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Breaking Away

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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:18 pm

@Ken Mello wrote:Same thing happens here. Typically mornings are around 75-80 degrees, with 90+ % humidity. By mid-day, the temps creep toward 100+ degrees, but the humidity drops down to maybe 30-40 %. I dont know which is worse, really - they both stink!

Yipes. I'll take the high humidity in the mornings when it's 55-60. But 75-80? That's awful. Have you tried running in the evening? It seems you might be able to hit a (relatively) sweet spot to where the humidity is lower and the temperature is falling.

@Schuey wrote:Nice 8 mile run Mark, looks like you are really enjoying the trail running.

Hey Schuey! The trail running is a lot of fun. I may need to start scouting out more varied routes, though. While the Wildwood Trail in Forest Part is stunningly beautiful, the trail runs along the side of a forested ridge, which means most of it lacks a specific objective (like, say, hitting the crest of a ridge or summit of a hill) that would yield some immediate reward. As it stands, you run up and down and up and down and up and down and never reach the top of anything. There's no payoff.

I think that says more about me than the trail, though. Sure, it's supposed to be about the journey not the destination... but a destination every once in a while is kinda fun, too.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Tom H on Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:23 am

I thought of you and your newfound penchant for trail running this weekend. I was at Lake Tahoe (attending a wedding) which is simply surrounded by trails. At that elevation the sky is a whole different color of blue than we get in the Bay Area, and the peaks are still covered in snow. Running those trails, looking down on the bluest of blue lakes with those snowy peaks in the background - you would love it!
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:17 am

@Tom H wrote:I thought of you and your newfound penchant for trail running this weekend. I was at Lake Tahoe (attending a wedding) which is simply surrounded by trails. At that elevation the sky is a whole different color of blue than we get in the Bay Area, and the peaks are still covered in snow. Running those trails, looking down on the bluest of blue lakes with those snowy peaks in the background - you would love it!

I love the High Sierra, Tom, and I'm very envious of you right now!

FWIW, I've taken seen the bluest skies I have seen anywhere up in the Sierra Nevada. I think it'd be a fabulous place to run.

Now, if only they had a race that went through that area.... Wink
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:13 am

Easy Run: 6 miles

Weather: Bright, sunny and windy. 60 degrees, 81% humidity, wind gusting to 14 mph. Gear: Testers, shorts, T. Fuel: None. Carried water, took Endurolytes.

I didn't get out Tuesday morning (up too late with our neighborhood fireworks fusillade), so I didn't mind going a little farther than usual this morning. It was a gorgeous morning, though fairly windy. It gave me a nice headwind on the outbound leg and gave me a bit of a tailwind on the way back - which meant less of a speed boost than a loss of cooling. It's weird feeling warm at 60 degrees, but I did.

These road runs are useful as I do more on the trails. I walk more on trails, usually catching my breath after going up a hill, which has left my legs expecting breaks more often than they should. It's good practice to practice constant effort again. It requires a little leg coaching, though. "No, legs. You can keep going. Really. Trust me."

I was a little sore this morning (my glutes, mainly), but I can't say for sure if it was from the trails on Sunday or squatting trying to light the #$@! fireworks with matches on an unusually windy evening. It worked out after a few miles.

My summer reading arrived yesterday: "Relentless Forward Progress" by Byron Powell. I got it at Amazon.com.

A how-to book on ultras. Scaary! But fun. Smile
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Joel H on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:00 pm

Sorry it took me a while to get back to you but to answer your question, did I enjoy the weather in Alaska? I have to say it was PERFECT and I miss it dearly!! I mean come on, 40-50 degrees no matter what the humidity is light years better than 77-80 and 90% humidity. I did about 5-6 runs of 6 miles each while I was in Alaska and I never took a single ounce of water and hardly broke a sweat...the day I got back I ran another 6 mile run but I drained my 70oz camelbak and I was still dripping wet 30 minutes later after having breakfast. Also, the trail running was awesome...definitely a gorgeous area with mountains everywhere and I even got to see Mt. McKinley (all 20k feet), both in the air and on the ground...what an awe inspiring moment both times...especially the helicopter ride. I can't wait to go back.

