Friday, February 25, 2011

Nike Training Club App

Great apple app and its FREE! super awesome!

 Chose a Goal
 Choose a Level
 My Favorite Goal is "Get Focused", which are 15 mins of targeted areas that I add in addition to my cardio workouts.
Start your Work out
There are videos that show you what to do.
You can add music and the timer will count down when to switch to the next move.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Run in Small Portions

A large misconception when a non runners thinks of the word "Running" they think, miles after miles at lightening speeds". Then they easily get discouraged because they think, "I can't run 5 miles! I can't run 100 meters, I can't run 6 min miles."

Running isn't all or nothing, Its not 5 miles or bust. Its putting 1 foot in front of the other, at a pace faster than speed walking, for whatever amount of time you want. There is no judge, only yourself.

Dont focus on "can't run # miles". Instead break it up.
Do 1 mile in the morning and 1 mile at night. Or even break it up until 3rds. Morning, Noon and Night.
You're working on building up the muscles in your legs. Once your legs get stronger, you can then work on building endurance, by extending the distance of each segment and then cutting down the # of segments. Then once you get your endurance up, you can focus on speed.

This is also a great method for runners recovering from injuries.
Instead of running 6 miles, run 3miles in the morning and 3 at night, or 2 miles Morning, Noon and Night.

Start of slow, in small segments and you'll reach your goal.

Lap Swimming Etiquette

Being new to swimming (about 2-3 years), I had a lot to learn, but some things just seem to be common sense, like Pool Etiquette. Just as you don't trim your nails at the dinner table, you'd think some things would make sense.

Now for myself, I was new to swimming, so I do understand how some things wouldn't be the first thought to come into your head if you're nervous and getting into the cold pool water. Sometimes I think its Karma for my beginning mistakes, that now I have to deal with. Or maybe its just the cycle of life in the gym pool.

Here is much more lengthy list rules.

Here are the top ones that I've come to figure out on my own (which aren't new), just common sense from swimming at the gym. 
  1.  If you're alone in a lane you can take up the middle
  2.  If you all the lanes are taken, Scan to see which swimmer is around your speed and your style. 
  3. WAIT for the swimmer to reach the end, and lightly tap them on the shoulder and ask if its ok to share. They have to say Yes, its just a Nice gesture to ask, and also you can set up ground rules.
    • If there are 2 of you, just take a side and swim back and forth. 
    • If there are 3 or more, swim in a circle (right lane goes out, and left lane comes back), so no one bumps into each other, and everyone can go at their own speed.
  4.  If you can't find someone of you're speed, and you are slower, just pause and let them pass.
  5.  Space out - Let there be enough space between you and the swimmer in front, so you dont touch their legs. 
Its really not too much to request, but there are some pretty comical situations that happen at the gym.

  • People think that if they start on the Opposite side of the lane, that you magically wont bump heads. I really don't understand that concept.
  • New, learning, or non swimmers seem like to stay on the left side with the sprinting swimmers. Why? I imagine the pool like a freeway, slow on the right, fast on the left.. These must be the same people who drive 50mph in the 1st or carpool lane
  • Some reason the most popular stroke is the Frog, (not a legitimate breaststroke, its more like a modified doggy paddle). And those darn froggers take up the whole lane, and if you don't act fast, you risk getting groped by the creepy old dude. *shudders*
  • Slowest swimmer in the world thinks its dandy to swim in the Middle of the POOL, not the lanes, the pool itself, so everyone has to swim around them, and they're not even phased by the disturbance they're causing. They're completely oblivious to it. And you can tell theyr'e not doing it maliciously, they're just doing it because they are stupid.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peroneal Tendon Injuries

What is that?

About a month ago, I started getting a really bad pain on the outer side of my foot, and near the bottom of my foot. It would happen a few hours after a long run.  It feels similar to the pain felt with a stress fracture, except the only difference is that this pain will fade away, and a stress fracture wont.
It would prevent me from even walking. It was a very sharp Stabbing type of pain, mixed in with a deep cramp. It would go away after a day, so I didn't think much of it. Then it happened again and again.

X marks the spots of pain 

I found out my Peroneal Tendon is pissed off. It supports the ankle and foot movement. I've been having ankle problems for the past few months, so its no surprise that another issue as risen. I did a trail run, and uneven ground made for a pissed off Peroneal Tendon.

Here is a good article about it

I took some aspirin, elevated my foot and rested, and sure enough it went away. But for good? Not sure.. but at least I know what it is now.

Trapezius Muscle pain

Last week I learned of a "new" type of pain. The Trapezius muscle pain.

Last week, after my 13.1 and nursing some old injuries, I wasn't able to run as much as I normally do. And on top of that, I was insanely stressed out at work, putting in LONG hours sitting at the computer.

Finally Saturday morning, my body had enough, and the spot right between my middle and lower trapezius was in excruciating pain.

I've never had a pain so bad where it made me want to throw up and I couldn't breathe. And whats worse is that I didn't even "earn" the pain, like through rock climbing or from training, just stress at work. So unfair and evil...

I spent all Saturday using all my remedies - foam roller, a tennis ball, stretching, yoga, massage therapist, soaks. Nothing relieved it. People say don't move it, but the less I moved, the MORE it hurt. So I tried to always keep moving, not matter how painful it was. Sunday morning, my back was still in pain, but I had more movement in it. At least I could swing my arms for my 10k that day.

I thought it was going to be hard to run with my back pain, but actually running HELPED! Half way through the race, all the pain in my back was gone, and I felt 'normal' again! It was great! Running is my savior.

Later that day, the pain slowly crept back, but not as strong as it was initially. But now I know what I have to do, run, and run some more. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

2011 Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5/10k Run

This was the 33rd Annual Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5/10k Run. But this was the first year I've heard about it.

It was a really fun event, 100% put on by volunteers which donate all the proceeds to the Chinatown community.
Its a great event for a great cause.

Here is the link to their Facebook site which has some videos -

and their main site -

When I signed up for the 10k, my friend told me, he ran this race last year, and it had a ton of hills and he wasn't doing it again this year.
I usually dont mind hills and thought, "How bad could it be?"

If I had to describe this race with 1 word it would be HILLS!! It was tough, but Beautiful.. You start off near the end of Chinatown, and run up toward Elysian Park, coiling up all the way to the top, then down towards Dodger Stadium, and back down onto Broadway, where you have the last stretch to the finish line. At times I wanted to take out my camera, but then I didn't want to slow my time down.

As we started the race,  I saw the 5k runners coming down the last final turn, and making it back onto Broadway, so I had in my mind, "that's the last turn, then gun it for the finish line."

The race wasn't very crowded, a few thousand people, so the corral markers were pretty much ignored, I didn't stand in my corral, because I wanted less people to dodge.

At the first hill people weren't defeated yet, we ran. It went up forever... After the first mile, it flattened like 100 feet, and I thought, yes its over.. I usually like hills, its my strength where I usually find opportunity to pass up others, but that joy was short-lived as another hill approached. There were a few times when I thought, its over..but no, another hill around the corner. But through all the painful hills, running up Elysian Park had beautiful views of Down town LA and Dodger stadium. It was worth it.
I wanted to run the entire course, but at the peak, it was just too much and I walked the last 100 feet incline.

The rest it was "mostly" all downhill from there. Made up my lost time, and when I saw that last turn, The finish line was near.

I really liked having the finish line so close to the last curve.. If I had to run another 1-2 miles after that brutal hill, I don't know what I would think.. in my mind I kept telling myself, just look for the last turn, it'll all be over soon. It's really what pushed me through it.

I think I might do this race again next year. :-D

2011 Surf City Half Marathon

The weather was fantastic for racing. It was cool and a nice marine layer kept the temps low. When your running your body temperature rises and keeping yourself cool improves your performance.

This was one of the most well organized races Ive been to and its a HUGE race too. Seriously other event coordinators should take some tips from Surf City on how to organize an event.

Usually most races everyone start at once, marathoners, halfers, 10k, elite, and 1st timers, so the first few miles are dodging elbows, cutting around slower runners, and finding the right pace.
But with the way Surf City was set up, you didn't have to deal with that. I loved it!!

1- Marathoners started 1 hour before the half marathoners so the crowds were already cut in half.
2- Your bib number was determined by your time. For me I put my expected finish time to be 2 hours so I was in the 8000 group.
3- Your bib# determined your corral so it was a no brainer. So if you think "hey everyone here is a 4000 and I'm a 15000... hmm am I in the right spot?" (there are the occasional few that have late regs or something else, but for the most part it follows that pattern)
4- The corrals were sectioned off in 3-5 min waves with ribbons and tape, so people couldn't get anxious and go ahead.

This enabled everyone to have a crowd-free experience during the Entire route. Awesome!