Sunday, June 21, 2009

Training- Race Update

I was able to have a little breather this past week after my Holcomb 33 mile ultra run. This past week was a planned "Rest" prior to my Triathlon Fitness Assessment which starts tmr at Triathlica. Monday will be the Bike portion, Wednesday Swim, and Friday Run. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate where I am at fitness wise in order to help plan my Triathlon Training program for the OC Triathlon in Sept.

The past 4 weekends have been really fun :)
I did my first 1/2 road marathon after 2 year or so layoff...
May 25th-Saddleback half (2:01:40).

Then I did my first Duathlon, May 30th in Lake Forest. It was really cool, it started with a 5k run, 24mile bike, 5k run. I came in 4th in my group, I considered it great practice for the OC Tri in sept. (2:08:41). The Bike portion of the course was very wet and slick. I was very familiar with the bike portion with the exception of the turn-around point... but other than that it did stress my hamstrings to the point where I felt them on the last 5k portion of the race. Both of my 5k times were at 27 min. I was pretty happy with my run times, considering my lack of training for this event.

The following week I entered the June 6th-Corona Del Mar 5k (26:42)- this was very hilly race but fun at the same time. I was able to run right along the Corona Del Mar Beach- where I will be doing my future ocean swims.

On June 14th, I completed my 2nd Ultra Marathon for the year at Holcomb Valley in Big Bear (8:13). This was my 3rd year in a row at Holcomb, the previous 2 years I had completed the 15mile trail run. This is a very well supported trail race in Big Bear. I highly recomend this run for either the 15 mile portion and even more so the 33miler. The course is like a figure 8 course so you get see many fantastic views of the lake and best of all you get to run parts of the Pacific Crest Trail. I plan to come back next year for sure.

Up next is the Breath of Life Triathlon, June 28th. Which is a special day for me personally, I am sure I will have mixed feelings throughout the race.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What was I thinking?

I just finished the Saddleback Half Marathon (2:01) this past Monday. It was my first road half since 12/06(LA Half-1:57). It was a great course- I would do it again for is the line up for the next few weeks...

5/30- OC Duathlon
6/6- Corona Del Mar 5k
6/14-Holcomb Valley Ultra 33miler
6/28-Breath of Life Olympic Triathlon
7/4- 4th of July 5k in HB

I will update these race results with short stories as they happen...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Race on the Base- Results

I am not sure what I was thinking when I registered for all 3 events back to back... but I am happy that things work out for the good on this day. The early morning started out at 5:15am when I left from Fountain Valley, to drive about 30min to the race site. I was 15min early, the guards did not let me in until 6am. I later arrived at 6am and they let me in- then it took at least 36min of waiting to in a long line to find parking. I still had to pick up all three bibs, go to the restroom and find my snails pace group. At this point I was way behind schedule it was at least 7:15am- I went looking for my group in the massive line. My plan was to start from the back then work my way up and help pace my group in as they needed it. I managed to find a few runners along the way and take a few pics. After I crossed the finish line, I had about 15min- to go to my car- get my bike and take it to the TRI area. TRI area did not open until 7:30am :), so with min's to spare - I jumped in line for the 10k start which started at 8:30am...
The 10K race was kinda long- I was expecting some company but they were sick and could not run. So I thru on the ipod tunes and tried to keep a steady pace and finish under 1hr :)
After I finished the 10K- I had to go back to my car because I forgot my stickers for my bike :( now I had to run all the way back to the TRI area to put on the stickers. The stickers are for security, the number on the bike should match your bib or the hand stamp. After dealing with the sticker issue- I had 2min's to jump in line for the 5K run- I tried my best to countdown the time and leave something in the tank for the bike. This 5k split was faster than my first 5k :), after the run, I could not wait to jump on my bike. The bike felt sooo good, I was passing alot of people- after 3 loops of the bike course, I jumped off the bike, and jumped in the pool- for the swim portion... it was really packed with bodies. I tried my best to not kick anyone :) but in the end- I was pleased with my effort on this long day. I would like to thank the folks at the Snails Pace Running shop for sponsoring me for this event. Also my students in my running 101 group have truly been a source of inspiration- they show up on time- and have strong desire to get fit and most importantly have fun... isn't this why we all do this?

my times...

