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...