Monday, February 28, 2011


I ate a bunch of pasta and rice today. WTF. And had some ale and might eat some cake.

My diet is wide-open right now, which means I am eating and drinking whatever the hell I want. Not something for which I'm proud. There is that idea that I am running more and more, but still. I and most know that running around isn't necessarily going to make you thin. If I watched what I ate (whole foods!), didn't run but maybe lift a little weight, the lbs would starve.

I ran 60 miles last week on 5 days. My foot injury seems to be better (though I'll hold-out on a verdict). I want to work harder this week. I can rationalize the food and beer in-take.

But it's going to stop.

I do need to qualify by saying that the food is aaaaaaaalllllllllll homemade. And there have been some ridiculous salads and green shakes mixed-in. But discipline has been lacking.

Moreover, I haven't been lifting or doing any cross-training. Yeah, pretty sad.

I guess it's analogous to me (when I was younger) falling for some girl, spending a bunch of time with her and letting the rest of my life circle the drain. I am really enjoying running and recovering. Put a fork in me!

Well, this is all to say that I am going to start cleaning-up my act. I'm still going to see the girl. In fact, we're getting serious. But I will clean my room, do a little laundry. And Monday's (YIP, JUST ONE DAY A WEEK, MY DAY OFF RUNNING) will become a little day at the gym for some lifting, etc. This might just spawn more cross-training. Not really worried about it.

It's just about running right now. Getting long.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


From my training log:

"Pavement beat me up. Feet are sore but the left foot ankle feels pretty damn good! Fuck yeah!

Anyone want some pain? Hit the pavement for a long run.
Finished the run with hills. Money/hay in the bank/barn.

Work. Word."

Pretty stoked on the week. Ended with 60 miles after a 22 miler today. It did beat me up.
But I'll be stronger this week.

One day off (or I just go for a run) and then it's onto the trails and some vert.

Again, flat week was flat-out on target.

Next week: 50 miles and 10k vert? Let's do it.

I hope everyone had a killer week, injuries and all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


From my training log:

"Another run just logging miles on the "bad" foot. Really wanted to get 8 miles in an hour and after that just cruised to 12. Pushed the pace a little but pretty comfortable. Saw my HR hit 163.
But kept it in cruise-control.

Icing and raising foot as we speak. Can't wait to have a few beers later!"

Having fun this week just running. No climbing other than a little on Wed and that was minimal.
This week is like I'm training for a road half or full marry. I like the break from the usual. First of all, it's needed for the foot. If I was trying to rip single-track on this foot, I'd probably aggravate. Secondly, I'm getting a chance to work-on pace. My aerobic and AeT are improving. This is a big plus. I still have time to return to the vertical, but it's nice to work-on some turn-over.

I really hope I can run 22 tomorrow and that my foot gets through with very little discomfort.
This would be HUGE.

I like to shnake stuff from one of the guys on my list. This is cool.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


After two days off, got out for 2 short runs today giving me 10 miles on the day.

New shoes and watching the foot ankle carefully. Felt pretty good this morning after some little ticks here and there. After this afternoon, it's the ankle. Who knows. I just have to make good decisions, train smart.

Time for one more glass of red wine.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Thank God the foot is in pretty good shape. The day was very mellow. I ran one mile. Count it. And I chased a 7 year-old up and down steps barefoot, diving into piles of pillows. The early part of the day was tough, but the foot loosened-up. Last night I iced and kept it raised a ton.

Today I went to the local running store that has a huge clearance dept., and bought 2 pairs of "once worn" cushiony shoes for a lot less (Asics cumulus and Brooks glycerin), ones that I have used and like. There are a lot of roads around here, and I run on them. Can't afford to get hurt like that.

So the run turned-out to be a really good "test." Got me to get right in the shoe department. I felt fast for a fat guy. Just need to keep the weeks going like this last one, refine, tweak, improvise and let the fitness rise.

One of my new favorite workouts on the treadmill is to hit about a 3% grade and run like it's flat, for me a 8ish min pace. This works especially well after a nice solid warm-up with even some steeper stuff so the 3% feels totally flat. I'd like to try to get this little run faster and faster, could even go 4% and just go.

Granted the 6-10% stuff is healthy, but I'm having fun getting my MAF and AeT pace to a place where running can be really fun. Throw-in some slight grades and get after it, nice and smooth.

I've had some good beer recently. The stand-outs are the usual suspects: Pliny, Firestone Walker Double Jack, and Hop Stoopid. But my wife did get me a couple of new ones. She splurged and bought an Allagash 4 Ale. What the hell does the number 4 mean? From BA: "A one-of-a-kind ale crafted from four malts, four varieties of hops, four natural sugars, and fermented four times with four different yeast strains." Let's cut to the chase and say the wife and I liked this beer. It has a freakin cork. It's got all the nice subtle nuances of a Belgian style ale, with it's apricots, or apple syrup and other fruitiness; the wife sensed coffee and of course all hale the yeast. It was very balanced, which is pretty clear from the description above. Malts and hops x 4. Sophisticated and expensive. Try it; I'm sure you'll like it.

She also bought me a more affordable Enlightened Black Ale. This was definitely malty and coffee and creamy, but light. I enjoyed it. I think I saw it for $2.99 at Henry's. Good buy.

This week looks like recovery (unfortunately). I will target the quality work-outs: hills, and some longer efforts.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


A pretty good week that ended poorly. We'll see how poorly tomorrow and the next few days.

My long run today was 21 miles and after 13 (which I did aerobically in 1:4X), the wheels came off. My left ankle/foot has been odd for the past 2 months or so. Felt good this week after I took Wed. off, but today was nasty.

It was a flat pavement 21 miles. Do not underestimate the pavement. I was begging for hills. I got some at mile 14 (500 ft vert TOTAL) and felt relieved. Then it was back to the grind. Uhhg.

Also, I wore my Nike Lunars which are OLD NOW. So, I just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow and the next few days. As I said in my training log, "the foot is raised like this Pliny the Elder to my lips."

Once I have my wits about me, I'll post a little more.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Not a lot to blog about right now.
I will reflect after this week of training.

Today was ez 10 miles. Day 1.

Happy Valentine's Day.
My love gave me a bunch of beer.

Along with my wife's little trip to Bevmo,
I picked-up 2 Plinys and a 22 oz of Firestone Double Jack.
I have a lot of good beer on the premises for some solid runs this week. I will review both very soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Today's run was a massive team-steam-roll. Yesterday's easy 6 miler to kick-start a recovery from this bitch of a sinus cold was fantastic. So I thought today I'd get out on the trail for more.

Between not taking water, this very dry warm weather, my cold and the fucking rattle snake I should have stepped-on and having not stepped on it, it should have bitten me but for the little bush that prevented it from a quick coil and strike (holy shit!) I was utterly wiped-out by this little 10 miler with 2600ft. of climbing. I mean crushed. I had a cherry slushy afterward. Unreal.

More work the rest of this week. Going to finish strong. Let's do this.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Great run on Sunday all things considered. The cold was coming on, still got in 13 solid miles moving smoothly with no energy and now the cold is here. Wife took the day off cuz she's down and out and we basically spent the whole day hanging-out, doing some errands, lunch. It was fantastic. We walked probably 3 miles, mostly in beautifully warm sunlight which I think helped the healing process. Even if I'm not healthy enough to hit the trail tomorrow, I'll still be running somewhere, sweating this bad boy out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday and some Good Ale

I lazed around all day while wife did errands, and kid tried to give me whatever he's got. . . and I think I'm getting it. Sat around longer than I had to because I got kinda into the Rocky Raccoon 100 and the XC nationals which had a killer web-cast.

Did I feel a little like a slob sitting around on my computer? Pretty much. And I have a little sore throat now. But The RR100 turned-out to be pretty incredible. Colorado seems like the American ultra capital (I guess this perception is as much a product of the blogosphere as anything). And in the last year or so Alaska stole some thunder and then today a Brit living in the Bay Area (I think) did a nice little smack-down. In the end, this Brit Ian Sharman (I think's his name) averaged 7:38 pace for 100 miles.

I snuck out for a late day run. 6 miles, 1600ft. of vert. I basically hiked 3 miles and ran 3 miles. HR avg. 133. Feel a little better, but we'll see tomorrow. I need to go big.

Getting a run in this morning would have been great but I was a little groggy. I only had 3 beers and a glass a win last night, but they were fine.

Cruised by Toronado which is a beer lovers beer joint. I had a pint of Firestone Walker Double Jack. I've been craving a solid DIPA. This one did it. My second beer (I was only having 2 at Toronado) was going to be a Stone IPA Double Dry Hopped. The keg had just gone dry. Damn.
I could have had a Pliny the Elder or a Ballast Point Sculpin. But I wanted something a little more, perhaps going against what I said the other day: stick with what you like. Well, I do like Stone Arrogant Bastard. It is a solid strong ale, great label, and when you can pick-up a 22 bomb of it for around $3 -4, I'll take that over a lot of "prettier" beers. So, Toronado had an Arrogant Bastard that had been aged in oak on cask. I went in. Cask beers of course have a lot less carbonation, but then the wood always gives the beer some additional flavors. This was just plain creamy. I loved it.

And then I was off. Ended-up meeting some people at another place. I was already buzzed. So I took it easy. I had a glass of Spanish red wine, and then ordered a Racer 5 draft. Yum and done.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday, Beer and Karma

No run yesterday. Call from the elementary school, Jack had a head-ache, so no go. Which was fine since that 11 miler on Wed. was nails. Really solid. The best part is my body feels strong. I'm starting to recover faster from these runs.

The boy is home sick today so I got in 10 miles by 7:00am. 10 miles, 1500ft of climbing.
Warm-up 1 mile, 6 miles at 7-8% (10min/mile) 1500ft., felt really easy. Yum. Cool-down 3 mi.

I could actually live with 10-15 mile runs every other day, some harder than others with climbing/intervals/etc. But recover between them (no runs). I'm not doing that, just saying.

So a little thought or two on beer. I really like beer. I have been taking it easy lately. After I drank my last little batch of brews, I didn't re-stock. So I haven't had beer on the premises. Not a bad call. We like to get a bite now and then, so I'll have a beer or two with dinner and then that's it. And we haven't eaten out much these days, so the beer in-take has been pretty minimal.

But then I got an itch this last week. On an off day, I wanted a beer. So I went down to Pizza Port Ocean Beach. I was craving a solid cali IPA. Perhaps a big DIPA, but again a big cali hop bomb. I turned around after studying the boards because the selection sucked. I could have gone Jetty IPA, but I wanted more. And I guess I wasn't that thirsty, so I left.

Up the street is a bar that has a nice tap selection. It's a dive. But they always have 2-3 Alpine taps. Enough said. So I belly-up, and ask what Alpine they got. "We're out." WTF. I had a Ranger IPA and it tasted like water. I left after that. Big disappointment.

I was getting some groceries at Ralphs which has the worst beer selection, but they had Firestone Double Barrel Ale for 6.99 for 6. Picked one up. Not IPA, but a good deal?
No. Thirst was not quenched.

Bad luck on the subject of beer.

So yesterday I had had enough. I don't want to drink anything but what I want. I picked-up a 6 pack of Firestone IPA and a 22 of Green Flash Imperial. I know what I like and it looks like it's up to me to get it myself.

So, now I have some beers on the premises. And given a loooong run on Sunday, homemade chili and a hopefully good Superbowl, I might add a few gems to my little stock, sit back and chillax at Matt's Pub. Sigh.

Karma at the Superbowl. . .

Bill Romanowski, who's a certified nut (which doesn't really support the credibility of this take, granted) has an interesting take on the Superbowl. He says the Packers will win because Ben Roethlisberger has a little bad karma coming his way. As we know, Ben served a 4 game suspension for some bad behavior in a bar with an young lady. He wasn't arrested, but clearly he was up to no good (perhaps sexual assault), so the league suspended him. With that, even though he's served his suspension and has worked-on his image (getting back to the superbowl has helped), there are those that might think he's got some "pay-back" coming.

I tend to believe this kind of stuff. I think the Steelers are the better bet in this game. But you just have to wonder a little about that big picture, the metaphysics, etc. Ben has done some bad things. That we know. Does he win the Superbowl despite that kind of lascivious behavior?
It just doesn't seem to work that way, does it?

