Archive May 2017

Not Running Equals Free Time

So since I’m now at the end of week 1 of my for real #notrunning I find myself with free time.  Normally I’d of gone for a 2+ hour run this morning, add in travel time, shower time afterwards and since I didn’t go on a run I had an extra 3 hours to my day.

that it’s like doing it for the first time all over again”

Sadly I spent it spending money, getting weed and feed and grass seed for the lawn, some PVC fittings to make a set of push up / dip bars out of some 1.5″ PVC I have laying around from one of my many projects.

Saturday I spent my not running time cutting down a bunch of overgrowth in the yard.   So there’s definately value in not running.

But I’ve spent the last 11 months of my life running 3 days a week or more and now it feels strange to be doing that.

My running partner is still doing great, putting in all the miles I’m missing out on.  She ran 10 miles this morning.  Since she was wearing my Fenix 3HR it’s almost like I ran it in a weird way so that’s something I guess.

My replacement pair of Paradigm 2.0’s have been sitting staring at me waiting for me to try them.  I had to go a full size up to a ridiculous 14 since they don’t make 13.5’s.   The 13’s were just too short for me after 3 miles.  I have black toenails on both feet from the size 13’s and my toes hitting the end of the shoes.   The 14’s are too long by a bit but the rest seems to fit so why not.

I reset my Stryd back to a calibration factor of 1.0.  I’d dropped it down to 99.5 for the half marathon and it was off by about .2 miles over the 13.2 miles. Setting it back to 1.0 and I’ll walk it back down again and see where it’s the most accurate.

I need to work on my stride/gait.   Do the ‘altra run’ following their recommendations.  It’s just so abnormal to me that it’s like doing it for the first time all over again.   But that’s what it felt like when I started 11 months ago so I guess I can do it again.

I’ve been doing my PT daily, a combination of side steps with resistance, clamshells, bridges, planks, curls, shrugs, crunches, sideways leg lifts.   My knee definitely feels better after the last week of #notrunning or possibly the PT.  Or a combination.   Regardless I’m not running till 6/6.   Then I’m going to restart my full marathon training based on the Stryd plan.

Anyway that’s where I am, didn’t want two weeks to go by without some signs of life.

Dumb is as dumb does

So I ran my last half marathon of the season on Saturday last.   I wasn’t feeling it to be honest going into it.  I knew I was going to have some knee issues based on ITBS issues I’m having.

With my knee roofied into compliance

Around mile 3 my left knee said “Eff this fecal matter, I’m going home.”   I persuaded it with some ibuprofin to keep going a little longer.

At this point I was fairly ahead of the pace group I’d targeted to try to at least match so I kept trying to keep my pace up to keep ahead of them.

At mile 6 my left knee said, “No seriously dude, I’m packing up and going home.”   I distracted it as my pace group finally caught up to me and it was a fairly scenic view as they moved ahead of me.  I don’t really understand it but I appreciate that there’s usually a 2-1 or 3-1 females to males in races.   While it was distracted I slipped in half a Percocet (a prescription acetaminophen and oxycodone) to shut my knee up.

With my knee roofied into compliance I made it to around mile 9-10trailing my pace group and then my running partner called to chat me up on the run and at the same time my knee woke up and was very not happy at having been drugged so between the two of them they convinced me to walk a bit which let my pace group get out of sight.

I started running again, my running partner hung up to go watch her kids do ballet and in digging out a salt tab I found the other half of my percocet which I’d thought I’d left at home.  But my subconscious was looking out for me.

With my knee muted to a dull roar again I picked up the pace and managed to finish the race.  I cut almost 2 minutes off my last (first) half marathon 3 weeks ago in spite of my knee, in spite of having to walk a bit.  So go me.

But I’m seriously paying for it.  Around 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning my knee threw off the shackles of the drugs and hit me like a hammer.  It probably took me 5 minutes to cover the 12 feet to my bathroom using the foot board of the bed and the wall for assistance.

Even with the oxy Sunday through to Monday was rough.  Really rough.

Was it worth it?  Debatable.  Should I have, knowing my knee was iffy, dropped down to the 5K?  Debatable.

Would I do it again?  Debatable.   Barring Mr. Peabody showing up, we’ll never know.

I’m taking the next two weeks off all running and will be doing ITB strength training focused excercises along with some other more general strength training.   That’s a lot of clamshells, resistance band side steps, weighted squats and bridges.

ITBS aka Son of a bitch my knee hurts

So I’ve developed a classic case of ITBS or IT Band Syndrome aka the Illiotibial Band.

involves “buns of steel” and “hips don’t lie”

All the classic symptons are there.  It didn’t hurt for short distances and then started hurting and then over longer distances eased up.   Sprinting, full blown balls to the wall maximal effort, makes it not hurt for a time.

