Wednesday, August 29, 2012

brief update

apologies for the lack of real updates - i'm still battling it out over the available free memory that blogspot allocates for its members. i deleted a host of old posts and pictures to free up space, but it turns out that i was way over the amount to begin with, and all the deleting got my account just to the max of what is allowed. great.

i'm still sitting on a number of recent photos that are in limbo while i figure out what to do. i suppose i could pony up a few ducats to increase memory, but i have a hard time paying for something that i've been doing for free these past few years!

in the meantime, apologies for the run-heavy updates as of late. since taking on the coyote running training program, i've been doing a lot more running than ever (the month of august i'm at an all-time high of 99 miles and counting...), so it has definitely accounted for more of my brain space. the human body is a wonderful thing, so it's been neat to see how much one can put it thru the ringer while also seeing first hand just how strong and resilient it is and can be...

Monday, August 27, 2012

bulldog 25K - aftermath

saturday's race marked the longest run i've completed (race, practice or otherwise), so i'm both proud and thrilled to have survived the 15+M course.

getting numbers out of the way, i crossed the line at 2:40:08, which was good enough to land me in 84th place out of 320 runners.

physically, i felt great throughout. i paced myself in the early goings, fully aware that the 3.4M ascent up bulldog motorway was just right around the corner. after a combination of power hiking and running, i crested the top and reached aid station #2 (corral canyon at mile 7.5) in 1:28, so all was going fine. i had them top off my hydration pack and handheld while i relieved myself in 30 seconds at the port-a-potty. i also took a saltstick capsule to replenish sodium lost thru sweat and to ward off muscle cramps, fully aware that i had a cramping issue the last time at malibu creek.

i shoved off and powered thru the next few miles of rolling hills, then sped down the steep descent of miles 10-12. we hit the single track and crossed a stream before easing into the last aid station (run by the coyotes!) at mile 13.1 in 2:18. just as i was arriving, i felt my right calf spasm, the exact same thing that came up at xterra. i took down more salt and gatorade and tried to finish out the remaining 2.5M without incident.

i adopted a slower pace than race pace to make sure my calf wouldn't give out on me and hit the last hill (dubbed the "angry chihuahua"), where i surprisingly ran the whole way up. after snaking our way down, all that was left was the last mile of straightaway to the finish. here i switched on cruise control and pretty much coasted thru, taking time to pose just before crossing the line.

it sounds like a broken record, but it's frustrating to not being able to race on your own terms. i had paced myself well - perhaps too well? - to set up the last 25% of the race, so to leave those reserves relatively untapped left me smarting for a faster time. the positive is that i still felt strong and wanted to tear up the last few miles. the negative is that once again, part of my body prevented me from doing so.

is my mind telling me to ignore the flashing warning signs and suck it up and power thru? because everybody is feeling a tweak at one point or another and i shouldn't be overly sensitive to everything? or am i being smart by listening to my body and living to run another day? and why is it that i get the cramp only at the same section of the same course, but not anywhere else to date? is it because of any trail runs in the 14-15M range, or is it because of the specific contours of malibu creek's course layout that tweak my calf so?

all valid questions i'll hope to get answers on in the coming weeks. in the meantime, it's time to savor finishing my first 25K and by default, getting my PR!

Friday, August 24, 2012

bulldog 25K - the day before

went out for an easy 4.08M run last night around the neighborhood as a last sort of tune-up in advance of tomorrow's race. threw a few things in the hydration pack and brought it along as well, just to see if it rubbed the wrong way while wearing a singlet.

tonight's plans are to carb load on pasta at fritto misto in santa monica after work, but otherwise rest up and take it easy.

the 25K kicks off at 7:30am tomorrow - the 50K runners push off at 6:30am - so i'll be sure to arrive early to take care of all the registration stuff. i've studied the course map (which lists where the three aid stations will be) and formulated an electrolyte & calorie plan, so mentally i have a strategy in place on where i'd like to be at any given time and when i should be eating.

