Smokin!

While I was stretching by the truck after my run, I noticed alot more steam in the air than could be coming from my breathing. I looked in the window reflection and saw that my whole body was steaming. It looked like I was on fire!

I did my long run this AM at the park. I got up late so I had to cut it short. 6.14 miles, 53:54 (according to Ghostrunner), instead of my planned 7. It was faster than I had meant to run (8:47 overall). Maybe I subconsciously wanted to hurry up because I was late. I’m very certain I could have finished the distance, but I had already stretched the time too far and needed to get home.

Mile time
1 9:09
2 9:06
3 8:21
4 8:22
5 8:52
6 8:48
7 8:19

I started out pretty good with my pace. Then I got too pumped up or something and didn’t come back down again. Mile six had the big hill so that’s why I was able to slow a little. Mile 7 was really just that last tenth hanging on at the end. A little sprint with the truck in sight :)

I was surprised to see so many people out there early on a Sunday morning. Some were running, some walking. Some dog people too.

I ate a banana about 1/2 hour before I left and drank a little dilute Gatorade during the run. It was damn cold too outside too! The thermometer on my back porch said it was 40F! I put on my long sleeve CoolMax shirt that I bought on clearance in the spring. Even outside in the sun, it wasn’t much warmer. I wore my gloves too, but by mile 4 my hands were pretty warm. After the run, I had a banana in the truck, the rest of the dilute gatorade, and my big glass of chololate milk with a little cinnamon.

Shins were well behaved. Left ITB felt a little tight at one point, I stopped for 15 seconds and stretched and then went on. No pain at any point, and I had left the strap in the truck. Getting really sick of that thing, but I’ll try to use it when I can until my abductors hit their weight lifting goal. It keeps slipping down when I run and hits my knee cap. My leg is too cone shaped and so it slides down to the lowest point. Need duct tape.

I’m a little behind my goal with this run getting cut short. Higdon always says “don’t cheat on the long runs”. Feel like I did that today. I’m also running them faster than I should. I just feel like if I run them slower, it will irritate my ITB. At the same time, it felt really good to run faster. I liked the pace and I felt like I was moving instead of trudging. I don’t want to trudge in the race. I’m not speedy but I don’t want to trudge.

Tomorrow is “stretch and strength” but its a rest day really. Extra stretching to loosen all the stuff you hurt during the long run. Strength for the weak muscles. I may do lower body weights. Maybe upper too. My son has gymnastics on Monday evenings so I don’t have alot of time to workout.

Sorry for the delay

I’m so very sorry for the incredibly rude delay in posting. I had to go out of town and the internet access wasn’t available. Well, actually it was but it cost so damn much I didn’t want to pay. Again, sorry for not updating.

I was in Toronto for a week of super special training. Super special because 1) only 1 other person is as qualified as me and 2) nobody else wanted to go because it would mark them as the loser who had to go to this training. Loser = me.

Toronto is far too much city for me. There’s about 150 million people living there and I know because every single one of them was walking on the street at 5:00 pm. I swear I was going to have sensory overload if I didn’t get off the street. And the shopping mall is underneath the city.

I got a chance to go up in the CN Tower which was very cool. All those people looked like little ants. There’s a glass floor in one section and it gave my stomach a real jump to walk over it.

I hate traveling because I always am so exhausted after spending a week eating fattening food and getting no sleep in hotel beds. I feel like I need a serious vacation.

Running. Good news. Monday I ran 6.5 miles, 9:14 pace, and no pain at all! I stopped because it was so tired I wanted to die. The gym at the hotel was in this tiny room and there was no fan. With 10 of us in there, the place was hotter than blue blazes and I just couldn’t take it longer than an hour. And the treadmill shut off after 1 hour too. But no pain. None.

Then Wednesday I ventured outside and ran IN THE CITY! That was a wild experience. Dodging in and out of the people and cars. It was tough doing the stop and go thing for the lights. The funny thing was that nobody seemed to notice me. Idiot guy running on the sidewalk. Everyone was oblivious. Eventually, I got down to the waterfront along the lake and it was real nice down there. Lots of joggers.

I ran about 4.5 miles but it was hard to tell because my Ghostrunner locked up for a while. I’m guessing I lost 1/2 a mile. The cool thing was that I had forgotten my cho-pat strap, and there was NO PAIN AT ALL!.

I’m thinking I am over the hump for knee pain. I need to get back to the weight training this week but I may try running without the strap for a while. I wanted to wait until I had reached my abductor weight goal first, but maybe I will start now because I hate wearing it.

