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Posts tagged with: training

Cheseboro Canyon Run

This morning, I met up with some old UltraTEAM alumni (Arkady, Carlos, Raul, and Tom) to run an unspecified distance at 10am. By the time we got there it was already in the 80 degree range. Oh boy, flashbacks of Leona heat!

I was prepared for 3 hours of running in my Nathan backpack/bladder, but because of the heat, I decided to do around 2 hours just to be safe. I missed this training run with the UltraTEAM last time because it was the same weekend as my first 50k, Ray Miller in Malibu. I was looking forward to it because I heard of the beautiful views. Unfortunately the best of the views were what is pictured above. Dry, dead grass. It was super hot and exposed, with birds chirping that sounded like the Smoke Monster from LOST. Not very motivating. You see, it’s supposed to look like this:

I had that picture in my head going into this run, then it wasn’t that. I guess you have your good days, and your bad ones, and this morning was the latter. You know it was a walkathon for me! The trail had some considerable rolling hills, so I practiced my downhill form and cadence. Tried to run faster on the flats, but for some reason it just wasn’t working for me. Ugh!

I turned around at the 1 hour mark, then at an hour and a half, I ran out of nutrition from my backpack! That’s supposed to last 3 hours! Well, I had a bottle of water in my front pocket (for splashing on my head), so I made do with that and Gu to hold me over til the end. So yeah, the heat definitely did me in this morning, only completing 7 miles in 1:45. Tough day, but another learning experience under my belt.

Big Weekend of Races & Training

It’s a huge weekend for many of my friends this weekend. It was too much to post in a simple Facebook status update, so I’ll explain it all here:

America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride РTahoe, CA
The TNT Spring Cycle Team of Greater LA is heading to Tahoe this weekend for America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a century ride. My friend, Rommel Calderon, will be racing and is a mentor there and it seems like he’s found his endurance sports love! He was sidelined to run these past few years because of a knee issue, but I’m proud that it didn’t stop him there! He’s inspired many, and he plans to return to the cycle team as an assistant coach next season!

Comrades 54 Mile Ultramarathon – South Africa
My friend Kim Tull, who I met on the IronTEAM and continued to be co-assistant coach with her on the UltraTEAM is racing the world-reknowned ultramarathon, Comrades Marathon. It’s a 54 mile race with 18,000 or so runners from all over the world. Her bib # is 50778 and the race will start at 5:30AM South Africa time on Sunday. That’s 9:30PM our time on Saturday night. The cutoff is 12 hours or 8:30AM our time on Sunday with expected triple digit temperatures. Sounds crazy, but I’m so very excited for her! This reminds me, it was my friend Elsa, who tried to convince me to do this race and planted the very first seed of ever doing an “ultra.”

Ironman Hawaii 70.3 Triathlon – Kona, HI
Can’t believe a year already passed since Hawaii 70.3. As tough as the course was, I had A LOT of fun as a racecation. I went with the IronTEAM, as it was an official race for some. Rocky (but amazingly clear) swim, humid and crazy windy bike & run, but very very beautiful! This time some of my non-IronTEAM friends are racing. Christine Rivera, who I’ve known since high school, called me crazy for doing these 70.3 or 140.6 races, and look at her now, addicted, and doing this race too! Brothers Jon and Christian Yance are triathlon beasts and I recently met them through mutual friends. Jon raced this last year, and he’s back for more. So jealous I can’t be there!

Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon
My friend Emily Osterstock, who I met at a tech-meetup in Santa Monica years ago when I was first running in TNT, is about to run her first marathon with her Santa Cruz local TNT chapter. I remember when she first messaged me asking about the organization with many questions about fundraising, the training, etc and look at her now! She initially was going to do the half marathon, but I kept quiet, not really pushing her and decide on her own. I secretly knew she was going to switch, and she did! Also very proud of her, as she seems to be having the time of her life training! Go Emily! Also, this race was my very first marathon back in 2007. It’s a huge TNT-supported event with purple jerseys everywhere. It’s going to be one super fun event for her and the rest of TNT. Go TEAM!

