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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Hoodoo Mountain: Kids First Day of Skiing

We made use of the leap day of the year to hit the slopes and take Cole and Leah skiing for the first time in their lives!

We are staying up at Black Butte Ranch with the Rouses. It is near Sisters in central Oregon. Beautiful country just on the other side of the Cascade mountains and near the 3 Sister mountains of Faith, Hope and Charity.

We went skiing at Hoodoo Mountain about 20 minutes up into the hills from where we are staying. The day was really fun and great conditions for beginning skiing: warm, lots of snow and good grooming of the runs. The hill is a little lacking in really nice green runs and is not a large hill but it is nice to have a chair lift for the bunny hill.
We started the day on the bunny hill doing a quick run with the kids to warm up. The kids then did a 2 hour lesson that introduced them to the basics why the adults tried to remember how to ski.
It had been at least 8 year since Trisha and I had done some downhill skiing. Trisha's boots even had seed shells from the mice that lived in our garage in Minnesota!!
We did remember how to ski and I even tried hard to carve up some of the bumps on the face runs.

We all ended the day with slightly sun burnt faces, tired but excited about the successes and looking forward to future ski trips with family and friends.
Feed us the nachos and take us to the hot tub!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hagg Lake 25km: My Girl Rocks!

Today was the Hagg Lake trail race. About 350 people lined up to run around the lake either once or twice depending on whether they were doing the 25 km or 50 km races.

I have done this race for the previous 4 years so today I was about to enter the Hall Of Mud: those people who have run the race 5 years.

I had originally planned to run the 50km but with some nagging issues with my right leg I opted to run the 25 km. My wife Trisha was running the 25 k for her 4th time. We arrived early and watched the 50km people returning from the 3 mile out and back. I got into my pre-race nervousness and Trisha laughed at me :-) And then before you knew it Stacey had finished the pre-race talk and counted down with co-race director Ronda to launch us out on the course! By the way, Stacey and Ronda put on a first class show...NEVER hesitate to sign up for one of their races. Awesome job guys!

I warmed up running on the out and back and things felt pretty good. Then back past the starting line to head around the lake. Most of the race is trail that varies from a mountain bike tire rut in open Oak fields to great forest trails cushioned with needles. Talking to Matt , the 50 km has 3000 ft of climb, so the 25 km likely has about 1100 ft with the less climb on the out and back. Enough to feel it be not enough excuse to really walk :-)
Getting into my groove on the trail never really happened. It was fun but I just was not able to really push. We headed out on the road towards the dam and this is where you are supposed to drop it and push towards the first aid station. Not today. Got to the dam aid station at 48 mins. Off pace and time to call it to ensure no lasting damage to the body. I hung out at the aid station and tried to be encouraging to those moving on waiting for Trisha so I could pace her in.

Trisha had a great day. She pushed hard and worked the trail. It was great to see her training paying off. I enjoyed being able to run and help her out. I still am learning on how to pace her best but we are working on it :-) My biggest mistake was thinking that her previous best on this course was 3:12 when it actually was 2:57...oops! After the race I was yapping to everyone that she had set a 20 minutes PR. The reality was that it was a only 10 minute PR at 2:48. Results are here. Completely awesome! Next year she is up for 5 years.

Sure I was frustrated my body was not ready to race today. The course was dry and prime for a personal record. But not for me today. Hats off to all the people out there racing today and pushing it to see what they had.

What a great day! Sun shining, running with my best friend, seeing and talking to lots of my running friends and getting to spend a beautiful spring day out in God's creation! This is why we run.

Bring on the rest of the season!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Looking forward to the day after Boston

My training has been slow for the last two weeks. Simple fix would be to get a new right leg. Not really sure what the root cause is. The speed training? Some bad muscle memory from my sprained ankle last summer? Either way I had a great leg massage on Tuesday that let me experience new levels of pain but also seemed to kick my body over to really work on healing.

I am entered in the Hagg Lake 25km on Saturday. I had planned to race the 50km and then with advice from Trisha and Ronda I downgraded to the 25km to better match my training. I hope I can still race tomorrow. I plan to take it easy the first couple of miles and then ramp it up if it is there. If not, I plan to fall back and run with Trisha. With her training this year for Chuckanut 50km, she will be right behind me! And I have a chance to get a belt buckle :-)

Either way it will be a great day out on the trails. Which is sooooo much easier on the body than the pounding for a road marathon. At least for me. I can really relate to this video after hard racing a road marathon. Thanks to Caroline for pointing it out.

Also some of my friends are doing the 30 hour famine this weekend. Great World Vision cause to help youth fight world hunger. You guys are inspiring!

My Thoughts on the Eclipse Voting Scheme

We have a debate going for the Eclipse Committer representative election...this is great!
Thanks to Ed and Doug for getting us thinking and writing.

Ed started with his position and Doug countered with his. Please read including all the comments.
My paraphrase: Ed wants to change to one committer, one vote. Doug likes the status quo as he believes that the current voting scheme helps promote diversity.

I feel that any voting scheme that has the impact of reducing the voter turnout is a scheme that needs at a minimum to be revisited.

This has nothing to do with being from a big company: every set of committers who work within the same company have a reduced power to influence the result of the election. In my opinion, all member company committers are partially disenfranchised.

From my experience this leads to voter apathy. Apathy is never a good thing in my books.

And I am not convinced it promotes diversity. It does allow individual committers to disproportionally vote in the election. I propose that the elected committer representatives should be proportionally composed from the various representative committer groups.

At the simplest level this is achieved with 1 committer, 1 vote.
A possible idea would be to propose reserving one seat at the board for an elected individual committer representative. Allow for diversity but give everyone an equal vote.

The companies are represented with their seat on the board. Committer reps must be there to represent committers and the best interests of the Eclipse Foundation, not their companies. Read the positions of the people running for election. If their issues resonant for you, vote for them. In my opinion, who you work for should not impact your vote nor your voting power.

I would love to work with the other members of the board to have a look at the bylaws and have a healthy debate of a potential change.

Even if you only have a partial vote...please vote!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Be your own Valentine: EclipseCon 2008

EclipseCon 2008

Let's take a look at even more of the reasons that you should register for EclipseCon 2008.

As part of the program committee, I gathered together the Committer and Contributor track.
IP talks, Eclipse project management, API design, Orbit, how to love PDE Build, Spice and more! This track, all by itself, is enough reason to come to the conference!

New this year we have the Committer is like doing work but just a lot more fun :-)

Remember that the early registration deadline is February 14th (Valentine's Day). So what are you waiting for?

If you have already registered don't forget to go in and configure your registration for the additional EclipseCon 2008 activities: a golf tournament, EclipseCon Exercise, and Jazz Developer Day. Go here for instructions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Running...for re-election

About half the posts on this blog are about my passion for running.
The other half are about my work passions.
Now I get to talk about running with regards to a work passion :-)

For the last year I have been part of the team that represents the Eclipse committers on the Eclipse Board of Directors. It has been a great personal growth experience and I feel I have done an excellent job of tasking the Board to discuss and take action on issues that are of concern to committers.

We have a great slate of candidates for the Committer representative positions on the board. Check out all the candidates and read the positions.
As Mike said: ..."Eclipse will be well served by any outcome of the election".
I feel Eclipse can be best served if I am re-elected to be a committer representative on the board.

Please take the time to read my position on what I have worked on in the past year and what I feel we need to keep pushing on in the upcoming year.

Read the committer newsgroup and committer representative blog.
Ask questions and initiate discussions in the candidates' blogs and within the newsgroup.

Then take the time to do an informed vote for the candidates who will do the best job for the Eclipse committers.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Zena Road Run 3 miler

I am following a training plan to ramp up to Boston.
I am doing the Advanced Plan found on the Runner's World site...found here.
Nothing fancy but essentially right now I am working on my foot speed. Lots of tempo work with a few races thrown in to give you some check points.

So today the plan called for me to run a 5 km. I could not find a 5km around Portland this weekend but I did find a 3 miler...close enough and guaranteed to be a PR since I have never raced that distance before :-)

The race is in its 40th year called the Zena Road Races put on by the Willamette Valley Road Runners. They also offer a 6 and 9 mile race...but with the hills I saw on the 3 mile I am glad I opted for the shortest of the races!

The route is out in the Willamette Valley near Salem can see the course route by clicking here.

After hitting the early service at church, Trisha and I drove the 45+ mins out to the race which started at 11:00 am. We got to the start of the race with not much time to spare so I did not do a warmup. time!

I also was a little concerned with how as we got closer to the race we moved into more and more hilly country. Out of the flat flood plain and up near the vineyards...ouch.

The weather was close to perfect after the cold and snow we have been getting hit with. At the start I would guess that it was about 40 F (5 C). I even got to wear my racing flats...nice!

All 3 distances (3, 6, and 9 miles) started at the same time. The 3 and 6 miles start going one way with the 9 mile starting in the opposite direction. We started with a gradual downhill.
Good to start but with this being an out and back, it meant a climb to the finish.
I started out controlled especially with no warmup. Soon though we were on an uphill and then a steeper uphill that climbed until about the 1 mile mark. First mile: 6:26. I had hoped to be posting 6 minutes per mile but with the hills I recalibrated mentally and kept on pushing.
I made the turn around at 1.5 miles and started to look forward to more downhill than up. Second mile was also 6:26. The first place woman caught up to me and this helped me to find another gear as we made the uphill to start the last mile. My legs were feeling loose by this time so I pressed the accelerator and started to finally make some good time. The downhill ended all too quickly and then it was the half mile climb to the finish. There was one guy that I should have fought to catch but it was not to be. Erg!

Finished in 18:41 with a last mile of 5:47. I believe I was about 7 or 8th place (should they let high school and college runners run in the same race as the rest of us?? :-) ) and was 2nd place in the old man group (35-39). Results should be up here shortly.

I am looking forward to more tempo runs and the next race, 10 km out at Champoeg, which I know is flat and fast.
I even enjoyed watching the Super Bowl with our church small group after a great recovery run in the afternoon...though I don't think I will eat another brat until next year!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

How far did I run?

The first question I always ask after finishing a run is: How far did I run?

This is easy to determine on the trails in Forest Park with all the cool maps available but a bit of a pain when you are doing road runs.

In the old days I would run my route and then hop in the car (usually after a shower) and drive the course to determine the mileage.

This had numerous problems:
  • any parts of the route that were through parks or on trails you had to guess
  • more time away from the family
  • it did not help in explaining to friends the route you just ran
  • it was boring
Now I use the online course mapping applications.
I know of two: USA Track and Field and one associated with the Eugene Marathon (which I ran last year).

Both are powered by Google so you get great street and satellite views.

The Eugene one (really requires you to create a user and log in which is mildly annoying. It has the additional feature of showing a Terrain view and handling GPS upload and export (I did not try the GPS stuff). I could find no way to show elevation.

The USATF requires no login and no terrain view but does have elevation profiles (although today I could not get any elevation profiles :-( ).

These are great as they provide you with mileage, possibly elevation and you can save the mapping and send it to a friend to brag about your great workout.

A little way to make the training easier :-)