Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sand in my Blood, Time to Reclaim the beach Zombie Style

For nearly two months I have gone without running.  Countless hours on the recumbent bike, elliptical and climbing on the dreadmill.  I am not meant to be excercising indoors.  For one I despise wearing a shirt, also the people exercising on the machines next to me  don't seem to like that much when I accidentally hit them with a snot rocket.

Last Monday I was enjoying an easy relaxing 40 mile ride on my strand cruiser.  The air was crisp the sun was out and I wore nothing but a pair of board shorts and my new Luna Go's (most people had on sweat shirts and pants) I had put a new basket on which allowed me to carry bag full fruit to help fuel my adventure.  I only planned on riding about 20 miles but I didn't want to stop.  

Living up to my name sake 

Around mile 30 I was came  up to  a small hill on the bike path.  Most of my ride I kept at a very relaxing pace on flat ground.  Since my bike is a single speed  (p.o.s.) strand cruiser I tried to get a lot of momentum before the hill and charge up it at at around 4 times my cruising pace.  About half way up the hill I was pulling hard on the handlebars and quickly learned some dumb ass (yours truly) didn't put them back on tight enough.  The front wheel turned but the handle bars straight 

Great Grampa Sweeney (perhaps)

I was probaly going about 10 to 12 mph and I hit the pavement before I even realized what was happening.  about 2/3 of the impact ocurered on the frame of the bike and the concrete as I tumbled into the sand.  It took a few minutes for me to regain my cognaitive faculties (I din't have much to start off with) Shaking off the fall it was time to assess the damage, I realized nothing was broken.  I had about 5 to 10 small scrapes on my legs, a skinned knee full of sand, and I took a good poke in the ribs.  I figured it could have been worse.  My handlebars were pointing completely sideways as was my seat which took a small tear. Other than that the bike was still in one piece and I was able to go with my ride

I'm not meant to be riding a machine. It was as if the beach was calling me back.  The sand had entered my blood stream it had gone in my mouth trying to feed me and went in my my ears straight to the brain transfixing my train of thought.  It was time to get my ass off the bike out of the gym and back on the beach where I belong.


Day1 (the day after the fall)

It was now or never.  I have been extremely cautious with my injury.  A certain hypersensitivity towards it has lead my to be maybe a bit too careful.  The first day back the sun was out (although it was only aobut 60 degrees.  The plan was to take it easy (1 mile) at about a 14 minute pace on the soft sand.  The body felt better than expected and I ended up running between the Manhattan and Hermosa piers and back roughly 3.4 miles.  I could of gone farther but I was concerned that adrenaline (more from my excitement to be running again than from physical exertion) might be masking some pain.  I hit the sauna that night and while at the gym I even got on the Dreadmill for a few slow miles in my Luna's.


Optimistic about the way things were going I decided give some Barefoot paddle tennis a try another sport I had not done since September.  I challenged my buddy Justin (who is also banged up) we didn't play a match just rallied for and hour or so and it felt great to hit some balls. After a quick trip to the farmers market it was back to the Beach.  The plan for me was to do the same run as the day before.  Justin came with me for the first mile and we ran into "Hermosa 24 star" Christian Burke.  Man he looked strong out there, he has been training almost entirely on the soft sand (taking a page out of my book as he put it).  He told me was doing 10 miles each day on the soft sand.  It was only my second day back and we caught Christian near the end of his run I decided to push it an extra mile farther than I planned going 5 miles, while I listened to how well Christian's training had been going.
 I was  running at a pace that I shall refer to as Quicksand training. (so slow I could walk backwards faster)  each step I allow my foot to strike soft yet sink as far as it can in the soft sand.  The result is a slow low impact strength building workout. After the run I hit the sauna for a few hours while there I had some time to think, if Christian could 10 miles I can do 10.5.  I returned to the beach for another 5.5 mile run as the sunset

Christian Burke thinks he's Mantracker
(I can't help but laugh every time they say the name man tracker during this show which I would guess is at least 100 times an episode.


I had felt decent the first two days my body was beginning to find sourness in strange places.  Out of the blue I woke up with an extreme pain in my ribs about 60 hours after my bike accident.  I could hardly do anything without pain.  I was supposed to meet a friend for Disc Golf that afternoon but I quickly realized that was out of the question.  Stubborn as I am decided to for a run anyway.  Focusing on keeping my body balanced to avoid pain I could ran with a glass of champagne balanced on my head and not spilled a sip (maybe not champagne i would have drank it, will say horchata instead I hate that stuff).  Even though I was going real slow my body was starving for oxygen , my breathes were very shallow mostly through my nose and about every three minutes I involuntarily  yawned painfully as my lungs strived to get the air they needed.  Near the end of my run here comes Christian Burke gracefully speeding through the sand.  "He told me he had been tracking my gimpy foot prints.  Because of my injury I have been running with my left foot pronated and my right perfectly straight.  (very easy to track) I didn't want slow Christian down so I told him to catch up with me on his way back for a few miles.  I thought about doing 10miles but for once I  listened to my body and quit after 7 miles

Thank you very much Christian for looking over my beach while I was gone the last two months.  This is my sand am I here to reclaim it.  It is I that puts more steps here than anyone else.  Your services are no longer needed and you my friend are trespassing.  You are a wanted man and although I am not currently fast enough to catch you.  I will be very soon.

Day 4

I enjoy running with my sister but hardly ever get a chance.  We run at very different speeds and she prefers hard surfaces to sand.  I convinced her to join me barefoot on the beach.  She always worries about slowing me down but on this day she might have been able to outrun me if she wanted to.  My ribs felt a little better and we ran a nice 4 miles together before she departed.  I kept going planning on doing about 8 miles but the legs felt too good to stop I ended doing a little over a 1/2 marathon and felt like I could do much more but didn't need to.  For the first time I found a little bit of spryness in legs as my tempo increased I found my rhythm.

Day 5
I almost felt like a runner again the body. I had broke through a few barriers and ran my normal 10.5 mile soft sand run with ease.  Along the way I saw a bikini photo shoot, a seal and some dolphins.  I love the Beach.

Day 6
The weather was pretty crappy in South Bay.  I was lazy all day and I planned on taking the day off but couldn't resist  watching the sunset as crazy clouds passed through the sky and large raindrops fell on my head during my 6.5 mile beach run

Day 7
Me Lurking behind Much as I was during this run

I ran 6 days in row and was starting to get a little cocky.  I called up Mr Burke to see if he wanted to go for run.  We met at first street in Manhattan.  I figured we would run 10 miles which I was totally ready for.  What I wasn't ready for was to do it at his pace.  My blood was pumping as we sailed through the soft sand running 9 minute miles (I'd say each 9min mile in soft sand is equal to the effort of running 2 sub 7 minute miles on a track) I informed Christian that only one person had put more miles on the beach than him last week :) and that I was proud of his efforts. We had a good discussion about our future race plans and about the future of the Hermosa 24 more on this later.  An adventure athlete friend of Christian's joined us halfway through.  The workout was enjoyable (in a sick way) but my body was not ready for it.  After 10 miles Christian stopped but I kept going (an act to show supremacy) for another 2.5 miles (very slow). I'm at least 3 weeks away from running his pace comfortably.

Day 8
The plan was for this blog post to be about my first week back running but I lagged in writing it so heres a bonus day. On day 8 my body really wasn't that sore but I definitely sensed some fatigue in my foot I didn't really know if I should go running or not.  I rarely listen myself and almost anyone can convince to go running or play disc golf at any time.  On this day my buddy Justin wanted to go few slow miles (sounds good) I ended up running with him for about an hour.  I wasn't ready to stop  3 miles became 8 miles, 8 became 10 and 10 became 14.  Along the way in Dockweiler I got board.

Exactly 5km of GPS graffiti

Along time ago I wrote my name on the beach when graphed out out by my Garmin over a 1 mile run.  On this day I tried to make things a little bigger.  I set the bare pretty low with messy writing (I don't think I blame this one on being left handed) Anyhow it took exactly 5km to complete.  While out there who shows up none other than arch Nemesis and friend Mr. Burke.  I must of looked like a roomba bouncing into imaginary walls. He gave me a puzzled look and ended up running the perimeter with me.

8 Day total

80 miles total 78 barefoot on the beach and 2 on treadmill in Luna's.  The body Is not back yet and maybe a couple of days off are in order.  My body feels strong and all I want to do is run.  I still feel like I have training wheels on and I don't plan on doing anything fast for a least another week or 2.  If your a member of Daily mile you can follow my training there.  I really like that sight and I encourage everyone to become a member so that we can help motivate each other.

The Future
Yule tide 5k held on the hard sand by the water in Manhattan Beach (Barefoot).  I have won both the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair 10k and the Manhattan beach 5k this year and it would be fun to go for the trifecta.  I'm not sure my body will be ready for 5 minute miles 10 days from now But I sure hope it is.  This will be my first race in the Sport Kilt if I do in fact run it.

Operation Jack Marathon
The race is for a good Cause and starts in the El Porto Parking lot.  (the scene of the Barefoot Ted running clinic from my last post)  It is ran on bike path right next to the beach.  I plan to run the race super slow maybe barefoot.  Since about 70 % of it is right next to the sand (although slower to run on) I may take a slight diversion.
Sign up here

Copper Canyons Ultra
My main focus will be on this event.  I am going to arrive their well prepared and expect very good things to come out of this experience

The Hermosa 24
Last year Mr. Burke set the world record for most miles ran on sand over 24 hours.  He did this in effort to raise money for daughter's school (Pretty freaking cool).  He put this event together really quickly (most likely in an effort to keep me from running against him lol)  This year it shall become a race both solo and relay.
My blog post from the event in 2010

Last year I helped pace

It was a really cool thing to be a part of and I was really proud of my friend.

But this year It's time for me to reclaim my Beach.

Christian is from Hermosa I'm from Manhattan The course takes place in both cities.  I plan on doing a lot of miles with Christian and when the day comes I plan to run run at least one more than him and everyone else.

Christian will have the whole city on his side (rightfully so). He's a good person and raised a lot of money for their schools.
But while he's signing autographs. "I'll be training!"
While he's posing for the cameras "I'll be training!"

And yes 
I have fans to.
From all over the world for that matter.

It totally wasn't me (I hope)

Anyhow I feel good and I'm optimistic about the future

Hey Christian I updated your sign for 2011.  No need for a thank you it's the least I could do.


  1. Hey, awesome stuff, just discovered your blog today when I did a quick search for Operation Jack. It's now been added to Google Reader so I don't miss another entry. Very entertaining to read!

    Glad to hear that you're back on track, and really excited that it looks like you'll be running in the Operation Jack Marathon. I'm working with Sam Felsenfeld (Jack's dad) and hoping for a great event. If you don't mind, I'm going to publicize your anticipated entry in the race, along with Christian's & Sam's, and play up that we're going to have a strong field. Drop me a line if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, .

    Look forward to seeing you in 2.5 weeks!

  2. Actually, for some reason your newest posts aren't showing up in the RSS feed. I'll check back to see if you've fixed it.