Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A Year in Review

...and what a year it was!
2010 was by far my busiest in terms of running and triathlons. I raced in every month except April and May and in some months, raced multiple times. Here is how 2010 broke down: 1-Full Marathon, 4-Half Marathons, 2-10K's, 1-5K, 1-18 mile race, 1-Marathon relay, 3- Sprint Triathlons.

My Year in Review Video...

Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Firecracker 10K
SRLA 18 Mile Friendship Run
LA Marathon
RnR San Diego Marathon Relay
Castaic Triathlon I
Castaic Triathlon II
Hansen Dam Triathlon
Disneyland Half Marathon
RnR Los Angeles Half Marathon
Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot 5K
Say No to Drugs 10K
Santa to the Sea Half Marathon

In terms of training, here is 2010 by the numbers:
Running: 756 miles
Biking: 198.5 miles (does not include time on the trainer)
Swimming: 30.1 miles

As for 2011, I have trimmed down my schedule quite a bit, partly to focus on 3 big races next year including my first Half Ironman (Vineman 70.3) and to set a new PR in the marathon.

So on this last day of 2010, let me say Thank You to my family, my friends, to the many people I have met in 2010 that are my new friends, are all a great support system...and I appreciate each and every one of you. Here's to a fantabulous 2011!

Happy New Year!


Gear Review: New Balance 1226

A few years ago when I decided it was time to get "real" running shoes, I headed over to Sports Chalet and was fitted with a pair of New Balance 768's. The first time I ran in them, I thought they were the greatest shoes ever, but to be fair, I was wearing "big box" running shoes. I loved the 768's and then one night at my local running store, A Runner's Circle, the New Balance people came out and let us "test drive" their new shoe...the 1224. I did 5 miles in them that night and bought a pair of them that night. They had lots of cushioning and support and felt so good running in them. About 9 months went by and I was very happy until the 1225's came out and I got a chance to run in them. New Balance really messed with the design and comfort of this shoe in favor of a lighter shoe. When I found out the 1224 were being discontinued, I had the running store and my son, who worked at Sport Chalet, find me every pair in a 10 2E that they could. I ended up buying 4 pair and putting them away.

Back in October, I was able to run in a pair of the new 1226's one Thursday night at A Runner's Circle fun run. New Balance really did a nice job with this shoe, not only is the cushioning back, but it feels (and is) lighter than the 1224's. I was able to get a pair of my own and have been testing them for about 6 weeks now and have about 65 miles on them.
New Balance 1224 (Left) and 1226 (Right)
 The 1226 is definitely a bit lighter than the 1224, approximately 2 ounces per shoe, which doesnt seem like a lot, but over 26.2 miles, it can add up. The toe box area is covered in a light weight mesh that allows air movement through, which in the winter means cold toes. The 1226 uses N-ergy® in both heel and forefoot and provides NB's most advanced shock absorption and cushioning. The Stabilicore® medial support system provides an extremely smooth transition from heel to toe-off.
I have done several runs over 10 miles in these shoes and they are just as comfortable at mile 13 as they are at mile 1. New Balance did a nice job on this shoe by maintaining the cushioning and support and shaving a few ounces off. I look forward to putting more miles on these shoes and wearing them for the LA Marathon in March. Now the issue I buy a few pairs of the 1226's and put them away? I still have one more pair of the 1224's...I guess they are now considered "vintage" and I should probably put them up on ebay.

Monday, December 27, 2010

LA Marathon Training Week #6

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas...
Week #6 on my LA Marathon training plan saw a twist in the schedule as I moved Saturday's (Christmas Day) long run to Friday and took an additional rest day on Thursday. I will do the same this week as well. I did try and get back in the pool last week, but when I got to LA Fitness, I was informed that the pool was closed for repairs until this morning.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 6:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: Rest (rest)
Wednesday: 7 Miles  (Rode 60 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 6.75 mi 5 x 800 (Rest)
Friday: Rest (10 mi long )
Saturday: 10 miles long  (Rest)
Sunday: 7 miles (marathon pace)  (6.2 mi Marathon Pace)

Here is what week #7 looks like:

Week 7:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: 6 mi, 5 x hill
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 16 miles long
Sunday: 8 miles Marathon Pace

Today's weight: 208.8 Up a bit this week, but considering all I ate and drank over the last couple of days, I'm surprised it wasn't more.

Coming later this week...
2010 My Year in Review...and what a year it was.

Gear Review: New Balance 1226

Monday, December 20, 2010

LA Marathon Training Week #5

Week #5 on my LA Marathon training plan is finished, here's how it looked by the numbers. I am still having trouble with the mid week runs, but will try harder after the first of the year. This week, I had to run in the rain twice, which I don't mind except when you get completely soaked and the wind picks up.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 5:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: Rest (rest)
Wednesday: 6 Miles  (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 3.5 mi tempo run (4 mi tempo run)
Friday: Rest (rest)
Saturday: 14 miles long  (13.66 mi long)
Sunday: 7 miles (marathon pace)  (4 mi Marathon Pace)

Here is what week #6 looks like:

Week 6:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 7 miles
Thursday: 6.75 mi, 5 x 800
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles long
Sunday: 7 miles Marathon Pace

Today's weight: 208.0 Up a bit this week. I'm going to try and be really good and stick with my points plan over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa to the Sea Half Marathon Race Report

December 12, 2010

We arrived in Oxnard about 6:30am and met up with Penny, Kristy, Jordan and Stuart in the parking lot. We rushed of to catch the shuttle buses to the starting line with toys in hand. The drive to the starting line took about 20 minutes through the farmland of Oxnard. The starting line was on an access road adjacent to the 101 freeway where there is a large Santa on display. For history about the Santa Claus Statue click here.

