Friday, January 29, 2010

The Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

Blog Illustration
What it has been like all January.

Last Saturday's run was another big jump for me mileage wise. Jon Gunderson and I had planned on 25 miles but we ended up with 32 and this was all trail, all wet and muddy goodness after the recent rains. At our original turnaround point for the 25 we made the decision to keep on going for 30+. It took awhile and Jon had to wait for me many times since it was my first run this year over 20 miles let alone 30. The next day I felt as strong as a horse and got in another 12 miles which gave me a total of 74-75 for the week. A lot of miles in a short time since returning to running after a December break, fastest time I've returned to the 30-mile long run. So it was no surprise to me that after taking my usual Monday day off I couldn't get back into the groove of training. I was like a car that wouldn't start because the batteries have been left on all night. Should have seen me Tuesday, pushed myself out the door for a 6 mile run, got as far as 30 feet and came right back home. Felt guilty, put my shoes back on, got as far as a block this time before returning home. After two days rest I felt fine on Wednesday but during track practice that evening I felt spent, not a lot of speed and what I did achieve I worked too hard for. Yesterday's 6 mile run was the worst miles I've run in a long time and that includes the last 6 miles of long races! Today's run was fine though and I should recover by next week, taking the strength training workouts off the table this week will help.

Regardless this has been a pretty spectacular if unsafe month. Unsafe in that I'm piling on the mileage too fast. What was I thinking? I was thinking - "how fast can I pile on the mileage?" I'll be fine, no major damage done and soon my body will catch up and once it does I'll be smarter and nicer.

Enjoy the pictures from our run last Saturday. These were off the camera in our phones. Not spectacular photos but not terrible either. Don't tell John but my phone takes better pictures, shhhh.

Some Sun further north.

Heading to Pantoll Ranger Station.

Jon on Coastal Trail, headed to Muir Beach.

Lots of water on the trail because of the recent storm. Photo Courtesy of Jon Gunderson.

More water on the trails. Photo Courtesy of Jon Gunderson.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dear Sara(h) of PurityOrganic

Thank you for your help this afternoon. You let us use your phone at Tennessee Valley, because ours could not get reception. You waited patiently with us in the cold while AAA kept us on hold for a long time. You gave us free samples of your product so we could rehydrate ourselves after our run. No water at Tennessee Valley and we couldn't get to our reserves that was locked in the car. Then you were oh so nice to give us stinky, dirty, muddy runners a ride out of Tennessee Valley were we could get cell reception and where the AAA guy could meet us.

Good stuff. I've had this flavor a couple of times.

After you left, around 5:15pm, I got food with the $20 emergency fund at Subway and we ate the sandwiches on the corner of Shoreline and Tennessee Valley road while we waited for AAA. People were staring at us from their cars so I tried to ravage my footlong discreetly by turning my back on the traffic but at a 3-way intersection there was really no place to hide. Standing tall was the only way to go because squatting I felt like a monkey. It got really cold with our damp running clothes, wet shoes and socks and still no AAA. Their driver kept getting delayed. Thank goodness we had packed lightweight shells but even those were damp. Thank God you got us out of Tennessee Valley and into place with shops and food. By 6:30pm we were so cold we hung out inside the Walgreens on Shoreline to warm up. We stank, had dried mud all over our legs and were a little salty. We longingly eyed the sweaters, gloves and warm socks they had on sale but we spent most of the money on food (we went back to Subway for a third footlong). We had enough money for one pair of socks which he suggested we share, one sock each, but I didn't see the point since our shoes were still wet. Our feet were the coldest parts. Ironically we are sponsored by competing sock companies - oh the irony. We walked around aimlessly trying to look harmless and un-shoplifter like until he found the chairs at the pharmacy. So we hung out there looking like a couple of nice fellas just waiting for our prescriptions to be filled even though the pharmacy was closed. Eventually his uncle and brother came from San Francisco, just in case when AAA finally succeeded in opening the car and the key was NOT in the trunk. They gave him a hard time. Still no AAA by this time. At least by this time he had told his wife that he would be late for dinner, family were dropping by. Eventually AAA came, they unlocked the car and sadly no key but they were able to make one right then and there. It's expensive though and they have to do some computer coding to make them work but it's partly covered by the insurance. I was finally able to get to my bag which contained my wallet, apartment keys and most importantly fresh, dry, warm clothes. We finally drove out of Tennessee Valley after 8:30pm.

Your juice rocks and great to know that there is a nice person behind the company, a trail runner to boot who enjoys PCTR's events. Good luck on your future races.

