Friday, September 28, 2012

I did a bad bad thing

Today's run was okay. Not great but not horrible. Generally, just okay. I felt good for parts of it and felt sluggish and lousy for some of it. The worst part of today's run was my moment of weakness a few minutes ago. I was doing great in listening to some sage advice from Tabbystar and lost it. And now I'll be on my best behavior or Royanna H. will make me pay.

Getting started:

Enough vaguely bizarre speeches. On with the show. Had a few hours to kill before work since I'm on the late shift and decided to do my best to recreate my upcoming OC100 race. Starting to freak out a bit about it but I'm doing my best to keep calm. While I have yet to calculate how the elevation compares between the two, I'm confident in my plan for fueling and fluids. I ran by my car and did just a water stop then ran by a second time and acted as if it were a full aid station. So I think it helped me map out my plan a little better for the race. The water stops are about 3 or 4 miles between aid stations with the full aid stations being about every 7 or 8 miles apart. Each loop is 50k so I get 3 full aid stations plus the start/finish area with water stops in between each aid station. I think I can manage. I still need to plan out my drop bags and gear but getting this part down helps.

Two of the three turtles I saw on the run:

The trail was in decent shape. Some sections were nice and clean while others were a bit raggedy. I also ran through one section where they built what looks like a new septic drain field but I didn't open anything to investigate. Ran by a few people using the trail but nothing terribly exciting other than a lady that was very apologetic about her dogs (they didn't do anything except look at me) and two Park Rangers improving the trail.

The beaches:

My first loop was nice and easy. Took me about 5 miles to warm up enough to keep going at a steady pace. I did my best to run the flats and downs and walk the ups. As I got into my second loop (which I ran in reverse) I started having some issues. My stomach was a bit grumpy but the worst of it was the motivation. It just wasn't there. So I plodded along as best as I could manage. As I was running I had it in my mind to do 3 loops (about 24 miles) but I ran out of time so I had to stick with just 2 loops.

Draining the pool:

And that's it. Unless you want to see the pictures. Then you'll need to step over to my blog for those.

Temps started around 65F but jumped to 80F soon enough. Sun was out in full with a light breeze. Humidity was moderate to low.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was water, iced latte, and a single breakfast burrito. During the first loop I had a hydration pack with plain water and a bottle with Hammer Fizz. At the halfway point (about 8 miles), I had my second breakfast burrito and refilled my hydration pack and Hammer Fizz. Turns out, breakfast burritos SUCK as fuel for runs. As I came through about mile 12, I refilled my pack and bottle again. Recovery was water and iced tea followed by, cringe, McDonalds.

Aches and Pains:
My left quad was grumpy again and my right calf was a bit tight in the middle of the run. Knees were grumpy towards the end. At the halfway point I put some RockTape (KT tape) on my right heel. It felt like it was rubbing a bit.

Wore my Salomon hydration pack for the whole thing. Used an Amphipod bottle in the side pocket. Grabbed a rag/towel/bandana for the second loop (it helped wipe the sweat off my head).

Codename - I did a bad bad thing
I'm done now. I have to be. Okay? Okay.

Loop 1 - 2:06:15
Aid Station - 7:49
Loop 2 - 2:03:59
Finish - 4:18:04

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shit Just Got Real

So as I was waiting patiently for the oil to get changed in my wife's truck this morning, I got an email from the race director of the Oil Creek 100 (OC100). And I nearly shit my pants. It's real. I'm registered for and planning to attempt a 100k race. What. The. Actual. Fuck.

The email is quite long and detailed. Some rules are self-explanatory, like no beer in the school or in the park. Or don't take a shit in the middle of the trail. But some are, well, a bit nerve-wracking. Like buying a bear bell and watching for porcupines. I signed up for a race, not a damn safari. And knee pads? That won't happen. I mean, if the trail is going to fuck me hard, I'll deal with it without the knee pads.

Anyway, here are some highlights:
NO DOGS - I never see anyone show up with a cat - if you or your crew / pacer cannot be without your dog for one weekend, STAY HOME
 This one is talking about the race headquarters which is in a school gym:
if you have mud on your shoes, remove them or expect to be asked to put on protective booties over your muddy trail shoes.
When talking about a particular aid station that is water only:
This is not a road race with a water station every mile, some new to trail ultras apparently don't understand this.
After reading the email three times, I finally noticed one of the first lines:
This will be the only email sent out regarding the race in about 2 weeks - Oct 13th weekend.
Makes me wonder what I get if I go for 100 miles instead of 100k:
In talking about headphone usage:
In the woods, and especially at night, if you need headphones & music to keep you doing, that is your secret and what happens in the woods stays in the woods.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Composting Update

As promised, I took some pictures of our homemade composter that we have outside and the container we have inside.

First, the cheap, easy to make, homemade composter. It's nothing more than a cheap trashcan with holes drilled in it. Be careful though with the holes after you drill them. The plastic was a bit sharp so I had to scrape them to get the filings off. The bungie cord we already had but it helps keep the lid on when we roll it around the yard. I also found a spare brick and piece of concrete to set it on to help with drainage.

Second, the container we already had in the house has been reused for our scraps. I wanted something that could close to keep the smell and bugs to a minimum but also big enough to hold a few days worth of scraps. No sense going outside every day in the rain and snow if I don't have to. But I also wanted it to be small enough to fit in the dishwasher to keep it clean when it needed it. I usually dump it out then rinse it and dump the water in. Helps wash out the scraps and helps keep the pile moist.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Siren Song

Yet another lazy-day run where I just went out to do something just for shits and giggles. Well, not for shits, no point in doing that in the woods unless absolutely necessary. And now that I think about it, I didn't giggle once on this run. So I guess it was just to do something outside in the woods while the weather was nice.

Overall, the run was pretty quiet. Saw a few people out and about but none on the trail. Started at the Turkey Neck parking lot, headed down the far east side of the trail, and turned towards the river for a nice view. Don't know why but the river was calling to me. When I got there, the two people enjoying the beach apparently ruined the mood for me so I started back to the car. Thought about going up Big Meadow and running down the road but ended up going back down the boardwalk to finish on the western side of the Turkey Neck trail. Then I saw some deer just as I made the turn and for some unknown reason felt like leaving them alone and ended up doubling back a bit to take Beaver Dam back to Turkey Neck and back to the car. A few more low trees down but sections of Beaver Dam were weed-wacked and cleared by a rake.

Temps were about 65F to 70F. Nice light breeze. Sunny and clear skies.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was iced coffee, toast, egg, and breakfast burrito. During the run I had my hydration pack with plain water and a small bottle of Gatorade. Still had a ton of water when I finished. Recovery was the rest of the Gatorade and some water followed by an iced latte, two burger wraps, and water.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing major but I kept rolling my ankle. Thankfully nothing painful but it was annoying.

Had my Salomon hydration pack. Also packed a knife for some reason. Wore my Instincts (street shoes) instead of my Lone Peaks (trail shoes) to see how they would handle the trails. Turns out it's like driving on bald tires. Most of the time you'll be fine but when you really need traction, it won't be there. In other words, it didn't work out so well.

Codename - Siren Song
As I said earlier, the river called to me. I have no idea why. Maybe it's some primal connection I feel to the beach there. The other beach I have no connection to and couldn't care less about it. But I felt the need to go to the beach today. So I did. Then it was boring. So I left.

Splits are by RunKeeper so may not be accurate.
Mile 1 - 11:36
Mile 2 - 15:25
Mile 3 - 16:22
Mile 4 - 12:21
Finish - 56:44

Podcast - Mile 42 - Podcast Advice Gone Wrong

So I read an article about some advice for people doing podcasts. Some of the advice included "using an authentic voice" and other such nonsense. I say nonsense in a sarcastic way though because it was good advice. For everyone else. Most of the advice was for those podcasters that actually produce a quality product. Mine, well, you'd be lucky to find it in a WalMart clearance bin. No, I'm not fishing for sympathy, it's just fact. I put very little into the show. I spend a little money to host the MP3 files on Podbean and I made a one-time purchase of a voice recorder. So other than replacing the batteries a few times, I spend nothing on this show. Literally nothing.

Unless you count time. But even there, I spend very little. Like the Ebenezer Scrooge of podcast producers, I record when I feel like it. I then write some drivel and upload on the same schedule. Sure, I try to keep to a "every Monday" kind of schedule but frankly, other things in my life have a much higher priority.

Does this mean I don't like to podcast? No, it means I'm not in it for the fame or money. Even if I was, I couldn't compete with some heavy hitters out there. Even people that aren't big names do better than me. And I'm okay with that. Do I want to be rich and famous? Sure, who doesn't. But this isn't the way it's going to work for me. So for now, I'll just play with my own podcast and do my own thing. Until somebody puts a bell on it and makes it ring.

View the podcast gone wrong at Podbean or download it directly.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hot Girl

A nice easy, slow, lazy-day kind of a run today. I had no plans, no goals, just wanted to get out there and do something. So I did.

Temps were cool, around 60F. Humidity was low. Sun was out but barely peeking over the trees. The breeze was light.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was yogurt with granola and a glass of water. During the run I had one bottle of plain water. Recovery was chocolate ZICO.

Aches and Pains:
Left quad was still grumpy but I didn't care much about it and just kept running. Stepped on a few sharp rocks.

I had to keep my shirt on and wear gloves. Outside of that, it's pretty much the same stuff I usually wear.

Codename - Hot Girl
I may have gone a bit overboard in talking about the hot girl from this weekend's race for my podcast. Damn.

Outbound - 32:37
Inbound - 30:40
Finish - 1:03:18

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 12 Hour ATR Crew Report

The Intro:
For the first time ever, I was a crew member for a runner running a race. I've crewed myself many times over the past few years and have even had a few people crew me during races. But I've never had the desire to help crew. As I've spent the past few years running, I've developed some great friendships, real and online, with other runners and athletes. So it was only a matter of time before I found the perfect running partner. Actually, I've found several over the years but some have moved or moved on. Amanda is somewhere in Turkey or Greece and Catherine is, well, somewhere out of my running circle.

Which brings us to Tabitha, one of many people that I run with but right now, she's the best fit for me. She's faster than me which forces me to push myself. But she's not too fast that I can't keep up with her if I need to. She pushes me when I feel crappy, she talks my ear off about crazy shit, and she listen to my crazy-ass stories. Best of all, she can also run in silence.

Which brings us to the race, the 2012 12 Hour ATR. I've read a few race reports over the years and ran the 8 Hour version (where Tab crewed for me) so I knew the organization would be great. But I've never been to Prince William Forest Park (PWFP) and I had no idea what the course was like. So I was pretty nervous going into this thing blind on many levels and had a few restless nights worrying about getting Tab to her goal of 6 loops (39 miles).

The Course:
The course was much easier than expected. Maybe it was because I was walking the hills or maybe it was because the pace was slow. But damn, things felt so easy and runnable. Nothing at all as difficult as the HAT 50k and, despite being pancake flat, easier than the DRHT 50k. The course is partly single track and partly fire road. There are a few technical sections but generally it's pretty simple and mindless running where you just run and enjoy the scenery. Each loop is 6.5 miles and you run as many loops as you can. There is an aid station at the Start/Finish and a water cooler around mile 2 or so on the loop. Just water though, nothing else. The park was open to the public so you did have non-runners and a few bikers on the trail, but they generally just stepped aside and watched in awe as people just kept running.

The Nitty Gritty Details:
I arrived just in time to pull into the main parking lot to see it full. I saw Tab's car, ditched my stuff there, then headed back to the other parking lot. As I turned around, a guy said he was the "shuttle" and would wait for me up there. I followed him back to the other lot, parked, and hitched a ride with another runner in the back of his truck.

The race was scheduled to start at 0615 and as I strolled into the mass of runners waiting, I only had 5 minutes or so before go time. I found Tab and Nora (and Nora's husband Ivan). The runner's made their way to the start line, got the pre-race brief, we met the virgin ultra runners, and the youngest (12 year old female) and oldest (62 year old male).

And without any fanfare, the race started at 0627. Ivan was crewing and pacing Nora so we hung back, watched them leave, and then proceeded to wonder what the hell we were going to do. So we sat down, talked, and were generally bored out of our skulls. This would be a recurring theme for us. We'd help our runners in and out of the aid station in a flurry of activity and then sit down and do nothing.

The Hard Data:
The data is going to be broken down by loop. As I said earlier, Tab's goal was 6 loops or 39 miles. This would be a time and distance PR. Each loop is 6.5 miles. You'll see in a second that she ended up going further with 7 loops (45.5 miles). But I'll get to the end in a bit. Oh, and this is what I saw. Many loops ended with her going through the aid station without me being there while I was getting her stuff ready. So this isn't a complete list.

1 - water in a handheld bottle and EFS in a small handheld
2 - water in a handheld bottle and EFS in a small handheld
3 - water in a hydration pack and EFS in a small handheld, flat Pepsi
4 - water in a hydration pack and EFS in a small handheld
5 - water in a hydration pack and EFS in a small handheld
6 - water in a hydration pack and EFS in a small handheld, flat Pepsi
7 - water in a hydration pack and EFS in a small handheld

1 - Honey Stinger waffle
2 - Honey Stinger chews
3 - 1/2 a PDJ, Magnesium Phosphate
4 - Magnesium Phosphate
5 - pierogi, ramen noodles
6 - ramen noodles, pretzels
7 - ramen noodles, bagel

1 - headlamp
2 - changed hair
3 - dropped handheld and picked up Nathan hydration pack, fixed shoes, got a visor, fixed hair, changed top
4 - changed shoes
5 - no change
6 - no change
7 - no change

1 - tried to pop back
2 - Formula B on left hamstring and IT band
3 - none but asked for KT tape the next loop
4 - shoes hurt, bathroom
5 - tried to use KT tape on leg but peeled it off, castor oil
6 - Imodium, had blister pain
7 - castor oil, bathroom, blister pain

1 - temps about 60F, low humidity, no sun until about 0700 (30 minutes into the race)
2 - 60F, low humidity, sun, light breeze
3 - 65F, low humidity, sun, light breeze
4 - 70F, moderate humidity, sun, light breeze
5 - 75F, moderate humidity, sun, light breeze
6 - 75F, moderate humidity, sun, light breeze, partly cloudy
7 - 75F to 80F, moderate humidity, sun, light breeze, partly cloudy
Splits are by my watch, nothing official. I'd hit the split when she crossed into or out of the parking lot. So the time spent in the "aid station" was from the end of the trail, through the parking lot, across the timing mat, through the real aid station, back through the unofficial "aid station," and then back to the trail.

Loop 1 - 1:24:32
Aid Station 1 - 5:08
Loop 2 - 1:27:48
Aid Station 2 - 4:27
Loop 3 - 1:33:34
Aid Station 3 - 7:53
Loop 4 - 1:33:03
Aid Station 4 - 9:13
Loop 5 - 1:31:13
Aid Station 5 - 11:45
Loop 6 - 1:38:17
Aid Station 6 - 15:30
Loop 7 - 1:40:41
Finish - 11:43:10

Miscellaneous Notes:
- bring food and drink for the crew
- bring a deck of cards or a book for the crew
- bring dry and wet towels for the runner
- bring bags for the runner's dirty clothes and shoes
- bring extra bottles to speed up the aid station time
- bring chairs for the runner and crew
- take photos (I sadly took three, none of my runner)

Tab had a pacer for her last three loops. On loop 5, another runner Mike and myself went out with her. Overall, I could tell she was tired and wanted the pain to end but Mike did a great job talking to her and keeping her busy. I didn't. I completely sucked at keeping her occupied but I think that's because I felt like a third wheel out there. Nothing against Mike, he seems like a great guy, but I didn't feel like I could measure up to him socially (if that makes sense). So I felt like I had no say in how things went. I interjected here and there but it didn't feel like I did much beyond run with them and add a few comments here and there. Although, I did open up about the hot girl running the relay. Might not have been a good idea to share that much information but hey, what happens on the trail stays on the trail, right?

For loop 6, she had Mike again (for a mile or two at least before he dropped). She also had her husband Jason out there. I expected this loop to suck the most but she pushed through the pain and did great. I was ready to go back out there with her but she came through and told me to sit tight, rest up, and be ready for another loop. So it was hard to run a loop, wait a loop, then run another loop. Not so much physically hard as much as more anxious than the other loops. I was ready to go but had to wait.

For loop 7, the last loop, it was Jason again and myself. And while I felt like a third wheel sometimes (I'd think that's a bit obvious when you run with a husband and wife), I managed to take charge and tell Tab what she needed to do and to not panic. And she wanted to a few times. She'd continually check her watch worrying about her time since we had about a 20 minute cushion to finish this loop. In reality, we had more time than that but that's what I was telling myself and her to push us both at the right pace. I could tell the pace was slower this loop than loop 5 but still tolerable. It was close to a death march shuffle but she still gutted it out and even found the energy somehow to push the pace a bit on the steeper downhills. She stumbled a bit on the technical sections but did better than expected.

The Finish:
As we rolled into the final miles of the last loop, I could tell she smelled the barn and picked up the pace a bit. We passed people and got passed. It was all about finishing. I knew we had it in the bag with about a mile to go but still tried to push her a bit. Turns out, no pushing was needed; she pushed herself. We came into the parking lot, she crossed the timing mat, and the race was done.

The Second Finish:
But I didn't finish there. You see, Nora was still out there trying to finish her loop 8 with her husband pacing her. So I ran back out and followed them in the last quarter mile or so. She clicked along at a solid pace, pulling away from me as she walked up the hills. While she may have considered me her adopted crew, I just did my best to help her as much as I could. From what I could see, she didn't need much help. Neither did Tab. They both crushed it out there. All I did was cheer them on, refill their water, then cheer them some more.

The Thanks:
I'd like to thank Ashland Dave for his advice on how to crew a runner. I didn't follow all of his advice and it shows. There's a lot that I'd do differently but I'm still pretty happy that I was able to help as much as I could. I'd also like to thank Tab for letting me crew for her. She put in the training and did all the hard work but was still willing to let me help her. If anyone is ever considering running an ultra or crewing for one, I'd highly recommend doing both. You get to see so many different things from both sides of the fence.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scooby Doo

Finally had enough flexibility to go to the group run at the Y and, generally speaking, had a great time. It was a small group of four (including myself) and as expected, I was the only guy. I'm used to it though and didn't let it get to me like it has in the past. We started out at a very comfortable pace that felt almost slow. And yet I was leading the pack. Felt pretty damn bizarre to be in the front, even though the rest were right behind me. As we cleared the first mile mark, I looked at my split and damn near shit myself. Didn't expect to crank out a sub 10 minute mile and certainly didn't expect it to feel like I was walking. I mean, it was was seriously easy. I was a bit freaked out to see my split and I think my mind played some games with me a bit as I went into the second mile. I still hung with the rest of the group but dropped back a bit when I took my walking breaks. I cleared the second mile still faster than expected so decided to speed up a wee little bit to try to catch everyone else. By the start of the last mile, we were spread out over a quarter mile or so. By the end of the run I managed to catch two people and was within a minute or two of the third. Totally unexpected so I rewarded myself by not going back out for a second 5k. Not really, but it felt like a good argument in my head. I knew I wouldn't have time to go another 5k due to my schedule but I didn't want to feel like I was wimping out too much. In the end, I ended up walking another mile as a cool down just because it felt so damn awesome outside.

Temps were about 60F to 65F. Light wind. Sun was out but sky was partly cloudy. Humidity was low.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was yogurt, toast, egg sandwich, and iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle and a half of plain water. Recovery was some leftovers for lunch.

Aches and Pains:
My left quad was still a bit grumpy but not as much as last week.

Wore my rarely used waist belt so I could carry my voice recorder so I could record an episode of my podcast. Outside of that, the usual gear (although it was cool enough for me to keep my shirt on).

Codename - Scooby Doo
As I walked my final mile as a cool down there was a County Sheriff sitting in his car in the dead-end. He slowly creeped up to the intersection and as I turned around, he followed a truck into the local animal shelter. He then led them across the street to the new Sheriff's Office. I think Scooby would agree that something looks mysterious.

Mile 1 - 9:57
Mile 2 - 10:30
Mile 3 - 10:17
Finish - 31:42 (34 seconds slower than my 5k PR - WTF!)

Gardening and Composting

In an effort to save a bit of money and to eat more greens, we are going to attempt to grow a small garden next year. Nothing too exciting, just a small experiment to see if we can do it. So in an effort to be a bit more environmentally conscious and to have some nice fertilizer for our garden, we started to compost. So far, it's been ..... interesting.

You see, I am no green thumb. I tend to over-water plants, except for cacti, which I don't water enough. So how in the world will I ever get a garden to grow? Hopefully I can read enough books by some other smart people to make things work.

Meanwhile, I get to play with rotten food in the composter. I did some research and learned what can and can't go into a compost pile. I learned there were a million ways to make them and a million ways to take care of them. So I opted for the small, simple option of building a composter out of a trashcan. Why spend all that money on an expensive composter that you struggle with to open? And why build a huge compost pile made out of nice, new lumber that will end up rotting in the ground anyway? None of that made sense to me so I read a few blogs and online articles about trashcan composters and built my own. Actually, I didn't build it. I bought it. For roughly $15, I was able to buy a decent sized trashcan at the local hardware store. I had a drill and drill bit already so I just drilled holes in the bottom, sides, and top of the can.

Voila! A composter! I added some mulch to the bottom just to weight it down a bit and began collecting trash from the house. I learned that meat and dairy don't belong in the compost heap so I avoided collecting those. I knew we would be able to have egg shells and coffee and tea grounds on hand pretty easily. I drink one or two coffees a day and Yvonne drinks one iced tea a day. She also eats an egg sandwich in the morning, so I knew we'd have a decent start. Plus, our house is pretty much dairy-free due to William's allergies. We still have cheese and food that has dairy in it but for the most part, we're milk-free.

My biggest dilemma was how to collect the compost inside the house but without attracting the bugs or producing an awful stink. So, I re-purposed a OXO Good Grips container by taking out the dishwasher soap and putting the compost-to-be inside. It has a lid that seals, it's large enough to collect scraps for a few days but small enough to fit in the dishwasher, and it's easy to see what's inside (and when it gets full).

We've already filled it up twice (the inside container) and last night I had the kids help me dump out the second load. We went outside and opened the trashcan and were suddenly assaulted by a cloud of bugs. I mean, literally, a cloud of flying bugs. So I shooed them away and dumped the stuff inside. I added some scrap newspaper (I ripped it up first) then added some water.

I have no idea how well this will work. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. And my nose plugged.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's a Bonfire

First good run in a long time. Started out this morning wondering if I should just give up on running. Had lots of negative thoughts last night about running and they carried over into the start of today's run. Just lots of bad juju going on and somehow, someway, I kicked it to the curb around mile 2. I don't know what it was but it happened. Like a freaking light switch, I just felt great. Mile 3 was like running on a cloud. Mile 4 wasn't quite as carefree but it was certainly better than the first two miles.

Outside of the negative thinking, the run was about normal. I was tempted to turn down a different road but ended up just staying on the readily established route. Also thought about doing 5 miles but opted to just quit while I was ahead. Had some kids say hi as I ran by their bus stop this morning. Got a bit of an interrogation as the one asked what was I doing and was I exercising. That's right kid, you need to go to school. Just so you can learn to not ask obvious questions.

Quite a boring shot but it also shows just how urban a rural area can be at times.

Temps were about 60F. Sun was out but there were also some clouds. No breeze. Humidity was low to moderate.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a glass of water. During the run I had a bottle of water and a bottle of Hammer Fizz (grapefruit - it's okay). Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by a breakfast burrito and an iced latte. Yay for me not getting hash browns!

Aches and Pains:
My left quad grumbled a bit for the first mile or two. Then my left glute started barking at the end of mile two. Miles 3 and 4 were calm and pain free.

Wore arm sleeves (now I know why I don't wear the Nathan ones, they fall down). Wore gloves. Sleeves came off around mile 2 but the gloves stayed on. Also forgot my sunglasses but didn't have to deal with too much glare. As I closed in on the last quarter mile, I could feel something dripping on me. At first I thought it was sweat, which was a pretty normal occurrence this summer. After closer inspection, it was a crack in the bottom of my bottle. Which tells me I can't use the bottom to slam down on the top of my other bottle to close it. Damn.

Codename - It's a Bonfire
Childish Gambino strikes again. Sometimes I wonder how much of an impact music has on my brain when I run. Anyway, today was more rap because, well, I'm like a backwards Oreo. White on the outside and black on the inside. For some reason, this song struck a chord this morning.

Mile 1 - 11:02 (felt too fast)
Mile 2 - 12:23 (felt too slow)
Mile 3 - 11:05 (felt awesome)
Mile 4 - 10:29 (felt a few degrees harder than the previous mile)
Finish - 45:00

Monday, September 17, 2012

Junk under the bonnet

Just needed to get out and keep the rust off as well as test out the left quad. I'm happy to say, it feel okay. Not great and it was getting grumpy by the end of the run but it was feeling much better overall. Now I just need to not go out and do something stupid.

This is the curvy hill I run up/down to the swamp (swamp is behind me).

Temps were about 70F with high humidity (well, it felt high but it wasn't hot). No breeze and overcast.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was two bowls of cereal (way abnormal for me) and an iced coffee. During the run I had just one bottle of water. Recovery was a lunch of salad and shredded wheat.

Aches and Pains:
Felt sluggish but well rested (somehow I managed to get a solid night of sleep last night). Left quad didn't give any complaints until the last half mile or so. I did test out some strides going up and down the hill and was able to determine that the downhill wide-open (or long) stride is what hurts my quad. A nice short stride (or stutter step) feels much better. Which makes me wonder if I ganked it somehow during my last long run.

Wore gloves for the first half mile then I warmed up. Not much else.

Codename - Junk under the bonnet
For some reason, things just wouldn't stay seated like I wanted them to. Maybe my shorts were too big.

Didn't wear a watch so no splits.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Le Sigh

In dealing with my own personal mess, I come back from my run to find that Tabbystar is bringing me down even further with her negativity. Pretty soon I'll be camping out on Derek R. feed just so I can have a good laugh.

Anyway, today's run was a mess. I got just about as far away as I could get from my starting point when my wife wanted me to run an errand. One that couldn't wait. So I finished my run, ran the errand, and barely made it home before work started. I have yet to take a shower. And I won't have time to take one until I'm done with work today. A full nine hours from now. I feel sorry for the balance ball that I sit on. It's not going to be happy.

The run itself was meh. Nothing terribly exciting beyond the mist/fog. That's always neat to look at. And that was about it.

Here are a few photos from runs/hikes in the past week or so.

Flowers down the road from me.

Fossil Beach at Westmoreland State Park.

A hole in a tree.

Tree on the stairs.

The view from Poopy Point.

Temps were about 60F. I think. I honestly didn't pay attention. Humidity was higher than expected. Sun was out. Moderate amount of fog in the tree tops.

Fluids and Fuel:
One glass of water for breakfast. One bottle of water during the run. One breakfast burrito, two eggs, iced coffee, and a yogurt for recovery.

Aches and Pains:
My left quad is still fucked up. I can run and walk on it but it doesn't like the running part. Right ankle felt tight.

Wore gloves for the first half. Nothing else. Well, I wore clothes, obviously, but you know what I mean. Oh, and I kept my shirt on the entire time.

Codename - Le Sigh
Why do I come up with these stupid codenames? Nobody really cares anyway.

Mile 1 - 11:26
Mile 2 - 12:29
Mile 3 - 11:18
Finish - 36:15

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why the change?

All three of you that read this blog may have noticed that I put an "adult" label on it. It's something I should have done a long time ago but for some reason it only dawned on me over the past week that I tend to use some adult language, both written and audible. So while I may have applied a NSFW label on a post or two, I didn't feel that it covered everything adequately in the post or on the blog.

So I just applied the over 18 label to the whole blog. Sorry if that's an inconvenience for anybody but I think it's appropriate.

That is all.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Podcast - Mile 41 - Babybel Mile

Remember that Babybel Mile I did a while back? Well, here's the audio to go along with it. Be thankful there wasn't any heaving or barfing. But you can hear me (and my stomach) go downhill rather quickly.

Yep, that pretty much sums up this episode.

The cheese wheel can be downloaded here or viewed on Podbean.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Cry Baby Quad

Would you look at that? It's after 4pm and I'm just now putting my shit on DM. Does that give you an idea of what my Friday has been like so far? Yeah. It's been one of *those* days.

So, this morning I cranked out a 5k. By walking. My left quad is still all whiny and shit. Sounds like me after 19 miles. So I ignored it this morning and went out for what I had planned on being 6 miles; 3 on my own and 3 with the group from the Y. Turns out yesterday was group run. They changed the schedule. Again. So I wimped out a bit and just did 3 miles. My quad was all nice and quiet like a sleeping baby for the first mile. I figured I could walk a mile, run a mile, then walk a mile and be fine. I get 20 steps into my running mile and the quad wakes up crying like I dropped a brick of Black Cats into the baby's crib. Baby Cheeses.

So I walked. I had some mild relief when I tried running way high on my feet but that was like putting earplugs in the babies ears. It may lessen the noise but there's still that smoke and flashing lights to deal with. In other words, my shins and feet didn't like the altered stride. So I ended up walking the hell back to the Y.

Along the way I did my best to be at peace with the injury. But like any parent will tell you, there comes a time when you just want the damn crying baby to shut the hell up. What did I learn from this? I won't be getting an x-ray or MRI until after my A-race in October. I will do everything possible to complete said race, even if I have to fashion a crutch from a flipping branch. You see, my buckle fever is much worse than my painful quad.

But I'm hoping it's not that serious. It still ebbs and flows, but the pain is still pretty low on my threshold scale. So, I'll walk the damn thing if I have to, I'll just be grumpy as hell about it. Until I finish.

This was my view this morning as the sun came across the field.

And this was my view this afternoon during my lunch walk. Yes, that's a Christmas tree. And yes, they are Elvis fans.

Temps were about 70F to 75F, much cooler than expected. Even though I was walking I still worked up a sweat, just not as much as normal. Humidity was moderate to low. Sun was out. Not much of a breeze.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was water and yogurt. During the run I had a bottle of water. Recovery was an iced latte, giant burrito, and apple fritter. It only slightly boosted my spirits.

Aches and Pains:
The cry baby quad.

Nothing but my phone.

Mile 1 - 18:43
Mile 2 - 15:05
Mile 3 - 18:06
Finish - 53:51

Friday, September 07, 2012

My ass hurts

I don't know what's up with my left quad but now the dull ache is creeping into my glute. Next thing you know I'll have a headache.

Anyway, enough about my ass. Here's some recent pics that I neglected to post.

The other night, I went for a night run. And got some lousy pictures. This is the best of them. Just wish the shots of the full moon had turned out.

And this is of the football game I went to a few hours before the night run. We had a huge crowd turn out to wish our team well and to say goodbye to the field. We'll be playing on a new one later this season.

And during my run the other day I saw a lot more mushrooms, including several with mold growing on them. Yes, it really is that humid here in the summer. But I didn't take a picture of them. Instead, I took a picture of the log cabin hidden in the woods.

And that's about it. For now. I hope to get back to running shortly. Then I can bore you with more of my drivel.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Five Oh Doh

I think I messed up my leg somehow. Not sure yet but I need to take a rest day and to reassess later this week. What's messed up? My left quad. It was a tiny bit tweaky last week; maybe 1 out of 10 on the pain scale. Sunday's long run ramped it up to about 2 or 3 on the pain scale but it was still within my limits and fully expected. After all, 20 miles is bound to leave you with some aches and pains. Then came yesterday's run. Just 6 miles and it got progressively worse. Maybe a 5 out of 10. If I had been smart, I would have quit while I was ahead. But no, I went out and did 3 miles today. And my pain went from a 2 to a 7 by the end of the run. Not good. So I'm going to just chill the hell out tomorrow, foam roll, and keep things as loose as possible.

Temps were about 75F and the humidity was high. Mostly cloudy sky with a decent breeze of about 15 mph or so.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was yogurt and water. During the run I had a bottle of water. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite mixed with milk and water which was followed by an egg, breakfast burrito, and iced coffee.

Aches and Pains:
My left quad was the biggest issue. My left hip and glute were also a bit tweaky but it may have been due to some altered strides. Shins were also a bit sore.


Codename - Five Oh Doh
Saw a cop yesterday and what do I see in the first half mile today? Another cop executing a very short traffic stop. After that, I saw a guy walking to work or to his carpool stop. And then, on the way back, I saw a doe and two fawns. And even though the "doe" made for an interesting sight, I was pretty distracted for most of the run by my "doh" move of running on a bum leg.

Mile 1 - 10:56
Mile 2 - 12:11
Mile 3 - 12:57
Finish - 38:04

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Back to School

That's right folks, yesterday was the first day of Kindergarten for my son and the first day of 3rd grade for my daughter. Where has the time gone?

Reading the night before the first day of school:

Ready to take the mom-bus to school!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Podcast - Mile 40 - Milestones

As I start this podcast, I'm stuck on the douche-grade hill. From there, I proceed to whine. Thankfully there were no Doombas out there to get me. But there's always an iced latte lurking around the corner. That seems to be my weakness. Iced coffee. I'm also a weakling when it comes to junk food. The junkier the food is, the weaker I get. So I nearly killed myself by splurging on some food that had some poultry in it that I didn't expect. Which meant I was knocking on heaven's door, or hell's, as I had a wonderful allergic reaction.

Thankfully for you, I survived. Wish I could say the same for this crazy podcast. Bah, who am I kidding. I'll keep doing it because I enjoy it. Maybe I just enjoy torturing my listeners. Send me an email and let me know what you love or hate about the show. There's a little button over there on the right side of the blog that will let you send me an email.

Anyway, back to the show. I broke my no-Coke rule after my reaction to the poultry so I had a nice day or two of being depressed. But it helped kill the rot gut and swollen throat. Pretty easy trade off when it comes down to choosing between breathing and being happy.

If you have the stones, download or view this episode on Podbean.