Easy day

The weather was back to being warm and sunny this afternoon, so I went for a my quickie 4 miler. Was feeling a little tired after the speed workout last night, so the pace was moderate. Gotta say, Hollywood is pretty nice in winter, when the streets are not too crowded with tourists and the traffic is light. Ran down to the 3rd street and back up Van Ness. It was pretty warm when I was heading back to the lot. The right foot was a little achy around the inner heel towards the end of the run.

By the time I got to strides, all energy was gone. It is for a reason that this short run is supposed to be sandwiched in between Tuesday and Thursday monster workouts! Results are here and here. Tomorrow will be 100% rest.

Wednesday track is quite alright

Since I have to be on the UCLA Campus tomorrow night, the track night got moved to today. The work was as crazy as it gets, and I was very glad to be able to leave and blow off some steam doing the intervals.

Wednesday night seems to unpopular with the usual crowd of hardcore runners that do Thursday night workouts. I was pretty much the only person on the track tearing it up. I was also happy to note that my cold is gone, and I am almost at 95% speedwise.

The first 3 miles went by quickly and I barely even looked at the watch. Maintained about 7:17 min/mile and did not feel too worked. The 800s were somewhat harder this time, probably due to a bit of lingering dehydration. Still maintained the target pretty nicely, at about 6:28 average. The last 3 miles blew by quick again, and I was close to 6:50 min/mile until the last 0.1 miles where I started jogging since I was beating my target time to almost 30 seconds.

Overall, a great workout and it is getting warmer again. Yay to warmer nights! Results here.

10 miles, 10 min TUT

Had 10-12 miles with 10 minutes total uphill on the schedule for today. There was no way for me to run after work - since I had to pick up my daughter from ballet, and the last meeting on the schedule seemed to be a lock to run well past 6pm. Sure enough it did :).

Got up at 5:30am. It's been a while since I ran this early. Not really a morning person here. Got dressed fairly warmly this time, since it was about 39 degrees outside. Ran the first mile fairly slowly just to see where  I was. I felt a little sluggish - probably still under the weather a bit. Decided to try to maintain about 8:30 min/mile average since I was going to climb a decent amount.

Ran up to Mountain and climbed back to Kenneth. Then up Grandview and back down to Kenneth. Had to pee and found a porta potty on one of the construction lots. Then the last push up Olive all the way to Sunset Canyon. Came back down San Jose and sprinted all the way to Jefferson Elementary. The average came to be at about 8:26, and the sprint back felt pretty close to 80%-85%. Hopefully will full bounce back by the end of the week. Results here.

Pitdful

Went to a metal show at the Anahem Grove yesterday. Was actually debating whether to even go in the first place since I was beat from a bike ride, felt like I was getting sick again, etc... but an old buddy was in town for the NAMM and I wanted to catch up with him. In any case, waiting outside the club, I saw a van parked by the curbside with the license plate that read PITDFUL. Took me a little while to decipher it, but eventually I got it - pity the fool. Did not realize how prophetic this little licence plate was.

So we're having a birthday party today for my daughter, kids are supposed to show up at 11am, jump house is supposed to get installed at 10am, and I have a 20 mile run on the schedule. I got home fairly late from the show, but still got up at 5am hoping to get my run in before the house turns into a zoo. But what do you know - it is pissing rain, and pretty hard. I went back to bed, and then got up at 7am. Still raining, but not as hard... I almost pulled the trigger, but the wife was already up and had a list of chore for me to do in preparation for the party.

The party went great, my kids were running around and then settled down playing Minecraft. We stupidly ordered a ridiculous 36" pizza (that's the circumference of it, wtf).



I had 4 slices and a cookie, and a soda... you get the drift. On top of it, I lost my voice hanging out in a rather loud club, and felt pretty much like I was on a threshold of getting sick... Decided to take a 30 min power nap, and then see if I can go. Woke up and felt pretty fresh actually. Headed out of the door in a windbreaker and 2 layers of clothing.

It started raining HARD after like 0.5 miles! I almost turned around but then pushed on. It rained all the way til I hit Sonora and then suddenly stopped and I picked up some warm wind. Ran all the way to Los Feliz, stopped to pee twice though which is not a good sign. Ran back and by the time I got back to Crystal Springs I could only muster 8:30 min miles or worse. I could not tell whether I was just mildly feverish or just cold from the rain, or was plain sore from the bike ride the day before and no rest at all since then.

