Monday, October 25, 2010

Updates from Cali

I'm still here in LA, but fortunately not for too much longer!  I'm happy to say I head home on thursday morning after 17 straight days on the road.  I am very much ready to get home and back to the girl.  Good things have been happening training wise out here though which I'm very happy to report.  My last update was on Friday when I did the big outdoor brick.  My original plan was that I would take Saturday off as my rest day and then run long on Sunday.  Life on the road means shuffling my big workouts around to fit wherever they can and then getting the smaller ones in around everything else.  In this case I had sunday morning off so I figured I'd do my 14 mile run then in the daylight when it would be a lot more fun and scenic.  I can certainly run at 5am but running 14 miles in the dark around the lit up hotel property is not much fun.  So that was my original plan...   but you know what they say about plans.....

So saturday morning some things happened at the show that necessitated a change of plans.  So I lost my sunday morning off and a big hole appeared in my schedule for Saturday afternoon.  So it suddenly became apparent that if I wanted to run long in the daylight hours I had to do it saturday afternoon.  This was not ideal as I had a pretty hard swim/bike/run workout the day before thinking I had saturday off to recover.  Especially with my hamstring acting up.  But I really wanted to get that 14 mile run and see how my leg/foot would handle it.  So I decided I was going to have to run long on Saturday on no rest.

So saturday afternoon I headed out from my hotel villa and pointed myself north along the pacific coast.  My plan was to run seven miles north, turn around and run 7 back.  As long as the ocean was on my left on the way out and right on the way back I figured I couldn't get lost.  Let me first say that the weather was PERFECT.  60-70 degrees with a fantastic cool ocean breeze coming over the cliffs.  So that part of the run was great.  What was not great were two things....   1.  I felt tired right from mile 1 and my pace showed it.  I averaged 9:15s which was a definite sign of running on tired legs.  2.  LA is damn hilly!!!!  More on that in a sec.

So I headed north out from the hotel and out along the coast.  Running out here is really beautifull and the views are just spectacular.  However its really really hilly out here!  I don't remember any long flat stretches.  I was pretty much either climbing or descending the entire run.  Somewhere around mile 5 I started descending.  And I just kept going down, and down, and down...  for two miles!  Holy crap I was going to have to climb back up this!  So when I finally descended to the 7 mile turnaround point I was faced with a two mile climb.  It was brutal!  I was down to a 10:30 pace for those two miles and it was just a one foot in front of the other battle up the climb until it was over.  On the plus side though as tired as my legs felt my hamstring felt ok for the most part.  It didn't feel 100% but it felt pretty damn good so that was great.  My foot did ok too.  Still feels like I can't push off quite as hard off my right foot but it wasn't too bad this time.  So hopefully things are getting stronger?  We'll see.....

So the people I work with on the road know that I'm a triathlete and distance runner.  They know I love crazy long workouts... but they don't really get it.   Every now and then though something funny happens and I think they get a glimpse of what I do...    As I headed out for my run I ran past one of my bosses on this show.  I waved and kept running.  Just over two hours later I ran past him again.  He looked stunned, and he yelled "have you been running this whole time!?"   And I said YEP! and kept going.  I thought it was pretty funny.  The look on his face was priceless.

So that was Saturday afternoon.  After my long run I then had to go back to work until pretty late, got 5 hours sleep and then went right back to work on Sunday morning for what would be a crazy, crazy day.  The lack of sleep combined with two hard days of workouts and work back to back meant I was pretty tired all day long.  But I fought through it...    what made it even harder though was that some unexpected rain pushed some outdoor event we had just finished setting up for indoors so we had a mad scramble to get everything moved indoors and setup again.  It was pretty exhausting...   more so as I was so tired from the run.  So yesterday was an exhausting day!  I definitely slept well after that one.

So this morning I woke up at 530am when my alarm went off with the intention of going for a swim before work...  but my body said NO so I went back to sleep until I had to go to work at 830am.  Fortunately I did have a time window this afternoon so I headed to the pool around 1 to go for a swim.  Once again I had the whole pool to myself which was great.  So I proceeded to start my workout.  I did 2500 yards total which was made up of 20x50 yard repeats with a focus on a different stroke element each 50.  Some on legs and kicking, some on head position, some on arms and reach.  Once I got through those I did 10x100's and then ended with a 500yd set.  That made up a full hour of swimming and I was pretty beat afterwards, but I was pleased with how it went for the most part.  Some laps were definitely better than others.  Really though I think what I'm learning is I need to get focused with my swim coaching if I'm going to improve.  So hopefully the girl and I can get together for another lesson soon around my crazy travel schedule. 

Now its evening and I'm back at work.  The next few days are going to be brutal!  I'll get in a run tomorrow during the day but then I have to work from 4pm-3am.  Thats going to hurt!  And then I'll go right back to work around 11am till 3pm or so, take another nap, and then back at 10pm-midnight or so, and then a 4 hour nap, and then headed to the airport to fly home on wednesday morning...    not going to be fun!  But it will all be worth it when I get off that plane in Providence.  I can't wait to get home and see the girl.

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