The Handsome Man with Athletic Thighs
Running In Circles
 
Thursday, March 31st

Resting Pulse: 44 bpm
Weight: 166 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 4 Miles
Time: 30:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Rain, 47°

Comments: I ran 10 minutes easy, 15 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy—a 30/15 Tempo Run. My shins gave me some trouble, as I've come to expect on pavement. My feet felt like they were flopping wildly with every step I take. I could only hope my plan to run on pavement more frequently helps my shin woes instead of making them worse.
 
 
Wednesday, March 30th

Resting Pulse: 58 bpm
Weight: 170 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 48°

Comments: After a late start due to work commitments, I ran an easy three miles.

Back in the spring of 2001, I stepped on the bathroom scale for the first time in a couple of weeks. The dial read 171 pounds, the most I'd ever weighed. I decided that morning to start running again. Fast forward to this morning. Despite a regular workout schedule and an attempt to avoid junkfood, I weighed in at 170 pounds, the heaviest I've been since I ended my five-year hiatus from running. I wasn't pleased. For the last few years, every time I mentioned my weight or my running, people warned me, "Just wait until you're thirty." Well, in the three months since my thirtieth birthday, I've gained five pounds, and I haven't run a sub-six-minute per mile pace—my old 5k standard—or even a sub-six-minute mile split. I knew I would start slowing down as I got older, I just didn't expect my thirtieth birthday would be such an exact and sudden transition.
 
 
Tuesday, March 29th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: 4 x 800
Distance: 6 Miles Total
Time: See Below
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 44°

Comments: I ran a long warm-up, then 4 x 800 with three minutes rest between intervals. My splits were: 2:52, 2:54, 2:56, and 2:53.

It looks like they adjusted the scoring for Saturday's race, and Jake ended up beating me after all. As I suspected, they hadn't given him credit for the boat checkpoint. To get the points you needed to find out the boat captain's middle name. Since he was only at the dock a few minutes, you had to time things carefully, which is why the point value for that control was so high. Jake just caught the boat; I just missed the boat. Had I been thirty seconds faster, or Jake thirty seconds slower, I would have won, but that's not how things worked out. I'm glad they got the scoring straight though, especially since I still get some coffee.
 
 
Monday, March 28th

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

Comments: Today was a planned rest day—no workout
 
 
Sunday, March 27th
Easter Sunday

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

Comments: I ran out of time to squeeze in a workout today. I had too many things to do to get ready for Easter Dinner at my aunt and uncle's house. I suppose I could have run instead of sleeping in, but the extra rest felt so nice.
 
 
Saturday, March 26th
The North Shore Street Scramble

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: North Shore Street Scramble
Distance: 10 Miles (approx.)
Time: 91:51
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Rain, Rain, and More Rain

Comments: I competed in the North Shore Street Scramble. I must have picked a fairly unique route, because I didn't see anyone on the course until very near the end. However, I must have done something right, because I ended up the overall winner! Jake probably should have won, but his "official" score placed him second. We both won a pound of coffee, though, so he didn't seem too upset.
 
 
Friday, March 25th

Resting Pulse: 50 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 went to the Lemur's bridal shower, and I went to the Hops on Equinox beer festival with Jake, Rich, and Greg. It was a little crowded and noisy, but they had plenty of good beer. I would say my favorite of the evening was Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Tasty stuff.
 
 
Thursday, March 24th

Resting Pulse: 48 bpm
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 6 Miles (approx.)
Time: 45:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 52°

Comments: I ran 15 minutes easy, 20 minutes hard, then 10 minutes easy—a 45/20 tempo run. My shins started screaming about two miles in and never stopped. I think I'm going to have to start doing more easy runs on pavement or my body just won't be ready for a road half-marathon.
 
 
Wednesday, March 23rd

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Partly Sunny, 52°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles today. It was a slow day, not much else to report.
 
 
Tuesday, March 22nd

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: 4 x 800
Distance: 6 Miles Total
Time: See Below
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 46°

Comments: I ran half-mile repeats after work today. My splits were: 2:59, 3:04, 2:56, 2:51. Not bad. I spotted a ton of birds too. I saw Red-Winged Blackbirds, Spotted Towhee, Great Blue Heron, a ton of ducks, and a Cooper's Hawk. The Hawk swooped right in front of me during my third interval. I would have loved to stop and take a look, as it landed in a branch not ten feet from my head, but I was in the middle of a hard effort. When I came by again, it was gone. Alas.
 
 
Monday, March 21st

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

Comments: Today was a rest day—no workout.

