Sunday, January 31, 2010

Birthday Run

Two days ago I went on my birthday run. It didn't rain. Not that I mind the rain, I actually really like it now. But it makes running in the canyon kind of difficult. Very slippery. Even in Vibrams. The VFFs are really good for stream crossings and log climbing though.
Zoe was happy to be back in the canyon. Here are some pictures from our run.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Great research report on barefoot running - click here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Out There

As soon as we are outside I realize that it's never as bad as I think it will be. It's always better. Enjoyable. The cold, wet storm actually envelopes us, and isn't that cold at all. The cool wet fuels our running, gives us energy, gives our feet wings.

Zoe loves the rain. She prances through puddles with puppy exuberance. She plows the water with her snout and tosses her head in delight. I indulge her. She can get as wet as she wishes.

I try to keep my feet dry for about 10 minutes. Then it's just a lost cause and I splash directly into one. I'm soaked to the bone but the run keeps me warm. The inner fire of metabolism. As long as I keep moving I'm warm. It's powerful to know that you are in control even in the middle of a storm.

We will run tomorrow in the rain again.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Runners in the Storm

Here it comes! Big rain and probably wind too. I'm looking forward to it. Zoe should like it as it's cool and wet and she can splash in puddles (her fave!) I'll even attempt an early morning run so that I can make a decent Sunday morning breakfast when I come home, complete with bacon (mmmm). Bacon of course will arrive after sufficient mileage. Of course.

Today our run was kind of pitiful. Zoe was draggin' ass. At first I worried that she was hurt or suffering from some unknown heart ailment. But then I remembered her bathroom "issue." The dog hates taking a crap anywhere but at home. You may think, "Well hell that's good! No crap picking up on your run!" Well sort of. No crap to pick up but you get a visibly uncomfortable dog that won't run with you. And this always happens half-way out. I have to leave on my runs with her after she takes a dump. I'm hoping that an early morning run will coincided with her early morning evacuation. And everyone will be happy. Well at least we did get over 5 in today and I uploaded it to my online workout calendar.

Yes folks I am still keeping track of my workouts. What an easy resolution! It feels great to have it all organized again - I can see just what I need to do and where I'm at. This is a little victory (Hell I actually have to do the workouts, ya know, that should be the hardest part of it). But I've been so bad at keeping track of my training in the past that I'm sure it's been holding me back. And now I have to fill in those little squares in my calendar. I do like that my calendar is tabulating my monthly mileage...I think this is better than weekly mileage. I used to get all wacky and try to get it my weekly mileage up to 40 any way I could when it was too late for a that week (oh 20 miles on Saturday to get it up to 40, yeah that sounds smart!) A monthly tabulation gives you much more wiggle room.

In other news my cronically tight hip is starting to feel much better. I've been concentrating on leaning on my other hip and it seems to be evening things out a bit. When I'm sitting, standing, everything...My left hip got so tight after I had broken my right leg. So of course my left leg took over as the dominant leg. Just don't break your leg folks, and all of these stupid things won't happen to you and you can keep running merrily along without any detours. My detour has been way too long.

Other things in Chez Coyote -
Both adults are dealing with unemployment. I thought that I would've gotten a new gig by now...but the wheels of employment are turning ever so slowly. It's taking forever to get through interviews and such. I'm hoping to have something cemented by the end of this week.
CoyoteGuy is looking, but not finding much that is good for him. This was expected. Me - my work is very portable and very gig oriented. His? Well it's very organizationally oriented and involves working fulltime for a company for years with much trust and involvement (can you say management???) So well, his search will take some time. Honestly I think that what we need is our own biz - but what to do? We'd need to come up with something that people really need and will pay for in a recession. And the money to do it? Aye there's the rub. Ideally I think that'll be the way for us to go but we'll have to replenish the household funds first. I DO have a few ideas. At least these coyotes are wily ones and we can live on the cheap.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pulgas Ridge
Since this place is one of the few that allow dogs on trails (!) in this area it was jammed packed with people and pooches on this Sunday morning. All's good though because the pooch crowd is a nice bunch.
It started off very foggy, but soon the sun came out leaving me overdressed, as usual. But I could pack away some of my clothes in my little backpack that I was toting full of water and G2 for the pooch and me. Zoe was very happy about this trail run; she did great. The last time we ran here she pooped out - but then again she was younger and it was hotter. The older, and bigger she gets the stronger and better at running she becomes. She's really turning into a great running partner after all. Her endurance is improving tremendously, and at the end of our runs now she obviously could go longer and probably wants to go longer.
This turned out to be a much shorter run than I really wanted it to be, only about four miles. Next time I come here we'll double the loop or do some zigzagging. In the future we'll have to try out some of the dogfriendly trails in the east bay for some good distance stuff together.
My slow easy and steady approach is working so far. And I'm keeping track of my runs religiously which I think will help tremendously with my training program. Ohlone 50k here I come!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Taking it Slow and Steady in the New Year

