Saturday, August 29, 2009
Matt Jenkins, that Marathon Maniac (see his blog Runningsocks) who runs in the Make it By Midnight marathon tells me he's dressing like Cinderella this year. What a hoot! Only a small group of folks compete in this grueling event. Just too cool IMO! Shev and I flew out of Chicago enroute to Boston this year with the guy in the middle of the picture below. He, like Matt was a Maniac. Matt J., do you know him? His name escapes me. Maniacs rock!
Friday, August 28, 2009
If any part of your run includes a description of the cab ride back to the car you can bet it was a bad run indeed. That's what happened to me last Sunday. I have to admit, the thought of ending this crazy barefoot experiment did cross my mind that day. If your wondering, it cost an ungodly 20 bucks with tip to get from the Shell station near Running Central to the tower! Hoping for redemption, I took Monday off completely and instead of showing up on the track Tuesday for the Peoria Track Clubs (PATFC) all comers meet, I met my bud Mike Krause at the Central high school pool for a 10 mile barefoot run. It was the second time at that parking lot that day. The first was to swim that morning for an hour. Shevs given me a handful of 45 and 60 minute swimming workouts. It was a good workout indeed but the evening proved challenging. I ended up scuffing the pigs up good. In retrospect it was the first time running barefoot with friends. The road was pretty gnarly and I may not have been paying as much attention as I normally do. As I get more experience I'll do better. Some of you got the picture in an email.
It was a run that got tougher near the end. Once you get a wound started on the foot, you seem to only make it worse as you pick your way home. Mike showed pity on me and escorted me all the way back at my slug like pace. I'm happy I completed this run but man it was painful. A good sign after was NOT getting blisters.
I am thinking my feet are conditioning themselves. All good Catholics can appreciate my tortured sole(sic). I was pretty sore. So I did about 30 minutes of biking and some core work. I decided it would be best to lay off the roads. On Thursday I arrived at the Cemetary at 4:30 and ran into Craig, Bill, Dave and Mike. Thats when I found out Craig had his Porsche unexpectedly customized. Somone rear ended/T-Boned him and removed the ass end of his drop dead georgous speedy machine. Ouch! I LOVE THAT CAR. It was much more serious than my foot. I know it hurt him even worse than it hurts me. My condolences.
I took if pretty easy because I wasn't sure how the feet would react. They were still pretty tender and my ankles were feeling kind of sore and tired. I looped through Springdale trying to avoid gravel roads but picked my way through the parts that were simple rough. I decided at the 2 mile mark to put my Tiger Paws on. They really seemed to help. If you haven't tried these and are experimenting with barefoot running you might give em a go. They amount to little more than a piece of nylon similar to pantyhose material with a leather pad sewn in to protect the foot pad. Here is a picure.
Ok. Maybe I can't bend like this dude but I'm guessing I could out run him! They are kind of expensive for what they are but they seem to be just the trick when you need a pad but still want that barefoot experience.
I hope to end the week with a sucessful 16 mile barefoot run. I'll even take it if they look like tuesdays hamburger. Better days are ahead.....Keep on truckn!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
It's gonna be a blast (hopefully not from above)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Unrelated, here's a great water slide you might try....
An interesting marathon I came across the other day is in Macon Georgia. It's called Make it By Midnight. Unlike most marathons, this one is a prediction run with the goal being to finish as close as possible to Midnight without going over.
How cool is that?!!!?
Matt Jenkins, a Marathon Maniac dude who prefers to run in socks writes in his blog this is one of the most challenging marathons he's ever done:
"I love this race because of the people, but the course is brutal. Set in the middle of July in the South, it's an 6-Loop course run at night with at least 2 steep hills (so 12 steep hills)."
It's held at the end of July each year if your interested check out the web site:
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Every run is a test with your mind. Remember the lessons, log your journey, and never forget your destination.
Here is an article I want you take a look at...
This is not a complete article...there are sections I have taken out to discuss at a later time :)
Great job last night!!!
