Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday 4/28


I did 5 miles on Monday, took Tuesday off and today I ran 8 miles.

Feeling better and better. The consistency is still pretty strong
and the running feels more and more fluid. I think back to that little
4 mile run in Idyllwild. I hope I'm really starting to turn a corner.

My doc got a heavier anti-histamine cleared through my insurance.
The pharmacist said this should be stronger and since it's a "next generation"
med, I shouldn't feel drowsy. Oh, yeah, there's that side-effect I've had
to deal with this past 2-3 months.


Some good brews have been in effect.

The highlights: Ranger, Pure Hoppiness, Pliny the Elder, Maharaja and Port all on draft. Also got a hold of some Hop Rod Rye and Alpine Nelson. Into some Dale's pale ale right now and had a nice cold Ale Smith X (extra pale ale) on draft after my run today.

Had fun at Toronado on Monday. A fine Maharaja pour blew my mind in this fine establishment.

I want more work, more running, and more good beer
on a solid foundation of more love, discipline and gratitude.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday 4/25


4 miles between 5200ft and 5700ft elevation in Idyllwild. It's a loop from the front door and got me back in time to check the fire (because of the heater not working, the fireplace was our primary heat source; from 4:45am on I was getting the fire back to life and maintaining, to keep my loved ones warm).

I would have liked to do 2 loops but I had many obstacles. First, I have these terrible allergies that are off the freaking chain. Secondly, a little twinge of pain in the shin area (I already know what that could mean). Lastly, my family that I wanted to make sure stayed warm in the morning cold (mid 60s during the day, low 40s at night).

But the 4 miles was perfect. Here's why. First, I felt great. See the previous day's post to see my "recovery," part of which occurred in Idyllwild. The run has ~900ft of vertical but the best part (test) is the ~mile climb at mile 2. Blessed was I to be able to run it, and feel so fresh, the result of great recovery and altitude which omits much of what ales ;-) me at sea level. Seriously. I mentioned last Monday the value of deep breaths. These Idyllwild deep breaths were treasureable (that's right). So I need to say something about these allergies, which are all about limiting deep. freaking. breaths!

I am running under a vail. What in the hell does that mean? I am so far from really running right now, from really training for anything. My goals? To be ready to trale with JW or some other local trail rat (which means float a trail and sip some ale). Race? You're kidding. I am day to day as they say in the good ole NFL. Last week is a great example. I started the week on Monday with a GREAT 5 mile trail run with some nice little climbs I steadied. The rest of the week was like a rest home. No kidding. And I pretty much found the culprit: over doing it in a field of sun flowers. I know, pathetic.

So, am I even accomplishing anything? You bet. A run like today gave me the clearance on saying I'm getting fitter. But what's crazy is I could not have clearance to run the next day! Unbelievable. I've put-in for some better meds to control this crap. My point: I am getting fit under this cloud of allergies. When I come-out, I will un-veil the real me, a getting fitter hunker of burning love.

Great run today. I thought about running on the beach this afternoon for mileage and sunlight, but I decided to stay home and do a little organizing and cherish the magnificent(ly) short run I had this a.m. Short, indeed, but it told me a lot. I felt the same way last Monday and ended-up doing 3 more in the afternoon, which ruined me! Lesson learned.

33 miles on the week. Recovery week.


As for addressing the hint of shin splint, I iced the area with snow from the cabin deck and then wore my compression socks . . .and slept in them and ran in them. I feel good right now. Another reason not to run this afternoon. Bottomline: it's all about maintaining some consistency and developing some fitness so when I come out from under this veil, I'm ready to really run.

Two cold cold drafts of Stone IPA. Damn! And 2 fish tacos.
And when I got home, a cold Ranger IPA. This is becoming a favorite.
(plus I found it at Henry's for 6.99 a sixer!).

Back away from my beer!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday 4/24


7 easy/steady miles. Time to hit the road.


A ridiculous arugula/egg/avocado salad. Wow.

