Sunday, February 28, 2010

RnR Mardi Gras Marathon: Race Report

Time: 3:25:30 (A new PR by 4 min!)
Pace: 7:48
Place: 262/3509 overall. 41/??? AG
Average HR: 193(!!!)

Ah New Orleans. Where else can you see grown men in business suits making complete fools of themselves? (Admittedly, this report is a little long and is honestly more for my own personal log than for anyone else’s benefit. Feel free to either read, or do with the paper and just look at the pictures.)

On Saturday, I picked up my packet and checked out the expo. It was a smaller expo with not much free stuff. That is ok, because I got my bib and a free cool Brooks technical T. Mission Accomplished.


On Sunday, when I woke up and started to put on my clothes and gear, a wave of fear struck me: My knee straps were missing!! They somehow didn’t make it from San Jose to New Orleans – I guess. Either that or one of the maid staff thought that they needed a pair of horribly smelly straps who’s Velcro didn’t work very well anymore. Either way, thankfully I had some paper tape that would work just fine – I hoped. (and it did)

Still no hair on my upper legs. Bummer.


I had my wife drop me off near the start and she headed back to get ready to follow me around. I honestly need to find a happy medium between being late and jogging to the start (Fargo) and being CRAZY early to the race (RnR AZ & RnR MG). I was a full 1.5 hrs early and was one of the first few hundred people there. This gave me time to do nearly everything that people do before races: Sucked in carbon monoxide by the generators, got a bottle of water, checked my bag, stretched, chatted up a few runners, tried to see any if any girls were wearing booty shorts, peed, and tried to find SMS James.

James was one of the other Co-Hosts during the Runners Round Table podcast that I also Co-Hosted. He is running ALL of the RnR events this year – 14 in all. So, if you are doing any of the halves or fulls, look him up on his blog or on twitter. Fortunately, he was able to find ME amongst all of the crowds and we ran nearly the entire race together.

Start – 10k:
Honestly, not much to say here. The gun went off, James and I ran and chatted each other up. After a bit of a slowish start, we hit our stride around 7:37 pace (~3:20 marathon). James is beside me in the blue.



10K- half:
Same here I guess. Doesn’t everything good happen during the second half of a race anyway? More running, more chatting. I LOVED running with James. I normally fly solo when I run, so having someone to talk with was a great change. We crossed the half way point at 1:40:38 – So I guess it is good to know that I have a 1:40 half marathon in me!



Half – 20 miles:
Ah yes, things here start to get interesting. First, around 15 miles, we entered into the city park. Of course, since New Orleans is a bit of a bog, everything was still very very green. Of course, that also means mud – which means that if you just so happen to be a rookie cop and pull off the side of the road to direct traffic, you WILL get stuck. We ran right by as a tow truck was pulling up to pull him out. Everyone that I was running with at the time had a good laugh at his misfortune. I’m sure that the people he worked with did too.

I told James around mile 14 that I probably had my pace through 20 or 22 and then all bets were off. He hit a rough patch around ~18 or so (check out his blog above for his recap) so I went it alone for awhile with only Kanye to help pass the time.

20miles – finish:
Here is where the REAL fun begins. This section started out a bit interesting. Right around mile 20, a drink girl gave me Cytomax instead of water. This wouldn't be a big deal, except she was screaming "water, water" and I dumped it RIGHT on my head. Awesome - and sticky.

My pace slowed from 7:40 to around 8:15 during these miles. Mile 21 was my slowest @ 8:35 when I stopped to water someone's tree. It looked thirsty, trust me. Miles 22 and 23 were really a struggle. The only thing that kept me going was some sort of oxygen deprived math error that had me finishing in 3:20 if I kept a 8:00 pace. I kept the pace but crossed the finish line in 3:25. *shrugs* Still don't know what happened there.

Once I finished, I did the normal "collect as much free stuff as possible" walk. I grabbed 2 bottles of water and 3 bottles of Cytomax. I had drank 1 bottle of water and 2 bottles of Cytomax (56 oz) before I got to my meeting area. It was my own personal (half) gallon milk challenge!

Here are a few pictures from the finish. Sister Hazel was really good, the Miller 64 was about as good as you would expect.

Warming up with a NASA approved blanket with my really cool medal

James and I reunited at the end

Stretching it out

What would a rock and roll race be without 64 calories of Miller?

For some reason, once I got 3/4 of a beer in me (40 calories), I spontaneously started showing everyone my boobs. Strange.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Funny Foto Friday

This is going to be quick because I'm busier than a one-legged man in a butt kickin contest.

I have a few new followers - thanks! I spent some time trying to lock down a good system of keeping up with everyone and I think I may be set. You know, because I am sort of addicted to blogs.

In the spirit of the Olympics:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Triage my run: RnR NO Preview

I was thinking the other day...Running an endurance race, specifically the last 25%, is a little like being a triage nurse/doctor. During a horrific tragedy, when there are more sick people than resources to treat them decisions have to be made. A doctor needs to quickly assess the situation and determine who is worth saving and who just needs to be 'comfortable' (read - morphine). The last 6 miles of a hard marathon, to me, are very similar. Stay with me here......

