Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review of CEP Calf Compression Sleeves

Ever had that fantasy dream that you are invisible and can sneak into the girl's locker room? Then you see SUAR's shoes under a stall door and you wake up in a cold sweat clutching blankie?
Picked up a pair of these compression sleeves in hopes that they would help with my calf problems. CEP, a German company, claims that they are good for athletes of all types and markets a few different styles customized to running, tri, walking, skiing, etc. Just what "CEP" stands for, I can't figure. Compression Exercise Products? Something with "Enters"? Who knows for sure. Maybe Heinrich, but he ain't sayin. I got the "All Sport Sleeves" which seemed to be just what I needed.
Heinrich tapping a kidney
I went out for a short slow run this morning due to the recent return of the hurtful calf. I've been dealing with a recurring calf strain for abut 3 years now, though its been quiet for the last 10 months or so. I also just picked up a new pair of Brooks Glycerin shoes at 20% off thanks to Runners Den and Books, though no thanks to Adam who was only able to score me a free Brooks bandana at the Expo.

You can guess where that bandana ended up. I have used (and will continue to use) the foam roller, the Stick roller, all kinds of stretches, extended sleep, and cheese binging to help alleviate the calf problem. These are my latest attempt to try to control the problem while continuing to run. I was measured at Runners Den (size 44! centimeters) which translates to size IV in CEP language and 14 inches in Arizona. 14 inches... 14 innnnnnnches. Speaking of language, the package includes six languages besides English. What a review this is turning out to be!

I have to say I really like them. They fit really nice. Snug and comfy throughout the hour. I felt like they were doing what they are supposed to do. And a true test of effectiveness; I felt my calf pain, but it was mild and did not increase with speed (I ran 1/2 mile of the almost 5 miles at 7:00). I'll go again tomorrow morning and finish the review.

Ok. That was a nice run with my friend Suzanne. And, though  bit slow, we ran pretty much at training pace. The last mile was fast and the last fraction of a mile was blazing. And no calf problems. I could feel lefty a little bit, but not a pain, just a reminder. So, in the end, my claim is that these sleeves work great and are helping me get out on the road when I might otherwise be recuperating on the couch.

Overall RTP Rating:
Cake = it's great and I highly recommend this product. Keep your fingers away from my mouth.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Runners Den Pancake Fun Run

4.21 miles in 41:50. Still nursing a left calf strain but it's feeling better and I ran the last quarter mile at 8:41.
This photo about sums it up
This fun run was designed by Runners Den to be a limited opportunity fun run for post RnR AZ runners or the first 250 people who emailed in. There was a waiting list of about that many, so there is definitely an interest.

The route is familiar to all who run with the RD running groups on Wed evenings or Sat mornings. An out and back from the store and along the canal with views of the Biltmore.

This guy is getting heavy!!

Sally Meyerhoff was there just standing around so I chatted her up and got this photo:
World Class runner Sally Meyerhoff touching me
Later, I took this photo of Sally SLAMMING Log Cabin syrup
Sally: eyes wild, incoherent growling speech, and hands and jaw a blur as she lays out a stack of flapjacks
Good buddy Lauren was there serving pancakes, curiously without a hairnet.

The Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosity Van was still in town and was set up for free gait analysis and there were shoes to try on along with 20% off of all Brooks gear. Good deal.
Daddy wishes his errrr... feet were that big

I love you little guy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trader Joe's: Joe Joe's

Monkey See, Monkey Eat
These cookies are pretty damn good. Notice the "All Natural" claim on the top of the box. The only ingredient I didn't recognize as a common pantry baking item is Soy Lecithin. After reading about this compound, I feel ok in my spirit that it won't hurt me.

The flavor of choice is chocolate, though I am partial to the vanilla, and during the December holidays peppermint comes to town and  my brain goes to junkietown for a few days.

