Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sycamore Canyon 50k

I figured before I run my next 50k I best get my report from the last one out. Sycamore Canyon 50k is a part of the Pacific Coast Trail Run Series. I ran the Malibu Creek 25k earlier this year also part of the series. These are well organized, small trail races, with well stocked aid stations. I would definitely recommend their races and above all they are challenging.

As far as the 50k. Not much to report. A pretty uneventful run which is good, everything went smoothly for my 1st ultra of the year. The 50k started with the 18k and 30k, so it started out with a decent size pack, but quickly dispersed as the day progressed. There were only 15 runners that completed the 50k, so it was pretty much a day out on the trails by myself. I jumped spots with a couple of girls that were running the 30k but after that I was alone.

My heart rate monitor stopped working the 1st mile. Which in retrospect was not a bad thing. I've been running enough by heart rate, I knew where to keep my effort. I was feeling really well through miles 22 or so. I was looking to finish with a 13:30min/mile average pace. But as the later miles came on things slowed down. The last 6 miles I saw finally saw another runner ahead. We leap-frogged for about three miles I'd pass him on the uphill and he'd pass me on the downhills. About mile 27 we ran and chatted for a couple of miles which was a nice distraction for the last few miles. Then he went on ahead with about a mile left to go.

 I ended up finishing in 7:14:14, which averaged 14:07min/miles for 30.74 miles and 5200ft of elevation gain. Like I said earlier, I really had no issues, nutrition seemed to be right on, 100 calories every 30mins with coconut water to drink, which averaged about 230 calories/hr. Which is the sweet spot for me. They say, well I read somewhere that you have to consume some where around 8000 cal for leadville and that puts me about 1000cal short if I finish in 30hrs, so just a little more during the longer runs I guess, but I really couldn't consume more then 250cal/hr in a 50k

Looking back I wonder if I took it too easy during the 50k, nothing really hurt or bothered me too much. I wonder if I pushed a little harder in the first 20 miles if i could have made that 13:30min/mile. Overall I was happy with my finish and how I felt.
Hole in the shoe before 50k

After -not much bigger, I was hoping for something more drastic.

Next up is Shadow of the Giants 50k in oh 3 days!!! My Dad is running his first ultra which we're both super excited for the weekend. It was my first ultra last year and lots of fun. Last year the temps were in the 50s and it was rainy, this year it looks like temps in the 80s sunny and 0 chance of rain, my type of weather. The run is 33.95 miles with 5900ft of elevation. I'm really hoping for a PR this is my 4th 50k in 2 yrs all with similar elevation gain. If I can run 13min/mile or under I will be happy. One minute per mile then a couple of weeks ago that seems to be a stretch, but last year I ran a shortened version of this course, 29miles in  13:10min/miles Guess I'll be pushing it a little harder then a couple of weeks ago. Not sure what my strategy is going to be. We'll find out that day. Question is heart rate monitor or no heart rate monitor. It doesn't seem to work well with my new Nathan hydration vest, there seems to be some friction that gives erroneous readings after a while.

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 25, 2012

How many days in a row is it acceptable to not to run, when training for 100miles?

I'm sure the answer is not mine, 10 days. Ever since Sycamore Canyon 50k this is how i feel things have been going:
My intention was to take a few days of active recovery. I hiked out in the mountains Sunday and Monday. Then I was to start running on Tuesday again. Then Tuesday came and went and many other days. Why did I not run for 10 days...I have many excuses, maybe some valid, maybe none valid, all and all looking back at the last 2 weeks it has not been fun. I have not been feeling well. I am tired. My body hurts. All I want to do is sleep. 

After having a headache for 5 days, Monday evening it was so severe I couldn't work, my head was throbbing and I couldn't hold a conversation without wincing, I decided to take myself to urgent care. My headache was making me so nauseous I thought I was going to throw up in the waiting room. 1 liter of IV fluid, a zofran and IV toradol later I was feeling much better. End result: Who knows? Stress? Dehydration?

