Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 25 - December 31

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 3:01:29 Distance: 21.21 mi. Vertical: 1,424 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:00:30 Distance: 7.07 mi. Vertical: 475 ft.

2011 has wrapped up and I'm proud to say that I feel accomplished. For the past six years I've either been riding the injured bus or not running (purely because I didn't want to), but this year all of that changed. I don't know whether I've just never taken too much note of my yearly progressions or if each day I'm getting a clear understanding of the beauty of hindsight. My thoughts are organizing themselves unselfishly and I'm relating my day-to-day experiences with thoughts and ideas of what I want to accomplish in the future. The year brought to fruition my need to get back into running, and I have. This year (2012), I'd like to make some progress toward getting my foot-speed back all the while keeping my new-found love of the mountains and vertically inclined miles at the forefront of training.

Oddly, I feel like I'm paralleling a high school athlete. 2011 was (past tense, now. Kind of strange.) my Freshman year, and I had some success. No records, no wins, but a steady ascent up the overall finishers ladder. 2012 is (present tense. Whoa, even stranger) my Sophomore year and I'm starting to smell the blood in the water. I'm hungry for the win, for the speed, but I'm still going to be more cautious than aggressive. I've got a few races on the chalkboard, but nothing written in permanent marker, yet. Hilton Head Half Marathon is looking more and more like my first race of 2012. All you Georgia and South Carolina followers and friends be sure to be there or at least around for some training runs mid-February.

There's nothing more satisfying than running the numbers. Truthfully, getting to look back on the year so easily is why I enjoy a GPS-enabled watch (Garmin 405 & Garmin 610). I'm sure that statement is going to open the doorway for the, "GPS isn't accurate" cult. I wonder if they partner with the 'shoes hurt people' cult? This really isn't making me any friends. Don't take offense, folks.

Month (2011)TimeDistance (mi.)Vertical (ft)
February24:46:43167.8618,935Sweetheart Half-Marathon
March11:33:3174.068,540Thrill in the Hills Half-Marathon
April10:46:1359.994,468Sweetwater 50k
July20:41:49121.1517,805Cougar Mtn. 10-miler
October29:02:11171.5628,666Cougar Mtn. 50k

As you can see, for about four months of 2011 I wasn't running very much. March and April due to a strange Achilles 'injury' that left me unable to wear even socks it was so tender. No tear, no swelling, no bruising. Just an unbelievably sensitive to the touch spot. In May I tackled moving 3,000 miles Northwest from Atlanta, Georgia to Seattle, Washington and running was placed on the 'not so important' priority list, and June was a "I'm thinking about training again" month. Hindsight, I should have picked the running up in May, but that can't be changed. Aside from location, my running took a turn for the vertical. Check out the Vertical column: <Georgia> Jan - Apr, 56,129 ft. <Washington> Jul -Oct,  124,739 ft. a difference of 68,610. Now, I think it's valid to say that things are bit skewed because of the injury in Georgia; however, even if I maintained January's total vertical gain through April, an estimated total of 96,744 ft., there's still a difference of 27,995 ft. Clearly a marked change. This change has proven to be the catalyst I needed to fuel the fire within.

2012 should be a great year. Like I said earlier, I don't have too many things planned. I do want to keep running consistently for the sake of just running. Everything else: races, adventures, etc., should just fall into place. Happy Trails

Here are a few of my favorite pics/vids from 2011: (leave some comments if you agree/disagree)
"A full moon over Joshua Tree"

Two days fresh into my big move from Georgia to Washington. Yeah, I've never seen this much snow in my life, and clearly this is evident. Jeans, short sleeves, and an ice ax (why did I even own this in Georgia?)

Poulsbo, WA. "Almost Famous 2"
Somewhere on the Lake Washington Trail...just too funny .

Heading up Bandera Mountain

Kendall Katwalk

Pearl Izumi Kissaki Shoe Review

This review has moved to a NEW site:

Pearl Izumi Kissaki Review!pearl-izumi-kissaki-running-shoe-review/c1ujw

Sorry for any inconvenience, but we know you'll enjoy the new layout. Thanks,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 18 - December 24

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 7:30:35 Distance: 52.01 mi. Vertical: 6,414 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:04:22 Distance: 7.43 mi. Vertical: 916 ft.

