Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Pre-Bike Meeting.

This was last Saturday morning, my first workout with the TAG group. I went to the informational meeting the Wednesday before and made my decision then to get involved. TAG (Tri And Give) is a joint program between our club and Tri More Fitness where people are trained for a specific triathlon event and their entry fees, minus administrative costs, are donated to local charities helping fellow athletes and kids.

I got involved with triathlon through a training group with my local YMCA. Loved it so much I came back for the fall program. The next year I was invited back as a mentor for Spring/Summer and was brought back for the Summer/Fall as an assistant coach. The next year, last year, I served in the same role for the running program. This year I took off from volunteering to focus on my training but now that my big races are done, I've gotten that itch to get involved with a group again. I get so inspired in these programs. I get excited seeing strength, speed and proficiency but I really get worked up about growth. I love seeing people grow into new friendships, new skills, etc.

So this program runs for the next 10 weeks, culminating in the Treasure Island Olympic distance triathlon. Not a good triathlon if you are ultra competitive and impatient but great for beginners and a good spectator triathlon as well. I plan on being involved for the whole program and depending on when I'm supposed to be in Barcelona, I should be in attendance in the race as well. The group's looking good so far.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rest is on the Schedule

Another night at Kezar Stadium.

So last week I had an exceptional week of training. Slacked very little and got a lot done. During the weekend I worked real hard and hit most of my goals . It was a good weekend but apparently a little too much. Monday I was so tired and sore I took the day off. Today I got back some of my zip but this evening's track workout was downright ugly. I was tired from the first lap to the last. Wow, just sluggish out there. Felt a bit like bonking. I was pretty much on survival mode for the whole workout. The ugliest track workout yet. So it goes, so it goes. I should have known, the past two mornings it's been hard getting up despite a full night's rest. So cutting back on my mileage this week, I'll still get out but will take it easier. Then next week is taper. I'm a big believer in taper. This is probably the smartest thing I can do now with the race only 2 weeks away. I'd rather show up
under-trained and rested than under-trained and tired:) I'm sure you guys would agree.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Monday After

All the people I tracked at IMC finished, some took longer than others but all finished. I'm so impressed. While I'll always be in awe with the fast folks it's the ones who gut it out that inspires me the most. Anyway I'm sure getting up this morning for some of them was it's own event:) Ah that sweet, sweet, stiff pain that comes from attempting/finishing something. That's always fun. You know all these guys listed their professions on their application forms so it was on their info page. Had no idea so and so was an attorney, so and so was a teacher and so and so was an optmetrist. Interesting.

CCC 100-mile was also a success and thanks to Lisa Bliss we have some preliminary results. Check it out here, this is as high tech as triple C goes - pretty awesome. Olga's friend dnf'ed however so she never got to pace her 30 miles. I've never met Rob but I wish him the best. The veterans say it's only a matter of time. I have yet to suffer my first DNF (did not finish) but it's always in the back of my mind, it will happen one day...just a matter of time like they say. I just hope that when the day comes it will be for the right reasons. I did see Mike Burke finish though, so congratulations to him. He was part of Olga's crew along with Gail for WS100. Nice guy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


So the run after the bike didn't happen because I ran out of time. I only had an hour to eat and get ready before heading out for church. I must have been dehydrated because I couldn't drink enough. I had to excuse myself during communion just to get something to drink and it was still wasn't enough. Nowadays the church community I enjoy is much smaller. Our senior pastor left and a lot of folks left because of it. It wasn't a good parting of ways, a lot of disagreements and some hurt feelings. But the core that has stayed is quite close. A bunch of us went out to dinner again, the usual place - Pizza O. I'm so sick and tired of pizza but I go to hangout and end up eating a ton of pizza anyway. It's great to have friends, to have community, I get that itch scrathed in Triathlon and Ultra and in my Church.

Speaking of which, it's 9PM. Some of the folks I've been tracking have finished, some are on the second half of their marathon run and a couple are still on the first half of their run. Whew what a long day for them but how awesome. I've only done one IM and I've been reliving those memories this weekend.

It's a Beautiful Day....

In Marin. It's been foggy and windy here in the city. I remember looking up during my swim earlier and seeing no sunshine. Got on my bike as planned...brrr...cold and windy, until I crossed the bridge and felt the sunshine on the other side. What a sweet day they're having.

4 of the 12 have finished the 112-mile bike ride. Sweet! In an Ironman there is an aid station for every mile. It's like climbing a ladder.

