Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nov Mind Dump

Running Mind Dump - The All I Want For Christmas...Edition

Random thoughts that enter my mind while running down the autobahn of life. (cliff bars, the voice, israel and hamas, charlie’s angles, brad pitt, channing taylor, turkey trot, robin williams, marathon, nyc marathon, Christmas, cherry blossom 10 miler, genie, run a sub 4 hour marathon, nike, air pegasus, olympics, athens, puppy breath, magic mike, wine, grapes, cold)

Un-Running Related:

--  Food Recommendation:  I just found the wonder of “Clif Bars

--  Music Recommendation:  Been watching the show “The Voice” and can’t wait for Terry McDermott to record a CD 

--  Movie Recommendation:  Lincoln….very good!  Side note, a friends father played a role in the movie...can you spot him?  Read his review here.

--  Worried about the world:  Israel and Hamas and the mess over NYC Marathon

Running Related:

--  In their “Charlie’s Angles” Glory Days, who would have the better marathon time, Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, or Kate Jackson?

--  Equal time…Who wins in a 100 yard dash, Channing Taylor or Brad Pitt? 

-- Turkey Trot Revenge:  Ran my tail feathers off & set 10K PR, then could not keep down the thanksgiving meal…on a positive side, all the fun, no calories! 

-- Magic Genie (played by Robin Williams) grants you a last marathon PR at any race in the world…where would you run it?  It’s Athens, Greece for me!

--  Ran in 18 degrees wind chill…and thought I’m crazy logging miles outside until I saw a worker tending to the slumbering grape vines, he was just standing there working away.  I had a pretty happy run after that.

-- When the horn at work goes of…I think, I get to run tonight!

-- I’ve been a pretty good Runner Guy this year, 14 races, 1 PR two sub 4:30 Marathons and a 200 mile relay….so here is my My Christmas Shopping List, in case anyone wants to get me something.

    -  A stride like Ryan Hall’s….he covers something like 6’4”

    -  Entry into next year’s Cherry Blossom 10 miler

    -  A pair of Air Pegasus shoes that look like THE Cleveland Browns helmet

    -  Sub 4:00 Marathon time, is that Genie still around?

    -  Meniscus fixer in a can, so my wife can run with me

    -  A race calendar like @runlikeacoyote who inspired this list

    -  A tazer, that zaps would be drivers who are about to run me over, this tazer would not harm them but would make them wet themselves

    -  Forever perfect 70 degree days w/just the right amount of humidity and breeze

    -  A magic button to enter any marathon/race I want with just one push…oh and it’s paid for!

   -  Re-tweets to everything I tweet on Twitter…there is nothing better then RT Love! Except puppy breath!

Heavier Then Running Related:
-- Is there something that you are currently taking for granted?

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Trot 2012

In the days leading up to this race I was not sure how I would approach it.  I was coming off 2 marathons in 14 days.  It would have been 11 days since the second marathon, of which both were run sub 4:30.  I knew all the marathon training plans called for significant time off after a marathon, but my mind kept wondering how fast I could push a 10k.  Yet in my mind I knew I should not push it, I had a 50K coming up in just under a month, and one of my injury free running Mantras has been “Don’t sacrifice tomorrow for today.”

(might be the best race shirt ever)

Race morning was near perfect, bit on the cool side (44 degrees) with bright blue skies and a slight wind.  The Erie Runners Club has hosted this event for years on Presque Isle State Park and this would be my second running.  I get an extra kick out of running an event in my old home town, like I have something to prove to the streets.  I was not a runner in those days…so maybe I do.  Another bonus for the day was my wife Michele would be walking the 10k, I so enjoy events we can share together.  Even as we staged for the start, Michele asked me how I was going to run this race, “I’m not sure…we will see” was best I could do.

To start the race, I lined up semi near the front, no corralling here, back to the old school lined up and go.  And when the horn went off I found out how this race would be run, “all out.”  The field jumped out to a fast start and I went with them, even against my better judgment, but I was committed.  Within the first 50 yards I would get the first big test of the day.  A supportive spouse was leaning in to the roadway to get a picture of their favorite runner.  I did not see her until the runner in front of me had made “jet fighter” maneuvers to get out of the way.  Then it was my turn, I had to decide in the blink of an eye was I going to be Jim Brown or Walter Payton (football analogy for turkey day seams appropriate).  To avoid collision I made the best NFL spin move at full speed ducked my head under her out reached camera and continued on my way.  SCORE!

