Saturday, August 30, 2008

One down, fourteen to go!

This could be the quote of last night; four off us went out to dinner, we consumed fourteen dishes between us and polished off two bottles of wine, gorgeous food, great friends, good times!

However what this refers to the weeks of my fall training program, so here I am running the numbers:

Saturday (replaced Sunday): Bulldog 25k (15.5m)

Monday; 5 miler

Tuesday: 10 miles on bike trainer

Wednesday: 6 miler

Thursday: 12 miles on bike trainer

Saturday: (should have been a 9 on Friday, but got home late) 7 miler

Target for the week was 35 miles running I came in at a tenth of a mile over, and 22 miles on the bike, which again I was little over, next week I flip it around and have 72 miles on the bike and 27 miles running, as they say variety is the spice of life!

Thanks to everyone for the Birthday wishes, I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's my Birthday and I buy if want to!

Well at least try and wait for them to come into stock around November, there are still a few other maybes to try but this is definitely a favorite so far.

Specialized Roubaix SL2

The first week of training is going well and I am on target despite Birthday cupcakes and going out for Thai food tomorrow night...yum!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Worth the Weight Wk 3

Here are the week 3 standings in the competition.

It looks like Jenn is running away, pun intended! with it. However things are hotting up for the remaining podium slots with jkrunning and Lily on the Road, battling it out for second. In like a bullet is Run for Life giving Scott a run for his money. Then there is real bunch of two percenters with six people spread over less than one percent (is it me or does this sound like milk commercial?).

Personally, after last weeks race, I am ramping up, dusting off my bike and trainer and digging out my road shoes, Base building is nobody’s favorite pastime but it needs to be done; I have another 220 running and 360 cycling miles to cover before hills and intervals training kicks in over the next 7 weeks. The good news is that while my mileage increase so does my caloric burn. So I hope to be moving up those rankings.

This weekend I have a scheduled 50 mile bike ride with Jes from TRC who is training for a triathalon so that's going to help.

So with just under two weeks to go and Labor Day just around the corner it looks like it’s going to be about resisting temptation, staying on the straight and narrow and hoping we all end up skimmed!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Raindrops on roses!

These are a few of my favorite things…

My technology; Forerunner, MotionBased and Google Earth, where I came from, where I am, how fast I got there and where I am going…oh yes and what it all looks like from space!

My retail therapy; Chainlove, SteepandCheap, Woot, Zombie Runner, is it telling that I have a blog categories of "Gizmos & Gadgets" and even worse “Not More Stuff”?

My weather: cool crisp mornings, low cloud burning off, clean mountain breezes and desert vistas There’s a reason I live in Southern California. I am grateful every day.

My view: high peaks, deep valleys, rocky outcrops, dizzying switchbacks and the infamous “nearly there”.

My run: the first mile always sucks, so the second is always better, the penultimate mile means I’ve nearly finished; it’s time to dig deep and the last means it’s over…only till the next time.

My RBFs: inspiring, humorous, passionate, honest and supporting…’nuff said!

Quick update on Saturday, my official time was 3:55:13 104th of 292.

Week 3 Worth the Weight results coming soon…

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bulldog 25k Trail Race

There were several attractions for entering this race; first location; Malibu Creek State Park is only two exits on the freeway from where I live; all in all about an 8 minute drive and second; it would give me a good benchmark as to where my fitness level had sunk to over the summer. Despite being sold out several weeks ago this race for me only ever had two competitors: my watch and the heat. Pulling into parking lot the cloud was low, damp and cool, I hoped it would remain our companion for the morning but it was soon to dissipate leaving clear blues skies and sharp crisp shadows.

I picked up my number and goodie bag and saw Mieko from TRC who was on volunteer duty she said hi and wished me good luck. I went through my usual stretches and wandered over the start line. I had ummed and ahhed about wearing arm warmers; I decided against, a good choice as it turned out. The pre race brief was given; the usual about trail markers etc and with a ready-steady-go we were off.

The first miles took us along the side of a dried out creek bed and then along the appropriately named Crags Road, so called due its “cragginess”, basically a it’s a dry river bed complete with the prerequisite jagged rocks at every turn, beaten down over the years into a trail but pretty gnarly at best. We exited this section and ran passed the old MASH site, this is where they filmed the original series and there are a couple of long abandoned vehicles. A left turn started us on the climb and after a short section I passed the first aid station only stopping to be "spritzed". As previously mentioned the route is basically along-up-along-down-along, so this climb was going to account for at least a 20-25%; at least in distance, significantly more timewise. Based on my goals I could basically run 10, 11 or 12 minute miles. My provisional plan was to push to get ahead of these times for the first four miles, lose time on the climb and the regain it on the rest of the course. Working on the best case scenario at the forty minute mark I was slightly ahead, at the fifty half a mile behind and at the hour over a mile and half, in fact the sixth mile taking a torturous 19 minutes with a 750’ elevation gain. In short change the climb was just brutal, the sun had come through around mile three, there was little shade and even less of a breeze and did I say the climb was tough! Finally at the six mile mark I reached to the top in a pedestrian 1:14.

The next mile was a quick downhill to the second aid station, a quick sponge down to cool off and I was on my way. After a short, sharp rocky climb up-and-over we were treated to a section of what by comparison could be called flat followed by another short hill that lasted a half mile or so, this was the prelude the long down hill that would take us back to the canyon floor. At this point we had been running westwards, towards the pacific and had been above the cloud layer, as we dropped down the hill we were treated to cool mists that were blowing through the canyon. Four miles and 1800’ later we were back on the flat. The trail then wound it’s way along the bottom of the valley, there was a quick stream crossing and of course I managed to dunk one foot! The final aid station advised us it was another 2.6 miles and I availed myself of another sponge down and some coke. I was expecting it to be a reasonably level stretch to the finish, ah the bitter taste of disappointment, the final climb took its toll and by mile 14 I was pretty spent. With only a mile left we broke out of the trail and followed the road back towards the original start line. The heat was radiating off the road and runners ahead were suffering as much as I was, one passed me and then pulled up clutching his hamstring with a grimace, cramps I assume. The final turn put us back onto the grass, a girl runner had been tailing me and I could hearing her cranking up her pace so in a final we effort we sprinted, well it was more like a 5k, ok a 10k pace, to the finish line! I made my way through the chute, picked up my medal and headed off for refreshments and a good stretch, never has cold water melon tasted so good! I stretched out and took six Recover-Ease and a bottle of Soy Chocolate Milk. I have got to say that Recover-Ease is the bomb, I spent all day today (Sunday) on my feet at Legoland with about four hours of driving in the car (two there, two back) and have little or no soreness, so that should give you all incentive enough for the "Worth your Weight " as I have six bottles of product from Wicked Fast to give away!

And so for the postmortem: my unofficial time was 2:55:30,“silver” according to my sliding goal scale, however the numbers probably reflect a better result than I deserve. I wanted to get a feel for my base and I did; it’s low probably around the 20-25 miles per week level, so I have some ways to go to get it up to the 60 miles per week range. The heat, as expected, played a big part, I wanted to avoid a repeat of the Valley Crest Half Marathon where I had the cold shakes and while still sailing pretty close to the wind this time I paid close attention to my body tempearture and heart rate easing off when I felt hot or my HR was close to 180 (I actually maxxed out at 191 which really puts to bed the 220 - your age; I am 41 next week!!!). I am not a great runner in the heat and I had pretty much drunk all of my fluids (20oz each of Perpetuem and Amino Vital), I had consumed three Hammer gels and two endurolytes. I was using Polar insulated bottles in my handheld sleeves and they kept things cool almost right to the end. I estimate I was around 10-12 ounces short and so ended a little dehydrated, not really surprising as the temperature in my car said 92 degrees when I got in it to leave; about 20 minutes after I had finished.

The good news is that I do have a baseline from which to improve and I can run this loop as often as I like by simply driving the 8 minutes to get there; I anticipate doing this at the end of each phase so I can look forward to at another two laps round. Up next month is 18k around Point Mugu, I ran this last year and know exactly what to expect, it was in fact my first trail race!. And so I embark on a 7 week period of base building which will get me to around the 60 mile range follow by 6 weeks of speed and hill work followed by ten days of taper after which I’ll be toeing the line at Twin Peaks.

Here’s the Forerunner data and some not so great photos.

Thankyou everyone for your early congrats. Finally a big good luck to Alex and Susie - Team Perky, who are running the Trans Rockies Race this that's a hell of a run!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time Flies!

I hadn’t planned on writing anything for this week’s Runner’s Lounge Take it and Run Thursday until I had a conversation with my wife last night. She asked how my run had gone earlier in the day and I responded that it was ok but my fitness level has dropped right off and that that was not surprising given I have only put in 20 miles a week for the last 3 or so months. She responded that I would need to focus, it was going to be tough to get ramped up for a 50 miles race in December, work and commuting notwithstanding life places its own demands.

So this is my addition to this week topic which is the middle miles; getting over the hump.

I delayed my second training cycle due to a new job, looking back that was 3 months ago, in fact had I stuck with the original plan I would have completed my target race 10 days ago! Now I am about to start again with my target race in December. Now think about that for a second; December; hmm that’s Christmas time, now doesn’t that make it sound a long way off, now if I tell you there are just under 17 weeks till Christmas, less than 120 days: 120 daily newspaper, approximately 50 blog posts, 34 tanks of gas, 17 Saturday nights. Now does that sound a bit closer than Christmas! To me that means that there are only 15 weeks till my race; 105 days.

So what does this have to do with the hump, the middle, the doldrums, well my point that I am arriving at a torturously, circuitous pace is that they come and go faster than you think. Keeping one eye focused on what is approaching from the horizon keeps that eye on the prize, keeps you focused and helps you get through the middle miles. That’s not to say that you need to take your other eye off the present and where you are and what you are doing this week, today, right now, be it good or as per the theme of this post be they bad; but know that it will pass, quickly!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Florida all over again!

Time for a recount!

Quite clearly working in Excel albeit at an extremely simple level is beyond me in the wee dark hours, several errors have been pointed out during the day and I have had to go back and recheck.

So here we have the official recount, Scott moves into fourth place and javamom moves into the middle of the pack hot on Marcy’s heels or flats or runners, whatever she’s been out shopping for today!

Unfortunately there was no error in my own measurement! Oh well.

I am in the process of working out the prizes, I have one more sponsor that I am hoping will come through, fingers crossed and also the handpicked prize for the pottiest, smakiest, trash talking mouth !

Let the insults fly!

On a completely different note, this came across my desk(top), anyone who works in IT will totally get it.

A day late and a dollar short...

OK here we are, Week 2’s results, a day late a dollar (or pound) short, I was ambushed at work, you know how that goes…"can you just”…3 hours later, so by the time I got home I was banjanxed! So these are percentage reductions from you starting weight. Jenn maintains her lead but Laura is hot on her heels basking in the joy of a post marathon caloric burn and Lily on the Road is gaining some momentum. A little further down Scott Nick and Kevin are battling it out for a place in the Top 5. Alas myself flipped flopped back to where I started, damn those children’s birthday parties at the weekend! There are still a few DNR’s and Christie reported in as having technical difficulties.

As mentioned earlier Wicked Fast Sports are going to donate 3 bottles each of Recover-Ease and Energ-Ease. Having used it I can certainly vouch for Recover-Ease, it works every time, I am sure the winners will want to write up on their on blogs of their experiences.

So we’re half way there today, it’s still pretty tight, just like my waistband!, and anyone’s game.

(Sorry no nice links, I come back and tidy it up later, I need to fly out the door this morning.)

CORRECTION: Scott is actually at 2.39%, my error, the downside of working in Excel at 5am!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Early moning antics!

The TRC plan was to meet at the trailhead at 6:00am Sunday however I had agreed earlier in the week to meet with Jes at 5:00am. I had a new flashlight that I wanted to check out on the trails, it’ll be used more and more as summer ends and fall turns into winter. I was on replen duty this weekend and so by the time I had loaded the car stopped for a top up of ice at a local 24 hour pharmacy I was running late, I arrived at the trailhead at 5:15 and Jen turned up shortly afterwards. Within 10 minutes we were heading up the familiar Westridge Trail, it’s a nice wide fireroad and so there was plenty of space, a headlamp each and the new flashlight (review to follow) to light up our way, the cloud was thick and low and the sun was struggling to break through. After 20 or so minutes we turned around and headed back meeting the main running group at a little after 6:00am. The group run set off back the way Jes and I had come back down. After a mile or so we came to the optional loop which diverted us down into a canyon and back up the other side, I headed off down into the canyon, I reached the bottom and looked over my shoulder to see a grand total of no one following me! Oh well, onwards and upwards and upwards and then up a bit more and I was back on the far ridgeline which then curved round and linked back up to the trail. A couple of other runners passed me as I stopped to take some misty photos, I continued up to the Nike Station and saw Sara and another runner heading back down. I realized that I should to think about heading back to the start otherwise there were going to be some hungry and thirsty runners waiting for me. I had planned to take the optional loop back, I managed to find the turning but lost the trail shortly afterwards so ended up running the ridgeline as per the photo above, I finally made it back to the parking lot in good time with 11.25 miles on my Forerunner and just in time to set up before everyone else arrived. A rep from Bear Naked had dropped off a bunch of free samples; another club perk, in fact two runners, Billy and Ernie were running in free Teva Trail shoes! Although Billy had a rough morning suffering from post wedding reception (he was a guest not the groom) early morning wake up jitters. So not quite the scheduled route but a fun run nevertheless.

I nearly have a full set of week 2 returns for the Worth you Weight Challenge. I’ll give everyone an extra day to email me their weight from Sunday. In the meantime I am glad to announce additional prizes to be added into the prize pool, the good folks at Wicked Fast Sports, the manufacturers of RECOVER-ease which I reviewed last month have stepped up and will be generously be donating a few bottles from their product line, please join me in thanking them for their generosity.

It looks like it’s going to be another close week and with three weeks to go there is everything still to play for!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The cost of being a VIP!

I am a member of VIP plan, the plan is simple. You pay a subscription of $39.99 a year and for this you get 10% discount, free shipping and after five pairs of shoes purchased in one year a $100 voucher towards another pair of shoes. The last thing is obviously the real incentive but five pairs of shoes is a fair amount of mileage, say somewhere around 1750 miles a year, doable but only if you have consistent months of 145 or greater throughout the year. Anyway in Saturday’s mail arrived my $100 voucher, which was available to spend through till September 30th, without waiting any time I was on the phone and it was spent. Another pair of Asics Kayano 14s to add to the collection, they’re being retired soon so I wanted to have enough pairs to see me though the next training cycle.

However this got me thinking about the cost effectiveness of the program and so after some number crunching here’s my verdict. As mentioned my shoe of choice is the Asics Gel Kayano 14, (RRS don’t carry my trail shoe); these have the hefty retail price of $136.99 so here’s the math, first without the membership:

136.99 x 5 = 684.95 including shipping (in fact a closer look at the website revealed all shoes get free shipping unless you expedite the them)

And now with the membership
136.99 x 5 = 684.95 x 90% = 616.50 + 39.99 = 656.49

And now finally with the membership and voucher
136.99 x 5 = 684.95 x 90% = 616.50 + 39.99 = 656.49 – 100 = 556.49 ($111.30 a pair)

Hmm pretty close only $28.46 without the voucher, lets look at another pair of shoes, Asics 2130s retail price $96.99

96.99 x 5 = 484.95

96.99 x 5 = 484.95 x 90% = 436.45 + 39.99 = 476.44

96.99 x 5 = 484.95 x 90% = 436.45 + 39.99 = 476.44 – 100 = 376.44 ($75.28 a pair)

This time it’s even closer with only $8.51 difference without the voucher.

There are other variables I could run for example four pairs of Kayano’s nets you a saving of only $14.81 ($3.70 a pair) and four pairs of 2130s actually costs you an extra $1.19! The other perk of the membership is 10% off of everything so the more you spend the more you save, that is off course assuming that the sticker price is not beatable at your local running store or better still; the outlet mall!

So in conclusion the VIP membership seems to really only cost in if you reach the five pairs voucher, the good thing is that the shoes do not have to be specifically for you, you can order them for anyone in you family, one of my five pairs was for my wife, which does makes it a bit easier, but without reaching that level you could probably find shoes at a lower price locally or online and who doesn’t love a bargain!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tom & Amy are you stalking me?

After posting a picture of my little pigies complete with wonky toe and distinct lack of subungual hematoma, black toe to you and me, last week and having recently received a new copy of John Vonhof’s book Fixing you Feet the order of which was prompted after listening to an interview with him on Endurance Planet, it seems quite fitting and a little spooky that Runner’s Lounge Take it and Run Thursday this week is all about feet and their care. Tom, Amy are you stalking me?

Now while I am not going to repeat what is in John’s book or on his website; I am not for one really qualified and for two I have been pretty fortunate with my feet, note that I did not call them my pretty feet. I have as mentioned broken a toe, (my only broken bone!) and have a mild case of Morton’s toe (the second one in from the largest being slightly longer than the largest itself). I have my parents to thank for forcing me to wear sensible (read ugly) shoes as a kid growing up and this allowed my feet to develop normally, and while I pronate, use custom orthotics; a result of ITB issues from last year and get the occasional blister on a bad day my feet have held up over the miles; not just running but also a stint in the military reserves wearing boots over many a mile.

So this post addresses the equipment side of the footwear equation; shoes, socks and gaiters (for the trails). It’s actually more of an aggregate of posts that I hope you’ll find useful and with a bit tacked on the end. I posted a 100 mile review of my road shoe the Asics Gel Kayano 14s last month and earlier this year wrote about my search for new trail shoes which resulted in the discovery of my Salomon XT Wings which will have a 100 mile review coming up next week. I also put fingers to keys with the gripping, on the edge of the seat, account of my quest and discovery of trail socks, the appropriately names: DarnTough’s and their comparison to Injinjis! I haven’t been forced to write about my road socks as they are the ubiquitous white Coolmax variety, however if I run out of ideas I may have to resort to this!

The final piece of the puzzle, specifically from a trail perspective, which is where most of my running is these days, is the Gaiter. Functionally designed to create a seal between the outside world and your feet. Anyone who has found themselves with some crud floating around in their shoe will know how much this aggravation this can give you, ranging from a quick thump of your toe/shoe on a rock or tree to move it around or the need to stop remove your shoes and tip it out; so the reality here can range from a minor nuisance that my manifest itself into a blister down the road or the need to stop and fiddle with you shoes, thereby loosing valuable time and momentum!

There is a great quote in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance that is along the lines of

"if you enjoy what you’re doing you can endure no end of discomfort”…

How true this is until it involves some crud in your shoe. Now while I have joked about my quiet and reserved nature and the color of the products that I choose based on that fact this is a crucial piece of kit. There are several manufacturers and resellers of gaiters from the multi million dollar industry that is North Face to the cottage industry that is DirtGirlGaiters, my preference in case you haven’t gathered is for the latter. From a consumer point of view; they’re well made, Xy Weiss makes each one individually, robust; wear-wash-wear; a bargain; c’mon at $13 inc s&h - they've got to be the cheapest thing you're wearing, fashionable; they will match anything you own and they’re fun; but hey, that’s why we’re here right!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend round up...err out!

Not much to report from the weekend and certainly no running. I threw a surprise birthday party for my Wife on Saturday, I had been planning it for a month and had enrolled a couple of her good friends into the scheme and she was totally unsuspecting! So I spent all of Saturday morning running around like a headless chicken and all Saturday afternoon burning food on the BBQ! I was to be found crashed on the sofa by 9:30pm! After a night spent wrestling with a teething toddler Sunday Morning came and went with me doing nothing but taking a nap, no TRC, which was probably a good thing! Later in the day we headed out to Ventura for a pootle around the Marina, a harbor tour and some ice cream, it's compulsory...honest! an early dinner, and that was the weekend that was, bang, poof, gone!

Nearly everyone has posted in their updated weight and here are the losers and gainers for the week, (DNR; Did Not Report) I was hoping for a little more of a substantial effort but with steak, potato salad, beer and Coldstone Creamery ice cream cakes at every turn and no weekend running it just wasn’t happening for me! The trash talk seems to have died down so hopefully with some results people can start pointing and laughing…in the nicest possible way of course. It's close at the top with only 0.37% separating the top 3 and 1.18% across the top 5, but with four weeks left to play it's still anyone's game.

My race calendar already has holes in it; I spent Monday trying to find a hotel on Catalina Island for the Eco Marathon in November and came up cold, still now I can look further afield; like anywhere on the West Coast…suggestions anyone! I still have the PCTR 50k so I am not totally without an event for November. I was also looking at some hiking books and stuff over the weekend and I have decided to have a stab at running the Backbone Trail in February, it will be good practice for C2M which is March and it’s a pretty cool thing to have done, I will be by no means the first nor the last, but I don’t think there’s too many people who have done in it under 24hours. The Trail is around 70 miles and connects from Pt Mugu through to Pacific Palisades, there will be a few logistical things to sort out; drop bags and the like but I think it’s very doable.

Finally a shout out to the TRC runners who completed Mt Disappointment last weekend and especially Jes who won her Age Group for the 50k.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Man Bites Dog!

At least hopefully that’s the plan! One of my botched runs from last week was on a little side track off of Topanga Canyon, the canyon is one of those connectors from the coast through to the San Fernando Valley which I’ve cycled through numerous time but it actually only has one or two spots where you can stop and run straight off the side of the road. The run itself is a short sharp out and back which starts on single track; exits onto a fire road then a bit of black top and finally some shaley rollers; however the good thing is that you gain some elevation really quickly and as a result have some great views. One of the views is across to Malibu Creek State Park, site of the Bulldog run in two weeks. The run is basically two 25k loops, I am only running one. I have mountain biked this course years ago (it nearly killed me!) but have never run it in full, last year I ran the climb up Castro Peak. I was planning to do it this weekend but it’s my wife’s birthday and we’re doing family stuff.

This photo shows you the part of Backbone Trail section, you’ll need to click on it to see the detail, but essentially you’re running from the bottom right hand corner up to just left of the masts on the right hand side then left across the ridgeline which is behind the first one you see to next antenna farm, or close to it, down the left hand slope and the right across the valley floor back to the Start/Finish line. The whole run is essentially one big climb, one big decent and two flat(ish) bits in between, oh yes with little or no shade in August! The RD has made it mandatory for runners to carry water!

My expectations for the run, well in addition to the heat; which is almost guaranteed I have the usual three tier approach and in fashionable Olympic coloring they are Bronze: just a finish – 3:00, Silver 2:59 – 2:45 and Gold 2:44 – 2:30. This actually starts my training plan officially for Twin Peaks in December. So let the games commence! Note to self; need more Olympiad references!

From my last post, everyone who guessed the second toe in from the big one on the right foot was right and you all get 100 points, feel free to spend them how you will! Don't forget to send me you weight on Sunday, losers and gainers will be posted Monday or Tuesday next week.

Oh yes and Eddie Izzard was awesome, we had a great night, the staff at the Kodak Theatre were fab' and when my wife realized that she had left the tickets at home (so no stress, right!) they were really accommodating and helped us out with little fuss, the show was really funny and if you like him and get a chance to go see it I totally recommend you do.

Finally good luck to Jes and Mieko who are running at Mt Disappointment this weekend, I know you’ll both rock it out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Farewell my sweet!

So with great fanfare, pomp and circumstance the competition begins…what the Olympics you say? No say I the Worth the Weight competition. In the opening salvo, Robin from Gotta Run (there are two Gotta Run blogs) traded blows albeit with some gentle smack talk with Marcy. I have to say that I was impressed by the reserved nature of it all but like the long run it’s all about pacing.

I am going to come up with a special Smack Down prize not previously listed for the wittiest, smartest comment or retort made in the comments section, so let the creative juices start flowing.

The line up is now complete and entry is now closed, there were a couple or three late entries who squeezed in and so now the complete line up is:

Christie, Gotta Run, javamom, Jenn, Jes, Jess, jkrunning, Kevin, Laura, Lily on the Road, Luis, Maddy, Marcy, mcmmama, Mendy, Ms. V, Nick, Non Runner Nancy, Run for Life, Sara, Scott, Second Chances, swimfan13, Viv, Wendy and moi! I still need a starting weight from Mendy.

In my attempt to reach my stated goal of between 160-165, which alas is only around 8%, I finished up my supply of ice lollies and managed to avoid the frozen section while grocery shopping last weekend. So here's my start line, I should point out this this is post trail run, my feet are usually quite clean. Extra points if you can figure out which toe I broke and can you see why black toe is never an issue!

I other news I registered for the Bulldog race on the 23rd, I squeezed in a mail entry at the cheaper rate and avoided the fees, I am only running the 25k but expect it to be a long hot morning! Tonight I am off to see Eddie Izzard live, he’s an acquired taste but I’ll leave you with this tidbit and remember step away from the cookies!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Brain to body...

Brain to body, engage legs…engage legs…body to brain we have a leg malfunction!

This sums up last weekends run! I was scheduled for a 10 miles to and around Sandstone Peak with the TRC and had been looking forward to it all week. It was a new location for me and is the highest peak in the Santa Monica at 3,111’. My plan was to get there early and add on a few extra miles to get closer to fifteen for the day, making up for a less than stellar week, you know work, life etc.

After a long and twisty drive from Pacific Coast Highway I found the start point at Circle X Ranch, I was unsure where to park and wandered around aimlessly for a while settling on “as close to the road as possible”. From here it was a stretch in the back of the car and I was off. I found a trail called the Grotto Trail and tentatively stepped off as the sun rose. I followed the path for a little over a mile finding myself at a dry river bed, I decided that I wouldn’t get to the end before needing to be back at the start point in time to meet the main group but not until I managed to get some photos of a “cloud lake” that was flowing along the valley.

After meeting up with the main group we set initially along the same trial I had taken earlier and then taking a sharp left turn and instead of running down to the river bed we contoured along the side of the valley and were afforded some stunning views. We exited off the trail and crossed a road and started on the next trail which would loop around Sandstone Peak, a short sharp climb and we were contouring again along a nice rolling section I was playing cat and mouse with Jes and Thomas and I could here them on my tail, I pushed on and was caught by them as I approached the path that would take us to the top, a delicate video pirouette while standing on the summit and a group shot care of some other runners and we were back on our way on the homeward leg. Mostly downhill the trail rolled back the way we had come to out start point for a total on just under 12 miles for the morning, not as much as I had hoped for but a pretty tough 12 miles in total with a little over 4700’ of climbing.

This is an amazing trail the view just got better at every turn, even if you not up to running it, I barely was, it makes for a great hike.

With hindsight that was not the best run of the summer, I had tired legs before I started; a long week at work had taken its toll and it’s a major reminder of the importance of getting some quality sleep (read more than five hours a night!) and with that note I am off to grab some early zzzs!

Here's the Forerunner info and photos, which really don't do it justice.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Amber, Amber, Amber...Green!

Ok so this is the staring grid lineup for the Worth the Weight Challenge: Lily on the Road, Jess, jkrunning, swimfan13, Jenn, Gotta Run, Nick, Kevin, Viv, Run for Life, Second Chances, Non Runner Nancy, Mendy, Wendy, Marcy, Laura, Sara, Jes, Scott Ms V, Christie, Maddy and yours truly. I am still waiting for initial weigh ins from Christie, Jes, Mendy, Ms V. Scott, Second Chances, swimfan and Wendy but some of them have promised it to me asap. So let the lights go green and let’s get this show on the road. The next weigh in is next Sunday. Good luck everyone.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Everybody's working for the weekend...photog!

My early start: if you like it you can do it whatever the hour!

My commute: I love the smell of the open road!

My parking: there's always a space!

My footwear: where the rubber meets the road...or trail!

My confine and my comfort!

Have a good one everyone!

Oh yes, one last thing, there seems to be some confusion over the Worth the Weight start date, mostly my own created by me and my clumsy semantics! I need your official start weight, which should your weight on or around August 3rd, before August 10th, then an updated weight on August 10th and then updates every Sunday thereafter until September 7th, you see that was easy!