Race Prep: Playlist Construction

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I know some races discourage you from using iPod’s and the such, but unless it is plainly outlawed or it is an obstacle/mud run, I use my iPhone.  I like the extra boost the music gives me, as well as the distraction it provides me.  For training runs I have started listening to podcasts and audiobooks, but for an actual race, I want the extra motivation.  I use songs on my iPhone versus Pandora or some other streaming application because it conserves battery on my phone and I will not have to fumble with changing songs that I am not that enamored with.  And when I construct the playlist, I subscribe to the Barney Stinson philosophy used for his “Get Psyched” playlist.  This philosophy is simple, there is no up and down with the list selections, the music is all up.  I even borrow several songs from his playlist.

All rise music

All rise music

I am not going to name every song that I am putting in the list, but rather a good sampling of the selections so you can get a solid idea of where I am coming from.  I listen to numerous genres of music, and most will be represented in my race playlist.  These selections are not necessarily what I listen to everyday, but give me a little extra adrenaline on a run.

  • You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi – this is the lead song in Barney’s playlist, and when it starts, you will bump your pace up a notch or two.
  • Thunderstuck – AD/DC – if you have watched a football hit montage, you have heard this song.
  • Panama – Van Halen – the 80’s will be well represented in this list
  • Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band – I listen to quite a bit of country, but not much makes this list
  • Don’t Stop Believen’ – Journey – it is always Journey o’clock, especially late in a race
  • Welcome to the Jungle – Guns ‘N Roses – the majority of their catalog will work here
  • More Human Than Human – White Zombie – this was one of my go to high school football songs
  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor – if it is good enough for Rocky, it is good enough for me
  • Hump de Bump – Red Hot Chili Peppers – one of my favorite bands that is always well represented on my playlists
  • Icky Thump – The White Stripes – this song was made to workout/run to
  • Just Lose It – Eminem – most of his catalog works very well for runs, even if you don’t normally like his music
  • Whoop That Trick – DJ (Hustle and Flow) – it works for the Grizzlies and is basically the Memphis theme song now
  • Rock Superstar – Cypress Hill – even the opening xylophone gets me pumped
  • Crazy Train – Ozzy Osborne – if you watched any Atlanta Braves baseball with Chipper Jones, you are familiar with this song
  • No One Gets Left Behind – Five Finger Death Punch – their whole catalog will work here
  • Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue – less strip club anthem than some of their other stuff
  • Miracle – Nonpoint – a perfect song to walk up to as an UFC fighter
  • Regulate – Warren G – a classic from my youth
  • So Fresh, So Clean – Outkast – my favorite song from a group that has several solid choices
  • Stay Fly – Three 6 Mafia – in Memphis, you have to include Three 6
  • Bawitdaba – Kid Rock – another song that is perfect for a fighter
  • Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash – a classic from the Man in Black
  • Undead – Hollywood Undead – this genre of music is great for working out and fighting
  • Jukebox Hero – Foreigner – this song also gets the blood flowing
  • Going the Distance – Cake – a perfect run song

Several of the groups in this list will be represented several times, depending on the duration of my run.  And if you have not heard of the group, they probably skew towards the heavy metal genre.  They usually do not get radio play.  I really only listen to the groups when I run and workout.  They very likely are not your cup of tea, but they will get you going.

If you are fairly confident in your time splits, you can work in songs where you think they will fit best, say The Final Countdown as you approach the finish line.  Feel free to comment with any songs that you listen to during runs.  This is in no way a definitive list.

Motivation And My Weekly Recap

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Last week was a little on the uneventful side, so I am not going to waste your or my time with my typical daily breakdown.  I will say that I stayed on my taper schedule by running four times with only a six mile “long” run on Sunday.  The heat is rising here in Memphis and I want my legs to be fresh for Tupelo this weekend.  This week, however, looks like it should be much more eventful.  The following quote seems to sum up what my thought process needs to be going forward:

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin

Today marks the start of my return to school.  After work this afternoon, I am driving across the city to sit in class for three hours.  It has been a little over seven years since I graduated from college, so it might take me a few days to get back into the swing of things.  My schedule is three hours of class on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after work, so those are going to be rather long days.  Apparently nine hours is considered full time for graduate studies so I am going to juggle my full time school schedule, my full time job, my household duties, and my marathon training program.  Here is another quote that will help my mental approach moving forward.