Tracking Athletes

When I was out running at WS100. My pacers were able to keep an accurate track of my progress on the course by calling friends back in the Bay Area who would then log in to the WS site and check the progress chart. We wore a timing chip and our progress was constantly updated. Technology, sweet when it works like it's supposed to.

Tracking the progress of 12 people. Unfortunately no points on the map for this coverage, just times as they complete each event. All are off the swim and on the bike. Damn Spamsi!!! You are a fish. 1:14:01 on the 2.4 swim. You rock.

Back in my world...just got back from my swim/grocery shopping. It's noon and I'm about to head out for a short bike ride. Today will be an easier day since yesterday was the long day for both the bike and the run (50+ miles on the bike and 18 or so miles on the run). Feeling very lazy and I don't want to go. I'm thinking about the food I just bought and how great it would be to cook up some burgers and just take the rest of the day off:) But then I'll just hate myself later. Onwards then...mmm Carbo Pro and Energy Gels, much more delicious than a burger and a salad.

Sunday Morning

It's 8:15AM and I'm about to head out for our tri-club's Sunday swims at Aquatic Park but my thoughts are up North with:

• The gang at Ironman Canada. Those guys should be in the water now, pounding out that 2.4 mile swim. Any butterflies, anxieties, worries should now be gone with the first few strokes. Go Kids Go! I wish them the best and hope everyone finishes. It will be a long day.

• The folks at the Cascade Crest Classsic 100-miler in Easton, Washington. I ran this 100-mile ultra last year, beautiful but hard. The most difficult ultra 100 I've ever completed, although I've only finished 3 so that's not saying much considering there's about 40 100-mile races in the country. It's a 10AM late start so everyone is guaranteed a good amount of time running in the dark in this ultra, even the pros. At this time last year, I was at the top of a 6 mile climb that immediately followed the trail from hell. Stomach churning, legs beaten...a bad spot. Luckily it didn't last long.

Olga should be out there now, pacing her friend Rob for 30 miles. I wish all the CCC 100 runners the best.

And as awesome as these guys are, a shout out to all the volunteers in these events. They make it happen!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Ice Bath

Ooofff. The longer and harder I go the more it's needed. So good yet so painful. I'm going in...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bing and Iya in SF

Finally, the pictures from their San Francisco vacation. Edited down to a merciful 43 images. Click here for the set.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ironman Canada


To all the Golden Gaters headed north for IM Canada this weekend, God Bless and Good Luck! I'll be thinking of you guys this weekend. Canada is the big race this year for the club, at last count there were about 40+ athletes participating. Last year it was IM Brazil and next year it will be IM Couer d'Alene in Idaho. Awesome, I'm excited and I'm not even going. At track tonight we had a couple IMC'ers going through their last taper workouts with us, they are so psyched.

One day, I'd like to join the team for one good IM day. Getting that itch to do another IM:)

Monday, August 21, 2006

On The Road Again

Crunch...Crunch...Crunch...this time the sound of gravel under my trail shoes and not food in my mouth. I haven't run on real trail since my last race but my favorite path is an asphalt trail covered with gravel. It's nice to be back on the workout routine. The Tourist Schedule(late nights, early mornings), coupled with the Tourist Diet(anything goes) has been great but it had to end. Those two would never get me across the finish line smiling. So today I went for a late afternoon run to Aquatic Park, swam for half and hour and ran for another hour. A sweet time and it felt great.

I do however still have in my possession; 2 bottles of Shiraz, 6 bars of chocolate, 2 slices of Cheesecake, a bag of leftover ribs and a bag of assorted cheeses that Bing left for me. It'd be a shame to throw it all away. Ha! right...I'll just promise not to finish it all in one sitting.

And They Are Off

Bing and Iya. French for lunch at Plouf in Belden Lane.

So after 5 days and 4 nights with me in San Francisco, the pair is now in New York. Shucks that would have been nice. Had they left on a Friday I would have gone with them for the weekend. I liked New York even though I was only there once - ran the New York Marathon in 2003. New Yorkers love and celebrate their marathon. Anyway I could spend the whole day in the MET. Which I actually plan to do next time I'm in town, I just have to figure out how to get loose from family and deal with the guilt of not seeing the rest of the city:)

But I digress...the last 5 days felt like one day. Not a moment wasted. Spent a lot of time with them and whatever was left went to getting work done. It was great playing tourist with them. It's great having people enjoy what you love. I love the Bay Area and I'll share it with anyone. Bing can take photos with the best Japanese tourists and Iya can probably outshop a lot of people I know - luckily we kept the shopping part to a minimum.