Then we hit the road. Got to Idyllwild around 1:30. There was a bit of snow around the cabin, so I had to shovel the stairs and deck, tidy things up, start a fire, un-pack, etc. Then it was off to Aroma's, my favorite Idyllwild eatery. I had some splendid wild veggie sammy and a salad. For sure! And a Stone IPA 22oz. Oh, I love this place all right. Decided against the Chimay and just got Stoned!

Awesome lunch. Picked-up some goodies from the store, including a 6er of Ranger IPA, and hung-out and played, waiting for the grandparents and dinner.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday 4/23


An easy 7 miles that felt great, especially later in the run.

I will run early in the morning and then head to the mountains,
which means my Sunday run ought to be fantastic.


Just chilling with Hop Stoopid. Makes one feel smart. More on that in a later post.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday and Thursday 4/21-2


Yesterday I ran 2 miles super ez and lifted weights. Pretty worn-out. The record will reflect a 3 mile run on Monday that might've F-ed me up. The 5 miler on a very rolling hill earlier in the day felt awesome, deep breathing, light, clear, just the way one likes. The 3 miler was stupid. It was flat, super ez and through a stadium of those wild yellow sun flowers. Like hell. I dealt with allergies as a kid and seem to be dealing with them again. All I know is I have been pretty much ruined since that 3 miler. Again, did just 2 yesterday (which made me feel a lot better).

Today, I was psyched for a 6 miler, but work took me late into the day, I had to pick-up Jack and I needed to chill. I easily could've run today but said screw it. Didn't want to. Believe me, if I don't want to do something, I won't.

Some perspective: weeks of 45, 46 and 50 might have set-up the melt-down on Monday. The lesson I learned is be smarter than that! Day after finishing the previous week's 50, hitting a killer 5 mile trail with little climbs means I am doing great. This should be a recovery week anyways. I should still get-in between 30-40. 4th week of a little cycle. Get healthy and ready for week 5!

Besides, had a tough day at the office. It was long over-due, and according to many of the students I had done a great job of displaying tremendous diplomacy. . .but I had to kick a student out of the class (for the day, mind you, not the semester). From day one, the guy has been KOOK. Pain in the neck. Need to ice my gig.

I have 15 miles on the week.


IPA and friends

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday 4/20


5 recovery miles. Uhhg.

Picture is of Mr. Consistency, on the edge. Cheers to R2R2R.


This is ABV 10+. Any guesses?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday 4/19


5 mile trail run with ~700ft ascent that felt very good, surprisingly.
Strong, deep breaths. Moving much better than I would have thought
even though I was just spinning before food. Don't take deep breaths for granted.

3 miles later in the day; tougher than the 5 miles.

8 miles for Monday.

Obsessed? Actually, I just wanted to see if there was a big difference since I got a new pair about a month ago. They've been in the closet; I busted-out on the new dogs to get dressed-up and go to the ballgame yesterday.

Not really much difference. They're great shoes (Glycerin). I forget what I got the first pair for (I almost NEVER pay full price). The second pair I got for $35.

That older pair is just getting good.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday 4/18


Went for the grass/trail/pavement route. 8.5 miles. Started the run early for me, feeling old and tired. Finished feeling young and ready for the day. As has been the program the last few weeks, I haven't been looking at cumulative weekly mileage during the week (I haven't had any mileage targets, just the goal of running everyday). Well, I glanced last night. I was at 41.5 for the week. So I hit the eight point fiver, which gives me 50 for the week.

An even number sounds good. This number also indicates steady building. The last three weeks have been 45, 46 and 50. Okay by me. And I'm not 100%.
At all.

Goal for the next week, run every day. Simple.

Nice to see GZ did R2R2R in good form.


There will be good food and bevies for me and my lovely wife.
Day game. Taking the train to the diamond. Yeeeah.

