Tuesday, November 30, 2010


5 miles easy in the a.m.
6 miles easy in the p.m.

My allergies are definitely "in the house" or it's moving toward a sinus dilemma.
So I am going to start running easy, often and longer. I have been running a lot of steady efforts for the past month or so. At this point I am going to back off, do a little HR training and try to run more.

Remind me to keep hiking!

11 miles on the day.

I want 60 this week. All easy.

Like GZ just said (per my previous post), sneak-in a.m. runs.
Thanks, dude. You're exactly right.

I am psyched for some bigger mileage at fat burner efforts.
Cuz I can always lose a few LBS.

Speaking of, went to a little fundraiser tonight for my kid's school.

Had a couple of drafts: Ruination and Lucky Bastard.
I'm stoned!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I hope everyone had a killer Thanksgiving (the holiday where Native Americans generously gave whitey the bird).

This pic here is pretty clear. I ate meat, but did so with a grain or two of IPA.

Last week was big for me, just going in. I wanted (and talked about) a big week run-wise. I went on the road for Thanksgiving and the Palm Springs area does have some off-road running and some vertical. I was hoping to get in some solid running in the SD area upon our return. I wanted to get some work done!

Final grade: B

Mon - 5 miles
Tues - 6
Wed - 6
Thurs - 8
Fri - 15
Sat - 5
Sun - 9

I get a B mainly because Saturday or Sunday was supposed to be ~12 miles, 3k vert here in the local mountains. Oh well. I had no conception of mileage going in; rather a few quality runs I wanted to get done. 54 miles is good and I want more and need more. I need to train like I am going looooong. More on that in about a month or so. Until then, run for 17 - 25k hilly trail races.

Some pics

A little system moving out on the afternoon we arrived.

The next morning, from the car heading to the trail head. Clear skies.

Going up


Monday - 5 solid miles bumping some sweet tunes in the cold Cali afternoon air.

A little recovery:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday - Friday

Didn't make the hike yesterday. I was playing it safe because of the little stuffiness coming on that generally makes the entire breathing apparatus disfunctional.

This a.m. I did 6 miles and felt good, really good. I am really keeping the preventative meds going strong, sleeping well, yada yada. That's all for the day. We head down today and I will be doing a face-plant off of the vegetarian bandwagon as I hit draft beers and killer tacos at the greatest taco shop in the world (father-in-law owned). Bring it! I will definitely have pictures.

And then there's Matt v. Turkey. But that's the undercard; the vegetables had better watch their backs! The father-in-law and the wife will be cooking hard. Can't wait. I'm thinking a very aggressive IPA.

Tomorrow begins the quality runs. I have an 8 miler into the mountains that collide with the valley I've done part of before. Steep climb out, levels off, great views (of the valley??) and then a descent I have you to do. It's an 8 mile loop with probably about 1500-2000ft. of vert. I hope to do that Thursday and Friday just because of its proximity to where we are staying.

Friday afternoon and Saturday look to be pretty good too but I'm not sure yet. Bottomline: stay out front of the gnarly phlegm. That's my motto!

I am SOOO Thankful for my health and the chance to spend some quality time with the family. Cheers to all of that goodness.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


a.m. 6 miles easy. The stuffiness is there, it's just that I already have the meds to keep at bay the stuffiness.

Taking the boy to work today. Should be interesting.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Felt pretty blahhh today. My son is off all week so my wife and I split the duties. Went to the gym with him this afternoon. Did 6 miles easy and some core work. Very low energy. Oh, and I got a hair cut, which is like speed-work, no?

When I was in grade school (and doing hill repeats both ways in the snow) we went to school M-W and then had Th-F off. Now they get the entire week off. Damn. Generalizations are a bad habit but Americans are a lazy bunch, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Recovery

My wife has been cooking a bit and my father-in-law who is Eastern European came into town with some of his classics (but most of it is gone so no pics).

Here are some pics.
Sweet potatoes and shallots on top of a red cabbage/green onion salad both of which are next to my wife's chicken noodle soup. It contains organic chicken and yes we ate chicken and yes it was yummy. There are egg noodles in there with a lot of carrots, shallots, celery and herbs. Just plain good.

Here's another chicken noodle soup, but this one has orzo and is tomato based. The orzo seems to be dominating the pic but underneath is a lot of veggie goodness.

Below is my father-in-law's peppers. He grows them, knows where to buy them (he owns theeee most ridiculous taco shop in the world. . . I know pretty sensational, but I'll tell you what: I'll post pictures next week to prove it - at least the look of world classness). These peppers are usually either eaten solo, or put on some fresh baguette with a little feta cheese, or however you want. They're the shit.

