Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vasectomies and Ultrarunning

As the title suggests, this is going to be a touchy topic. So feel free to leave now. If you continue to read, you'll be graced with graphic descriptions of my own penis and testicles and a few mentions of my sex life. Hopefully I can keep the dick jokes to a minimum though. I would like to keep this as clinical and objective as possible. On a positive note, I won't be showing any pictures. So, with that said, let's move one.

Okay so this is going to be very TMI and graphic and, by the very nature of things, sexual. In the past I have always hesitated to disclose any specifics about my sex life because as far as I'm concerned that is private between my wife and myself. However I have decided to disclose a wee little bit, no pun intended, specifically about how my recent surgery affects me.

Now for those of you that do not know what a vasectomy is, it's where the vasa deferentia is transected, removed, truncated, capped, whatever you wanna call it. It's separated therefore live, active sperm is not introduced into the ejaculate and therefore the man is no longer capable of impregnating the woman. I know that's a whole lot of science and medicine and biology and big fancy words but it's the only way I can do this with a straight face. So anyway, it's not like a dog or cat or something like that where they are neutered. I still have my testicles, they still work, it's just some of the plumbing is no longer connected.

So having said all of that I don't necessarily want to make a big deal out of why I did it or how it will impact my sex life. What I really want to do is get into more of the running-related impact of having a vasectomy and how it will impact my life in that manner. I am NOT comfortable disclosing all the details of my sex life so we'll just leave it at my wife and I do not want to have any more children. After researching all the different alternatives to birth control, this was the most viable option. But before I get to far ahead, let's break things down into three main categories of discussion. First, there's the psychological baggage, then the social stigma, and finally the physical impact.

Psychological Baggage
For some men, many men, I don't think it's a big deal. You go, you get it done, and that's it. But for me it's a whole lot more. I'm not a big fan of doctors, not in the sense that I don't like doctors as much as I don't like going to the doctors. Or hospitals for that matter. And I think part of it stems from my mother and when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That really scared me away from hospitals. And I've always been afraid of death but for me to go to the doctor even when I'm sick is a big deal. It's just one of those mind sets that I have. So I tend to tell myself "let's give it another day another week and let's see if my body will heal itself." Not always the case obviously but that's kind of where my head is. So going for a vasectomy is a huge deal even though it's like 20 to 30 minutes of outpatient surgery. Along with that there's all the horror stories that I've read and seen pictures of and heard about where things went insanely wrong. That's not something I would suggest that you go out and look up beforehand but I know that there are risks just like driving down the road where anything can happen. Bad things do happen, can happen, will happen but statistically they're not that common so even though I know the numbers were on my side I still was not comfortable going. Along with that there's this philosophy that I have that I want my body to be whole. Almost like the Sikhs who don't believe in cutting their hair.  That's kind of how I feel. I mean, I'll obviously shave and cut my hair but that philosophy of being whole is more what I'm talking about.

Now I'm not saying that I'm not whole as a person but it's that mental aspect of wondering if I will be whole. Yes, there's a part of it that revolves around will I be a man and will I be able to function as a man but while I'm worried about the physical repercussions, I'm less worried about being a man than I am about being whole. Add to this mentality the question of what would happen if we ever did want another child. God forbid something bad happens to our two children, and there's no way having a third could ever replace one, but there's that thought in the back of your mind about how can we make another one if we go through with this? That's a lot of emotional weight to handle when your family lineage is something that's important. We're not exactly royal blood here and there's no lordship at stake, but there is still the family name and traditions to carry on. A big part of that, for me at least, is in the blood line of the family. Not that my adopted family members are any less a part of the family, they just aren't blood relatives. I don't know why that's important, but it is. And I do realize it makes me sound like some crazed Nazi when I say it.

Social Stigma
Very much like mental illness, there's a huge social stigma with vasectomies. HUGE. Part of it is the social stigma of sex and I think every country and culture has their own set of morals when it comes to things related to sex. I get that. But vasectomies seem to bear a bit more burden than other surgeries related to reproductive organs. For example, women who have a hysterectomy don't seem to have as many issues talking about it or dealing with it. At least not from my point of view. But when it comes to a mastectomy, that seems to draw some of the same stigma of a vasectomy. Maybe the social issues are related to more how people define themselves as male or female than anything else. I know it was some of my own problem with this surgery but I think it goes deeper for the culture we live in now.

Yes, biologically, I am defined as a male because of my genitals but I'm also socially defined as a male because of them. And while I'm okay with that, I think there needs to be some responsibility that comes with the power of defining who people are. So just because a woman has her breasts or uterus removed, doesn't mean she's any less of a woman. Same goes for a man. I mean, nobody would think of Lance Armstrong as anything but a man and yet he only has one testicle. Of course he carries his own stigma with drug use, but that's not what we're talking about here.

So while the rich and famous and the news outlets find it okay to talk about a woman braving a double mastectomy to reduce her odds of getting cancer, there isn't a damn thing out there about a dude getting a vasectomy to prevent future pregnancies. And there's barely anything about getting a colonoscopy to prevent prostate cancer. Is it because we, as men, see this kind of stuff as a weakness? Are we so wrapped up in our own machismo that we can't ask for help? I don't know what the answer is but I do know nobody wants to talk about getting their testicular tubes tied.

Physical Impact
This is where we get into the graphic part of the procedure. Even more so than before. So the pre-op part was fairly uneventful. There's a consult that takes place beforehand where you and your spouse can sit down with the doctor and discuss all the ins and outs of what's going to happen. Pretty standard office visit with no real surprises. The doctor should do a basic inspection and give you a good once-over to make sure you're suitable for surgery. They'll also probably give you a sheet that says you agree to this and so does your spouse.

After that comes the surgery visit itself. My doctor gave me some pain meds and an anti-anxiety pill to take before the operation. It helped but I think two beers and two shots would have made me even more numb to the pending procedure. Numb both to the physical trauma and the emotional trauma. Since I was on meds, this meant that I needed a chauffeur to take me to and from the doctor. Thankfully my wife was nice enough to see to this. While she won't admit it, I think in the back of her head she had a bit of perverse delight in seeing me go through this. I guess it was only fair since she's mother to two children.

Okay, the procedure itself took 20 minutes, maybe 30. That's from leaving the waiting room to being done. Once in the room, you strip from the waist down and wait with a piece of paper over you. I say paper because that's what it was. They may have called it a blanket or something else but it was a piece of freaking paper that would have dissolved like cheap toilet paper if it got wet. My feet were cold and I closed my eyes because I had no desire to see what was on the little table of torture.

Finally the nurse comes in and preps the area with Betadine. It's a little cold but not bad. It does smell a little funny and, as I found out later, is a dark liquid that's easily mistaken for blood or iodine. From there, the doctor came in and the pain came. It felt a bit like having your testicles wrapped up in a rubber band while the doctor pricks you with a needle to give you a local anesthetic. I'm not sure if it was a rubber band or a medical clamp or a freaking vise, but it was uncomfortable. From there he begins his poking and prodding. I was grimacing more than he expected so he asked if I could feel pain. I said yes so he gave me more local. At least I'm pretty sure he did since I felt another pinch and then didn't feel much more than pressure and tugging. From that moment through later in the afternoon, I could still feel pain but it was very mild. Not a sharp pain like getting kicked between the legs as much as a steady, dull ache of having a small child stand on your testicles all day. Or like you got karate chopped between the legs yesterday and it still hurts today.

At some point he said something about moving to the other side and I just continued to lay there with my eyes closed. I'd wiggle my toes or clench my hands but I did my best not to jump or jerk. While I wanted to make jokes I was too focused on surviving to come up with anything good. The nurse and doctor did comment on my "I Love Coitus" shirt. I figured it was fitting to wear it on such an occasion because, well, just because. Anyway, I was bearing down as I gave birth to this vasectomy and the doctor eventually says he's just stitching up and then he'll be done.

After that, he said his good-byes and the nurse gave me a little washcloth to clean up some of the Betadine. That's when I realized it looked like iodine. Once I got cleaned up a little with the washcloth from hell that left more lint than it cleaned up, I inspected the damage and asked the nurse about the incision. It was much higher than I expected which I was happy for since it meant I could see it and clean it. I was thinking it would be much lower on the scrotum or even underneath but instead it was more at the intersection of the shaft of the penis and the scrotum. Side note, it was also more off to one side than I expected. At about, let's say, 1 o'clock on the dial (assuming 12 was my toes and 6 was my nose).

