• Category Archives Fitness
  • Running the Grand Canyon

    If you think you are a little bit fit and get it in your head that running the Canyon in a day would be a good idea. Just don’t. Take it from me. Don’t. Do. It.

    Right, with that disclaimer out of the way…..
    Freddy and I headed out there a few days before the run to kick back and spend some time together since I have been away so much due to travel.
    Photos of those few days coming – soon – I hope…..In the meantime, here is one of us at the rim.

    Ok, so we got up at o-dark thirty and got dressed.
    I had looked at the forecast, but still figured it would be cool enough for the leggings. It wasn’t. Ended up pulling them off less than halfway down and carried them the rest of the way… Glad I went with the shorts over the top!

    Considered also taking a flashlight, but eh, it’s just more to carry for the bulk of the trip, so skipped it and just took it easy for the first bit.

    It was soon light enough to see what I was about to step on (or not step on as the cliff edge case might be).

    Turned the major corner and it was blowing a gale. Almost lost my hat and so turned it around for a good while.
    It was still a bit cool at this point, so needed the hat as a bit of a beanie. (The heavy overcast meant that I really didn’t need it and thus ended up carrying it for way too long)

    Things settled down and we are making good progress. Not as fast as I want, but I am keeping an eye on the watch and know that its too easy to go too fast and tap out, so we are watching the heart rate and steps per minute pretty close as I know my numbers I need to keep things even.
    This is my first view of the Colorado River. Im pretty excited.

    Half way and we meet the Tonto trail. I badly want to run this one at some stage as well.

    Also at half way is a long drop dunny and temperature gauge.

    It really was perfect weather for the run.
    The overcast and breaze was perfect.

    Check out the switchbacks we are running!

    You know you are there when you hit the tunnel.

    So, here we are at the bottom.
    1 hour 20 min.

    Bright Angel Creek runs into the Colorado and is always worth a look.

    I even took a moment to enjoy some of the local plant life.

    For the most part I am enjoying going uphill……

    Once I hit mile 14 things took a turn.
    I just ran out of everything. Cold, clammy skin, vomiting and cramps.
    Totally unfun with 3 solid uphill miles to go and tons of tourists to battle my way through…. yuck.

    But we made it.

    Beat up my feet. Again.

    Wanted to do it in 4 hours. Took me 5.
    Disappointed? No. I gave it all I had and left nothing out there.
    I got to know my limits.

    Totally worth it.

  • Busy 3 weeks ahead

    The feet are healing well. Going for a 6-7 mile run tomorrow morning to test them out a bit more. Did the usual few miles during the week.

    Monday at around 4am we head off to Chicago, from there we head straight to Dallas.
    We get back lateish Thursday. Back into the office Friday.
    2 days latter, we fly out Sunday morning for Portland for a few days.
    Back in the office Friday.
    The following week we are off to Las Vegas for a few days.
    The EPIC Roadshow is in full swing.

    In other news. Tinkering around with MotionEyesOS. Zoneminder is a getting a bit heavy. Not spent a lot of time on it thus far beyond getting it installed on an old mini PC. Having trouble getting the motion detection working (same problem I had with Zoneminder).
    Seriously considering just putting the cameras on continuous record. But don’t want to invest the time to review the footage frequently.
    Glad you asked…. Freddy wants videos of the critters visiting the fishpond, digging up the back yard and fishing around the sprinklers.

    In other other news. Terry’s car needed its 2 year smog testing, and the check engine light was on. Cost a pretty penny to get repaired.
    Freddy will (hopefully) get it smogged while I am gone.

    Also, latter this month, we kick over our 10th year of being here.
    Should I do a 10 year mega blog or let it slide?

  • Major setback – plantar fasciitis

    Crap. This was not on my program.
    Got a case of sore heals on both feet.
    Bottom line, stop running for a few weeks.
    You can read about it here; https://www.runnersworld.com/plantar-fasciitis

    There is a ton of information about it on the web, as usual sorting through it all is the hard part.
    For now, I have inner sole inserts to give my arch more support.
    I am stretching a few times a day.
    I am rolling a golf ball at night (actually using a machine, but you get the idea).

    It started on Tuesdays run. I suspect that there was a whisper of it after Sundays run, but not enough for me to be sure and pay attention. After Tuesday’s 4 miles and then 5 miles on Wednesday, it became very clear that night and Thursday morning what I was facing.
    It’s pretty serious and I don’t want to be sidelined for weeks, so will be doing all we can to clear it up in a week if we can.
    Once it’s cleared, we will have to be very careful in how we add the miles back. We won’t be just jumping back into the program that’s for sure. We may even reset the whole thing and start from week one again.

    So yeah, pretty bummed out.