Today is the CRIM but I’m not running. I didn’t get in until 11 pm last night after a 7 hour car ride. Add 2 hours for leaving Toronto at 5 pm. Stop and go all the way to Hamilton. Just shoot me. Even so, I’m not ready for 10 miles yet. Can’t tell you how very bummed I am about it. Its supposed to be a great event. Maybe next year.

Good luck at the CRIM, Christian!

And if Lily and Dean are running, good luck you two!

OK, so now I have no races coming up and no goal. I’ve been toying with the idea of the Detroit 1/2 marathon. October 24th I think. I have about 8 weeks. So I would be in week 8. Its not a bad place and I think I can jump right into the schedule where it is. I would need to make sure I am not pushing it too hard. The individual distances are not a problem, but the weekly mileage ramping up may have a cumulative effect on my ITB. Well, we’ll just go easy and see what happens.

Ok, that’s it for this AM. I’d like to go run today but there’s a huge lightning storm (welcome back to MI). Maybe the gym. I’ve got visitors coming this week so I need to clean my messy house and I also may not be able to post too much. Apologies in advance.

Now I need to catch up on all the blogs!

A very tough 12 miles

Saturday I did an hour of crosstraining instead of my long run, due to scheduling issues.  I ran my 12 mile long run yesterday.  Only the second time I’ve run that far.  Coming off a week of little running, and having missed the previous week’s long run due to the race, this was a very big jump for me.  I probably should have cut it back to 10, but then after you do 10, you think “what’s 2 more miles?”.

I really killed myself out there.  I even took it very slow.  I tried to hold a 10:00 pace and I took a short walking break every 3 miles.  Actually, the walking break was a walk to the restroom.  I do not have this hydration thing under control, which is funny because I didn’t need the restroom during the 1/2 marathon.  During this run, I definately needed 3.  I think I was planning for hotter weather and it turned out to be 60 with light drizzle and cloudy skies.

My legs were pretty darn tired at the end.  My hips were starting to get sore (and that’s what’s sore today).  My shins were a little sore, but no different from any of the other long runs.  That is, the pain didn’t get any worse with the longer distance.  I thought about Chris running through some trail somewhere and tried his “Shut up!” inner voice to keep the cranky legs quiet.  If I don’t have his stamina, at least I can borrow some of the mental tricks. 

I tried to make sure I ran more upright.  I tend to get bent over the more tired I get.  Looking down at the pavement.  No wonder my lower back ends up hurting.  I think about that shot of Alberto Salazar at the 1983 Boston Marathon.  Head up.  Shoulders back.  That’s me.  Ok, that’s not me, but it keeps me thinking about better form.

Total time, 2:07, which included the bathroom breaks.  Ghostrunner says it was 12.3 miles, which might have been due to the bathroom.  A rough estimate puts it close to there.  I’m actually not that far off from the 1/2 marathon time.  Considering this time I was running alone and didn’t have my coach telling me to get moving after the water stops, I think I did OK.

Yes, the Ghostrunner is back from Garmin.  I still get errors when I try to download the data to my PC.  I reloaded the new software 3 times, resetting the Ghostrunner each time, reloaded the Logbook software 2 times, loaded Logbook on a different computer, reformatted my entire hardrive and reloaded all the software (yes, I did), and swore alot.  Now it gives me a different error, but if I unplug it from the computer just before I download, I can download it once without errors.  Sigh.  I guess I’ll take what I can get.  For those of you considering buying one of these, make sure you register it right away so that the warranty is good.

Today is rest day.  We are going to the water park, but I’ll be spending most of the time sitting in an inner tube.  Unless it rains.

I spent some time on Saturday and today working on teaching my son to ride his bike.  Looks like he’s got it down.  The stops are a little rough sometimes, but most of them are smooth.  He needs to lighten his grip on the handle bars a bit.  He got a blister from holding them so tightly.  Relax!  I suppose it won’t be long before he’ll be riding no handed with his feet on the seat.  Then I’ll wish for days like this again :)

Ghostrunner is dead

Just got off the phone with Garmin and they said the Ghostrunner is being put into a safe containment center for the spiritually misbehaving, and has been replaced.  Making some final preparations still (battery charging and programming?), but the new one should be heading my way soon. 
 
Psyched!  Can’t wait to try out the cool mapping software I’ve been downloading.
 
For those who haven’t looked already, Zoot has guest blogging to her site today.  You may want to jump over and post something fun on her site.
 
By the way, I am going to buy that microsized digital camera because it looks so cool despite it having ridiculous resolution.  It does lend itself to mischief but I promise to behave.  No, really.

I had a dream last night.

I dreamt I was running in a marathon. It was through some old part of Europe, where the cobblestone streets were really narrow with houses on each side, like a Charles Dickens story. I was running up some very hilly areas but, very very fast!

There was a couple that had gotten married and were “in” the marathon. I knew them in the dream but I have no idea who they were. They were both wearing tuxedos and top hats, with white shirts and bright orange cummerbunds. They would move to certain stops along the route and set up a station where they greeted the runners. I asked them if they were going to run in it and they said “No, we’re big babies, we’re not running.”

At one point I was running next to this really old guy and he knew people in the houses along the streets. While I ran with him, I was carrying this huge piece of cardboard that was hard to manage as it blew around in the wind. The guy enventually stopped to talk to friends in one of the houses and I ran on alone.

I kept stopping to talk with people along the way. Then after a few minutes I would remember that I was in a race and I would hurry to catch up to where I was. I ran so fast! I didn’t have that feet-in-the-mud feeling that I get in dreams sometimes when I’m running away from some demon (giant stay-puft marshmallow man?). It was effortless and so speedy.

Then I woke up.

Alarm clock wasn’t set.

7:00 am. Need to leave for work in 30 minutes. Argh.

I would have cut off my thumb to go back to sleep :)

In other news, I bought that cheap digital camera last night. I’m hoping its not a collosal mistake. I noticed that the expensive ones had much higher capabilities, but this one is even higher than the one our office uses, and that one takes great pictures. We’ll see. I’ll try and take a picture of the “free wud” sign on the way home. I think all the wood is already gone this week (what with it bein’ friday and all, an’ burnin’ starts tomorra’). Maybe I’ll get lucky. UPDATE: Just tried it out. Garbage. Oh well. I can take it back. And buy another one! :)

Shins.still.hurt.

For my extra rest day, I went back to the park with my 20 ft extension ladder and my 20 ft tree trimmer to retrieve our lost rocket. It took alot of coaxing and a small amount of quiet swearing, but I got all the pieces down. Some reassembly required. I really wrenched my legs and arms trying to yank this thing down from so high up, but I feel like it was really important to not let another rocket get away, especially the same one we lost the first time. And when you can see it hanging up there in the tree, it makes it even more annoying. Trying to be the Daddy hero and get the rocket back.

The GhostRunner arrived in Kansas at Garmin at 9:15 AM yesterday. Hopefully, they are working on it at this very moment and deciding to send me a brand new one (sans spiritus) and a free subscription to Excorcist Quarterly. I think Marshall said that his took about a week and a half to get back. I hate waiting, but hopefully it will go by quickly.

Today is the official rest day. Resting, resting, resting.

Catch Your Breath 10K

The Catch Your Breath 10K was yesterday at 8AM, which was a normal starting time but since I live over an hour away, I had to get up before o’dark thirty get there in time to pick up my packet and stretch and all that.

We had really good weather. Overcast and about 65-70F by the time we started. It was a little humid, but not to bad. I had been careful about my water intake and didn’t need to stand in the giant line at the port-a-potties just before the start. I saw one woman some running out the door just as the gun went off.

Not a very big race. I estimated 300 and it turned out there were 310 in the 10K. There were some people there for the 5K which started later.

I wore my GhostRunner to see how it did with the mileage (which turned out to be not so good). The GhostRunner said that the marked miles were longer than the race said. I had set the Virtual Partner to a set distance and pace. According to GhostRunner, we made our goal and I beat him by 0.1 miles and that we actually went 6.5 miles instead of 6.2. I screwed up recording the data from my other watch so I lost all the split information based on the race markers (I need to get the computer uplink so I don’t do that again).

The GhostRunner gave me the following info:

lap 1: 7:47 (too fast down the hill!)
lap 2: 7:59 (getting better)
lap 3: 7:48 (too fast again)
lap 4: 7:48 (again?)
lap 5: 8:13 (this is almost right on)
lap 6: 8:38 (slowing down going up the hill)
lap 7: 4:15 (last bit of the race)
total time: 52:32
total distance 6.52
average pace was 8:03 (according to Virtual Partner)

I set the GhostRunner to mark each lap as 1 mile automatically in case I forgot to hit the button at the mile marker. I also set up the Virtual Partner to run at 8:10 pace for a 10K. In the future I won’t set the mileage for the Virtual Partner. Maybe time and pace (need to pick two out of pace, distance, and time). Maybe I’ll use the pace alert.

The last lap was the short because the GhostRunner said I had reached the end but kept on recording until I pressed stop after the finish line (add maybe 30 seconds as I wandered in a daze momentarily).

