Ooh!…. I Want to DO THAT!

Its funny how our running takes us from you’re doing that?  SUPER CRAZY COOL! – to – Ooh! I want to do that!

For me that moment was after my Disneyworld Marathon Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon in 4 days) I felt under achieved/accomplished for a number of reasons that I won’t go into ALL the reasons, for the number is vast. But, I felt the need to run a Marathon again because I can’t stand this feeling of not meeting my own expectations; it was not a time thing it was a performance thing, I just didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal; that I wasn’t able to test my abilities to their fullest; it was fun and that just doesn’t seem right.

Since my running re-boot I’ve built up to the point where running 16, 18 or even 20 mile long runs doesn’t really faze me much at all; I run try and run 6 miles minimum every other day during the week days at lunch or when getting home from work and i’m mostly successful, or was till I hit this slump these past to two weeks, and my long run on a Friday or Saturday. Sunday is always my rest day – because well, it’s Sunday; the Sabbath. But back to Ooh! I want to do that!

SO here I go I’m announcing my goal and dream to the world. Last February I ran across the movie called UNBREAKABLE: Western States 100 that was MY  Ooh, I want to do that! moment. I had already been thinking about doing Ultra Trail Run rather then a Marathon, just because I already did a marathon and it didn’t seem far enough. But this movie put me over the top. I want to do the Western States 100  and that fact scares the crap out of me. But i’m also a realest I know 100 mile trail run is just something you jump into so I’ll start out slow, a 50K is my first goal because its more then a Marathon but less than a 50 miler. Because I know absolutely nothing about Ultra trail, support teams, drop bags and all the other stuff I’m starting my journey to Ultra today by looking for a nutritionist and an ultra coach.  I’m already 57 years old but all I have to do is believe and even at my age my goal is attainable..

What’s your Ooh! I want to do that!?

 

 

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Running Partner Wanted, Inquire Within

These past weeks since my last 1/2 Marathon I’ve had trouble getting back into my running schedule, I’ve had a number of false starts. I guess like Paul (Unlearn What You Have Learned) I’ve lost my Mojo too.

Its not that I don’t feel like running, on the contrary I feel like running all the time; I want tor run. but for some odd reason I just don’t.  Always the same too; Lunchtime I look at the clock and think time to go run, then I finish that last one thing and its to late to run, so I decide to run when I get home.

When I pull up in front of the house I think, okay i’ll get dressed and run. Once in the house my mind distracts me, but keeps that thought “I need to run” rolling around in my brain. And of course it get dark and I think i’ll run tomorrow morning before work. This morning I woke a 4:50am and thought I should get up and run but I didn’t; leaving my warm bed had lost its appeal.

Crap, what is wrong with me! My fear is i’m going to go so long without running that my anxiety is going to kick in and then i’m going to struggle to get back a ‘normal’ state.

As I was cooking breakfast for my son this morning I thought how nice it would be to have a running friend to keep me running.

Someone to run with at least once a week would be cool but I’ve yet to find someone that actually runs at my oldman slow pace or is interested in running 6 to 10 miles at a time. The runners I know either pace WAY faster then me or run 3 or less miles per run.

SO I’m stuck… I need to run SO I WILL at lunch today even though I’ve my swim training at 6:00PM. But how do you find running friends?

I looked on Craig’s List but I guess it’s not a place runners frequent. Perhaps I’ll get a running shirt that has written on the front and back ‘Running Partner Wanted, Inquire Within’

 

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Snap Shot in Time: Cold and Alone

It was cold that night. Like most nights in San Francisco the cold fog rolls in just a few hours before dusk, the fog sticks as if attracted like a magnet to steel. As darkness dropped the night seemed colder then most, maybe it was or maybe it was the overwhelming despair of being 16 and not knowing what to do or where to go, regardless it was wet – it was cold.

The straps of my backpack stuffed with all I had in the world cut into my shoulders as I threaded down the empty gray sidewalks of the city in tattered department store sneakers that failed to warm my feet. As gray faded to black I walked passing homes whose windows illuminated with the warmth of light or danced with flickers of light from a television. I thought how nice it would be to sit in their warmth as the sound of my steps echoed in the corridor created by the houses each butted next to each other.

The walk was long but I hardly noticed; my brain was numb no longer wanting to think about why I was in the streets alone; I was just tired. Just ahead I could see the seawall and hear the crashing of the wave’s against the shore at Ocean Beach, home for at least tonight. At the base of the stairs, mostly covered now in sand from years of the oceans rise and retreat, I found a place against the wall facing the ocean and sat using my backpack as a barrier between my body and the cold concrete.

I was not alone, strange people wander the beach at night and eerie sound of the bays foghorn blowing in the distance didn’t help, I was scared to sleep for fear of what one of these people living in the shadows might try, but I tired with sort of one eye open. As the night went on the cold night air seemed to rip though my jacket and the layers of cloths I put on to try and stay warm. The shivering became uncontrollable so I abandoned my spot on the beach and wandered back out on the streets looking for shelter. As I walked I spotted a Laundromat, the kind that was coin operated and open all night. No one was there so I found a corner out of view of the windows and sat on the floor leaning sideways against my backpack; I was good to be warm. I woke to an angry Chinese guy kicking my leg telling me to get out. I was morning and like the day prior it simply started again.


I struggled tying to decide if I should post this snap shot in time from my life. But I decided I needed it out. I don’t even know what to say about it. I guess I should start another blog for these type of posts.

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This YOUR day!

I started to post a memory from when I was 16 but its was a story that, like most of my childhood story’s is sad, I felt wasn’t appropriate today. Today I want to celebrate the achievements of my friend and fellow blogger my26pointtwo. Having run his first London Marathon today was wonderful achievement. I won’t give you the details of his run for that is is honor. But like Howard Cosell I will give you MY play by play of watching him run; well sort of watch him run

The race stated at 10:00am but because I’m in California the race wouldn’t start until 2:00am PST. Having downloaded the Virgin Money London Marathon App and added his Bib number I was ready to watch his progress.  My alarm rang me awake at 1:55AM. I tried to focus in the darkness half blinded by the blaring white light of my iPhone display trying to start the app.

It took a number of times to finely get the app to work, the servers must have been overwhelmed it kept telling me there was an error and to try again later. By the time the app connected the race had started. I watched intently as the little dot with the ‘LS’ on the screen did nothing. So I Zoomed in closer, there IT MOVED! woohoo! It moved in bursts; not exactly real time but what did I expect, its data is coming from across the pond. I grabbed some pants and brushed my teeth while staring that the little dot zipping along the route line then pausing, zipping and pausing; As you can see this was most exciting.

Down the stairs I made coffee while I watched the screen and once I had my first sip I logged into my computer to watch the little man icon run on a bit larger screen. I found the app updated much faster then the web-version so I stayed with the iPhone app while I tried every avenue to find an live video feed – without luck –

As the splits posted I was happy to see his excellent split time, then split times.. He worked hard for this and I actually cheered as my phone displayed FINISH

Congratulations LS This is your day! enjoy every part of it you deserve it.

“The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give.”
                                                                                                                                      Howard Cosell

PS: Yes I stole “This is your day” from the movie but its appropriate.

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Family: Love and Regret

Family….. family is one of the most important items in my life but its has also become one of my greatest regrets. My words are contradictory I know, how can it be the most important yet house my biggest regrets? Because I’ve taken too long to connect with family that have always been there, waiting for me.

Last year I was contacted by a grand uncle and auntie Marapao, actually they would be considered my Lolo and Lola (grandparents) in my culture. The contact was unexpected; I had not seen or talked with them since I was a young boy. It was because of their contact I suddenly realized that outside of my immediate family (my kids and Janet’s family) and my cousin Leizel, I had no clue how the rest of my family in the U.S. was and in some cases where they were. I knew more about my family in the Philippines then I did of those in the U.S.

This led me on a journey to pull out what little family tree data I had and start adding to it. Though this and with the help of my cousin Leizel I was able to contact my aunties, uncles and cousins. These connected me to others and as Janet and I drove out to meet each of them, I left each time feeling so much love and over whelming connection. I also shoulder so much regret. I regret that I had not been connected and in touch with them, of all the hours, days and years I have missed not having these wonderful family members in the lives of my immediate family and me.

We were not miles away while growing, most of the time I was living within blocks; I don’t know why we were not together, this still confuses me. All the days I felt alone I had family; aunties, uncles and cousins within walking distance. I think how different my life would have been with them in it when I was growing up. I doubt I would have lived on the street as a homeless teen.

This past two months have been especially regretful, like an ember blown by a breeze into a flame; for we have lost two of our family in these two months; Uncle Ernie in March and yesterday Uncle Olympio .

And though I regret I didn’t have more time with both, I’m thankful for the time I did, the connection to family and the unconditional love they gave. They both will forever remain a part of me until I meet and hold them again in heaven.

To all my uncles, aunties and cousins; I’m sorry for your loss and thank you for letting me share in your love.

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Running Penance

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I’ve been bad I’ve not run until today so to pay for my transgression I did a short 4 mile run at lunchtime but, I ran my Juan St. route which you all know has starry stairs, lovey hills, pot hole roads and scenic views (the reward for running up Juan St.) I paid dearly for my lack of running this past two weeks, I felt it in my legs while running and after I was done. I’m back and will be building up mileage again, but its not like I’ve been idle.

My swim coach has been providing much need training and tons of reps. Yesterdays session wore me down. By the end of the training session I had swam over 1000 meters and my whole body knew it.  Coach Tara at the end said that I was done I didn’t need her help anymore. She said I knew everything I needed to be successful and just practice.

With a shocked look on my face I said NO WAY! we are not done yet and handed her payment for three more lessons. I’m not comfortable flying solo yet although I appreciate her honesty and ethics. There are so many people who would take advantage and keep taking money.

 

 

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Naughty Runner

So I’ve been bad, I didn’t run once last week. I know that I will pay for my lackadaisical behavior when I run this week. What I have been doing is work, building the walk-in closet (still) and of course training (swimming.)

Completed my second and third swim lessons last week and my coach sent me a video telling me that I have made amazing progress.  My biggest issues right now is breathing and keeping my hips up. Her drill’s, beside wearing me out, are really helping me understand this whole triathlon swim and the techniques you need to learn to be successful. For instance; how important strong stoke techniques that maximizes energy and my movement thought the water, reducing leg use during the race so that my legs are still strong foe the bike and run events.

I don’t know about the “amazing” part but I do know that I have made lots of progress but am also aware I still have allot to learn and a long way to go in my training.  You can see in the video my breathing still sucks.. I’ll get it. and yes the first time I made it to the other side;  “Hello from the other side”

 

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Race Report: Heartbreak Ridge Half-Marathon

Sorry its taken to long to get this up. I’ve been busy doing some home improvements my loving wife has requested and work has just clobbered me. I ran the  Heartbreak Ridge Half-Marathon at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California on Saturday and the bad news, well maybe good depending on how you look at it, is the hills were not the Reaper or Old Smokey, it was not muddy and it didn’t rain! score!

HeartBreak_579910That’s not to say this race didn’t just kick my but; the hill’s were murder but the course was not technical at all; outside of the elevation/incline. It was a waste of time to have worn my trail running shoes, my Brooks would have been way more comfortable.

The run was an out and back so the first and last 3/4 mile was on pavement the rest on some gravel but mostly dirt roads that were heavily traveled by military equipment so the dirt was mostly uneven but packed. I was surprised that the road was not muddy since it had rained all week and the day before. But it was a nice surprise.

The elevations going in had a rise from under 200ft to 500ft in less than a 2 miles, on the way out it was mostly a gradual up and down climb with some flats until you got to the 10 mile point and you had to dig in to get over that last extreme rise to the peak.

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I made a couple real amateurish mistakes during the run, the first was wearing shoes I hadn’t even tried on before the race and the other was my in race nutrition, but I’ll get into in just a bit.

It was my fathers birthday the day before the race and as I predicted his passing 3 years ago hit me again on the evening of April 8, the eve of this run. I sat and talked to my Dad and decided that I would run this race for him (as long as he came for the ride; that was the deal) I told him that if he hung out with me in the race I wouldn’t walk the hills.

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time you will have noted that I have a problem with processing sugar, I’m “Insulin Resistant,” which means that I have to be extremely careful so I really had to dial in the gel packs I was using for my run. I was able to get it down to two gels for a half-marathon taking the first at 6 and the second at 10. I also battled finding gels that didn’t have processed sugars. Then I found out that almost all of the gel packs contain Maltodextrin which is highly processed and even worse then processed sugars; to make things worse its exempt from labeling as a sugar and allowed to be listed as a carbohydrate. Maltodextrin has a glycemic index of 130, while table sugar is 65.

Because of this ‘revelation’ I decided that I would roll back the use of Cliff Gel Packs to ONE for the entire race.(mistake two)

I was up at 4:30AM so that I could get to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton at 6:00am. I was out the door a little after 5:00am I arrived at the base gate around 6:10am and drove from the gate to the race area some 5 miles further.  Since I was early I was ushered to the furthest point in the parking lot away from the race area; which wouldn’t have been so bad had I not had to walk back and forth to my car three times pre-race for such things as leaving my ID in the car not knowing I needed it to pick up my bib and to drop my warm cloths off at the car before the race. I didn’t notice the bag check until after the race LOL. What it did do is give me a great warm up 🙂

The Kids 1K stated at 7:30AM followed by the Military Running corral for the Half-Marathon at 8:30 and Civilians at 8:40. I was in the 8:40 corral time and while waiting for the corral I met three gentlemen, two were in the 50-54  and one was in the 60 – 64 age groups, I was in the 55-59 group. Seems all three of us came to the race alone. Tony was the person I seemed to gel with the most and ending up talking to him prior to and in the corral.

My plan was to start at the back of the pack but some how, because I wasn’t paying attention and talking too much we all ended up 12 feet back from the start line right in the thick of things.

At the horn we took off at about a half mile I looked at my watch and noticed that we were running a 8 minute mile pace. I told Tony and the others that I was rolling back my pace and I watched as they ran off into the abyss, lost to me in the masses that followed behind them. I wanted to roll back to a pace between 9.30 and 10.00 because I knew that I would need to worry about the hills coming up.

Mile 2_5

Mile 2/3

I caught the first one of our group at about the 2 mile point on the first hill, his pace had slowed substantially. The hill was steep and I could feel the burn in my legs as I worked my way up the hill. Although I was not the only person running a number of the people on the hill were already walking. At the peak there was an aid station, there were actually allot of aid stations along the routes; more than I think I’ve ever seen in a race. I carried my own water so I didn’t stop at any of the aid stations until I ran low on water and that wasn’t until after mile 10. I caught the second of our group as I came down the hill in the 3 to 4 mile stretch.

I dropped in to “the zone” I figure just around mile four; ear phones/buds use was not allowed on this run so I was inside my head and totally oblivious to the heavy breathing of runners near or passing me or even the fact I was running. It was not until Tony shouted “Hey Bill!” as he passed me some where in my mile 5/6, his mile 7. It took awhile for Hey Bill to register and he was at least 20 feet passed me by the time I yelled Hey Tony! back to him. Mile 6 I downed my one and only gel.

Somewhere around mile 6.6 I hit the turn around point and head back toward not only the race stating point/finish line but into the 500ft climb.  I was still feeling good at this point my legs felt good as well, but I knew I was in for a long gradual ascent. The trail would be a series of small rises, some sharp, a few ‘short’ flats and a lot of dips.

Mile 10.5 Hilltop

About 10.5 Miles – Top of the hill

Mile 8 and 9 I stated to feel the onset of fatigue in my legs. In the distance I could see the sharp incline at mile 10 and I was dreading it; as I neared it I stated to question if I had the energy and legs to make it up; almost no one was running up that hill; I’d have to say maybe 1 in every 10 at best ran up it. At its base I decided I was gonna power up the sucker and mustered up the will and dug deep. As I was going up I noticed Tony in front of me and said, though huffs and puffs…. HaHAY Tatony.. Tony was shocked to see that I had caught him.  Making it to the top of that last big hill was exhilarating, I had conquered the worst of the run. I grabbed a cup of water at the aid station slowed down just enough to gulp down half and poured the rest over my head.

