I will be going to St. George, Utah for the marathon this coming weekend. This should be a little fun run. I have not done much speed work lately and don't know what kind of times I can run, but I will just see what pace I can settle in at.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Posted by Ted at 9:14 AM
I had a BBQ party yesterday for my Angeles Crest 100 crew and pacers. We had a great time eating yummy foods and telling stories. I especially enjoy those "behind the scenes," stories which the crew told of me and each other. We looked over the pictures and video that we took and had a blast. Now, I know the real reason why the crew almost missed me coming in to Three Points.
Posted by Ted at 8:35 AM
Friday, September 28, 2007
I've been taking this Chinese miracle supplement. It sounds gross when you find out what it is; but, hey, it works. Instead of me telling you what it is, you can refer to this wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordyceps.
Posted by Ted at 5:24 AM
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Posted by Ted at 10:40 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I've lost 7 pounds since the first of May. I hasn't been easy. I've been working hard and controlling my intake of food. It is encouraging to have lost those pounds. It looks like I'm on pace to be back in shape by early August. I'm not going to say how much I want to lose. But I will say so when I've reached my goal.
The effects of weight loss is amazing, especially in hill running. My hill training is much easier now, and I'm going about half a minute per mile faster with less effort.
Posted by Ted at 12:57 PM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
This race was FUN. When I heard about it, I immediately wanted to run it. El Prieto is one of my favorite trails near the Rose Bowl in Pasadena that we train on. This was a very low key race, so it is not very widely known. The field was only 40 people. It has been going on for 14 years. This wasn't on my race calendar, but it was just one of those spurt of the moment things.
Because of the handicap format, I started near the back because the faster runners started later. As soon as I flew off the starting line, I was beginning to catch people. This was a 4.6 mile point to point race over very familiar trails, so I knew I can give it all I got and not worry about blowing up. I started fast and kept pushing when we hit the uphills; and sprinted the final downhill into Millard Campground. My goal was just to keep passing people and not get passed. When I finished, I knew I had passed many people, but I did get passed by one guy. Fellow ATB'ers/Pacers were there too, Max, Lisa, and Laurie. Overall, I think I did pretty well. I think I will be starting further back next year.
They had drinks and snacks for us at the end and even gave us a race t-shirt. The race was FREE, that's right, free. I heard that the Race Director just donates the money because he enjoys organizing the race so much.
They alternate the race between years with going downhill and uphill. So, next year's race will be going downhill from Millard Campground to Hahamongna Park in La Canada / Flintridge.
Posted by Ted at 1:24 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I'm not the type to try everything that comes on the market. I make very deliberate choices when it comes to spending my hard earned dollars. I've been wishing for something like this, so when it finally became available, I jumped at the chance. I was never satisfied with the camelbaks I've had, they bounced too much and is not very comfortable if you snug them up for running. They are fine for hiking, but running, no! Being the type that come up with new ideas, I thought to myself, what if they made a form-fitting vest that was stiff enough to carry the weight of the bladder. Voila, my dream came true.
I've had this thing for a week and have gone on a few runs with it. It is a cross between a vest and a backpack. It fits my torso very comfortably, and it is way more stable than the camelbak type bladder I previously used for running. The mesh venting keeps the body from getting too hot. The vest system and straps keep the bouncing to a minimum. Also, the fit felt roughly the same when the bladder is full and when it is empty; so you don't have to tighten the pack when the bladder gets empty. I like the mimimalist approach of this pack. I don't want all the bells and whistles of the other packs for running, they just add weight and you really don't need them. My initial impressions are positive and I would recommended it to others.
However, I just couldn't leave well enough alone. Since I have a sewing machine and knows how to use it, I made some modifications to it. I added a chest strap between the two uprights. The modification seem to have made it even more stable. I'm thinking about adding a Velcro tab on the front of one of the uprights so I could attach the drinking hose when not in use. Right now, I tuck the hose into the waist belt so it doesn't swing everywhere when you run.
I got it from runnersgear.com for $68.40.
Here's the marketing hype:
The Nathan HPL #020 Hydration Vest is one of the lightest hydration vests on the market today. When taking on long distance trail runs the HPL #020 has been shown to cut down on the nausea sometimes caused by waist packs.
