Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Tale of Two Zachs

Well it's official - Jen and I are moving to Portland at the end of August. We've been talking about moving for a couple years now but it's always been "in May" and when May rolls around we have a variety of reasons for sticking it out for another year, mainly the races we have coming up in the summer. When Jen was laid off a few weeks ago it got me thinking that this might be a good chance to take the plunge and move away from the Bay Area. We had been talking about moving to Boulder or to San Diego but when we thought about it neither of those really seemed to jump out at us. Boulder is getting expensive, it's a pretty small town, and we don't know anyone. San Diego is great for tri training, weather, and my Dad and Step-Mom live there; however, it's just as expensive as the Bay Area, there are tons of people, and really it's pretty much the same as living where we do now. A few weeks ago Jen went up to Portland to visit her best friend Deana and she mentioned that she thought Portland was cool. I was born there and have always liked it - the skiing is much closer than it is here (1 hour vs. 3.5 hours), it is a bike friendly city, it is a fit city, and the tri scene is just starting to develop which might offer some opportunities to get involved more than I have here. So when Jen lost her job I said "let's move" and here we are. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous, change is always a bit hard for me - I take a day or ten to get used to a new chair at work so a move like this is a big thing. This takes us to the story of the two Zachs:

Conservative Zach is worried that this move is going to be tough financially - he's known for saying things like "I need to get a job right away even if it's something I don't like" and "How are we going to afford to do X" and "I don't know if I can give up my current lifestyle". Conservative Zach is prone to keeping the status quo because that's the easiest thing to do. Living in California has been good for conservative Zach - he has a job that is a means to an end, aka pays well and lets him do things he wants to, he has his running and cycling routes, a masters team he enjoys swimming with, and a couple buddies he enjoys hanging out with from time to time. Conservative Zach knows that the move is going to happen but he can't help but look at everything in a worse case scenario view - what if the apartment in CA doesn't rent out right away and we have to pay for an extra month, what if we have to move into a smaller apartment and it isn't as nice as our current one, what if, what if, what if.

Fuck it, let's roll the dice Zach thinks things will work out and we might as well have fun while we can. He says things like "It would be cool to have a couple chill jobs that pay the bills but still let me do the things I want to do - aka ski, triathlon, backpack, and just enjoy life". He doesn't worry about things cause what the fuck is the point - we're young, don't have kids or a mortgage, and we can scrimp by for a few months if we need to. He is fond of saying "when you are lying on your deathbed you aren't going to look back and think - man I wish I had more money - NO! you're going to think, man I lived such an awesome life and did some awesome shit!" This Zach knows that if he follows his heart things will work out in the end. He knows he is responsible and when the time comes he will be sure he provides for his wife and kid(s) but right now is the time to enjoy life, not to live like some old fuddyduddy and not have any fun.

As we get closer to the move these two Zachs are finding some common ground - they are looking for jobs that are interesting and will pay pretty well. Accounting/Finance jobs are out for now - Investment management jobs are in. They know that if they have to get a job they can work in a bakery or at a bike shop but if they have to be somewhere everyday it might as well be something that pays well and offers the opportunity to move up. Conservative Zach learned something from FILRTD Zach and that was that they both like jobs that award ambition. They don't like working in an office that doesn't give a shit how hard you work and just thinks you are there to fill a cube. They want a job that is fulfilling and rewarding and conducive to ambition. They both agree that being able to drive an hour to ski is pretty awesome and that having numerous opportunities to backpack is pretty sweet as well. Both Zach's are excited about the emerging tri community in Portland and they are looking forward to being involved in it - maybe they will end up putting a race together in the next couple of years, who knows?

Four and a half weeks left in California, after that it's new running routes, new cycling routes, new swimming places, new everything - I'll end this post with some pictures.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Swimming, Less Running

I decided to play last week by feeling since my knee acted up during the HM. What that ended up meaning was that I did 0 running but swam 9,550 yards, about 2,550 more than I had planned on swimming. I manged to get in two short rides (14mi each) which wasn't too bad considering I took three days completely off.

So far this week I've ran four miles and rode 14 - I was planning on swimming yesterday but had some meetings at work and was not able to make it. I'm planning on going today, tomorrow, and Thursday, and possibly swimming a 1 mile OWS on Saturday.

For some reason I feel like I've fallen out of the workout groove the last couple of weeks. I'm not really sure why but for some reason I've just felt like taking it easy - I guess you've just got to go with the flow and not push yourself too hard.

Jen is heading out of town this weekend so I'm solo for the workouts. That actually works out well since I was planning on doing a brick on Sunday and the swim on Saturday. Since she is in her taper for the HIM she wouldn't go with me anyway. This will also give me some time to kick back with a book and a cigar and maybe go check out The Dark Knight or Hellboy II - or maybe both.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jungle Run Pics

Jen out on the course:

Co-worker Tim at the half-way mark:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jungle Run Race Report

Sunday morning I was up at 5:05am to eat a quick bite, get dressed, and head down to Los Gatos for the Jungle Run. Jen was doing this event as a training run but I was shooting for a PR. More importantly, I had convinced a co-worker to train for and run the race and from the sounds of it he was going to be running a pretty fast pace. I knew that if I wasn’t able to beat him I would be hearing about it at the office for a few days so that was in the back of my mind leading up to race day. I “trained” for the event but with my tri training going on at the same time I knew I hadn’t done quite as much running as I would have with a run focused plan.

We arrived at the start around 6:15 (7:00am start time) so I had some time to walk around, hit up the port-o-john, and find Tim my co-worker. Jen, Tim, and I stood around for a while talking then headed over to the start and lined up. It wasn’t a huge race so there were no pace signs for people to line up at. We got in the middle of the pack and wished each other good luck before the gun went off and we headed out on the course.

The first quarter mile has a steep hill that was full of people due to it being so close to the start. This was probably a good thing since it forced me to keep a slow steady jog while we ascended. After a couple hundred feet the hill leveled out and the crowds started parting so I was able to settle into a comfortable pace. My first mile came in at 8:31 then fell to around 7:45 for the next two miles. At mile four I noticed I had picked up to a 7:36 so I made an effort to slow it down a bit then pick up the pace again around mile six. At mile five I saw that I had slowed to a 7:54 and right about that time I was passed by my co-worker Tim. I fell in-step behind him, ditched the water bottle I had been carrying, and paced him for the next mile. At the six mile mark I ate a Gu (Vanilla Bean), took a drink of water, and kicked it up a bit to pass Tim.

For the next few miles I averaged in the low 7:40’s and thought that once I was at mile 10 or 11 I would try to pick up the pace a bit. Turns out that at mile 10 the trail follows a slow steady incline for the next mile and a half so I just maintained my pace until the turn around to head back down the incline. Once I hit the turn around my knee really started bothering me. Every time I put weight on it a pain would shoot through my leg; I really thought I was going to have to stop. Right about this point I saw Tim heading up the trail towards the turn around and that gave me the push I needed to keep going. I did stop once to rub my knee (probably about 10 seconds) then I took off for the finish line.

The finish was on the high school track so we ran into the stadium for one loop around the track to the finish line. I passed a couple of people in this last stretch then hit the finish line. My previous HM PR was 1:47:27 – my time at the Jungle Run: 1:40:42, a new PR!!! AP for the race was 7:41.

1:40:42 – 7:41AP – 12th of 67 in AG – 79th of 757 OA

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jungle Run Here I Come

The Jungle Run HM is this Sunday; seems like I just started training for it a couple weeks ago. I've missed a couple short runs here and there but I think my cycling has made up for the misses as far as leg strength goes. I started thinking about my goals for the race last night and based on what I have run in training they seem reasonable - granted anything can happen on race day but at least I don't have to worry about getting a flat tire :)

A Goal: 1:45:00
B Goal: sub 1:47:00
C Goal: sub 1:50:00

Perfect day, perfect conditions, perfect everything dream goal: Sub 1:40:00

I'm planning on going out strong but steady for the first four miles then picking it up for the next five miles and racing the last four. Jen is running it with me so I know starting with her will help since she has much better pace control than I do.

Now that Jen isn't working and is more confident on the bike she has been doing some of her HIM training on her own which has freed me up to focus on the August 10th Sprint in Santa Cruz. I feel like I've been slacking a bit on my training and eating so this week I'm focused on completing all my workouts and eating right. Yesterday I took a long lunch and went to masters with Jen which was great - it's nice to be out in the sun for a while and to get a workout in at the same time. Best of all I can shower right after and get back to the office.

We skipped the 5k on fourth of July and went to masters instead - neither of us was feeling the race that day and why pay the $$ if you aren't in the mood to run hard. That evening we went to a party with some masters folks (one of our coaches was hosting it and it was her birthday) and had a great time. We walked over to the park at dark and watched the fireworks then headed back to her house for some more drinking and then more drinking. She gave us a wine and scotch "clinic" which was cool - I've never been a big scotch fan but some of them were pretty good.

So far this week I have ran six miles, swam two miles, and rode 25 miles. Tonight I think I will just lift some weights at home since I don't have anything else on the schedule. The rest of the week looks like this:

Wed: Run 6mi in am - 4mi Tempo; swim masters at lunch
Thurs: Ride 25mi in am; swim masters at lunch
Fri: Run 4mi easy in am (optional); OWS after work
Sat: off or possible masters in am
Sun: Jungle Run