29 November 2012

core

Got to the gym and then opted to take the bus to work because the forecast looked miserable. Turns out it was mostly dry but no regrets, I got to read a book on the bus which I love doing.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 5:30 AM
Workout Type  
Weather  
Course
ball leg lifts 3 x 40
back extensions 3 x 40
clam knee lifts 100 each leg
side leg lifts 100 each leg
leg scissors 100
push-ups 18
twisters 50 each side - 12 lb.
hip abductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
hip adductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment  
Clothing  

28 November 2012

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute

Yes! I finally got in a complete loop on Cougar Mountain. Thanks go to Bryan Estes for keeping me on track. I ran in front all morning but he would tell me when I made a wrong turn, there were only two times that I hesitated. The fact that it was not foggy out really helped.

When I got home I wolfed a quick breakfast and got on my bike and headed to work. Bonus. Riding after running seems like the perfect way to keep the legs loose.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 4:45 AM - banana, water
5:15 AM - gel
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food run - bottle w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun
Injuries I noticed a couple of days ago that I had bruised my right big toenail - perhaps during the Seattle Marathon? Today made it a little worse. I have never had any problems with my big toes and have not had issues any toenails recently. Bummer.
Therapy  
Time of Day run - 5:30 AM
Workout Type run - endurance
Weather low 40s, dry, calm, partly cloudy
Course  
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment run - Brooks Cascadia 7
ride - Raleigh Mojave 8.0
Clothing run - Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt, Polypropylene gloves
Technorati Tags: ,

27 November 2012

Howe Street stairs | bike commute

Stairs baby! Oh man, I think this is the first year I am actually looking forward to these workouts...! What is my problem? Getting up at oh dark thirty is another matter.

In the past I would usually do stairs but dread them. I think I started because some old-school cycling person (read: mentor) told me they would be good cross training and then I continued because they were great for skiing. Now I'm running so they are excellent!

Today I barely managed to squeeze in my extra flights before Jim Kodjababian showed up but I did it. Nice. Then we did seven flights (lucky 7!) together. Next week it gets serious with four runners.

Riding into work has been fun, it's cold and dark but mostly dry. Even riding at night on the way home has been fun, I attached a second headlight and taillight to my bike - safety first!

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day stairs - 5:40 AM
Workout Type stairs - strength
Weather stairs - upper 30s, mostly clear, calm, dry
Course  
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment stairs - Brooks Green Silence
commute - Raleigh Mojave 8.0
Clothing stairs - SmartWool socks, Mountain Hardwear knickers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt, Patagonia hat, Polypropylene gloves
Technorati Tags:

26 November 2012

core | bike commute

I got to the gym for core today! Seems like this is a rarity these days. Whatever.

It felt great to ride my bike after yesterday's run, I think I need to get out on a 'real' ride pretty soon so I don't forget how.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day core - 5:30 AM
Workout Type ride - active recovery
Weather  
Course
ball leg lifts 3 x 40
back extensions 3 x 40
clam knee lifts 100 each leg
side leg lifts 100 each leg
leg scissors 100
push-ups 16
twisters 50 each side - 12 lb.
hip abductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
hip adductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment ride - Raleigh Mojave 8.0
Clothing  

25 November 2012

pacing Lucca at the Seattle Marathon

As I type this bit while watching some live cyclocross and eating my breakfast I'm hoping I didn't bite off more than I can chew...

A couple of weeks ago my sister Lucca announced that she had entered the Amica Seattle Marathon at the last minute and so just as impulsively I announced that I would pace her. During the entire race! Lucca is hoping to go sub 4-hours and that seemed entirely doable to me so I told her I would carry gels for her and carry sports drink for her and when you combine that with some food and drink for me (since I am not entered and can't use the aid stations) suddenly I am feeling like a pack mule. Not so fast in other words.

Did I mention I also volunteered to carry her phone so we can take pictures along the way? Yikes.

At least the forecast is for 40 and clear. Rain would have sucked. Besides, what are siblings for? To be honest, I have been looking forward to the day when I can really truly support Lucca at an event like this.

[Time passes while Martin and Lucca run the Seattle Marathon...]

How did it turn out for Lucca? PR baby, by OVER THREE MINUTES. Nice.

PR by over THREE MINUTES! Sub 3:56 baby. Awesome.

The worst thing about these official events - especially road events - is all the standing around in the cold. Sure they have a bag check but you still need to ditch your warm layers WAY too early. Luckily for me Lucca was amenable to leaving the bag check area just 15 minutes before the start. Whew. This was plenty of time to hit the porta-potties one last time and then enter the corral of runners. As usual, there was the fast crowd way at the front dressed just in singlets and maybe arm warmers as a concession to the cold. Not me, I was freaking bundled up.

GO!

I tried to start my stopwatch right when we crossed the start line and away we went. These mass start events mean you are going to slalom through loads of people, guaranteed. But Lucca was a pro and it did not seem to mater which one of us was in front, we stuck together like a well-oiled machine.

All the way through downtown we were making super time but it's also mostly downhill. One of the jobs of a pacer is to not blow up your runner and I have hardly ever run with Lucca so all I had to go on was her stated goal of going sub-4. But she seemed comfortable and has run way more marathons than I have so I figured all was good.