Another great week of running. I love the end of the year. The air is always cold, the trails are generally empty, and for whatever reason I get into running, again. Not that I really ever vacated the running scene, but there has been a noted nonchalance attitude when it comes to training, but that's slowly starting to drift away like a deserted ship at sea. I'm just really getting into the ebb and flow of structured training. I've had two solid weeks of 50+ miles, and although I'm going to take a 'rest week' next week I'm confident that I've retained enough fitness from last season to start training a little bit faster. I'm super cautious, and sometimes I think it's a weakness, but in-the-end my cautiousness is paralleled with patience. I'm starting to tack-on a few nags, mainly a left Achilles soreness, and right leg shin splint, so the drastically reduced mileage next week should take care of the healing. Hopefully I can get out the last two shoe reviews (Pearl Izumi Kissaki and Skechers GoRun), next week. I've been so caught up in the high of running that the computer screen is a distraction that can wait.

Sunday, December 18 ~ Home Loop + 5 miles
Distance:10.17 mi.
Vertical:576 ft.
Base Run...and the 'running high' continues. I don't know what's going on but times are dropping and heart rate is staying the same. Mad props to my body. I think I'll treat it to a beer, now.

Monday, December 19 ~ Squak Mtn.
Distance:9.39 mi.
Vertical:3,386 ft.
Base Run. Gave the shoes an early Christmas gift (new bright red shoe laces) and unleashed them for an easy double ascent of Squak Mtn. Glided up to West Peak first, descended to May Valley, and pushed up the Fire Road to Central Peak descending quickly down to SR 900 and the car.

Tuesday, December 20 ~ Rest/Off Day
Had some very centered shin pain from yesterday's ascents and descents on Squak Mtn. Decided to take an off day today.

Wednesday, December 21 ~ Coal Creek YMCA X 2 (Run #1)
Distance:6.46 mi.
Vertical:647 ft.
Base Run. Took yesterday off because my shin had some centralized soreness from Monday's mountain run on Squak Mtn. Today, the shin felt much better, but there's still a slight annoyance. I cut the run at 6.5, will probably run tonight, and I'll stay off the mountains for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, December 21 ~ Home Loop (Run #2)
Distance:3.18 mi.
Vertical:89 ft.
Recovery Run. Crappy cotton gloves didn't cut it, tonight. My hands were cold enough they hurt. Lesson learned. Compared to this morning's run, tonight's run felt like the running high I've been on. Good to be back, ha? Shin is feeling better with each run. Saucony Hattori's are magic.

Thursday, December 22 ~ Lake Young 'Counter-clockwise' (Run #1)
Distance:9.10 mi.
Vertical:741 ft.
Tempo Run. What started out turned as an easy base run turned quickly into an enjoyable tempo run. Started with an 8 min/mi and finished with an earned 6:17 min/mi. Positively, the last couple of miles are entirely uphill and they turned out to be the fastest. It was a good mostly negative split day.

Thursday, December 22 ~ Home Loop (Run #2)
Distance:3.15 mi.
Vertical:96 ft.
Recovery Run. A very slippery frost has rested invisibly on top of the asphalt and sidewalks, but with some quick steps I avoided falling. Flailing arms and legs mimicking a scene from "Singing in the Rain" hopefully brought a smile to onlookers. Everything felt great, tonight.

Friday, December 23 ~ Lake Youngs 'Clockwise'
Distance:10.56 mi.
Vertical:878 ft.
Recovery Run. Two loops, two days; I think tomorrow I'll run somewhere else. Great run in the cool (but not cold) wet atmosphere of the Pac-Northwest. Legs were slow moving, but Debbie O. and Brock O. kept the conversation up and eventually I felt like I was fluidly running and not forcing my legs to move. Good choice on the recovery pace.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 11 - December 17

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 9:22:09 Distance: 57.21 mi. Vertical: 9,497 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:20:18 Distance: 8.17 mi. Vertical: 1,357 ft.

