Monday, April 30, 2012

Packing List for Friday Death Run

Water (4.7 liters)
Blist-R-Kit Deluxe (handheld pocket)
Endurolytes (8 in handheld, 8 in shorts pocket)
ID Bracelet/Last Will and Testament
Duct Tape
Hammer Flask (Hammer Gel Tropical w/caffeine)
Clif Bars (2)
First Aid Kit
Benzethonium Chloride Wipes (2)
Shit Kit with Extra Baggie

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Training Log

No long runs to report. I ran five miles at Fayetteville Lake the Tuesday after the marathon and just flew! I'd been sore all day at work but my legs just came alive the second they hit the trail. I couldn't believe it!

I spent the Sunday after the race proving out some new gear I got for my ultra in June, a race vest, some handheld water bottles, and a pair of real-deal trail running shoes. All worked great for two laps of Fayetteville Lake, but that's hardly an adequate test. [CoolProduct Picks to follow.]

I'm back to a tapering this week because next weekend is TEFKACS (The Event Formerly Known As Canoe School) at Turner Bend. I'm using the opportunity to do back-to-back runs on the Ozark Highlands Trail. I want to practice running on tired legs. Running from Cherry Bend to Indian Creek and back would be 28 miles, 29 with the little out-and-back to the top of Hare Mountain. I can carry enough water in my hydration pack to refill my handhelds three times which should last me the whole distance. Carrying that much weight and having to navigate unfamiliar trail will probably push that run well into the eight-hour range, longer than I expect the 50k at Hobbs to take. I'll know after that whether I dare to hand-carry my hydration for the ultra. The next day I could do the loop from Redding to Spy Rock or whatever I feel like. I suspect my legs will be pretty shredded.

Two laps of Fayetteville Lake today.

Total for Apr 9 - 15: 31 miles (Point two!)
Total for Apr 16 - 22: 17 miles
Total for Apr 23 - 29: 12 miles

Friday, April 27, 2012

An Onomastic Inconsistency

I've been toCrabfest. I've been to Lobsterfest. I have never been to Shrimpfest, but as of today, I have been to the Festival of Shrimp. I have to say, the Tequila-lime Grilled Shrimp Tacos at Red Lobster kick some serious gastronomic ass. Better try them before they go away!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recondite Quips and Hockey Fight Clips

"I visit people in [autism] meetings, and a 9-year-old will come up and want to talk about his autism. I’d rather talk about his science project."

--Temple Grandin
(read more here)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Now Shipping from DMG Ultra!

Blist-R-Kit and Blist-R-Kit Deluxe

Includes Alcohol prep pad, safety pin (Deluxe kit replaces safety pin with sterile lancet), and pre-cut cloth blister patch with super aggressive adhesive (same cloth used in Band-Aid brand Tough Strip bandages!).

$3.95 or $5.95 for Deluxe.

(Shipping and handling extra.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's all or nothing,

preferably nothing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hogeye 2012

Mile zero: Never in my life have I seen so many fit people jammed into such a small place. Hey, I think I've seen her in the paper. "I didn't expect to see you today," A friend of hers shouts from somewhere as I stand on some raised landscaping admiring the crowd. "I have an important race Saturday so I'm just running today," She hollered back as she made her way towards the starting line. Yeah, that must be Leah Thorvilson. Just running. She will obviously win today. The anthem. The gun. No need for me to jump right away--I'll just wait here till the half and relay people clear out and then I'll begin my long saunter.

Mile 2: Funny, I don't think I've ever driven these exact roads before. I like the hills! That's quite a column of runners ahead of me, going all the way around the next corner. Lots of spectators, that's cool. The guy in the striped shirt is having more fun than we are!

Mile 3: (to guy in striped shirt) "Hey, didn't I just see you?" "Wasn't me, man!" he shouts back as he continues to cheer for all the runners. I shake my head.

Mile 4: I point and shout, "Now I know I've seen your ass before!" to guy with striped shirt. He smiles back.

Mile 5 1/2: Note to self: Do not open pill baggies on windy overpasses. Only dropped one Endurolyte and have plenty of extras so no harm done, but let's be careful. Mindful. Mindful is a better running word. Tilt your head down or that hat will be gone!

Mile 7: Great crowd on Gregg Street! Where the hell did they all park? I hear: "Alright 146 in the Tilley hat!" "Dude, you guys rock!" High-fives for the whole line of them.

