Friday, March 31, 2006
So the plan is to leave SF by 3:30AM, get Olga to the start before 5:15AM. Jason and I will drive her car and meet her at the different designated points to give her support and nutritional items. At mile 27.5, the point where pacers are allowed, I will run 12.5 miles with her. At mile 40 I hand off to Jason and I will drive the car to the finish. This is going to be fun. I've been the runner, the aid station volunteer, the sweeper but never crew or pacer. Such simple dreams of mine. There will also be a bunch of friends out there doing the same, in all these roles. I look forward to touching base with them.
Well I just got back from a run myself so I better get going. It's already 9:30PM and there's still tons to take care of. If I can get 2 hours of sleep I'll be great shape. Gotta pack the cowbell.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
mmmm....For more pics, well just two more
Okay the last post was a little depressing so here's an uplifting one.
Our church retreat is coming up - April 24/26. This means two things, Easter Baptisms is near and the infamous Dessert Auction. Proceeds from this auction is used to help pay for Retreat costs for those who can't afford it. We never turn people away for lack of funds. Last year's auction was crazy and this was no different; basic and not so basic desserts going for hundreds of dollars. Extravagant yes, for a good cause -absolutely!
I've personally benefitted from this generosity. One year I was laid off and the community picked up the tab. Last year I took 4 kids to the retreat; 2 high school kids, one middle schooler and one grade schooler. I was only able to cover one of the high school kids but the church picked up the rest.
Anyway our table pooled our money and was able to raise $340. Enough for three desserts which surprised me. Usually in the early going of the auction dessert piece go for around $200-$300. As the auction goes on, each piece gets more elaborate and more expensive. The last piece went for $1200. Wife bakes cake with chocolate covered strawberries, Father in-law outbids everyone to buy said cake - this happened last year. This year it went so high because daughter in-law also had her mom there who was also bidding. At one point Father in-law ran out of money when the bidding hit $1100 but the church body started chipping in, $10 here, $20 there.
In the end we all won. Funds were raised ($3500+) and all desserts were shared. Dessert Auction is also Chili night where everyone involved can have themselves a nice vegetarian or regular chili meal before hitting the sugar, and of course drinks were served - from milk and juice to soda and water.
The youth I brought last year are coming back and one of them is bringing his two sisters. The funds will be there to accomodate them and more. Hahaha I may need to rent a Van this time and a whole lot of patience...we'll see.
Damn, I feel for her. Maybe we'll grab a meal when she gets back and I'll see about helping with the music situation.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
A couple of months ago, while running on a Sunday, Jason and I ran into this guy resting next to his BMW motorcycle. The bike is covered with names and stickers, presumably from places all over the world. This guy probably traveled with his motorcycle to all these places. Didn't speak a word of English. The windscreen has "Russia" prominently displayed. My guess is that he's Russian or he started there.
This was in the top of Hawk Hill a couple of Saturdays ago. He was conversing with this other rider using hand signals and printed material.
Monday, March 27, 2006
This is how I feel about the rain. New storm coming in, dumping rain from San Francisco to Monterey in the South, then on to Southern California. I like rain, I love running in the rain but I've had my fill, talk about a lot. We are now two days shy of the record for most days of rain in March - today will make 21, the record is 23. Experts say that we so much water now that if we entered a drought for the next two years we would still be okay.
I can't wait for April and May, longer sunny days, filled with runs on trails and hills covered in spring time flowers and fresh new vegetation.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
• Sit in it for 20 minutes.
• Should come out refreshed and muscles feeling better.
I tried ice bathing after reading about it a couple of years ago. I also saw on TV, Football players soaking in drums filled with cold water and ice. I already knew beforehand that ice was beneficial to speeding the healing process on injuries and working out minor aches and pains. I trust cold more than I trust heat. I only apply heat when my muscles are not sore or injured. So anyway it made total sense to me that an overall ice bathing of the legs would not only help the problem spots but also be beneficial to the rest of the leg muscles as well, they're all interconnected anyway. The cold keeps the inflammation down on the muscles by causing the capillaries to constrict. You don't have to be injured to have sore inflammed muscles. Part of training is the breaking down of muscle which is then rebuilt stronger by the body, weightlifting is a good example of this. While muscles are inflammed healing can't take place, the faster the inflammation is stopped and reversed the faster the recovery. This is why doctors prescribe anit-inflammatory's or why athletes nurse their injuries with ice packs. The cold also helps with pain and soreness that sometimes accompanies a hard workout.
So I usually do all my stretches and warm down exercises first. Then I fill the bathtub with cold water, here in SF tap water is plenty cold enough. Once I actually threw in a bag of ice and I wasn't able to really tell the difference. My feet are sensitive to the cold water so my first 5 minutes is spent just standing around. When the pain in my feet finally go away I then sit in tub, immersing my whole lower body. If you try it feel free to yell silently or loudly as you go down. I then sit for about 20 minutes with a book or a magazine. Some folks recommend a warm shirt to keep your upper body warm. It's excruciating at first but once your body adjusts (the body is an amazing thing) it will feel good. Move your legs around if you want, it makes it feel colder:) It's a lot better than an ice pack.
Along with stretching and proper post run nutrition, the ice bath goes a long way in helping me recover from my hard workouts. I even know one runner who ice baths his legs after every run as protection from injuries. My legs have felt a lot better since I instituted a more consistent application of ice bathing. If you're a runner and have never done it I would suggest giving it a shot. It can only do you good.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Nope no dice. It's almost two hours later and I'm still in my post run all natural high. Sitting in a tub filled with ice cold water usually kills any lingering excitement...not today. Still laughing out loud like a maniac and occasionally giggling like a schoolgirl...very unmacho image but an accurate picture. So I'll have to file the report another day, otherwise it will be an account filled with words like "woohoo", "yeah", "baby", "kickbutt" and "damn" - see first paragraph again.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Too bad I'm not working tomorrow....tomorrow I plan on being wet and muddy for a good part of the day, followed by an initially torturous, yet later soothing ice bath for my legs, food and a video. Maybe I'll get creative on how I accomplish those things. Going Solo...me, myself and I.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
If Tuesday nights rock because of Track, Thursday's kick butt because of Spin. For you that are not familiar, Spin classes are organized indoor cycling classes. There's a coach/leader that runs the program usually in the company of some loud music. I'm in the 8:15PM Thursday night class, Gorilla Sports in the Marina district. We are in the gym's back room where it is dark, hot and humid despite the fans. There's a class before ours and they are always kind enough to leave us with their sweat, heat, warm bikes...did I mention sweat. It's not for the dainty. I love the darkness because it helps my focus and the music selection is always great. The class is lead by Michael McCormack, a two time Ironman Champion. Our very own older, wiser triathlete sage and still in great shape...still competing too I think.
Anyway I've been doing these classes since February and they are starting to whip me real good. When I started I used to run 5 to 7 miles afterward, lately it's been 1 to 2.5 miles. In fact the last two weeks I've been reduced to walking halfway home. Part of it is because I've learned to use my HRM (heart rate monitor) correctly and I'm pushing harder, upping the intensity. The other part is that I've been doing long runs in the weekend. But it's supposed to be hard right!? It's tough but I'm hitting my target heart rate zones and I feel good afterwards. Tonight was tough, tough, tough. Halfway through I lost it but then regained it in the end. The coach dictates not only what you have to do for every minute of the class but he also indicates where your heart rate should be. The higher the heart rate the tougher the interval.
It's definitely a new year for me. New training methods, new tools, new friends, new goals but also a renewed respect for the body and a reaffirmed desire to take better care of myself. I only have one ride, this body, I don't want to break it.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Then it was off for some Indian Food. We went to a place called Naan and Curry in the Richmond district. I remember this place well. Last time I was here was last May, in the evening after the Miwok 100k. It took me 20 minutes to walk the 3 blocks between our car and the restaurant. Anyway we were all pretty hungry and we just went at it. Admittedly it's not the healthiest thing and if you're not used to the spices maybe it's not something you want to eat after a run, but boy it hit the spot for all of us. Amelia looked like she was going to fall asleep on the table.
Well it's off to the shower and there's half a sweet watermelon calling my name.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
So after weeks of rain, wind, colder than usual temperatures, even some hail and some snow we finally got some sun, finally. Saturday and Sunday was perfect weather, still a bit of chill in the air but clear skies and sun all around.
