27 November 2016
And so I don't get accused of hogging all the glory, Lucca's friend Robert Ruvkun (pictured here) helped out on at least three of these too. And Lucca knows how to work. HARD.
17 October 2016
11 September 2016
This summer has been an amazing time for me. After over 14 months of nursing a hip injury, four surgeries and then having to start running again literally one mile at a time, I am finally back to running ultras. Real ones too. First there was the Eiger Ultra Trail E101 and now the Pine to Palm 100-mile Endurance Run. Nice.
Were they easy? NO. But I finished both, in pretty good times considering my rapid ramp-up in training AND my body has been tolerating these longer distances better than ever meaning I have experienced no hardships other than the expected soreness and a couple of blisters. Super nice.
Here I am at the Dutchman Peak aid station. It's night and windy and I have not eaten anything in about 15 miles. Does this smile look forced? Read on to find out.
21 August 2016
I have heard that the Super Tunnel Marathon course is worth about 10+ minutes and now I believe it.
This course has a net elevation loss of 2,000' but it's rarely enough that you feel like you are actually running downhill, it just feels like you are having a good day. Which is exactly what I had today.
I rarely run road marathons with the intention of posting a fast time for myself. First of all I mostly spend my time on trails and when I do enter an official road marathon more often than not it's to run with my sister or a friend. About two weeks ago, on a whim in other words, I figured why not give running a marathon for myself a go. And since this event was two weeks prior to the next big race on my calendar it seemed like a perfect last hard workout before my taper.
With no speed or event-specific training I blew away my best case expectations. I am finally starting to feel like I'm back after all my injuries and surgeries. And believe you me, it feels good.
16 July 2016
First of all you are in Grindelwald, Switzerland and when the weather is nice the views are OFF THE CHARTS. Secondly there is the course. I think with the exception of about 300m of flat pavement which connected the first loop to the second loop across the bottom of the valley and 2k of flat pavement in between the bottom of the last descent and the climb to the finish it was literally all either up or down. Frequently at grades of 20+%. For realz.
I'm struggling to come up with prose that will do this justice so instead I'll tell a few stories that make up the bigger picture.
03 July 2016
If you are an ultra athlete that runs or rides for 24+ hours at a time, or if you just want to record a long activity without resorting to a less accurate recording mode you can rejoice!
I've been a Garmin user for years but some of my friends use Suunto watches and one feature I was always jealous of is their ability to charge the watch while recording an activity. This allows them to use the most accurate recording mode and still log long workouts or races as a single activity.
16 June 2016
04 June 2016
This happens every year, where my mind tries to convince my body that it still races. And the answer is it doesn't. And I suffer. This year it was at the Cascade Bicycle Club's Flying Wheels Summer Century.
But I got a boatload of sun, didn't completely blow and in the end it was a huge case of type 2 fun. Meaning it was tough but I'm glad I did it.
I rode with my friend John Phillips who is at least as game as I am when it comes to chasing fast wheels. I should have known.
03 June 2016
02 June 2016
01 June 2016
Today was a true recovery run.
My legs were still wicked sore from Monday just walking around but surprisingly not so bad while running? I'll take it.
I started slow and kept it that way. It actually felt good to run. Just like yesterday, I opted not to ride to work. Too trashed.
31 May 2016
30 May 2016
The skys were totally clear, the sun was out, it was 45 degrees at the start and at least 60 degrees at the finish. The Salmon Berries were HUGE and ripe and I was just so damn thrilled to be back out in the woods and to have it not hurt my hip. Thanks to Thomas Frizelle for the company and for being willing to run at my recovery pace.
29 May 2016
I'm planning my first post surgery trail run tomorrow so headed out in my trail shoes just for the heck of it. They really are pretty comfy, they're just not quite as squishy as my road shoes.
All went well, I'm still pain free. And without looking at my watch, I went just a hair faster on this loop than I have recently so hopefully this means my running fitness is trying to make a comeback.
28 May 2016
Some friends and I decided to sign up for and train for RAMROD so each weekend has included a nice, long ride.
Today a new person was added to the mix and the result was a subdued pace but the conversation and company was excellent. And once I accepted the social nature of the ride I still had a great time. Not to mention that we had a super weather window and by the end of the ride my vest, arm warmers, knee warmers and gloves were off. Nice.
27 May 2016
Took the zero today. I think it was the right call. I need to remind myself that I'm still only two weeks out from my kidney surgery.