When I got back to Victory it started pouring again... HARD. In fact, I ran to Sonora in almost zero visibility, and managed to hit 2 major puddles. My quads were starting to pulsate a little, and I was pretty sure that it was fatigue rather than dehydration ( I was taking salt tabs every 5 miles). The rain was getting worse and the wind was picking up too. At Victory I was supposed to turn right and go all the way to Mountain to pick up 4 miles (it is exactly 15.5 miles from my house to Los Feliz and back). But with the conditions and all, I wimped out and headed up Sonora to the 6th. Main driver for this was the fact that I was starting to shiver. I was soaking wet, except for the torso covered well by the windbreaker.

Running up the 6th was like a death march, I was almost walking in some spots... finally crested at Harvard but even running down I could not sprint. So weird. Got home and had to shower for 20 minutes to stop the shivering. Had some potatoes and chicken and a little bit of a cookie left from the party. Took the temperature and it was 98 degrees. I guess that it just a plain old mild hypothermia from the rain and wind. Pity the fool - my results here.


Climbing around Griffiths

The rain thankfully stopped around 4am this morning. It was still wet as hell though outside when we got up. Did some stuff around the house, moved the kayaks in the garage, ran a few errands and after that finally got to ride a little!

Went out to Griffths park and rode the Trash Truck hill back and forth, without going out to Los Feliz. The chest felt a little congested still, and I did not press the first climb too hard. The second climb felt more natural. The sun was beating down pretty hard - I was starting to consider taking the base layer off.

After that rode out to Los Feliz and climbed to the bear statue by the Western Canyon. Rode up to the stop and then turned onto Mt Hollywood Dr, or the crappiest pavement known to man. It was still pretty sandy after the night rain, so I had to be careful with navigation. Also the temperature at the top was pretty low, so it's a good thing that I had the base layer on. Came down the windy road, and did some spinning on Forest Lawn.

After that headed back up Hollywood way. It was pretty heavy with traffic for Saturday. After getting to Glenoaks had a Stinger Waffle and wanted to see if I have it for the Lamer climb... not really. Climbed up Keystone and turned off on Lamer. Could not see myself doing 4-5 blocks of 11% grade. Got home and now planning a tactical nap! Results here.

Track'n'field

The morning weather was anything but promising. Rain everywhere, a wall of water coming from the sky. Even the dog did not want to go out there. Apple stock took a dive to the tune of 11%. I braced myself for another dreadmill session. However, by the afternoon the weather turned around and it was suddenly dry and rather warm. Left the office at around 6:40pm and headed for the track. Yay!

The usual crowd for the Thursday night. A mix of fast kids eyeing the girls soccer team, age groupers doing the intervals and Armenians gents walking around in track suits, always in the fast lane. Did my warm up routine and was off to the races. The first 3 miles were a little uneven, mainly due to not being able to find someone who'd be running consistently at my pace - either the age groupers zipping around near 6:45 min/mile or someone running a bit slower.

The 4x800s went well. I was able to maintain closer to 6:25 min/mile average and it did not feel like hard work. Age groupers were by now winding down, so I was mainly having the fast lane to myself. Had to take one layer of clothing off after the 800s - it was that warm. Yay warm winters!

The last 3 miles at 7:00 min/mile went ok. Just kind of cruised, without making a conscious effort, which was nice. The throat was feeling kinda funny, and I was sort of hoping that it is not another bout of the stupid head cold that's been going around. In fact, it is still a little scratchy... crap. Oh well. Results here. Hoping to get some cycling done too around the weekend!

Back in the saddle

Tuesday was my day off, but since I have not been to gym at all this week... it was time to head there. Spent about an hour during lunch time. Mainly worked on the upper body - curls, side and lateral pulls, bench presses. Also did a little bit of core exercise - planks, side stands (one arm and leg). Free weights section was crowded again, and the TRX studio was even more crowded. Yikes.

Today was a long day. In the morning, hit the gym and did a sustained climb on a stationary bike. Set the intensity to 12 (about a mid setting, goes up to 30 I think). The climbing gets broken up into 3:45 min intervals, and the first 8 are steady increases in power by 8 watts - so the top climb is done at 209 watts. Did not feel easy at all, but I got to spin out nicely in the lead up intervals. The stationary bike even has a setup for an aero position. Not bad. 12.18 miles in 45 minutes, 500 or calories burned.

