Mt. Woodson Hike

Setting out for a late morning hike with Joyce O. and Greg J., we would find out early on that it was going to be a very hot hike up the local mountain. Looking up some details the night before on San Diego Hikers, details included a difficulty of 6/10 and a length of approximately 8.0 miles there and back. Browsing the Lake Poway Trails website also provided some good details. Driving into Lake Poway, I was surprised there wasn't a parking charge (which usually costs $5) and we made our way to the right hand side of the park as far south and east as possible parking as close as possible to the trailhead. I parked the car in a good shaded area and then applied some sunscreen while waiting for Greg.

We set out right away and the uphill began. We would take breaks here and there and I noticed that I was drinking too much as my Nalgene bottle was only a quarter full when I got to the top. I ended up jogging the last 1.3 miles and came to the idea that I'd like to do this again as a "trail run," sometime. The bottom line and goal of this hike was really all about the photo op. I mean,'s just something to have posted on facebook or my website right? The picture is misleading but looks awesome. You'll have to hike it to find out what I'm talking about.

Not only was this trail a great hike, I remembered to bring my Garmin Edge 500 and have the data embedded below! If you check it out, the uphill battle was definitely much more of a workout compared to the downhill portion. With that, I've come to the realization that going downhill sucks. It's hard on my knees and isn't as much fun.

From Lake Poway to Mt. Woodson and back! Here's the Garmin Connect Data!

Great Run at Miramar Lake

Waking up sore as heck from the 12 minutes of CrossFit last Saturday with Ryan Espiritu, I couldn't walk in any good posture as my abs weren't fully stretching and my shoulders / arms were in a constant ache. Yes, I know that it means I'm beyond "out of shape", but today was Monday so that meant that running was in the cards. I also wanted to continue the break in period of my Newton Running Shoes that I bought at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Expo. I didn't run yesterday but had a great time "hiking" up Black Mountain with my mom. It was a way to get my mom walking around again and out of the house and I surely enjoyed the good chats. I didn't know that from my house in PQ to the top was approximately 2.2-3 miles.  To add to the unknown, walking in some 9 year old New Balance Walking shoes wasn't the best idea.   As I walked uphill, it was fine but then downhill was painful. I ended up walking barefoot from the top of Laurentian all the way home.


Back to today, my wife and I woke up in the latter part of the morning, had a good breakfast and lounged around until Jojo came over and hung out for a bit. We decided that we should walk around a bit and made our way to the local Albertson's where we bought Tuesday $3 San Diego County Fair tickets. We stuck to our plans and drove up to Miramar Lake for the 5 mile loop w/ Mary P. I wasn't feeling too well as my soreness was getting the best of me, at the same time, I was just in a so-so mood but I knew that deep down, I needed to run. I need to make it a habit if I really want to start getting serious about some of these races!

Mary brought her friend Rachelle who mentioned that she's more of a boxer and that she doesn't run that often. I said it's awesome and then convinced Mary to start using RunKeeper Pro as its a good way of keeping records. Mary also was running in her KSO Trek Vibrams which are pretty cool.

We chatted, stretched very little and then took off as a group. Adelle started flying ahead of us three while I just fell to a good pace. I kept it going great for about 2.5 miles then needed to walk a bit to wipe the sweat off of my sunglasses. The pace was good all the way through and I could feel myself adjusting to the shoes.

Around mile 4, my right ankle started to ache a bit. I know that I pronate and that the break in period is going to prove to be a little difficult as I transition to being a midfoot / front foot runner but I kept on charging. There were instances where I mentally told myself to push harder and so I did. I kept the pace up, even hung around and paced another guy and finished strong. My sunglasses kept on fogging up good, but in the end, I'm loving my shoes.

Yes, I've already put 10 miles on 'em and I probably should start "breaking" in slower but it's just awesome to get out there and get going. Check out the data below! Well, my Garmin Edge 500 data mysteriously disappeared and cannot be recovered (big failure Garmin!), so with that check out the graphic below from my Nike+ Running page.  Good thing I use two different devices to track my run huh?

