Another Pair of New Shoes

Standard

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.

Advertisements

Weekly Recap

Standard

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.

Medical Breakthrough At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Standard

Outstanding news!

WREG.com

(Memphis) A medical breakthrough in the fight against childhood cancer, thanks to scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital right here in Memphis.

Scientists have discovered a way to target the immune system to shrink, even eliminate, tumors in mice without hurting the immune system.

They also found evidence that the same mechanism may operate in humans.

View original post

Another Week of Training in the Books

Standard

It appears that much to my dismay, the heat and humidity of a typical Memphis summer is here to stay.  This was my second to last week of full half marathon training before I taper for a couple of weeks before running in the Tupelo 14.2.  I’ll then have an easy week before ramping up the miles once again in route to the 4 Bridges Half Marathon in October, the St. Jude Half Marathon in December, and the Walt Disney World Marathon in January.  The last week looked a little like this.

Monday:  I woke up early and ran 4.24 before work.  It was an easy run a little faster than my PR half marathon pace.  I felt great during my run and was happy that I motivated myself to get out of bed.  After work I mowed and trimmed my yard.  The yard is small, and takes about an hour and a half to mow with my push mower.  Add in the trimming, and it is a two hour plus endeavor, so I will chalk that up as some cross training!  Especially lugging the weed eater around the yard and sweeping up all the grass clippings.

Tuesday: No run scheduled, but I did work in about a forty-five minute TRX session at the house.  I did not focus on any particular region, I just did two cycles of about twelve of my typical exercises.  I could definitely feel the burn twenty minutes in, especially in my abs, so I knew I was accomplishing something.

On a side note, the Memphis Grizzlies officially made a significant move on Tuesday by signing Mike Miller.  The Grizz desperately needed a shooter, and when healthy, Mike is very good at that.  He did play a pivotal roll in the Miami Heat beating the San Antonio Spurs this last season.  There is also a rumor that Mo Williams is considering signing with the Grizz to be the backup point guard!  It seems odd for the Grizz to be active in free agency, even if it is for the second tier of player.  Hopefully they can build upon the remarkable season that they just completed.

Wednesday: I was a bum and slept in.  I used the excuse that it was about to rain, but honestly, I was just tired and lazy.  I would pay for this laziness after work.  I tried to wait out the heat, but it did not work.  I completed 3.14 and that was it.  The heat got to me and I ended my run early.  Yet another reminder to get my lazy ass out of bed in the morning.

Jedi Challenge Medal

Jedi Challenge Medal

Thursday:  I did not want a repeat of Wednesday, so I definitely got out of bed.  As I mentioned a couple days ago, I ran this training run as a virtual race called the Jedi Challenge.  It was only supposed to be a 5K, but I extended it by a little over a mile.  The humidity was brutal and by the end of the 4.33 miles, my left nipple was bleeding, which is not a good feeling.  After work, I did another TRX workout.  This one was modeled more after a burnout routine with a single set of exercises at a high number of repetitions.  I am still sore from this.

Friday:  Another planned day away from running, but I did get in my third TRX routine of the week.  It was partially a stall tactic since we were having an early surprise party for Susan and she kept trying to ruin it.  Her birthday is not until next week, but we thought that if we did the party early, she would not expect it.  We had twenty-five or so of her friends and family meet us at her favorite Mexican place, Las Delicias.  They got there at 6:30 and I was to have Susan there at 7:00.  The problem was that she skipped lunch that day since they were gearing up for the school year and they were swamped with the last minute details.  I stalled her as much as possible and we got there at 6:55.  The only problem was that her parents showed up at the exact same time, with a birthday present no less!  Susan claims that she did not out two and two together, and did seem genuinely surprised when she walked into the room.  We had a great time with pitchers of margaritas, cupcakes and a dreamsicle cake from Muddy’s, and some great fellowship.  We ended up shutting the place down.

It was runner's Christmas at my house!

