30 September 2013


The usual core routine, I felt pretty indifferent today.

29 September 2013

Cougar 10 trail run

Sometimes you realize you have made a mistake too late. Sometimes it's just a little too late and sometimes - like me today - it's weeks too late.

I went running with Todd Morse Tucker and the conditions were awesome. It was 55 degrees (meaning it was not cold at all), the trails were damp but not soggy and our pace was leisurely so we chatted the whole time.

The mistake was fully realized about six miles in when my let knee started to complain. At first it was very manageable but then it quickly became way worse than I wanted and with about 1.5 miles to go it hurt. And it didn't stop hurting. I'm writing this four hours after the fact and it still hurts and I'm still limping around the house after four Ibuprofen and loads of icing. Shit.

My mistake was probably not just running today after feeling my knee yesterday, it's been trying to force running this entire last MONTH. Sometimes people are so stubborn...!

I did get an MRI Friday and I will see my doctor Wednesday to discuss the results. I am not going to run until then and hopefully we can finally accurately diagnose this thing and then I can get a definitive treatment plan. If that means an extended rest I guess best to start it now rather than later. Double shit.

28 September 2013

Frink Park run

I really wanted to go running today.

The weather was pretty epic with high winds and some super heavy showers but the temperature stayed at 60 degrees so around noon during one crazy episode I decided to heard out. I figured it would be pretty cool to be out and about in this and hey, it wasn't cold. Of course as soon as I changed my clothes and got moving the rain had almost stopped and it did in fact stop by the time I finished. Oh well.

The wind sort of scared me into layering and it was NOT necessary. I knew within 10 minutes that I had overdressed.

My left knee was fine for maybe half of this run and then I started to feel it. No outright pain but this is getting old. OLD I tell you.

Frink Park was still fun.

27 September 2013

treadmill run | bike commute

I am hating not being able to run. And just three years ago I hated to run. Ironic? Karmic? Hopefully not the later.

On the other hand, I got featured in the press.


26 September 2013

core | stretching | bike commute

Same old, same old...

Core workout in the AM (it went okay), some foam roller and stretching after (I needed it) and then rode my bike to work (I felt fantastic). It was a bit colder this morning than in the past - fall is coming! It was also incredibly beautiful riding along Lake WA as the east side was shrouded in heavy fog and the sun was poking through like laser beams. Bellevue was glowing! I almost pulled over just to watch the show.

25 September 2013

walk home from bus stop

It's funny, the less physical activity I am able to do, the more I post ridiculous stuff like this.

I had no motivation to hit the gym and my IT band was pretty trashed after yesterday's commute run and I almost did nothing but then when I missed my second bus - and knowing it would be 30 minutes until the next one arrives - I said fuck it and walked home. Walking only takes 30 minutes so I was going to get home in half the time.

Did it hurt my left knee/IT band? Luckily not. But I swear, I am 'walking scared' as ridiculous as that sounds. On the descents I am totally favoring one leg. Rats.

24 September 2013

core | Fleet Feet run | run commute

Core was better today than yesterday except for push-ups. I gotta say, I straight up SUCK at push-ups; always have and probably always will. I pretty much suck at all upper body stuff (but especially exercises that involve your own body weight) unless I really focus on them. Guess what running and cycling do not focus on...

Once again the weather forecast was for crap and then it was nice out. Super nice in fact. I was expecting increasing rain after a damp morning and got increasing sun instead. You might be asking, "So why are you whining...?" Because I can't ride my bike to work when it's wet on account of there is no place for me to store a wet bike or dry wet clothes at work. Whatever.

The Fleet Feet Sports run went great! I decided I would try to keep up with Natalie today and I did it. In fact, at the end I could have gone just a bit faster which felt awesome. I didn't fully rip the descent but I was running the downhill today instead of checking myself all the way and that was very fun.

