Sunday, March 15, 2009


Well it's busy season. Do you know where your accountant is? Between all the doom and gloom economy forecasts, job worries and general craziness at work, it sure has been nice to have a nice runs even if the weather is crappy half the time.

Foot issues seem to be resolved and I'm happily training with the Eugene Half in mind. I still would like to maintain some bike fitness as I do think it helps the running especially on the uphills. Dear Ginger the Bike had a bit of a recall. I have to say I'm happy the weather has been so bad this winter that I haven't wanted to bike commute all that much. Visions of breaking stems had me into the bike shop within days. Ginger is all better now.

And then we had some nice weather and I wanted to ride in so I planned that on Friday. I typically ride a longer route in the am since I have more time. My am route takes me along Lake Washington Blvd to the I90 Pedestrian Tunnel and then into Downtown. There have been recent accounts of muggings of bicyclists coming out of this tunnel and in the tunnel.

Granted I would be riding through this area very early in the morning and the incidents have all occurred in the afternoon and evening hours, but this frightens me. Biking to work has some wonderful freeing moments associated with it which I love. I love that I don't have to pile onto a bus with the rest of hacking/sneezing/coughing Seattle. I love that I can ride along a lake and see Mount Rainier and get a relaxing workout all at the same time before work. I spend a lot of time on my bike defensively riding and paying close attention to road conditions (POOR right now) and traffic around me. All of this is pretty normal for me and just a way to revel in being active and alive and healthy enough to ride. Worrying about being mugged on my bike takes that freedom away and makes me pretty mad.

The word is out about problems in this area so I hope to be able to ride that route again once it is light in the mornings. Meanwhile my commute via Eastlake has plenty of hills to keep me honest.

Running has been going well. I've been keeping miles down in deference to the foot but even with that limited mileage I'm feeling good. I'm starting to have some training issues which need to be addressed. It's still early into quality training so I'm confident I'll be able to work it out. Since I run just 4-5 days per week with limited mileage, usually two runs per week have some quality attached to them. I love the challenge of these runs but sometimes not having the best workout can have some frustrations.

That was the run yesterday. It was rainy and cold and it was a hilly, hilly run where I was aiming for a certain pace. The first harder miles went great and then it all went south. Mentally I just wasn't there and that is fine. I don't expect all runs to be great but this has been happening more often. Doing this type of running takes a lot of concentration and determination and I love it but then there are the runs where you are out there just to run.

Picture it. It's doing a rain/snow mix then it starts dumping the largest clumps of snow I've ever seen and what am I doing? I'm getting ready to drive over to RPD and pick him up so we can go trail running up in the hills. Are we crazy?

NO! It was the best run! This morning Cougar Mountain had a fair bit of snow in certain areas and tons of slush, puddles and mud. The trees were dripping large chunks of slush and the trail was so slippery going uphill and downhill that I knew for a first trail run of the season it was going to be better to keep to flatter trails as we got tired.

Six wet, drippy, sloshy miles later and RPD and I had the biggest grins on our faces. Yep. Freedom and freeing. Trail running is the best.

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