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Tick Tock

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Saturday is bearing down on me like a freight train. I will be running Baltimore and I am really starting to anticipate. The real trick will be to stay slow this time.

Baltimore Running Festival keeps sending me updates. Today I got my bib number and runner's hand book.

Tomorrow after I am done cleaning I head down to the Convention Center to the Expo and pick up my packet.

Even though I keep telling myself that his is just my last Long Run before Savannah, I can't help thinking I will really be running a marathon!

It's getting real.

It's getting exciting.

Big news from the Chicago Bank of America Marathon

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One news item was that a man died of a heart attack just 500 yards from the finish line at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. And of course all the finger pointing began: the marathon killed that guy.


No! It! Did! Not!

Any good doctor will tell you that strenuous activity is not the cause of a heart attack. Pulmonary Heart Disease is the cause of a heart attack. In fact the guy who dies while shovelling snow is just as likely to have his coronary watching TV later in the evening without the snow shovelling.

A couple of years ago a woman died at the Baltimore Marathon. Again, the marathon did not kill her. Not drinking any water ... dehydration ... and other complications killed her.

There are a lot of people who go out and announce, "I'm going to run a marathon," then without any training or preparation go out and run a marathon ... and hurt themselves or worse. You have to get into shape and train.

When I made my decision to run a marathon, the first thing I did was go to my doctor who sent me to an orthopedist and a cardiologist, both of whom did further tests before giving me the green light.

Then I started a training program that included doing a half marathon first. I have been at this training for the better part of a year and now my last training run is coming up at the Baltimore Marthon this weekend.

I said all that to say this about the other news out of Chicago.

Headline: "Woman gives birth after running Chicago Marathon"

It seems that this woman ran/walked a 50/50 split of the Chicago Marathon at 38 week 5 days pregnant. After she crossed the finish line, she went into labor (9 days shy of "fulll term") and seven hours later she delivered a 7-13 baby.

She is an experienced marathoner having run in 8 before, two of them in mid term pregnancies. She had already signed up for Chicago when she found out she was pregnant and checked with her doctor. He informed her that if she only ran half he would be happy. So she ran half and walked half and finished in 6:25:50. That comes out to a 14:44 min/mile or 4.1 mph. That is a brisk walk.

The opinion on the comments to the story seems evenly split between "Way to go pregnant lady!" and "Lock the selfish b¡tch up and send her children to a foster home!"

Here's where I come down. Pregnant women are in car accidents everyday with no harm to the baby/fetus. The uterus is a marvelous organ that serves to nurture and cushion the growing baby. A little jogging is not going to do the baby any harm. Doctors encourage women to get out and walk when pregnant. They encourage continuing normal activity. For this woman, normal included running. She is experienced and under the care of a doctor. He was aware of her training and plans throughout the pregnancy.

I am in the "Way to go pregnant lady!" camp. She did everything right.

It's scary but true ...

Monday, October 10, 2011

... Halloween is just around the corner.

Not like it was when the Halloween candy first hit the shelves in August. No It's really coming this time.

I just read a Spark Article by Coach Nicole about ten things to do to "save yourself" and they mostly seem to be the same tired old nostrums. www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti

1) Buy trick-or-treat candy as late as possible.
Doing that simply delays the inevitable. Whatever is left over will be eaten anyway.

2) Double (or triple) knot your bags.
I remember my dad giving me similar advice concerning my ... um ... urges: Tie a knot in it, boy! Yeah, like that actually worked. And a candy bag is just as easy to untie as my ... well, you know ... when I really want to. Easier, I can use a pair of scissors on the candy bag.

3) Buy candy that you don't like.
Candies I don't like. Hmmm that list would be REALLY short. Let me think .............. nope. Nothing comes to mind. If it's sweet, I will eat it.

4) Go all out with other seasonal festivities.
Isn't that a precious idea? And when it gets dark and I have no treats in my house I can get cardio scrubbing egg off my car.

5) Relish the taste of pumpkin.
Pumpkin relish anyone? Coach Nicole suggests making pumping bread etc. So what do I give the kiddies? Can't give out home baked goods anymore. Homeland Security and DEA will be at your door.

6) Step away from the candy dish.
"Situate yourself where these foods are out of reach and out of sight. Soon enough, you'll be in deep conversation with a friend and will have completely forgotten about the dish you're trying to avoid!" For now! If the bowl is still there, it will beckon and you will answer.

7) Meet your goals on the 31st.
This one is useful any day of the week. When I plan to go out for dinner, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. The problem is tomorrow!!! Leftover candy! The kids' bags!

8) Bring your own treat while your kids play tricks.
A) My kids better not be playing tricks! B) That won't stop me from stealing their goodies when they are in school tomorrow.

9) Monitor your perspective.
This is a good one. I can get candy anytime I want. I do not have to eat candy on November 1.