Mile  1 7:29 – The start blasted off like the Millennium Falcon racing away from the moon of Endure.  I knew when I made the first mile I was committed.  My breathing was up and I was putting out my too much effort to call this a recreational run, if I was going to pay Jabba the Hutt, might as well make it worthwhile.

Mile  2  7:12  Once I had settled into my pace and got my mental game intact…it was on, I was hammering out near sub 7:00 pace and feeling good.  The force and my legs were with me this day!

Mile  3  7:33  Mid way point and I knew the fast start was going to be hard to hold up over the closing miles, and it was at this point that the thought of posting a PR jumped into my Jedi Mind.

Mile  4  8:03  It got a little tough in mile 4, but my Jedi powers were so locked on the PR that I was able to hang on to a 8:00 mile pace, doing some quick on the fly math told me if I could hang in the 8:00s I would be able to threaten the Sith zone of 48:00.

Mile  5  8:08  I’m aware that Yoda and all the running coaches, books and sound racing plans advise running negative splits, but that plan was out for this race.  The overriding thought that was echoing in my ear was “I’m your father Luke…a PR is there for the taking” so I dug in and continued to put the hammer down.  To tell you how focused I was it was at this point that I passed my wife coming in the opposition direction and although she moved to middle of the road to high five me.  Seeing her, I lifted my head, raised the peace sign and advanced the speedster throttle never moving over to greet her.  Later she would tell me “I knew you were up to something, you were flying.”

Mile  6  7:42 I had a vision of Yoda,  “Luke, lose it you shall not…a PR is there for the taking”  A glance down at my GPS and I knew it was game on…thinking, I’ve got this…Now Go!  I had hoped to really put on a closing mile dash, but when my brain neurons fired and said “GO” the muscle fibers in my legs said…”Hang on, Darth Vader, this all we got.”  I pushed as hard as I could.

Mile  6.2  :38  Home stretch for this race takes a right and a left turn on to the beach access road of the park.  This road provided a clear view of the finishing line.  With that goal clearly in sight I gave it my best Galen Rupp Olympic dash.  46:46 displayed on my GPS…..#BOOMBABY!

Some people may undervalue the social media relationships we build with Facebook and Twitter, but a driving force today was that I so wanted to post a PR on my timeline once this race was over.

PR Baby 10k in 46:46 (my GPS) and an OFFICIAL Time of 46:42 (chip time) by RD #BOOM!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey safety

Top 5 Thanksgiving Dangers and How Being A Runner Could Save Your Life.

Anybody can get something stuck in their throat. It's decidedly more common for the kids and grandparents -- although it gets more common as the adult beverages start flowing.  But have no fear, your increased endurance will be helpful as you sprint across the room, hurdling a sleeping Aunt Sally, and still have the stamina to perform the Heimlich maneuver.  All those Fartleks and Interval training days will surely have paid off.

Cutting yourself in the kitchen is both a curse and a blessing – bacteria from food abounds, but you have everything you need to clean your wound at the ready.  Your running skills once again will save the day.  Odds are that you’ll have no band aids in the house.  Your long distance training will make short work of the run to the store.  Not only will you help stop the bleeding but also get in the miles needed for that second helping of turkey.

Grease fires are notoriously dangerous. It's easy to extinguish the typical grease fire by smothering it, but make sure everyone is heading out of the house first.  You may have to run for your life…enough said!

Burns are some of the most common injuries around the house.  Make sure you know what to do if your bird decides to seek some revenge.  If you have the misfortune to suffer a burn, your increased VO2 max will enable you to hold your tongue long enough to make sure there are no young or sensitive ears within shouting distance.  All the hill runs will be worth it so that you don’t teach young nephew Johnny all the wrong things to say.

Imagine the looks you'll get from your mother-in-law after giving the entire family food poisoning. Learn how to recognize food poisoning symptoms, and follow these food safety tips: Cook, Separate, Clean, and Chill. 

Cook food to a safe internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria. The safe temperature for poultry is 180 degrees. 

