Friday, November 26, 2010

Second Thoughts Part Deux

'Second Thoughts' would be a good blog title for a speed runner. For me today, it's how I'm feeling about the whole 'run 26.2 miles' thing. Had a rough morning and quit the run. 10 completed out of 16 and then called my spouse to pick me up in a car and drive me home.

Drove 3.5 hours to my parents house and ate a lot of food, then drove 3.5 hours home last night.
Then puppy piddled on the bed for no good reason so we slept with no blankie, and the 3 year old woke us up at 4.
Got him back to sleep and the puppy woke me up at 4:45. Ate some toast before the run at 8am, but didn't Gu on the run.

Today (anything prior to 5am is NOT today).....
Got the 'fuck this fuckering fucker fuckle of a canal!!' blues
Got tired of my ipod
I've been on allergy medicine for the last three weeks (hey!! another 3!!!!) which has had a negative impact on my cardio and has brought a drastic increase in my snot-rocket production.
My running partner is now 'injured' (I think it's fake and a juvenile call for sympathy) and couldn't join me
The weather is PERFECT right now in Phoenix (for balance--I'm not ALL bitch you know).

So, I crapped out on a long run. Not the end of the world, but most authorities would say that the long run is THE run to not miss.

So I have a 4 mile run scheduled this weekend to 'recover' from the long run. I'm always wary of junk miles, so I know adding another 6 mile run doesn't get me a 16 miler. A 16 is a 16 and may not be sliced, diced, or otherwise subdivided. Move on.

Thinking back to the reasons I started running ---- I want to be one of those guys who goes through the front door at 7:15 am on a 60 degree day and cracks off 5 miles. Big smile and an easy shower then oatmeal and my vitamins. And repeat about 3 or 4 times per week and get skinny and get tired of all the money....  Not the guy who checks his Garmin like a twitching spastic, has lost all left foot toenails, has to do laundry mid-week for all the stanky tech-fabric, lives by a training plan that sends me out the door at 5am in the cold, reads Runners World (actually, I mostly just read the celebrity junket on the back page and complain to my poor wife about the inconsistent advice from issue to issue), talks about running to anyone who will listen, ad nauseum.

I want my 44 year old bag of fatty bones to be in shape to enjoy my three year old, yet I find myself soaking in an ice bath, drinking a coconut water, and pleading for a half hour of rest. So maybe I'm admitting that long distance isn't for me. Maybe organized races aren't for me. Maybe I'm some kind of 10-12 mile a week guy. SUAR says to sleep on it. Betcha I wouldn't need to quit on 16 hours of sleep right now.

The Old Sucky Three's

Maybe its the three post I started a week ago that took my mojo......

Triathlon Ironman AZ weekend and I'm not in it.... AGAIN!
Puppy is shitting about 3 times per day in the yard
3 day work week --nice unless you are the Principal
HJG turned 3, that's a good thing, BUT.....
3 cupcakes yesterday
3 pieces of pizza
3 b-day cinnamon rolls
1 kids juice (yeah that's one but have you ever had one?? It's a three)
3 cups of coffee
3 big handfuls of potato chips...

A pattern, albeit a touch contrived, is emerging. My 12 mile (12/4 =3 --SEE!!???!!!)  run this morning was sucky and my 14 miler last weekend was sucky. The time this morning wasn't so bad, but I never got into a rhythm and never felt good about the run. I'm blaming my intake from yesterday. Bad goes in, bad goes out. The 12 miler 3 weeks ago was done in about the same time as this morning's run, but felt so much stronger.

Second Thoughts

I've had a plan (since June) to run the AZ RNR marathon in January 2011. I have a free entry and have been training in a Runners World "break 4:30" plan. The plan calls for 4 runs per week including a long run on the weekend. The past three long runs have not been fun at all.
To make matters worse, I had 16 scheduled today and quit at the 10 mile mark. I had no mojo and no desire. The run itself wasn't horrible, just not fun; not enjoyable. So around mile 7, I started thinking about quitting and calling my wife to pick me up (this eventually happened), and I fought the shame and guilt for three more miles and then threw in the towel. Fuck.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Futuro Recovery Compression Socks

I have heard about these from more than a few runners. Legs that go over 10 miles or so usually need extra care the rest of that day and sometimes the next. It's called that 'recovery', and proper care will help prevent injury and get us out on the road for the next run.

