Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Running Partners

I have been trying to get back out and do a few miles again. I have two running partners; one of whom is showing great promise. The big black dog is Kuma, our 2 year old rottweiller/ lab mix. Kuma is a big girl, weighing ~105 lb (pre-holidays).

The picture of the two of them is about two months old and the puppy has changed substantially. The little guy is named Jackson. He is now between 5 and 6 months old. Last week, he weighed 45 lb. My wife had been looking for a "lap" dog and picked Jackson up at the pound. He was a cute, tiny puppy. They told her he was a shepherd/lab mix. As his coat has filled in, we have been guessing shepherd/golden retriever mix. The vet said, "Yeah, maybe 1/3 shepherd, 1/3 golden, and 1/3 great dane - look at those feet and legs". The vet estimated 90-100 lb. when fully grown. Some lap dog.

In any case, I have been taking the dogs out for short runs. We did 5 miles both yesterday and today. Kuma pulls a bit to start with and then settles in to a heavy gallop. She is not light on her feet. Jackson just glided along. I never heard him breathe or pant and he was ready for more at the end. As he is pretty young yet, I don't want to do too many miles with Jackson, but he seems much better suited for long runs than Kuma. The problem will be she is a very jealous girl.
So, I am trying to get in some running over the holiday. With any luck, I won't have to walk the majority of the single loop I will be doing at the Western Washington Fat Ass run.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Long time no post

It has been a very long time since I updated this blog. I have been running very little, biking very little; just drifting a bit in my physical activities. I struggled through a slow White River 50 run at the end of July. My August log has 34 miles of running and 223 miles of biking - with 150 of that in the Hot August Days ride. September had 61 miles total of running and 44 biking with the biking being done in a spinning class. For the month of October, I had a total of 46 miles of running, including the Baker Lake 50k. Four spinning classes yielded a total of 45 miles of biking. November saw similar totals with 57 miles of running and 42 miles of spinning.

Needless to say, my fitness and endurance levels are very low. I am signed up for Chuckanut in March and will need to start increasing the miles if I hope to run respectably there. On the plus side, I did get to run some with my daughter and a friend at the Seattle half marathon. Kelsey is also looking forward to running one loop at the Western Washington Fat Ass run on January 6th. This will be her first experience with a longer trail run and I am looking forward to it as much as she is. Hopefully, I can pick up my running enough to consider myself a runner once again. - KRK

Monday, July 17, 2006

An Unusual Week

Well, this week started off with my driving daughter Kesley to White Pass on Sunday for a cross-country camp. I dropped her and her friend Kendra off at the ski area and learned that they would be running up the ski slopes in 2 hours. I was more than a little jealous. My stomach was bothering me some and I ended up not eating until late that evening; going from breakfast to dinner with nothing in between. This is always a bad thing for me. Monday arrived with my stomach continuing to bother me and was the start of our annual company sales meeting. Four days of continuous meetings with no opportunity to run at lunch. Tuesday, my stomach was still not good and I couldn't even enjoy the free meal at the dinner Tuesday evening for the sales staff.

Wednesday, I decided to go into the Walk-In clinic and see what was up. I get to the clinic and after an hour wait, the nurse gets my blood pressure and pulse rate. The blood pressure is border line high and because my stomach ache is located high in the abdomen, she orders an EKG to check my heart. Having just done a 102 mile bike ride on Saturday, I figure my heart is in pretty good shape, but know she is just going down the check list and don't object. As luck would have it, there is an abnormality in my EKG. They get a bit excited, give me baby aspirin to chew on and move me into another room where they can monitor me better. All the while I'm trying to tell them that my heart is fine; you people don't have a clue what I do for fun. They draw blood and send it to the lab for analysis to determine if I have indeed had a heart attack. Well, my wife actually works in this lab, so I call her to let her know where I am and to assure her that I am fine. The blood work comes back - no heart attack. What a surprise I think. The Walk-In Clinic doc consults with a cardiologist regarding the abnormal EKG and determines that the abnormal spikes could occur with a very thin invidual who had an extremely fit heart. Duh, that would be a picture of me on the poster for that description.

