The Handsome Man with Athletic Thighs
Running In Circles
 
Monday, February 28th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: The Local Middle School
Distance: 7 Miles Total (8x400)
Time: See Below
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Rain, 50°

Comments: I ran 8x400 with a 400 meter jog between each interval, plus warm-up and cool-down. My splits were: 73, 72, 76, 73, 73, 74, 76, and 67. I ran a bit too fast, but it felt good, and I couldn't help myself. It was raining and cold when I finished, so I didn't hang around to stretch. I probably should have though; my hamstring has been tight, and I don't want it to turn into a strain.
 
 
Sunday, February 27th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: I used today as a rest day, no workout.

Angie and I drove out to the Black River Riparian Forest to look at Great Blue Herons. We found the rookery, and were treated to the sight of thirty or so Herons flapping about and alighting in trees. I saw a number of other birds, including Gadwall, Green-Winged Teal, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Mallards, Lesser Scaup, and Bufflehead. I even spotted a rabbit, and trees that a beaver had taken down.

I dragged along my camera and managed to take a few pictures. I thought this photo of a Great Blue Heron turned out well:

Great Blue Heron
 
 
Saturday, February 26th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Ft. Steilacoom Orienteering
Distance: 5.1K (4 Miles Total)
Time: 33:35
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Cloudy, 48°

Comments: I finally felt happy after an orienteering event. I raced well. I had a little trouble with one control, but nearly everyone on the course did too, so it really didn't put me too far behind. Not only did I beat Jake, who's been stomping all over me all season, I kicked his ass. I beat him by nearly ten minutes. Sure, he made a few uncharacteristic mistakes, but I was so on, he would have needed to navigate perfectly to beat me. If only these days weren't so rare . . .

Later, Angie and I met up with a horde of people to celebrate Juli's birthday. The restaurant at which we intended to dine was closed—permanently, not just for the day—so we headed to Fremont for Greek food. It turned into quite the banquet. The bill rang up a bit higher than intended, but I think the experience was worth it.
 
 
Friday, February 25th

Resting Pulse: 54 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: Weights
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 50°

Comments: I ran three miles at an easy pace, then lifted weights. Afterward, I still had enough arm-strength left to curl a few pints with Jake and Greg at the Dog 'n' Pony Alehouse.
 
 
Thursday, February 24th

Resting Pulse: 54 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: Today was a planned rest day, no workout. I went to a retirement party after work, and I filled up at the all-you-can-eat taco bar. Before that I had chili for lunch. I had hummus and chili for dinner the night before. You can probably imagine the state I'm in now.

I'd better go open a window.
 
 
Wednesday, February 23rd

Resting Pulse: 58 bpm
Weight: 166 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 4 Miles (approx.)
Time: 30:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 50°

Comments: I ran a 30/15 tempo run—30 minutes of running, 15 of it at race pace. This is a "competition week" so my workouts are a little easier than usual. Judging by my tight, twinging hamstring, I could use a little rest. Also, every time I run a hard workout on pavement, my shins hurt. Since 80% of my training is on the trail, I don't notice it too much. However, most of the races I have lined up are on the road, so I'm a bit nervous about finishing them without feeling like someone's continually bashing a golf club across my legs.
 
 
Tuesday, February 22nd

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 166 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: Weight Lifting
Weather: Clear, 48°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles, then lifted weights.

In memory of Hunter S. Thompson's passing—and with a little goading from Jake—I've decided to re-post a report I wrote way back in 2001. The report is the product of my first and only attempt at Gonzo journalism, which I learned is more of a lifestyle than a writing style. Anyhoo, if you're interested, read the report here: 25+01: Mysteries and Scotch

One more thing I want to make public: I am boycotting Quizno's because those talking baby commercials freak me the hell out.
 
 
Monday, February 21st
President's Day

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: 7 x Hills
Distance: 6 Miles Total
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 46°

Comments: I ran a hill workout today. I didn't feel sharp or fast, but I grinded through.

