Today I ran from the resort we're staying at on the southern tip of Attica up into the mountains to an archealogical site. Truly all of Greece is an archealogical site though. Attica being limestone I saw sinkholes, caves, and a natural arch along the way. I went into a couple of the larger caves to explore by the light of my phone. If only I'd brought rope...
My training has been rather lax as of late, but the 10K yesterday in Χαλανδρί got me pumped up. Also climbing Mount Lycabettus with Maxwell this morning got me excited the way the mountains in Bergen do. Except that it was limstone rather than metamorphic rock and getting above the treeline here just means there's only enough water to support succulents. So this afternoon when we arrived in Sounio the first thing I did was run up to the Temple of Poseidon and back. I feel like I could run anywhere here! My hope is to someday come back to Greece to run the original marathon.
So here in Bergen they've turned off the rain for the Sykkel-VM and I decided to head out for a fjelltur to get in some miles and practice the Stoltzekleiven. After running across town, wending my way through the barriers set up for the bike race, I started up the Stoltzekleieven. No little kids there today. Just grown men passing me as they ran while I tried my hardest just to keep up a solid hiking pace. 21:24 was my time to the top. After a break I continued my run up to the top of Rundemanen where I stopped for lunch. Feeling good, I decided to try the back way around to Ulriken rather than just coming down via Fløyen. After going down the back side of Rundemanen, it's a short climb back up to the plateau that ends at Ulriken. There are some nice waterfall views and lakes to drink from along the way. It's a long way across the plateau to Ulriken across alternating rock fields and bogs. At Ulriken I stopped for a beer and to enjoy the incredible views. Last time we went up Ulriken it was inside a cloud. The climb down the Bjørndal is too technical for me to really run, but once I got back down the roads I could fly the rest of the way home. The roads seem so easy after an afternoon in the mountains!
Today I ran roughly a route Maxwell & I ran/hiked this weekend. Basically it's from where we're living in Sydneshaugen across town to the Stoltzekleiven. I timed us last weekend and we took about 20 minutes to make it the ~1 km up the Stoltzekleiven. Today I didn't time it because the stairs were clogged with elementary school kids doing time trials for school. These are basically the Stairs of Cirith Ungol that Gollum leads Frodo and Samwise up in the Lord of the Rings, but here in Norway it's just another day in gym class. There's also over 300 m of vertical gain over that kilometer up, or, to translate to English units, it's a thousand foot climb. Oh, and the reason I've added these steps to my training route is that at the end of the month Maxwell and I are running the Stoltzekleiven opp, one of the many hillclimbs they do competetively here. Because around twenty thousand people do this race and the trail is so narrow they release people up it over the course of two days. Maxwell is being released about 18 minutes before I am, so he'll hopefully be finishing about when I start. The fastest runner can do it in under 8 minutes, which is insane.
A look at the course
But I'm also training for a marathon just under two months from now and I have to say I've been slacking a little. It's hard to get motivated to run in the rain sometimes, and I've been a little sad about life lately. Once I get up into the mountains though, all that washes away and I feel like a million bucks. I drink fresh cold water from the mountain streams, which is tinged a slight brown. My original theory was that it was leeching tannins from the leaves, but Maxwell and came up with a better theory this weekend: iron from the rocks. I eat skogsblåbær, which roughly translates to "forest blueberries", but are nothing like the bland, mealy bluberries one finds at the supermarket in the US. The leaves are also falling from the trees now in the mountains, and I look forward to snow.
So after climbing the Stoltzekleiven this morning I enjoyed a nice jog on the rolling trails which connect Sandviksfjellet to Fløyenfjellet. Then it was down and back across the city centre home. That party of town is a crazy mess right now as they're setting up for the Sykkel-VM starting this weekend. Apparently it's a big deal because an influx of 500 thousand people are expected for the event and like a 3rd of a billion people watch it on TV every year. And I'd never heard of it before. Two years ago it was even held in the US in Richmond, VA. Weird, right?
