Thursday, December 31, 2009

12/29 and 12/30

As for preparing for a significant climbing event, I am going to get my ass kicked next weekend. I spun on Tuesday and yesterday I ran about 4 miles, still not convinced I can go out and "fly" and recover the way I want to. At the same time, this down time doesn't seem to be taking me to the finish line. Whatever.

Boney Mt. will be fun. That's all there is to it. Even if it is a good jog and hike.

Yesterday I took Jack to a park here in N. county SD.

Jurek, eat your heart out.

high cadence is the way to go.

a great day on the trails!

the future.

out of shape.

Monday, December 28, 2009

12/28 - Paradigm shift

Today I did 1:15, avg. HR 122 if that. Just cruised and mixed-in some walking. And it dawned on me:

1. All along, I should have been running as long and easy as I could on my easy days. I have not done enough longer runs.

2. I'm not going to even attempt a "peak" and "taper" for this 21k. No way.

a. I'm going to train right-on through the race since that makes the most sense. I did this in the past per my coach's advice and things went pretty well.
b. Frankly, I don't have a clue about "peaking" and "tapering" other than the obvious common sense connotations. Who am I kidding. Just be healthy and ready to go at the line.

I think I'm a day away from all-systems-go. But instead of some version of panic to get in work-outs, I'm going to just keep running. Easy on easy days and harder on those particular days. Basically, I've been doing this except for the lack of very easy very long days. Gotta do it.

So no worries. I have an epic 21k on 1/9. Sure I want to rebuild my manhood. We'll see how it all plays-out.

For the sake of documentation, I will chart each day of running leading-up to the aforementioned confrontation with Boney. Gotta run!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday 12/27

The weather has been quite cool for the December west coast. Seriously. And yes, the viral cold is still hanging around. As I look at the past 2 weeks of running, I am a little bummed (in light of my goal). The week of 12/14 - 12/20 was recovery (and I had just caught the cold). I welcomed the break, actually did stay "recovery" active, but on the 20th I got in a nice little 1:20 run which turned-out to be a little much on the lower respiratory, which is stressed only because of the notorious post-nasal-drip. Believe me, it sucks and probably sounds so lame I should have deleted that; but this is a training blob, too. Then I took it easy before doing a hard hill work-out with incline and steady pace, short but sweet. More easy/off days and then on the 24th I did a nice 7 miler on some nice single track. The cold was definitely still there, but the run was great. The cold seemed to be in a sheer toe-to-toe with my desire to go nuts on the trail. Err.

Took 2 days off and then today I went to the gym and did a work-out Lucho described according to his build-up to an ironman when he was dealing with a pretty severe cold. Basically, run and walk, repeat. He said it helped him get through the cold and maintain his aerobic fitness.

Looking back at the last couple of weeks, I have basically had three solid runs and a bunch of easier work-outs with a few actual days off. All in all, I think I've been a little careless with the HR, which might have prolonged this set-back? Who knows, but trying to train and get over a cold is brutal.

Today's treadmill work-out consisted of 30 mins of 5 walk, 5 ez run, 5 walk, 5 run. . . .HR never got higher than 130. I think this worked well. I spun for another 30 min. I am optimistic. 2 more days should bring me to 100%. I will then go nuts. I should be able to get in 3 to 4 or 5 days of really solid work. That's it.

I will be undertrained for this beast of a 13 miler. But it's just, in the end, a good day in one of our coastal ranges. And the beginning of a new year.

I have a new blog!

Check it out. . .please!

This is fo' real. 2010 is (almost) here and I gotta grow (and run a lot more!)


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve and Christmas

WERE great! I finally got a chance to meet with someone whom I hope to learn a lot from in the near future. I have a lot of work to do. Amen.

I am so excited about the future; "excited" means optimistic and anxious; "anxious" means sorta freaked-out. My job hunt is like training for a huge race, one that started yesterday and never ends, if that makes any sense at all. I have a lot of work to do. What I thought about yesterday on my run right after the meeting is the incredible idea of marrying my two passions - endurance sports and communications. We will see.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in and outside the office. After the meeting, I hit a nice little "mountain" in La Costa.
JW introduced it to me.

