Text 13 Jan Blanton PR and Great Weather

13 Jan 2009 - Ridgeline Trails, Blanton Trailhead

Today was a gorgeously sunny day in Eugene. Had to make sure I got out and got some of it, but things got late quick, so went for a run, again on Blanton. Set a new PR today, probably only because I didn’t have to relieve myself on the run, yea!

It wasn’t quite as warm as I expected, and right as I entered the forested part, I thought, dang, it’s cold! Clearly the trees block out a bunch of the sun, but the temp was dropping at this point too (about 3:45pm). Not bad though, probably still just a bit over 50 degrees, and of course I warmed up no problem.

Today’s run was interesting, because I felt pretty slow and slothy, but I kept the concentration, and probably actually ran a little bit slower, but ran the whole way, and didn’t pause at the half way point for more than a second or two. Happy that I pushed through it.

And now, I’m starting to think about making it longer. Of course at the same time, my knee was hurting again today. I’m visiting the doc to review some lipids blood tests (nothing major, just seeing where things stand these days), so I’ll ask him about it at that time.

Clothing, all the usual, with just the “Icebreaker GT 180”:http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_icebreakergt180_ls_chase_crewe.html top. Absolutely perfect setup today.

Text 7 Jan Two laps of Fox Hollow, Sloppy Run (51 degrees)

7 Jan 2009 - Ridgeline Trails, Fox Hollow Trailhead, Eugene

Yesterday I ran the Fox Hollow loop of Ridgeline. I’d originally intended to do only a single loop, as a real quick run, to take it easy on my knee/leg, etc. But, I wound up doing two, which I was happy about. Had a couple moments of pain that were pretty harsh, but worked through it. Ran nearly all of it, but conditions were pretty sloppy, so I was definitely going slower and having to pick my way through some spots, as I didn’t want to wreck in the slippery mud.

Post run shoes

I’ve continued to work with the author of the iPhone app RunKeeper on the GPS issues. Back to using the GPS filtering now, on Medium, after discussing that it should throw out really wayward points. It appears to have helped. It missed some points on one half of the route (looks like the 2nd/upper half of the loop, which at times seems odd as it seems like that’s higher and more open tree wise, but who knows).

Anyway, so the mileage came up a bit short (probably more like about 3 miles, not the 2.5 it catalogged). Happy enough with my time though, as my 2nd lap was just as fast as my first, potentially even faster (hard to say given that on first lap I walked to warm up for the first two minutes, but on second lap I stopped to pee :)

Some new gear this time around, and shock and awe, didn’t wear any Icebreaker today! Gear was perfect for the day/temps.

* Kuhl 1/4 Zip shirt/base layer. This is normally just a piece I wear around as regular clothing, but I knew it was a “technical” base layer type, and decided to give it a shot. Worked great. Perfect temperatures, and this was all I wore on top. It’s a polyester based fabric, and very soft and comfy. I still like the Icebreaker stuff best, but this worked just fine.
* Some Sirius glove liners. Real simple, thin ones. These were perfect for today’s temps (which probably didn’t really require gloves, but my hands get cold easily). Even better, I could actually use my iPhone with these gloves one! They must be thin enough and what not to make the contact work, amazing ;-)
* Normal socks, shoes (see above), shorts, no hat.

Text 6 Jan “Ridgeline@Blanton: My Best Run Yet! (46 deg)”

6 Jan 2009 - Ridgeline Trails @ Blanton, Eugene

Yesterday I ran the Blanton chunk of Ridgeline again. My wife and I have decided to target the Ridgeline Ramble event in May this year. I’m psyching myself up to try to do the 20k version, even though I’ve never even run a 10k :) Gotta have goals. I know I can do the distance, the real question is how much of that I can run (vs. speed hike). Anyway hit Blanton yesterday (which is the starting point for the 20k), in a super light mist as I arrived, and 46 degree temps.

I am extremely happy with this run, as it’s my best effort yet! I ran nearly the entire 3.8 miles. The only thing I didn’t run was the very first open segment (about 2 minutes, and the part I consider my warm up anyway), and then the steepest pitch on the way back. I also did not stop at the turnaround point, although did stop to pee a little while later, something I seem to have to do on runs, and is a bit annoying.