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. – Michael Jordan

After the Tupelo 14.2 on Sunday, I am adopting Jeff Galloway’s runDisney plan, so most weeks I will run on Tuesday mornings before work, Thursdays before or after work, and once on the weekend.  I will also work in some TRX and other cross training to help promote my overall health.  It is going to be odd only running three times a week, and it is possible that some weeks I will run my typical four times, but I will try my best to follow the plan.  Also, I am incorporating my scheduled races into this training plan to maintain the plan’s structure to help prepare me for the main event in January.

This was a rather short entry, but as I get time this week, I am going to post some pre-race prep posts talking about what I am doing to get ready for Sunday.

More Races Added to the Schedule

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I might be crazy, but I just added four more races to my 2013 schedule!  As I posted a couple of days ago, I was debating the merits of back to back races in early November.  Well, I heeded the advice of many of you and registered for both.  Now the Friday night 5K will be a warmup for the Saturday morning half marathon!  The new races are as follows:

  • Cooper Young Festival 4 Miler on September 13
  • Zombie Hunt 5K on October 5 (which means I have 2 events on this date)
  • True Blue 5K on November 1
  • Midsouth Championship Half Marathon on November 2

These should be the last four races that I will add to my 2013 calendar, but with over four months left in the year, that could possibly change.  I will say that I have come in under budget on what I thought my race registration fees for the year wold be, but I still have not factored in the cost of gas and hotels for a couple of my upcoming races.  All and all, I think I have a good mix of race distances and themes, with several races being new discoveries for me.

Of the four new races, I have only previously ran the True Blue 5K, and in fact, this will be my fourth running of that particular event!  The Cooper Young 4 Miler is an insanely popular event here in Memphis, and I am finally available to run it this year.  The Zombie Hunt 5K is a new event and will help replace the zombie deficit in my schedule thanks to the Run For Your Lives event crapping out in Nashville.  The Midsouth Championship Half Marathon is a small town race that is insanely cheap and near home.  Also, it is a relatively flat course that will allow me to try a new technique since I am in a 5K that night before.

I’m Conflicted

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As I go into the last four months of the year, I am firming up the remainder of my race schedule.  The problem is that I have reached a little bit of a scheduling conflict in November.  The conflict is between the True Blue 5K on November 1 and the Midsouth Championship Half Marathon on November 2.   I suppose that I can run in both events, but I have never run a race on back to back days as of yet in my running journey.  And there is always the option of walking the True Blue 5K to remain loose, but that seems a little like a waste.

True Blue 5K

Distance: 5K

Cost: $25

My very first race of all time was the True Blue 5K back in 2010.  It was a goal for my weight loss journey back in 2010.  I wanted a public display of my progress and felt that a fall evening race was my best bet for an inaugural event.  Proceeds from the event go to the Young Alumni Committee at my alma mater, the University of Memphis.  The course winds around campus, passing many landmarks from my collegiate days, including my fraternity house.  And I live just a couple of miles from campus, so there really is no travel concerns for the event.  The weather is cool and the course is rather flat.  Some of my favorite races shirts have come from this event, and I where them constantly.  Running the event reminds me of where I came from as a 330 pound slob that got winded to a person that willingly runs miles at a time, with relatively small amounts of complaining.  And not to mention that running this 5K on a Friday night in November will easily work into my WDW marathon training.

I'm wearing my 1st True Blue shirt here

I’m wearing my 1st True Blue shirt here

Midsouth Championship Half Marathon

Distance: 13.1

Cost: $27

I have never run in the Midsouth Championship event and one of the goals of the plan this year was to try new races.  The race is in Wynne, AR, which is just about an hour from Memphis.  While this is not a big tourist attraction, running a half marathon this close to the house while adding a state to my running history is tempting.  The course is extremely flat, with the highest elevation for the half marathon being 351 feet, which is just 107 miles higher than the low point of the course.  This will be a welcomed change from the 4 Bridges event a couple of weeks prior.  Also, this is a small event, so the corral crowding and other logistical nightmares presented by the bigger races is eliminated.  This would also be my first out and back course, so that would be interesting to see how I respond to that.  This would also create a string of four straight months with an official half marathon ran for me, which considering that I have only ran in half marathons ever, would be an accomplishment.  And all of this for just $2 more than a typical 5K!  Of course, a half marathon distance falls a little short of where my marathon training should be, but going 100% for the event should probably cause the lack of mileage to be a draw.

