Some adventures in road and trail running.
For Running stuff click here. For Eclipse stuff click here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

OK...100 km is a long, long way

The day after the PCT 50km, Trisha and I ran the last section of the top of the PCT 50 miler.

With the kids up playing with Grandma in Canada, we elected to stay up a second night. Nice little forest service Clackamas Lake campground in #4. We think that #30 is likely the best in the site.

This is a 5.9 mile out and back from Barlow Pass up to Timberline Lodge.
Climb most of the way up, great cruising on the way down.
Working through the sand for the last 3/4 mile or so has really made me not likely to consider doing the 50 miler any time soon :-)

The run was amazing and Trisha really made me work in the last few miles but what kept going through my head is that in 3 weeks

I plan to run 100 km (62 miles) in under 16 hours at Waldo.

Doing 31 miles one day and the 11 miles the next day seemed tough enough.

Little bit scared...

PCT50km: Suck it Up!

On Saturday, July 28, 2007 I had the privilege of running the Mt Hood Pacific Crest Trail Ultramarathon50 km race. It was lots of fun, talked with lots of great people and had an other opportunity to learn more about running.

The short story is that I had a great race with minor impact from my recovering ankle. I took it slightly easy on the downhill and was very careful to watch the trail for roots, rocks and holes. Never a tumble on this run.

4th overall, 2nd in my age group. 4:49:28
Little Crater - 57:28
FS58 - 26:40
Hwy 26 - 40:07
TurnAround - 13:20
Hwy 26 - 10:57
FS58 - 46:25
Little Crater - 28
Finish - 1:06:21 (argh!)

Happy to be back running hard.

With the course change to not do the out and back to Little Crater Lake I had a little trouble telling if I had run the first section too fast. Likely I did but I do remember telling myself to slow down several times. Still learning.

I climbed well in the steeper sections between Little Crater and FS59 and established myself in a healthy second place for most of the race. I even enjoyed the out and back from Hwy 26!

On the way back down I was not going quite as fast as I would have hoped on the downhills. I believe I was starting to run out of fuel and likely slightly dehydrated. Eat more, drink more :-)
I was moved to 3rd when Rob Nelly came up moving like the wind on the downhills past FS58. We ran together for a little while until the Little Crater Aid station on the way back...then he was gone.

Then the not so fun part of the race: bonking and calf cramps for the last 5 miles.

I am trying to get smarter racing learning from my friends but I made 2 mistakes here AGAIN:
  • I was not drinking enough and I ran out of gels.
Tums and S caps did help and are now forever part of my plan.
As mentioned on the ultra mailing list it may have been that I just plain hit the limit of my training. I have not seen too many long runs in the last 4 weeks ;-)

For Waldo I am going to two hand held bottles for the aqua and for the space to store the extra gels!
Planning on attempting to follow Olga's advice for 1.5 water bottles every 10 miles. I did 1.5 for 30 miles :-(

I also had the "fun" of seeing a bear cub out on the course. Cute little guy but I think we both freaked each other out. He went straight up a tree and I ran a pretty fast quarter mile!

Trisha stepped up and worked about 4 hours at the FS 58 Aid station. She did a great job as my "crew". Good practice for when we help out Stacey in the fall!
Trisha also came up with a running mantra that most of us will need during some part of a race: Suck it up!

It was really fun hangin' out at the end of the race as most of my friends were running the 50 miler! Ultra's are cool that way in that almost everyone from the fastest to the slowest mill around after the race to chat and get to know each other a little better...and eat hamburgers! A whole weird sub-culture :-).

And, speaking of weird... please ask Caroline and Dave S about their new "trail" names: Rocket Fat Jackson, and Lady Jane tenthStreet???

Olga and Monika put on a great race which I highly recommend.
Great course, great swag and lots of aid and friendly, helpful volunteers.
Jeff W does an amazing job as well with all the work and the burgers!
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep the 50km race!

I also highly recommend soaking your legs in Timothy Lake post race!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Europa Review Visitors

On July 4th, I posted an Eclipse Europa Review on my blog. Since then I have had approximately 1000 hits referred to my blog for this review from places like DZone and Planet Eclipse.

I know this as I have a nifty site meter on my blog which tracks data like referring URL and location.

One of the things I have found most interesting is the country distribution of people coming to look at the review.
While I know the data set is small, I find many things interesting from the general indication:

Why is it that China does not show up?
From the information that I have, China is the largest single download "consumer" of Eclipse.

Is it a language issue?
Is this something we could look into falling under the scope of the Eclipse translation project, Babel?
Same for Korea.
Or is it simply a limitation of the site meter?

I would have expected more hits from India based on the download distribution.

The large distribution of countries that are using Eclipse: who knew about Algeria and Malta?

