Some adventures in road and trail running.
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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.