Wednesday, December 23, 2015

4 years, 20 pounds and 2500 nautical miles later

There is something amazing in the fact that we now collect every dumb instant of our lives thanks to our always-on portable media units, and that "social" databases digest all that.
It allows us to backtrack 4 years in one glimpse and get this kind of flashback.

Octobre 2011
This was not our boat, and the coast line is the Californian one (or maybe Mexico?).
I am posing. I was merely deck hand at that point.

November 2015
This is our boat, and the coast in the back is Hawaii.
I am drinking water because if someone has to be sober on the boat, that's the captain. (Really ? I am making that up obviously).

Well, rarely I agreed more with the saying that the (red) wine is only getting better with age.
Not sure where I would be in 4 years from now, but I cannot really imagine a more radical transformation. On the opposite, I cannot really imagine staying in place, physically and mentally.
Well, Facebook will be certainly still there to prove me right, or wrong.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Goutified ?

Something really weird happened the four days after the marathon.
As I was getting ready to run again, let's jog again, few days later, an excruciating pain rose from my left foot.
My first hypothesis was directed on a wrong move, maybe in my sleep, and some post trauma (a marathon can be considered as a minor trauma for the body) joint pain, maybe a tendinitis.
After few days of limping, it seems that Gout, or Gouty Arthritis might be the actual problem.

Ugly and swollen.

Gout likes to hit around the Big Toe - "metatarsophalangeal joint" - Mostly because those joints are the lowest point of your body and furthest from your pumping heart. Cold, i.e. lower body temperature would ease the crystallization of uric acid.
Mostly men in their forties or fifties (I am not feeling younger right now), might be some heredity factor, main factors being poor alimentation (not my case) or dehydration and joint fatigue. 
Running a marathon under the Hawaiian sun is well known to cause high dehydration, it is frequent to lose more than 4 or 5 pounds of (mostly) water during a long effort like this one.
Well, the symptoms matches and the cure too :

Magic remedy
Unsurprisingly the mother of all remedies works pretty well in this case - as my symptoms are overall pretty light, even if this is almost impossible to lay over my foot.
Apple Cider Vinegar alkalize the PH of the body and help dissolve the tiny crystals formed in the joints. Add a couple of cold water buckets and anti inflammatory cream, and it seems we are on the good path of healing.

I the mean time, I can't walk, can't run, can't surf, can't kite, can't sail.
As always, I can swim. 
Well, at the pace I am getting hurt nowadays, I am gonna be such a good swimmer eventually.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sub 4 Hours. This time, I did it.

But it was close. Closer than I wished ;)

Not bad.
128th in my category, in the top 10%.
1033th overall, for 21544 runners, in the top 5% overall.

There was tons of people. And fireworks. And even more people.

As for the race... It started a little slow because of so many people did not pick their right place on the starting line, and that makes quite a congestion. The first 15 minutes are spent doubling people and slaloming. The was simple : stick to 9 min pace all along. Nothing crazy. 
That means 4 hours pace.

A long long run..
Based on my stamina and Daniel's tables, I should be handle 3:30 and below 8 min pace.. Well, Those numbers are just b***.. wrong ;)
I was hoping to not have to push myself too hard. Steady pace all along.
After two hours, all was going perfect. It was still dark and relatively cold (in Hawaii's terms). I was holding the pace like breeze, in Zone 3. I was cruising. Legs were becoming a little "heavy" but nothing to be really worried about.
Then I realized I was one minute short at 20 miles. 20 Miles should have been 3:00. 
I was at 3:01. No way I was gonna miss my first sub-4 by one minute.
I decided to accelerate to 8:30 pace.
Thing is, usually, the last hour is hard. pretty hard.
Now I made it worst. Far worst.
The sun rises. The heat comes. Your legs are actually really heavy now. Then you have to make THE effort. That's fine, I signed for it.

The story as an Hear Rate log
At 3:05, my heart rate went over 165, my lactate threshold.
That's a problem. You can suffer. But there is so much you can really take on. When you go over your threshold, your time is counted. The effort is not sustainable. This is a bio-mechanical thing. Next time... Train harder, you will sustain better pace with less effort.
On my last marathon, I started to suffer way too early, around 2:30. I hit the wall at 3:30. And went into my darkest hours for the last 34 minutes. Good to know, I have usually one hour left at threshold effort on a marathon pace.
Well, of course I realized pretty fast that this last hour will be hard. 
Plenty of hard.
Here comes 24 miles. Pace falls down to 10:00. I am running in place. For the first time, lots of runner are doubling me. 2 Miles to go. I am hitting the wall ? Again ?
Wake up call. 2 Miles. 16 Minutes. In training I do that without even sweating. In my sleep.
Grind the teeh, Jump the heart to explosion (180 bpm), move those arms, move those knees. (Later on, Molly told me I looked like a Robot - or a human stick - 100% rigid), force my way through.