Featuring a 3-way Propulsion Harness, 2 liter hydration bladder with filter-compatible screw-top closure and bite valve. The twin front holsters work seamlessly for carbo-gel and/or GPS. Additionally, there are two zippered rear compartments and a zippered front pocket. Keeping this vest light at 6 oz. was accomplished through the lightweight, breathable Wall Mesh with soft perimeter binding.
Posted by Ted at 4:03 AM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Don't you just want it all? I do.
I've always been a high achiever for as long as I can remember. I want to do as many thing as well as I possibly can. I aim high and reach for the proverbial pie in the sky. I'm this way in my life and also in my athletics. When I started doing triathlons, I set my goal to qualify for the World Championships in Kona, HI in my first attempt at an Ironman. When I started running marathons, my goal was sub 3 on my first try. Now that I'm in ultra running, my goal is to go under 24 hours at the AC100. I haven't achieved any of these goals yet.
Earlier this year, I was trying to do all three of these things for this year. However, I now realize I just don't have enough resources to do them at the same time. I have decided to put Ironman on the back burner and concentrate on running. I had already paid for the Ironman entry, which I will have to give up, save a partial refund of $150.
I'll come back to the Ironman after my running goals are satisfied. I still want to go to Kona!!!
Posted by Ted at 7:17 PM
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
You might have heard the saying, "never train harder than what you will do in the race". The rational of this is that you need to save your body in training so you can give it all in the race. Well, this never seems to work for me.
Instead, I'm starting to believe that the intensity you train at will reflect exactly in your race. If you train slow, then you WILL be slow. In fact, I'm thinking that you need to push harder in training than your actual race. Then the race will feel easy. Why stop at 24 miles in marathon training, why not go 26 miles, or 28 miles. To train for a trail ultra, why not train on climbs and descents that are steeper than what you will race on?
My reasoning is based on adaptation. The human body adapts to stressed inputs and shapes itself to better handle those stresses. If you never stress your body to the level of how you want to race, then how can you expect it to perform at that level when you do race? Of course, you need to increase intensity and duration slowly to avoid injury; the rule of thumb is 10-15% per week. And your diet needs to include plenty of protein to help your muscles rebuild and adapt. That means eating chicken, fish, or red meat. Or, you can use those protein supplements.
For example, if you want to go sub 3 hours in a marathon; then you need to keep about a 6:50 pace. You might start at 10 miles and keep that pace. Then you gradually increase your mileage, but don't let your pace drop. Keep going until you can do up to 28 miles. Then, have a longer taper to let your body recover before the race. For me, a two week taper is plently, even after a 100 miler. The body still remembers how hard you have trained after two weeks. Then, the actual race will feel easy; you will be able to push harder and not suffer as much. For a downhill race, go find long stretches of downhill highway and train on that.
Posted by Ted at 3:42 PM
Saturday, May 12, 2007
In the not too distant past, I consistently placed in the top 10% range within my age group. However, since that time, I have, regrettably, put on a few pounds. I say regrettably, because I keep telling myself, "how could I have let it happen?" This time, I resolve to keep the fat off. But, time will tell if I can actually do that.
It is hard work! You can put on pounds so easily, but it is so hard to take them off. The body just seems to be so stingy in giving up its stores of energy. One of the hardest things to do is to change habits. And this is exactly what I need to do. I need to work on my eating habits. For me, it is not so much what kind of food I eat, but the quantity. When I don't have as much self-control, I eat way too much for what I need to maintain my metabolism. I eat because food is so yummy, but I need to recognize that there is beauty and grace in moderation.
For some of you that know me more recently, you might think that I've always been the fit and athletic type. The truth is that I'm not, I used to be 50 lbs. overweight. I know how to loose weight; it is just a matter of time that I get back to where I was.
Today, we (the Arroyo Trail Blazers) did the Malibu Creek Trail Challenge 14 mile run. The results? Well, let's just say that I still have a lot of work ahead of me. Someone who knows me but haven't seen me in a while came up and asked if I had gotten a podium position. I guess she just assumed that I would podium; or she was just being nice. Hearing that, I kind of felt bad for myself. :(
Posted by Ted at 1:56 PM
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Life is not always easy. It gets difficult at times, but those are the times when I grow. I adapt and change because of the difficulties that come my way. Hopefully, my changes are for the better.
In running, it is the same way. If my training doesn't push me beyond my limits, I will never grow and become faster. My body adapts to the hard training; my leg muscles grow, my heart beat strengthens, my aerobic capacity increases. If all my training is at the same pace or intensity, I will race the same way. But, at the same time, if I push too hard, too often, my body will break down and result in injury.
I must strive to find the delicate balance between pushing too hard and pushing too little; in life and in running.
Posted by Ted at 4:42 PM
Friday, May 04, 2007
Most people are satisfied with being the same as everyone else, and there's nothing wrong with that. But that's definitely not me. I don't know if it is a curse or not, but i just can't seem to be satisfied with being average. In everything that i do, i strive to be more extreme. I have an innate drive to be more or do more than the average. I'm not saying that being average is bad, or that being more than average is better. So, please don't get me wrong; or think than I am conceited.
To give some examples: The first triathlon race i ever did was a half ironman; most people start with a sprint distance event. The first marathon i ever ran qualified me for Boston by over 20 minutes; most people just want to finish. The first ever ultra-marathon i ran was a 50 miler; not a 50k like most people's first ultra. To finish my first 100 miles run, i picked the hardest 100 miler, the HURT 100 in Hawaii, and AC 100.
It seems that i'm not happy unless i'm pushing myself up to or beyond my limits. I want to excel! Don't get me wrong, it is not easy to excel. I work extra hard to push myself up to my limits, and sometimes i think, "why can't I just be average?" Yes, life would be easier, but i would not be satisfied. I don't want to live with regrets. I don't want to look back at my life and say, "why didn't I do that when I could have."
This is not just in running, but i take the same approach in all the areas of my life.
Posted by Ted at 9:19 AM
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Having sore legs are not most people's idea of fun. But i sort of enjoy sore legs. No, i don't enjoy the pain. But i like the idea that i pushed my body to the limit.
My legs are sore from the training race this past Sunday; we went for a run from Chilao Flats to Chantry Flats, a 22 mile run in rugged hilly terrain. This was the first of four training runs for the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run (AC100) which i will participate in this coming September. We covered almost a fourth of the actual race course. It was brutally hot (90+ degrees), and it took a lot of mental determination to keep going. It didn't help that i haven't ran trails since January, my legs were feeling the pounding of the steep downhills. And that i spent the whole day working on trails the day before.
We went through lots of poison oak. i got a little on my right arm, but not too bad. i'm pretty immune to that stuff, i guess i'm lucky. Some people breaks out so much that they have to go to the hospital.
To give you an idea of what the AC100 race is all about:
The AC-100 course goes from Wrightwood to Pasadena and has a total climb of 21,610 feet and a total decent of 26,700 feet. There are seven climbs of more than 1,000 feet each. The first 56 miles are run above 5,000 feet and the highest elevation on the course is 9,210’. The surface is 90% single track, relatively un-maintained, rocky trails. There are 14 aid stations spread out on the point-to-point course with the longest stretch without aid being 12-miles, over the highest peak in the race. There are cut-off times at each of the aid stations and a finishing time limit of 33-hours. Pacing of runners is not permitted before mile 52.8, which many of the runners reach only after nightfall. The race is run in late September each year and the temperature highs are often in the 100s. The course record (17:35:48), set in 1989 by Jim O’Brien, remains unbroken despite the quality and quantity of elite ultra runners who have come along since.
Doesn’t it make you want to just go right out and do it?!
Posted by Ted at 9:16 AM
Saturday, March 10, 2007
It seemed fun to celebrate my 46th birthday with a 46 mile run with all my friends. So, I did it.
I had just ran the LA Marathon. It was Monday morning, and my birthday was coming up on Friday. I was thinking of a way to celebrate, and the idea just popped into my head.
Since I was turning 46, I was going to run 46 miles. But I wanted to have all my friends run with me. So, I decided on a looped course, so different people can join me on every lap. The road around the Rose Bowl was the place where we often trained, so that was the natural choice. The loop is 3.1 miles, that meant I was going to run 15 laps.
