Saturday, June 6, 2009

Limestone Canyon run

I spotted this rattle snake today along the side of the trail about 50 yards away from the Limestone Canyon Sinks. I saw him when I stopped to relieve myself along the side of the trail along a section of trail where there is a side of a hill bordering the trail. The snake was lying on this hill up at my chest level not more than four feet from my face when I spotted it at which point I backed away and found a safer spot to take care of my business. After we took a short stop to view the sinks, I showed him to our trail group and he didn't move at all so we weren't sure he was alive. We threw some sand near him and he didn't resond so I took a long stick and gently touched him and he managed to stick his tongue out at me but he stayed coiled. He was either very tired or possibly sick. We had some nice cool cloudy weather for this morning's run through Limestone with a stop at the Sinks and a stop at the Dripping Springs.
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Big Sur Marathon

I completed the Big Sur Marathon last weekend in 4:42. Unfortunately, Meredith couldn’t make the trip so I drove up alone on Friday and back on Sunday after the race. I met Karen and her husband John for dinner in Carmel on Sat. night. Karen was worried about her training but she pulled off a 4:15 in spite of the hills and wind, only 15 minutes off her BQ time last December on a much faster course.

I walked all of the numerous down hills over the first 21 miles and jogged the flat and uphill sections. We had beautiful partly sunny skies and temps in the 50’s but we also had a stiff head wind of 15 mph gusting at times to 25 mph on miles 5 though 13. The wind quieted down over the second half of the course. I picked up my pace over the last 5 miles after spending most of the morning running with the 5 hour pace group. My jog-walk strategy worked perfectly and I was barely sore after the race. I had no idea that the course was so hilly. It may not have been as hilly as Catalina but it wasn’t that much easier. I knew it wasn’t going to be flat but the hills never seemed to stop and they were decent hills not just little rollies. I was glad I wasn’t running for time so I just jogged up the hills at a leisurely 10-10:30 pace. The race organizers put on a great race and really pay attention to the details.

During Friday's drive up along hwy 1, I passed a hitched holding a Big Sur Marathon sign just past Hearst Castle. I stopped and gave Larry Ng a ride up to a campground in Big Sur. He'd been dropped off by a frind and spent the prior two nights backpacking but he was planning to run his second marathon on Sunday. We had a nice conversation about running for an hour and then I dropped him at Andrew Molina State park. Larry had a great day and finished at 4:25.

Next week I’ll start my 12 week training period for the San Francisco Marathon at which I’ll try to run a 3:30 Boston Qualifier.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mike, Eric and Doug (carpool buddies) posing at the Elsinore overlook after the WTRS 21k.

We finally got some decent weather for the final 2009 trail series race. It was mid 50's at the start with partly cloudy skies. I was going to take it easy and just work a little on the uphills but I felt good so I ended up racing if you can call power walking up West Horsethief at 20 minutes per mile pace racing. I finished in just under 2:13 in 46th place out of 130 runners and hikers.

Next up is the Silverado Trail Race next weekend followed by the Catalina Marthon on March 14.

I caught this partial rainbow while driving home from work on Culver Drive a couple of weeks ago. The rainbow is behind the traffic signal.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Modjeska Peak

I ran up to Silverado Motorway almost to Modjeska Peak on Saturday. We hit the snow level at Main Divide and encountered up to three inches on the ground near the peak. Needless to say my feet started to get a little cold. The temperature was around 40 degrees and partly sunny with no wind. I really enjoyed seeing and running in the snow. Our roundtrip mileage was just shy of 20 miles.

