31 May 2013

core | cardio

What do you know, two short runs and my left ankle is tight and just a tiny bit sore. So I just did some easy cardio at lunch to try and work it out. That much felt fine.

Today was the first day after our vacation that I did my core routine again. It has been a LONG time. Too long. It's been so long that I forgot to do one exercise... oh well.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again; I have trouble with all the maintenance (core work, stretching, PT/rehab) I have to do just to be able to do the stuff I want (run/ride). I frequently feel like I need to work out just to be able to work out. And it's hard to keep up. But then when I DO get out for a spectacular run or ride, for a few hours it's all worth it. I need to work remembering that I suppose.

30 May 2013

Lake WA Blvd run | bike commute | Ravenna run

Once again I got sucked into my computer instead of just getting out there.

After getting up promptly when my alarm went off I headed down stairs to change. As I usually do I sat down to check email (read: surf YouTube, check cycling results, etc.) and suddenly I was dorking around way too long. I finally tore myself away from the keyboard.

Originally I had planned on hitting the Howe Street stairs this morning but by this time that was out of the question so I just went for a quick run along Lake WA Blvd from our house. Of course it was a beautiful morning and in spite of it being pretty early still there were several other people doing the same. That was cool to see.

With the improvement in weather conditions today I also rode my bike to work and went for a lunch run.

How did I feel after taking it easy yesterday? Like dirt. Still.

I feel so SLOW. Not sure if I need more rest or speed work or both.

29 May 2013

Expresso exercise bike

I felt pretty dead today, no doubt due to my double workout yesterday that I must not be quite ready for... So I opted for the Expresso exercise bicycle and although the start of the workout was rough I resolved to keep the resistance low and just work on my cadence and managed to maintain 90 rpm for a longer effort so that's a plus.

I even took the bus to work instead of riding - but I guess it was a little damp in the AM.


28 May 2013

Howe Street stairs | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

First day of the full meal deal weekday workout since returning from my vacation and it was not easy.

I knew the stairs would be hard so just opted for 30 minutes and luckily I made that. It took a couple of flights for my legs to warm up (which I guess is normal) but I got pretty winded today so it's obvious I have been gone a long time. It also felt like it took me longer than usual to catch my breath after each runner.

Since my running has ben pain free and since I love company and since the rain was supposed to hold off this afternoon I figured why not show up for the Tuesday night run at Fleet Feet Sports. I guess it was the holiday weekend or something but there were only like 10 people total in attendance! Lucky for me the guys started slow and kept it slow.

Even so I was reduced to walking up the last bit of the Interlaken climb. And I had to stop for a couple of seconds to catch my breath at the top of Galer too. Then as we ran from Volunteer Park back to the store the front bunch was doing 6:45 and I could only manage 7:00 so they eased away from me.

On the up side Bradlaugh Robinson showed up and it was great to chat and catch up. Sounds like he is on the verge of ramping up his running some so there will be many more opportunities for company.

My commute was just slow and easy both directions. On the way to work I had my messenger bag STUFFED with food and it weighed a TON. Amazing how much harder that makes the hills.

26 May 2013

Cougar 14 trail run

Last night I got the following email from Bill Huggins.

"Joggy poo?"

Sure Bill, I'm in.

I assumed that because Bill had gone for a longer run yesterday that we were just going to do the standard Cougar 10 loop but no. Suddenly Daniel Paquette shows up and then a few miles in we drop down Wilderness Cliffs. Of course that means you get to climb back UP Wilderness Cliffs.

I think those guys put about five minutes into me just on this climb of which I had to walk most of.

No sooner do we get rolling again than I hear talk of doing the De Leo wall.

You can see where this is going.

Somewhere prior to De Leo Bill asked me how I was doing and at the time I felt like I was tired but not bonked. On De Leo I bonked.

Not only did I walk 100% of De Leo but I also had to walk a couple of times on the flats between the top and the car just to make it back. Oops.

The only up side to the day is my ankle was pain free. Well, I also didn't get cold. And I didn't fall down. Maybe it was not so bad after all.

25 May 2013

100 Miles of Nowhere

This post could have many titles, here are a few.

"Pretender exposed!"

"What's that mushroom cloud over the Marymoor Velodrome? Looks like total thermonuclear meltdown."

"So you think you can keep up with Tom do you...?"