Anyway I made the right decision regarding my knee (discussed in detail last post), I woke up with a stiff knee and there was some soreness going up stairs and coming down hills. Since I couldn't run the race I decided to show up at the finish line and cheer some folks on. Left the house at 8AM with my cowbell and a fresh cup of coffee. What a friggin' glorious day! It was a 25 minute walk from my house, but what's walking when you have coffee in hand, good weather and an event to go to. I got there just when J.P. crossed the line. At this point only the fast folks / teams have come in. There were a lot of lean, mean, speedy looking people at that finish line. While chatting with J.P. I ran into other friends, Chikara and Tim. Chikara is a 23 year old cross country runner who also does ultra's. He's running his first 100-miler at Western this year. I know he's at least won a 50k and took 2nd in last year's American River 50-Miler. Tim's a friend from church, early 40's I think, cross country runner and still clocks 16.5 minutes for his 5k's.
Hung around for a bit, took some pictures. When I got bored with that I meandered down Aquatic Park where I ran into some folks from my old YMCA Triahtlon team, they were getting ready for their morning swim. They were there to join Coach Pedro's organized Sunday swim group. Chatted for awhile and said hello to Coach Pedro. Pedro is an amazing swimmer and a really nice guy. He's helped me a lot on my bay swims and I look forward to joining his Thursday afternoon swims come April. Left with a promise to join his team soon.
Finished the morning with a decaf and a chocolate croissant. Watching people workout got me hungry for a sweet snack!
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Anyway I had a 14 mile run planned with J.P. tomorrow morning. He had this great idea of running to the start of the Emerald Across the Bay 12k which was in Fort Baker by Sausalito and then running the race back to San Francisco, about 14/15 miles. He was then going to go on and lead the club trail run at 11AM - Animal! I just called him to cancel and it was the toughest, toughtest thing to do. In fact I grabbed and dropped the phone twice before finally making the call. I hate bailing out on anything. Second I hate bailing on a good run. Third I hate letting people down. I think I made the right decision. Actually my workout schedule doesn't have me working out after long training runs. I just do it because I love hanging with my Tri-Club:) Alas this time I won't be able to indulge. Why must my body be so weak!!! Something tasty must be consumed to assuage my spirit!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Partying at the wedding. Phil second from left is the groom. For more pics, click here.
And finally Phil's Wedding, not to be confused with my little cousin Philip or his dad Phil. The reason that got me flying down to LA last weekend. This guy I've known for 13 years now, we met at the dorms my first year in San Francisco. He and his wife have been together for 9 years but only decided to get married now. This is actually the second wedding. The first one was in Taiwan where they both reside now, Tanya the wife is from Taiwan. This second reception is for Phil's family, relatives and friends.
It was a good time despite the fact that it was a dry wedding for me, gave up alcohol for Lent. A bit painful but i survived. I'm amazed at how healthy he looks now - Phil. He was always skinny and hyper in College. Always drinking and always smoking pot somewhere. But now he looks good and he's got a good life back in Taiwan. Sober all night, I called it quits at 10PM. Getting old, getting old.
Isn't she adorable! Click here for more pics.
This is Philip's younger sister Sydney. Marie their mother is technically my aunt, so this makes the kids my cousins. I was in LA last weekend for a wedding. Every time I'm in town I stay with Phil and Marie in their Anaheim home. I enjoy spending time with their family and I'm always welcome in their household. I love playing with the kids and catching up with Marie. It just happened that this weekend was also little Philip's 5th birthday party. I'm always so amazed how kids can run me to the ground despite all my physical training. Damn kids.
Pics from the wedding coming up. You guys get to see me in a suit, which is a very, very rare occurence. In fact I left the house without a suit and was finally persuaded to change into one (in the car on the way to the wedding).
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
2 x 400 with 45 sec rest in between
1 x 800 followed by a 1 x 400 recovery jog
3 x 300 with 45 sec rest in between
1 x 600 followed by a 1 x 400 recovery jog
4 x 200 with 30 seconds rest in between
Felt a little short but I guess when done right you should be looking forward to the end. Anything hurts when done fast enough right? My biggest problem was gauging the rate of effort I should be putting out. One runner said a 7 on a scale of 1-10, but it was clear to me that our group was just below max or at it. I tried to do it with heart rate but I was maxing that too. In the end I just relied on my own internal sensors. Baby just go as fast as you possibly can without blowing the rest of the workout. As fast a speed that will allow you to do more repetitions. People in the group were calling out times but most of it went over my head, all I wanted to know was what the next interval was and how much rest. So much fun, can't wait for the next one. It was invigorating running with and against other people and it psyched me up to see the other clubs out there doing the same.
Photos by Noel Madrid. Click here for the rest of his photos.
