Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Camp Wrapup

Today was the bittersweet end to Christmas camp.
Sorry it is over but glad it is over :-)

Thanks to all who played a part in the week.
It is always challenging and rewarding and sets the participants up for their goals and targets for the coming year. I do need to sit down and plan my races for 2008. Maybe tomorrow.

I finished off with an easy 7 ish miler starting at Saltzman and joining up with Ronda, Tom and Micheal.
Ronda's great picture of us toasting the end of the run and on to 2008.

We ran into a few of the Purge and Splurgers who were attempting to run all of Wildwood today. It appeared that they ended up doing an out and back since the roads out to Newberry and the end of the Wildwood were icy this morning.

Christmas Camp 2007 was not the most miles I have done in a week. But it was high and with the speed and tempo work as well as the "bulk" it did take a toll on the body: some toenails will be sacrificed :-)
It was the most miles for Trisha in a week: 71 including 6 miles the day after her first ultra!! Wahoo!!

Christmas Camp 2007

Monday Dec 24 - 7.1 miles (11.4 km)
Tuesday Dec 25 - 7.1 miles (11.4 km)
Wednesday Dec 26 - 6.6 miles (10.6 km)
Thursday Dec 27 - 15 miles (24.2 km)
Friday Dec 28 - 15 miles (24.2 km)
Saturday Dec 29 - REST
Sunday Dec 30 - 30.2 miles (48.7 km)
Monday Dec 31 - 7 miles (11.3 km)
Total of 14 hours for 88 miles (141.8 km)

Great way to spend vacation :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Camp: Day Seven and Trisha's first Ultra!

Trisha, my wife and first time ultra runner!!:
I'm guest blogging for Darin today, since this was really my run. I was nervous about heading out for my first 30 miler, the entire Wildwood trail in Forest Park, but the energy of our Christmas Camp group was all positive as we posed in our 'no excuses' shirts (see bottom for pictures). Stacey kindly dropped us all off at mile 30.5 and Darin and I settled into a comfortable pace at the back of the pack.

Darin was my pacer, timekeeper, photographer and keeper of all things yummy - gels, Clif blocks, fig newtons, and protein bars.

You see a lot of things in 30 miles and we were treated to two sets of decorated trail 'Christmas trees' (mile 16 and mile 6) complete with ornaments, some beautiful holly bushes loaded with red berries, gigantic parrots, rain, snow, hail and a quick round of thunder and lightning.

Besides hanging with Darin for seven hours - a big thanks to Bill and Alex for taking the kids - my run highlights included some wonderful aid stations. Thank-you to the Red Bull, corn chip fairy!

As with any race/run, the last mile was the hardest, but it was all worth it to see Ronda, Steve, Micheal and Beast waiting to cheer us in. No major injuries, just sore legs and a new appreciation for all you ultra runners. Thank-you so much to Darin and Ronda, who, even when I had doubts that I could do this, never wavered in their faith in me.

Hmmm .... do I feel a group hug coming on?
Nah, just more training - Chuckanut here we come.

Darin back doing the typing
Trisha finishing here first trail ultra...30.2 miles.
Looking strong...nothing stopped her and she kept a consistent pace to finish in 6 hours and 23 minutes (12:40 per mile pace).
My favorite quote of the day: "Plain hammer gel tastes like sweet vaseline...ugh!" :-)

The Christmas camp group at the start of the run:

Pictures "stolen" from Ronda's post.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Camp: Day Six...Rest and Hagen

Trisha and I took today off from running. But we did keep things interesting and exciting with our quick trip to Bellingham...and the 13 hours of driving the trip there and back entailed.

We now have a little dog named Hagen. Leah is practically loving the little dog to death and is really excited having him to call her own. Thanks Mark, Mireille and John.

We had a great visit with Mark, Mireille, John, Carla, Kevin and Damon.
Cole has proudly progressed to level 62 of his Pokemon Fire Red game...he was hoping the drive would be even longer!

