CPR Class (In-Pulse CPR)

November 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is another long-overdue post.

This summer, I took a CPR class that I surprisingly enjoyed.

Although at first, I thought I was going to have a panic attack in the middle of class & need medical attention myself.  I was taking the class largely because I was going to be working with kids and the initial discussion started to freak me out a bit because I kept imagining have to give CPR to my own kids that was overwhelming.

Eventually, I relaxed a bit, largely due to the instructors, Tiffany & Katie of In-Pulse CPR.  They combined a serious topic with a touch of humor that created a comfortable atmosphere.  I’m one that never asks questions in a group setting but they made the class comfortable enough that I actually asked two questions.

But where they really excelled, I thought, was bringing their real-life experience–they both have worked as EMTs–to the class and telling us what to really expect if we need to do CPR.  For example, Katie told about the first time she had to do CPR and was totally freaked out when she broke ribs on the patient.  Her instructor(s) had never told her to expect that and that it is actually a required first step to give effective CPR.  The ribs are there to protect the heart and until you break them (in adults) you’re not going to be compressing the heart.

They told us that a coroner (not sure if just in one specific jurisdiction or universally) is required to indicate that “ineffective CPR” was administered whenever a corpse’s ribs are not broken.  And they told us about seeing nurses give WWF-type elbow blows to patients’ chests to break their ribs before starting CPR.

They obviously got the point across that breaking ribs (in adults) is to be expected.   Coincidentally, my wife, a teacher, took CPR training the same day with the school nurse and this wasn’t mentioned.  I feel taking the course from instructors who have actually done CPR and are willing to prepare us for the gruesome-ness of it helped better prepare me if I ever need to use the training.

If ever asked, I will always recommend that someone–especially first-timers–take the classes from instructor(s) that have actually done it in the field.

November, NaNoWriMo

November 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Obviously, I’ve neglected the blog for a while.

I’ve had reasons.

They’ll become apparent soon. Unless you already know about them & if you’re one of the few reading this, you probably already know the main reason. I’ve been busy. But that will have to wait for another day.

Today, I’m launching a new challenge for myself. To blog every day for the month of November.

I’ve had an urge to be a writer that I haven’t really gotten started on ever. My blogs have been my mild attempt at actually making sentences. For the most part, I’ve successfully avoided writing.

So now that my unnamed reason has mostly ended, I’m taking up the challenge to actually blog. November happens to be National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The basic goal of NaNoWriMo is for the author to get the words on the paper, to generate the mud. The NaNoWriMo novel is not a finished novel, it is in need of editing. One the hurdles I face in starting to write is that I always feel the need to get everything right before moving on. I get bogged down before I get going.

So my goal for November is to type for 10-20 minutes, let it sit for awhile, do a quick edit and post. Generate some mud.

Incidentally, you may notice I renamed the blog from “fartleks” to “Muddy Calf Running”. Why? For one of my projects, I’ve been thinking about names & Muddy Calf was something I liked but didn’t think suited my other needs. Besides, fartleks was a bit too generic.

Well, my time is up for tonight but first some questions:

Have you ever thought about being a writer?

Have you ever cam up with a plot for a novel?

Does the name of a blog matter?

Some Healing Pain.

August 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Despite what my blog might reveal, I don’t just run to race.

Today’s run was supposed to short & slow, an easy day.  But sometimes I need a run more for emotional reasons than physiological reasons.  Today was one of those day.

I found out last night that someone very important to me is going through a rough patch.  A real rough patch.  And I can not help her right now.

So I’m a bundle of empathy, pain, fear, anxiety, hurt, anger, guilt, and love that I needed to release.  And, as fun as it may sound, going to a CPR class and talking about life-threatening situations touched too close to the heart today.  I spent most of my lunch hour on the phone with family sharing an odd mixture of tears & laughs.

After class, I had some time to get in a run.  I was “suppose” to do two easy miles.   But I needed to hammer some of the emotions out so I did 3 miles HARD.  It was hot today and I hadn’t eaten lunch so it was pretty tough.  I needed to feel some physical pain today to mask the emotional pain, hopefully washing some of it away.

In the process, I discovered that not only can you use the “talk test” to determine if you’re running aerobically or anaerobically but you can also use the “cry test”.  You can not run anaerobically and cry.  Trust me, I tried.

One thing that made this run even more poignant is that this person is one of my running heroes.  She is the one that motivated to start running again after I had given it up in college.  She is the person that has encouraged my running more than anyone.  She is the one that had the courage to run in college. She is the person that understands my passion for running better than anyone. She is the person that came to see me finish the Bjorklund half marathon this year.   So using running to cope in this situation was both extremely appropriate but also a painful reminder of what she is going through.

I don’t often use a run to burn off emotions like this–more typically I use them to refocus myself, to clear my mind, or just to escape.  But there have been a handful of times where I’ve run just to burn off pure emotion.

And now, I hope to return to my boring old blog about my training…

RRCA Coaching Certification Class

August 7, 2011 § 3 Comments

I just spent the last two days taking the Road Runners Club of America’s Coach Certification Class.

It was awesome.

First, Patti & Warren Finke, the instructors, are long-time runners, marathons, ultra-runners, and coaches.  Patti is an exercise physiologist, and has been the American age-group record-holder for 50km and 50mi.  She has been an Oregon Road Runners Club Age group runner of the year three times.  Warren has raced in over 170 marathons and ultramarathons–winning more than 20.  Twice he has been the U.S. track record hold for 100km.

Obviously, both are well qualified.

But their presentation is what really made the classes enjoyable.  The first day included a lot of lecture on topics like nutrition and physiology. The material was somewhat dull but they kept the class entertaining with antidotes from their 60+ combined years in the sport.

One of my favorite stories was about a competitor in the Race Across America bike race who started hallucinating in St Louis that his crew was a bunch of aliens trying to abduct him.  This racer later confessed that even after his crew caught him and got him to sleep a couple hours, that he thought all the way to Atlantic City that his crew was a bunch of aliens.

The second day was a bit more interactive as we broke into small groups and worked on developing training plans for Josefina, as interestingly played by Patti.

One of the side benefits I had not expected–and wish I had been able to take better advantage of–was meeting several other (better) bloggers.

Rebecca, me, Adam, and Ann

Rebecca from Michigan sat next to me the first day and works with Girls On the Run.  If I remember right, she works with over 80 different clubs in a 3 county area in the Detroit area.  I’m hoping to pry some more information from her as I try to get my program going.

Adam’s blog, The Boring Runner is tragically mis-named.  I wish my blog was half as entertaining as his.   Dude can run, too.

Unfortunately, I had less time to talk with Sporty Girl of Sporty Girl Jewelry Fame but she was extremely nice & she makes really cool sports-themed jewelry.

The long lectures on Saturday, coupled with the fact I hustled home to my family right after class instead of going to the restaurant, limited how much I got a chance to hang out with anyone.  I wish there had been a casual get together Friday night or a group run one of the mornings.  But I guess there’s always Twitter.

Again, the class was really amazing, I think I learned a lot–we’ll see when I take the test.  If I pass (and I complete my CPR & First Aid class later this month), I’ll be  a certified Running Coach.  I have a few goals in mind of what I want to do with that but even if I go no further than the experience I had this weekend, it was worth it and something I would recommend for any runner.  If you live in the Portland area (or Kona) , you might want to check out Team Oregon‘s training groups.

Kickstarter Project: Simple Hydration Water Bottle

July 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Kickerstarter has popped up a couple of times in the last couple months in different podcasts I listen to.  Mighty Mur Lafferty of I Should Be Writing Fame used it to raise money to get her Afterlive Series printed and Carl the Mailman from The 3 Non-Joggers Podcast used it to raise funds for his documentary film, One Fall.

Both mentioned it enough to piqué my interest in what else is going on there.  I did some standard searches–Lego, Mego, Running,  and Runner and saw some interesting stuff.  But one project stuck out to me, the Simple Hydration Water Bottle.

Odd shape?

The clever thing is it is designed to slip into your waistband so you don’t have to carry it but don’t need any special belts or straps or anything.

Cool.

Kickstarter is designed for crowd-funding of projects.  Individuals chip in $ so a project can be funded and completed.  The thing is, the project is only funded if it raises 100% of the money requested.   The water bottle has raised $10,610 of $20,000so far with 24 days left. I was informed that 95% of projects that get over the half-way point endd up getting fully funded.

One of the important things about kickstarter projects is designing a sensible reward system for contributors.  While every contribution helps, contributing $20 gets one of the bottles.  Additional pledges get you other swag like hats and shirts.

I intended to pledge and recommend you look the information over and consider it too.

Race Schedule, second half of 2011

July 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

Now that I’m healthy and waiting for my Garmin to charge, thought I should declare the rest of my summer/fall training & racing plans.

It’s time to work on speed.  So I’m targeting a bunch of shorter races–mostly cross country-style (the best) races.

While I would like to run ALL these races, I won’t because even if I had the time & money, my old bones, or more likely, my old tendons and ligaments, wouldn’t hold up–especially running 5 races, including a half-marathon, over 20 days in late August.

But I would like to build a mini-Cross Country season for myself between the two trail series (potentially 9 races) and the first and last race on the list.  Cross Country was my introduction into the sport and still my favorite type of races.  Running the shorter races on softer ground makes racing more often possible.

7/9 Mayer Run For the Son.  I would have felt like I HAD to run this since it is in the small town that I live in.  But it got cancelled.  Probably a good thing for me since I shouldn’t be racing yet.

*7/23 Oulu Rock Run 5k This is a Must-Do for me, it’s in my hometown.

7/28 Lifetime Fitness Trail Series.  4.5 Miles, Hyland Park Reserve. This is part 1 of 5 of a trail series at parks throughout the area.  I ran one last year and it was fun–relatively cheap and good race with good grub (beer!) and SWAG.  I probably won’t run all 5.

7/28 Rice St Mile. 1 Mile.  I ran several years ago–I’m tempted to run it just as a measuring stick although given the choice between this and the trail run on the same day, probably will do the trail run.

*8/6&7 RRCA Coaching Certification.  The Road Runners Club of America puts on training classes to become a certified running coach.  I’ve thought about doing this for a couple years but either missed the registration period or couldn’t afford the time.  Made a special effort this year to make sure I got in.

8/11 Lifetime Fitness Trail Series.  5 Miles, Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve. One of the nice thing about this series is that the races are during the week which frees up the weekend.

8/13 Rockford River Run 5k   I ran this 5k last year and would like to do it again this year for comparison’s sake.

8/21 Minneapolis 13.1 This is where things get interesting. Considering my plan of training for the shorter races, why would I consider this? Two reasons, (a) To give myself a second chance to redeem myself, especially after doing some speed work, (b) I might get comped to do this–more detail in a later post.  They also have a 5k that would make more sense.

8/25 Lifetime Fitness Trail Series.  3.2 Miles, Clifton E. French Regional Park. One of the nice thing about this series is that the races are during the week which frees up the weekend.

*8/31 Solomon Autumn Trail Series.  This is the third year of this 4-part trail series.  I’ve run all eight races in this series’ history–a feet only matched by my nemesis, Scott– so I feel obligated to continue the streak.

9/8 Lifetime Fitness Trail Series. 5 Miles, Carver Park Reserve.  I ran this edition last summer since it is close to home.  This is also where I screwed up my knee a couple weeks ago.

*9/14  Solomon Autumn Trail Series.  This series is also run weeknights so it doesn’t interfere with weekend plans.

9/17 Fall Frolic 5k.  This 5k is put on to support the Chippewa Falls Cross Country team.  I’ve run it couple times before, including once where I ran the loop part–it is a lollipop course–backwards and had to meet all the other runners.  Oooops!

9/22 Lifetime Fitness Trail Series.  5.2 Miles, Elm Creek Park Reserve.

* 9/28  Solomon Autumn Trail Series.  The money from this series supports skier, Audrey Weber.

*10/12  Solomon Autumn Trail Series.  It always has great door prizes for the participants.  Great Sponsors.

10/15 Whistlestop Marathon. I probably won’t run the Half Marathon but this is another race close to where I grew up and is run on nice, soft crushed rock trail.  But it is on my radar.

10/29 Carson Park 10 Miler.  Another race I probably won’t do but this is my favorite race of all time.  Perfect time of year, love the distance.  I have not run the new course but it use to be a point-to-point race with an awkward bus ride to the start.  Unfortunately, this is now two hours from where I live.

11/6 Rocky’s Run 11/6 5k/8k This is a CC-style race at the University of Minnesota’s Golf Course.  It seems like a good way to finish off the season.

Garry Bjorklund 13.1 Round-Up

July 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

Between getting injured and being away from home, I didn’t spend as much time looking for race reports from Bjorklund as I would have liked to.  And when I did, I didn’t find as many as I thought I would.

Without any more fanfare, here are others’ race reports that I found:

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