Monday, September 21, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 16 (3 weeks out)

I felt better this week than I have the previous couple weeks. Happy with both my quality workouts, and I'm feeling strong and healthy. Based off the feedback my body's giving me from the progression of workouts over the past four months, I'm as confident in my strength and speed as I've ever been. All the hills and trail runs have done wonders for my running specific strength and toughness. Not to mention, the variation has likely helped prevent the inevitable repetitive running motion niggles and injuries that manage to pop up during most standard marathon training blocks. In the past I've had calf and Achilles issues that have forced me to miss time, and this block I've had none of that. I haven't really done any track specific workouts this time around, but I've worked in speed workouts via the Fartlek approach, which at the very least is more race specific. Ripping along at 5k pace seems easier to me than it did six months ago. I've also done a better job of working in longer lactate threshold sessions this time around, with multiple tempo runs of thirty minutes or longer. Threshold runs have not necessarily been my favorite in the past and as a result I didn't do enough of them in my opinion leading into a marathon. However, I've done a better job of sucking it up and embracing them this training block. So, in the past both hard Farltek and longer threshold sessions have plagued me and this block I've done pretty well with them. I feel fast and strong and healthy. My only concern in terms of fitness is my race specific endurance. I haven't done as many long long runs as I have in the past, and I've done even fewer long Marathon Pace runs, which could also explain why I'm feeling stronger.'s fine balance of accumulated fatigue and adaptation. Ideally, I would have done a couple more 20+ mile runs with a little more MP mixed in, but with the added strength and health benefits I'm experiencing as a result of lots of hills and trails, I'm not sweating it. I had to change something up, and I'd rather feel better than run down. I'm two weeks out from the marathon and my goal over this time span is to rest, recover, and replenish my body while maintaining the fitness I've accumulated over the last sixteen weeks of training. Have I done enough to go sub-3:00?

Monday, Sept 14:
Easy run (55min, 6.8mi) - Can't remember the run now, but I do know it was at lunch.

Tuesday, Sept 15:
Trail run (~60min, ~6mi) - Colin and I hit the Marquam circuit. Felt really good today. I'm sure some of it has yoga this morning. I think we're going to permanently switch to Tuesday trail runs to take advantage of our yoga strength. (Soloman XT)
Yoga (60min)

Wednesday, Sept 15:
Fartlek run (63min, 8.8mi) 5 x 5min hard (~6:00-6:10) w/3min easy - I crushed this workout. I can't believe how much I like these types workouts now versus this time roughly a year ago. It was definitely a mental boost to be able to hit this workout after the way I've been feeling the past couple weeks. Maybe it was the new Zantes, but for the most part I felt strong right through each repeat. I know my speed is where I need it to be. (new Zante)

Thursday, Sept 16:
Easy run (46min, 5.4mi) - Plain and simple down around Steel Bridge and back across Portland's new bridge, The Tilikum Bridge pedestrian/Tri-Met only bridge just down from our office. It's supposed to be a very special and cool bridge. Changes colors allegedly based on the depth of the Willamette River or something like that.  

Friday, Sept 17:
Easy run (48min, 5.8mi) - Same as yesterday but I added an extra cross over the river via Hawthorne Bridge. (old Zante)

Saturday, Sept 18:
Hard long run (99min, 13.5mi) 7 miles tempo @ ~MP + 1 mile @ 6:32 - I didn't feel great during this run, but I didn't feel awful either. My legs were a little off and I had to stop real quick to stretch a couple times, but I'm hoping that's mostly fatigue and if I taper, recover, and yoga right I should be good to go come race day. My slowest split over the last four miles was 6:44, so I guess that's pretty good. Overall, I'm happy with how this effort turned out as my last longer hard effort heading into the marathon two weeks from now. (Zante)

Weekly Totals:
431 total minutes
- 371 minutes run (6), 47 miles
- 60 minutes yoga

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 15 (4 weeks out)

This was not a great week for me. I struggled on both quality runs. However, both of those runs were supposed to be tough and it was hot this week and...basically I'm as ready as I'm going to be and from here out it's time to start healing, recovering, and mentally preparing for the marathon three weeks from now. The work is done. I could've managed some things better for sure, like a couple more hard long runs and had more sleep, but overall I was consistent these past 15 weeks, and my workouts gradually progressed in intensity and duration, so I'm not complaining. I have a couple more quality sessions with speed mixed in over the last few weeks, but for the most part the hay is in the barn and it's time see what I've got come race day, provided I stay healthy. Excited isn't the right word, but I am looking forward to race morning. 

Monday, Sept 7:
Easy run (58min, 7.2mi) - Went from home up Vermont and down Terwilliger as if I was running to work. Crisp and moist out this morning. Felt like a typical Oregon fall morning. I like these types of days and this was a nice way to enjoy it. (Zante)

Tuesday, Sept 8:
Tempo run (85min, 11.4mi, 7mi tempo sub-MP/MP) - This was easily one of my most miserable runs of this training block. Everything was working against me. I wasn't motivated. My legs had leftover fatigue from Saturday. It was sneaky hot and humid out, and I had some residual lunch left to digest, which lead to ever-present GI issues. I intended to run 8-9 miles at sub-MP (6:30-6:40). Things started out great as I held back and did not run the first mile split too fast or too hard. However, things just gradually got worse form there. I hit the first four miles at my desired pace, but the effort to get there was more than I would've liked. I stopped after 4 miles tempo to take a drink, do a quick stretch, and rest my gut. I got right back into it and hit mile 5 in 6:53 or something, which was fine after a pit stop and it's still within my MP range. But, I knew it wasn't my day and to continue to push it like this with so many thing working against me would be stubborn, short-sighted, and silly. I did manage two more miles at 6:40 and 6:43 respectively, but it was a struggle. I still had a 2.5 mile cool down to get back to the office, and it was a slog. I was completely shattered. I've only had a handful of runs like this, but I suppose it makes you tougher in the end. Not a fan though, and this run had me questioning why I'm doing this. Ass kicker. (1500s)

Wednesday, Sept 9:
Easy run (47min, 5.8mi) - Lunch run. Still feeling run down. 

