Friday, July 31, 2009

Amazing Run-Hike to End a Fun Camping Trip

We just returned from 3 days of camping in the White River Camp Ground, near Sunrise (Eastern side of Mt. Rainier). As is my tradition, I get up early on "getaway" day, drive up to Sunrise, and do a solo hike out to 3rd Burroughs Mountain and back. It's a bit over 8 miles, round-trip, from 6400' elevation to about 7900' elevation. I wore my old retired running shoes, strapped on a fanny pack loaded with 2 water bottles and some granola bars, and took off about about 5:50am. The sky was an un-poluted, brilliant blue and the temperature was in the mid 60's. I ended up running all flats, downhills and slight uphills, and speed-hiked the big hills. And there were, indeed, some big hills. As the name would suggest, there are three "Burroughs" mountains total. The third provides an unbelievable view of the Whitman Glacier on Mt. Rainier. Once you've reached 3rd Burroughs Mountain, there's nowhere to go but back. I mostly had the trails to myself and was free to run and hop over rocks as much as I could, unimpeded by traffic. There were some steep downhills where I had to brake myself as I ran, to avoid pitching over the side of a cliff. I ended with a time of 2 hours and 6 minutes...which was nearly TWO HOURS faster than I did the hike the previously (when I was fatter and in pretty sad shape). My quads and lungs responded amazingly well, especially considering that I wasn't used to the elevation. I can tell the hill workouts on the bike have strengthened my quads quite a bit. My calves and hips are a bit sore, though, but that was expected. But I honestly can't remember EVER enjoying a hike more than this one. I can see what draws you ultrarunners out there! It may be awhile before I consider doing that for 50 or 100 miles, but just that taste of it was very cool. No people (almost), no cars, no polution, no noises other than the wind, a few birds, a squeaking Pica, and my feet crunching over the rocky trail. Oh...and I managed to see a small herd of elk (including one huge bull), 42 mountain goats, and 1 very curious ptarmigan.

My original plan was to do a hill repeat workout on my bike tomorrow morning, but given the above story, I'll still ride, but will probably opt for some mile repeats on a slightly less hilly course. We'll see how badly I hobble when I get up at 5am tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Off to the Mountains!

I had tentatively planned on riding this morning, but, for a few reasons, that didn't happen. We're heading to Mt. Rainier this morning for a camping trip. Last night, I felt absolutely exhausted (I also lifted weights yesterday, after my ride). I thought I was pooped from the heat (we're in the midst of the hottest weather we've...maybe ever...had...supposed to break 100 deg F today), but I woke up with a sore throat this morning, still with no energy. So no ride. I'll go out for a tough ride on Saturday morning. If I start feeling better, I'll get in a good hike.

Since I won't be here tomorrow, I did my weigh-in 1 day early. Here are this week's stats (and changes from last week):

Weight: 147.6 lbs (-.2 lbs)
Waist: 30.3" (-.2")
Bodyfat%: 10.2 (-.3%)
Resting HR: 41 bpm (-2 bpm)

My weight was basically the same as last week, which is interesting. I've been relaxing my diet just a bit...which makes my waist and bodyfat measurements even more surprising. That's the lowest either of those has been since I started keeping track about 10 years ago. My goal for bodyfat % is to get under 10%, so it's getting closer.

I better help finish packing, before I get "the business" from the Mrs. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Early Morning Ride...Nice and Easy

I hadn't planned on riding today, but felt the urge to do a relatively short (20 miles) and easy (16.1 mph avg) ride today. I went out at 6:30am, since it's going to be a million degrees here today in the Seattle area. It was beautiful! A deer even ran across the trail in front of me. There were a LOT of people out, presumably getting their daily exercise in before the sweltering heat kicks in.

Recently, all my rides have been pretty tough, so it was nice to just ride easy this time, without regard to time or pace. I haven't decided yet if I'll go out for a punishing ride tomorrow morning. We're heading out on a camping trip tomorrow, so we'll be packing & loading up. Plus...tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day yet (a bazillion degrees, officially), and even early in the morning, it'll start getting hot and humid. The humidity we've had lately is something us Pacific Northwesterners don't normally have to deal with. As you may or may not know, most of us in western Washington don't have air-conditioned homes. They're usually not needed more than maybe 3-5 days per year. Well, it would be REALLY NICE to have it now. But I'll still take this over the cold spells we sometimes get even during summer. I'll just sit naked in front of an industrial fan. Just not too close. Sorry about the visual.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More Hill Repeats on the Bike

This morning's ride was identical to last Monday's, except that it's quite a bit hotter today. I hit the road at about 9:30am (after rush hour died down) and rode a total of 26.4 miles. That included 16.5 miles of hill repeats (12 hills total). The repeats took 64 minutes. The total ride was 1:39:27. This was one of those workouts where mind games really came into play. I was feeling a bit of stomach distress the whole ride. After the first set of hills, I thought I may not be able to do the whole workout. Then I thought "on race day, if I decide I can't do the first 12-mile hill climb, that's called a DNF". The mental part of endurance training is so much more difficult than the physical. I knew that, physically, I could do this (like I did last week). Mentally, I nearly gave in. I'm glad I didn't. I can't have that kind of mindset - in any aspect of my life, not just sports.
Lots of work to do, so time to shower off this coating of salty sweat and get back to the grind. Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Bit of History

I was digging through some boxes in the garage yesterday and stumbled upon my old high school track spikes (Puma Mirage, from about 1984).I had to put them on. They still feel great! Probably not too many miles on them, since I mostly wore them to meets. Still have some replacement spikes, too. Now I'm itching to wear them again...someday. I may enter a local All-Comers track meet, possibly next summer. They've been boxed up for 24 years, but I still don't know about their structural integrity. I can just see myself rounding the last turn on the track and having pieces of them flying off, like a blown tire on a speeding semi. Or a pulled calf muscle. But, man, putting these on again really pegged the "nostalgia meter". Fun to reminisce sometimes.

A Rare Run

I couldn't overcome my urge to get in a short, slow run this morning. And it's a good thing I was thinking "short and slow"...because that's all I had. I ran 3.5 miles in 29:54 (8:32 pace). I don't know if all the riding has wiped out my legs, or if I'm actually losing some running fitness, but this was a tough run (just a few weeks ago, I ran a pretty easy 10 miles at an 8:09 pace!) But I know that, when the cycling madness ends, I'm sure my running mojo will return within a week or two.

Busy day today, so I'm out! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Another high-effort ride

I rode 35 miles on the bike today (17.5 mph avg), but threw in 5x 1 mile repeats, pretty much all out (with a recovery mile between each). I also threw my chain today for the first time in years. My front derailleur still isn't adjusted quite right, and as the ride went on, it became increasingly more difficult to bump from my middle chain ring up to my large. Finally, at an intersection, a driver stopped to let me go, and when I stomped on the pedal, off went my chain. Had to stop and fix it, obviously, then continued with black, greasy hands. After that, I was pretty much relegated to my middle chain ring. I'll have to fix it before my next ride.

I can tell my quads are starting to get stronger. I haven't been riding a lot (3-4 times/week lately), but have thrown in a lot of intensity in just about every ride. I really sense the need for recovery time, so I'm listening to my body. I could probably do easy rides between my harder ones, but in this case, I don't think there would be much benefit...especially with my race coming up in just three weeks. I could be wrong, but quality is my main objective right now.

Okay, back to work. Have a great Friday night, folks!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Barefoot Ted and Born To Run

As I Tweeted earlier today, there's an interesting audio interview with Barefoot Ted (who I've never met, but lives down the road from me in Seattle) posted on his website. I'm not sure I'm ready to slip off the shoes yet and go for a run, but this whole movement is very intriguing to me. I've run around barefoot in my yard and enjoyed it, so who knows...I may get brave enough to venture beyond.

