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Oh, that really hurt!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The temperature got up to 41 °F today, which is 9°F above freezing. Any temperature above freezing is a veritable heat wave. The ice and snow had melted off the roads. The roads were muddy but not slippery. With all this blazing heat, I could go running just wearing shorts.

I wanted to do some serious hill running! I had been slacking lately and the good weather had me jazzed! I had a healthy lunch including a greasy hot dog from the Loaf & Jug; some Salt & Pepper Potato chips; a can of Sprite; and Hostess Snowballs for dessert! In other words, I was ready run.

There is a monster hill nearby. The hill starts at 8,260 feet and tops out at 10,394 feet. The road up the hill is 5 miles long. Average grade is 16.2%. The steepest part of the hill has a 50% grade. A 50% grade translates into 27° slope angle. By comparison, stairs typically have a 36° slope angle.

I think I should have picked a flatter hill. I ran around a lake at the bottom of the hill and started the ascent. I would love to tell you I blazed up this nasty piece of real estate. I actually had to walk some. I ended up doing a 3:1 ratio of running to walking.

I find chanting in my head helps. I just kept thinking, “Up! Up! Up!” I don’t wear an IPod when I run. I find my hallucinations to be much better company than music. If you haven’t run at high-altitude you are missing-out on pain and misery of epic proportions! You can try to breath but it does no good. The air is so dry that dehydration is instantaneous. Your eye-balls dry out! Every breath hurts.

At least it is good exercise. According to my Garmin timer I burned 834 calories during my run, which means I ran off the hot dog and one Snowball.

My time? I ran, walked and crawled the 5.01 miles in 57:52, which translates into an abysmal 11:32 min/mile pace. I felt I was barely moving. I will keep assaulting this hill until I can run the whole way. This hill is not going to beat me!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAZELK 4/5/2010 10:37PM

    That's quite a hill (mountain) you accomplished. Bigger than anything I have around here. Amazing how dropping a little weight makes those just a little bit easier.

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HARRINGTON5 3/29/2010 4:18PM

    Your new name fits you so much better. You make running at a high altitude sound delightful. Certainly something I will stay clear of. Great job though. You are one determined guy! Onward and upward!

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CHARGER25 3/29/2010 10:30AM

    Way to work it! Lunch sounded good until I thought about what is you have to do to get rid of the calories......I hear snowballs can occur only in the coldest of climates..... emoticon

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ELYMWX 3/29/2010 10:21AM

    Your hill makes the one I'm avoiding running up look like a molehill! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LKEITHO 3/29/2010 8:47AM

    Wow! Sub-12 minute miles on that kind of slope sounds awfully darned good to me! I have trouble making that time on a flat course! Congratulations!

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IRONGRANNIE 3/29/2010 4:33AM

    Congrats on your name change! That's the attitude! Go get that hill, Dog!

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USFBULL 3/29/2010 3:47AM

    Nice work, emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Running in snow and cold - NOT!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I did not do much running this last week. The weather was really cold and nasty. I know I am wimping-out. I counted on my fingers and toes that it has been cold and snowy for 5 months. I am just tired running in sub-freezing temperatures. I didn't mind the cold in November. December is a good month for snow and cold. I expect a deep freeze in January. I can stand the bitter cold of February. I guess I thought by the end of March the weather would be getting better.

No dice!

I went running today. I quit after 2.5 miles. I felt a twinge in my right hamstring. I knew if kept going, my right hamstring would tighten-up. Usually, I just keep going. The wind, cold and blowing snow changed my mind. Maybe the hamstring pull was just an excuse to go get warm.





This is my house at 2:00PM today. I wonder why I even try to clear my driveway. This could be called a blizzard but the snow is falling at an angle, not sideways.




Here is my truck two days ago. The snow melts a little. Then we get more snow. Four wheel drive is a necessity here. The problem is that you can go, but you cannot stop! Spring snow is slippery.




This is my backyard glacier. The ladder is for removing show from the satellite dish.