Mile 7 3/4, as the half-marathoners peel off to go to the Scull Creek Trail: "That could be us," we green-bib-number people all lamented together. We turn later and get our first glimpse of the legendary Rush Running aid station from the Van Asche Street Bridge. We hear the music full volume, though!

Mile 10 1/2: Holy shit, that dude is flying! And him, and him. How is it possible to look so fresh after something like 19 miles? Where is Leah?

Mile 11: Aha! Those dudes must have been relay runners. Leah sure looks focused!

Mile 15: Shuffling up with my empty hydration bladder in my hands,"Do you guys have lots of water?" "Barely any. We have tons of Gatorade." "No thanks just dump those two cups in here and I'll be good to go till the next stop. You guys rock!" Note to self: Fill pack early and often.

Mile 17: "And it's cold, too! Thanks guys, you guys rock!" 1.5 liters for the last 9 miles, good to go!

Mile 17 1/2: The wind feels nice but take a look at those clouds!

Mile 18 1/5: "Hey, can I get a picture with you?" Turns out the guy in the striped shirt was named Jacob. He ran the Little Rock Marathon last month but then injured himself and was not able to run the Hogeye. He wanted to run so bad! Instead, he just drove from place to place to encourage the runners as they made their way. I would see him three more times before the finish. Some people are just awesome!

Mile 20: Finally! I though I was going to run my whole first marathon and not get drenched with rain a single time.

Mile 21 1/2: The energy of the Rush Running aid station cannot be described in a blog entry, it must be experienced in person.

Mile 23: It's mile 23, and I have earned the right to go as fast or as slow as I want to for the remainder of this race. I'm walking!

Mile 24: I'll be damned if those motorists on Sycamore are going to see me walking. I'm running!

Mile 25: Still running!

Mile 26: Note to self: Be mindful of tongue when passing professional photographer near finish.

Mile 26.2: Is sitting down a good idea? Maybe I should walk around some more. Or stretch. No, stretching is a lie. I think I'll just sit here and enjoy this Mountain Dew. Damn, that was fun!

Dry cloths, Mazzios, icewater, Flyers hockey, and a very cool kid. Life is good!

(Oh, yeah. To Leah Thorvilson, I'm just running today means breaking her old course record with a time of 2:52:02. Way to take it easy, Leah! To me, I'm just running today means five hours and ten minutes, which I think is a damn fine first effort. I can't wait for the next race!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tilapia Two Ways

I've been threatening to learn to cook Filipino food for some time but have never gotten around to it. How does one start such an endeavor? What should be the first lesson? Adobo, giniling, balbacua? Me, I wanted to start with a meat as far from hamburger as possible: A fish! I also wanted to start at the local Filipino store, where Filipinos might possibly shop for food. Makes sense, right? Anyway, Mrs. DMG wanted some halo-halo yesterday so we all loaded up and headed for the Filipino store. She rounded up ginger, carrots, garlic, and an onion--I would need these things--and I dug through the many freezers looking for my first victim. I emerged with the most glorious Taiwanese tilapia you've ever seen! We settled up and headed home, excited to finally be embarking on a very smelly journey.

The fish took a day to thaw in the refrigerator and today we started. As always happens when I first try something new, I believed I was more knowledgeable than the person teaching me. In introducing the process, the point Mrs. DMG emphasized the most is that the oil must be very hot in order to keep the fish from sticking to the pan. I believe her words were, "It is extremely critical that the oil be very hot!" So I heated the oil to what I understood to be very hot and I threw in some ginger which supposedly helps to keep the fishy smell down. As the garlic was cooking, I exclaimed several times, "The oil is very hot!" "Not yet," she kept saying. Impatient to start and genuinely worried that the oil was too hot, I finally insisted that we must put the fish in. "It will stick, but go ahead," she said, so I did.

Knowing my inability to multi-task, I normally I would have cut the vegetables beforehand. Tonight, though, I got a bit of a late start so I julienned carrots and ginger while the oils from the skin of the tilapia bonded to the anodized surface of the aluminum cooking pan. Having worked in machine shops my whole life, and having an intuitive grasp of Newtonian physics, I was able to recognize the hazards involved with scraping a fish from the bottom of a pan filled with an inch of moderately hot oil. I knew what would happen if the fish broke loose suddenly while I was pulling one way on the pan and pushing the other way with a spatula. In true Filipino style, though, I ignored the danger and continued to hack away barefooted at the stubborn fish, holding the whole operation as far away from me as I could. With the fish flipped, and the oil still too cold meaning the other side would stick again, I got my vegetables going in another pan.