Vineman Training Weekend
This weekend is also the annual VMTW (Vineman Training Weekend) for TNT’s IronTEAM and Triathlon teams. The IronTEAM is in the middle of training for Vineman Full and Ironman Coeur d’Alene, so they will be pulling some huge numbers (Sat: 2mi swim, 100mi bike, 3mi run; Sun: 20 mi run). Triathlon team will also rock some relatively huge numbers for their team as well training for Vineman 70.3. It will be weird not being there since I was there these past two years, but I know it’s always a good time plus it helps teammates become confident and comfortable coming into their race.

TNT Marathon Team – Fall Season Start
Sunday is the first practice of the Westside Marathon Team (I believe all other greater LA teams as well). This one in particular is special to me because it was my very first TNT team I trained with, plus the head coach Chris Wilno, returns after a “break”. I dunno if you call a “break”, doing an ultramarathon and an Ironman, but I guess I did the same thing! Oops! There’s a lot of TNT alumni returning as assistant coaches like my friend Lori and my old mentee Aubrey. Also other friends, Becky, Maura, Petty (Iron & Ultra alumni too), and many others are returning. I used the most of my willpower not to come back to this team, as it was very very tempting, I really do need to take a TNT break, as I have some big plans for next year. Very excited for them though, and I wish them all the best!

What else?
Sounds like I’m missing out on a super fun weekend! I’m just here hanging out in my house, personal day off, with not much to do! I’m loving it though! I’m already caught up with the new season of Arrested Development and I’m doing some chores here and there. Looking forward to tomorrow though! The Coyotes have a weekend off, but I’m back with the UltraTEAM doing a run in Cheseboro Canyon in the Thousand Oaks area in the morning then our official reunion BBQ and kicking off a teammates training to a 100 mile ultra! I’ll be enjoying a nice, cold beer and delicious food! Yum!!

Oh yeah, and did you know today’s the last day to vote for my friends Kelly & Amy into Ironman Kona? Voting ends 8:59PM PST!!
Kelly — http://bit.ly/konakelly
Amy — http://bit.ly/konaamy

The 100 Workout

For the past month or so, we’ve been doing the 100 workout weekly in Manhattan Beach. It consists of the workout below:

Jumping jacks are pretty easy until 75 or so then it starts to burn. Crunches are doable but still gives a good core workout. Squats are great for working out the run muscles. Ooh but leg lifts are my huge weakness! Sometimes I would have to rest a few seconds. I could see these leg lifts will improve my core stability especially in my swims. Then repeat. Usually we would run for 45 or so minutes instead of the 10 scheduled in the 100, but yesterday we rushed a quick 10 minute run due to time constraints. Overall, it’s a great full body workout, with a focus on the core and leg muscles. I do hope to be consistent with this, and maybe add in 2 or 3 sessions thoughout the week!

The Unexpected 13.1 PR

Gah… Second weekend in a row, faced with rain and cold. Fortunately, It wasn’t the downpour as last week, just some drizzle, but it was just as cold. This morning was the team’s longest run, going into Build 1 of our training cycle. It was also my longest since the Austin Marathon just a little over a month ago.

We met at the usual Ocean/San Vicente spot in Santa Monica. Pretty big turnout for a rainy run, but so awesome to see such participation. One of my teammates, Jessica, even had a plastic bag covering her body with the words, “Rain? IronTeam Don’t Give a Sh*t!”, in the nature of the bad ass Honeybadger videos. We started off with a warmup up San Vicente, then south on Ocean, and did a few out and backs up Amalfi and Troll bridge. If you don’t know what that means, it means a very flat first half, followed by a very hilly second half. I seem to perform better whenever there’s hills though because I like to take advantage of the downhill and let gravity take me down. This was the route.

I even thought to take this run very easy because we had a pretty tough bike ride yesterday, but I guess running with people faster than me helped push me. Sad to say that those fast ones were on their LA Marathon “recovery” pace, but nevertheless I was happy to take that opportunity. I mean, a teammate, Adam, completed the LA Marathon in under 3 hours, and here I was running the second half of 13.1 with him. We even had good conversation, catching up on things, then when we realized I could PR this distance (previous PR was 2:01 at the Huntington Beach Half), we pushed it even further! 1:59 – DONE.

