Friday, May 22, 2009

DL List

It's official. I am putting myself on the DL list until I can get my knee to cooperate. I'm a little frustrated over the fact that despite my efforts to be careful, my knee has opted to do something different. I ran last Saturday and had no real problems. I was sore a little after but nothing serious. I had pretty much taken the week off before that. Since my last Half Marathon, I have slowed down my running to a slower pace to recover before training for a full marathon.

Last night I went with the wife to the gym and hopped on the treadmill. Maybe it is the treadmill seeking revenge for all the nasty things I said about it in earlier posts (I felt justified in that it was the one that threw me off). I stretched out my hamstrings a little before starting, stretched out the IT Band and got on with a brisk walking pace working up to a full run. It wasn't even a tempo or speedwork, just a casual run. At first my knee was a little achy, but nothing I haven't experienced in the past. The pain level increased as I got farther into the run and at 1 1/2 miles it decided it had had enough. So I slowed down to more of a walk and it calmed down (still hurt a bit when my hill would hit the ground, but not bad). I ramped up the speed again and it gave me the signal that there would be no supporting my weight.

I'm back to wondering what the issue is and what to do about it. I had IT Band issues on the other knee, but this is in a different spot and more toward the back of the knee. I'm taking the weekend off, icing and resting to see if maybe I have just jumped back in to training too soon. Next week, I'll be in Chicago and was looking forward to some runs there, but that is in the air for now.

Good news is that I wasn't planning on signing up for the 10K until race day. The half marathon in Bear Lake is out of the question at this point. My next race is the local 5K the city puts on every year at the end of June. But don't worry. I'll ramble about something else while I am down.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

TIART: Nutrition for Running

The Runners' Lounge topic for the week is all about eating. You'd probably expect me to talk about vegetables and yogurt and smoothies with spinach or something healthy like that. Instead, I'd like to spend some time talking about Fringe Nutrition. Never heard of it? That's because I just created that term to feel good about the Hot Pocket Calzone I am having for lunch.

Fringe nutrition is the midway point between total nutrition fanatic and total fast food junkie. This is the realm that I live in. My justification is that too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing. If I started down the slippery slope of proper nutrition than I would have to cut out my Grilled Burger with grilled onions, fries and a drink. But, I also know that I could be the next contestant on the biggest loser if I ate those fabulous burgers all the time (I probably would have a coronary before I got to the point where anyone would thing Biggest Loser, but it gets the point across.) So listed below is my compromise.

Nutritional Smoothie- Spinach, fruit, milk or juice, ice (if your spinach is frozen do you still have to add ice?) Gets your daily portion of greens and fruit out of the way.
Fringe Smoothie-Fruit, juice, maybe a little milk, scoop of ice cream, meal supplement mix. Looks great, tastes good. Daily dose of the ice cream food group, fruit and dairy

Nutritional Dinner-Veggie burger or turkey burger, salad and something else that is in the nutrition category, water or skim milk
Fringe Dinner-Grilled Hamburger (not fried), lettuce and tomato on hamburger, fries (baked if there is time, if not then patted really good) and some baked beans (again not fried or even refried), powerade to drink

See how easy that is. I didn't go all the way over to the veggie burger, but I did grill the hamburger and used baked beans (again no frying) because baking and grilling are much better than frying.

The day before a race I just make sure that I add in another meal so that I get the proper carbs. I've found that there is no substitute for Girl Scout Cookies. I make sure that I have at least one or two the night before and maybe one on the way to the race.

Fringe eating is a good alternative for people who would like to claim that they have improved their nutrition since they started running without completely going cold turkey on all the tastier things.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Memorial Day 10K

I had plans on running a 5K on Saturday just before I head out of town for the week. I haven't done a real race since the half marathon and I am feeling a little deflated and lethargic. I was taking the daughter to get her glasses fixed and saw a sign for a 5 and 10K Memorial Day run. Upon checking it out, it turns out the race is in some of my old stomping grounds and only about 5 minutes from my parent's home. Since I am going to be fixing shingles on my dad's roof Saturday, this is a great new option for me. Maybe I can beat my last 10K time. The route is fairly flat will only a 85 ft incline over the course and a 98 ft decline so no major hills.

Now I guess I should probably do another run this week before the race.

I also downloaded a couple maps for when I am in Chicago next week. The Westin O'Hare has some 3 and 5 mile routes available that are right by the hotel so a morning run will be fun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quick 3 miles

Today we are on track for a 90 degree day. It seems rather odd considering a month ago around this time we got 7 inches of snow, but that's how things are here. The 90 is a bit high for this time of the year and according to the forecast we'll be back in the mid 70s by the weekend.

Today I kick off my training for the July 24 marathon. I printed out my running schedule thanks to RW and then promptly wrote all over it to modify it to my schedule. The schedule says I am to do 2-20 mile runs during the course of the training. I'm planning on changing that around a little so my max run is 23. My reasoning? During my half marathon training I ran farther than the required amount and it served me well so I'll see if this will also. What's the worst that could happen? I'm not really pushing my pace to break any records, but more focusing on getting my body used to a longer mileage.

So, I ran a quick 3 miles today. I was aching to pick up the pace instead of just a casual run. I didn't do a particularly long run on Saturday, so I sped off a little below my 5K pace with a quick sprint the last 100 yards. It was a nice run.

I'm toying with a new nutrition plan for myself in June. I'll write more about that as it gets closer. 1 more week until I am in Chicago. I can't wait. The hotel has some running routes available and I plan on taking advantage of them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Trail run and Groups

I received the weekly e-mail from the Saturday morning running group that I associate with. The planned run today was a 5.5 mile trail run with some steep up and downs on a single wide trail. I was looking forward to a nice Saturday run. The weather has been perfect, but my last trail run experience left me a little hesitant.

The last trail run (and my first real trail run) left with a sprained ankle that took over a month to heal to the point where I felt confident in putting in a long run. At the same time, I have quite a bit more experience and strength training since the last time I ran. I chose in and met up with the group for what might make or break my future trail running experience. Suffice it to say that this run gave was fabulous. There were only two of us (race season has decreased our numbers) and the trail definitely gave me a good workout. Better still, I left with no injuries. My ankles feel good, my IT band (which has been giving me fits on the left knee) is feeling good.

So, for my next trick, I'll perform "fixing the shingles on the roof" and "cleaning out the garage."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I've Been Published

My 7th grade English teacher is probably rolling over in her grave about now. No, not because she was a runner and never foresaw me running.
No. She is rolling over because of my editorial prowess (and the fact that I even know what prowess means.) Today I was published. first post to the Runner's Lounge. Never heard of it? You're missing out. Why? Because it is full of great reading about running (like my stuff) and other tid bits. Why else? Because they published something of mine, why else?

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Didn't Want to Run in Your Race Anyway....

The results of the lottery are in and I'm not headed to St. George for the fall marathon. Here's how it all played out.

I logged on early this afternoon to see if they were sticking to their 5 PM MST time or if that was just the time it would for sure be up. It wasn't posted yet. My wife and I picked up the kids from school, blew off the rest of the afternoon and went to see 17 Again (because we had passes and it was that or Hanna Montana.) My IT Band on the left leg has been giving me fits since the 1/2 marathon so I had it propped up. As I sat there remembering when I was 17 and squandered all that energy on things like video games, movies, late night parties with friends my thoughts turned to running and what it would be like to have all that energy again and run in the St. George Marathon.

Promptly upon leaving the theater, I turned my phone back on to see the e-mail from the marathon people. My heart beat a little faster and I was anticipating what where we would go to celebrate. I read through the contents of the e-mail to discover that I had not made the cut. How could that be? Don't they know who I am? Haven't they gotten the memo about the possibility of their race being my first marathon? Obviously there was an error in their systems. I re-read the e-mail a couple times, then told the family the grim news.

If I had made the cut, I would be on my way to the gym with the wife as she goes to her first personal trainer session (I did well this Mother's Day and got her 6 sessions with a PT.) Instead I got a smoothie and checked my sprinklers for the upcoming watering season. At least they are working...mostly.

I am now in the dilemma as to a fall race. I'm working on a mid-summer race and have a few 5K races lined up, but no fall race to cap off my running. I guess I'm in the hunt for something in the fall. If anyone knows of something, let me know.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Does anyone have an odd personal quest? I'm sure everyone is striving for something or has a goal, but I'm looking for something deeper. I've had a few. My longest running quest was to find the perfect milk shake. I started this quest back when I was in High School and we would go to Village Inn for breakfast with the intent to study for our History Test (for some reason I always ended up with zeroes on those days.) I have since put that quest aside after discovering Franklins Ice Cream in the Historic District of Philadelphia.
My new found quest have been to find the perfect smoothie combination. This in turn has two criteria. There is the homemade smoothie and the professional smoothie maker smoothie. Thus far, my favorite professionally created smoothie is the Fruit Fusion smoothie at Smoothie King. They also have a Gladiator one that is as much protein as a side of beef, but the protein doesn't sit well with me. I've visited other establishments, but thus far Smoothie King is in the lead.
On the home front, this is an ongoing process. Just when I think I've found the perfect combination, I find something new. Most mornings as we're having breakfast I'll throw together one of my standard house favorites. This includes a juice base (I prefer the Dole Pineapple, Orange, Banana), with a couple handfuls of the tropical mixed fruit blend from Costco. From there I add a 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt and maybe a banana (if we have one on hand). The final addition to my smoothie is 2-3 scoops of Muscle Builder Powder. If I'm up to experimenting, I'll mess with the combination of smoothie ingredients.
The other factor to making a great smoothie is the blender. I still have the regular store bought blenders. One day I will own one of the blenders that the pros use. In the meantime, I'll just leave you with a video of the blender of my choice.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

WalMart Marathon

I was running today and had so many thoughts that I left the iPod and Nike+ at home (that and I can't find the little shoe sensor but that's irrelevant). One of my initial thoughts was how soon do I have to take the sirloin burgers out of the freezer so that they will be ready for tonight. I decided that I would take them out as soon as I finished my run (which of course forgot to do when I got home.) Then there was the e-mail from Amy at The Runner's Lounge inviting me to share my writing with other fellow runner bloggers. The other thought (and the one I am going to write about) is the fact that I think more businesses should get involved in sponsoring runners or better yet create the races among their companies. I devised a strategy for the large retailer in my area to sponsor a marathon. You know, I think this is undiscovered country. I'm not talking about the retailer sponsoring a race. I'm suggesting the retailer create the race around their store.

My initial thought was of my local WalMarts. I hopped on the scientific race mapping software online called Mapquest to map out the distance between the 3 WalMarts that are within my area (there are quite a few more, but then this would become an ultramarathon and we're not talking about that). I discovered that it is approximately 24.6 miles between the three locations. All they would have to do is have the runners run around the store a couple times or zig zag through some residential neighborhood and they would have a full blown marathon on their hands.

What would be even better would be if part of the race was through the store. It would be like WalMart on the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe that is how they would expand it to be 26.2. Think of the product placement opportunities. Think of the subconscious methods of advertising. Think of where people can be cheering the racers. Racing spectators could line up along the produce aisle (if it is a super WalMart), the lingerie aisle and the toy aisle.

Now, they would have to come up with a theme. Maybe "Race for Parents who go to WalMart on a Date" or "Race for Falling Prices" or "Race for the Cure to Carnivorianmultiplexus (CVP)." There needs to be a theme. Without a theme, no one will come (except maybe store employees that are forced to come or some of those maniac shoppers who hear there may be free gatorade).

You might be thinking to yourself, "Yes, this works for retail chains, but what about office buildings?" Hah...I thought of that about the time I hit the top of the hill on my run this morning. Business offices have an even greater advantage. You see, runners would have to go up stairs to the top then back down another set. You can't get any more grueling a hill than that. They could even offer the elevators, but the risk of the elevator is time. Do you want to save your legs and lose time or conquer a grueling 4 stories and shave 2-3 minutes on your time?

The WalMart marathon would earn any runner their stripes and maybe even get them a new running jacket (those are located on aisle 6).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Vulnerable Moment

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program of blood, sweat, tears, and testosterone to bring you something juicier. Today I'm going to go all out and open up to you all. I'm going to rip myself wide open and reveal something that you haven't seen before. I'm having a very vulnerable moment here.

I just bought me a six month supply of steak today. Yes, really. Whew...that's off my chest.

You see, I have this problem. It's called Carnivorianmultiplexus (CVP) syndrome. What, you've never heard of it? It's a disorder that revolves around meat. Particularly steak. Symptoms include a compulsion to buy charcoal briquettes whenever a person with CVP goes to the store, owning more than one bbq cookbook, being pulled to the gas grills whenever entering Home Depot and then having to use the paper towels located near the grill to wipe up the drool. Individuals with CVP have known flare-ups in the late spring and last until late summer.

I was diagnosed with CVP back in the '00 when we moved into our home and I received a gas grill for Father's Day. No one ever told me that I had the recessive gene that would cause me to get a glossed over look in my eye whenever Iron Chef Bobby Flay threw a T-Bone on the grill. How was I supposed to know that my knees would go weak during Meat Week at Albertsons? I was never told this and as a result I have a full blown case of Carnivorianmultiplexus.

I felt that this year I was doing so well too. I had avoided the steak sales, kept my grilling to chicken and some vegetables only. But then last Saturday I gave in and bought some rib eyes and we grilled them on Sunday. Today, when the man selling Omaha Steaks came by, I had no strength to resist. I just barely had enough in me to talk him down $50 on a variety case. I know, I know...I caved. I was weak. I gave into the flesh.

But, you see now I have a good reason for buying these steaks. It came to me as I was putting them away. If Vanilla comes running by and I'm grilling, he's welcome to jump my fence and pull up a chair. So, really I'm being charitable to a fellow runner (what, you thought I wasn't going to say anything about running?).

I'm now in denial mode...what illness?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wet T-Shirt Contest

What a wild weekend. There were plenty of beverages, plenty of laughter and loud cheering. There were over 70 participants ranging from 6 years to over 65. It was amazing and some great prizes were given out.

You may be scratching your head right now wondering why we would have 6 year olds at a wet t-shirt contest, but we did. Now that you're disgusted thinking i'm some kind of perv, you can stop it right now.... I'm talking about the Renaissance Academy 5K Race for Literacy that was held on Saturday. 54 people ran the 5K and another 20 ran the 1 mile fun run.

Where do the wet t-shirts come into the picture? The heavens opened up and poured out all the rain that it could find. The early morning started out as minor sprinkles, but by the start of the race it was a major downpour. By the end of the race, it was a tsunami on land. So there were plenty of wet t-shirts, wet technical shirts, wet shoes, wet name it.

The race times were slower than what would have occurred if the conditions were dry, but what can one expect when everyone has added on another 5 lbs. The typical water and gatorade at the end of the race was replaced by Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider. The last three finishers were two kids (one in kindergarten and the other first grade) with their mom. After seeing those two tough it out, I have no excuses for when I look outside and debate whether I will run if it looks like rain.

Oh, and Megan earned her iPod for toughing it out. I found out on Friday that for the past two weeks she and a friend have been training during recesses by running around the school field. Her hot pink iPod will be picked up tonight.