Saturday, December 26, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 10 Miles and hills!

When I arrived at the LA Leggers starting point today, I only saw my group gathered. Since it is the day after Christmas, the turnout is less than typical. I am a bit peeved because I left all of my chocolate outrage flavored Gu on my desk and am without fuel (besides H2O) for today's run. I hope the 2 waffles I had earlier will be enough to sustain the hills we are scheduled to run.

Our group has a fairly good turnout. We head north along the Ocean through Pacific Palisades and then go east on Temescal Canyon. My last experience up Temescal was difficult. I had to take breaks and work with an "interval mentality" - Walk to that tree, run to the stop light. But today is different. I pump my arms and pace myself and get to the top of the hill less weathered than before. Hooray! I continue the course on Sunset, through Pacific Palisades village and make it back to Santa Monica which includes a couple of more hills for good measure. Best advise for hills is to use your arms like they are another pair of legs. And also repeat a helpful mantra like "I love hills!" or "Hills, eat my dust!". Something to that effect.

Larissa also brought her dog Maco who, despite 10 miles, didn't break a sweat.

As far as the shoe situation, my feet started hurting toward the end. Too early for foot pain with new shoes. Back to the store they will have to go...

Happy running!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 2.75 miles in new shoes

I have been running in Asics Gel Kayanos for about almost 2 years now. I started in the 14 model and then purchased the 15 model a couple of months before the LA Marathon. I liked the 15 model immediately. But it's been almost 300 miles and the shoes have reached their expiration date. So I purchased the latest model - 16 - and went out for a run. Sadly, it isn't the same feeling as when I got the 15's. Notably, it is not as cushioned as the previous model. I called Frontrunners to see if there were any 15s left in my size and there weren't. the helpful salesperson told me not to worry about it and see how they feel the next time. To be continued...

Happy shoe shopping!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 20 miles and all's well

I woke up this morning for a 20 mile long run with the LA Leggers. I hadn't done 20 miles the last time our group met, so this would be the first time since the LA Marathon in May that I will be running this mileage. Sure I ran 18 miles last month, but once you get past 10, each mile marker is a major milestone.

Our pace team does 4:1's for long distances - 4 miles running and 1 mile walking - This adds up to a 12 minute/mile pace. We started with about 30 people at a little past 6 in the morning. I ran alongside a 12 member Terry for most of the way, which was great since our conversation made the first hour go by quickly. Our path today went from Santa Monica through Venice and through Marina del Rey. Although I have lived in Los Angeles most of my life, I am constantly surprised and in awe by the unexpected beauty I find. The run up the jetty in the Marina was fun, although once we got to the bike path, sharing a small strip with fast cyclists proved to be a challenge. I kept hugging my edge of the road, working on balance, and keeping one foot ahead of the other. Keep moving, have to keep moving.

Over the course of the run, we lost some people. They either slowed down or had to stop. At around mile 18 I thought about stopping also, but it helps when you have a group whose energy you can feed off of. In the last mile I counted on Larissa who kept giving up encouraging words. I used her words like mini fuel shots. Almost there, almost there.

One of my favorite elements of running with the Leggers is the group camaraderie. We also cheer other groups on. The LA Roadrunners did 16 miles today. Good for them! We'll be seeing them on the course in LA in March.

By the time we arrived our finish, we ran 20 miles at 4:03 hours. Thanks to Mentors John, Rene, Larissa, and runners Terry, Jeff, Bernie and others for a great run. Also thanks to the 10.5 group water station staffers (as well as Top to Top who also helped out). See you next Saturday.

Happy running!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Running for a cause

I have selected the John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA as an organization to fund raise for in conjunction with my running of the Pasadena and Los Angeles Marathons. If you feel so inclined to give during the holidays, please consider making a donation to my firstgiving page by clicking here.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Say no to Drugs Universal Backlots 10K

The rain yesterday proved to be the perfect set up for my race today at Universal Studios. Sure, it was cold, but how often do I get a chance to run through the sets for "Desperate Housewives","Whoville", "War of the Worlds" and "Psycho"? For those in the know, the course meanders where the tram only treads in addition to the perimeter of the studios near offices. There were plenty of hills - steep ones - which made this a more difficult than normal course. I am surprised at the large crowd, but given the unique course, everyone else has come out to enjoy the experience like me. This race is also one of the Students Run LA races so the course has a good number of children. Girls on the run was also here today. There was a big line afterward for the free pancakes, but alas, it was too long for me. I finished the 10K in 1:02.

Happy racing!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 4.5 mile intervals

The rain is being pushed to Saturday, so I got out for another run tonight. Anticipating long hill run saturday morning, so I will buy a throw away rain poncho although ideally the rain will come down later in the day or very little at that. Since my current shoes are showing signs of wear (i.e. my feet hurt), I ran in my last pair of running shoes tonight. And? They feel great! I have put in more miles on my current shoes than my previous shoes. So I can put off on buying new ones a little longer. For now, I am happy with my "new" old shoes. Also, intervals are a good thing. Do them :)

Happy running!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 3 miles fartlek

Got up early to do a quick 3 mile fartlek. Any burst of speed is a good thing in the long hall. And will do anything to warm up in this cold weather! Supposedly will rain the rest of the week so getting in my mid-week run now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 14 miles

Since yesterday our pace group was in charge of staffing water stations, there was a make up run today for those of us who were volunteering. We ran 7 miles south into Venice and back and 7 miles up San Vicente and back. The gradual incline on San Vicente never felt so good. It's always nice to run in a group. The weather is cold, and I'm glad we missed the pending rain storm. Great run today!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Runner's Almanac - 3 miles and hills

Did a quick run around UCLA - one way up up up, and the other way down down down. I crossed paths with the guy who sells "Star Maps" on Sunset. Someone pulled over and bought one. I guess he does good business!

Running downhill is not my favorite thing; but how else are you going to get back?

Happy running!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Biggest Loser Marathon

I haven't been watching NBC's Biggest Loser faithfully like last season, but I did watch last night's marathon episode (most of it). It's unclear what kind of training they receive, since they are told of the marathon about one month or so prior to the event. Although considering that it has become a regular event on the show, they should have expected it. What they don't show is all of the off-scene support I am sure they must receive - First Aid, food, or anything else. Rudy supposedly came in first with a time of about 5:15 - which is my marathon goal. The course they run looks great - with hills, sand, oceanside views, trails. They should make this a real marathon!