Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fun Runs!

Yes, I know I haven't updated much here, but!, in the past week, I've pulled off two relatively short but totally awesome nonetheless runs.

One was Wednesday during the crazy-ass snowstorm that hit Denver (yes, during the snowstorm) and the second was, oh, just about 30 minutes ago.

I'll blog more tomorrow (with pictures!) with the tale of both runs.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Eat sugar, but not too much (if you must at all)!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A book for you all to read

I just finished reading Born to Run, a book by Christopher McDougall. It basically describes the author's journey from trying to diagnose a foot injury to finding the Tarahumara Indians that live in a remote area of Mexico. These people are the greatest runners in the world, covering long distances without pain, injury, or suffering. With the help of a strange, reclusive man named Caballo Blanco, Chris discovers what makes these people love something so simple as running, and gets caught up in the greatest race the world never saw. From the Leadville Ultramarathon to Badwater, you can discover why we as humans today dread to run, and how to recover this lost ancient art.

I know that sounded like a bad book review on Amazon, but seriously, this was an amazing book. T and I discussed it at length. Do we over-analyze running? Is this really a simple thing that we are meant to do? Are we so absorbed by the comforts of society that we have forgotten how to run?

What I took away from it, if there was only one thing to take away, is keep things simple, in any sport you do. Focus on enjoying yourself when you're out there. The second you concern yourself with making running something you HAVE to do, it no longer is enjoyable.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Catching up...

Sitting in Rapid City, I have a chance to reflect upon what has been a so-so time period of working out and where I'm at...and where I want to be.

This morning, I went for a run in Rapid City. It was 28 degrees when I started my run. Moreso, I'm fighting a cold right now. Nonetheless, I pushed myself through it and ended up doing 2.13 miles in 24:19. Not a good time, obviously, but you know what? I don't mind. Because that brings me up to my next point.

Everything I do in this next year is important. Every time I work out, every time I swim, bike, run, weightlift, play hockey, etc. I am doing something to my body. I'm changing it. Therefore, I have decided my theme for this next year will be called Breaking Down Walls. It's got numerous meanings, including what I just mentioned above. Another one is I want to push myself continuously. Every workout, I want to break down a wall. And obviously, we're both looking at doing an Olympic triathlon and a half-marathon. Yeah, breaking down those walls. :-)

Last week, I ran 5.23 miles in Wichita. It might not seem impressive, but consider this: I was fighting a cold that week (and still am), and I ran 13.02 miles that week. That is a record for me in terms of mileage in one week. I'm really happy about that. This week was a letdown due to a lot of circumstances, but honestly, I'm ok with it. Normally, I probably wouldn't be, but hey, we're breaking down walls. :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Born to Run and a New Personal Achievement

I first have to preface this post in that I shouldn't be blogging and SHOULD be working on my WCHA season previews instead ... but I wanted to post this yesterday and didn't so I need to do it today. Yes.

Anyway, after reading an excerpt in 5280 Magazine and I'm pretty sure this one in Men's Health, I decided to pick up Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.

Long story short, it was AMAZING. McDougall, a writer for the aforementioned Men's Health, wanted an answer to a simple question - "How come my foot hurts?" He'd been told that it was due to running and the high stress that it puts on one's feet. In figuring out exactly why running hurts one's feet, however, he learned about the Tarahumara, a group of running people down in Mexico. The Tarahumara are basically the world's best ultramarathoners, having come to one such race (the Leadville 100) and kicked everyone's asses. They are also kind people, have very low injury rates and are pretty much perfect (so McDougall describes them).

Anyway, the book tells of McDougall's tale of finding the Tarahumara and then learning how to run and train like them, finding out that he can run further and longer as a result with no injuries.

McDougall winds his story in along with the basic history of ultramarathon-ing as well as the history of how our foot problems (due to running) came about. Basically, as humans evolved and moved upright, we were born to run and run long distances. Barefoot. The human foot was made to run barefoot and all the correcting crap we do to our feet with our running shoes and stuff basically makes it worse. In other words, since Nike came out with the first cushioned running shoe, runners started getting injured and injured a lot.

If you like running, a good story, history and a touch of anthropology mixed all together, I highly recommend this book. I just picked it up from the library, but I'm thinking it's one I may need to buy to have for the personal library.

After finishing the book yesterday, I was motivated to go running around the park barefoot ... but knew I had to get in some miles. So, I decided to go for a long run. I tinkered with my form a little - keeping my back straight and my steps as light as I could make them ... and I did well. I tried to enjoy the run and not feel miserable and for the most part ... it worked.

I didn't have to walk until just past the 3.2 mile mark and only seriously walked when I got to this murderous hill near the end of the run (100 feet in elevation gained in under a half-mile). All in all, I did 5.12 miles in 1:00:16 ... which is the longest run I've EVER been on. EVER. It was the first time I've ever cracked the five mile mark. My quads started hurting a bit near the end as did my stupid buniony feet, but it also felt AMAZING at the same time.

So, that's where I am. Except for pretty much my total lack of bike riding lately (oops), I think I'm well on my way to early prepping my way for an Olympic distance triathlon next year and maybe even a half-marathon next December (2010, people) ...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Yay for Tim!

This is just a quick post saying CONGRATS! to our friend Tim. Tim was Brandon's roommate in college and this past summer, he was training for his first marathon. He ran the Twin Cities Marathon yesterday and completed it in 3:54:27 ... for just under a 9:00 mile. For a first marathon? Hot damn. Mine, I just want to finish. So yes, we're both simultaneously jealous AND extremely proud of him.

Congrats Tim!