7 miles, 1 hour, 2000+ ft. total up and down (the down was fairly aggressive for a guy with a cold). HR was too high but this is cold related. Didn't "feel" (PE) that hard. Almost perfect.

The cold is still lingering. I'm off today because the xmas spirit is in the house and I want this cold thing to go away! Errrr.

Yesterday: In front and behind the camera. The venue and the post-run comfort zone: Yeah!

Today has been pretty nice, as well. Compression socks, and other socks (I love socks), a new headlamp, other random gear (kept gifting for me simple, to the point!).

Jack: "This is the best Christmas ever."

Thank you, Jack. That's the best present a dad could get. . .say it again ;-)

Spent a lot of the morning putting together some cool Lego contraptions, watching vintage Scoobie Doo shows, one that even has a Christmas theme!

A little family, a little red wine with Nona's pasta and bada boom: Christmas 2009 is in the books.

Oh and the Chargers look ridiculously good. Take a week-off before the Jan-Feb run?

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Training Secrets Revealed. . .ssshhhhh!

This is how the ideal training program works:

1. Commitment.

Since I have an addictive personality, I know that the exercise that I get done will be "responsible," or useful. There you have it: addiction, responsibility and usefulness all holding hands, equally contributing participants of team Gotta Run. But seriously, I am not going to go for a run for any other reason than to contribute to my fitness. The first principle of any good program, then, is commitment. Run everyday if you can. Do something active. Go for a walk, a jog, do some lifting/core work, but if you're running, run. And if you can't run, it's because you NEED a day-off. You NEED to get fit; so if you must take a day-off running, then you must NEED that. Unless you're doing some much needed recovery (see below), you HAVE to get your daily FIX. Commit to that.

2. Common Sense.

The best addictions work. For them to work (for you to get away with it), you have to be rational about the whole thing. In other words, you're really into something and things could get out of hand if you aren't careful, so easy does it. Make the commitment last. For a running program, most of the running is aerobic. For you to run everyday, this just means that most of your runs revolve around getting out to "smell the roses." Yeah, I omitted the word "stop" from that old saying. In effect, a daily run is a "stop" or "break" from the quotidian hog wash.

However, if you want to run fast, you have to practice that too. I'm not going to elaborate on speed work (there are so many "work-outs" from "experts" it's kinda silly). Just run. Hard. Sometimes. Use common sense. I'm on the 80/20 to 70/30 plan. There is a school of thought that says you get faster by going slow. Aerobic ("slow") running is obviously the staple. You can get fit and fast by just running slow, allegedly. But running fast is fun too. So is running up and down hills and mountains. So mix it up. To run often, you simply have to be able to recover from yesterday's run to run today, etc. Use common sense.

3. Tracking.

A lot of people keep very dedicated logs of their training. You see a variety of styles of tracking as much as you see a variety of styles of training, or raising kids, etc. To each his or her own.

I looked back at this blog's dirty footprints that I refer to as my training log and noticed I've been having a pretty steady go of it. I do not have mileage totals nor am I keeping track of total time spent running. This is very very important actually. At my age, I can totally get away with that. Moreover, trail/mountain running aspirations DICTATE that I must not over analyze; rather, one must simply fall in love with the desire to climb and crest, descend and devour. Given the ethos of my chosen slice of running fare, IPA selection becomes as important as which training software I use to track my progress (though Garmin and Sport Tracks have represented themselves nicely if by chance I decide to micro manage this menagerie of desire and discipline). That's my style of tracking. I know, based on my blog, that I've been fairly steady.

But here's where my program has a lot to be desired. I am not racing enough. Racing means you are comparing yourself to others, including yourself. For most, it's the latter comparison that means the most. So even if you're not "competitive," there is reason to race. To see how you compare. This kind of tracking, I think, is necessary to stay committed and improve one's common sense.

And even if that doesn't mean much, the experience of racing is a blast. I happen to love the trail race. I won't elaborate now, but it's as inspiring as I'm sure the 1500 meter men's final is for the track star. So, my program needs more racing.

Which is what 2010 is all about.

