Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yes, it's been a while since I've checked in... with a busy work schedule on top of back-to-school time for the girls, something had to give.  And it was the blogging that gave.  But for a quick update:

Progress is being made in three areas, but the level of progress varies.

  • Not-so-great progress: The fundraising for Echelon Gran Fondo.  Yes, I set a tough fundraising goal of $2,500.  On top of the very generous $1,000 that people raised for the Seattle Rock N Roll marathon back in June.  So it isn't too surprising that we sit at $500 today, 8 days out from the ride.  But I was hoping to get more out of a very generous in-kind donation from one of my mentors, TV Srinivasan.  Alas, executing coaching is considered by many to be a luxury item, and in the current uncertain economic climate, we didn't realize the full fundraising potential of that generosity.  Nevertheless, we still raised $500 to fight cancer via the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, which is still a great accomplishment!  And you can still donate for another month after the ride, so please do keep those donations coming!
  • Good progress: Training for the Gran Fondo has gone well.  It took some creative scheduling of rides and liberal use of the home exercise bike on weekday mornings before work, but according to TrainingPeaks, my fitness level (the blue line) is solid while my freshness level (the orange line) is peaking:
  • Great progress: The weight is coming down.  After tweaking my diet a bit (higher protein to prevent random hunger, eliminating soda, minimizing processed foods) and religiously tracking my consumption and exercise on TrainingPeaks, I seem to be making steady progress.  Over the last 7 weeks, I've managed to drop 7.8 pounds and now sit at 190.4.  That means there's a reasonable chance of having to pull less than 190 pounds uphill next weekend.  Oh, did I mention that 190 is the lowest I've weight since May 1999?  That's progress! :)

Thanks for checking in everyone... hopefully I'll get one more post out before the big event.  Until then, onward!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Attention Professionals! Fight Cancer, Get an Executive Coach!

Sept 14th update
There are still coaching slots available!  To make this a little more lucrative for you, the potential donor, here's what we're offering for the next three donations:
  • Make a $100 donation at my Echelon Gran Fondo fundraising page.
  • Then e-mail me at with “Gran Fondo” in the subject line and indicating that your donation is going toward the Executive Coaching giveaway.
  • You will receive 3 hours of executive coaching!
This latest offer will remain open until we have 3 donors at the $100 level interested in the coaching giveaway.  So sign up now to claim your hours!

= o = o = o = o =

As you may know, I’m riding the Echelon Gran Fondo 100-mile ride on September 26th in support of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and LIVESTRONG.  One very generous donation that I’ve received is ten hours of executive coaching to pass along to you – the other donors who support my fundraising efforts for these worthy causes.  The donation comes from one of my mentors, TV Srinivasan.  I’ve known TV for over 10 years, going back to his days as a business leader at DuPont.  Over the last two years, as he has moved into executive coaching, TV has been my mentor.  Working with TV, I’ve been able to better balance the priorities of family and work, to more effectively set realistic but aggressive goals for my professional and personal life, and to better manage my stress level.  TV’s widely varied business experience, working across cultures and building partnerships gives him an incredible wealth of knowledge from which to draw when coaching.  For more on TV, check out his credentials at LinkedIn.

How you can win executive coaching
There are two ways you can win one (or more!) of the ten hours of coaching:

1. Purchase an hour!  Five of the ten hours are set aside for outright purchase.  All you have to do is:
  • Make a $100 donation at my Echelon Gran Fondo fundraising page.
  • Then e-mail me at with “Gran Fondo” in the subject line and indicating that your donation is going toward the Executive Coaching giveaway.

At that point, if you’re one of the first five donors at the $100 level, I’ll put you in touch with TV to arrange for your coaching.  And yes, if you donate at the $200 level, you can purchase 2 hours, $300 for 3 hours, etc.  Once the five hours are sold out, I will post an update at the page stating so.

2. Enter a raffle!  Five of the ten hours are in a raffle pool.  To enter the raffle:
  • Make a $50 donation at my Echelon Gran Fondo fundraising page.
  • Then e-mail me at with “Gran Fondo” in the subject line and indicating that your donation is going toward the Executive Coaching giveaway.

At that point, you’re in the raffle.  The raffle will end Sunday, September 12th at noon Pacific Daylight Time… with one caveat.  We need to have at least 15 entries in the raffle to close out the raffle and select the winners using the list randomizer at  So forward this to your friends and colleagues to ensure we have enough entries to move forward with the raffle!  And yes, you can enter the raffle multiple times to give yourself multiple chances to win.

Once you’ve won an hour of coaching, you and TV can arrange how to utilize your hour: a single one-hour session, two thirty-minute sessions, three twenty-minute sessions or some other arrangement.  Just keep in mind that with TV in India, most US clients find it convenient to set up morning or evening appointments with TV, in which he will call you.

Good luck!
I’ve benefitted greatly from TV’s coaching, so I congratulate those of you pursuing these coaching hours.  And keep in mind, you don’t have to want executive coaching to make a donation toward the Knight Cancer Institute and LIVESTRONG – just make a donation at my fundraising page and know that you’ve benefiting a pair of great causes!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Hi everyone!  Yes, it's been a while since I last posted, but training hasn't taken much of a break since then.  I did have a nice break from running the week after the marathon, and had about a week off during the first half of July due to a flu/cold thing (although I did not get the immediate post-marathon cold, which is a first!).  The training has gone on, but it has undergone some changes.

