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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Silver Falls State Park

We spent this last weekend camping out at Silver Falls state park. Highly recommend it!

It was the first really hot weather that we have had here in Oregon since May, topping out around 100F. Being out in the forest with cold creeks to swim in and shady trails to hike and run was perfect. Not to mention access to a Cafe that sells cold Coke and ice cream!

We lucked out getting what I think is the best spot in the campground: #72. It is out at the end of the loop, backs onto the creek, no neighbor on one side and is right at the start of the bike trail which leads to the rest of the trail system. This will be the site we always try to reserve when we go to Silver Falls.

We arrived Friday night around 7:30 after a Rational Team Concert 1.0 release party at Summer Lake park. We setup the Quicksilver trailer, started a fire (making Cole very happy) and pretty much just hung out.

Saturday morning I hit the trails at around 8:15 to log some miles. It was hot and humid and I think I was not drinking enough. And I got lost. Lets just say the Perimeter trail is not well marked. Still beautiful running with varying terrain and wild flowers. The Canyon trail and its 10 waterfalls are inspiring and the trail was never busy in the morning.

In the heat of the day on Saturday we did the swimming at the South Falls area. Cole and Leah really liked building rock dams in the current of Silver creek and the water was nice and refreshing on the hot day. The swimming area is rather "primitive" with pavement up to the water and grass for the rest. Lots of rocks with cloudy water == stubbed toes (OUCH)!

In the early evening we did a family hike at the North falls. Several of the falls have trails that take you behind the waterfall. The kids really liked these ones (as do I :-) )

Sunday morning I went out again this time just doing the Canyon trail and the Rim trail. Again almost no one on the trails and a great way to spend the first hour of my morning.

We had a lazy breakfast and then prepared for another hike. We hiked from the South falls to the Lower South falls (about a 2 mile round trip). Cole and Leah easily handled the distance and with the rumbling thunder showers that kept passing through (with little rain) it was a nice temperature.

Great scenery, great campsite and lots of good laughs.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Parallel IP for Mature Projects

I was happy to read the email this morning on the mailing list.
The mail was from Janet Campbell about the extension of parallel IP to mature projects in certain cases as approved by the Eclipse board. Ensure to read the message if you deal with third party packages (and who doesn't :-) )

The certain cases are where I fall working on the Eclipse Ant integration.
Apache Ant has been reviewed and approved for version 1.7.0 and has been bundled in the last few Eclipse releases.
The changes pending for the Ant 1.7.1 release, I believe, would fall into the "hasn't changed a great deal" category.

A great compromise to ensure timely inclusion of third party packages for development and testing while maintaining the squeaky clean IP track record of Eclipse.

Now we just need the Ant 1.7.1 release and I can get in a CQ! :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Portland Eclipse Ganymede DemoCamp

On Tuesday we had the second Portland Eclipse DemoCamp. The wiki for the democamp can be found here and includes the listing of the presenters (8 people), some of the presentations, and a listing of the 40+ people who attended.

We started out correctly eating some salad and pizza along with some beverages.
The actual demos started around 7:30. Below are my notes from the presentations that will hopefully give you an idea of the demo and whet your appetite to ping the presenters for more details or try the stuff out for yourself.

Rob Ryan, Instantiations, Code Pro AnalytiXs
A product to help find problems early using static code analysis for the entire source or can be selection specific.
This part seemed similar to open source projects I have seen but then I have never tried AnalytiX myself.
It has extensible rule sets with the intent to have FindBugs and PMD import in the future
Also has automated generation of JUnit tests.

Chris Elford, Intel, TPTP Profiler Enhancements
Java profiling for Java profiler went GA in Europa and they spent the Ganymede time fixing up the usability bugs reported by users.
Worked to reduce usability diffs between JVMPI and JVMTI and make enhancements for better multi-thread analysis and improved Java 6 support.
Presentation is here.

Joe Hoffman dynatrace Diagnostics
Diagnostics Client 2.6.0
I was not sure whether this was an Eclipse based product or just a product that could fire up Eclipse to view the source for diagnostic issues that the dynaTrace product found? Missed Joe to ask.