During the last 6 miles of a race, I usually try to take a mental snapshot of how I am doing:
  • Is my heart rate out of control (a sure sign that my wheels are about to fall off)?
  • Am I slouching and not picking up my feet (a sign that I am exhausted and my pace is about to slip)?
  • Does my stomach feel like squirrels are going to town inside (helloooo port a potty)?
  • Am I questioning why I run in the first place (I'm trying to mind-F*ck my way out of a good race)?
To rectify, each of these things takes energy - and probably more importantly brain power. Something that is normally in short supply on a good day. I have to triage my run. Depending on the goals of the race I'll either try to fight each issue one at a time or I'll throw in the towel and succumb to the death march walk of shame. Maybe I slow down slightly to get my heart rate under control, thereby still saving overall time by not walking. Maybe I switch to drinking water to try to calm my stomach. Realistically I can't do them all at once, so I need to make choices. That is what I plan on doing during Rock and Roll New Orleans.

The plan:
On my original plan, this race was a B race. That is, plan to finish at or just slower than my current PR (3:29). But, this race may be a A race mascaraing in a B race's clothes. That said, I am planning on lining up just behind the 3:20 pacer and running a 3:23 pace for as long as I can. Based on my long run pace of 8:20 or so I think I can do it through 23 miles +/-. Of course, that last 5K may be a bit of a challenge.

It is interesting to look at the course elevation profile. First, really competitor group? Excel graphing is the best you can do? The other thing that strikes me is that the highest elevation that we go to is forty feet. FORTY feet above sea level. It isn't a wonder that there are so many water pumps all over the city. I got a little worried when I first looked at the chart, but then realized that I was only bouncing up and down 10 feet. You know, I can do that.

The Goals:
Here are the details of my goal levels. Anything above a C goal is considered a great race. But, i'll be shooting for the B goal since this is officially a B race. (I like my goals like I like my electronics...complicated)

Fun Goal: get a GOOD race picture. I looked like I was dying @ RnRAZ.
C Goal: Sub 3:40
B Goal: Sub 3:30 (Current PR is 3:29:29)
A Goal: Sub 3:25

So, there it is - letting it all hang out.

Next time you are sucking wind - triage your own run. What are your race goals? Can you fight through some of the issues while succumbing to others and still have a good race? Use your resources, know your body (not that way, gross), and know when to push and know when to walk it out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blogging Intervals

Calling bullets intervals makes them sound MUCH more interesting, right? (I'm pretty sure I got that from Razz)

Since I am in taper and have loads of free time, I'm going to try to catch up on some of the new visitors blogs tonight. Be on the lookout for hil-arious blog comments.

  • My nipples hurt. Seriously. Because I am allergic, instead of band-aids to cover my man bits I've switched to surgical paper tape. It is TONS better but I sort of have an out of body experience when I have to rip the SOBs off. It seems like sweat and heat turns paper tape from "sorta sticky" to "sticker than the grip that Ryan Secrest has on his flat iron". Yeeowza.
  • It is interesting seeing people in the gym from work that you have never seen there before. Or vice-versa: Seeing gym people 'dressed up'. I recently saw my favorite Partner at our company at the gym in workout clothes - not a suit. It was fun. Just like the book says: "Everybody poops". Today I learned that everyone also works out in shorts - not in pressed pants and a blazer.
  • I may have accidentally posted my "A goal" for RnR New Orleans yesterday on twitter. Which is exactly why you should be following me.
  • Last night, because LOST was on and because I needed to get a make up 5 mile run in, I ordered room service instead of going out to eat. I ordered the club sandwich with a side of vegetables instead of fries. NEVER.AGAIN. Their idea of 'vegetables' was a steaming pile of shit pearl onions and brussel sprouts. (picture below) Honestly the brussels weren't all that bad, but I HATE HATE onions. I nearly threw them at the TV when NBC stopped bob-sledding coverage for figure skating.
  • The cell phone that I use is a 3 year old Treo smart phone. I noticed that it gives all of the pictures a bit of a green tint sorta like the matrix. It is my own personal Zack Morris phone. You hear that Treo?...that is the sound of inevitability...the sound of your death.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Try it Tuesday: Roctane GU


We’ve all seen them – either at the running store or race expos. Roctane Gu. It sits there in shiny packages of blue, yellow and even orange. They LOOK fast. But, with all of the wiz bang packaging comes a price tag nearly double of an average GU – SERIOUSLY cutting into my Lady Gaga iTunes downloads. Do they work?

Since I will try anything that promises to increase performance (look for the Try it Tuesday on horse steroids next week) I finally man'd up (cowgirl’d up?) and bought a few to try.

The idea from GU is that they took their normal GU and added all sorts of big word acids and citrates that improve performance. From their site:

From there we increase the amount of histidine, an essential amino acid, to act as a buffer and slow the energy-sapping lactic acid build-up in muscles.

We mix in higher levels of citrates (potassium citrate, sodium citrate, and citric acid) to help speed the conversion of carbohydrates into energy molecules and, like histidine, help mitigate acid build-up.

We also add more of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, valine and isoleucine to serve as another fuel source, aid in recovery and help maintain mental focus and reduce fatigue by limiting the central nervous system's production of serotonin.
Finally, we add a new ingredient, the amino acid complex Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (OKG) which limits the body's tendency to break down muscle protein tissue during extremely hard training and racing days. OKG keeps you going longer and promotes a speedier recovery.