Thursday night I looked at my training log and was shocked to see 48 miles and 8,500'+ because I really felt like I haven't been running. Well, fatigue-wise I haven't felt like I had been running. My good mood day-in and day-out certainly is a product of the 48 miles of therapy. It's tough work to stay sane, that's for sure. Every run was really really fun, excluding almost chocking to death on car fumes. It's been one of those weeks that goes down as one of the best weeks of the year. I'm just ecstatic about feeling so well. Hopefully this lasts for a couple of weeks. It's been slightly warmer (not above 45 F, though, haha) than last week and I've found myself overdressed, which is a rarity, for the weather. Overheating on a run is awful. I'd much rather be cold. After all, you can always run faster to heat up. I am finding that carrying a vest when I'm going to play on my background mountains (Cougar Mtn., Squak Mtn., and Tiger Mtn.) is always a good idea.
Also, I added a Shoe Review Page, a Social Media Page, a Facebook Page, and a Youtube Channel check 'em out and share. Any creative people that want to drop some ideas about fun things for me to write about, film, or photograph leave me some comments. By the way, this week's shoe review: Pearl Izumi Kissaki...get excited.

Scroll down for two videos and some photos.

Sunday, December 11 ~ South Tiger Mtn.
Time: 1:15:07
Distance: 7.17 mi.
Vertical: 1,702 ft.

Base Run. Circumnavigated South Tiger Mtn., today. Just an absolute blast. Now that I know the loop I'll definitely go back to run it with a little more speed. The snow flurries at the top made for a winter-perfect trail run.
Check out Uphill Running's Youtube Channel

Monday, December 12 ~ Home Loop
Time: 1:01:46
Distance: 8.01 mi.
Vertical: 473 ft.

Base Run. I think I must be really sensitive to car fumes when it's cold. Today's run, just felt a lot harder than it should have; especially when there were heavy amounts of traffic. Kind of crazy

Tuesday, December 13 ~ Cougar Mtn.
Time: 1:43:15
Distance: 8.77 mi.
Vertical: 2,768 ft.
Base Run. Three ascents of Wilderness Peak, today, from three different directions. The trail was pseudo-frozen, temps started at 37 and dropped the entire run. A first for me, outside of 3 ascents in one day, there is a small evergreen decorated with beads and ornaments in the middle of the woods. Strangely fitting. 1st ascent: Squak-Cougar Connector - Wilderness Peak TR. 2nd ascent: Shy Bear TR - Wilderness Creek TR. 3rd ascent: Wilderness Creek/Peak Fork - Wilderness Creek TR.

Wednesday, December 14 ~ Cougar Mtn. & Home Loop
Time: 2:15:14
Distance: 11.74 mi.
Vertical: 2,500 ft.

Base Run. Paced 8 miles of a buddy's 50k adventure, today. Dropped him off, ran back to tag the Wilderness Peak summit, and then descended to the car. My legs have a lot of spring in them for having 8,000 ft. of vertical gain on them, so far this week. Check out Uphill Running's Youtube Channel

Run #2
3.36 mi.
92 ft.

Run #2:
Recovery Run. After jumping from the trail to work I needed a little more therapy, so I went from work to the run. Slipped on the Hattori's and turned over an easy 3.3 miles. Heart Rate stayed low, so I know it was a good idea. 15.1 miles total for the day.

Thursday, December 15 ~ Home Loop + a few
Time: 1:10:50
Distance: 9.01 mi.
Vertical: 684 ft.

Base Run. A misty Seattle afternoon on the streets. Ventured off the normal loop just for fun. Found a nice 1/4mi. uphill. Planned between 5mi - 8mi and ended with 9miles. Now, I'm late for work.

Friday, December 16 ~ Lake Youngs
Time: 1:27:35
Distance: 9.16 mi.
Vertical: 771 ft.
Recovery Run. Kicked it easy with the ladies, this morning. Laura K and Debbie O, held a good pace for me and kept my intuition to run faster at bay. Weather is grey, which, honestly, seems worse on paper than reality. Washington's weather allows for year round training without having to adapt to rapid environmental changes. Damn near perfect.

Saturday, December 17
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Montrail Rogue Racer

Montrail Rogue Racer
It doesn't take much to turn a road shoe into a trail shoe, right? Replace the slick rubber tread with a dirt clawing aggressive mud-tire sole and you're set to hit the soft surface highways. Unfortunately, for the manufacturers and consumers there are way too many variables: mud, roots, rocks, packed dirt, gravel, and more, to just throw on some mud stomping, soccer cleat traction on the sole and title it "trail ready." So, picking a trail shoe needs to be based on the conditions. The Montrail Rogue Racer, I do admit, is one of the most versatile trail shoes on the market.
Montrail Rogue Racer Gryptonite Sole
Until recently (past few years) trail shoes have had a knack for being heavy, bulky, and stiff. It's like shoe companies have been trying to make their trail shoe the most extreme, the most rugged, and slightly less stiff than a hiking boot. As I said, though, that was until recently. Trail shoes have been slowly evolving into head turning, trail gripping, race flats that can handle the slippery, rocky, unkempt pathways through the woods.

