Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spruce Mountain Snow Run

Long awaited Snow on Thursday, so - following is the internal dialogue.......

Do I still want to get out and Run?  (It is snowing after all, and it's cold - below 30 degrees out, and if you really don't want to - then just don't do it, cause you are not training for anything anyway).

Okay, running it is then.  So is Spruce Mtn still your favorite place to run?  (Especially when it is snowing).

Should I take my camera? - Because according to your hair-brained running plan you came up with, you are still walking further than you are running (Thursday was walk 1.7 miles, then run 1.4 miles at 8:30 to 9 min pace).


Post walk / run thoughts..... "Dummy, was there ever any doubt that you should have gone running and that Spruce Mountain was the perfect place to run in the first (measurable) snow of the season?  Sure it was going to be cold and would snow on and off while you were out there - but you are a runner after all - or at least you want to be?  Stop arguing with yourself and go home now"

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Space Jump from a runners perspective

Yesterday (Sunday morning) my son and I stumbled online to the Space Jump.  For those (like us) who had not heard of it - a Skydiver, w/ 7 years of planning, sponsored by Red Bull and with an organizational effort that seemed NASA-like supporting him - floated in a capsule tethered below a helium filled ballon to the outer limits of the earths atmsospehere to an altitude of over 128,000'.   Why?  To jump.

We quickly found it on TV and watched it for the last hour of it.

Admittedly at times, as the Ascent was happening, it was as interesting as watching paint dry.  But as the guy (Felix Baumgartner - 43 years old from Austria) started the checklist to ready himself to jump - including undoing his seatbelt and then opening the door to see just how high he was - my son and I watched with increasing interest and wondered out loud what could happen - both good or bad. 

And then, when the jump happened we sat and watched cheering like we were at a sporting event, while being freaked out watching if the guy was about to jump to his death.

24 miles above the earth - almost a full marathon - took about 2 1/2 hours to get up there.  Then he jumped - free falling for over 4 minutes before his parachute opened up.  Exceeding 800 miles per hour during the descent.  Amazing camera views of him descending, tumbling, spinning, seemingly out of control, then slowing down and coming out of the spin as he got closer to Earth because the atmosphere became thicker.  Talking to the mission controllers as he was plummeting downward.  It was amazing as we both watched.

My son mentioned later that he covered about the distance of a marathon faster than than most can run a mile.

He landed as though he was steeping off a ladder.  Softly, easily as though it was routine.  But I guess it was - that was the easy part.  My son and I looked at each other.  He said with such amazement "That was awesome".  All I could say was "Wow.  Wow.  Wow". 

The training, the journey, the dedication that Feliz Baumgartner put into the project must have been huge.  From a guy who enjoys running, including running in races - my favorite being the Pikes Peak Marathon - it was hard to comprehend and understand.  I sometimes look at elite athletes and are jealous of not just how good and fast they are - but of the training they do. 

I think what if I could train like them, what if I can run like them - what heights can I reach?  Or, shall I be content with what I normally do?  I'm not about to take up skydiving and especially not about to float in a balloon 24 miles up - and jump.  But, after watching that yesterday - I was inspired to try to do better, train more and see what happens.  I'll never be even close to elite - but I want to be faster, maybe even reach new heights (for me).

I also said to my son "Don't ever do that, please.   But if you do, don't let your Mom know".

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 5K's

Not a lot of logic went into this concept.  Most likely has been done before but I don't care. 

Why?  I want to / need to get back into running.  But I need to be careful to not jump back in and hurt myself by doing too much, too soon.  So - I came up with this.  I don't think I can be accused of coming back too fast, too soon if I can follow through on this.

I started this on Monday and here is what I am doing.....

Day 1: Walk 3 miles then Jog .1 miles
Day 2: Walk 2.9, then Jog .2
Day 3: Walk 2.8, then Jog .3
Day 4: Walk 2.7, then Jog .4
Day 5: Walk 2.6, then Jog .5

For the first week the walking is about an 18 1/2 minute per mile pace.  As each week goes by, walking pace will hopefully get faster - but really don't care if it does or doesn't.  For this week the jogging will be at a pace no faster than 10 min mile avg. 

On Saturdays and Sundays - nothing resembling the walk / run 5K plan.  Activities will include wandering around watching my kids soccer games and working on doing honey do lists.  I will also be doing some eliptical work and stationary biking on one or both weekend days.  As each weekend goes by, more time on Eliptical, more time on bike.

Week 2 - the pattern continues with each day being .1 mile less walking, adding .1 mile jogging.  This week I will be jogging a little faster on average - somewhere between 9 to 10 min mile pace.  If I find that is putting too much aches and pains on the back.  Then I will pull the plug and probably just shut it down.  Hopefully though, by doing the increasing ever so little at a time - I will be okay.  I guess I will find out.

Week 3 - same pattern, so by the end of the week (Fri, Oct 26th) - which will be 5K #15 - that day is 1.6 miles walking, followed by 1.5 miles slow running.  This week the pace goal will be 8:30 to 9 min mile averages.  (Likely still doing the same Sat / Sun routine)

Week 4 - same pattern, now I am running faster and further than I will be walking.  Average running pace goal during these 5 days of a 5K per day will be 8 min to 8 1/2 min mile pace.

Week 5 - likely to be colder by now and possibly snow on the ground.  Although my desire will be to doing each 5K outside - I may have to resort to the treadmill.  Will still be following the pattern of decreasing walk length, while adding on run length.  So, on Monday I will walk 1 mile, then run 2.1 miles.  Tues: Walk .9 miles, run 2.2 miles - and so on..... Average pace this week will increase again and be faster (I hope) - aiming for 7:30 to 8 min average.

