Monthly Archives: July 2012

To my friends and their Big Dreams

 Just an old, saved, QOTD from Slim:
Just a thought for the day.
I’ve heard so many people say “I’ll do that when I’m older, when I lose 20 pounds, when I’m retired”.
We got through life saying “I would, but it probably wouldn’t work out” or ” I’d like to but. . .”
We too often base our actions on an artificial future, painting a life picture based on an expectancy that time is more than sweat, tears, heat and mirage.
You can’t count on anything.
For out of the blue, fate can come calling.
In a flash, what was once an unlimited horizon is the honed blade of a life gone short, robbed even of the power to grieve for what is ending.
           
I stand outside on a pale crescent of beaten earth and breathe deep.
I feel every ache in my muscles, I feel my skin, hot under the sun, the savage, fecund smell of loss in the air, laying heavy in the loud silence.
Somewhere in the distance is a soft clap of thunder, overhead clouds stray deliberately across the earth, disconnected from mechanical time.
I’d rather be elsewhere; the smell simply that of kitchen and comfort, the sounds; only that of laughter.
But I know how lucky I am, to simply be, in this moment and alive.
           
You can continue your day and do nothing, standing in brooding and irretrievable calculation as if casting in a game already lost.
Or you can seize the moment, the days, wringing every last drop from them.
Remind your loved ones you love them.
If there’s someone that means the world to you and you’ve never told them, tell them now.
Hug your family, forgive an enemy (but remember the bastard’s name), give the dog an extra biscuit.
Then step outside into the sharp and unbending import of Autumn, a dying summer flaring up like fading flame, one last taste, one last memory, never knowing how long it will remain.
-Posted by Brigid on her blog

Me and my Bodyweight

Today was Day One of Excercising-without-running.

So as I drank my morning coffee, I Gooogled “home workout bodyweight” and came up with about 2.3 million hits in 0.3 seconds.

I printed off the third one I read.  It seemed to be a pretty straightforward workout.

Then I had the brilliant idea, hey, it’s summer, no need to do these in my dim, dusty workout/wine cellar room downstairs!

Of course, I did have to factor in the three dog scenario.  This is similiar to the “home situp attempt” where you try and do situps as three dogs wander by and either lick your face or sit on your chest.

I took the jump rope out (bought for my abandoned UnderArmour contest) for warm up.

The dogs didn’t like the jump rope. Or the hop scotch.  They did like the push ups. The GS pup kept ripping up grass and dirt and shaking it all over me.

I abandoned the dogs to the area outside the fence.

I did “Workout A”.  Repeat 4-8 rounds?  I didn’t read all of that. I did 4 rounds.  I also only did 12 pushups each time, on my knees. Yes, I am that under-developed.  But you have to start somewhere.

I found the jump rope kind of fun, although I  have no stamina for that either.

Tomorrow should be a 10K RATB, although we have to first butcher a lamb (the Amish are conveniently dropping it by) first thing in the morning.  So I hope to do Workout B-called Baby Burpee (I think these used to be called jump squat thrusts back in the day) before the lamb shows up, then get to the run before it gets too hot.  Maybe I shall also try and record the details of my 10K, too, to be able to have some fair comparisions.

And it’s August already!!

Good enough reason to start a new routine!

Medals

If you are a runner, chances are you have recieved medals for achieving your finish in a race.

Ever want to do something else with your medals?

Please consider this organization, Medals4Mettle

Run fast. Run far. Run for a greater good.

Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization that facilitates the gifting of marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals. Runners from around the world give their hard earned medals to Medals4Mettle.

Our worldwide network of physicians and volunteers then awards these medals attached to a Medals4Mettle ribbon to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life. It is in honor of this mettle and courage in bravely facing these challenges that they are awarded a medal.

This is a pretty cool organization.  Think of your marathon medal around the neck of a fighter facing another round of chemotherapy.  Your race doesn’t seem so hard now, right?

I gave all my 1/2 marathon and marathon medals away last year or so.  The only one I kept was my first medal, from my first marathon.  After I mailed the medals out, I found another Akron Marathon medal, and then found a 50K medal, so I am waiting to amass more (that could be awhile) or perhaps donate mine in with someone else that would like to donate.

You don’t have to give all your medals, consider sending one, or making a cash donation. 

Thanks for reading and considering!

11 Miler, Thoughts on Pace, and Improvements

It sure felt weird this morning, going out for my 11 mile, around the block run.

I felt almost naked out there.  I was wearing my pack, my old Nathan Hydration pack, made filthy by my trail run on Friday.  It’s almost as dirty as the UD Wasp Pack, still not washed yet, from the HR Run.  But I wasn’t carrying a jacket, food, all those extras I’d been hauling around for months.

It was just me, the pack, 50 oz (or 70 oz) water bladder, the Zune with the latest 3 Non-Joggers podcast.  I had no particular goals in mind, other to run the route.

By run, I meant to run the uphills.  And I did.  These uphills are seeming pretty small these days, and I hope to be able to keep that in perspective.  My long uphill, on this route, is about a good 1/2 mile uphill.  From the valley to the ridgeline is maybe 3/4 of a mile.

