Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday Gatherings

I ran with John and Christy on Saturday morning because we went to Seattle today for the first of five different Christmas celebrations.

We met at 7 am and on the drive over I realized we would be running in the dark and that I had forgotten my head lamp. Luckily Christy let me use hers. I was happy in the dark to be running on the flat Interurban trail. We went all the way out to Clayton beach parking lot, about 7:45 or so I was able to turn off the head lamp as it was finally not needed anymore.

We took a short break and then ran up the Fragrance Lake trail around the lake and down the 2$ trail. About half way down, we came to a sign and the trail was rerouted around some private land. This new section adds some elevation gain and distance to the Cleator road finish.

It seemed like we could run about 30 feet and then have to stop and walk and climb over and through all the downed tree branches, but we made it through. Once on Cleator road we ran down (the 50k we run up) to the Interurban trail and back to Fairhaven Park.

I woke up Sunday and went for a quick bike ride in the garage before we loaded up and drove to Seattle for our annual Christmas gathering to celebrate the birth of Christ with part of my family. My mom made an excellent spiral cut ham with all the fixins. We exchanged gifts followed with dessert made by my sister Danielle.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chuckanut 50K training has begun

We had our first 50K training run today. A little rain during my drive over and waiting in the car, but once we started running, we had no rain. What a great run, we ran on Galbraith also known as Lookout Mountain.

We started with about 11 or 12 runners and started climbing. Not much warmup from Whatcom Falls Park, you start climbing almost right away, but once your up, there are lots of ups and downs.

Our goal was 2 hours 30 minutes of running. The 'wonderland' loop we have done a few times is about 2 hours, so we added a couple other trails on the way up (2 1/2 Trail)and the way down (Intestine). These are great winding trails on some soft mud and pine needles.

Lots of downed trees and some snow drifts still hanging around. The snow was ok in places and a couple I sank into my knees. The worst part about the snow was the hidden puddles underneath. We made our way up to the top of wonderland near the cell towers and enjoyed the 270 degree view from most of Lake Whatcom and even a peak of the Twin Sisters around the north to into Canada. We could see Bellingham, Sandy Point, Ferndale and the refineries, not to mention pretty much all of the San Juan Islands. Words cannot describe, so I hope to bring a camera up there soon.

We went out to the south on a trail we have never run before called Evolution. WOW! The mountain bikers have been up there A LOT! There must of been a full quarter mile (in separate sections) of elevated skinnys, jumps and ramps. All these apparatuses have alternate ways around for bikers not up to the challenge and made for a nice soft descent.

What a great run.
12.3 Miles
130 Avg HR
1600 feet climbing

(Click any of my images for a more detailed view)

Oh Yeah! I ran the 19th Annual Bellingham Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. They did not keep times this year, but I had a great race. I was just off my pace from last year, but VERY happy with my 6:45 mile pace. The 4 mile race took 26:43.

We went on a hunt after and found a great Christmas Tree. A Fraser Fir from Small's Farm on Northwest street, We've purchased from them before and they have a great farm and are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Came hope and put up some lights on the house, then tree. Debbie and the kids added the ornaments. I think it looks great!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holidays are here

Well the snow has started to melt and most roads are fine, I wasn't going to let that stop my bike ride... So I road in the garage. I finally tried out my latest Spinervals DVD 17.0 Areo Base Builder II.

I liked this DVD a little better than the 16.0 version. Both are good, slightly different format. In 17.0, you do a lot of short repeats, 16.0 the repeats are a bit longer.

After my bike ride in the garage, we went to the Bellingham Port Festival to checkout the Gingerbread houses. The port gets gingerbread houses from all over the community. Jacob made a nice Pirate ship and Alex made a Train. Each won an award in their age group!

We came home, got ready and drove to Seattle to my company holiday party. We dropped the kids off at my parents. They had pizza and movies while Debbie and I went to the party. It was very nice, at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott hotel. Three different Salmons and Prime Rib. They gave us each $10,000 funny money and had about 15 casino tables. I played Texas Hold-em for a little while, then went and played some Blackjack and a little Roulette. We ended up with $10,000 after all that. We turned in our chips for raffle tickets. Didn't win anything, but we had fun.

We all spent the night at my parents in Seattle. I woke up and went for a long run. Ran west on the Burke Gilman Trail (I usually head east) toward Puget Sound. Made it past Fremont into Ballard and went right past the Ballard Locks and around all the way to Golden Garden Park. Beautiful view of the Olympic mountains. I ran up the stairs, I didn't count, but there were a lot of them. Continued to wind my way through town and stopped at Green Lake for a drink of water and on my way home shortly after. Very nice run, about 12 miles total 1:47:17.

Got back to my parents and ate and showered and the whole family went to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker. Jacob did great in the theater, but it was a bit much for Alex to sit and watch for the 2+ hour show. We got there early and had lunch in the Center House and saw all the holiday decorations, after we walked through the center again and stopped to let the kids ride the holiday carousel.