On top of that, there's a lot of talk about Aaron Rogers. He's the burgeoning Green Bay QB who is set to win his first ring. I'm one of those skeptical of all the hype. I need to see some results before the coronation.

But karma comes in here as he is a good guy and he's replaced a legend there in GB. That "replacement" has a whole bunch of history and drama. But Rogers has finally replaced Favre, and Favre's legacy has been tarnished because of all of his questionable behavior. He's not, as it turns-out, a very solid character.

So on two counts, the karma is with GB in in this Super Bowl.
Should be interesting to see how it turns-out.

TGIF. Beer me.

For those not interested in the SB cuz it's lame:
I would make the kind of argument I make to Jehovas Witnesses about Christmas that I would to most (especially men) about the SB. It's a tradition that involves hanging with people you like (family in my case), watching our culture show it's private parts, and drinking a few beers and eating some yummy homemade junk. Word.

One last note:
I think I hit Mission Bay tomorrow to watch the Open Men's XC national champs. The weather will be ridiculously good and the entry list looks nice. Watch-out for a guy I met a few years ago and follow on Twitter: Ben Bruce.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


11 miles with a little 2 mile cruise interval in there. Some hills - 1100ft. & mostly on the road.
Tough run even though a lot of easy pacing. Cold santa ana winds were right there. Good stuff.

Nice little reminder on the run. Just cruising along looking around taking in my surroundings appreciating my environment. . . no music. . . what I should be doing, no? An elderly man walking on the sidewalk says, quite pointedly, "Good Afternoon." I responded quickly, "Hello!" I was caught off-guard and I think that was his point.

Point made, my man.

On the same street I came up on an even older woman who looked at me and practically hugged me with her smile. "It's a little cold!" "It's that wind," I said. I waved and turned the corner, just as I heard her say "It's beautiful. . ."

I definitely want to stick around and get old. The world desperately needs the old.

A few recent pics.

What happened to my little one?

On top of Cowles Mt.

Chopped salad. The bomb. Grab, chop, season and grind.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Monday I did a lot of walking, but was just taking it easy after a big Sunday.

Today I will run a little, probably on some dirt and probably up a hill. Easy.

There have been a few days recently where I actually have a killer work-out lined-up, but I don't end-up getting after it. Getting those kinds of things lined-up usually is not a big deal, especially since I have a little more free-time these days :(

When it's on a weekend, I definitely need to coordinate with the family.
I think as most people would agree, this is an important part of making a schedule work.
The busier, more ambitious the schedule, the more important it is to coordinate.

The words coordinate and schedule associate time. Making time for yourself
in the presence of others seems to amount to a simple look at a clock or calendar;
a few suggestions and compromises later and the time element seems to have been settled.

As we all know, time is not the only consideration. There are relationships involved. Work and family and friends. My family has proven lately to be the most sensitive part of my training.
I almost always make the time. As long as you give people a few days notice, or more, that is rarely an issue.

However, the emotional element of my training has given me a few hurdles lately that I might normally not have noticed in the past. Now, they are bigger than before, waving bigger red flags.

Bottom-line: I will not go for a run (as simple as that may sound) if there is an unresolved issue at home (I feel I can control these issues more than, say, the price of gas. I care more about the health of my family, I guess, than anything else). My wife and I have never been closer. We see eye-to-eye on almost everything. My point is simply that I don't want to run if something like that (an argument we're having, a job I haven't finished, a mis-communication exists) is weighing on me. More than ever, I have to be free out there (generally this happens on a bigger run) on the trail, cruising, loving that physical, mental and psychological exercise, which is part break, part mediation, which can be anything but a break: It's a time to grow.

If there is something on the home front holding me back, I prefer to hold off on the workout until I have discussed the matter and know we have reached a clear and reasonable resolution, even if that means talking about it further.

My conscience has become a matter of security and freedom.

Since we always do find resolution and I can then proceed to the trail, should I just trust that success we have and go for the run knowing we'll work on it later? Maybe. But my gut, which i trust religiously, says no. Get in an even better place before the work.

I could relate this to recovery. There's "damaged tissue," or "sore muscles" that need attention. One has to fully recover for the subsequent work to be meaningful or even enjoyable.

For me.