Monday, May 31, 2010

Pain in the Back and the Week that was May 24 2010

Monday - Apparently you are not supposed to drink the water in Slovakia. Who knew? Day 3 of some nasty bacteria in my gut kept me down low.

Tuesday - Longish run. Well I split into two runs and I should have seen Dr. Sheppard instead. First run was 1 hour in the noon day sun. Super heavy legs and that darn root jumped out and tripped me. By the end of the run, my left hip was flaring up again. 2nd run with Marco was torture. The left hip was in so much pain I had to alter my gait just to run pain free. Marco didn't care not should he and set the pace hard. 80 minutes total.

Wednesday - stretch, stretch and more stretch. Then I rode for 60 minutes while Marco had track practice.

Thursday - Nothing but a trip to see Dr. Sheppard. Minor adjustments and pain was gone.

Friday - What was that? Either moving furniture around or just plain swimming my back went crazy. I did a flip turn in the pool and it felt like someone put a needle in my spine. Crap now what. Got out early and called it a day. 30 minutes.

Saturday - Got on the bike to see if riding didn't hurt. It didn't so I rode 2:20 on a great route through the rolling hills. Virtually no cars and that's hard to do in San Diego. Good to be out and about and pain free.

Sunday - Early morning Track meet that lasted much of the day. I was never quite comfortable standing all day. By the end of it I was down right uncomfortable in the back that is. So I resorted to Ice, Ice and more Ice.

Weekly totals: 5 hours of work. That's not going to get me to my goals but neither is back pain. So first step is to rid myself of back pain and second step is to establish a solid strength routine. The older I get the more important maintaining strength is becoming. Whatever wrenched my back only happened because I was weak somewhere. This can be fixed.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Week in Pictures

The Lawn in Front of the Mozart Monument.

Only in Vienna do you get this in front of a Running Store. OK I know all you Road Runner Sports people who read this. There is one in front of the big San Diego store but come on, it's not even close to as cool as this one.

Welcome to Hungary!

Crossing Gate from Hungary back to Slovakia. You can just picture heavily armed guards staring each other down from both sides of the border.

It's a good life.....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The week of May 16, 2010

Monday - Started great with a 4400 yard swim and the coach telling me I am now in the faster lane. That's good because it mean's my swimming is coming back. But bad because I made it there then had to take a week break from swimming.

Monday Evening - Did my core strength work while Marco the running boy practiced.

Tuesday - Up early to run before the flight to Vienna. Managed 30 minutes leaving the house at 4:30am.

Wednesday - Got to the hotel outside of Bratislava, Slovakia and went for a 30 minute run. The hotel is close to nothing which is a bummer.

Thursday - Ran to Hungary and back. Conditions were terrible with heavy wind, very cool conditions and rain. 60 minutes in total. Nice to hit two countries in one run.

Thursday night - We had a relay race. I was at the end of it where I had to race down the rapids of a World Cup Kayak venue, and carry my boat (oversized boogie board) 300 meters up a hill to the finish. I was anerobic the entire way.

Friday - Ran 34 minutes into the forest today. I went out and found the trails on my own. They aren't like Germany but they'll do for now.

Saturday - After a fun evening of dinner and shooting pool, I got up to run on some tired legs. 30 minutes was all I could get out there. Found a castle though but this is Europe so of course I found a castle.

Total for the week
7 workouts, 4 hours 50 minutes.

It's a good life...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quote of the Week

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - Gothe

The Countries

This will be an ever growing list I am sure of that. Every country has a story. The following is a list of the countries I have run in and a brief story for each.

North America
1. USA - Next up I'll track the states. After all no single run could sum up running here.
2. Canada - French River Ontario. Fishing with Dad and running. Not much better than that.
3. Mexico - Multiple places but I think Mexico City at 5am is the highlight. The only time you can really run in this massive city is 5 am.

Central America
4. Panama - Running in the park with Craig. Getting "lost" in the run and almost totally missing the meeting.

South America
5. Brasil - Getting Lost in Sao Paulo one Sunday morning. A 45 minute run turned to 2 hours.
6. Argentina - All I remember was feeling like crap on each run. Must of been the travel legs.

7. Kenya - There is one 15K 3,000 foot run that sums up my experience there.

8. Australia - There is only one speed in this country and it's fast.

9. Sweden - Running the harbor on a Sunny afternoon. Sydney, Stockholm, San Diego Harbors starting with S I believe are the best.
10. Germany - Running the Berlin Marathon with my wife is something I'll keep forever.
11. Switzerland - How many times do we run those castle steps.
12. Austria - Much like Germany only hillier.
13. Slovakia - Winter in May.
14. Slovenia - Running and Cross Country Skiing in the same day.
15. Belgium - Yep!
16. Holland - Rotterdam is fast.
17. France - Normandy!
18. Spain - Grenada is special.
19. Poland - Running was not so much fun but being in that country was a total blast.
20. Hungary - A brief dip into the country to say I ran there. It was worth all the car dodging.
21. England - Running London is an experience. Big City runs are a challenge because of stop lights and traffic. Add to that they are driving on the other side of the road makes it a challenge.
22. Whales - Cardiff Whales for that matter.
23. Portugal - Just a place worth visiting.

