31 January 2015

Rattlesnake Ridge trail run

What a day!

It's been pretty foggy down low and today I was above it all. And the trail conditions up on Rattlesnake Ridge were primo. Everything was covered in pine needles and the ground was soft but not wet. I hardly got muddy!

30 January 2015

Flying Lion 5 | run

My favorite brewery is Flying Lion Brewing. It so happens that one of the brothers that opened this place (Evan Williams) is a runner and a member of the Seattle Running Club (my running club) so when he announced a weekly Friday evening run I was pretty excited. Today was the first time I was able to participate and the course is great!

From the brewery you head NE through Genesee Park, then South along Lake WA Blvd, and then up some honest hills and finally back to the brewery. This route does a great job of avoiding heavily trafficked streets and in just it's third week the Flying Lion 5 has already drawn a crowd, there were about 15 people there today!

Hopefully I can flex my work schedule some to make this more often, I have to pretty much jump on the bus and head straight there to make it, it would be great if I could head home first and then run there...

29 January 2015

cardio | Breathe Hot Yoga | walk

My legs are STILL wasted from doing stairs Tuesday. I obviously wrecked myself. Here's hoping I can get back to feeling good soon. It feels like I tore some muscle in my left quad mostly, like after a day of really aggressive weight lifting but even more so.

So at the gym this morning I just did some active recovery and that felt excellent. Good call in retrospect.

Then because I didn't ride or run I went to Breathe Hot Yoga for one of their Hot Vinyasa classes. Ryan was the instructor and he's pretty incredible. To me he's the best at talking you through all the poses so even a beginner can follow along. He also always has two or sometimes three options for each pose so even the advanced folks are challenged. Nice.

28 January 2015

core | Green Lake lunch run | Hot Pilates | walk


Let me just say that all those stairs I did yesterday are still in my legs. Big time. It's amazing actually, I feel like yesterday was a heavy leg day and I went nuts.

I've been noticing that my heart rate spikes something awful when I start any aerobic activity, today was extreme even for me. Especially in light of the fact that my only goal today was to go EASY. Sheesh.

After work I dropped by Breathe Hot Yoga for a Hot Pilates class. These are fantastic! Yet again I had a different instructor who showed us a different routine. This one was quite aerobic in that we hardly stopped at all, the whole class was go, go, GO.

27 January 2015

Howe Street stairs (most flights ever!) | walk

You know how you get a wild hair sometimes?

Tuesdays I'm usually here with Jim Kodjababian but on this day he had to travel for work so I was solo. I figured why not try for 20 flights?

I made it but ouch! My legs were blown after. The last four or five flights felt like the end of a massive set of lunges. Originally I had intended to go on the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run as well but when I got to the store it was raining pretty hard, I was pretty tired and so I just walked on past and to the bus stop... Day over.

26 January 2015

core | Tiger Mt MTB ride

I took today off from work. Sort of a belated birthday gift to myself. I know, right?

Made it to the gym in the morning and then I got a call from my friend Tony Callen who wanted to go riding. Having hung all the parts on a new 29er frame I had to scramble to get it operational but mission accomplished so I took it out for a shake-down ride.

It was WARM. Like 60 degrees warm. I brought arm warmers in the car and they stayed there. I didn't even need the undershirt I had on. It felt fantastic to be out in the sun and feel all toasty but unless we get a second winter there will be a huge water shortage this summer.

As we descended the Preston Railroad Grade Trail it was suddenly closed! Oh well, it gave us an excuse to ride Silent Swamp Trail which I had never been on. Fun!

25 January 2015

Cross Country Skate Ski

Happy birthday to me!

This is what I need (read: want) to do more of. Why is this winter such crap? You need to drive for 2-5 hours just to get to skiable trails. Luckily on this day I was already in the Methow (Lucca's cabin to be precise) and so all I had to do was walk 50'. Freaking fantastic.

Today Lucca was participating in a 30 km ski race and since my skate skills are not up to that level I chose to explore and hopefully improve said skills. I had a GREAT time.

24 January 2015

Methow Snow Trail Race | XC ski

I've run in the snow many times, but just for a couple of miles at a stretch. Today I did something totally new - a trail race that was almost entirely in the snow. After a 2 km start of icy road that is. Pretty cool.

What is the Methow Snow Trail Race like? It's a great core workout, that's for sure. You are constantly running with outstretched arms and recovering your balance!

The route was a snowshoe trail and only 1-2' wide. If you got anywhere near the edge you would posthole or simply fall sideways into the deep stuff. I did both. More than once. But it was also super fun to embrace the winter.

Did I mention I ran this with Lucca? Awesome.

23 January 2015

VO2 Max test w/Pauole Sport at Seattle Performance Medicine

I've been thinking about this for quite a long time now and finally scheduled it.

