It’s been a while….

…since I’ve written a post on my blog.  So much has happen since.  Just a quick update on things, the hip has finally healed.  It took over 8 months!  That was the longest 8 months of my life.  Since then I’ve completed a few major races, one of them being The Berlin Marathon.  I had the time of my life out there but, would I ever do the race again, probably not.  The course was just too crowded.  But don’t get me wrong, it is definitely one race any marathoner should complete.

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Another spectacular race was Antelope Canyon 55k!!  This was the most beautiful and challenging race I have ever ran.  The course takes you out to Horseshoe Bend and also into the slot canyons.  Over 23 of the 35 miles were on sand!!  Definitely wear some sand gaiters.  These are the ones that I purchased.  Raid Light Gaiters!  I took them to a local cobbler and he was able to stitch the velcro to the tops of my shoe and they worked out beautifully!  I did not have any issues with the sand entering my shoes at all!
Check out some photos from the race.

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In the last year, I have been really focused on yoga and just trying to get stronger overall.  You know what they say, it will keep you injury free.  knock on wood 🙂

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So what is on the agenda for 2017?  I have my sights set on Fontana Half.  There are a few goals that I’d like to accomplish at this race.  My training has been going ok.  I hope I can continue it with a little over a month to go.  The other race on the list is Skyline to Sea 50k.  This will be a lot of fun since over 20 Go FARian’s have signed up to do this race.  It will be more exciting to see a few folks accomplish their first 50k!  I can’t wait!!

That is it for now…I hope to be able to contribute more this coming year!

Until next time!

Getting back on (the) track…..

I did my first track workout since Aug. of last year and boy did I have a hard time with it.  My doc said that I should slowly incorporate my normal activities and see how I would feel.  So that means I can start doing track workouts!  Yeah!!  It felt so good to be out there on that oval thing we call a track.
I took the track workout at about 70%.  I didn’t want to push it too much.  Overall, I felt pretty good and the most important thing was that my hip felt fine the next day.

I am becoming more hopeful that I will continue to recovery from this hip injury.

I’ve been seeing the folks at Elite Chiropractic & Sports Clinic for a few months now and I can definitely see a drastic improvement.  I highly recommend these guys.

I’ve also added some weight training to my routine.  I can’t believe I’m even going to say this but I actually like going to the gym.  I used to hate going but it’s growing on me.  I’m just using the machines for now and really concentrating on my hip area.  If you have any tips for a gym newbie, please feel free to leave me a comment.

The plan in the next coming months is to continue building my base.  I’m averaging about 10-15 miles a week and will slowly build upon that.  I think adding in the weights twice a week will really help me to get stronger.

I’m really looking forward to what 2016 has to offer!!!

Being injured…..

We all go through it…..and if you haven’t yet, most will bound to go through it.

I’m sure most of you all know that I have withdrawn from The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler this December.  The funny thing is that, I’m actually okay with it.  I realized that in order to continue to run the way I want to run, I have to sacrifice a few races.  And in reality, I actually don’t look at it like I’m sacrificing anything.  Maybe because I’ve found other avenues to get my fitness in, like Bikram Yoga.  I feel like my yoga practice has taken on a new level and I am so grateful for that.

I’ve been dealing with a muscle imbalance (at least that is what the doctor has told me) in my left hip flexor.  I started to notice a little twinge in my left hip area shortly after The San Francisco Marathon late July and shortly after that, I realized that I needed to give it a rest when it just wasn’t getting better.  After a few weeks of acupuncture, seeing the chiropractor, stretching, icing, and taking anti-inflammatories, you name it, I’ve tried it, I realized that this was something serious. So in the end, I cancelled all of my races til the end of the year.

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I’ve been doing some PT but in all honestly, I think resting is what’s really helping it.

So what do you do when you are injured and all your running friends are putting in long miles on the weekend…….sleep in!  LOL!!  That’s what I’ve been doing.  I’m taking the time to come back stronger.

So what is the lesson here…..Listen to your body!  It knows what it’s talking about!  There will always be another race.  #berlinorbust

Until next time!

NFEC Training Officially Begins!!

Today kicks off my 20 week training program for the North Face Endurance Challenge.  My main focus over the last few months has been trying to build a solid base so that as the weeks go by, I can slowly increase my miles.  I’ve also been trying to focus on building more leg and core strength.  I’ve also added some swimming, once a week, into the mix.  I really do need to get into the pool more often.  🙂

Here are a few pictures from some of the runs we’ve been doing.

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Photo Credits – J. Vasquez, M. Newell, M. Suto, M. Van, J. Hayes, I. Medrano

We are also coming to the end of the training program for The San Francisco Marathon.  I am extremely proud of each and every single one of these folks.  Trust in your training and I will see you guys on race morning!

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Photo Credit – J. Jossis

Short post…..until next time!

Double Dipsea, twice as much fun!!!

I’ve heard about this race, along with the famous Dipsea Race for quite some time, but never really thought about running it.  I was just so nervous about the single tracks, the “faster” runners passing you and those stairs…and more stairs!!!

So naturally when Brazen Racing partnered up with DSE (Dolphin South End Runners Club) I felt much more comfortable.  Something about Brazen that makes you feel like family.  I also thought this would be a good preview of what’s to come for NorthFace.  Leading up the race, I felt really good.  I didn’t have to do anything spectacular, just make the cut times.  But I do have to say, reading some of the posts on the Be Bold, Be Brazen FB site kind of freaked me out!!  This race sells out pretty quickly so you really have to register the minute registration opens up.  This year, it sold out with 24 hours and there is no waitlist!

My buddy George and I heading out early Saturday morning.  He had plans on riding up Mt. Tam so it worked out that while he was doing that, I was going to torture myself and run this race.  For those that are not familiar with this race, it is a handicap start time.  Runners are grouped together based on gender and age.

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This makes it for a very interesting race to say the least, especially on single track trails and with it being the Double Dipsea, that means runners will be heading back on those single tracks.  This was probably the most nervous part of the for me, but overall, it wasn’t so bad.  I would just step to the side as the faster runners came by and gave them room to pass.  For the most part, everyone was pretty courteous when passing.

The race starts and finishes at Stinson Beach and the course takes you over some of the most beautiful trails our area has to offer.  There are 7 aid stations, all very well stocked and staffed with some of the very best volunteers.

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Overall, I felt like I had a good race.  I had no expectations coming into this other than to have fun.  This was more of a “how are my legs going to feel on these stairs when I do NorthFace.” So I have to admit that around mile 4, I was having some slight (just a little J) reservations about NorthFace.  Only because I knew that this part of the race was in the latter parts of NF and of course my legs were going to be extremely tired.  But when I got to those stairs, all of that subsided.  I actually loved those stairs. Of course I’m saying this now, but I’ll probably be cursing them come December!  LOL!!

Until next time!

Nutrition – Tailwind, Coke (I know I said I was going to quit, but I lied!  J), Salt pack and few pretzels at each AS.

60th Run Fontana Days

“Fontana’s Half Marathon is known as the fastest half marathon due to the gradual downward slope of the course as well as one of the oldest half marathons in the US.  There is an elevated drop of 2,125 feet from start to finish.”  This was my 3rd year in a row doing this race.  The drop in elevation is one of the main reasons as to why I choose to do this race.  And also because I have family in the Southern CA area so it’s another excuse to visit family and get a race in……RUNcation!!  This was also the 60th anniversary of this race!

Since this race is held on a Sat., I decided to fly into LA on Thursday night.  Warning – LAX is undergoing some major construction so the flight attendant told us that most, if not all flights, flying into LAX is going to have some delay.  Our flight was delayed for about an hour.  No worries though, that allowed me the opportunity to watch the Warriors win Game 1 of the NBA Finals!  #gowarriors  After landing in LAX, I meet Shauna at baggage claim.  She flew in from Colorado and we were lucky enough to plan our flights to be around the same time.

Bib pickup for the race is typically held on Friday late afternoon.  I was lucky enough that my cousin’s coworker was also running the race so he picked up my bib for me.

I was also lucky enough to pay another visit to INKnBURN’s office. We were given a tour of the INB facility and wow, let me say, this operation is amazing.  Seeing their production and office has made me even a bigger fan!!  Each and every single piece of clothing is hand-made!  Check out their story here!!

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Race Morning

The race starts at 7:30am.  Logistically, this race has a lot going on as it is a point to point course.  Buses start boarding at 5:00am and the last bus for the half is at 6:20am.  The bus ride can take up to about 45mins so you do want to plan accordingly.  This race is also normally a hot weather race, but can be fairly cold at the start.  The start line is near Applewhite Campground in Lytle Creek.  Those first 6 miles is a fast and steep downhill.  It did take a lot of discipline to not go crazy those first 6 miles.  I kept telling myself to just relax and for the next 10k, let’s just cruise.  I kept hearing Noel’s voice about “effort”.  We had a conversation regarding using “effort” a few weeks back.  I wanted to maintain about a 7:30 pace.

First 6 miles – 7:24, 7:23, 7:23, 7:18, 7:30 and 7:25

I was pretty happy with my effort at this point.  I didn’t feel like I was really having to work too hard and was just reserving the energy for the latter miles.

Once you come out of the canyons, it’s just a straight shot down Sierra Road.  Warning – This course is not very scenic at all.  Just lots of dry and empty land, but I have notice some changes over the last 3 years.  There is more construction along Sierra Road and I can only imagine that in the next 5 years how this race (stretch of road) will change.  The last 7.1 miles of the course is a gradual downhill with some undulation, ie: freeway overpass.

Miles 7-13 – 7:23, 7:18, 7:36, 7:23, 7:22, 7:30 and 7:03.

Official time – 1:37:02 – New half PR!!

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I couldn’t be happier with how I ran this race.  This course is unbelievably fast but with that, you really have to train to run those downhills.  They can take a toll on your quads.  I would highly recommend doing this race to anyone!

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Nutrition – SunRype Strawberry Banana Fruit Strip, Salted Watermelon GU and 6oz of Tailwind Nutrition

GULP……..So I signed up for my first 50 miler!!

And of all the ones that I choose to be my first……NorthFace!  Yup, that’s right, let’s just get the hard one done and out of the way.  My original plan was to sign up for AR50 but I had another commitment so that was out of the question.

I know that it is 10 months away but mentally I am already preparing myself for this.  This will be the longest distance that I am committing myself to running so I think mentally preparing right now will help in the long run.  What do they say, “It’s all mental, right?!?”

Last night, I got the idea of creating a dream board.  Putting it up there, so I can see it every day and setting a goal!  Here’s a picture of it –

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Ok so, it’s not a dream board but more like a dream door!  LOL!  I figure I have to walk through that door every single day so I will have no choice but to stare at it.  How’s that for a reminder?!  LOL!!

My plan is to add to it once a month and see what I end up with come December!  Stay tuned, I’ll post the final look by the end of the year.  It will be interesting to see, as the months go by, how my attitude and mood will change!

So on the calendar this weekend is a 20 miler at Mt. Madonna Park in Gilroy.  I’ve ran there a couple of times before but it has been a while.  I decided that I’m going to really work on my nutrition this time around and went ahead and purchased some Tailwind Nutrition.  I went ahead and purchased the Tailwind Challenge that they are offering.  What the heck, why not right?  I’ve heard really good things about it so I figure I will give it a shot.  I will let you guys know how it all pans out.

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Until next time!