Monday, February 22, 2010


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.

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

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.

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

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

The after shot after all our runners finished.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Well after last week's big back down on the miles and intensity I've been more than fine this week. It was a scheduled back down week anyway but more backing down than I wanted and that was just a result of too many miles too soon. This week though the ol bod has been super. It got beat down, recovered and cranking harder than before. Been racking up the miles again and everything feels smooth and good. I've started to do double workouts, runs during the am and then again in the pm. Another way to up the mileage. When I was still doing triathlons I ran low weekly mileages considering that I was participating in the hundred milers. I think I got it down to 40-45 miles per week. I biked a lot though and swam too. Now that I'm not doing the triathlon thing I've raised my overall mileage to 80-100 miles per week and it used to be that I really didn't care exactly how many miles I ran, now I'm obsessed with counting all my miles. Well more mileage has certainly helped my running. I'm a faster and stronger runner now. I can't swim to save my life or bike up a hill without wanting to hurl a lung but I'm a better runner:)

Speaking of the bike, part of my back down activities last week was to take part on a muffin ride with the triathlon club. I don't know how they call it in other clubs but here "muffin" means easy social ride. It was a ride open to all levels especially those new to the club. We stopped a lot and even had a mid-ride coffee and pastry break. No hard training was happening here which made it perfect for me. Enjoy the pictures.

Our fearless ride leader John Branderhorst. He temporarily took over Bike Director duties because our friend Dave Ewart was downed by Chicken Pox. Must be tougher when you get it as an adult.

Lauren, catching a ride between trips. Just got in from Argentina, a vacation trip with her boyfriend then leaving for Africa in the evening for work. She must be tired but she didn't ride like it.

Mid-ride stop for coffee and food, something that really doesn't happen on regular training rides. Well you know, tough to stop in the middle of a workout, eat, drink, then get going again.

Inside the coffee shop with John and Donato. Both these guys have run ultras as well. Donato, the guy in shades, has done several.

James leading the way through the flooded bike path. Recent rains has made a mess of these low lying areas. James is a bike racer from San Diego. He was very happy when the sun came out, good thing he is only here for 6 months, he would hate to be in San Francisco during the summer when it's really foggy.

The one problem we had on the ride and it was a pretty major one. Krishna's rear derailleur broke off and wrapped around his wheel. Good thing it was on an uphill and not a downhill. He was probably shifting gears as he went up and the thing just broke off. He fell over but going uphill he wasn't going very fast. Brand new bike only a month old, well at least the warranty will cover it.