Category Archives: Running

This Week In Running – v4

Nope, I haven’t dropped off on running, but I did stop manually updating on dailymile.com.  You can now follow me at the Garmin site, instead.

Its been another wet week. Drizzle is no fun when its 50 degrees and breezy out, morning after morning. When there’s good chance for rain, I usually leave my music player at home. Without the distraction, runs seem to take about twice as much effort; but, it with nothing else to do, it helps me focus on my breathing.

On Tuesday morning, the rain was coming down by the bucket at normal departure time, so I did some work, and bumped the run to mid morning.  It was kinda weird to be running in daylight.  I also tried out the Iron Horse Trail to get around traffic that I don’t normally incur.  The trail is pretty good for running;  not too much foot traffic and mostly flat except for places where the trail bridges over major streets.

I chatted with another guy on the trail for a bit on the way back.  He asked about the Rochester Marathon on my hat. I said I was new to the area and getting back into running.  I said I thought my marathon days were probably done.  He said, “me too” but went on to say that he’s moved on to Ultras.  I chuckled. He gave me some pointers on where to run and to some local groups where I might find other running mates.  I admit it was kinda nice to get a welcome back to the running community.

Yesterday, even though the radar was clear, I still ran into a couple patches of annoying drizzle.  Added another half mile or so to the long run for the week.  Unfortunately, the route I took ended up being on a no-pedestrian divided highway.  Worked out OK at 5am, bought probably won’t try it again.

Today, I woke up at normal time, listened to rain for about 5 minutes, checked the radar, rolled over, and went back to sleep.  I really didn’t want to take the day off, but I figure I’m overdue and on the road to hurt if I don’t anyway.  So, I used my surplus energy to work on some other delinquent projects around the house.

Even with the day off, I still pulled in 32 miles; fairly respectable.  There’s some dry weather in the forecast, so hopefully, I’ll be more motivated than I’ve been.

Chomping at the bit to get out in the morning…  Lets rack up some more miles!

This Week In Running – v3

Running

Mercy, another week gone by already?  Time for another update.

In a word, miles, lots.  39 to be precise.

Garmin_Connect

Monday through Thursday were my previous daily driver route.  Friday, I added another 1.3 miles to the daily driver.  Saturday was my old long run.

Sunday was supposed to be a new long run, but I found myself out in the sticks with no street lights and pulled an abort maneuver.  There was also a ton of debris in the road from the storm last night.  Oh, yeah, that was also a monster hill.  I turned around at the peak on this chart:

Garmin_Connect

Things have been going pretty well.  My back is mostly back to normal except for the odd twinge now and again.  My feet are pretty tired and my toes are sore at the end of the run, but I think that’s from my shoes being half a size too big (I should have remembered that Saucony’s run big.)

The big problem this week was chaffing.  There, I said it.  The day it rained it bit during the run, my shirt ground up my nipples.  That’s always fun when you get into the shower.  The other days, its been skin on skin as my thighs duke it out.  Hoping some new running shorts should sort that problem out.

Gear Review

The last few weeks I’ve been running with a Garmin Forerunner 10.  Yeah, its kinda chunky (its actually bigger than the iPod shuffle I use for music when running) and not particularly feature packed.  But for $80, it does everything I need and is super easy to use. 2 button presses to start a run, and 3 when the run is done.

The start up time is pretty quick most of the time, but once or twice its taken a few minutes to find out where it is.  I haven’t had any incidents where it loses its place in the middle of a run though.  I don’t have a gauge on how accurate it is out on the run;  it seems to have trouble around big buildings (output looks like I’m running a little drunk.) Out in the open though, it seems to line up with Google maps pretty well.

The computer side is pretty straightforward.  Install a driver, plug the watch into its charger, and plug the charger into a USB port.   The daily part is just the last 2 steps, everything else is automatic.  Your data ends up on the Garmin Connect website.  I haven’t messed around with it all that much, but it seems to have all the pretty charts that I like. Check out my profile page.

At one time, it would have also been possible to upload directly dailymile.com (where I tracked my stats up to now.)  But it needs a browser plugin that’s no longer supported on the Google Chrome browser.  I tried to get it work with Safari instead.  It doesn’t give any errors, but can’t seem to find runs on my watch either.  I’ve been doing manual entries on dailymile after downloading from the watch.  Eventually, I’ll give up on that and just use the Garmin equivalent for sharing.

Wrap Up

Looking forward to more miles this coming week.  Even though its been really wet the last few days in the Bay Area, I’ve lucked out that it wasn’t raining (outside of a little drizzle) during my runs.  Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Let’s do this thang.

This Week in Running – v2

The good:  Yep, still at it.  Broken 100 miles for this streak on Wednesday.

The bad: My back is taking forever to get back normal.  Its to the point where it doesn’t bother much or at all during the run.  But after I’m done, I look kinda like Edgar the bug from Men in Black hobbling down the street.

The ugly: black toenail.  Either I need some new socks, or my current running shoes are half a size too big (probably should stop buying shoes on woot.)

Another 7 days, and another 7 runs.  Nothing particularly eventful, one way or the other; that’s kind of a good thing I think.  I’m not pushing things real hard, but I’m not taking it super easy either.  Something must be going right, because the time on my feet seems to fly by.

I’m pretty comfortable with my weekday routine route.  Its got just enough hills to keep things interesting.  Leaving at 4:25 its pitch black when I start and its just beginning to start to brighten when I return.  I’ve got a blinky light I wear on the back of my hat so folks coming up on me from behind can see me.  I’ve been doing without a headlight, but I’m seriously considering getting one as a lot of the streets where I run have limited street lights.  I’m less concerned about oncoming folks not being able to see me than I am about me running off the road or turning an ankle in a pothole.

