Sunday, December 30, 2007

Such an Idgit

So I nailed one of those bumpy things this evening. Yes J~Mom those things are squishy and soft; however if you nail one from the side, you will go down. The sun had gone down and it was starting to get dark. A kid of about 12-14 blew by me and I was admiring his stride and then WHAM. I was on the ground rolling before I knew it. I rarely fall, in fact I don't remember the last time I fell. I didn't fall once this whole season despite all the trail runs...that is until tonight, on a track no less - LOSER.

I was however impressed that I tucked and rolled automatically. In high school I participated in high school wrestling - I was just ok. Once a week our coach would have us do extended drills on agility and strength. He had these specific drills that was aimed to disorient us, a lot of rolling and twisting. Eventually you learned to be aware of your body position at all times. I had no idea I can still roll like that, it's not something I can practice now. The funny thing is, back in those days, I HATED running. I thought the 2.5 miles of track and stairs that we ran everyday before practice was sheer torture. I didn't even bother to get running shoes, I just grumpily ran my warmup miles in my wrestling shoes.

Happy New Year Everyone. Stay on your feet, on your workouts and the celebrating.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Round and Round

Round and round a track that has seen better days.

Been puttting time in the local track. The only place I feel safe and healthy for running. The streets are chaotic with all types of vehicle and foot traffic, there's the occasional loose dog and the fumes can be overwhelming. I hate going in circles but under the circumstances it is most welcome. The track itself is under repair, a new surface is on it's way from Germany. Must be the heat, humidity and rain that has caused all the bubbling and buckling. Adds a little excitement to my track runs, dancing around the tiny moguls like they were obstacles on a trail.

I find it hard to workout when on vacation, do you guys experience the same thing? Hard to start, difficult to keep going. As always however, glad to have gotten it done once I'm finished. Nothing crazy just 5k's around the track. Acclimating to the heat and humidity just fine, too bad I don't have any hot races anytime soon.

Why I feel safer in the track, ain't no local to be running around in these streets.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the Other Side of the World

Absolutely no workout related info whatsoever.

I am officially on vacation, the second part of my off-season and sleep has been in very short supply. Late to bed and early to rise, then there's that jet lag thing. Thank goodness for all the running, biking and swimming I've been doing, I can keep putting one foot in front of the other with the best of them. I finally had to wave the white flag last night, guys I'm sitting this one out - going to go zzzzz. Not that I'm complaining, it's all been amazing fun.

I'm in the Philippines, here to visit my aging grandmother (raised me till I was 12), relatives and friends. I enjoy being here, if money was not an issue I'd be here all the time. I've been catching up with family and friends, making new ones, playing with their kids, hitting the town, shopping for last minute x'mas presents, eating native foods that I've missed and a whole bunch of other stuff. I could go on and on but I also want to honor those who may not be having such a great time this holiday season. It happens.

I also finally caught up with my biological dad. He didn't have such a good year and recently I had to unload some truths that was hard to say and probably hard to take but it needed to be said. It was good to talk in person and keep the friendship going.

Today I leave Manila, the crazy mega city of 14 million people, for the small, quiet, slower paced province of my grandmother. Back in the day it was the sugar bowl of the country, acres upon acres of sugarcane fields. My father also came from this region and the family name is synonymous with sugar. This is where I was raised until I was a month shy of my 12th birthday.
Well if I don't log on before then, Merry Christmas! As my friend Jen would say; I hope it's a good one.

DSCN3151People watching and enjoying the native coffee (Starbucks)with my wingman, my cousin Ann.

