Sunday, February 21, 2010

Half at the Hamptons (NH)

I'm not one for words, but wanted to share...

The Place: Hampton Beach, NH
Who: Definitely Not Me, I was a spectator supporting sister-in-law and fellow Mile Challenge participant, Skulley.
The reason for this post: Post a picture of a barefoot runner.

As we drove from place to place to cheer Skulley on, we noticed two runners running this event barefoot and several others wearing the Five Fingers. It was pretty cold, but with the wind from the Atlantic it was freezing. Most of the people wearing the Five Fingers appeared to run with no problems. The first guy we saw running barefoot, ran like a champ, but the guy we saw at the 11th mile mark did not look too happy. Anyways here's a picture of his feet at the 11 mile mark.

Oh and by the way, congratulations Skulley on a run well done. Much respect! Good luck at the Boston Marathon!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Modern Art PEE-ces

Not that this really pertains to miles at all (other than walking I guess) but I found something quirky enough that might be worth mentioning.  It's not like anybody is really blogging as of late anyway so I don't exactly have to worry about stealing anybody's blogging thunder.  But sorry for swaying from the Challenge theme for a moment nevertheless.

So here it is ... an art show coming up in Lakewood, OH called PEE-ces of Art.  Check it out.  Dog pee photos!  Take that, MoMA!!

It's for a good cause. And it actually is pretty artistic if you look at them for a bit.

I saw these designs on the sidewalk numerous times awhile back and while eye-catching, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was creating them.  Then I found the source -- Tucker peeing while walking. Once I solved that mystery I certainly didn't think, "I should photograph that and organize an art show" but I guess that's why I'm not an artist. Luckily Tucker's owners are. Or at least they have an artistic eye.

Tucker was even interviewed in the paper. That's an interview and an art show which is more than I can say for any of us thus far this year.

So check it out if you desire. 

And no, I'm not endorsing peeing while doing the Mile Challenge, even if you do photograph the results.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Like A Modern, Racing Attila the Hun

If I asked you, "What are some of the best things in this world?" do you suppose you'd answer with one of more of the following?:  beer, mud, challenges, fire, funny hats, turkey legs, T-shirts, barbed wire, music

I'm guessing you would.

Well, a few of us Cleveland metropolitan area milers signed up for an event that has all of those things and more.  An event that Andy predicted to become "the best day of my life" ... It's the Warrior Dash.

We're signed up for the 6pm slot at the Joliet, IL battleground.  Joliet! Location of the first Dairy Queen, birthplace of Mike Alstott and Adrianne Curry and hometown of Doug Pinnick, Andy Dick and Lionel Richie (during their high school years).  Wait, did I just say "battleground" back there? Yes!!

Any of you located in the Midwest or located elsewhere but desiring a visit to Cleveland/Joliet, feel free to join (but do it quick as we're down to the last available time slot). There are other locations too so feel free to try a non-Joliet location and we can compare notes afterwards.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to begin training. Only 122 days left.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I found out recently that former co-worker, friend and participant in both the Bacon and Mile Challenges will be moving a bit closer to me.  Sometime this summer Meg will be blazing a trail from Missouri to Ohio.  And not just to visit, but to actually live.

She's not going to be living in Cleveland so it's not quite as awesome as it could be, but she'll be just a two and a half hour drive away from Cleveland so hanging out is certainly a possibility. 

Better yet, we could plan a meeting in the middle and if we both run to the meeting point, according to Google maps we'd each tally ourselves 276 round-trip miles.  Then again, we could probably just drive and hang out and be way less sweaty and tired.  But it's good to leave the options open in this year of the mile.

Hurry up and get packed and moved, Meg. Ditch that "Show Me" routine you've got going and get "Buckeye" trendy. (whatever that might mean). 

And while you're at it perhaps you should fill this blog up with some of your witty banter.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere ...

I (and apparently everyone else) have nothing as of late. In an effort to not make for a totally lame blog, here's another blog of a gal from Ohio at the halfway point of a challenge she's on:

She's working on almost 7 times the miles we are aiming for in about a quarter of the time (if my math is somewhat accurate).

Row, Katie! Row!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

weighing in on the shoes/no shoes debate

Wednesday mornings are usually my day off from the gym, but today when I woke up, I decided I needed to run a few miles because I am way behind on this mile challenge. So instead of driving out to the gym, I went downstairs to use the "fitness center" in my apartment building. And by fitness center, I mean a 10x15 foot room that has a giant support beam in the middle and contains an old elliptical, bike, treadmill, and two rusty 5-pound plates.

So I hopped on the treadmill and took off at a nice pace until a few minutes in when my music player ran out of juice. Then I was just trudging along in silence staring at the walls and the seconds seeming to tick backwards on the treadmill. I couldn't get over how boring it was. And then I started thinking about running, and this mile challenge, and this blog, and running barefoot, and it hit me. Now was the perfect time to try running without shoes. Of course, like an idiot, I looked around to make sure no one was watching before I took off my socks and shoes and started running again.

Now, as a kid I grew up in the country. We had acres of land and in the summer when school was out, after breakfast my mom would basically kick my brothers and I out of the house. She'd make some sandwiches that we ate outside for lunch and if you were thirsty you took a drink out of the garden hose, but my days were mainly filled running around the yard and arguing over the governing rules of ghost runners. (Honestly, if I have a ghost runner on second, and hit a double out to center field, that ghost runner would have made it all the way home - only an idiot stops at third.) All the running around the yard was normally done barefoot and by dinnertime our feet were all grass stained. I always thought I was a faster runner without shoes. And never once did I complain of knee pain or shin splints.

There's a totally different feel to running that way - and today reminded me of being a kid again. Honestly, it made running almost fun. That is, until it started to hurt. The treadmill belt wasn't exactly smooth, so after a while it felt like I was belt-sanding my toes. Between that and my lack of tunes, I stopped after only two miles, but I think barefoot running has its merits.

Anyway, long story long, I like running without shoes.

Rockin' and Runnin'

I finally remembered the name of a movie I saw awhile back that pertains to running. Sort of.  It's called Rock & Roll Superhero.  The movie is OK.  Not an award winner, but it's well done, fairly interesting and entertaining enough for a lazy weekend viewing.

Rock & Rock Superhero is really about this guy who is trying to get himself a job/life as a rockstar.  I'm not a rockstar success expert, but I know enough to know that he pretty much goes about everything in the wrong way.  Watching it all go down is pretty cringe-inducing.

The running part comes into play because this wanna be rockstar runs at least a mile everyday.  When the movie was being filmed he was coming up on 7 years.  At least a mile, every single day for 7 years.  I made it 31 days and I can safely say that even that short amount of time isn't easy.  I can't imagine a year.  Or 5.  Or more. 

And that's why nobody has made a documentary about me.

Here's the trailer if you care:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apparently “the Big Guns” is a bag of rocks.

According to The Man's most recent report, ten percent of the American labor force is unemployed. In my circle, comprised mainly of writers, photographers, designers and videographers who work in or with the NP sector, that percentage seems laughably low.

So now, more than ever, it is important to appear professional—or at least sober—in the workplace. This is not easy if you’re unable to shuffle from your office to the restroom without abruptly falling into the wall, or if getting out of your chair requires loud grunting and clinging to the desk for support. Or if, for instance, the Chief Executive Officer nudges your foot under the table to discreetly get your attention during a meeting, setting off a spastic spectacle of yelps and groans. For instance.

I've enjoyed reading the Mile Challenge blog, but I will leave the discussion on the merits of running outside, or running barefoot, or running outside barefoot, to others. I’m much more interested in learning about recovery techniques before I lose my job.

On Sunday, I staggered Samara-style to the spa for some massage magic. Jane-the-therapist determined her main area of concentration would be my legs and hips and that she’d pull out the big guns—not a phrase I was expecting in a den of Zen.

With origins primarily in Native American and Hawaiian cultures and popularized by a New Age hippie named Mary, hot stone therapy has become an increasingly popular offering in massage studios. Though I’d heard of the technique and seen photos of oiled up chicks with trails of river rocks lining their spines, I’d never experienced it myself. But on this particular afternoon, trembling not from Chicago’s winter temperatures but with pure pain, I was ready to try anything. And I am here to tell you folks, it was nice. Very nice.

As it turns out, hot stone therapy is essentially a deep tissue massage during which the therapist presses the stones into your muscles with the heel of her palm as she moves over your body. The result is a much more intense rub, though the heat of the rock relieves the discomfort that's typical with deep tissue manipulation. By the end of the session, I had smushy muscles and was walking pain-free. Will it last? Time will tell. There is little consistent scientific evidence supporting significant benefits of massage therapy as it relates to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (which is fancy speak for “pain”), but I felt a heck of a lot better today than I have in the last two weeks.

Perhaps I won’t need to post my resume after all.