Sunday, December 5, 2010

California International Marathon

The California International Marathon (CIM) is known around the country as being one of the fastest courses that you can find. When I signed up for this race, I was considering attempting to run a 3:10 or better to qualify for the Boston Marathon. After assessing my chances and considering the potential risk of getting injured and messing up my training for Ironman Saint George, I decided to run it without any time pressure.

CIM is a point to point race finishing at the California State Capitol Building. Most runners board an early morning shuttle from Downtown Sacramento to the start at Folsom. It was a fun atmosphere and I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people at the hotel breakfast and in line for the bus. I lined up with the 3:45 pace group and figured I would jog along for most of the distance and either attempt a negative split by running the last 6 miles at a faster pace or stick with the group and establish a new PR just under my previous best of 3:48.

Sure enough, I held just above an 8:30 per mile pace through the first 16 miles. However, three important factors were starting to take a toll. First, I was overdressed for the weather wearing long sleeves. It was not as cold as I expected and it felt very damp and humid since the sunshine was evaporating the puddles on the streets from the rain that fell all weekend until just hours before the race start. I probably did not drink enough water for how much I was sweating. Secondly, I might have been a little too nonchalant with another part of my gear selection, my shoes. On race morning, I had two choices, wear worn out lightweight trainers or more cushioned but completely brand new shoes. I went with the lightweight trainers and by mile 16, started to feel the impact on my knees. I should have bought new shoes a month ago to have enough time to break them in. This brings me to the third factor which limited my performance today, being 15 pounds heavier than at my previous road marathon last March. The weight gain was not necessarily all “bad weight”, but I was certainly not at an optimal marathon racing weight nor body composition.

My pace dropped to about 8:45 during miles 16-20, then slowed again to about 9:15 for miles 21-23. Miles 24-26.2 were a lot slower still. I made a conscious decision to accept what was happening and not try to make up lost time. This was, after all, a fun run. I finished in 3:53:46 with an average pace of 8:59. After the race, I had lunch and watched a movie with a friend I hadn't seen in years. Earlier this year in March, I PR'd at the LA Marathon with a 3:48 and felt like I had run the race of a lifetime. Today, I ran another marathon just five minutes slower overall, yet am calling it a “bad” race. Put in proper perspective, I am very happy with my progress as a runner. I feel like I can run a marathon on any given day at a moment's notice. My priority this year is training for my first ironman in May 2011 and I feel very confident about my running.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Insulindependence University

Insulindependence University was a weeklong training camp for Triabetes Captains. This year, it was held in Panama City, Florida in November. The video embedded above has footage from the Triabetes camp, as well as our running club Glucomotive and outdoor expeditions group Testing Limits.

We had so much fun swimming, biking, and running in Panama City. More than just exercise, it was an opportunity for the Captains to bond as a team. In May, we will all be racing one of the toughest ironman competitions in the world at Ironman Saint George. Our individual goals range from finishing within the 17 hour time limit to qualifying for the World Chanmpionships in Kona.

Insulindependence staff and volunteers planned our group workouts, coordinated meals, and recruited a panel of experts to lead discussions on diabetes management, nutrition, and leadership. Later in the week, the kids that we are working with and their parents arrived. They raced in a kids' triathlon while we cheered them on from the sidelines. I was especially impressed with my own Triabuddy who made the trip from California to Florida with his dad despite recently being sick with pneumonia. He wasn't able to race due to the lingering illness, but that did not stop him from being the best supporter out on the course. On Sunday, we had the opportunity to watch Ironman Florida. One of our teammates raced and we caught up her throughout the day and watched her cross the finish line.

I am honored to be a Triabetes Captain. The organization has motivated me to test my physical limits and be a leader in the diabetes community. A couple of years ago, I set out to complete a sprint triathlon and discovered a passion for endurance sports. I have since run several marathons, century rides, up to half iron distance triathlons, and improved my times in the shorter distances. More importantly, I have successfully managed my diabetes and hopefully served as a good role model for others, diabetic or not, to regain control of their health.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkinman 70.3

Pumpkinman is a point to point triathlon with three different distances to choose from in the beautiful Lake Mead National Recreation Area just outside of Las Vegas. Both the olympic and long courses finish with a long 2,000 foot climb to reach the bike to run transition area . Several people advised me to do this race as a good indicator of preparedness for Ironman Saint George next May. My first half ironman would include a challenging 7,000 feet of climbing over just 56 miles on the bike course.

I completed the 1.2 mile swim in 37:40 despite stopping several times at the beginning to adjust leaking goggles. The water was warm at 66 degrees, an ideal temperature cool enough to avoid overheating in a wetsuit, yet warm enough to warrant its use for increased buoyancy. I stashed an emergency gel under my swim cap in case my blood sugar dropped (it didn't). The course was a straight, out and back line of about 10 buoys.

A Triabetes teammate and expert swimmer, Brian, analyzed my swim stroke a few weeks ago and explained why I was having difficulty swimming in a straight line in open water. He noticed that I was putting my hands in the water thumb-first with my palm facing outwards and starting each pull with inefficient lateral propulsion. His simple correction instantly improved my ability to swim a straighter line in open water. Thanks, Brian!

I found a good rhythm by the time I reached the turnaround and ramped up the intensity during the second half. Coming out of the water, my first few steps were in almost knee-high mud. I walked carefully to avoid cutting my feet on the sharp mussels below the surface. It was a relatively long run to my t1 spot. I took an extra minute in transition to test my blood sugar and put on padded cycling shorts.

I started the bike conservatively. I stuck to my plan of spending the first few miles eating, hydrating, and spinning easily. Once I did increase my power output, I was discouraged and even surprised to that more riders continued to pass me. I even pulled over to a complete stop to check both tires for flats. There was no flat tire, but my front brake was rubbing on one side of the wheel, so I loosened it a bit. I alternated between riding on the hoods on the uphills, and either the drops or attached aerobars on the flats and downhills. I haven't yet been fitted on this new bike, so I definitely haven't optimized my setup.

I stretched my legs while coasting a few times when I felt like I might start cramping. My target bike split was based on researching the previous year's averages. I came within one minute of my projected 4 hour time. I consumed about eight gels, four sports drink bottles, and three salt tablets.

I came into t2 and checked my blood sugar again. The peace of mind was worth the extra minute. I set out on the run with another six gels in a flask and planned to grab more food at the aid stations. I soon crossed paths with a Triabetes friend, Brennan, who was finishing the olympic race as I was just starting my 13.1 mile run. (Congratulations to Brennan for finishing his first olympic triathlon!) I was aiming for a two hour half marathon and was right on target.

The run was fairly flat. The two biggest obstacles were gusty headwinds and a section of freshly repaved road that smelled suffocatingly of tar. I almost ran past the turnaround spot after the first lap had it not been for Brennan who was fortunately standing at the marker and pointed it out. I finished the first lap in about 57 minutes. I slowed down on the second lap, but finished in exactly two hours.

I was happy to finish my first half ironman distance triathlon in under 6:45 on a very difficult course. I am confident that I will beat that time at Ironman 70.3 California next April. My goal is to finish Ironman St. George in about 13.5 hours.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Optimist Swim Challenge

With a noon start and discounted entry fee, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to participate in the Optimist Swim Challenge. I completed the shortest distance option, 1.2 miles. The main event was a marathon swim of 12.6 miles.

My time was nothing impressive (42:58), but I felt great in the water. For the first time in an open water swim, I was able to draft the entire way. A great warm-up for next week's Pumpkinman half ironman triathlon! I hope to complete either the 4.8 or 2.4 mile distance next year. Pre-register for the 2011 event at

Congratulations to my Triabetes teammate, Julie, for finishing the 2.4 mile race in preparation for her first ironman at IMAZ in just a few weeks.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Scott Tinley's Adeventures- long course

Swim 1 ½ miles. This was only the second time I have ever swam in a lake. I have done most of my training in a pool and, being from Los Angeles, my previous triathlon swims have been in the ocean. A few minutes before the start, the race director announced that the water temperature was at 73 degrees. Being so warm, the professionals and elite racers were not allowed to use a wetsuit. The age groupers elected to use wetsuits despite the warm water because, as I learned in my first lake swim just last week, there is much less buoyancy in fresh water than in salt water.

I swam quite a bit in the Spring and early Summer in preparation for the two mile Dwight Crum Pier to Pier on August 1st, but most of my swimming in the last two months has been at races or quick bodysurfing sessions at the beach. My goal was to draft off other swimmers for at least the first of three laps, then not worry if I fell off the back of the pack. I would try to catch a few people on the bike and a few more on the run. More importantly, in the race against the clock, I wanted to finish in less than six hours. Also, I “trained through” this race without any tapering. This would be a fun race building up towards my “A” race of the season, the Pumpkinman Triathlon on October 23rd.

