Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday 12- Friday 16

15 minute run towards Glen Park. Just checking if the injury was serious or not. Felt ok running 15 minutes but needed to hold back on running too much too soon. I felt if i ran 30 minutes i was going to feel and experience the same injury once again. Glad to know injury is not too serious.
Tuesday: Tested what min/mile i was running at when i got injured last week. Turned out that i was running at or a little below 6 min/mile. Although i felt capable mentally and physically, my chronically injured knee did not hold. On tuesday, last week i held that pace for half an hour and the day before i also ran pretty hard for a while. I provably should hold that energy for a race and focus on getting, at last, 100% knee injury free. This will be my goal for the next month i will be spending at home in Mexico. I will have plenty of time to organize myself on a training/rehab schedule that will get me healthy. I have never attempted anything like this and now near the end of the year i feel like i have a lot of information that i can use to get, hopefully, 100%. This year has been great, i was able to run and complete races without being 100% injury free. On my second race i was able to get a competitive time feeling great at the end of the run and with hardly any soreness the following days. I think i know what took me to that level and complemented with a few things i have learned over the past months has me excited about starting a new year with a pre-season of hard work on my back ready to race and run with confidence.
Night 40 minute 5 mile run at CCSF Track. 9.25 min/mile pace. 10 minute stair climbing and a nice 15 min stretch. Felt ok but will not go overboard. Looks like my injury was just a little scare. i will not take this reminder for granted, will concentrate on being patient.
Off from running, felt pain on leg tendons from night run yesterday, will ice tonight.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Moday 5- Friday 9

1 hour run at CCSF Track at a moderate speed. My knees felt a little rusty all day. I felt like my knees were rusty hinges that needed a little oiling. I was a little concerned about running but 20 minutes into the run i felt better than ever.
I feel that i'm getting into shape. I did not feel any struggle at all from the start to finish and did not struggle keeping up the speed at all times. I guess when i hit the trail is when i will find out if i'm progressing significantly. Energy was good, great day overall.
30 minute fast pace run at the CCSF Track tonight. Knee has been funny for the last couple days and today wasn't the exception. Started out concerned but the concern went away after 15 minutes when my running motion was all i was paying attention to.
30 minutes of core, leg workouts, and stretching. I will start icing my knee to see if it's inflammation.
I cannot catch a break! Today i ran towards twin peaks and about three quarters of the way (28 min) i had to turn around because the outer side of my left knee was hurting. This brought back font memories of that March 19, 2011 on Mt. Diablo 50K when on mile 25 the same problem stopped me from running and made me hike to the finnish line. Today, i hiked my way back home much the same as during that race with the exact same pain. As i stopped, i tried to stretch my IT band with my usual pole stretches with no success.
Later on after i showered and was heading to class i noticed that i had the same problem as the Mt. Diablo race walking down stairs. When i flexed my foot up and down was when the pain worsened. The pain was not excrutiating however; it was painful enough for me to make facial gestures of disgust.
Thinking about what could have caused this, i see a couple variables with nothing pointing out at anything directly. I had been ok for a while, as a matter of fact, i ran the Golden Gate 50K on july without experiencing any of this and with very little soreness and a fast recovery after the race. What have i been doing differently from what i was doing before the race on july?
1) Running a lot more and more often. I have been running nearly every day for the last couple months where before my race on July the training was running shorter more intense workouts.
2)Running in the city. Training for my race in July was mainly(90%) on trails and not on roads.
3)Running a lot faster. within the last weeks i have noticed i have been running 8min/miles sometimes below that and a lot of the times for long periods of time. My 30 minute run yesterday was at provably below 8 min mile pace for the entire thing.
4)Yoga & short intense workouts. Looking at a calendar i wrote activities in for the months of May & June i noticed that on the month of May i did mostly shorter more intense workouts as training. On June, i started running at Whales Cove Trail towards North Peak short 4-5 mile round trips. During that month i switched around this trail training and YOGA.

I have mentioned patience as a key habit to, vigilantly, keep a tab on during training. Especially when you are recovering from a serious injury. It is so easy to go off track or to forget to be patient as we become more fit.
Off, knee injury. I tried to figure out why i got injured and i think i found out why. First of all, i did not get injured yesterday, Wednesday, i got injured on Tuesday. Tuesday, as i wrote above, i ran a 30 minute run at an 8 min/mile pace; however, i was running at a sub 6 mile pace. In the moment i felt so good running at that speed. I guess this this is another personal experience to learn from and an area to work on. I need to learn to distinguish how a 6, 7 or 8 min mile pace feels like without looking at my watch. I already feel better, i am grateful this didn't turn out to be another multiple month endeavor.
Off, knee injury. Had a good stretch using my SOCK! I thing it works. I was so stuck in my ways that stretching was a waste of time and today i was humbled and brought back to earth. I'm not glad i got injured but i am grateful for the things i'm learning from this 'little" injury.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pacifica Trails hike with Karla

Karla and i went for a run, myself, and a hike, Karla, to Montara Mountain and on our way there we decided to check out Pacifica's Trails. We Started at San Pedro Valley Park and took the Montara Mountain Trail which is about 5 miles round trip. I found out that i have been naming my previous trail runs starting at Whale's Cove Montara Trail when in fact they are called differently. I will revise that and change it. We mainly hiked up the mountain about 1500 feet elevation to where Montara Trail meets North Peak Road. We ran for about 20 minutes down the trail making this Karla's first trail run ever. Great hike, new trail and a lovely day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monday 28- Friday 2

Fun night run to Mission & 16th, 7+ miles. Felt ok overall, just a little rust from the couple days of inactivity from Thanksgiving. Is good to be back on the road. Had a veggie burrito at Pancho Villa Taqueria on 17th. It was fun to explore on eating while running. Now i know i can eat a whole veggie burrito in the middle of a run and not barf it right back while running.
Night run at CCSF Track, about 5 miles, 15min warmup at moderate speed and then 20 minutes of speed running. Finished the night with a series of stair climbing and descents and leg stretching on post.
50 minute total run
20 minute Stair
5 minute stretch
Went to Rodeo Beach for a run. I ran about 7 miles to the cavalry and back. Felt good but need to be a little more prepared and bring the right clothing to avoid irritation. The run was good, felt like i could have run much longer. I was reminded of the 50k i ran on july. I felt like if i kept going i would be able to remember every turn wit clarity. I feel excited to start running there more often starting next year.

Week Total:
Road:12 miles
Trail: 7 miles

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday 21- Friday 25

Minimal CCSF Track 35 min. run at faster than usual speed. Felt great, energetic and strong. Is amazing how your body communicates what it wants/needs at a given time, we just need to pay close attention. Even the uncomfortable coldness i usually feel at night was non existent once i began running.

I feel that my week workout schedule is working well (based on two weeks of similar workouts). Minimal runs (35-50min) 3 days a week and two (1 loop) Montara Trail runs in the week is great for now. Having Saturday and Sunday off from running is working well by allowing my body to take in the week's work and also regenerate. At this point the weekend off could be a great time to do some stretching or simple exercises at CCSF Track. I cannot do another full month of yoga this year due to my trip to mexico this holiday so a class on sat. or sun. could work well. Although i miss the weekend long runs at the mountains, is also great to have the weekend  to do other things.
Tuesday: Off,
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off

Little workout activity the week of Thanksgiving. Family celebrations and Homework have made it impossible to focus on running. For the moment i can expect to be inactive until late this week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Continuing Making Peace with Pain

Continuing my Making Peace with Pain poem post, i want to share this post my friend posted on FB:

When you get into a tight place and everything is against you, till it seams as though you cannot hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

~Harriet Beecher Stowe

Monday 14- Friday 18

Off, worn out today.
One loop Montara Trail run today. Not intending i shaved a couple minutes from my last run on my ascent to the north peak. Felt great!
CCSF Track minimal shoe run tonight after class was great. 45 minute run and 15 minute stretch afterward. Hardly felt any knee discomfort. Great night.
Off, busy day.
Morning Montara Trail run with Eric and his friend. I ran a lap and a bit more. Total of about 8 miles going average speed to the peak and increasing speed at about mile 5.5. I felt a little tired at first but got into the a good pace and ended up being a fun strong run. Eric's friend, who was running with me, wen't off track at mile 6. I had to look for him for a bout 20 minutes.

This week has been great because of the combined work i've been doing on the CCSF Track with minimal shoes and the Trail running at Montara Trails. I feel stronger at each of the two and my conditioning is improving every time. As evidence is the drop in time on both the uphill climbs and descents. Recovery is quick and there is hardly any soreness the next morning and the following.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Making Peace with Pain

Pain, i will no longer resist you
I will no longer avoid or hide from you
You will no longer be an unwanted stranger in this house
You are welcome here any time

Here i am, no longer vulnerable
I will take you not like a remedy
I will take you not like a disease
I will take you not like a ticket to liberty
I will simply take your company for the road ahead.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Monday 7-Friday 11

Little activity this week after b-day celebrations and catching a cold.


Nice 50 min. track minimal shoe run at CCSF Track. Felt knee discomfort at the beginning and got better towards the end. It must have been from standing for too long during Karla's b-day celebration this past weekend. 

Tuesday: Sick
Wednesday: Sick
Thursday: Sick
Morning 5 mile barefoot run from the beach near GG Park to Ocean beach with Eric and his friend. Felt strong, no problems considering the inactive week. Still felt a bit sick early in the morning but i made an effort to go.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday 1-Friday 4

OFF, exam prep
OFF, exam prep
Night run to the Mission 7 mile fast pace (below 8 min miles). I have never had such a fast run in many years. After my exam tonight i felt like flying and decided to let myself go. Felt great.

Had an ok day at yoga with my cousin Fher. He was exited about the new experience up until he was in the studio looking for an excuse to flee. Eventually he came in and was able to get out of there alive. I on the other hand spent the 90 minutes making sure Fher had a good experience and sacrificed my routine. His first day doing yoga is better than my whatever day.
OFF, Karla's b-day prep

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vamos despacio porque vamos lejos

Mi amiga publico esta fotografia con un mensaje bastante impactante y reflectivo; muy apropiado para el mundo del ultramaraton.

Impacting and reflective message on this picture. Insightful for endurance sports and specially for my sport, ultrarunning. 

Barefoot run

Sunday 30: Twenty minute barefoot run and 20 minute rubber band workout at CCSF Football Field. Felt strong, thought about going a little longer but decided to take it step by step even if i feel great. Patience is also something that ultrarunners work on on a daily basis and unfortunately for us never master.  Not that is possible to ever master. I noticed that my balance is not there, so was my experience at yoga last Friday. Hard to believe that within a couple of days this kind of effect could take place on a body that is being exercised on a daily basis.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunday 22-Friday 28

Sunday 22: Nice night run to twin peaks. Don't know how long the run was or the altitude but it felt good            considering it's pavement.

Monday 23: Yoga today was incredibly good. Even though i had not been in the studio for about a week, i felt  like i was powering over every posture from start to end. Great day.

Tuesday 24: 7 Mile run to the mission, felt good.

Wednesday 25: Yoga again was fantastic. What a change in my body. The new instructor from Colorado mentioned how she was a runner who injured herself, knee problem, and cured herself with sitting postures in yoga.

Thursday 26: Montara run 1900 ft. 1:13 min. 42 minutes to peak. The run was great, my way up to the peak felt the same as always, in terms of time not effort, but at the end of the run i shaved a couple minutes from last time. My impression is that i pushed myself on the first 2 mile uphills, more than any other day, and then on my way down it was so much more relaxed. About two miles away from Whale's cove i felt like putting the pedal to the medal and i did for about a minute and it felt fantastic. Great run today.