I saw the results from Sunday's race. Judging by previous years, everyone ran slower than usual, not just me. I feel a little better, but I'd still like to get some fast times under my belt.
 
 
Sunday, March 20th
Mercer Island 8k

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Mercer Island 8k
Distance: 5 Miles (7 Miles with Warm-up)
Time: 33:28
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Cloudy, Drizzle, Windy

Comments: I didn't run a great time in today's race. The course was hilly, and the wind was blowing pretty hard, but I'm still disappointed with my result. I'm waiting for a break-through that's just not coming.
 
 
Saturday, March 19th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Not Recorded

Comments: I ran three miles easy. I have a race tomorrow, and I want to warm-up and stretch-out. It was my only accomplishment all day.
 
 
Friday, March 18th

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 168 lbs.
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

Comments: Today was a rest day, no workout. I was too fat and bloated from gorging myself on Corned Beef and Cabbage yesterday to run well anyhow.
 
 
Thursday, March 17th
St. Patrick's Day

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 4 Miles (approx.)
Time: 30:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Sunny

Comments: I ran 10 minutes easy, 15 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy—a 30/15 tempo run. My legs felt a little sore at first, but as I warmed up they felt better. Lots of bugs today. That's my major issue with warm weather, the freaking bugs.

Later, Jake, J-Glo, Dragons, and Lemurs joined Angie and I for a traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage. Despite my poor logistics, the meal was ready when everyone arrived—but only because they showed up late. Although it seemed like I'd made enough food to feed an army, it was actually just about right. I stuffed myself, and I don't think I was the only one who did. Twelve pounds of meat didn't go as far as I thought it would. There were a few leftovers, but not the metric buttload I dreaded.
 
 
Wednesday, March 16th

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 166 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Windy, 46°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles after work today. When I was done, I noticed that the two Red-tailed Hawks that used to hang out in a large tree behind my house have returned. With any luck, I'll get some good pictures of them before they disappear again.
 
 
Tuesday, March 15th

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: 6 x 400
Distance: 6 Miles Total
Time: See Below
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Cloudy, 54°

Comments: Since this is a competition week, my hard workouts aren't as intense as usual. I ran 6 x 400 with a 400 meter jog between intervals, a 1.5 mile warm-up, and a 1.5 mile cool-down. My 400 splits were: 74, 77, 76, 73, 70, and 68. As usual, a bit faster than necessary. I can't seem to hold back much when I'm on a track.
 
 
Monday, March 14th

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

Comments: I didn't run today even though I could have, and probably should have. I can still make up the day and stay on schedule, but the up-coming week is a busy one, and I'm already feeling tired.
 
 
Sunday, March 13th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Interurban Trail
Distance: 11 Miles (approx.)
Time: 90:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Sunny, Warm

Comments: Angie and I spent the night in Bellingham, and that's where I did today's workout. I ran on the trail where I did my long runs back in college. Ah, the nostalgia.
 
 
Saturday, March 12th

Resting Pulse: Not Recorded
Weight: Not Recorded
Course: Hamlin Park Orienteering
Distance: 3.1k (3 Miles Total)
Time: 28:13
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Sunny, 56°

Comments: I ran an orienteering event in the morning. I made a couple of navigational gaffs that cost me a higher placing. Going from control eight to control nine, I charged down a trail 90 degrees in the wrong direction. I didn't notice my mistake until saw the picnic area instead of the track. Later, while looking for control fifteen, I didn't realize I was on the wrong spur. I finally spotted the control off to my right, but the time had already ticked away. Still, compared to earlier this year, I did pretty well.

Later, Angie and I drove up to Padilla Bay en route to Angie's sister's house. I hoped to snap some bird photos, but the pickings were pretty slim. I managed to catch a Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, but an out of focus pinecone kept it from being a better shot.

Chestnut-Backed Chickadee


As though intending to make up for the dearth of photogenic birds, an orange butterfly stopped to sun itself on a leaf. I took a few quick shots, and thought they turned out rather good.

An Orange Butterfly
 
 
Friday, March 11th

Resting Pulse: 50 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 on a delivery flight today. I had a blast. We needed to get from Boeing Field to Sea-Tac, only a few miles apart, but we took the scenic route. We flew out to Ocean Shores, then made a right and followed the coastline up to Neah Bay. From there we turned southeast and headed directly for Mount Rainier. Cruising at 17,000 feet, we made two circles of the mountain. We flew so close, I felt as though I could reach out and touch the summit crater. And the plane was so clean and shiny! It even had "new car smell."
 