Running on the Shoulders of Giants
By Scott Douglas
As featured in the JanFeb 2009 issue of Running Times Magazine
Since the early '90s, I've been privileged to regularly be around elite distance runners. Actually, not just around, but with -- as in run with, dine with, and talk at length with -- thanks to a combination of professional assignments, natural curiosity, and a willingness to place myself in potentially disastrous situations. ("A hilly 44-miler with ultra legend Ann Trason? I'll be fine!" I wasn't.)
What follows is some of what I've observed as commonalities among the many elites I've invited myself to tag along with. Some are approaches to running, some are things done while not running, some are habits of mind. All are things that non-elites, yours truly included, regularly do otherwise, to the detriment of our running. If you're looking for a New Year's running resolution or two, you could do worse than adopting some of these ways.
Work the Recovery
We've all heard that between workouts is when our bodies make the gains in fitness that training spurs. But how many of us keep paying attention to our running during that time so that our recovery is maximized? Conversely, how many of us slip out of runner mode a few minutes after finishing and do not resume our athletic identity until soon before the next run?
Elites overwhelmingly fall into the first camp. Of course, most of us can't take daily naps or get massages twice a week. And frequent ice baths, while no doubt effective, can test the dedication of even the most hardcore racer. But one of the most important ways elites enhance their recovery is practical for everyone: They consistently get in fluids and calories, especially carbohydrates, soon after finishing a run.
Research has shown that carbs taken in the first half hour after exercise are absorbed by muscles at a rate three times greater than normal. Although the rate of conversion into glycogen slows after that, the recovery window when your body is most receptive to refueling stays open for about another 90 minutes. Regularly neglecting to take advantage of the opportunity for enhanced recovery results in that feeling of dragging through a lot of runs, never feeling as fresh as you think you should.
I've known about the recovery window for years, and have tried to force down calories soon after long runs and hard workouts, despite the gripes of my wimpy gastrointestinal system. But I hadn't realized how much better of a job I could do until Meb Keflezighi came to town for the 2007 Beach to Beacon 10K.
The day before the race, Meb and I ran the second half of the course. Almost immediately after finishing some striders on the grass, Meb had a banana and some sport drink. We ran together the three days after the race, and he did some version of the above each time.
Meb would have probably run the same time in the race if he had forgone a banana after jogging a few miles. What observing him over a few days really impressed on me was the habit he made of post-run nutrition – to Meb, it was simply part of the day's training, as integral as tying his shoes correctly. I've seen the same approach with James Carney, Joe LeMay, Anne Marie Lauck, Boaz Cheboiywo, Andrew Leatherby, Chris Solinsky, and on and on and on. (Solinsky and Carney are fans of chocolate milk.)
Drill, Baby, Drill
An increasing number of elite distance runners do as sprinters have long done, and regularly perform form drills and dynamic range-of-motion exercises. While most of my workouts with elites 10 or 15 years ago were simply runs, more recently drills show up on the program if I stick around for more than a day. Sometimes they're after an easy run, sometimes before a hard workout, sometimes after a tempo run. I even saw Shalane Flanagan doing drills within an hour of winning the Olympic trials 10,000m.
Every run I did in Kenya with locals was followed by at least 10 minutes of skipping, butt kicks, bounding and the like. Americans I've run with recently -- Carney, Solinsky, Tegenkamp, Keflezighi, Jonathan Riley, Anthony Famiglietti -- don't do them every day, but definitely often enough that they're an integral part of their training.
The reasoning is straightforward: The exercises fine-tune running form, increase range of motion and foot speed, help correct muscle imbalances, and strengthen many of the core stabilizing muscles, such as the hip rotators. The result is a stronger athlete less susceptible to injury and more capable of maintaining good running mechanics in the second half of a race.
Be a Reality-Based Optimist
Elites are born with great physical gifts that become obvious once they start training hard. But they really reach their potential by having a mindset that all of us, regardless of our genetics, can adopt.
How many times have you had a good string of training going, but then have a bad workout, and suddenly freak out about what kind of shape you're in? How often has one sub-par race come to be taken as the new norm of your fitness?
The elites who consistently achieve excellence think otherwise. I've talked with scores of national- and world-class runners whose outlook I've come to think of as "reality-based optimism." That is, they have confidence that great things will happen if they do the right work. They see a fabulous workout or race as a hint of what they can achieve, not a unique occurrence.