Last but not least. Karmeliet Tripel. Beautiful flavor which you may know is basically that spicy Belgian yeast. The carbonation is really nice and the pear and apple hints make this so world class, especially with homemade food! At about $10 a bottle, I can share it and/or enjoy it myself ;) Beats the CRAP out of some domestic IPA with well-groomed side-burns. The Karemiet is about 8.4%. But you don't taste it. It's near the top. It's the kind of beer you bring to a wine party though it dominates any soccer/cyclocross/rugby affair as well. I'm quaffing as I write this blahg post.


More rain though unlike Saturday there are bigger breaks between "buckets." I slept-in until ~8:00 and then we went to breakfast per my wife's request. Fortunately, the place has a healthy eating conscience so the food is better than, say, KFC. I wolfed down a stack of blackberry pancakes and a pile of rosemary taters, plus a few scoops of egg-whites. So good and I did not feel stuffed. Hmmmmm. Kinda odd given that I ate about 3 bowls of my wife's soup the night before.

After sitting on the couch, reading and watching a little bit of football, I headed to the gym again. I wanted to do 6 miles and some lifting but ended-up with 5 miles and some lifting. I am good with it though because I am feeling better (context of a throat sensation) and the lifting just feels quality. If I could've done some steadier stuff on the mill, I would've done 6-7 miles, but I wanted to keep the HR in check.

Big week coming-up. I want to basically be blogging next Sunday night with a lot of work on the trail in the books. I am running some gnarly trails in the Palm Springs area this week and when I return I want to hit some local stuff pretty hard. Iron Mountain is the actual target. This week was very easy, too easy though no worries so long as I kill it this next week. Hopefully I keep this blog updated. I need to start focusing a little more so I can dial-in some of these events in Jan - March.

Some supreme recovery is going on, actually as I write this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We are getting some solid rain in San Diego. I love it.

This morning was the final game of my son's first season of soccer/futbol.
The experience has been a massive success. He has begun to learn the secret of the game:
keep the ball in front of you (and use both feet).

He scored two beautiful goals today (the game is 8 on 8 with goalies). His grandparents were in attendance, the rain is going sideways, truly classic conditions and the kid was blowing-up.

After the game, we went home for dry clothes, hit some breakfast, and returned to the field for an awards ceremony that had been canceled. So, we head back towards home, stop-by the store for some soup ingredients and are now sitting in a nice warm room cooking and playing games.

I thought about hitting the gym (tickle in the throat is still there). But then I thought, why? Why not open a Racer 5, get ready to inhale homemade soup and hang with my lovely family?

The tipping-point was walking into the kitchen after returning from the store and my wife says, "make me a martini." Pretty unusual yet impressive.


Friday, November 19, 2010


A very busy week on the work front and I still have A LOT of work to do before Thanksgiving break (did I read somewhere that some people have to refrain from saying "Thanksgiving" for reasons we don't need to go into other than to say some jackasses need to get lives and either get the hell outa here or shut the fuck up).

Speaking of, I am SO GRATEFUL to have work that I truly enjoy. Just a few more days to get through this "pile."

I have little tickle in my throat. Perhaps a few late nights working did it, or maybe that I didn't run for 2 days? I'm not sure. Today I went to the gym and ran 5 easy miles, did some squats, a little core work and light lifting.

I'll get some rest and hopefully get in some nice running this weekend. Goal: get right for the couple of days in the desert that will yield some solid trail climbing and then we're home for the weekend. I'm getting hungrier and, of course, I'm always primed for a drink:

A little note on the beers above. We have a couple of Belgians that ran me about $9 a pop. My wife requested the Duvel, so who am I to say no. The Karmeliet is highly recommended. I've had Karmeliet. Highly recommended.

The other two gems? Pliny is $4.99 and Racer 5 is $4.50. Not an extreme budget.
Compare nicely to some of the over-priced local micro beers we have here in SD.

I've been talking about a bargain (good) beer post for awhile. I need an itinerary and a crew.

Here's to a killer, productive weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Took Monday off. Slammed at work and Sunday was about 2 1/2 hours and 11+ miles of steady running and hiking Cowles Mt. The mountain in the afternoon kicked my ass.

Today, despite the fact that I actually sat there contemplating my morning run (should I head to work early and get work done?), I ended-up with a nice little work-out. Nothing planned but ended-up about 3 miles warm-up and then about 2 miles of hills that basically consisted of attacking, recovering for 10-20 seconds, attacking, rolling and cooled down for about a mile. ~6 miles 50 minutes.

Felt so good afterward (actually I felt slow but energized) that I ended-up hitting my little beer boutique down in Ocean Beach. I'll post a pic soon, for the record.

I need those kinds of runs. Quality. Doing those hard hills I know pays huge dividends. In my one year of legitimate racing (meaning I entered a few races - 2008), I hooked up with Trevor Glavin. He coached me at the end of the year through The World of Hurt 25k (3000ft.vert) outside Vegas and the 25k in Hawaii. I was pretty healthy in Vegas coming off some solid training with weekly (double?) doses of the Caveman workout. It's basically HARD hill repeats with tempo efforts mixed-in. I remember reeling people in at the end of the race. 100 milers in the mountains? Different story.

So today's morning run was good. It worked-out perfectly, a text-book work-out for some up-coming hilly trail running.

Then, tonight I actually got in another 4 miles. My son started his kick-boxing/sparring class since he got his yellow sash/belt. The class is an hour long, so I ran for about 34 minutes in the dark. I smelled, but felt pretty good afterward. Like I said Sunday, time to ramp things up a bit. Did not plan on getting-in the work today. Psyched.

And I love the fact that I'm a week away from being through a tough go at work, and off to the desert for Thanksgiving. Nice trails down there, nice weather.

Tuesday: 10 miles

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Tacos

Wife got the recipe from Sunset Magazine. They're very tasty and the texture with the slaw makes it a very satisfying meal. We're going to make them again, but are bumping up the amount and heat of the peppers. Great for left overs/snacks. Try them!

The Double Bastard was big. Definitely not a beer I'm swilling. A good one to sip with some good fall flavors, like pumpkin and roasted peppers. Definitely my favorite time of year.

Hydration nudge: go drink a pint of ale.

Some pics of my Sunday recovery beer over there.


8 miler this am, flat with a little hill at the end. First 6 were in 46 minutes, which was pretty comfortable though I coughed-up some stuff (had to slow for that) and then a few spots on the way back were just blaah. The crap I coughed is maybe what I would call "the midnight oil" (meaning whatever accumulates in the night while I'm on my back). Bad dreams.

I need to start rampping it up a little. If I'm in town I'm going to participate in (what looks like) a killer 17k trailer in Orange County. A month later is my (so far) favorite trailer and then a month after that a local brutal down the road trailer.

More hiking, more longer runs and some good tempo, track-like fartlekity sessions that make my eyes water and the midnight oil boil

deep inside.

Off to hike Cowles Mt. in a few hours and then some good beers.
I have been thinking a little about karma.
At one end, it's one of the cheesiest concepts
because of its overuse and simplistic cause-and-effect narrative.

But we all know that cliches form because of their truth and the simplicity of it is perhaps another good sign that it's for real.

I just see too many cases in our lives and popular culture (and I have to remind myself and this blog that I may have a misconception of karma, but I think mine works for discussion's sake). It's hard to miss.

Check-out the world of sports. There are millions of examples but the best one now is Lebron James. That guy so screwed a bunch of people (Ohioans, fans in general) that he can't stop the backlash of misfortune. Believe me, he's up to his neck in it.

It just seems obvious the importance of doing the right thing. I guess many millions of dollars were/are made on the back of steroid use, but so many people get caught and asterisked, blackballed, hall of shamed, etc. I'm not sure if they'll get ill physically, but that might in the cards, too. Is it worth it?

I know the conversation is tired, but it just seems so obvious; and fresh examples come forward almost daily. Although there has been some justice done to the evils of finance/banking/investment, I can't wait for that karmic tale to get ugly on some douche-bags. I watched an Enron documentary recently, and my students and I are investigating the ethics of Wall Street/The Corporation (which I'm afraid will only scratch the proverbial bald head of the proverbial Wall Street scum bag).

If you try to take a short-cut, cheat, do something to hurt others, it's going to catch-up to you or your grand children, you moron.

I'm beat. The hike was warm and the hard trail definitely cooked me.

Picture of Jack with South and North Fortunas in the background. The little bit of trail in the distance (just to the right side of his head) is the trail that travels between those peaks. He's done them all in the last week (both Fortunas and Cowles). Time for a beer.

Having a good beer (and the camera was sitting right there!)

And if I say I'm having a pint, I'm having a pint. This pint glass is from England; I stuffed it in my bag when I was over there studying and playing soccer with a bunch of wankers.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pre Pumpkin Tacos

Just woke-up from a nap that came from a busy morning and a little lunch at The Station consisting of a spicy black bean burger and pint of GF 30th Street Pale Ale.

Having a snack and then wife is making some pumpkin tacos. Here's to a mellow Saturday night, chilling at home with the family.

I have to admit: never tried the Stone Double Bastard. Bottle says 11.25%; BA says 10.5%. Clearly nothing to be concerned about. I can't wait.

Notes on the pumpkin tacos (I can smell the pasilla peppers roasting now!) and Double Bastard coming soon.

Friday, November 12, 2010


The hike yesterday was awesome. Time on feet. Mixing-up paces. Some nice vertical (carrying a 6-year-old up a few of the last steep grades). Good strength work. QUALITY time with the kid.

The header pic is from the hike: he found a rock shaped like a heart. Oh my.

Today: 4 miles 31 minutes (PE was comfortable, HR crept into the high 150s).

Hiking and running this weekend, with curry and grog recovery!

Vegetable Curry

Jasmine rice
Curry sauce
And a bunch of vegetables

Plus some Braggs, sriracha (which I put on everything)
and 2 PBRs

Best part: a lot of leftovers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Peace Love and Suffering

The diet ended and I am a vegetarian. I am not a vegan. In fact, that's a whole nother world. Even plantstrong is a little gnarly, but I can aspire to that by being vegetarian. To be honest, we (a key distinction) are not really eating any different than we have. I'm just not eating anything really bad, not hitting the butcher shop, etc. I've always thought dairy SUCKS, so other than really no meat, I'm eating the way I have. I do have to note underscore, though, the commitment to an even healthier approach to food. Reading Pollan's Food Rules now and love the premise.

Simply food.

I'm not going to summarize. Go buy it.

Bottomline, stay away from fat. If you have to have your meat, go lean. Stay away from dairy. Eat vegetables and fruit, especially vegetables.

So, if you're interested, take a stab at the Engine 2 Diet. We did the whole thing, ate well and continue to eat well. Stay away from FAT, especially the raunchy nasty saturated/trans variety. Again, we aspire to be plant-strong but not necessarily vegan. That's gnarly, political, and, well, impossible?


Ha ha ha. I almost forgot why I wrote that title (2nd Union Jack :)

Check this:
"May all beings be free from suffering. May they be free from pain, grief, & despair. May they be happy, truly"

That's a tweet from someone of the yoga ilk, I think. Hey, I get it. It's all good.

But I think life is lived (only) through pain and grief. Suffering is ugly, and needs to be defined (because some suffering is ABSOLUTELY UNJUST), but those of us who love to "suffer," do so because that experience is very much about getting through a tough stretch. AND IT MAKES US STRONGER. Sounds like a definition of life. Sure, suffering can be tough especially when one is not putting herself through it voluntarily, but such is life. WTF.

Veterans Day

I'm pretty fired-up on our Vets. I grew-up in a staunchly conservative family. My dad, grandpa and uncle have been big history/military buffs. Not me. Interestingly, I have chosen a profession that is, at least in my "neck of the woods," fairly liberal. Either way, I am genuinely grateful and exceedingly appreciative of the sacrifice made by our military men and women. It's fucking awesome. I remember thinking very hard about officers candidate school. I was a sophomore in college. The Navy was non-responsive. So I headed down to the the Marine depot for my "interview." Classic. There I am, pigeon caught in outer space, trying to make myself credible in front of this gunnery sergeant. He gets to the "have you taken any drugs" portion of the application, I pause, try to forget the drugs I've taken while at the same time recall all that I have done, and say, quite convincingly I'm sure, "No." Brilliantly, he took his colored marker and crossed-out that entire page. In blue. Great stuff.
I think I blacked-out after that. In other words, that move there was one of the best highs of my younger life.

So I get home, still "shook," and proceed TO CALL THE RECRUITING OFFICE, TALK TO THE SAME GUNNERY, AND ADMIT THAT I HAVE DONE DRUGS. He said he appreciated my honesty and told me to stay in touch if I was still interested.

I should have stayed in touch. I would, I'm sure, be a much better man for it.
Here's to you all in uniform kicking other people's asses in the name of crazy ass freedom.

Went for a 2 hour hike today. The six year old was a freaking stud. I have to really coach him on some of these (today was BIG) but he's doing BIG hikes. Probably 6 miles, 1500ft of vert. Got a little warm today. He's six years old. And we do a fair amount of running, "One the flats and downs, son."

Last night I ran 3 miles in about 22 minutes. Sure not that fast, but juxtaposed with the hike today, I think I might be onto something. I need some 2 miles of w/u and 2 miles of c/d on that run and kick that pace-up a bit, but the deal with a masters runner who isn't very fast is this: Run hard more often than not. I need to explore this more. And I will.