Great game! Go Pads!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday 4/17


Good news on the run today. No ill effects from yesterday. Decided against the trail; instead I hit the treadmill to make sure all is okay. If I had to go really easy, so be it. If I had to hit the stationary bike, will do. Yesterday was worrisome on the one hand, but not that big of a deal on the other. Rick gave me a little perspective and I think my diet might have contributed to yesterday's melt-down. But the biggest, most obvious observation is the HR's role in my program right now. I don't have to be too reserved on runs, but some of yesterday's climbs were too steep and long for my system.
The deal with that mountain is trails galore. There are numerous ways to go, loop around, re-join, fork, etc. I was hitting forks and just going the way I happened to be going. The best thing about ascending that knoll is the nature of some of the switch backs. They are long, which makes the mountain very runnable. It's almost like a rolling trail up a mountain though there necessary steep sections. My bad was taking a "wrong" turn which put me on a straight up section that pretty much took me to the top my first time (I turned around and went back to the summit later). That little run/fast hike section put me in the red zone I'm afraid. Then again I wasn't feeling all that great all day. So, it is what it is.

But today I've bounced back quite well. I did 7 miles on the treadmill at a steady clip, monitoring my PE and HR. Both were in check and I was pleasantly surprised. Sure I had some stuff in my throat (the clear glue I call it), but I was feeling pretty damn fresh, which is tremendous given yesterday's experience.

The rest of the day is play and have fun. Can't wait for tomorrow's 8 miles, trail.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday 4/16


Just got my ass kicked running 7.5 miles with 1500ft. of vert. Basically, the first 4 miles were up and then I got to cruise back down. Love the "mountain" in La Costa. But I was worked pretty much throughout and still a little winded/tired. Felt pretty ambivalent this a.m., went to a meeting up near the "mountain" so I thought definitely getting my run in there because I really like that place and I did not want to run on anything flat. Well, I got my wish, but my allergies were pretty much off the chain. Brutal. I was tight chested and just really took it easy. The weather was perfect.
Granted, there was a lot of pollen in the air (not good), but I thought my progress might let me "get some." So, pretty tough. I'm going to tack-on 2.5 (for the love of something) this afternoon and then drink some good beer. Damn! I have soooo far to go, but I guess if I'm not saying that then I've resigned myself to vulture pickings.

When I'm healthier, a great run will be 2 loops and about 3000ft. of climbing.

A few pics of the place.

From the car. Little over a mile to the base.


I did not do another 2.5. Could've but got on the phone with some of our country's esteemed bureaucracy and that little (pretty meaningless) run went out the window.

However, I did accomplish something and I'm ready for a beer.
First up, Ranger.

I have recovered nicely respitorially (dig that word) from the run. Tomorrow another trail run, but the doctor says ROLLING trail. And I have a perfect candidate about 8 minutes from my front door.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday 4/15


Got in 6 miles. Had jury duty this morning - took the day-off. Made quick work of the duty (was excused) so I decided to head to the DMV to renew my expired license. I was at the DMV for about 2 hours. Turned-out I had to re-take the written test after standing in line for.. .ever. Some of the questions were hilarious, and some were tough. You can only miss 3 out of 36; pretty basic but I did not want to have wasted half my day. If you fail, you have to come back to the DMV on a different day to re-take. Uhg. I passed.

Squeezed-in the miles.


Had a Ranger IPA with a huge green salad.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday 4/14


10 miles with ~1300ft. vert. Ran easy but felt pretty good, light, enough so to throw a little steady here and there. Have so far to go it's not even good to think about it. But the journey is ureal and, yes, epic. Health and fitness are slowly showing themselves. Thanked God a few times today for my health, for the ability to be out there running. Perfect weather. Life is good.


Some solid stuff going down this evening.

Met up with Toby for some beers and a burger. Good times.

Got to try Alpine Duet on cask, Pure Hoppiness and Pliny on draft.

The Duet on cask was so light-flavorful-IPA-refreshing (Duet's an IPA made with rye, I'm pretty sure). Haven't had a lot of beer on cask. Definitely a great find. The other two were exceptional and finishing with the Elder was an exclamation point of that beer's greatness. Wow.