So there’s a lot of bad information or rather invalid information out there about ITBS.  And some good information.  It can take time to dig through both kinds and come to a conclusion.

I’d been doing the bad information for awhile without seeing any results, no relief and the issue keeps getting worse.   That told me that maybe the information I was being given may not be actually accurate.

The bad information involves “Friction” “rubbing” “rolling”, “Icing”, “Stretching”.

The good information involves “buns of steel” and “hips don’t lie”.

The bad information is based on guesswork.  The good information based on science.

I prefer to think science is my bitch as opposed to guesswork.  Although educated guessing is in part how I do my job so I can’t downplay it too much.

So as it turns out, per the science, ITBS, has significant links to a weak ass and outer hips and acerbated by strong inner thighs (no I don’t own a Thigh Master (R)) and a cross over gait.   I have all of those things going against me.

I’m not going to post links here, just google IT Band Syndrome Repair and you’ll come back with links like this (okay so I’m posting one link) –

Excercises to treat ITBS

But there are several others and if you go through all of them you’ll walk away with a decent understanding of what the issue is, what causes it and the best options to fix it.

So for me, after my Half this weekend I’m going to take a week or two off and just focus on strength training in general and very much specific to ITBS.    Then I’ll do some shorter runs for a week or two, probably at 5k race pace, and see how things are progressing.

I’ll also be trying to retrain my gait to be a little wider which will help.   All of these things should see me running without as much pain or even pain free which is my biggest problem right now.  10 miles isn’t a big deal, 10 miles when you’re in pain for 9 miles of it not so easy to deal with.

Stryd Right

As I mentioned prior I’m using the Stryd Marathon training plan.  It’s an interesting plan in a few ways.  The workouts have more variation in the workouts themselves than other plans I’ve used or seen.   Also the initial month is very low speed long distance.  Distances aren’t that long per se but this is obviously not a couch to marathon plan since week 1 has a 8 mile run at the end and the short distance is 4 miles.

Economy of form leads to being able to go the distance”

When I first started I couldn’t do a 4 minute run…

The slow runs also have some kind of ‘strides’ as Stryd calls them or sprints or intervals as I grew up calling them.  The first few runs that have sprints are pretty simple 3 to 6 mile zone 1 running (super slow) and then  100 meters balls to the wall full on sprint with 1 minute jog or walk.  Repeat the sprint cycle 4 to 10 times depending on the workout.

After the first 3 or 4 weeks of training the tail end road sprints change to hill sprints which start at 8 second balls out sprinting uphill followed by 1 minute jog or walk, repeat 4 to 10 times.

What I find the most interesting/intriguing about the Stryd plan is the alleged science behind their rhyme and reason of their training activities.   Each one is, allegedly, designed to target a specific function of the running physiology.  LSD’s or Long Slow Distances which are slow slow are designed to strengthen the heart, promote healing (which I could use right now) and increase oxygen delivery ability at the cellular level.   That all sounds pretty science-ey doesn’t it?

The sprints, especially hill sprints are designed to increase neuromuscular capabilities, strength and leg sprint stiffness.  These lead to more economy of form.   Economy of form leads to being able to go the distance.

There are a total of 8 different areas the various styles of workouts targets.  Remember Rocky 3?  Dolph had all the Russian science behind him and all Rocky had was star power so he won?   In reality science is a pretty big boost toward being able to accomplish what you want in the time yuou want it.   Obviously runners used to just ‘get out there and run’.   But it does make one think how much better those awesome runners of yore could have been if they’d of trained with the knowledge we have now of anatomy, physiology, kinesthesiology and in general just more understanding of the human body and it’s bio-mechnics.

I for one feel my slow, structured approach to running even #notrunning as I do has got me there safely and with minimal risk.   Indeed it was only when I started added extra ‘off book’ runs especially ones on technical trails and hills that I started having problems with my knee.  Just the one.  The left one.

At some point Time will come crashing down with a ‘this is is my friend, this is as far as you can get now, after 5 decades of abuse, this is the maximum your body can output’.  So we’ll see where that line is.

During my sprints on Tuesday, granted just 100 meters at a time, I hit a pace of 6:04 per mile.   All in all I don’t really think that’s anything to complain about given my age, lack of training and the fact that I outweigh the average elite runner by over 100 lbs.   Those are some big handicaps to overcome.  Time will tell how far over that hump I can get.

Stryd’ers on the Storm

The title of this post is a play on a play of words.  Back in my younger days when I had more free time and less demands on what time I did I was both a geek and a nerd.  i.e. I played roleplaying games.  The kind you do with several people.  That’s probably not clarified enough, the kind you do with several people, with your clothes on.  Okay maybe that’s still debatable.  The kind you do with several people, using rule books and dice, with your clothes on and there are no orgasms involved.

