Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chia, making friends and 8500 feet of climbing

This was a fun weekend of training. On Saturday, I ran 36 miles and made friends with another ultrarunner out for similar distance (doing part of the loop of Headlands 100 for which he was training. Paul, who runs a non-profit called Wilderness Way and I met on Miwok, heading up one of many hills and found that we were going to be heading similar direction and distance. We decided very quickly that I would join him on his planned loop since I didn't have a specific plan in mind, just had vaguely mapped something out. We headed out Coastal, down to Muir Beach, and ultimately ended up at our turn around point at Pantoll. It was awesome!! So nice to meet such an interesting and friendly person. We had such a great time getting to know each other and passing the hours together. The run got much harder when we finally parted ways back a Miwok, some 5 plus hours after meeting. I will say I am blown away by the Chia Seeds. I was blown away to only have to eat 1 larabar and drink 1 Vega shake in the entire 7 hours. I also only consumed 2 water bottles of coconut water. The Chia regulated my hydration and blood sugar perfectly. Ancient running food indeed! I would write more about this experience, but time is limited. Needlesstosay, I am continuously impressed by ultrarunners and their amazing spirits & commitment to each other, the sport and our community. It is refreshing, especially since I have been feeling like I have a serious lack of close relationships since I moved to San Francisco. It just seems like a place where there isn't much community. Everyone is too busy hustling, bustling and trying to survive. It is very easy to feel like you could just fall off the face of the earth and no one would notice.


pausing for a photo op on Coastal, thanks Paul!

Sunday, I took Sarah and Angel for a "long run" down through Sausalito and around through Mill Valley, 12.2 miles. It was a nice recovery run from the previous day. Pretty crazy that my legs could even function. My shoulders were actually more sore than my legs from carrying the backpack that whole way! I didn't even really need it! But I guess its helpful to carry around a heavy pack while running up those hills!

Monday, Sarah and I went for a nice jaunt through the Headlands and nearly got killed by a bunch of wankers who were racing through the Rodeo Valley Tunnel and we drifting from the high winds. We had to throw ourselves up against the wall to not get hit. They were going well over 60 mph and there were about 10 of them in a single lane tunnel. It was very scary.

I wanted to write a better post about this weekend but I just am not really feeling it write now.....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Run Easy, the second

Whoa, whoa, whoa...easy tiger. That is what I was thinking when I read the comment to my other blog, the one about Run Easy. The only reason I even brought it up was because a friend of mine and I had a discussion about it and I had been reading some responses out there in blogland about it. And the real reason was to talk about a fast workout I enjoyed...

The ads I was referring to:

Why Hit the Wall? It Hurts. Run Easy.

Why Run Till You Can't Walk? Run Easy.

this is an excerpt from dshen.com that I think sums it up:
Running easy as the main message is just plain wrong. It should say something like Run Motivated and Smart. Running easy should be a function of your mental and physical condition, your fitness level, and whether your are energetic or recovering. Sometimes you should run easy, but sometimes you shouldn't. But running should be about being motivated to do something, like lose weight or entering/finishing a race. And doing it smart means you should run with the appropriate exertion level when it's the right time to do so, thereby reducing your chance for injury but getting fitness gains. You do the same thing over and over again (like running easy every time) and I guarantee you'll get bored or see no fitness gains after a while and stop doing it...


my opinion:
I was not saying that you have to run fast as in "as fast as this that or the other pace". I was referring to the "easy" part of it. "easy" and "slow" are two different things. I am all about strategic training, in fact to say "that you have to do all your miles fast to get/stay fast can contribute to injury and overtraining" just means that you missed my point (which in fact, I didn't even try to make a point about it, just merely commenting). I don't think you have to go out everytime and run fast. But there should be a point to every workout. There should be a specific focus and simply "running easy" will not in fact make you better. I don't go out and sprint every workout because that would be dumb and in fact lead to overtraining and injury, which I have been smart enough to avoid thus far. I think an endurance athlete who looks at these ads can understand a different intent (i.e. strategic heart-rate training, etc) but I really don't think those ads are targeted at endurance athletes (especially since 95% of endurance athletes I know have disliked the ads, so that means if it were targeted to them they failed in their intent!). And just to note, obviously I can run "at the speed of chat" and still not have it be considered "easy" (read Quicksilver recap if you don't believe me, I talked my head off).

I think the misconception in society about running is that you have to be fast to do it. I don't agree with that. The point I was trying to make was that if you are going to encourage runners to run, take the stance of "you can do it", not "do it easy", not "do it haphazardly or half-assed" .

Slow is fine. Fast is fine too. The serve the purpose of training and building endurance.

I am not some elitist who thinks everyone should do things the way I do it or they are wrong. In fact, I encourage the exact opposite. I encourage people no matter ability level to get out there and do it. I train people and take runners who are of a much different ability level out regularly on training runs. The point of the post not to open a debate about it, I merely was reflecting a thought that passed through my head on my run in my training blog which is not actually a place where I think that I have to write anything but exactly that....random thoughts, views, opinions, training, et al. I save the formal stuff for my other blog...

Night Running and Cello music

Last night I went on a really fun late night run. I hadn't been able to get out during the day so after class, I hit the road for a short 6 mile loop. It was quite invigorating and an interesting experience as compared to early morning running. The streets are busier in places but I completely owned the streets for the most part (which is also true in the morning) but it felt different because the streets continued to get more empty as opposed to full (as they do in the morning). Plus, there was something that felt more rebel about running around at 10pm. I know that there are many people and situations that say that running as a female at night is not a good idea, but I stuck to main streets and didn't do anything dumb. Plus, that just made me run faster. I wore my headphones and as I ran through the fog, my favorite piece of mournful cello music came on and there was some spooky and surreal about it (Paul Scott's Essays). I felt like I was floating along in a dream. It was nice to discover (for the second time this week) how much running on the evening's cusp or utter darkness of night is so much fun....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ever have those days...

where you just feel like slamming your head in the refrigerator? Yes, bad days. Bad days suck. And today was not one of my best days, too much to do, too little time to do in it. Money worries, life coordination, planning, school demands etc....ya know. Sometimes they just compound all at one time and leave you feeling like WTF, mate. I can't even say that I am upset or stressed or even anxious, instead I have an eerie calm feeling, accompanied by a sinking feeling in my stomach. I am actually faced with some free time tonight in which I could accomplish homework, cleaning, or any other myriad of things that my hectic life has precluded but I am just drained of the will to do so. I can't do my homework cuz I can't afford to buy what I need to do it (culinary school works that way). I ran and it helped but only a bit. Hurumph. That is really all there is to say about that!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Run slow, wanker & waste your time on myspace

Run easy and you will not improve. Those ads are dumb. Really really dumb. Encourage people to push their limits, try to improve be better, not accept their laziness and averageness. I just think whomever came up with that one cannot actually be a runner.

I like to run fast. I like to run long. I like to run. And therefore I do. And I get better. Like just now, I ran a blazing fast workout that reminds me in fact how fast I can be. I sometimes forget how fast I am because I spend most of my time running uphill, on trails or for a really long way. It was a nice change to hit the flat and just push the hell out of the pace. I decided to do one long interval of 9.5 miles, with 7 miles at sub marathon pace.

Miles: 9.51
Interval average pace: 6:46 (with stop lights/etc) including warmup
Miles 3-5: 6:10 pace
Best Pace: 5:26
Recovery miles/pace: 2.5 miles (7:10-7:40 pace)
Time: 1:08
Feeling: Awesome
Post workout smoothie: incredibly tasty

While I was running, I was thinking about the above "run easy" ads and just couldn't come up with any reason that that makes any sense. I am not going to rant about that....

I will however follow up with my thoughts about myspace, which I just quit. Recently, I tried to figure out a good reason that myspace exists and should occupy any of my time. I am busy enough without having to maintain a profile, answer comments/messages of usually frivolous nature, put up pictures, check daily of what some is on about. I couldn't think of any good reason. I could think of only bad things about it. Really it is frivolous self-aggrandizement. It is changing culture negatively. It has become ubiquitous and really serves no purpose. Even spending time talking about how ridiculous and frivolous it is, is in fact as much of a waste of time as actually being on the sight. I have had a few people try to defend it, but really, the argument that you want to communicate through there cannot in fact be the primary motivation can it? After all, myspace is a new phenomena. What about email, what about phone, what about having face to face contact. Myspace makes you feel like you are involved in a person's life in a way that you actually aren't. It is pseudo-relating and pseudo-relationships leave me wanting. After examining myself, my motivations, what I want from the people in my life. I pulled the plug and couldn't be happier. How does that relate to running? In every way possible, for now instead of wasting my time peering in on the lives of others (and having god knows who do the same to me), I am free to be off and running. Such a time and sanity saver.

