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…

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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.

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:

Things I Think: Post-ALARC Legends 10k

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Only two items in this post-race thinkpad.

First, I have found only one race report so far for the ALARC Legends 10k, Richelle has a great race report and also has a Minnesota Runner’s Giveaway of some SWAG she has collected and a cool necklace (your choice of three) that she made.

Second, I’ve been putzing around figuring what I should try to run at Bjorklund.  Originally, I was hoping to PR by running faster than 93:39 (7:09 pace).  Then, I thought maybe I would just be happy by beating my course record of 95:47 (7:19).  Then I started to think that might be too aggressive.

But then I saw the forecast, perfect conditions: cool, around 50 degrees. Maybe some rain. Wind (10-15 mph) at our backs.

And the added confidence of running 6 easy miles at 6:58 pace without feeling like I was pushing.  Plus I’m feeling strong during my taper.

So my plan is to attack.  Go out and run the first 10 miles at 7:00 pace and assess then whether I want to coast in, whether I’m going to crash, or whether I want to race the final 5k.  I figure if I hit 10 at 70:00, I could slow to 8:00 pace and still run a respectable 94-something.  But even if I totally crash, so what? If I crash and burn, so what? I’m doing this for fun, nothing really depends on me running a certain pace. I’ve got no pressure on me to do anything so just go for it and see what I can do.

It’s nice to have a plan.

It’s also nice to have incentive.  I decided that if I PR, I’m going to treat myself to this:

It’s not expensive–in fact, cheaper than most singlets I’ve found but not something I really need.

Things I Think: Post-Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon

May 3, 2011 § 3 Comments

Well, other than being wiped out later in the day I don’t seem to have done any permanent damage.  I have the normal aches and realized I got dehydrated–didn’t have to make any trips Monday morning after drinking a liter of water on my way into work.  Yikes!  That normally that leads to 3 or 4 trips.

I did take the Monday off from running to give my various body parts–Achilles, quads, and left thumb some time to heal.

To, borrow from CNN-Sports Illustrated Writer, Peter King, here are some things I think I think after running the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon.

     1) Reading others’ stories about the same race is a lot of fun.  Gives you a different perspective.   So far, I’ve read:

  • Julie’s Race Report–she almost didn’t bring any cold-weather gear.  Yowzer!
  • Chemo-man’s Report–Someone I noticed in the crowd.  I need to read more of his story.
  • Mark also didn’t like the way the starting mats were positioned and ran with the 1:40 pace group and he passed me somewhere between 8.5 and the finish.
  • Alyssa ran a great race in nasty conditions to come within 1 minute of her PR.
  • A Vegan Runner and her fiance both run PRs!
  • Jen and Willa rejoiced in victory.
  • Tenacious (didn’t find her official handle) had a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • The winner, Seth Brickley, and I have something in common–our shoes come untied during races except he takes the time to stop & tie them.
  • minnetonkafelix’s photos–Some great pictures of the race, a talented photographer with some good photos of the Lake Minnetonka area.
  • Official photos of the race.  I didn’t see myself in the 400+ pictures but recognized a lot of other runners.

2)  This winter needs to end.

3)  Whatever fruit punch trauma I suffered in my childhood made a deep and permanent scar on my taste buds & stomach.  Red Gatorade, Yuck!

4)  I am getting older and slower but maybe not as fast I thought I was.

5)  Cross-training and stretching are good ideas.

6)  Despite sometimes recognizing good ideas, I can completely pretend like they don’t exist.

7)  Opposable thumbs are a nice feature–they make things like tying your shoes, pinning a bib, opening a Gu, and grabbing a cup of water a lot easier.  Thanks, Ugg and Eev for evolving them for us.

8)  A cold, blustery wind has a way of  distracting me from hills.

9)  Runners might be crazy.

10)  Our supporters and spectators might be crazier–standing around in that cold for a few hours to get a quick glimpse of their loved ones does not sound like fun.

11)  Happiness is a pair of warm sweatpants.

12)  I probably could use a more closely fitted running jacket.

13)  Sometimes my mp3 player is smarter than I am.

.1)  I wonder if the person who figures out the proper formula for the number of port-a-potties required for a race will earn a Nobel Prize for physics, medicine, economics, peace, or all of the above?

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