Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Core Work

Just a quick note to self/blog.

Monday off

Tuesday: 35 min aerobic running, core work, 20 min aerobic Running.

The core work so far is a mixture of Tim's psoas routine, the plank, basic crunches, and some (but not enough!) of the work-outs GZ has posted about recently.

I have to nail this stuff. I have to nail this stuff. If I can drop 12 pounds and come off with a strong running core . . .I will really kick your ass. I'm having fun figuring out tolerable routines (since that's what's kept me from hitting this stuff). I worked-out with my wife the other day, and her core work (strength) was ridiculous. Years of yoga will do that. She kicks ass!

Another resolution that's already started: my heightened commitment to really really hard rock ala B(ring) Y(our) O(wn) B(omb)!

Life is short and we know that evil and fear stalk[s] the land. . .(Great blog title) . . .

Enjoy the holidays.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I love hokey pokey

When we were in Hawaii, I ate so much poke it's ridiculous.
Lunch: Poke and a cold ale.

I'm in the hokey pokey phase of my training. I'm psyched about it.

Friday: 30 minute smoooooth spin (105rpm)on the trainer. Core work/lifting, sauna.

Saturday: 35 minute aerobic run.

Sunday: 1:10 aerobic run, 10 minute spin.

Check-out Simon Whitfield's post. I drove my family to the top of Haleakala for the sunrise and we got stormed-out! I will post some pics soon and a video.

Jack and I are on a two-week break (from school)!

Merry X-mas. . .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Off Season

That's the title because it's that time of year, so I've been thinking about it, about last season, etc., GZ posted something about it and even asked for feedback, and I actually worked-out for the first time since 12/7. But before 12/7 I was down from that cold so I've kinda been off for a few weeks now. Nonetheless, good timing for the post.

GZ and others like him (let's see, what does that mean. . .oh yeah, nuts) are still going strong. His blog roll is ridiculous btw and a few of those eastern seaboard doods are going pretty strong, too. But it looks like some runners are actually in the middle of a winter xc race series, or something like that. They all seem pretty fast, 5/10kers and they're just hammering away. If you're in the middle of a season, have at it, but a lot of us are in the off season. I suppose it simply means that target races are in the spring summer and fall, so this is a good time to chill and given the holidays, the weather and the fact that we probably just finished a season of spring summer and fall, well, time for a little R&R. But again, the break is totally dependent upon the race schedule.

Lucho has a great post today about this very thing. He's off. He's getting pretty smart about his approach to his races. First of all, he's targeting a 10k in January or Feb I think. I might've been reading the Science of Sport blog and back when Haile Gebrselassie broke the record at Berlin, they wrote a very thorough analysis of the marathon, speculating on the possibility of there being another record in the coming years. The authors basically hypothesized that success at the marathon generally comes via success at the 10k and from that premise they deduced that there really are not many great 10kers today, so, therefore, there isn't a legitimate candidate on the horizon (I'm paraphrasing and read it a long time ago, but one thing is clear: to do "well" at the marathon, one needs to be able to do "well" at the 10k distance). Lucho I think knows that. Tim also talked of the number of weeks one needs to really build and peak for a specific race (~20 weeks). In the end, his point is one does need to and should take time off to be able to really focus and be successful in that block of training. Otherwise, as he says, one reaches the point of diminishing returns.

Hell, read his post. The concept is pretty straight-forward. And he also mentioned one should be psyched to exercise again. That's what this is all about, no? That's why I worked out today, because I absolutely wanted to. That's it. It was meager, but it was nice. I didn't have to.

Now I don't know the science behind this great art of athletic performance (I think so much of it is common sense and rests on one's ability to maintain a good attitude and one's ability to suffer). But most teachers seem to agree there needs to be downtime. Reading Noakes recently, he was going over a forefather's 15 basic principles of training (or something like that), and one of them was something along the lines of "always train." We see people doing it. And it makes sense. I got pretty lethargic in just one week thinking about my hypothyroidism. In fact, from some of the feedback I got, exercise is good for those with such a condition. Hey, those who suffer from depression, or anxiety could certainly help themselves with exercise. My wife, a mental health therapist, is a firm believer in this. Eating and exercise can change the world! But we're talking about over-training. And Noakes, who summarized this gentleman's ancient theory of training, then politely disagreed, presenting some anecdotal evidence to support the current theory that includes a month off for most and in some cases two months. He closed a paragraph explaining how Mark Allen took two months off and then proceeded to spend 3 months in base, reminding the reader that Allen is one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world (Noakes).

All this to say, one should take some time off. But, again, it depends on the race schedule. Allen cleaned clocks in October. GZ is supposed to peak in August. . . uh, dude, take a day off now and then! In fact, GZ, if my memory serves me correctly, increased the load very shortly after doing the double. I'm not wrong. In fact, if you want to break 17 for 5k, you should look into a little break, dood!

So, I'm going to work my own schedule back into shape. Of course, I've got some nutrition issues and perhaps some other therapy to research and perhaps incorporate into the routine, but my training will consist of the following, in very general terms:

Almost all work-outs are building base. I will wear a HRM more often than not and not exceed 145 bpm through February. BUT I'm going to do one fun run a week where I wear no monitor and run harder, obviously on a trail. Hopefully I have exceptional company on those runs. An extended base building period is really really key for a long and injury-free season. That's what last year taught me. Build the engine, and proof the chassis. But the one tempo run a week will be important for the fat burning protocol and keeping it interesting. I may alter this a bit, but generally speaking, that's the general plan.

General plan: Gym rat during the week. Tempo and long runs on the weekend.

Today: 35 minutes easy run. A little core work/stretching. 10 min. sauna.

Next post: Racing and pacing in 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Re-fueling. . .Say it ain't so

I'm glad I got a "plan" put to screen regarding my daily food journey, but this journey may get a lot more interesting. You see, I've known for a while that I have some signs of hypothyroidism. When I first got wind of it some lame Dr. I hardly knew was ready to jam the synthetic hormone into my system, "and you'll be taking these for the rest of your life." Ah, what? Hold-on, bud-ball. The worst part of this was when he (Dr. Bonehead) wanted me to get another blood test the following week, to gather more information, but he suggested I be on the meds by then. Well, I didn't start them. The second blood test comes back more normal and I kid you not he's like, "see, the medication is working." First of all, I'm not on them yet you piece of . . .anyways, that was my first go around. I got a couple more opinions and they said just retest in about 6 months. So, that was three years ago. I've had blood work done a couple of times a year.

To make a long story short, I've got sub-clinical hypothyroidism which means I'm borderline. My TSH ((thyroid stimulating hormone) number is a little high. My brain produces that to keep my thyroid working, so my brain is working a little extra hard in order to keep my T3 and free T4 in the normal range. If the T3 and free T4 are good, the thyroid, apparently, is functioning normally. The TSH is a screening test. So, I guess I'm okay, but . . . .

When I was seeing Dr. Jerry Moylan, who was recommended to me by Tri pro Jim Vance via the TriClubofSD message board, Moylan looked at my blood work and we went into a full blown anti-inflammatory diet with supplements, etc. Heavy stuff, not real cheap. After that I retested, and my numbers were super normal and his range (an alternative, non-western guy) is even tighter than, say, Sharp Hospital. So the diet does work, at least it did.

Well, when I sent-out a query on the TCSD message board today I got back a ton of info. A doctor from Sharp actually broke the process down for me and said she would not treat me. And a nutrtionist/accupuncturist who has hypothyroidism gave me some great advice.

I just had some blood work done, and my TSH is a little higher than it's been. My current doctor (cool guy a sorta trust) wants me to start the meds. Instead, I'm going to go to a holistic endocrinologist and see what he has to say, maybe even get some natural hormone replacement, some stuff called Armour thyroid (I got all this from a guy from TCSD) and then work on some nutrition, serious nutrition, which may lead me to . . . becoming more of a vegitarian. I'm just throwing that out there.

It would be such an overhaul. It would probably benefit me big-time. But I love meat! The point of this post is just to point-out that much in the way of research and tinkering will be done to that daily food plan.

