Friday, December 31, 2010

End-Of-Year Numbers Geekery

You may know I'm kind of a numbers geek. I keep track of nearly every aspect of every run, ride and exercise I do...not just for OC reasons, but because they usually teach me things about myself and what my body can and can't handle... although there may be an OC component as well (the other night, I was distraught because I couldn't find my detailed cycling records from 1999...a big cycling year for me. I survived, obviously).

So, to make your eyes glaze over, here are this year's numbers:

RUNS: 167
MILES: 1073.2 (PR)
AVG MI/RUN: 6.43 (PR)
JAN-JUNE MI: 852.4 (PR)
JUL-DEC MI: 220.8 (stinking injury!)
HIGH MONTH: 206.4 (April, PR)
HIGH WEEK: 52.3 (April, PR)


MAX PULLUPS: 17 (missed goal of 20!)
SITUPS: 5123
DIPS: 2968

DEADLIFT VOLUME: 60,184 lbs.


Oh, almost forgot:

Okay, I think that's enough. There's plenty more minutiae in my spreadsheet, but this should suffice.

Tune in tomorrow to find out my "Word for 2011!"

Have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve, folks! Bring on 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


To continue the “Non-Running Talk on a Running Blog” and risk losing everyone's interest, I thought I'd post a few entries from an old sketch book, along with an oil painting I did in 1991 (apologies for those of you who have seen them on Facebook).

I do all of my illustration work on the computer, but I used to draw and paint quite a bit. Finding these (while cleaning my office) has rekindled the urge to pick up the pencils and brushes again. Hopefully I'll follow through with that desire in 2011. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Colin Hayes Story (or...A Bit Of Prose, Having NOTHING To Do With Running)

A few years ago, I recorded a solo instrumental CD to send to my clients. To accompany the CD & the artwork, I wrote up a [ahem] bio. I had forgotten about it until I unearthed it while cleaning my office. I hereby present it for your entertainment:

The blues were deeply entrenched in Colin Hayes’ soul from the day he arrived on the scene back in late November of 1950. Those first few chords of Need The Bottle So Bad rang true to the toddler more than even he knew at the time his momma played it for him. As a young boy in inner city Chicago, the smoky clubs sang to him as he leaned against the doorways on cold, windy nights, catching a stray note here and there as patrons came and went. After he learned to walk, a whole new world presented itself as he discovered there was more to blues than spilled cocktails and cool, hip shoes.

A few basses, guitars and funky shades later, he was well on his way to a life he had only dreamed of. The rise was precipitous. Gig followed gig at a dizzying pace. Ray Charles, BB King, Robert Johnson and a slew of other opening acts helped pave the way for those lofty heights that would seemingly never end.

Those were heady days for Hayes. From corner coffee houses all the way to one glorious night at Carnegie Hall, where he played for a packed audience that included President Nixon [side note — this was just before the Watergate scandal. Colin’s encore of
Baby, That Tape Won’t Erase was never more fortuitous]. Needless to say, he brought down the house. And the administration.

Accolades, gifts, solicitations, advice, calls from his mother telling him to eat his vegetables, all swarmed him like fleas on an unwashed alley cat. Proposals of marriage from the British Royal Family were even rumored.

Then, as quickly as he could jam out a twelve-bar blues riff, everything came crashing down. The explanations and excuses soon followed. “He’s recharging his creative batteries,” claimed his publicist. Critics blamed a peculiarly experimental album he had just released,
She So Mean, Got Me Scrubbin’ The Latrine as the cause of his demise. Others pointed to more personal reasons, such as “he has bad hair,” or “his nose is too pointed for my liking.” “He’s just too white” was yet another.

But just as success can inspire, so too can the depths of despair. The embodiment of the blues indeed stems from tough times such as those Colin Hayes was enduring. Living in a ’78 Buick LeSabre and scrawling out lyrics on old cocktail napkins from Chip’s Pub and Florist Haus, he slowly saw his way back to life — life on his terms — not those dictated to him by some stuffy suit behind the desk of a record company. Things started rolling — slowly, as one would expect — then things really did start rolling, as the parking brake on his Buick failed. But the gigs started coming. First, corner laundrymats came calling. Then, the big shows started to materialize. He knocked them dead at Barb’s Bingo Bonanza…literally, unfortunately, as four heart attacks and one stroke occurred during the concert. But, good or bad, he was once again on his way.

Which brings us to the present. A present filled with the promise of a brighter day. One forged by heights and hardships. The culmination of this amazing story you are now holding in your hands. Cherish this, dear listener, as we may never again experience elegant, emotional artistry such as this.

—Charles Cobenali

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Coming Along

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I certainly am...when I can take a break and come up for air. Work has been busier than it's been in a few years. Nice way to end a sub-par year.

The last 3 weeks or so, I've managed to get in a few spins on my Schwinn Airdyne. I've limited myself to 20 minutes per session. Initially, my heel would feel sore the next day or two, but lately it's felt pretty good. Either that area around my heel is getting stronger, or my heel is adapting to the activity. Today, I decided to up the ante just a bit. After my 20 minute "ride", I got on the treadmill and walked for 10 minutes, at a slight incline. I wanted to walk a mile, but erred on the side of caution. I wore my running shoes with my orthotics inserted. We'll see how the heel feels tomorrow.

The itch to run is becoming more intense. I'm seeing my doc next Wednesday, the 5th, so I'll report back on what he has to say about my next step in the process.

My ‘vanity project’ is still underway, though, so I at least have something to keep me motivated!

I envy those of you who are running their last races and last miles of the year. Wish I was out there with you. Like I've said before, run a couple of miles for me!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Still Tender...and Brooks!

Work is INSANE currently, so right to the point: light cycling still bothers my heel. I did a 10 minute spin last Thursday and a 15 minute spin last Saturday, and my heel ached a couple of days after the latter spin. I may try again (maybe 10 minutes), but after walking around last night with my family (after which, the heel felt okay), I may try some walking. I just NEED to get some aerobic exercise. I'm enjoying the weight lifting (which I'm skipping this week, due to work), but I need an endurance fix. As my strength increases, my endurance is bottoming out. I don't like that feeling.

Swimming was going to be an option, but my pool is closed until January I'll at least have to wait until then.

One positive bit of news is that Brooks has invited me back to not only be an ID (Inspire Daily) member, but also a member of their P.A.C.E. team (Performance and Coaching Elite), “reserved for a special subset of Brooks’ top influencers.” (guess I've got them fooled...ha!) I'm honored to be a part of their team for another year. I've said it before, but I was a Brooks guy long before being an ID member. I just need to get over this injury so I can get back out there and do justice to their sponsorship!

If I don't post again this week, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Despite some setbacks this year, I've really enjoyed the friendships I've formed with fellow runners I've met online. Your comments, suggestions and encouragements have been invaluable.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Too Kind Shout-Out

Last month, Craig Romano (a senior writer for Northwest Runner magazine) and I finally met in person at the Fowl Fun Run (my last run to-date, where I paced my daughter in her first road race). We had a great conversation. He followed up with an email, asking about not only my club, but my running parody songs & videos, saying he wanted to mention them in his Club Report article the following month. I just received my copy in the mail today (Jan. 2011 issue) and he was WAY too kind. It was much appreciated. Aside from one slight misstatement (I've only played all instruments except drums on ONE song so far, but I'll be doing that more for future songs; oh, and there are 20 songs now, not 19), it was a great blurb from a great writer & very nice guy. If you live in the Pacific Northwest and you're a runner that doesn't already subscribe to their magazine, you should!
[click article below to enlarge]

Friday, December 17, 2010

So Far, So Good

Not that a ten minute spin yesterday was a major undertaking, but so far today, I have no heel pain. I also did a 5 minute warmup on the Airdyne before my weights workout today, so it seems like my heel can handle small amounts of cardio work at this point. Hey, I'll take what I can get.

Speaking of weights, today's workout took me to a place I hadn't been to in many years — to the edge of puking and passing out. I downed a cup of strong coffee just before the workout (which I've done before), then hit it HARD. I not only increased the intensity on every lift, I also added sets and ended up extending the total workout time to 68 minutes. Too long, based on most knowledgeable opinions. I was training on nerve, starting to get shaky, getting tunnel vision and feeling pretty queasy. I've been hitting my entire body in each workout, but from here on out, I'll be splitting up body parts in order to keep the workouts short(er) and intense, without the overwhelming desire to drive a porcelain bus.

I hope to do another stint on the Airdyne over the weekend — probably only 10 minutes again, just to play it safe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2nd Test

Since last Saturday's 20-minute spin on the Lifecycle seemed to cause my heel to ache the following two days, I thought I'd cut the spinning time in half and give it another go today. If today's ten minutes (this time, on my Schwinn Airdyne) causes the heel to ache tomorrow, I'll know for sure that even the simple act of pedaling is a no-no for the time being. As an aside, it's shocking how much aerobic fitness I've lost, given my perceived effort level during this “easy” 10-minute spin.

I had planned to give swimming a try, but that'll have to wait until after January 5th. My local pool is closed for maintenance until then (I have an unused pass I've already paid for, so I'm not going elsewhere).

On a related note, another “S word” has been floating around the house lately. No, not that. And no, not Santa (okay, maybe a little). I'm talking “surgery.” Again, I'm deferring to my doc for now, but if I can't even pedal a bike, I don't see how running is going to happen until the thing causing the pain is removed. Sure, inactivity may have calmed down the injured area, but that bone growth and scarred Achilles tendon are still there.

So my cardio options continue to be limited, unfortunately. I'd like to start walking on the treadmill (or outdoors, even), but I've been asked to hold off on that for now. It's aggravating, it's frustrating, but it is what it is.

Someday, when I'm out on a pain-free long run, this will all be a distant memory.

Run an extra mile for me this weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heel Update, and Week 4 of Abs

After getting the go-ahead from my doc last week to start incorporating light cycling and swimming into my program, I did some light spinning for 20 minutes on a Lifecycle-type machine on Saturday. While there was no pain nor discomfort during the session, my heel ached all day Sunday and yesterday (around the lower Achilles tendon area; where the scar tissue is). Sooo...maybe I'll skip that for now (or try 10 minutes instead). My current workload is insane this week, but once it lets up, I'll give the local pool a try and see how that feels.

This is week 4 of my Abs Project. If you're interested (and need a good chuckle), feel free to give it a look-see here.

Happy running/training/eating holiday goodies!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giving The Boot The Boot

I just returned from a visit to my sports medicine doc with the go-ahead to start transitioning out of the walking boot. Tomorrow I'll wear it 75% of my waking hours, the next day 50%, the next day 25%, then I'm done with it. I've also been given the okay to do some swimming and light (low gear) cycling (on the indoor trainer). While it's not running, at least I'll be able to remind myself what an increased heart rate feels like. I've enjoyed doing strength training, but I've been jonesing for an endorphin fix lately. Not sure I'll get that fix from light spinning and getting lapped by old ladies at the pool, but it's definitely better than nothing!

As I transition away from the boot, I'll be breaking in my orthotics, then will wear them pretty much full-time. I'll visit the doc again on January 1st. At that point, I'll start specific strengthening exercises for my foot (feet), then, at some point, gradually start running. It'll be a long, slow process, but I'm game.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 3 of the Abs Project, and Orthotics News

I just posted my Week 3 update on my other blog.

My orthotics came in last week. The bad news is that there was some misunderstanding between my wife and our insurance company. Unfortunately, we have to cover the entire cost out-of-pocket, to the tune of over 4 bills. Ouch. The good news is that I may be out of my walking boot this Wednesday (which is my next doctor's appointment), so I'll be able to take advantage of the magical healing powers of the custom orthotics.

Okay, there was some sarcasm there. Who knows, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. It'll still be awhile before I can run, so the only feedback I'll get will be just wearing them around the house and around town.

All for now. I hope everyone's Christmas shopping is going better than mine...considering I haven't started yet!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Embrace the Change

I've been in a walking boot for nearly 3 weeks. It's also been 3 weeks since my last run of the year (the 2-mile fun run with my daughter), and 16 weeks since I've put in as much as 20 miles of running in a week. So, obviously, not a lot of running-related news coming from the Resurrected Runner camp at the moment (thus the infrequent posts and silly videos).

If you've been following my saga, you know how bummed I was when the injury forced me to stop running. It's not easy to have something you love, something that's a big part of your daily life, suddenly removed. There are both physical and psychological ramifications*.

Fortunately, since I've redirected my physical energies toward another venture, I've been able to bounce back. In fact, I'm actually enjoying the break from running as I get back into weight lifting. I won't go so far as to say I was burned out on running — because I wasn't — but I will say that I was starting to put a lot of pressure on myself to perform at a certain level, thereby making me frustrated when I'd run a disappointing race. I'm all for having time and distance goals, because I thrive on them, but when they create so much stress that something that should be enjoyable borders on being a job, or a chore, then it's time to re-evaluate. I was getting to that point, and the injury was exacerbating** the problem.

So...a switch has finally been flipped in my feeble mind that is allowing me to step back and look at my running — and overall fitness — a bit more objectively. I'm more at peace now, and even though I can't currently get my "aerobic fix", I'm enjoying the challenge of working on "getting my abs" and getting stronger. When the time comes when I can start running again, you can bet I'll be ready.

But until then, I'll definitely survive...and maybe even thrive. And you guys & gals can keep the roads and trails warm for me!

*winner of today's Victorious Vocabulary award
**ooh...double the award!