Elias Volanakis , Innopract, Java-based web-apps with Eclipse RAP
Elias gave a compelling demo of the "RCP for the web" and the promise of sharing code between the rich client and the web app. See the presentation here.
I plan to try this out some more in our breather now that we have shipped.

Rob Ryan, Instantiations, WindowBuilder Pro
Quick demo on a WSIWYG GUI builder that apparently has 10,000 users and works for SWT, Swing and GWT designers. There is a free 14 day evaluation.

Chris Goldthorpe, IBM, Little Known Secrets of the Eclipse Help System
Chris gave a interesting insight into the security holes he has been plugging within the help system and then, how for 3.4, the team has simplified the addition of help and user assistance.

Ryan Manwiller and Darin Swanson, IBM, Jazz and Rational Team Concert
Ryan and I walked through a simple work flow of a team lead and developer interacting to triage, assign, assess, fix and verify a problem all within the context of Rational Team Concert. We sampled the work item, SCM, process and build integration of the Jazz platform to show how some common pain points of software development are relieved.
To find out more please explore

The demo camp was good timing for the Jazz team as Rational Team Concert 1.0 is available today. Register and download RTC to kick the tires.

Thanks to Instantiations and Innoopract for sponsoring the gathering.
All the demo camp pictures can be found here (Thanks Anne).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pacing Big Horn 100: No toenails were harmed during this Ultra

On Friday through Saturday June 20, 21 I was honored to be part of a team for Ronda Sundermeier who won the overall women's title for the Big Horn 100 mile race.

The race is a nasty little sucker that has 17500 feet of climbing and 18000 feet of descent. We were on a slightly different layout this year due to the remaining snow that was still plenty deep in the higher parts of the traditional course.

The 2008 men's race winner Jeff Browning, who also has won two previous Big Horns stated the course was different in a way that made the times faster but made the course no less difficult. This years course had just as much climbing but the climbs were more compressed so you could get them over and done with and get back to the faster business of the downhills.

Ronda started the race very strong and was quickly way ahead of her pace chart. She likes to keep her crew on their toes!
The race started at 11:00 am but on the first day the weather was quite nice with some clouds but no rain or thunderstorms. The picture at the beginning of the post is right at the start as the runners head into the Tongue River canyon.

We had great fun crewing Ronda for the first 50 miles with lots and lots of driving covering 2 states (Wyoming and Montana) and several pretty impressive creek crossings. We even had a bit of spare time to capture some pictures of some local moose.

My first running of the day as a pacer was for a 1.4 mile out and back from Footbridge to Pacer Junction which was a new addition this year to add some miles for the snow course. Done just as it was getting dark following along the Little Big Horn river and it allowed us to see the field and know we had our work cut out for us through the night.

Ronda then did a 7.5 mile out and back with her husband Bill up to Leaky Mountain and back. Hard section of course which few people came out of looking happy. Most had a dazed look along the lines of "What was that??!!".

Then it was my turn to take over pacing duties for the next 36 miles to the finish, broken up in 8 sections.
At this point Ronda had already run 63.9 miles and it was 2:00 am Saturday morning.

Footbridge to Bear Camp. 3.5 miles in 1:35
We headed out from Footbridge where I had been hanging with Kris and many other runner's crews since around 9:30 pm keeping warm by the campfire.
This section is a nasty climb when you are tired and running in the dark.

Bear Camp to Cow Camp. 7 miles in 2:12
Nice temperatures and running in the moonlight with reflection off mountains as you traverse mountain meadows filled with flowers starting to bloom and deer crossing the trail. You just have to see it to believe it!

Cow Camp to Riley Ridge. 3 miles in 1:07
Another nasty climb that was added this year to make up for the change to not go all the way up to the Porcupine ranger station. Ronda beat her splits in this section. They really need to teach the cows/deer to add switchbacks into their trails on these mountains!

Riley Ridge down to Dry Fork. 5.3 miles in 1:20
The first part of this section is up on the ridge around 8500 feet with some mud and snow sections. In the early morning things were still slightly frozen and less wet than when the runners went through the previous times. As Ronda ran the drop down to Dry Fork the 50 km runners we heading out up the hill towards us. It was really cool the support these runners gave Ronda as she powered down the hill into the aid station.

