28 February 2014

bike commute

Two words: rest day

On the other hand, I am only as sore/tired as I expected to be after yesterday's run and my body is NOT thrashed. Just tired. Very, very tired.

it's all about the base

Whatever. If nothing else, it's a good excuse to run lots of slow miles.

Just nine short weeks ago I was down in the dumps worried if I was ever going to be able to run again. Then during a trip to Las Vegas over Christmas things suddenly turned a corner. I ran! I didn't just run, I strung three days together back-to-back.

Comeback 2.0! Or something like that.

27 February 2014

Tim Mathis Seattle Running Tour

Yes! I had been looking forward to this outing for three days.

Tim Mathis turned 34 today and so he wanted to run 34 miles. He charted out his route and even created a Facebook Event for this. When I first saw it I thought, "How cool...!" but then the reality of trying to keep moving all day started to set in and I wavered. Finally I realized that being out all day, eating all the time and being with friends is what I enjoy the most and so I would just take my bus pass along in case I needed to bail. Vacation day - check. Martin's longest run on pavement here I come. GO!


26 February 2014

core | Ravenna lunch run | walk home from bus stop

Made it to the gym for some core this morning and it felt incrementally better than Monday. 'Incrementally' is a long word meaning not very much.

At lunch I was going to hit the treadmill to shake out my legs but guess what - Mother Nature cooperated and it was brilliant out so I ran outdoors. The plan was to try and pick it up in the second half of the run but I felt pretty blown! So much for that plan, I just ran it back in and hit he showers.

Still, what a beautiful day! Short sleeves no problem. Beats the treadmill every time.

25 February 2014

strengthening | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

I went to the gym this morning with no real plan and ended up doing some of my old rehab exercises. It felt good and they were HARD. Ironically, now that I am 'healthy' I am also weaker because I have stopped doing all these exercises. I guess this is more fuel to the theory that strength training year round is a good idea. All it takes is time; unlimited time.

I thought I was going to be super flat for the Fleet Feet Sports Tuesday night run but it turns out that was not the case! I had my best outing this year which was a really nice surprise. I ran with Andy Lin who is faster than I am but who also runs every day at lunch so he didn't have to wait for me much during this his second run of the day. It was great motivation being with Andy. We eased into the run and then went pretty hard/steady up the hill. At the top Andy had 100' on me but he waited - thanks Andy.

I think the yoga yesterday helped me today.

24 February 2014

core | hot yoga | walk home from bus stop

After my miserable plank experiences last week I opted for a different exercise today. Really, I should mix it up more anyway.

After work I went to Breathe Hot Yoga and man did it feel like this was exactly what I needed. After all that running last weekend this hit the spot. Note to self - do more of this. Unfortunately the instructor I had today was the worst I have ever had at this location. The instructions were incredibly vague and the whole session was pretty disjointed. It certainly helped that I had done this before.

23 February 2014

Cougar 10

What do you know... a second run with Bryan Estes in two days.

Yesterday I had a recovery drink after my run, did some stretching and eating when I got home, this morning I got up early to have some breakfast and then I still felt flat and slow when I hit the trail. Once again my expectations are getting way ahead of my body and I need to watch it before I dig myself a hole or get too discouraged.

Trail conditions were super today and there really was not much mud out. And there were some sections in the middle of the run where I didn't feel completely buried and was enjoying myself - probably the sections I had to walk. :)

We saw a TON of people out running today including Eric Sach from The Balanced Athlete leading his Trail Running Adventures group. Nice. WE saw several people twice which is testimony to how many different routes/variations there are on this mountain.

22 February 2014

Cottage Cheese Ass Tiger loop + Poo Poo Point

I had a big run planned today! Bryan Estes and I were going to do the Cottage Cheese Ass loop on Tiger Mountain and we were going to throw in Bryan's little variation out to Poo Poo Point. It adds about two miles or so which would make this my longest or second longest run this year. Heck, in the last 5.5 months!

Thank God it was not dumping rain at the start like last week so I was in much better spirits today. I was also eagerly expecting the snow and we were not disappointed.


21 February 2014

Howe Street stairs

Today was hilarious in retrospect but crushing at the time.

This winter while running the Howe Street stairs Jim Kodjababian and I noticed that our times (1:10 or so) were just five or so seconds off of the Strava CR (1:05) for this climb. We talked about how in the past we were pretty certain we had gone under one minute so we decided to rest up and then come out here and claim that CR for ourselves!

