Monday, September 26, 2011

just like video killed the radio, dailymile has killed my blog..i am posting more on dailymile, so friend me there, and check back here for race the meantime, i hope you're running!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm still alive and kicking....

just haven't been posting here in a while. Things are progressing according to plan; which is to say I am working on building my aerobic base by running easy, keeping my heart rate down. I have a couple of races upcoming which I am starting to worry about, the chickamauga half marathon Nov 12 and the darkside 50K the next day, Nov 13. My plan is to tackle the half at a ridiculously easy pace, enjoying the other runners, the awesome scenery and history of the venue, my good friends who are running the marathon, and then finishing my first 50K in PTC..Yeah, Come On!!
Two weeks later, I want to run the Bartram Forest 50K in south GA, a trail run where the finisher's prize is a large, homemade ginger bread man..Who wouldn't want to finish 50K to eat that cookie?
I'm also registered for the Tough Mudder in Tampa, FL Dec 3, but I'm not so sure I'll be making that trip..Don't know that I've really got the funds required for travel, food and lodgings, so I may be bailing on that one.
Next on my radar is the Huntsville, AL, 8 hr run on new years eve, followed by the darkside marathon new year's day..
I'm going to register for my first 50 mile race next year, just going to do it as Nike tells me too..More info on that at a later date.
For now, I'm keeping my running low key, running 3 to 4 times a week with a long run set for 20 miles this Sunday..I'm alternating my long runs, one week on trails, the following week on the roads..Breaks up the monotony and keeps me training for both surfaces..My goal is to try and maintain my focus on low heart rate training, build a base for at least a year, before I begin to focus on building speed..It's tough, always running so slowly, but I'm convinced there is a benefit for me in this type of training..
Anyway, not very sexy i know, but that's what's going on in my little corner of the world!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Training Plan Revealed...

I've cobbled together my training plan for the next 12 weeks leading up to my Chickamauga Half Marathon and my Darkside 50K weekend.. Feast your eyes on a thing of beauty!!!

Week of Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun  Total

14 22
16 5 29
18 5 31
14 6 28
18 6 34
20 7 37
16 7 34
18 8 37
22 8 41
12 8 29
6 6 19
3 2

13 31 49  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Words of Wisdom

It's very hard to understand in the beginning that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit {Dr. George Sheehan}

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Again, rock bottom!

didn't hardly sleep at all last night because of severe stomach pain, yet again! yay! NOT.

missed out on my planned run this morning, missed my weekly mileage goal, still hurting at dinner time and certainly not looking forward to work in the morning.

this is really threatening to turn into a full scale pity party over here.


that is all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kolb Farm is getting....

kind of crowded these days! School is back in session and all the cross country teams have apparently picked that spot for training. It was interesting yesterday afternoon as I ran behind and eavesdropped on a conversation between two high schoolers ahead of me, talking about teachers and girls..Wow, took me back about 28 years!! Then they probably got tired of being around a puffy middle aged man and sped up, leaving me in the dust..Oh well, maybe they'll be old one day too :-)
My run went well, actually, as I was able to shave off about 4-5 minutes from my average time and at my avg HR on these trails, so I was happy. My stomach was bothering me, sharp pains and what not, so I just imagined I was at the tail end of a 50 mile race (huge imagination seeing as how I've never been at the tail end of a 50 mile race!) and kept chugging along. Didn't see any deer today; I reckon they were kicking it under a tree somewhere. It's still hot!!
Looking forward to getting my training back on track, going to ignore these stomach issues for as long as possible, since I've got to ramp up my mileage if I want to have any chance at a club jacket this year.
See you soon!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It's been a Ghost Town..

around here lately..I know..You should see my training diary! DOH! My stomach has really been acting up again of late and I'm just a wee bit frustrated at this point. I'm basically down to one packet of oatmeal for breakfast, one can of soup for lunch and then something my wife prepares for dinner. And I'm bloated and sick to my stomach for hours after each meal. Dinners are usually the worst because I'm starving by that point and wind up eating more than I should for my still bloated and sick stomach, and then, you guessed it! I'm miserable until I fall asleep,I sleep poorly, I get up for work and I start the whole thing all over again!!

