Archive for the ‘long run’ Category

Another eight in the books

Monday, March 18th, 2013

A woman passed me today near the end of my run and said “I saw you running earlier.” My first thought was that she was one of the people I chastised for letting their dog wander in front of me instead of reigning in their illegal 12 foot leash after I clearly announced my presence for nearly a block. But it wasn’t, which I was glad of as I didn’t want to relive it until I was able to blog about it. It did make me appreciate my longer run today. I have been running my base runs of 6 miles for several weeks now and it was good to go a little longer. My feet were feeling a bit sore towards the end, but nothing too bad. It was the perfect time for a longer run too, I had taken three days off from running so I was well rested. It was sunny (though not necessarily warm) and I have nothing to do today or later tonight (in terms of music.) If I had thought it out I would have brought something to eat or some gels and gone longer and gotten an LSD run in, but eight will do just fine for today.

12 miles, cold and wet style

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Actually, 12 and a quarter and that’s the miles not the rain gauge, though I suspect it was close. OK, ok I am exaggerating a tad. The rain was constant but not hard and I managed to get 3/4s of the way through before I dragged my foot through a big puddle. Still these warm dry clothes that I write in were highly welcome!

I thought of my route last night before I went to bed. My thought was to head down the Springwater Corridor until I got to the Sellwood Park where I diverted and ran through the park to get to Sellwood proper. Next onto East Moreland where I skirted the edge of the neighborhood past the golf course and nice homes. In my mind last night I figured I’d be about 8-9 miles at this point, but the watch said only 7.5. My original plan was to continue down Crystal Springs to meet up with a shorter route of mine around Brentwood Darlington park and home. I thought I would have to add on some miles to get me to my total I was looking for (12-13). Well, I am not sure where I thought this would take me but I soon found myself in the lower southeast hillbilly bario. Big potholes and even bigger trucks! And I was nowhere near a route that would have taken me to the park in question.

I continued on down roads with huge puddles for sidewalks which forced me into the road and into the way of unforgiving motorists. Surprisingly I managed to not get splashed and continued on my way. I made it back to sidewalks eventually and congratulated myself for remembering to bring a Clif bar which greatly reduced my wooziness from hunger. Actually it was a Clif bar and gel that really made the difference and pulled me away from dreaming of burritos.

Soon I found myself in more familiar territory and the run ended with me buying that dream burrito (actually it ended after I ran home with my bag). All in all it was a good run despite the neighborhood I ran the last quarter through. It was good to do something different. All of my long runs this winter have been different routes though I think I am running out of new local areas. I feel pretty good after.

Long run in the cold

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

I took a couple of days off due to the cold temps and an ugly hangover (just cause it is free doesn’t mean you should drink it!) I was especially bummed about missing my Monday long run as I had done it for four weeks in a row, but I was playing music that night for New Years. Fast forward to Wednesday with the recovered hangover in the works I braved the cold wind and hit the roads.

I wasn’t sure how far I’d go today but I started out thinking I’d do 10K, my typical run. As often happens when a run feels good I added another couple miles. The winds were pretty stout, but not as bad as they were at home in the upper elevations of Woodstock (make it sound mountainous doesn’t it!) So I decided to re-route and run 10+ miles. It was a great run (though cold and windy (have I mentioned that yet?)) and I found a good way to end my long runs – at the track. This way I can add however much I need to to get to whatever distance I am shooting for. Worked out really well as my run was about a half mile short of goal distance, so I added a few laps and it worked out perfectly.

I am pretty sore right now, I wonder if the cold had anything to do with that. Even my core was feeling it with a couple miles to go. I wonder if I was clenching my muscles or something? Even my feet were feeling it, not like I was running on glaciers but it felt like it.

Five pound run

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

What happens when you run for 11 miles with no water? Well if you are like me you lose five pounds. I am sure I’ll manage to drink it all back tonight but it is pretty amazing to see that on a scale. I guess boxers call that cutting weight but I’ll call it dumb on my part. I swear that is the last time I run that far without water, I’ll bring that water bottle next time!

The run felt great today. I was really slow just barely coming in under 11 min miles. It was sort of a new route for my long runs of late. I have done the route in the past, but not in a long while. Its actually a nice route, nearly three miles of it on the Springwater Corridor. The only frag about the route is the last four miles are essentially on hills as I climbed from the river front back to my home. I totalled about 10.75 miles which is a half mile more that my longest runs this winter. I’d like to keep adding miles to these runs in the future. I think that would be more beneficial than trying to do them faster. Not that I am training for anything at the moment, but that might change… Stay tuned!

