Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tempo Tuesday

Managed to get to the treadmill at Y for tempo run today. Cold rain with strong wind outside.

6 total. 3 fast @ 7:12 then 7:01 then 6:40. Very happy with that.

Later this week I have to do a long run and keep the focus on May 2nd - Broad Street 10 miler. I heard that the registration has closed with the 30,000 runner cap already met!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Haddon Adrenaline 5k

yeah - first blog post of the new year . . . been busy (doing whatever?)

Ran two 5k's recently. February's plan of getting really speedy workouts was mostly a bust due to the extreme snow situations; however, my racing was still decent. First ran the Logan House 5k. A few hills but nothing too bad. Ran something like 21:10 and was okay with that.

This past Saturday ran the Haddonfield 5k and did better than expected. Hoped to break 21:00 and ended up with 20:34. Very happy. Will probably be my fastest 5k of the year since I had planned to focus on speed & short runs for the first months. Now I have to look toward Broad Street 10 miler and so must get back into long runs. The longest I've gone in the last 10 weeks is like a 7 or an 8 miler. So I've got about 5 weeks to build back some endurance. I might do some other races during these weeks - done as my speed work while i focus on long runs.

Looking forward to getting back onto trails too - most of the past few months have been treadmill at Y.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PDR pic

here's a pic from either PDR in September, or Rothman in November. which one? Looks like I'm working very hard, eh? I hate these pics, who pays huge money for these prints???

Ramblin' Wreck

Yo, haven't written anything in a while.

Been rockin' some long runs lately. 22 in freezing rain last Sunday. mostly roads, still hurting from that effor.t
2 weeks before that I did a 20 on the trails at Fair Hill, MD. Felt crappy almost right from the start. Got lost like friggin' 5 times. Hate that feeling of being off trail. Makes the day stretch out soooo f'ing long. They got some hills out there. Estimate course is 3,100 climbing over 31 miles. doesn't sound so bad when you say it that way. Felt so good toward the end after ditching hydration pack and tacking on a few extra miles. 16, 17, 18 were fun. Then fell down at 19. no damanage.
2 weeks b/f that did a 20 at BCSP. seemed to take forever. This was also a very cold rainy day. I seem tob e slowing down big time. My dream of 5.half 50k is way out. 6 or even 6.half is more like it. okay, watever. this ain't a race so much as a "can you finish it" sort of thing.

I know that Positive Mental Attidude is important for these longer races, but i just cant seem to turn the corner. Seriously thinking of dropping from the 50k down to the shorter race. that will give me a mental advantage. I am completely unable to concentrate on my work, my home, or my running. Everything has gone fuzzy, don't know why.
i should delete this post, but will read it in the morning and re-evaluate.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

21 miles SLOWLY

I had my heart set on a long slow run for the end of last week. Friday I farted around all day and never got out for any run. The crapped weather played a part in that, altho I don't mind running in the rain too much. Then Saturday turned out to be a effed-up schedule because of all the rain storms over the past few days. Soooo, Sunday early a.m. I was ready to hit the trails for a maximum distance effort.

Decided to wear my new hydration pack for the first half. Ended up being 11 miles with pack, felt much better than before. Even stopped to stuff in an old bottle along the trail (yes, new hobby is bottle collecting. Sounds so olde fuddy duddy I know, but I like old crap, history, etc., and I've found a few spots in the woods with what I will call farm dumps (ok, so they're trash piles... but they're old trash piles so the stuff is like practically antiques!). Anyway, I'm getting comfortable with the hydration pack. And I came home with a circa 1940's ASCO brand vinegar bottle for me new collection.

21 miles never goes down too easy. Felt tired almost right away. Stopped back at the car every 3 to 6 miles for water, gatorade, Gu & cereal bars. Avoided most of the hills, total climbing over 21 miles was approx. 1200 feet. Time: 3:32 which is about exactly 10 minute pace. That includes a good 10 or 15 minutes of stoppage time for the car refueling pit stops. Quite muddy out there, but I purposely avoided the worst of it. Warm for mid-November; start 50 & end 60 degrees. Did a good bit walking - top of every steep hill plus a few short breaks in the last couple of miles.

My legs & feet feel remarkably good. The slower pace must really work for saving the body! Also I love these trail shoes - Asics Trail Sensor 3. Never dreamed I'd go back to Asics, but being forced into these shoes has worked out great. I am def buying another pair soon before they friggen change (i.e. screw up) them.

Overall impression: i don't know how the heck I'm going to do this 50k race that is now 6 weeks away. I hear the hills ain't too bad over at Fair Hill NRMA, but just the 31 miles itself is daunting. I didn't eat well the night before this 21 mile training run, so maybe I can get some energy there. Also, this is my longest effort since May, so maybe I can add to my endurance some more before taper begins. This run was 3:30 . . . I figure the race may take 5:30 so I really need to increase my 'time on the feet' over the next 30 days.

Anyone want to join me for a four & a half hour trail run next weekend? yeah, didn't think so! and I've got the last race of the year (Rothman 8k) so I guess that 4:30 LSD will have to wait 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snake Pit Wednesday

I did a small easy trail run today. Kind of an unfocused week for my training, so I decided I'd explore every new trail I saw that I haven't been on yet. Plus I did my usual yellow trail loop & red trail loop both backwards. Woo - hoooo, living dangerously! Total mileage 6, 4 running & 2 hiking.

Funny, when going the opposite direction you really do see things differently. Some side trails that typically look so minor were like open invitations to run down. And I did. Kind of warm day, and I saw deer, squirel & chipmunks all busy and scampering wildly when interupted by random human running down their trails. Most interesting sighting: one new trail led past an old house foundation. I stopped for a few mins and explored around. Stone bldg, with 'newer' front & back patios of yellow brick. Those looked to be 1950's -ish add ons to an older (1920's ish??) house. Basically I suck at knowing how to date these things so I could be way off. House collapsed both into the basement and along the sides. Piles of stones, just a few bricks. Up & just a few feet away was an old hand dug, stone lined well (more in a sec on that). Down the path about 50 feet was another stone foundation that appears to me as a work house of some sort. More crudely built and it's right over a spring that runs out an arch at the one end. Still standing, some wood & hinges intact. But back to the well. I peered down for a moment - hard to guess the depth but maybe 20 feet. Lots of sticks down there, no water visible in the bottom. The 'drum' which used to hold the rope & bucket have been dropped down into the well. Cool stuff, i like to explore old sites like this. Anyway I thought I saw something like maybe made from leather stuck in the wall most of the way down. Maybe some kind of climbing gear that was left behind by someone? Would I dare to climb down there and trust that I could get out? I moved to the other side to get a better view - and damn if the thing didn't move!! It was a big black snake. Very thick and strong looking. Then my eyes focused on several more down there. 2 big ones and 2 smaller. Three appeared black, at least one of those with a white underside. The forth guy was maybe a garter with short stripe pattern (not lengthwise), or maybe even some other type of snake. Freaky snake pit ! I wonder if they were getting ready to hibernate of if they've fallen in there and can't climb out?

Anyway, it was way cool as I like to explore & discover stuff like that. When I got home I quick grabbed my boys and we went back with flashlights so I could show them. We were all Indiana Jones snake-pit exploring style. I try to instill them with a sense of adventure with stuff like that. In fact, we were having so much fun that I lost track of time and my son was late to soccer practice. Oops.
I did alot of exploring around when i was a kid. The best line of the day: my younger son said, "I wish I could invent a time machine so that Joey & I could go back in time to when you were a boy. Then we could do nature hikes & explore with you when you were a boy."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All Choked Up

Whoa - something super scary happened last night. I almost choked to death on a dried out "hockey puck" hamburger. No shit, the wife was already on the phone with 911 operator when the chunk of meat popped out.
Like 10 times since then I've repeated silently to myself "must take smaller bites & chew completely". I'm sort of not looking forward to lunch today (not normal for me). Haha, trying to keep the mood light. Here's how it went down... (or not!)

I got home very late, was very hungry & had to turn around to go pick up my son from religious ed. So I had called the wife and she had a burger cooking on the stove when I got home. I remember seeing her smashing it down in the pan with the spatula and thinking that's not good 'cause it always dries it out. But she was trying to speed up the cooking since I was in a big rush. I was wolfing it down, about halfway done when the fateful bite got totally wedged in my throat. My younger son & wife had already gone into the other room to watch Jeopardy & do homework.