Stuart, Jordan, Penny, Kristy, Bob
We snapped a quick picture then hit the port a potty's one last time. The race started without much fanfare and off we went. We started about 1/2 way back and spent the first 1/2 mile dodging some of the slower runners and walkers.

Penny and Kristy had on green and red tutu's and Penny was sporting bells on her shoes (see video) which concerned me at first, but after a couple of miles, I didn't even notice them.

The first thing that we all noticed was that it was hot and it was going to be a tough race. Kristy, Jordan, Penny and I stayed together for the first 6 miles or so, but after the mid-way point, where they offered pretzels and sweet rolls (they were good, I had 2), Kristy sped up a bit and was out on her own. About the same time Penny and Jordan started to slow up and walk a bit due to the heat. I decided to catch up with Kristy and run the rest of the way with her. We ran and talked and kept hoping to get close to the beach for some of that cool air. We finally made it to the beach and it was still hot as we were running in the direct sun and there was absolutely no shade at all.

On the beach and it was still hot!

 We finally got some relief around mile 12 when a nice resident had his hose out and was spraying everyone with water. I must felt great. We made the final push and headed for the finish line. Official time: 2:45:59...It was officially my slowest half marathon ever, but from the get go, I always said it was going to be a fun training run with friends, not a race. Sometimes, it's not about the time, it's about the people you are running with, and for me, this was one of those times.

Bob, Melissa, Adam
 After we finished we got in a line to get some water and food, met up with Melissa and Adam and waited for Jordan and Penny to finish. When they finished, they were informed that the race was oversold and they ran out of medals. Their names and bib# s were taken and have been promised the medals will be mailed to them. We headed back to the car and Penny and I took part in a celebratory "adult beverage" before heading out to Eggs N Things for a fantastic breakfast.
Kristy, Jordan, Penny, Bob - Post race

Bob and Penny with our post race "adult beverage"
Penny and Kristy in festive tutu's

This was my first time running this race and other than the unusually warm December day and that they ran out of medals, it was a well run event and they collected a lot of toys. The volunteers were fantastic and very supportive. I think the only thing I would change would have been to have a couple of extra water stops since it was so hot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

LA Marathon Training Week #4

Week #4 on my LA Marathon training plan is finished, here's how it looked by the numbers. I swapped Saturday's long run with Sunday's mileage since I was running the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon on Sunday.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 4:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: Rest (rest)
Wednesday: 6 Miles  (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 5.5 mi 4 x hill (7.25 mi Hill run)
Friday: Rest (rest)
Saturday: 13 miles long  (6 mi marathon pace)
Sunday: 6 miles (marathon pace)  (13.1 Half Marathon)

Here is what week #5 looks like:

Week 5:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 7 miles
Thursday: 3.5 mi, tempo
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 14 miles long
Sunday: 7 miles

Today's weight: 207.6 lbs , gained .80 lb. Not sure why I gained but I will have to try harder this week.

Santa to the Sea Half Marathon Race Report coming soon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

LA Marathon Training Week #3, Still Making Changes and What a Surprise!

Week #3 on my LA Marathon training plan is finished but I am still having trouble getting some of the mid week runs in. I might try and split Wednesday's mileage up and do half in the morning and the remainder in the evening.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 3:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: Rest (rest)
Wednesday: 6 Miles  (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 6 Miles 4 x 1200 (6 miles, 2 x 800)
Friday: Rest (rest)
Saturday: 8 miles long  (8 miles long)
Sunday: 6 miles (marathon pace)  (10K race @ marathon pace)

Here is what week #4 looks like:

Week 3:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 5.5 mi, 4 x hill
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13 miles long
Sunday: 6 miles Marathon Pace

Today's weight: 206.8 , lost 1.2 lbs.

Something fun happened last week, my running partner Melissa and my "Thursday Night Gal Pals" threw me a surprise, belated birthday party.

They made me wear the "Party Animal" hat.

We tried a drink that Melissa brought back from Argentina called was OK, but we then had to have wine to get that taste out of our mouths. Melissa surprised me with..."I'm running the LA Marathon with you!" Wow! I couldnt believe it, but we both signed up on Friday morning. I am so excited that she will be running LA with me. She is a true running partner, that's for sure. Maybe I can get her to do a Sprint Triathlon with me next summer....hmmm

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Say No to Drugs 10K Race Report

This morning I ran the Say No to Drugs 10K at Universal Studios. I ran this race last year and had a lot of fun on a very hilly and challenging course, but this year was even more special...I got to run the race with my family. This is the first time that my son, daughter and son in law have ever run a race. My son, his girlfriend and myself did the 10K while the rest of the family and extended family walked the 5K.

