Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday and Monday

Did not want to go to the gym AGAIN on Sunday and by the time my wife got home from outta town, I had a couple of Belgians going watching football. I didn't mind.

Today I did 8 miles with some good dirt climbing and ovalling. The track data was a really good sign. The HR reflected how I felt (regardless of the data). I just felt good, rested, ready to roll (a day-off here and there is definitely money right now . . .maybe always . . . to keep me fresh and super fly). Doing 8:20s at 144 is just a good thing for me, at this point. I feel stronger. The dirty hills were fun too. Great weather.

These good vibrations are juxtaposed with the dreariness of my job situation. Obviously, I'm overwhelmed trying to figure-out a good next step, but just mulling over that career to which I'm saying adios is trip. And sure, I might do a little part-time teaching down the road, but as far as that being my one and only focus, my bread basket, so to speak, time to move-on. Nights are, of course, the worst.

Later I spun on the trainer for 30 min. Good day.

Diet: Eggs and veggie burrito, left-over Kashi spinach/mushroom zah, and KILLER salad for dinner.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rainy Day

I therefore am run.

Wasn't going to because of the weather. . .and the little aches and pains. I started to rationalize. Huge core work at home, just lay low. Then I had some coffee. I wonder how many great things get done with the help of coffee. I guess I should say caffeine. I've actually given up coffee. I have a double or triple espresso most mornings depending on the day. But until I get my new machine in a few weeks (for my B-day), I've just sorted through my loose change to hit a coffee shop on my way to "work." Today, laying low, not going-out to get the juice, I decided to make some very strong coffee at home. It was OK. But it did get my ass to the gym.

Did ~50 minutes. Put together a little hill work-out. 5 x 3min hills with ez 5 min recovery. The hills were at 4-6% grade, the pace between 9 and 8 min mile. Certainly makes the treadmill more bearable. The hills, "at the top," were nice and steady.

On the "aches and pains," sometimes I feel a hint of that shin splint I had a few months ago. And my hammies, ass (piriformis), and ITB have been tight. So after the run, did some stretching. GZ had a nice link to a Pete Magill stretching video. Good reminder.

Ran some errands after that, and here I am. Football and movies with my 5 year-old. With mom out of town, the boys are just getting things done.

Friday, November 27, 2009

T-day and beyond

I gotta say it. Best Thanksgiving ever and I think it had everything to do with my attitude. I feel great right now (even though I'm losing el jobo). I feel healthy and that's totally absolutely completely the first step.

Family was it. I totally appreciate my family. It's small but I really value what I have.

The food (prepared by father-inlaw and wife) was. the. shit. I ate, got tired and stuffed, tried to eat more. Fell asleep.

No running. I've been pretty consistent lately so I felt the day-off was perfect. Definitely want to avoid over-training (which just means over-use for anyone who might think I'm hardly training). A quality 5-6 every day is good right now. Plus some weights and core sporadically.

So, yesterday off. Today, 5 miles, 8:30 avg., HR 146. Success is relative. I am not looking at the numbers while I run. Just running. I swear. It's nice to be able to elevate and deflate the HR. I'm just fiddling with my own gig. That's it.

After the run and lunch, and laying around a bit, went for a 45 min. hike with Jack. The surf was way up today, so we had some great scenery.

Now, I'm having a beer. Life is actually very simple.

Oh, yeah: shout out to James and Beth for inviting me to their killer cocktail party. I mean, after some of those Belgian double IPA Trippel monsters I felt like I'd been kissed and then gotten my ass kicked, in rhythm.

Here's to a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pre-T Day

Yesterday, just a little core, spin 20 min. and 45 min run on tready. Did some incline, and varied the pace again. All felt good. Really good.