The burger had brie, prosciutto and baby mixed greens. Ridiculous.

O'Brien's is definitely a good call.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday 4/13


6 mellow miles. Felt much better today but had to sneak it in this afternoon because I was slammed all day. Tomorrow should open to a double. I can only hope.


Cold frosty pint of Stone IPA with my turkey burger.

Monday, April 12, 2010


5 miles, felt tired and, well, tired. Has everything to do with going to bed very late. Those of you keeping your fingers crossed, keep-em crossed. Was up working on a "deliverable" that would make me pretty happy. I'll be up sorta late tonight, too.

My heart-rate today said tired. I have been eating very well and drinking very little beer, just very good beer. So, shame on me. Actually, I was going to take the day off. I figured 90 miles in the last two weeks, a little slammed at work, take Monday off. But the easy 5 was nice. I did a little lifting, too. Not much. But just getting off of the chair, picking-up Jack and hitting the gym for an easy work-out made me feel better. Isn't that always the case?


Killer spinach salad and a Firestone UJ IPA. Back to work.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday 4/11


7 miles steady, last mile up a gradual hill. Will probably tag-on 2 miles later, taking the 6 year-old mtbiking.

Tagged-on 2 miles with the little guy on his first mtb ride. Classic. Took a couple of diggers. It's a flat ride, but not completely flat. Actually this guy's header pic is taken of him tearing-up that area on his cx bike. That's where we ran/rode. Next to the San Diego Velodrome. Balboa Park area, near the SD Zoo.

There were some big tears because of the spills. But by the time we got back to the car he was stoked! We'll get back to some road riding to keep his drive alive, but his new dirt bike is ready to get dirty. Summer will be rad on that end.

So I did 9 miles today and according to some rough math, I did 46 miles on the week, one more than I did last week. Whatever. Details aren't even important. It's the Consistency. Honestly, I did not think I'd even hit 45 going into today (didn't even know how many I had) because I knew I had some smaller days (4 and 5+). But I just ran everyday and just went with what the day gave me (took what I could get). This week was a lot more trail, a lot more stress, so I'm getting stronger for sure. The consistency is so key. I can't wait to run tomorrow.


Had this pint of Pliny while watching a great final round at the Masters. Happy to see Phil win it for his legacy and his wife, who has been battling cancer. He's a San Diego guy. Great stuff. One commentator said if Woods had one, Karma would have curled-up and died. I don't know about that, but this tourney just seemed to play-out the way it should.

Did a little shopping this afternoon, too. "Matt, did you get those groceries I wanted?" Oh shit.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday 4/10


7 easy miles. Easy is a little more steady, which is a nice development.


Off to fly a kite. No kidding.

Home now and tired. I'm doing 8-10 tomorrow!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday 4/9


8.3 miles in the UCSD eucalyptus grove. Great run. Went easy but felt solid other than a little bloated. Power bar, coconut water? Kashi cereal I ate? Hmmm. Pretty clear nose, throat and chest. I don't remember a run that felt that good. Getting stronger. 1700ft+ vertical.


Had a pint of Union Jack IPA and a 22oz of Sculpin IPA. These are two of the very finest single IPAs around.

Pretty beat. . from driving up and down SD freeways!

Time for a cold one . . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Showdown

"I have a dream. . ."

By the way, did anyone see Chris Rock on Letterman the other night. Hilarious. Dave throws him a cup cake: "What do you think of Tiger and the Masters?" Chris Rock: "Tiger will win and then rape Phil Mickelson." Sure it's crude, but pretty Chris Rock funny. Great stuff. He also had some great race discourse, and MLK Jr. came up (this was last night - might've been a re-run), but given that association and the beer drinkin' to. .. night. . . I have a dream!

And it's drinking really good beer all the time, after I teach and write my ass off and run gnarly trails. . . DIPA me!

So I pitted Bells Hopslam, a double IPA out of Michigan gainst San Diego county's own Alpine Pure Hoppiness, another double IPA. Hopslam is famous, legendary. JW cajoled a case (how in the hell did he do that) and told me a 6er costs ~$25. No comment.

