Thursday, June 25, 2009

lots o' laps

Did a mile in the pool this morning for the first time ever after a 17 minute half mile yesterday. If I was only about 60 years older, I think I may have an age group win in my future...about 17:40/18:20 for a 36:00 mile...64 + 1/2 laps, 36 freestyle, 28 + 1/2 breastroke. I continue to be a model of inefficiency, but it was pretty easy...and a whole minute or so faster than my open water swim w/wetsuit in April. If I can cut another 10 off, I just might be respectable.

Friday, June 19, 2009

RE: Shifting Gears a Little

An update to Monday's post. It seems as though I could not secretly turn 32. My body noticed, and revolted. My pulled right calf (in addition to the partial left Achilles tear, recent left Achilles swelling & pain, & right hip and back pain) was re-pulled Wednesday night rounding first base. This after two and a half days of no running, so it appears I'll be transitioning fully to cross training for a while. I hadn't quite gotten my weekly average for the year up to 30, but I have been between 30-45 quality miles a week for a couple months now. Over 23 weeks I ran 620 miles and did 2343 sets of weights, and other cross training. The plan for the next month is to do 3 swims a week, lift 6 days, cross-train 3 days (eliptical or bike) and run when I can. I may be out for the remainder of the post-season in softball, but still hope to play next season, starting next month. We'll see...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

45th Tahoe Relay

the pictures are all stolen from Turi's camera & protected by Turiworld copyright law...which I heard is pretty strict. Gotta llove the bogies!
Peter flying up a hill.
Hayes got mother nature's worst & lived to tell the tale.
No Bud Light girls at the finish, but these guys'll do!

On Saturday, Peter Lubbers, his kids Sean & Rocky, their friend Hayes, Turi & myself did the Tahoe Relay for the second time. Last year we had the same team + Amber, but she was planning on being at work that day before injuring her back & taking some good drugs, rendering her immobile. Pete picked up the slack by running two legs (22.8 miles total, + one of the bigger hills). Most of us switched our leg assignments around a bit from last year to try something new. I opted for the "hill from heaven" up Spooner Summit, as opposed to the "hill from hell" up Emerald Bay that I ran last year (and that Pete would run as his second leg this year). Once again, the Lubbers crew joined Abby & I for dinner on Saturday night, and we put away about 17 pounds of flank steak, brown rice, and spinach salad, alongside a couple good brews. Instead of a movie, I opted to get my @#% kicked by the kids on Wii Tennis & Baseball. I think I struck out 5 times in 3 innings!

We were out the door and on the rainy road at 4:45 or so the next morning, hit up a Starbucks in Carson City for a much needed java jolt, and met up with Turi at the "Y" in South Lake Tahoe about a half hour before go time. Our friend Marc was kind enough to lend Turi his VW Eurovan as our crew vehicle, and I must say, it was friggin' perfect! 2 captain's chairs in the front, 2 rear facing captain's chairs right behind, a removable table, and a 3rd row bench seat, to very comfortably seat 7...complete with curtains on the windows and a convertible sleeper tent for two up top! Sweet ride, although we had no blow-up doll fixed to our van like some of our competition. Maybe next year...

We had a very loose goal of breaking 11 hours after running 11:25+ last year. We figured the kids were a year older, not to mention speed goat Pete was covering nearly 30% of the miles himself. Sean ran the 9.6 mile L1 in 1:42 & change (10:39 per). Somewhere around 100th after L1. I ran L2 (8.2 miles uphill) from beautiful Zephyr Cove to Spooner in 55 & change (6:45 per), counting 49 "bogies" on the way for motivation up the big in the low 50's. Rocky was the only one running the same leg as last year, covering the rolling and downhill L3 in just under 2:29 (14:28 per). About 100th after L3. Pete's 1st jaunt was the rolling 12.3 miles through Incline and beyond, which he covered in a speedy 1:30 & change (7:22 per), moving us up 15-20 spots. Turi was next and picked up another 15-20 spots in running under 1:20 for 10.6 miles of rollers (7:33 per). After a short break, Pete shook out the stiffness that was just beginning to set in, and ran 10.5 miles from Homewood to Emerald Bay in 1:29:06 (8:29 per). After getting a few more bogies, we were now in 71st place, and looking like we were going to reach our goal. Then, after going back and forth all day, the weather decided not to play nice. Hayes ran from Emerald Bay downhill, then up to inspiration point, downhill to Camp Richardson and onto the "Y" where we began, getting drenched the whole way. He ran a great leg though, covering the last 10.5 miles in 1:26 & change (8:16 per).
We enjoyed a surprisingly good meal at the Brewery at Lake Tahoe...wings, pizza, a burger, fries, chicken caesar wrap, and of course, the beer. Their best beers were average for this beer snob, but fully satisfying after a day of running & driving. Next year, mid pack or better, and closer to 10 hours!!! Thanks Lubbers''''' for doing the footwork, thanks to everyone for being part of the team, and thanks for Marc for use of the 2009 & 2010, right? Marc? Anyone???