And now it's back to the usual. I have to cram even harder now for this upcoming race and there's new work to attend to. All good things really. I already know I'm going to get to this race under trained, just doing my best now to keep the suffering down to a minimum come race day:)

For those who are waiting (family, relatives, friends)...yes, yes I will post pictures of their San Francisco trip. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Bing

Cousin Bing
Bing on her birthday, at Tra Vigne in Napa Valley. Having a good glass of red with the setting sun.

Last friday was Bing's birthday and she wanted to spend it in Napa Valley. It was another late start to the day, it runs in the family! There is Filipino time (late) and there is Bing time (super late). Bing time is never earlier than Filipino time. To her credit it wasn't all her fault. Three Filipinos on one schedule...errr good luck.

So after Bing's early morning massage, Peet's coffee and Noah Bagles we were off! We the master's of lateness and I being a most capable representative of the directionally challenged assured for an interesting afternoon. Nevertheless we managed to drive all the way through Napa, visit a couple of wineries, had a great dinner where Bing ran into a friend from home (what are the odds???) and toasted Bing's birthday at a place called Tra Vigne as the sun set in the outdoor patio. Pretty nice. In my 13 plus years in the Bay Area I've never done the wine thing so it was an education for me too.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday Morning

So the swim didn't happen but I got 9 miles of running in. The thought of staying in, drinking coffee, reading the news while the other two got ready was really tempting but the thought of another day of no training was too much. So I got up, grudgingly put my clothes on and I was off. It really was only supposed to be a 10k I got to Crissy Field, my turnaround point, I saw the Nike Women's Marathon training group. About 200 or so runners running in four groups, mostly made up of women. So I thought it would be a shame not to run with them:) Saw a couple of friends, got to a closer view of the bridge and was psyched to get a few more miles in. Boy, I really feel the not working out for three days thing. Felt a little slow out there but a good primer for tomorrow.

On to breakfast, farmer's market and the rest of the day.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Parking + Cousin Bing + Work

This place is a nightmare if you have a car. Few parking spots, lots of rules and regulations, tow-away zones. Last night I found the sweetest spot. However, this morning I found a ticket in my car. Apparently my wheels were turned the wrong way. It's towards the curb on a downhill and away from the curb on an uphill. Pain in the A**!.

Cousin Bing and friend is back, been with me since Wednesday and they are here till Sunday morning. Rented a car yesterday thru Sunday so we can do the tourist thing. We've been walking lots, catching public transportation but now we have to do things outside of SF. Today for her b-day I got her an early massage and then we are headed to Napa. I've never done the whole winery thing but I heard it's easy, wineries everywhere once you hit highway 29 going north. I have however run past vineyards in past running events. My first run event was a 10k in Sonoma, back then I was worried I would never make it to the finish. 6.1 miles! That's so far!

Anyway workouts have been on hold until they leave. I had this grand plan to workout in the early morning hours while they slept. Anyone who knows me knows this was a plan doomed from the start:) Ahaha ah well...just not a morning person. I haven't given up yet though. Got an early run / swim / run planned for tomorrow morning. Swimming on the bay at 7:30AM, mmm...that just makes me want to get up:). Damn, why did I sign up for this triathlon. It doesn't help that I keep getting more work. I'm slammed and projects keep coming in. I'm like a waiter on a busy restaurant during the work lunch rush....ah that feels like a whole lifetime ago. I'd like to start turning projects away but two words keep coming to mind RAID AVENTURA! Sorry Olga I don't think the lotto thing is going to come through in the near future. I'll have to do it the old fashioned way - work. You know.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Next Thing

I want to do this race! Fresh off the ultra list, posted by Bram van der Bijl: Raid Aventura

500km, from Montpellier France to Valencia Spain. Hugging the coast you go through Barcelona. I bet it's awesome. Never been in France or Spain, although I am planning to spend a week in Barcelona for my birthday. Anyone with advice on the running scene in Barcelona, please lemme know.

Two things though; expense and timing. I'm already over my budget for vacations this year and the race is in the beginning of June. I plan on running Western States again and if I get in that's at the end of June. Anyway if by December the race isn't filled I will forego my annual family visit to Orlando, Florida and seriously think about entering the race - 800 Euros. If that happens I will spend winter and spring saving up for the trip and I will most likely forego Wildflower Half-Ironman in April. I will put my name in for the Western States lottery anyway.

