Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rest in Peace my beautiful friend

For those of you that have read my blog before you know my fondness and love of my dogs.  It is with a VERY heavy heart that I type that we had to put our beautiful Callie (our St Bernard) down tonight. 
It was the right thing to do for our gentle sweet giant, although it most certainly isn't making it seem like it this evening.

My thoughts go out to Callie tonight and my prayers to God to keep an eye out for my special four legged friend.  You will always be in my heart.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Time to try again

Well the neck is barely better, but I honestly (without surgery) do not think that is going to get any better or worse, so I think it is time to try hitting the trails/roads again and see how it plays out.
Been refereeing enough so leg-wise I still feel pretty good. I actually forgot to wear the hamstring wrap on Sunday, and although the body reminded me that it was still tender afterwards, no problems.
My plan is to get out there on Saturday.

Today is 12 degrees and windy making the windchill 4 degrees, so for some odd reason it just didn't feel right today to start.  And no, although gray haired, that is not me to the left.
The rest of the week is simply out straight so I am looking forward to hitting Gilbert Forest on Saturday.  Who knows maybe the YakTrak that I won (YakTrak Contest with IRunFar) will arrive by Friday and I can give them a go.
Luckily I have been keeping the weight off (actually believe it or not but got on the scale Monday to find I had lost 5 pounds).
Oh well, I'll let you all go.  Have a great day.
Be well - Sank

Thursday, December 10, 2009

YakTrax Pro Giveway Winners!

YakTrax Pro Giveway Winners!
Sweet! I found out today that I actually won this from the IRunFar blogsite.
A big thanks to Bryon for doing this and congrats to the other 4 winners!
If you haven't gone there you should really check it out.  Bryon as well as alot of great other blog links are listed on the left hand column.

On a injury note, the Dr confirmed my fears in that I reinjured my neck.  On a steriod pack treatment for 6 days (seems to have helped the inflammation but still sore).  Going to play this out and see what happens by this time next week. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

You dont have to be a total klutz to be me, but it sure as hell helps.

Well as you can probably tell from the pic, I fell.  Now normally I would chalk it up to my general overall coordination and go from there.  But of course, with me and my luck, I am running up the first of a 5 step flight of stairs coming to a landing onto a second one.  Take note of this here kids - DONT RUN UPSTAIRS, especially with dress shoes.
So making a short story long (A Sank regular occurance) I catch my foot on the first set of stairs, and there would be no catching myself on Friday.  I get one foot on the landing and go right down driving my hand and head in the second set of stairs.  Yup only yours truly can fall going UP a flight of stairs.  So for the last 72 hours or so, the 2 herniated discs in my neck have been absolutely burning with tingling and pain starting in my left shoulder running down my arm ending in my ring and pinky fingers.  Oh yeah did I mention that I think I broke my top knuckle on my right index finger.
I promised Nancy I wouldn't run and am heading off to the Dr's this afternoon.  Will have to keep an eye on the calories, listen to what he says and wish for the best.  This one really bums me out as I always loved to run in that first dry crisp snow of the year and couldn't this Sunday.  But things could always be worse.
Be well - Sank

Thursday, December 3, 2009

States to go....

Well as a continuation of my prior post 28 down 22 to go , I was lucky enough to get a couple more this week.  Not to mention a few countries.  Anyway here's my list of states that I have left to go to get all 50 to hit my blog.
Alaska - Arkansas - Delaware - Idaho - Illinois - Indiana - Iowa - Louisiana - Maryland - Nebraska - New Mexico - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma - Oregon - Rhode Island - South Carolina - South Dakota - Tennesee and last but not least - West Virginia
If anyone knows anyone in these states have log on.  Would love to get all 50.

On a side note, I actually did hit the roads last night.  Only 2.2 but the hamstring held up and it feels pretty good today.  Will give it today off and then get back on Friday. 

Be well - Sank

Update June 2010 - 39 down 11 to go - Now down to Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and still last but not least West Virginia. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Today is the day....

Although the hamstring is still a bit tender, I am so going for a run today.
Granted it may only be the 2.7 mile course, I am wrapping up the hamstring, and the IT band and I am hitting to the roads baby.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving it a go

So far, so good.  Well since last week's tweaking of the hamstring I decided to give it a rest.  Well that was before the refereeing schedule came out.  8 games over the weekend, along with heading out with Nancy's crew Saturday night and Hannie's team involved in the same tournament with 3 games.
So Wednesday night I head out to Sports Authority and pickup a thigh compression wrap and see how I make out running up and down the court.  And I have to admit that I was more than pleasantly surprised and extremely optimistic.  I was starting to get (for lack of a better word) depressed about the running over the past few weeks; no energy, stagnent splits, and the constant pains but this may just be what I needed.  Going to wrap her up and give her a go tonight.  Keep you fingers crossed for me.
On a side note, very happy to report that after starting 0-5, Hannie's team went 2-1 this weekend, including a 9 point loss to a A team in the final game.  The girls are working hard to pick up a new offense that we just put in but is showing some real promise.
Be well - Sank

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Well it's gone....