Running through the I-90 tunnel was really fun! It was warmer, the sound echoed off the walls and again it was downhill! I tried to snap a pic but obviously I was too rushed and it turned out pretty blurry... I mean FAST, Lucca was going so fast that the camera just could not keep up.

IMG_0698

Running across the I-90 bridge was the coldest part of the run because we were exposed to the wind but it was not bad at all.

ASIDE - there were toilets everywhere! In the tunnel, on the bridge, along Interlaken, everywhere. It was awesome even though I never had to use one. It cracked me up to see a single toilet in the middle of the I-90 bridge with one guy waiting outside because someone else was inside. What lousy luck.

Heading down to Seward Park was easy. I just kept letting Lucca know what her pace was. On the way back we discovered that one reason it had been so easy was that what little wind there was was blowing out of the north. :) Not a big deal though, it was less than 5 mph.

The second half of this race has the harder (and longer) hills and is more difficult than the first half for sure. We cruised past the 13-mile marker way ahead of schedule but again, I was keeping Lucca informed of our pace and she seemed unperturbed so I decided not to worry. I had been giving her gels, Nuun and a Stinger Waffle on a regular basis so knew she was well fueled. Bring it! The hills that is. :)

Hill #1 - Lake WA Blvd E
Not a problem.

Hill #2 - E Galer St
Not a problem.

IMG_0700

If you look closely, you will see that most of the people on this hill are walking. Not Lucca.

Hill #3 - E Madison St
Not a problem.

We cruised up here at 9:15 and Lucca even had the presence of mind to ask me for a gel at the top. Nice.

Hill #4 - E Interlaken Blvd
Not a problem.

It was here that we met Shelley, Shannon Gearing (Shelley's sister) and my father for the second time. It was SO great to have this support! We got some more cowbell, cheers and I got a fresh bottle of Nuun which was great because Lucca had drained my first one.

This was also where Luca's friend Robert met us for more pacing assistance. Yes.! Plus, Robert's phone was taking better pictures so huge plus having him along. :)

Another benefit of having Robert along was he is great at math. With about two miles to go he announced that Lucca was going to finish in 3:55! Lucca didn't want to believe him and this seemed like a bit of a stretch to me so I just shut up. Turns out he was only 52 seconds off, that's damn close.

results

Lucca did slow a bit along Interlaken after all the hills but she picked it up again along Lakeview Blvd E (which was when Robert made his expected time announcement).

On the last descent heading towards the stadium I ran ahead up the last hill to get some more pictures.

IMG_0705

Heading into the stadium I detoured away from the finishing chute but not Robert! He ran right across the finish line with Lucca. Way to go! I had no idea this was allowed but after we finished I heard the race announcer mentioning pacers so I guess I could have. :( Oh well, next time.

Lucca has only gone under 4 hours once previously and ran a 3:58 that time. Her goal was to hopefully go under 4 again and to help her achieve this was a HUGE boost. How big is that smile? Very; that was a rhetorical question.

WP_000086

Out on the course I saw a ton of people that I knew. Folks like Chase Mueller, Bradlaugh Robinson (who qualified for Boston with a ripping time!), Uli Steidl (who won the overall AGAIN), Lang Reynolds and Rhae Shaw, Mike Adams, what a blast.

Thanks so much to Shelley, Shannon, Bill and Robert. I will cherish this experience for a long time. And congratulations to Lucca! With about one mile to go we joked that all that was left was for her to decide how hard to make the next PR. :)

IMG_1600

Here are all the pictures.

Sleep 7 hours
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:45 AM - 2 bananas, almond butter, bottle w/1 tablet Nuun
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 1 flasks Hammer Gel, water, a little Nuun
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 8:15 AM
Workout Type endurance
Weather upper 30s to lower 40s, dry, partly cloudy, calm
Course  
Results  
Time 3:55:52
Distance 26.2 miles
Pace 9:00 min/mile
Equipment Brooks Launch, Ultraspire Surge, hand-held bottle
Clothing SmartWool socks, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, SmartWool long sleeve shirt, SmartWool hat, Polypropylene gloves

22 November 2012

Squak Mt dawn patrol | Lake WA Blvd run

Bonus. I got in TWO runs today. Who says you have to be lazy on Thanksgiving? Plus, there's plenty of time for that later in the day. :)

This morning I got out with the Seattle Running Club for a few miles on Squak Mountain and then about an hour after I got home I went for another run with my brother-in-law Michael Reiter. Good times.

The morning run was on great trails but the group got separated a few times and there was a lot of standing around. Oh well.

Six of us showed up at the inhuman hour of 5:30. Bravo to everyone for getting out of bed! As usual, Win Van Pelt led us out so I fell in behind him. After just a couple of minutes we had pulled ahead of everyone else. Then I remembered that Arthur Martineau had just run about FIFTY MILES the previous Saturday. Impressive. And tiring.

Win and I had to wait for the rest of the group about four times and on one descent two people that had fallen off a bit took a wrong turn. We got to the bottom and waited. And waited. Finally we decided to head back the way we had come in hopes up connecting with the lost pair. Incredibly we found them! They had arrived at the bottom of their trail and not seeing us figured they had gone the wrong way and turned around. We all hooked up right at the intersection where they had gone the wrong way. Because we had used up a fair bit of time at this point we decided to just head back to the car. At least it was not a pure out-and-back run as we ran different trails.

