Rain; Heavy at times

Seizing the opportunity between meetings.


A low cloud layer hung just above the trees. Running up Balch Creek I felt like an ant on a narrow trail, enveloped in a tunnel of green. Trees hung low over the trail and I had to duck my head to avoid hitting them.  The rain was steady the entire run. Before I set off I gazed out at the rain from the office lobby. It was never a debate to go or not go; just a moment to focus turn over flow control.

I haven’t run with music since my shuffle stopped working at the race. Now I can hear the water hitting leaves, the crows calling and my feet splashing through the mud.

The curious part of meditation is that an event is not made into an experience.


elena 012

Glue up

New bench is coming together!

I’m using a laminate / mortise and tenon construction method using baltic birch glued up to create the legs and stretchers. The stretchers (tenons) are comprised of 3 strips of 3/4 birch glued (and clamped). The legs are 5 strips of 3/4 birch glued with the mortise created with the gap (last set in the image below).

Everything is ripped wide at 3 9/16 and after gluing I’ll clean up the edges back down to a final width of 3 1/2. The bench top is another piece of 3/4 birch and a piece of 3/4 MDF sandwiched (and screwed) together. I’m planing to drill holes for bench dogs and add a proper cabinetry clamp… maybe a Jorgensen. We’ll see.

It’s really hard to build a bench without a bench (thus all the stuff across the tablesaw, router table, sawhorses, etc.).

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If only I were just a simple cabinetmaker.  Maybe if I had been born 200 years ago.

Although he made a living of his craft, Krenov referred to his attitude towards his work as that of an amateur, feeling that the competitive attitude of a professional causes one to compromise one’s values as a craftsman. He avoided calling the conception and creation of a piece as “design,” preferring a more inclusive term “composing.” Composing, explained Krenov, is reacting to the wood, a continual re-evaluation and improvisation open to wherever the wood takes the composer.

Low gravity in the fortress of solitude

Mile 5 in particular;  zip zip –  I attribute it to the lunar eclipse (and the training effect).

The end of last week through the weekend my motivation was in a lil’ dip. I decided to take Saturday off and not try to push a long run (>15m) on Sunday. I think it was the right move and had a snappy 8 miler on Sunday morning.  Still ended up north of 30 miles for the week, but I’m not sure I had the right mix of runs. It could be that I’m just still a little degraded from the race 2 weeks ago; so I’m not going to worry about it too much.

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I call this section “the haymaker”. The grade is somewhere between 20 and 30 %. It’s kinda like getting punched in the stomach. Best not to look at the top of the hill from the bottom – it’s just demotivating.

V02max is on the rise. Yay genetics (thanks mom and dad).
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Alpinist 46

Alpinist always delivers.

“Perhaps that’s what it takes to become a great climber or a great artist: to be able to force yourself to that threshold where the consequences of your perception seem like a matter of life or death, to let the rest of the world blur — until you can truly learn to see one thing, as close as possible to what it really is. And afterward,  you might realize that climbing or art is just one means to reach that kind of vision.”

- From The Illusion of Control by Chris Van Leuven

Mountain rambling

In the works.

Strong possibility this will turn into a caffeine-fueled sufferfest to see how much vertical we can grab in 4 days. Happening next month. Stay tuned. Climbing partner is finalizing dates.

St. Helens - Parking lot is open. We’ll need to get permits.. PITA. Super fun climb/ski descent. Mellow, good warmup.

Mt. Adams - South Rib or SW Chutes (looks good but major fall potential… maybe?):

Mt. Hood
We could camp up high…play around Illumination Rock (climb some ice?)… maybe go over to the North side (we’ll need to rope up). Would be fun to explore though. I’m not going anywhere near Cooper Spur.

South Sister - Burly vert.


ultra stuff

Things I learned from the Gorge 50k that I need to dial in before Mt. Hood 50. Mostly worried about my stomach. After the 50k I wasn’t really hungry but ate a few small slices of pizza and 2 plain waffles from Waffle Window. I also took some ibuprofen (I never take anything) b/c I wanted to reduce any inflammation and keep blood circulating to heal up my muscles and feet. It completely wrecked my stomach and actually kept me awake that night.

In general, I think my system was kind of shocked and needed a reboot. I need to get better about nutrition on the longer runs and try to eat solid food. I’ll need to do this to finish strong in the 50 miler.

I’ve heard good things and I’m mostly worried about having stomach issues in the 50m. I ordered some samples to try. Cytomax worked for me, but I was eating a lot of gels and Clif blocks too.

S caps
Not sure if I need these, but I’ll try them on some longer runs. They were slinging them at the later aid stations…. 18 and 25 miles. Maybe they work when the metaphorical house is burning down. Not sure.

Pocket Fuel
Kind of like Justin’s nut butter, but made in Hood River. I’ll give it a shot. Again – super worried about my stomach past 30 miles. I’ll need to eat solid food.

Injinji socks
I burned holes in both my socks during the 50k. I think these may help.