 

Then like a bird in flight raced down the back side of the hill, my feet pitter paddering as fast as my legs could take me; I was in the moment and enjoying my accomplishment and then as the trail flattened and I was using my legs again it started to hit me. Mile 11.43 I bonked bad it was if my legs weighed an extra 20 pounds each, the energizer bunny in me was blinking “LOW BATT.”. I was at that point I knew that I had taken another gel I would not be having this problem, but it was too late taking one now, even if I had one would have been pointless.

FinishLine

Finish!

I struggled to mile 12 and that’s where it turned into a mental run; everything in me wanted to stop and rest, I had tingling in my arms and top of my head but I couldn’t bring my self to take a rest. I knew if I did, I would be for the worse. I kept repeating to myself just a mile and some change. I had to dig deep.. Then a Marine yelled  1/2 mile more…EASY DIG! When I had the finish in sight I rallied what little energy reserves I had left and tried to finish strong.

I was never so happy to cross a finish line.  If I had taken that 2nd gel I’m sure I would have PR’ed  but I finish so I ll take it. 10:35/avg. mile

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My corral at the starting line

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Active Duty Military Corral

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Kids Returning from the Kid 1K

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Broken Taper

I’ve touched on this a little in some of my posts but have never really come out and told you. I suffer from severe anxiety and mild PTSD both feed on each other. As I’ve aged it seems to have gotten worse. If you met me you wouldn’t know it as I’ve for the most part trained myself to mask it from all except the people closest people. The doctors at urgent care once knew me by first name because I was in nearly every month sometimes twice. I refuse to take medication.

The only thing that has helped me cope with it I found totally by mistake, running. When I started running I started to notice that I not only was much happier, I was not visiting the doctor as much as a matter of fact last year was a hallmark. I think I was only in urgent care three times for anxiety.

You see if I keep on a regular schedule of at least 2 or 3 runs a week it seems to keep my anxiety in check. The PTSD has always been sort of bearable and controllable unless I’m pulled over the edge. ‘Front Toward Enemy’  When I do go there which thank GOD is almost never, I hate myself afterwords.

Yesterday was a hard day I was/am in taper for my run on Saturday; all day at work I was anxious, irritable and couldn’t concentrate; I had the urge to go to the doctors. It got so bad I took off at lunch and drove over to Ross and bought running shorts, shirt and underwear then next door to Dicks Sporting Goods to buy running socks. $60.00 later I was back at work. My intention was to run on the treadmill at 3PM, its been raining here. But as things would go I couldn’t get to the gym until 5:30pm when there I was told the gym was closing. So with $60.00 wasted went back to my desk, finish out my work day and went home. I changed in to my old running cloths and headed out and was lucky to catch a break in the rain and ran in the drizzle.

Only did 3.23 miles with good hills and felt so much better; I’m okay today. Running is my drug and helps keep me; me.  I’m so thankful I have it and so scared of the day when I can’t run.

Tomorrow is my Half-Marathon at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The race is going to be tougher than planed as its been raining here, and I expect it to rain during the race SO THERE WILL BE MUD.. lots and lots of mud running up the hills is going to be hell.

PS: Today is my Dad’s birthday he would have been 84, he’s been gone 3 years. It will hit me later tonight i’m sure. I’ll run for him tomorrow.. OohRah Dad, I miss you.

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5 to Half

I didn’t post on Sunday or Monday, I was beat down tired. Janet and I drove up to San Francisco Friday after work; my grand uncle passed and we went to see him off home. It was good to see and be with family.

Five days before the Heartbreak Ridge Half-Marathon at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. I just took a look at the course map and I’m not sure what hill we will be running up. The race however is an out and back and I’m going to have to deal with a 300ft and then a 500ft rise in elevation, looks like its going to be one of the harder half marathon I’ve run, I feel ready though.hcrs_heartbreak_coursemap1

I’m not running this week, letting my body rest up for this race so the only thing I have going on is swim lessons on Wednesday.

The only thing I hate about races is not having anyone at the finish line. I don’t know why its been bothering me these last few races because I’ve always been a sort of solitary person.

hcrs_heartbreak_coursemap

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