Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cold and rainy on Mt Wilson

I started this morning's walk-up Mt Wilson around dawn.   At the start, around 1000ft elevation,  there was a light rain but it was warm and felt good.

By 4000ft the wind was whipping a far colder rain sideways and my hands were numb despite fleece mittens and having donned my mountaineering glove shells.  (Yes, I carry a lot of stuff.    I learned in Oregon that hypothermia on long rainy runs is no fun).    I had a windbreaker over a wool shirt and a  polypro shirt,  and was still getting chilled.    I cut the run short and turned around.

There was a couple with a little terrier that I passed just before I turned around.   The guy was very well equipped.   His girlfriend trailed by about 20 ft and was less well equipped, with what looked like a cotton sweatshirt under a windbreaker.   She didn't look too happy.  Her little terrier looked even less happy, soaked and shivering.  The dog ran over to me and looked up, as if to say, "can you please talk to these idiots for me?"  I mentioned to the gal that her dog was shivering.  The guy turned around and glared at me.   They kept going up.

On the run down I saw that Boy-scouts that were camped at Henninger's had broken camp -  they had headed down in rain gear.   Be Prepared.   Two "bad-ass" dads were hiking up in short sleeves, their kids wearing cotton sweatshirts.  On the way down the Toll Rd and through Eaton Canyon Nature Park, I picked up a Starbuck's cup, a Jamba Juice cup or some such, a Sparkletts water bottle, and a McDonald's lunch bag with about 50 ketchup packs.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Again, Mt. Wilson: Hip exercises paying dividends

This morning I again did the Mt. Wilson 20 miler, walking from Eaton Canyon Nature Center to Wilson summit, then running down.  I had taken yesterday off, just walking 4 miles with my wife to get groceries and doing a core strength routine.  I was feeling a bit run down with a cold and was also a little gun-shy as the right achilles had been nagging me since my trip to Gent.

The walk up clocked in at 10.3 miles on my iPhone running GaiaGPS.   I did the walk up in 2:39, just 2 minutes off my fastest ever 2:37 done in 2013.  I never broke 2:42 last season.

This is really encouraging as the power walk up really pushes the hip flexors and glutes.  Last year I just had never recovered full strength and walking speed following my 2014  acetabulum fracture and ORIF surgery to repair it.

For several weeks now I have been re-focusing on hip strengthening exercises-  glue bridges, stairs, clamshells, and knee-ups, as well as self-administered trigger point massage around the anterior and lateral aspects of the iliac crest.  These sites had, through the fall of 2015, become chronically  tender.  The deep pressure massage I had found to be very palliative.  These sites are no longer tender and my walking speed is finally coming back!

The total time of 4:03 gratifying-  it was a beautiful morning and I felt solid.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Mt Wilson

Yesterday I slept in...a ten hour sleep after returning from a business trip to Europe.  My achilles were sore and I just felt run down so I skipped my weekend long run and took a 3 mile walk with my wife to pick up groceries instead, and simply stretched and did some heel drop exercises.

Today my kids had the day off for the Martin Luther King holiday.  I woke at 5am without an alarm having turned in to sleep at 9:30pm last night.  I felt rested and decided to do the Mt Wilson walk-up/run down workout.

It was foggy and cold but a lovely morning work out.  Total time for the 20 mile out and back was 4:15, I felt relaxed the whole way.

The morning was beautiful:





Sunday, January 17, 2016

Back from Gent, Belgium: Great running

Yesterday I returned home from a 1 week long business trip to Gent, Belgium and am hanging out resting after a 10 hour sleep, feeling a bit run down so I decided to skip my morning long run.

My colleague and I stayed in the Gent Centrum-  an area with beautiful architecture, fantastic food, and excellent running, provided one is prepared to run in the dark in rain just above the freezing point.  I typically layered up in tights, long pants, a wool shirt with a tech fabric layer over the top and a windbreaker.  Hat and gloves as well.

I managed mostly two-a-day workouts.  Run at 6am;  get back from work, run again, then out to dinner.