Thursday, Sept 10:
AM ride (20min) - Decided to ride to work today and take the long way home as an "off-day" workout based on my last two runs. Perhaps a break from the routine will give me some pep back both mentally and physically. Honestly, at this point I think it's mostly mental. Would rahter be on the trails I think. 

PM ride (48min) - Went old-school and took it up Westwood to Fairmount in roughly 23 minutes, which is right around my best time from Duniway Track. I was hurting for sure by the time I reached the top, but very glad I decided to opt for the cycle hill blast today versus any type of run, and especially any sort of hard effort. Still struggling a bit to be honest though. Felt tired cruising around Fairmount. Could have something to do with the heat.

Friday, Sept 11:
Easy run (60min, 7.8mi) - Lunch run up Tewilliger to Barbur for 30 minutes and then turned around and came back down. Took it real easy due to the heat yet again. Felt better today, but still sluggish. (1500s)

Saturday, Sept 12:
Long hard run (115min, 16mi,) 1mi easy, 10mi @ ~MP + 3mi @ sub-MP, 2mi easy - I totally improvised this run, mostly. In my ideal world this was going to be 16 miles at roughly MP, but I knew going in that was a bit too much likely. So, I basically just took off around the river from work with the goal off seeing how far I could go. I went 6:54, 6:57, 6:47, 6:43, and 6:43 before I took a quick pit stop to stretch and drink (legs needed it), and then jumped right back in and hit 7:04, 6:55, 6:48, 6:44, and 6:48. This was a turnaround point, so I took a quick stretch and drink again before I got back at it. I had zero intention of going sub-MP at this point but I noticed I was moving along pretty quick and rather than go another 5-6 miles at MP, I decided to just push it a bit and ride it for 3 miles. I hit 6:40 and 6:40, and was really struggling at this point, but I also reconnected with the riverfront path at this point and I happened to merge in behind an older Japanese gentleman who was ripping along. I used him to help get me through that last mile. My only goal was to stay on his ass and not lose ground, which I did. I think at some point he knew I was there, so part of me thinks he was using me as motivation too. We were were clipping along at roughly 6:30 pace for most of that last mile before we hit a gradual uphill for the last little bit, which dropped us to 6:34 overall. As soon as we got back to a main entrance, and my watch ticked that last mile, he pulled off and I eased back for my cool down. It was a cool experience, and it got me a bit excited for this upcoming marathon for the first time in months. I'm not down on it or anything, just not super pumped or immersed in a social running group culture like I have been the past four years, and it was good to be pushed, and tested, and kind of battling quite frankly. I like to compete. My cool down was not fun. It was only 9:30am when I finished and it was already getting hot and humid...for Portland. (Zante)

Weekly Totals:
- 433 total minutes
- 365 minutes run (5), 48 miles
- 68 minutes bike 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 14 (5 weeks out)

I finished this post days ago and simply never got to publishing it. Better late than never I suppose. 

Monday, Aug 31:
Fartlek run (61min, 8.3mi) 6 x 4min Hard w/ 3min jog 
Intervals: 5:56, 6:02, 6:03, 6:01, 5:49, 5:55
- I felt pretty good for this run coming off a rest day on Sunday. I programmed my watch for an interval workout and while I'm doing the session I have no way of knowing exactly what pace I'm running, so I'm happy with my overall consistency of effort and pace for each 4min rep. This is the type of workout I hated and would've kicked my butt a year ago, but I'm loving these types of runs these days. Hoping to get one or two more of these sessions in before race day, perhaps 5 x 5min, and then maybe 6 x 5min.

Tuesday, Sept 1:
Very sick today - day off

Wednesday, Sept 2:
Trail run (66min, 6.5mi) - Marquam circuit with Colin. (1500s)

Thursday, Sept 3:
Trail run (72min, 7.5mi) - More Marquam, but lots of hills today and some up-tempo. I had 9 miles of tempo scheduled for today, but running trails with Colin sounded more fun so I went with my gut. Obviously, not the best choice for marathon specific training at this point, but whatever. (Zante)

Friday, Sept 4:
Easy run (54min, 6.4mi) - Very easy and very slow down to Sellwood Bridge and back along the waterfront trail after work.

Saturday, Sept 5:
Long run (167min, 21.3mi, 7:50 pace) - Took it deep this morning, but this was a very tough run for me. I knew I would only be "semi" into it, so I chose a new route. I took Terwilliger south to Lewis and Clark and then merged onto the path through Tryon Creek State Park. I ran through the park and out the south end to Lake Oswego and was still only at 6 miles or so. Then, I basically just ran all over Lake O and down Iron Mountain Road, and then arduously back up through Tryon Creek. This was a hilly route and I had some minor GI issues going on. It was definitely not my best effort ever, but I put the work in and got it done. (Zante)

Weekly Totals:
- 420 total minutes
- 50 miles, not very much

I got to tuck into this bad boy from Pine State Biscuits after my sufferfest long run on Saturday. For those who don't know, this place went from a little stand at the Portland Farmer's Market a few years ago, to a local empire of guilty pleasures these days with three locations around town that routinely see lines out the door. This beast happens to be The Chatfield - fresh biscuit, fried chicken, bacon, and cheese top with copious amounts of yummy apple butter. I'd never had one of these particular sandwiches before, and needless to say on this day it hit the spot. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 13 (6 weeks out)

Monday, Aug 24:
Fartlek run (58min, 7.7mi) 5 x 4min hard / 3min easy - I was definitely fatigued from Saturday's long run, but nonetheless I drilled this run for the most part. I screwed up the setting on my watch again, so I had no idea at the time what pace I was running, but after reviewing the data I was running sub-6min mile pace on each interval except one, which was 6:04. That's about it. (1400s)

