Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap

I haven't been keeping this blog for that long (at least not this year), so I don't really have a very good record of what was going on, but here is a brief summary of my running year:
  • Total Miles - 615 (this includes bicycling and some eliptical workouts)
  • Running Miles - 492 (not bad since I didn't really start running again until May) 
  • Total Races - 2 (a pathetically small number.  One 5K, and on 10-miler.  I'm hoping this year to do more like 7-10 races of varying lengths)
I didn't really start running again until May, when I started back up by pushing my two kids in a Chariot Running Stroller just to give my wife a break (she's a stay-at-home mom, which is probably the hardest job in the world with an energetic 2 year old toddler and a one year baby).

Last Long Run Before Disney!

I just got back from my last long run before the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, an 8.5 mile long run (1:18:49, 9:13/mile). 

I only have one short cross-training workout on Monday, one short speed intervals workout (6x400m intervals) on Tuesday, and a short 3 mile easy run on Thursday, and then it's off to my favorite place.... OR-LAN-DOOoooooooohhhhh (that's a "Book of Mormon" reference, son)

In *Exactly* One Week...


I will be lining up at the start line under the shadow of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT (well, not under the "shadow," since the sun won't be up... plus the start line isn't exactly under Spaceship Earth... but whatevs) getting ready to run the Walt Disney World Half!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Motivation is Lacking

With the Disney Half Marathon race just over a week away, I'm having a lot of trouble focusing.  This could be a problem since I still have four more work days before the trip.

2012 Running Goals


I saw Katy's 2011 Goals recap, and I decided it would be a good idea to write a list of goals for myself for 2012.  These will generally all be running related, but there may be a few life goals thrown in as well.  So here it is, the OFFICIAL Running Daddy Goals for 2012:

1. Run a sub-two hour Half Marathon - If all goes well, I should be able to get this goal out of the way on Jan. 7 at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon.  If not at Disney, I'm also running the Lincoln (NE) Half Marathon in May, and I damn well better be able to hit this goal by May.

2. Run a Full Marathon - I will have to get a little better at organizing my life and getting my non-running and non-kids related tasks done just to fit in the longer training runs, but I hope to run the Twin Cities Marathon in October.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Becoming a Barefoot Ambassador

Al Bundy was sooo ahead of his time
The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy has a post about what an answer should be when someone asks you about minimalist running.  If I can summarize, his main point is to follow the Wheaton's Law... if someone asks you about your shoes say "I like them," and leave it at that.  If they push further, or ask specific questions, feel free to fill them in, but otherwise just let it drop.

I suppose I understand his point, but it is difficult to do when you're doing something that the "established" running-shoe wearer sees as odd (like when you're wearing Five Fingers or huaraches).  I haven't had too many people ask about my shoes (although I do get a few stares at the gym), but when I do it's always either a comment (a) of complete shock, or (b) of thinly veiled derision.  But, I suppose if the person making the comment is a total dick, I can just refer him to MGBG and then be happily on my way running faster than they are.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Camera or No for Disney Half Marathon?

As I sort of alluded to in my last post, I'm in the middle of an intense personal debate about whether or not to carry a camera when I run the Disney Half Marathon next Saturday. I don't want to get any pictures with any of the characters, but I have heard that it is kind of fun to chronicle a race by taking pictures now and then (e.g., of the start, the mile markers, anything else you see that is cool or inspiring). I've also read a few blogs that took pictures during the race at one of the last couple Disney Half Marathons or Full Marathon (like here, here, here (at the Disney "Wine & Dine" Half), here, here, and here), and some of the pictures or videos are really cool.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Disney Half Marathon Packing List

The upcoming Walt Disney World Half Marathon will be the first time that I have ever traveled to an event, so I've started to think about what I need to pack to make sure I'm well supplied. Here is what I'm planning on packing:

Footwear
  • Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs) KSOs - these are the shoes I plan on racing in.
  • Iniji toe socks - I've been getting wicked blisters recently when I run in the VFFs (which I never really got before), so I'm going to need my toe socks
  • VivoBarefoot Evos - back up shoes in case it is rainy or (God forbid) snowy/icy. The VFFs don't have the best traction in wet or icy conditions, but my Evos are surprisingly solid even in snow and ice.
  • SmartWool Socks - if I'm wearing the Evos, it's probably somewhat cold... then I need my wool socks.

