Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 41 Marathon Monk Challenge

1.5 hr level 1-2 Vinyassa Flow

2 mile run

It's hard to put down a 2 mile run on the log, but I'll count it anyways. The toe is feeling slightly better, but I'm going to keep the mileage down until I can run without altering my stride. I definitely don't want to risk a more serious injury because of a altered gait.

Day 40 Marathon Monk Challenge

5 miles

Nice sunset run with Heidi and Gordy, but the toe is still giving me some problems. I've been taking Epsom salt baths 2-3 times a day to clear the infection. Still getting it done though!

Day 39 Marathon Monk Challenge

12 mile run/commute (West Cliff Dr-Pleasure Pt. & back)

1.5 hr. level 1-2 Vinyassa

Today's run ended up being slow and painful... The cause of the pain is a blister on my toe that is now infected. This in turn caused me to adjust my stride, and we all know of the problems that can arise from changing our strides. We'll see if I'll be able to continue the challenge, or call it quits at day 40. We'll see!

With all of the problems with running, Yoga was surprisingly good. I still had to keep my weight off of the toe, but it seems that adjustment was easier than those I made running.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 38 Marathon Monk Challenge

6 miles w/Heidi

Rainy morning so it seemed that there was hardly anyone on West Cliff Dr. We did our usual tour through Natural Bridges to the Lighthouse and ITs beach. Energy is low today, so I need to make sure not to push it to much.

Day 37 Marathon Monk Challenge

17 miles easy pace
Overgrown Fatass 50k

This marked the fourth Overgrown Fatass race that is put on by Adam Blum and myself. We had about 20 runners, and perfect sunny conditions! I took about 60 pictures, and decided to stop at the mile 17 aid station. Photos can be seen here.

Day 36 Marathon Monk Challenge

6 miles easy (marking Overgrown Fatass 50k)

Easy run marking the Overgrown Fatass course with Adam. Easy pace, and some catching up made this an enjoyable evening run.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 35 Marathon Monk Challenge

30 minutes Yoga
7 miles easy with Heidi

Perfect conditions for an easy run! Below is some of the mornings adventures:

(Gordy at Antonelli Pond)

First we stopped at Antonelli Pond for Gordy to get some water and check out the wildlife that make this man made lake their home. Antonelli Pond is home to the endangered California Red Legged Frog which is being threatened in this area by nonnative fish and bullfrogs. Fortunately, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Save The Frogs, and Patagonia Santa Cruz have teamed up to help and restore and protect the California Red Legged Frogs and this beautiful urban environment!

(Blue Whale skeleton)

Next stop was the Seymore Marine Center to check out the Blue Whale skeleton pictured above.

Finally some time to play on the beach!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1/3 of the Way; Kaihogyo Summary

Below is the summary of the first 33 days of Kaihogyo, or Marathon Monk Challenge (and a few extra activities:)

Number of consecutive running days: 33
Distance traveled (running): 258 miles
Distance traveled (walking): 23
Yoga practice: 20 days
Races: Jed Smith 50k

I'm starting to find the consistency that led me to undertaking this modified version of Kaihogyo, and as a result my fitness has improved. But have I found a greater depth to my running? That's tougher to quantify. Maintaining a regular practice has shown me a definitive ebb and flow that influences how I think, feel, and respond.

In addition to running, I've managed to be consistent with my yoga practice as well. I find this is necessary to keep feeling loose and fluid. Maybe in the future I'll do a Yoga challenge, we'll see:)

Day 24 Marathon Monk Challenge

5 miles (easy)
1.5 hr Level 1-2 Vinyassa

Easy today. Caught the sunrise at the Seymore Marine Center, another beautiful Santa Cruz Day. Feeling warn out during yoga, so it is probably for the best that I took it easy:)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 33 Marathon Monk Challenge

18mi Wilder SP w/Stephen
1 hr Yoga (restorative)

Perfect conditions! We ran the Ohlone Bluff trail to Enchanted Loop to Old Cabin and then down the Longsman trail. Felt pretty good througout the run, but i was definitely depleted for the rest of the day. Did a long restorative stretch post run.

Day 32 Marathon Monk Challenge

5 miles, Wilder SP
1.5 level 1-2 Vinyassa Yoga

Nice morning! I'm feeling pretty close to recovered from Jed Smith 50k and Yoga was much easier today than yesterday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 31 Marathon Monk Challenge

5 Miles, Wilder SP
1.5 Level 1-2 Vinyassa

Recovery is going well, legs felt pretty good today and Yoga was definitely easier today than yesterday:)

Day 30 Marathon Monk Challenge

5 miles easy
1.5 hr Yoga

30 minute restorative yoga

Not much to today's run, took it nice and easy and spent lots of time on the beach with Gordy. Legs are feeling better, but I don't want to rush anything.

My evening routine consisted of an epsom salt bath followed by restorative stretching. I think I will continue this routine, as my legs felt great afterward!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 29 Marathon Monk Challenge

7 mile easy run

The goal for the run was to shakeout some of the soreness and enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having recently! I ran along the railroad tracks in Saratoga on the newly constructed "A trail for Joe." This trail is well constructed, and made of crushed granite that is nice and soft (something I needed after Jed Smith!).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jed Smith 50k Race Report

Expectations? Nope!

Going into the Jed Smith 50k, I had very few expectations. I had never ran this course before, and didn't know what level my fitness would be. The plan was to let the race unfold, and just roll with the punches. And roll with the punches I did!!

The first race of the 2011 PA/USATF Grand Prix!

Jed Smith 50k is the first race of the PA/USATF ultra running series, so it was important to have a good start for the 2011 racing season for both myself and the Quicksilver Running Team. I rode up to Sacramento with Jean Pommier, who had ran Jed Smith 50k 4 times, including a second place finish in 2010. After arriving at the race I caught up with friends and teammates John Burton and Jim Magill. As always the great thing about these races is the chance to reconnect with running friends who I often don't see elsewhere.

The Quick Report:

The race consists of a 4.88 mile loop around the American River that is done 6 times for the 50k (we ran 1.7 miles at the start to make it an "official" 50k). The pace started quickly, and soon it was a lead pack consisting of Jean, Chad Worthen, and myself. Their had been talk at the start of an elite marathon runner who was running this race as his first ultra marathon. While I shrugged off this talk (their almost always is talk of a "mystery" runner), it did end up being Chad who indeed was VERY fast!

The first two laps while fast, felt almost effortless. Running fast and easy, I was feeling good and I wanted to stay with the feeling as long as possible (too bad it doesn't last for ever!). Alas, around the 3rd lap I started feeling my breathing rate increase, some cramping in the left hip, and running was definitely no longer "easy" (starting to feel the punches:). Self preservation took over as I slowed down and let Chad go. At the aid stations I was scrambling to keep afloat, taking in as many calories as possible: GU, Coke, M&Ms, and water in quick succession allowed me to maintain a consistent yet definitely slower pace (~8:00 min/mile).

Heading into the last lap I was passed by Jean, and then by Michael Fink. Jean was having some problems with cramping, but Michael was definitely putting the hammer down. I was just glad this was my last lap and "only" a 50k. The final results had Chad finishing 1st with a time of 3:18, Jean second at 3:28, Michael 3rd at 3:31, and myself 4th at 3:38.

Lessons learned:

While it is never fun to get passed during the final stages of a race, there were many positives some of which I wanted to note:

#1) First of all, I was able to get some "speed work" in. I usually neglect the speed component during training so it was good to play with quick leg turn over:)

#2) Secondly, I was able to preserve through the inevitable pain of running to fast! This will definitely help later in the year as I tackle longer distances.

#3) Finally, this race contributed to my growing optimism about the 2011 season. Hopefully this race will help lay the foundation for a great 2011 season.

other race info:

Jean Pommier: Jed Smith 2010: A New and Sunny Course
Race Splits
Race Website

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 28 Marathon Monk Challenge

Jed Smith 50k
3:38 minutes

I ran really fast for the first 17, realized it was unsustainable and backed off for the last 13. Nonetheless I set both my marathon and 50k personal record (PR). I'll right a full race report soon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 27 Marathon Monk Challenge


4 mile shakeout
30 minute yoga

Nice evening run with a pink sunset! One of my favorite things about Santa Cruz is the amount of people that get outside to watch the sunset! Tonight the cliffs were full of people out watching natures greatest show!

