Sunday, September 4, 2011

Epic Run

I did my first point to point training run yesterday with Brian and Elena.  Brian and I met at 5:45 at the Huntington Beach pier to drop off my car and drive back to our start where we met Elena.  The plan was to run a little more than 17 miles along the Santa Ana River Trail which would come out at the ocean.  From there we were going to run along the beach for the final three miles to get to my car.  The weather was great.  We missed a crossing a river crossing early on and had to run around a golf course on city streets and sidewalks, including a run down Memory Lane.  We had a great run until around mile 16 or 17 when we realized we had made a wrong turn and had to run back for about a mile.  This was tough for all of us mentally, since nobody wants to have to run farther when you are already running 20 miles.  We did end up running 20 but we walked the three miles back to my car.  I did fizz out a bit mentally at the end which could have been a combination of running out of salt pills early on and the demoralizing turnaround.  Either way we had a great time and a fantastic training run.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fun Run

I didn't post after last week's phenomenal 20 miler.  I felt almost no fatigue the entire run except for about one mile around mile 19.  When I got to the 10 mile turnaround, I could barely tell that I had used any energy at all.  Very cool!

This week I felt a little flat.  That's partly because after that awesome long run, I tried to be Superman in my speed training and I was reminded that I still have far to go.  That's okay - it's a cool journey.

I spent a lot of time and energy on recovery, but my head just wasn't in the game with everything getting very busy at work.  Fortunately, it was a rest week and my overall mileage was a lot lighter.  I only did ten miles today but we averaged about 9:30 minutes per mile which was good.  In the final miles, we even did a few surges up to my Boston qualifying pace (7:15 min/mile) just to see how it would feel.  I can say that it felt good, but I'm not there yet!  On these tough weeks, I come back to the mantra that excellence is not a singular act, but a habit.  Here's to a good week ahead.  Cheers!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Electrolyte and Mineral Replacement Make the Difference!

I met with my sports therapist/coach and also got a sports massage on Tuesday and I mentioned to both of them that I've been hitting the wall hard at 15-16 miles.  We quickly discovered that I had not been replacing electrolytes during my runs.  I have been using Gu gels since I started running and I always assumed they had those mixed in, but I was wrong.  So - I tried out Gu Brew during my long run yesterday and those 16 miles were a piece of cake in spite of a much faster pace!  I can hardly wait for 20 miles next week.  I also started taking mineral supplements (which it turns out are quite inexpensive) as well as really paying attention to my potassium intake which I suspect is very low.  That means lots of bananas and coconut water.  I wasn't a fan of the coconut water at first, but I found one with chocolate that tastes like chocolate milk!

Lastly, I don't usually talk about work on this blog, but something unexpected happened this week and the two worlds collided.  One of our staff who I am responsible for coaching asked that we skip our normal lunches and go running instead.  How cool is that!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

20 Mile Attempt

I went out for 20 miles yesterday and hit the wall hard at about 15 miles.  I pushed through another mile and then decided that I might be pushing too hard for a long run, so I backed off and walked the last four miles home.  I've been consistently hitting a wall at about 15-17 miles for the last year now, and I've been thinking that I need to run more often than just three times a week to break through this hurdle.  I just bought some Vibram Five Fingers which I'm looking forward to breaking in on my first recovery run tonight.

By the way, the run itself was very enjoyable.  I went out slow and kept a slow and steady pace.  I ran the first seven miles with Darrin from A Runner's Zone and then took off down the Santa Ana River in the opposite direction from what I usually go.  It was nice to check out the new route and I was even lucky enough to find water right on the route.  I had plenty of drinking water with me, but it was getting hot out there so I dumped a few water bottles over my head and it felt great!  Also, had a great slow and easy 20 mile recovery bike ride with my wife this afternoon down to the ocean and back.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

All is Well Again!

I didn't really know what to expect for this week after I crashed and burned in my attempt to run 20 miles last week.  This week I paid a lot of attention to recovery, making sure I spent a lot of extra time stretching, using the roller, paying attention to nutrition and getting enough sleep.  I also got some new shoes and bought some some Cliff Shots with 3x extra salt since I've been wondering if all the salt I lose in sweat was causing me to lose it toward the end of those long runs (I'm usually covered from head to toes in dried salt at the end of my runs).  I took down a package during my run in addition to four GU's.

It's hard to tell which of the above did the trick, but yesterday's 16 miles was a piece of cake.  I ran the first five miles with Rick who I met for the first time at the running store and then finished the last eleven miles on my own.  My left calf did cramp up at about mile 7 but it never got bad enough to stop me.  Also, I nearly twisted my ankle while running on the outside of the path and I went crashing into the dirt on my hands and knees within sight of several bicylclers!  I suppose that was good for my humility.  Anyway, I was still feeling good toward the end and my last mile was in just over nine minutes.  On top of that run which was a huge success, I forgot to mention that I also completed my first successful Yasso 800's on Wednesday.  I thought was I going to only get to six or seven repeats, but I was able to complete all ten at my goal pace weeks ahead of schedule!

This is going to be a busy week as I get ready to go out of town on vacation, but I'm hoping to stay disclipined with my workouts and recovery so I can consolidate the gains from this week and also maintain my sanity.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Didn't Bring It Today

Had a great 15 mile run today with an additional 5 mile walk back to my car.  I was supposed to go 20 miles this morning but it just didn't come together.  About mile 14 I started to have some GI issues and at mile 15 I called it and started walking back to the car.  I left A Runner's Zone at about  5:20am and finished the first ten miles by the time the running group left the shop.  I've missed running during those magical early morning hours as the world is waking up and really enjoyed the solitary time.  I haven't done that since December back in Napa.  Next, I ran five miles with Darrin who was going out on his 20 mile effort before I fell off and started walking back.  About the same time Brian came up the trail and walked the full 4.5 or so remaining miles back to the shop with me.  I felt bad for ruining his workout but we did have fun just being out there.  You never know what is going to happen when you go out on those really long runs, so you just have to take everything in stride.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Amazing Recovery

Last Thursday I visited my new doctor to do a skin check.  Since I have a family history of skin cancer, I've been doing these checks at least annually for years.  In mid-sentence I passed out due to low heart rate and fell of the exam table landing on my knees, fingers and face.  I woke up about a minute later on the floor where I was wisked off to the ER to spend the day.  After tests all day,  was cleared to run by the ER doctor so my next thought was to somehow get recovered enough for my scheduled 18 mile run just two days later.

My knees were bruised and I was concerned that the swelling would tighten things up around my knees and make Saturday's 18-miler impossible, so I went to see Dr. Vince DiSaia at Momentum Sports Therapy.  Dr. Vince has been my invaluable training partner as I morphed from couch potato to marathoner and he has helped me quickly resolve many running injuries and even improve my running economy.  Dr. Vince got me squared away and I was hopeful that there was a chance that I'd wake up Saturday morning feeling good enough to run.

Saturday morning came and I felt optimistic, so I packed GU's and two water bottles and went down to A Runner's Zone in Anaheim Hills.  They have group runs every Saturday morning at 7:00am and most people go anywhere between 6-8 miles.  By the way, I highly recommend these runs for anyone looking to hang out with some great people while training.  So I started running with Darrinh and Brian both of whom were adamant they were not going to go more than 6-8 miles (I had successfully convinced them to go 14 miles with me two weeks ago).  As we ticked off the miles having a great time they both came up with excuses to run another few miles.  We got back to the shop at 12 miles and I told them I was just going to do 3 miles out and then run back to get to my 18 miles.  We were all still feeling good so they decided to join me (although Darrinh had to bribe Bryan with a beer).  They almost had to carry me home after we hit some nasty hills and heat those last few miles, but I did make it back and enjoyed my accomplishment for the rest of the day.

By the way, the doctors think it was a fluke that I passed out but they are still running tests just to rule everything out.  20 miles on Saturday anyone?