Archive for the ‘Self-Promotion’ Category

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A transparent life

July 21, 2008

I wonder if it’s common for researchers to flip through collections of old slides in the way that normal people might flip through albums of old photographs. I found myself doing this last Friday while moving boxes from one lab to another, except that many of my “slides” were overhead transparencies from my grad school days. How carefully I had designed them! How much of my life was represented in them! It was quite a trip down memory lane.

Here’s the title transparency from my first rotation talk as a grad student. I was studying the effects of nitric oxide (NO) on muscle contraction.

NO effect

I’ve never been much of an artist, but I still think this drawing is sort of brilliant. The pressure I felt as a new student…. My self-consciousness at having a skinny, unimpressive “runner’s body”…. My aversion to lifting weights…. It’s all in there.

Another whimsical overhead comes from a presentation I gave at a departmental retreat. Since we had transported Nobel Laureate Bert Sakmann all the way from Germany to give us a special guest lecture about ion channels (which allow ions to pass through membranes), I devised the following mock talk.

Bert Sakmann, transported

Eventually I started using PowerPoint like everybody else, illustrating slides with bad clip art rather than drawings. Anyone recognize runner #111 in the 1999 slide below? He was one of about ten free sports-related images that came with Microsoft software at the time. I don’t know where I found the snake picture, but my options must have been pretty limited because it’s not of a rattlesnake.

ACSM talk

By the time I finally defended my dissertation in 2002, we had all gotten more sophisticated in our ability to find and manipulate images. Since my doctoral research concerned NMR spectroscopy, I “photoshopped” the phosphocreatine peak of a 31P spectrum into an outline of the Space Needle.

Seattle spectroscopy

After I graduated, my next research project focused on bacteria that can subsist on methanol (a one-carbon alcohol) as their sole source of carbon and energy. At parties I’d often say that I studied bacteria that “consume nothing but alcohol,” which sometimes drew the response, “Yeah, I used to have a roommate like that….”

methylo intro

I have many more slides, of course, but this is probably getting really boring for you. No? Well, maybe just one more, then?

jelly electrophoresis

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My brief gig as a Runner’s World correspondent

June 20, 2007

Here’s the first of two essays that I’m writing for RunnersWorld.com.

A HALF-FULL OUTLOOK ON THE WESTERN STATES ENDURANCE RUN

Have you ever completed a half marathon in a fast time and wondered,”Gee, I wonder how I’d do in a FULL marathon?”

That’s kind of how I’m feeling right now — except that my “half marathons” have been 50 miles to 100 kilometers long, and my “full marathon” will be the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run this Saturday.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, Western States is a trail race over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California. Due in part to its rich history, it is arguably the most prestigious ultramarathon in the United States. Its origins date back to 1974, when Gordy Ainsleigh decided to participate in a 100-mile horse race, the Western States Trail Ride, without the benefit of a horse. Eventually a separate event was established for runners, and since then it has grown to the point where it attracts more than 1,000 applications annually, from which about 400 lucky participants are selected. Moreover, some people are so fond of the race that they come back year after year — people like Scott Jurek, who has seven victories in seven attempts (1999-2005); Ann Trason, who garnered FOURTEEN titles between 1989 and 2003; and Tim Twietmeyer, whose 25 sub-24-hour finishes between 1981 and 2006 included five wins.

This year’s edition of the race will feature many Western States veterans, but I am not one of them. In fact, this will be my first 100-miler ever — my first race beyond 100 kilometers. Given my inexperience, one might think it prudent to approach the race with modest and flexible expectations. Indeed, that’s the advice Twietmeyer offered to first-timers in an interview last year with blogger Scott Dunlap. “Leave your watch at home,” he said.

Well, sorry, Tim; that’s just not how I operate. In fact, that’s almost the exact opposite of how I operate. As a research scientist with a road and track background, I crave the quantitative feedback that split times provide. Also, the numbers give me something to think about in between aid stations.

For better or worse, my race plan reflects this obsession with times. For example, my overall goal is to finish in under 16 hours and 42 minutes. Why 16:42? For one thing, that’s exactly 10-minutes-per-mile pace, since the exact race distance is 100.2 miles. For another, 16:42 is often fast enough to win.