Today I added a loop around the lagoon to my usual two mile loop to double it to four miles. It was a rcovery run to be sure! I had a successful weekend in Stavanger though. I got my half marathon time down under 2 hours, shaving over 10 mins off my prior best! This bodes well for my goal of getting under 5 hours in Savannah. I also concurred my acrophobia to hike the trail and go out onto Preikestolen, a chunk of rock jutting out from a sheer cliff nearly 2000 feet above the Lysefjord. Today, however, did not feel awesome running along the flat city streets and gravel trails. My back, of all things, is hurting. I guess that means I should get back to doing yoga, which I've been neglecting since arriving here.
Today I ran the roughly 10K route Zara and I scouted out last week around the lake, up Fløyen and back down through cruiseboat tourist land. I need to scout a route that goes another way down to avoid the cruiseboat tourist packed trails. I do like the lesser grade of the switchbacks on the trails down there. It's not very technical to run, so no problem when I'm tired!
A beautiful, sunny morning run today around the block. I haven't been counting my hiking mileage above; so it seems like I'm behind on my training, but I feel like I'm doing alright.
This afternoon we all headed out to find the waterfall near Fløyen I'd seen the day before from Damesgårdfjellet. We started up the steps to Fløyen and then veered left to follow the stream up Skredderdalen. During the course of the day we got a good look at Bergen's extensive water reservoir system. Having found the waterfall, we decided to continue on to one of the seven mountains we'd yet to climb: Sandviksfjellet!
Sandviksfjellet offers a beautiful, if somewhat terrifying, cliff view down into Bergen and the fjord. We were fortunate to catch it during a break in the clouds. Feeling good, Cara suggested we route back via Fløyen rather than going down the steps of Sandviksfjellet. I decided then and there to route us the long way that took us to another peak: Rundemanen!
The path up gave us a higher vantage point to look across the city to Løvstakken, Damesgårdfjellet and Lyderhorn. The last of those is the only one of the seven I've yet to scale. After summitting Rundemanen we headed over to the café to get pølser (kinda like hotdogs), before heading back home.
Not really a run today, but probably still countable as training...
I went off to catch a Zapdos. This "legendary" pokémon is only available to catch until Monday. Failing that I decided to cross the channel and visit some new Pokégyms to get their badges. After walking for a while through a new part of town and getting a few new gyms, I realized I might be near another of the "seven" mountains of Bergen. Looking at Google Maps, sure enough I'd gotten to Gravdal behind Damesgårdfjellet and there was a trail up and over it and down into Melkeplassen!
It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.
So today was my first Bergen run in the pouring rain. I really shouldn't forget the necessity of band-aids on nipples, even on a short run in those conditions. OUCH!
Did the run up Fløyen this morning with the healthier half of a Deutsch cruise ship. (The rest waited in a line for the Floibanen that stretched all the way back to the fish market!) It was a pretty warm day, so I ended up taking off my shirt to make a little vitamin D on the way down. Good to know I can still turn a few heads, lol.
Today we decided to scale Ulriken. Well, I scaled it while Cara and the kids rode the cable car up. We all walked over beforehand, and they all came down with me though. We were in a cloud while we were up there, so there weren't much for views outside the occasional moment when the passing clouds cleared. There were sheep everywhere above the treeline, leaving copious amounts of poop. The kids enjoyed all the climbing, but it was a bit much for Cara.
This afternoon's project was climbing Løvstakken (477m). Cara came with and this one took us above the tree line. Much to my delight we also found copious blueberries along the way! The two of us were left along for the afternoon by Maxwell & Zara heading out with Maxwell's newly bought birthday fishing gear to see if they could catch dinner. They did not succeed, so we dined at the fish market instead where we tried whale for the first time. It's a good steak, only a little gamey. After that we took the Floibanen up to the top of Fløyen.
I haven't been running much with all the packing and moving but now that I'm i Norge, I finally have the free time to get back to it. My run this morning was 4 km up Fløyen and then 4 km back down again. The route up required a good bit of hiking rather than running, but that earned flying back down. The café and overlook there at the top is a nice entrepôt to the wilder woods beyond that are replete with trails. I will shortly explore them.
This morning I ran home from the Home Depot after dropping off the Penske truck this morning. Before that I made one last run to the storage unit. I've been fending off a stomach bug and burning the candle at both ends doesn't help either. I've also also got some comments on running socks.
I should prolly start thinking in kilometers. A marathon is 42.2 km. Most of the races are do are in km: 5K, 10K, 15K, 25K, etc. One of these days I'm going to go ultra and do a 50K. Norway is probably the place to do it. Nobody seems to half ass it there. I ran my 3.5 mile sidewalk loop from my apartment up to Whole Foods this morning. It was rough. Not sure if the heat or the hardness of the sidewalks was more of a factor.
Bloated from flying and dinner I did not make it far this evening.
I updated my weight goals for the Savannah marathon since I've actually gained weight in the month and a half between Nashville and Seattle. If marathon running can't keep me from getting fat though, I don't know what can!
Tiger mountain was today's challenge, with almost 3000 ft of vertical gain through ferns and briars beneath the mossy fur trees of the northwestern forest. I ran with Jacques, who appears earlier in this blog but got a job with Amazon and moved to Seattle. Tiger mountain sports beautiful views down to Sammamish Lake and Belluvue, north to Mount St. Helens and South to Mount Rainier. Sadly no volcanos erupted during out trip. Seattle people are a little crazy and have built a concrete launchpad atop the mountain that they jump off of to got paragliding. Just takes mountaineering to a whole new level!
We did not jump off the mountain today, but instead ran back down it. Going up was a challenge where I felt my calves burning and pushed on my quads with my steps to keep going. More power hiking than running really, although Sarah Lavender Smith would have the definition of running expanded to include any movement that's the fastest one can sustain across that terrain. Coming down was a challenge because it was steep, rocky, and there were a lot of hikers and dogs to dodge on the trail. Dogs just like to stand in front of your path to say hello.
It was good to catch up with Jacques. He's also trying to hire folks right now for his team. And he's been keeping up the trail running better than I have! Outside of that week in Boulder I haven't really been off the roads much in the past few months. The surprising thing is that I'm really back to 100% less than a week after my marathon. Maybe I'll slip in that Skogmaraton in August after all...
18 June 2017 - 26.2 mi
This past week in Hilton Head was mostly a bikeriding week. I did one 3.something mile run down to the Salty Dog with Brittan, but the stupid shins still didn't feel nice. So I went biking most days instead, even if it was raining. Sunday is the marathon. I haven't really gotten my weight down at all, but I'm still feeling pretty good about it. It should be cooler there than it was for the Nashville one in April, so hopefully that will propel me down to a new PR. We. Shall. See.
This morning we all (ABJLMZ) went on a bikeride to Starbucks. I got to have Lexi on the allycat behind me since she's not a real pro at biking yet. It was fun to all go together and sit up there together catching up. Jaime has many hassles to share dealing with divorced life. Lexi is so quiet and reserved compared to Zara, who's volume has been stuck on loud for a while now, but they've fallen right back in like two peas in a pod!
The shin splints are a real problem. I'm not sure what exactly I need to do about it. I was going to do a longer run tonight, but I ended up cutting it short because I kept having to stop to massage my shins. I need to do some research...
Running at low altitude this morning with Zinners meant rediscovering shin splints. #gravity
Ran the Bolder Boulder in 59:51.78, including an unfortunate poo stop. I would recommend this race to anyone who likes beer stops, slip and slides, live music, and belly dancers. It runs the gamut nicely from serious to silly, allowing folks like me to submit a qualifying time but anyone who wants to register for the non-competetive waves. If I have the opportunity to run it again I surely will. And probably not climb a mountain the day before.
