Friday, September 27, 2013

Training Log 9-20-13 to 9-27-13

Sat: 30 miles.  Reverse Saratoga FA.  Pure awesomeness.
Sun: Took it easy.
Mon: am: 4.5 easy, pm: 4.5 easy.
Tues: am: 8.86 miles 1885 ft climb hard rancho run, pm: 4.5 easy.  
Wed: am: 3.5 easy pm: 3.5 easy. 
Thur: am: 3 easy, pm: 15x300 intervals, .5 warmup, .5 cooldown pm2: racquetball
Frid: am: 3.5 easy pm: racquetball?

Total: 71.86 miles running.  Back is still not back to normal, but it doesn't seem to be impacting the training too much.  I am pretty sure I am slowing it's recovery with the amount of stress I am putting on it.  But there is no rest until after Firetrails.  I am not getting in quite as many miles as I was hoping for this stage of my training, but given the circumstances, I will take it.  The legs seem to be fairly peppy, but the body has been tired a couple of times this week, I am starting to look forward to being done with this!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running in the Rain

The miles have not been coming easily lately.  Neck, then back issues, and then a cold made me limit my runs in the last couple of weeks.  But I have still managed to get in some nice long runs on the weekends.  The first two pictures are of a foggy morning at Rancho.

Then on Saturday I got out for one of my favorite loops, the Saratoga FA course.  This time in reverse, or clockwise direction.  I started out with an overcast, cool morning and then got hit with a rare September rain storm.  It was one of my favorite runs of the year.  Hearing the rain filter through the giant trees and the pit-patter on the ground in the middle of the forest, where you are the only person around for miles.  It is an awesome feeling!  I thoroughly enjoy running in the rain, even more so after 5 completely dry months.

Just below China Grade, some fun rock running.

They thought they had some privacy!  Got em...

My boys after it rains.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Training Log 9-14-13 to 9-20-13

Sat: Hit the sauna to try and get the lower back better.
Sun: 28.6 miles.  Rancho to Alpine Pond and back.  Went ok, but was a little stiff due to the tight back.
Mon: Nothing.
Tues: am: 3.2 easy, pm: 5k race.  I didn't go all out but ran a nice, fast 18:25.  Back is still getting better.
Wed: am: 7 miles easy pm: walk.  A cold took the wind out of my sails...
Thur: pm1: racquetball, pm2: racquetball
Frid: afternoon walk, back is still tight.

Total: 47.6 miles running/walking.  Still haven'f fixed the bike.  Neck and then lower back have really cut back on the mileage I was hoping to get in.  Then the cold.  Oh well, it's just the way it is sometimes...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Training Log 9-7-13 to 9-13-13

Sat: nothing. at all.  Sat in a recliner all day.
Sun: 21 miles.  Good, old, black.  Felt harder than it should have.
Mon: am: 3.2 easy, pm: 3.5 easy
Tues: am: 7 miles moderate effort rancho run. pm: 3.5 easy. 
Wed: am: 4.5 miles easy pm: 3.5 easy- 
Thur: nothing
Frid: nothing

Total: 46 miles running.  Still haven't fixed the bike.  Disappointing week for sure.  Shortly after logging my miles one week ago I was standing at my computer when a pain crept up through my shoulders and then onto my neck.  It rendered me useless for the next couple of days, but I forced myself to get out for 21 miles at rancho on Sunday morning.  Then, true to my commitment to a "deload" week, I backed off of the mileage and generally was trying to take it easy.  Still, the runs felt labored and I was more sore than I should have been.  It was bewildering.  Then after an easy 3 mile jog on Wednesday I bent over to tie my shoes and pulled something in my lower back which has rendered me useless to this very moment.  Who knows when things will get back to normal...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Training Log 8-31-13 to 9-6-13

Sat: 20 miles.  Pretty steep stuff.  Hot.  Beautiful.
Sun: 21 miles.  Good, old, black.  Body did back to back 20 milers and felt fine.
Mon: am: 4.5 easy, pm: 4 mile hike w/family
Tues: am: 8.06 miles, 1885 ft climb hard effort rancho run. pm: 4.5 easy. Did the orig PG&E loop with probably my fastest time ever.  Felt great.
Wed: am: 7 miles easy pm: 4.5 easy- Legs felt peppy.
Thur: am: 4.5 easy, pm: .5 m warmup, 9x800m intervals, .5 m cooldown- intervals felt good. pm2: racquetball.  really feel strong.
Frid: a.m. 5.6 easy

Total: 89.16 miles running.  8 miles bike (got a flat-too lazy to fix).  Biggest running week yet and miraculously my legs feel peppy again, totally unexpected.  The neuroma that was acting up a little last week gave no issues this week.  Thinking about taking a de-load week next week.  Really hard to do since everything is coming along so nicely, but I think discipline is in order here.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Joseph Grant County Park

Nice sunny weekend in the bay area, like usual.  Decided to run the trails at Joseph Grant County Park since I haven't been there in a while.  This park was one of the first big hikes that Joanne and I did when we first moved to the bay area.  It consists of an old ranch but has some really hilly terrain.  Some of the unique features is the fact that the park is centered on this valley and includes the ridgetops that surround the valley.  One of my favorite runs is to do the "loop", which is basically circumnavigating the park on the outermost trails that follow the ridge-lines.  Those ridges, tbw, offer some of the best views of the bay area as you might observe in the little video I took.

On one of these "loop" runs I observed a stampeding bunch of feral hogs, wild turkeys "fighting", tarantula, and coyotes, in the period of about two hours.  You can definitely get your wildlife tour at this park...

There is not much single track, so mostly old farm-roads, but that makes for a pretty intense workout as much of these roads are very steep.

Lick Observatory
 I love this picture of an old oak standing lonely in a field of gold.  It reminded me of a couple of things.  One, was that Ansel Adams used to try to take pictures of his landscapes with various filters or lighting to recreate his "feelings" and interactions with experiencing the moment of being there.  This is one of those pictures where I was just flowing along the trail and when I spotted this tree and experience around it, I just felt like I needed to capture the moment with the hopes that it would elicit a similar experience when later viewed.  Two, it is such a contrast of an image.  This beautiful old green oak standing by itself in a uniform sea of gold.  The uniformly bright, clear, blue sky in the background is the pudding on top because it makes for such a simple, but elegant picture.

Herbert Hoover used to hunt here.  Well, fish I guess.  The owner guy knew an "ancient trail" that lead to some terrific trout fishing.  This is what Hoover came for.  It got me thinking I should keep my eye open for an ancient trail...

Have no idea what this is, but it is hooked to a pipe and looks really old...
 Vid from one of the highest points in the park:

I only got in about 20 miles at Grant before I ran out of water and got really hot and decided to call it a day, so I decided to get in another long run at Rancho Sunday morning.  I did the Black Mountain from main parking lot via the windmill pasture trail.  Then I added the bella vista to indian creek loop on the other side.  About 20.5 miles.  I felt surprisingly fresh for long run two.  Two factors for that: I gorged myself on about 2500 calories as soon as I walked through the door after run number one, including three pints of whole milk.  Second, my red-blood cell count must be topping off from my elevation exposure the weekend before.  It was a wonderful run.

Rancho in the morning.  Oh yeah...
Vid at top of Black: