Tuesday, December 4, 2007

december goals?

ok, i see we are coming up on another month of no blog activity...
i quit running for a few weeks, and now its time to get back into it.
Jackson goal for December: run 12 days, for 30 minutes per run.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ryan Shay, Olympic marathon hopeful, dies in New York

In case you missed the news from Saturday, Ryan Shay died while participating in the US Olympic Marathon Trials race. Shay collapsed after five miles and died before arriving at the hospital. The cause of death is not fully known, but he was known to have an enlarged heart and that likely played a role.

Running a marathon (which he has done before, and quite more than we'll be endeavoring to do), while possible for anyone (or near anyone I believe) should not be regarded as a small task. If proper training is pursued then the race can go well, but everyone who takes on the task of training or racing in a marathon should be sure that they are, and feel, physically capable of the pursuit. I don't plan on paying for my steak dinner post-race in January of 2009, but I can certainly think of worse situations. Read this great New York Times story on Ryan and the race, train well, and be well.

And I'll see you in Houston, if not before then.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hydration, dehydration, hyponatremia and risks of running a marathon

Probably, since you have your eye to run a marathon in early 2009, you took special notice of the news story that a Michigan man died while running the Chicago marathon. Or at least you took notice when you heard that the race was stopped early and 300 participants were hospitalized because of the heat.

It turns out that this unfortunate man passed away from a heart condition, but it serves us well to take notice of some of the risks associated with running a marathon. It will serve you well to learn much in the next 14 months. Proper hydration may be one of the more important lessons. Probably a good place to start is with this Washington Post article. At least for me, reading about a physiological phenomenon often has little impact (no offense to any physician, exercise physiologist, or Beth Leuck who may read this post) but reading about the honest mistakes of a real person and fellow runner make clear the need for me to learn and get this right.

So what risk is there with hydration and running a marathon? While you've certainly heard of dehydration (which is severe and leads to much fatigue and physiological stress) it's unlikely that dehydration will result in a fatal condition for most runners. In the end, you won't likely be able to continue running and will probably stop to drink some water anyway. Heat stress or any overheating-related condition is more likely, but also you are likely to stop running and therefore stop the cause of the problem. (And this isn't something for discussion yet).

But hyponatremia is a different problem. Hyponatremia is drinking too much water, also known as water toxicity. Because your body balances water volume with salt (a rough generalization), reloading your body with water must also take into account how much salt (or electrolyte) must be reintroduced. This happens naturally over the course of days because the food we ingest normally carries sufficient volumes of the various salts we may desire. But during a 5 hour race we can easily deplete our water and salt levels through sweat and only replace one (by drinking water alone) or replace both in an inappropriate manner (by drinking gatorade, which has electrolytes, but may not be exactly what we need).

So, what can we drink? Or what should we drink? Well, there seems to be no exact answer. That is to say that I can't prescribe how you should hydrate, though maybe someone here can. But the answer may indeed be as simple as: drink when you are thirsty. That simple? Well, learn about how to train in a healthy manner, and train in that healthy manner. It is said that in life, you'll likely die how you've lived. It is certainly true that in running a marathon, you'll race how you've trained. You've got plenty of time to try and see what works and doesn't. You've got plenty of time to pay attention, learn from your body, and train it and the rest of yourself to run in a safe and efficient manner. And if you do, you'll conquer many goals and fears, not the least of which are the potential risks of running a marathon. And when you've trained well and are ready for the race. Read again how to race, since many before you have made serious mistakes and not all have been novice runners.

Train well and enjoy running. I expect you'll have a safe and enjoyable race.

Monday, October 22, 2007

my training so far: football

after experiencing 9 years of haunting nightmares of an ill-fated pass, jack-nut finally exhumed the "exceedingly high pass" deamons and the big T curse in the first ever tackle football game in cordoba Argentina. Throwing 16 for 25, 3 TD and O INT helped put the "blanquitos" in front, winning 18 to 12.
Its definitely unconventional marathon training so far.
scott jackson

Friday, September 28, 2007

We can't go all of September without any conversation

So how is the training going? I know that Shelby has run a 32-minute 5k and that Tigger has a regular running partner and has been running 3-4 times per week. I haven't had so much success, but I hope that you have. Chris's brother, Ben, may run Houston with us as well. I welcome that on almost every account... but I don't know if he can be a member of the Centenary Track Club.

The Centenary Track Club, by the way, is a very real fictitious organization chartered by JLowe, Jacknut, and myself in the late 1990s. A private and elite organization we have been but we have decided that anyone embarking on such a mission as the Houston marathon who completes the marathon is more than qualified for membership into our esteemed club. Even better, we think that if you set a reasonable intermediate training goal (you should have several intermediate training goals that are within your reach, yet force you to push yourself in training, to keep you striving towards your final goal) then the Centenary Track Club will reward you with an honorary Centenary Track Club t-shirt.

I hope that your training is going well or at least getting on course. If not, I hope that a free gift from such an elite and esteemed institution will serve as appropriate motivation for your running week.

So, how is the training going, and what sort of training goals have you set for yourself?

Monday, August 27, 2007

On shoes

I bought a new pair of shoes last week. Two really... well, actually three, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I bought a pair of shoes for about $20 (discounted from $99 to $69 to $49 and again, what a steal!) and, more importantly, that these shoes don't fit like most of the shoes I normally wear.

What I'm trying to say is that after wearing these shoes for less than 24 hours I had significant foot, shin, calf, and knee pain because these shoes were new and different and because my legs had not been able to adequately adjust to them. Since I've felt this before, specifically due to marathon training, I knew what was happening and knew both what to expect and how to handle the problem. Left unsolved, this would likely have resulted in some sort of lower leg injury. To treat my legs all I had to do was stop wearing the shoes. All this is to say that you, dear reader and runner, are likely to experience this same event in the next 18 months and that some reading ahead (and hopefully helpful advice through discussion) may prevent the occurrence--or at least ignorance of events that leads to overwhelming fear--should you have a similar lower leg injury.

So learn from the links on shoes, ask around (to us or your local running store expert), and learn on your own since an abundance of opinions generally accompanies an abundance of minds.

My general thoughts are these: the way a shoe feels on your foot is often a good indication what the shoe is doing to your foot, stronger legs make for less-injured legs, less shoe makes for stronger legs (though unlike Tigger, I won't fully follow the barefoot man's advice), more pairs of shoes means less chance that your shoes go bad and cause injury, $90 is about as much as a pair of shoes should cost. Of course there's more to finding the right shoe that what I say here just as there's more to understanding what I've learned about shoes and my feet than what I say here.

And eventually my feet will become accustomed to my new shoes. Good thing, too, because they're good looking.

Friday, August 17, 2007

everyone will have these kind of runs every now and then

so today at 8 pm, i was dead tired. I didnt get great sleep the night before, and my total walking for the day was somewhere around 50 blocks or more. I was hungry. My friends were going to a movie, and others were hanging out eating. The temperature was 2 degrees outside... granted thats celsius, but its still too cold.. plus it was dark outside, and it was friday... but i had to get my run in. Every fiber of my being wanted to stay inside and rest, but somehow i managed to get to the closet, where i proceeded to put on the running shoes and get on the running attire. Every one of us will have times like this... its definitely not easy, but the more u decide to get in the run, the more easy it will be to make the disciplined decision next time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Training Logs

Running, especially long-distance running, is a quite simple sport. That's probably obvious by looking at it. You don't need much more than your own body, a decent pair of shoes, and some cold water. Most of us have these already. Something else you'll need to succeed will be a distinct goal, accountability, and persistence. We've got these as well, though each will need to be honed if we want to get the most from our training. One tool that aids these is the running log. To many, running is not so much a competition with others as it is a competition with oneself. [Jason may find comfort in this during the many months preceding his team's loss.] A running log is a good way to keep track with what you're trying to achieve and what you've already achieved. It's also a good way to look back and see what did and didn't work. Most importantly it's a good way (when shared) to keep up the accountability with your training partners.

We've had a few suggestions for training logs, and I'm open to all ideas, but I'll throw out here a few things I'd like some feedback on. Here are four online logs we can try. Some of these I've used and some I haven't. Some feed through RSS and may be able to feed directly into our blog (how cool would that be?) and others are simple to share with others who want to view your progress. While I keep researching our options, check these out and tell us what you think.

Cool Running
Road Runner Sports
Running Journal

the running log

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mrs. Denisons v Mrs. Stranges

Okay, okay. I'm in.

Mrs. Denison challenged me, on behalf of the Mrs. Denisons and women everywhere. So how could I say no? The only reasonable thing to do was to say okay and go buy a jogging stroller. Which is what we did. And then we used said stroller despite Noel's general dissatisfaction with it to embark on a walk/jog through the blazing neighborhood.

It's hot here, ladies.

But not as hot as it's going to feel when the Mrs. Stranges squash the Mrs. Denisons at Houston 2009.

While I don't know about Scott's suggestion below

I do think that getting in shape and planning to run a marathon is natural. At least more natural than giving blood. I've wanted to put up useful information and where I look I can seldom find much information about how to get in shape. There's tons available concerning how to train once you've achieved a certain level of fitness--a level at which few of us currently find ourselves--but not so much about how to get there. Maybe these Mayo Clinic articles will be useful.

Aerobic exercise: What 30 minutes a day can do
Fitness programs: 5 steps to getting started
Fitting in fitness: Finding time for physical activity
Fitness training: 4 elements of a rounded routine
Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity
Fitness programs: 6 steps to guide your selection
Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common problems

and since we've got fans of the Cooper Aerobics Center here...

Walk for Life—A 12-Week Program for Beginners
Dr. Cooper's Aerobics Point System
For A Great Workout, Just Add Water
Running 101: Pacing is the key to improving your time
Winter Workouts

training suggestion

this would be a wise way to start your training:
click here, then when the page opens up, click on the bottom link on the tabs to the left

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Service Request

To: all users herewith and posthaste, &tc &tc
From: the MSC
Re: an official message with much hot air and foaming at the mouth

Commence to start the message:

All service requests relevant to this blog and its comments shall be henceforth posted at the following broken link here. After clicking on the page and finding a little bit of something which might otherwise be called nothing, please drink a cup of coffee at your own expense and wait for further helps. Odd series of unclear instructions may never be posted, nor will anyone read any attempted correspondence about such matters. Upon completion of the lack of form, you should expect a response from our sysdmin, miler mstrange, in zero days. To express your satisfaction with his administrative customer service, you may plan to pummel him at the finish line of this supposed "marathon" unless, as requested, the Mr. Denison suggests some better way to disregard your needs.

Thank you for your time.

Monday, August 6, 2007

26 miles 385 yards?

While Strange runs 26 miles and 285 yards, the Mr. Denisons will be livin' it up at the finish line.

By the way, how is it that I'm the first one to notice this?

New Links

Apparently even though everyone can post and comment, only I can alter the layout. I'll be adding useful links, etc, with the helpful input of Scott and everyone else. If you see anything that needs to be added, let me know. For now, take a look at some of the new links on the left. I've found Running Times and Cool Running to be very useful. RT has better training information and CR has better forums, but either will get you to the information you seek. I find Runner's World at times helpful and at times distracting, but being the most circulated running publication they deserve mention. The latter two are wildcards. Let'sRun.com is a wildly useful site for news and information, if your boots reach high enough to safely wade the muck. The forum (frequently visited by the greatest runners and coaches) is full of... interesting topics and is sometimes a great way to spend a few mindless minutes. At least you can always get the pulse of who's the hottest collegiate track star this week by reading their forum... Marathonguide.com has a lot of information--you'll just have to let me know if it's useful.

More to come!

M-Strange Ain't Hot, Jacknut Ain't Hot...


I got sent this video today at work, and it is an amazingly accurate portrayal of deployed Air Force life. I think they made this in the middle of winter (based on the temp they give in the video), but I thought I would post it here just in case anyone was having trouble running in the heat. Plus, it's hilarious.

If you don't know what some of the lines or acronyms mean, just ask and I'll explain. Also, be sure to check out the original version if you don't know it.

Oh, one last thing. Sorry for the video quality, but I think it's good enough to get the point.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Challenge

The challenge to run a marathon began as Scott told me he wanted to run a marathon in the States sometime soon. Scott really wants to run New York City, but being a lottery entry it won't be very easy to get a group involved. I suggested Chicago because of its world-class race and because it's a great place to visit. Scott vetoed that idea because it would make his travel schedule too difficult and, well, Scott lives the furthest away.

So Houston is the most nominated race, and it looks like Houston (January 2009) will be our rendezvous. Scott's suggestion was a challenge to me because I want to run another marathon, need to get in shape, and have been inspired to run after the pre-retirement of my high school coach. Tigger likewise was inspired to run, Jason owes us at least one marathon, and Chris, a veteran marathoner, will step to any friendly challenge (whether or not he will gouge away your eye-sockets in an unfriendly manner, I do not know.) So I challenged all of these muffin-necks to run a marathon.

Then Shelby volunteered to run. I would say she "manned up", but that statement is weak and cliche. Running a marathon, and likewise volunteering to run a marathon, is neither weak nor cliche. Then "The Challenge" ensued.

I volunteered two teams which I thought well-matched. Scott, myself, and the better Denison (aka The Mrs Denisons) versus Chris, Jason, and the lesser Denison. Several predictions have the teams at 12 hours each, but I gave soft predictions of Scott/Micah 3:30, Chris/Tigger 4:00, Jason 5:00, and Shelby 6:00. These times certainly can, and certainly should, be bettered, but we'll leave that for later.

And now Wes joins the fray. His admission is gladly received, though it does break the teams. Little loss and great gain for us, though, and as we may find room to add another runner or we may find a way to reorganize the teams, our team challenge can (and probably should) be finalized later.

For now, the prep. Today I purchased remaindered Boston 2007 adidas shorts and top on sale from Sportspectrum. Tomorrow: running.

Beer Mile Challenge

Aside from the Houston 2009 Marathon challenge... i throw out a challenge to one M. Strange, and to whoever else wants to participate in a beer mile that will take place the day preceding j.lowe's wedding. Be afraid of jack-nuts increasing capacity to run a stellar beer mile time.


Okay, now tell me how I'm going to train to run? I have not run at all before and I don't want to set myself up to fail. Yesterday I ran for a mile and a half. It hurt me. And I'm going to do 26.2 miles? AAAACH! -shelby

Nike sponsorship, here I come.

I'm not thinking about making the team. I'm thinking about GOLD in Houston.

I'm also thinking the elevation chart looks mighty tempting. http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/marathoninfo/marcourse1a0b.htm


to the Houston 2009 blog. Let the conversation commence!