Tomorrow is the big day with Trisha's first ULTRA...30 miles of fun!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Camp: Day Five and still Alive

Day five calls for tempo work...OUCH! Steve, Tom, Ronda, Kris, Trisha, Micheal, Stacey, Dave, Trisha and myself all met up at the 53rd access to the Wildwood trail at 8:15 this morning.

We did 30 minutes of warm-up running down Wildwood and then Wild Cherry to Leif.
We continued easy from the quarter mile marker up to 1.5 miles on Leif. Then the real work began.

We all dug in and worked down to our marathon paces out to mile 3.5 on Leif. Then back to mile 1.5. I started out a little krinky but things loosened up and was able to average 6:55 for the first 4 miles.

The next 4 miles went better, hitting my groove and averaging 6:50.

The final stretch was another 3 miles. I pushed on the way out but pretty much was done when I hit the line and met back up with Trisha and Dave. About 7:20 pace.

We trudged up Alder to Wildwood with me enjoying a good bonk. Another 15 miles in the bank!

Thanks to Stacey for lending me a water bottle and gels...when will I learn :-)

Now to jump in the car to drive to Bellingham to visit relatives and friends. Should be nice and stiff after 5 hours in the car. I feel a Burgerville stop coming on!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Camp: Day Four

For most of the time that I have lived in Portland (four and half years now!) I have been meeting up with Scott and Rick at 6 am on Thursday morning for a run. Always a great way to get those extra miles in early in the morning and catch up talking to my buddies. No reason to stop during Christmas camp and might even make me a keener :-)

This morning Scott and I ran a nice 10 miler...but we waited until 7 am and had a little more light. It was cold and wet with some sleet but what a great way to start the day. We about 6 miles on road and about 4 miles on the Fanno Creek trail. I did end up getting my brand new shoes dirty with some of the minor flooding on the trail. Scott made sure to make fun of me as I tried to tip toe around the mud / water. What can you expect from one of the guys who started the Hagg Lake Ultra race!?

Mid afternoon, Trisha got home from shopping with her mom and we headed out for a 5 mile recovery run around the neighborhood. It drizzled on us but really nothing too major.

I can't wait to feel the tempo tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Zoo Lights

With Grandma Isaak visiting we headed out to the Portland Zoo lights display.

The lights were cool but so was the least for Portland. We spent a good portion of the time huddling into some of the animal houses to warm up cold toes and fingers. No rain and with Portland under a snow advisory for tomorrow with a possible 7 inches this may be our last trip out for a day or two :-)

Leah's favorite lights were the butterflies while Cole liked the alligators.

Bonus was that our zoo membership got us in for free!

Christmas Camp: Day Three

Today was the much dreaded speed work out after eating too much on Christmas day!
Great group of Christmas campers showed up all ready to rumble: Trisha, Lynn, Ronda, Micheal, Tom, Steve, Dave and myself.

Nice 30 minute warm-up out and back on Terwilliger road. Hill up, nice easy grade back to the track.
Then to the business part of the day: 10 400s on the Duniway park track.

I was quite happy to nail all 10 at 1:34 - 1:35. Heart rate would go to 165-170 during the speed and then back to 120-125 for the recovery lap. Great way to stretch out the legs and see how the back and quads were doing. Trisha posted strong 1:55 averages for her 7 400's.
Everyone looked strong and fast.

Again we were blessed with no rain for the run. Wish I would have dusted off my racing flats but was too scared to get them wet :-)

Push-ups: easy. Sit-ups: ouch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Camp: Day Two

We had a minor Christmas miracle today in Portland: SNOW!

Trisha and I headed out for a 7 mile loop from the house after a great Christmas morning. We commented on how it appeared that our second run of Christmas camp would again be without the liquid sunshine of the Pacific northwest.
Then little white flakes started to fall. Then really large flakes. Then it was an all out least for Portland.

We finished with a good long hill back up to the house feeling like adventurers of the North. And, man, Trisha is getting stronger. I hardly turned around to wait on the hill and she was passing me by. Only a matter of time till I get "chicked" :-) It was a great gift to be out running with my wife on such a beautiful day.

