Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm reading Ultramarathon Man

Dean Karnazes was one of the characters mentioned in Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. McDougal's descprition isn't so kind, as he is used as a foil in opposition to Scott Jurek. I had read one of the other books mentioned in Born to Run, Lance Armstrong's autobiography (written by Sally JenkinsIt's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. McDougall describes it as being the story of a warrior poet. It was good and gave me a much better understanding of who Armstrong is and his personal philosophy. Last summer, Michael Schoffman recommended Karnazes' book.

Michael had just months before met Dean. Michael was running his first marathon, the LA Marathon and around the 20th mile he looked over his shoulder and there was Dean Karnazes. Michael had already read his book so he starts talking to the guy and they ran the last 10k together.

Take a look at those Clock Times, they crossed the finish practically arm in arm.
Turns out Dean had previously rode some crazy contraption called the ElliptiGo for 500 miles to the start of the Marathon. Crazy Fuck.

So much cooler than my frenetic sprint around Central Park trying to keep up with Lance.

As I read the book I was enthralled and inspired. The book starts with all the charm of the Rocky Balboa narrative. It is a small underdog learning to escape his upper middle class yuppie existence by stretching free of all rational physical bounds. The whole transformation and training process capped by the epic battle with the Western States 100 stirred my soul.

Unfortunately after that portion (about a third of the book) the story devolves faster than the Rocky series. Each subsequent adventure, the Bad Water 100, running a marathon at the South Pole, running 199 miles straight, becomes equal parts repetitive and preposterous. He tries to engage the reader by explaining how dangerous running at the South Pole is. Yea. No shit its negative 100°. Don't be a dip shit. Its too cold to be outside.

Overall a good read but it's no Born to Run and even falls short of It's Not About the Bike.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This brings back memories of my marathon

2010 NYC Marathon Time Lapse from wnyc culture on Vimeo.

Here is the Camera she used. Totally cool website.

And here is the story of the runner.

Thanks Lynn

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

State of the goal: June, July and August

I haven't updated this blog on the quest to run 3 miles a day for a year.

So here is the update.

I failed to hit three miles a day in June (85 miles, with a goal of 90) and July (89.6 miles with a goal of 93). These were the first misses for a month this year. I crushed August (132.3 with a goal of 93) running more miles than I ever ran before.

The long and short of this is I'm still on track for 1095 miles for 2010. August 31st was the 243rd day of the year, so I needed to have run 729 miles. I had run 770.

I have a new goal

Sarah Palin apparently ran a sub 4 hour marathon, (another link) just barely, at 3:59:24.

I gotta beat her. If I do it this year, I'll be the same age as her. Could I do it at Detroit? Probably not.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey. I'm in the Detroit Free Press!

Last week Runkeeper retweeted Mark W Smith (@markdubya) of the Free Press who was looking for some RunKeeper users to interview:

I posted this tweet to him and he bit:

He called me later that day and interviewed m for about ten minutes. Later that week he called to set up a photo shoot. On Friday morning Andre Jackson came by and took some pictures of me and my iPhone (and Bo).

Then Today the Free Press dropped me on the front of Page D1

All and all, a fun exchange.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Huntington Woods runners, go west.

I did a run few days ago and RunKeeper recorded me crossing 696. Twice. The GPS was accurate. Here is the map:

The trick is that when the Feds built 696 they added two elevated parks to compensate Oak Park for land lost to the highway.

My advice to Huntington Woods runners, go west.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Inspired to run by a Runkeeper bug

One thing I hate about RunKeeper is how at the beginning of the month you get that down arrow that says "Lowest"

I just had one day, of coarse I'm not going to be over my worst month yet. And the more consistant you are the longer it takes to shed that arrow. My worst month is last June, so my lowest is 19 miles. But that it going to scroll off the page next month and then I'll have to clock 44 miles before getting rid of that Albatross.

Monday, May 3, 2010

April: Another successful month

The month started off slow as the whole family went to Breckenridge for the first week.

Also this was the first month in 2009 where I started to pour on the miles. For the rest of the year 2009 will be a real benchmark. Not like the straw man it has played so far.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hey I got an iPad!

Just playing around. So far pretty fun. Long run tonight. On screen keyboard is better than the pundits say.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, April 29, 2010

RunKeeper: The first 1,000 miles

I'm going to go running tonight and I will flip the odometer on RunKeeper, taking me over one thousand miles!

I was among the first users of RunKeeper. I purchased my iPhone 3g in late July 2008. Remember, the first iPhone didn't have GPS or any third party apps, so RunKeeper could not exist until the summer of 2008. I had been using Nike+ for awhile and I liked it but really wanted a way to map my runs. I downloaded the initial, free version, of RunKeeper and was underwhelmed. It killed the battery, and continually quit or failed in the middle of a run. I liked the concept but the bullet-proof reliability of Nike+ won the day. Later, RunKeeper forked their product into a free and paid version. I downloaded both hoping to see better reliability and again was unimpressed. For the remainder of 2008, RunKeeper was only trotted out when I was runing in an exotic location where I wanted to record a map.

