Archive for January, 2009

Attempted to do an MP run around sub-7s, but my lungs would have nothing to do with it.  Guess I’m not back yet.  2.25 miles attempted and a 10 miler planned.  Oh well.

Given my inability to do any high quality run training, I got on my bike and did a spin session instead.  Just did 90 rpms for an hour.

I’m hoping my annual bout with the cold + sinusitis will abate so I can continue with the training.  It’s just mildly frustrating, since I can still go into other things like the bike and swim aspects.

Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow.

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Press play and then push the slider to the end. The other videos will show up at the bottom.

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Too early for me to mess around with this stuff.  Learning about it is pretty interesting though.  Saris and CinQo are two companies offering power meters.  Very expensive stuff, and I think is worth the $$$ only if you want to be competitive in your age group or thinking about becoming a pro.

I think the idea in training with power is to make your pedaling more consistent no matter what obstacles you encounter (such as a hill or wind).  Training with heart rate for example makes one slow down because perceived effort goes up (heart rate goes up).  I think training with power allows the cyclist to avoid depending on perceived effort so much.

Just researching…

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Track practice: Strides!

(La Jolla High School track was lighted tonight. The kids were having a soccer match.)

The plan was simple intervals:

  • 1 mile warm-up.
  • 3 sets of 2 X 200 Zone 2 @10 sec, and 1 X 1600 Zone 3 @30 sec.
  • 1 mile cool-down.

Since I knew I couldn’t push it aerobically, I decided to stick with the plan but do strides for the stated distances. Slower for the Zone 2s and picked up a bit for the Zone 3s. I didn’t tell the coach this, and I don’t know why he didn’t notice. Well, the group has grown a lot. So… Just to be sure it didn’t turn it into a true intervals practice, I didn’t turn on my GPS.

It worked nicely. I was doing long strides in the Zone 2s, so even if I wasn’t doing any more exertion I pretty much passed a lot of teammates on the strength of those strides!

For the Zone 3s or faster strides, I found that I had to be careful not to engage my hips (my running engine). Focus was harder–I had to concentrate on my arm swings more and holding the stride longer before impact. If you’ve seen a gazelle in mid-stride, that was what I was going for. Also made sure my lungs weren’t involved.

One thing I also noticed is that it is hard to hit mid-foot when doing strides. The natural tendency is to hit with the heel; maybe I just need to train more.

Ultimately, because my pace was dictated by longer strides, I ended up lapping a lot of teammates. I finished just behind the usual runners doing 6:30 pace. So my longer strides practice must have propelled me to about 7 minute miles. Which means, it may have seemed like I was doing normal intervals!

For the cool-down, I did a few lateral jumps and side-to-side practices. Got a few people interested.

Said HI to a lot of teammates tonight. Some are crazy, and everyone is just funny! Thinking I’m joining them for trails practice this weekend.

Great workout!

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Lance training in Kona 2009

Lance training in Kona 2009

Here is video from Carmichael Systems, where the coach talks about Lance Armstrong’s training for the Tour Down Under. I guess riding on the Ironman course is stirring great interest in him for the race. Cool!


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Warm Sake goes a long way

I ventured out at lunch time dressed in shorts and a sweatshirt. It’s chilly out, and I was just a tad on the cold side.

Went to a Japanese restaurant that I haven’t visited in a while. Ordered a plate of sushi and water. The waiter offered me warm soup. Somehow, while sipping the broth, I thought about warm Sake. Don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had it. Maybe Boston in 2005?


Anyway, I asked the waiter whether they served it. Affirmative. He brought over a warm bottle and a porcelain cup. Hmmm. The first few cups were heavenly. Warmed up my tummy rather nicely. Before long, I was totally relaxed. My body was generating more heat than giving it up. I know I finished the sushi, but it didn’t seem to register in my feel-good state.

Lunch and sake isn’t too bad a combo. I won’t even qualify the feeling as a buzz. Anyway, it will be another 3 years before my next serving of Sake!

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Please find results here–> CM site

Please find photos here –> brightroom

For the half and full.

Here is mine–my hat seems to be falling off!

Running happy in Carlsbad

Running happy in Carlsbad

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Lining up for a marathon is always a great exercise in face reading. Plenty are pensive and nervous. A few are excited. Some are just sleepy.

When the horn goes off, the slower runners immediately go to one side. The excitement carries the unwary and makes them run faster than they want to. It’s dark, and there is no way to check how fast one is going.

Around mile 3, the runners settle in. It thins a bit, allowing the marathoners a brief respite from the work ahead. The views are not bad this morning.

Two young women pass by. Each wearing a shirt that say “Bride-to-be” and “Maid-of-honor”. I asks when the day will be? The girl smiles and says “June”. I congratulate her.

I see a guy hobble up mile 6. He wears a compression sleeve on his left knee and is obviously nursing an injury. Why is this guy running a marathon? He is making this “shhhck, shhhck” sound as he attempts to run.

