Wednesday, December 28, 2011

UCLA Sierra Clubbers - Paddling Tomales Bay

Got a new adventure posted. More 'yaking, at Pt. Reyes - my annual get together with my Sierra Club clan from UCLA days. Enjoy it here. I'm looking at my training totals for '11 and looking to up my numbers. It's too late to try and beat my Ironman Year of '10 in cycling, but I've already had a better running year. The tie-break is swimming yardage. I was quite behind, but it was do-ably within reach, so I made the commit - All I need is 4,000 yds in the pool each day this week. Monday's and Tuesday's are in the bag. Today will meet with Ferrell for more, and as long as my right shoulder stays focused on proper injury-free form, I should succeed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Four Bridges Half Marathon

My running continues to improve - slowly. Boy, there's a lot of muscle groups and muscle skills requiring conscious attention to fix. My running form in the old days wasn't perfect, but I had healthy joints and that was enough. Now, with a metal hip and 10 years of disuse to overcome, it's been quite the adventure to learn how to run, really for the first time.
Focus on Glutes! Dave D sent me an excellent article "Weak Glutes: The Plague of the Mediocre Athlete". Wow, sounds like someone I know. But I've been putting my mind to it with typical Nolthenius determination - and it's making a difference. Focusing on firing the glutes on each stride, just that.... visualizing the contraction, not actually MAKING it contract, has been enough to make for a good burn, when for so long I run and everything BUT my BUTT gets burned. My stride has lengthened about 8%, without feeling like it has, and my speed has improved as well. I'm hopeful that my future long runs will not leave me so crippled for a week or two like in the past.
A good experience was my run at the Four Bridges Half Marathon in Folsom, with bud's Dave and Rick. Check out the pix and the entertaining story.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Punishing 10K in Beautiful Carmel

Last weekend Ferrell and I motored to Carmel for the Stevenson Run in the Forest 10K. The plan was to do the 10K, scarf a big post-race breakfast at the very tony school, drop Rick off at REI at Fort Ord where he'd do a long bike back to Aptos, and I'd drive home and immediately pack my mountain bike for a S24O with Kent. I hoped to put in a strong time as my running as come along. Yow - that first mile was a killer! steep downhill all the way to the ocean, and running it fast on asphalt was not good for my poor hip. Big mistake! Suffered the rest of the race with hip pain, and the rest of the week too. Also got run straight into a big tree by a tour bus! (Hey, go ahead and run me over if you need to; no problem - I know you've got a schedule to keep.) Note to self - no more fast steep downhill runs! Feeling a little better today, a week later. Did a 50 mile ride up Eureka Canyon yesterday, and a mountain bike ride to come today. I'll detail my adventure with Kent in a future post, when pix are posted. Alas, dead camera for the 10K and no pix. Sorry!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Summer Tri Season

My triathlon season is officially - done! I did bits and pieces of several events since my last posting. I've got pix and story for 4 done and ready for your enjoyment... The Sandman Tri, The Santa Cruz Sprint Triathlon, The Santa Cruz International Triathlon, The Santa Barbara Triathlon. Also have pix from the Roughwater Swim and the Big Kahuna Triathlon, but I've still got to pick through and make pages for these. Sometime soon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer S24O's....

S24O's.... "short, 24hr o'ernighters". A fun term for a fun little getaway. LA friend Kent was up to visit his Santa Cruz mountain cabin and make some repairs - and to test out gear for overnight bike camping trips. Amazing, but except for the '96 Big Sur Ride, I've never done an overnight bike-camping trip. Sounded fun and so off we went. Here's the narrative and pix for our trips to Henry Cowell Redwoods, and to Nicene Marks State Park.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Perfect Trail Run

This past week I've had sore knees till today. Probably from the steep downhill through the streets at the Firecracker 10K on Monday. Just general, vague soreness, not sharp pain as if I'd broken something. I've done a couple of short runs mid week but felt stiff and slow on both. So, it was a big surprise today when, after an ocean swim and heading over to Nicene to hopefully do a long run.... that I actually pulled it off. While I didn't bring enough calories because I just knew that my desire (run the West Ridge Trail) was going to flame-out early (a single Larabar: dates and cashew). But maybe it was the cold water swim, or maybe time just finally healed 'em, but my knees were fine. I did wear my camelback so I wouldn't run dry at least. I took the side trails to the steel bridge, on to the West Ridge trail start, and on up to the ridge and along all the way to the Hoffmann Connector. Here I did a short stretch session, then retraced. That's 14.4 miles - my longest run since my hip resurfacing 4 years ago. My glutes are still underpowered it seems, as the return run had my left psoas predictably pretty sore. 2 aspirin + 2 ibuprofen + an hour of icing seems to have done the trick. Funny Jones after I finished the run - I craved protein. Any protein. Drove straight to Aptos Natural Foods and got a can of tuna and a chicken vege wrap and ate both immediately on the spot. THAT felt better!

The Firecracker 10K

First time I've done this local classic in about 20 years. Tough race, very hilly. I've got a photo page with narrative here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

'Yaking, Biking, and Philosophizing at Pt Reyes

Great weekend with my German friend Fernando, in the USA for just a month. I met him at the hostel at Miami Beach back in '00, when I was getting growth hormone injections in a vain attempt to save my left hip, and he was a recent grad student in theoretical astrophysics. Times have changed, and he's now a successful software engineer at SAP in Frankfurt, with a recent philosophical bent - perfect travelling and conversational companion for me! Enjoy the photos here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Wildflower Triathlon - on a broken toe - doh!

Broke my toe 10 days before the race. My first fracture ever! But it was deserved - I whacked it but GOOD against an incline bench while running. Doc said I could still do the race, but it would hurt like hell. He was right! And I'd paid my $$ and this was a classic so it was game on. Follow the adventure w/ pix here...

Also got some photos at the Slug Run at UCSC (as volunteer). More adventures to post, stay tuned.

Also got more data on my hip recovery. See the latest posts on my chronology webpage to see how my bone density and metal ion levels look here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bone Trouble

Got my new dexascan results. Insurance only pays for one scan per 2 years, which seems counterproductive given my osteoporosis. I was as confident as could be this time - I've got a 1000 miles of running under my belt, calcium/magnesium supplements above the RDA, and 2000 IU of Vitamin D for the past year or so. All the ingredients for further additions to my bone density.... so what happened?? My lower spine actually LOST density, and my right hip was unchanged. Couldn't test the left (operated) hip what with the metal. I will say that the pelvic X-ray around the same time shows the left side now at least as dense as the right side, so that's a big improvement. But why no improvement in my right side or spine? Did ALL available bone building go into my left leg ONLY? 4 years now, post surgery. On the positive side, I've ramped up my running as we are into triathlon season. Did 8 miles today to go with 13 miles earlier in the week. Felt great, as did all the recent road and mountain biking. Oh, the other bone trouble - a broken toe banging it into my steel incline bench a month ago. Made running the Wildflower more adventurous. I'll save that for the next post...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fort Ord Dirt

Finally had some time to put together a page. Fort Ord for me was Terra Icognita; never been, and now I know - it's a great place for mountain bikers. Well worth the extra miles driving out there (even at $4/ga). Tons of trails, and even some which have been cleared of unexploded ordnance. Enjoy the pix of this mountain biking adventure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sparse Start for '11

After a good January (well, except for the dog attack), February was a bust. A total - BUST! Got a bad chest bug which was going around town and my lungs were totally shot for the entire month. Boy, the bugs out there now aren't the old fashioned low-key cold bugs that go away after a few days - they're nasty and don't go down without a big long fight. I'm finally feeling better and starting to ramp up for upcoming triathlons. I'll post some pix of recent adventures soon. Meanwhile, I've got a page up for the Jan 1 Rio Resolution 10K Race. Running's going OK again. I'm getting some new tests done to make sure my hip is adapting to all the running with no problem. I have no symptoms to say otherwise. Tested my glutes today left and right side and they were as nearly equal now as I've yet seen post-surgery, so that's good news. I've computerized my training numbers and finally posted my 2010 totals at right.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Doggone it!

Well here's a first for me. I'm doing my Sunday long run at Nicene Marks, about a quarter mile up the West Ridge trail, puffing hard - and here are two dogs off the leash, (with owner and family) going for me in attack mode, snarling. I try and get off the trail hoping their momentum will carry them on by, but one makes a side lunge at me and grabs a big bite into my right side. Yelp! THAT hurt! Some choice curses came out and I scramble for a stick to defend myself before the owner calls off the dog, grabbing it. Man, that was TOTALLY uncalled for! Several laws broken to pieces, and I'm prosecuting. After I got her name and phone, I loped on up to the next stream crossing and washed it as well as I could. Miles from my car, it was a while before I could get home. Got some photos, including this one the next morning.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Racing Again

It seems this blog has become pretty single-mindedly focused on training and surgery recovery. I suppose that's OK. But it's not really sharing my philosophical side. I may have to make a second blog for that, or reorganize this one... but for now - it's been 2 months and I should note that I've run 2 half marathons and 2 10K races during this time - my running is continuing to improve. The Silicon Valley Half is chronical'd here, and the Marin North Face Challenge Half Marathon is here. The Turkey Trot 10K went badly on an easy course - hip pain with a vengence, but cleared up in 2 days thank God. The Rio Resolution 6.3 mile run went much better on a much tougher course - progress! I've also started Bikram yoga, which has been challenging.