Saturday, February 28, 2015


We are now at roughly 3 weeks of the marathon I choose on Maui, and I just took a full week out. And likely, next week will be -at least - cut in half.

That's not good.
But not as bad as it sound.

I am actually only really cutting one week of training, the last two weeks are what we call, the tapper weeks. Rest, transition and some time to build the will to run again. It is pretty common to overrun yourself during those intense race preparation and you come to the actual D-day tired and bored.

What happened ?

Well, my recuperation after my last long run did not end up as usually. It is typical to be sore and limping a bit the day after the long run. It is a serious hit on the body after all.
But this time, the pain persisted. Typical psoas sensitivy, right side, with flashes of pain, and some persistent limping. Nothing new. Like a clockwork, everytime I push, every time it comes to remind me to not to.

And this time, one of my blisters decided to not subside as well. I eventually decided to pierce it, and now, it hurts even more :)

Isn't my foot pretty ?
You see this blister. Well. It is painful actually.


- I am not yet cured of my psoas pain. Then I should not have stopped all my morning stretches, physical therapy exercises and strengthening of the core. The trigger is just higher, not relative to a couple of hours of running. Not too bad, but not enough, and still very annoying.

- I certainly over trained those last couple of weeks, or ran over my actual capabilities. this one minute drop, it looks like my fitness allows me to do it, but my body is not ready yet. Next time, I need to prepare one month before, and ease my entry into the very very long runs.

- I change both my way of running (Forefoot strike) and went crazy on super thin running shoes, i.e. "Racing Flats", i.e. Zero cushioning. "Vapor" they say. Well, I don't think my feet were ready. I rarely got blisters before those shoes, and I ran a lot too. My main issue is to find running shoes, shipped to Hawaii and in my size. Merrell makes good shoes, but they are very expensive on the shipping. They are out of the picture, I am switching to Pearl Izumi. They have a "natural" line of running shoes, do half-sizes (rare!) and can be found easily (so far) on Amazon.

Anyway, now I am left to cross-training, i.e. swimming and maybe some light surfing, until at least mid-next week. On top of screwing my training for the marathon, what I hate is that I am addicted. I did not run for 3 days now, and I really miss it. Not the long runs, I am not that masochist. But one hour here and there, at easy pace, that's good.
Very good.
Just have to remember this episode, and use that as a motivation for all the core exercises and yoga-stretching  practices. Who knows, it might help me to stick to it.
That's along post.
But, Hell, I am stopped.
Don't have anything else to do :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Faster then ever ...

But there is a price...

I was looking forward to this long run, As I knew I ran the exact same course last year, 13 months ago. No surprises. At the time I was pretty happy to have hold my 10 min/mile pace, and I closed this one in 3 hours.
Now, I am going 45s to the mile faster. Does not seem much, but at the end, it makes a difference of 15 minutes. It feels like sailing. You go only one tenth of a mile faster, it makes a huge difference, but to get to that, you have to fight teeth and nails.

18 Miles, 2:45h at 9.13 min/miles
As always, it is not really flat on Maui.

Anyway, I was feeling pretty good, there was some heat but nothing unbearable, and some clouds gave me some shade at one point. Nice.
I was flying for the first 2/3 of the run, and ended falling around a 10 min/mile pace toward the end.
Overall, happy, and it is building confidence.

South shore in all its beauty.
Some white caps announces the Spring ?

Then, what's the ugly part ?
The feet. My feet.
I ended up with blisters, not the one you can really feel and see, the kind of large that cover all of your feet. Let's call that, a big irritated skin. And maybe some more violent pain around the plantar part - did not do my research yet, but would that be a plantar fasciitis, I wont be surprised.
Those sign are usually due to over training.
Bad news, the marathon is in less than 3 weeks.

I am not that worried though. I think I could go through. Well, I might not walk at all after it. maybe for several day .. But I could go through.
It might be over training, but at this point, I am blaming my switch of shoes.
And right now, at 3 weeks of the race, I am seriously thinking about changing shoes.
Which is not good.
But I will give it a shot.
More information as it goes.