Okay, so here's the winner. Are you ready? The winner is . . .

I know, I'm an ugly middle-aged dude and the last thing you wanted was a picture of me. But that's the verdict. The beers are apples and oranges. They're both great beers. I'm just one lucky stiff with a great wife (whom I love to death) and a prodigious son (pick'em, pal) with a taste for good beer and a bunch of really cool friends (see blog list). Frankly, my local friends.. .sure I have a couple. . no problems, but the blogosphere has simply aggregated a bunch of buddies and the fact that I've never met many of them face-to-face is classic. I will meet them, and we will run and we will drink ale. Of course, I even have friends local I've met via the blog. Again, it's a filter, so these are very cool folk (where in the hell was I?).

I win. I drank some great beer tonight.

Bottomline: Bells Hopslam is freaking champagne. It's a Pliny the Elder type that has much history and experience, and is simply just a great beer. One of the best beers I've ever had. I had only one 12oz. It was sublime. Smoother than Pliny but that's as much a stylistic point as a comparison. Hopslam is 10% but drinks like a 8%. My point is I did not taste the alcohol. That's money. The fact that you might mistake this for a session beer, have a couple and go back to work. . . have fun. I had to wait to crack the Pure Hoppiness so I got to read the buzz of Hopslam. Really nice. People miss that part of beer. The buzz. Since that's kinda the whole point, ought not you check that? Brilliant. I almost texted JW for another. Ha ha ha!

So, truly a great beer. More malty than big hoppy, but again, so well made that the balance/fusion/artistry/sublimination. .. .was simply epic. If you find this on tap, holler back!

Alpine's Pure Hoppiness is my favorite beer right now (other than Pliny). This beer has hops. A lot more than Hopslam. But my favorite part of PH is it's clean big hop drink. Big orange, pineapple, pine HOP but really clean. I wouldn't classify this as the more agressive ipa style of some. It's big but the finish is what makes this beer so good. Could hit almost any entree. I just love this beer.

I'm west coast, I want hops, and I may want this beer every freaking night. I can do that. Big plus. And this beer looks better in a glass. I did not say ass, but yeah, PH has a better ass than Hopslam. Sorry Midwest.

Here's the sequence. I'm feeling great. How you dooin'?

Thursday 4/8


5+ miles on a rolling (rather than hilly) trail; definitely got to go up some. Took it very easy. Mid-day so the heat was pretty much, "What's up, dude!" On my last loop, feeling nice and groovy, I come around and "What's up, dude," but this time it's a healthy, actually quite stunning, rattler. Second one in two weeks, different trails. Hey, I'm treading on their turf. I said, "hello," turned, and went the other way.

Feel great. Off to my son's science fair this early evening and then hopefully home to conduct my own "experiment."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday 4/7


6+ miles again and under perfect conditions again. Allergies still bothering but the fact that I'm running every single day and ran today after yesterday which was a little rolling trail doing 8:30s the whole way with the Walsh's is money. I'm going to try and make that a weekly outing with JW. Pretty sweet that he's running again and a relaxed trail run on the coast near a pub creates very conducive conditions. I just have to watch my recovery given a drive follows. Hmmmm. Problem solving. . .


Had a Pliny and now a 12oz of La Fin Du Monde. Beer rules. There will be a big showdown tomorrow.

West coast vs. the Midwest. And it's not basketball.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday 4/6


6+ mile run with JW and BGW (part of 1:40 run for the ironwoman).


2 pitchers of IPA with JW and TG.

Life is good.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday 4/5


AM - Squeezed-in 4 easy miles. Body feels really good (clear) which is a bit surprising after feeling pretty congested yesterday. Windy desert can, from what I remember, wreak havoc with allergies. I have a lot to do, so good to get-in 4 miles. May have a chance for a few this afternoon. We'll see.

Just a thought: you want your salad dressing to be worth drinking whatever's left in the bowl when you're "done." Lickitysplit.

