Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A New Race-Finder

I know that many of you have sites you visit when looking for a race. Sites like www.active.com, www.marathonguide.com, www.runnersworld.com, www.coolrunning.com , and www.runningintheusa.com.

Well, there is a new kid on the block, so to speak. www.racevine.com -- this is a pretty cool site that can help you find races and read reviews of people who have done those events. It is a site built by runners/computer geeks for the benefit of the running community.

Check it out and post reviews of some of the races you've done. Since it is new, it needs the help and support of the running community to get it built up and become great resource for runners.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Watch Where You're Running...

I've been enjoying reading Dean Karnazes's book "50/50." I also have been watching the companion DVD along with it, "Ultramarathon Man." It's been cool to read the book about his marathons and then watch the DVD that shows the footage. I'm only watching the DVD for as far as I have read in the book. I'm about 150 pages in now, I think he's in New Mexico or something.

Anyway, the other night I was watching the DVD with my son, and in one of the races they are showing some of the other runners, and they focus in on this one guy running. He is running along, but he's looking to the side at the camera and laughs and says something like "got a score on the Red Sox game?" and then the next thing you know, he runs into a telephone pole and bites it. My son and I both were dying with laughter (okay maybe that was cruel laughter, but the runner laughed about it after too). We rewound it and watched it about 5 times, it was hilarious. That could make it onto Americas Funniest Videos.

Running Update
I've been still resting the plantar's foot, doing more walking/slow jogging than anything else. I think I had been stretching it wrong, thinking I was helping the injury, and I was actually aggravating it....I can tell it's getting better now though, and I'm hopeful that within a 5-6 days, I'll be able to run pain free again.

During my walk/jogs, I've been going through a park with a bunch of baseball diamonds in it, and in the last week I've found 7 baseballs and 3 softballs. Here is the proof:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Starting a Movement

A few things I think we can learn from this video.

1. One person can start a movement.
2. A movement need not be started by the most skilled member of the movement.
3. When beginning your movement and you look around and no one else is joining the dance, just keep dancing.
4. When the one guy who joins your movement slowly fades away, keep going.
5. Before you know it, the people joining your movement won’t even know you started it.
6. When your movement takes a life of it’s own, just let go. There will be no stopping it.
7. The very people who are staring at you like your nuts as you movement alone, will be the very same people dancing the hardest in the end.

(In fairness, I stole this from another blog, but I thought it was pretty brilliant. When you look at it from a running perspective, there are a lot of people that think we're crazy for running when no one is chasing us. But the movement is there. Keep running friends, keep running.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dean Karnazes is the man!

My wife got me Dean Karnazes's book "50/50" for Father's Day. I have gobbled up about 100 pages already, it's a great read, and I highly recommend it. I've been wanting to read it for awhile, so I'm very glad she got it for me.

One of the first things Dean says in his book is that "I'm just an average guy." I'm not so sure about that. He seems pretty "non-average" to me. This is a guy that has run over 100 miles a day on multiple occasions. I can't even imagine.

The book chronicles Dean's journey in running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in 50 states. (sidenote: one of the pictures in the book is of him running through Aviston, Illinois, where my mom is from. It's a small town of about 1,500 people, so I thought that was neat and showed my mom) Almost amazing as the physical accomplishment in the feat is the incredible coordination it took to pull off these events. The logistics, the cost, the man-power, etc took a lot of prep work and planning.

I really like his little tips and advice that are sprinkeld throughout the book too. Tips on what to eat, how to lose weight and stay healthy, injury prevention, etc. I can't wait to read the rest.

I did skip ahead to the "Stats and Musings" chapter at the end of the book. Check out some of these stats from his 50/50 journey:

Total mileage during the journey: 1,310
Calories burned while running: 160, 355
Avg marathon time: 3:53 (the fastest was his last, the New York City Marathon, in 3:00:30)
Hottest temperature: 104 degrees (Arizona)
Coldest temperature: 38 degrees (Alaska)
Number of shoes: 5 pairs
Lost toenails: 3
Blisters: 2
Avg hours of sleep per night: 4 1/2

And amazingly, after running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days, he had lost only one pound. Dean is one totally fit guy, and a real inspiration. If you haven't read this book, get it. It will inspire you. (I also learned that he has attached his name to the Silicon Valley marathon in October, for those interested.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hammer It 5K Race Report --it was wet!

This was the race t-shirt...yes, that's a hammer and yes it's running....uh, yeah....

I was looking forward to this 5K race for two reasons. 1) the start/finish line was like 1/2 a mile from my house (I walked to it) and 2) I was pretty sure I was going to PR.

This was the first year for this race and it is sponsored by the local home builders in the area. I knew it would be a small race, and it was. There were maybe 100 runners, tops. I woke up and took my time getting around but then looked out the window---rain. Yep, it was rainy as could be, with no sign of letting up. So I prepared mentally for my first race in the rain.

Before the race I ran into my friend Chuck, as well as Fair Weathered Runner (who took 1st in her age group by the way--props!) but a few other people I thought might run were evidently kept away due to the rain.

I ran a pretty good race, although jumping over puddles periodically caused a few challenges, and there was one drainage ditch that you just had to run through, so I ended up with wet shoes/socks. I also felt about 4 pounds heavier from running in rain soaked clothing. It was also great running past my house at about the 2.5 mile mark, my wife and kids were in lawn chairs under umbrellas cheering me on, which was fun.

Anyway, I did PR ! (though not fast by many runners' standards) My previous PR was 27:24, and my main goal for this race was to break 27 minutes, which I did. Finish time: 26:40, which is about a 8:34 pace. Although I didn't age-group place, I ran pretty consistent and was glad to have broken 27 minutes. Now I can keep training and working to improve on that time.

warming up in the rain...

my friend Chuck...we share the same last name so everyone thinks we're related...

pre-race registration, everyone huddling under this shelter until right before the start

Just to show you how much it was raining, these are my boys playing in the rain right after the race....
Updated: Happy Runner has a cool giveaway going on--check it out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday--Skyline Chili..

We have some friends of ours that have talked about Skyline Chili for years. These friends are so in love with Skyline that they have driven 12 hours to Cincinnati just to eat Skyline Chili, and then driven back. (For those not aware, Skyline Chili is a restaurant located in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.) They have had Skyline parties and tried to recreate the famous Skyline 3-way or 5-way chili you get in the restaurant. So on our recent Indiana trip, when we passed a Skyline Chili restaurant, we just had to stop. In my opinion it was good, but not worth a 12 hour drive. And the kid's meals were horrible.

We also passed a giant Nestle Quik rabbit by the side of the road:

To everyone running races this weekend, good luck! (and stay hydrated...it's hot!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Giving the Foot a Rest

I recently developed a pain in my left foot, the sole/heel portion of the foot. I suspect plantars foot just because it hurts the most when first getting out of bed in the morning or when getting up from sitting for awhile.

I had plantars in the same foot awhile back and promised myself that I would get better at stretching....well, that worked for awhile. I'm spending the week resting the foot and stretching it, so I will be ready for the 5K race this Saturday.

Oh, and the cool thing about this race? It runs right past my house, and will be running on many of the roads that I train on. I guess I have a home court advantage, though I doubt it will help me Saturday.
Anyway, I'm resting the foot this week, and trying to stay hydrated because we're having blistering hot (pushing 100 degrees) and humid weather all week....uck

Do you have your fathers day gift yet?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thanks New Balance

I got my second pair of wear test shoes from New Balance a couple days ago. At first I wasn't sure about the dark gray color, but they actually don't look too bad on me.

They are very comfortable, much more comfortable than the last pair I wear tested. I think I'm going to like running in these. I took them out for a 4 miler this morning and enjoyed running in them. These shoes are apparently the big brother of the New Balance 903's, and they have great heel cushioning. The sole of the shoe is almost spongey, but it didn't take me long to get used to the bounce of the shoe when running. I also like the soft inner lining, it is almost velvet-like.

So, I get to run in these shoes for the next month and a half, including a race this next weekend, and save putting some miles on my regular shoes. Thanks New Balance!

Friday, June 12, 2009

TGIF Foto Friday....

Here is my entry for Nikemom's Foto Friday....yes, it looks fairly boring, it's just me and my oldest son....but, this picture was taken shortly after my son got his first pair of glasses a couple months ago, and is the first pic that shows both of us with our glasses....yes, he is probably destined to a life of wearing glasses, just like his old man...poor kid....
I've tried contact lenses years ago but they seemed to really iritate my eyes...someone told me that with all the advancements in technology I should try them again....in the least, I want to get some sportish sunglasses that I can use for running instead of wearing my everyday glasses...so that's on my wish list...