Friday 27: Yoga with Andrea was, as always, hard and painful. I thought that because in my previous 2 classes i felt fantastic, it was going to be the same. Boy was i wrong. As soon as i finished the first half moon i felt like it was going to be a long and painful 90 minutes. At the end i was able to pull through every posture strongly with great effort and the rest is benefit.
In the middle of all the suffering I couldn't help thinking how similar this yoga is to ultrarunning. It is those painful moments the ones to focus on and know how to control to be able to come out to better ones. The trick is to learn to deal with pain and discomfort. We live in a society that has grown accustomed to making everything, if not easy, more convenient and we have stepped away from dealing with every day tasks naturally. So much that stuff like this seems impossible to do. No to say that Bikram yoga and ultrarunning should be easy tasks.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Montara Mountain Trail Run

This afternoon i had a nice 7+ mile run at the Montara trails. Although i ran faster than my last run there, i felt like i had to put a lot more effort every step i took. I ran up Pedro Mountain to the Gaming Gate in 45 minutes and down in 31 for a total 1 hour and 16 minutes. I should be recording the elevation instead of distance & time but i need to retrieve my watch's online password.

Even though i thought the running season was over at this point in the year, especially after i found out that the TNFEC 50M had no more room, this week I've been thinking of at least running the TNF 50K in December. I think it will be a great way to close the year and satisfy my hyperactive self. I am realistic and know that yoga is not going to be enough recreation. Maybe the ideal thing is to do different things to avoid being bored with monotony.

October 5-7

Some pictures and video i took at Western States 2011.
  • Wednesday Oct. 5: Yoga, is so good to talk to Katitte before yoga. Every time i ask her a question or make a comment, she responds with a response that makes me question everything. Today i shared with her, provably not a good idea, how the fried chicken i ate last week felt like a stone in my stomach the next morning in yoga. She responded by telling me how everyone in the world adapts their eating habits to whatever physical activity they do. As a person who practices yoga you cannot feel that brick in your stomach during class so you avoid having food like that as much as you can in the future. Your body is wise enough to tell you what you need to do to sustain your daily activities. 
  • Thursday Oct. 6: Yoga
  • Friday Oct. 7: Yoga, today i went to 6pm yoga and to my surprise Andrea was the instructor. Class today was so hard. I thought that because i did yoga Wednesday and Thursday, today was going to be, if not easy, less intense. I gave everything i had on all postures but couldn't handle the last stretching set. Can't believe how soaked in sweat my shorts were. I suffered but pulled through. I think Andrea's class could be the next step for me. She can really push me and i can use the challenge. Taking her class will be a great preparation for my races. After a week of her classes, any race will be a piece of cake. 

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    SF City Run.

    Anyone who knows San Francisco just a bit knows you take full advantage of a night in the mid 60 degrees with beautiful clear skies. Today i got home from class around 7:30pm and noticed it was full of lights out the window from Bernal Heights hills and also from the sky. I just couldn't let the opportunity to run in perfect weather slip away.

    I took off at around 8pm and took the usual route Guerrero, Market, Embarcadero and back. The run turned out to be a couple hours long as i stopped by La Mar to say hi to my friend Alberto. Running to Embarcadero (around 7 miles from my place) was fun and the night turned out to be even better when i noticed other friends at La Mar. After 20 minutes at La Mar i took off and my run back turned out to be a little difficult as i hadn't taken a run in about 10 days. Last week i started Hot Yoga again and i enjoyed it so much that i completed 5 straight days and took my attention from running. At around mile 12 i felt the familiar soreness i feel when i stop running two weeks or more. My legs felt sore, my abs and feet. The last 2 miles was a matter of pushing through the pain. Total 14 miles today out of nowhere, sweet. Love this time of year in the city.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Welcome to blogging!

    I occasionally read the blogs of some ultra runners and enjoy their sharing of race information, nutrition, training etc...and after thinking about it for a while i decided i would create my own that will help me keep track of my training and special events in the trails. Being a private somewhat outgoing person, i find it a bit strange to publicize my every day activities to just about everyone interested. That being said, here we go.