31 March 2015

Howe Street stairs | treadmill lunch run

Inspired by yesterday I hit the Howe Street stairs today. Too much…? My lunch run seems to indicate that it was. Sad smileMy left hip (will this never end?!) acted up a little yesterday but I didn't really want to acknowledge it and hoped that by running indoors today everything would be fine. Today I did feel better but I am not "all healed up" like I was hoping.

How hard were the stairs? Oh man was I huffing and puffing.

30 March 2015

strengthening | bike commute | lunch run

One week after surgery and I'm running! For sure I feel sore but no pain. Yes!

Saw my surgeon this morning and he gave me the green light to be active again. He also said that three weeks after surgery (which is two more weeks from now), "anything goes". Amazing.

28 March 2015

ship canal tour w/Shelley

Went for a super scenic urban ride with Shelley today, both of us on our single speed bikes. Fun!

27 March 2015

strengthening | walking

Just some SUPER mellow hip exercises, upper body, legs and balance stuff. Just because I am not able to do nothing.

And then I logged my walk across campus because that is what you do when you can’t do anything else.

25 March 2015

little walks around town

It's just two days after my surgery and I'm already going nuts.

ASIDE - if only one could harness this kind of pent-up energy during a regular training cycle, eh? That would be super productive.

I had an appointment with Neal Goldberg at FootWorks PT today. The premise being I wanted to talk about what I could do safely once my body was up for it. I have not done any core work in one month and am looking at another break from aerobic activity. I decided to walk downtown in part to see how I felt and also because my primary bus only runs during peak commute hours.

I walked in the door of FootWorks and the conversation went something like this.

Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Surgery

That's what I got last Monday.

Here is some information about the procedure.


I saw Dr. Clayton Hackerman at the Polyclinic on Broadway. This was my first surgery ever (and only my second time under a general anesthetic) and I am extremely pleased with how it went.

ASIDE - when I first met Clayton I noticed he had a bit of cauliflower ear. Since you never know whether or not this is the result of an injury or a natural condition I shut my mouth. Plus I was thinking to myself, "How did this guy have time to do any MMA while going to medical school...?" Then just now I read his Polyclinic bio and see he's a fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Mystery solved. :) And kudos to you Dr. Hackerman.

Here is a rough timeline and redux.

23 March 2015


Just sneaking in a little cardio before my hernia surgery.

21 March 2015

Renton via West Seattle on a single speed

Gosh, I think this is the farthest and fastest (I hit 45 mph descending from West Seattle!) I have ever ridden my single speed commuter bike. It was fun!

I had a vague/general idea of where I wanted to ride but had to stop and check my phone once. So much for being non-reliant on technology! :) I rode the Duwamish Trail and the Green River Trail, I have not been on either in I don't even remember how long. The pavement on the Duwamish Trail was fresh! Could it have been that the last time I thought I was on the trail I was really just riding on surface streets? Looks that way in hindsight.

While in Renton I picked up my new Garmin Fenix 3 from The Balanced Athlete. Exciting! Can't wait to play with this new toy.

After a hasty shower I headed up to Capitol Hill to meet Shelley and some friends for a birthday party and walked past where Piecora's used to be. :( The gentrification of Seattle continues.

20 March 2015

cardio | walk

I met some friends after work for beers at the College Inn Pub so figured it was prudent to leave the bike at home and took the bus for a change.

You really see lots of beautiful and ugly on the UW campus. This is beautiful.

This not so much. Perhaps more funny than the opposite of beautiful. Note the angle of both sets of barends...

19 March 2015

bike commute

Took my new favorite route home again! Seeing all these neighborhoods is a blast. And Beacon Hill is cool, the bike paths up here are fun as is bombing down Cheasty Blvd.

Saw this near the UW campus today. Yikes.

18 March 2015

cardio | bike commute | hernia surgery update

Back to the gym in the morning for more elliptical and then off to the Polyclinic to talk with my surgeon to discuss options. After chatting he was able to fast track me so I'm getting my hernia fixed Monday.

Since my hernia is small and since I seem to have some other inflammation/issue on the right side of my hip there is no guarantee that this will relieve all the pain but it does need fixing so better now than later. I was told that this type of hernia will only get worse over time.

Gotta love those definitive diagnoses...

But in a way it's a relief. No more guessing. And thanks to my doctor and the person that bailed on their appointment so I could get in so quick. The summer is still long and I have lots of goals in the second half.

I rode home via my new favorite route again. This is such a cool way to go but you can't be super tired or the hills are too much on the single speed. These days I'm pretty fresh.

17 March 2015

cardio | bike commute

No running because of a hernia equals cross training - as long as it does not involve impact that is. Enter the elliptical trainer.

I have found that an elliptical is perfect for active recovery and warming up and now also for keeping your heart pumping when you are injured. Too bad it's so boring. It seems like someone always turns ALL the televisions in my gym to ESPN or some talk show first thing in the morning. Or at night, and then it just never gets changed in the AM. Oh well.

16 March 2015

cardio | bike commute | hernia update

The big news is that I got a call from my doctor and after he spoke with the Radiologist I do have a hernia. I guess my hearing was somewhat selective during the ultrasound and it's actually fairly clear.

"On the Symptomatic right side, there is a broad bulging of tissue with Valsalva maneuver, including bowel anterior and inferiorly at the level of the epigastric vessel origins, which is constant with a small hernia."

The next step is to consult with a surgeon to see if this warrants fixing. Oh yeah, my PT said if I have a hernia I can't run. I guess this seals that deal. Crap.

I cheered myself up by taking pictures of bicycles on the UW campus. This gem had a frame with track dropouts (and no eyelets), a touring fork (with double eyelets), was set up as a single speed, had carbon fiber Easton handlebars and desert camouflage paint. Awesome.

I also took a new route home. It was awesome! I took my current favorite which includes Discovery Park and added Georgetown and Beacon Hill to the mix. I love it!

14 March 2015

treadmill run

Went to the gym this morning and for the first time ever I played with the incline of the treadmill.

ASIDE - since I don't officially have a hernia I figured one more run would not hurt. Besides, I was going easy.

13 March 2015

bike commute | lunch run | ultrasound

Today my right hip maybe felt better?

It was a beautiful day - 65 degrees! I ran with Frank Barber again and we chatted the entire time. Man it was nice to be out in the sun. We added a tiny extra piece of Interlaken trail to our Foster Island loop. Good times.

I left work early and headed up to Seattle Radiology to get an ultrasound on my hip/lower abdomen. The goal here was to finally prove/disprove the hernia theory.

12 March 2015

cardio | bike commute

Woke up this morning at 3:30 and that was all she wrote. :(

On my ride home I took the long way through Discovery Park and around the Magnolia bluff. It was warm out and shorts felt just fine.

11 March 2015

lunch run | walk

Went for a lunch run with Brad Coston and Frank Barber. Unfortunately I was pressed for time but it was still great to get out.

Perhaps my right hip is feeling better...?

10 March 2015

errands by bike | massage

Rode down to The Balanced Athlete to drop off some more clothes for screening. Since I was down there I figured why not ride home up the east side. Glad I did because I ran into Mark Mirante. We talked about 'the good old days', bicycle racing, that kind of thing. It was great to catch up.

When I got home and cleaned myself up I walked down to see Jenny Dailey for a massage. Awesome stuff.

09 March 2015

bike commute | lunch run

The good news is it was a beautiful day and I got outside as much as possible. I went for a lunch run with Frank Barber through Interlaken and then around Foster Island and although my hip was bothering me some I really enjoyed being outside.

I love spam

What's not to like? Easy open cans, so ultimately portable, salty meaty goodness, and it makes you feel positively patriotic to eat it.

But when I'm not clogging my arteries I can also enjoy the electronic variety. Here is a message I got just this morning.

hey martin
Hello! This is me, Olga, from Moscow! Remembered me?
How are you? Still got no message from you! I miss you actually! When we will go out for a date?
I'll be waiting for your suggestions and I hope that our meeting will happen as soon as possible!
Of course "meeting will happen" was a link to a place you don't want to visit.

Not sure why but it's vaguely reassuring to know that somewhere out there a robot is churning out millions of messages and that I'm special enough to be a recipient. Because sometimes that's all the self-actualization it takes to make my day.

08 March 2015

urban bike path exploration

Nice! Yesterday was so much fun I did it again today. Only this time I tried stay on some bike paths instead of streets.

I knew that there was a paved path down the grass median of Beacon Ave so climbed up the Cheasty Blvd green corridor to connect with that. On my way south I rode under some power lines that ran down a greenbelt and there was another paved path in the middle of that so on my way home I took that route.

There are some stout hills on this route! Especially on my single speed. But it was a blast.

The day was so nice I went out again in the afternoon with Shelley and we rode down to Seward Park and back.

07 March 2015

urban Seattle tour on a single speed

This was fun!

I combined one of my favorite routes home from work with a little extra exploration and bingo, an awesome urban bike tour. I got to see all of the following neighborhoods.
  • Mt Baker
  • Downtown
  • Myrtle Edwards Park
  • Discovery Park
  • Magnolia
  • Lake WA Ship Canal
  • Capitol Hill/Interlaken
  • The Arboretum
  • Leschi
All in 2.5 hours.

I am loving my new Schwalbe Big Apple tires, so smooth!

06 March 2015



Last night I attended a reception for the incoming PhD Students at work. They had some excellent local beer and wine and I over indulged. By a lot. It was delicious but my ride home last night was s l o w and this morning I felt rather under the weather.

Somehow I made it to the gym but I had no motivation to do anything else. I was also meeting some friends after work for a drink(?!) so didn't ride my bike either.

Anti-training for sure.

05 March 2015

bike commute | Foster Island lunch run

Super weather today! The sun was out and my long sleeve shirt on the lunch run was too much. I like that.

Unfortunately my hip is still not happy at all. In retrospect I should have not run today... we went nice and slow and even walked a couple of times but I still didn't feel like this did my body any favors. Suck! Being injured is a massive drag. Still, Foster Island is so pretty, it was great to be out here.
I ran with Brad Coston and as we went under all the new 520 bridge construction he told me all about American Piledriving Equipment. Turns out they have some revolutionary technology and it sounds really green to me. They vibrate stuff into the ground instead of just pounding it. And I think Brad said all the hydraulics are filled with linseed oil making leaks a relative non-issue. This is the kind of progress I love.

Walking around the UW campus I see tons of bikes. I also see lots of victims of bike theft. Boo.

I also see some crazy bikes, like this one. Is that name supposed to appeal to customers?

04 March 2015

cardio | bike commute | run |urban MTB ride

A day of fitness!

Made it to the gym this morning for some elliptical trainer which I figured would not aggravate my hip (luckily I was correct) and then went for a short lunch run with Brad Coston and Frank Barber.

This run was an eye opener. Usually I'm the slow guy when I run with my friends. Well Brad and Frank are just getting into running so for a change I was the fast guy. It worked out perfectly as my hip was making noise even at a recovery pace and I was forced to go slower than I might otherwise have gone. Plus we talked a ton which was cool.

After work I rode over to my friend Tony Callen's house to meet him and a friend for one of Tony's urban MTB rides. It was a blast! Except I took some of the dirt sections too fast and fell down twice. :( No damage but I got home really dirty for having ridden in the city. :)

03 March 2015

bike commute

Another day of riding my bike to work! Impulsively I took the long way home up around Discovery Park and the Magnolia Bluff.

It was a beautiful day but boy were those hills tough on this bike...

NOTE - see what I did there? I blamed my lack of cycling fitness on my bike. :)

My sit bones are also kind of tender. Who would have thought I would get that out of cycling shape?

02 March 2015

bike commute

Today was my first commute by bicycle in months! I rode to my doctor (Oren Townsend) on the way to work and then home.

I went to see Oren to try and sort out this hip issue I've had for the last couple of weeks. On the up side he said that if I have a hernia it's a very small one. He noticed a tendon/ligament that was much tighter on my right side than on the left so he recommended I take it easy for a week and take Ibuprofen for that time as well. If the Ibuprofen helps, it's probably not a hernia, if it does not we'll proceed with an ultrasound.

Riding my bike was so much fun! I got some new tires that feel awesome but they are much larger than what I used to use which in a single speed mean a larger gear... the hills are harder. :( But I'm also not used to this so I'll give it time.

01 March 2015

Seattle Running Club Chuckanut 30k training run

Oh MAN did it feel good to be out in the woods again but my right hip did NOT cooperate. I was not comfortable. It made itself known pretty much from the start and just kept getting worse as the day wore on, especially on the descents which is a giant shame as I love to go downhill.

Luckily it was a super day! The weather was awesome, the trails were in great shape and I ended up connecting with Steven Kent and Michael Linscott who lucky for me were fresh off a 50-mile race so we were the same speed. It's so fun to have company.