Monday, May 31, 2010

5/24-5/29 Weekly Report-Finals ie, not running

5 miles

Monday-Played laser tag for about 30 min. Realized that being in shape to run is not the same as being in shape for running and jumping around like a savage. My legs are sore and I am officially old. No official run for today.

Tuesday-5 miles in the AM after the sun came up, so it was still too hot. Had a banana and a glass of water for breakfast. No side ache and energy for most of the run.

Wednesday-Took a physical exam final

Thursday-Studied my buns off, physically unable to run. I studied with my feet propped up on a chair, in extreme relaxation mode. This night I developed significant pain in my right knee when extended. All I can figure is that I hyperextended my knee by how I was sitting. The pain lasted for about 24 hours and freaked me out pretty good.

Friday-Took my last final and collapsed into a pile of meat

Saturday-took a personal religious holiday to the Columbia, SC temple.

Felt really good this week when I wasn't in zombie study mode. Now that it's a new week, I feel fresh and ready to go. Running during finals just wasn't happening this time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5/17-5/22 Weekly Report-Trotskyism

14.7 miles

Monday-break CNS test

Tuesday-break still studying for CNS test

Wednesday-finally took CNS test and ran afterward in the scorching sun with a newly shorn scalp.

Thursday-Ran 4.6 easy pace miles in the morning while it was nice and cool. Welcome back runner's trots, it's been a long time. Let's just say I had some extra incentive to hurry home. Not sure if the 3 spoonfuls of honey pre-run are to blame or if this is an isolated incident. Proceeding w/ extreme caution.

Friday-barefoot 2 miles

Saturday-good long morning run

This ended up being my second longest week this year, despite studying for that dang test. Feeling ready to push into the 20's if time permits.

Monday, May 17, 2010

5/10-5/15 Weekly Report

7.6 miles


Tuesday-fast pace short run. I officially feel like I'm in shape. When I get fatigued on my runs, I am able to push through it and keep my pace rather than slow down. I haven't felt this way for some time. I even had an endorphin rush after doing some core exercises immediately following the run. I actually forgot about runner's high it's been so long.

Wednesday-rest. another endocrine test

Thursday-barefoot run. maxed out after 2 miles again and my feet started getting pretty raw.


Saturday-planned to run the old tybee trail again, but needed to study and ran close to home. felt like I was getting a monster blister an cut the run short for a small deficit this week.

Could be some shallow mileage the next few weeks with finals and finishing up the quarter. Looking forward to my 2 week break so I can log some hearty miles.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Energy Gel$

Earlier this year, I started experimenting with energy gels on my longer runs. The first experience was with an expired Gu "Lemon Sublime" packet on a 9 mile run without any water. I'm learning. Miraculously, I didn't get crippling diarrhea and I didn't perish from thirst. I can't say it gave me all that much energy either. I wasn't in great shape at this point, early into more serious training.

I purchased some Powerbar gels because they were cheap and started taking them with a fair amount of water, which made them more palatable, but equally non-efficacious.

I've also tried Clif Shot gel. Still nothing.

As I mentioned in last week's report I had a successful experience on an empty stomach morning run after plodding along for 3 miles. I felt the burst of energy and really picked up the pace to end my run well.

So it seems a few things are required to feel the effects of energy gels:

  1. Low blood sugar
  2. A good level of baseline fitness
  3. Water
I'm excited about this new arrow in my quiver. I'm thinking about races where I have felt heavy and how energy gel would have potentially helped significantly. Not excited about paying mucho lettuce for gross sugar, though.

I can make gross sugar for free, thank you very much. I will experiment with homemade gel consisting of:

  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Sea Salt
The results will follow...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mommy makes it possible.

Being Mother's Day, I must take an opportunity to praise my wife, Deanna, for her active support in the goals related to this blog. She acts as the sole babysitter of our two young children during my meanderings through the dark and desires acheivement of my goals.

We have plans to become a running family, which realistically necessitates a 2-seat running stroller at this point in our lives. As you may be aware, they are not cheap, at least those that will weather the storm, as it were. Thus, we scour the Internet for deals. So far, an unfruitful pursuit.

On this day of days, thanks be to my beloved Vos for rearing beautiful babies and facilitating this long-term endeavour.

5/3-5/8 Weekly Report-The (2) Gallon Challenge and Crab Invasion

13.8 miles

Monday-break (studying for Endocrinology exam)

Tuesday-Rain run! After I got out of class I took advantage of the downpour and had a glorious 3.2 mile rain run. Lots of big puddles, steady rain, perfect. Ran along a canal through tall weeds that got caught in between the toes of my FiveFingers, causing a very unpleasant sensation.

Wednesday-Barefoot around business park. My feet were pretty soft and I got some sweet blisters. I realized that I need to incorporate more actual barefoot running into my schedule. As close as Vibrams are to barefoot, the experience still differs markedly. The form comes more naturally barefoot and I am forced to be lighter on my feet to prevent pain. Hopefully, by barefooting more often, I can permanently train myself into a good gait, even with shoes on.

