Monday, December 23, 2013

Week in Review

Last Week In Review: (Dec 15 - 22)

Monday 10 
Tuesday 7 
Weds 9
Thursday 0
Friday 0
Saturday 31
Sunday 0

Total: 57 miles

Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday would be my only running days prior to running the SeaShore Nature Trail 50K.  If you have followed by blog for long you know this is my third time running this event.  There's been some good, some bad and I hope some better times at First landing State Park.

Monday and Tuesday were both easy days, I ran around our housing community and did not push the pace much.  Wednesday I ran with my wife while she fast walked. We stayed on Fort Lee to take advantage of some daylight hours.  I got in a solid 9 miles and some hills with a respectable 8:30 pace.  Then we shut it down for the week tapering for the 50k.

Saturday I ran the 
SeaShore Nature Trail 50K. and had a good outing, but you can read about that in a future race report.  Until the race report is published, enjoy these select photos.

And I'm still winning the war against Diet Dew.

Hope you had a great week! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Running Flaws

Fixing My Running Flaws

I stumbled across this video while searching You Tube for Ultra videos the other day.  And it perfectly put into video what I have been working to correct in my running form over the summer.

The girls list the five biggest mistakes runners make:

1.  Running Upright

2.  Overstriding 

3.  Heelstriking

4.  Arm Swing (front to back)

5.  Tightening your core

Out of these five I was in pretty good shape other then #2 and 3

I over-stride and heel strike something terrible.  I've known this for a long time but really never set out to do anything about it.  A typical trait of all my running shoes was that I wear out the heels (right more then left) faster then anywhere else.  

(Note that wear pattern)

It wasn't until I watched the DVD on the Western States 100, Unbreakable and witnessed  Anton Krupicka'srunning form, that I decided to do something about this. It was during this remarkable video that I noticed how up right and free he ran.  I now had a video comparison of a nimble and light running style compared with how hard, heavy impacting, and heel first I ran.  I knew I had some areas to improve on.

Over the summer when I went out on training runs I noticed when I ran more under myself (feet landing under my hips) and on the front of my foot compared to the back, my leg turn over improved, I had more zip in my runs and my legs just felt better.

AND another benefit....I GOT FASTER!

Now I will tell you I was not sure what I really fixed, until I watched this video and these gals at The Balanced Runner put on video what small changes I made over the summer.  Without knowing it...I fixed 2 of the Biggest 5 Mistakes. 

What is your biggest running mistake?

Are you going to fix it?

Monday, December 16, 2013

week in review

Last Week In Review:

Monday 10 
Tuesday 4 
Weds 9.3
Thursday 0
Friday 8
Saturday 15.5
Sunday 0

Total: 46.8 miles

Tuesday, the first miles I've run on a treadmill in quiet sometime.  I wanted to do more, but the room the treadmill was located in was 84 degrees and I never got used to the heat.  Second, I was attending a retirement dinner later that night and timing was a bit cramped so I was constantly watching the clock and felt pressed the entire time.

Thursday, Along with our Church group my wife and I went to the The Story Tour, outstanding show.  THE STORY, a musical journey from Genesis to Revelation. Featuring a full children’s choir and orchestra with Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, Natalie Grant, Matthew West, Nichole Nordeman, Selah, Rawsrvnt and renowned author and pastor, Randy Frazee.  Worth every penny...and the impact is external.

Saturday, I ran along with a good running friend George N.  We ran 15 miles at a moderate pace as a tune up for the 50k.  It was my second outing running with my race vest, you can get the details here.  Funny how I think about this as a medium distance run where years before it would be a long run.

And this week I decided to kick the Diet Dew habit, glad to report I'm still married to Michele, and no one has been harmed by my decision.  Although there was an unexpected drop in the stock values for Pepsico.  Does that relate?

AND Surpassed 2000 miles for the year!

All in all it was a good solid week of training leading up to my third running of the SeaShore Nature Trail 50K.  My plan for the 50k is to run a smart race, around a 5:30, but believe I'm capable of a faster time.  I'll hold myself back in hopes of not blowing up my legs, I have a 50 miler two week later which starts my prep for Umstead and my first 100 miler.

Hope you had a great week! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Diet Dew

Is Diet Mountain Dew KILLING Me?

(Ya----hoooo, Diet Mountain Dew)

I’m Done With Diet Dew…(well sort of).

If you know me in person, have followed my Tweets/Facebook updates or ventured to read my blog, you know that I drink way to much Diet Mountain Dew.

My daily intake is going something like this:

1 can on the drive to work with my "on the road breakfast"
1 can when I get to my desk 
* maybe another can around 0930/1000
1 can for lunch
1 can on the drive home
1 can after my run
2 cans for dinner
1 as I watch TV or read
a last one when I go to bed for the night

Nine maybe 10 cans of that wonderful, and refreshing, chemically altered mountain spring water.  Oh my Diet Mountain Dew, how you pick me up.  Oh my Diet Mountain Dew, how you allow me to get thu my day.  

Oh My Precious….Dew!