Today, at the gym again because of child rearing. A little core, a little lifting and 5 miles in ~43 min. Easy. Which is a good sign. Again, some incline and variable pace. . .kinda like a trail run.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Race is a bitch

"When Meb Keflezighi finished the New York City Marathon in two hours, nine minutes and 15 seconds the morning after Halloween, he became the first American to win the race in 27 years. But some spectators apparently missed the three red letters on his chest as he burst through the tape. Keflezighi is only 'technically American,' argued CNBC sports writer Darren Rovell. He's 'like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.' Though Mr. Rovell has since backtracked, nobody recalls similar comments about Alberto Salazar, the Cuban-born American who won in 1982. And if Meb's name was Joe Smith and he was born in England rather than Eritrea, few would have questioned his national identity."

Full article

This is exactly what I was talking about when this topic made its round of the blogosphere recently. This "negative" reaction, despite all spin and complication wrought by more "thoughtful explanation," is about race first (skin color) and ethnicity second (his name, country of origin). The second criterion doesn't come into play with out the first being introduced. If he was white born and raised in Kenya, but now a U.S. citizen, not nearly as big a problem. And as the writer points-out, if his name was Joe Smith, from England, fewer would have blinked. So let's be clear, skin color is what prompts the initial unconscious and later conscious reactions.

Solid Monday of 30 min. core/weights and little 40 minute run with all kinds of pace. Felt great. I told my wife how effective a 15 min. core work-out can be. No excuses!

Well, back to the (human) (rat) race!

Today's program: file for unemployment (first time in my life), make the best salad dressing in the world, pound salad, and sweat like a man!

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Watching the Chargers v. Broncos in a huge divisional match-up. Wrapped-up the week exercise wise with 6 miles nice and flat. Felt very good in general but especially considering yesterday's steep gut check.

Headed out to Mission Trails which simply is not flat. Actually, I've been running a flatter loop over by the Visitor's Center off of Mission Gorge Rd., but Saturday's run/hike was into the belly of the beast of Interstate 15.

This was brutal. The "hills" are so steep that even hiking is anaerobic. This is a great work-out for strength. I passed on the climb up S. Fortuna which has the "steps" but N. Fortuna was unbelievably sufficient along with the other climbs I had the pleasure of mounting. Knowing I need a little more time, the figure eight loop that will take me up N.Fortuna then a nicer flatter descending section to the base of S.Fortuna, up that and then work my way back to the car will be over 3000ft. of climbing and 10+ miles. This will be a "killer." On today's flatter run, I got to shake-out the legs and take easier breaths. But yesterday made me feel very new to the program. I have a lot of work to do and I am not running to run flat. So "gut checks" will happen frequently.

The diet: Still making quality decisions but I did have a piece of pizza last night with my pint of Stone Cali-Belgique. Great stuff, the beer. I love drinking it out of appropriate stem-ware. OB ale house is a pizza place, too. Great pizza, which is now just part of that weekend-warrior stuff that "may happen." I really would rather eat like a tortoise.

So, back to work this week, which means more running. I need to really start building. I'm especially inspired by Tim's win at his first 50 miler. Sky is the limit for that cat. Great job, TW.

~25 miles on the week. Neither good nor bad. Just what is.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Didn't run on Tuesday because of the job. Tuesday night we had a little freaky situation with Jack spiking a huge fever. Common sense says it was a reaction to his second round of H1N1 vaccination, his booster (kids under 10 get two shots). This meant that Wednesday he was home all day really sick. It was a trip. Sudden flu. So no run yesterday either. Then today (Thursday), got out on a little 50 min. run. Felt GREAT to get out. Man. I want to run. Gotta Run. Yeah, the new Blog title. Things are changing on several fronts. The title was going to be Gotta Get the Hell Out of Here; the picture of my son getting air off the top of that BIG slide falling toward the "Exit" was a little visual I liked for it speaks to my wanting to get to a better place. "Place" in this case means a lot of different things. Maybe I go into that later. I'm antsy.

