Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I came back from my lunch run today to find this little gift aka "reminder" sitting on my chair....YIKES!!

I can't believe Boston is a little over 3 weeks out. It's definitely going to be a tough day out there with my serious drop in mileage the last month. This whole heel / plantar fasciitis issue blew up right at the wrong time. I'm going to try and get in one or two more 20 milers before the end of this month...while trying to nurse this heel / PF issue.

Exciting times ahead!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm Still Buzzing.....

I took a 4 day break from training but had a great reason since Deb was in town! :-)
Rather then do the typical running around Portland, we loaded up the car and took a quick hit and run tour of Seattle. We were only there for a day and a half but were able to pack alot in walking all over downtown and Queen Anne. Seattle is definitely a cool town with a cool vibe. We stayed in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle and that's where it all started....

My quest to try EVERY good coffeeshop in Seattle.....yeaah!

You can rationalize anything and my excuse to take the brakes off the whole moderation thing was the "vacation" excuse....come'on who hasn't used that one right? Another triple shot, non-fat mocha? Why not, I'm on vacation!

While I didn't end up having the time to try every coffee shop in Seattle, I can give a thumbs up to the following Seattle bean shops:

Uptown Espresso
Caffe Ladro
Caffe Zingaro
Espresso Vivace

We also found some good food up there as well. Phuket for cheap & GREAT Thai food (try the Pineapple Curry Fried Rice- YUM) right in Queen Anne, breakfast at the Portage Bay Cafe in the University District, sushi at Blue C Sushi in the republic of Fremont.

I also got to check out a couple tri shops...Jessi's shop (Triumph Multisport) is the bomb! I did the mystery shopper thing and didn't mention Jessi (in case I said / did anything embarrassing - ha) and all the guys there were still great. It would definitely rate as one of the top 2-3 tri shops I've been to for the great no-attitude vibe. They even offered Deb a beer since it was Friday and they were getting ready to close..nice! A ton of stuff IN STOCK too...don't think I've had the opportunity to check out such a large selection of toys in one location...zipp, blackwell, etc etc..very cool. I checked out another tri-shop in town but it paled in comparison..nuff said.

We headed back to PDX Saturday and had dinner with Steven and Karen at the Rock Creek Tavern. Nothing like some good beers and burgers with good friends! We were feeling crazy and even had the cajun tots (Steven's idea..had to point that out!)...but pretty darn tasty! Trust me, if you go there..try the tots and get them "cajunized".

Deb and I also got to try some good eats in Portland..Ken's Artisan Pizza, Sushi Land, and a nice wine bar...Vino Paradiso.

Of course I had to hit Stumptown Coffee too...a bit partial to the good stuff right here in Portland...
Sheez, I'm still buzzing with all the caffeine in the last 4 days! ;-)

Deb had to head back to Cali too soon but glad we got to spend some time together! Now it's time to detox and get back on the wagon! ;-)

I can't leave you without a small training update...I'm finally getting in some more swimming / cycling and the blood lactate running test went pretty well last week. I had to do intervals on a treadmill set at a 1.5% incline with a .5mph increase in treadmill speed every 5 minutes. A blood sample was taken between each 5 minute interval. I started at 7.5mph on the treadmill and worked up to 10.5mph. Nothing like getting poked every 5 minutes and then having to hop back on the treadmill! I don't have the HR results yet but was able to push it a bit higher on the upper end. I lasted for 4 minutes at a 5:40 pace after ramping it up thru 5 minutes intervals starting at 8:00 pace. Things got real interesting once I hit 6:40 and had to work thru 6:19 / 6:00 pace. After feeling pretty good at 6 min pace, the 5:40 pace was SERIOUS work. At that point, the seconds were just dragging and I was pretty surprised I made it for 4 minutes although, like usual, I ended up second guessing whether I could have gone a bit harder...a bit longer...oh well. Back in December, I only lasted around a minute at the 5:40 pace but not sure that really means anything. I know I was carrying more run fitness a couple months ago.

Ok..enough of this loooooooooooong post.

Hope all is well out there!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

This Isn't The Time To Stop Pushing....

I had a good week of training..not great...but good. Something about trying to incorporate the "other stuff" along with running to get you good and tired! Overall, it wasn't too bad though. It seems as though my body has good "memory" in picking up where I left off about 7 months ago! ;-)

We had a cool blog-meet on Saturday with Jessi. She was in town to pre-ride the course at Hagg Lake (Age Group Nationals) and gave Steven and I a nice reality check for where we are NOT on the bike. Sheez, we were thinking moderate workout but as soon as she got in the aeros, we were working pretty hard to stay with her as she was going 22++ mph (she's definitely got an engine!). She must have felt sorry for us and avoided her aerobars for all of the second loop? (Sorry Jessi!) Still a great workout and we had a nice 30 min transition run after the bike. Tom (her man) was a really cool guy too. She was going to be racing today so hopefully that went well after the hilly bike / run on Saturday! The best part of the workout was dinner at Steven's of the pluses of working out later in the day is getting back to his house around dinner time! Karen was weaving her magic in the kitchen and they were nice enough to invite me in for a YUMMY dinner and a beer. BIG THANKS Steven / Karen!

I did manage to get in 6 runs and 4 bike workouts this week. The bummer is that the run mileage has come way down with me barely hitting 40 miles this week (even though I ran 6 times!!) so I definitely need to get in the longer stuff with Boston on the radar. I wasn't feeling too great for the run today, I was glad it wasn't raining but I was pretty much done at about the 14 mile mark of my 16 mile run when I got a nice lift from my tunes. It's amazing how music can transform a workout and I got this great blast from the past while in shuffle mode on my ipod....just in time too. DB was brilliant back in the day...anyone remember this video? Come-on, we all walked around karate-chopping our arm to that one! Great stuff

Also had to share the following advert...pretty cool in that I'm sure we can all relate to "those voices" in our head. Self-doubt. The message is universal and definitely transcends the whole silly running theme of the advert. What's that Henry Ford quote? Something to the effect of "whether you think you can or can't, you're right!"

We all have more potential then we realize- keep pushing people!


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Today was a good day....

My training this weekend had a rough start with my run on Saturday. I took off from home and was just clicking along until I got to right around the 3 mile mark and was hit with the same heel issue from a couple weeks ago. The pain was bad enough to force me to stop and decide that I better cut this run short. It definitely was NOT a fun 3 miles on the way home. A couple weeks ago, I had assumed it was being caused by worn out shoes but I just swapped out to a new pair last week so I'm thinking it was my orthotics. I had a great podiatrist down in SoCal and would make annual visits to replace my orthotics but since I moved up to Oregon I just haven't made the time to find a really good doc. I realized my orthotics are about 3 years old now- not good!

Just to test the orthotics theory, I went for a run this morning (i know stoopid taking chances) but I used a pair of Nike Cesiums which have "orthotic-like" stability built right into the shoe. It is pretty lightweight vs. typical motion control shoes, especially when you consider the weight of a typical MC shoe plus the custom orthotic. My run was great...very minimal heel pain and that wasn't until I was around the 10 mile mark and it probably had more to do with the damage I did yesterday running with blown out orthotics. I ended up running an aerobic 13.1 miles over a rolling course with a couple good hills.

13.1 miles

After the run, I got a quick bite to eat and then ended up doing a "reverse-brick" by heading out on the bike. Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've only been on the bike twice this year (including today) and I was paying for it. But it was nice to get out there and get shelled. It was only 2.5 hours spinning in the small ring the whole way but it kicked my butt- I was loving it though! I was able to check out the old familiar route including the spot where I took a header over the aerobars going 20mph+ last year! *note to self - be more careful this year!*

41.5 miles
2.5 hours

So here's a picture of my bat cave where I keep all the bikes...except for the new one..she gets to stay inside for awhile! ;-) You can never have too many eh? But I've kept it down to what makes sense...allow me to justify!
You have to have a mountainbike in your stable for the dirty stuff, the crossbike with fenders for the wet stuff, the roadbike for the base miles, and the dedicated computrainer bike in a nice anodized purple if you can find it (obviously I did)! The KM40 has been sold so that one doesn't even count...not to bad eh?

The best thing about the ride today was the fact that I got to ride this bike.

I know, you'r thinking so what right? Notice it doesn't have fenders? YES, Mother Nature blessed us with sunny weather on a weekend!! I took full advantage of it and I'm glad I did since we have rain on the forecast for the next week! ugh!

I hope you all were out there making your adventures happen!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lab Rat

This week has just flown by...actually the whole month of February seems to be a blur looking back. I can't believe it's almost been a month since I've ran the marathon or any long run for that matter. I think my longest run has been 12 miles since the race on 2/4 so I'm planning to make one more push of solid training before Boston on 4/16. I'll have enough time for a 4 week push with a 2 weeek race taper. Here we go again.

While the longer stuff has been sorely lacking, I have pushed up the intensity on my regular runs to make up for the duration issue. I figure there are two ways to "stoke the fire" at this point...either distance or intensity and with a million things going on, it's easier to get in the intensity. It's all good.

In other news, I've been quite the lab rat at work this week with 2 trips into the NSRL (Nike Sport Research Lab). I make myself available whenever they need volunteers since it is pretty interesting stuff and you never know what they may be testing. The first test was pretty interesting and involved shoes. They were testing the cushioning of 4 different shoes so I ended up having to run through a section of high speed cameras while they had sensors on the shoe and my leg. It had to be at a 7 min pace so had to get that dialed in but did 4-5 passes with each shoe....not sure what the results were...they are pretty tight-lipped about that stuff.

The second test involved garment testing so had to run 4 x 10 minutes on a treadmill at a 8min pace while they took my HR / V02...definitely sub threshold so not sure what they were measuring but I did get something out of my services. The two conducting this test said they would squeeze me into the lab for a blood lactate / Anaerobic Threshold ramp test with the typical protocol so that I can dial in my running zones- SWEET!! I'll be heading in for that testing in a couple weeks so looking forward to getting some accurate training zones based on lactate levels vs. the older zones I've been using.

We're almost there people...have a great weekend!