Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stupido, Tonto

Actually more like one step forward, two steps back. My weight was back up to 143 this week from 138. I focused on eating complete protein with each meal and after a workout. I also increased how much I ate for breakfast. That helped eliminate the dead legs I've been feeling.

After the rain on Friday, I tried running Harding Truck Trail on Saturday but it was pretty muddy and slippery. So instead I made the mistake of going on a 17 mile road run. That left me with the usual small but persistent pain in my right soleus. I think it's best if I just stay off pavement. So here's what happened this week.

10 miles on track in 1:33:01 with a big speedup over the last 4 milesFailed interval workout at Larwin Park7.6 mile out and back in Laguna Canyon7.6 mile out and back in Laguna Canyonnothing (rain)17 mile road run to Seal Beachnothing (pain in soleus)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trail Maintenance Causes Erosion

I did my usual Sunday run on Silverado Motorway. My legs were pretty dead last weekend but were ok today. I noticed that someone did trail maintenance sometime during the week. This consisted of the usual cutting brush and putting in water diversion dams. They also installed some of these metal drain pipes like those installed on Harding Truck Trail after the big fire.

While running and thinking about these actions, I decided both these actions would exacerbate water caused erosion rather than limiting it.

  • Cutting brush is obvious. If you remove brush and especially if you kill the plant, you take away brush that slows the flow of rain and you kill roots that would help hold soil in place.
  • The idea behind water diversion dams is that if rain runs down the trail and causes erosion, a water diversion dam will divert water off the trail before the water picks up too much speed. However there is little erosion of the trail due to rain. The only water related erosion on this trail is where water is diverted off the trail down the side of the mountain. One of the gullies that results is about 15 to 20 feet deep. So by diverting water off the trail, they'll just cause more of the same erosion. The drain gutters that they put in will just speed up the water and focus it on a particular spot on the hillside, causing even worse erosion. If you want a good indication of what this will do, look at what has happened on Harding Truck Trail.
This shows one gully off Silverado Motorway caused by the diversion of water off the trail.
This link shows pretty severe erosion at about the 3 mile mark of Harding Truck Trail, pretty obviously caused by one of the rain gutters installed since the fire

Enough of that negativity. I was back down to 138 pounds this week and had a few days where my legs felt dead. I have a strategy though and the main idea is to get complete protein, for instance by mixing peanut butter with my oatmeal.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
10 miles on Oxford track in about 1:33 5x1k 9.1 mile Irvine trail loop 3xRose Hills Road climb - foot was tight Nothing (went to Cirque Du Soleil with family 10.5 Trail loop in Rowland Heights. Stopped and rested on one climb Silverado Motorway in 1:43 - not bad

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Figured out a good Irvine trail

I've worked in Irvine for a while and haven't found any good trails which would compare with those in Habitat Authority. I'm talking about something like a 10 mile loop (NOT PAVED) with hills in a fairly wild area. The Puente Hills in the Habitat Authority area (by Whittier/Hacienda Heights/Roland Heights/La Habra Heights) are about 700 feet higher than the surrounding area. It's not difficult to find a trail or dirt road with a significant amount of climb - 400 to 500' - in a mile or less. So although there are some hills in Irvine - for instance off Portola Parkway - I had not found any hilly remote areas with accessible trails. The Quail Hills 1.7 mile loop is pretty flat, not that remote (it borders the 405) and it's only 1.6 miles long (boring). I had also run along the crushed granite path that borders Shady Canyon. Crushed granite is nice because it doesn't turn to mud when it rains but otherwise, boring. So I was browsing through the area via Google Earth and started looking at the trail which started across the street from the Quail Hills trailhead on the south end of the sports park. I got around to exploring it this week after work and it's pretty good. The route I took is 9 miles with what Strava says is 1.6k worth of climb, about evenly split between the initial out-and-back and 4.3 mile loop at the far end. I've also figured out another option which would add 2.6 miles on to the loop. The far end goes through the Nix Nature Center in Laguna Canyon (with bathrooms and water and even maps). Coming back from the nature center would have been confusing with various roads splitting off from the one I want to stay except for 3 things: 1) I can usually figure out which road I should take 2) I had my phone with Google Navigation and 3) they have very good signage on the road which keeps you going the way I wanted to go. On Wednesday, I finished in the dark which wasn't much of a problem. The last fairly steep downhill is not perfectly smooth but I didn't have problems with it in the dark. On Friday, I cut 19 minutes off my time and 0.3 miles of detours I took on Wednesday and finished before it was dark.

One thing to mention is that there are plenty of wildlife cameras next to the trail. There's one by the really expensive homes that has a flash which bewildered me (lightning?) on Wednesday. I figured out the source of the flash on Friday so the next time I run through there, I'm definitely going to "moon" it.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had been losing weight on the new diet. That got turned around once I told my wife about it but at the end of the week, I got tired of packing myself with food. So now, I'll eat per my appetite and see what happens to my weight.

Also ran half of what used to be my easy hill repeat workout in Whittier - repeats of a 2.5 mile loop with 689' of climb as I recall. That seems like a good candidate for Thursday workouts when I can get up there with at least an hour of daylight. I used to run 4 washing machine loops (counter clockwise, clockwise, counter clockwise, clockwise) in what I recall was close to 1:50. I'm interested to see how close I can get that to 2 hours.

My legs were sort of dead this past weekend. I had to walk on stretches up the Silverado Motorway this morning. In the recent past, running Silverado Motorway on Sunday set up some good track runs on Monday so I'll see how that goes tomorrow.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
4.5 miles on track. Just didn't feel like it. 2xS Loop in Whittier, 5 miles, about 1.4k Irvine Loop, 9.4 nothing (rain) Irvine Loop, 9.1, allegedly 1.6k 5x1k, averaging about 4:50 (legs dead), "A" drills Silverado Motorway, 6.2 miles, 2k (legs tired)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

137 pounds

I got all the way down to 137 pounds due to the vegan diet. I weighed 145 pounds as a high school senior running cross country and track so that seemed light. We adjusted my diet, eating more potatoes, beans and grain and I gained back 3 pounds.

I repeated a couple of old mistakes 1) focusing on mileage and 2) therefore running a lot of flat road runs. And while I was doing that, I neglected my exercises. After a week and a half of that, my soleus got sore again and the backs of my knees started having some little problems (lower hamstring). So last week looked like this.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
El Dorado Park - 10 nothing Irvine Figure 8 Loop - 10 El Dorado Variant - 10 nothing nothing "A" exercises