Dry Fork to Upper sheep. 5.0 miles in 1:12
Headed out of the aid station and up again following a road and then on to single track trail through mountain meadows. Our crew was playing mind games by telling us the next woman back was 12 minutes when I think she was more like about 1 hour.
Smart move as it kept Ronda running strong through the fatigue and me trying to think of ways to keep her moving to lock down first place :-)

At the the Upper Sheep station I was surprised to see chilled shrimp and a bunch Canadian flag chairs...nice!

Ronda also made the smart move to start soaking her legs and feet in the creeks that we went by. 30 to 60 seconds in the cold runoff water did amazing rejuvenation.

Upper Sheep to Lower sheep. 4.9 miles in 1:11
Down and down and then more downhill running. Ronda was bookin it through this section and got my workout keeping up. You know it is a long downhill when you are starting to look forward to flat or even some uphill.

Lower Sheep to Tongue River. 2.3 miles in 32 minutes
Don't have strong memories here except I believe it was getting hot and you could start to smell the finish. More leg soaking just out of the aid station.

Tongue River to Homestretch and then to Finish. 5.2 miles in 1:05
Evil last section along a basically flat country dirt road leading into Dayton Wyoming and the finish in a local park.
It was stinkin' hot by this time and everyone is really ready to be done. No objections here if the race was only 95 miles! I started to get pretty cooked along this section and I had hardly run at all compared to the racers. We all enjoyed the freezies at the Homestretch aid station!

Ronda finished strong in 25:10 to take first place and the second fastest women's time ever at Big Horn. The awards were the next day in downtown Sheridan, WY. Jeff and Ronda look like they could go out for another 50 at least ;-)

Lots of other Pacific Northwest runners had a great showing. Several of the runners came back from the dead to run strong second halfs. Overall male and female and many age group placings came back to the PNW. Stenciled rocks are given 3 deep as age group awards for the Big Horn races. Airport security really loved these :-)
See the full results here.
All of the racers from the first to the last were inspiring and I am fired up to keep training hard and get ready for more racing.

It was a great weekend of crewing, running and pacing. The course was well marked and the aid stations and volunteers were great. My only regret was not carrying a camera out on the and learn. Olga did carry a camera and her shots are here.

We did have adventures off the trail as well: canceled flights, bad service in restaurants, hotels and at the airport. Then having our shuttle van hit by flying corrugated metal pipe flying off a dump truck...OUCH!

For me I got lots of time on my feet running some great trails up in the mountains and getting to witness a great race. About 11 hours of running and about 6000 ft of climbing: awesome prep for the PCT 50 miler.
This was also my first long running using trail shoes. I have always run in Asics 2100 series road shoes for all my pacing and racing. On recommendations from the ultra list and Jeff I tried the 2120 trail version. I like em!! Extra lug for the mud and did well in the wet conditions but still light and felt very similar to the road version.

And yes, no one lost any toenails :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pre Big Horn 100

We are all sitting in Sheridan, Wyoming watching the amazing thunderstorm show roll through the valley. With the torrents of rain (with some hail) everyone is glad the 2008 Big Horn 100 does not start until 11:00 am tomorrow!

Guarantees there will be at least some mud to slog through ... wahoo!
It will also be interesting to see what the course changes really mean when we get out on the trail but since we have not done this race before doesn't really matter. The course was changed as the top part of the course on the out and back is still under 3 ft of snow. Less out and back but it looks like more climbing. Cool, we know how to do that ;-)

Casual day of travel from Portland to Billings, Montana via Seattle.
The drive from Billings was nice as the hills are all really green and the mountains all capped with snow. Saw several pronghorns "out on the range".

Once we checked in to the Days Inn, we headed to the race check-in for all the Oregonians to get their numbers and race packet, weigh in, get their blood pressure checked and have the pacers (like me :-) ) sign in and get our pacer bibs.

Scott Jurek gave a little talk on race day nutrition but likely he was preaching to the choir :-)
Then time for a dinner and a Walmart run to pick the essentials such as water and red bull and some food for the crew out driving the back roads all day.

Now it is time to finish packing my food for the day and prepare to help push Ronda from Footbridge to the Finish (about 33 miles) and to do my part to ensure that she has an awesome day tomorrow!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Portland Ganymede Demo Camp

The Portland Oregon Ganymede Demo Camp is scheduled for June 24th at 19:00.

Thanks to Instantiations and Innoopract for sponsoring.

So far 35 people are signed up for the 7 presenters who will cover demos from the Eclipse platform to commercial products built on top.
I will be there for a Jazz/Rational Team Concert demo.

If you are in the area please schedule your Tuesday evening appropriately.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weekend Running for PCT 50 Build Week

Based on Ronda's plan for my training for PCT 50 I am in a build week so that means for Saturday I needed to do 2 by 35 minute hills and then hours of KPR running on Sunday.

On Saturday I did not want to do tons of driving as Trisha needed to get out for her run and I have some gardening/weeding to do :-) So I planned to do Saltzman Road in Forest Park. But I made the mistake of telling this to Ronda and Micheal at the Big Horn 100 planning meeting. They knew Saltzman would not take me 35 minutes so now I was tasked with 2.5 repeats! Still better than 3 and still better than driving for almost 2 hours for 3 hours of running :-)
I also needed to hold the fort down for Black Saturdays as most everyone else is tapering for Big Horn 100.

I started at the top of Saltzman at 7:30 am. It was COLD. On the warmup down, my hands started to go numb. So nothing to do but pick up the pace :-) Took a 1.125 out and back on the Leif Erikson trail to get the legs moving and warm up the body. Finished going all the way down to St Helens Road. Now to plug in the tunes and run up.
St Helens to Skyline via Saltzman
...nice alliteration :-)
Quick refuel at the top and then pound it down. Tight in my calf muscles and tendons rather than my quads but loosened up nicely.

I figured out the mileage as best I could using the USATF page and the Forest Park maps.
The saved USATF route can be viewed by clicking on the picture at right. Part of it was hard to map out as the road was not marked on the map but between Google and USATF I think I got close :-)

The details:
1. 45:16 (144 avg, 180 max) (warm-up)
2. 30:48 (164 avg, 174 max) (up)
3. 25:12 (141 avg, 153 max) (down)
4. 30:30 (169 avg, 178 max) (up)
5. 9:23 (139 avg, 177 max) (down) (slow as legs were tight!)
6. 9:32 (151 avg, 167 max) (up)

Total ~18.75 in 2:30:46...around 2400 ft of climbing.
20 minute ice bath to ease the swelling and prepare for the Sunday KPR.

Sunday got up to run before church and fun activities of Father's day.
Started slow (that was the easy part) and tried to bump up the pace for each 3 mile loop. Went pretty well although by the last lap I was working and not getting all that much faster but still slightly faster...good enough for me. Another KPR (Kenyan style progression run) done!
So another great week of running all done with about 75 miles total.
Only real complaint is that it is still COLD when we start running and it is supposed to be June!

Next week is a peak week and corresponds nicely with my pacing duties at the Big Horn 100. The course for the race is still in flux due to the snow at the high elevation so I am not sure of how many miles I will be pacing Ronda but it will likely be north of 50...Wahoo!

So with the running done for this week, we hit church for Father's day sermon and then into the car for my father's day surprise...a night at Great Wolf Lodge and a couple days at the indoor water park with the family. More on that in another post :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Fun with Wordle and Source Code

Wordle...a colorful way to waste time :-)

Here is the representation of the source code for some of the functionality I have been working on recently: The Jazz User Selector Dialog internals
Here is the representation of code I have worked on more in the past...the Eclipse Ant editor
Not much has changed: null, return, import, org and eclipse figure prominently whether writing open source or open commercial software.

Jon sent me off to Wordle...thanks? :-)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NW Youth Classic Track Meet

The last track meet of the year for our family came and went on Saturday.
We had another great meet with good temperatures for running (which means cold for the spectators) and PRs for lots of the athletes.

The meet was at McCulloch stadium of Willamette University. The whole Tigard Youth Track team was there to continue the preparation for the State meet in 2 weeks and hopefully defend the team title. Our family is not going to the State meet as I am out of town to pace Ronda for Bighorn 100 and Trisha and the kids are going up to Canada for a vacation/visit.