Springtime in the Rockies. This is as warm as it is going to get. Time to go running.


I am having trouble getting motivated. I would really like to see the sun. I guess I am getting cabin fever in a huge way! I have decided not to pre-register for any races until June. Race-day registration may be the only way to go! My dad used to say we have two seasons here, "11 months of Winter and 1 month of mighty late Fall!" I used to think he was joking!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAZELK 4/5/2010 10:39PM

    Yuck! We haven't had snow here in Minnesota (usually, a cold state) in over a month. If I had that kind of snow here, I'd cry. I'm all Spring now and I'm not going back to Winter.

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DAVIDMU89 3/28/2010 4:52PM

    Hey , you made the effort, KUDOS! The weather is crazy , we had predicted 100% showers with thunder during my 15k race today. Not a drop during the race , which is cool , but i could have foregone the tights today. Keep on , keepin on my friend!

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LKEITHO 3/28/2010 9:01AM

    I know exactly what you mean! Winters like those were exactly why I moved from Calgary to Phoenix. I hope you see some more sunshine and heat soon! I also remember how beautiful the Rockies are in the spring and summer, so hang in there!

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BSTAKINGACTION 3/28/2010 7:02AM

    Holy snow! You win. We're firmly into Spring in WI. Blustery 20-30 mph winds, but free of ice and snow. Nice house, though....I'd be tempted to never leave! At least you got out there and gave it a try. Yeah, unless its a really popular race, I'm doing race day registration. Too many things come up that keep me away!

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SUMMAHFRUTE 3/28/2010 2:42AM

    ew, rough weather. greetings from san diego, haha, i know, we're spoiled.

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Worst 5K in the history of the world!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yesterday, I ran a 5K race that redefined definition of “hard run". When I left my house the temperature was - 1 °F. At race time the temperature had hit a balmy 10.7 ° F.

The cold wasn’t the worse part. The entire course was a sheet of glare ice! I kid you not! As we stood at the starting line the announcer cautioned, “Runners, take extreme care. You will not set a PR today”. A guy in front of me turned around and shouted to the group on runners, “Remember, rubber side down!”

I was standing next to my daughter, Katie. My son Ben was at the front of the pack. The field was small. Only 300 hardy souls were lined-up. The PA system blared, “Runners get ready!” Katie turned to me and said, “Dad, this NOT a good idea!” I shrugged. The PA system shouted “GO!” We all surged forward very slowly. OMG, the icy surface was rock hard! At about 200 meters there was a 90 turn. Three runners in front of me went down hard! Some other runners stopped to help the fallen. As a passed the group, I could see one lady was bleeding and hurt. I slowed way down. My daughter picked up speed and disappeared. I was thinking, “Bad idea Katie.” At the next corner another runner went down. I tip-toed around the corner, slid sideways and caught myself. I slowed down some more. I looked at my Garmin timer. When the race started, I had been moving at a 7:30 min/mile pace. I was now jogging at a 9:30 pace! I tried to pick up the pace. My back foot slipped out. I twisted sideways and nearly fell. I caught myself. Although I didn’t feel it at the time, I think this is the point where a sprained my right ankle.

Typical of a Colorado road race, the elevation change along the course was 350 feet. Not only were we running on an ice skating rink, we were running on a hilly ice skating rink! After what seemed like an eternity, the finish line came into view. I didn’t even try to kick. I just kept jogging along trying to keep the rubber side down. I crossed the finish line at an embarrassing slow 29:45. Katie and Ben were waiting for me. Both were wounded. Katie had fallen and hurt her hip. Ben had gone down and blown-out his shoulder. Kate had turned-in a 26:01. Ben was upset that he only ran a 23:56. We were all 4 to 6 minutes off our normal race pace. This was a bad race.

All the runners were pretty subdued after this race. We did manage to cheer-on the last runner. She raised her arms above her head as she crossed the finish line. Ben was uncharacteristically charitable. He turned to me and said, “She might be the last runner, but she beat thousands of people sitting on their butts at home!”

Amen!





Here is the race course near the finish line. By the end of the race there was a thin sheet of water over the ice, which made the course really slippery. You are looking at the best part of the course here. Note the pile of icy snow on the right. The race organizers tried in vain to plow this part of the course. You can barely make out some runners clawing their way up the slippery hill.





Here are Ben and Katie after the race. Their smiles belie the fact the both are injured. We did not stick around for the award ceremony and party. Katie was 1st in her age group. Ben was 5th and I was 8th.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRONGRANNIE 3/22/2010 2:08AM

    That sounds truly awful! I hope you have not done too much of an injury to your ankle and hope your kids have recovered. Nice placing tho'!

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HARRINGTON5 3/22/2010 12:46AM

    What a nice picture of your son and daughter! You, my friend are just amazing. I honestly cannot even imagine going out in weather like that. I think you deserve a medal for just being there. I am really a fair weather runner. If it rains, I'm ready to hang up my shoes! Great job.

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GAZELK 3/21/2010 9:15PM

    Sounds like a pretty good race to me. Despite the conditions, you turned in a pretty respectable time, I'd say. I love your determination.

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DELRIO1 3/21/2010 8:21PM

    Dude!!! You are a MANIAC!!!! There will be nicer days to run. That being said..you're an inspiration as far as motivation goes! Leave something for Spring, ok! And keep up the good work!

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MAIA2011 3/21/2010 6:49PM

    I'm sorry that everybody's injured but it is a great story! Here's hoping for nicer weather at the next one!

emoticon

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DAVIDMU89 3/21/2010 4:59PM

    Ben hit the nail on the head!

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MOONANGEL23 3/21/2010 4:13PM

    Wow, I can't even imagine attempting to run with those conditions (I'm a South Florida weather wimp anyway). Congrats to you and your kids for finishing so well...I'm so sorry you all got hurt in the process.

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VALLOUGH 3/21/2010 2:55PM

    You know, I read your blog title and was expecting to read through it and leave an uplifting comment to help coax you out of a mini-depression caused by not meeting your goals or not finishing or whatever it was that made it so YOU had a bad race. But it seems like you did awesome and this certainly DOES sounds like the worst 5k ever! I groaned out loud when you already ticked off sub-zero temperatures, glaring ice, and dangerous falls and finally added mountainous terrain to the list of woes!

Well, at least you know you'll beat your time next race!

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JBLIPE 3/21/2010 1:14PM

    awesome story. that just shows your dedication. speedy recovery to all of you and better races ahead. -Brad
emoticon

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USFBULL 3/21/2010 1:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMJMGR 3/21/2010 11:45AM

    Wow truely a tough group to finish a race in such hard conditions. I had to add you as a friend to stay inspired by a great father, husband and Runner! I would not have made that time on my best day, not yet anyway. I hope you all are healed up soon. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KOFFEENUT 3/21/2010 11:32AM

    The times you guys turned in aren't nearly as important as the fact you were out there, ready to participate, and together as a family. What a great example for your kids!

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BSTAKINGACTION 3/21/2010 10:44AM

    Congrats to all of you for showing up and crossing the finish line. Warriors...every one. Hope its nothing too serious for any of you.

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LKEITHO 3/21/2010 10:19AM

    Hope all of you are feeling better soon! I have to say, though, that your time would be a PR for me in good conditions! Congratulations!

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ELYMWX 3/21/2010 10:05AM

    All I can say is I hope you all three have a speedy recovery and get to do this again in the summer in better conditions!

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This is sad

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I went to Sports Authority yesterday to buy a soft knee brace. I am not sure I need a brace. Last time I ran I felt a little twinge in my left knee and couldn’t find my old brace. All the running stuff was on mega-sale. I bought a long sleeve tee shirt and a pair of running shorts. When I got home my wife exclaimed, “Don’t you have enough running stuff already?” She calmed down when I told her a lot of my old stuff doesn’t fit anymore. I bought a pair of medium sized shorts. A lot of my old shorts are XL or XXL.

