Tuesday, March 31, 2009

City of Carson 9 miles

Current Mile total: 38 miles

Hello Coulumbia River Gorge!!
Jenn and I moved down to the river this last weekend and today I got to do my first run down in the gorge. I'm determined to get a balance of road and trails in my training and my first run started me off right.

The first thing I wanted to do was see where the road behind Venka's(our landlady) house goes. I knew it was steep but I was really in for a hard start. It was only 3/4 mile up to the end of the road but by the time I arrived my lungs were burning. I was also greeted by two Australian Shepards who promptly alerted their owner that I had arrived on their property. I turned around and criss-crossed the town in an attempt to accumulate my hour and an half of running. I purposely ran down a long hill and was surprised when upon returning to the top that I had been able to run faster uphill than compared to running against the wind on the flat road after that.

Othwerwise the run was pretty uneverntful. I was just nice to be running more rural roads for a change.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Heidi's Hills ~6 miles

Current Mile total: 29 miles

Tonight was my last run with my other running group, the Footzone club. We did the Heidi Hills workout. Finally some good weather here. Ran with Andy, Jill, Kathleen and Tim. It was 3 sets of 4 repeats. I held back for on the first two, running fast but not really sprinting. The last set I began to push myself. In this way and only this way I was able to take the lead for the last couple repeats. I know it foolish but I still can't seem to not be ultra competitive when it comes to sprinting. Immediately after the sprints as we headed back down the hill my right calf knotted up. So much so I thought I might not be able to walk. I was pretty worried but adjusted the way I ran and made it back without any injury. Afterward we headed over to Chipotle for dinner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Capital Hill 6 miles

Current Mile total: 23 miles

Tonight was my last run with SRC before the Gorge trip. I went a little early so I could buy a new pair of running shoes. Those shin splints are not just because I'm building too fast, I'm also running in old shoes. I've been avoiding buying new shoes because I'm broke. Well, not entirely, but I'm trying to save for our wedding and I hate wasting over $100 for a pair of shoes that I'll wear down in just 15 weeks. Oh well. That's how it goes. I ended up buying a pair of Mizuno Alchemy. Maybe it's because my old shoes were so bad but these new shoes are sooo soft. Hopefully my shin splints will go away now. The run was typical. Nothing really stood out. Just took it easy and did the mileage. At this point in my training I think that's all I can do. Just get the mileage in.

I'm starting to get really excited about the Gorge. It's just a few days away before a whole new world of trails opens up to me and with new shoes on my feet I think I'm finally in the right frame of mind to really start piling on the mileage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vancouver BC 5 miles

Current Mile total: 17 miles

This weekend Jenn and I traveled up to Vancouver to visited Mẹ(Vietnamese for mom). It's our last chance before we leave for the Columbia River to get fed so much we hate life. I decided to pack my running gear and remarkably I was able to muster the will power to get up on Saturday and run. I didn't run for long and I ran slowly at that. But I did get out. It was mostly road with just a small portion of trail. The route started out with about 3/4 flat and the took me down a long hill. Once down the hill it was a short run to the trail where I knew then was a very steep set of wooden stairs. I was able to climb to the top without stopping but I definitely got a strong workout. I turned around at the top and looked forward to the long climb back. I hung in there and never stopped up the long return. My second half ended up being about the same time as first which was nice considering all the downhill that was in the first. I did take it very slow going down the first decent to be sure not to aggravate the shin splints. I returned home to breakfast waiting for me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sammamish Trail 6 miles

Current Mile total: 12 miles

Tonight we ran a 15 minutes tempo run with a 2 mile warm-up. It was a pretty uneventful run. I decided to take it easy and not push myself too hard. I also ran on the grass as much as I could as I'm still battling slight shin splints. We ran out for 7 minutes 30 seconds and then back. I managed to real the one mile marker right before the turn around so I now know I'm running at least a 7:30 mile. This is actually not that bad but compared to everyone else in the group I feel terribly slow.

I almost didn't go out tonight because I was so tired from being out late the night before but I managed to suck it up and go anyway. I was happy that I made this choice as I think the run went well. Afterward a few of us went out to eat at Chipotle.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Capital Hill Birthday Run

Current Mile total: 6 miles

Ok, let's begin this season. We'll start counting the miles on Tuesday March 17th. I turned 35 and I have a gut. It's time to take a hard look in the mirror and realize that I'm really not the guy I was just a couple years ago. I've kept a blind eye on my waist and two wide eyes open during every meal. I guess that's how it starts. Well, it's got to stop.

I guess the young guy who took for granted a inherent slimness and inexhaustible metabolism is gone. I'm going to have to start really applying some elbow grease in my workouts. Um, I mean actually start doing a workout. And I don't mean running. I think this guy needs to start doing some push ups and sit ups. Booo. I've always hated exercise of any kind. I really don't consider running exercise. In fact, sports aren't exercise. Exercise is just a by-product. Exercise for the sake of exercise seems so unimaginative. Seems there's got to be something more fun that can target you muscles groups better than lifting weights. NO? But I suppose this is coming from a guy who doesn't have the drive(desire, potential etc.) to try winning a race.


Tuesday was cool. Lots of folks showed up for the Tuesday night run and drink at Barca afterward. Being that it was my birthday it was indeed extra special. The actual run was ok until the low uphill. My legs just were not recovered from Tiger yet and I had to walk through some of it.

Just one more week until the Gorge. I look for to getting a lot of running in and coming back to Seattle a rejuvinated runner.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tiger Mountain 2 hours

Current Mile total: ??

Hehe, Sometime soon I'll start thinking about my mile total again. Right now it's not much of a concern. The concern is just getting out there. And I have been, to some degree, getting back out there but it's been slow going.

Saturday I met with Jim and Andy and we climbed Tiger Mountain. The conditions were pretty undesirable. Mid 40s and raining. I was grossly unprepared for the day. It wasn't raining on the west side and comparatively speaking it was warmer than it had been in days so I wore shorts. I doubled up on with a long tech shirt and a sleeveless one. I also had gloves but it would turn out to be not nearly enough.

We started at Andy and Malia's after a few minutes of hanging out. I got a tour of the new addition to the Bechtel house. And Penny decided to christen their beautiful wood floor with a pile of Penny poo. Aaaawwwwkward.

They live right at the base of Tiger Mountain and have the luxury of running right out their front door and up to the trails. So up we went. It started out fine, a little cold but running kept me warm. At up we went. And up. And up some more. Jim took an impressive lead up the climb and Andy wasn't too far behind him. The first leg of the climb I never stop which felt good even though I went really slow. If I learned anything from all the trail running a couple years ago it was that walking at any time up the hill will crush your spirit. It's always best to keep running no matter how slow. Well, at least that's what works for me. Andy was walking /running and still managed to be minutes ahead of me on the climb.

Then we hit snow. And it was really tough to climb. With little traction I was forced to hike and my spirit was crushed. For the rest of the climb it was walk/run. But then we finally got to the top and it was gorgeous. It was snowing and a foot of fresh snow covered the ground. Once my heart rate leveled out I was unsatisfied with being in the back. I politely asked Jim if he minded scooting aside so I might pass but Jim humorously decided this was smack talking. Once in front I was in my element. This is the type of running I live for.

I guess I'm just a weirdo but being in extreme conditions with two dogs running at my feet, snow covered branches whipping at my arms and legs turns me into something primal. I start running like I'm being chased. My adrenaline rushes and I run faster and harder than I should be. My feet land instinctively into the snow without the knowledge of what lies below. I keep a fast turnover rate so that I never put too much weight on either leg at any time. My legs take on crazy positions as I pivot into my next line. It is me running and being a good animal. And there's little in this world that makes me feel more alive.

After a while I am soaked from all the snow that I've run through. And now I need to keep running as fast as I can to keep my temperature up. We finally come to the descent and it's very technical. I've only done this route before going up and it's too steep to run. Rocks and roots. With today's conditions it is potentially a dangerous descent. SO what do I do. Throw caution to the wind and run it fast. I was grabbing on to trees as I went down. Once out of the rocky portion we entered a snowy section again and now it was like skiing. There were moments when I was sliding for six or seven feet at a time. I loved it. In a matter of no more than 10 minutes of descent I managed to gain five minutes on my fellow runners. I waited at an intersection for them and beagn to freeze. The dogs had come down with me and I got a little nervous because Maile wasn't sure what to do. She ran off back up the trail as I tried to get her to stay with me. Eventually the caught up and we continued down. Once we got down to the flats again it was back of the line for me. I may be a crazy guy who loves downhills but I'm still not in any shape to be running for more than a couple hours. And with all that crazy primal running I had nothing left for the remainder.

I really enjoyed this run. It probably wasn't a good run in the training sense but who cares. Why does there need to be a goal to running. Can't just enjoying the run itself be the goal? If it is, then I achieved my goal that day.