After I cleaned up a little, I stood up and began to get dressed. That's when I noticed that the Betadine looked like blood. It took a second but I finally realized that if I had bled that much I would have been covered in it. Once I was dressed, I gingerly made my way back to the waiting room and my wife and we left. Since I skipped breakfast, we grabbed an early lunch and headed home.

The rest of the first day was spent wearing tight shorts, icing the impacted area, and watching Band of Brothers. Things hurt but not too bad. Well, just a tad too bad to just live with it. So I took pain meds on a regular basis and even managed a nap. The next day I made my first mistake. I continued to wear the tight shorts but felt restless and went to town to run errands and do Christmas shopping. Bad idea. I should have stayed on the couch. So by the third day I paid the price and stayed in bed a few extra hours. That seemed to help some but the dull ache is still there. I managed to live without meds until the weekend (about V+4 days) when I took some ibuprofen. That seemed to help with some of the swelling and pain but again, it's still there.

Now that I'm at V+6 days, I'm moving around much better, not icing, and only taking meds when I absolutely need it. My pain varies from 1 to 7 on the scale but it's mostly in direct relation to what I'm doing. Sitting, standing, and some walking is fine. I say some walking because I need to adjust myself for it to feel comfortable. Most of my pain comes from sitting or standing. That's when things move too much for comfort and I need move things around to get them settled. The tight shorts help some but not as much as I'd like. Loose pants help more than tight jeans.

There's also more bruising than I expected. I think if the doctor would have rummaged around anymore, I'd be as black as ebony. The stitches haven't fallen out yet and I've been periodically cleaning the incision with hydrogen peroxide. Those things are annoying because they catch on any sort of fabric in the area. Which means any sudden movements suddenly get your attention. And the swelling has continued to rise and fall for no apparent reason. Some days are better than others. They are incredibly tender and often get treated as if they were eggs being carried around for a high school home economics class. I've even shoved my kids away from my just to avoid any careless bumping.

Speaking of kids, I haven't really told either of them what happened. I had no idea how to broach the topic since neither are really at an age to understand all the reproductive parts of the body and what all the implications are. My daughter, age 9, knows some stuff and understands some stuff but is still very much a kid. My son, age 6, has no clue and, well, I'll just keep it that way for now.

While my recovery isn't complete, I would feel remiss for not at least touching on the topic. I am down to almost no pain after about ten days. I've been able to run with no issues beyond my stitches occasionally catch on the fabric of my shorts. They've been doing that since the beginning but I trimmed one of the longer ones and that greatly reduced the number of instances where I was suddenly struck with pain.

Speaking of stitches, the incision is healing quite nicely. It doesn't look super pretty but looks a lot better than it did after a few days. I've been cleaning it with hydrogen peroxide periodically and carefully cleaning it in the shower. I feel no major scaring underneath the skin and the first, gross scab has come off. The much less gross scab is still present but is much smaller.

My bruising has also healed almost completely. It went form a small, almost invisible bruise to a larger bruise to black and blue to black, blue, and red to deep black. I also saw other bruises come and go in other areas that I didn't expect to bruise. Aside from the appearance of an old bruise, there's not nearly as much tenderness as before. I'm not shoving defending the area like Fort Knox any more.

Which brings me to my final point, tenderness in general. From the moment the doctor started, things were pretty sore and tender down there. I didn't want to touch anything. Moving my underwear hurt. Pants hurt. Everything hurt. I would have walked around naked if I thought it would have helped but I knew I'd eventually bump into my thigh and just set off another chain reaction of pain. While I still have moments where there's some residual pain, I'm happy to say that it's mostly gone know. Most of the pain comes from sudden movements, usually involved with standing or sitting. Running doesn't seem to count as I've been able to go short and long distances without any big issues. Maybe a minor readjustment here or there but that's it. It's the smash that usually gets me. Any pressure beyond moderate will make me recoil. That's fairly normal I think but things are more sensitive to touch than before. I guess what I'm saying is, before the vasectomy, I could handle moderate to strong pressure but now have a lower threshold for pain.

Other Reading
- The Effects of Various Types of Birth Control on Runners via Runners Connect - This article is focused mostly on the options of birth control available for women although condoms are mentioned. There are way more options out there than those listed in the article but it's a good place to start with the basics.
- Vasectomy via Jason Lytle's message board - This is more of a very short discussion on vasectomies and their potential impact on prostate cancer. Not really much information here.
- Bizarre Facts About Ultramarathoning via Men's Fitness - One brief mention of famed ultrarunner Marshall Ulrich getting a vasectomy. The comment felt a bit tongue and cheek so I'm not sure if it's true but if it is, he's the only elite ultrarunner that can be confirmed with having one. And then of course there's the questionable source itself.
- A Vasectomy and Riding a Bike...FUN!!! via Running Man Dave's blog - One of the better first-hand accounts of a vasectomy from an ultra runner I've read. Not a lot of details but enough to whet your appetite for more. If you're into that kind of thing.
- Facebook post via UltraRunner Podcast - Not sure if it's visible to everyone but it has a nice long list of fellow ultrarunners with a vasectomy. Best of all, the URP folks are a solid source of information about ultras.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Black Ice

Just a short run before my upper body workout today. Turns out I should have read my plan a little more closely. Damn. It was my first run since last week's sinus infection and surgery. It felt horrible and wonderful all at the same time. It was so nice to get outside and actually propel myself down the road but at the same time I was gasping and wheezing more than I wanted to.

The big news though was that I was able to run without pain. Well, without any major pain. Things are still sore from surgery but I was able to handle a couple of miles. I'm hoping I can bump back up to more "normal" mileage tomorrow without any issues. Today went well, not great, but well enough that I can hope for another good day tomorrow.

The next biggest news for today's run was the black ice. Damn stuff snuck up on me and I nearly lost it barely 10 steps down the road. Just as soon as the camber kicked in I took a step that was a bit too far and knew I was lucky to not lose it. From there on, things were sketchy here and there but I could pick out the good spots easily enough.



Temps were about 32F. Sky was clear and sunny but there was some fog and fine mist from the cold air and ground meeting the sunrise. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had half a coffee and a serving of Plain GenUCAN. Stuff tasted like ass but was bearable with some chocolate ZICO mixed in. During the run I had a half bottle of plain water. Recovery was an iced latte and then a veggie sub a couple hours later.

Aches and Pains:
The area impacted by the surgery hurt but I could stomach the pain well enough. Aside from that, things felt fine.

Wore shorts, pants, and another pair of shorts to stay warm. Wore thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, and winter hat and gloves. Also wore my Santa hat and neck gaiter. Wore sunglasses for a little bit but they fogged up too much so I put them in my pocket.

Heart Rate:
Started out okay but peaked way faster than I wanted. Guess sitting on my ass for a week will do that. But, I got back into the habit of checking my watch every few minutes to make sure I wasn't going too high. By the end of the run I was holding fairly steady at Zone 2.

Mile 1 - 12:35 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 2 - 12:39 (AVG HR 146)
Finish - 25:15
MIN HR - 101
AVG HR - 146
MAX HR - 165
RHR - 65

Podcast - Mile 76 - Black Friday

Coming down off the high of having my first interview, I delve a bit into a man-crush on Ashland Dave. Oops. Don't tell his wife. Or mine. Anyway, from there I meander into the holidays with thoughts on shopping and allude to some big news. Too bad it isn't a major award.

Anyway, as usual, you can find the show on SoundCloud for a limited time. Only 20 percent off!

Monday, December 16, 2013

10 New Christmas Movies

In years past*, I've covered Christmas movies. My favorites; those I think are under-appreciated; even some really bizarre ones. So this year I thought I'd try something a little different: new movies. Not new as in "in the theater new," but new as in "this is the first time I've seen them new." I've also tossed in a movie I'm actively looking for but haven't found yet.

Yet To Be Watched:

The Man In The Santa Suit
Why this one? Because it had Gary Burghoff in it! That's all I need to know.

The Ten New Movies:

#10 - A Christmas Story 2
Oh dear God, please don't watch this movie. If you like the original, don't waste your time on this one. It's not worth it. If you're a fanatic of the original, then okay, go ahead and watch it. but be prepared, it's kind of the like Star Wars Holiday Special. You really only need to watch it once every decade or so.

#9 - Fred Claus
Only slightly better than the Christmas Story sequel, this is another movie that you can feel free to skip. The premise sounds interesting, the brother of Santa Claus, but the acting, plot, and the special effects just suck. There are a few stand-out scenes but they are sadly lost in the mire of everything else. And it's pretty rare when special effects take me out of a movie, but these were below even the SyFy Channel's requirements.

