Years of ignorance to realization

I have known that my left leg is longer than the right, but did not think it was so major of an issue. For the past few days I spent focused on running on a narrow line (run drill thanks to coach Jose) and the pain became pronounced. My left knee bends inward and leg loops around to make up for size difference. Meanwhile the right leg is spending more time on ground stressing the Achilles (an injury I have been dealing with for years). Aside from this causing pain, it is adding unnecessary non forward motion distance costing me time. Solution? I am going to remove the left insole of all my shoes to hopefully fix this.

Pics of what I’m talking about:

pic 2, the source can be my blown disc bulging to one side:runners-knee-pain-causes

 

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30 day challenge: 5k everyday under 20 min

Every year, I participated in my USA triathlon winter mileage challenge event. It is to swim, bike, run as much as you can. Pace doesn’t matter. I put myself into the hole building these miles, and what hurt more than my injuries, was the fact that people were counting walk miles for run miles!  This time, I made my own challenge, based on effort.  My 5k PR is 18:24, but that was 2 years ago. Everyone wants to get faster, otherwise they get demotivated and quit sport when they do not perform as before.  This year many critical errors, slowed me down that even cracking 20 min in the 5k was a struggle.  So the challenge was set: 30 days of 5k everyday under 20 minute.  Most were on the treadmill at *1 grade.  This would require me to drop my mileage and focus on the goal.

Result:

Day 1: 19:50
Day 2: 20:15 (3.37 mi 6min/mile)
Day 3: 18:48
Day 4: 19:21
Day 5: 18:36
Day 6: 19:06
Day 7: 18:44
Day 8: 19:18 (track)
Day 9: 19:01
Day 10: 19:42 (3.2mi)
Day 11: 19:18 – 5k road race
day 12: 19:33
day 13: 19:36
day 14: 18:31
day 15: 18:43
day 16: 19:43 (3.15mi)
day 17: 18:53
day 18: 18:36
day 19: 19:38 (3.2mi)
day 20: 19:42 (3.25mi)
day 21: 19:01 – 5k road race
day 22: 18:49
day 23: 19:16
day 24: 18:33
day 25: 18:51
day 26: 18:44
day 27: 19:11
day 28: 19:40 ( treadmill turned off for 15s! read 19:58 on it.. close one !)
day 29: 18:47
day 30: 18:24 – PR attempt, tie. I will take it!

last day

Many of the 18 min runs, music really helped – as it drowned out all the coughing and hacking i do. (I am asthmatic) . Entire point of this effort was to relearn pacing, and fix my run form. Phase 2 will be extending the distance beyond 5k at similar pace … but every other day or so.

 

 

 

 

 

California International Marathon – 5 years later

Five years ago when I was 30 years old, I did the 30th annual California International Marathon in a serious attempt to Boston Qualify. Unfortunately flooding rain that year created deep rivers on the road that I missed the mark by 5 minutes.  It is a decent course if the weather is good (slight downhill, but running into a headwind makes up for it). Eventually I got the BQ goal at another race.

Fast forward 5 years into the future, where I and the race turn 35.  This year is special, the USATF marathon championships means you have fast runners to chase.  Many people Bessy and I know from San Diego were going – yea, we caught the FOMO bug.  This is also a good chance for Bessy to shoot for a PR, as she is having a stellar year (she just P.R.ed in the half 2 weeks ago and ran a marathon the next day! 1:26 / 3:11 ).

Personally I had no hardcore goal in mind, as I already have run sub 3 marathon 5 times before, but it doesn’t mean I wont try!  I set a few up (A = PR, B = sub 3, C = young man BQ, D = old man BQ, F = just finish).  For training I used the same high volume formulas as before.  Now I need to reveal, I was a bit underweight coming into this… since Carlsbad Marathon earlier in the year.  My fatal error was being underweight and doing some intense workouts that led me to have red urine, aka rhabdo.

That is a sign of of muscles being used for fuel, instead of propelling you forward.  So don’t believe that losing weight will always make you faster, there is a limit, especially if you are lean already.  This is what cost Meb Keflezighi a year for the NYC marathon, where he was terribly injured thanks to trying to reach the weight of some of the Kenyans.  I was trying to up the food intake, but sometimes I didn’t know when I was burning muscle, as I ignored pain easily – so I kept adding the mileage.  This also hurt my stride, as many proper trained nuero muscle motors went missing.

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As you can see how my stride fell apart, Bessy on the left with good stride, me power walking on the right

Taper time I still didn’t think the lack of glycogen storage would hurt me – I enjoy a low carb diet.  Race day this meant I would have to rely on Gels, and early.  I started off at P.R. pace, but like Bessy did earlier this year, I was not feeling the need to eat and missed the appropriate time to intake the gel in order to maintain pace.  At the 10k mark Bessy already passed me, then all the other folks I knew.  I just held down like a rocket fizzling… remembering the true intent for me in this trip is the camaraderie  to see all people I knew and are friends with push their best, which in the end they all did accomplish!  Bessy hit a PR of 3:02, and I held on to goal D.  Now its time to recover mentally and physically and take these lessons forward.

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Everyone did well so that made me happy

De über life

We have set ourselves free!  This done by selling our car – to live the car free life style. No more the guilt over our heads of supporting oil based wars. Done the stress of gas prices, maintenance, insurance, taxes, repairs (blown head gasket was the twist of the dagger).  Un-conforming to the modern made American dream that “you NEED to have a car” – in order to get a job, get food, find a significant other.  This dream creating the illusion of ownership when the reality is most people don’t own their cars, the bank does.

This car did have many great stories of adventures with us, but also did carry a scarlet letter on it when originally purchased.  Bessy had a job where you drive together to locations far off to work.  In order to climb the corporate ladder, you recruit people on a team you want to grow – somewhat of a pyramid scheme gig.  These people, who don’t make much, somehow need transport.

So the mental drive to grow the company programs in your head – led to the decision to buy a four seat car.  Originally Roger wanted a smart car, fuel and space efficient two seater.  Eventually Bessy did find better job.  So somewhat of a lesson learned here, be wary of centering your life around a particular job (such as this car purchase).  We still kept the car, but as its known a car is a money pit, and the repairs it needed where beyond the value worth of keeping it as usage is so low.

Fortunately, we were exposed to the car free life living two years in bike / train friendly Holland.  When we first moved there yes I (Roger) was shocked at the deprogramming needed to free myself from the car centric and materialistic lifestyle.  I was in the deep – driving since 16, getting into the car scene when the Fast and Furious movies came out.  I worked myself up to a twin turbo dodge stealth – a top gun car at its time.

car

It was my daily driver, and that was a fatal error when I was building the power up.  Eventually it gave out with the large turbos I added.  I put my heart and soul into it, yet it was a time to learn to let go.  Still living in Connecticut, a car was needed thanks to the infrastructure.  So I am not totally going to hate on cars, because I probably would have never met Bessy!

No regrets, of the former life.  If anything it makes me appreciate where I am.  This also makes me excited for this new life, as we are on a verge of change thanks to technology – Uber/Lyft being so cheap in urban areas.  The transition phase is occurring with cars to be automated / driverless.  It is good to be ahead in the emerging trends.

Injuryman

While it may be prevented to extents with diet, strength training, etc, Injury in Sport is inevitable.  I started a pure focus on triathlon after I couldn’t power lift anymore.  I was dead-lifting near 3 times my body weight daily… then one day my neighbor decides to talk to me in the middle of the lift. *POP*.  Blown disc. I recovered and tried to work my way back up to my previous abilities, but re-injured myself. It was my passion, the mental part of not being able to continue hurt the most… So I had to divert my energy to other endeavors.  Still on this new path, I did obtain other injuries.  They will happen, its just how you deal with them that matters:

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new year, new AG for SDIT

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Union Tribune – San Diego captured me at the finish line at SDIT

San Diego International Triathlon is my marker race for the year. Last year I hit my goal of sub 40 in the 10k. The triathlon season this year is a new AG;  A fresh start. I don’t aim for AG rank, but it does make a difference with wave starts (more people in your way).

For the swim and bike, my times were fairly close to last year.  I thought about going with no wetsuit (for a first here) as it was warm earlier in the week. Things did cool down though, so back to the suit.  For the bike, a new ftp of 295w in this race (vs 253 last year)  even though I lost 4lb (illnesses beginning of year). I haven’t done much specific bike training (but my work is a bike messenger). Too bad watt numbers (ego numbers) don’t show up on the results board for bike split!

WattSpeed001

Even though my watts are up, my run pace is slower 6:38 vs last years 6:26 on the 10k run. It was a longer run this year at 6.44 miles, but I knew I didn’t have what it took based on last year to maintain former paces anyways.  They took out the carnitas snack shack go around, so I thought the course would be a perfect 6.2, and I can save my energy for death hell sprint to the finish. Albiet I saw mile mark 6, it was a long ways away from the finish, suffering ensued from there. If I knew this I would have gone sans wetsuit!  I wanted my paces to evenly split which I did this year.  This race lets me reflect on the past year, and on forward.  My run game is down a bit… so I’m not sure at this moment as running daily is my passion.

OC Marathon pacing 3:10 (fastest pace group as a couple!)

finished pacing

We paced the OC 26.2 @ 3:10 to get out of our comfort zone this past weekend. I got the call 5 days before the race to do the gig.  Luckily I average about 70mpw (and 210 bike, 7km swim) when not marathon training to stay in shape.  I felt like this was a try out for snails pace team, and we made it! This IS the team that helped me achieve my first BQ. They have been around for a long time so it is an honor to give back.

Victor and Chris paced 3:05, lots of speed from November Project SD.

My last pacer gig (fastest 3:15 at Carlsbad) didn’t fare so well, as I wanted. In Carlsbad you split the marathon… someone for the first half then another takes over. I decided to keep going and try to negative split to sub 3:10 old man BQ. Didn’t work out, as I had bronchitis/flu that day, yet still crossed in 10s under 3:15 … on a course of 26.5 miles. (they moved turn around cone further out @ Palomar Rd). But we are instructed to go 5s per mile faster in case this happens.

So besides this shadow of stress for OC full, I thought, sure, why not lets get it this time, plus it would be a great workout for my wife who is co-pacing. After I sign-up, I read the pacer list on website, and see “follow your pacer and they will get you 2 minutes under your goal for BQ time”. I’m saying Oh shit what did I sign up for… thought it was an easier cruise at 3:10 with good weather. I research the course looking at last year Strava results, and also use this great site to make a pacer band based on GRADE effort: (plug in 3:08) http://findmymarathon.com/pacebandresult.php?race=OC%20Marathon

 

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