Posts

Showing posts from November, 2012

Turkey adventure -- Day 2

Image
(Show distances in kilometers / miles)I wake up at 7:45, which is quite a bit later than I'd like to, but having to run 40K and being sleepy would be just too much for me ;). I eat breakfast at the Lodge's restaurant, where they have a fairly tasty buffet.Then I hop in the car and drive to Yosemite; it's a 30 minute drive. When I get there I realize that it's fairly cold. I have some relatively warm clothes, plus I'm gonna be running, but I'm missing a hat and gloves and it's mountains, so I don't want to risk it. Fortunately, there is a fairly well equipped mountaineering shop so I quickly fix that.But then I realize I have a more serious problem: by that time it is already half past 10; doing 20K12 miles, my target distance, in the mountain is going to take at least 3 hours and it's getting dark around 5pm, so I need to be finished by that time. Doesn't take much to figure out that I won't be able to fit in 2 such runs with a lunch break i…

Turkey adventure -- Day 1

Image
(Show distances in kilometers / miles)«You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone»
— Percy CeruttyAs I wrote before I had a very bold plan for the long Thanksgiving weekend: Yosemite, 4 days, 8 runs and 100 miles.100 miles, (i.e. 160 kilometers). At least that was the plan. Whether I'd be able to make it; I really didn't know. The most I ever run in a week was 113km70 miles and now all of a sudden I wanted to do over 40% more in just 4 days...Some of you may wonder why would I want to do such a thing, in the first place. Well, firstly I can hardly come up with a better way of spending those few days than running around in the beautiful nature of the Yosemite Park. Secondly, it was supposed to be a test of sorts. I want to do a 100 mile race next year and if I am ever to do it in just one day then I guess I should be able to do it over four, right?So this is how the idea of the Turkey Adventure, with its reference to the Turkey-powered holiday, c…

Week 46, 2012: Big Sur half-marathon

Image
So, the Big Sur half-marathon week has come. I did a fast threadmill workout on Monday, followed by recovery run on Tuesday and then both fast and recovery runs on Thursday. The former I planned to deviate from my standard 12K route and instead do only 8K but at a fast, half-marathon target pace.Little side story here. Recently I started playing around with Strava and the more I do, the more I like it. To begin with it has much nicer, modern interface than the one of Endomondo, which I start to hate... funnily enough they updated it this week and, yes, it's better, so maybe I'll reconsider, although I'm half moved to Strava by now (and the only thing keeping me with Endo is all my friends being there; guys check out Strava, it's pretty cool).But there's more. The main distinguishing feature (IMHO) of Endomondo are the peptalks. But since I don't run with my phone anymore (and even if I did I now live in a completely incompatible time zone) and only upload runs…

California living: Google campus & perks

Image
Work is still slow, as I'm learning the ropes, so let me tell you a bit about the work environment instead. But first, few of you were asking what am I working on. Well, closest Google product to what I'll be doing is Image search. However, I'm in the Infrastructure team, so I'm more on the backend side of things and moreover, I'm a Software Engineer in Test, so I'm working on the testing infrastructure, rather than the product itself. Anyway...To begin with I have to say that the campus is somewhat different than what I imagined. I thought it would be like a huge university campus: with plenty of green open space. Instead, it's more like a small city, including streets and traffic lights, one difference being the abundance of colorful Google bikes cruising around :).But with regards to perks and benefits... it's at least as good as I imagined, maybe better ;). Most of you probably heard stories of how Google is as close to paradise as work can get for …

Planning, planning...

Image
(I know that I'm falling behind with writing about non-running related stuff. A post is coming shortly, I promise...)Shortly after the Berlin marathon I was planning to write a post outlining my plans for 2013. Now, 1.5 months later. I still didn't do it and it's not only because I didn't have time (though that, too), but mostly because my plans hadn't materialized just yet.One thing I know for sure is that I want to take my Lakeland 50 experience further and to try to run a 100 miler. And, quite clearly, all my plans for next year would be geared toward that goal. Now, here's where the problems start: I haven't found my dream 100-miler yet.My first thought was Western States 100. It's very famous so it seemed to be an obvious choice. However, I'd have to be super lucky to make it through their lottery system. And, as it turned out, I won't even be able to test my luck, as they don't recognize the Lakeland 50, as a qualifying race :/.My seco…

Week 45, 2012: Black Mountain

Image
Nice, busy week. Three times in the gym (as planned), 5 runs (as planned), a Sunday hike and squash on Friday.Both on Tuesday and Thursday I did what becomes my signature training: fast 12k; both times tiny bit faster than 4:30min/km. Next Sunday I'll be running the Big Sur half-marathon in Monterey and my hope is to go 15sec per kilometer faster there. Could be doable. For once I'm running my fast runs on a trail; sure, it's flat and easy but road should give me a bit of extra kick, I guess. And hopefully adrenaline will chip in the rest. What is more scary is that I'll have to sustain this pace for 21k, not 12k. And that certainly will be trickier. On all my fast runs my heart rate steadily climbs up and averages above 160bpm, so not much margin there.In any case time to lay down goals for the race.Golden: 1:29:00, that would be an improvement of my PB dating back to 2005 (!), so I don't think one can ask for more. Not likely to happen, though. I don't think …

Week 44, 2012: St Joseph's Open Regional Space & Almaden Quicksilver County park

Image
On Monday evening I went for a hike with Miguel and some of his friends. We went to Mission Peak. It was essentially the first time I hiked in the dark, but with the full moon I have to say it was very pleasant. We climbed to the top, had some food and wine there and then came back. Nice one!On Tuesday I did my fast run and managed to make it substantially faster than last week, averaging 4:30min/km. The route is becoming a routine for me: 6km out and back along the bay with the first short stretch on asphalt and then mostly on dirt/gravel; whole thing completely flat. It becomes my landmark route for the fast runs, which is nice as the results should be comparable.What is less nice is that my training seems to resemble a careful balancing act; most of the time I'm borderline injured (my shins acting up) and have to tread carefully, so to speak. That was the main reason why I canceled the second planned run on Tuesday. Was considering making up for it on Wednesday but gave up on t…

Week 43, 2012: Big Sur

Image
Almost a week late, but finally time for a new post :)Oh, what a week it was! To begin with I decided to extend my sport repertoire with the gym, which I hit right away on Monday morning. Then a faster run on Tuesday morning followed by a treadmill run in the evening... and the same configuration on Thursday. On Friday I hit the gym to do back and biceps and the following day... my hamstrings were killing me. I guess that's what happens when you do deadlifts for the first time. And then, as usual, the best part of the week come on the weekend...Andrew Molera State ParkThis week I decided to go to the famously beautiful Big Sur. The ambitious plan was to get up at 6am Saturday morning, drive down there and do a run before joining my friend Jorge and his friends for a hike. Believe it or not, but I did really get up at 6am. On Saturday morning. Yeah, I know, California has a weird effect on me. I reached the park and at 9am was already out and about, just as planned.I quickly hit th…