Vara, Pete   36:08   710  442   44 5K Run
Vara, Pete 57:11 256 183 31 10K Run
Vara,Pete 33:08 39:14 4:53 1:17:13.13

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dawn Patrol -dirt early edition runs at shady canyon

Our start time this morning was 5:01 am for a brisk 8 mile out and back at shady canyon in irvine- this was a good follow-up run considering how much leg stress I had yesterday. The hills at shady were pretty easy and soft compact sand made it even move inviting to push a little faster. This small group of early risers is simply amazing, we are all improving in so many ways and are always encouraging each other.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Early Morning Run-Bike Edition

OMG- what an exhilarating training session I had this morning... It was one of sessions of what I call "confidence builder"- I started on the treadmill or dreadmill and ran for 25min at a easy 8min pace with my dear friend Camille.

We quickly transitioned to the bike. This is where the fun started, we warmed up for 5min, then we did 3 sets of 10min (build) increasing the tension every 2min, after each 10min session we quickly did 1min of rapid squats with 10lb weights, followed by a 45sec hold in the squat position. I never ever felt my legs on fire before. This was a great feeling- I am planning to really hammer on Saturday during the bike portion of the race. I just hope the winds are in my favor on the flat course. After our 45min bike session Camille said next time we'll incorporate squat jumps :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Race on the Base Prep- 5k,10K,TRI all in one day...

In just a few short days I am looking forward to comeback into the TRI world. I am not sure if it will be a permanent comeback or just something temporary. After some time off from TRI's (3years) and connecting with the Trail running community. I have found new things about myself and fostering new relationships with other runners.

For example- I love track workouts, i love doing hills, I used to hate running because I felt I was always slow. And in some ways I still feel like I am slow... but I feel the trail running community is very close and the sense of community is really felt. I feel the sport of triathlon has also prepared me to better balance my training by incorporating cross training, cycling and swimming. Both serve a tremendous catalyst to proper recovery and staying injury free.

So my goal this weekend is to have a positive experience and lead by example to my snails pace students that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I will pace my 5K beginning running group on their first 5k, then run the 10K, and then race the reverse tri- (well at least i will have a nice pool cool down after a long day)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ProWash Review

I am pleased with my recent wash test with ProWash- as an ultra runner- and ironman triathlete, I have more technical gear than casual clothes proud to say :). I tend to run twice a day 2 times a week on the trails and roads. My technical gear does pile up very fast, and washing has become a ritual 2 times a week during my peak training period. I used ProWash thru the month of January, it has been very wet and muddy here in so. Cal so I wanted to make sure this product lived up to its reputation. Personal observations the liquid was very light and not as thick as some of the other detergents. The spout was unique in nature, but I did like the clear measuring line that showed how much liquid was left in the pouch.

I was very impressed on how the product brought back to life my technical gear- from the socks, shorts, shirts, hats, gloves, and arm warmers. My technical gear had this fresh feeling, and my body felt like it could breathe again. More important the odor was removed from the clothing which made me feel great. You can go to the ProWash website here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to Back Race Weekend

There are NO Dummies Guide to running back-to-back races- believe me I checked :) I must say I could NOT have completed both races without the help of my close running friends. These close friends aka "Dawn Patrol" we complete most of our training runs during the week prior going to work or taking the kids to school. The Dawn Patrol shows up on time and most of runs are based on time- and always trying to mix things up based on our race schedule. We have a interesting cast of characters but at the end of day we all support each other.

The day of Twin Peaks 50K was really cold there was another race that same day 50Miler race. At the end of the day I was happy with my 50k performance. Lisa K, Molly, and Kim F, pretty much stuck together for most of the race it was a great support system. As the we starting to go downhill with 7miles to go, Molly and Lisa had a surge of energy that I could not match. I decided to finish at my own pace knowing I had another trail race the next day. My main concern after crossing the finish line- was walking around for 15min or so, and have my recovery drink and stretch. I rushed home to shower as I was hosting a Pre-Race dinner at Pizza place within a 2hr time span. This pre-race dinner was with my 5K Begging running group that had their first 5k called Santa Run in Tustin. I wanted to share my story of the 50k, and get a chance to break break with their families. Many of the people were very excited about their first 5k, I tried to harness that energy to get me motivated for my 15K the next day. After dinner I went to bed at 7:30pm and set my alarm for 5:30am....
I felt pretty stiff in the morning and started my normal routine, which includes coffee :)
Then I made plans to meet with Julie at fashion island to carpool to the race site. It was freezing cold at the start, I told so many people about this race it seemed like everyone was there with fresh legs. BTW this was my first trail race with a timing chip. The first hill felt really bad, my legs were saying "STOP" but as soon as I started to get warmed up the pain went away- There was this 1 mile climb called "i think i can" and i went up slow and easy and started to pass many walkers. Passing people on the uphill gave me added incentive to keep running faster, the competitive juices were flowing. At this point my main goal was to reach Molly (dawn patrol member) she had promised to be at the ridge park and cheer us on. She was there with her kids and gave me a much need boost. With 3 miles to go it was all down hill. I finished strong went back home and crashed for the rest of the day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2 days and counting

