Saturday, January 30, 2010


This is a little weird. I just registered for my first marathon -- San Diego June 2010 and I'm a little emotional. I respectfully submit a man card at this time.

Best Run Yet

Did 4 miles according to plan this morning and it was my best run yet. I built a route that uses 44th street going North from the canal and up to Stanford. This is a pretty decent uphill and then a sweet reward of mostly downhill back to 32nd street. This might be considered by experienced runners as Hills 101. That's fine, I don't feel ready for S. Mountain but I do realize that I have been running only flats this past year. Time to get out in the big water. Here's my Garmin data. The standstill waiting to cross Camelback at 44th street hurt my third mile, but I was PR fast for the rest of it. PR in a 5K is 30 flat. I'm going to volunteer at Runner's Den 5 mile/K next Sunday and attempt to shatter that.

Notice also the HR spike when I first start the run. That happens to me a lot. Is that normal? Would love your feedback.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ten at Last!

Running Through Phoenix now has its tenth follower. Welcome to Eve!! She is my wife's running partner and ran her first 5K with us this past summer in the ARR Summer Series. We also work together. She ran her first distance race in the RnR AZ 1/2 marathon and finished feeling really great! So glad to have you Eve. I'll give you your prize at work next week.

This week has been a good running week for me. I'm finishing week one of a two week build up before starting an 18 week training plan to prepare for San Diego. Sunday, I went 8 miles and at a nice even fast pace. I'm back to running in the morning which is tough to do. Tuesday didn't work out. I was supposed to do 5. Wednesday morning, I did a six from hell. I didn't want to get up, didn't want to run, and ran slow. But I ran. Thursday was back to 5 and was much better. I got up in the pitch dark and ran in the cold rain, and ran sub 10/mile, which is all damn good for me. Sat is 4 easy miles, though I may work in some hills on Stanford, and Sunday is my long day --I'll do 9 miles.

I am also excited to volunteer in the Runners Den 5/5 next weekend. I get to race for free, and maybe hang out with Lauren and Adam.

I always get excited when the latest Runners World comes, and it came yesterday. When I really analyze the zine, its usually lame, but somehow it motivates me to run, so I will keep my subscription. I also use the online training log to track my runs. Damn you Adam for taking the "I Am Boring" blog title. I could really use it tonight.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One last prize for Wifey-poo

Hey what else could she want??

Maybe this could count for Valentines too?? Thanks for following sweetie!

Mel's Prize

Mel, you have done a good job of sending me comments and supporting me thru a phantom injury. I really hope you are able to return to the running Mel of old soon. I am sending her a photo of something not to try. Do not use this device, and you are certain to not be affected by it in a negative way.

Get better soon Mel!

A Prize for Bob

Bob is a new follower to RTP. He has a nice little family with a girl and a boy and a cool dog. He runs in SoCal and had some awesome photos on his site. Glad to have Bob in the NINE. I had trouble thinking of a present for him, but finally decided that he needs a video of some guys catching a huge muskie through the ice:

You won't get that at the beach. Thanks for following Bob!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rio's Prize

Rio is a really cool runner from here in Phoenix. She is a mom and a dedicated marathon runner. Following her as she trains has been truly inspirational. She is always really busy with kids and running and her job, so I'm giving her a recipe for the slow cooker. This is yummy and easy and the family will be so happy.

Thanks Rio!!

A Prize for Jamoosh

Jamoosh lives in Texas --not Dallas! He enjoys beer and is married and loves his wife. He is a marathoner. I'm guessing that Jamoosh likes data, so I'm giving him a list of the most common numbers between 0 and 100. Any of you can feel free to use this grid.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 (71 is almost never used) 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100

Thanks for following Jamoosh!

Morgan's Prize

I don't know Morgan very well at all. She has red hair and is fast and is pursuing the triathlon. But she took a chance in deciding to follow RTP, and gets a tiger for being brave:

Thanks Morgan!