It was wet going to work but on the way home it had cleared up and warmed up quite a bit. Of course then I was wishing I had ridden my bike... :)
26 May 2016
The weather never really cleared up today but it was still dry, just a little windy. So for the first time in ages I wore a long sleeve shirt on my ride home. No biggie.
I saw Frank Colich on the way home, nice of him to say hi.
25 May 2016
OMG, today was my first time running back-to-back days after my kidney surgery and it felt okay. There was one point where I thought my hip was complaining but in retrospect I suspect it was just the power of suggestion... When something has hurt for a whole year you can't help but think you feel it coming back I suspect.
Justin Angle was in town and we got the rare chance to run together - it was a blast! We took a few dirt and stair detours on the usual route for variety and scenery and I was huffing and puffing on all the stair climbs big time. Justin said it looked like I was moving pretty good so there's that. It was great to catch up.
The run felt harder/faster than it was. Perhaps I'm still a bit weak (read: I know I am still a bit weak) as it's just two weeks out from surgery.
After work I had planned to go long on my commute but work stress and perhaps these two runs flushed my vim and vigor down the toilet. I just rode straight home.
24 May 2016
Hit the bricks this morning for what is just my third run since surgery and my second outdoor run.
It felt good and so I inadvertently went a bit faster and subsequently found the limit of my current fitness. Whew, I have a ways to go. But running pain-free is pretty freaking awesome. Here's hoping it continues. right?
On my way to work I saw my kidney surgeon for my follow-up visit and confirmed that my tumor was benign and that no additional scans would be needed. All I have left is the usual/protocol Renogram after three months to ensure kidney function continues to be normal.
I am feeling pretty good! Here is what I looked like three days ago when the Steri Strips came off..
23 May 2016
22 May 2016
Surgery. More Surgery. Even more surgery. You guessed it, some more surgery.
ASIDE - I should get frequent flyer miles at Swedish Hospital.
Here are some dates.
23 March 2015 - I got a hernia repaired.
11 January 2016 - I got another hernia repaired (this one on the other side).
22 January 2016 - I had surgery to stop some internal bleeding.
11 May 2016 - I had a "mass" (aka "tumor") removed from my right kidney.
But hey, the tumor was benign! And Tuesday May 17 I started commuting to work on my bike again and Thursday May 19 I went for my first treadmill jog and Saturday May 21 I went for my first outdoor run after this most recent surgery so things are looking up! Plus, today. Boom.
Nice! Just 10 days out from kidney surgery I manage to pull off a century ride. I wasn't setting any PRs on this ride but hey, that was not the goal. I was with friends, on my rain (read: heavy) bike and the weather cooperated in brilliant fashion. Goal of having a good time accomplished.
Food always tastes better when you are famished.
21 May 2016
18 February 2016
So there I was on the bus heading to work and my bus happened to be in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.
When it breaks down.
At first it was just moving slowly - like 5 mph slowly - and then it just grinds to a halt between stops. Of course you know what comes next, right? Everything behind my bus has nowhere to go so it's a massive chain reaction.
I was at the front of the bus so could hear the supervisors and mechanics on the radio talking to the driver. At first they were making suggestions for how to troubleshoot this problem but when the bus didn't move they quickly switched to telling all the other northbound buses to stop before they entered the tunnel and they told all the northbound Link Light Rail trains to stop and let everyone off before they entered the tunnel. Every. Single. One.
Because there was another bus behind mine Metro couldn't drive a wrecker in the tunnel from behind so they had to enter at the north end and back it down to our bus. It was cool! The problem with our bus was electrical and so in addition to the engine and transmission not working properly the interior lights were off. Then way up ahead you could see the flashing lights of the wrecker.
11 January 2016
About nine months ago I had surgery to repair an inguinal hernia on my right side. That was after roughly six months of discomfort.
ASIDE - who knows how long I actually had this first hernia? Not me.
Not long after recovering from this procedure I started to experience discomfort again. I tried physical therapy (it didn't work), I tried rest (it didn't work), I tried cross training (it didn't work) and I tried warming up prior to runs (it didn't work). Finally, on a hunch, I had another ultrasound and wouldn't you know it, I had another hernia. This one on my left side. Today I had this second hernia repaired.
My friend Steven was kind enough to mock up this illustration.
I can sum up the previous 18 months pretty easily. It's going to be fun to run pain free.