30 June 2013

south end of Lake WA + Mercer Island on a single speed

I'm a bit unsure what to do here. I have my biggest run coming up in two weeks, I just put in a hard day Friday and I know my body does not tolerate too much abuse. I did take yesterday off so erred on the side of caution today and went for a ride instead of running.

I think it was the right thing to do.

I kept feeling better and better the more I rode and the swelling in my feet when down a little as well.

Ironically while I was recovering from my run I met Win Van Pelt who has a case of 'runner's knee' (whatever that means) and was also out riding his bike. We rode together a bit and chatted.

On Mercer Island I saw two guys, one who was in a House Wine kit. I love that wine and thought it was really cool that they have thrown their hat in the sponsorship ring for local athletes. They were doing intervals or something and I managed to keep up with them, then I dropped them when they took a break and then they caught up to me again when they did their next interval. Good times.

At the end of my island loop I saw the 20/20 Fuel Cycling team heading out for their usual Sunday lap of Mercer Island.

The weather was fabulous!

28 June 2013

North Bend Triple Challenge (Little Si + Mailbox Peak + Mt Si trail run)

Oof, my biggest run to date since my ankle injury (and maybe ever in terms of total time). Here goes nothing.

An old friend of mine - who also happens to be named Martin - invited me on this run and I impulsively said yes. I figured it would be the perfect topper to a solid week of training as I try to get ready for my first 50-mile trail race. The day could not have been better. Yes, it was hot but I prefer that to cold and wet. Seven of us showed up at the start (one had yet to arrive).


If you look closely you will notice that I am the only person carrying food and drink... what's with that? Turns out everyone else had a 'support crew' there to assist them. They were planning on grabbing water before and after each climb and I even heard one person talking about changing shoes for crying out loud. Me? My goal was to carry all that I needed and to work on keeping moving as I usually stop way too much on longer runs.


27 June 2013

Cougar 10 trail run

I got out to Cougar Mountain this morning with Bryan Estes and man was it a tough outing.

You start this run with a .5 mile hill and right from the gun I was completely out of breath. This feeling didn't really go away and I had to walk three times during the run just to give myself a break from breathing so darn hard.

Luckily today Bryan was not interested in going fast so didn't drop me until about 1.5 miles to go.

My legs also felt a little more tired than I was hoping for... we'll see how it goes tomorrow when I have a pretty stout run on the agenda.

It was drizzling just a bit but the temperature was really warm. Sort of nice combination to be honest.

At lunch I hit the IMA for some stretching - much needed that.

26 June 2013

core | Lake Union lunch run

Had a good core workout this morning and then headed out for a lunch run with Edgardo Balansay.

ASIDE - Edgardo is kind of funny. He doesn't eat for the first half (or more!) of the day and the concept of a mellow run (or ride for that matter) seems foreign to him. I warned him that this run would be MELLOW and he liked it! Next up, Martin tries to get Edgardo to eat while exercising.

The sun was shining, my legs felt okay, all good things.

When I got home my left foot - not the actual ankle mind you - was sore. I took a couple of Ibuprofen and iced it for a long time. Not sure what is up and why my forefoot hurts but the ankle joint is fine.

We started easy and sped up just a bit the last two miles. Perfect.

25 June 2013

treadmill run

I got sucked into watching highlights of various European Road Race Championships this morning and so didn't get to the gym. Oh well.

I knew I wanted to go for a run today but where/what kind/how hard? These are the kinds of questions you ask yourself when you don't have a coach or even a program...

In the end I chose the cautious option meaning the treadmill. I guess I was still a bit worried that the pounding I took Saturday (and which I exacerbated on Sunday) would stick with me today and I chose the path of lowest impact.

I had a good run so I think it was the right choice.

24 June 2013

core | lots of active recovery stuff

Let me just say that my legs are DONE. Holy hate, my quads are so sore, walking down stairs is crazy difficult. That was a tough weekend.

I made it to the gym this morning for the usual core routine and then at lunch did myself a favor and went to the IMA where I did a warm-up, some stretching and hit the sauna. Much needed that was.