San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon....CHECK

Fifty three days before my 30th birthday, I completed my first full 26.2 on Sunday participating in the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. It was awesome. Signing up a couple of months ago, my wife chose to run the half (13.1) while I convinced myself that this was something I would need to do before "growing" old. If you're not interested in reading the details, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post for my Garmin data as well as the official Rock 'n' Roll Results.

Training: None...more or less absent in terms of distance. It was definitely a bad idea and not a bright one to say the least. I had planned on running at a lighter weight (165 lbs. compared to my current 180 lbs. ) and even planned out a running schedule. Those "plans" didn't take. The longest run I would have done would have been the 10 miles the previous Wednesday while using Gu once at the half way point. A couple of weeks of ago, I completed running ~16 miles on the Ragnar Relay but that was during a 24 hour period so I guess that didn't count?! Next time...(if there is another one) I will definitely train appropriately.

Day -1: Drinking lots of water, picking up Runblondie26 and her husband, hanging out at the Expo (buying my first pair of Newton Running Shoes from Ryan, buying some 2XU Calve Guards and officially signing up for the San Diego TriRock), attending a Padres game followed by some carbo loading w/ Bronx Pizza and carne asada fries. I got the gear together, set the coffee maker and went to bed early.

Day 0: Waking up w/ around 7 hours of sleep, I took a shower, dressed and got ready. Eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, drinking a can of FRS, and sipping some coffee was it for the pre race meal. Adelle, Lindsay and I walked 1.7 miles from the downtown apartment to the start line arriving a little later than originally planned but it worked out after checking in our gear bags which by the way was really quick and easy. Lining up and finding my 4:45 pace group in corral 23, I awaited the starting gun. About 30 minutes later, looking down at my heart rate monitor on my Garmin Edge 500, I noticed that my adrenaline was pumping 100 bpm. Trying to slow it down and calm was time and off we went!

The pace leader took off to a great start and I purposely lagged behind. The first four miles flew by like none other and when the fork in the road was coming up for the half marathoners to turn north, I'll admit that it did cross my mind, but on I went toward into Downtown. Running in familiar territory was exciting and easy and when I came around mile 9 onto the 163 freeway, I was feeling like a champ! I happened to run into my sister who was just approaching the four mile marker on her way to completing her first half marathon so that was nice. Now this part of the course was pretty awesome in that the marathon closed both sides of the freeways. Running under the bridges were amazing because I actually got to see and appreciate the structures. Running on the freeway was fun up until the downhill portion came up. The road was uneven and sloped towards my left causing a imbalance in my legs and ankles and it only got worse. That's when I can remember first time thinking about the hot spots and ankle pains. Finally getting back towards on Friars approaching my half way point, I once again felt like I could keep on going. Nothing was going to stop me. I was drinking and maintaining hydration along with Gu's, salt packets and FRS chews...things were dandy.

Did I forget to mention that the sun was now beating down and the heat was picking up. Passing by Rose's Donut Shop, (yes I did think about grabbing one to go) Morena Blvd. would prove to be my nemesis. Around mile 18, the walking would start. It probably started around 16 as my feet just started to feel heavy. With 10K to go, I looked down at my watch and was still on pace. Then, it happened... the pace group passed me. I found myself walking a lot more then finally getting over the bridge towards Mission Bay, I knew I was going to finish it.

Motivation was found all along the course. I ended up walking next to a guy that has been doing the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon since the inception in 1998 and was telling me that only 101 runners remained of the original 20,000. He had a pace watch and he told me that we were still good to go even if with a target of 13 minute miles. Easy right?

I just couldn't get comfortable anymore. That's the bottom line. My calves were fine (thanks 2XU), but my quads, hamstrings as well as feet were just about done. I would force myself here and then and it wasn't until right before Fiesta Island did I give it another go. I got a call from Lindsay (who ran a PR 1:36 half marathon) saying that she was waiting for me at the 5K to go mark and would run with me. That was just awesome. She met me at the beginning of Fiesta Island and off we went. Then I came to a halt. I just couldn't do that much more. I was falling far behind and next thing you know, I'm aiming for 5:30. With .2 to go, my fan group cheered me on, Lindsay broke off and I finished strong. Coming in at 5:24, I can say proudly that I finished. Taking my "official" post race picture, I witnessed a couple getting engaged which was pretty awesome. In face, the guy carried the ring w/ him the entire time while running alongside and finishing with his girlfriend. I walked at a very slow crawl grabbing my gear bag and hopped on the bus back to the trolley then over the car. Good times.