So I finally get out last night to try to get some running in.  I had missed a few days between being busy, dealing with migraines coming out of those damn herniated discs in my neck, and trying to rest the legs.  So I throw on the PT band, the rain coat, and the Garmin and out I go.
Now the pace wasn't too great, but I didn't feel too bad.  Was trying to concentrate on my form, lifting my knees on each step and not overstriding.  2 miles in and still feeling pretty good.  As I am coming over the Williams Street bridge the back of my right leg, starts to act up a bit.  So I shorten up my stride and pace and continue on down to the West Street intersection.  And then just shy of 3 miles in, my right hamstring finally went on me.  I stopped there and then, trying not to aggravate it anymore, and walked to the house.
A bit sore today, I am going to get a compression wrap for it (as I have 8 games this weekend to ref) but regardless I am NOT going to let this make me stop.  Oh well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and in the big picture I have a LOT to be thankful for.
Be well and Happy Thanksgiving all - Sank

Monday, November 16, 2009

Way too much fun for a human (and a dog) to have!

Sunday after coaching two basketball games with Hannie's team (we lost both but I digress), I decided to take Belle and hit Gilbert State Forest.  It had rained like hell Friday night and all day Saturday, but it was sunny and breezy on Sunday so I figured I was going to run into some decent mud patches, but boy was I wrong.

RUNNING is just not supposed to be this much fun.

We start off running up the Heart Healthy Trail, which is fairly hilly and rocky, and came across some small mud patches.  So far - right to plan.  Come down the hill, take the right, come across some really good mud patches, even better.  Cross the Mill St corner, go straight ahead, merge back into the forest; again some small mud but nothing too big.  So now I am thinking this is cool, a few small mud patches, one or two mucky wet patches; no biggie.
WRONG!  I now head off to my favorite trail and quickly found out why the majority of the trail is "softball-sized" rocks embedded in mud.  I guess during an substantial rain, this trail turns into a small river.  How Freakin' cool is this?!?!  We go down this for awhile take the left at the split, so we can stay in the forest, the river ends but the mud sure doesn't.  The reason I love this trail is in the late summer and early fall, it feels like you are running the Pacific Northwest.  It's semi-dark, very plush vegitation with rocks, moss and water here and there.  But after a rain, it ROCKS!  Seems like everytime you turn a corner you run into a nice mud/water bath, a river or a place to just get nice and dirty.
Can't remember the last time I had so much fun running.  The pace wasn't great, but who the hell cares; neither Belle nor I did. 
Now if I just hit the lottery and didn't have to work I could run it everyday.  But until then, roads during the week and the trails on the weekends.
Be well - Sank

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Change of plans

Maybe this heading should be getting a plan.  After taking 3 days off, and as I was heading out Friday I decided that I was going to just go back to building up my base, not worrying about the pace (left the Garmin home) and just enjoy the run.
And you know it actually seemed to work.  So I just went out, tried to concentrate on keeping my stride short, did a little bit of fartleks on some telephone poles, and came home to take a quick shower and take Hannie off to her first basketball game.
Today woke up to some really heavy rains, but in keeping with my enjoying the run, threw on my old shoes, a rain jacket and took off.  Not the best of time by any stretch but you know it was one of the more enjoyable runs I have had in a long time.

Be well all - Sank

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Barefoot Article from Boston Globe

Click for Globe Article

28 down 22 to go

I was looking at my blog hit map today and realized that I have been hit by 28 of the 50 US states.  Not to mention my faithful readers from the north (URG, EJ, Derrick, etc) and some other random hits from around the globe.

Not that it is a real huge deal in the big scheme of things, but it is pretty cool to think that many people have taken time out of their day to read my rants.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nice Routine

Well it seems like I am starting to get into a nice little routine.  Getting out to run on Saturdays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  The legs and back have been a little tight on Mondays and I am starting to think it is from the refereeing for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.  I am taking this week off, not like it is a big problem on my end as there were no tournaments anyway, but I am interested to see how I will feel on Monday with only road and trails this weekend and no ref'ing.
This weekend also is the unofficial start of my daughter Hannah's basketball.  We are in a tournament in Bellingham, MA, and will be playing one game on Friday and two on Sunday.  My son, Kevin, is swimming in a meet on Saturday (second week in a row), so it will be a fairly busy one.
Off for now, going to try to get a Wednesday run in if I can tonite, but we'll see how the rest of the day goes in the office.
Be well - Sank

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy 13th Hannie !

My youngest turns 13 today! 
Happy Birthday Hannie,
I hope you have a great day,
Love you,
Daddy and Nana

She is so going to kill me for posting this pic, but that's what Dad's are supposed to do, right?

Indian Summer Run

Hit Gilbert State Forest yesterday.  It was a beautiful morning, and when I arrived at the Park the parking lot was loaded and there were two trucks coming down the path.  I have never seen vehicles on the path before and shortly following the trucks were a Boy Scout troop that were coming out from their annual camp out.  They most certainly had a beautiful night and morning for it.
Belle and I hit the heart trail and then over to this trail along the back side that she and I had found last time we were out there.  Nice to have the Garmin as I had always just estimated my mileage and splits before.  Nancy was having a family breakfast so I cut my run short at 3.5 miles, but it was nice to get back on the trails.  And with no hunting allowed in Massachusetts on Sundays, I didn't have to worry about that.
Be well all - Sank

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trails....not with Elmer out there

Well I woke up this morning debating on running this 4 mile trail race up in Haverhill, MA or taking Belle out to the state forest for a morning of running, all psyched up for FINALLY hitting the trails again.  Kevin has a swim meet up north which made the race perfect, except that he would have to get up really early but he said he didn't mind.  Then they moved the time that he had to be there back so the timing just didn't make since so Belle won, off to the Gilbert State Forest in Foxboro.  And then I remembered it is hunting season.

So I try to get ahold of Petco, or Benny's, or Bass Pro Shop to get a orange vest for Belle but no luck.  I found an old Boston Marathon jacket (circa 1999) which was bright orange for me, but nothing for her.  So I hit the roads instead.

If anyone has any hunting season safety tips - PLEASE post them in the comment section!

Still trying to get my legs straightened out, that along with figuring out which is the correct mileage, the Garmin or Runningahead.com - but I was out there anyway on a very cold OCTOBER morning (23 degrees F).

But the sun was out and it really turned out to be a beautiful morning.  Well no hunting on Sundays, so I guess I will try again. 

Have a great day all.  Be well - Sank

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Congratulations Kevin!

Last night my son Kevin was inducted into the French National Honor Society at his High School.  He was inducted along with 12 other French inductees, and 46 Spanish inductees into their respective NHS.
I tried to take some pictures in the auditorium but they were very grainy and after taking 4 pictures, I received the message "memory card full" on the screen. Oh well that was definately not going to ruin our night.
So instead here is one of the 3 kids (Hannie, Cate and Kevin) at dinner afterwards.
Congrats Kev, Nana and I are very proud of you,
Love ya big man,
Dad (Sank)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Is it time?

Woke up this morning to the right hamstring not happy (see notes from yesterday's post).  I have to say that I am extremely discouraged at the continual new aches and pains that I have been experiencing this time around.  I mean come on, I know I am not getting any younger but the aches are constant, seem to move around from issue to issue, and I am starting to think that they are affecting my gait which is causing new ones.  Is it time to quit? 
I am going to go to Marathon Sports in Boston on Friday and have them do a Fit Right test on me.  They have you run on a treadmill and look at your how you run, if you pronate or not, your arches, etc... and then suggest the proper shoe for you.  After that I will give it a few weeks with the new shoes and see what happens from there. 
Perhaps massage or yoga or something else.  Anyone have any suggestions?
It's just really getting frustrating at this point.  I know, I know; it could always be worse, but enough is enough already.
Funny how this damn sport can take you from the high of reaching your goal (100 mile month goal for October), to the lows of 4 days later, ready to throw in the towel.
Well thanks for listening to me whine, Be well - Sank

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Who to believe?

Garmin vs. Runningahead ???
So I have a Dr's appointment today and it run's a little late.  So instead of trying to get back to work, just to have to almost turn right around to make it for a 6:30 meeting tonight, I decide to head home and try to get a run in before Daylight Savings Time kills the afternoon sun and I have to run covered in reflective tape.
But to get to the point, I strap on the Garmin - still trying to figure out all the features, and off I go.  I tried to go out fairly quick, and went out without any stretching or warmup, so "tad-daaa" the back of my right leg starts to bug me so I decide to go my short loop course. 
I finish up a course that I have run a fair amount of times and when I download the Garmin, I am missing .12 miles from what the map says when I entered it in Runningahead.  But who's right? 
Anyone else have this problem come up and who/what do you believe to be right?
Until tomorrow - Be Well - Sank

Friday, October 30, 2009

87.6 and counting

Well today is October 30th leaving me just over 35 & 1/2 hours to get in 12.4 miles.  Now before all of you Ultra-heads starting rolling your eyes, I need to try to figure out if I can pull this off and not have it knock me back in November.  My longest run this year has been (one sec - have to go to runningahead.com to check - be right back.......) just under 4.3 miles.  I have to referee 3 games on Saturday, which at calculating 2 miles per game (although on line they say it is between 3.5 and 5 miles per game - I just dont see that so I go with 2 miles per game), but I digress.  I have been fighting the hamstring tweak, my IT band (which is about 95% healed), and a crazy like/work schedule.  But excuses are easy to find..........

ANYWAY---- Ref'ing will give me 6 making the total 6.4, you know I actually think I can pull this off.  If I run my King Arthur/Nelson loop that will give me 3.1 miles for tonite (when I get home) that will leave me 3.3 miles to do early Saturday morning.

Well wish me luck, though all I really need is to stop making it a big deal in my head and JUST DO IT. 