Monday, December 26, 2011

T-minus 11 days, 18 hours, and (approximately) 10 minutes

The 2012 Walt Disney World Half Marathon starts in less than 12 days! I'm getting excited. My training has been going well, and all that is left is one last track interval workout, one last tempo run (only 3 miles), and one last short(ish) long run (only 8 miles). I am fully in taper mode, and am super excited to get this race done. So excited that I have been regularly watching a few videos on YouTube to get me psyched up. For my fellow Disney racers, here are a couple of the best:





So excited.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My (Mostly) Running Wish List

Christmas is around the corner (and Hanukkah and Kwanza and Festivus), so I thought I'd start thinking about the running gear that I really want (and that I will hopefully procure this year). If any of you, my dozens and dozens (I wish) of loyal readers want to buy me any of these... feel free. And if any of the companies that make these fine products would like to give me one of them in exchange for reviewing and talking your product up, I am perfectly willing to accept your products.

Here we go!

Shoes
I don't really need any new shoes, but if I did, I'd get the following:
Trail Glove by MerrellOr Sonic Glove by Merrell
As I will (hopefully) be expanding on over the next few months, I have switch from wearing "tradtional" running shows to "minimalist" shoes (also referred to as the oxymoronical "barefoot shoes"). Last year, Merrell came out with a very popular line of minimalist trail shoes. I don't really do any trail running right now, but I would like to try it. I have also heard that trail shoes are a good shoe to use during the winter to provide increased traction in snow and on ice. Being that I live in Minnesota, I kind of need that.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Christmas Carols are REALLY Saying

Christmas carols have been on my mind recently, and I recently discovered a cache of handwritten explanations, by the songwriters or performers. of the "true" meaning of many of our favorite Christmas carols.

1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - a letter from a terrified little boy asking Santa to enslave his abusive, alcoholic Uncle Rudy and force him to pull Santa's sleigh.

2.
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt's attempt to admit to the world that she has a fetish for chubby, old men.

3. The Christmas Song ("Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire")
- Seriously, Nat "King" Cole? You wrote a song about cooking nuts?

4. White Christmas - Bing Crosby's love letter to the KKK.

5. Baby, It's Cold Outside
- Dean Martin wanted to write a song about his favorite passtime... pressuring girls into drinking heavily during snow storms so that he can date rape them (OK, this one wasn't a very big stretch).

6. Carol of the Bells - the amazement of a bunch of Mormon boys at the sound of some freaking bells. You Latter-Days really need to let your kids get out more.

7. Silent Night - from Mary's diary written shortly after the birth of the Savior, when he just WOULDN'T STOP CRYING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. (Incidentally, this is also the first recorded usage of "Sweet Jesus, SHUT THE FUCK UP!")

8. Blue Christmas - Elvis was complaining to Priscilla about her failure to put out, and the response that would be experienced "south of the border." Or, he was high and hoping to see some Smurfs.

OK, that's enough stupid humor, blasphemy and offending other peoples' religion for right now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Good Form: Does It Matter?

(Image from Barefoot Running University)

Jason over at Barefoot Running University has a short post on bad running form (aka "heal striking") vs. good running form (mid-foot or forefoot striking). It has some excellent points about the stupidity of heal striking and the advantages of proper form. It's a bit simplistic, but still an excellent read.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2012 Race Schedule

It's December, and that means it's time to start thinking about what races I might want to run next year. Ray over at DCRainmaker has two great posts (here and here) on a more scientific approach to selecting races (he does triatholons, so his are focused on insane races like Ironmans and such), but for me, I just picked races that either seemed fun, fit into my schedule well, or are related to a cause that I believe in.

So far, on my calendar, I have the following races in mind (some being definite, and others being tentative). I have indicated any race that I am already signed up for.

January

Walt Disney World Half Marathon (January 7) (Registered)

My second half marathon, and I am gunning for a PR. My main goal is to break the two-hour barrier, with a secondary/dream goal of 1:57. I'm running this race with a couple friends, and we're all traveling down to Florida together for the race and a vacation together.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Review: Run Less, Run Faster

Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss

The Run Less, Run Faster concept burst onto the running scene (well, "burst" might be a bit of an overstatement, but whaevs) through an article in Runner's World describing Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss's FIRST (Furman (University) Institute of Running and Science Technology... acronyms are fun!) training program, which promised to improve your race times dramatically with only 3 days of running per week. The Run Faster book expanded on the article, and argued that you could get faster with a smaller time commitment. I have been using this program as I train for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon this January, and as I'll explain below, the authors are half right: you certain can (and will) get faster following this program, but there really isn't less of a time commitment to do it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh yeah... when I donate blood, my red blood cells go with it

I donated blood last Thursday. Sunday was my first run since donating (I was supposed to run Saturday morning, but my daughter had other plans and decided that my presence was necessary every 15-20 minutes all Friday night long), and SURPRISE, I wasn't able to perform as well after giving way at least 10% of my oxygen carrying red blood cells.

Filed under: *Derp*

Friday, December 2, 2011

Blisters *ouch* suck

I have yet another reason to hate treadmills. For me, they cause extra blisters. Let me explain:

As I mentioned in my "I'm Back" post, I've been running in Vibram Five Fingers KSOs for about a year and a half now, and usually I run in them without socks. Since I slowly built up my distance in the socks, my feet developed some lovely calluses in the areas where I would have gotten blisters.

However, once it started to get cold enough outside here in Minnesota, I started wearing socks (specifically Iniji toe socks). Well, apparently it takes less than a month of running in socks for calluses (or at least my calluses) to weaken enough that a measly little 5 mile run gives me blisters right on the balls of my feet. They generally go away by my next run, but I still have to hobble around for a couple days with painful feet.

In short... DAMN YOU TREADMILL!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"You're Crazy"

I had a 14-mile training run last Saturday, and since it was Thanksgiving weekend, I had to do my run in the foreign lands of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My wife and I were visiting her family down in Iowa, so I had to pack up a separate bag full of running stuff (various outfits so that I could dress for whatever the weather might be).

Because my wife wanted to help cook the Thanksgiving dinner (which we were having at 1 pm on Saturday), that meant I had to be finished with my run fairly early in the day so that I could watch my two lovely children (my 3 year old son and my 18 month old daughter) while she helped with the food. That meant that I had to be up at about 6:30 so that I could finish my run (which I knew would take at least 2 hours and 15 minutes) and be back in time to help out.

I can't even count how many times some member of my wife's family said "You're crazy! You got up at 6:30 to run for 2 hours!" (Her grandmother was the biggest offender, who mentioned it at least a half dozen times).

I guess this is just what we runners go through.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My First Dreadmill Run of the Season

Thanks to the snow over the weekend, I had to suffer through a workout on the treadmill this morning rather than my normal Tuesday track workout. I guess it went better than I could have hoped, and it IS much easier to keep an even pace on the dreadmill. And honestly, I can't really complain since I live in Minnesota and it is November 22... last year my first treadmill workout would have had to have been in early October.

Most of the running paths should have melted off by Thursday, so my Thursday Tempo Run should be able to be outside (unless it is too icy), and Saturday's long run will be down in Iowa, where it won't be snowy (possibly rainey *blech* but no snow)

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Back!!!

So I disappeared from this blog for a couple years (and from running for a little while too). But, I want to get back into this.

Here's a quick summary of what I've been up to:
1) I finally got hired on full time at the job I was working at (nice after being laid off during the attorney purge of 2009).
2) I ran the 2009 Monster Dash Half Marathon (2:06:12... not too bad for a first time)
3) I then stopped running (at all) for about 4-5 months (oops)
4) I ran off and on (mostly off) for about a year
5) My wife and I had our second child (a daughter, who is now one and a half and loves chasing after her three-year-old brother)
6) I finally started running again semi-regularly last fall (2010).
7) I transitioned from "normal" cushioned running shoes to minimalist running shoes, and have been running in my Vibram Five Fingers ever since (I hope to write a little more about these later on)
8) I changed jobs to a new patent law firm in Minneapolis (maybe more on that later).
10) I signed up for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in January 2012, which I will be running with some friends.

I hope to post 2 or 3 times per week. I'm going to quit posting every single workout (which I now realize was a stupid idea), but I may still post a brief weekly summary of my training. My focus will be just on what I'm thinking about running related (plus some random stuff thrown in too). I'll let the blog take shape from there.