October 10, 2013

Second Portland Marathon

Filed under: General,health — mmrobins @ 8:53 am

I finished my second Portland Marathon last weekend! Finished in 4 hours 40 minutes. I had hoped to do it faster, but just finishing was more than good enough. Busy summer life got in the way of my training, but even if it hadn’t I don’t think I would have been fast enough to get the sub 4 hour time I set out for. I’ve really just been rebuilding the fitness base I lost the last few years as a new father, so having a goal was a good motivator, but not quite achieving it isn’t much of a disappointment. My other excuse is I spent 3 days prior to the race fixing up my rental house, including lots of yard work and work on a ladder, and my legs were tired from that.

The race day was about perfect for weather. It was cold in the morning, so I wore a sweatshirt to the start that I had planned to just through away, but they had convenient UPS trucks to take stuff that you could pick up after the race. I took a Car2Go to the east side of the Hawthorne bridge and then walked across so I didn’t have to deal with parking or other madness downtown. The bathroom lines before the race were a bit ridiculous and I bet there were quite a few people still in line when things started. I was there early enough for it not to matter though.

I lost my favorite LG Tone headphones a few days before the race, so I bought some others on short notice since I couldn’t get replacements delivered in time. I’ve gotten spoiled with having bluetooth headphones and can’t stand wired ones now when I run, so I got another bluetooth pair, Plantronic Backbeat GO. Big mistake. The battery life on those was barely 1 hour. So an hour into my race I was without my audio books and music. On a solo run this might have been the end since I’d have gotten bored, but with all the people around me running and the crowd providing entertainment in the form of signs, music, costumes and encouragement I was good to go.

I was actually running pretty well up to the half marathon time where I was just a tad over 2 hours, the pace I actually wanted. However, around mile 20 I started to get cramps in my thigh near my knee. Uh oh. The next six miles were *slow*. I would run a half mile or so, get a cramp, and hop along for a quarter mile. By the end I wasn’t nearly as physically tired as I was after the last marathon because this time I had gone so slow the last bit. I did force myself to run through the muscle cramps the last quarter mile or so across the finish line so I didn’t look like a total wuss.

After the race I devoured chocolate milk, bananas, peanut butter, string cheese, energy drinks, candy, and a bunch of other food that was laid out. It was sunny and pretty warm, so no space blanket was needed. I found Kim and Geneveve easily and we headed home. I took a hot bat, a nap and started massaging my muscles and stretching. By that evening I was already really tight and hobbling around. Geneveve thought my grunting was hilarious, so I played it up for her. The next day was the worst and I could barely move. The day after that though I already felt better. Usually the 2nd day after a hard workout is when I’m the most sore, but this time that wasn’t the case. All that muscle rub cream, hot baths with epsom salt, magnesium powder drinks, sleep and self massage must have paid off.

Now it’s Thursday, so 4 days after the race and I’m ready to go for a little run again. After my last marathon I didn’t run for months after. This time I want to keep up the training and prep for another half marathon at least where I can shoot for faster times. When I did my first marathon is was mostly just a thing to say I’d done, kind of a bucket list type of goal, but now I’ve realized that running is the easiest way for me to stay in shape with a hectic schedule with kids. Before kids it was easy to stay in shape with lots of hobby sports like rock climbing, soccer, dodgeball, hiking and more, but now those types of activities are much less frequent and harder to schedule. So I’m going to stick with running so I don’t forget to exercise with the new baby coming.

August 21, 2011

My First Triathlon

Filed under: General,health — mmrobins @ 8:31 pm

I did a sprint distance triathlon today, so 750m swim, 16 mile bike ride and 3 mile run.

My worst event was definitely the swim. It’s the one I’ve been training the most for, although I’ve really not done enough training for any of it. I was much better prepared for my marathon a few years ago. The swim was hard partly because open water swimming was so much different from the practice I had done in the pool. I didn’t have a line to follow on the bottom of the pool, so I often would put my head down for a few strokes, and look up to realize I was headed the wrong way.

I didn’t have a fancy triathlon suit, so my first transition time was pretty slow. I also just did the bike portion on my mountain bike. I figured I wasn’t going to spend a ton of money on triathlon gear until I knew if I liked it. Turns out I did, so I’ll be doing another at some point, and probably getting some better gear.

Surprisingly, my best event for rank was the run. I’ve only done one run in the last month for training, and I felt pretty weak. I guess I didn’t push myself hard enough on the first two events, because I didn’t even feel that tired when I finished.

After the finish line, there was a beer tent with free beer. I couldn’t resist, but it’s definitely not the best idea to drink beer and when you’re really thirsty.