But I've always blanched at the prices of these socks. recently, someone wrote about the diabetic anti-embolism socks sold at the local drugstores. It was Viper in one form or another, the huaracha wearing cheapskate --but he puts in serious miles and so should know about recovery. I don't know about your town, but here in Maricopa county, you can't swing an immigrant hater without hitting a Walgreens or CVS, or one under construction. We received a $5 coupon via email to CVS and off I went yesterday after a 15 mile run.

I spent 30-45 minutes sitting in the aisle trying to figure out what to buy. They have hip high, but I knew from past court appearances that wouldn't be a good idea.

They had 'up to the knee and these seemed like the ones I had seen at marathon expos. Usually for $60. The $35 price tag on the ones in the store beat that, but my mind began to wander over to the $8 ace bandages.

What is the purpose of the socks and how do they aid in recovery? Simple mild compression of the lower legs creates additional pressure in the cells, veins, and arteries which facilitates faster oxygen delivery and waste (lactic acid) removal. The research suggests that this is especially good for recovery post-run but is also useful during the run as it delays soreness and fatigue. And they look so damn spiffy! But I want function, then form. What about those Ace bandages?

I looked at the 6" Ace bandages. These could be quickly wrapped around the calf area without going through all the pelvic gyrations, grunting, and hopping around on one foot the compression socks require to put on (hey, just like constipation!). The degree of compression can be controlled by the user -just wrap tighter or looser, and they can be used in a variety of other McGuiver household applications. The best part is that they cost $8.00. I flunked economics a few times during college and couldn't shake the "I've got a coupon" idea, and so spent $15 extra to get the socks. Besides, I wanted to try them first, and then possibly do a comparison against the Ace wraps. I ended up choosing the calf length Futuro brand. With these, I'd be way ahead of the technology!

Then there was the awkward few minutes of measurement to determine my size -just between medium and large of course, so I went medium which seemed to be right. This is a bit gross I know, but I also tried on the pair in the torn package to be sure. They had obviously been tried by more than a few embolism sufferers but I had to be sure. I also saw a peg full of "moderate" compression but there was no indication that moderate meant MORE or LESS compression. Leaders of Futuro take note and please provide clarification.

Ohhhh, sexy!
I got them home and worked them on to my achy legs and waited for the miracle. Hmmmm, feels just like pantyhose     feels just like I would imagine pantyhose feel    once my leg brushed up against a hot woman's pantyhose-clad leg while we were having energetic sex, and I recalled that feeling     my wife said they had the same material texture as old-lady pantyhose.
Receptacle End

Heck, I don't know. I wore them for a few hours, much to the amusement of my spouse. I didn't notice any extra oxygen delivery or lactic acid removal. And today, I feel pretty much like I ran 15 miles yesterday. I'll use them post long runs for a while because it sure didn't hurt anything, and I may try them during a run because I'm almost shameless in fashion. And I really do want to try Ace bandages to see if the focused compression makes a difference.

RTP Rating:

Cupcake = pretty good product, take it for what it is worth, leaves me wanting MORE

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sport Beans Yeccchhhh!

I got a pack of these in some shwag bag recently and they sat on my dresser top for a while until the other day. I took them to eat on the way to a hill repeat workout with Runlaur. Sport Beans are manufactured by Jelly Belly, a dubious name in sports at best, and this endorsement by Kevin Bacon does little to improve the rep. Really?? Mr. Bacon? (Really it's Brad Seng, an amazing Ironman athlete, 9:12 at Kona in 2006, I seriously doubt he has ever ingested one of these)
Kevin Bacon??
The purple package contained about 8 or 10 grape flavored jelly beans and I could definitely feel the grainy crunch of sugar crystals in each bite and also the ersatz grape 'berry' flavor. Grapes are technically berries along with melons and tomatoes but there all resemblance stops.

