Friday, October 28, 2016

Back on Track, Sort Of.....Diablo Summit Stomp in 1 week

To say I have no business running in the Diablo Summit Stop 30K is an understatement.  My training was derailed three weeks by a cold and I am the heaviest I have been since I began running.  And it doesn't help that the rain has come to California for the first time in awhile.   However, this is more of a mental challenge for me with the goal of beating cut-offs and finishing.

I know that may sound a bit bizarre.  However,  part of my problem over the last year or so is motivation and getting my butt in gear.  While the 30K includes 4,400 feet of elevation gain and I know my quads will be thrashed after, I am really excited about this run.

I have a strategy for completing.  I know the course very well.  I know when I need to run and when it is smart to hike.  It is the later point that I know I will  allow me to succeed.  

That said, I am finally well and been on the trails looking for as many climbs and technical drops as possible.  A coworker suggested that I try a local open space that is 8 minutes from work, Shell Ridge.  While I am very familiar with the area, I never thought that it was close enough to work to run at lunch.

So this week I was rewarded with some awesome terrain.  Like I said, it has been very cloudy and rainy so I wasn't sure how sloppy the trails would be.  My perseverance was rewarded with nice climbs and very little slimy mud to deal with.

Once up the trail at the Homestead Park trail head, I was able to connect to the trails I know well.  Shell Ridge is an actual shell fossil ridge.  The primary hill has shells a couple of thousand years old and is pretty awesome to take the kids on.

My favorite part of this open space is the single track.  There is a lot of it to explore.  My favorite parallels Indian Creek and runs through an Oak Glen.

All in all, I know physically I am not ready for the 30K.  This will be a mental over body exercise.  However, the main purpose is to get me kick started.  I would love to do the Surf City Marathon in February, so I am hoping that this event will push me in the right direction.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Phlegm when running, what do you do?

I really had high hopes that my allergies were just that.  That lead to a cold that turned into a secondary infection and a 10 day regimen of antibiotics. Well, finally this week I am finally well, except phlegm that sits at the back of my throat leading to gagging and coughing. My wife calls it my old man cough.   But really it is caused by foamy bubbles that sit right at the top of my esophagus.

Obviously I am not running.  But it does remind me of my last half marathon.  In the last couple of years I have found that there are times when I have this problem when running.  It especially happens when I eat gels or any "juicy" candy.   

When the gag reflex occurs when I run, I start hacking so badly that I feel like I am going to blackout.  So I have a little bit of phobia when it happens.  Because of this, gels just don't work and I have to find other nutrition.  That's not a problem on trail runs.  I love the salted potatoes or chips and watermelon.  However, on road races I am a little up a creek and find I have to slow down and either eat a nut butter or gel, wait until it has cleared and then start up again.

When you Google this subject you will find that causes can be asthma, hydration,  or allergies.  One thing I can tell you is that when I am lighter (under 210 lbs) I don't have this problem and no one could suggest that I am under-hydrated .So it is probably weight related (I am at 240 right now).

How do you control your phlegm when running?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sicko....weeks Sept. 12th through the 25th.....

Well I don't normally get sick.  But here, actually trying to build back a routine, and the kids go back to school and then bring home the plague.   It is such a lovely cold, first starts in the sinuses, then just when you think you are over it, your lungs fill up with white gu.

So this means that I am will have a shorter window to complete my initial goal.  Brazen Racing has a new 30K course that runs to the top of Mount Diablo and  down called the Diablo Summit Stomp which I have been eyeing.

It is all about strategy, this course.  The first 4 miles are runable before you begin the 9 mile climb up 3,800 feet of elevation gain.  Then you drop for the remaining 5 miles, again very much a quad blowing drop.

There is a 6.5 hour cut off, so really doable.   Its just that big question, do I want this to be the first race in over a year?


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Matt Davis Trail.....Week of Sept. 5th through Sept. 11th

This was a good week, with a little treat, hiking up then running down the Matt Davis trail which is near Stinson Beach, CA.   This is a pretty technical trail with stairs, ruts, and rocks to keep your feet constantly moving in all directions.  I love technical so this was a treat.  