After work went for a run. Normally, Wednesday is a recovery run, but since I skipped the speedwork on Tuesday I have decided to do a sustained 4 mile run keeping a 10K pace or slightly below that. Of course, I cannot run that fast at night - somehow my body slows down in the darkness. The weather was awesome though - pre-rain night wind, warm yet dry air. Did my usual 4 mile loop running up to the airport and back. Results here. After that did a set of 6x100 strides which was a little challenging after a sub 29 min 4 miler. Time to roll it out!

MLK compression

No, it is not what you think it is... we went out of town for the MLK weekend, effectively forcing me to re-arrange my neatly stacked training schedule. The family and I drove to Oceanside, CA on Saturday, leaving too early for me to squeeze in a quick a run. Thus Saturday became Sunday, Sunday became Monday... and I think that I am going to have to forgo Tuesday's speedwork to get regular again :).

So on Sunday morning I did my easy run around Oceanside. A pretty cool place to run, but obviously tons better for cycling. Every major route seems to have a bike lane. Anyhow, did a slightly faster than normal run, clocking closer to 8:09 min/miles. The weird part that I did not know at that time was that it'd make my poor Garmin choke, probably due to the confusion with the satellite position. Apparently, it decided that I started in LA and ran all the way to Oceanside, burning about 165K calories in the process. Results here.

The rest of the day was spent walking around the San Diego zoo, where we saw awesome pandas and humping turtles and sleepy snow leopards and impossibly large hippos and two headed snakes... an impressive zoo to say the least. Then we played ball at beach during and after the NFL division finals... must have been like 30K steps in total.

On Monday we went for a walk on beach and headed back to LA. Got unpacked and I went for my long run in Griffiths park. I've decided to add some hills to the 18 mile scheduled run, cutting short by a mile, but throwing in about 800 feet of climbing to compensate. The weather was downright summer hot when I started. I could not believe how surreal this felt in January. Had to run without my Garmin that refused to turn on properly after the mess up with the satellites. Most of the run I was figuring out how to fix it, and was sort of looking forward to having an excuse to finally buy a 910xt. Finished the run (the last 2 miles were killer, the massive downhills were killing my quads), got home and after searching on the web the 305 came back to life. Oh well, I would have missed you an old friend! Results here.

Back to the track

Finally warm enough to run the track! And next to no wind too! Thank you, the gods of running, I've had more than enough of the treadmill for now.

Started at around 6:20pm, warmed up for 0.75 miles and did some strides. Felt pretty solid, and got started on the first 3 miles at the goal pace. After the first mile, I started feeling the groove and easily maintained 7:13 min/mile for the rest of the interval. Did not even have to stop for a drink. I am that good.

4x800 part was done with some other usual Thursday night track characters showing up finally, so I had some people to chase/run away from. Did all 4 runs while listening to ImpNaz, their brilliant "Motorpenis" EP is perfect for short, violent intervals.

The last 3 miles were almost too easy, I felt the surging energy and could have probably maintained 6:45 min/mile, but wanted to be gentle on the ankle. No need to torque it up after excessive track running of 2012. It has been cooperating lately and let's keep it this way.

Did a couple of laps for the cooldown, using it as an opportunity to practice controlled midfoot striking. Results here. I am feeling pumped about week 8 being the mid-point in my training.

4 miles in a changing weather

It's a weird feeling when the weather is beginning to change. It is still plenty cold once the sun sets, but I can tell that the hotter air is coming. It makes me want to run faster despite the night being pitch black.

So I set off at around 7:30 for my 4 miler. Still sore from the hell workout yesterday, and just starting to kick the head cold to the curb. Decided to do my old loop through Verdugo and up and back on Kenneth. Crashed the Verdugo climb and went strong all the way to the Muir Middle school. The downhill on Kenneth was a little slower than usual, mainly because I could see almost nothing and had to run by the edge of the sidewalk dodging occasional cars.

Finished with the 6 sets of strides. Did them with little breaks in between, and after 3-4 of them really started to fell the burn. But it felt to finish strong and even make it home before the kids were in bed! Results are here (run) and here (strides). Onto another set of intervals tomorrow!

