Goofy goobers

Goofy goobers

Friday, March 20, 2015

Where the Streets Have No Name

I got out of the car on Wednesday and brushed my hand against the inside of my right knee.  I felt pain.  I thought, this is odd.  Upon inspection, it was swollen.  Not sure what caused it.  Perhaps it was running more than I've ever run in my life.

That night I was supposed to do a quality workout.  In the words of the LAPD, in relation to the U2 video for the Where the Streets Have No Name "we're shutting the location down.  There is no vote.   It happens now."

I shut it down.  I put the horse back in the barn.  I've been icing the knee ever since.  Not sure what happened.  Just know it be super silly to run and injure myself such that Boston was a no-go.  Didn't run Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.  Prior to that, I was burned.  The torch had been lit and devoured my soul.  Running was drudgery, a chore.

That's the problem about getting serious.  I walk that fine line between fun and work.  I don't want to work, I've already got a job and I hate that enough.  I want to run for fun.  Time is nice.  But that's not the point.  It's the process.  It's the sweat running down my skin.  It's pushing my body after years of abuse.  It's trying to be sixteen again.  It's thinking about what could have been.

Three days no run.  Now I'm a caged animal.  I want to explode.  My fitness has never been greater. I run my hands across my legs and feel the veins.  I find muscles I've never had.  43, and in the best shape of my life.

Running tomorrow.  Writing now.  Funny the juxtaposition.  More I run, the less I write.  Less I run, the more I write.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

SEHRC and Spy Optics

A few of the picks from SEHRC shirt fest two. Special thanks to SPY Optics for kicking down two fantastic pair of sunglasses, the Screw and the Daft.

Greg Fall with the new shirt

SPY sunglasses from our sponsor
Beer and free sunglasses, get no betta

Erik stealing the show with his leg.

John in the "Daft" and Dennis in the "Screw"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Running and writing

I want to be a writer.

But I already am.  I write tens of pages every week at work.  Legal analysis, contracts, pleadings, discovery, case reports, emails, etc.  The harder trick is writing while not at work.  The blog is a middle ground of where I want to be.  I just need to sit down and do it.

But I'm afraid.  The blank page is not my friend.  It mocks me, daring me to write something someone wants to read.

The blog is a bit easier.  It's factual.  A bit like work, but without the stress and more flavor thrown in.  However, the more I've been running, the less I've had a desire to blog.  I'm in the home stretch for Boston and my body is tired.  In the last seven weeks, I've had runs of 16, 20, 16, 21, 17, 18, 21, 21 and 17.  I've never run so long or so much in my life.

I'm following the elite training program for a marathon from the Daniels' Running Formula, second edition.  After these last few weeks, I don't think I'm as elite as I thought.  Daniels has you do two quality workouts a week.  The rest is just mileage.  The quality workouts are killing me.  I don't look forward to them.  I just want Boston to be here.

However, I think I turned a corner today.  My body has definitely changed.  A few months ago, there is no way I could string together the runs I'm doing.  My body is adapting.  I may have lost a bit of speed, but my endurance has come around.  More importantly, I can walk normally within a few hours of the runs.  My energy level is returning and so is my my desire to write.  I want to face that blank page and scratch some ink into it.

Anyone have any book ideas . . .


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Running in the rain

My alarm went off at 5:30 a.m.  It had been raining all night.  It was still raining, I could hear it.  I got up and walked towards the bathroom where I had laid out all my running clothes. I had some decisions to make.  Shorts or tights?  Jacket or no jacket?  Gloves?  It was too early to make decisions.  I put my socks on and threw the rest of the stuff in my bag.  I walked downstairs naked.

As I turned on the light, Vader, one of my dogs, who is sometimes allowed to sleep in the house, rather than the garage, raised his head.  He looked confused, as if he did not quite understand the presence of the light.  He's getting old, I thought.  He raised his bones and came over to greet me at the base of the stairs.  I let him out.  It was raining hard.  All I could think was this is going to suck.

I'm following a training plan of Jack Daniels and today's workout was 22 miles at easy pace, which for me is somewhere around 7:30-8:00 minute pace.  I got the coffee started, took a shit and got dressed.  I went with wetsuit theory.  A wetsuit only works after cold water enters it and the body warms the water up.  I was certain, no matter what I wore, I would be soaked.  I would at least try to maintain some body heat, so I covered everything.

