Monthly Archives: August 2015

Run Blog – Marathon – Ultra Marathon – Running


August has been a very busy month that saw me get a little bit behind my blogging, but not my running. At the end of the month I get to celebrate some little victories and a Personal Best.

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After an up and down first few months of 2015, August saw my #running get back into high gear. It has been seven months since my last 200 mile month, but I’m back on the wagon. I finished the month with 210 miles. Still a little behind the monthly pace to reach 2015 miles for 2015 but I feel like I’m back on track.

On top of running over 200 miles, I also finished the month with no new injury issues. After some achilles tendonitis and vertigo that is a victory for 2015. The best news within the miles is that I crossed over the 200 barrier with no concerns.

I have never been a good streak runner and most months I log a little over 20 running days per month, but August of 2015 saw me run 27 out of 31 days. For some who run multiple days, weeks and months on end 27 days is not much, but for me it was worth writing about.

In August I also had my second running feature published in the July/August issue of Marathon & Beyond.

And on top of all that I had some awesome running time with my wife (Michele) joining me on her bike just a few short (five) months after she had partial knee replacement surgery.

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Running may not solve all the world’s problems….but it made for a GREAT August.

 

 


Running – Recovery – Refuel – Post-Run – Training – Marathon


Running is what “runners” do, but to truly be successful, to get the most out of your body performance wise and to run injury free for the long haul…you have to do more.

What you do immediately after the run is maybe more important than any other post run recovery effort. An article at Runner Worlds online may have said it best: As distance runners, we live in a constant cycle of destruction and adaptation. In turns, we push our bodies to the edge of their ability and then wait patiently for them to heal into a slightly stronger, faster state of homeostasis.” To get our bodies to that better state they must recover after we have pushed them to the limits.

Your Recovery Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

This blog post would be too long if I tried to address all aspects of recovery. For this post I’m going to focus on what you can do immediately following your run for hydration and a recovery snack. Proper recovery needs to start as soon after your run as possible, and needs to supply your body with what it needs to begin the healing process.

The first key to the recovery effort is how soon after your run should your recovery efforts begin? I have read everything from within the first 30 minutes to two hours after a hard workout is the best period to refuel your body to kick start your recovery.

Second to when is what to eat/drink. Most everything I have read on the subject highlights getting proper hydration during the run and after as still the best single thing you can do. After that replenishing carbohydrates and proteins, with most studies suggesting a 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio.

For me that means within minutes of my run I have a recovery drink and a snack. My favorite combination is Chocolate milk and a Cliffbar. Although not very scientific, it’s easy. I may like to run long distances but I’m also very lazy. If it is quick and easy I will most likely stick with it. Most name brand chocolate milks have more carbohydrates per servings then protein (24g vs. 8g) which most nutrition experts recommend for the endurance runner. The Cliffbar (chocolate chip is my favorite) again packs on more carbs vs. proteins (45g to 9g) to help refuel and repair the body. Not only does this combination hit the spot…it also tastes great. The chocolate taste is the perfect reward after a really long run. My guilty pleasure is an ice cold glass of milk and a dozen (or more) OREO cookies.

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I thought I would take this blog post one step further and ask a few of my Twitter followers how they recover after their runs.

Steve S, @britishbulldog  “my favorite recovery snack” is the peanut butter banana crunch flatbread from Tropical Smoothie. It contains a whopping 776 calories – 85 grams of carbs, 23 grams of protein and 39 grams of fat – but really hits the spot and keeps you full for hours.” Steve’s guilty pleasure after a long run is an ice cold IPA to quench the thirst and provide some empty carbs. “Not really a recommended recovery drink, but it sure does taste good!” says Steve.

Bruce Van H, @brucevh  “ I used to use and loved chocolate carnation instant breakfast powder in 1% milk. Now I mix a protein powder and a heaping tablespoon of raw chocolate powder (Herhey’s cocoa) with 16 ounces of 1% milk. I drink this 10-15 min of finishing my long runs. Bruce confined that after long runs, “gummie bears” may just be his go to refuel food.

lovegummie

Amanda B, @runtothefinish  “You can never go wrong with a green smoothie packed with Vega Sport protein – ½ orange, spinach, kale, carrots, cucumber! No digestion needed for muscle repair.” A Vegan Cake…with tons of icing hit the spot for Amanda when a run is really tough.

Melinda H, @melindahoward4  “I love a ton of chocolate milk, okay maybe not 2000 pounds worth but normally a 12 oz serving after a long run.”

Jenna, @littlegreenrs  Jenna confessed, “Hey, I’m old school chocolate milk or an ice cold beer all the way.”

As you can see post run recovery starts off a number of different ways. Do you prefer a bagel with peanut butter, a baked potato with cheese or pancakes with yogurt. The important thing to remember is recovery starts just as soon as the run is over.

