Friday, July 24, 2009

The best run of the year tonight!

I feel absolutely awesome! I've been doing a lot of experimenting recently, trying to figure out why I don't have energy when I run. I kept track of everything I ate and drank, and my runs, looking for patterns.

As some of the guys at TNT suggested, it was a food issue.
On the two days I had a Powerbar Harvest Whole Grain Long Lasting Energy Toffee Chocolate Chip bar, I had awesome runs. Plenty of energy for surges, demolishing the hills, and just general feeling like I'm 16 again (without the acne).

The one day I didn't have anything to eat, I felt like total shit. No energy, just like all those nights at TNT. Now, true, the weather tonight was incredible, and I am sure that was part of it.

But, anyhow, I am excited to experiment further!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tour De Blur

This is my view of the Tour De France on VsHD. Wonderful picture, eh? Not so much. All my other HD channels work fine. Even Vs HD usually works when displaying stuff like Rodeos and Hunting. Just the Tour. So I have been relegated (that's a TdF pun, btw) to watching the Tour in regular Def.

Oh, well.

One of my running buddies insists that "any HD is good HD", but he hasn't seen this picture!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

TurtleHeadAck on Twitter

I am now on Twitter!

This has been a pretty good week:
I finally contacted a podiatrist to address some of my concerns. I'm looking forward to pain-free running.

I set up an account on Twitter. Yeah, I know, I'm behind the times. It's fascinating, though. I have it set up on my iPhone, and when I get bored, I monitor the tweet stream for various search terms. Already, I am learning useful info. For instance, two dams will be removed in Patapsco State Park, Union Dam and Simkins Dam, and they may even remove Daniels Dam and Bloede Dam. I think this may cause some trail changes, as the water level changes. Should be good for the fishies, though.

Here is a link that describes the project in more detail.

I had several runs this week longer than 1 hour, all on trails. It feels great! I decided to do a time trial last night on the Promenade. Sorry to all of the people I almost ran over! You should really pay attention to where you are going, though. When I finished, I thought I had done 5 miles, and my time of 26 minutes would have been freaking awesome! But then reality intruded into my fantasy, and I figured 4 miles. Then 3.8. When I got home, I went to Google Maps Pedometer (awesome site, btw) and I mapped my run. 3.68 miles! Not so great! That means I was actually running at 7.06 minutes per mile, which is 7:04? per mile. Not awesome. But not too bad, considering all the lights and peds I had to stop for. Peds is short for pedestrians, of course. I'm pretty happy with the other runs I have put in this week, and the direction of my training and fitness.

For the run mapping, initially went to, but was turned off by the blizzard of ads. Yuck. Then I remembered Gmaps Pedometer. I used to use this site a lot. No ads, and it works great!
Here is the run I did Friday evening:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Where NOT to put your keys at TNT!

At TNT last night, I left my keys next to the outside rail of the track, so I wouldn't have to carry them while running. This is new for me, as I am paranoid about losing them.

When I finished, they were still there, but retrieval was an issue. Some dude who totally kicked ass during the workout was puking right over my keys! The keys were ok. The conversation went something like this:

ME: "Um, those are my keys. Excuse me. I'll just grab 'em".
GUY: "Sorry, dude. I didn't even see them there."
ME: "No problem!"
GUY'S GIRLFRIEND: "I thought he was coming over to congratulate you on a good workout ."

Later, I realized that's exactly what I SHOULD have said...right before I snagged my keys.
I really need to be more considerate.

This got me to thinking, maybe I'm not trying hard enough. Maybe I should be hurling after or during the workouts. I might try that next time. The last time I hurled from running was the 2002 DC Area Beer Mile. Warm beer + running = not so good.

I guess the takeaways from this lesson are:
1) never put your keys next to the outside rail of the track. The inside near the bottles is a much better choice!
2) be more considerate
3) run harder

On a more technical note, this is my first post using Blogpress, which is an app for the iPhone. I am hoping it will enable me to do more frequent posts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Confessions of a Masochist

Just finished watching today's stage of the Tour de France. When you think about what these guys are doing, it is just amazing. Tomorrow they are doing 120 miles! That is just 1 of 21 stages. Incredible. I just want to take this moment to say how much VsHD sucks. Vs is the network covering the Tour. Since I am a gadget geek, I have HD, so I've been watching the Tour on HD. Unfortunately, their signal is highly compressed, and the pixilation is so bad it makes me want to puke. I think I will be watching the rest of the Tour in Regular Def. Oh, well.

