Friday, April 29, 2011

RUNNERD Qualifications

What does it mean to be a runnerd?  According to the cafepress here is the definition. 

RUNNERD:  a person who does not conform, often highly intelligent but socially rejected because of their obesssion with running. A runnerd will run in any condition and is either constantly running, thinking about running, or talking about running.

So according to that explanation I think I am on the verge of becoming one. 

Constantly Running
This is one area where I fall short.  I have attempted to run in the past two weeks thanks to unexplainable very tender, blister, callous, wart, sore thingy on the arch of my foot.  I first noticed this right before the National Half and thought it was a blister yet it never went away.  Then I thought it was a combination of a blister that formed underneath a callous...it never went away.  Finally, I decided to play doctor and take matters into my own hands pocket knife.  Twice I've dug out the area that was causing me problems but the pesky thing keeps coming back.  My sister-in-law, a registered nurse, thought it was plantars wart so I took appropriate action.  The thing is still here.  It looks like I will be going to the doc to figure out what it is and what needs to be done.

Thinking about Running
In the two weeks that I haven't ran I've done a lot of thinking and ready about running.  I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, which has inspired me to really concentrate on my form and start getting serious about my diet.  It is a great book (as if you haven't already heard from the other gazillion of people who ready it).  I promptly downloaded three more running books on my kindle Running With God by Barry Simpson; The Long Run by Matt Long and Charles Butler; and The Barefoot Running Book First Edition by Jason Robillard.  This is an addition to my obsessively reading your runner blogs. 

Talking about Running
Lady M has heard her fair share of my whines about not running and my attempted transition to VFFs.  God bless her because she hasn't told me to stop.  On more than one occasion she has told me to go for a short run to see how the arch is feeling...however that only leads to longer discussions on what this growth is.  To her credit she has boasted a few times how she has ran more weekly miles than me during my short hiatus as she is in the middle of a "Couch to 5K" program.

So, I'm pretty sure that I'm about ready to submit my application, learn the secret handshake and become a card carrying runnerd.  There are worse things right?

What are you currently reading and books would you recommend?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Running News to Share

I’ve been out of touch with the blogging world for a while since we went on a quick trip to family in the Carolina’s and since I’m transitioning to the VFF my runs are pretty much non-existent and well…lame.  I was hoping to get a few short runs in over the extended weekend but that never happened.  The closest I got was chasing (in the VFFs) the kids around the yard for about 30 minutes.  I wish I had my Garmin on so I could actually see how far I ran and to see how the the GPS would track me climbing all over the fort/swing set.  The good news is that my calves weren’t sore at all.  I can’t wait to “officially” run tomorrow.

Since I don’t have anything running related to share I’ll torture you with a story about my kids:  About 7 hours into our 8 hour drive on Friday, my two oldest girls were singing to their praise and worship CD.  Lady M and I couldn’t be prouder as they sounded like angels.  Attempting to provide some fatherly love, encouragement and wisdom I started to tell the girls how proud I was of them.  I wanted to tell them that not only did they sound beautiful and look beautiful but they also had a beautiful character in that they were praising God.  I didn’t get that far.  After stating that I was proud of them my middle daughter (age 2) yelled out, “Anybody want to see my boobie!?”  The oldest daughter just laughed.  It was all I could do to stay on the road!

Needless to say I had to rethink my words about their character!  It’s a good thing that she is only 2 because if was older I would be really worried!  Now, that you’ve heard my girls are already being scouted by the producers of “Girls Gone Wild”, I feel I need to provide proof that they didn’t start with those ambitions.  Here is my youngest taking a nap while loving on a baby doll.  How can something this sweet turn into a flasher? 

Lauren's Nap

Maybe it is because they come from the same gene pool that gets excited about beating silly games.  Here is a picture of my finest moment of the mini-vacation.  I’m not expecting a Nobel Peace Prize in their future!

Champion

Finally congrats to all you Boston finishers!  I am impressed and motivated to run in your footsteps.  I can’t wait to read all of your race recaps!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday

{ONE} Running With The Girls

Yesterday two of my three daughters decided that they wanted to go for a run with me and since I'm in the transitioning phase to my VFFs I was only going to run 1/2 mile and go slow I eagerly let them (see yesterday's Wordless Wednesday) for the pic.  However, I knew that we would be going slower than I wanted to when my oldest decided to ride her scooter but I was not prepared for how slow we went.  We stopped about 6 times to let my oldest daughter catch up...and even to get a drink of water.  When she decided to ditch the scooter and actually "run" (with perfect form) I couldn't keep up!  My youngest (9 months old) absolutely loved being the the running stroller.  So I think I have a new running partners for now!

{TWO} Random Observations of a Dad

Having a four females (wife and three daughters) in the house I often use the use the "4" key when typing, blogging, filling out forms, emails...etc.  Yesterday I noticed that the "4" key is shared with the "$" sign.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

I'm not going to complain because I'm sure they can say that my running habit can be expensive...especially if I keep on wanting to participate in more races.

