Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mt Baldy - Run-to-the-Top

What a great adventure; Ferrell and I had talked about doing this for years, and finally got it done. Mt. Baldy is a 10,064 ft mountain, highest peak above the Los Angeles Basin. We rented a tent cabin to spend the night above 8,000 ft at the top of the ski lift, then took the lift back down to start the race, which winds up a dirt access road to the ski lift, and then another several miles along Devil's Backbone and the scree slope that is the access to the top of Mt. Baldy. Fantastic views, met some great people also doing the competition, and got lots of great shots during the weekend. Will put it on the schedule again for next year.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Best Road Trip of the Summer: the June Lake Triathlon

Ferrell decided this was good for him to join me, as training for Pikes Peak. Had a great time, stayed at the Boulder Creek Lodge once again, perfect weather, lake was low, but all went well. Both of us were a few minutes slower than our prior adventure here 4 years ago. And some speedsters from the younger age group meanwhile had migrated into mine, knocking me off the podium this time. Still, a great trip.

A Bump in the Road

Hopefully not full-on "wheels off the bandwagon and into the ditch". Left psoas not happy after two tough mountain triathlons and fairly heavy training ahead of Pikes Peak in 2.5 weeks. Medical opinion is that the pain is from bad biomechanics memorized during my 10 years on crutches and walking around like Lurch, with stubborn problem in getting the pattern to normalize. More pain means "tissue memory" takes me back to my "Lurch" days and this only amplifies the problem when I then try to run again. So, the prescription is "bridges" using a bar and to insure the bar stays level on my hip bones, meaning I'm practicing equal glute firing from both sides. Also strained my back in the gym 2 weeks ago and that's also been stubborn. I'm barely hanging on to running 1000 miles projected pace for the year, based on first 7 months.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Data Fitting to Theory

"As a Professional scientist, I'm continually observing" (Indiana Jones in "Temple of Doom"). But yes, it is definitely good advice! I've continued with my lateral hip stretching for not just ~1 minute like we used to do at the SCTC workouts, but for 10+ minutes on end, with short break, then again (like, when watching Warriors playoff games), and I can gratefully say that I've had no left psoas or hip flexor pain, despite now running 3-5 miles every day for the past 2 weeks. And that includes barefoot running on hard beach sand as well. It also includes no special medial glute work on the machines at the gym, which I used to think might be the secret. For today, just a short 2+ mile run to the beach for a cool ocean swim with the Santa Cruz Triathlon Association; it's summer and the Friday evening mile swims around the wharf are now getting some good participation. Beautiful sunny clear day today.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Testing a New Hip Stretch

My left hip's psoas/hip flexor has been bothering me again lately. I am really tired of this! My lateral flexibility isn't good at the hip joint. I suddenly recalled a moment I had with the gymnastics coach at U. Az back in my post-doc days, who showed me what it meant to really get a stretch to achieve new levels. He had me bend over on the floor, legs spread wide, and he pushed on my back - hard. Hard enough to hurt, and only just a bit less than the point where my body would involuntarily contract from perceived damage. It was far beyond the comfort point. Those incredibly flexible young gymnastics ladies got that way with a fair amount of pain, it seems. So with new determination, I got a heavy ankle weight, wrapped my left knee, laid on my back, opened my hip wide, and let the weight stretch my hip for ~10-15 minutes. The word these days is that you need to hold a stretch for at least 5 minutes before it really makes for the possibility of a new level being "permanent". It was just a stab in the dark, if this might help alleviate how quickly I've been getting inflammed psoas and hip flexor. I was quite happy to be able to run 9 hilly miles yesterday in Nicene Marks without the inflammation (but still getting tired and a bit overworked on some of those hip muscles, but that's a different sensation than inflammation). Then I ran 2 + 2 + 8 miles today. So that's 21 miles in 24 hours, and no hip inflammation! This is intriguing!

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Run Through the Rain at Fall Creek

Last Sunday's planned Oakland Half Marathon got a "nope" vote from my hip when I was awakened at 5am by Rick Ferrell's call. Instead, I got some work done in the morning, then in the afternoon did my own low-key easy trail run (10 miles) on my favorite loop at Fall Creek State Park near Felton. A bit sore on my hip towards the end, but nothing serious - kept up the pace all the way since it was raining harder as time went on, and I brought no jacket or wool cap. More pix are here

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Low Key Finale - Mt Hamilton Hill Climb

The Arctic Oscillation in late November decided to wander down and cover California. It was chilly! Ferrell and I double checked at the last and the race was not cancelled, although there were warnings of black ice up near the summit. I bought some wimpy (all they had at Outdoor World) gloves the night before, but had no toe covers for my cleats. So, I'd be darn cold coming down, but OK going up. Before the start, I told Rick that if I hit black ice, I'd not go further - a slip out and hitting the pavement, especially on the downride, could crack my hip - not a good risk. Thankfully, I didn't see black ice till almost the top, just a corner before the driveway up to the old 36" scope. Rick had already topped out and was coming down and met me just as I was arriving at that spot, near a driveway for one of the mountain staff at Lick Observatory. In the last mile, I saw a number of riders heading down, and many were whimpering loudly about their numb fingers, toes, and one fellow exclaimed "my brain is so cold it hurts!". It was snowy at the summit. BUT, still a great morning and great way to start Thanksgiving! Ferrell continued on from Scotts Valley to SF for family get togethers, and I headed to Diane's for a feast with the Delucchi's.