Sunday, January 26, 2014

Closing the marathon

According to the training book-log, once you have done your fist marathon, there are two kind of persons. Either you are hooked, or you just crossed one of the item of your bucket list. Sometime you go back to light jogging on week ends, or shorter race preparation.
Or you sign off for your next one right away.

Toward the end, it was hot, very hot.

I guess I am hooked. Running became part of my life, and the benefits in term of peace of mind, slick body and overall wellness are really tangible. Finishing your first marathon boost your confidence, but the training itself slowly built it already.


A marathon is taxing. To the point, it is recommended to not to more than one per year.
And I have not been taxed that much. It seems that my recovery program worked really well. More on that later, but at least, I was able able to stretch fully after it. Only residual pain for two days was on my left knee, weirdly, that is a first. It eventually disappeared and I was able to do a couple of recovery as soon as two days after the race.

Stretching in paradise

After the race, I was extenuated, but I had way more trouble and pain in a couple of the past long runs during the training. Looking back, it was not that hard after all. I guess if you are well prepared ;)
I promised myself a couple of months of relaxed running and a focus on other activities like .. surfing  .. and working. Now I proved myself on the road, I still have to do it (again and again) in my new team.
But that's cool.
I am motivated and confident.
Training is like walking the path, and reaching the finish line of this one was certainly not the end of this one.
I am unable to meditate sitting, but I recognize the merits of the running experience.

Who knows, maybe you can reach illumination by accumulating road miles, like Forrest Gump ?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back on the road

Or should I say, back in the air.
The maui trip was pretty short, and now I am flying back to California to finish my ramp up. Didn't even have the time to go in the water !

Well, waves and wind are always blessing Maui, but a new job, it is only once in a while - still relatively often for me :)

It will be even better to be back in a month, you can only enjoy to be together if you are apart time to time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I was thinking how I could summarize my orientation week at Riot. Except dodging people's colds - this is winter in California - to try to preserve my health for the incoming race, it was an eye-opening experience.

my new Cup.

In a nutshell, that is the first company that actually is structured around its principles. Usually, companies values are nice HR posts on the wall and that is all about it. Over there, they actually organize production around their values. They structures themselves around their values.

The Riot Manifesto

"Player First". Number one rule.
I am sure I will find plenty to complain about, I am french after all.
We do not need any good reason to complain. That is in our genes.
And nobody is perfect. Riot certainly isn't.
But so far, I am seduced.
At least, they are putting their money where their mouth is.
And I respect this.

Monday, January 20, 2014

#130, 4:08:45

Those simple numbers do not reflect the reality of the struggle ;)
But this Sunday will be remembered in the mankind history as the day I finished my first marathon.
No Kidding ;)

Stinking gear, Bib and Medal.
The aftermath of a successful race.

As my wife said, there is few 'First time events' once you are past your twenties.
First kiss, First love, First job, First kid, the list go on and on.
I do believe that by challenging ourselves to reach for those first times over and over, you end up to be a better you.

more to come on the post traumatic experience of a life time achievement ;)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1.. 2.. 3.. GO !

At the time you will read this I will be running or done.
Get up at 4am, start of the race at 5:30am.
There is a serious dose of masochism in this.

All ready to go

Quite anxious. This week was far from ideal, in term of preparation, but I have been working hard on this those last 4 months.
Blood, Sweat and Tears.
Let's see if it pays off.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sleep deprived

I always have been quite sensitive to stress and change of environment. And it results in bad night, insomnia. Usually, I just get up and go work. Sometimes, I ve hit the floor at my company as early at 5AM, ready to rock. However, there is a price as I usually feel miserable -physiologically - all day long after that. Could be doubled with headaches.

"4 heures du Mat'
J'ai des frissons"

I remember the night before the Maui Half-Marathon was pretty short, and this time, it will be certainly worst, as I will have to go by bike from Kula to Kihei for an early start at 5:30 and there is at least 40 minute drive. I might have to get up at 3:00AM.

