Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday 2/28

February has been brought to a close hopefully closing-in on a period of opening-up. Still dealing with some upper congestion, but the low-HR. . . er. . . .relaxed running is keeping me going and, to be honest, feeling better and better. I just can't wait for the proverbial Green Flash. . . er . . .I mean proverbial green light to go hard. A couple of things I've noticed during this first 7 to 10 days of "re-entry." First, I did stay relatively active by lifting, walking, spinning -- just doing something. And by doing so, I have a little base that's been recovered. The HR was nuts right out of the gate, but has since settled. Unfortunately, I can't really test myself right now ala MAF because I don't want to even go that hard at this point. I am staying in zone 1 but for a few stretches. Secondly, this keeping my snake in its cage approach is not only keeping me on the come-back trail while I get 100%, but it is forcing the discipline ala Maffetone, Chuckie V, et al. I mean, I am being good. I wouldn't do this if I didn't have to, but I have to and I'm afraid it's going to pay dividends. Maintaining any discipline is always good; wanting badly to "open-up" yet holding back is making me hungry hungry hungry.

I partially listened to a pod cast I probably got to via GZ and I did key-in on a guy saying that really one of the keys to going fast, is learning how to be relaxed while running (going fast). He went into a little detail, but hopefully the suggestion hits home. It's just too much to hope to run fast and hate life at the same time. Sure there's that hurt locker everyone who kills it climbs into, but the ease with which one kills it is often a very telling point about training, state-of-mind, etc.

Right now, this easy running is necessary. But I have to say: I'm enjoying that ez feeling on each and every run. I want to keep it that way. So I'm sorta chasing MAF but not for MAF's sake; instead because I want to feel as little stress as I can while continuing to go faster and faster. Of course, knowing where the hurt locker is and how to get into it, that's something one either likes to do or not. I happen to like. But let's save that for special occasions.

Having said all of that, I'll probably start throwing down the minute I get clear for take-off.


4.5 miles at 5500ft. altitude. Garmin data was messed-up, but I climbed a little, ran a little. Probably went up to around 6200ft. Cold and clear, snow was melting fast. Beautiful. A little jogging and some hiking. The best part was the half mile walk with Jack, looking at the snow, talking about all the cool things six-year-olds like to talk about. If I ever grow-up (don't worry about that), someone shoot me.

I can't wait to get-up to the cabin later as things start to warm-up. Enough said.


I got into a 22oz. Stone IPA after the run (after the shower and hydrating and a cool-down walk with Jack). The sun breaking through, I can't tell you how close this was to Heaven on earth. Let me reiterate: Running in the mountains and then cracking a freaking cold IPA with family and/or friends to share it with -- that is the soul diggity mack daddy love retreat that I want to be on all day all the time. Word.

The night before I had one 22 oz. Hop Stoopid. I love this beer. Damn.
On the way home today, the food stop had some taps. All I really wanted to drink was the "Hemp Ale" (no brewery attached. I didn't ask the guy because he looked like he didn't want to be asked, but it was a little dark, slight hop tobaccoy thing happening) and Fat Tire. Couple of pints.

I'm beat from the drive, the run and the fun.

Here's to a huge week starting tomorrow.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday 2/27

More rain. Off to the mill, stationary bike and weight room.

This is a little nuts.


1 hour on the mill. Good work-out for me. HR showed vast improvement.

15 minutes of weights and core. Not a lot, but when you get busy, you can get-in a little routine, for sure. Whatever.


Lunch was salad and a pint of Racer 5.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday 2/26


Late morning, a little worried about the state of phlegm, but I rocked an hour + and felt great! Consisted of track and trail, track to keep the HR in check (for medical reasons) and trail for my sanity. I feel awesome right now. Didn't get my first recovery drink in until 20 minutes ago, but all the same, life is good and getting better. Again, 63 minute run. Yum!


Just cracked a Stone Ruination. Going on a date tonight and I already called ahead: place is called Tender Greens. They have Stone Pale on draft and some others like a Coronado, Karl Strauss and something else. Might just be a Stoney night!

Well, it wasn't a Stoney night. Didn't even make it to Tender Greens. Decided to see The Ghost Writer, which changed dinner plans. Hit a Pizza Nova in order to make the film.

Final tally:
1 22oz Stone Ruination.
1 pint of Stella Artois
1 pint of Ballast Point Yellow Tail Pale Ale (not my favorite, but what the hell).

I can't wait to hit Tender Greens for a salad and a Stone Pale.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday 2/25


Nothing. First day-off since . . .last Friday? It's all good.