This is the fourth Monday in a row that I have done a long run and the third in a row of over 10 miles. Last week I didn’t keep my overall miles up over 30 though, I had too much to do and weather getting in the way. I’d really like to return to the habit and keep my weekly miles over 30 for now. Running long on the first day of my running week is a nice boost. Makes the total not seem so insurmountable.

Oddly I have not run at all on Tuesdays after my long runs this month, well I guess it isn’t too odd, as I usually have a band practice on Tuesdays (this week and next I have it off so hopefully I will take advantage.) I really should be doing a recover run to keep my momentum going. Even a short run of 3-4 miles would be good and would reap benefits (plus I’d be that closer to my weekly goals!)

My Oregon Medical Insurance Pool will be ending soon once Obamacare takes over. I looked into my options coming up once it fully takes effect. Coverage for my wife and I will run about half of the OMIP plan. Here is one small business owner and job creator that will not be closing his doors! Yeah my situation is different than many being that my wife and I are the only two employees (actually just me, but I slide Ruthann money enough so that I can consider her on the dole.) but still, STFU Obamacare haters! I’ll add more on OC as I actually participate and I will be honest. If it sucks, I’ll let you know!

Longest run in a couple months

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I have been thinking of making my Mt Tabor run for awhile now. I don’t know why I have been so hung up on this and procrastinaty. I think maybe because it was the longest run I have done in a few months, 8.11 miles. I was curious to see how my foot discomfort would be affected. I even swabbed on some arnica gel before I pulled on my socks. Not sure how much it helps, but my feet didn’t really bug me until I was coming down off the mountain. That was when I really noticed that my show size somehow shrunk like 2-3 sizes (or at least that is what it feels like).

The run went pretty well albeit slowly. That has really been the story of my running life lately. Slow slow slow, like near 10 minute miles plus or minus a bit. If I am going under 10 min miles I feel like I am going pretty well! Oh the eight minute mile days… I do want to start incorporating some speed work in and build back up. I am feeling pretty good about getting back into the swing of things these days. I think the nicer weather has been a big part of it, though today it is nice and cloudy and cool, these will be the days I yearn for in the coming months.

My neighbors decided last night would be a great night to treat the entire hood to their campfire smoke. Woke me up after midnight and I had to shut my windows essentially trapping all the smoke in the bedroom. My lungs felt pretty flemmy this morning and I imagine that effected the run a bit. Thanks considerate neighbors.

Loooong slow run

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Today I set out to do a long run and managed to do it and then some. The 15.5 miles was the longest I have done this year. The run was a lot of fun as I kept adding big chunks to it. I finally had to stop when I turned around at the Springwater I-205 path intersection. I seriously considered continuing on to Powell Butte but I had no water and no goo left. It would have been an additional 3.4 each way. It would have given me over 22 which was what my running-addled mind started to consider after the first 10 or so. It would have been good to do the first run of that length in three years or so, I don’t think I have done one that long since I was training for the Portland Marathon in 2006.

My run started with the route of one of the first runs I ever did regularly in the area. At the Wimbledon I left that route and headed up the train overpass. After a quick uphill I cut south to the entrance of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. After a quick downhill run past the frog pond a mother peeing with her daughter I hooked up with the Springwater Corridor and continued south. At the Sellwood bridge I considered crossing it and heading to downtown, a run I figured would be about 15 miles. Sounded like too much at the time. So I passed underneath instead and headed up to the neighborhood of mystery. After passing through in front of a golf course I exited and met up with the three bridges portion of Springwater. Soon after the last bridge I left the path and picked up a bike route through Milwaukie. Past Providence Hospital and into downtown Milwaukie I doubled back to the corridor and headed towards the i-205 path. Here is where I passed up going to Powell Butte and instead headed back through east county neighborhoods until I found some water at Mount Scott Park. My destination was going to be a pizza parlor and after one moment of deciding to just head home I made it and got my slices. I’m glad I did as I am going to eat the last one right now!

Return to running

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

My break from running was short, but for some reason my body was thinking it was longer. I have run 4 out of the last 6 days with two set of back to back days. I am feeling really slow and experiencing a few minor injury problems. It is as if I brought my conditioning to a pretty high level and after the break my body is rebelling.

