Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 06 - May 13

Weekly Totals, Time: 7:52:01 Distance: 51.86 mi. Vertical: 5,800 ft.
Weekly Averages, Time: 0:59:00 Distance: 6.48 mi. Vertical: 725 ft.

My Garmin 610 broke Sunday morning. <sigh> I had a front seat view of the approaching Mount Baker National Forest and somewhere along I-5 N the damn watch decided it had enough. What a drag, you know. I rarely look at my watch during a run, but I take an immense amount of comfort and pleasure knowing that everything I'm doing is being recorded. I'm connected, on the grid! I'll be able to check-out the data when I sit down with a cold brew in front of the, often too bright, computer screen. My eyes usually drying faster than my thirst is quenched. But, as I fiddled with the watch and nothing happened I began to take myself away from my upcoming adventure on the east side of Baker Lake. I was forgetting that two feet don't require much more than the cross-bridge cycle of actin combining with myosin and adenosine triphosphate to produce force. Mix in some synapse, neurons, coordination and motivation and voila: one foot in front of the other. Instead, I was ill-tempered that my luxury watch gave me the middle finger and took a permanent vacation. I felt about as lost as the crew of the Voyager (Star Trek). 70,000 light years is a bit much, but you know part of me did feel like that. I looked up, the lonely peak of an unidentified mountain brought me back. Took a deep breath, put the watch down, and enjoyed the ride. When shit hits than fan you have to clean it up. Gawking over the pseudo-inconveniences of life just leaves a mess that can just as easily be cleaned up. I ran the next 3+ hours without a watch and when we finished felt like I had only been gone for 45 minutes. I got home, mapped out the run using some Topography software plugged in the numbers and logged it in the log book.

Here's the video of a watch-less run:

Tell me about your 'luxury' running issues in the comments section or on Facebook. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April 29 - May 05

Weekly Totals, Time: 6:15:02 Distance: 41.19 mi. Vertical: 6,843 ft.
Weekly Averages, Time: 0:53:35 Distance: 5.88 mi. Vertical: 978 ft.

The week started out with a 1st place finish at the Soaring Eagle Half-Marathon (Trail). What a course. The following day my hips and upper body were, for lack of a better word, shredded. Carving mercilessly through the tight corners of the course absolutely exposed a weakness. My initial thought was, "lets look at the amount of training, first." It was a 47 day training block, that netted 49 hours, 251 miles, and 38,000 ft. of vertical gain. Not sitting on the couch, but not overly aggressive. I was well rested, for sure; especially because the two weeks prior to the race were on average 25 mile weeks with basically no vertical. Ugh, looking at that last sentence I'm slowing getting depressed. 25 miles, 2 weeks in a row? Whatever, fretting over numbers gets you nowhere...and after all, I did manage a win and felt like my effort was mostly dialed in. Why was I so beat up, though? And then Monday, perched 15 feet above a padded floor, clinging to small oddly shaped holds I realized that I hadn't been rock climbing in two weeks.

Cross-training, whatever you want to call it, is crucial for overall performance. I can't think of a better activity that allows the runner to obtain a full range of motion in all four limbs, works on neuromuscular coordination, strengthens the core, and doesn't put a lot of stress on the body. The last part there: doesn't put a lot of stress on the body, is crucial. You don't have to be a world class climber to reap the benefits, either. Plus, a gym membership is generally cheaper than supplements that usually wind up more in the toilet than being absorbed.

The week ended on a good note, too: PR from S.R. 900 to West Peak on Squak Mtn.

Graceful, yes.
My cousin's bad ass skills let him
climb in crazy locations like this.

When I lived in Georgia, I climbed here: Adrenaline Climbing
I live in Washington, now, and I climb here: Stone Gardens Bellevue

Facebook message me, if you want to join me sometime.

Sunday, April 29 Soaring Eagle Half-Marathon (Trail)

Monday, April 30 Time: 44:16 Distance: 3.30 mi. Vertical: 1,198 ft.
Base Run. 1,200' of Gain. The wind was howling like a cat in heat on Cougar Mtn., today. Took an easy ascent and a fun descent from Wilderness TH to Wilderness Peak.

Tuesday, May 01 Time: 1:24:45 Distance: 9.43 mi. Vertical: 244 ft.
Run #1: Base Run. I absolutely love me new route to work. 1.5 miles on a trail next to a creek, 2 miles in a very scenic neighborhood. and 1 mile along the shore of Lake Washington. Awesome.
Run #2: Recovery Run. A great group run at The Balanced Athlete. If you want to run with me, come join.
Run #3: Recovery Run. Ran from Smoking Monkey Pizza to my favorite bar, Dog & Pony Alehouse. Even ran with a pizza box in my hand. Had someone ask if I was Dean K. haha, that's funny.

Friday, May 04 Time: 1:11:29 Distance: 6.44 mi. Vertical: 2,192 ft.
Base Run. I just got my ass handed to me, in the form of, "If you don't use it you lose it." My slowest ascent up to Central Peak from SR 900, this year. No being in the mountains, in almost a month, has taken it's toll on my ascent. However, my mind felt great and eager to get back at it. I'm not disappointed, just glad I only lost a minute of fitness.

Saturday, May 05 Time: 1:12:39 Distance: 8.16 mi. Vertical: 1,912 ft.
Run #1: Base Run. Easy run to work. Can't be a commute that will never have a traffic jam.
Run #2: Base Run. 1,900' of Gain. Yesterday, Squak Mtn., let me know that I had not been on her in a while. Lost a full minute on my ascent time. Today, I retaliated. Set a new PR ascent up West Peak, 0:29:10. A 37 second difference from my previous PR. I'm a bit shocked, because that's the second ascent in two days.