I tried these on my runs this weekend (12 miles) and the past weekend (20 miles). During training runs, I’ll eat a GU every 7 miles and during races I’ll down one every 5. Roctane certainly provided the normal GU boost that you are used to and honestly I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel something EXTRA special kicking in. (It was the same feeling that I get when my wife tells me I am right... Happened once - It is like July 12, 2002 all over again.) I tried all three flavors and even the non caffeine flavor seemed to give me a bit more zip in my step. Maybe those big word acids are really important after all.

Pros:
  • GU did a lot of research into what makes bodies tick and put in extra good stuff
  • It can’t HURT performance
  • GU used lots of big words on their website. Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate?? Yup, I need lots of that I think
  • Honestly, the stuff tastes GOOD. I’m a huge fan of the blueberry pomegranate which tastes like blue sweet tarts
  • It costs more, so it has to be better, right?

Cons:
  • The stuff is expensive! At nearly double the price of normal GU, depending on where you buy it, I wonder how much benefit the extra ‘stuff’ actually gives
  • It still has the traditional GU consistency – thick
  • For some reason I always think that they should add some sort of coloring for flavored GU. It is a bit strange for it to be clear. Afterall, who doesn’t I need more Red #5 in their life?

The verdict? Mixed. Overall I think that the extra $4 for Roctane for a marathon is worth it. I spend that on little drink umbrellas for parties. Even if the only benefit that I get is a mental one, it is still a benefit. However, for a normal 15 miler where I am just cranking out miles on a cold morning in my pajama pants and a sweatshirt (yes, I’ve done it)? Probably not. Therefore:

For races: Seal of Approval

For every day long runs: Fail whale eating Seal of Approval


What does everyone else think?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rainy Running

(Sadly, when I typed in that post, I got the song Summer Lovin’ from the movie Grease stuck in my head. Damn you John Travolta will you ever stop invading my brain!)

On Saturday I did a 12 mile run that was WAY too fast. I did 12 miles at 8:01 pace. Not exactly my recovery pace (~8:20). My excuse was that it was raining.

Now, this wasn’t some sort of Arizonan “my bangs are limp and my hair is all frizzy” kind of rain. Oh no. This was a “Whoa, I need to start finding animals 2 by 2**” kind of rain. In fact, for a lot of Sunday, it rained long and hard***. Really hard. Quite honestly, I wanted to be out there as little as possible. If that meant kicking it up to MP+:10, so be it. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite me.

Rain in the desert is funny. People are totally unprepared for it. Shoot, I was unprepared for it. When I had my car oil changed about a month back, they told me that I needed new windshield wipers – and that they would install them for the low low price of 80 bucks or something, blinker fluid included. Well, I passed thinking to myself “Ha! This is Arizona, it doesn’t rain here. To spite you, I am going to refill my free coffee and put this 2 year old ‘Car and Driver’ magazine under my shirt.” Well, yesterday I drove around town squinting out of rain streaked windows. Touche mechanic dude. You got me.

On a side note, I printed off a few pace bands for my race this weekend. You’ll just have to wait to see what pace they are! (See that, that was what people in the biz call a tease. Nailed it.)

Summer days driftin' away, to uh-oh……. those summer nights. well a well a well a....

**I am pretty sure that this blog biblical reference cancels out the fact that I ate meat on Friday, right?

***Yeah that innuendo was just a little bit too easy. I’ll leave it alone this time. (I’m on a morality roll!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winner Winner!


I have to admit, this giveaway was a lot of fun. I think that I just might have to make this a regular series. But, if everyone is like me and just can't wait to dive into the Trix box arm first to find the prize, you'll appreciate the lack of suspense. So, out of 55 possible entries, the winner was:


Congrats! Shoot me an email at TheBoringRunner (at) gmail.com and I'll get the water bottle shipped out to you! Hopefully the mail is still running in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. I'm sure that the mailman has a team of sled dogs.

Anyway, there were a BUNCH of funny responses to my request to: Name an example of a time where you did something (running or otherwise) that went against conventional wisdom with either hilarious or amazing results. So, I thought that I HAD to share! I'll be back tomorrow, my boring self with some running updates and a strange weekend boating adventure.

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Barefoot Angie B: I went against conventional wisdom and am now a barefoot runner who is faster and can run farther than the heavily shod one I used to be. I also have my babies at home, extended nurse, and home school. I am a tech savvy hippy kinda earth mother :)

Jenni: Ran the Krispy Kreme Challenge this month in Raleigh, NC - 2+ mile run to the Krispy Kreme shop, eat 12 doughnuts - then run the 2+ miles back. The challenge: do so, without puking, in under an hour. After successfully completing and celebrating with carbs of an alcoholic nature, we ended the night with a warmed up glazed original before hitting the sack. Stupid? Yes. Against conventional wisdom? Of Course. Will I be doing it again next year? Most likely! (She finished both the 5K and the doz Krispy Kreme's in 48:19!!)