The run was good, I ran at a uptempo pace to get used to the pace I'll probably be running at Jed Smith 50k tomorrow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 26 Marathon Monk Challenge

2 Miles, 1.5 hr Vinyassa Yoga
5 Mile Run

Short on time this morning and I felt like the body needed Yoga more than a long run. So I took the dog out for a quick and short run. In the evening I got out on my lunch break at work. Body feeling good going into the Jed Smith 50k.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 25 Marathon Monk Challenge

15 Mile Run
30 min Yoga
Sunny warm temperatures

Feeling fortunate to have such nice weather, when 1/3 of the country is under snow! Ran the Wilder Ridge/Old Cabin trails. Feeling pretty good, and I had a nice restorative stretch post run.

Quicksilver Running Club Repeats as PA/USATF Champions

(Picture courtesy of Jean Pommier)

Below is a recent press release, announcing many of the achievements of the Quicksilver Running Club in 2010.

Quicksilver Running Club Repeats as PA/USATF Ultramarathon Series Champions!!

San Jose, CA. January 30, 2011 - At the USA Track and Field Long Distance Running banquet this past weekend, the newly-formed Quicksilver Racing Team was awarded first place in the Men’s division of the PA/USATF ultrarunning series for the second year in a row. Traditionally dominated by the Tamalpa Running Club of Marin, and the Buffalo Chips of Sacramento, the series, which includes many of the largest ultra-marathons in the country, is open to running clubs located throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. Rhomobile CEO Adam Blum, founder and sponsor of the Quicksilver Racing Team, says of their quick success, “I think we surprised a lot of people in 2009, it being our first year in the team competition we kind of came out of nowhere!”

Blum, an avid trail and ultra-marathon runner, realized that there were a number of great trails and talented runners in the South Bay, and with the right organization a team would be able to compete against the best teams in Northern California. With this idea in mind, he approached several local runners and friends and put together a team of seven men in time for the 2009 season. After their first stunning victory, the team’s numbers have nearly doubled. “To create a balanced team and compete for the mixed team title, I actively recruited female runners, as well as opening the door to others who wanted to experience the support of a team while tackling crazy distances!” Blum says of his decision to actively recruit more members for the 2010 season.

The first woman to join the team in time for the 2010 season was Bree Lambert from San Jose. Lambert was the 2009 USA Track and Field 100 mile Trail National Champion, as well as the 2010 Rio De Lago 100 mile champion. She was soon followed by three other women, enabling the Quicksilver Racing Team to compete in the Women’s and Mixed divisions, as well as the Men’s division. In addition to a strong showing in the Mixed division and a first place in the Men’s division, three individuals in Blum’s team won age group titles in the series. Twenty-nine-year-old Sean Lang won the Men’s Open Division (under 30), Jean Pommier (age 46) won the Men’s Master Division (ages 40 - 50), and Jim Magill (age 63) took home the Men’s Super-Senior title (ages 60 -70). All three were recognized at the USA Track and Field awards banquet on Saturday, January 29, where the Quicksilver Racing Team was awarded first place in the Men’s Division.

Blum has big future plans for the Quicksilver Racing Team. “Rhomobile is proud to sponsor the Quicksilver Racing Team and it is great that the Quicksilver Running Club’s profitable races allow the club to help with the costs. In the coming year we would like to recruit additional sponsors so that we can fully cover our team’s racing costs, and of course continue to build on the success of the last two years!” Other plans include recruiting more women so they can sweep the Mixed and Women’s Divisions as well.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 24 Marathon Monk

3 miles, Wilder and West Cliff Dr.
Level 1-2 Vinyassa @ Santa Cruz Yoga.

It was tough getting out this morning... Feeling tired so I think I will take it easy for the rest of the week. This Saturday I'm running Jed Smith 50k, so I will continue running with an emphasis on "taking it easy."

Day 23 Marathon Monk Challenge

6 mile run commute
Felt ok, some lower back and hip tightness

Level 2-3 Yoga @ Santa Cruz Yoga
Hips and legs feeling a tighter than normal.

Feeling some residual soreness. Nonetheless another day is complete. It was nice to run commute this morning to my internship, but it still deviated from my original plans.