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

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Diva Premeire: King Arthur's Quest

Yesterday was Leah's premiere in the world of theatre in a presentation of King Arthur's Quest at Mary Woodward elementary school.

The play was well produced with cool costumes and it was amazing how well prepared the kids were with only a week of practice. Hosted by the Missoula Children's Theatre, a traveling non-profit that has a mission: The development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts.

Leah was one of the Camelotians (a citizen of Camelot), specifically a hard working baker. She particularily liked the boogie dragon music production. Ask her about it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

3 5ks: Run Like Hell, Pumpkin Regatta and EA Sports

To kick start me getting back into shorter speedier runs and to celebrate my 39th birthday (ouch) I signed up for 5ks in 3 weeks.

Back on October 25th, I ran the Run Like Hell 5k in Portland. Last year I ran this race pacing James to a 5k PR so I knew it was a fast, fun course. I also had won an entry from the Run Oregon blog so a free race made it all the sweeter. I had a good day placing 3rd in my age group, 23rd out of 750 with a time of 19:13. James did another great run and shaved another 4 seconds off his PR...wahoo!

On October 31st, I ran the Tualatin Fit City Pumpkin Regatta 5k. Part of this course was on the courses we used for the Reason To Run Spring Burst and Catalyst Challenge so I was quite familiar with the layout. This was a low key race and I was a little disappointed with no race results or mile markers but otherwise was polished for a first year event. In the picture, to my right you can see the two Bowerman Athletic Club woman athletes who smoked me. I was first male and third overall in 19:14. (picture courtesy of Danial Payne Photography). I even got interviewed by someone with a TV camera..famous for 5 mins :-)

Today was the EA Sports Active 5k Challenge From what I understand, EA Sports, video game maker, was sponsoring these events nationwide to promote fitness. The Portland EA Sports 5k was free and anything that promotes fitness is cool in my books! Alan Rasmussen, founder of the upcoming NW Running League, stepped up to organize the Portland run. Have you signed up for the NW Running League? should! This course was more cross country and also had a nasty half mile stretch into the wind. How come the tailwinds never quite make up for the headwinds? I had hoped to get under 20 minutes once I saw the course but with bad math out on the run I ended with 20:14. Live and learn...all part of racing. Some good strong runners reminded me of the strength and speed word I have ahead...I was lucky if I was in the top ten.

Next weekend: Malibu marathon pacing Trisha to a PR and watching Jon and Lynsey complete their first one!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Another Halloween is on the books.
Leah dressed as a vampire this year and became quite proficient at a great evil laugh.

Cole, well he came up with a costume all on his own: a protester. His protest sign reads: "No More Long Boring Speeches that Explain Nothing". Directed at parents, or teachers or politicians?? He is smartly sticking to "No comment".

Lots of candy, good time with friends and many, many laughs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catalyst Challenge 2009 Wrapup

On October 17th we had the inaugural running of the Catalyst Challenge 5k & 10k.

We have great weather and the fall colors of Cook and Tualatin parks added a nice touch to the event.

The race numbers:
  • 155 registered runners
  • 81 people finished the 5k
  • 63 people finished the 10k
  • Many first time racers came out to try the event
  • We had the Rustvold family out running barefoot and pulling strollers and rickshaws.
  • Amazing weather and great course
  • More door prizes than should be allowed
  • Approximately $4,000 was raised for the Catalyst Parnerships

The 10k results can be found here. The 5k results can be found here. The race day pictures from Evan Pilchik Photography are here.

We would also like to thank the Mary Woodward Ambassadors for coming our and helping to work the aid stations and direct the runners and walkers out on the course.

We look forward to seeing you for the next Catalyst Challenge in the Fall of 2010!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

2009 Jog-a-Thon

Both Cole and Leah participated in their schools annual Jog-A-Thon on Friday October 2nd. Trisha and I volunteered and I got to still run with both kids. Cole hesitated when I asked if he wanted me to run with him...he is starting to worry about the cool factor ;-)

Cole and Leah did amazing with Cole running 24 laps (@ 3 miles) and Leah completing 27 laps. Cole had some gut cramps that slowed him down (too much water) but was good at keeping on moving even if he had a grimace on his face ;-)

The rain held off to just as the last group of kids finished their running and we finished taking down the temporary track field. Nice!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pace of Courage Wrap Up

Back on August 15th we had the inaugural running of the Pace of Courage 5k & 1ok.