I used to use heart rate a lot when cycling was my primary sport (and actually had a VO2max test on a bike) but got out of the habit when running took over and I'm not sure how applicable cycling numbers are to running. I think I embraced the minimalism of running and for quite some time I eschewed not only heart rate straps but also running vests/packs and in the summer shirts. Then I got injured, got injured again, and then I took a vacation and suddenly my base fitness had eroded a fair bit. Not only could I not run as fast, my tempo/race pace was a good 30 seconds slower than it used to be.

After talking to friends and coaches it seemed like the consensus was I needed more endurance pace efforts and less of what was now my tempo pace to build my fitness back up. In order to do this I needed to figure out my heart rate zones again.

Enter Kainoa Pauole-Roth, Seattle Performance Medicine and the treadmill.

22 January 2015


The quality of my sleep continues to stay very high. It's made me realize how infrequently I actually get a goodnight's rest?!

I dorked around too much this morning at home so ran out of time for the gym and then had to work all day so no lunch session. But it's okay.

While walking around I saw yet another Run Washington sticker, these things are everywhere.

21 January 2015

cardio | Hot Pilates | walk

After feeling like dirt on yesterday's run I resolved to treat myself right so hit the good, old elliptical trainer at the gym for some active recovery. And guess what, just like it's supposed to work, I felt much better when I climbed off than when I started.

Why am I worried about taking it easy? I schedule a VO2 Max test for myself Friday morning. Better be fresh for that.

After work I headed on over to Breathe Hot Yoga for another Hot Pilates class. These rule. I'm learning there are a million exercises you can do that involve exactly zero extraneous equipment and that are incredibly difficult. I got my ass handed to me yet again and I will be back for more.

On the way home I saw this in the I-90 pedestrian tunnel. This Run Washington sticker is showing up in more and more places.

20 January 2015

core | Fleet Feet run | walk

Made it to the gym this morning and had a pretty good core workout. Nice.

The Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run on the other hand felt terrible. I was so winded and going up the Howe Street stairs...! I suspect it's that dreaded day-after feeling. Having done stairs yesterday and having done nothing else, my muscles were still super full of lactic acid.

On the upside Bradlaugh Robinson showed up for his second run of the day and was looking to go easy so we hung together and chatted. It was great to catch up.

I'm also sleeping better (and more). Bonus.

19 January 2015

Howe Street stairs

Jim Kodjababian and I had to move our stair workout to Monday this week because of Jim's travel schedule. Done.

The first couple of walkers and the first runner felt terrible but I warmed up and the rest was better.

Just two more weeks of this. Then what will I do with my Tuesday morning...?

Since both Shelley and I had the day off from work we ran errands, together! How cool is that? One such errand was going to Sephora in Bellevue Square (where I was one of only two males in the store and the other one worked there). I tried a new cologne. It smelled really nice.

17 January 2015

Cougar 10 + Bear Ridge

I can't run this route and not think of Bryan Estes. He owned it last year in preparation for a super successful run at the Cascade Crest 100. Me on the other hand, I have not been out here in so long it almost felt like I was exploring new trails. Almost.

I got lucky with the weather, it started to sprinkle about .5 miles from the car and then as I drove away it really started raining. Works for me.

The trails were packed today. Not only did I see a Seattle Running Club clubmate in Francis Agboton, I also saw two SRC-Brooks teammates in Evan Williams and Olin Berger. Nice. Not to mention all the hikers out - it was a busy day at Cougar Mountain!

16 January 2015


Went to the gym but my motivation was pretty low. I tried to offset this by mixing it up and did some TRX stuff for a change. It kind of helped but this is hard and a partner would have been ideal.

After the gym I went shopping.

After work I met Shelley at Flying Lion Brewing for a beer.

Sometimes you just need to let go. Something I'm good at. :)

15 January 2015

core | run | walk

Made it to the gym this morning and went for a run at lunch... I deserve a pat on the back.

Ran the Lake Union loop from work and really tried to keep my heart rate under 140 today. For a change it worked. Nice. It was also a great day for the middle of winter.

I keep seeing some awesome bikes on the UW campus, here is the latest.

14 January 2015

Hot Pilates | walk

Boy, what happens when you take one month off from Hot Pilates at Breathe Hot Yoga? You suffer. Got my butt kicked good and proper.

On the other hand, I had a new (to me) instructor and the routine was different, that was cool.

13 January 2015

Howe Street stairs | Fleet Feet run | walk

Just another super Tuesday!

Met Jim Kodjababian in the morning at Howe Street but I almost missed him... I totally forgot I had asked him to show up earlier for these last few workouts and I only got there in time because I usually try to show up early. I was not early today, just right on time. Whew.

My legs felt BLOWN today. Just wasted. I guess Saturday must still be in them, plus I didn't exactly do any active recovery between then and now. :(

At the Fleet Feet Sports Seattle Tuesday night run we had a super turnout. at 5:55 the store was still fairly empty and then suddenly everyone showed up. Nice. I started mellow and was surprised how good (read: not brutal) the run felt! My back is improving and my legs were not as dead as they were in the AM. I even felt okay going up the Howe Street stairs. I did let my heart rate climb a bit higher than I wanted to going up Interlaken but I was trying to keep up with some friends... Once we hit Galer I had to let them go.

VO2 Max test - I'm all in

I have been thinking about this for a while now and finally pulled the trigger. Friday, 23 January I'm going to Seattle Performance Medicine and getting a VO2 Max test.


I used to train with heart rate a fair bit when cycling was my primary activity but not so since I switched to running. For the most part leaving my heart rate strap at home worked out fine as my aerobic base from riding carried over and all I had to do was get my body used to the impact and strains of this new activity.

Then came a couple of back-to-back injuries followed by a relatively long vacation and I found I had to rebuild my base fitness. Having never needed to do this while running I was continually going out too fast and then dying, and I was not ever very fresh for a workout. These last few weeks I have throttled back the intensity in an attempt to build that base back up using Phil Maffetone's heart rate formula.

The only problem is, it's been ages since I knew with any sort of accuracy what my max heart rate was much less what all my exercise zones are. Plus I'm quite a bit older since I last used heart rate with any kind of regularity.

Hence this test.

Here is my favorite paragraph from the "Informed Consent for Exercise Testing" form I had to sign.
The test I will undergo will be performed on either a treadmill, bike or ergometer with the effort gradually increasing. As I understand it, this increase in effort will continue until I feel and verbally report to the operator any symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort which may appear. It is my understanding that it is my right to request that a test be stopped at any point if I feel unusual discomfort or fatigue. I have been advised that I should immediately upon experiencing any such symptoms, or if I so choose, inform the operator that I wish to stop the test at that or any other point. My wishes in this regard shall be absolutely carried out.
 Can't wait.

12 January 2015


Finally, my first full core workout in ages! Now to get the reps back up.

10 January 2015

Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 50k

The Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival (put on by the Seattle Running Club) is one cool and unique event.
  • It's in the middle of winter. Say hello to mud and/or freezing temperatures.
  • It starts at 3:00 PM in the afternoon! Instead of ditching your light one third of the way in you are picking it up.
  • There are shorter distances, relay teams and solo runners all on the course at the same time, it's not easy to tell what place you are in.
This year was a 'growing' experience for me. Live and learn, right? Or something like that. I won't bother with excuses, today just was not good.
  • My fitness apparently is not even up to the moderate pace I was trying to maintain today.
  • My back blew sky high at the beginning of the 5th lap. he race is six laps long.
The goal going in was just to try and finish the distance, for the first time ever I was treating a race as a training run. I have run this event once before two years ago and I gotta say, that day was better than today.

On the bright side, my running club (Seattle Running Club) freaking swept the events! Keith Laverty crushed the 5-mile; Joe Creighton, Evan Williams and Mathew Hong got 1st - 3rd in the 10-mile; Trisha Steidl and Uli Steidl won the pairs 50k event and set a new CR and Olin Berger scorched the solo 50k. In fact, Olin was only bested by the team 50k runners by one minute! We also got 1st (Steven Kent) and 2nd (Arthur Martineau) in the Masters division in the 50k. Nice.

09 January 2015

core | Expresso exercise bike

Tried core again and it still isn't happening. Today I did some balance exercises with cables & pulleys in an attempt to mix it up just so I wouldn't just turn around and go home. It worked for a few minutes.

At lunch I forced myself to hit the IMA and it was a good call. Luckily. From the first pedal revolution I could tell I was really rested and it was going to be a great ride. I broke my previous PR on this course by about 1:50 and beat the CR by four seconds. All while keeping the RPMs up and not blowing up my legs I might add. Tomorrow is a big run after all.

08 January 2015

core | walk

Tried some core at the gym again this morning with only marginally better success. So to cheer myself up I got a haircut from David Painter at 14th Ave Hair after work.



On the upside my back is starting to feel a little better.

07 January 2015

core | massage

Went to the gym this morning but did not have it in me. Sometimes the stresses of life get in the way and it just saps your motivation. That and it's been ages since I did any core work. Double whammy.

After work I saw Tucker Roy at Action Sports Massage. That helped a lot. Walking to the bus stop after my massage I saw this sign. Loved it!

06 January 2015

Howe Street stairs | Fleet Feet run | walk

Surprisingly, my back feel okay running. Just not bending over, standing up, most everything else.

Great stair session this morning with Jim Kodjababian. And a pretty good Fleet Feet Sports Seattle run as well. I pushed the pace for the first time in ages and although I was not fast I was faster than the last few months.

Of course I went up the Howe Street stairs during the run. :)

05 January 2015


Oh man... I really messed up my back skiing Friday. :( I sat on the couch all day Sunday and made good use of our DVR.

03 January 2015

Western WA Fat Ass 25k

2015 was the year this event blew up!

02 January 2015

skiing at Crystal Mountain

Nice! First day on the board this winter and although the snow was not great I had a blast. I went up with Tony Callen, Mike Deilke and Shelley and we hit quite a few runs at Crystal Mountain. Good times.

01 January 2015

Mailbox Peak

Oh my... when the scenery in the Cascades is good it's really, really good.