I left the IMA feeling way better than when I walked in so that's a good sign anyway. My legs are crushed.

23 June 2013

Cougar 14 trail run

Nice. This is my first weekend of back-to-back runs. Up until now I Had to ride my bike on the other day in order not to stress my left ankle too much but I was able to tolerate this so say hello to yet another sign that my recovery is going well.

I got the invite from Todd Morse Tucker to join him on Cougar Mountain and I jumped at the opportunity.

I had to start S L O W but Todd was game for company so we jogged and chatted. I almost pulled the plug and only did the 10-mile loop but before I had the chance to think on it much my body had already turned left and headed down the hill.

I walked about half of Wilderness Cliffs and again half of De Leo's Wall but I was able to run it in and in the end I was glad I did the whole loop.

Today was just about adding more volume after yesterday and although I did get pretty sore after, some time with an ice pack calmed my ankle right down and it held up fine. The only limiter now seems to be fitness which is awesome.

22 June 2013

Mt Teneriffe + Mt Si trail run


Just like that Martin goes for his longest and hardest trail run since his ankle injury.

ASIDE - I should probably start shutting up about my ankle now as it appears to have healed up to at least 80%. There is still some swelling and weakness but if it can handle the descent down the Teneriffe road at speed it's well on it's way to coming good.

What's my recipe for success you ask? One part time off, two parts gradual recovery, a little lot less obsession with pace, one brilliant day and some super company. Done. Was it easy? Uh... no. This was one tough run, as evidenced by this after shot. Note hands on knees.


21 June 2013

core | mini progression treadmill run | walk

Made it to the gym this AM for my core workout but I forgot to do my back extensions. Again! I am just spacing out.

Daniel Paquette told me about this workout he does called a progression run. I figured I would give it a go at lunch but tone down the duration as I just don't feel up to 10 miles on a treadmill. It went okay, the last two segments were tough but it did pick up my foot speed which was nice.

On the way home I walked from my bus stop, if it's not raining this has actually become a regular thing for me s the views are pretty cool.

20 June 2013

Cougar 10 trail run | bike commute

I connected with Bryan Estes for a Cougar 10 this morning and it was great.

It was threatening rain all morning but never did and the trail conditions were perfect. Super muggy but perfect. We started very leisurely and then as we passed 20-Minute Tree Bryan turns to me and says, "Ready to PR this section?"

Yep. Nope.

That fantasy lasted for about 100' at which point Bryan started to pull away from me. Within about 300' he was out of sight! Good grief.

I had to throttle it back almost down to our previous pace but ran it in. Turns out Bryan did get his PR. Nice.
Home, shower, ride to work. The bike commute really is the perfect way to spin out a run.

19 June 2013

Marathon Park and Capitol Lake road run

I felt much improved over yesterday... whew. I did start out feeling sluggish again but kept getting better and better.

Today I got out of bed earlier resolved to get in a quality run before going to the conference at 7:30.

Yesterday I found a trail around part of Capitol Lake that is like a mini Green Lake. It's about 1.5 miles around the loop so I ran it four times. There is a gravel shoulder by the sidewalk when you are running next to the road and the path around the park is gravel as well so the while thing was softer than pavement. Nice.

Another thing that was nice is my last lap was my fastest and then on the way up the hill back to the hotel I pushed it pretty hard (for me). It sure felt like my heart rate was higher than 160 but that's probably just a reflection of where my fitness is right now.

I saw several folks two and three times and each time I would pass them their smile would be just a little bigger.

Today was a bit of a moral booster and a nice start to the day.

Today I also did not eat before heading out and did not take anything with me. This early in the day and at this pace and for this length of a run I guess it works.

18 June 2013

exploring Capitol Lake road run

I'm down in Olympia for a conference and (of course) had too much to eat and drink last night so getting my sorry ass out of bed in time to run and be at the conference by 7:30 was tough.

I also felt pretty tired still from Sunday.