as it's the longest distance i will have covered to date, i'm aiming to finish in under 3 hours. it's a beast of a course, what with the steep 3.4M ascent up bulldog motorway at mile 3 to go with three mini peaks in miles 7-10, along with one last killer climb at mile 13. however, i feel like my training has gone well so far, so i'm anxious and excited to see it all put to the ringer.

fingers crossed and wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

white jeans

during lunch, i picked up a pair of white jeans at the gap, which were on clearance for 14.97 - down from $69. i don't quite know what to say about this, other than the fact that it's my first pair of white jeans... ever.

i'm not even sure if i can pull them off - they scream euro trash - but i'll take a chance on anything for $15 or less. how do they even work? are you allowed to sit down anywhere? how often are you supposed to wash them in order to preserve their bright sheen? and aren't you not supposed to wear them after labor day?

all questions to ponder...

taper time

we're four days away from saturday's bulldog 25K race, so this week is technically time to taper any hard runs and ease into race day. however, tuesday night's training session was a speed workout and it was tough to dial down the pace when you're rarin to go. i ended up running about 6.3M at a variety of paces, then whisked off to my softball game at 8:30pm, where our team proceeded to get trounced by 20+ runs. ouch.

the weather in socal has been unbearably hot the past ten days, but this weekend's forecast promises cooler temps, which would be heaven sent. last year's bulldog was 106 degrees, so it's hard to fathom going thru a punishing 15.7M course in that kind of heat. fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

montana de oro state park + morro rock

day 2 brought about free breakfast next door at the cute organic bistro good tides. because our b&b doesn't have a liquor license or its own kitchen, they have deals with three of the restaurants next door to comp guests staying at the inn. heidi went big w/the sweet potato waffles and i opted to fuel up with their breakfast burrito, as we had a hike looming.

after perusing the trails of nearby montana de oro and morro bay state parks, we settled on the valencia peak trail: a 4+ miler out and back with the option of extending to two other peaks (oats and alan).

on the way up
on the way down

we crested the peak in no time, but due to time constraints, we opted to turn back so we could spend some time on the beach, a stone's throw away from our parking spot at the trailhead.

after an hour of tomfoolery, we decided to make a pitstop at the bakery la parisienne and combine that with the sights of morro rock, a gigantic stone edifice that one can literally drive on to.

the rock
morro power plant

we headed back to the b&b for a quick change prior to dinner in downtown morro bay (and by downtown i mean one street - main st.). we settled on shawn's on main and were very happy with our decision. we split a calamari appetizer ahead of my main of rigatoni w/housemade sausage & dijon sauce, which was straight up bomb haha.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

morro bay - day 1

drove up to morro bay on saturday to spend a long weekend with the better half, and to escape the stifling socal heat! 

along the way, we pulled over for lunch at montecito café and dessert at here's the scoop.

it being my first visit, the best way i can describe montecito is old money. let's just say we automatically brought down the age median, and by a lot haha. at lunch, the couple next to us finished up and went to retrieve their car from valet parking... and out comes this honker of a rolls royce that was the biggest sedan i've ever seen.

we arrived at morro bay close to 4pm and finally got to unwind. it's a quaint little town along the central coast, but it's a beautiful, idyllic setting - not to mention the weather reminds me of SF. our B&B was literally right on top of the water, so views from even our 2nd floor room were stunning. they offer complimentary wine and chips/salsa (what, you haven't heard of this combo?) every evening at 5pm at the mexican joint next door, so we eagerly walked over to take full advantage.

stone's throw from our room
on the pier

dinner was at giancarlo's, an italian/meditteranean spot on morro bay's main street. prosciutto-wrapped mission figs and flatbread w/homemade italian sausage were the highlights of our dinner, but i was horrified by what took place shortly after. we were stuffed but chose to look at the dessert menu anyway, and got excited over their chocolate soufflé. i found it odd that there was no mention of it taking 20-30 minutes to prepare (that's the usual from my experience), but whatever, it gave me a chance to use the restroom. when i came out, i saw them set what looked like our soufflé in the microwave to 1:15, and away it spun as the timer counted down.