1) I've transitioned the training from run-focused to cycling-focused.  When I was running, I was doing 2-3 runs a week and supplementing the cardio with cycling - basically a strategy not to injure the hip, knee and feet since they've all had problems in the past.  Now, the training is cycling-focused, shooting for 3-5 rides a week with the occasional run thrown in for variety or when traveling and I don't have a bike or an exercise bike available.  And yes, sometimes I'm resorting to the exercise bike.  If you travel to Arizona or Nebraska, where it's 115 degrees or 100 degrees / 80% humidity, a hotel recumbent bike is far better than killing myself outside.  So while I haven't quite got the miles and times in that I've wanted every week, I have consistently been getting in my workouts:

2) I've started doing heart-rate based training.  The bonk that I experienced in a couple of my long runs earlier this year, and the meltdown that occurred at mile 17 of Seattle, may have been hydration/nutrition-caused.  But just as likely they were days that I was pushing the envelope and just didn't notice that I was stretching myself thin.  Since I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 305 with a heart-rate monitor in early July (thanks, Mom, for the birthday money!), I started to notice that during a workout I cannot feel the difference between a 150-bpm effort and a 170-bpm effort.  But a 150-bpm effort will build endurance without killing me, where the 170-bpm effort will leave me fatigued and make it harder to work out the next day, and lead to a nice cold if maintained a couple of days in a row.

I noticed the shift in philosophy paying off a few times in the last week.  I've been keeping most workouts under 163bpm - my supposed Lactate Threshold.  Then, I rode a killer ride up Bald Peak last Saturday:

Yes, the heart-rate monitor was going off all the way up the cat 2 climb... but I was able to maintain my heart rate at a reasonable spot the rest of the ride, including up the cat 5 climb - which isn't that easy when you're riding it in 92 degree weather!  And after a day off on Sunday, I was smart enough to spin a recovery workout Monday morning at 130bpm, to get in some miles without really taxing the body.  Honestly, I'm starting to wonder if the Garmin is the best piece of equipment I have ever purchased!

3) The third change I've made is another approach towards training - being deliberate.  Not only in planning my workouts, but in monitoring what I put in my body.  Let's face it, going up Bald Peak as a 195 pound rider is a lot tougher than going up as a 155 pound rider (which is where my target weight is).  A great website has made it very easy for me to plan my workouts and monitor my intake:  This software is used by everyone from Tour de France professional riders to weekend warriors like myself, and so far it seems to be paying off.  By tracking intake, I've become very conscious of what I eat - so much so that I actually lost weight on a 6-day trip that involved a couple of dinners out.  Between the Garmin and TrainingPeaks, I feel that I'm ready to take my fitness to the next level!

One downside of turning from a runner into a cyclist (or serious triathlete) is the time required for training.  That means in addition to being deliberate about my training and nutrition, I need to be very deliberate about my priorities.  Sure, I could go out and do a 5-hour ride on Saturday followed by another 5-hour ride on Sunday to get in serious miles, but that wouldn't leave much time for family activities.  That means weekend workout planning is a joint activity between Christine and I, to make sure that training time is not taking away (much) from family time.  It's a constant challenge, but last I checked, my paycheck comes from being a quality expert, not a cyclist - and in the grand scheme of things, hobbies shouldn't trump family.  So far it seems to be working, and hopefully we can keep up a healthy balance through the duration of century training.

Speaking of century training, just a reminder that the Echelon Gran Fondo is only 40 days away!  So far, fundraising is going slowly... only $225 out of the $2,500 target has been raised.  But I hope to announce something in the next few days that will help out with that.  In the meantime, please do donate here to help in the battle against cancer!  Whether you donate $5 or $500, it all help out and goes to a couple of great causes.

Until next time, onwards!

Monday, July 5, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon race report

Hi everyone!

I hope that you've all had a great Fourth of July weekend and got to spend time with family and friends or whomever you choose to spend your time with.  We had an enjoyable four days of vacation after the marathon in Seattle, then another four relaxing days.  And today is a work holiday, so one more day off for me before it's back to a more regular schedule.

Some of you were following along via twitter or Facebook, and thanks for the comments and encouragement along the way.  This marathon didn't go quite as well as I had planned, but overall it was a successful run and fundraising effort!

The weekend started out with a leisurely solo drive up to Seattle - Christine and the girls were on their last day of music camp, but I had to get to the expo to pick up my number so I rented a car one-way.  On the drive up, I had the iPod to keep me company, and listening to Competitor Radio podcasts was a great way to get psyched up for the race!  After checking into the hotel and dropping off my car, I walked a few blocks over to the expo... one of the biggest expos that I've ever seen!  Brooks running had a large area set up, in addition to the normal swag and vendors.  I did manage to keep my wallet under control, though, then headed out to a late lunch, a nap at the hotel and a bite for dinner before Christine and the girls arrived around 7:30pm.

The next morning was an early wake up - 4:15 so I could shower (the only thing that will really wake me up that early!), have some breakfast, and walk the 6 blocks to one of the shuttle stops to be bussed out to the start in Tukwila.  Staying downtown was great, but looking at the course map, you can see it was quite a ways from the start - and with no spectator parking at the start, it was better to let Christine and the girls sleep in and just meet them at the finish.

At the start, I wandered around for a bit until I ran into another Team LIVESTRONG runner, Jeff from Florida.  He and I hung out until a few minutes after the start... with me being in starting corral 17 and him in 20, it would be a while after the 7am gun when we would actually get underway.

