Friday, June 29, 2007

Hitting the Trails

Doing the Double Trouble this last weekend taught me a couple of things. First, there are many different types of running. Running is not always running as wierd as that sounds to say, sometimes it is running??? Wierd. But I think you know what I mean. A gentle up and down on a paved trail is different from street running, which in turn is different from trail running. Of course there is trail running and then there is trail running. Well I go too far. In short, terrain matters.

Second, if you don't have the right equipment you are going to know it. Learning about your equipment is a time consuming endeavor but definately worth the time. I knew that there are scientific differences between running shoes and other types of shoes. Shoes are made to compensate for our own particular type of running, for me I have some mild pronation. My arches are still normal but I do pronate I bit. So my running shoes compensate for this malfunction in form. When I did the Double Trouble I spent a good deal of time dodging rocks, sometimes not too effectively. I twisted ankles and jarred by back from the impact. Why?? I ran in street shoes. Sure my Omni 6's are great for the road and I do not feel the impact post run even after 10 miles, but they were a poor choice for 15 kilometers of broken ground. I paid hard for that mistake. I am lucky to get out in one piece. Today, I picked up a pair of Brooks trail shoes (tougher sole to minimize rock impact with a more stable base to prevent ankle turning, I am happy... yeah!!!). I will attempt to add a trail run in at least once a week. In short, equipment matters.

Finally, the last thing that I learned is that hydration and energy is really key to this whole running thing. (Beyond preparing, logging miles and so on). But during the race keeping your body hydrated throughout is key. You have to be careful not to over do it, I read 14 to 25 oz. per hour. I was not doing that. But you have to hydrate correctly ... water is not always the answer as you can overdo it and throw your self for a loop (possibly die ... very unpleasant thought). So from now on I will be taking my sports drink/ water with me for each run that I believe I will be out for more than 1 hour. In short, hydration matters.

Terrain, equipment and hydration are the three big things I took away from the last race. Here I thought that running would be the simplist thing to do, but the more I do it the more I learn that there is alot to running. We can all do it, but doing it effectively takes work and information. I am still learning.

Keep running... I will be.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Scale

Well is seems that my old cheap scale was about 10 pounds off so I will update my weights accordingly. It feels like a step back but oh well what can one do. Carry on. Keep running... I was out this morning for 4 miles in high humidity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Belt Test

It is odd to think that I will be testing for a yellow belt on Saturday. I look back on my black belt test so many years ago and to test for a yellow seems a little funny. But with new systems come new requirements. So I have to be humble for an afternoon, Rome was not built in a day.

In preparation I will be working on my basic techniques daily for the rest of the week, review notes and basically drill the information into my head any way I can. It should not be too difficult. I don't think so anyway. I am still on the mend from the double trouble 15k (ankles are a bit stiff -- other than that fine). But tonight starts my getting back into the swing of things.

Wednesday: 7:00 pm Kenpo Class

Thursday: 6:00 am Run - 4 miles
Kenpo in the evening at home

Friday: 6:00 am Run - 3 miles
Kenpo in the evening at home

Saturday: Kenpo Test
Run in the evening 3 miles

Sunday: 7:00 am Long Run (6-10 miles) - I will decide on the distance depending on how I do during the week. I am thinking 8 would be good but I am not sure yet. I know most could care less about this type of posting. However, it helps me to stay on track and do what I say. I makes me more responsible to myself. If I write it down and post it, then it becomes a sort of promise. So as a result I am more likely to complete it. I won't always say that I do, because that isn't how life works. But it is more likely, much more likely. If I just think to myself that I should go for a run the odds are 50:50, but if I take the the time to think it out and post it the odds go to 85:15 or 90:10. It helps, sorry if I bore anyone with this stuff. Feel free to skip it.

Keep running ... I am out my door tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Marsh Creek Raptor Run (5 or 10 miler)

I have given some thought and I would like to run the Raptor Run in July. After this last weekend, I want to post a decent time (for me) before the half marathons roll around. Also, I would like to do the run I expected. The Raptor run is a trail run around a lake. It doesn't sound too bad. So I am in again. I have registered online, so I am in for another new T-Shirt. That is nice, I can always use another T-shirt afterall. This cuts out the expense of buying T-Shirts. I am actually relieved to be doing this race. I was a little sad to think there were no more races until the half marathon in September. Wish me luck.

The Aftermath

The few days following a tough race, I pay the price for entry. I think most of this has to do with the fact that I am not 18 any longer. Be that as it may, yesterday I had alot of stiffness in my hips and lowerback. I am guessing this is from the irregular way you have to run over broken ground and the pounding that my body took trying to run over it. Today, I have some ankle stiffness, but fortunately the back and hip stiffness/ soreness has dissipated. So hopefully by tomorrow I will sound as a pound, right as rain or some such thing.

Well if you don't push the envelope you don't know what you can do. I am pleased with my finish on the Double Trouble. I am thinking of doing the Raptor Run in July after all. It is just a jaunt around a lake. I should be fine with that.

Keep running ... I will be (shortly)

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Double Trouble 15k/ 30k

Sometimes you are in over your head and you don't know it until it is too late. Such was the case for me this weekend on the Double Trouble 15/ 30k in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. I registered for this trail run without really thinking too much about it beyond the distance. I thought to myself that 15k does not sound too bad. It is after all shorter than the 10 miler I did in early May, no problem right. Wrong. For a city runner like myself this was a devastating course. I am no trail runner and I believe I really should have done more of this in preparation of the race.

The Double Trouble goes the first two miles mostly uphill over tons of rock and tree roots. I had heard that a woman broke her ankle and had to be carried out. I am not terribly surprised by this; however, I am sorry to hear it. I twisted each ankle twice through the course of the race. It seems impossible but the course seemed to keep rising for most of the race. Dodging rocks, ascending, dodging rocks, ascending that was the order of the day. I did not get tired but what I did get was a physical pounding. My legs and back took it hard. I have a great deal of respect for folks who do this type of running on a regular basis. I spent most of my time watching my feet for solid footing, but when I was passed it seemed the other runners did not have this issue. I suppose that after awhile you gain an instict for this type of uneven ground running.

Right now, my finishers mug is my most prized possession. I finished and I am proud of that feat. My time was somewhere near the 2 hour and 45 minute mark, but I finished. Survived may be a better word. I believe I will try again next year.

I would like to acknowledge how well this even was organized. Ron Horn the event coordinator put together a very nice race. The water and snack stops were at nice intervals and the trail could not have been easier to follow. At the end there was a small awards ceremony and tables full of bananas, chips, drinks, hot dogs and more. There was even the opportunity to take a shower on site to wash the grime off after the race. Well done on the logistics.

So in the end, hard but worthwhile. I feel better for doing this race but for this year it was over my head. Next year will be better.

Keep running.... I will be after two days of recovery.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Utra-Marathon Man: Ultimate Endurance while never moving

Right now Dean Karnazes is in the final minutes of his efforts to break the 153.76 mile record for 24 hours on a treadmill. To even attempt such a thing seems unbelievable. Who would consider running for 24 hours straight. Not I that is for sure. But I do find the man to be wholely inspiring. The amount of raw determination and abdominal fortitude is remarkable to say the least. Why? Good question. The stated reason is to promote a new sports drink brand and to raise awareness for prostate cancer. I am sure there is a commercial element, however, I would never begrudge a man from making a living. The second reason seems noble enough, I am for it.