1 12oz bottle of Blue Moon.
1 (last) 12oz bottle of Harpoon Leviathan.

Man, a dipa by the sixer is the dog's bark (sorry, I hate cats).
Shout-out to the east coast dipa!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday 24th


AM - 52 minute mail run. Ran to the post office/dropped off some mail, then dropped a letter off at a friend's and rolled around a little more. Very ez. Still some mucus, but clearing. Like yesterday's trail run, super relaxed.

PM - 20 minute hike pretty steep and a little spin. Then hit some weights. Actually didn't feel that great. Great.


As I post my daily runs (gotta do it), I'll post my daily beer fortunes. Note: If I could have 1 - 2 cold drafts of an imperial ipa each day (especially right after a run!) I would be that much happier. No need for the late night slug fest. I'm a buzz aficionado and the strong cold ale to address the post-run adrenaline high is nice.

No beer tonight.

Yesterday 2/23

2 Delirium Tremens drafts
2 12oz bottles of Harpoon Leviathans (didn't plan these, but they were on my door step when I got home :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Much better

Blahg says, "the re-entry has occurred." He goes on . . .

Saturday I ran 30 minutes and spun for 30 min.

Sunday I ran for 30 minutes, lifted weights and ran/walked for about 30.

Monday I ran for 45 minutes and walked for 15 minutes (9-10%).

This is all on the mill, so I can control everything - yeah I'm a little freaked-out/paranoid. Nice and easy right now is the motto. I am moving pretty slow at this point because have to rebuild everything I lost and I do not want to over-do it at all.

Fine with me really because I want to be very comfortable during this return to running. Hopefully in a month or so my comfortable running is just a lot faster!

Today (Tuesday) I ran 55 minutes at Mission Trails. Probably about 800ft. of climbing, very mellow, very reserved. Beautiful.

The over-the-counter medication seems to be doing the trick. Unbelievable.

I am so excited to get back to running a lot. Watching everyone pound-out their daily/weekly work-outs has made this down-time brutal. I thought there is no way this has any up-side. You know, the silver-lining theory. I'm actually a believer in that approach to life and I've been thrown some doozies. But this down-time, has been horrible. As I start my new life, I've been very busy, meeting people, doing little jobs. Exercise gives me energy, so I've been without that boost. I can't wait to see how much work I get done mixing-in around an hour everyday on the trail.

So, now I just want to run a lot, eat/fuel really well, and drink great beer.

This guy is, IMHO, America's ultra big dog because he lives and runs where he does. . . Into the Wild.

Is this the silver-lining I was referring to? "Failure is success if we learn from it." ~ Malcom S. Forbes. What am I learning from all of this? Is getting sick, a failure of some kind?

I love the Winter Olympics (The Olys in general). So many killer family memories associated with those great competitions. Cross-country skiing is my favorite. Curling a close second ;-)

If you like, check these out. I have been tearing through seeds. A great snack! Reminds me of baseball.

Lastly, I got a little package from a guy that likes to climbs. Three imperial IPAs? A lovely ABV 10% malty IPA, quaffable, really quaffable. Thanks, Rick.

Born to run.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Where Do I Go From Here?

This past weekend consisted of some hiking. Took the wife and kid to Mission Trails on Sunday and then Jack and I went back on Monday for some steeper stuff. Wanted to do Cowles, but the day got away, so we settled for a shorter steeper trail, forgot the name, but basically it takes rock climbers up to some "game" on a part of the park between Cowles and South Fortuna.

On Wednesday I ran 3 miles, super easy.

On Thursday I ran 4 miles, super easy.

Today I rode the bike on a flat, 12 miles, 40 minutes Felt like crap and really started to think about this fucked-up "cold." I'm on my second round of augmentin to kill the sinus infection. Here's the fukcing problem with that!

The enormous amounts of mucus I've been dealing with for phukciing months is clear. Now, this is medicine, so who really does know, but chances are, if you're dealing with non-discoloration, you're dealing with a virus so anti-biotics mean nothing. Granted, my sinus x-ray revealed some abnormality, but I've been on anti-biotics and not getting any better.

After the bike ride, I went to the pharmacy and talked to the pharmacist about all of this and sure enough, he agrees. I bought some BASIC antihistamines (I think -- whatever he told me to buy).

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This weekend I hope to continue some very easy running/cycling to continue to get things back in order. Once I can really see the green light, I will embark on some ridiculous LSD/MAF/RtB/etc. Enough is enough and I need to build fitness quick. Why? Because I want to. Because I have to. I will document here.