But as one of the bigger clydesdales in the herd”

Anyway there are these things called Driders which are a combination of a kind of elf and a spider in a centaur like blending.   In one particular session our heroes were at a placed called Storm Shipping and Receiving when they were attacked by Driders.  This of course by necessity generated the phrase “Drider’s on the Storm”.

Which is a long way to go about explaining a title that makes sense to now one.

Anyway….  I bought a Stryd foot pod as the pacing and distance from my watch wasn’t as precise as I now want it to be.  I was also intrigued by the ‘train using power’ metrics that are being floated around.   The Stryd foot pod calculates how much energy/effort you’re expending on each step you take to move your body mass forward.  It analyzes all kinds of data from each step and gives you a picture of running motion.   It takes into account slopes, go up hill and burn more power, downhill burn less.

The idea is to run so that you burn a specific amount of energy for distance and to go into specific burn zones, i.e. energy output bands, to achieve your training goals.  Certain bands and types/timing of training are good for certain things, lactate use, vo2 max increase, physiological changing of the body for running etc.

Now that I’ve finished my half marathon training using the Garmin Heart Rate Zone based plan I’m going to try the Stryd marathon training plan.   It’s interesting, the first month is a lot of long slow distance or LSD’s with some sprints, Stryd calles them strides, at the end of the shorter ones.   The speeds are slower than I’ve been training with so far for long distances so it’ll be interesting to see the results.

I did a 9 mile run on Sunday at the recommended speed which was about 90 seconds per mile slower than I’d been running long distances and I was a little surprised at how difficult it did feel by the end of the run.  There are extenuating circumstances, in the previous month I’d run my first half marathon, normal training, a 5k race on Friday, 2 5K obstacle courses on Saturday and then the 9 mile on Sunday.  So there may have been a wee bit of reason as to why 9 miles slow felt kind of tough by the end.

It runs through to mid September over 4 months of training.   It’s 3 days a week, starting with 16 miles a week for the first week and ramping up to around 40-50 miles a week at the peak of the training.

But as one of the bigger clydesdales in the herd for distance running long and specifically slow may be what I need at the moment to help clear up a nagging knee issue.

Altra Paradigm 2.0

I’m afraid my Altra Paradigm 2.0’s aren’t working out.  This is due entirely to sizing, not anything else.   I measure a 12.5 and wear a 12.5 to 13 in most shoes.  I bought my Paradigm’s in size 13 and they’re just kind of short.

but jab into anything long enough and things will start to hurt.”

For short runs 5K’s especially as long as I wear thin socks they’re okay length wise.  But I ran my first long run in them on Sunday and by mile 7 my feet had swelled just enough that my two longest toes on each foot were hitting the end of the shoe.   I wasn’t wearing thin socks that day though but a thicker set of Balega’s.

I may be able to adjust a bit by really locking down the midfoot to keep my foot from moving forward at all but I’m just not sure it’s going to be doable.

It felt kind of like repeatedly stubbing your toe on velvet but jab into anything long enough and things will start to hurt.  By close to mile 9 I was seriously wanting to be done with the run.

To go up a size though, because no one makes half sizes past 12 means I have to get them in 14’s which I worry will be like clown shoes on me.

So I may have to give this model a miss or just use them for short runs with thin socks or barefoot.

The shoe overall I really like, the cushion is maximal but not marshmallow.  The midfoot is secure and the heel pocket is good for my foot.   The tongue is cushioned but not too much so.  Laces are long enough for traditional lacing, if you go parallel lacing you’ll have plenty of lacing.

The styling is good (for an Altra).

The only two big issues is sizing and availability.  In anything other than the most common sizes it’s hit or miss being able to find a pair in any color much less the color you might want.

Jaybird X3 Update

So I finally with my one communication a day maximum back and forth with Jaybird got them to accept an RMA from me.   This did require me to have the reciept for my purchase.   Tip for you, when you buy an expensive piece of electronics put your receipt in the box and keep the box for at least the length of the warranty.

there had better be a zombie horde chasing me and having music on that run would be the least of my worries”

They finally acknowledged that the device didn’t work and had me ship it back to them so they could test it.  I assume once they test it and find out it’s broken they’ll ship me a refurb unit to replace it.

At this point though I’m calling it a lesson learned and I’ll keep it for secondary usage.   The Plantronic Back Beat’s for my needs are better in all ways including price and are demonstrably more durable in terms of weather.  Due to me dropping them getting out of the car they were totally submerged in rain water for about 12 hours with no signs of an issue.   The day I run 12 hours in torrential rain there had better be a zombie horde chasing me and having music on that run would be the least of my worries.

FWIW one of the #runners I know his Jaybirds died this week with no output from the left earpiece.   I wished him luck in dealing with Jaybird CS.

That’s 2 for 2 first hand experience with failed units on the Jaybird X3’s.   We could be outliers of course but the laws of averages and normalization indicate that the Jaybird’s may have some issues in QC or design.