The Family

We got to the race a bit early to avoid traffic and parking, so we wandered around the expo for a bit. I ran into tweep and fellow blogger Kristy and we talked for a bit. After the National Anthem, we headed down to the starting line. The race was delayed by about 10 minutes, but it gave us time to talk about strategy for the race. My training plan called for 6 miles at marathon pace, so I asked Ryan and Casey if we could run at a 10:00 per mile pace...the reaction I got was..."were gonna run that fast?" They gave in and agreed to run at that pace if I allowed them to walk up the hills. I said OK and the race started. The first 3/4 mile is downhill and the start can get a bit congested, so we took our time and got settled into our pace. We made it through 2 miles and then the big hill comes and we walked up that until we turned onto Wisteria Lane for quick out and back before climbing the rest of the hill. At the top of the hill is Whoville, the Psycho house and War of the Worlds set, which was fun to watch Ryan and Casey checking out everything including an actor dressed as Norman Bates holding his mother's corpse. (See picture below)

Lance, Norman Bates, his Mother, Nicole

We started the second loop of the 10K and it was not nearly as crowded since most of the 5K racers were off of this section of the course. I could tell that Ryan and Casey were getting a bit tired so I slowed the pace up a bit and we took an additional walk break. I did notice that one of the water stops that we came to on the second loop was already out of water and the workers had abandoned the station. Pretty sad considering there was at least 1/3-1/2 of the 10K runners behind us. We did start hitting a bit of traffic as me caught up to the back of the 5K pack. We continued the walking up the hill strategy and made it to the top. We rounded the final corner and made a push for the finish, even though it was uphill, I made Ryan and Casey run up the hill. We saw the rest of the family waiting for us as we crossed the finish line. We got our medals and met up with everyone up by the pancake breakfast. We didn't stay around for breakfast as we had some other commitments, but it sure smelled good. Unofficial time: 1:03:49

Ryan going for the big finish!

The girls in Whoville
 Everyone had a great time and they now want to make it a yearly tradition...I'm OK with that. It was fun to be able to run with my son and his girlfriend and they even talked about doing a half marathon with me in the future. One more race for me this year and that will be next weekend's Santa to the Sea Half Marathon with Penny, Kristy, and Jordan...should be a fun race.

Monday, November 29, 2010

LA Marathon Training Week #2 and Tweaking the Plan

Week #2 on my LA Marathon training plan is finished and it went fairly well despite a rather large food holiday right in the middle. 

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 2:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: 5 miles (nothing/rest)
Wednesday: 3 miles  (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 30 Min Tempo (5K Turkey Trot)
Friday: Rest (rest)
Saturday: 11 miles long  (12.6 mi long)
Sunday: 5 miles (marathon pace)  (13.65 mi bike ride)

I had Craig Moss look over my training plan and we have decided to make some adjustments in the schedule. I will now have Tuesday's off and move Tuesday's miles to Wednesday. We'll see how that works out.

Here is what week #3 looks like:

Week 3:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 6 mi, 4 x 1200
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8 miles long
Sunday: 6 miles Marathon Pace

Today's weight: 208.0 , lost 2/10 of 1 lb last week. I'm OK with that considering all that I ate/drank the last 4 days.

Friday, November 26, 2010

2nd Annual Turkey Trot Tweet Up Race Report

A Few weeks ago, Linda and I decided we would run the Lake Balboa Turkey Trot again this year. On Wednesday when she went to sign us up, there were some issues which you can read about here. We decided not to run the Lake Balboa race but to try the Burbank YMCA's Turkey Trot instead. Some of our tweeps, Candice and Nadim were also doing this race.

I made my way to Burbank bright and early on a very cold morning here in Southern California and got registered. While I was waiting for Linda, I ran into an old high school friend that I haven't seen in 25 years. We chatted for a while about the last 25 years and about exercise, running and triathlon. Linda arrived and we met up with Candice, Nadim, Liana and Bob. We took a few pictures and headed off to the starting line.

Candice, Nadim, Linda, Me

Ms V and Me

After a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, the race started. I decided that I would run with Linda and make this a fun run, even though she kept telling me to race and go my normal 5K pace. The course was an out and back to the south and then out and back to the north on a relatively flat street. Our first mile we ran a pace of 9:32. One 2 occasions, Linda blurted out "You have to go" really loudly and I got a few funny looks from people wondering "Is this guy bothering her?" Finally Linda gave in and Nadim and I ran with her the entire race.
We ran past the starting line and headed north to the second turn around. I was feeling good and we were running a 9:32 pace for mile 2. We slowed a bit on mile 3 as it had a little bit of an incline to it but still kept a pretty consistent pace. We made a charge for the finish line and finished in 30:32. We met up with Candice, Nadim, Liana and Bob, who ran a smoking 5k just 4 days after finishing Ironman Arizona! This was one of the most organized, small races I have ever seen. They had plenty of support on the course and at the finish line, chip timing and a nice long sleeved tech shirt...all for $35. What a deal. We will definitely be back for this race next year.
Bob, Me, Linda, Candice, Nadim after the race.

Now for the most important part of the day...breakfast. We met up over at Barney's Beanery and had a great breakfast with good food and lots of laughs. What better way to spend a Thanksgiving morning than with some great friends, a little running and food. Thanks was lots of fun. Let's put it on the calendar for next year and maybe we can get Glenn to come out from behind the "Orange Curtain" and join us. :)

Me, Linda, Liana, Bob, Candice, Nadim @Barney's Beanery

Sunday, November 21, 2010

LA Marathon Training Week #1 is in the books

Week #1 on my LA Marathon training plan is in the books. I modified the plan a bit, but I did get 5 days of workouts in this week, something I haven't done since mid-August.