For the review to be complete, these need to be compared to Oreos - the penultimate daddy late night Sportscenter milk dipping cookie. (Hey, I've completed many penultras!) This cookie stands next to The Big Daddy in our family photo of sugar treats, but only as a healthy, though clearly subordinate, little brother. For the bilateral cookie casements, these two are equal. But the filling tells a different tale. Oreos have a cream center --dare I say Centre??-- that has a positive sugary snap and a perfect grainy grind against the teeth and tongue. Joe Joe's in comparison have a smooth creamy filling that lacks but is still a notch above ok. Jamoosh and Viper, if you were stuck with only American convenience store grade O'Fool beer would you abide and partake, or subside on your bank of IPA memories and tap water----- self-said pariahs with growler size holes in your hearts? Adam, I won't ask you, you MGD64 whore! I can't speak for Oreo ingredients. I'm sure Oreos also have chemicals that make me eat entire sleeves on the drive home from the market, but my treatment program doesn't allow me to even shop in that aisle. My browser is fire-walled from searching, and does it matter? No. The Oreo is better.

In the end, I give this product a high RTP rating and urge you to practice moderation.

Cake = it's great and I highly recommend this product. Keep your fingers away from my mouth.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011 RnR AZ Marathon 1/2 Marathon DNR

I've been nursing a left calf strain all week and a slight twinge in the right calf. My calves are my Achilles. I've been injured there multiple times over the past three years; probably the same injury.

Harrison at ASU Kids Rock
So, being on the fence all week about the race itself was a bit unnerving, and I was pretty much committed to NOT racing until I got to Kids Rock and the Expo today and got caught up in all the energy. My photo opportunities were good, but I didn't take advantage. I saw Adam The Boning Boring Runner working in the Brooks booth, and Lauren from When I Get a Little Run Run Run working the Runners Den Asics booth. I had HJG with me and he was a great sport even though I had him in the BOB stroller for over 2 hours! I didn't want to push his budding patience. His only problem was when we had to share an elevator. NOT COOL people!

So, the decision was to strap on the Asics this morning and run the 1/2 at about a 9:50 pace. I would have been running with Suzanne, my running partner. What would the calf do???

At the 2am Norman the choc lab potty time, my calf was talking to me in an angry voice and I made the decision to not run. This morning's stumble to the coffee maker confirmed the decision. Bummer but I know that I would have hurt myself more and possibly would have had to ride the golf cart of shame. Got up early anyway and drove two friends down to the metro station so they could ride the train to the start line, and they are still running now. Hope you guys are having a good run and enjoying the scenery.

Meanwhile, Norman, HJG, and Mrs. RTP made our way through our neighborhood to catch the elites.
Fuck you calf, I'm ready to cheer!
 The course passed about 1/2 mile north of our house. It was overcast and about 50 degrees --perfect. After watching the wheelchair racers go by
Maybe not PC, but that is a cool ride!!
we had a short wait and then the elite men came by in a flash. Awesome!!
Hey Josh! Meb!! It's me, Running Through Phoenix!!!

A bit more of a wait and the first women came by just flying
No photos, but Sally's ass is spectacular!
and then there started the amazing field of fast runners men and women. This was truly fun to watch and made me wish I was out there. I am determined to work this calf back into 20-25 mile weeks and build endurance this year. Had some fun tweets with Lauren and Adam this morning. I guarantee we will be running some trail races and possibly some bi/tri crap this year. I am posted for the Runners Den pancake fun run next weekend, which is designed to be a fun recovery run for those who did the RnR today. Just got a tweet from Suzanne who finished in 2:12!! Great job to all the runners, rollers, and walkers who got out there today!

Friday, January 14, 2011

To Race or Not To Race

Just a shorty today. I strained my left calf muscle on a short slow run earlier this week and have been limping a bit. It's still tight. RnR AZ is scheduled for Sunday. I'm doubtful about my chances of being healthy enough to do it. Crap. I'm not so down about this, but it is kind of a bummer. I have had this calf problem it seems each of the three years I have been running, but it's been a while since it has flared up. I have been running with good form, but the morning the injury occurred, I was running with Norman the choc lab puppy and he was tugging and pulling and twisting and turning. Anyway.....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

FYTO 5K Race Report

27:29 PR!!