Finally on Wednesday I knew I had prolonged the inevitable, back to running. It was meek. Back at it on Thursday...I was struggling to finish 8 miles, so much so a 1/2 mile from home, I tripped on a root and dove face first into the dirt. I was covered in filth. I was just sweaty enough to to have this fine dirt stick to my whole right side. I was a little shaken up from the fall, it caught me off guard. My right knee felt a little stiff and my right shoulder hurt from me trying to unsuccessfully catch myself. I was so dirty, I took my clothes off in the shower. A couple of hours later my knee was swollen and I was feeling sick again. Thursday night I was home in bed by 7p and slept until 8am. Luckily for a 4 day weekend and the bad weather in Big Bear (I was  planning on leaving for a camping trip early this morning) I lounged around all morning. Still tired and no energy. But ambitious enough to go to a pilates class, then a run, then a hot yoga class. Well, I made it to the pilates class then to bed for a nap. I again am feeling ill, slightly nauseous, sore and way more tired then I should be.

I'm trying to drink a lot of water and think I'm hydrated enough. I just seem to have some sort of bug that I can't shake. Its starting to get me down, this weekend is a big training weekend and the next is another 50k. For now the plan is to just keep moving forward. Run until my body says "no more" and just hope I can hold onto  the fitness I have already developed. Its hard because I feel slow and feel like my training is making me slower, I should be in the peak of my training and feel like I should be seeing results, and I don't feel as if I am. I need to remind myself patience is key. I have to have confidence in my training. Take cues from my body when I need to rest. 

I'm going to keep struggling up this damn hill, because I know the at the top there will be something more beautiful and rewarding then I expect.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Week in Review (5/7-5/13)

Nothing too remarkable to report. It was an easy week with the 50k on Sat (race report to follow). I was busy so I missed a run but wasn't too worried about it. Have gotten back into yoga routinely, yeah!

Runs: 3
Hikes: 1 recovery hike on Sun
Miles: 45
Yoga Classes: 3

Monday, May 7, 2012

Exploring the PCT

Sunday I decided to do more exploring of the PCT. I had to get a 14miler in and knew that after running 20miles yesterday and this route starting at 5500ft and getting up to 7100ft, would be more of a hike then a run. In the end it was about 50/50, my heart rate wasn't horribly elevated as I had expected it too be so I was able to get a decent amount of running in. But I was much quicker to walk once I got above the 153 bpm range. I would say I held my own until about mile 9 and then things were more difficult. First I got really tired, then the last 4 miles were mainly steep rocky downhill and it was hurting my toes. At one point I stubbed my toe on a rock and almost face planted into a small pine tree/bush, somehow I was able to catch myself and stay on two feet...I was quite amazed by the recovery because I was running downhill and seemed to launch myself several yards ahead. I thought to myself "Wow, I must be getting more agile on my feet because I am not a graceful person." Even though I'm sure I didn't look graceful at the moment.

I was able to get up to 7112 feet of elevation on this run which is the highest this year to date. Didn't seem to struggle much with the elevation, so next stop 8000ft and going. Staying local to Southern California the highest I'm going to get is 10,000ft. I'm hoping that spending the weekends in the mountains running and hiking will help with my elevation training. In June, I will be able to get to 12,000 ft in the training camp. And I will also be running the 50 in Leadville. Then I will spend the whole month of August leading up to Leadville in the Rockies.

Anyways, back to the run. This was by far the most beautiful run I have done so far. Breathtaking views. Big beautiful boulders.Once I got up higher running through the pines reminded me of the woods back home. I thought yesterdays run was serenity, this was that 10x that. There were so many backpackers on the PCT to. Some solo, some in pairs, and others in groups. It had me dreaming on hiking the PCT from Mexico to the Canada one day. I had to laugh at one guys reaction when I ran by him on my way back, "What are you doing?" Like I'm crazy or something ;) If he would asked I would have said I was and loving every moment of it.

I even saw a big (well maybe medium size) snake and didn't even freak out, I even got the courage to run by it once I realized it wasn't a rattler, it slithered by in front of me as I approached it. It looked like a very nice snake. Very proud of myself.