So having ruled out the heart attack, the doctor decides that I likely got dehydrated on my bike ride the previous Saturday and aggravated a slight gastric ulcer. I received a prescription for Prevacid and was sent on my way. Started the medication on Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday, was feeling much better. Friday was better still and on Saturday, I was good to go for the Seattle to Portland bike ride.

My friend Desmond and I left the UW stadium at 5:15 AM and arrived at the finish in Portland at 6:03 PM. According to my bike computer, it was just shy of 204 miles and I had 11:09 of actual ride time. Ended up averaging 18.2 mph for the trip. I was rarely ever in a pace line, usually riding at the front of one. I did get to ride for a while with John Pearch which was a pleasant surprise. Overall, I felt strong for the entire ride. I do need to change shoes/pedals however. My left foot felt like someone was driving a spike up through the bottom toward the end of the ride. MUCH easier than running for 12 hours, however.

Guess it's time to train for White River now. KRK

Monday, July 10, 2006

Weekly summary July 2-8

It was a varied week for me. After a 45 mile bike ride on Saturday, Sunday I got out for my first long run since mid-May. 32 miles on the CCC course. It went better than expected - having Tim bonk probably saved me. If I had pushed more, I am certain I would have felt worse on Monday.

Tuesday I got up early and helped to set up the 5k and 10k courses for the YMCA Yankee Doodle runs. Then ran the 5k with daughter Kelsey. Our times were slow, but it was great to finally get to run with her again and she had a strong kick to finish. Spent the afternoon and evening at a the home of one of my wife's co-workers who is a MAJOR pyromaniac. He spent several hundred dollars on fireworks and we were happy to watch him set them all off. I took my camera along and actually managed to get a few photographs to turn out.

Thursday was Walleyball and Friday was 45 minutes on the treadmill - 10:00 min/mile at 10% grade. I was thoroughly soaked by the time I got off. Finally, on Saturday I put in my last long training ride prior to STP. I put together a hilly 102 mile loop in Snohomish county that took me from Lake Stevens to Snohomish to Monroe. Then it was on to Granite Falls, followed by Stanwood, then Arlington. From Arlington, it was onto the Centennial Trail past Lake Stevens to Machias and then back home. I am certain that STP will have far fewer hills. KRK

Monday, June 26, 2006

St Helens in the Sun

The highlight of last week was a ride from Toutle to Mt. St. Helens on the Spirit Lake Memorial Hwy. According to my trip odometer, the round trip was 83.5 miles. This included a significant amount of climbing on the out leg, with some additional short climbs on the return leg. I peaked out at 43.5 mph, but was passed by a recumbent rider doing ~50. The sun was out and the day was warm. All I had to do was think about the temperatures at Western States and suddenly I was quite cool.
After a long climb to Goat Rock, you dropped elevation and then ascended some to Coldwater Ridge. This was followed by a short, fairly steep decent and long climb to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Great day to be out. More photos are posted on my photo album connection.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Week of June 12-18

As I have little to write about, I will post a summary of last week's physical activities, such as they were:

6-12 45 min. spinning class
6-13 45 min. treadmill run, level 8 random - 6.3 miles
6-14 lunch with my wife (not much physical activity, but important for harmony at home)
6-15 three games of walleyball
6-16 two long games of racquetball
6-17 bike ride - 38.75 miles on Centennial Trail 2:02
6-18 bike ride - 31.75 miles on Cent. Trail and back roads around Lake Stevens 1:48

Of note: On Sunday's early morning bike ride I was returning from Arlington and saw a cougar on the trail. Very cool! Hope I didn't look too much like a deer;-) KRK

PS - Good luck to everyone headed to Western States. Wish I were joining you.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Copying TC

Well, I don't have much to post, so I will copy tc's weekly mileage log format:

June 5 - 52 minutes in spinning class - indicated 11.6 miles
June 6 - 0.6 mile warm-up for three games of walleyball
June 7 - 6.1 miles 45 minutes on treadmill - level 5 random (hills)
June 8 - three games of walleyball, no warm-up
June 9 - 4.2 miles 30 minutes on treadmill - level 6 random
June 11 - 11.0 miles 1:29:10 - ran from home, around lake and back

Totals - 21.9 miles of running, 11.6 miles of "biking" and six games of walleyball

Other news of note: Saturday watched my eldest daughter graduate from college.

Very sad news of note: Same day, neighbors daughter drowned in rafting accident on a river in Montana. Sarah had been on the local club swim team with my daughter Kelsey; had graduated from Lake Stevens High last year, and would have turned 19 this coming Friday.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

No trails, no running - At least I was in the Cascades

Well, it was another biking weekend. Having not been on my bike since the NW Crank event at the end of April, it was naturally time to do a Century ride. So... I got up at 3:45 Saturday AM, had breakfast and drove to my friend Desmond's in Snohomish where we transferred my bike and stuff to his car and drove to Wenatchee. The weather in Wenatchee was sunny and clear and only a little cool. I had actually been given a bike club bib short and jersey set by a customer from San Francisco, so I at least looked like a bicycler. Not sure if I will ever get used to the clothing that bike riders wear. I guess the gaudier and brighter the colors, the more likely the drivers are to see you. Thankfully, there are no pictures of me in this get-up.

We started riding at ~7:30 and after an easy warm-up for the first few miles, I decided to pick up the pace at bit. Flat pavement and a slight tailwind made 23-25 mph feel pretty easy. Of course, it was early on too. The course then turned up the Entiat valley and went from flat to various uphill grades; nothing approaching the Nook Connector trail at Tiger, but enough to slow the pace significantly. The ride had aid stations at 24, 48, 52, and 76 miles. There was also a water stop with about 10 miles to go.

On trail runs, I am often getting passed on the uphills. On the bike, no one passed me on the outbound leg. Interesting. After the turn-around, I had the benefit of a pelaton made apparent to me. I rode by myself the entire day and never did catch a draft from another rider. On the way downhill, a group of ~6 riders passed me when I was on a flat; making me look like I had stopped working. Also, two people on one bike = better power to weight ratio. Two pairs of tandem riders smoked my butt on a downhill section. I was cruising at about 22 mph and they passed me like a Porsche on the Autobahn going around a Yugo.

All things considered, I had a good ride. For no training in the last month, I finished in a total time of ~6 hours, with my trip computer reading 5:33 of actual ride time.

For your visual entertainment, I have attached a recent picture taken with my new DSLR. I'm no Glenn T, but I'm having fun with the camera. KRK

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Watershed Event/Day

Yesterday was a good day. Aside from having to get up at 4:30 AM, the entire day went well. Having finished a large bowl of Cheerios and two big mugs of coffee, I left the house and headed for the Watershed Preserve 12 hour run. The morning paper arrived just in time for me to read the sports page and learn that both the Lake Stevens girls and boys had won the district track titles. The day was off to a good start. My dog was NOT happy that I left her behind - she thought she was going to get to run as well.

Upon arriving at the race start, it was old home week. I enjoyed seeing and talking with many running friends. From the onset, I knew I was not in shape to run for 12 hours. With other activities on tap for the day, my plan was to enjoy a six hour training run with friends and then head home. Tom counted down to 7:00 AM and we were off like a herd of turtles. No one was in a particular rush, even the Cheetah dog (Jim Kerby) started of easily. The course consists of two loops - a large, 4.655 mile loop followed by a 0.72 mile loop for a total of 5.375 miles per lap. The conversation and joking made the miles go by very quickly. Eventually, Jim and Mark Hartinger eased ahead of the rest of us and increased the spacing the remainder of the time I ran.

By the time I finished 5 laps, our group had thinned to my running with Rob Lang. We finished the fifth lap in 4 hours flat and headed back out for more. Lap six slowed some and started to feel more like work. The hills and rocks were bigger than earlier in the day. Lap six was done in 4:50. Rob and I agreed that seven laps would be enough. We ended our day at 5:43 elapsed time. I was tired, but felt good. After thanking the volunteers, I headed home for the next phase of the day.

Another reason for not running the full 12 hours was my 16 year-old going to her first prom. I was the official pre-event photographer (along with all the other parents). In spite of having a closet full of prom dresses from her older sisters, we somehow managed to end up with another $200 dress to add to the collection. Anybody need some prom dresses?

The beauty of digital photography is you can shoot and shoot and shoot and then just delete whatever you don't like. I ended up with 83 pictures of Kelsey, her date, and her friends before they headed off for dinner. Then came the part of the day I hadn't been looking forward to.