Jeff @ Running Through Phoenix: Item four: Once I got so fat and out of shape that I started to walk then run to try to get back into shape. Soon I found myself sharing my running adventures on an online blog http://jeffg-runningthroughphoenix.blogspot.com/

ShutUpandRun: How about the time when I was being pulled behind a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay with my boyfriend when jellyfish started stinging us. I had to rush back and climb up the boat and was being stung the whole time. All I cared about was getting on the damn boat. When I got up the ladder, I stood there and my potential future inlaws were all silently staring at me with only my bikini bottoms on. I guess the jellyfish at the top. Unconventional? No. Hilarious? To everyone but me. But since it was over 30 years ago I'm starting to get over it. (TOO funny)

Christy: Last summer I thought it'd be a good idea to take my dog for a walk at night. I wore flip flops, and about half way through the walk I decided I wanted to run. In flip flops. With a curious dog attached to my arm. So, I'm running, trying not trip over my own feet, when my dog decides to instantly switch directions. Knocking me completely flat on my knees, face, hands, you name it. Blood everywhere. Tears followed. Little neighbor boys laughing hysterically. Looking back, if I would've seen someone trying to run in flip flops while walking their dog...and then they fell (and fell hard), I would've laughed too.

spiREDtorun13: Probably one of the dumbest things I have done was to sign up for a race at my pool the morning after a flight home from Cali. The race was at 8AM (5AM West Coast time). Our flight was delayed... and we didn't make it home until after 2AM East Coast Time. I still got up to run it. Then I went off to work for a full day of lifeguarding. To be 19 again. I'm actually not sure if I did that race because of my love of running, the discounted fee as a member at the pool, or just so I could brag about how much of an idiot I was to sign up for a race I knew I'd be running jet lagged.

Bob: Took me a while to enter - I was in the hospital getting my burns taken care of. I tried to jump through a hoop in my back yard, caught my toe, tripped and lit my DryFit clothing on fire. As I was running around my yard with my hair on fire all I could think was I was going to end up like Michael Jackson but a least I'd have a 1 in a 100 chance of getting a cool Nathan handheld - shoot it most likely would have helped put out the fire..... At least I kept my Brooks from getting smokey. (How could I NOT share this story? Besides, out of the approx 25 people who commented, 55 overall comments, and 4 possible ways to enter, your chances were closer to 1 in 12!)

Psyche: I took all kinds of crap for letting my (then 8-yr old) son train for a HM. He ran it in 2:28, then went on to run his next one in 2:20. Everyone said I was being a bad parent for letting him run so many miles, but it turned out fine. Amazing, in fact. (That was boring, but it qualifies and I AM IN IT TO WIN IT, man!).

Leopold: On my last safari expedition I (accidenntally) cured the villagers of tetanus by sneezing on them (Dude, I'm 9!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Need a Laugh? Yeah, me too

Seriously. You have like a 1 in 24 chance of winning. Enter by Midnight tonight!

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Man, I need a laugh. This week, my first working from home for longer than a day or two in over a year, was like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. So, I go to my old standby: Ruminations. Check out the site, worth the time.

  • You don't have to keep telling me, "Dude, I'm so drunk." I know what drunk looks like and you're not it. See Phil over there hitting on the coat rack? That's drunk.
  • There are officially too many places for me to have a status
  • I don't know about everyone else, but if I "lived each day as if it were my last" I'd probably be in jail right now.
  • Coconuts are God's cruel joke for shipwrecked sailers. "Here's some food. All you have to do is shinny up that 50 foot tree, crack open 2 husks, and then attempt to scrape the meat out with no knife. Good luck, f*cker."
  • How come breakfast is the only meal without dessert? Maybe I want a heaping bowl of ice cream after my eggs or a piece of chocolate cake after my cereal. I do it anyway, but I'd prefer the social norms to back me up here.
  • My favorite part about winter is all the sexual innuendo during weather forecasts. "We're going to get pounded hard tonight by eight inches. Expect it to last all night and be prepared for a whiteout in the morning." Giggity...
  • Rocking a killer hangover at work after drinking 3 beers with dinner the night before, I refuse to accept "getting older" or "low tolerance" as valid explanations. No, no I was clearly roofied. Yes, at The Cheesecake Factory.

Finally, for Funny Foto Friday I decided to post a picture that is less funny and more cool. Look closely you crazy triathletes. In fact, this one is so cool, I'm going to site the source - Details magazine online in an article about how Triathlon is the new status symbol. Interesting read.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Slightly less obscure

I know I've wondered it about you and I am sure that you have wondered it about me. What are we wondering you ask? It is boxers, not briefs What the HELL do I SOUND like. Only a select few of the readers of this have been able to hear my manly quite nasily voice. Well, wait no more! I was recently a co-host of the Runners Round Table podcast speaking about the crazies who run multiple marathons - present company included. I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to mention it here on the blog because I sound like a stooge, but I suppose that has never stopped me before. I tried to keep the off color comments and sarcastic tones to a minimum, which honestly didn't leave a lot else for me to say! Check it out here. (Link to MP3 at the bottom of that post)

Running is still coming along. I did a 6 mile 'normal' pace (8:15) run yesterday with my wife by my side on the bike. The great thing about this run was that we also swung by and dropped off a RedBox movie (The Hurt Locker - it was just OK). Two birds, meet one stone.

This weekend I'm going to the PGA Match Play Championship that my company sponsors. I'm not going to name them here, but if you are that interested who I work for do a google search for golf. Anyway, I get discounted VIP tickets and get to rub elbows in the VIP tent. Score. But it is a cash bar. Fail. Unfortunately, no Tiger Woods this year but he is doing his best to stick it to the man who dumped him with a press conference this morning during the tournament. The only downside of the tournament is that it is a 90 min drive south in Tuscon, AZ and the first tee off is at 7:30am. Looks like I will get my long run in on Sunday!