And if you're a runner, I don't know how you COULDN'T have heard of the recent book by Christopher McDougall, Born To Run. If you haven't read it yet, I IMPLORE you to go buy a copy and read it. It's excellent!

"Could have been the whiskey, might have been the gin..."

"...could have been the three or four six-packs, I don't know, but look at the shape I'm in!"
Was that an old Oak Ridge Boys song? Not being much of a drinker myself (I've had one beer in the last 2 weeks), it was probably the cherry cake, ice cream, zucchini bread and bacon burger with fries. What is the "it" I'm talking about? My weight! My concerned wife told me, in no uncertain terms, that I would start eating more. Last week, I posted how I overshot my goal race weight, losing more than I had planned. Well, I started eating. And eating. And eating. I realized how hungry I was, and how much my body was craving calories. No, I didn't just cram down junk (although there was some of that going on). I managed to bump my weight back up just a bit. Here are today's stats (and the changes from last week):

Wt: 147.8 lbs. (+1.4 lbs.)
Waist: 30.5" (-.3")
Bodyfat %: 10.6% (no change)
Resting HR: 43 bpm (+3 bpm)

No training today, with the exception of some core work and stretching. I'll be back on the bike tomorrow for some sort of ride, depending on how the legs feel. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tempo ride

Today's ride covered a total of 26 miles, but ten of it was at race pace. I used the first two miles to warm up, then pushed the next 10 (in 32:08; 18.7 mph avg), then rode at a steady pace the last 14 miles. Total time was 1:29:14 (17.5 mph avg). The tempo portion was tough. It was slightly uphill with a bit of a headwind (barefoot in the snow, too). I know, sounds like I'm embellishing, but dat's da troof. I preferred it to doing my hard 10 on the way back, which is usually the fastest part of this particular route. My quads were definitely burning the whole 10 miles...and they were still a little sore from the hill repeats on Monday. I'm not positive yet, but Friday's ride may be just a steady ride, with no hill repeats, tempo segments or intervals. We'll see.

I'm starving, so off to find some lunch...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Usually every Saturday at the Hayes household, we have either pancakes, Belgian waffles, or French toast. The rest of the week is either cold cereal or oatmeal. This morning, I had a hankering for something more than a bowl of cereal. Thus, the above, very satisfying breakfast:

3 large eggs, mixed with:
1/8 cup nonfat milk
handful of chopped broccoli
handful of chopped red bell pepper
3 sliced mushrooms
1 slice of chopped tomato
handful of chopped steak from last night's dinner
ground pepper, to taste
handful of mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top

1 sliced, fresh home-grown apricot
1 english muffin with butter and strawberry jam
1 cup black coffee
1/2 cup orange juice
drugs (multi vit, vit C, glucosamine, fish oil, flaxseed oil)

Yum! Good fuel after yesterday's bike ride. Speaking of which, my legs are pretty beat this morning (and I love it!), so I'll stick with some upper body strength training and core work today, then hit the bike again tomorrow. Have a great day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great ride today!

I decided to do my first hill interval ride this morning. The total mileage was 26.4, but a good 16 (or so...didn't measure) was hills. I rode a total of 12 hills in about an hour (total ride was 1:39). It was brutal, yet extremely satisfying...and much needed. It helped my confidence immensely, especially with the crazy bike leg in the Whiskey Dick Triathlon next month. I keep learning that we can do MUCH more than we think we're capable of, and how much of our self-imposed limits are in the mind. I'm much more of a runner than a cyclist, and I'm familiar with the pain and discomfort that comes with running...but even with all the cycling I've done this year, the pain from riding hard is still something I'm learning to deal with. Today's ride was a big step toward understanding how to handle it a little better.