When I was at the Sports Authority I walked out of the dressing room and saw a woman looking through the workout clothes. She was overweight, young and pretty. When she saw me she got this distressed look on her face. She was obviously self-conscious. She turned around and beat a hasty retreat. I could tell by her actions all the things she must endure. Friends and family telling her she has a pretty face and would be really attractive if she could drop a few pounds. She feels helpless and embarrassed. She had sneaked into the near deserted store to try on a few items, and boom; there I was to inadvertently ambush her.

I wanted to chase her down and tell her that she need not be embarrassed and that she was a good person. I would have liked to have her as a SparkFriend.

I didn’t chase her down. I didn’t want to embarrass her anymore than I already had. What she didn’t know is that I admired her. I knew she felt that I had judged her. I felt sad.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARRINGTON5 3/22/2010 12:49AM

    What a kind heart you have. Yes, the situation was sad, but your thoughts are beautiful.

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CGPHILL 3/17/2010 2:04PM

  Great post, even though I feel badly for that young woman. I think we have all been in similar situation(s) and, when it happened, wanted to beat a hasty retreat as well. I hope she finds success and happiness, and that we remember how we can help in these situations (we all need the help as well). Thanks for sharing

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FOOTBALLTRENT 3/17/2010 8:48AM

    Wow! What a story. Only if you could have had an opportunity to talk to her. Oh well, things happen for a reason. Maybe you 'Sparked' her and didn't even know it!

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KIERENKIEREN 3/17/2010 8:20AM

    My heart has just gone out to this girl that I don't even know. I hope she finds SparkPeople one day and continues with her aim of working out. Who knows, maybe she's already on here? We can only hope!



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EVILKLOWN 3/17/2010 8:17AM

    Man ... I felt terrible after reading this. I'm really a "mind my own business" type but it would have been all I could do not to chase after her and talk to her (just as you said.) In the end though, it's probably best to leave people alone.

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SAYEATER 3/17/2010 8:02AM

    Funny how we let our actions be dictated by others. I was probably that girl at one point, but now I could shop for workout clothes in front of a group of Chippendales and not care. It's about me now. It is nice of you to be so sensitive to others situations, I'm sure you're a great sparkfriend to many.

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Running Slowly on Purpose

Monday, March 15, 2010

Subject #1: Running Slowly on Purpose

On Saturday I went to the local high school track with my wife, Annette, and daughter, Katie. I wanted to do some base training.

www.trifuel.com/training/triathlon-t
raining/aerobic-base-training-going-sl
ower-to-get-faster


I am trying to increase my endurance. I wanted to run for 5 or 6 miles on the resilient track surface and relax a bit. I set a nice easy pace at 9:30 min/mile and just motored along.

Predictably, Katie took off like a rocket. She took off on a cross-country run. My wife followed Katie. Katie slowed down to run with her mom. My wife's nickname is "Putt-Putt". She had that nickname when I met her. "Putt-Putt" really fits her. She has one gear when she runs. It is a good gear. She can run all day, all night, and into next week without getting tired. We all call her pace the "Putt-Putt" gear. She can sprint when she feels like it. However, she always reverts back to the Putt-Putt gear.

Katie came back to the track and blew past me. She looked back and said, "Come on old-man, keep up!" I knew she was going to say that! After I got done with my 5 mile base run, Katie wanted me to run an 800M sprint with her. I declined. I did do a couple of 200M sprints and one 400 meter sprint with her. Katie clobbered me. I am proud of her.


Subject #2: World Champion Triathlete

I have a co-worker, Mike Dibens, who is married to perhaps the best female triathlete in the world, Julie Dibens.

www.xterraplanet.com/news/press_arti
cle.cfm?id=2570


www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleN
ew.asp?section=theuae&xfile=data/theua
e/2010/march/theuae_march366.xml


Mike sends e-mail with Julie's latest victories to everyone in the company. She is amazing. I met Julie at the office Christmas party. Julie is very cool.