All in all it truly is amazing at the global spread of Eclipse!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Eclipse BugDay 2007...starting early

As shown on the Bug Day 2007 webpage, Dakshinamurthy Karra has signed up to tackle Bug 165371. Awesome!

Tomorrow, I am heading for a day to OSCON at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. I plan to tell everyone about this little victory in our community :-)

Looking forward to diving into all the coool stuff going on in other open source communities, getting energized talking to and listening to smart people and learning about BodyHacking??? Who knew?

Anyway I will be one of the guys with an EclipseCon backpack. I will be on the lookout for other Eclipse users / contributors / committers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Eclipse BugDay 2007

Following hard on the heels of Wassim and Chris, I am throwing my committer hat into the ring for Eclipse BugDay 2007.

I have gone through and marked some candidate bugs with the bugday keyword.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Peruse the bugs and claim one that is already marked or flag one and whip up a patch. Brand new bug reports are great as well.

Unfortunately, I will only be available for some of July 27th. Same as Wassim, I have vacation booked to run an ultra marathon and nobody asked for my opinion on the date to hold the bug day :-)
But we have lots of time before Eclipse 3.4 so do not let the single day limit you!

Have fun and I look forward to working with you!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Breitenbush Camping

Camping trip #2 for the year was to Breitenbush campground in the Willamette National Forest.
We arrived Thursday July 19th around 8:30 pm after about 2 hours of driving. We scouted out a cool double campground, set up and went to bed

The campground is very nice double loop with a large number of the spots on the river. Most of the sights are amazing with huge these ones right in our camp site #11.
It would be fun to try out #7 and #18 which had slightly better river access. From #11 we could see a osprey nest and it was a nice side show watching the parents come and go.

Friday we pretty much just hung out in the campground, sleeping, eating, reading exploring and waiting for our friends the Gerkmans to arrive. The campsite is very kid friendly with nice trails along the river a 0.7 mile loop road servicing the campground the kids did lots of biking on...both with me running and without :-).

Saturday was hiking and beach day. We hit the south Breitenbush Gorge Trail No 3366. We ended up missing the gorge side trail on the way out but it was worth it as we got in a longer hike. Many, many amazing blowdowns of very large trees. As well, great views of the gorge when we did find the side trail. I found this historic picture showing pretty much the same view: link.
The kids had great fun terrorizing the local banana slug population. Many slugs will never be the same and likely will have nightmares for months. Luckily most escaped the slug "zoo" over night :-)

We spent the afternoon mostly down near the Breitenbush river off of campsite #6. Nice rocky ledge in the sun. I did a little swimming but the water and air temperature made for rapid movement!

Sunday we did the packing up and hanging out on the "beach" at the river. It was the warmest day but the water really still was too cold. I did some floating down the river and tried to take Cole and Leah. Cole made it in to his knees. Leah floated down for about 1o feet and then really really wanted to get out fast.

After driving home and eating some orange chicken I went out for a short leg stretcher with Cole around the neighborhood and tackled questions like "...if God made us perfect how come we made the wrong choice?". I am going to have to start studying up before we head out on these runs!

Great way to end a great weekend.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Arcadia Beach

After a lazy morning at home where I finally submitted my proposal to OS Summit Asia and Trisha finished a 10 mile run, we headed out to Arcadia beach to spend a full afternoon at the beach with Kai and Renata.

It was pretty much the warmest, most wind free day I think we have ever had on the Oregon coast. Lots of people appeared to be in Cannon Beach and at Tolovana Beach so we were glad we knew about our little hide-way beach.

This beach is great as there is lots of sand, it is sheltered from the wind and it has rocks that are close enough to explore as the tide recedes. Sea anemones, goose neck barnacles, mussels and little crabs all added excitement and discovery to the day. As well it is rarely busy and just a short little ways from Cannon Beach.

"Sandcastle" #2 for the year was an attempt at an octopus. It had eight legs but I needed to have done the features facing away from the water in the shade so that they would show up in the picture :-)

We hit Mo's restaurant for dinner around 7:30 and even sat outside as there still was no wind. Our family highly recommends sharing the family size clam chowder. Great ending to a perfect day!

After less than enough sleep it was up early for me to try out a long run on the healing ankle. I was picked up by Scott near 5:30am to meet up with Rick and Susan. We started out slow and casual as everyone is at the tail end of training for the PCT 5o / 5o. I am doing the 50km while all the other studs are doing the 50 miler!
The plan was to do all of Leif Erikson trail. Turns out this was too much too soon for my sore foot. I knew it was going to be a long day around mile 10 when my ankle started to ache more than the average lately. So I decided to turn around early and start heading back at about 10.5 miles. This was the start of some walking for the day but as my friend Dave Stevenson says...there is nothing wrong with walking sometimes :-). Rick and Scott caught up to me around mile 8 (Susan had headed out for another 6 hours of running!!). Not moving fast but moving I made it in with some running and walking to finish 20.5 miles in 3:26 minutes. While it hurts me both physically and mentally to have trouble running 2o miles and running it "slow" I just kept reminding myself at how blessed I am to have healed as fast as I have and to even be able to be out running at all.