I have a confession to make. I almost quit today. But you don't get anywhere by quitting, and, as a masochist, I would be depriving myself of some great suffering! So I am NOT quitting! Whew! I have run 6 50K's, and completed each one. No DNF's. 2 or 3 involved ankle sprains that I kept running on to finish. I don't quit anything easily.

Even though I am not quitting, maybe it will make me feel good to list some things that I am NOT doing:
  1. Badwater Ultramarathon: 135 miles run in the summer in Death Valley, with temperatures up to 130 degrees F, so hot that you have to run on the painted lines on the road, if you don't, your shoes will melt. I hate, HATE running in hot weather. This is most definitely NOT on my list of races that I want to do some day. I have the movie. It is SICK!
  2. Hardrock Ultramarathon: 100 miles, with the lowest point at 9,000ft! As a low-lander, something like this would be suicide. If I ever move to Colorado, I may change my mind.
  3. Barkley Marathon: this has various distances. Most years, NO ONE FINISHES! Only 8 people have ever finished. I think the average pace is 30 minutes per mile. This is not running.
When I say "quitting", I mean I was about to give up trying to be a competitive runner. Just because I have to put a lot more effort in, now that I am an old guy. In my 20's, I could half-ass my training, and still do somewhat respectably. Now, I have to pay attention to my diet, fueling before the run, hydration during the run, recovery after the run, ice on the joints, take vitamins daily, and most importantly, quality training. Skipping workouts just doesn't work anymore.

A rude awakening, but it is ok.

The cool thing about running is that I am learning new things about myself. Isn't that what life is all about? Learning about yourself? I'd much rather put myself through tough track workouts and learn about myself than sit on the couch vegging out with the TV.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

JFK 50 Miler- Good news and bad news

I went to sign up for the JFK 50 Miler. There is good news and bad news.

The bad news is that for the first few days, JFK is only open to current military, military vets, and JFK veterans with at least 5 finishes. This run fills up quickly, so there is a chance I won't get in (which is maybe good news?)

The good news is that E is a vet, so he can sign up today. Also, I was just talking to my high school coach, who helps run the race. He said if I have trouble getting in, he might be able to help me.

So the real thing to consider is: WTF am I thinking? 50 miles? Am I crazy?

I am getting better with my training, so I doubt that my body will fall apart in training THIS time.

I definitely need to see a running doctor about my ankles. If I string too many days of running together, especially if they are on roads, they start to hurt. If I "play it smart" and rest, I don't get into the fitness level I need to be in.

I went to a shoe store in Annapolis where they sold me orthotics, and they hurt my ankles tremendously, even after getting them redone two or three times. I need to see someone who knows what they are doing.

One fear is that if I wear orthotics when running trails, I won't have the control I need and will have a catastrophic ankle sprain/twist.

Why I am not getting faster...revealed!

I missed TNT again tonight, because I had to stay late again at work. Oh, well. By the time I got back in the hood, it was after 9pm, and thunder storming, so I decided to run on the treadmill. My plan was to run 45 minutes, with two separate sections doing negative splits.

I started off at 8 minutes for half a mile, then went down to 7:30 for 1.5 miles, then 7:00 for a mile, then 6:40 for a mile, then I jogged at 8:30 for a half mile, and I was about to start increasing again, and some dude came on the intercom, and said "the club is now closed. Please get the f___ out." Ok, I am paraphrasing, but you could tell they wanted us OUT so they could get their drink on or whatever they do when they get off of work. So I only got 30ish minutes in. Not too bad, though.

As all of my loyal readers (lol) know, I've been whining about why I'm not getting any faster. So I have been thinking hard about what was different when I was faster.
  1. I was younger. This can't be overlooked, but I see people my age and over that are still fast, so I am not about to just give up because I am having troubles.
  2. I was running every day. I think I keep forgetting about this. At some point in the last 5-8 years, I started to run 4 or less days per week. I now think this is normal. I even ran some 50K races on 1-2 days of training per week. (And those races were the ones I totally sucked at) The only 50K I am happy with (4:55), was in 2006 when I was running every day (a temporary abberation).
  3. My hairstyle had more aerodynamic lift. Like wings. I think I'll just have to make do on that one. No going back!
I definitely remember that i would freak out if I missed a day. So I am resolved that is what I have to do. Even if I have to run on a crappy treadmill that shocks me when I accidentally touch the heart rate measurement handles. Better than getting struck by lightning!

Signup for JFK 50 Mile Run is tomorrow! Yikes!