It was runner’s Christmas at my house!

Friday was Friday filled with presents for me as well.  I received my Runnersbox that I won a couple of weeks ago, as well as a St. Jude Heroes tech shirt for eclipsing the $100 threshold in my fundraising efforts, the September issue of Runner’s World, and my brand new Brooks Glycerine 11 shoes!  I also purchased two new pairs of running shorts, utilizing the tax free weekend here in Tennessee and a store coupon.  I felt like it was Christmas morning at my house!  I will be doing a stand alone post on the shoes and Runnersbox later this week.

Saturday: This was my scheduled long run for the week, and I will say this, Las Delicias is not the best prerun meal, especially when twelve miles are on the docket!  I managed to complete 10.73 miles before submitting to my stomach ssues and calling it a day.  As I did my finishing stretches, the rain came in full force, and my iPhone was grateful not to be out in it.  It sucked to not get in my miles, but I do not feel that it will hinder me any in the upcoming week.

Sunday:  Today has been a 100% rest day with that has afforded me the opportunity to recover a little bit as well as complete some laundry.  Once I complete this post, I am going to use the foam roller for a few minutes while watching the Braves on ESPN and the Cowboys in the first NFL preseason game of the season on NBC.

Tupelo 14.2 Just Around the Corner

Standard

I am not going to lie, I am getting a little antsy for my next major race.  It has been two days short of a month since my last traditional race, a 5K, and until this morning, it had been about three weeks since I ran my last virtual race, my very own Platinum Sombrero 5K.  This morning I ran the Jedi Challenge, but more on that in a second.  Virtual races are great to stay motivated for training, but they do not have the same feel that a traditional race does. The crowd, both spectators and participants, just get them adrenaline pumping.  Even the smaller 5K’s produce this feeling.  My next opportunity for this feeling will be in a couple of weeks when I tackle the Breakaway Bardog 5K.  But the race that I am really eager to run is the Tupelo 14.2.

It has been since the St. Jude Half Marathon back in December since I ran a race in double digits and I really want to get back out there.  I am sure a part of this is because I did not get the chance to run in what was originally slated to be my third ever half marathon in March at the Germantown Half Marathon.  But, I had a case of peroneal tendonitis flare up and sidelined me.  At least I was smart in my recovery and was able to get back into action quicker than expected and did not miss the Warrior Dash – Mississippi.

I officially booked my hotel for Tupelo yesterday and I watched a couple of YouTube videos about the race, trying to get a feel for it.  It is going to be early, 5:00 am to be exact, hot, and humid, I am sure.  The last week and a half of training runs should be preparing me well for that aspect.   All the reviews I find talk about how great of an event the race is.  This is a little surprising considering that this is a small race in a small, southern town in one of the hottest points of the year.  The mascot is a skull and crossbones that varies in design from year to year, often with a Grateful Dead inspiration.  The idea behind the skull and cross-bones is simple.  It is hot, and you feel like death by the end, this the skull and cross-bones.  I cannot wait to see what the medal looks like this year, even if the 14.2 medal is just literally half of the full marathon medal.

Jedi Challenge Medal

Jedi Challenge Medal

I ran the Jedi Challenge as my training run this morning.  I was hoping to miss the heat, but there was no avoiding the humidity.  When I took my first step at 6:03 am this morning, the humidity was only at 91%!  By the time I finished my 4.33, it looked like I had taken a swim in a pool.  I even had the dreaded nipple chafing issue that usually only rears its ugly head on my long runs in this max humidity.  So that has been fun to deal with today.  The humidity and fact that I always start a little sluggishly in the morning resulted in a 10:08 pace for the race.  Also, this was a virtual run that I did not intend t participate in, but when some extra medals were discovered, I went ahead and gave it a shot.  I love the saying on the medal, and I must say that the light saber really looks good.

On a side note, my raffle for a free entry in The Color Run is still ongoing.  You can enter here.