Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I love running during the holidays. The streets and trails are always a little more bare. It is also nice to burn off some of the extra holiday calories. So this holiday season, re-unite with some old training buddies and log some miles.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
So for those of you who don't know, I'm currently locked in a fearsome beard growing competition with the Methodist guy who has a building right next door to my Baptist building. We are growing them in a charity based challenge and whoever raises the least amount of money will have some grievous change to their beard that has been grown (we are doing this till April 1!).
Monday, November 1, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
On Tuesday I had decided to run before work at the Germantown store. At first everything went according to plan. I ran down Germantown Parkway, into Shelby Farms and completed the Tour D' Wolf trail loop. Upon my return I encountered Eric Butze about to start his run from the Wolf River Trail head close to our store. Of course I agreed to run with him for a while. Six miles later I realized that I had completed my long run for the week. It was about 14 miles total. It was a nice run. The weather was good and Eric has one of those global positioning systems so the pace is always honest.
Thursday I was a little sore from my previous runs this week and wasn't feeling too good. I decided in the morning to take it easy at Breakaway's midtown group run that night. Once again Butze would change my plans. As the time approached for the group to begin, none of the usual horses showed up to pace Eric on his tempo run and was looking quite sullen. In the end I committed to running with Butze again as long as we started off easy. We ended up negative splitting the loop with our first hard mile at 6: 15 and our last around 5:40. All in all a pretty good effort.
I would say that my next run will definitely be easy, but who knows these days. Fit Happens!
Monday, October 11, 2010
What a night - who could have expected that we would have so much fun with a run and a row? Sarah has picked up rowing on the rivers around the Norfolkarea and is now officially in a rowing club. She's still learning and tonight was her first time "skulling" in this particular kind of boat by herself. Intense! But "she's a natural" as Debbie, her coach in the "launch" says to me as wedrift down the river so she can coach Sarah and two other new rowers. Pretty awesome.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
As the best man in the wedding it is my responsibility to plan the festivities for this weekend. I chose that destination because several members of the wedding party ran and attended school at Samford University in Birmingham. The itinerary also includes several morning runs for those that can shrug off any lingering affects of the late nights. So the question is...who can shrug it off?
I used to have no problem hitting the town and then popping out of bed the next morning and hitting the roads. These days though it seems hit and miss. Hopefully having people to run with and our old stomping ground right outside will win the day. We'll have to let you know how it turns out and possibly post some pictures. We probably won't post pictures of any streaking that might occur though. Sorry.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
It had been a while since I ran the Tour and it was nice to visit an old friend. I didn't feel that great during the run, but I was taking it easy anyway. It really turned my day around. I am much calmer now and hopefully won't have any more tantrums (those that really know me have probably seen one.)
I included this picture from Shelby Farms if you also need a little "serenity now!"
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
And that's all I have to say...about that.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ever since I've been an adult (whatever that means) I have always been described by my friends and family as stoic. Now while some people might take offense to a label like that, I found comfort. Nothing ever really seemed to discourage me or make me feel stressed. I could handle a healthy college course load while competing for a division one running program. It was never easy, but I just did what I had to do. That applied most of all to my training. Weather, mood, sleep, nutrition or schedule never prevented me from running. Now all of a sudden any excuse is a good one.
I always tell customers in the store that the main thing I love about running is that it serves whatever purpose you want it to in your life. Some run to lose weight, others train to deal with stress and many view it as a sport and compete against themselves or the clock. I also often admit to customers that when I first started running I didn't like it. I liked being good at it, but not really the act. Then in college I really fell in love with running. After graduation I continued the runner's lifestyle and never had a problem sustaining it until recently. Certain days I'll still pop out of bed and lace up the shoes without any reservations. Mornings like today however it seems impossible for me to even imagine getting out of bed. What is this sudden disinterest with running? I think the reality is that the role of running in our lives is constantly morphing into something new and different.
Now as I can feel my season of running changing the question is what will take it's place. Will I become a weekend warrior and give up the hopes of clocking a good time? Perhaps I will benefit from the train less, run faster philosophy? I don't know the answers to these questions, but I'll find out soon enough I suppose.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
"Moisture is the essence of wetness...wetness is the essence of beauty." -- Derek Zoolander as Merman.
Obviously as runners hydration is more important to us than the average joe. Those of us that live in Memphis often take for granted the quality of the water we guzzle each day. I know that normally people get used the taste of the water where they live, but we really do have it good here.