We had some trouble coordinating the date so I was here alone but figured no big deal. It was GO time!

20 February 2014

core | bike commute

Tried some core again and plank was a huge fail. Once again I held it and held it and held it before looking at my watch... and when I did it only read 2:00. I was so demoralized I collapsed to the mat instantly. I tried to start again but it only lasted 15 seconds, today was not starting out good. I did manage to finish the rest of my core routine but holy cow, I need to start planking at home or something.

On the up side, the weather was clear today and so I took the long way home for the first time this year. I forgot how tough this route is on a single speed but it was a blast being out and about. So glad I took this opportunity.

Watching was the sunset while riding through Myrtle Edwards Park and along the Seattle waterfront was beautiful.

19 February 2014

cardio | walk home from the bus

I needed a break today.

After running four(!) days in a row, two of them long and one of them hard I was pooped. The elliptical trainer was just what the doctor ordered.

18 February 2014

core | Fleet Feet run | walk home from bus stop

Finally got to the gym for some core and the plank sucked. Hard. It was so hard... I recall looking at my watch when I thought that I had finished at least three minutes and it was like 2:10. Damn.

After work I headed up to Fleet Feet Sports and joined the Tuesday night run that is frequented by so many or my Seattle Running Club club mates. This course is great in that it has a substantial hill and then about 1.5 miles of flat after to see if you still have any wind/leg speed left. Today was the first time that I tried to go a little harder and it sort of worked. I guess it did work, I just want to be able to go even harder. :) Gotta give it time.

Last week I ended up running with two guys one of which was named Ned. This week Ned found me before the start and was asking all the usual questions posed by someone that wants to pick up the tempo like, "What pace are you going to run tonight?" and, "How fast do you usually run this route?" Okay Ned, lets go.

17 February 2014

Tiger Mt run

Two words: winter wonderland
Two more: first tracks

Today was positively religious. It was POURING rain as I woke up and only got worse during the next two hours. I was going to meet Dave Swoish for a run but then received the, "I woke up feeling like I have the flu!" text bright and early. Rats. Luckily some guy named Ian Goepferd was supposed to show up too so I drove out with fingers crossed.

16 February 2014

Lake WA Blvd run

Last night I had dreams of going long again today... then I had a huge breakfast. Then I caught up on the Olympics. Then I had some chocolate. Then it started raining. Then I watched more Olympics.

Finally a break in the weather corresponded with me not eating so much and I headed out for a quickie along the lake.

The wind was out of the south and it was not light. I felt like I was barely moving as I shuffled down to Seward Park and then I didn't speed up nearly as much as I had hoped when I turned around. Oh well, today turned into what most people would call a recovery run and it highlighted yet again that I need to start working on some speed.

When I finally got back to Mt Baker Beach I headed up the ravine on the spur of the moment. It's short but it's a trail.

15 February 2014

Cougar Squak Cougar trail run

Nice! Two words: weather window

The forecast was for wet all day but it held off until the last 30 minutes or so and even then it was just a light rain. Five minutes after getting into my car it started dumping.

Also, today was my longest run in five months and in spite of it being physically hard I managed my nutrition well and did not bonk. I just need to get stronger and faster.

ASIDE - have I mentioned how freaking fantastic it feels to be able to run again? It feels awesome! Being out of shape is one thing, not being able to exercise is quite another.

14 February 2014

core | walk home from bus stop

Another day of core. Today was slightly better than Wednesday.

I took clothes to work in case the urge to grab some cardio would move me. It did not. Oh well, I'm planning a big run tomorrow so rest is good. And my legs did feel pretty beat to tell the truth.

I didn't wear my GPS watch today because I'm so excited about my new non-GPS watch!

13 February 2014

treadmill run | bike commute

It really was wet this morning so treadmill it is... and what a soul sapper it was.

Originally the plan was to do something faster or perhaps try a progression run but no dice! It was all I could to not step off and/or slow it down. Sheesh. Sometimes I wonder if I should just bail when I feel like this or if I should HTFU. Bottom line is I'm in for the fun so the number of times that I can muster the will to harden will be few and far between. I actually had to stop for 5-10 seconds with 10 minutes to go and again with five minutes to go. :( My body/legs/breathing was fine, my head was just not in it today.

Anyway, I did finish, but it was a cruiser all the way. Whatever, check that box and move on.

