Saturday, June 9, 2018

Back on the trails - or streets...

Without really knowing how my body will respond to the training, I signed for a new marathon - The Maui Marathon (there are actually 3 marathons on Maui, but it seems that one got the name first) which runs in October.
I am still closely watching my left heel tendinitis, my right foot big toe, my right knee and my right hip flexors (is it all ?).

After months of physical therapy, strengthening, light running and listen to running centric podcast, it was time to try again.

Poli Poli, a all time favorite
I did made a major adjustment.
Or two.
Following the recipe of Dr Maffetone, I am focusing only on aerobic training - low effort.
On top of building a "base", this approach limit injuries by slowing down and let your joints catch back on your vascular system - which adapt faster.
I.e. without paying attention, you could outrun your own body during your training - and hurt yourself.

Makawao Forest, bread and butter and Barnaby showing the way

The low intensity training - at fixed heart rate - starts paying dividends after several month, and your pace catch up. Well, I am not there yet, and I am cruising around 10 min/mile on average, i.e. quite slower than my previous training pace.
Still I saw already a drop of 30s per mile since the beginning on the training.
This is promising.

Stuck in California for work, I still can run
This is still a bit tricky when you feel good and went to run faster, specially because of the cardiac drift during long run, where you end up barely running at 12 or 13 min/mile to keep your heart rate low. Presumably, on race day, you can run a bit higher in turns.
Hopefully. Because if not, that might be my worst marathon time ever :)

Playa Del Rey

The other adjustment, directly inspired from the Chi Running method, is a huge focus on the running form. And I am clear with myself, if I am too tired to hold a good form, I would stop.
To keep a good form, you need a good body awareness, and of course, it is not obvious.
I do believe I am closer from the truth now - a good check is to record yourself - but to be certain I am gonna try to do Chi Running clinic in summer.
That would be an experience by itself.

This bike path cross a good chunk of LA.
Not pretty, but better than city streets.

So far, I am pleased with the results.
Previous injuries are kept in check, and I am back at around 2h15 for the long runs, with 3 or 4 weekly shorter runs. I gave myself 5 months to ramp up, a bit slower than the typical 16 weeks and that should help as well.
It really feels good to be training again.
To be on the trails again.

Monday, April 2, 2018

The last (for now) boat project

I have been on a rampage this past year.
So many upgrades.
Changing those non tailing winches have been on my list for a long long time, but the cost always stopped me.

Seal tailing vs non self tailing
When West Marine did a first - one buy, one free - last year, I passed after a lot of hesitation.
Then I regretted it.
They just redid it, one week before us leaving.

More holes !!!

Not a lot of time, but this is overall a relatively simple project. No electronics, no electrical.
The hard part as always, is to dismantle the old frozen nuts and bolts and get the damn old thing out of the boat.

Beautiful engineering work

It was a bit strecht - but this is not everyday than you can save 1600$.
While still spending 1600$.
Hum.I feel I have been played.

Anyway, here they are.

And now, fueling, provisioning....

and... Sailing !

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

101 Running Books

 A friend had the bad idea to come on a run with me and ask about running tips.
Looks like he survived, then I must not have bored him to death.
Maybe he was just super resilient.
Anyway, at one point I realized there are a few books that can definitively get your started on the right foot.
This list is not extensive, of course, but, well, that's my list.

There is mostly two categories-
 let's call it inspirational - read it as a story
 running techniques and fitness

Inspirational (by order of preference)

The book that started it all.
If you have to read only one, read that one.

Well, I am a fan. I cannot help it.
If you like, you have 600 hours of podcast to follow up.
A reference.
This book re defined the ultra running phenomenon

good book from one of the best runner around
Found the book itself a bit disappointing,
but the man is truly exceptional

Running technique.
I am a little biased because I ended up with book focusing on a more natural and intuitive way of running, but all of those should be on your night stand if you plan on giving a serious shot at running.

I really like this approach.
Not for everyone, but definitively a very intuitive and deep way of revisiting
your technique

Extremely complete, tons of exercises.
If you have it and it hurts, it's in it.
The biology lesson is great.

There is something purely magical in the aerobic training.
A bit verbose, but unavoidable. It changed my perception of the sport. 

Very complete, technical and precise.
One of my first book and a great coach.

As a proof of how to be a complete and exceptional vegan athlete

A bit more anecdotal, but some great stories and good spirit.

Another very good and complete book that cover it all,
and give you a very strong program.
For the self-motivated one.

Next one, a few good podcast to come.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The last sea trial

This is it. The boat is ready.
Dream awaits.

Honolulu and Diamond Head .. and a rainbow !

Not exactly sure when I realized it could be actually doable, but I have dreamed for the South Pacific paradise islands as long as I can remember. I guess as an escape of the grey and rainy north of France.
Falling in love with the water 10 years ago in California, everything as built to this moment since then.
Learning to sail, buying a boat, buying another (better and smaller) boat, working on the boat, crossing half of the Pacific to Hawaii, improving the boat and sailing a bit here and there.

Windy !

Seeing dock buddies dreaming large and undertaking crazy adventures ill-equipped just reminded me that we are running out of time and can't delay chasing our dreams.

This year, everything sort-of aligned - job, money, time, crew -  for it to be possible. 
Sort of because you are - down the line - creating your own opportunities.

We are sailing South. 
And we will cross the equator at sea, a tipping point for all sailors since the early ages. 
We will reach new landfalls. Paradise landfalls.

I have been lucky enough to get my perfect 1st mate this time again to avoid this to be even more adventurous. Not sure how long I will be able to avoid doing those passages solo - the boat is definitely equipped for at this point and my skill set slightly improved. The mental challenges are of a whole other level though.
Great. There is always a next step, a next challenge to drive us forward.

To be fair - once you reach the South Pacific atolls, the distances toward Asia are less impressive. You jump from place to place with not more than a week long passage.

This one gonna take us another good 21 or more days, weather permitting.
Crossing the doldrums gonna be an experience by itself. 
Every sailor fear a storm at sea, but dead calm for days can drive you insane - they say.


Well, we are about to see by ourselves. 
Two weeks to go.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Running Again

Those past few months have been very busy, between preparing the boat, work and a bit of travel to support our little cheerleader.
The hard work on my body started to pay.
The counter intuitive imbalance work from Ben Greenfield - with a website that looks like a scam - did a little miracle, combined with a couple of successful chiropractor sessions and deep release work.
Pushing ankle exercise every other day instead of every day provided a good healing of my Achilles tendinitis - Maybe one year in the making !

Hips have been stable for a couple of weeks, Kiting - Foiling , Sir ! - is now permitted and some progress have been seen on this infamous flying carpet.

But the most pleasant of this past week were the three Makawao forest run I did with Barnaby, One hour 15min + runs that reconciled me with running, the forest and the mud.

Did I mention that in winter, the forest is a bit wet ?

I am working now with a new physio, Mackenzie, who I recommend - Deep Relief, a little bit closer from home - to be fair I highly recommend Mike from Orthosport - situation was becoming impractical between the two islands though - but I deeply appreciated all the work we did together last year.

Barnaby is not happy when I dry him,
but believe me, mud baths are good for his skin

Obviously, all the work I did with my other half (Christelle) is certainly not a stranger to this - so far - happy outcome.

I have high hope that continuing to focus on flexibility and strengthening gonna pay its dividends.
Or continue to pay off, it seems.

Better have to, because I signed for a marathon early October - plenty of time still, but still feel like a very very far reach at this point.