Sign From Above

The Running Gods decided I wouldn't be able to run my long distance Friday morning, but they provided a Saturday where I could run with my friends and provide support early on for a pair running 22 miles on an uncharacteristically warm day in the city.

Originally, I was going to log a long-distance run Friday morning, 17-20 miles, since I wouldn't be able to run Saturday or Sunday. But plans changed and I ended up staying in town for the weekend. That meant I was able to run 10 with my group Saturday morning. A pair of runners were going to start early and log 20-22 miles in preparation for the Berlin Marathon, so a small group of us decided to show up early and provide water support at mile 8. (Support would also be provided around mile 15) It's an amazing thing to know that friends will be out there for you with water, Gatorade, pretzels, etc. Most of us wouldn't be able to do it without each other and when we get a chance to pay it forward, it's worth it.

Back to the Running Gods — I like to think that I wasn't meant to run such a long distance on Friday, so the Running Gods decided to throw lightning bolts at my stomach in the shape of Red Lobster Shrimp. Very nice of them. However, the R.G. wouldn't take away an opportunity without providing another avenue, hence staying in town and running 10 on Saturday. And I believe in the long-run, (pun totally intended) it will be for the best.

Who am I to argue with the higher ups?

Countdown to my first Ultra Marathon: 5 days.


The Night Before

A key to success is the night before. Actually the several days leading up to it, but the night before can definitely "kill" any hopes you had for a successful run.

Two days ago I challenged myself to try and run 17-20 miles the morning before a full day of work, but last night I destroyed any hopes of that dream coming to fruition. I didn't do it on purpose, at least not consciously, but I went out to celebrate a family-friend's birthday at the lovely restaurant known as Red Lobster. First, they tempt you with totally healthy for you butter-free biscuits. (if you could hear the sarcasm in my typing). For dinner I ordered a medley of shrimp that I'm sure had some clever name and it was a wrap.

I woke up this morning not feeling too hot, but wanted to prove that I am committed to this thing called running, after all I challenged myself so I couldn't let... umm... myself... down. Ya. In my head that sentence sounded right, but not so much on screen.

So I walked out the door and didn't get very far. I struggled through 5 miles and had to call it a morning. I don't know if I get a star for trying, but my tummy just wasn't having it today. Whether it was the biscuits or shrimp, my stomach decided it wanted to have technical difficulties and end any notion I had of running today.

I guess that means I'm going to have to try and squeeze in an hour on Saturday. We'll see how that goes considering my morning/afternoon are already spoken for.

In conclusion, don't eat questionable food the night before an important run... your shoes will thank you.

Enjoy your weekend my friends.



I guess this is one of those moments where you find out how committed you really are to running.

I won't be able to do a long run this weekend, so I am considering running 17-20 before work tomorrow morning. That means around a 3am start time to allow for proper stretching (before and after) followed by an 8 hour work day. With a 50k a little over a week away, this will most likely be my last major warm up.

A 17-20 mile run is a taper for a 31 mile run, right?


Back on the Wagon

It has been a couple weeks since my last post and I have to apologize — for some reason with a 50k in the upcoming future I decided to get unmotivated. Don't worry it only lasted a week and I'm back on the wagon.

After my 28 mile training run (two weeks ago) I decided to take a week off in part because of a pain I developed in my bottom left foot mid- run. I'll chalk that up as a week off well deserved considering I tend to take a week post-marathon. And since this was the distance over a marathon and with no t-shirt or medal perks, it seemed justified.

However, the following week was inexcusable and a result of nervousness and lack of motivation. That's right, with a 31 mile run on trails across hills weeks away, I was struggling to stay motivated. Can you believe it? I need to get back out there and put my laziness aside.

So this weekend, I jumped back on the wagon. Two friends, that are also doing the 50k, had their 28 mile training run this weekend. I asked if I could log the last 9-10 miles with them. It's always nice to have fresh legs out there with you when you are towards the end of a difficult run. They finished great and the pace was perfect for my venture back to the pavement.

With 9 miles being my first run in two weeks I decided to make it a pattern and tell my body its' vacation was over. The next day I headed for some trails and got in 6 miles. I was hoping to log closer to 9, but 6 felt right and it was a good experience to run on trails. Oh ya, that was my first time on trails (more about that later). And yes I know I have the furthest distance I have ever run and hardest course (elevation wise) in less than 2 weeks and I've run on trails once. Yes, I know all of this. But don't we all have a little crazy in us?


Attempting and Finishing 28

Twenty-eight has been attempted and finished. It wasn't pretty and it sure as heck wasn't fast, but the goal was to log the distance and consider it done.

I could tell my legs were still feeling the Marathon PR two weeks ago, but they needed to pull it together and concentrate. Around 16 my legs just felt really heavy and I wasn't planning on attemoting this "28-mile training run" again any time soon, so it meant just keep plugging along one mile at a time.

At 19, a pain in the ball of my left foot started grabbing my attention and was a result of running in unsatisfactory shoes at the marathon (link). After about 22, I stopped getting a full rotation in my left ankle because the bottom of my foot was so tender, so I just slowed it down, mixed in some more walking and kept moving. That was the huge surprise for me. I never really stopped (outside of water refill spots). The only way it was going to end was 28 miles from the starting point and all I had to do was get there.

In short words: I wouldn't have been able to finish it without our running group. We had some running 16, 22, one doing 26 and two doing 28. By the end, there were 4 of us running together. We also had a friend on a bike kind enough to supply water and snacks along the way. (Life Saver!) Plus, he got off the bike and ran the last .8 with me. I never would have been able to get 28 without all of them.

One tough thing was focusing on 28 instead of 26.2. I didn't want to mentally check out once I got to the marathon distance so I kept my goals simple: Get to 25.5. OK. Now get to 26. And so on by half miles. At the end I was spent and my friends let me know. Haha. I'll have more to share later, but one pavement runner was out of it after 5 hrs. and 41 mins. of running and 3875 calories lighter.

Post-run I headed to Ocean Beach and went waist deep in the icy-cold San Francisco water. I think my legs were already numb to begin with, but this helped seal the deal. Joking aside, it has helped aide my recovery and my legs feel incredibly good all things considered.

This week I'll be posting some additional recovery tips. They make all the difference in getting you back out there.


The Great Beyond

For us Marathoners 26.2 is normally or goal destination, but what happens after that? I have no idea, but am about to find out Saturday morning when I start my first long distance training run in preparation for (also my first) the Ultra Marathon Labor Day Weekend.

Funny thing is, I have gone over 26.2 and if you have run a marathon, chances are you have too. According to my Garmin, the last couple Marathons I've ran have been slightly over the marathon distance with my total mileage being slightly above 26.5. Not because the course was incorrectly laid out, but due to taking wide turns, weaving through people, etc., the total distance traveled is far from a straight line.

But this weekend will be a different animal all together. With a 6 a.m. start time and a goal pace of 10-11 min. miles it will be a test of our endurance, resolve and camaraderie — because this run will not be tried or accomplished alone. I'll be running with friends logging 16, 22, 26, or 28 all in one lovely group run. I'll be logging my 28 with my main man Manny-Fresh. He did an ultra last year and I'll definitely be using his guidance across our 31 mile adventure to be.

Next time I write, I hope to have 28 under my belt. Until then, run strong.


Shoe Management

With increasing my milage over the past three months I managed to take most precautions under consideration for the SF Marathon, except one. Shoes. I managed to burn through a pair in under three months leaving them questionable for race day. Luckily they had a few last runs in them to allow me to race effectively. Had the race been 2-3 weeks later this might have not been the case.

With an Ultra coming up and having to increase my weekly milage again, I've started working in two pairs at once. I've done this before with a pair for long distance (Asics Kayanos) and a pair for short distance (Asics GT-2140). But this time around I'll be working in a two pairs of long distance loggers. This should prevent me from having to break in a new pair so close to race day and run the risk of running in a brand new shoe.

I would like to work in a lighter pair for speed work, but two right now seems a better option. Of course, if I happen to find a pair on sale then I'm not responsible for my actions.

Happy mid-week running.