In college I remember I hated traveling to different cities for meets and drinking their water because, to quote another runner "you never know what you're going to get." I would always have to buy gallons of bottled water and lug it around. In some cases I felt that strange water was the cause of undesirable bowel movements at undesirable times. There we go with pooh stories again. Anyway, recently I was on vacation at Amelia Island, Florida and it was much of the same. I got home and immediately went to the tap and filled up a huge glass of Memphis H2O and sucked it down. Then another. Then I took a refreshing shower in the stuff. It felt like the first real shower I had taken in a week. Brett took a trip to Pakistan many years back and told me about the extremely poor quality of water there and how most of the people live with bad indigestion their entire lives on top of other diseases they might acquire.
These are all pretty obvious observations I'm making, but I guess my point is be grateful for the lovely water we have in Shelby county. Drink as much as you want, especially in the current heat, and just be glad you didn't recently move to Norfolk, VA where the water tastes like sulfur and is known to poison new residents that haven't built up resistance to the Old Dominion's diseases. I have nothing to back that up...just trying to make Brett a little home sick.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
I found this list of helpful group etiquette techniques while looking for some local runs in a community where I'm about to go for two weeks. Helpful, fun, and definitely made by runners! Check them out. What do you think? Should we modify, change, add...? What are some that you wish were on the list that you wish some runner had known before? I wish that some of them here were known by some guys I have run with before!Group Run Etiquette
Running is normally an individual solitary activity. There are times, however, when running with others is possible and fun. For those not used to group running, here are some tips.
- If you are fast, plan to run slower, and if you are slow, plan to run faster. You can run on your own at your own pace anytime but the idea is to sacrifice something to run with the group. Plan on trying to make sure everyone is running with someone else.
- The greater good of the group should take precedence over your own individual selfish desires.
- Know the plan before the group starts: how long, how far, where. If you cut things short and/or leave early, let others know so they do not stress out wondering where you are.
- Bring a watch and know how to read it. Especially if the group drives to a site and decides that the cars drive back at a certain time, make sure you are there at that time.
- If you bring a dog, plan on driving your dog to and from the run, or make arrangements with others. Ask first to see if dogs are acceptable. Not everyone wants to sit with a smelly dog in a car.
- Keep your dogs under control at all times. It is upsetting to others to constantly have to dodge and trip over loose dogs, and to watch loose dogs chase wildlife. Bring a leash and know how to use it. Not everyone wants to go home smelling like a dog.
- If you already smell like a dog yourself, consider finding your own ride to and from the run and running behind others.
- Please apply the same rules for friends as used for dogs. Make sure they can come, make sure they are under control, and if they smell like a dog run in the back with them.
- If you are passing, do so when there is space and give others a wide berth. Please do the same if you are passing gas also.
- Don't be loud and obnoxious on a group run.
- Don't wear loud and obnoxious clothing to a group run.
- Remember that what is said on a group run, stays on that run. Oxygen debt and/or abundance makes the brain work in strange ways.
- Running with a group is a privilege, not a right.
- There is always someone faster or slower than you, but they may not have showed up on that day.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Let me say this: I know that it is stupid to try and decide if it's a good day to run while lying in bed. I know that I will feel better physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually if I go for a run. I know that my future races and runs will be immensely better if I pull myself out of bed. Every time I run the decision to do so has to be made the night before. I know all of this and more, yet when the time comes to get up the same battle ensues.
This morning I woke up and hit snooze. Snuggle the wife, snooze a little, nothing wrong with that... but then a major stroke against my chances of running came in the form of a call. One of my two running partners, who will remain nameless for now, called and said he would not be showing up for the run in exchange for more sleep. Now I was in trouble big time. After thinking it over for a moment or two I texted the other runner in our three person group - it read: "Bryan called and is sleeping in like a weakling. But that sounds good to me too. Sorry mate. I'll not miss tomorrow no matter anything." It was early so excuse the grammar.
I roused myself and went to alleviate the stress on my bladder, during which time my friend Bryce texted me back, "Leaving me to run by myself..." So now the guilt of abandoning my fellow man was hanging over me, and yet I still laid back down in bed with every intention of sleeping more. I figured I owed him some inspiration that might still get him out there alone so I texted, "Test of character."
Maybe this is a good time to explain that Bryce is a lawyer, so he knows how to work my heartstrings with his well placed words. I heard the text come back and I knew I should ignore it. But I turned on my elbow and read these words, "Still time to fix yours." Transfixed I stared at my phone for about two minutes or more maybe, taking internal inventory of my reasons for staying or going. The trick had been done and my mind was now awake enough that it was able to think clearly as opposed to the muddy thoughts one has when the alarm first goes off. The lies of a sore body, extra sleep, bad weather, and any other excuses my weak flesh could come up with were no longer a match for an alert and ready mind. So I texted back that I was coming and went for my run.
Now sitting here after a morning that started right in spite of the near "sleep in," it feels great to know that the system worked. The buddy system that is! One buddy fell off the pain train and the "weight was almost more than I could bear," but the other buddy persistently refused to allow for such tomfoolery. The personal decision is there but the safety net of the buddy caught me again - thanks to all my buddies!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The KEY - we are all looking for the secret to our running successfully, the key to it all. Is it diet, sleep, training, shoes, gear, weather, certain courses, morning vs. night, lucky socks, a beard 0r mustache, not showering or showering the morning of a race, watching the right pump up movie the night before, not getting pumped up at all, music, no music, the right music - the list goes on and on and on. If you're a runner you know what I'm talking about.
And then sometimes to our ultimate surprise when all factors are against us we turn out some time or performance that should not have been - we feel better than expected and just run well. No way around it. Sometimes everything is done perfectly and we run as anything but perfect. So what is the key?
This weekend I ran a race after 2 hours of sleep, if you can call it that. My job lends itself to being crazy with high school kids every now and again, and though I tend to try to stay away from all-nighters for my own health and for the health of my marriage, you just "have to" as they say every so often.
But the 10k, which I am not in shape to run based on training or mindset, went surprisingly well. It was no PR and certainly nothing crazy, but my body should not be running 5:45 pace for 6 miles right now and be feeling easy - especially after 2 hours of sleep... or should it? Because it did!
I think those great runners out there are laughing at me. Maybe they have realized, and I've heard a lot of stories about Pre and others that would back this up, that when it comes to race time you just run. You leave the rest behind and all that matters is pushing yourself with everything you've got for the allotted distance. You run.
Maybe there is no secret. Even the secret of training hard to race hard betrays me and some other folks I have known. Maybe the elusive unicorn in the depths of the forest wants to be found and we just have to run to find it, no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in or around. I am not sure but in spite of bad diet, the worst diet, the night before and no sleep here I have a good run... Thoughts?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Our home course was everything that a cross-country runner could hope for in a race - no pavement, all winding trails outside of one or two open fields for start and finish, hardly any repetition, and small cuts as the trail winded along a river for a short while to make a more straight run... that is, if you knew them. One of my teammates had led me to believe that these little cuts were entirely fine to take, in fact, they were the home course advantage. Everyone's got them and we know and use ours. I should have known better.
It was not until our first real race with some guys where I realized that cross-country/running is not the kind of sport where people do that kind of thing - and if they do that sort of thing, that I do not want to be a part of it.
While running along the course I began taking these short little cuts, probably saving only a matter of seconds, but the guy running with me was getting annoyed. He finally said, "Hey do you mind not taking those little cuts? I don't know them." Wow!? In that one moment I realized what really mattered in running. It's not about finishing first or beating some other guy to the finish line. It's all about lining up and running the SAME course faster than the next guy. This realization helped me to see that taking short cuts, no matter how short or how long, were not for me.
I've never taken a cut in a race since then, even in moments of great temptation, because that's not who I want to be. Take it for what it is but I suppose winning a race never meant anything unless I knew I beat the guy legit on the whole course, nothing but the course, so help me God.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The few years after college I found a nice rhythm where I was still serious about my running, but there was no pressure involved. I would run an average of 10 miles a day and still have some good intensity, but I would just race whenever I felt like I was in adequate shape. I'm trying to get myself back to that state of mind. I think I'm doing better. I've even allowed myself to miss a few days without getting depressed about it.
I know I sound soft, but I've always loved running because like life, you go through different phases and your priorities shift. I'm simply at a time in my life where I don't always want my running to dictate my bed time or schedule. I mean if I'm out on the town and feel candy in my heels, I'm going dancing all night long.
I'm still having fun with my running and I think I'm getting in pretty good shape. So I guess whenever I decide to toe the line we'll see if my laid back theory hurts the times or if relaxing a little bit will be better for the results.