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5ksandcabernets: March 2008


Monday, March 31, 2008

My March running report

Its short (injury kept me out 16 days) and sweet (I love Endurox)
Miles: 54.62 on 9 runs (6 miles a day)
Time: 8 hours, 3 minutes, 17 seconds
Pace: 8:51
Longest run: 10 miles on March 8
Fastest pace: 8:23 on March 4 (no races this month)

Miles in 2008: 297.36 on
Time: 1 Day, 20 hours, 51 minutes, 21 seconds (I really have been running for days!)
Pace: 9:03
Longest run: 16.02 on January 12
Fastest pace: 7:02 on January 1 (I won my age group in a 5K and got my name in the paper!)

What's next: Komen Race for the Cure in Fort Worth on April 26 in scenic (well. scenic for Fort Worth) Sundance Square.

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Teased, tired, and now back to basics

So after 16 days of inactivity, I ran 25 miles last week.
Probably ran way too fast. 8:30 miles are a smidge faster than easy pace and the week has left my legs feeling achy.
I guess I came back too hard too soon. Its just that that first day back teased me. It was so easy, so inviting. I had that runners high thing going on that the scientists discovered last week.
But now, after an 8-miler Saturday and rest Sunday, my feet hurt. My legs hurt.
Reality has hit me over my freshly cut head: Running is hard. Running is grueling. Running can break your heart. But its one of the loves of my life, and so I keep coming back.
This week its back to the basics.
*I'm swigging the blackstrap molasses to keep my electrolyte balanced.
*I'm going to try to be in bed by midnight.
*I'm going to limit the wine drinking to one bottle during the week. (It's gonna be hard, though. I just found that the liquor store down the street has several cases left of Guenoc Petite Syrah North Coast from 2001 selling for just $13 a bottle.)
*I'm going to try not to eat out so often.
*I'm going to try to keep my heart rate under 80 percent for every run except for one: My Tuesday morning 6-mile tempo run with the gang from Luke's Locker. You know how it is when you run with other people. You don't wanna be the last lug in the group.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

I need a certain kind of barber for my nappy hair

I miss my college barber. You took a two minute stroll to his dorm room. You sat in the chair. You told him in one or two sentences what you wanted. He gave you a perfect hair cut. Everytime.
Let me rephrase that. I miss my (black) barber.
At Prairie View A&M University, a historically black college just north of Houston, TX, everybody that cut hair could cut hair. And when I say cut hair, I mean a black man's hair. Cutting a black man's hair is like an art form.
In the 17 plus years that I have been out of college, I've had trouble finding a black barber.
Oh, they are out there. But mostly, in the black neighborhoods. Not in the neighborhoods I've lived in where the options are mostly SuperCuts or ProCuts. Its hit or (mostly) miss at these places. If you are a black guy and want someone to shave all your hair off, they can do that. But anything else? A taper-fade? A tight edge up? You leavin' your hair to chance.
But I like the availability of these establishments. You're in. You're out. And you get on with the rest of your day. If I need to, I can handle clippers well enough to "patch up" at home any mistakes one of the Procuts people might make. (I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I could have had my hair cut at one of these places illustrated in a few months back.)
Still, the last ProCuts person that cut my hair really did some damage, so I haven't had a hair cut in about a month.
And it's not like I want some crazy haircut with all kinds of parts and arrows. I just want a regular hair cut. Clean. Respectable. Every 10 days or so. And I could get one. But driving to the black neighborhood is so far out of the way. And when you get there, it's always a long line, an hour-long wait sometimes. You gotta make an appointment or be the first guy at the door in the mornings. Standing in line for NBA playoff tickets isn't that much harder.
At ProCuts or TGF Haircutters, they ask you what kind of guard to use ("A 2 or a 2 1/2 for the top?"). Look. Don't ask me how to cut my hair. That's why I'm paying you $13.95.
And the guards they use are almost always plastic. They press down real hard on your head for what they hope is an even cut. I always leave with a headache. At a black barbershop, they have these cool metal guards which cut your hair very fine. They don't press down on your head. They go freehand. You can sometimes close your eyes and JUST KNOW that you are getting a good haircut by how the barber holds the clippers and the sound the clippers make.
(I'm not saying that these other places can't cut hair. What I am saying: For a barber, it is probably easiest to cut hair like your own. I'd imagine the degree of difficulty for a black guy to cut a white or hispanic guy's hair is also pretty high.)
My mixed-race 8-month old son, whose mother is hispanic, has, "good hair." He won't have these kind of barber problems when he gets older.
I wish the black barbershops were were on as many street corners as Starbucks.
I wish the ProCuts people employed more black barbers.
I wish I could cut my own hair.
I'm driving to the black neighborhood Saturday.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My marathon training is their warm-up