The road climbs, and I hear murmurs. Silent curses. Looks of concern, and hopes of divine intervention. We see the fastest runners run by in the other direction. Kenyans, and a few Americans. We say great job!

Pretty soon, the course reverses. A long pretty downhill beckons. We do our best to imitate the fastest runners. My teammate decides the pace, and I find we are not picking up at all.

A walker double-times (or attempts to) up mile 6 on our way back to mile 13. Now you’re thinking, is she going to make it in the 6-hour window? Who knows!

A young couple, oblivious in their yuppiness, runs by with ipods snaking firm on their ears. They sign to each other “You hear good? Me too”. They look alike, black tights and a white tech T. Their hair in place with the help of hair products. They seem to be out of place in this time and place, but they go about their business and relate only to each other. They look at everyone else with contempt.

The pace groups seem to be disintegrating.  Their numbers dwindling from twenties to a mere 4 or none.  The pacer lays down his flag by the side of the road.  The promising 4:15 group is no more.   How many will make it intact to the finish today?

Most of the early “fast” runners are walking by mile 18. They’d have done better if their pace was more pedestrian like ours. We pass so many and leave them bewildered.

A few runners are stretching out and walking off cramps. I don’t want to be them, that’s for sure.

Some are panting and stopping on the side of the road. Resting perhaps, and maybe wondering–can I go on? Maybe the lack of respect for the distance is doing them in. A look of defeat. Desperation. The prospect of a very long walk to the finish?

We pass this guy who was saying Hi to his many teammates on the course in the early miles. He is quiet now. He looks at us, and slows down his pace a bit.

An older runner plays leapfrog with us. He runs a bit and then walks. All of 3 times. And then no more.

As we are approaching Old Carlsbad, we run among throngs of half-marathon walkers. They will finish over 3 hours. We weave through them silently and with even pacing. Yes, we receive looks of envy–we are still running!

The blue and white balloons arch is listing to one side. It doesn’t matter. It announces the last 5K is at hand. My teammate does not seem to appreciate the significance.

The eyes of the marathoners near the finish are glazing over. All of them are thinking, “Let’s just get this over with already”.

They start sprinting towards the finish, and only let out their smiles as they cross the line.

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Ron, QS, and Christiane at the Carlsbad Marathon finish

Ron, QS, and Christiane at the Carlsbad Marathon finish

The weather was overcast, 50-60 degrees. Runner’s weather!

I was pacing for at least one teammate. There were two that I’ve introduced to long distances who were running their first marathon today. Ron ran with us for a while, but Christiane and I ran together for the whole marathon. Ron is tall, so his one step is two of ours; we kinda figured it was hard for him to stay with us.

Anyway, both did very well. Ron did 4:12 and Christiane did 4:17. I followed Christiane in. It was a surprise to me how strong both were after mile 21. Really consistent pacing, feeding, hydrating, and just managing their endurance overall. They promised to treat their informal coach to a steak dinner. Hmmm.

Glad I stayed away from speed today. My lungs are just recovering from some mild flu. The slower pace was ultimately good for my lungs I think. Oh, the pace groups withered to 3 or 4 after mile 18. 3:30, 3:40, 3:50, 4:00, 4:15, etecetera. I don’t know what was going on there.

Yo Mikey (a Kickrunners.com MSF friend) was at the finish; he actually yelled my name which made me turn and find him before I went into the finish line chute. That was cool. I stopped over and talked to him for a little bit before we took off. (There is evidence in the photos)

Here is an experiential race report about running this  marathon and the random thoughts that fly freely.

Overall, a great day.

I wanted to add: the announcer was saying 2009 might be the last showing of the Carlsbad marathon. The organizers are negotiating with other cities to put together the future “Beach Cities” marathon/half-marathon. We think it might be a marathon run on the PCH from beginning to end. That means no more big bump at miles 8-9.

Here are some photos.

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Got my bib and stuff quickly. Having the Expo under a big tent is convenient, however it rained today–so their artificial turf covering was soggy wet. I like the location of the expo and start (west of a big mall), but it seems to require better accommodations and setup.

I stopped by the OC Marathon booth. They are changing the course to keep the race mostly west and in and around the environs of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. So, mostly northwest of the start last year instead of east.

Also stopped by the Long Beach Marathon booth. They say they will have wave starts now, making the half marathoners go first. This is great because the boardwalk is always a bit too crowded with runners and walkers. I don’t know who determined the sequence–it is more logical to make the marathoners go first because there will be fewer.

Dane R. is a featured speaker. I think I saw him walking around the expo. I was rushing out, so I wasn’t able to say Hi. Anyway, I’m thinking there will be a lot of runners this year. Start time for the half is at 7:30 and the full is 6:00 this Sunday. That’s really nice.

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