Looks like you are still plugging away at the trail running and I can't wait to see what you do in the ultras next year.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:56 pm

Mark, would love a book review once you finish that guy.

And regarding words of encouragement for your legs... Jens Voigt (professional cyclist for team Leopard Trek) would say, "Shut up, legs!" Just imagine a very friendly, very thick German accent.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:52 pm

@Joel H wrote:Sorry it took me a while to get back to you but to answer your question, did I enjoy the weather in Alaska? I have to say it was PERFECT and I miss it dearly!! I mean come on, 40-50 degrees no matter what the humidity is light years better than 77-80 and 90% humidity. I did about 5-6 runs of 6 miles each while I was in Alaska and I never took a single ounce of water and hardly broke a sweat...the day I got back I ran another 6 mile run but I drained my 70oz camelbak and I was still dripping wet 30 minutes later after having breakfast. Also, the trail running was awesome...definitely a gorgeous area with mountains everywhere and I even got to see Mt. McKinley (all 20k feet), both in the air and on the ground...what an awe inspiring moment both times...especially the helicopter ride. I can't wait to go back.

Looks like you are still plugging away at the trail running and I can't wait to see what you do in the ultras next year.

That sounds like a great vacation, Joel. I've never been to Alaska, but it sounds like an amazing place.

And you're right on the temps. Cool and humid is a completely different beast from hot and humid. Seventy ounces in six miles? Yipes!

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Mark, would love a book review once you finish that guy.

And regarding words of encouragement for your legs... Jens Voigt (professional cyclist for team Leopard Trek) would say, "Shut up, legs!" Just imagine a very friendly, very thick German accent.

I'll see what I can do for you, Mike. It looks like a good book. If I'm really going to change things up, I'm going to need as much help as I can get!

"Shut up, legs!" eh? Hm. Maybe for a race... (I've heard that phrase before, but I didn't know the source until now. Thanks!)


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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Penelope on Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:13 pm

Just stopping in to say hi. Interesting title--I didn't make the connection, but then again have not seen the movie, either. Cool that your focusing on trails instead of road running. I bet you see some cool animals. Any bears ever? Best of luck with the training!
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:15 pm

@Penelope wrote:Just stopping in to say hi. Interesting title--I didn't make the connection, but then again have not seen the movie, either. Cool that your focusing on trails instead of road running. I bet you see some cool animals. Any bears ever? Best of luck with the training!

Hi Kathy! Welcome!

You'd have to had seen the movie (or live in that part of the Midwest) to pick up on the "Breaking Away" reference. But I think the title still works on other levels, so it's all good.

Trail running is fun, but I've actually seen fewer animals on the trail than I have on my road runs out into the country. My guess is, the critters can hear me huffing and puffing up the hills and clear out long before I arrive on the scene.

It might be my choice of trails, too. Most of my trail runs have been in Forest Park, which is actually inside the city of Portland. It's forested and quite pretty - but not exactly the forest primeval. Very Happy
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Schuey on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:30 pm

@Mark B wrote:My summer reading arrived yesterday: "Relentless Forward Progress" by Byron Powell. I got it at Amazon.com.

A how-to book on ultras. Scaary! But fun. Smile

I was just looking at that book the other day well at least the first 2 chapters that they let you read on irunfar.com. He also has a good post on irunfar.com "My Western States Training and Strategy for 2011."

Hey just be care for what you wish for with wanting to see animals on the trails. I'm sure you do it long enough you will start seeing them. Glad to see that you are enjoying the trail running and loving it.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  ChasMcG on Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:43 am

Ultras? Did I miss something or skip a post? Is this an interest?

YOU'RE AS CRAZY AS MARTIN!
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:02 am

@Schuey wrote:Hey just be care for what you wish for with wanting to see animals on the trails. I'm sure you do it long enough you will start seeing them.

Well, for my sake, I just hope that when I start seeing animals on long trail runs, they're actually there. geek

@ChasMcG wrote:Ultras? Did I miss something or skip a post? Is this an interest?

YOU'RE AS CRAZY AS MARTIN!

Crazy? Me? Well, maybe. I'm doing a trail marathon in December and toying with the idea of trying out a 50K next year, and maybe a 50-miler after that. I like the idea of a 100-miler... but that would have to be years from now, I think.

Even so, I need to keep my ambition in check. I'm still a little burned out from the grind of training for one road marathon after the other over the past few years. Last night, I even felt panic start to rise when I flipped to the part of the book Schuey mentioned ("Relentless Forward Progress") that included training plans for running ultra distances.

Training plans? Eeee! I'm not ready for training plans yet. It still sounds too much like work.

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Re: Breaking Away

Post  ChasMcG on Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:17 am

@Mark B wrote:
@Schuey wrote:Hey just be care for what you wish for with wanting to see animals on the trails. I'm sure you do it long enough you will start seeing them.

Well, for my sake, I just hope that when I start seeing animals on long trail runs, they're actually there. geek

@ChasMcG wrote:Ultras? Did I miss something or skip a post? Is this an interest?

YOU'RE AS CRAZY AS MARTIN!

Crazy? Me? Well, maybe. I'm doing a trail marathon in December and toying with the idea of trying out a 50K next year, and maybe a 50-miler after that. I like the idea of a 100-miler... but that would have to be years from now, I think.

Even so, I need to keep my ambition in check. I'm still a little burned out from the grind of training for one road marathon after the other over the past few years. Last night, I even felt panic start to rise when I flipped to the part of the book Schuey mentioned ("Relentless Forward Progress") that included training plans for running ultra distances.

Training plans? Eeee! I'm not ready for training plans yet. It still sounds too much like work.


Yep Crazy

But that's why we love you. You and your crazy training programs! You'll do great! You know it Smile
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Joel H on Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:33 am

@ChasMcG wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Schuey wrote:Hey just be care for what you wish for with wanting to see animals on the trails. I'm sure you do it long enough you will start seeing them.

Well, for my sake, I just hope that when I start seeing animals on long trail runs, they're actually there. geek

@ChasMcG wrote:Ultras? Did I miss something or skip a post? Is this an interest?

YOU'RE AS CRAZY AS MARTIN!

Crazy? Me? Well, maybe. I'm doing a trail marathon in December and toying with the idea of trying out a 50K next year, and maybe a 50-miler after that. I like the idea of a 100-miler... but that would have to be years from now, I think.

Even so, I need to keep my ambition in check. I'm still a little burned out from the grind of training for one road marathon after the other over the past few years. Last night, I even felt panic start to rise when I flipped to the part of the book Schuey mentioned ("Relentless Forward Progress") that included training plans for running ultra distances.

Training plans? Eeee! I'm not ready for training plans yet. It still sounds too much like work.


Yep Crazy

But that's why we love you. You and your crazy training programs! You'll do great! You know it Smile

+1...yep, you are crazy, who would spend 2+ years doing low HR training and then all of a sudden turn to trail/Ultra running? At least they have something in common, lots of slow, long runs!
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:16 pm

Easy Run: About 9 miles

Weather: Overcast, mild. 55 degrees. 75-80% humidity. Gear: Testers, shorts, T. Fuel: Carrots and coffee, carried water w/endurolytes "fizz" in it.

I knew this was going to be a good run after about three steps. Lately, you see, the first 50 feet of my runs have been pretty uncomfortable, as my body keeps adapting to a different running style. Not this morning. This morning, everything clicked into place - hips, feet, arms - and I knew that I'd be able to work into one of those grooves where it feels like you can go all day long. I really like that feeling.

So I headed out on my Llama Ridge route, out into the country. I didn't see the llamas this morning (Larry and Moe were incommunicado), but I did see Curly and Shemp the alpacas, a pasture full of calfs and cows, a few dogs and a decent-sized doe who hopped a fence about 10 feet in front of me. Very pretty.

The route also includes a few hills (including Llama Ridge), so I enjoyed working my way up and down those, as well. I'd ease up slightly when I felt like I was working too hard, then settle back into a nice natural rhythm. I have no idea how fast I went, though I did about 9 miles in about 90 minutes (including brief warm-up and cool-down walking), which sounds about right.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:07 pm

@ChasMcG wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Schuey wrote:Hey just be care for what you wish for with wanting to see animals on the trails. I'm sure you do it long enough you will start seeing them.