On the descent back to the car Win, Arthur and I again scooted up the road some. Win loves to go downhill as do I and Arthur is just a super runner.

At first I was a bit frustrated by the pace. I think I had been hoping that this run would be a bit faster and I have only done slow runs lately but then I lightened up and realized that 1) group runs are usually going to be somewhat fragmented and 2) just because we were a group didn't mean I could not go hard. So on the climb back to the car I took off twice and went harder to the next intersection and then waited for everyone. in the end I was really happy I came; the weather was fantastic, the trail conditions were fantasticer and I never got cold and the sky was clear so even my meager headlamp worked okay.

I got home, had some food, uploaded my run and then took off again with Michael Reiter for a road run this time. Mike wanted flat and pavement so we headed down Lake WA Blvd and looped Seward Park which is something I have never done from home.

The pace was very relaxed on the way down to Seward so I took to the dirt path that parallels the sidewalk for a bit in order to run my own pace for a stretch. Then on the way home Todd Morse Tucker rode by on his bike so I stopped to chat for a bit.

Oops.

By the time we stopped talking Mike was WAY up the road so in spite of me wanting to go a bit faster, having to didn't make it any easier. :) I did my best. My watch decided this was a good time to display a wildly inaccurate pace so I have no idea how fast/slow I was going but if you look at my GPS data below you can see a little plateau of increased speed as I ran Mike down. Whew.

When we got to the dirt path I veered off again and tried to increase the pace a second time. I managed to but it didn't last long. :( I waited for Mike and we ran it in.

As we got to the gentle rise just a few blocks from our house Mike picked up the pace and I should have known what was coming. The last block is a steep up and at the bottom Mike announced something like, "Here we go...!" (as if we had agreed on something?) and took off as fast as he could go. I managed to finish with him. Barely. Note to self: the best way to win a race is to make sure no one else knows when you are racing. Who's been teaching this guy all my tricks?

Nice! Today was the first time I have run outdoors twice in the same day to the best of my recollection. Hours are good. What is not so good is that I can feel myself slowing down. All the runs I have done lately have been quite leisurely and every time I try to go faster it's a significant effort to change my pace and turnover. I keep talking about incorporation some speed work and soon I'll really need to do it.

Thanks to SRC and Mike for the company, that sure helps make the hours more enjoyable.

Sleep 6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 4:45 AM - banana
5:15 AM - gel
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food trail run - bottle w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun, 2 PowerBar Energy Gel
road run - bottle w/1 scoop HEED
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day trail run - 5:45 AM
road run - 10:00 AM
Workout Type endurance
Weather trail run - upper 30s, dry, calm, mostly clear sky
road run - 40, dry, calm
Course  
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment trail run - hand-held bottle, Brooks Cascadia 7
road run - Brooks Launch
Clothing trail run - Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt, SmartWool hat, Polypropylene gloves
road run - SmartWool socks, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt, Patagonia hat, Polypropylene gloves

21 November 2012

core | Discovery Park run

We have family in town and my brother in law Michael Reiter happens to be a runner (that just logged his 5000th mile!) and so we decided to hit some local trails. And what could be more local than Discovery Park? Not much. Thank goodness for me Michael is not avers to trail running.

We ran three counter-clockwise laps of the Loop Trail and on the second lap I managed to talk Michael into going all the way down to the beach and then up the climb to the bluff. I broached the detour option again on lap three but he declined. :)

Michael is running his third (or fourth?) marathon in 2.5 weeks and is hoping to go under four hours. Go Michael!

Oh yeah, I managed to squeeze some core in before we took off. About time too.

Sleep 7
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 6:30 AM - banana, pear, handful of hazelnuts
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food bottle w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day core - 5:30 AM
run - 8:45 AM
Workout Type social run
Weather mid 40s, wind, some rain, cloudy
Course
ball leg lifts 3 x 30
back extensions 3 x 40
clam knee lifts 100 each leg
side leg lifts 100 each leg
leg scissors 100
push-ups 20
twisters 50 each side - 12 lb.
hip abductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
hip adductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
run - relatively flat, hard pack dirt with the exception of the descent to the beach (lots of steps and roots) and the climb up to the bluff (lots of steps)
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace whatever speed Mike wanted to run
Equipment Brooks Cascadia 7, hand-held bottle
Clothing Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium SS shirt, Polypropylene gloves

I still have a cycling hero and his name is Greg LeMond

Most people idolize some person or some athlete when they grow up and I was no different. I used to read VeloNews cover-to-freaking-cover back when it was a tabloid-sized newsprint magazine and of course I purchased all the World Cycling Productions films I could afford.

The person I idolized was Greg LeMond. I'm not sure if it was because he was American (probably not) or because he used to be a skier and then became a cyclist (as did I) or because he was the perennial underdog (probably). Whatever, watching Greg attack, win against all odds, come back from injury and show the establishment what could be done was incredibly inspirational.

I was reminded of Greg when I happened across this video today.

The Rapha Continental: Carson City, Nevada with Greg LeMond from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Which of course reminded me of this video.

Which in turn prompted this post.

Say what you will about Greg's reaction to the press doping in cycling has received recently or to the establishment or the way he lived his life since being a professional athlete, the dude seems like a straight shooter to me. If he has gotten into a jam, it's perhaps because he lacks the best filter and says what he thinks? Then again, I don't know the half of it and am just armchair quarterbacking it here.

