Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Super Senior Year Winter Break

My first and last grad school Winter Break!

T-101 days to Collegiate Nationals in Tuscaloosa!!!!!

I’m currently sitting on the airplane on my way back to Hoboken right now and I wanted to take the opportunity to write a bit about my break. This is the first time since I was a Senior in high school that I’ve had a real winter break all to myself. Because of swimming in college, I had to go back to school a couple days before New Year’s Eve to start swimming again and that always left me with just about 10 days at home. Now that I’m not stuck to the confines of collegiate swimming, this year I was home for a full month and it was awesome!

Below is a quick recap of everything that went down.
In my previous posts, you read about my trip to Mammoth, my first Half Marathon, and my day at the beach. You can click those links to get there if you want more details : )

Most, but not all, of the following statistics are from the last 3 weeks of break. This is because that first week I was home, I went in to the Felt office the whole week and didn’t have much time to work out because I was catching up with work stuff. Not to mention, the post-work darkness that consumed the skies was in no way motivating me to work out. A few of the runs and lifting sessions at the gym happened during that lull time.


9.42 hours of swimming
30,000 yards which is about 17 miles

Mission Viejo Nadadores Masters. My favorite swim practices.
On New Year's Day we did 55x100's. That was fun!
Nothing else really to say except I loved seeing all my Noon practice friends and swimming in the sun again : ) I definitely got my one-piece tan back.


25 hours
A little under 400 miles

Sooooo stoked I was able to bike this much. The second ride back was so much fun because I went down to San Diego to ride around there with Rachel. It was great to ride with her on their tri team’s “long ride” loop and have her show me around her UCSD stomping ground!

I got quite a few long bikes in on my own and was even able to do a couple with the legendary Jordan Bethke of Cal Berkeley as well. He graciously let me tag along and we went down to the coast on PCH in Laguna and back up towards Saddleback Mtn. Those were some solid rides. And I was lucky enough to convince my Dad to ride with me a couple times on the Bake-to-Cook’s loop as well.
Definitely not looking forward to bundling up for the rest of my rides leading up to Tuscaloosa. Riding in shorts and just my bike jersey was so nice.


17.25 hours
106 miles

Woah. That was a lot of running for me. The most notable runs were my track workout with my Mom at Saddleback College, the 12-mile sunset run on New Year’s Eve, the Half Marathon, and the couple high-altitude runs in Mammoth. Hopefully it all pays off!

Other activities of the break at home included:

P90x Plyo and Ab RipperX
Did this a couple times before work and with Garrison in Mammoth.
Do you think you’re in shape? If you think you are, do P90X at 8,000+ feet of elevation. It’s quite a blow to your ego haha. I felt like an out-of-shape slob who couldn’t breathe when we did it.

The LA Fitness right across the street from my house just opened while I was at school. So I renewed my membership for Dec and Jan and Garrison got me lifting again. It hurt like hell the first time and then it was great to get back into it. After just a couple times I could already feel the difference while swimming.

Went twice while we were in Mammoth!
It had been a couple years since the last time I snowboarded because stupid swim schedules never allowed me the time. It was quite refreshing to get up on the mountain again.

Oh what fun it was to surf again!
Nothing like the feeling of catching a wave and getting up on it.
It’s seriously a religious experience, I swear.

Only a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of Hoboken!

Farewell to the sunshine : (
See you soon, California!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Southern California Half Marathon

Well this is exciting!
My first post about my first ever running race!!!

If you told me a few years ago that I would someday fall in love with running and that I’d actually be decent at it… I probably would have laughed at you. I used to haaaaaaate running with a passion. I thought it was pointless to do because it would never help my swimming and I just didn’t enjoy doing it. That’s mostly because I was bad at it though and it made me feel fat and sluggish. Every time I tried to run, I thought I’d be okay at it because I had the cardio background with swimming, but again and again I just couldn’t do it efficiently.

Well after months and months of getting into triathlons and finally owning up to the fact that I need to focus on my weakness, I’ve slowly fallen in love with it. There’s so much technique involved with running that it’s a lot like swimming. I guess I just thought that you run the way you run and that’s that... but that’s not the case at all. After reading the book Born to Run, and getting a lot of coached tips on running from Marc, I learned a lot about how important technique is.

Now let’s fast forward a little bit to the race I just did in Irvine!

I have been focusing on a lot of mileage lately with running, so I decided to take a glance at the local running races going on during the time that I was planning on being home. told me there was going to be a race called the Southern California Half Marathon in Irvine onJanuary 7th. Perfect! I had found it just two weeks prior to race day and only committed to signing up a few days before the race.

