Stomp of Approval!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekly mileage report.

Almost every time I got in my car after work to go do my evening runs the little temperature thingy read 103 outside. Looked like it was going to be a good week!!!

Monday, 4.25 in the morning. Nice and humid. My goal was to keep a decent pace, so when I hit the first mile in 8:56 I was a little pissed with myself. So I picked up the pace and clocked a 8:09 second mile. Still not fast enough. 7:36, looking a little better. Last mile was in 7:05, which is where I wanted to be the whole time. The last quarter was at a 5:57 pace. It feels good to increase the pace over time like that.

Monday evening, hill work. I finally found a substantial "hill" to run over. Its actually a bridge over a ship channel. Its also where locals go to committ suicide. Awesome! The bridge is 1 mile straight up, 1 mile straight down. I did a total of 4.52, so it was 2 miles up uphill, 2 miles of downhill, and half a mile of flat surface all in my huaraches. The out trip was pretty easy, but the trip back over the bridge was into a VERY hard headwind that was blowing debris into my face on the way to the top of the bridge. Very good run! Managed to average a 9:15 pace. Ill try to take a pic of the bridge next time I go to run it.

Tuesday, forgot the huaraches at home, so I decided to try going bare during an evening run. Big mistake... Only managed to get in 2.54 miles and my feet were blistered in a few spots and quite painfull. I did keep a 7:21 pace.

Wednesday. Forgot the huaraches at home again, so I decided to try and run on some grass. The only area around here with such is Dornsboro Park. Managed to get 3.31 miles in at a 8:58 pace. The ground was very uneven and hard and dry and cracked. The combination of this surface combined with patches of high grass made my calves BURN!!!!! Felt like my lower legs were working double time trying to adjust to the surface. I run at the park at home often, and theres always punk kids skate boarding and stuff, but I did see a first while I was at this park. There was a very similar group of punk kids, but instead of skate boarding, they were tight rope walking.... And there was one kid who was actually pretty skilled at it too!!!

Thursday I went to the local highschool track for speed work. It had sprinkled most of the day and was very overcast (but still over 100!!!) So I figured the track wouldnt be too hot. I did a warm up mile at 7:31, then did 4 X 100s at 78, 76, 76, and 73 seconds which is a 5:03 mile, then a cool down at 7:36. On my last lap it started to sprinkle a little, and as soon as I got in the car it really started coming down.

Took Friday and Saturday off to work on some stuff around the house. We were upgrading from a queen to a king size mattress, so we decided to build a platform bed and headboard for it. I am pretty impressed with my carpentry work to be honest. And the bed has held up for 2 nights now, so I did something right!

Sunday I was planning on doing a 13~15 miler early in the morning. But after getting 5 hours of sleep Friday night, and 4 Saturday I was dead tired. So around 7 that evening I decided I needed to get something in, so I strapped the huaraches on and ran down to the end of my road and back for a good 6.5 miles. Around mile number 4 I hit the wall and could feel the lack of sleep coming into play. I still managed to finish with a 8:03 average pace.

Pretty decent week, ended up with 24.12 miles, most of which were what I consider to be "speed work" so although my mileage wasnt great, I felt I had some good workouts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


So as I was walking out of my office today I asked one of my more physically fit coworkers if he wanted to join me for a run. He declined, saying that he was already planning on hitting the gym and doing some boxing, tire pulls, and tire flips but that he might join me in a run one day. He then asked me what I was currently training for. This is something Ive been tossing around in my poorly shaped head for some time now. I have several goals, but Im afraid that most of them are counter productive to each other. Examples....

Goal number 1.
Finish in the 1:30's in the Hottest Half half marathon in August. This equates to a low 7 minute mile pace. My last half marathon was finished in 1:43 which is a 7:51 pace. So its a significant drop. Ill need to work on both speed and endurance for this race. I already have a pretty high tolerance for heat and humidity.

Goal number 2.
Run the Rocky Raccoon 50 mile ultra marathon in February. Im 99% sure that I will be able to achieve this goal baring some unforeseen streak of bad luck. I would like to finish around the 12 hour mark. That equates to roughly 14 minutes per mile, which I dont think will be too difficult. Luckily the trails that are ran in the race are nearly identical to the trails that I run on around my house. Plus I know of a few other people that have this race in their sights as well, like fellow minimalist / barefoot runner Dave Horn, so we will be able to provide motivation for others (and ourselves) who plan to run their first 50 mile ultra. To achieve this I will need to focus on endurance and what it feels like to be A) on my feet that long, B) running at that slow of a pace, and C) the proper way for me to fuel for a run this demanding.

Goal number 3.
After the 50 miler I want to start tackling speed. I want to go back in the sub 5 minute mile range and a pretty decent 5K (as in fast enough to be a competitor in most races) This goal will require a whole lot of speed work and not so much endurance work.

I know all of these can be accomplished. Look at one of my running idols, Patrick Sweeney. He has ran 100 mile ultras and can throw down some amazingly fast times in the shorter distances as well. I guess I just need a little patience to achieve all my goals and be a very well rounded runner.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Well, last week sucked worse than that time I got fooled into playing the part of a mime for a highschool play we performed for a group of kids from the "Perkins School for the Blind".....

Monday was the 4th, so I spent time with the family and then went to my wifes grandmothers for dinner. So no run that day, but no biggie. It was a holiday afterall...

Tuesday I started feeling bad. Sinuses were acting up again, but I went ahead and ran a good 6 mile run in my homemade Huaraches. It was in the upper 90's to lower 100's all day, then it dropped about half an inch of rain in 20-30 minutes. While I was running there was steam coming off the ground and the humidity was so thick that I was breaking a heavy sweat just walking out my front door. But it was a good, hard, sweaty run, which is always nice!

Wednesday I woke up with really bad sinus issues and was blowing out bloody snot rockets. This continued the same way throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend.

Luckily I got some meds and knocked the sinus infection out, so this week should be much better.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wickify tech T-shirt review.

Im usually not a big fan of these new fancy newfangled "Tech" style T-shirts that seem to have become a requirement for every Tom Dick and Harry that wants to go out and jog a lap around the track, lift weights at the gym, or run a marathon. I've purchased one or two, and received quite a few from multiple races and have only found one that I like so far. Although I could complain about alot of issues like price, technology, involvement of child labor, price, and several other things, Ill stick to the 3 below.

My main complaints are:

A) They ALWAYS make my nipples look funny.

B) They very seldom keep me "cooler".

C) The fit is always a little funny.

     Well start with the nipple issue since it is my biggest complaint. For my first half marathon, the Austin Livestrong Half Marathon, my wife and I went to the local outlet mall and I tried on probably 30 different tech style shirts from several manufactures and every single one of them made me look like I had some type of crazy deformed nipples. I cant really explain how they made my nipples look, I guess that if you imagined a pancake hanging down off a mans chest that's petty close. I feel that I should now clarify that I do not in fact have funny shaped nipples. This is a good example of why this is a problem, now everyone reading this, or seeing me in a tech shirt will think that I have deformed flap jack nips. Really, no other type of shirt I've ever worn has had this type of effect, whats so different about tech shirts that I must look like a circus attraction?

    Then I ran "The Gusher" half marathon in my hometown and got a tech shirt that looked more like a normal cotton T-shirt than a tech shirt. So that night I tried the shirt on and looked in the mirror. My jaw dropped! I had normal looking nipples!!!!! I quickly ran out of the bathroom in a burst of excitement and started frantically showing my wife that my nipples looked normal! We've been married for 5 years now, and together for almost 11, so shes used to me by now... I hope... I think she was actually impressed by the lack of nipple attention the shirt caused. So now I have a tech shirt that I can wear even when Im not running in a moonless night down a unlit and untraveled road. Awesome!

     Another complaint I have regarding these tech shirts is that of the few that I own, they dont really regulate my temperature. Some keep me really cold, but in order to do that they just hold sweat and the sweat cools off if there's a strong enough breeze to cool it off. But for the most part they just stay soaked and the sun heats up the sweat and they do the opposite of keep me cool. The other end of the spectrum is that they just smother me, which isn't nice in the summer or the winter. It was impossible for me to find something that did what a tech shirt should have been doing. Once I tried the tech shirt from the Gusher race I was blown away. Now granted I have only worn it on hot summer days, but its done very well. It doesn't hold sweat like the other tech shirts do, it doesn't weigh me down with 5 extra pounds of captured sweat, it does breathe very well. Another very important feature I've noticed is the lack of stench. I have worn this shirt more than any other tech shirt I own and its got less of a smell than all the rest. They all get washed the exact same way, at the same frequencies, with the same detergents, but the Wickify shirt doesn't hold onto the sweaty man smell that I exhume from my funny shaped nipples. Wait... I mean my perfectly shaped, normal nipples... Damnit...

My final complaint is the fit of a normal tech shirt. Unless you have the body of an Olympic God then these shirts are going to look funny on you. Mine always look funny in areas other than my nipples too, namely around my love handles. Which is odd because I'm not that big of a guy, but they always seem to squeeze on my gut and love handles and then have plenty of room in the biceps / triceps area, so I just look like a fat weakling. This isn't all to bad as I kind of fit that bill to a T, but damnit I want to look decent!!! At least my cotton shirts could do that much for me for a fraction of the price. By not emphasizing anything, they gave everything a good look! This Wickify shirt fits like a good quality cotton shirt should fit and is very comfortable and light throughout an entire long run (I've ran 2 13 mile runs in it) and is even comfortable for daily wear. I often wear this shirt to do my morning run where it gets drenched in sweat, then throw my nomex on top of it and work all day where it stays drenched all day, then wear it for an evening run as well and its comfortable the whole time.

All said and done, I find the "Wickify" tech shirt to be my favorite running shirt in my personal arsenal of running shirts. Unfortunately, by looking at the company's website it doesn't seem like its possible to order a single shirt, but more for race directors to order massive quantities of shirts. That's too bad as I wouldn't mind adding a few more of them to my closet.

Weekly mileage report and breakdown for 6/27 - 7-3

I've decided to start tracking my mileage on here, along with notes on each run, so that I can look back and see what is and is not working for me.

Monday 6-27, Nothing.

Tuesday 6-28, Got up early and ran 3.21 miles at my local asphalt figure 8 track. VERY humid. I think I remember Weatherbug saying it was 82 degrees and 96% humidity, either way I sweated my ass off!

Tuesday evening I ran 3.29 at my moms house before picking up the kids. It was in the upper 90's to lower 100's outside and I wore my home made huaraches.

Wednesday 6-29, No morning run. Forgot my huaraches at home and decided to see if I could withstand running that evening down my moms road which is un shaded and rough white chip seal surface. It was 103 according to my car, and 105 according to a coworkers. I managed to get in 2.05 miles before feeling like my feet were being cooked. Luckily mom still had the kids inflatable pool full of water, I swear my feet sizzled as I stuck them in the water!

Thursday 6-30, Decided to do some "speed" work so I headed to the high school track closest to my job and did a total of 3.08 miles in the huaraches. I started with a mile warm up @ 7:43, then did 2X800's at 3:03 and 3:09, then 2 quick 100 meter sprints at 12 and 14 seconds, and then finished with another mile at 7:03.

Friday 7-1, Nothing.

Saturday 7-2, Nothing.

Sunday 7-3, Decided at 8:30 the night before that I was going to go for a long run, so I drove to the far end of my favorite running road and ran a out and back course that ended up being 16.75 miles, taking me roughly 3 hours. The day started off bad as my trusty Garmin decided it didn't feel like turning on for me, so I had to download some run tracker app on my phone so I could know how far I went. I took my lunch box with an ice pack and 3 waters with me and carried one of the waters with me for the run. I waited till I got to the half way point to start sipping on the water. At mile 14 I was wishing I had brought more water along with me as I was really starting to get thirsty and only had a few sips left. Luckily I did finish the run and proceeded to chug the other 2 waters before I even got the truck cranked and discovered that my AC had gone out on me.... GRR.....

All said and done I finished the week with 28.38 miles, which isn't too bad since I did have 3 days off. This puts me at 391.88 miles for the year, I really need to start picking up the pace to hit my goal of 1000 miles this year.