I know this pic is a tad crude, but when I was googling JUST DO IT images, this one was screaming to me to use it.  And sometimes you just have to listen to those little voices in your head :)

3 games on Sunday and I will have a nice start to November. 
Not to mention that I am breaking in the new Garmin tonite - SWEET!
Happy Friday all - be well - Sank

UPDATE:  THE GARMIN 405 ROCKS!!  I love it

Thursday, October 29, 2009

View from outside my office - no cubicle for this kid

It is a beautiful day here in Sunny Boston today.  This is the great view of the Christian Science Church Plaza headquarters that I get from my office window EVERYDAY. 

If you have never had the chance to walk the plaza it is breathtaking.  For all of you that are running Boston, you really should make a point to do it while you are here.  It is just a couple blocks from the finish line.

I am very lucky in that the hotel that I manage is a VERY short walk to the finish line.  I usually try to get over to see some of it every year. 

Message me if you are planning on running it and need a room and I will try to get you a good rate.

Take care all, Be Well - Sank

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Seems like forever (well actually just a week) since I posted.  Tons of refereeing this weekend and the herniated discs sparked back up the migraines.   That coupled with the fact that eating whatever and as much as I felt like and a way to many beers, so kind of a lost couple of days and feeling pretty crappy.
Oh well poor me - I really need to get going on the roads.  I still have an outside shot at hitting my first 100 mile month (in about 15 years), which I am really going to try to do, but I just wish I could get out there consistently and feel good.  Not just mentally but a good stride, pace, breathing; without having to think about what I am doing.
My goal a little while ago was to:
1. get the little nagging legs issues under control (which thankfully I seem to have), and
2. stay on the roads only to try to get some consistency
But I just cant seem to get that flow going while running.  Oh well, just need to keep sticking to it, and stop whining about it I guess. 
My replacement Garmin 405 shows up today, so at least I will have a new toy to go out with me while I figure it out.  :)

Thanks all - if any New Englanders are out there that know of any good running clubs that do a fair amount of Trail Running - PLEASE comment me their information.

Take care, be well - Sank

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lost outside of the Woods

Somehow I have lost myself outside of the woods.  With the days getting shorter, the weather getting colder, the rush to get the outside jobs wrapped up, with the hotel business getting slower, the work day getting busier, kids back to school and head first into activities, and the basketball refereeing availability going from nothing to tons; I have not been able to get out on the trails in what seems like forever. 
Perhaps in hind-sight it is helping me with my knee and hamstring, but I have to say that I, along with Belle, are missing it.  I really am going to have to make the effort to either get up REAL early and get out there before work or cut back on the weekend refereeing and get at least one run there.
Funny, before August I had never done an trail run.  Obviously I am not talking about my pre-high school days when running; and pre-mountain bikes when riding; was just what you did.  FOR FUN!  No Garmin, no tempo; just fun.  Be nice to be able to go back to those times wouldn't it?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Boss's Day

I'm wishing myself a Happy Boss's Day since I'm fairly certain all my employees despise me

Not to much to report. Been holding back on the running end as my left hamstring is still not very happy. I am refereeing again this weekend, 3 Friday, 2 Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Probably not the best running career move but I need the cash (like all of us dont).

Nancy and I are going to this bellydancing thing on Saturday night, with a girl Nancy works with and her husband. They went last year and said it was a blast.

Wish me luck with the refereeing. Once again looks like nagging little injuries will keep me from my 100 mile month. There's always next month.

Be well - Sank

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bicep Femoris, 229 and Zero

My left hamstring has been acting up the past several weeks, starting up after I had done a 7 basketball game refereeing weekend.  I have tried stretching it out, don't really have any decent stretches just doing what seems to feel like it is stretching it out and going from there. 

Looking at the diagram I reckon its my lower Bicep Femoris. 

But it is really restricting me today, so if anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE send them on over.

I stole some of this post, expecially the jpeg from another blog site (Mark's Marathon) for the hamstring portion.

Now for the 229, I actually saw gas today for sale at $ 2.29 - not that it is that big a deal but what a very pleasant surprise.  Note:  I am not holding my breath thinking that I will see under $ 2.00 again in my lifetime.

And finally the 0 (Zero). Not that I am a celcius guy, living in Boston, Mass USA, but the Title sounded better than Bicep Femoris, 229 and 32. Anyway, went out to the car today and the temperature was 32 degrees F (or for my canadien readers 0 degrees C). There goes everyones Global Warming fears, Global Cooling everyone - go out now and get all the down and flannel you can. 

and on another note - my Garmin 405 - arrived today!  WOOT!!!!!!!!!!! 

Be well - Sank

Monday, October 12, 2009

New England Craft Beers

Link to a posting from the Boston Globe.  6 local New England craft beers; enjoy the read, enjoy the brews.
It is also makes for a good starting place to drown our sorrows after the Sox get swept and the Patriots offense goes silent in the second half vs. the Broncos.  Life's to short to drink cheap beer! 
Be well - Sank

Friday, October 9, 2009

In the words of Homer Simpson - D'oh!

Marge Simpson - Playmate ?  Yes it is actually true.
This is just too funny....... 

Refereeing and getting old!

I'm told that New Hampshire and Vermont are peak this weekend but the leaves are really starting to turn here in good old Massachusetts. The pool this morning had a fairly decent layer so I guess the pool guys will be coming out soon to close her down. That truly is the benchmark for the end of summer. Oh well.

Fall also brings the start of the AAU and Rec League basketball which is good by me as it helps to put some $ in my pocket by refereeing. The only downsides, it really gets tough on the body trying to ref somewhere between 5 to 10 games over a weekend and get in a run (trail or road). But the money is good and I try to consider it like a sprint workout. Last weekend I reverted back to my old habits and didn't stretch AT ALL. Big mistake as I tweaked something in my lower back into my left hamstring. I did a couple runs this week and once I got out a bit it warmed up ok, but the mornings were tough getting up.

Well it sucks to get old, but what are you going to do, they haven't found a cure for that yet.

Took this picture yesterday as I was walking down Boylston Street - yup this is the "needs to be painted badly" finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Right around the corner from the hotel I run.  Hopefully I will be running over that in just less of 200 days. 

Be well all - Sank

Monday, October 5, 2009

On the Road again and I added a Beer of the Week section

Wow what an absolutely crazy 4 days.  Friday involved picking the rosters for 4 youth basketball teams, one being my daughter Hannah's.  Saturday and Sunday was refereeing and more refereeing.  I looked on line to see what the average distance coverered when refereeing a high school game and it said between 3 and 5.  Well I couldnt really see that so I put it in at 2 miles per game and 2.5 for this one beast of a game.  I say beast only in that these were two of the best 17 year old teams in the New England and my partner and I ran our asses off.  Fun game to do though, lots of action above the rim.  Now generally before I started up running a month or so ago, the next day I would be doing my best Walter Brennan imitation limping around the house but I have to say that both Sunday and today I felt pretty damn good.
So tonite I get home a bit late and after doing all the games I decide that I will do a short 2.3 miles.  I was little concerned as I had tightened up a bit as the day progressed sitting in the office chair for a large part of the day, coupled with almost a 90 minute extended ride home but I went out regardless.  As I started the back of my legs were keeping me in check, but as I finished the later part come over a small hill I was pretty happy with my run.  8.25 pace and I thought after last week's run that it was going to be closer to 8.  I guess I have to think that the 7.49 pace was an error somewhere either distance or the watch.  Oh well it gives me something to shoot for, breaking 8 again.
Ok now to the libation part of the blog.  I finally added a Beer of the Week section to the left, along with a past winners section.  Just a place to show what I am drinking at the moment, a different beer related type of post or just a beer that I tried and liked enough to take the time to add it.  If you have one that you particularly like, please send it on over and I will happily try it out.
Be well all - Sank

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Watch issue or one hell of a good run?

I get home tonite and decide that I have to start kicking up my base.  Not to mention that I really want to break 100 miles this month (I know not a very worth goal, but we all have to start somewhere).

So I run some afterwork errands and rush into the house to get my stuff on and to do the Old School loop.  It's a 4.17 mile run with a short loop at the end on a fairly busy street, which isnt the best when the sun's going down but I go off regardless.  I stretch out the IT band (boy those exercises are starting to pay some dividends) and off I go. 

Now when I started off I felt pretty good and went out kind of hard, but after 3/4's of a mile I settled in pretty well.  Occassionally I would feel my quads tighten up a little so I would slow down my stride a bit, try to kick out my legs to stretch out a bit, and when they weren't bothering me I would just settle in.  Almost 3/4's of the way done and I am coming down this slight decline and I really felt great.  The stride was great, quick and my breathing was very smooth.  Well to make a short story long, I shut off the watch as I hit the end of the driveway and into the house I go to enter it into my runningahead.com account.  And as I am entering everything I look at my pace and I ran 7:49 miles.  Are you shitting me?   7:49's!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know I felt good and all but to take off that type of time, if and I repeat (in caps) IF that is true I am so psyched right now!

Well I'll take it, short run if any tomorrow.  This weekend is going to be kind of crazy as I ref AAU basketball and I am committed to a bunch of games AND I want to get out on the roads and trails. 

Well if you look in the sky and see a light coming out of the Massachusetts area of the US, it is me glowing from tonite's run.  God I hope that watch was right :)

On a very minor "I am so bumming" note - I missed out on a sweet ebay bid on a Garmin 405cx.  :(

Be well - Sank

It's Official .......

