Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaalllllllllllll !!

Got my running goal for 2012 met, this fine Christmas day - 600 miles! Wonderful time with the Delucchi's and friends last night - that was my Christmas bonding time. Today would be for work, and for a good long run. The skies were dark and getting darker, with the first few sprinkles coming down ahead of a powerful storm. Not good for a bike ride, but perfect for a local run, up into the Pogonip to the University and back. Met some interesting mushrooms, ancient gravestones, fallen trees, lots of mud puddles, Bay trees, redwoods, and an occasional other runner getting in some inspiring miles. Brought my pocket camera for a few shots. http://www.cabrillo.edu/~rnolthenius/triathlon/Xmas12/index.html

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I'm STILL swamped! Literally, actually, today. Just got back from the North Face Challenge championship at Marin Headlands. The half marathon, alas, was cancelled when high winds blew over the potties and the main tent etc. Our gang, alone, persevered and ran it anyway! Soggy fun! Pix page to follow, after school is out and I have some time...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Scar Tissue?

That's my new theory - I've been working harder on using the foam roller and also my 'dumb bell' roller on my left leg. Especially, I'm using it to work the upper inside of my thigh, where the psoas attaches. This is only accessible by the foam roller. This was a decision after a frustrating Morgan Hill Half Marathon, which I turned around on at mile 4.0, turning it into a 8 miler. Much frustration! I felt my left psoas and IT band go bad after the first mile, and only got to mile 4 just to greet Derek B who came out to say high (he lives on the course, near Chesboro Reservoir). Miserable!  But since then, I've been running very well. Dave D told me he'd been rollering every day, which is something I have not tried. Time to try. And it's working. I did 13 miles in Nicene last weekend, more running mid week, and did 9 miles to/from UCSC (and an IGPP talk on solar system formation theory) yesterday afternoon - and feel fine! Will post recent events a little later.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"I'll be Back"

I've been doing much, but no time to post! Sorry about that. Briefly, I've done photo workshops, a graze, Field astronomy classes at Mt. Lassen and at Pinnacles National Monument, half marathons, and today - my first "Low Key Hill Climb" time trial on my Serrotta, with Ferrell. I've got pix, all waiting for me to work on. Alas, my new class on "Planets and Climate" is taking all my available time (that and Cabrillo Observatory work, teaching of course). So, don't give up! "I'll Be Back"....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Santa Barbara Pier-to-Peak Half Marathon

So, in February I did a half marathon all downhill, at Death Valley. Labor Day weekend, I did one all UPhill, in Santa Barbara. A different experience, but no less exciting. Ferrell and I had planned this one all year, and in fact Rick had paid his entry 3 years ago and injuries had prevented actually doing the race until this year. I had 2 broken ribs, fresh from a bike tumble 2 weeks earlier, and was not at all sure I could do this. But in the end, did it, enjoyed it, and captured the adventure in pictures here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fav Ride in Pix - 60 Miles in the Santa Cruz Mtns.

I've done this many many times this year. A great Saturday ride - having done so many times I worry I'll get bored soon and come up with something else. So I brought my camera this last ride, Aug 18, and captured it in pix.
As for my hip. It's just fine as far as bone and metal. Still some nags on the IT band area if I run too far. Work'in it all out, slowly...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nicene 16 Mile Run - End to End

Jul 22: Ferrell is training for the Pikes Peak Half Marathon in August; long uphill runs are called for! I was recruited to join the big plan - to run Nicene Marks from end to end, and top to bottom. Buzzard Lagoon to Santa Rosalia Mountain, down to West Ridge and on out, including the side trails. We could each do a one-way by meeting in the middle where I'd hand off my car key. It all worked! See the pix and story here.

BRICK in the Sky

July 14: There's a fun little race done every year, up at Radinovich Farms on Highland Way in our Santa Cruz Mountains. Beautiful venue, and close enough for the opportunity to do a long ride and run all in one swell foop. I'd recovered enough from June Lake that I was eager to go for it. Rick Ferrell and I both rode up. I spent the night at Cabrillo Observatory and got up early to drive down to InShape before 6am, and rode up Old San Jose Rd to the top and on up to Radinovich. Pick up the story and pix here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Max Pain does the June Lake Tri

After years of pondering, the stars aligned and Rick Ferrell, Dave Slothower and I did the June Lake Triathlon. Rick was in great shape, even doing the Firecracker 10K just 3 days before our race. I was still recovering from a half marathon the week before, and a 60 mile ride 4 days pre-race. Left side IT band and thence into my left hip psoas area, were the problem after getting onto a tough, steep 10K trail run into the high Sierra. The good news is that the rest of the competition in my age group mostly got scared away from this race - so I took 3rd! My first podium time for a triathlon!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Venus - a Beauty!

OK - not a training post this time. I want to share a great photo for the one/only Venus transit of my lifetime, yesterday. Got shots at Cabrillo Observatory, and at the Santa Cruz lighthouse, and at Gazos Creek where I calculated where to be to see the sun setting with Venus behind the historic Pigeon Pt Lighthouse. Here's the compleat story in pix

Friday, May 25, 2012

And, the Wildflower Triathlon Too

Rick, Dave D, and Dan joined me for this year's first triathlon - the Wildflower (Olympic) at Lake San Antonio on May 6. This was the second adventure of the weekend, as Thur-Sat was the annual reunion of the (circa 1970's) UCLA Sierra Club, at Pt. Reyes. I hurried home, changed, and met Dave and then Rick and Dan. Ferrell got us a couple of rooms at the Fort, and after our usual burrito stuffing in King City, arrived at Fort Hunter-Liggett. I did a mile run into the hills at sunset, looking down on San Antonio Mission, and enjoyed the extra large full moon rising over William Randolf Hearst's Hacienda, before prep'ing my gear bag and getting some sleep. Next morning - a Great race! Rick took 5th place and Dave D took 3rd place in the 50's age group. I took 16th in the 60's age group, with a strong run as I passed lots of people who passed me on the bike. Pix page will arrive sometime later this summer, on my usual webpage.

The Chico Wildflower Century Ride

April 30 - My good L.A. friend Dave Wyman and I have made this an annual tradition - joining thousands of like cyclists enjoying the rivers, hills, and volcanic drama of the Chico countryside. My Santa Cruz friends learned what a great experience this ride is, last year, and this year we all enjoyed it together. Dave, brother Dan, and the Delucchi's, Joyce and Dino, Nancy and Jim. I've got pix, of course, but so far no time to make a photo page. I'll say, it was a delight once again. I rode with the Wyman's till the last aid station, at Durham, then short-cut back to Chico and a long cleansing dunk in the Bidwell Park pool before rejoining compadres at the finish line, for 88 miles total. Dave and Dan did the full 100.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Sunday Ride to a Santa Cruz Mountain Icon

Nursing my nagging psoas strain from the Santa Cruz Half Marathon a week earlier, I had cabin fever on this beautiful spring day, and at noon I couldn't take it any more. Injured or not, I had to get out there. Something not too tough, but get me out into the redwoods. Ah! I've got it - a ride up Branciforte, over Mt. View, and down Laurel Glen to Castelegno's historic little store near their organic farm. By the time I coasted on down along Moore's Creek to Castelegno's, I had a big smile and was looking forward to a little Continental lunch outdoors - part of a baguette of sourdough and a jar of bruschetta and olive oil. Quite delicious. And a nice little 20 mile ride.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Santa Cruz Half (empty) Marathon - the remains

This was my first Santa Cruz Half, joined by Dave D the day after we celebrated his 50th at Vino Cruz. No celebrating today for me.... my left psoas issue returned with a vengeance, despite feeling my fittest and most ready for a fast race. 2hr 43min, not what I'd hoped. Here's the story.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Solvang Century Rides Again

This century ride is one of my favorites; the countryside is green rolling hills and canyons - coastal California at its best. My good friend Dave Wyman from LA makes it an annual tradition as well, and as he's an awesome photographer, I can always count on some great pix to remember the day. My own pocket camera has failed to respond to repeated attempts at resucitation and is being read its last rites now. So all photos on my page are Dave's. I felt great, did the 101 miles and 5,000 ft of climbing in 7hr 15min of riding. A great weekend getaway and adventure - see it here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mt. Hamilton Classic

The oldest permanently occupied mountain top observatory in the United States is Lick Observatory - a place of many fond memories during my grad school and early years as an astronomer. This past Saturday, our intrepid cyclers determined it was THE day for riding up this Bay Area classic - Dave and Diane are training for the Death Ride, and I have the Solvang Century the following weekend. Dino is, of course, ALWAYS up for a mega-ride, and the rest of our gang as well. All went well, and me and my little bottle of "5hr Energy" felt great, despite being at the 36hr point from a rather tough 10 mile hilly run. Enjoy the commentary and a few pix here http://www.cabrillo.edu/~rnolthenius/OtherAdv/MtHam-Mar12/index.html

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Magical Beach Run

We had a warm-as-summer winter day on Wednesday, and a sunset run to and along the beach turned into once of those delicious experiences you can't predict. The warm weather brought out the can't-wait-for-summer beach kids, and there was also a rare conjunction of planets, stars, and the moon, all reflected in the shimmering wet sand of a low tide. I had my camera and captured the moments...