Well, for my sake, I just hope that when I start seeing animals on long trail runs, they're actually there. geek

@ChasMcG wrote:Ultras? Did I miss something or skip a post? Is this an interest?

YOU'RE AS CRAZY AS MARTIN!

Crazy? Me? Well, maybe. I'm doing a trail marathon in December and toying with the idea of trying out a 50K next year, and maybe a 50-miler after that. I like the idea of a 100-miler... but that would have to be years from now, I think.

Even so, I need to keep my ambition in check. I'm still a little burned out from the grind of training for one road marathon after the other over the past few years. Last night, I even felt panic start to rise when I flipped to the part of the book Schuey mentioned ("Relentless Forward Progress") that included training plans for running ultra distances.

Training plans? Eeee! I'm not ready for training plans yet. It still sounds too much like work.


Yep Crazy

But that's why we love you. You and your crazy training programs! You'll do great! You know it Smile

Thanks, Chas. I was going to bring up the whole low heart rate training thing as an example of "crazy" - but it seems that everybody knew that, anyway! Very Happy

@Joel H wrote:
@ChasMcG wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@Schuey wrote:Hey just be care for what you wish for with wanting to see animals on the trails. I'm sure you do it long enough you will start seeing them.

Well, for my sake, I just hope that when I start seeing animals on long trail runs, they're actually there. geek

@ChasMcG wrote:Ultras? Did I miss something or skip a post? Is this an interest?

YOU'RE AS CRAZY AS MARTIN!

Crazy? Me? Well, maybe. I'm doing a trail marathon in December and toying with the idea of trying out a 50K next year, and maybe a 50-miler after that. I like the idea of a 100-miler... but that would have to be years from now, I think.

Even so, I need to keep my ambition in check. I'm still a little burned out from the grind of training for one road marathon after the other over the past few years. Last night, I even felt panic start to rise when I flipped to the part of the book Schuey mentioned ("Relentless Forward Progress") that included training plans for running ultra distances.

Training plans? Eeee! I'm not ready for training plans yet. It still sounds too much like work.


Yep Crazy

But that's why we love you. You and your crazy training programs! You'll do great! You know it Smile

+1...yep, you are crazy, who would spend 2+ years doing low HR training and then all of a sudden turn to trail/Ultra running? At least they have something in common, lots of slow, long runs!

Speaking of low HR runs = crazy talk... hey, Joel!

Actually, low HR training and ultra-long distances go very well together, because the sort of adaptations that sort of training stimulates are just the sort of thing you need to run all day (and all night, in some cases). Just because I'm not tracking my heart rate or paces now -- I'm thoroughly sick of constantly scoring myself -- doesn't mean I'm out there cranking up the afterburners. I'm still following the same basic approach, but now I'm trying to learn how to listen to feedback from my body, not a HR monitor.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:39 pm

So... after my very nice run on Friday, I've been debating whether to head back to the trails for my Sunday run, or cruise for a somewhat longer distance on my usual long run course which is finally no longer under a foot or two of floodwater. Hm. That's a toughie.

It didn't help that I got some inspirational but inconveniently vague guidance from a fortune cookie this afternoon.

It said:
FORGE AHEAD WITH
YOUR NEW IDEAS

Hmm.... scratch

All I know for sure is, it sure made my wife nervous. Wink
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Kenny B. on Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:09 pm

Listen to your wife 9 out of 10 times my wife is right. don't tell her I said that.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:13 pm

@Kenny B. wrote:Listen to your wife 9 out of 10 times my wife is right. don't tell her I said that.

Mine, too. Except I have a feeling she was thinking more about Western States than my run tomorrow. Very Happy
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Julie on Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:33 pm

I don't know if it's crazy...do the 50K and if later you want to do the 50 miler and aren't burned out why not go for it? There is something really appealing about a 50 miler to me, ever since I read a story about a guy who had to change his shoes around 30 mile mark and ate sandwiches during the race. I don't know why that was cool to me, but it just sounded really intense and appealing. I don't know about the ones you have to nap during or hallucinate but, hey, to each his own, and if that's what you want to do, go for it, right??