And what really got my head spinning was reading Tim Noakes' The Lore of Running last night and stumbling upon his point about hypothyroidism and run performance. It does affect one's ability to throw-down! And the subtlety is what can drive a runner mad! So, I was going mad. On top of that, I've gotten a lot of feedback from people who are on the synthetic hormone, everything from it makes you feel a lot better (more energy in general) to balancing moods, weight gain/loss, etc.

I do feel like my metabolism has slowed some. For as much as I run and have exercised in the last few years (1/2 ironman, running, etc.) I should be a little lighter, if you know what I mean. But maybe that's where the diet comes in.

As you can see, I got a lot on my plate!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


  1. Up early! Coffee and work-out (maybe eat a bar)
  2. Post work-out: Protein w/fruits/veggies (eggs, etc) – If I have time.
    1. If I don’t have time (most likely the case), fruit/veggies/protein/supplements (blendered ???)
    2. Cereal/instant oatmeal with some turkey bacon

  3. Snacks include taro chips, nuts, apple/pear.
  4. Lunch – Make a salad or make a wrap: Turkey and veggies, or beans.
    1. Or LEFT-OVERS
  6. Work-out but have bars/recovery drinks planned!!!
  7. Salad with killer ingredients! and/or
    1. Fish
    2. Bean cheese and rice
    3. Home made soups
    4. Turkey burgers
    5. Pasta and veggies
  8. Bed by 10:00pm!

Where I'm at here is the difficulty I have with a good breakfast and good snacks. Most likely I'm in a hurry, especially if I work-out in the a.m. Getting Jack to school, myself to work, etc., adds that bit of stress.

I'm posting this so I can A) get a little feedback and/or B) have a link to it on my blog to keep tabs and make changes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

2009 - Some early thoughts

So, how did 2008 go? A nice organized essay on the topic would be terrific, but I'm blogging and blogging itself sounds pretty sloppy and my own version of it has been pretty sloppy, in fact 2008 turned-out to be pretty sloppy training/racing wise . . . so I'll just ramble a bit.

First of all, I am almost a year into trail running and blogging about it. Last year at this time I was reading blogs and just getting myself healthy from a sore hip/ITB. I was so new and still am. But the blogosphere has given me a peak into this other world that's online and the insight therein that we find so cool, even sickenly so (I can see how people could spend their whole lives online) has certainly given my running a little electricity. I wonder if it's truly made me a better runner?

I have to kinda parallel the blogosphere and the trail running since the two have been side-by-side so to speak, at least chronologically. My emphasis with the blog has to do with those whom I've met, the feedback and insight I've received that has helped me develop as a runner, at least a student of running discourse. So let me summarize the blobbers I've come to know.

1. I have to start with JW. From this guy, I've learned a lot about dedication and the importance of maintaining a playful attitude while immersed in such devotion. I started following his blog in. . . 2006? Yeah, I think so. It's been a while. I've been along for the ride. In fact, an old friend of mine used to train with him and I remember him talking about JW, how new Walsh was eventhough his road results were pretty sick. You can absolutely trust that the guy has maintained a very keen focus on his goals, been very committed but the work never gets goon-like. He's been a great model in terms of how to stay level-headed, healthy and successful. I don't think those of us who read realize the work he does day-in-and-day-out. I can only imagine. He's the champ.
  • Focus on training and diet
  • Be consistent with the regimen
  • Sacrifice for the goals (develop short term that will long term)
  • Have fun
I've said recently that the best beer is the one right after the run. That's JW. Get the work (that's part of a focused program done) and then have had it. Keep it real!

2. Beth, James' twin (I bet they'll have twins some day God willin') is another freakin inspiration. Her skills are crazy. Like JW, I've learned a lot about staying focused and having fun. They're food blog is not read enough. I'm lame. It's a great resource. Given her recent marathon effort, I can only imagine where she's headed. Oly trials? We'll be watching. One of the things that sparked my approach to this review (summarizing my favorite blogs) was what she said in her marathon race report. I paraphrase, but she said it's time to take a break from running and be gym rat for awhile. As I will explain in my own initial approach to 2009, that's what I need to do. Thanks, Beth.
  • Be a foodie
  • Be a gym rat
  • Be focused,
  • Consistent
  • Sacrifice and
  • Have fun!
3. Hang Nine. Great blog IMHO. Talk about consistency. GZ brings it every day. It's like his running and blogging are becoming more and more intense. I remember the nine toe pose infront of the picture of Pikes as his header image. He's got Pikes on the membrane. Following the 2008 journey with his hernia and all, hitting the tready like a hampster and going nuts last winter/spring during the MAF debate. . .he's stubborness is his clarity. They guy knows what he knows and he can tell it like it is. And I think he won the MAF debate although the wrap of said debate is to be concluded hopefully around a fire pit in the desert somewhere perhaps with the Grand Canyon yawning in our midst.

From GZ I'm learning about focus (the guy has "Pikes on the membrane") and consistency. His family values are awesome, so he's an all-around great read. I was drawn to trail/mountain running because of that kind of spirit. GZ embodies it all, pure of heart and a little nuts. He's definitely keeping it real. He makes his own ale. Are you kidding? He's got the mountain spirit in a bottle. Ask for some and he'll pour.
  • Focus
  • Consistent mileage
  • Train to run (these work-outs are going to be big in my approach to 2009)
  • Training (GZ talks a lot of running discourse. He's got a plan. He's tinkering)
  • Just do it!
4. Lucho. I think he changed his name, but he's still, for now, Lucho. This guy is going big. His spirit is climbing higher. He's buying house in the mountains. He's going to be a mountain runner whether he wants to or not. I love this guy's love of hard rock. With his speed and quickness of mind, the guy is Tony Iommi, not George Benson. He's ripping.

His blog provides readers with a ton of info. His new lay-out is exceptionally helpful. He is a talented writer and thinker. He's a generous coach and friend although I hardly know him. Based on the conversations that go down over yonder, you can tell his generosity and character are big with the endurance efforting community.

He's taught me a lot about training. About HR training. I rebelled last summer. I got frustrated. This week I'm strapping the monitor back on for some weekly runs. I didn't really get injured this year, my first year of trail and mountain running. Sure I wasn't running 50 milers, but I was consistent and did a handful of half marathons on very hilly terrain aside from a lot of mountain trail running. I'm pretty sure the MONTHS of aerobic training had a lot to do with that. I wasn't cross-training. I was just running. I've never run that much in my life. I averaged 50 mile weeks for a few months in a row. Didn't get injured. I owe a lot of that to Lucho. Thanks. Reading his blog can be a regular lesson in exercise physiology/science. Indelible stuff.

And the man's family values are impeccable. He's got it (and I think my favorite post of all was that one about his favorite things --the boots, the tatoos, the lotion. . . .)! Lucho has style.
  • Study the science (read the Noakes book you checked-out you idiot. Read a chapter!)
  • Push the training (Tim talks a lot about the stress of over-training, the benefits)
  • HR training. Especially at the beginning, in Base. Nail it. It pays-off down the road
  • Family values. Get them, keep them. Build on them. Perfect them.
There are many others, but I've got to move on.
ChuckieV, Kerrie, Trevor, Simon Whitfield, Scott Dunlap . . . and many more.

The blogosphere has been killer. Now what about the running in 2008?

I remember talking to Tim about 2008 back in the early spring. I was in the midst of my HR training with Temecula Xduro on the horizon. He said just train right through it. He asked me what my goals were back then. I said I turn 40 in Dec. so being competitive as in Masters would be cool. He responded that 2008 should then just be a base for that. In other words, my entire 2008 season should just be laying down a base from which I can build in 2009 and beyond.

When I think about that, 2008 doesn't seem so unsuccessful. Ironically, I won my age group at Temecula and probably decided to run Hawaii based on that. I don't know if I would have run Worlds if I hadn't qualified. I felt a little justfied. With the way things turned-out here at season's end, I felt initially like 2008 was a bit of a let down. BUT if I remember what Tim and I talked about, 2008 was simply an extended training period. I'm going to go with that.