DSCN3157Guy in the middle is my good friend Eric, one of the great graphic designers I got the privilege to work with - and they say nothing good comes out of Fresno:) We were junior designers for a firm a while ago, during the whole craze. Back then the only thing I piled on was the work hours, pints of beer and shots of tequila. He ended meeting up with an old crush, moved to Asia and married her. Isn't it usually the case with good friends, that a lot of time can pass between you but when you finally catch up it's like no time has passed at all. Good times, the only sour point was when we started talking about the sorry state of the San Francisco 49ers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Year in Review

2007 Summary Poster.jpg
How it all turned out. Some of you guys will remember this poster from January.

The one entry I've been wanting to post since my last race. An overall summary of the whole year. Funny the races I didn't think I would do well in or races I designated as "training races" I did very well at and the races where I had high expectations I just made out okay. I am much more relaxed heading into a race I have no expectations at so that's probably key. The best run I had all year wasn't even in any of these events. All these races at all these venues and the most fun I had was here at home, in my usual training grounds, alone, without aid and chasing no clock. That was a sweet time, every time I think about it puts a smirk on my face.

So I am off today for a little holiday vacation. Pray that I don't gain anymore weight. It's the toughest time of the year for weight control for me. It's the holiday food plus I'm in a celebratory mood after getting away with another season.

Hope ya'll have a good one.

Pacifica 9k
January 20

Wildflower Training Weekend
March 23-25th

Wildflower Long Course Triathlon
May 5th

Quicksilver 50m
May 12

Volunteer: EFA Triathlon
June 3

Bighorn 100-Miler
For the Photos
For the Report
June 14-17

PCTR Angel Island 50k
July 7

Volunteer: Vineman Half-Ironman Triathlon
July 22

Headlands Hundred
August 11-12

Big Kahuna Half-Ironman
September 9

Big Basin 50k
September 16

MS150 Waves to Wine Bike Ride
September 29-30

Dick Collins Firetrails 50m
October 7

Volunteer: San Francisco One Day
October 20

Volunteer: Nike Women's Marathon
October 21

Volunteer: Treasure Island Triathlon
November 17-18

25th Anniv Quad Dipsea
November 24

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rollin Again...Slowly

Stretching at the top of Mt. Tam, 20 mins into our trail run this morning. Look Jean no snow:) Just teasin.

So after 2.5 weeks of doing absolutely nothing athletic I slowly eased myself back to running this past week. Woof, going downhill (letting it all go) is always fast, the uphill (getting it all back) is the one that takes forever. Well I'm not looking to get back into tip top shape just yet, just doing some maintenance work. Funny I finished the season feeling pretty beat but it only took a couple of weeks to feel fully rested, should've ran harder and faster during the latter half of the year.

Nothing but slower and shorter runs for right now and they feel great, well except for the first one back. Today I was out in the trails with friends Jen and Ashli. Coach Neil extended an invitation to join his training group and we were more than happy to oblige. The run wasn't very hilly, it was on fire road which was wide and tame and my group opted for the short version but even then my heart rate got up there. Thankfully I wasn't the only one:)

Rick: Ed my heart rate is at max
Ed: I hit mines back there
Rick: Oh good

It was a beautiful foggy day. Cold but perfect for running.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Icy Hot Torture

Be careful with this version of BodyGlide.

Bodyglide is my number one choice for prevention of chafing and other skin irritation problems and I recommend it to anyone. The first time I came across it was in triathlon, triathletes would use it to on their neck to protect against the chafing of the wetsuit and on the arms and legs to aid in the removal of the wetsuit after the swim. It's also great for all those other areas prone to rubbing during the run. There has been variations on the original recipe, this one incorporates an ointment that warms the muscles.

Now I don't know about you but when I apply anti-chafing creams, lotions or whatever, I'm like my friends - we layer it on. Like a fair skinned tourist in the beaches of Hawaii with that stuff.

Race morning for the Quad Dipsea about three weekends ago, I did a full application of this stuff after showering. I layered it on; under my arms, inner thighs, nipples and chest (heart rate monitor strap chafing). Before I even got all my clothes on I tore them right off and it was straight back to the shower. At first I tried to ignore it, surely it wouldn't get that hot. Nope, I was wrong. I was tearing by the time I made it to the shower, that was the most pain I felt all day and that includes the cramping during the race. Some of it got into that sensitive area down there. Crazy strong stuff! It builds slowly then wham!