Run/hike stats:

Starting/Lowest Elevation: 5500ft
Highest Elevation: 7112ft
Elevation Gain in 1st 2 miles: something around 1300ft
Total miles: 14 (i did laps around the car to make it exact, since I still had it left in me)
Total Elevation gain: 4150
Calories: 800 (600 in bars of various brands and 200 in coconut water)
Average mile: 18:57min/mile (including stops)
Average Heart Rate: 143
The trailhead is outside Temecula, I took Ceder Springs 2 miles up and east and then headed north on the PCT

Hoping to see some bighorn sheep but no luck

On the way up

What a view!!!!

An example of the rock formations

Pay attention to the next 3 pictures, I redid this one because I'm hidden behind the brush.


Much better. 


How cool is this rock.

Week in Review (4/30-5/6)

First off I want to share this poem I found last night when I was unable to sleep:

Challenges of Life

Author: Unknown
Smooth roads never make good drivers 
Smooth seas never make good sailors 
Clear Skies never makes good Pilots. 
Problem and hassle free Life never makes a strong person 
Be Strong enough to accept the challenges of Life 
Don't ask Life, "Why Me? . Instead say "Try Me!"
Very rarely do I have those "Why Me?" moments, I usually look at difficult situations as a way to grow, learn and become a better person. However, I did have several "Why Me?"s this week. Today I'm sad about how life played out on life's terms this time.
On another note, the beginning of the week was pretty much a wash for me. After my oral surgery last Friday, I thought I'd get back to running Tues. The doctor told me a week. I made 5 days. Wed and Thurs were slow and blah runs. Still training by heartrate, so that saved me from pushing too hard too soon. I could tell by Wed and Thurs runs I was barely ready to start running, but 5 days seemed too long to go without running, especially when you're training for 100miles. Then I was back to normal for Sat and Suns longer runs. Did the longest back to back 20miles on Sat, 14miles on Sun, with over 7000ft of elevation gain with the 2 runs combined. I have to say, I felt great, like "SuperRunner". Worked on the hip area of the IT band this morning after yoga before running and no pain today during the run, YIPPEE!!! Need to keep on top of that.
Miles: 45            Runs: 4              Yoga Classes: 2

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Long Run 5/5/12

After a roller coaster of the past week, I was very much looking forward to getting out to the trails for some much needed peace and serenity with nature.

I tried a new section of the PCT, from Cibbets Flat Campgrond and headed north for 10 miles up towards Mt Laguna for 20 mile round trip.

Lots of backpackers and hikers along this part of the trail today.

Run stats:
miles: 20
time: 5:23 (total time including stops) (avg 16:10 min/miles)
avg HR: 157
elevation: 2950
calories burnt: 3368
calories: 1365 (500 cal of cliff blocks, 200 cal blueberry pure bar,  300 cal of raw almond, 365 cal O.N.E. guava flavored coconut water) ***this was perfect***
fluid: 1L water, 1.5L coconut water
wildlife: nothing noteworthy :(

My IT band around my left hip started nagging a bit about 1/2 way through the run. Other then that body's doing great

Spectating La Jolla 1/2 Marathon

Last Sunday Mom and Eric finished there 3rd 1/2 marathon! Mom is 2 out of 3 for the triple crown. Last one is AFC on August 19, 2012.

Eric and Mom mile 6ish, right before the BIG hill.
Heading up Torrey Pines Hill
Eric wore the perfect shirt, so easy to spot!

Finishing up at La Jolla Cove.

Great job.

Smiles with Medals.

I'm so proud of my family and happy to support them.

Elan and Eric

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fun Day in La Jolla

Saturday Mom, Eric, Elan and I went up to La Jolla, so Eric and Mom could pickup their race registration. It was such a beautiful day we ended up spending the afternoon there. 
1/2 of the Malm Family, the other 1/2 was in Madison,
WI running Crazy Legs, in the rain.

Self Portrait

Enjoying the Sun!!!

This little boy had the death grip on his parents hands,
 he did finally make it out to the water.

Being Silly

Elan and Eric.