Boy did I crash and burn last year. I went out hard and just fizzled out. The year before my goal was to finish my first Ultra. Done. Last year I wanted to mellow out on the mileage and increase the speed, do a fast 5k. Did not happen. I totally burned out.

It's okay, I'll learn from experience and just take it easy this year. I want to do another slow, long and steady will be the answer. Plus strength training in the form of crossfit workouts. I have this weird thing where my left hip gets really tight. Seems to happen more when I wear more cushioned built up trainers. I don't know what it is but if I run in Vibram FFs or my favorite Nike Jana cross-country flats it's not so bad. Also if I do squats and really, really stretch it seems to help. I'll just keep hittin' it with everything I've got. Even some yoga, which I love but have no time for.

And my running partner is improving. Actually, the K9 is doing great. The giant pooch who once hated running (she would literally just stop mid-stride and stand there until we turned around and went home) loves it now! Good think because she's become a mean bitch (literally) at the dog park. She picks on all the younger female dogs. So it's best for her to get most of her excercise on the road and trails with me. She loooves the canyon. We haven't been able to run the canyon ( I let her off lead there) this week because she's in heat - so I have to keep close tabs on her. We'll get her spayed before her next heat.

One important factor in my slow and steady plan will be keeping careful track of my training. I suck at this. I have a drawer full of half-used training calendars. This time I'm using and I'm doing everything including recording my weight which is very depressing right now. I'm about 10 up from the holidays and 15 up from where I really want to be. Eh.

But it's all process. It's all learning to enjoy the here and now. Sure I want to be light and fast and ready to run my next 50k (late May?). Hopefully I will be light and fast and in-shape by then. But wishing for that and hating where I am will only make it harder to get there. Today on my way home during my run I hit a sweet spot. Not as fast or light as in the past when I was younger and fitter...but it felt good all the same. The winter sun was warm, Zoe the dog trotted merrily at my side, nuzzling my hand every once in a while to show me that she appreciated our little jaunt. And I didn't feel half bad physically. There was a little spring in my step that I haven't had for a while. It's these moments that will keep me moving on.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

RIP MetroSport

It ended on December 15th 2009. A 24 (?) year stint of a running store. May not seem like much to you but here it is as I know it.

My first running store was Magic Sports/Runner's Feet in Burlingame. A whole 1/2 a mile from my home and across the street from my high school track. I got my first Nike Pegasus there back in my sophomore year. Unfortunately my high school running career was not as good as it should have been, but that is a different story.

After highschool and college I was running mostly for myself. I wasn't bad. My PB in the 5k was a pretty good 17:06. I worked in the politico/legal world, married young - divorced and was looking for an easier job to just "make it" for a while.

I saw an ad for sales people at MetroSport back in '95. I hadn't even heard of the place and I was a pretty avid runner. But it sounded like fun and it looked like it would be a good rest from the rather high pressure job that I had.

I met some of the best people and best friends at MetroSport. The owner, Peter Crone, has been a wonderful reference all of these years. I ended up marrying the manager and then GM of MetroSport, Mike.

Metro was a great home to runners and of course it had GREAT product. It was one of the best places to find Nike running gear in the Bay Area (especially clothing!). Plus they had all of the other top brands.

MetroSport ended up being a victim of the recession. To see how severe this last downturn was look at how long MetroSport lasted, through all of the other economic downturns in the past twenty plus years. Yet this one did it in. It lost six locations in a few years' time. Devastating.

So next time you're thinking of buying from that big mail order/web company to "maybe" save a few bucks on your next pair of shoes or shorts, think about that local running store with the great service, advice and product selection. It may not be there next week. Then a little part of what you like about where you live will be gone. A little bit more of your community will be lost. More local jobs will dissappear. When will it stop?