In contrast, a couple of bad workouts, or a worse-than-expected race, are taken as aberrations. They are indications that something is amiss, and are opportunities for analysis: Am I not sleeping enough? Did I run like an idiot? Were my expectations in line with my current fitness? Am I on the verge of being sick? And so on. (See "Dealing With Disappointment" here for how two Olympians conducted this sort of post-mortem after unsatisfactory races in Beijing.)
Contributing editor Scott Douglas formerly served as editor-in-chief of Running Times.
What a night. Conditions were about as good as you get. The turnout was good and the meet was a blast. I highly recommend you come try it out. It's pretty inexpensive and fun for the whole family.
Without Adam and Marie's support this would never happen. It was a great meet for the community. I highly recommend more Striders come out! You will have a blast!
Lining up for the 5000 meter race
The 5000 meter leaders at the start.
A good one of Staley. She's planting over the hips.
Staley has a great plant and stride here.
The FAST women battle for position.
Old habits die hard. Am I heel striking?!? That's gonna hurt on pavement!
Hard to tell from this angle.
Pick it up dad. You think I got all day?
As you can see. It was a beautiful evening for a meet.
These kids have great running form! Could lower the arms a bit but they are leaning forward and pushing off the toe. Great job!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Barefoot Julian asked me a month ago how strong were my feet. I nonchalantly replied that it wasn't a problem. I've been running in minimal footwear to include the vibram FF's for years. My feet were strong. WRONG. That night I entered a new phase of my barefoot running. The phase where I start focusing on strengthening the feet. That night my feet hurt but I didn't have any noticeable trauma to the soft tissue of the sole.
Now I get it, Julian! I'm gonna need a lot more mileage before I get to Huntsville. But I am excited. Now I'm developing the muscle structure to give proper support to the bone. On Wed I walked around in Vibrams at Six Flags for 10 hours hardly sitting. That was probably one of the best things I could do for the feet.
Thursday, I completed the ENTIRE group C FAST workout with the exception I wasn't correctly hitting the tempo pace parts. That's an improvment though over Tuesday where I couldn't finish it. And Friday I did a 75 minute bike workout followed by a 6 mile run. Today I swim and tomorrow I do my last EPIC brick workout. 3 hour bike and 12 mile run.
The feet are getting stronger. The legs are not there for sure. But now I have the platform to build on. Hopefully this will result in fewer injury. The foot is a remarkabe double arched structure. Here's a video of the biomechanics. It was produced to show patentients needing surgery how the biomechanics of the foot function but It's really good. I'm energized!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Sawyer Krause -regularly trains with Aqua Man on Saturday Mornings at 7AM on CBS
David "Don't Hassle the Hoff" Schroff - changed his name to be more like his heart throb: "Baywatch" hero, Mitch Buchannon (played by david hasslefhoff). David was briefly jailed in 1999 for stalking, but he's okay now...
Michael Helgeson - Boasts one of the largest beanie baby collections in the Midwest. He's particularly fond of the 57 varieties of pigs in the collection
10 years of competitive running. First team triathlon. Would only be able to perform a triathlon on own if water were shallow enough to run in.
So, please reply to this email and tell us a little about yourself. First race? We'd like to know! Racing with a training partner? Tell us about them? What's your training beverage of choice? The wilder the better!
Reply deadline is August 12.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
A couple of thoughts I had about transitioning to barefoot running....
In many ways barefoot running as a change or commitment is just like any other resolution such as eating less, quitting drinking or lifting weights and stretching.
The first thing you need to do is publicly proclaim your commitment to what ever it is you are attempting. Staying "in the closet" makes it easy to back away. It puts you on the record. Your reputation is now at stake. Don't worry about failing. We all fail. In fact most successful people fail more than non-successful folks. They just try more things. Being able to laugh at your life's antics is healthy and good for your personal development. At the least, it'll make a great stories for your funeral.
Next you need a goal, say completing a 1/2 marathon barefoot. This gives you something concrete to measure your success upon. Actually pick out a race in the near future and peg everything around it. It makes the abstract idea into a monument that can be obtained. It's all about giving you a motivating deadline and making it real.
