Monday, February 22, 2010

Hola

Well, it has been awhile since I posted, my longest break from blogging yet. Where have I been? Nowhere really. I've simply been putting my head down and cranking through training. I'm on my 8th year in the world of ultra-marathons and I can honestly say I've never worked so hard on my training this early in the year, a level I hope to keep for the entire season. I took that break in December like I always do and hit the ground running in January. I've been working harder, trying to squeeze more out of these short stubby legs:)

I have been hitting the gym even though I still hate it with a passion, working on the core as well as the upper body and not just the legs. Getting the body stronger overall to withstand the rigors of races this spring and summer. I've dropped my holiday weight faster than I've ever had and have been putting in good long miles consistently. I've been experimenting with doing double run workouts, one in the morning and one at night and so far it's been great. It has been hard and to be honest it is kind of breaking me. I've had to pull back on planned workouts because of danger signals I was perceiving from my body. Last week was just such a week. By Thursday I was hobbling around the house with two incredibly tight and sore hamstrings. Sore was okay, tightness not okay. I've been here before though, it will be okay. I'm not always so smart in my training and January was a good example of that when I built up too many miles too quickly. The good thing is that I am always ready to back down, scale back on training plans when things are not feeling right. I've been injured many times, burned out once and those experiences temper some of the recklessness. I didn't come out of January unscathed however. Building to a 30-mile long run within a month has left me with chronically tight feet, the bottoms of them, and they get quite sore on the long runs. I spend part of the day with my feet on top of a tennis ball, a billiard ball would be better.

Anyway my first race is in three weeks. Exciting. I never know where I am condition wise until the first race of the season. I know I can cover the distance since I've been covering 26-30 miles in my long runs but how fast and how strong? We shall see. I am planning on a two week taper and I hope some of the nagging little pains and the feet tightness thing would clear out along with the accumulated fatigue.

IMG_0220
With the triathlon club, cheering on runners at a recent half-marathon in San Francisco.

IMG_0213
Saw several ultra-folk, putting up some fast times too. Chikara Omine of New Balance Excelsior, guy is fast in shorter distance races as well as ultras.

IMG_0223
Our very own club run director Helen Kao, so fast she's blurry. Coincidentally she also used to race for New Balance Excelsior.

IMG_0198
4-month old Huck, our newest member and girl magnet.

IMG_0230
The after shot after all our runners finished.

11 comments:

  1. good to have you back....sounds like you are overhauling the machine for a high end performance. Cant wait to read about you owning this race season.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Building to a 30 mile long run within a month..." Wow, that sounds exactly like the start to my season. Hit the ground running, and all that good stuff. Love it! Of course, I'm definitely NOT doing doubles. That's crazy talk! :)

    You're a tough one, Rick. Sounds like you are on your way to a killer season. Keep listening to that body. Oh, and "stubby" is certainly not how I would describe your legs! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Stubby - welcome back! That's some awesome training you've been doing, even more impressive with the extra cold/rain/dark of January. Sounds like you're ready for a killer year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hate the weight workouts too, but I'm trying to stick with it. As long as you know when to back off, I think all your hard work will pay off!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's a damn steep ramp and you making me feel like a complete slacker...oh wait I am a complete slacker!

    ReplyDelete
  6. morning & evening runs are good for ultrarunners! i have observed that i became stronger and be able to bring back my speed after doing my adventure run from manila to baguio city. good luck on your next race!

    ReplyDelete
  7. 以簡單的行為愉悅他人的心靈,勝過千人低頭禱告........................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. I leave two golf balls under my desk at work. Just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dave: I don't know how your knees are holding up carrying that 40 pound pack around in your runs. Good luck in the Bataan race.

    Gretchen: Ah it's only 2-3 days out of the week that I do the doubles. The toughest part is the early runs. Not a morning person.

    Donald: What up Big D! I hope it's another killer year, for all of us.

    Sarah: Glad for the company. I have yet to really warm up to them but whatever I can do to keep on running stronger and better.

    Stuart: Such a sandbagger, I read your blog, I know you lay down some killer miles too.

    Bald Runner: Thanks Sir Jovie. Good luck on RD'ing the second edition of your Bataan 102k event. My buddy Dave, up top, is doing the one in New Mexico. A shorter distance but with a 40 pound pack.

    睡衣: Can you repeat in English?
    Nrmrvrk: I heard about the golf balls last weekend. Painful? I bet. I may be moving up to that level this week.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You've been missed here in blogland, Rick!

    I hope the aches and pains subside, and I wish you the best as you enter your 2010 race season!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Rick,

    I expect you're gonna have another standout ultra season. You've been at this long enough and you seem to be so keen to your body' specific needs that you're able to really tailor your training. Awesome, and may we all learn the ability to know the sport and ourselves as well as you.

    Take care of those tight feet!
    Meghan

    ReplyDelete