After work since the rain was holding off I grabbed my bike that I had left at work on Tuesday and rode home. Sometimes I really like riding at night! Especially when it's dry.

On the way home I paused on Capitol Hill for some time with friends and a Seattle Running Club board meeting. Hence my ride in the dark. Did I mention the buzz on the hill is awesome? I just love it. I had some food at Rancho Bravo Tacos for the first time, it's in the building that used to be a KFC and it is a tremendous value and quite good tasting too. Uber urban for sure.

12 February 2014

core | Lake Union lunch run | CityLeague ski racing

Finally, a real core workout. And it was hard... I need to get back in the (core) game.

I thought the weather forecast was for crap so I took the bus to work and was getting mentally all geared up for a lunch treadmill run when boom! A sunny, dry, warm afternoon to the rescue. So instead I ran out side and was absolutely comfy in just shorts and a short sleeve shirt. It was 50 degrees! Awesome when that happens. I felt super slow during my run but the stats indicate I did okay so nice surprise. I just kept it steady and managed to finish a tad faster than I started. Before my knee injury I was able to easily cruise at 7:30 all damn day, now that pace is a struggle and I cruise at 8:00. But I'm running! Speed will come when I train for it.

As I was running north on Westlake I got a shout out from Trisha Steidl. Uli Steidl was there too. It was nice to be recognized.

After work Shelley and I headed up to The Summit at Snoqualmie. She skied and I raced. I have been getting a little faster each week and this night I was up against a 'real' opponent. I got late in turn four and that was all she wrote, he schooled me and won by about one second. In the second run I paid attention, stayed focused and beat him by .5 seconds. Whew. This stuff is fun. It was relatively warm and the snow was fun so I lapped the race hill for a bit and then zoomed back over to the summit to pick up Shelley after my second run. Good times.

11 February 2014

Howe Street stairs | bike commute

Yes! Today was the last official day of stair workouts. Jim Kodjababian and I have been doing these together every winter for as many years as I can remember and it's not getting any easier but having him there sure makes it bearable and gives me huge incentive to show up week after week.

Every year we start with five flights and add one flight per week until we hit 15. The last couple of years as my focus has turned to running I have tried to show up a bit early and get in some 'warm-up' flights before Jim shows up (usually five) and so today I did 20 flights. No need to stick a fork in my legs. They are done.

While I was at work it started pouring rain so I called Shelley and got a ride home...! I am soft.

10 February 2014

core | Expresso exercise bike | walk home from bus stop

Boy, this last weekend was filled with way too much drinking. Friday I drank too much wine at home with dinner, Saturday was a friend's birthday party (too much wine and beer) and Sunday was dinner with friends (way too much wine). Why does it take three days for me to realize this?

This morning was a lame excuse of a core workout. I almost pulled the plug and in hindsight should have just stayed in bed. I wandered around looking dazed doing various exercises half-heartedly that I never do and that don't really do my core any good. Sad.

The walk home after work felt refreshing at least. And I did get in a cleansing sweat at lunch.


09 February 2014

Gait and Shoe Analysis at FootWorks Physical Therapy

It's interesting that I am a huge fan of getting a bicycle fit but getting analyzed so you wear the shoes that suit your body/stride/gait the best? This had not occurred to me when I started running.

That changed in the last couple of years. As I ran farther and farther I started noticing that my body had certain 'issues'. Combined with some visits to my PT, a greater understanding of my feet and one over-use injury, I am now convinced that people should pay attention to not only shoes but gait/form as well. So much to learn!

To shed more light on all this, last Friday I took several pairs of shoes to Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT and we spent some quality time with his treadmill and video camera.


08 February 2014

Cottage Cheese Ass Tiger loop trail run

Whew...! Lots of walking today but so many positives as well. Like these.

  • In spite of having to walk lots the only times I actually stopped were once to piss and twice to enjoy the view.
  • I finished the run pain-free!
  • I finished my longest run in five months.
  • Looking back, and assuming I found all my times on this loop, today was my fourth fastest and only 4.5 minutes off my best. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?

07 February 2014

treadmill run | errands by bike

Went to the gym today for a shakeout run as I have been pretty sedentary these last couple of days. It felt super! I had just planned on cruising along but was feeling so good that I sped up the pace toward the end.

Then I drove my van to the shop for service and biked home.