Once my corral hit the start, I got into a pretty easy pace.  The day was nice and cloudy, and the temperature only 57F, but I decided that with the up-and-down training over the last month, I was not going to try to blast a sub-4:00 run.  I figured if things went well, I could run at a 4:15-4:20 pace over the first half, then pick things up over the second half and maybe break 4:10.  Or at least run my first sub-10:00 min/mile pace marathon (a 4:22). Or at least set a PR (sub-4:26).  And over the first 3.9 miles, it went according to plan: mile splits of 9:32, 9:33 and 9:55 put in pretty good shape.  And despite a three-and-a-half minute pit stop right before mile four, and a solid uphill from mile four to five, I was still in pretty good shape.

When I got onto the flats of Lake Washington, I accelerated a bit (splits of 9:12 to 9:51 over miles 6-12) but kept it in the comfortable range.  And there were a lot of distractions on the course - some enjoyable bands and DJs (hearing ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" blasting through the I-90 tunnel around mile 12 was incredible!), a lot of high school cheerleading teams, creative aid stations (at mile 7 you could pick up salt packets like those at fast food restaurants for replenishing electrolytes) and tons and tons of spectators.

After coming through the tunnel, I started to feel a bit of fatigue, but when I hit the half-marathon split at 2:12:32, I figured that I was still in good shape.  But after maneuvering over some overpasses to get into downtown, then up and down some hills to get through downtown and onto the Alaskan Way viaduct, I realized that I was starting to feel tired... and still had 11 more miles to go.  The first serious walking break that wasn't at an aid station was around mile 16, and my split reflected it: a 10:52 mile.  A PR was starting to look like a serious challenge, and 4:30 even a bit sketchy.  The legs felt heavy and tired.  No cramping like previous marathons, and no blisters, but just very heavy, tired, and sore legs.  Then the uphill starting between miles 16 and 17 pretty much put both of those out of reach... miles 17-22 saw almost as much walking as running, with splits ranging from good (10:07 for mile 19) to ugly (15:37 for mile 21).

I got my second wind back on the Alaskan Way viaduct on the way back toward Qwest field - a nice 9:59 mile.  But after that, I was in survival mode.  The next three miles - another out and back away from downtown - were a melange of running and walking, but at a pretty steady pace around 12:00-13:00.  And finally, mercifully, the offramp from the viaduct came up around mile 25.8.  The crowds got very dense once again, with a lot of people shouting encouragement.  Coming down the hill I was able to get back into stride, round a couple of corners, and finish strong - with Christine and the girls cheering me on from the fencing near the finish!  It wasn't pretty at all, but finishing in 4:46:28 felt like quite the accomplishment!

While the time wasn't what I was looking for, it was a great experience.  The crowds were amazing - although considering I've run Eugene and Portland, I can't say that they were the tops... that would be a disservice to the great crowds in those races.  Running for Team LIVESTRONG was quite an experience as well - meeting a fellow team member at the start, get a lot of cheers just by wearing the team shirt, and even one four year-old who yelled "Go Armstrong!" around mile 16.  The fundraising aspect was also great - knowing that by pursuing my hobby I'm helping out cancer survivors and those locked in the battle at the same time.  This is something I'm definitely going to make a regular part of my athletic life.

Speaking of which, the next challenge is already out there... and something I'm already training for: the Echelon Gran Fondo on September 26th.  The goal is a bit more lofty than the $1,000 we raised for Seattle - a cool $2,500, in about a third of the time.  But I'm sure we can pull together and do it, since it's supporting two great causes - the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Knight Cancer Institute here in Portland.  So join me in the next event, and let's keep it up in the battle against cancer!  Onward!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training 6 days out - this is a taper?

Hi everyone-

I hope you all had a great Father's Day!  We had an enjoyable time going up to Mt St Helens for a little sight seeing... and even though all we saw is this:

we still had a good time roadtripping in the car and checking out the visitors' center.  Definitely a nice relaxing day.

Speaking of relaxing, my taper has been far too much relaxing - but not by choice!  After my great long run on Monday, I found out that I overdid it a bit.  By Wednesday, I had come down with a cold of the coughing, stuff, very scratchy throat variety.  Initially the plan was to take Tuesday and maybe Wednesday off, then put in a block of 5 or 6 straight days of medium to easy intensity, but keep the body working.  Instead, I took Tues-Thurs off, put in a very light workout on Friday (30 min on the bike, in which I felt like I was going to pass out the whole time) and took another rest day on Saturday.  Fortunately, by today I feel almost normal, and was able to put in 40 min on the bike at a reasonable intensity.

From here on out, the goal is to put in easy to medium effort workouts (of the 30-45 minute variety) at least two out of the next three days, then rest Thursday and Friday.  At that point, my body should be primed and ready to go for the marathon in Seattle.  Oh, and did I mention that my awesome wife and kids bought me some very cool LIVESTRONG swag: a nice t-shirt (shown), another nice t-shirt (blue with LIVESTRONG and "Just Do It") and a great visor.  That means I'll definitely be stylin' when I head up to the marathon as a part of Team LIVESTRONG.

And keep in mind... there's still time to donate!  If you want to make a contribution to the cause, please do donate here.  It's for a great cause!

Depending on how much time I have at work this week, I'll check in a couple more times before race day.  Until then, onward!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training 10 days out - finding my mojo

Hi everyone!  Sorry for the late post, but my great training week last week rolled over into this week and I wanted to update everybody after a couple of not-so-great long run experiences.

