Monthly Archives: October 2008

October Highlights

This really should be titled “Marathon Highlights” since most of the month this year and last was talking about marathons!  Did I talk too much about it this year? Well it was a major highlight of the year and I spent plenty of weeks training, thinking, and focusing on it (read: obsessing), so you shouldn’t be too surprised.

Last Year though I didn’t talk too much about marathons, but I did share my experiences volunteering at the Chicago Marathon. Here are pictures I took after I was done passing out water.  I wrote about some Last Minute Marathon Tips.  Maybe I should have read these before my race! Following Chicago there was a lot of talk about Race Directors and marathon planning, so I highlighted a blog directed at Race Directors from the Association of Running Event Directors.

Continuing with the marathon theme I gave a preview of the Men’s Marathon Olympic Trials at New York and wrote about the Marathon Challenge, a PBS special.

I ran the Turn Up the Volume 4Mi race in Indianapolis and felt really good! I began tapering for my Indianapolis Half Marathon, which didn’t go very well for me.

I shared some highlights from a very funny post about t-shirt etiquette.  Bad Ben posted it at his site: Bad Ben’s Ramblings which I highlighted.  I ended the month on a somber note talking about Indiana’s high obesity rate.

This year my marathon was October 5, so I laid out my race plan and graded it afterwards. I did write a more traditional race review for you before bombarding you with a lot of random charts and graphs.  In the following weeks I shared some of my thoughts on post-marathon life, a little like depression and generally lacking motivation.  In a final hat tip to the marathon I did some linking to other people’s thoughts and impressions.

I wrapped up my Team World Vision fundraising by talking about my experience in South Africa and finally wrapping it all up. It is so exciting to have surpassed the fundraising goal of $2,000.  THANK YOU again to everyone who donated and supported me!

Ok, so there aren’t many non-marathon posts, but here they are: A look at eco-friendly gyms.  Protecting our ears from hearing loss by taking care of our buds. I submitted that post to the Running Carnival.  I thought these were 5 good tips for fall running.

Monthly Mileage –(as of 10/29)

Running – 75 miles

Biking – 90 miles

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five Fall Running Tips

We are in the midst of fall and depending on where you live you may have already passed peak leaf viewing season.  But like I recently told someone, even if the all the leaves have fallen, at least the ground will have lots of color! We often hear a lot about tips for running in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, but what are some important things to remember about fall??

Enjoy the scenery – this seems like a no brainer.  Lots of people go out of their way to do leaf viewing, but I would say be sure to take a run somewhere that you can really enjoy the full depth of the fall foliage.

Run somewhere new – this goes with the first one.  If your daily runs are on the roads in an urban or even suburban area, try to find a new place to run. I personally would recommend finding some kind of park where you can run on trails, but get out of your comfort zone and find a new place to enjoy your running.

Check the weather – fall weather can be a little tricky.  One day it can be gorgeous with lots of sun and the next day can be really windy and cold with some flurries (this actually just happened this past weekend).  So make sure you know what the weather is like before you step outside and try to run in the snow only wearing a t-shirt! You don’t want to overdress but you sure don’t want to under dress either.

Watch your step – another pretty commonsensical idea but important to stress.  No matter where you run this time of year there are going to be a lot of leaves on the ground.  And while they can be quite enjoyable to look at they are a potential hazard to our beloved ankles.  Even in the urban jungle, leaves can cover up holes, sticks, or dangerous parts of sidewalks.  Even worse, on the trails leaves can cover up roots, small stumps and a wide variety of other dangers.  So be careful!

Have Fun – last but not least, have some fun out there. Fall is a great time to relax and recharge, especially if you’ve been training hard all summer.  Try to get out and enjoy the crisp fall air and the beauty all around.  Fall is a great time of year so be sure to enjoy it before the snow starts accumulating!

[tags] Fall, Autumn, Running, Tips [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Week in Review

This was a pretty good week all around.  I was feeling a lot more motivated to run and despite a very busy schedule at work this week I still managed to get some good runs in. The cooler weather has made biking to work a little bit more of an adventure!

Tuesday I went for a four mile run on my Downtown loop and finished in 30:14. It was a chilly 34 when I left the house, so I pulled out the pants for the first time this fall. It was a nice run though, especially enjoying the sunrise hitting the skyline!  I also threw in a couple of faster paced sections to see how my legs would react – went pretty well I think!

Wednesday I ran for 5 miles along the Greenway. It was a cool 42 with a slight drizzle for most of the run.  I finished in 38:36 and had another pleasant run!

Thursday I rode for 14 miles, but didn’t get a chance to run.  Riding feels pretty good, but you need gloves and something over the ears – I forgot both for part of the ride!

Saturday I ran with some of the guys on a new trail (for me at least) along the Minnesota River.  It was about 8.5 miles on single track and bulldozer track trails.  Ever tried running on bulldozer track? We took it pretty easy and finished in 1:17:29.  It was a fun run, dodging trees, jumping creeks.  Ahh that is what running is supposed to be like!

Sunday My ride twittered me that he was sick and wasn’t going to go to the group run and a quick call to another guy wasn’t answered, so carless I was left to run on my own.  I rolled over and enjoyed sleeping in. I ended up running 7.5 miles alone.  It was a cool 42 with wind gusts well into the double digits, I didn’t think to check the real-feel.  I had no real plan for the run, just that I was going downtown and the hitting the river.  I ended up making my way to the U of Minnesota’s campus via the East River Road before crossing Franklin Ave Bridge and heading home.  It was a nice run, except for the headwinds.  I’m glad I got it finished before the cold-wet snow started flying!

Weekly Mileage:

Running – 24.6 miles

Biking – 22.5 miles

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Take Care of Your Buds

Circumaural headphones have large pads that su...

Image via Wikipedia

That is your ear buds.

A recent study showed that personal ear bud use may cause permanent hearing loss.  I use a  Sansa E250 2GB MP3 Player as my personal music player of choice. It is quite versatile (including an FM tuner and microphone) and has lasted pretty well, not to mention dirt cheap! I’ve talked about my mp3 use before, especially the safety issues and sharing my personal playlist (which is now a little outdated).

In the back of my head I have thought about the impact that all of this mp3 usage might have on my ears.  But never thought enough about it to worry too much.  I’ve thought more about my safety while running than the impact on my hearing.  I remember as a kid getting yelled at to turn down my Discman or Walkman, with the threat that I’d lose my hearing.

Now a study conducted for the European Union confirms that permanent hearing loss can come from too much and too loud of music being played in your ear drum.  The New York Times reported that

The report said that those who listened for five hours a week at high-volume settings exposed themselves to more noise than permitted in the noisiest factory or work place. Maximum volume on some devices can generate as much noise as an airplane taking off nearby.

That is a lot of noise!

The report issued by the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, a name which implies they probably don’t use too many iPods, had some more bad news.  We might not feel the effect of our usage for many years. 5-10% of listeners may have hearing loss within 5 years, if they listen to music at a high volume for more than an hour a day. The now famous earbud may make things worse since the overall sound exposure is higher than the older, more traditional models.

A 2006 lawsuit claimed that the Apple iPod can produce music at 115 decibls, while 89 is the border line for safe listening.  It begs the question of why they would produce something at that level.  Well probably the same reason we keep building faster computers or cars with more horsepower.  Bigger, Faster, and Louder means something is BETTER!

SO WHAT! Maybe you want to go deaf or you don’t believe in scientific research, well you can stop reading! For the rest of us they study recommends limiting listening through headphones/earbuds to no more than an hour a day – with the volume set at around 60% of the maximum volume.  Got that? No more two hour long rungs with the ear buds – unless you skip a day somewhere else! This is just a guideline they offer so feel free to disobey – at your own risk and don’t sue me when you lose your hearing.

I guess I won’t be blaring my music anymore so that my training partners can hear the latest MPR program or Phedipidations episode – sorry guys.

[tags] Hearing Loss, mp3, iPod, ear bud [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]