Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pictures from Saturday

Trails in the Presidio

At a place they call "Land's End" at the mouth of the bay on the San Francisco side.

At the ruins of the old Sutro Mansion, looking South to Pacifica. Check out the windmill on the left, that's Golden Gate Park. That long stretch of Highway is called the "Great Highway" and is part of the route for the Nike Women's marathon. Half-Marathoners come out of the park and head to the beach for the finish. Full-Marathoners turn left and go down the highway and around Lake Merced before coming back the same way and finishing at the beach. The aid station that I've worked at for the past two marathons is on that highway.

Passing by the bridge on my way home. Finished in the cover of darkness.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rollin Rollin Rollin

So that rest on Friday gave me an extra spring in my step Saturday, sleeping in did some good too. Doing chores first was a great warm up. I planned for a 3 hour run but packed for 4. Left late, had a great run, dragged my butt back to the apartment long after the sun had already set. It was a beautiful day. In the end I got 22-23 miles in a little over 4 hours. It was a great LSD trip (Long Slow Distance). I got farther than I expected, ran several hills, smiled at some of the ladies, saw some of the sights and snapped a few pictures to boot. No rain although I did get hot halfway through and wished the return of the showers.

I finished with a very, very cold ice bath - left glute and left IT band was sore. Brrr... everything under water hurt for 2 minutes. I was on silent scream mode for 1 of those minutes. After I got out I had a hard time keeping my teeth from chattering even though I finished with a hot shower but it did my legs good. The next day, Sunday, I felt just fine on my short 4.5 mile recovery run. They say it takes the body two weeks to adapt to the changes brought on by a hard workout, well if that's true then I am now totally reaping the rewards of that first week back into training. This train is on it's way.

Got some pictures to show off, will load later.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Refuge from the Rain

My next camera will take better pictures in low light conditions. At "The Wine Bar" on a rainy, windy Friday night.

Been raining like crazy around here. Decided on taking Friday off training in anticipation. I like rain, indoors or out but this is a colder type of rain, with cold winds brrrr... I needed the rest anyway since I have a big weekend of running planned. In fact I'm about to leave. Slept in, did some chores and now I'm ready. I figured scrubbing the bath tub was a good warm up:) There's a break in the weather and I hope it stays that way for the 3 hours I plan to be out.

So last night I pretty much stayed in until 6:30PM when I met club pal J-Few for a few glasses of wine at "The Wine Bar".. I'm a sucker for dimly lit, hardwood filled places, be it coffee shops, bars or restaurants. It was a 20 minute walk in the wind and rain, my brand new umbrella is trashed now but the destination and conversations was well worth it. We bumped into a fellow athlete inside and it was nothing but shop talk for awhile; so what races are you guys signed up for?, I'm worried about my nutrition for this year, did you hear about Kelvin's accident?, Zoom shop closed, my achilles tendonitis is still bother me, I'm feelling fat, yada, yada, yada.

I didn't have any bad wine but I'm easy to please. The place was warm, the people friendly and I was happy with what I drank. It was never really crowded, probably because people in general have a hard time finding this place, and I prefer my hangouts that way. As it always happens the good times are always over too fast, especially when there's drinks involved and it was back out into the cold. I'd run in this any day over heat and humidity though.

Shout out to fellow club member and all around nice guy, Kelvin N. I hope you heal fast and soon. Kelvin was involved in a bike crash at a bike race a few weeks ago. Out 8 weeks.

"Less whining more accilimating".

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ultra Running in Cold Weather

My friend J-Few just sent me this link, she grew up in Wisconsin and knows I'm planning to race there in June. The Kettle Moraine 100 is held in the same location. Of course in June it won't hit -15. A very entertaining and short read. How much is too much?

Monday, January 21, 2008

One More Time...

DSCN3479.JPGDSCN3480.JPGHitting the hills of the Presidio with Tri-club pal Spams who is training for Ironman Brazil. My reward for waking up early to run, fruit sweetened mini-scones, she knows I don't like running early in the morning. This lady can bake, it ain't the first time I benefited from the goodies she's brought.