Mrs. DMG had the good idea to leave the tail part as is and put the head part in with the vegetables, which is what I did. It wasn't pretty to look at but the skin I scraped off the pan was crispy and delicious. The flesh stayed fairly entact, remarkably, and was also very tasty. Not a bad first attempt, I think!

f/2.8; 1/60 sec; ISO-100; flash.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Cool Product Pick of the Week

I was talking foot care with the guys at Rush Running and they all extemely enthusiastically recommended this Blister Shield foot powder. Their recommendations were more heartfelt and genuine than mere sales talk, as if they were sharing not just product information, but the key to a more comfortable and enjoyable running life. I bought some.

The stuff clumps and is a bit hard to work with, but I've figured out how to use it. The first thing you do is throw the included scoop away. You need a toothpick to get the powder out of the scoop. The next thing you do is dump the bad tasting, long-expired sandwich spread that's been occupying sparse refrigerator space for the last three years and clean the jar. The resealable bag it comes in is a nice idea except the powder packs into the zipper grooves making it impossible to close. The jar works much better. A Hydrocodone Polistirex and Chlorpheniramine Polistirex Pennkinetic promotional measuring spoon fits nicely in the mayonaise jar if you happen to have one, otherwise just trim the handle of a common plastic spoon and use that. I turn my running socks inside-out, put them in a ziplock sandwich bag, add about half a teaspoon of Blister Shield, and shake it. When I put my socks on, I rub them all over my feet and toes to work the powder into my skin.

I tried the stuff at Hobbs this weekend and it definitely lives up to its recommendations. My feet felt wonderful with no hot spots after five hours of running. Amazing stuff!

f/4.5; 1/60 sec; ISO-400; flash.

Let the Tapering Begin!

On December 7th, 2010, I ran two miles at Fayetteville Lake and then puked in the grass. This Sunday I ran 22 miles at Hobbs, in 85-degree heat, and felt pretty much fine afterwards. Not too shabby!

I knew it would be my last long run before Hogeye so I wanted to have a really good one. I carried an extra water bottle so I could run the entire Little Clifty Loop and the entire War Eagle Valley Loop (15 miles) before returning to the car to refill. Then I ran the short spur to the bunny ears (an obvious name for the two 3-mile loops, if you see the map). I ran the Dutton Hollow Loop first because it's the hardest of the two and I wanted the opportunity to bail at the end. As it was, I felt great and never gave a thought to not also running the Bayshore Ridge Loop. The first mile of that was super easy, but during the descent to Beaver Lake I felt an unfamiliar pain in my left knee for several steps in a row. Nothing serious, but I saw no reason to push things with the Hogeye only two weeks away. I decided to walk the last few miles back to the car.

As I walked, it struck my just how long it had been since I actually hiked instead of ran. You can never take your eyes off the trail at Hobbs, but walking, you can pay a little bit more attention to the blooming dogwood trees, the bugs and critters scuttling into the leaves to get out of your way, the sounds and smells of spring. I found a perfect owl feather some distance off the trail which I would not have seen running. I collected it and gave it to Donald when I got home.

It also struck me that, with my last long training run out of the way, I was essentially standing at the eve of my first marathon. There's nothing transformational about that; I did not set out 16 months ago with the express purpose of running a marathon--I set out with the purpose of becoming more fit, which I have done. There's nothing final about this marathon, either. I have an even more difficult race coming up six weeks after it, and there will be more after that. Still, it's a cool feeling to be standing at the eve of your first marathon.

I got just a bit emotional, as I walked. I remembered how surprised I was several years ago to learn that my sister Jennifer, who I had almost nothing to do with at that time, was about to run a half marathon. I called to wish her luck. Next thing I knew, she had driven all the way from Houston to run my first half with me in Winslow. I remembered my friend David Dinan who finished the Fayetteville Half and then waited in the cold another 45 minutes just to see me finish. I sponsored David when he ran the St. Jude Children's Hospital Marathon in Memphis on December 6th, 2010, the day before my vomit run at Fayetteville Lake. I thought of my mom running her first 5k at age 65. I thought of Mrs. DMG who, with no prompting at all from me, came home from Dillard's with running tights, a synthetic T-shirt, a jog bra, and some Nike running shoes. She's been running about ten times since.

Running has been good to us!

Total for Mar 26 - Apr 1: 27 miles.