The bike felt great today. My steel frame gem is sexy. KHS rocks! My Specialized mtb will get some work too.

I have a lot of fun to be had.

On my way home I stopped by my pub. I saw a big red Pliny the Elder tap. And some Palette Wrecker via Green Flash amongst the other beers. Sat down, ordered an Elder and started to ask when they would be getting the . . . oh you have it. Pliny the Younger was present from an unmarked tap. She said the first keg went in an hour yesterday (2/18). I had a 10oz pour. Great. Carmely smooth, rich IPA, balanced, classic. Then I had an Elder, pint. Great. I'm buzzed.
I am coming. Watch me.


And for any good running discourse, check Pub GZ.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cope Land

I'm just dragging along at this point, hardly wanting to read blogs (my "peeps" are all pretty fit and race ready) let alone post anything. But life does go on, and I'll just throw-down some pics to document my existence. Just coping.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I went back to the doctor on Monday saying how I feel worse. I've been on sinus antibiotics for about a week with a few more days to go. I started to wheeze (now I have an infection in my chest?). WTF, Doc? She said, "just continue the meds. You're asthmatic, too, so the DRAINAGE is going to irritate your chest. We may have to extend the antibiotics, but this is a sinus infection." Okay.

This morning for the first time in two months I stood in front of the sink coughing up thick goop; not everyday snot, no, this was attic snot, snot that's been up and away for a while. Cleaning house. I guess this is the mother of all sinus infections. It's loosening-up finally and I'm getting a chance, I guess, of purging this evil evil cold. So over this! We are moving in about a month. Inland a little and so many people say how this has helped in terms of allergies, etc. All I know is we will be in a much newer house, and yes it will be drier. Looking forward to that.

This seems like a good spin on the barefoot running trend. A great litmus test: how many barefoot runners do you see? If you live in the snow, that might not be a fair question. But in sunny San Diego, according to the author, the evidence is negligible. He even asks some colleagues around the country. Same conclusion. It seems like a great zen-ultra-green-authentic-intelligent-spiritual running movement, but it might just have a little more bark than bite.

On the local trail running front, a lot of races have been delayed due to rain. Mission Gorge was postponed for a month. Crystal Cove has been delayed more than once. Looks like the weather and my sinuses have a lot in common: mucking up the joint.

Time for some sunshine and trail running. Let's do this!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Drew Brees

I have to say a few words about the New Orleans quarterback. The guy has had a great four-year run with the Saints. This year, statistically, he was insane.

2009 statistics

514-363 Att/Comp

4,388 Yards

.706† comp.% (NFL record)

34 TDs

11 INTs

109.7 Passer Rating
The bummer for Saints' fans (and most anyone with a bone of objectivity): compare those numbers to Manning's 2009 numbers and wonder why Brees wasn't even in the MVP conversation. Manning ran away with it and Favre got some love too. Brees was left-out of the conversation. And the fact that he's six feet tall is pretty astonishing. He's been the underdog all his athletic life and continues to overcome and dominate (he took PURDUE to the Rose Bowl; wasn't really recruited by any major programs).

In the Super Bowl, I heard today that Brees started-off a little slow in the first quarter, going 3 for 7 on the first drive. After that, 29-32, but one of those misses was a spike. That is sick. His accuracy and overall efficiency numbers for the most part whenever he plays are ridiculous. I'm so happy for the guy.

With out going into all of the details of the drafts, teams, players over the last ten years, the Chargers are starting to look more and more foolish. They let him go for the right to let Rivers captain the San Diego franchise. We might say, sure, good call. Let's just let the next 4 to 5 years play-out on that one. I'm a big Rivers fan, but the younger Manning and Brees might just be kicking some ass and collecting hardware.

Let's go, Bolts. Get it together!

The Day After

The Super Bowl was pretty weak if you ask me. I like great players playing great (one of the biggest reasons Kobe will never be considered an equal of MJ: his huge highs and lows vs. MJ's consistent high). I like watching great athletes compete on their stage at a very high level. Even if my team loses, I can handle it if the level of play is stellar. An old friend of mine is such a die-hard San Diego Chargers fan that when Bo Jackson suffered that hip injury as a Raider my friend was actually a little pleased (because the Chargers might benefit). I haven't talked to him in a long time and no, not because of that one incident, but it certainly was a symptom of a much bigger problem. That kind of fanaticism is idiotic. Lacks heart and soul. I might add that said friend was a below average baller.

