Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Solar Powered Lunatic

The 100 mile Endurance Challenge was four weeks away Saturday was my first opportunity to get out on the course and run the first 25 miles from Corona to Aneheim.  If the body felt good Sunday I would return to run the the next 25 miles from Anaheim to Huntington Beach via Costa Mesa.  The forecast  predicted temperatures around 100. Time to use that sauna training to my advantage

I arrived nn anheim at about 7:25 met up with 4 other runners we packed in an suv and drove to the starting line.  The race starts at Mckinliy Elementry school in Corona. Once at the school we met up with Darren (the race director ) and a few other runners.  I took a minute to lace up my sandals and I was ready to go.  The temperature was already approaching 90 degrees.  I had never ran over 20 miles straight in my Luna sandals (although I paced about 40 at Badwater) and wasn't sure how well me feet would handle it.  I was also planning to run another 25 miles on Sunday and needed my feet to hold up.  As a back up plan I wore a Nathan vest carring a spare pair of Vibram sprints and a pair of injinji socks. I also decided to wear my cep calf sleeves in and effort save some strength in legs for Sunday.

Looks like I'm wearing a 2 year olds life jacket

We left the school at around 8:40.  The first 11 miles of the course go through the town of Corona. I planned on  going out at about an 8:30 to 9:30 pace.  Instead I ran the first 8 or so miles with a couple other runners at over a 10 ninute pace, the conversation was good and I was content at the speed for the time being.  Eventually we reached about a 1/2 mile hill, knowing this would the only incline I would get to run (and the only hill in the race till mile 70) I decided to leave the other runners and sprint up it and then coast down the other side.
Horses just before the 91
The river trail pretty much hugs the 91 freeway all the way to the 57 at which point it cuts toward the ocean in Costa Mesa.
$1,500 to own a home?  I must be along way from the beach.

At around mile 15 we hit Featherly park, and not a moment to soon my bottles were both empty and this was the first sign of a drinking fountain.

This guy was the bike support.  I think his name was Steve but I was also calling 2 other guys Steve that day,  mostly likely there was only one Steve.  I guess 1out of 3 names correct is better than 0 for 3.  Anyway He was a nice dude and I shared some of my NUUN with him as I filled up my bottles.

About a mile after featherly park I wasn't sure which way to go I made judgement call, and took off the wrong direction down a random bike path.  Along this stretch there were 100's of lizards on the path ready for  a relay race against me.  Every 10 to 30 feet I would run along side a lizard before it would go off and hide and another would take over.  As a team they were kicking my butt, always one step ahead it was hard to keep up with that 1,000 step per minute cadence they had.  Lucky for me the path dead eneded after 3/4's of a mile (I would have kept going all day long).  I doubbled back, stopped a biker for directions and got back on track.  My race with the lizards was my favorite part of the run and it never would of happened it I did'nt get lost.  I was there  to excercise and the extra mile and a half was a bonus.

View from bridge
After about 4 hours I was off the trail and into the City of Anaheim.  The whole town looks almost exactly like that picture.  Yeah right.
Thousands of fans awaited my arrival.

By the end of the run I felt pretty good.  I wanted to keep going but thought it would be best to save some energy for Sunday.  My feet were in great shape and the Luna Sandals preformed exceptionally.  My only gripe my stupid back pack scraped up my back (I guess that's the price of looking cool)

yep pretty cool huh?

I planned to play Disc golf at La Mirada after the run, as I was driving to the course I turned on the radio and heard UCLA was beating Texas at football,  Immediately my plan switched to football and beer.  After the game I hit the sauna for around 90 minutes, came home watched a little more football and was asleep by 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. (life of the party)

Gps data for Saturday run

When I woke up early Sunday morning the body felt good, the sun was shining, and I had tickets to see my beloved Angels at 12:35
Before the game I ate your typical American taigating food, (quinoa with stir fried vegetables and tofu) followed by a bag of defrosted soybeans during the game.  I ended up drinking seven beers (I wanted more but my wallet said otherwise) .  Life was very good at that point.
attendance over 41,000 ? the stadium only holds less than 44,000

It was fan apretiation day which means they give out prizes every half inning. (i think I've gone the last 9 years and never won squat).  The temperature was well over 100 degrees and people flocked to to the shade.  Lucky for me i'm a poor bastard who paid .45 for his tickets on Stubhub, this put me in the nose bleed section in the shade and under the raftors.  The Angels scored 3 runs in the first inning and then the offense went to sleep as the pitching staff progressivly got worse and blew the game.  The Angels had been eliminated from play off contention two nights before and it showed in the effort they gave on the field.  I felt like wearing a paper bag over my head and the eye holes cut out. Oh well theres always next year.

Sundays training run was suppossed to start at 2:30  about 2 miles North East of Angel Stadium and proceed directly passed wear my car was parked
the course runs right along the freeway seen off in the distance.

The game ended at about 3:30.  After sitting in shade all game it was time to get some sunshine.  The sun was blazing and I was read to run. I got to my car stripped down to my short short's, laced up my Luna's and I was ready to go.  Today I would not be using the Kiddie vest.  I was a bit concerned about running out of water so I carried 2 handhelds (as usual) along with an Ultimate Direction waist pack carrying a third bottle and my shirt.

I figured I would start out slow around a 10 min pace and listen to the body and let it decide the tempo.  I didn't expect to pass anyone till about mile 20 but low and behold after a mere 4 miles I ran into the Race director Darren cruising with Yen Darcy as well as bicycle support.  Yen had ran the Noble Canyon 50k the day before yet she still looked fresh and was trucking along.  My legs felt like crap, (often it takes me about 2 hours before I start feeling good during a run).  I figured I would find a rhythm sooner or later and sadly my alcohol buzz had already warn off.  I chatted with yen and Darren for about 1/2 mile before I took off.   About a mile later I passed another runner.
I guess I must have a bridge fetish because I took a pic during both runs.

The weather was beautiful and my legs started coming together as I got closer to the beach.  I think it was about 11 miles straight down the river bed when I finally hit the Pacific in Costa Mesa. Time to turn right and head to Huntington Beach.

(Costa Mesa)
The day was progressing and my spirits were high.  My compliments to mother nature on yet another beautiful sunset

The course traverses right passed the Huntington Beach Pier, although not part of the run I decided to go jog to the end of it take some pictures and do a little people watching.  While heading out to the pier a sax player was jamming " A Night in in Tunisia" (one of my all time favorites) and on the way back in he was playing  "summertime" (another one of my favorites) serenity was taking over.

the end of the H.B. pier

that's where i'm headed
I'm a sucker for a beautiful sunset (who isn't?)  I ended taking like twenty  pictures of the damn thing.  Eventually I had to stop for two reasons 1. My retina's were starting to burn and 2. The sun disappeared.

apparition of  a runner
The sun was gone and I still had six or 7 miles left to go.  I had found my rhythm increased my pace  and made my way to the finishing point at some school off of Warner in H.B.  I came into the parking lot floating like a ghost through the night. When I got there I was taken care of by 100 mile club volunteer Lucy and her daughter Vivian. they were both very sweet and eventually gave me a ride back to my car at Angel Stadium.

Relaxing after the run. if you look closely  my sweatshirt says Humboldt State Mom

Vivian was a member of the hundred mile club last year and was sporting her blingged out shirt that she earned.

Running over 50 miles in 2 days in my Luna Sandals my body felt great.  I felt like I could keep going at least another 25 miles at a similar pace if need be.  I'm really glad I did both training runs, I am very confident in my abilities come race day as long as I can keep my body in one piece.  I ended up running 114 miles last week and over 100 miles the week before and have not taken a day off running in over 1 month.

Monday morning I awoke with bed head reaching a new record height. Which is a good predictor that an awesome day awaited.

First stop talking business with a a Producer and Creator of events over breakfast at Eat at Joe's.   I use to go to with my old man when I was a kid, it had been over 15 years since I had last eaten there.

Joe's is right across the street from the Redondo Beach library.  I had been wanting a library card for awhile now so I could check out books for my Sony e-reader online.  It turns out I owed them $14 from 1998 when I was still in Jr. college (doh) begrudgingly I payed my fines and was off to the Beach.

Record heat on Monday.  Once again it was a planned day off running but how could resist just a little run on the beach.

I started out with the intention of just running for an hour.  It was the hottest it's been all year and the beach was the most packed I'd ever seen it for a weekday late in September.  Maybe it was because my  batteries had died on my Mp3 player but  It seemed like every other block I heard someone calling my name. I stopped a couple times for a beer, jumped in the water twice, played a little frisbee and even got to make my firends baby smile who I was just meeting for the first time.  5 1/2 hours later and after over 16 miles of running it was time to go cool off in the Sauna for a couple hours. I thought the weekend was fun but Monday was even better.

Someone asked me the other day "Do you think you make a good role model?" No way!  I don't wish anyone to attempt to replicate who I am.  We each have out own identities and it's important to express who we are as individuals. If someone calls me an inspiration, it truly touches my heart. If someone told me they want to be like me (nobody does) I'd be seriously disappointed.  We all have different  realities to deal with and what works for me is probably not what's best for you (or anyone else for that matter). I have a genuine faith in humanity (there is good in everyone, some people are just better at expressing it.) we got look out for eachother and do what our heart tells us is right.

Next up Manhattan Beach Hometown fair 10k Saturday morning, followed by a day in the beer garden and then a 3 a.m. run from Palos Verdes to the Santa Monica pier.  Ping Pong tournament in the afternoon and  most likely a little more fun in the beer garden.


  1. Hi!
    I like the next to last paragraph. Reading your blog is truly an inspiration because it spreads the pure joy of running in very catching way! Since I started reading it, I mostly run with a big smile on my face.

    Besides, I have one question concerning the compression sleeves. I am thinking about starting to use them, but I feel that they interfere with my attitude towards minimalist running.
    Your attitude towards shoes is, that the natural selection made the human foot perfect for running, without the need of shoes. But wouldn't we have „compressed“ feet, if this is really an advantage?
    Why are you using them, or where did I miss the point?

    Thanks for writing this cool blog and good luck at the 100 mile Endurance Challenge!
    Enjoy it!