This week has been pretty bad. Change of diet, as we are fed during job training. Lots of people are sick or on the point to be in the office - it is winter in California after all - and I am praying to go through this one ... Intact. Hotel is cool, but it usually takes me a while to acclimate, and I am still paying the price for that.
Yesterday night, late, got seduced by your typical California Burger - I am not restricting calories this week -  Yeah ! - and now I am fully awake at 4AM. It seems I don't take well the change of diet as well.
Getting old ?

Add to this, the less I sleep, the more anxious I am getting to not get enough sleep for the race on Sunday.
Vicious circle.

This morning, I am betting the odds. I am gonna go for a 6AM run in the dark, hopefully ending up tonight tired enough to get a good night of sleep.

I am curious to see how I sleepjogging as well.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Running too much

But I can't help it.
I am in tapper weeks, I should have reduce my mileage, but it was so fun to run on this huge beach of Santa Monica, I could not stop.
Anyway, that was the last one before the marathon.
I promise.

Random Pictures take along the way.

Beautiful, isn't it ?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It is offical

After almost 5 years rocking the world on Rocksmith for Ubisoft,
It was a great ride, but
I am now a Rioter.

New Badge

I have to say that I am used to meet passionate people in the game industry, it usually goes with the job.
Riot Games push it a little further. They are fans. It is rejuvenating to see so much commitment and dedication around a single game.
Not your common game, though, the most played PC game around the world with dozens of millions of hardcore-gamer playing the game every day.

For new company...

I feel lucky of joining this new tribe.
Exciting times !!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Good morning, Santa Monica !

In California for a small week, I did a quick and easy run in the city to check the pacific ocean.

Leaving the hotel

Santa Monica Boulevard. 7AM.

REI exists in real life, not only online.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus

I guess they like beer

View of the famous pier from the city

All time wife's favorite

Sun is up 

North view of the city from the pier

Iconic promenade

Small waves, 3 guys in the water

Has been a while I did not self-portrait ...

Little park in front of the town all

It is flat, cold and polluted.
we are not in  Maui anymore !

Thursday, January 9, 2014


One of the great thing you can do when you monitor that closely your food intake and calories burning rate, is to do quick experiments, like the last couple of days. I have been logging a few extra hundreds of calories than my daily needs, in the hope to refill carbohydrates stores, and see the impact on my running form.

I went back to a 145 pounds morning weight, i.e. more than 2 pounds than two days ago, but yesterday, the last run was a breeze.
Compared to the struggle of the the previous ones earlier this week, I was flying through the 6 miles all along. I even beat my personal record without racing on one leg, by almost 5 minutes on a one hour run.

Running after this, I felt like I was 12 again.
Maybe it was the magic Vega Gel I tried too ;)

It is just amazing how you feel better when your body is correctly fueled. Dieting while training is usually unadvised, except for a small amount like 300 calories / day max. Which was roughly my goal. I still suspect the Garmin HRM method of counting burned calories while exercising, while way more accurate than Strava or other methods, is aiming at the low side of the spectrum, which caused bigger deficit than expected.
Then my that would explain my hard times on the earlier runs.

Anyway, dieting is over for now, until the marathon anyway, and I will be focusing on a steady 2000 daily intake, i.e. just enough for weight maintenance. That should be more than enough to be full - but not heavy - for the race.

Enough for the theory. Let's go get some more miles again !

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The last couple of runs have been very painful. At the same time, I saw my weight go below 143Lbs.
At 2 weeks of the marathon, it triggered all sort of alarms in my brain.
I could barely run 5 miles, how can I run 26 ?

Which could be awesome if it was for real. What happened is - almost certainly - I have not been eating enough to replenish my carbohydrates stores (i.e. Muscles and Liver).
Typically, it creates an overall tiredness, overall slowdown and running becomes painful, excruciating.
But it is doable.
Running with low carbs, is possible, It is called : "beating the wall". At that point, you are sustaining your effort mainly on fat, and overall your pace go down as your heart rate and perceived effort skyrocket.
You still need sugar to go though. For the brain, etc...

