Friday, October 14, 2011

Running Shoes or What?

I was looking around on the other day and clicked on the trail leading to "Mens->Running Shoes" and was surprised at the number of presumed running shoes that were shown. I mean presumed as in "they might be intended by the manufacturer or purchaser as running shoes, but as someone who does run, I don't really feel like they are in fact running shoes".

This might be a false assumption on my part, and other runners might disagree, but in any case, this could be a tough uphill battle for these manufacturers if they want to be taken seriously.

Puma: don't they mostly make like really cute slippers that look something like track shoes?

Keen: those are the shoes that go well with your yoga/casual slacks.

Ahnu: see Keen above.

Etonic: seriously, I thought they were out of business.

Fila: soccer shoes?

Garmont: ski boots?

Oboz: see Keen above.

Skechers: they're for kids and they twinkle.

K-Swiss: tennis shoes?

Harley Davidson: really? it's a Malaysian knock-off Columbia, right?

Anyway, just a few random thoughts about running or running-styled shoes. Anyone have any opinions to add or need to set me straight?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Post-Marathon - Aspen Backcountry Aug 27, 2011

Ran the Breck Independence Day 10k in 1:11 - not too bad really, considering how little time I spent on the trails prior to that, especially hills. I managed to injure the insertion of the left Iliotibial Band. Went to the chiropractor Angie has been using, got some E-Stim (Nigel it, please) and acupuncture. I bent the needles going in - made him laugh.

Had some more acupuncture and did some rolling, stretching and massage, and took two weeks off running completely. Figured that would pretty much undo my marathon attempt. Oh, well....

When I got back to running, with some input from my support people, I made a few little changes, and after a couple weeks did some trail intervals at Keystone Resort. Pretty decent, and no pain, so I figured maybe I could do the marathon after all.

Just then I got a last-minute "no one has signed up, please, please, please..." notice from Breck Rec for a trail half marathon. What the heck. I ran the Hunky Dory Half Marathon. Nearly 1500' of gain and loss. Really hurt a lot and beat me up bad. Made me rethink my goals for a bit. Maybe quit running and stick to just light duty treadmill work? (picture below is finish at Hunky Dory)

But what the heck again, 3 weeks later I decided to go ahead and give it a shot, though I'd been running only 15-20 mile weeks prior to that, and had never run more than 13.1 at any time in my life. I got to Aspen two nights before, and spent the day before walking the streets of Aspen killing time, acclimatizing, and just flushing blood through my legs. Angie flew in that night, and in the morning assisted me in preparing and getting to the start. (pic below is me in starting area, 5:45 AM in the dark)

I took off fairly slow and cruised to the top of the first large climb, but on the way down I felt really bad and hurt a lot. Like a lot. I managed to fall and hit my face, elbows, and knees in the dirt, but kept on going. The downhill starting beating me up really bad. I almost had to crawl down the area called Sunnyside - a red sand/dirt slippery trail with lots of rocks poking out. My Bondi's had almost no traction at all there.

The last big hill really sucked, but I made it. 7:30:04 - not great, but I did manage to finish the Aspen Backcountry Marathon. 5300' of gain and loss. My shoes were full of dirt, but I got no blisters or black toenails, so I'll post some shoe/sock/foot advice later. (pic above is the finish line at Aspen)

I've been running fairly slow this past week to recover. Did a modified hill interval session at Suncrest yesterday. Hurt my knees a lot on the downhill, so I cut it short by one set. But I am recovering, and did a lot of recovery work prior to bed last night and feel pretty good today. Active rest day fwiw.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Running Update Summer 2011

On June 11 I did the 35th Anniversary Salomon Run the Rockies from Copper Mountain to Frisco. I managed to do it in 1:04:08, not bad for my first 10k ever.

Frisco 10k Garmin File

On June 25 I did the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon which passes Timpanogos Cave National Monument in American Fork Canyon (internationally famous for rock climbing). I did that in 2:09:36, which is a faster pace than my 10k. In fact, I hit the halfway point at 1:02. Not bad for my first half marathon ever.

AFCanyon Half Garmin File

In a little over a week I'll be running a trail 10k at Breckenridge CO. I pre-ran the course based off the map on the website, which varied from the directions slightly. I spent about 15 minutes being lost, but still did reasonably well.

Pre-Run Independence Day 10k

I'm wanting to do the Aspen Backcountry Marathon in 9 weeks. I've never run that far, and if I plug myself into week 9 (today is week 9 - Half Marathon) of the Hidgen Novice Two Plan it mostly works out to run a marathon at week 18 (the correct week).

I might be doing something similar to that for the next couple of months then. Right now I need to go recover from the half I ran this morning, but I'll totally bring you up to date soon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to buy a decent treadmill in 90 days or less

You've asked me how in the world to make this all work for you. You're not lucky enough to have a Health Reimbursement Account at your place of employment. You're living from check to check. You don't know how to make it all work and it looks totally hopeless.

Here's a relatively simple answer that just about anyone who is truly motivated, and isn't just using the above as an excuse.

Get a job.

No. Wait a minute. I'm serious. Do you have 10 hours a week? Like, give up CSI for 3 months? Or maybe you're an ESPN addict. Give up Canadian Log Rolling Championships?

10 hours a week x $8.00 x 12 weeks = $1000.00

Since this will have almost no impact at all on your taxes, have them skip taking them out. You can do that with a second job. Really.

Here are a few really good treadmills for $1000 or less, with free shipping from one of my favorite places to get athletic equipment:

All three are name brand with free shipping (available as of this posting) and should have all the normal features most normal people really use, and should last a very long time. I have a Costco Treadmill with probably a thousand miles on it in the five years I've had it with no maintenance other than cleaning the belt and deck surface with one of those microfiber towels (don't do this if you're clumsy, I'm just sayin').

SO no more excuses. What's your future worth to you?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

DIY: Twin D-Handle Long Chain Workout Accessory

If you want to maximize your Range of Motion (ROM) in a pulling movement, Lat Rows or Lat Pulldowns for example, I think that nothing beats a long chain. The stuff you buy in the stores or online is usually short and the angles are locked, so it won't allow your natural body mechanics and minor irregularities of joint angles to fully express themselves during the movement. In plain English, you can hurt yourself.

First of all, I picked up the following items at Lowe's (Home Depot or whatever is fine):

1 10' 2/0 chain
3 1/4 screw links
1 7/16 snap link

At Sports Authority I got a pair of single D-Handles. All together, the total was pretty close to $30, about the price of a standard Double-D Welded Handle.

I didn't need a whole 10' of chain, but I have some other stuff I'm working on, and I had the good fortune to already have a Bolt Cutter, but you could get bulk chain and cut it at the hardware store. I counted out links and cut two 2' sections.

I put two screw links in the two D-Handles, and connected each to one end of one piece of chain.

Then connected the two pieces of chain at the other end with the snaplink. I added the last screw link in to adjust the length when I use it. Below you can see how I connected the trailing extra chain to one side with the screw link to keep it from flopping around in motion.

For my "test" I put it on my Lat Tower in my Power Rack.

I did some Low Lat Rows, showing here how the fuller range of motion really hits the Rhomboids:

For only about $30 and about 15 minutes of work, I built my own Long Chain Twin D-Handle Accessory Attachment. Well worth the effort and money and time.

Video Demonstrates Proper Use as Low Row on Lat Tower.