Monday, January 31, 2011

QuadCast Episode 44; I am Imelda Marcos!

So in this episode I talk about my last race, the 13.1 Los Angeles race from a couple of weeks all went rather well. I give you a quick run down on the gear. I discuss my shift to fore/midfoot running and my Imelda Marcos habit! I talk about the Natural Running book that I have just finished and how that is coming into play. I give you a quick lesson on how to pronounce words that end in Shire and the fact that people should say morning when I say morning to them...yes I should have had more coffee!!!

Music in this show is Daylight by Matt & much fun!

You can listen to the Podcast through iTunes by clicking here or stream it in the widget on the right hand margin.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Going left…

I am a creature of habit, I have the same running route, literally I have run the same route 100’s of times, I know the mile markers, where I can jump the lights and where I need to stop and wait, where there a barking dogs who don’t move and where there are dogs that chase me; there are a few and thank goodness for fences!

More recently I have developed the same cycling route, a nice loop that gives me some solid climbing, some sweeping downhills and some speedy flats. So when I headed out this morning for some reason my nose sent me left instead of right…no real reason, it just did! Six miles in I had no real idea where I was heading but the general direction was up and it seemed into the wind…with the exception of a couple of woah holy f%^k side gusts that nearly blew me over and the joy of riding the brakes all the way down with a headwind trying to blow me me off backwards!


I seemed to be running along the edge of the hillside for some of it,  it was very residential but very quiet and I strayed into a couple of deadends and cul de sacs, but it’s all mileage and it’s not like it was a time trial! I ended up with a solid 30 and change in just over two hours


Here’s something you don’t see around here!

Along the way I stopped at a crossing and saw a sign, this sign!


I followed it for about five miles but then had to turn away from the route…later in the day I saw another one for Route #3…alas I can’t find anything online about them but I figured next time I will just go left and go from there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lazy Blogger!

Yeah so that post last week Friday about being busy, this week was kind of a rinse and repeat!

1/15/11 Rest day, took it off before Sunday’s race, of course ferrying the kids around and doing the weekend chores is not quite what I would describe as rest!

1/16/11 Race day…followed by two frames of family bowling in the afternoon!

1/17/11 Martin Luther King and an extra day off from work! Hit the roads on the bike and got a pretty decent 30 mile ride in in just under 2 hours


1/18/11 Hit the local wash trail for a nice 5 miler at lunchtime and then the week caught up with me

1/19/11 Fail…woke up on the floor in between the kid’s beds after “cuddle” time, at 9:30pm, no dinner, hmm time for bed!

1/20/11 Took an extra rest day…

1/21/11 Finally a break! Managed to slip in an awesome 6 miler again on the local trail, glorious sunny day, just a joy to be running! It’s a nice solid three miles up and three miles down, the elevation ramps up; 117’, 199’ and 423’ per mile and there is still another couple or three miles more…I need an extended lunch to get to the top!


I am in spitting distance of finishing Natural Running…then to plan for the transition!

Oh I got (snagged) the pictures from last week…they’re actually not that bad!


Have a great weekend…out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

13.1 Los Angeles

imageI’ll be honest I really wanted this race to go well, after a conservative run at the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon last month, I had been pretty diligent with my running, (not training – I am not on a plan), but having run this race last year I had in my mind that the last 3-4 miles were tough and uphill, uphill is relative but up is up.

So I had focused on running long(ish) gentle(ish) climbs, a good example is a lunchtime run at work were I would do mile repeats with a 250’ climb, 8:26 - up 7:03 - down 8:42 - up 6:52 - down , some climbing and some speedwork combined (aimed for 8:30’s and 7:00’s), I had also been doing some progression and pyramid runs really trying to maintain a specific pace really with this race in mind.

Why do I mention this well I think it really reinforces the need for specificity in training…anyway on with the report.

My strategy was to maintain a 7:45 pace for 10 miles and then pick up the last three and drop the hammer on the last .1. In the back of my mind was what happened last year, a similar plan albeit a bit slower paced, I went out too fast and the wheels came off, this year I was adamant I would run my own race properly. I put myself right at the front of the 8:00 pace group, the anthem was played, the siren failed and with a shouted “go” we went.

I gotta be honest I hit play on my iPod, start on my Garmin and I locked onto my pace like a hungry dog bites a rabbit. I focused on keeping a steady cadence, the music helped (I was listening to this; Episode Special #12). I did totally freak myself at mile 5. I was wearing my FuelBelt and the bag check bit on my number was flapping about so I tore it off and went to put it in the pouch with my gels and found it open and all my gels gone! f$%k! Be calm, be cool (and be grateful my car key was still in it) I thought! I put that thought in a box and locked it away. Interestingly I had no gels and only drank about 8oz of fluid for the whole race. I did have a breakfast the night before and one the morning of and had been sipping on a bottle of Cytomax before the race…which I have done for three of the last four races and it’s worked really well.

The miles clicked off, the course is basically a sling shot inland, it’s not a great course in terms of sights and the fact that you can see a long line of runners in front of you is not the best of things.


The turnaround is out there…

I hit the turnaround; 7:09 miles, in 55 minutes exactly, now try working out the mental math from there! I was expecting the back to be up and it really wasn’t I was expecting my pace to drop off and it really didn’t, in fact it got faster, I don’t have an exact half way split but miles 1-7 was 54:19 and miles 7-13.1 was 53:54 (I have to include M7 in both to make that work). I hit the 10 mile mark in 1:17:20 that’s a 7:44 pace! Nailed it! A then girl I had been running with commented that my pace was really even…score!

At mile 11 I locked onto someone and dropped into their slipstream. All sorts of crap was floating through my head, the night before I had watched Dust to Glory and I remembered a soundbite “and then a funny thing happened a race broke out between 196th and 197th place” check it out it’s a great movie and then I remembered an interview I listened to with Chris McCormack wondering why Andreas Raelert had come up to his shoulder around mile 23 in Kona instead of staying out of sight…all sorts of weird shit!

My pacer went through an water stop I went on, I was picking up speed and doing the math…could I squeeze in under 1:40:00. As I approached M13 I saw the finish, it wasn’t far but it was too far. Now I have got really good eyesight, really good and I saw the clock had 1:40:07 on it, so I was racing for seconds, I kicked and a guy next to me kicked, I kicked harder.


Like I said I really wanted this race to go well and you know what it did!

Here are my splits,

13point1 LA Jan 2011

I was 294th of 2538 and 31st of 178 in my Age Group, I am very happy!

Now I just need to finish this damn book and get training! Let’s see what I can do when I train…this is 4 minutes off my PR and a great baseline to assault the sub 1:30 half marathon target.

Finally I should say that this is the second time I have raced this race (this was the second one) and I was comp’d the entry, for which I am really grateful, and now I am a legacy runner too! Honestly it’s really only gotten better. I loved the preferred parking right by the start (best $20 you can spend), this year had more running along the beach front which was great, again there were hoards of volunteers and plenty of water etc as best I could tell, the start was well organized, pace lines, plenty of space, great vibe, the finish was fun with some great LA food trucks and the usual entertainment and oddities that you expect from the Venice area. I got a really nice Craft tech shirt, I am learning to like the color and I wore it today and the bling was nice and hefty!

I know that the 13.1 series has added some more cities this year so if you get a chance to run one of these go for it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

AWOL; Absent With Out bLogging!

Yeah I am still here! a 60 hour work week, with 15 hours of commuting and 4:00am starts have taken their toll, not a blog post, blog comment, Tweet or Facebook Status update in a week, I did manage to update Daily Mile thanks to Electric Miles. Anyway here’s this week’s deets!

1/8/11 1000m swim 32:00, steady, alternate 100m BS and 100m FS, focused on form and breathing

1/9/11 Run 7:20m 1:01 TM Nice and steady Z2. The joy of a treadmill it's very controllable, nothing on "plan" so I stuck to Z2 @1% grade for 60 mins and with a negative split, 8:82, 8:49, 8:49, 8:56, 8:29, 8:36, 8:50 slowed up get in zone at the end surprisingly Z1 34% Z2 28% and Z3 36%. Was spiking at start and had drift to the end, got thru 18oz of Nuun

1/10/11 Run 5:60m 45:00 RD Easy run left knee a little sore, just followed my nose around the neighborhood

1/11/11 Elliptical 4:48m, had no idea how far I travelled till I had stopped, I had ripped a movie to my iphone and was watching that...park brain, engage legs, elevation at 10 and resistance at 7. 20 mins iPhone yoga in the evening ...very tight hips!

1/12/11 Run 5:6m 50:00 TM nothing much to say about this just got on with it

1/13/11 Elliptical 4:20m 45:00 Left knee a little sore so nice and steady, trying to to keep up a steady pace elevation at 10 and resistance at 7

1/14/11 Elliptical 3:25m 35:00 Crazy busy at work but managed to sneak out at lunch, elevation at 10 and resistance at 7

So as you can see a lightish week, I managed to keep moving…just! The good news is I have dropped 5.4lbs in two weeks, it’s a steady sustainable loss, which means it should stay off. I am still photographing my food (I am a bit behind in posting though) and logging on I should finish Running Natural this weekend and then start the transition plan…that’s the plan at least!


Tomorrow, Saturday is a rest day and Sunday is 13.1 Los Angeles, I am aiming for a conservative 1:40-1:45, I raced this last year and blew up around mile 12 so this year I hope to have a better showing!

Anyway that’s it for now, have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Retul, rants and angles!

I finally, (I say finally simply because I have been asking since December for it, really how hard is it to send an email and when I pay $250 for something I expect some level of service that does not involve me nagging), got my Retul report. This is a bit of a rant but the reality is my takeaway from Franco Bikes is that while they, specifically Julian whose name is above the door, really knows his bike stuff and whose bikes are really nice, the customer experience is pretty bad, and that’s a real shame because as a small custom shop he needs all the word of mouth recommendation he can get! Ok rant over!

So this report contains all the measurements taken by the motion based camera.


The idea here is that I can take these into any shop and be fitted accordingly. It is interesting to a point but to be honest it’s information overload. One thing that I was asked by Sean in NY was about the Knee Forward of Foot…now I was told that this is for optimum power transfer from the rotation of the pedal into forward motion. WTF? Ok disclaimer time; I am no expert here…nor do I play one on television. Firstly as best I can tell this is a variation on KOPS (Knee over pedal spindle) whereas a plumb line from your patella (knee cap) would line up with the spindle of the pedal axel, now there are arguments on this as an “golden rule” as in it is always true. See here for Pro and here for Against. It makes obvious sense that if you are drastically behind your power output is compromised and I am sure the same would be said if you were too far over. This can also be affected by the seat being too far forward or too far back, there are a lot of variables at play here.

Here are some examples of what I talking about and the photo I posted last year with the KOPS angle highlighted in green…it’s off right, you see I am behind!




As you can see there is a real science to it all. Now that being said, the qualitative variable is feel, you may be optimally fitted but just plain uncomfortable. I am still tweaking mine even after 300 miles, in fact I have lowered my seat 1cm since being refitted, this pushed my knee forward, opened the knee over axel angle and close the torso to arm angle which makes me less efficient but it’s more comfortable and that’s what counts…in my opinion!

PS I totally missed Sean’s question, so if you have asked me something and haven’t gotten an answer either in a post or email just nag me and I will get back to you…sorry again Sean!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday figures…

Not much going on this week! I am still reading Natural Running, I am actually a reasonably quick reader but I am just short on time. I broke through the 100 mile mark on my Kinvara’s and have no problems with them. My schedule since the New Year trainingwise is ok, I am not on a plan so I am in effect making it up as I go along running Mon, Wed and Fri, cross training Tues and Thurs and doing something at the weekend, either a longer run or a bike ride. I have been out this week mostly in the mornings, that’s an approx 5:00am start…four of these on the trot and come Friday night I am bushed!