It really didn’t bother me to keep the legs turned over in the running method either.  Now the day was cool and overcast, probably in the low 70’s, and I was nice and rested.  But how much of my previous history of not running the hills was mental, not physical?

So I go over to where I kinda keep my running stats, Runningahead.com 

I have noticed, over time, for my 10K (well it’s really 6.4 or 6.5 miles) around the block that my times really haven’t improved.  That’s been bugging me.  I mean, I lost weight, that should help improve my times, right?
Also, I have *run* the entire loop-and *walked the same hills* on the loop.  And my finish times are pretty much the same.  That’s kind of disheartening. What benefit am I getting, by running the hills, if I can finish in the same amount of time, walking the hills?

I mean, check the pace. I run this route about once monthly. My pace has not really improved since I started on this new route.  And today, with running all the uphills,  my pace is just about average with the other times, where I know I walked the uphills!
Here’s the screenshot of my *10K* Route:
My times really haven’t changed much, since August 2011 for this loop either.
Now I will have to admit that no run is exactly the same.  Sometimes Scooter the Dog accosts me, and I have to stop, sometimes there are a bathroom break in the first mile or fifth mile, I’d have to look carefully to see what the time of day is.  But bottom line, I see no real improvement on pace-on speed-in the last year.

And that is the frustrating part with me. I’ve got the stamina, the endurance. If I eat and hydrate right, I can go–a good long time. But can I finish a race within time constraints?

How can I get faster?  That is the question.  I’ve had this annoying quote in my head for the last month (now posted on the blog too): 

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

 

So I need to shake things up.  Do something different. I want to improve on several areas, as an athlete.  I feel like I am in, (as close as an ultra runner comes to) an “off season”.  (Yes,  I do have a 50 mile race at the end of August.)  I want to work on the core, the arms, and tighten up some areas.  So that might mean more strength training, less running.  I don’t know.  What I do know is, that I want to improve. I can’t finish Hardrock doing the same thing I have been doing.  Yes, there are other races and goals besides the HR Finish too.  


It’s time to improve.

Better

Well, most things are better after a trail run.  I’ve broken through some apathy, on a bunch of levels. 

As I drive south to Salt Fork State Park, I notice new downed trees in the area.  Apparently just a few miles south got hit harder last evening than us.

The park was hit hard!  But I start down the white blazed bridle trail.  But almost immediately, it’s tough going.  I can see the trails had been cleared from the Derecho that hit June 29.  But now there are fresh trees down.  All I am doing is climbing over, through, and around big downed trees.

I give up after 1/2 mile and go off-piste back to the road.  I come across some park workers, and they say a tornado hit in the area, and tore up one of the marinas.  Okay, that would explain alot!

I decided not to give up, but drove further into the park and entered the campground.  There was not any fresh storm damage in this area.  There was much evidence of the Derecho.

Mother Nature, Landscaper

There were a few areas of trail that I almost didn’t recognize due to Mother Nature re-arranging her placement of trees.  A wooded, almost dark section was now in the broad daylight due to her decision to lop off some tall trees.  Apparently it was their time to go.

And that’s how Mother Nature works, whether it’s a wind storm or a fire started from a natural cause.  Topography changes.  The big tree is uprooted.  The stream, which was next to the big tree, now has a new route to progress down to the lake.  The old stream bed now starts to green up itself, without the water movement on it.  Sometimes it’s a long, slow change, other changes are quick and abrupt.

The bridle trail in the campground was runnable.  It was a slow run.  I tried to take some pictures of deer, but they were too blurry for the public eye.  It was a good run.  Slow, somewhat miserable in the humidity,  I didn’t mind-at least I was out there.   I had no particular goals in terms of mileage or pace.  I do have, in the back of my mind, that I have a 50 mile race in just about one month.  I don’t want to lose my fitness.  But I also don’t feel quite like jumping back into a training routine just quite yet. 

That being said, I am thinking of  my 10K route tomorrow, and my 11 mile around the block on Sunday.

Sometimes running is just not training. Sometimes it’s just running, for running sake.

Writer’s Block

 So where has my writing muse been?  I had *all day* yesterday to work on blog posts and time to plan blog posts.  I started at least three or four. Closed them.  Some were a bit too truthful, and I didn’t want to hear people’s comments about my whining. Others were just too..uninspired.

I even consulted my “blog planning document” on Google, scanned some phrases I jotted for future blog posts-trail safety, maltodextrin, my hatred of video blogs,  drop bag planning…nope.  Just didn’t see anything I felt like writing about.

I even googled “blog content” and got a great list of items that should spark me to some sizzling blog content.

I was not even inspired to write about my running plans for the day-which has subsequently changed.  I was going to go run the Zoar Valley Trail, about twenty miles.  Late in the evening, I changed my mind.  I was just very uninspired to be running in the afternoon, over exposed trail. 

SO I am off to Salt Fork State Park this morning.  I hope to find the muse out there on the trail somewhere.