Monday, January 7, 2019

Running in circles.... what's next ?

As new year creep in, time for new resolutions - not really - but for new goals. A long overdue post about our boat in French Polynesia might come in a few weeks - but for now, there is no new adventure planned on the water. For now.
On land, on the opposite, I am playing with various ideas, all a bit craziest.

They rejuvenated the 400m track Satoki Yamamoto in Wailuku
First, let's do a body check.
Left Achilles have been quiet for a while now, but started to act a bit those last few weeks. maybe 2 on the scale of pain - nothing that stops you - but when you know how annoying this injury can be, you think about it.
Inside right knee has been better and better. Still can feel it after long runs, but overall, under control.
Right hip has been improving over the last few years - but this one will be by forever friend it seems. I have been working on strength relatively regularly - once a week - not as much as I would like - but let's be honest, strength training is super boring - compared to kiting, surfing or running in circles in the forest.

On the way to La Perouse

Surprisingly, sometime I go out of my forest loop and hit a lava trail on the south shore. After la Perouse Bay, King's away seems to go forever and all around the island. Unfortunately, the path on the lava block is barely runable.

Tiny beach on lava field

Still very pretty. And not a soul around. Hint: you cannot come in your car.

from Hanomanioa Light on King's highway

As training goes, I recovered pretty well from the Maui marathon and managed to maintain a good volume of more of 6 hours of running per week, usually on a 4 runs a week. Trying to go to an average a 5 days a week, but the volume is coming. The highest point -  8h /week -  in September was pre-marathon, i.e. peak training. You don't want to maintain this all year round - at least, not yet.

Volume over last year
Base is building, mostly on zone 2, and I was curious about how the body will respond. Weight have been pretty stable at 154lbs - 70kg and pacing seems to follow.
Average pace on a zone 2 test :
January 5th:  9 min/ mile
November 6th : 9:30 / mile
September 6th : 9 min/ mile.
December 6th : 10 min/mile.

Looks like I came back to my fitness level from before the marathon.
And one minute faster than one year ago at same level of effort.

Time for new goals then. I played with the idea of another marathon - maybe a cooler - and faster - one, like L.A. But I really love trails.
I know Maui Run Co. is likely to organize again the Makawao Forest 50k this summer - likely a 6:30 effort at best. Now we are talking.
H.U.R.T (Hawaii Ultra Running Team) is organizing end of summer the TTT 30. Roughly 50km and certainly 7h+ hours to complete.
The nice thing about trail running is that even if the distance is not way out compared to a marathon, the simple fact that you are on trails, usually on a mountain and get some elevation, it takes waaaay longer to finish and it is waaaay harder.

TTT 30 miler

Now the cherry on the cake. 'TTT is a qualifier for Peacock Challenge'.

The Peacock Challenge is a very hard 55 milers - 80 km that is run in October.

"The PC 55, brought to you by the Hawaiian Ultra Running Team (HURT, “Run Management”), is an extremely difficult event designed for the most adventurous and well-prepared runner (this is not an entry level ultrarun event)."

I am not feeling like the most adventurous and well-prepared runner, but who knows, won't be the first time I would do something stupid.

In any case, for now, the 30 miler is a great stepping stone toward insanity.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Thoughts on whaling

There are some news that you wish you did not hear. Reminiscence of the past, "Tradition" used as curtain over malignant business practices.
Whale season is open again.
Supposedly whale number have increased to a 'sustainable' amount, justifying a second try for extinction. Won't be the first specie, nor the last.

Good news on Christmas

Still actual, almost 10 years after, dolphin are still hunted, eaten - even toxics - and caged for entertainment.

Still worth a look

I decided to sponsor some of the most active benevolent organizations - namely Sea Shepherd ans Dolphin Project by buying cloths there as needed.
And ranting on my world wide read blog.
Not clear how to do much more at this point, but I guess that's better than nothing.

wear your opinions
In a capitalist world, there isn't much we can do as potential buyers except buying stuff with a conscience. Fair trade, organic, local, ... 
Think about the true price that comes with it. Cheap labor, Transportation, ... And I guess, buy less things - anyway, they are and should be more expensive...
Carbon tax is inevitable.

But back to whaling. 
Truth is there isn't much we can say. We daily slaughter millions of mammals. 
Pigs, Cows, ... 
A Japanese  pro-whaling lawyer said : "what is with that specific specie, anyway ?".
Truth is, "what is with our own specie ? what is that makes us better or higher or grant us the right to wipe out and exploit other species ? Blessed by gods we blindsided us with ? As a justification to be the final - the only 'one' ? 

If only it was good for you.
Please educate yourself. And live better - if not longer.

Health myths debunked

And as with any good environmentalist documentary, after 90 minutes of depressive images and stories, let's end up with a positive spin. If this is really about proteins .. or taste, let's hope for a clean meat revolution.

Rich podcast on it
Or just go plant based. Because down the line, this is the best thing you can do - at your level - that will egoistically improve your health and send a strong signal to the god-like food industry that it is time for a change. Because it is.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Aftermath: 26.2 miles around 46

Quite a lot of things happened in the last few months.
As we store the birthday candles and finish the vegan chocolate cake, few thoughts come to mind.
46 is pretty close from a half mark, if you are lucky, which actually sounds pretty good when you realize how much happened in the first half.
The tricky part would be how to deal with aging - I guess, to be healthy enough to keep all those years ahead as exciting as they can be.

As Chris Hauth like to say, in an endurance race, the one who will win is the one that slow down the least. 
I suspect you can apply that pretty directly to life and happiness.
You are there for the long run.

Not getting younger... Now Barnaby is usually behind

Talking about running, the last marathon (Maui Marathon 2018), 4:08 was not a bad one. With the heat and an unlucky 4 minutes bathroom stop, I was hoping a PR. 
Looking at the stats, I started way faster than usual, around 8:30 pacing, assuming I could sustain that. maybe not quite at that level yet, even if the training was overall consistent, dropping 15 minutes after 3 years was a bit presumptuous. The main difference was the decision or inability to go deep into the pain cave. When I hit the wall around 2:30, I did not force it, decided to walk to lower my heart rate and took a huge hit on the pace. I kept it below 170 and perceived effort in the "acceptable" range. It was pretty hard anyway, and I promised myself to not do it ever again.
Never again.

Of course, ten minutes after the race, I was already thinking about the L.A. Marathon next year.

Chilling Before (Wonder who was pregnant at the time)

There are quite other few things that are occupying my thoughts and I still need to lay down the 5+ year plan - we are on a hard highschool timeline - , but one thing is for certain, my running days are not over.
I am eluding adding to my bucket list one of the top 100 miler in the world. Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, Leadville 100, Western States ...
But to even have a chance to go on the lottery for those, you need already a 50 miler and at least 100km in the bag.
As we do not get any younger, a good target for 2019 would be to get the 50 in the bag.
And certainly the LA Marathon as a warmup in April.

Chilling 13 years After. 
Definitively will need a bit of luck to keep this annoying right knee pain out of the way, but if I was able to train for 4 months with it, why not 6 ? or 12 ?
Lot of foam roller, strechting watching TV helps for sure... It just looks like that you whole life circle around running.
You work standing up (to train).
You run the dog, not walk it (to train).
You exercice (to cross train), not really because you like it (does someone do?).
You eat healthy (to be light)(well because it is better for you too).
You don't go out (because you need sleep .. to train more. Is there anyway much to do on Maui at night?)
And to wrap that up, a bit of meditation every day (just because).

Well, at least that the program on paper, starting next week.
Still curious how far that will bring me :)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Maui Marathon - Ready to go

Starts in less than 20 hours, 5AM tomorrow...
Targeted time : 3:50, for a 8:45min/mile pace, and a potential PR (my best is just below 4h).
I promised myself to not force it (too much) and not hurt myself (too much) and keep extraordinary focus on my form (just have to do it).
Well, at least, there is a plan.

I realized it has been a while since my last marathon , Honolulu 2015. 3 years ! 
Time flies. Certainly injuries did not help, still.
What is weird now, is that I am running faster than before.
Like the good wine, get's better with age....

Now it is time to see if this training block was better ... I was up running 33 hours in September, between 5 and 8 hours a week.
I chosen to train on time this time, instead of mileage, as I focused mostly on trails, and pacing is definitively way slower. That should still cover some sort of 30-50 miles per week, which is pretty decent for a marathon training block, I believe.

The weather is not cooperating - although lack of sun will be very helpful in the last hour of the race, when usually it gets really hot and everyone overheat. With a bit of luck, we should get overcast and run in between the rainfall - the ideal scenario.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Heatlh and Purpose

Maui marathon is 2 weeks away and it is time to start the taper. Volume gonna go down, lots of swimming in perspective. 
I do have a plan - keep it easy - then it will be up to Race day to tell me if I will PR or not. Likely not, I am considering the LA marathon early next year to actually try a PR.
Hawaii is definitively too hot for this competitive spirit. 
Even if the marathon starts at 5:00 AM !

Training strong.

Another hit from Rich few weeks back, about how Irish twins are making a change and reach for happiness.

Unsurprisingly, key for happiness resolve around few core concepts, health, food, movement, community, mission...
I bring it down myself to a duality - Body and Mind, Health and Purpose.
Being healthy impose eating healthy, moving a lot and be close from nature.
Purpose give you a healthy mind. You need mindfulness to achieve this purpose, it give you focus  and the sense of belonging.

Of course, you cannot dissociate body and mind, and I believe you need both health and purpose to reach happiness. Purpose do not have to be this grandiloquent goal of saving the world. A small step in the right direction, could create momentum and the steps could be bigger and bigger.

I am glad with Imbellus I did a small step in the right direction. Some initiatives like 80000 hours give a good taste of what could happen.
Change will not come from politics - the democratic process is failing us. From Yuval or Nicolas Hulot, proof if around you, specially on Twitter.
Milleniums are the key.
Bottom up.

Hopefully, this will come soon enough.