Toughest Test Yet - Death Valley

Two weeks ago our Santa Cruz Track Club gang combined with the Tullamore Dew Running Club for an epic adventure in Death Valley - an annual tradition but a first for me. Trail running, swapping stories, and beer'n'quesadilla's - it was one hell of a great weekend. The centerpiece was a marathon, or half marathon, from Rhyolite over Red Pass and down into Death Valley via Titus Canyon. I did 12 miles, nearly 5,000 ft of downhill running, on that run. Gratifyingly, I felt pretty good and survived it just fine. And - no ill effects on my metal hip. Remember that just 4 years ago at my surgery, my bone density was so low that a measuring screw into my trochantor crumbled, and density was off-the-scale low; only half of normal. My attention to proper nutrition and bone-building impact exercise has paid off!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mission 10 Miler Smack-Down

Well shoot - my first ever race take-down. Perhaps I got a little overeager after a great race at the Rio Resolution 4 weeks ago. I've done half-marathon runs every weekend since, and evidently that's too much at this point; psoas tendinitis came back with a vengence. This race wasn't on my list, but it really sounded like an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning and I joined the Delucchi's for the adventure. See the story here...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Berry Falls Test

A few days after the Rio Resolution run, and I was feeling the results in my legs; stiff and not feeling like running. I tried a 2 mile easy jog to the beach and it turned into 1 mile. Thursday I did limp through 2 miles, but was not enjoying it much. Turns out the weekly long run for the SC Track Club was going to be one of my favorites; the 13 mile run out to Berry Creek Falls from the beach at Waddell Creek, on Sunday. Sunday came, 7:30am, and I did everything I could to pull the covers back over my head and tell myself not to go run. I was tired! But my kayak was still on the RAV4 roof from a delightful day on Elkhorn Slough with my visiting friend Maria the day before, and I thought I might enjoy kayaking up Waddell Creek a ways after the run. In the end, I did, at the last minute, yank myself out of bed and into my car, and met the gang outside Safeway on Mission St. 20 miles later, up the coast, we launched off. I didn't know whether I'd blow up in the first mile, or would loosen up and enjoy a nice long run through the redwoods and alders beside Waddell Creek. It turned out to be the latter, and the falls were extraordinary in the filtered morning light. Wish my Lumix were working so I could've captured the rainbows set off by the bouncing cascades lit by beams of sunlight against the dark rock.
I confess I was feeling pretty beat during the last 2 miles. But still, I was able to demo to Antoinette how engaging / disengaging the glutes, as I was getting good at doing, made a huge difference in my running speed. The story with a few pix is here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Numerical Vanity

A few days before Christmas, I looked with consternation at my training totals. I'd trained hard for my Ironman year of '10 and there was no way I was going to catch my cycling totals for '11. However I was already almost 100 miles ahead on my running. So that left my swimming as the tie breaker. At the time, I had only ~112,000 yds and needed another 26,000 yds to pass last year. Could I do it? I had a shoulder injury in early Fall which put me farther and farther behind. But it was better now... still, that'd require 4,000 yds every day this past week to accomplish. It's now Jan 1, and I can say "mission accomplished". With 1800 yds Dec 24, and then 4,000 avg/day through Friday, I needed just 3100 yds on Sunday Dec 31 to hit 140,000 yds for the year and comfortably set the bar for the coming year. Got it done, with no injury aggravation to the shoulder, just a little bit of a sore neck from all the side breathing. No problemo.

A Day 15 years in the Making

What a rewarding way to start '12! - for the first time in 15 years, I've run a race and been able to go flat-out and be limited only by my cardio conditioning and not be hobbled by injuries from remaining muscle imbalances from my pre-surgery decade of cripple-dom. The last piece of the puzzle was getting my glutes firing, as I've been working on for some time now, and it has finally paid off. The Carmel Rio Resolution 10K run, an annual tradition, is a very hilly race and has plenty of potential to trash your legs, calves, etc. But not this year - what a great feeling! And no post-race hobble-dom either. 58:06 for my race, which is many minutes ahead of prior races. Here's my story page. Those of you who have newly resurfaced hips, or are pondering cementless resurfacing, I say - go for it! I enthusiastically recommend my surgeon, who pioneered this surgery and has the most outstanding success rate in the profession - Thomas P. Gross in Columbia, South Carolina. I'm finally back. I was on crutches or barely walking for 10 solid years after corticosteroid-induced osteo-necrosis wrecked my left hip. Now, at age 59, I'm finally fully back as a triathlete. Still work to do on strengthening muscle groups, especially those glutes, but the motivation remains strong and I'm looking forward to '12.