Long drive back home and am ready for bed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


We got lots of snow this weekend, but that was not going to affect my exercise, or was it.

I woke up Saturday morning to an inch or two of snow and drove out to Lake Padden for the second Cyclocrazed Cyclecross race. As usual I was one of the first to arrive. Got ready and eventually went down and registered. They were busily setting up the course. I waited in the car to stay warm, once enough of the course was set I went out in the snow to see how my bike would handle, or how I would handle the bike in the snow. It was not too bad. I made it around the course a few times and on my third lap I noticed that the bike was a little sluggish, slowed down and saw that I had a flat. I was hoping that it was a very slow leak and I just noticed it. I borrowed a pump and heard the bad news before I saw the tiny bubbles percolating out from the in between the rim and tire. I was toast as I unloaded everything from my bike at home and did not bring it. UG. Jacob showed up just as I was noticing the problem. We let him ride the course. He made one lap and that was enough for him. We decided to head home.

On Sunday, I woke up to green grass (no snow) and left to meet the group of trail runners at 8 am as usual. We ran from the VET in fairhaven. On my way there I went through a section of town that had about two inches of snow and is lower than our house (at the lake elevation: 340 feet).

The trail starts out flat and was very wet, not much snow, but starting to snow. We ran out the Interurban trail. After the first flat mile or so we turn and go up towards Lost Lake, turned onto a trail called Hush Hush (yeah don't tell anyone - its a great trail). As we ran up and up this very windy trail with lots of switchbacks where you can high five your friends as you run past I was noticing sections where it was in between trees that I was seeing 4-5 inches of snow.

At the end of Hush Hush we turned left and went towards the Hemlock trail and some went back and a few of us kept going up towards Raptor Ridge. The snow was getting deeper and deeper. It was GREAT! Running single file through the snow and we cut a nice path. We saw a lot of other runners out there today. We made it to the turn to Raptor Ridge and went up only to be turned back less than a quarter mile into this section of trail due to too many fallen trees blocking the way and with the heavy snow, no promise of beautiful view at the end. We turned back and ran down the same cut pathway we made coming up. I think the snow got as deep as about 7-8 inches on the run.

Going down in the snow was fun and slippery, but with a little care you can kindof run fast and slip and slide just a bit. Again we had lots of fallen trees to deal with, but not too bad.

We got back to the car to find about two inches had fallen while we were running. After driving home and parking out of our driveway, I mean the sled zone, we had lots of fun playing in the snow at home. I left with green grass to come home to about 3-4 inches. As I write this later in the day, we just got back in from Jacob testing out his new snowboard on our driveway and I measured about 10 inches in the backyard. Should last a couple days.

Sunday Run:
10.1 miles
138 Avg HR
1900 Ft Climbing

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Turkey Trot

Yesterday, the whole family did the Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC) Turkey Trot again this year. This local event is down at the Haggens near our house and very easy and is a FUNdraiser for the food bank. We arrived and registered and walked over to the starting area. We saw lots of friends milling around. We visited and did a little warmup around one of the buildings.

Debbie has run this event for three years in a row, and the second year in a row for the whole family. Alex is still in the stroller for this distance, but Jacob has run the 3.1 miles each year. Debbie ran ahead this year and I ran with Alex in the stroller keeping Jacob company. He sure did great, ran most the way, walked some.

We ran without any rain and very little wind which was a change from the toterential rain and wind this week. We only lost power for a little bit, but some in the county were out of power for a couple days.

We enjoyed the rest of the calm day by cleaning up the leaves and getting one last mowing of the lawn in.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rain, Rain and more Rain

I got wet this weekend, very wet.

On Saturday I went for a bike ride with two friends of mine, Mike and John. Only real heavy rain was going to stop our ride. I rode over to John's place to meet them, I was already very wet before we started our ride. We went south out and around Lake Samish. My neoprene booties kept me warm enough, but they soaked up so much water that it affected my pedal stroke. I felt real sluggish. Both John and Mike are great cyclists (They took two of the top three spots at the Hill Climb this year) and I fell back on each climb (even the small short ones). They'd wait for me at key locations, so I probably got a better workout since I didn't have to stop and get cold every so often ;-). As it turned out, we had maybe 10 minutes of our 30 mile ride with no rain, but we knew it was going to start back up because Mike kept saying how nice it had gotten.

On Sunday, I met the trail running group at the vet in the rain, The run is on trails through the woods, but it had been raining so much lately that the rain was coming through even the dense evergreens. I started back in the gym this week and even getting out of bed was feeling quite sore in muscles I hadn't felt in quite a while. This combined with my bike ride on Saturday made for a tough run. I started out fine (its a flat first mile) but when we started climbing I was really feeling tired. We went up and ran the "hush hush" trail. This is a great trail that winds back and forth through the woods, not very much under brush, and the trail is very soft and full of leaves and pine needles. It winds so much that there are switchbacks where you could take one step over a log and skip a large section of the trail. This also makes it a great trail to run with a group, because even as we spread out you get to see all your friends.