Finally, set up a plan than includes mini-milestones such as...by this date I wan't to be totally sans shoes; ...On this date, I'll run the Washington 5k barefoot. When you finally make the leap and set the dates, the progress comes much more quickly.
Forgive yourself along the way. Don't get upset by setbacks. They will happen. Keep at it. Set new goals if you miss a deadline, or just roll with it. I've been experimenting with this for about 2 years. I often would jump back into shoes after a barefoot run. I think being half assed made ultimately for more pain not less.
My recent injury training for Boston provided me the opportunity to step back and give barefooting a chance.
After last weeks trail run in my five fingers I was determined to run this week at Camp Wakonda sans shoes. I knew it would be tough but it helped me mentally not having anyone waiting around on me. No matter how slow, I figured I could pick my way through. I didn't even bother carrying shoes like I do on my long runs. I just knew I could do it. The terrain is great for working the stabilizers and barefoot running on uneven terrain is really the way to go. If you aren't up to this much intensity, I suggest trails using your vibrams. San's shoes, you don't worry about twisting an ankle. It just won't happen. There's no grabbing associated with a trail shoe. It's easier to judge your footing and to navigate difficult terrain. It's the surfaces we evolved to run on. Considerably much more natural than pavement but in some ways more challenging too. Having said this, I will say I am definitely a NOVICE trail barefooter. It took me much longer than had I wore shoes. The really tough parts of the trail would have been the easiest in shoes. The parts where they "improved" the trail with crushed rock were the hardest on my pigs. I was a bit miffed that these long straight sections posed such a problem for me. I wish they hadn't done that. I mean, the improvments aren't exactly natural. Man just can't resist the urge to add to nature. The crushed rock does not appear naturally. I supose it helps keep a trail clearly defined, but the rest of the path thats just dirt seems to be just fine. Perhaps I'll eventually able to run quickly on these surfaces. Regardless, I took away a new level of confidence from the experience. My feet were sore but not shredded. The gravel kept me from being able to run the whole thing. But, I'll be fine tonight for the FAST workout. I ended up running about 4 1/2 miles on the trail. Here's a video showing a similar terrain trail run. The feeling on the feet? Awesome!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Ok. I finally got my Tri in. Got this great email from Rich G. For the record, Rich is being kind and modest. Had this been a Tri of any distance other than sprint, his skill and experience would have meant a certain ass kicking for me....
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 8:32 PM
To: Rob Fennell
Subject: Welcome to the Dark Side
Congratulations not only on completing your first triathlon today but kicking serious butt (including mine) at the same time.
I wanted to be the first to welcome you over to the Dark Side. The dark side of being an obsessive compulsive attention deficit disordered athlete - AKA triathlete.
Obsessive compulsive in the sense you now increased the number of things you need to think about when training or racing geometrically and that just leads to obsessing.
Attention deficit disordered athlete in the sense you no longer can just focus on a single endeavor, now you must "attempt" focus on multiple endeavors. I think I will swim for awhile, no, I think I will bike for a while, no, I think I will run for awhile, should I wear this pair of goggles, if I eat this on the bike will it come back to haunt me on the run, do I wear these shoes on the run (or sorry, I forgot you don't wear shoes).
Rob, you are the perfect person to become a triathlete with your minimalist approach. You already seemed to have obsessed about about the weight of your running shoes: now look at all the others things you can apply your "minimalist" approach to just to name a few:
- Does the Specialized carbon frame weigh less than Shev's P3?
- Should I get the FSA carbon aerobars versus Visiontech bars?
- What do I need to do to knock the last 500 grams off the weight of my bike?
- Will the increase in speed buying the Zipp 1080s more than offset the 236 gram increase in weight over the Zipp 808s?
- Will the titanium rails on my saddle really improve my ride?
- Will the aero effect of the aero helmet more than offset the increased weight?
None of this even begins to address the marital issues:
- Is my tribike newer than Shev's?
- Why does Shev have my race wheels on her bike?
- Shev, have you seen my bike computer.......what the heck is it doing on your bike?
Seriously though, great job today. Too bad we didn't have some good beer to celebrate the occasion with.