My strengths
  • Consistency - I demonstrated that I can consistently put together some weeks of decent mileage. I fact months.
  • Durability - I was never laid-up because of running injury. In fact, I was never really sick until this last month. My ability to train consistenly can not be overlooked. Like I said, I think the MAF (base building) running was key to this health maintenance. Jump-roping helped too, as did some days on the elliptical and the stair-master (actually I didn't hit the s.m. really at all). Lucho and ChuckieV are pretty much the Base masters. I don't think one can deny that approach early in a season (on a side note, I noticed Angela is doing some hiking these days). In a world where anaerobic efforts seem to pay the most, the aerobic work-out can be hugely beneficial.
  • Enthusiasm - I definitely want to train and get better. I want to travel and race. I went to L.A. a couple of times, Vegas, and Hawaii this year, not to mention Temecula. I will put in the planning and set aside the time to race. This is a life-style I only want to improve, refine, grow. I want to meet more people involved, build those relationships. I've already met a bunch of folk. The community and its goals drive me to train and become better. This is a good thing.
My Weaknesses
  • Discipline - Although I was consistent, so I got the work-outs in each day/week, I still wasn't very disciplined. Discipline touches on a several fronts.
  1. I need to get to bed earlier. I'm writing this post at nearly 11:00 at night. I'll be asleep at 12:00 just because. I have to stop that. I have to be under the covers by 10:00. Even though that seems late for some, that's a start. I have to do that. Which will address another aspect of my life that needs discipline: training.
  2. I need to train in the early a.m. According to my diet plans, my first meal is affected by my early morning work-out which I have to do. Even if it's doing core work in my living room, I have to get work done in the a.m. (ideally before others are up!) GZ, JW, Lucho are all good examples of that. That's part of the dedication and sacrifice that have to be present for this work.
  3. My diet is horrible! I have to be much more focused and CONSISTENT on what I eat. I'm going to post and querry feedback on this front. I need better snacks (Beth and JW). I need easier mealing so I don't fall back on some plate of crap! Come on now!
  4. Core and strength work. This is a huge focus for me early on. I'm following Beth into the gym-rat mode. I have to get more "fit." I don't mean fit as in, hey you're running well, you're fit. I need to get more fit, as in, wow, Matt, you actually don't fit those jeans anymore because they're too big. I am not being weird. I am pudgy, which is a really nice way saying I'm fat. I am. Even if I'm carrying 8 lbs. too much. Go for a run carrying an 8 lbs. dumb bell. I ran Hawaii about 15 lbs. over-weight I kid you not. I was eating like I was 10. I threw in the towel. Just ask the mud pie at Duke's on my birthday (my wife ordered it without my knowledge, the staff sang, and we all dove in.). My point: get in the gym, lift, do core work, and get ripped. I have to look like a runner. I look like a beer soft-ball league guy. Mountain running? You're kidding. This is my biggest peave right now about myself. I am a gym rat starting now.
  • My other weaknesses which include speed and climbing, a refined training program, etc., will be addressed if I'm more disciplined. I have people to model, to whom I can ask questions, etc. I have books to read, and training plans to download. What I need is discipline. Going back to JW, the guy is nails on so many of these fronts. And the results speak volumes. It's D-day.
Okay, this is long. But I have to get it out there. And more to come.

Right now the focus is Long slow distance, and core and strength work. That's it. Races? I'll post later about that and more specific thoughts on food, etc. Good night.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Part Two

We got back last night and today was fairly lazy other than getting the X-mas tree and pulling some boxes out of the garage. Back to work tomorrow. . . . What a trip. I did a lot of reflecting. I turned 40, I ended "the season," which was pretty anti-climactic not only because I was sick and didn't get to really train the last three weeks before the race, but frankly I have to say I wasn't really "ready" to do a race like that. Taking my almost 5-year-old and watching him enjoy so much great scenery and festivity and such was a total kick. Reflecting on "him" was terribly interesting. My wife and I have been really thinking about another pregnancy for a while now and we were able to sit back and enjoy his little creative soul, reflecting on life with perhaps just this one child. It's all good and I probably just said more than I need to say about that. But the reflection is exactly what has to happen on a trip like this, unless one is creating the memories the reflection of which will occur later. . .

Fire Rock Pale Ale. As you can see, the view was nice, so for the weekend on Oahu, we used this perch to put things into perspective.

The race was on the east side of the island. The idea was to rent a car just for the day, drive to the race, cruise up around the north shore and head back to Waikiki mid-afternoon. Although the race started at 9:00am, I wanted the car the night before just so I wasn't haggling and stressing out in the am. When I called the day before, the hotel's concierge said, "no cars." The race and general tourism might have had something to do with it, but up on the north shore there was a little event taking place that probably had some impact as well.
The guys weren't actually competing at Pipeline that day, but it was cool to check-out the beach, the surf and the whole set-up. We stopped at Sunset where part of the Triple Crown was contested the day before. It was over-head the day we saw it but I guessed we missed the "big" day when the doods were throwing down. The map has a good visual of where the race was. We ran on Kualoa Ranch where the map shows Kualoa Beach and Chinaman's Hat. That's pretty much where I letter all hang out.

Fortunately, I was able to get a car the morning of. The night before, we ate a killer restaurant in the Pacific Beach Hotel just down the street from where we were staying. There is a three story aquariam, so Jack had a ball (and we had a ball getting him to pay attention to the food on his plate!). While we were there a diver was in there feeding the fish, which was pretty cool. We got a kick out of this giant manta ray coming around and going eye-to-eye with Jack. He was beside himself. And the food was ridiculous. Seafood tapas. The ceviche was perfect, the sashimi nice, scallop, crab cake, you name it. I had a salad too. I definitely don't get too worked-up about eating before a race. And again not feeling 100% kinda let the wind out of the ole sail. In bed by 9:00 and slept great but wanted to sleep in and lounge all day. Not good.

So I got the car and we were on the road by 8:00 with plenty of nibbles and bevvys for the road.

On the stretch of highway that crosses over to the east side.

I didn't pay much attention to the race description. I'm such a visual learner that I sorta discount/ignore the non-visual more or less (perhaps I was a little frustrated too, leading to a kind of childish disregard). No elevation map. But besides, you figure that one's writing about the course is going to do little justice to the "nature" of the beast. Carried one bottle and three gus. Gun went off and "there they go." The first mile and a half is a nice climb. This kinda knocked me down pretty good. I have to admit, although I wasn't feeling great, had phlegm to share with all willing runnners, I had a fleeting hope that all the training I'd done this year would magically carry me to a fine and dandy result. After this climb, the hope had one wing. As the race progressed, so did I. I just kept after it. I didn't feel great but I certainly wasn't going to start walking or tip toeing. One wing don't fly. The up and down was fairly constant. It never let up. As we moved to an adjacent valley the climbing really kicked in. In short, we summited at the back of the huge valley where the race was sorta housed (I posted pics a while ago of "the valley," where they shot, I guess, some of "Lost" and "Jurassic Park"). As we summitted I had reached some pretty good runners. I talked with a guy from Vancouver for a while. Told him to come to Cali, that I wanted to go to Canada (was I actually thinking about a house swap for month, say, in July?? No but I shoulda - a lot of Canadians in Hawaii by the way). Any way, as we dropped back into the valley, it was a mud slide. There was a rope along the path - we just kept our feet, used the rope to avoid slip and slide and just got to the harder surface below to letter ride. And I did. I felt okay but just didn't have that fire. Totally lame. So, I/we figure pretty much a run back through the valley to the finish and all done? Well, I didn't read the description. We run back through the finish (wife's taking a picture, son is reaching up to grab me) but have to keep going to do the first 5k loop again. I knew by the Garmin that we were only at mile 10, but stranger things have happened (they had 2 porta potties for 700? runners). That mile and a half climb that started the race met us on this last loop. It was pouring rain (not a big deal) but I was totally over it. I ran better than I thought I would, but still sucked. I walked some of the last climb. Healthy and fired-up and trained according to my program, I would have broken 2 hours. I know it. Instead, 2:05 and change. Oh well. It was still fun and Jack had a great time. He ran a little race himself.

