Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review

I hope everyone enjoyed their Holidays. I actually got some good training runs in during the week and was able to spend some quality time with the family. Now it is that time to reflect on 2013 and plan for 2014.


I had a goal of running 400 miles for the year. This is how it went.

January - 43.4 miles
February - 26.1
March - 34.2  -  Ran 1:08:07 in Sheriffs Trail Run 10k
April - 44.7 - Ran 1:03:23 in Xterra Lake Las Vegas Trail Run 10k
May - 47.9  - Ran 31:07 in Barstow Mud Run 5k
June - 57.0
July - 23.2  - Ran Barstow Freedom 5k. Start of my pleurisy injury 
August - 0 - Still recovering
September - 35.1
October - 46.4  - Ran 2:02:30 in Xterra Point Mugu Trail Run 18k
November - 66.7 - Ran 51:04 in Apple Valley Turkey Run 10k
December - 52.2

Total for the year was 476.9. Beat my goal, woo-hoo!

Best of the Year

I would have to say that my favorite race of the year would have to be the Xterra Point Mugu Trail Run. It was a tough and beautiful course. It also was my first race after my pleurisy and was the longest distance race I had ever done. So it meant a lot to me.

Had a great time at Point Mugu

Worst of the Year

Would have to be my pleurisy injury. My running had been going really great up until then. The pain in my lungs from the pleurisy was intense and felt like it never was going to end. During the entire recovery period I had worries that my lungs would not be the same and my running would not be the same. It definitely was a tough injury to overcome physically and mentally.

My Unhappy Lungs


I have a couple goals for the new year and new experiences planned.

Primary Goals
Run 700 miles for the year.
My first Half Marathon.
My first Triathlon.

Secondary Goals
Run 1000 miles for the year.
My first Full Marathon.

I want to thank my Family for enduring the boredom of waiting around at races to support me and putting up with my expensive, time consuming hobby. I have the best Family ever!

My Awesome Wifey

 My Awesome Offspring

What was your favorite moment of 2013?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dang Holidays

Are the Holidays over yet? What's a guy to do to get some workouts in around here. Just kidding, I love the Holidays but it does make it hard to start my training. As I have mentioned before, I have signed up for my first half-marathon the Xterra Boney Mountain Trail Race 21k on Jan 12, 2014. It probably wasn't my best idea to have my very first half-marathon a tough trail race right after the Holidays, but I believe if it is worth doing than it must be worth overdoing, right?

Umm, yea. Looks easy enough.

With the Holidays and the cold weather the last couple of weeks have looked kind of like this.

Saturday - Long run. Up to 9 miles now.
Sunday - Rest
Monday - Cross-train.
Tuesday - Easy run. 4-5 miles.
Wednesday- Cross-train.
Thursday - Hard run. 3-4 miles at 10k pace.
Friday - Cross-train.

As you can see, my training is seriously lacking in certain areas. I am really going to hurt if I can't get some hill repeats in during the week. I probably also need to do some speed work but I will survive without it.

I am still trying to commute with my bike and this week I think I have found a schedule that the bus will always have a bike rack. The problem now though is I have to wake up at 3:30 in order to do my runs in the morning. I am a morning person but 3:30 is pushing it, even for me. So as soon as I solve one issue, another problem occurs. So I will update everyone when I figure out this new dilemma. (I am sure everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting for that update. ha)

I created my race wishlist over on the sidebar of the blog. It took me a couple of days to take the list down from 100 to the current list. It looks like 2014 will be the year of the half marathon for me. Later I will put together a list of races I have done and probably make a PR list as well.

How do you fit running and working out in during the Holidays?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Never Thought I Could Dislike Jillian Michaels so Much

The day had started innocently enough, until Jillian Michaels kicked my butt and made fun of me.  For me, a day off from running usually means doing random exercise stuff whenever I feel and however long I feel like. I can talk myself into doing something such as a couple sets of push-ups in between bites of dessert or a few crunches or planks while watching Spongebob Squarepants something intelligent on television. But this day was going to be different.

Hello Jillian, of course I'll go on an adventure with you.
I pulled the Jillian Michaels Fitness Adventure XBOX 360 game out from the bottom of the game stack. I dusted it off, put the disk in the system, setup the kinect sensor, and rearranged the furniture around to make sure I had plenty of space to get sexy. The game started and Jillian was nice and polite and I told her my name, height, weight, age. You know, the normal conversation that I have with all strangers I first meet. She than asked if I would like to learn the exercises or go straight to an adventure. Of course, being a man and trying to show off a little I told her that I didn't need to be told how to do the exercises. The next question Jillian asked was whether or not I would like to warmup or to start the circuit right away. I knew she would need the warmup so I went ahead and did it for her sake. After the warmup Jillian and I started our adventure. The adventure entails a lot of running (in place) through ruins and jungles, than doing exercises to get past obstacles.