Here's how this week looked: (Actual)

Week 1:
Monday: 3 miles (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Tuesday: 5 miles (nothing)
Wednesday: 3 miles  (Rode 30 min on bike trainer)
Thursday: 5 miles, 3 x Hill (5 Mi, 3x hill)
Friday: Rest (rest)
Saturday: 10 miles long  (11 mi long)
Sunday: 5 miles (marathon pace)  (3 mi marathon pace)

This morning my calves were so tight and sore that I decided to just do 3 miles. I will have to figure out how to run on Tuesdays, right now that is my busiest day of the week.

Here is what week #2 looks like:

Week 2:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 30 min tempo  (Turkey Trot 5K)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 11 miles long
Sunday: 5 miles

As for weight, I stuck to my Weight Watchers points for the week, I will weigh in tomorrow morning and am hoping to see a smaller number on the scale.

Today's weight: 208.2 , lost 1 lb last week.

Monday, November 15, 2010

LA Marathon Training Starts Today

Today starts week #1 of my 18 week training plan (Higdon Adv 1) for the LA Marathon. It's been 3 weeks since the Rock n Roll LA Half Marathon and I kept to my word and took some time off. I was also sick twice in that 3 week period, so that helped me take some time to rest.

Now I am ready to get serious and get back to training. I am also on a mission to drop 15 lbs by the time I start the LA Marathon.

Starting Weight: 209.2 lbs
Goal Weight: 195 lbs

Week 1:
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 5 miles, 3 x Hill
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 10 miles long
Sunday: 5 miles (marathon pace)

I will be swapping out a 30-45 min bike workout in place of the Mon/ Wed 3mile this week and possibly a 20 mile bike ride in place of Sunday's 5 miler, depending on the weather.

I will be back with Craig Moss and the Mt Gleason Runners starting this coming Saturday, something I have been looking forward to for a while.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giving Back

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to volunteer at a 5K trail race put on by, Heather, one of our fellow runners from A Runner's Circle. It was the first time her company, Green Running Events, put on a race. I arrived early and met up with Melissa and worked with Dino on getting the start and finish lines signs hung up. Heather asked us to work the finish line and go talk to the people doing the timekeeping to see what they wanted us to do. We were asked to pull the tags off of everyone's bib as they crossed the finish line and put them on a string in order. OK, easy enough.

After a few announcements and the National Anthem, the race started. We took our places behind the finish line and waited for the first runner to come in.

Waiting for the first runner to cross the finish line.

 The first runner crossed the line in the 16-17 minute range and we got started pulling the tags off the bibs and keeping them in order. I was an easy task, but as more and more runners crossed the line, it took lots of concentration to keep the runners in order and grab the tags. I'm glad there were two of us working the finish line.
The youngest runner of the day.

After about an hour, the last 3 runners/walkers came in and a few minutes later, the awards ceremony started. Very cool medals (see below) were given three deep in all age groups.

Medals made from recycled bike parts.

After the awards, we cleaned up and about 15 of us headed off for breakfast. I had a lot of fun working the race and I was really glad I was able to give back to the running community. Look for this race next year to be even bigger and better.

Pictures from the event can be found here MAK Photography
A Runner's Circle

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A New Year, New Challenges

A New Year

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 43rd birthday and with the exception of birthdays 1-8, 21, 30(interesting story there)and 40...I like to keep them very low key. As I do every year around my birthday, I like to reflect on the last year, the highlights, the low lights and everything in between. This last year was loaded with highlights and very few low lights. First of all, I celebrated my 15th year of marriage, I ran my first marathon(Race Report), I completed 3 triathlons in one season, ran a half marathon dressed as Elvis with my running partner(Race Report), paced friends to new PR's, made new friends and strengthened relationships with old friends. All in was a very good year and a lot of it is thanks to running/triathlons. Five years ago, I could never imagine running a marathon, let alone a 5K and I didn't even know what triathlon was all about. I would have never imagined doing what I did at 12:46am on November 1, 2010...

New Challenges

Over the last few months, I have been contemplating my 2011 race schedule and decided to step it up a notch. If everything goes as planned, I will run the LA Marathon once again in March, the Disneyland Half marathon in September, and hopefully, fingers crossed, the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC in late October. After reading Linda's and Penny's MCM race reports, I really want to do this race...badly. Oh yeah...getting back to November 1, 2010...I took what I consider to be the biggest step of my triathlon/running life....I signed up (and got into) the Vineman 70.3 (1/2 Ironman) race on July 17, 2011. I must admit that I am a bit scared...but give me 8 months to prepare and I will be ready. Training for 2 marathons and a 1/2 Ironman should give me plenty to write about. Another goal for 2011 is to drop below 200 lbs. I have been fluctuating between 202 and 210 for the last year and I must focus to get below 200 lbs and stay there.

