Saturday, March 24, 2007

el morro or is it el moro?

Too much drinking the night before at a toga party left me with just about four hours of fitful sleep before a planned 18-20 mile run on Saturday morning. Upon waking up, I pretty much made up my mind that my mileage for the day will have to be cut down. I did make it to the El Moro Canyon parking lot with about 20+ OCTRunners. It's just off PCH next to El Morro Elementary School. Awesome day for running. We were watching the sun rise over the ridge as LW commented that it was probably Keira's glow who was running at the front of the pack. I saw a few other familiar faces out on the trail – Doug M. and player Bob. It was a great morning, and I'm glad I didn't sleep in. I would've had to pull a redemption run penalty anyway if I "punked out" of the run. Skip would make sure of it. And I needed to collect from Abbie. She bribed the Manic Monday Meltdown runners with our favorite trail gels in an attempt to redeem herself after skipping out on that run.

After the run, I went in for a frigid cold water bath in the Pacific – well just my feet and legs anyway. This isn't the Polar Bear Club after all. Garmin said that I completed 14 miles so I was ok with that.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

back to the back bay

It seems I haven't been here in awhile though it's only been a few weeks. Since the parking lot to the Back Bay is only a half a mile away from me, I used to come here quite often. I went on another evening run, this time with Jon for a short and easy 5.5 mile jaunt. It felt good to be back here again, especially when the afternoon light gave in to the dimness of dusk, and the temperature was a cool high 50s.

Tomorrow evening, I'm meeting George and Rita here. They're not runners but are interested in getting into it, George because he wants to do a triathlon, and Rita because she wants to lose weight. I'm looking forward to helping them out and showing them that anybody who's in relatively good shape can do it. I chose to meet at the Back Bay because I just love this place in the evenings when the days are long again. It sure feels good to be back.

Monday, March 19, 2007

the return of the koz

This run should've been labeled the "Manic Monday Meltdown." 8 runners from the OCTR were supposed to run 7 miles tonight at Chino Hills SP when Eric K. is officially off the injury list and back on the trails. For one reason or another, people started dropping like flies and in the end, with the Skipster, there were only three of us left. But it was all good. It was still a great evening run. The temps were cool, the trails were empty and The Koz was like a kid who was finally allowed to run wild in his backyard again. Gotta do this more often.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

slow and steady...

...that's how i got through my 20-miler yesterday; well that and a lot of breaks.

The run was scheduled for 6:15am--way too early with Daylight Saving Time, but I made it. Well sort of. I talked to Bee on the cell, and I told her to get started without me. Nattie and Greg were also there waiting for me.

When I got to the park at 6:30, it was still way dark and cold. I started on the dirt trail heading to Peters Cyn, keeping a close eye on my Garmin. I figure I should try to keep it at 140bpm. That's the recommended rate for my age based on the Mafettone method for base training. I think my range is about 140-145.

About a mile and a quarter into the run, I got a call from Bee. "Where are you?," her inquiring mind wanted to know. Greg got on the phone, and right away he spots me down in the canyon. He tells me to look up on the hill. So I did. Silhouetted against the early dawn sky, were three figures running free on the ridge line. It was a great image--you know, the kind that they use on those motivational posters--very Tony Robbinesque.

I met up with them when they got down the hill, and shortly after we rendezvoused with Skip in the lot on the opposite side of the park from where I started. Bee wanted to use Skip's blue ball (yeah I know what you're thinking--it's an 8-lb. medicine ball with handles). No sooner had we started on our run and we were taking turns carrying it. We looped around the park and the lake then went up and down the ridge to see Greg, Nattie and Bee off. Skip and I jogged back to his car aka the GT SAG. We threw the ball in the back, refilled my bottle, got some Gu and just shot the breeze for a good 20 min. Skip drove off, and I was alone, back on my run.

When I got back to the car, I'd completed about 13 miles. I refueled with some ice cold water, a PB&J sandwich, some Crank Gel, and nice cold orange slices. I must've eaten and drank too much and too fast 'cause I was feeling pretty bloated after that. I probably spent about 10 minutes at my "aid station," but I was ready to do another 7 mile loop to complete my target mileage of 20.

My iPod shuffle, a run in with some folks from my hiking group, and monitoring my heart rate kept me company for the duration of the run. I remembered Pink Fuzzy's advice:

"Slow and steady, that's how it goes! All you have to do is show up, smile, eat a gu and keep moving..."

And so it was slow and mostly steady, while smiling and greeting every passing runner, walker and cyclist on the trail. I finished my run--all 20.04 miles with an average HR of 146bpm.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

wtrs 21k hike

Just want to give a shout out to all my posters...yeah, you know who you are, Nattie and Angie. That's two more posters than I have on my other blogs :)


Looking at his Garmin, Jon points out that his heart rate is at 150--way too high for his target of 140. According to him, he's base training, and so he's going prettly slow. I know he can run fast--he did about a 3:20 in the PS Marathon just a little over a month ago. But I was glad to go at this crawl. It was helping me stick to my plan of going slow at the WTRS 21K. After the mishaps at the 18K, I wasn't looking forward to getting too familiar with the rocks and roots of the Santa Ana Mountain trails any time soon.

