Saturday Dec 15, 2007

Running BLIND...

This past Sunday (Dec. 9th) at the Dallas White Rock Marathon I had the honor of running with a couple of legends, known as Harry & Mike. Harry & Mike are 100% blind. I was one of 4 who guided them through the streets of Dallas for 13 miles (half-marathon). As of a few years ago, Harry had completed over 150 marathons. He often water skis and does motivational speaking. You can read more about Harry on this website.

A fun day was had by all. Running with Mike and Harry gave me a different perspective on the race. We take for granted what we see with our eyes. It's what they heard that amazed me. Very perceptive guys. They were both very thankful and gracious in that we took time to help guide them. I thank them for the opportunity. I look forward to many more runs.

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This pic is of Harry Cordellos (2nd from left) and 3 of the guides (Sean Dowd, Nolan Duncan and myself).

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And this pic is of Mike running with Ann Dannis.

And a big thanks to our very own Mary "Grand Mary" Kennard for the wonderful pics!

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Tuesday Sep 25, 2007

Back to running....HILLS (Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park)

I'm back to running, getting ready for the next Dallas White Rock Marathon this December.  More on that later.

But first, before I forget, I had a great hill run that I want to tell others about.

Yesterday, another sun colleague, Dave Smith, and I wanted a hill workout while traveling in the San Jose area.  Over a year ago, another Sun colleague, Derrick Harcey, had run the hills in the East Bay in Pleasanton, CA.  If you are out in the East Bay and looking for a great scenic workout, out in nature, away from the roads and traffic, you need to check out the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.

Due to the late start (6:30pm) we were only able to get a couple of miles in, but that couple of miles turned out being over a 1000 ft climb and back down.  Not the same as the hills in Dallas, maybe a 100 ft climb.

 

Monday Dec 11, 2006

Community Work and Dallas White Rock Marathon

After working on a hard project over the past 6 weeks I had a great weekend. A little community work and getting back in the saddle with more running.

Community Work

The 2 nd Sunday of every December is the Dallas White Rock Marathon (more on that later on). Since the 70's, the marathon has been lucky to invite a very special runner, Harry Cordellos. Harry is totally without site and has run over 150 marathons. However, that doesn't hold him down at all. He's an avid bowler, ping pong player, has run the Hawaiian IronMan and works with wood wooking tools.

I was lucky enough to have him visit my kids elementary school in Allen, TX. Harry visited with the students of Green Elementary for an hour and demonstrated his ability to play ping pong while also performing a few tricks. It even got some video and news on WFAA, the local news station of the marathon.

What made my weekend was being able to talk and spend time with Harry and his traveling companion Mike McAviney, who is also a blind and marathon runner. Seeing the kids of Green light up when Harry performed each trick was very special. They really did understand the message that Harry was providing, don't give up and just give it a try. My weekend on Sunday ended with some more time as I saw Harry and Mike complete yet another half marathon. My hats off to Harry and Mike.

Dallas White Rock Marathon

I feel like I'm back in the saddle. I completed another ½ marathon on my way towards the Austin Marathon in February, 18th. Not sure I'll be ready for Austin, but I was definitely ready on Sunday as I stayed at a consistent 8:30 pace. For me I was extremely happy.

I also got to witness a couple of great friends, Sean and Shana, complete their first marathon. I think I get more the stories after the race from “rookies” than I do running them myself. Their day turns from one of anxiety, to one of pain, to one of complete exhaustion, to one of complete satisfaction. Hats off to all the “rookies” from the 2006 Dallas White Rock Marathon, ½ or full.



Monday Nov 06, 2006

Back to running...

I haven't had a chance blog much at all, especially about running. Yesterday, I finihsed the The Half, a half marathon here in Dallas around White Rock Lake and surrounding neighborhoods.


If you have been out of running for awhile, get back into it. The last couple of months, I've been able to devote some of my freetime and it's allowed me to:

  • Reconnect with my running buddies

  • Outlet for a very hectic work schedule as of late

  • Get out and enjoy those cool mornings of Fall

  • Work off some of that Halloween candy I keep steeling my kids stash


My next plans are to work out a schedule to begin training for the AT&T Austin Marathon, coming up on Feb. 18 th, 2007. My only goal is to shed the lbs that I've gained since my last 3:53 marathon a few years ago.


btw, since I've found a couple of great running resources on the web:



I can't say enough about Phedippidations. It's a great motivational podcast with excellent tips and running info. Just give it a try sometime, and you'll be hooked.


Friday Aug 18, 2006

BREAKING NEWS...not really

The horrid events of 9/11 brought about many new things in the world we live in. Travelling will never be the same, occupation and conflict in the Middle East will be with us for a long time, and yes, those news (that's what they call it) tickers at the bottom of all the national news channels.