We have runbondie26 all smiles, me with a red vine in my mouth the last .2 miles and me trying to look cool like I still have energy left in me.

Post Run: Once I got home, I took a shower, changed and off we went to grab a Smash Burger. It was good but I couldn't really eat that much. My appetite wasn't all there as my stomach was full fo Gu Gel and whatever other things I was filling up with along the way. When I got home, a little post race ice cream then I crashed for an hour and half. Waking up with a massive, what it felt like hangover associated headache, I hydrated with Gatorade, another can of FRS and got ready for dinner at couples night. I put on more KT tape around my quads and around my feet, and set out. Good times!

Day +1: I woke up feeling good. Sore for sure, but better. Sleep was good, lunch was great and I'm walking again. I hear that I'm suppose to hurt a little more on day +2, but we'll see! I got some great seats for the Padre game, even got a pedicure and ate some good pizza. Yes I said pedicure. At the Padre game, on the way out, I also got a chance to shake hands and snap a photo with the Woz. Yes, the Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and who is a Padre fan through and through! Exciting weekend for sure!

2011 So Cal Ragnar Relay Post Race Report

Carb load Thursday night at Jack and Ayelet's townhome, drive up to Oceanside to spend the night at Chris' awesome new home, then drive up to Huntington Beach where the start line of the 2011 So Cal Ragnar Relay was setup. Lasagna, spaghetti, salad, friends...little did we know what we were really getting into. We knew the basics; the route, the timing (via an awesome amazingly programmed Google Spreadsheet), the forecasted weather, the big exchanges and where we'd end up but it would be just the beginning of a great trip. I forgot my Garmin Edge 500 at home but instead just relied on Runkeeper Pro on my iPhone 4. As they say, 2 vans, 12 friends, 36 legs, 200.9 miles. When we reached the start line, the registration area was filled with people from all over. Some dressed costumed in elaborate and amazing themes such as Super Mario Bros and some in just underwear w/ suspenders. Their vans also decorated from front to back with markers, pictures and even props glued to the sides...the Ragnar Relay was definitely something else. I picked up a couple of shirts for memorabilia sake, we loaded up on some Protein Shakes and FRS giveaways, and then as 9:45am approached, we stood around and cheered for Chris as he was slated as runner #1. It was exciting!

For some reason, while recording the start with Qik, it came out blue, but for your viewing pleasure, here it is.

After Chris took off for his first 5 mile leg, we set out and made our way to the next exchange. We didn't know the van route and just did the best we could to find the stop. The weather forecast was calling for a dry and hot day and by the time it was my turn at leg #4, it was excruciating. The temperature had risen to around 85 F and I couldn't have gotten more liquid in my body. My exchange was located at Angel's stadium and running along the aqueduct just proved to be that much hotter.

By the time all of Van #1 was done, we met up at the the first major exchange in Corona where the first runner of Van #2 set out. Did I mention that it was hot and very dry? We were able to snap a team photo right after Ryan came in and before Christina took off. If you take a close look, Ryan (on the far left front crouching down) just championed the 2.7 miles downhill literally taking this photo just seconds afterwards.

We had a great opportunity to head to Lake Elsinore where Chris' aunt took us in, cooked some awesome spaghetti and let use use her house as a base for 4 hours while Van 2 did their six legs. Definitely some good spoiling. I even took a shower and rested quite well. I knew that my next leg was going to take place at night and I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive because I had never run that late before or in the dark at all. To top that off, I was running an unfamiliar path with headlamps, taillight and a vest in the middle of Wildomar / Temecula. Throughout the evening, all I could think about was running with a buddy and I found one! A girl from Salt Lake had told me that she was a 10:00 min / miler and I was game. We started out fast and actually made amazing time averaging just under 9:30 min / mile which was on par for a Personal Record (PR). It was an exciting finish for her and I and I was ecstatic that I had found a great person to run with let alone run some of the best I've ever ran. It was chilly too, but I'll admit that when comparing the heat from the earlier leg, I'd definitely take the cold.

Again, after Van 1 had ran their legs, we set out of Chris' house in Oceanside and had about 2.5 hours of sleep / rest until the next major exchange. It was once again a very awesome opportunity that we had that chance to be so close to a base to recover unlike other teams that only had their vans and sleeping bags. After an amazing second leg, I sought out thinking that I could actually finish strong during my third and final leg of the 2011 So Cal Ragnar Relay.

It started to get a little hot and when we approached the Loma Santa Fe Train Station Exchange, the heat was once again at full force. I started off nice and easy as you can see here:

I wound up walking here and there as I couldn't find that personal pace / high that I needed to maintain. The sun was getting the best of me. I knew that the big incline was going to happen sometime in the last mile or two, but boy, the heat coupled with the El Camino Real hill just took the wind out of my sails. I ended up with a 10:50 min / mile moving average which was definitely the opposite of what I forecasted, but I was still happy with it. My team met me at the beginning of the hill which was a great boost and I finished strong sprinting the last bit. I handed my slap bracelet to Charlette and I was done! What a feeling! She attacked Via de la Valle and took a couple of kills too and Ryan would endure Torrey Pines so in the bigger scheme of things, my hill was on the littler side. Props to those two for killing it!

All in all, it was an amazing experience that I wouldn't mind doing all over. In fact, if you're interested in running this race, hit me up! I'm always down for a challenge!

Here's a picture of that awesome medal up close! It's got some weight to it!

A Beautiful 10K by the Bay!

After yesterday's 30 minute run on the treadmill, I felt good for another, longer run. I figured out a good route along the bay and plus, Adelle and I could enjoy some San Diego sun. Running from our apartment and finally getting on the Embarcadero, we set out at a good relaxed pace for 3.1 miles.

When we reached our turn around point, we took a quick break, then started our way back. Watching the Garmin, I noticed that Adelle and I ended up running the second half at a slightly slower pace which was a let down, but hey, we have nine weeks right?! I was able to snap this quick pic of Adelle wearing her San Diego Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Long sleeve training tech shirt and the awesome weather that we got to enjoy! Check it! I was also able to take a quick picture of the Petco Park from the new pedestrian bridge that goes from the stadium to the Hilton. Good stuff all around!

Now what stinks is the GPS readings and recordings. Compare the two maps below and you'll notice that the Garmin Edge 500 didn't "find" me right away even though it said that it captured my location and the sporadic mapping through downtown is a little off. More or less, with the data from Google Maps, my Garmin Edge 500 and my Nike+ Pedometer, I ran a solid 10K.

View Larger Map

A Beautiful Day for a Ride w/ Uncle

If you haven't already figured out by now, Adelle and I just moved to a Downtown San Diego apartment to start out our first year of marriage.  Why not live it up right?  Well, last night, I was finally able to grab our bicycles and port them to the tiny dwelling just in time for a ride with my Uncle Romy this morning.  It's been a little more than a year since I first started riding and what a great way to celebrate it with a ride to Pt. Loma.  I broke down my ride on my Garmin Edge 500 into two parts: Warmup and Actual Ride.  Off the bat, Downtown is a lot different than the hills of my old neighborhood but I was betting on the hill to Pt. Loma Lighthouse.  Casually navigating my way around Downtown, I quickly noticed the lack of an actual bike lane instead replaced with a bike path that is shared with runners who, if running in pairs, span the width of the route.  Suck really, but I made due.

Downtown from the Harbor Sheraton

Here's the warm-up phase. I kept the cadence up and you can notice my steady heart rate. The stop lights as well as roads kept me from a constant flow, but it worked out.

Meeting up with my Uncle, a quick warmup around the Sheraton strip followed by a ride along the Harbor then a direct shot to Canon Street then Catalina Blvd. up to Pt. Loma.  Down the hill towards Mission Bay, around back towards Old Town then back to the apartment.  All in all, it was a great ride.  

I went through areas of San Diego that I've been wanting to venturing out around and I got to do it with the guy who got me into it. Constant spinning & quick accelerations proved to be a great way to kick up the cycling again!  One more month till the San Diego Tri-Rock (Sprint Triathlon).  I probably might want to start working on the swimming portion eh?