The first half of last week showed a continuation of the solid trend of workouts from the week before... even translating into my first 6-days-in-a-row stretch since, well, probably college. :)  Sure, the home trainer sessions were on the shorter side (but on the higher intensity side, averaging > 19 mph), but coupled with a couple of runs - one at the beginning of the week and one during a business trip that took me out of town Wed-Sat - it made for a great training week:

  • Cycling: 20.00 miles in 1:02:16.
  • Running: 7.45 miles in 1:03:08.

As I said, not a lot of miles, but good intensity, and it left me well rested for my last "long run", a middle distance tune-up for race day.  After bonking at 11 miles and 11-15 miles during the last two long runs, respectively, so I approached this last tune up with a little trepidation.  I knew it had to be a good run to give me some confidence going into the marathon.  The question was whether to run it at a "race pace" or go out a little slower and just try to make it consistent.  Well, I managed to do both.  After running the first mile in ~9:40, I started taking the pace down.  Mile 5 actually was around 8:55, but overall I managed to keep a steady 9:05-9:10 pace most of the way.  Until the last 3.5 miles, when I started blasting out 8:55 down to 8:33 miles.  The legs were definitely with me!  I managed to run the best 13+ mile run I've ever had:

As you can see, Nike+ says it was a 14.53 miler (with a brief 25 second walking break for a stoplight between miles 3 & 4.  MapMyRide claimed a 14.64 miler.  Either way, it was fast... but since I know my Nike+ isn't perfectly calibrated, I'll follow MayMyRide which puts me at an 8:58 pace for the whole thing. :-D

I looks like I've found my mojo!  I did a couple of things differently (plain Whole Foods O's before my run rather than the honey-nut variety, pre-hydration with Nuun rather than coconut water), and the weather was a lot better as well (~55F).  But that should put me in good shape for Seattle and the run for Team LIVESTRONG.

I'll try to hit 1-2 more updates before race day, but until then, onward!

Monday, June 7, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training weeks 26/27 - closing in

Hi everyone!  Sorry about skipping a week, but we had an enjoyable three-day weekend for Memorial Day, and blogging was one of the last things on my mind. :)  I hope that you had a great Memorial Day as well and are making a good transition into summer... which unfortunately the Oregon weather is NOT doing.  But after what seems like 40 days and 40 nights of rain, it looks like we might be turning the corner?

Of course, being Oregonians, the rain hasn't slowed us down much... we managed to have a birthday grill-out in the rain yesterday:

But enough complaining about the weather, and on to training!  It was a couple of down and up weeks since I last checked in.  The week of 5/23-5/30 was a low mileage week due to some business travel and seminar prep/presentation.  I managed to get in three sessions on the home trainer, including a 3:15am ride before an early morning flight.  But no running, which was probably not bad for giving the legs a break.  And while not great, I did manage to keep the diet under control while I was traveling.  The week totaled out at:

  • Cycling: 29.65 miles in 1:36:08.
  • Weight: 197.0, down 0.6 pounds.

You'll notice that there was no long run - but in my last post, I talked about getting in a last 20+ miler before the marathon.  Well, it worked best with both the weather and with family plans to run on Memorial Day.  So after a rest day on Sunday, I attempted a 21 mile long run.  I say attempted, because I bonked big time.  The first 7 miles felt good... the next mile felt OK but I could tell I was running out of gas, so I took a walking break at a stoplight... the next two miles felt OK, including the start of a steamy run on the woodchip trail around the Nike campus.  But after that, things fell apart.  Miles 11-15 saw walk breaks of 30-90 seconds every half-mile to a mile, and finally at 15 miles I threw in the towel and decided to briskly walk back home.  What the workout boiled down to was 15.12 miles in 2:29:47 (the first 11 miles were at a 9:30-9:45 pace, so you can see how much I gave back over the final 4 miles) and then a 4.77 mile walk in 1:15:20.

Not a great confidence builder for my last long run.  So hopefully my 12-15 miler coming up a week from now will be a little more inspiring and I can find the legs that I had when I was running 15-17 miles at a time at a 9:10 pace... but those legs might have made a re-appearance in the last few days.  After a couple of rest days, I went out for a sluggish recovery run, but that has triggered five days in a row (including today) of cardio that make me feel that things are getting back on the right track.  That means we're potentially closing in on a successful marathon experience.

Totals for week 27:
  • Running (/ walking): 23.12 miles in 4:12:42.
  • Cycling: 29.82 miles in 1:33:36.
  • Weight: 194.8 pounds, down 2.2 (yes, I got the diet back on track with a lot of healthy greens!)

Before I check out for the week, I did once again want to thank everyone that donated to my Team LIVESTRONG participation for Seattle.  We hit the $1000 goal with a month to spare, but still have an opportunity to do even more.  But if you want a bit of a change, we're also raising money for my century ride in September.  So if you want to donate to that, with the more aggressive fundraising goal of $2,500, you can donate here.

Thanks for checking in everyone... I hope you all have a great week of family, training and work.  Until next time, onward!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LIVESTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 25 - options

Hi everyone!  A little late on this week's blog entry, but better late than never... especially considering the good news!  On May 17, 2010, we hit our $1000 fundraising goal for Team LIVESTRONG!  Many thanks to all of you who donated, as this is a great cause - and many people will benefit from your generosity!