#8 -  Rise of the Guardians
Not necessarily a Christmas movie but it does star Santa Claus. And Jack Frost. And, line the Santa Claus series, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. It's billed as a kid's movie but there are a few scary parts in here. Not scary to me but I can see how a smaller kid would be afraid. As for the plot, meh, it's okay.

#7 - A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
I don't know what possessed these people to make this movie but it is Christmas related and it is funny. Not the best in the series but funny enough to keep you occupied. And the waffle robot is pretty cool. Maybe if I watched it in 3D I'd like it better. But probably not.

#6 - Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
While it doesn't come anywhere near touching the humor in Home Alone 1 or 2, it does a fair job of giving 3 and 4 a run for their money. The kids hated it but I kind of liked the old house and the actors. Even though it was yet again another new cast, they seemed to do a better job of handling the acting part of the movie.

#5 - Good Luck Jessie
Technically not a movie, this TV special is a cross-over between Good Luck Charlie and Jessie. Both are on the Disney Channel and both are shows that my daughter likes. Which is pretty much the only reason I watched the special. The best way I can describe the special (and the shows) is to call it generic. Yes, the jokes are funny, there's some drama, and even a little romance. But it's Disney. So you know what's going to happen. There are no big surprises or sad endings, it just is.

#4 - Trading Christmas
I stumbled onto this one when I thought I had recorded Pete's Christmas. I kept watching and watching waiting for it to repeat itself. Finally, after I was nearly halfway through, I realized it wasn't the right movie. A check of IMDB revealed it was something else. But I was invested enough into the thing that I couldn't delete it. Instead I finished watching it and was mildly surprised at how good it was. Sure, it was some sappy Hallmark movie, but at least it had a decent plot, decent acting, and a good ending. Better yet, my wife and daughter enjoyed it well enough to want to finish it too.

#3 - Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas
While based on the TV show Good Luck Charlie, this is actually much better than the crossover show. And it's more of a full-length movie. Certainly entertaining and as usual, lots of Disney values forced down your throat.

#2 - Pete's Christmas
Why this one? Because I didn't get to watch it. And I'm pissed about it. It sounded like a great cross between Groundhog Day and Christmas Day. But the stupid Hallmark Channel decided to not show it and instead it's on a blocked channel. Humbug! Thankfully I have a great wife and daughter looking out for me and they picked it up on DVD. Turns out, it was pretty good. Not as good as Groundhog Day but still enjoyable enough to keep me glued to my seat.

#1 - Surviving Christmas
This movie was so bad it was good. A rich guy basically rents a family to impress a girl. But this damn thing was so sloppy, so badly done, that it snuck up on you. It was almost like a car accident that you just had to watch to see what happened in the end. Now the actors are pretty good with James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate, and Ben Affleck, but the mom from Home Alone, Catherine O'Hara, is also in it. And be warned. You may never watch Home Alone the same way again. Let's just say there's a few scenes that show how well she hasn't aged.

*If you want to step back in time, here are some of my older posts on Christmas movies:

Friday, December 06, 2013

Jingle Jangle Jumble

Woke up this morning with a mild sinus infection. I thought I could feel that tickle yesterday when I woke up but it was hard to know for sure. Now I know for sure. Did my best to give my sinuses an enema in the shower when I was done with my run but it only worked a little bit.

Anyway, the first mile of my run was more like a warm up. I did a mile in one section of the trail and just wasn't feeling it. So I got in my car and drove to a different section of the trail and went back to my run. I got to the halfway point and the wind started to blow, then the rain, then more wind, then more rain. So glad I had my T-Star Running headband and arm sleeves. From when I started to when I finished, the temps dropped a good 15 degrees and that's without factoring in the rain and wind chill.

Anyway, as I cruised back to my car, I realized I was probably being a complete idiot running with a sinus infection. So I'll be sitting out my second run of the day. I figure I put in a decent effort this morning and a nap will likely be needed later today.

Along the run I nearly ran up on a deer. It was stopping for a bite to eat but didn't hear me in the rain. Guess I was running "tall and silent" like a good boy. Also spotted a cat way off in the distance but he moved on fast enough. Outside of that, no real animal sightings worth mentioning. Although I did see some horse tracks.



Temps were 67F at the start and 53F at the end. Sky was overcast. Light to moderate rain for the last 3 miles. Light to moderate winds for the last 3 miles. Humidity was high at the start but didn't notice it once the rain started.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a yogurt and half a coffee. I also tried one serving of chocolate GenUCAN. During the run I had just water. Recovery was a hot latte (I was cold) and a veggie sub (I was hungry).

Aches and Pains:
Stepped on a sharp rock with the ball of my right foot. Three times. In a row. In the same spot. My foot was not happy. Neither was I. Outside of that, things were just fuzzy and bleary from being sick.

Wore two pair of shorts, short sleeve shirt, and my Nathan hydration pack. For the last 4 or 5 miles I put my arm sleeves and gloves on. Wore my headband the entire time but put it over my ears for the last few miles. Carried my knife and cell phone.

Heart Rate:
Heart rate seemed to be way low after I started to run. Felt like a struggle to get it above 130. In fact, I'd feel like I was above my zone and stop to walk only to look down and see I was well below my zone. Got into a groove with a few miles left to go and kept it in high gear around 155 until the end.

Mile 1 - 15:29 (AVG HR 130) (includes pee break)
Mile 0.8 - 11:12 (AVG HR 132) (includes pee break)
Mile 3 - 13:54 (AVG HR 138)
Mile 4 - 15:31 (AVG HR 143) (include pee break)
Mile 5 - 12:42 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 6 - 16:23 (AVG HR 145)
Mile 7 - 12:34 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 0.8 - 9:47 (AVG HR 146)
Finish - 1:47:37
MIN HR - 91
AVG HR - 141
MAX HR - 167
RHR - 65

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Revving the Engine Topless

Today was not a good day. But it turned out better than I expected. As the pile of things that needed to be done overwhelmed me, I knew I wouldn't be able to get my run in. So instead of the usual four hour block of free time I have before starting work late, I had two hours since I was opening and closing. But that two hours was reduced even more by parenting needs and technical issues. So I had just enough time to eat a lousy breakfast and start work in a lousy mood. As the morning wore on, things began a downward spiral. But I tried to keep a positive outlook and tried not to feel guilty about not meeting my plan for today. I had a short break for lunch and then was back at the grinder. Thankfully, late in the afternoon, I got a break long enough to squeeze in my run. So I ran.

I had 1:45 to kill which meant I would need to add some distance to my usual 8 mile route. I knew with that route I would finish in 1:30 so I did a short dog-leg down another road adding a good 10 to 20 minutes.

From there I got hot and stripped off my shirt. Thankfully the school bus full of kids had already passed me. Sadly a different bus would pass me two times without my shirt. I feel sorry for the kids. I didn't feel sorry for running shirtless. It was warm enough and I was sweaty. I was pale enough that I'm sure no hunter would confuse me for a deer but I still had my blaze orange shirt around my waist just in case. Little did I know that when I knotted the shirt around my waist that I'd promptly piss on the sleeves when I stopped for a bathroom break. Dumbass.

The good news I didn't have anybody steal my bottle. Guess hiding it a bit further from the road worked.On the way back, I noticed I met my time goal so I shifted gears, and began my recovery run. It lasted a mile and sucked more than my run. I mean, how on earth can anyone run with their heart rate that low?

In my recovery run mode, I spotted 10 deer across the road. They ran away which was probably good for the hunters since I heard plenty of shooting in the area the deer were headed.

A few more notes about today since it was not a normal day by any means. First, my breakfast was admittedly horrible. Tons of fat, grease, and all that good stuff. I'd easily say it was 1,500 to 2,000 calories. I had a small snack around noon. Not because I was hungry but because my brain said it was lunch time and I needed to put food in my mouth. I wasn't hungry. At all. In fact, I wasn't hungry until after my run which was around 4:30 or 5. In other words, I ate way too much for breakfast, skipped lunch, and had a healthy dinner.



Temps were about 55F to 60F at the start but cooled a bit to maybe 50F by the end. Sky was mostly cloudy with a few rays of sun peaking through. Light wind that picked up a bit towards the end.