Now I'm a sipping a Union Jack IPA. At 7.5%, this may be the one. I love this beer.

Monday, November 8, 2010


are good.

Running and beering healthily as work purrs along awfully well.

Rounds of running and recovering of both kinds. To be clear, I have been enjoying good beer and not running if my soul says no. I did my 1:20 on Friday after my nice Thursday evening gym run and lift and was COOKED. The 90+ degree heat was stifling. I took off feeling great just getting things on some flat coastal go go, but may have been hitting it a little hard as I looped around and headed toward some coastal trail and climb. As I started to feel crappy (HRM would have slapped me), I decided to do a little series of short steep hill repeats. The way back to car was wrought with stopping and checking HR, bits of hiking. . . I was nuked. But what can you say . . . 1:20 of death. I love it.

Kicking off SD Beer Week that night was epic. Wife and I tasted some nice IPA (cask and draft tastings), and a great veggie dinner (Warm Seasoned Quinoa, Cumin Scented Veggies, Grilled Haloumi Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts) with some solid bevvies. Wife thought I was a rookie: "Take me home and put me to bed. .. I am a rookie!"

Tonight I hit a local haunt for Alpine night and enjoyed some Bad Boy cask, Duet (my favorite beer) and the winter Ale Smith YuleSmith winter. I also hit-up BevMo for some solid 22s.

In other words, good beer and good running.

This Sunday was an epic hike with running with the 6 year-old. He is killing it!
And tonight's beers was with some solid trailers/alers. Good times are abounding.

Today: 5 miles and a little lifting (emphasis on little).

Here's to staying healthy and getting things in order.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I had to. The look is for the mid-term elections, the heat here in SoCal, fast-food (way to go, SF ((and I'm not talking about the Giants))), the mainstream American diet, fruity beer, the NFL season so far, traffic and, well, people who won't look you in the eye. . .

I'm writing this with sorta a full belly. Went out and ate like a vegetarian and didn't drink any beer. Because I am waiting until about 9:00 to head to the gym and kick off the weekend with one of those gym sessions I wrote about recently. Warm-up and then go hard (mile repeats ~7 min) and lift in-between. After reading the Fitzgerald article on anerobics over on hang nine, I'm going to mix in a little plyometrics.

This will definitely kick-off the weekend. I have not been running very regularly but when I have the effort has been an hour or so long with some w/u and c/d sandwiching the hold steady (never listen to the band but why not). Basically, I haven't been afraid to push the pace a little.

Tomorrow is ~1:20 and the weekend should be a solid mix of run and hike off road with some climbing. Hoping for a cool down on the weather front. . .November?

Thinking pretty hard about getting a new Garmin Forerunner 305. I've been running a while now without HR and mileage (without elevation +/- too), so with the birthday around the corner, or the executive decision up the sleeve. . . it's about time.

I'm okay with the spotty running at this point. I have been fairly steady for a while now (months) so the less frequent harder efforts are okay. I've been hiking quite a bit, as well. Our local little mountain. So I have that going for me.. . which is nice.

Getting more serious (cue the laughter) will mean running more, period. And putting in the official long run once or twice (maybe) a week. Fortunately, it looks like I have a couple of people I can call on to run those.. . which is nice. I'm psyched to be healthy and running and looking into the crystal ball. . .

I have to give a shout-out to work. It's going well.

It's about time for some beer. Tomorrow kicks-off San Diego Beer Week. If babysitting comes through (95% so it's a go), we're off to a Cask vs. Draft event at The Linkery tomorrow. That should be good. After that were off to Urban Solace for some beer and grinds. Can't wait for the yummy veggie delights and killer craft beer.

Monday it's looking like a few beers at O'briens where the theme is Alpine Beer. I'm getting a taxi.

Beyond that, it's about continuing to get the run on. And time to put that road bike back on the trainer for some work. My little winter early spring event schedule is going to be nice.


I'm happy for the SF Giants. Having been in the city recently, actually right before they went on there little run, took-out my Pads and continued to mow the competition (they ended every playoff series on the road), I felt a little good vibration. Seeing Bruce Bochey get some love was cool too. Bottomline: DEEP pitching and very timely hitting. And some west coast domination.
I bet the Lagunitas and Bear Republic and Russian River beers were doing some work!

I'll update the food blog soon. That diet is done. But it's having lasting effects.

Given the weather, thought I'd throw-in a couple more pics from the earlier Indian Summer.

Me and the boy

The family in the Bu

Oh, and then there's this: