the track.
I'll be back and I'll get better. These workouts are awesome as I just don't run fast on my own. Not like this anyway.
17 February 2015
For just the second time ever I ran to the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run, ran the run, and then ran home from the run. Run commuting sure is a great way to tack on the extra miles.
Make no mistake, the run to and from were s l o w but for the first time in quiet a while I pushed the pace during the run and felt pretty okay on the climb. Nice! At the start I spotted a couple of people I wanted to keep up with, they went faster than I have been going these days, end of story.
This weekend it's back to slow running. :) I just had to change it up today... I've been feeling like when my heart rate hits 140 it's really hammering and today in the mid 150s I felt controlled. Not that I could go any faster without blowing up, but still.
16 February 2015
That's right, Martin still knows how to ride a bicycle... but I have forgotten how to dress while I'm on one. The sun was brilliant and hanging out at home felt balmy but out on the road the wind chill was quite a bit cooler than I expected. Still a great time. I picked a route with minimal stops and great pavement and it felt absolutely luxurious to roll along. I just could have used some knee warmers and gloves.
A great day of fitness with a core session in the gym in the morning, an afternoon ride and then a killer Hot Pilates session at Breathe Hot Yoga in the afternoon. That's what you get to do when you work for a higher education institution and get Presidents' Day off.
15 February 2015
I wanted to go for a local run but didn't want to be on roads. The answer? Discovery Park. Little did I know that everyone else and their dog (literally) had the same game plan.
I did three loops and dropped down to the north beach on the 3rd and then ran up from the lighthouse. That climb is awesome!
I felt really slow. I know I am supposed to be going slow these days but still, it now feels like my heart is hammering when it hits 140 bpm, this can't be good? I guess I should try some intervals and see how that feels.
The weather was fantastic. Great for running but not for keeping other people indoors. :)
13 February 2015
Nice! Managed two real road runs today for the first time in quite a while.
The weather was spectacular. When I headed out at lunch I didn't have the confidence to just wear a short sleeve shirt so grabbed an undershirt too... I didn't need it. I could have left all my shirts at home in fact. What a great day, what a sad winter.
For the first time I ran to (and from) the Flying Lion Brewing run. In this weather it's pretty fun but boy was I tired going home.
The run itself was great. We stayed together until we got close to The Wing (FLB5) and then the fast group took off.
ASIDE - these guys have really taken Strava to heart.
I took a wrong turn again but this time went a tad long whereas last time I cut the course short. Oh well. At least I had some company in "Paul" who lives on the east side and drove all the way over here just to do this run! He was super nice, here's hoping he comes back.
Brett brought some homemade beat/red velvet cupcakes which he shared after the run, the some kind of 'boiled milk' frosting. Delicious! I really wanted a beer too but knew that would deep six my run home so reluctantly left while everyone was enjoying their pints.
For the first time in quite a while I could feel my Sartorius when I started my second run. Ouch. Luckily it went away as I warmed up and didn't bother me again. This sure is taking a long time to heal up and I'm getting just a little tired of always being at 80-90%. I know, throw me a pity party already.
12 February 2015
I forgot my watch this morning...! CRISIS. Seriously, it's funny how much I Have come to rely on the ability to track and record everything. :( Objectively I know it's great to leave the technology home from time to time but it's hard to do.
At least I ran anyway. :)
I did the same treadmill routine as Tuesday and it felt just as good.
11 February 2015
Back to my proper core routine today and it felt good. Glad the motivation is back.
ASIDE - this core work is SO important for my general well being but I frequently struggle. Honestly, it's tough to do when you know you have to do it all the time.
After work I dropped by Breathe Hot Yoga for another Hot Pilates class and man was this a killer! I've had this instructor once before but have never done this routine. It was tons of legs! Squats, burpees, jump squats, lunges, holy cow. Good (or heinous depending on your perspective) stuff. My legs are trashed.
We also did a record number of push-ups. Did I mention my upper body is freaking weak? After class it felt even weaker.
10 February 2015
It felt really good to finally move my legs again! I know active recovery is important but I'm also not immune to laziness and don't always do it the day after (or even two days after) a race.
I got off the treadmill feeling better and looser than when I got on. Mission accomplished.
At the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run I took it really easy. Other than the initial spike in heart rate I kept it below 135 bpm today, I have never done that before. It was nice to run with people as I am usually between pace groups.
09 February 2015
07 February 2015
The Orcas Island 50k is a tough race. You climb Mount Constitution three times, once on the paved road and twice on trails. Both of the times on trails it feels like you are going straight up. Maybe because you are. This year it was wet, super muddy, but it didn't seem to slow most of the runners down much. Personally, I was loving the conditions.