I had done a super hell week during the previous week at home with 23 hours of working out. Then I went to Mammoth and did a couple 9-mile long high altitude runs on top of snowboarding.. then took that Friday off from running and woke up refreshed and ready for some racing on Saturday.

Here are the details:

It was quite an experience.
I have seen plenty of videos and pictures of mass start running races and big crowds of people, but never have I ever experienced that until this day..

The game plan in my head was, ‘just do the miles.’
Then I ran a mile for warm-up and felt good.
Then I decided to try a little bit.
Then I decided to see how long I would last if I cranked up the target pace.

I was told to take the first couple miles easier and then pick up the pace.
Click on the "View Details" button on the Garmin thingy above to see my splits.

I apparently negative split the race. Go figure. I guess I’m good at harder efforts on the back half.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I would do that ALL THE TIME in my 500 and 1650 at taper meets hahaha. Wow. Some things don’t change I guess. My approach was to ease into it and then see how long and hard I could go once I was in the thick of it.

Also in the beginning, it was so weird to be surrounded by so many people. They had attempted to designate waves based on what you predicted your pace to be, but once everyone crammed in for the start, it was all a jumbled up mess of people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. The first couple miles also consisted of an obstacle course of people! I thought I was doing the right thing by staying by my designated wave based on running pace. False. Next time I’m just getting as close to the Start line as I can.

There’s definitely a different atmosphere surrounding a running race than a triathlon. I feel like just about anyone who can walk can sign up for a running race. But that’s really not the case with a triathlon and in my opinion it feels like collectively there are more athletic and fit individuals at a tri. I could be totally wrong, and wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to debate that point, but that’s just what I gathered from the people I came across.

You can skip this next paragraph if you don’t care to read about my rant on all the Mexican kids that were there.
Speaking of the people, this race was the epitome of the melting pot that is Southern California. There were so many Asians. There were so many Hispanics. There were so many White people. One of the things that annoyed me the most was the dozens and dozens of yellow school buses that transported hundreds of Mexican kids from Los Angeles. Yes, I’m totally complaining on justified terms here. Sure, it’s great that an organization like “Students Run LA” is getting kids to be more active and get physically fit. But do they belong at a normal road race like this where they have zero race etiquette, they create passing blocks because they run in packs, and they speed up and slow down so often like bad traffic on the I-5?? No. They don’t belong unless someone teaches them the proper way to run respectfully in a race next time around. They were super inconsiderate, especially in the beginning. Someone should suggest they set up their own student race. I hate annoying kids. Okay, done with that rant.

Shout-out to my local running shop, A Snail’s Pace, for being stellar. I got a new pair of Vibram Five-Fingers from them for Xmas from my Dad. And while I was there, I got the package of Cliff Shot Bloks that I consumed half of at mile 6.something of the run. I wasn’t physically hungry, but I’m glad I ate something to keep me going because the back half of the race was rough.

So that’s that! I promise all my future reports on running races won’t be as lengthy haha. I just did a full analysis of the atmosphere and the people this time around since it was my first one and I was so stoked about it : )

Thanks for reading! I hope it makes you want to go run!

Some parting pictures that my dad took of me when he found me! He left the house in the morning on his road bike and stopped at a few points along the race to snap some photos of me! I'm still so shocked he found me... as you can tell from my facial expressions hahaha..

SBRS Jan 6-7, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Just a quick note on the past couple days:


Noon Masters swim.
Morning bike ride.


SC Half Marathon run.
Doheny surf sesh.

What does that look like?
Oh yeah…


: )

Loving life in California,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mammoth Winter Trip 2012

Mammoth! During the winter! Finally!!!

Last year, Mammoth got a record high snowfall for the season.
Something crazy like 600+ feet of snow total.
This year, Mammoth has gotten verrrrrryyyy little snow.

Good Article Here:


pack pack pack, drive drive drive, eat eat eat
Sunset Drive


High altitude sickness around 3 am : (

First Lift!

Super sad that the 7 Bridges run was closed
Eat, snowboard, RUN!, eat, sleep
Here’s Mr. Garmin’s map of snowboarding: 
Here’s Mr. Garmin’s map of the run:


Eat, snowboard, P90X, eat at Base Camp Café!!!!, sleep
[P90X at 8000+feet blasting sicknasty music with Garrison was hilariously brutal]

Here’s Mr. Garmin’s map of snowboarding: 


RUN!, eat breakfast at Base Camp Café, drive drive drive home
nom nom nom breakfast at Base Camp Cafe
Here’s Mr. Garmin’s map of the run:
(Just a little variation of Tuesday's because I ran over the bridge in between Twin Lakes)

Loving me some high altitude training! I wonder to what extent these couple runs have benefitted me? Only time will tell.
Inspiration. Motivation.

High altitude Mammoth training camp, complete!