Watch out Cobra Kai, I'm learning karate
Everything was going well until I needed to do some side lunges to get past some spikes that were blocking our way. I only had to do a total of 10 but Jillian kept telling me I was doing them wrong. I politely replied that I am doing them exactly like she is. After I did 20 she only gave me credit for 5. By now her patience with me was growing thin and she was getting more and more vocal about how I am not doing them right and how I needed to hurry up. I started arguing back with her that I didn't know what she wanted me to do. After I did a total of 50ish lunges and more yelling at each other, I decided I did enough lunges and wanted to skip the exercise. I started waving my arms around to tell the kinect sensor to quit or skip the exercise but the game was not going to let me. I had to continue with the exercise no matter what. Eventually after what felt like an eternity I was able to pass the obstacle and we continued on until the end of that portion of the circuit workout. I apologized to her for my behavior and we agreed to be nicer to each other. I told Jillian I was ready for the next portion of the circuit workout. We started and everything was fine and I was running and doing the exercises to pass the obstacles until I needed to do 10 walking pushups. Great! I can really show off my awesomeness with an exercise I know. I got down and did them with perfect form and then looked up and saw 0 completed. I figured she liked watching my excellent pushup form and perhaps wanted to see me do them again. How could you blame her for wanting to witness perfection. I did them again and looked up and saw 0 completed again. "What the heck Jillian? I thought we were going to be nice to each other". I tried doing a couple differently, still nothing. Did a couple more, again nothing. Jillian than starts getting louder about how I need to hurry up. I promptly started telling her how she must be blind and I was doing the exercises right. Of course our arguing started escalating and I told her how her game is stupid, her adventures are stupid, and her exercises are stupid. After I couldn't do another pushup I got up and was about to turn the system off when I realized the kinect sensor looked a little high to "see" anything low such as pushups or lunges. After I adjusted the kinect sensor everything was fine again. I was able to finish that portion of the workout circuit but decided that I had enough adventure for the day. I was drenched in sweat, and my legs and arms were exhausted from all the "extra" working out so I headed to the shower feeling emotionally and physically abused.

So yea, I am not happy with Jillian and I'm sure she isn't happy with me. I hope the next adventure we can act more civilized and actually get along with each other.

Has anyone else played a "fitness" video game?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hoka One One Mafate 3 Initial Review

I have completed two runs so far with my new Hoka One One Mafate 3 shoes so I believe I am ready to give an initial first impression review. I guess I will have to start from the beginning though.

I first saw an advertisement for Hoka a couple of years ago and I immediately took no interest in them. They look crazy heavy and they are ugly. Also, Hoka was a really new company, so I am sure I wasn't the only one thinking that this company had no chance and would not last very long. I was wrong and not only have they survived, but they have converted several elite athletes to their super cushioned shoes.

If Hoka could gain the trust of elite athletes than I decided that they earned the interest of a simple amateur hobby runner such as myself. I did some research and read probably a hundred testimonials and reviews and the end result was a vast majority of Hoka users reviews were positive and recommended them.

I ordered and received my Hoka One One Mafate 3 shoes and took them out of the box. I wear a size 10 in Asics so I ordered size 10 and they fit great. The shoes are much lighter than they look which is a huge plus. Just walking around in them you can immediately feel the cushioning. They are also noticeably taller which I don't really like. I guess the cushioning had to go somewhere though.

New shoes! Woo-hoo!

My fluffy moon shoes

My first run was 3.5 miles on pavement. It took me a while to get used to the rolling rocker action of the shoes. Even after I thought I was comfortable I realized my toes were all clinched trying to hold on to something. Another thing I noticed was my running form was a little off. I found that the extra cushioning was actually kind of bouncy, so I kind of was just bounding down the road. I really had to concentrate on relaxing and letting the rolling action of the shoes take over while trying to keep proper running form.

My second run was 5.5 miles on dirt. This time I had more confidence and felt more comfortable. I still had to concentrate on form and I suspect that I will have to for several more runs before it becomes natural with these shoes. I did notice that towards the end of the run my calves were tightening up a little which is really out of the norm for me.

Lots of cushion but really tall

Speed laces

Lots of traction and surface area

A day later my calves were still sore but there really was no pain. My theory is that the rolling rocker action is identical to (if anyone remembers these) the Skecher Shape Up shoes. So hopefully I will start getting a toned butt.