Our youngest daughter just turned 9. Her elementary school was putting on a musical version of the Jungle Book. After running six hours in the morning, I was not looking forward to sitting and watching a grade school play, especially since Larisa wasn't even in the darn thing. Being the good dad I am (or just not being able to tell Larisa no), I ended up going. With four daughters, I have attended quite a few school activities. This program was the best that I have seen at any level. I was simply amazed. The kids did a great job, the home made costumes were cute, but not overdone. The sets were good and it was obvious that the kids were enjoying what they were doing. The effort by all involved was apparent and it served to be the perfect ending to a good day. Well, almost the end - we then headed out for Chinese and I ate my usual amples servings. Life is full of surprises and sometimes they are pleasant ones.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Running partner

While I am still not running much, I am trying to fit in some runs with a new running partner. Our dog Kuma is now about 18 months old and enjoys going on the runs. As a lab/rottweiller/husky mix and 105 lb., she is a bit too big for real long runs. At present, she is good for about 7 miles. Hopefully, we can work up to some longer distances. I also need to get her more accustomed to meeting people on the trail, so she isn't so shy. Any volunteers to join us for a run?
Kuma tends to relax after our runs as you can see in the second picture.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Wow, you can coast the downhills

Well, the three days of the Northwest Crank have come and gone and I have to say, I had a good time. My butt didn't bother me as much as I had feared and my neck didn't get too terribly sore. However, my lower back got very tight (reminder to self - CORE EXERCISES!!) and my feet actually hurt from time to time due to the stiff shoes and no foot flexing.

The first day was quite warm with highs in the mid-eighties and there was quite a bit of climbing. I found I could climb pretty strongly on a bike, but bonked on the last ascent to the ski area at Mission Ridge. Coasting down at up to 42 mph was a hoot.

Day two called for 100 miles (day one was 80). However, at about 60 miles, Desmond was flagging and we could either go straight and reach the car in about half a mile or turn right and head uphill for 19+ miles. We chose the car, immediately followed by the purchase of beer, chips and salsa. GOOD CHOICE.

Day three was a trip from East Wenatchee up Hwy 97A to Lake Chelan, via a side spur about 28 miles in. The two trips officially recognized were either 76 miles or 125 miles. We modified the longer route; eliminating a couple of out and back sections and ended up with ~90 miles for the day. Several other riders followed our example, so we felt we simply offered a good third alternative.

Bottom line - met some nice people, had a good time. More photos from the ride can be found under my albums link.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And now for something totally different

Since not training for running didn't work too well at Mt. Si, I am going to see how not training for long bike rides works. This Friday I will start riding three of the four day Northwest Crank rides put on by the Seattle Randonneurs. Friday will be an 80 mile ride that eventually works up to the Mission Ridge Ski area and then back down. Saturday is 95 miles with a trip up Badger Mountain. Finally, Sunday will be 125 miles with a trip to Lake Chelan with some additional out and backs thrown in. At least these aren't races and I can coast on the downhills.

I have done some spinning classes over the past months; usually one hour on Mondays and have done three 2+ hour rides since mid-February. That should be enough training, right?

The weather forecast is for low to mid 80's in Wenatchee so I won't have to worry about keeping warm. I'm betting that my butt and neck are sore by Sunday. =>KRK

Monday, April 24, 2006

A new PW

After looking back in my running records, I noticed that the time I ran at Mt Si in 1999 was for 54 miles, not 50. So, in one year I managed to go from a PR to a PW. Getting sick and not training is obviously not the hot ticket for running a fast 50 miler. krk

Sunday, April 23, 2006

50 miles is not a marathon

Well, I have been humbly reminded that I may be able to fake my way through a respectable marathon on minimal training and perhaps even a 50k. However, 50 miles is a completely different story. Today was an exercise in perserverence. I started of with Carol O'Hear and felt pretty good through about 15 or 16 miles. As always, I enjoyed the time running with Carol and we got caught up with a lot. Unfortunately, things started to come apart a little at a time after that. The race had also relocated some aid stations and I hadn't paid attention to the pre-race announcements. My bad. Ended up running out of fluids on the way up to Rattlesnake Lake. Just past the parking lot, the cramping set in. I spent the next three plus miles hobbling slowly and trying to get on top of the cramping. Any attempt to run brought me to a complete stop with fully locked calves. Eventually, I was able to start running very slowly a little bit at a time. By the turn around at 35 miles, I was moving better. I kept trying to run as much as possible and stay ahead on water and electrolytes and did fairly well until the golf course. Then the cramps came back, although not quite so intensely.

To make a long story a little shorter, after running under seven hours last year, I ran 8:00:20 this year. My knees are aching and I'm feeling pretty beat, but I got to see a lot of good friends and was forcibly reminded that it doesn't matter what you've done before, without the training, it's not going to be as fun or as fast.

I plan to get in some miles before the Watershed 12 hour in May.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Mt Sigh

Well, I should be well tapered anyway. My week of non-running because of work turned into almost two weeks of non-running because of illness. Some sort of bug jumped up and bit me this past week and actually made me miss work on Wednesday. I did run for 30 minutes on Friday and an hour this AM and feel generally okay. However, I think my endurance may be a bit off for the 50 miler at Mt Si tomorrow. Such is life. At least I will get to spend time with good friend Carol O'Hear and see other running buddies. That is if Carol runs slow enough.

This will be my 8th running at Mt. Si. The previous times have been:

2005 - 6:56:23
2004 - 7:13:15
2003 - 7:09:14
2002 - 6:57:14
2001 - 7:06:42
2000 - 7:23:34
1999 - 8:27:10

I think sub-seven this year is out of the question, but 7:30 may be doable. 7:15 or under would be gravy. We'll find out tomorrow. Maybe Carol will pull me along.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Week of limited training

Well, this week looks to be one of very limited training. I will fit in a spinning class at lunch time today, but that will be it until the weekend. Two days of a conference in Seattle and two days on the road will kill the rest of the week. I'm not sure what I will be able to fit in on Saturday either. Daughter #4 has her first volleyball game Saturday AM.

I have also linked some pictures of a recent trip to a local indoor climbing gym with my two youngest daughters. Just click on the photo album link. They both really enjoy climbing and I hope to get out this summer to some real rock. Just top-roping, though. No death wishes or free-climbing here.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Belated follow up to Yakima

Since nobody knows about this site but me, I haven't rushed to post anything about my run at Yakima. The weather was nasty prior to the start, but ended up being quite good during the race. The course was quite scenic with only two significant hills. The first hill at 14 miles was a welcome change to the relatively flat course. I ran all of it without too much slowing. The second hill at about 23 miles was longer and occurred when I was starting to run out of gas already. I ended up walking a couple of short sections going up. The downhill wasn't as strong as normal - my calves were right at the threshold of cramping. Just too few miles in training.

I ended up running 3:19:21, good for 29th overall and 5th in my age group. I'm pleased with the run and hopeful that my conditioning will continue to improve. Yesterday was ~20 miles in 2:31 on the Centennial Trail. Next race - Mt. Si 50 mile.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ready for Yakima River?

It sounds like half of Washington and most of the Marathon Maniacs will be running at Yakima this Saturday. While I have picked up my mileage from January and February, I am still no where near marathon or ultra running shape. Hopefully, all the pavement won't beat me up too badly. I know I will enjoy the scenery and getting to see a lot of familiar faces.

Guess-timated time for the marathon? 3:25 or ~7:50 pace. We shall see.....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Chuckanut goes better than expected

Prior to the start of the Chuckanut 50k Posted by Picasa

I wasn't sure if I would even be able to run at Chuckanut this year. On Thursday, I landed on the side of someone's foot when playing volleyball and turned my ankle pretty well. Friday the ankle felt a bit better and Saturday was better yet, so I figured I would give the run a go. 31 miles would certainly provide enought time for the ankle to loosen up, right? The fact that I had a total of 39 miles logged in January and 34 for the month of February would just mean I was well tapered for the race.

I went into the run just wanting to enjoy myself and spend time with friends on the trail. I was able to do that and still run a respectable time. The weather was perfect and I was simply tired at the finish. No undue ankle pain. No injuries inflicted on the run. All things considered, a great day.