Monday, March 31, 2008


Given as a gift during this past holiday season, Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete , by Benjamin Cheever skillfully weaves his own commentary on what running has meant to him over the years and how running has played an integral part of human history itself. Good read.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Recovery = Chocolate Milk

When I first started running marathons, my understanding of nutrition went something like this: Run a lot = Eat a lot. It didn't really matter to me what I ate, but it usually came in the form of Coke, Gatorade, beer, pizza, chips, candy, or fast food. Figured if I worked hard to put in the miles, I should be able to reap some reward. I had little understanding that you did not need to replace all or more of the calories that you just expended or that you needed specific calories in order to help you begin to recover and prepare for your next run. I have no doubt that this plan led to sluggish recovery, race times, and a less than ideal racing weight.

Slowly over time, as I began to understand that the first 30 minutes post run of a long run was an important time to refuel with protein packed calories in order to begin the recovery process, I ran across an article titled, "Chocolate Milk As a Post-Exercise Recovery Aid".
In the article, partially funded by the Dairy & Nutrition Council Inc., Indianapolis, involved nine male bicyclists who would go thorough an interval of cycling followed by four hours of rest. After two hours of rest, the cyclists drank chocolate milk, fluid-replacement drink (Gatorade) or carbohydrate-replacement drink (Endurox) in quantities that totaled two to three 8-oz. glasses per hour. In the second workout of each set, the participants cycled to exhaustion. Those who drank chocolate milk exhibited similar levels of endurance as those who drank the fluid-replacement drink. Those who drank the carbohydrate-replacement drink exhibited roughly 50% less endurance.

If this was not enough to convince me to try it out, another site provided a little more validation. Here are some more reasons to replace sport drinks with chocolate milk:

1.Milk helps strengthens bones, and promotes a healthy weight.

2.The protein in the milk contains all of the essential amino acids for building or maintaining a lead body mass.

3.Milk provides you with the essential electrolytes.

4.Similar to a banana, milk as 10 times more potassium than most sport drinks.

5.A single glass of milk gives you 20% of the phosphorus needed each day, helping to strengthen your bones and generate energy in your cells.

6.Milk contains vitamins such as B-12, niacin and riboflavin, which are crucial in converting food to energy to fuel your muscles.

Admittedly, I was a bit hestitant to try chocolate milk out after a long run thinking my stomach may not be able to handle it, but I have found that it can and provides me with some protein, fat, and carbs to begin the recovery process and tides me over until I can get in some additional healthy calories.

Chug Away!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Running on the Sun

Rounding out my tour de force of inspirational running movie watching found me again viewing Running on the Sun. This documentary style movie follows participants as they attempt to complete the Badwater 135. Watching this makes my paltry 13 miles for the day seem like nothing and really makes me question when I get into a "rough" patch what that really is. A true testament to the strength and spirit of the human body and mind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Glass City = D.D.M.C. # 4

Plunked down $64.90 today for my entry in the 32nd Glass City Marathon to be held April 13th and will be the site for the D.D.M.C. #4. So far it will be the most expensive marathon of the year costing an average of $2.47/mile to run. However, I am excited to be running a new marathon and if anyone is headed down there to run it let me know.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Start'em Early

Much to my delight, dirrty feather squealed and Frankensteined her way over to the baby jogger as i pulled it out to check for proper inflation and strap adjustment before our first run of the year.

I am thinking the running she did last year left an indelible mark and was the reason for her joyous reaction at the sight of the jogger. Of course as she is on her way to being a toddler the glasses she had on only lasted so long before being chucked to the ground as well as a sippy cup. Just a few days ago, it was dodging amish buggies, now projectiles from dirrty feather!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hollow Bunny

I have a weakness for hollow bunnies come Easter. Put one in front of me and from his delicate ears to the shards that fall to his feet i will eat it. Only one problem, if i ate the delicious little sucker according to the package it would be 1,440 calories!

So here in podunkville ( C. Lake, PA), dirrty girl had no choice but to join me this morning for her 8 miler because she had no treadmill to hop on and her prep for the dexter 1/2 marathon began calling for some time outdoors. One of the few redeeming things here in podunkville is that after a quick jaunt down a busy road you can get onto some nice rolling roads and DG and I made quick work ( 1 hr 29 min) and i believe if i go with 100 calories per mile that is at least 1/2 a bunny that will be mine!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Splish Splash and a Horse

After a fun day of hanging with some of our friends who have been displaced akin to an Antartic outpost and watching little dirt dawg splish splash around Splash Lagoon in Erie, Pa, i headed out for a late afternoon run to stretch out my legs. 40 minutes regardless of distance was the goal, but i was feeling pretty good and moving quickly but that did not prepare me for not just one, but two amish buggies to pass me and with a wave were quickly headed up the road.