What is your favorite recovery drink/snack?


Running Is Easy – Marathon – Shoes – Pacing – Distance – Blisters – and Socks


Running does not require that we assemble a team of players, you do not need any special equipment, there’s no ball to chase around, no base lines to run and no special arena. Running is simply, you and the open road, trail, grassy field or sandy beach.

Jurek-3(Scott said it best)

As with anything in life, there’s always something we wish we knew more about before we had to learn the hard way. After 15 years and nearing 16,000 miles here is my list of Running Things I wish I would have known about:

  1. Pace and Distance Are Related – When I first started running,  way back in 1987, I had no idea about how training and racing where related. The only training I did was to simply go out and run. With each run I would try to run a little further then the previous time until eventually reaching an average of six miles per outing. Then I heard about an upcoming race, the “We Love Erie Days 10k.” I thought for sure I could run this “race.” Having no idea what to do on race morning, I lined up behind the tape and once the gun went off, I RACED my first 10k. If you have ever gone out to fast you know in about 2 miles I was beat, sucking wind, in trouble and suffering badly. Here…I learned about pacing and distance racing.

erie

  1. Socks Rule The (Long Distance) Running World - I had ran four marathons and thousands of training miles and NEVER suffered with a single blister. Hard to believe but true I had not had  a single one. Then I ran a 24 hour race where I completed 52.5 miles in 17+ hours. I thought I had sand in my shoes, I thought my feet where just sore, but once pulling off my socks…I found I had one MONSTER blister on the ball of each foot. After years of suffering through blistering if I ran over 50 miles…I finally learned, athletic socks are not the same as running socks.

the beast(The Blister we named the BEAST)

  1. Good Shoes Are Good Shoes – I learned this lesson early on. Getting back into running in 2000, I had purchased a good pair of “nice looking” running shoes more for looks than function. The only drawback was that after the first mile or so of any run, my feet would go to sleep. I dealt with this for a few months figuring shoes were shoes…if they fit they must work. Finally after a trip to a “real” running store where they properly fit me with shoes that matched my stride, gait and foot type….I learned my feet did not have to fall asleep while I ran.
  1. Other Runners Are Very Helpful – At first running seamed competitive, I wanted to beat everyone in that first race. I learned the hard lesson that I was not the swiftest a foot. For years after that I ran alone, I trained alone and raced alone. I may not have been trying to beat anyone in the races I entered but I also kept to myself. Then during that first 24 hour race, I realized I had a lot to learn about long distance running. I also learned that I could not teach myself those lessons. In the middle of a race I had no idea how to run…I learned that the running community was filled with people wanting to share and wanting to help you reach your goals. I also learned that I wanted to help other people run, race and enjoy our sport for whatever it had to offer them.

200thmilerun(Friends helped me reach my first 200 mile month)

  1. The Race Does Not Always Go To The Fastest – Although not trying to win every race, realizing I’m not the fastest, it does still bug me a little to get passed during the race. What I’ve learned during 80+ races is that it is easy to go out and lead the race, advance your position or pass a rival early. The real test of your training is can you hold that position for the long haul. I’ve seen many a rabbit come back to the field…I learned in long distance racing the tortoise does win out over the hare.

Running, along with being a great way to reconnect with yourself, and the world we live in, is in my opinion one of the best forms of exercise. For a simple physical activity there are still lessons we can learn every time we lace up our shoes.

What running lessons have you learned? Please post a comment and share…


Selecting A Race – Marathon – Ultra Marathon – Running A 5K – 10K or Half Marathon


How I Choose A Race.

First off I’ll say in addressing how I go about choosing a race, I’m writing about how I choose a race that is not an “A-Race.” I define an “A-Race” as a race I target for the expressed purpose of setting a new distance Personal Record (PR), time PR, a destination race or a bucket list race. I’ll focus on the five things I look for when selecting a “fill in the training calendar race.”

My list of five things is not rank ordered in any priority system, depending on my current situation in regards to: money, travel plans and family time each of the five items might be weighted differently from time to time.

  1. DISTANCE – When filling out my race calendar, the distance to a proposed race does come into consideration. I’m not against driving two to three hours for a select race and have been known to drive three hours to a 50 mile race (Moonlight Boogie) just to turn around and drive home after running the event. If friends are involved distance does not matter. Normally I try to select races that are no further than an hour away from home.finish
  2. LOCATION – As compared to distance I look for races in unique locations, on a boardwalk, in the mountains or through an historic district. Not saying I won’t run the cookie cutter inner city road races but I’m drawn more to the unique settings.IMG_20140308_171233_760
  3. BLING – Yes I’m a sucker for the shiny stuff, lack of bling won’t keep me away but I often do focus on the medals or awards if I’m undecided between two races. A unique one of kind finisher item is a plus for me…one of my favorite awards was a simple rock from the MEDOC Meltdown 50k.medocroack
  4. COURSE – Much like the location, I find myself drawn more to unique race courses…. Races that are run over the hill, dales and routes passing through covered bridges gets my vote and race entry fees.knapp_luther_mill
  5. THEME – If your not gunning for a PR races with a theme are much more fun. Even if you choose to not dress up, running the Wicked 10k surrounded by ghosts, goblins and the longest touchdown run ever as well as the Peach Tree Road Race  raced on the 4th of July is so much fun with a themed race to set the stage.wicked10kstart

There are many things to consider when selecting a race. The cost of racing is not getting any cheaper so if you’re going to lay your hard earned money on the line as you do your training you may as well select a race that gives you that little something extra.

What do you look for when selecting a race?


Why People Don’t Run – Marathon – Running – Fitness


Why people don’t run.

NIK_T_405312_BLK_3(Does it?)

I’ve been pounding the pavement and trails for the better part of the last 15 years. In my daily conversations, running comes up in some form or fashion about 75% of the time. In those conversations, about 60% of the people relate to me how much they enjoy running. The other 40% tend to focus on why they people don’t run. Here are the most common reasons I’ve heard why people don’t run.

  1. My knees hurt when I run.
  1. I don’t have the time.
  1. I find it boring.
  1. I just can’t run.
  1. I would not know how to start.

I have no scientific data to prove my personal opinions on running vs. other forms of exercise. I can only share with you my feelings, my results and my opinion which has been formed over the last 20 years trying to fight back father time. Running works. It’s by far the fastest form of exercise to make the biggest impact on your fitness. Running is fun, it’s relatively cheap and you do not need special equipment or training.

61524-1737-016f(My running venue is ever changing)

  1. I have seen no real data that points to the conclusion that running damages your knees. Now I’ll say for some people because of DNA this may be true. But for the vast majority running should not be painful. Some keys to remember when you do start running: Start slow, listen to your body, rest when you need to and avoid big jumps in mileage and time.
  1. It is a very busy world we live in, but when it comes to your health you have to make time to be fit. Trust me if you come up ill, you’ll have no choice, the illness will demand and control your time. 30 minutes a day will do wonders for your physical health, your mental health and your outlook on life in general. In my experience running has made the biggest impact on my fitness and weight control for the amount of time I have available.
  1. Find a running venue that interests you. If you find the treadmill boring hit the streets. If the streets bog down your senses tackle some trails. Can’t dig the dirt, run on the beach. And if the surf, sand and ocean breeze can’t capture your wonder run up a mountain. Running is one of the only forms of exercise that you can take with you no matter where you go or what venue you enjoy.
  1. We were born to run. Only over time have we substituted other forms of transportation for what comes natural. It might take a few outings to get back your natural rhythm. We all can run, just don’t fight it, find your stride and run.

    Jogging(Gait analysis)

  2. Start by visiting a good running specialty store, get fitted with a good pair of running shoes matched to your foot, stride and gait. Then google “couch to 5k training plans” review the training plan, make any adjustments to fit your fitness level, available time and go for your first run.

finish(At The finish of my 1st 100 mile run)

Don’t fall victim to all the fears, and excuses. If you want to get fit, get out and run today.


Rum Smooth – Pearl Izumi – N1 – Running Shoe – Marathon


In NASCAR and Indy Car racing the connection of the car to the track makes or breaks the drivers day.

In running, that connection is much more personal.

And I’m in love.

DSC_7333(Opening miles on the Boogie 50 Moonlight Miler)

My LOVE is the Pearl Izumi Trail N1:

pearlizumishoes5(N1 E:Motion Trail Shoes)

From their web site: The purist’s dream shoe, the Project E:Motion Trail N1 is built to deliver the ultimate smooth flowing responsive ride. The glove-like fit coupled with the E:Motion midsole deliver a light and smooth experience. The Trail N1 offers great trail feel and traction with enough protection and cushioning for bombing descents over technical terrain.

I could give you all the specs on the shoe or some Al Bundy inspired professional shoe salesmen pitch, but bottom line is that I’m a runner, I run trails and these shoes make my runs more enjoyable, smooth and they connect my foot to the trails. I feel faster, lighter and more in touch with the terrain I’m running over.

pearlizumishoes2( Fresh off the trails)

When my training plan calls for a run on the trails, my N1 are my first choice. #traillove while I #runsmooth.

pearlizumishoes4(Carly says don’t touch my daddys N1s)

Carly likes them too…

You can check out the N1s and all of the Pearl Izumi shoes here.
You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.