Friday, November 26, 2010

Feeding the Hungry in real life.

I just got home from my weekly mountain bike ride at Lake Natoma. I ride 22 miles out to Lake Natoma, then ride the 12.5 mile dirt loop with friends and finish off the whole event with beers and brats at a local eatery. Then I ride the train back home.
Tonight on the train home a fellow got on with burlap bags full of cans and bottles. He asked me what time it was. I told him it was ten till five. His heart sank a bit, I could tell. I asked if he was in a rush to hit the recycling center. He said they closed at 5:00. I told him we would probably hit his station right at 5:00 and if he was lucky he could catch the guy before he leaves. Then I held up crossed fingers and he nodded acknowledgment. As the ride progressed, I watched him disassemble 15 cigarette butts and roll his own from the dregs. I felt bad seeing this and asked him what the value of his haul was. He told me $7.00. I knew if the recycling center was closed, which is very likely at 5:00 on Black Friday, he would have to tote that stuff back home unrewarded.
I don't usually give money away, but I asked him if he wanted a couple bucks. He said yes and I gave him what I had. My last three bucks. It was almost as though a load was lifted from him when I handed over those three bills.
I wish people didn't have to suffer and want.

Run to Feed the Hungry - 2010

Yesterday I ran a 10k. It was the Run To Feed the Hungry in Sacramento. Proceeds go to benefit Sacramento Food Bank Services. I was on a team, Meetup to Feed the Hungry, which was lead by my friend Kaybee. My time in the race was 56:17 which is not bad. 9:05 minute miles carried me to 43rd place. Right in the middle of my age group with the fastest person fifteen minutes ahead of me and the slowest nearly an hour behind me. Over half the runners in my age group were within ten minutes (plus or minus) of my time.
I'm running the California International Marathon in 9 days and I hope I'm ready. I'm a little worried because of the pulled muscle incident a few weeks ago. I'm planning on running 15-18 miles Sunday and resting for the next week.
Here's what I learned this day...
Start in the front! There's nothing I hate worse at these things than being held back by a bunch of slow-pokes. Today, I decided to be the slow-poke, and I'm glad I did. I started up front with the 7 minute milers. The result of doing this was that I was being passed for the entire length of the race. The waves of runners passing me induced a kind of anxiety and it pressed me on to my best 10k run time ever.
Something I do at these things to keep my pace is find someone who is pulling away just a little and try to keep up with them. They usually pull away and I have to find another. Today, the one I found at mile three was running the perfect pace. Hard to keep up with, but still achievable. At the end, I said to her: "You don't know this, but you carried me for the last three miles. Thanks!" She asked: "You do that too?" Apparently this is rather common. Focus on the hottest set of buns in front of you and try to catch'em. If you do, find a better set further ahead.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Man's Lessons - Marathon Training Part 1

Marathon Training!

Back in September someone gave me the idea to run in the Urban Cow Half Marathon, I had just finished Eppie's Great Race with a good time considering the lackadaisical training I had put in, so I figured, what the hell. I'll do it! That's the answer I try to give unless I have a really good reason not to do a thing. I did it too! I did it 2:04:07! Not knowing any better, I just figured it was ok. The more jaws I saw dropping at my announcement of the time, the more I came to realize that was a pretty good time. Especially for a 50 year old fat man who had only run 8 times in preparation for both this race and the Great Race.
Filled with the confidence of my triumph, I decide to register for the California International Marathon! The CIM! It's one of the Marathons you can use to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I found this out when filling out the online registration. I saw the box asking if I was attempting to qualify for Boston, and in my inimitable fashion, I checked YES! I later found out I'll have to finish in 3:35:00 to do it. That's not realistic for me, but who knows? Stranger things have happened.
I had built up to running 8 miles 3 times per week when at mile 7 of one of my runs I felt like someone shot me in the calf. I could not believe how bad it hurt. I stayed off it for a week and tried to run again. It began to hurt in 500 feet. I stayed off it for another week and saw a doctor. Twentyfive days before the CIM, he told me I need to rest for six to eight weeks.
This marathon was not cheap. I'm not going to toss that non-refundable registration out! I decided to train the Army way. WORK YOUR WAY BACK!
A few days after seeing the doctor I ran as far as I could without pain. One mile that day. The next day I went two miles. Then 3 miles on stairs. Then four miles on stairs and finally five miles. I took a break for a day and ramped it up to seven, then eight miles. Today I added 50% and ran 12 miles without pain.
The CIM is in 14 days. We'll see how I do.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One Man's Lessons

Hi there!

I just got a new HD Video camera and I'm determined to do something with it. Here you'll see me and my friends doing lots of fun and exciting things. Mountain Biking, running, racing. Who knows? I'm going to let it evolve into whatever it becomes.
I'll be posting video here and on my YouTube channel
Stay tuned for some really cool stuff!