Definitely a different site as i am more likely to pass two coffeehouses on a daily run then to have a horse and carriage fly by me. Ah, the joys of the open road

Sunday, March 16, 2008

D.D.M.C. # 3 - Gut Check

Start time: 6:02 am

Temp: 32 degrees

Distance: 26.20

Time: 4 hr 34 min 09 sec

Avg. per mile: 10:27

Fastest mile: 9:40 (m3)

Slowest mile: 11:44 (m 23)

It was as fast as my body would allow me to go today. Visions of a near 4 hr solo effort were on my mind as I started out. The body initially seemed ready to respond as after a few mile warmup, the pace was starting to drop and I could feel myself getting into a rhythm. That was soon replaced with some stomach distress and forced a pit stop at the Golden Arches at around 11 miles.

I thought that after this I would be just fine as in the past, but I was wrong. The Gu tasted terrible, and the water/Gatorade mix was mildly nauseating. Just a bad patch, I said to myself. That patch turned out to be about 16 miles, the rest of the marathon. Back home @ mile 21, another pit stop had me reconsidering, well actually stating, there will be no more pizza, pizza the night before a marathon! The only thing good about getting back to the house was that I shed the handheld water bottle and picked up Nemo to help me through the final miles.

These days build character. They make you appreciate the days you set a PR even more special because everything has aligned just so and at that moment, distance, you are at your best. Today, there were no crowds, fellow runners, or Ipod rocking to get me through the marathon, it was just me. Today, forced me to do a gut check.

No one is making me do a marathon a month. I am receiving no endorsements out of this, other than my own self satisfaction. My decision was simple when I first started having issues. Cut it short and go home, or put my head down, put one foot in front of the other and keep going. If I kept going long enough, that bad patch would either go away, or I would be done. Today, it ended up that the bad patch lasted until I got done. Perhaps an even more important lesson for me was learned than just turning in a good time, and along the way got me feeling pretty stoked for the D.D.M.C. for April which looks to be Glass City!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rekindling the Flame

“You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."

Steve Prefontaine

As part of rekindling the flame, my passion for running, I spent 2 nights last week watching the movies Prefontaine and Without Limits, both on the life of Steve Prefontaine.

During the 1970's, there was no runner that captured the heart of running enthusiasts like Steve Prefontaine. Sure, Frank Shorter may have won the 1972 Olympic Marathon that helped to spark the "marathoning craze", but Pre as he was known to most people, ran each race like it was his last. In regards to why he raced so hard, Pre was quoted as saying, "somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it."

Who knew that some guy from Coos Bay, Oregon would help to spark the embers of another runner 30 years later?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Running Naked

I felt free. I felt loose. Since its' arrival at my door several months ago, I have done almost all my runs with the Garmin 305.

There have been a smattering of runs with my non-GPS watch, but mainly because i forgot to charge the Garmin. I mean who wants to run with a watch that doesn't go "de de" as the screen lights up and works to acquire a satellite signal, or stops automatically as you wait for a light, or goes "drr drr" as you cover that mile, or tells you that extra half a block you ran made your run .06 miles longer?

I do. Even with turning the clocks ahead and the approach of spring not that far off, i have been of late in a funk so to speak. Sure, i get my miles in, but i know that this is the natural ebb and flow of my running and right now i am just in like that lull. I need to rekindle that flame. Stoke the fires so to speak.

A return to simplicity is what i think i need. So ditching the Garmin to run a 5 miler today, I merely donned my trusty running watch and set off. Didn't need the "drr drr" to remind me where the mile markers as I have them memerized thanks to the "drr drr" and I didn't stop the watch when I came to a light or run the extra block to add a bit.

I just ran.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Little Dirt Dawg turns 4!

Little Dirt Dawg proudly proclaimed after donning his new Detroit Tiger jersey that, "when i grow up, i am going to play for the Yankees!"

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A second chance

They lay there, clean, white and unscuffed. Ready to run.

Hungry to release the pent up energy residing in their BRS 1000 soles. And so it began.

Daily, they would join me on runs over varying distances and terrains providing a plush ride and support for my narrow, high arched foot. They never complained, never said no. With quiet determination and selflessness, they happily ran along as a shorter run turned into something longer, or an easy run turned into a barn burner, at least by my standards. They developed character.

Inevitably, as time wore on, they no longer remained clean and unscuffed, replaced instead by the grime and grit of the open road. The plush ride began to damper and my body responded with a few little tweaks to let me know it might be time. A quick check of the mileage, let me know that indeed the miracle plateau had been reached and it was time to say goodbye.

My normal routine was to utilize the retired shoes as kick arounds and then donate them our local church or Goodwill. However, these shoes had a passion for running, I still felt they had some miles left in them. I wanted them to have a second chance.

It was only right, that I would find the home from which these shoes were born would be engaged in the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program. Donated shoes are turned into what is known as Nike Grind and used in sports surfaces around the world. Perfect.

Nike Recycling Center

c/o Reuse-a-shoe

26755 SW 95th Ave

Wilsonville, OR 97070