Monthly Archives: May 2014

Summer Running, Training, Racing and Surviving Your Workouts


What a crazy winter we had.  If I ever hear the word “Polar Vortex” again I’ll run Mr. Frosty The Snowman over with a snow-blower.

The Dawg Days of summer are right around the corner.  This is the time of the year when you have to pay attention to your body.  One of the harmful effects of the increased temperatures, direct sunshine and our demanding workouts is heat related stress.
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Heat stress is the physiological reaction that occurs when the body accumulates heat faster than it can be dissipated.
Heat Fatigue – Caused by, prolonged heat exposure for those who are unaccustomed to heat.   Symptoms,  temporary state of discomfort or mental or psychological strain.  Treatment, provide cool liquids and breaks in a cool location.
Heat Exhaustion – Caused by, loss of large amounts of body fluids by sweating, sometimes with excessive salt loss.  Symptoms, continued sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, giddiness, nausea, or headache, skin clammy and moist, complexion pale or flushed, body temperature normal or slightly elevated.  Possibly vomiting or loss of consciousness.  Treatment, Summon medical help immediately.  Move victim to a cool location, remove excess clothing , cool by fanning or by pouring ambient temperature water on the body.  Give cool drinks if conscious.
Heart Stroke – Caused by, failure of the body’s temperature control mechanism.  Symptoms, hot, usually dry red or spotted skin without sweat.  Body temperature =103F. Victim confused, delirious, convulsing, or unconscious.  Treatment, Life threatening – Summon medical help immediately.  Move victim to a cool location; remove excess clothing, cool by fanning or by pouring ambient temperature water on the body.  Treat for shock by raising feet if there are no head, neck, or back injuries.
Take care of yourself, because of the importance of personal factors in heat stress, the individual is in the best position to understand and should take responsibility for detecting his/her personal heat stress limitations.
Keep cool people.
Run on…Run Strong!

Product Review – OPEDIX Performance Products


Opedix Kinetic Health Gear is scientifically engineered apparel that prevents injury, assists rehabilitation, and greatly improves performance.

I was asked to test drive a pair of OPEDIX’s latest performance tights, the DUAL-Tec 2.0/3/4 length.

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Coming off pacing a friend through the last 50 miles of the Umstead 100, their arrival could not have been better planned. After a tough finish at Umstead my legs were shot, what should have taken 12 hours lasted long into the night nearly 16 hours to go 50 miles.  My legs were toast. To make matters worse, I did not have time for a long recovery, I needed to get back on the road again.

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Out of the box the fit and comfort of OPEDIX apparel is top notch.  They are well made, fit tight but not restrictive and instantly made my legs feel much better.

On the road the performance nature of the product was noticeable from the first step. After a long tough runs my legs are sore, and it’s tough to get back into the running motion.  I’ve notice most of the discomfort (for me) comes from the vibration of the running motion.  The Dual-Tec tights cut down on the vibration, nearly eliminating it and reducing post long run/hard race pain to near zero. Other than feeling a little flat (energy levels) my legs felt good during that recovery run just 2 days post Umstead. I look forward to many more long runs and recovery time in my OPDEIX gear.

If your looking for a product to aid in recovery, improve performance or one designed to help you over come injury, getting you back to doing things that you love, check out OPEDIX’s line of performance products.

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In 2015 I ran the Graveyard 100 – SOLO (23 hours 05 minutes and 20 seconds) in my Knee-tec 2.0 compression tights…..rock solid product.

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OPEDIX – Technology That Moves You (and keeps you moving)

Last year I had the opportunity to test wear a pair of OPEDIX compression shorts (see below) and these shorts held my weary body together. After running a spring 100k race, and my first 100 mile endurance run the compression shorts helped me run a 24 hour run just 28 days later.

When I was offered the chance to test wear some OPEDIX KNEE-Tec 2.0 Full lenght compression tights I jumped.