Oh pls don’t judge me…  

Did you see any water in there…neither did I.  And to think I've run 12,000+ miles and nearing 100 races like this.  But I’m getting older, more in tune with my health and I want to be around a little while longer.  If I want to be a better runner, I know the time is now, I must do something, and I must make some changes.

So.  Finally.  I've decided to dew do something about it.

Now I’m weak, I really don’t desire to go cold turkey so I’m going to cut way back on this stuff.  I have to be honest I don’t see myself giving up my morning and after work Dew.  I have a long commute and that wonderful golden pick me up helps keep me awake while driving.  The rest of the day is open game and I’m committed to not drinking Diet Dew after 8 pm.

With those borders in place, I’m going to attack this like I do a long run.  Slow and steady. 

Starting today, I’m going to start drinking one 16oz bottle of water (minimum) for every can of Diet Dew. 

I really don’t want to give it up 100% and I’m not saying I’ll never have another can.  My goal is to cut down on my consumption and drink the stuff more moderately.  I also want to get a lot more water into my diet.

So I’m sorry world if I’m a little grumpy.  I’m sorry workers for Pepsi-Cola bottling if this slows down production, I’m sorry my Diet Dew family if I don’t get to see you as often…but I want to be around a lot longer and I have more miles to run, more sunsets to witness, and a few mountains to run!

Is there something you need to give up, cut back on?  Tell us about it!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday

My Blog is just over two years old, We Need To Have A Party!

Or better yet, I need to revamp my blog.  Truth be told I’ve been somewhat unhappy with my little spot on the internet for some time.  I make a point of checking out a few other blogs every day and the vast majority of them are much more professional looking.  So over the holidays, my blog is going to get a makeover!  And here is where I need your help.

I need your feedback on what you like and don’t like about my blog.

PLEASE post a comment with some feedback so that I can better entertain, inspire, inform and highlight my running adventures.

Thanks A lot, and Keep on Running Strong!


Monday, December 9, 2013

AK Ultra Vest A Review

Ultimate Direction Ultra Running Vest - AK Race Vest

The first time I ran with my AK Race Vest I left all the pockets and bottles empty.  You can read about that test drive and my initial impressions below.

For my second test drive, I decided to fill both bottles with 20 oz of water, to get used to carrying the load.  The only other item I had in the vest was my car keys.

After filling the bottles I decided to try and take a few draws of water out of the UD style Kicker Valve. AND I really don't like the "nipples" compared to my pull top bottles. (I guess that is what you call the traditional style bottles) 


(The winner)

I attempted to draw water out of the UD bottles a few times in the kitchen and just could not get it done right.  I figured if I was not comfortable performing this "simple" task standing in my kitchen while not moving, my chances of success while running were near zero.

Other then that I like this vest. With the full bottles in the Vest my first thought was "wow, that's heavy."  Up to this point I have never ran with anything strapped to my back.  The bottles fit nice and were easy to secure, I ran 15.5 miles with it and was surprised I hardly noticed the extra weight and the vest did not move at all.  I was not used to the water sloshing around in the bottles but within the first mile I hardly noticed it.

After two test drives, I'm glad I invested in this vest. 

With a date with the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run on the horizon, I have some long training runs including running the Graveyard 100k in March unsupported, on my calender.  With this I figured I needed to invest in and get used to running in a vest to help carry some hydration and fuel to keep me going.

Honestly, I never thought I would wear a vest, I've carried my hand held water bottles since I began marathon training 12 years ago and they work just fine.  But seeing that I was going to be running 62 miles, mostly during night time hours with limited support, I needed to embrace a Ultra vest.  Being that I wanted something light and non-intrusive...I decided to trust the GREAT mountain ultra runner Anton Krupicka, "the apostle of the "less is more" philosophy."  

I chose the Ultimate Direction Signature Series AK vest.

If your interested in the specs on this vest you can click here and visit the UD web site, I'm going to give you a new users perspective.

When the package arrived the first thing I noticed was how light the box was...if I had opened up the shipping box and it was empty I would not have been surprised.  This vest is light...  This vest is also made of some soft yet very supportive materials.  In my hands, I thought for sure I was holding something off the drawing boards of a NASA designer.
I'm 5' 7" 152 to 155 pounds in racing trim...I ordered the small/medium vest and truth be told it fits very snuggly, which I like.  It should be noted that I'm at the max size adjustments.

Seeing that I have never run with a vest, I wanted to introduce it into my running arsenal slowly.

My first test drive with the AK vest I went for a 15 mile trail run, with nothing in the vest.  I fit the vest to my size, snapped it up, and took off.  And truth be told...I had no issues running with it at all.  The snug fit resulted in zero movement with no interference with my running motion or any issues with chaffing, pinching or fit issues.  The snug fit almost made me feel secure wearing it and the slight compression seamed to help me with my exhaling.  I swear I was breathing deeper.  

After my first test drive....I LOVE this vest.

The only thing I don't like about it are the bottles...I plan to swap out the 20oz bottles for more traditional 12oz bottles.  I also don't plan to use both front pockets for hydration.  I'll hand carry one bottle, have one in the vest and use the second front pocket for fuel

A good technical review for this vest can be found here, the Ginger runner had some issues with flap placement and I can understand that.