I thought that by laying the case for both event out would help me decide, but it did not.  I have nine days until the price for the Midsouth Championship increases, so I guess as long as I have a decision by then, I shall be good.

Make a Quick Ten Bucks

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Be A KindRunner

Be A Kindrunner

As you all know, I am an ambassador for Kindrunner.com.  Yesterday I received an email that was sent to all registered users from them that I thought you might be interested in.  They are currently offering $10 in Kindness Cash for anyone that registers or updates their information on their site.  There is no purchase necessary and it will take about a minute to complete.  Simply follow this link, and enter the required information.  If you already have a Kindrunner account, just log in prior to submitting this form.  If not, simply register for the site and enter the requested information.  And then, boom, ten dollars deposited into your account, good to use on any item on their site.  It could not be simpler.  The deadline for this deal is Friday, August 23, 2013, at 8:00 pm EST.  The information that Kindrunner is looking for is your current running shoe, days a week that you run, your favorite race, and your favorite place to run.  Very quick and painless.  Once again, that link is here.

Full disclosure here, I am a Kindrunner Ambassador, but this is not a paid position, and I am not being compensated for this post.  I just wanted to share this opportunity with my readers because we all could use an extra $10 towards our running addiction.

Last Week’s Recap

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This post might be a little late, but it is finally here.  Last week was officially my first taper week, and honestly, I did not know how to juggle my taper long run and the Breakaway Bardog 5K.  All and all though, I had a good week of training, and hopefully this will translate well for my race.

Monday: It was a rest day since I had just completed thirteen plus miles the day prior.  I was active around the house doing chores, but that was it.

Tuesday: I ran just under five miles, but they were slightly split about.  The first half a mile was a dead sprint with Beau, up and down our street.  Running with Beau can be a little treacherous since he likes to go side to side and explore everything that comes along the path.  His ADD has caused me multiple tumbles over the past few months!  After dropping him off at the house, I hit the street again to complete my run, even if the lack of a pace dog had an adverse effect on my time.  Since last week was a bit cooler than the norm for August, I was able to do this run post work, allowing me to sleep in a bit in the morning.

Wednesday: I ran four and a half miles after dinner, which is something I do not do often.  I do not like the feeling of running on a full stomach, but I wanted to make sure to get in some miles.  I also deviated from my running norm by working in a few exercises during my route.  After mile one and a half, I did ten burpees and fifteen pushups at a local elementary school on the route.  After mile three, I stopped at a park to attempt some pullups.  While I was unable to do one (no surprise), I did get some  good core work in during my attempts by hanging on the bar and pulling my knees up.  I finished the run with ten more burpees and twenty more pushups.

Thursday: I only ran three and a half miles because I was having some complications with my asthma.  This has been a recurring theme over the past week or so.

Friday: No run, but I did a TRX routine focusing on my upper body and core.  I wanted to give my legs a little bit of a rest.  After the workout, I went to my sister-in-law’s birthday dinner at Paulette’s, a local favorite that I had never visited before in Harbor Town.  The best thing anyone ordered was the peach crepe made with fresh, local peaches from Jones Orchard that Susan ordered for dessert.  Even though all of the food was good, she definitely won the food ordering battle with that selection.

Saturday: The day started with a return trip to the Memphis Farmers Market, which led to some fresh okra, grouper, squash, zucchini, purple hull peas, and Susan getting reprimanded.  Apparently bringing your dog to the outdoor market is frowned upon.  This was news to Susan since the previous two weeks there were dogs everywhere.  You live and you learn, I suppose.  That afternoon, before grilling up some grouper tacos, I did a full body TRX routine.  My TRX home kit is a lifesaver.  I do, however, need to start going to the gym more often to justify my membership fees.

