Monday, February 13, 2012

AC100 Training Week 6 of 27

I spent Monday's treadmill run challenging myself to run fast after walking up 15-18% incline intervals to simulate cresting a hill and immediately tackling a descent. I also mixed in some running at 6%.

On Tuesday, I ran a simple out and back on the The Hermosa Valley Greenbelt woodchip trail. I made a conscious effort to keep a steady, comfortable pace. My splits were fairly consistent.

On Wednesday, I hit the treadmill again. Yes, for the second time in a week. If I don't get up early enough to hit the trails in the morning, going to the gym and playing incline games on a treadmill after work is the next best way to practice climbing hills.

On Thursday, I hiked and ran with my friend America. She was one of the first people I knew to run marathons. While working at Leuzinger High School, she was a teacher mentor with the Students Run LA program. SRLA is an amazing character development program that accomplishes its mission around training youth to complete the LA Marathon. We went to Westridge and hiked up most of the singletrack ridge up to the Nike Tower, then ran back down along the fireroad.

I took Friday off from workouts, as usual.But instead of using the rest to prepare for a weekend of back to back long runs, this was the start of my two week taper for the Ray Miller 50.

On Saturday, I went for a three hour bike ride then ran for an hour. This cross-training taper is reminding me how much I enjoyed last year's buildup for my first Ironman. If the ocean was five degrees warmer right now, I would jump at the chance to pull my wetsuit on and swim in open water. I'll settle for a couple of pool swims this upcoming week. I will be volunteering at an Insulindependence Triathlon Training Camp in Tucson, Arizona next weekend.

I took an additional rest day on Sunday. I spent the morning lounging around finishing a book called "Always Running" by Luis Rodriguez which is actually NOT about running, but offers some insight into LA gang culture and one man's political education from that inculcated perspective. I also started my semester in an online class, the last one I need before I can apply to the Applied Studies program at Cal State University Dominguez Hills. I've taken a few classes in the program already since you can take a certain number of units before needing to be officially admitted. I plan to go full time and finally complete my bachelor's degree next year, then apply to a Master's in Public Health Program. From experience, I have found it helpful to not only set goals, but also freely put it out there and publicly commit to the endeavor. This blog post is about week 6 of my preparation for the Angeles Crest Endurance Run. Now you know what's in store for week 28!

Monday, February 6, 2012

AC100 Training Week 5 of 27

My weekly totals were fairly low, but I still consider it a productive week with 49 miles and 8,500 feet of climbing.

After taking Monday off from running, I started my week on Tuesday with a quality hour long treadmill session. I used to really dread running indoors on a treadmill, but have come to appreciate the efficient, focused workouts that can be accomplished with customized speed and incline settings. I am consistently fitting in one good treadmill run each week. I enjoy running at 6% and practicing my hiking at 15-18%.

Wednesday’s run was a mix of woodchip trail along the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt, flat pavement along The Strand, and a short hill on Manhattan Beach Blvd. coming back up to the trail. Even more variety is possible since The Strand is right next to the soft sand. I will try to start running on the sand once per week soon.

Thursday was the lowlight of the week. Before dawn at Temescal Gateway Park, I took a fall within a few minutes of starting. I scraped up my hands pretty bad and belly flopped. I felt like calling it a day, but having already woken up at 5AM and driven out to the trail, I stayed out there for about two hours. It is a tough course with almost 1,800 feet of climbing in the first four miles. The seventh mile was a 738 foot descent which slowed me down nearly as much as the climbing miles.

I chose not to run on Friday. I felt fine, but gave myself a break after sticking with it on Thursday despite the rough start.

Saturday was a great day. I felt strong on climbs and agile on technical terrain. It was a beautiful day in LA. The spectacular views on the trails today moved me to finally buy a camera. I ordered it online and should have it in time for the Ray Miller race. It's actually a waterproof camera, so I am looking forward to taking it out in the rain and possibly tucked into my wetsuit when I start ocean swimming in the Spring.

In the evening, I attended a screening of Unbreakable: The Western States 100. See the trailer below. After the movie, there was time for a Q&A with a panel including one of the featured runners Anton Kupricka, filmmaker/runner JB Benna, veteran ultrarunner and San Diego 100 Race Director Scotty Mills, and acting as the facilitator Coach Jimmy Dean Freeman of Coyote Running.

The youngest member of the audience asked if any of the panel members had ever DNF’d. In response, Kupricka alluded to a DNF he suffered at Leadville one year. I am not sure where in the race he dropped out, but he talked about nutritional problems leading to hypoglycemia.As a type one diabetic, I can certainly relate and it reminded me about how endurance athletes push their bodies to such astonishing limits in competition. In the diabetic community, we call close friends and loved ones type 3's. They may not have diabetes, but they witness our daily routines along with the ups and downs of dealing with the disease. I consider all endurance athletes type 3's because they, too, understand the nature of having to manually control the body's delicate balance in a similar way to what we deal with everyday.

On Sunday, I helped pace my sister at the Redondo Beach 10k. It was the furthest she has ever run and I am proud she took on the challenge. She is already showing symptoms of having caught the endurance bug, wondring how much faster she could have run the 5k, or what her time could be in a 10k if she actually trained for it, and even considering going longer and running the Carlsbad Marathon next year.