Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Better living through chemicals!

It seems I wasn’t looking when I crossed the road and I got hit by a bus! Not literally, I should add, but what was a scratchy throat has turned into the full blown body shakes and aches, a head that feels like it’s in a vacuum jar and a throat that feels like I have been gargling sand! I had the warning sign during yesterday morning’s tempo run; I literally ran out of steam and just faded! I am a pharmacologists dream right now as I dose up on Acetaminophen, Dextromethorphan and Diphenhydramine also known as Robitussin! Going to bed at 8:30pm last night seems to have helped, I am just hoping I can shake the worse of it off in time for Sunday’s race!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lunchtime sweat!

So today I went to the local gym to work, by local, it’s the building next door! I picked up my membership at Costco last night, it nets out at $12.50 a month, so it’s a bit of a no brainer really! I can even go for a proper run around the local area and just use the showers at the end if I fancy!

Salad After getting the paper work done I was all set, 30 minutes (3 miles I think) on the elliptical, a superset of leg weights and a shower. I grabbed a salad from the local eatery and I was back at my desk in a little over an hour! Re-sult! Quick tip, get your dressing on the side and dip your fork in it before the salad, voila dressing every mouthful and a bajillion calories left on the table!

Some observations:

  • It’s empty…wahoo, no waiting
  • Pack you iPod, I have over the year collected 4; two nanos, an iTouch and an iPhone and I forget each and every one of them…although I did have two pairs of headphones!
  • Take a sweat towel, yep it’s warm inside
  • You can dry you hair with a hand dryer
  • Don’t put your dress shirt at the bottom of your locker unless you want to look like you’ve slept in it!
  • And…don’t forget your locker padlock combination…a little arm workout bonus!

P1010683

All in all a good day and an extra hours sleep this morning!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Checked out…

No worries…not the hospital type of check out but the hotel type and even better off the grid type. One benefit, that is not taken enough of, of having you in-laws in town is the ability to hand off he kids and disappear and that’s exactly what my wife and I did this weekend. After an excruciatingly long week for us both we checked into a local hotel for a weekend stay-cation, we did briefly entertain thoughts of driving to Mammoth but a 4-5 hour one way drive somewhat defeated the objective of the weekend.

So Friday night we checked in and Sunday afternoon we checked out, interspersed with two solid nights uninterrupted, non alarmed night sleep, a massage, some more massage, some else doing the cooking, breakfast and in fact lunch in bed. The big black bags under my eyes have receded to a pale shade of grey and that ‘I am so freekin’ tired I have developed an eye twitch’ has gone.

I nixxed my long run and will be back in the groove tomorrow. After an month of trying to get it done in the mornings I have concluded that it’s not quite working out so I am shuffling things around and will be trying to get some sessions done at lunch time at the gym next door to my office, if nothing else fails I can use their showers and hot the foothill roads…we’ll see how it works out?

Oh an I am all signed up for next weekend so if you at the PCTR Sycamore Canyon come and say hello. I am only running the 30k, my legs don’t have 50k in them yet, but this is my first ever 30k race so a PR is in the bag!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trail lust!

So this morning I ran my short tempo run, nothing too long; 6 miles, 4 at a target pace of 7:04 although I was short; by short I mean slow: 7:09 was my best but the others were around 7:20, starting at 5:00am after not enough sleep will do that for you! I spent the entire run thinking about running trails and how I am looking forward to feeling the dirt between my toes…metaphorically that is, literally can be a bit blister inducing! I’ve got my eye on a race early April which may quench that need, it will deviate me from my schedule but it might just get me through the next 10 weeks till June 6th and the RNR Marathon…we’ll see!

In the meantime I’ve scrapped some of my other races, well the truth is it’s the Tri’s that are out the window, I’ve not been in a pool in several months and why I do want to do one now is not the time!

