Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Run or Three? New Year's Eve Running Plans

I mentioned the other day how I was disappointed about not being able to do a 12 hour run in Wyoming on NYE and how instead I was planning to do a Beat The Clock 5k at 11:30 PM.  I did not, however, state I would try to make up for not being able to do that 12 Hour Run, which I was using as training purposes for my 204 miler in April, by staging my own mini-version and doing a 6 hour run.  And where would I be doing this run?  At Liberty Park, of course!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Marathonquest 250

I recently was sent an article about a gentleman who wishes to run 250 marathon distances in 2010. According to the website, the 54 year old Martin Parnell will run 12 actual marathons with the remaining distances being run on the Cochrane Foothills Marathon course in Cochrane, Alberta.

I love reading about these sort of adventures.  Often when I speak about them, people wonder if I feel it will distract from what I myself accomplished in 2006 with my 52 Marathons in 52 weekends.  I have a mutil-layered answer to that.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Book Review - Unthinkable

Recently I received a complimentary signed copy of Scott Rigsby's book, Unthinkable from the author.  Going into reading this book I knew what to expect.  Scott Rigsby overcame a horrific car accident, dozens of surgeries, the amputation of one leg right after the accident, and another amputation years later of his other leg, to become the first double amputee to finish an Ironman in Kona.  BAM.  I knew I was about to be extremely inspired.

But, being inspired and actually enjoying a book are two separate things.  Not every great story has a great storyteller. Fortunately, while Rigsby's book has a few sections I could have done without, it was overall a very enjoyable read.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Present

This Christmas, circumstances beyond my control, had me home alone not being able to visit my friends or family.  So I slept in, lazily woke and finally went out for a run.  I planned on doing an easy 8.25, or 5 loops around the Liberty Park, my familiar haunt.  I would say countless miles have been run around that 1.5 mile loop but because I have a record of every single mile I have run in the past 4 years meticulously and lovingly noted in a spreadsheet it would only take a little bit of math to see how many miles exactly.  But, let's just say thousands.

I have been ramping up my miles in preparation for my 204 mile run in April, and am on pace for the most miles I have ever run in one month ever this December. As such, I have done many miles in a slightly tired or sore state.  That has been the point.  But I just did one run yesterday, Christmas Eve, of 7 miles and so was feeling rather spry today.

Each loop was faster than the next and even in the 21 degree weather, the sun was shining brightly and I was feeling good.  Then I saw Henry.

When I first moved to SLC, my morning routine consisted of a 3.75 mile run before work, every day I was here.  That job ended, my life and work routine went with it and rarely did I venture out for 7 AM runs anymore.  The biggest shame of that was that I no longer saw Henry.  Easily in his late 70s, Henry was a staple of my early morning runs.  Regardless of the weather, Henry would be out at the park doing his loops in the opposite direction I did mine.

But here he was.  My already great feeling run got even better.  I stopped to talk to him briefly and expressed surprise at seeing him out here at noon.  "Had to make sure all the morning stuff was taken care of first," he said obviously speaking about Christmas presents and the like.  I most assuredly have to figure out a way to interview him someday.  But this time, after all of the previous times of seeing Henry and never getting his last name, I got it:  McNabb.

Not to be too melancholy but in the past 18 months or so since I had last seen him, I wondered if Henry was still around, alive and walking (briskly, I might add.)  Well, he was and was looking as fit as ever.

That was my Christmas present.  Walk on, Henry!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

ICESPIKE - A Product Review

One of the great things I miss about doing book signings at expo is the ability to walk around and check out the newest running gear, gadgets and accessories. Those who wish to whip through the expo, packet in hand and eyes on the ground are often missing out. If you are a runner, chances are good you have a large supply of running gear. And you may have some well-worn-in running gear.  But that 1987 Turnipfest 7k cotton t-shirt you have been running in for 20 years is getting a little ripe. It wouldn't hurt you to look around.

For me, while I could not float around the expo in the Manchester Marathon as I would have liked, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to a product being displayed called ICESPIKE.  I was intrigued.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ringing in the New Year

I have been hoping to do quite the doozy of a race on NYE for about as long as I have been running, and while I have a done a 5k or two on the last day of the year, that didn't quite cut it.  Unfortunately, while I had planned to run a 12 Hour Race on December 31st, the race was canceled, leaving me searching for something to commemorate the beginning of 2010.  Granted, I did find a local 5k that starts at 11:30 PM, and gives you 30 minutes to finish befroe the new year starts (which will be fun) but I wanted more.