Separate cooked and uncooked foods, as well as foods eaten raw and those cooked before eating. Cross-contamination occurs when raw meats or eggs come in contact with foods that will be eaten uncooked. This is a major source of food poisoning.

Cleaning is a crucial part of food safety. Wash your hands and work surfaces frequently when you are cooking and after you have blown your nose, been to the bathroom, touched a pet, or changed a diaper. Plain old soap and water are very effective. 

Chilling food is very important. The danger zone where bacteria multiply is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Your refrigerator should be set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below; your freezer should be 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Here's a simple rule: serve hot foods hot, cold foods cold. 

And if all of this fails and the bird executes a surprise attack on your insides, those fast twitch muscles will come in handy as you try to beat the rest of the family to the bathroom.

Of course this is all in jest, have fun this holiday season, enjoy the time with your family, enjoy the free time from work, long a few extra miles and most importantly, Give Thanks to GOD for the blessing of your life and the gifts we have been given.

Now pass the turkey!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Top Ten Things I'm Thankful for this RUNNING season...

Everyone is thankful for their health, wisdom or favorite running outfit which makes them look way faster then they really are.  But I'm going to take a look at the things I'm really thankful for:

#1  Body Glide...because there are parts of the human body which are not meant to rub together!

#2  KT Tape....not only can it be used to hold your body together, but if you forget the make bullet proof pasties.

#3  Hand carried water bottles, I can open them with my teeth, take a drink and smash them shut with my hand without getting Gatoraide all over me.

#4  All the race day photographers, who always make me look like I'm near death...or maybe I am!

#5  For all the volunteers who help support the races, even the guy at mile 10 telling me I'm almost there and the kids leaving me hanging for a high five.

#6  The motivational signs marker, thanks for the support, but I'm not sure I can beat George W's or Oprah's time?  

#7  The people who cut up the orange slices, and for the funny sounds my shoes make for the next mile after the orange slice zone!

#8  That we have not dreamed up the "Black Friday Marathon" yet...26.2 miles run from Wal-Mart to Target pushing a buggy.

#9  For the "Port-O-Potty" least there is hope!

#10  I'M THANKFUL FOR YOU reading my blog...I value your time, and sometimes I wonder who really reads my writings!  Thank you!

Ultimatly I'm Thankful for God's Love for us...

John 3:16 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Maniac Top Tweets

Two Topics Today

#1  I'm in:

I'm a Marathon Maniac #6151, I've found refuge, a place where slightly off balance marathoners call home, where the Insane can feel Sane again, and once again be treated like a normal although crazy human being.

Of course I jest, It's just a club.  I joined more for the giggles and so I can wear the weird looking yellow maniacs shirts!  But here goes I'll try to represent the maniacs well.

#2 Top Twitter Tweets:

@JayRLloyd  Saw Twilight - lost mancard - made wife happy - gets mancard back

@LadyMegSoprano I do not care, I did not blinky When I heard of the demise of the Twinkie. I do not let them pass my lips I do not want them on my hips

@NikeRunning  Pain is temporary. Victory is eternal

@MalindaAnnHill  I tried on my @Philly_marathon shirt & I noticed I got 1/2 marathon shirt by mistake! Hope that's not a sign?! #runnerproblem

@oiselle_sally  It doesn't matter what you wear. Running is ALWAYS in fashion.”

@cyktrussell  Clinton never would have let Twinkies go under...

@Modern_Redneck  The time just before a marathon is when you can pause and reflect, and realize you're a idiot to be doing this again. 

Follow these feeds on get out and run you could be a Maniac!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Freedom Marathon Race Report

It is funny, the twists and turns life takes.  The person you where is not who you will become or who you really are.  Yea that’s deep for sure, but there was a time in my life I would have bet that I would have never run a marathon.  Talk about two opposite milestones in life, JV football, I got kicked off the team because after practice I could not run a mile.  The Freedom Marathon would be my 8th marathon and my 2nd in less then 14 days.

(At the expo)

I ran the Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) on 28 Oct and running the Freedom Marathon would enable me to join the Marathon Maniacs Club.  Some people may ask why do you want to join the Maniacs?   Webster defines a maniac as:  Any intemperate or overly zealous or enthusiastic person:a maniac when it comes to details.”  There are runners who run one marathon, and there are people who run multiple marathons.  And then there’s the bunch that run "back to back" marathons, or run two in less then 16 days, three in less then 90 days or 13 in a year. The Marathon Maniacs are a group of people who run successive marathons in a relatively short period of time as defined on their website.