Finally if you’re after some free swag, check out Racevine, they have a series of prize drawings in the coming weeks for just posting mini race reviews, here’s one of mine….easy peasy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

20/25 Challenge Week 8 & 9

image Slacker, yeah that’s me well blog slacker at least, very little reading and a fraction more writing! My bad! So by way as a round up here are two weeks of results for the challenge! Week 9 at the top and Week 8 below. It looks like everyone has moved about, that seems pretty usual somehow I floated to the top, not the purpose of the exercise, figuratively not literally! So I’ll pass on the prize and pass my good fortune to Frenchie who ties for equal top place in Week 8 with Big Bork.

That’s the second week in three he’s topped out so a big well done. There are multiple weeks prizes to be claimed, Big Bork has two weeks and Frenchie has one, claim your prizes here.

LARunr and Lindsay are a little late with their reporting!

With only two weeks to go there’s a little steam left, keep the reporting up and the accountability will follow, personally I have managed to drop 15lbs, so I am more than happy and thank everyone for keeping me on the straightish and narrowish.

Talking of which the dust has nearly settled on the VitalSox giveaway with Rio and Don winning the Medium and Large respectively, that leaves a small which is 3-6 mens or a 4-7 womens…there must be someone who entered who has dainty feet? Claim them by the end of the week or I’ll just give them away! I’ll be mailing out them out over the weekend, remember you need to write up a review.

I have one more giveaway, for a race entry left in my coffers…are you gonna be in SoCal in November? D0 want to take a boat to the start line? Would you like to run in a pristine car free environment?

Oh and there’s around 3700’ of elevation gain…

….but the climb is worth the view, stay tuned….

Monday, March 22, 2010

Unanswered questions…

I had a bunch of questions from last week’s review of the GuTR. So in no particular order here are the answers:

Is it comfortable? Yes, it’s very light and while you need to have it tight for it to work, it’s not that tight and the stretchy bands make it infinitely adjustable.

Can you wear it with a hat? I’ve not worn it with a running hat, I think that that would defeat it’s purpose as the cloth would soak up the sweat. I have worn it with a cycling helmet no problem.

Will I get tan lines on my forehead? To be honest I am not sure? I think yes if you get the dark colors but maybe not with the clear one. Sun cream should prevent the lines.

What does it feel like having the sweat draining off your head all in one place? It’s fine, actually it just kind of runs down behind your ears.

How tight is it? It’s not that tight really, just tight enough to work.

It is a bit silly looking.... would you really wear it without a hat or something covering it up? Well I am over 40 so I really don’t care! It’s probably no sillier than a Bondi Band or a Buff!

Hope that helps!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First bad run of the year…

DSCN0156 Week 3 of my marathon training ended yesterday. The miles are racking up and considering I am only running three times a week they’re increasing steadily just as the paces are decreasing. My long run for yesterday was a scheduled 17 at 8:24 pace. I set my Garmin for a 8:20-8:30 alert spread, that gives me enough wiggle room allowing for ups and downs etc! I was late getting out and instead of being on the road by before 9am it was closer to 10:30, skies had high cloud and it was coolish. A 26oz hand bottle; which I would refill at a gas station, and two gels were coming along for the ride.

Ten miles later I was cooked, and the wheels were coming off, I was also at the furthest point from my house. I had a walk break to cool down in the shade and collect myself. I pushed on another couple of miles and walked again, I was on the home stretch and a sideways loop was needed to hit the 17 mile mark, it did cross my mind that I could just trudge around and finish up the distance but the whole basis of the FIRST training program is quality over quantity, so I decided to cut things short and try and pick up the pace as best I could. I finished up the run at 14 miles, 3 miles short and an average pace (excluding walk breaks) of 8:30, at the upper end of my bracket, here are the splits:

imageOnce I got home I felt pretty crappy mentally and physically. I was reminded that this is my longest run since, well last week but really since last September before my injury. My other consolation was that the thermometer in the garden (picture above) read 106f! Now it does sit in the sun all day so even if you offset it against the one in the car which read 92f, it averages out at 99F. So however you look at it, it was toasty!