Thursday-(2) Gallon Challenge. Last week Deanna bought 25 boxes of cereal because they were on sale. Unfortunately, we only had a gallon and a half of milk to match them. That milk supply dried up in a matter of days and starvation followed soon after. My grocery run tonight necessitated the purchase of milk. 2 Gallons minimum. In case you were wondering, running a mile with 2 gallons of milk is significantly harder than running a mile without 2 gallons of milk. I was really hoping not to encounter any law enforcement on this late night hard-to-explain run. My hope was in vain. Fortunately as I ran past a parked police car with gallons in hand, I was not stopped, although I could feel the quizzical stare rays burning into my sweat-drenched back. Overall a great cardio workout that I can see duplicating in the future especially with the pile of cereal in the kitchen showing no signs of shrinkage. I plan to do more high-intensity cardio now that my heart has caught up with my legs.

Friday-break (working for the man)

Saturday-6 mile trail run on old tybee railroad trail aka mcqueen's island historic trail. Got up early and arrived just as the sun was coming up. Trail was loose gravel, some spots pretty coarse, making me tread very lightly at times. It was a good way to keep me from plodding along too haphazardly. Saw some wild beasts, including swarms of crabs and terrifying horseflies. I ran on an empty stomach and felt like I was made of lead, but for the first time I could tell a marked difference when I consumed a gel. Ran with my Camelbak, which was too loose and bounced all over. Payed more attention to my heartbeat and breathing, tried to keep both up and got a good pace on the last 3 miles.

A few lessons learned this week: more barefoot training and high intensity cardio, if running w/ Camelbak, make sure it's TIGHT. My legs let me know that it's time for a mini break, so I'll be off until Tuesday.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Runner's World Barefoot Running Forum

When I think of Runner's World, I think of mechanical, pretty boy, painful, expensive, contrived running. The covers alone make me cringe, showing airbrushed beefcakes/beefcakesses mid-stride in the ugliest heel strike landing I could possible fathom.

Needless to say, I was surprised to learn that the Runner's World website is home to an extremely helpful and comprehensive barefoot running forum.

Enjoy. Just try not to look at the pictures at the top or sides of the page.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I'm pretty comfortable with blisters. They are always present to some degree and prevention of monster blisters is my main focus now. Small blisters share a thin line with good calluses. I have a few nuggets of wisdom to share on the subject that I've obtained through trial and error:

Run with dry feet-if I slap on my Vibrams immediately after wearing suffocating, sweaty shoes all day, I'm guaranteed to get mega blisters. Same with running barefoot-giving my feet time to dry out after wearing shoes for the man makes all the difference.

Wear socks-long runs always remind me where my feet rub the insides of my FiveFingers. For this reason, Injinji socks are usually necessary for me above the 5K range.

Separate toes-my toes used to rub together, causing blisters inbetween toes and on my toe joints. This is not an issue with barefoot running, Vibrams, and with Injinji socks in any shoe, I imagine.

Don't mess with blisters-Don't cut open blisters. Don't cut them off. Just leave them alone. It's worse if you filet them.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

4/26-5/1 Weekly Report: Krystal bad, barefoot beach run good

14.4 miles

Monday was Dan's birthday, so I shelved the running for the evening and "treated" the birthday boy to a heavenly evening at Krystal, the Southern equivalent of White Castle. While this was a clear violation of my running philosophy, it simply had to be done. The minuscule Krystal burgers instantly precipitated GI pain and the quivering "meat," which I discovered is not actually poured onto the grill in liquid form, haunts my quiet moments still.

Tuesday I ran a short 2.4-mile route at my fast pace. Don't really know what that pace is and I plan to take a trip to a measured track one of these days with a stopwatch to see where I stand. I estimate on the low end of 7 minute miles, hopefully I'm not too far off.

Wednesday was a stunning full moon run that included sprints, lunges, and other embarrassing maneuvers at the nearby soccer complex. I can't remember doing sprints in recent memory. The sensation, I was reminded, is entirely different than distance running. It was exhilarating to feel like my feet were going to outrun my body, possibly resulting in a less-than-graceful fall/trip/face plant/severe injury.

Thursday I did a grocery run and some core exercises. Let me explain the grocery run. "Could you run and get some _____ at the store?" The answer is yes as long as it's not 3 gallons of milk. We live close enough to several grocery stores where I can multi-task and "run" errands while logging miles. This was the case Thursday. Food Lion is closest, but didn't have the needed item, thus a expected 1.5 mile run became a 5k with an unexpected trip to Kroger.

Friday the sprints and lunges caught up with me at the clockwork 36-hour-post-leg-workout-peak-of-pain-and-suffering. Decided to take a break and get ready for:

Saturday, when I did a long (5 mile) barefoot run at the beach. This was one of the most enjoyable barefoot experiences I have had to date

Slowly chipping away at my mileage deficit that I accrued during the shin splint holiday. Had some knee pain early in the week, felt inflamed but not the kneecap-pulling-to-the-side type of pain luckily. Overall a good week, feeling ready to do a long trail run next week.