Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back...Looking Forward...

I finished my last run of 2009 this morning. One of the reasons I like to run in the early morning are the beautiful sunrises and today was no exception. It also give me time to reflect on life and today I thought back to 2009 and looked forward into 2010. I took my Flip video camera with me this morning and shot some video.

2009 has not been a great year, by any stretch of the imagination, but there were a few good things that happened. For one, my daughter got married, and I am so proud of the woman she has become. I set new PR's in the Half Marathon, 5K and Sprint Triathlon distances. I swam 17.7 miles, biked 253.4 miles and ran 744.6 miles, all of which were new highs for me. I made a lot of new friends this year...mostly due to running/triathlon and a little thing called Twitter. I was in touch and got together with old friends, some of which I hadn't seen in 27 years and some friendships became incredibly strong over the last year.

Looking ahead to week we leave for Orlando to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, followed by a week of cruising through the Western Caribbean. I will spend every waking hour mastering the "Flowrider" as I did 2 years ago on this ship.

In March, I will run my first marathon - The LA Marathon along with some fellow twitter friends, it should be fun and challenging. I will run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September so I can get my "Coast to Coast" medal and than I think I will retire from Disney races. In October, I will do the Inaugural RnR Los Angeles Half Marathon followed by the Santa Clarita Half Marathon a few weeks later. As far as triathlon is concerned...I will do the 2 Castaic sprints over the summer and would like to do both the Malibu and Los Angeles triathlon in September/October.

Every year on New Year's Eve, I sit down and write out a few goals for the coming year...Personal, financial, business, running/triathlon. I try to make them just out of reach and strive to attain them. I put that piece of paper in an envelope and seal it, not to be opened until 1 year later. Then I open last years envelope and see if I made my goals for the year, where I failed and how can achieve them in the future. I have been doing this for about 10 years now instead of resolutions...which I never seemed to keep. I will do that once I post this.

So on this last day of 2009, let me say Thank You to my old friends, my new friends, my old friends that are now new again and to those few that became really great are all a great support system...and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Week of Firsts

This past training week was a week of firsts for me. Thursday morning I hit the gym at 5:30am to swim 1200 yards as I normally do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Being that it was Christmas Eve, the pool was pretty quiet accept for another swimmer knocking of lap after lap. I started doing my laps and when I got to 1000 yards, I was feeling pretty good and decided to push it up to 1500 yards (the distance of an Olympic triathlon swim). When I hit 1400 yards I thought lets just take it up to 1650 yards (1 Mile). I made it through the 1650 yards and then another 50 yards of cool down and felt great. My first time swimming a mile, I did it in 41:17, granted it was a bit slow, but 6 months ago I struggled to get through 200 yards. I will now try to do that 2x a week for the next month or so and then I will increase it to 2000 yards.

I left the gym and headed home and ran 7 miles with five 1/2 mile pickups (10K pace) in the middle.

Christmas Eve starts what I call "The 24 Hours of Christmas" at our house. We start with an open house on Christmas Eve followed by family on Christmas morning and more family in the afternoon. When the last person leaves it is about 24 hours after we began on Christmas Eve. This year we had to extend the day by 3 more hours for my daughter's MIL birthday party. Now I was tired and was looking at running 16 miles in the morning, but I went and had dessert and then came home and went to bed.

My marathon training plan called for 10 miles long this week, but since I am heading to Orlando in 2 weeks to run the Disney World Half Marathon, I thought I had better switch weeks and run next weeks 16 miles, this week. I had my PB&J and banana before I left and loaded my water belt with Gatorade G2 and 1 bottle of Hammer Perpetuem(wouldnt use this product again) and headed out the door. It was a beautiful sunrise (see left) and the weather was perfect, cloudy and about 50 degrees when I left. Started knocking down the miles, at mile 9 I stopped at LA Fitness for a pit stop, got some funny looks wearing a fully loaded water belt to the gym, little did they know, I wasn't staying, I was heading back out for another 7 miles. By mile 14 I was a bit tired, but just kept pushing through and made it to mile 16 and felt pretty good. I immediately waded into my pool waist deep for about 5 minutes and I think that definitely helped with recovery. So when it was all said and done...16.1 miles in 2:45:46 (10:19/mile)...a new first!

Next up...The Disney world Half Marathon in Orlando...then...vacation!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some Great Peeps and Tweeps

I have been fortunate to meet some great people through running/triathlon. Most start out as strangers, and before long, we become friends. I like to think of it as one big dysfunctional family. Here are some of the friends I have met along the way, I urge you to check them out and follow them on Twitter if you are not already doing so.

A Runner's Circle - This is my choice for running shoes and accessories. They offer a great selection at affordable prices. Very knowledgeable staff to assist you. I also run with this group for the Thursday Fun Runs, so if you are in the Los Feliz area and want to join us we leave from the store at 6:00pm.

Iron News Man - Chris Schauble, NBC Anchor just completed his first Ironman in Arizona and is now training for Ironman South Africa. Follow along while he trains and offers his insights on running and triathlon.