My knee/leg was hurting a bit, but I just tried to run through it. It’s not too sore this morning, so I’m thinking I need to keep up the running and simply get that conditioned. It’s in my right leg this time, whereas earlier last year I had the same thing in my left leg, so I know it’s just a conditioning issue.

Temp was on the warmer side, and I still dressed too warm, but this is one reason I’m tracking all this, to see what works in what temps, etc…

* “Icebreaker Altitude Zip”:http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_bodyfit260_altitude_zip.html (Bodyfit 260): this was all I really needed on top today, but…
* simple fleece vest - this wound up being overkill, although I had it on and zipped up nearly all the way for about the first half of the run. I’m still learning how warm I get running. It’s not like cycling where you have a wind effect.
* shorts, again just fine in these temps.
* Smartwool hat, took this off at maybe 60% through the run, probably should have skipped it altogether.
* Burton gloves/liners (these are a heavy/warm liner). Took these off at probably 3/4 of the way through. If I had worn a thin liner glove, those probably would have been ideal and kept on the whole time.
* Usual socks and shoes.

Saw another guy running while I was out. From what I can tell, he parked at the Willamette trailhead and was doing the same, but opposite loop. He was faster (no surprise there). However, given how much of the loop I ran, it was also my best time yet, 36 minutes.

Text 5 Jan Spencer Butte Guys Quick Hike

5 Jan 2009 - Spencer Butte, Eugene

To celebrate the new year, the guys at our New Year’s Eve party decided to do a quick hike up Spencer Butte the next day (i.e. Jan 1). We carpooled, arriving in the parking lot probably about 10am. Temps were nice at about 46 degrees, but a little windy and some light rain/mist at times (very light though, mostly wouldn’t notice if it weren’t for the wind).

We did a fast hike/walk pace, arriving at the summit in 20 minutes, lingered for a bit, taking a few pics…

Spencer Butte Jan 1 a Spencer Butte Jan 1 b

Gear for today was good, but I’d swap the jacket…

* “REI Winter Momentum pants”:http://www.rei.com/product/769113 have become a real favorite. As mentioned in my other post, they’re not waterproof, but that isn’t needed most of the time anyway. They work across a good range of temperatures, are not tights, but are more close fitting than normal pants, have some stretchiness to them, breath well, etc. It’s starting to become an issue that I only have a single pair.
* “Icebreaker Altitude Zip”:http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_bodyfit260_altitude_zip.html (Bodyfit 260): another piece that’s becomming a real favorite. It’s Jan 5 now, and I’ve worn this at least 3 days of 2009, maybe 4 :) This one has the high neck/collar/mock turtleneck and is excellent on colder days. I also just like wearing it around any old time.
* Patagonia wool-mix top as a bit of extra warmth/2nd layer.
* REI rain jacket. This was the mistake. This jacket doesn’t breath all that well. It was a great wind and rain barrier, but I wished I’d taken my simple soft-shell instead (see forthcoming post, as that was indeed a better choice).
* the usual Smartwool hat, socks, and Saloman XT Wings shoes.
* Craft gloves. These are working well for this stuff so far.

Overall, if I’d had the other jacket, this would have been a completely ideal setup for the day. Jacket notwithstanding, it was still good.

Text 4 Jan Ridgeline@Blanton run

4 Jan 2009 - Ridgeline Trails, Blanton Trailhead

Continuing to re-pursue trail running. Did one of my Ridgeline trails favorites: Blanton-Willamette-Blanton. I’m also wanting to continue cataloging what clothes/gear works. Also, I’ve been trying out “RunKeeper”:http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=300226023&mt=8, a slick iPhone app for tracking runs/rides/hikes, etc. It has some issues (as do all iPhone GPS apps) with the significant tree cover on the trails I’m doing, but when it works, it’s nice. It seems to be pretty close o this one I think:

It was 45 degrees out, no rain. I was particularly happy with my run, as once I got to the top of the initial switchback bit, I ran from there to Willamette, continuously. Wasn’t able to run quite as much back, but still a good run overall. A bit of knee pain on final descent. Gear:

* shorts - seemed fine even at this temp
* Smartwool cycling/running socks - perfect
* Saloman XT Wings shoes as usual
* “Icebreaker GT 180 Chase Crewe”:http://www.icebreaker.com/site/icebreaker_man_icebreakergt180_ls_chase_crewe.html top as base layer, AWESOME!
* REI light fleecy top for a bit more warmth, and handy arm pocket for iPhone :) Combo of these two tops was perfect.
* Mazawhatever glove liners for gloves. Stupid, enough of these, should just throw them out, as they suck.