I was wondering about how my legs would do in this event. I have been running short distance lately but have been going fast, so I thought with the cool air, there would be a good chance of a PR. Got out there early and stood in shivering circles with Kim, my neighbor, and Suzanne, my running friend. It's a little bit awkward for me sometimes to meet bloggers in person. "Hey, You're Running Through Phoenix right?" "Hey, I loved your post with the bathroom photo ha ha-- gross!" "Hey, let's hook up!" Being an online hunk of meat is one thing but I'm just Jeff today folks and can we just have a little 5K fun without all the gushing adoration?? You would think SUAR had stepped into the room.

Lauren had gone out the prior day with some police confiscated smack corn starch (I believe she uses Brooks corn starch) to mark the course. 5K (or 7.67 miles) is a typical fun race distance, and many of us are familiar enough with the route around the North end of the zoo along the canal. An 'Out and Back' let's us see who is in first place and who is drafting waiting for a chance to break the lead. As it turns out, the Race Director grabbed the lead at the halfway point and actually finished first overall. Hmmmm. Hmmmm indeed.....

I had a chance to review the video surveillance from a nearby business which told the tale. Our race director, let's call him Adam, can be seen in no less than 4 modes of alternate transportation including a hand-crank wheelchair, a Segway, on the back of a mountainbiker, and in a full scuba suit!
It was this last outfit that illegally gave him the lead. Emerging from the canal, he quickly stripped down to his whitey tighties scaring the other two front runners. Quickly grabbing the lead, The Director sprinted through the finish line and up to the top of the podium. Fun run my butt.
Someone call Batman!!

Well, we got cool medals, nice schwagg, superb cranberry bread, and fellowship at Starbucks, though my group had to ditch the post race coffee. Sweat 'em off, freeze 'em off, we don't care. We just hate thorns and want them all gone and we will keep running until our mission is complete.

If you are looking to join us, we will surely be continuing the tradition of the Sweat Your Thorns Off Summer 5K here in Phoenix. Stay posted. RTP now has 50 followers. Amazing!! As promised, there will be a contest shortly with cool prizes to reward your patience with this blog.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside

Heard every version of this vomitous xmas song about 25 times this season. But dang, it was cold this morning.
It's 6:45 outside!!
32 according to the thermometer, and not Celsius like Andrew from Canada reports-- Fahrenheit! Mrs. G went out for her run with the neighbor first and reported that the cold was not so bad. And I did get to try out my new Under Armor running gloves, Under Armor skull cap, and Under Armor running shirt under my one long sleeve shirt. Hey Under Armor --some free stuff? I went four miles with my running partner Suzanne, but she has been feeling under the weather ever since inhaling incense at the local Catholic church.
Stems and Seeds

We hit the road and I  could tell right away something was up with the partner. She usually has the lead and drags me, and this time I was the pace engine. We kept it fairly slow but got faster each mile-I went ahead in the last mile and got 8:54 which feels really good lately. Suzanne was 20 seconds or so behind me and put in a heck of a run for someone with TB.

If anyone were to conclude that we are wimps in Phoenix, well just remember that eight months out of the year we have to plan life-saving hydration plans just to go get the mail. Cold is cold, and I like running in it.

Getting out of a heated bed, dressing for cold, and getting a preview from the dog walk is not fun, but once I get going, it's nice and I feel stronger than I usually feel on a run. A big goal lately has been to run injury-free, and that seems to be a developing pattern. Runs like this one inspire me to keep going and go a long way towards running mojo --that elusive ethereal humor that randomly throws me a burst of running energy and motivation and (just as randomly) abandons me at the ice cream case of my local Safeway. Fucker! I didn't mean it, come back!!! I love you!!!! That's my pookie, come here. Let's get Chinese and watch a Netflix. (Mojo make up sex edited)

Ok, Blog milestone minute: RTP has 49 followers. 50 will spark a contest. So, if you have been thinking of becoming a follower, why not do so today? If you are thinking about dropping me like the soap bar in the gas station bathroom, hold on a bit longer. For God's sake, just hold it a bit longer..........