What started out as some crazy idea several months ago is about 2 days away. I signed up for the twin peaks ultra 50k and xterra crystal cove 15k which takes place the day after twin peaks. My game plan is to be able to survive the weekend to blog about it next week. In the months leading up to this weekend. I have used hammer products as part of my training regime. Hammer has an extensive knowledge base and expert phone consultants to answer all of your questions. One of my main concerns going into this weekend is sleep and recovery. I posed a question a week ago to the hammer nutrition forum, the topic was my pre-race meal. Due to my early start on sat- my plan was to wake up at 2am and have my usual bowl of oatmeal and coffee. I had this routine down since my training for Ironman Brazil serveral years ago and it always worked. Why? beacuse I would swim for 90min first thing in the morning and it would be difficult to have food. I found that having a small serving of oatmeal worked for me for my long extended master swim workouts. I simply carried that routine over to my ultra running. I was told many years ago about the 3hr rule prior to your training or races, but never really understood why. Here is link to the article that explains in detail why. So this past week- I went with the option of getting more sleep and skipping the oatmeal. My biggest fear was running starving with the empty stomach feeling. I must say I did not feel that all on Tuesday and today.
So here is my menu.


3am- Wake up

4 Hammer Endurolytes prior
3 Hammer race caps supreme
16oz of Hammer heed

Race Start at 5am
3 Hammer Endurolytes per hour for 7hrs
1 race cap per hour
1.5 liters of Heed in camel pack (refill with water at aid stations)
26oz of Hammer perpetuem batter- (14 scoops)
6 hammer gels

Post Race
2-3 scoops Hammer Recoverite mix (drink on my way home)

Repeat on Sunday

But modified for only a under 2hr race

I will post my evaluation of how everything went in my next post.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dana Point Turkey Trot

Part of the Snails Pace running program includes a kinda mid-term race practice. This year our mid-term race included the Dana Point Turkey Trot. We had several runners from our group that had interest in this race but some could not show up at the last min.

Believe it or not this photo is a pre-race photo :) Donna and I had carpooled to the race site- and as we were getting into Dana Point it just started to rain. We both love coffee so we went to a Local Peets in Dana Point, to keep warm. Then we ended up driving around for what seemed like 45 min to find parking. After we found parking like 1 mile away from the race site, it just started to pour rain. We were both soaked and I was nursing my coffee to every last drip. We finally made it to the Snails Pace running tent to find shelter- there we connected with our runners Christine and Beth. This was their first race ever, and it was pretty exciting to see there development come along. So after this photo we had about 30min to warm up, so we walked up this big hill to kinda get the blood flowing to the legs and hands. We managed to keep moving and feel right into line as the race started. Both Beth and Christine rocked the course- they kept and a good mental attitude throughout the race and both felt great coming across that finish line.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coaching Update

This photo was taken during week two of my coaching practice in Huntington Beach, during the sunset. I have been very blessed with runners from my group. They have demonstrated a strong commitment to their training program. I am sometimes a bit overwhelmed with many people in my group. Some of them want to move ahead quicker than the program, and others are dealing with old injuries. To balance the two extremes I am very thankful for our volunteer coach Donna. She has helped the program run much smoother and have been my eyes and ears as we try run with the whole group. I do my best to run with each runner to kinda cage how they are doing, and to share some common stories about training etc...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Taking 1 pitch at a time.

It is kinda funny how life throws a curve ball every now and then. I have been recovering from a nagging IT band problem for the last 3-4 months. I have started to run track again with Orange County Track Club (OCTC) and started to feel better after a few good training runs. My best track running drill had to be “indian ladder drills” I think we had about 4-5 people in our group and we all knew each other. So pushing each other was easier and fun. We had to do 5 or 6 sets of 800, and on our last set, the coach challenged us to push it hard, and we all did, it was a real rewarding experience to share with fellow runners. I really enjoy while running if you tap into nice rhythm, and everything seems to flow. Meaning breathing is easy, nothing hurts, leg turn-over is fast and heart rate is right at zone and the weather is perfect. I have been really fortunate to find others that are around my same speed, work schedule, etc where we can always run together. Finding and encouraging others can sometimes be a bit difficult task to achieve even if everyone one has a different goal. A unique opportunity presented itself which involves coaching at A Snails Pace. Nattie informed me that she will not be able to continue to coaching running 101, and connected with Michelle the running director for the program. I just started my session in Oct which is Tues/Wed at 6pm, and Saturday at 7am in Huntington Beach. I have a big group of runners and seem eager to learn and run their first 5K.