This trip almost didn't occur; however, family friends suggested going to the beach for fun and suggested the trail.  We have only done it a couple of times and I really didn't want to go, just because I would have preferred to hike / run this with my family and felt I wasn't going to be able to do so.  That said, once everyone got to Table Rock, which is about a mile up, everyone decided to turn around.

This was my chance.  I told my wife I was going to hike a little farther and she gave me the all knowing be careful look.  She knew I planned on bombing down the trail.  I only went up another half mile, up to where I knew I had a 1,000 feet of vertical to run.  I am glad I did, since the trail really got gnarly past Table Rock. I also didn't want them to wait too long for me so I knew this should mean that I would meet up with them towards the bottom.

Downward I went, and boy I had forgotten how much I missed this.   Switchback, rock drops, tree ruts and all.   Almost to Table Rock, I had too much fun, finding myself flying through the air.  You know one of those moments you think "Okay, I'm falling, to the left is the cliff so I need to land on my right, in the bush.  I hope it's not poison oak!"  And down I fell. I sat there smiling.  I checked myself out. I had scarfed my knee and my leg, now bleeding.  My mind quickly jumped to Monty Python and said out loud "its only a flesh wound!" and got up and started running.  The only irreparable damage was a small scratch on my new Garmin Fenix 2 which I was happy about only because it would remind me of this adventure.  

I got back to the car just as everyone else was.  My wife gave me a quick look up and down with the "I knew you were going to fall" look and all ways good!

The rest of the week consisted of a few more runs, training level.  I am only getting my base back, so right now I am looking for consistency.   The run down the trail at Matt Davis didn't affect my quads at all which means at least I have the muscle memory.  I just need to get my cardio back.

This weeks stats:

  • 11.1 miles
  • 1,148 feet of climbing
  • 2 hours 44 minutes of running
On face value, this looks like a backslide from the previous week; however I am going for being smart this time around, and baring another fall, no injuries. The even bigger accomplishment is that I completed my first 5 mile run.  My standard short runs used to be at 5 miles, so it was nice to see my old friend: the "Mount Diablo Blvd" sign.

On to my next week!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Week of August 29th through Sept. 4th

So I am starting back up this blog as a record of my training and to share pictures of the week.  Pretty boring stuff; however, it will keep me motivated.  I may do reviews and like before, but I have kind of liked Leor Pantilat blog where he has shown his adventures as well as Lucho's site on Joghard so I will probably focus on updating accordingly.

I need accountability as another outlet to de-stress, so hopefully me getting back in the habit of posting will satisfy both those needs.

For the week of August 29th I completed:

  •       4 hours 12 minutes of running  over to 5 days
  •       16.7 miles
  •       1,404 feet of elevation gain

I recently updated my watch to a Garmin Fenix 2 and probably will write a review on it.  Needless to say, while it is very similar to my old Fenix, the updated watch makes a lot more sense to me, like how I can sync up after a run instantly through Bluetooth.  I used to go through three different steps.

This weeks run had me running my old haunts on Lime Ridge as well as the Ironhorse trail.  It has been a bit disappointing to have start from the beginning after taking a year off; however, my legs feel stronger and I don't seem to have the niggles that I was suffering from.  

I will have to be resolved to some 3 to 5 mile runs until I can go without stopping and be also satisfied with a slower pace.  Two things are slowing me down: 1. extra weight (I am now back to 240 lbs.) 2. Getting my cardiovascular back where I can run longer distances.    My legs are fine and they are holding up.  If I can get 30 lbs off, I will be back to where I was when I ran Way Too Cool and then could start to consider a marathon or ultra.

I will end with a few phrases I like to focus on.  These are three of my favorites:

  • Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it
  • Focusing on a number will not cause change. Focusing on change will improve the numbers.
  • Before you act listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn.  Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.
submit to reddit