200 Days 'til the 2010 Boston Marathon

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back to the roads

When finally got myself back on the roads last night.  After eating just about everything on the planet bad for you, getting in one run over 4 days on a very muddy trail, wasnt quite sure what to expect.  The town I live in has made the financial decision to cut back on the street lights, so I try to be careful and by the time I got home, it was dark.  But off I went running a variation of a few of my courses.
Actually all and all it went pretty well. Got just over 3.5 miles in just over 30 minutes.  I am very happy with my average pace dropping recently.  Have to mix in some distance runs on the road, with some Tempo runs.
Well that's it for today.  Crazy night so I probably wont get on the streets tonite.
Be well all - Sank

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If Lewis Black was the Surgeon General of the US - HE would get stuff done

If a dog was your teacher.............


When loved ones come home, always run to greet them like they've been gone for a year.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride in the car.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps.
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wiggle your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal but never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

And finally, ---

Never trust anyone until you sniff their ass.  (ok well maybe up until that last one)

Weekend Food Warriors

What a great weekend!  As blog'd before, Saturday was the Phanton Gourment Food Festival followed by great seats for the Boston Bruins.  Sunday was a trail run with Belle and then just mostly hanging on a very rainy day.  My own private 3 day weekend concluded with the Big E (http://www.thebige.com/) which is a HUGE state, well maybe more like New England, fair.
I could go on and on about the food and what we did, but I think I will just let the pictures do the talking.  I can tell you one thing though, the body is definately NOT happy with the fine collection of junk food I ate all weekend, but what the hell, you gotta fall off the wagon every once in a while.
Back to running and eating right today.  Enjoy the pictures, Be well - Sank

Nancy and Spike the Hot Dog Bull Dog and Nancy and I at the entrance with Beads and edible candy necklaces

Nancy in the Pickle cutout as we were leaving the food fest

Tuuka Rask in the goal for the Bruins.  A few seconds after this pic one of the Carolina players ran over Rask, which resulted in 2 nice fights.  Gotta love hockey

1208 lb pumpkin at the Big E

This Clydesdale was beautiful.  HUGE but beautiful

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday OFF

For the first time in a while I am actually taking all of Saturday off from everything!  No work, no house stuff, no runs, no nothing.  Nancy and I are heading out to the Phanton Gourment Food Festival behind Fenway Park from noon to 4 and then finishing off the day going to the Bruins game at the new Garden.

I am really looking forward to not worrying about what to do or when to be there and just have a great day with the wife.  Will be posting some pics of the day (probably tomorrow as there are some beer tents at the Phantom event and cant guarantee picture clarity).  Sorry Bruins (and Red Sox and Patriots and Celtics) but I really have a hard time buying $8 beers.  Not to mention that 99% of the beers (if that is what you want to call them) are watered down, rice based, domestic crap.  Yeah I know what am I some kind of communist snob, ragging on the good old Budweisers and Millers of the world.  Damn it boy they are the back bone of our country.  Blah blah blah cry me a river....given me a nice heavy, micro, overly hopped, dark amber, freshly made, small batch brew anyday of the week.  If the micros ever went away I think I would just go to drinking Mountain Dew Code Red's all day.  Now maybe I should add a weekly beer review section to this blog.  Hmmmmmmmmm, that could be fun.  Not that detailed, just if I liked it, hated it, and why.  Oh well, sobriety is so over rated.

Anyway, look for some pics later, should be a great day.  Haven't had much husband and wife only time lately and I am looking forward to the day.

I guess I will pay for today's festivities when I get back on the trails with Belle tomorrow (after my "lets run roads only to save my IT band" hiatis) but hey isnt that one of the reasons we all run anyway.

Have a great Saturday all.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

VO2 and anchovies

I was entering my training run on Running ahead and I noticed when I enter the time as well that it comes up with my VO2 Max for that particular run. Well it has been a very long time since I was a true running junkie (geek story to follow) and I had forgotten all about VO2 and latic acid, blah blah blah. So I hit google and it comes up with many a thousand hits, and off I go. Seems that for my age and training level that it is actually not to bad for right now.

I am actually pretty happy with this week. Started out poorly (well if taking a few days off to take care of a screaming IT problem is consider being poor) but with resting for a few days and tonite's crazy schedule is going to make getting out fairly difficult. But now with two runs both right in the low 8:20's pace, my feeling is that this is a very strong indicator for me that my footwork is improving. Am planning on getting in some LSD's this weekend, and maybe a Fartlek here and there. Have to watch that knee, but hopefully I am on the mend.  But back to the VO2 part, that my numbers seem to be going up as my times are going down.  Just another thing to play around with. 

Now for my geek running junkie addict quick story: Many a moon ago when "Boston" Bill Rodgers was dominating the marathon scene, I was grabbing every publication and newspaper that I could get my hands on about Bill, the Boston Marathon, Nutrition, what have you. Well I read one day that Bill's favorite pizza was anchovies and green peppers. I can tell you that the local House of Pizza wasn't quite ready for the near-daily orders of A&GP pizzas. Didn't help my running much, but they were pretty damn tasty.

Happy training all and as always, Be well - Sank

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall Everyone! (plus training update)

Well Summer is over, and the sound of the birds chirping as you run down the trails will be replaced by the crunching and rustling of the colorful autumnal leaves on the ground. 

Well I have officially given up on my 100 mile month goal for September but rather to build up my knee so that I can survive the winter and my goal of Boston in 2010. 

On another goal setting front, Nanc has announced her goal of running the Timberman Sprint Triathlon in 2010, so who knows maybe I will jump back into doing a few Tri's again.  She has always wanted to do one, am I am very proud of her for picking one.  Which as you know, picking the race is the first and biggest step.  Well heading out to run in the sleet and cold of a New England winter maybe the biggest step, but you know what I mean.

Well can't wait to lace them up this aft/evening.  Be well - Sank

Amended 7:08pm EST - Just got back from running one of my beginning routes.  I decided to do this loop (albeit less than 3 miles) as I have had some luck with the knee the last few days with the PT exercises and my right ankle was fairly happy from the 2 days rest.  Besides that, I had gotten home late and had to take my son, Kevin, to swim practice and only had a few extra minutes or I was either going to have to skip it or run in the dark (not fun since we live on a fairly busy road).  Wow talk about making a short story long. 

So I lace up and off I go on the Tremont Street loop.  And surprisingly I felt great so I decided to just go with it.  It was just one of those nights when things came together and I actually average 8:22/mile WITH stopping twice to tie my shoes.  I am very psyched!

Good night all & 'til then, be well - Sank

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One step forward........

.....and if there is a God in heaven - no steps back.

So I decided to take my own advice and hit the roads only today.  A little over 4 miles at right around a 9 minute pace.  But the encouraging sign was NO KNEE pain or discomfort.

Well all a quick post tonite.  Will keep blogging and posting details on runningahead.

Be well - Sank

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Well I took 2 days off and was pretty religious about doing the stretches and strength exercises for my knee, so off I went back on the trails.  Stretched a little in the parking lot (hey a little more cant hurt right?) and off I went, Belle at my side and my IT band firmly over my left knee.
Got about 2 miles out and the knee starting telling me "hey Sank whatcha doing?"  So I stretched a little more, and off I went again.  By around 40 minutes in, it was screaming - "hey Sank - either you can stop or I will stop us".  So I went for 56 minutes and called it a day.
I'm starting to think that until I can get this under control, maybe I should stay on the roads, and when I am trailing it, stay on the fire roads at the State forest.  I really love the challenge of the trails - lots of roots, and hills, and gravel, and rocks, and lions and tigers and bears - oh my..... but the terrain and loose footing may be making it one step forward and two steps back.
Until next post - be well.  Still haven't ruled out breaking that 100 mile month (yeah I know big deal - but it is to me and you gotta start somewhere), but I really want to play this out for the long run.  Hey I can always do 100 in October, right?
Until next post - be well

Thursday, September 17, 2009

IT Knee Pain - oh whoa with me :(

Well even before my exercise hiatus, having done ten years of triathlons, 2 Boston Marathons, many a road race and countless training runs (obviously prior to runningahead.com) I have never had a knee problem.  So I guess it is my own fault for pulling a Rip Van Winkle, waking up to my head write checks my body cant cash.  And suddenly one day I developed IT Pain.  Sucks, no other word I can think of. 
A few posts ago I mentioned that my PT gave me some exercises and stretches to do, of which I did only half-assed.  And what did I get out of it?  Half way thru one of my simple loop runs it got so bad that I had to actually walk, then run, then walk, blah blah blah.  The IT Band does help, and I have found that after the run it actually seems to help out to leave it on until bed time.  And as of last night am going to do the 4 exercises religiously for 2 weeks to see if it helps.  Took tonite off, will try to go back to my short course tomorrow to see if there is any improvement. 
I'm really kind of bummed as I was really hoping to do 100 miles this month, my first full month back running, after only starting again in mid-August.
Well if you have any IT experiences, please leave me COMMENTS and SUGGESTIONS.
Be well - Sank

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


For those of you that share one of my malidies, I am sorry.  But damn migraines can sure put a HUGE change of plans on your day.  Similar to other sufferers I get the aura, which makes it extremely, if not impossible, to drive or even survive.  Followed shortly by nasusea and than the pain comes.  NOT FUN.  Well yesterday afternoon's sudden aura attack had me rushing home to get into bed, and unfortunately cancelled my run for the night.  Woke up this morning to continued pain and a day off that honestly I would rather be at work, given the choice.

The afternoon broke and besides some tenderness, I decided to pull out one of my old remedies and tried to sweat out the after effects.  Not bad, finally broke the 9 minute mile barrier, but realized one of my problems.  I am looking done while I am running which as me leaning forward.  I tried to concentrate on keeping my head up, leaning back and lifting up my stride and it actually felt much better.  More to follow.
Be well - Sank

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Longest Run of the Season

The cool nights are starting which means I have to get my ass out to finish up some of my exterior carpentry jobs on the house.  I am a HUGE procrastinator, but I have to get this stuff done. I had originally thought about doing a 4k trail race but decided to see the parents early and then head back home.  So 'up and down', 'raise and lower', 'move and foot'; the 2 ladders for the better part of the morning but the new rake boards are up and preped for primer and painting.  PSYCHE. 