Intervals kicking my ass

Supposedly it's the last day of the cold spell, and it will start getting warmer tomorrow. About time, dawg! This means that Thursday intervals can be finally done outside. Much looking forward to this, but today I had to stick to the dreadmill - again.

Left the office at 5:30pm, got on the treadmill at 5:45pm and warmed up for 10 mins. Then the fund begun in earnest - 2 repeats of 1 mile at 6:30 min/mile, then 4 repeats of 800 meters at 6:00 min/mile. Towards the last interval, the heart rate was starting to creep up into the middle of the 5th zone, so I knew that the workout was getting done correctly. The next 2 repeats of 1 mile each were pretty brutal, with the last one being particularly... bleh. A hard workout no matter what.

The lingering chest cold was not helping of course, so I did some extra hydration and took 2 salt tabs before starting to run. That kept the cramps at bay, which is all I really needed. Results here. The traffic on the way was a complete nightmare - 47 minutes door to door! LA can be just a peach sometimes.

Gym night

Hit the gym on my day off from running. First time back since the beginning of 2013. Was shocked to see how crowded it was. I guess that this is the time when people are following through on their New Year's resolutions. Here's hoping that eventually everyone will go back to their normal unhealthy existence and stop crowding out my weight bench!

Did an abridged routine, since I am still running a little chest cold. Bench presses, bicep curls, press ups and a few triceps exercises. After that went to the studio room and set up a small circuit with a TRX, rope running, a medicine ball and a heavy pin lift. Did the circuit 3 times over, 30 seconds each exercise with 30 second breaks in between.

Walking back to the car was probably the coldest walk ever! Can't wait til the warm air comes back.

Grim and frostbitten long run

I guess that it is a bad sign when you have to scrape the ice from the windshield of your car before departing for the long run? 


I underestimated the dehydration from the head cold and the fatigue from the Camarillo half last week. The freezing temps were not helping either. I started at around 8:30am in Griffiths Park. Wanted to run the trails starting the Travel Town and hitting Los Feliz. That meant 2 loops and perhaps an extra mile as an added bonus.

Started out well, but my face and hands were burning from the frosty air. I felt alright, but the nasal congestion was weighing in and I would feel nauseous if I went over 7:30 min/mile. The small but sharp hills at the end were not easy to scale either. I had a feeling that this would be a slower run.... After 8 miles, I started to feel little cramps in muscles and just had to run slower and slower until I was jogging by the time I got to mile 14. Ugly. Results here.

Hope to rest up and bounce back next week!

Snot

Somehow the Wednesday run resulted in some fairly annoying head cold. Friday was marred by the sore throat, and today I am still having some nasal congestion. It is fairly breezy outside, with the temps in the mid-50s. I was hoping to get a bike ride in, but instead decided to limit my outdoorsy exposure to about 1 hour. That means a short easy run.

Decided to run a loop to the Yahoo building and back. Started at around 1pm to have the temps closer to the daily highs. It was still a little chilly in the shade, but once you get into the sunnier spot the weather felt awesome. The wind is usually pretty strong near the airport, but this time it was mild and made running a lot more enjoyable. On the bike though I'd imagine that I'd be seriously cold.

Altogether the run was about 5.6 miles and took close to 50 mins. I felt very good, and neither the left ankle nor the right hip gave me any problems. Results here. Ready for a 16 mile run tomorrow!

P.S. I enjoyed watching Ted. If course it'd been tons better without a stupid, predictable, big studio budget ending, but the comic effort that went into making this movie was as good as any of the top Family Guy episodes. The humour was of course completely irreverent and biting, but anything less would have been a big let down.

Dreadmill to the rescue

The weather managed to turn both cold and very windy. On top of that I think I am having a head cold or something appropriate for the season. So today's speed work was performed indoors.

Actually, it was pretty nice. I had my footpod calibrated just right last week, so it was capturing my pace accurately. Did 3 miles at about 7:20 min/mile, walked for 90 seconds. After did 3 sets of 800 meter sprints at 6:30 min/mile with 90 second walks between them. Lastly, 3 miles at about 6:56 min/mile as I was watching the UFC top 40 highlights of 2012 on ESPN. Not sure why these were the highlights - more of them, some fights ending up quickly, some ending up as drawn out bloody messes. Don't get the appeal of this.

