Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Screw This, I'm Leaving

That's right, I quit. I'm done. I give up. See ya later. Screw you. Good bye.

Well, sort of.

You see, I'm going on vacation. And I'm really run-down mentally. I'm hoping to find my mojo on my trip. If not, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But in the meantime, here's what you can expect from me.


Well, sort of.

I'll occasionally tweet here. I will not be podcasting. I will not be blogging. I will be tracking my runs on DailyMile here but I will only be tracking miles and equipment and, if I'm lucky, my routes.

As they say at work, that's the "high-level" view of where I'm going and what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. Want the meat of the story? Then keep reading.
Take a gander at Jim's post on his journey through depression. Why is this relevant? Because I've struggled with depression and various other mental maladies for a long time. But keep in mind, these struggles are strictly self-diagnosed. So, back to depression. I can remember in high school and middle school and college and so on fighting "the blues." I'd break down and cry over some stupid shit and I often questioned why these bad things were happening to me. I never got an answer.

Over time, I made due and adjusted to these negative thoughts. I even spent a few months on Zoloft. It made me feel buzzy, almost high. My mood improved but the negative thoughts were just muted and less vocal. They were still there, just not as loud. Fast-forward a few years and I get back into running to help my body get into shape. Clearly I had forgotten how much it helped my mind. After nearly every run, I felt great mentally. Even on bad runs, I still felt better than when I went out. Sure, there were really bad runs where I felt worse, but the majority of the time, the running helped my mind just as much as my body.

Through running I've met many great people. One has been nearly like a twin to me. Even though we don't talk as much as we used to, we still check-in every now and then just to see how each other is doing. He has a lot of the same thoughts as I do and vice versa. But I don't know if he suffers from the same mental illnesses as I do. And that doesn't really matter. What matters is I followed his lead and got help. It felt like hurdling a log on the trail after 30 miles of running. Very hard and damn near impossible.

Despite hurdles, I got help. I went to therapy. I talked about things I've never talked about to anyone. Not my mother. Not my father. Not even my wife. In fact, some of these things brought me so much shame, I rarely thought about them because I just wanted to shut them out and pretend they never happened. Well, they did happen. Were these things normal? Who the hell knows. But more importantly, who the hell cares. They happened. There's nothing to do about them now except to move on.

And that's what I'm working on now; moving on. I've made strides in therapy and my mind. I can only hope my wife and the rest of my family can see the same progress in those relationships as well. Things aren't perfect but they're certainly better than they used to be. And that's all I care about. Making progress.

I don't want to air all my dirty laundry here because I know there are friends, family, and various acquaintances that read my blog (hi Jean!). And that's fine that people read, but I do want to keep some of my private life private. So you won't see everything behind the curtain. But I'll share what I feel comfortable with.

The biggest is what I've already talked about; therapy and depression. Therapy carries such a heavy stigma to it and it's such a shame. If you need help, if you need to talk to somebody, go to therapy. It'll take a bit to get used to, but the therapist really isn't going to judge you. There's no shame in asking for help. So if you do need help, stop reading now and go make an appointment.

And depression? Well, it carries just as much stigma to it. Do I really suffer from depression? Beats the hell out of me. I've self-diagnosed myself. But I know running and therapy help me deal with the moods. The same goes for my OCD. Again, I've self-diagnosed myself, but I think it's much clearer that I do suffer from some mild OCD. How do I know? Easy. How many people do you know that touch corners? I've mentioned this before, but I touch corners. Not inside ones, outside ones. As in the ones that stick out, like a door frame or a desk or dresser. Why do I do this? I don't know, I just do. Same goes for counting and certain "rituals" I go through when I do certain things.

I know a lot of athletes have a "good luck charm." I sort of do too except it's not really a good luck charm to me, it's just something that I need to have when I go run. Could this just be a habit instead of OCD? Maybe, but doubtful. To me, habit would be putting a seat belt on when I get into a car. OCD would be getting a little panicky and stopping a run early because I don't have my necklace.

So, getting back to my point at the start. I'm taking a hiatus and going on vacation. My mother is already in Utah and I'll be joining her there shortly. I'll be back after the Fourth of July, hopefully with a heap of running mojo. My focus for this vacation is to spend time with my mother and family, relax, run, and generally just to chill the fuck out.

So, until I get back, CTFO baby, CTFO.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Podcast - Mile 34 - A Pirate's Life

Welcome to the doldrums. That low point in training when you feel like crap but know you need to keep going. That's where I'm at right now and I just can't seem to bust out of my funk.

Maybe if I turn into a whirlpool and suck some of you down into Davy Jones' Locker with me, I'll feel better. Well, at least I'll have company.

But before I maroon you on an island of woe with only one bullet in your pistol, I do touch a bit on my upcoming review for Deerfly Patches. You see, my arch enemy the Tabanidae (aka the deer fly, horse fly, or the fly that will eat the fucking shit out of you while you run), has a weakness. And I've found a way to exploit it. So while I work on my wording and give the patch a few more test runs, enjoy this particular episode.

Or not you scurvy dog.

Download or view on Podbean me hearties.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Race Distances

So I got an email from the organizers of the Run for the Dream Half Marathon in Williamsburg stating that the course may have been longer than intended. I knew my time was longer than expected but I figured it was the hills that did me in. Turns out the distance also helped slow me down.

According to them, the distance was "13.46876 miles as opposed to 13.10938, for an “overage” of 0.35938 miles." Not too terrible. My "official" time dropped from 2:33:52 to 2:29:45. Still not my best time but better than before.

I'm glad the organizers listened to the runners with GPS watches and checked the distance. I usually don't put much weight into the GPS distance since it's proven to not be 100% accurate. After you read what goes into making a course USATF certified, you'd understand how a watch can't match the level of detail. Anyway, I'm glad they listened. It tells me they care enough to read all the comments and to freely admit they made a mistake. Honesty goes a long way in my book.

And while I'm glad they admitted they were at fault, I do have an issue with their time adjustment. I don't like their math. I'm not saying the math isn't valid, but it doesn't factor in the unknown variables. For me, that would be a negative split. Do I negative split every race or every run? Absolutely not. But I do have that tendency, especially in races. And if you look at my report, you'll see that from Mile 11 to the finish, I'm running faster. Mile 11 was 12:30, Mile 12 was 11:22, and Mile 13 was 10:45. A drop in time of 1:45 over the last couple of miles, which doesn't get factored into their equation.

Does this mean they're right and I'm wrong? No. It just means that nobody is perfect. I clearly ran this race much slower than my PR of 2:19:03 (it's even slower than my trail PR of 2:23:24).

So what's the bottom line here? I'm just as much at fault as the race organizers. And if they can admit their mistake, so can I. I had a bad race and they had a bad measurement. Let's call it square and move on to the next event.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baked On

My first run after Sunday's 50k and I'm feeling good. About 90% of my chafe healed by Monday morning but there was still a hint of pain in my nipples. They felt fine by today. Luckily, my muscles appear to be just fine with only some mild tenderness. Sunday night my toes hurt, which is pretty common, but by Monday I felt about like I was about at 90%. Today I felt much better but still not quite 100%. Maybe it was the heat.

Today's run was pretty low-key, it was mostly just to get out the door and get moving on my feet. About 10 feet into the run I could feel the heat and humidity kicking my ass. My muscles, especially my calves, didn't really hurt until about a tenth of a mile in. By the end, I was dealing with the heat and the DOMS but managing just fine.

Temps were about 85F. Humidity was high at about 60% to 65%. Winds were light. Sun was out in full.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a burrito, vegan sausage, and iced coffee. The sausage kicked my ass. During the run I had a bottle of ice water and a bottle of iced NUUN. Recovery was water and a large salad. Followed by half a mousse pie (a small one).

Aches and Pains:
My calves hurt the worst but beyond feeling stiff and sore, things were fine. And even the aches and pains I had were pretty mild.

I loaded up on my Mission Skincare sunblock but no other gear.

Codename - Baked On
I was about halfway through my run when I was suddenly smelling my sunblock. It was then that it occurred to me that the sunblock was getting baked on.