Intervals tonight. The last set before my big race in 9 days! We haw.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taper Madness

If you are reading this and haven't entered my giveaway, WHY?!
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It seems that every time I run a race that actually requires a multiple week taper, I get taper madness pretty bad. For me, symptoms include:

  • Over analyzing every little ache, pain, or burning sensation
  • Continuing to eat like a horse
  • Beating myself up about eating like a horse and then deciding that 15 gels a day is not a balanced diet
  • Difficulty getting my ass out of bed to get 'quality' runs in
  • Obsessing over race logistics
I suppose the first step is admitting that I have a problem. Fortunately, it is usually pretty short lived, but that doesn't make it any easier to slug through. The only thing that has made it any better is that I've had a pretty good stretch of runs over the past few days.

This weekend I ran my final 20 miler @ 8:29 pace. Another 20 miler, another bathroom pit-stop. This time I made it to mile 14. I really need to do some NASCAR style pit stop training to lose as little time during these breaks as possible. That and to desensitize my pit crew. Anyway, the run was just like any other 20 miler. Long, a bit boring, and I was really glad to have it done. I really wasn't into this run - it was purely an exorcise in getting the miles in and being done. That is usually a sure sign that I've done enough 20 milers for one training cycle.

On Tuesday, I did my normal tempo Tuesday run. 6 miles, 4 at tempo of 7:14. These were not on a treadmill but were outside. I was really impressed with my ability to keep the miles at a fairly consistent pace +/- 4 seconds of the 7:14. It was comfortably hard, but I feel that I could have pretty easily held that pace for another 2-3 miles without puking. Much longer than that and I am not sure.

So, I am still getting my runs in in spite of the madness. (And trying to ignore the taper madness troll that tells me to run 800 repeats until I can't run anymore) I'm still trying to get my runs in because I am still going to treat RnR New Orleans as a ramp up to RnR San Diego (where I WILL go out with the 3:20 pacer and will give him a big kiss if I am able to hold that pace through the finish).

I'll have my normal A,B,C goals post just before the race, but my mind is spinning as to WHAT those should be. Any advice?

10 days until RnR New Orleans

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Try it Tuesday: Chia Seeds

A few weeks back, while listening to Brandon's Marathon podcast**, Brandon spoke of Chia seeds and their awesome powers to help you run faster and farther - not to mention the increase in size and pleasure. To answer the question that I know you are thinking.... Yes, he was speaking of eating THOSE chia seeds.


I will wait a while while you sing the song in your head..... Cha-cha-cha-chia!!

Don't worry, I was singing the song too. Anyway, for any listeners of Brandon's Marathon podcast, the folks over at Greens Plus were willing to send over some free samples of their Chia product. (Note, I did not pay for my Chia seeds - they were a present. Sort of like my present to all readers for simply commenting on my first ever giveaway!! (whoring our your blog giveaway is hard, but fun))

The overall thought process behind Chia seeds (other than a delightful home plant) is that they aid in endurance activity by slowing down the rate at which the body processes sugar. So, it makes a GU "last" longer and reduces the GU sugar crash. Additionally, per the Greens plus website, Chia Seeds: "Increase Energy Levels Naturally, Support the Immune System, Improve Mental Acuity, Gently cleanse the Colon, and Restore a Healthy pH Balance to the Body"

So, this weekend I finally decided to try them. The seeds come in little single serving pouches that can be poured into any drink.


The packaging recommends stirring them into lemon aid, but I assume that Gatorade would work just as well. I wanted to try them with water at first to get the full effect of their "flavor"


You can see in this picture, about 1/4 of them floated, 1/4 were suspended in the water, and 1/2 of them were at the bottom

After drinking them, my brother in law was certain that I would have sprouts shooting out of my ass ANY second. Fortunately for him, it took a full 2 hours.

Pros:
  • Loads of Omega 3
  • They are seeds, so they have to be good
  • Gots lots of fiber
  • You could blend them into a smoothie and never notice the taste / texture

Cons:
  • The stuff tastes like you would expect it too. By that I mean that I felt like I was licking a tree
  • Gots lots of fiber (don't need any more of THAT on a run)
  • The texture was gummy and gritty all at the same time. I could see how a lot of people would have issue with that.
  • I really didn't see a difference in my performance. Granted, I only had three packages, but I guess I was looking for something more

Unfortunately, these are not something that I can recommend. The "gross" factor and the limited benefits were too much to overcome. So, this one, instead of getting my seal of approval, gets my FAIL killer whale EATING my seal of approval. Be warned random consumer products, I'm on the prowl.


** Blogs, podcasts, and twitter!? That, my friends, makes me a triple threat. Or, I guess at least a triple consumer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My First Blog Giveaway!

This is what you all have been waiting for! An opportunity to do very little and receive oh so much. (Sort of like this blog, only with more sugar, and no chance to catch the herps)

The wonderful folks at Nathan gave me..... No, that didn't happen.
The nice folks at Power Bar were kind enough..... Nope, that didn't happen either.

I went out and bought some PowerBar gels (my gel of choice) and a sweet 20 oz Nathan quick draw handheld water bottle. And now you can win them!! The great part about this prize is that I didn't have to screw with sizing and I think that most people can use one or both of these. Besides, even if you already have a water bottle, you could always put one in each hand. I've seen The Sean do it, and he is CRAZY fast. Ergo, if you do it, you will be fast too. Simple. And, if you already have too many gels, feed some to the neighbor kid - around bedtime. Hil-arious.



Here is how you win ~$25 worth of sweet sweet gear:

1. Leave a comment
2. Follow me on twitter (mention that you do in a comment)
3. Mention this on your blog (mention that you did in a comment)
4. Submit a picture of yourself jumping through a flaming hoop (see picture to the side)
5. Give an example of a time where you did something (running or otherwise) that went against conventional wisdom with either hilarious or amazing results.

And for those of you that are always looking for extra credit....
6. Send your Social Security number and Bank account information to a very nice sounding African prince who is having some issues with some bank fees. For the small cost of $20,000 he will share some of the $30M that is caught in customs. Win/win!!

It is that easy - 4 chances to win. 5 chances if you happen to have a flaming hoop laying around. Annnnnd, I guess 6 chances to win if you like to give money away. (Obviously I do!)

Enter by end of day 2/19 to make your vote count!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Funny Foto and a Giveaway Teaser!

I decided last night that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to go running on a stomach FULL of spaghetti. I believe it was either SteveRunner or Chris Russell who said that carbo loading is more like colon loading. TRUE. So, this morning, I turned my scheduled interval run into a MP run. 6 miles @ 7:45 pace. I can still feel something a little strange with my leg, so I didn't want to push it. Good run, great weather. Nailed it. This weekend will be my last long run before Rock and Roll New Orleans. I can't believe that it is only 2 weeks away. Where has the time gone!?

Speaking of races, there are a LOT of people who are racing this weekend. Good luck to them all, hopefully the weather holds in your neck of the woods.

Next, and this is probably the most important thing. I am going to have a little giveaway to celebrate.....running? Blogging? Who knows. I don't know why I am doing it, but I'm going to bet the readers of this honestly don't care. Look for a post on how you can embarrass yourself enter this weekend. No clothing company has contacted me, no running gear sponsor has given me free loot. This is me giving a little bit of myself to you - in the least creepy way possible.

Finally, funny foto Friday. If only Facebook had these types of warnings. We'd all be in better shape.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mid Week Sorta Long Runs

It is interesting, in one of his training plans that calls for a 10 mile mid week run, Hal Higdon suggests taking the day off from work because of the time commitment to fit in the run. Really Hal? REALLY? Obviously he has been too busy writing books - unencumbered by 'the man'. Either that or all of the typewriter correction tape fumes are going to his head. Get some air Hal, seriously.

The reality is that for the 99% of us that work hard for the money, fitting in a 90-120 minute mid week run during peak marathon training is an unfortunate reality. The same is no different for me.

10 miles, 8:29 pace (Completed between 7:00pm and 8:30pm PST) - followed by mall food court food. Bleh.

My MWSLR (Mid Week Sorta Long Run) was interesting. I decided to try to explore downtown San Jose. I'm not sure where the hell I ended up, but it was certainly a neighborhood in 'transition'. Read: plan on seeing brand new condos next too Billy's Burger Stand and busted up cars with the windows broken out. Don't worry, there was razor wire around the condo complex pool.

Ok, it wasn't as bad as needing razor wire around the pool, but it was bad enough to have it around a few car lots and to have bars on the pawn shop windows. Nothing motivates you to keep running like the thought that someone is going to try to mug you except maybe getting yelled at by the two drunk kids swerving/walking all over the sidewalk with beer in paper bags. Oh to be 17 again. Wait, I was probably in band practice. I'm a nerd. But I am a kick ass quad player.

Anyway, the run went well. My knee held up and wasn't sore afterwards. My IT Band was a bit sore from my Tempo run the night before, but that is usually the case and goes away after two days of normal running. I planned out the route through the ghetto downtown because I thought that there would be less traffic and less stoplights. While I did get slowed down a bit by stoplights (adding probs 2-3 minutes), overall there were fewer than before which was what I was after. So, in spite of the drunk kids, it was a good route - and I'll probably run it again. Shit, may even grab a beer at the half way point. Party on kiddos.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Running and the Super Bowl

First, my run. Fortunately last night I was able to sneak in 6 miles, 5 at tempo of 7:08 (6 miles in 44:22 overall - 1:20 below my 10k PR) between getting off work around 6:30pm and going back to work around 8:15pm. The run felt good, but I guess it should have since I haven't ran at all since Sunday morning.

But, as I wake up this morning, my knee is feeling a bit wonky. So, tonights run will be slow and steady. (You should click that link, good song)


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I can't believe that I've went three days without posting about poop, the superbowl. I always tell my wife that she got off easy: I don't watch baseball, I'm not a huge basketball fan - but I LURVES me some football. As a result, Sunday was both a good day and a bad day: Simultaneously the peak and the end of the season.

That said, I have a 3 year long Super Bowl tradition: doing a naked victory lap around the house drinking black and tans. I rarely drink them (too much work when I am used to shot gunning 'em) but for some reason during the Super Bowl, just like when posting a comment on a blog, no amount of prep work is too much.

So, for my dad and myself, I turned this (note the bent spoon on the right):



Into this:


Great success!!!

Other thoughts on the day:
  • I wanted the Colts to win, they didn't. Bummer.
  • I really like Payton Manning, but he looked all depressed and lonely during the last 10 minutes of the game. Buck up buddy, you are rich like Tiger Woods but if you want to go to town with a Denny's hostess you can!
  • People that I have spoken with made it seem like Payton's INT towards the end of the game was a killer. It sure wasn't good, but I agree with Razz - what the crap was Jim Caldwell doing? He looked bored.
  • Like everyone else has said, the commercials weren't all that good/funny - unless you like cheesy Bud Light or Doritos commercials. I normally do, but these weren't all that good. Come on guys, bring back Spuds McKenzie and Chester Cheeto.
  • I did like one commercial though (thanks to my buddy Nick for reminding me). The Dodge Charger commercial. Most certainly a man's man spot. Made me want to bump chests with someone and do my naked victory lap even though the Colts lost. Great success indeed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flexibility

No, not the fun kind of flexibility that lets you lick your back like a cow (literally). Luckyyyyyy.***

I'm talking about flexibility in a plan. As you remember, my plan for Rock and Roll New Orleans was as follows: During the "on" weeks, it has me running Tempo Tues, Long Weds, and Speed Thurs. It is my attempt at a less is more plan. (Unlike my beer plan which is best defined as more is more.) It has me running less overall miles (45ish at the peak) but making sure every run has a specific "purpose". Tempo runs for lactate threshold, long mid week runs for endurance, and speed for fast twitch muscles and Vo2 max. Throw in some biking to practice my spandex/looking cool wearing a helmet and a long run for good measure.

But, alas the best laid out plans are meant to be completely screwed up. This morning, some wiener early morning individual decided that it would be a good idea to go for a nice walk on the only treadmill in the hotel. A nice WALK! Something that he could have done in the hallway. Since I am a firm believer of first come first served, all I could do is slap my head and go do some sit ups. Granted, I could have gone outside, but I really wanted to test my fitness at a specific speed.

So, I'll do my tempo tonight, my long run tomorrow morning, and then will be back on track. Flexibility.

I've received a lot of questions about how I am able to hold any consistency around my runs while on the road. Here are my tips to maintaining some level of a plan:
  • Do some research. I honestly didn't do a good job of this with my current hotel. The work-out room only has one treadmill and there are no good trails/sidewalks in the area.
  • Have a backup plan. What will you do if it is raining hard? What about if the treadmills are full? What if some jerk JUST scheduled a 8:30pm meeting during when you were supposed to do a make-up tempo run..... (Damn it - I can't make this shit up)
  • Be realistic. All night kegger "business trip" on Bourbon street? (Who Dat?) Know that you are probably not going to get all of your runs in - and that is OK. Shuffle your schedule to make the Hurricane/bead infused party a recovery week and hit it hard the next week.
  • BE FLEXIBLE. At the end of the day, shortening a run by a mile due to time, running at night vs in the morning, or even running when you get back home if you get completely thrown off are all great ways to get in most of the miles.
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**Don't even get me started on those rumors of removing your bottom ribs for better 'flexibility'

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What a week of runs...

...but not in a good way.

You may have been wondering why I haven't been posting specifically about my runs this week. Rest assured I have been running. But, I think that "running" in this instance is a pretty loose term. I've more been cursing while moving my legs very quickly.

I honestly held off on reporting on my runs because I didn't want to feel like I was crying like someone kicked my puppy complaining. It seems like sleeping on it makes me right as rain. Here is how my "recovery week" played out.

Tempo Tuesday:
Like I said before, my tempo run was a struggle from the start. I stayed on pace of 7:08 for 4 miles, but I was hurting - both literally and figuratively. My legs felt heavy and my shins were a little splint-y. Little did I know that this was going to foreshadow my week ahead.

Wednesday Easy Run:
5 miles @ 8:27 pace. This run was a bitch. No nice way to put it. My shins were screaming like a cheap death metal concert. No longer were they a little splint-y, I had full on shin splints.

I decided to run Wednesday afternoon which probably wasn't a good idea. I was staying in a new hotel last week which was surrounded by seemingly MILLIONS of stoplights. I could never get a good flow. I would run for 5 minutes and stop for 30 seconds at a busy intersection. Run for 5 more minutes, stop. Over and over again throughout the entire run. Ice, Topricin Gel, and self massage were to follow.

Thursday Intervals (Yasso 800s):
I went back and forth on doing these or just cranking out a few more junk miles. Ultimately, I decided to do them if it didn't hurt TOO bad and just jog it out if I was feeling more shin pain. I ended up with 3 out of 4 at a little bit "slower" pace of 6:37. (Normal pace of 6:20) Not a super good run, but not horrible like Wednesday.

What is a dashing, whitty, boring guy to do to try to fix an entire week of bad runs? Crack open my new shoes!


For my long run this week, I opened a shiny new Brooks box and laced up a new pair of kicks. HOORAY! That seemed to fix my shin issues - and possibly my mental issues as well. (No word on my itching when I pee issues.)

Sunday Long Run
12 miles, 8:06 pace. Back to normal. The new shoes seemed to do the trick. I had very VERY minimal discomfort during the first part of the run but other than that, everything was clicking.

During this shit-week of runs, I learned a number of things:
  • Listen to your body and always be on the lookout for small pains with old shoes
  • Sometimes the bad runs remind us of how awesome the good runs can be
  • Honestly, while some people may disagree, grunting out crappy runs prepares you mentally for the last 10% of a long race
  • Jay walking through red lights is not only a fun way to get in fartleks, it is a great way to keep the flow of a short run alive
I have a feeling that the bad days are behind me, but this was certainly a week to forget!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Updated Interweb Address and FFF

This post could have also been titled:
What happens when Adam gets bored while running for 2.5 hrs with no headphones
What happens when Adam is bored in a hotel 4 days a week
Nerd Alert!