At least I did get out for a bit. I explored the shore of a lake near our hotel and ended up finding a lot of trails that dead ended in the marsh. I got completely soaked from the condensation and covered in grass seeds. But it was warm. And incredibly green!

Getting to the lake involved running down a big hill that I took pretty slow going back.

I did find a cool place to go tomorrow so here's hoping I get more motivated to rise early.

Not having my usual foods and stuff I went running today on an empty stomach and took nothing with me. It worked okay.

17 June 2013


Rest day!

I got to the gym this AM for my usual core routine and I had hoped to do some stretching at lunch but my work schedule did not cooperate.

16 June 2013

Cougar Mt 20 trail run

Today was all about adding volume and continuing the upward progression in distance. Thank goodness I went for a moderate road ride yesterday and Bill Huggins went for a really hard MTB ride yesterday because we were almost exactly the same speed.

We ran, chatted, ate and drank. I had to walk for short stretches about three times but ran in the last three miles uninterrupted feeling okay. It was great to have company and great to go this far with no ankle discomfort. I gotta say, the Hoka Stinson Evos do help.

I was able to run all the way up Wilderness Cliffs and everything else except for De Leo's Wall which was one of the times I walked.

The weather was gorgeous, shirts off from the start!

15 June 2013

around Lake WA on a single speed

I think this is the first time this year I have ridden my single speed bike...?! It's been too long in other words.

Today was glorious. The sun was shining, it was dry, not too hot (but I rolled up my shorts and sleeves anyway - as is my nature) and I felt fine. I also had some great music along for the ride.

Unlike some single speed rides this bike is not light by any means but it is a freaking blast to cruise around on. Since I was taking the same route I do when I commute I casually glanced at my cyclometer when I hit the UW to see if I was going any faster than when I ride my town bike and I wasn't. Interesting.

I felt a bit flat heading north but at the tip of the Burke-Gilman Trail, just before I turn to head up Juanita, I caught up with this guy on a geared bike. It was one of those situations where he 'felt' me coming and accelerated to avoid being passed. I totally recognized this behavior and smiled, for the moment I did not care how fast I was going.

14 June 2013

bike commute | lunch walk

Active recovery baby, just an easy commute and then an easy walk around the UW during lunch.

Glad I could enjoy the day outside.

It's always fun to walk through the UW marsh/wetland preserve and check out the turtles and to walk behind the UW crew house and see the ergometer shed and the crew shells. Memories...

13 June 2013

Cougar Mt trail run | bike commute | stretching | sauna

Yes! Martin goes running three days in a row with no ankle pain! And likes it! I am taking a moment to declare myself no longer 'injured'. I am now officially just 'weakened' and with some more rehab and training I'll be back.

Got in a quick Cougar 10 this morning with Bill Huggins and although I could not keep up during the second half of the run I did post a reasonable time (for me) AND I HAD A GOOD TIME. Bonus points for that. And the no ankle pain bit too.

12 June 2013

core | Lake Union lunch run

Fooled again!

I don't recall which weather forecast was predicting rain today but I fell for it and left my bike at home. So of course it was a fantastic day ALL DAY LONG. Sigh. At least the bus is good people watching and I did meet both Dave Hecht and Tim Toyoshima in the I-90 pedestrian tunnel as I walked to my bus. It was great to chat and catch up.

On the up side it was beautiful weather for a run so I figured I would try my first back-to-back run. It worked. I'm so happy.

ASIDE - at some point now I guess I can say that my left ankle is truly not injured and is just weaker than my right. That is HUGE progress.

11 June 2013

treadmill run | bike commute | Fleet Feet run


After just one day of recovery I was able to put in some quality training and as a bonus, I felt exponentially better during the Tuesday night Fleet Feet Sports run than I did last week.

In the AM I hit the treadmill to try and get my legs turning over again and it felt reasonable. I was able to slowly dial up the pace (some at least) and not feel stressed.

At lunch I went to the IMA and did some dedicated stretching and spent some time in the sauna after. I was worried the sauna might leave me wasted but luckily that was not the case.

progression run

I was just told about a cool sounding treadmill workout by a friend. He called it a 'progression run' and the title is apt. Here is how it goes.

Start at an 8:30 pace and every mile drop the pace :15. Run for 10 miles. Your miles will look like this.

01 - 8:30
02 - 8:15
03 - 8:00
04 - 7:45
05 - 7:30
06 - 7:15
07 - 7:00
08 - 6:45
09 - 6:30
10 - 6:15

Total time - 1:13:45
Total mileage - 10 miles

At first I thought this sounded easy... I have done treadmill workouts where I increase the pace every minute for 30 minutes until I am running sub 6:00 by the end but then I realized that you are supposed to run ONE FULL MIILE at each pace before you speed up. That and I have never run on a treadmill for more than 45 minutes.

Not so easy me thinks.

I'm going to have give this a try. [Says Martin naively...]

10 June 2013

core | bike commute

I woke up this morning after going to bed way too late last night and bagged the gym in favor of one more hour of sleep. It was the right call.

I did rally and hit the IMA at lunch.

The legs felt pretty tired today - as expected. On my ride home I did chase down one person on a geared bike that blew past me and then blew up. I am so shallow.

09 June 2013

you'd be surprised who you meet trail running

Trail running has facilitated me meeting some incredible people. Not only have I had the chance to toe the start line with a few of the biggest names in the sport, they have been nice enough to shoot the shit with me when I finally cross the finish line several hours after they do.

But what really surprised me was how trail running has (just very recently!) helped me to re-connect with not only my sister but my mother as well.

A little history is probably in order.

Cottage Cheese Ass Tiger Mt trail run

After feeling like I was on the verge of over training for the last two weeks I decided to make this weekend a test. I would ride a lot yesterday and then run a lot today. If I could do this then it would 'prove' that I was not over trained and that it was 1) just in my head or 2) I just need to get a bit more rest prior to the harder/faster workouts that had felt like crap lately.

Yesterday was all aces.

And guess what, so was today!


How could I go from feeling totally beat down and like I had been doing too much to feeling pretty darn good while increasing my training volume? I think the answer has many parts but one key element is that on both days this weekend I did not push the pace to the point where I was in the red. On both days I started (relatively) mellow and took breaks. And although the ride yesterday was reasonably quick, I got lots of rest when I wasn't pulling and riding just isn't as abusive on my body as running.

08 June 2013

Flying Wheels Summer Century

My ankle injury has really facilitated my cycling. The irony of this is not lost on me as I quit racing bicycles last year to focus on running and then once the 'running' year started I promptly injured myself requiring me to take three months off. So it was back to the bike in an attempt to maintain some fitness.

Today was my longest ride this year and probably my most fun one too.

John Phillips and I signed up for the Cascade Bicycle Club Flying Wheels Century that covers roads we have both ridden countless times. Still, when there is support and lots of wheels to follow it makes these super familiar routes a little more exciting.

Note big smile.


07 June 2013

core | bike commute | lunch walk

I would call this an active recovery day.

And I finally got in three days of core this week. Whew. It's about time as I can feel my back weakening.

The ride to and from work felt pretty heavy and my legs were pretty tired so I just took it really mellow. Did I mention that a commuter with a prosthetic leg passed me? Mellow.

06 June 2013

Ravenna Green Lake lunch run | bike commute

What a day!

  • The weather was amazing.
  • Martin went for a run.
  • Martin didn't walk during his run.

I think I have been a rush to regain my fitness after my ankle injury and have been piling on more volume than I can adequately recover from. There are so many variables in play when you train like age, fitness base, recovery protocol, training intensity, etc., etc. I kind of pride myself in having a clue when it comes to training smart and so it's a bit embarrassing that I fell into this trap.

05 June 2013

core | bike commute | rehab

I went to the gym this AM and today I finally remembered to do all of my exercises.

On the way to work I stopped off at FootWorks PT to see Neal Goldberg for my first tune-up and progress check since we got back from our vacation. Guess what, my ankle is healing up but it's not getting any stronger so I need to get on the stick and ramp up start doing my exercises. What, you mean eating bread, cheese and drinking wine doesn't strengthen your ankle?! Sigh.

My rides felt ridiculously slow yet again. At least my core work felt reasonable. All that jumping around at FootWorks also felt way harder than it should.

Originally I had planned on a lunch run today but working until 1:00 PM and then accidentally taking a short nap in the sun pretty much derailed that plan. It might have been for the best.

04 June 2013

Howe Street stairs | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

I was able to string together a multi-sport day like this in the past but today it felt incredibly laborious and slow. Too much too soon?

While on the Howe Street stairs this morning I started out feeling wasted and tired but that's usually normal. :) I loosened up and started to feel improvement but then the tiredness returned and I just quit after 30 minutes because I was too exhausted to continue!

That should have been a huge red flag but I forged on.

Did I mention that I hung out in the sun at lunch and sat down in Colman Park (in the sun) for a bit before the regular Tuesday Fleet Feet Sports run? By the time it started I was half asleep and during the run I never felt anything close to vim or vigor. It was pretty arduous from the start and at the first sign of a hill coming back I was walking. If you look at my GPS data below carefully you will see that I had to walk FIVE MORE TIMES in the last three miles. Not only was I tired, I just had zero will to work.

At least the day was spectacular.

And after the run we had an impromptu egg toss competition in Colman Park! That was a blast. Several people in the park joined us as there were extra eggs so we had 12 teams/pairs of people. I paired up with Julie Cassata and we got 2nd place! Even while up against ringers... :)

Hilariously (not!) my ride home from the run felt fine. Jesus.

03 June 2013

core | bike commute | lunch walk

Yeah! For the second time since our vacation I am doing my core work but I forgot to do one exercise, again. It really has been a long time since I was regular about this.

Today was a real active recovery day. Super mellow ride to and from work and a leisurely walk at lunch with some co-workers. Nice.

I still feel wicked tight and tired though, stretching and foam roller are surly needed in addition to rest or active recovery.

02 June 2013

Carnation Valley, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds ride


After yesterday's run I wanted to get out for another quality session and knowing I could not string together back-to-back runs on account of my ankle I went for a ride with my friend John Phillips. We went all over the place and I nearly clocked a century. I also didn't die until the end of the ride... whew!

John and I are very compatible and our riding styles very similar, it was super to ride and eat and talk and eat and drink and ride. The brilliant day didn't hurt either.

My back was a little sore after but not incredibly so. Mostly I was just good and tired.

In the afternoon I did some light Pilates which helped me back get out of that hunched position.

My legs started to fade at the end but I was pleasantly surprised how effective slowing down just a little and some Hammer Gel was. Lesson learned. I also made an effort to drink for a change.

01 June 2013

Cougar Mt trail run


Today I got out for the real deal - a proper trail run. Man that felt nice to be able to do.

I connected with Bill Huggins, Bradlaugh Robinson and Edgardo Balansay for a lap of Squak Mountain. We had the usual, "How far did we actually go...?" discussion after as each of our GP Swatches measured the effort differently and the consensus was it's about 14-15 miles. So much for high-tech accuracy.

This is a super group.

Unfortunately I was struggling quite a bit to keep up but the leaders (Bill and Edgardo) were kind enough to wait at every intersection and summit.

On the up side the descents felt better. I'm still not feeling fast on downhills but it must be all right as I kept pace with Bill and Edgardo told me he thought I was going quick. At least when the conditions are good (they were perfect today) I'm not such a Cautious Cathy at this point in my recovery.

Today was basically UP and then DOWN, repeat. I had to throttle it way down on the second climb but at least it worked and I shuffled all the way to the top with no walking. I went too fast (for me) on the first climb and had to walk a couple of sections.

There is a short flat bit on the way back to the car and I was crawling there... rats. Everyone else sped up to close out the run.

In the afternoon I treated myself to a massage with Jenny Dailey. Good stuff.