The website includes a link to published research, a foray sure to be more amusing than a trip through the Comedy Channel lineup. Example: "In addition, the athletes completed the time trials with the highest average "power outputs" with Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans."
I can live with that

Power Outputs from beans should only be used as material in The Boring Runner Blog and SUAR's blog, but here it is in this Sweet Home Alabama of a blog.

Hey, no more time wasted on these disgusting sugary little rabbit turds. I'll never buy them.

RTP Product Rating:

Cow pie = not on your life, but it's sometimes fun to watch others interact with this

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Running Dream

I got your 'blunt' right here!

I think running dreams are God good for me. They are always positive: I'm fast, in the lead, no-effort cardio, and Adam is waiting, ineffectively-clenched, in a porta-potty line a couple of miles back. No threat from that speedy rabbit!

I had one the other night where I was running through the streets where I grew up in Vagina Virginia. I slipped off of the hilly roads and onto some of the paths and forest trails I was familiar with, and just kept going. In the dream I was thinking that I could keep running forever but it would soon be dad dark.

Hey all you Sigmund Freuds out there, pick on your own sub-conscience!

There were some other runners out there, but none as strong and in good form. There are three basic steps to interpreting dreams:
  • First, try to recall the details and scope and sequence of the dream
  • Second, listen very closely to the initial impression/meaning you take from the recall
  • Third, share with someone else for feedback
  • Fourth, get your butt to Houston for xmas
The second step is most revealing and is usually the correct analysis no matter how silly it seems at the time. My step two revealed that I like running but I'm trying to 'capture' running for automaticity. I want to be able to call myself a runner, and be viewed as a runner, but not really put in the effort or risk the injuries and 768/788 Age Group place markings. In other words, I'm a real runner acting like a poser. Or more accurately, trying to avoid becoming a poser.
please wake me before I go any further

I do like running but can't stand it for the 5 minutes or so just before my feet meet the street. Once I get going, I'm good and turn into the runner that I am. A bit on the slow side to be sure, but improving and staying within my means. And also injury free for the past year or so which I attribute to improved form and better shoes. Thanks Lauren -when are you coming home??

I've said it before, and I don't mean to sound like a sad sack, but I am not supposed to be able to go out the door and run for 5 miles. It's just not me. I think about military personnel overseas in battle, about people with terminal illness, people with injuries, my aging body, my blogging friends, etc., and in the end, it's just the 'I can be healthy' mantra that makes me go out the door. Running never occurs like it does in the dream, but sometime after miles 1 and two, I get into a rhythm, look down at the Garmin, and think, "I've just run 2 miles how fast? And three or 10 more shouldn't be a problem today" Now that's a dream come true.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Running With Norman/Johnson

I marked "Finding a Running Partner" in my 2010 list of New Years Resolutions, and scored big this week with a human version who runs just about my pace and a future canine version who runs four minute miles in circles while peeing, barking, and self-fellating.
Norman prefers Asics
Norman has a while before he is road-ready. We are working on leash skills and basic commands, and it is best to start a dog slowly in running. The good news is that he is willing and of the correct breed for partner running. I can't wait!

Meanwhile, I made contact with an old friend who has been running for a few years and is experienced in the 1/2 Marathon distance. We ran hills this past week and 12 miles this morning. Johnson has a great sense of humor and we work in the same industry so we have lots to complain talk about. Johnson has read my blog but is not really interested (love it!). Johnson is already registered for the PF Chang 1/2 in January but is slowly being influenced by my wheedling to run the full.

Running with a partner makes a big difference for me. The 12 miles this morning were a lot more fun with someone to talk to, and it wasn't a problem when I went ahead for the last 3 miles. We still met up for coffee after and also met up with Artman Chris who went 40 minutes today.

I do love my solitude, and its necessary for certain training segments, but I also really like running in a pack. I have 27 miles on tap this week with 15 next Saturday. Form has been good and my paces are a little faster than the plan calls for, but it feels natural so I am going with it. Have a great rest of your weekend, and good running!

Special vibes out to Adam who is going for a PR in San Antonio this coming weekend and SUAR who is trying to heal a stress-fractured hip in time to break all the public-defecation laws in Massachusetts on April 18.