>> Saturday, October 31, 2009
Just a quick note: Pharmie and I are home and relaxing after a successful day of racing!!
Me taking a “#2” pre race at the Monster Dash 10 Mile
Pharmie resting after finishing the “Surf the Murph” 50K Trail Run!
Just a quick note: Pharmie and I are home and relaxing after a successful day of racing!!
Well, Pharmie and I are up and off to our separate races today. I don’t think that’s ever happened before. It should be interesting for both of us.
Pharmie’s doing her second ever race on a trail. She did a 4 mile trail race early this year, and now she’s doing a 50K (31 miles) trail race today!! She JUST left the house for her first ultra marathon!! Keep her in your thoughts! We don’t need a turned ankle (or worse)!
I’m doing the Monster Dash 10 Mile, and I’m trying a new race strategy. There’s been great conversation on my blog over the last 5 days about all kinds of things, but the one that I’ve been thinking about the most is my race effort. I’ve been accused of not racing hard enough in the first half of the TC 10 Mile 4 weeks ago, and that might be true. I even stated in my race report that I thought I could have pushed harder in miles 4-8. So today, I’ll still “ease” into the race a little, but then I’ll up the pace sooner than I did for the TC 10 Mile. And then, hopefully I have enough “in the tank” to finish. And not puke. We’ll see...
Also, I think today’s race is on a faster course. Here’s the elevation chart from the TC 10 Miler a few weeks ago. You’ll see a few small rollers, but mostly longer hills, with a difference of about 200 feet from the highest to the lowest point:
I just have some random funnies today. Since tomorrow is Halloween, I thought I needed a Halloween funny. Hope this isn’t too offensive:
A few people commented with general bike trainer questions on my previous post that showed Pharmie and Matt sweating it out in out basement. I’m NO expert on trainers, so I thought I’d ask for all your input.
I don’t know if “rollers” are the way to start off - I think it’d be better to start on a “normal” trainer, and then decide in a year or 2 if you want to try rollers. Starting with rollers would scare me. Too intimidating. But then again, I’m intimidated by any vegetable longer than 3 inches... (if you catch my drift)
As with most things, “you get what you pay for.” More expensive trainers are usually more “even” and quieter. Some trainers have a cable that you can mount on your handle bars that allows you to adjust the resistance of the trainer on your back tire while in the saddle. I would LOVE that - my trainer seems to change resistance now-and-then, and I hate having to hop off my bike all the time.
Also, for me, I LOVE the 30 minute “Spinnerval” DVD workouts. Sometimes I’ll do 2 back-to-back. But Pharmie doesn’t care for those, as she’d just rather watch TV.
Any thoughts from the rest of you for those looking to get a trainer? Happy winter riding!!
(...but before we get to that, a little more on something else.)
So the last few days of discussion on my blog have been very interesting to me! It was first an “iPod or no iPod” discussion, which soon turned into an issue about racing and race effort. I took some of these ideas and wrote about them in the forums on BeginnerTriathlete.com as well. Most people (on BT) agree with many of the sentiments left here regarding iPods: many don’t wear them, few people race with them, and everyone that uses them seem to be using them safety / smartly.
Then I put up a poll on BT asking “Can you hold a short conversation during a 10 mile race?” Here’s what I added:
I've been catching a little flak for not "racing hard enough." I recently did the TC 10 Miler in 1:02:43, which was good for 95 out of 5797. I was happy with that. But being I held a few short conversations with other runners at mile 1, 4, and 5, some people are saying that I didn't race hard enough. It was an "all out race" for me, and in a 10 mile race, I'm not racing so hard by mile 1 that I can't talk. SHOULD I be racing that fast?
Thoughts please! Thanks!
If you can't talk a little bit in the early part of the race, you will be walking before the finish line.
You turned in a 1:02 for a ten miler and you weren't racing hard enough? Damn, I hate to see if you shut up and ran how fast you'd be! That's an awesome run IMO and if you are okay saying a few words, so be it. Who gives a fuzzy rats nut sack as to what others think ~ run your own race and only you can truly criticize what and how you performed. If I could run that fast and talk, I might do it just to show off. ;) Run on brother!
Yesterday’s post has some great comments. Thanks for all your input on both sides of this issue! (Keep it coming!)
One thing that I felt pretty bad about was that I implied that everyone running is “training,” and is running to try to get faster. That’s NOT the case, and I feel like a doody-head for implying that. Plenty of people might just head out on a run to enjoy some free time or to stay in shape. That’s a great time to run with music if you’d like. Use it to enjoy the moment. It’s not always about getting pumped up and running as hard as possible. My bad. Sorry.
RE: some comments on yesterday’s post:
- My post and Gary’s article are ALL opinion, not fact. But the idea behind Gary being asked to write this article for the MDRA magazine is that he’s a seasoned race director / coach with a different perspective than us “normal” runners.
- Someone brought up deaf runners / bikers, which I’ve seen brought up in iPod discussions before. Yes, they do fine on a bike or on a public trail, but they are USED to dealing with living without hearing what’s around them - they have spent years finding other ways to “hear.” The rest of us choose to not hear our surroundings if our iPods are up too high.
- 1 or 2 people mentioned using iPods during races. They said something like you’re not missing out on “camaraderie” because you shouldn’t be talking anyway: “if you’re talking while racing, you’re not racing hard enough.” I respectfully disagree. I’m a HARD racer. I just finished 95th out of 5797 people in the TC 10 Mile (1:02 finishing time). And I held 3 great conversations with 3 different people during the race: introduced myself to Marlo at mile 1 and chatted about duathlons; ran into racing buddy Tom at mile 4 and chatted while crossing the Franklin Bridge; and passed a recent acquaintance (Doug) at mile 5 where we chatted a bit. Sure, I didn’t talk as much after that (although I did a little) because I was upping the pace as I was nearing the finish, but I find it tough to say “if you’re talking while racing, you’re not racing hard enough.” Over a 1 mile race? That might be true. Over any longer distance? I don’t think so.
- And it’s nice to hear that those who are commenting who use iPods seem to be using them properly and safely. I think tri-al put it nicely when she simplified it down to this: “each to their own; but when it comes to safety; keep one ear free.” Nice. I second that. (and “keep one ear free” might just as well mean to use both ear buds, but keep the volume down a bit, too.)
Anyway, that’s still just all my 2 cents. Check out the post below for more details.
(And I’m still tweaking the layout and colors of my “new” blog, so put up with it just a little longer before you judge it too harshly! It will hopefully come together in the next few days...)
**On second thought, maybe I don't race hard enough... I mean I DID have enough energy left over after the TC 10 Mile to cheer for the Marathon runners like this:
It’s Monday. Let’s get the blood flowing. I know a good way to do that: bring up the “iPod issue.”
I’ve found FEW people are “in the middle” on this subject: either you’re totally FOR USING iPods or totally AGAINST USING iPods.
This topic was recently brought up in the Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA) magazine “RunMinnesota.” Gary Westlund, the GREAT race director for Charities Challenge, wrote the article titled “What Are You Missing?”
Please click here to read Gary’s article in “RunMinnesota.”
I don’t want to make any enemies, but I feel I must let you all know that Pharmie and I side with Gary on this subject. I actually wrote Gary once I saw the article to say that we back him up, and I said that Pharmie and I think it’s a real safety issue. Many times I’ve passed a runner (either while biking or running) whom I didn’t know was wearing an iPod. I always give a friendly but loud “on your left” as I come to pass people so they’re aware of me. When their iPods are blaring, they cannot hear me legally signaling my pass. Either they change course and I nearly hit them (I’ve never hit anyone yet, but it’s been close a LOT of times), or they freak out and jump when I go by and then shoot me a dirty look because I startled them.
I must mention that there are people that DO wear their iPods at a decent volume considering they are working out in a public place being used by others as well. It’s great when I come up to pass someone with an iPod, say “on your left,” and they give a little wave letting me know I was heard and we’re on the same page. Then I always say “thanks” when going by.
So when I told Gary that I felt it was more of a safety issue, he wrote me back and said that he had written a lot more about that, but that was the majority of what had to be cut out to fit in the magazine.
Gary's been a race director for years, and the following is an interesting point that he made in his MDRA article:
I’ve edited thousands of race photos. And I see confirmation in racers’ faces that headphone wearing runners are not nearly as happily engaged in all the experiences of running and racing as those who run with both their ears and eyes, and attentive minds, wide open to all the sounds, voices and cheers around them.
Sorry if things act funky for the next day - I'm in the process of choosing a new template, and things might get weird. I have to tweak colors, formats, layouts, etc. It will all be better soon. Promise.
First, the previous 7 days...
Last Sun: 5 mile tempo run. This was the run where I got glitter in my urethra. Other than that tiny piece of glass in my pee-hole, that was a good 30:06 run.
Mon: short weight session.
Tues: 10 mile run. GREAT solid run in 1:02:29!! Felt good!
Wed: 1450 yard recovery swim and lifting weights. Swim felt good, but a little slow: 24:51 (1:43 / 100 yards). Then, longer weight lifting session after the swim.
Thurs: leg exercises. Did the old leg exercises “prescribed” by Margi (the PT I was working with prior to IM WI 07) to strengthen my knee.
Saturday: 3x1600 with 90 seconds rest on the track. I got to the track, and it was covered in frost:
You’ve probably heard by now: Marge Simpson is going to be on the cover of Playboy. If you haven’t heard this yet, I assure you that I’m not making this up. This is the real cover:
When I started getting into triathlons, my wife Pharmie was in her 6th year of running marathons. She would talk about little “mental games” she would play with herself on longer runs: always do “out-and-backs” with a longer “out” first; tell herself “just get to the turn-around” and then worry about the rest; etc.
Frankly, I thought SHE was a little “mental.” I didn’t get it.
I was doing my 4-6 mile runs while training for my first sprint and olympic triathlons. “Mental games?.... My wife’s weird!” is what I thought. I wouldn’t need any “mental games” to get through my runs, and I thought Pharmie was a little strange for running like that.
Now that I’m consistently running slightly longer distances (trained for 2 half marathons, 2 10 milers, and a half Ironman this year - nothing SUPER long), I see her point. One thing I do all the time is to see how many homes I can run past before the next car passes me. I’ve also learned that there’s a huge mental aspect in the way I approach my runs. And I think I’ve proved her point over my last 4 long runs. Let me explain.
About a month ago (before the TC 10 Mile), I ran an OK 9 mile training run. Then I ran a rough 9.5 mile run, and a horrible 10 mile training run. But over the last 10 days, I ran a great 11 mile run, and a great 10 mile run.
What made those last 2 runs better/faster/stronger? It was all mentality. It had to do with what was running through my head as I started those runs.
Below are the maps for the rough 9.5 mile and the rough 10 miler. (They are just the “out” of the run - I hit the end of the route and turned around to come back the way I came to finish the run.) What do these 2 routes have in common?
Part 1: The Kitchen.
Back in 2007, we bought our first house. The SAME DAY we moved in, we tore apart the kitchen. That was a crazy summer: bought our first house, worked on a big kitchen remodel, AND trained for IM WI that September! Never. Again. (Matt helped with the plumbing and electrical. Thanks again, Matt!)