Let 's keep it simple, and stay positive. If I hold this pace for another hour, I will certainly reach my goal, i.e. run the marathon in less than 4 hours.
On my knees.
But in less than four hours.
I guess there is a price to pay for any personal achievement, bu definition.
No pain, no gain.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The last hour

.. Is still a mystery to me.
 Running now around a 9 min pace, I am closing my long run in 2:20, 2:30.
Right, that's good.
But good.
Still, at that pace, hypothetical pace, as I cannot imagine holding that pace for more than 3 hours, but that is another story, it brings me the marathon at 3:56.
Running 2:30 and 3:56 seems a big leap.

Back to La Perouse,
and his Lava fields.

Alright. It was hot. Like really hot.Certainly in the 85F (30 degrees C.), lunch time on the south shore, the sun was killing.
Still, last year I was running 3 hours, (even 3:40 for a 20 miles one).
Now, this is scary.

Heart rate is slowly getting up,
when pace is slowly getting down...

I think I will try to run longer distance sooner.
Maybe shoot for 18 Miles next week, and end up on a 20 Miles in a couple of weeks after.
If - by any chance - I was holding my pace, that would bring the run at 3:00, which would be reassuring.
Kind of.
There will be only one hour left.
The one you don't train, and miraculously manage to complete the Day-D.
 This mysterious last hour.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


And some other days, everything fall into pieces perfectly.
I was feeling way better on Monday, and jump on my long run, ended up to keep a pretty good pace - please note the elevation - this is Maui - Flat does not exists.
Conditions were favorable, not too much wind or sun, but my new 9 min/mile pace, for 2:30 hours, I am pretty proud of id.
If I can hold this for the marathon, I am gonna hit less than 4 hours.

16 Miles. 9:20 min/miles. 2:30 min.

One thing I noticed during this run. Even if this is "only" 4 miles more than usual, it seemed very very very long. Actually, running 2 hours and 30 minutes is a long time.
It was late in the day, with some traffic, then it was not the best run ever.
But this is promising.
Promising of a good long painful training...

Less surprisingly, my fix of the brakes ended to break a brake line.
This time, with a new line, it seems to hold.
I am getting better at this.
Well, Ok. I screwed up a "very easy" job. 
Ok, ... I am getting used to cars. Not exactly the same than boat. 
Ok, I broke the brake line. But replacing it was a breeze.
Learning along the way.... I still do not really like it, working on the car, but at 100$/h for a mechanic that will do a crappy job... Let's just say that this is all part of the master plan to be in debt forever as boat owner. 
Priorities, priorities, priorities.

Well. Sometimes... It is just exceptional.
And while I am stretching and groaning in pain, slowly getting better after the long ..long... run, we had those - once in a life time - sunset that Maui's famous for.
Definitively a good day, to be noticed.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


It was the "Super Bowl" Sunday. And a very grim Sunday. I postponed my long run because it was way to wet for me to run for 2:30 under the rain. I am not equipped, and not really should I. this is not often the case to really justify investing in some rain running equipment, like gore-tex running shoes. But today, what a bummer. I was feeling a little sick as well, lots of cold and flu around us. Winter and the tourist season, usually, it is a good time for the germs. Our daughter has been missing the last couple of days of school, as half of her class.

Rainy, Wet, Grey.
We are not used to that much. 

As I am stuck at home, at least, let s get some of the old job on the list done. A first, the brakes. I can do oil change and simple maintenance liquids already, break pads was actually not that hard at all, once properly equipped - As always.

Time to pretend to be 'The Mechanic'
Before the boat, now the car. Learning as I can.

The good thing is you can get a free "loan" for specialty tools in town, which is really a plus.
Like this one.

Caliber Piston Special Tool.
Not that hard once you have the proper tool.

Anyway, the Super Bowl went unnoticed, and the day as well. Almost unnoticed the change of plans - extremely rare - of my training program. 
Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel better and will manage to get some serious running between some code lines.
That is the advantage of the flexible schedule.
The disadvantage is that you do not have any excuses to not stick to your plan.
Except when it is raining.