Before the weekend is over. I muttered a curse as I got up this morning. I'm not a big fan of getting up any time before 7AM. Good practice though, I'll have to get used to getting up early in the weekends. This time I met up with my good pal Spams for a short run in the Presidio, truly a great place for running. In the Presidio you'll find a short network of trails and small to moderate hills. I spend time there when I am tapering or recovering. Got to catch up on a bunch of stuff, running conversations are some of the best. Like Olga always says, "nothing like a good run to catch up with friends". I certainly did that this weekend.

I hope it was a good weekend for the rest of you out there at blogland.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Here I was going on about how great the weather was here in the San Francisco Bay Area and Jean here was running in -15 degrees fahrenheit in Minnesota. All of you in warmer weather, please send warm wishes to Jean. I'm not too worried though, he's used to it. Once as a kid he waited for the school bus on a -48 day, that's -44 for you celsius folks. I can't even friggin imagine. The human body is an amazing thing.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Gorgeous day on the Bay.

So after 2 weeks of quietly working away, building endurance and strength, I finally had enough and sought out a group to run with. The tri-club is slowly waking up from it's holiday slumber and the club calendar was once again filled with workout options. I choose a group made up of friends I hadn't seen in awhile and who I knew I could run with at an easy pace. It's all distance right now, no speed, although it's slowly coming back as well. Been throwing accelerations here and there and it feels great. I got my planned 12, made it to 13 by the time I got home.

The weather continues to be gorgeous, according to the news reports we'll have it till part of Sunday. If it's like this next weekend I might even jump on the bike, starting my bike workouts earlier than planned.

Picked up a pound of PEETs coffee on my way home. I've been experimenting with combining my runs with small chores. Last Thursday evening I ran with a backpack. Ended my run at a Supermarket and got some food shopping done. Walking the hills of San Francisco loaded with groceries is not exactly a proper warm down but it felt like ultra:) Obviously this won't work with the really long runs down the line but maybe for the shorter ones. Just devising new ways to be more efficient with my time. I don't own a vehicle but I run enough miles to cross this small city many times over.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clear Like September

If you've never been to San Francisco, don't come in the summer. The best months are September and October. December thru March well that's winter, for us that's rain, wind and fog, like June and July except for the rain. Tonight though, on my run, it could have been a September evening. On top of a hill I was able to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin, Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, the East Bay and the Bay Bridge - crisp and clear. Nights like this I wish I could run till dawn.

Nevertheless it's only January, the rains will be back soon. I hope so, we need the water. Keep your fingers crossed for me this weekend, I'm hoping to move up to 12 miles for my long run. If I can do that, moving up to 18-20 before January is up will be a a good possibility. It's all coming together nicely so far. As much as I complain sometimes I enjoy these cycles in my training; starting fresh and slow in the beginning of the year, hitting my stride, fast and strong in late Spring and the Summer months, then slowly tapering off to an exhausted heap at the end of the year, anxiously awaiting the end of a season.

Before I go shout outs to J~Mom and Marcy for completing their first half-marathon last weekend, that was the first right?! Another shout out to my friend Jen who has discovered the joys of trail running, running another trail event last weekend at Angel Island. Soon as you are done with the IM at Coeur d'Alene you should consider a longer, farther trail run.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Too Hard, Too Fast

What did I say about working out with other people? Not until I do some homework of my own. Yesterday, Sunday, I started my run late because I got sucked into the "Chargers V.S. Colts" football game. Apparently the same thing happened to my friend John B., we met in the streets at the start of the run. John is a faster runner, running Boston for the first time this year, but he also just started training for the year so I thought I could hang with him. I needed the company so I was willing to speed up to hang. We ended up running the whole 9+ mile route together. I finished at a time I only usually achieve mid-season. Surprised me but I was done for the day. My heart rate on the second half of the run was close to max and by the time I finished I was light headed. I cancelled my afternoon weight training plans just so I wouldn't over extend myself. In retrospect I should have waved him on. The company was good, nothing like a nice conversation to make the miles go by quickly but that was too much too soon.

