Saturday, April 24, 2010

Avoid The Point

Not that I am a criminal activity expert or anything (or am I?), but I always find the idea of robbing or attempting to rob someone out for a run, rather poor planning. Most people I know don't go running with anything of value. I usually have a key to get back in my place and maybe $5, just in case (it used to be a MetroCard back in my NYC days). The risk-to-reward ratio is not in a robber's favor.

I guess if you choose the right person you could get an iPod and maybe $20 but it seems like targeting somebody moving more slowly, with a full wallet of cash and cards would be a better option. Who runs with a full wallet?

Anyway, Chicago milers, watch out for stabbers. Or learn to stab first. Or run faster. Whatever works as you don't want to wind up like this unfortunate guy: Jogger critically wounded in Chicago Riverwalk stabbing

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Dose of Spotz

I suppose I should have mentioned this earlier as it was pretty cool (at least to me), but you know how things sometimes often always come up and distract me from blogging. Well anyway, here I am. Late but better than not at all I suppose.

So last Thursday the club I'm in had an information session for anybody interested in rowing in Cleveland. I was actually out rowing when it started but figured I would stop in after to see who was there and hopefully get some free, post-workout snacks and adult beverages. Mission accomplished there.

In addition to that, someone managed to get local gal and ocean rowing record holder Katie Spotz to come speak. I missed the speaking by the time I had arrived, but she was still there hanging out. I think maybe less hanging out and more trying to survive the onslaught of questions, praise and photo/autograph requests. I played it cool and didn't join the masses, but as the place emptied out, it was just me, Katie and maybe four other people so we wound up talking.

I didn't ask her too many questions (even though I wanted to) because I figured she's had more than enough of that crap since getting back to solid ground but we did chat for awhile about the row, traveling, her blog and other random stuff. She was really nice, smart, funny and humble. I'm not sure I've ever called anyone "humble" before, but she was legitimately humble despite being so motivated, organized, disciplined and record holding.

I wanted her to be my friend.

Despite that I kept the leaching and stalking suppressed and we went our separate ways. Me off to chisel away a couple of miles here and there, and her to plot her next triple digit mileage endurance feat (it's going to be bike-related).

Beyond the rowing across the Atlantic in 70 days, check out the other challenges she's accomplished (keep in mind she's only 22) [from her web site]:

Swim for Water: Became first person to swim the entire length of 325 mile Allegheny River, averaging 12-15 miles a day, with my longest distance swimming +22 miles in a day
Big Ride Across America: Cycled 3,300 miles across the United States from Seattle to D.C., averaging 85 miles a day for forty days
Desert Run: Ran 150 miles across the Mojave and Colorado Desert, solo and self-supported
Half Ironman Triathlon: First in age group (1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run)
Cycled over 1,000 miles of solo bike tours within the United States, with my longest distance cycling +230 miles in a day
Oxfam Trail Run: Completed 62-mile ultra marathon in Melbourne, Australia


And through all that she raised money for American Lung Association, Oxfam, and the Blue Planet Run Foundation.

Crazy and Humble. It was really cool to meet her. And motivating (although not for my running numbers -- yet).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bomb Suit Mile

In what-I-do-isn't-that-difficult-compared-to-______ news, I read about this ridiculous mile run in the February edition of Men's Journal and thought it should be mentioned: Explosive Miler

The risk of getting blown up everyday is enough for most, but not this guy. Staff Sgt. Jeremy Herbert also runs a mile in under 10 minutes in 105 degree heat while wearing a suit that weighs 80 pounds. Pretty sick.

More details on the official USMC site:

under where?

I bought new running shorts yesterday at the Nike Outlet. I waltzed in and picked up a pair of their wildly popular shorts. Seriously, one out three girls at the gym are wearing these in different colors. Now I can look cool out there racking up the miles.

Turns out these little beauties have a secret that set off a whole chain reaction of internet searches. You see, I bought the shorts without trying them on. I know what size I wear, why bother. Then, I got home, went to go for a run and realized there were some underwear sewn into my shorts. I found this intriguing. For most of you avid runners, I'm sure you wouldn't even bat an eye at this. But for a girl who usually wears soccer shorts or whatever kind of shorts are on sale at the sporting goods store, this was a whole new experience for me.
So now I'm at an impasse... do I double up on the underwear? or just go commando sorta with the Nike underwear? or cut that part out? I checked the internet and everyone out there seems to be just as conflicted as me. Self magazine doesn't know. This girl's blog doesn't know. And so I ask you, readers of this blog, what do you do with the built-in underwear?
Oh, and side note, I was so distracted by the sewn-in skivvies, I canceled my run yesterday.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I live for loopholes

I haven't contributed much to Rickman's blog in the last few months, but rereading my whopping three posts has made apparent to me the following: 1) Try as I might, I am not enjoying the Mile Challenge. 2) I am way behind. 3) I'm pretty sour about it.

A couple weeks ago, an acquaintance mentioned a month-long yoga challenge she'd started called 30 Days of Yoga. I told her (read: whined bitterly) about the Mile Challenge, and that's when it all became clear, so very clear. It's not that I don't like challenges, new experiences or even running... It's that when I think about having to keep up the same activity for three months, six months or a year, I want to run (heh) for the hills. Then yesterday while reading other participants' posts, I realized that we don't have to only run for this challenge. How did I miss this? I mean, how did I miss this?

So I'm finishing the Mile Challenge via monthly sub-challenges featuring activities that will hold my attention for 30 days. Rickman, I'm sorry, they may not always involve propelling my person over long distances (unless a pedometer will summate fencing lunges--are there any pedometer experts out there?), but I'll do my best to track energy expenditure and record mileage fairly. Archery centre points=100 miles each.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pin Cushions and Poop Colors

In an earlier post (2/2) about hot stone massage, I described various forms of pain and humiliation endured by yours truly since taking on the Mile Challenge. About a month later (3/1), I wrote about overcoming a running slump by taking my mile lumps in the morning. That was a mistake. Basking in personal pride proved to be too much temptation for the fate of lazy; I didn’t run again for three weeks. Damn.

So I’ve started up again. Luckily my legs seem to have retained earlier conditioning and I can walk--not limp--just fine. However, I have been experiencing killer headaches and neck stiffness. In addition to trying to train myself to loosen up my upper body while running (suggestions welcome), I thought, “Hey, an excuse to try a new recovery splurge!” Next up: electroacupuncture.

Long story short, electroacupunture means someone sticks needles in you and sends electrical currents into your tissues. (There are also a bunch of other Eastern medicine components that I don’t really understand but you can read about here.) Depending on the level of skill and experience of the practitioner, this could be heaven or torture, so I was a little nervous going into it…. and from the aromatherapy candles, tabletop waterfall and ambient music in her waiting room, I gather I’m not the only one.

The session begins with a preliminary assessment. You can keep your clothes on for this—it’s mostly chatting. Where is the pain, what is your lifestyle like, and most importantly, how will you be paying me? Then it gets a little personal, which doesn’t bother me but I know other people who most certainly would be bothered, so if you ever consider trying this, be prepared. These are questions like, “what color is your feces?” and “how many time in a week do you orgasm?” She also did a physical once-over, paying particular attention to my tongue, and determined that I’m more yang than yin. Remind me to look up what that means later.

Next I’m in a gown and laying face-down on a leather table with a face hole—much like a massage table, only with an electrostimulator attached to it. My practitioner tapped the points on my back, neck and shoulders where she would be inserting needles, gently pinched my skin and voila, I’m a pin cushion. I didn’t feel a thing. No pricks, no pains. Then she attached wires to the ends of the needles, turned a few dials, and I was an electrified pin cushion. That felt just like her tapping on my back as she’d done earlier, only a little harder and at all the points at the same. Then she left.

Now in the spirit of informative blogging, when I was alone I tried to see what was going on. Word to the wise: don’t. There were no mirrors or reflective surfaces in the room so I craned my neck to catch a glimpse, and it fucking (can I say fucking?) killed! The needles in my neck turned into searing little bastards (can I say bastards?) and I gasped, turned my head back around and apologized out loud to I-don’t-know-who… the electrostimulator? The needles? God? At any rate, if you want to see yourself with needles sticking out of your back, bring a hand mirror.

After a bit I started to relax… really relax. My back became very warm and I couldn’t feel where the needles were anymore. It just felt like my whole body was pulsating. Awhile later (there are also no clocks so I’m not sure how long it was exactly) the practitioner came in, removed the needles and told me to stay on the table for a few minutes until I “felt steady.” I didn’t understand that until I stood up. (Tip 3: Don’t wear heals.)

It’s been three days and I have run twice. I’m still struggling to not stiffen my shoulders on the treadmill, but so far I’m living large and headache-free. Did the electroacupunture have anything to do with it? Hell if I know. The research supporting and refuting the medical benefits of acupuncture as it relates to muscular tissue and pain is all over the place, but despite looming work deadlines and a less-rehabbed/more-regretted home renovation project, I’m feeling pretty darn chill.

It could be from the running.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Odd Mile Interactions

So today I had a couple of mile-related things to report. Nothing amazing, but some odd interactions all crammed in one day. The first I've had since this year began.

Out for a morning jog, some guy driving by me in the opposite direction asks something about whether I had seen a white car.  I don't see much when I run and if I did I'm sure I saw "a white car" at least 10 times in the 15 minutes I had been out there at that point.  I kept running.  He then yelled, "Hey man, get back here I'm talking to you." I did not obey.

Next, while I was riding along Detroit Ave. around W. 28th St. here in Cleveland a big guy in overalls asked if he could get a ride on my handlebars.  He looked like a more crazy version of Hillbilly Jim. I opted to continue my trip solo.

Then while out rowing tonight we also had a boat on boat collision which I've never been involved in before.  I was in an eight-man shell with only 6 of us rowing at the time (lucky) and we ran into a double. It was pretty close to really bad news.  We were over 3 miles back to the dock and up there without any sort of motorized support. We collided and the double almost flipped. They managed to stay upright (lucky) and the only injury was one of the guys in the other shell getting an oar to the back along with a little equipment damage.  He was able to row back and was just a sore (and I'm guessing soon to be bruised). It could have been much worse.

Oh, and after the collision a seagull took a crap on me.  Luckily I didn't get the full load, just a splattering on my back and shorts. Somehow it missed my head. Stupid gulls.

Warm weather sure livens up the miles. Yeehaaaa!

Note: My One Quarter Done post from the other day I misstated one of my ramblings.  I meant to say that Runner_Steph's miles done all via running is way more impressive than myself who is mixing it up with three different activities. Somehow I said exactly the opposite making me sound like a pompous ass. My editorial skills* failed me as "more difficult" should have been "less difficult". Apologies.

*questionable to begin with

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

With legitimately nice weather hitting Cleveland (temporarily I'm sure) I was able to get myself caught up in one of the categories I was behind in. I'm now on pace with a mile a day in both biking and rowing.

With riding to work and a couple of other destinations as well, I added 37.75 two-wheeled miles between Tuesday and Friday. My butt hurts. I also need a tune-up. My front derailleur isn't performing properly. Just in case you were wondering.

I also got some rowing in. On the water rather than on an erg. The first time since October. I felt a little rusty, but it was still pretty sweet to be out in the fresh air rather than in a cement block room. Speaking of, if anybody is interested learning to row, registration has opened. See the WRRA site for more info: WRRA Summer Rowing League.  Or you could contact me directly I suppose.

While on pace in biking and rowing, running seems to be my nemesis since January. Sunday I'm going to get back on the running bandwagon. I've gotta get back on pace and get geared up for some Warrior Dash action. Hey! An additional day has been added to the Midwest Dash.

One Quarter Down

I figured I would post some totals so the non-participants can see where everybody stands as we pass the quarter year mark.

The numbers can be a little deceptive or at least not very conducive for comparison as different people are doing different or multiple activities. For instance, I'm at 266 total miles, but that's 104.75 miles of biking, 63.75 of running and 97.50 of rowing. Totally different and more difficult (at least in my mind) than the 239.49 miles that Runner_Steph has logged that is all running.

So, that said here are the current stats (Note: it's a personal challenge and not a competition, but feel free to mock Mike's 3 total miles anyway):
Skulley: 275.38
Berto: 272
Bill: 266
Runner_Steph: 239.49
Noonan: 192.55
Tedd: 164.5
Gav: 124
Speedy: 117.06
PKNY: 84.6
Mary: 80
Lanza: 61.1
Vicki: 55.5
Andy: 48
SMSA: 38.9
Carly: 34
The Runs: 32.2
Gapster: 31.8
Bette: 27.75
Jess: 27
Stacie: 22.5
Schwabie: 18.5
Killer: 18
TRussell: 14
G: 9.23
Krista: 5.5
mike: 3
JJ: 1
johnnyontherun: 1