I want to say "Thank You" to all of you that made my 43rd year...a fantastic year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rock N Roll LA Half Marathon Weekend Race Report

Saturday Oct. 23, 2010

I was meeting my RP Melissa and her friend Laura, from Massachusetts, for breakfast at the Griddle Cafe in Hollywood before the expo. It was Laura's first time to LA and my first time to the Griddle Cafe. I had heard stories about some of the dishes they made and was excited to finally give it a try. We got an egg scramble thingy, red velvet pancakes and Nutella stuffed french toast. It was all very yummy! (Food porn pics below)
Egg Scramble Thingy

Red Velvet Pancakes

Nutella Stuffed French Toast

After breakfast we headed to the convention center and the expo. We got our bibs, t-shirts and goody bags and wandered around a bit. This expo was definitely not as crowded as San Diego in June, but there was a lot less people running this race. They even had registration open at the expo and when I asked about it, they said they only had 11,000 runners and that there would be plenty of people on the course for me to run with.  After a bit more shopping and strolling the expo, we decided it was time to leave and introduce Laura to cupcakes. We made our way to Frosted Cupcakery in Hollywood. After a few minutes we walked out with 8 cupcakes between us. As we were heading back, we brought up the phenomenon in LA know as "Food Trucks". So on our way back we were searching twitter looking for a food truck so Laura could see what we were talking about. We found the Calbi BBQ truck and they were just getting parked and open for business. That was my first time having their food and it was good. I got back to my car and made the trek back to the Valley.

Sunday Oct. 24, 2010

Race Day!
I got up at 3:15am to be out the door by 4am. I drove down in full costume and got a funny look from the woman taking my money in the parking garage. I waited for Melissa and Laura to show up and when they pulled up, the look on Laura's face was priceless! I guess she didn't know how serious we were about the Elvis costumes. After chatting for a few minutes, we took a couple of pictures and headed off to the shuttles.
Laura looks a bit uncomfortable with the Elvi
We walked right onto a shuttle and it immediately headed for Griffith Park. We made the 1/2 mile walk to the starting corrals from where the shuttle dropped us off. We grabbed a bagel (grossest bagel ever), water and found some of the Start Training OC people. We stood around, talked and people watched for the better part of an hour. About 7 am, we headed to our corral, corral #2, and continued to wait for the race to start. We took several pictures with strangers and after the singing of the National Anthem, the race began.

Our original goal for this race was to have fun and not "race" it. I think in the back of my head, 2:30 was the pace I/we wanted to run. Melissa asked if we could pace her friend Adam to go 2:15 or less...I said sure, why not. As we got going, I felt like we were running at too fast of a pace. I looked at my Garmin, did the math and we were running at a sub 2 hour pace. I knew that I wasn't in shape to run that pace for 13.1 miles.

At mile 5 we saw the guys from our running store, A Runner's Circle, and some of them ran with us for 1/2 mile or so. We started to slow the pace down to a more comfortable pace. By now the sun had started to come out and it was getting a bit warm, especially in a polyester jumpsuit and wig. I started pouring water down the front and back of the jumpsuit to keep cool.  At mile 7 we started doing a run/walk interval and would continue that throughout the rest of the race. There were several hills on the course, ( LA has hills, go figure) and some we had to walk up. We finally made it into downtown and were in the home stretch. One last walk interval and we finished strong. The three of us held hands as we crossed the finish line. Official time: 2:13:16  We met up with Laura, who ran a new PR of 1:47, and off to the beer garden. I will say that Rock N Roll LA finish area was much more organized than San Diego, so hats off to them.
Melissa, Adam, Bob

We hung around for a bit, but Melissa and Laura had to get going...they were driving to San Diego to catch the NE Patriots vs SD Chargers football game. So we made our way to the parking garage and said goodbye. We did stop for one more picture...
Laura looks more comfortable with us now.
What a great weekend! I got to run a race with my running partner (in costume), met some new people, had some great food and paced someone to a new PR. Thank you Melissa and Laura for a great weekend! So what's next?  Nothing! I am going to take some time off for a few weeks and let my body recover. I hope to run a Turkey Trot with some of my tweeps on Thanksgiving and a 10K in December. Both will be "fun runs" and not races. The next big race for me will be the LA Marathon in March.

We did make the local newscast and you can see the video here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekend Update

After working the last 3 weekends, I finally had a weekend off and planned a 6-8 mile run. My wife and I headed for Griffith Park, she headed out for a 90 minute walk and I decided to run the "6 mile hill loop". I started out and felt pretty good but by mile 4, my left knee was starting to ache. My knee was bothering me last week, but I thought that was from all the lifting and bending I did when my company moved. I took it easy the last 2 miles and by the time I was finished, it was really hurting. I met my wife at the car and we headed out to one of our favorite breakfast places. I had an awesome "Greek Island Omelette". It had feta cheese, spinach, kalamata olives, red onion, artichoke hearts and it was yummy.

When we got back home, I headed right for the laptop to watch the Ironman World Championships live from Kona, Hawaii. I was glued to my computer all day long watching the coverage and I didn't turn it off until 11pm when Chris Schauble crossed the line, sub 13 hours. Congrats Chris! So proud of you.

As I sat watching the Ironman feed, I made up to "cheer posters" for some of my friends racing today. Veronica was racing the Hudson Mohawk River Half Marathon in Albany, NY and my RP, Melissa and friend Dino were racing the Chicago Marathon. As I sit here writing this, I have already heard from Veronica that she finished and I am tracking Melissa online. Go Melissa Go!!!!

I'm going to give my knee a day off to see if it gets any better. I put on my knee brace this morning and it seems to be helping. Hoping to get back into the pool tomorrow morning for some much needed swimming.

Congrats to everyone on a great racing weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way

The last few weeks have been quite challenging as life has gotten in the way of any training I had planned. After 33 years in one location, my company decided it was time to move to a larger location. After 2 months of planning, the day finally arrived and the moving trucks showed up and so we began the process of moving a dental supply company. The challenge was not only that none of us had ever moved a company before, but we had to be up and operational in the new facility in 4 days! Holy S&!t...That means, phones, computers and 20,000 SKU's had to be moved and put into place in 96 hours. Oh yeah, I forgot that it turned out to be the hottest weekend of 2010! When it was all said and done, it took us 4-1/2 days to move and become operational, we worked 13 days straight and 9 of those days were 12+ hour days. Needless to say...I didn't get any training done at all. I was too tired to drag myself to the pool at 5am and getting home after 9pm didn't bode well for a run. I was able to get my first run in last Thursday at A Runner's Circle Fun Run with my RP, Melissa. It turned out to be a "Not so Fun Run" as we were both hurting and found running to be difficult. My back, knee and ankle were hurting that running was just not comfortable. Out of the 3 miles we "ran", we walked about 1.5 miles of that.

So this week has been much of the same...I have not made it to the pool yet this week and may just take the week off. I will get in a 5 mile run on Thursday night and possibly 8 miles on Saturday. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am doing a limited training schedule through mid November when I start my LA Marathon training in full force.

One highlight from last week was I went to see Carrie Underwood at the Hollywood Bowl with my wife, Tina, Melissa and Ann. What a great show! Here is a little taste of the finale complete with fireworks. What a great way to end a couple of tough weeks!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So What's Next??

2010 has been a very busy year for me between races, travel, business and natural disasters. With that being said, I am taking some time off from racing, travel and hopefully, natural disasters. My body is tired and it is telling me loud and clear that I need to take some time off of training. I do have one more race on the calendar and that is the RnR Los Angeles Half Marathon in late October. I (means WE) will be running that race for fun in our Elvis costumes once again. I won't be racing for time, actually, if all goes as planned, I will be setting a new PR for the slowest half marathon I have ever run. I do plan on running a Turkey Trot 5K and the Say No to Drugs 10K in December, but again, for fun, not time.

I will start my LA Marathon Training in November, with setting a new PR as my main goal for the coming year. I have laid out my tentative race schedule for 2011 and it looks like this:

Chinatown Firecracker 10K
LA Marathon
Vineman 70.3 Half Ironman
Hansen Dam Triathlon
Disneyland Half Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon

So for the next month, I will swim twice, bike once and run twice a week until Mid November, then I will start my LA Marathon training program.

In the meantime, my company is moving to a new location and we will be working 6-7 days a week for the next 3 weeks, so it will be tough to find both the time and energy to swim, bike or run...probably just sleep.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Race Report

Friday September 3, 2010

We made our way down to Anaheim and met up with our friends from New York, Jamie, Veronica, T-Bone (Tess) and Cliff. Before we headed to the expo, we decided to engage in, the first of many, overly priced meals in Downtown Disney. After lunch we headed to the expo and did packet pickup and then went upstairs to the expo. This years expo was as lame as the previous years, same vendors, same races, etc. It's funny because the Walt Disney World Marathon/Half Marathon expo is much bigger with many of the running shoe manufacturers there and many more vendors, races, etc. We made a quick run through the expo and while the girls were shopping at the Disney section of the expo, I sat and listened to Jeff Galloway for a few minutes.
We went back to our hotel to pick up Paul and Jody from Texas and head back to the expo so Jody could pick up her race packet. I dropped off Tina, Jody and Paul and spent the next 40 minutes parking the car in the parking structure. By the time I got back to the expo, they were done and we headed of to Disneyland for a few hours of fun.

Saturday September 4, 2010

Jamie and T-Bone were running the 5K and we all came over to support them. I must say I was surprised at the amount of people that ran the 5K, I never heard an official number but it was in the thousands. The race started and off they went. We headed over to the mid point of the race to try and catch them crossing between Disneyland and California Adventure. We saw them, shouted some words of encouragement and took a few pictures and then made our way to the finish line inside of California Adventure. Standing near the finish, we waited and first came Jamie crossing the line and then T-Bone a few minutes later. Once they crossed the line, they were handed a piece of paper that said that due to a shipping issue, they didnt have enough medals.
No Medals?? WTF?
 The look of disappointment on people's faces was incredible, especially those that were running a race for the first time. It looked like about half the people were given medals and the other half IOU's. There was a nice gentleman who ran the race and had a medal and saw T-Bone looking quite disappointed. He walked over and asked if she got a medal, when she said no, he took his off and gave it to her. She wore that medal proudly around all day long. We spent the rest of the day in California Adventure. We all went to Buca Di Beppo for a carbo loading dinner before turning in early to get some rest before the half marathon in the morning.
T-Bone and Jamie after 5K