At the start, I swam fast enough to survive the initial mayhem. There was some bumping and grabbing, but it didn’t take long for the the field to stretch out, leaving me and a few others far behind. The first problem I encountered was the low visibility in the murky waters of Lopez Lake. I think the water is fairly clean, but I am just not used to swimming in a lake. The combination of low visibility, “fresh” water taste, and too much fluid intake too close the start time led to the inevitable… I felt sick and vomitted a few times. By the time my stomach settled, I focused on conserving energy and getting through the second longest open water swim I have ever completed. I am actually surprised I finished the1.5 mile in less than an hour. I came out of the water at 57:39 and carefully ran up the rough concrete boat ramp. Some friends shouted my name from the sidelines, but I didn’t feel well enough to respond too enthusiastically. In transition, I put my insulin pump back on at a preset reduced basal rate and a good blood sugar reading of 125.

Bike 48.7 miles. I was riding my new road bike for the first time. Normally, it is wise to avoid using any new equipment in a race. I intended to ride part of the course and make some positioning adjustments on Friday, but there was a lot of traffic heading North from LA, so I barely had enough time to pick up my race packet and then set up camp before sundown. The biggest difference I had to adapt to on this new bike was going from aerobar-end shifters to traditional road bike brake-lever shifting. Somewhere around mile 10, though, while riding on the aerobars, my right forearm support dropped a few inches. I was unable to ride comfortably on the tilted support, so I had to use the hoods and drops. I had never ridden on drop handle bars before, so the new position did strain my arms.

It was a fairly hilly ride, climbing almost 4,000 feet in less than 50 miles. It was warm and humid out on the bike course. I went through two bottles of Accelerade each mixed with an extra scoop of maltodextrin, one bottle of Gatorade from an aid station, and about five gels. I forgot my salt tablets in t1. Considering the hilly course, new bike, and being cautious on the unfamiliar winding downhill sections, I have to be pleased with my 3:02:11 bike split. I’ll aim to achieve my 20mph speed at my next sprint or olympic triathlon.

Run 9.3 miles. The run was also hilly. I love running uphill, though. I know that when a hill gets too steep, it is better to walk fast than run slow. I battled through some abdominal cramping on the first of two laps. I attribute it to the new drop bar position and not taking salt tablets while on the bike. The cramping faded and I am sure that I ran faster on the second lap. I stopped at all the aid stations so that I could drink enough water and Gatorade. I was able to sprint the last ¼ mile strong enough to suggest that I could have pushed harder or ran further.

After the race, I discovered that my infusion site for my pump had come off. I immediately checked my sugar and is was pretty high, at almost 300. I was frustrated because I actually had a backup site, but didn’t know to switch since I didn’t notice that the first one had fallen out. I didn’t overreact to the high bg because I knew the nearly six hour long effort would have a lingering effect. I treated it with a small bolus and canceled my temporary basal which was scheduled to stay in effect for another few hours.

My “A” race for the season is coming up in just a couple of weeks. The Scott Tinely’s Adventures long course was good training for Pumpkinman. While I competed in the long course race, my cousin finished his first sprint triathlon. My other reason for picking this race at Lopez Lake was that I camped here a few times many years ago. California was in the midst of a severe drought in the early 90’s, and it was nice to see that the area has recovered since then.

The pictures below are from the Tri-California Events website. They include pictures from the various distance onroad and offroad triathlons that took place at Lopez Lake this weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Angeles Crest 100 (paced last 25mi)

I took advantage of a great opportunity to be part of the 2010 Angeles Crest 100. This is NOT a century ride, it is a 100 mile run from Wrightwood to Pasadena. I volunteered to run the last 25 miles of the course as a pacer. The race was canceled last year due to the Station fire which was one of the largest forest fires in LA County history. The US Forestry Service granted the race organizers a special permit to hold the race in a “closed forest.” Much of the forest remains closed to the general public since the fire, but race was allowed to go on because the organizers and runners volunteered countless hours of trail repair work to restore the burn and subsequent flood damage.