That being done, I decided to hit the trails this afternoon.  I finally cracked open the birthday gear (nice pair of EMS trail running shorts-I left the rest for when the kids get home to see what they bought me LOL) and headed off to Gilvert again with Belle.  We hit the usual start trail and about a mile in I realize I forgot my IT band, and with the sunlight slivers coming thru the trees I cant see crap with the sunglasses on. Well I most certainly wasn't going back to get the band and drop the sunglasses so we pound on.  Now Gilbert isn't terribly long but it has a great set of trails that cross each other a fair amount so it is great for just winging it.  Being that Belle is new to this I try to watch her, and Gilbert has tons of waterponds for forest fires, so if she needs a break generally she will go in herself (giving me my clue to stop for a sec).  Last week we kind of got lost and ended up with 55 minutes, but today we just get crossing back and as I ran by the Radio tower I realized that we were at 50 minutes and not close to the car at all.  Well we ended the day at 1:16 and neither worse for wear.  Damn that dog is awesome.  5 times we either walked by people or had a bike or motorcycle go by and she just stays with me on my hip.  I really need to get Jack out this week.  Gives me those big Lab eyes when I leave without him.

Well Happy Sunday to all.  Be well - Sank

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yesterday I stopped in my old Physical Therapist and he gave me some great strength and stretches for my IT.  Definately plan on getting on those today (just havent done it yet).

Ok back to the rain again today - arghhhhhh.  Well after last night's birthday bash for Catie (sweet 16 for my daughter), I got up right after Nancy left for work this morning to get in...well actually I figured I would just figure out where and how long as I went.  You gotta love the ability to run your maps thru http://www.runningahead.com/ for your mileage as well as to have it link to the blog.
So I got in 4.2 miles.  Still having soreness in my legs but I need to just run and stop overthinking the strides and all that stuff so that I can get into a nice rhythm and pace, but until then I will just plug along. 

Tomorrow I need to head over to the parents in the AM and then back to the trails.  Have a safe and dry Saturday all.  Hope you like the Batman pic, there will be more to follow. 
Be well - Sank

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget!

Remember how you felt when you heard the news, when you saw the TV footage, and the loss of humanity. How people were jumping from the buildings. How the police and firefighters were running up the buildings to save the citizens, even while the buildings were coming down. Or how a small group of people fought back against the hijackers rather than allowing them to fly another plane into a building.

Remember the sorrow and the anger. Now think about how you are today and if you have forgotten those feelings. Remember how we all came together as a country; regardless of race, or religion, or any other difference. How all of the countries of the world came together, regardless of their political beliefs. Now think of how we have allowed our petty differences to separate us again.

Thank you and God bless all of the police and firefighters that died that day and to those who continue to put on the uniform each and every day to protect us, regardless of the risk to themselves. Thank you to the soldiers out there trying to make the world a safer place. Thank you all for your sacrifices. This is not a day to include politics but of remembrance, reflection and appreciation. Hug your loved ones a little longer today. Turn off the TV for a few minutes and actually talk to your families. Pat the dog an extra second today. Appreciate what you have and stop longing for what others have. Be thankful for all that you have.

Be well

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The perfect Trail Runner's foot

I am actually pretty psyched, for two reasons.

1. I got a viewer from Sweden today &
2. I am now listed on Ultrablogs

Now if I can get in a good trail run tonite, all will be good in the world :)

Well all is good with the world tonight as I was able to hit Gilbert State Forest.  Tonite I took Belle for her first solo run with Dad (no Jack).   Mostly because she 'sits' on my hip the whole time, actually even better off the leash.  Not to mention that she wants absolutely nothing to do with any other people, bikers or dogs.  Just wants to stay attached to Dad. 
So we (like she had a say in the matter) decide that we want to put in somewhere between 3.5 and 4 miles.  We grab the map (damn I must have about 5 maps in the car) and head off.  Trying new steep trails with small sections of walkable only sections.  Occasionally as we traversed the ACORN TRAIL, we would get the scent of Pepe Le-Pew.  So back on the leash she went until the odor left us.
Ended up going 2 minutes shy of an hour, for what I figure most be about 5.5 miles.  Both owner and pup are no worse for the wear.  Actually she is sound asleep on my left foot as I am typing this.  With Jack next to her.
Well crazy day tomorrow with work and both my and my daughter's birthday.  Hopefully I can get in 3 at some point.
Until then - be well - Sank

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stride Question - Please COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I know that I don't have ton of blog reviewers out there - hopefully that will change and THANKS to all of you that do come see my Rants - but if you do check it out could you please comment.

I am wondering if anyone else has any problems or difficulty with their strides when the go from trails to roads?

It takes me a while to get the longer heal strike back on the roads, than it does the other way around.  Once I hit the trails generally my stride shortens pretty quick as I go on the uneven footing.

Anyone else?  
Be well - Sank