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From their web-site:  The KNEE-Tec™ 2.0 Full Length Tights are a new addition to our KNEE-Tec collection, incorporating updated features, fit and fabrics, based upon feedback from athletes and customers. Utilizing a lighter-weight base fabric with increased spandex content for improved versatility, stretch and compression, and 18-panel construction for optimum fit and performance the KT 2.0 is the ultimate foundation for your kinetic health.

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Gearing up for my second 100 miler, the Graveyard 100, my legs wear feeling pretty beat up. I started to get a little tender feeling on the insides of my calves. I believed a developing case of shin splits was coming on. The tights arrived in the mail the same week I had a 10 mile race on my calendar. I wore my OPEDIX tights for the first time for this race and the slight tender feeling in my shins disappeared. I ran a PB/PR for the race (by 16 minutes) and I’m not sure if was the results of the tights or what but my shins and legs feel great. 7 days later I ran 5 laps on a tough 5 mile park trail without an ounce of pain in my legs.

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Incorporating our patented torque reform technology to promote dynamic alignment-improved mobility and stability-during training, rehab and everyday pursuits, the KT 2.0 optimizes joint function allowing you to do the things you love longer, better and with less pain and fatigue.

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When to wear them:  To reduce wear and tear on your joints, increase endurance and reduce fatigue, improve performance, recovery injury, get relief from every pain, achieve long-term health benefits.

The quality and fit were top of the line.  By nature of a compression product they were a bit of a struggle to get on but once on the material provided instant compression. Adjusting them the compression bands fell perfectly around my knee and provided instant support. I have to be honest once I had them on I instantly felt “Able to leap tall buildings…..and faster just the same.”

If your looking for a performance aid of help with performance or recovery, I highly recommend OPEDIX compression gear and their KNEE-Tec 2.0

You can follow OPEDIX on Twitter
Like OPEDIX Facebook Page
And visit their Web-page

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Can a pair of shorts cure all your running ills?

That would be a dream come true.  I can only relate to my experience with this product and I love them.  The pair of OPEDIX Core-Tec shorts I recently test drove really helped me with a few lingering issues I had been having.

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From their web-site:  CORE-Tec Shorts have scientifically designed tensioning systems within a comfortable, form-fitting base layer to kinetically activate your body. Working like a muscle, the scientific design uses a combination of fabric tensions to anatomically direct the body’s inside forces and reconnect the joints to harmoniously function in a kinetic chain. Expertly crafted in the USA and fashionably designed for superior fit, this gear is a perfect execution of form and function.

I ran my first 100 miler run at Umstead the first weekend of April.  Coming off that race I had a bit of an IT band issue on my right side that was causing some outside knee pain.  Recovery and foam rolling cured some of my issues but not all of them.  20 days after Umstead I had a 24 hour run on the calendar.  Not completely healed I had considered not running the event.  I received the Core-Tec shorts the week before this event.  I read up on the science behind them and hoped that the kinetic tensioning system might help me.

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Again from the manufacture:  The scientifically designed tensioning systems built within a comfortable, form-fitting base layer to enhance the kinetic functioning of your body. Working like an external muscle, a combination of fabric tensions help direct the body’s internal forces and optimize harmonious joint function in the body’s kinetic chain.

As soon as I pulled the compression shorts on I knew they would provide some relief.  The compression bands provided tensioning along the outside of my thighs and hip area that almost immediately took some of the tenderness out of my IT band.  The wide band around the waist also provided some core support which provided stability to my legs and core that felt secure and supportive.  

The quality of this product is top notch.  Made from very comfortable materials, they fit very snugly but they did not feel bunched up or leave you with any material chafing.  Once on and properly adjusted they felt very comfortable, only way I can describe them was like a well fitted glove.  I felt very supported and able to run freely with zero restriction on my running motion.