I've run two marathons and three half marathons. But I'd probably be no match for CrossFit, a strength and conditioning regimen that some call cult-like.
“How many reps would Jesus do?” jokes CrossFit member Trailgirl.
In its March 23 story about CrossFit, the New York Times says a workout of the day, or W.O.D., might include, “50 kettlebell swings, 3 800-yard dashes in rapid succession and 10 pull-ups. Repeat. No breaks.”
Let me just say this: CrossFit can keep its kettlebell swings. I'm proud of my daily 5-mile runs.

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The tannins in my perspiration

When I ran Monday, for the first time in 16 days, it was 38 degrees and I was floating.
This morning, it was 68 degrees (Texas weather) and muggy.
There was no floating. Flopping, maybe. Trudging. Shuffling. But this was not an easy day.
I did 6.5 miles in 56 minutes and it had to be the hardest 6.5 miles I’ve ever done (if you don’t include the final 6.5 miles of the two marathons I’ve run).
They say when it gets hot your blood works first too cool you off, then its sent to your working muscles. For that reason, your heart rate will always be higher on runs in the heat until you are acclimated. Well, I’m not acclimated. At all.
Running 6.5 miles in 56 minutes in February (when its cool outside) usually means a heart rate that might top out at 80 percent, 85 percent max. This morning, I was at 90 percent by mile 5 and 92 percent at the end. (Ok, full disclosure. Tuesday night, I drank half a bottle of Trinchero Family Cabernet and two big plates of spaghetti. My sweat this morning had hints of oak, vanilla, and garlic.)
The good thing is my right leg, which kept me on the sidelines to begin with, is no worse for wear. So, I’ll run a few miles Thursday and Friday and go out for an 8-miler Saturday, and next week, I’ll try to have a normal mileage week, which for me is about 30 miles.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shameless self-promotion and revealing swimwear

Something I found on the Web this morning: Speedo has made a new swimsuit that has led to 12 new world records since February. The suit is $550. (You can get two regular suits for less at the Men's Wearhouse _ I guarantee it). It _ the Speedo suit, is made of extremely lightweight, water repellent fabric -- electronically bonded rather than sewn together -- with special panels to reduce drag. The Science of Sport is having a big debate about the swimsuit as you read this blog. Now, the first question that comes to my mind is: Where is the invention like that for runners? How about some springy socks that lessen the impact on your bones and joints and keep you from getting injuries. Or a running short that detects how much sweat you've lost and replenishes your electrolytes so you don't have to lug water bottles on long runs. In short, I want something that stops me from cramping, keeps me from getting tired, and helps me set all kinds of personal records. Now is that asking too much.

I discovered the Web site, Best of Blogs the other day. They are running this contest for, well, the best blogs. You can nominate yourself or have someone else nominate you. I can think of a dozen bloggers who are funnier than me or have more subscribers. But as a shrink I once had said, "If you don't love you, nobody will." So like a big doofus, I nominated myself. So go to the site and nominate yourself, or vote for me. Voting begins April 14.

As you can see, I had some time on my hands because I didn't run this morning, taking the advice of fellow blogger P.O.M. to go back easy after being sidelined for 16 days with a lower right leg injury. I did have some soreness after Monday morning's run, but I will be out on the trails Wednesday.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Breathtaking marathons did a recent piece on the Most Breathtaking Marathons in the world. (At left is a picture the Great Wall Marathon, China. May 17.) The scenery of the marathons make them notable, the magazine articles states. I've never run Boston or New York, but I'm sure the scenery at those races is breathtaking.

