Yoga is Super Fantastic Cross-Training, So is Taking a Nap on Your Yoga Mat on Grass Under Trees. That’s Why We Love Yoga
I was reviewing the last month’s posts and realized there wasn’t much on running. At first I thought, time to get back to the running articles then I thought let’s keep this theme going. Why become a creature of habit. My Coach, Steve Ilg, recently sent me a text message that read, “Life is short, Live fully.” It made me think that I need to experience as much as possible. For me that’s cross-training.
Last week, I found myself with Sandra in the Pacific Ocean going for a 1.5 mile swim. As I would turn my head for air I could see the sandy beach and the houses that lined the strand. I was in another beautiful place. I am looking forward to roller-skating more this year. Recently I found myself in a beach volleyball game that turned into hours of learning to move quickly through the sand. You have read about my biking expeditions lately and I’ve been practicing more yoga than ever. Gary’s Tuesday night Power Yoga Class has been fantastic training. In fact, I’ve been seeing more and more SoCalRunning.com members take it.
Mountain Bike Racing in Beautiful Hills
“Variety is the spice of life” or so it has been said. All these other training opportunities offer you a chance to put some spice into your daily routine. Being open to these new opportunities and working on the skills associated with them give you new strengths and focus. All of this comes back in spades to the weekend warrior runner. Be open and experience the benefits of cross-training.
Yogi B and Monet kickin’ it Wildflower style. Yogi B had one fine long course race last Saturday
Wildflower Triathlon – A Tough Race In A Beautiful Place
The day’s temp was about the same as the last two years, maybe even a touch cooler but the wind was a major factor. After a fun Friday night, I got to sleep around 11:45 PM. I don’t need much sleep before a race and who really sleeps well the night before a big race, so I say, “Why force it?” I stay up late like I do almost every night.
Stephanie and I were one of the first participants at the transition area. I laid out my stuff, found Steph and got on an empty shuttle back to camp for breakfast. Us old men don’t start until 9 AM or later. I had plenty of time for the PRP and to get my pre-race thoughts in order. I headed down with Bruce, lubed up and put on my wetsuit.
The swim was choppy and crowded, especially when you start that late. I had the best drafting swim of my life and only sighted about 50 times the entire race. I took it easy and felt good. I swam a 35 min, which is average for me.
In my T1 rush I made a terrible mistake, I forgot to stuff my singlet with food. I need solid food on the bike and I drink water. I was forced to use the gels on the course and shorted myself about 500 calories compared to what I had intended. I paid for it.
Talk about the wind again. I don’t get much practice in the wind and I found my upper back very tight because I was strongly gripping my aerobars and horns. This prevented me from being in the aeros as much as I wanted. It almost felt like I was learning my bike handling skills all over, being blown around. I certainly wasn’t as relaxed as I usually am.
I still have to download my Power Tap® but I am willing to bet my average watts were down 25 – 40 from last year. The bike took 3:02. This back injury slowed me down. I got off the bike and my legs felt dead, I mean really dead. If I didn’t have the bike to hold me up I would have collapsed. I limped over to my rack and had a slow T2. It took 2 miles, food, Advil and Thermalytes to get my feet turning again. My steps were short, I mean grandpa using a walker short, until I hit my first downhill around mile 2.75 when I put my ChiRunning techniques into speed. At that point, I changed my goals. It wasn’t about finishing, it was about running up every hill. The Catalina Marathon had primed me for these hills, I knew I could do it. I started off slow but focused on my techniques and just kept running except through the aid stations. I would walk for gels and water.
I knew I had a little hill at the top of mile 9 followed by a nice downhill then to the toughest part of the race for me, the climb up mile 10. I never looked more than 25 feet in front of me up that hill and prayed, for real. I got my second wind and nobody passed me from mile 9 on. I flew down Lynch hill. I must have past at least 50 people. I ran though the shoot faster than ever before. I hoped to salvage a sub 2-hour run but ran a 2:03. It doesn’t matter because I found my run out there, when it counted.
I finished 33 out of 185 with a final time of 5:46:09. Looking back, I will fix a couple of things. First, buy a Bento Box for my food. Second, I had a negative mindset with the wind. There was way too much focus on how I couldn’t PR in that wind. On the positive side, I finished stronger than ever. I feel good and I was able to find that spirit inside me that got me going when I was thinking how tough it was going to be finish. I was able to let go and get into the moment.
It was great hanging with the Pasadena Tri Club and great people. I am proud of everyone who made the trip.
Side Note: I lost my challenge to Brandon Hament aka Yogi B, who beat me by more than 14 minutes. Congrats Yogi B, great race.
Train Focused – Steve Mackel, USA Triathlon Coach
It up to Gary now to fill you in and give you tips because I am off to race in the Wildflower Long Course triathlon. I stated my goal back in Dec. ’06, a sub 5:30:00 and a new PR. Coming off my back injury it should be interesting. I was forced to completely change the way I train and much of it for the better. So I go knowing my endurance is better than ever yet my top end speed is down…ah compromises. Maybe endurance out weighs speed. We’ll see 🙂 Wish me luck.
Race Focused, Steve Mackel – USA Triathlon Coach
Steve, Andy and Colin at the top of GMR
My birthday has come and gone. It was a fun and memorable weekend. Old friends, new friends and a crazy training schedule. It started out Saturday with a 44-mile bike ride in the mountains above Glendora. I ended up with Andy and Colin. I just watched my Power Tap®, riding an average of 240 watts, as Andy toyed with us. Colin was hanging. It was above race pace to get ready for Wildflower long course this Saturday. I pushed myself.
a view from the top and Andy throwing away local litter
After a fun night we woke up for the Trail Run/Yoga Duathlon. Well after a 9-mile trail run straight up and down Griffith Park, we found ourselves in the sweatiest yoga ever. The room was not heated by anything other than our own bodies and the room was a pool of sweat. Even as gross as this sounds at one point Gary turns to me a says, “This is great.” The yoga was intense as usual. No fancy poses, just doing the work in your fundamental poses. Coach Ilg lead the yoga and talked about us being warriors. After all that we felt like warriors.
Coach Gary and Coach Ilg – Coach Ilg’s Dharmagram
Next was an early dinner. I think everyone was wiped out after that. It has taken me until Monday night to recover. Now here we go, Wildflower this Saturday. More to come, maybe even a RunCast.
The Warrior Crew (L-R) Coach Steve, Larry, Sindy, Al, Sandy, Rubi, Coach Gary, missing from picture Jake, Bob, Rebekah, CJ, Steve and Michael
Race Focused, Steve Mackel – SoCalRunning.com Co-Founder
Beach Runners Training – The Safe, Fun and Efficient Way
Join the fun and learn about the Beach Runners Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program. Training starts on Saturday, May 19th. It’s the Official Training Program of the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007 6:30 P.M to 9:00 PM
Buono’s Authentic Pizzaria
Downtown, Long Beach
250 W Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90802
2nd Kick Off Party
Thursday, May 17, 2007 6:30 P.M. to 9:00 PM
Location To Be Announced Soon
These Kick Off parties will give you a chance to learn about the Beach Runners Training Program, meet the coaches, meet other participants, have your questions answered, register, eat some free, good food and enjoy a fun evening.