Saturday, April 26, 2008

Race Results

Kristin and I ran the Wildcat 5k this morning. There are results and pictures if you follow the link. There are no good pictures of either of us, but I did spot us in the background of a few. They had nice pictures of the guy the finished directly ahead of me (you can see me in the background) and the woman behind me. But they left me out :(

Kristin originally didn't plan to run the race. She had to work a twelve hour shift last night (7pm - 7am); her third twelve hour shift in as many nights. But when I signed up on Thursday, she told me to go ahead and add her. She'd tough it out.

It was a fabulous day to run. It was in the sixties and the sun was shining. It could have been a few degrees cooler to be ideal, but I won't complain.

The course was generally flat. Just a couple short uphills and downhills, but nothing major. It wound around the streets near the Canton South high school, then into the stadium and halfway around the track.

As I suspected I would do, I started too quick. My first mile was just under seven minutes. I slowed and ran the second in about nine minutes. Then finished out the remainder of the race in another eight minutes. My time was 24:15 (7:49 pace). I was definitely worn out at the end. When I entered the stadium and saw the time, I thought I might be able to sneak in under 24 if I pushed it out hard. But at that point my stomach wasn't doing too well. So I just maintained my pace. Kristin came in at 34:10 (11:00 pace). I was hoping she would beat her previous time, but I know she was already exhausted by the time the race started. I'm sure she'll do better at our next race.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ready to Run

My theory stands. Watching your mileage closely while you run does no good. You start anticipating every little milestone -- down to the tenth of a mile -- and eventually you've hit so many milestones that your brain tells you that you have run far enough.

Tuesday we went to the gym. Knowing we had a race coming up on Saturday, I decided to try to run at race speed and see how things went. I got through the first mile in about eight minutes. I couldn't keep the pace so I slowed down a bit for the second mile. But at about a mile and a half, my body crashed. I walked a bit, then ran only another half mile at my normal 9:30 pace. This was all on the 1/10 mile indoor track. You have to count laps, which means that you count every tenth of a mile. That means you are tracking 31 milestones to run 5k. That much mental work fools the body.

Today I mapped out a three-mile course through the neighborhood. I chose a path that I knew had a steep uphill in the middle, and a nice uphill grade toward the end -- and also some general ups and downs and flat stretches. I set out, just me and the road. No headphones today. No watch. I was thinking through something that I haven't been able to make a decision on, and I still didn't come up with anything during the run (but more to come on that later).

The first two miles went incredibly smooth. I hit a wall at about two and half, but pushed through it. Even doing a couple short tempo runs during the last half mile. As I got home, I ran to the window and peered in to see the clock. To my surprise, I finished in 24 minutes. That's the fastest three miles I've ever run. The pace that killed me in 1.5 miles on the track I was able to keep up for three miles on the road -- even with some good inclines to tackle. My milestones were the turns, rather than laps. Twelve turns total, but only twice could I see the next turn as I was making one. On the track, you always know exactly where the start line is, so it is always the anticipation game.

I am definitely ready for the race on Saturday. I am confident that I can beat my last 5k time. I just need to make sure not to be too overzealous about beating the time, or I may start out too quickly and burn myself out. I bought a ChampionChip when we signed up for the half marathon. I put it on my shoe before the run today. I had to try a couple different ways before I could get the laces as tight as I need them (I have skinny feet). I'm really not in the business of traipsing around the neighborhood showing off my chip, I just wanted to make sure it didn't bother me at all. As expected, I didn't even notice it.

We both put in miles today and hit a milestone. Two hundred miles total. At this point we both need to average over 11 miles per week for the remainder of the year to meet our goal. We are about where I expected us to be. We needed to average 10 miles a week over the year. I knew we'd start out below that and end above that. Right now we are right at a 10 mile per week pace. So I am still confident at this point that we will be knocking on the gate to Cinderella Castle prior to the big race.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still Good After All These Years

I got a little more Smucker's history a few weeks ago. We have a company store a couple miles down the street from the corporate headquarters. Last year they added on to it and completely remodeled it. I just managed to go check it out for the first time.

Part of the new addition was a walk-through that included a timeline of the company. There were two Disney-related notes and pictures. Please forgive the poor photo quality. I took these pictures with my phone.

The first picture shows Smucker's as a founding sponsor of Disney World.

The second shows Paul Smucker at the opening of the Smucker store at Disney World.

Paul Smucker is the third-generation of the Smucker family to run the company. His sons, Tim and Richard, are heading the company today. Tim's son Mark and the brothers' nephew, Paul Smucker Wagstaff, appear to be next in line when the current generation retires.

I am not 100% sure on the reference to the Smucker store. I know Smucker products had a decent presence in the Market House on Main Street for many years. The 1982 Birnbaum guide describes the shop as "an old-fashioned spot, with displays of Smucker's jams and jellies in more varieties than supermarket shoppers would have imagined even existed." I don't have any official material older than that.

Another reference is Widen Your World which mentions that there was a Smucker's Day in 1971 at the Market House. It also lists Smucker's as the sponsor of the Market House from 1971. Although this site looks like it might not have been updated. It shows the company's sponsorship of The Yankee Trader ending in 1993. Smucker's still has a presence in the store (including our logo on the signage) to this day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Home Again

I'm back home from Denver. It was a fun city. Not somewhere I think I would take a vacation, but it was nice to experience it for a few days. 16th Street (left) was a nice shopping and restaurant area. We spent a lot of time there.

The view from the hotel was great. The picture above was taken from the pool deck. I had a similar view (though more obstructed by buildings) from my room.

They had little cards with running maps on them. I ran the three mile course one day. It took you down 16th Street, then around the capital building (right), then by some other historic buildings, past the mint, then down to jogging trails by the creek (below), then back up and through a few downtown blocks back to the hotel. It was a great scenic view of that portion of the city and had great views of the mountains in the distance.

Since I've been home, running has gone great. I ran four miles Saturday and four and a half on Sunday. Kristin put in over 10 miles again this week.

Before leaving for Denver, I got some new shoes. The guy at the running store said I had a low arch and I pronate when I run. I tried on four different pairs of shoes and ended up with Asics again. They are very comfortable. I also got some moisture-wicking socks. I don't notice a huge difference, but my feet do stay a bit cooler on the longer runs. I'm sure they'll be great when I get to the longer runs.

Looks like I will be running the Wildcat 5k Run this Saturday. And we are both signed up for the Run Wild for a Cure 5k at the Cleveland Zoo on May 10. More details to follow.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Home for Now

I am now home from Canada. No more goose attacks. And no more running. We got up early Friday and planned to run, but it was about 35 degrees and raining hard. So we opted to stay in. Two of my coworkers had the treadmills claimed, so I didn't have an opportunity to run.

I made up for it today, though, with a five mile run. I am tired and sore now, but it went very well. Half mile run, stretch, 1.5 mile run, .1 walk, 1 mile run, .1 walk, 1 mile run, .1 walk, 1 mile run. Every mile was under 10 minutes, with the last being right about 9:30. Kristin has been doing the similar routine on track. Alternating between one-tenth walks and half-mile runs.

I also got caught up with Kristin's activity over the last week. She has put in 10.85 miles this week, including two 3-milers.

I plan to go to the running store (Second Sole) tomorrow to see about getting a new pair of shoes. I've not been to a running store before. The shoes I'm in now are $50 Asics that I got at Famous Footwear. The long run today definitely proved to me that I need a new pair.

At this point I am planning to run a 5k on April 26. Kristin's work schedule doesn't work out at all for her to get to one of these early runs. So it looks like she won't get a race in during April. We'll see what we can do moving forward.

I leave for Denver tomorrow and I won't have internet access. So this blog won't get updated until next weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Goose Me, Bro

This Canada trip has been rather busy so far. We are in Markham, Ontario, which I would consider to be part of the Toronto metropolis area. Toronto is not very far at all down the highway. We are staying just a couple miles from the Smucker Foods of Canada office. It is a very busy area. The main road we use to get to the office is seven lanes wide, with stop lights at every second or third road. And there are tons of big technology companies with offices in the area -- like AMD and Avaya.

We also discovered that all-you-can-eat sushi is big around here. None of the sushi places in my area offer this seemed a novel idea to all of us. The place we chose was about $21 per person. They had several appetizers like edamame, miso soup, and sea weed salad. They had about 20 types of ngiri and probably 40 choices of rolls. Flip the menu over and you find more treats. Several types of tempura, many choices of other fried goodies (the octopus balls were great), rices, noodles, and teppanyaki dishes. Drink and ice cream were also included. I would guess that there were well over 100 items available on the menu...all of which were made to order, and all-you-can-eat (90 minute time limit). I wish there were places like this around home.

There is nowhere really good to run since our hotel is in the busy area. Linda and I went out Tuesday morning and found that most of the roads had sidewalks. So we ran through the one non-busy street by the hotel. Then down one of the main raods until we thought we had gone a mile. It was downhill the whole way out. We turned around and made our way back up the hill. Not steep. But literally all uphill. Turns out we were pretty close. It had been .95 mi when we turned around. Temperature was about 45 degrees.