I've run Dallas' White Rock Marathon twice and running through Highland Park is nothing to write home about. But White Rock Lake has its own charm - if you like dodging bicyclists.

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On the road again

This morning, I ran for the first time in 16 days, a week sooner than the doctor told me I should run, but just in time for my psyche and my waistline.
I knew it was going to be a good morning when I slipped on my Asics 2130s. My feet were like, "Where have you been, good friend." It was like wrapping your body in a blanket you've just taken out of the dryer. Ahhh.
I did four miles. From the first step, I felt great. My legs were just alive. Springy. Bouncy. Pick your adjective.
Once my lungs caught up, it felt like I was floating on the Trinity Trails.
I had to work to not run too fast. At one point, I looked at my Garmin for my mile pace and it said "7:50" Ohhhh, my. (Sorry, Dick Enberg).
I ended up doing four miles in an 8:25 pace.
From time to time, I felt a slight twinge in my right Achilles. And I mean slight. (Like when I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket sometimes, but it's really not vibrating.) Lets call it a phantom twinge.
At the end of the run, I had some soreness in my knees. But not to worry. My knees get this way for two reasons. 1) Because of the cold. (It was in the high 30s this morning where I run in Fort Worth) and 2) It's time for some new shoes.
Yeah, that's it. It's time for some new shoes.
Anyway, earlier in the year, I set a goal of running 1,600 miles this year. Well, after a 16-day hiatus, I may have to adjust that figure. Here is where I am so far.

My Final four picks: North Carolina, Kansas, Stanford, and UCLA are still in the tournament. But a lot of my other picks lost. In fact, I am next to last in our office pool tournament. Guess this wasn't my year after all.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

My dad writes this goofy blog

Hi, my name is Noah.
My dad writes this goofy blog.
He blew up my feet so they'd be easier to tickle.
Do I look like I'm giggling?
I think I'm gonna drool.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Schwag whore

Thursday was the first day of Spring, and in the spirit of poetry, Runner's World challenged its online readers to come up with a haiku celebrating this day and why runners love it so much.
Here's my take:

In a rush for work
I run an extra mile anyway
Boss not mad I'm late

Corny? Maybe. But they are giving out a cool Runner's World T-shirt. I'll do anything for good schwag. (If you got a better one for me, leave me a message)

Running update: Even though the doctor has given me the ok, I'm going to wait until next week to test my right leg. It feels fine. I just want to make sure I don't reinjure it. Though I'm raring to go. I drove to Austin last night for a friend's wedding and the scenery here is absolutely beautiful.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Barack Obama's NCAA Tournament Bracket

He's got Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Pittsburgh going to the final four with North Carolina winning it all, according to media folks who are traveling with the Obama press. Report says Obama put down $10 and filled out his tourney bracket to play with his campaign staff.
Hmmm. Pittsburgh. He does need that city's votes for the upcoming Pennsylvania primary.

Everybody into the pool

I love this time of year.
You can gamble at work.
You can watch TV at work.
The boss doesn't mind.
It's March Madness.
Get your brackets, baby!
I've got mine.
North Carolina, Kansas, Stanford, and UCLA are in my Final Four.
I've been a full-time employee for 17 years and I've never won anybody's NCAA office pool.
Maybe this year is my year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What I missed about running

I got the okay from my doctor's nurse Tuesday to go ahead and run again. She told me to take it slow so I won't reinjure my right leg, but if you are a runner and you are reading this, you know that telling a runner to take it slow is like telling a TV weatherman to get it right. It's impossible.
I haven't run since March 8 and while out, I thought about a lot of things I miss not being able to run:
*Downloading my run from my Garmin 305 forerunner to Sport Tracks. I am a geek about the science of , my heart rate, my pace, how long I spent in a certain zone. I've spent as many hours staring at my computer analyzing a run as I have spent stretching before a run.
*Eating what I want without guilt. No surprises here, though the desire to run faster makes me eat as nutritiously as possible.
*Soreness after a long run: My body talks to me when I know I've had a nice long run, or put together two or three good workouts in a row. My quads ache a little. My left knee gets a little stiff. The blister on my right big toe stings a little.
*The taste of my post-workout shake: Usually after a run lasting at least an hour, I drink a big bottle of Gatorade or Endurox. It's more sugar in one setting than I'll probably have at any other time during the day. But it's yummy, and, according to all of the sports scientists, well-needed.
*Getting my 2nd wind: It takes about 10 minutes for my lungs and the rest of my systems to get all warmed up during a run. But when I'm ready, some days I feel like I'm floating.
*Familiar faces: I do most of my runs around 7 am on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth. I always see the same faces at the same point in my run. It's like clock-work.
The man on a bicycle.
The really old man _ gotta be at least in his 70s _ walking in the cold, wearing a suit coat to protect him from the elements, his face sun-burned, his gray hair covered by a worn wool hat.
The hispanic woman jogging. It always seems like when I'm done, she is just getting started.
The Tuesday morning running group from Luke's Locker led by Noreen.
*Saturday long runs: I missed these the most. Saturdays on the Trinity Trail is like, man, like a religion for me. I park my car. I stretch. And before my eyes is like this symphony of activity. The shuffling of feet. The vroom of cars going down Riverfront Drive. Runners in groups talking to each other. The crazy guy named Loy.
Even though I rarely speak to anyone, these people are like family, this atmosphere is like my own Norman Rockwell painting. You got elites and 12-minute milers sharing the crushed limestone and the paved sidewalks that make up the Trinity Trails. It's spiritual man. Just spiritual.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A lot can happen in 10 days

I have just swallowed the last dose of methlyprednisolone, the anti-inflammatory medicine that the doctor prescribed for me last week. When I got this stuff, the pharmacist said, “Don't drink alcohol with this.” So, the night before, I drank nearly a whole bottle of Guenoc Petite Syrah.
And then went cold turkey.
Last night, though, I read the fine print on the drug. It said limit alcohol use with this medicine. Then, I read this story that says red wine is an anti-inflammatory agent. Shoot, I could have drank and got twice the treatment for my leg.
Anyway, my leg feels much better. And even though the doctor _ remember, it was a fill-in _ told me not to run for another two weeks, I'm going to call my regular guy today and see if its okay that I start putting in a few miles. I last ran 10 days ago. And what has happened in the world since: the fortunes of Eliot Spitzer and Bear Stearns have plummeted and the Houston Rockets have gone on an absurd winning streak.
On the family front: My son, Noah, and his mother, Nancy, visited me for a week. I am more in love with him everyday. He is still crawling backwards. When he gets excited he kinda squeals and babbles. He loved the zoo. He is eating rice, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and formula. He is growing up before my eyes. He is only 7 ½ months, but is as heavy as my 2-year-old nephew, Keith. Here are some pictures from his visit.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Client 9 once wore Bib No. X887

Late in 2006, before he was the New York Governor or the now infamous Client 9, Eliot Spitzer was the New York State Attorney General, and who would have thunk it: A runner.
The astute editors at Runner's World combed through their archives and found an interview they did with Spitzer in their monthly “I'm a Runner” feature.
In the interview, Spitzer said he runs two or three miles five times a week and listens to Springsteen or Dire Straits on his Ipod. In 2006, he was running for governor, which made for many long days. “My wife doesn't mind when I slip out at 5 a.m. She just asks that I don't turn on the lights,” Spitzer told Runner's World's Toby Tanser.
And get this, Spitzer ran a marathon, the New York City Marathon, in 1983. His time was 3:58:43. He wore Bib No. X887.
Here is the Runner's World interview with Spitzer, which was published in December 2006.
This picture of Spitzer is courtesy of Flickr. He is running the Utica Boilermaker 5K last July. He finished in 26:15, an 8:27 minute/mile pace.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

What is this stuff anyway?

When I was at the doctor's office Wednesday for my bum right leg, he gave me a script for Methylprednisolone, which is a fancy word for steroids. So I guess there goes my career in professional baseball.
Anyway, this methylprednisolone is supposed to prevent the release of hormones in your body that causes inflammation. It's a weird dosage. Six days of these tiny little white pills that you take either before or after meals and before you go to bed at night.
This stuff has some pretty crazy side effects, like severe depression, insomnia, and rapid weight gain. That's just great. To fix my leg, I'll have to turn into a fat, moody guy who can't sleep.
I think the depression is because they say you shouldn't drink while on this stuff. So, I can't run and I can't drink? Good thing my 7-month-old son is visiting me right now, or someone would be sending me to the funny farm.
Obviously, this means no racing for the foreseeable future. This Saturday I was going to run the 5K St. Paddy's Day Dash in Dallas with my good friends Chuck, Allynson, and Frank. And I was going to run the 5k Run to Joes in Fort Worth in two weeks.
Guess now I'll set my sites on running the Komen Race For The Cure 5K at Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth on April 26. I ran this race in 2006 in a time of 21:09, a personal record.
Maybe the stars will align themselves again for me.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Putting the brakes on a bad wheel

So, what’s wrong with my leg?

My normal doctor, who has run many marathons himself, was not in today so I had to see his partner. And the news didn’t get any better after that, though, it could have been worse.

After getting poked and prodded and questioned like I was Eliot Spitzer - (Ooops, he didn't stick around to answer any questions!), the doc came up with this prognosis: Gastrocnemius muscle strain (calf); Achilles tendinitis, and a slight case of plantar fasciitis.

He gave me a script to take a cortisol pill once a day for five days, and said I should not resume running for three weeks, though he added that I could start stretching my calf after I finish taking the pills. So, maybe that means I can actually start running in five days instead of three weeks.

I’m going to make this promise to myself: I will not run until I am pain free.

I’ve got an appointment with my normal doctor on April 2. So for the next three weeks, I’ll try to stay sane by drinking wine (I know I promised myself not to drink during the week _ but hey, what am I to do when I can’t run?), playing with my 7-month-old son, who I am absolutely in love with, and blogging.

I may even, gulp, get on an exercise bike just to keep up my cardio fitness.

Speaking of Spitzer, the guy who is going to take his place as Governor of New York, David Paterson, is a runner. In 1999, he ran the New York City Marathon in 6:06:00. But don’t smirk at that time, folks. Paterson is legally blind.

Go here to see a previous post on marathon times of famous people. Credit: Wikipedia.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I got a doc appointment

I finally did something smart.
I called my doctor and set up an appointment to get my right leg checked out. It only hurts when I walk upstairs, downstairs, when I'm getting out of bed, out of my car, and when I run _ which is basically all the time.
I have not run since Saturday's 10-miler. It feels like an ankle sprain and shin splints. I don't think it's a stress fracture. In fact, I know it's not that. It feels like I have a ligament issue.
Hopefully this does not keep me on the bench too long. The weather is getting good and I'm getting antsy.
So, I'll know what I need to know after my 11:30 appointment tomorrow.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The phone call you never want to get

A little after 1 a.m. Saturday morning, my cell phone rings. It's my brother, Cedric. I don't answer it because my brother has called me before after midnight and usually he is returning my phone call or just wanting to talk about sports. Though, I remember thinking he'd never called this late. But he didn't leave a message, so I figured it could not be too bad.
About 10 a.m. Saturday, I went out for a 10-mile run (more on that later). When I got back, I had a voice mail from my sister, Casey. “Kevin,” she said, “your little brother was admitted to the hospital last night. He was complaining of chest pains. It's something with his heart.”
Casey was actually in the hospital room with Cedric. So she passed the phone to him.
“Hey, dude, what happened?” I asked him.
“Man,” he said, sounding groggy from just waking up. “My chest just started hurting and my arm felt weird, so Robert (his best friend) took me in to get it looked at. I'm okay.”
Well, of course, I had to see for myself. So I made the 40-minute drive to the hospital and you know all kinds of things raced through my mind. My family doesn't have a history of heart problems. There have been some strokes, to be sure. An aneurysm. But no heart stoppages.
Cedric was sitting up laughing when I got to his hospital room. A medic told him he the lining around his heart might be inflamed, though they'd need to do a chest echo a week later to be sure. Thought it might be stress-related. Cedric is going through a divorce, and working two jobs _ one of which includes trying to run his own newspaper. The nurse also told him it could be heart burn. All of his tests came back fine, his blood work was fine. They released him a few hours later, told him to get some rest, get rid of the stress, and take aspirin.
Hopefully, this doesn't turn out to be anything serious.
Running update: I ran 10 miles Saturday in just a little more than 1:30. It was my longest run since I did 12 miles on Feb. 9. It started off as my worst run ever. My right leg was killing me. And before the run, I had a Cliff Bar that didn't agree with my stomach. But I gutted it out, started feeling better at mile 4 and finished ok. My right leg is still giving me all kinds of problems. It might be shin splints, though it seems to be weird that it is just on one leg. I didn't run Sunday or Monday morning. This is turning out to be my worst injury ever. A call to my physician is on the horizon.
A special visitor: My 7-month old son, Noah, and his mother, Nancy, came to visit me Saturday night. They'll be here for a week. They look great. Noah definitely has Nancy's eyes, but he has my nose and cheeks. He eats a lot.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Too much Cabernet, not enough 5k