Since I did not have my bike and since it was probably going to take at least one hour to catch two or three busses home I decided to run home. Surprisingly my messenger bag (which was really full) felt okay to run with. What did NOT feel okay in very short order was my left knee/IT band. Within about half a mile it flared up and I had to walk/jog the rest of the way home. Bummer. Ice, Ibuprofen, frustration. I bet carrying all the extra weight didn't help.

That said, it was a nice route home! One little climb and then all downhill and through the pedestrian I-90 tunnel. It's almost as nice a route to run as it is to ride.

23 September 2013


Almost didn't make it to the gym today but instead I get a gold star.

Pretty much every exercise was tough today, and it stands to reason since the last time I did any core work was last Wednesday.

The weather forecast was for wet so I took the bus to work instead of riding my bike and it ended up being really nice. Sometimes I hate meteorologists.

21 September 2013

Cougar 10

My first trail run in one month! And overall it felt great.

I connected with John Phillips (and old bicycle racing friend that also runs) and did the staple 10-mile loop on Cougar Mountain. Good times.

The weather was perfect, the trail conditions were excellent and my left knee/IT band held up like a champ until about one mile to go when it started to twinge. Luckily it didn't 'hurt' so I kept going and the discomfort abated and after the run I felt fine so no damage done.

This was one of my slowest times on this loop but also one of the most enjoyable. Lesson learned hopefully.

Man it felt good to get out on the trails.

20 September 2013

core | walk

What a bust!

I made it to the gym but I debated it for about 20 minutes at bed after waking up. Once I got there I had zero motivation and called it a day after just three random exercises. I should have slept in.

I didn't even feel like riding my bike to work so took the bus.

The one positive thing is I walked home from my bus stop and felt NO knee/IT band pain even on the last three blocks which are steep downhill. Progress.

19 September 2013

cardio | stretching | bike commute | massage

Just some light cardio to warm up the legs this morning (and for some active recovery I suppose) and then 25 full minutes of dedicated stretching and foam roller. Man was that needed after yesterday...

After work I saw Tucker Roy and damn is he good. This kind of massage (IT band, lateral quad) is NOT comfortable but it sure feels good after.

18 September 2013

core | stretching | bike commute | SRC Cross Country workout

Went to the gym this morning and had a great core workout. Followed that up with some dedicated stretching and foam roller.

ASIDE - the foam roller just never seems to get easy... it might get a little less painful but that's all.

The big news today is I participated in my first ever cross country workout. It was organized by Uli Steidl, a fellow Seattle Running Club member and not only did he plan the workout, he also marked the course and kept track of everyone's splits while encouraging folks and handing out technique tips. Awesome.

And HARD. My fitness was not exactly ready for this but the good news is my left knee/IT band didn't have a relapse.

17 September 2013

bike commute | Fleet Feet run

IT band progress continues.

Riding my bike is almost totally pain-free (perhaps 'discomfort-free' is more accurate these days) now and I upped my running distance a little and survived that as well.

I took it nice and easy at the Fleet Feet Sports Tuesday night run and it was the right call. I'm also lacking in fitness so it was about all I could do. I an still feel my left IT band but it's more of a dull ache now instead of a sharp pain and it does not last meaning the discomfort passes pretty quickly. I was also able to run down E Galer albeit at a super moderate pace. Still, that's also an improvement.

Amazing the difference one minute per mile makes in terms of effort.

16 September 2013

core | stretching | bike commute

Core continues to go well and riding my bike today was almost pain-free so things are starting to look up. My knee felt good enough that I added the Magnolia loop to the ride home.

We had an all-school retreat at work today and it was in Ballard so perfect for riding to and from. Going over the locks is always fun and today fish were jumping everywhere!

UTMB - the dream continues


About 1.5 years ago I got this (typically Martin-ish as Shelley would say) idea to celebrate my 50th birthday with an epic run and as incredible as it seems to me right now, I have done what I set out to accomplish in 2013; I have qualified for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc lottery. This doesn't mean I can run it in 2014 but hey, you can only control so much.

Back in February when I toasted my left ankle (for the second time!) I figured no way. You need seven points to qualify for UTMB and on the day I injured myself I had just managed to acquire one. ONE. And now I was looking at two solid months off from running.