Advice: Just like any other time you are making a change with your shoe choice, be patient and take it easy at first and ease into the longer runs. My bouncing issue could be because the Mafate 3 shoes are the trail model and have extra cushioning. If you run only on paved roads than perhaps the tarmac model shoes with less cushioning would work better.

Surprisingly light
Lots of cushion
Lots of traction
No surprise with shoe size

Takes a while to get used to

This quick initial review ended up being much longer than I had planned. I will post another review after a couple of months of use.

About Hoka One One
HOKA ONE ONE has engineered a unique performance midsole geometry that features a higher volume, softer density, and greater rebounding foam than standard running shoes. Along with maximal cushioning, this provides runners of all types with an energizing, stable ride. HOKA ONE ONE understood from the beginning that natural foot motion was extremely important for uniformity of stride. HOKA ONE ONE incorporated minimum drop geometry along with a rolling rocker design to promote consistent rhythm in the runner's foot strike.

As word of mouth spread through thousands of testimonials, it inspired countless runners to keep running. HOKA ONE ONE footwear is designed for recovery runs with its oversized, increased forgiveness. The faithful swear they have been saved.

HOKA ONE ONE is a shoe for all runners, from joggers to elite athletes looking to improve their performance. We continue our pace, leading the running revolution. Please join us on our journey and keep running. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My First Half-Marathon and Other Things to Look Forward to

This month I have a couple of good things planned for you awesome readers. I got my Hoka One One Mafate 3 this week so I will be doing an initial review on those.
Hoka One One Mafate 3

I will also be doing a final long-term review on my Asics GEL-Exalt that I replaced with my new Hoka's.
Asics GEL-Exalt

I will also be giving my old Asics shoes away to a lucky winner! Just kidding, I'm a running shoe hoarder and my wife will attest to that. I still have a lot of my old running shoes because "I might need them one day". Maybe I can craft together a Christmas tree out of my old stinky shoes.
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a tree of shoes. (Pinterest)

Also, because I had a lot of fun marking the Xterra Pt. Mugu trail race I volunteered to do it for the Xterra Crystal Cove course Saturday tomorrow which is the day before the race. In other race news, I signed up for my first half-marathon and my first race for 2014. It is the Xterra Boney Mountain trail race on January 12th. It is going to be an adventure trying to train during the holidays and with the cold weather. I can't wait till the winter solstice on the 21st of December, it is hard to get anything done with it being dark most of the day.

So yea, I have a lot of stuff coming up and I will try to keep everyone updated on my training and progress.

(Edit: just found out this weekends race at Crystal Cove was postponed due to rain)

Does anyone else hoard shoes that are never going to be worn again?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Apple Valley Turkey Run 10k Recap

Wow. It is already December. I guess I should get around to posting my Apple Valley Turkey Run that took place last Saturday. Yes, I am doing a 10k race recap. I'm sure all you marathoners are laughing at me, but I'm still new at racing so deal with it. :)  I was really excited for this 10k because I haven't done one in a while and I knew that I would get a personal record (PR).

My goal for this race was to be under 55 minutes.

The course was fairly flat and had a few dirt road portions. Because of the rain we were having all of Thanksgiving week they had to change some of the dirt road portions so it wouldn't turn into a mud run. The changes actually made the course a perfect 6 miles instead of the 10k distance of 6.2 miles.

Mile 1 - 8:30 min/mile pace
I started off fast and was feeling good. I knew I would have to slow it down a little though.

Mile 2- 8:45 pace
Mile 3- 8:46 pace
Slowed down and felt surprisingly comfortable at this pace.

Mile 4 - 8:31 pace
Race was more than half over so I started to speed up and try to pass a few runners I had been following.

Mile 5 - 8:17 pace
I caught up with a young speedster, he must have been embarrassed that a fat old guy caught him so he picked up his pace and I hung on for as long as I could.

Mile 6 - 8:30 pace
Pushed the last mile but had no chance of passing anyone else.

Official finish time: 51:04
Place overall: 9 out of 34.
Age group: 2nd place

Projected time if it were full distance is 53:10 so I would have beat my goal.

I got 2nd 30-39 age group my Brother got 3rd in 20-29

I always look goofy. I really am not photogenic.

I had an awesome race. Especially the 2nd place in my age group. There was a 3rd place so I know there were at least 3 of us out there.

The great thing about local races in the community is that they usually are cheaper and they usually benefit the local area directly. So I recommend everyone to participate and support your local races.