Sunday: The day started with the Breakaway Bardog 5K, which you can read about here.  After the race, we took Beau to my in-laws for a play date with their dogs.  That evening, my trivia team vied for the the title of Memphis Champions, but we fell short of that goal.  Due to a lack of sci-fi knowledge and some Van Halen hubris, we fell out of contention, and this round of trivia finals has now concluded for us.

Breakaway Bardog 5K

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My goal of running a race in each month of 2013 has now officially eclipsed the eight month plateau!  The eighth month of racing was realized when I ran in the fourth annual Breakaway Bardog 5K in downtown Memphis yesterday morning.  This was my first time to attempt this race and I was pleasantly surprised by the event.  The event is not hosted by the major race promoter in the area, and being that it is only in its fourth year of existence, the event logistics went rather smoothly.  The only real issue was at packet pickup.  Most races you can walk in, pick up your packet, and leave.  For this race, however, it took a little over twenty minutes to get my bib and swag.  I am purely speculating here, but my assumption is by hosting the event internally, with some assistance from the Memphis Runners Track Club for timing and course layout, the event is able to donate more money to St. Jude, which is definitely worth a little bit of a wait.  Also, I do know that this year’s race was the largest yet, so with a boost in participants, a little bit of a learning curve is to be expected.

The weather certainly was better than expected for the third Sunday in August.  While the humidity was at 90%, the temperature was only 72, and the dew point was actually under 70, making the race much more pleasant than August average of 91 degrees!  The morning was also overcast, so there was no battling the sun during the run either.  I know several people set PR’s yesterday.  I was not one of these people, but I did, however, have my best time since February!  I finished the race in 28:12, and more importantly, felt that I could keep going at that pace for a couple more miles.

The race is held in conjunction with Bardog’s anniversary party, so race participants are encouraged to stay after the race for an after party.  There was beer, live music, and food in copious amounts.  The finish line funneled you into alley beside Bardog.  First, there was water available, then beer, then sliders, then peanut butter and banana sliders, then chicken salad sliders,  fruit, and then more beer.  Having multiple beer locations is always a prudent move for a race, especially a race at a bar!  And since this was an event hosted by a bar, participants were treated to beer a few notches above Bud Light or Miller Lite.  There was multiple brews from Yazoo Brewing, some Yuengling, Fat Tire, and many other beers that were much appreciated by the majority of the runners.  I will say that I am thankful that I got my wristband prior to the race because that line was insane after the race.  I had a couple of beers and sliders before heading home, but if I would have had a DD, I am certain that I could have been persuaded to stay down there for a little while longer!  The post race party lasted until 11 am, and that point, the anniversary street party began.  There was a world beer tour tent with about fifteen beers to try, and well as food and drinks to be purchased, a dunk tank, more live music, and a meatball eating contest.  Proceeds from all of the events were going to St. Jude.  I am very interested to see what the final donation total will be.

Course: A: It incorporated quite a bit of your standard downtown Memphis running course with one exception, no Beale St.  Most races have you run up the hill on Beale before turning to the finish line.  This race, however, had you stay on Riverfront for a couple more blocks and then turn up the hill onto Monroe where we ran past the front of Bardog, turned onto Main until Union, then turned onto Union to finish at the alley connecting Union and Monroe, which is where the after party was.  And for all of you readers that are unfamiliar with Memphis, the city resides on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff which separates the city from the Mississippi River,  This bluff makes for a very steep ascent on downtown runs.  Riverside Drive is the street basically at the same level of the Mississippi.

This was my race swag.

This was my race swag.

Swag: A: The food and beer selection was awesome, which is to be expected with Bardog.  The opportunity for the after party was also great, but I do hope that people went home to shower before the majority of the festivities.  The race shirts were super soft tees, which means it is a shirt that I will actually where again in public, which I did yesterday afternoon.  Seriously, all races should be forced to give super soft tees or tech shirts.  No one wants a plain, scratchy white tee-shirt anymore.  I also received a pair of Brooks shoe laces, a coupon to Aldo’s Pizza Pies (a sister restaurant to Bardog), a Bardog wooden nickel for a PBR, a free ticket to that evening’s Redbirds game, and a beer mug since I was one of the first 350 people to register for the race.  Some of the participants also got Believe Memphis headbands, St. Jude sunglasses and koozies, and different race advertisements.  I noticed that some people were upset on Facebook that they did not get the full allotment of swag.  There are much better things to get worked up about than that.  Oh well.

