Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where have I been all week?

Well I've been feeling worn out. Could it have been the 7:45 and 40+ miles with Gunderson on Saturday plus the 12 or so miles on Sunday, nah it couldn't have been:) Haha I think my body is choking on the long mileage and hills this early in the year, so soon after my holiday break. None of my long runs last year went over 6.5 hours or 35 miles, look at me now. What can I say, I've fallen in with a crowd that is more capable and hard working than I am with early races/events on the schedule. They either wear me out or I adapt to the extra workload. The weight training is certainly making things more difficult too but I know it's making me stronger. I either break or get stronger right? Right now I feel like I'm breaking, what with a strain in one of my core muscles and lingering fatigue. No worries, I've put in more rest on the schedule this week and next week is a back down week anyway. No long run that weekend and only one strength training session in preparation for a half-marathon that Sunday. The road race will be hard in it's own way but it will be over quick. Still beats last week though when I was sick for 3 days and I was reduced to two jogs during the work week. Yes, yes, I was licking other people's spoons, drinking other people's beers.

So Saturday was another early day with Gunderson. I didn't realize we were gunning for 40+ miles until that morning but I was game. It's not like we were moving at race pace. He's preparing for Rocky Raccoon 100, happening in 3 weeks. It was a gorgeous day, real nice. We followed a good part of the Miwok course and traveled North for 4 hours before heading back. On the way out we encountered a bunch of fellow ultra-marathoners heading the other way on Bolinas Ridge. Familiar faces, many wearing "Team Diablo" shirts. Fast Kevin Swisher was there, we even shook hands, and toward the back of the group was Graham Cooper, another runner I admire. He is the 2006 Western States champ and the course record holder for one of my favorite 50-milers - the Quicksilver 50. What some people don't know is that he is also a great triathlete. Having been involved in both sports the last 5 years, I admire someone who has done it well. Usually when I see him, at a race, he's all business. Saturday he was relaxed and just one of the guys, good to see. It was great seeing them go by, training for the Miwok 100k perhaps. Then another 3+ hours later, a half mile from the car, out pops in front of us, Kelly Ridgway and Karen Hanke in their bright pink running skirts. Like us they too were finishing their long run. Kelly is training for the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica, a multi-day race adventure. It was great to catch up and Kelly was getting updates on her phone on Suzanna's progress at HURT 100 in Hawaii. Suzanna would finish second woman. That is one tough race. I've never done it but I lived there, I know that terrain - crazy technical, muddy and slippery. Gundy and I finished well and felt good for the rest of the day.

Gunderson on Bolinas Ridge.

Bolinas Ridge. The Miwok 100k, the Headlands Hundred and 50-miler and the Northface 50-miler comes through here.

Jon with Karen and Kelly.

Sunday was an absolute blast. It was the kick-off run for our triathlon club, a trail run and brunch event. Genius idea, a trail run with the promise of food and baked goods at the end. There was also coffee, orange juice and mimosas. I skipped the mimosas but had ample amounts of the first two. We had about 35 people which is a pretty good turnout. The route was a 10k around a lake and not too hilly. The weather was as good as Saturday's and we only lost a couple of people who got lost on the course, no worries they made it back. I ran the first 10k easy with the group, playing the sweeper at one point then headed back out with another group at a faster pace. Good stuff and I felt great. The Cardinals beating Philly was just icing on the cake. I'm a Niner fan myself but we didn't make the playoffs. I've been rooting for Arizona because the locals at Javelina took great care of us, that and the memory of a sunset and sunrise in the Arizona dessert has never left me - so amazingly beautiful.

Karen and Julia on their way back from the loop. I promptly looped back at this point and followed Sandrine and Dana back out to the lake.

Daniel, on his second loop leading Heather and Sandrine. J~Mom your short sleeve shirt request will be fulfilled by Heather, no worries she's a sweetheart. Daniel is fast, he won PCTR's Angel Island 25k a couple of weekends ago.

The scene waiting for me after the run. There better be some donuts left! Photo courtesy of Gary Najarian.

So business as usual this weekend but I am watching my rest more closely. I'm also probably going to see the doc about this strain on my core. It runs from stomach all the way down to my groin on the left hand side. The pain is not sharp and I'm convinced it's muscle related but just in case. I'm paying for the health insurance, I might as well use it.


  1. You certainly get the opportunity to run with and see some amazing athletes out there. Sounds as if Gunderson is making you work hard. I only hope you are pestering him for BW tips for me.

    "I've fallen in with a crowd that is more capable and hard working than I am with early races/events on the schedule" - I think that is a good thing. You will be so far ahead of the game when you reach your races/events.

    Now, on feeling worn out....get some rest before Rocky Raccoon so you can push the heck out of me ! See you in 2 weeks (get me your flight info).

  2. Oooohhh Rick stop it! We know the REAL reason you've been feeling worn out. Lady friends have been coming to visit you in the wee hrs of the am :P LOL JK!

  3. Beautiful pics! I can't believe the awesome weather we had last week. Seeing those trails makes me want to drive up there and join you some weekend. I'll let you know if I plan anything.

    Hope the injury turns out to be a mini one.

  4. When I worked with Graham at the Quad Dipsea aid station, he was such a humble human being. Of course I was star struck but I think I stayed pretty composed the entire day. :) Oooooh, you had to say "donut" didn't you. Gah! Now I NEED one. LOL Rest up my dear Rick.

  5. You have to get broken down before rebulding, it's the law, isn't it? this is what happens in a muscle, this is what happens when a kid joins the army...and when athlete starts training. Having a crowd you do by location, and being able to keep up with them nowadays is just absoltely cherishable, i wouldn't ditch an offer either if I were you! I mean, if I were you - single, fast and with free work schedule.
    Speaking of single - what's up with Marcy's comment and why am I hearing it from somebody else but you???

  6. Love that shoe picture!! Too fun!

    Think of what you would tell me!! Rest and take care! You have a big year ahead of you and you have to listen to your body! I want you strong at the end of the year for Javelina!!

    Most likely heading out to Pemberton for a practice run with the cool kids tomorrow! :>)

  7. I have been running with all the top ultra runners also the past week ...ummm wait well it was recordings from endurance planet of some of them on my mp3 while on the treadmill, that is just as good right --lol

    ahhhhh stop making me jealous Rick I might just have to move out to the west coast you lucky bastards :-)

  8. Rick, that terrain you run in looks like something out of a movie. How gorgeous! And it sounds like you are keeping some pretty fast company. Keep up the good work, but be sure to get some rest, too!

    The picture of all the shoes is hilarious! :)

  9. I am so jealous of your scenery... You sound like you are as busy as ever!

  10. Woah you get to run there? So beautiful!

  11. Well, I have to say that you and Tony both have some gorgeous areas to run in. Makes me want to put our house on the market and get the heck outta Dodge! Looking forward to seeing you at Rocky! Peace!

  12. Sure am going to miss seeing you and the other Cali boys at RR this year....maybe you need to put the Cactus Rose 100 on your prep for the HR100...:)

  13. When I see photos of Marin Headlands singletrack looking so inviting, I do get a little bit jealous mid-winter. I will be running on packed snow trails for another 3 MONTHS, and while I love winter, it's just makes me giddy to think about the next time I'll see dry trails....

  14. Rest, I am told although I am useless at it, is really important.

    That shoe pic cracked me up!

  15. Well done on those long runs, Rick! The strength training will pay off. I need to hit the gym again as well.

  16. "What can I say, I've fallen in with a crowd that is more capable and hard working than I am with early races/events on the schedule. They either wear me out or I adapt to the extra workload."

    you can change that, you know, and hang out with me, instead. Instant improvement by comparison! :)