Then I realized something I had already been planning, while not exactly on NYE, will fit in just nicely with my desire to push my limits and boundaries in the upcoming year.  You see, in spite of the fact that I have run in 108 Marathons, I have never once done them in the same weekend.

That all changes January 9th and 10th when I visit the Mississippi Blues Marathon and the First Light Marathon in Jackson, MS and Mobile, AL respectively.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chillalo - A product review

At a book signing at the Top of Utah earlier this year, I was seated next to a gentleman and his mother who were selling a product called the Chillalo.  Curious as to what exactly the product was, the owner of the product, Thomas Zarembinski, showed me how the band could be filled with ice and worn as a headband or on the bill of a hat to help cool a runner in warm temperatures.

I was intrigued by the product and told Tom that it might even work better for ultra runners who are often exposed to the variety of temperatures that comes with running for 24 hours-plus. When I was running the Old Dominion 100 mile race, I was saddled with 90 degree temperatures and humidity high enough to make me very unhappy.  Fortunately, in a pinch, one of my crew members had fashioned a neckerchief filled with ice cubes to try and help soften the blow that the riding temperatures were having on me.

It was a workable solution but I figured there could be a better way to do this. The Chillalo seems to be that option.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book Review - Marathon by Hal Higdon

I got this book at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon when Hal was signing books across the aisle from me doing the same.  Getting to him prior to the expo opening, I wanted to share a few words with him without having a line of other runners behind me, as I did not want to take up his time.  I told him how many of my friends were excited to have purchased his book and that I knew many others who had used his training guides to get off the couch.  After I exchange, I was a little disappointed, given the lack of any rush of other people at the time, when I opened my book later to see he had inscribed, verbatim: "To Dane- Hal Higdon" (at least I think that is what his signature said).  At least he spelled my name right.  Nevertheless, I was looking forward to reading the book and even though had other books in the cue, set to it immediately.

Having finished it and reflected on it for about a week or so, I have to say that my general feeling of the novel, with no disrespect to Hal (who has written like 35 books) was "meh."  Let me discuss the pros and the cons to explain my general feeling of averageness towards "Marathon: A Novel".

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Honolulu Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 4; 26th Edition
662.5 miles raced in 2009

Race:  Honolulu Marathon
Place: Honolulu, HI
Miles from home: 2990 miles 
Weather: 70-80s; warm and slightly humid

Knocking out my 21st Marathon of the year and visiting a state I had never been to seemed like a good way to end my marathon "season" for the year.  Using a run in a place many would call paradise as as training run seemed like an even better idea.  As glimpses at the forecast showed one of the most ideal running conditions on Honolulu Marathon history (70 degrees at the 5 AM start with relatively low humidity), I could not help but smile.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Barbara Marathon Recap - A Training Run

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 4; 25th Edition
636.3 miles raced in 2009

Race: Santa Barbara International Marathon
Place: Santa Barbara, CA
Miles from home: 778 miles 
Weather: 40-50s; cool and clear

With my Marathon PR attempt for the year passed and my focus now on getting my body ready of running 204 miles in 48 hours at the American Odyssey Relay in April of 2010 my marathons for the next months will take on the role of training runs.  That is the theory anyway.  Now can I just follow through with it, is the question.

First 10k: 7:34, 7:18, 6:50, 7:22, 14:25 (45:00 ish)

As a result of a car accident (one in which I was not involved and I hope no one was hurt in) blocked traffic for a bit on the way to getting runners to the start, the race was delayed by about 25 minutes. This was a little bit of a bother for as the later a race goes, the more potential there is for warmer weather.  And we are in Southern California after all.  However, the weather forecast called for cooler temperatures and party cloudy skies so that slight inconvenience was not much of a problem.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Review - A Marathon Odyssey

It has been a while since I have done a book review but I felt like I was in the mood to day to do one. I just recently (like 5 minutes ago) finished a book called A Marathon Odyssey.

In the interest of full disclosure, A Marathon Odyssey is written by Malcolm Anderson. Malcolm owns the company which published See Dane Run. Does that mean I am going to give his book preferential treatment? Nope. If I do one thing well, it is being clear and honest with what my feelings are. Like them or not, one always knows where I stand. Just thought I would get that out of the way upfront.