Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Extreme Weather Running...At Least For Me

I got up 0500, showered and got ready for work. I have remote start on my truck, so like I always do, I reached out the door and started the truck so it could warm up. I opened the door to a beautiful frost over. EVERYTHING was white and glistening in my porchlight.

I headed to the truck and took in a deep, satisfying breath. It was so cold. I felt like I was taking deep breaths inside a walk-in style freezer. For those of you who've done restaurant work, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I got in the truck and the mirror said it was 17 F. That is unseasonably cold for where I'm stationed. We haven't been above freezing in a week. That is unusual too.

By lunch the sun had came out and it started to warm up in temp but didn't feel warmer. The crispness had left the air. But the frost was now glistening in a beautiful sunlight. The temp had jumped up to a balmy 29 F. I wanted to run in it but had too much to accomplish at work. So I ran to the commissary, grabbed a sub and went back to work for lunch at the desk.

I left work about 30 minutes early determined to get a run in today. I had to run. Ms. Ritz told me to get back to running. Truth is she could tell me to jump off a building and I'd probably do it. She's that BA. Well, I digress. I got home, put on my new tights I got in Cambridge...yes Cambridge England as in the University town.

I checked the temp just for kicks and realized that I'd be running in my coldest temp yet. It was 8 F when I started running and 26 F when I had completed my 4 miles. The cold bit at my face a little, but it felt great. There was zero wind outside. The tights worked awesome, as did the three moisture wicking shirts I was wearing. It was nice to get out there and set a new first for myself.

The hottest I've ran in was 122 F when I was deployed. I loaded up on water, set some water out and about on my route and knocked out a 6 miler. I felt like crap after that run. After that point I just started running very late as in midnight or very early as in 0300 to get my longer runs in. I'd still squeeze out 3 milers in that temp on occasion.

I did manage to get myself and my cadets caught in a rather heavy snow fall one year when I was teaching at Texas Tech. It was cold, probably around 31 F. We all felt super BA running around the TTU campus with snow accumulating on the ground, cars, heads. It was quite a sight to see.

I've had a few windy day runs too. West Texas is known for its wind. I had many runs that the winds were in the 40 knot range. Same goes with over here in the UK. I hate the windy day runs the most. The just sap my energy right out of me.

Happy running to you all.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

I HEART Speed Work

I had been in a big running funk as of late. Truth is I haven't had any desire to run and when I did I put in a half effort. Something clicked in my mind last Friday. After logging a whopping 35 miles from 1 Oct until Friday I decided I was going to start running again...period.

So Friday was a 6 miler that was rather slow but felt great. More importantly, it felt great to WANT TO run again. I followed that up Sunday with a decent 6.2, Monday with another 6 miler and today with a 6 mile speed routine. Today's run is what this particular post is about because I'm pretty proud of it.

The speed work routine I did I've done in the past and I really like it. I basically made it up one day when I failed at the routine I wanted to run. All times are as follows:

1600-7:03, 800 recovery, 800-3:35 (the only non-negative split I had...grrrrr), 800 recovery, 400-1:38, 400 recovery, 400-1:37, 400 recovery, 400-1:36, 400 recovery, 400-1:31 (BAM!!!!), 1200 recovery for a total of 6 great miles.

I was running in my ASICS Hyper Speed 4's. I love those shoes. They are so light and make me feel fast. Too bad they are being discontinued.

Well, that's 18.2 miles for the week on my way to 36. I know, too much too soon. It's okay. I really don't know how to do anything without doing it to extreme. That includes being a lazy @$$.

Happy running to you all.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Port-A-Potty Diaries--1st Entry

15 Nov 10

Dear diary,

I've ran in Germany, Portugal, the U.S., the U.K., Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Qatar, and Puerto Rico. In all of these instances there is one common factor. All port-a-potties are the same. They all look the same, usually blue. They all smell the same. I'm not talking about the obvious smell of poo and pee. I'm talking about the smell of that blue crap that's in 'em. Speaking of which, they ALL have that blue crap in 'em. Why can't a country come up with another dye color for that crap?

Now don't get me wrong, there are a few differences. For example; a port-a-potty in Qatar is far worse than one in the U.K. Why you may ask? Because the by-products of...well, you know...smell far worse in 130 degree temps than they do in 85 degree temps. Sometimes the alternative of crapping ones pants may be better. Thank goodness I've not done that yet...but...

And what exactly is it with that urinal thing on the side? Do we guys REALLY need a urinal in a port-a-potty? All that does is give us something else to pee all over. And speaking of that, why is it that dudes can't hit a hole twice the size of a toilet at home? I'm telling ya', if I peed all over the toilet seat at home I'd get my butt stomped by the little lady. Not to mention I kind of like having a clean bathroom.

I also think that every port-a-potty on a running race course should be stocked copies of Runner's World. I mean seriously; what if I get a bad stomach ache and need an extended break in the ole mobile crap house? At least I can feel in touch with the race by reading some race related material. Besides, there may be an artical on how to increase your PR chances after having to taking a port-a-potty break. It could happen.

Finally, I think it should be a law that ALL port-a-potty companies world-wide should stock those things with Charmin, hand sanitizer, those paper @$$ gasket things and some Lysol smell good spray. Violators would be prosecuted under INTERPOL or something.

Does The Dryer Eat Your Socks?

Problem #1: The dryer ate your sock. Now you have that lonely mismatch. Of course you hang on to that sock for months on end. It clutters your dresser or laundry basket. The problem is compounded if you have children. Those socks are NEVER found. Yet you hang on in hopes that it will turn up. You finally throw it away and low and behold, the other half of the pair shows up the next day. The problem is you forgot that you threw its partner away and now you hang on to that sock forever. It's a brutal cycle.

Problem #2: This may not have happened to you, but you've seen it. The runner about mid-way through the race with one sock on and one bare foot in the shoe. You know exactly how that happens since there wasn't a dryer around to eat that poor sock. Yep, they (or you) got caught with pants down and nothing to finish up with. Begrudgingly, off comes the sock. Embarrassement ensues.

Solution: Take that poor, lonely mismatched sock and strategically place it in a convenient place to use if needed. When the match turns up next week you have yet another article to bail you out of a sure fire mess.

There you have it. Free and usefull advice that you didn't even need to register for.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

While Walking Through Life I Lost Myself

I haven't given up on posting blogs here. I've tried multiple times and can't get them to go through. So hi...if this makes it out there to blog land. Now on the my actual writings.

The last 8 weeks or so have been rather difficult. I've been traveling through life just sort of...living; but not to my fullest desire or ability. Nothing has been going on that has made things difficult. Well, I did find out that I didn't even get accepted to the London Marathon as a charity runner. That pretty much sucked. Otherwise, I've just noticed my motivation waning like the last bit of moonlight as the moon hides out for a few days. But just like the moonlight, my motivation seems to find a way back.

This week has been rather good to me. My vision is coming back after getting PRK. My distance vision still isn't fully there, but it's getting better every day. It's rather refreshing to not have to wear glasses to see. It's even neater to wear "cool people" sunglasses for the first time.

This past Saturday I got my assignment. I'll be moving to Offutt Air Force Base Nebraska in Apr or May. Any Nebraska Loopsters out there?

I found out that after almost a year I'll be putting on my next rank on 1 Jan. Happy New Year!!!

But here is the really big turn around. I ran today. To put things in perspective, I haven't ran in exactly 21 days. Not because of injury or time. I haven't ran because I haven't wanted to. I have had zero desire to take care of myself. Now I feel like s#*t and wanted to find myself again.

The run wasn't too bad. I cruised through 4 miles at an 8:32 m/m. All in all I felt great. I had missed that feeling of finding myself every time my feet connected with the road.

Now I need to find a nice marathon to run before I leave the UK. I'm looking in to the Paris marathon. The only problem with that is that I'll be leaving the UK on Apr 14th for good and the race is on the 10th. The timing may not work out. Wish me luck.

