Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Catch Up Stuff

Tongue In Cheek Humor
Many of you know that I have a dog. Her name is Molly and I think she is something special. I should though. Did you know that she has her own running blog? She doesn't update it very often, but she does from time to time. You can check it out here...

I suggest the following reading. It is from a local Denver man that ran the Denver Marathon last Sunday. He calls himself, Half-Fast. He has a great sense of humor and ran it with a great time under wet conditions!

Blood Test Today
I am headed to a medical lab today to test for elevated fasting glucose. I had an elevated glucose level in my last series of tests in July. My test came out as 105. Normal levels are under 100. Diabetes Type II is usually diagnosed at 120 and above. I am not a Doctor. I am not in the medical field (aside from being a patient). It seems that I may be slowly slipping into a Type II diabetes state. I would not be surprised. It is in my family history.

It is three months later now and time for another test.

To take the medical test I mentioned above, it is necessary to fast. Nothing since 10:00 PM last night (aside from water and black coffee). So, for this morning's run I did not have my usual oatmeal or have a sports drink with me. It made for a much more difficult run than usual. Duh, ey?

Some Recent Runs...
This is a running blog, right? So once in a while I should discuss something running related.

For the week of September 30, I ran 40.8 miles.

For the week of Ocotber 7th, I ran 26.10 miles. Like a PWWHM run was coming up or something.

This week, so far, I have run 25 miles. I started with a tempo run after a half-marathon run.

Bad Joke
Jane had been driving 16 hours straight and was still at least six hours away from her destination. It was almost eight o'clock in the morning and she was very tired.
After dozing off and nearly crashing into a telephone pole, she decided to pull onto a side road and rest.
Jane turned off the car and closed her eyes ... drifting off to sleep, precious sleep ...
When an old man in a bright blue jogging suit knocked on her window, scaring her half to death.
"Sorry to wake you," he huffed, jogging in place. "But can you tell me what time it is?"
Jane glanced at her watch. "8:15," she said through the glass.
The old man thanked her, then left.
"Just my luck," she muttered. "I'm parked on someone's jogging route."
With a sigh, she settled back into her seat and tried to fall asleep.
Two male joggers in their thirties knocked on her window. If she hadn't been dead tired, she would have found them cute. Now, they were just annoying.
"Hi," the blond jogger said.
"Do you have the time?" his brown-haired friend asked.
Jane sighed and looked at her watch. "8:19," she said.
"Thanks," they said, then jogged off.
Jane looked down the road and saw more joggers coming her way. Irritated, she retrieved a pen from the glove box and scrawled 'I DO NOT KNOW THE TIME' on the back of a magazine. She put the hastily constructed sign in the window and settled back to sleep.
A thin, pale jogger knocked on the window just as she started dozing off.
Jane pointed at the sign and shouted, "Can't you read?"
To which he replied, "Sure I can, ma'am. I just wanted to let you know: It's 8:27."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Phedippidations World Wide Half-Marathon Run

My biggest problem was where to run? I made sure that I had a cloverleaf course arranged my house. I thought of running Glenwood Canyon (along the I-70 corridor) as an alternate route. One of the loves of my life is running in Moab, Utah. The red canyon river country is too amazing for words. My mind was set. I’d run it somewhere near Moab, Utah.

I was ready for this run. I was more ready than any other. I was hydrated, nourished, rested and mentally prepared. I improved my training techniques and knew I was slowly improving.

Tom Martin, Molly and I decided on Highway 128 where it started from Highway 191 just North of the town. Highway 128 follows the mighty Colorado River as it cuts deeply into red rock canyons on both sides. Although a narrow two-lane road at times, there is no scenery for a half-marathon course that is quite like this one proved to be. River runners described the Colorado River in the days before Glen Canyon Dam as "too thick to drink and too thin to plow." On this day, the river was very green and muddy in appearance.

The route along the Colorado River.

Tom would drive the Jeep. He could move ahead of me to be able to offer support with water or sport drink, medical supplies, cell phone and other systems. We each had an FRS radio so we were in communication at all times.

It was a cool morning with temperatures hovering near 40 degrees. I waited until I thought I’d be able to run, but still started out wearing a hoodie sweatshirt.

I felt great as I stepped out of the Jeep and began my run. The time was 8:49 AM. It was exhilarating.

I had a great dinner the night before and some oatmeal that morning. From the breakfast buffet at the hotel I snagged 2 english muffins, 4 packs of jelly and 2 yogurt cups for after the race.

Tom set a place for the first water station and I ran to meet him. It was water at stations 1 & 2 and sports drinks after that. We leap-frogged the route. If I left the highway, I radioed Tom and let him know.

I ran through 2 campgrounds at the side of the highway. People were doing the campground stroll and greeted me while they watched me run by. I used Akshaye’s suggestion and removed the left earbud as I ran by other people or met Tom. It worked well while keeping me focused on my run. I listened to the Podrunner (dj steve boyett) specifically, “138 BPM – Voices Carry” and “133 BPM – Beat Cathedral.”

Tom had some fun, too. He stopped at one point and found a rafter bus stuck in the mud at the side of the road. He thought about offering the Jeep’s winch to assist in getting him out, buy it was a full size bus and probably would have damaged the Jeep. They did have another bus coming to get them out. I got some sports drink from Tom at that place. He had some questions to answer as I ran past. He extolled the virtues of the Phedippidations World Wide Half-Marathon.

He met another desert explorer at another stop. They had a great conversation about historic archeological and rock art sites.

I kept at it. There was one good sized hills and some smaller ones. I stayed focused the entire run. This was the first half-marathon that I have run in which I did not need to walk any of it.

All too soon, Tom told he had parked just past the 13 mile marker. He was about a mile beyond where I was. The sun was starting to shine through cloudy skies. I stepped it up a bit. The end was in sight! As he saw at the bottom of the rise, he told me to step it up. I kicked as much as I felt I could and ran to the finish line!

At the finish line. Notice the FRS radio in my hand.

Relaxing with Molly in the beautiful country that I ran in.

These were my split times (Garmin Forerunner 205) –
1.00 - 9:49 - 9:49
2.00 - 10:37 - 20:26
3.00 - 10:49 - 31:15
4.00 - 10:28 - 41:43
5.00 - 10:26 - 52:08
6.00 - 10:40 - 1:02:49
7.00 - 10:37 - 1:13:26
8.00 - 10:27 - 1:23:53
9.00 - 10:53 - 1:34:46
10.00 - 11:14 - 1:46:00
11.00 - 12:08 - 1:58:08
12.00 - 11:33 - 2:09:41
13.00 - 11:46 - 2:21:07
13.10 - 11:27 - 2:22:34

My iPod Nike+ Sport System gave a final time of 2:22:39.

I ran my first half-marathon at 2:33:22. I ran my second half-marathon at 2:28:01. I ran this one at 2:22:39. Every time I improve my time. This time I figure that I improved by 5 minutes and 22 seconds.

Problems? Not having trained with the Hoodie, I had some chafing of both nipples! How painful! I forgot to grab my bib number. It did have "Team Elijah" printed on it. I'll take anther picture later to show it off. I did wear the "Pray for Elijah" band but it was under the sweatshirt, so it doesn't show in the pictures. Disappointing!

I had a great run, a great time and saw a lot of scenery you just can’t see from the window of a car.

Just a note of caution. Highway 128 is a narrow canyon highway. If it had any more traffic on it then it did, I would advise against running it. Safety needs to be a factor in what we do!

Now for the 6 hour drive back to Denver…

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Running Safety Products...

There has been discussion on the blogs about running and personal safety.

As you know, wearing earphones/buds can be detrimental in both training and in a competitive race. Many competitions do not allow earphones to be used. You can run up on someone and scare them as you pass just because they are wearing earphones. Women are never sure when they run alone if they are safe.

Recent News items include -
"A Houston cyclist was run over by a truck. He did not hear the truck coming because he was listening to headphones. An Australian woman- killed because she couldn't hear traffic noise because of ear bud use with her iPod music device. A woman jogger told police, she didn't hear her attacker approach because she was listening to music on headphones.”

Are there alternatives? Yes, but do you want to try them?

These are speakers that connect to your singlet at the shoulders. Cost is $19.95 plus shipping. You would have to train with them to make sure that you can compete with them -
Safe Sound Sports

Nike has also come out with the Nike Amp+. It is a watch with an LED readout and a speaker. Cost on this is $79.00. I'll be checking them out at our local Nike store soon -
The Nike Store

Just something additional to spend your discretionary income on while enjoying the fun (but potentially expensive) sport of running...

Down To The Wire!

I went to Moab last weekend. It was an interesting experience. I decided to go camping for two days and a hotel for the last night. Friday night was windy! There were gusts all night long making for very spotty sleep. Suddenly, at 2:00 AM, I woke up suddenly to a collapsed tent on top of me. There must have been a wind gust of 70+ mph that destroyed fibre glass rods in the tent poles. I gathered the sleeping bag, wallet, ipod, keys and headed for the Mighty YJ (Jeep). I slept in there until 7:00 AM when I woke up. A Jeep Wrangler has a small cabin. There is usually no way to stretch out and get comfortable (except for Molly who has the back seat). I woke up with some minor cramps and a neck pain, but the sleep was very good.
At 7:00 AM it was gently raining. We covered the collapsed tent with a tarp and headed from Sand Flats to the McDonalds in the center of town. Their coffee was delicious. After a breakfast of breakfast burritos, we headed out for a soggy morning driving Poison Spider Mesa. Molly and I were able to get out and do some running. There is no other place quite like Moab.
Running with Molly in Moab...
Molly and I are running on "High Speed Mesa" with Behind The Rocks in back of us. I could not get the Blogger loader to work so I included a link that will take you to my Photobucket account instead.

Well, winding down to the last days before the Phedippidations World Wide Half-Marathon run. It is a rest day for me today. I will run again tomorrow and a short run the day after that. I plan on running on Sunday morning.

I am ready.

How about you?

Monday, October 01, 2007

About That Heart Rate Thing

Two Things First
Thanks to Petra, Maddy, Greg and Robert for a challenging Nike+ challenge. It was inspiring, motivating and an all around good thing!

I ran 44.6 miles last week. Hitting some kind of a slump recently. If it continues, I'll share it here later on.

What about this heart rate thing?
One of the first things that I bought as a beginning runner was a Polar heart rate monitor watch. I used it a few times, and worked out all of the pertinent data. If I was still using it, I would have ended up running at 4 miles per hour or so. I quit using it due to frustration. I think that a lot of people have done that or they have found some frustration with them.

It seems that times (hehehe) are changing. The question has become - What is your maximal heart rate? Instead of the "220 minus age," people over 40 (I remember 40) should now use "208 - .7 x age." Even that can produce errors based upon your individual metabolism. It is now suggested that you check your heart rate at the end of a maximal effort and record it. Use the measures as a comparison for subsequent workouts.

Now, that I can work with!

What do you think!

Oh yeah! Mustn't forget... Less than two weeks to the Phedippidations World Wide Half-Marathon!