Light headed after a 9 mile run at a pace I normally run in, haha, precious. I'm gonna revisit this memory again when I'm stronger and faster. I can see in my mind the person I could be 4, 5, 6 months from now. If I work real hard and blessed with the opportunities not only should I catch up to this ideal but maybe I could pass it too. I'd like to surpass my own expectations of myself yet again, that's always fun and confidence building.

Now if you'll excuse me, time to suit up and hit the weights. I know it's late, I like to go late because there's less people - less people to see how weak my upper body really is.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Poking around Japan Town in the late afternoon, looking for sashimi grade fish. I realize it says "Seoul Garden", believe me it's San Francisco's J-town. Lousy photograph but good fish. Cheaper than a sushi restaurant but I could use fresher wasabi, one that doesn't come from a tube. For dessert, fish shaped waffles filled with azuki (red bean). My friend Mari swears by these for her pre-race breakfast. I know all about the red bean, I lived in Hawaii for 10 years.

Yup I'm back, got in Tuesday night. I was pretty beat. I didn't sleep much the last few days I was in Manila, didn't sleep much on the plane either and had jet lag to contend with. Emotionally I was pretty down too, some it from exhaustion but most of it was from leaving.The jet lag is almost over, the emotionally lag, if I can call it that will take another week. I'm used to it. Just grin and bear baby, just grin and bear.

Speaking of which, after getting a couple of days rest I hit the streets. The maintenance runs I did during vacation, as short and infrequent as they were, did me a whole lot of good. I felt great out there. Yesterday I ran 45 minutes then hit the gym for a lower body workout. last night I ran the same loop then hit the gym again for an upper body workout. Tonight I ran the same loop, no problems and tomorrow I plan to hit 9 miles for my first long run for the year. Seems short right now but the miles will come pretty quickly once I hit my groove. Two thumbs up for maintenance runs.

The short term goal is to build strength, endurance and drop weight. At the end of the month, if not sooner, I'll start participating in the group workouts once again. Club Track is just around the corner and Coach M2 is already gearing up the triathletes for a new season in his Spin Studio. I'd like to jump in right now but I've got some homework to do first. If I go now I'll just go too hard and raise my potential for injury.

Here we go. Now to sign up for some races and figure out my year. Late as usual.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My Sweet Fake Crocs

My new great fake $7.50 clogs. (picture to come, something tropical and nice to make Marcy jealous)

So I have this problem. After 100-milers my feet are just totally trashed. Besides being swollen like the rest of the field they are also usually badly blistered. Now some of you who haven't run a 100-miler might say, "well duh, 100 miles will do that to your feet". Well not necessarily. I've seen with my own eyes, purty feet at the end of a heinous, mud, puddle, snow filled 100-miler. I couldn't help but smile with envy while I hobbled to the medics who refused to pop my blisters due to the risk of infection.

After these races my sandals won't fit and I'm loathe to wear slippers due to the sorry sight of my feet. I certainly thought to source out some oversized sandals but loathed to spend money on shoes that I would only wear once or twice a year. Unless I woke up the next day as Dean Karnazes, I really didn't need them. Well I bought the answer yesterday - fake Crocs, one size up, soft, cheap and perfect.

Here in Asia fakes abound, you guys know that, but here in Manila there are special places where there are nothing but fakes. You go there especially for the fake stuff. Now while you won't see me anytime soon in an Armani jacket or a pair of Oakley sunglasses I most likely will be seen kicking back at the end of races in my new black crocs. If I don't get to use them at all, well that would just be perfect wouldn't it.

One of the things ultra has taught me; shiz will break, you or your equipment, just be prepared.

Still here in Manila and the last days have been hectic. I leave tonight thank God. I can't take anymore lunches, dinners, meriendas (snack times). I will miss all the family and friends but I need for people to stop feeding me.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year Everyone

Who's the geek in the running shirt?

I spent mine looking at fruit bats and herding cousins. How was yours?