Ran from the place I'm staying in Boulder up to the trail between the 1st and 2nd Flatirons. Awesome trail and fairly technical to run back down.
Ran from the place I'm staying in Boulder up to the top of Mt. Sanitas and back. "Ran" is perhaps overly generous for a good portion of the steep uphill, but the downhill I was sure flying. Also stopped to climb the "Red Rocks", promonent tilted Triassic beds like one finds along much of the Front Range.
I really love the loop from Alora's place up around Piedmont Park and down the Beltline to Highland. It's a good way to start the day!
Okay, so last week kinda sucked for training. I did some yoga though. I think. The days just blur together. Cara is home all the time now that she's no longer got a place in the Irish lab (that whole graduating thing), so it can be distracting during my workday. Today was my second run with Zinny, and I think it must have been hotter. She did not do well and I was dragging her by halfway through. Also worth noting: hot pavement and sidewalks are not as nice as dewy grass on doggie footpads.
My second run of the week went better than the first, although my shoulder is sore because I took Zinny with me and she tugs alot. It might also be the last two nights of yoga though. Eiter way, the blisters are healing and didn't really bother me much this morning. Later this month Zinny and I are doing an obstacle course race together in Alabama on a team put together by Andrea Standridge, one of my friends from high school's little sister. It should be interesting...
May The Fourth Be With You!
So I laced up and went out to do my usual loop, but the blisters on my feet intervened. So instead I stopped at the gym and rode 3 miles on the stationary bike before running back home. It's hard because I want to push myself, but I know I have to let those blisters heal.
I've recalibrated by weight goals going forward based on today's reality. I did not expect to be 10 lbs heavier on race day than I was in January. I'm not even sure anymore that running really helps with the weight. I actually weighed more after the race yesterday afternoon than I did in the morning! C'est la vive. Additionally, I've tried to be more realistic about how much distance I actually have time to run, now that I've got a good handle on the exact lengths of the local routes I like to run. You can see the daily logs I hang in my bathroom to keep me motivated below. On to Seattle!
Compare to last year.
"I'm never doing that again!" - me, last year
Did my usual loop this morning with much difficulty. My shins really hurt a lot. It is stupid and probably because I packed on an extra 10 pounds last week in Perrysburg.
I ran today along the shore of Lake Erie in a 5K that was about half children from the elementary school that it was a fundraiser for. Nothing quite so humbling as getting passed by little girls on the last mile. My shins and right ankle really hurt during the short race, probably because I've put on weight this week. I don't necessarily take very good care of myself when I travel. Too much opportunity to try new things I suppose. Although the novelty of Perrysburg is starting to wear off a little. It was my first race in Michigan though, so I can cross that state off my list now.
Short runs are easy to fit in, but I've struggled to make the time. Today I forced myself to just get out there and enjoyed running shirtless in the sunshine. It felt good.
Real run today, sans phone. Brought some much needed clarity.
Just a short pokérun this morning. I'm really sore in the legs. It's only my second run of the week. The first was the same loop Monday with Maxwell. After last weekend's 27K I'm having doubts about the marathon in April.
I ran Mossy Ridge in Percy Warner Park this morning. It was good to get back on that trail. I've been a slacker about running since starting the new job. In Ohio I ran for about 5 minutes in high winds and pouring rain before giving up. I've been trying to meet up with a new running buddy, but she keeps standing me up. This morning I just ran anyway. I think with her I need to just plan runs that I would be happy doing myself rather than going out of my way. If only Jacques hadn't moved to Seattle.
Fall Creek Falls - Today is the final race of the Tennessee State Parks Running Tour, a 15K here at Fall Creek Falls State Park. I PRed with a time of 1:27:29. I felt like I could have gone longer. I'm going to run like 3 of them in a row in a couple months. If I hadn't made a pit stop in the woods I probably could have paced under 9 min miles, but when Nature calls...
