Saturday, January 31, 2009

Some time off

Well, it finally happened. I got sick.

It wasn't one of those completely out of comission, lie on your back, out of it, but enough to stop me in my tracks.

The worst part of me getting sick is I get post nasal drip. This prevents me from sleeping, as I wake up throughout the night coughing. On the bright side, I got caught up on my late night television. I am on the verge of ordering every informercial exercise piece of equipment out there.

I especially get a kick out of the guy who has this dance routine on videos which will give you washboard abs.

I guess I like informercials because of being in sales. I never buy any of it, I just like the pitch. Sham-Wow is also one of my favorites. I love that guy.


I guess only running 6 miles in the last 7 days will not hurt in the long run, and may actually help. I'm not worried.

The more I think about Ice Age 50 and Kettle 100, the more I think that Larry's 100k in April is a good idea for a training run. I am just concerned that this would require forging an icy river, chest deep, at 3am.

The timing of this race works well, and would only require a few super long runs in March.

My only obstacle at this point is work. I will be on the road 4 out of 8 weeks in Feb and March. I don't do well with training and traveling. I guess I have to suck it up and deal.

Tomorrow crosses that winter hump into February. I am very happy that we are almost to March.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Closed the deal

Got my wife to agree to the 2009 race schedule, so Kettle and Ice Age here I come.

I plan on running them hard this year. I am putting the pieces together now to be able to race these instead of running them. Not sure if there will be any difference in the end results, though.

Chippewa will be a good tune up race for Ice Age. (that's if I end up running it instead of helping....)

Larry's Zumbro 100 sounds like good prep, but knowing Larry it could be a "come to Jesus" race. By this, I mean you end up somewhere in the race, on your knees, praying to god to get you out there. Not sure if I want to open the season that way.

But, it would be a great way to get the legs ready for the following races.

So, not only am I going to return to Kettle, my goal is to crush it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Big mileage week

It came together this week, and I somehow keep my composure running on the treadmill all but today.

I had to get out in the balmy 15 degree weather today, but the snow everywhere still slowed things down, and made it hard. Got in 16 though.

66 miles for the week with 8-10 planned tomorrow. Biggest week since..... don't remember. I don't really track mileage, I just try to remember stuff.

Still no decisions on the year, but I can't get the thoughts of Kettle 100 out of my head. I am going to have to pitch that to my wife soon.

I know she won't respond favorably, as her memory of that race is pulling my off at 50k, and watching my body go haywire for 2 days from severe dehydration. I have to convince her that things will be different this year as I am different (stronger and lighter). Think she will buy it?

Of course, there will have to be the build up races...... To many fun races in the spring to choose. Maybe an April 100k will be on the calendar.......

I am celebrating MLK day by brewing beer, a reproduction of one of my best batches from 1 1/2 years ago.

Can't wait.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2nd Winter HADD Test

I was reading John's blog this week, and got a laugh how he feels he failed a HADD test this week. I know the feeling, but it is also like failing a blood test.. the results are not a performance test, they are a measure.

Well..... I aced mine today. In fact, I had such significant improvement, I thought something was not working correctly.

Here is the data today (1 mile warm up @ 6mph on flat dreadmill, 1.5 mile invevals)

Interval Speed (mph) Target HR Actual HR
1 6.5 125 120
2 7.1 135 132
3 7.7 145 142
4 8.5 155 154
5 9.1 165 159 (my max was only 162)

Check out my Hadd test from a year ago this month.
Interval time speed (MPH) avg hr

1 14:04 6.4 126
2 13:13 6.8 136
3 12:30 7.2 143
4 11:32 7.8 153
5 10:35 8.5 166

On every level I improved.... a lot.

Here is my test from a week before Chippewa 50k in April
(interval-speed-avg hr)

1 6.6 127
2 7.05 137
3 7.6 147
4 8.3 156
5 9.0 168

So I blew this one away as well, and I thought I was in pretty good shape then.

Here are my results from last month

Interval Speed (mph) Avg. heart rate
1 6.5 125
2 7 136
3 7.5 144
4 8.4 157
5 8.8 165

So in one month I improved on every level, especially the upper end.

What did I do?

Well, first let me tell you what I didn't do.
> I didn't follow a Runner's World training program designed to destroy the average runner
> I didn't push hard, I just ran a lot when I felt good, and backed off a bit when I did not.
> I didn't miss a whole lot of days.
> I didn't have the attitude of "I can eat whatever I want as long as I keep the mileage up"

Here is what I did do
> I started doing tempo runs again (I am still trying to figure out my zone)
> The long runs I did happened on mountains, climbing 2000 feet or so. I ran them instead of walking them.
> I backed off when I was tired.
> I continued to lose weight. (I am down to about 166 from 178-180)

The biggest difference I think is the absence of 12 pounds. More importantly, I have forced my body not to rely on any glycogen/carbs as fuel. I can now run for 3 hours (with some decent effort) and not feel a bit of the "glycogen crash".

There is no doubt in my mind that my body has not only switched to fat as its primary fuel source, but a very high percentage of fat burn compared to glycogen.

Also, most of my running in October and November was pretty low intensity.

So, in conclusion, the loss of fat, sticking to a plan, and being flexible pays off.

Maybe I just had a good day and nothing else.

Friday, January 9, 2009

In The Gap

I have termed this time of year as "The Gap". It is my way of dealing with winter. Here is how it works.

Fall is the best running time of the year. One is generally in the best shape of the year and racing hard. You use that conditioning to carry you as late into the fall as possible. Somehow, if you can make Fall last through December then you have done well.

Spring begins March 1st in my book.

So, winter is January and February. That is the gap between Fall and Spring. It's all about closing the gap.


Right now, I am just trying to maintain. While I had some great runs in LA, I only have been running mid 40s for mileage. Too much family stuff going on.

I have been getting one tempo run per week in, but it has been a process of re-learning tempo runs. I did not run tempos all last lear, so it feels like I am doing sprint work outs.

Family Stuff
I was able to have that conversation with my father-in-law. It went well. He actually said my blow up was for the better, because it forced us to talk through things. Funny... on my side of the family we talk through things to talk through things, not wait until a bomb goes off.

He went through triple bypass today and looks like he will be okay.

My brother-in-law is a hero. He held it together while giving CPR to his dad for over 6 minutes, then watched his dad get difribed 3 times. Then got on the phone to all family members telling them what happened.

This hero was in my Boy Scout patrol when we were kids. Our Scoutmaster used to preach how he had one life saved for each Eagle Scout he produced in the troop. We used to talk about what an honor that would be to have saved a life in the troops' eyes. My brother-in-law earned it with stars. The paramedics even told him the following week that he did a text book job at it, and that the survival rate of what he did was about 6% for the recipient.

Too bad the guy is going through a horrible divorce.

So, we are back in town, and dealing with crappy cold.

As much as I piss and moan about LA being a bad place to live, I really enjoyed it this time around. I guess it was because I was able to see so many childhood friends and got to let out the explorer adventurer in me. Some of those areas I ran I had not seen for almost 30 years. I remember them like yesterday.

It was also great to see a group of people who I remember being screwball kids all grown up with kids themselves.


I really want a copper Kettle for my stove. Especially since I was denied one (denied myself) last year.

I want to do Leadville, but $225 is steep for one race where DNF is more likely than unlikely.

I want to do Ice Age 50 again, but mothers day weekend sure puts a damper on that one.

Not sure if I could pull off a 100M or a 100K for the new Zumbro Bottoms in April.

I am going to volunteer at Chippewa.

I am going to volunteer at Superior Fall.

Not sure about much right now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Picture tour of New Years Eve run


These pictures are not great, because my camera phone is only 2mp, and if you are not perfectly still, they get blurry. How is that for a run on sentence?

Also, I am not a good photographer.

To start, the wife dropped me at Will Rogers State Park. You can see the whole run here in wiki maps. Will Rogers park is on the right, towards the bottom.

I busted up past inspiration point (where the high school kids do all of the things they are not supposed to do), to the start of The Backbone Trail

If you look carefully through the smog and haze, you can see downtown LA

and this was one of the mountains I was climbing

Tought to see, but that is the San Fernando Valley (you know, Valley Girls) in the background.

The Hub

Top of the hub, looking west. This is at about 2000 ft. above sea level. Mountains in the distance are the same range. It is Malibu. Lots of chances for brush fires.

Angeles National Forest in the distance throught the smog. Home of the Angeles Crest 100.

Same peak, looking towards the ocean. The fog has rolled in, so you can not see it. That is the direction I went.

Almost all of the way down, looking back up at one of the peaks I was just on.

Down at sea level now looking at the info on the lifegaurd station.

Lifegaurd station where "Baywatch" was filmed. Also station where yours truly was a jr. lifegaurd in the early 80's. No Baywatch
Babes today.
The "4th Street Steps" or "Santa Monica Steps" (they also show up on the Wiki map). This is ground zero for stair repeats. I got my start there in the early 80's. 170 steps as steep as steps can go.

San Vicente, the street I grew up on. Still fun to run on.

And that was pretty much it. I am home now trying to catch up.

Hope you enjoyed this tour. I was attacked by red ants at the top of that peak, and I still have welts on my feet. Amazing what little ants can do.

Hopefully will have a 2009 calendar put together this month.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 closed in true trail running fashion

I am a few days behind on posting cool runs due to many circumstances.

I had the chance new years eve to bust out and run 3 hours on the Backbone trail.

While it was foggy at sea level, it was 70 and beautiful up at 2000 feet.

I took a photo tour of the run, which I will post later, it has some cool stuff. I attempted to piss Adam off by text him pictures of my run from my camera, during the run. Knowing it was 14 below in MN that morning, I thought it would be a nice touch.

I was attacked by red fire ants at the top of one peak, and have welts all over my feet. Not as bad as those Superior "Ninja" hornets, but they did hurt. How can ants hurt? It must have been comical watching me dance off that peak like Chris Farley in Tommy Boy when he is pretending being attacked by bees.

I even met a guy on the way down who adopted a kid from Blaine. Go Figure!

It was a spectacular run. The photos are cool. Here is a tease
Mountains in the distance.
Angeles Crest course in the distance
San Fernando Valley
Skull Rock
Bay Watch Life Gaurd Station
The 4th Street Steps
San Vicente

Once I can get a bluetooth link, I will post em.

Tomorrow. Backbone trail East. I am starting at Topanga Canyon and running west to Tapia State park and back. As a kid, I thought it was called Tafia (taffy) state park, and could not understand where they got the name.

Hopefully I won't get lost. But the great thing about this mountain range is..... if you get lost, run toward the ocean. If you are still lost...... there is no hope for you.