So this week looked like this, the comments are from my log, so it’s a bit inside baseball:

1/1/11 – Yoga, 20 mins yoga following a Gaim DVD. So stiff...the only way is up!

1/2/11  - Run, 6.05 M RD 49:17. Easy six, was raining...oh well, looking for a negative split on the way back, squeaked it in by a minute  or so 8:18, 8:15, 8:23, 8:34, 7:56, 7:33

1/3/11 – Run 4.01 M TM 33:03. What should have been an easy Z2 4 miles became an I am bored let’s ramp up the TM speed then became an OMG zero energy and then WTF I can’t cool down! It’s cold (50f) and the gym had the heating on! I couldn't cool down and had to stand outside for 10 mins to try to get things under control. Should have just stuck to the plan! 8:07, 7:37, 7:12, 9:58

1/4/11 – Bike 16.31 M RD 1:07:18 Very windy and therefore very cold; 3 layers, need my shoe covers! L&M died after 40m need to charge it longer, nevertheless a solid ride with a lower than average ave speed. And I am done for the day!

1/5/11 – Run 4.68 M TR 41:55 Slow paced run, energy levels low, most likely due to reduced diet and still carrying this cold, but it`s always good to get out and click off some miles

1/6/11 –  Bike 12.87 M RD 00:42:31 A very windy ride, cut short by the clock! In the evening had a good rollout on quads, hams, calves on Triggerpoint Roller

1/7/11 – Run 5.01 M RD 42:32 Nice and steady accelerator run, barely noticed the effort to pick up 8:46, 8:40. 8:30. 8:22, 8:06

So nothing mind shattering as you can see, but some steadiness and a pretty good mix, my cold thing is on it’s way out and once I finish the book I will start the transition to forefoot proper, from there I want to get on a good HM plan, I am thinking FIRST again, and find a race (with a couple of back ups to shoot for a 1:30 probably around April/May Laguna or Pasadena are real solid possibilities. As it stands my only racing commitment this year so far is the 13.1 next weekend. 

I am only only 5 days into calorie counting but I am really liking, it’s very easy on the iPhone and the web and takes very little time, especially if you are like me and you eat the same things a lot! The weight is starting to shift, but it is early days and those are the easy pounds! I am logging everything on the i8this site too, check it out!

And that’s about it for the week, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

JayDub, a fair dinkum cobba!

imageIn between Christmas and the New Year I had the pleasure of being interviewed by JayDub the host of the BHAG Running Podcast. Located in Sydney, Australia Jay’s podcast follows his training. He recently completed his first Marathon and is now looking at upping the ante with a 50k and a transition to the trails. He wanted to pick my brains about my my journey, training and future goals!

It was a lot of fun and hopefully I imparted some wisdom although I profess to be by no means an expert on anything!

Check it out here and stay tuned with Jay as he moves towards his BHAG!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cleaning out the clutter…

So as is the way this time of year the Christmas tree comes down and the decorations go away, plans are made for the year and there is always a bit of tidying up done. Back to school, back to work it doesn’t matter it’s just a mind set of preparedness. With that in mind and with #9 resolution in mind I decided to tackle the nightmare that is my running/cycling kit, it’s kinda everywhere, in drawers, cupboards, under the bed. Part inspired listening to Barb tell the tale of her storage strategy and part driven by the insanity of not being able to find something! So a quick trip to Target and and hour spent sorting.

First out with the bajillion white cotton race Tshirts that I will never wear.


Next stop Goodwill!

There were also some race shirts that didn’t fit or were just plain yuk! Next up digging in to the stuff I was keeping…and another hour or so sorting and I got to some semblance of a finished product, there’s more of course but this is a good photo!


Scary fact, one big drawer is just compression clothing!

Ok so far so good, now I have one more to go…


Got Hydration!

There are a couple of other things I am doing to achieve #2 on the Revolution list. I have fired up the the i8this blog, if you want to play just leave a comment and I will send you the log in details and I have signed up on, yes I am calorie counting it’s worked in the past and I am confident it will work again, accountability and transparency usually go a long way. Check it out and friend me if you like.

And so on with the year…