Idiotic Obsessive Competitiveness

May 31, 2007

I have an obsessive personality. I tend to zero in on something and give it all my focus. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also over-competitive. Meetin Portland caters to both these dark urges. They have a “Junkies” list on the site (visible I think only to registered Meetin users), ranking everybody by the number of events attended over the last 90 days. A few days ago, I cracked the top 10 and got on the first page of the list, having attended 52 events over 90 days. (For comparison, number one has 102.) That’s all well and good. Now I’m fretting about needing to stay in the top 10. That’s idiotic. This isn’t a competition, and if I go two days without attending any events — as I just have — it shouldn’t make me anxious. Like it does.


Morning Run

May 31, 2007

3.27 hilly miles around my house, in 33:33. I didn’t feel that great — mostly just sleepy, I guess. Not that I should have been — for once, I went to sleep early. My breakfast might have been weighing me down too.


May 30, 2007

Going back to work after a five-day weekend sucked, of course. After work, I had to do my run — I say “had to” because it was really hot out there. I should be running in the morning on days like that, but I’m running Monday evenings with the group, so I’ll probably be stuck running Tuesday evenings too, otherwise I’ll get only the night’s worth of recovery time. Anyway, it was hot. And I didn’t have much time to squeeze in the run — an interval training session — so I had to do it on the ups and downs around my house, rather than going somewhere flat. The schedule called for 10 repeats of 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds rest. Based on last week, I upped the rests to 40 seconds. In the heat and with the grade, this still wasn’t enough:


The first half was mostly uphill, the second half down. I did a bit better at not having my HR go up and up, but it’s still too high at the end of the rests — certainly I should get it down at least to 80% and probably to 75. And that was with 40 seconds, and walking most of the rests rather than jogging. Ah well.

After that I showered — then immediately resumed sweating, sigh — dressed, and went to play 42. Lost both games. Well, actually, I only played one game; for the first game, I was coaching a newcomer. I impressed our waitress by knowing how to pronounce her name, Thuy. A Vietnamese name, it’s pronounced “Twee”, which I know only because there’s a Thuy in MiPL.

After 42, down the street to the Buffalo Gap for, you guessed it, Karaoke. No crazy theme last night, so I didn’t get to wear a fez or a bright yellow Spongebob shirt. But it was a great crowd, with a lot of my friends showing up. Karaoke at Buffalo Gap is sooo much more fun than at the other bars I’ve been to. I sang two song: Talking Head’s “Burning Down the House”, and (for the second time now) R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It.” I thought I did a decent job on both. Maybe I’m improving, a tiny little tiny bit. Naaaaaah. I was just tipsy.

Runners get injuries? Never!

May 28, 2007

It being Memorial Day, only a small group showed up for the Monday night run from Portland Running Company’s Beaverton store. And of the five who did show:

  • One was tapering for the Newport marathon next weekend, and had a sore knee
  • One had what seemed to be some fairly severe back pain and tightness
  • One had, well, two broken legs. Bone scans had confirmed last Friday that he had stress fractures in both legs. Should he be running at all? Um, no. I think he might be in the first stage of grief — denial.

That left only two people who were even candidates for our normal six-miler, me and ultrarunner lad Tim. I usually “cheat” and run quite a bit more than the Portland Fit schedule says I should on Mondays. But it worked out right tonight: I was scheduled for 30 minutes and the group turned around after a mile and a half. Totals: 3.19 miles in 28:29 (8:56/mile average).

Afterwards we had a little barbecue at our running group’s fearless leader’s condo. A few other runners were there too, and one of them brought a chiweiner: a chihuahua-dachshund mix. Soooo cute.

Weekend Update

May 28, 2007

I went down to Eugene yesterday to visit Mom. One of the things we did Sunday was to walk the first couple miles of the Butte-to-Butte route, so I could get an idea of the hills (after the first two miles, it flattens out onto streets more familiar to me). The race starts gradually uphill, progressing to what I’d call a medium uphill, then, somewhere short of a mile, goes distinctly and steeply uphill for a short stretch. After that there’s a very short little steep downhill, then a nice long, consistent, and pretty medium downhill.

This morning, after breakfast at Eugene’s ancient institution The Glenwood Cafe, Mom and I and the dogs hiked up Mount Pisga. The trail is 1.4 miles, mostly gravel, fairly steep in sections, and very busy. Mom was a trooper for making the attempt; she’s not much of an uphiller. Or downhiller. But we made it up and back.

My right leg might be starting to have some issues — a little hip pain there, which has never happened to me before. I suppose some aches and creaks are to be expected after Saturday’s 11-miler.

New personal longest

May 26, 2007

I get such a sense of accomplishment when I finish a new personal longest run. That might be part of why I feel drawn to ultras — if you stop at marathons, and only train for and run marathons year after year, you’ll miss out on the chance to set new personal longests. Yeah, I know: big talk for a newbie runner doing his first 11-miler.

Well, 11 miles is still the farthest I’ve ever run, and it’s certainly longer than some people will ever manage. (I did do that 12-miler before, but it had its share of walking up the hills. Of course, in trail-running ultras, people walk up the hills too. So it’s a bit arbitrary for me not to count it.) Our route was 3.5 miles UP Thurman street and Leif Erickson, then back down, then 2 miles down to the waterfront and across the Steel Bridge, then back. I ran with my heart rate monitor on, and tried to stay under 84 percent of max or so.

Garmin’s MotionBased site is flaking out on me right now, so I’m going to have to enter data straight from the watch. It thinks I ran 10.6 miles, but I think it had some accuracy issues there — I believe it was indeed closer to 11. So take the data that follows with even more grains of salt than ususal:

Totals: 10.61 miles in 1:41:09, averaging 9:32 miles and 81% heart rate (Note to M: that’s a faster average than I had thought.)

Mile 1: 11:06, 74% avg heart rate (warming up, in a crowd, uphill)
Mile 2: 10:54, 83% hr (steep uphill)
Mile 3: 10:46, 84% hr (uphill)
Mile 4: 9:41, 82% hr (up and down)
Mile 5: 9:03, 79% hr (downhill)
Mile 6: 9:14, 76% hr (steep downhill)
Mile 7: 8:55, 80% hr (downhill)
Mile 8: 9:16, 78% hr (slight downhill)
Mile 9: 8:20, 85% hr
Mile 10: 8:20, 85% hr
Last .61 miles: 9:07/mile pace, 84% hr (slight uphill)

How did I feel? Great! No leg issues, no fatigue issues. I was hungry enough to eat a bear after the run. Not finding a bear handy, I settled for a breakfast bar and a ham and swiss sandwich from Dragonfly Coffee at NW 24th and Thurman.

Update: I checked the distances using Assuming the mileposts on Leif Erikson are correct (I skipped that part in my gmapping), we ran 10.9 miles. Which means I averaged 9:16 minute miles. Yay me!

Hills, heat, and new Oakleys

May 24, 2007

It’s a hot sunny day in Portland, and I decided to run at mid-day to get some more heat training in. It didn’t feel as bad this time as previously. Or maybe it was my new sunglasses. I got the new Oakley Flak Jackets at the O store at the mall this morning, in gold lenses with the “plasma” colored frames. My wife liked many fancy expensive things, and Oakley sunglasses are one that I got a taste for, too. Anyway: my run. I live on a busy straight street, that heads uphill until it gets near Barbur and I5 a little more than a mile east of here. It’s unpleasant to run on, but I’ve seen plenty of people doing it, so to do something different I gave it a try. I ran up, up, up to the Barbur transit center and across the I5 pedestrian bridge there, which I’d never been on before. Then back the same way, mostly downhill now. Between the heat and the hills, it was a fairly slow run, but I felt pretty good. 3.8 miles in 37:33.