Who's got time for running in the middle of all that drama?

I managed to cut the grass tonight, calling that cross training, and I am planning to catch an early long run on Friday, my furlough day from work. I reckon I'll be happy with 10 miles, but we'll see what happens come Friday. Cuz as momma always said, "There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip!"

Rock On!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Week

I managed to accomplish my running goals this week, thanks in no small part to Kirsten, Chelsea and Reann, who ran with me during my long run Saturday and again for a shorter run yesterday. Both runs were at Sweetwater Creek State Park and involved the white and blue trails, jack's hill and the stairway to Heaven.
Friendships are amazing things and can enable us to achieve so much more than we could otherwise. I'm usually running alone because of my pace, and I've gotten no small amount of practice doing so, but there is always something to be said for company on the trail.
We all have to carry our own water, so to speak, but we should never use that as an excuse to live a solitary life. Some time away by ourselves for reflection, meditation, regeneration? Absolutely. But not to the continued exclusion of others. They do, and should, play an important role in our lives.
Here's to good friends, one and all..

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Do you remember when.....?

Do you remember when you had that awesome run? That run which seemed so effortless, so fast, so smooth? Maybe it was cruising down a trail somewhere or dodging cars and traffic through town but it was that run, the one run you think about, remember, try to recapture. What joy that is! What a wonderful gift! What a blessing!

Here's to that awesome run, and to the hope that it will be repeated for you over and over during your long running career!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Low Mileage Training..

I find this whole idea of low mileage ultra marathon training to be quite intriguing. Does it really work? Without digging too deeply into the science of the thing, I can see how my body might appreciate this type of approach. You could never accuse me of being a "high mileage runner" to begin with, so why not swing to the other extreme? Why settle being in the middle of the pack as far as weekly running mileage goes?
I have been running slowly for the past couple of weeks, trying to build my aerobic endurance by keeping my HR down. My next race isn't until November, so it's not like I need to jump straight into peak training or anything. I have time to work on building base endurance and minimize my potential for injury. And speaking of injury, my PF is still lurking about in both feet, apparently jostled out of hibernation by my semi consistent running program. Another reason to look at this low mileage training idear? huhmmmmm?
In a nutshell, the plan, or overall concept, I'm looking at goes something like this. Since I'm training for my first 50K in November, and wanting to run another 50K two weeks later followed by an 8 hr run in December, my weekly long runs are most important. My prime directive, if you will, is to run long every week. These runs are long, slow runs, designed to put time on my feet and to build aerobic endurance. Time to completion is a secondary concern and doesn't drive my effort during the run. Any other weekday run is mostly superfluous and can be cut without any real loss to my conditioning (so they say). These weekday runs should be kept short, though, to maximize my recovery time between long runs.
I'm reading through some material from Eric Robinson who runs between 2-4 ultras every month and is a firm believer in the less is more training strategy. Seems to make sense to me, and again, knowing my old, fat, broken down and prone to injury body the way I do, it seems to make sense that I give this approach to running a try. What have I got to lose? Qualifying for Boston? yeah, like that's ever gonna happen.
What I should see, though, is more time to spend at home with my family during the week! But less time during the weekends. A trade off to be sure, but something I think we can all live with.
So how exciting! A direction for my training!
I hope you'll come along for the ride, share parts of your own journey with me, and we all learn a bit more about ourselves in the process.
Now, where's the ice for my feet?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


...I managed to run after work yesterday, YES!, and it was nice. Managed to keep my HR at 140 avg (75% max) for the 4.1 miles and enjoyed the somewhat cooler weather. The temps will be creeping back up to middle to high 90's for the rest of the week so we all know how that's going to feel at 4 pm!
I have also realized that I am impatient and it's impacting my training. I have a renewed focus on patience and persistence in regards to my running right now. I need to hit my daily workouts (persistence) at a slow, lower HR (patience) as I build my base endurance and prepare for both my Chicky/Darkside double and the Bartram Woods 50k in November..I just want to run so far and so fast like those ultra-running monsters I read about!!!! We all walk our own path, carry our own water, right? Just got to remember that and be thankful I have the ability to move my body down the trail.
My PF tries to rear its ugly head as I increase my mileage. Gotta keep my eyes on that.

oh yeah, before I forget- I MUST LOSE WEIGHT!!!

Yeah, come on!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mojo, my mojo, wherefore art thou my mojo?

Just haven't had it lately and this blog certainly shows it..problems here, problems there, problems everywhere..
I have spent the last 2 1/2 days inside my house, either sitting on the floor, the couch or my recliner doing nothing.. Not pretty..
I am actually hoping to go for a run after work today, fingers crossed!
There is a reward for the safe return of my running mojo.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Heart Rate Training

I've decided to give this a try, and i can already tell it's going to be tough. Tough in the sense that an already slow runner is going to have to start running even slower!. Let's take yesterday's run for an example. Figuring a max heart rate of 184, and my workout goal being a slow, easy run, my target HR should have been between 119 bpm and 138 bpm. My average was more like 152! And that was going about 2 min /mile slower than i could have managed without too much difficulty!

i kept an eye on my HR, walking when it climbed to 159 and running again (slowly) when it dropped to 153. this shows how much trouble i was having with the whole deal yesterday- i was already way too high for my stated goal of enjoying an easy run. an avg HR of 152 equates to a tempo run, not an easy run. if i were to think this through, then, based on HR data, ALL MY RUNS ARE TEMPO RUNS! what happened to my long, slow, easy recovery runs?

i can see how this has been a problem for me, this always running too fast, at too high a HR just because i'm slow and i'm trying to run a set pace no matter what my body wants to do. i can only imagine that my aerobic tank is empty and i am trying to convince myself to trust this system, to run based on my HR zones which will build my aerobic capacity which will, eventually, result in a faster pace at the same HR.

this will undoubtedly mean i will be running alone. i don't know anyone who runs as slowly as i will be running for the next several months. this will be ego crushing work. i hope i have the courage to stick with it.

i will be posting more about this in the future with links to the studies i've come across..this blog is pretty low tech, though, because you all know how to work google, right?
as john bingham says, "Waddle on, Friends!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dude, get off my trail!

Why are you even here? Your cut off corduroy shorts and slip on loafers aren't typical hiking apparel but your burning cigarette stinks up the whole forest! Really? Are you out for a nature walk? Are you studying the birds and trees? Are you a student of history? Where's your books, pens, papers, notebooks? Where's your tablet, your field glasses, your reference books?
Put out your cigarette and get the hell out of my woods!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blutetooth running..Really?

I don't understand the need for cell phones in the woods. On a run, or a hike. I'm not talking about the "Hike Across America" hikes, or the "Run Across America" runs. But your typical power walk through your local National Forest.

And I don't understand the use of blue-tooth technology while on said power walk.

Someone tell me what the attraction is? I don't understand it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How much further?

So i'm running at cheatham hill today, bopping along at a slightly faster pace than normal, stretching the legs after the Darkside 8 Hr run on Saturday..The sun is shining, there's actually a cool breeze blowing and the deer are out in talk back meadow..

Going down the first steep hill i pass a fellow walking, very business like, eyes forward, and as we're going the same direction and it's a bit steep right there, i continue past him without trying to say anything to him. He also remained silent..

Over the bridges, through a meadow as i listen to the children swimming in a neighborhood pool nearby i think about my day, things i did at work, people i saw and spoke with..My legs feel strong and i'm running sections i normally walk to catch my breath..i don't have to stop today..i'm running them today..

Back into the woods, up a short hill, down hill just a bit, cross another meadow and pick up the wider path to the turn around, hitting it about 30 seconds faster than normal- yeah, come on! I'm really feeling pretty good..i wonder why it's not so difficult to breathe today..i mean, it's still somewhere in the 90's, the sun is beating down, i'm running (for me) briskly, yet while i'm breathing heavy, i'm not yet gasping..

Down the hill, back to a meadow and i see the same fellow approaching that i passed earlier..We are now going to pass each other so the running rules dictate some sort of personal acknowledgement, so i look up and wave..

"how much further," he asks..

what? uh..until i finish? it's a trail, a big circle, right? ...i'm not sure what to think as i actually trip a little trying to slow down, turn around and answer as my momentum has already carried me past the walker.

"for what?" i respond, thinking why does he care how far i'm running today..

"for the farm."

oh yeah! there's a farm or something on this trail..."not much further," i tell him as i turn and continue my run. huh, i think, people come out here for something other than running..crazy..

i did manage an enjoyable run, though, all things considered.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Darkside 8 Hr Run

What a day! I really had a good time at the Darkside 8 Hr Run this past weekend and I was surprised at how well I seemed to recover afterwards..Today's Tuesday and I've got some residual soreness in my lower legs and some lower back pain but otherwise I'm doing well. Haven't gone for another run yet, though, I'm giving that another day or so, trying to stretch my back and lose this nagging pain..

For a short recap, I'll say the Darkside Running Club really knows how to put on a good event..The volunteers were plenty, the water and gatorade were bottomless, and the pizza at the finish was delicious..The venue, Huddleston Pond, is just that, a small lake / pond, surrounded by a paved path which is partly shaded throughout the day. Our run began a little late, around 0725 hrs, with the women going first under an overcast sky. I was hoping it would remain overcast and cooler than the previous week and all in all it wasn't a terrible day weatherwise. The clouds disappeared around 0930 hrs or so and the sun beat down on us the rest of the day..

I saw several people I recognized from other events and spoke with several new friends. I met Kirsten and Sam M.who were also running their first 8 Hr event. My plan was to start slowly and then taper towards the end which I stuck to fairly well; I noticed myself huffing and puffing a bit at the start and had to slooow down right away because I was unconsciously keeping up with faster runners.

My nutrition plan was to eat a Hammer gel every 30 minutes, E cap on the hour, and 15 oz of water per hour..I brought some peanut butter and honey sandwiches to munch on when I felt hungry and thought I would stay away from the cookies and other stuff at the feed trough by the start / finish line. I stuck to my plan fairly well but was unable to eat the gel twice an hour.. I managed a few hours but then my stomach got a bit queasy and I stuck mainly to liquids. I tried to monitor my stomach and eat when I felt hunger but not force anything down when I was feeling queasy. I managed two sandwiches during the day.

I was able to run slowly for a few hours, not knowing how many laps I had run by my own choice, but eventually had to give in and walk. I would then alternate between running and walking and as the day progressed my walking periods overtook my running ones..My mantra remained "Run when you can, Walk when you have to, Crawl if you must, but NEVER GIVE UP!" It worked well for me and I was even able to run late in the race.

Not having any experience at running these long events and in this kind of heat (I have always avoided running in the summer heat) I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew I wanted a challenge, which I found, and I wanted to see what my body would do under the circumstances. I feel like I did a good job with my hydration, need more work with my nutrition, and just need more time running long races..I was able to experience the peaks and valleys that come with distance running and I hit some pretty low spots during the run..At least I knew to keep moving forward because the valley would bottom out eventually and I would start to feel better..I experienced this many times on Saturday. What a relief when you climb back up to a peak and really start to feel better and strong!

Anyway, I enjoyed myself, and this type of event was fun because the track was kind of small and intimate. We passed one another constantly, there was always someone nearby to talk to if I needed to, and seeing the front runners fly past for 8 solid hours was inspiring! Having my family show up at times to cheer me on was also special..Lifted my spirits at a time I was struggling pretty badly..

What a great time, I can totally recommend any race put on by the Darkside Running Club. Really first rate people.

Looking forward to my first run this week, prolly tomorrow.. Yeah, come on!

Friday, June 24, 2011

T minus 12 hours and counting....

until the start of the Darkside 8 Hr Run!! This will be my first attempt at this distance and I'm not really sure what to expect..I've been racking my brains trying to pack, thinking of things I may need or wish I had come tomorrow and I'm sure I haven't thought of everything.
Feel pretty good today physically, tried to take it easy, sit around and hydrate and stuff..Right now I'm listening to the thunder storm approaching from the west, Thanks Birmingham! Seems all our bad weather comes from you guys! Wednesday's storm not only sent LeAnne to the hospital for stitches in her foot, but also destroyed our patio furniture and has ripped a large section of siding free from just under the roof! And of course it's at the highest point of our house, where my 6' ladder has NO chance of reaching..Hope this new storm doesn't continue to peel the siding off the house..I don't need that headache.
Back to tomorrow, so I just synced up some jams for LeAnne's ipod she's allowing me to borrow, I believe I'm packed up, just need to chill till the alarm goes off at O'dark thirty..Thanks Kirsten for giving me a ride to PTC tomorrow!
Hopefully I'll have some photos to post afterwards and will give you all the inside scoop on how tomorrow goes for me..


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breathe in, Breathe out..Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

You may not know it, but I'm a bit of a neat freak. I love order. I crave clean. The reason you may not know it is I have learned to ignore this base impulse because so much of my life is DISORDER. Now, I'm not throwing any stones here, no secret agenda or hidden message, I'm just admitting that my life is a bit cluttered at the moment.
We live in a rather small house, which could be conducive to clean, ordered living, but we have children. I love children, but the children we're blessed with aren't exactly what one would call "neat." So, concessions are inevitably made and clutter creeps in, and before you know it we're living in a full blown attack of the messy.
What an awesome feeling two weeks ago when we had a yard sale and got rid of so much junk from our garage! I love our new garage. Toes are safe- no more knocking into things as you try to tiptoe through the towering piles of crap.
Anyway, having said all that, I came across this short article on decluttering I thought I would share.

Zen Mind: How to Declutter

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.
One of the things that gives me most peace is have a clean, simple home. When I wake up in the morning and walk out into a living room that has been decluttered, that has a minimalist look, and there isn’t junk lying around, there is a calm and joy that enters my heart.
When, on the other hand, I walk out into a living room cluttered with toys and books and extra things all over the place, it is chaos and my mind is frenetic.
I’ve been a simplifier and a declutterer for years now (probably 8-9 years) and I’ve gotten pretty good at it, but I’ve found that you have to keep coming back to revisit your clutter every once in awhile.
Here are my top decluttering tips:
  • Do it in small chunks. Set aside just 15 minutes to declutter just one shelf, and when that shelf or that 15 minutes is up, celebrate your victory. Then tackle another shelf for 15 minutes the next day. Conquering an entire closet or room can be overwhelming, and you might put it off forever. If that’s the case, just do it in baby steps.
  • Set aside a couple hours to do it. This may seem contradictory to the above tip … and it is. It’s simply a different strategy, and I say do whatever works for you. Sometimes, for me, it’s good to set aside part of a morning, or an entire Saturday morning, to declutter a closet or room. I do it all at once, and when I’m done, it feels awesome.
  • Take everything out of a shelf or drawer at once. Whichever of the two above strategies you choose, you should focus on one drawer or shelf at a time, and empty it completely. Then clean that shelf or drawer. Then, take the pile and sort it (see next tip), and put back just what you want to keep. Then tackle the next shelf or drawer.
  • Sort through your pile, one item at a time, and make quick decisions. Have a trash bag and a give-away box handy. When you pull everything out of a shelf or drawer, sort through the pile one at a time. Pick up an item, and make a decision: trash, give away, or keep. Don’t put it back in the pile. Do this with the entire pile, and soon, you’ll be done. If you keep sorting through the pile, and re-sorting, it’ll take forever. Put back only what you want to keep, and arrange it nicely.
  • Be merciless. You may be a pack rat, but the truth is, you won’t ever use most of the junk you’ve accumulated. If you haven’t used it in the last year, get rid of it. It’s as simple as that. If you’ve only used it once or twice in the last year, but know you won’t use it in the next year, get rid of it. Toss it if it’s unsalvageable, and give it away if someone else might be able to use it.
  • Papers? Be merciless, unless it’s important. Magazines, catalogues, junk mail, bills more than a year old, notes to yourself, notes from others, old work stuff … toss it! The only exception is with tax-related stuff, which should be kept for seven years, and other important documents like warranties, birth and death and marriage certificates, insurance, wills, and other important documents like that. But you’ll know those when you see ‘em. Otherwise, toss!!!!
  • If you are on the fence with a lot of things, create a “maybe” box. If you can’t bear to toss something because you might need it later, put it in the box, then close the box, label it, and put it in storage (garage, attic, closet), out of sight. Most likely, you’ll never open that box again. If that’s the case, pull it out after six months or a year, and toss it or give it away.
  • Create a system to stop clutter from accumulating. There’s a reason you have tall stacks of papers all over the place, and big piles of toys and books and clothes. It’s because you don’t have a regular system to keep things in their place, and get rid of stuff you don’t need. This is a topic for another day, but it’s something to think about as you declutter. You’ll never get to perfect, but if you think more intelligently about how your house got cluttered, perhaps you can find ways to stop it from happening again.
  • Celebrate when you’re done! This is actually a general rule in life: always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Even if you just decluttered one drawer, that’s great. Treat yourself to something delicious. Open that drawer (or closet, or whatever), and admire its simplicity. Breathe deeply and know that you have done a good thing. Bask in your peacefulness.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hump Day!

OK, maybe not officially hump day, but as far as my training goes for the week, it's definitely hump day!
I went to the douglas county high school track and ran a hair over 2 miles just to keep my legs loose and ready and to keep the blood flowing. Tomorrow will probably be an easy to moderate hike after work, thursday will be spent walking and standing around at six flags with the family, friday will be spent on the couch..All in preparation for the Darkside 8 HR Run on saturday!! This will be my first ever attempt at running for 8 hrs and I'm feeling a little bit intimidated..
Here's where I whip out all my pocket excuses as to why I'll fail on saturday, stuff like a lingering chest thing which keeps me from breathing and keeps me coughing all the time, the 40 extra pounds I'm toting on my soft frame, the fact I haven't run further than 2 hours in months, etc, etc..
But I'm not going to drag out those same old tired excuses. I'm not concerned that I will be DFL from the starting gun. Nope, not me.
I'm going to run like I haven't run in years. I'm going to keep moving forward at all costs. I'm going to manage my hydration like a pro and my nutrition like Gordon Ramsey.
I will smash all of my preconceived notions as to what my body is capable of. I will enjoy myself. I will enjoy the challenge.
I am looking forward to spending time with friends Kirsten and Sam, and all the super speedy people I don't yet know.

In other news, I actually got my pipes out and worked on my 2/4 marches..Yeah, come on!

A Fresh Start

Here we go again! I've had a few computer problems, technical stuff I can't sort out, so I've chucked the old blogger and have opened this new one..Here you'll find all my current content, descriptions of ongoing projects and the photo evidence.
I'm sure I won't astound you, gentle reader, with stunning insights into the human condition, but I do hope to share my experiences with endurance events / running / adventures from the perspective of a slow runner. This idea of being a slow runner is something I continue to struggle with. I've never been fast, exactly, and still remember the frustration I felt when I tried to catch my little brother after he slapped me in the face only to have him remain just out of the reach of my outstretched fingers!! I wanted to kill him as we ran crazily through the front yard at the rock and roll HQ back in the day. I'm glad, now, that I couldn't catch him.
But I am slow, and I have gotten even slower. I'm ok with it, per se, it's just that I'm a very competitive person and it's tough to manage during a race when just about everyone passes me.
I am trying to channel that competitive drive into myself, working against myself, against my preconceived notions of what is possible for me to accomplish, rather than to continuously compare myself with all the lean, strong and fast runners out there.
So, come along as we push a boundary or two, have an adventure or two, and quite possibly kill a toenail or two.
Let's Get It On!