That night, the xterra after party was at our hotel (total coincidence). We shared a table with Ben Bruce and his girl (he finished 2nd - he's a pro) and got to talk shop a little. He was waiting for his buddy, Max King who won the thing running just sub 6:00 pace. WTF???? Got to meet him. In my next post, I'll reflect on the year (what a killer year) and loook ahead to 2009. I think the reflection and thank yous will very much explain the year to come. I have a lot to talk about. Here are some more pics.

Are we having fun yet?

Someone got leied. . .check out the kid's form!
We had dinner at Duke's. This is our Duke.
When we were done with this place. . .
we made our way to this place. . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Part One

I'm in Maui. I finished 8th in my age-group. It was brutal. Here are the results. Pictures, for some reason, won't up-load. That's all I have for now, but I have more.

I'm fat, sick and really need this break. Hawaii is genius. Ya'll be cool.

to be continued. . .

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Call

There won't be anything to post the rest of the week. Sure I'll have some work-outs, but it's just about getting healthy to race like an angel. This little cold thing is so puzzling. I thought about going to urgent care today to nab some anti-biotics so I could at least be ready to go next Sunday.
I steered clear of the infection when my family was getting beat-up. But then it sorta moved in. I laid low prior to running with JW. Again, great run, but I paid a little price. Since then, I've been trying to get-in some running, but just haven't been right. It's a sinus thing. So I've been over-dosing (literally) on Claritin 12 hr (the one you can't buy off the shelf but instead have to sign for with the pharmacist) and Flonase, a nasal anti-biotic I always have on hand. Every once in a while I'll hit the Albuterol inhaler (always have) just to make sure nothing is in the chest, which would mean "you're totally fuct." So, I'm not totally F'ed, but I'm not 100%, which has killed the training. Trevor's brilliant schedule got derailed two weeks ago, but I've been exercising because A) I'm training for the big fu*king race, dood! and B) exercise absolutely helps clear the system of these kinds of colds. So here I am. Friday I did 7 miles with a little push at the end. Felt like shit during, but pretty good afterwards. Saturday, an easy run to the track and then 4 miles on the track, 3 of which were just under 7 min. That was tough. I felt like shit. U'oh, I'm fuct. Slept about 11 hours and could've slept another 6. Thought I might go to urgent care since these meds are not kicking this thing and I HAVE TO GET 100%. But, again, I'm not wheezing, not blowing green snot. But I have no energy. What gives? Family went and saw Bolt today, the new Disney flick. Cool flick. I fell asleep for 2-3 minutes!

Has the jury reached a verdict? Yes, your honor. I am burned-out, fatigued, burned-out, burned-out, burned-out! I have been training for almost 12 months, or more! Sure I didn't race all summer, but that's even worse - I just pumped-out the miles, 50 mile weeks, pounding the ground. Yes, I'm over it. I remember Kerrie telling me sometime during the summer, "sounds like you need a break." Here we are. I think the cold is still part of the problem, but I think we're talking here about stress, distress, not eustress. The body is over it. So, I'm praying (feel free to kneel and join) to just get to the line and have one last orgasm of anaerobic effort so I crush this thing and then proceed to make James Walsh's off-season alter-ego look like a cub scout. Yeah, it's time to kick it and have a few. I'm not going to get in much training this week. I'd like one more real work-out to take place, but the rest of the week/weekend is stretching and sleeping, maybe some light spinning. That's all she wrote.

The race report and season in review will be the next post, perhaps with a picture of me chillin like a villain. Peace to everyone.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More of the same

I still gots the cold! Didn't run on Thanksgiving and just sat around and ate, staying clear of the dairy since that does spectacularly on the mucus end of things. But then there was the mashed potatoes and the gravy. You put milk in those? Not from where I'm from, but my father in-law, a super competent food-guy, from Albania no less, always throws-down on the big day of thanks. So the potatoes might not have helped. I've been having a little nose/throat thing since all this started to happen about a week ago. The post nasal drip occurs, so lower respiratory gets involved. Thing is, it's tough to detect unless you exercise. It's not a lower infection, but, again, the post nasal's simply bringing goodies to its friend to the south.

This was confirmed today, running for about an hour. Went ez for about 3 miles, pushed a little for a couple miles (all relative especially if one's under the weather), and then did a couple 7 minute miles that actually felt pretty good, but the pressure on the chest was there. Yuck. Not good. It's not going away. I've been taking days off, laying low. I feel better now sitting here typing, but all this means is I want to get to the starting line healthy so I can have a good clean race and gobs of fun afterwards. That's all. Big game.

Reading all these running blogs and articles and talking to people who run. . . I'm not the classic runner. I like to compete and just have to stay consistent to become more of a runner. I certainly don't look like a runner. Don't talk like a runner, but I want to enter mountain/trail races and catch runners, or put distance on runners.

I gotta kick every trace of this upper respiratory transient out!

So I can hunt runners.

Jack. Check the posture. Pic 2: classic mid-fielder goods - ball control w/field of vision.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm swamped at work. I'm just about over that cold. The holidays officially start tomorrow (fun with a pinch of stress). And I'm itching to get-in this last little block of work-outs before Hawaii. The moral of the story is there is a lot getting in the way of me getting-on my groove. The inside story is more real than that: I'm burned-out. It's been a long year full of a lot of running.

I started this trail running endeavor about a year ago. My first race was Boney Mt., which throws-down in about a month. A lot of racing gets underway right about now - a new season. And I'm supposedly wrapping-up my year in about a week. Pining to nail work-outs that make me throw-up is not at the top of the list. Getting a little under the weather (three days off is all) is having its impact NOW! The cold weather and holidays make me want to eat drink and run long trails in my new shoes. Somehow I have to keep it real and keep my fast twitch muscles glowing!

I have to go to work in an hour (it's 5:00pm now!). I worked all day long.
Here's the plan:

1. Hit the gym tonight (hopefully) and get in a little fartlek.
2. Throw-down tomorrow morning, throw-up, and go to work; if I'm lucky do a double (EZ) in the afternoon (if I'm lucky).
3. Before the in-laws show-up.
4. Thursday off - have a GOOD ONE.
5. Friday thru Sunday: one hill throw-up work-out, one flat throw-up work-out and one long run.

We can not wait to get to Hawaii. We can not wait to KICK IT in the blue and white and whatever other beautiful shade is dangling around. But I have to throw-down. And I will. But things will be a lot better as long as I can get in some of these final vomit intervals.

Gotta love it.

Updating the Update:

Tuesday night: 15 min spin and 40 min "mild" predator run on a slight grade. Wasn't easy.

Wednesday morning: 40 minute tempo run with some hills. At times I felt really shelled; didn't wear any device so maybe a little too hard on the hills and felt that. Do I still have the cold? Seem a little down on energy. Good run. Glad I got it in. Done for the day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

11/17 to 11/23

Monday - Coming down with my family's home brew cold, and having done my little hill sprint session on Sunday, I went to the gym, spun for 30 min. and hit the sauna with the belief that I could sweat this thing out. Sorta helped. Sorta didn't.

Tuesday - Wife and kid on their 2nd day of anti-biotics and I'm holding-on for dear life. I shut it down today. Most of my work-outs are quality at this point so in this condition, no chance. Work is very busy, too. So no go.

Wednesday - . . .by the hair of my chinny chin chin. Which means I'm not "sick" yet, but struggling and certainly not in a position to do flat or hill intervals! I also got word of a work-out on Friday, so I was definitely not going to jeopardize that. Another day off. . .

Thursday - Feeling a little better. Is it the CQ10 I've been on for a few months? If I make it without the Dr.'s help, big props. My respiratory weaknesses date back to when I was Jack's age. Asthmatically gifted with an allergy prowess to boot. But the lack of "partying" and regular exercise have done WONDERS for my system. The irony of me making it through this family bug is exemplary. I'm the poster child for trying to live "smart," for one's willingness and ability to "change."

Friday - Met-up with JW for a run; nuff said. We were meeting on some trails near his house with some good climbing (although I just read GZ's post, so "good climbing" is totally relative). I got up the coast a little early to do a 30min. warm-up. I hit an old trail I used to run on when I lived up there. 4 miles, 30 min., definitely not flat. Felt really bad first mile, but felt pretty good at the finish. JW and I ran a 7 mile loop in an hour, climbed about 1200ft., got to shoot the shit a bunch and then had a couple of cold ones afterwards (even got to say hi to Beth). Really good time. I can't wait to be 100% so he doesn't gap me that much (of course he was pretty wiped from some lifting so either way you look at it, it's a good time that includes getting dragged around by the champ). The guy's so fit and a true beer snob, so count me in! Good suds. Great trails. Really good time.

1:30 11+ miles. 1800ft. up.

Saturday - I was hoping to get in some kind of training today. But I am taxxxed! Definitely not feeling it. I sure hope to get something in tomorrow. The race is Dec. 7. More discourse has come my way and it looks like a great time. I should be running strong so long as I'm healthy. I have a good week and a half to really lay down some work. And then a few days to taper. That'll work.

Sunday - Zip. Still not 100% and I just don't want to do further damage when I am close. Very close. Tomorrow should be a go. Big week. Friday's run plus a little spinning early in the week was all I did. The Friday run was good because it included endurance work, hills, and a little push (I wouldn't say tempo) but I was running with a faster guy who made me push. I'm calling it my One-Stop work-out. Anyways, a very bad turn of events leading-up to Hawaii to come down with a bug like this, but I'm avoiding steroids and certainly getting so freakin' hungry to climb and go all out it's silly.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll.

Friday, November 14, 2008

11/10 to 11/16

Monday – I think I was off. I forget. Probably since the day before was a beast.

Tuesday – 40 min. run treadmill, not hard not easy, pretty flat, but it was a goody. I mixed-in some spinning too, so it was all good. Stretched and hit the sauna.

Wednesday – 2k/1k workout. On the treadmill. Thought it would be weak, certainly isn’t the track, or a flat trail section, but it’s dead-on. It spanked me pretty good. I got the job done. That’s all. Mission accomplished.

Thursday – Spun for 30 min., stretched, core-work (a little), and sauna

Friday – 10.5 miles 87 min. 1700’ climbing in the Elijo Lagoon and San Dieguito Park. I felt terrible the first half; I ate too much the night before, a homemade fish and vegetable ramen-type soup. I was hungry and it was salty/spicy which is sorta my big weakness. Food is my weakness. I love it and I think it loves me, too. We’re perfect together. . . There were other ingredients. I gobbled it up!

During the second part of the run, I felt a little better (I had a Hammer espresso gu at the turn-around which might’ve helped!) so I picked it up a little, race paced the last 30 min.

This was supposed to be my hill work-out, but because I wasn’t feeling all that great and I got a late start in these warm temps, I decided to just run. I did mix in some hills followed by some LT (at least) surges, so it’s not the end of the world. I guess my Sunday run is either a another longer run or the hill work-out. The program calls for a build on what I’ve been doing on the hills (4x2min +5, 4x1min +5). That’s a lot of running, a lot of suffering. We’ll see what the weekend has in store.

I’m about 4 weeks out from the show. This might be a good week to go big. We’ll see. I got my Xterra newsletter today with the good news about JW. Not too shabby at all.

I sent Xterra an email asking about an elevation profile of the freakin’ course! I got an email back pretty fast. It said:

Hi Matt
We'll be posting a more complete course description soon but this should get you started...

Length: 21K
Starting Elevation: 50’
Lowest point:27’
Highest point:892’
Total climbing: approx 2,900’

Trails: No Paved sections, Open dirt road, Dual track dirt road, 10’ trail, Single track

Almost 3000’ of climbing! Nice. Big. For a 21k that’s a lot of climbing. Boney Mt. is 3000’, Vail was about 2400’, World of Hurt 25k was about 2600’. Hawaii Xduro looks to be epicantius maximus!

Saturday - I got locked-up! Wife is sick as a dog (whatever that means) and the kid has it too. I told her mid-week Saturday is hers because I love her and it was an easy day for me :-) But come Saturday I wanted to get it! Plus, the only way one stays clear of them germs is to get the hell out of there and get the blood flowing, O.D. on O2, etc. Well, it didn't happen. The kid was home-bound and she went in to the office for a while. I was stuck! So what did I do. . . I jump-roped for 30+ minutes while Jack napped. I took a quick break after 7 min. (phone rang), 13 min. (check on Jack) and then hammered another 13 min. It wasn't that bad. I did do some single-leg jumping, but Lucho mentioned I could throw-in some 4-6min. single-foot. I recommend the rope. BTW, after the run on Friday, I soaked in the ocean at Fletcher Cover. The water was actually pretty cold (good) and at one point as I was hopping around I felt a little strain in fascia (no biggie, it happens, but still). Well, from my limited experience with the rope, I will say that jumping takes care of any of that crap. Just Jump.

Sunday - Didn't sleep well since I'm basically afraid to sleep in a room where there sleeps a sicky; I finally got in about 6 hours. Did not get out at dawn to throw down my big hill work-out, which I was supposed to nail on Friday, but I got in my long run with some good climbing and good race pace stuff. So, it didn't get done at dawn. Then the family got moving around and other things happened. Then the heat of the day settled in (it's freakin warm!) and football came on and I decided to go prostrate on a bed for a while and watch the Chargers look like they have . . a step slow.

With an hour of daylight to go (I forgot it gets dark at 5 and this hill work out is a lot longer than an hour) I hit the road. Where did I go? I parked on a street at the top of a ridge where there are numerous streets running parallel to each other that head down. I did the hill work out (4x2min hills, 4x1 min hills) but did not mix-in the recovery nor did I hit the 5 min LT runs after each hill. I ran 3 4 min. hard efforts and basically just kept running without much recovery. I was worked. It was an improvisation, but I did some solid work on Friday and last Sunday's long run had 2500'+ climbing which was almost 2 hours of climbing and little technical descending. I'm not going to worry too much although the 2900' of climbing in HI does suggest I need to really hit this sh*t so I can throw down!

Plus I'm starting to fight this cold "they" are trying to give me. 56 minutes of hill addiction was good. I'm suffering them pretty well and I still have a good couple of weeks to NAIL these workouts.

I HAVE TO STAY HEALTHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A pic taken after the long road trip back from Vegas, ready to celebrate the outstanding trail fun and the safe ride home!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

11/3 to 11/9

Monday – 20 minutes bike, 30 minutes run, sauna

Tuesday off

Wednesday – 2k/1k work-out. I am not wearing my HRM, so the prescribed efforts of this work-out are a little “off.” In the end, I probably go “too hard,” which is a good thing. I will dial this in. The work-out got improvised a little. Ass kicker. About 7 miles and then I hit the sauna.

Thursday – 20 minutes bike, 20 minutes elliptical, lifted abductors, hammys, stretched and sauna.

Friday – Hill workout. Very solid. Sunset was epic. Great venue and great workout. About 7 miles. I meant to say, this yielded about 1500ft. of climbing but it certainly wasn't your typical trail run with a bunch of elevation. Just goes to show how a little focus gets the job done!

Saturday – 45 minutes of aerobic gym work-out, 15 min. sauna, stretched.

Sunday – 10.5 miles, 2500ft. of climbing in the howling wind. 1 hr 45 min. Mission Trails is a tough place to “run” since there is just so much climbing. I took it easy because I had to and I could. Long run. This one works the ankles, hips - legs in general. It’s even pretty technical. Didn’t kill me, but a tough one.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy Sunday

I grew-up in the church, more or less. My mom was very devout before, as the minister who conducted her memorial service said, she went to roam the halls of heaven. Something to that extent. Added to the inexplicability of that whole affair. My wife and I pursued the church and much of my family is still very devout. But the hypocrisy and the much publicized behavior of many a church leader, whether its through his lack of morality or his various political affiliations, has rendered much disappointment in that whole affair. I'm kinda sick of the Escalade laden parking lots of these multi-million dollar behemoth buildings that stand for Godliness. I don't see it. Is it a church? What is church these days anyways? Okay, enough of that. I just needed a segue to a joke I found long ago, and before I throw it away (doing some autumn cleaning), I thought I'd jot it down for the hell of it (sorry).

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done. The monsignor replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So the next Sunday he took the monsignor's advice. At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon return to his office after mass, he found the following note on his door:

1. Sip the Vodka, don't gulp.
2. There are 10 commandments, not 12.
3. There are 12 disciples, not 10.
4. Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.
5. Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.
6. We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.
7. The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy,
Junior, and the Spook.
8. David slew Goliath, he did not kick the shit out of him.
9. When David was hit by a rock and knocked off his donkey, don't
say he was stoned off his ass.
10. We do not refer to the cross as the Big T!
11. When Jesus broke the bread at the Last Supper he said, "Take
this and eat it, for it is my body," he did not say, "Eat me."
12. The Virgin Mary is not referred to as the "Mary with the Cherry."
13. The recommended grace before a meal is not: "Rub-A-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yeah God."
and finally. . .
14. Next Sunday there will be a taffy-pulling contest at St. Peter's,
not a peter-pulling contest at St. Taffy's.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Dirt

This is the view from the summit of the first big climb at WOH. The course profile is pretty amateur, but this is the big one. Behind the camera person (I think Hal Koerner took this pic), in the distance, is Sin City. Looking at that through the morning haze, falling (literally) down through the rock and trail was really nice. Great course.

This pic is the only evidence I've found (I haven't looked that hard) of the course we'll run at the Xterra World Championships. Looks good to me. It's all about the dirt.

The title of this post also refers to the the training I'm doing right now. It's not that I'm running on dirt necessarily although much of it is just so. I'm referring to the real work of getting fit. I'm getting dirty, it's a dirty job, yada yada, but the analogy works for me. Trevor is teaching me how to really train. The specificity involved is not very impressive on paper ("I did 80 miles in 2 hrs and then did some track workouts consisting of 5:10 mile repeats, 20 of those. . ..). My work-outs are just solid. They kick my ass. They're preparing me for the work I have to do. WOH proved to me that these workouts are effective and I wasn't even nailing them then. I'm getting better and better. This is why:

I'm getting better at preparing myself to train. These are quality workouts, so they don't happen everyday. The night before a quality workout I need lots of sleep, and good fuel. I don't necessarily live this way all the time. I enjoy life (the decadent parts) way too much. But now I'm starting to know how to prepare to train. New concept.

Furthermore, the workouts are such that recovery is essential to those workouts . . .working. The recovery within the workouts is making as much sense to me as the recovery between workouts. I guess the proverbial light bulb is sorta pulsating, threatening to turn-on. I look forward to learning from Trevor the other 3/4 of a season to see how this all works in full. I feel strong. I can't wait for Hawaii. Sure the island life will be epic. But I'll have 3-4 weeks more of this training which is progressing in difficulty as the race approaches. SICK.

I can't wait for 2009.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

10/27 to 11/2 and a haiku

A pic from the race last weekend. Man, I had so much more to give!

This week was very very mellow: too mellow but I liked it and now it's time to get very serious about Hawaii. I think Trevor is teaching me one principle fa show: when it's time to go easy GO EZ and when it's time to go hard. . .

The week's plan called for running easy 30 pretty much every other day and a lot of stretching. I started stretching more consistently this week, and I need to keep at it! I walked a lot this week and ran a little to and from classes. I was literally so busy I had to run from appointment to appointment some days, but these were not runs; I moved around a lot on my feet, but did not really run this week until late.

On Friday I worked out at the gym for an hour and sat in the sauna for 15 min. I'm becoming addicted to the sauna for two reasons: It feels great short term and long term. Saturday's activities consisted of watching my kid play soccer down at the Y and later pound a "jumper" at some kid's birthday party. Today (Sunday) I did a 1:35 trail run with about 1400ft. of ascent. I was worked! I did not fuel very well this week, especially last night! It was a very chill trail run. My patellar felt so so but I could tell the down time was good (I'm afraid this is going to nag). I ran the last 45 at "race pace." It was pretty strong, but I was pretty worked. Then I went to the gym and spun on the trainer for 10 and hit the sauna for 15. Love it! I was wasted good after it all. It's on.

Towards dying in a race
Is living from the cave, man!
Train. To win. Win to train!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Race Preparation

Just want to jot down a reminder of how I came into the WOH.

Jack was sick so my work-outs were non-existent the final week.
I did 30 min on Monday and 30 min on Thursday. I hit the sauna
a little and stretched a little. Since I haven't been stretching
much lately, I thought how perfect that would be to "strain"
something trying to stretch before a race since I'd neglected
it for months.

I had to cancel a couple of days of work to stay home with the boy and
actually walked around with ankle weights. I felt lame and smart at
the same time. Maybe I should do that more. I even tucked them under
my pants when I went to work at night, all low-pro. Walking, climbing
stair cases, doing whatever with extra weight. Lame and smart.

As for food, nothing fancy. Sleep? Slept really well (a lot) two nights
before the race knowing the eve can be rough. And it was. There were
teenagers near our campsite talking about how this friend or that cousin
is a whore, yada yada. I finally passed out, but no worries. I was ready
to race. The morning chores went well although I was coming down with
a little cold. I forget to mention that in the race report. It was in
my throat, but the cool breeze on the run hitting my sweaty chest was
not ideal. I definitely wasn't 100%. Again, the race went well, BUT
could have been faster.

So, very little effort the last week, but the hay was in the barn. Trevor
had prescribed a light week anyway; the guy is big on rest. I think that
paid off. If Jack hadn't been sick, I probably would've worked-out more.

In the end, the war isn't won in a day.

BTW, I'm chillin' this week. Work is ridiculously busy, but according to my
schedule, I'm only running very light and stretching. Until Sunday.

1.5 trail run with final 30 min at race pace. It's on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sin City's World of Hurt 25k

This was my first race since May. I trained throughout the summer and into the fall consistently hitting about 50 mile weeks. Since mid-July I have been without HRM. August and Sept. were solid in terms of mountain running. I was able to hit some good local mountain runs and while running with other "ultra runners" compared very very well (note: I am not yet an "ultra runner"). By September, I started to implement some "speed work," but this consisted mainly of tempo. Same run I'd normally do, just a lot harder. That was pretty much it. A good base, dating back to the days of the MAF regime (before that kingdom fell to the leagues of common sense). The consistency has been the key. I run a lot.

Enter the fall/winter cycle. Two races FINALLY find their ways onto my calendar: WOH 25k, and XDuro World Championship (open this year but I did qualify at Vail Lake -- whoopdeedo).

Also enter Trevor Glavin whom I link only because he's a very successful coach/athlete and I want to anything I can to encourage growth of his business. He was going to be in Hawaii for XDuro as well and by the generosity of his soul he offered to help me out with some preparation for the race. This guy is the former Xterra Age Group World Champion. He wins. He loves to train and race and enjoy life, but he wins. That's key.

Some of my first reaction to the schedule was "is this enough mileage," "is there enough hill work" yada yada. He said yes. Do the work. So I started doing some of the work-outs, and as it turns out I couldn't actually complete some of them. Those "little" hill repeats made me feel sad and uncertain whether or not I had ever stopped smoking weed. The work-outs have been brutal and I haven't even really nailed them. At all!

So, I have a plan that dials me in for Worlds in Dec. This past weekend was, again, WOH in Boulder City, Nevada. We camped at Lake Mead and ran with the likes of Hal Koerner, Scott Jurek and Ian Torrence. Ultra trail legends. They were running the 50K. I stuck to the 25k. The course had a lot of climbing, a very technical course (I ate shit early in the race running behind the women's overall winner before I went by her and wished her luck :-)

I went out really easy and stuck to a plan GZ kinda suggested - first 1/3 warm-up, next 1/3 training, and last 1/3 teeth are sweating. Because of the climbing, such a plan doesn't really hold, but I did go out nice and easy (compared to Vail Lake!!!) and probably should've gone out harder.


In the end, super super impressed with my climbing. I never felt over-worked, never walked, just found a gear (probably too light a gear at times) and climbed. Never got passed, but instead reeled people in. If I saw them I worked on them. The last such pass happened on a 3-4 mile steady climb to mile 15. I passed a guy and although he and another who was in my rear-view most of the day tried, I put distance into them easily and comfortably. I had much left as I crossed the line in 5th place. I never saw the guys in front really which means they went out harder and hit the huge climb at mile 2 harder. I could've tangled with them!