Here's the deal.

  • A qualifying 100 mile race is worth four points.
  • A qualifying 50 mile race is worth two points.
  • A qualifying 50 km race is worth one point.
  • You are only allowed to accumulate points in a maximum of 3 races which means you have to run at least one 100.

15 September 2013

Colman Park run | massage | Seward Park ride


Today was my first run since I messed up my IT band. It did NOT feel good it felt GREAT to be out doing something. I was breathing hard (stand to reason after three weeks totally off) and my quads were all tingly like when used to start running after a summer of only riding my bike. In other words my body was not used to this.

But it got better as I went! My IT band is not healed up yet but every time it twinged and I wondered if I would have to stop it got better and I was able to continue. Whew.

Then I hopped on my bike and rode to get a massage from Jenny Dailey which was super. More IT band and quad work. Turns out not only is my IT band tight and adhering to everything, so is my lateral quad muscle.

On the way home I decided why not go to Seward Park... It was warm and muggy out and on the way I got caught in a massive thunder shower but I never felt cold and it was pretty fun to tell you the truth. It was also Bicycle Sunday so on the way home I slalomed in and out of the yellow line on Lake WA Blvd all the way home with nary a car in sight. Nary a bicycle too I might add, I guess the wet scares people away.

Good times.

13 September 2013

core | stretching | massage

Oh man, if the core Olympics were coming up I would be peaking.

I set what I think is a new PR in the plank and the rest of the workout felt really good as well. If I had been incredibly motivated I could even have gone beyond 6 min today but there wasn't anyone with a gut, in tight gym shorts and a whistle around their neck yelling at me to "push it" so I just stopped.

After work I got a massage from Tucker Roy and OMG was it painful/good for me. I was on the table and Tucker said, "I'm going to work on your IT band and you tell me when to stop..." I lasted about 30 minutes and then had to cry uncle. After he switched to my right leg and shoulders (which I had been tensing the entire time in a vein attempt to combat the discomfort). That was incredibly good for me but incredibly hard to relax through.

11 September 2013


This is getting old...

I went to the gym, had a good core workout, and then did nothing else. But I did go to another knee specialist after work and he gave me a shot. Here's hoping this helps me get back at it; #StirCrazy and all that. I was told rest for 72 hours and then try an easy run. This injection is supposed to be the shotgun of anti-inflammatories. Pull the trigger I say.


10 September 2013


Another day of core only. But hey, core is feeling really, really good and my plank time has gone up so that's something.

And I slept well last night. Finally.

09 September 2013


With my left IT band so inflamed that I can hardly even walk I am reduced to doing zero activity that involves my legs.

On the up side, I saw my PT (FootWorks PT) today and it took all of 10 minutes for Neal Goldberg to tell me that I was beyond rest and that I needed a cortisone shot to calm that shit down. So I scheduled an appointment with yet another sports medicine specialist and will see them Wednesday. Here's hoping this does the job. Currently even just walking around is making my IT band flare up and so just going to work is making things worse and preventing healing.

07 September 2013

errands by bike

Since my left knee is pretty jacked up when I run or walk I figured why not go for a ride. No dice. I could feel it even while dorking around today on my town bike. The slide into depression continues.

There were some bright moments today.

  • I tried to ride up Queen Ann Hill. Normally this would be out of the question when using one one gear and platform pedals but I found a circuitous route that almost got me there. In the end I had to walk one cobbled block but it was fun to try.
  • I rode around the summit of Queen Anne on roads I have not traveled in ages! And they were beautiful!
  • I stopped by Seven Hills Running Shop for the first time and chatted with Phil Kochik about running packs. I gotta say, this is one awesome location for a running store in terms of access to Discovery Park (trails) and various road running routes. I didn't see any obvious parking but here's hoping he has that too.
  • On my way home riding along Elliot Ave. I had a tailwind and so was able to maintain 18-19 mph on my town bike which is pretty darn good.

06 September 2013

stretching | sauna | walk home from bus stop

Oh man... I hit a low point today.

My left knee - I'm fairly certain it's my IT band but I am going to see my PT to make sure - has been absolutely killing me. I aggravated it at Cascade Crest, too one week off, tried a stair workout (because running hurt too much) and ever since it won't leave me alone.

I had a low point today where I let a wave of self-pity wash over me. It feels like these last seven months have been one long, continuous recovery from various injuries and I am tired of it! I just want to be like those guys that run all the time and don't hurt themselves. I see athlete after athlete posting mega mileage weeks and never once mentioning any sort of maintenance or injury or issue. I know my body is not so durable as others when it comes to running and I guess today the difference just felt extreme.

Not to mention this is the time of year that all my friends go and do these incredible 'fun' runs and hikes on cool trails.

I'll get over it but today sucked.

In other news I went to the IMA to stretch, couldn't find a foam roller so just hit the mat. it was okay but I need the roller! In the sauna I almost fell asleep; work has been stressing me more than I would like and my sleep has been the victim.

I was originally going to take the bus all the way home but then I heard that Shelley had just returned from her trip so I impulsively walked to get there faster. My knee was fine on the flats and then once again, on the last three blocks where it's down a steep hill I literally had to come to a stop and figure out how I was going to negotiate this last section. It just hurt too much to walk down normally and I ended up doing a prissy, tip-toe down the hill on the balls of my feet so help ease the impact. I felt retarded and super dejected.

05 September 2013

core | stretching | walk home from bus stop

I had a great core session and then spent some quality time stretching and using the foam roller on my IT bands. Stick a gold star on my forehead already.

After aggravating my IT band yesterday while running just one block I decided not to run; and try walking instead. It worked fine as long as I was on the flat or even going uphill but as soon as the road tips down my knee (read: IT band) complains. This is miserable.

When I got home I pulled out of the Cle Elum Ridge 50k that I had really been looking forward to running and moped around. All my injuries are pretty darn minor compared to what some people have to overcome but it sure feels like this summer has been recovery after recovery and it's getting old. OLD I tell you.

Oh yeah, I also slept like garbage because work is hella stressful right now. Woe is me.

ASIDE - can guys my age even use 'hella'? I'm thinking not. Strike two.

04 September 2013

core | bike commute | Expresso exercise bike

Core went better today and then at lunch I busted out my best (ever?) workout on the Expresso exercise bicycle at the IMA. Kind of hilarious that I'm killing it on a BICYCLE trainer right now... :(


03 September 2013

core | Expresso exercise bike | sauna | walk home from bus stop

Well, my left IT band is officially injured/irritated. CRAP.

I tried to dismiss it yesterday but no dice. It flared up good and proper while on the stairs so I got on the horn with FootWorks PT and got my 'prescription' for a rapid recovery; Ibuprofen, foam roller and ice. Here's hoping that works.

Until then, I'm back on the bike. Kinda feels like after I hurt my ankle. :(


02 September 2013

Howe Street stairs

Damn it.

I hurt the IT band on my left knee at Cascade Crest 100 so because of that and my insane blisters I took one full week off from any sort of impact activity. I guess it was not enough.

I was just walking each flight today and going up felt fine but going down after about 20 minutes started to irritate my left knee. So what did I do? Like an idiot I kept going. I need to work on knowing when to pull the plug on workouts. Especially since I have still have several goals for this fall.

About 20 or 30 minutes in this couple showed up both looking uber fit. After another 20 minutes they took a breather at the top and suddenly when I show up the guy says, "He Martin...!" Turns out it's Leif Clarke and wife Colleen. We chatted for a minute and agreed how efficient running is compared to cycling if you want to just get in a workout and then I got back to it; 'it' being making my left knee worse.

About 50 minutes in I finally had myself convinced to call it quits when this woman who had been there pretty much as long as I had said in passing, "You are an animal on these!" What does Martin do? He does one more flight instead of going to the car.

Now I am in pain, I feel stupid (because I AM stupid) and I get to see how long it will take for my IT band to recover.