May, 2011 Monthly Archive

Week 6 – In Canada

It was hot a humid in Canada.
Plus with all the jet lag and work, it was very hard to get out and run. Only had a few days to run before the Amy Thompson Run on Memorial day, too.

Now THAT was HOT and HUMID!

I was really out of my element there. I thought I only had a weakness for hills, but after this last week, I realized how spoiled I am living in Southern California where the weather is usually dry.

But now I’m back from my trip and feel like I can sleep for a week. I didn’t get to run that much either, so that might be another reason for feeling so tired.

Hmmm… as for sleeping all next week, seems to me that I still need to wake up for my runs.

My Pasadena 10k Race Report

Distance: 10.12km Time: 1:08 Pace: 6’49 kCal: 1118 Heart: N/A RPE: 6/7 Type: 10k Race

This was my third 10k of the month and I think it was one of the most organized races I’ve been to yet. It was held on a school campus and the road closures and organization for parking was excellent.

Plus the camera people were all over the place before the races coming up to people asking if they’d like their pictures taken.

Everyone was happy and cheerful.


It’s hard to believe that it was extremely cold and pouring rain.
I’m sure glad I had my umbrella – but I needed to pack it away before the race.

I must admit I’m getting more organized with this whole race thing, too. I had my knapsack and it only contained the necessities. No kitchen sick, or extra food – Just a clean fresh pair of socks…
I love clean socks after running – it’s like being in heaven.

The day before I drove through the race and I knew there were no serious hills (yeah!). So I was pretty confident that I was not going to get lost. I also checked all my equipment the day before (lesson learned).

We lined up in the coral and once again I’m at the back with half the people still holding their umbrellas. Each time I tried to inconspicuously edge my way under one, I got looks of hostility. Oh, well. Take it like a man. 52°F and raining – while I’m in my shorts and t-shirt.

At 3 minutes to the start, I link up my foot-pod, GPS satellites, and heart rate monitor to my watch. Oops, the HRM in not linking. Oh crap – not again. But with experience, I said what-the-hey and just turned it off (later I found out that the battery died overnight). No music this time either. I wanted to focus on my running.

At 7:30 I’m ready to go, but still no start signal. I was getting cold.
Three minutes later we’re off.

It was raining quite a bit, but at least now I was on the move and started to warm up.

Before I knew it we passed the first 1k. It was all down hill no I ran a faster-than-normal pace. Next, around the curve and up a small hill – these were nothing compared to the week before… so up I went. I flew by the first water station and kept on going.

I was looking to someone to follow. But everyone was either faster or slower than me. So rather than keep a steady pace, I let the road and gravity dictate my speed and stride length. I then found a group of runners that I could be with. But only a few minutes later we reached the 5k turn-around and they were gone.

Once again I was on my own.

At the 4k mark I grabbed some water, and as I was sipping it, a 7 to 9 year old boy whizzed right by me. Thirty seconds later the puffing mother slowly passes on my left. That was some cool excitement.

I saw my wife just after the turn-around and knew she was going to get a PR and easily break 1 hour. Me? I was doing pretty good and my ankle was still behaving. My goal was to get under 1h08m and at a 33m turn-around time it was looking good.

Ten minutes later I was day-dreaming and noticed that my pace was a lot slower than it should be, so I picked it up again. Five minutes later I was doing it again. I guess the sound of the rain is just too soothing for me. But finally I become more aware for what I was doing… I was running! Oh, that’s right.

I felt like Forrest Gump running from coast to coast.
At the 8k mark I became more aware of what I was doing and finally become more alert. I slacked off a bit and I was determined to make up lost time, but it was all up hill until the end.

So I did the best I could and sill couldn’t find anyone with the same pace. As I was passing people that were walking and encouraged them, knowing that we were almost to the end. After doing that I few times, I looked behind me to see those that I just talked to, bringing up the rear. That was when I felt like Forrest Gump running from coast to coast.

I felt sorry for leaving them behind, but the end was near and I wanted a string finish. I came around the final curve and saw the finish line just up ahead. The half-marathoners were also coming in now (they started earlier), so I finally got to run with the pack. Next thing you know, we’re all sprinting towards the finish line.

Did I break 1h08m? No. Missed it by 29 seconds. But I’m sure I could have if I didn’t loose focus. I’ll know what to look out for next time, so it was another great experience… and that last 30 seconds sprinting in the pack was very exhilarating.

Oh, and my wife? Yup! She broke one hour!
Time to celebrate.

Week 5 – Before my trip

So this was the last week I could train locally before my trip to Canada. It rained on Monday during my 3 mile run and poured on Tuesday during my 4 mile run. Wow, you’d think that after the Pasadena run last weekend we’d have enough rain.

But that’s okay. I managed to put a few runs in before going on my trip because I knew I’d have a busy schedule. And boy was I right. After arriving on Montreal my running routine became a thing of the past.

So let’s see how next week goes.

A Lake to Myself

Distance: 7.30km Time: 1:00 Pace: 7’48 kCal: 768 Heart: NA RPE: 5 Type: 3 Miles

Today was my recovery run after running the Pasadena on Sunday.

No heart rate on this run because my battery died just before the Pasadena race.

Anyway, I woke up at 5:30 and struggled with the idea of getting out of bed because it was cold, dark, cloudy, and wet outside. Was it raining? It never rains in ‘Sunny’ Southern California.


But come to think of it, it did on Sunday and it even did it the week before for on my only run! Somebody or something is out there taking its revenge on me!

But I like the rain, I like the overcast, it’s not hot. It’s perfect for a morning run. I just try and not worry about getting lost in a flash flood or drowning in a puddle. It’s amazing what positive thinking can do! So….

Read the rest of this entry »

Temecula 10k Race Report – The Vineyards

Distance: 10.29km Time: 1:15 Pace: 7’22 kCal: 1187 Heart: 148/176 RPE: 7 Type: 10k Race

Okay okay – so this race report is over a week late!
Last week was a hectic week and it took everything I got just to stay on top of my work.

Honestly, I don’t know how all you bloggers and twitter gurus have time to run, read, write and tweet!

But don’t you just love WordPress?
I can simply change the date, back and everything is perfect… or am I supposed to do that?

Yeah – I know…
I’m supposed to write ahead of time and that way, everything is automatically posted.
One day… one day…

It’s like when I used to have the lab report already written up before going into the biochem lab and just fill in the numbers.

But I digress.
This is about running, not my previous years at University.
So where was I?

Oh yes, a race report about the cool run I had in the wine fields. Read on…

Read the rest of this entry »

Week 4 – Twisted my Ankle

I don’t know how people can do it. My runs at the moment are very small and I’m still just starting on my Marathon training. But I’m finding it hard to get the time in to do my runs and to eat properly (and to eat at the right hours).

This last week I had little sleep due to a few 4-hour travel days jumping between Irvine and San Diego – leaving early, returning late, and then doing more work in the wee hours of the morning. But when I need to work, I work. I know I’ll be able get my runs in, it’s not a question of priority, simply organizational skills and multitasking. To complicate matters, I sprained my ankle mid-week getting into a cab at the train station. I’m such a clutz!

So while I had a great run on Monday in the rain, it ended up being my only run for the week!

Then I was hoping to get out Friday morning, but took the advice of fellow runners and skipped it. Saturday morning, I went down to the boardwalk around Newport Pier and did a few little 2 to 5 minute easy jogs to see how my ankle was.

My ankle seemed pretty good and of course it was raining; when the rest of the week it was nice, I might add!
But I had the running-itch to get out, especially when taking the train back from San Diego. I could see all the runners out along the beach trials an hour before sunset. I was like a puppy dog staring out the window wanting to go out and play.

Hmmm… I marked those places on the map, so I plan to check them out in the following weeks. So that’s it, not too exciting for a week of training. Total miles for the week, including the Pasadena10k – 14 miles.

I’m hoping that next week will be a ‘normal’ training week.

Week 3 – I wasn’t all there

I did okay this week, but ended up skipping one day because I had the Temecula 10k race coming up for my long run.

Monday was the rest day (from Sunday’s race), then I did my 3 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles on Thursday. I rested Friday and did the Temecula 10k race on Saturday. But I almost missed my Thursday run due to work and ended up running those miles in the evening – finishing just after sunset.

I must admit that I prefer running in the mornings. Thursday evening, I did my miles, but I just wasn’t all there. And looking back on it now, it really seems as though I only did one good run this last week (which was on Tuesday). The long run in Temecula was actually very brutal. You can tell how it scarred me, because I’ve linked to it 3 times in this post!

So it wasn’t a typical training week for me and the total mileage ended up being 15 miles. The good thing is that I get to repeat it again (with out Temecula*) next week.

* See… I linked 4 times! Very scarred!!!

Yikes! Tomorrow’s 10K – is it too soon?