Dream Scenario. I make it to both races.
Good Scenario. I make one.
Bummer Scenario. I make neither.

But then again this is Northern California...the hills of Marin will always do, for me anyway.

Grand Canyon

The latest Trailrunner mag has an article on running the Grand Canyon, complete with great photography. Ah the Grand...brought back memories of an amazing run and a great trip. Revisit with me here.

What are my Grand Canyon buddies doing now? Jason is planning to run the Dick Collins 50-Miler in the East Bay to qualify for the Western States lottery. Stephen just recently qualified with a 10-hour effort at an ultra in Oregon - White River 50-Miler? That's actually slow for Stephen. Both Jason and Stephen paced on the last WS and have decided to give it a shot. It's a good race for them since they like point to point races where they don't have to see the same thing twice. And lastly J.P. is tapering/getting ready for Ironman Canada this coming August 27th. He'll have lots of company, at last count about 40 people from our club was doing the race.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

More Talking

"Rick I'm only going to tell you this one more time, YOU ARE GOING TO KILL US ON THE BIKE if you don't keep your eyes on the road. Twice you almost ran off the road and once you almost put the front tire on a large crack on the road looking at some girl running. Stop grinning, yes it's a nice day out. Focus, we still have 5 miles to go before home."

When I run I let my mind wander. I think about everything; get distracted about the smallest things, start conversations with anyone. I've gotten lost in ultras this way but it's all good. However on the bike I really have to learn turn it all off. Focus, focus, focus. Everything happens much faster and there are more hazards on the road, especially on the weekend with a lot of people out and about. A challenge indeed. You cyclists out know what I mean.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

You're a Stud Keep Going! Ain't Nothing!

Kim says she talks to herself during her workouts, Olga said the same thing earlier this year, people that responded to their posts also mentioned that they do the same thing. Maybe most runners talk to themselves...maybe to keep themselves company on their runs. I certainly am almost never bored on mine's, except when I am on the treadmill.

Today I had to lay down the law, gentle but firm with myself.
"You are going to get your A** out that door, it's 6PM and the day is almost done. I realize you are tired, you had to drop off cousin and friend at the Oakland airport early, you also didn't get a lot of sleep and have been quite productive shopping for home improvement type stuff at IKEA and Target, but it's time...sure you still feel sickly and you think that this is the workout that will put you over the edge. I tell you what, get your butt out the door and let's see how you feel after 10 mins. If you feel worse we'll go home, no pressure. Just move toward the door, don't forget your backpack! You need the wetsuit that's in there. 20 min run, 1-mile easy swim, 1+run afterwards - yes with backpack, just go slow, it won't kill you."

The first part of my workout was just me motivating myself. Finally somewhere on the swim it all clicked and I was able to concentrate. Whatever this bug is, it's killing my motivation. With my mind finally fully into it, the second half was much better. I feel great now.

Well time for stretching, ice bath, shower and a trip to the store...errr made some deals with myself that I have to make good on.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bay Swim

Aquatic Park
Swimmer finishing. A nice afternoon for a swim in the bay.

I just shot myself in the left eye with a brand new can of Pledge. Trying to figure out a way to make the damned thing work. Clearly I don't know my way around cleaning products. Ok not true just Pledge. So now I smell like lemon something and my left is not quite right. Ahahaha IDIOT! You might be wondering what I'm doing dusting at 1AM. I think I mentioned this already, I got a cousin and her friend staying with me for one night this week and then 4 nights next week. Between work and working out, the evening has been my only time to clean up.

Anyway the last two days I've been waking up tired and sickly. Feels like I caught a low level bug or something. I say low-level cause it never developed into anything serious, just enough to be a pain. Must be all the stress and late nights.

So I was dreading tonight's workout, not only cause I was feeling so-so but because it was also a swim/run workout. Feeling positive about the run, not happy thinking about the swim. The run to Aquatic Park was enough to make me turn around, felt bad, sluggish, slow,...sickly. I was joining Coach Pedro's Thursday night swim group. I got there late and sweaty, at least it made putting on the wetsuit easier. Some friends say hello, I tell them I have a race in 5 weeks and I've only swam 5 times the whole year - in full confession mode. The body surfing in Boracay Resort doesn't count and neither does the snorkeling. Friends shake their heads and laugh, I get nervous. The majority of the group were doing the long workout. I and four others opt for the short one. No need to break myself on the first week of my 4-week cram session.

