Monthly Archives: May 2005

Running Update

Geez, I’ve been so bad about posting my running progress lately. Seems that by the time all the work, chores, and running is done, I just done have any motivation to do anything, let alone try to put words together. That being said, I’ve have still been pretty motivated to run. At work, the lunch time run is always a welcome distraction to the daily grind. Outside of work, the weather has been pretty decent for a Central New York spring. Guess anything less than 100% rain, is a good start.

I’m proud to say that my first half marathon, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Half Marathon (in Utica, NY) is now in the books. Last Sunday, the weather was a little more like the average spring day in CNY: overcast, off and on sprinkles, 49 degrees and kinda windy. Sounds kinda yucky, but it wasn’t too bad; my only problem was figuring out whether to weather short or long sleeves. I guessed short sleeves and it worked out pretty well. During the run I was only a little chilly for the first mile or two, then things felt just right. But, after a pretty good sprint (for me anyway) to the finish line, I made quick run back to the car to grab my long sleeve jersey, as the wind was whipping pretty good at that point.

The course was great. Being a Utica native, I was pretty familiar with the general area of the course from my biking days (I was never really a runner when I lived in Utica.) I really like races where you don’t need to share the road with cars, especially when the roads or lanes aren’t closed off specifically for the run. In this
race, only 2 miles of the course (1 mile out and 1 mile back) shared the road (via a closed lane). The rest of the race is on the Erie Canal multipurpose trail. Its pretty close the water so the ups and downs are pretty limited. I was little worried at first, as the last time I was on the trail, it wasn’t paved for most of the running course. The last thing I was interested in was a 7 or 8 miles of running very slippery mud. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the course paved and the bit that wasn’t paved was stone dust. Surprisingly, even though the trail was only about 6 or 8 feet wide in most places, traffic was never a problem for me. But, then again, it wasn’t like I was in the top ten or anything like that.

Around mile 5 for me and my running pal Larry, the leaders were already on there way back. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jim Fiore as one of the front runners. He was one of my professors at MVCC. I run in to him from time at running events in Utica. I caught with him again at the finish (after the race, duh) and found out that he won it. Way to go.

Through most of the race, I felt pretty quick and was a little distressed about shooting my proverbial wad too soon and not being able to finish. Its kinda strange, but your legs seem to have a mind of their own on race day. My brain was saying, “yo, you better slow down.” while my legs were saying, “let’s do this
thang…” I took my last water break around mile 11 or so and told myself, good, bad or other, it’ll be done soon. 2 more hills to and I’m feeling good. The ladies at the last water stop said I was looking good, anyway.

In the final stretch, some flat, a quick up, then a quick down to the finish line. I remember thinking, whoa, this is pretty cool. You just ran about 13 miles, and you’ve still got something left for the finish. A couple of more “you’re almost there’s” from some cops blocking the road and I decided it was time to shift
into high. It was great to clear the top of that final hill at full stride and ride it on out to the finish. Even better was seeing the clock; it said 1:59:45 when it first came into focus. There was a guy at the finish line with a megaphone calling out the finishers as they tromped in. I gave him a high five. I think I finished somewhere around 2:00:10; the official results still haven’t made it to the site yet.

Man, what a wild ride. If you told me 5 years ago, that’d I be running 40 miles a week and doing 10 mike and half marathong races, I’d have surely laughed solidly in your face. But, now I have to face it, I’m addicted. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t hate starting to run, but hate stopping. I’m also to the point, that somedays, I have to force myself to stop, knowing that few extra miles might not be the best idea, and that I’ll regret it later. I run to get extra energy, not to burn it off. I’m pretty worthless after 7pm on the days I don’t run. Hmm, I’m kinda feeling like a run right now.

So, what’s next? The Boilermaker is coming up in about 6 weeks. Its always a hoot. I’m looking foward to bettering my time significantly, since I’ve actually been running with some consistancy this year and not trying to pull it off as a one off like I did last year. Probably do some random 10K’s, another half marathon or two, and there’s always the Corporate Challange. I’m probably gonna try to do a bunch more miles on my own; hope the summer isn’t too hot.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and watch the miles pile up!

Ahh. Vacation good.

