Monday, November 29, 2010

QuadCast Episode 42; Catalina Island Eco Marathon

Recorded entirely while running the Eco Marathon I take you on the 6 hour jaunt while I covered a hilly and hot 26.2 miles.

Music is by Go by Moby and All These Things That I Have Done by The Killers.

Please feel free to leave any comments on this shownotes site and I would really love it if you would post a review on iTunes.

You can listen to the podcast through iTunes by clicking here or download it by clicking here.

Thanks for listening!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Conejo Valley YMCA Turkey Day Dash 5k

P1000880We turned up late as is our usual modus operandi, getting kids dressed, fed, car seated just seems to take forever!

I had forgotten to register on line so we then had to stand in line to register during which we heard the start of the kids fun run….grrrr! To hell with this I thought so we cut out of the line and dashed over to the start. My wife took our eldest and I had our youngest, there were already some kids nearly three quarters round the 1000m parking lot track when we crossed the start line; as bandits.

We finished the lap and the got they participant ribbon, smiles and laughter and that was what it was all about!

I went back to the registration and completed the sign up for the 5k, I quickly pinned on my number stripped of my puffa jacket; oh did I mention it was 55f with a cold north wind, and track bottoms and ran to the start. There are a two big High Schools in the area as well as local running store that focus on the shorter distances and they were out in force. I nestled myself into the front quarter about 15 yards behind the start. There was a shout, apparently the gun was broken, and were off!

Since we had rushed out the door I was without my iPod; virtually a first so I focused in on my breath and picking off people slowly some I did some I didn't. The course was a loop and a half mostly around the local mall, it was a bit rolling so what I lost on the ups I gained on the downs, steady was my key, finding a pace that was sustainable but pretty quick, especially as I had not done any speed work since February. My splits are really representative of the ups and downs of the course; 6:54, 7:25, 6:59 and 1:29 for the last (0.25mile?)


My chip time; 22:58:01 good enough for 126/1319 OA and 9/73 in my Age Group. Considering my lack of speed work and training in general I was pleased, I was expecting something north of 25 minutes. As mentioned my wife was there and with a camera so I asked to grab some photos of me, she said she would wait at the finish, as I came down the home straight I picked up my speed for the sprint finish, I saw her on the sideline camera in hand, unfortunately this was the fruits of her labor:


;-/ well actually seeing me finish is an improvement, in previous races she has missed that altogether! I looked at my Garmin stats for this point in the race, I was doing a 5:59 mile and my HR was 185, yeah the guy in black is feeling but check out the kid in white, looks like he is out just kicking a ball along; genetics are a beyotch!

So closes out my racing season; well…maybe.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday…get em’ while they’re hot!

black-fridayUnique to the US Black Friday is the first available shopping day after Thanksgiving, assuming the store is actually closed on Thanksgiving I saw a few open on the way to my Turkey Trot yesterday. Basically the stores are vying for you attention and dollars with them opening their doors earlier and earlier…7:00am, 5:00am, 4:00am even midnight, and yes some people have been camping out all week!

While I like a bargain like the next person it all gets a bit crazy this time of year!

There was a time when I would have been there in line, well to hell with that, now we have the internet! So here are bunch of Black Friday deals that have come across my inbox and you do not need to leave the comfort of your armchair for:

Primal Wear are offering 50% off everything in their E-Team category, my first ‘unusual’ cycling shirt was from Primal so I always have a soft spot for them, follow the link and use the code ETeam511

Voler is also blowing out this years inventory so there is 20% off everything including stuff that’s already in their sale, Voler makes most of Hammer’s cycling kit

ProBikeKit has up to 70% on some items, 15% cashback on frames and has a Christmas Advent Calendar with 40% each item leading up to Christmas

Don’t forget to check out PricePoint, Nashbar and Competitive Cyclist too the latter is offering a free online subscription to the new cycling magazine Peleton

Sugoi have a 40% off sale through the weekend,so if you are not a Brand Champion you can get your hands some of their great running, biking or tri clothing

Rudy Project is having a one day extravaganza , spend $X and get Y and Z thrown in!