Kindle Katwalk
My first run in the Montrail Rogue Racer came at the expense of the Pacific Crest Trail and up to Kindle Katwalk. The featherlight weight of the Montrail Rogue Racer, a slim 8.8 oz/250 g, felt great up the first mile, even the "trail shield" seemed to be doing it's job. The trail put the shoes through a full test of conditions: mud, rocks, and snow. I was hooked and the Rogue Racer became my trail shoe of choice. I ran in them day-after-day on any trail. The were light on the uphills, protective on the downhills, and soft on the flats. Turns, switchbacks, and creek jumping with no hesitation. The tread design is spot-on.
As with all shoes they eventually started to break down. Around 75  in, the life of the "trail shield", which had given me just enough protection from rocks that I was able to bomb down rocky inclines without feeling too much, started to lose it's protectiveness. By 110 miles it was just as soft as the mid-sole. I have no real suggestion for a fix because I think the balance between weight, flexibility, and trail protection is perfect with this shoe, possibly a little more firmness in the foam may provide longevity to the shoe's life.
Montrail Rogue Racer "Trail Shield"

The shoe lasted a pushed 345 miles, and being fairly light weight (125lbs) I was a little disappointed the shoe didn't make it longer. The shoe's upper is minimal enough you don't feel much wrapping the foot which is very comfortable, but because of the lack of structure my foot wound up sitting crooked after about 200 miles. This added to excessive wear on specific parts of the shoe and in turn led to it's retirement.  More structure or even just a hair more o lateral release should remedy this. You could probably just drill out a few holes on the outside heal, if you know what you're doing. If you're looking for a low heel-to-toe drop the Rogue Racer isn't your answer. The heel sits at 18mm and the forefoot at 9mm. However, the plush foams deform enough under weight you don't have a feeling of being pushed forward.
0 Miles & 345 Miles
Overall, the shoe has a great fit, it feels fantastically light weight, and can certainly handle every trail condition that most people are going to encounter. The first 100 miles will be some of the most comfortable trail miles you've run in a while. post- 175 the shoe starts to breakdown pretty quickly and by 300 miles the shoe needs to be replaced. That's my only negative about this shoe, a great start but a lackluster finish.
*This review is based on my foot, my form, and my comfort. These results may or may not be repeated with others. Have a local running store fit you properly.
Montrail Rogue Racer
Montrail Rogue Racer
Montrail Rogue Racer

Next week's shoe review: Pearl Izumi Kissaki

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 4 - December 10

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 3:37:44 Distance: 24.95 mi. Vertical: 3,775 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 0:54:26 Distance: 6.24 mi. Vertical: 944 ft.

The week was going well until the very end when work schedules got changed and it threw-off my routine. The onus of adapting is on me, but for whatever reason I couldn't muster up running on Friday and Saturday. Physically and mentally I felt fine, I just didn't go run. I'll have to work on that. Running is going really well, though. My numbers have been sub-par, but every run feels great. If anything, though, this last week has put into focus the need to keep my training consistent. 25 miles a week doesn't cut even the softest of butter. There's always something to be said for enjoying the running, and it should be a priority, but it's becoming really easy to stay in cruise control. I think it's important to hurt a little, to feel your teeth clinch, to walkaway with tired legs and a worn out mind every now and then. This week, that didn't happen. February is still a toss up for which half-marathon I'm going to do, either the Sweetwater Sweetheart Trail Half or the Hilton Head Half (road). If you've got a preference for me, leave a comment and let me know. Also, to the couple that dropped off the: 'Walker Percy: A Life' by Patrick Samway at the store, Thank you. Absolutely made my day. Hopefully you're reading this blog.

<-- Just funny, to me
Off the running front, the inov-8 Evoskin review was a tremendous success (560+ views as of today) and I'm excited to see how the rest of the December shoe reviews go. Please share the links with friends, but also don't hesitate to leave comments about what you expect from a shoe review. It's a learning process, for me, and feedback is crucial. This week, Wednesday to be exact, I'll be posting the Montrail Rogue Racer review.

inov-8's Evoskin Montrail's Rogue Racer
Posted: Dec. 7

Posting: Dec. 14

Training Notes:

Sunday, December 04 ~
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, December 05 ~ Cougar Mtn.
Time: 0:57:19
Distance: 7.01 mi.
Vertical: 837 ft.