Happy running to you all and it's good to have found myself again.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Taking A Week Off

I'm heading to Germany tomorrow morning. I'm scheduled for PRK on Tuesday. The good news? No more glasses. The bad news? Possibility of a week of no running. At least I finished my physical fitness test this last week. Another year before I need to worry about that.

Otherwise, I don't really have much to blog about today. I'm sure I'll come up with stuff next week. Ya'll know how my pain med induced blogs can be.

Happy running to you all.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The World Games

I was watching the World Games today with my girls. It was rather enjoyable. They seemed to actually take interest in the events and even asked me questions. We were watching the 800m heats, the javelin, the long jump and the high jump. Everything was Britian focused of course.

One particular gold medalist was being interviewed. Her discipline? 20K walking. Yep, walking. Truth is, she walked faster than many of us can run. I don't remember her exact time, but it was very impressive. I found it rather interesting.

I was blown away watching the 800m heats. Those guys are freaking fast. I would love to be able to run close to that fast even just for a moment. It was pretty awesome. Guess who won the two heats we watched? Oh, can I have Kenyans for $5000 Alex?

Not much else to report on today.

Happy running to you all.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I'm Back

Okay. I usually blog on Runnersworld.com. But they changed their format and now it...sucks...to say the least. So I shall return to my blogging ways here. In turn I'll post the link to Runnersworld.com if people want to read.

I look forward to sharing with my only two followers at this point in time.


Friday, 28 May 2010

Thoughts on Memorial Day

As you know, Memorial Day is upon us. I love this holiday as it celebrates our veterans that died in support of America's wars. Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War, but became more recognized after WWII. In fact, the official name "Memorial Day" wasn't adopted until 1968.

While Memorial Day is a U.S. holiday, many countries celebrate this holiday with us. The United Kingdom has a "Bank Holiday" on Memorial Day and several ceremonies throughout the country at various cemeteries. Even France has a ceremony at Normandy, the landing site of the U.S. invasion into Europe to drive Hitler back.

Memorial day isn't just to celebrate our warriors lost in battle. We've lost many warriors that didn't die in battle, but lived long lives after their service. Please don't forget these people either. All of our deceased veterans deserve our praise for their service to the nation and the world.

If you know a veteran, thank them for their service. If you knew a veteran that is no longer with us, thank their family. If you don't personally know any veterans, make it a point to attend a parade, visit a military cemetery, museum or memorial site. Memorial day means so much more than a 3-day weekend and 50% off sales.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

First Entry

Hello all. I've been blogging on the Loop on Runner's World for a while now. I thought I'd try to expand my blog repertoire here thanks to Run With Jill inspiring me. This first blog will probably be pretty rough. I still need to set up my profile, post a picture, and figure this site out.

So who am I? Well, I'm an officer in the U.S. Air Force. I've been on active duty since June 1990. I've got a son in the Air Force, and two daughters still at home. I've been married for a little over 20 years now.

I've got several hobbies. I race dirt bikes. I'm an avid runner. I ride a Harley; a FXDF "Fat Bob" to be precise (hence the blog name). I'm an avid hunter, preferably bow, but I like to gun hunt too.

I'm currently stationed in England. The Air Force has taken me from Texas, where I grew up, to Germany, New Mexico, Portugal, back to Texas, Georgia, back to Texas again, and finally here in the UK for at least another year.

My last assignment in Texas was a blast. I taught Aerospace Studies at Texas Tech University. I thoroughly enjoy my assignment in the UK. Since I've been here I've deployed one time to the desert for almost 9 months. That's where my love of running went in to hyper-drive.

Since running for myself, I've done two half marathons. I try to log about 40 to 50 miles per week. I just got hernia surgery last week so I'm on the DL for 5 more weeks. Thanks to the surgery I had to skip my first marathon attempt in Germany. That was a bit of a bummer actually.

I guess that's about it for now. I'll do my best to keep this blog fun. I'm a bit of a smart ass and enjoy self-deprecating humor. Happy running to you all.