Next time out I'll fill up the water bottles...and give you my second impressions.

Oh, what other long training runs do I have in store before Umstead?

Dec, SeaShore 50K
Jan, 50 miles at Noland Trail
Feb, 50 Miles TBD
Mar, Graveyard 100k
Apr, Umstead 100 Miles    

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wife Repeats

It’s not Fartleks.  It’s not a Long Run.  It’s not even repeated running over Monster Hills.

It’s the newest workout sweeping across running clubs world-wide.  It’s the workout craze that has Hollywood all a buzz.  Recommended by if not the Dr. surly the Wizard of Oz.  And the workout which has achieved glowing recommendations from Doctor Phillip (for legal reasons, I changed the name here).  Wife Repeats. 

But what is a Wife Repeat Workout you ask?

(Happy Flash Couple)

The best way to spend time together, other than that “Other,” (cough cough) best way to spend time together.  A great way to burn calories and still enjoy each other’s company.  And other way to achieve your target heart rate, which does not involve looking at your credit card statement…..

The Wife Repeat workout is a way for couples with different running or walking paces to run/walk together, yet separate.  You see my wife (I’ll call her Mrs. Wonderful) had knee surgery about eight years ago (torn meniscus) and since then she has been unable to return to a running routine.  But Mrs. Wonderful, equipped with an NFL Lineman’s knee brace, is still very active/fit and can walk a blazing 12:30 mile pace.  Myself being a Ultra-runner training near a sub 8:30 mile pace for 10, 15 or 20 miles, we have had a hard time enjoying our fitness routines together.  We would normally head out on our own and meet back up at the car when we were done.  We both got our workouts in but missed out on sharing the sights, sounds and experiences along the way.

That was until the Wife Repeat workout was born.  Now we head out on the trail or open roads together.  At the start of our run/walk I’ll run in the opposite direction of Mrs. Wonderful, for say half a mile then turn 180 degrees and run a mini speed workout to catch back up with her.  Then I’ll settle into a nice running cruise speed and run out in front of her for half a mile turn 180 and do it all over again.  The Wipe Repeat loop enables me to get in my miles, allows us to run/walk together exploring a new trail, or a new city and gives my wife a sense of security knowing I am never out of sight.

This “Together but Separate” workout has enabled us to get in the miles while exploring new trails and new sites.  Have you ever tried to explain part of a trail where you had to transverse apart of a tree root while running along a mountain stream?  Where before we would struggle to describe parts of a run/walk or site we saw along the way…now we get to see the trail and new places together, yet separate.

(Wait, there's more....)

Endorsed by the American Hart Association, the Tourism Board of New Bern, NC and the makers of ShamWow you can order your Wife Repeats Workout video today for $19.95. 

But wait there’s more:

And with 5 easy payments of $9.99 I’ll also include a set of Ginsu shavers and a family of Sea Monkeys.

How do you work out with your Mr./Mrs. Wonderful?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Faith Family Fitness

The Christmas season, it is easy to get distracted…from what is really important.

Faith, Christmas and not the “holiday” season is why we celebrate.  In over 2000 years, no one has been able to prove the story of Christmas to be inaccurate. Sure some debate the dates, but the story of a Saviors birth has met all challenges.  We have proven that Santa Claus, is just a story.  The Polar Express is just a train.  And that Polar Bears don’t really like Coke.  But if anything we have proven, by historical record and with the concepts of historical proof that in fact a man named Jesus (or translation of) did in fact walk this planet.  And if we believe that, then we must belief the document which tells the story of his life, the Bible, to be true.  And finally we must believe that a creator GOD, gave his only son, so that whomever believed in him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.  To me that is what this holiday season is all about….accepting that MY Savior came to this earth, to love and save me.  Brian, the crazy ultra-running, sometimes distracted, and very imperfect human.  And likewise, you…  

Family, Who else will share a bond with you from the time you are born, until the time you die.  Even if you are not close to your family, there is still something there.  A bond, a love, a shared common history.  Tune out all the hype this holiday season and reconnect with your family….no relationship outside of a husband and wife relationship can ever be as close.  If you have lost a loved one…and were not close, you know the sting that this gap can never be bridged, if you still have family…reconnect, make the effort to get close.

And Fitness, I group all health related issues under fitness.  Take care of yourself…watch your diet, keep up with your exercise of choice, and visit the doctor when you should.  Do whatever it takes and is recommended to keep this body running the way it was meant to run.  We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in our homes. We toil over our cars, to keep them perfect.  Yet as a society as a whole, we invest very little time or energy in the one thing that will be with us, is us, from day one until the very end.  “Our body.”   Ask anyone suffering with a health issue, if they wish they could run, walk, skip or jump…we take our fitness forgranted until it’s gone.

Nearly everything else in life can be replaced….or repaired. Bang up your car, take it to a body shop.  Water leak in your home, call the plumber.  TV or computer melts down…call the Geek Squad.

But faith, family and your fitness are hard to replace once they are gone.  And no one can do it for you.

What does running give you?