Don't trust the clock.
I was not first on the starting line ;)

Well, this time it worked.

Overall my preparation was way better than last time. A little short, 12 weeks instead of 16, but no injuries or sickness. Less running,  3-4x a week (only !). Looks like the speed and hills work did pay at the end. Legs ended up really stiff - and the calves are still locked one day after, but no cramps and no meltdown, which is a huge improvement over last time.

Worth the suffering ?
Ain't I pretty with my medal ?

Now it is time to enjoy a bit of non running.
Good news, Winter is here and usually the surf is good.
On Maui, there is really no bad season anyway.

Surf's up, PR's down.
Isn't it Christmas ?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ready ? Set?

You cannot deny some modern beauty in Waikiki. Especially at the 31st floor.
Still, this is way to many people for me to handle.

On the top of the world

I don't  expect less people on the starting line tomorrow. This marathon is big. Thousands of runners, likely. 10000 ?
In any case, I am ready. The gear is laid down and ready for our early start at 5am.

From the glide stick to the last minute Granola,
I am loaded.

To be there on time, with a warmup,  the clock gonna run around 4am.
4am ?
Gosh, I am hurting already.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2 Days 10 Hours 33 Min 03 Seconds

Feeling nervous.

This is weird.
This is my 3nd marathon, and the feeling is like it was the first.
Maybe we never get used to it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sailing break

In between of all this running action,
I decided to dust off the sails and we went on a short but fun 2 day trip, forth and back to Lanai, the neighbor island.

To make it more fun, we took the long way, the "windy" way.

Don' t I look awesome :)

When you drop the main, and go with Jib only...
It is windy.

Islands protect mostly from swell...
but it was blowing ... seriously. You will have to believe me.

In the lee of the Lanai, things calm down.
Cliffs are majestics

From land, the view is amazing.
South coast of Lanai.
Well deserved coffee in Lanai city,
cute little town.
Manele Harbor, early morning

Trip Log
As always, pictures talk for themselves, and better than me !

For a first trip out of the Lahaina playground, it was totally worth it.
Sailing the channel is an awesome and technical sail.
Not for your typical day-sailor, I suppose.
As always, I am glad that the boat handled it well and was forgiving for all our mistakes :)
Even more disturbing, our 40 year old diesel is steaming like a youngster, and it proved it on the way back.(except the oil dripping, but, well, it goes without saying).

Lanai, we will be back.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Long Long Long runs... (4)

If this one did not kill me, it certainly made me waaaay stronger.
21 Miles.
It was the last (long long) one before the marathon in 3 weeks.
Now, we just have to pray it was enough.(the training).


Fog's coming

Just magnificent

Notice the ray if light

On the top of world


Sliding sands

Not your typical yard
Not your typical long run.

But as for the landscapes, it was totally worth it.
Don't you think ?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Long Long Long runs... (3)

Another great run in Poli Poli.
Started to be a quick and easy 2h - and ended to be a nightmarish 3:30.
Well, I should pick my route better :)

Mamane Trail

Haleakala Ridge

The road that bring you to the summit.
Maybe another time.

Way to much elevation for this "easy" long run.
I gave up there.

Clouds on their way.
You can see the sea down below

Path cuts the trees.
It was hard, but this park is really amazing.
Beautiful trails, and almost no one.
Nature at this best.
I'll be back.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Long Long Long runs... (2)

Did my first long run in the Haleakala National Park.
Pictures talks better.

Started grim. Wet and cold.

Surreal trail in the clouds

More like stairs, you can see hundreds of feet below.

Once at the bottom, visibility was getting barely better

Deeper in the crater, sun is appearing

Alien plants

Rainbow island, rainbow crater.

It is just beautiful

A little closer to the moon

On the moon

Pu'u o Maui

Big picture at 7000 ft

I guess... now, I have to go back ?

Next time, I can climb that and hit the summit.
That would add 3000 ft elevation.

Some blue sky, and heat.

Some NeNe's looking for food.

Way back, now it is sunny

The path I could not see.
I have now to climb it.

The valley, under the mid-day sun.
It was long, it was hard.
There wasn't so many people around, and overall, it was an amazing run.
I promised myself to be back pretty soon.
Definitively worth the drive.