If you think that a goal of sub-16:42 is absurdly specific, hold on — I’m just getting started. To determine just how one goes about running a 16:42, I scanned past results for finishes in the 16:32-16:52 range. Then I compiled and averaged the splits that led to each of those finishes, creating a split time profile that was a hybrid of Chuck Jones and Jim Pellon in 1986 (1st and 2nd that year), Tom Johnson in 1990 (1st), Brian Purcell in 1991 (2nd), Twietmeyer in 1994 (1st), and Jurek in 2001 (1st). After correcting for differences between the current course and previous versions (with the help of 2005 runner-up Andy Jones-Wilkins), I arrived at an extremely detailed, rather optimistic race plan.

The race starts at 5:00 AM. I intend to depart Red Star Ridge (mile 16.0) at 7:37 AM, Robinson Flat (mile 29.7) at 9:54 AM, Last Chance (mile 43.3) at 11:40 AM, Devil’s Thumb (mile 47.8) at 12:35 PM, Michigan Bluff (mile 55.7) at 2:01 PM, Foresthill School (mile 62.0) at 3:01 PM, Peachstone/Cal-2 (mile 70.7) at 4:30 PM, the American River Crossing (mile 78.1) at 5:35 PM, Auburn Lake Trails (mile 85.2) at 6:58 PM, and Highway 49 (mile 93.5) at 8:26 PM. I should reach the finish line at 9:41 PM. This is all typed out on a piece of paper that I’ll carry with me during the race.

Perhaps the main utility of my itinerary is that it will provide everyone with a hearty laugh when my actual splits are compared to my projected ones. For all of my number-crunching, even I can see the folly in trying to schedule every minute of a 100-mile trail race. Still, I’d rather have a plan that I can modify or abandon as necessary than go without a plan altogether.

In addition to my exhaustive perusal of old race results, I’ve tried to squeeze in some actual training now and then. Since recovering from the Miwok 100K (at which I placed 2nd to fellow Western States contender Lon Freeman) on May 5th, I’ve done a couple of 40- to 50-mile runs on hilly trails in order to simulate the race as closely as possible.

Of course, there’s only so much confidence one can gain from training runs that are less than half the race distance. I feel good about my credentials for shorter, flatter events — I’ve run a 2:22 marathon and a 6:59 road 100K, which are beyond the reach of most other entrants — and yet they say little about my ability to survive a 100-mile trail run with 18,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain and 23,000 feet of descent.

Like an accomplished half-marathoner about to tackle his first full marathon, I’m confident that I’m in shape to run with the leaders, yet fearful that the extra distance might prove to be more than I can handle.

Either way, it’s gonna be a long day.

Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of time to enter my Western States prediction contest. Plenty of reasonable votes have been cast so far, but where are the Eric Grossman and Hal Koerner supporters?

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My quest for overexposure marches on

May 14, 2007

Scott Dunlap, keeper of the popular “A Trail Runner’s Blog,” has posted his interview of me. This is just the latest installment in Scott’s large collection of conversations with notable ultrarunners, including Seattle-area residents Krissy Moehl, Brian Morrison, and Van Phan.

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Can overexposure be far off?

March 23, 2007

Instead of writing a new blog entry this week, I spent a couple of days answering questions for an interview now posted to eliterunning.com. Thanks to Duncan Larkin for feeding my ego by deciding that I’m interview-worthy, and also for asking some interesting questions (a couple of which originated with Meghan Hicks).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1. In your recent win at the Caumsett Park 50K, you had to run 11.8 laps. Many ultra road races have this criterium nature. Do you find these types of races to be more challenging mentally than, say a 50-mile trail race with limited, repeat scenery?

My mind handles the criterium-style road ultras pretty well. I like settling into a rhythm, getting feedback on my pace via frequent split times, and knowing exactly where I am relative to my opponents. At Caumsett Park, I was behind the eventual runner-up for a few of the laps, but I wasn’t stressed out about this because I knew how far ahead he was, how many miles we had left, and what pace I’d have to run to catch up. Basically, I take comfort in having these data for making decisions during the race. Trail races seem to require a run-by-feel mentality that I haven’t mastered, plus there’s always a risk of tripping and falling, which I worry about endlessly, since I’m sort of a klutz. At my first ultra ever, the 2004 Cle Elum Ridge 50K, people actually placed bets on how many falls I would take, and I was as surprised as anyone when I managed to stay upright for the entire race.

2. As a new father, how do you balance the demands of your training versus the demands of your family? Many athletes with challenging schedules get up very early and run then, but with a newborn, I suspect you can’t do that. So when do you get your workouts in?

First of all, I spend less time training than many of the people I compete against; I’m currently averaging about 75 or 80 miles per week, which is only about nine hours of running, and I don’t cross-train (aside from some bicycle commuting). Second, I log a lot of my miles running to and from work, which is about 6.5 miles away from home. On weekdays, I’ll sometimes stop by the track on the way to or from work and do my intervals then. Like most people, I save most of my really long runs for the weekends.

Obviously, even with these attempts at minimalism and efficiency, there’s still a certain time commitment that is required. I don’t feel too guilty about prioritizing this “me time,” since it helps keep me sane, and my wife understands this side of me because she’s a runner too. I just have to make sure that she gets some “me time” as well, whether for running or other purposes. I try to remember that running is basically a hobby, and the fact that I’m good at it doesn’t make it more important than her hobbies.

3. You have mentioned on your blog that you train with Scott Jurek and Uli Steidl. What have you been able to learn from them?

Well, I rarely run with other people, so I must have been name-dropping to some extent. But, to me, Uli is a reminder of how running a lot of miles can be beneficial if it’s done right. He’s able to log several high-mileage weeks in a row while doing some quality speedwork and races and without getting injured, which says to me that he’s not overdoing it. Uli’s also a good example of how raw footspeed can really come in handy, even in ultras.

Scott and I tend to gravitate toward different types of races — I can’t imagine doing Badwater or Hardrock, for example — but I think he has a great attitude toward training and racing that I try to emulate. He seems to really love the running that he does — maybe not every minute, but he’s not just joylessly pounding his body into submission, either. And I think you can run a lot harder and get better results if you’re really excited about what you’re doing — not just satisfied, but really excited. I used to try to be as logical as possible in figuring out which workouts and races to do, but, these days, I aim for emotional satisfaction as much as logical consistency — maybe even moreso.

4. You have a 2:22:32 marathon PR. In 2006, you ran a 2:23 in Vancouver and a 2:24 at Twin Cities. You have come very close to the Olympic Marathon “B” standard. Do you have any plans to try again for it or are you giving up on that goal. Does this standard intimidate you?

Last year’s two near-misses were pretty demoralizing. I will make another serious marathon attempt someday, but I don’t know when that will be. Right now I’m having more fun exploring my ultramarathoning potential. It’s like, I can work really hard to slice a minute off of my marathon PR and become the 90th-best marathoner in the country…. OR I can try to hack 20 or 30 minutes off of my 100K PR [currently 6:59:40], which I think is possible, and become one of the top 100K people in the world — out of the few runners who actually choose to race that distance, of course. I just think I have much more potential to improve in the longer races right now.

5. What do you think about during your long runs? How do you overcome the boredom factor during these?

Well, I do have the advantage of being easily amused. This was apparent even in college, when I specialized in running the 10K on the track. What I think about the most, though, are my split times. If I just ran the first 24.45 miles in 2:34:50, for example, I can spend a couple minutes figuring out what pace per mile that is. It’s a complex enough problem to keep my mind engaged for a while, but simple enough that I can actually do it even when I’m tired. Another thing I occasionally do is work on song lyrics. Perhaps I’ve written a particular line and need to come up with a second line that rhymes with the first one; if I fiddle with that second line over the course of four or five miles, I can usually get it into pretty good shape. As you noted earlier, I’ve been pretty busy since my son was born, so large chunks of the songs I gave my wife for her birthday [in October] and for Christmas were written while on the run. Kind of like Dean Karnazes dictating his next book into a hand-held recorder while running, I suppose.

6. In your blog you jokingly mentioned that world domination was your running goal for 2007. You’ve got one big victory in the bag this year. Are you still aiming for the Mad City 100K in two weeks? What are your goals there?

Yes, I’m going to Mad City. I just found out that Suzy Favor Hamilton is going to be the official starter, so I can’t back out now. Assuming that the weather is OK, I’d like to run under 6:45, which should be enough to win. Patrick Russell is probably in shape to run that kind of time as well, but he says that he’s going to go out conservatively and just shoot for a sub-7:00 to avoid a disaster like the one he had at last year’s World Cup 100K. Scott Jurek, Chad Ricklefs, and Phil Kochik are also capable of breaking 7 hours, but I don’t expect them to be under 6:50. Howard Nippert would be tough to beat if he were racing, but I think he plans to sit this one out.

7. What do you do for recovery runs after your long, ultra-pace workouts or races?

It takes me about a week to recover from a long race-pace run. For the first three days or so, I run five to seven miles at an easy pace, like 7:15 to 7:30 per mile. Then maybe I’ll throw a few 60-second surges into the middle of my next run, or do some other quasi-speed training, or do two six-mile runs instead of one. My post-race schedule is similar but spread out over two weeks rather than one. It’s basically a really lame version of my peak training schedule: a little bit of speed, a little bit of distance, but not a lot of anything. My one benchmark workout for the recovery phase is two 1600-meter repeats on the track, with a 400-meter jog in between. I figure that if I can run two intervals at a pace I could normally sustain for three of them — 4:52 or so, in my case — my recovery must be coming along fairly well.

8. Some people lament the lack of funding (sponsorship, race prizes, etc) opportunities in ultrarunning. Some people believe that the ultrarunning community needs better competition. Some people disagree with both of these ideas and wish the community to stay how it is. In your mind, what does the ultrarunning and ultraracing community need, or not need?

I personally would welcome more prize money, competition, and media exposure. I don’t know much about marketing, but in terms of garnering attention and sponsorship, ultras have at least a couple of things going for them. One is all the great visuals — the scenes of people charging up mountains, through canyons, across the desert and so forth. Another factor, which I think has yet to be exploited, is the fact that ultramarathoning is one of the few sports in which masters athletes can compete straight up against the young whippersnappers. To cite my favorite example, Vladimir Kotov was 46 years old when he won the 2004 Comrades Marathon, arguably the most prestigious ultra in the world. Wily old veterans like Kotov taking on people half their age — now that’s great theater!

One current problem that I hope the community will address is the fact that many desirable races now fill up very quickly, making it difficult to get into those races unless you know what your life and training will be like several months ahead of time. I hope we can come up with some creative solutions that will allow more people to participate. One example that comes to mind is the McKenzie River 50K in Oregon, which this year will consist of the usual race on a Saturday and then a special elite race over the same course the next day, thus accommodating more total runners while still looking out for the elite folks. Could this sort of approach work elsewhere? I don’t know, but it’s worth considering.

9. According to your blog, one of your training focuses and reasons for success has been doing long (ultra-long) runs at (ultra) race pace. This is similar to marathon pace training runs in marathon training. However, it is also divergent with the traditional training style of ultrarunners, who often do long runs with the time-on-feet rather than pace mindset, so as to reduce recovery time from long training runs. Your training style has got to have a huge impact on your body. How do you cope with that physical trauma and that mental challenge?

Yes, those race-pace runs are great for trashing the body! Because of that, I only do one every two to three weeks, and I try to give myself plenty of time to recover from each one, as I described earlier. This is a situation where I avoid obsessing over weekly mileage. If I finish off a 90-mile week with a hard 35-miler, the next week may be 70 miles or less, and that’s totally fine if that’s what allows me to recover.

My approach may not be right for everyone, but it’s what I need to do to feel mentally and physically prepared for my races. Among other advantages, it helps me determine whether my goal paces are reasonable. My original goal for Mad City was to average 6:25 per mile, but then I found that running 40 miles at that pace nearly killed me, so now I’m going to shoot for a 6:30 average instead.

10. You’ve been performing phenomenally on road ultras and other ultras with relatively flat terrain. The other side of ultra-ing is the mountain ultras where elevation and single-track terrain presents a whole new set of challenges. How do you think you’d perform at an equivalent distance mountain ultra? Do you have any plans to try those kinds of races?

I ran a couple of mountain ultras back in 2004 and 2005, with OK but not great results. My main problem is that, as I said before, I’m clumsy. I have to slow down to avoid tripping on rocks and roots, especially on downhills, and people like Brian Morrison and William Emerson can zoom right by me.

I have this theory, though, that my clumsiness will be less of a liability during the REALLY long trail races, where the slow paces mean that obstacles are easier to avoid. I hope to test this theory at Western States in June, assuming that I qualify by finishing in the top three at the Miwok 100K in May, which is also quite mountainous.

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My 15 inches of fame

March 10, 2007

Column inches, that is; there’s a profile of me in the March issue of Ultrarunning magazine. Curious about which three historical figures I’d invite to dinner, or which three runners I’d want on my run-across-the-country relay team? Then be sure to pick up a copy at your local ultra-long-distance-freak specialty store. There’s a lot of good year-in-review stuff in this issue as well, including the magazine’s “Runner of the Year” and “Performance of the Year” voting results, which look pretty reasonable to me overall, considering the difficulty of comparing flat 50Ks with mountainous 100-milers and so forth.

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The long-awaited "how I train" entry

December 20, 2006

Disclaimers

(1) I’m not a coach.

(2) I no longer have time to read the exercise physiology literature, as I once did, so my training program is not particularly “scientific.”

(3) I’ve been doing ultramarathons for less than three years, so I’m not an expert on them.

(4) What works for me won’t necessarily work for others. (As the ultra listserv people like to say, YMMV — your mileage may vary.)

Ultramarathon training principles I regard as self-evident

(1) Long runs, up-tempo (faster-than-race-pace) runs, and speedwork are all useful.

(2) Key training runs should mimic the terrain of the goal race. Train on pavement to race well on pavement, train on hills to race well on hills, etc. (You know, like, d’uhh….)

(3) Long runs should be used to determine your nutritional needs during races. Figure out what works for your body in terms of fluid, electrolyte, and calorie replacement.

Other conclusions I’ve reached through trial and error

(1) Long runs are best done at race pace. Before my first two 100Ks, I did my long runs at slower than race pace; in both of those races, I faded badly over the last 30K or so. Before my last 100K and last 50-miler, I did my long runs at race pace or faster; both of those races went well. Guess which approach I’ll be using next time?

(2) Single long runs are better than back-to-back not-as-long runs. Some people like to do a fairly long run on Saturday and another fairly long run on Sunday, the idea being that their bodies adapt to the high mileage without being damaged as much as they would by a single super-long run. This may or may not be true. However, when I’m preparing for a race, I gain confidence from simulating that race as closely as possible — i.e., by doing individual long runs that are 60-70% of the race distance, not by doing two shorter runs and hoping that they “add up” to being prepared for the full distance.

(3) Once every other week is a good frequency for long runs. Since I do them at race pace, I need several days to recover from them. Scheduling them a couple weeks apart gives me time to recover fully, then get in some high-quality fast running before the next one.

(4) Higher weekly mileage helps keep the weight down. It’s been said that a high volume of aerobic training increases muscle capillary density, mitochondrial density, blah blah blah. Yeah, fine, whatever. For me, the story may be as simple as the fact that my appetite does not scale with mileage, so increasing my mileage decreases my weight (by a couple pounds) and therefore makes me faster.

Gory details

(1) A summary of my training and racing data is available in a Google Doc (originally an Excel file) that I update periodically. Note the separate pages: intro, races, workouts, weekly, monthly, etc.

(2) The day-to-day details tend to look like this.

11/6: Ran home from work (6.5 miles), then 0.9 miles with Lucy (who is not much of a runner but still needs some exercise). A typical commuting day, meaning that I wore a light backpack and ran at about 7:00-7:15 per mile.

11/7: Ran to work (6.5 miles). Later, 0.9 miles with Lucy.

11/8: 7.4-mile warmup from home including form drills and strides. 4 x 1 mile around the Montlake Fill loop (5:17, 5:18, 5:18, 5:19) with ~500m jogs in between. 3.0-mile cooldown to work.

11/9: Ran home from work and then with Lucy (7.4 miles).

11/10: Ran to work, with six 30″ pickups in the middle. Later, 0.9 miles with Lucy.

11/11: Ran from home to Green Lake via R&T (~8.35 miles in 53:50), six laps of the 3.22-mile outer loop (20:02, 21:21 [bathroom stop], 19:39, 19:57, 19:51, 20:50 [bottle-filling stop]), and back home (~8.35 miles in 52:10; overall, ~36 miles in 3:47:40.) Then 0.9 miles with Lucy for a grand total of 36.9 miles.

11/12: Ran the 2.5 mile loop with Lucy, then the 3.4-mile 15th/14th loop. Mileage this week: 88.

11/13: Ran to work, etc. (7.5 miles). Later, 0.9 miles with Lucy.

11/14: Ran to work (6.5 miles). Later, 0.7 miles at work. Later, ran home (6.5 miles), doing the Roanoke-to-14th section as a tempo run (22:08).

11/15: Ran home from work via Health Sciences, then with Lucy (7.6 miles).

11/16: Ran from home to the arboretum (6.3 miles including form drills and strides). 2 x arb mile (5:28, 5:35) with 2′ jog in between. Wanted to do five repeats but was completely hopeless; maybe I need a few easy days. 2.8-mile cooldown to work.

11/17: Ran the 2.5-mile loop with Lucy.

11/18: Ran a Lake Union loop from Recycled Cycles with E-berg (6.8 miles).