Last week's training was better than the last few.  I got in 3 rides and 1 run, rather than the 2/2 split I've been targeting.  Part of the reason is to give the legs a rest so they can put in some solid miles over the next 3 weeks before I start my taper.  Another reason is that it's been a bit easier to get in rides with some rainy weather outdoors.  In any case, the totals for last week were:

  • Running: 4.89 miles in 41:03
  • Cycling: 33.61 miles in 1:51:12
  • Weight: steady at 197.6

Obviously, I need to continue to manage the weight.  I had hoped to be below 190 by race day, but it's looking like 190-192 might be at the edge of achievable assuming I get the eating habits back under control...

I mentioned in my last post that I was considering a variety of things to get back on track after the not-so-great long run.  I've settled on a compromise between the one-more-long-run and two-more-long-run approaches.  My current objective is to get in a 20-22 miler over Memorial Day weekend, then a 10-14 miler the weekend of June 12th.  That should give me base miles and endurance while putting me in good shape for a reasonable taper.  We'll see how that goes. :-)

The second option to consider is the one I put before all of you.  Now that we've achieved the Team LIVESTRONG fundraising goal, we can keep contributing to it and blow it out of the water.  If you want to help with that, donate here.  However, I have another event coming up in which we can also raise money for LIVESTRONG and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, as well as a local cancer unit here in Oregon: OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute.  That event?  My first 100-mile bike ride (known as a Century) at the Echelon Gran Fondo, which will occur in September.  So we have 4 months to hit an even bigger fundraising goal there: $2500!  If you want to help out with this new challenge, you can donate here.  In either case, you'll be supporting great charities that help those battling or recovering from cancer.

For those of you not familiar with centuries and gran fondos, I'll be posting more about those in the future.  But until then, onward...

Monday, May 17, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 24 - reminders

Hi everyone!  I hope that you all had a great weekend - we had beautiful weather here in Oregon, and we did get a chance to enjoy some of it, despite being pretty busy.

Training (sort of) got back on track this week, but my long run did not go as planned.  I'm not sure whether it was due to the fatigue I've been fighting off the last two weeks, or the fact that I put in some work on the trainer the day before my long run, or the heat (58F when I started my run, 68F by the time I finished), a horrible diet the week before, or a combination of all of them, but my long run was atrocious.

It actually started out pretty well.  The goal was 20 miles, on an out-and-back, running mostly on the roads, but also two laps at the Nike campus.  The first 10 miles went well, although I started feeling the distance a little around mile 9.  But right after I turned around, utter fatigue smacked me over the head.  It was liking hitting the marathon wall, only 10 miles earlier.  I took a nice ~75 second walking break, and when I started running again - at around the 9:35 pace that I had been maintaining for most of the run - everything felt fine.  But a mile later, fatigue and legs-feeling-like-concrete hit me again.  After a 50 second walking break, I tried running again... and decided that today just wasn't my day.

Part of it was definitely the heat.  The first reminder that this run gave me is that I have to respect the distance.  Instead of sleeping in and starting my run around 10am, I should have sacrificed a little, hit the road when it was still around 45-50F at 7am, and not only would the run have felt a lot better, but who knows - maybe that would have made the difference between finishing and stopping half way.  The second reminder was also heat-related: while the last few training runs have been going well, at paces that would put me in the territory of a sub-4:00 marathon, if the weather is warm on race day, that goal should not be on my map.  Fortunately I was smart enough to slow my pace down on this one so I didn't bonk even earlier.

The third reminder is that I need to keep the diet under control.  There was a lot of junk and a lack of greens this week, and that had me toting 3 extra pounds around during my run, in addition to zapping my energy levels.  So it's back "on the wagon" after indulging in candy and gluten-free donuts yesterday.

In summary, the totals for the week:

  • Running: 14.68 miles in 2:19:03.
  • Cycling: 18.95 miles in 1:05:08.
  • Weight: 197.6, up 3.2 (!) pounds.

One more reminder before I go... we're very close to hitting the Team LIVESTRONG goal of $1000 raise for the Lance Armstrong Foundation at the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon.  As of this writing, we're sitting at $945 - so my reminder for you is to donate if you haven't gotten the chance.  Thanks in advance!

Until next time, onwards...

Monday, May 10, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 23 - a change in plans

I hope that you all had a great Mother's Day!  We had a good time - I caught up with my mom and grandma on the phone, and we spent time with Christine's family celebrating Mother's Day, and birthdays from May, April and even February.

It was a so-so training week: Christine and I were both beset by a fatigue bug during the middle of the week, which made keeping things on track a serious challenge.  But I did manage to get in three workouts:

  • Cycling: 20.71 miles in 1:10:09.
  • Running: 3.05 miles in 26:47.
  • Weight: up a smidge to 194.4.

Even though the run was supposed to be be 4 miles, I had to cut it short because of the fatigue.  But I learned something very important.  Running with 45 ounces of water with this style Camelbak is great for long runs, even though I run out of water around 15-18 miles:

But I've been considering running with my larger 70 ounce backpack-style Camelbak which I use for cycling:

Well, even 3 miles puts so much of a workout on my core muscles and wears me out that it's pretty clear the extra hydration is not worth it for running.  For now, I'll stick to having to refill for those 18+ mile runs.