Neither Angie not I had to work today, so we took a little road trip up to the Skagit River valley to look for Bald Eagles. We spotted six, three adults and three juveniles.

I took my camera with me, and although I took sixty-four pictures, only two of them were worth keeping. One was of a seagull, and the other was this bad boy:

Bald Eagle
 
 
Sunday, February 20th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: I used today for rest. After Angie's party, I needed it.

The big news of the day is Hunter S. Thompson offed himself. I'm sad to hear it happened, but I'm not surprised at the method. Suicide, bizarre accident, or gunfight just seemed like the only way he would go out.
 
 
Saturday, February 19th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Lake Youngs Loop
Distance: 10 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Sunny, 38°

Comments: I managed to put in an easy ten miles before I had to get down to the business of preparing for Angie's birthday party. As far as the run went: the weather was perfect, I had to carefully ease my way past a growling, teeth-baring dog that was loose on the trail without an owner in sight, and I spotted a male Hairy Woodpecker.

Angie's party went well, and everyone seemed to enjoy my Buffalo Chili. I wasn't able to talk with everyone as much as I would have liked, but with twenty people in attendance, I suppose I should have expected that. Angie said she had a good time, and that's all that really matters.
 
 
Friday, February 18th

Resting Pulse: 54 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Clear, 46°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles. I saw five deer, but I noticed them before they had a chance to crash off into the woods and scare the crap out of me. I noticed the reflection from my headlamp in their eyes. This unnerved me a little bit because their eyes are roughly the same height as a human's. Coming eyeball to eyeball with a shadowy object is a little spooky.

On Wednesday, I posted my fifty states quest. Today I give you my Booklist. These are all of the books I've read so far this year, with a few brief comments about them. Like my fifty states quest, it really serves no purpose.
 
 
Thursday, February 17th

Resting Pulse: 60 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: Today was a planned rest day, no workout.

Angie and I treated my sister and her husband to sushi at Chiso's. My sister's birthday is next week, but she'll be in China by then, so this was really my only chance to treat her to dinner. The food was delicious, especially the Toro, which I'd never had before. The texture was so soft and buttery, it seemed to melt in my mouth.

Damn, I love me some sushi—too bad it's so expensive.
 
 
Wednesday, February 16th

Resting Pulse: 60 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 6 Miles (approx.)
Time: 45:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Clear, 44°

Comments: I ran a 45/20 tempo run today: 45 minutes of total running with 20 of those minutes at race pace. I noticed that my shins bother me a little when I run on pavement. I'll have to see what I can do to cure that.

I finished putting together my 50 Halfs in 50 States page. It's a silly little quest, but life is a silly little thing, so this fits right in.
 
 
Tuesday, February 15th

Resting Pulse: 60 bpm
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: North Side Modified
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: Weights
Weather: Mostly Clear, 40°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles after work. It took me a while to get out the door because I was having issues with my large intestine, but at least my stomach ache went away. I managed to lift weights too, even though I hate reminding myself how weak I am.
 
 
Monday, February 14th
Happy Birthday Angie!

Resting Pulse: 64 bpm
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: The Local Middle School
Distance: 6 Miles Total (7x400m)
Time: See Below
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 38°

Comments: I ran 7x400m with a 400m recovery jog between intervals. I did the workout on a cinder track that was in pretty bad shape, so I worried about spraining my ankle on one of the many hideous ruts and holes. I survived though. I was trying to run 5k pace (85 seconds), but I went a little fast. I ran: 78, 83, 77, 79, 78, 76, and 72. I felt pretty good; I think my form is better when I'm running a sub-six-minute per mile pace.

I like being on a program. I think it's easier to stick to a regiment if someone else designs it for me. What I'm using now is just something I downloaded off the internet, so it's hardly personalized, but the schedule really seems to fit my fitness and experience level. Only eleven more weeks and I'll find out if it worked.
 
 
Sunday, February 13th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: I had planned today for either rest or cross-training. I choose rest, mostly because I slept until noon, which didn't leave much time for anything else.