Overall: A: I am very glad that I chose this race over the Elvis Presley 5K that was held on Saturday.  I know that the events are held in such a manner that I could have run in both, but I was never going to do that, so I am glad that I chose this one.  I will certainly be making a return visit for next year’s race.

And on a nerdy side note, I wore my Batman Under Armour shirt for this race.  I had several people comment on it and I even saw another runner with one on as well.

Another Pair of New Shoes

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I mentioned that I got a new pair of running shoes a week or so ago, but I never shared much info about the shoes besides what they were, Brooks Glycerin 11.  This was the second pair of new shoes that I have bought in about a month span, but I would not consider the purchase of the frivolous variety.  Susan would probably disagree.  But my rationale was simple, I need to have a minimum of two viable running shoe options at any given time.  I rotate my shoes from day to day to help the rubber soles recover from the beating they take.  This helps me squeeze every mile possible out of my shoes.  I am already at a disadvantage since I am a heavier runner (my own doing, I know) and I supinate severely.  If I get 250 miles out of a pair of shoes, I think that I have gotten my money’s worth.  And thanks to my new shoe knowledge as well as my Nike+ watch, I can keep a fairly accurate odometer on each pair of my shoes.

I do not have many miles on these shoes yet, nine to be exact, but they are comfortable.  I wanted a different pair of shoes to rotate with my Saucony Triumph 10’s so I could subtlety work different muscles in my legs and vary my run, slightly.  The Brooks Glycerin 11 has a 12 millimeter heel-to-toe drop versus the 8 milometer drop on the Saucony Triumph 10.  I am not going to get into the shoes hurt your feet or you should run in a barefoot shoe or minimalist is the only way to go debate on here.  I am just sharing my thought process.  Maybe after my marathon in January I will explore some of these other areas, but for now, I am going to not be too radical.  But I will say that the 8 milometer drop on the Saucony’s was one of the reasons I went with the Saucony in July over the Brooks.  I also had also tried out a pair of the Triumph 10’s in a  running event here in Memphis in April, and most of the reports seem to indicate that the Saucony is a little more durable than the Brooks.  We shall see.  They are slightly more expensive than the Saucony’s were, but the $20 difference did not factor into my thought process in the least.

Top view Brooks Glycerin 11

Top view Brooks Glycerin 11

Rear view Brooks Glycerin 11

Rear view Brooks Glycerin 11

Bottom view Brooks Glycerin 11

Bottom view Brooks Glycerin 11

Side view Brooks Glycerin 11

Side view Brooks Glycerin 11

 

If my opinions change on the Brooks Glycerin 11 after logging some miles, I will post them here.  But for now, I must say that the shoe is light and comfortable.  They seem to fit true to my size a little bit better than my Saucony Triumph’s do.  Again, that will be tested once I log some significant miles in them.  But for now, I am satisfied with the purchase.

Weekly Recap

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I usually try to post this update on Sundays, but yesterday was quite busy for me, so here it goes a day late.

My last week of Tupelo 14.2 high intensity training is now over.  Now all that is left is is a couple of weeks of tapering and then it will finally be race day.  It has been quite a humid week here in Memphis, and very uncomfortable for the longest run of my training.

Monday: I went for my run after work, so the heat I encountered was completely my fault, but the humidity was insane that morning and I needed the extra rest.  The first half mile or so, I ran with my dog.  He is a miniature labradoodle, and I never run hard for more than this distance with him.  After dropping him off, I hit my normal course and had a good run.