On a related topic, the long run... my training schedule had me running a long runs on May 8th, May 22nd and June 5th leading up to the race on June 26th.  Planned 20, 22 and 24 miles.  However, May 8th was opening day of the Beaverton Farmer's Market.  I could have pushed my long run to Monday the 10th (obviously May 9th being Mother's Day, that was off-limits!).  But on top of that, May 22nd there's a family event planned and May 23rd is Hannah's birthday, so I would have had to push another long run to a Monday morning or pull it in to a Friday.  Based on all of that, I changed the lead up schedule to the marathon:
  • May 15: 20 miles
  • June 5: 23 miles
  • June 26: 26.2 miles!

Hopefully this training schedule will work ok.  On the good side, I'll be able to battle through the fatigue that showed up last week and prevent further wear-down.  However, even though long runs on a three week cycle usually go pretty fast, they tend to feel a little crummy at the start and the finish.  We'll have to see how that turns out.

In related marathon news, LIVESTRONG changed my Team LIVESTRONG link.  However, more donations have been rolling in and we're now up to $945.  Only $55 away from the $1000 goal - thanks everyone!  Let's keep it up and push past that target - maybe hit $1,500 by race time?

I hope you all have a great week, and that you mothers get the same respect each day that you got yesterday. :)  Until next time, onward...

Monday, May 3, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 22 - a change of pace

Hi everyone!  It was a pretty good week for my Team LiveStrong training, considering it was a non-long run week. I took a couple of rest days at the start of the week to fight off some tightness in my knee from last Saturday's long run, but had a pretty decent three workouts (2 bike, 1 run):

  • Running: 3.12 miles in 27:32.
  • Cycling: 20.94 miles in 1:10:06.
  • Weight: down 2.0 pounds to 194.2.

Also, we've had more generous donations to put the fundraising at $825 vs. our fundraising goal of $1000.  Almost there!  And if you haven't gotten a chance to donate yet, please visit my Team LiveSTRONG page.

Now for a bit of a change of pace: Christine and I had a quick weekend getaway to celebrate our fourth anniversary, and the experience was amazing.  So I thought I might share a bit of it with y'all...

On Saturday, we enjoyed visiting a few wineries here in the Willamette Valley.  We stopped at Duck Pond (good wine, and an even greater gift shop!), Sokol Blosser (where a friend is hospitality manager, so you can imagine the hospitality was pretty amazing) and Four Graces.  We were especially fond of the sauvignon blanc at Duck Pond, and a number of wines at Sokol Blosser: early muscat, Evolution, and the very tasty white riesling.

But the next stop on our getaway weekend was beyond all expectation.  We stayed at the new hotel and spa in Newberg, The Allison.  We shared an afternoon couple's hot stone massage, then dined at their Jory restaurant.  Christine had a very good NY strip steak, and I had lamb prepared three ways - braised & pulled shoulder, roast loin and a Moroccan-style sausage.  We followed that up with a bit of sorbet and creme brulee.  The great thing about it is that the main ingredients in the entrees were sourced locally, which is something that Christine and I think is important for getting great, healthy food sustainably.  They were also very familiar with dealing with gluten-free dining, and made the experience great.

The next morning after another locally-sourced breakfast at Jory, we hit the road and visited Anne Amie for more enjoyable wine tasting.  After that, we did another tasting... olive oils at Red Ridge Farms.  While I probably need a bit more "practice" at olive oil tasting to really appreciate it, the range of plants in the nursery, and oils, herbs, and gifts in the main shop made this one place that we'll definitely come back to!

The final stop was a great, all-locally sourced lunch at Farm to Fork.  Everything is sourced within 200 miles of Dundee, Oregon, and you can tell from the flavors.  Sticking to a gluten-free diet was no problem here, either, as they prepare a chicken salad sandwich for Christine with bibb lettuce being the only "bread".  Same for my burger (perhaps 1/3 pound), which was topped with white Tillamook cheddar and a sunny-side up egg.

As you can imagine, it's a tough job getting back to reality today, but I did want to share with you the amazing places we visited.  The Allison is definitely not an every-day experience, but stops like Red Ridge and Farm to Fork are very affordable, and just a short drive from the Portland area.

Well, it's off to a busy work day.  Thanks all of you for checking in!  Until next time, onward...

Monday, April 26, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training weeks 20/21 - consistency?

Did I really say consistency on my last post?  Training week #20 threw that out the window - a business trip coupled with a 15 hour workday and two more 11+ hour workdays left me not only with little time to exercise, but the dreaded "traveler's cold" that I seem to get every time extremely long hours and travel converge.  Needless to say, week #20 was not the paragon of consistency: 4.29 miles run over two measly runs, in a grand total of 36:55.  On the bright side, I did lose some weight... but found it again this week. :-\

The last week was much better, and honestly, was back on the consistency theme.  If you exclude the "lost week" the week before, it actually wasn't too bad.  The totals for this week, in 2 runs and 2 rides was:

  • Running: 20.88 miles in 3:11:37, including a great 17 mile long run at a 9:14 pace!
  • Cycling: 26.85 miles in 1:30:07
  • Weight: 196.2, up 0.6 pounds over two weeks

The long run truly did feel great.  After some Nike+ related technical difficulties starting out, and some heavy legs for the first 2-3 miles, I got into a groove that had me ticking off miles at a pretty steady 9:05-9:25 pace until around 15.5 miles - at which point I was ready to be done.  But it was a great feeling to know that the training is exactly on track, and Nike+ even gave me an extra kudo - since I had to re-install the software, it showed this as my "first run" even though it shows all the previous runs I've done:

Now's it just a matter of staying on track through 3 more long runs (20, 22 and 24 milers planned 2, 4 and 6 weeks from now) and being ready for Seattle a scant 61 days from today!