On Feb. 19, I wrote in a post that I thought the reason I was not losing weight was because I was drinking too much wine. I said I would limit my wine drinking to the weekends. At the time, my weight was 171 pounds. That was 16 days ago. I was 167 pounds this morning.
But......... I have not exactly kept the promise to myself of not drinking during the week. Stressed from work, I stopped at Put a Cork In It Wine and got a bottle of Santa Ema Reserve Merlot Maipo Valley. Yummy, yummy. You put this stuff in a big wine glass and you can smell the leather, and it is very chocolaty.
The week before, I also had a mid-week bottle of wine, a 2005 Yountville Napa Valley Cabernet from Charles Krug by the Peter Mondavi family. This is a big cab, I mean big. And smooth. I taste some coffee, some cherries. Awesome tannins. Long finish.
So, I drank, but I still lost weight.
So maybe the wine drinking was not the blame for my once expanding waistline. I looked at my running log and noticed that my running pace has been sub 9:00 minute per mile in six of the 11 runs since I swore off drinking during the week. In the 11 runs before I made that promise, only three of my runs averaged a pace faster than a 9-minute mile.
So, here's what this tells me: Run fast, drink wine, lose weight. Run slow, drink wine, maintain weight.
Well, it's a lot more fun to run fast and drink wine. But, I'll keep it in moderation. I will only drink one bottle during the week (if that) and not limit myself during the weekend.
I know, I sound like I should be in AA.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's gotta be the shoes.

Some people who know that I run often ask me about running shoes. How much should they pay? How should they feel? What to look for?
I always refer them to a running store, like Luke's Locker, and tell them to get fitted by a professional. I always say that things will be easier if they get a “real” running shoe, because it will prevent injuries and make the running experience more enjoyable.
But, an interesting post at the Science of Sport, a running blog that I absolutely respect, says the training, not the shoes, has the biggest effect on running injuries.
When I started running four years ago, I was pounding the pavement in some old Asics that I used to mow the lawn. After about three months, my knees were killing me. Was it the shoes? Or was it the fact that I was doing something my body wasn't used to?
Who knows. I eventually went to Run On, a running shop in the Dallas area, and they fitted me with some Brooks Beasts. This is a shoe for heavy runners who overpronate. But they were perfect for me at the time. (I wasn't heavy, but I overpronated). I eventually started wearing the Brooks GTS Adrenaline models. And have run both my marathons in them.
The only thing I don't like about the Brooks Adrenalines is that they don't last very long. After 300 miles, they are shot. I'm running in Asics now and am nearing 300 miles in a pair I bought at the beginning of the year. They seem to be holding up fine.
Looking for a scouting report on shoes? Here are the ones I've worn since I began running four years ago and a one-sentence comment. You can always go to Runner's World, which does a very good job of ranking shoes.
Brooks Beast: Good for me when I first started running long slow miles, but way too stiff and bulky.
Brooks GTS5: Favorite shoe. I did most of the training for my first marathon in these and never had one injury.
Brooks GTS6: A little narrower than the GTS5s and gave me bad blisters. But I started wearing 2Es and the shoe felt fine.
Asics Gel Empire: I ran my fastest 5K in these (21:09) so they have to count for something. But I always got the weirdest quad cramps.
Saucony Omni Moderate: These shoes gave me terrible shin splints. I even got shin splints when I walked in these shoes at work.
Saucony Hurricane: Felt like I was running in high heels and always had hamstring problems.
New Balance 767: Stiff shoe.
Brooks GTS7: Just like the GTS6s _ the wider shoe fit my foot well, but they wore out fast. I did most of my training for my second marathon in these shoes and they seemed to wear out the padding on the bottom of my feet.
Asics GT-2130: These are the shoes I'm wearing now. No complaints so far.
Feel free to take my running shoes survey at the top of the page.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I voted for Scooby Doo