  • Weeks 5 and 6 Review

    Crazy few weeks.
    We were so busy at work on week 5 that we could not run during the day at all, so all runs were done around 4amish.
    The days were long, so the runs were kept a little shorter than the program suggested, I already feel a bit over trained and tired.
    Since I am not training for a hard date, I don’t care if the program runs a little longer, the most important thing (to me) is that I don’t get injured and we have fun.
    Anyway, slightly shorter runs done a little quicker to try and make up the difference.

    Sunday we flew out to Florida, so no long run (sadly).
    The week in Orlando was busy. Super busy, plus we had a light touch of jet lag (3 hours), so we mostly ran in the morning, way before dawn.
    Honestly, it was a grind. Cement sidewalk (footpath) and straight for one mile, so it was just out and backs, a few of them.
    So yeah, we did some miles, the program is a bit of a mess, but eh.

    I’m writing this Saturday night, and at this point I have no idea what we are going to do for our Sunday long run tomorrow.
    Floated the idea of a Dripping Springs trail run past Freddy, but I don’t think she is down for it, so will just probably run around my usual 14 mile loop.

    At this stage I think we will be able to run during lunch at work next week (and hopefully the next week after that), but things are going to get tricky after that with trips to Portland and possibly Las Vegas after that.

    In other news I bought a Stryd Power Meter (food pod).
    Have only done the one run with it so far, hard to say, but it promises some interesting data and analytics.
    I have also signed up for a few other running analytics websites, hopefully blog about them soon.

  • Week 4 Review

    Wow, the weeks are just flying by of late. (Super busy at work with a new product release in a week).

    Day 1. Cross training day with Benson in the Opto gym.
    Good solid workout. Struggled through the first half, but really put some effort in on the second and really bought the pain. Great session.
    Tracked it with the watch. Have not had time to go back and enter all the weights.

    Day 2. 3 miles.
    I really wanted to do a new test I found in my watch, but had left the heart rate strap at home and so could not do it, for some reason this really got me down, so I set off a bit despondent.
    Both Bob and Benson were busy or out on travel, so it was a solo run.
    First half of the run I had a good talking to myself and decided to do some sprints, so put in on the usual two segments. The first was nothing to talk about, the second was much better.
    I beat my own time and missed the first place by two seconds….. its nice to have a challenge.

    Day 3. 4 miles. Lactate Threshold test.
    Bought my heart rate strap in and the other guys were busy, so rather than doing the trail as usual, I did the Old Town loop and did the new test I found on the watch.
    Here is what Garmin say about it;

    Lactate threshold is the exercise intensity at which lactate (lactic acid) starts to accumulate in the bloodstream. In running, it is the estimated level of effort or pace. When a runner exceeds the threshold, fatigue starts to increase at an accelerating rate. For experienced runners, the threshold occurs at approximately 90% of their maximum heart rate and between 10k and half-marathon race pace. For average runners, the lactate threshold often occurs well below 90% of maximum heart rate. Knowing your lactate threshold can help you determine how hard to train or when to push yourself during a race.

    In short, it is the sustainable heart rate and pace test.
    Turns out, it is a very hard test for an inexperienced runner to do…. I have never had to run to a fairly precise 10bpm window before. My first test was a bit of a mess, my second test in the second part of the run was much better.
    I tried the test again when running with Bob and it failed, so it really is something you need to do on your own.
    Bottom line, the watch continues to impress me and the data is helpful and customized for me.

    Day 4. 4 miles.
    Standard Old Town circuit run with Bob.

    Day 5. 6 miles. Solo Hill climb.
    Was felling pretty good, so headed out to the hill at the back of old town. For the longest time, I was the top of the leader board for this hill climb, but late last year, some 35 year old came out from nowhere and knocked me off by a good many seconds… So yeah, I went to see what I could do.
    Failed by 5 seconds.
    Eh. There will be another time, it is all fun and games.

    Day 6. Rest day. Went to LA for church and had a very social day with after church lunch and then out to dinner with some church folks at a very noisy restaurant. Exhausting stuff.

    Day 7. 14 miles.
    Woke up at 10 past 3am. Wide awake, so figured I may as well go run.
    Was out the door by 4:02am Nice steady pace. A little quick, spent a few miles trying to pull myself back and was mostly successful.
    Had some gear trouble (my shorts kept falling down). But otherwise, everything went perfect.
    I upped the size of the ear piece of the wireless ear buds and did not have to adjust them once the whole 2 hours. A record. Very happy.
    Was a bit slower overall than the last time I ran this distance almost 3 years ago, so a bit disappointed as I feel better this time than last. (Not that I clearly remember then).

    I think next weeks program is exactly the same, but with with curve ball of extra work at work getting ready to ship everything to Florida for the trade show the week after next and its training week, so yeah, a fair bit of pressure. (Might have to run in the mornings and work double lunches (I usual teach at lunch, then run, but don’t see me having the time this week).

    Starting to try and not freak out too much about running in Orlando the week after next. Bob said he would keep me on track, so will lean on him for support. The guy has run all over the world…. Orlando is child’s play for him.