Saturday, September 26, 2009
September 2009 Running--I might have to shoot myself in the arm...
I have a new partner to help me train for marathons. Gar is great, he's always on time for our run and he can run any distance at whatever pace I ask him to run. So if I ask him to run 12 minute miles he just nails that pace and if--actually that should be 'when'-- he starts getting ahead I know it's time to kick it up a notch. The trouble is if he starts getting too far ahead I'll want to pull my piece and shot him--anyone who can maintain any pace for any distance should be shot-- but if this urge happens I'll be shooting myself in the left arm.
My other training partner, Scooter, is getting a little grey, can't see or hear too well and has to pee every 10 feet all of which I've gotten use to over the years we've been together. Then last year he got nipped by a Yellow Lab and how if he see one he either stops dead or if we are headed away from the home turns around and runs towards the house--trust me, you wouldn't believe the number of Yellow Labs out there. The stopping dead isn't a that big of deal but the turning around and running is a real pain in the ass. I end up running down the trail screaming at the little siht which is embarrassing and a real mood killer. So this week we got on the leach for the going out part of the run. Now all I have to do is remember the leach and get use to heavy breathing on my right ankle.
Aside from running after the dog and only having an electronic training partner things have been going great. Did 22 miles this week with a 6 mile long run. Still running either barefoot or in my Vibram Five Fingers. I looked at the calendar the other day and if I only add one mile per week to my long run I won't be ready for the 50K ultra in January so I might try adding a couple miles to it for a few weeks to see how it goes? My only injuries have been a few blisters and a stone bruise and I like to keep it that way. One day/week at a time.
Ran into an old guy downtown last week..it was obvious we were both a little stiff and sore. We got to talking about this and he says he'll ask people if they remember how they felt in high school the next day after the first basketball, baseball of football practice? Then he tells them this is how you feel EVERY morning when you get old. That just about nails it.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The best thing about this whole barefoot running thing so far is it's changed my foot strike from heel to mid-foot. This little goodie not only makes me a little faster but I'm convinced that it helps prevent injuries particularly in the knees, ankles and hips.
For me, barefoot running does have it's own set of hazards such as blisters and stone bruises. Fortunately the stone bruises can be eliminated by not running in the dark and after a while your feet get tough enough not to blister on the bottom. As you can imagine it's also a long process --one I haven't completed--to get your feet in shape.
Part of my problem is the Greenway, which I run on, has lots of little stones where the dirt has worn away to expose the crushed rock RR bed. Sometimes it's more about hopping from bare spot to bare spot between the rocks than actually running. Three or four miles a week are about all my feet can handle barefoot on the Greenway. The rest of the time I run in what we BF's called minimal footwear; sandals, Vibram Five Finders and running shoes with the heel cut off with a hack saw. All these give your foot plenty of flexibility, don't have much cushion and keep you running in a mid-foot style, away from heel strikes.
So far I have not had any serious injuries after one 15 mile and four 20 mile weeks --knock on wood-- and the biggest down side is people think I'm crazy proving they can sometimes get it right.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
It's true: if you were limited to only one exercise program it would have to be yoga. Yoga provides strength training, stretching and to a lesser degree a cardiovascular work out--hot yoga. In addition the meditation experience is outstanding.
However, boys beware....this is a activity which, if it were competitive, most women would whip yo-ass. Being light and flexible is a big plus.
I've been doing yoga 3-4 times a week when I get up in the morning. I start by stretching in bed and work myself into a Downward Dog as I get out of bed. After some sun salutations I call it a done deal. Makes me feel better all day. Earlier this week I showed up at the 8:15AM Yoga Hour at Holy cow Yoga Center taught by Steven. Steven and I were the only guys in the group of 15-20. Lucky for Steven he was able to talk himself around doing all the posses by walking around the room checking out all the girls. Pedicabman, on the other hand, tried to keep up with the ladies and darn near pulled a muscle and got cramps from the effort. My tee shirt was dripping for crying out loud. The next morning I could barely get out of the bed.
Now I have to make a decision, do I go back to what I now call lazy yoga or go back down to Holy Cow for another ass whipping by the girls?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Some observations..no it's not about the kid!
Comcast Communications: Auburn was going to be televised on ESPNU last week-end so I went to comcast.com to see what the deal was regarding this channel. They had a web page dedicated to this channel with an 800 number to call so I made the call. A nice lady answered the phone and I assumed she works for Comcast but thinking back I'm not so sure. She said she never heard of ESPNU but would look on the channel line up for me. After awhile during which I finished my drink and made a sandwich, she came back and said she couldn't find ESPNU and that Comcast didn't have this channel. I paused a moment to settled into my chair for the battle ahead. Then I filled her in on the Comcast website with particular emphasis on the fact I was looking at her companies information which said they indeed had ESPNU. She knew the battle was lost and did what they all do when this happens, "Sir, I'll transfer your call to new services who'll fix you right up." I explained to her that I called the 800 NUMBER her company told me to call about ESPNU and that now I was going to call satellite TV to see what, if anything, their people knew about their website. Do you think Comcast is using the same company to train their folks as AOL?
Bust-in a sag: I was leaving Harris Teeter downtown a few days ago and the guy in front of me had the baddest bust-in a sag I've ever seen. The part of the pants where his fanny should have been was around his knees. How do people walk in these things? I had to find out so hung around the bicycle rack watching him shuffle away then got on my bicycle and slowly followed him. Right after he turned the corner of the building he stopped pulled those pants up around his chest--no siht-- tightened the buckle and walked away looking normal. You know, fanny near the crouch or the pants. This also explains the bulky tee shirts which are there to hide the belt buckle around the chest.
Monday, September 07, 2009
I need a fix, man!
I was running in VFFs--Vibram five Finger which have a rubber sole less than 1/8" thick --a about a week ago, in the dark and bruised my heel on a stone. Finished the run okay but my heel was tender. Later in the day I was going to stroll my grandson to the store and figured my heel would feel better in some running shoes. So I dug around and found a rusty pair of trainers in the back of the closet and hung those clunkers on my feet. It did sort of help the tinder spot but those damn high heeled snickers kept getting in the way even at a slow walk. Halfway into our shopping at the store I couldn't stand it another minute. Had to have that barefoot fix. Took those damn bricks off my feet and threw them in the nearest trash can--no way was I taking any chances of putting them back on my feet. It wasn't till later that I realized I've become a barefoot addict. God save me!
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
New GPS and other stuff...
Purchased a new Garmin
305 GPS which fits on your wrist and tells you everything you would want to know about your running or cycling work-out, including: heart rate, average heart rate, pace, distance, time, grade, feet climbed and how many times you scratched your ass. It also maps you route and will show you your route on Google Earth. The list is near endless what you can do with this machine including charts, planned work-out and navigation
It was exciting to take this puppy for it's first spin, at least until it told me how SLOW I was going. Twenty minute mile for the first mile but I did stop to talk to Doctor Ted and Dolly the Basset Hounds daddy--he just had appendicitis. What with the slow pace, hot day and sore feet it didn't take long for the new to wear off. At least I was excited for 15 minutes and that's not too bad for 175 bucks.
The first three work outs with the Garmin were mostly a learning curve on how to use it. Then on the forth morning the battery was dead because the operator was too stupid to plug it in properly. So at 6:00 AM I had to leave for my run without my new pal. Man it was GREAT. I just relaxed, forgot about pace, time and distance and had the best run in weeks. Best of all I came in after the run with a big smile on my face. After that experience I still take the Garmin for consultation purposes but don't pay much attention to the results till after I've had my fun.