Category Archives: Daily Mission

Nice Calf Definition

I’m not really sure who said it first or why it continued, but it really freaked Christy out when we hung out with my former cross-country buddies and they would comment on my calf definition.  The first time someone ever mentioned it was maybe my sophomore year when a teammate made the comment that my legs were starting to get some muscle definition, what a compliment – right?

After that I think it became a joke.  Maybe it was an insider thing.  Another time I remember it coming up was after we all shaved our legs.  The idea was to improve performance.  Some where someone said that removing all the hair off your body can help decrease your core body temperature by 2 degrees.  The important part of that sentence was ALL of your hair and who really cares if you lower your core body temp by 2 degrees in a 5 mile race? So, whatever, a bunch of us spent the evening shaving our legs  and our legs looked hot! Or something like that.

Remember we were 15 guys, constantly busting our guts together forming a quasi-fraternity at a Christian college.  Shaving our legs was fairly extreme! And you better believe the soccer players in the next locker room loved to harass us!

But I digress…  So yes, I have (had) nice calf definition.  It would have been nice if it turned into more running speed, but oh well!

This post was spurred on by the #dailymission question: What is the best compliment anyone has given to you pertaining to your sport?

Shoes, Shorts and a Garmin

Almudena Cathedral

Image by crossn81 via Flickr

A recent daily mission over at Daily Mile was

What workout gear do you pack when you travel?

Since I’ve been training for a triathlon I’ve thought a lot more about this topic than previously, but I still pretty much only worry about bringing a pair or two of shoes, a pair or two of shorts and a Garmin.  Well, ok a tech shirt and “running” socks as well.

Depending on where we are going really makes a difference in how I pack.  For example, when I went to Spain this spring I brought 2 pairs of running shorts and my Garmin specifically for running at least twice.  I could have only brought 1 pair of shorts and washed them out, but oh well.  I made sure that I brought several pairs of running socks and tech shirts that I could wear throughout the week while touring and then re-wear them for a run.  I brought a pair of my running shoes to wear around while we were touring.

That has become my travel strategy for recent travel where I want to run.  Wear a tech shirt on the travel day or one of the first days so that I can re-wear it for a run later in the week. Running gear doesn’t have to take up a lot of space which is super-nice.   When we went up with Christy’s family to a cabin over the 4th of July I was bringing my swimsuit already since it was on a lake and so I threw in my goggles, though I never went for a training swim.

I think the Garmin is important when you are travelling for two important reasons – 1) it gives you accurate distance and time information (and stores it for you until you are able to log it), and 2) if you get lost in unfamiliar territory it can help you get back home!

When travelling, pack light and don’t be afraid to wash your clothes in the shower/sink and re-use them (or at least get the stink out).

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Worst Mistake – Missed Water Stop

Another Daily Mile DailyMission:

What’s the worst mistake you’ve made during a race?

Well, if you’ve read my blog for long you’ll know that I go out too hard on race day, though I’ve gotten better with that!  That is consistently a bad mistake. Probably the single worst mistake I’ve made was not going back to pick up a cup of water after I’d dropped mine.

During the Annual Fourth of July Chesterfield 10K I grabbed a cup off the table and somehow managed to drop it before actually getting anything into my mouth.  Oops, no big deal.  Why waste 10 seconds to go back and grab another cup, the race was over half way over and I was scooting along.  BIG DEAL, on a typical hot Indiana Independence Day I soon suffered from a lack of proper hydration.  I can’t be certain how much time was actually lost to my dehydration, but I’m sure it was more than 10 seconds.   It was this same race day that the first water stop wasn’t setup yet so that compounded my mistake of not stopping for water at the second station.

I can’t remember for sure but I think this was the 2006 running of the 10k.  Lesson learned.

Advice – Best/Worst

The Daily Mission the other day was:

What’s the best piece of fitness advice you’ve heard? On the contrary, what’s the worst?

The Best:

Have fun with the run.  Through high school, college, and all the years since I’ve probably heard thousands of pieces of advice – stretch this way, do this, run these workouts, and on and on.  But I think the most important piece of advice is to just have fun.  My best running occurs when I’m having fun doing it.  Yes, all the other stuff is important to be a successful runner – but if I’m not having fun it becomes too much like work and then no one is happy.

The Worst:

This one is harder.  I’ve had some great coaches through the years and some very experienced running buddies.  Run every day.  I’m not sure if anyone has actually told me that I needed to run every day to be in good shape or to be a runner, but I know plenty of people who do/did.  One of the female runners in college ran every day and pretty much ruined her body.  Our bodies need some time to relax and rebuild themselves.  Some of the research shows that these rest days are almost as important as other workouts.  This year I’ve still been taking at least 1 day off from “working out” but I’m running less due to triathlon training.

States – #dailymission

The Daily Mile has a feature called Daily Mission where you are given some type of prompt and you respond.  They’ve had some good ones recently.  I’m going to see about responding to those prompts here.

One over the weekend was “How many states (countries for non-US dailymilers) have you competed in for events?”

Like most people, I responded with a list of the states:

Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Arkansas, Georgia, Wyoming

I don’t remember all of the actual race names and dates, but a lot of the races were from my college days and I may have missed a couple!

I grew up in Ohio so did all of my junior high and high school track meets in Ohio, along with a half-marathon, and duathlon.  I’ve not live much of my adult life there so I didn’t really compete much since high school.  Going to college in Indiana I did a lot of cross-country and track meets around the state.  And living there for several years after grad-school I did a ton of races.  At least 2 years worth of the Anderson Road Runners Circuit and the DINO Trail Series, plus numerous other random races. I even was race director for 2 5k’s.  In college we also traveled to Illinois for meets and ran at the Emory Invitational every year which is in Atlanta, Georgia. We also raced at the Kenosha, Wisconsin national race course and much of the Ragnar Relay is in Wisconsin. I went to Grad School in New Jersey and did a few races while I was there including a duathlon (I did a lot of training on a boardwalk next to the Atlantic Ocean).  While I was there I never went up to New York City because their races were so expensive!  One summer I worked in Yellowstone National Park and did a race in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – basically straight up a mountain!  I went with a group of friends and ran a half marathon in Arkansas one year, that was my first post-college race that involved real travel.   Finally, moving to Minnesota, I’ve knocked off quite a few races, including my first Marathon!

What about you?