Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hooked on a Feeling

You ever get that feeling that you are totally slacking even though really you are basically keeping up on your workouts and sticking to your schedule? For some reason I’ve had that feeling since my birthday week. Am I possibly just suffering from the effects of old age? Am I just feeling like I am not reaching my full potential now that I’m out of my 20’s? Would I feel better about myself if I bought a new, um, well not a new car since I don’t really ever drive, but, let’s say a new, uh, ah hell, I dunno; how about a new – set – of –tires? For my bike? LAME-O. Or maybe if I just started getting back out to the pool then I wouldn’t feel like I’ve been slacking – huh, go figure.

Anyway – so yeah, I haven’t been out to the pool since before my birthday and I’ve missed a couple of short runs (which admittedly isn’t that big of a deal and it was probably better for me to miss them and do something fun). I’m planning on getting out to the pool after work today and Thursday which will put me back on the right track mentally.

Coming up this weekend is the Eugene Half Marathon which both Jen and I are running. Right now there is a 40% chance of rain for race day but I’ve learned that in the Spring in Oregon the standard operating procedure is to start the week with a forecast of doom and gloom then lighten it up as the days go by. So for all I know it is actually going to be sunny and in the mid 70’s on race day even though now it looks like mid 50’s and raining.

This last weekend Jen and I rode 26ish miles in Forest Park (20 miles in the park, 6 to and from) on Sunday and on Saturday we went out to Hagg Lake for a run. We started out on the trail which lasted for all of a mile when we decided that running on the road would be a much better option since neither of us was in the market for a twisted ankle, a broken wrist, or any other fall related injuries. So after my first mile at 11:47 we hit the road and I was able to get in 10 hilly miles with an AP of 7:46 for those 10 miles. I finished off the run with a 6:44 mile; it was a solid run overall and it will be nice to get back out there for more training runs and rides in the coming months. The single track would also be fun to ride sometime as well.

Speaking of riding single track – I am leaning more and more towards buying a pair of mtb shoes and pedals. When I’ve been up riding in Forest Park my feet are constantly sliding around whenever I hit a bumpy section which totally throws off my balance which leads to me keeping a death grip on my handlebars. I need to get the bike in for a quick tune-up sometime soon so maybe I’ll have them throw some pedals on there as well – although it’s more likely that I’ll balk at paying for them and just end up bitching about it for a few more months.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Getting Caught Up

Well it’s been a while since I updated but that’s not due to a lack of things going on; more just because I haven’t really had time to sit down and type anything out.

Last Thursday I turned 30 and celebrated with some friends at one of our neighborhood spots. It was a lot of fun thanks to the organizational capabilities of my beautiful wife.

Speaking of the cutie; she started her new job today and from the short report I received a while ago it sounds like she had a great day. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it this evening.

Sunday morning Jen and I walked across the river to line up for the Bridge to Brews 10k which started at the wonderful time of 9:00 which allowed us to sleep in a bit. It was a beautiful day and I was fairly confident in my chances of breaking my old PR which I set in 2005 (55:24). My fastest mile was 6:41, the slowest 7:28 which included a 25-30 second hold up to let a train go by. Yeah, that’s right, a train. We were running along and I could hear it coming up behind us but I was still a good quarter mile from the crossing. As the train got closer people started dashing across the tracks and running along the crushed gravel on the far side of the tracks. There were actually people running in front of the train with only 15 or 20 feet to spare. I saw one guy turn back only when it was obvious the train was going to run him down. All I could think was, Really? I mean, none of us were in contention for first place and there was no prize money anyway, and let’s be honest; another day of living is worth much more than any race purse. Anyway, after waiting for the train to pass (it was only a passenger train) I finished the last mile and a half or so and came in at 43:13 for a 6:57 AP.

Race Stats: AG: 15/120 Males: 67/543 OA: 74/1243

Eugene is coming up fairly quickly (May 3rd) and I think I’m prepared both mentally and physically – I guess we’ll see where the cards fall come race day. This will be a tough PR to beat for sure.

The weather in Portland has been so awesome lately. We’ve had some days in the high 70’s, the leaves and flowers are coming out left and right, and the days are getting longer. I think sunset is at like 8:05 these days and will soon be closer to 9:00.

In misc. racing news I am now on a Hood to Coast team which I am pretty excited about. I don’t know what legs I will be running but I’m hoping that I get one of the really random times like 2am or something just for the experience (I’ll be running at least three legs so chances are I will have some random time for sure).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

People on the Track go Round and Round

After the race on Sunday I took Monday completely off and slept in then kicked back after work and enjoyed the nice weather. I've had a pretty good week so far and have been able to get in all my workouts even though a couple were changed around.

Tuesday morning I was up and on the trainer for an hour before work; I got in the big ring for a while but still tried to keep it pretty easy as I'm just starting to build a good bike base. That evening I was out at the pool for pm masters where I had a solid swim getting in 2,600 yards in the hour I was there.

Wednesday I decided to switch the schedule around and instead of running in the morning and swimming at night I decided to go to the track workout with Jen and Emily. Since it was my first track workout since, I dunno, 1995, I decided that I would just do a shortened version of Emily's workout. After a warm up mile and some drills to get our legs warmed up we headed out:

Warm up mile: 8:20
1200m: 4:30 (6:00 pace)
3:00 rest
400m: 1:08 (4:32 pace)
3:00 rest
1200m: 4:31 (6:00 pace)
3:00 rest
400m: 1:12 (4:48 pace)
3:00 rest
Two miles cool down: 16:27

Since I was supposed to swim Wednesday night I pushed that back to tonight which worked out great. I had a good break through at practice and really felt like my stroke was coming together. Granted it was only in little spurts but I could really feel when it felt right so now I know what to shoot for whenever I'm in the pool. This morning I was up for a trainer ride. I was supposed to ride for 1:45:00 but I ended up doing 1:20:00 - oh well, I wasn't too broken up over it.

Looks like rain in Portland this weekend which is a total surprise. I mean rain in Portland in April; whoda thunk it. Certainly not me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunshine on my Shoulders

Last week was great – I hit all my workouts, including swimming, and capped the week off by running the Race for the Roses half marathon with Jen on a beautiful Portland day.

Saturday was a weather preview for Sunday and we took full advantage of it. Jen and I got up and had a quick cup of coffee before heading over to the race expo to pick up our packets. There weren’t too many people there when we arrived so we grabbed our stuff then headed back to the west side to grab a bagel at Kettleman’s. After breakfast we strolled down to the river and met Emily who was walking back downtown from the expo. We walked along the waterfront and ended up grabbing some lunch at this little cafĂ© in the south waterfront called Bean & Tree. There were a lot of people and dogs out enjoying the day so we watched everyone walk by for a while then headed back up towards our neighborhood. After a quick stop at Whole Foods we got home and kicked back and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning I set my alarm for 5:05 so I would have time to get up and have some breakfast and coffee before heading out. I opted for a long sleeve shirt and shorts since I knew that even though it was going to be a nice day it would start out crisp and would likely only be in the 50’s by the time we finished the race. We walked across the river to the start and got there with about 20 minutes to spare. After a quick port-o-stop we checked our bag and I went for a quick warm up jog. Since I was running this race as a training run I planned on running the entire thing with Jen. It was a solid run for me with an AP of 8:01 (I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how “fun” it is going to be running approx :45 faster per mile in Eugene).

After the race we met up with Emily and our friends Deana and Dana and we waited around to see if Emily placed in her AG in the 5k. After the awards (Emily came in fourth) Deana, Dana, Jen, and I walked over to Starbucks and sat out in the sun enjoying a nice cup of coffee. It was such a nice day that we opted for walking home instead of hoping on MAX or taking the bus. We got home, changed clothes, and headed out to meet up with the Portland crew for brunch and cocktails at Mother’s Bistro. After brunch Emily, Jen, and I walked down to the waterfront and did some people-watching for a while before we headed home for a nap. Later that evening we were back outside heading over to a local Mexican joint for some dinner. By the time we got home (8:30ish) I was ready for bed.

Overall it was a great weekend – for a full recap and pics of the race and post-race activities check out Jen’s blog.

Here’s a recap of last week’s activities – I totally slacked on the push ups but two days of swimming in a row threw a Monkey Wrench in my plans:

Monday: 4.5 miles in pm with Jen and Emily – 8:38 AP; Push Ups: 160
Tuesday: Rode 60 minutes on the trainer before work
Wednesday: Ran five miles before work – 7:21 AP; Swam 2,200y at pm masters
Thursday: Rode 60 minutes on the trainer before work; Swam 2,000y at pm masters
Friday: NADA
Saturday: NADA (aka pre-race rest)
Sunday: Race for the Roses Half Marathon – 1:45:12 – 8:01 AP

Two weeks till the Bridge to Brews 10k, Four weeks till the Eugene HM.