Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fartleks - Swedish Speed Play

The first time I heard the term Fartlek I was a high school cross-country runner. As you can probably imagine, the term elicited a few chuckles from the rag-tag bunch that made up our team that year. I remember vividly when Coach Clay told us it meant "speed play" in Swedish. I also remember it breaking up the monotony of our usual 3-5 mile run. Basically all you are doing during a Fartlek run is incorporating periodic bursts of speed into your run lasting anywhere from 30 seconds on up. Usually I pick a point of reference up ahead on the road or the trail and run hard to that point. This is followed by some slow jogging.

Today I only felt like running 3-4 miles or so. However, I also wanted to incorporate some Fartleks into my run through the woods. I think Fartlek (speed play with the emphasis on play) is the appropriate term for this kind of running; especially on the trails. I enjoyed flying through the woods with a reckless abandon. It felt great to revisit the increased stride turnover rate that has been missing from my running lately. I am hoping this will be a nice bridge into a bit of interval and speed training this summer. For the time being, I will be content with joyfully bounding through the trails like a carefree kid.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poulsbo Marathon 2010

My wife, Michelle, and her friend, Elisa are organizing the first annual Poulsbo Marathon!

The event will take place in the beautiful town of Poulsbo, WA, also know as "Little Norway" for its rich Norwegian heritage.

The marathon and half marathon will take place on October 17th, 2010. The race is still in the planning stages, but it is never to early to SAVE THE DATE!

Click here for more information:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blue Lake Duathlon

My wife Michelle and I headed down to Portland, Oregon early Saturday morning to pick up our race packets and drop off our bikes at the site for the Blue Lake Duathlon/Triathlon. The event was actually 15 miles east of Portland in the town of Fairview, Oregon. We arrived at Blue Lake Park to beautiful sunshine and a pleasant 70 degrees or so. We dropped off our bikes, picked up our race packets, and headed back to Portland for what promised to be a relaxing evening.

We stayed at the historic Benson Hotel in the Pearl District. The Benson Hotel has been in operation since 1913 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is beautiful and the location is perfect. There are three restaurants within the hotel located conveniently on Broadway. The hotel is also within walking distance to one of my new favorite places to have a beer, the Deschutes Brewery. The staff of the Benson Hotel was very friendly and the concierge had great suggestions for our evening. I would highly recommend the Benson Hotel for the outstanding quality, location, and ambiance. Click here for a look at their beautiful guest rooms.

Much to our surprise the Portland Rose Festival was in full force during our weekend stay. We watched the annual Starlight Parade from our 10th floor window. Before the parade started 4000 people took part in a 5k race along the parade route. It looked more like a costume party than a race! Michelle and I looked enviously from our window, wishing we had known about this beforehand. The parade lasted until around midnight and we needed to be up by 5:30 to get ready for our races.

We woke up on Sunday morning to pouring rain...what happened to the sunshine?! Michelle took part in the Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500 meter swim, 40K Bike, 10K run), while I opted for the Olympic Distance Duathlon (5K run, 40K, Bike, 10K run). I was impressed and proud of Michelle...she is really becoming quite the swimmer. Her confidence in her swimming abilities is growing thanks to her unwavering perseverance and tenacity. She kicked butt in the swim and continued to do so in the bike and run. I really enjoyed the duathlon. I felt great in the first two legs of the event and hit the wall during the 10K run. All in all I was pleased with my effort, but looking forward to doing a few trail runs next week (more in my comfort zone). It didn't stop raining the entire 5 hours we were hanging out at Blue Lake Park, but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the participants.

Next event: Timber Town 10K Trail Race, Port Gamble, WA