Portland Triathlon


Racer Number: 680
Gender: M
Age: 30
Representing: PORTLAND OR US
Chip Time Information
Actual Start Time: 00:00:00.000
Stop Time: 10:08:46.889
Chip Time: 01:56:46.8
Gun Time Information
Assigned Start Time: 08:12:00.000
Stop Time: 10:08:46.889
Gun Time: 01:56:46.8

Final Time: 01:56:46.8

Race Distance: Sprint Triathlon
Overall Placing
Place: 158
Time Back: 00:44:02.500
Gender Placing
Place: 123
Time Back: 00:44:02.500
Division Placing
Sprint M30-34 Place: 24
Time Back: 00:34:58.200
No Name Interval Time Total Time Pace Overall Place Overall Back Gender Place Gender Back Divsion Place Division Back
1 Swim 00:18:54.740 00:18:54.740 2:18.4 188 +9:31.5 126 +9:31.5 23 +8:05.0
2 T1 00:04:42.316 00:23:37.056 194 +3:02.6 131 +3:02.6 24 +2:12.9
3 Bike 01:03:26.460 01:27:03.516 15.5 155 +18:46.6 122 +18:46.6 24 +16:35.1
4 T2 00:01:08.084 01:28:11.600 45 +0:14.6 32 +0:14.6 9 +0:25.5
5 Run 00:28:35.289 01:56:46.889 9:13.3 140 +8:39.5 106 +8:39.5 23 +8:26.2
April 15, 2011

Recovering from Lasik – Done and it’s Awesome

Filed under: health — mmrobins @ 6:34 pm

I got Lasik (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) eye surgery yesterday at about 5pm, slept for more than 12 hours, and woke up seeing perfectly!

This all started with a Groupon back at the very end of December. Yes, that’s right, I got half price Lasik with a Groupon. I was skeptical, but I researched the eye surgeon Dr. King and the price and everything looked legit and had good reviews. The price included all the top of line stuff (intralase, custom wave view, lifetime adjustments) so ended up being about the same as it would have been for the most basic work.

A whole lotta other people got the groupon too, so I had to wait a few months for my initial exam, and then another couple months to actually do the surgery. I showed up to my appointment on time at 2:30. Unfortunately, a guy before me was having anxiety attacks about the procedure and kept getting up and down off the table. I didn’t hear any commotion, but it was close to 4:30 before I got on the table.

Nothing hurts during the procedure, but it’s certainly not comfortable. First they give your eyes numbing drops which makes it feel like a fat lip in your eye. Then they somewhat roughly put a suction device on your eye to hold it in place – a little bruising is normal and I’ve got a few spots on my eyes today. The only part that’s mildly scary is when they start to cut the flap on your eye you lose vision temporarily, but they tell you to expect this otherwise it would have freaked me out. There’s a countdown while this happens to each eye, something like 15-20 seconds per eye. Then they fold the flap back so they can laser the cornea, how I don’t know since I still couldn’t see at that point, and next thing you know you see a bright white circle with a red dot in the middle.

This is where the magic happens. The laser begins to reshape the cornea in what I think were short bursts. It sounded kind of like a bug zapper going off in quick succession. While this was happening I had to focus on staying in the white light. Even though I was suctioned it seemed I could move a little bit, so I was very motivated to keep looking at the laser so as not to mess anything up, even though they say that’s not possible. Again, there was a countdown for each eye, also around 15-20 seconds. I remember my right eye taking a little longer than my left since the prescription is higher in that eye.

Once the laser had finished it was time to put the flap back in place. This is the weirdest part to watch but isn’t that uncomfortable. It’s like watching someone clean your windshield as a movie. This is a like a squeegee smoothing the flap back into place while they flush your eye with a lot of liquid. I think this is when Kim had to stop watching though. If you’re not squeamish it’s easy to find video of the procedure online.

After sitting with my eyes closed for a very short period, I sat up, opened them and could read the clock! It was like looking through wax paper, but it wasn’t out of focus like it used to be. After a quick check eye check by the doctor and a couple eye drops, I was free to go home. Everything was bright so I kept my eyes closed with sunglasses on while Kim led me to the car and drove me home. On the way home I pretended to be Stevie Wonder and sang to Geneveve to keep her from crying.

I went right to bed and slept from about 5:30pm to 6am since they recommend sleep as the best healing method for the eyes. It was wonderful to catch up on some sleep deficit too. Waking up and being able to read the clock, see the details of the weather outside, and not need to fumble for glasses was sooooo great! Again, more eye drops, which I’ll be doing every couple hours for the next week. Then I drove myself back in for my follow up. I think technically someone was supposed to drive me until the doctor had cleared my as being good to go.

The follow up was super short and they just asked to me to read an eye chart. 20/20 easily! Since it was so easy I asked to see how I did on the 20/15 level and below, but the doctor didn’t want to get my hopes up since he cautioned that my eyes can settle and change over the next few weeks. My left eye is still a little better than my right.

Today I took the day off from work since I thought I’d just be lying around recovering. However, I was feeling great so I went with Geneveve to Book Babies group at the library, helped out with some errands, organized some clothes and generally had a normal day. By 5pm my eyes were starting to get tired as though I had in contacts, so it’s probably good that I didn’t look at a computer monitor all day at work.

I just woke up from a nap and my eyes felt pretty good again, so I figured I’d check in electronically. I’ve got a few weeks of eye drops and being careful in the shower. I’ll have to suspend my swim training for the triathlon I’m planning to do in August, but other than that I should be back to normal life less than a day after the surgery – you know, just without contacts or eyeglasses :-)