I love workouts like these!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Getting ready to push

I had some desire this week to take advantage of my new recovered health, while at the same time nurture it, squirrel it away for the upcoming training block. Because I felt so great after Saturday and especially after a few dr. prescribed days off, I started to change my perspective for the week. Maybe I could have this training week be a normal week instead of a recovery week. In my head I started planning out routes for a Saturday 30 miler. But the end of the week took a bit more out of me and reminded me that it had been a big 4-6 weeks of racing and that I was in fact still recovering from the iron deficiency. So I took a look at my schedule for the week and then flipped over to the next few weeks plans and lo and behold, there is method to my madness. This week is a recovery week for a reason! I am starting a training block of 90 plus miles per week starting tomorrow. Ohhh yeah, duh. It is better to take the rest now and be able to train well through June up to TRT, Skyline, Headlands and Worlds than slap on a few extra miles this week. I just get excited to get out there! Instead I am basking in the recovery, enjoying putting the spring back in my step even more. It is an awesome choice and I am glad that I am getting to the point where I understand my body, my training and scheduling enough that I can make these choices seeing the long term and short time benefits.

I am definitely here for the long haul!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Workouts May 15 & 16th


Tuesday, May 15th

After my race this weekend, I was feeling good. Real good. But I also wanted to recover well. As much as I can feel good after a 50k and feel like I barely went out for a short jaunt, it still is a hell of a long way. So I took Sunday off and Monday as well. I was going to go to Yoga on Sunday night but missed because of dinner plans (in hindsight, I should have just gone to Yoga instead) and Monday night I attempted to go but got caught up having to write an email and missed again. So I opted for a massage instead. Good choice! I woke up on Tuesday feeling better than I have since before Mad City! It was nice to feel like my iron deficiency is steadily being overcome and that my legs are feeling so great. I decided to work first, then run, then go to class. I headed out from the house in Sausalito and ran up the hill towards GG bridge. I was sporting my new Craft running gear from Lombardi's and have to say I really like the stuff. I hopped on to the trail just up from the freeway and headed up the hill towards the Alta Trail. That is where I had this thought about a secondary blog. I know that some people like the little details of training, like to be let in on those profound experiences. Some people don't and since some people get my blog beamed into their email box I thought it best to not bombard people. Plus, a secondary blog can be more personal, well, as personal as a blog can be...

I powered up Alta and then decided to take Rodeo Valley Trail down and then back up Bobcat to Alta. I knew that it would be quite a training loop considering Bobcat is a steady 2 mile climb and I had just done alot of climbing at Quicksilver. But what the hell, I headed down and floated along listening to Paul Scott's Essays which is a cello piece I have been looking for for a really long time, ever since it got stolen out of my car (and of course, after a while I forgot the album name). But I found it, it is haunting and beautiful and perfect music for a medium tempo run. I hit Bobcat and was delighted to find that my legs felt so awesome!!! I practically sprinted up the hill! It was awesome. I looped back down the hill and descended to the office. I have a Garmin 305, so one of the things I hope to be able to do is provide accurate stats and maybe even some impressive looking graphics of my runs.... the elevation graphs are the most interesting!

Mileage: 10.29
Elevation: something steep I will have to look it up on my Garmin
Pace: 9:02
Time: 1:33

Wednesday, May 16

After a long, long day yesterday (work, run, school), I was looking forward to a shorter run today. I want to feel good for as long as possible which means balancing recovery runs with hard runs/long runs. I decided to opt for a "hard" recovery run.... go figure. I headed up to Ross and headed up the Watershed. I was considering doing my normal loop (Phoenix Lake- Five Corners-Taylor- Shadyside- Watertower) but decided instead to do a new workout which I had gotten from Chris Lundy (I saw here running pretty much dead out through downtown Sausalito yesterday and had to email her about it). She called it a mini-Kenyan workout, which basically means you start slow and speed up until you are at top speed. I wasn't feeling up to the nearly 13 miles of my normal loop and so opted instead to do a loop around Phoenix Lake, which is a nice technical single track with lots of hill! I got a nice pace going (in the end under 7 minutes) and ravaged the hills, it was quite fun!!! Now, off to the gym for weights and then yoga!!!

Mileage: 5.17
Pace: 7:55
Time: 41 minutes

Training blog

Why in the world am I starting another blog? I don't know. Its not like I have the time to even maintain one! Well, I am ambitious if nothing else. Ultimately, I would like to be able to record my training ponderings, experiences, mishaps and lessons here, as opposed to my more formal "race reports blog". I do have the full intention of making that blog also (soon I hope) include opinion pieces and nutritional pieces. We shall see.

I was running along yesterday though going, I want to blog about this, I want to blog about that. Why blog instead of journal because at least when I blog I can pretend that I have an audience and therefore my best writing is brought out and I feel more motivated to put down whole thoughts, put down the whole experience. So there it is!!!

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