Thursday, October 22, 2009


Training has been a lot of fun lately. Here's what I have been up to:

Rosarito to Ensenada 50 mile fun ride

El Diablo

Fully supported - with beer!

Don't like the race provides for "nutrition", bring your own!

Single leg drills up a hill? Who brought this guy?

Fully supported - with women!

Me trying to portray that I did RAAM to people that can't understand english (or maybe they were just pretending they didn't want to understand some gringo)

Barely Legal Half Iron

I played swim buddy for Michelle, did my own bike ride, and then was grill master for the afternoon. Good times, and was glad she got to do her first Half Iron distance race (even if it was barely legal...)!

Rain Runs

I was up in San Francisco (Market St/Union Square) for a week, which led to a run heavy week (unfortunately, all on concrete). One of the fun runs was doing 6 miles around the embarcadero - in some nasty ass weather. It made IMLP look dry (kinda). You can't totally tell the wet conditions from this pic, but with the flag being parallel to the ground - it was pretty windy!

It was stuff I hadn't seen a while. Some think I was crazy for running. But, the people that were crazy were the ones trying to stay dry, but were as wet as I was (while giving me weird looks)! Suckers!

Adventure Racing

Actually, this wasn't fun. I described it as borderline miserable.

My buddy Greg and I did an adventure race last Saturday. The 7ish mile run was hilly and hot. I forgot my visor, so it was hotter than it needed to be - but actually fun! The bike around San Elijo Hills was much hillier, and much hotter. Mountain biking ALWAYS kicks my ass, and this was no exception. Mountain biking for me is basically one long ass interval workout, with each interval approaching max HR. Sometimes climbing hills just isn't manageable! Greg and I bailed after getting the first 6 bike checkpoints (out of 10) after running out of water, but we weren't the only ones. People were dropping like flies. After describing the climb to B6 to a married couple, the woman asked if they would still be married by the time they got to the top! I told her to ask the guy sitting on the side of the trail trying to cool off. When I got back to my car, it was in the high 90's. Um, is this San Diego...?

Mining Iron at Iron Mountain

This past sunday, a solid crew

made the trip up Iron Mountain ... the long, 10.5 mile, way.

It was plenty warm, with plenty of hills. About 3000ft of climbing all said!

Once I get some more run base & fitness, I am definitely looking forward (I think anyways...) to making this a hike/run!

Unfortunately, the stop button was pressed prematurely on accident, but whatever.

Just solid consistency, and having a good time. I love fall weather!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Some thoughts on Running

Even though this 2009 race season for me was centered around a bike race across the country, I definitely learned a few things about running (but have plenty more to learn!).


This year, I did some jogging. Most people have no idea what a jog is. Easy run? Hardly - I'll get into that.

These jogs I was told to do had one rule - keep the HR under 130.

You: "130!?"
Me: "Yes"
You: "So, what kind of pace is that?"
Me: "Somewhere between 11 and 13 minutes miles"
You: "Sounds painful"
Me: "You have no idea"

The irony was that it was supposed to be an easy jog, yet it was painfully slow.

I was assured that Coach has some of his professional triathletes do it, so I figured it's time to shut up (although, I didn't shut up for long, as he can attest to) and ship out.

These easy jogs were hard (as hell) at first (with "at first" being apx. two [freakin] months). There were many 60 minute jogs that were really warm up-jog-walk-jog-walk, etc because I just couldn't keep the HR down - in cold (by San Diego standards) conditions no less. Talk about frustrating. There were some cursing, without a doubt, and I knew it would all be worth it. "Build the aerobic engine" would come to mind. "This sucks" would follow shortly thereafter.

But, it added up.

Time of Day

I did quite a few jogs early in the morning before work, mainly to fit in another workout. As Deborah Schulman, PhD points out, doing a workout early in the morning when your BGL is low will help turn one into a fat burning machine. So, before work, I'd ship out, and do some easy (hard) 30-60 minute sessions. Nothing extravagant, or even blog worthy.

But, it added up.

Frequency vs. Volume

I didn't put in massive run volume - period - especially given my work/school schedule. I think my highest run week was about 5 hours. But one thing I did do is get out there often. More often than not, it was a short, easy 30 minute jog (seeing a pattern here?) before and/or after work. Because running is probably the hardest on the body (compared to swimming and biking), being able to withstand the constant pounding coupled with fatigued muscles is an absolute necessity - especially after having swam or biked earlier in the day.

Given my schedule, I could get more fit through frequency (with shorter recovery time) or distance (it has its place, but extends recovery time). In my little word - frequency ruled. Even these little jaunts helped in the long run (pun intended of course) because let's face it - jogging for 30 minutes is better than not jogging for 30 minutes.

It adds up.

And in the end, it all added up to the bottom line - the finish line, and taking 21 minutes off my previous half marathon PR (at WF, specifically).

ps- I gave blood last Monday, which was good for the mind and soul, but not good for doing hilly, tempo runs. Ouch.