Today was also my first run ever with a heart rate monitor. I had fun with Trisha's gift as I flat-lined a few times and I figured out the gadget. I am looking forward to training, racing and sleeping with it on :-)

Push ups and sit ups are progressing nicely but we are both having to work around the turkey and the pie! Speed tomorrow will most definitely be a relative term!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Camp: Day One

Every year since we have been in Portland we have been involved with a great tradition called Christmas Camp.

Ronda and Stacey organize a series of training adventures to "...meant to be a challenge where like minds come together run and celebrate".

Today Trisha and I did a nice seven miles starting out with eight other campers. The Wildwood trail and Leif were a little damp from the rain over the last week but an early Christmas gift arrived with no rain on the run and only a little mud on the shoes.

This afternoon / evening we did our required 30 pushups, 100 situps and plank exercises as we prepare to indulge in the feasting tomorrow.
We were likely the only people with sore abdominal muscles attempting to hit the high notes in the Christmas eve service tonight :-)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tourist run: Nob Hill, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge

I had the opportunity to do some early morning exploration of San Francisco as I was in town for the December face to face Eclipse board meeting. We were staying and meeting at the Hotel Monaco. Beautiful city.

Up and over the Nob Hill going past the Grace Cathedral church. I have to tell you that running both ways I found the constant noise from the cable cars "track" in the roads quite annoying. Possibly just because I had not had any caffeine yet :-)

I ran down to Fort Mason and then along the waterfront to as close to the Golden Gate bridge as my time allowed. I figure I was about half a mile out. I was disappointed I did not make the bridge but I was unwilling to get up any earlier and I am running slow with some unexplained soreness in my upper, inside quad muscles. The view was still inspiring.

Alcatraz was visible from the shore for most of the run along the water. It really does not look that far off shore. As well, there were several hardy (crazy?) individuals doing open water swims with no wet suits. Maybe those guys who tried to escape really did make it?

On the way back in the hills I even had a second opportunity to Find Waldo this year :-)

Time to heal and prepare for Christmas Camp!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eclipse DemoCamp: Portland

On Monday we had the first Portland Eclipse DemoCamp. We need to ensure it is not the last as I feel it was a great success and well worth the effort to attend and present.

The format was simple: people signed up on the wiki to attend and if interested signed up to present a demo. We had about 30 people show up to watch and present 8 demos. There was a great taco bar to fuel up so the brain was ready to digest the demos.

For whatever reason my VPN refused to work so I had to revamp my demo to be hosted entirely on my laptop. Thankfully Chris G swapped demo spots with me so I had some time to set up for the demo. So I apologize for the sketchy notes / missed demos as I was fairly focused on prepping instead of listening to the demos that came before mine :-)

Chris Goldthorpe, IBM, presented first on whats is new in Eclipse user assistance.

Scott lewis, BEA, presented the ECF shared editor. Appears to be a cool prototype and the ECF guys are working on more sophisticated locking, synchronization and transaction support for Ganymede.

Chris Elford - Intel - demo the state of the TPTP profiler. We saw the threading mode and execution statistics. The TPTP project is requesting user experience reports to get kudos as well as input on where changes are required. Dive in and give your feedback.

Phil Quitsland - Instantiations WindowTester - recorder and test code generator. Apparantly you can try it out for free.

Emerson Murphy-Hill - PhD candidate - Portland State University. Cool (wacky..his word :-) ) take on improving the Eclipse refactoring tools. Circular menu with gestures for refactoring: direction indicative of refactoring - up is pull up, down is push down. Refactoring cues view to remove the menu/wizard interaction for refactoring. Contact Emerson to try it out and make his adviser happy.

I presented on Jazz, with a focus on the process component of which I am a team member.
Don't run screaming from the room with the mention of process or governance with respect to software development. The Jazz Platform is process-neutral. Jazz itself has no built in process enforcing what is done for any particular occasion. One of the mandates of our team is to allow Jazz users to explore, define and adapt their process for use for their team and project. This is what I demonstrated with some simple examples.

Overall an excellent use of a Monday evening!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

EclipseCon 2008 program

EclipseCon 2008
After many emails, phone calls and meetings the EclipseCon 2008 program committee has set the program for the conference.

