"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


On Saturday's long run something happened that hasn't happened in quite a while, I pulled up lame.  My ITB flared up on me in a very dramatic fashion.  It was very disappointing for two reasons, the first being that the first part of the run was great.  I mean GREAT!  I was killing it, running  smooth, and fast, everything was GREAT!  "So what is the second reason?" You ask.  I was just getting to that.  The second reason is that the Marathon is only six weeks away.  I have missed out on more of the training than I would have liked, and I feel like my goal of 3:30 is in serious jeopardy.  I am still going to try though, this race is going to be a PR or Bust.
I have been telling all my friends who ask my advice about how to treat ITBS that Foam Rollers are great.  Or so I heard because before Saturday I never had
to deal with the issue myself.  Guess what?  Foam Rollers are great...as torture devices.  Youtube is my go to resource for information about all kinds of things, so I turned to the "tube" for some advice on these things.  I watched a few videos and they all said it was going to hurt, but these were healthy people demonstrating what to do when you have a problem not people with ITB issues, so there were no grimaces, swearing or tears which left me with the impression that sure it was going to hurt but I could take it.  I ran out to my local Target and bought the Roller pictured here.  I was excited to get home so that the healing could begin.  Once home I put it on the kitchen floor and got down to start rolling.  I remembered the moves from the video, and got to work.  At the hip where I started it hurt but not too bad, I thought "this is going to be okay".  As I moved down toward my knee the pain became really intense, like the fire of a thousand suns, and I thought "holy Moses there is no way I am ever getting on this thing again, and I should call a lawyer to sue this company into the ground because this thing has got to be defective".  Well I have had some time to reconsider my position and I have used the roller quite a bit and it does get better.  I am feeling very optimistic that I will only need to take a week off, and then ease back into running with no problems.  I spoke to Matt a physical therapist at work and he said that it seems like I am doing everything that I should be doing to recover.  So after Saturday's disappointment I once again have hope that everything will fall into place.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's My Name?

Call Us By Our True Names
The last time you ordered me for dinner,
you forgot my true name.

I am not a wonton.
Call me by my true name.
I am a pig.
I was killed unhappily,
even if you eat me happily.

I am not a nugget.
Call me by my true name.
I am a chicken.
I was killed unhappily,
even if you eat me happily.

I am not a burger.
Call me by my true name.
I am a cow.
I was killed unhappily,
even if you eat me happily.

I am not a fillet.
Call me by my true name.
I am a fish.
I was killed unhappily,
even if you eat me happily.

I am not foie gras.
Call me by my true name.
I am a goose.
I was killed unhappily,
even if you eat me happily.

The next time you order me for dinner,
please call me by my true name... if you can...
which I hope you will not... anymore.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Neti Pot = Bye Bye Snot

Guess What?  I have been sick lately with a wicked sinus infection (self diagnosis), and today just like my man Popeye used to say "I had all I can stand, and I can't stand no more".  The sinus pressure and all of the snot pushed me right over the edge.  I asked Beth my loving wife to whom I am fotrunate that she loves me so much, to go to Walgreen's and buy me a Neti Pot, similar to the one on the left.
I first became aware of Neti Pots about 10 years ago when I minored in religious studies at SIUE.  One of my Professors Greg Fields wrote the book on Ayurvedic Medicine.  Seriously, check it out.  "Religious Therapeutics: Body and Health in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Tantra" maybe it is not THE book but it is a book.  Anyway he brought a Neti Pot to class one day and explained what it was for and how it was used.  He didn't actually use it though, that  might have freaked some people out.  At the time even though I had a tremendous ammount of respect for Dr. Fields, I was thinking that pouring salty water into your nose was an outright ridiculous thing to do.  It sounded more like a drunken bet than anything that would be the slightest bit beneficial.  Well that was 10 years ago and now thanks to Oprah everyone(?) knows about Neti Pots, it's the latest thing in ancient medicine.
I read the directions ,watched a couple videos on YouTube, and I was off to the bathroom.  I invited everyone to come watch, but there were no takers.  I mixed the solution for "beginners" half a salt packet with 4-6oz lukewarm water, and proceeded to rinse out my sinuses.  Now what they don't explain is that there is a bit of a learning curve involved with this sort of activity.  On the videos everyone must have been an expert because it went in one side and out the other as pretty as you please.  I was not so proficient.  My nostrils must be larger than a normal human's because on side number 1 most of it leaked out the same side, very little found it's way through.  Some even went down the back of my throat, Mmmm salty.  The other side went a little better as I figured out how to hold the Pot to keep the solution from leaking out.  When it trickled through the other side it didn't fall into the sink but instead it ran down my chin and soaked my shirt.  Stopping was not an option though, I was going to power through it.  And I did.  So there I was standing in the bathroom with my shirt soaked in salty snot water, I won't lie it was kinda gross, but hey the pressure in my sinuses was less than it was before, and I actually feel a little better.  In a while I will do it again and this time I will focus on technique.  That's all for now I have to go watch some more videos.

Friday, February 5, 2010

2009 Year End Review

So here we are the 2010 race season is fast approaching, once again I am training for the Go! St Louis Marathon.  I have a pretty ambitious time goal but I think it is achievable.  But before looking ahead to 2010 there is some unfinished business with 2009.  Rather than go into a detailed synopsis of each race I will sum up quickly with my general impression of how each race went.
Wild in the Woods This trail series is a favorite of mine I have participated three times in this series.  2008 was my fastest year by far.  I slowed down this year and I attribute it to not spending much time training on trails.  I wasn't unhappy with my performance but I knew I could have done much better.  Also because my dad was in the hospital I missed the 10 mile race at Indian Camp Creek park.  This was my first DNS ever under the circumstances I think it was acceptable.
Millstadt Biathlon I remember the hills and the rain.  The course was fast on the downhills, and I found myself wishing that the course was dry so I could really build up some speed.  One of the uphills forced me to get off my bike and push my way to the top.  What can I say I am not a strong rider, and I wasn't the only one that had to hop off.
Rt 66 10k This my must do race.  The first year of this race I decided to run it every year.  This year they held the race in October instead of June.  It was a cold morning, and I ran a good race, almost a minute faster than I ran the year before.  The Team Godzilla water stop was wild.  Because of the time of year the sun was lower in the sky when we came out of the tunnel before the water stop making it hard to see.  Team members always get "special" attention at this water stop. {side bar:  I keep using the term "water stop" but you don't stop, and it is actually more like a party than a water stop}  Now when I voluteered at the Fred Winters Memorial 10k I must have thrown 4 or 5 cup of water on Keith.  He was a good sport about it but I fully expected some form of retribution.  So there I was running out of the tunnel blinded by the sun people all around me.  I knew Keith was around somewhere, but where?  Someone ran up to me and tried to spray me with silly string but because it was so cold it didn't reall work.  So I escaped this time, I would say that I am constantly looking over my shoulder for him, but he is always in front of me.  I expect he will get me back one day probably when I least expect it.
Maryville Turkey Trot 5k  I hadn't planned on running this race but the Red 9 Runners decided to run it together, so I was in.  It was pretty good course, and I think we all had a good time.  I took 3rd in my age group, which was nice.  I don't take home hardware that often so I am always glad to get some.  Several Team Members took home awards.  The Red 9 Runners were well represented that day.
St Louis Track Club Marathon Relay This was our fastest year yet.  Team Quarter Pounders 3.0 rose to the occassion and took 3rd in the mixed open division with a time of 3:08:XX.  This year I teamed up with Megan as always and we recruited a couple of fast team mates, Kate and Matt.  Kate was great, great runner, and great team mate.  Matt had to bow out of the race because of an injured knee, so I called Jim as a last minute replacement, and he filled out the team nicely.  I think everyone ran really hard not wanting to be the slowest on the team.  In the end no one really cared who was the fastest, our time was just that "our" time.  There were several teams that I knew members of, it was really great knowing so many people to cheer for and in turn have them cheer for me.  The weather was much nicer than 2008 also.  2008 the temp was 14 degrees so we pretty much stayed in the car until it was time to change runners.  This time everyone was out on the street having a good time doing thier thing.
Great River Road 10mile Cheri talked me into running this race to support the Red 9 Runners, and I was glad that I did.  I felt great and ran a pretty decent race.  There were several members of both Team Godzilla, and Red 9.  I wore my red shirt for this one because I already met the requirements for Godzilla of the Year.  The course is pretty simple 5 miles out on the River Road, turn around and run back.  People either love this race or they hate it.  I love the river and thought it would be great to be out there running shoulder to shoulder witht the water that I can always hear calling to me.  As it turned out I was so focused on the race that I barely noticed the river at all.  I must get up to Grafton and rent some Kayaks with the family this summer.

Well that's it for 2009.  I competed in a bunch of races, met a bunch of great people, and had a great time through it all.
Here are some totals for the year in racing.
Running 151 miles
Cycling 153 miles
Swimming 450 meters
Paddling ~3 miles

2010 looks to be a pretty good year there are many exciting opportunities on the horizon.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Socks: Recovery Socks

For sometime now I have experienced a problem with tight calves. I stretch but not as often and as thoroughly as I should, which is probably a trait I share with many runners. After trying a couple of different products that sort of worked I was excited when Rock Racing got a new sponsor, Recovery Sock. Chuck informed me that they were going to send us 4 pair to try out, 2 pair of recovery socks, and 2 pair of running socks. Awesome!
I met Robin for a 2 hour trail run and she was running in her recovery socks (for her review click here). I looked in the package and my first impression was that these are some pretty cool looking socks. But this ain't no fashion show, they have to perform. Initially I was concerned about the running socks because I am very particular regarding my socks. I was relieved when I actually had hands on. Thin socks are not my cup of tea, the thickness of these running socks was comparable to my normal socks.
We had a great run and when I got home I decided that I was recovering so it was as good a time as any to try out the recovery socks. I pulled them out of the package and thought they looked to small to go on my foot. After some rolling and tugging I got them on, and found them to be snug enough for me to know they were there but I didn't feel like they were too tight. Normally after long runs my calves stay pretty tight, and my family likes to make fun of the way I walk. Wearing these socks I noticed a significant improvement. The socks aren't magic but so far they have worked pretty well. After wearing them all day long my calves definitely felt less tight.
The running socks have performed really well for me. I have had the opportunity to wear them on a few different occasions now and have found them to be very comfortable. They provide the cushion that I like without being too heavy or hot. The true test of the running socks will be this weekends back to back long runs.