I arrived in Pasadena and caught a cab to the finish line, or at least where the map I pulled from the race website said the finish line was. The cab driver took me to a residential neighborhood where we found a closed gate. I was nervous about getting out of the car because it was midnight and I didn't see any signs of a race. I made sure to get Arshak, the cab driver's cell phone number in case I didn't find it. I turned on my headlamp and headed down the dirt road. I almost turned back when I finally came across an arrow marked on the ground with white flour. About 3 miles later, I emerged from the trail into a different residential neighborhood and soon after, found the finish line. Once there, I learned that only one runner had come in. Local legend Jorge Pacheco won the race with a time of 19:20, two hours ahead of second place. I called Ashmet and asked him to pick me from the finish line.

The drive to the location where I would sign up as a standby pacer was intimidating to say the least. Chantry flats is halfway up a mountain. The cab driver was intrigued by my rambling insistence that there were actually people running 100 miles along the highest ridges of Los Angeles. To him, I was either crazy for dreaming up the whole story or crazy for being so eager to jump into this mad race. It was 2AM and some signs of life started to appear on the mountain, as several cars passed in the opposite direction. I figured they were crew cars for runners who were leaving the mile 75 medical checkpoint. After a few miles driving up the mountain, we finally found the Chantry Flats campground.

I met Allan around 2:45AM. By accepting a pacer, he was allowing me to officially enter the course. My job was to accompany this man who had already run for over 20 hours and 75 miles, for an additional 25 miles through the night on rugged mountain trails. Not having any previous experience pacing in such a race, I spent the first hour thanking him for the opportunity to participate in this great event. We were running in pitch black darkness, our headlamps illuminating the path just a few feet ahead. In the distance, I could vaguely see the silhouette of the mountains all around us. On the steep sections, we could see the lights of other runners. It was surreal. We caught up to one runner, Chihping, who Allan had spent time with earlier in the race. He was struggling and eventually dropped back. Amazingly, he would catch us many hours later and finish a few minutes ahead.

There were several aid stations along the way, but Allan spent no more than a minute at each one. We pressed on, at a slow but steady pace. The guy was like a machine. He is a seasoned ultrarunner who just last year completed the Grand Slam of ultrarunning, finishing four of the oldest 100 mile races in the United States: Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year.. Later this week, he planned to run from one side of the Grand to the other, and back. It is over 10,000 feet of climbing in 50 miles! Over the course of what would be a 31 hour run this year at Angeles Crest, he consumed only water, salt tablets, and 5,000 calories of pure maltodextrin. I ate nearly as much covering just 25 miles!

It was my first nighttime trail run and the next step towards accomplishing my own ultrarunning ambitions. I am committing this entire year to preparing to race Ironman Saint George in May 2011 as a Triabetes Captain, so I will postpone tackling anything longer than a 50k run until after I honor that commitment. It was a privilege to get such a close look at what it takes to run a 100 miler. I definitely want to go for 50 miles sometime soon and am “open” to the idea of someday running 100 miles. Thanks, Allan!

I've left out a lot of details in this post, but I invite any readers of my blog to leave comments and ask questions. Check out the Angeles Crest 100 page

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim

The Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Swim is a great tradition in the South Bay. I am proud to be competent enough of a swimmer to have completed the two mile open water course, especially since just two years ago I could barely swim two laps!

Before the race, I had two packets of oatmeal, a ham and cheese croissant, a banana, coffee, and a bottle of Accelerade. I gave myself a small bolus of Humulog and disconnected my insulin pump an hour before the race. Later, while in line waiting to get my timing chip, I ate a Cliff Bar.

I felt like I got a good start after lining up far on the outside. Most importantly, I was calm and enjoying every moment. I was able to draft off other swimmers for a brief as they passed me. I could have hung on for longer, but wasn't sure if I would burn out and regret it later. I got into a steady rhythm, albeit slow, and swam 80-90% of the race without the benefit of drafting. The Manhattan Beach Pier seemed far away, but knowing it was going to take well over an hour to complete the two mile distance, I focused on the stroke cycle and breathing smoothly.

Forecast to be in the low 60's, the water temperature varied quite a bit. It would feel comfortable for a while, and then I'd cross pockets of very cold water. I chose to swim without a wetsuit. Eventually, the pier started to appear closer and I felt good enough to finish strong. After rounding the Manhattan Beach Pier, I finally started to kick hard and caught a wave to shore.

