Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer Update and the Year Ahead

Bulldog 25k, photo by Becky Galland
Had a great time running Bulldog 25k yesterday. It was my fastest lap of Malibu Creek State Park by forty seconds per mile. I had originally signed up for the 50k, but chose to to run a shorter distance at a faster pace instead. In 2011, it was extremely hot. This year was sunny and warm, but mild in comparison.

I swam the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier earlier in August. It was the fifth time I’ve completed the event. The water was very warm this year, around 70 degrees. The coldest year I swam it dipped to 58 degrees Excellent conditions and an always competitive field produced lots of fast times. The top 25 this year were under 45 minutes. Shark sightings during the race made the news.

The first weekend of August, I followed the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run from home, online. I switched between social media and the heralded live tracking website to watch the race unfold. The next day at noon, registration opened for 2015 and I was lucky to get a spot before it sold out in a record 15 minutes!

Next up, a pair of cycling events in September. The Amtrak Century is from the Irvine Amtrak Station to San Diego. Later in September, the local metric century, Rat Beach Ride. Then, my AC100 qualifier at the end of November, the Santa Barabara Red Rock 50 Miler. And there is one more upcoming race already on the calendar, the Santiago Marathon in April 2014, although I could do the 13.1 mile race instead at this event.

To conclude this post, I want to thank the Vistamar School Cross Country team, coaches, and administration for inviting me to lead a few runs over the Summer. It was fun, challenging, and an honor to train with you.

Friday, May 2, 2014

My 10th Year with Type 1 Diabetes

I commemorated my tenth year of living with type one diabetes by running ultramarathons in the mountains.

Santa Barbara Red Rock 50M, November 2013

Avalon 50M, January 2014
Photo by Gil Blank

Sean O'Brien 50M February 2014
Photo by Louis Kwan

Old Goats 50k, March 2014
Photo by Keith Kasin

Grand Canyon, Spring 2014

And most recently, Leona Divide in April 2014.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carlsbad 13.1 and Triabetes Training Camp

Carlsbad Half Marathon- January 2013

2013 was my fourth year at the Carlsbad Marathon weekend with Insulindependence. We had over 100 runners and volunteers on the team. This year, I signed up to set a new PR at the 13.1 road half marathon distance. I succeeded with a 1:38 holding a steady, consistent effort.

Mile 11- Photo by Brennan Cassidy
As I gain more race experience, my sense of pacing at each distance improves. I had no illusions of outstanding specific fitness for this particular race, yet I managed to hold a very even pace from start to finish. I started in the third wave and picked my way through minimal traffic before finding a good rhythm. I enjoyed having dozens of friends at the race, many wearing the same jersey and running for a shared cause.
Friendly competition can be a great source of motivation. At least two teammates led the way and, in the spirit of racing, I tried my best to catch them while also staying within my own limits. Two other friends followed just minutes behind, promising to pass if I slowed. Late in race, I got a boost of energy at the Insulindependence pirate-themed water station. I was happy to see them, but purposely ran through without slowing. The ideal So Cal winter beach weather allowed me to rely on prehydration during this less than two hour effort. I only took water a few times to chase the gels.

Triabetes Training Camp- February 2013

I was honored to be invited to participate in this year’s Triabetes Training Camp in Tucson, AZ. This year’s captains are training for Ironman Boulder 70.3 in August. We were led by Coach Cliff Scherb, a triathlon and diabetes expert who is aiming to become the world’s fastest diabetic ironman. Club Manager Vic Kinnunen handled logistics and served as a team dad of sorts. IN Staff member Brennan Cassidy who recently had a strong IM debut of his own, drove SAG and facilitated the camp. My role was to participate as a past captain alongside the current group of captains; a treat to say the least. Accomplished T1D athletes Bill Carlson and James Stout also joined us.

Halfway up Mount Lemmon with Vic

The highlight of training in Tucson, besides making new friends, is riding Mt. Lemmon. It is a long, sustained climb that rewards you with a fast descent full of wide, sweeping turns. The cool weather this year made for perfect climbing conditions.

Looking Ahead

I might run the LA Marathon in March. A friend offered his bib that he is unable to use due to an injury. My goal race is the Leona Divide 50M in April. I ran it last year in under twelve hours. This year, I aim to take up to an hour off that time. While my diabetic friends across the country help me confront living with a broken pancreas, my So Cal Coyote Running teammates are my regular, local training partners, coaches, and mentors especially out on the trails. Looking forward to ramping up the mileage this month... after all, it's the journey, not the destination, that matters most.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

XTERRA Boney Mountain CR

The Boney Mountain 21k starts with a pavement descent, then a 500+ foot climb before dropping again. At mile six, another climb begins gradually. It gets steeper and continues to take you up the mountain for four miles. A fast two miles follows if the runner has saved enough energy to keep a high turnover bombing down towards the finish line.

This year, the temperature was cool. It rained overnight, but the trails in the Northeast section of Point Mugu State Park held up well. I ran a personal course best at 2:23. Here is a comparison of the six minute difference between 2012 and 2013 on the same course. As for nutrition, I started with a bottle of Accelerade, refilled with plain water, and took one or two gels during the run.

My next race is the Carlsbad 13.1 on January 27th, but looking ahead to the Leonna Divide 50 Miler, assuming I choose to race it, my nutrition strategy here at Boney Mountain may be the key to finishing in under 11 hours at LD50. My 2013 goals are ambitious: set a personal course record at every race I enter. For those more familiar with running terminology, I will be more specific: CR if not PR at all distances.

As I mentioned, Carlsbad Half Marathon is next. My course best there is 1:46 and I have run one other half in 1:39.59. While my training is focused on improving climbing ability for Pine to Palm 100M in September, I run sufficient pavement miles and downhill trails to make a PR feasible. We’ll find out in less than two weeks.

I have not yet registered for LD50 which takes place at the end of April. I want to see how Carlsbad goes first. If it is sold out by the time I decide, my longest run in preparation for Pine to Palm will be pacing at a friend’s 100M race. Pine to Palm has a cutoff of 34 hours and I ran AC in 32:30 in 2012.