Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Eating Lower on the Food Chain: My family does not eat a lot of beef, and I am not advocating a meat free or animal product free diet. A vegetarian/vegan diet would be easier if I either lived alone (don’t want to do that), or had a spouse that wanted to be a vegetarian/vegan (not trying to change her), but my caloric intake beyond ~2,200 calories/day should come from fruits or vegetables, which are the most efficient source of foods when looking at the energy required to produce to energy contained within. I had concerns of low protein consumption if more of my caloric needs were met via fruits and vegetables. Then I learned that many ultra-runners, including some of the very best (see Scott Jurek, for example) are vegetarian or vegan. If they can get all of their protein needs from fruits and vegetables, then I can supplement some of my poultry/fish/dairy protein with fruits and vegetables.
Buy Local Foods: It just doesn’t make much sense to buy food that has been shipped from all over the world, when much of the food that I consume is grown locally. I will buy directly from the local farmers whenever possible.
Garden: I usually grow tomatoes, but this year I would like to expand. We don’t live on a huge tract of land, but we can allocate part of our yard to grow food. I may need to solicit the good folks at the Frost Bottom Farm for some pointers on good gardening techniques.
So that’s it. Regardless of where my running year for 2009 takes me, I will strive to change where all of my calories come from.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Child Illnesses: Most first-time parents probably learn early on that little kids seem to get sick often. Sometimes, in addition to increasing our own exposure to the sickly germs, this requires staying up most of the night. This is a case of “what’s really more important:” running a few miles, or my kid’s well-being. Be flexible.
Friday, December 26, 2008
My in-laws got me a nice, bright yellow, reflective jacket to wear when I run in the dark. I have been wearing a reflective belt when I run, but this jacket is much nicer as it has more reflective material and the functionality of a jacket. My sister sent me a pair of flashing red lights to wear too. I have seen cyclists with these lights and I think they are a good idea for runners/walkers who are out in the dark in or near traffic. They are not too expensive (mine are about $6), and anything you can do to make yourself more visible is a good thing. Wearing my new reflective jacket with one flashing light fastened to the front and one to the back, I set out on an early morning run with a new confidence of being highly visible to motorists. I ran for nearly an hour and a half in darkness before sunrise. I even saw a shooting star – that’s a neat way to begin the day. As the sun rose, my pace quickened and I felt stronger, which probably shouldn’t be too big of a surprise as I could see better and felt better about my footing. The last two miles were downhill, and the sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay was spectacular. I need to start carrying a camera when I run.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Keep Right! If I were any further right, we’d have been in the drink.
Over the past week, the outside of my right knee becomes slightly sore, or weak, once I run beyond four or five miles. I believe the discomfort is due to my iliotibial band. Regardless, I’m going to Keep Right and take it easy for a few days and then I’ll stick with some shorter runs before testing the four to five mile barrier again.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
When we were called to the starting area, my biggest challenge was to get Braedon situated in the stroller. Just as earlier in the week, Braedon didn’t want to cover up with a blanket. It took a strong bit of reasoning to cover him up with the blanket.
Once the gun went off, he did a good job of keeping us on course by pointing out the next flag marking the route. He also said, “They’re getting farther away,” when talking about the runners in front of us…nice encouragement. There were a few hills, and the stroller’s engine almost stalled on the upside. Most of the course was on grass, but we did one lap on the track. That track felt so smooth after running and pushing the stroller over frozen bumpy grass. I was putting forth a bit more of an effort than I anticipated, but the nice thing about a 5K is that the discomfort does not last too long. And once the finish line was in sight, we had no choice but to kick it into the next gear. In a photo-finish, it was Braedon that crossed the line ahead of me by a stroller-length with a time of 26:13. Not bad at all for our first race together. Later in the day we admired the new necklaces that we won and our race shirt, and then ate a big lunch before naptime.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Braedon and I revisited our race strategy for our 5K. Yep, I’m going to run and he is going to ride. “Real fast” were his instructions. We’ll see about the fast part. Actually, I don’t think that pushing a stroller will add a lot to our time – it will add a lot to the effort, but I don’t have much speed, with or without a stroller in front of me. So, just as last week, the plan is to enjoy the run.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Running wise I felt pretty good this week. I expect I’ll be able to get some longer runs in over the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to pushing my son in the 5K on Saturday.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
From the Havre De Grace Chiropractic website, “Dr. Olivacz is trained in using the Graston Technique® which allows him to better detect and treat these areas because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along a patient’s muscle, tendons or ligaments and acts like a “scar tissue” stethoscope. When knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the doctor and the patient sense a restriction or a granular feeling. The instrument can then be used to “break up” this restriction or adhesion. Stretching exercises are then used to promote re-alignment of the fibers so that they behave more like normal, healthy tissue.”