What a killer race. The course, my preparation, my nutrition. Everything went so well. I did have a little discomfort in my hip flexor and patellar, but such is too be expected I guess from such a technical course and from a guy who needs to stretch more! But the climbing was a real revelation. I'm impressed with the work and I know the hill work I've been doing (anaerobic intervals on steep hills) are making me fast. I will look to push things much more in Hawaii.

As for my time, that's just incidental. The PE was the key (I felt so relaxed and strong - actually fast!), and the course, the trail experience. I brought my MP3 but never turned it on because the natural sounds and rhythm of the run were too pure to interrupt. But the time isn't all that bad. Sure I was 5th of about 30 runners, but my split is in the "ball park" where I want to play. More work (consistency, strength/speed/hill work) will spell success.

And the camping was great. Although some of the race administration has something to be desired, I'm probably back next year just for the trail.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10/13 - 10/19

Monday – 1 hr of aerobic exercise including stair-stepper. Hit the sauna per some copy-catting.

Tuesday – 40 minutes of core work including some jump roping. Legs and feet feel pretty strong. 4.5 miles at night around school. Very hilly.

Wednesday – My hill work-out. 4x2 min on a very steep hill and as much flat LT as I could tolerate. Pretty much pure suffering. Very humbling. Around 6 miles.

Thursday – 1 hr of aerobic exercise including stair-stepper. Hit the sauna.

Friday – 2nd quality work-out. 3x 2k LT followed by 1k all out on flat terrain. Your basic speed work. I varied a little.

Based on what Trevor has suggested, I have to build toward some of these work-outs. Now there’s a concept. I have to get fit enough just to do some of the suggested work-outs. Hawaii is the big race so I have about 6 weeks. It just so happens I get to test the engine in a week in what should be a world of hurt.

Saturday – 1 hr. aerobic stuff, followed by the sauna.

Sunday – Nothing. Family. But no worries. My Osgood Slaughter is feeling better. I feel refreshed. Since I’ve been training for a looooong time, fairly consistently, this taper-like stuff is okay. Sure I missed a long run. Oh well. All of this schedule flexibility is another reminder that I’m not ready for ultra.

Monday – Very solid 5 miles. Legs feel great. The sauna is sick. I love it.

Trevor sent me a schedule for the weeks between WOH and Worlds. The guy is money. I can’t wait to see how his coaching feeds into Saturday’s result. I will be fit and ready for Worlds for sure.

Tuesday (today) – Was going to do about 12-14 as a 2 a day. My 4 ½ year-old is sick. So I’ll only get in the 4.5 hilly run tonight, in the dark. Hmmmm. If you look at people’s programs that have maintained early general consistency but include a little late sickness/injury that requires some shutdown, many times they tend to have successful races. In other words, as long as one has built responsibly, the (some might say big) cut in mileage leading up to a race can spell b-a-m.

The rest of the week is mellow with some light efforts. Then the road trip. Then the 25k.

(It’s About Time!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

10/6 to 10/12 . . . . 35 miles

Monday - Wednesday off minus "the hump" of the daily grind.

Thursday - 1:10 aerobic exercise.

Friday - Caveman-esque hill work-out, 8 miles, pretty freakin hard.
These make me feel slow. Seriously, I think I was stronger on hills a month or so back - maintaining this regime for so freakin' long is killing me. Two weeks before WOH. Scott Jurek's signed-up now, too. Should be a good weekend. I just hope I can get psyched and tap some of this running I've been doing for months and months. I guess I'll start to stretch, too. Pretty undisciplined. Going stale.

Saturday - 22 miles, one run, very aerobic. Ran with Jeremy. Talked a lot. Over 3000ft. of up. My legs are pretty beat up. This is partly because of the back to back. That's the real problem with taking-off the first part of the week. All of my work was done in three days back to back. I feel slow and tight. I need a strong/big week.

Sunday - Errands and family stuff. And some football. Backs against the wall, Bolts!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

9/29 to 10/5 . . .about 40 miles

The season is definitely changing. My long run today hit the coast and the ocean has definitely announced the change. The swell, the colors and crisp air bespeak the fall. Of course, football season is here. MLB postseason is under way and I'm definitely a fan of Bball playoffs. Then there's the holiday season. First up, Halloween. My wife made some pumpkin muffins/cup cakes. Tasty and pretty kid friendly.

Needlesstosay, there are some big races this month too. JW hopefully abused Xterra Nationals. The big race in Kona is coming up. Xterra Worlds is a few weeks away. And, of course, my little tangle in the desert. That's just a tiny selection. I guess it's that time of year to "harvest," to assess the summer "growth."

Monday: about 6 miles easy.

Tuesday: 4.5 miles night running at about 9:00pm around SDSU. I need to use a head-lamp next time. Lots of big hills. Humid. Pretty much hammered.

Wednesday: Off but I walked a lot and climbed a lot. I consciously moved.

Thursday: 9 miles with the hill work-out. 3x2min + 5LT, 3x1 + 5LT and enough on the trail to get in 9 miles. PQ canyon. Really worked me. Been fighting a little bump in my immunity since. Run started at 9:00am and it was baking!

Friday: 4 miles on the treadmill. Went easy but felt hard. Felt like I was going to throw-up.

Saturday: 6 miles, the hill work-out. A reduced version but I did it on the treadmill. NOT THE SAME. But I killed it. Felt great. Pressed for time. Did this on the way to pick-up Jack's cousins.

Sunday: 11 miles, 1300ft. ascent. 1:28. This is the long run. Not very long, but better than nothing. I'll go 2:00+ next week (goal). I (sorta) hit my three key workouts with a couple more sessions. Not bad.

Trevor said he'd help me get a little more specific since the schedule is a little tight. Anyone looking for a coach? It's him.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

9/22 to 9/28

A good week, I guess. It started off with Monday Night Football. Go Bolts! Work is very busy and the family is good. My wife's birthday was Friday, so we've had some fun this weekend. I bought some flowers . . at a wholesale joint, so I did some cuttin' and arrangin' myself. I had to include a pic. Plus, check-out my game face before Monday Night Football and my Oakley collection. Of course I'm sponsored - I'm their main main, call me prime-time! It's all about the game face!

As for the training, a pretty mellow week, I mentioned to my coach that I was still recoverin' (cuz i'm cuttin' n arrangin'), but I'm not worried. I have about a month before my next race (finally!!!), and then a month until the last race of '08 (tomorrow I book the trip with the travel agent!!!). And I have been running a lot the last 5 months. Now, I'm running hard, so the work-outs will keep me fit and get me really race ready. The naps, the days off here and there, not a big deal in my book. I'm such a competitor, I know I'll eat a lot of dirt when the day dawns. I'll satisfy my appetite. I will not wear a fu*kin' dress. And, I'm nailin' the workouts starting this week!!!

Monday off.

Tuesday off.

Wednesday off . . .(remember, I took last Sunday off, too).

-- Keep in mind I do a fair amount of walking with a pack. Perhaps 2 miles a day, lots of stairs, lots of standing, talking, walking, etc.

Thursday 8 miles pretty hard (with hills).

Friday 8 miles pretty hard (with hills).

Not really part of the plan, but just getting back after my "days off"

Saturday some speed drills on the trainer. I set it up in the garage for the first time in a long time. I went hard. I simulated the Caveman hill work-out. I felt great after wards; my hip/legs felt so loose and fluid. Expect a lot more of this, Matt!

In fact, I came to a very solid (tentative) conclusion about my training. Starting this week and continuing until the end of the year, I will base almost all of my weekly training on two Caveman days (tues thurs) and one long run (sun). Everything else is whatever I want (more hills, tempo, recovery, trainer, sleep). Most of my runs will be hard unless it's a short recovery on an off day. I've done a lot of big runs. I think my aerobic engine is good. Two races to go and a lot of race-readying training is coming my way. After all, that's what Trevor has suggested and he's a World Champ. Literally.

To summarize, Lucho got my aerobic engine tuned-up (wait until next year!!), speed is the order of the day, and cross-training rules, so my bikes will again see the light of day. Oh yeah, and I'm going to crush two more races this year.

Sunday 12 miles of very rolling, pretty hard running. Never even close to too hard except for the final .75 miles, a little descent where I went about 5:45 pace. Lucho, I'm coming (ha ha ha)! It was funny. I imagine Lucho running like that everywhere and can only think that people must look and go hmmmmmm. It's moving. So, a solid run.

As for the races, a little description and a scare! It looks like Jack and I will be going to a race just outside of Vegas. We're meeting-up with some friends I've been running with. Should be a great time. I'm going to run the 25K. Hal Koerner's among the 50k entrants, but I'm not up for 6 hours of massive carnage. I want to hammer what should be a very legit 25k and have an awesome time with my kid and some good friends. As for the scare, my friends Jeremy and Kara whom I'll be doing Vegas with did the Noble Canyon 50k this weekend. The official results aren't up yet but I think Kara did fairly well. Jeremy had a bad day according to him. A miserable day. And Kara passed out at the finish due to heat exhaustion. They were considering a cancel of Vegas. I was prepared to take it like a man, though bummed. But Jeremy sent me another email and said after a couple of beers and some reflection the race is back on. I'm stoked. Very very stoked. For the racing, yes, but the travel will be epic. My kid and I will carve Vegas. Awesome. Super stoked and I have the training to dial this in.

As for the second race, it's the Xterra Worlds on Oahu two days after my 40th birthday. Yes, that's all I want for my 40th. Not a lame surprise birthday, but an age-group win, a cold drink, the trade-winds in the tropics with the family. Since this is the inaugural year of the race it's open to anyone. Starting in '09 I think you have to qualify; my age-group win at Vail Lake does the trick, makes me feel a little better about the whole thing. Either way, it's a race in the islands and it should be epic however it turns out!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Night Football

Yeah, my friend got me a couple of tickets so I was there. And we kicked their ass.
The first score of the game was in our face. We had field level seats in the corner of the end zone. A Jet DB took an errant Rivers pass to the house and it was 0 - 7. Then it was all Chargers. Between watching and waiting in line for BEER, I witnessed a true romp. It was great. My wife and I went with my buddy and HIS NEW FIANCE. He popped the question before the game. We were all stoked!!! We sat in the seats of his fiance's friend's seats who's a Charger Girl. Yeah. And there she was in the 3rd quarter looking at us struttin' her shizzle. Great stuff. We spanked the Jets. JW, I wish you were there!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

9/15 to 9/21

First of all, my knee-jerk reaction to the bail-out was, well, knee jerk. I still think this country has a lot to address. I know, pretty vague. I guess I'm pretty sold on my superficial understanding of the parallel people have made between the fall of Rome and the troubles facing America: Our greatest threat comes from within, not from some kind of external enemy that's going to win some military engagement. Of course, I suppose a "take-over" could occur economically from some foreign threat. That would be ironic. I just think the general excess we've come to associate with America is very very troubling. The bail-out is probably much needed on some level, but the damage has been done. The government, now, is, literally, a giant hedge fund.

As for training, a great week! I have adopted some high intensity work. Trevor Glavin is the source of this approach. I am so grateful for this guy's generosity and knowledge. I have felt the same about Lucho and JW and GZ and anyone else I've "talked to" in this sick endurance blog community. As long as everything goes according to plan, I will be racing Trevor in Hawaii this December as part of my first big family vacation. Once I book the tickets, etc., I'll post that excitement/plan.

As for the training, Trevor was nice enough to give me some ideas on how he would be approaching this little 12 week build-up. My initial response was along the lines of is that enough hill work, so you're looking at about this much weekly mileage, etc. He was quick to say because of the quality of these work-outs, mileage is not a problem. I guess becaue I've been doing a "just run" approach for months now, I was a little skeptical/unfamiliar. Tempo has been my speed work. A lot of hills, just going up and up, putt putt, strong, but not blistering.

I'm calling this an "introductory week." Last week's training culminated with a 20 miler in the Mt. Laguna area. An outstanding run with outstanding people. I hit, I think, around 50 miles, my usual. But now, I'm going to get specific. This new approach is really specific. I suppose because of the big decrease in mileage I'm thinking of this as introductory. Also, I didn't hit each and every work-out like I was supposed to. Besides that, in terms of energy level, this turned-out to be a recovery week. Which gave me all the more time to discover how stoked I am about this plan. Geez, when I look back over 2008 I'll have a lot of cool training experiences to draw from. All I need now are a couple of nice results from my last two races of the season.

The plan in a nutshell: basically, Monday is recovery run, Tuesday is hills (hard/fast), Wed. recovery, Thursday hills(h/f), Friday off, Saturday tempo, and Sunday long run.

My week shaped-up with Monday off, Tuesday 6 miles of the hill w/o done INDOORS? Felt great, but INDOORS?. . . . Wednesday 4 miles recovery in some new shoes!! Thursday another hill work-out though I still didn't nail it - 8 miles - then lifted a lot of weight for me!! My arse still hurts from the lunges!!! Friday off. Saturday I did a killer tempo/hill work-out, about 8 miles in an hour and the little 2x2min hills followed by 5 minute LT (which is more or less the hills but these build week by week) kicked my arse! And today I . . . . .took a 3 hour nap!!!!!!!!!!

I think the intensity is great. I have some work to do this next week that simply consists of nailing my work-outs! Thanks again, Coach!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What a shame

I sure hope the American people can handle the blow brought by this government's economic bail out. However one wants to view it, it's a disaster. Our kids' kids' kids will be paying for this, not to mention our own immediate future has to carry around this trillion dollar life preserver. If you're in real estate, you're a dip-shit. At the very least, you're guilty by association. Go to hell. Take it from someone who admits that the financial world is pretty much greek to him: Rome is burning.

Drink up!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/8 to 9/14 total: The Broncos are Goons. . ..Er . . . Lucky!!!!

Monday: I hit the gym because someone dragged me there. I hit the bike and the stair-stepper only because I had to. 1 hour. Nice and easy.

Tuesday: Nada.

Wednesday: I hit the gym again and did around 8 miles and lifted. I am buff. Actually, I'm fat. But the mind can be a beautiful thing, especially when it pictures a beautiful body!

Thursday: Another 8-10 miles. Elliptical and treadmill. Nice and easy. But I sweat like a pig. I'm not sure what's going on: since becoming the running beast that I'm becoming, I stink and sweat a LOT. I'm about to take JW up on his suggestion to purchase some of those stuffits. I stink.

Friday: 15 miles. Ten mile tempo run that kicked my ass. No HRM, no watch, no nothing. 5 miles at the gym in the afternoon. A two a day? Watch out, GZ!

Saturday: Nada.

Sunday: 20 miles. I ran with some ultra folk through Noble Canyon, along the PCT for a little stretch and finished things up on the Big Laguna trail. The Garmin charted the run between 4000 and 6000ft. elevation. We went up over 4500ft. It was fantastic! Last week was the best trail run ever. It got run-over by this run. I have some insight now. I have some loops to jump through whenever my heart desires. Absolutely the stuff.

My fellow Hobbits had everything dialed-in. We had a car parked at the 10 mile mark (baked potatoes w/kosher salt, pretzels, fruit and all the fitness nutrition refills, etc.). Wow. I was actually kinda eager to hit the trail. But the food, drink was solid. Then there was a cooler stashed a mile 15. More cold drink. Nice.

The final 3 miles were tough in that my feet were pretty sore, not to mention my quads were pretty toast. Besides that, I had had enough of this 20 miles.

The only draw-back was that I wanted to fly!! My peeps were tapering? a little worked from the day before? There was some hiking going on. I am climbing well, feeling pretty good on the trails. However, I'll take the comraderie and soul (friendship is underrated!). I just need to get out there and push myself. I have found the gear. I can climb almost anything. Anything. I feel strong. Jeremy tells me "you need to race, man." It's coming.

First race of the fall looks like this.

Then, it might be aloha. But I'll confirm that later.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just some pics

My html(???) is preventing me from doing much in a textual blog so here are a few for the "journal."