Outbound - 21:36
Inbound - 21:51
Finish - 43:27

Fat Ass 50k in Pictures

Totally stole these pics from my running partner but she won't mind. First, we have the "before" shot:

Then we have the "during" shot (which was actually only 5 miles into the run):

Then we have the "after" shot (as in after 31 miles/8 and a half hours on the trail):

Monday, June 18, 2012

What Happens Here, Stays Here

31 miles bitches. And I still don't think that's enough to put me on top of the leader board. You other overachievers need to slow the hell down.

And while I was SOOO tempted to just write nothing, my compulsive need to write won't let me. Plus I think those crazy enough to like what I write might get mad. All 3 of you. And why can't I pick both the "blah" face and the "happy" face?

Okay, my day started at 0300 when my "internal" alarm went off and I thought it was time to go run. Turns out I still had two hours to sleep. And I tried. At 0500 when my alarm went off, I hauled my butt into the shower, cleaned up just enough to not offend anybody, then got my gear on. I was out the door and at the local gas station by 0530, picked up water, Gatorade, and ice. Loaded up and organized the coolers and dropped them off at the three designated aid stations (Mile 4, Mile 8.25, and Mile 12.75 on the trail). I made it to Mile 0, our starting line, just in time to beat Biddi . Karyl-Lynne T. showed up a few minutes later and we chatted a bit. We waited for Nebs for a few minutes, then left without him. I have no idea how long KL kept us in sight, I pretty much forgot about her once we headed out. Nebs did end up catching us just before Mile 1 or so and easily matched our pace. I set the pace to run a mile then walk a minute. I was a bit worried with Biddi being sick this week but she was doing well and Nebs was entertaining us so we kept going. And I can honestly say those first few miles with him were the best. He and Biddi had great stories that they shared and you could tell they had made that bond that runners do when they go the distance with each other. It's a mental thing and until you have that bond, it's hard to explain. It means a lot to me, I could see it with them, and it made me feel good to see it. Having said that, I'd love to crew, pace, or run with either of these goofballs anytime.

We made our first pit-stop at Mile 4, refilled water bottles, ate food, talked, etc. We carried on until Mile 5 when we had to leave Ryan behind sine he ran out of "me time" and had to pay with some smoochy time with his wife (not really, but it sounds funnier that way).

From there, it was just Badass Biddi and me. We made it to the Mile 8 cooler, refilled, and carried on to the next cooler just past Mile 12. From there we ran a short stint on the road, maybe a mile, to avoid some seriously tall grass. We eventually made it back to the trail at Mile 14 where I coaxed another half mile out of Biddi on the condition that we'd head back the same way and enjoy the ease of running on the road.

The way back was a bit more exciting than the way out. Our outbound leg saw just one other runner, Wayne - a local runner I've begun to see a lot on the trail. On the way back we saw five cyclists (two pair and one solo), one lady walking her dog, one runner, and two nudists.

Wait, did I just say nudists? Yup. Nude sunbathers. They weren't skinny dipping because the swamp isn't swimmer friendly. They may have been having sex but I didn't see any movement. Until they saw us when they jumped into the bushes and into their clothes. After we passed them I looked back but alas, there was no double-feature. Oh well.

Overall, the trail had lots of tall grass, a few briars, and a few deer. The spiderwebs were pretty sparse. We saw one snake which prompted me to do my lady-dance to the other side of the trail nearly knocking Biddi into the bushes. I'm sure she felt great knowing that I wouldn't be protecting her from the snake but instead shoving her out of the way to save myself. There were plenty of deer flies, my arch nemesis, but I came prepared today. In fact, I ended up winning the battle against them. I'll leave you with a little tease by telling you it's called "Deerfly Paper." I'll review them later but the bottom line is, that shit works.

What didn't work for me was the heat. Towards the end of the run I was running hot and getting dehydrated. But I pushed myself further than I thought I could. With 6 miles left, I was ready (mentally) to walk. So I just told myself to run/walk to the next half mile marker and walk from there. I made it another 4 miles doing this. Granted, I slowed way down, but I still had some run left in me. Once I got to the car with 2 miles left though, I was done. I ran a bit but my walking was most of my movement. Biddi on the other hand was still. fucking. running. She may have moaned and groaned but damn, she still moved.

