Friday, August 29, 2008

The PushUp Blah

Looks like I'll have to repeat week one again or just day 1 repeatedly with the push-up routine. Seems that my tolerance is set to do 12, 12, 6, 2 before I'm completely spent.

Good news, my foot is feeling less achy. I've done the press test and the hurty feeling is less, not gone - but less.

I purchased Arthur's Suunto t6 (gotta love newly acquired toys). But now I just have to learn how to use it and setup a training program. I have a funny feeling the software from Suunto's site isn't exactly programmed to have a 100 mile ultra training program.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bike = BAD

Well, not quite bad. But I now remember why I usually don't use the built-in cardio program in stationary or recumbent bikes. They do the insta-hill function that can kill you after 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Hundred Pushup

Another lunchtime spin on the elliptical for 45 minutes (5.4 miles covered, keeping my HR around 152 BPM).

Since there is no way to do CrossFit WODs with my foot the way it is right now (lifting weights is a no-no since it puts pressure on my feet like mad and aggravates the stress fracture area), I found something else to help me out. At, they have a 6 week plan to build yourself up to 100 pushups. Not bad. Simple, yet effective. I did day 1 yesterday evening and cranked out 41 pushups total (10, 10, 8, 6, 7). By the time my foot is ready for running, my core and upper-body should be stronger to handle the pounding and shock that running usually brings on.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Can't go over it, can't go under it...

If anyone remembers that song as a kid, We're going on a lion hunt, will probably remember the lines that go something like, "Can't go over it. Can't go under it. Can't go around it. Blah blah blah..."

After two weeks of forcing myself to be a stump and doing my best to not use my right foot, I finally got my ass to doing a 45 minute ride on the elliptical at work...and with actual success! No pain or discomfort in the right foot of any kind. My leg muscles were actually HAPPY for once!

About 4 weeks of doing that and I should be able to re-boost my cardio base again before I set shoe rubber to the road. Speaking of which, I've bought five pairs (yeah, five) of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7's for super-cheap and they feel great (as good as the Asics, but with a roomier toebox and better control from what I can feel.) Hopefully they'll work for me for the rest of the training time with Cascade Crest 2009 as the main goal.

And in regards to Cascade Crest, a thumbs up to all who decided to take that adventure on again for its 10 year and a double thumbs up for those that finished.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

That Bruce Lee crackling sound...

I can never remember exactly if it was Enter the Dragon or Game of Death, but there is a fight scene where Bruce proceeds to crack virtually every joint in his body by tensing up his fists and muscles right before he is about to fight (and win of course - he's Bruce Friggin' Lee!)...right now, I feel like I'm ready to crack those knuckles and thensome.

I've been off of my feet (more or less) for over a week. The right foot has bouts of sudden shock from foot flexion and having to fix the bones and tissues in that area. I've just gotten over a bout of food poisoning from the weekend, which is making me more more antsy. And the fact I have had to drive into the office for the last 9 days is making me go nuts. I hate driving in traffic and wasting gas like that.

I've got to atleast make an attempt to get back into my typical routines of cycle commuting and get my workouts back in order, the sooner the better.

Giving it a go tomorrow and try and get some ass-kicking done.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A 4-week Vacation from Running

Went to the doc and it looks like the symptoms are definately pointing to a stress fracture (when he wasn't mildly gushing on my past medical history of kicking my diabetes in the butt).

So, I'm out for 4-weeks of no running and doing alot of non-weight bearing/non-impacting cross-training for now.

I'm still confident I'll still be able to do the Autumn Leaves 50.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Turning the Dial UP!

Today's WOD in a few minutes: Dumbbell Dead Lifts in 5-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1. Max load is 52.5 lbs for each dumbbell since that's the highest weight I can get those to.

Finished the WOD, but it really didn't feel at all difficult. The weight is not nearly enough at 52.5 lbs per dumbbell and since I can't increase the weight, I'm going to have to increase the reps the next time I do this routine. Most likely it'll be moved to 8-5-5-4-4-4-3-3-3 or something to that effect. No wonder why deadlifts are done at the person's own body weight or higher!

The Reaper and The Run

Missed the run with the group yesterday and opted to do one solo in the evening. It's been awhile since I ran alone, so I knew I had to do a course where I was going to be totally accountable to myself and get enough miles in. In my case, it would be an old 12 mile out-n-back along the Interurban Trail.

Before doing that, I made a quick trip to McLendon Hardware to buy a Scythe. Yeah, the thing the Grim Reaper uses. Only I would reap grass and weeds that were really tall and not souls...unless I opted for the deluxe model.

So after an hour of slicing up grass tall enough to hide most NBA players, I had some dinner and then went out for my first long run in a while since White River at 7pm.

Recently, I've been nursing what I think is some tendonitis on the top of my foot and not an out-and-out stress fracture. My foot hurts, but not always and during my run, the soreness comes and goes. It doesn't hurt to the touch, but only when you actually apply some serious pressure to it. Personally, I think that my legs and feet are doing their best to re-adapt to running again, but I will get this checked sometime soon.

But for the run itself - 12 miles in 2:01:21. First half 1:01:46, second at 59:34 (obvious you can tell I wanted to get home sooner). I tried to hold back more during this run since I'm always told by Eric, "You run too hard. Gotta build that base." Although I sometimes feel that if I run any slower, I might as well be walking. The foot was sore off-and-on, but not to the point where I was not able to function (another reason why I have doubt that this is a stress fracture).

Today's WOD in a few minutes: Dumbbell Dead Lifts in 5-3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1. Max load is 52.5 lbs for each dumbbell since that's the highest weight I can get those to.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The nicknames people come up with sometimes.

Seems mine is now Minudo

Thanks McLovin!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Blessing

Came to an agreement.

As long as I get a medical check & clearance before I sign-up and my training doesn't interfere with life (i.e. Trying to bail out of pre-existing plans in favor of a run...although I've never done that before), I have the greenlight for Cascade Crest!

It might as well have been a YES to begin with. :-)

Training versus Doing

Yesterday's 6 miler with the group went much better than yesterday. 4 miles out, 10 pushups, 2 miles back. Temps were the same, but there was more shade where we were at and a better I ran without my shirt on to try and lower my body's overheating core. 1:01:21 for the total time. Oh yeah, and my supposed super-slow 6 miler from Tuesday was WAY off. It was 6.8 miles from what everyone told me yesterday. Thank God. I knew I couldn't have been that slow.

I decided to take today as a rest day for now, both physical and mental.

One thing I want to touch on when it comes to races is Training versus Doing. Training for a Race versus Doing one. What's the difference? In my decision to train for the Cascade Crest 100, my wife got upset that I didn't discuss this with her. I had to make it clear that...

...Training for a Race is not the same as actually DOING IT...

People go to college to train and learn to be doctors and lawyers. However just because you're going to school to become one, doesn't mean you will be one. You could drop out. You could decide it's not for you and change your major. You could graduate and then decide to take your life in a different direction. Preparing for a race is exactly like that. I could work at doing all the necessary thing to get ready for a 100 mile trail race, but it doesn't mean that I HAVE TO run it...even if it means I paid for the entry. I could get injured along the way (but hopefully not). I could get burned out and decide that this year isn't the year to do it again. I could even decide at the last minute to just drop out, just because.

My desire to do a 100 miler is apart of a larger scheme. Through training for a 100, I hope to:

- Be fitter with greater endurance and strength in doing long distance runs
- Be faster and be able to have higher mileage
- Be slimmer and not carry nearly as much weight (goes back to being fitter and faster)
- Be more disciplined in my workouts
- Enjoy moving my feet more

This way, after the 100 is over, all those things will be apart of my being and it will be something you can't separate from who I am.

But doing the race itself, that's just a single point on this long string of life.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jam on Toast

My first Parkour workout/Jam went well. No injuries (YAY!) and it felt like a really good workout (the puddle of sweat confirms it).

The warm-up consisted of:

100 rope skips
15 squats
10 pushups
15 calf raises
15 toe raises
5 front leg extensions (easy kicks) low, medium, high
5 side leg extensions (easy kicks) low, medium, high
5 back leg extensions (easy kicks) low, medium, high
core/back stretch
10 torso twists (slow and fast)
arm/shoulder stretch/loosening
ab stretch

After this, it was agility conditioning. I marked a series of sections 6 sections on the ground to act as "boxes" that my feet would step in to do the following in 2 drills:

High knees - one-step in each box (roundtrip)
High knees - two-step in each box (roundtrip)
Butt Kicks - one-step in each box (roundtrip)
Side steps - two-step in each box (roundtrip)
High knees backwards - one-step in each box (roundtrip)
5 burpees and Quadrapedal Movement (The Lop and Alligator)

Focus was on form and efficiency. After this, I practiced box/platform jumps, landings, and tuck-unders. So far, so good - my tuck-unders are close to three feet in height and I'm able to jump on 24-inch boxes with no difficulty. I still have to learn to balance better though and be able to pick up my feet more during the agility drills.

Hopefully tonight's run will not be nearly as hot & humid as Tuesdays...well, one can hope.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lunge, Push Press, & Row your boat...

On my third day of CrossFit workouts and I'm starting to get the gist of why people are hooked to this...but before I go into that, here's today's WOD:

- Lunges (10 each leg - was supposed to be 100 feet, but due to the confined space, I estimated my lunge covers about 100 feet. 20 lunges x 5 feet = 100 feet)
- Dumbbell Push Press (although it is supposed to be 50% of your body weight, I modified it to 35 lbs dumbbells.)
- 500 meter row (same settings as last time with the damper on 5.)

The goal: Do as many circuits in 20 minutes.

My results: 4 circuits with 51 seconds on the clock left. Left in a total sweat drenched mess again (I should expect that from now on.) The 15 push presses had to be broken up into chunks of 5-5-5 or 10-5 in the last two due to exhaustion and fear I would drop the weights. On the last row, I really went all out to finish in the alloted time.

Now back to the understanding...I noticed over the last three days, with as exhausted and taxed I am physically, a feeling that is almost cousin to the runners' high does take hold if only for a few moments. Could be the sense of accomplishment. Could be the endorphins. Could it be the aura of confidence in oneself after doing something tough? Who knows?

Will I be able to keep this up 5 days a week? Uh, no. I am an ultrarunner (or atleast someone who is trying to be). So this means that running should be my main staple of exercise and training. However, there is alot to be said about cross-training and knowing myself, I struggle with trying to go with higher mileage. Cross-training does help quite a bit...well, atleast to the point where I can survive most races. But I'm tired of trying to survive and I actually want to do WELL for a change.

Tomorrow: Parkour Jam during lunch and a run with the Balanced Athlete guys. The Parkour workout won't be much, just learning to pick up my feet higher, but I'll eventually learn how to do some types of vaults and jumps. After all, it's alot faster to get over a downed tree on a trail if you can fly over it instead of having to straddle it to get over usually. The run tomorrow will probably be another 6 more miles, which is fine, but I know that I'll have to find ways of having increases in mileage on other days to get myself to that 50-60 mpw base that I need to be at.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Puddle of Sweat

After my warm-up of two rounds of 50-75 rope skips, 10 overhead squats, 20 overhead walking lunges, 10 pushups, and 10 sit-ups; I did my WOD.

Today's WOD consisted of:

- Dumbbell Bench Press @ 40% bodyweight [40 lbs each] (modified from 75% since the dumbbells don't go that high together and my lifting isn't that great yet).
- 500 meter row on Concept-2-Rower (damper set on 5 based on bodyweight).

5 rounds for time total.

Total time: 20:43

I should technically shave off about 30-60 seconds due to the prep time to get the dumbbells off the stand and to put them back gently (not allowed to just drop them on the ground). But, it forced me to use my abs and back muscles to get up from the bench with the weights in my hands and put the weights back in the stand each round.

Getting that last one in was the most difficult. In the beginning, I started at the 35 lbs dumbbell setting and then increased to 40 lbs on two rounds, then 45 lbs. On the final, I cranked it to the max of 52.5 lbs but could only maintain my form for 4 reps and had to reset to 45 lbs, then to 40 lbs to finish. The rowing maintained around 2:09-2:13/500m.

When I was done, I was in a puddle of my own sweaty slop. During the 5th and final round, I was on the fringe of feeling the evil thing known as pukie. Thank goodness I was able to hold it together and the feeling went away once my heart rate went down.

And the nice thing about workouts like that or a long/hard run where you've just pounded your body is that the meal you eat tastes even better than before.

Looking forward to getting home for some light dinner and then running with the group at 6pm.

Update: 6 miles done in 1:08:56. Hot (87° F) and humid and affecting my stomach slightly. Doing well for 5 miles and then had to walk/run the last one. Sweating like a whore in church, but feeling accomplished.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Endurance Flop?

Flop is the best term to use on how I feel at the moment. My body feels like jelly after the modified CrossFit Workout Of the Day (aka WOD) I did during lunch. For the CrossFit folks that are remotely interested:

Today's WOD: Modified Tabata This! (4 rounds instead of 8)

Final Counts:
Air Squats - 14
Rowing - 6 cal
Push-Ups - 5 (barely made through this after slamming 15 in the first round)
Pull-Ups - Zero (no pull-up bar or anything close that I could use in the company gym. I'll have to see what I could possibly resistance bands)
Sit-Ups - 5 (same goes for this like the push-ups. Did 20 in the first round and everything went flat afterward)

After alot of thought over the week, I removed myself from all the races for the next three months before the Autumn Leaves 50 Mile Ultra in Oregon on Oct 25th. Plus, it's going to be a family affair, so that makes it even better.

After that for 2008, I'll most likely do the iUWR Marathon if I'm not totally beaten up from the Autumn Leaves run the week before, the Seattle Ghost 50k (no marathon double for me this year), the Pigtails Flat Ass 50k (if Van decides to put it on again), and the Last Chance Marathon (since the day after is my birthday). I'm tempted to check out the Tiger Mountain Dumb Ass 50k to get familiar with the course and train well on hill climbs (and descents).

For 2009, I decided that it will be the year I shoot for my first 100 miler. Arthur has given me some sound advice based on his own experience, especially with the time management & family time factor. I've still got to pick the brains of a few other folks though, but I've got some things already put down as a MUST-DO.


- Build a stronger base for mileage. No more 25-30 mile weeks. I need to eventually amp up to atleast 50-60 miles a week (and more). The conditioning for Autumn Leaves in the next 12 weeks will help me get to that higher mileage goal. So I'll be expecting lots of LSD miles for awhile with maybe a pinch of speedwork.
- Do more trail running. I know I won't be able to get away every weekend for a long trail run. But if I want to be successful at my first 100, I've got to play in the dirt. So it looks like Mt Si and the Issaquah Alps will be my buddies. Just have to find a trail shoe that will work for me. Hopefully those Brooks Cascadia 3's that Eric Sachs has been holding for me will do the job. Road shoes are definately not meant for trail running, even if the trail itself is compacted dirt.
- Work on my footwork and agility for the trails. This means that on days where I'm not trail running during the work week, I have to find ways to have more nimble feet. I think some plyometric work (rope skipping, parkour, etc) is going to be in the cards.
- Smarter cross-training. For the next few weeks, I'll be trying CrossFit out for size, doing 3 WOD's a week to start. The WOD's are going to be scaled down for obvious reasons (primarily because I suck at them), but I will do my best to stick to them. I'm not giving up the bike commute, but I will take Arthur's advice on spinning faster in a lower gear to increase my cadence and hopefully let that translate to a faster leg turnover. I tend to use the bigger gears that require more power (specifically coming from my quads), so I need to get those hamstrings working more. Although I have to admit, the beefed up quads allow me to run downhill without suffering the typical damage that people refer to as "the quad buster". My downhill abilities were my saving grace at White River.
- Dropping pounds, atleast 20 lbs. Lighter in frame = lighter when running. Lighter when running = faster on the course. Right now, the scale at work shows 199, so I'll go off of that for now.

Now all that's left is to figure out which 100 miler to do (although I think it's going to end up being Cascade Crest...unless it fills up too damn fast.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mild Reset

Had a rainy, but good 4 mile easy run (well, not too easy - I'm still somewhat hurty in my left hamstring and the bruise is just killer) yesterday in 42:11.

I'm re-thinking about my runs for the rest of the year. Originally, I had slated Light at the End of the Tunnel and a few other marathons/ultras on the list. But I realize that other than the friendship factor in these races, they serve no other purpose for me and make my life somewhat disorganized.

I'm thinking of scrapping all races for the moment and re-thinking about making 2009 my first attempt at a 100 miler, either Cascade Crest or Olga's Hundred in the Hood.

If I were to do a race this year that I thought should have a real impact on me as White River did, I think I'll make the drive down to Oregon to do the Autumn Leaves 50 miler.

But all this is still up in the air. Only thing for certain is that I need to shake things up a bit and actually have a goal in mind.