P.S. I omitted my running partner's name on purpose because he is kind of embarrassed about the whole thing. Hopefully that subsides in a couple of days because I have pics in my phone from the run that I plan on posting. We ultra-marathoners are a small and tight community and many people know who he is. Good times and we are thankful you were a part of it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

So Far So Good

I had a dream last night that I had planned a long run with friends - all the way to Canada. Haha, yep we were going to start in San Francisco, run across the Golden Gate Bridge and keep haulin' north until we reached Vancouver. Craziness.

The dream just probably reflects how good I'm feeling about my first two weeks back into training. I haven't posted the last two weeks because I've just been busy getting over my "Christmas Holidays Hangover" and getting some work done on the running thing. Being back in the gym has been tough and so was eating healthy again - I got used to the rich home cooked meals and tasty desserts. I felt like I was taking two steps forward and one step back in those areas but the running has been great. It feels really good to be back logging in the miles. I started out slow and safe with a couple of 4-milers and a 6-miler but from there the miles have jumped up significantly. Last Saturday I had an 18-mile long run followed by an easy 6 miles the next day.

Jumping to 18 so quickly was unsafe and not the smartest thing to do. I exposed myself to a higher potential for injury. However I really felt that my body could handle it and I was right. The run went well and no injury but I have noticed more fatigue than the usual this week and I've been craving more protein. I've been craving sweets too, my big vice when it comes to food. Overall my appetite is up. Instead of increasing my long run again this weekend I'll probably keep it the same though. I think I've hit my limit at the moment and the body needs to catch up. This is all slow miles by the way. I get up to second gear and it stays there:) I can't wait to get my endurance and speed back. I'm more impatient now than any other year, maybe it's because my first race is earlier this year - mid-March.

Nothing too exciting on this post I'm afraid so I will leave you all with pics from last Saturday's Bad Race T-Shirt party. I've given away all the race shirts I didn't like except one and it was it's night to shine.

[Addendum] Well I guess I was wrong about the speed part. Some of it has come back. Just finished a 9-mile run and I was day dreaming about the two hundred milers I had picked out for the summer as I ran. Filled my head with positive imagery, envisioning good strong training sessions and running the races themselves nice and strong - finishing well. All that day dreaming got me steaming a whole lot faster than I've been running lately. Surprised myself when I saw the time on the watch after I was done. Very cool.

KC and Tracy showing off their Alcatraz Challenge shirt. Big on swimming, they probably throughly enjoyed swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco.

The back is a beauty with all those shark fins, nice!

Nothing inspires me more to run on Turkey day than a picture of a TV dinner. I ate a real home cooked Thanksgiving dinner like a sucker!

I like how there's a yellow tint to the photo since there are bananas involved. That shirt is actually white.

I just thought this was funny. Not funny for the turkey though.

I ran Cascade Crest the last year Randy Gherke was the RD. I think they had these shirts for one more year before current RD Charlie Crissman took over with a new logo, race shirt and website. Love the event, not a fan of the old race shirt. It's cotton and that big eyeful of an illustration gets sticky underneath if you sweat just a little. I'll never get rid of it though. My second hundred and the only buckle I wear.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Diving in to 2010

My goals for 2010 is quite simple. Faster, Stronger and Lighter. Special emphasis on "lighter" since I want to run in a weight lighter than what I have been the last two years.

Kicked off January 1st with a swim in the bay. Our triathlon club held it's third annual New Year's Day swim and it seemed like a great way to kick-off the year. The water I was told, was around 52 degrees. It felt like swimming in an ice bath. I had ice baths warmer than this. It was freakin cold and I hadn't swam since my last triathlon back in May 2008. Unacclimated to the cold water it took me a very long time to get going. I must have spent 10 minutes just standing chest deep in the water waiting for my feet to stop hurting, then another 5 for my hands to stop stinging. My face never really warmed up however, I could only keep them in the water for a few minutes before I had to pop my head up. So really I spent most of the swim on my back floating around or dog paddling and breast stroking while everyone else swam the buoy line envious of their toughness. I loved it though once I warmed up enough, even when I was just floating around watching people swim by, enjoying the calm water. I hate the pool but I like open water swims in Aquatic Park. The pool feels like a treadmill to me. This was followed by a meal at a pub and then a short 4-mile run in the afternoon. The run felt great too. Legs felt super despite the huffing and puffing. A good first day.

My camera is somewhere in Southern California. I don't know where it is and neither does anyone down there. Must have stuck it in some hole or cabinet. Oh well, hopefully it will turn up sooner rather than later. In the meantime the phone does a decent job at least when there's a lot of light and with some help with cropping and contrast adjustments in photoshop.

I'm back and there's lots of work to do!

Lisa and Lara.

Thank God for wetsuits!

John Branderhorst also going no wetsuit. We had three guys who went without, crazy kooks. They could swim with the South End Rowing Club and the Dolphin Swim & Boat Club, those guys swim without wetsuits all year round.