Very good, indeed. 4 days of nice relaxing. Running, skating, sleeping. I could get used to this. Finally getting around to enjoying my deck. I’ve always wanted to drag the ole’ laptop out to the deck and pretend to be productive, so that’s what I’m doing now. Wireless ethernet is damn cool. Man, getting back to work tomorrow is gonna be tough. Since I’m getting caught up on stuff I’ve been meaning to do, maybe I’ll trying
biking into work… we’ll see…

Coming Soon: Self Heating Containers?

Yep! Buy your pre-brewed coffee (or tea, soup, or even baby formula) in its own self heating container. A company called Ontech has blown through a cool $20 millon in development of the idea, now protected by 120 different patents. Be sure to check out their demo video.

Hmm. I can hardly wait for the law suites to start flying. If people are unable to prevent themselves from dumping a hot coffee in their lap at McDonalds, I’m not holding my breath on how well they’ll be able to handle these new high tech containers.

Props to Gizmodo for the pointer.

Do Run Run

Geez, I’ve gotten pretty bad about keeping up on blogs lately. With the weather taking a decided turn for the better, I’ve been doing a bunch of running outside. I’m partly trying to make sure I’m ready for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Half-Marathon next weekend, and partly just plain enjoying being outside.

On Saturday, I was planning on doing 13.3 miles on my newly defined half-marathon training route, but only squeaked out 10.3; The weather pulled a fast one on me and I ended up over dressing, over heating, and getting pretty dehydrated. Dark grey skies at the start told me to wear long sleeves, but soon out onto the course, the skies cleared and the sun came pouring out. Felt kinda slow the whole way through, but turned in a decent 9:06 pace.

On Sunday, the weather seemed a little more stable. The sun was out and it was cool and breezy. Went with a nice light New Balance short sleeve jersey. To combat the dehydration, I finally got around to digging out my CamelBak hydration system from my biking days. On the bike, you after you get used to the straps, you pretty much forget its there. Its a 50oz’er, so, fully loaded it ways about 4.25 pounds. I figured that I’d better start off lighter than heavier, so I filled up about half way and did my best to burp out the air bubbles.

Hmm, it definitely takes some getting used to. Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. Slosh, slosh, slosh. But, all in all, not too bad. After the first few miles, I was appreciating the water more than I was being annoyed by the noise. I’m guessing that if I had my iPod on, I probably wouldn’t notice it all. I left the iPod home for 2 reasons: First, I wasn’t 100% sure it wasn’t going to rain; I’d hate to drown my beloved music player. Second, I want to be sure that my CamelBak hadn’t sprung any leaks (as my iPod would be clipped in under it).

So, the nice cool weather and carried water allowed me to bang out 14.8 miles, a new max distance distance. Felt pretty good at the end, but the legs and feet were feeling pretty darn beat. Even with the water during the run, I downed a bunch of water and Arizona Diet Peach Ice Tea; I did run into a little problem in the post race shower though; As soon as the nice hot water hit my legs, my calves went to full crampage. Didn’t feel like I was going down, but it was grit your teeth painful for a few minutes. By the time the shower was done, they just felt tired again.

Giving the CamelBak some action again, I was quickly reminded why I didn’t use it more. The water tastes quite garden house like, due to something funky in the bladder or tube. I try to rinse it out pretty well after every use but I guess I should really invest in the CamelBak cleaning kit, which includes some special brushes, some cleaning tablets, and coat hanger looking thing for hanging the bladder out to dry.

I’ve also tried the other well known cleaning trick of cleaning out the bladder and tube by rinsing with mouthwash. Guess I went too heavy on the mouthwash when I gave it a shot, I couldn’t get the taste out for months. At that point, the garden hose taste was better, as the minty fresh mouthwash is far less palatable when you’re dying of thirst.

I figured that my CamelBak is at least 5 or 6 years old by now, probably time to replace the guts. So, last night, I googled around for some replacement bladders. Turns out that the bladder for my pack runs about $20. Less expensive than I remembered. But, last years model of the 50 Oz pack (pack and bladder) is only $24. Geez, there’s nothing wrong with my pack, but for only $4 more, I’ll take a completely new rig. Hmm, wait a second, they have belt mount pack they say is good for running. Sold! I’ll post some feedback on how it works sooner or later.

Back to the grind for now. Hope to have another good high mileage week. Remember: Pain is temporary, pride is forever (anonymously chalked on the Thorden Park water tower hill in this year’s Mountain Goat