I got my coffee.  I sipped my liquid crack.  I was hoping it would stop raining.  I knew it wouldn't.  It was pouring.  I got in my car and drove to the coast in Encinitas like a man condemned to his fate.

I parked my car on Highway 101 at the north end of San Elijo State Beach near the restrooms, which always seem to be open, clean and have toilet paper.  I walked with an umbrella, which struck me as ironic, as I would be completely wet in about ten minutes and took another shit.

Back at the car, I popped the rear of the wagon and sat on the edge, protected, a bit, from the rain.  I sipped my coffee.  A few moments later, Greg Fall drove up.  He had let me know he was down for the run the day before, after running 30 miles.  Greg is one of my running buddies.  I only have two, the other being Chris Bryan.  Running buddies are hard to find.  They need to have at least four qualities, they are punctual, they rarely flake, they can hang and you like being around them for two to three hours at a time.

I had posted the run on the SEHRC Facebook page.  One member, with the name of Boston Dos Mil Quince (Boston 2015), had indicated he was going.  We waited until 6:35, but he did not show.  I wore a long sleeve shirt, a light jacket, running tights, a beanie and my Hoka Cliftons.  Greg wore a pair of shorts and his Alta Olympus Zero Drop, no shirt.

We ran south through Solana Beach and into Del Mar.  Out in front of Seagrove Park, we saw a hopeful lone surfer in the water.  Greg and I laughed.  It was high tide and this guy was getting nothing.  Up a little bit we passed a car with a Dakine sticker, with two guys inside, presumably watching the surfer.   Greg pretended to be one of the occupants and joked, "If he gets one, we'll go."

We turned around at the end of Stratford Court, which got us to 7 miles and headed back north.  At the street intersections, mini-rivers ran down the hills toward the Pacific.  We hurdled some, others we just ran through.  It didn't matter.  Every part of us was wet.

The coast was empty.  There were no bikes, hardly any cars and only a couple of runners and walkers. The runners we did see, looked to be quality.  Greg and I were enjoying ourselves.  How often do you have the North County coastline to yourself?

Mile 21.  Done.
Around mile 10 we ran into a fellow SEHRC member Cindy Lynch and her friend Fernando.  I had never met either, but shouted out to them before they passed.  They quickly stopped and we chatted for a minute or two about races and a couple people we each new.

We got back at it and continued running.  We were dead on for my pace and I was amazed at Greg. He was showing no signs that he had put in a hard 30 less than 24 hours before.  We continued to chat and caught up on things.  You really get to know someone when you run.  I've surfed and rode with guys for years, but the conversation gets truncated all the time.  When you run with one person the conversation just flows.

We got back to our cars and I tossed in my jacket.  We then kept going past Swamis, through Leucadia and then turned around at La Costa in Carlsbad.  Neither one of us brought food.  Greg had some water, but I just drank a couple times from a few water fountains.  Around mile 19, I finally felt some discomfort, but not too much.  I was getting hungry, we were talking about food, the rain seemed colder and the wind had come up.

We pressed on and were hit in the face with 30-40 mile per hour winds in the last mile.  Then we were done.  I didn't make 22, but we did do 21.2 at around 7:38 mile pace and it never stopped raining.  I figured I had done enough. There was no way I would have run the 21 without Greg or at that pace.  It would have been a grind.  Instead, we turned the rain into an opportunity to get a bit more mentally tough.

Anyone can run when it's nice out.  What really matters is whether they can run in the rain.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hoka One One Cliftons Size 10.5

A long time ago, in a northern county of San Diego, a man searched for two pairs of shoes . . .

I returned the size 10 Cliftons and ordered a pair of size 10.5 online.  I received the Cliftons on Friday and wore them in the office for a few hours.  On Sunday I ran 18 miles in them for the first run.  No problems.  At 7.7 oz for a size nine, it's hard to believe these shoes are so light and so plush.  

I now have the Clifton road shoe, and the Challenger ATR trail shoe.  

My life is complete.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hoka One One Cliftons and Challenger ATR Review - one for the road, one for the trail

I was wrong about the Hoka One One Cliftons.  Size 10 was the wrong choice.  Too small.  Got a nice blood blister on my small right toe.  If I had been motivated, and I wasn't, I'd measure the toe box of the Cliftons (size 10) and compare to the Nike Pegasus (size 10.5).  I'm betting the Cliftons are narrower, based on my visual observation.

I returned the Cliftons to REI.  Had 100 miles on them.  REI asked no questions and gave me my coin back.  Got to love it.  Interesting thing.  REI gave me a $20 gift card when I bought the Hokas.  As a result, I ran 100 miles in the Cliftons and got paid twenty bucks to do it.  Cool.

I'd get a size 10.5 in the Cliftons, but due to the longshoreman v. ship owners thing happening at the L.A. ports, they are no where to be found.  I straight up love this shoe, even if it made me bleed.

I was able to get a size 10.5 Challenger ATR, which is the trail version of the Cliftons. They're 8.6oz, with a 5mm offset, heel at 29mm and forefoot at 24mm.  Meta-rocker, whatever that is, is "early".  These shoes are an ounce heavier than the Cliftons.  Since I ain't got no Cliftons, I've been running the ATRs on the road.  I love them.  I've now written "love" twice, it must be close to Valentine's Day.  Got your flowers for the wives, boys?

I'd like a physicist to do a comparison with a pressure plate or some such device and measure the force returned on foot strike between the Cliftons/ATRs vs. the Pegasus.  Which aids the runner more?  You'd think this would be part of the specs for a running shoe.  I guestimate the Pegasus, which feels a bit more solid, returns more energy, but who knows.  At times, the Hokas feel a bit, now this is technical, squishy.

Let's talk names.  "Clifton"?  Really?  Sounds like I'm buying a pair of chinos from the Gap.  Challenger is better, but why add "ATR", that just detracts from the name.  I'm assuming ATR means All Terrain Runner or some such thing, but I couldn't be bothered to look it up.  I told you, I'm not very motivated right now.  My problem with the Challenger name, is for me, its sacrosanct.  I was 14 when the Challenger blew up, so there can only be one Challenger.  Have some respect.

Conclusion?  The Cliftons and Challengers rock.  They are the illegitimate love child of the Nike Free 5.0 and Pegasus, only better than their parents.  Light-weight and plush.  It's like carbon fiber for the feet.  I enjoy running more while wearing the Hokas and feel less beat up when done.  Buy these shoes!

Caveat #1:  the foot strike based on the rocker, takes a few miles to get used too.  If you can, alternate between your old shoes and the Hokas for a few days, so that your muscles adapt, otherwise, you may get sore.

Caveat #2: due to the design of the shoe, it's like you're running in high heels, not that I'm familiar with wearing women's footwear or underwear . . . 
On the road, it's no big deal, but on trail, I think, at the very least, until you get used to the shoe, the chance of rolling your ankle is increased.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Running Hermit & Call to Arms

I'm in the midst of preparing for the Boston Marathon.  As a result, I'm a running hermit, doing my own thing.  Most people are not interested in running their Sunday run at two easy, five at threshold, five minute jog, four at threshold, four minute jog, etc.

I had hoped that in my absence the Sunday runs would continue.  They have, but as I joke and sad to say, the reality is, as we get more members, we have less runners.

I'm the club leader, so I have to take responsibility.  I have to drive the club forward.  The only problem is,  I'm a reluctant leader.  I am an individualist at heart.  I wish to empower others to grab the reins and control the horses.  However, most people don't want the reins.  They wish to sit in the back of the buggy and let others lead.

Fine.  I accept that.  Although, a club without members who shoulder a bit of responsibility is not much of a club at all.  In economics, this is called the free rider problem.  It's where those who benefit from resources, goods, or services do not pay for them, which results in either an under-provision of those goods or services, or in an overuse or degradation of a common property resource.

Here, the common property resource is me, and I feel degraded.  I've made an effort for 20 months or so, to lead Sunday runs.  I've rearranged my schedule and negotiated with my wife so that I could lead club runs.  Yes, it's what I wanted to do, but at the same time, it was in the hope of growing the club.  When I've asked for a bit of reciprocation from the free riders, I'm told, "No, I can't".  

At the same time, members RSVP then don't show up.  This demonstrates a lack of consideration for others, as it results in a group of people standing around waiting for someone who isn't coming.  I ask that people who can't make it, just change their RSVP to a "No".  

With that said, I wish thank Chris, Greg, Erik and Dax, as they have broad shoulders.  When I've asked, you've delivered.

I will continue to soldier on, but ask those who are in the club to reflect on what that means.  Does it mean just show up and run on Sundays, or something more.  Think about it, because without more, I'll go back to being a lone wolf, rather than a rabbit.

Peace out.