Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Sleeves are Changing

Shout it Out
It's that time of year in Phoenix when the short sleeves start blending into long sleeves. I dump my summer drawer and rotate up my winter drawer (grimly assessing the limited combinations and fashion levels). I usually start a run with the sleeves down, then push them up my arms as the run goes on, and by the time I'm done, I'm down to my 5" shorty-shorts and no shirt.
Hate me!

No matter how old it gets here (sometimes it dips down into the 20's in the heart of winter), I can never complete a run with a hat on, and usually stuff the gloves into my pockets after the first few miles.

I do own one pair of long running pants, but I'm lazy about laundry, so they only get to come out every other week or so. Lest you feel the need to warn me, I do NOT wear shorts over top of the long pants. Every contour is artfully compressed and lovingly nestled, and I'm so damn fast, it's just a blur anyway. TWSS.
Wild Beast!

As I ramp up to the Fiesta Bowl 1/2 marathon next month (it may possibly be my worst preparation yet), I will continue to try out different Phoenix winter clothing combinations. I know that each time I run this race, there is an hour or so of penguin-like propane heater cuddling huddling, and I want to be warm but not have to shed/discard too much inventory after the race starts. I know that it goes to charity, and I like that concept a lot, but these duds are only used for two months or so each year, so I need to make them last. Besides, they look good on me!

It wasn't me!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Runner's Garmin 305 Falls Apart

I've had my trusty Garmin 305 for about three and a half years now. It's been on my wrist for about 98% of my runs, and lately on my wife's wrist for her runs as well. Now the dang thing is broken and I haven't been able to run. The little band that holds the strap in tight finally broke and the rubber strap dangles out like..... like the way I would imagine one of Nitmos' rubber devices dangles out if I were to spend time imagining that sort of thing. (scratching out my mind's eye!!)

How annoying is this? Imagine trying to concentrate on maintaining pace, foot turnover, form, and a damn good look, while the rubber strap provocatively rubs against your nipple and flops around in the wind untethered and provocative. I feel like this has been an unavoidable reality. The sound output was never really strong, and about 6 months ago, I dropped the unit, and haven't heard a provocative "you just ran a mile in 8 minutes" beep since.
Yes Miley, you're a "grownup" (source)
I really like Garmin, and depend on the data it collects to motivate me and set goals. I really wish there were an improved data collection program for Apple operating systems such as Sporttracks, but that is still a PC exclusive. Now I will be spending my running time online looking for a replacement strap. There is a nifty one that comes with the Garmin 910XT, but my wife does not support purchasing the $395 gps unit that comes with it. Buuuuuut my beautiful and provocative wife has been wearing the 305 a LOT lately.... which has surely contributed to the demise of the strap......

Garmin has tried several Sport gps units on the market in the past few years, but none have been as popular and utilitarian as the Forerunner 305. You can still find them online at a wide variety of prices, and there is a Garmin trade-in program for a refurbished unit. I'm cheap and will order a 9 dollar velcro strap and wear this 305 until it melts in some mysterious fire.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bob Jones Trail SLO, California

We have been vacationing at the seaside in San Luis Obispo Californina for the past week and will be here for another week. This place is a running and road biking paradise: 60 degree temps, foggy in the morning, plenty of scenic routes and challenges.
A great guy.
Trail Head
The Bob Jones Trail is a 5 mile paved trail in San Luis Obispo that runs from the beach at Avila to the freeway entrance on the 101. Eventually it will run all the way to the town of San Luis Obispo. My wife ran it yesterday and I ran it today. We will both run it a few more times in the next week.

If this isn't a mafia front, then I just don't know. Just next to the trail head.... Right??!??
The BJT is a benign path, really a two-lane golf cart style pathway shared by runners, bicyclists, walkers (called arm-swingers by my 4 year old), and shitters. Seriously, the path smells bad from all the dog droppings (I hope they are from dogs), and despite the warning signs and baggie stations, the first mile or so of the path is bordered by dog poop. Get past that and the path winds through shaded woods along a creek, opens up to scenic mountains and a more conventional road that crosses through a golf course, and after a bridge or two, ends at the Avila beach.
You can juuuust see the troll down there
My Garmin shows and elevation differential of about 100 feet or so. The trail dips up and down pretty much throughout the course, so you get a chance to say you ran hills, but overall it's a wash. The distance was exactly 5 miles from car door to car door. I chatted with the local rangers who said that the path plan to extend to the town of San Luis Obispo (another 9 miles one way with MAJOR hillage) is on hold while they decide  how to handle the dangerous freeway overpass. Officials want something like 2 million dollars to build an overpass, but that kind of cash is not ready. In the meantime, there is an unpaved path that follows the same basic route. This was a unique run also because I didn't need to use my inhaler, and I left my calf compression sleeves at home. No issues. They are easy enough to put on, and I'm so pattern oriented that I will continue to use them even though I'm not convinced I need them.

Cougar Taking a Crap Warning. When will I get to "encounter" a cougar?
The SLO creek

The bridge that passes over a salt water creek

The creeks connects over there to the ocean
The scenery includes mountains, I just can't stand it!

My running partner Norman
Let's goooooo!!
This trail goes down as one of my favorite spots to run of all time. If you are ever in Central Coast Cali, make sure you stop by. If you have an extra 2 million bucks, please get involved right away.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mizuno Wave Rider 15 Product Review

So comfy!!
I have the best relatives! People who barely know me, yet send me money from New York to help buy running shoes. Thanks mom and dad, and Bruno, Camille, and Aunt Lorraine!!!! There has been a lot of internet searching lately to try to decide on my newest pair of running shoes. My best estimate is that I have about 150 more miles left on the other shoes I use, so it's time to work a new pair into the rotation.

I wear a 9.5 or 10, but also need the EE wide size to accommodate my huge left foot(that's right ladies!). The helpful people at a local gigantic national chain running store have told me my left foot is larger than my right foot and that a wider shoe will be more comfortable on longer runs. Sure. They also convinced me to eat a cricket for three dollars, and that's the LAST time I ever will.
Does this really need a caption?
I've been very happy with Asics and mostly happy with my Brooks, but I couldn't find the size with preferred color combination or limited edition, so down to the store I went. And this time, there would be know way I was going to eat another cricket. I met the helpful sales girl and gobbled three crickets before she could say hello we proceeded to talk about the shoes I have been using. She explained the minor differences between the neutral and neutral plus shoes, and I tried on about 5 or 6 different pair. Eventually I decided that the Mizuno Wave Rider 15's felt the best and bought a pair of size 10 EE.

After stopping off to buy some Ramen noodles for my family with the remaining grocery money, I unpacked, sniffed, defiled, and drooled on these babies until it was time to go night night.

This morning's run was a scheduled 5 mile progression. Planned 9:30, 9:15, 9:00, 8:45, 8:30. My Garmin battery died so I don't have exact data beyond the first mile, but I ran faster than planned and felt great the whole run. My feet had plenty of room in the toe box, which is great because I suffer from left-foot giant black toes. The soles felt grippy on the pavement and there was nothing else remarkable about them. They're new and over $100, of course they feel fantastic. I'll run on these exclusively for the next couple of weeks and write a review update. The sales girl person told me that Mizuno has a larger toebox than Asics and a better heel cup, and we sat and chatted about canal running, Adam's transgender modification surgery, and the Celtics, and would you know it? We both went through a whole bag of crickets.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 RTP Summer Goals

I've worked pretty hard the first half of this year to get into better shape. I put a big brake on sugary treats and started following a running plan. As a result, I've lost a little over 20 pounds (would like to drop 5-10 more), and have PR'ed every distance I have run by a relatively large margin. One of my 2012 year-long goals was to 'say good-bye' to the 10's. That is, pace times greater than 10 minutes per mile. I'm starting to push the 9 minute per mile mark, but what Phoenix so graciously gives in the mild winter, it sneeringly takes back in the summer.

Phoenix runners can almost always count on slower paces from mid-June through September. Many times, the heat is so debilitating that runners take a hiatus, switch to less rigorous aerobic activity like llama farming, or worst of all, run indoors on a treadmill--sometimes barefoot!! Sickening I know but that is the price we pay for a democracy with people named Larry.

Well not me! With only a few days of adieu, I present the first draft of my summer running goals*

  • Track work once per week focusing on improving ladder times as well as.......
  • One mile at sub 7:00
  • Maintain a base of 25-30 miles per week with 4-5 runs
  • PR the 5K distance at SYTO in July and again in September......
  • at the Grasshopper Bridge 5K finishing sub 25:00
  • 3X per week Kettlebell cross train -barefoot, YES BAREFOOT!**
  • Swim laps twice per week
  • ease up on hyphenation and made up words
  • Continue to document and report blog-world plagiarism
The summer schedule looks pretty consistent-- a trip to the coast, some work in the office, lots of family time. These goals should fit in nicely and set up this soon to be 46 year old for The RTP 2012 Fall running goals.

* I will certainly adieu and re-draft these goals as many times as I damn well please this summer
** Show me proof that pre-historical humans wore shoes while doing a kettlebell workout. I'll wait....
I thought so.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 Pasadena 1/2 Marathon Race Report

13.27 miles
2:03:42 Garmin Time
2:03:51 Chip Time

Have you ever heard that line about the the journey being worth more than the destination? That was the May 2012 Roadtrip to Pasadena for the 1/2 Marathon. Chris, Suzanne, and I headed out on Saturday at about 8am driving West on some flat-ass desert to go and embarrass some California poser-racers and bring their 1st place money back to Arizona (to spend on.... you guessed it, things that come from California). They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I say just do captions, I'm tired and lazy  these should be worth about $2.98.
Lovely scenery as we approach the AZ/Cali border
Could I look any happier?
and do not try to bring agriculture across this border
Executive Vagabonds, that's us

Expo at the Santa Ana Racetrack
This place is huge!

Outdoor hot Expo, typical

Chris eating and drinking everything not nailed down
and I ate and drank the things that WERE nailed down
Art School
part of the Marathon relay route
"Do not touch" art. Touched it!
Staring at the magazine rack at the airport
Have you seen my dog? Anyone seen my dog? Anyone?
Race day porta potties
Really kinda cool
Designing Cars for 2022

Looking East down into the Rosebowl


Post Race Festivities

Playing Frankin's Tower


Volunteers not doing a very good job of.... Putting water into cups??!!????
Buffalo finisher!

Chris and Suzanne

Los Tres Amigos
Why I Run
Into the Fire
Windmills, 105 degrees, and snow up on those mountains
It was fun. I'd do it again. Now on to getting faster.......