In other news, the Happy Runner's blog turned 1, and she's having a giveaway.  Check it out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Looking for a July Race...

I am looking for a race to do sometime in July, preferably within a days drive of the midwest, and somewhere where I'm not going to die from heat exhaustion.   If anyone has suggestions, drop me a line.   I'd like to do another half, but really any distance is fine.  Just looking for a fun race/fun event for a family getaway this summer.   

I ran twcie yesterday, two three milers, one in the morning and one in the evening.   The evening one wasn't really planned.  My wife had a meeting and my two boys and I were looking for something to do, so they grabbed their bikes and I grabbed my running shoes.  I couldn't keep up with them, but we had a lot of fun.  When we got back my son said "why are you so sweaty?"  Of course for them it was a leisurely bike ride.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Question for all the fast runners out there (probably you)....

Okay, I am not fast, I have said that before and I realize that...and I may never be fast, and I am okay with that.....but, I have a question for all the runners out there faster than me (those that are consistently running 8-min or less miles, those that place in their age group or at least finish in the top 1/2 or 1/3 of the pack, etc.)

The question is: Have you always been fast?
I mean, did you start out running 7 1/2 min miles? Or did it start with 11 min miles, then slowly evolve to 10, then 9, then 8 or 7 min miles? How did you get faster? How long did it take? Years? Months? Weeks? What's your secret, (if your sharing)?

This month's Runner's World has a decent article about running a faster 5K, and I am just curious on hearing how people really get to be faster runners. I am literally amazed that someone can run even one mile at a 5min or 6 min pace, let alone a 5K or 10K or marathon at that pace....


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another State, Another Run

50 State Run?
I am traveling for my niece's graduation, so my last three runs this week have been in three different states.  Wednesday I ran 3+ in  Kansas, Thursday I ran 5.5 in Illinois, and this morning I ran 10+ in Indiana.   The 10 miles were fun because I was exploring a new city.   These runs got me to thinking about those people that try to run marathons in all 50 states.   That seems very time consuming and very expensive, but maybe I could just try to run in all 50 states, maybe like at least the distance of a 5K (3.1 miles).   We are about 15 miles from the Ohio border and I am tempted to drive over and run 3 miles in Ohio just to say I've done it.  So far I think I've run a 5K distance in about 7 states, so I've got quite a ways to go.   If I get up to 15-20 states maybe I'll actually make this a goal.

My niece Emily, is graduating today.  With her are her brother and my boys.

In other news
I got sunburned last weekend and now my skin is peeling like crazy, on my shoulders and back.   I think I'm part snake, its crazy how much my skin is peeling.  It doesn't hurt, but it looks weird.

Also, my son lost his other front tooth.  He lost his first front tooth about 2 months ago and this one has been loose for awhile.  We were with family at a grad party last night and my niece's brother "coaxed" it out of his mouth.  

My son's toothless grin, this earned him a trip from the tooth fairy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Running From the Storm...

So here is how my run went today...

5:00pm--heading out the door from work, I decide to go for a run when I get home, I want to 
                 get in at least 6-7
5:05---driving home, it starts pouring rain, not just sprinkling...pouring
6:00-ish---it stops raining, so I decide to go out for a run again, its overcast and cool and the 
                   ground is wet
6:10---one mile into the run, I have to go to the bathroom (ugh), so I turn around and go home
6:25-ish--feeling "relieved" I head out the door running again
6:45-ish--see darkening clouds surrounding my city out of nowhere, and I decide  I'd better high tail it home to beat the coming storm
7:00-ish--get home just ahead of the storm, a little frustrated that I only got in 4.25 miles, I was hoping for more than that...

The good news is that tomorrow is National Running Day, something I'd never heard of before...so it gives me an excuse to get another run in and make up a few miles.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meet Rhett and Link

If you haven't heard of Rhett and Link, these guys are great.  They create very funny original songs and post them on the internet.   I think this is their job, but I'm not even sure how they get paid......they have a ton of hilarious videos, but here is one of their most viewed videos, a tribute to Facebook.  Enjoy: