Will you join me?

Whatever you feel you do not like or are interested in, is based on past experiences of personal trauma, rumors, apathy, laziness, or other excuses. Meeting someone new is a way to restart memories about yourself and approaching certain ideas with a new perspective.  More important than WHAT the activity that your boyfriend/girlfriend/friend wants to do really just means, would you PREFER his/her company?

If the Friend Asks: Do I want to do XYZ outside?

My Instinctive Answer: No, not really, definitely not. I want to sit on the couch all day, binge watch everything, eat fried chicken & Zebra cakes!

What the Friend is REALLY saying: Will you join me? Will you support me in this goal to improve my character? If you believe in me, I will believe in myself.

What my answer is REALLY saying: What I feel is more important than what you feel, I’d be perfectly happy if I don’t see you for the entire day.

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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!

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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.

Toilet: Friend or Foe?

How you view your toilet relationship can either make or break your day.

Through trial and many errors I’ve corrected the most annoying causes of slow and/or just unprepared runs. Although it can be discouraging to see patterns, take responsibility and plan ahead to prevent them, but it’s possible! One of the most important has been the topic that most people, especially females, don’t talk about: Toilet time. Runners have to embrace the relationship with the toilet because it directly sits between you and your exercise goals. Until the bathroom obstacles are ironed out, it will really be frustrating to get any type of run done – regardless of time of day.

The reason people drink coffee before a run, isn’t only for the caffeine.. it’s to speedup the bowel movements. Someone asked me recently, how many times I stop to use the bathroom during the marathon. I chuckled because, ZERO! I do not stop DURING the marathon to use the bathroom because in training I know how many times it takes me to be able to run 20 miles with no bathroom… and I wake-up with enough time to calmly handle that before my activity.

When Roger started running back in 2008, he’d take toilet paper with him & as a semi-supportive non-interested girlfriend at the time, I thought it was the grossest thing to even think about.  Now that I have gotten into cycling as well, I know that toilet paper is essential part of a training toolkit to: Clean your hands if your chain falls, tissue for your nose, bathroom in the bushes, or clean up blood if you crash.

When I roll out of bed and start my run with zero preparation, it takes exactly 2 miles to need to poop.  If I drink water and wake up 15 mins before, then the Mile 2 bathroom pit stop is clear. By adding at least a 15 minute of warm-up activity before your workout begins, you’ll be able to cross off any remaining toilet issues from a 1-hour session.  Another alternative to coffee induced bowels is to just drink a glass of water when you wake up, and wait. I love not using the bathroom during a run MORE than sleep, it’s worth it.

Pre-Run Dinner

Of course the morning bathroom status depends on the meals the previous day. In training, I also learn what to eat and what not to eat during peak training season when running on consecutive mornings. I notice when I skip meals, or eat junk instead of a balanced nutritious meal, it makes me irregular which changes my body’s performance limitations and how my body feels in general.

What’s your number?

In my run today, I went before leaving home then I drank a coffee, which wasn’t early enough before my run to be able to process the consequences. As a result, I ended up having to go multiple times during the run… and each time I continued running I went faster, felt lighter, felt more agile. The body doesn’t care WHEN the bowels happen, it just cares if it happens.  All you do is get up early, much earlier, and go as many times as your body needs to BEFORE the run.

Based on today’s test and the last few years, I think I have a chart lined up:

  • Low fiber meals & Irregular bowels during the week: 10+ minute miles
  • 1 daily bowel: 9 minute miles
  • 1 bowel before the run: 8 minute mile
  • 2 bowels before the run: 7 minute mile
  • 3-4 bowels before the run: 6 or lower minute mile
  • 5+ bowels is diarrhea and you shouldn’t run or go into a pool for 14 days.

The toilet relationship can be peaceful, as long as you respect it’s boundaries. Do not ignore that the toilet is part of the RUN session.  You must live out the consequences of waking up last minute or eating poorly the night before, by being forced to make nature your bathroom wherever it feels like.  You can conquer this, you can control this.  Respect the toilet time & rules, and in turn, you’ll have light, agile and faster run efforts.

How to get started biking to work

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Bike to Work Day is coming up, and many people are inspired to participate. Surprisingly, the first step is NOT looking for a bike.  Buying a bike isn’t going to guarantee that you’re going to bike to work!  Planning the details will prepare yourself and to get the correct bike for the job.  Also, unlike driving, you are responsible for the time that it takes you to get to work on the bike… there’s no excuse of traffic, or accident on 805.

Biking to work is completely well-rounded method of transport that avoids bottlenecks of traffic, and it starts the day off with an accountable success.

  1. Find the Route: Google Maps provides Bike and Walk directions to pick from elevation and number of intersections. Once you have a turn by turn route planned, FIRST drive the route.  If at all possible, rent a bike on a weekend to give the RIDE a try.  While Google Maps time estimates are not accurate, don’t underestimate how long some street lights take.
  2. Practice Getting Ready out of a Backpack: Unless your route is under 5 miles away, you may not want to wear your work clothes or shoes on the bike.  If you take your work clothes in a backpack, and wear spandex on the bike, you’ll feel fresh all day.  So the reality check becomes, how long will it take me to get ready from a backpack? (Learning to get ready from a backpack is also the first part of learning to do triathlon hehe)  If there are things that can be left at work like makeup, toiletries, flat shoes, take advantage of the backpack weight and space savings.  I’ve rarely had a workplace that I could leave personal belongings in, so I just had to buy the travel sizes for a separate biking baglette.  Once you have your outfit and toiletries, FIRST practice getting ready at work.  Drive to work in your pajamas, or after a morning workout and only using the contents of your backpack, time yourself at getting ready.  This part is very important to your confidence getting to work by bike.  When you get to your desk, you need to be On Time & feeling ready for the day; regardless what your position is.  PREPARE everything you need, and PACK it in the backpack the night before.
  3. Determine your morning schedule: Using the data from Step #1 and Step #2, determine what time you’d need to leave HOME to arrive at work, with enough time to get ready.  I like to give myself at least 10 minutes cushion time added to this so I can exhale at least once on the bike ride.
  4. Buy a bike, helmet, lights: Only after those 3 previous steps, is it appropriate to look for a bike. Your budget is only a portion of the decision on which bike to get. Is your route to work hilly? You will need to get a bike that has gears, with a light frame, and road tires to handle debris.  Where will you park your bike when you get to work, is there indoor security or will it be on the street?  If you can bring it into the office, that’s ideal since you won’t need to carry the weight of a huge lock! If it’s on the street, I don’t care if the area “looks” safe, don’t buy a brand new $700 bike or it won’t be there when you get back.  The beach cruisers or triathlon aero-style bicycles are niche for certain types of rides… neither being city commuting to work.  The road/cross bicycle will give you agility up hills due to the seat position, and narrow handlebars in order to offer better control to weave through lights and traffic.
  5. Accessories: HOLD OFF ON ACCESSORIES.  The city commuter cycling rule I agree is fare is “don’t embellish your bike until you’ve ridden one mile per dollar that you spent on it.”  A bicycle doesn’t have to be expensive, just get a flat kit, lights and a helmet and a lock.  Leave the gloves, bike shoes, mileage computer, and all these other gadgets for when you actually ride and then you’ll know what you need.

Any other questions? With a can-do attitude, anything is possible.

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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5k season that wasn’t

It’s been a tough year. While battling flu and food poisoning, my training suffered with me being 10lb under weight after pacing Carlsbad marathon (3:15).  Ready or not, I have signed up for multiple 5k races a year ago.

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First was Carlsbad 5000 which I upgraded to the All Day 20k last minute. I wasn’t feeling a PR but thought I can hold an ok pace for the four 5k’s.  It’s more a social day as Bessy and her friends were doing it.  The first one went as planned under 20, but I got an asthma attack. I then toned it down for the 2nd race to slip in at half marathon pace.  Thinking I was recovered for the 3rd race… I felt my heartbeat jump way too high and had to shut it down for a minute.  This lead to race 4 which was just a victory lap jog.  I chalk this off as good training.

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Next is Triton 5k the following weekend. Since the race starts at 9am, we decided to bike to the race to hit up the awesome post-race bike-discount brunches (Galaxy Taco).  I learned an important race rule… never look back! On the ride up, I lost Bessy a bit so  was looking back constantly. And then BAM, I slam right into a iron fence post, where it sliced my knuckle, blood pouring out badly as if I made a donation onto my handlebars.  In addition feels like I was stabbed in my collar bone, likely bone bruise. I continued on to make it to race medics who bandaged me up.  I was more mentally shot than physically for the race. Somehow I overcame pain and demons in my head to sneak in under 20min with Bessy.  It sucks because I was well-prepped for this one, doing the classic 4x1mile at goal pace workout few days before.

17966762_10105102275820233_6045822355675847881_oRound 3, a week passes, ACT 5k: Last year I won this race, probably because it was long and I had some in the tank.  This year, I previewed the course beforehand, and once again long (3.3 mi). Time goals out the window, this is a position race. I had a good start leading a pack for 1.5 miles. Then just backed off a bit to save a final kick for that extra  400m. I let the guys take the lead, but then see Bessy blow by me hard near the finish, and knew she was much stronger, and they all gapped me too good that my plan failed.  I jogged in the rest knowing it was over. Bessy ended up storming forward to get 2nd overall of all genders. Amazing considering she joined this race 15 min before the start! At the awards ceremony… the most sexist thing happened. They assumed the top 3 would be male. So they didn’t even look at Overall Results, or call Bessy up! I had to go to the announcer to correct him and Bessy got what she earned.

Yes my run form isn’t that great but I am working on it.  Also, perhaps too much racing, as I am getting mentally burned out to go hard… but I still show up for the social aspect.  What I am really learning, to be a good runner you don’t need to sign-up for races while training alone. Just run with some good company and you can work with each other to push your best.