Distance: 8.13km Time: 1:00 Pace: 7’34 kCal: 971 Heart: 138/154 RPE: 6/7 Type: 4 Miles

Yike’s, I’m getting cold feet. Not good for a runner – get it…? Cold f-e-e-t…?
Okay, enough with the jokes, but I must admit that I am getting nervous.

Tomorrow is my Temecula Run Through the Vineyard’s 10k race. Last week was the 10k in Irvine and that was HOT! Tomorrow’s going to be even hotter. Plus, there are hills. Lots ‘n lots of them.

This will be my first 10k race outside my comfort zone. But that’s positive stress, right?


To top it off, I did my 4 mile run in the evening yesterday – just before sunset.
I felt as though I was breathing harder and moving slower. But at the end of the run, when I looked at my splits, I saw that everything was where is should be. 5k in 33 min and 4 miles under 7 min/km. But the cool-down after was very welcomed!

Hmmm… I think my mind is playing tricks on me again.

Then again, my butt is sore (I sprinted up the hills) and my knee is not too happy with me right now. I know that once I get into the groove (or is that grove – as in wine grove?), I’ll start getting warmed up and the knee will be happy again.

But for now, I’m still stressing out about tomorrow’s run. Maybe I should do some wine tasting before the race? Yikes, here I go again! Is it too soon? I know I’m committed, but if I can just get my brain to focus on the good…

Hmmm…  let’s see, time for a table to collect my thoughts…

Bad Good
too hot and sunny a nice country atmosphere with lots of cool people
tripping on a vine trail running between the vineyards
limping to the finish line getting a great photo (like the one from last week down below)
a long way to travel for a race it’s really not that far – only an hour drive, besides…
wine tasting after the event and a casino nearby
I could become a millionaire! 

There we go, positive thinking…
Now I’m focusing on the good – right?

Well, we’ll see how it goes.

For now, it’s time to immerse my thoughts into my bowl of pasta!

Cinco de Mayo 10k Race Report

Distance: 10.07km Time: 1:09 Pace: 6’51 kCal: 971 Heart: 146/166 RPE: 6 Type: 10k Race

Last Sunday I ran the Cinco de Mayo 10k event Reaching for the Cure.
This was the first 10k race towards my marathon training, and I must admit that while it wasn’t the dream race I thought it would be, it was a great learning experience.

If you want to get the point-form of what I learned, scroll down to the bottom. But if you want to see some cool pictures and learn more, read on…


The Day before the big race

Yup – it all starts the day before. Why? Because I was so excited! The OC Marathon was happening on the same day as my race (Sunday) and that meant a really cool Health Expo with lots of great stuff.
Read the rest of this entry »

Week 2 – Work vs Training

Week Two is done.
I took an extra rest day and skipped Monday’s run due to a toothache.
The goal was to actually push everything over by one day.

3 miles – Tuesday
4 miles – Wednesday
3 miles – Friday
6 miles – Sunday (10k race)

Tuesday worked out great. Wednesday came by and I was a little stiff. So I ended up missing my morning run and started work early. The plan was to run in the evening, but I worked late into the night and come Thursday morning, after just 4 hours of sleep, I was at work again before 7am. I really wanted to get out there and do a few laps around the reservoir, but with deadlines approaching the demand was too great to sneak in an hour of exercise.

I did manage to keep up with some cross-training. Just simple pushups, sit-ups, and flex exercise that I can do here and there. I think I over did it on the sit-ups, though. For two days I had trouble getting out of bed!

So when Friday came, I got up extra extra early and headed down to the beach to do my 4 miles. The great part was that everything was done and completed way before work started at 9am. Saturday I took it easy with a nice walk and went to the health expo. Then Sunday I did the 10k race in Irvine.

So once again, my work took precedence over my training. I missed the second 3 mile run, but my walk on Saturday offset that a little. I could have run, but I didn’t want to over do it the day before my race. I know I just need to get more organized.

More organized? Well… week three is a tricky week too.
It’s a short week because Saturday is going to be the Temecula 10k. So I won’t hit my mileage for this week either, but that’s okay. The next few weeks I’m sticky with my 343-6 pattern of 16 miles. I’ve a few more 10k races I want to do this month. So by the time I’m all done, I’ll have completed a few 16 mile running weeks. By then, I should be more organized and able to juggle my Work and Training schedules.

For now, here is my planned schedule for week 3

Sunday 10k race Irvine
Monday rest
Tuesday 3 mile run / 2 mile walk
Wednesday rest
Thursday 4 mile run / 2 mile walk
Friday rest / walk 5 miles
Saturday 10k race Temecula