I made it to the top of the hush-hush trail and was feeling very tired so decided to turn back with Carol who has been working through an injury was cutting her run shorter too. The rest of the group was going to continue up to Lost Lake. I finished with the 7 mile run soaking wet.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Today marked my first cyclecross event. Going to bed the night before to an thunder and lighting show made me wonder if I was going to go or not. Sunday morning came and there was a full moon as I walked to get the newspaper. I was not so concerned about the full moon, but happy that I could see through the clouds. I didn't have any rain for my race or for Jacobs after.

Jacob and I had been to two cyclecross practices and were looking forward to actually racing. I went up to WWU campus about 8 and Debbie, Jacob and Alex came up a bit later. There was a delay in the start to the Mens C race which was my classification (by choice) so they were able to get some good pictures.

There were 10 in the Mens C classification, We rolled out at about 9:30, the Mens C Masters went about 1 minute behind and the women's C went about 1 minute after that.

The course was on and around the south part of WWU campus, We started in one of the gravel parking lots, riding north around through a tunnel, first a little run up (some rode, but I chose to run it each time after crashing during the morning warmups). Up and around one of the famous campus sculptures and around and over a single barrier and through the "castle" structure, around the trees and across the road down a short single track section back onto the gravel. That is the north loop. The south loop was longer and tougher.

After crossing the road we weaved through and around some trees on the slanted grassy slopes towards the new tennis courts, down and up and then a short run up right near the visitor center. Again I chose to run this each time after crashing during warmups, these little run ups gave me problems, I got knobby tires, but kept slipping out and then over as I couldn't keep balance and nor get out of my clips. Its all fun though as you fall over onto the soft wet grass.

After this we go up a path and gravel road to the real run up for the course, this is where I finally made my first pass. At the top we turned left and met the barriers to run over. Looped around and cross the 'finish' line... 5 more laps to go...

To get back to where we started, We looped around the gravel parking lot back to the sloped grass and trees just north of the new tennis courts. The toughest part here was the loose pine needles and sloped hill covering all the exposed roots. Getting past that we had a pretty steep down hill section only to have to run back up (most biked back up, but again I just ran). More weaving through the trees we finally crossed the road back to where we started to go do that north loop again. What FUN!

I'm looking forward to doing this again, The Cyclcocrazed people will be doing another event on November 25 up at Lake Padden, Check it out at

Jacob had fun doing his race too. He went with about 7 other kids of various ages, He 3 loops of the very same north loop, doing all the same run ups and barriers, going through the castle and down the single track.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sunrise Bike Ride

Some friends and I road up to Sunrise this summer. It was a beautiful day.

Don, Pat and I met at 6am at Federation Forest State Park. After figuring out parking we got on the road about 6:15 or so. The road is State Highway 410 and at that time in morning there was not much traffic, but even so we had a very nice wide shoulder.

We made a stop at a rest area with a nice view of Mt Rainier, it was the first view of the mountain on the ride.

After a bit more riding we made it to the entrance to Mt Rainier National Park just past the turn to Crystal Mountain ski area. Before we knew it we were at the fee station collecting fees for entrance to the National Park. $5 each and quick rest and then we set off for the real climb. Actually just after the ranger station the road goes downhill for about a mile.

Still no view of the mountain. We climbed and climbed, not too much traffic, not much shoulder, but riding with friends help visibility with drivers. We kept climbing, eventually we came to the turn of the final switchback and this turn is on its own peak with beautiful views all around. As we make the turn we got an excellent view of the mountain.

After this switchback, it is about 1 more mile and not much more climbing. We rolled into the parking lot at about 9:55, parked the bikes and saw that the grill opened at 10:00 am, so we each got a burger and some rest for the fast decent.

What a great ride!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Long trail run

Ran with a group of trail runners I've been running with since last year on Sunday morning before we went to Seattle to visit family.

Was a great run, I decided to wear shorts even though the temperatures have been dropping, started out a little cold, but after a bit I warmed up and was a beautiful run. Perfect weather, had some strong winds up on top.

We ran "up" the Wonderland trail to the towers on top of Galbraith (lookout mountain). We have run down this trail, but this was my first time "up" the trail. The Wonderland trail is a very nice trail that goes back and forth all over a recent clear cut.

My GPS measured 11.84 miles in about 2:01

Friday, October 27, 2006

Welcome to my IRONMAN CDA 2007 Blog

Welcome to my blog.

I will try and blog information about my training, how I feel and general stuff on my journey to train and complete the IRONMAN event in Coeur d'Alene Idaho June 24, 2007