2010: A Look Back

Jamoosh and Nitmos, you have accidentally selected a "Goal Review" posting. Carefully click the back button on your browser to return to the page(s) you were on before.

I began running in September of 2008 using a couch to 5K program and walking a lot of those 3 mile training runs. The main idea was to get in shape to better enjoy my life and especially my son who was getting ready to turn one.
I'm too young to run, what's your excuse daddy??

I was 218 pounds, had medium bad cholesterol, worse blood pressure and was looking ahead to 43 years old. I wanted to do something about it. So I started running and joined a local group that ran on Saturday mornings. There I met Lauren who introduced me to the blogging world. Several blogging awards and book tours later, and I find myself at the end of my second year of recorded running. In January 2009, I ran 22 miles including a 2:39 1/2 marathon. My paces were somewhere in the 11:00 range on average. I ran just over 300 miles in 2009. In 2010, I ran 586 miles and shaved a minute off of my pace average.

I also set some 2010 running goals:

1. Eat better, more healthful food (healthy food is food that isn't sick) in my daily diet. This really means eating a regular healthful breakfast and eating more frequently with smaller portions. And not eating after 7pm.
Not completed. Some improvements, but still an undisciplined hodgepodge of half-hearted attempts to improve the diet. Goal stands for 2011.

2. I would also like to switch from coffee to green tea and other teas. No more coffee.
Ha ha haaaaaaaa haaa ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa, cough cough gagging and choking, ha bwaa bwaa ha ha haaa. I think I actually doubled my caffeine intake this year. 2011 goal is to not let this habit slide into Spice Smoke, Ecstasy, Meth, or tennis.

3. Include a genuine warm-up, cool-down, and post run stretch session into each run.
Define "warm-up". I think it's there. I actually think I warm up until the end of the run then rationalize my way out of the cool down. Cool down and post run stretch mostly fail unless you count entering data into Garmin Connect/Daily mile while slapping down goal #2. Goal stands, though I remain skeptical.

4. Run on a plan. This means utilizing several different run types each week: long, tempo, interval, and speed, etc.. Also, at least one run per week will be a natural run with no electronic gizmos, no time, speed, distance, route plan --just run for fun. Strict adherence to 10% rule!
Mostly not completed! I utilized plans, but never 'to the end'. I did mix in different types of runs, and actually ran twice 'naked' (no electronics and no shorts) in the year, but nowhere close to once per week. I do realize though that I enjoy the data and will not attempt that same frequency. My 2011 goal is to run 4 times per week with one of the runs being a 'long run'. Some naked running (No Garmin), and some trail running with the hound.
Norman the Hound
5. Build in cross-training including bike spinning.
Hmmmmmm. Spun 2 or 3 times, swam 5 or 6 times. Would like to build in the swimming this year. I really like it and it feels like it's good for me. And I think I could keep up with SUAR in the pool if I were in a kayak.

6. Find and develop a running partner/group.
Runners Den Sat mornings, and Suzanne. Ok, I'm calling this one good. Keep it going for 2011.

7. Volunteer at a race (at least one).
Runners Den 5 and 5, February --Done! Will repeat this goal in 2011.

8. Health permitting, complete a marathon.
June 6 San Diego RnR --Done! Perhaps never again, at least no plans for 26.2 in 2011. We'll see how it goes.

9. Health permitting, complete a stride and ride or similar biathlon event.
Nope. Who writes these goals?? Jeesh!!

10. Continue to blog and be thankful for followers.
Got it. Not as regular as I would like, but better than the previous year. Thanks to the 49 Followers for continued loyalty! And lurkers---- you are just creepy! I truly enjoy the online friendships and also the laughs. We are a unified lot and I get most of my fitness support from you. And I've been able to meet up with several of you and have become pretty good friends. Thanks Adam.

11. Spend more time with my son. Can always improve, but we are pretty tight and he still runs with me from time to time (Tempe Arbor Day 5K). This is a standing goal as long as I remain on this side of the dirt.

Happy New Year!!