Adam's Prize

Adam is a hugely funny blogger, a confused heterosexual, and a hell of a runner. He travels a lot and is married and enjoys wine in cans with pop tops. Adam and I share the same sense of humor so I'm giving him a filthy joke: If you are offended by x-rated humor, please do not read the joke:

Knocked-up daughter
A 17 year-old girl tells her Mum that she has missed her period for two months. Very worried, the mother goes to the chemist and buys a pregnancy test. The test is positive. Shouting, swearing, crying, the mother says, "Who was the bastard that did this to you? I want to know!"
The girl picks up the phone and makes a call. Half an hour later a Ferrari stops in front of their house; a mature and distinguished man with grey hair and impeccably dressed in an Armani suit steps out of the Ferrari and enters the house. He sits in the living room with the father and the mother, and the girl and tells them: "Good morning, your daughter has informed me of the problem. I can't marry her because of my personal family situation but I'll take charge. I will pay all costs and provide for your daughter for the rest of her life. Additionally, if a girl is born I will bequeath her 2 retail stores, a townhouse, a beachfront villa and a $2,000,000 bank account."
He continues: "If a boy is born, my legacy will be a couple of factories and a $4,000,000 bank account. If twins, they will receive a factory and $2,000,000 each. However, if there is a miscarriage, what do you suggest I do?"
At this point, the father, who had remained silent, places a hand firmly on the man's shoulder and tells him "You fuck her again..."

Adam is a great guy, thanks Adam!

A Prize for Pat

I don't really know Pat but he's a loyal disciple and has been supportive. All I really know is that Pat is a runner and a Realtor and a blogger. To Pat, the screenshot of my first Garmin "run":

He's going the distance. He's going for speed. All the way to the second mile an and then breakdown baby!
Full disclosure for the court if you please. Thanks Pat!

Runlaur's prize

Gotta get a start on the prize thing because I just know the tenth RTP follower is waiting to see what kind of incentives are out there. Runlaur is my biggest non-family female running inspiration and for that she gets a running haiku:

She's a steady pace
only walks as planned for miles
along the canal

Ok, it can only get better. Thank Lauren!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Nine Disciples

The first nine will get prizes too...... Don't quit me!

My Most Loyal Followers

Now there are nine of you and almost all of you have included a photo with your Google account. I'd like to spend some time soon learning how to spruce up the blog. I have a bare bones blog. Anyway, if you have been lurking and thinking about "following" officially, let this induce you:

The tenth follower to RTP will receive a prize and will be included with the first nine in a special blog report.

Went out after work today to get a recovery run in. Wanted 3 miles, but only got about 2 before the skies opened up, and since I was near home and still injury-free, I called it quits. I'll go again Thursday morning. Get this: I built a training log to prep for June 6, and if I do this thing, I will have logged 679.2 miles (marathon included) between now and then. Now I know why they say One Day at a Time.

Thanks for following me!

Monday, January 18, 2010

RnR AZ 2010 Report

Time 2:22:31
Garmin: 2:19 and 13.25 miles. WTF?
Avg. pace: 10:33
Avg. heartrate: 157 (half of Adam's)

I've been running now for just over a year and I can really say I like it. I like races, but I don't feel competitive towards others, just myself. But I still get a bit nervous, which is natural and appropriate. So the night before this race, I was expecting our 2 year old to have a rough night, or something that would keep us awake. This mental jinx lead to an enormous allergy outburst on my part at about 1:45 am. I was sneezing and nose running, eyes red and had to go sleep on the couch. Then I got cold and came back to bed at about 4am, and woke up Maria and then skipped through sleep until 5 when the alarm went off. This should be fun.

Got up and got dressed and did checklists. HJG got up at around 5:15 and was in good spirits. Kim, our awesome neighbor/temp baby sitter and Maria's running partner Eve got to the house at 6 sharp and we took off. We parked at a metro and took the train to Central and had a very nice walk to the start. Got to a porta. Indescribable conditions! Wandered around and got water and said hi to some people we know. We saw the 50Ker's coming in and got our pictures taken by marathoner extraordare Deb.

Got to our corral and met up with the 2:22 pace group. There were about 10 of us. Thanks Jane from ARR for running with a sign! Then I had to pee again. I may have a growing problem. Got in a mile long line and after a quick calculation, figured that if I waited, I would start the race with corral 200 so I went back to my spot. Moved up and saw the animatrons of Mayor Phil and Sen McCain. All those runners thought they were real. And kapow, we were off and running.

My plan was to find the first set of portas and then catch up to Ryan Hall. Just after mile one found another line to some portas and spent about 5 minutes waiting at a 52 minute/mile pace-according to my Garmin. Ouch. Got back on the road and fell into a nice rhythm. More quick math determined that I would catch the pace group around mile 10 if I ran 30-45 seconds faster, but I caught them at mile 5. Ran and chatted with Jane for a while then went ahead for a while. They passed me as I walked through the mile 8 waterhole and gu'ed. Then we leapfrogged each other for a while. She was pushing the pace to try to bank time for the "hills". I kept pace and passed them on the hills. I felt strong in mile 10 -not like the breakdown I had at Fiesta in December -Runlaur, you would have been proud.

On the "hill" I had a recurrance of last year's social problem. There were about 100 or so runners all around climbing in complete silence. Last year I turned around and yelled, "I thought there weren't any hills in Phoenix??!!?" Got some chuckles. This year I was determined to stay quiet but the crazy bubbled out again. I turned around and yelled, "C'mon rock and rollers, how about some chatter!!" Cricket cricket. I had about 100 people looking at me like I had just announced a white supremacy slogan. Then there was some chatter as groups discussed my candidacy as ass-wipe of the year. I ran my shamed butt up that hill quick!

I kept wondering what part of my body would snap. Would it be the hammys? The calf? How about something new like my knee? Nothing. So I went negative for the last three and finished the last .1 sub 10 crossing the line right with the ARR pace group. I actually felt like I could keep going. Very happy!

My goal was to complete the 1/2 injury free and not have a race photo of me making a funny face or working the Garmin. Mission accomplished. Waited for Maria and Eve who crossed the line in tears. Maria's ITB is really bad now and she will seek medical attention this week, but she made it!!

Cool. Thanks for reading. Now on to San Diego!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

RnR AZ Tomorrow....

Let's begin with the Expo. Very standard. Not enough free stuff, and going early means that nothing is marked down under 150%. Maybe go on Saturday late and you will find expired Gu for a good deal. We checked in and got our stuff. Then we wandered for an hour or so and ran into some people from work past and present. I thought I saw Ryan Hall's shoes under one of the bathroom stalls but it wasn't him. Ryan would have graciously signed the flyer I was shoving under the stall instead of shouting obscenities and making threats. My cute wife bought a tshirt she has been wanting

I did see PF Chang himself, but they had him frozen in a block of ice, I guess to preserve the body or protect it from Huns. My history isn't very solid.
Didn't buy anything, but ate about 3 marathon's worth of free Cliff Block and signed a 'friend' up for Womens Running magazine.
We busted out and used an NYPD Pizza coupon to start a stream of consciousness rationalization that led to dinner at..........NYPD
All this and a white pizza. Mmmmmm.
Then we had to boogie home to get HJG into the sack and me over to PF Chang's in Scottsdale to meet up with my coolest running bloggers Adam, Lisa, and Lauren, and Adam's wife and Lauren's soon to be husband. Good times, and faces matched to names. Adam is running the full, and I didn't get what Lisa was planning. Lauren is saving buckos for other races. Run fast peeps!!

Today, I'm doing a laundry and stretching and ritualistically laying out my gear for tomorrow. We're riding the metro in to the start line and then back from Tempe. My wife is running the half with Eve, her running partner. As the overweight sputtering freshman Flounder said in Animal House, "This is gonna be great!!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roctane review

Tried the Orange/Vanilla Roctane a few weeks back and have had calf trouble since. Conclusion: Roctane causes running injuries due to unexpected surges in speed and endurance, and has a tricky spelling. Actually, it tasted just like all other sugary gels and didn't seem to have any more impact. I suspect it would for better runners. I have been having calf cramping issues for the past three weeks and am still unsure about the PF Chang 1/2 marathon a week from tomorrow. I believe that my calf is cramping and then I am overstretching and causing micro-tears which lead to a propensity to cramp. I used to watch ER and watch House a lot. Any other ideas out there?