8 Hours of Katy Perry

I’ve been asked several times, “You’re practicing for so long, what do you think about?” Usually I’m pretty good with keeping my thoughts in check during training. What’s there to do when you’re out there all by yourself on these 8 hour practices? I try not to think about work, chores, bills, or anything like that, but instead I try to think positive thoughts, creative thoughts, or have some sort of inner dialogue.

On the swim, especially in open water, it’s important to not let my thoughts wander. Sharks? Stingrays? Piranhas? Sharktopus? Oh hell no! Ocean, lake, river, it doesn’t matter what creatures belong where. My mind gets crazy like that. So instead, I keep my thoughts back to my swimming form & technique. On the bike, I try to enjoy the scenery as much as I can (but not too much because I still have to keep my eyes on the road for crazy drivers here in L.A!). On the run, I’ll try to think of a song, enjoy the scenery, think about the art & design of nature, fun memories with my awesome teammates, or even nostalgic memories of past trips I’ve taken. I then do form & technique checks time to time to makes sure I’m not straining anything, or if my cadence is most efficient as possible.

So what Katy Perry song was in my head the WHOLE time during that 5/3 brick last weekend? The winner was, Katy Perry’s “T.G.I.F.”. I mean, really?!? I think it was the last song coming out of my car on Amp Radio that morning. Well, here’s the song for your enjoyment so that this will be stuck in your head too! (actually kinda catchy, especially that Kenny G saxophone solo)

Vineman Training Weekend Pt. 2

Just when we thought the weekend was over at 2.4 + 112 miles, bright and early we met back at the high school to do our long run! We ran on the exact path as Vineman, so there will be no surprises. Teammates doing Vineman Full ran two full loops, then a portion of the third loop, which totalled 19.65 miles. People doing other events had modified routes depending on their training schedule. The course itself was relatively flat. Some rollers, but one large hill towards the middle of the loop, which I think I’ll be walking up anyway. Most of it was nicely lined with trees too. It was hot, but luckily, there was a breeze to cool us down. My pace wasn’t as fast as I would be on fresh legs, but hey, we did 112 miles of biking the day before. I was actually surprised I still had some run in me!

Vineman Training Weekend Pt. 1

Most people will venture out to Santa Rosa for a little wine tasting, but no, not the IronTEAM, we drive up there to get a preview of what’s to come in a few weeks. We got a taste of the Vineman 70.3 and the Full Distance triathlons! Starting on Friday, I met up with some teammates in the valley and we trekked the long, scenic route up north because some of us have never been there. Pictured above was our pit stop at Big Sur. Such beautiful ocean views! I can imagine why the Big Sur International Marathon is one of the top races to do in North America. Although it was nice and scenic, the drive took about 10 hours! We were unfortunately stuck behind some slow trucks on the cliffs, then took the necessary gas/food exits, so that was pretty much day 1 until we got to the Hilton for a little debriefing of what’s to come from our coaches.

Saturday Swim
Day 2 was the main reason why we went up to Santa Rosa – to test out the course! In the morning, we did a bunch of car/bike shuffling at the high school and on to Johnson Beach, where we will be doing our swim. The coaches set up bike transition racks for our convenience, then it was off for a lovely swim in the Russian River! The “slower” swimmers got a head start (which I’m a part of). The water was amazing! I was so used to the cold, salty, & rough ocean, that this was a sweet departure. Temperature was perfect, and the best thing? It was shallow! Shallow enough to stand. It was tough at some parts because I couldn’t even extend my arm all the way (I shouldn’t anyway). It was nice to be shallow enough to see the river floor so I could get a sense of how fase (or slow) I’m going. My open water skills have improved, and my nerves are much more relaxed. We were supposed to swim the full 2.4 miles by looping from the start to the “Big Green Wall”, which I missed! I was with another teammate and we kept on swimming past it – wayyyy past it! I was wondering why no one passed me up yet? I turned around sooner on the second loop to offset my mistake, but eventually finished! Of course, I was one of the last ones out because almost all the bikes on the rack were gone!