PM - The few miles or ~ hour spin was not meant to be. Back to work.


Have you seen the inside of my fridge? Great stuff!

Watching the NCAA final game and drinking a Port Wipe-out IPA.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday 4/4


There's a certain balance in the air. April 4th, I did 6 easy/steady miles and wrapped-up my week with 45 going 6767676. And the bunny came through nicely. The candy is barely tolerable, but the tennis racket works. Tennis anyone?


Headed down to the desert for a little Easter brunch following the morning activities. Very mellow day other than a little driving. The weather was great desert spring-time which means a lot of sun and some wind.

We had a nice brunch. The place was handing-out mimosas (one came with most entrees), so our table grabbed some of those, a couple of people ordered bloody mary's. Is that what I had? Instead of Where's Waldo, it's What Did Matt Quaff?

I checked the lay-out upon setting-foot in the joint. What does that mean? That means scanning the bar for taps. Pretty typical selection, which, fortunately, means I made-out just fine. Stella, Blue Moon, some hefeweizen, Bud Light, a few other taps and . . . Stone Arrogant Bastard. I had one of those at home last night watching the Final Four. Big fan.

Had two of those with my turkey burger sans cheese and ended-up in the hammock at my in-laws' pad.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday 4/3


7 miles, almost hitting 9 min/mile, HR 135ish.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday 4/2


6 miles easy. Tony K's write-up is brilliant and exactly how I am approaching my program. This week has been the beginning of, what I hope, a ton of consistency.

Mon. 6
Tue. 7
Wed. 6
Thr. 7
Fri. 6

You can see the pattern. I will finish this week with 7 tomorrow and 6 on Sun. I will end the week with 45 miles. Very manageable but what's more important is that I am building my strength across the board. I am recovering well enough to complete the next day's run. And I am feeling pretty darn good.

Next week I will, based on how I feel, add a little here and there though that might mean scaling back on the non-essential days. Either way, like Tony, it's about maintaining a sense of consistency. That is all.


A 22oz of great Alpine ipa.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thursday 4/1


Instead of a run, I got in the cove this morning and swam to the 1/2 mile buoy. Thought I'd start the month off with a change of pace, some cross training, revisiting some older work-outs I used to do. Remember now why I haven't done much open-water swimming in a while. The water was freezing at 6:00am. And there's a higher prevalence of predatory fish out feeding during these early morning hours. A group of three swimmers out in-front proved to be the "bush-whacker" I needed. About 300 yards from the buoy, I'm turning my head for air when I hear shouting. I look up startled and see the three swimmers in-front treading water a little higher, looking around. Then they start swimming in the opposite direction, toward shore, hard. I followed suit. Fortunately, I had a gap on them, and this would become my saving grace. I hammered like Michael Phelps hammered some Cocoa Puffs after a couple of bong hits.

Turning to see my competition every 10 or twelve strokes, my hidden speed revealed itself as I got closer to safety. The red water that started to grow behind the only two swimmers in my wake prodded me to swim without even breathing, head down, flying! Damn, I didn't think I had such speed after such a lay-off. Should I return to multi-sport? Where's that Qunitana Roo wetsuit I bought 7 years ago? The morning sunlight was starting to populate the beach as more and more people, even Life Guards, were drawn toward this epic race for life (and the horrible seafood carnage taking place behind me). People in the know told me as I was drying-off that the swimming was epic, that the other survivor (only 1 of the 3 made it) and I truly made the sport proud. What a scare, right?


Actually I only ran 7 miles, nice and easy. And I stretched for the first time in a few months!

Speaking of April Fool's, I vote for Hal.


Found this on twitter. Great stuff. I happen to love kale and arugula, especially arugula.

That helped lunch (pictures). Met my wife for dinner and had 2 of the best Stone IPAs on draft ever. A good glass is a good glass. Coconut bliss dark chocolate and then it's bedtime.

Take matters into your own hands!


The boy, the attack.