I went out this morning and ran 6.6 miles on the canal at a much slower pace (about 10:20/mile) and no pain. Saw some of the detritus of one of Adam's parties

At the 6 mile mark, my calf started to talk to me in a very small voice so I stopped. I had read some stuff on the internet about running on the balls of the feet, so I was thinking about that and trying it, and maybe it was making the difference. I have also increased my electrolyte consumption --I use Accelerade. I spent 45 minutes with a spiritual advisor/stock clerk at Sprouts looking through tiger venom balm, radioactive potassium suppositories, and calcium helmets and left the store empty handed and a bit discouraged. I eat 2-3 bananas a day and eat pretty well and take fish oil and a multivitamin and hotdogs from Costco, so I doubt I'm deficient in any vitamins especially potassium.

I am sticking to resolution to warmup and cool down and also stretch post-run. I walked 1/2 mile before running and made myself stay slow, then cooled down at four miles and again at 6. Look at these pigeons doing Tai Chi at 32nd street:

This was my message from above and I'm going to listen this time. I'll stretch Armstrong this week and keep cardio at a decent level and see what happens Sunday.

I'm really looking forward to meeting fellow bloggers/families this Friday.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rock n Rolling with a Foam Roller

I have mentioned the effectiveness of foam rolling in past blogs and here I go again. My spouse and I have been foam rolling each other 2 to 3 times per day for the past three days; her for her ITBS and me for my mysterious calf condition. Her ITBS is still bothering her, but my calves are showing remarkable recovery. Ran 1 mile on Jan 1 and 3.5 yesterday after a 1/2 hour bike spin on the back patio (hey Adam--that's a brick isn't it??). Ran today with wife and HJG (in jogging stroller). She could only go about two miles before her leg started to hurt, but I was able to put in 2.5 miles including a 8 min/mile stretch for about 1/2 mile. I didn't want to get to far away from her and I don't want to push my recovery.

I got in a nice cool down and stretched after the run. I'm going to keep stretching and cross training and running, and I feel that RnR AZ is once again achievable.

Foam Rolling allows us to personalize a deep tissue massage to the injured areas and work the pressure to meet the pain threshold. Most advisors will tell you to hold the pressure at the pain threshold for 20-30 seconds before letting up. This loosens stuff in legs and backs and causes a stretch to happen that speeds recovery. I have also used a frozen bottle of Arrowhead water to roll under my plantar faciitis'ed foot. The other tool that is a must-have is the Stick. I don't have one, but use Maria's rolling pin which seems to work ok. Go get a foam roller if you are having any kind of leg pain. There are countless websites that give illustrations and narrative for effective use.

I will continue to train this week and next and be ready for PF Chang.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2 Week plan

Setting goals helps me in life. My work life is a constant cycle of goal setting, evaluation, monitoring, adjusting, re-setting. With this calf thing (I have no idea what it is), I feel a bit defeated, but I'm still proud to have a running calf injury, and I'm currently melding a plan with a goal.

I have a relative who recently hurt his neck and was sore for a few days after a vigorous sneeze. In comparison, I think my running injury is truly earned and I'm actually more than a bit proud. Since starting running about Sept. of 2008, I've gone through a gamut of injuries including strained calf, plantar faciitis, ITBS, tired body, acute procrastination, and now the same calf thing. This is a dark thought, but I really hope I get the black toenail condition someday (let me know if I should not be wishing for this). The calf sometimes feels like a strain, but most of the time like a cramp. It's in the upper gastroc area, in deep  and a little to the outside (maybe soleus). It's very difficult to stretch it - I usually can't 'find' the area to stretch. This will sound weird, but I have to stand under a doorway and push up against the top of the doorframe with my back arched backwards to even feel the stretch. All common calf stretches feel normal to me. The only consistent time I feel the condition is when I start to run and when my wife really leans in on the foam roller. Very strange!

Yesterday, we walked one mile on the canal and then ran the mile back nice and easy (12ish). No problem and we were both very happy to just be outside in the beautiful weather on Jan. 1. The plan is to continue this (and possibly increase), along with the foam roller and cross training on my spin bike for the next two weeks and try to be ready for RnR AZ 1/2. Then continue to train on a plan till June for San Diego. My heart and lungs want to get back to 8 and 9 minutes/mile NOW!! By the by, the ad in Runner's World indicated the addition of a 1/2 in San Diego though their website is still not updated. That means my wife and her running partner can run the 1/2. Very cool and definitely a part of the plan.

If you're reading this, go fast for me please!!