This past weekend seems like I missed a really good, rainy, muddy trail run. I came home to "where were you" and "boy you missed out" emails. Ah well hopefully there will be more. I'm so impressed that there were pictures. Noel brought his waterproof camera! These guys are dedicated not only in running but documenting the run for the TriClub.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Anyway it had been a rainy afternoon and it was raining when the cab pulled up to Kezar Stadium. Cab driver thought it was kind of crazy to be running in the rain but I said "hey it's San Francisco, you know how it is, you just deal with the weather" and with that I got a nod that indicated he finally understood. We don't have the crazy heat or the unbearable cold but we get a lot of wind and fog and this time of the year, a lot of rain. Our summers are the foggiest days of the year. Don't come in the summer!
Funny in the 13 years I've lived here I've never been to Kezar, a place with a lot of history - the 49ers Football (American) team used to play here in the early days. It feels and looks old but well kept and cozy. Imagine this at night with rain. Other teams were there doing their workouts. Despite the rain there were many runners out, going round and round and round - it was a beautiful sight.
It was my first time so I just doddled around and asked questions. I quickly fell into pace with the medium paced group, fortunately they knew what they were doing. They would yell out the next interval and kept track of the duration of our rests in between the intervals. Good group. My legs were sluggish from 3 days of not running but I quickly fell into rhythm. A couple of the guys in my group were fast, I know them from the Sunday trail runs. It really fired up my competitive side, I wanted to beat them to the ground - ah the fun of competition. When I succeed in dropping the necessary weight I should be more competitive with these kids, as it was I did okay. I was a little surprised at how quick the workout was but I was pretty tired towards the end there. Next time I can pace myself a little better now that I know what to expect. J.P. offered to give me a ride home (thanks J.P.) but I decided to run home instead. It wasn't a pretty run considering it was sidewalks and streets the whole way home but it allowed me some time to assimilate the new experience and of course, get a few more miles in. Next time I'll run there as well. My body is a like a car engine in a Michigan winter, it takes awhile to get it warmed up.
I shall be back!
111 Minna is an art gallery/bar. Back in my art school days it was a lot smaller and not easily seen from the street. You walk down Minna St., a non-descript alley, and you know you're there when you come upon the bright red double doors. The red was a direct contrast to the grayness of the alley and the entrance to a small cozy refuge. You drank your drinks amid the sculptures and hung artworks, live dj spinning records on the evenings. Ah back in the days when I was cool. Eventually they rented the space next door, expanding their space all the way to the street corner - more people and more artwork. Now I rarely venture down there and quite frankly I've stopped going to artshows and museums - but it's a new year and there's new work to see!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Well back to work. Emails, phone calls and projects to catch up on.
Fun, Fun, Fun. Stories and photos to come.
Friday, March 10, 2006
The plan was to leave at 4PM, go for a 3 hour run since I was out of town this weekend. Because of work I didn't actually leave until 5:30PM. Had to cut my run short because of the diminishing light, sun came down at my turnaround point at Baker Beach. That area, by the Golden Gate San Francisco side has some trails and fortunately I know them well. Traipsing around in the dark without a light isn't a good idea but it does teach you to pick up your feet. Yes Stephen, again I didn't bring a light. Steve's great he carries a light with him at night. Lovely run but I did get cold despite my body running hot from the running. My hands got very, very cold. Nevertheless I did a little sightseeing on the way home; took a little detour to Aquatic Park - Maritime Museum was lit up in blue because of some big event, cruised by Ghirardelli Square where I passed a whole flock of grade school kids, raced the cable car up Hyde Street Hill and I peeked inside the warmly lit restaurants at the top of Hyde Street. I love that area. All in all a little over 2 hours, a bit short on mileage but more than I expected for the fun and adventure, not to mention the weather.
Now I have to pack for LA, weather reports say it's cold down there too. Hopefully my flight doesn't get delayed because of the bad weather.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Also as it turns out (I'm so blessed), it's my nephew's birthday, one of them precious neices and nephews. I have a lot, stress on a lot, of family in Southern California. His birthday party is on Saturday and the wedding is on Sunday. I called Marie (mom) about crashing at their home in Anaheim and I found out about the party. This is the second time this has happened. Last year I had a Half-Ironman race in San Diego, called to see if I could crash and it turned out they were celebrating his birthday that weekend too. Coincidence, I think not.
So on to LA. I hate LA - too much driving, everything is spread out. But I am excited about the wedding and seeing family and freinds. Hmmm...maybe the weather is better, I'll pack the running shoes.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
So why the fasting? I used to fast for faith related reasons, I've done 32 and 56 hour fasts in the past. I've been slacking though, I just love food so much. Fasting is one of the 12 recommended disciplines for those who want to go deeper in their Christian faith. Sooner or later I will have to return to practicing it. Anyway I've been having problems with my weight. Every December I take off the entire month, no exercise and I indulge in all the bad food stuffs. It's normal for my weight to fluctuate 8 to 10 pounds during the year, reaching my heaviest in December. The problem is that here I am in March, back in shape, being smarter with my diet and I still weigh the same as I did in December. Boggles my mind how that could be. How can I weigh the same as my sedentary self? So I've decided to shake things up a bit internally. After fasting the weight comes back right away but I noticed that weight loss became easier, it's like the body realizes it can go down further. I feel like my body is stuck and I just need to jumpstart it...know what I mean?
So that's the plan, using the fast to break this impasse, this plateau that I'm on. We'll see if that works. I broke the fast at noon for a total of 36 hours. I lost a total of 2.5 pounds which I expect to come back in the next couple of days but I'm hoping my weight starts sliding down from there. We'll see...
Monday, March 06, 2006
Anyway on the way out J.P. and I were talking about that girl who got hit last week while jogging which led back to the whole Road ID discussion. I think they're great but my complaint, as I explained to J.P., is that the damned things cost $20 a piece, which by the way doesn't include tax and shipping. C'mon, that much for a piece of metal with info etched on it. Well as it turns out J.P. has one but his contact info has his ex-girlfriend's number on it and no he doesn't want to pay another $20 to update it. Hilarious...at least I thought so.
Well I should show you guys my new Golden Gate Triathlon cowbell, I'm so psyched about it I might just stand on the sidewalk tomorrow and cheer people on as they go to work. Woohoo! Way to go! Let's see some hustle! Only a little farther, it's all downhill from here! Which in this case is true, the financial district is only a few blocks downhill from my place.
J.P. Road ID story posted with his permission.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
I love this shot. I love the moss covered trees in the background with the light between the branches. I like the foreground, that goes from blurry to focused shot of the leaves. I dig Todd's orange shirt that makes him stand out yet it family's well with the greens and browns of the image. I get heaven and earth on this image. Such a sweet shot.
J.P., knowing how much you love photography, you should check out Chris' site. He's got some great shots, especially on the bike section - road shots, cyclocross races and mountain bike. The guy's pretty dope in his craft.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I met Todd on the photoshoot. Now I see him every Thursday at spin class. Anyway this is another shot from the shoot.
It's noon on a Saturday, gearing up for what should be a nice long run. Skies are cloudy and we are suppose to get more rain. It's not raining right now but I'm sure it will start dumping while I'm out there. I really needed the sleep this time. The last two days have been a bit crazy at work. I got sucked in on a project with a very quick deadline. That project and all the other work I had on my plate got me working till the wee hours of the morning then up early to continue...felt a little bit like college there for a minute:) Oh well it's over now and I have time to play.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Back in November I got be part of a photoshoot for Keen, showcasing their new trail running shoe line. My friend and colleague Tanya asked if I could participate, she works for 40/40, the branding firm that's working on the creative for Keen. It was a lot of fun. Spent the day in Marin running around and getting my picture taken. It just so happened that I was in Marin that day for a project. I was able to swing the photoshoot and complete the job afterwards. That was a good day.
But damn. My sister IS right. I do have a large head in proportion to my body.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
* * * * * * * *
From Golden Gate Triathlon Club
This morning at 7am a female jogger who appeared to be the victim of a hit and run accident was discovered by a park employee. She was found on Washington Boulevard near Kobbe Avenue. The woman is in a local hospital in very serious condition.
She was not carrying identification. It is very possible that she lives within the Presidio or works here. She is described as:
·approximately 30 years of age
·5'9" tall & approximately 140 pounds
She was wearing a light blue jogging top, navy blue shorts, a pink Timex watch, and white running shoes. She was carrying an orange IPOD.
If you can help identify her, please call Detective Anthony DePalma
of the United States Park Police at (415) 561-5153.
* * * * * * * *
Eventually they did manage to identify her through the registration number on her iPod. Her family is now on the way to be by her side. Friends have also showed up at the hospital to check on her. Unfortunatley as of the latest update, she's still unconscious and in intensive care. Scary stuff.
When I'm out I carry my license, bank card and health insurance card with me. Just in case...