Fluids and Fuel:
As mentioned above, breakfast was bad. Two hash browns, two breakfast sandwiches, a latte, and a coffee. A snack around noon. During the run I had two apple sauces, one near the start and one at the midway point. Recovery was a beef, bean, and veggie stew. And a Coke because damn did it look too sexy to leave in my fridge.

Aches and Pains:
Noticed some very mild cramping in my left hamstring about 3 miles in. Pushed an extra gulp of fluids and it went away.

Wore new underwear, shorts, long sleeve shirt, Buff, and gloves. The shirt was off for a good 60 to 90 minutes but went back on with about 2 miles to go. Took along my knife which worked great at cutting off a loose thread.

Heart Rate:
Resting heart rate was low this morning and started low during the run. Got into a rhythm of "revving" my pace. At first I aimed for 150 but kept hitting 160. So I decided to change things up and aim for 150 but slowly creep towards 160. Once I hit 160, I'd walk until I hit 140, then start all over again. It seemed to work fairly well and altered my pace outside of my normal pattern. Towards the end I was able to hold it at 150 much easier and it would take less time to drop to 140. On the recovery portion of things, I struggled to keep it below 130. I'd shuffle along as slow as I could imagine and within a few steps go from 125 to 135 to 145. So most of the last mile was walking. Not slow walking or speed walking, just walking with a purpose.

Outbound - 1:07:05 (AVG HR 146) (about a mile longer than normal)
Inbound - 37:10 (AVG HR 151) (about a mile shorter than normal)
Recovery - 14:57 (AVG HR 131) (about a mile)
Finish - 1:59:13
MIN HR - 86
AVG HR - 146
MAX HR - 172
RHR - 59

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I'm Not Alone

Alright this is going to be a test of the speech to text capability my phone to see how well it actually translates what I'm saying. So today's run was 7 miles and was an hour and a half. It was on the usual Rails to Trails. I saw two runners which is quite odd. Just as I was starting my second leg a guy pulled into the parking lot and he eventually caught up to me passed me. But he only did three miles on the section that I was doing 4 miles on so I felt pretty good in the end. The start of my run started pretty lousy and after I was ready to quit because I was cold, I was under dressed, and I was sweaty even though I was cold. So even though I was ready to quit, I somehow managed to push on. I finished up my four mile second leg and I was still short on time so I went out a half mile and came back which gave me the 10-15 minutes I need to meet my hour and a half time goal. Just as I turned around for my half mile out half mile back another runner came and she parked. She didn't quite catch up to me but I know she would have if we would have gone any further. She's a lot faster than I am just like everybody else.

Basking in the sun after freezing the first two miles.


Temps were about 30 at the start and about 45 at the end. Sun was out in full. No humidity. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a little bit of coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water and a bottle of Hammer Fizz. And I had my applesauce. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite mixed with some coffee.

Aches and Pains:
The arch of my right foot hurt a little bit towards the end. Outside of that everything was fine.

Wore two pairs of shorts, short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, gloves, and hat. Also took my knife.

Mile 1 - 12:15 (AVG HR 136)
Mile 2 - 14:30 (AVG HR 140) (includes trail cam maintenance)
Mile 3 - 12:18 (AVG HR 144)
Mile 4 - 14:07 (AVG HR 143) (includes bathroom break)
Mile 5 - 12:45 (AVG HR 145)
Mile 6 - 12:33 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 7 - 11:46 (AVG HR 153)
Finish - 1:30:17
MIN HR - 72
AVG HR - 144
MAX HR - 166
RHR - 62

Monday, December 02, 2013

Podcast - Mile 75 - Interview Virgin

An extra special thanks to Ashland Dave of the Running in the Center of the Universe podcast for being my first ever interviewee. I could go on and on with virgin jokes but I'll let you use your imagination. In the meantime, sit back while we sit on our asses and talk running for a few minutes.

And we eat breakfast too. Which means there's some background noise. A lot of it actually so apologies in advance for the poor audio quality. After all, it was my first time.

So there you have it. I'm now a professional interviewer. You can listen to the high-quality podcast on SoundCloud. Beware!

Monday, November 25, 2013

D-I N-O S-A you are an old man

I'm a dinosaur. As in D-I N-O S-A you are an old man. Getting old sucks. I wish I was a kid again. But I'm not nor will I be. Which means I just have to suck it up and deal with it. So I did. Oddly, sitting it what hurts the most. Running feels just fine. I just wasn't really in the mood to run much.

And of course, it was yet another exciting run. I wasn't even a half mile into the run when suddenly a deer makes its way across the trail. And then another one takes off behind me. And then I get three steps down the trail and hear splashing in the swamp next to me. Turns out about 5 of them took off ACROSS the damn swamp. What the hell? Never saw that before.

A few more steps down the trail and a dog suddenly appeared in front of me. I stopped, heard voices, and saw the humans coming off a hunting access road. They weren't hunters, just walkers. And once I saw them, I saw the two other dogs. I didn't recognize the black lab and the German Shepard at first, but once I saw the yappy white small dog I knew they were cool and wouldn't bite me. So their owner came down to calm them down and I continued on my merry way.

From there, I continued on and made my way to the old bridge before turning around. I was struggling with my hear rate but it would eventually become a lost cause. My resting heart rate was higher than normal this morning but I took it later than normal and after my breakfast. On top of all this, my back got tweaked yesterday making beds. Bent over and suddenly I'm on the floor in pain trying to crawl to my foam roller. Oddly, during the run I felt fine. Sitting in the car hurt but laying on the floor felt good. Seems to be twisting in certain directions or certain movements trigger the pain but outside of that, it's just a nagging feeling that something's there.

On the way back to the car, I passed another dog off their leash. This one was behind a home, a good 15 feet above me on the embankment, and didn't look too happy to see me. On top of that, it looked like a pit bull. I'm not saying all pit bulls are mean, but they do have a reputation of being treated poorly by owners. So I pulled my knife and kept it handy just in case. The dog didn't chase me so I eventually pocketed my knife and carried on. Thankfully the dog appeared to be well trained enough to not chase strangers.

And that was about it.


Just a downed tree.


Temps were 25F at the start and maybe 30F at the end. Sky was overcast. Winds were moderate enough to feel the chill.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was waffles (2), bacon (3), eggs (2), yogurt, bagel, and coffee. A bit larger than normal but I was hungrier than normal. During the run I had two bottles of plain water. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by a lunch of grilled cheese, Cesar salad, and iced tea.

Aches and Pains:
Biggest thing was my back. But like I said, it had no impact on my run. There was some residual tightness but not really any pain. Right ankle also hurt for a few miles but eventually went away.

Wore shorts, pants, and another pair of shorts. Wore thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, balaclava, winter hat, and gloves. Also took along my knife and phone.

Heart Rate:
Like I said, I struggled to keep it low. I think part of this was the cold and part was worrying about my back.

Mile 0.8 - 11:06 (AVG HR 137)
Mile 1 - 13:46 (AVG HR 140)
Mile 2 - 15:47 (AVG HR 144)
Mile 3 - 20:29 (AVG HR 141)
Mile 4 - 12:58 (AVG HR 146)
Mile 0.8 - 9:26 (AVG HR 145)
Finish - 1:23:35
MIN HR - 98
AVG HR - 142
MAX HR - 165
RHR - 70

Podcast - Mile 74 - Fartlek Failure

First thing I goofed is at the start of this episode where I say it's Mile 73. It isn't. It's Mile 74. Next failure was the attempt to record a short show on my phone. Apparently I could record it, email it, listen to it, but not upload it. Damn.

And then, I forget the exact title and author of the book I wanted to review. Yep, pretty much dropping the ball on everything. The book is called Norse Warfare by Martina Sprague. Here are a few quotes that I liked.

"Cattle die, families, die, you too shall die; but a good reputation never dies, nor a good name."

"All peoples have a need to be remembered in death and runes were the Vikings' vehicle for posterity."

Oh, and that part about calling this episode Dick Snot, well, I decided not to do that either. So you guessed it, I failed at a bunch of stuff and complained about it all. Oh, and the book writing? I'll just let you guess how that's going.

So there you have it. A lump of failures all in one episode and it's available all on SoundCloud. Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hidden Cemetery

This run sucked. Two minutes after starting, I was fighting the urge to turn around and quit. I really wanted a shower and a nap. But I stuck it out. Only to have a constant fight on my hands with my heart rate. I was aiming for the 140s but struggled to keep it in the 150s. It felt like every time I looked down, I was in the 160s. Even when I was walking. Or going down hill. It sucked.

Then there's the State Conservation officer that drove by me. I tried flagging him down to ask him questions about the dead deer I saw earlier and about racoons and coyotes but he just kept driving. Guess he thought I was waving and not waving him down. Oh well.

Almost forgot to mention, I found a hidden cemetery. On the way out I saw some super-bright flowers up on a knoll just off the road. On my way back I went to investigate and sure enough, a small cemetery with maybe 10 graves in it. Kinda neat and kinda creepy.


This would be yet another beaver dam (different road than this morning).

And this is the hidden cemetery.



Temps were around 60F. Winds were a bit stronger. Still overcast. Slight increase in humidity.

Fluids and Fuel:
During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz. About 15 minutes in I had an apple sauce pouch. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by some nearly vegetarian chili.

Aches and Pains:
My ass hurt from forgetting to put lube on. It wasn't too painful but it was very annoying.

Wore the same stuff from this morning but I stripped off the gloves after half a mile. Buff came off for some of the run too.

Outbound - 25:59 (AVG HR 150)
Inbound - 27:58 (AVG HR 156)
Finish - 53:27
MIN HR - 111
AVG HR - 153
MAX HR - 185

Body Dump

Don't know why I couldn't just run an extra tenth of a mile to get a nice round 7 miles in but oh well, close enough and my time was limited anyway. Today's run involved lots of dead bodies. Specifically deer. The first body I smelled but couldn't see. On my return trip I'd smell it again and eventually saw it up on the other side of the berm (that's what us country folk call the other side of a ditch). The second body I saw the other day during my run. It's hard to tell if it was one body in two pieces or just two bodies. Either way a large chunk was in the road and another chunk was in the beaver pond. Wish I could say I felt sorry for the beavers but I don't. Little fuckers can suck it. Speaking of beavers, I found their lodge. Right on the edge of the road between the road and the fence. And the fence is on the edge of their swamp. Not sure how I missed it after running by it so many times. The third body was another one I could smell, although barely. After taking a few extra looks around the area as I ran by, I eventually saw a rib cage sticking out of a trash bag.

Now, I have no idea if these deer were hit by cars or were killed by hunters. But the deer in the water and the deer in the trash bag are pretty solid signs of a hunter that doesn't give a shit about the carcass or the people around him. Those kind of hunters piss me off. Especially the one that stuffed the deer in a trash bag. I mean, you took the time and energy to put in the bag, why not take it to the dump? Idiots.

And, that wasn't all I found. I'm pretty used to finding crazy shit when I run. From the mundane golf balls to the bizarre giant dildos. Today was a pile of clothes in the ditch. Like a dude just stripped naked and left his clothes there. And a little further down the road was a bag of trash. Fairly normal in the country for dumb rednecks to litter, even an entire trash bag. But this bag was in a tree. A good ten feet high. Like they threw it towards the woods, they underestimated their strength, and it never came back down. More idiots.

The rest of the run was uneventful. Thankfully. Oh, and that word, uneventful, was my son's new vocabulary word last night at dinner. I said "I had an uneventful day." He asked what that meant, I explained it, and then he says "I had an uneventful day too." At least somebody in this world is smart.

The bag of trash in the tree. At first glance, I thought it was a hornet's nest.


Temps were about 50F. Winds were light to moderate. Sun was out for a little bit then the clouds came in.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had half a coffee. During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz and about half a bottle of plain water. Recovery was waffles (3), eggs (2), bacon (3), and coffee. Was going to have Hammer Recoverite but felt pretty full after eating the food.

Aches and Pains:
Left shin hurt for the first mile or so. Not a bad pain, just enough to register. First 2 or 3 miles my stomach felt pretty sour. Likely caused by my lousy breakfast yesterday haunting me. Once I started drinking the Hammer Fizz, it felt better. Right glute started to hurt a bit in the last half mile when I tried pushing the pace a little harder. So I eased off a bit while keeping the speed up as much as I could.

Wore two shorts, thermal shirt, short sleeve shirt, Buff, and winter gloves. Also carried my large pepper spray and an apple sauce that I didn't eat.

Heart Rate:
Ran, without walking, for the first 17 minutes. Didn't really need to take a break then for my heart rate but my brain got the better of me and made me walk. Was able to keep my heart rate in Zone 2 fairly easily through the first half. During the second half it would creep up into the 150s so I'd slow down. Did a moderate push at the end but nothing too drastic. Just wasn't feeling super-fast today.

Outbound - 44:16 (AVG HR 139)
Inbound - 44:15 (AVG HR 146)
Finish - 1:28:32
MIN HR - 89
AVG HR - 143
MAX HR - 171
RHR - 61

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cold Gravel

Managed to squeeze in my run between work and more work. Which means I pretty much skipped lunch but I did take in some calories, just not much in the way of solid food. During the run I saw a whole lot of nothing. A few cars passed me on the back roads but that's fairly normal. And even though the sun was out, it was damn chilly with the wind blowing. For the first time in forever, I actually crossed the road to stay in the sun. When it was safe of course. Remember, I live in the sticks. Proof being the alert sent out by the county's Sheriff's office asking for help in identifying the owner of two goats that were found. Yup, goats.


Can you guess what's missing?


Temps were about 40F but light to moderate winds kicked in the wind chill a bit. Sun was out in full, no humidity.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was waffles (4), eggs (2), bacon (3), yogurt, and coffee. Should have dialed things back on the waffles but they looked so damn good. During the run I had a bottle of plain water, a bottle of Hammer Fizz, and a pouch of apple sauce. Recovery was two servings of Hammer Recoverite (one before my shower and one after) and some Belvita breakfast cookies.

Aches and Pains:
Right knee, right hamstring, and right glute felt tweaky but nothing too bad. Just enough to notice. Knee hurt the worst and it was more of a dull throb/ache that was likely due to being used.

Wore shorts, pants, thermal shirt, short sleeved shirt, warm ball cap, headband that doubled as ear warmer, and I carried my gun. Turns out this pair of pants holds them quite nicely.

Heart Rate:
Guess what I left in my wife's truck yesterday? Not my heart rate strap, no, my heart rate monitor. That damn little thing that snaps onto the strap. So I guessed at what it was and tried to keep it in check when I needed to. At least I remembered to take my resting heart rate this morning.

Outbound - 51:24 (AVG HR was probably around 150)
Inbound - 48:37 (AVG HR was probably around 165)
Finish - 1:40:02 (AVG HR was probably around 155 to 160)
MIN HR - probably around 100
AVG HR - probably around 155 to 160
MAX HR - probably around 180
RHR - 56

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Podcast - Mile 74 - Attachment Error

As I meander down the trail, I get a little down and dirty on inappropriate attachments and inappropriate relationships. I feel bad when these attachments form but I'm learning that the guilt really shouldn't be there. I don't act on these bonds and I don't want them. They're a lot like my negative thoughts and paranoia. Over time, I've gotten better at curbing them (the negative and paranoid thoughts) so these bad bonds are next on my list. Thankfully, they don't happen often and I know that I need to work on this to be a better person.

In other news, I'm still recording shows but seem to be losing steam in posting them. Hopefully I can improve that as well.

Finally, Podbean has officially kicked me off their site. I'm tired of paying them money for a service that SoundCloud can do for free. I'm not made of money and nobody pays me to do this. So until I find a rich uncle that's willing to give me millions, don't expect any major improvements in the show.

You can form an ionic or covalent bond with this episode on SoundCloud.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Evil Deeds

Today's run was decent. Not super-great and not super-horrible. So, all in all, it was decent. Saw a few deer off the trail, waiting patiently for me to pass them by, and saw a couple of walkers arriving as I was leaving. Aside from that, I was all alone and left to think about, well, everything. Everything from an imaginary military mission to the naughty things I want to do with a woman.

Anyway, the run wasn't exactly within my heart rate zones as planned but as soon as I got warmed up, I was able to keep a decent pace, even though it was Zone 3.



Temps were 60F, sun was out in full, and humidity was moderate. There was a cool breeze most of the time.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was three waffles, two eggs, three slices of bacon, yogurt, and an iced coffee. During the run I had plain water and an apple sauce pouch at 50 minutes. Recovery was an iced latte followed by a bean chili.

Aches and Pains:
Legs felt sluggish and a little tired on the way back. Aside form that, felt okay. During the push at the end, my left hamstring tightened up a bit but I think it was because I didn't bring any Hammer Fizz.

Wore shorts, cycle jersey, visor, and hydration pack.

Heart Rate:
Was able to keep it in Zone 2 for the first half of the run, then I felt warmed up and struggle to keep it in a low Zone 3. I could tell I was running too fast but it was a struggle to go any slower. So I just tried to take more walking breaks even though I didn't feel like taking them.

Starting 0.8 - 10:52 (AVG HR 137)
Mile 1 - 14:49 (AVG 143)
Mile 2 - 18:55 (AVG HR 152) (includes about 5 minutes to install trail camera and go to the bathroom)
Mile 3 - 14:24 (AVG HR 154)
Mile 4 - 14:13 (AVG HR 154)
Mile 5 - 13:47 (AVG HR 153)
Ending 0.8 - 8:38 (AVG HR 164) (includes moderate push at the end)
Finish - 1:35:41
MIN HR - 97
AVG HR - 151
MAX HR - 184
RHR - 65

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hearing Voices

I did not want to run this morning. Apparently neither did my body. After a long Saturday with my new hooker Ashley, I was pretty sore and pooped on Sunday. I did my best to recover and chill out but man, I never knew I had all those muscles. Clearly Ashley can handle more wood than I can.

Anyway, I got some coffee in me, hit the bathroom, and managed to get out the door before I thought twice about it. Once on the trail, I was feeling super sluggish and kind of like a zombie. I could barely get my heart rate up where I expected it to be and my stride, cadence, and breathing were all over the place. I don't think I hit any kind of consistency until the last mile or so. I did manage to get in my Fartlek spurts every half mile or so. But beyond that, I was just a hot mess out there.

I did hear some voices across the swamp that I assumed were hunters since they were yelling at a dog. But I didn't hear gunshots and the geese and ducks in the swamp didn't drop dead all of a sudden. Not that they should have since it's deer season, not waterfowl season.


Glad to put that run behind me.

Temps were about 30F at the start and may have gotten to 35F by the end. No wind, no humidity, and the sun was out in full.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a little bit of coffee. During the run I had one bottle of plain water. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite, a little more coffee, and some yogurt.

Aches and Pains:
Right hamstring feels like I strained it a bit on Saturday with Ashley. Felt tweaky at the start of the run but after warming up it just felt tender and not as painful. Lower back is also sore but I think I slept funny. Everything else was fine.

No special gear. Wore shorts, pants, thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, winter hat, gloves, and a neck gaiter.

Heart Rate:
Struggled to get my heart rate above 135 for the first mile or so. Once I got into Zone 2, I barely ran out of it, even on my Fartlek pushes. And my speed pushes barely got above 150 even though I felt like I was running as hard as I could.

Mile 0.3 - 4:26 (AVG HR 123)
Half Mile - 5:57 (AVG HR 130)
Mile 1 - 14:35 (AVG HR 137)
Mile 2 - 12:36 (AVG HR 145)
Mile 3 - 12:25 (AVG HR 148)
Half Mile - 5:33 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 0.3 - 3:35 (AVG HR 145)
Finish - 59:09
MIN HR - 62
AVG HR - 141
MAX HR - 171

Friday, November 08, 2013

Dick Snot - The Run

Today's run was another positive one. Probably the second or third in the past couple of weeks. Which is pretty rare for me so I'm enjoying it as much as I can. I managed to meet the goal in my training plan and even squeak in an extra mile under the time goal. All while taking a sump in the last half mile. Ha!

Meandered my fat ass down the trail and felt sleepy but okay. My sides, back, and ass weren't hurting as much as they were earlier in the week so that was nice. I was maybe 3 miles into my run before I realized that the 2 hour mark was my goal for my February race. As in I want to run 8 mile loops in two hours or less in February. So it suddenly became my goal for today's run. Which I didn't really need the extra pressure since the terrain isn't exactly the same and I had plenty of time to beat that mark. But it was still nice to have that as a bit of a measuring stick to focus on.

Along my run I saw two deer, several hunters' trucks, two walkers, and one hallucination. I swear I saw another runner but as I continued down the trail the runner never materialized and all I saw was a post and a tree stump. Yup. Should have had more coffee.

I did have a bit of an upset stomach the last two or three miles and I think it was a combination of too much corn yesterday, too much milk yesterday, and having my second pouch of applesauce too soon after the first one. I kept plodding along and made it to half a mile from the end of my run before I needed to purge my colon. After that I was able to hoof it back at a decent pace.


Some crazy mushrooms at the start of my run.

The railroad tracks at the midway point of my run.


Temps were about 35F at the start but warmed to about 45F by the end. Sky was clear, sun was out, no humidity, and barely any wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had a little bit of iced coffee and a small coffee cake bar. During the run I had about two bottles worth of plain water. I took my first applesauce pouch at 45 minutes and my second one at an hour and 15 minutes. I should have waited another 15 minutes but I survived. Recovery was two lousy breakfast burritos and an iced latte.

Aches and Pains:
My right knee felt a little tired around mile 5 or so but the pain went away. Or I managed to ignore it enough to not notice.

Wore a winter hat, gloves, Buff, thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, shorts, pants, and gaiters. Took my Nathan hydration pack and my voice recorder.

Heart Rate:
I really, really tried to focus on my zones early in the run and managed them well through the first 6 and a half miles. Then I saw the walkers and knew I had to pass them in the last mile and a half before my car. So I pushed the pace, a little, until I got to my car. Then I realized I still had time to squeeze in another mile so I did. The last half mile, after my dump, was pretty speedy and my heart rate was high.

Mile 1 - 13:40 (AVG HR 131)
Mile 2 - 14:00 (AVG HR 138)
Mile 3 - 14:02 (AVG HR 143)
Mile 4 - 14:26 (AVG HR 144)
Parking Lot Spur - 3:42 (AVG HR 134)
Mile 5 - 14:02 (AVG HR 144)
Mile 6 - 13:17 (AVG HR 149)
Mile 7 - 13:18 (AVG HR 150)
Mile 8 - 12:16 (AVG HR 165)
Mile 9 - 13:18 (AVG HR 165) (includes poop break)
Finish - 2:06:05
MIN HR - 85
AVG HR - 147
MAX HR - 186

Monday, November 04, 2013

I See Dead Deer

I did not want this run. I did not want to do this run. I do not like green eggs but I do like ham. This run was cut short by my apathy. I just didn't feel like running and something just didn't feel right about running. But I quelled the negative voices as much as I could manage and somehow talked myself into running an extra ten minutes on my out and back to hit the 40 minute mark before I finally turned around. I was surprised I made it that far. I wanted to turn around at the 30 minute mark so I guess I did pretty good in that respect.

Along the way, I saw a flock of vultures feasting on a dead deer. It smelled pretty bad but thankfully I only had to pass it twice. Beyond that, things were pretty quiet. Until I heard a low flying helicopter behind, turned around to look at it, and was surprised to see the Eye of Sauron looking down upon me. Actually it was the sun with a rainbow halo but it looked like a giant eye to me.



Temps were about 40F to 45F. The sun was out and there was no humidity. Winds were moderate at about 20 mph.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was two eggs, two waffles, two slices of bacon, yogurt, and coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water and an applesauce pouch at the 30 minute mark. Recovery was lobster bisque, salad, and Hammer Recoverite.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing to speak of.

Wore shorts, pants, thermal top, long sleeve shirt, winter hat, gloves, and a buff.

Heart Rate:
My heart rate was right up there with my apathy; way too high. Tried to mitigate it as best as I could but it just wasn't working.

Outbound - 40:04 (AVG HR 146)
Inbound - 41:04 (AVG HR 154)
Finish - 1:21:08
MIN HR - 99
AVG HR - 150
MAX HR - 174

Podcast - Mile 72 - Piss Moan Bitch

Damn is that clacking sound annoying. Sorry. That's what you get when you listen to a show that makes no money and doesn't edit anything out. This particular episode was recorded right after the last one where I was suddenly lost at the end of the show. As in I didn't know where to go on the trail. But I found my way and survived the trip. Sucks for you.

The rest of the episode is mostly about me pissing and moaning and bitching about the rough week I was having. Working late at work, taking care of a sick kid, and a lack of training made me pretty grumpy. But I survived and learned a few lessons. Like stay flexible. Like family comes first. Like trust your gut. Like if you have the chance to run, do it. Like my son can be really nerdy.

Enjoy this episode on Podbean and SoundCloud. Or, you can download it directly here.

Oh, yeah, don't forget, you can always send me an email at if you want to piss and moan and bitch about the show.