We went out again today. It was about 35 degrees. We set out on the same path. I bought The Little Mermaind Broadway cast recording this weekend, and I was listening to that on my mp3 player. I was on Part of Your World and I heard a bird sound. I was picturing Ariel coming on the surface of the water as she sang; birds flying overhead. I heard the bird again and realized that it wasn't in the music. There was a giant goose just to the left of the road ahead of us (we were still on the non-busy street). I noticed that there was another goose about 10 feet behind it off the road. Linda and I looked at each other and realized that he didn't look friendly (we already had a hissing goose run toward our group as we walked to dinner a couple nights before). We headed for the other side of the street to keep our distance, but the goose came running at us at full speed. Linda turned and went into the grass and towards a parking lot that was across the street from the geese. I turned and started going back down the road. After I got several steps, I heard Linda scream and turned around just in time to see the goose fly low over her head. It landed just past her. I tried to collect my thoughts, but now the goose (who was probably forty feet away) started coming toward me.

I saw a big company sign not too far past me. It was probably four or five feet tall, one foot thick, and six or eight feet long. I thought I could get behind it so the goose couldn't fly at me, but the goose took off earlier than I expected. I couldn't see the goose because I was sprinting away from it, but Linda said it swooped down nearly low enough to hit me as it flew over. It landed several feet past me just as I was getting to the sign. So I stood by the sign. I was at the far end of the sign, and the goose at the other. I kept peering around either side of the sign to see where the goose was going to go. Whichever way he came around, I was going to go the other. But it just did the same thing, looking around to see what I was going to do. Linda had walked up to me at this point, and I suddenly realized that we were directly between the angry goose and the other goose. All I could think of was the danger that ensues if you stand between a mother bear and her cubs.

After dancing around the sign to watch the goose, it finally just stood still. We decided to continue on our planned route -- which would take us just past the other goose -- since that was the direction that would get us away from the mean goose. We kept our distance from the other one as we ran by, and luckily the attacker stayed where he was and didn't come at us again. It should be no surprise that we took a different route back to the hotel.

The run today was WINDY! It was cold and the wind just cut right through clothing. We were running directly into it as we came up the hill. At times it felt like I wasn't even moving forward. Linda hadn't planned to run outside, so she only had shorts. Her legs were bright red after 20 minutes out in the wind. I am typically an evening I packed for evening weather which is usually a bit warmer. So all I had on top were a t-shirt and a long-sleeve t-shirt. BRRR.

I ran 1.9 miles yesterday and 1.95 miles today. The extra .05 was well worth it to avoid the goose on the way back. I haven't talked to Kristin about running this week, so I'm not sure what she has done.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Off to Neverland

I don't know how much I will be posting in the next couple weeks. I will be in Markham, Ontario, next week for work. Then I am home Saturday. Then leave for a conference in Denver on Sunday. I will try to keep my three-day-a-week running plan throughout this time. But I don't know if I'll be able to post. I don't even know at this point if I will have internet access in Denver.

Today's run went well. I planned four miles and made it! But my plan of attack was different than last time. I ran the first three at just over 7 mph. Then the fourth at about 6 mph. I took two 1/10 mile walk breaks mixed in there. So the route was .5 mile run, stretch, 1.2 mi run, walk .1 mi, 1.3 mi run, walk .1 mi, 1.0 mile run. It worked well. I was definitely sweaty and tired at the end, but not completely worn out. Kristin was on a run two laps, walk one lap, routine and put in 2 miles on the running side. We did some weights after the run.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

That's what the doctor says I have. Basically, the knee cap isn't moving around in its designated groove, so it is rubbing against other stuff in the knee and causing pain. You can read about it here. Likely cause is having the inner or outer quadricep stronger than the other side. He recommends I do quad strengthening workouts as it should even out the muscles. Funny he recommnds it, considering that when the pain started I quit doing weights with my legs. But I was back to them last night after my usual 5k run. He also said I could see a physical therapist to get strengthening exercises. Kristin's sister is dating one, so I will see if I can get something from him.

I ran under normal pace yesterday, planning to go four miles. But just past the two mile mark, the burger I had for dinner was not agreeing with me. My legs, breathing, stamina, everything felt really good through the first two and well into the third mile, but my stomach was not doing well. I pushed through for the 5k, but did not go further. I finished it right at 31 6.0 mph pace. Hopefully next time I can increase my mileage.