The Running Fat Guy - Glenn describes himself "Just an old guy who has been running for a couple years. Trying to get fast, drop weight, and keep it fun!" Glenn was one of the first blogs I started reading about running and I still enjoy reading about his training and such. I got to meet Glenn at a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot Tweet Up that we had back in November and we will be running the LA Marathon in March.

Gym Notes - Linda blogs about her running and the trials and tribulations of being a Dodger fan living in Giants territory. I had the fortune of sitting down with Linda for coffee this week and we had a great time talking about running and life in general. She is very inspirational.

Here are a few of my favorite Running/Triathlon Blogs...

LA Runner
Marathoning With Willis
Sam I am - From Fat to Fast
A Girl Named Sam

Follow these people on Twitter:

I know there are many others that I have left out...I will keep posting more of them every so often.

From my family to yours...have a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

14 Miles - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

On the schedule for today was a 14 mile long run. I must admit, I was a bit scared of the distance as I have only run 13.1 miles in the past. I went to bed early, got up and had a PB&J sandwich and a banana and headed out the door. When I stepped outside I realized that it was windier than I thought but it was much better than last week's rain. About 2 miles in, I started to get "that feeling" and needed to find a bathroom, unfortunately, where I was running, there was nothing. I managed to walk/shuffle home. After a brief pitstop, I headed back out the door.

I decided to change up the planned route and headed East. The wind was blowing pretty fierce along Rinaldi and it was a cross wind. I tried to "crab"(flying term) into the wind, but that didnt help. A few miles later I turned south and had the wind at my back. Around mile 11, I noticed some discomfort in my right calf/achilles, which started after last weeks 10K, so I walked for a bit and it seemed to subside. I was trying a new drink mix on this run, it was the Gu electrolyte drink. It was OK but I think I will stick with Cytomax for my long runs/rides.

I turned north and headed uphill and into the wind (15-20mph), it was definitely a struggle, I felt that I was standing still. I made it up the hill and headed home.

Final stats: 14.25 miles 2:32:47 10:43/mile. Kind of misleading as Miles 1-3 took 39:00

The Good: 14.25 miles, for the most part, felt pretty good.
The Bad: Calf/achilles issue.
The Ugly: The "poopy dance" home

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Say No To Drugs 10K Race Report

December 13, 2009

I ran this race last year and it was held in Griffith Park here in Los Angeles, but this year they moved the race to the backlot of Universal Studios.

I arrived at Universal Studios about 6:15am to register for the race. This year they were very organized and I breezed through registration in about 5 minutes. I grabbed my bib, t shirt and goodie bag and headed back to the car.

I got all my gear together and headed out to the expo which was held outdoors. It was a bit chilly but there was no rain in sight, which after running 7 miles in a full on rain storm on Saturday, it was a welcome site. I hung out with the guys at A Runner's Circle in their booth until I decided to run around the expo in circles to warm up, just like the elites were doing. About 7:15am, Francesca, another ARC runner, and I headed to the starting line. The start was about 100 yards downhill from the expo, so we pushed on and made our way to the front 1/3 of the runners. This was a 10K & 5 K run along with a 5K walk and everyone started at the same time. I wish they would have made an announcement to have the walkers and folks with strollers, start in the back, but they didnt. The plan was simple, start out about 8:30/mile, break away from the crowd and settle in to a 9:00/mile pace for the remainder of the race.

The gun went off and the shuffle began, the first 3/4 mile was downhill and I got going pretty fast to try and get away from the crowd and get some breathing room. We ran past Jaws and Cabot Cove (Murder She Wrote) and then headed down Western Street. The next mile and half was run along the LA River and through a parking lot. Next came "Sparticus Square" and a run through European cobblestone streets. Once we left "Europe" we made a turn and headed back up hill and passed the entrance to Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives). Near the top of the hill was a Whoville Christmas set and then the famous "Bates Motel". Right around the corner was the Psycho House and "War of the Worlds" Set. After running past a couple of other sets I remember from TV and movies, the 10K runners split off to do it all over again.

Lap 2 I was able to settle into a more relaxed pace. I decided on lap 2 I would use my phone and snap a few pictures. (See Below) I ended up with a time of 53:24 with an average pace of 8:57/mile. It was not my fastest 10K but it was still respectable considering the hill and stopping to take a few pictures. This was a fun race and I look forward to running it again next year.

Official Race Photos

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Forgive me Father for I have been a slacker...

It's been 1 year since my last post on this blog. Honestly, I didn't feel I had much to say and it was a busy year. I will try harder to post more during the coming year.

What's coming up for me...

January - Walt Disney World Half Marathon followed by a 7 day cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas with the fine folks of Crowncast.

March - I will run my first Marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon

I would like to do a total of 5-6 triathlons (Sprint and Olympic distance) this coming year.

September - Disneyland Half Marathon (we will get our "Coast to Coast medal for that)

October - Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Los Angeles

Lots of smaller races (5K, 10K) will be added. May even throw in a Muddy Buddy if I can convince someone to do it with me.