Not to be out done I really wanted to finish off the mileage, next week is a 20 mile long run, the first of five in this program, so I need to get the time on my feet. I laced up my shoes and headed out in the cool of the evening to claim my extra 3 miles, I wanted to added some speed so I decided on a nice progression run, getting faster each mile, the splits speak for themselves:

image I was starting to freak myself out in the afternoon over my fitness and although this is not the best way to do things it’s nice to know that I can pull off things like this.

I was once again reminded we all have bad runs; it’s what we do afterwards that counts.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

VitalSox Compression Sock Winners

Sorry for the delay but here are the winners of the VitalSox Compression Socks, now the problem is that only 4 people added sizes so I have no idea who actually wins! People, next time read the rules!

  1. Her name is Rio
  2. Birdwell
  3. Don
  4. Kevin (L)
  5. Miguel (L)
  6. Velma (M)
  7. FireRunner22 (M)
  8. SouthBay Girl
  9. Pichina
  10. SeeTracey
  11. BrianJBarber
  12. JLTK76
  13. Studioyvr
  14. Keath
  15. Elkilo

So I changed the rules, my ball my game! Everyone who entered got one entry and I pulled them out of the hat, and so if you have won you need to let me know the size you want and basically the first people who are small medium and large win! That’s the simplest way I could work it out. So if you look at the list if no one else wants a large then Kevin gets them, the same with Velma and mediums, I am somewhat reliant on the honor system here but it’s the best idea I could come up with. Check you sizing here, being greedy and claiming a size that’s not going to fit will either not fit or not work!

Oh and if you blog, write up a review! Email me at quadrathon at gmail dot com with your address and I’ll ship them out to you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review; GuTR

image So a while back I reviewed VitalSox running and compression socks. Also inside the box I received was a GuTR. I looked at it with; I confess, a sideways glance, hmm! Not one to be rude it seemed only fitting that I actually try it out and so I did. I’ve worn it running on cloudy or dull days, for sunny days I confess I prefer a Visor. I’ve worn it under my bike helmet instead of a bandana and more recently I’ve worn it while hammering on my trainer in my garage in the wee hours!

But I am getting a little ahead of myself. But first a description. The GuTR is exactly that, it is designed to collect sweat before it runs down your face and into your eyes. It channels the sweat away from you face and allows it to run down approximately by your ears thereby avoiding that nice salty eye sting we all enjoy, yep been there done that! Fundamentally that’s it; there is an elastic loop that allows you to adjust the size depending on the size of your noggin!

So the question is does it work…well the answer is a simple yes and it works really well, well that’s a complicated answer but who’s counting! While running and cycling outdoors the sweat is efficiently channeled away and with the added wind flow it runs away nicely towards the back of your head. The place where it has been really working for me in on the trainer, when you’re less concerned about keeping an eye on the road and your gritting your teeth (or is that just me) when following along to a Sufferfest ride it works really well in (a) avoiding that constant drip running off of the end of your nose look and (b) avoiding all that salty fluid from pouring all over your expensive headset, stem, bike computer or bar mounted Garmin etc. The only thing you have to watch out for is when you sit up it may go backwards into your ears; it’s not going to do your earbuds any favors! I like products like this, simple and effective!

image Now as you have see I do have a lovely photo taken just this morning after riding the Sufferfest Revolver, but I am sure the ladies would much sooner see Mr. Matthew McConaughey wearing his!For the guys well, sorry it's just me or Matthew!

Available through multiple outlets the GuTR is available in several colors, clear/blue logo, clear/red logo, smoky black and camouflage, prices start at around $15.00.

Now while I don’t have any to giveaway I do have some VitalSox Compression socks, 3 pairs, small, medium and large. As if you didn’t need any reminders, here are the entry options, the more you do the more chance you get to win;

Following them on Twitter gets you one entry
Tweeting the competition gets you another, just copy and paste I just entered the @quadrathon contest to win a pair of @vitalsox http://bit.ly/cwy75E , include the bit.ly link, sorry only once counts; it gets too complicated keeping track otherwise
Joining their Facebook Page is your third

Come back and leave a comment telling me what you’ve done for your fourth and last entry and what size socks you want and I’ll make the draw on Friday, check out their website for sizing.

