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.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Running to transcend

Training looking good. Knee pain is mostly gone and under control over the longest runs.
The last one, 3 loops of the Makawao forest, add up to almost 4 hours. Which is awful close from the peak of the marathon training in one month.
Weekly hours add up to 7-8 hours a week, around 40-45 miles.
This is start to sound like serious running.

Last time I ran 3 laps of the forest trail, I was actually pretty slower - almost 30 minutes slower, really. And I still remember it being quite painful.
Add to that, I did a test run 5k, pretty intense. Less than 22 minutes, actually a PR.  this help to run the numbers through equivalence table and measure progress as well as anticipate pace for the marathon.
My aerobic pace went down to a 8:30min/mile, which should be my running marathon pace, i.e. 30s faster than last one and could bring a 25min cut in racing time.
Likely, I will keep it easier than that, I have other plans for this marathon, but that certainly means that will be more comfortable to be under 4 hours this time.
Anyway, the main point is : all the numbers looks pretty good so far.

Aid station,
The nice thing about the Makawao loops is to be able to stop by the car and make a pit-stop every 75 minutes. Coconut water, salt crackers and dried mango slices. I used to go for coconut water as electrolyte drink during the run, but it ends up to be too sugary for the long long runs. Plus, it is lacking sodium, and I blame it for post run headache - maybe electrolyte imbalance. Following Chris Hauth advice, eat solid and drink water  - avoid high sugary sport drinks or - coconut water.

And trees. Because why not.
I usually run without music or talk, but today I was feeling on catching up on some podcasts.

Has been a while there was not a good one on running crazies. Well, 3100 miles. Hard to beat. And suicidal running Japanese monks. Cannot wait this comes to Netflix.
A new comer in my list of podcasts, Micheal Gervais on finding mastery. Goggins is always a killer speaker.

I can't get enough of the trail nation crew. Funny and spot-on, they make me dream of hundred milers. This one pretty cool, maybe a bit atypical.

I don't go to Sam Harris every week, but when the subject catches my eye, I definitively make a stop. That one gave me an amazing dive into the world politics and pitfalls that are facing our civilization. Worrisome but enlightening.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Back to Waiakoa trail

On the menu for this weekend long run, an all time favorite I did 3 years ago.
Pretty technical - across a Lava field - this is definitively a half-walk and half-run thing.
Took me around 3:20 for barely 12 miles.

Poli poli heights at 6:15AM. Worth the early rise.

Views over the other volcano of Maui. Rare to be that clear.

For most of the trail, the landscape is just amazing. 

Very technical part on the lava field. A nightmare to even walk on this thing.
Saw a huge wild pig running from me. Not sure who was more scared.

On the way down, the trail is a more gentle path, and trees provide shade. Nice.
Run was hard, but the cool temperature due to the altitude and the early rise made easier than last week. Lesson learned.
Get up early !

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Getting Better

2 months since the last post ... Could do better.
But, on the running front, things did not get worst, then they certainly got better,
as I am steadily increasing the volume to a decent 30 miles/week.
More important, my last recurrent pain, inside of the right knee is kept in check.
Still there, but not aggravating.
Little less than 2 months before the Maui marathon, things are looking good.
Or, not that bad.

Poli Poli Green Tunnel

Poli Poli over the clouds. 2:50 run.

Piilani Highway Green and Blue

Piilani Highway - 18 miles run.

Dr Maffetone method, strict zone 2 policy seems to be working. My zone 2 pace went up from 11min-mile to 9min-mile and on some reference runs, like one loop Makawao Forest I could see a average heart rate down of 20 beats for the same time between 2018 and 2015.
Same speed, lower effort, after few months of training.
This is encouraging.

I defined some new goals for this marathon in October. Definitely not trying to make a PR, I do not set time expectations. I am shooting for perfect running form from start to finish, controlled heart rate - around threshold - aerobic, and no injury after the fact.
I see that one as a stepping stone for future adventures.

I am curious to know if I will be able to pace myself on D-Day.

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.