Week 6 - nearing the end and surely by now I will have either quit, forgot what I was planning on doing, or got bored and decided to climb Pikes Peak (not likely to happen).  But just in case I am still on track and still following my ridiculous plan - by Friday of this week it will be 5K #30.  I will just walk .1 miles and then run 3 miles at a 7 to 7:30 minute mile average pace.

Week 7 - or more specifically: the goal week.  Monday (November 19th) will be 5K #31.  No walking, just running the whole 5K.  Don't know how fast it will be.  Don't know if I will have followed the plan to get there.  If I can - I will try to go sub 7 pace.  If I can't - I won't.  If I do - will be happy.  If I have made it that far by sticking to the plan - I'll be a little surprised.

If it works out - a few days after 5K #31 - I will then run the local YMCA Turkey Trot 5K.  That may be with one or more of my kids, or maybe just by myself.  If I do run it - at least I know I should be able to finish.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Regretable 5K

I have never counted calories and never wanted to - not just because math is not a strong suit of mine.  On the odd occasion that my children ask me for help with their homework - I first ask them if it is for math then they better ask their Mother.

Side note - they also go to her for Science, Social Studies, History, Language Arts.  I get the occasional question on Geography for some wierd reason.  That's when I get to show off my knowledge.  Math however - most recently Algebra homework for the 6th grader and the 8th grader - makes me leave the room.

I actually eat okay - I think.  Sure there is the occasional binge eating of Ice cream, Razzleberry pie, oatmeal and raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, chocolate cake, plain cake, red velvet cake, banana cake, in fact -all kinds of cake.   Then there is soda, jelly beans, chocolate, brownies, chips, Chinese food, Mexican food, New Zealand food, big greasy burgers - but usually not all on the same day.

While waiting for the Chiropractor earlier this morning I was reading about a 2000 calorie per day diet being something that was good.   There was a list of "5 foods to avoid" - top of that list was sugar.  Curses.  I hate lists.

Top of the list of "5 foods to enjoy" was Olive oil.  Followed by Spinach.  That got me thinking about Popeye of course.  Which then got me thinking of Popeye's Chicken.  Chicken is supposed to be good, but Turkey is better some would say.  While dwelling on Turkey my mind easily went to Thanksgiving - Yummmm.  Before I knew it - I was starving.

Then came my chiropractic adjustment and I asked the Doc how my back was doing and what is the plan for continued improvement.  Secretly I was hoping he would say something like not starting to stress it out yet by doing anything to crazy.

He told me that my back is improving really well, that things are lining back up into place and that the bulging disc is noticeably "unbulging" (my word, not the Dr's).  Now that the spinal column and the discs are getting back to where they should be, I need to start some new exercises / rehab therapy to help things get stronger.  

Dead bug exercises are what I get to do for the next few weeks, along with.....(noooo, don't say it Doc!!!  I just want to eat everything in sight)....walking more and even a little light running.

So the (guessing) 5000 calorie weekend, possibly all that on Saturday, are now behind me - admittedly I now have an approx 10 pound larger shadow behind me too.  Play time is over.   Time to get to work - this is not only what I need to do - I really want to.

Today I will walk, the goal is 3 miles, trying to jog up to a 1/4 of a mile - after lunch of course. 

You're Fat (Dr Phil)
I can't get back into this exercise thing "cold turkey" - hmmm there I go getting distracted again thinking about food.  When is Thanksgiving?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Easing back ain't easy

Came across one of the better New Zealand videos on Youtube.....

As for my back - I have been cleared and encouraged by the doc to start exercising again - limited to walking and easy stretching exercises for now.  Hoping to start some light jogging by next week sometime.

Went for a 2 1/2 mile slow walk w/ my wife last evening - by far the longest distance I have done in weeks, in fact it was only the second walk of over a mile.  While walking, she asked me about a return to running - which got me to thinking and realizing that the further I get away from running the bigger the pendulum swings.

On one extreme is a desire to get back into it with increased effort, amping up weekly mileage above what I have ever done before, run longer distances and do bigger events / races.

Yet on the other extreme is a desire to do absolutely nothing except get fat and lazy.   It sure is easier to put on 5 pounds than to lose 5 pounds.

Admittedly - while not running it has been easier to do the 2nd option.  However, while doing nothing but eating and being - the result is that it sends me down the mental path of mild guilt - which then swings the mental pendulum over to a desire to get out on a trail and run for 6 hours.

On a side note - w/ Fall in full swing and snow likely tonight - I am missing one of the prettier and favorite times of the year to be out running trails

An upcoming "dilemma": I am supposed to get a new pair of shoes next week to do a 3 week "wear test".  Not quite sure how I am going to pull that off - wondering if and how a "long run" is going to be viewed if it is only a slow jog down my driveway.

I think what I am likely to do is let another week go by of uselessness, chocolateness and fatness - then when I get the shoes next week - is to (at least try to) start running again.  Treating myself like a brand new runner.  Mapping out a 4 or 5 week schedule of gradually working back into a running routine.  Building back up a running / fitness base - while working off the waist base.

I was born and raised in New Zealand - but have lived in the US for 20 years now.  Like this running break - the longer I am away from New Zealand the bigger the pendulum swings are between an intense desire to drop everything and take a 1 way flight back there.  To the other extreme of wondering why would I ever want to go back "home"?

Well - to avoid songs like this: