We’re Not the Only Crazies Out There

Looking back to when I started running, it seems now that there were more people who understood what I was doing. Going for a run now and then to stay in shape -people can understand that. Having a goal in mind and striving to meet it – a lot of people can relate to that.

Then I ran a marathon and fewer people could understand. Then I ran another and people wondered what was wrong with me. I had already proved something, why do it again?  Did I have inner demons I needed to deal with?

Now that I am running ultras, doing lonely trail runs, and training almost year round there is a very small group of people that seem to understand. I used to be one of a few crazies out there that people knew, but now it seems that when they think of crazy runners they point directly at me.

Finding a group with similar interests is vital. I occassionally meet up with a trail running group just to talk running. But just as important, I think the whole online community has been a godsend for the many crazies out there (no matter the form of their crazy). For me, listening to podcasts of other people doing crazy stuff and being able to find online resources is a lifeline. My non-running friends don’t listen very long to my stories, but during runs with runners that’s what you talk about – running.

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“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
Albert Einstein

It’s complicated

There’s has got ot be a better way to manage my running and biking clothes at work. It is complicated. I have a system that works most of the time but when it fails, it fails miserably.

It failed this week. Yesterday I took the bus in and then ran home. Today I biked in. Wednesday, I ran at lunch.

Now I have 3 jackets (2 of which are thick winter coats), 3 pairs of shoes (no running shoes), 3 pairs of pants and 2 backpacks hanging behind my office door right now. The problem is that I don’t run or bike to work every day. Sometimes I take the bus, and sometimes I only run one direction and take the bus in the other direction. And some days I run at lunch.

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Now I have the challenge to get it all home for the weekend on my bike (including my laptop) in one small backpack. And then to get some of it back on Monday after it is washed.

If I could pre-pick my mobility method to / from work and then meticulously plan the week out, theoretically it could work. But alas, plans are prone to change, and my plans don’t have that much detail.

Idea #1: Work from home (not going to happen)

Idea #2: Laundry service at work (not going to happen)

Idea #3: Drive on Mondays and Fridays (not going to happen)

Idea #4: Get a bigger backpack to lug it all around (maybe, but awkward)

Idea #5: Wear the same work clothes all week (hmmm, maybe)

Idea #6: Make a spreadsheet to optimize clothing transportation methods (hmmm, I like spreadsheets)

Other ideas?

Go big!

“I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life” – Calvin & Hobbes

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Go big! No regrets.

Lurching through Instagram – What’s the Shtick?

I don’t get the rhythm of Instagram.

I just started with Instagram and I quickly realized it was similar to Twitter but different enough that I still don’t understand what makes it tick. I was hoping to subscribe to some users and hashtags to get photos of trail running, and epic nature shots with runners. But on the official Instagram app you can’t subscribe to #hashtags. And the people you follow don’t necessarily post consistent themes.

And you can’t repost someone else’s stuff. So how does a newbie instagrammer get followers (if that is the point)?

Maybe I need a new app.

Does anyone have suggestions on some great running hashtags to search or users to follow? I have found #trailrunning #running and a couple others. And of course the shoe companies all have active accounts.

Other tips and tricks?

My free tip of the week (stolen off the internet) is this aritcle on how best to use #hashtags on any social platform.

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You will find me lurching (aka Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk Method) through Instagram at @trail_runner_guy, and Twitter at @kwiens4

Places to run – Haiti?

Can I? Should I? Does anyone run in Haiti? It is too hot. There are no trails.  The traffic is too crazy. Can’t go out alone. Can’t speak the language if I get lost.

Last time I was in Haiti I ran 400m up and down the beach repeatedly just so I could stay in sight of the hotel. This time it doesn’t seem like running is much of a possibility. The highway is too busy to run on and the beach is only 50m long. Maybe I will have to get creative and just do core work.

If it’s not the traffic which makes it tough to run…

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… It’s the livestock that can be frightening.

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Stay tuned. This trip is 2 weeks long and I can’t go that long without running.

Cramming for the Hiatus

I am excited to be heading off on a two week trip to help in an orphanage in Haiti. I have done this kind of thing before and each time it is an amazing experience. However for my running addiction (and marathon training plan) this is hardly ideal. I rarely get much exercise while I am there. We tend to work too hard and long and the weather is too hot and humid for there to be much energy left at the end of the day. So I end up swimming a little but rarely running much.

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These bad boys on the loose would get me running, not matter the heat.

 

So my only partly successful remedy is to try to cram in a couple extra run sessions before and after I come back so as not to lose too much fitness.

Today I ran twice and both were hard runs. ,A couple days earlier, Saturday and Sunday, I did some tough runs too. When I come back I plan in a long run in the first day or two as long as my catch-up-with-life to-do list allows it.

So my theory is that as long as I don’t injure myself and I can jump back into my training plan without too much difficulty I can crank it up a bit for a few days to make up for missed key runs.

It is probably a good thing I don’t have a coach because I can’t imagine they would agree to this approach but as long as I don’t get carried away, it seems to work.

We are now off to the airport in a few hours. My legs will be happy for the break. And hopefully they will jump back in the game when I get back.

Reading Too Much Is As Dangerous As Never Reading

Taken from Running is Funny as a parody of the hotly disputed study that claims that too much running is as bad as watching TV all day.

A new study shows that reading too much can be just as unhealthy as not reading at all.

Americans as a whole don’t read enough—at least that’s what the latest studies show—and so the message is clear: get more books, pick up a magazine, Let’s Read! Basically anything is better than sitting on the couch, watching TV. But how much reading is enough? That’s a hotly debated question for which experts still don’t have a satisfactory answer. But given that most of us are starting from a sedentary position, the assumption has long been the more the better.

But in a report published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Conclusion Jumping researchers from Denmark say that people who push their brains too hard may essentially undo the benefit of reading. Those who read more than four hours a week for more than three days a week had about the same risk of ignorance during the study’s 12-year follow up as those who hardly read at all. The link held even after the researchers accounted for potentially confounding factors such as age, sex, whether the participants had a history of lunkheadedness, or whether they smoked and drank alcohol.

Marott acknowledges that it’s also possible that some other behaviors or factors common to avid readers, such as their exposure to differing viewpoints, which can increase their risk of understanding, might be explaining their higher risk of headaches during the study. Other studies will have to investigate whether that’s the case, but in the meantime, Marott says “if you want to do something good for yourself, you don’t have to be extreme. Reading one to four hours a week for no more than three days a week at a slow to moderate pace is actually achievable. And that’s a positive take-home message.”

Read the rest of the parody here

No Swimming! (This Week Only)

We couldn’t make our swimming date this week and probably that was a good thing. After an epic swim last week and the necessary 2 days of recovery, I am glad for a week off.  When you are only swimming once per week those muscles sure can complain.

But the running continues without a break…

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But tomorrow I will run. Maybe twice.

Running lost out today. But it was not all bad.

Run vs sleep. Sleep won. Couldn’t get myself out of bed. It must have been the book the night before and the crazy dreams. A run before work would have made that early conference call a little more bearable.

Run vs bus. I could have run (or walked) home and still beat the bus. It was stuck in traffic. So I got home too late to run before dinner.

Run vs surprise date night. Date night won of course! I didn’t expect the dinner out but hey I didn’t have to do dishes.

After dinner we had 10 minutes to spare before picking up the kids so we walked into a running store and I spent some Christmas money on socks. Yeah! New socks!

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So my feet did get some love today.

But tomorrow we will run. Maybe twice.

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