Hope everyone racing at SOB 50km had a great day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Puma Swag

I love my wife. I really like running and free stuff.

Trisha signed us up for the Puma Pursuit. Basically a fun run (about 2.5 miles) starting and ending at a local running store, Fit Right Northwest. The purpose of the run is to have fun and for Puma to get you to see their products and possibly even buy some shirts or shorts. There was good deals / free stuff all around. We figure about 100 people were there.

Free stuff and swag at the finish:
Food!! Pizza, vegetables, and water
Puma running towels and drawing for door prizes. Trisha almost won a pair of Puma shoes but last minute was switched to some nice running socks.
Good deals:
We also bought some more running socks including the new Forest Park can never have too many. The store gave a nice 10% off and free Puma shirt and pack sack.

A date run with swag!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Coastal Campin'

We did our inaugural camping trip with the new tent trailer: a QuickSilver 10.0 by Living Lite.

We went out with the Mavros to the Jessie Honeyman State park near Florence, Oregon. We had a blast...sometimes literally with all the sand blowing around!

We arrived on Wednesday, July 4th. Pretty much by the time we had set up, eaten and lit a fire it was time for bed. I did sneak in a short 4 mile run to stretch out the legs and do some exploring.

The tent trailer is great. Sets up quickly, is large inside and has running water and electricity. Good thing as we have many, many camping trips planned for the year!

We stayed on the C-loop of the campground and I highly recommend this loop for people with kids. C 134 was a large campsite close to the restrooms but off the main path so the roads are way less busy. There was some road noise from Highway 101 that can be annoying in the early morning.
Some parts of B-loop looked pretty good as well.

On Thursday we started the day with hitting the Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence. This is a major tourist trap but it is good to do once every 10 years or so. The views of the coast are amazing and the sea lions did impress the kids. In the afternoon we hit the "beach". A dune comes down into Cleawox Lake on the southern side. It was windy and not terribly warm but we did some fun swimming and explorer of the water and dunes.

On Friday we attempted to go out to the actual Oregon coast. It is beautiful but there is a reason the Oregon coast does not have any population: cold and windy in July. We lasted about 20 minutes hunkered down in a makeshift windbreak. We packed up and headed inland back to Cleawox Lake. It was warm and toasty on the northern beach near the camp store and was great for swimming.

For the early afternoon activity we did a dune walk with the camp ranger and then headed out on our own for a real challenge: scale the highest dune in the area. Cole led the way to the top and then we all got really basted with the blowing sand. Again the views were simply amazing! The dunes extend for about 47 miles from Florence down to Coos Bay. Some sections really make you feel like you are out in the desert. Great fun and adventures with hair, mouth and shoes full of sand!

After some quick refueling at the campsite with some poptarts, we went out in a rented canoe on the Cleawox for about 1 hr of adventure and battling the wind. Leah and Cole were great at telling us which direction we were supposed to be going in :-)

Saturday was a full day at the beach on Cleawox Lake. The lake was less windy and at one point the girls even got to take off their jackets :-)
As well, I also accomplished my first sand sculpture of the year a sea turtle. These have pretty much become a Swanson family tradition whenever enough sand is available.

The other great news is that my ankle is really started to get back in the groove. I went out for runs each day with about half trail / half road. My leg still generally aches but the strength is quickly returning. I was still bummed to miss the Foot Traffic flat on the 4th...but Trisha did me proud running a strong race!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Eclipse Europa Review: For User and Developer

For me it is rather hard to accurately review the Eclipse Europa release as it is kinda old news for me. As an Eclipse and Jazz developer, I have been happily absorbing and adapting to the Europa changes and progression for the last year...since the 3.2 release in June 2006. It gets really hard to remember what is new and what is not. As well, I pretty much only deal with the Eclipse project. And can one little developer know that much about 21 projects and 17 million lines of code!

All that said, I can dredge up the key features and changes that have made my development life as an Eclipse user much more efficient and enjoyable this past year.
Working faster and better with the tools I have allows me more time for family and running!

How did we ever live without these:
  • Quick Access (Ctrl-3) Really how did we live with out this?? This is in the top 5 list for all of our team. If you have not learned how to fast finger this shortcut...what are you waiting for?
  • Content assist and hyperlinking in the plugin.xml and MANIFEST.MF editors. These features save me enough time to get an extra 10 miles of running in per week! Read and re-read the PDE N&N if you do any plug-in development. Ensure you are making use of all the great PDE enhancements. In my humble opinion, the PDE editor has finally surpassed the Ant editor in slickness :-)
  • Extract to local variable quick assist: I love anything that results in less typing for me. Bring on more refactorings and quick assists!
  • Hyperlink stepping: try it while you are debugging; you will like it
  • Save actions: make the computer do all the work for you. Configurable at the preferences and project level, I never have to worry about an used import or local variable again.
  • Spell checking: This helps make me appear more intelligent. If only there was a grammar checker!
  • Toolbar buttons for automatic showing of the console: I really like being able to quickly turn this preference on and off depending on what I am running or debugging.
  • All the null checking: This is not for my code of course but rather when I am reviewing the code of others :-) The compiler is smart. Let it find my bugs.
The other hat I wear from being an Eclipse user is that of Eclipse developer.
I am always looking to improve, refactor and reduce the amount of code I have to create, debug and maintain. As I get older / wiser, I relate more and more to Steve N: the less code the better (my paraphrase). Code reuse is our friend. As the provider of the Eclipse Ant integration, I am always overjoyed when more functionality is provided for "free" via the various Eclipse frameworks and other open source offerings such as Apache Ant.

Improvements for Eclipse developers:
  • Free stuff from the editor framework:
    • FileStoreEditorInput: no longer needing an internal reference to JavaFileEditorInput to deal with files external to the workspace. bug.
    • Hyperlink detection declaration via extension point: allowing extensibility should always be a goal: bug.
    • HTML rendering classes: working with other teams to reduce copied code and just be "friends": bug.
    • Show tooltip and F2 support: more code deletion with the platform text support of a general solution. Also allowed consolidation of preferences across the many editors that adopted the support: bug.
    • Space for tabs support: even more code deletion with the move to platform text support. More preference duplication removed: bug.
Other editor implementors / providers should ensure to take advantage of these freebies.
  • Ant 1.7: faster, leaner and meaner. As well I got some more reuse with the support for help and projecthelp.

    It was really interesting for me how I was broken with the Eclipse Ant integration with no breaking API changes from Ant. The Ant guys simply were more aggressive on cleaning up there data structures (nulling things out). All of a sudden I was getting NullPointerExceptions where they never occurred before. We adapted.
    And yes, we shipped with a bug with Ant 1.7...but it is already fixed in the next release.

Read and re-read the new and noteworthy from the Platform for any overlooked nuggets. Every Eclipse user is different and requires / needs / likes different things.
Also explore and check out any number of the other 20 projects on the release train.

Enjoy! On to Ganymede!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

My Next 10 Songs

So this seems pretty close to a nasty chain letter...but hey...I am neither really paying for the bandwidth nor storage space :-)

Brian has tagged me to list the next 10 songs that come up on my iPod. The trouble for me is that I do not really have an iPod. My wife has a Shuffle. When I do listen to it I only do podcasts when out on a long run.

I do pretty much work by Air 1 though.
So breaking the rules a bit but I will list my most recent podcasts and what has cycled up on Air 1:
  1. #335: Big Wide World. This American Life from Chicago Public Radio
  2. "Paris Hilton is not mentioned in this podcast" June 14, 2007. CBC Radio: Comedy Factory
  3. #173: Three Kinds of Deception. This American Life from Chicago Public Radio
  4. How to Read Freud and Jung. CBC Radio: The Best of Ideas
  5. #69: Dreamhouse. This American Life from Chicago Public Radio
  6. Life is Good - Stellar Kart
  7. Never Alone - Barlow Girl
  8. East to West - Casting Crowns
  9. No One Like You - David Crowder Band
  10. Something Beautiful - Newsboys
I know any of the ultra runners reading this will have an awesome eclectic mix on their iPods. Potentially different lists for different races :-) List away!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is Canada Day. After church this morning we went to a little get together for Canadians living in Portland. It was well organized and not as cheezy as the gatherings that we went to in Minneapolis. Both Trisha and I won door prizes!

I am still not running (over a week!!!) but we did get out for family bike rides on both Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday we rode about 5 miles on the Fanno Creek trail. The kids did great and my ankle did make any noise at all :-)

Today we did the Portland waterfront including the Eastbank Esplanade. We started at the Old Spaghetti Factory, rode past all the new condo construction and then went to the Steel bridge. We crossed the Steel bridge, continued on the esplanade and returned to the west side using the Hawthorne bridge. Back the Old Spaghetti Factory to use up some race coupons for a dinner. The kids were pretty loopy and laughing hysterically from being tired and hungry but the restaurant was noisy enough I don't think anyone really noticed and we all had a blast!

With the icing, biking, stretching and mobility exercises I have been doing for my ankle I am really looking forward to trying some running next week! Maybe even at the beach!