Tuesday: No run, but I did a forty-five minute TRX routine.  I rotated through the upper body, core, and lower body exercises.  I really wish I had a place in my yard that I could suspend my TRX straps overhead so I would have the full gambit of exercises at my disposal, but I still can get a great workout in regardless.  I am, however, considering getting a pullup bar that you can put up in a door frame so I can work on doing something that I have never been able to do in my entire life, a pullup.  I feel that it will be very beneficial for my upcoming Spartan Race.

Wednesday:  I was lazy and did not get out of bed for a morning run.  After work, my in-laws decided to take Susan and I out for an early birthday dinner.  We went to Side Street Grill in Midtown for their steak night.  Steak night is a fantastic deal, with two steaks, two sides, two salads, and a shared appetizer for $28!  And we are not talking sirloins here, but rather filet mignon in generous proportions.  It very well may be the best deal in town.

After dinner, I did not feel like going for a run, but I did not want to have an off day completely.  I tried the Spartan Workout of the Day from a couple of weeks ago called the Spartan Ab 300.  The workout goes as follows:

  • 15 Crunches
  • 30 Bicycles
  • 30 Back Scratchers
  • 30 Rotating Crunches
  • 15 Leg Lowers
  • 30 Scissor Kicks
  • 30 Side Crunches
  • 30 Bicycles
  • 15 Crunches
  • 30 Back Scratchers
  • 15 Leg Lowers
  • 30 Side Crunches

This was a very comprehensive routine, but there was quite a bit of a learning curve for the majority of the exercises, and the next time I do it, there will be quite a bit more speed to it.  I will say that my soreness factor was not what I was expecting, so I do feel the pauses to verify my technique was a part of that.

Thursday: I woke up early and finished four and a half miles on a brutal morning.  At 5:30 am, it was 80 degrees, the dew point was 75, and the humidity was at 88%.  Welcome to Memphis in August!  Actually, I guess I should be thankful since there has not been an official day at 100 degrees or higher here in Memphis yet, which feels like a record.  I was drenched after my run and was definitely feeling the wrath of the weather when I returned home.  All I can say is at least I was not running in the blistering sun, so it could have always been worse.

Friday:  It was Susan’s birthday, so I did not workout.  I opted to spend the day with her.  I took a long lunch and met her at work so I could have lunch with her, I gave her some birthday presents, we went to dinner, and then we watched a movie.  I was going to take her to a movie, but she wanted to stay at home and watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  It was her birthday and her choice, so I can no longer say that I am in the minority of the world to never see or read any of the Harry Potter stories.  Oh well.

A Memphis institution

A Memphis institution

Saturday: Honestly, I should have gone for my long run, but we had already made plans to meet some friends for breakfast at a local institution, The Arcade.  Susan has lived here her whole life and I have lived here for about a third of mine (wow, I have been here that long?), yet we had never tried the place out.  I will say that after eating there, the place is worth the hype.  I had what is called the “Eggs Redneck” which is biscuits and sausage smothered in gravy with hash browns and eggs.  It was not the healthiest meal of my week, but it was very delicious.  After breakfast, Susan and I went to the farmers market around the corner.  The place was packed with vendors and shoppers, and there were some local food trucks there as well.  We bought some locally made hot sauce, a pound of triple stripe, some tomatoes, olive spread, and hummus, which led to a fantastic grilled dinner later in the day.

This is what we came home with.

This is what we came home with.

I could not stand the thought of two days in a row without a workout, so I did another TRX routine.  This was a shorter one, and I finished with my last set a mere twenty-five minutes after I began my warmup routine.  It is very convenient to have the ability to do TRX at home.  But this convenience also eliminates any excuse that I might have about finding time to exercise.  After my TRX routine, I mowed my yard, so that hour plus of pushing that mower around the yard can be attributed to being active as well.

A great place to spend a Saturday morning.

A great place to spend a Saturday morning.

Sadly, the Atlanta Braves incredible win streak came to an end with a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning against the lowly Miami Marlins.  The Braves had rattled off fourteen consecutive wins, and opened up a commanding fifteen and a half game lead on the Washington Nationals!  It has been a fantastic couple of weeks of Braves baseball, and hopefully this will be parlayed into a long October run!