The Committer and Contributor category has as great line up with 3 tutorials, 4 long talks and 5 short talks: check it out.

As well, we are planning to get a Hackfest together for committers.

I turned down my own short talk but I really only submitted it to start discussion on the idea. I still plan to organize a "running" BOF to get out for some exercise and have some great conversations with other EclipseCon attendees. Similar to JAX jogging.

Start reading and planning so you can attend EclipseCon.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let It Snow

For the last couple of days we have been getting a light dusting of snow here in Portland, Oregon.
My son Cole has been very excited about the possibility of school cancellations...he will just have to keep hoping :-)

We were lucky enough to get out for a nice 2 hour run in the falling snow (no accumulation) this morning as a prelude to "watching" the Western States 100 lottery hosted at Dave and Lynn's. Unfortunately no one from the lottery party was lucky enough to get their name drawn this year (there was only a 16% chance). 23 people from Oregon did get in so we have lots of people to cheer for.
A number of the people from the party are resetting their sights on the Big Horn 100.
I am still strictly a "spectator" with no plans to run a 100 miler next season. I am still pondering what I will race in 2008...we shall have to see.

After the party, Trisha, the kids and I hit the Hot Pot City restaurant to meet up with Jared and Michelle for lunch. Nice price for all you can eat, good food and a fun different atmosphere. The kids loved having to mix up and cook their own food in the hot pot right at the table. Recommend it!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Being Thankful

We have had a great thanksgiving weekend spending time with friends and family and eating WAY too much food. We have also had some great trail running out enjoying the fine fall weather and God's creation: quiet times to continue the appreciation of how blessed we are and how thankful we should be.

We spent Thanksgiving proper at Ronda and Bill's for an amazing feast and good time with new and old friends. Friday started with some running and then time working on the fish tanks. We ended the day with more food and friends hanging out with the Rouse's in their new home in Canby.

I have been a bit of a slug in terms of training fighting some type of cold or flu. Ronda has been inviting me out with her squad which got me out the door on to the Wildwood trail in Forest Park for a couple of hours on Friday and Sunday morning. Friday we ran out and back starting at Germantown Road. Trisha ran long on Saturday morning while I cleaned out clogged sink drains and watched Harry Potter movies with the kids.

Sunday was a loop course from Upper Macleay park to the Nature trail down to Leif. Then to Wild Cherry and back to the park on Wildwood trail. The group even started early for me on Sunday so we could still make church :-) There is a nice gallery of park images here.

We had talked about doing some kind of turkey trot race this weekend but it just did not come together. Have to try for a jingle bell run.

Besides getting me out for longer runs, Ronda also tagged me for 5 random little facts:

1. I grew up in a little northern town called Prince George, B.C. Canada. Great town to grow up in. Great town to leave after you are grown up.

2. I once planted over 100, 000 tree seedlings in 4 months doing my summer job as a tree planter in the wilds of British Columbia. I even looked pretty similar to this guy minus the safety hat: link. This was great training for becoming an ultra runner and reminds me to be very thankful for my desk job.

3. In college I bred and raised Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). This was how I learned patience...ask me about it on a long run some time :-)

4. I prefer cold, day old pizza over any other type. Meat lovers. Not too much cheese.

5. My first trail race was the Trail Mix 25 km run in Bloomington Minnesota on April 19, 2003. Ran this with my friend Steve who was encouraging me to try longer runs. This was back when I thought Minnesota was hilly :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All over but the conference

The submissions deadline for EclipseCon 2008 has come and gone. Time for some reflection.

Browsing the submissions system we have over 474 proposals for tutorials, short and long talks.

In the Committer and Contributor category (track) that I am responsible for, we have 7 long talks, 8 short talks and 2 tutorials proposed.
I am particularly fond of: So You Want to Run: EclipseCon Exercise :-)

Jump in and voice your opinion.

You are invited to review the submissions, ask for more information, and provide comments and critiques.

Once again it is your chance to get involved and shape a part of Eclipse.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lizards and Snakes

After a great run with Ronda, Stacey and Tom to start the day, Leah, Cole and I went to the Reptile Show and Sale.