Which is why today's run was good. Cross my fingers that Jack feels good tomorrow. So he can go hang with his friends at school. And dad can go trail running! Hopefully, solid run tomorrow. On Saturday I have a little window. Maybe a big run.
Sunday get something in and watch ball. Sunday night going to a college soccer game between USD and UCSB. See if any of them gots skills.

Yesterday - Eggs and turkey bacon (I was starving), small bowl of wheat pasta with two turkey meat balls, and fish salad for dinner. (wow, a lot of meat).

Today - Peach and "green" protein smoothie, zico and a bag of M&M peanuts (fuck), and a fish salad (I love arugula) for dinner. One beer.

Let's do this!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just thought I'd post something. Made goal by getting all of that work (grading) done by today. Didn't even run this morning, so that I could put finishing touches on the waste of trees courtesy of writing pedagogy.

I was looking at a website I'd bookmarked probably a year ago that has calculations for HR training zones. It uses resting HR and max HR, a little subtraction and division to produce one's training zones (70%- 90% of max HR, etc.). The results are different compared with the perhaps more commonly used 70%-90% of max HR straight calculation. The corresponding HRs are higher.

So I fire-off an email to Lucho, curious what he might add. He said I should just run, that I'm over-thinking. Talk about a role reversal.

One last point on HR (than I'll just shut-up and run), in terms of aerobic HR, no matter what calculations I make, it all pretty much boils down to 144-146 as that target fat-burning effort. Whether it's 180 - age, or 75% of max, or this other one that includes RHR, the same general number comes-up. Now I'll sleep better at night. By the way, I've been sleeping great!

I've been running "comfortably" lately outside on trails. My average on an easy day is 147 - 150. That's money. And it will only go down. As a matter of fact, on Monday, after getting role reversaled by Lucho, I went to my little trail and ran 5 miles. I saw a definite fitness gain. Not only was my avg HR lower, but my HR recovery response was dramatic. I think that is a big factor especially with racing in hills. Can you recover to hammer the descending or flatter sections.

At the same time, I've been running hard if I want to. I guess all I'm saying is the training appears to be working from a HR perspective. Of course, it's only November, so I'm just trying to quietly get this next campaign (the next 20 years) under-way.

Diet: Lemon water, espresso, organic apple, salad, coconut water. . .so far.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel. . .

Let me get these metaphors out of the way.

* I can see the end of this mountain of work that I've put off. Beyond getting my students back their work, I can smell the end of the semester (yeah!) and my job (ho shit!). But getting this work back will give me more room to play = run and gun!

* The diet will now be my friend. I know the recipe for health. This has been my achilles heal for a long time. I can say with out a doubt that eating has way more affect on one's weight management than does exercise. This is especially true as one gets older. I am eliminating processed foods from the diet. It is so doable. Partaking in this little detox was similar to working with a personal trainer at the gym. Just a little fundamental information is going to go a long way. The picture of these two glasses of "juice" symbolize the diet: liquids and vegetables. Obviously, this isn't for everyone, but based on my reaction to the diet, I feel very confident that this will pay huge dividends down the road. No stomach issues. Lighter. Cleaner. Tangibles and intangibles. I feel very good about the diet.

* With the diet and training coming along, I can see a much better runner coming into form. Same game plan as far as running/racing goes: trails. I want to become better and stronger on these kinds of tracks, being able to attack and feel comfortable climbing. Mountain running is absolutely the standard, the goal, the dream. I think I'm in a better position going into 2010 to make some genuine gains in progress, results. Either way, I think I'll be healthier, which gives me the best opportunity to have fun and maintain the consistency I need to improve.

Saturday, I attended a beer festival. It was fun. Picture essay: The festival, me in green (festival took place at the Green Flash brewery), people drinking and pouring beer, and later that day in Ocean Beach. I slept about 12 hours after all of this. Not a weekly event. Family, work, running/gunning, and a few cold IPAs. That's where I'm going.

