character counts

February 5, 2009

Great post by Michael Josephson “I Just have to Outrun You.” 

‘Nuff said.


10.19.08 – Nike Marathon, phew that’s done!

October 21, 2008

Congratulations to everyone who ran the race of a lifetime yesterday at Nike’s Half and Full Marathons. We all did a fantastic job! A million thank you’s, kisses, and hugs all around go to our own precious Ann who really showed what a PowerGal is made of by running the few last miles with anyone who needed encouragement and help. In the end she probably ran a full marathon herself. Who loves Ann? We do!!!

From the point of view of someone who generally despises endurance training, here are my thoughts:

1. It is disheartening to me that the gals running the full marathon ended up running by themselves at the moment when they could have used the company of their friends the most. For future events where we sign up as a group, we stick together through “thick and thin,” and finish together. There is no point in running by yourself unless you are vying for the Olympics. You can do that on your own time. We don’t go to a restaurant together and then get separate tables. We don’t come to boot camp together and then disperse around to train on our own. Adrian/Josh say “No soldier left behind” and they are right. Nuff said. 

2. On that note, I’m not keeping track of race times anymore. We are not competing against each other. 🙂

3. On another note, official race times are always screwed up. For example, Ann, Maria, and I crossed the finish line together (i.e. holding hands) yet our overall and gender placement is off by the thousands. It also shows that our times are off by hours and minutes. It also shows that Celinda ran a half instead of a full. So don’t put a lot of stock on numbers and go by your own, or better yet: just be glad you completed a grueling race. If you still want to look because you are a masochist, click here to get the “official” time for the Nike race.   

4. Maria and I had a grand time. We almost feel guilty about that. Ha ha…Not once did we complain. Heck we didn’t even hurt! We chose to believe Smokey’s spirit was carrying us through and somehow that made the task easy to endure. The moral of the story is to have a cause, person, thought, etc. that you recur to when times are tough. Future group events should have a cause attached to them.

5. It has now been proven that we don’t need to train excessively to do this or any other race (big part of the blame goes to me for putting together the marathon training schedule- bad bad coach). Of the three girls who ran the half marathon, exactly none trained at all, yet they were able to complete it fine and more importantly without injuries. In fact, we all felt like we could have easily finished the full marathon. Granted, we were not running for time but we would have finished it nonetheless…which is THE ONLY POINT.

6. Building on the above, we need to start training smarter. Training for volume is only an invitation for a lifetime of injuries. I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face “you only have one body for life.” Please, please, please, take care of it. Sometimes you get second chances but what if you don’t? One of the most important components of training is rest. Heed your body’s warnings, it knows what it can and cannot do. Follow your gut feeling and you’ll be fine. Also, we are not 15 anymore. Ha ha.

7. We need to diversify. Running races is not the only thing we can and should be doing. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. That is the true measure of fitness, when you can translate your current training into sports you haven’t done before. Future group events will include things like white water rafting, swimming, snowboarding, underwater basket weaving, or a night at the arcade…you get my gist. 

These are my thoughts anyway. From the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry if I offend anyone but I don’t want the group to lose its focus and fabulousity!

the endurance experiment

July 21, 2008

It’s no secret that I abhor long distance running (aka Long Slow Distance*). Endurance goes with putting up and also with patience and I’m not very good at any of those. As such I’ve been pondering what to do if I actually want to complete the bloody nice Nike marathon in October 2008.

Here’s the conundrum I face. LSD is solely aerobic training. The benefits of it are increased cardiovascular function and better bodyfat utilization. The drawbacks are plenty though: decreased muscle mass, decreased strength, decreased power, decreased speed, decreased anaerobic capacity, and decreased testosterone levels (although women manufacture about one seventh the daily testosterone amount of men they still need this hormone for growth and to maintain muscle and bone strength). Not to mention that everytime I run long distance, I fuck something up. Is it coincidence that the entire sports rehabilitation industry caters mostly to runners’ injuries? Hmmmm…

In my opinion that’s a lot of drawbacks for such limited benefits. As I age, is it more important for me to be strong, have dense bones, and good balance to be able to break a fall, or to be able to run 20 miles? The answer is pretty obvious to me.

So what to do if I still want to run the marathon? OK, so it’s true that I might have signed up for the wrong reasons, namely to get the limited edition Tiffany’s necklace and cruise the chocolate mile…ha ha. But something tells me that I should just do it!, ya know, for bragging rights. Now everyone would have you believe the only way to train for an endurance event is LSD. My fast-twitch fiber being revolts against this idea.

The answer came to me this past Saturday at a certification where I got to meet endurance athletes who train a whole different way. Enter CrossFit Endurance training where you concentrate on training your anaerobic system with the added benefit that it simultaneosly trains your aerobic system (and if someone has ever done Fight Gone Bad you know what I’m talking about). Studies (see here and here for 2 examples) demonstrate that the adaptations caused by anaerobic training are similar to high volume endurance training, however, this adaptation comes at much lower training volumes. Short and intense intervals…hell yeah, I’ll take two please!!!

You may ask yourself, well if this is the end-all-be-all of endurance training, how come more people don’t do it?  Number one, not everyone is built equally. Number two, people generally don’t like intense training. Tell me magic mirror, why are there are a gazillion recreational marathoners in the world but only a few recreational sprinters? Because sprinting is damn hard. In comparison almost anyone with good company and conversation can power through a marathon. He he.

In addition to the CF WODs, I’ll be doing the prescribed CF Endurance training 2 or 3 per week under my coach’s watchful eye (also will be incorporating rest/recovery techniques to keep me healthy and ready). There are plenty of crossfitters who report better times, increased resistance to fatigue, and increased power as a result of the adaptations brought on by the CF WOD and the non-LSD endurance training. Heck there’s the story of this guy who only did the CF WOD regularly. Then one weekend he signed up for a triathlon to go hang out with his friends who were also doing it. Borrowed a mountain bike, threw on his regular pair of ratty shoes, and powered through all the events to place 3rd overall. I bet everyone else in the race must have felt a bit blue!

So I’m giving this type of training a mighty try, San Francisco hills and all. My goal is just to complete the marathon, not to break the sound barrier so don’t be busting balls. LOL. If it works, it would prove to me that LSD is not the whole truth…and also that chocolate is indeed a mighty stimulant. If it doesn’t, it would prove once again that I’m fierce. Just because. LOL.

If Katie Holmes can run it without a bra, how hard can it be? [insert hysterical laughter here]

*For-the-love-of-gawd Disclaimer: Please do not take this post offensively. It was written solely to express the feelings about LSD (not the drug mind you) from the bottom of my heart. You may enjoy LSD and I commend you for your endurance and determination. Now back to me.

administrivia: 06.27.08

June 26, 2008

This Friday we’re doing 4 x 880s which is fancy talk for 8 laps (aka 2 miles) around the track. They won’t be run continuously because we will be working on speed.

After the speed training, the regular workout will follow. See y’all there!

06.21.08 pacifica trail run

June 21, 2008

Phew! That’s done.

We went in thinking that nothing could be worse than Pirates Cove…and it wasn’t in a way…it was just completely different. The race took us through two mountains. The second mountain was quite a lot taller than the first one, so much so I thought the race would end up in heaven. But at some point it took us through a mini forest which was quite a welcomed sight after the hot portions of the race. Better yet it was the placement of the finish line, ten steps to the left of the end of the trail. And much better it was all the cold drinks and food available to the finishers.

You gotta give it to the folks at Pacific Coast Trail Runs (, they sure know how to organize kick ass races.

From coach’s singing screeches, delirious talks of showers, dirty legs, annoying runners, and the Coke induced burping contest at the end, it was a very fun run. Stay tuned for times…

administrivia: week of 06.16.08

June 15, 2008

1. Vinyasa Flow class on 06.15.08 – Please note that it has been postponed to allow you to enjoy the entire day with dad in honor of Father’s Day. Stay tuned for the new date.

2. 12 laps of Fartlek training on Friday 06.20.08 – Part of the training on Friday will involve 3.1 miles of fartlek work (aka speed play or continuous interval training). Any gals who are interested in doing the entirety of this workout should not bring weights to class on that day. For anyone not interested in the running portion there will be a different workout with the usual elements so please do bring your weights. Of course you are also welcomed to try as much of the running as you’d like and then join the regular workout in progress.

06.21.08 pacifica trail run

June 13, 2008

Reminder to sign up for the race at

I know I had suggested to run the 21 Km but when I registered my fingers decided to do their own thing and registered me for the 9 Km. At least I’m in good company seeing as Celinda and Susan did the same thing. 😉

Even after I specifically said to run the 21Km. Cue hissy fit here – Girls, I’m the only one allowed to disrespect myself!

Extra slurpies (not the drink kind) for y’all!!!