sure enough, as soon as i got back to the table, out came the soufflé! no words could describe the disappointment i felt - not only for them to cut corners like that, but to charge $9 for what was an already made dessert! i'm still shaking my head days after, and feel the need to visit roy's hawaiian in order to satiate my desire for a proper chocolate soufflé...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

coyote run - sullivan canyon/ridge loop

extended myself this morning at sullivan canyon for a nice long jaunt. was planning to do an out and back of about 6-7M, but played follow the leader w/pedro & erin and ended up getting to the top alongside ross & maria. since we made it out that far, we opted to take the single track back via sullivan ridge, making it a loop of 8.63M.

it was toasty near the top, but the canyon does a great job of providing cover for most of the trail. i only had one water bottle, but made it last until i got back to the car...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

trip to morro bay!

and... heidi is springing for a weekender to morro bay in celebration of my upcoming birthday! it'll be the first time for either of us, and because of the recent warming trend out west, good weather theoretically should be in store...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

tuesday speed workout

tonight's practice was our first speed workout, which consisted of a negative split time trial at brentwood country club. the goal was to do two loops - one loop is 2.1M - with your second being faster than the first. we'll end up doing this workout once every five weeks in order to assess pace improvement.

and mission accomplished! did the first loop in a slowish 17:39, but completed the second in under 16:00.

afterwards, we all grabbed some food and walked over to coach jimmy & kate's pad to go over numbers and watch the olympic track & field events. next up is thursday morning's trail run at sullivan canyon...

Monday, August 6, 2012

more memory!

looks like my blog is running at blogspot's capacity right now, so i'll need to either start deleting previous posts or fork over for more memory to my existing account to handle all the photos, videos, etc.

it'll still be up and running, but at the moment i can't post additional pics until i work out the kinks. thanks for understanding and stand by...

Saturday, August 4, 2012

trail kamikaze - meet & greet

on friday night, coaches jimmy dean (yup, like the sausage), kate & blue hosted a little meet & greet at their brentwood pad to usher in the new coyotes for their training program - dubbed trail kamikaze - starting saturday, august 4.

the intimate soiree drew about 35 of us in total, where we got to mingle, watch the olympics (and the giants pound the rockies!) and meet our fellow teammates in a casual and fun setting. even more impressive was getting to see the effervescent jimmy dean and his beautiful wife kate's impressive medal collection from their respective races. everything from the LA marathon to the western states 100 mile endurance run "buckle" was on full display and definitely provided inspiration for those in attendance.

the neatest part of the night was unfortunately a bit of public speaking: by chronological age, each of us explained who we are, how/why we chose the coyotes, our favorite race to date, and which race/event we're aiming to achieve. sadly, i had to wait quite a bit before my name was called, but by the time i spoke up, they had me contemplating changing my goal from the trail marathon at the north face endurance challenge to the 50k (31m vs. 26.2m) at the same event.

of course, the next several weeks will go into determining which event i ultimately land on, but it was exciting to hear everybody's story and i couldn't help but walk away dreaming bigger than i had before. go big or go home right?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

coyote run - temescal canyon

make it 2 for 2 in getting lost on the trails at temescal canyon this morning. at the last coyote run three of us took a wrong turn and ended up on the asphalt near the park entrance, and today a different three got sidetracked and turned it into a 7.3M run.

all good though; made a few new friends in helen (recently ran and completed the western states 100 miler) and nicola (a brit who's making the transition from road to trail).

excited to meet my new coyote teammates tomorrow night at the kamikaze kick off event!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SF trip

just booked my flight to san francisco the week of my birthday, so i'm looking forward to seeing friends & family while i'm up there!