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Archive for the category “Free and Easy”

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

Mile High and Higher

As kids, my parents took us to Colorado on a family vacation. We found a basketball court and played around for a short while. Short because we felt the effects of the thin mountain air. Today the experts call it “altitude training” back then we just called it “sucking wind”.

My best marathon was after some mountain runs, so I feel like it helps to work out at altitude, however there were several other bonus attributes (lowest weight and overall conditioning) at that time, so the results are not scientific. I can attest to running in the mountains to be much more difficult than running at sea level, so that is all that is important. Like riding an old heavy steel bike compared to a new high-tech light one, the hard makes all the difference. I’ll take the hard every time in training to make the final event feel easier in comparison, which does wonders for the mental aspect of competition. To struggle in training makes it much easier to be run relaxed when it counts.

I was fortunate enough to hit the mountains of Truckee, CA over the weekend for the first time in about 10 years. My lungs burned as I ran up from 6,600 feet to around 7,600 feet. I got in about 15 miles over 3 runs (pulling a double on Sunday) in 2 days. Not a lot of miles for a weekend, yet the inclines were brutal, so the miles weren’t my main objective, survival was.

I have a cousin who lives in Monmouth Lakes, CA, which is where many elite marathon runners go for their altitude training. 8,000 feet in city and only up from there in the mountains. He says he can feel a big difference from Truckee to Monmouth Lakes. I sure would like to visit and give it a test. Maybe next year.

Now I am back home to 95 degree heat. Will have to see if heat is more of a challenge than hills and thin air.

Off for a run. Talk to you all soon.

36 Again

To be 36 again. Huhmmmmm, that would be a trick. I remember going to the official time checker at the after party at the 2004 Chicago Marathon. The guy entered my information and said, “3:14:11, great job!” He then gave me high five and I felt pretty darn awesome for the rest of the evening.

Flash forward 9 years and that marathon time is a distant memory. 2 more Chicago Marathons sub 3:28, but never close to another Boston Qualifying time. Yeah it hurts, especially since both times I qualified for Boston, I didn’t go to Boston. Sure I am part of the group that can called themselves BQs, but to never have run Boston still stings.

50 is rapidly approaching. Do I have one more shot at Boston? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that running is a lot more relaxing now that it is just about my sanity and overall health. Would I like to line it up in Hopkinton and take that hilly trek into Boston? Sure, but will I lose sleep over it? Probably not. Could I take any more wishy with my washy?

After 4o running takes on a different meanings and that is okay. I think.

Boston Registration Opens Chicago Shut out

I signed up for the Chicago Marathon the first day it opened back in Feb.  My hope for Chicago was a Boston Marathon Qualifying time. Then came the changes announced by the BAA that the registration time would be Sept 12th and only the fastest qualifiers would get to register first. I am pretty sure Boston will close by the time Chicago comes around on Oct. 9th.

I  am frustrated with the timing of everything, but I do like the new standards and will push harder in my training to make my goal.

If I qualify for Boston 2013 with my time in Chicago, I will apply for a Charity Entry into Boston 2012.

Things may change, but the ultimate goal stays the same.

Habit of Bad Habits

To say I like to over do things I like to do would be an understatement. A lot of the good and even more of the bad. If I didn’t run I would probably weigh 300 pounds. Running makes me not want to do the bad things, but I still over eat from time to time and a day off from running makes me hungry or bored or both.

We all have different reasons to run. I love it and it loves me. At least that’s what it has been telling me lately. From the books I have read and the hills I have climbed, it has all come together to make it the most life affirming choice of this life.

The book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall notes that the ability to love and running do have a connection. Looking back on my life, I was not capable of love before I started running. Not sure if the connection runs that deep, but I am willing to run with it. Oh golly!

I didn’t care much for myself, before I starting running. I couldn’t maintain a relationship before I started running. I was only successful at escaping from my problems before I ran with them and worked them out.

Run far and find….yourself.

Smile Maybe Even Laugh

A co-worker of mine (before he knew that I am a runner) said to me, “I don’t understand runners they always look so miserable when they run. I have a neighbor, who runs all the time and he never looks like he is enjoying himself.” I said you probably see him at the end of a run and no runner looks like they are enjoying themselves at the end of a run.

After that conversation I made an effort to think back to when I first started running. I starting running to fill a void that injuries had created. I couldn’t play rugby anymore and I needed a stress release. In the beginning I didn’t love running, but I grew to love it fairly quickly and it became part of my lifestyle. So if I love running, why don’t I appear to love it when I do it? I set out to make a change.

Now I will break out with a goofy smile or even laugh while running. I will admit it wasn’t natural at first, but the more I did it, the more I felt better about my running. I have been able to overcome “bad patches” aka times you feel awful when running by smiling and/or laughing. I even have received such a rush from doing so, that the top of my head tingles and I forget all about any pain or discomfort.

At a 10 mile race earlier this year, a fellow runner told me I was the most relaxed runner he had ever seen. Maybe this smiling thing will change the perception of us by non-runners, who will then join the crew.

Give it a try and see how you (and those who see you running)  feel.

Chicago Running Shoes

With Bix behind me, my focus is on to the Chicago Marathon and a pretty big decision to make. Nike Free Run or Mizuno Alchemy?

 I have built up my training this summer to all, but my long runs in the Frees. Since I bought my second pair of the Frees I have done all of my races in them. The longest race distance has been 7 miles with a training run long of 10. I am unsure if I can make the change from the Alchemys to the Frees for the full marathon distance. I will take a test at a 1/2 marathon in Sept. and see how that goes before making my final choice.

I must say I want to make the switch permanent as I feel more, er, well, er, free when I run in the Frees. I realize that is a no dah statement, however the connection to the ground is important when running. The big support shoes block that feeling and encourage improper form.

The switch is a slow process. 10 years of long distance running in the motion control shoes has created an addiction and atrophy effect on my calves. The calves have been the biggest roadblock in the transition. They like to tell me quick when I try to do too much too fast.

This summer I have been listening to my body and I have been relatively injury free (there’s that word again). The less in more approach to running shoes seems to be helping me in the long run, so maybe it is time to take the long run to the Frees.

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