The best running was south from the hotel in the Centrum along the Leie River toward the Watersportbaan-  a 1.5 mile long rowing lake.  It was fantastic:


South on the Leie

Looking east from the west end of the Watersportbann

Gaufres Mikado!




Graffiti along the Leie under a bridge 

Night run along the Wayersportbaan...folks out rowing after dark.  There were lots of runners.

Run north along the Leie

North along the Leie



Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mt. Wilson walk-up, run down

This morning I did my old classic Mt Wilson 20 mile power walk up, run down: Time was 3:58.  From Altadena Drive just outside Eaton Canyon Nature Center it is 9.8 miles to the Cosmic Cafe water spigot-  time was 2:42.  Then I ran down via the upper portion of the Toll Road (a little longer)..total mileage 20.1.  The downhill split time was 1:16 for 10.3 miles, and I felt great.  I passed a half dozen or so mountain bikers on the downhill  which was indeed pretty fun.

My right hip flexors didn't bother me at all today which I credit to the core and hip circuit exercises I have been doing aggressively for the last two weeks.  These include one-leg glute bridges ( 3 sets of 20 per side), slow motion step-up exercises (3 x 20 per side...exhausting on the right!), rubber strap resistance exercises involving sets of 20 each of kicking out straight, at plus and minus 45 degrees to forward, to the side, 45 degrees to the rear, and to the rear;  clamshell exercises with a rubber strap;  and lots of sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups.

The speed felt great this morning and the power walk up, while rather boring, is a solid conditioning exercise =  the views were spectacular from Mt Wilson, if a bit cold.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 run log plots

Here is a  plot of my weekly mileage over the last year:


Here is a plot of my weekly running since I began recovery in August, 2014 after my May 2014 pelvic fracture:

I am pleased with the steady progression the plot shows.  Also the periodization visible in the chart is solid.  I do think the pre-race AC100 taper was too long (the spike on Aug 1 reflects the AC100).

 I am in better shape going into 2016 than I was at this time last year.  On the other hand I need to get serious about diligently, regularly performing the various hip stabilizing exercises that I had been doing throughout 2015 up to the AC100 race.  I slacked off on these after the AC100--  these exercises are a pain in the butt! (literally).  But as a result I find that my right (injured) leg has gotten weak and the hip flexor attachments particularly have become fairly chronically aggravated.  Over the winter holiday I have resumed doing circuits with glue bridges, step-up exercises, and band exercises (hip flexion, clamshells) and find myself on New Years day 2016 quite sore!

I hope to run SD100 this year and am very grateful that I was able to pull off the training reflected in the charts above-  it was a blast.



Monday, December 14, 2015

Ken Burton Trail restoration, etc.

I just got back from China where I ran quite  a bit on a treadmill.  Great to be back in Pasadena.

On Sunday I ran up Brown Mt  to join  the Ken Burton Trail restoration work again.  This great trail, build in the early 1990s by the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA), links the end of the Mt. Brown fireroad with the Gabrielino trail just upstream from Oakwild.  It was an old favorite of mine, but was damaged in the 2009 Station Fire and has been closed off since.  Local mountain bikers (MWBA, CORBA) are rebuilding the trail.  Here is a CORBA status update written after the last trail work day in November:

http://corbamtb.com/news/2015/11/25/ken-burton-trail-restoration-continues-december-13/

The mountain bikers are a great group-  I had no idea they put so much into trail work in the local mountains. I met three bikers who, it turns out, also served as (bike-mounted) trail sweeps at the AC100 last year.  These are the same folks that did last minute trail clearing for the race after storms during race week brought down deadfall in certain sections of the race course.   I've been sharing the trail work dates on local trail running FB pages but so far no other trail runners have shown up.

Its been fun to work with these folks:  Load up a pack with work boots and work clothes, a bow saw and water, then run up to the KBT trailhead (7 miles, 2000 ft), trot in on the KB trail  to the worksite, change into work clothes and spend the day clearing trail and grading with a MacLeod, carted up by the bikers on a trailer.   Then change back into running shoes and run down.  Good for a 17 miler  (plus a solid upper body workout!)