Payton Manning should have played a lot better than he did. I "read" games and athletes pretty well having competed in team sports (soccer) most of my life. The Saints clearly (and anyone should have read this) developed confidence throughout the second half, beginning with the on-side kick. But what gave the other Payton confidence to make such a call? The way the first half ended should have given every Saints fan a little confidence. First of all, the black and gold go for it on 4th and goal (didn't like the call -- take the points. Or at least, if you're going to go for it, put it in Brees' hands). They're stopped. Colts ball, up 10-3 with about 2 minutes to play in the half. And the Saints force a 3 and out. That was HUGE. Had Indy run-out the clock, or even gone vintage Payton Manning down the field for a quick 3 pointer, boom, different game. The same thing happened in the Chargers Jets game. San Diego did not maintain that point differential, or extend it. The Jets hung around. And more than just simple math is at stake. The team that stays close gains confidence. Conversely, the team with the lead that fails to extend that lead (many times this is the favored or "better" team) gets nervous. Then you have a ball game.

So, by forcing the 3 and out late in the first half, the Saints get the 3 points they should have gotten on the field goal they should have kicked on the earlier 4th and goal. 10-6 at half (Ball Game), a Saints half-time locker room full of hope and growing more confident (apparently they made a living this year from coming from behind). But a brilliant Manning doesn't go 3 and out. He runs out the clock (or drives for a late fg) and the Colts get the ball in the second half (I would venture to say that Sean Payton does NOT try the on-side down 10 or 13-3). Anyone who watched could sense how close this thing was to a Colts' comfortable win/blow-out.

The second half was all Saints. Manning just couldn't rise to the occasion. Even though Brees is brilliant himself, Manning did not exchange blows. The Saints' confidence grew and the Colts, mainly Manning, became less and less effective. I am not going to deny the Saints' ability to keep Manning off the field. They moved the ball. They have a ton of weapons. Freeney's injury was a factor.

However, Manning, as supreme a talent as he is, did not show-up in the second half. I was signaling game over with about 8 minutes to go. The Colts were done. The interception was just a formality. And I think a great point concerns how one sees this game affecting his legacy. If one were to say that a Colts' win cements Manning as the greatest (at least on that very very short list), then doesn't this performance do damage to his legacy on the same scale? If not, why not? For now it does. He's more Marino than he is Montana. He has the stats, but only one ring (and if anyone remembers that one super bowl win, he/she recalls that was anything but a real classic).

Manning is a tremendous talent, but I have to say that many people (even me to a certain extent) seem to have forgotten his record from his Tennessee and early Colts' days. At Tennessee, go back and look, he could not win the big game. At the time, Spurrier was at Florida, and both Florida and Tennessee were highly ranked. At least two of the match-ups had big national title implications. Under Manning, Tennessee never beat the Spurrier-led Gators. It's not far-fetched to say that many considered Manning a bit of choke. We might be a little more familiar with the height of the Patriots' run and the way they were able to frustrate and beat Manning a couple of times in the playoffs although I think Manning had a huge win vs. Brady during the Colts' super bowl title run in 2007.

My point is that Manning's ineffective play in the 2010 Super Bowl is not an isolated incident.

From the perspective of wanting to see the Saints finally win, great stuff. No one deserves it more than that team, that city and all of its people. But from a performance perspective, Manning came-up short. If anything, let's say the Saints win in a shoot-out, Manning could have, as I said, been a part of a classic, a real barn-burner, which some people were anticipating, at least hoping for. Didn't happen.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl

Today is the beer football chips guacamole and other killer American pu-pus celebration.

I got in a 45 min gym session where I lifted and did some core. Then I walked at 10-12% for 15 minutes. I'm on some sinus meds, but I still feel like shit as far as running is concerned.

But more importantly, I've got the aforementioned celebration lined-up.

Wife is making chili. Friend is making his homemade chicken wings. He's got skills. Can't wait to try those and they're oven crispy vs. fried. Yay. His wife is doing some salad and I am making this. Of course, there are some other munchies hanging around, so the edibles should not be a problem.

I have a 22oz of Ale Smith IPA, a sixer of Green Flash WCIPA, a pint of Russian River Blind Pig, and a single 12oz of 90 minute Dogfish Head. There a couple of New Belgian Tripells if needed. The rest of the peeps will gravitate toward Blue Moon and red wine. I will also be consuming a lot of water.

The Game.
I like the Colts to win this game because Manning is such a pro and the team just seems to reflect that guy's work-ethic and game execution. He's better than very good. However, the Saints seem to have the intangibles to get it done. Whoever wins the Reggie battle will win the game. If Reggie Bush has a "good" game, the Saints win. If Reggie Wayne goes "big," Colts.

Enjoy the festivities!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Big Sigh

The sigh is two-fold: hints at exasperation (I think true exasperation is accompanied by tears, wailing or bleating, and "breaking-down"); concerns a sense of relief. I am relieved to be finally on the mend, but a little exasperated at the time and fitness I've lost due to this costly break from running.


2009 was ending on a big, positive note. The racing I had managed in 2008 didn't materialize in 2009, but I ran, discoursed and felt for sure that I had continued to grow as an off-roadie. From October through early December I was running regularly and starting to build toward my first race of 2010 at Boney Mt. Xterra. It is site of my first trail race ever and just a gorgeous course. In fact, I started this blog in the context of that race. Got off the mountain and drove to Pismo Beach for the weekend. Talk about epic.

Following the 2010 edition, I was primed to hit the Xterra SoCal tour during Jan and Feb. There's a couple of San Diego races and a Crystal Cove race that looked especially good. These are shorter trail races, but I was thinking these would be great for some early speed work as I continued to develop my aerobic (long) base. Spring and summer would unfold naturally from this busy early season of racing and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) consistent running.

So, I'm a little distraught with those expectations in mind. Bummed. Racing is fun and probably the best way to improve. No question, so long as one is running consistently in and around the racing. Since 2008 was so much fun from a racing perspective and 2009 was with almost no racing, I was looking forward to getting even (pun intended) and loading up on some competition in the early 2010. This is a loss. And one, in dealing with loss, is best to embrace it, not ignore it. F!

Moving-on. . .

I still maintained a good sense of humor and enjoyed life. I have gravitated to a fairly steady diet of very good beer and healthy food. My vitamin/supplement regimen is getting more and more dialed in, too, so my life has not been just a lump of grief and derailment. I've been watching a lot of sports and wife-TV, sipping on some good suds, espresso, and tea, and just DYING to get back out there to run. One might ask, have I been "training" at all?

I have been lifting weights a lot (~4 times a week). This has been a very cool "side job." I have never been the weight-lifting guy. I now feel comfortable navigating the room amongst the weight-lifters. I can get in there, get some work done and get out. Doesn't take a lot, but certainly has benefits. My weight (which I battle because of my love of food and a couple of ales) did not go up at all with the cessation of running. In fact, it went down some. Very very cool. I will continue to lift. The benefits are large. Everyone should be lifting. Everyone.


This cold penetrated the defenses in the middle of December. Fine, a cold. We were having some cold weather, a little exercise, not enough real supplementation, one too many Blind Pigs and boom.. . a cold. I shut things down a little. . .hell I'm not even going to go back through that. Just read the last few posts.

Bottomline: I tried to train through the cold. Not totally crazy, but where I went wrong is in the efforts of said training. I was going too hard. The cold just never let-up. I went through a Z-pac, had my chest x-rayed, went through a lot of claritin/allegra/etc., and finally ended up getting a sinus x-ray which revealed some trouble.

I had been telling my doctor this all along. He is now my former doctor. I saw my new doctor yesterday (SHE is an internist and a pediatric doctor). The whole family will be dialed-in. She prescribed a sinus antibiotic and I am on day two of the horse pill. I went for a run right before the appointment just to see how bad things still were. Felt pretty good.

My allergies are the real culprit. That's me talking, not a Dr. I can manage this myself. Unfortunately, this cold became (we think. . .I probably shouldn't even suggest that we've solved the problem) bacterial in my sinuses. It's weird to have very little snot coming out of the nose unlike GZ, yet making a slow and delicate trip in the night to the chest. Makes one confuse upper respiratory stress for lower. It's a bitch. During the cold season, I'm just going to be on a daily dose of antihistamine to enhance my defense. Allergies (cold) trigger the asthma (confused chest cold). Control the former to avoid the latter.

That's pretty much it. I will take another day or so off, and then start running again. And boy do I have some ideas. My daily reading which includes "the network" (Worth the Wait) continues to make me think. The most important element to any improvement is consistency. Period. Whatever you do, if it interferes with that consistency it's wrong. Pretty simple.

The legendary consistency of MC (brought-up recently by Anton), Anton (that grows daily this time around on Green Mt.), JW, and GZ are great examples. I'll stick with the latter duet in that their beer drinking is inspirational, as well.

But to the point, I just want to be consistent. That's the biggest bummer about this illness.

I will articulate some of my goals as I get the running back in gear. No cart before the horse here. Back to work.