Subject #3: Pre-Race Meal

The night before a race is carbo-loading time. Ok, carbo-loading is probably more psychological physiological than physical. Who knows? Anyway, vegetarian bean soup is standard fare the night before a race. I buy 10-bean soup from the Women's Bean Project.

www.womensbeanproject.com/index.html

These soup mixes are extremely high quality and signed by the woman that assembled the package. How cool is that?


Subject #4: Speed Training

I am on a roll. Here are some speed training routines guaranteed to make you run faster and jump higher. Except for the first few routines, most of these are pretty difficult. As a matter of fact, these routines were compiled by my children while competing in high school and college. Try 'em - you will hate them! Remember:

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger. “ Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche died when he was 55. What does that say?



SPEED WORK
(Note: Routines 1, 2 and 3 are not bad. Routines 4, 5 and 6 are wicked, mean and nasty!)

(1) FARTLEK (complete Workout - easy)
Jog 5 minutes
Run 1 minute at fast 5K pace
Repeat
Continuous movement for 30 minutes

(2) 400 METER REPEATS (complete workout – moderately difficult)
Five minute warm-up (easy jog or brisk walk– optional stretch)
Run 4 x 400 meter repeats at a fast 5K pace.
Jog for 400 meters between repeats
Cool down with 800 meters of jogging

(3) ACCELERATION STRIDES (performed after normal daily workout - increased difficulty)
Run 100 meters by starting at a slow jog and gradually increase speed to 100 percent effort.
Walk briskly for 100M meters between repeats
Repeat 4 times.
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute walk
Total Distance = 800M

(4) THIRTY-THIRTY-THIRTIES (performed after normal daily workout - high difficultly)
Jog for 30 meters, Stride 30 meters. Sprint 30 meters. (total of 90 meters)
Rest 30 seconds
Repeat 4 to 8 times.
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute walk

(5) FORTY-TENS (Performed after normal daily workout – extremely difficult)
Jog 40 seconds, Sprint 10 seconds
Repeat 10 to 14 times
Continuous Movement
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute walk

(6) DIAMONDS (complete workout – insanely difficult)
Five minute warm-up (easy jog or brisk walk– optional stretch)
Sprint 200M
Jog 200M
Sprint 400M
Jog 200M
Sprint 800M
Walk 400M
Jog 1,600M
Walk 400M
Sprint 800M
Jog 200M
Sprint 400M
Jog 200M
Sprint 200M
Jog 200M
Sprint 200M
Cool Down – 2 to 5 minute slow jog

Total Distance = 6K


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LASOLLER 3/27/2010 7:22PM

    I really enjoyed your blog. Just this week, I read the trifuel article. I am toying with the idea of training with a HRM. Do you train with one? I also enjoyed your links about your tri friend. Very impressive. Which bean soup is your favorite?

I love that your family run together. Steve and I usually run the same events, but we train at different times of the day, I am a morning person and he is an afternoon runner.

I see you live in Colorado, have you done the BolderBoulder? Steve and I have ran it twice. We just make a vacation out of it.

Thank you for your supportive words in my tri adventure. Tomorrow we are attending swimming drill with the tri club.

Have a great weekend.

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HARRINGTON5 3/16/2010 10:16AM

    I just think it is the coolest thing that you and your family share the same interests. What a pleasure that must be. Your daughter sounds like a typical kid taunting her dad and your wife is just precious. I would love to have her skill and run all day at any speed. I make 15 bean soup all the time and I just love it. Thanks for sharing all the great information.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 3/15/2010 11:34PM

    good for you. If I tried your work out I would be scraping my lungs off the track.

I love that your wife's name is putt putt. I am with her, slow and steady!

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GAZELK 3/15/2010 9:28PM

    It's fun to run fast, but I can't do it for that long. I think I would die if I did the diamonds.

Also, not sure about the bean soup. Sounds delicious, but might not be the best food to have eaten the night before you'll be runnng in a pack of strangers. Do THEM a favor and go for something without beans :-)

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