And neither of us have ever run in the rain or gotten these units wet.  Mine literally were working fine one run and the next time I tried to use they were dead.    The other person’s were the same way.  They were working at the end of a run and at the start of another one the earpiece was dead.


Half Marathon Man (original title I’m sure)

So… first half marathon, all 13.3 miles of it, done.  Yes I know but SPR wasn’t possible since there were 25,000 runners and #notarunner in the race and I didn’t know the route as this was a very last minute race.

freezing my testicles off didn’t help.”

My planned race the day before got thunderstormed out and cancelled.  So… my running partner, her husband and myself signed up last minute for the OKC Memorial Marathon.  Half marathon technically.  I drove down the day of after about 3 hours sleep and we ran the race.

It was unexpectedly cold, colder than I was ready for and dressed for so that was a thing.  Pre race it was low 40’s and I was dressed for mid 50’s. And by the end of the race, soaking in sweat with a bajillion mile an hour wind in my face along the last mile it was OMG cold.

The race went pretty well all things considered.  I lost my running partner somewhere between miles 6 and 9.  I kept looking back and she was there and then she was gone.  I tried to find her a couple of times and then I thought maybe she’d passed me but I was alone at the end of the race and as a result we didn’t cross the finish line together.  That’s my biggest disappointment of the race.

In the end we had pretty good run I think.  I wasn’t super happy with mine but it was acceptable.  I’d planned on doing a 2:36 and ended up with a 2:39.   With better pacing it could have been a 2:30 I think.

My running partner crossed a little after me.   Our other running friend cut several minutes off his half marathon PR and this was a hilly race so he did super awesome.   He has a plan to be a BQ in the next couple of years and I really think he can do it.  He runs like a madman and doesn’t follow any training schedules.

The OKC Memorial run was very well put on, good corral management, there was no congestion on the race at all.  My races up till now the front of the herd is always full of slow runners and walkers so the first half mile is always a juggle as the herd thins out and everyone finds their natural paces.   This was a pretty nice change.

Lots of aid stations, one every mile and a half or so supplying both water and powerade and the volunteers seemed actually happy to be there in the 40 degree and damp weather.

My only issues and they’re minor is the finisher shirt hand out took some time to straighten out and the line for the promised Carl’s Jr hamburger was about a billion miles long so I ended up with a banana.

I had a few minutes of being in a bit of a mood after the race was over, mostly just knocking on myself for having to walk a couple or three times during the last 2 miles (again a hilly race) and wondering how my partner was doing.   Then having to wait a a fair long time in the line for the finisher shirt while freezing my testicles off didn’t help.

But it passed and in the end I was okay with it and that’s a key thing to take away from any race.

All in all while it was a super expensive race (major race, sign up at the last minute and have to travel = not cheap) I think it was worth it.  It was the last long race till Fall that the four of us were going to be able to do together.   I have another half in a couple of weeks but that will be the last non-5K available in the area for the summer.

Gear wise I ran in my Nimbus 18’s with my Stryd on it.  The Stryd measured 13.27 miles while my Fenix 3HR measured 3.40 miles.   13.27 wasn’t unexpected as there wasn’t any way I was doing the SPR on the course.  At one point one of my feet got wet from getting splashed and I was worried about a blister after feeling my sock start to bunch up but it worked itself out.  But my Stryd seems to read slightly high on mileage so I set the calibration factor on my Fenix 5 down to 99.7% so it should get a little closer to perfect.

My biggest take away from the half marathon was confirmation that road running is boring.  Mind numbingly boring.

But my goal is to finish a 50K on a trail so that’s less boring.  Better scenery, more interesting and entertaining running and being one of the few who make it beyond a half marathon and the very few who make it past a marathon.   I’m not sure my physiology (so not built to run) and let’s be honest starting training to run a 50K when you’re 50 while oddly ironic isn’t necessarily the best starting point.

But what else do I have to do with my spare time?


Getting Salty

Added another domain that points to this one called  Surprisingly there’s no such thing on the internet.  I went looking for a tech shirt with either I Run Salty or Run Salty on it and they don’t exist.  I’m vaguely shocked at that.

I didn’t expect that the internet would let me down and apparently I had an original thought.”

So I registered the domain name because why not?

I need an angry salt shaker running as a logo now and I can use cafepress or something similar to create my own tech shirt to show my angry running.

This all started as I just ran my first half and for a few minutes after I finished I was in a bit of a mood because I ended up walking 3 sections of the last mile and and a half.   Maybe half mile total walking.  And as a result I had the thought I need a shirt to warn people that I may be unapproachable and as salty is a thing at the moment although it may be winding down, I said to myself, “get a I run salty shirt.”.  I didn’t expect that the internet would let me down and apparently I had an original thought.

So you may see some changes on the site as I make it more salty.