Base Run. I was oddly hesitant to venture into the cool 30 F weather, this morning, so I kept postponing the run in hopes of a little more warmth. After 2 hours of waiting and 3 degrees change I gave up. I'm usually enthusiastic to run in the cold. Hindsight, the run went fantastic. Put in 6.5 miles on the trail and then 2 hill repeats to round out the days mileage to 7 miles.

Tuesday, December 06 ~ Home Loop
Time: 0:53:55
Distance: 7.41 mi.
Vertical: 471 ft.

Base Run. Wow, I felt great, tonight. My stride felt incredibly fluid, my heart rate in the mid/high-150's and average pace around 7:15 min/mi. One of the best runs I've had in a while. I'll be listening to Matisyahu pre-run more often. Ran in the Skechers, tonight, too. Interesting. Jake Shimabukuro's My Life album is a fabulous cool-down music choice.

Wednesday, December 07 ~ Cougar Mtn.
Time: 0:42:24
Distance: 3.35 mi.
Vertical: 1,356 ft.

Base Run. Just a quickie before work. Took the Wilderness Creek TR to Peak, today. Pretty awesome running. Clear at the base and just before the summit an incredibly thick fog rested patiently. Visibility was down to 30 - 40 feet. Cruising down the backside the clouds broke and it was like pulling the blinds open in the morning.

Thursday, December 08 ~ Cougar Mtn.
Time: 1:04:06
Distance: 7.19 mi.
Vertical: 1,110 ft.

Base Run. The cold silence of a late fall run through the woods certainly ranks high on the, repeat list. Damn it felt good, today. Ascended De Leo Wall first, and then took to the undulating trails around the YMCA.

Friday, December 09 ~ 
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Saturday, December 10 ~
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

inov-8 Evoskin Shoe Review

This isn't about our ancestor's or cavemen... 
I want to make something clear before you begin reading my shoe (well, maybe lack thereof is more apropos) review: This is not a review on the validity that 'traditional' running shoes cause, or do not cause, injuries. It's my belief that the repetition of running form inefficiencies (biological or habitually developed) are the major culprits of injured runners; under most circumstances. Other factors such as inappropriate shoe size (not type), over-training, the sedentary choices between runs (i.e., sitting in front of a computer perhaps reading this blog for too long, work related stress, long commutes in a vehicle, etc.), and repeatedly poor nutritional choices should also be at the forefront of cerebral inquiries. Also, 'minimal' shouldn't be solely (that's a pun) defined as less between your foot and the ground, but also by less heal-to-toe drop. The inov-8 Evoskin falls into both categories, of course.

Less doesn't make you an instant Hippie...
There's a skewed notion -a prideful feud- between barefoot-ers, racers, and runners. Partly, in my opinion, because of the developmental ease of extremism (social media driven) after, "Born To Run," became popular. Much like politics most have drawn a line-in-the-sand and become tunnel-visioned on protecting the title they stand behind. The discussion of pros and cons of 'minimal' shoes has been lost. I can't argue with supporting your team, but there are major benefits, and risks, from less between your foot and the ground, and open discussion is far more productive than becoming suffocated in tangent discussions about apes, cavemen, ancestors, and corporate sabotage. Defining individually appropriate uses doesn't have to change an individuals ideology.

"Protection without losing sensation..." 
"They look like foot condoms." Yeah, I know you were already thinking it, so I might as well state it. Although I can probably think of a few more inuendo's for tag lines, inov-8 did a pretty good job with, "Protection without losing sensation." Got to give credit where credit is due. As teenage as the tagline is, inov-8 isn't just throwing out a seductive tagline without a package...yes, it's okay to laugh at that. The slim silicone case that wraps the foot really does allow for the most realistic 'barefoot' feel with the least amount of protection. <Think iPhone cover for your foot> Simplicity is the key to inov-8's design. No shoe laces, no hook-and-stick (Velcro), no medial posting, plastic, etc. It's just silicon in the shape of a human foot. This also means that you can either, (A) wash them in the shower with you, or (B) throw them into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
The heel-to-toe drop: zero. Weight: 3.5 oz. Cost: $65.