I have been having periodic issues with my hip lately. I have had these in the past, but it seems as if they have decided to flair up this week. I have been using the foam roller on my hips and that seems to help quite a bit, so perhaps that is the answer I am looking for.

On Sunday my running partner and I did an enjoyable nine miles in Forest Park, toward the end we decided to pick up the pace as we left the park and headed down the hill. Running downhill is supposed to build strength in the legs and running fast downhill is even better. The hard part of doing the fast downhill is letting go and not holding back. If you can relax your legs and gate to let your body just carry itself forward the downhill run can be a good thing. But if you are holding back you tighten up and can more easily cause injury to your legs and back. I think I was able to relax in our run down Thurman St. and we finished feeling good. My problem came later.

After our run and sushi my running partner wanted to go to the gym for a shower so I decided to bus home. The light rail took me from NW to downtown where I could pick up a bus to my neighborhood. On the train ride I saw that I had plenty of time to catch my bus, or so I thought. When I got off the train I had about a five block walk to catch the bus and when I turned into the bus mall there went my bus. The buses make a lot of stops downtown and tend to go slowly, so I thought I could catch it if I sprinted. Three blocks later I just made my bus! Phew! But as I sat down I realized my left leg was in pain. I could barely lift it. My sprint had been all I could take and I appeared to strain my left thigh. I seriously could not lift my leg, I could walk ok as long as I shuffled.

That evening I did a lot of gentle stretching and foam rolling concentrating on my left leg and it seemed to do the trick. Well that and taking a couple more days off combined with more stretching and rolling. My first run after the strain went pretty well. It was basically a junk run, over 70% of max so no recovery benefit and not nearly fast enough to be a quality run. But I put in some miles, eight of them, and most importantly was relatively pain free. I felt a little bit of occasional pain in my hip, but I was able to align myself and run through it. The only odd issue was feeling somewhat exhausted, like I still hadn’t recovered from my running break.

The next day (today) I started out resigning myself to another junk run. My thinking was that I might need to build up some regular running as a way of getting back into running form. Before I knew it I was cruising along at a pretty good clip with my HR in 160s. I quickly decided that my fear of doing quality workouts was not based in reality and today’s junk run became a slow tempo run, but still a tempo run and still a quality run. I felt pretty good as I maintained my high HR for five and a half miles or so before I slowed to a cool down for the final mile. The run felt great and I was really glad to beat the heat that showed up in the afternoon.

On another note we are considering doing the Pints to Pasta run that goes from the Widmer Brewery to the Spaghetti Station. Free food and beer and a new shirt are all part of the deal. Its a 10k and would be a good way to get another race it this year. My partner wants to do the Race for the Cure 5k the week following, so this would be a good warm up for that for her. More on this soon.

Mile high desert run to Five Mountains

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Ok, as usual I am exaggerating. Winslow is actually a shade under 500o ft. but it sure is a lot different than the 500 ft. elevation I am used to in Portland. I was curious to see how long it would take to get used to the change. In the past it seemed like 3-4 days was enough to acclimate to the new elevation and this trip has more or less confirmed that. For the first two runs I did (on days 2 and 3) I struggled a bit with my breathing. Just couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen. Even when I wasn’t running it seemed like I was always slightly out of breath. Nothing huge, but it certainly was noticeable. Even now at day five here I still feel slightly out of breath.

The big difference has of course been breathing. My first run I started out at 3 breaths in and 2 out, after only a few blocks I was breathing 2 and 2. Soon I was down to 2 and 1. I was surprised how quickly I transitioned into the faster breathing. And I wasn’t even doing a hard pace. The second run was about the same. It wasn’t until my third desert marathon that I was able to settle into my normal 3 – 2 breathing pattern.

As tough as the breathing was I think the more drastic change was in my heart rate. It was exceptionally high for runs that I was not doing at a super fast pace. My average pace was up above 165 for most of the runs and 155 for my “recovery” run. Way too high. We are having some high humidity, so that could be having an effect, but I am mostly attributing this to the change in elevation. All in all I would say my HR was about 20-25 beats higher than normal. I think this had quite a drastic effect on how I was feeling on the runs, but my post-run recovery seemed to go pretty smoothly. Every next morning I was ready for another run.

Yesterday I had a really great run out to what is called Five Mountains, really a chain of five mesas north of Winslow. I had ridden out there once on bikes as a kid and for some reason the area always held a level of mystique for me. Partly I think was due to the fact that i was never totally sure how we got out there and partly because I never went out there with my parents on any of our desert explorations. It was our place, “our” being the gang. In my mind it was only accessible via my old long gone purple bike. It seemed so far away too. You could always see it in the distance, but I never knew how far it was. Nobody seemed to know. Even as an adult, it seemed like it was miles away (and it was three miles to be exact from Desert View where my sister lives.)