So unless you are the type who only applies a single layer of protection I would suggest you avoid this recipe. Unless of course you like icy hot pain. Thank God it was a home and not at the race. Thanks to J~Mom for the idea for this post.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Enjoying the Off-Season

2 seasons worth of trail shoes, washed and stuffed with newspaper for drying. The newspaper wicks the moisture and keeps them from smelling too. These will be donated to Goodwill, what they can't sell they'll recycle. They actually look nice now that they're not covered with mud and dust, they're still good for something. I get an average of 375-400 miles per pair, I'd get more if I didn't have to run so much road on my way to the trails.

I haven't done anything since the Quad Dipsea two weekends ago. Oh wait...that's not totally true, Saturday I had a haircut appointment and I ran three blocks - I was late. I hate to live up to the Filipino stereotype but I am almost always late. The woman who cuts my hair has been doing it for 14 years and she's also Filipino so it's all in the family, besides I have the sneaky suspicion she already compensates for my usual tardiness.

I feel as Marcy would say, fanfreekintastic! I feel rested, no more aches and pains. I'm having a great time doing things I normally don't do during the year. Last night I was with friends at a local bar for their happy hour special. The place was filled with kids who looked like they just got out of college, however the food turned out to be great and so was the beer. $2 beers and $2 dishes, hard to beat in this town. Instead of being out on the track, my usual Tuesday night thing, I was out drinking and eating - yup feels like the holidays.

In years past I've always enjoyed a complete break from athletic activities for 5-6 weeks during the holidays. Some years I needed all of it. This year I plan on breaking tradition and get in some easy workouts at recovery pace. Starting next week I'll start doing some easy runs and I'm back at the gym to strengthen worn muscles.

Hope everyone is having a great time, despite the craziness that comes with the holidays. This weekend I rented a car and I'm jumping into the fray. Gotta finish up the Christmas shopping; Costco, Target, Trader Joe's, etc, as well as trips to my storage unit and Goodwill. It's gonna be crazy, I might need my trail shoes.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I didn't get in to Western States. This is the fourth time I've entered the lottery and the fourth time I've failed to get in. Thank God for the two-time loser rule, anyone who fails to get chosen in the lottery for two consecutive years gets automatic entry for the the following year. This was how I was able to run the race in 2006. I finished but the trail and the conditions beat me up pretty badly, well my feet anyway. I ended up with 16 blisters and eventually lost 9 toenails, I was already missing one heading into the race:) Since then I've vowed to return and make a better showing but it will have to wait until 2009. Unless they abolish the two-time loser rule, and there has been rumors of that, I should be guaranteed a spot for 09.

I now have the opportunity to run other races. I've been thinking about my schedule since this morning and I think I have my centerpiece races for next year. It's tentative but I've already had them lined up just in case I didn't get in again.

Massannutten Mountain Trails 100-mile run.
May 17th, 2008
At this year's Bighorn 100-miler, I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of ultra-marathoners from the East Coast and the bulk of them was from the VHTRC (Virginia Happy Trails Running Club). Those guys love Bighorn and they are the host for MMT 100. A great bunch of folks and they extended an invite to their race.

Tahoe Rim Trail 100m
July 19th, 2008
Friends who ran this race had a great time.

Angeles Crest 100
I've always wanted to run this race. I heard it's hot and tough. Besides I got lots of family in Southern California. I can visit after the race.

So that's what I'm tentatively thinking for my big races next year. Two of them are tougher than Western States from what I heard so I got a lot of work ahead of me. I've never done any of them so this is a great opportunity. Unfortunately two of them are already open for registration and MMT 100 will open on Tuesday. Money, money, money. I can't afford to fork up for all three races right now. If they are still open after I get back from holiday vacation then it's a go. I doubt they'll sell out that quickly but these days you never know. Ultra's have gotten more popular. If somehow I manage to pull through all three and remain in great condition I would consider throwing in a 4th 100-mile race. For now I'd consider myself extremely blessed if I can pull off just two of these.