Archive for May, 2009

The real QS didn’t show up. It was almost like a different person was there.  My legs were real heavy, and get this–I couldn’t go 2 miles straight without a walking break.  WTF?

In the first walking break, I actually contemplated throwing the race.  Huh?  First of all, QS would never throw a race.  Anyway, I nixed that thought in a hurry.  I was actually forced to stop because my 405 wasn’t capturing distance information; important for pace data, so I had to reset the data fields on the spot.  Once that was situated, I started running again.  I positioned myself in front of the 3:30 group, with the idea that I could still salvage this race.

When I reset my 405, it was near mile 3.  I noted that with the stop, I spent 24 minutes for 3 miles.  On the 4th mile, the pace clock showed that I’ve gained a minute.  On the 5th mile, it showed 1:30.  I was going even slower than predicted but I made some of the time back.

When I was forced again to take a walking break at mile 7, I basically just accepted that it wasn’t going to be my day.  Each mile was painful, as my body would be fighting me tooth and nail the entire 26.2.  Again, WTF?

Anyway, the Marathon Maniac in me was in full resource and time management mode.  It was basically a race against time, as I usually like to come in sub-4 in the Maniacs world.  Anyway, got it done at 3:52.

Talked to Jon and Sherry, fellow Maniacs, at the finish line area.  They finish seconds ahead of me.  Talked to Jawn and his girlfriend Janice. Jawn is Maniac 1501 and girlfriend will join the Maniacs after Seattle.

I did a quick search of my teammates results.  The young guy that ran with me in one of my 20 milers got 3:33.  Just a smidgin off my best time.  I know he will be a fast one–good show!  Now if the real QS would have shown up, then my time would easily have been much better than that.

Chuck it to experience and just try better next time.

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My new toy!

20 hour battery life, better GPS reception, waterproof to 50 meters, wireless sync. Compatible with power meters, display contrast. Minor differences from the 305 in setup; I was able to get all the settings right on the first try and it took but a few minutes. The wireless sync setup is the same as the 405 so no problems there either. What’s new is that the activity level and what type of athlete you are is also recorded. So for me, I maxed the activity level to 10 (>15 hours per week) and specified that I’m a lifetime athlete. I have to figure out what distinctions are made using these settings in the results compilation software. The G405 wireless USB attempted to acquire the 310XT as well, but I disabled the paring. I’m going to install the 310XT on a separate laptop just in case there is an incompatibility with having multiple GPS.  Someone else lost some training history when he installed two on the same laptop. Better safe than sorry!

Garmin 310XT

Garmin 310XT

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Goshdarn it, I have to admit–this is by far the best expo they put on as far as quantity and quality of vendors and things to do. I spent an hour or two just walking around and looking at stuff. I ended up buying a few things that I’ll talk about later.

I saw one of our teammates (Crystal) who volunteered at the athlete registration area. She was in the 2000-2999, and I was just in the next table 1000-1999. So it was hard to miss her. Anyway, we went into the Gaslamp area for a late lunch over at Hard Rock Cafe. The restaurant is just right across Horton Plaza, which is a few blocks from the convention center.

I talked to Dave (Crystal’s hubbie) before I left. He was helping out a friend at one of the booths. Oh yeah, Dean Karnazes was speaking to the audience at the podium. Stock stories. But he still commands a captive audience due to his exploits. Don’t know why I keep noticing–he seems so emaciated. I don’t know if he is losing all that body fat and muscle just by his non-stop running or what. He always looked more cut and younger than I was–now it’s the other way around. I think he is pushing himself too much? Anyway, I shook his hand and said Hi. I’m sure he could place my face (somehow the guy looks familiar in the thousands of faces he’s encountered), but I kindly offered my name to make it easier. He smiled before he walked on to the Accelerade booth, one of his sponsors, to sign copies of magazines for the crowd.

I was supposed to go swimming at the ocean tonight, but I was at the expo late. So, scratch that. On my way out, I spotted another teammate (Sarah) at the corner. Called her on the cell, but not before the San Diego’s Finest spotted me pick up my phone. So I’m making a small contribution to the state’s budget tonight. No skin off my back. One of the officers was actually funny; we talked about the marathon for a few minutes. He wished me luck.

So I bought some top of the line compression socks that I’ll try in the marathon. Should be great. I also bought (drum roll) the latest and greatest–Garmin 310XT. Supposed to have 20 hour battery, and waterproof to 50 feet. The Garmin rep said–the 405 and 405CX are water-resistant, but by no means–should be used while swimming. He said that the force of the arm entering the water is enough to compromise the water-resistance, so you won’t even need the typical submersion beyond 3 feet to cause it to take in water. Danger!!!!

I don’t think I’ll use the 310XT for the marathon. Maybe for the next ocean swim! The rep said it is perfect for triathletes like me. It is sizable though, so you have to think about taking it off before taking off your wetsuit. There is no way to force the wetsuit arm cover over the 310XT (like I recently did with my cheapo Timex Ironman watch).

I spotted Dane Rauschenberg, another fellow Marathon Maniac. Talked to him a while, and then got his book, “One Man, 52 Weekends, 52 Marathons”. He’s got one of the big shoe companies as his sponsor (can’t remember who). He did say that he is just off an 8 marathon in 7 weeks streak, where he lowered his PR to 2:49. He said he is both too tired and too busy. Oh, he is a lawyer up in DC when he is not doing mondo running.

Also spoke to Les Wright, the RD for the Tahoe Triple. He said he spotted my entry last night, and was happy I was coming back. We chuckled about how the body makes you forget the small hills up in Lake Tahoe. I’m only kidding of course–altitude at 6500-7500 feet, huge hill climbs, and 72 miles of misery. Don’t you just love it?

Did notice Bart Yasso, selling his book at his own booth. Noticed him in Big Sur, Disneyworld, and now San Diego. Always wanted to know what he is about. I guess I have to find out one of these days, so I can go talk to him too. Also saw John Bingham, a contributor to Runners World. Penguin Chronicles I think.

So I have to admit having fun at this expo. Plus, watching all the good-looking people (healthy people are very good-looking) was worth a couple hours of my Friday afternoon. So what if I spent a pretty penny tonight, plus a contribution to the state budget? Ha ha. I’m going to hang out and drink my Mimosa, thank you! And maybe finish off half the Hickory Bacon Cheeseburger meal from Hard Rock. Monstrous, those things are.

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I got home tonight and decided to sign up for a few more running events.  So the second half of this year will look like the list below.  I had signed up for Lake Tahoe Triple last year, but couldn’t go because I had to taper for Ironman Kona; no excuse not to go back this year.  Always enjoyed running Long Beach, but there is a chance it might be a no-go this year if one of our strong  age groupers make it to Kona;  I promised the coach I’ll join the party in Hawaii if that happens.  When I finished LV last year, I knew I’d be coming back.  That should be the last event in 2009, and a good lead-in to the Goofy Challenge in January 2010.

I’m on the fence about Big Bear on 9/12.  It’s just east of LA, up in the boondocks.  That’s where Ryan Hall and other elite runners live and train.  We’ll see.

Ah, the insanity continues!  Which reminds me, I need to take care of travel/lodging arrangements even if the events are mostly local.

  1. Vineman 70.3 7/19/2009 
  2. San Francisco Marathon 7/26/2009
  3. Lake Tahoe Triple Marathon 9/25-9/27/2009 (new)
  4. Long Beach International Marathon 10/11/2009 (new)
  5. Ironman Florida 140.6 11/7/2009
  6. Ironman Arizona 140.6 11/22/2009
  7. Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon 12/6/2009 (new)

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I was looking at my older running shoes when I suddenly got interested in comparing the wear patterns on the soles. I’ve been buying the Asics Gel Kayano series, not seeing any reason to change my choice from year to year. The Kayanos are Stability Plus shoes, which I really don’t need except for the excellent cushioning I’ve gotten used to in this series.

Like everyone else, there is a use pattern in the outer heel portion. Very slight compared to what over-pronators typically present. What I find interesting is the wear in front. It looks like it is mostly in the mid mid-foot area. The outer left and right mid-foot area are not worn down. I don’t know how that’s possible, other than the mid mid-foot area is somewhat raised? I don’t know.

I seem to produce the same wear patterns year-over-year. Which is a good thing. It also seems like for a new pair to fit my running form, the same wear pattern has to be put in place. What makes me think this is that my newest pair (GK15) is hardly a month-old as far as use but the wear pattern is already evident.


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62 mile ride to Elfin Forest. Interesting name for a small town in East San Diego. Went out with Christiane and Mona who have done this ride many times. We ran into Gene who was doing a short ride up to Encinitas. He rode with us for a while. We also met up with Christiane’s friend; she was supposed to go with us to Elfin Forest, but at the last moment opted to go the coastal route. She did an Ironman last year, but have not kept up.

Definitely not a route that you would invite anyone who is tentative or new on the bike. Never-ending hills, and hills on top of other hills, fast descents. The reward was the scenery–sweeping views, natural beauty, things you wouldn’t see otherwise when living in the urban jungle. We rode by creeks, huge open spaces. We were up in Lake Hodges. Plenty of cyclists out there–it was weird to see people riding on parts of that route slogging along in mountain bikes. I’m used to traveling further for my effort.

More evidence that I’m a natural hill-climber. No problems at all, and I can only improve with more time spent on this route. I only had to use the small chain ring once, and even then it was sort of a questionable call (I saw my teammates use theirs so I switched also). There was a cycling group (roadies) who passed us around mile 20 or so. Well, okay, we were in their shadow since they don’t climb fast. They didn’t say anything to me, but said something snarky to Mona. Why?

We went through downtown Rancho Santa Fe. Beautiful place, good looking folk. We had to ride over hills to get out of there so it was interesting thinking about the place and navigating on hills at the same time. Christiane dropped her lined water bottle, but I saw it and got it; she came back for it about a minute later down the hill, but I already had it.

Mona was monster-fast in the downhill. She rode a 2008 Cervelo P2C. Her fastest recorded speed was 40mph. Mine was 32 mph. We would catch up to her on the hills. She admits to not like the uphill much. Christiane rode a mid-range 2008 Quintana Roo; nice bike and rides well. I was riding my 2005 Specialized Transition, which has served me well in the past year.

In the late portions, Mona started to cramp up. I shadowed her in spots to make sure we stayed together. We rode through Rancho Bernardo, into Solana Beach. Interesting neighborhoods, after the farms with avocado groves. You know you are close to the coast when you feel the fresh ocean air.

We stopped by Del Mar at Sbicca restaurant for lunch. It was great doing that. Gary stopped by also. It was his birthday. Anyway, got some good stories from him about his ride with the fast guys this Saturday morning also.

The final leg up over Torrey Pines hill was interesting. I was on the big chain ring, 5th gear down. I stayed on it because I didn’t feel any need to go lighter. This hill is steep enough to ride at 8mph, but I was nearer 9.5-10mph. Had to wait for the group at the top near the golf course for nearly 5 minutes. The rest of the trip was uneventful, other than Mona celebrating the end of the ride with a sigh of relief.

Had a great time! Beautiful day for a bike ride.


Elfin Forest Ride

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Better days

I just heard this week that a close friend I had in high school passed away. I just remember that period in my life as care-free. We were almost doing most of the shenanigans and getting away with it at that Catholic school.

We were both active then, but he opted for a sedentary lifestyle after university. Met him last year after nearly 30 years. He seemed upbeat and renewed. He was resolved to get more active and lose weight.

I guess life catches up to you one way or another. Who knows why lifespans are long or short. I’m almost sure he had some underlying health problem. But you know you wouldn’t want to wish that on anyone.

Those were better days. I’m probably healthier now than then, save for being young and having a bright future. But it doesn’t make me stop wishing I could re-live that period in my life.

Happy trails, my friend!

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