How did all this start, last night at about midnight Mr. Karnazes embarked on a 24 hour trek on his treadmill in the middle of Times Square in New York. Well above Times Square actually. From this vantage point, Mr. Karnazes has been running solid. In that time I have slept, worked, ran 3 miles, relaxed, watched some television, traveled to and from work by train, and checked his progress on the internet. But during that time, Dean has only run, and run and run. To put this in perspective to achieve a goal of about 154 miles in 24 hours one must maintain a pace of 6.41 miles per hour. This is about a pace of 9 minutes and 20 seconds per mile. Now this is not a breakneck pace by any strech of the imagination. Well not for 5 or even 10 miles. But for 154 miles, my word. How would one do such a thing. It is wholely remarkable.

When I started running last year, I read alot of books on running. I read about things it is what I do. In this endeavor, I read Dean Karnazes book, "Ultra Marathon Man". I found this book inspiring and found that whatever I am doing I can always get up for a run of 2/ 4/ 6 or so miles because I know that Dean Karnazes is running 50/ 100 or even 154. I am inspired by Mr. Karnazes and I think many others are as well.

... It does not look like he is going to make it, he has covered 128 miles with about 4 minutes to go. I am still inspired.

Thanks, Mr. Karnazes, I run for many reasons but one of them is your example. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Race Week

Here is my diet and exercise log for Tuesday to Friday before the Race on Sunday. The race is a 15k, but I thought it would be interesting for me to log everything so I can see it in front of me.


6:30 am: 2 miles - 22 minutes 30 seconds - fast for me not for most.
7:00 am: Breakfast - yogurt, apple, water + supplements (flaxseed oil and multivitimins)
9:00 am: Bottle of Water
12:00 pm: Lunch- 2x tuna sandwich, apple
3:00 pm: Snack - carrots
6:00 pm: Dinner - bowl of spaghetti, slice of bread
7:30 pm: Kenpo Class - lots to techniques, bag work, foot work drills. A good class.

6:30 am: 4 miles - 54 minutes - a 13.5 minute pace. The humidity was a killer today.
7:30 am: Breakfast: yogurt, bottle of gatorade, water + supplements (flaxseed oil and multi's)
9:30 am: bottle of water
10:30 am: Snack- 2 x carrots
12:30 pm: Lunch - 1 deli sandwich (probably too big), 2 pickles, pepsi (my one for the week) - I think I had too many calories but I was hungry after the run this morning and I did feel much better after lunch.
2:30: Snack- apple (gala)- I love galas they are the best in my book, although a slightly sour granny smith is a nice treat on occasion
4:00 pm: Snack - apple (gala again) (also had two more bottles of water throughout the day)
6:30 pm: Dinner- pork, corn, carrots, milk

6:30 am: Run 3 miles in 38:36 (12 minute 52 second mile average).
7:30 am: Breakfast gatorade, yogurt, supplements (flaxseed oil + multis)
10:45 am: Snack - Orange and bottle of water
12:15 pm: Lunch - 2 Tuna Sandwiches, carrot, bottle of water
2:00 pm: Snack - 2 carrots
4:00 pm: Snack - Orange and bottle of water
8:00 pm: Dinner - Spaghetti and piece of bread, milk

6:00 am: Run - 2 miles - 24 minutes (12 minute mile)
7:30 am: Breakfast - yogurt, pop tarts (2), bottle of water, supplements (flaxseed oil + multis)
9:45 am: Snack: large carrot, bottle of water
12:30 pm: Lunch - 2 tuna sandwiches, bottle of water
2:00 pm: Snack - Orange
4:00 pm: Snack- Apple
7:00 pm: Dinner - Lasangna, garlic bread

My regrets

I regret that I will now be moderating comments. I have discovered that a company was using my comments section to pimp their product on diet. I do wish them well in their business but I won't allow my personal blog to be used, especially when no one thought to consult me about it in the first instance. So I will delete comments used to promote products, sorry. I will not edit comments for any other reason (well, hate speech).

Monday, June 18, 2007

my weekend

I have a 15k race coming up next Sunday, so this weekend I had to get some running in. I have been pretty good about getting 3 to 4 miles a day. I had some leg fatigue over the weekend but was still able to log 6 miles both days. The heat is a killer. I may have to amend my expectations if the heat kicks up. I would rather be smart on something like that. The fortunate part is that the race is a trail run so it is covered 90% of the way, or so the race promoters would have me believe. I will still drag out my spf 50 for the event.

So here are the numbers:

Saturday: 6 miles 13 minute 30 second pace.
Sunday: 6 miles 13 minute 45 second pace.

I have some leg fatiue from 5 days of running in a row. I will relax a little today and get back to 5 miles tomorrow. I am concerned that I was not able to do an 8 or 10 before the race. I like to get close to or beyond the race distance during training. I am sure I will be fine I am sure.

This race really jumped up on me. After the Broad Street Run in May, I have been busy and have not run as much as I would like to. As I said before, I will not be running the Raptor Run in July, I need to focus on training for the half marathons in the fall. Also, the summer seems a bit deceptive to me, it is nice but the heat can really screw with your results. Early mornings are in and late afternoons are out.

Keep running... I will be.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Small Change

I did take the Raptor Run off my schedule, I feel a bit rushed to get ready for the run on the 24th and I don't think one in less than a month is a good idea. I will focus on training for the half marathons in September and October. Today I ran 4 miles the watch is a great way to guage pace and distance. Which is good because the trail I run on has posted distances that are all jacked up. I started the run and the sign said 2.5 miles to Welch Road, ok. I start my watch and run when I reach the next sign it says 1.5 miles to Welch Road. So my watch should say 1 mile right, wrong 1.6 miles is what it reads. I had always felt that the signs were wrong in the park. It was always, is that all I ran. My god, I suck. But my GPS has relieved some of my fears about my running. My pace is nothing to praise, about 12 and half minutes, but it is getting better.

I am trying to keep all these names of techniques for my names straight - attacking mace, sword and hammer, trigger slaute, five swords and so on. The names may make sense but there is a disconnect in my mind. For me they should have numbered them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -- they I could just do more of a rote memorization on the names and practice them in order. Oh well, I will practice tonight. Due dilligence is the moto of the week.

I have also ordered a digital scale, something a bit up the range. It does a body fat measurement as well as weight. So that should help to keep me on track. I think I will be embarrassed to post the results but, I will do it. I fear my home scale may be a bit off as well. So if that is the case, I will have to post amendments. Forgive me for my cheap Ikea scale.

Keep running ... I will be, so should you.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Running Crack and Kenpo

I have been playing with my Garmin 205 and it is a bit of gadget crack. It is addictive, you go through sensory overload with pace, pace breakdowns, distance, distance breakdowns, laps and so on. There is so much; I like it alot. I look at my wrist and the total pace and current pace and I am motivated to pick it up a notch. I am running much faster as a result. Well fast for me. When I am a bit tired I can drop back to a 14 minute pace, a crawl really. But when I see that number I can pick it up to 10.5 to 11.5 minute miles. Not fast but not crawling. I feel better after the runs but I am more tired. I think this will help. It was $200 but it was well worth it. I think some of the models before the 205 can be obtained for a more modest price. I dealt with Mega GPS and they were fine.

I have a belt test for Kenpo on the 30th of June and I have been practicing alot. So that is why my posts have been less frequent this last week. I was told the test would be about an hour. The nice thing about Counter Strike Kenpo, the American Kenpo school where I study, is that there are no testing fees until Black Belt. That is nice. As a life long practioner, I can tell you that belt tests are usually a hidden fee. They start low 30 to 40 dollars, but some schools see fees of about 300 for black belt. That can be a rude awakening. So I am happy with my school in that regard. Show up take the test, no costs ... it just feels better. I do have to work on my crispness before the test so I may not have much time to post before then.

That said, the Double Trouble 15k is on the 24th. I will post something on the results. Although I will be near the back. My goal as always in these early races is to:

1. Finish
2. Beat one person
3. Have a good time

The GPS will keep me in check and I will do much better than my sprained ankle experience during the Broad Street Run. I am guessing at the following:

Finish between: 111.5 minutes (1 hour 51 minutes and 30 seconds) and 125.5 minutes (2 hours 5 minutes and 30 seconds). Based on my current training this is my thumbnail goal. I do not get upset if I do worse but this is where I would like to be.

So here are my goals over the next two weeks:

1. Run the Double Trouble trail run on the 24th of June. (with required running - 5 miles Friday, 10 miles Saturday, 8 miles Sunday, 3 miles Monday, Kenpo Tuesday, 6 miles Wednesday, 2 miles Thursday, Friday off, Saturday Kenpo, Sunday Race)
2. Take my belt test on the 30th of June, which is also my sister's birthday. We don't talk much but Happy Birthday Sherry.

Keep running ... it really is good for you

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Something to inspire

I recently saw a Reebok commerical on you tube about out running your beer belly. It is pretty funny and it also is a good reminder that we can all out run and leave behind our beer bellies and run toward what we really want: a healthier us. I guess you can think about being chased by the fat monster, that monster is us/ you. In the end we only have ourselves to blame on this one. We make the choices. I know I get closer every time I run 3 miles on a weeknight, 8 miles on a weekend I get closer all the time. Everyone can do it. Are you getting closer???

Everyone has time to run!!! 30 minutes 4 days a week or 2 hours a week out of 168 total hours. How small is that? get up 20 minutes early each day - that is all it takes. There are lots of excuses out there, don't look for one. Just do the time. Exercise is hard, it is work ... it is worth it. 30 minutes 4 days a week. That is all it takes. I will be running with a 2nd degree sunburn tonight, I am not making excuses ... how about you??


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth?

I was at the Magic Kingdom and related parks from Friday through Monday. It was my parental pilgramage to the icons of Disney. My wife, mother, daughter and myself treked down to Orlando for some time with Snow White, et. al.

The days:

Friday: Fly AirTran airlines to Orlando from Philly. This is a great lowcost airline, they blow Southwest away. Just great. $98 round trip from philly to Orlando with assigned seating, drinks and snacks. Everyone was nice.
What we did: My mom did not get in until late so we went to a dinner show. "Pirates" This was a dancing, acrobatic, singing festival with dinner. It was really entertaining. Lots of swashbuckling and trapeze work. I liked it. The transportation left alot to be desired. The hotel called a cab for us and we paid round trip to the driver and then he didn't show up for 45 minutes after the show as over. Anyone traveling in Orlando should avoid Quality taxi services. Customer satisfaction is last in their book.

Saturday: Magic Kingdom day. This was also Gay Day 2007 -- which really just meant that there was a sea of red t-shirts throughout the park. Emily, my daughter, was able to meet Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and others. It was nice. Lots of walking and lots of money was spent on souveniers and food. I think this was the most expensive day. I may have spent 400 just here. We walked for miles and miles through the park, rode the rides and generally exhausted ourselves. The fireworks were great. Then we went with about 40,000 of our closest friends to the exits. What a mob.

Sunday: Epcot. this is more sedate and more geared toward education. There were some slow moving rides, lots of shopping and a little concert by Peter Noone. "I'm Henry the VIIIth I am Henry the VIIIth I am" and so on. It was fun and felt like a break after the magic kingdom. Total amount spent here about 100.00. The fireworks here were beyond belief, they mixed gasoline fires with the fireworks. It was spectacular, in my opinion better than the magic kingdom.

Monday: Typhoon Lagoon. This is one of the Disney water parks. This is really great park with an outstanding wave pool and lots of slides. It was a nice relaxing day. Then off to the airport with my new sunburn, there is no spf strong enough to help this fair skin lad. Arrived home at 12:00 am this morning. Oh well, it was a good vacation, my mom was able to visit her grandaughter and everyone got along well.

Now back to running: I recieved my Garmin 205 gps watch as well and will play with that to increase my pace. I will keep you updated.