Running-wise, I've been a little pressed for time, but have been sweating for at least an hour every day. Last week I took 2 days off because of work and I had a strange pain in my right ass cheek. The pain would stretch down my right leg like a weird ITB issue. I figured-out it was a little tweak from doing lunges with weights. I was holding dumbbells over my head during the lunge. A little too much weight. A strain. Dumbbell. Feeling better and look forward to more base/fun running over the hills and through the woods. . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cleaning-up the joint

The weekend came and went and things still just continue to be interesting. The job situation is just fucked. I've been with two "companies" for 6 years and I am being laid-off. Sure there could be some 11th hour shenannigans, but the point is that I don't want this kind of instability. So, I have to figure-out what in the hell I should do. Pretty nuts.

On the diet end of things, wife and I are doing a little 7 day detox diet that's actually just a killer diet. I've done a detox in the past. It was a 21 day trip that involved a ton of supplements and was pretty expensive. This one is definitely all about digestion. I'll post some more specific info on it this week.

Today's menu:
Wake-up and have a room temp glass of water with juice of 1/2 lemon.
Then have a cup of herbal tea (Detox tea).
Hour or so later, a blue-berry and almond milk smoothie with the one supplement, some "greens" powder with pro-biotics and other yummies.
At about 11:00, a little box of coco-nut milk.
Lunch was a salad with a little onion, half avocado and this KILLER ginger/miso dressing. I LOVE IT.
For an afternoon snack, pumpkin seeds and almonds, just a few.
Dinner was a broccoli and arugula soup. KILLER.

What I'm so stoked about is incorporating a lot of this into my regular diet. I've been having some digestion issues. I didn't have any issues today. We'll see. I will definitely post more reaction. The diet also calls for daily sweating (nice that "they" actually recommend exercise. God knows, I'm going to). I was so swamped today I only got a teeny weeny stretch/core/weight session in and a 30 min. ez run outside.

As for the weekend, Sunday I was worked. Had a tough Saturday night and some family commitments on Sunday so I took the day off. Very weak. I lost my nerve, but Saturday wasn't bad.
Took the 5 year-old on a little hike. This is Cowles Mountain. Got a little tough coming down, "Focus: how about we stop singing and concentrate on our footing!" It was awesome. About 1500ft. of climbing, perfect weather and a nice recovery day after Friday's harder run. So all in all, taking Sunday off wasn't the end of the world.

Tomorrow, after my water, tea, and blue-berry and rice milk smoothie I'm going to go run a little trail at Mission Trails. I might go kinda hard :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Let's go already. . .

Running is keeping me busy. I did about 1:10 yesterday with some hills and an oval mixed-in all at an aerobic HR. I know: data schmata, but I don't mind some kind of verification for the blob - log. The training is pretty organic. I'm just trying to have as much fun as I can and make good decisions (the same thing I tell my 5 year old every single day). This means the work-outs are mostly "comfortable" or aerobic. And just this week I'm starting to introduce a few harder sessions, maybe intervals during a regular work-out, or a few harder mile repeats, push a hill harder than I might.

Although I am an aerobic convert, I think some harder stuff (granted when one is "ready" which is pretty relative) is necessary if one wants to get faster. Before I met the blog and Lucho I ran how I felt I was supposed to and did fairly well for an ex-college soccer mid-fielder (1:32 half marry). And I think the trail/mountain running is even more unconventional if one wants to spend a lot of time there training, meaning a bunch of flat slow miles might not produce much "arousal" if you know what I mean. Nonetheless, I value the slower miles, just cruising and burning fat, building capillaries and the rest of that slow-twitch universe. I think injury prevention might be one of the biggest benefits to HEAVY BASE.

Yesterday's run was in a pair of old school sweats. Those and the cotton tee were screaming for a headband. I might oblige. Train in cotton, race in burmudas. Might be the new blog title.

