April 17, 2019

16 years

I just tried and failed to post my 2019 books read-to-date post.

The thing I'd historically done was cut and paste from an excel spreadsheet into a word document and from there into Blogger where I'd cleaned up the HTML by hand.  But, over the years, this process had been getting more and more complex and frustrating, and today, I hit a wall whereby I just wasn't willing to do the work to make it happen.  I deleted the post.

Also, Blogger has to be headed to a non-profit-generating death at some point soon, no?  Personally, I've gotten so much value from this free service that I cannot possibly complain that after 16 years it appears to be breaking down in terms of offering a service that makes sense for me.

So, realistically speaking, my choices are:
1. Set up an old-school host-it-on-my-own-domain site and migrate everything to it.
2. Just call it as a 16 year experiment well run.
3. Something else.

I'm relatively allergic to #3 where #3 is moving to some other third party service provider who is also likely to go the way of Facebook, Blogger, etc. 

I'm definitely open to feedback -- please do let me know if you've found an option that works for you.
In the meantime, I'm doing lots of rehab to try to fix my pesky left leg and keep my shoulders in shape to avoid dislocation, and not getting in enough cardio plus eating/cooking extra healthy in an effort to compensate for the lack of activity and prepare for the reality that we're about to travel for 2+ weeks and we always splurge like crazy on food when we travel.

April 9, 2019

Not Quite There

I'd hoped that the early 2019 fitness efforts would result in yet another decade 5K PR last weekend.  It was not to be.

I'd been averaging 18.18 miles per week for 2019 (including walking when I remembered to enter it), so certainly, I didn't have volume on my side.  But, I'd been having some success in my hard workouts, so I was still hopeful.

My last hard workout before the Run Rocklin was a treadmill workout in Cabo.  I hit decent paces and time intervals and left feeling confident, although my pesky left hamstring insertion was annoyingly triggered by it.  Then, I bruised my heel walking barefoot in the resort post workout, or so I thought (turns out, I actually stepped on a teensy-tiny piece of metal (think glitter sized) that embedded itself in my heel, and after a week of "bruising" that seemed to be getting worse, I finally inspected it and realized I needed to remove the intruding metal splinter that was causing inflammation with tweezers).

The week after we got home, before I realized what was going on with my heel, I aggressively dialed back my workouts to recover from the "bruise" but even so, I still felt like a decade PR was totally doable -- I was just extra-tapered.

And then, the day of the race came.  I was, as planned, tapered.  The highs were projected for the low 70s, but we saw 80F in the car on the temperature readout later in the day.  After more days of rain than Norcal is used to, no one was complaining about the first gorgeous true day of Spring.  But it was hotter than I expected and I'm not great in the heat, so secretly, I had some complaints.

Also, D (my Rocklin running buddy) is not a morning person, and E managed to forget to pack his shoes, so we showed up as a rag-tag group trying to find our way to bib pick-up and only succeeding after much confusion just as they started the 5K.  After the gun (and bib pinning) we ran from the bib building to the finish arch only to be informed that the start was actually the non-marked chip crossing "way over there" much closer to the bib pick up.  Good times.

Eventually, we crossed the start line as the last 3 runners and proceeded to weave our way through the walkers for most of mile 1.  This did not lend itself to race pace effort.

I hit mile 1 at 9:45 and knew this was going to be a good workout, but nothing spectacular.  My goal had been 9:20 miles and I easily let that go.  I trailed E & D, who were clearly faster and more fit than me, catching up to them each time they stopped to get water or walk uphill.  Eventually, around mile 2, E admitted that he was going to walk the remaining mile because he had a blister from running in his Simples.

I finished sub 32 on a course with lots of turns and a few hills.  I ran a race in my hometown and coupled it with a visit to my brother, sister & her husband and nieces and nephews as well as D and her extended family.  I was sore the next day in that pleasant "Oh, yeah.  I totally pushed myself" way.  It was a weekend well spent.

Also, while I didn't hit my time goal, thanks to E's failure to pack his running shoes, I have my first 5K where I beat E in the last decade or so, so that's something.

And now, while I'm still chasing my decade PRs and my 2019 running goals, I'm putting dedicated running goals on hold in lieu of some general fitness goals such as lots of yoga, healing up my hamstring, and good nutrition coupled with general purpose aerobic fitness (including biking and hiking in Morocco and the UK).  I'll dial back in to a more dedicated running/training goal in the Summer, but for now, I'm happy to just enjoy moving my body.