The final times matched the race results (or very close) but the mileage is way off. I would think the Ghostrunner would mistakedly say the mileage was shorter, not longer, if trees were interfering as we snaked around through the neighborhood.

And the official results? 52:02, with an average pace of 8:23. I came in 10th out of 24 in my age division, and 115th out of 310 runners.

I was really exhasted on this run. I had that same feeling like the 5K, where I wanted to drop at any minute, especially the last two miles. Some woman was running with a stroller and passed me after mile 5. I’d like to think she just jumped in at the middle. In the last mile, if someone had pushed me, I would have fallen right there and not been able to get up.

Surprisingly, I had no complaints from the shin for the entire race. Not a peep. Today is a different story, but the race was relatively pain-free (if you don’t count the I’m-going-to-die-if-I-don’t-stop-now feeling).

There was a short turn just before the finish and there was an older guy there cheering people on. I had talked to him earlier and he siad he was 58 in 1980 when he had bypass surgery but he looked more like he was in his 70’s. He was running or walking in the 5K. Damn funny guy. He was so funny cheering on people as they rounded the turn I couldn’t help but laugh despite feeling like I wanted to die. There a photgrapher taking pictures on the turn and heard her shutter just as I was laughing. I think they must be working together.

There were alot of very fit looking people at the race and I was beginning to wonder if 1) I had picked an extremely competitive local race and 2) if I was going to be the last guy crossing the line. There were two teenage girls stretching and jogging before the race and they looked like those dreaded people that fly by you on hills (see 5K report). Well, around mile 4 I came up behind one of them and she was clearly dragging along, not doing so well. She ended up finishing about a minute behind me, but the funny thing was that she finished 2nd in her division! She was laughing about it when they posted the results and saying how glad she was that everyone else stayed home. Even so, she still ran great and she deserved the hardware*. (*hardware – cool racing term that elite runners use to describe medals or trophies won for placing in a race)

I was surpised to see a few people walking back on the course. Looked like pulled somethings. They all seemed to know alot of the runners because they were talking to them as they ran by. Gotta be tough to walk back the miles with something injured. There were cops and race officials at the curves so maybe they got a ride back.

Snacks? Dasani water, soy nuts, bananas, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I had my water and bananas but skipped the trans fat filled doughnuts. This is no time to get weak. There were drinking fountains running on one side, like little park fountains, so you could just walk up and have a drink without turning a knob. They also had a chiropracter’s office giving out free spinal checks. The excetionally fit young woman asking people if they wanted a free check, seemed to get the best response from the men ;)

My T-shirt turned out to be fluorescent green/yellow. Like a highlighter. It said it was some wicking polyester stuff but it was thick like cotton and soft, not that tough feeling like the running shirts. Maybe I should try it on a short run and see how it does.

I’m not sure how I feel about the race. I really wanted to keep on the same (graduated) pace from the 5K. Ghostrunner says I did, but the race results say otherwise. I’m thinking GhostRunner is wrong, given its past history of screwing up. Either way, its still a damn good time for me and, since its my first 10K, its an automatic PR! Onward!

3 miles today on the ‘mill.

I ran my three miles at the gym today. It looked like rain was coming and I wanted to take my son to a magic show at the library. Did I mention I have vacation this week? I do. Not just blowing off work.

My legs were a little tired, and the right shin was still sore, but no sharp pains. In fact, it didn’t really hurt much in the evening yesterday or this morning. I also did my lower body weight training, so the shin is sore now.

I was hoping to go to the runnner’s clinic to night but their trainer/ortho/running dudes are busy with the Olympic teams this week and next week. The nerve.

No beeping all last night from the GhostRunner, and I even wore it while I drove to the gym to try and put more info into the memory to make sure the problem isn’t creeping back up. All’s ok so far.

The 10K is Saturday and I’m pretty sure I’m not the least bit prepared. I feel so tired and the legs aren’t really doing stellar interms of stamina. No doubts about finishing but the time isn’t going to be as good as I did in the 5K. Oh well. Onward!

Blogger still dead?

In case anyone can reach this post, here is the problem with the blogger pages here and elsewhere. They’re working on it.

Ran 3 miles at the park. I was scheduled for 2.0 but I wanted to try out my latest fix for the GhostRunner. The techs sent me an email asking me to try resetting it (did ya try rebooting?). Basically, it wipes the memory clean and it reloads the program from scratch (off the chip?). So I did that, then recharged the batteries, then did it again.