Good luck!

This product was provided free of charge by VitalSox. See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at quadrathon@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Trail; Junior Photog edition

Not from trail running but from a family hike on Saturday and all taken by our 5 year old. On our doorstep Satwiwa is on the western edge of Santa Monica Mountains close to the Boney Mountain State Wilderness and Pt Mugu State Park. Looks like spring is round the corner…

IMG_4621[1] Boney Mountain from just inside Satwiwa Park entrance

IMG_4622 
Boney Mountain up close and personal.

IMG_4623[1]The ‘Ap’ home of the Chumash Indian.

IMG_4631 
Architectural inspection

IMG_4640 
Blue sky over lattice work

IMG_4647 
The horizon calls (my favorite)

IMG_4654 
Our destination; “you’re not there till you touch it”!

IMG_4657 
A trail runners view and our way home

IMG_4658 
Spring color goes macro

IMG_4691 
A new generation of trail runners…

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What’s your mental age?

We’ve all said or heard it before; age is a number, you’re as young as you feel or even age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese or a bottle of wine, in summary it’s mostly in the mind! Being of, shall we say middling-ish years, I find my body rebelling against my brain, in my brain I am 26. Thinking back to when that was I was single, employed, reasonably well paid and enjoying myself. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were at #1 in the charts in the UK, if you paid any attention to that sort thing! I was heading to the Mediterranean on vacation for a week of Saturday nights and either riding my mountain bike like a banshee or charging round the countryside dressed as a bush at the weekends! Reasonably fit and healthy I was able to be active all day and most of the night with little or no side effects (the occasional handover not withstanding). I was in no way running or racing or focused on such things as I am now; it wasn’t a good thing or a bad thing it was just a different thing!

In my mind today I occupy this slim(mer than I am now and about where I want to be), less wrinkled, with less visible pate, generally less beaten up and with an ability to bounce back pretty much the next day body. So now I have to stretch more, foam roll more, stick more, I get through tubes of embrocation and have a drawer full of compression clothing and crepe bandages and a freezer with a 24hour Ice Pack on standby; the accoutrements of age, science and progress. I rarely drink; through habit and choice, seldom party and peruse holiday destinations with kids clubs and quiet beaches over ones the offer 24 hour nightlife and party buses!

The inevitability of life moves on all around but in my mind I occupy the space of a 26 year old and that’s how I am gonna try and run ‘cos life’s too short to do otherwise, right!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

20/25 Challenge Week 7

image Sorry folks a bit late in posting the results this week, work, life. training and losing the friggin’ spreadsheet all conspired against me! Anyway as usual it’s all change, this week Big Bork takes the lead, this may be the kick in the pants he needs to get the ball re-rolling, yeah Brian I listened to your latest podcast episode, hey we’re all busy! But nice job for staying away from the artery blocking fast food! There were a few non reporters, you know who you are and so do we as you have a grey mark! Fortunately for me marathon training is kicking in and I am on the loss side again!

So with only a month left to go there’s still $125 left to claim, talking of which you winners need to contact me to claim your prizes, check out this spreadsheet and tell me whose you want!

Oh and on the prizes front stay tuned I have a couple of good give-aways coming up; including some pairs of Vital Sox, read the reviews here and an entry into the Catalina Marathon Eco Challenge in November.

Finally I came across this and thought you would like it...


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Social Sunday!

