Saturday, November 26, 2005

Yorba Linda Discovery

This morning I met up with a group of running buddies that call themselves the California Cruisers. We meet in various places throughout SoCal and trade off you who gets to bring the post run goodies. That person also gets to choose the route. Today we met at Tricia' house and ran the horse trails in Yorba Linda. The discovery part is that I have not run these trails before. I just recently hooked back up with this group since my local training partner is suffering from the stress fracture.

We all start off together then get spread out and finish back up at the goodies that await us. The usual run is 10 miles with increasing distances depending on who's training for what. Today I was thinking I might run about 8 miles and try to take them nice and slow. I ended up running with John. John is my inspiration for attempting the 50 states marathons. The group was planning 10 miles on an out and back course so I figured I would run 4 with John and then turn around and go back alone. Running with John was supposed to force me to take it easy. At the 4 mile mark, I was feeling good and enjoying the pace so I decided to keep going and make it a 10 mile day. Here comes the next part of the discovery. John decides he wants to figure out where the trail we are on hooks up with another trail. So my 4 mile out run turned into 5.8. We spent the return trip trying to catch the others who had turned around at 5. We never did catch them. My final mileage for the day was 11.7 based on John's Forerunner GPS.

Another cool thing is that I met Tricia's husband, Dan. It turns out he is an Ironman. He completed the Ironman Florida, Panama City Beach, the same weekend I was in NYC. I was impressed to meet an actual Ironman. Dan ran with us today as well. He stayed with us for about a mile and then we never saw him again until the end!

The 10-day forecast for Vegas next weekend calls for an overnight low of 40, with a daytime high of 58. A little cooler than I'm used to but it should make for good running conditions. Taper big time this week.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Run

I met Terry at 7:00 a.m. at the Denny's on corner of Diamond Bar Blvd and Temple Ave. This is the beginning of a 15 mile loop that I call Brian's Loop, since he introduced us to it. It is on large suburban streets with fairly substantial bike lanes most of the way and a nice green belt near the end. The cool thing about this loop is the number of long slow hills. Terry suggested this loop since she is getting ready for the Carlsbad Marathon, which is a rolling course. Terry was planning on going 18 miles. Since I'm doing The New Las Vegas Marathon in less than two weeks I planned to do about 10 miles. Using the GPS feature at, I came up with a variation of the loop by bisecting it with Diamond Bar Blvd. The run ended up being just over 11 miles.

I felt pretty good. I motored up the long hills without any real problem. Terry had suggested a walk break every 15 minutes or so. It never really worked out that way. Usually I waited at the top of the hills for Terry. Our overall pace was maybe a little slower than normal. 1:52 for 11 miles, 10:12 pace. I am happy with the slower pace considering the hills and the upcoming marathon. It is difficult to balance my body's need to rest and recover and my brain's need to keep the mileage up in my log. After Saturday's 8-10 miler, I promise myself to take it very easy next week. The weather was just about perfect for this run. The sky was clear with temperatures in the high 60's.

After the run, I made breakfast for the family, pancakes and bacon . I watched a little to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I used to think that this was the lamest parade around with the lipsyncing celebrities. This year the parade seemed a little more special and had a whole new energy having just been in NYC a few weeks ago. In the early afternoon, my family and I went over to my mother-in-law's house for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The standard fare and of course enough of it to feed at least twice the number of people that were there. It was sure tasty. I even ate a spoonful of those nasty turnips that she makes every year and no one eats but her.

Throughout the day I realized how much I have to be thankful for and that very little of it is due to my own efforts. Life is good!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

4 miles, 35:53

After work today, I did my ususal 4 miler on the horse trail in Via Verde. I took it pretty easy and felt pretty good considering the aches I've been feeling the last couple of days. I plan on taking Wednesday off in preparation for a 10 miler with some long slow hills with T on Thanksgiving morning.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Planning for 2006

Mondays are typically one of my days off from running. Today I began to think/worry/obsess about my marathon plans for 2006. I had originally committed to running the Los Angeles Marathon again (for the third time).

I ran it in the first time in 2004. The temperatures topped out that day in the low 90’s. Everyone’s marathon times were effected. I added 50 minutes to my previous marathon time. So there and then I committed to running it again in 2005. I did much better in 2005 but told myself at the end that I was “so done with LA”. Twice was enough. Monday after the marathon, my training partner, C, was all excited to do it again with the hopes of improving our times even more. I committed to run LA with her one last time in 2006.

As it turns out she and I and another friend from Boston were all accepted into the New York City Marathon in November 2005. Unfortunately, C ended up with a stress fracture that kept her out of NYC. Her doctor has ordered 12 weeks no running or load bearing exercises on her ankle. It is doubtful that she will be able to run LA. Another friend, T, is running the Napa Valley Marathon on March 5, 2006. I am seriously considering running this one instead of LA. I have the full support of my wife. Yippee, I can almost always guarantee being able to run a marathon, if it is somewhere were my wife wants to visit! This all sounds good, huh. I don’t have to run LA for the third time, and I the endorsement from my wife to go to Napa. But of course there has to be a wrinkle. Why else would I be thinking about this?

The issue or possible issue is that I will be out of the country for 2.5 weeks until January 14. After taking that kind of break will I be ready to run a marathon in 7 weeks. I don’t know what kind of effect a 2.5 week hiatus from running will have on my fitness or running ability. I started running June 2003 and have never stopped for more week after each marathon. Is two and a half weeks going to have an impact? Will seven weeks be long enough to get ready for Napa? Seven weeks only allows me one long run. With my marathon times I should be fine, but I still have to obsess. Napa will be my third marathon in 4 months (NYC in Nov 2005, Las Vegas in Dec 2005 then Napa). The break my actually be good for me. I just don’t kow.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Santa Ana's going strong

I overslept this morning so I decided I would get my run in later in the day. I could have gone when I first got up but then I would not have been able to make breakfast for the family. Sunday morning breakfast has been part of my routine for a long time. Breakfast is my favorite meal and during the week we don't have time for much more than cereal or a bagel. We don't even get our first cup of coffee until we get to the office. So anyway, today I made banana muffins (from scratch) and scrambled eggs. The muffins were delish, if I must say so myself.

Later, I realized I had a meeting at church at 3:00. I didn't really want to run in the dark if I didn't have to so I decided to go out at 1:00. I know the rest of the country is in the middle of a cold snap but here in SoCal we are warm and dry. The Santa Ana's have been blowing so the air is dry, dry, dry. I ran 5 miles over at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park Starting at the Rideshare lot on Via Verde Ave off the 57 Freeway, down the road to Raging Waters then right along the bike trail that parallels Puddingstone Drive to the end of the parking lot and back. I was surprised about how tired I felt for just a 5 miler. I'm thinking it was the temperature and the low humidity. Yesterday I did a 10 miler in Brea at 7:00 a.m. at 9:00 minute/mile pace and felt great

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Inaugural Post

I've been out here reading blogs for a couple of months now. I decided to join this ragtag group of writers. I'm not really sure that I have the wit and humor to pull this off but I thought I would give it a go.