Took a hot shower after the run and headed home. Going to stretch, roll on a foam roller, and attempt to watch "Ted". My gut feeling is that it is going to suck hard.

4 miles after work

Again, planned to run at lunch on the dreadmill, but the work has been insane lately. Came home, and went out for a much needed run to restore sanity. The legs were still feeling tight, and plus the Ford started hurting my right hip again, just like it did last year when I tried to ride in it.

Ran the loop up to Cabrini that I usually do for a 5k run. It was getting pretty cold, and the run back was into a fairly substantial wind. Ran without my water belt, and it seemed to only affect in the last mile - I think that I was getting dehydrated slightly. The streets were empty, and I was able to run in the middle of the 6th street for almost the entire mile.

Did the strides afterwards, but was hurrying home to kiss the kids good night. All in all, a nice brief run. Results here and here.

Night run

Lots of stuff going on at home and work. Was originally intending to run in the morning, but was still a little sluggish after the 1/2 on Sunday. Hoped to get out of the office by 5:30pm, but no such luck. Decided to pick up the kids after ballet and then go. All in all, left the house by 8pm. Hate starting that late.

It was starting to get cold. Saw a few runners on the way, but overall the streets were empty. Ran all the way to Pacific, climbed back to Kenneth Village, ran up to Mountain St and then down to 6th. Felt pretty slow coming down, and the quads were still sore from the 1/2. Decided not to push it, especially with the hands and ears starting to feel the bite of the cold air. On the way back, decided to add a couple more uphill minutes and climbed to Muir Middle School.

From there coasted home. Thankfully the wife was still awake to let me in. Brown rice and meatballs after the run - yum! Results here.

Camarillo 1/2

Was supposed to run 14 miles today, but where's the fun in that if you can race instead! Picked up a registration for the Camarillo 1/2 marathon in October. Of course, what was a good idea back then, did not seem that hot this morning - with 43 F outside and a pouring rain. But hey - beats running in a 90 F dry heat, right?

Headed out to Camarillo, and the rain really picked up once I got off the 101. I parked near the starting line and got my packet - the environment looked pretty nasty. They were running a full, a 1/2 and a 5K, with staggered starting times (7:00am/7:30am/8:00am respectively). I felt for the people running the full - the rain just stopped and the road was caked in mud.

Soon after I put on my gear and left the warmth of my car. Warmed up for 5 mins or so, and did some stretches. The 1/2 had attracted a decent size crowd, probably close to 200 people or so. The gun went off and we headed out towards Las Posas, as "Highway to Hell" was blaring my my headphones. By the way, I have been running with Ironman Series Yurbuds for about 9 months now and gotta say that while the sounds gets a little distorted, they do stay in place no matter how much I sweat.

In any case, I wanted to see if I can maintain a consistent 7:15 pace throughout and it felt pretty easy on this course. Miles 3 and 4 were somewhat uphill, but then it was a nice stretch of a downhill coming up. It was getting warmer, and I was considering losing my gloves. I passed a few people running a half, and for a while was running solo, with only a few runners ahead by about 1/4 mile. Lots of drink stations were setup along the way, it felt like they were there every 1/2 mile. In one case the station was set up on the other side of the road, which was strange - but the road was closed to traffic, so it was not too bad, except for additional few yards I had to cover to get there and back to the edge of the road. The road was covered with enough slippery mud to make this for a challenging few miles, especially when we headed back towards Camarillo airport.

The last 4 miles were run around the airport, and it was a little confusing, since the road was sort of open to traffic. At one point we ran across the way, and the car was coming in from behind :). In any case, I was at about 7:12 min/mile coming up to the last 2 miles. I picked up the cadence a little, and started sprinting once we hit the turnaround behind the airport. Passed a few more people, and boom - ran into a serious headwind. Thankfully, we turned off the main road and ran on some dirt path for the last 1/2 mile. I hit the finish line, the watch was showing 1:34:36, which would make it for a solid PR.  Results here.

The organizers had a small table with your typical post race food - bagels, bananas, oranges, pretzels and some Recovery Powerbars. The Powerbars were pretty dense and chewy, and had to be washed down with 2 glasses of water. I liked them overall, but Clif bars are better IMO. In any case, hung around for a bit, talked to a few other finishers, and then headed back to the car.

When I got home, my entire backside was covered with dirt and mud! Off to watch the second half of the Wild Card weekend. And look at my ferocious finishing line look:


Time in the saddle

Took Friday off completely, and was trying to take it easy today as well as I have a 1/2 marathon coming up tomorrow. However, needed to get some time in the saddle. Decided to avoid doing any significant climbs, and stick to the flats.
Rode to the Griffiths Park, and then took the LA River bike path to the 110 freeway and back. It was pretty windy and the bike path was plenty crowded. I maintained the cadence in the mid 80s and mainly spun. On the way back rode the Forest Lawn to Olive and back through Riverside. It was nice and empty, a very tranquil sensation.
Back up Kenneth. For some reason, lots of traffic was present, had to dodge a few overeager trucks. Got home, had a Recoverite. Results here. Now time to watch the NFL playoffs!

Cold track, cold night

Track day! Nothing can be more exciting any given Thursday, especially when you get to start with the temps in the low 50's and finish up with the thermometer reading nice and crispy 42 F. Anyhow, the schedule for today called for:

  • 3 miles goal pace (7:22 m/m in my case)
  • 4 repeats of 800 meters at 6:30 m/m
  • 3 miles at tempo pace (7:00 m/m)
Oh boy! The track was pretty empty, which was both good and bad. There's usually a group of runners doing the intervals on Thursday, and I oftentimes get to draft off their faster runners when I need a speed boost. This time it was all solo, hefty locals notwithstanding.

The first 3 miles were kind of hard. I had to get the heart rate going, and it was not easy. The second mile was pretty fast and I got to slack off a little in the end to keep the average slightly below 7:22. The left ankle was a little sore, but loosened up after mile 2.

The repeats went well, 6:30 is a pretty leisurely pace. Even so, the last set was getting tougher, and I had to sprint the last 300 meters or so to keep the average at 6:30. 

The last 3 miles at tempo were definitely challenging. I had no one to chase, and mile 2 was run at a very uneven pace, since I would drift off and drop into 7:30s and then I would catch up. By the time the last 800 meters rolled in, I was 3 seconds below the target pace, and had to hammer again. Got under 7:00 m/m average for the tempo lap, and was happy it was over. All in all, results here.

Never ever before had I wanted to pee so bad! The bathrooms were locked of course. Good thinking there, BUSD!

4 miles with strides

Was going to do a run on the trails in the morning, but life interfered. I headed out at lunch to the dreadmill.

Thankfully, the place was half empty, and I had a good 4 mile workout. Started out easy at 7:53 min/mile for the first 2 miles, then the 3rd mile was 7:30, and the last mile at 7:00. Got my heartrate going pretty good once it was over. Results here. Ran without an ankle brace and it felt fine.

After that stepped out of the gym, and did 6 strides (100 meters each) keeping the acceleration/pace/declaration steady. The lot was pretty empty, so I did not have to dodge trucks and gold carts. Tweaked the left knee a little in the middle of the set, but it went away by time I was done.

 The rest of the day was uneventful with work stuff. 

Off to a good start in 2013

Woke up without any hangover to speak of. Awesome! Wife and kids initially wanted to go to the beach, but then once they realized that it is going to be in the mid-50s in Santa Monica, they settled on the couches and proceeded to watch the Rose Parade.

I had a 11 mile with 10 minutes total uphill time on tap for Tuesday. However, my son wanted to do another training run for 5k, so I've decided to do an 8 miler with hills, and then come back and pick him for the last 3 miles.

It was a gorgeous day for running. Clear, cool and the streets were nearly empty. I run up to the Starlight Bowl and then down to Alameda, and encountered 4-5 people tops - most of them were out running like me. I logged a good time on the Walnut Dr run, but was a little slower on the actual trash truck climb - had to run against the traffic since the gates were left open. Results here.

Came back home and picked up max. He was excited about his recent sub 26 min 5k run, and wanted to see if he can push beyond 8:30 min/mile. We set out on the loop to Cabrini and back, and sure enough ended up with 8:27 min/mile. It was a nice way for me to cool down and just work on my running form. Results here.

Now off to Tommy's for burgers and chili!