So why do I want to be in “the club” I figured I may never be a fast marathoner, and I may never qualify for Boston.  I may as well be a marathon nut case aka A Marathon Maniac.

My plan for the day was to run slow and conservatively.  Coming off a successful MCM where I ran a best time since 2005 with a 4h 26m 9s finish, all I wanted to do was finish.  So all the pressure of a fast run, a PR or any expectations were gone.  Well that worked until the gun went off.  Then my plan switched to running a sub 4:30 marathon.  There is something about that number…I know for some it’s slow and others it may be fast but for me it marks marathon success or failure.  And even though I knew this marathon was more about completion…I still wanted a sub 4:30.
Mile 1                  10:03
Mile 2                  10:01
Mile 3                  10:10
Mile 4                    9:59
Mile 5                    9:59
Mile 6                    9:50
Mile 7                  10:06
Mile 8                    9:55

Weather wise it was a near perfect day, start time temperature was a bit cool in the mid 40’s (0630 start) but within the first 10 miles the sun came out and the temps were real comfortable.

Mile 9                  10:07
Mile 10                9:49

The opening 10 miles went pretty smooth, I was running along with a friend named Lloyd (his 2nd) and had mentioned to him that although we felt good, that these opening miles only got us to mile 20 when the run/fun really beings.  Today that would be mile 22 for me.  This course was a two lap course with a little redirection of the second lap into the finish.  Mostly flat, advertised with a 200 foot gain overall, we did have two bridges (mile 5/17 and 9.5/21.5) and one underpasses (mile 10/22) to deal with.  Each of these little climbs offered a nice if not daunting challenge to break up an otherwise flat route.

Mile 11                9:59
Mile 12                9:51
Mile 13                9:56 (approx 2h 10m 45s)
Mile 14                9:42
Mile 15                9:44
Mile 16                9:51
Mile 17                9:32
Mile 18                9:35
Mile 19              10:09

Mile 20                9:40 (approx 3h 19m)

At mile 20 I noticed that if I could run the next 6 miles in less then an hour I would have a good shot at a sub 4:20.  I so wanted to run a strong finishing 6.2 miles.  And during mile 21 I was able to dig in and kept the pace up, but at mile 22 I began to really labor.

Mile 21              10:15
Mile 22              11:13
Mile 23              11:49
Mile 24              11:33

This 3 mile stretch was tough; I just could not keep up with my pace.  I’ve got to figure out how to run stronger in the closing stages of the race.  In reviewing both Freedom and Marine Corp, there’s a 2 or 3 mile segment where I lose focus or I just can keep the leg turn over going. 

Mile 25              10:56

I blame some loss of time on the course.  During this section (mile 25) the route dumped us off into a parking lot of Harbor Park (minor league baseball stadium), with no real direction where to go except a random collection of cones about 200 yards away.  <rant> At this point in the run is not where you want me trying to figure out directions…the course should have been more clearly marked. I had to stop and ask the volunteer 50 yards behind me where I should go.  It was not her fault, but the organizers should have addressed this. </rant> 

(Rolling right along)
Mile 26              10:19
Mile 26.2             3:02

(A 10, on the bling scale)

I finished in 4h 27m 19s and Lloyd came in at 4h 40m.  All in all this was a nice race on a really flat course.  I can see a lot of Boston Qualifiers coming out of this race.  This being the second year of the event, but the first year for the full marathon there is room for growth and improvement.  This will be my last marathon of the 2012 season, I have a 50k Ultra in Dec and then I’m going to focus my training on reaching the 4:15 marathon benchmark.  My PR is 4:10 (2005) I would like to threaten that again…before I get to old.  Ha ha ha

 (If truth be known, I was having a hard time standing, 
2 x 26.2 in 14 days will do that to you)

I’m still running with my knee strap and happy to report I’ve had no significant knee pain during my training and zero during this marathon.  I do have some “discomfort” when walking around the house or when bending, twisting or shifting weight, but believe this is related to old age/running more then to any running injury/overuse.  Other then losing my miles for two months, I believe I survived “the Patella Tendonitis scare of 2012.”