Friday, November 01, 2013

The Creep

Was nervous about getting this run in before the rain, before the giant storm, and before work. Thankfully I beat them all. My heart rate zones suffered a bit because of it but it got done and I was happy with it. Some how I managed to beat the rain by over an hour and made it to work on time. Sort of.

Anyway, the run went better than expected. I retrieved one trail camera so the first few miles were a bit heavy with the extra weight. Not to mention a bit annoying with the damn strap digging into my neck. Note to self, the free messenger bag isn't conducive to running. The second part of the run was much easier since I was able to ditch the extra gear and get down to just one bottle. Made for a more comfortable run.

Along the run I got to see two young bucks, four points or less. One was pretty alert, saw me, then ran away. The other was pretty sluggish, saw me, them meandered away looking for coffee.

Temps were 70F, humidity was mild to moderate, and the sky was overcast. Winds were heavy around 20 to 40 mph.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had half an iced coffee. Drank one bottle of plain water and one bottle of Hammer Fizz during the run. An hour into the run I had an applesauce packet. Recovery was a breakfast burrito and iced latte.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt other than the messenger bag digging into my neck for a few miles.

Dragged along the messenger bag to recover the trail camera. Only needed it for about 3 miles before ditching it. Same goes for my second handheld and my headlamp. Wore shorts, t-shirt, and hat. Also wore my free gaiters, but in the right direction this time.

Heart Rate:
Struggled to stay in Zone 2, primarily due to the heat. Finally said screw it over the last 2 miles and gradually increased the heart rate. Pushed it hard over the last half mile.

Mile 1 - 13:40 (AVG HR 136)
Mile 2 - 18:40 (AVG HR 137)
Mile 3 - 16:27 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 4 - 14:53 (AVG HR 144)
Mile 5 - 14:15 (AVG HR 147)
Mile 6 - 14:58 (AVG HR 148)
Mile 7 - 14:11 (AVG HR 150)
Mile 8 - 12:58 (AVG HR 162) [first half mile was 7:30 with HR of 151, second half mile was my hard push at 5:28 with HR of 172]
Finish - 2:00:06
MIN HR - 83
AVG HR - 146
MAX HR - 185

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trash Cache

It must be Halloween week because things are just getting creepy out there. A few days ago I ran on the trail and the fog was perfect weather for zombies. Plus the ghost cowboy I heard behind me (complete with hooves, spurs, and heavy breathing) made things extra creepy. Well today I headed in the other direction thankful that the fog was barely there. Only to find a bizarre stash of Gatorade bottles and duct tape. I mean, seriously? Did you have a victim in the woods and they got away? And what's up with the drinks?

Anyway, I carried on and got my run done. I won't be going out there for a few days just in the hopes that the spirits move along to find some other haint. Aside from the creepy tape, the run was fairly boring. No interesting encounters. Made it all the way to the bridge and back plus a little extra to edge me a little closer to the hour and a half mark. Still didn't quite get there but I could have if I didn't care about being too late to work.

Temps were about 45F to 50F. No wind. Sky was overcast and humidity was 100%. Had a few rain drops here and there but nothing too heavy.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had half an iced coffee and a mini-coffee cake bar. During the run I had a bottle of plain water that I didn't quite finish and an applesauce pouch at the halfway point. Recovery was bacon, eggs, waffles, yogurt, and coffee.

Aches and Pains:
Got a wee bruise on the ball of my right foot from stepping on too many pointy rocks. They like to hide under the leaves. Also had a bit of a sour stomach over the last mile but nothing too terrible (likely caused by poor choices for lunch and dinner last night).

Wore a headlamp for the first mile or two then stashed it. Wore my Buff, gloves, thermal shirt, shorts, and pants. Also wore a short sleeve t-shirt. Carried my knife since I was in coyote country.

Heart Rate:
Really happy with my heart rate today. Managed to stay out of Zone 3 until the last few miles when I really just wanted to speed up and get back home. First few miles I was in Zone 1, not really by design but just because that was the pace I was moving at. It felt comfortable so I stuck with it. I'm sure the cold weather helped. Finished with a roughly 2 minute push at the end to round out my 6 miles.

Decided to do half mile splits today just to get a better judge of pace and zones. Not that stopping to pick up trash helped things but hey, it's the thought that counts.

Start - 4:43 (AVG HR 116)
Mile 0.5 - 5:37 (AVG HR 133)
Mile 1.0 - 6:29 (AVG HR 138)
Mile 1.5 - 8:01 (AVG HR 132)
Mile 2.0 - 7:32 (AVG HR 137)
Mile 2.5 - 10:47 (AVG HR 132) (includes trash detail)
Mile 3.0 - 9:27 (AVG HR 125) (includes trash detail)
Mile 3.5 - 6:59 (AVG HR 142)
Mile 4.0 - 6:13 (AVG HR 142)
Mile 4.5 - 6:40 (AVG HR 142)
Mile 5.0 - 6:01 (AVG HR 139)
Mile 5.5 - 6:26 (AVG HR 145)
End - 1:58 (AVG HR 163)
Finish - 1:27:00
MIN HR - 89
AVG HR - 136
MAX HR - 174

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Zombie Weather

Dragged my ass out of bed and into my running clothes. The weekend is always nice but sometimes you need a nice, quiet day at work to recover from your weekend. Pretty much just stuck to my plan to run an hour and a half today. Thought about starting at Mile 4 on the trail but changed my mind and started at Mile 8. Ran down to Mile 5.5 and back, doing my best to run the only hill on the trail without blowing past my heart rate zone. Yep, didn't last long, but I tried.

Thankfully I managed to get my pooping done at home before leaving. That seemed to help move me along on my run. The first half was really sluggish and I felt like a zombie. No regular cadence, no normal stride, just a bunch of shuffling and stumbling. Glad there were no brains on the trail or I may have stopped to eat them.

After the turn around I managed to have a good mile or so before starting to run above my heart rate zone. Which then prompted more walking breaks than I wanted which made me mad which sent me back to a downward spiral of self doubt. But I tried to put it behind me, think about my great run from last week, and move on. It sort of worked.

Other notable points from the run include scaring a deer, picking up a plastic bag, and blocking what was likely an illegal access point. And that was pretty much it.

The weather was spooky out. Surprised I didn't see any zombies.

Temps were about 40F to 45F. Sun was out but I barely saw it do to the fog. Fog was mild for the most part but would occasionally be very thick in some spots. No wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Before the run I had half an iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water that I ran out of with half a mile to go. I also had an applesauce pouch around the half hour mark. Recovery was two waffles, two eggs, yogurt, and more iced coffee.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt or bothered me.

Wore gloves, winter hat, thermal shirt, shorts, and pants. Also wore a long sleeve top.

Heart Rate:
Plan was to stay in Zone 2 and I managed to stay in Zone 1 and low Zone 2 for the first half or so. The second half started out great but then I started creeping into Zone 3. Finished the last couple of minutes with a Zone 3 or higher push.

Mile 1 - 15:47 (AVG HR 137)
Mile 2 - 17:05 (AVG HR 142)
Mile 3 - 16:10 (AVG HR 142)
Mile 4 - 16:11 (AVG HR 142)
Mile 5 - 15:21 (AVG HR 139)
2 Minute Push - AVG HR 162
Finish - 1:25:06
MIN HR - 87
AVG HR - 140
MAX HR - 174

Monday, October 28, 2013

Podcast - Mile 71 - Avoidance

As I traipse along the trails at Lake Anna State Park, I do my best to avoid injury, an elevated heart rate, and horse shit. I was hurt a couple of years ago at the ICY-8 because I slipped and pulled something in my back.* It hurt like hell and lingered for awhile. I also try to avoid Zone 3 in my run because, well, because that's what my coach tells me to do. I don't always understand why he tells me to do certain things but I need to learn to have faith in him and his knowledge. And of course, I get to avoid giant piles of horse shit. The park is home to many trails that are open to horses and horses, like all things that eat, poop. Thankfully I avoided everything I could see.

Aside from that, the rest of the episode is my usual rambling. And then I get lost. Yup, I got lost. But just a little bit. Maybe a quarter of a mile. Maybe less.

You can avoid the horse pies here on SoundCloud. Seems that Podbean still lets me publish stuff so you can check it out over there too.

* Upon further research, it was actually my hamstring. My back hurt during and after the race, but the injury was to my hamstring.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Worst. Aid Station. Ever.

