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 ( 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 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 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

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Forget Dogs on a leash...........

Next time on the trails, forget the 2 labs, I'm taking Cookie, who lives by a few rules:
1. "Dogs suck"
2. "I dont care how big you are.......bring it on"
3. "I may not have claws but I do have lazer beam eyes"
4. "Dont believe lazers, how about I'm possessed by Satan, enjoy your sleep while I have control of the house tonite"
5. Cats are the top of the food chain &
6. "Now feed me and get out of the house"

Is it me or does anyone else think that; forget Eartha Kitt's Catwoman from the Batman show of the 60's, if a cat could talk it would sound like Stewie from Family Guy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Races, Labor Day, Shopping at REI and Dog stories

Well my weekend race plans came half way to fruition. I ended up doing the Jamie Fund 5k. Went out to ok, had a very good 2nd mile, but the 3rd didn't go so well. Regardless I finished just shy of 28 minutes at 27:52. Not bad, really goes to show me that even though it's only been 3 weeks, I HAVE to get my base up. The IT band really seemed to help so I guess I have a new fashion accessory.

Well my Sunday plan of the Rhode Island race didn't materialize as Nancy had her End of Summer work party and we couldn't make the times work to get it done, get me home and then off to the party, so I got out for a 3.5 mile run with the watch. (I usually don’t wear the watch so I don’t.....well whatever). Well I actually beat my time for the 3 miles, lesson to be learned is to go out in races at my own pace and not with the group. Oh well.

HAPPY LABOR DAY to all. Heading off to REI today to look for some gear. Gaiters mostly, but you never know what fun stuff you can find. The birthday is coming up later this week and the family is looking for stuff to get me, so I might as well get it myself and throw their names on it.  Definately want to hit the State Forest before the day is out and have a day off the roads. 

Back from REI with gaiters, a water bottle with handle to slip your hand in and two pairs of trail shorts.  Not to mention a handful of Clif bars.  Good  news:  Nice Labor Day Sale / Bad News: Have to wait til Friday to use them as they have become birthday gifts.  Oh well.

Got home and Nancy and I decided to hit the State Forest.  She walked and I took the labs with me.  They are running right with me and we take this corner and run into a couple with two brittney spaniels.  Belle stays with me, Jack gets within 8 -10 ft and one of the 'brits' pulls the owner on the leash and is right on Jack.  Jack barks back, backs off and the brittney is right back on him.  I know about the keep your dogs on a leash and all, and later we ran into about 4 other groups both with dogs and not, and no problem.  No big harm, a thousand apologies and we split up. Then we almost get run over by a group of 2 motorcycles and an ATV, 3 times.  Never mind the signs about no motorized vehicles.  Oh well, I still got 4 miles in.  The legs still feel a bit dead for the 3rd straight day.  Will have to see if I can figure that out.

Til tomorrow, be well - Sank

Friday, September 4, 2009

Double Race Weekend & IT problem

Well after finally deciding that the soreness in the outer part of my left knee wasnt going away.  Followed by a few hours searching on the internet, Dr. Me self-diagnosed myself with an IT problem.  (Office hours are Thursdays from 7pm-10pm - have you insurance and co-pay handy). 

Anyway, I headed off to DB Sports in Plainville, MA (a local runner's den that has been around since my first running go round in the mid-80's - great place, well stocked, good people, highly recommended) and bought an IT band.  I decided to take the night off from running and went for a easy 3 mile walk with Nancy.  Good thing as I want to do 2 5k's this weekend.  Yeah yeah I know "take it easy there Jurek" but after only starting again after YEARS away I am pretty happy with my progress, so keep your comments to yourselves.   LOL

So here's the planned schedule:
Saturday Sept 5th - 1st Annual Jamie Fund 5K Road Race & Walk, in Mansfield, MA - couldn't any more convenient since I only have to drive cross town and it's starts at the High School were I went, and my two oldest kids now go.  Anyway, being the first time racing in forever and with a mix of road and trail I have no idea what to expect time wise - wish me luck!
Sunday Sept 6th - 1st Annual Stella Blues Finish for a Guinness in Warren, RI  This race to is benefit the Christopher Stone Fund.  There are details on the website if you google the race but in a nutshell the proceeds are to go the family of a man that sadly passed away in August of ALS (Lou Gerhig's Disease).  Although I never met him or his family, it goes without saying that all of our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, I know my do. 

Well Happy Friday all, and I hope you all have a very Happy, Safe and Healthy Labor Day.  Damn where did the summer go.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Not the TV show, but it was I that was LOST.  Yeah it finally happened, and I am sure I'm not the first that it is happened to, nor will it be the last time it happens to me.

So I'm running in the Gilbert State Forest in Foxboro (MA) and I decide to try a new trail.  Map in hand, I head over the roots, fallen trees and mud pits and off I go.  Well somewhere between what the map says and my legs went, weren't quite the same.  Now I kinda figured I was going ok, until I saw the blue triangle saying "Now Leaving the Boundaries of the Massachusetts State Forest".  THAT should have been my first clue, but NOOOOO I kept going.  Ended up somehow finding my way back on the trail, but them compounded it by going right instead of left and again going the wrong way, finding a new "Now Leaving" sign and hit some residential neighborhood.  3 additional miles later and I ended up in the car.

Bad news: I got lost, Good news: It actually turned into a great run, put in some decent mileage for the day, spent an hour or so away from the traffic and craziness of the world.  Not to mention another reason to blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cancelled Race

Got home last night to find a refund check for the Feet-4-Trail's race that was to be held Sunday Sept 20th.  It was to be my first official Trail Race (although short) and I am now definately bummed.  I was able to find a decent list of upcoming races on  Oh well what are you going do.

I am also looking for a list of TRAIL running clubs in either Southeastern Massachusetts or Northern Rhode Island if any one knows of any PLEASE comment back to me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I don't have to outrun the bear...

One of my all time favorite stories
Two friends decide to go camping.  In the middle of the night they here a huffing and snorting by their firepit and head out to investigate.  Right next to the fire is a very large and very unhappy grizzly bear.  The second friend starts to run frantically as the first camper heads back in to his tent and quickly puts on his running shoes.  The second camper says, "you can't outrun that bear." The first says, "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you."