Going barefoot doesn't turn you into Abebe Bikila...
I use my Evoskins as training tools, not training shoe replacements. I wear them at work once a week, usually about 6 - 8 hours worth of standing and sitting, and I run in them for 20 - 30 minutes on a soft (root, glass, rock, and worry free), turf soccer field once a week. I've also been using them post-long runs to help spread my toes apart which relaxes the muscles between the bones in the feet. The seemingly low amount of use is, for me, what seems to make the most sense. The benefits of adding extra stress to your weekly training have to be balanced with your body's ability to cope with the increased demand. Too much, too soon and you'll get injured.
They're worth a shot, if...
You're not currently injured, you're in the 'base-building' phase of training, and you have an appropriate facility to use them in. A gym, treadmill, golf course, soccer field, etc., If you only have access to concrete and asphalt, I'd stay away from running in the Evoskins and just use them to walk around town in once a week for no more than an hour to begin with. If you're going to try them, do so in a very conservative manner. It doesn't take a lot to reap the benefits, 1% to 5% of your total weekly mileage should suffice, for most.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November 27 - December 03

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 5:40:49 Distance: 37.19 mi. Vertical: 3,350 ft.
Weekly Average ~ Time: 0:56:48 Distance: 6.20 mi. Vertical: 558 ft.

November has come and gone, the Seattle skyline is pixelated with millions of variations of gray, and the forest and asphalt foot highways have a pseudo-permanent thin line of moisture that sits on top of the surface like icing on a cake. This week has been no different than any other week in November: just a little more mileage than the last, but nothing over-the-top. I'm comfortable that my body and, maybe more importantly, my mind feel recovered -refreshed is more apropos- from the past season's mileage. I'm eager to get some more speed under my feet, but I find my feelings are more inline with the undulation of the hills and mountain tops. I added in a few track workouts, this month, and plan to increase that number in the future. But, I also need to keep the hip and lung burning ascents in the equation. Even if for strictly therapeutic benefits. The balancing act between mountains, track, asphalt, trail, therapy, etc., is what makes training, well, training. Training is a puzzle with no edge pieces. The picture is your life, and ever changing. The pieces, once together, become seamless, and to their strength and weakness they can't be taken back out. It's crazy, but every piece fits. All you have to do is decide when to put the next piece in the puzzle. Simple, right? So, November has been a nice rest, and December should start bringing in a little more foundation. My weekly pattern is going to -hopefully, ha.- have two workouts (speed, track, tempo, fartlek variations) and one long run with everything else as mileage-fillers at recovery and base pace. Looks good on paper, but we'll see how the piece looks with the rest of the puzzle. I'm back in the rock-climbing gym three to four times a week, so that needs to be counted toward totals, and damn is it invigorating. Love some rock-climbing. Thanks, Adrenaline Climbing, for the "re-"introduction. Nice to have Stone Gardens, here, to continue the cross-training infatuation, too. If you haven't tried rock-climbing, trust me, it offers the best core workout and cross-training a runner can ask for.

I've got four shoe reviews coming out in December:

inov-8's Evoskin Montrail's Rogue Racer

Pearl Izumi's Kissaki Skecher's GoRun

If you have any shoes you're considering leave me a comment and I'll see if I can snag some, run in them (minimum of 50 miles), and post a review.

Monthly Totals ~ Time: 20:05:20 Distance: 110.96 mi. Vertical: 15,240 ft.
Monthly Averages ~ Time: 0:55:01 Distance: 5.55 mi. Vertical: 802 ft.
(Definitely a month of rest.)

Weekly Training Details:

Sunday, November 27 ~ Off/Rest Day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, November 28 ~ Off/Rest Day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Tuesday, November 29 ~ Squak Mtn. & Home Loop

Run 1 Run 2
Time: 1:02:34 0:28:33
Distance: 6.03 mi. 3.18 mi.
Vertical: 1,985 ft. 90 ft.