Alora & Brittan drove up this morning with Sadie, their dog, to join us and camp tonight. Last night we slept here and it was in the 20's. Fahrenheit. I have a sleeping bag rated to 30 below. We could not find it yesterday, so I do not have it. So last night I was cold. Hopefully it will be warmer tonight. Hopefully. At least I will sleep better having run 9 miles.
In Atlanta this weekend for the MARTA Hackathon where my team placed third, this morning I finally to the opportunity to run through Piedmont Park and on the new fancy Beltline Trail. Wow. I would be so spoiled if I lived near the Beltline. A former railbed, it's perfectly flat and highly trafficked. I found a nice woman to pace myself with for much of the trail. And there are a ton of pokéstops! I managed to catch 3 new pokémon ;)
Today I took a pokérun again. These are fun. I've done several now. My right heel is sore. It has been sore since my first pokérun last week. I took a few days off last week to let it heal, but walking seems to make it worse. Ergo I am back to running.
Tonight I did a pokérun, which is an interesting variation on wind sprints. Basically sprint until my phone buzzes to indicate a pokémon, stop to catch said pokémon, then sprint some more. Unless it's a pidgey or a rattata, because I can catch those easily with one hand while running. To force myself to sprint I only allowed one footfall per section of sidewalk. Feel really great afterward. Think I might try a longer one tomorrow!
Natchez Trace State Park - Coming off of being sick I didn't push it today. Still, it was hard to feel bad in the perfect 65° weather. And nothing is more heartening than to hear an 81 year old man complain about the highest age division being 70+ while waiting for the race to start. My two mile split was 15:10, I walked a bit to ease the shin pain during the 3rd mile, and ran a strong downhill finish to get a PR of 42:47. Not bad. These Tennessee State Park Running Tour races have an $8 no t-shirt price too, which is great on the budget.
I signed up for a couple more races to fill out the next month: Race on the Trace 5 Miles and Fall Creek Thaw 15K. One I have done before in 2014 and the other I've been wanting to do for years. The Tennessee State Parks Running Tour races are only $8 to run, so it's silly not to run them more often. I'm surprised looking back though that the 2014 Race on the Trace was my last one!
Four miles today - the Whole Paycheck loop. I think my shins might finally be getting used to the sidewalks. Or maybe I'm just more consistently running on the adjoining berm. Either way I felt really good afterward. That's 15 miles so far for this week!
Another Wednesday run around the Mossy Ridge Trail of Percy Warner Park with Jacques today, one of our last as he'll be moving to Seattle soon. I'm excited for him to start a new job after these months off, but I'll miss running with him. He's become a good friend and sounding board in our weekly conversations.
Running this week has been a bit of a struggle. It's cold outside. And I didnt run very far with Jacques on Wednesday. We only did the 4.5 mi loop once. Last week I was ahead because of the 25K, but this week I've fallen behind and I don't know if I'll make my goal. It'll require a short run after our 5K tomorrow.
Tonight we did a 3 mile training run, and by we I mean Cara, Zara, Maxwell and myself! Cara had some difficulties toward the end with her knee, but the kids flew right through it. We are all doing a 5K in Kenturcky next weekend, which is how I convinced Cara to do the training run. It was a great time together in the park, as the weather was in the high 60's as the sun set on our run. I hope we can get out and do more together this year.
My running with Jacques these past months has put me roughly where I need to be in analogy with my training plans for last year's marathon. Because I'm feeling like stretching myself a bit further this year I'm signing up for a trio of Rock 'n Roll Marathons. Also there is a discount for 3. This might be a bit too ambitious, but it cost as much as two would so even if I miss one it's not a loss. Not that I'm planning to miss one. In addition to Nashville in April, I signed up for Seattle in June (where I can stay with the Diggins) and Savannah in November (where I can stay with my parents in HHI).
Last change was on 7 November 2017 by
Bradley James Wogsland.