06 February 2015
05 February 2015
Easy run this morning with a little pick up at the end just to remind myself what foot speed is.
After work I dropped by Breathe Hot Yoga again, this place is great. I honestly wish I had more time to go here.
There was a massive backup on the street my bus drives down this morning. Cars were turning around so I did as well and walked to my 'Plan B' bus route.
04 February 2015
Carrying anything while running used to feel so unnatural to me. But I came from a cycling background where stuff doesn't bounce around. Luckily my friends who got me turned on to running also turned me on to some of the best equipment and my first Handheld (which I still have today!) was by Ultimate Direction.
Soon I learned that carrying a bottle in my hands was no big deal and after trying out one of the Ultimate Direction Hydration Packs I learned what a running pack is supposed to feel like. Comfy, stays put and has room for your shit. Regardless of whether that is minimal shit or a shit ton.
It's such a thrill (I'm easily amused I suppose) to not even have to think about what I will need to leave at home just so I can carry my camera. And with room for a bladder and two bottles, you can stay out for a long time. Did I mention you can access the side pockets while running? Nice.
03 February 2015
Dear Howe Street stairs, where would I be without you? You have helped me recover from injury, you have helped me build fortitude, you have cemented the bonds of friendship and yet I am not sorry to say, "See you later!" as I log the last official stair workout of the winter.
I was talking to Jim Kodjababian after we finished up today and we agreed that we have been out here for about nine or 10 years! That's something. Every year kicks my ass and every year we come back for more. That's something else...
This winter we got lucky and there were no epic rain or ice days. Of course the skiing has correspondingly sucked big time but I guess there is a silver lining in almost everything.
02 February 2015
For a change I went up and over the ridge instead of through the tunnel. It was a beautiful evening.
31 January 2015
30 January 2015
My favorite brewery is Flying Lion Brewing. It so happens that one of the brothers that opened this place (Evan Williams) is a runner and a member of the Seattle Running Club (my running club) so when he announced a weekly Friday evening run I was pretty excited. Today was the first time I was able to participate and the course is great!
From the brewery you head NE through Genesee Park, then South along Lake WA Blvd, and then up some honest hills and finally back to the brewery. This route does a great job of avoiding heavily trafficked streets and in just it's third week the Flying Lion 5 has already drawn a crowd, there were about 15 people there today!
Hopefully I can flex my work schedule some to make this more often, I have to pretty much jump on the bus and head straight there to make it, it would be great if I could head home first and then run there...
29 January 2015
My legs are STILL wasted from doing stairs Tuesday. I obviously wrecked myself. Here's hoping I can get back to feeling good soon. It feels like I tore some muscle in my left quad mostly, like after a day of really aggressive weight lifting but even more so.
So at the gym this morning I just did some active recovery and that felt excellent. Good call in retrospect.
Then because I didn't ride or run I went to Breathe Hot Yoga for one of their Hot Vinyasa classes. Ryan was the instructor and he's pretty incredible. To me he's the best at talking you through all the poses so even a beginner can follow along. He also always has two or sometimes three options for each pose so even the advanced folks are challenged. Nice.
28 January 2015
I've been noticing that my heart rate spikes something awful when I start any aerobic activity, today was extreme even for me. Especially in light of the fact that my only goal today was to go EASY. Sheesh.
After work I dropped by Breathe Hot Yoga for a Hot Pilates class. These are fantastic! Yet again I had a different instructor who showed us a different routine. This one was quite aerobic in that we hardly stopped at all, the whole class was go, go, GO.
27 January 2015
You know how you get a wild hair sometimes?
Tuesdays I'm usually here with Jim Kodjababian but on this day he had to travel for work so I was solo. I figured why not try for 20 flights?
I made it but ouch! My legs were blown after. The last four or five flights felt like the end of a massive set of lunges. Originally I had intended to go on the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run as well but when I got to the store it was raining pretty hard, I was pretty tired and so I just walked on past and to the bus stop... Day over.
26 January 2015
I took today off from work. Sort of a belated birthday gift to myself. I know, right?
Made it to the gym in the morning and then I got a call from my friend Tony Callen who wanted to go riding. Having hung all the parts on a new 29er frame I had to scramble to get it operational but mission accomplished so I took it out for a shake-down ride.
It was WARM. Like 60 degrees warm. I brought arm warmers in the car and they stayed there. I didn't even need the undershirt I had on. It felt fantastic to be out in the sun and feel all toasty but unless we get a second winter there will be a huge water shortage this summer.
As we descended the Preston Railroad Grade Trail it was suddenly closed! Oh well, it gave us an excuse to ride Silent Swamp Trail which I had never been on. Fun!
25 January 2015
Happy birthday to me!
This is what I need (read: want) to do more of. Why is this winter such crap? You need to drive for 2-5 hours just to get to skiable trails. Luckily on this day I was already in the Methow (Lucca's cabin to be precise) and so all I had to do was walk 50'. Freaking fantastic.
Today Lucca was participating in a 30 km ski race and since my skate skills are not up to that level I chose to explore and hopefully improve said skills. I had a GREAT time.
24 January 2015
I've run in the snow many times, but just for a couple of miles at a stretch. Today I did something totally new - a trail race that was almost entirely in the snow. After a 2 km start of icy road that is. Pretty cool.
What is the Methow Snow Trail Race like? It's a great core workout, that's for sure. You are constantly running with outstretched arms and recovering your balance!
The route was a snowshoe trail and only 1-2' wide. If you got anywhere near the edge you would posthole or simply fall sideways into the deep stuff. I did both. More than once. But it was also super fun to embrace the winter.
Did I mention I ran this with Lucca? Awesome.
23 January 2015
I used to use heart rate a lot when cycling was my primary sport (and actually had a VO2max test on a bike) but got out of the habit when running took over and I'm not sure how applicable cycling numbers are to running. I think I embraced the minimalism of running and for quite some time I eschewed not only heart rate straps but also running vests/packs and in the summer shirts. Then I got injured, got injured again, and then I took a vacation and suddenly my base fitness had eroded a fair bit. Not only could I not run as fast, my tempo/race pace was a good 30 seconds slower than it used to be.
After talking to friends and coaches it seemed like the consensus was I needed more endurance pace efforts and less of what was now my tempo pace to build my fitness back up. In order to do this I needed to figure out my heart rate zones again.
Enter Kainoa Pauole-Roth, Seattle Performance Medicine and the treadmill.
22 January 2015
The quality of my sleep continues to stay very high. It's made me realize how infrequently I actually get a goodnight's rest?!
I dorked around too much this morning at home so ran out of time for the gym and then had to work all day so no lunch session. But it's okay.
While walking around I saw yet another Run Washington sticker, these things are everywhere.
21 January 2015
After feeling like dirt on yesterday's run I resolved to treat myself right so hit the good, old elliptical trainer at the gym for some active recovery. And guess what, just like it's supposed to work, I felt much better when I climbed off than when I started.
Why am I worried about taking it easy? I schedule a VO2 Max test for myself Friday morning. Better be fresh for that.
After work I headed on over to Breathe Hot Yoga for another Hot Pilates class. These rule. I'm learning there are a million exercises you can do that involve exactly zero extraneous equipment and that are incredibly difficult. I got my ass handed to me yet again and I will be back for more.
On the way home I saw this in the I-90 pedestrian tunnel. This Run Washington sticker is showing up in more and more places.
20 January 2015
Made it to the gym this morning and had a pretty good core workout. Nice.
The Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run on the other hand felt terrible. I was so winded and going up the Howe Street stairs...! I suspect it's that dreaded day-after feeling. Having done stairs yesterday and having done nothing else, my muscles were still super full of lactic acid.
On the upside Bradlaugh Robinson showed up for his second run of the day and was looking to go easy so we hung together and chatted. It was great to catch up.
I'm also sleeping better (and more). Bonus.
19 January 2015
Jim Kodjababian and I had to move our stair workout to Monday this week because of Jim's travel schedule. Done.
The first couple of walkers and the first runner felt terrible but I warmed up and the rest was better.
Just two more weeks of this. Then what will I do with my Tuesday morning...?
Since both Shelley and I had the day off from work we ran errands, together! How cool is that? One such errand was going to Sephora in Bellevue Square (where I was one of only two males in the store and the other one worked there). I tried a new cologne. It smelled really nice.
17 January 2015
I can't run this route and not think of Bryan Estes. He owned it last year in preparation for a super successful run at the Cascade Crest 100. Me on the other hand, I have not been out here in so long it almost felt like I was exploring new trails. Almost.
I got lucky with the weather, it started to sprinkle about .5 miles from the car and then as I drove away it really started raining. Works for me.
The trails were packed today. Not only did I see a Seattle Running Club clubmate in Francis Agboton, I also saw two SRC-Brooks teammates in Evan Williams and Olin Berger. Nice. Not to mention all the hikers out - it was a busy day at Cougar Mountain!
16 January 2015
Went to the gym but my motivation was pretty low. I tried to offset this by mixing it up and did some TRX stuff for a change. It kind of helped but this is hard and a partner would have been ideal.
After the gym I went shopping.
Sometimes you just need to let go. Something I'm good at. :)
15 January 2015
Made it to the gym this morning and went for a run at lunch... I deserve a pat on the back.
Ran the Lake Union loop from work and really tried to keep my heart rate under 140 today. For a change it worked. Nice. It was also a great day for the middle of winter.
I keep seeing some awesome bikes on the UW campus, here is the latest.
14 January 2015
13 January 2015
Just another super Tuesday!
Met Jim Kodjababian in the morning at Howe Street but I almost missed him... I totally forgot I had asked him to show up earlier for these last few workouts and I only got there in time because I usually try to show up early. I was not early today, just right on time. Whew.
My legs felt BLOWN today. Just wasted. I guess Saturday must still be in them, plus I didn't exactly do any active recovery between then and now. :(
At the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run we had a super turnout. at 5:55 the store was still fairly empty and then suddenly everyone showed up. Nice. I started mellow and was surprised how good (read: not brutal) the run felt! My back is improving and my legs were not as dead as they were in the AM. I even felt okay going up the Howe Street stairs. I did let my heart rate climb a bit higher than I wanted to going up Interlaken but I was trying to keep up with some friends... Once we hit Galer I had to let them go.
I used to train with heart rate a fair bit when cycling was my primary activity but not so since I switched to running. For the most part leaving my heart rate strap at home worked out fine as my aerobic base from riding carried over and all I had to do was get my body used to the impact and strains of this new activity.
Then came a couple of back-to-back injuries followed by a relatively long vacation and I found I had to rebuild my base fitness. Having never needed to do this while running I was continually going out too fast and then dying, and I was not ever very fresh for a workout. These last few weeks I have throttled back the intensity in an attempt to build that base back up using Phil Maffetone's heart rate formula.
The only problem is, it's been ages since I knew with any sort of accuracy what my max heart rate was much less what all my exercise zones are. Plus I'm quite a bit older since I last used heart rate with any kind of regularity.
Hence this test.
Here is my favorite paragraph from the "Informed Consent for Exercise Testing" form I had to sign.
The test I will undergo will be performed on either a treadmill, bike or ergometer with the effort gradually increasing. As I understand it, this increase in effort will continue until I feel and verbally report to the operator any symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort which may appear. It is my understanding that it is my right to request that a test be stopped at any point if I feel unusual discomfort or fatigue. I have been advised that I should immediately upon experiencing any such symptoms, or if I so choose, inform the operator that I wish to stop the test at that or any other point. My wishes in this regard shall be absolutely carried out.Can't wait.
12 January 2015
10 January 2015
- It's in the middle of winter. Say hello to mud and/or freezing temperatures.
- It starts at 3:00 PM in the afternoon! Instead of ditching your light one third of the way in you are picking it up.
- There are shorter distances, relay teams and solo runners all on the course at the same time, it's not easy to tell what place you are in.
- My fitness apparently is not even up to the moderate pace I was trying to maintain today.
- My back blew sky high at the beginning of the 5th lap. he race is six laps long.
On the bright side, my running club (Seattle Running Club) freaking swept the events! Keith Laverty crushed the 5-mile; Joe Creighton, Evan Williams and Mathew Hong got 1st - 3rd in the 10-mile; Trisha Steidl and Uli Steidl won the pairs 50k event and set a new CR and Olin Berger scorched the solo 50k. In fact, Olin was only bested by the team 50k runners by one minute! We also got 1st (Steven Kent) and 2nd (Arthur Martineau) in the Masters division in the 50k. Nice.
09 January 2015
Tried core again and it still isn't happening. Today I did some balance exercises with cables & pulleys in an attempt to mix it up just so I wouldn't just turn around and go home. It worked for a few minutes.
At lunch I forced myself to hit the IMA and it was a good call. Luckily. From the first pedal revolution I could tell I was really rested and it was going to be a great ride. I broke my previous PR on this course by about 1:50 and beat the CR by four seconds. All while keeping the RPMs up and not blowing up my legs I might add. Tomorrow is a big run after all.
08 January 2015
07 January 2015
Went to the gym this morning but did not have it in me. Sometimes the stresses of life get in the way and it just saps your motivation. That and it's been ages since I did any core work. Double whammy.
06 January 2015
Surprisingly, my back feel okay running. Just not bending over, standing up, most everything else.
Great stair session this morning with Jim Kodjababian. And a pretty good Fleet Feet Sports Seattle run as well. I pushed the pace for the first time in ages and although I was not fast I was faster than the last few months.
Of course I went up the Howe Street stairs during the run. :)