Sunday, April 22, 2012

Louis - AC 100 Trail Work

As part of the qualification for Angeles Crest 100, I am required to do 8 hours of trail work in the Angeles Crest Forest.  I wanted to get this over so I can focus on training.  I know my marathon coach Kiley will be there, so does my Coyotes friend David Chan, but I have no ideas who will show up. I packed my stuff early Sat morning and got to the meeting point at 6:15 for the 7:00am meet time.

So of course I have no clue who's who because I am new to this ultra community but everyone seem to know each other.  Then it hits me, I am working with 24 others that will be running the AC 100 course. And guess what, of the 25 people we have yesterday, I think there are only a few first timers.  That means I am standing next to like 20 100 miles finishers.  I wasn't really scared or anything, but I am like @$#% this is for real, 91 more days.

The next thing I know I am standing next to the Dominic Grossman that won last year's race. Then I was standing next to Jorge Pacheco who won it a few times. Then Jussi Hamalainen who ran it every year and he also won a few times... and this guy is like 65 *_*.  And then I recognized more people from the AC 100 race book.  I didn't know their names, but I seen pictures.

I think this is one of the reason why I like to do trail running now because it's more low key.  It's a small community and everyone know each other.

We gathered and carpool to the site.  I was carpooling with Tony and realized I met him thru a mutual friend in my rock climbing days. I was just talking to people and they offered some advices.  I heard great finish and I also heard about the drop out.  Everyone said to slow down. I sure don't have that problem because I am slow.  Again and again, nutrition (which I am good at) and being tough mentally are the key to finish this race.

The actual work itself was tiring.  Only because my legs were trashed from the therapy sessions on Friday. Note to self, never go to therapy the day before trail work.  Anyway, we drove to Mt Harvard, hiked a few miles in and worked on the Winter Creek Trail.  We widen the trail and did various works.  It was a good day.

I am fine toning my run this Sat at Leona Divide 50 milers.  After that I will need to start planning on AC 100.  I must get the nutrition right and my crew will make sure I eat and drink enough.  AC 100 is my formula one race (or 24 hours of Le Mans). I am the driver and they are the pit crew.  Without their support, I will not finish.  I picked them because I know I can trust them.

How many people run a 100 miles for run? apparently a lot
Pink Helmet with Love

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nurtition Talk - a simple bike ride can be harder than a 50 miles run

65 miles bike. 30 miles of it sucks.
Nutrition is can make your break your race.  I always tell people to nutrition properly for any race other than a 10K run.  I don't care how fast you are.  If you don't consume enough calories, you will not make good time, or even finish the race!  During my 50 miles trail race, I followed my nutrition plan and I felt good during the whole race.  On April 1st, I discovered that a simple bike ride can be tougher than a 50 miles run if you don't nutrition well (in this case hardly).

So on Sunday I decided to bike to give my leg a rest from running.  I was thinking to go from Cerritos down to the Cemetery (to pay my respect to Renee, a girl that battered cancer and lost the battle right before she turned 30) and back, a route that I ride often.  If I feel like it, I can ride to Angel Stadium as like a bonus.

As I was preparing my bike in Cerritos, I thought it was a good idea to take in less nutrition because I figured I have been eating a lot... if I only drink water, I'll be burning extra calories.  The kicker is that I have everything in the car. I have Carbo Pro, Powerbar Endurance mix, and endless supply of rice krispie treats.  I did carried 1 rice krispie (cause it was in my bento box) and I picked up a box of Hello Panda just because I saw it in my trunk... for a grand total of 50 grams of carbohydrate.  To give you a comparison, I consume around 95grams of carbohydrate on the bike... PER HOUR!  I don't remember the last time I carry just water on a bike ride that's longer than 6 miles.

Anyway, the first 20 miles or so was uneventful.  I have tail wind so I was making good progress.  I bought Renee flowers (there is this guy that sell it a block away from the cemetery, I think I am the only one that get flower from him on a bicycle) and stayed at the cemetery for around 20 minutes.  I decided to ride to Angel Stadium for a longer workout.  I know I will hit the headwind on my way back but I didn't really care cause I know I'll burn more calories!

After 45 minutes or so I made it to Angel Stadium.  I was at around mile 32 and I did not consume a single calorie.  I figured it was a good time to eat my Hello Panda.  I put them in my bento box and started riding.  I even managed to drop a few while I was eating them.

Things would of be fine if there is no head wind, but what's life without drama?  Biking against a strong headwind is like biking on a hill. It sucks on a good day. It's totally suck when you didn't eat anything for the last few hours.  I was running low of water (I bought 3 bottles... but I had like 5 in the car), I didn't eat, there was a headwind, my arm and my butt hurt because I haven't been riding, and I was chafing (of course I have a lot of one time used chamois butter in my car)!  I pulled over and look for the one that I have in my bike bag. Nope, I guessed I must of used it during Ironman Canada... *_*

If you look at the map (my route is a 'V'), I could of easily cut across without going back down to Huntington Beach. But no, I want to finish the ride... all 60 something miles of it.  So paddle I go.  Sometime I go around 14mph, sometime I go around 12mph. At times I go around 10mph.  But after a long time I got back to PCH.  I was hoping a change of direction will make the bike easily. No, not really. In fact the wind picked up *_*. I now go from 12 to 10.  By then I was very low on water, and I was hungry so I decided to bike along the beach so I can buy something off the beach stand... I would of... if they were open!  I did eventually found a water fountain so I was able to fill out my bottles.  I knew if I continue to ride I can get to downtown Huntington Beach and I am sure something is opened.  I decided to just suck it up and bike back.  I got back on PCH and continue inching my way back to my car... 10-12mph.

After an eternity I made it back to the San Gabriel River bike path. 7 more miles to go.  I was making good time for like 1 1/2 mi averaging 23 miles per hour. Then the head wind hit again and I slow down to 12 mph.

Finally, finally, I made it.  I was so done with the ride.  I was kind of cold because of the wind chill. I packed my bike, drunk my recovery drink (laugh all you want), and drove to family dinner.

I felt worst in this bike ride than my 50 miles run. Like I told you guys previously, I actually felt awesome during my run LOL! Never again riding with no calories!