CNN BREAKING NEWS...Boulder DA: Ramsey murder suspect John Karr started working as second grade teacher in Thailand Tuesday
CNN BREAKING NEWS...Mel Gibson has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor drunken driving and received three years probation, prosecutors say

Yes, these were two emails sent within 3 hours of each yesterday.

I used to see the subject, BREAKING NEWS, pop up in my email in the months after 9/11 and dreaded to click on it and see some national or global emergency being reported. However, lately, I'm sick and tired seeing news items, like those just mentioned, cluttering the BREAKING NEWS category. Hasn't the media read the story about the "little boy who cried wolf"?

I'm hard pressed to understand why the occupation status of a murder suspect in Thailand in a murder case almost 10 years or the fact that an actor is dealing with his legal options has any relevance to a gotta have, gotta know news story.

And back to those news tickers. Not sure how important it is to me to know that it's the 183rd day of the year...and oh, out of 365 days total.

C'mon CNN!!! You've turned from being a somewhat believable news organization to a over-hyped, repeat the same story 5 times a day tabloid channel. Chalk it all up to $$ and the fact that the news media is cometing for as many eyeballs they can corral.

Monday Jan 09, 2006

Marathon and Holidays Over

It has been awhile since I last mentioned anything here on my blog. The past month has been busy, but also relaxing.

  • Finished my 4th marathon in the Dallas White Rock Marathon (4:28, hey I finished!)
  • Had a restful week of holidays with the family in So Cal
  • Watched the Longhorns beatup on the Trojans (through my Orange shades)
  • Finished a great page turner of a book, Deception Point, by Dan Brown (writer of DaVinci Code).

As far as my running, I've enjoyed a several week break eating and getting. I think my next few months will be spent working that off and running some shorter races.

I hope to get more time to share some of my work related experiences this coming year. Heck, I'm with 2-3 customers every week, so I'm sure I have something to share.

Monday Oct 17, 2005

Blood Donation and Long Runs Don't Mix

I know that I'm stating the obvious here, but maybe my experience will help some other runner take the blood center more seriously.

Last Friday afternoon I gave a pint of blood, something I try to do every 20 weeks or so. While squeezing the cush ball they give you, I realized that my 20 mile long run of the week was less than 36 hours away. The phlebotomist game my final instructions as I was about to leave:
  • 3 hours - No smoking (CHECK)
  • 12 hours - No drinking (CHECK)
  • 3 days - No strenuous activity (Uh-Oh!)
I didn't mention it to them, but I had to get my run in over the weekend. I figure, no problem, I always give blood, I'll just drink a lot of water and gatorade, and I'll be fine.

Sunday morning after an early 4:45am start, I head out with my running buddies in search of 20 miles. About 14 miles into it, I was still feeling strong, and BONK, it hit me. I couldn't get any more oxygen to my legs. They were spent. Now, this probably had something to do with too little to eat during the run, but I'd never bonked so hard before. So, next time you have a long hard run or race, don't do what I did and lose a pint of precious red blood cells, as that's the transportation to get oxygen from the air your breath to your legs.

I did do a couple of Google searches and found the following articles: According to them, it doesn't make as much a difference as I thought. Oh well, makes for a good excuse... :-)

Tuesday Sep 20, 2005

Rest...key ingredient during training

I'm no doctor, but a week ago, I starting having a lot of pain in the lower front of my left leg. I diagnosed my problem as Shin Splints. As the desciption of this problem explains, it is normally found in inexperianced runners who overtrain, or in my case I've ramped up my training way too quickly over the past month (I also am probably considered inexperianced).

So, I forced myself over this past week to take it easy. After my track workout last Tuesday, I rested until Saturday, when I ran 10 miles (although this wasn't easy when I awoke to a cool 60 while traveling to So Cal). And again didn't lace up the shoes until this morning's (Tues) track workout. All pain in my left leg is gone! This morning was a tough workout doing 7 800s in 3:44. With the 78 heat at 5:15am, it made for a hot workout and my shin splints have somewhat been replaced by a tight right calf muscle. It's always something.

In preparing for the Dallas White Rock Marathon this Dec. 11th, my buddies and I are up to doing a 16 mile run this Saturday and a 18 next Saturday. That mixed in with 3 other workouts averaging 8 miles each will start to pile up the miles to close to 40 each week.

So much for that rest.

btw, for those that are thinking about training using the Yasso method, I highly recommend it. Today, my buddy and I are starting to see the results of it. Although we are quite drained by the end, running at pace isn't as nearly as difficult as it was 4 weeks ago.

Friday Sep 09, 2005

Garmin Forerunner Review

As I've stated in previous blogs, I've been using a GPS device, Garmin Forerunner 201, during my runs to track mileage and pace. I first saw this device while running with Scott Jolly at the CEC 2004 conference near Chicago last year. Basically the device uses GPS data to track longitude/latitude/altitude throughout a run. Other features include the ability to set target times, paces, distances, track pace, calories burned and keep a running log of your running history.