Saturday Bike
After the swim, we had an opportunity to test out the full 112 miles on the bike! The course was two loops through the beautiful vineyards of Santa Rosa. We passed by so many wineries that it was so difficult to resist temptation to stop and get a drink! The course was exactly what people described – hot, relatively flat but rolling hills, bumpy, scenic. It was true test of endurance, but more importantly a test with my nutrition and hydration. I tried something new though – Honey Stinger Waffles. It’s very tasty, but doesn’t have much calories, which I’ll be needing. It’s best to try and fail on this new product now than on raceday! There’s a big hill towards the end, but it’s nothing compared to some of the hills we’ve conquered during training. The bumpy roads masked within the shadows of the trees was a challenge. I lost 2 water bottles because of it! Overall, I was feeling great after I eventually finished the 112 in 7:20 hours. It wasn’t painful, it wasn’t overly difficult. It’s manageable if I set up my nutrition and bike strategy well. I now know how 112 feels, so that completed my puzzle of the IronTEAM unknowns.

THEN, just when you thought it was over, we had to do a 6 mile transition RUN. Yes, a run. My legs were so heavy! I was still able to run here and there, but slower pace nonetheless. It was a preview of what’s to come, but I felt overall good about it. It’s still a little crazy to think I’ll be running 26.2 after the 112, but it’s great to know that really is within arm’s reach!

Our First Monster Brick 57/13

From here on out our team will make making new milestones in training, week by week. This morning’s brick was a monster one. It was approximately 57 miles on the bike, then a 13.5 mile run. It somewhat will simulate Wildflower Long Course coming up, but the hills won’t be as intense (I think).

I felt pretty good for most of the ride along PCH, but I had one problem. I was out of Carbo-Pro, something I usually mix into my drinks. So instead, I offset my carbs by doubling up on the Accelerade, then eating more of the Clif bars. Boy what a mistake that was, the drink was too concentrated, so it tasted too sweet! By this point in training PCH is like home court to us, we pretty much know all the nooks and crannies, but the coaches varied it up with previews of Temescal Canyon, Ensinal Canyon, and Latigo Canyon streets as our major hills. 57 miles. Done. Suprised I felt quite all right!

Oh it was not over. The run was a double “Amalfi Loop” which each loop consisted of a 3.5 mile incline through the Palisades residential area of Santa Monica then a nice downhill through San Vicente. I felt really good the first loop, ran the whole way, then second loop was considerably slower. I was actually good until mile 12, then that’s where my nutrition failed me. I was out of Gu, and out of Accelerade. The weather was hot, and I could feel myself hitting “The Wall”, or some may say “Bonking”. It definitely felt like I was on that last leg of the marathon, out of energy, and the water fountains just wasn’t enough – I had to walk. I was feeling a little dizzy, then my teammate who passed by was a life saver and gave me some shot blocks to help with my energy.

That was the longest mile ever! I eventually made it, but man! I learned the hard way that nutrition is something I should not overlook. I knew right there and then though that I am capable of doing such a distance, but the big unknowns will be the energy spent on the swim, and the intensity levels on the bike and run. I’m a little nervous, but I can’t wait!!!

Old Stomping Grounds

Christmas weekend, family parties galore, food, food, and more food. Saturday’s practice was an optional bike ride, but since I was out of town (and didn’t have my bike with me), I skipped that session since it was a holiday. Sunday was scheduled a 30 minute run, so I went on GMaps Pedometer and found a 4.25 mile loop around my old hometown of Walnut, CA. It came out to be a 45 minute run, but I kept it at an easy pace, especially since it’s been a while on this route. It started at a nice mile downhill to help warm up my muscles, but as soon as I turned on the next major street, it was pretty much a 2 mile uphill climb. The final mile consisted of rolling hills, but net downwards.

Growing up, I never noticed the beautiful scenery Walnut had. I used to always bike this route with my BMX style bike with friends, going through unexplored (to us) terrain, trying to figure out shortcuts, or places with cool ramps. Nowadays I’m used to running on city sidewalks or the beaches in Santa Monica, but today’s run had some birds chirping, air seemed cleaner, not so many cars. It really felt like I was somewhere remote for the holidays. The weather was crisp and cold, mainly because it was the day after the rain.