 
Thursday, March 10th

Resting Pulse: 48 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 6 Miles (approx.)
Time: 45:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Sunny, 60°

Comments: I ran a 45/20 tempo run today—15 minutes easy, 20 minutes hard, 10 minutes easy. I had a few twinges in my hamstring, and my legs felt a little heavy, but for the most part it was a good workout. My resting pulse is still coming down. It was under 50 beats per minute for the first time in more than a year.
 
 
Wednesday, March 9th

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 62°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles after work. Sorry, not much else to report.
 
 
Tuesday, March 8th

Resting Pulse: 54 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: 8 x Hills
Distance: 7 Miles Total
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 66°

Comments: I felt kind of sluggish during my run today. I don't know why, but I sure didn't like it. Overall, I feel like I'm getting faster and stronger. Today reminded me that all that progress can quickly go by the wayside. I hate remembering that.
 
 
Monday, March 7th

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

Comments: I meant to run today, but I was completely wiped out. I took a nap instead. I think I'll be okay, because I was planning to slide my whole workout plan back a day this week anyhow; I was just going to wait until Friday to do it.

Hey, I'm ahead of schedule for once!
 
 
Sunday, March 6th

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, so no workout.

Angie and I drove around a bit and found a few new parks near our house. I spotted a few birds: Lesser Scaups, Bufflehead, Mallard, Double-Crested Cormorant, and Canada Geese. Alas, the only birds close enough for a good photo were the Canada Geese.

Canada Goose
 
 
Saturday, March 5th

Resting Pulse: 64 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: Lake Youngs Loop
Distance: 10 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Sunny, 62°

Comments: I ran ten miles, the first seven-and-a-half easy, the last two-and-a-half hard. I felt pretty good the whole way, probably because it was such a nice day. I wore a T-shirt and still felt warm.

Later, Angie and I met up with J-Glo for a bite and a beer at the Rock Bottom Brewery, then we caught a showing of The Aviator. I enjoyed the movie immensely, although it made me realize just how very little I knew about Howard Hughes. Later, I commented about the strange use of color in the film. It just seemed odd and out of place to me. Luckily, the world's most fantastic website, IMdB, provided the answer:

Martin Scorsese designed each year in the film to look just the way a color film from that time period would look. Achieved mainly through digitally enhanced postproduction, Scorsese recreated the look of Cinecolor and two-strip Technicolor. Watch in particular for the scene where Hughes meets Errol Flynn in the club. Hughes is served precisely placed peas on a plate, and they appear blue or turquoise - just as they'd have looked in the primitive two-strip Technicolor process. As Hughes ages throughout the film, the color gets more sophisticated and full-bodied.
 
 
Friday, March 4th

Resting Pulse: 50 bpm
Weight: 166 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 58°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles, although it took me a while to get around to it. I skipped my weight lifting session because it got late and I wanted to go out. That means I didn't do any weights this week. I hope to do better next week.

I finished reading The Scar. I posted a report of it on my Reading List web-page.
 
 
Thursday, March 3rd

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 164 lbs
Course: None
Distance: Zero
Time: N/A
Other Exercises: None
Weather: N/A

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

What's this? A new Furious George adventure? That's right! Furious George went to Nome, Alaska. (In 2003, but that's beside the point.)
 
 
Wednesday, March 2nd

Resting Pulse: 52 bpm
Weight: 164 lbs.
Course: Down by the River
Distance: 5 Miles (approx.)
Time: 40:00
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 60°

Comments: I ran a 40/20 Tempo Run today, 40 minutes of running with 20 minutes of it at race pace. My shins didn't really bother me too much, which I attribute to my new shoes. My hamstrings were still pretty tight though.
 
 
Tuesday, March 1st

Resting Pulse: 54 bpm
Weight: 165 lbs.
Course: North Side West
Distance: 3 Miles
Time: Not Timed
Other Exercises: None
Weather: Cloudy, 56°

Comments: I ran an easy three miles. I meant to lift weights, but I lost my gumption.

For nearly a year, I took Claritin-D on the advice of my physician to treat the symptoms of Non-Allergic Chronic Sinitus, which is doc-talk for a permanently stuffy nose. After reading that pilots aren't allowed to fly while taking Claritin-D, I looked up some of the side effects. I noticed elevated heart rate appeared frequently. I decided to stop taking Claritin-D. Now, nearly three weeks later, my resting pulse is down almost ten beats per minute, and I feel less lethargic when I run. However, I can't fall asleep at night.

So, in summary, I'm tired and snotty, but my running has improved. It's a trade-off I think I can live with.
 
Sometimes I feel like I'm breathing underwater.