Had quite the run today. After yesterday's lousy strength training workout where I reached physical exhaustion after starting my second set, I felt a little depressed. But I moved on. This morning started out a little lousy too but again, I moved on. This time, out the door.

I shuffled down the road, keeping an eye on my heart rate, and did my best not to freeze my nose off. The sun wasn't up yet so I made sure I was wearing bright colors and had a headlamp on to flash the drivers coming my direction. And I'm glad I did because you could tell when they saw me. Sometimes living in the country is a good thing. As I moved my fat ass down the road, I kept looking at my watch, making sure I was in the right zone. And kept looking. And kept running. When I reached the area of the one mile mark, I was shocked that I was able to keep my heart rate down so far. But I kept running. And kept watching. After three miles I needed to pee and my super-awesome run streak was over. That's the first time in at least 2 or 3 years that I've been able to run that far without stopping to take a walking break.

From there, I moved into the second leg of my route and my heart rate would steadily rise. The road was super busy, there was barely a shoulder to run on, and nearly all of it was uphill. But I did my best and carried on.

By the third leg of the route, I was able to get things back to where they needed to be. For about 5 minutes then I needed to take a dump. I'll spare you the details because things turned out to be too gross for me which means it's too gross to share with you. Let's just leave it at that.

After my stomach expelled the demons, I felt better and was able to keep things under control and finished out the run. The last 3 or 4 minutes I pushed the pace a bit still felt okay by the end.

Over an hour into the run, the sun was finally peeking through the trees.

This was the worst aid station ever.

Temps were about 30F to 35F. Things were warmer in the sun and on hills. Sun wasn't up at the start but was up by the end. Sky was clear. Little to no wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a yogurt and half an iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz and a bottle of plain water. At the halfway point I had a small packet of applesauce. Recovery was the rest of my coffee, Hammer Recoverite, and a small piece coffee cake.

Aches and Pains:
Right knee was hurting a little bit towards the end but nothing horrible. Ass started to chafe a bit since frozen leaves make poor toilet paper. Everything else was fine.

Wore shorts under pants. Wore gloves and a winter hat. Wore thermal top with a cycle jersey over it. Wore my headlamp and kept the light on for the first 5 miles.

Heart Rate:
Kept myself in Zone 2 for the first three miles. Danced into Zone three several times for the next few miles. Finished the last few miles in Zone 2 with a good surge for the final 3 or 4 minutes.

Leg 1 (about 3 miles) - 38:18 (AVG HR 143)
Leg 2 (about 2 miles) - 26:48 (AVG HR 149)
Leg 3 (about 3 miles) - 38:46 (AVG HR 139) (includes poop break)
Finish - 1:43:53
MIN HR - 104
AVG HR - 143
MAX HR - 169

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

MIA on the DRHT

Wow. Chilly this morning. Once I got going though, I was able to warm up a bit. And then when I stopped to swap memory cards on one of the trail cameras, I stopped for too long and got chilly again. But not to worry, I warmed up soon enough. Guess you know winter is coming when your stream generates a small steam cloud.

The run was full of excitement. Well, not really, but there were a few tipping points. The cold air helped keep my heart rate within the desired zone for a good 2 or 3 miles before I had to keep a close eye on it. Spooked about six turkeys. They took off through the trees and I swear they looked so clumsy I was waiting for one to fly headlong into a tree. Dropped my knife after I cut a briar but managed to find it on the way back. Was pretty pissed for a few miles. One of my trail cameras will likely need new batteries. Damn thing wouldn't work when I swapped the memory card. May need to move it to a sunnier spot.


My view this morning.

Temps were about 40F when I started and warmed to maybe 45F or 50F by the finish. Sun was out but was low in the sky when I started. Eventually rose high enough to be annoying. No humidity and no wind.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was half an iced coffee and a small cinnamon coffee bar. During the run I had just plain water. Recovery was an iced latte and oatmeal.

Aches and Pains:
Nothing really hurt. Dirt bike knocked some rocks loose which made some of the trail annoying but other than stepping on a few rocks, things were good.

Wore some new gaiters but I think I wore them backwards. Wore shorts and pants and a long sleeve shirt. Wore winter hat and gloves. Took my Nathan hydration pack.

Heart Rate:
Goal was 90 minutes in Zone 2 with a 3 minute push at the end. Managed to stay where I needed to be for most of the run. Ran out of Zone 2 a few times and even managed to catch myself before I even looked at the watch. Did a good 5 or 6 minute push at the end. Since I'm so stuck on running mile post to mile post, I stretched out the run a bit at the end.

Splits got jacked up since I forgot a few.
Finish - 1:33:37
MIN HR - 70
AVG HR - 139
MAX HR - 171

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lake Anna Litmus Test

Thought I'd use my time wisely and go for a test run at Lake Anna State Park. It'll be the site of my next scheduled race and it'll be my main race leading into my A race for next year. And based on how things went today, I'm a bit depressed. I was hoping to do a long loop in less than 2 hours but I still clocked in at 2:15. Coming in under 2 hours for a long loop would give me the pace I need to run 4 long loops (32 miles) within the 8 hour race time limit. So even though I piddled around, got a little lost, and generally didn't stress out about things, I'm a bit stressed now knowing that I'll need to continue to push the envelope a bit to get that 50k mark by February. If memory serves, I haven't run sub-8 for a 50k since last year. Not good. But progress needs time and so do I. So I'll continue to train as best as I can.

Outside of the slow pace, I didn't do too much on this run. Had to dodge two cyclists that snuck up on me while I was daydreaming about some conspiracy theory as to why a pontoon boat was sitting in the lake looking abandoned. It wasn't but I let my imagination get the better of me while I was making my way through the woods. Along the way, I dodged plenty of horse shit and quite a few mud puddles. I had forgotten how poorly the course drains and how many damn roots there are out there. Thankfully the rocks aren't too bad and I only rolled an ankle once.

The elevation was damn near a joke coming off of Oil Creek. The start has a decent incline and the hills on the power line section were tough. There were a few rollers in two sections but generally speaking, this is an easily runnable course. I just need to keep that fresh in my mind when I do it.

What was left of a barn's foundation.

This was the little pond near the start.

This was a pretty cool view on the trail. Hard to see but giant drops of rain were falling through the sun.

Temps were about 65F to 75F. Humidity was moderate to high with a few sprinkles of rain here and there. Sky was mostly overcast with a few rays from the sun.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was two waffles, two eggs, yogurt, and iced coffee. During the run I had about 30 ounces of plain water (I somehow managed to pay attention to that), most of a bottle of Hammer Fizz, and an apple sauce pack. Recovery was the rest of my Hammer Fizz followed by a lunch of a Caesar salad, black bean soup, baguette, iced tea, and iced coffee.

Aches and Pains:
I rolled my ankle early on a rock buried in the leaves but it didn't bother me. My problem toes (one on each foot) bugged me towards the end so I lopped off what I could after my shower. Outside of that, things felt fine.

Wore my Nathan hydration pack and stashed my Amphipod bottle inside. Brought along my phone, map, and a few other essentials. No gaiters so I got rocks and twigs in my shoes. Shoes started to bug me towards the end of the race so I may need to go with my Superiors instead of my Lone Peaks.

Heart Rate:
I tried, really tried, to keep it under the 149 mark to stay in Zone 2. It just didn't happen. So I tried to keep it as low in Zone 3 as I could but I'd often find myself struggling just to keep it under 155. As I neared the end, I said screw it and just ran it back in since it was mostly downhill. I think I averaged 165 to 170 over the last 5 minutes.

Finish - 2:14:50
MIN HR - 82 (at the start)
AVG HR - 148 (wow, I guess I did make it on the average)
MAX HR - 183 (probably when I ran face first into a spider web just as I thought I saw a snake)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Podcast - Mile 70 - Mindless Eating

mmmmrmrmrmrrr fooooodd mmmmmmememmrrmrm

Yep, I'm a zombie eater. Or maybe I'm a Pavlovian eater. Either way, I eat without thinking about it when I sit in front of the TV. I know it but I don't know it. There are times where I catch myself halfway through a second bowl of chips without remembering the first bowl. Kind of like driving to work where you suddenly realize you're at work without remembering that second stop light.

Anyway, lots of reasons for this but I think it boils down to nurture and nature conspiring against me. Okay, maybe not conspiring against me but it sure feels that way. I'd like to think I have control of this but I don't. Some days are better than others. Here's to hoping today will be a good day.

You can download this episode into your snack bowl here or gnaw on it directly here. And if you're on the go, you can listen to it here with a side of fries.