11/19: 5.9-mile warmup from home. 3 x arb mile (5:17, 5:23, 5:18) with 2′ jogs in between. 2.5-mile cooldown to work. Later, 0.9 miles with Lucy. Mileage this week: 63.

11/20: Ran home from work (6.5 miles).

11/21: Ran to work (6.5 miles). Later, ran from work to Chris’ house (6.3 miles), including one hard lap of the 2.8-mile Green Lake inner loop (15:00) in the pouring rain.

11/22: Ran to to work (6.5 miles).

11/23: 26.0 miles at Green Lake — 8 laps of the 3.22-mile outer loop plus a tiny bit more. Did the eight laps in 2:41:10; splits were 19:47, 19:40, 20:43, 19:55, 21:25, 19:55, 20:28, 19:18. Slow laps included bathroom stops. Ran a couple miles with Matt Messner toward the end.

11/24: Ran home from work, then with Lucy (7.4 miles).

11/25: Ran to work (6.5 miles). Later, 0.9 miles with Lucy.

11/26: Ran home from work via a “scenic route” (11.0 miles) in the pouring rain, including 3 x ~800m in the I-90 tunnel with ~400m jogs in between. Then 0.9 miles with Lucy. Mileage this week: 78.

As for cross-training, I don’t currently do any, aside from about 35 miles per week of not-very-fast cycling — mostly commuting to and from work.

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Bran-new research

November 11, 2006

The Science Creative Quarterly has just published a short piece I wrote earlier in the fall. It’s called, What’s the scoop? A quantitative analysis of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran. It’s supposed to be funny, although the data presented in the article are real.

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This blog’s name and purpose

May 24, 2006

Here’s the fascinating story behind the rather prosaic title of “My Track Record.”

I was recently talking to my dad about an upcoming racing opportunity that might be bad for my marriage. My dad listened patiently for a while and then said, “You realize, don’t you, that if you do this, it will be on your record … forever.”

I basically cracked up. My parents are gentle people who rarely offer unsolicited criticism, so hearing my dad say even this much was kind of shocking. It was as if a normal dad had said, “Son, if you do this, then you’re dumber than dirt.”

I eventually decided that my dad was probably right: skip the race, keep the marriage. In addition, though, this “on your record” business got me thinking about my perennially shoddy records: diaries started and abandoned within a week, photo albums containing no photos since 2004, etc. I decided that it was time to do a better job of capturing and preserving experiences that I might want to revisit someday. One week and a couple of inquiries later, here I am with a new blog, ready to chronicle my ups and downs.

After all, even an incriminating record is better than no record at all.

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I resemble all of these people

May 23, 2006

Some biographical info on the guy who’s writing this blog [last edited in September, 2011]….

Academic version: Greg Crowther received his B.A. in Biology from Williams College in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics from the University of Washington in 2002. He is currently a research scientist in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. His research focuses on the biochemistry of proteins from pathogens that cause “neglected diseases” such as malaria.

Family version: Greg grew up in Rutland, Vermont, where his parents (Jack and Sue) still live. He has one younger sister, Lauren, who resides in New York City; aunts and uncles in Duluth (MN), Houston, Kenosha (WI), Lyme (CT), and NYC; and cousins in Virginia and Ohio.

Political version: As a liberal Democrat, Greg holds fairly predictable opinions regarding the invasion of Iraq, same-sex marriage, the teaching of evolution in public schools, abortion, the death penalty, etc. He thinks that these issues are important but does not have much to add to what is being written about them elsewhere.

Self-absorbed athletic version, suggesting misplaced priorities: After modest success at Rutland High School (9:35 for 3000m), Greg flourished under the guidance of coach Pete Farwell at Williams College, where as a senior he captained the cross-country squad to the 1994 NCAA Division III team championship. More recently, he has recorded top-three finishes at the Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver Marathons and was a member of the 2005, 2007, and 2008 United States 100K World Cup teams. His personal records (PRs) are 30:57 for 10K, 2:22:32 for the marathon, and 6:52:52 for 100K, which are pretty good considering that he’s never broken 60 seconds for 400m.

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Too much information

May 22, 2006

For anyone with a few hours to kill and an insatiable curiosity about my weekly mileages and races since the ’80s, here’s a spreadsheet summarizing my entire running career. Note the separate tabs at the bottom: intro, races, key workouts, etc. I plan to update this file every month or so.

For those whose curiosity is rather satiable in this context, tune in tomorrow for the short version.