Tuesday, Aug 25:
Easy run (~50min, ~6mi) - Took Colin on his first bridge crossing run downtown. Very easy down to Steel Bridge and back. (K4)
Yoga (60min) 

Wednesday, Aug 26:
Hilly trail run (60min, 6.8mi) - Marquam circuit during lunch. Feel tired today. (P31)

Thursday, Aug 27:
Tempo run (56min, 9.3mi, 4/3mi tempo) 1mi easy, 4mi tempo sub-MP, 3min easy, 3mi tempo, easy - Hot, tired, lunch run. Not bad really, but I did have 2 x 4mi planned and just didn't have it in me on the second go-round so I cut it short. I'm okay with it. Been feeling good otherwise so c'est la vie. (Zante...zbest)

Friday, Aug 28:
Easy run (47min, 5.8mi) - Steel Bridge loop lunch run. (P31)

Saturday, Aug 29:
Tempo trail run (95min, ~11mi) second half tempo - Not getting back to writing this until Thursday now. This was a great run with Carter. Came back pretty quick (about 7min faster), but it was a net downhill and Carter's feet took a beating. Poor bastard chews on them to make things worse, so we have to put the "Cone of Shame" on him to keep him from paw fussing. Anyhow, bagged the long run today in lieu of some sleep, and also based on the forecast, which called for rain and high winds. Sounded like a good day to take the dog to Forest Park for some mud boggin in the woods. Turns out the rain didn't really happen, but then wind was nutty. The trees were fully swaying and cracking, and occasionally there'd be a loud crack and boom of a tree snapping and falling in the not to far off distance. Kinda scary, but definitely a unique and cool experience to be running through a forest during a minor windstorm. (TNF TRII)

Weekly Totals:
- 466 minutes total
- 366 minutes run, 47 miles
- 60 minutes yoga

Monday, August 24, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 12 (7 weeks out)

I crushed it this week. I got in three "quality" workouts that worked three different systems at various paces. Typically, I would be happy with just one of these workouts going as planned during the week, let alone three. I'm speaking of a VO2 max session, lactate threshold/tempo session, and a long steady run. I'm somehow managing this without injury and too much fatigue. Steady as she goes so far.
Monday, Aug 17:
Fartlek run (60min, 8mi) 6 x 3min hard (sub-6:00) / 3min easy - I drilled this run at lunch today. One of the better runs of this type I've ever had. (Zante)

Tuesday, Aug 18:
Yoga (60min)
Hilly medium-long trail run (92min, 11mi) - Colin and I switched the run to Tuesday this week so we'd have a little more time to run. Took it straight up the trail from work to Fairmount and then connected with the Marquam 4T trail to the zoo. From here we continued on the Marquam and zoo trail circuit to Washington Park and then wound our way down and through the city to work. The North Face trail shoes I just got are wreaking havoc on my toes, and I'm just about done with them. Too bad. (TNF TRII)
*x2 pull ups, I keep forgetting to log these 

Wednesday, Aug 19:
Easy run (45min, 5.5mi) - Nice and easy lunch run up Terwilliger and back. I was tired today and my groin muscles were a little sore from yesterday, as were my feet and toes. I can't remember the last time I had a sore groin from running. Used to happen a lot, but not these days. Lots of trail shifting and downhill running in the second half so perhaps that's the cause. (P31)

Thursday, Aug 20:
Tempo run (66min, 9.5mi, 8mi tempo) - I wasn't feeling tip-top for this run, but I managed to tough my way through it mostly at or below half-marathon pace, which in a way is even more of a confidence boost than drilling it. I had the Garmin set incorrectly for the first half, and as a result went out too hard on the tempo portion after a mile warmup. I through down a 6:05 on the second mile of tempo, which was about 25 seconds faster than I should've been. In fact, my first four miles of tempo were fast, which is what made the run more difficult than it needed to be. Anyhow, it was good effort and things are coming together on all fronts so far. Speed seems to be there. Longer hard efforts pushing lactate threshold are there, and we'll see how the long run goes this weekend. Other than lacking enough sleep, a still injured heal, and a few mangled toes I'm feeling pretty good. (LR3 - these weren't comfy)
*Splits: 6:34, 6:05, 6:23, 6:21, 6:30, 6:27, 6:30, 6:34

Friday, Aug 21:
*Needed a running day off
Bike to work (21min, 5.4mi)
Bike home (32min, 6.3mi) - I took Westwood off Terwilliger and played around in the hills a bit before heading home. A good recovery day with just a little boost of strength on the climbs. 

Saturday, Aug 21:
Long steady run (162min, 21mi, 7:43 pace) - Uncanny I averaged the exact same overall pace as on my last long run. I guess that's my steady all-day pace. I'm writing this on Wednesday now, so not much else to say except I'm happy with the way this run turned out. 

Weekly Totals:
- 538 minutes total
- 425 minutes run, 55 miles
- 53 minutes bike
- 60 minutes yoga

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 11 (8 weeks out)

Got myself injured this week on the Wednesday trail run. Slammed my left heel into a pointy rock on a descent. I missed Thursday's run as a result, but was back at it Friday. However, it's Monday night and it's still slightly tender and swollen. Best runs by far this week were my medium-long run Monday at lunch, and my SW Portland exploration run Saturday evening.

Over the next 5-6 weeks I'm entering peak training mode in order to properly taper the last 2-3 weeks to peak at race time. Of course, this is all in theory, but I hope to nail down a speed workout, a tempo run, and a long run each week, with the occasional step back in at least one of these runs each week to prevent overtraining. I hope the get up to a 10 mile tempo run over this span and get in three runs of 20+ miles. A half-marathon would also be nice, but the only possibility is slim as it's on Karen's birthday. We'll see. Might be fun going into a marathon not having run any races in the build-up.    

Sunday, Aug 9:
Recovery run (48min, 5.7mi) - I was stiff and tired this morning. Not great sleep due to chillens waking us up a couple times. Surprised I managed to roll out of bed really. Took me forever to warmup, but I did, and the last fifteen minutes I was good to go. Found a great little gem of a coffee shop tucked away in a neighborhood down the road. Looking forward to checking it out. (P31)

Monday, Aug 10:
Medium-long run (94min, 12mi) - Did this one at lunch time. Can't do it often but I did today. Thought about doing some VO2 max fartleks today, but my body was telling me no. So, I just went long and easy and toured the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhoods. Happy with my decision on this run. (1500s)

Tuesday, Aug 11:
AM ride (20min, 5.3mi) - Took Terwilliger
Yoga (60min)
PM ride (~45min, 24min uphill) - Took my route up to Fairmount. This one was kind of an ass kicker for me today. I was struggling towards the top and was out of the saddle a fair bit. Just what I needed today though.

Wednesday, Aug 12:
Hilly trail run (64min, 6mi) - Colin and I switched the route up a bit today. I felt great but kept the effort under control in order to hopefully get in 8 miles of tempo tomorrow. Unfortunately, I heeled a pointy rock today on one of our descents and it's had lingering effects. There is some swelling and it hurts. Think I twisted my ankle a bit too because it's sore on the lateral side. Status check tomorrow. (TNF TRII)

Thursday, Aug 13:
Day off - Heel is causing me to limp around so I took the day off.

Friday, Aug 14:
Tempo run (57min, 8mi/6mi tempo) 6:46, 6:25, 6:24, 6:38, 6:28, 6:27 - So my heel was still tender and swollen today, but only when walking. When running on the balls of my feet it was barely noticeable unless I was going downhill, so I picked flat route and went for it. Originally, I had an 8 mile tempo planned, but I kept it tame due to my injury. Since I shortened the length I tried to push the pace a little bit to boost the training effect. This was not an easy run for me, but I was happy I was able to hold pace under 6:30 for most the mile splits. I intentionally threw in a slower mile 4 just to see if I could get myself to back off closer to MP and feel okay, and then push it again. Overall, considering I was unable to run the day before I'm happy with this effort. (Zante)

Saturday, Aug 15:
Exploration easy run (75min, 9mi) - I went on an exploration run on mostly new streets from our house to Multnomah Village to Burlingame and back another route up passed Wilson High School. I needed this and it was a perfect evening for it. Very hilly route but I took it nice and easy. This was definitely a rejuvenation run for the soul and spirit of running. (P31)

Weekly Totals:
- 468 total minutes
- 343 minutes run (5)
- 85 minutes bike
- 60 minutes yoga

Thursday, August 13, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 10

Sunday, Aug 2:
Uphill run (65min, 8mi, 30min uphill) - No time for a long run today. I was thinking about going for 90 minutes or so, but time started slipping away from me. I elected to kind of take a new route into the west hills via neighborhood roads. I basically ended up going uphill for 30 minutes to Fairmount near the top of Council Crest. I took it easy the whole way, so this was really just an easy strength and toughness builder. It was good. Coming back down was kinda lame, but overall I was happy with the improvisational nature of the run. (P31)

Gilgamesh Brewing, a buddy of mine from high school started this little outfit a few years back. They have received rave reviews and grown into a respected player regionally. This was my first taste, and this Oedipus IPA did not disappoint, and thankfully did not come across hop heavy. It was balanced and smooth and delicious.  

Monday, Aug 3:
AM run to work (39min, 4.8mi) - Standard run to work. Seemed a little tough after yesterday's hill workout. (Zante)

PM run home (42min, 5.2mi) - Just as standard home. (Zante)

Tuesday, Aug 4:
Ride to track (14min)
Track workout (~40min, ~5mi) 3 x 400- 100- 400- 100- 400- 600E + 1 x 400H
Ride home (20min)
-I went down to Duniway and did a track workout with Team Red Lizard for the first time. It felt good to be on the track again, but the workout itself was very individualistic in nature. There were three different options and everyone was kind of doing their own thing. So, basically the only thing I got out of this excursion was the idea behind the workout. Sure, there was a bunch of us using the same track, but for the most part I was on my own. I guess I was hoping for the communal, team nature present at track workout with the Guelph Victors and I did not get that. Not sure if it was just this particular workout, or if it's like this every time. Not too motivated to go again, but I would like to get involved with some kind of local running group. (Zante)

Duniway Track. West Hills, Terwilliger, and trails in trees on right.

Wednesday, Aug 5:
Hilly trail run (62min, 6.7mi) - Was on my own for this run and I wasn't really into it. Couldn't really get into a rhythm, my legs were, and I felt kinda tired. I can't decide whether or not I like my new North Face TRII shoes either. My foot seems to slide a around a bit. (TNF TRII)

Thursday, Aug 6:
Easy run (71min, 9mi) - Can't really remember this run, but I think I went from work and crossed the Howthorne Bridge, and ran down the east side of the river. (890s)

Saturday Aug. 8:
Long run w/ last 2mi @ MP (147min, 19mi, 7:43 pace) - Finished off a seven run week with my longest effort since Boston. I maintained a reasonable pace overall and felt pretty good throughout the run. I thought this route would be closer to 20 miles, and as it was I had to tack on nearly a mile once I got back home just to get to 19 miles. The 2 miles at MP (6:41 and 6:47 respectively) to finish was not planned, but I felt like I had it to give. Part of this was due to the fact I was coming downhill for the majority of mile 18. (Zante)

Weekly Totals:
500 total minutes
- 466 minutes run, 58 miles (7)
- 34 minutes bike

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 9

Sunday, July 26:
Long run (148min, 18mi) - This was easily one of the worst runs of my life. I wasn't too into it to begin with, and then about an hour in I had to deal with some serious GI issues that forced me to stop on several occasions and hit a restroom three separate times. I would've stopped even more if there had been more available potty stops. It was bad. The only thing I got out of this run was time on my feet and a mental boost that I battled through a difficult situation. Not good. (Zante)

Monday, July 27:
AM ride (20min, 5mi)
PM ride home (46min, 10mi) - Took it up to Fairmount today after work. Technically, this was an "off" day from running, but I did get a nice climb in on the bike. Took me 23 minutes and change to get up to Fairmount, which is close to my FKT for this route.

Tuesday, July 28:
AM run to work (38min, 4.8mi) 
*Yoga (60min)
PM tempo run home (45min, 6.2mi, 7:16 pace) - I pushed the pace pretty good on the uphills via Terwilliger and up passed Wilson High School on my route home. I think it worked out to 20 minutes of fairly hard uphill running and a steady pace on the flats. Loving the tempo runs right now. Plan to do another on Friday. (Zante)

Wednesday, July 29:
Hilly trail run (  ) - Pretty standard, however I was running in the new North Face TR II hybrid trail/road shoe so I had moments where I picked up the pace. It was nice to have the extra grip of the trail tread, but I think I've grown accustom to the responsiveness of the lighter, more race oriented shoes on the trail over the past couple months. The TR II will definitely have a prominent place in my rotation, but for now I'll give them a 7 out of 10. (TR II)

Thursday, July 30:
Easy maintenance run (46min, 5.7mi) - Very chill out and back from work along the river. (Zante)

Friday, July 31:
Tempo run (71min, 10mi) 2mi easy, 7mi tempo, 1mi easy - I ran early from work before the heat got debilitating and pretty much nailed this run. My splits for the tempo portion were between 6:20-6:38 per mile, which is right where I want to be for this type of run. There were moments where it hurt, but overall I felt very much in control. Easily the best confidence boosting run I've had this training block. (Zante)


Rewarded myself for a solid week of running with this little gem I stumbled across from Ecliptic Brewing right here in Portland. Previously unknown brewery to me, but flavorful farmhouse style Saisons have recently become a favorite of mine. The rhubarb this little guy is brewed with gives the beer a stylish pink hue, adds to the beer's overall fruity tone, and provides tartness to balance out the beer's bitter notes. It's delicious and at 5% ABV, a perfect summertime beer. 

Weekly Totals:
- 535 minutes total
- 409 minutes run (6)
- 66 minutes bike
- 60 minutes yoga

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 8

Kind of a standard week for me. I'm happy with my effort on the trail run and with the tempo run on Thursday. I need to start stretching things out a bit, but training is tougher now that I'm working full time, and we're just busier in general. That said, I also feel I might be benefiting from not running quite as much. Body feels a little better, and I'm not as obsessed as I was heading into Boston. Plus, I have to be getting stronger and fitter with all the damn hills I'm running. Need a big week next week though just to prove to myself I can do it. 

Sunday, July 19:
Long Progression Wildwood Trail run (110min, ~13mi) - This was a killer run in the extreme heat (near 100F) of the afternoon. The forest was considerably cooler. Took a nice nose dive shortly after the halfway turn around point. Somehow managed to run away without a scratch, but lost nearly half the water in my larger handheld bottle when I landed on it. I crushed this run apparently. I thought I came back much faster than I went out, but it was only a negative split by a minute or so (hard to know for sure because I lost some time after my crash). A nice hard long run like this on the trails has to have an equal or greater training effect than an steady 18-20mi long run. Regardless, it's more fun and better for the soul, and I will be where I need to be by marathon time on Oct. 4. (K4 - fun trail shoe)

Monday, July 20:
*Have a little lingering tendinitis in my right calf from Friday's run, so no run today.

AM ride (20min, 5mi)
PM ride (29min, 6.75mi) - Took a mini detour home, but kept it easy for the most part.

Tuesday, July 21:
AM run to work (38min, 4.7mi) - This felt good spiritually. Little tired though. (Zante)

PM run home (50min, 6.2mi) - Planned on going hard back up Terwilliger, but wasn't really feeling it, so I chose to go steady hard(ish). I had a couple sections where I picked it up for a minute or two at a time but chose to listen to my body. The total time on my feet running today provided stimulus enough. Also thinking of going hard uphill to Council Crest on Thursday, plus there's the weekly trail run tomorrow. Also also, best to take it easy on my niggling calf/tendon. I like having a day where I run to and from work. Building up to 2+ days would be nice. (Zante)

Wednesday, July 22:
Hilly trail run (65min, ~6mi) - Marquam Trail system with Colin. (1400s)

Thursday, July 23:
Tempo run (65min, 9mi) - 2mi easy, 6mi tempo, 1mi easy
*6:55, 6:50, 6:41, 6:42, 6:36, 6:34
-I was feeling a little tired and off today so I eased back on the pace just a bit. In the end, it was a decent little marathon pace type run. I'm happy I've been consistently building on these tempo runs because I think they're really going to help my marathon performance. If I can keep stretching these out and get a couple long runs at marathon pace I like my chances heading into the Portland Marathon. (Zante)

Friday, July 24:
Yoga - 60min

Saturday, July 25:
Easy run (50min, 5.6mi) - Ran from home early this morning through Gabriel Park and into Woods Park. It was nice to be out early, but other than I was not into this run this morning. I was tired and a bit sore and stiff. Haven't had a run from beginning to end like this in a long time, where I just never got into it or loosened up. The fact I felt like this the day after an off day is a bit odd, but not completely unheard of. It happens. (P31)

Weekly Totals:
- 487 total minutes
- 378 minutes run
- 49 minutes bike

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PDX Marathon: Week 7

I'm happy with this week overall. My minutes run were down because I shortened my Sunday "long" run way down and went hard instead. My mid-week runs were varied in terrain and pace, and reasonably long for mid-week runs. Three quality runs for the week. That's good. Things are starting to come around. Need to get at least three 20+ mile runs in over the next eight weeks. Or, trail runs in the 150 minute range. 

Sunday, July 12:
Uphill tempo run (56min, 19min uphill tempo, 7mi) 3min uphill, 10min, 5min, 1min - Last day of a step back week. Eased back on the mileage but hammered it hard on the uphills at tempo while pushing #1 (~40lbs) in the stroller from one end of Terwilliger to the other and back. In this case, we went from Barbur to Duniway Track. The way back is somewhere between 600-700ft of elevation gain over the course of 3.5 miles, which is just enough uphill to hurt but still maintain a steady pace. Add to that a stroller and a forty pound #1, and you got yourself an arse-kicker of a workout. And it was hot. (Zante, love them)

Monday, July 13:
Fartlek VO2 max run (49min, 6.6mi) 15min easy, 5 x 3min Hard/2min easy, 9min easy - From work down to Sellwood. These types of workouts have typically been tough for me the past year, but today wasn't bad. My hard repeats were around 5k pace (~6:00), which is a touch slow for this kind of workout, but at this point I'm just looking for as many different paces as I can get during the week. Variety, pace, and strength are key for me this training cycle. Not going to be able to log as many weekly miles this time around, so getting tougher and faster are key. At least that's what I've convinced myself for now. (P31)

Tuesday, July 14:
AM run to work (40min, 5.2mi) - Good morning for a run to work. (Zante)
Yoga (60min)
PM ride home (20min, 4.6) - Straight home.
  *pull ups x2

Wednesday, July 15:
Hilly trail run (56min, ~5.3mi) - Played on the Marquam Trail circuit with Colin after work. We had a couple nice steep sections, but no real big extended climbs other the first one straight up right out the gate. Shredded several downhill sections. (1500s)

Thursday, July 16:
Easy run (57min, 7mi) - Down to Sellwood and back after work. Easy felt good. (P31)

Friday, July 17:
Tempo run (59min, 8mi) 2mi easy, 5mi Tempo, 1mi easy 
*6:47, 6:43, 6:31, 6:47, 6:20 (throw down)
-Building up the length of my tempo run a mile at a time. I like it. I'm finally starting to dig these runs and I'm well ahead of my Boston training in terms of this type of fitness. Would like to build these up to 8mi-10mi and then start ramping up the intensity if I can handle it. Wasn't feeling super smooth today, but did manage to find a rhythm the back half of the tempo. Lunch run. (Zante)

Weekly Totals:
- 397 total minutes (counting yoga now)
317 minutes run
- 20 minutes bike
- 60 minutes yoga

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PDX Training: Week 6 - Step Back Week

Sunday, July 5: Step Back Week
Long run (123min, 15.6mi, 7:54 pace) - Took it pretty deep today. Went from our house to Terwilliger, down across Hawthorne Bridge, down eastside esplanade, over Sellwood Bridge, and up the Marquam Trail. This loop can easily be extended by crossing the Steel Bridge (~18mi), or crossing the Broadway Bridge (~20mi). I'm sure I'll find out the exact distance at some point. I did much better getting up the Marquam this time. Kept up a steady pace for the first 13mi. Longest run since Boston. (NB Zante)

Monday, July 6:
Easy run (48min, 6mi) - Along the river after work. Very hot and wasn't feeling it today. (Nike P31)

Tuesday, July 7:
Tempo run (59min, 8mi) - 2mi w/u, 4mi tempo (6:46, 6:42, 6:32, 6:32), 2mi c/d - Very happy with this run. Ran from work down river path and across Sellwood to the 4mi mark, and turned around to retrace. Heat was a factor again, but I kept the tempo up regardless. Might've run the last two a little fast, but all four mile splits are right in the Marathon Pace (MP) range I'm hoping to hit in October. This is a good sign. (NB 1500s)

Wednesday, July 8:
Hilly Trail Run (57min, ~6mi) - Colin and I headed up into the OHSU/Marquam Trail system from work today. This was a great run. Harder effort than I was after the day after a tempo run, but I think I'm taking a day off tomorrow so should be good by Friday. This run just further solidified the fact trail running around here is vastly better than road running. And the road running is damn good. (NB 1400s been a while since I've run in these

Friday, July 10:
AM ride (19min, 5mi)

Lunch easy run (39min, 5mi) - Definitely needed an easy day. Feeling fatigued.

Weekly Totals:
- 345 total minutes
- 326 minutes run
- 19 minutes bike
-Planned on running some on Saturday but it didn't work out with family life. In the end, I think not running insured this was truly a step back week. Feeling more and more like a runner again. Longer and longer fartlek runs and tempo runs are in order for the next several weeks. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

PDX Training: Week 5

Sunday, June 28:
Long run (110min, 14mi) - Ran from my house up Vermont, passed Wilson High School, and down the Marquam Trail to the river. I crossed the Sellwood bridge and ran down the Eastside Esplanade a couple miles, and then retraced my route. Going back up the Marquam Trail and over the hill by Wilson was a definite gut-buster. My longest run to date since moving back to Portland. I liked this route. (Zante)

Monday, June 29:
AM ride (15min, 3.9mi)

Lunch Tempo Run (45min, 6mi) 2mi Easy, 3mi Tempo (6:41, 6:30, 6:25), 1 Easy - Ran along the river to Sellwood today for a nice tempo run. First time I've run at pace for an extended period of time for a long time. It was hot out there yet again today, but for the most part this was a good workout and I felt pretty good. I went a little harder than necessary, but the effort was controlled and steady. (K5)

PM ride (23min, 4.8mi)

Tuesday, June 30:
AM run (33min, 4.2) - Ran to work. Took "cliffhanger" staircase down to Hamilton from Terwilliger. (Zante)
*Yoga (60min)
PM interval run (~51min, 6.75mi) 24min w/u, 6 x 600m w/2min rest, 14min c/d 
Rep times: 2:11, 2:08, 2:10, 2:07, 2:09, 2:10
-Very hot for the evening run home and track workout. Happy with my effort though. Consistent, with decent speed considering the weather and the fact my legs are thrashed from all the hills. (Zante)

Wednesday, July 1:
Easy run (64min, 7mi) - Took Colin from work down through PSU and up into Washington Park. This would be a very good route for a long(ish) tempo uphill session and a hard downhill push. Later in the training block for sure. (K5)

Thursday, July 2:
AM run (38min, 5mi) - Terwilliger all the way the Duniway Track. Keep running by the same young homeless couple sleeping just off the trail in the ivy near the track. The duality of life. I felt pretty beat down most of this run. (Zante)

PM ride (21min, 4.4mi) - Straight home.

Saturday, July 3:
Fartlek run (50min, 6.8mi) 12min w/u, 15 x 1min Hard/1min easy, 8min c/d - Hot again. Parked basically at Barbur and Terwilliger and ran all the way down Terwilliger for 24 minutes. Turned around at Duniway and ran back to the car. The return trip is more up than down or flat, so this was a tough workout. As tough as it was these types of short intensity workouts are already starting to feel much easier after just a few of them. Good sign. (LR3)

Weekly Totals:
- 450 minutes
- 391 minutes run (7)
- 59 minutes bike
First time I've had seven runs in a week in a very long time. Really bumped up the minutes this week. Starting to feel like a runner again.

Monday, June 29, 2015

PDX Commuter: Week 4

tram, trolley, bikes...take your pick

Sunday, June 21: Father's Day
Long run w/tempo finish (103min, 13.5mi, 7:38 pace) - Parked at the office and took the waterfront trail down across Sellwood Bridge and back up the east side of the river to the Broadway Bridge and back to Duniway Track. I cranked out a mile on the track at marathon pace (MP, 6:42 pace) and then did an easy half mile back to the car. I needed a run at a consistently faster pace just to test things out. I'm happy with my effort and the pace I maintained, but I was definitely feeling it towards the end. It was a good choice to end it with a mile on the track, which was not planned, but may have to become part of the routine when running from work. Good way to start off Father's Day. (1500s)

A common lunch spot for me

Lunch spot, south waterfront condos

Monday, June 22:
AM ride (21min, 5.3mi)

PM ride (46min, 10.3mi) - Did two sets of pull-ups at Duniway and then set off to the top of Fairmount with one full loop around the top. Route: Terwilliger, Westwood Dr, Westwood View, Mitchell, Fairmount. Took me 23 minutes of climbing to go from Duniway to Fairmount. First time I've gone all the way to the top this way (PB). 

Tuesday, June 23:
AM run (35min, 4.7mi, 7:34 pace) - New NB Zante shoes, love them
*Yoga (60min)
PM interval run (63min, ~7.5mi) 8 x 90sec (84-86 400m) w/60sec walk/jog @ Wilson track - It was hot outside and I did this workout after running uphill 3.5 miles to get to the track. Overall, I was pleased with my effort. (Zante)

Wednesday, June 24:
Trail run (59min, ~5.7mi) - Trail run (59min, ~5.7mi) - Tryon Creek State Park and River View Natural Area linked up in one huge climbing adventure with Colin on entirely new trails all within a few miles of our homes and work. River View's trail network was basically created and maintained by mountain bikers, and recently they were prohibited from riding in there anymore. The trails are raw and complete with several banked turns, which makes ripping down the west side of the forest to the river even more fun. We didn't another soul the entire time we were traipsing through the park. It was awesome. I think in the future we'll link up a few areas by parking down by the river and heading to Council Crest via Tryon Creek and Marshall Park. That would be an epic slog though. (K4) *See map of area below

Thursday, June 25:
AM run (37min, 4.8mi, 7:41 pace) - Felt a little tired this morning. (Zante)

PM ride home (25min, 5.3mi) - standard route home, Terwilliger & Cheltenham

Friday, June 26:
AM ride (17min, 4.2mi)

PM ride (54min, 11.4mi) Duniway to Fairmount (23:45) to Council Crest (5min) - 23:45 climb, 3min rest, 5min climb, 20min home

Weekly Totals:
- 460 total minutes
- 297 minutes run (5)
- 163 minutes bike
Happy I bumped up the minutes run this week and that I got in a speed workout. The run commute to work also went well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Commuter Training: Week 3

Downtown Portland from Terwillier Blvd.

Sunday, June 14:
Trail run (104min, ~10-11mi) - My buddy Alec actually had me all turned on the Marquam Trail circuit around OHSU. Think it's the first time that's happened to me on the trails around Portland...ever. Was nice to be lead by someone else on a run for a change. Looking forward to the next one. Saw Shalane Flanagan coming out of her house at the top of Council Crest and then again down the hill on Fairmount. Tried to say hi but she wasn't really into it. Apparently, she and Galen Rupp and Dathan Ritzenhein and coach Alberto use that loop quite often. Bigtime. (1500s) 

Monday, June 15:
Bike (21min, 36min) - Road down to Bike Gallery to get new tires. Did some West Hills climbing on the way back. Starting at the bike shop I had a gradual climb on roughly 26min, and then a sprint to home.

Gabriel Park - near our house

Tuesday, June 16:
AM ride (20min, 5mi) - Beautiful morning for a ride.
*Yoga Tuesday (60min)
PM ride (48min, 10mi) - Went home via Corbett and then up through RiverView Cemetery (great climb). Then I took Terwilliger to Cheltenham and climbed a bit up on Westwood Drive, and then busted it home. This was a good ride.

Wednesday, June 17:
Easy run (60min, ~7.5mi) - Colin and I ran along the west side of the Willamette River Waterfront path down to Sellwood Bridge. Colin has never run across any of the bridges in Portland, so we made our way mostly across Sellwood before turning back because we were crunched for time. I'd like to work the entire loop back around the other side of the river along the Springwater Corridor path and back across one of the other bridges into our rotation at some point. It's flat and scenic and can be a welcome change from all the hills. The loop can be as short as 8 miles and as long as 12 miles depending on which bridge we elect to cross back over. We had a couple moments where we pushed the pace a bit so that was nice too. (K4)

Thursday, June 18:
AM run to work (40min, 5mi) - Ran to work via Cheltenham and Terwilliger. Perfect. (890s)

PM ride home (33min, 6mi) - Took it pretty easy on the way home.

Gabriel Park

Friday, June 19:
AM ride (13min, 3.6mi) - Took it straight to work this morning on the most direct route and basically as fast as I could. It's quite fun to go this route sometimes and rip down Barbur Blvd. It makes for a very quick commute.

PM ride (36min) - NO GPS, but I did basically go uphill from work for 24min via Terwilliger, Westwood Drive, and Westwood View. Normally I would've taken this all the way up to Fairmount or Council Crest, but I was on a bit of a time crunch and felt like I had had enough for the day.

Weekly Totals:
- 411 total minutes
- 204 minutes run (3)
- 207 minutes bike (7)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Commuter Training: Week 2

 Willamette River, downtown Portland far right, Marquam Bridge, Tilikum Pedestrian Bridge, with West Hills in background

Sunday, June 7:
Trail run (94min, 9mi) - Took my buddy Colin on his first official trail run in Portland. We parked on Fairmount near the top of Council Crest, ran up to the spire, and then took the Marquam Trail off Dosch north towards the zoo. The Marquam eventually links up with Wildwood Trail near Hoyt Arboretum, which we took down into Washington Park and The Japanese Garden. From here we went back up Wildwood, across Burnside, and up to the Pittock Mansion for a quick break and turnaround. It was an absolutely perfect morning for a run, and there were lots of people out on the trail trying to get their runs in before the extreme heat of the day really set in. Colin held up alright considering it was a fairly tough run in terms of climbing, etc. Wish I knew how much vert we covered though. Guessing, I'd say 1500ft at least. (K4) 

Monday, June 8:
AM ride to work (21min, 5mi)

Lunch run w/ 10 x 30sec surges (36min, 4.7mi) - Ran along the east side of the river and threw in some surges since I haven't gotten the legs turning over in a while. First river run since I've been back. Lots of folks. Felt pretty good. Feel like I need to start mixing in some kind of speed work at least once a week now. (K4)

PM ride home (26min, 5.7mi) - Terwilliger, decided to take HWY 10 (Beaverton Hillsdale HWY) once I made it over the west hills, and then I blasted it up 42nd street.

View of Willamette River and downtown while crossing Hawthorne Bridge

Hawthorne Bridge with West Hills in background. I go over them each day to work. Look closely to see spires at the top of the West Hills.

Portland in all its glory.
Tuesday, June 9:
AM ride to work (14min, 3.5mi) - Wanted to get a longer ride in this morning, but I was running late, so it was straight up and over the hill.

Yoga (60min) - Yoga Tuesday at work. First yoga session for me ever. Not bad. 

PM ride home (60min, 12.5mi) - Took it straight up to Council Crest spire via OHSU and Fairmount Rd. Think it was roughly a 20 minute climb, and then I rode around Fairmount twice before taking 18th down the other side. This was a pretty tough workout as there are sections of the road with a rather steep grade, for me. The Fairmount loop is twisty and fun to ride, and a must for anyone who considers themselves a PDX cyclist. My next step is to figure out how to make SW Hillsdale/Multnomah Village a better ride. 

Top of Council Crest Park; looking west towards Coastal Mountains and Willamette Valley

Wednesday, June 10:
AM ride to work (22min, 5.5mi)

PM trail run (74min, ~8mi) - After work Colin and I drove to the Wildwood trail head off Cornell. We headed north on Wildwood through some of my favorite sections off the trail. It's a true forest of old, gigantic Douglas Fir trees and just about every other native plant to the PNW, and the trail goes on for 20 miles. We ran to the trail head on 53rd (~4min, 39min), and then turned around and headed back. The last push back to the car once you reach Birch Creek (idyllic) is a tough uphill slog for about 3/4 of a mile. The last 3min or so is real steep. There were a few sections of the run where pushed it pretty good for 2 - 5min at a time, fartlek style. It was a good workout. (P31) 

Thursday, June 11:
AM run to work (38min, 5mi) - I'm really starting to like the run commute. I have to get up earlier and carrying clothes, lunch, etc is obviously more of an issue than on a bike, but once I'm running all that goes away. If I can find the right backpack that's big enough to carry my supplies, and not so bulky it bounces around, I might try and bump up the number of days I run to and from work for the rest of the summer. It's just too beautiful running along Terwilliger in the early AM. (1500s)

PM ride home (22min, 5mi) 

Friday, June 12:
AM ride to work (20min, 5mi)

PM ride (47min, 9.7mi) - Easy ride around town and then home after that.

Terwilliger Blvd, looking south with Willamette River and Sellwood Bridge in deep distance

Saturday, June 13:
Speed workout (57min, 7.6mi) 8 x 200m/200jog w/4min set rest + 6 x 200/200jg + 1 x 400
-The Wilson High School track is the perfect distance from our house. It took me 14 minutes as an uphill (1.8mi) warmup jog to get there and then I did the workout and then I did an easy cool down jog back home. The track itself is perched on top of a hill so it gets a bit windy, but the view of the valley to the west on turns one and two is superb. This was the first time I've been on a track in about a month. It was nice to be out there, but I struggled a bit with turnover, and my legs were obviously fatigued from all the hill blasting the past three weeks. I didn't really have a specific workout planned and I decided once I got there I'd keep it to 200m repeats. I hit 39/40sec per 200m, which is okay, but I could feel I was pushing it ever so slightly. I actually started to feel better as the workout went on, not uncommon for me, so I guess that's a good sign. Rather than do the last two 200m repeats, I decided to bust out a 400 to test the system a bit. I hit 77sec and I'm okay with that. Felt reasonably smooth. Glad I made it to the track and I look forward to many more sessions there in the future. (LR3)

Weekly Totals:
- 531 total minutes
- 300 minutes run (5)
- 231 minutes bike (8)
- A couple real quality workouts this week with some nice touring of the city and trail running mixed in. Good stuff.