For most mortals, "the wall" slow you down or call you to walk, until you can grab some magic "gel" or sugary drink to keep slowly going. or DNF.

For athletes, hitting the wall can look like that.

Iron Man finish 97

Yesterday, I ate "only" 600 calories above my daily limit, and this morning I gained already more than 1Kg or 2 pounds (water joins the carbs in the muscles, which explain usually up and down on the weight curve).
Later today, hopefully, a small recovery run will prove me it was just that.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"I am a marathoner"

If you end up on our piece of paradise in a couple of weeks, you might see runners all along the coast.

The "other" marathon on Maui

And I will be one of them.
Now, that is excitement. 4 Months of training culminating in a one day event.
Running, jogging, walking, crawling, starting at 5:30AM, only one rule, just finish it in less than 7.5 hours.
Fear the DNF (did not finish) !

I ran already 20 miles, I am in the best shape of my life,
I am a marathoner !

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back to the old stuff

Couple of thoughts this morning.
I weighted less than 144 pounds, 65 Kg, for a few days in a row now. Which is certainly directly related to my switch counting calories using the Garmin-HRM algorithm. It might be on the low-end side considering the speed of the go down. Anyway, those weight curves always looked funky to me, on a day to day basis.

Down down ...

What is sure, is soon I will have to eat normally to maintain my carbohydrate load and be ready for D-Day.
It is very important to eat Carbs the week before to fill your storage.
Grains are good for that, as Pasta, Rice, Potatoes, .... Avoid fat (Cheese, Salami, ...) and proteins (Meats, fish), and keep your food intake constant. You don't want to lose weight or gain weight too.

Back to the old stuff :

Related to this, I am rediscovering all the stuff I used to hate as a kid. Like cereals. Right now, I am enjoying cooked steel cuts oatmeal, which is , well, surprising to me. Since I am eating less sugar, my palate got used to less processed stuff. Makes it cheaper and easier to cook.

Few years back, I was just bypassing breakfast all together.
Nowadays, I am starving at 6:30 !!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The natural experiment

Well, I have been struggling with this psoas tenditinis forever now. I am in better shape than ever, but still, after 20 Miles, I am limping. Good, I am ready to try the exotic stuff ;)

Aloe Vera : works for everything !

For a full month, I will be following those dietary supplements, supposedly helping joints and cartilage. In any case, cannot be worst or dangerous. It is not that expansive either, maybe 10-20$ for a month of caps. I can live with that.

Vitamin C could help
And MSM, Glucosamine are the official joints and cartilage builders

Quick Internet check-up, lots of stuff as always, but couple of supplements - plants come back and with - not surprisingly - lots of good reviews, from believers.

Test will be simple. One month of try. One marathon in the middle of it. Checking how it goes afterward. Recovery. Pain. Limping. Easy to compare left leg and right leg. As a bonus, my right shoulder is still bugging me, then it might help over there too, who knows.

Now, lets check of the placebo effect is for real ;)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Recovery day...

Since last week the pain in my hip came back. I vaguely remember having been doing a 9 Miles run and 1:30 kitesurfing on the same day ;)
I guess I should not have ...
It was last Tuesday. The long run on Saturday did not arrange things and I was limping again on Sunday.

I went then on full recovery state until the pain recede.
I could log a good one hour swim yesterday.

Swimming is the only allowed activity
when lower body is broken,
Boring but effective.
Helped for the diet on a New Year's Eve.
Right, you heard it, diet on a New Year's Eve.
Did a slow 5 Miles run today, to check things out.
I could not feel the pain before the run, a bit after.
Hopefully, tonight will be good and I will be able to go back on my training. Those are tapper weeks (Slow down and recovery in preparation for the race), but I still need to log 20 miles or so during the week.

Long run of "only" 9 Miles.
But, while limping, could be the longest 9 Miles ever ;)