Joining up with our friends Mark, Hailey and Jake we drove down to the Portland Expo center for the show.

It was cool. More snakes, geckos, frogs and chameleons than you can shake a stick at. The vendors were all really friendly and open to questions. The kids got to handle pretty much everything but an alligator...and they even asked to do that! Corn snakes and bearded dragons appear to be Cole and Leah's favorites. Mice, albino geckos and the larger chameleons round out the top five.

With Trisha's standing edict of "No snakes!", I believe the family is leaning towards the dragon and I see some type of cold blooded animal besides fish taking up residence in our home in the not too distant future.

With our church annual Thanksgiving Soup and Bread I had better get out for another run today so I can have the appetite to properly sample all the great food!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Eclipse DemoCamps

There is an effort to have Eclipse DemoCamps around the globe in November and December.

What is an Eclipse DemoCamp?
Stealing from the wiki:

Eclipse DemoCamp is an opportunity to showcase all of the cool interesting technology being built by the Eclipse community. It is also an opportunity for you to meet Eclipse enthusiasts in your city.

The format of the DemoCamp is pretty informal. The idea is for a group of Eclipse enthusiasts to meet up and demo what they are doing with Eclipse. The demos can be of research projects, Eclipse open source projects, applications based on Eclipse, commercial products using Eclipse, whatever you think might be of interest to the attendees. The only stipulation is that it is Eclipse related.

Sounds good to me. I signed up for the Demo Camp in Portland, Oregon.

Ensure to organize / find / attend a demo camp in your local area.

Also plan to get your EclipseCon submissions in...the November 19th deadline is almost here.I'm going to EclipseCon 2008Tutorial, long talk, short talk: you decide how best to share your expertise.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Autumn Leaves 50km

Today I raced the 50km at the ORRC Autumn Leaves race.
The race occurs at Champoeg state park and is a loop course. I ran around in 5 mile circles for around 4 hours and really enjoyed it!
As always it was great to have my family and friends out cheering all of us on. Leah had great fun in the signature leaves.

I am really stoked from the result and I am really sore...but in a good way :-) Any race with no blisters is a good race.

Race director Fritz Pieper does an amazing job of putting on this late season race: course was marked very well with lots of enthusiastic volunteers. They even finally figured out how to get everyone to do the same course and the right distance for the initial out and back :-) Fritz also gives out birthday cards to all the people who have birthdays close to the race day...and the swag was great as well. Thanks man!
It was great fun to see everyone so many times with the loop course: Olga, Tom, Jeff, Dave, Lynn, Stan, Susan, Rich, and Beast. There is a 10km, 50km and 50 miler running concurrently so I would guess about 200 people running around.
In a weird twist I ran the ultra and Stacey and Ronda did the 10km. Made me slightly jealous :-)

Seeing other runners and the volunteers inspires you to keep giving your best. It certainly did not hurt to try to keep up with some of the 10 kers or think about how glad you are that you are not doing the 50 miler :-) Thanks to all for the inspiration!

I finished in 4:00:58 (7:45 per mile) which was good enough for first overall.
Splits (1.2 mile loop, then six 4.9 mile loops)

This was my second fastest ultra and it validates the speed training that I have been doing lately. I stuck to the Ronda / Stacey fueling plan and had zero troubles with low energy or digestion problems. Gel every 23 minutes (after the first 40 minutes or so) whether I felt I needed it or not. It is fun when the training and planning works.
The only mistakes I made were not doing a negative split and forgetting headphones for my spanky new iPod shuffle that Trisha got me for my birthday. Argh...having my tunes would have likely given me the 59 seconds to slip under 4 hours. There is just no way to run slow rockin' out to Skillet!. Oh well, I made the USATF happy :-(

If you are looking for a well organized and supported ultra late in the season this one is it. We even had amazing weather this year: no wind or rain and the fog looked great. The race even starts at a 8 am so you do not have to crawl out of bed to early.
This is also a great race for first time ultra runners. Just get over the mental hurdle of passing the finish line soooo many times :-)
It was great to see the first timers out there challenging themselves and diggin' deep!

