Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Half Year Stats

Short story - my running stats are pretty sucky this year.
I've logged 357 miles in 6 months.
Figures out to about 60 miles a month, 15 miles a week.  Not exactly where I'd planned to be, but that's back to that whole life happening thing which lead to basically no running from mid-April to mid-May.  I can't beat myself up for it - just have to keep getting back out there and pounding pavement.
I have to admit, the stats don't look nearly so bad if you figure in my biking - I've kept up with it better so that makes me a little bit happier.

And, another gold star - I've continued to commute to work.  I know, it's only a mile, but I do it four times a day.  Still, that's only 4 miles, but it's 4 miles (20 minutes) that my car sits and my body moves and that makes me feel good.

Now, I'm off for my first speedwork session in months - dreading it, but at least it's going to be a group effort so there will be others to share in my pain.  ;-)

Till next time...

Five fingers

From yesterday - I forgot to actually hit "publish post"...

Well, I made the purchase of a pair of Vibram Five Fingers a couple months ago after reading 'Born to Run'.  I figured I like to run barefoot and I already run on my toes so they should be a good fit for me.  I decided on the Sprint style.

I've ran a mile or two here or there since then with the longest run of 3 miles (with a couple walk breaks) at the YMCA on a treadmill up until yesterday.  Monday's I've been trying to get up before work and run 4 miles.  Yesterday I just couldn't make myself do it.  Anyway, I told myself I'd do it after work and before our 5:45pm group bike ride.  So, by the time I was ready to run I knew I only had time for 3 miles - great time to break out the Five Fingers again and give them a try on the road.  I should mention on the treadmill I had issues after a mile or so of blisters on my heals and at about 2-1/2 miles blisters on the bottoms of my big toes.  Fast forward to yesterday - I started my run at 5pm in the heat and not really sure what to expect.  It feels funny walking outside to run wearing these odd looking shoes.  The first mile was awesome (still hot, but awesome).  I felt like I could bound up hills without effort.  As I ran I kept analyzing how I was feeling.  By about mile 1-1/2 I started feel a rub on the bottom of my big toes, by 2-1/2 they were really starting to feel like blisters.  I finished up with my 3, but my toes were hurting.  I took off my shoes to assess the damage before the ride.  There are the beginnings of blisters, but they are below my calluses so they are kind of deep and hurt a bit.  I also realized my little toes felt bruised on the toe nail.  Nothing so bad that I kept from running today, but I didn't run in them again.  I went back to my Mizunos.  I'll give it a few days and try it again.  I think I may just need to develop better calluses and I'll be fine.  I hope anyway!  Overall I really like them and I like to run in them - I just don't like the pain.  I'm still waiting for the calf pain that I've heard others complain of - I guess I haven't run far enough to experience that yet.  

Anyone have any experience with them?  Wondering if these problems are normal and will go away with time?

So, still made it for a close to 20 mile group chill ride after the run.  Again in the Five Fingers since we were rocking the tandem (it doesn't have clipless pedals).   That was a workout just to keep my feet on the pedals and put enough force to keep us cruising uphill.  Overall it was fun though.  Since I stayed on my toes my calves did hurt after the ride, but in a good way.  

Till next time - run on!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Start from here

Sometimes life gets in the way.  That's how I'm summing it up.  Some good life, some not so good life, but still life just the same.  Mostly I just haven't made the time or had the motivation to post.  BUT, I'm going to try to change that.  I am trying to get back to having some semblance of a routine - and part of that routine includes having written documentation of what I'm doing with my running, biking, adventure racing life to keep me honest.  

So, I do have plans and goals coming up.  Nothing crazy, just some fun stuff.  

There is the Dusk 2 Dawn Adventure Race up around Lawrence, KS that I will doing with my Thirsty Turtletina teammate for the 3rd year in a row.  We have decided this is our year to rock this race!!  

Running wise I think I'm doing alright with training.  I was a pacer for the Boomtown 1/2 marathon in Joplin, MO a couple weeks ago. (Side note:  I did the 2:15 pace group, it was a little slow for me, but it worked since I spent so much energy chatting it up and trying to motivate my group - I would love to do it again someday!)  So, I can run 13.1 miles which should easily cover my running need for the race.  Mostly from here I need to hit the trails and keep up my mileage.

Cycling wise I have been doing road rides fairly regularly - rides of 20-30 miles.  I plan to keep those up as long as I'm in town.  My downfall here is mountain biking - I need to hit the trails.  I did do my first mountain bike race this year and I do have a new mountain bike so I think those two things will help, but more bouncy seat time is going to be critical.  Yesterday I did a road ride to Joplin at 4:30am (I volunteered to help coordinate the biking section of a triathlon).  It was good to use my bike lights and practice a little night riding - and I remembered why safety glasses are basically a necessity at dawn (bugs, bugs, bugs).  

Paddling - I have canoe/float trips planned the next two weekends.  It won't exactly be race day conditions, but at least I'll be able to go through the motions.  

Regarding orienteering, I feel better about it than I ever have before.  I learned a lot from doing a race back in May - mostly what not to do, but sometimes that's the best way to learn.  

I'm also tentatively planning for the Berryman Adventure Race in September with some guys from the Rufus Racing team.  Hopefully training will continue after the Dusk 2 Dawn and I won't have any issues there.

As far as running races, I plan to do the Mother Road Marathon on 10-10-10.  The course runs from Commerce, OK to Joplin, MO on Route 66.  It's the first year for this local race and I want to support it.  I started training this weekend.  I have plenty of time to work up the mileage so it should be fun.  

So, goals are set - just have to stick to the training schedule.  Planning for 4 miles running, weight lifting and a chill 12-16 mile group ride tonight - that should be enough for one day.  :-)

Till next time - run on!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

6AM is too early to bite the big one

OK - it's a terrible title, but what it should really say is anytime before lets say 9AM is too early.

It seemed there was a new phenomenon this morning while out running with Brooke.  People swerving towards us rather than away from us.  They would just be cruising along then all of a sudden they were coming right at us.  Then there was the guy pulling a boat making a right turn onto the road we were running on.  He never even looked right (shouldn't you look right - just in case??) and came right on out.  Brooke tucked in behind so he wouldn't hit us, but didn't notice I had come to a halt to keep his boat and trailer from taking us out.  It was another near miss, but she looked up just in time.  Maybe it shouldn't have, but it induced giggles from us on our early morning 6 miler.
So, back to the swervers - what causes this?  It's still dark - they still have lights on.  Are they just seeing us, looking our way and naturally going that direction?  Do we just notice it more because of their lights?  Not really sure, but it's something to keep an eye on anyway.  Think about it when you're driving.  Does your gawking cause you to veer towards the object of your gawk?

One more little rant.  Do people not understand that cyclists have the same rights as operators of automobiles?  Well, I know the answer to that is no in a lot of cases.  It happens more and more that I come to a stop sign and people on the through street will come to a stop and wave me on.  I understand in most cases it is to be polite, but it is more than that.  It is unsafe, illegal (I assume), and frustrating.  Unsafe because they are stopping on a road where traffic doesn't expect them too unless they are turning (and then they should have on a signal) and they may not be able to see what else is coming and direct you into harms way.  Illegal because they have the right of way, but it's not theirs to give away.  Frustrating because I have already taken the time to stop.  Once you stop it takes time to get going.  You don't go at the simple wave of a hand, so by the time you end up going (if you choose to do so) it's taken much more time than if they would have kept going and let you go when it was safe and convenient for you.  The same applies to 4-way stops.  Then there's the whole other issue of just not seeing cyclists, but that can wait, I'm all out of venting for this afternoon.  ;-)