Right now, I'm thinking of taking tomorrow off from riding and/or running and doing some strength training. Maybe riding M-W-F this week, but all three rides being intense. As you can see, I'm not currently using a pre-written training plan. I'm trying to gauge my recovery and listen to my body right now. When I begin my half-marathon training, I'll (for the most part) abide by a written plan.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More of the same

This morning's bike ride was supposed to take place yesterday (Saturday) morning, but I spent FAR too long adjusting my front derailleur. I'm talking, oh, close to two hours! A bike tech I am not. Plus, I was feeling pretty beaten down from a few tough training days in a row, so moving that ride to this morning was probably for the best. It ended up being 25 miles of rolling hills on local roads, and was a bit slower than the last couple of rides. I ended the week with 110 miles of cycling and 4.5 miles of running. I haven't decided on what my training plan is for tomorrow. But one thing I DO know is that I will be eating more. Like I mentioned a few days ago, I overshot my goal racing weight by about 4 lbs. so far. My wife has told me that I WILL eat more. No, I'm not one of those rare men with an eating disorder. I just go into things like this full-bore, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead and, no surprise, I overdid it a little. I'm not going to use this as a license to eat more junk (although there will be some treats...and beer...consumed), but I'm afraid my low bodyweight and hard training are going to compromise my immune system if I don't make some adjustments.
Time for bed. Have a great week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Favorite , by Sir Colin T. Hayes, PhD, Esq.

The shiny 2002 Fuji Roubaix hung proudly from the red ceiling hooks in the garage. A mere ten feet away sat a pair of Brooks Defyance 2 running shoes, a sad tear of neglect streaming down its laces; a victim of seemingly endless taunts from the Fuji. "He doesn't love you anymore. Now I'M his favorite", gloated the Fuji. Brooks, now weary of deflecting the bitter jabs, could only sit weeping silently and longing for those productive days gone by. Suddenly, Fuji's braggadocious barbs were broken by the sudden sound of the squeaking door, revealing a tall, thin figure. He was immediately recognizable to both parties. Fuji instantly became as excited as a black lab pup eager for a morning walk. Brooks, meanwhile, felt a dim glimmer of hope, yet had already sadly deferred to Fuji, based on recent encounters. The man would undoubtedly favor Fuji yet again and share a sunny, breathless ride togeth...wait. Was it wishful thinking, or did Brooks feel the man's gentle hands? Yes. Yes, is the day! The man and Brooks would experience the road together once again, just like old times! And outdoor adventure was indeed at hand! As they left the cool garage, they glanced over at Fuji and caught his indignant scowl. "I'll ride again soon, Brooks! I'm still his favorite! You'll be back on the floor and forgotten again in no time!" Brooks just smiled, as any happy running shoe would, and prepared for the endorphinized exhilaration soon to come.*

*Colin Hayes and Brooks shared a 4.5 mile run at 6:30 am that day, in a time of 37:49, for an easy pace of 8:24 per mile.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today's bike ride, weigh-in stats, plus great video

I decided against riding the same route as the last two days. I needed a mental break from the traffic and hills, so I returned to my old favorite, the Centennial Trail (out and back from Snohomish, WA to Arlington, WA). I pushed the pace more than I had planned and ended up averaging 17.7 mph for the 35 mile ride, which is the fastest this year. My legs are toast from three straight, tough, riding days, so I'll rest them tomorrow and ride again Saturday morning.

This morning was my weekly weigh-in. Here are this week's stats (along w/the changes from last week):

wt: 146.4 (-2.2)
waist: 30.8" (-.2")
bodyfat %: 10.6 (-.1%)
resting HR: 40 bpm (-1 bpm) My weight is still dropping. I'm still eating smaller portions and relatively cleanly. I'm obviously burning quite a few more calories than I'm taking in. The bike rides this month are probably going to burn even more than usual. I'm a bit below where I want to be (~150 lbs), so I need to address this. I'm now down 18 lbs since January of this year. As for the other stats, my waist is now as small as it was in high school (we're talking 25 yrs here). My resting HR is as low as it's been in many, many years...ALTHOUGH it was elevated when I woke up (50 bpm). That, coupled with the continued weight loss, could mean I might be overtraining. Looking at my current training levels, I wouldn't think so, but it's something I need to really pay attention to.

One of the podcasts I listen to is from Running Times (the magazine). They're usually short audio files; often interviews by Scott Douglas of pro runners or coaches. The latest is a video, showing Sara Vaughn doing a variety of core exercises. Check these out. They're great! I'll be incorporating several into my routine. Since "part 1" is in the title, I would imagine there will be more coming soon. I'll post more links when they're available.

EDIT: and, as a 42-yr old guy, I like this article!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More of the same

My workout today was identical to yesterday's: 25 mile bike ride on local roads with some hills. Time, which isn't that important at this point, was 1:29 and change. Just getting the miles in and getting my bike legs. Going to ride tomorrow, too. Haven't decided where yet. It might be the same as today and yesterday. I'll do some strength work later today. I've slacked off on my core work.
Have a good one!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I think I found my a little rant

I may have found my fall half marathon. It would be the Spokane Half Marathon and, coincidentally, the date is October 11th...working perfectly as my Worldwide Festival of Races race. I have family in Spokane, WA, so all around, this looks like a perfect fit for me. I can't wait to seriously train for and run it.

Now...I have something I need to get off my chest. This has nothing to do with running or training. It's a situation I've been in twice in the last 4 days. I'll start with this comment: if you work behind a counter somewhere, a simple "how are you doing today?" and a nice smile will go a long way in making a customer feel like he/she made the right decision by soliciting your place of employment. On Saturday, I was at a hotel in Omak, WA and felt like I was an unwanted intruder as the guy behind the counter mumbled and scowled his way through our encounter, making me and my family feel uncomfortable and intrusive. Tonight, I had to make a purchase at a big-chain auto parts store and the guy who took my money acted like I was a total pest. No, you may not be having a good day, and you may not be working at your "dream job", and yes, times are tough, but you are gainfully employed. Many, many people today aren't. Even if you have to fake it, make your customers feel welcome and wanted. They'll come back. They might recommend you to others. Then, when your work day is done, go home and go take out your frustrations on a good run. See, I did tie this to running after all! Okay, rant over.

Routine Ride

I'm finally back in town for awhile and ready to get serious about the cycling. I just returned from a 25 mile ride on local roads with some hills (same course as my ride on 7/11). Not going for time, but I was a bit faster this time (averaged 17.2 mph this time, as opposed to 16.8 last time). The meat of my training this month will be over this same course, as it has a nice assortment of quad-burning hills. I'm also planning on 2 or 3 time trials on my Centennial Trail course. I'm thinking 10 miles at race-pace on the way out, then easy for the 10 miles back. I may also do some mile intervals. I probably won't do any really long rides, since I have a decent base already built. As for my now-neglected friend running, I'm hoping to visit him about once a week the rest of this month. Probably easy 5-mile runs. But as I've said, the focus will be on building my speed and strength on the bike, so I don't embarrass myself on August 9th!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A run in Omak, WA

Out of town again this weekend...this time in the little town of Omak, WA (N. Central part of WA, for those not familiar). Yesterday it reached 97 deg. F here. Got up at 6am this morning and ran 7.3 miles in exactly an hour. My course was a loop near our hotel, but the first time around, I deviated from the loop and up (and I do mean "up") a half-mile hill. I don't have a GPS watch, so after the run I drove the course to measure it and couldn't believe I ran up this hill non-stop. I wish I had my bike. I would have done repeats on the hill. Oh well...a run was all I could do while here sans bike. My right hip was barking quite a bit during the latter part of the run, and I'm wondering if this hill contributed to it.

We head back home tomorrow. I'll switch to cycling almost exclusively the rest of this month, with an easy run thrown in here and there to break things up.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

On the bike again...finally!