The moment I hit the water, the cold water hitting my face, my wetsuit making me more bouyant than I should be, the taste of salt water, seeing everyone else swimming forward...I was on. The problem is really the laps in the pool but I love open water swimming.

Was out for a measely half hour, gassed a few times during the swim but it's a start. Followed it up with a :45 minute run, backpack, swim gear, wet under shorts and all. Felt super. Now I'm back to sickly and sluggish....mortal once again.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Night Dive

Night dive, in Kona, Hawaii.

One of my clients, Karin, is in Hawaii for the whole week for her brother's wedding. She got there this past weekend and it looks like she has wasted no time having fun. I don't know if I could get into diving. My mom did some diving in her younger years. I have pictures of her with her buddies on diving trips, swimming with sharks. Maybe one day.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunday Afternoon

In the line up, ready to go. For the rest of the images click here.

Sunday I was too worn out, too busy to workout. Saturday's brick workout wore me out! Good thing too because a lot needed to get done around the apartment. Got a cousin and a friend visiting next week, need some time to prepare. However Sunday afternoon was reserved for a little fun with the tri gang. Spamsi, our very own club social director was able to get at least 20 people out to the Malibu Grand Prix for some GoKart racing, arcade playing, bumper boat driving (complete with squirt guns), mini-golf and some authentic Mexican food. Well I never made it to mini-golf but I managed to participate in the other activities.

Got my fingers crossed for Bowling for our next social, although I always seem to screw up my left hamstring bowling. Must be a form thing.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Top of the North Bay

Mt.Tam to SF
Looking back towards San Francisco from the top of Mt. Tamalpais. You can just make out the city in the center of the horizon line.

Last year when I still thought that super long runs were the best thing for endurance training and racing, I would run/hike to the top of this mountain at least once a month during the spring and summer months. I would complete 50, 60, 70 mile training runs every 4 weeks. I would add additional routes as needed but a trip to the top was always part of the plan. All that changed this year, THANK YOU OLGA! She advised me to do shorter, more intense and more frequent long runs. My times have improved and I'm less tired overall - extra spring in my step. However I do miss running to this place, looking at the views, seeing San Francisco, paying my respects to Mt. Diablo in the East Bay and being excited/tired for the long journey back. Mt. Tam is not all that tall at a mere 2,500 feet but it's the hills that you have to journey through before you get to the top and more of the same just to get back. Nowadays I'm only here on my bike.

Maybe in the fall...a nice long run to the top my favorite mountain in Marin,...well the only mountain in Marin.

Sweet Day

Looking down towards Stinson Beach and Bolinas from Seven Sisters, near the top of Mt. Tamalpais.

Woof! Body was sore and slow today. I over did Saturday's workout. A 62 mile, hilly ride to the top of Mt. Tamalpais followed by a 9 mile run. Your basic triathlon brick workout. The ride was a bit too hilly for me though. Been several weeks since I did any major climbs, running or bike, went harder than I should have. I finished the run with very little left, had some cramping on the left leg and was slightly dehydrated. But I finished it and if all I get is more than the usual soreness I'll be great.

It was a great day to be out. One highlight was riding on a section they call the Seven Sisters (7 small hills) on my way to the top of Mt. Tam. To my right was Stinson Beach, Bolinas and the Pacific ocean, to my left was the hills of Marin and the rest of Northern California. Beautiful! The very best part of the day however occured on my way out, a mere 10 miles into the ride. You see I've been struggling with a major issue on and off for the past 3 years and I think I finally found the answe. Yes it took me this long but I think I got it. It was one of those "aha" moments. I can't be100% percent sure but I'm pretty positive about it. Sorry to be all mysterious and vague, just know it was very good thing - made my day, my week.

Wouldn't change a thing about this day.

Don't ask me why I'm still up.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Another One

I am the master of the late start! Yup just like last Saturday, sleeping in and chasing the day. It's now what?...10AM, I've got friends and teammates already 2-3 hours into their ride. This weekend is the Marin Century / Double Century / and Metric Century ride. Lot's of folks doing it, especially the triathletes with late summer Ironmans. I hope they're doing fine, some of them were with me last night at happy hour and the late night grub afterwards:) Those guys, up late, up early. Love em' serious but not overly so. We were joking last night that we hardly go out late nowadays that when we do it we tend to go too far (we the drinking and eating).

It looks like an amazingly beautiful day out there. Headed to the top of Mt. Tam on my bike.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yesterday's Workout

The way up Hawk Hill, the top is there somewhere.

I hate being busy but when I'm not busy I'm bored, whew what to do. But because I was busy I didn't head out for my bike ride until 6:30PM. These days it's foggy and windy at the bridge in the afternoons, brrrr..... It was nice and sunny where I was in downtown but it was dark, cold, foggy and windy at the bridge and the Marin Headlands. Pedaling there was a bit depressing, "I'm headed where?, Why?". But a workout is a workout and it had to be done and the best biking routes are across the bridge. Usually I have my thursday night spin workouts but those have come to an end, now it's just a waiting game until coach M2 finds a new space to hold his classes.

Crossed the bridge and up Hawk Hill, a favorite lookout point for tourists. It was quite foggy and the wind was gusting pretty nicely. One such gust pushed me to the middle of the road, "what the?". As I got near the top a rider in blue passed me like I was walking. Turned out to be Peter the Swede, my friend Ally's husband. He's done with triathlons for the year but stil likes to get out to keep in shape. His friend Adam came a few minutes later and I joined them on their ride. They kept a good pace and I appreciated the company.

Got home in good spirits and ran my heart out. Unlike this past Saturday's bike/run workout, my head was actually on this one. Ate and drank well, no bonking. I hit that run like I was shot out of a cannon. Ran fast on the way out, it was between fast and sprinting. On the return trip I slowed down a bit but was still going at a good pace. Missed the negative split by a minute or so but the last two miles back to my apartment is filled with short hills. I live on a hill. If you know San Francisco, I'm two blocks from Grace Cathedral. When I looked at my time I started laughing uncontrollably. Some guy across the street shook my hand when I crossed because...well I don't know why. Maybe he thought I was laughing at what he was laughing at. Hmmm....he did point to his pocket radio that was blaring some music and giving me the thumbs up sign.

Good workout. My heart rate for the whole run was within 5 to 7 beats of my max. My speed is not quite there yet but the intensity/effort is right on. My 5th gear is within reach, felt it briefly, maybe next week at track.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hardrock 100-Miler

This race is officially the hardest 100-miler in the U.S. There's one that's even harder but it's unofficial and so I won't mention it here. Anyway it takes a decent runner two days to complete Hardrock. The winning time this year was 27:07, compare that to the 18:17 at this year's Western States 100. And if that isn't hard enough, a runner completed a double crossing of the course. Each 100 mile leg was under the 48-hour cutoff time. Still he was out there for over 80 hours! I wonder if he slept at all?

A runner by the name of Klas Eklof shared his photo journal of the race. Amazing jaw dropped when I saw the photographs. Check them out, yours might too.

Klas Eklof Photo Journal

Hardrock 100 Website

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

4th Gear

When I say I'm running on all five gears, it means I'm able to hit my top speed, which for me is a 6:45-7 minute mile. Not the quickest but a far cry from the 10.5 minute miles I used to pull when I started running 6 years ago. And When I say I have a full tank that means my endurance level is enough to run a 100k/100-miler. Well I don't know how much I have in the tank but tonight I got back my 4th gear and it felt very good.

Today I had a late afternoon meeting. By the time I got back I had just enough time to change, go through emails before I had to set out for track. I was hungry and I gave in to my cravings, had a Snicker's bar. Taste so good but not the smartest thing to do - sugar crash. I laughed off my concerns and ate the bar anyway. An hour later I was at track. To stave off the sugar crash I had more SUGAR! I choked down an energy gel and washed it down with water. I always have an energy gel before track anyway. By the time we started warming up I could feel my body revving. Body felt light, responsive, agile and in control. What a great feeling! It didn't last very long but it was there for the majority of the workout. We were doing (3 x 200m and 2 x 500m) x 2-4 reps. I did 3 reps.

When I hit the track it all felt right. I pushed and the body responded. I pushed some more and it gave me more. Sweet! To make things even better, our group had a guy who was faster than me but not overly so. I used him as a bunny and chased him all over the track. Never caught him, he would increase his pace when I got close but just enough to keep me chasing. Great guy, I've run with him before. He really helped make my workout.

What a good workout, the road to Big Kahuna starts here. Oh don't let the name fool you, it ain't in Hawaii. It's in Santa Cruz, California. There is however live Hawaiian music at the finish and a lot of "aloha" throughout the race.