Joining me on this run were some my fellow TrailHeadz who pretty much left me in the run on the run up to Main Divide. Greg, Pam, Charlie, Shannon, Olivier and Pam's East coast guest Ryan. That's what I get for running with the fast crew. This was a good training run for the upcoming Catalina Marathon infour weeks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

1/18/09 Saddleback Peark Climb

On the way up to Saddleback Peak via Holy Jim.
We ran the 5 miles up Holy Jim and then hiked the last 3 miles up to the Peak. The visibility was so good we could see the Malibu coast. There was still some snow on the ground from the big dump over Christmas week. Downtown LA was pretty clear with very little smog in the distance. We ran the whole 8 Miles back down and my quads were sore for the next 5 days but well worth the pain.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

CIM Recap 12/7/08

I actually ran my smartest and gutsiest marathon while having an extremely BAD day. It started when my glands felt swollen on Friday after the drive up to Sacramento. I took some Vitamin C Friday night and woke up feeling ok on Saturday morning thinking that I had averted the disaster of being sick on race day after 7 months of training. I drank more OJ and relaxed on Saturday keeping off my feet and watching football games all afternoon.

Sunday on the bus ride to the start I was relaxed and my resting pulse was in the mid 60's, when my normal resting pulse is 45-48. With the excitement of the race I normally might see my pulse in the mid 50's but readings of mid 60's while sitting down was a bad omen. Being an accountant with a love of tracking numbers, I take my resting HR every morning and I know it goes up when I'm either on the cusp of getting sick or recovering from a tough workout. Being an optimist I decided to stick my plan of going for a 1:44 split in search of a negative split 3:23-3:25 or at worst a 3:30 BQ.

With perfect mid 40's temps and cloudy weather, I started off with a couple of 8 plus minute miles and my HR was already up near 160, another bad omen of things to come. My plan was to keep my HR around 150-155 until the half way mark but I was at a consistent 160 by mile 5 running at just under 8 minute miles. Through miles 9-13, I continued to run at slightly sub 8 pace on the mostly downhill sections and my HR hovered at 160 even on the down hills. I hit the half on target at 1:44 but my right hamstring (an old injury) had started to bother me at mile 3 and my calves were screaming from mile 8. To even things out, my quads were toast by mile 15 and I developed what turned out to be a half dollar size blister on my right foot all with 11 more miles.

By the half I had changed my objective from a 3:23 to a 3:30:59. By mile 18 I was just trying to get to mile 20 and at mile 20 I promised myself I’d take a short walk break at mile 21 and calculate the time I needed to run 3:30:59 with 5 miles to go. At that point I pulled off the pace group. The short walk break made me feel better but it did not lower my HR as I’d hoped and I ran miles 22 and 23 at 8:25 pace as my HR stayed at 172. My heart rate had been above my threshold of approx. 168 since mile 15 so I knew I was running on empty. I walked some more at the start of mile 24 and that resulted in a mile 24 split of 8:53. Not good. My Garmin showed an average pace that had slipped from 7:55 to 8:01 and at the mile 24 mark I calculated that I'd need to run 17 minutes over the last 2.2 (7:45 pace) and I was completely out of gas. I’d run at an average of 94% of max HR for the past 10 miles so I conceded my goal and I walked the 2 miles up to the 26 mile mark before shuffling to the finish line. I know if I finished in 3:32, it would eat me up for the next six months so I opted to call it a day. I finished in 3:46.

Today, I’m back at work feeling sore as can be having to once again retrieve my marathon cane from the back of my closet. My glands are swollen and my throat is sore but I know that I left if all out on the course, every last bit of what I had yesterday, even a few tears at mile 24. I’d be lying to say I’m not disappointed as I’m finishing up this report today but that’s the deal you agree to when you take on a challenge like the marathon. There are going to be tough days and some may call them forgettable days and we all have them. For me, yesterday wasn’t forgettable, it was truly memorable. I’ll remember it as my best marathon, the day I ran my heart out and truly tested myself when the odds were stacked up against me and I almost reached my goal. There's always another race and I’ll give it another shot next fall.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Holcomb Valley 25k June 8, 2008

Pics from my recent trail run up at Big Bear. I wasn't racing just running for fun. We had perfect weather and a whole pack of Trailheadz at the race. I think we were putting our best foot forward in the picture below.
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