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?

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