Speaking of being ready, we're almost to our fundraising goal of $1000 for Team LiveSTRONG.  $750 down, $250 to go.  So if you haven't gotten a chance yet, go to my fundraising page and donate - $1, $10, $20, $50, $100... whatever you can, because it's for a great cause in the fight against cancer.

Until next time, onward!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 19 - consistency

This week turned out to be a decent week of training.  At the beginning of the week, my goal was to get in two runs and two rides - and that's precisely what I accomplished, even if the rides were on the short side (33 and 40 min).  Training consistently is helping me to get back my speed, which I lost in the training lull after my hip dysplasia diagnosis.  My two runs clocked in at an 8:40 and an 8:47 pace, respectively... it's great to get down into the 8:40s again after a long time of wandering around the 9:00-9:20 range for short runs.

Totals for this week were on the low side, but once again, consistency is the key:

  • Running: 7.12 miles in 1:02:09
  • Cycling: 22.29 miles in 1:13:08
  • Weight: 195.6 pounds, up 2.2

Ok, so the consistency hasn't be reflected in what the scale is telling me.  And some of that was due to a lack of consistency: my goal of eating one giant salad per day was only accomplished on 4 or 5 days this week.  But on the up side, there are some body changes going on, as I've lost a half inch off the waist.  And no less than 4 people told me this week that it looks like I've lost weight. :)  That's a great feeling.

Speaking of great feelings, a bit thank you to all of you who have donated to my Team LiveSTRONG participation in the Seattle Rock N Roll marathon!  We're three-quarters of the way there, as donations have reached $750.  Just a few more donors and we should be able to crack that $1,000 goal!  So if you haven't donated, drop by my fundraising page and donate - whether it's $1 or $1,000, it's all going to a great cause!

Until next time... onward!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 18 - crushing it

A quick hello everyone!  If you're like us, you have a busy week with Easter-related activities.  I do hope that you all have a great time attending church, spending time with family and the likes.  We're gearing up for a pretty full but enjoyable day tomorrow.  But in the meantime, I managed to sneak in my long run this morning... and it went amazing!

I started out a bit too fast... blasting through the first couple of miles in a 8:50-9:10ish pace.  When I tried to slow down for mile 3 in 9:15, I decided it might be fun to see how long I could sustain the goal pace of 9:09 that would allow me to break 4 hours in the marathon.  Well, at the 14 mile mark, I stopped the Nike+/iPod combination at 2:07:06, which for 14.01 miles put me at a hair over a 9:04 pace.  Wow!

Now there's a BIG difference between running 9:04 for 14 miles and keeping up sub-9:09 for 26.2, but we'll see how it goes as the training evolves.  Hopefully the dietary changes are helping out with that as well, not only dropping a few pounds here and there, but giving me more energy.

In brief, week 18 (out of 30 - only 12 more to go!) turned out to be a pretty good week:

  • 22.35 miles on the trainer in 1:15:06
  • 17.12 miles running in 2:34:49
  • Weight down a hair to 193.4

That's all for now... time to go shower up and enjoy an afternoon of light errands with my amazing wife!  I do hope that you all have a blessed Easter tomorrow.

Until next time, onward...

Monday, March 29, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training weeks 16/17 - plugging away

Update: The fundraising goal is $1000, not $100.  Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader for catching that!

Hello, everyone!  For those of you that enjoyed spring break the last week (as we did), I hope you're getting back into the swing of things.  We certainly are around our house, and it will be nice to get back to a regular schedule.  Especially in terms of training - the last two weeks have been a bit of a challenge... but I managed to keep things on track, albeit with a couple of light weeks.

Last week was spent along the Oregon Coast, and the week before that was business travel to Wisconsin and Minnesota.  That meant training was mostly a ton of hotel exercise bikes with a long run sandwiched in between.  And a few walks, since the long run aggravated a sore left arch that had been bugging me the last few runs.  However, that long run was great - I managed a 9:15 pace for over 12 miles, making me think that if I continue to drop a few more pounds and get some speedwork in, a sub-4:00 marathon (9:09 pace) might be possible!

The totals for the last two weeks:

  • 34.56 miles cycling (home trainer, hotel recumbent bikes, etc) in 3:16:16
  • 2.60 miles walking in 39:00
  • 12.21 miles running in 1:52:56
  • Weight steady at 193.8

On the fundraising front, things continue to go well.  We're up to $650 raise for Team LiveSTRONG, and I'll be filing my paperwork this week to finalize my entry.  Let's see if we can hit the $1000 goal by the end of April so we can blow it away in May and June!

That's it for now - it's going to be a busy week catching up at work, so fitting in some quality cardio will be a fun challenge.  Onward...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training weeks 15 - surviving a busy week

This week didn't go quite according to the training plan, but I'm pretty happy with the results.  It was a crazy-busy week at work, preparing for a Wednesday afternoon seminar, then playing catch up on normal work activities the rest of the week.  But I did manage to get in three solid workouts:

  • Sunday = rest day
  • Monday = 9.18 miles on the trainer in 30:02 with some solid, hard intervals
  • Tuesday = rest day
  • Wednesday = 3.13 mile run in 28:02
  • Thursday = rest day
  • Friday = extra rest day (fighting off fatigue, I actually listened to my body and shut 'er down for a day)
  • Saturday = 22.53 miles on the trainer in 1:11:38
That checks in at 3.13 miles running in 28:02 and 31.71 miles riding in 1:41:40.  But with a change in diet - eating a lot more veggies (carrots and greens, in particular), I managed to lose a whole 2 pounds down to 193.8.  So I'll be satisfied with that. :)

Also, it was a good week for fundraising - thank you to those of you who've donated to my Team LiveSTRONG page in preparation for the Seattle Rock N Roll marathon!  We're at $600, which is 60% of the way to the $1000 goal.  Now if we can just get the final push over the top, we can focus on blowing away that goal!