As you all know (since you are reading this) web site address was "AdamRISU": My first name (Adam) my last initial (R) and my alma matter (Iowa State Univ). Confusing.

"Adamrisu" was my old personal email address from college and it sort of stuck. So, since I’ve received all sorts of questions to explain it (no, it does not mean "Adam Are Is You"), I decided to change my web address to be:
Pretty sweet right? I figured the bigger the text the better.

You can update your bookmarks if you want, but according to blogger/google, one should point to the other in harmonious fashion. Hooray technology. Although, the last time I checked it WASN'T forwarding. Interweb fail. Until it does, my follower deal on the right doesn't seem to be working on the old website.

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Anyway, back to the funny photo or, I guess in this case, video. Quite possibly the BEST contest I've ever seen!!!! No sound needed (for those of you at work).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Bucket List

Like I said yesterday in my completely random bullet post, I was tagged by Ulyana to list off three things that I want to do before I kick the bucket. I did this on 12/1/08 (eek – going on 2.5 years of blogging) here, but it is probably time to reevaluate my answers and see if I have shifted my life in any significant way.

Here is what I was thinking deep in the heart of a Kansas winter:
  • Pass on my last name. That is, have a son
  • Get a stamp, ANY stamp, on my passport
  • Run a marathon in all 50 states – thereby visiting all 50 states
  • Anonymously help someone who is truly in need
First off I can scratch the passport thing. I am in a different place in my life right now and am not too worried about making sure I get out of the country. Besides, if I ever leave the country it is going to be through a tunnel drug-mule style.

Having a son. This one is important to me, but not as important as having children period. So, that one needs to stay if not slightly modified.

As long as I have legs under me, I will become a 50 stater and I will not do a Massachusetts marathon until I qualify for Boston or am on the 50th state.

Anonymously helping someone who is truly in need would be awesome. ‘nuff said.

Well shit, I just realized that I have my three then? Kids, 50 states, and helping someone in need. Uylana was very explicit on the fact that it should only be three. But, if I were to somehow find a loophole, I’d add the following:
  • Blow out 90 candles on my birthday cake followed by telling a crude joke that only a 90 year old could get away with
  • Complete an IronMan, even though I have never swam for distance in my life
  • When completed, get some sort of 50 stater marathon tattoo on my ass (I have no desire to get ANY other tattoo)
  • Have a glass of First Growth Bordeaux wine, aged 20 years (only 5 more years for the ’96!)
  • …and for the sappy ones in the crowdWatch the sunset in a hot air balloon, drinking a great wine, laughing at my wife huddled in the corner of the basket because she is terrified of heights

As with all Internet Memes, I have to tag some people. Try to whittle your list down to 3, it is HARD. Admittedly, this felt a little like a popularity contest. (Stupid high school clicks) IT IS NOT. I basically went down my list of unread blogs and pulled out a few names. I’m sure I left people off, etc. If I did and you are feeling left out, feel free to just do it anyway and call me out as a putz. I tag:
Jeff
RunningLaur
The Sean
GeorgiaSnail

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV

Just like a 5 year old on espresso, my head is all over the place today: Running, work, Lady Gaga’s hair, blogging, LOST, etc. You know what that means! Break out the vicodine! Adam’s favorite: Bullets.

  • On paper, I had a great tempo run on Tuesday. 5 miles, 4 at tempo of 7:08 pace. The reality is that the run was a struggle from the start. So bad that I did the math-nerd mind game of calculating the fractions of time that I had left. “Nice, I’m twenty third fiftyiths done (23/50)” But, I got it done. Anyone else do that?
  • Like I’ve said before, I’m in the San Fran area (San Jose). On the news the other day, they said that one of the “Full House” painted ladies houses is for sale! If you have an extra $4M laying around, it could be yours! Make sure you lock your back door – Kimmy Gibbler I am SURE is still lurking around - Probably looking for meth.
  • I still don’t have a working iPod…or headphones (that aren’t those GOD DAMN iPod white ones that pop out of my ears like a potato out of a spud gun). The hotel gym that I work out in has TVs on all of the treadmills. Nothing makes me more depressed than watching the History channel and not hearing or knowing if the Super Volcano in Yellowstone is going to blow up next week or in 2012. By the looks of it, it is certainly going to be one or the other. A trip to Wal-Mart/Target this weekend is a must.
  • I'm hungry. No, like HUNGRY hungry. I ate a huge breakfast 2 hours ago and I could totally eat again. I seem to get this way whenever I run more than 40 miles per week. It is probably a combo of eating nothing but 14 GUs all day long not enough snacking during the day and my low body fat. I bought a bunch of cliff bars at Target last night, hopefully that will help a little. If not, bring on the feed bag! Oats are FULL of carbs, but I guess the green poop I could do without. Give and take I suppose.
  • I still don’t have a signed contract for my current job. Basically that means that I am not “officially” supposed to be in California, I can’t “officially” join conference calls, or “officially” meet any of the people that I am going to be working with. I think that should “officially” mean that I should be at home in my underwear watching the Price is Right.
  • Finally, I was tagged by Ulyana to put together my bucket list. Since I am very thoughtful for these things I didn’t want to crank one out all willy-nilly for today. Look for that tomorrow. I promise there won’t be ONE entry about shot-gunning a beer at a hotel room party (already done!).