24. Hong Kong - I've written about that. I'll be there again in June to maybe find something new.
25. China - Lots of running there but the highlight has to be running with my friends, Roch, Heather and Paul in Western China on trails we didn't know, in a land we didn't know and meeting some of the nicest locals in the world.

So that's it for now. 25 Countries of running. I'm very confident the list will grow. Target areas for sure are more in South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Who knows when these will happen but I'm sure we'll find a way to enjoy running in different lands.

It's a good life...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week of 5/10/2010

A good week. But just as I have a good week, I prepare to board a plane for an across the ocean flight. Bratislava, Slovakia. I'm sure I'll have a new run to tell you about in pictures.

Monday - Took an early flight to Seattle. Martin Franklin the CEO of Jarden (Parent Company to K2/Zoot) was in town as part of his 10 - 10K's in 10 days tour. So I ran a 10K on Monday night. With a missed turn, back track and then finishing pace with Martin I ran 40:14. No I was not brown nosing the CEO just felt his pace was good enough since I missed the turn.

Tuesday - Shoot do my lets hurt and although Zoot Compress RX is the bomb the new Thermal Compress RX on a 55 degree morning is an error in judgement. I should have gone with shorts. My legs were sweating so much the sweat went into my shoes and gave me hot spots. Still I managed 80 minutes of running.

Wednesday - Back in Cali I headed to the pool. 75 minutes of mind and arm numbing swimming. In the afternoon I did 45 minutes of core work at the track while Marco and the Team did 10 X 400.

Thursday - Sucked it out on the bike. 45 minutes is all I could manage. Fatigue getting to me. Somehow though I managed 50 minutes running with Chris the Compress RX guy. I'm glad he was willing to run my pace.

Friday - Attempted Swimming again but my head wasn't in it. That and there were like 40 people in my lane. Darn it if I'll ever go to a Noon Friday workout again. Or I'll suck it up and move into a faster lane.

Saturday - I took Marco to practice so I thought I would join in. This was an endurance day for them so in kid running that mean's warm up, 1.5 miles tempo, 4 hill repeats, 2 miles tempo, cool down. Marco kicked me out of the workout on the 2nd hill. He said I was pushing the pace too much. I just don't think he wanted me around. In the afternoon I headed out on the bike. Just a steady effort but not nearly as long as I wanted. Good to be on the road though.

Sunday - Watched the Encinitas Triathlon. Kind of wishing I was racing instead. Great race between Luke and Macca. Toe to Toe the entire way until the sprint finish. After watching that I headed to the pool. Great workout there. Just stayed focus on the task and gutted the swim out. 4100 yards. I think that's the longest swim workout this year.

Weekly total was 9.5 hours. Seems like a bunch but no where close to true training rate. Felt good and the body responded well.

It's a good life....

Friday, May 14, 2010

What are You Willing to Do?

If you want to be something most people aren't you must do what most people aren't willing
- Jeff Shilt M.D.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lake Union Seattle

Every time I'm in Seattle I run Lake Union. From any hotel in down town Seattle you can access this gem of a run. Most of the run is on a bike/walkers path. In general the loop is 1 hour for me. Today I extended the run to be 9 miles. It was a good effort on this beautiful run.

Top Highlights of the run.
  • If it's a clear day you get this picture. It doesn't get much better than this.
  • When you aren't running, Lake Union is a great place to find good food.
  • There are lots of runners on the loop. You can find someone to run with our you'll have lots of people to say hi to.
  • It's in the city but out of the city. You start by running on city streets but then you are instantly away from the city and everything that goes with it.
  • Super easy to find your way. Follow the lake and you can't get lost.
It's a good life.....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Week of May 3rd 2010

Work and travel sincerely kicking my ass. Work because my footwear "Partner" decided he wanted to do Skate shoes. Yeah I ask the same questions. So for now I'm solo footwear guy trying to get it done. Travel, well I'm still rocked from that San Diego-Chicago-San Diego-China-Boston-San Diego in two weeks trip. So with that here it is.

Monday - 30 minutes core strength while Marco and the Team did the real running.
Tuesday - Run test. Perceived effort of 7 which mean's I can go forever "theory of course". 3 miles on the track at this effort. 7:05, 7:00, 6:45. The 6:45 happened when uber fit triathlete Kristen Mayer stepped on the track.
Wednesday - I did nothing.
Thursday - When bike time is limited you must go hard and that's what I did. 60 minutes with a set of 20 X 1 on 1 off. On was at 245 watts or better the off was 180 - 190 watts. On was on off was not soft.
Friday - Masters Swim session. First in 6 weeks and oh did it show. I was fighting the water and the water won. But I swam 2600 yards and that's more than I swam last week.
Friday Night - 40 minute run. Heavy freaking legs. Who knows where that comes from but they were heavy and didn't like moving.
Saturday - Masters Swimming again. 3000 yards this time. Still fighting the water and didn't feel any better. Darn swimsuit is trash too. I reach down one time and notice that the suit is fitting more like board shorts than a performance swim suit. Better find a new one fast. Then we sat in the sun at a track meet. Do you know how long it takes go through the 100meter dash when it's boys and girls 8 - 15. 3 hours. that's how long.
Sunday - It's Mother's Day. So besides stretching and lots of water. Nothing.

Let's call it 5 hours 30 minutes.

It's a good life...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There is a stress brewing

Once you live outside of this country long enough you notice how things are different here. Over time I think the biggest difference other than general culture is the stress. The USA is full of stressed out people. And maybe it's just how we are. We don't know any different. I'll give two examples from yesterday.
1. At the pool I was swimming in the not fast lanes. In fact I was leading the slowest of the not fast lanes. There were three lanes and the workout called for us to do the same workout on the same interval. Which means the three lane leaders left the wall at the same time. Well except the guy in the faster lane. He left 3 seconds early every time. The only reason he's doing that is because he's stressed about making the interval. It's a workout my man. The workout is supposed to stress your muscles. You are much too stressed about the interval.
2. My second example comes from the Grocery store. Long after the person in front of me at check out had paid her bill she asked if she could have her rewards card swiped. There are way too many rewards cards to start with but she had to have this one done. The woman at check out had to say yes. So she did the swipe and sent the women on her way but then she had to spend a long time making everything look right on her side. Void the first sale, re do it etc. Meanwhile I'm standing there with my $3 Burrito. She is obviously getting anxious because it's taking too much time. She looks up at me with trepidation, saying sorry and I just smile and say no problems. The relief that melted down her face was priceless. She was just almost stunned that I didn't throw a fit.

I leave you with Zen. Treat every interaction with others with kindness. Like the grocery store clerk.

It's a good life....


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kowloon Hong Kong

I've only gotten the chance to run this once so far. It was a memorable one for sure. Not because I was wearing Euro 3/4 tights. It was the day I found out my Dad passed away. Although that is a sad thought I look at it this way. He was doing what he loves, playing golf. On the 17th fairway he fell over and passed away. Meanwhile not at the exact time, but close enough, I was running which I love. Although I miss him dearly I somehow know he's happy that I was out running.

It's a flat run. Unlike many runs in Hong Kong, this one has no hills. In fact I added hills by running some stairs midway through the run. What makes this one unique is the view of the city in the distance, the fair like atmosphere at the start of the run and the warmth. I figure you can get a good hour or so on this without getting lost. It's out and back. If you have even a slightly good memory you'll find your way back.

We were staying (I actually never slept there. Just ran, took a shower and got back on the plane) at the Marriott on Kowloon. Out the door to the boardwalk I ran right. Through large crowds at first. It's fair like with lots of things to do for young and old. Once out of the fair district you run along the harbor where the cruise ships dock. Then it's through a tunnel and out into a park. On your right are the busy streets of Kowloon. On your left is the beautiful bay and the city of Hong Kong. On this one run you'll see much of what you think of the Island. Small fishing trollers, large cruise ships, Gantry Cranes that can pick up your house and everything in it. You see the walk of fame, Hong Kong style. One of the busiest ports in the world is within view and mobs and mobs of people. But then there is a point where you are running by yourself. Nobody in sight, just you and the environment that is Hong Kong. I think it's that section that makes this run so special. You know going into Hong Kong or the future trip that you are about to take into China, you are going to be in tight circles with lots and lots of people. Yet on this section of run, through the park there is nobody. Not a sole in sight.

Turn around when you want, finish at the Marriott and let the sweat cool you down as you gaze across the water. It's a special place Hong Kong.

My fancy 3/4 tights. Zoot Compress RX is the only way to run after a 13 hour flight from LA.
You could take any one of a hundred pictures of this city and virtually everyone in the world would be able to tell you it's Hong Kong. It's unique and inspiring.
My favorite statue on the run. I told you it's fair like!
Like the city. I think if you see this picture you know it's Hong Kong.

It's a good life.....