After finishing and exiting the water, I was freezing cold! My face was numb and I trembled until warming up in the sun. My brother in law was at the finish line with my niece and nephew. I took the opportunity on the beach to thank my swim coach, Steve Hyde, for helping me achieve this goal. The main purpose of participating today was to prove to myself that I could swim 2 miles in open water. By accomplishing that goal, I set a benchmark which I can improve upon. I had plenty of energy left and my blood sugar management strategy worked well. I did not have a bg monitor at the finish line, but it was at 157 when I checked an hour later. I walked around the beach the rest of the day, both for the exercise and just to enjoy the day in the sun.

My next planned race is the Bulldog 50k run on August 21st . However, there is a good chance that I will enter the Naples Island One Mile Swim on August 15th. For the sake of training for my next triathlon, I'll be swimming with a wetsuit when I have the opportunity to be in open water for the rest of the year.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grand Tour of LA- Double Metric Century

The 52nd annual Los Angeles Wheelmen Grand Tour was a great event. I completed the shortest route, the Double Metric Challenge. It is 125 miles with 7,900 feet of climbing. It was the longest and hilliest ride I have ever done. Incredibly, some riders covered 200, 300, and even 400 miles today.

Riders can count on three full service aid stations, SAG support (volunteers roaming the course in cars that can give you a ride or help fix minor mechanical problems), a route sheet with directions to follow, and a post-ride barbeque. With all these benefits, the entry fee is a real bargain and probably does not even cover the costs involved. Many thanks to the LA Wheelmen volunteers! I'm sure many of them would rather be out riding, but volunteer to support the event instead.

I am dedicating this entire year to preparing for the 2011 Ironman St. George. I treated this ride as a long training day to test my endurance and climbing ability. I was more concerned about the hills than the distance. I felt good all day and climbed more steadily than I expected.

I was rescued from a potentially ride ending problem by two LA Tri Clubbers who noticed I had pulled over towards the top of Latigo Canyon, the biggest climb of the day. Leading up to a big event, athletes of any sport are told to “not try anything new” and “rely on their training.” Yesterday, I decided to adjust my seat angle and it today it came loose ¾ of the way up the toughest climb. When Alison and Tom passed I told them I was fine, but they waited anyways. It's a good thing they did because I had not realized yet that the tool I was carrying didn't have the right size allen key on it. They lent me the correct tool and I was on my way again.

I lost track of them on a downhill section and ended up missing a turn on Mulholland. I rode downhill on Kanan Dume Road for several miles past three tunnels before a guy that followed me realized that we had gone the wrong way. I didn't mind the extra mileage, but it was all uphill.

This was my first organized ride and it was completely unmarked. I had to ride without a bike computer because a pin fell out of my GPS so it could not be mounted onto the bike. I contacted the manufacturer (Garmin) and they offered to send a replacement pin free of charge, but not in time for today's ride. I made one other wrong turn on Highway 23 and rode another extra 10 miles of rolling terrain. I must have ridden 150 miles with over 9,000 feet of climbing today. I stopped at the intersection of Santa Rosa and Moorpark Road worried I was offtrack for the third time when a SAG vehicle pulled over and informed me I was just around the corner from the full service lunch stop. By the time I reached the second aid station at Peach Hill Park in Moorpark, I was feeling defeated at my inability to follow the route, but still had plenty of energy to continue riding. Luckily, I found the two LA TriClubbers who had helped me earlier. This time, I decided to stay with them since they were more familiar with the route. They also had both completed the inaugural Ironman St. George at which I volunteered and will be competing in next year.

My main diabetes related concern was that I went back on an insulin pump earlier this week and was not sure what to expect on such a long ride. Even though there were three aid stations, I carried plenty of food (gels, cereal bars, and two refillable bottles). I am looking forward to getting my Dexcom CGM soon. Continuous glucose monitoring (cgm) is an amazing technology that allows diabetics to get nearly real-time blood glucose readings without stopping to prick your finger and draw blood. For everyday diabetes management and especially during endurance training, the most valuable data it generates are trend graphs that alert you sharp drops or spikes that you can treat by ingesting carbohydrates or administering an insulin bolus. Today, I checked my sugar manually several times and it was right on target, between 90 and 120. I consumed about 15 gels, 5 cereal bars, 3 bananas, 1 basket of strawberries, 4 turkey and cheese sandwiches, 2 non-diet sodas, a few bunches of grapes, 5 oatmeal raisin cookies, half a roll of salted crackers, 6 bottles of electrolyte drinks (various types), 2 salt tablets, and possibly more.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Redondo Beach Triathlon

The Redondo Triathlon is one of the shortest triathlons around. It consists of a half mile swim, six mile bike, and two mile run. My main objective today was simply to kick off the season and set an early season benchmark speed in each discipline. El Triatlon de Redondo Beach es uno de los mas cortos que existe. Consiste en nadar media milla, andar en bicicleta por seis millas, y correr dos millas. Hoy, mi objetivo principal fue empezar la temporada y establecer puntos de referencia en cada disciplina.

I swam the half mile at approximately a two minute per 100 meter pace. If I kept that pace at a 2.4 mile Ironman distance, it would take me almost an hour an a half to finish. I certainly have some work to do in the pool. I plan on rejoining my local master's swim club in July when my work schedule changes for the Summer. Two years ago, those coaches and teammates taught me how to swim and in just a couple of months, prepared me to do my first triathlon. Other than improving my speed, I will need to practice sighting without lifting my head out of the water. Nade media milla a dos minutos por cada 100 metros. Si mantengo ese paso en una distancia Ironman de 2.4 millas, terminaria en casi una hora y media. Reconozco que tengo bastante entrenamiento que hacer en la piscina. Voy a volver a mi equipo de natacion en Julio cuando cambia mi horario de trabajo para el Verano. Hace dos anos, estos entrenadores y companeros me ensenaron a nadar y me prepararon para participar en mi primer triatlon en solo un par de meces. Aparte de mejorar mi velocidad, voy a tener que practicar poder mirar hacia adelante sin sacar mi cabeza del agua.

In a race this short, transitions are very important. Only the two top finishers were able to get through T1 in less than two minutes because you had to run up a long ramp to the transition area at Veteran's Park. Considering that extra (uphill) distance, I am pleased with a 3:35 T1. En una carrera tan corta como esta, las transiciones son muy importantes. Solo dos participantes pudieron salir de T1 en menos de dos minutos porque habia que subir corriendo por una rampa larga para llegar al area de transicion en Veteran's Park. Tomando en cuenta esta distancia adicional, estoy contento con un T1 de 3:35.

I rode at 19 miles an hour. I don't expect to hold that same speed in an Ironman, but will try to match it an olympic triathlon later this year. T2 took me 1:18. En bicicleta, obtuve un promedio de 19 millas por hora. No espero poder mantener esa misma velocidad en un Ironman, pero lo voy a intentar igualar en un triatlon olimpico este ano. Me demore 1:18 en T2.

I ran two miles at a 7:07 mile pace. Slower than my 5k speed last week, but I was just glad to run with no ankle pain from a sprain that has been bothering me. I think I'm ready to start running more again. Corri dos millas a 7:07 por milla. Fue mas lento que en una carrera de 5k la semana pasada, pero estoy contento de haber podido correr sin dolor al tobillo que me ha molestado ultimamente. Creo que estoy listo para volver a correr distancias mas largas.

Special thanks to my dad for making it to the race and taking a few pictures. Gracias a mi papa por venir a la carrera y tomar fotos.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hawthorne 5k

Ran the Hawthorne 5k this morning. I wanted to break 20 minutes, but was unable to run hard enough due to a sprained ankle that has kept me from running for the past two weeks. Finished in 21:15 which is a 5k PR for me and a cautious step in the right direction. My friend America was able to beat her 30 minute goal and is already planning her next race. Sub 1 hour 10K? I am also proud of my mom for powerwalking her way to a 45 minute finish. She felt good and wants to mix in some running next time. Good job!

Participe en la carrera de 5k en Hawthorne esta manana. Queria terminar en menos de 20 minutos, pero no pude por un esguince del tobillo que me previno correr por las ultimas dos semanas. Termine en 21:15, mi mejor tiempo de 5 kilometros y un cuidadoso paso adelante hacia cumplir mi meta. Mi amiga America logro terminar dentro de su meta, menos de 30 minutos. Ya esta planeando su proxima carrera. 10k en menos de 1 hora? Tambien estoy orgulloso de mi mama, quien camino muy consistente para terminar en 45 minutos. Quiere prepararse para en la proxima poder caminar y CORRER. Bien hecho!

Afterwards, I headed over to the beach to finally try out my new wetsuit before my first triathlon of the year next week at Redondo. The Xterra Wetsuit is very comfortable and flexible. I really need to practice sighting. I think it will be easier to swim a straight line with big bright orange buoys in the water.

Despues, fui a la playa para por fin probar mi nuevo wetsuit antes de mi primer triatlon del ano que sera la proxima semana en Redondo Beach. El traje Xterra es bastante comodo. Mi di cuenta que necesito practicar levantar la mira para nadar en una linea mas recta. Creo sera mas facil navegar cuando hay boyas anaranjadas en el agua marcando el camino.

And the best news of the day... After swimming, I stopped at my favorite bagel spot, Manhattan Bread and Bagel. Still wearing my Triabetes shirt, the store manager asked me if I do triathlons. I told her about our club and mentioned that our first Los Angeles event is coming up soon, on July 25th in Hermosa Beach. She was nice enough to offer to donate refreshments for our event. Thank you Kristin Robbins and Manhattan Bread & Bagel!

Y la mejor noticia del dia... Despues de nadar, pare a comer en mi lugar favorito de bagels, Manhattan Bread and Bagel. Todavia tenia puesta mi camiseta de Triabetes, y la gerente del restaurant me pregunto si participo en triatlones. Le informe sobre nuestro club, y le comente que nuestro primer evento en Los Angeles sera el 25 de Julio en Hermosa Beach. Fue tan amable que ofrecio donar los refrescos para el evento. Gracias Kristin Robbins and Manhattan Bread & Bagel!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Had a great ride on Sunday. Rode from Long Beach to Oceanside and caught Amtrak back to LA for a total of 75 miles. Going at an easy pace, the purpose was to spend five hours on the bike. Here's a few pictures:

Fui en bicicleta desde Long Beach hasta Oceanside (75 millas) este Domingo y tome el tren de vuelta a Los Angeles. A una velocidad relativamente facil, el proposito fue durar cinco horas en la bicicleta. Aqui hay algunas fotos:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Palos Verdes Half Marathon (5/15/10)

Last year, I ran this 13.1 mile race just before running my first marathon. This year, that order was reversed. I came into the 2010 Palos Verdes ½ Marathon having run several marathons in the past few months. My goal today was to beat my 2009 time and run about 1:50. I gave myself my normal long acting insulin dose as soon as I woke up. For breakfast, I made my usual ham, egg, and cheese croissant along with orange juice, a banana, and coffee. No preprace Humulog (fast acting insulin) bolus unless my blood glucose spikes over 200.

I picked up my race number on Friday, but still arrived early because I might have to park far away from the start line. Upon arriving and parking about a ½ mile up the hill on Gaffey Street, I checked my sugar. It was at 180, an acceptable starting point considering I had plenty of insulin on board and was about to run 13 miles.

I carried a flask containing six packets of Vanilla Bean GU. I drank water and Gatoraid at seven of the ten aid stations, skipping the first and last two. The course was mostly rolling hills, with only one somewhat steep ascent after the first mile which we would revisit going downhill on the way back. It was an out and back course and I hit the turnaround at exactly 50 minutes. I was not sure whether I had made a mistake starting too fast, but I decided to keep the pace and find out if I could hold it. I had seen a student from the school where I work at the start line, but lost track of him in the crowd by the second mile. As I pass mile 12, his dad yells “he's trying to run you down!” That motivated me to start my final surge.

I crossed the line at 1:39.59. I achieved another one of my goals for the season, to break 100 minutes in a 13.1 mile race. It was my best half marathon time yet and it was on a relatively hilly course. I am encouraged because it shows progress towards realistically running a 3:10 marathon and qualifying for Boston. The California International Marathon in December might be that opportunity. My next challenge will be on June 5th where I will try to break 20 minutes at the Hawthorne 5k.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Xterra Malibu Creek Race Recap (5/8/10)

What are the odds? BG at start was 153. BG at finish was 153. Breakfast was a ham and cheese crossaint with coffee at the freeway onramp and a small egg burrito, hash brown, and orange juice at the offramp in Calabasas. I'm not an ironman yet, but it appears that I do have an iron stomach. Que casualidad! Mi nivel de azucar al antes de empezar fue 153 y despues de la carrera tambien estaba en 153. Al subir a la autopista desayune un cafe y un crossaint de jamon y queso. Quede con hambre entonces comi otra vez al bajarme de la autopista en la ciudad de Calabasas un burrito de huevo, hash brown y jugo de naranja. Todavia no soy un "Ironman", pero al parecer ya tengo un estomago de hierro.

It was a tough course, 14 miles with 3,600 feet of climbing over a variety of off-road terrain. I ran the course in 2:40 on April 24th and my goal today was to beat that time. I have been doing more speedwork lately and no real long runs since a three person trail marathon on April 10th where the other two guys were previewing a course in Coto de Caza for a 100 mile run. El camino fue basatante dificil, 14 millas con 3,600 pies de ascenso. Corri este camino en 2:40 el 24 de Abril y hoy mi meta fue mejorar ese tiempo. Ultimamente, me he concentrado mas en entrenamiento de velocidad y no he corrido largas distancias desde el 10 de Abril cuando corri un maraton con dos amigos que estaban preparandose para una carrera de 100 millas.

The race announcer reminded everyone that the race really starts at mile 6, after the biggest climb. I took the advice and started conservatively, power hiking the steepest ascents. I took a couple packets of GU and plenty of Gatoraid at each of the three aid stations, and sipped from my Camelback at least every ten minutes. My emergency BG booster nutrition was pretty gross (flask of stale gel I poured over a week ago) and I managed to mostly stay away from it. El locutor de la carrera nos recordo que la carrera realmente empieza en la sexta milla, despues de pasar las subidas mas inclinadas, tome el consejo y empeze a un paso mas confortable, hasta optando en caminar las secciones mas empinadas. En cada estacion de nutricion, consumi Gatoraid y un par de GU's. Tambien tome agua de mi mochila Camelback al menos cada diez minutos. En caso de emergencia, si mi azucar llegara a bajar, lleve un frasco de GU que abri hace mas de una semana. No muy apetitoso que digamos, pero no lo tuve que usar por la mayor parte.

In retrospect, I should not have filled the Camelback bladder with two liters. I only used half and it's still too new of equipment to effectively use in a race. I have used it twice, once at the training run and now on race day. Considering that this particular race was not high priority, though, I suppose it will be good experience for another day on a less supported course. I've already had one bad experience in a trail race where they ran out of water. Since then, I try to be more self-sufficient on the trails. It was hot out there, and am glad to have carried too much rather than too little. A better choice would have been one refillable handheld bottle. En retrospectiva, me di cuenta que no fue buena idea llenar mi mochila camelback con dos litros de agua. Solo tome la mitad y quiza fue tambien por la falta de practica durante el entrenamiento con el nuevo equipo (camelback). La he usado dos veces, la primera vez cuando practique en este camino el 10 de Abril y hoy, el dia de la carrera. Supongo que me servira como experiencia para acostumbrarme al equipo para otra carrera mas importante. Ya tuve una mala experiencia en un maraton offroad donde se les acabo el agua en las estaciones de nutricion. Desde entonces he tratado de cargar todo lo que puedo necesitar y no depender en ayuda externa. Ademas, hoy hizo mucho calor y fue mejor cargar mucha agua en vez de muy poca. Con estas estaciones de nutricion abundantes, habria sido suficiente correr con una botella recargable.

At 22k, this is the shortest trail race I've done. I was not surprised that some people had enough energy left to really push hard during the second, relatively flatter half. I kept moving, but didn't have much of a kick until the last ½ mile when we were back on asphault. I finished in 2:32, two minutes off my target. Race day was a lot warmer than on the training run, so I'll take it. A una distancia de 22 kilometros, esta fue la carrera offroad mas corta en cual he participado. No fue gran sorpresa que algunos guardaron energia para realmente empujar en la segunda mitad mas plana que la primera. Mantuve un buen paso, y finalmente pude acelerar en la ultima media milla cuando volvimos a las calles pavimentados. Termine en 2:32, dos minutos mas que mi objetivo. Como hizo mucho mas calor que el dia de la practica, considero que me fue bien.

I typically do not preview a course before racing it, unless it happens to overlap with my normal training grounds. In each instance where I have had the chance to do so, it has been a tremendous advantage. I am probably in worse shape than I was a couple of weeks ago, yet finished faster based on real course experience instead of a pdf elevation chart (which is still better than nothing). Lesson learned. No tengo la custumbre de practicar en los mismos caminos donde voy a participar un en una carrera a menos que coincidan con los lugares donde entreno normalmente pero he comprobado que cada vez que practico donde va ser la carrera, me ha resultado en una gran ventaja. Hoy, por ejemplo, me encuentro en peor condicion fisica que hace un mez atras, pero igual pude terminar en menos tiempo basando mi estrategia en experiencia actual en vez de un simple mapa topografico pdf. Leccion aprendida.