Here is the abbreviated version of what went down. Tom and I have participated in the 100 Miles of Nowhere for four straight years (#1, #2, #3, #4) so I figured, what's one more? For 30 miles everything went swimmingly. Between 30-35 miles things got pretty shaky. At 39 miles the wheels. Totally. Came. Off. I putted around the track a bit more in hopes the fitness gods would feel like it has been way too long since they had a hand in some divine intervention and to try and assuage my guilt about leaving Tom in the lurch but eventually I had to head home absolutely gutted as they say down under.


Read on for the longer version.

24 May 2013

Expresso exercise bike

I have been depriving myself of sleep in epic proportions ever since we returned from Europe. The combination of the jetlag and me getting a cold right when we landed has been killer. Today is the first day I could even contemplate doing any physical activity at lunch.

Since I went running yesterday and since my ankle is not fully healed yet I opted for the indoor bike trainer. Say hello to Expresso fitness.


23 May 2013

Cougar 10 trail run


No sooner do I get back into town, fully jetlagged, than Bill Huggins gives me a shout saying we're getting the gang back together for a little Cougar Mountain run.


My longest run since my injury has been seven miles but I dove in with both feet. And luckily I survived unscathed. Tired, but unscathed. I didn't even fall down or anything. In addition to Bill it was great to see Justin Angle, Bryan Estes, Todd Morse Tucker and Bradlaugh Robinson again.

About 20 minutes in Justin said we were on a 1:24 pace. Obviously we slowed just a bit (thanks to several, very much appreciated by me, pee breaks) but I am very pleased with my ability to keep up as I figured 1:30 was all I was capable of today.

21 May 2013

Nice waterfront + Castle Hill run

Today is our last day in Nice so I figured I better get in one more run.

I have been SO happy with my ankle, it has been pain-free during all my walks and runs which is pretty terrific. I'm also incredibly stoked with my shoe selection, the Brooks PureCadence 2 is like a slipper and although it does not provide a ton of support it seems to be just enough for me. At least for the distances I am running currently. It's also crazy light compared to my other shoes.

Castle Hill means, you guessed it, more stairs. Good times.


20 May 2013

Nice, France walk

This morning Shelley and I went for a walk. In the afternoon she felt like relaxing and felt like walking some more so today I decided to explore the perimeter of my new neighborhood some on foot.

Next to our apartment in the old downtown of Nice there is Castle Hill which I had already been up twice but it's so cool I went up again. Ten I dropped down to the port of Nice and went up the hill on the other side. I was hoping to make it to the top of the hill but did not find any obvious paths up there so eventually just turned around and took an intentionally circuitous route back home.

Of course it's beautiful here, c'mon! The architecture is so old and the streets so narrow and the gardens so beautiful.


19 May 2013

Nice waterfront + Castle Hill run | Cannes walk

What can I say, I'm in freaking Nice, France!

There happens to be an extremely cool hill right between the port of Nice and old/historic downtown of Nice called Castle Hill. There are loads of different sets of stairs that lead to the top so this was my destination. Then I ran down the waterfront for a bit and then because it was so damn cool I went back up the hill one more time.


When I got back we took the train to Cannes (where the annual film festival was raging!) and walked around there.


15 May 2013

Chemin des Cretes trail run

Two firsts for me today.
  1. I went for a trail run in Corsica, France!
  2. I WENT FOR A TRAIL RUN. As in my first one since I botched my ankle.
Both were fantastic experiences.

There is a ridge above the town of Ajaccio (where we are staying) and yesterday on our hike I realized these trails were pure gold. So this morning I came back. It was SO worth it.

This time I climbed all the way to top of the ridge and then headed away from town. I felt like I could have gone much longer but this distance was already pushing it so turned around when I got to a logical spot.
Rest assured I was taking it very easy... Easy in terms of pace and easy in terms of watching where the hell I was putting my feet. Especially my left one. I would walk to eat and I would even walk most of the times I drank just so I would not take my eyes off of the trail surface. CAUTION WAS EXERCISED. I also walked the steepest ups and downs.

The trail was amazingly fun; the kind where you really want to let fly. I had to hold back for sure. But I'm really, really glad I went for it today.

Things I have learned while in Corsica.

With the first half of our French vacation wrapping up I thought it would be fun to note some of the things I have learned while in Corsica, France.

  • Tanning. It appears to be far more than a leisure activity here, more like a national obligation. Combine that with the already olive/brown skin of Corsicans and most everyone here looks like well done toast.
  • Parking. Just do it. In the four days we have been here, I have only seen one car with a parking ticket on the windshield and for the most part the police just don't appear to care what you do. You can park around corners, in the entrance to an alley, double park, park on the sidewalk, in crosswalks, even on top of traffic islands.
  • Scarves. You need to wear one. While at a cafĂ©, Shelley and I saw a family of four ALL WITH SCARVES. The youngest son was perhaps four years old and just chewing on his but hey, he wasn't trying to take it off.
  • Wine. It's okay to have a glass at 11:00 AM. Ditto for beer.
  • The same goes for breakfast. What's the rush?
  • Scooters and motorcycles don't seem to be governed by the same traffic laws as automobiles. I constantly see them crossing the center line to pass cars, driving on sidewalks, passing on the right; it's pretty exciting to watch.
  • All caned beverages are served with a glass. Most also come with a straw.
  • Coffee is not served in gargantuan party cups, rather it comes in little 'coffee' cups [I know, is that name coincidental or what?!] or shot glasses. And people here take about the same amount of time to consume this quantity of coffee as most American's require to drain their Trenta beverage.
  • Did I mention that Corsica doesn't have the same obesity problem as America?
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14 May 2013

Ajaccio waterfront run | Sentier des Cretes hike

Oh happy day.

I went for my first outdoor run today since I laid waste to my left ankle. The result? If felt great. And kind of cool that my first outdoor run was in Corsica, France.

One thing this kind of vacation is good for is REST. I have been getting plenty. I've also been getting plenty of bread, cheese, pate, chocolate and wine which has not seemed to hurt my ankle any. :)

After breakfast Shelley and I went for a stroll in the hills just above the town and somehow I managed to turn my GPS off after just 30 minutes. Rats. The blue line is what my watch missed.


12 May 2013

Ajaccio waterfront walk

Shelley and took a stroll down the waterfront here in Ajaccio Corsica, France.

The weather has been brilliant.

Tanning seems like it is not so much a leisure activity as a duty here. Especially for women. Everyone looks like toast.

08 May 2013

Social Media-Bane or Boon to Trail Running?

TrailRunner Blog Symposium Button photo blogsymposiumbutton.jpg

I would say that it's pretty impossible to refute the claim that social media is here to stay. If you have a child between the ages of 12-18, how are they communicating with their friends? My point exactly. Kids are Snapchatting, Instagraming and Twittering (Facebooking is already old news) while most adults are falling over themselves in an effort to keep up.

The current generation is growing up on social media and smartphones and once they become adults and the formative years are over, so is any hope of turning back the clock to a time before all this came to be.

Godspeed I say. Boon in other words. Big time.

rehab | core | bike commute | treadmill run

First things first. I had an awesome run today. It was my longest and fastest by far since my ankle injury.

in fact, it was so awesome I am convinced the treadmill I was on malfunctioned. See below for more sensationalized details.

07 May 2013

exploring Colman Park | bike commute

I was hoping to do some stairs today but when I woke up I realized it was still too early and the cold I have is running me way down.

I thought, "Hey, I'll just not drive all the way to Howe Street and instead do something closer to home!" Right. I walked down to the Colman Park stairs and before I even got there I knew this venture was a lost cause.

But, it was a gorgeous morning out and still very comfy in terms of temperature so I figured I would at least keep walking and take a lap through the park since I have never done that before. It was worth it. Now I know a little more about my neighborhood.

On the upside I felt somewhat better on the ride to work and significantly better on the ride home. I'm hoping that tomorrow I can actually work out again.

06 May 2013

core | bike commute

Oh man... that tickle I had in my throat and ignored all of yesterday hit me like a load of bricks today. Funny how you can go from feeling mostly excellent to I-want-crawl-in-bed-and-stay-there-all-day in no time. It's only a cold but I have zero energy.

I was thinking I would go to the gym and realized super quick that was not going to fly. Somehow I still eeked out a core workout at home and then rode to and from work.

believe you me, those rides were slooooooow. And not really any fun at all. I think I have a fever.

And it was such a beautiful, hot day... that only compounded my headache on the way home. Suck. Normally I am the last person to complain about it being warm in Seattle. :)

05 May 2013

Snoqualmie Falls ride

Well, I was right yesterday when I said I felt like I felt a sore throat coming on. :( Last night it got worse. I tried to get plenty of sleep (which didn't really work) but luckily this morning it had abated some.

That was the only thing wrong with today however and it didn't spoil my outing.

Today I went on a great ride. The weather was great, the route was great, the company was great and my legs felt great. Pretty f'ing great all round if you ask me. Want proof? Just look at this smile.


04 May 2013

Howe Street stairs

I was determined to sleep in this morning and to this end I shut off my alarm. It didn't work. As usual, I was up at 4:30 AM and rolling over (and over and over) was not helping any. Luckily it's the first day of Giro d'Italia and you can watch it live on CyclingFans. Nice.

Since I'm going for a ride tomorrow it seemed appropriate that I do something on my feet today. And since I can't go for a proper run yet, stairs have turned into my go-to workout. I'm still only running stairs one step at a time because 1) I'm not supposed to subject my ankle to lots of impact yet and 2) running them two at a time is freaking hard! But even one at a time stairs are an excellent workout so no worries.

ASIDE - did reason #1 sound like an excuse there...? It kinda was.

I think today is the warmest and brightest stair session I have experienced in ages, perhaps years? Historically I would always do this workout in the winter (read: in the wet, in the cold and in the dark) as cross-training for cycling. Now it's serving not as cross-training but as regular old training! Change is inevitable.

Three fun things about today.

  1. I met David Mann on the stairs! Like me, he's a bicycle racer that is transitioning to running. He was out with some buddies from his gym doing a few flights. Go Dave!
  2. I think I found my favorite pair of road shoes today, the Brooks PureCadence 2! It was my first day wearing them and right away they felt perfect. They're very light, super comfy, and yet seem to have enough support. I'll find out for sure when I hit the road but today was awesome.
  3. I used my Garmin Foot Pod for the first time. It's a cadence and is primarily used when you run on a treadmill but outdoors it will still tell you what is going on. Stats are fun.

03 May 2013

rehab | core | bike commute

I did some more jumping around at the gym this morning. That's what you do when your ankle has healed enough that you don't need to do the static rehab anymore; now I jump up onto and off of steps always taking off of and landing on one foot. My routine sounds like, "tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap..." You get the idea.

It felt pretty good today! As in my ankle is healing up and getting stronger. Nice.

I followed up all the jumping around with my core routine and then rode my bike to work.

it was a brilliant day. absofuckinglutely fabulous. And this weekend is supposed to be even nicer (as in EIGHTY DEGREES!). I say bring it.

02 May 2013

Howe Street stairs | bike commute | cardio | treadmill run


The big news is that I ran for TWENTY FIVE MINUTES on the treadmill today. With NO ANKLE PAIN. progress gentlemen, progress. All the rest is just ancillary.

I got to the stairs and 1) didn't feel very motivated and 2) was a bit foggy hung over so I opted to just walk them. I also go there kind of late so didn't have a ton of time so could only get in 30 min. What's interesting is that my pace was not that much slower than when I feel peppy. I guess I have my cruising pace and just sort of slot in when I get here.

At lunch I hit the IMA and again didn't have a ton of time so cut the elliptical trainer warm-up short and instead focused on the run. Today I dialed it up to a 7:26 pace and just kept it there. when I got close to 20 minutes (my original goal) I was feeling fine so just kept on going.

Yes, I have been told that pushing too much is dangerous and yes, I know that running until it hurts is bad but all of my recent runs have felt fine so I was confident. And today my confidence was not misplaced. I am so pumped that my ankle is healing up! Soon I will be able to run outside, I'm sure that will be a shock to the old fitness expectations...

01 May 2013

core | errands by bike

Although I didn't sleep a ton last night it was very restful, that counts for a LOT.

I wasn't so motivated at the gym this AM and thus ditched the rehab/weights plan and just did my core routine. On the upside I felt super! No doubt being rested and not having just finished an exhausting rehab session helped too. Bottom line is today I was almost able to do all the core stuff I used to before my injury. Nice.

I had to take today off of work to run a bunch of errands and opted to do this on my bike as the weather was stellar. Shorts and short sleeves all the way baby. Of course not all the errands were fun...