My friends at Wilderness Running Company has a blowout on their shoes with some pairs over 50% discounted including some winter ones with nice features such as Gore-Tex, using quad10 at the checkout will get you an extra 10% off

Hammer Nutrition, has it’s annual 20% off sale, that’s 20% off everything, while I don’t use their nutritional products so much these days, I love their cycling kits and they also carry clothing for runners and triathletes

Garmin has its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals posted online including the Forerunner 405, Edge bike mounts and HR straps

Talking of Garmin, RoadRunnerSports has the latest Forerunner the 310XT at 25% off it’s now down to $299 as well as lots of shoes at 25% off and a whole bunch of Christmas specials

Gu has a bunch of specials, the one I like is the 20% of their sample pack, one of everything they sell!

So there you have it some of these deals are just for this weekend other last a little longer so get on them pretty quick – oh and full disclosure I am an affiliate of WRC and PBK which means I get a little bit for every dollar you spend. I have a whole bunch of ideas for Christmas gifts that I will be posting soon too so stay tuned.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

From snow to sand…

Winter in Chicago 1Sorry this is a little late, but this is a quick post to announce the winner of the13.1 LA competition I posted last week.

Having toted up the entries, I used and through the power of the interwebs the winner is….drumroll…Kovas Palubinskas. Congratulations Kovas. drop me a line and I will get you entry code on it’s way to you. If you can’t make let me know and I will pull another winner.

I am pretty sure that come January you’ll be wanting a break from the snow and midwinter trip to sunny Southern California for a nice run along Venice Boardwalk will be just what you need!

Monday, November 22, 2010

PCTR Santa Monica Mountains 30k

Serious Fun. Every PCTR bib I have ever worn says this and in these two words the whole trail running thing is captured, yeah running trails is hard and dirty but it’s always fun! And this weekend was no different. The forecasted storms blew in early and woke me at 4:30am and the rain came down in cats and dogs but by race start there were blue skies and mostly fluffy clouds.


Driving south on PCH (with iPhone)

The other great thing about these races is that it’s a great opportunity to meet up with some super cool people and this weekend was no different, this nice thing is the conversation is just picked up exactly where you left off and that might have been 6 months ago!

pctr group shot

L-R Lori, Shacky, Rachel, Billy, Dave, me, Emil

This is my fourth year at this race, the third time running it and the first time running the 30k, in fact it’s only the second 30k I have ever raced, the first last March runs over the same course from a different start/finish point so it’s a good comparison. The course is a figure of eight with three climbs each of about 1000 feet.


My plan for this race was to really be as steady and consistent as I can, the terrain was always going to dictate my pace, so I would walk the ups, run the downs and run/walk everything; all 3.79 miles of everything else. For the first 6 miles I ran with Rachel, coming down the first hill I was just plain enjoying myself and caught myself doing a sub 8 min mile…woah time to back off! I hit the first Aid Station (7.75m), filled up one bottle and was in and out in literally 10 seconds and with a tidy 1:30 on the clock. A long windy climb up up Ray Miller saw me at 10 miles in 2:00, yes that’s 2.25 miles in 30 minutes! So far so good.

My hydration and nutrition was working pretty well and I was using the new and improved Clif gels (review to follow) one gel every 45 minutes and taking about 15 minutes to eat it along with a bottle of Clif Shot into which I would toss a Nuun.

After the second Aid Station at Sycamore Canyon Rachel passed me on the long climb up, which was fine along the switchback and then it went vertical, this climb truly sucks.


The very final section lasts…oh, about forever!


But the juice is worth the squeeze!

Finally I topped out and had to regroup myself my HR was at 175 and I had been in Zone 5 for the last 30 minutes. Once collected the rest of the route unfolded before me along with some stunning ocean and valley views.



Remember…Serious Fun!

The last thirty minutes are all downhill and with one eye on my watch I had the finish and a PR in sight. It was tempting to walk, my old friend from last weekend at the Eco Marathon; cramping, had come back again but with a few hops and stretches I managed to keep them under control. I bottomed out and with a dash across the road I crossed the finish line in 3:44:01. A new PR by nearly 11 minutes.

I hung around and caught up with Billy who ran a smoker and placed 3rd in his age group, saw the winner of the 50k finish in 4:25! Humbling! I caught up with Sarah and Michael the RDs who told me of some exciting plans for the future! After which I headed out and was home in time for lunch.

I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it that if you ever fancy a trail race this is place to go, all altitude and no attitude…oh yeah and serious fun, go on give it a go; you know you want to ! Here are the rest of the photos.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Discretion over Destruction!

It took a full five days and and 90 minutes being kneaded like a piece of 3 week old dough on a massage table for me to feel like me legs have grown back. I probably didn’t help the cause much as this week has been another full on week at work and that has resulted in err nada training during the week. On Twitter I asked the question was I on a permanent taper as I am not running between races or am I just a lazy bum? Ach whatever really, I am enjoying the runs and that’s what counts. There’s no chances of me setting the world alight with my performance but these are just fun runs on the trails and I get to hang out with some like minded people. Tomorrow I am at the PCTR Pt Mugu race, Billy, Rachel, Penny, Emil and Dave will be there for sure.

That being said with Penny scaling back her 50k attempt to 30k this weekend I am off the hook for my pacing duties and so I dropped to to the 30k also. I was pretty good through to 15 miles last weekend and so I think I can bluff my way to the end, the last three miles are not as quad busting as Catalina it should also reduce the recovery time as I am supposed to be running a family Turkey Trot on Thursday!

Another thing that’s going to be different is the weather:

Eco (31) pctr50k2007

Last weekend (Catalina Eco Marathon 2010)

Forecasted for Sunday (PCTR Pt Mugu 50k 2007)

As I look out the window, it’s drizzling and it’s been raining all night…bring it on I say, that’ll make it just more fun in my books, here’s the actual forecast:


So that’s my plans for my weekend as always I will running along grinning grimacing like a fool! Performance wise – well somewhere around 3:45 would be good!

Finally good luck to Wes at IronMan Arizona tomorrow, I am (as usual) behind on everyone else's adventures so if you are racing this weekend good luck to you to!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway in LALA!

imageI was contacted by the folks at 13.1 Marathon again this year who asked if I would be interested in giving a free entry away for the race in Venice Beach on Sunday, January 16th. This is a series of 13.1 mile races, similar to the Rock’N’Roll series, from the producers of the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon®, ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon®, and the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K.

I ran it back in January and had a blast, this year they have changed the route to run more along Venice boardwalk in sight of the ocean! You can read my race report here.

So here’s the dealio, it’s along the usual lines:

Liking them on Facebook will get you one entry

If you post on your blog about this you can have another entry and if you Tweet “I just entered the @quadrathon LA13.1 giveaway, so can you” there’s one more entry!

Now for the bonus, if you can donate a pair of used shoes I will give you 5 more entries, to do this you need to visit Top To Top, a specialty running store in Santa Monica to donate your used running shoes to Give Your Sole, a program which collects athletic shoes from races and donates them to men, women, and children in need between November the 18th and 21st. Top to Top’s location is 2621 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA. I am working under the assumption that someone local will want to enter, win and run the race!

Now the donation has to be totally on the honor system, so I will leave it up to you to be well…honest!

Leave a comment telling me what you did out of the above and I will tally the entries and draw the winner next Wednesday.

Talking of winners the winner of Running Hot is, drumroll….Lauren! Email me your mailing address and it’s on its way to you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Catalina Island Eco Marathon

Boy did I have to dig deep for this one! But first some thankyous. Firstly to Amanda from Spectrum Sports who comp’d my entry and secondly to the super cool group of people who I got to hang out with Friday night through Saturday night. What a great bunch of people you are, Colin, Kirstin, Graham, Brittny, Brian, Erika and Rider, Billy and Andrea you all totally rock!

This could be a long rambling race report but I think a picture is worth a 1000 words and so here is about 50 of them.

The long and the short of it was that I was woefully undertrained, I eased off on the front half knowing that the first 5 miles were basically up and they were! It was a good job too as anything I saved I used up in spades on the back half. Despite being spot on with my hydration and nutrition I started cramping around my 16 and didn’t stop till I crossed the finish line! And that was even with 6 Nuun tablets, 80oz of Gu Brew/Cytomax and 4 salt tabs. I blitzed through 6 gels and 2 packs of ShotBloks care of Clif (reviews and giveaway soon) and didn't take anything from the Aid Stations except water...tempting as the Red Bull looked it was probably a good idea to give it a miss!

The course was challenging and even when you on the “top” the rolling downs seemed to be uphill at times. The real kicker was the heat, clear blue skies from the get go and little or no shade for most of the course which took it’s toll and the final 3 miles of downhill will claim their prize; a couple of my toe nails! However that being said on a good day this course is very runable; mostly fireroad and non technical single track, there are a couple of doldrum inducing road sections but they pass by quickly enough. The scenery as you would expect is breathtaking and one upside of the cloudless day was the ability to see to the mainland and other islands. Suprisingly there were also a couple of small lakes..well more like big ponds that you ran around which broke up the scenery. The Aid Stations were frequent; every 3 miles or so and while simply stocked were plentiful and didn’t run out of anything (unlike some other races this weekend) and as you expect with trail races the volunteers were awesome! Overall the race was well organized, safe; with plenty of radio hams on the course and fun!

Eco (127a)

In terms of my performance I was on track for an around 5:30 finish, or so thought I as passed through the halfway mark in 2:39 but shortly after that the wheels fell off the axle broke and the radiator blew it’s cap! In addition to the cramping I did have some hip issues that went away with a handful of Aleve, the good news was that among all of this my adductors were fine. In time honored fashion my fast walk helped me make up the pace as well as something that I learned in the military which is to simply walk 10 strides then run 10 strides, this allows you to cover more ground than simply walking and you don't loose too much time over someone who is running slowly, also it expends less energy. The "Crush" at M19 wasn't too bad, steep yes but also short; about 1/3 of a mile.

I finished in a predicted 6:01:45, 139 out of 267 (can you say middle of the pack) got a great finisher’s shirt and the biggest piece of bling ever! I was desperately trying to go sub six but being reduced to a grimaced, crampy, gimpy, walk, stretch run in the last mile back down the road into Avalon robbed me of that! Post race I kinda ground to a halt and cooled off in the ocean, but I was a bit slow on recovery fuel and stretching and now I am paying the price for that, if there was one complaint it would be the lack of food/drink at the finish.

Now if I can just hold onto my toenails and shake the feeling that somebody used my quads to break in their new baseball bat this coming weekend I have PCTR Pt Mugu!

Hills, heat and high times!

Had a blast, got to hang out with like minded people who are a damn site fitter than me!

Ran a challenging, hilly course with stunning views in the bare assed sunshine! Found out just how far I can go while cramping; about 10 miles!

Cashed a big check from the mental fortitude deposit fund, but completed with a smile and got the biggest piece of bling to date! Report to follow!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A little late for Halloween!

Let’s hope I don’t have a nightmare on Saturday! I occurred to me that my last run was a marathon and my next one will err be one too! Oh well!

My boat ticket is booked and I have a place to stay the night before…in fact it’s a veritable who’s who of SoCal folks with half a dozen of us sharing a house. If you’re on Twitter you can no doubt follow our antics Friday night, Saturday and some of Saturday night and their misbehaving's on Sunday, I am on the last boat out Saturday! Here are the tweeple; @runwicked @kristincool @grahamburford @larunr and @andrealyne, alas no @southbaygirl who is working and no @spectorjosh who is recovering from surgery! And not forgetting Lisa who won a entry in a giveaway back in June!

As for a plan well it goes a little like this; cross the start line….cross the finish line, bestimate time; somewhere around 6 hours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Best laid plans…

Ah how wrong I was check out this post from exactly a year ago.  Nine races planned and of that list I ran!
That being said I did run three others that were not on the list! And all things being equal I will run another three that were not there either. So I guess that's a good example of planning #fail101! But the reality is that things change, priorities shift, life moves on and sometimes gets in the way, but without a plan you really will get nowhere fast rather than nowhere slowly.

And so like most people this time of the year my thoughts are turning to what next year holds in terms of a race schedule and right now with the exception of returning to the 13.1 LA race in January I have a big fat blank sheet of paper...and you know what that's just fine.

[P1000335[3].jpg]One thing for sure is that there will be more family events and while you may never see a photo of the fam' here (house rules) you may well see them at the finish and the start line in real life...I am forecasting a lot of kids fun runs, especially as my eldest who just turned 6 picked up his first pair of trail running shoes an is itching to get a pair of Newtons...although I think it's the color that appeals. Talking of Newtons, you remember I got a pair oh err in February! Well I am digging them out, once the November madness has passed!

I can say that I expect the bike to get a good showing especially as I still need to pop that century cherry and with the wet suit I won last month winging its way to me...well who knows?!!?

Oh and this post matches the same number I wrote all of last year and takes me through to number 601 in total! Jeez I have a lot to say!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review; Running Hot (and giveaway)

A few months ago I was browsing through Amazon and I saw this pop up in the suggestions, there are not too many books about ultra runners and ultra running and so I threw it the old basket and checked out. It sat on my night stand for a while…most books do and then during the late summer I managed to start it and within a week it was done!

I would best describe this as the less flashy more down-to-earth and dysfunctional female version (hey we’re all dysfunctional in one way or another…but I digress) version of Dean Karnazes’ UltraMarathon Man.

The book tells the story of Lisa Tamati, a New Zealander who discovered ultra running by accident. An injury which resulted in a broken back and her doctors telling her she would never run again was followed by cycling through 20 countries in Europe, rafting down the Yukon and hiking through the Arabian Desert…you could say she’s a bit tenacious!

The running side came with her entering and completing some pretty tough races including The Desert Cup a 168km non-stop in Jordan, two stints at Marathon Des Sables; 242km in Morocco and two finishes at Badwater 135.

As you would expect there is plenty of adversity, troubling times, tears, blisters and snot and large portion of joy, laughter and success. She’s not a winner but she’s a finisher and I think this is the appeal of the book. You can empathize and sympathize, it’s written to be read without looking for the hidden meaning and simply to be enjoyed. She loves and lives life’s challenges.

So here’s the giveaway…I have one copy, my copy, to give away (my wife is on a Kindle bender) to one lucky reader. To win simply answer the following question and I will put all the correct entries in a hat and draw one next Wednesday.

The question is; by what nickname are New Zealanders often known?

QuadCast Episode 41; Long Beach Marathon

Well I went, I ran and I came back and managed to finish in one piece!

I get a great letter from a reader Jeff from Florida, thanks Jeff!

Intro and music is Dirty Devil by The Otherside a and the main track Genesis by Justice recorded live in San Francisco

Please feel free to leave any comments on this shownotes site and I would really love it if you would post a review on iTunes.

You can listen to the podcast through iTunes by clicking here or download it by clicking here.

Thanks for listening!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Randomocity; miscellaneous musings…

A bit of a slow start to November on the old blogging front. Super busy week at work put the kybosh on most things #socialmedia, once again I am behind on my reader, a half edited Podcast sits on my mac and my training is, well, really a bit of a joke!

So in time honored bullet point fashion here we go…in no particular order:

  • Rode my longest ride on the new bike on Tuesday; 55m in 3:18 I was a fraction shy of a sub three hour 50 miles
  • Also on the bike front I nearly hit 20 miles in an hour on the road…well nearly means I was 5 minutes over…but I was pleased
  • I am on saddle #4 and struggling to find that perfect fit, was a bit numb after Tuesday!
  • Rode for the first time in a Bib (rather than shorts)…it felt what I imagine control hose feels like?!?
  • Running…yeah been meaning to do some of that…#fail!
  • Despite my best attempt I did not overdose on candy and crap at Halloween…I really did give it a good try through!
  • I still haven’t booked my ferry ticket to Catalina for next weekend’s Eco Marathon…yeah I am totally going to hurt after that race!
  • I haven’t signed up for the race the following weekend either…that I am not so worried about; I know the RD!
  • Come the end of November this year is wrapped up…well I might do a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving or something. If I do a 5k I will have raced everything from a 5k to a 50k this year…but let’s not get ahead of myself!

So there you go…it’s really not that interesting it is…oh well, normal service will be resumed shortly. As per my last post I have a bunch of giveaways coming up along with a ton of stuff I am reviewing including the new(ish) Kinvara from Saucony!

Oh yeah and if you’re running NYC tomorrow…what the hell are you still doing awake!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday…

The joy of starting work at midday yesterday…



Of course this meant I meant I finished at 7:00am today and was back at 1:00pm!