By the way, I'm thinking about kicking this blog into gear. I need to hone some skills. Maybe a website? What does anyone think of Wordpress? JW, GZ, Footfeathers, anyone? I want to do more with this space.

Today's 8 miler was with about a 1000 ft. of climbing on this urban trail I like to frequent rather than drive 1/2 hour to some of the better trail heads. Obviously, when I want to start doing bigger trails, I will drive. But this little urban venue is pretty nice. Has a xc course running through it. I don't know the exact course, but I run on a dirt xc "track" that's .7 miles. I did some hard loops and had "fun" on some of the hills elsewhere.

What didn't help was the massive hunger spike that hit me prior to the run. I even ate breakfast, but around 10:30 when I hit the trail I was starving. Ate a piece of pizza and a bunch of "healthy" cheetos. WTF? Did not help the run. My version of sandbagin. Big 70s style sweats, a headband, cotton tee, and some left over meatloaf before the run. Perfect.

Right now. Dinner is done and I'm sippin Le Freak and have a Lagunitas Ale getting cold.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday 11/4

I hit Mission Trails yesterday. Ran 5 miles on my little loop course. Did some soft loops and 2 hard loops. Definitely a harder work-out. The speed was good to see and feel.

As we get older, speed is what we lose first. Endurance later. Therefore, I'm going to incorporate more speed into my program. Likewise, we need recovery. Today, I didn't run, first off day in a while. Hit the gym and spun 30 and did weights and core. I'm starting to groove THAT work.

Tomorrow is aerobic running, work all day (while i still have a job) and then Friday is long/hard.

Question: How can I help you? What can I do for you?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday 11/2

50 min aerobic run, not flat, perfect conditions. Avg. HR 149. I know, data schmata. Curiosity killed the cat. Ran a lot last week and was going to take today off but the brisk mornings are too good. And it was a comfortable run. Tomorrow I hit Mission Trails before work for some trail running. Might throw down a little.

Hit the gym in the afternoon. Spun for 30 minutes, did some core and lifted and hit the jacuzzi. Yesterday's core was tough along with the 1:30 run so today was just good to get some work done.

I'm having some digestion issues. I have been taking pro-biotics for over a month now. I had a bad night about a week ago where I had too much homemade (hot) salsa and was whacked for a couple of days. The shits, couldn't keep anything down, etc. Just got back to 100% and then I had another tough day today after my post-run meal: homemade garlic mash, two eggs, avocado, swiss chard and kale with olive oil and just a little bit of siracha. I'm blaming the garlic. The siracha probably didn't help. What's up? I think my system is getting good and healthy; part of that means I'm more sensitive (I think) to "extreme" dishes. Starting to really think about this diet thing. Big changes? Maybe. Lots of changes in the air.

By the way, I'm losing my job. More to come on that. It's called project re-invention. I want out of teaching English full-time because this kind of instability rears it's head every 5 years or so. And let's face it, California does not give a shit about education. Life will definitely be getting more interesting. And I will definitely be getting fitter physically and mentally to meet this new insane challenge.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

End of a week

A good week of running. Ran on trail in Point Loma, Mission Trails, and hit a little dirt and pavement around town and Fiesta Island. It's the days of comfortable running doing ~1 hour a day. Today ~1:30. The runs are fairly ez with some little bursts at the end/here and there. I don't think a little uncomfortability can hurt a predominantly comfortable run. HR has been observed some and it's really aerobic but for the little surges. My 8 miler at fiesta island yesterday was a day of fatigue (not fitness breakthrough); had a hard time getting the HR up but for the end when I was dehydrated and pushing it a little. The trail runs are the best. I have a little .85 mile loop at Mission Trails that is not falling-off-a-cliff vertical that I can roll on with the Oakley Thump giving me some love. Good times. So nice to be running regularly again. The weather is perfect. I still think the best itinerary is San Diego Fall/Winter/Spring and Somewhere Else Summer. Crazy? Maybe.

Just a few pictures.