Thanks Greg. For making this sport called cycling that much more magical to me. Your inspiration and this sport has served me well for most of my life.

17 November 2012

run around Mercer Island

Just last year I was riding across the I-90 bridge gabbing with a friend and I swore up and down that I wouldn't be caught dead running across this thing.

I mean how un-scenic can you get? 1.5 miles of concrete with loads of cars right next to you.

Well today I was that guy - the one that is running across the I-90 floating bridge. Here's how that came about.

Last night I had grandiose plans. I felt like I had not done much this week so figured I would be pretty fresh today and since I had just signed up for the Loop The Lake Marathon I would just bust out the course today. Hell, just last Sunday I ran a trail marathon, this should be at least 30 minutes faster. Fuck yeah.

Uh... how about fuck no.

Shelley and I were headed to Brunch at noon so I couldn't dawdle. But then I did and didn't leave the house until 20 minutes later than I had intended. As I started to cross the bridge I was doing the mental math while I was realizing that I was hating life! It took me only a fraction of the 1.5 mile crossing to realize that 26 miles would be stupid and so I opted for a lap around the island instead. I have ridden this route a zillion times but have never run it. Chalk up another first I guess.

As I crested the rise at the east end of the bridge where the path crosses West Mercer Way I was already walking for the first time. Not because I was blown but my head was just not into this workout. Big time. I took a sip of gel, chased it with some water and soldered on.

By the time I got to East Mercer Way I was walking for the third time already... :( For a minute I started to get worried if I was going to be able to finish this run. Since I was already walking I took a detour into the trees for a 'natural break' and that revived me some. Unfortunately not much.

The rest of the run was pretty dismal. I would run one or maybe two miles and then need to walk. Repeat. It seemed every time I glanced down at my GPS watch it told me I was crawling. I tried not to focus on my run and instead tried to notice some things that are different when you run around the island compared to when you ride.

  • Familiar turns/hills/descents take MUCH longer to show up. You know they are just around the corner...
  • Descending while running is not nearly as restful as when you are on a bike. Although it did feel good to run the two significant descents on this route.
  • While running I found myself constantly looking for a shoulder/grass/leaves/gravel. The pavement was wearing me down big time.
  • Cars seem closer when you are running.

As I was running back across the bridge I saw Rick Benson and RC Rogers heading out with the Fisher Plumbing gang. I waved and RC waved back.

As ridiculously hard as it was to go fast around the island I positively bounded up the stairs at the end of my run. One tiny saving grace. I had hoped (expected?) to go under 8:00 pace today easy. Not.

Sleep 7
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:15 AM - 2 bananas w/almond butter, water
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water, gel
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 6:20 AM
Workout Type endurance
Weather mid to upper 40s, dry sky, damp ground, calm
Course  
Results  
Time 2:20:11
Distance 16.9 miles
Pace 8:17
Equipment Brooks Launch, Ultraspire Surge
Clothing Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt

16 November 2012

treadmill run | bike commute

Okay, today felt better than yesterday.

I got to the gym, did a reasonable run and then rode to and from work. My legs and my breathing actually felt okay on the treadmill. Hooray for me.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day run - 5:45 AM
Workout Type run - endurance with a tiny bit of tempo
Weather  
Course  
Results  
Time run - 30 min
Distance run - 4.3 miles
Pace run - 5 min at 7:30, 15 min at 7:00, 8 min at 6:30, 2 min at 6:00
Equipment run - Brooks Launch
commute - Raleigh Mojave 8.0
Clothing  

15 November 2012

core

Core. Work. Home.

Not even a cycling commute today. I think I felt like reading on the bus. It's hard to read while riding.

Did I mention that I can hardly do 10 push-ups now? Yep, this is me now; just call me 'Mac'.

charles_atlas

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day  
Workout Type 5:45 AM
Weather  
Course
ball leg lifts 3 x 40
back extensions 3 x 40
clam knee lifts 100 each leg
side leg lifts 100 each leg
leg scissors 100
push-ups 16 (freaking barely!)
twisters 50 each side - 12 lb.
hip abductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
hip adductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment  
Clothing  
Technorati Tags: ,

14 November 2012

Cougar 5

Well. I no longer have any excuses (but you're going to get some anyway because that's more fun). I have run this loop plenty of times now and sure it was dark and sure it was wet and sure it was foggy but I also should know the way.

Nope.

Here is what the Red Town Trail looks like on a nice day.

Red_Town

Now take a big, black Marks-A-Lot and color the entire picture. Then take the picture into a steam room. Then turn the temperature down to 45. Then put a bunch of rocks and roots on the ground. Then try to run out of the steam room. Oh, and occasionally you'll need to throw glitter in the air and turn on a strobe light so it reflects off all the sparkly bits. That's kind of what today was like. And I am so not exaggerating.

It was one of those mornings when the light from your headlamp is reflecting off the water droplets in the fog and you can only see about 3-5' in front of you. Seriously, I was running off the trail and into the weeds because I would miss turns!

And unfortunately for me, Bradlaugh Robinson who I was running with didn't know the way any better than I did. I figured out the first couple of intersections but then something went wrong and suddenly we were on unfamiliar trails. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't even tell the trail was unfamiliar until we popped out on a road that's just a couple of miles from the cars. Rats.

I had exactly zero confidence in my ability to turn this into a longer run without risking making it much longer if you get my drift so we opted for the cautious option and ran down the first climb back to the cars. Oh well.

There were so many times that I was walking on this 'run' that I was laughing at myself. I think I ran off the trail at least three times and my footing seemed so precarious (because I could hardly see the ground) that our pace was pitiful. It's bizarre to outrun a headlight but that's exactly what we were doing. Not because our lights weren't sufficiently bright but because the light was only penetrating the fog a handful of feet.

I guess these kinds of experiences will help me somehow? :)

Thanks to Brad for keeping me company and putting up with me trying to lead the way.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food half a bottle w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 5:30 AM
Workout Type a walk in the woods
Weather mid 40s, damp, foggy, calm
Course  
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment Brooks Cascadia 7, handheld bottle
Clothing Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt

13 November 2012

Howe Street stairs

After running both days last weekend I took Monday off and then tried to hit the stairs today. I'll just say that it is a DAMN good thing I have made a habit of showing up early and walking some flights before I try to run.

One word: tired
Two more: tired legs

There were more leaves on the ground today, the stairs looked sort of like this. Except it was really dark.

howe_street_stairs

I squeezed in six walking flights before my partner in fitness (that would be Jim Kodjababian) showed up and then we did five more including two runners. Next week this workout blows up as we add another runner. Yikes!

Just like last week the first runner felt like I'm hauling damp (might as well have been petrified!) firewood up a ladder. The wood would be my legs and the ladder would be the stairs.

Sometimes just starting is the biggest hurdle you need to overcome and that was the case today. After two flights I felt better and I can honestly say that they just kept getting better all morning long. For sure the runners were tough but my legs felt faster and more warmed up each time up this painful institution. I can't image what they would feel like if I didn't walk any before trying to run.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 5:30 AM
Workout Type stairs
Weather upper 40s, dry, calm
Course Howe Street
Results  
Time 47:05
Distance 11 flights
Pace  
Equipment Brooks Green Silence
Clothing shorts, Brooks Podium SS shirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt

11 November 2012

Bellingham Trail Marathon

Nice. Sometimes there is truth in advertising and the Bellingham Trail Marathon does a good job of connection two major trial systems with a minimum of boring stuff in between. Yes, there was a two-mile section of pavement we had to run (twice) to make the connection but in hindsight it was not that bad.

Today I accomplished some firsts and some seconds for me.

  1. This race was the day after a longer (for me) run on Saturday. It's the first time I have done two long runs back-to-back and it went surprisingly well.
  2. For a change I exercised patience and started slow. This is only the second time I have had the discipline to do this (Chuckanut was the first) and it paid dividends in the end.
  3. Even after two substantial runs my joints were not kaput! This is HUGE. In the past, every time I finished a longer run my knees and leg muscles would be toast from the impact and limping around was pretty much the norm. This time I was tired but not sore and only a little stiff. Ditto the following day. My body is adapting to running!

04

Google Maps told me it would take 1:45 to get to Bellingham so I rounded up and left three and a half hours before the start time (I threw in 30 extra minutes just because I wanted to be safe...) as I like to arrive at least one hour prior to the gun. Turns out there isn't much traffic on I-5 at 6 AM so I made it up there in 1:30. Oh well, time to park and nap.

I had a little nibble of food, got my number, pinned it on, took the usual nervous pre-race piss, sat in the car until the last minute (it was pretty cold out) and finally jogged about .25 miles in a feeble attempt to warm up and then it was time for the pre-race meeting. Two words: 'propane' and 'heater'. Oh man was I grateful for the heaters. The talk wrapped up with five minutes to go so I ditched my extra clothing and walked to the line.

Some young kid (turns out he was 20 years old and got 2nd place by just a few minutes) was doing wind sprints up and down the paring lot in some major minimalist shoes. I opted to wrap my arms around my body for insulation and since only a handful of runners were eager to line up right at the line I went to the front. What the hell.

01

GO.

We took off across a long, paved parking lot, down a gravel road and then got onto the singletrack pretty quick. Across the pavement I was in 10th place (yes, I counted) but then once we hit the dirt people started to pass me. First it was one, then another, then a small group. The pace was not fast and except for the leaders I could easily have matched the speed of most everyone that passed me but I kept telling myself to hold back. First of all I was not sure how I was going to feel after yesterday and secondly I wanted to try closing strong today if I had anything left at the end. The first five miles were on some really cool trail but by the time we exited the woods I was all alone. Sheesh, this was too early to be solo. :(

As we came out of the woods there was the first aid station, the pavement and it was time for that connector section. It was flat, down a hill and then more flat.

As we entered the woods again we got on the Interurban trail that is the first 10 km of the Chuckanut race. One mile later we got to aid station #2.

The race web site and the pre-race meeting made a big deal about stocking up on food and water here because it was eight miles to the next aid and it was mostly all uphill. At the first aid station I had grabbed two gels thinking that I did not want to drop a food bomb into my gut right before a big climb but here I grabbed another gel, half a banana and a quarter of a PB & J anyway. It only took me a few seconds to gulp the gel, top off my bottle and choke down the banana and I ran out of there with the tiny piece of sandwich in my hand.

We went up some trail, some of it kinda steep and then we did the bulk of the climbing on a dirt road. We climbed up to Lost Lake on the road and then ran the same trails as during Chuckanut all the way to Chin Scraper (so called because it's steep enough that you might).

On the road climb I was still all alone and actually hiked a fair bit. I would run some, hike some, just to break things up. Plus hiking let me finish my sandwich and keep drinking. :) Again, I probably could have run all of it but then I might have been blown at the top. Instead, at the top I felt pretty good and started pushing just a little once I got back on the singletrack. It was FUN up here! This trail is phenomenal. I was running around massive boulders, climbing up stone steps, over spongy earth, jumping over logs, the conditions were so good.

After a mile or two of singletrack I saw someone up ahead. I caught them on a longer descent and then as the trail flattened out we exchanged superlatives about the trail conditions. And then I slowly eased away from him. Oops. I had wanted some company but I guess he was not going to be it.

The next section is rolling. First it is flat, then there is one longish climb but it's not very steep and then there is a longer descent that takes you to the base of Chin Scraper. Eventually I saw two more people up ahead. Then another. And right before I pulled into the third aid station one more so I sort of caught four guys in the span of perhaps 15 minutes.

ASIDE - as I was descending towards the base of Chin Scraper who should I see but Gregory Mackenzie and his buddies on mountain bikes riding up the trail. And incredibly he recognized ME while I was running at him. It was cool; as I ran past the group I got one long, extended high-five all the way down the line.

I think I had passed two or three guys on this descent and as I hit the aid I caught the rest. This time I was fast. I topped off my bottle, put a gel in my pocket, ate another, grabbed another quarter of a sandwich and was out of there in about 30 seconds. Nice.

Although I jogged out of the aid station that didn't last long and soon I was hiking. And hiking. And hiking. With the exception of perhaps two 50' sections I hiked all the way to the top of this climb - it's steep! I was also trying to eat my PB & J without choking.

It was hard but I felt good! At the top instead of being crushed and needing to continue walking (a sure sign you have overdone it) I was able to start running. One guy had bolted out of the aid behind me but I slowly pulled away on the climb. Next up was Chuckanut Ridge in the opposite direction of the Chuckanut race.

By most accounts this section of trail is pretty technical. There are tons of roots, slippery rocks and plenty of short, steep ups and downs. More than once I found myself grabbing a tree branch to prevent myself from sailing off the trail. By now I was getting tired so wasn't exactly running here but I kept the forward momentum up and even when I was walking it was not slowly. This ridge is pretty exposed in places and the wind was really whipping up. Then I started to feel something tickling my face and guess what... snow! Up until now the precipitation had held off but now it was snowing lightly and it was pretty fun.

ANOTHER ASIDE - I always prefer snow to rain, it's not so wet. But it sure hit home that had I not been exercising pretty vigorously I would have been a prime candidate for hypothermia up here. This was easily the coldest section of the race.

Up here on the ridge I caught one more racer. As I passed him he uttered something like, "This trail is insane!" He sounded like a road runner to me. :)

Then it was time for a long descent. This was pretty much all on dirt road but thankfully I learned my lesson at Chuckanut (where I went a little too fast on the descent) and did not hurl myself down the mountain. I tried to keep the cadence up, land soft and not put on the brakes too much. I think I did okay?

At the bottom we descended the trail we had climbed just after the second aid station and here I passed another racer. By now I was starting to entertain thoughts of a top-10 finish? And then I got to the aid station. "Good job, you're in 9th place!" Oh my, I guess I'm racing now.

Remember how I was planning on closing strong? Easier said than done. :) Now I had to run about five miles to the finish; one on the gravel Interurban trail and then the 2-mile paved connector back to Lake Padden and then two miles around the lake to the finish. Ouch. In the middle of the paved section I found myself walking. WTF? Get moving Martin, you can do it.

As I got to the base of the paved climb - which seemed infinitely steeper going this direction of course - one of the crossing guards told me, "Great turnover, looking good!" That boosted me up the first third of the climb but then I was walking again. Rats. At the top of the hill I even took a long look back. :) But I didn't see anything thank goodness.

As I entered the trail with two miles to go I passed the last aid station (which had also been the first). Here I just gulped two half cups of Coke and almost didn't get out a 'thank you' to the volunteers because the carbonation was forming a giant bubble in my throat.

Two miles. I can do this. Just run it in. No need to race, you are all alone and you're got 9th place locked up.

One mile later I saw a racer up ahead.

Damn.

Funny how the mind works sometimes... what did I do when I saw this guy? I started emptying my bottle on the ground as I ran to make it lighter. Guess who was going to try and close strong.

It's times like this when you realize that 'strong' is a very relative term. If you look at my GPS data below you will see that in this case strong meant about 7:00 pace. Trust me when I say it felt a lot faster at the time.

So I saw this guy with about one mile to go and I caught him with maybe half mile to go. The only thing worse than having to catch someone is actually making contact and then having them pass you back. So now I had to not die and hold him off. Yikes. With about .25 miles left I looked over my shoulder and saw him making a huge effort but somehow I found a little extra and managed to maintain my gap. How big was that gap you might ask? Oh, about FIVE SECONDS. But I did it. And, he was wrecked/practically collapsed when he crossed the line and I didn't. The only thing better than winning your race (even if it's for 8th place) is looking good while doing it.