As an example, I've included the data from my run this last Tuesday, Sept. 6th. The graph you see below is a graph of our pace while doing 6 Yasso 800's on the track:



I've reduced the size of the image to save on the size of the image. With this graph, you can clearly see each of the sprints as the pace dips down to a 7:30/mile pace. And then you see the rest, maybe more than I should, between each Yasso. The approx 9 min pace before/after the workout is the approx 1.25 mile run to/from the track.

So, here's my review of the Forerunner:

Positives
  • If you want a really accurate running log, this device is much easier than a paper or excell spreadsheet log.
  • Long battery life. Approx 12 hours on a single charge.
  • Good if you Geocache.
  • IMO, it's not near as expensive device as you'd think. (see links below to Amazon)
Negatives
  • Device is too big (leads to other negatives below)
  • I seem to log shorter distances than my running partner. I think this is due to the way that I hold my arm while running. If I run for a distance and don't receive a signal because it's faced towards the ground, then it recieves some signal, I believe it assumes a straight line, which as you know is the shortest distance between two points. If I was on a curved section of the route, I've now by robbed of that distance.
  • Seems to take two long to turn on and recieve a good signal. Especially if I'm not totally still or in a new city.

If there are any others out there with opinions, your comments are most welcome. Also, there is now a Garmin Forerunner 301, which includes heart rate monitor. I'll leave it up to running partner, Derrick, to blog on that device when he gets his.



OK, I know that you can get by just fine with that $19.95 Timex, however this is perfect for that gadget person runner.

Tuesday Sep 06, 2005

Lance for an 8th?

Interesting article in today's Austin Statesman on Armstrong contemplating a comeback. Not sure how real this is, however Armstrong is quoted in the article as saying:

    "I'm thinking about it, I'm thinking it's the best way to piss (the French) off."

This whole French tabloid paper reminds me of a cycling jersey that I saw in a recent Nashbar cycling magazine...


Give 'em HELL Lance!

...oh, and congrats on the engagement to Sheryl!

Saturday Sep 03, 2005

1st Yasso 800 Workout

This week, I had my first Yasso 800 workout. A fellow Sun running buddy of mine referred to this in his blog yesterday.

To recap, you basically figure a time you want to run in an upcoming marathon. Let's take a 4hr goal. Simply run 10x800 sprints on a track in 4:00 minute splits, with a 4:00 jog between each one. Sounds pretty simple, eh?

This was my first week doing the workout, and my buddy and I picked a time of 3:52 (marathon goal of 3 hours 52 min) per Yasso for a total of 5. After completing the 1st of 5 I thought, "this was easy". What a workout! At the completion of the 5th Yasso, I was glad to be done and head home for rest. Turns out my buddy and I did a 6.6 mile workout that morning to/from track and 5 Yasso's at a pace of 8:30/mi. And that included the rest.

My running update
I'm a little burned out today, as I ended up running track on Tuesday, quick pace run on Wednesday, hill workout on Thursday and my long run of the week, 13.7 on Friday. Probably a bit much over a 4 day period. This comming Tuesday, we will probably up the number of Yasso's to 6 or 7.

And since writing about this heat in Dallas, The daily temps have lowered about 5 degrees, however the humidity has dropped a ton. My early morning runs this week sometimes dipped down to 70 degrees.

I still owe you a review of the Garmin Forerunner 201. Hopefully get that up here soon.

Monday Aug 22, 2005

And the heat goes on...

I remember hot summers here in Dallas, but this one is beginning to take it's toll. When I'm lucky, I'm out the door 2-3 days a week at 5am getting an early run in, hoping to beat the heat. Thest last several weeks, I'm greeted by a 82F (87F one morning) south wind at 5am. Before I can get my Garmin Forerunner 201 started, I'm zapped and soaked with sweat.

Tonight, two things reminded me of this heat:

  • First, 11 girls on my daughters soccer team. The thermometer in my car indicated 100F at the start of practice at 6pm only dropping 1 degree an hour later. I've never seen 9 year olds so zapped with energy unable to get excited by a simple 15 minute scrimmage of soccer.
  • Second, 1,348 miles away, Scott Jolly's blog, 6 deadly mistakes a runner can make..., wrote about a teen runner flirting with the heat in DC...and losing.

In the last 8 days, I've gotten in 5 runs and 40 miles as I embark on my 4th marathon this December at the Dallas White Rock Marathon. Maybe it's because I've been away from serious training since last Spring, but I haven't felt more run down in quite a while. If it wearn't for my supportive running group, Dallas RBuds, my morning alarm clock wakeup would be greeted with a snooze and pull of the covers.

For all those runners out there, keep hydrated, listen to your body and keep an eye to the north for that first autumn cool front of the season.

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