Went for a 25 mile bike ride this morning on local roads. My course included a few good hills. After warming up, I tried to stay in my large chain ring on a lot of the uphills. I didn't feel especially powerful, but I managed to average 16.8 mph, including some traffic stops. I was a bit surprised and disappointed when I looked at my log and realized I only rode 50 miles in June. I need to start riding frequently and hard, or the bike leg of the Whisky Dick Triathlon on Aug. 9th is going to be very uncomfortable. It probably will be, anyway, but I should try to be as prepared as possible. Oh, by the way, this was my first ride since getting my bike professionally tuned up. I could notice a difference. Had to stop during my ride to adjust a rubbing derailleur, but overall the ride was nice and smooth. I'll be putting on new tires soon.
We're making a brief trip out of town this weekend (no bike, but the running shoes are coming along), then it's back to the bike on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

First run back home

It was refreshing to go on a late morning run today and NOT feel beaten down by the heat and humidity of Central Florida. I enjoyed the visit, but I think I had a bit of a cocky attitude going into my runs down there. I'm not in mind-blowing shape right now, but I'm probably as fit as I've been in, oh, eight years maybe...and feeling pretty good about it. The first couple of runs weren't terribly difficult. The last one, however, wiped me out. So today I ran a fairly slow 7 miles on my hilly trail in 58:11 (8:19 pace). I ended up having stomach cramps the last 2 miles, along with some tightness in my lungs. I haven't felt 100% the last few days, and even thought I thought I was okay, that "under-the-weather" feeling came back near the end of the run. I was called out on Facebook by my friend and Whisky Dick Triathlon teammate Arthur about running today and not cycling like I should be. Okay, he got me. I just felt like running today. I probably should have gone for a ride. I was planning on doing that tomorrow, but I had a crazy rush job come in late today that will keep me busy tomorrow and all weekend, it looks like. If I can fit in a ride, I will.

Amazingly, I lost .6 lbs while on vacation. I say "amazingly" because I didn't have the cleanest of diets (pizza, fish and chips, beer, cake, ice cream, etc), but I'm obviously still burning more calories than I'm taking in. Here are this week's weigh-in stats:

Weight: 148.6
Waist: 31"
Body Fat %: 10.7
Resting HR: 41 bpm

I hadn't seen my "six-pack" for about 17 years...until now. Maybe that's keeping me from eating as much as I should - just the thought of my midsection increasing again. I know - eat fairly clean, but just increase the quantity. If worse comes to worse, I'll start counting calories (which I HATE doing).

All for now. Have a great night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Florida wrap-up

Well, the one last run I wanted to get in while here in Florida just isn't going to happen. I've been dealing with a pretty upset stomach and some fatigue the last couple of days. I'm not entirely sure why, but I do know that my long run on Sunday morning ended with me feeling very hot, dizzy and with shallow breathing. Don't know if the heat and humidity is finally catching up with me, or if I'm trying to fight off some bug (my wife has also been feeling a bit of the same). So instead of forcing a run here tonight (our last night here, when family will be over and I should be "sociable" anyway), I'll just concede and regroup when we get home tomorrow night. I was able to get in three runs (16.2 total miles), all-day swimming and sliding at Adventure Island in Tampa (a big water park), and swimming at the beach a couple of nights ago. I checked the scale this morning and I'm up 1 lb (but it was post-breakfast). Not bad. Tried to eat fairly clean, but that wasn't always possible. Drank no soda, though, which I've been trying hard to eliminate from my diet.

My bike is ready at the shop, so it should be ready to scream. Hopefully I'll be ready to beat up on it a little. That will be my focus the rest of July, with a few runs thrown in for variety, and to keep my running legs ready for the switch back to a running focus after the triathlon.