Cole started the meet with long jump and he did well but no PR this time.
Then it was my turn to run the 1500 where I posted a 5:08 for my best time. I still have lots to learn as I went out way too fast: first lap 74 when I had planned to run 80s!. Showing the younger athletes what not to do ;-)
Then Cole and Leah ran the 100 with Cole breaking 20 seconds for the first time with a 19:41. Leah tied her best time of 20:40.
The running finished up with both Cole and Leah running the 400. Cole continued his streak lowering his PR to 1:34.

Leah was the last athlete of the last event of the day doing her long jump and flying just over 6 and half feet. Results are here for our season. The complete set of pictures for the meet can be found here.

I also got to see lots of "my" athletes competing in the 1500 and 800 meter races and relays and it was great to see many of them post either their best times this season or best time of their lives.

This week was a recovery week for me in my plan towards the PCT 50 miler. The body needed it and I feel rested and ready to build and then peak and push the following week which will include around 50 miles at Big Horn. From what I have been reading about the course it should be challenging and fun. Now we just have to get more of that snow to melt!

Monday, June 2, 2008

May Training

May is a key month in the ultra season. Time to step it up and prepare the body for the onslaught of the summer races.

Just when I think I have gone out and laid out a super hard training weekend I read the blogs of the ultra runners who I follow. It gives me and idea of just much further I can push.

I was happy with around 240 miles logged for May including some amazing running at Smith Rock, at left.
Then I read Sean does over 1000 km (625 miles) and AJW does 508! Others like Anton K, ride the wind to 200+ miles a week!
Ronda, Micheal and Steve are out doing massive hill repeats every weekend and then hit it again the next day for 7-8 hours more!
These guys are not bragging...they are simply doing.
They inspire me to drag my body kicking and screaming to achieve that next level of fitness.
You will know when you reach it. I had glimpses of my next level on the weekend.

Ronda has written up a plan for the PCT 50 that had me slated to do what I believe is the hardest back to backs I have tried. This on top of being a high mileage week for me (over 70 miles). Saturday was also the first time I did a real workout with the heart rate monitor Trisha got me for Christmas. I love the extra data :-)

My Saturday was warm-up, 3 hills repeats of 35 mins with about 1000 ft of climbing, cool-down
1. 28:37 (117 avg, 143 max) (warm-up)
2. 35:00 (154 avg, 164 max) (up)
3. 20:54 (157 avg, 190 max) (down)
4. 35:00 (160 avg, 189 max) (up)
5. 21:37 (143 avg, 180 max) (down)
6. 35:00 (163 avg, 174 max) (up)
7. 22:07 (142 avg, 155 max) (down)
8. 23:20 (131 avg, 152 max) (cool down)
All three hill repeats I made it to within 10 meters of each other: 1st went the furthest, 2nd and 3rd the same.

Total ~22 in 3:41:51...around 3000 ft of climbing.

On to Sunday and the "recovery run". Normally after a hard Saturday run I would do a 3-6 mile recovery run just to stretch the legs. But no longer. Not in a peak week. The plan called for a Kenyan-style Progression Run (KPR). A great description is embedded at this link.
You start slow and just build the pace naturally. Some say I may have cheated using music to help me elevate the effort but for me it was just part of the experience :-)
I ended up doing all my 3 mile laps around the neighborhood faster than the last one. The final one I really felt the most relaxed and focused of the entire workout. Nothing scenic: just feeling the pace and the exertion. Finished with a 7:10 avg and some baked quads. Nice!

Even just having the training plan "hanging over my head" helps get me out the door and push a little harder/further for those miles. The plan also makes it easier. No question about what to do on any given day or for any workout. All spelled out on paper.
Freedom to enjoy the workouts without worrying about what is next.
Accountability without stupidity.
Working hard and smart directed to a specific target and goal.

Last week was also the Nike mile. Other end of the spectrum in terms of time racing from an ultra but just as inspiring to me.

So cool to see the potential of our body and mind and to learn from all these awesome runners.
I am enjoying my recovery week (including massage!!) but I am also more than ready to bring it for my next build and peak weeks and the rest of June :-)