Like my run up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum (Eye of the Tiger blasting through my ear buds)

Or on the beach at Grand Traverse Bay

But as RunKeeper kept coming out with additional versions the product kept getting more reliable and better at managing battery life. By June of 2009, I was using it on every run. By this time, however I was addicted to the social nature of Nike+. I was participating in a bunch of challenges, and really was geting into the Nike+ community.

On September 19, 2009, I was doing my first 20 mile training run. My iPod Nano crapped out and Nike+ failed to track that run. That was the last time I used Nike+ and I have been monogomous RunKeeper user since. I think that since the 20 miler was so important to me, having Nike+ crap out allowed me to quit them cold turkey.

Now I am a committed RunKeeper user. I think its an awesome tool and I have, at various times, used nearly every feature:
  • Manually entering runs with mapping! (like last night when I jabbered on the phone for the whole 5 miles)
  • Intervals (I used run-walk to build up my miles during the summer of 2009)
  • Photos (Michigania, Montreal and Quebec City all offered great photos on the run)
  • Run editing (the canals of San Antonio confused the hell out of the GPS
  • Alternative activities (I have tracked bike rides and swims, the latter by manual entry)
  • Street Teams (I am encouraging my friends to get fit and part of the sell is pushing RunKeeper)
I am excited for iPhone 4.0. I think rapid applicagtion switching will make Runkeeper even better. I also would like to see better support for audio books in the integrated iPod playing system. But overall I feel that the iPhone client is done. In terms of the whole service I feel that the website could learn a lot about community building from Nike+. Where are the challenges? How about allow a second tier of social groupings (tribes? I would love to create, follow or join a barefoot running tribe, or a running doctors tribe) Why can't we use RunKeeper to set up virtual races among or between street teams? How about statistics about StreetTeams. Lots of potential and I am excited to see how this plays out.

Go Run Keeper.

Sorry about the lack of maps in this post. Imbedded maps is not currently working. Known bug. Always a work in progress.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shoes companies suck

two articles from PubMed showing no difference in injuries when shoes are sized by the hight of the arch:

Effect on injuries of assigning shoes based on foot shape in air force basic training.

Injury reduction effectiveness of selecting running shoes based on plantar shape.

I added an RSS of shoe associated running injury research to the side bar.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


So I had been targeting the Martian Marathon for a half marathon but the day before we came back from Colorado and I was still on Mountain Time when my alarm went off at 6 A.M.

I didn't make it to the race.

I did run 12.5 miles the next day, so I'll call that my half marathon.

Not included is the 2 mile warm-up I did with Bo.

Then on Monday I took off my shoes and ran my first true barefoot miles. I had been stripping off my shoes for the last month to finish the final quarter to half a mile in socks but I had never gone skin to the ground.

Two miles as nature intended.

I did it again on Wednesday. Feet hurt, calves stiff. It's like starting to run all over again. We'll see how this goes.

March went well

I had a slow start but steadily stayed on it and finished strong to just getting past the pacer on the 31st.

With the year one quarter done I am right on track:

The 2009 miles will begin to pick up in April and will cease to be a straw man comparison.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Another marathoner dies of sudden cardiac death

This one in Dallas.


But get this idiot blogger questioning the health benefits of exercise:
Did being an athlete prolong his life? Or somehow short-circuit it?
I finished three marathons last millennium and fancied trying another last year until I got busy taking on a new job and dropping a wife.
Stories like this always make me stop and ponder:
A. Do we actually increase our life span by working out and eating healthy and not smoking?
B. Or will fate/destiny/God simply take us when it's time, regardless of our lifestyle?

Denver Post covers barefoot running

Check it out.

Monday, March 15, 2010


The weather is warming up and I am resuming my barefoot (well actually, I'm wearing socks, the cement is still pretty cold) running.

It feels good, I had started to feel some inkling of my plantar's sneaking up again and a few quarters of barefeet have banished that.

This week I'm going to FLA so I hope to put some real bare feet miles in.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Feburary went well. I met my goal so I should be happy but March has been beset with illness and the wife going out of town, both of which have put me behind. It will be a stretch to get back on target for March. Interesting, last year March was my worst month also. Trend?

Friday, February 5, 2010

January went well

I'm only a little bit behind on my pledge to run 3 miles a day. Way ahead of last year. But last year I was starting to get plantar fasciitis.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009: The year in Running

Looking at the dots, representing individual runs, it's interesting how the long training runs just pop right out when they rise above the morass of 5-10 mile runs.

Looking at the blue line, it's remarkable how consistant the running is from about April through November.

Here is a nomogram giving a picture of how frequent different distances are:

My average distance was 6.53 miles with a median distance of 6.22 miles.

My favorite days to run are Sunday and Tuesday, with Sunday logging an average of one more mile.

These graphs were generated in Excel from the run data I exported my DabbleDB database.

Its too bad that neither RunKeeper nor Nike+ provides such overview data and neither allow you to export the raw data. I am forced to keep a parallel tracking system like DabbleDB. What a hassle.

2010 New Years Resolution

I ran 920 miles (2.5 miles a day) in 2009. I want to increase that 25% to 3.0 miles a day or 1095 miles.

This shouldn't be too hard, just 21 miles a week. We'll see. So far I'm already behind, but just 3 miles.

I also want to run every day for a month.