shifting gears a little

Alcatraz is a month away and I haven't been back in the water...AT ALL...since the Icebreaker in April. April! Needless to say this will not do. Combined with the chronic nature of my hip & Achilles injuries (and my newly pulled calf muscle after yesterday's trail run), it's time to transition a little. For the next month, I plan on dropping 2-3 runs a week in favor of some swimming and more cross training. I'd like to stay fit enough overall so I can make an easy transition back to racing in the early fall. The only race I'd planned on doing in the near future anyway was the Firecracker Mile in Truckee on July 4th, and since that's probably not the best idea, I started the transition today. Instead of 6-8 x 3:00 intervals as planned, I went to the south gym (w/pool) and did 42 laps (1,050 meters/.65 miles) in 23 minutes...alternating laps...22 free, 20 breaststroke...back inside, 22 sets of chest/shoulders/core, 30 minutes on the eliptical trainer, and a bit of stretching. I'm planning on 48 laps (.75) tomorrow, and a 1.2 mile open water swim on Saturday. Hopefully in a few days the calf at least will be better and I can run 3 quality runs a week in addition to the cross training (one interval, one tempo/time trial, one "long").

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fitch Mountain Foot Race, Bear Republic & Russian River Brewing!

pre-race escargot and the race start the next morning

the homestretch
at the town square after the race
yeah...we're kinda happy here. It's been a few years since my last visit!
Ben's beer belly after 15 different brews...
Russian River Brewing Co "after"
This past weekend, our neighbors Ben & Jamie Biggs joined us on our adult getaway
to Healdsburg & Santa Rosa. By "adult", I mean no kids. Hannah stayed at home with Abby's parents & the Biggs kids stayed with their grandparents. So...we had an entire weekend where there was no schedule to follow save for the 8 a.m. start time for the race...and the 11:00 opening of Bear Republic Brewing Co. next door. We stayed at the Flamingo resort & spa in Santa Rosa, had some wonderful food the evening before the race (I had a huge pan of paetta). After a quick stop at Russian River Brewing, where I had a hard time abstaining from their awesome brews, we headed back to the hotel for a quick soak in the spa before calling it a night (after Sportscenter of course). I knew we'd be going back to the brewery the following night, and I figured with my hip and Achilles being as pissed as they've been, that I'd need all the help I could get to have a shot at winning the race. My hypothesis, really based on nothing at all, was that I'd run 1 second slower for each sip of stronger ale, and a half second slower for each sip of the weaker based on my 5 sips, I'd be working with a 4 second handicap.
After another quick soak at 6:30 to loosen up, we hit the road. It was a quick 15 minute trip to downtown Healdsburg. The day was shaping up to be near perfect running weather. I little warm if anything, but no rain and no wind. I had a goal for this certified 3k of anywhere from 9 1/2-10 minutes, based on how the injuries felt that day, and what exactly the race director meant by "rolling hills". Rolling in Nevada City is kinda scary. Rolling in Sacramento, not so much. The winning times had also been all over the place the last few years. The fastest I could find was 9:21, which I figured would be out of reach. I'd run a 9 flat about 9 years ago, but haven't really been close to that since. Other years the winner came across in 9:42, 9:50's, 10+, and one year in over 11 minutes. Suffice to say I really didn't know what to expect. Even the accompanying 10k ranged from 33-37 minutes. We started at a good clip, and after the initial burst wore off and people found their pace, I was able to take the overall lead. It wasn't long til the 3k turned right and the 10k went straight. Right before this turn and right after were the hardest part of the 3k...a two block climb (really not a climb, but an uphill grade). The rest had about a half dozen turns, but was pretty flat, with a slight downhill in there somewhere, since the start and finish were near each other. No mile splits, but I'd guess about a 5:02-03 based on the finish time. I snuck a peek to see who was chasing around a couple turns, and while they weren't too far, they weren't close enough to make me too nervous, so my goal became to try and hold pace til the 9 minute mark, and then give whatever I had left. As I made the last turn and hit the home stretch, the clock was in the low 9's, so I tried to kick for a block to get under 9 1/2. I didn't know til after my 20 minute cool-down that they officially gave me a 9:29 (equivalent of a 10:09 2-miler). 2nd (Danny Aldridge-a 52 year old who ran sub 14 minute 5ks in his prime!) came in soon after in 9:52, with third coming in at 10:00 (Don...we would talk extensively about brewing & running before he had to leave to check on his IPA at home!) The 10k champ would come in a few seconds under 36 minutes, and won easily. Ben and I had an amazing breakfast pizza from a bakery across from the start, while Jamie & Abby had a pedicure scheduled. At 11...I mean beer o'clock, we were the first eager customers for lunch & brews (15 samplers & a couple glasses) at Bear Republic, which currently sits as my 7th favorite U.S. Brewery! After a day at the pool, and some pretty embarrassing tennis played by Abby, Ben, & myself, we headed back to Russian River for dinner, dessert, and another 14 samplers & 4 pints. Both of these places have several high quality brews and a few that'll blow your socks off! A nice hometown race, great food and great that's the way to spend a weekend.
A side note - after 2 road races and a couple climbs, I do believe the Nike Lunaracer is the best racing flat I've ever owned. That's saying a lot, since certain parts of my feet always hurt to the point where no shoe is comfy, but they fit like a glove, are light enough for 5k or shorter, and cushioned and comfy enought that I'd run a marathon in 'em if I was in shape to do so. Highly recommended, especially if you find 'em for less than the $100 retail. AND...
Score a point for Macmillan's...a training website. You can type in your time at one distance and get equivalent times for other popular distances. When I was healthier last year, times lined up fairly close for 5k-marathon, but today's comparison is just uncanny. 9:29 3k is the exact equivalent of a 16:32 5k...which I ran (to the second) in my last race!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Climb the Legacy results

maybe Hannah will climb in a year or two...

The results are in! The 1st annual Climb the Legacy on May 17th had 262 finishers. It was a hot one (in the low 90's when we started), so the warm-up was short, but the stairwell was not as hot as feared. Everybody on our team (My Drinking Team Has A Running Problem) was pretty happy with how they "ran". My goal coming in was to run 3:30 or faster. It would have been 3:00, but the Silver Legacy had short hallways between flights of stairs (after the first floor). While this made the climb itself a little easier, it also meant goals would have to be adjusted to make up for the extra ground to cover. Our team ended up placing second in our divsion, with individual times and places as follows-

Chris Badolato (1st overall) 3:26.8

Liz Drake-Ontiveros (36th overall, 3rd female) 5:25.8

Dave Eveland (64th) 6:10.2

Amber Sady (118th) 7:29.2

Abby Badolato (125th) 7:36.5

There's a BBQ planned for June 25th at Rancho San Rafael for both fundraising and climber awards, and hopefully lots of good food & drink...and no hail!

Next year, as long as I'm healthy enough, which is always an adventure in itself, or team should be bigger than five, as a few runners from the Nevada County crew, as well as a couple from Reno, have expressed interest.

For you numbers geeks out there...
3 climbers (1%) under 4:00
25 (10%) under 5:00
58 (22%) under 6:00
101 (38%) under 7:00
141 (53%) under 8:00
180 (69%) under 9:00
205 (78%) under 10:00