April 2, 2019

Scuba Taper, Cabo Edition

Last week was a very mellow down week, running wise.  E & I had booked a long weekend dive trip with some friends in Cabo for the end of the week, so I knew I'd be minimizing my workouts.

Possibly the most picturesque surface interval we've had to date.
(Los Arcos, Cabo San Lucas)

Monday, I did some active recovery, post ORF half, doing the dozen core/strength routine for runners followed by strap stretching/mobility and shoulder rehab.  All told, it was over 90 minutes of good work and I was proud of myself, as I definitely tend to skimp on this stuff more often than not, and a post-race day when I wasn't going to get in any good running really is a great time to fit it in.

First night's sunset didn't suck.
Tuesday, I'd hoped to run, but my legs were still trashed from the half, so I did 3 easy miles of biking to and from a pre-trip pedicure, where the pedicurist commented on how tight my calf muscles were.

We did make the error of coming during 
college spring break.  Thankfully
early boat times and early bed
times protected us from most
of the chaos.  The room next
to us had college-aged boys
but they tended to get loud and
leave to party right around when
we went to sleep, so it
all worked out.
Wednesday, I'd hoped to wake early and get in a short run before we left, but, due to working late, it didn't happen, so I just spent the day traveling, with the associated airport walking, as well as walking to dinner on the property next door to our resort.

The Cabo San Lucas marina is very picturesque.
Also, several yachts with helicopters...

Thursday was a dive day on the Corridor (Gavilanes & Cabeza Gallena) with an early boat time.  When we were thirty minutes into the boat ride, almost at the dive site, someone pointed at 2 late-season humpback wales breaching and diving.  Our captain stopped the boat and we just enjoyed the view as they migrated, at one point, less than 100 feet off the boat.  I must say, this was a very unexpected benefit of this dive trip and totally awe-inspiring.  They are huge!  The amount of surface area of the ocean that they modify when they breach is insane -- they leave a clear area of smooth water from the surface tension changes of their movements that persists for several minutes as a contrast to the mini-perturbations in the undisturbed sea.

Pancho the sea lion has learned how to hop aboard inboard fishing boats and beg for/steal fish.
It was adorable to see, but like many taming of wildlife situations, also a little depressing...
Sadly, I'd stowed my phone for the transit to avoid water risk, so I was unable to get it out in time to take pictures when the whales were spotted.  That night, we walked the 1.5 miles home from the marina, and again walked to a nearby property for dinner.

We fit in a proper Mexican Arrachera spot *and* an Argentinian Parilla
(Spoiler, I'm still behind my red meat goals for the year...)
Friday was another dive day (North Wall to Pelican Rock (and back) & South Wall to Pelican Rock (and back)), requiring a walk to the marina early in the day.  It was a gorgeous day of diving, including seeing my first sea horse!  Friday night, we walked at least 3 miles in town after dinner and back home.

We tried to dive off Land's End, but the conditions were too rough,
so we just enjoyed the views and headed back to the wall.
Saturday was a decompression day, which was wonderful.  We slept in, and then I headed to the gym for a full set of drills, lunges, whatnot, followed by a treadmill workout at 1% incline of 2X5 min 7 seconds/mile faster than target 5K pace; followed by 3X3 min at the same pace, all with walking recovery for a total distance of 3.25 miles.

Post-workout relaxation with gorgeous views, 
a book, and delivered drinks and food!
Sunday, I'd hoped to go for a run outdoors (the gym was closed on Sundays), but Saturday's poolside relaxation had resulted in enough of a sunburn that I decided it was smarter to skip the run.

Monterey Bay welcoming us home.
(Side note -- we discussed diving here, and E & I agreed that at this point, we're just too wimpy to brave the cold.)

All told, I put in very little running last week, for a total of 15ish miles total on my feet, with only one true workout.  Unfortunately, I managed to bruise my heel walking around the resort barefoot on Saturday, so yesterday's run was cut short, and today I opted out of yoga when it became clear that balancing on that foot without a shoe was going to make it worse.  I'd originally hoped to get in a couple of easier workouts this week to sharpen up for Sunday's race, but some or all of those are now off the schedule.  Hopefully, 2 weeks isn't enough time to lose fitness, and I'll just benefit from the aggressive taper while my heel heals up before Sunday.