Since it has been such a busy week, I'm going to cut this short and spend a little quality time with Christine and the girls.  So until next week, onward...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training weeks 13/14 - some questions and a plan

Despite a couple of very busy weeks (work-wise, family-wise and in general), my training has somehow managed to stay on track.  The last two weeks of training went pretty much according to plan:

  • Sunday 2/21: rest day
  • Monday 2/22: 13.61 miles on the trainer in 45:06 at a solid steady pace
  • Tuesday 2/23: 4.01 miles running in 36:56
  • Wednesday 2/24: rest day
  • Thursday 2/25: 9.17 miles on the trainer in 30:02 with some hard intervals
  • Friday 2/26: rest day
  • Saturday 2/27: 5.50 miles running in 48:12
  • Sunday 2/28: rest day (although a lot of physical activity, striking the set after the close of the girls' play Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)
  • Monday 3/1: 7.15 miles on the trainer in 24:01 with some hard intervals
  • Tuesday 3/2: 3.29 miles running in 28:28
  • Wednesday 3/3: 18.54 miles on the trainer in 1:00:04 at a steady pace with a few surges
  • Thursday 3/4: rest day
  • Friday 3/5: 9.11 miles running in 1:24:21 - yep, the true long runs are back!
  • Saturday 3/6: rest day, but 90 minutes of walking around the Oregon Zoo with Christine! :)
That brings the two weeks to:
  • Week 13: 22.78 miles riding in 1:15:08 and 9.51 miles running in 1:25:08
  • Week 14: 25.69 miles riding in 1:24:05 and 12.4 miles running in 1:52:49

The mileage is slowly getting back up there where I need to be to successfully tackle the marathon.  Now the questions are: 1) will I stay healthy? 2) can I crank it up a bit more to shoot for a PR? 3) is it possible to fit in a fifth day per week of working out? 4) will I start dropping some weight?

Those questions are yet to be answered, although so far #4 is a "no": yesterday's weigh in was 195.8, which is down 0.2 pounds over the last two weeks.  Which - as we would say at work - is statistically insignificant.  But we'll see what happens with a few more dietary adjustments (can you say carrots and green leafy vegetables, everyone?)

As for the plan, I've successfully mapped out the long runs it'll take to get me into marathon shape.  The tricky part will be the business trips (generally once/month this year) and figure out how to work out around them.  What it looks like is this:

The nice this is that - so far - I'm a little ahead of schedule, as you can tell.  We'll see if I can keep that up.  The 11 miles on 3/20 is going to be tricky because of travel and spring break, and the 14 miles on Easter weekend is going to be equally tricky - because it's Easter weekend.  But I've got my "extra" short weekend there in mid-April to bail me out.

Also on the marathon front, thanks to those of you who have donated to Team LiveSTRONG on my behalf.  Thank you!  We're 30% of the way to the $1000 fundraising goal (yay!), which we need to hit by the beginning of May.  So if you've got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket from your tax refund, please consider donating it to the battle against cancer.

Now on to another busy week!  Onward...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 12 - a quick update

Yep, I'm a couple of days late - a little thing called the high school spring musical took over the weekend, leaving little time for running, cycling and blogging.  So I chose to drop the blogging part.  But last week did go pretty well, despite one unplanned rest day.  What it boiled down to was:

  • Sunday: 17.86 miles on the home trainer in 1:00:06 (including some aggressive 2:00 on / 1:30 off intervals)
  • Monday: 4.77 miles running in 44:05
  • Tuesday: planned rest day
  • Wednesday: life intervened, giving me another rest day :)
  • Thursday: 15.15 miles on the trainer in 50:02 (including some more reasonable 2:00 on / 2:00 off intervals, but at a higher pace)
  • Friday: rest day (including a very nice acupuncture session!)
  • Saturday: 6.26 miles running in 56:02
Totals: 33.01 miles cycling in 1:50:08 and 11.03 miles running in 1:40:07.  And the weight showed some progress too, coming in at 196.0 pounds on my Saturday weigh-in.  Slowly getting back on track... and for those of you that actually have found my Nike+ account, yes, I know it says I ran 6.16 miles on Saturday.  But the fact is - I've suspected for a while it's been a little off, so I compared it against and, which gave me 6.22 and 6.26 miles, respectively.  So for now, on "long" runs, I'm going to get my final totals from MMR.

And yes, 6.26 miles on Saturday was a long run.  I haven't gotten my Seattle RnR marathon training plan all sorted out yet, but I'll be increasing 2-3 miles every 2-3 weeks and should be in the 20-22 mile ballpark 2-3 weeks out from the marathon.  At least now I do have the little peaks showing up as long runs - those peaks that had disappeared after my hip dysplasia diagnosis:
Now it's just a matter of getting them up to at least 18 miles, preferably 22.  Onward!