{THREE} Theme Song for the Next Race(s) - Underdog by Audio Adrenaline


I am so weak and I'm so tired
It's hard for me to
Find enough strength to feed the fires
That fuel my ego
And consequently all my pride has all but died
Which leaves me
Down on my knees
Back to the place I
Should have started from

CHORUS
Been beat up
Been broken down
Nowhere but up
When you're face down
On the ground
I'm in last place
If I place at all
But there's hope for this underdog!
That's the way, uh-huh, we like it!
That's the way, uh-huh, we like it!
You can call me the underdog

I'm in this race to win a prize
The odds against me
The world has plans for my demise
What they don't see
Is that a winner is not judged by his small size
But by the substitute he picks to run the race
And mine's already won


This song really motivated me during the last mile of the National Half Marathon while I wasn't really "weak and tired" as the song says but it still helped me pick up the pace.  Secretly I would love to BQ but I know there are a lot of hurdles (like running surviving a marathon and enjoying it enough to do it again and again and again) that need to be cleared before I can even think about do that.  All that being said this song provides a lot of motivation to test the limits of my running ability.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Three Things Thursday

{One} Possible Government Shut Down...for who?
I have to be honest; my motivation for next week will be just about zero if the government decides to shut down at midnight tomorrow.  I am one of those people who will still have to come to work even though I'm not getting paid to so that really stinks.  Another thing that bothers me is how this puts a damper on my desire to find another race (or two) in the upcoming months.  In my mind I can't justify spending money on races knowing that I won't have an income for awhile.  Maybe I need to look more into creating the running group/ministry at church for extra motivation.

{Two} Group Runs and/or Running Clubs
The idea of meeting a group of people to run has always created anxeity for me.  There are two reasons for this 1) I'm afraid that I won't be able to keep up with the group therefore lagging behind by myself.  2) I'm afraid that some members of the group will feel sorry for me so they slow their pace down for me...which in turn ruins their run for that day.  For example, both times I've ran with a co-worker he slowed down to stay with me for the majority of the run.  Around the final mile he sped up to salvage the run.  Now he has never told me that was the reason for leaving me in the dust but I'm pretty sure that's why. 

{Three} Group Runs and/or Running Clubs Etiquette? Even with my apprehensions listed above I still feel the need, or call if you will, to get a group of people from my church to meet on Saturday mornings to run.  However, we would do more than just run we would also look for ways use the sport of running and its community help minister to the local area.  With this comes the challenge of providing an organized meeting that is suitable for runners from the newbie to the veteran marathoner. 

So my question goes is for all of you who take part in group runs or running clubs.

How do your groups/clubs incorporate runners with various skill levels and goals? 

If you enjoy your group/club what is it that you enjoy?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are You 'N Syncd with Google Calendar?

Since my life (work schedule, church schedule, girls school and dance schedule, etc...) is laid out in Google Calendar I've been searching for a way to add a get my running schedule syncd with it so that it is with me at all times.  This also allows me to use the weather feature so I know how bad mother nature will torture me during my runs. 

My number one priority in getting my training onto the calendar is for me NOT to manually input the entire thing.  Fortunately there are people who are a lot smarter than me who developed a program that will create the schedule and provide the ical link so that it can be imported into you calendar. 

This one only allows you to use Hal Higdon's Training Plans: Your Training Calendar.  It's nice if you are following one of his plans but it only allows you to import that 12-week schedule, not your personal schedule.  Additionally, this does not allow me to share my schedule with fellow runners, who use Google Calendar.

Do you have your running schedule syncd with Google Calendar?  If so did you import it or manually do it yourself?  Can you share it with other people?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Its going to be a long summer…

Even though today’s run on par with my normal 5 mile pace it was still the hardest run of the year.  I usually take two rest days after my Saturday long runs so my legs were still tired.   Add to the tired legs and warmer weather and I tried to keep up with much faster co-worker.  All of this combined created a rough run…especially the last mile.  For the 4 out of the the 5 miles I stayed within the overall recommend range of 9:45 – 10:15 in McMillian’s Running Calculator.

1 mi- 9:45.  Feeling strong and impressed that we nailed the lower end of the range.
2 mi- 9:47.  Still feeling strong as I weave my way through the crowd of people watching planes land at Ragan International
3 mi- 9:51.  Starting to feel the effects of the warmer weather while running over the Potomac River…still well within my range. 
4 mi- 9:47.  Had to really force myself to stay below 10:15 while weaving my way back through another crowd.  Not looking forward to the last mile.
5 mi- 10:38.  About 20 seconds over the higher end of the range.  Not a fun mile.

I’m going to chalk up last mile struggles to having tired legs since I normally have 2 days of rest after long runs.  Its going to be a long summer if all runs are this hard.

Thanks to Morgan and Adam for recommending the running calculator!

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Recap

March Running Stats
Planned: 87
Ran: 70
Delta: -17

Favorite Run:
This is a no brainer...the National Half Marathon.  Despite missing some runs throughout the month I still met my goal.  I was amazed that there were tons of supports and cheering sections for most of the course.  This aspect of race was well above my expectations as this was not the case with the Air Force Half in 2006.  You can count me running this again in 2012.

Again, this is a no brainer.  My "Non Long - Long Run".  My scheduled 11 miler only lasted 3 miles thanks to intestinal issues from the previous night's dinner.  This was my first missed long run of the year so I was a tad bit worried about it going into the race however everything turned out pretty good. 

This Month's Lesson Learned:
1) I need to properly if I want to keep on running.  While I think I have a pretty strong stomach I don't.  CINCDAF and my own mother have told me on multiple occasions that I have a sensitive stomach so I need to be careful.  Maybe they are on to something.

2) So far I've fallen short on every monthly goals for 2011 (Jan-6, Feb-17, Mar-17)...however, I only missed 1 long run.  While every run is important the long runs are essential to a training program.  I don't like missing any of the weekly runs but I don't think if affected me as much as it I would have missed long runs.

Quick Peek to Next Month
I'm looking at running 77 miles.  This will be the first time that I've ever done speedwork or tempo runs so things might be interesting.  I will also be looking a 10K race to run to make things a bit more exciting.  I already know of one week where work will take me to Tucson, AR so I need to start looking for routes near where I will be staying.  I really don't want to run the streets next to the hotel...I did that in Texas and it was pretty boring.