To keep up the fa├žade of feeling fine I walked around a bit so my stomach would not revolt. Nothing like a hard effort (after a long effort) to put your guts in turmoil I always say. I walked to my car, changed into warm, dry clothes and then shuffled back to the finish to eat. Oh yes my friends, I do this exercise thing for a reason; behold.

Post-race orgy. Always a good time.

Post-race hydration(?).

Chocolate milk or...

Recovery pie.

Did I mention the HOT butternut squash soup? What's not to like? That's rhetorical by the way.

My only disappointment with this race was the fact that they only had medals for 1st place in all the age categories. Only the overall men and women got 2nd and 3rd place medals. Poop. By the way, 2nd place in my age category got 3rd overall!

Here are all the pictures.

Sleep 6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:15 AM - banana, almond butter
while driving to the race - 6 Perpetuem Solids, apple, tea, water
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 8:30 AM - 2 gels
race - 5 gels, 3 bottles Nuun, half a peanut butter and jam sandwich, banana, 2 cups Nuun, cup of coke
Injuries Nothing! Everything felt pretty good and I didn't fall down.
Therapy Epsom Salt bath when I got home, 2 Ibuprofen
Time of Day 9:00 AM
Workout Type race
Weather low 30s at the start, mostly cloudy, calm, dry; low 40s at the finish, light rain
Course one big climb,
Results 3rd - Men 40-49
8th - Overall
official results
Time 4:09:17
Distance 26.2 miles
Pace 9:31 min/mile
Equipment Brooks Cascadia 7, hand-help bottle
Clothing Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft long sleeve undershirt, SRC Brooks Podium SS shirt, Polypropylene gloves

10 November 2012

Tiger Mt Cottage Cheese Ass loop trail run

Oh man, today was a true bluebird day, just without the snow.

Bryan Estes and I got out for a lap around Tiger Mountain and the trail conditions were just outstanding. Out-f'ing-standing.

If only my mood matched the weather and trail conditions. I was feeling much better but still feeling the after effects of my meltdown yesterday. Oh well, it's getting better. Lucky for me Bryan LOVES to talk and he chatted me up one side of Tiger and down the other. But in a good way. We talked about running (just a little), the local tech start-up scene, various technologies, how smart phones are changing our lives, what makes a good baby stroller, how not to pee on your bottle and all kinds of things I can't recall anymore. I gotta say, it's great to run with someone that has the same interests!

I started out in front and was feeling okay but then as the climb got serious I faded. Bryan took over the lead and suddenly I was hiking. Darn. Towards the top I had to hike an extended stretch but managed to summit just about one minute behind Bryan. Whew.

At the top he was standing on a wood bench soaking in the view and I had to do a couple of pirouettes to take it all in myself.

On the way down I started to feel better right away. Probably because it was downhill. :) Lucky for me Bryan did not have an agenda so we just cruised back to the car at a comfortable pace and I enjoyed every bit. And on the 'bumps' you encounter while descending I had no issues so I think I really was feeling better the second half.

We passed a ton of hikers going up the trail on our way down. It's always a nice feeling to be finishing when others are starting. :) We also passed a couple of guys going the other direction. Twice. They must have done the same loop just in the other direction.

As we descended it slowly got warmer and warmer. Combine that with perfect trail conditions (damp but not slick), the peak of the falling leaf season and rays of sun through the trees and I was loving it. LOVING IT.

ASIDE - I have been noticing that my joints are adapting to running. I wore relatively thin shoes today and my knees/feet feel fine. In general, I am much less sore after running than ever before. I guess that's a good sign. Previously, even if I had the fitness to do the distance I would be laid out for days after a long outing from the impact.

ANOTHER ASIDE - even though I felt like we were going slow, our time was pretty normal. Just a couple of minutes slower than a pace that feels aggressive. It's going to be interesting to see what I can do these routes in when I actually try to go hard this spring.

Thanks for the company Bryan!

Sleep 6
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 6:15 AM - 2 bananas, almond butter, tea
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 1 bottles each w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun, 3 gels
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day 7:30 AM
Workout Type endurance
Weather low 30s to 40, clear, sunny, dry, calm
Course Basically up to the summit and then down to the car. All singetrack until the last two miles which are doubletrack.
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment hand-held bottles, Brooks PureGrit
Clothing Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks Infinity Short III, Craft short sleeve undershirt, SmartWool long sleeve shirt, SmartWool hat, Patagonia gloves

08 November 2012

run commute

Oh man. Today was a new low in so many ways. :( Not to get overly dramatic and drag this mostly upbeat and sarcastic blog into the swamp of emotion but today I had some family shit hit the fan and it just killed me running home.

See what I did there? I took something heavy and made it light. Light, light, light; let's keep it light.

But we'll start at the beginning.

This morning I decided to run in at the last minute and had not eaten any breakfast yet. Combine that with less enthusiasm than usual and I was not moving quickly. But I made it. Job done.

Around the middle of the day I was hit by this emotional atomic bomb [Yes, I do like to exaggerate, just a little...] and must have compartmentalized it for the last four hours of work. I should have known that something was amiss when I looked at my watch around 4:30 and thought that calling Shelley for a ride home sounded like a pretty darn good idea.

I left the office and not one mile later I was walking. I couldn't figure it out as my legs felt pretty reasonable and I was not going fast. Half a mile later I was walking again. And crying. And then I realized just what the problem was.

I kept trying to jog but it would only last about half a mile and then I would have to walk again while my brain tried to come to grips with things. When you combine lots of tears with it being really dark out and me not having a headlamp it was slow going. Descending down Interlaken to the lake I had to walk because I could not see where I was putting my feet! The last thing I wanted to do was take some massive spill in my fragile mental state - that would have been the perfect topper to the day.

Down along the water I finally managed to sustain a jog all the way home.

My ultra friends tell me that pretty much everyone should count on experiencing a low during a long run. They keys are 1) not having any baggage going in so odds of having a low is reduced and 2) knowing it might be coming and rolling with it if it does. They also say that being mentally ready to go the distance is more important than being perfectly trained. Since I'm new to this it has been the one thing that weighs on my more than the concern of getting physically ready to run 100 miles as it sounds like it's out of your control. Today I ran a measly five miles and had a breakdown of sorts and it was not fun. If something like that happened on a longer run I'm fairly certain it would be curtains for me. I guess the lesson learned here is don't start unless you are psyched to make the journey. In retrospect calling Shelley would have been a good idea. Then again, I survived and sometimes a good cry can be pretty cathartic; it was in my case so it wasn't all bad. :)

Today was the first day in the 30s, I wore shorts but this is about as cold as I'd like to go. Might be time to find some running knickers.

Look at my GPS data below, 8:30 pace going to work, 8:50 coming home. Sheesh.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight 7:40 AM - 179
Body Fat  
Breakfast  
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day  
Workout Type Not anything productive... super slow, plodding junk miles.
Weather upper 30s in the AM, low 40s coming home, partly cloudy, dry, calm
Course  
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment Brooks Launch, The North Face Angstrom 30 (12 lb. running in, pretty light coming home)
Clothing Brooks Infinity Short III, Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Craft long sleeve undershirt, Brooks Podium LS shirt, Polypropylene gloves

07 November 2012

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute | core

Nice. I love these dry fall days. Today I got in the fitness trifecta if you will, a trail run in the morning, I rode to work and I squeezed in my core workout at lunch. And I think today is the absolute peak of the fall leaf-falling season, the colors are absolutely eye popping.

I met Todd Morse Tucker and Bryan Estes at the Red Town trailhead on Cougar Mountain at the completely ridiculous hour of 5:30 AM (experience has taught us that traffic coming home sucks if you start later...) and we had a great run.

Except for the part where I got lost. I was in front and still don't have this darn route memorized and my light is underwhelming and I missed a turn (see GPS data below). At least we figured it out quickly and got back on track. With the end of Daylight Saving Time [It isn't 'Savings' people, we're not 'savings' time, we're saving it! C'mon.] we had some light at the end of our run which was also nice.

Since the weather was so fantastic I rode in to work again. Yes.

Core at lunch was wickedly hard; especially the side plank (which I did for the fist time in ages in lieu of the ball leg lifts). As were the hip adductors - holy cow! As in they have never been that hard. Ever. What gives? It might be time to stop pretending to do core work and actually do core work; especially more than like once/week.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight 12:30 PM - 180 lb.
Body Fat  
Breakfast 4:45 AM - banana, water, 1 Perpetuem Solids
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 5:15 AM - gel
run - bottle w/1 scoop HEED and 1 tablet Nuun
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day run - 5:30 AM
core - 12:30 PM
Workout Type run - endurance
Weather run - mid 40s, dry, calm
Course
plank 3 min, 2 min each side w/2 x 30 sec leg lifts each leg
back extensions 3 x 40
clam knee lifts 100 each leg
side leg lifts 100 each leg
leg scissors 100
push-ups 19
twisters 50 each side - 12 lb.
hip abductors 3 x 30 - 100 lb.
hip adductors 3 x 20 - 100/90/80 lb.
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment run - Brooks Cascadia 7, hand-held bottle
commute - Raleigh Mojave 8.0
Clothing run - Brooks Infinity Short III, Patagonia Merino 1 Silkweight Crew
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06 November 2012

Howe Street stairs | bike commute

It's that time of year again...! Say hello to the Howe Street stairs.

howe_street

I think Howe Street has got to be the most famous stair climb in Seattle. Oh sure, there are some that are longer (but have flat sections) but this is the longest sustained climb that I know of. I've been doing this workout for years every winter and this year won't be any different. :)

Once again I was doing the stairs with my trusty companion Jim Kodjababian - I am SO glad he is up for this year after year.

Last year I started showing up early to get in some warm-up flights and it worked meaning I was more prepared to run once Jim showed up. I managed to do that again today and will try to keep it up. Officially (read: once Jim got there) we did four flights today. We'll add one each week until we get to 15. We alternate walking one flight two at a time with running one flight two at a time.

The ride into work was a nice way to finish everything off.

Sleep  
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:30 AM - PowerBar Energy Blasts
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food stairs - large bottle w/1 tablet Nuun
Injuries  
Therapy  
Time of Day stairs - 5:40 AM
Workout Type  
Weather stairs - upper 40s, dry, calm
Course  
Results  
Time  
Distance  
Pace  
Equipment stairs - Brooks Green Silence
commute - Raleigh Mojave 8.0
Clothing  

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