I know I will be back...with my headphones :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Going to Boston

Flight is booked and entry form sent in. $110 dollars worth of fun to run the 2008 Boston Marathon!

Possibly the hardest part was actually getting the flight booked. Why, oh why does Northwest Airlines make it soooo hard to book a flight using airmiles? Oh right...because they do not want you to use them :-)

Going to race this beast again.
Boston is where I ran my slowest marathon in 2004.
Boston is where I set my marathon PR in 2005.

I will be training hard to once again attempt to burst through that elusive barrier of the 3 hour marathon.

As well, Trisha and I love the food in Boston: Mike's City Diner for breakfast after the race!

Towards that path I am racing in the Autumn Leaves 50km this Saturday. Weather is looking good and I am looking forward to pounding this race and striving for an A goal of around 4 hours.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book review: The Imperfect Board Member

The Imperfect Board Member by Jim Brown.

Nice, light, interesting read which I would recommend.
And not just for board members. I think anyone who has to interact with other people to accomplish their job should plow through this book on the beach, during a flight or while watching the New York Marathon this weekend. I read this book while on vacation in Florida. :-)

First lets all agree that being an effective board member is hard work. The book points that out in spades.

What I found interesting was how much of the insights and advice in the book can be generally applied to both my role as a board director for the Eclipse Foundation and in my other life as a software engineer as part of a globally distributed development team (where I happen to be working on Jazz and Eclipse).

Perhaps a few too many of the problematic situations presented in the case study / story seem to easily and conveniently resolve themselves once (a few) changes are made. I mean, do we all have the privilege of always working with logical and reasonable people? Anyone who works with me is at a disadvantage here :-)
But the presentation is well meaning and does ensures you consider the intentions, actions and interactions that you can control: your own.

So check out the Secret Formula and the GEM (Note: both are trademark of Strive! Inc. ... the book says so).
And if every meeting started exactly on time with no re-hash...that makes the book golden right there!
You might even learn how to better manage teenagers and be a proactive tipper ;-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Florida 2007

We have had the privilege of vacationing at Indian Shores, Florida for a week in October / November for the past several years. All started after an OOPSLA trip in 2001. Man, was nice again this year! We were glad Grandpa was able to join us.

We traveled down on Southwest (CHEAP!) and arrived late Friday. We stayed again with Kat at Sand Glo.

Saturday...slow morning after not much sleep. The kids were not tired enough from the plane ride on Friday.
Hit Costco to stock up on groceries. Rest of the day out on the beach. Hot and muggy but cloudy which was quite a nice change from Portland :-)

Leah was sick many helpings of cake? So Sunday morning was nice and slow getting out to the beach by 10am.
We then hit our perennial favorite: the Seacoast seabird sanctuary. Leah kept asking to go to the bird cemetery. Cute in a morbid kinda way :-)

Walking back the kids pretty much swam back the whole half mile. Bait fish everywhere. Leah was hit in the head twice by the jumping fish. Cole got tagged in the back. Fun all around.

Monday was really hot and muggy so we went indoors to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.
Kids liked playing in the water features out in the back after touring all the tanks and exhibits.
I loved the huge Great Tank...23 ft by 3 ft about 1500 gallons fresh water. Cool.

Tuesday was another hot and muggy beach day.
Lots of time out in the surf and beach combing. We had to work hard not to get sunburnt...near record temperatures (90) for this time of year out on the coast.

Wednesday we had planned to do the tourist thing and hit Busch Gardens. But the weather was really crappy so we hung out for a day and then went into Tampa for fun rides, food and animal exihibits on Thursday.

More storms overnight made for great beach combing on Friday. Swimming scallops, clams, hermit crabs and even a really cool little octopus. Home schooling right on the beach. The kids had no idea we were sneaking in so much biology :-)
We ended the day with our traditional mini golf game at Smuggler's Cove. How can you beat golf with a ship and live alligators?
We also tried out a new hamburger joint: Five Guys. Kindof like the In-N-Out of the east. Highly recommended.
Cannot wait for next year!