Sunday September 5, 2010

We left the hotel at 4:15am and procedded to get into a traffic jam trying to get into the parking structure. We have always left at the same time, and breezed right in, this time, it took about 30 minutes to drive the 2 miles from the hotel and get parked in the structure. I met up with Rachel and gave her the extra bib and chip that I had and went off to meet Veronica and Cliff. We made our way to corral D, where Veronica and Cliff were assigned and saw Penny, Kristy and Lauren, so we decided to wait with them until the race started.
After the National Anthem, the wheelchairs started followed by corral A. They put about a 3-5 minute spacing between the corrals this year. Finally, at 6:20am, we crossed the starting line and off we went. The whole goal of this race for me was to pace Veronica to a new half marathon PR of 2:15-2:20. I had given her a 16 week training plan and she followed it to the T and she was ready to make a run at that PR. If you have ever run this race, you know the first 3 miles are crowded and slow, but we did our best to keep a 10:00 per mile pace. I was a bit disappointed in the amount of people that A) either lied on their race registration regarding their time, or B) snuck into an earlier corral. I saw walkers that started quite a bit ahead of us and we were in the beginning of corral D.

We made it out of the parks and onto the streets of Anaheim and we were right on pace. At one point we were even ahead by about 50 seconds which was good since I knew things would slow down inside Anaheim Stadium. We made it to the stadium and it was filled with lots of people cheering.
We stopped so I could take a picture of Veronica on the field in the stadium, so having that extra time helped. Once out of the stadium, it was 3 miles to the finish. Around mile 11, I could see Veronica was starting to get tired and was falling behind a bit, so we took a quick walk break. Mile 12 was probably the toughest for her but I kept telling her to keep going. I know she was hurting but we were almost to the finish. We made it down the last 200 yards to the finish and once we crossed the finish line, she was all smiles and tears.  

Official time: 2:16:20  We stopped for a few photographs with our "bling". We wore 3 medals...WDW Half Marathon, Disneyland Half Marathon and the coveted Coast to Coast medal.
The Coast to Coast hardware
Cliff, Veronica, Bob, Jody

After a quick stop back at the hotel, we spent the rest of the day at the Disney parks. By the end of the day, my legs were a bit sore but my Zensah sleeves really helped. I wish I would have wore my Garmin all 3 days to see how many miles we actually walked around the parks. We went back to Jamie and Veronica's hotel room for a while and then said our good bye's as everyone would be getting on planes in the morning.

I must say that this was one of the best races I have run...not because of my time, but because I was able to share in Veronica's accomplishment of finishing with a new PR. I was glad to be a part of her special day. It was also great to finally meet some friends from twitter, some of which, I had never met in person before... Kristy, Lauren, Eva and Punkrockrunner, who looked a lot like Penny(Southbaygirl)

All in all it was a great weekend and went by way to quickly.

You can view all the pictures from the weekend here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disneyland Half Marathon Preview

It's that time of year once again, where we make the 45 mile (90 min) drive to the "City that Walt built", Anaheim, Ca to run the Disneyland Half Marathon. For me, this is usually just another expensive race, but this year is going to be different. Back in January, we met our friends in Orlando and ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in somewhat less than favorable weather conditions. (You can read the race report here) Now, all of our friends are making the pilgrimage from NY and TX to Anaheim to reunite and run this race and get our "Coast to Coast" medals.

Not only are we going to run this race together, I am going to pace Veronica to a new half marathon PR. We are shooting for 2:15-2:20, and I don't see any reason why we cant hit that. I gave her an 18 week training plan and she has followed it to the T. She has increased her speed and the new PR is in her sights. As an added bonus, Jaime and T-Bone(such a bad ass name for one bad ass 10 year old) will be running the 5K on Saturday, we'll be out cheering with camera in hand. We have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. Safe travels to y'all (see Paul, I still got it) and see you shortly.

I will have a full race report next week...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hollywood Sign "Fun-venture" Run

 Last Saturday, my Running partner, Melissa, and I embarked on a journey to run to the famous Hollywood sign. Once a month there is a group from our running store, A Runner's Circle, that makes the 13 mile round trip journey from the store to the sign. We have talked about going, but it never seemed to fit into our schedule. Last week, she had 18 miles "of hills" on her schedule and I had 13 miles on mine, so I volunteered to run the extra miles with her. We decided to try and make it to the Hollywood sign and I mapped out a route that would give us approximately 17.5 miles round trip.The weather looked to be in our favor as well, the forecast was 67 degrees when we started and predicted 77 degrees when would would finish.

We started out at 7:30am with 6 water bottles between us. We made our way past the LA Zoo and Travel Town before heading up the hill. At the top of the "hill loop", we turned onto an old access road that is no longer used by cars. The nice thing about that road is that it is fairly shady most of the way up. We continued on at a nice, easy pace all the way to the top where the trail starts to the Hollywood sign. We took a quick break and downed a Gu and some gatorade.

We started down the dirt trail that leads to the sign, now we were running in full sun and it was getting hot. The trail goes approximately 1.5 miles and runs into a paved (and I use that term lightly) road that takes you all the way to the top. This section was by far the steepest, the last mile to the top had about  400 feet of elevation gain. We would our way around the backside of the mountain and finally made it to the top.

At the top is an antenna array that is used by LAPD and LAFD. The area is highly secured, even the area where the Hollywood sign sits is off limits and gated. We took a  few minutes to enjoy the views, take some pictures and rest up a bit for the 8.6 mile journey back.

We sent this tweet to Craig Moss, Just got to the Hollywood sign. 8.5 mi uphill. Time to go 8.5 mi down. Whose idea was this??

And this was the response we got... that was all you guys. I didn't suggest it  Huh, who wrote the schedule?

We started back down and we could feel it really heating up. We tried to stay in any shade we could find but it was difficult along the trail that really had no shade. We walked a bit until we came to the end of the dirt trail and found some shade. We were now getting dangerously low on water/gatorade. I knew of a  "water bubbler" (learned a new term as well) that I had seen on my Tuesday trail runs with Craig Moss and his group, but it would mean that we would have to take another route down. We got to the water tower and filled up all of our bottles and drank some water until we could drink no more. We headed down the path that would take us past the Old LA Zoo and eventually the Merry Go Round. It was hot and we were feeling it. When we got to the Merry Go Round parking lot, we realized we were going to be short on miles. We opted for a stop at the ranger station to pick up more water and then a loop around the golf course which hopefully was shaded. As we worked our way around the golf course, we were both feeling really tired and overheated. We even pulled out the phone to check the temperature and it was 85 degrees... a far cry from the predicted 77 degrees.  We would do a run/walk interval, and eventually made it back to our cars. We fell a bit short of the 18 miles, but it was all good. In the end, we covered 16.63 miles with 1300 feet of elevation gain in 3:35:55

I would like to try this run again in the future, but I think I will wait until the temperature drops a bit. I will also bring a camelback with water as well as a water belt with gatorade.

Here is a link to the data from the garmin

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hansen Dam Sprint Tri Race Report

August 15, 2010

Hansen Dam Sprint Triathlon  (500 yd swim, 12 mi bike, 3 mi run)

I arrived to the Hansen Dam aquatic center about 5:45am and to my surprise, there were quite a few people that had the same idea as I did...get there early. I got some incorrect information about checking in but once I got the correct information, I headed over to the transition area. When I arrived I was told to rack my bike in one of two racks to my left. I found a nice open spot and took it. Only after I got everything set up, I learned I was in the wrong rack, I was in with the 44-49 year old group instead of the 40-44 group. I didn't think it made a big deal a decided not to move. I met up with Liana, Craig, Chris and JT and we stood around and talked for a bit. Once the lake opened for warm ups, we put on our wetsuits and headed into the water. The water was warm, 78 degrees is what was said over the loudspeaker, but I was determined to wear my wetsuit again. I did about 50 yards of warm up ad then headed back to transition for one last check of everything. I went back out to the start where I met up with everyone again before the National Anthem.

We watched as the first couple of waves took off and then I began to get nervous as it was approaching my time to enter the water. I tried to focus on my stroke and breathing and just think about finding a rhythm and keeping it. As the horn sounded, I entered the water near the back of the pack and once I rounded the first buoy that about 30 feet out, I was able to find a rhythm and got going.  I made it to the first buoy and was feeling pretty good, once I rounded it, I started to run into traffic and had to slow up a bit and move around some more than I would have liked to. After the second buoy, I lost my rhythm and had trouble getting it back. I flipped over on my back and composed myself and kept moving. I was able to keep somewhat of a rhythm going the last 100 yards to the exit. I peeled my wetsuit down and made the short run, put on my socks, bike shoes, helmet and Garmin and headed out.

Once on the bike, I downed a Gu and some gatorade getting myself prepared for the ride. The first couple of miles were uphill, which I knew, but I just couldn't seem to keep up a pace that I was happy with. My legs felt very heavy and tired but I made it to the backside of the course and started to fly as it was mostly downhill. I dropped into the aero bars and was able to keep a pace of 27 mph for about 3 miles until we hit a sharp corner and an uphill section to get on top of the dam. Once I was up on the dam, I couldn't seem to go any faster than 19 mph and people were passing me. I put my head down and finished the bike course. I ran into T2 and racked my bike, put on my running shoes with Yankz laces, grabbed my bottle, and visor and I was off and running.

I struggled the first 1/2 mile and I felt my chest was tight and was difficult to breathe. Once I relaxed a bit, I felt the breathing become normal. After the first water stop, it was mostly on loose dirt with a mixture of rocks thrown in for good measure. It was getting hot and I was tired, but I kept moving along. I came upon JT who beat me off the bike, said hi, passed him and kept on going. The last hill was tough and I walked a bit but I saw the finish line ahead. I made one last charge, turned the corner and made it across the finish line.

Swim - 12:44
T1 - 2:29
Bike - 34:28
T2 - 1:21
Run - 26:08
Total - 1:17:12

Placed 30 out of 47

For me, the best part of this race was that I was able to race with a bunch of my friends (Craig, Chris, Liana, JT, Tianna, Cindy and Danny) and that my RP, Melissa, came out and took pictures, all of which were better than the official race photographers. I will definitely do this race next year.

Here is a link to all of the pictures.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hansen Dam Sprint Tri Race Report Preview

I am working on the full race report, but since I am stuck in jury duty hell and haven't had any access to the internet, let alone cell service, it will have to wait a few days.

It was so much fun to race with so many friends...actually this was the first triathlon that I have raced with friends. I was pleased with my time but know where I need to make some improvements and look forward to next year.

Here are a few pics from the day: