Thursday, June 28, 2012

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

I realized I'd failed to mention it here. Jen and I have decided to run the 2013 Disney World Marathon together.  This will be her first, and my second marathon.

Jen is currently beginning to train for her first half marathon in November, so it's going to be a shuffle of scheduling around and she'll be good to go, training-wise. 

I, on the other hand, have the Army 10 Miler in October, and will vamp up my training around there as well.  At some point, we're going to need to sync up our training and start running the long distances together. The intention will be to run the race together, and to enjoy the race sights and sounds.  I'm sure she'll do great!

It might sound neglecting, but the kiddos will not be accompanying us to Disney World.  Why would we go there and not bring kids??  Well, we're only flying in for the race.  At most, we'll fly in the morning the day before the race, and stay the night after.  Short and sweet.  The kids can stay with the grandparents or cousins.  We'll bring them back some goodies I'm sure. 

Additionally, I'm considering running a local to my my home town marathon in early March.  If I decided to run that one, it will be a quick trip to OK by myself.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grist Mill Trail. Patapsco State Park

This morning I tried out a new trail on referral from an ultrarunning listserv.  Someone that ran the trail marathon I’m doing next month mentioned it as a place with some rolling hills, where they did their training.  I like the trail, but was disappointed in the hills. 

The trail was paved, and went for about 2.5 miles.  I made it a 6 mile run by parking away from the trailhead.  The Patapsco River runs along the trail and there are a couple of suspension bridges, making it a cool run. 

I took it at a decent pace, but frequent photo stops.  Here are a few highlights. 


Friday, June 22, 2012

Mount Airy Forest

This morning, after finishing up my course, I hit the trail again for a hilly 7 miles.  Technically, I didn’t run the trails this time, and stuck with the park road, but it was hilly nonetheless.  No Zombies this time, just a good old fashioned hill workout.  One section had a pretty steep hill (150 foot ascent in 3/4 of a mile). While not near as difficult as the 800 foot ascent of the first 1.5 miles of next months race, it was still good hill in 85F temperature.  I got to run down and back up it twice today, at miles 1 and 6. 

Here are some pics I took of the run from Monday.  Enjoy!





































Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Better Watch Your Back!

I’m in Cincinnati this week for a training course on drinking water.  I was supposed to get in on Sunday about 4:00, and was planning a long run, but it didn’t happen. Five minutes before we were to board, the flight was cancelled, necessitating a diversion flight to Atlanta, then a few hours layover, before flying into Cincinnati.  I finally got to the hotel about 10:00 at night, no run. 

I made up for it on Monday with a trail run at a local park (Mt. Airy Forest).  I intended on about 6 miles, but only got in about 4.5.  The trail was intense, and it was hot as heck out, but that’s not the main reason…

I was running through the forest, on a single track trail, when I heard them.  Slow at first, but then they got louder.  Moans coming from behind me.  And then… Zombies!!  That’s right folks, I was being stalked by zombies.  With all the new on brain eating killers, I thought I’d be the next victim, until I realized it was all in my head, or should I say ear.  I was trying out a new app called Zombies, Run!  It’s a running game that tracks your run and randomly places zombie attacks so you have to out run them.  A good deviation from normal running.  There is both an Android and Iphone version.  If you’re looking for something refreshingly different to runs, give it a try.  I won’t say it’s life changing, but a fun alternative to try. 

I also tried it tonight, when I got in a 3.4 mile run around the University of Cincinnati.  Nothing special with this run, other than stopping at about the 3 mile mark to grab some takeout before hitting the books for a mock laboratory audit tomorrow.  Speaking of, I better get back to studying!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Corriendo Sin Zapatos

Last night, I finished Born to Run.  Yeah, I’m probably the last lifestyle runner to have read it.  Now, I’m dreaming of Mexico, pinole, and some barefoot running.

Seriously though, it does put up some compelling support for at least trying it.  Not that I’m jumping on the barefoot running craze, but maybe, on occasion, a light stroll across some softened grass sans shoes would be refreshing. 

Far more than the barefoot running, my intrigue into trail running was ignited after reading Mr. McDougall’s well narrated story of the first Copper Canyon Ultramarathon.  With my upcoming trail marathon, I’ve been giving serious consideration of attempting an Ultra. If next month goes well, then I’ll most likely be on the look out for an East Coast Ultra, probably a 50K.

Today, I’m headed to Cincinnati, OH, for a week-long training.  My first stop, Mount Airy Forest for a trail run. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dammit Gym, I'm a Runner not a Doctor.

Today was supposed to be a gym workout at lunch with my coworker.  She got held up with getting a new ID badge all morning, and by 12:00, she was still waiting, so she said to go without.her. Therefore, I headed that way. 

I thought it was odd that I was able to get a parking spot up front, but didn't think much about it, until I walked in.  They were closing in 15 minutes for "Organization Day".  For those not familiar, "Org Day", as it is typically referred to as, is basically like a company picnic.  Each unit gets to have one per year.  Today just happened to be Org Day for the group that runs the gym (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation). 

Without a partner, and without a gym, I elected to get two laps around the lake in.  It turned out to be a decent workout.  I ran 1.5 miles, with stops every 1/4 - 1/3 mile for some crunches or such.  Not near as good as the gym would have been, but I wanted to keep with the ab work.

Now to finish out the day, then I'm in Ohio all next week for work.   

Thursday, June 14, 2012

10-20-30 Training Run

For today's run, I elected to give the 10/20/30 training concept a try.  I first read about this a week or so ago.  It's supposed to help improve, not only your running times, but also decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.  The concept is this:

A short warm-up, I did roughly 0.5 miles
Repeat the following intervals 5 times, then take a 2 minute rest.
10 seconds of near maximal speed
20 seconds of moderate speed
30 seconds of low speed.

You are to repeat these sets 3-4 times, I made it three.

Let me say this straight out, this thing will kick your ass.  Don't think it won't!

That 10 second burst of speed will drain your energy, then the moderate 20 seconds is tough to hold on to, and the 30 seconds of slow is not really enough to recover your breath before repeating it again, and again, and again, and yet, one more time.  By the last of the 5 intervals, you'll be dying.  Then guess what?  You only get two minutes to recover before doing them all over again! 

Like I said above, I made it through 3 sets. I wasn't killing over dead at the end, like I would be after a timed mile, but I did not want to push it for my first time.  Afterwards, I had a slow 0.5 mile jog back to my office. 

Will I do this again?  Probably.  I'm interested in the blood pressure/cholesterol benefits, although I'm skeptical of the research.  Either way, it was a good workout today!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I got a good 3 mile hill workout in at lunch today.  A coworker tipped me off to an overpass on post where she bikes.  I checked it out and there is a "T" section on top of the hill with the overpass as the main leg, and two downhills for each side.  It's in a secluded part of post too, so little traffic.  Perfect!  The hills weren't terribly steep, but enough for a decent hill workout.  

My legs are a bit sore from Sundays 20 miler, but not bad at all.  And no sign of gout. :) 

Yesterday, I hit the gym with a coworker (not the same as above). We've decided to start working out together to help keep motivation up.  I did 10 minutes on the elliptical, then some machine weights for abs/arms.  Our plan is to go several times a week.  I really need to build up my core. 

And for the question of the day.  Does anyone know an interesting place to run in the Cincinnati area?  I'm headed there all next week for a work trip.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Twenty Miles Done!

Today I hit the 20 mile mark, and have concluded the build-up for distance for next months race.  It was hot (94F), and not the best conditions for running so long.  Here’s a quick breakdown:

Miles 1-7: Feeling good.  I’ve got a decent pace going, in hindsight it was too quick for the weather. I was going strong and enjoying the run.

Miles 8-9:  Stomach issues.  I had to go, and no place for it.  I was struggling with the butt clinching until I hit Monkton Station and… RELIEF!

Miles 10-14:  After a much needed potty break, things got back to normal.  I was still going strong.

Miles 15-16:  I started to bonk. I’d been hydrating well, and was eating a little something every 7.5-10 minutes.  It was the heat that got me. I reduced my intervals to 1:00/1:00 but it didn’t hold the bonk at bay too long.  I ended up taking a 10 minute break to let my legs recover, and to refuel.

Miles 17-20:  After the break, I did ok for another 1.5 miles, slow but sure.  The bonk continued despite my hydration/eating and I ended up mostly walking the last 3 miles. 

I made it the 20 miles, and am home recovering fine, but I’m not happy with the bonk.  I wish I could have held up the running better, but it just didn’t happen.  Time to reflect and learn…

Here are what I believe were the failings of the run.

1)  I didn’t start the run until 9:15.  I knew it was going to be hot, and sure have forced myself to wake early to avoid as much of the heat as possible.  I don’t know what it was when I started, but by the end, it was 94F, definitely NOT the best way to start a long run!

2)  Yet again, I became too confident in my abilities early on, and was going at a quicker pace than I should have.  This has gotten the better of me several times this training.  I’ve got to force myself to go much slower than I feel I should go.

3)  Possibly too little sodium?   I took with me some homemade energy bars.  The consisted of quinoa, chia seeds, flaxseeds, agave syrup, coconut, cacao nibs, and strawberries or blackberries.  I also took with me a banana, that I had after the first mile, and a couple of Jason’s almond butters.  I was well stocked with goodies, but I’m wondering if part of my problem was a lack of electrolytes.  Time to look into electrolyte supplements. 

Even with the bonk, I’m confident I’ll get through the marathon.  It won’t be nearly as hot, and there will be aid stations with a ton of goodies.  I just need to focus on hill work, and take my reflections to heart.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

National Running Day

Yesterday was National Running Day.  For those that don't know, it's a day to declare your passion for running and promote it to others.  I felt it would be a wonderful opportunity to motivate the kids to be more active, so I posed the idea to Jen and she too thought it'd be good.  We elected to meet at a shopping center near the house, run, then have a nice dinner and treat afterwards, as an incentive for the kids to do well.

Paige, she was awesome.  She's run several races in the past, but got frustrated when she ran a kids cross country series and was overwhelmed by the competitive nature of the other kids.  Since then, she's not cared for running.  Tonight, she had a blast, and is now talking about doing some fun runs again.

Connor, he did decently.  As is true to Connor's persona, he got "tired" and grumpy and didn't want to continue.  With coaxing from the three of us, he did finish.  He'd complained about his feet hurting and Jen fell for it, at first, then realized it was an act.  Still, he ran 95% of it.

We did 1:00/1:00 run walk for 1.5 miles at a dead slow trot for Connor's sake.  Even with Connor's complaining, it came off well, and after a post-run dinner, the kids were racing each other while we waited to get a frozen treat.  What about Connor's foot sore you ask?  Apparently it must have been some magical pizza.  He was running like the wind without complaint.  Hmmm!

On the gout front, the soreness on the top of my foot has gone away.  It's feeling good even after getting in 3 runs so far this week.  I'm going to call it, and say I'm in the clear.  I may have some more tenderness if more pockets of uric acid start to dissolve, but the inflammation is gone and I'm in no pain.  This weekend I'm hitting the big 20!   This will be topping it out for my long runs and the rest of training will be focused on prepping for the massive hills I'm going to have to conquer.  :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Good Son.... I Mean Run.

I got a very pleasant 3.4 mile run in at lunch.  I ended up doing a straight run.  Tomorrow, I plan on doing the same for National Running Day

Thank you, come again. 

Not Out of the Woods Yet

I woke up about 4:00 this morning and noticed my toes was somewhat sore again.  Poo!  It is in a different part of the toe than before, and I'm thinking it's a different pocket of uric acid that is starting to dissolve and not a re-inflammation of the previous one.  It's been nearly 2 days since running on it, and usually the pain would have returned by now.  That part of the toe is feeling just fine.  It's on the top this time, right in the "toejam" area between my big toe and the toe next to it (would this be considered the index toe?)  I'm planning to not let it get in the way of running today.  I think it's in an area I can avoid putting pressure on during a run.  Just to be cautious, I'll take it nice and easy, and probably do a 2:00/1:00 interval. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The 25th Hour

No, I'm not talking about the Ed Norton crime drama.  I'm talking about my post-run gout update.  It's been 25 hours since completing my run and so far, so good.  I'm feeling absolutely no soreness or inflammation.  Wahoo!

And now back to your regularly scheduled marathon training!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Camera

About two weeks ago, I upgraded to a new camera.  My older Canon S5 IS was too cumbersome to take along on runs, and I’ve never cared for how it handles low light.  With a family vacation to California, and my impending Golden Gate Trail Marathon coming up, I really wanted to get something smaller, that I could carry on runs, and not have to worry about a camera bag, or having it wrapped around my neck.  After a week of research, I settled on the Sony Cybershot HX20V.  It’s a feature rich camera with amazing zoom, and excellent low light capabilities.  I took it with me for today’s run and  Thought I’d share some pics.  These were taken off the cuff, Yes Man style. 

NCR Trail 10 Miler 003NCR Trail 10 Miler 002

NCR Trail 10 Miler 010NCR Trail 10 Miler 014NCR Trail 10 Miler 016

These might not show the quality of the camera, so here are a few more I took that do.

Time Out 


070Red Run Trail Family Adventure 212


The best motivation of all…. Having a great long run after coming off an injury.  In my cause, a pseudo-injury in the form of intense pain in the big toe due to solidification of uric acid into needle-like shards that tear at the flesh causing inflammation. 

That’s right kiddos, I had a nice 10 mile run this morning.  I’m not going to call it out of the woods yet.  Tomorrow I could wake up with another flair-up.  I have a feeling that it’s going to be ok though (fingers crossed, knocking on wood, kissing the dirt, throwing salt over my shoulder, and whatever other superstitious nonsense you do to keep from being jinxed!).

The run was nice.  I did 5:00/1:30s and finished strong with an 11 min per mile pace, about 10 seconds slower per mile than my 16 miles a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t pushing it anyway.  This was my test at doing a long run to see if it will re-induce another gout episode. The weather was nice and sunny, but a pleasantly mild 75F, or so.  A great day for a run.

I’ve been back on the meds, and they’ve been melting away the deposit of uric acid that snuck back in on me.  Lesson learned….new diet isn’t enough to keep it under control alone. 

On the flip side, I tried my hand at making some energy bars.  I went with a coconut, agave nectar, cashew, and flaxeed mix. It stayed in the oven too long, and the edging was burnt, but overall it came off ok.  I only made enough for today's run, so I’ll be making more soon.  I’m interested in trying my hand (or should I say spoon) at homemade energy gels and chia seed drinks as well.  I foresee some culinary experimentation this week! 

I was feeling pretty down about my feet, but today’s run has me energized to hit some trail work, provided I clear 48 hours without inflammation.


Wish me luck!