Sunday: I did not choose well for the day and time for my long run for the week.  I woke up at 5:30 am, but the weather outside was already soup like.  The humidity sat at 87%, the dew point was 73.9 degrees, and the temperature sat at an even 80 degrees, so I knew I was in for a challenge.  I took a very long time to get prepped for my run, trying to get psyched for the weather, and by the time I hit the sidewalk, I was already sweating.  I thought that my day, and possibly the next couple of months was over just after mile three.  Memphis is a city with numerous trees which is awesome for aesthetics and shade, but can be brutal on my allergies and the local sidewalks.  My allergies were mostly in check this morning, but I was not being as mindful as I should have been to the ever changing topography on the sidewalk.  I came down very awkwardly on my left foot, causing it and my ankle to pop very loudly and roll inwards.  I let out a string of expletives and thought the worst.  It took me a couple of minutes to be able to put any weight on it again.  After a few more minutes of hobbling around on it, the pain subsided enough for me to take off once again, albeit at a much slower and controlled pace.  By the time I reached mile five, there was no more pain in my foot or ankle, which made me extremely happy.  I kept sluggishly pushing forward in the hot and humid air until mile eight, when the skies opened up and started pouring some much appreciated cold rain upon me.  This lasted for about two and half miles, and they were the fastest two and a half miles that I ran all day!  I only had three negative splits for the day, and they were miles eight. nine, and twelve.  Thank goodness for that rain!  Not only was it refreshing, it also gave me reassurance that my recent lackluster times are more weather related than fitness related.  I ran a total of 13.11 miles on Sunday, and since that is a half marathon distance, I used it for a virtual race that I had registered for.

The Walking Dead Run Medal

The Walking Dead Run Medal

The race was The Walking Dead Run, and I only registered for it because the medal company made an error in the color of the race medals, so they were redoing several of them.  The race organizer was trying to get rid of the extra medals, and was asking for a $10 donation to their race charity.  I love the show The Walking Dead, and I actually like the incorrect medals better than the correct ones, so I pledged my $10.  I will say though, that unless a race blows me away in the next few months, that this is my second to last virtual run for the foreseeable future.  I am sure Susan will be happy with this.  I mean, I have to start saving for Disney in January and finalize which races I want to run next year, so the extra capital would be great.

My friends and I play trivia at a local bar on Tuesday nights.  It is an excuse to get out of the house for a couple of hours a week, and an easy way to make a few dollars for our tabs each week.  Each week, the winners get a $50 gift card to the bar, second gets $20, and third gets $10.  Since May, our team has amassed a little of $600 in bar cash, which definitely puts us in the black for our trips there each Tuesday night.  And twice a year, there is a tournament of the area bars that play trivia through Challenge Entertainment.  Three years ago we placed second in the area tournament and netted $1,000.  Now, second would land us $5,000, and first place gets $10,000!  Last night we had our first semifinal round and we placed seventh for the night.  We could have won last night since we finished twelve points behind first, got the final answer right, but wagered zero points.  We did that because there were no prizes on the line last night and as long as we finished in the top twenty, we would move to the next round.

Best show on TV

Best show on TV

After trivia, I immediately went home and fired up my DVR to catch the premier episode of the new, and final season of Breaking Bad.  It is easily the best show on TV and very intense.  It is one of the few shows that I will watch live on TV and if I miss it live, I have to avoid Twitter and Facebook until I get to watch it.  I will not give any spoilers, but last night did not disappoint one bit!  I do not know what the outcome will be for Walter White will be, but watching his evolution over five plus seasons has been staggering.  There are only seven weeks left in his story, and certainly several twists yet to come.  Can it already be 8:00 pm on next Sunday night yet?

Drink Water. Stay Motivated.

Standard

The summer is nearly over and I am just now tackling the issue of hydration.  My timing is impeccable, I know.  There are numerous articles about how much water you need to drink, hydration rates, temperatures, and such, and I will not get into those specifics here.  They seem to change the recommendations with each article and whatever I post here will be out of date next week.  Instead, I will share with you some ways I stay hydrated.  I am not a doctor, I do not play one on TV, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night.  Rather, I am a larger fellow that runs, an the slower side, and I do whatever I can not to fall out on the side of the road during a run.

Drink more water

Drink more water

For anyone that I see on a regular basis know that I am constantly drinking water.  My daily water intake goal is 128 ounces.  I have been striving for this number daily since March 2010 when I was doing Nutrisystem and trying to shed one hundred plus pounds.  Nutrisystem calls for eight glasses of water a day, but I am an overachiever!  Most days I find it easy to reach the 128 mark, and in fact, most days I eclipse it.  As I am writing this post, I have already consumed around eighty ounces today.  I have never been a coffee drinker so that was not a barrier for me to overcome.  I used to drink several carbonated beverages, but I rarely do that anymore.  And honestly, I very rarely drink alcohol anymore either.  In the past week, the only liquids that I have imbibed have been water and chocolate milk, which is my go to recovery drink.  I even refrained from having margaritas for Susan’s birthday party since I knew I was scheduled to run the following morning.    The downside with drinking this much water is that I constantly feel like Forrest Gump when he meets JFK, “I gotta pee!”  This can be annoying on road trips, busy days at work, and long runs, but not unmanageable.

I use several vessels for my water consumption throughout the day.  While I am at home, I primarily use a twenty-four ounce Tervis cup.  I am addicted to these cups, and have over a dozen at the house.  They have excellent insulation for cold and hot beverages, and fit perfectly in my truck’s cup holder.  The only problem with them is that Beau really wants to share my drinks with me in a Tervis.  At work, I use a thirty-two ounce water jug, a twenty ounce Tervis water bottle, or my twenty-four ounce Polar Bottle.  I try to rotate them to help keep them clean.  Everyone on my floor are accustomed to seeing me walk to the water fountain throughout the day, and probably would call the authorities if they did not see me coming down the hall for a couple of weeks.

Tervis 22 oz, Nathan Quick Draw Plus 20 oz, Polar Bottle 24 oz, CamelBak 3L

Tervis 22 oz, Nathan Quick Draw Plus 22 oz, Polar Bottle 24 oz, CamelBak 3L

On my runs, I use three different vessels.  I have a twenty-two ounce Nathan Quick Draw Plus handheld bottle.  The bottle comes with a pouch that is advertised to be large enough for your iPhone.  This is a rather bold statement, and at least for the iPhone 5, this is not a true statement.  The pouch is, however, great for storing running gels, keys, cards, and the such.  There is also a reflective stripe on the bottle that is nice, and you can adjust it depending on how large your hand is.  The bottle is ideal for quick runs because it is not well insulated, and gathers quite a bit of condensation during a run.  Within thirty minutes, your water is warm.  I also run holding the Polar Bottle, and despite not having a strap, it is very easy to carry on a run.  Water stays cold longer in the Polar Bottle, and there is not as much condensation as the Quick Draw Plus.  The Polar Bottle is perfect for a run of about an hour.  After that, the air temperature and your body heat significantly warm up the contents of the bottle.  If you are in an environment in which you are not constantly holding the bottle or in extreme heat, the contents stay cooler longer.  The third option that I use is a CamelBak Military Hydration Pack 3L.  This is by far the easiest option to run with since you wear it versus carrying it.  When full, you are adding a little bit of weight, but it honestly is not that noticeable.  The water in the pack stays cool for over two hours, which is great for my longer runs.  I have only had two major issues with it in the three years that I have had it.  The first is that I get soaking wet wearing it due to heavy sweating underneath it and the fact that the pack produces a fair amount of condensation.  Of course, when I go on a long run, I end up soaked anyways.  Second, the Velcro on the adjustable straps wreak havoc on my running shirts.  I noticed this one day when I was washing my laundry.  At first, it was my older shirts and I thought that they were just wearing out from use.  It was after noticing some fabric on the Velcro as well as rough spot on a new shirt that I put two and two together.  I have since reversed the straps, and last weekend I did not notice any damage.  I am going to keep a close eye on it.

I also feel compelled to admit that I enjoy the taste, or lack thereof associated with water.  I get that this kind of makes me a freak, and most people cannot stand drinking the amounts of water they need daily due to this.  For these people, I suggest that you use Nuun tablets or Crystal Light or some other water flavoring product that is not full of sugar and calories.