My build to January 9th. I have been steady for a couple of months now. Just a lot of little runs, but I think the consistency has been good. I have mixed-in some harder efforts, so the plan has been fairly on track. But not enough length and specificity is my sin. About a week ago, I got a little cold, which corresponds with my last post. This last week was all about recovery.

I took Monday off.

Tuesday I ran 4 ez miles.

Wednesday and Thursday I spun at the gym and did a little hiking. Not much, but broke a sweat.

Friday I ran 3 miles and spun. This was all knowing that I won't lose much if any fitness from taking a day or two off, but the addiction "suggested" I do something.

Saturday I ran 9 miles, not flat, and felt great for the first half. Coming home was a little too much. The cold was still lingering.

Sunday, spinning for an hour.

Monday 4 miles including 2k of 7-8% pretty steady (~9 min pace). On the recovery, I worked on turn-over, so this was a hard effort. Cold still lingering.

Tuesday 5 miles ez.

Today I might take off because tomorrow is a little mountain running and I want to be really well for this.

The point I want to make is that the week off, though forced because of a cold, has been great. I have gotten in a few months of steady running. The week-off has been a great opportunity to recover and refresh. That, I am finding, is so important. Hitting that refresh button. On my 9 miler, I was so fired-up to run. Probably went out too hard. But again, a little down time is money. It often happens when we're sick or injured. Everything happens for a reason.

So, hopefully I'm on the rebound from this cold. I can put in another solid 10 or so days of build with some steady/hard efforts that include specificity (mountains). Then a little recovery, and then 2010 race season begins.

I just have one goal for 1/9: break 2 hours. Will be tough, but I'm looking up (at the mountain). Gotta keep looking up. Gotta run. . .

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Friday: 7 miles going 3 miles aerobic, 3 miles Aet, and 1 mile of hills (400 ez, 400 ~6% x 2). Felt great. Getting it in. Went to Idyllwild last night, had dinner and was going to stay the weekend, but didn't work-out. Back in town.

Saturday: 45 min. on the home trainer with some short ME intervals (3:00, 4:00, 5:00). I've never really done these on a trainer but the huge gear felt like a good call especially based on what Lucho has explained in the past.

Sunday: Going to see about some local snow and returning for the Charger game. Spending time with some friends drinking some good beers. The trip yielded very very little snow. This last storm just wasn't cold enough. We got up above 6000ft, but the snow was non-existent but for the little crap patch. But, I saw a bunch of trail heads. We stopped at one, took a little jog and took some pictures. The wind was nice! Temp was around 33, but the wind made it relatively colder. Really good times. Can't wait to hit this up very soon. From Julian to Pine Valley, there's a lot going on. Kitchen Creek (nice pics), Sunrise trail (the Birders have the pics!).

I was reminded of running Noble Canyon and bits of the PCT back in '08. There is a lot to do in SD county. Looking forward to getting out there and hunting down some BIG fitness fresh air.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where do we go from here

Tuesday: Nada. Tuesdays are always my long day at work, so no pitter-pat.

Wednesday: 10 miles @8:22, 1000ft.+ climbing, avg.HR 152. I worked pretty hard on this one. Wasn't feeling 100%, but sometimes that's the way it goes. Deal with it! Nice to get a run in like this; just went with it although I did end-up on an oval for 3 miles, so I had to "monitor" just a bit :)

Thursday: ~6 miles, avg.HR 146. Felt much better but for the scratchy throat. Coming-off 10 miles and running in 2 year-old trail flats with the standard insoles that suck means I'm absorbing the work pretty well. Definitely a good sign.

Then it was off to my last day of work at San Diego State University. Needless to say, I'm pretty rocked by all of this. Losing a job you've had for roughly 7 years and having made the decision to "walk" from the field feels like free falling. I don't know what I'm going to do. Sure I've been researching, trying to network and maintain a positive attitude, but of course this is big.

One thing I can say: I am leaving with my head held high. And even though HHH might sound a little cliche, it's important. I finished strong. I fulfilled my duties, and maintained my professionalism. Today we talked about the students' final project, a letter to the director of California's Post Secondary Education Commission, revisiting some of the concerns and issues we all face now and in the future. I feel bad for them.