On trips home I would always consider running out there, but I never did. This time I asked my sister and niece how to get out there and neither had any idea. They actually weren’t even sure what I was talking about. “Its that big mesa out there north of Winslow” I would say, “Can’t you see it.” “Whatever” said my niece… Hmmm, if nobody knows how to get there, how would I get there? My mom had an idea that I could head out to the old dump and find a road to the mesas, but that would be too long for a run as I would have to double back to the south, plus there was no shoulder on the road.

So on my Friday run I headed out towards Desert View originally not intending to go much further. The day was cloudy and that combined with my early start kept the temperatures nice and cool. Tooling along on the trail that runs through a culvert under the highway I thought to myself I may not have a better opportunity to try the mysterious run to Five Mountains. I dropped by my sisters house hoping to use the bathroom (I miss not having the bathroom mid-run at Reed) but she wasn’t awake despite the cacophony from her four dachshunds. I filled up my bottle from her garden hose with the most vile water imaginable (but still wet) and headed down the road to the desert north of her house.

Through a muddy dip I chased a jack rabbit and headed in the general direction of the mesas. The roads, used for off road fun, twisted and dipped and featured many ruts that I am sure are a lot funner on an ATV. My ankles rolled to match up with the uneven terrain. North I went. Then the road turned, and split, and got worse. Soon I was heading due west towards two water tanks that service a new community west of town. I thought I would just keep going for awhile in hopes of turning back towards the mesas, and the road did! Unfortunately I soon took me up a big hill and to the east, again the wrong direction. I was on the verge of giving up and heading for Walmart when the road ended in a big circle used for spinning broddies. I looked to the north again at my mesas and I saw a barbed wire fence between me and the mountains. I thought, what the heck, I’ll go see if there is any way I can get through. As I reached the fence I found a spot that looked like someone had broken through. Some rancher had repaired it but left me enough space to easily squeeze through. I thought, this is a sign that I should keep going toward my goal, so I did. Not 100 feet away, I had a bad sign when I tripped over a dried prairie grass clump and landed in the redest most powdery sand imaginable. With the sweat I had worked up at that point I managed to completely cover my right side. I was a mess. But I continued on.

As horrible tasting as that hose water was, I was super glad to have it. And powered by the Tower of Power I did an Oakland Stroke across the sands. The ground was oddly swept by winds and rains and many of the sparse desert plants where pretty green. The going was slow as I pushed through the sandy soil. The mesas loomed in the distance, looking much further than the 3 miles they actually were. I was determined to make it out there and eventually I did despite thoughts of getting bit by a rattlesnake. I kept my distance from larger brush piles and such. Eventually I found myself on a long flat stretch to the south of the mesas and I knew I was home free. I had made it! Now I just had to climb to the top. Actually the thoughts of climbing the mesa was on my mind the entire run colored by my fear of heights. I could see a spot on the side of the mesa where I probably could reach the top. The last bit was like a sandstone nipple and really made me reconsider the ascent. But by the time I reached it I knew I had no choice, I had to get to the top. So I stopped my watch and made the climb. The ground was pretty soft due to the sand and rain we had had, but I trudged through the crumbling face and made it to the stone top. I wasn’t done yet though. I had to get to the very top and stand up straight to look out at the desert floor all around me. And I did. I was pretty nervous about it and standing up was a chore and a half, but I did it. I didn’t stay long, just snapped some pics on my phone (which came out poorly) and headed back down.

Coming down was pretty nerve racking for me. I spent a good amount of the initial rocky part on my but scooting down. I figured I was already covered in red dirt anyway, so whats the dif. The crumbly part posed further climbing challenge, but one I realized I could crab walk sideways and keep my balance I was fine. I have to say I was glad to be at the bottom. I hope this sounds like the mesa was really high, becasue it wasn’t. I am just a heights wuss.