Text 4 Jan Ridgeline@Fox Hollow run

4 Jan 2009 - Ridgeline Trails, Fox Hollow Trailhead

I was a bit sore after my Blanton run, so followed it up with a quick loop of Fox Hollow. This was indeed quick, only took about 15 minutes. Temps were a bit cooler, at 41 degrees.

Clothing, similar, better gloves this time:

* Icebreaker Mondo Zip top
* Patagonia Wool mix 2nd layer
* Craft heavy winter cycling gloves - much warmer and nice, without being too bulky.
* The usual Smartwool socks and XT Wings shoes

Text 11 Jul Camelbak’s “Podium” Water Bottles

I was really excited when I saw Camelbak was coming out with cycling water bottles - a new bottle called the “Podium”. As soon as I found them at my local shop, I snatched up two of them, and started using them on road bike rides. And that’s when the disappointment set in.

I am a HUGE Camelbak fan, I think their bladders, bite valves, and packs are head and shoulders above the rest, and I’ve tried a fair number of others. I also love their “Better Bottle" which I use pretty much every day, plus these rock for traveling.

But, the Podium has been nothing but a disappointment. The flow on them is terrible. The bottles themselves are pretty stiff/hard, so they are much harder to squeeze and make your drink come out quickly, as compared to regular cycling water bottles (or specifically as compared to Specializeds current bottles). Also, the bite valve thing is different than the usual Camelbak, and for me just doesn’t work as well. The simple fact is you just can’t get water out of these as fast and effectively as a regular cycling water bottle, and well, that makes it inferior. I’ve tried the bottles several times, thinking I had something wrong, or maybe it would break in with use or what not, but no. So, they’ve been sidelined.

The one good thing I have to say is that the locking mechanism is great, and truly keeps fluid from leaking out, unliked regular bottles that, even with the spout closed still seem to be able to leak a bit.

Maybe I will try Camelbak’s “Performance Bottle”, which looks sort of like a combo between the Podium and Better bottles - having the regular Camelbak bit valve, but in what looks like it might be a compatible shape for a water bottle cage.

Text 19 Jun dznuts (as in Dave Zabriskie’s nuts) Chamois Cream

Maybe you are like me, and use Assos ass lather, er, I mean chamois cream. Ya, many of us do. But, ever the character, Dave Zabriskie went and made his own, “dznuts” or “DZ Nuts”. No joke. Well, lots of jokes in this video about it, which is a must watch. I bet you didn’t know it was a dip too? Competitive Cyclist has it, along with some good commentary of their own. Check it out, you know I will.

Text 18 Jun Rum - made in Silverton, CO!

I don’t consider drinking a sport, although some certainly do. And, you shouldn’t sport-drink high end rum, but, there’s a new rum distillary on the horizon, and of all places, it’s in Silverton, Colorado! Check out Montanya Rum.

Text 18 Jun “Trail Run #7 - I’m Back; and Sharing the Trail with "Ritz"”

My back is back! The last time I ran, I twanged my back, and pretty much couldn’t exercise for about 5 days. Yesterday I ran for the first time since then, and my back was good. Pretty big relief. The run felt pretty good too.

My wife and I ran the Adidas loop near Amazon park. Just three loops today, so only three miles, but that was probably perfect for the day. Di was really tired, and I knew I should probably not do too much on the first time back since my back trouble.

There were a couple fast guys out there today. One in particular, I am pretty certain is Dathan Ritzenhein, aka “Ritz”. I am new to running, so didn’t of him, but the Olympic Rings tattoo on his left calf seemed pretty unusual and like it probably meant something, so I looked up who might have this on the web and found Ritz. Since he lives in Eugene, I’m pretty sure that was him out there running. The guy was smokin’ fast. When he lapped me (a couple times), his feet were literally leaving dirt flying behind him. The guy was tearing it up.

Anyway, happy to be running again. My knees are in pain after yesterday again, but hopefully that’s just the usual, and now if I run some more, and ride of course, I can work that out.

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