Did I mention it was below 30 degrees? Oh. My. God. My fingers froze freaking off. I have bad circulation in my extremities anyway and if I don't put warm hands into warm gloves from the start I am toast. That was the case today, the case of Martin being toast.

I guess I had my gloves off too long and was showing the service technician around my vehicle for too long because when I pulled my gloves on and started riding I was already chilled. When I got home all I could do was run my hands under warm water and cry as they warmed up. I hate that.

06 February 2014

stretching | walk home from bus stop

I suppose now that I am running again I should stop logging these walks...? They seem pretty insignificant in comparison. We'll see.

At work some of us are in the midst of a 'wellness challenge' which is really fun. The idea is track your activities and to try and change them for the better. Being active and a healthy eater I tend to do pretty well just by showing up but there are LOTS Of areas that I can improve and this year the criteria were tweaked some to incorporate more work/life balance stuff and guess what, I'm not so good at that.

That's the long way of saying that we had a movement clinic at work today. We learned about some issues a desk job can aggravate, did some stretching and used the foam roller and a hard rubber ball to relieve some tension. It was great but I picked the wrong day to wear skinny jeans. At times I felt like I was going to split my pants.

05 February 2014

core | City League ski racing

Core in the AM and then work got in the way of a lunch workout, Oh well.

Up at Alpental where our CityLeague team races it was incredibly cold. "BRUTALLY" cold as my friend Tony Callen likes to say. The thermometer read 8 degrees as we pulled into the parking lot and the wind was howling on the chair. When we left the thermometer read 5. As you skied down the wind was blowing snow so hard the drifting snow sometimes obscured your skis. Kind of cool in an objective way, being there was tough.

The snow was primo! Super firm but not icy and incredibly grippy. Phenomenal for racing. It was a blast to ski but I could only last four runs and then I had to head inside, take my boots off and stick them under the hand dryer in the bathroom to warm them up. Yikes. After my last run I almost could not take my boots off when I got to the car, they were that stiff.

04 February 2014

Howe Street stairs | bike commute | Fleet Feet run

Yes! Another day of stairs in the AM and a run in the PM. My knee was pain-free throughout so I am officially calling myself 'recovered'. For sure I am not 100% but I'm probably 70% and I'm well on the way to feeling normal again. By body seems to be able to tolerate about 4-5 runs/week (three of them outdoors) and really, five is about all I want to do anyway as I get all jacked up when I run six or seven. Nice.

As long as I keep the progression sane I think I can start doing some real training now. And that's pretty exciting as all my runs so far have felt like I'm just testing the waters so to speak.

03 February 2014

core | walk home from bus stop

I had good intentions of doing some light cardio during my lunch today but work got in the way. It's okay, resting is important.

My core workout felt really focused/good, that was a nice change.

It's getting really cold again in Seattle! Highs in the 30s, lows in the 20s. Too bad there is no precipitation to go along with this chill.

02 February 2014

Cougar Mt trail run

Nice! Two trail runs in two days and my knee is fine. I did feel it a little today but after some thought and feedback from others I suspect it's partly doe to the shoes I wore.

ASIDE - these are the same shoes I wore during the second half of Cascade Crest. the first half was without issues, the second half my body started to fall apart. Yes, I know it can't all be due to shoes but I'm pretty certain they contributed. Ironic when you consider what they are intended to do.

The group was really mellow (which is what I was looking for) so I would double back at intersections and grab the last person and bring them up. I did go hard on two hills chasing Eric (couldn't catch him) and on one descent (he couldn't catch me). Fun!

I'm just incredibly stoked to have run 24 miles in two days.

01 February 2014

Cougar 14

Today I finished my longest run in five months. FIVE. And I did it pain-free. Obviously I am on the road to recovery and it makes me very happy.

I got a call (which is how old people talk about texting) from Todd Morse Tucker a couple of days ago and he invited me out today. I told him 12ish miles was my limit and he said fine. We just ran steady which let us talk and it was awesome to catch up. Todd likes to talk about kids, cycling, food, work, all kinds of things really. I like that.

We only stopped three times, twice for Todd to piss and once for both of us to gulp a gel. I ran (read: jogged slowly) all the way up Wilderness Cliffs Trail and all the way up De Leo's Wall. Bonus. In the end we opted for 14 instead of 12 because my knee was doing so well.

In the parking lot Todd was very complimentary and then he went out for six more miles! I need to be patient, it will come.

At the top of Cougar the mist was trying to turn to snow... I bet it was snow on the top of Tiger.