Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Other Commandments

I am sure most if not all of you have seen these however I just received them for the first time and wanted to put them up here so I would always know where they were.

The 53 Runner's Commandments
by Joe Kelly

1. Don't be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don't make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don't let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who's missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you'll need to call for a ride.
9. Don't compare yourself to other runners.
10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
11. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won't run.
12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
13. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
17. Talk like a runner. "Singlets" are worn on warm days. "Tank tops" are worn to the beach.
18. Don't talk about your running injuries. People don't want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
19. Don't always run alone.
20. Don't always run with people.
21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you'll get during racing.
24. Races aren't just for those who can run fast.
25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn't feel like running.
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
28. If you say, "Let's run this race together," then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
34. Don't try to outrun dogs.
35. Don't trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of shape, or not feeling well.
36. Don't wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won't run very often.
37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
45. "Winning" means different things to different people.
46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don't take running too seriously.
47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn't look good in tights.
49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
52. Running is simple. Don't make it complicated.
53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn't come until the end of the run.

While some may think there are too many of these, they all speak to us all at different times. I try to read a couple every day....

I am trying to compile another list of commandments so if you would like to leave a comment with one or two of your own, I will harness them into a manageable list and publish for everyone. Come gotta be good for one or two....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blue Norther Duathlon - Seguin, TX

The day started early to drive out to Seguin for the Du. My SherpaWifeDebbie and our daughter rolled out early to make the drive. It was the first time my college Junior daughter saw me compete. They dropped me at the race site and went to pick up my sainted Mother who also had never seen me race (race - a term I use lightly) but has wanted to for a while. She wanted to go to the 12 mile run or the half marathon I did earlier but I convinced her a multi-sport event would be more fun as she would see me for longer than 10 seconds as I departed and 10 seconds as I finished. After the fact she agreed, but I think she did doubt me in the interim. She probably thought I was hiding some sort of cult-like behavior that was putting me in danger in some mysterious way.

Okay, so race report. Check-in was smooth and on time. Always a big deal with me. Got a great rack position for the bike and just hung out waiting for the crew to join me. They got back after making a DONUT run. Can you believe, they got DONUTS. The race was a 3.1 mile run followed by an advertised 13 mile ride (it was over 14.5) and another 3.1 mile run. The runs were two laps around the campus so I saw my personal cheering section multiple times. I went out a little hard on the first mile and really paid for it with a high heart rate the entire day - sheesh...when will I learn??? I forgot totally about trying to protect my calf but I went back to the neutral running shoes and while the calf was tight from the start it never cramped - it just kept me aware.

I got into the transistion area and apparently there had been some intergalactic phenomena because almost every bike was gone. Now look folks...I am a SLOW runner but this was crazy...there were some serious runners here. So I jumped on the ride and thought, "I gotta hammer." I was passed at about the 1.5 mile mark and was really ticked. What was wrong with me? I decided to keep the cadence at 90 and gear as I needed. The course had a few climbs but nothing ridiculous. I began to pass a few people (including the guy who passed me) and felt better. There was one hairy sharp turn and I ended up crossing onto the grass on the other side as I skidded around the corner...note to self "in the future, when the sign says "sharp turn - slow" it might pay to slow down a bit."

I roll back into T2 and felt pretty good about the number of bikes still out on the course. A quick transistion and off I went. My legs were really off. I think it had something to do with that first run but whatever. At the first aid station I poured a cup of water over my head and heard one of the spectators saying how cold she was and couldn't believe that guy just poured a full cup of water on his head. There was nothing cold about this body at that time. Temp was in the 50s or maybe 60 degrees but I was certainly warm by then. This run was pretty good - I want to see the splits but I think I did okay. I may have actually been last in my age group but feel pretty good about the effort on this day. I just didn't really feel I "had it". I am always slow, but this seemed like I was pushing a wheelbarrow of stones.

I was really glad to race in Seguin, as it is my hometown. I grew up right outside of town and went to junior high and high school there in the "city". Elementary school was in the country in McQueeney and then we got bussed into the "city". Seguin's claim to fame is that it is the home of the world's largest pecan. It is commemorated with a statue on the town square - back in the day, someone would wrap it up in a box with ribbon around Christmas and hang a huge to/from card that said "to the world's largest squirrel". This is truly small town Texas.

See you at the finish line.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Blue Norther Duathlon - misnamed

I cannot believe it has been like a week since I have been here. I continue to have a nagging calf muscle in my right leg. I hate injuries - acute or nagging. My calf seems to tighten up about 2.5-3 miles into any run. I recently changed from a neutral shoe to a stability shoe on the advice of a running store and I am wondering if that is the major cause. I have also eliminated just about everything else I can think of except dehydration and nutrition. I am going to really hydrate and also run in my neutral shoes and see it that does the trick. Maybe my stability shoes are too stable???

I am doing the Blue Norther Duathlon on Sunday. It is in the town I grew up in and I think it will be fun. It will also be hot....not much Blue was over 90 today and is forecast at 89 tomorrow. Sunday is set up for the mid to upper 80s so not much coolness once the sun comes up. It is run bike run so I hope the calf performs well.

Any other thoughts on the cramp would be appreciated.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

An Epic Swim For The Ages

In my never ending quest for motivation - how about this....

Scientists have tracked a Leatherback Turtle who has made an amazing 12,774 mile swim from Indonesia to Oregon. It took "The Little Turtle That Could" 647! So I did a little math...according to my calculations I think that works out to 1450 yards per hour or about 4 minute hundreds....not all that remarkable until you realize that would require the pace be kept up for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 647 days...miraculous! Assuming our friend the turtle swam 12 hours a day, it would have to swim about a 2:00 hundred pace....not much different than my pace. The turtle just had a lot more stamina that I do .... ( comments about that unless you can outswim the turtle).

So from now a turtle...