Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stressed and Unmotivated

Felt way too unmotivated to run today. Not sure if I'm just letting work stress distract me. Poor Wil had to stay late at work tonight as well. I know that I feel more relaxed after a run, but with the rain and the late hour... I just couldn't get myself motivated to start. Hopefully I'll feel more keen tomorrow and this weekend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

oh, and another thing...

which looks better:

pōpoki peʻelua (tabby cat)


ʻumi ʻumi (moustache)

Biking and Running

Got back from NYC late Friday and didn't run again until Tuesday afternoon. Saturday night's excesses and exertions (Mexican food + Nine Inch Nails + two hours of dancing) meant a poorly belly for Wil on Sunday. Tuesday ran a very slow 5 + 35 + 5 session around the neighborhood, where I really struggled to breathe and run. Not sure what's going on. Wil says it was humid, and we were running some hills, but I still felt extra sluggish.

The good news is that on Monday and Tuesday I rode (partway) to work and back. Still a bit nervous on the bike, but considerably stronger. Have been able to ride relatively swiftly and steadily up Dexter... at least on the way home. Next week I think I'll try riding up Dexter on the way downtown. It's steeper (and therefore shorter) in that direction, but I need to get more comfortable on runs. I'm going to ride in tomorrow, but have a meeting at the agency in the afternoon (and I have to contend with the I-90 closure because of the Blue Angels' practice session. Whee!

So not so great on the running front, but looking up on the biking front. Oh, and swimming? Um, yeah, swimming... hopefully this weekend.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lady Liberty

Short morning run along the Manhattan Greenway down to Battery Park. You probably can't tell, but that green squiggle is the Statue of Liberty.
The massive thunderstorms from Wednesday night meant things were still a bit stormy yesterday, so I decided to hold off and hope for better weather today... and I'm glad I did. Ran west to the river, then along the glorious new boardwalk, down to Battery Park City and then Battery Park. Lots of runners and cyclists out enjoying the morning. Suffering a bit from the effects of last night's theater fun, but things went pretty well.
Also, completely accidentally, I saw one of the waterfalls in the distance. At first I thought it was a fireboat in full spray -- but then realized that it was a waterfall. Someone told me he thought the project was overrated... but I thought it was lovely. Of course, by the time I got close, it had stopped -- apparently they run on a schedule of some sort. I even cut my run short, stretching and milling about in the park hoping it would start up again. It didn't, so I hurried back to the hotel to go to the airport. Home soon (but not soon enough!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bridge Loop

In New York for work, went for a run this morning. Headed East on Canal Street, then across the Manhattan Bridge. Got a bit lost trying to find my way on to the Brooklyn Bridge; had to turn around a few times and peer down a few streets, but made it in the end. Then a surprisingly short jaunt past City Hall, up Church St., on to 6th Avenue, and then on to West Broadway to the hotel. iPod says nearly 5 miles, but probably a bit shorter. Unless getting lost in Brooklyn added half a mile... Very hot and humid; 78 degrees at 7:00 a.m.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Long Run

Tried to get out of the house early for our long run -- 8 miles. Made the mistake of eating a whole bagel each, 45 minutes or so before we left. We should only have had half each. Live and learn...

Very hot day, and a little bit muggy. We ran West on 65th, down to the Locks on 32nd, and then out along the BGT, through the marina, and out to Golden Gardens. Turned around at the stop sign, then back along the new stretch of the BGT -- which I didn't even know was open. Followed the trail back past the locks, then along Market and down Shilshole to 11th. We had to add a stretch along Market to pad the miles, but hit 8.00 a few blocks from the house so we were able to walk our cool down.

Wil's foot has been bothering him, luckily (I suppose) it doesn't usually bother him when we run. I've been feeling a little sore in my right foot as well but so far it's okay. Just something to watch.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


FINALLY got back on my bike -- Wil and I took my bike on the bus downtown today, then picked up his bike at work, and then we rode home together. Stopped at the Seattle Center and wandered through the not-quite-open Bite of Seattle, but didn't stop. Decided to ride up Dexter, in part because I couldn't think of how to get down to Westlake from Mercer... Also stopped at the schmancy barbecue store in Ballard, where we bought a grill. No, we didn't carry it home by bike...

So not a huge amount of exercise today, but I did get a brief ride in, so that's something. Long run tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

some like it HOT

... but I don't. Nor do I like it humid. This morning's farewell run along the beach in Venice was tough. I felt vaguely nauseous, tired, leaden. So I dropped back to a run 6, walk 2 pattern. Because today was a timed run (50 minutes plus warm-up and cool-down), I didn't worry too much about distance. Turns out I did 5.49 miles in the 60 minutes I was out there. Not a brilliant pace, but better than I thought it would be.

Happy to be home in Seattle again; dreading the heat in NYC next week! But at least I should be able to get in a good run on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Marina del Run...

In LA for a 2-day photoshoot, which sounds way more interesting and glamorous than it is. The agency wanted us to stay in West Hollywood, which sounded dreadful because the only way I had been able to face a return to LA was the fact that I could get up early and run on the beach. So I managed to get rooms booked for me and my beloved brand agency team at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey -- much, much more appealing. Really great beds, an amazing bathtub, and a nice location, less than a mile from the beach.

So I got up this morning, early, to do my long run. Of course, I hadn't had much sleep, so I was worried I wouldn't make it. I headed out along the marina at a brisk pace, trying to get my bearings. Once I reached the street that headed out to the beach at Venice, I started running. Slowly at first, of course, but picking up some speed as I got to the beach. It was hot and humid -- no ocean breeze yet, unfortunately -- but the paths were quiet and I was able to pootle along, running 6 minutes and walking 1. I wasn't feeling very fast, or very good, but I have to give myself an A+ for getting up and getting out there this morning. I thought I had turned back a bit too early -- I was running out of time and worried about being late -- but I ended up taking a wrong turn on the way back to the hotel and, because I didn't know if the road went through, had to double back. So in the end, including the walking, 7.55 miles.

Didn't do enough stretching, unfortunately, so I'm a little worried that I'll be sore tomorrow. But I feel happy with myself for running.

Wil ran home from work, suffering in the heat and getting dizzy and dehydrated. Poor little bear. But I'm proud of him -- of us.

scenes from my morning run, pt 2

Along the beach in Venice.

scenes from my morning run, pt 1

Marina del Rey,where I'm staying during the shoot.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Catching up...

Only two runs to report... but we're soon to be back on track. On Thursday Wil and I ran separately at our gyms. Wil ran 30 minutes; I ran 45, gradually increasing the speed and finishing with a 6.5mph "sprint". We skipped our long runs this weekend -- our days were too busy and it was Sue and Tony's last weekend here in Seattle. So we shifted things around -- I ran a "short" workout today -- 5+40+5 on the treadmill at work -- and will run my long run tomorrow on the beach in LA. Wil will run home from work. So we'll both get our 7-mile runs in, albeit in different places.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Open Water Swimming

Given the hot weather -- and my triathlon being only a month away -- we decided to go to Green Lake for a swim after work. So we brought the inlaws along (for their first visit to Green Lake) and headed in to the water. Sue and Tony walked around the lake, while we swam for 25 minutes. I still have a hard time swimming in a straight line in the dark water, but I wasn't scared or nervous. In fact, once I got going, I was quite comfortable. Of course, I have no idea how many lengths we swam, but we swam steadily.

Coincidentally (or perhaps it was just the last straw), I read this article in Competitor NW magazine about the new open-water swimming event at the Olympics. Swimming ten kilometers! That's over six miles! They swim for two hours! And they get fed WHILE THEY SWIM!!! It's the most exciting and amazing thing I've read in weeks. Bring on the games!

Yeah, okay, maybe that's why I decided to get back in the lake today...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday Run

Got up this morning, snacked on Corazonas and water, filled up our water bottles, and headed out to Green Lake. We've been a bit behind on our long runs -- really, neither of us has run much more than 5 miles in months. Today was scheduled to be a 7-mile run, which seemed a bit out of reach, so we decided to walk 5 as a warm-up, then alternate 6:1 sets twice around the lake to the lamppost where we started running after our warmup. That meant we ran 5.6 miles plus walked an additional 2/3 of a mile or so. A pretty good compromise.

We decided to incorporate extra walk breaks (every 6 minutes rather than every 8 or 10) because I started reading Jeff Galloway's book. But I have to admit that the breaks kept me feeling okay during the run, and -- though I didn't have much left in the tank and couldn't match Wil's finish sprint -- I feel okay now. So we'll see.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Firecracker 5000

Last night Wil and I ran the Firecracker 5000. We only signed up on Tuesday because, well, I liked the idea of a night race and it was a run day anyway. So I grabbed some blue and pink glow bracelets/necklaces, some "patriotic" wristbands, and a "patriotic bow" at the party store on the way home from work.

The race started at Memorial Stadium, and of course Wil and I arrived a bit early. There were already a lot of people there, sprawled on the Field Turf (tm?) and chatting. We picked up our numbers (722 and 723) and our t-shirts.

Now, if you were a race director, and you were planning a race to be held late at night on July 3rd, which would finish on July 4th, and you called it the Firecracker 5000, what color t-shirts would you make? Well, in this case, the shirts were -- wait for it -- magenta. Not a pale pink, mind you. Nor a "day-glow", neon pink. A "raspberry beret" sort of magenta. Picture a lot of people standing around with magenta t-shirts, all saying "well, I won't be wearing this again" and you'll get the scene.

It's a shame because the design was quite simple -- the Space Needle, the race name, the date. And I know that they probably want to switch things up when people run the race year after year. But, still... you could cycle through red, white, and blue with no problem. Heck, through in heather grey, dark grey, and black if you'd like. But magenta? Weird. I expect to see a lot of those shirts at Goodwill in the not-too-distant future.

As it got closer to the start, we activated our glow jewelry (which I thought wasn't very glow-y, until Wil reminded me that we were sitting under bright stadium lighting), took a few pictures, and then dropped off our stuff at the bag check.

Lots of people doing some extreme stretching. Bless them. Wil and I walked around briskly for a few minutes and then lined up with the 11-minute crew. (I always prefer passing people rather than being passed!)

Then, suddenly, a horn blew and we were off with a whoop. Out of the stadium, along the out to Mercer, right on Mercer, then down the hill where everyone whooped again going under the overpass. We made a left on 9th, then another left onto Broad Street, where we went back under Mercer. They had stopped traffic on Mercer at the start, and then on Broad as we ran (even though we were running west). There were lots of cars stopped, some honking in a supportive way, others honking and cursing and gesturing in a peeved way. Funny! The hill from the bottom of the underpass up to the Space Needle seemed especially long and grueling. And did I mention it was hot? Hot and muggy and I had foolishly run in a long-sleeved shirt. Oops.

But then at the top of Broad Street we sped up again, passing the valet parking and wide-eyed tourists, on to Denny. Lots more cars honking and cheering, which was nice. Down Denny to Queen Anne Ave, lots of folks standing outside Tini Biggs and Hula Hula, high-fiving runners and urging us on. Up past Key Arena, Floyd's Place (more cheering, though we were across the street), and then right on Mercer again. As we passed 2nd Ave, faster runners on the second lap joined us for the run down the hill. They turned into the stadium road, while we went on to 5th for our final lap.

At some point we had slotted in behind a couple who were running a nice, steady pace. We lost them a few times, but always ended up back with them. So we stuck with them on the second lap. Right just before EMP, then through the Center grounds and past the fountain (which wasn't on, which seemed a shame). Then a right just before the Key, out past the Bagley Wright, and back on to Mercer where we got to feel like the 'fast' runners as we sped down Mercer. By the time we turned on to the stadium access road, Wil and I did our usual "leave nothing in the tank" sprint and were running at full tilt. Sorta fun to pass people at the end! Sped across the line and got to hear the announcer call our names -- sweet!

Of course, the heat and the sprinting (and, perhaps, the rye bread and cheese I ate at 10:15...) made me queasy and I had a moment of panic that I would hurl on the nice boy who cut my timing chip off my shoe. But I didn't.

In the end, we ran 33:31, not fast for us, but this was a hillier course than we've run a race on before. I was hoping to finish in under 35, so I'm still pleased.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Month

Went to the gym at work this morning to run as I knew I wouldn't be able to run after work. Walked 5 to warm up, then ran 45 minutes, then cooled down for 5. Really overheated because I was too stupid to choose the treadmill with the fan. :) Felt tired towards the end of the run -- I had been speeding up by .2 mph pace every 10 minutes, but stopped and held at 6.0 for most of the end before dropping back down to a slow, loping 5.5 for the last 10 sweaty minutes. Despite taking an extra long time to stretch, and despite taking an extra long cool shower, I was still overheated when I got to my desk.

Wil ran after work at the gym DT -- 4 miles! This meant that both of us had free rein to have beer, pad thai, garlic fries, AND a cream puff at the baseball game. Nice one, M's! As the funny Canadian fans in front of us noted, it was a game to find the cream of the crap. :)