In the evening, Angie and I headed over to my parents' house for the February blow-out celebration. Everyone had something to celebrate. Angie, my mom, and my sister had birthdays. I got a promotion. My dad got his TEFL certificate. And my sister and her husband start new jobs in China next month, so this was a going-away party for them.
 
 
Saturday, February 12th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Lake Youngs Loop
Distance: 10 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Cloudy, 48°

Comments: I ran ten miles today, the first eight easy, the last two medium-hard.

After my run, I cleaned up and took Angie to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner. (We decided to celebrated Valentine's Day today, and leave Monday for Angie's birthday.) We then saw Hitch, which was a little better than I expected. It had all the regular conventions of a Romantic Comedy, but it wasn't a tired old re-hash of everything I've seen before. I'm not sure why they bothered putting Michael Rapaport in the movie though; he contributed almost nothing.
 
 
Friday, February 11th

Resting Pulse: 60 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: Weights
Weather: Clear, 44°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles after work, then found the gumption to lift some weights too.
 
 
Thursday, February 10th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: Today was a planned rest day, so no running. I was supposed to lift weights, but I took a nap instead. I'm still sore from lifting on Tuesday, so I'm not too disappointed with myself. I might make it up tomorrow if I'm not feeling too tired after my run.
 
 
Wednesday, February 9th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 5 Miles (approx.)
Time: 40:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 42°

Comments: I ran a 40/20 Tempo Run after work. That is, forty minutes of total running with twenty minutes of it at race pace (or as close as I could manage). I felt pretty tired most of the way, but this is the first time I've done two hard workouts in the same week since . . . the time of yore.

My new work schedule is still kicking my butt. I just don't know where my spare time went. (Not that I made efficient use of it, but at least I knew I had some.)
 
 
Tuesday, February 8th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: Weights
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 40°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles in the dark after work. When I finished, I lifted weights for the first time in nearly two years. Now I can barely move my skinny little arms.
 
 
Monday, February 7th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: 6 x Hills
Distance: 5 Miles Total
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 40°

Comments: Today was the first day of my twelve-week training program for the Country Music Half Marathon. I ran some hill repeats, and I didn't feel too bad when I was done. Truth be told, I like running hard workouts. I like feeling the lactic acid build up in my legs. I like feeling the blood pound in my gums. I like that faint whiff of ammonia I smell when I'm running near the edge. And I like knowing I can quit any time I want, because it's just a workout, not a race.
 
 
Sunday, February 6th
Superbowl Sunday

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: No cross-training today, just rest. I mean, come on, I HAD to watch the Superbowl.
 
 
Saturday, February 5th
Forest Park Orienteering

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Forest Park Orienteering
Distance: 5 Miles (approx.)
Time: 48:13
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Cool

Comments: Jake and I competed in an orienteering meet in Everett. As usual, he beat me easily. As usual, I was a bit disappointed with my performance. With the exception of the first two controls, this was a fast, runnable course. However, the extensive bushwhacking it took to reach the first two controls wore me out. The mud from control six through control ten made running difficult. Also, Iím plain out of shape. So, on a course I should have scorched, I only managed a mediocre result.

While Jake and I crashed through the woods, Angie visited with a friend who lived nearby. After Jake and I changed, we picked Angie up and had beer and chili at the Flying Pig Brewing Company. Both were delicious.
 
 
Friday, February 4th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: Angie and I tried to go bowling with Jake, Greg, and Rich, but the waiting lists were too long. We ended up at smoky bar where we played darts instead. I might suck at darts even more than I suck at bowling. With all of the scrambling we did trying to find an open bowling alley, I didnít have time to squeeze in a run.
 
 
Thursday, February 3rd

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 6 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Not Noted

Comments: Another six miles down by the river.
 
 
Wednesday, February 2nd

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: I didnít run today. I should have, but I didnít.
 
 
Tuesday, February 1st

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 6 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Not Noted

Comments: I ran six miles in the gloaming after work. My headlamp is proving itself a smart purchase.
 
Sometimes I feel like I'm breathing underwater.