I went into teaching because I enjoyed my own education so much. Believe me, from UC students to the CSU and community college students combined, they are not enjoying this experience. Higher fees, fewer students, fewer classes (with more students), fewer departments, older/duller professors, etc. They are not idiots. They know what's going on.

Again, I am going to maintain a positive attitude and land on my own two feet. . . going pitter-patter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stormy Monday

Wow. Haven't had a storm like this in a while. Lost electricity for about 6 hours last night. Went to a local restaurant for dinner. Thankfully the restaurant's power went-out only after the waiter served my son his corn dog and fries. A lot of rain and wind.

I hit the gym mid-day for a little cross-training. My right foot has had a little discomfort. Some arnica and Traumel have seemed to work. Did I strain it on a run, or during the "Chinese reflexology" I got Saturday night? Who knows. So, my therapy seems to have worked some and I decided at the gym I would take it easy.

What does that mean?

Spin for 30 minutes. And run hills on the mill! 5 miles. 1k warm-up and then alternate between hills and steady flats up through 5k (1k ~4%, 1k steady, 1k ~5%. . .finishing with a hard effort at ~6%). Cool down 2 miles.

Not a lot of running. But some quality. May not get to run today.

I'll survive ;-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Free Base

Saturday: 6 miles Aet. Solid run. Pretty flat trail ~8:20/pace.
~57 degrees, breezy, good energy but faded toward the end. Avg. HR 151.

Sunday: Tired (from Sat. night and just tired) so I just hit the tready for 5 miles. Pretty much a progression. The last mile was 7:47, avg HR 143. This was a great run because the treadmill is a lot easier in terms of HR, so one can get the turn-over while still maintaining a flat-out aerobic effort. I felt pretty good after this run. We had a bunch of errands to all day, so it was nice just to get it in after chillaxing most of the morning drinking a lot of homemade (manual) espresso :-)

I would have loved to get in a bigger weekend in terms of miles. But really the weekends can be tougher because of the family time. Still if I wanted to I could've.
The other reason why I'm not too bothered is that I am, whether I want to call it this or not, working on a base. And sure such a program might mean LSD, I've instead been averaging about 6 miles a day, every day. Pretty much. The consistency right now is a top priority, coupled with staying healthy which are one and the same.

These manageable runs are, I'm sure, preventing the over-use injury. I feel the shin-splint "haunt" the left leg occasionally, but it never sets-in. Varying my running surface has been key, my paces, and keeping the mileage in check helps a lot.

I will continue to build mileage some. Right now, I just love developing my ability to run faster easier. That is the most important thing right now. I do not want to "finish" races even when that means 50k. Run everyday. Wake-up, gotta run.

I can't wait for tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday and Friday

I need to post something other than just these work-outs. Later. . .

Thursday: 5 miles on the tready, 8:30 HR 140, with some strides. Felt good. Watched the "civil war" while treading. Great game. College football.

Friday: ~4 miles in 30:00. Just a watch. Watching the sunset.
Plus I did an hour of yoga today. Ouch. Great stretching and balance and core. But I'd rather just be married to a yogi (wife kicks ass). I wanna run!

Tomorrow is my birthday. Yippee. All I want is a new pair of running shoes and some cold IPA. And a little fellowship with friends and family.

That's what's happening this weekend.

Gotta run this weekend, too. Can't wait to hit the trails!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


7 miles total. 3.15 mile, 8:20 pace 500+ft. up; 3.1 mile, 7:55 pace 450ft. up. ~1 mile cool down. I blew-up around 5.5 miles. I watched it unravel on the HRM, which might be lame, but the data helps some. Bottom-line, the first 5k was easy and solid. The second 5k, a different course (different trail) was me pushing things a little. First 5k avg. HR 152, second 5k avg. 165.

Tomorrow is aerobic. Weekend is a mix. Next week I run some bigger hills (san diego mountains).

It's just nice to feel good.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First and next

This is the profile of my first trail race, as well the next one.

Tuesday: 5 miles on the beach. Super ez.