The result, I logged 75 miles during the 24 Hour Run in 17 hours and had ZERO IT Band pain, or any negative effects from wearing the OPEDIX Core-Tec shorts.  I’m not sure if it’s related, but the next morning following the 75 mile run my thighs/legs felt great.  I felt like the run was just an ordinary long run…not a 75 mile PR for time.  I’ve since used them on runs of 12 miles and 15 miles and have had very good results.  I plan to use them on all long runs and whenever I feel my body needs the extra support to keep everything tracking correctly.

I recommend OPEDIX products, their KNEE-Tec Tights and CORE-Tec Shorts to anyone needing some support or comfort to their long runs.

You can follow OPEDIX on Twitter
Like OPEDIX Facebook Page
And visit their Web-page 


Last Week In Review: (5 – 11 May)


Last Week In Review: (5 – 11 May)

Monday: 45 minutes on the elliptical
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 7.2 miles
Thursday: 0 camping
Friday: 12.7 miles, camping
Saturday: 15.1 miles, camping
Sunday: Rest day, headed home

Total:   40 miles – YTD Total: 797.74 miles on 68 Running Days

Monday:  Coming off the Virginia 24 Hour Run For Cancer, my left foot developed some blisters on the ball of my foot and slight tenderness around the top and inside of my ankle.  To help with the recovery I shut it down for a week.  Monday I decided to hit up the elliptical and get back on the active side of life again.  I was very happy that none of the tenderness in my ankle showed up.  After a week off, I sure looked forward to getting back into my running routine.

Tuesday:  Like a little boy waiting on that toy train set to be delivered by that jolly old man from the north, I could not wait to lace up my shoes and hit the road.  I was only hoping that the tenderness in my ankle might be gone.  It did not take long, maybe within the first mile the tenderness returned.  As bleak as it may have appeared, other then some discomfort, I was able to continue on my run.  

Wednesday:  Encouraged from the night before, I planned my normal loop around our HOA.  There was some tenderness, but without throwing off my stride or leg turn over I was able to run a quick 7.2 miles.

Thursday:  Half a day at work…then off to the camp ground we went.  A spring tradition for Michele and I is to join our RV dealers customer appreciation camp out.  This weekend provided a quick escape , camping with a bunch of friends and some new landscapes to run over.

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Dodge dually, our home away from home)

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 (Our camp bear, my run gear and
Runners High Race Primer, will energize your run)

Friday/Saturday:  With a day off my legs were feeling great, and my ankle had settled down some.  Friday morning, I could not wait to get in a double digit run along the VA Beach ocean front.  Michele and I headed out around 0800, she got in a good 5 mile walk and I turned in 12.7 miles (8:48 pace). Although getting out early in the day it turned hot and humid.  With the mixture of tapering and recovery from Umstead and the 24 Hour Run, the warmer temps kind of surprised me.  Saturday morning I needed 15.1 miles to make my goal of 40 miles for the week.   Going out I decided I would take it a bit slower and enjoy the sights along the board walk, monster trucks, the ocean and all the other folks getting their walks/run on.  2hrs 26min (9:45 pace) later it felt GREAT to be back in the saddle again.

cornhole2014(After my 15 miler, Ken and I took 2nd in corn hole)

After my run Saturday morning, I teamed up with fellow camper Ken. P, taking second place at the Coastal RV Corn Hole tournament.  Trying to focus (and stand) after the morning run was a bit of a challenge, but well worth it!  We went 5 -2.  After losing our 2nd match we tore off four in a row losing to the championship team.

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The big news of the day was an opportunity to visit a local running store Running Etc. and trying on a pair of Hoka Stinsons.  Shore rep. Mark, took the time to discus the features of the Hoka line of shoes with me.  After selecting the ones we thought would be best for my needs he sized up a pair and allowed me to run in them.  I could not be happier with the shoes or the customer service.  Happy to report, they followed me home.

Sunday:  Happy Mothers Day!


Runners Interview – Ines Mayer Running Bristol 10k


Thank you for this blog interview, I’ve been following your training for the Bristol 10k (Sunday 11 May) and very impressed with you determination. I find it very inspiring on many fronts, one of those being that you have to overcome one challenge that many of us can’t really understand, a visual impairment.

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Please share with my readers your name, location.
My name is Ines Mayer, although soon Higgins, as I will be marrying my fiance in July. : -) I live in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England.

Congratulations on the wedding!

Do you care to share with a little insight into your visual challenge?
I have been blind since birth, so I never knew what it’s like to see. My optic nerve did not develop properly. This is not a condition, though, that can get worse or better with time. I can see outlines of things and people when they are about 3 to 5 metres in front of me. I can also see the outline of the path in front of me which helps with running.

Is this your first race? If not could you share with us what other races you have run and your results?
It’s my first 10 k. I have only done one race before this one, which was the Spring Shakespeare 5 k near Stratford-Upon-Avon in March. I finished it in 40 minutes and 34 seconds.

Why did you choose Bristol, is there a special meaning behind this race?
Many ladies from my run club are doing the race, they put the event on the group’s facebook page. What struck a cord with me more than the location was the date. On the 11th May last year I came out of hospital with a gastric bypass. It’s therefore quite a milestone for me.

What has been the hardest thing to over overcome during your training?
The hardest thing for me is to find either a guide for training runs, or failing that, a safe place to run by myself. As a blind person you can not just find a route on the internet and run, as there are so many hazards. Thankfully I now found a straight, long path I can run for training runs, until I find more people who are confident enough to guide me.
You’re going to be running with a guide, is this your first race together?

I assume there is a special bond between the guide and a visually impaired runner.
We have done practise runs together, but yes, it is our first race together. There doesn’t have to be a special bond between guide runner and visually impaired runner, however communication is key, especially as I’m not going to be tethered to my guide, but rather she runs alongside me as I have some residual vision.

What are your running goals, and whats next after Bristol?
I was, for a while, tempted to sign up for a half marathon. But given the fact that I still take about 75-80 minutes to complete a 10k, I might try to improve my 10k time first before taking that next step. I will not sign up to many races this summer though as I’m getting married and have quite a busy summer ahead.

Do you have a time goal for Bristol?
Obviously, since it’s my first 10 k, it will be a personal best just to finish. But it would be nice if I could finish it in under 80 minutes. That, for me, would be a bonus.

What words of advice would you offer other runners who face unique challenges outside of just getting their bodies in shape?
This is going to sound like a cliche, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. The thing is, as soon as you get out there, you will find loads of people who are willing to cheer you on, but also help with practical issues that you face. Just take the initiative, keep going and don’t give up. My motto, really, is that the only limitations we face are the ones we set ourselves, the ones in our head. Just get out there and live life to the full.

UPDATE To Post:  Ines finished her 10k in 72 minutes and 32 seconds, better then she ever imagined!  CONGRATS!

Please take the time and visit Ines’s fund raising page where she raises money for The Gloucestershire County Association for the Blind

You can follow on Twitter at @DeterminedInes

Thank you very much for taking the time and being open enough to share a look into your life and running. I can’t wait to hear about your success at Bristol.
Brian


Running and Polar Bears, Running Training and First Long Run


Throwback Thursday – 1st long Run

My running adventures officially started while I was on a one year remote tour to Thule, Air Base, Greenland while serving in the U.S. Air Force.  Thule is a very unique place, the U.S. military’s northernmost base, located on the northwest side of the island of Greenland.  Located approximately 695 miles above the Arctic Circle and 947 miles south of the North Pole.  My first impression of Thule was established the second I stepped off the aircraft.  Being a bit jet lagged I looked off to the Northern horizon and saw the ICE CAP and thought… “Oh Brian, this is going to be a long year.”  Then I remembered that Thule spent nearly six months in total darkness during the long arctic winter.  Yes a long winter indeed.

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I arrived at Thule, August 2000, and hit the gym on day one, determined to shed a few pounds.  With such a harsh environment and with being so out of shape much of my training took place indoors on a treadmill.

Over the early months I was making real progress at losing weight, gaining endurance, and falling in love with my running times.  Then the dark season and the cold winter months of the arctic winter began.  Throughout the winter and into early spring I banged out approx 600 miles on the treadmill transforming from an out of shape jogger into a “real” runner.  My runs progressed from a pedestrian two miles up to a long run exceeding 20 miles, all on the base gym’s treadmills.  During my many hours stuck inside, I dreamed about finally being able to run outside.  March gave way to April and the dark season gave way to spring and the return of the sun.

Once the sun re-appeared the temperatures rose to a balmy 40 degrees, the desire to get outside and run was overwhelming.  Once outside, I mostly stayed around the base logging runs from 5 to 10 miles zig-zagging the roadways.  Located north of main base is the remote Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) radar station which Thule supports.  It was on a beautiful Saturday morning that I decided to try out my fitness and run to the radar station and back, round trip of 20+ miles.

Early in the morning I departed my dorm room and headed out on the road leading to the BMEWS site.  It was wonderful running outside after all the hours stuck inside the gym.  The sun was bright, the air was crisp and cool and my legs were working near perfection.  All was going well. The first 10 miles leading up to my turn around location were run at a good pace and yet felt easy.  It must have been the magic of being outside.  For the majority of this run I was alone running up the road that connects the main base with the radar site.  This road is very desolate and at portions you’re isolated by miles of empty arctic landscape.  At another section you run along the outcropping of the ice cap…truly a wonderful site where nature and the world come together.  The views I had that day were truly a once in a lifetime experience.  After making the radar site I made the turn for home.  Mid way back the miles began to add up and this easy run turned into a bit of a struggle…determined but tired, I made it back to my dorm safe and sound.

The next morning I met with my boss, the base commander, and after reviewing the business of the day I was able to share with him my arctic adventure.  Energized by the run, I shared every detail, and he listened intently and questioned me how far I had gone.  “Sir, I ran up to the ice cap at the BMEWS site and turned around,” I proudly boosted.  The Col. got a concerned look, “Brian, you do know that polar bears have been spotted on base?”  “Ah no Sir, I did not know that, but I did not see any” I replied.  The Col. then replied, “I wasn’t worried about you seeing them, I am thankful they did not see you…polar bears at this time of the year, eat everything they see.”

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That was my first and last long run at Thule Air Base Greenland.  The red line on the map identifies my route of travel.  It was a great experience.


Ultra Marathon Running, Training and Racing Has Given Me


Running Has Given Me:

1.  HOPE for the future. There is always a next run, a next race, a next PR.  As long as I run the future is endless.

2.  PRIDE in myself…and in a good way.  The prides comes from within, the old me compared to the runner in me.

3.  TIME for prayer and meditation.  The world is a busy place, but on the road it’s just me and my creator.  He is always there for me.

4.  ENDURANCE.  By putting on foot in front of the other I can over come any challenge.

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photo credit: Don McCullough via photopin cc

5.  PATIENCE.  You can train hard, run fast but you just can’t rush a marathon.

6.  HAPPINESS…the feeling of meeting or exceeding your goals will always put a smile on your face.

7.  COMMUNITY.  Running is a singular sport, run within a supportive community.

8.  SUPPORT from others.  Nothing compares to meeting your goals, except helping others achieve theirs.

9  HUMILITY…there is no hiding the moment in every race where you wonder if you have enough.

10.  PROOF that we can ACCOMPLISH anything, we set our mind and heart too.

What Has Running Given you?


Runner’s High Nutrition – Ambassador Program


I’m happy to announce my association with Runner’s High Nutrition and their Racer Primer supplement.

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I added this supplement to my training routine leading up to the Virginia 24 Hour Run for Cancer.  Although at first I was not sure I was gaining any advantages, but after forgetting to take it one day, I instantly realized it was helping my energy level and mental alertness.  I have limited time to get my workouts in and I believe their Race Primer supplement is allowing me to maximize my time and efforts.

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I’m happy to represent Runner’s High products and recommend them to all of my followers, friends and fellow runners.


Knuckle Lights for Night Time Running and Walking


UPDATE: 24 Oct 2016

The  Updated Knuckle Lights are here…

Knuckle Lights are the first and only lights designed to be worn on your hands, perfectly positioned to light your path and be seen. For those who are up before the sun and still out when most are resting, there is now a product that will comfortably and powerfully light your next walk or run. No more uncomfortable headbands, flashlights or ineffective reflectors. Knuckle Lights are always ready when you are and capable of withstanding the harshest conditions. 

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These updated lights are awesome, I’ve been using them to walk our dogs, and to light my path on some early morning runs!  Smaller, more compact, rechargeable and bright!

With daylight savings right around the corner, our training time will be getting shorter with the cover of darkness getting longer and longer.

If you want a ultra convenient way to like your path get yourself a set today…Knuckle Lights Web Site

6 Sept 2014

With the long summer days, I forgot how great Knuckle Lights work.  Yesterday I had a 20 mile long run planned and with the high heat/humidity I decided to run at four in the morning.  I got all my gear ready, my Knuckle Lights and ran off into the darkness.  Within steps of turning on my lights….it all came back to me.  These things are GREAT!

Shorter days are coming….night time running is right around the corner.  Do yourself a favor and get a pair today!

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Recently I ran the Virginia 24 Hour Run for Cancer.  I’ve run this race 4 years prior and love the event.  But there’s something about this race that I just hate.  Some of the parts of the trail are very dark during the night time hours.  And when I mean dark, I’m talking D A R K…pitch black dark.  Truth be told, there have been portions of the previous races after day light hours that I’ve been just plain scared on the trail.  I mean big foot could live out there.

This year fear was not part of the 24 hour run as I was armed it Knuckle Lights.  This year the trail was no longer dark, and I never felt alone out there.  Knuckle Lights led the way.

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From their Web Site:  Knuckle Lights are worn on your hands in the perfect position to light your path and be seen on your next run or walk in the dark.  Each Knuckle Lights are 45 Lumens on high power comparable to most mid-priced headlamps, so YOU GET TWICE THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT in a comfortable easy to wear option.

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10 hours into the 24 hour run the sun went down and I slipped on my Knuckle Lights.  Compared to years past my Knuckle Light led the way and the trail did not seem so dark.  What I really liked about the lights is that since they are located on my hands it’s easy to point them in the direction I want to check out.  Since they come in pairs, you’re still able to have some light on the trail.  I follow the light well made easy to use and comfortable.

If you’re going to do any night time running, I recommend Knuckle Lights.


Running Bucket List – Ultra Marathons Running, 50 States, Grand Canyon, and A Few Select Marathons


In Life You have Got To Have Goals…If Not Your Running In Place

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My Running Bucket List:

Race in all 50 states (15 down 37 to go…)
50 Marathons (16 down 34 to go…)
50 Ultra Marathons (24 down 26 to go…)
Erie Marathon
Grandma’s Marathon
Leadville Trail 100
Bolder Boulder 10k
Deadwood Trail Marathon
Mount Washington Road Race

Bucket List Accomplished

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Run – May 2016
Peach Tree 10k – July 2015
JFK50 – Nov 2014
Air Force Marathon – Sept 2014
Niagara Falls Marathon -Oct 2013
Cleveland Marathon – May 2013

I’m not sure if your bucket list should be a list of races that once you race they are removed from your list and the list get shorter.  Or does your bucket list stay fluid and once a race is run you replace it with another.  At present I’m choosing the ladder approach.  My bucket list will be complete when they toss a bucket of dirt on the pine box that my bones rest in.

Whats on your bucket list?