Saturday, December 11, 2010

Summit Park Half Marathon and two months of racing

Hardest course I've ever done. 2 hours and 33 minutes, a PW by over 4o minutes (50?) running a 2:33, but it really was a great day to be in the Santa Cruz Mountains, running the Summit Rock Half Marathon.
First the good: these local mountains show very well on misty days. Under the redwood canopy, the greens are rich and vibrant. The trails themselves twist up alongside deep ravines and if you're brave enough to take your eyes off the trail you have a long look down into an area you don't want to end up.
The bad? Well, I was not in great condition after picking up my first sinus infection of the year. Running in the wet with enflamed sinuses makes me feel prett water-logged, and running downhill tends to jostle the painful area, so I was running more gingerly downhill, and with less energy uphill.
But adjusting for that, it was a great day: I met up with Murphy in Saratoga and we drove up to Sanborn park for the 9AM start. The race itself was very well organized and had a professional feel to it. Timing chips, a start/finish banner, really nice shirts, and lovely medals too.

The trail was mile-marked as well, a first for me on a trail run, and they also had 3 aid stations on the out and back route, which meant five opportunities to refuel.
A lot of runners competed, several hundred, which seemed like a good number for a trail run. The gun went off at nine, and we set off at an easy pace.
Long story short, I had intended to run easily given the course, but the whole field was walking the hills within a mile. For the first four miles I would guess we walked at least half the time, and getting to the top at Skyline took easilly 50 minutes (four miles). At three and a half miles, the course started to roll, and occasionally I could settle into a rhythm. Still and all though it was a super slow day, with even the downhill miles taking 9+ minutes.
After two and a half hours on the trail, Murph and I were pretty cooked and we grabbed some snacks (including and it's it!) and headed out. Was a very memorable day and a good race to finish out the year on.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Week in review, 7/18

Sunday, 7/18: Bike, Home to Soda Springs, then up SS to weaver. About 20 miles total, not a ton but mostly uphill, including the Joseph trail (dirt)
Monday, 7/19: Run, 5 miles with Murphy at lunch. Hurrah! First solid outdoor run in a long time, and the achilles is feeling OK!
Tuesday, 7/20: Swim at Milpitas CC (lunchtime). 1780 yards... Did an interesting set, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, all repeats holding the same pace.
Wednesday, 7/21: outdoor run #2!! 5 miles. Ran with a few different folks including a fast half mile with ryan, Jose, Kris, and then finish with Fred:
Thursday, 7/22: Spinning Class
Friday, 7/23: 5 miles at lunch, sub 40!; 2400 yards with Masters swimming, finished with 5 x 50/25/25 doing a 34 second 50
Saturday: Another double day - ocean swim ~1000 yards, then 40 on the bike, Santa Cruz
Best week in awhile.

Week in Review, Week of July 11

Not a particularly heavy week, but a week where I decided to start increasing the workouts and stop being so lazy:

Sunday, 7/11: Nothin'
Monday, 7/12: 1500 yards swim
Tuesday, 7/13: 3 miles on the treadmill
Wednesday, 7/14: nothin'
Thursday, 7/15: nothin'
Friday, 7/16: Masters' swimming 2700 yards. Some stroke work, lots of fifties, finished with easy hard repeat 50s with my hard repeats at 34 seconds
Saturday, 7/17: 4 miles on the dreadmill

The big decision was to take the family to Hawaii in August, so this will be very good motivation for the next few weeks!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tomatoes in

potash: low
Nitrogen low
phosphorous OK
Alkaline OK

Hoping to improve on last year's hugely disappointing crop.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tracking Progress, Barefoot Running, and a Bucket List

The achilles heel is still recovering, and it's taking time. I got through a 3.5 miler over the weekend, and today the plan was to do 4. But when I got to the gym I realized that i didn't have my running shoes. I did have my Vibram Five Fingers though, so I decided I try a short run on the treadmill with those.
This would be my first barefoot mileage, and I was interested in how it would go. It turned out to be pretty easy actually. My feet were perfectly comfortable, and I didn't notice a huge difference in my stride either. I put in 1 mile at a slow pace (9 min) and then shut it down.
It's now 4 hours later, and I can feel the effects of the run. My feet are starting to get sore, and I suspect they'll be more sore tomorrow. It's an exciting feeling though, as if I've discovered a new workout, a new way to strengthen and tax my running muscles, and I hope to lengthen the barefoot efforts over the next few weeks.
I'm in a huge motivational rut right now, and one of the ways I'll start getting out of it is creating my bucket list. What are the events I want to compete in, the things I want to accomplish and the experiences I want to have. I'm looking forward to creating and thinking about the list, and hoping that it will push me to explore some new territories.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I have what seems like a minor injury in my achilles on the left side, but it has kept me from any decent running for over two weeks now. Hoping to get some resolution soon, I'll try to go 3 miles today, and hopefully 4 on the weekend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crashes, Injuries, and a Re-Introduction

Dear readers - are there any left? When you don't write, who'd bother reading? My achilles has been hurting lately, - no running really possible - so this weekend was to be my "triumphant"(?) return to the bike. I had done rides the past two weekends. A 50 miler to Uvas and back, and then a wind-whipped mountain bike ride up over Los Gatos and Sierra Azul (nothing like getting pushed uphill by the "breeze"). So I felt pretty good about jumping into the 60+ mile Tierra Bella, riding with my lovely wife and her friends for awhile, and then sending them off to complete their century. Unfortunately it didn't play out as planned. Mile 1, we shove off with myself and about 5 of justine's friends from her riding group. mile 2.5, heading down an easy slope. It's early, we're cruising along single file down a moderate grade - waking up. I'm riding point, see a crack a little late, point it out but hear some commotion and look back to see a crash taking place behind me. two of the women are falling, one hits the road head first, another, Justine's friend Chris, is falling as well. Shit! We stop, nancy is literally laying on the ground, not moving, starting straight up at the sky. Chris is sitting holding her shoulder, looking pale as a ghost. Fuck, are they okay? just a month after our friend Gayle broke her neck, this is a little too much.
Slowly, Nancy shakes it off and sits up. I'm worried for her, but this is a big relief knowing she's mobile and going to be OK. she'll need a new helmet, but otherwise OK. Chris is in a lot of pain with her shoulder. I assume it's a broken collar bone but eventually I learn from the paramedics (and later get the confirm from Chris) that nothing's broken. A bit of relief but a lot of sadness for the ladies, after going through this a month ago, and with falls being really pretty rare, it's traumatizing for everyone to have this happen again. Justine's Death Ride Group is in a bit of chaos right now too, and we hope that the ladies get their health back (a) and can resume training (b).
Justine cuts her ride short to go with chris. We have separate cars, and as unchivalrous as it sounds I do the 60(+) miler. The legs feel good, the route is very nice, but it was impossible to shake off the crash.
Ride safe! If you're riding point, don't relax, point out everything!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stats for 2010

over 50 miles so far this month, and running comfortably again after a month or so lay-off to deal with my back. the goal is to ramp up for Eugene Marathon in May.