So what's the bottom line from today's run? I can do more than I think I can. My pace was good. Slow but good. My fueling was okay but a bit lighter than it should have been. My hydration was fine until the last 8 to 10 miles when I needed to increase it. My electrolytes were fine. My lubrication was much lower than it needed to be (I'm currently nursing some chafe that I didn't feel until I finished). Same goes for my feet where I don't have chafe but have some warm spots and maybe a blister or two (on my two problem toes). I need to install velcro on my Lone Peaks so I can wear gaiters. They would have helped a ton. I needed to pack towels to dry off with at the aid stations (and to also get wet to cool down with). I guess a rag instead of a towel would work too. I needed a cooler at my car so I could keep my beer cold instead of using a bag of ice so it leaks all over my car floor. I don't need music to run with. I carried my iPod Shuffle the entire way and was tempted in the final miles to use it but once I got close to the end, I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't need it. Running with somebody is sooo much better than running solo, especially over long distances. Biddi is a badass but she's also a goddess for putting up with my shit for 31 miles. Nearly 9 hours with my sweaty, stinky, whiny self and never once did she flinch. In fact, she was badass enough to give me a hug at the end. And I was topless. Dear God is she crazy. Oh, did I mention that she thinks I sound like a movie star? What. The. Fuck. Is she crazy or what?

Temps started around 55F to 60F and ended around 70F to 75F. The sun was out. There was a breeze. The humidity was light.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a banana and a small can of Starbucks Espresso. I have no idea what I ate today. Or how much I drank. So I'll guess. I had a few Ritz, a few Oreos, two bags of chips, a couple of Hammer gels, at least three bottles of Hammer Perpeteum, and several bottles of Hammer Fizz. I also had plain water and about two bottles of Gatorade. I also had a small can of Starbucks Espresso and a banana. Recovery was a beer followed by a bottle of Hammer Recoverite then dinner (ham, potato, corn, and wacky cake).

Aches and Pains:
I took a few spears to the toes and stepped on a few pointy rocks. The worst was the rocks in my socks and shoes. My nipples started to chafe a bit towards the end but some BodyGlide made things better. After I finished, I felt the chafe in the nether regions. My legs and back were hurting at the end too but nothing unexpected. Knees, ankles, feet, hips, thighs, everything.

I opted for handhelds today to test them out over the longer distance. They worked fine. I did struggle a few times with the cold when I put ice in them, but outside of that, they worked fine. I wasn't sure about the weight over the duration but managed just fine.

Codename - What Happens Here, Stays Here
There's so much said out on the trail that I could write a novel about the content, back story, and implications. But alas, what happens on the trail, stays on the trail. Well, most of it. Not everyone would understand how a right-handed snake that's a dentist but uses their left handed for the moon cup would frighten me.

Miles 1 and 2 - 21:54 (10:57 average)
Miles 3 and 4 - 26:12 (13:06 average - includes aid station)
Mile 5 - 10:45
Mile 6 - 20:42 (includes a rap session with Nebs before he left)
Mile 7 - 22:21 (includes some equipment adjustment and the gun range bypass)
Mile 8 - 12:27
Mile 9 - 17:15 (includes aid station)
Mile 10 - 16:20 (I think this had more equipment adjustments)
Mile 11 - 12:22
Mile 12 - 12:02
Miles 13 and 14 - 37:46 (18:53 average - mostly on the road - includes aid station)
Mile 15 - 18:32
Miles 16 and 17 - 43:06 (21:33 average - mostly on the road - includes aid station)
Mile 18 - 13:14
Mile 19 - 17:18
Mile 20 - 12:20
Mile 21 - 28:42 (includes aid station)
Mile 22 - 16:48 (includes a bit of extra walking to let the nudists dress)
Mile 23 - 16:15 (includes gun range bypass)
Mile 24 - 14:41
Mile 25 - 14:58
Mile 26 - 23:34 (includes aid station)
Mile 27 - 14:27
Mile 28 - 14:38
Mile 29 - 14:51
Mile 30 - 18:10 (includes grabbing a water bottle and heading right back out)
Mile 31 - 17:35
Finish - 8:29:26

Friday, June 15, 2012

Peer Pressure

Had a nice run today, mostly because I had some company for most of it. Managed to sneak out of work for a long lunch, drop off trash at the dump, then head over to the Y for a group run. Got two miles in before the group run started then headed out with a very small group (only four of us total) for another 3 miles. I must have been desperate for company because I ran the entire final 3 miles with Amanda, my running buddy, and talked to her for a solid 2 miles. Very rare indeed.

And to top it all off, we ran fast. Yet I was still able to talk. In fact, I tried to stop for a short walking break at mile 1 and she said "no no, keep going" and then I nearly puked at mile 2 but we kept going. Amazing that she pushed me to that speed and distance and yet I didn't die. I loved it.

Temps were about 70F to 74F. Humidity was high but more bearable than it has been in the past. Sun was only out for about 2 minutes, the rest of the time it was very overcast. Light breeze.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a burrito, eggs, and iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water for the first two miles, took some Power Bar chewy things, then ran the final three miles on a bottle of Hammer Fizz. Recovery was an iced latte and sliders.

Aches and Pains:
Well, I nearly puked at mile 4 (mile 2 of the group run) but beyond that felt fine.

Took my phone and voice recorder for the first two miles then ditched it in my locker since it looked like it was going to rain (it never did). Outside of that, no special gear. I did test some Deep Woods Off (which is heavy on DEET) to keep the deer flies away but with the weather, I'm not sure if this a solid conclusion. Almost forgot, I also tested out the Zombies, Run! app on my phone. So far, it's okay.

Codename - Peer Pressure
It's nice to have somebody that can talk to you, listen to you, and push you along at the same time too. Even when they're suffering. I'll miss my running partner when she moves to Turkey this summer.

Mile 1 - 10:28
Mile 2 - 11:44 (tested out the Zombies, Run! app here)
Aid Station - 8:43
Mile 3 - 9:41
Mile 4 - 10:13
Mile 5 - 9:58
Last 5k - 30:53
Finish - 1:01:49

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You know you're a runner if...

Had 30 minutes for lunch so I spent 20 minutes running and 10 minutes showering. Better than nothing. As for this run, it was fast. I didn't intend to go fast but I felt like I was in a rush so I had to perform under pressure and get the run done. I wanted to make it the full 3+ mile route but decided to take a shorter lunch to make a meeting later today. Which means the entire run I felt a looming pressure to get back fast. Which was compounded by the sudden deerfly attack just as I approached the hill. I promptly ran down and back up the hill as quickly as I could. Talk about making your hill workout a speed workout. Sheesh!

Sorry, no pics today since I ran in the rain.

Temps were about 75F but humidity was at 100% with a few light sprinkles. Temps felt like 70F as I started due to the rain and light breeze but the rain and wind stopped and the temps suddenly warmed up quickly. No sun.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was yogurt, oatmeal, iced coffee, and eggs. During the run I had cold water in a bottle. Recovery was half a bottle of Gatorade followed by leftover pork chop, corn and orzo salad (orzo with peppers, onion, garlic, and feta).

Aches and Pains:
Deerflies. Nuf said.

No gear since I expected to get soaked (which I didn't since the rain disappeared).

Codename - You know you're a runner if...
...you accidentally forget your beer bottle in the shower after a long run in the heat.
...you find empty gel packets when you pull your running clothes out of the washer.
...you know exactly how many miles are on each of your running shoes. All 25 pair.

Outbound - 9:57 (downhill)
Inbound - 10:30 (uphill)
Finish - 20:28

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Three Stings

Turns out, a local property owner was doing more than just burning stuff in a fire pit. This is the source behind all the smoke during this run.

Went out between breakfast and lunch and I'm just too damn lazy to write about everything. So here are the highlights. It was hot. I saw a six to eight foot black snake (not sure if it was dead or alive and I didn't stick around to check). I found where they've been logging on my road.

That's not fog or even haze, that's smoke:

Temps were easily 75F to 80F. Humidity was high. No wind. Sun was out in full.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was Greek yogurt (honey flavor is the best) and water. Since there was a long delay between breakfast and my run and since I didn't eat much, I took one Hammer Gel before the run and one at the halfway point. I also had two bottles, one of iced Hammer Fizz and the other was just plain ice water. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by leftover pizza.

Logging down the road from me:

Aches and Pains:
My left ankle felt a little tweaky at about mile 4 but it went away. After today's run, I feel that my heat acclimation has reached about 70%. I think it'll plateau some here but I'll eventually get to 100%.

No special gear but I did take my iPod Shuffle.

You know you live in the country when you judge distance by a specific farm:

Codename - Three Stings
The sweat was stringing my eyes since I forgot to put my Mission sunblock on my face. The smoke was stinging my lungs since somebody down the road decided to burn some wood. The deer flies stung my skin since they apparently like my blood.

Outbound - 32:32
Inbound - 35:40 (3 minutes off pace but most of that was in the final mile)
Finish - 1:08:12

Monday, June 11, 2012

Podcast - Mile 33 - Are you feeling okay?

Another walking podcast for this episode. I've been laid low by a sinus/upper respiratory infection of some sort. It's not quite at the level of a man-cold but it has kept me from running. Thankfully I'm feeling better now.

My secret for staying sinus infection free came from a doctor that used to be a flight surgeon for Navy pilots. While not exactly proven to be 100% effective, it does appear to curb many of the symptoms and on occasion drastically reduces the amount of time I'm sick. What's the trick? Ibuprofen for the swelling in the sinuses. Nasal spray to help clear the sinus congestion. And avoiding dairy since it increases mucus production.

Oh, yeah, and I suddenly end this podcast because I accidentally pressed the wrong button on the recorder. Suffer through it.

Download or view on Podbean.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Really wanted to go longer today which was pretty amazing in and of itself but I only had time for four miles. I had what they call in the office a "hard stop" appointment. And I wanted to make sure I had time to shower and shave before making the appointment. Outside of that, my run was pretty standard with not much excitement. I think the most exciting thing was the fact that I was actually in the mood to go run.

Temps were about 60F to 65F. Wind was light at 5 mph to 10 mph. Sun was out in full. No humidity.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was iced coffee, oatmeal, and greek yogurt (black cheery flavor, which was a good flavor but I still don't like fruit chunks - I think I'll stick to the honey flavor). During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz for the first three miles then a bottle of ice water for my cool-down mile. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by some celery, carrots, broccoli, hamburgers, and iced latte.

Aches and Pains:
I tried to test out some different stride patterns here and there. A few times during the first three miles I shortened my stride and did a solid forefoot plant. I could really feel it in my calves and eventually my shins. I didn't do it too much but just enough to try to reinforce the proper form. During my cool-down mile I did some high knees, butt kicks, and skips; all were an effort to stretch things out as well as promote proper forefoot strikes. Nothing really hurt but my calves and ankles did feel a bit tender towards the end.

No special gear but I did run with my iPod Shuffle.

Codename - Therapy
I had quite a bit of therapy this morning. Running, therapy, and food. All three speak to a lot of my mindset.

Mile 1 - 10:18 (I guessed my pace to be 10 minutes - pretty close)
Mile 2 - 10:44 (I guessed my pace to be 11:30 since I took a minute walking break - not even close)
Mile 3 - 10:36 (I guessed my pace to be 11 minutes - sorta close)
5k - 32:41
Mile 4 - 14:04 (cool-down)
Finish - 46:45

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Podcast - Mile 32 - The Half Aftermath

For some reason I couldn't find my voice recorder so I'm a bit late in uploading this episode. Not that I was in any rush to upload this one since it's a bit depressing. I had just finished a bad race after a long weekend full of lousy stuff. Not that I didn't have a few fun moments over the weekend, it's just the dark cloud of depression won instead of my happy thoughts.

So, that sums it up. I touch on a few things from the last episode where I constructed my own Hammer Fizz container to how tangled my medal and earphones can get as I run back to the hotel. I also talk about how the Colonial Parkway will eat your feet alive. Enjoy!

Download or view on Podbean.

PS - My pace may have been slower because the course was apparently longer than 13.1 miles. Even though it was USATF certified last year and this year (two slightly different courses), there were apparently enough people complaining about it to warrant some further investigation. Which led to the discovery that things were off. No word yet on the final, actual distance.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Erin Go Bragh

Went out for a #ZTZ run today. I really wanted to lounge around and do nothing but I felt guilty just going back to bed for an hour. So I made my way outside and enjoyed the weather as much as I could.

Overall, the run was pretty normal. Ran past a local walker on my way back home. He's always out on the road walking or walking his dog. Pleasant and always waves. The big shock though was the bagpipes. Just after going by the walker, I started to hear bagpipes. I thought it was music at first but it turns out it wasn't. So I took a short little detour to investigate. Apparently somebody down the street from me plays the bagpipes and she decided to practice this morning. Loved it. Put a smile on my face.

Here's the bagpiper (much easier to hear than to see):

And here's some swamp love:

Temps were about 65F to 70F. Wind was about 15 mph. Humidity was low. Sun was out.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was some new yogurt, Greek yogurt. It set well so I'll see if I can find a flavor I can stand. During the run I had two bottles of plain water. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite.

Aches and Pains:
Biggest pain was sitting down on the stool to take my shoes off when I was done. Thought my ass was going to explode after yesterday's ride.

Tested Mission sunblock again as a deer fly repellent. So far, it appears to be working.

Codename - Erin Go Bragh
That's what the bagpipes made me think of. And my years at college. And my wedding.

Outbound - 20:58
Inbound - 22:06 (includes a minute looking for the bagpiper)
Finish - 43:04

Do me in the butt drunk

Really didn't want to go for a long run today but felt like I had to do something. So I opted to squish my nuts on my bike seat for 3+ hours instead. Now I know why I don't like this sport. And why it's better suited for the ladies. And why cyclists look like a uni-sex Ken doll in their bike shorts. I swear I spent at least half this ride digging my manly parts out of my intestine. The other half I spent wishing I could run this fast. I mean, I pulled a 7 minute mile in there! How the hell can people run that fast?!

Dear God, look at that ugly guy:

Anyway, today's bike was decent. Parts were hard, other parts were easy, some part slow, others fast. But overall, I got a good workout. Which is really all I wanted.

The Isengard Swamp:

Along the way I spotted a camper with his dog, a possum carcass, and a cat. I also ran into fellow runner and trail nerd Wayne just as he was finishing up his run. Chatted for a few minutes and that was it.

New block wall/gun stop at the gun range:

Where the trail goes back into the woods after it comes out at the gun range:

Temps started out at 60F, reached 65F about halfway through my ride, and finally peaked at 75F by the end of the ride. Sun was out but didn't see much of it since I was under some heavy tree canopy. There may have been a breeze but I didn't really feel it since I was going so fast (ha!). Humidity was low.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was water and oatmeal. I really wanted a coffee but apparently I didn't run enough water through my coffee maker after descaling it yesterday. Vinegar flavored coffee does not taste good in the morning. During the ride I had two bottles, one with Hammer Fizz and later Gatorade and one with Hammer Perpeteum. I also had my hydration pack with plain water. I ate two Twinkies about halfway through and some Power Bar gummi chew things with about 4 miles left. Recovery was two grilled cheese sandwiches and an iced latte followed by a shower.

Aches and Pains:
Pretty obvious what hurt here. After a year of not riding my bike, my ass was hurting about halfway through and killing me by the end. Still a bit tender. Outside of that, my right knee ached a bit towards the end as did my back.

Um, my bike, clearly, and my helmet. Also had my hydration pack and that was about it. Nothing else special.

Codename - Do me in the butt drunk
Royanna H.  , I think I needed a beer before this ride. I'm certainly going to go get one before dinner. Maybe two. But no more than that (I'm a cheap date).

Splits are rough guestimates since I'm not at all used to running splits on my watch while riding my bike. I sure as hell didn't want to wreck.
Mile 1 - 9:16
Mile 2 - 12:03
Mile 3 - 12:02
Mile 4 - 9:13
Mile 5 - 7:06
Mile 6 - 8:35
Mile 7 - 7:58
Mile 8 - 8:13
Aid Station/Rest Break - 25:24
Mile 9 - 7:52
Mile 10 - 10:15
Mile 11 - 7:37
Mile 12 - 8:00
Mile 13 - 8:00
Mile 14 - 8:28
Mile 15 - 9:24  (includes talking to Wayne)
Mile 16 - 8:36
Mile 17 - 6:10
Mile 18 - 5:45
Mile 19 - 12:11 (includes at least 6:00 of refueling and calling my wife)
Mile 20 - 6:48
Mile 21 - 7:14
Mile 22 - 7:41
Finish - 3:39:24 (includes 25:24 of transition - 3:14:00 total ride time)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Tornado Watch

This run is dedicated to @lolojones, Biddi , Angela Ivory, Lauren, and Matt. Without them, I doubt I would have gotten my run on today. How so? Well, with Lolo, she helped me realize that even though we may fall down, we still need to get back up and try again. With Biddi, I realized that I really can have fun thrusting my hairy man tits out (even though I only had old ladies waving at me). Angela Ivory inspires me to make enough of an impact on the running community to have people remember me after I die. And maybe along the way I can smile once in a while. Lauren helped me realize that even in our lowest point, we can push through and do more than we thought possible. And Matt helped me realize that I do have people that support me and cheer me on.

So there you have it. Some inspiration for your Friday.

And no, I have no idea why this satellite dish was in the woods.

Temps were about 70F to 75F. Humidity was high. Winds were about 10 to 15 mph but picked up to about 20 to 25 mph on the inbound leg. Sun was out for some of the run but also plenty of clouds.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was coffee and yogurt. Lunch was a bean and rice burrito with lots of not-so-healthy stuff on it along with an iced latte and jalapeno poppers (note to self, skip the poppers the next time you want to run - dumbass). During the run I had a bottle of water and a bottle of Hammer Fizz (no ice in either). Recovery was a little chocolate ZICO and some Hammer Recoverite.

Aches and Pains:
Had a hard time catching my breath for the last 75% of the run. Started to max out my heart rate just after the turnaround point. Felt overheated and overworked.

No special gear but I'm loosely testing the effectiveness of Mission Skincare's sunscreen as a deer fly repellant. So far, it appears to work to some degree.

Codename - Tornado Watch
Like some people I know, Andrea K. , I opted to run despite the weather warnings. I stayed dry and safe but promptly filled the tubs with water when I got back (we lose our water when we lose our power).

Outbound - 28:35
Inbound - 31:08 (really fell off pace on the return trip)
Finish - 59:43

Friday, June 01, 2012

Planting MacGuffin Seeds

I had every intention of running a double today but ended up losing one of those runs to the bed. Guess I didn't sleep that well last night. I only feel slightly guilty about it since I was able to get out for at least one of my runs.

Along the way I couldn't figure out if I was running just to get acclimated to the heat, if I was running to sweat out the toxins of my latest illness, or if I was running just to chase that elusive high I get from physical activity. By the end, I think I had settled on all three. Nothing terribly exciting on the run but there were a few interesting moments. Saw and waved to a local farmer/horse handler. She was trimming the grass the first time and weeding the second time. I also got passed in the final feet of my run by a cyclist. Heard something over my shoulder, turned to look, and had to do a double-take. Rarely do I see a cyclist on my run. And finally, I spotted a wild turkey in somebody's driveway. Not out of the ordinary but it was still neat. As I started I fancied the idea of running the entire length of my road (about 10 miles) but the heat quickly burned that foolish idea from my mind. Shortly after that idea turned to ash, I thought about running my basic route but ended up hearing a fairly large racket (that's what us hicks call a "loud noise"). It sounded like some heavy equipment so when I saw a logging truck pass me, I decided to follow it down a different road. Which is about the time when I decided to turn around at a different point than normal, thus giving me a shorter route. In the end, I dropped off a new DailyMile MacGuffin with the old one.

Temps were about 70F. Humidity was moderate to high. Sun was out. There was a light breeze, about 10 mph, which turned into a headwind on the way back.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was two breakfast burritos, yogurt, coffee, and water. During the run I had a bottle with ice water and another with Hammer Fizz (with ice). Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by two bowls of shredded wheat and water.

Aches and Pains:
It was hot but it wasn't too terrible. No real aches or pains other than finding it difficult to breath through the heat at times.

Wore my DailyMile headband, which is pretty rare for me. Went topless and carried my phone. Also took some BodyGlide and a Hammer Gel just in case.

Outbound - 27:44
Inbound - 28:51 (fell off pace a bit on the way back but did better than I thought)
Finish - 56:36