Be all measures the event was a huge success:
  • 421 registered runners
  • 237 people finished the 5k
  • 125 people finished the 10k
  • Many first time racers came out to try the event
  • The 10k event was won by a family: dad running, 2 kids in the stroller!
  • Amazing weather and great course
  • Have you seen a better food spread after a race?
  • Over $12,500 was raised for the Alec Martinez Medical Fund, CERN and Caring Bridge
  • Everyone was inspired by Alec's life and legacy

The 10k results can be found here. The 5k results can be found here. The race day pictures from Evan Pilchik Photography are here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Catalyst Challenge

Reason to Run #76: Running a fall race is a great way to stay motivated through the change of seasons.

Your training and running should not end just because summer does. If you are looking for a goal event while at the same time supporting a great cause, look no further than the Catalyst Challenge 5k and 10k

The Catalyst Challenge, hosted by Reason to Run, will occur in Cook Park, Tigard at 9:00 am on October 17th, 2009. The proceeds from this event will be directed towards the Catalyst Partnerships, a grass-roots movement that simply wants to help neighbors who need assistance with home repairs due to physical or financial limitations.
The course will explore the paved and bark mulch paths of the Tigard park to present you with an urban trail 5 and 10k. Please see the reviews from our Spring Burst event that made use of a similar course: Runners Reviews.

To read more about the Catalyst Challenge please see

Register today and give yourself a reason to run this fall! One week remains to take advantage of the discounted early registration for the Catalyst Challenge 5k and 10k races.

See you in October!

Monday, July 27, 2009

PCT 50 miler: Great day for a 50k. Oh no! 20 miles to go!

On Saturday July 25th, 2009 I ran the PCT 50 miler.
Short version:
I had hoped to really nail this race and run around 8:20. Didn't happen. Still figuring out why. Good hard day out on the trail running with new and old friends alike.
50 miles in 9 hours and 19 minutes
Averaged 11:10 per mile
Awesome crew support from Trisha and the kids!!

Long Version:
Start to Little Crater Lake : 6 miles in 52:28 minutes
The first six miles are rolling and a great way to get out the early race anxiety but one must be careful not to go to fast and dip into the reserves that will be needed on the return trip. Right from the start I had urgent calls to hit the trees. Nerves, wrong food before the race, wrong food the night before...have to figure it out before the Where's Waldo 100 km.

Little Crater Lake to FS58 3.2 miles in 33:48 minutes
Once out of first aid station at Little Crater lake, you have some more rolling and then the start of the first real climb. I loved it. Except for the pit stops.

FS 58 to Frog Lake (Hwy 26) 5.2 miles in 47:46 minutes
This is where you start to do more climbing and experience the first real views of Mt Hood. It really is too bad we no longer will get to do the race up to Timberline...a loss all around in my books. Couple more pits stops.

Frog Lake to FS 58 5.2 miles in 43:20
Stomach started to settle down a bit and actually started to really enjoy the race. Scenery continues to be amazing.

FS 35 to Little Crater Lake 3.2 miles in 31:00 minutes
I was able to finally push a bit here and had likely the most fun of the day besides the step over the finish line :-)

Little Crater Lake back to the Start 6 miles in 1 hour 11 minutes
The dreaded dusty flatlands. This was a preview of the last 20 miles of the race. Just no gas on the ups or the flats. Running downhill worked well. My guesses are I fell behind on fueling in the early stages from the touchy tummy, residual fatigue from Hardrock pacing, lack of sleep in the previous 2 days (Clackamas campground was NOT quite this year)...I think more likely lack of fuel since I could "pound" the downhills when the opportunity arouse. This is where the title of this post comes from. Finishing here would have been GREAT: nice time for a 50km with some decent running. Call it a day. Oh no! Still 20 miles to go :-(

Start to Red Wolf Pass 4.5 miles in 1 hour and 9 minutes
Hot, dusty road running. Seemed to be all uphill for 4.5 miles. Really, really slow. Lots of attempted power hiking to keep moving. Grumpy. Discouraged. The Grandma Wolf aid station really helped and my family loved the recounting of the aid station signs sayings (all Little Red Riding Hood based). I learned to love those little white signs. The ice at this aid station was awesome!!

(Note: I forgot to take a split here and only have the total running time of 2:39:50 for Red Wolf back to Red Wolf)
Red Wolf Pass to Warm Springs Meadows 5.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes
After Red Wolf you get some downhill and then likely the steepest sections of the course. Oh, MAN...those are going to hurt coming back! Then you cross the Warm Springs river and you get the privilege of more climbing. Not so much fun this far into a race. Sealed it for me that the new course is tougher than the old.
I was feeling sorry for myself when I hit Warm Springs. Trisha really helped me by simply saying to "Enjoy the day for what it is". Yep, time for an attitude adjustment. Not the day you had hoped for but still an amazing day out on the trail..smarten up! :-)

Warm Springs Meadows to Red Wolf Pass 5.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes
Back we go. Down, down to the river. Good running, passing some people. Then the flat and then oh, no...the dreaded up. Climb, climb, walk, walk. Even the Lanny and Ruben (first and second the whole way I think) walked some of this section and these guys are TOUGH!
Getting close to the Red Wolf aid station I started seeing little white signs everywhere. And power lines. Where is that aid station. Phew...there it is.

Red Wolf Pass to Finish 4.5 miles in 51:30
The first 2-2.5 miles of this is sweet downhill where I almost got back to really enjoying the race :-) Then I hit the gravel road again. Hmmm...I remember this all being uphill. How come it now all seems like uphill again? I really, really should have had a better split on this section heading out. Next time! Finally see the campground and know I am a half mile out. Spit out onto the road and there is Trisha to pace me in for the final third of a mile.

(Note: I am not sure about the distances. Anyone who can correct me, it would be greatly appreciated. I can't make it work out to 50 miles with the web info and what I remember from the aid station signs on race day??)

I think I did a good job of staying hydrated and salted (win) but was riding the wrong curve on staying up on calories with just the base amount of gels and then PB & J in the aid stations. Maybe should have forced the issue and stuck to the plan? Possibly a good puke would have rebooted the system?

Thank you to Olga, Monika and Mike (race directors). I think you did a fine job of adapting and hosting this race with late breaking course changes. Thank you to all the volunteers. The aid stations were really well hosted with lots of volunteers eager to help.

Now back to planning to be ready for Waldo.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pacing at 2009 Hardrock 100

A new bar has been set. Everything I do from now on will be measured against the running / pacing I did at the Hardrock 100. It was the hardest, most extreme running I have done. I am happy to not try anything harder.

With that said the privilege, experience and opportunity to pace Ronda for 55+ miles of Hardrock was AWESOME! This is my story of the 33 hours, 56 minutes and 29 seconds that Ronda raced to place as second woman (Full results are here). Again AWESOME!

The race started at 6:00 am. We got up at 4:30 am to load the car and wish Micheal and Ronda a fun and great race.
After some time in the Silverton, CO high school gym, soon enough the runners were sent on their way for the adventure of a lifetime.

As crew and pacers, we were lucky enough to have time to grab some breakfast and caffeine in Silverton before driving to meet Ronda at the first crew spot: Cunningham Gulch.

The Hardrock course can be summarized simply: extreme climbing followed by extreme downhill running. There is NO flat. See the course profile to the left if you do not believe me.

Cunningham Gulch is after the first big climb and 9.2 miles into the race. Ronda showed up about 30 minutes ahead of her pace plan and looking really strong. But we all know that the first 10 miles of a 100 has little to do with the race :-)

We then were off to Sherman / Barrows Park to crew. This aid is after the second set of climbs and just before the runners prepare to climb to the highest point on the course: the summit of Handies Peak at 14,053 ft Ronda had maintained her pace and was currently running in about 6th place for women. As a crew we were excited and nervous all at the same time. It was about 3 pm (7 hours of running) in the afternoon at this point and some clouds were starting to roll in. Would we have some extreme weather as well in the form of thunderstorms?

The next aid station is Grouse Gulch at mile 42.8 (at the end of coming off Handies) and was were I would jump in to pace Ronda.
Since Ronda had just finished a long downhill, we started with the long uphill to Engineer's Pass and Oh! Point around 6:30 pm after Ronda had been running for about 12 hours.
My job for pacing was simple: make Ronda climb as fast as possible and then after seconds of reprieve of the current summit, switch gears and mercilessly pound the downhills. Repeat about 6 times over the 20 hours we are out there together.

We crested at Oh! Point and started the first downhill to the Engineer aid station. Phew leg one the CRAZY descent into the town of Ouray. Miles and miles of downhill running on a trail cut into the cliffs. I was pretty glad it was dark and that neither of us caught a toe on the endless shale. It was quite the relief to make the Ouray aid station and have Ronda move into 3rd place for the women. After a quick "Nascar" like pit stop with Bill, we were of on the climb to Virginus Pass or as I have come to know it: the scary ice climb of death :-0 After about 8 miles of uphill you have the privilege of summitting the last pitch to the saddle using a rope to ascend the last 300-400 feet of vertical frozen snow. The adrenaline rush from this climb helped cure both Ronda and my stomach issues we had been dealing with on the climb. Nothing like a little fear to cure what ails you :-) Sorry no pictures as it was 3:00 am when we summitted and reached the Kroeger's Canteen aid station in the pass at mile 68. Click here for a video of what appears to be the first pitch of the ascent.

You should know what is next: miles and miles of punishing downhill. Down, down, down into the town of Telluride. Some running, some sliding, some falling. The city was beautiful at night but also seemingly close yet taking sooo long to reach. Aid station at mile 73 and then out to climb to Oscar's Pass; another climb up and over 13,000 ft. This climb seemed to go on FOREVER! But it was beautiful watching the sun rise and then finally cresting at the top. And the the rock pounding down into Chapman Gulch aid station at mile 82 after about 26 hrs of running for Ronda (only . We pushed hard in this section and Ronda moved into second place. Next the climb to the rock scramble of Grant-Swamp pass. You climb about 3000 ft to then end in a bowl with no discernible way out. No problem for Hardrock...use your arms and legs and pick a route and go! And then watch for any falling rock!! Something special at 85 miles into the run :-) We watched Micheal make it up, took a deep breath and took the plunge to grunt it to the top.

At this point I was starting to have trouble running hard on the downhills. Wimpy feet with sore meta-tarsals is what we think. I was helping on the uphills but I was having trouble keeping up on the downhills. Not good...but Ronda was doing awesome and solidly in second place! So we pulled into KT aid station after another long downhill and I was hurting. But I knew we had some long climbs ahead and could still help out. So quick refuel and up into Putnam climbs. These are evil! Not as high as the earlier climbs but 12,500 ft is still high by any measure. And would some switchbacks really be all that hard to add? Straight up is never the easiest! :-)

Ronda powered on past the Putnam Creek aid station with 5.9 miles to go...most of it downhill back into Silverton. I was a liability with my "speed" on the downhills so she dropped me. Hard on my ego but I had done what I could to help her achieve her goals and I will always be proud to say I was dropped by her at Hardrock. It was so cool to watch and see all the hard work pay off.
Ronda "kissed" the rock (the official way to finish at Hardrock) as second woman, 33 hours, 56 minutes and 29 seconds after she started!! Full results are here.

Hardrock is amazing in its extremes: brutal climbs, leg pounding downhills, little to no "easy" trail running. There are either rocks or grass clumps grabbing you at every opportunity. Your feet are always wet from stream crossings. The scenery is as breath taking as the altitude. The race is very well organized and the aid stations are second to none. Be warned though: you need to know this course before race day. Course marking is only sufficient if you know where you are going. We got off course twice and we had spent over a week learning and reviewing the course. There are almost no "feel" good markers.

If you have any fear of heights, exposure, falling rocks or ice climbing in the middle of the night at 12,000 ft, this race is not for you. I have seldom experienced the fear I tasted during this run. The fear forced razor sharp focus at several times in the adventure. Conquer it or half way. Very Yoda-ish. Words kinda fail to express have to be there. You have to do it to experience it.

So if you ever want to set a new bar of extreme for your racing experience I can pretty much guarantee you will find it running Hardrock. As a small sample: can you find the course and runners in the picture to the right? This is looking up to the scree scramble at Grant-Swamp pass. Next time I am bringing a rock climbing helmet!

Congratulations to all the finishers...truly inspiring. From the youngest at 24 to the oldest at 73!!

I am now more excited than ever to race the PCT 50 in two weeks. I will always have the extra advantage in the back of my mind knowing it is easier than Hardrock :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two 14ers in One Day

On July 7, 2009, I jumped at the chance to climb two 14000+ foot mountains in one day: Redcloud and Sunshine. Redcloud is 14,034 ft and Sunshine is 14,001 ft.
There is a saddle between these two mountains which makes the double bagger possible. I went out with Bill and Steve and we started on the 12 mile total hike/run at 7:45 am.
For quite a while you follow Silver creek before making a right turn and starting some serious climbing up to Redcloud.
Seems my body is adapting well to the altitude as I was able to run / hike well and no altitude headache as in past days. I reached the first saddle leading up to Redcloud and took a nice pause as Bill and Steve made their way up.
We then turned right to push up to the summit of Redcloud. Soon we summitted and took some time to record our names and eat some food.
Then is was the 1.3 miles down over the saddle to Sunshine. More food and pictures on this summit.
Then it was time to retrace to the summit of Redcloud and back down to the Silver creek and the car.

Was a great adventure with amazing views and lots of time exercising about 13,000 ft.
Definitely a great way to ensure you are tired and hungry when you get back to civilization :-)
Total running time was about 4:20 minutes

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bagging the Mountains in Colorado

The last two days that I have spent in Colorado have been really cool.

Lots of driving on Jeep roads in the mountains to get high and then a fair bit of hiking and running up above 11,000 ft...most of it higher than the peak of Mt Hood in Oregon!

On July 3rd, we climbed up part of the Hardrock 100 course to around 13,300 feet. This is the highest I had been in my life and you really do have to work harder with that missing oxygen. This is to help get me ready to pace the last 57 miles with my friend Ronda.

After the hike/run we did a quick clothes change and head for Telluride. Neat little mountain town that has really good flat crust pizza!

On July 4th we started the day off right doing a local 5k / 10k called the Blue Ribbon run. The course was obviously short but at any distance pushin' it at 9321 ft a some good honest work. My time was 41:51.
After a quick change and refuel we heading for the hills...or rather mountains to bag a 14er: Handies Peak.
The weather was perfect and after a tough but very scenic climb I peaked out at 14,048 ft! I spent some time at the top and snapped several pictures as Micheal and Ronda. I started to get cold so it was time to head back down. Nice casual run back to the car. While I waited for the others I was able to snap some pictures of the wild flowers that are waking up the valley from its winter sleep...BEAUTIFUL!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Girlfriend Summer Run Clinics

Hey girlfriend! Are you interested in:
  • Getting more enjoyment out of your runs
  • Running faster and stronger
  • Training for a race such as Pace of Courage or Race for the Cure
  • Finding new running routes
  • Learning more about the sport of running
  • Meeting new running friends
Reason to Run is presenting the Girlfriend Summer Run Clinics this July and August in the Tigard area. All levels of women runners and joggers are encouraged to come out and join us. We will meet on Tuesday and Thursdays from 7 am to 8 am. Participants will be emailed the location specifics.

The cost for each training clinic is $50 and includes:
  • Eight, one hour training sessions
  • Very cool Reason to Run technical t-shirt designed by local artist Tyson Mangelsdorf, styled and sized for women
  • Door prizes and sponsor goodies
  • Post clinic celebration run and Bear Naked Granola sponsored breakfast
  • Optional Saturday trail run in Forest Park
  • Discount on a future Reason to Run race
  • A fun, supportive environment
Tuesdays will focus on a specific running work out, while Thursdays will be girlfriend run day. Work outs will include track, hills and tempo, and during the sessions we will talk about topics such as injury prevention, stretching, nutrition, training plans, running shoes and clothing, hydration, iPod music selection, running partners, and trail running.

Trisha from Reason to Run will be hosting two sessions:
Session 1: July 14 - Aug 6
Session 2: August 18 - Sept 10

For more details and to register please see
Hope to see you there!

(Note: This is a repost of content we provided for the Run Oregon blog)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon 2009

At the post race bag pick up station, a volunteer asked me if the race was fun. I wish I could say that I was polite and gracious, but instead I just blurted out 'No' I realized from the shocked look at his face that he had expected a somewhat different response. I looked at my friend Cheri and we started laughing. Seriously, who runs 26.2 miles for fun?

I first heard about the Rock 'n' Roll marathons years ago and when I heard Seattle would be hosting one I quickly signed up. It was great to have my friend Cheri sign up too.

Cheri and I and our two daughters left early Friday morning to hit the marathon expo and have a girls day in Seattle. The expo was in the Qwest Event Center and was first rate. There were tons of samples, everything from Bear Naked granola and yogurt (a shameless plug here) to peanut butter dog treats. There was a Brooks Running photo booth where we did crazy mother/daughter poses and a 'spa' bus complete with parafin wax hand treatments and makeovers. Leah loved getting eye shadow put on. Everything was free. More than two hours later we went for lunch and then headed to our hotel so the girls could go for a swim. I had booked a hotel in Kent near the marathon start and we were a little worried about what we would get for our $57. As we pulled up to the Kent Holiday Inn we were pleasantly surprised. The hotel is newer and clean and the outdoor pool was wonderful. Cheri and I didn't get to enjoy the complementary breakfast the next morning, but the kids and hubbies said it was really good. Waffles, omletes, fruit, etc.

The next morning Darin drove us to the race start and we roamed around a bit with the 25,000 other marathoners and half marathoners. Lots of port-a-potties, UPS trucks for the bag drop and slightly staggered start times made for a well organized race beginning and the weather was sunny, but not too hot. I felt a little silly having my iPod with me because this was the Rock 'n' Roll marathon and I really should be listening to the bands, right?

The first 12 miles of the race went through neighborhoods, wound around Lake Washington and went over the floating bridge on the Lake. It was fun to have residents cheering from their houses and playing tribute Micheal Jackson music. The Rock 'n' Roll aspect of the marathon was not at all what I expected. Obviously I had this unrealistic idea that I would be hearing music the entire race, but when bands are a one to two miles apart and you are running past, you really only hear the music for 2 - 3 minutes. Some of the bands were playing love ballads when what I really needed was a really good beat to keep me going.

It felt like the second half of the race was a lot of freeway and/or highway running. Lots of concrete and three tunnels (Note: please don't put a band in the tunnel, the acoustics really don't work) The race I wanted to run fell apart at mile 17, but after a change in attitude, I felt good as I finished. This is a fairly hilly course and there was a nasty little hill at mile 25 after a 2 mile industrial out and back section. The post race medical team was great - lots of ice wraps for sore knees and legs, but the food was very limited: bananas, oranges and a single volunteer handing out half bagels. We did manage to find a table with some bags of Fritos and other chips - score.

Then it was back to the hotel to shower and sit around the pool enjoying the sunshine. We topped off our trip with a stop for sushi on the way home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Portland All-Comer Track Meet: Fun and Fast

(Note: This is a repost of content I provided for the Run Oregon blog)

Summer is here and that means so is the Portland All-Comer Track meets on Tuesday nights.
Schedules and general program of the meet can be found in this previous post by Kelly.

And also thanks to a post from Kelly I had no choice but to run the mile tonight!

To set the stage: I am a long distance running. And this is not in terms of a track meet. Long runner in terms of marathons and ultra-marathons. My legs start getting limber after about 5 miles :-)

That said, I had a ton of fun running the Predict-a-Mile and the 200 meter events and then watching many of the other events on the schedule at the track meet tonight.

Traffic was crazy getting to the meet so when I arrived around 6:15 the meet was underway. Registration was handled very well by the Foot Traffic organizers and you just cannot beat the $2 price for as many events as you can handle!

Tonight was a record attendance for an All-Comer meet with my estimation of over 500 people with probably half kids under the age of 12. In the Predict-a-Mile there were over 50 people who ran...awesome!

So what exactly is a Predict-a-Mile you might ask?
First, you sign up for the event and write down, in hard black and white, what time you think you are going to run.
Then you run 4 and bit laps of the track while your legs and lungs burn and scream to stop but you brain steadfastly refuses to quit and pushes you on to experience that euphoric feeling of crossing the finish line and gasping to reduce your oxygen debt.
Finally you wait with baited breath to see if you were close to your predicted time. Why not just look at your watch that you took splits with and timed your mile? Because watches are NOT allowed for this event!! Makes perfect sense for this type of event but man did I miss my splits. I live by my watch during a race: should I speed up, should I slow down...WHAT IS MY TIME! :-)
Later, the official times and results are posted and the first 5 places are those people who correctly predicted the closest to their actual mile times. Mile times ranged from 4:52 to over 12 minutes. I was off predicting my time by 10 seconds but I did tie my PR from the only other mile event I have ever ran and that was 9 years ago! 5:32 is my line in the sand for the mile. The winner predicted her time to within 0.26 seconds!

And yes, I did run the 200 and was attempting to smile the whole way as I powered in for a
strong last place. But I really could care less as the crowd is really supportive to every athlete and it also felt really good to try to run that fast! This attitude of just doing you best and having fun permeates the events.

I was also inspired watching the other events from kids running
their first mile to the guy who won the 400 meter in 50.8 (as shown in the picture)!! Great family fun and athletic event all rolled into one.

So check the schedule and come out with your two bucks for some speedwork, a great time and a well organized Foot Traffic event. See you next time as I try to get better predicting my time running a mile without at watch!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Notes & Thoughts from Portland Eclipse DemoCamp Galileo 2009

What do Test Code Generation UI, ECF 3.0, RAP, Android and Code Smells all have in common?
These topics were the focus of demos at the Portland Eclipse DemoCamp sponsored by Instantiations. Here are my notes from Wednesday night with my commentary at the end. Get in touch with the presenters and check out the links to learn more.

ECF First up was Scott Lewis (EclipseSource) and a demo from the Eclipse communication framework.
Some 3.0 highlights:
Working on distributed OSGI EE RFC 119: discovery and remote services
Your distributed services code lives above ECF and can make use of the ECF providers or you can roll your own.
Scott demoed client/server OSGi discovery and remoted services and Toast Vehicle Management Portal: p2 magic for install and uninstall at runtime.

Next up was John Roberts (Mind Warm): Using Android with Eclipse
John threw out that Android could overtake the iPhone by 2011?!
Demo of the Eclipse Android tooling.
Seemed very quick to try out and develop with an emulator
Challenges that remain with the toolset: tough to design UI with base set within Eclipse.
One recommendation was DroidDraw - recommended as WYSIWYG

Android app site is
It would seem that searching for apps on a phone could be clunky?

Jaime Wren (Instantiations) presented Test Code Generation UI

The CodePro AnalytiX JUnit Test generator needed a new UI. Challenged with making a modern UI using only the SWT features from Eclipse 2.1 (wow!!)
Nice review of the choices and reasoning behind the decisions. But hey...please don't start your demo with "This is not very exciting". May not have been exciting but it was interesting. Let your audience decide ;-)

RAP Elias Volanakis (EclipseSource) Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) and the New Eclipse download wizard
RAP: Eclipse for the web
Eclipse dynamic download web page: check it out here.

Why bother with RAP?: "know how" reuse and use of familiar tooling.
Closer to "holy grail" of having single source for web and client.
New for RAP 1.2:
  • new widgets - scale, dateTime expandBar, slider, colordialog CCombo
  • Cell editors
  • intro/welcome support
  • more SWT+ JFace APIS
Basic steps to create RAP App:
Tune in on July 9th for more:

Emerson Murphy-Hill
Finding code smells within Eclipse.
Presented a smell detector - lovingly called the Stench Blossom. Non-intrusive indicator of smells existing with the code currently being browsed. Inform without overwhelming.
Built based on the Seven habits of a highly successful smell detectors .

My commentary: I have been to many, many democamps. I have been doing Eclipse development since the dawn of time.
What hit me several times last night was the diverse nature of what was being done within and with Eclipse. AND how a large majority of the demos were on OLDER versions of Eclipse. This would have never happened several years ago. Eclipse has reached the maturity level that cool new products can be developed on versions of Eclipse that are 2 or 3 years old. 3.5 and the latest and greatest is really cool (see Ian Bull's countdown and all the Galileo blog reviews) but at the same time older versions are cool as well.
Take my day job. We just shipped the Jazz Foundation 1.0 which is based on Eclipse 3.4.

Is this bad? I really don't think so.
Bleeding edge, pushing the envelope work can continue at Eclipse as it always has while the community can adopt and adapt only as much or as little as they deem necessary for their success. This keeps everyone happy and winning.
I propose Eclipse has fully become the framework it was intended to be. Eclipse can now respectfully step back out of the spot light and allow the applications that have been built and will be built on its impressive shoulders their time to shine. Just like every proud parent should do...
(These are of course my thoughts alone and may or may not reflect the position of anyone else).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pace of Courage 5k and 10k, August 15, 2009

Pace of CouragePace of Courage
Saturday August 15th 2009

On August 15th, 2009 Reason to Run will host the Pace of Courage Run/Walk to help support Stephen, Vananh and their 3 year old son Alec Martinez in their fight against cancer and with their goal to promote cancer awareness.

One family, two cancers: To read the complete Martinez family story please see the article in the Beaverton Valley Times and their webpage at CaringBridge.

The Pace of Courage will include a 5k and 10k that will start at 9:00 am on August 15, 2009. We are running out of Oak's Park and continue on an out and back along the beautiful Springwater corridor.
More details can be found here.

Use this event as a goal at the end of your summer or fill in your training for a fall marathon. If you are starting out running or walking as part of a more active lifestyle or using the baby jogger to hit the trails or roads, come and join us.

We know what you look for in an event: excellent organization, safe and fun courses, with great support including post race food. See our reviews from previous events here.

Come do a great run and support a great cause.

All event proceeds will benefit the Alec Martinez Medical Fund, the CERN Foundation (Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network) and CaringBridge, a nonprofit web service that connects family and friends during a critical illness, treatment or recovery.

Register, come run with us and make fighting cancer a reason to run.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rim2Rim2Rim...Running the Grand Canyon

This past weekend Trisha and I spent many hours enjoying running in the Grand Canyon.

The BIG run was Sunday starting at 4 am. We had traveled to the canyon with a large group from Portland and on Sunday morning we started running with Ronda, Micheal, Cheri and Gary. Micheal and Ronda quickly disappeared into the dark ahead of us as they were running this as a training race for the Hardrock 100 and hoping for a time around 12 hours. We were planning for around 15 hours.

This run is epic. It is long, dry, hot and includes 11,000 feet of climbing. The scenery is close to unparalleled and the trail is really good shape and easy to follow. All of us in our group of 4 had never run in the canyon before and were both nervous and excited to tackle the challenge.

The day we did the run was as close to perfect a running day you can get for the Grand Canyon in late Spring. We had a high of only 90 degrees in the canyon (Ronda and Micheal have had it 118 in past crossings) and glorious cloud cover for both canyon wall ascents.

We did the run from the much less traveled North rim to South rim to North rim. This means you get to start with 14 miles of downhill. This also means you get to finish with 14 miles of uphill!!

Coming down off the North rim in the dark was really quite cool. We could see several of the groups ahead of us moving down the valley as we tracked their headlamps and hand-held lights.
Soon enough the lights were stored away and we were moving nicely down the Bright Angel Canyon. The longest stretch of the canyon run without a "break" is from Cottonwood campground to Phantom Ranch. This is 7 miles of gradual downhill mostly following the Bright Angel creek to the Colorado. The canyon you run through are amazingly was hard to keep the eyes on the trail sometimes. Everyone was running well and we made really good time to arrive at Phantom Ranch feeling strong and encouraged. Now time to cross the river and start climbing!!

For the next almost 5 miles we would be working our way up from the river to the South rim...5000 feet of climbing. We interspersed some good hard running with some focused power walking to trudge up the hill. The climb was made more challenging with having to navigate the mule altered trail. Between the manure, large puddles of urine, strong smell and gouged out trail it really made you focus to not have a misstep :-)

After 6:36 we crested were standing on the South rim of the Grand Canyon. Looking back from where we came It was also really cool to have the tourists asking how far/fast we were going and saying really encouraging and ego boosting words like "you guys are heroes for running that far!" . We made sure to pick up the pace after that! We grab a cold Coke from the deli at the rim and then prepared to head back down. Just starting out we caught a glimpse of a California Condor. Man, those are BIG birds!

The downhill was harder for me than the uphill. It was hard to get into a rhythm and my feet were hurting some from blisters (note to self: remove sand from shoes earlier rather than later!). This is when Gary and Cheri took off running strong for us not to see them again until we finished. Awesome running guys!
We made it back down to the Colorado and Phantom Ranch were I did some quick work on my feet to drain and dress the blisters...ahhh that did the trick. I bought a sausage to quench my protein craving and Trisha downed a lemonade from the ranch store.
Now though we had those pesky 14 miles of uphill that we had sooooo enjoyed earlier in the morning. Less than speedy but steady would characterize our next seven miles. We were happy to make it back to Cottonwood campground and have the long stretch behind us. Now let the real climbing begin! Trish did awesome in this section working to keep us moving towards the North rim and eating into those 6000 ft of climbing. I made a "good" mistake in the last stretch: I thought we had 1. 3 miles left when we only had 0.7 miles. I know this does not sound like a large difference but after over 15 hours of being out on the trail we were very pleasantly surprised to see the end of the trail and the car ride back to a hot shower.

Total running was around 48 miles with 11000 ft of climbing.
Running time to the South Rim from North Rim: 6:35
Running time from the South Rim back to the North Rim: 7:45
Total running time: 14:20
Total time on the trail: 15:45

We are already thinking of going back and the good times running and hanging out with friends. This run is not one to be taken lightly but it is definitely a goal worth training and striving for!

My words hardly do the crossings justice...I hope you enjoy the pictures are much as we enjoyed the adventure.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Having fun Getting ready for the Grand Canyon

The last two weekends have been great fun as we bump up our endurance training to handle the cool stuff we have planned for this summer.

On May 16th we did about 7 hours of biking for our annual 100 mile Reach the Beach bike ride on a tandem with Mary and James. No flats, amazing weather, almost no wind and close to 17 miles per hour average. Also a great leg workout without the pounding of running (we would do that the next weekend!!).

We once again stayed at the Craftsman Bed and Breakfast in Pacific City with Mike and Laura as our excellent hosts. If you are in Pacific City, stay at their place. An evening soaking in the hot tub with dinner at the Bistro catching up with new and old friends was how we ended a great day.

The following weekend was hills and Gorge running!

Trisha did some Dog Mountain repeats with Ronda, Micheal, Cheri on Friday to smash those quads into shape. Dog Mountain climbs straight up 2,800 feet in 3.2 miles. Up, up and more up!

On Saturday, I did about 7 hours of running in the Gorge. Herman Creek to the PCT then up to the Benson Plateau. We then hit the snow and blindly made our way across the Benson Way through the snow to the Ruckel Creek Trail. Pounded down to the Gorge 400. Across on the Gorge 400 trail and then back up on the Herman Creek trail to tackle the Nick Eaton Ridge. Then some amazing cruising down the Gorton Creek trail to finish up. Ronda gives a great account on her blog.

It was hard. It was amazing. I hit the toughest section of trail I have tackled. I was working as hard as I could and it took me 39 minutes to do 2 miles!! Try the Nick Eaton trail if you are really looking for a challenge!

Why all the training? Trisha and I are running the Grand Canyon this coming weekend. Rim to Rim to Rim. From the North Rim to the South Rim and back up the North Rim. 45 miles of fun with 11000 ft of vertical to keep you honest! We are ready and we just cannot wait!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tigard Youth Track Home Meet

Back on May 2nd, Cole and Leah competed in their second track meet of the year.

This was the home meet for our Tigard Youth track club at the local high school.

Both raced in the 800 racewalk and then two sprints: 100 and the 400.
I was bursting with pride with all the results and the efforts that they did out on the track.

We called it a day after these 3 events and MAN were we glad we did. Just as we were leaving the wind and rain reached close to hurricane levels and ended the meet.

We are excited to hit the last meet of the year for us on June 13th in Salem.

Cole and Leah have worked really hard this year and it is cool to see them learning how to dig deep and enjoy the personal satisfaction of giving it all they got!