At that hour of the morning, car traffic is pretty light.  But, through some strange cosmic alignment, me and the drivers always seem to meet up at intersections at precisely the same moment.  I try to wave the cars through (1. I’m not that important, 2. car vs. human, car wins.  It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong;  if you get hit, you get hurt.) Most drivers gladly hurry by.  Some drivers look at me like I’m from another planet, that a pedestrian is yielding to them.

Ok, that’s enough rambling for now.  I gotta go get moving again before I cease up.

Go big, or go home.

This Week in Running

The streak lives on.  Today was the 21st consecutive day I’ve been running.

Had some rough days this week.  Last week, I had a non-running related injury to my back (not sitting correctly when holding a squirmy 4 year old during a nebulizer treatment at the dr’s office and strained something in my lower back)  Its been haunting me, but its every so slowly getting better.   I had a sympathetic pain in the foot opposite where my back hurts for a few days, ouch.  I’m to the point now where I feel it when I start and it goes it almost goes away after the first mile or two.

Thursday morning, I woke up on schedule and it was seriously raining and pretty windy.  Wind, rain, and 45 degrees, not such a great combination.  But, I checked the forecast, and it said things were going to calm down right about the time I normally roll out the door.  I was skeptical, but sure enough, the clouds parted just about the time I opened the door.  As usual, I was glad I got out in the end as turned out to be the first the day that my pace started to tick back down.

This morning, I wanted to stretch things out a bit and try a new course.  I intended to do something in 5 to 5.5 mile range, but missed a turn (can’t read street signs in the dark without my glasses, dammit) and ended up string things out to 6.7 miles.  The route I’ve been doing has a tiny hill in one spot. This route had a long and steady climb.  I got up it without much fuss, but could definitely feel it in my legs and lungs.  One of the roads I was on (Gregory Lane) has some pretty steep crowning on the edge of the road, may try to avoid that part next time.

Onward and upward.

 

My Triumphant Return

To running that is…

The last few years have been a kind of a mess with young kids and that whole relocation across country thing.  I won’t lie, food is has been my stress outlet during a lot of it, so on went the pounds.  After feeling like a complete lazy slob (as opposed to my normal state of part time lazy slob), this week, I started to run again.

I’m trying to start super slow so I don’t burn out out of the gate, or injury myself (and have an excuse to not run.)  So, I’ve been shooting for around the 30 minutes.  The first day out, my body revolted; it was not happy to leave its sloblike state.  The next day, I tried to get my preferred early morning (4:30, yikes) start time and was greeted by 41 degree temperatures and heavy drizzle.  The next morning it was dry, but only 36.

Surviving that rather rough start, I think I’m back on track.  Everyday sucks just a little less (words to live by.) The challenge now is to keep the streak going and not find excuses to blow off running.

Some observations on returning to running:

  • 4:30 is early.  Yeah, with my crazy schedule, I’m trading in sleep time for exercise.
  • 4:30 is dark.  I’ve been sticking to sidewalks in my somewhat street lit neighborhood for now.
  • 4:30 is quiet.  I like this part.
  • The first few days are the hardest.  Post those first few runs, I was hobbling around the folks in the Day After the Marathon Commercial.
  • My running related muscles seem to remember how to work, but how to breathe when running seems to be something I need to re-learn.  Other than on the first day, I haven’t been really out of breath, but have to concentrate on keeping breathing in sync with pace.
  • Getting out the door is hard, but I never regret running afterward. Its a great mood booster and energizer that lasts for hours.  Oddly enough, even though I’m burning calories, I’m less hungry.

Enough rambling and back patting for now.  Let’s see if I can keep my streak up.

 

The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances – The Oatmeal

The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances – The Oatmeal.

Epic!  I think my favorite quote was “They say you should treat your body like a temple… I treat mine like a fast-moving dumpster.”  Other winners include, “I run long distances to feel good, not to look good” and “But that’s how it goes with runners: through pain, we find serenity.  There greater the agony, the greater our eventual absolution”.

Now, I’ve just got to find some the time and motivation to get myself running again.

Mountain Goat 2013

Asked Jilly if she wanted to go watch runners this weekend and it was all she wanted to talk about.

We had a great time watching the start, killing time walking around downtown, and watching the finishers come in right up close.  Kinda warm for a competitive run, but great weather for watching.

We stayed around to watch the band, but only lasted one song.  Jilly said the music was hurting her ears.  No, worries, it was getting close to lunch time and we were both ready for some food anyway.

Photos by me.  Regrettably, the thumbnail generator in wordpress doesn’t have a way to suggest how to crop, hence the sliced off heads.  Click the thumbnails to review the unfustigated fullsize images.

Boston Marathon Bombing

Hearing about the attack was particularly troubling for me.  I’ve done lots of races over the years.  Many were pretty small, but some were fairly big in terms of runners and spectators.  Its terrible to think that something like this could have happened at any one of them.

I’m kinda outside of the running scene at the moment due to family stuff, but I’m pretty sure that some of my old running buddies were at Boston this year.  I hope everybody was able to avoid the fray or at least make it away unhurt.

As a runner, I can imagine the horror of having a day of celebration ruined by such an event.  I know first hand the investment of time and energy to have a successful go at running 26 miles.  Its very sad that someone needs to mar such an accomplishment for so many people, and their supporters.

As a father, I’m somewhat more troubled.  Initial reports say that some of the killed and hurt were kids.  Last year, I took Jilly to the Mountain Goat race.  While no where near the scale of the Boston Marathon, it still attracts a few thousand runners and a few times that in spectators (and volunteers.)  She had a great time, enjoying the race, the people, and the party afterward.

I was planning to take both kids to the race this year (and probably the Boilermaker, too.)  I probably still will, but I’ll admit that I’ll probably be at least a little paranoid.