The park run went well, although the GPS kept losing the signal. We had heavy clouds and I wonder if that was the issue. I’ve left it off all day within earshot to see if it tries turning on again. Last time it took a longer use time before the issue came up. I’m hoping that it was a software glitch and not the physical device. Although, it seems odd that a software glitch could make it turn on by itself. Who knows.

Hope everyone’s week is going well.

My Garmin Forerunner is junk.

It turns itself off and on constantly. Entirely useless now. Ofcourse, it takes a total crap on a holiday weekend so there is no way to get an RMA# from tech support to start shipping it back now. So, I have to wait until Tuesday just to have them tell me to ship it back. Great.

It looks like it would be really great to run with, and I was looking forward to using it in the race, but its junk. Thanks, Garmin, for having a pathetic quality control department.

OK, Lara, here’s the FULL history!

Lara mentioned the electronics freaking her out. Whether she is kidding or not, there is more to this…(insert lightning and spooky music).

We’ve only lived in our current house for one year. The other house was in the city. An all brick Cape Cod built in 1947. The first year we lived there, really, really wierd things happened, and most of it had to do with electrical stuff.

First, every darn light bulb in the house burned out multiple times. I bought bulbs by the case. Once I watched a brand new bulb I had just put in, burn out as soon as I turned the light on the first time. Went through two motion detecting outdoor floodlights and enventually had to leave them off because they would turn on and off every five minutes all night long no matter how I adjusted them. It was like living next to a runway. I checked all the electrical grounds in the house to see if that was the problem, but all A-OK.

Ok, so the lights suck.

Then all the smoke detectors began to fail. Battery operated. One by one they would just beep like their batteries were dead, even with brand new batteries in them. The carbon monoxide detector battery died as well. The 10 year carbon monoxide detector long life battery.

Maybe I bought cheap batteries.

I also found that voltage in the house fluctuated between 117 and 113 volts at 53 and 43 second intervals. I found this out because I had an electric aircleaner and I could hear it speeding up and slowing down all night long. I measured the voltage at the main line into the house and confirmed it, yet when the power company came to measure it (I made them come out three times, once in the pouring rain), there was never any change in voltage.

My voltmeter must be broken too.

I had electronic bathroom scales because I was losing weight and liked to graph it (its an engineer thing, leave it alone). I went through three of them because the first two stopped working. I had to replace their “lifetime batteries” too.

Cheap scales.

Then the 2 year old microwave died. And two portable CD player boomboxes, less than 1 year old, stopped playing CD’s. Lost two VCR’s, but one was 4 years old anyway. The other one was less than a year. The HP scanner almost lit on fire during a scan (big burning electrical issue).

Did I mention things began disappearing?

We lost the checkbook for 6 months and finally found it stuffed in a little crack just behind the doorframe to the bedroom closet. Our son was not old enough at the time to walk around by himself. We also lost two gift certificates to Home Depot and Old Navy that my wife had bought as Christmas gifts for some friends. Left them on the desk and they were gone. I found them almost a year later in the basement, in a closet under the stairs (that I keep closed up to keep the toddler/crawler kids out of) in a small pile on the floor with several metal spoons and forks.

I can’t count the number of times I would be woken up in the night by the sound of crashing pots and pans in the kitchen, only to go in there and find nothing wrong.

Last thing, we came home one day and I went upstairs and found the interior attic door wide open. Its a double door with latches only on the inside (house side). The exterior door was locked from the house side, but the interior door was wide open, which could only be done from inside the house. (yes, I did panic thinking someone had broken in) Nobody at home.

Didn’t have alot of luck with that house.

My smartass friend from Florida insisted it was haunted by an old couple that never got to retire to Florida like everyone else and they were mad about having to spend all eternity haunting a house in a miserably cold climate like Michigan. He said if I could transfer them down there, he would be happy to allow them to haunt his pool. When he came up to visit for a diving trip, I bought him a Ouija board keychain and told him I put the ghosts in the little drawer that held the pointer.

He took it back down to Florida and I think it was almost 6 months before I had to replace another light bulb.

Wierd.

We have a picture of my son sleeping on the sofa and somehow the camera messed up (no surprises there) and made this big bright streak above him. I told my wife that it was our ghost and I put it in a picture frame.

And now you know…the rest of the story.

Disclaimer:
This story is purely for entertainment purposes and in no way implies or infers that my previous house was inhabited by any persons, beings, or entities other than myself and my immediate family. Any and all claims by money grubbing lawyers to try and sue me for selling a house that presents the appearance of containing supernatural entities is null, void, and totally preposterous and they all can go take a flying leap off the nearest pier because there ain’t no such thing as real ghosts no matter what you saw on HBO.