So I'll be checking back in after we make the flight across the country tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hot & humid - long run cut short

Even by starting my run before 7:00am, I wasn't able to avoid the heat and humidity here in FL during my weekly long run. I was shooting for 9 miles (5 loops of my 1.8 mile course), but I could only make it around 4 times (7.2 miles) before it was a bit too much. I started getting a tad dizzy and my breathing more labored than it should have been. The good news was that the 8:25 pace I was running seemed VERY slow. That was my 3rd run while down here on vacation (16.1 miles so far). I hope to get in at least 1 more before flying home early Wednesday morning. I do miss the hills, but the heat and humidity is adding another dynamic to my training. Not sure it'll translate to any kind of improvement, but I like finding out how my body will respond to different stressors.
I hope everyone enjoyed their celebrations yesterday!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Wishing everyone a happy & safe Independence Day and a great weekend! God bless!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Night run - half slow, half (too) fast

The rain finally subsided here in St. Pete, so I talked my little sister into going for at least part of a run with me. My loop here is 1.8 miles. She made it around one loop with only a little walking. She's not a runner, but could be if she works at it...and I think she might. After one lap she was done, but I took off at sub-race pace. I ran the last 1.8 in 12:42 (7:00 pace). Not exactly sure why, but I felt the need to blow the doors off after the slow lap (22:13). So the total time was 34:56 (9:42 overall pace).

I don't intend this blog to be a "man, I really love running" blog...but man, I really love running. I've completely fallen in love with it all over again. If you're a runner, I don't have to explain the feelings that come with a good run, after you start getting into shape. I hope I haven't cursed myself here, but I haven't felt this good in many years. I'm anxious to keep it going and see what can happen.

Better get to bed. We're hitting a big water park in Tampa tomorrow. Can't say I'm too excited about it, but the kids are, and that's what counts.
Good night!

RRT & Shoes

Last night, I had the privilege to be a co-host on the Runner's Round Table #36, where we interviewed Charlie Colpaert from Fleet Feet Sports in Chicago. It was an interesting and informative episode. I brought up an issue I hadn't really talked about on this blog, and that was my poor choice of training shoes several years ago. I wore Nike shoes through the mid-90s. Then I switched to Brooks. Brooks Beast, to be precise. As you know, I'm not a big guy. Brooks Beast is for big runners. Big runners who have low arches and pronate. I have high arches and underpronate. So why did I choose the Beast? Well, the key word in the previous sentence is "I" in "I didn't get professional advice" before buying them. I have a runner friend who is a larger runner and I believe he wore them. I was having issues with my right knee and IT band and figured I needed more stability to address the problem. I didn't do my homework, obviously. I stayed in that model for 3 or 4 pair and ended up really messing myself up. I think it was the main contributing factor in my demise as a runner a few years ago. I still have yet to get a gait analysis by a shoe expert, but I did much more research (EDIT: and was advised by my good friend and ultra-runner extraordinaire Arthur Martineau) before buying my current shoes, the Brooks Defyance 2, which are much more suited to my feet and legs. I still have some minor IT band issues (mostly some occasional hip discomfort), but I can tell these shoes have made a major difference in my "running resurrection"! Check out the podcast if you get a chance, and pop in every Wednesday, usually at 4pm EST.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Still no sunshine, but alas, a run!

Just finished a 5.4 mile run here in St. Pete. Cloudy, but VERY humid. Still dripping sweat onto my wife's laptop (she'll be thrilled). Time was 42:07 (7:48 pace). Tried to keep it slow, but was a bit quicker than expected. It is flat down here, though. Doing some stretching, decline (feet up) pushups & situps, then a cold shower. As muggy as it was, I enjoyed the diversity of a run so different than what I'm used to.

Ain't No Sunshine...

Here we are in the "Sunshine State", and it's been doing nothing but raining. We had a good rain & lightning storm this morning, which put the kibosh on my planned morning run. I wasn't too upset, since I'm feeling a little jet-lagged. The rain has stopped, but it's still cloudy. I'm contemplating a pre-lunch run, although it'll still be hot and muggy, especially to this Seattlite. If that doesn't happen, I may join my sister at the gym later today and hit the treadmill and/or stationary bike. I'm itching for activity!
All for now. Train hard & train smart!