At the bottom I realized I hadn’t searched out the road back so I wouldn’t have to cross through the desert again. Well I wasn’t climbing back up, that’s for sure. So I decided to just take the road and see where it led. I had the water tanks in the distance as a guide, so at the very worst I could just head off toward those. The rod curved through several washes and carved out trails in the sandstone. As I got closer to the water tanks I was also going further west, the opposite direction from home. But I had a pretty solid idea that eventually I would meet up with a road that was meant for real human transport so I kept on. Eventually my dirt road came to a fence and soon a gate (complete with a no trespassing sign) and beyond the gate, I found myself across a cattle guard and onto asphalt. After a long stretch of blacktop I came to the side road along I-40 and headed back into town and my sisters neighborhood. I had another 2.5 miles to get home and I decided I had enough. It was time to wake up my sister and get a ride home which is just what I did. Her dogs loved me, I was a giant stinky desert salt pop and they licked and licked. After several cold G2s I felt much better. I had done it, I had conquered the Five Mountains. And I even know how to get back there now, not that I ever will. It was a lot funner as a kid than as a heights challenged/addled adult.

Two quality runs in a row

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I sort of went off my regimen of hard – easy – hard – easy runs today by doing a second hard quality run in a row. Yesterday my running partner and I ran up to Mt. Tabor to do some hill repeats. We started with a mile warm up that ended up including too much hill work to be a good warm up. Once we finally got to our repeat area we started our 1/4 mile runs. We did eight of them between 2:05 and 2:20 with the slower ones due to doggie troubles. By the time we got to the last one I was feeling pretty pooped  and my 2 mile cool down took forever. But a great workout.

Today I started out for six easy recovery miles. I decided to add on a couple of miles by running down to the Eastmoreland golf course. On the loop back I decided to add a couple of blocks to the loop (mile 4) and ended up going east for 30 blocks when I hooked up with the Springwater corridor (mile 6) and returned to the reed neighborhood. At the end of the corridor (mile 8) I ran through the Moreland Park (where I found a water fountain) and over the bridge to the Reed neighborhood (mile 10). At Reed I found another fountain (mile 12) and started to curse myself for not bringing water on this short run I had planned. I did have Sharkies which helped a lot. I headed home and ended up going 13.75 miles all together at 2:31. Super slow run and a burner for sure. I feel pretty depleted but I have been drinking a lot and eating well. Which would have been great if I hadn’t taken advantage of a beautiful day and worked in the yard. I am pretty tired. But I am going to watch a movie (Human Centipede) and  go to bed early tonight. I have a show tomorrow, but I may run after, we’ll see. That will definitely be a recovery run!

Weekend long run, a day early

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

This week I did my long on Saturday so I could do a shorter run on Sunday with my running partner who is getting back in the swing of things after a race, a new dog and life. When I got up this morning I was only sure of one thing about this run and that was that I was going to do one. I knew I needed to do a long run this weekend as it would be my last long run before the Race for the Roses on Sunday, April 11th. But I was also thinking I didn’t really need to do another long one as I should be tapering. Since I didn’t run long last weekend, I felt a little pressure to get another in, but I was feeling a bit lazy. And due to a late large meal last night which managed to supply my brain with a host of nightmares and my belly with a not so digested wake-up, I was more inclined to just do a short run. As I walked down the driveway I still hadn’t decided what to do. Go right for a shorter run or left for a run up to Mt. Tabor. I picked right.

Even as I turned east and headed to the volcano I still hadn’t decided if I would just do the eight mile Tabor route or if I would extend it with a dash to Laurelhurst Park. I think this option was one of the main reasons I chose “right”. It was cool and spitting, so I dressed warmly. Too warm in fact as just after a mile I had to stop and take off my warm shirt to settle into a long sleeve running shirt and my running shell. But the gloves didn’t come off, I wasn’t that warm yet! The run to the mountain was relatively fast and I powered up the base of the mountain to get to the lower trail. The big climb went quite a bit slower, but I managed to keep my HR in check for the most part with one 170+ peak. At the top I did my victory lap and downed a gel. At this point I knew I was going on to the park.The run down the mountain was really muddy and I found myself slogging through a couple of really bad spots always mindful to go through the mud so as to not carve a wider path on the drier edges.

The park was beautiful with all the blossoming trees and despite all the rain it wasn’t too muddy. The run through the park always goes by too quickly and I soon found myself heading south into the wind I would be dealing with for the next 2.5 miles. At one point I found myself with another mileage choice. If I went right I could go to the track and onto Reed college which would give me really close to a half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles. If I chose left it would be less, but how much less I wasn’t sure. Since I had already gone longer twice before, I chose left and discovered that this route gives me 11 miles exactly. I felt really good, easily felt like I could go on for another couple miles at least, but I’ll save that for next weekend!