I knew immediately something was very wrong. I was trying to cough but nothing was happening. After a few coughs I realized not a bit of air was getting in or out. My wife called in "are you okay?" and I couldn't talk or get any air in. Not breathing totally sucks! I started banging the table with my hand loudly. I remember getting up and spitting out a bite of burger back onto the plate, but that wasn't the bite blocking my throat. I could see a panic stricken look on my wife's face as she came into the kitchen. As I tried to cough it up, there was absolutely nothing happening. Thinking about it now I don't remember any sound. I was gagging and each time I just tried to get a breath in, but total blockage. I could feel a sort of vacuum pressure in my chest. I think I was trying to expand my chest to get even just a little bit of air to come in. In retrospect that was probably just wedging the chunk deeper into my airpipe by creating a suction from within the ribcage.

My wife asked if she should do the Heimlich - and I motioned for her to go around behind me. Unfortunately she was sort of on the verge of tears already and drew a blank on how to actually do the maneuver. The first thrust was with her arms around my rib cage. I pushed her hands down to my belly, but she moved right back up with her hands over the bottom end of the sternum for the second pull. I moved her clasped hands down again and tried to hold them there and indicate a motion to thrust from the lower position by pushing her hands in at that level. At this point I was getting a bit panicked myself. Why was she not doing this right?? She released her grip and said "can't you do it yourself onto the table or over a chair?" I thought yes, but wanted to scream "help me".... but of course couldn't say anything.

I pointed over to the phone and tried to motion for her to call 911. I was just thinking if she couldn't get this thing out of my throat then an ambulance had better get rolling because I wasn't going to be conscious for too much longer. Of course in hindsight the whole incident at this point had to be less than a minute. Maybe like 45 seconds, although I'm not actually sure. Thinking about it now, if the first responders on the scene would take 5 or 6 minutes, then another minute to take charge of the situation and Heimlich out the obstruction. Plus the minute I was already choking. That's like 8 mins. That's scary to think about 8 minutes without any breaths of air. I can't imagine how freaked out my wife & son would've been waiting for the ambulance with me unconscious on the floor.

I could see her talking to the 911 operator. I tried to calmly and softly get an inhaled breath to get past the blockage. Nothing. I tried again. Relax, slowly and softly just suck in a gentle breath. Nothing - but a building pressure in my chest. (I'm actually getting a bit jittery while typing this now). I threw myself down hard onto the back of the chair and immediately felt a change. I coughed, gagged, and got a breath of air. I remember that I swallowed, I coughed, and I took another breath and then started coughing. But now it was real coughing. I said "I got it." and I could see she was already saying "wait." It's okay, it's out. She told the 911 operator, "yes, I'll hold on." And she asked me if I was okay and I said yes. I could talk & breath in. I noticed she was crying. I saw my son for the first time. He wasn't crying, but he was standing against the wall and was looking really scared. I told him I was okay. I became aware of a instant splitting headache in my right temple. I remember looking around for the burger chunk... and then realizing that I must have swallowed it after it came up. I felt like I might puke, and my head was pounding. I burped a few loud belches. My wife asked if she should just hang up. I have no idea how fast or slow time was moving. I told her to just stay on hold to confirm that I was fine. I didn't want to sit down, I was gulping in big inhalations and then coughing on each exhalation. I was a little dizzy, but so relieved to be breathing in & out.

the 911 came back on and I spoke to them to say all was fine, crisis averted. It was over.

This morning my abs are a little bit sore, and my neck too. I have a scratch on my collarbone right at the throat - I don't remember how that got there. I still have that headache just on one side (weird) and my eyes are really really bloodshot.

A close call. Within 5 minutes we were all over it; our house returned to it's typical calm quiet harmony. We had a review of how to do the Heimlich once my older son was home. My younger son knows how to dial 911. I kind of wished I had motioned to him to place that call rather than my wife. But I know next time he'll be ready. Hopefully there's never a next time. "must take smaller bites & chew completely."

Please review with those around you how to perform the Heimlich.