In the meantime, enjoy your running without a training plan, I hope it's great. I keep saying I want to just run but then I figure I'm in shape, may as well take advantage of it and get another marathon.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:12 pm

@Julie wrote:I don't know if it's crazy...do the 50K and if later you want to do the 50 miler and aren't burned out why not go for it? There is something really appealing about a 50 miler to me, ever since I read a story about a guy who had to change his shoes around 30 mile mark and ate sandwiches during the race. I don't know why that was cool to me, but it just sounded really intense and appealing. I don't know about the ones you have to nap during or hallucinate but, hey, to each his own, and if that's what you want to do, go for it, right??

In the meantime, enjoy your running without a training plan, I hope it's great. I keep saying I want to just run but then I figure I'm in shape, may as well take advantage of it and get another marathon.

Crazy? Hard to say. But definitely getting ahead of myself. My vague plan at this point is to keep working up in distance off-road and see if I like it. I think I will, but I'm willing to let that reveal itself over time. To keep guessing about the future is part of the fun. geek
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  jon c on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:18 pm

Interesting Mark as I sometimes have gotten too caught up in a training regimen. In training there are certain things that you need to execute to accomplish a goal, but sometimes varying it a bit is helpful for our mental health if for no other reason.

50K's are really not a lot different than a full, only another five mile difference. 50 milers seem to be a different animal. At least it was for me.

Good luck in running trails, the closest thing we have to trails here are gravel roads in corn and soybean fields.
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Natalie on Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:35 pm

I never believe what a fortune cookie tells me...
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:49 am

@jon c wrote:Interesting Mark as I sometimes have gotten too caught up in a training regimen. In training there are certain things that you need to execute to accomplish a goal, but sometimes varying it a bit is helpful for our mental health if for no other reason.

50K's are really not a lot different than a full, only another five mile difference. 50 milers seem to be a different animal. At least it was for me.

Good luck in running trails, the closest thing we have to trails here are gravel roads in corn and soybean fields.

Hi Jon! Mixing it up can take the drudgery out of things - and if you mix it up enough, it works completely different muscles. I agree that a 50K doesn't seem overly intimidating (okay, even thinking about doing the 50K version of that 25K mountain-fest I ran last month is extremely intimidating, but they're not all like that, right?). A 50-miler? There you've got elevation AND distance. It sounds scary but intriguing.

And I think even gravel roads through the corn could be a nice change of pace. Just avoid the hog farm. pig

Natalie Wolf wrote:I never believe what a fortune cookie tells me...

Tell me about it, Natalie. I had one that convinced me I was going to BQ in Eugene last year. See what that got me? pale

Good thing I'm a slow learner. Wink
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Re: Breaking Away

Post  Mark B on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Trail Run: 11 hilly miles

Weather: Cloudy with clearing, mild and muggy. 53 degrees, 95% humidity. Gear: Testers, shorts, T. Fuel: Oatmeal and coffee. Camelbak with nuun. (Two Endurolytes before the run, then tow more too late into the run after I noticed my fingers swelling up. Oops.)

I was complaining last week that my trail run in Forest Park was (gasp!) boring without specific objectives, so I decided to make this one more exciting. I started at a different point and ran up -- and over -- a series or ridges, gaining and losing hundreds (probably more than 1,000) feet of elevation. How did it happen that "fun" now only seems to correlate with "difficult?" Oh well.

Climbing the hills was a big challenge, and hitting the summits (one gave me a dandy view of Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier, which is hard to spot this far south) was very satisfying, in a wind-sucking sort of way. The trickiest parts were the downhills, especially when the trail got rocky. I'm still learning how to run those without jamming my ankles. I jammed both today (ironically NOT on a rocky spot - there was a little ditch-like dip the trail went through, and I misstepped on my right and jammed my left). I was able to keep going, but my left ankle's a little sore now.

The weather was good, in a cool-humid sort of way. I'd taken two Endurolytes before the run and had brought more to take later -- but forgot until I was about a mile from the end and noticed 1) my legs were getting more sore than they should on the uphills and 2) my fingers were swelling up. Oops. I took two more Endurolytes then, but I was too close to the end for it to help much.

Even so, the run felt easier than the last time I ran it a month or so ago. Part of me didn't want to turn around when I hit my return point, and even late in the run I was still able to find a comfortable groove. Progress!
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Mark B
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Re: Breaking Away

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