So, on the Saturday morning after the LA Marathon, at 4:00 am I started the Birthday Run. The first two laps I ran alone since no one was crazy enough to wake up and run at 4:00 am on Saturday morning. Then, all the remaining laps I had two or more people with me. I had an aid station set up on the course so I was getting nutrition and water on every lap. The first 8 laps were easy and I was feeling great. I started walking a little for laps 9 thru 11, then the laps just felt like it took forever. I was saying crazy things like, "who stretched the Rose Bowl?" I kept going because my friends were there with me. They kept talking to me to keep my mind fresh. Even if I didn't talk back to them much, I was very much energized by them. Then for the last two laps, I got a fresh dose of adrenalin, and even had a finish line sprint.
The after-run BBQ party was at my house, we had great fun.
Posted by Ted at 4:30 PM
Thursday, January 18, 2007
The H.U.R.T. is a hundred-mile foot race in Hawaii. The course is a 20 mile loop that winds its way up and down steep jungle mountainsides. Each competitor does 5 loops for a total of 100 miles and evelvation change of about 25,000 feet. The elevation profile looks like an EKG graph. Since the race is so hard, the organizers award a 100 kilometer (62 miles) finish time for those that go beyond 62 miles but don’t quite make the 100 miles.
I arrived in Hawaii on Monday and acclimatized to the surroundings and pre-ran the course. On Saturday, race morning, my rental car took the first parking spot. It was still dark. The air was dense with fresh rain, the ground moist. It even smelled like the jungle. Since the field was only about 100 people, it was cool to stand on the starting line next to the superstars of ultra running.
On the first downhill, I stepped on a loose rock and turned my left ankle. I thought, oh no, I sprained my ankle on the first downhill of the first lap. But I had no swelling—amazing. I was more careful about where I put my feet. I cruised through the course, which winds its way up and down steep jungle mountain-sides and through lush guava and mango trees. I remember finishing the first lap feeling like I was just warming up.
I started the second lap with a lot of energy, but then, it could of been that Red Bull I took at the aid station. (Wow, those things are amazing.) I felt strong on the climbs, invincible and confident, but I held back the urge to speed up. I thought, "sooner or later I'll catch those people that passed me."
I settled into a steady pace and was just gliding along when I hit my head on a downed tree that hung over the trail. I had seen the tree coming at me, but I guess I didn't duck low enough. I hit my head so hard that I saw stars and flashes of light. But I had no bruise—I guess I'm just hard-headed. Despite this, I finished the second lap at about 6:00 p.m., Saturday, right on schedule.
As I started the third lap, It was nightfall, and due to inadequate lighting I slowed way down. The thick jungle canopy blocks out any moonlight and makes the vine infested and tree root covered ground pitch black. As I was picking my way down a tricky long descent, the sky just opened up. The rain Teflon coated the rocks and roots with mud, so I slipped and tripped my way down the dark, steep descent.
I fell—ten times. Each fall took a little more of my confidence away, changing me from a triumphant general into a dejected foot soldier. Each step I took became more and more deliberate and tentative. Where I had been charging forward victoriously, I started retreating in defeat. My doubts started shouting at me, and I listened to them.
"You should stop now," said my inner traitor. "You could be home resting in a comfortable bed."
The winds blew and beat the bamboo branches against each other as if to clap to my demise. As I shivered in the wind, my inner traitor went on, “You should have prepared better.”
The rain pounded away at me. I was hopeless, believing that things were going to get worse. “You should just give up now, you can always do it next year,” my inner traitor whispered.
I struggled on, and, worn down by that inner voice, I switched my goal from finishing the whole 100 miles to the 100 km, which would still earn me a finisher's buckle.
Stricken with sleep deprivation, I dragged my tired body over the dark jungle floor. I wanted so much to just lie down and sleep on the muddy trail. I wobbled, stumbled, and swung from side to side. I walked along, dozing off and waking up, surprised that I was in a new place.
The night wore on painfully, it seemed forever. I kept moving forward, thinking of all the people back home who were praying for me. I didn’t want to let them down. I knew God wanted me to finish, and that gave me motivation to keep going.
By almost 6:00 a.m., I finished the final loop. At least I would have a 100 km finisher's buckle and an official time. No DNF (Did Not Finish) next to my name. Next year, it will be different.
Posted by Ted at 7:55 PM