So this morning I was up and out early; dark o’clock early, 13 miles at 8:04 was the prescribed distance as per the FIRST plan that rounded out week 1. My paces are way off clearly demonstrating that if you don’t use you lose; no running for two weeks has really left the edge dull. I always end up kicking myself after these off periods as even just a mile here or there would have made a difference…oh well another lesson learned the hard way! I had set my Garmin to nag me if I fell out of the 8:00-8:10 range, despite my best efforts my splits were a bit wobbly; 8:56, 8:02, 8:09, 8:19, 8:02, 8:03, 8:18, 8:14, 7:54, 8:14, 8:17, 7:59, 7:50 and 0:47 just to make it a tidy half marathon, I finished +1:30 over target so it wasn’t too bad and it was my equal longest run this year, it’s early days but need to start driving the paces down, of course this is the objective of the plan, reading between the lines I have pretty quick long runs at the weekend and short to medium fast runs during the week and as the plan gets towards the end they merge.

After a quick change I was heading out to pay my volunteer dues at the PCTR Malibu Creek race, that being said the dues are minor and it’s a chance to catch up with some friends. I was a bit late and just caught the tail end of the 8:30am start, but I caught up with Danica who had been checking in the runners and Rachael who had started but felt tight in her Achilles and discretion being the better part of valor had stopped after the first mile, she’s running the San Diego 100 in June so the last thing she needs to do is blow her heel running a training 50k race, I headed out to my Aid Station stop. The Aid Station was set up after the one river crossing on the course, last year it was mid calf, this year with all the rain we had mid thigh and a couple of shorter runners over waist and even mid chest, there was more then one runner that took an early ice bath today!

Picture1 2009 0n the left 2010 on the right (photos courtesy of Billy and Penny)

I met up with some friends from the Trail Runners Club who I hadn’t seen in a while; both are solid ultra runners, Rachael came along and together we helped the mid to back of the pack of the first loopers and the second loopers, the race is basically two 25k loops, you can read my race report from last year here.

Being late to arrive meant I missed Billy, you can read his report here. I did finally meet Penny who I have chatted with on Twitter and whose blog I have been following for over a year now! Evan came flying through in about 2:30 and went on to set a new course record! And another friend Emil was manning the other Aid Station.

As you can see beyond the race it was a great social event and a chance to generally shoot the shit about running and all that good stuff with some like minded people, it was also another reminder of both how much I am missing the trails and I am looking forward to my return to them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Patently fun!

Not much to report this week to be honest. Marathon training marches on, it’s early days yet but so far so good. Interesting I’ve been running in my new Brooks Addictions and alternating them with my last pair of Asics Kayanos and I think it’s a case of not knowing what was wrong until finding out what was right, the Addictions are light, light, light! By comparison the Kayanos feel like I have thrown away the shoes and I am wearing the boxes! They’ll be a review coming soon.

Here’s something that I found on the interweb thing that should satisfy anyone’s inner and, well, their outer geek too, Braindex takes original patent application drawings and will apply them to all manner of things, mugs, T shirts and the like. While there are a whole bunch of majorly technical stuff there’s some pretty cool stuff if you search by brand;

shoe shirt

Adidas running shoe sole pattern T shirt

shorts mug

Nike cycling shorts Mug

shoe mat

New Balance running shoes Mouse Mat

Oh and I am woefully behind on my Google Reader but I am catching up slowly!

Have a great weekend and happy patent hunting!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

20/25 Challenge Week 6

Momentum is drying up, with five weeks to go progress is slowing with some backsliding and lots of status quo and some non reporters, (in yellow), I am sure the weather has contributed; rain, snow, we've had it all around here in the last week…well snow in the surrounding hills. Don't loose sight of the prize folks! That being said Billy wins again!

I am back on the wagon, having hung up my shoes for two weeks the second week giving me time to get my feet wet at the new job. I am finding my time slot in the wee early hours before work, at least for now, works well, well at least until the runs get longer. I'm getting a good reminder of how nice it is to get that run in early head torch or not. I am back in the training groove following the FIRST marathon plan which will bring me to the start line of the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego in June.

This weekend I am volunteering at the PCTR Malibu Creek race, it’s virtually in my back yard and it’s a good opportunity to meet up with some fellow bloggers and runners including Billy and Penny. I am working the Tapia aid station so stop by and I’ll fill your bottles!