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. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Portland Commuter Training: Week 1

My an office...first time ever
Technically, last week was Week One of a sixteen week "training plan" for the Portland Marathon: Quest for the Sub-3 Hour Marathon. And, at least for the foreseeable future, I'm going with a different approach to training: attack the hills as much as possible with an occasional touch of speed or distance on the flats or track. My "plan" is to assault said hills by bike and by run. I forgot how much fun it is to ride a bike in this city, and my goal is to build as much strength and general toughness as possible (attacking hills), so cycling will be a significant portion of my weekly exercise volume for the next six weeks or longer. I still hope to actually run 4-5 times per week, but I shouldn't have to run as long on those (long run day excluded) if I keep cycling in the mix. I'm also hoping that cycling a bit more and running a bit less helps prevent over training or injury deeper into this quest, but ultimately, at this point as long as I maintain a weekly volume of 400 to 500 minutes, attack vert, and have fun doing it, I should be good to transition into Phase Two in a couple months. 

Although, I certainly hope to continue to write the occasional race, run, or ride report, and maybe a Road to Oregon piece, moving forward I don't foresee having as much time to write actual content driven blog posts as in the past. With this in mind, I've decided to simply share my weekly training log as a blog post for a while. It's always been viewable in my pages section, but this makes it more present and potentially open to comments if I can get the comments link to work more consistently (unacceptable). Some of the daily log updates are in-depth, and others are not. There's runner speak, local terminology, and an obvious tone of a diary at this stage, but my hope is those who tune in and read are inspired to get out and challenge themselves on a daily basis, and discover their authentic self however that may be. Enjoy, copy, and/or share.

Week One Training Log... 

Sunday, May 31:
Trail run (83min, ~9mi, 2000ft elev. gain) - Wildwood Trail this morning with Carter. Lots of vert and a tough test for the lungs and legs. Felt great to be running through the woods in the PNW again. Carter did great as well. (P31)

Monday, June 1:
Morning: bike ride (18min, ~4.5mi, 280ft) - Road to Whitman Partners for work
PM: ride home (18min, ~4mi, 500ft)

PM: Easy run with hills (34min, 4.5mi, 380ft) 
-Total of 70min of exercise and 1000+ft of elevation gain today with a fair amount of hill work both riding and running. Building leg strength rapidly since moving back to Portland. The only way out of our neighborhood heading north, south, or east is going to include a decent amount of hill work - just what I wanted. (P31)

Tuesday, June 2:
AM: bike ride (14min, 3.5mi, 280ft) - Straight up and over this morning

PM: run home (50min, 6.5mi, 880ft) - Ran home from work this aft via Terwilliger Blvd. Felt pretty steady and controlled up and over the hill. Good stuff. (1500s)

Wednesday, June 3:
AM: run to work (40min, 4.75mi, 360ft) - Ran to work via Terwilliger. There will be many options to make this longer, shorter, and more difficult through the hills. (P31)

Looking east off Terwilliger Blvd on 6AM run to work

PM: ride home + mtn bike/hiking through woods (43min, 8mii, 1000ft) - Rode home via Ter, Homestead, Gains, OHSU, Marquam trail, Fairmont, Mitchell, and down the other side. Finished up going back up Shattuck and Cameron. It was a big time route up and through the west hill woods, and the marquam trail. I had to get off and walk my bike up many of the switchback sections. Will have to finish this off next time by taking it all the way to the spire on top of Council Crest. Getting vert and loving it.

Thursday, June 4:
Hill run home (52min, 6mi) - I took it deep today on my run home from work. I hopped on the Marquam Trail at the lower end of Terwilliger and blasted straight up to the top of Council Crest. I wanted a route that offered some tough climbing and was shaded, and this seemed to be a great option. The forest was cool, and it was probably a 1000ft climb, although I don't know for sure because my Garmin has decided to stop transferring data (annoying). I will definitely keep this route in the rotation. Starting to hanker for some flat, faster stuff. (P31)

Top of Council Crest Park - highest point in Portland West Hills

Friday, June 5:
AM ride: (21min, 5.3mi) - Rode to work this morning via Terwilliger (like this route)

PM ride: (45min, 9.4mi) - Rode home via River View Cemetery. I love climbing through the cemetery. The roads are nice and narrow. It's quiet. And, it's well-shaded on hot, sunny days by massive Douglas Fir trees. The reward of the view from the top is also a nice added bonus. 

Top of River View Cemetery 
Weekly Totals:
418 total minutes
- 259 minutes run (5)
- 159 minutes bike (6)
- Lots of climbing; feeling stronger already

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Road to Oregon: Abridged Version

So, I didn't have much time to write while I was on the road with Carter. Any free time I did have I didn't want to spend sitting in front of a computer. My plan was to spend some time writing once I was back in Oregon, but between getting things settled in our new home, blasting hills whenever possible, and work (surprising twist in the narrative), there has been very little time leftover for anything else. I haven't even gone through all the pictures I took along the way.

Hopefully someday I'll put a piece together that includes both pictures and narrative, but I didn't take any notes along the way and the finer details are starting to fade. Perhaps I'll compose more of a photo essay, or maybe going through the photos down the road will spark a flame. 

Just now as I write this I'm reminded of the horrible case of pink eye I contracted from #1, which manifested in vicious way on Day 2 due to wearing contacts on my morning run. Even though it was like living in a cloud the entire time I was there, Colorado, and more specifically, Boulder, did not disappoint. The Adventure Lodge (A-Lodge) located just up the canyon from downtown Boulder was a perfect spot for us. The trails were sloppy and muddy, but we got out and did our best. It seemed as if I was always running either up or down, never flat. I know now why runners from Boulder are so bad ass. The drive into Arches National Park coming from Colorado was one of the most beautiful road trip experiences I've ever had. The red rock formations juxtaposed with rugged, snow-capped mountains in the background was a first for me. We were incredibly lucky to have booked a camp sight inside the park at Devil's Garden amongst the star gazers and moon chasers, which also allowed us to drive/run around the park in the early morning and visit some of the more popular spots before the rush of the crowds hit, which they did. Our next night camping in the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah wasn't quite as idyllic, but it was certainly worth the trip. We watched a fierce mountain storm ominously roll in from the south from our camp sight. It brought a quick bout of heavy rain, lightening, and thunder that rocked the canyon with as much might as any I've experienced. It was also here that I discovered trying to run uphill at 7000 feet is very tough for me, even at a snail's pace. 

This is just a snippet of our journey. The rest may just stay with me and Carter. I will, however, get photos up at some point.