Looks like a cat got me.
Nope, just a thorn.
Run #1:
Base Run. 1,985' of Gain. Early afternoon run up the steep side and a descent down the 'less' steep side. Headed back about for 1/4 mile to round things up to 6 miles. Legs, lungs, and mind felt like a team today. The cold damp air was fairly refreshing, too. The trail is clearing out as plant life retreats for the winter exposing some un-marked trails that may be fun to explore on a later date.
Run #2:
Recovery Run. 100' of Gain. Slower than usual, but it felt great. Calves reminded me of the 2,000' of gain this morning, but were submissive enough to relax by the end. Thought about knockin' out another 2 miles, but I became very aware of the diminishing weather around me as the original finish came into view and decided to head inside for a warm shower.

Wednesday, November 30 ~ Hazen High School Track
Time: 1:13:02
Distance: 9.21 mi.
Vertical: 208 ft.

Took a heel to the shin, today.
I'm gettin' beat up, this week.
Track Workout. 200' of Gain. 1.25 mile Warm-up (ran to track); 3 X 1k w/1:00 Rest; 1-mile @ Half-marathon pace; 3 X 1k w/3:00 Rest; 2 X 1:00 hill repeat w/full rest. 1.25 mile Cool-down (ran home). Average 1k pace: 5:49 min./mi. Overall it was nice to hit the rubber on semi-tired legs from yesterday's Squak Mtn. run. My form doesn't feel sloppy, but it's not comfortable, yet. I'm right on target, though.

Thursday, December 01 ~ Home Loop & Commute Home
Run 1 Run 2
Time: 0:23:56 0:22:01
Distance: 3.16 mi. 2.66 mi.
Vertical: 95 ft. 390 ft.

Run #1:
Recovery Run. 100' of Gain. Quick foot tour around the block. Legs felt tight, but not tired. Especially, calves. Saw my breathe the whole run...kind of refreshing.
Run #2:
Recovery Run. 400' of Gain. Loved seeing a raccoon climb a tree and my breath reflecting in the strobe of my headlamp. I thought the 'coon was a cat, a really fat cat, but a feline nonetheless. Ran with a random and very rare stomach ache. Hopefully some well-prepared food from my lovely girl @LK will soothe the intestinal distress. Testing out some Skechers shoes, too. Yes, you read the name brand correctly. No, the shoe does not claim to tone your ass.

Friday, December 02 ~ Off/Rest Day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Saturday, December 03 ~ Lake Washington (Renton to I-90)
Time: 2:10:32
Distance: 12.95 mi.
Vertical: 582 ft.

Recovery Run. 580' of Gain. Not my best run. Ran with some extra weight until I finally (7 miles into run) decided that no Porta John's were going to be around the corner and the leaves were going to have to suffice. Not a new experience, except frozen leaves may be worse than dry leaves. The entire purpose of the early morning adventure was to keep a buddy company that was running around Lake Washington, today. 60 miles! Hope it finishes. Looked good when I left him.

Brad D., 3 hours into a 68 mile run.

A very cold start at 7:00 AM

That beanie is almost
10 years old, haha.

This is immaturely funny, but
I had to take a picture.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 20 - November 26

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 3:12:43 Distance: 22.60 mi. Vertical: 2,774 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 0:32:07 Distance: 3.77 mi. Vertical: 462 ft.

Weekly training is still on cruising pace. Almost doubled my total weekly mileage of last week. Success, right? The chest cold has finally subsided, so the miles were a lot easier to come by this week. Other than that nothing too exciting on my front.

I've got to give a few big shout-outs and congratulations to a couple of folks I've been coaching, this season: Robert B., Adam E., and Ed B. My training season for these guys ranged from 16 weeks to 20+ weeks. They all three came to me with goals, a desire to work hard, and motivation to improve themselves. It's not easy to train consistently, but these three athletes made it their goals and on race day it paid off.

Ed B., is the type of athlete that doesn't complain...well, at least not to his coach. The man always has a smile on and has every bit of passion about running as he has about golf. I, personally, consider golf a ruined walk in the park, but Ed proved to me that even a good round of golf can be used successfully as cross-training. There were a few times during designated rest weeks that instead of going on a walk Ed took to the greens. I always strive to learn things from my athletes and Ed taught me, this season, that even golf can have a useful purpose. All joking aside, Ed sets his goals high, has fun, and knows when to dig a little deeper. Congratulations on your 2011 Atlanta Half-Marathon finish, Ed.

Adam E., launched into full stride about six months ago when he asked me to help him achieve a goal he had in mind, "I want to run a marathon." It's always a unique feeling when a non-runner comes to me with this goal. It's always doable, but it's up to the individual. I can never stress to the athlete enough that, running doesn't always feel great and to run a marathon you've got to put in the time regardless of work, weather, and lack of motivation. Adam explained to me that he wanted this for himself and that nothing was going to get in his way. If you knew how much outside interference was attempting to derail his training, believe me you'd be speechless. The man put in the time and effort even through some tough times and crossed the finish line wearing his heart on his sleeve. Talking with Adam after his marathon he confessed that he cried, but he didn't care how cliche it may have been or who was watching. Like I told him, there's nothing wrong with taking pride in your accomplishments. Congratulations on your 2011 Philadelphia Marathon finish, Adam.

Adam E.
Adam E.

Robert B.

Robert B., Rocky B., and Adam E.
Evan (another trained marathoner) pacing Adam to the finish line.
Sarah B. and Robert B.
Robert B., set three Personal Record's (PR), during the Philadelphia Marathon: a 10k, Half-marathon, and Marathon PR. Robert also set a new PR in the 5k during the training season. Robert wanted to Boston Qualify (BQ) at the Philly Marathon, and for him that meant setting a 30 minute PR in the marathon by going sub 3:05. Having already obtained the well deserved, and earned, title of ultra-marathoner with a successful finish at the Sweetwater 50k in April I knew it was possible. Sure cutting 30 minutes in a marathon sounded far-fetched, but having coached and trained with Robert I am well aware of his potential and his ability to follow a training plan consistently. Although we fell short of BQ by a few minutes, Robert did cut-off 25 minutes from his previous marathon best. Robert, like a true racer, has already started the search for the next attempt and I'm going 'all-in' that he gets his goal. Congratulations on your 2011 Philadelphia Marathon finish, Robert.

If you're interested being coach, please send me an email: Prices vary depending on event, time, and specific request. Personal online coaching is also a great holiday gift, by the way.

Training Week Notes:
Sunday, November 20
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, November 21 ~ Home Loop
Time: 0:39:52
Distance: 5.12 mi.
Vertical: 277 ft.

Base Run. 275' of Gain. I'm sick, and it's really picking away at my patience. This pace and distance should feel like an easy stroll, but it doesn't. I've run much faster and longer on the same course at a much lower heart rate. Not the case, today. Oh well, at least I got out there. Legs were restless from only running twice last week.

Tuesday, November 22 ~ Home Loop
Time: 0:42:07
Distance: 5.13 mi.
Vertical: 265 ft.

Base Run. 275' of Gain. What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, felt awful. Today, it's rainy much colder and felt a lot better. Still not fully over the cold, but I'm noticing some progress. I slowed down about 30 sec a mile to help combat the illness and ran at an easy HR without sacrificing too much pace. Much better choice.

Wednesday, November 23 ~ Couch, ha.
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Thursday, November 24 ~ Fort Steilacoom XC
Time: 0:27:47
Distance: 3.80 mi.
Vertical: 157 ft.

Base Run. 150' of Gain. Quick, easy run around JG's old XC stompin' ground. Weather wasn't that fun, but we got it in.

Friday, November 25 ~ Cougar Mtn. & Commute Home

Run #1
Run #2
3.22 mi.
2.66 mi.
1,268 ft.
407 ft.

Run #1 ~ Wilderness TH - W Peak - W Creek - Wilderness TH
Base Run. 1,200' of Gain. Quick trail run up to Wilderness Peak before work. Felt great all the way up (23:25). Haven't been on the 'hills' in a while, so it really felt nice. The trees have lost their leaves and the sun breaks through the slender poles. Been rockin' the NB 101's lately just because they've been feeling great.
Run # 2 ~ Commute Home 
Recovery Run. 400' of Gain. Easy run home from work, tonight. Had a good amount of spring in my step for the one-way ticket up to the house. Got to love working 2.6 miles from home. Especially since it's all uphill from work to home. Broke out the Saucony Hattori's for the quick recovery run.

Saturday, November 26 ~ Commute Home
Time: 0:20:39
Distance: 2.66 mi.
Vertical: 400 ft.

Base Run. 400' of Gain. An uphill commute is a good commute. Two nights in a row with PR commutes home. Nice to see progress in the easy foot speed category. I really did nothing today except sit and stand at work, so the legs did feel sluggish until about mile 2. Of course, at that point there's only .6 miles left. Rocked the Hattori's, too.