Except for the first mile or so, Jon and I pretty much ran and walked this race together. We didn't plan it. It just kinda worked out that way. We talked for the most part--mostly about running, races and training. A little over three hours later we crossed the finish line. At the rate that we were going, it felt less like a race, and more like a hike or a walk. I wasn't tired at all, just a little hungry. So now I'm thinking...maybe at this rate, I can do the SJT 50K in a month and finish it just under the cutoff time of 8 hours. I may have to speed things up just a bit on some of the flats and the downhills to ensure I make it, but I'm feeling confident that it's doable.

I want to see how I do on another longer run this week. Xena's planned 24 miler on Tuesday was moved to Wednesday so I can't do that one. Wednesdays are bad for me because of class in the a.m. Instead I'll be joining the "Luuuuuv from the Back" team of Nattie, B, and Skip along with Greg on Tuesday at Peter's Cyn. I'll have to add another loop to bump the mileage on this run up close to 20.

Having met, read about, and talked to ultra veterans these past several weeks, I'm moving closer and closer to sending in my app. for Baz's 50K. I'm slow to decide on making this my first ultra, but probably not as slow as how I'm planning on running it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

reflections on yesterday's and upcoming runs

I woke up feeling tired today which was due to yesterday's run. My legs are sore, but not so bad. The miles yesterday seemed longer than those from the OCTR runs, and I truly believe that it was because I was running alone. Ultrachick's eloquent post about having running partners really makes a great point. When I run with the group, the miles seem to drop easily, and it's easier for me to get up early and get out on the trail at dawn. The support that each runner provides to other is invaluable.

Xena the Trail Goddess has a 20-24 miler scheduled next week, and I'm still debating if I'll join her for it. I feel/think/hope/believe that I can go the distance, but I'm really gonna be pretty slow especially on them darn hills. I don't want to hold her back too much, but she did offer to do a long training run with me when I first met her. So maybe I'll just take her up on it.

Tomorrow evening, The Skipster's got a sunset run with his groupies, and I'll probably join them for that unless I have a work deadline. It will be a nice 7 mile recovery run. This weekend is the WTRS 21K so that should be fun since there are a few OCTRunners doing that. According to Chaz, it's kind of a preview to the SJT50K. If I feel good on the 21K and I'm able to put in about 25 miles on a run next week, I'll probably sign up for SJT. That could be my first ultra whether I'm ready for it or not...yikes!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

without a map and enough water...

...and before I know it, my planned 12-15 miler turned into an 18 miler. Actually it was about 18.6 though Garmin recorded only a part of that since I keep forgetting to restart the damn timer after I take a little break. I wasn't quite sure how long it would take me to do 15 trail miles, but I only planned to be out there about 3 hours. I ended up being on the trails for four.

Anyway, this run is a test for me to see if I can go the longer distance. I'm considering doing the SJT50K in about a month, but before this, my longest race had been the PS Half-Marathon. My plan was to get up early this morning so that I'd be out on the trail by about 6-6:30. Well, when my alarm went off and I lay in bed, I was thinking that there was no one waiting for me so I decided to sleep in a bit. I ended up starting at 8am, just a tad bit late on a weekday.

My strategy on this run was to try to keep my heart rate down to around 155bpm; that's about 86% of my max HR taking my age into account. Do the math. I was doing pretty well with it, except for the uphill. I was testing to see if it would be more efficient for me to jog the uphills or walk them. For the steeps, I decided that the only option is to walk, while I can jog slowly up the gradual inclines. My HR was hovering around 165 to 170.

Oh, I did see a baby snake sunning itself on the trail. That was a nice surprise though it actually startled me. Wish I had my camera.

To make a long recap short, I felt ok except for the last 3 or so miles to get back from the El Moro Ranger Station to my car parked at Newport Coast at the end of Bommer Ridge Trail. I had to add extra mileage to this run since I made a couple of wrong turns earlier in the run and had to backtrack. I also made a decision to drop down to the ranger station to fill up my water bottles since I was running out. It was hot and my legs weren't used to the mileage. I was hungry and dehydrated, and even though I filled my two water bottles, I quickly guzzled the water down. I barely ran the rest of the way since it was mostly uphill. On the flats, I tried to jog, but even that became an ordeal for me. I eventually made it back to my car, and while I was jogging along the path lining the gazillion dollar homes and admiring them, I couldn't get over how perfectly manicured this part of the trail was.

I noticed that my feet don't hurt like they used to when I trained for my marathons when I did my long runs on pavement. when I got home, I took a cold shower over my legs to try to simulate a cold water bath. That didn't last long. A hot shower after this long strenuous run was in order. Final average HR was 157bpm.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

and so i've been christened...


To avoid confusion with another runner of the same first name in the OCTR, I've been given the nickname E-Rod. Having it sound like the famous multi-millionaire athlete of the NY Yankees, I feel a bit embarassed by the name since I'm nowhere close to his athletic abilities. However, I've been addressed as such on the message boards and during our runs. So maybe the name will stick. We'll see. :)