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My calf is still sore, but getting better. A few more days off from running and I should be able to get back onto the road and trails!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So the dog and I set out on what I thought would be a fairly uneventful run. We even went further than we would have had my son been with us. The problem was, I don’t recall when the last time I ran with just the dog. In hindsight, I believe the stroller keeps the dog somewhat in line. Tonight, the dog started running in front of me, then to the left and to the right. That in itself is not too problematic. Although not conducive to good running form, I still have control of him when he runs out in front of me, for the most part – passersby beware. It’s when he begins to run behind me that I worry, and when he laps me – with only a six foot leash. I lost count of the number of times he clipped my feet from behind me. Once we got home I demoted him and declared him unfit for duty, which is a shame because I just praised his running prowess yesterday. After dinner, the dog and I had a long heart to heart talk and decided to take a step back and dedicate some time to remedial running obedience and etiquette (no tripping, no lapping). On second thought, I hope that before the next run we don’t have any chocolate milk and that my son will want to run with us.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
A couple of my friends are registered for the National Marathon (21 Mar) and will begin their training cycle next month. I’ll probably join them on some of their long runs because I do want to maintain this fitness level, but mostly because I like the long run.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I was pretty sore on Sunday, although I was still able to move around and take care of some work in the yard. I was less sore yesterday and feeling better today. This is the first time this year that I have taken three consecutive days off from running. I am going to go for a short and easy run tomorrow to test drive the legs.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I thought the entire Baltimore Running Festival was well organized and an enjoyable event. The course is very challenging, especially the second half. Running through the neighborhoods was a lot of fun and I tried to slap hands with every little kid who had his or her hand up for a high five. The lap around Fort McHenry was nice and serene before heading back to the large crowd at the Inner Harbor. A couple of my friends volunteered at a water stop near the half way point, and because of the layout of the course I got to see them twice, which was cool. Apparently, they even saw me finish, but by that point I was oblivious to anything other than the food and water on the other side of the finish line.
A BIG THANKS to the Gummy Bear People near mile 23. Those guys rock! And then there was a guy dressed in a tiger suit dancing on the top of a car with Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger blaring from a radio near mile 24. Hey, you don’t see that every day, but that’s one of the many things that make marathons fun.
My wife and son did not attend the race because I left well before their normal waking time – and it is best to not wake sleeping two-year-olds, or at least my sleeping two-year-old. When I got home, I showed my son my finisher’s medal. He was impressed. Tomorrow he is going to help me pack it up so I can donate my medal to Medals4Mettle. M4M gifts donated marathon finisher’s medals to people displaying strength and courage while dealing with a disease or handicap. I ran a marathon yesterday and experienced some discomfort, but I think people that put forth that type of effort every day are more deserving of a medal than am I.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
By 8:00 I felt pretty good. I begin most Saturday runs with a slow jog to loosen up the legs. But having been awake and up for a few hours naturally stretched my muscles and I was able to comfortably begin running at a faster pace. Except for the very high humidity, it was nearly perfect running conditions (overcast and ~65 F). I felt strong over most of the route, which included big hills over miles 7 to 11, and finished in just under 1:40. I am happy with where I am and think that a 3:20 marathon is reasonable. Of course a 1:40 half-marathon doesn’t automatically translate to a 3:20 marathon, however, I ran yesterday on tired legs and yesterday’s hills were longer and bigger than the marathon course hills, and there were no cheering crowds and bands playing along the route yesterday which can contribute to “marathon magic.”
I learned a very good lesson yesterday too. Even without the cheering crowds and bands along the route, I felt so good and ready to go at 8:00 that I did the first mile in 7:00 flat. I averaged 7:37 for the entire run, so to begin with a 7:00 was starting out too fast. The Baltimore Marathon’s first three miles are uphill, and with the added excitement of running with thousands of people I will have to really concentrate to run at a pace that feels way too slow. A few 7:00 miles at the start of that course will make for a bad marathon experience for me. Now it is time to rest up, fuel up, and mentally prepare for marathon day. Yeah!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Heading out for a swim in Lake Michigan
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Not wasting any time, these participants ran to their bikes
Cheering for the bikers These guys were fast
We watched the swimmers exit the water of the Susquehanna River/Chesapeake Bay and run to their bikes in the exchange zone. As it is difficult to really observe a mile swim from land, we wanted to find a nice place along the bike route to cheer. We selected a parking lot in Port Deposit, about ¼ mile from the last big climb of the day – the Alpe d’Huez of Cecil County. Ok, so maybe comparing any hill in Maryland to the monster of a climb that Lance Armstrong absolutely dominated in route to winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times is a bit of a stretch. But to us mere mortals, this hill in Maryland still poses a respectable challenge. I have climbed this hill on my road bike several times and it always makes me suffer. Well, we watched most of the bikers from this point and my son really enjoyed waving, clapping, and blowing his Thomas the Tank Engine whistle as the riders passed us by.
Watching a triathlon can only hold the attention of a two-year-old for so long, and after about forty-five minutes of cheering on the bikers, my son adamantly stated that it was time to go home. So we didn’t get to watch any part of the run – we ate lunch instead – and then took a nap:) Never having participated in a triathlon, the event appears to be well organized and staffed with many volunteers. Congratulations to the participants and kudos to the event directors and volunteers that make it all happen. If triathlons are your thing, and you can travel to northeastern Maryland next year, check out the Diamond in the Rough Triathlon, and we’ll see you next year. Cheers.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
As a fifteen to twenty-something mile a week runner, I fall well short of Pete’s guidance for even considering running twice a day. Occasionally, however, I manage to run twice a day – and feel good about it (I do not consider myself a training fanatic and I am definitely not an elite athlete). As my schedule permits, I run during lunch at work. Although my lunchtime run usually only lasts twenty minutes, it recharges my batteries and enables me to better focus on the rest of the day’s tasks. Arriving home after work, my son sometimes wants to go for a run, and the dog is always ready to run. So, periodically I will head out again for another twenty or thirty minute run with my two favorite training partners. Physically, there may be more gain from running four miles, rather than two miles twice in the same day. Mentally, however, running twice gives me the mid-day boost that I need to get through the day and an opportunity to visit with my son.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
We run enough together that if I go for a run without my two companions, some people will actually stop me and ask about my son and dog. It is kind of cool for us to be somewhat recognizable in town as “that guy that runs with a dog and pushes his son in a stroller.”