10) Allow yourself to enjoy the holiday.
Another good one: one or two days of enjoying candy is not going to totally derail your lifestyle goals. In fact, enjoying a little candy now and again SHOULD be part of your lifestyle goals. Life is not all about losing weight. We don't diet, we live it.

OK so I totally trashed Coach Nicole's list. I must have some ideas of my own.

I do.

11) Buy only as much candy as you will need.
At our house, we get very few trick or treaters. Not sure why but it has always (21 years) been that way. So we scale our candy buying to match. Those gigantic three pounders are just too much. And we used to get three or four of those. Now we buy a single one pound bag. That is until last year.

12) Give out something else.
The kiddies will be getting pounds of candy. Don't be like the dentist on my street when I was a kid and give tooth brushes and tooth paste. Bad idea. (More on dentists later though) But little toys, almost like stocking stuffers, are cool. Last year I gave out Sacagewa dollars; money is always good. Some kids thought it was a quarter but I told them how much it was. This year I got some Act II popcorn in holiday bags. Doesn't to have to be candy. Less ambiguous than a dollar coin that is almost the size of a quarter.

13) After the holiday, give excess candy away.
We give our excess to our church. Some they keep for Christmas give aways. Some they send to missions, overseas to soldiers, or seminarians. I know dentists who collect candy and then do the same ... or destroy it, we all know how evil dentists are. They give out tooth brushes on Halloween.

14) Turn off the porch lights and relax.
Not so much fun if you really enjoy the kids' costumes. But let's face it, it's not like they all make them themselves (or mom) anymore. But, then you don't have to hand out candy or have it in your house.

15) Enjoy the holiday.
I have to go with Nicole's #10. Incorporate Halloween and the candy (in moderation) into your lifestyle plan. Halloween is part of our culture. So include it. I think my suggestions will help.

Tour du Port

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I had a nice day today.

I got up early and still took my time getting myself out the door. (Yes, I skipped Mass.)

I was riding in the Tour du Port around Baltimore City today. It was one of those beautiful early Fall days we get here on the East Coast. So nice, you ust KNOW that the other shoe will drop soon and with avengence. So you reall ywant to enjoy them as long as they last.

I rode off down Boston Street toward Fells Point at 8:30. I opted for the 24 mile ride today. I had signed up for the 38 mile, but I thought better of it because I should be tapering toward the 26.2 mile run on Saturday. I also should not have ridden my Trek because it's much better on the open road and my Haro Heartland hybrid is more suited to the stop and go and potholes of city driving. That why I call it my "town" bike.

Regardless. The Trek is an absolute pleasure to ride and there were a few stretches where I could open it up and ride at 25 - 30 mph. Mostly I was restricted to half that on the city streets.

And those bike shoes, the "clipless ones," were making me nervous with all the stop and go riding. One of the points of the Tour is to let the driving public see bikers as people who obey traffic rules ... by not running stop signs and red light. Every time I had to stop, I had to be careful to click my foot loose from the pedal. Otherwise I would have the embarassment of falling over like the Artie Johnson character on the trike in the old Laugh-In show.

BUt is was a great day. I was done before 11:00 and home by 12:00. I was even able to go outside and finish the shingles on my roof and draw plans for the gutters.

All in all a teriffic day!

And another one!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Another simply gorgeous day!

After a long spell of rainy ... and lots of it ... we finally got some good days. Those wonderful days that come in early Fall here on the East Coast.

I refused to crawl out of bed at 4:30 for my long run, stayed until 7:30. Out the door by 8:00. Hit the road for 13.5 miles. I have come a long way since May when I struggled across the finish line in my first half marathon. Now I can run them with - relative - ease.

I got home in 2:30, showered, and drove halfway around the Beltway to catch the last Weight watchers meeting of the day. A good thing too. I lost a pound this week!

I could have worked on the roof project and finished today, but seriously, I didn't want to be climbing ladders and squat-walking around up there. Instead, I pulled the truck around and cleaned up the mess I was ignoring.

I did have a choice! I actually thought about chilling in front of the idiot box or going to a movie! But I did 90 minutes of "bend-and-reach" outside picking up shingle scraps under a deep blue sky and bright sunshine.

Tomorrow I will be riding in the Tour du Port around Baltimore. Third year in a row and incredibly it is the third year of glorious weather we will have for the tour. Two years ago, I rode for about 7 miles with the mayor of Baltimore. She is a charming woman. Too bad she was also a petty thief and had to resign. She stole $500 in gift cards meant for charities. Sad.

Last year I tried for the metric century (62 miles) on my Trek, which I had just gotten the day before, but I developed an IT band problem and had to drop out after 60k (36 miles). This year with the marathon coming next Saturday, I opted for just the 40 miler.

I should be done in 3:30 or less. So I will have time to enjoy the rest of the day in that glorious weather.

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