This is my son, Noah, and his mother, Nancy, in Austin Tuesday voting in the presidential primary election.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I need a polling place and a port-a-potty.

Today is the biggest presidential primary in years but the closest I'll get to it was my morning run past Tanglewood Elementary, (one of the polling places in Fort Worth) because I stupidly did not register to vote at my new address once I moved. Because I moved from Dallas to Tarrant County, I could only vote at the precinct in my old address if I voted early. I didn't know that until I got to work Monday.
So, if your favorite Democrat loses by 1 vote in Texas today, blame me.
I ran with the regulars from Luke's Locker on University Drive this morning. Did the 7-mile tempo run and felt surprisingly okay, especially with the bad lower right leg I've been blogging about lately. It was a little sore after the run, but it didn't give me any problems.
No, today, I had other weird body flare-ups....
Like in my left arch. At the beginning of some runs, I'll get such a stabbing pain that I have to stop and stretch. So near the end of mile 1, I stopped, stretched my Achilles real good, and that was the end of that arch pain.
I had some weird cramps in my left inner thigh near mile 5. It felt like I hadn't even warmed up. It was like all of a sudden, my legs were in a deep freeze and couldn't warm up. I went from an 8-minute mile to an 8:45 just like that for about half a mile. I'm sure running in the 35-degree weather had a little something to do with it, but I've run in cold weather before and never had that happen. Weird.
The weirdest flare up was, well.... Let me say this.... I try to take care of all my bodily functions in the morning before I run because there have many times I've been stuck on a trail with no port-a-potty feeling like my insides were going to explode, if you know what I mean.
I thought I was okay this morning, but near the end of the run, I needed to go reallllllly bad. I mean really bad. And let's just say saddling up next to a tree would not have done the trick. Needless to say, I gritted my teeth, ran faster for a little while, and, thank God, the urge went away.
I hate when that happens.
Picture courtesy of Flickr


Monday, March 3, 2008

Are bed bugs this crazy?

Well, I am officially going crazy. I have not run since Friday. That’s 3 days and counting. But this was a calculated respite from pounding my knees and ankles on the trails at Trinity Park. For one, I was in Austin for the weekend visiting my 7-month old son. We took him to see a kite festival at Zilcher Park. He laughs more and more now. He smiles a lot. And I’m glad and relieved that he responds so well to me. I only get to see him twice a month but it seems he remembers me, or likes being around me. He is crawling, now, sort of. We put him on the ground and he starts doing this swimming motion. He can move his arms better than his legs so he always ends up going backwards. It’s so cute.
He and his mother are coming to visit me for an entire week next weekend, so that should be a lot of fun.
I also took off from running because I’ve got a slight injury to my lower right leg, around my ankle and shin. And I wish I could report that I’m totally healed. But I’m not and now I’m nervous. It hurts a little when I walk up hills or down stairs. Or when I take that first step out of the car or out of bed. I hope it’s not a stress fracture. But, I plan on continuing my running tomorrow. I know, call me stupid. But I feel crazier than a bed bug when I don’t run. Hopefully I don’t do further damage to my leg. I don’t think I will. I think it’s just soreness, from overuse. I hope that’s all it is.
I’ll try to post photos from the kite festival later today.

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