Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last Nights Pool Party

I was dragging a bit

Last Night's Pool Party or as Neltner called it: :The first event of the ego racing series, went better than expected -- I ran hard, hanging with Scott and Schroff up to tower from pool. Scott and David were being kind and didn't drop the hammer on me. We've pissed on each other much worse in past runs. Being the first run outside in a while, I have to say it was really fun. My shoes did not go unnoticed and were the brunt of many remarks. We had a good group, Mike Krause, Me, Jeff Neltner, Scott W, and Schroff. At the tower we got a drink. Returning, I ran the second 4 easy with Mike Krause downhill who was relaxing that night as it was his first run in a while. I figured 3 miles of tempo work was plenty for me considering my fitness and my first start outdoors. I wore my Mizono Wave Universe's. Temp was 27 degrees and no wind. Very compfortable temps. Wore 2 ls tek shirts and tights. First run w/ shoes in 2 months. It was good weather for the run. My HR was pretty high going out 170-175 w/ max of 183. You can see by the link below at the halfway mark all my vitals go way back down as I jogged back home downhill. Total mileage was 8 for the night w/ 15 minutes of stretching after.

Here is a link in Training Peaks to my workout. It's kind of interesting to play around with the buttons on this web page. It gives you a lot of detail.

I may bag today. I was tired this morning. I think the cold weather and a bit of speed play took a bit more out of me than I initially noticed. This morning looking in the mirror, you'd have thought I had been out at the bars. Good time though.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Click on Picture for Rest of Story.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tonights 10

It was horrible weather so we cancelled the 1st pool party of the season. I was looking to get some physical abuse from the gang. It was not gonna happen because the streets were covered with a sheet of glass ice. So it was back to the treadmill. I did 10 miles total with 3 x 1.5 miles @ 6:27 pace. Man am I out of shape.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Copper River Coffee and Tea

Most of the coffee shops I go to don't do coffee well. I can't tell you how many times I've had the sinking suspicion the person making my coffee doesn't actually drink the stuff. So when I find a place that's different I like to point it out. I went to Copper River this morning. Copper River is a coffee house locally owned in Peoria, IL that specializes in gourmet espresso beverages, whole bean sales, and loose leaf teas. They have a decent selection of single source small batch coffee's for sale all clearly marked with roast dates and all fresh.

Copper River Coffee and Tea is the continuation of what used to be Kade's Coffee and Tea. Formerly the manager of Kade's, the current owner of Copper River was approached by the owner of Kade's during the summer of 08' and was asked if he would like to purchase the assets of the company, essentially, buying everything that made Kade's what it was. The owner of Copper established Copper River Inc. in October of 08' and at the cusp of the new year had purchased all the equipment and inventory of the former company, officially opening Copper River on January 2 of 2009.

Their mission as stated on their web site is to providing the best quality of coffee you can find and to make all your experiences enjoyable. They strive to find ways to cut the artificial out of their drinks and to provide a high level of freshness. As such they do not use powders or pre-mixes. They provided great customer service. They are not yet up to the level of the very best coffee houses in the state such as Coffee Hound in Bloomington. But if you have a question concerning a drink or about a particular single origin coffee, they will probably have the answer.

The employees are expected to learn as much as they can about coffee and tea, and their web site claims employees are encouraged to take their own initiative to go to seminars, check out other shops states away, or read relevant literature.

At the current point in time, they are slowly coming into their own with roasting operations here at our shop. They have a small 4lb roaster. I bought a lb of espresso blend from them as I am totally out of beans. The beans were not roasted on the premise but they were roasted by a local roaster. I didn't ask who. Leaves and Beans perhaps? I am going to buy beans on Tuesday. They are going to roast on Monday.I don't know what beans they are getting specifically. Because of the small capacity, they can't produce enough inventory for all their needs.

I asked for a skim milk latte and a single shot of espresso. Both were decent but not up to the extraordinary level of a shot from Coffee Hound. The guy doing the art messed it up but the owner or manager, I'm not sure which, was patient with him and told him not to sweat it. I am sure they will eventually get it down. The shop was fairly busy.

I would say they are the next best thing to CH in the area but they are close enough I can easily stop by. It's certainly the best coffee house in Peoria. The cafe is warm and inviting. It would be a nice place to sit and read a book. I don't know if they have wi-fi. They have a drive through. You can talk with the baristas who are friendly enthusiastic young guys that seem to be fairly knowledgeable. It's not in a great location for foot traffic but War Memorial gets fairly busy and that might be enough to keep them viable. Coffee is a brutal business. In the end it will come down to whether they can differentiate from all the other coffee shop / cafe's in town that really are not about the coffee.

I hope they do well and continue to build on their enthusiasm. Go give them a try. I give them a thumbs up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Races I'd Like Run 2010

I divide my season up between A, B, and C events. The A events I consider to be most important. B events are important for training measurements and C races are just for fun or as to be incorporated as part of my workout schedule.

C February 13 -- Wildlife Winter Trail Run 6k
B March 21 -- Delavan Frostbite 1/2 Marathon
C April 3 -- Springfield 1/2 Marathon
C April 24 -- Wildlife Prairie 5k Trail Run
C May 1 -- U of I Marathon
C May 29 -- Chilli River Run 5k
B+ June 19 -- Grandma's Marathon
C July 4 -- Firecracker 5k
C July 17 -- Evergreen Tri (Sprint Distance)
C July 24 -- Iron Abe (Sprint Distance)
C August 7 -- Canton Triathlon (Sprint Distance) -- Triathlon
C August 15 -- Brimfield Old Settlers 5k
C August 22 -- Pigman 1/2 Ironman -- Triathlon
C Sept 15? -- IVS Half Marathon
C Sept 18 -- Morton Pumpkin 10k
A October 10 -- Chicago Marathon
B April 2011 -- Boston Marathon

How Different A Running Store Can Be

Pat Rizzo visited Peoria last November. He made some great comments on his blog. We had him over to the house for the Screaming Pumpkin planning meeting. Check out his post blog post

Rich Giebelhausen's New Bike

Rich sent me this photo with the following note:

I have attached a picture on my new bike. I really enjoy getting on it, getting in some quality "riding" time and it is so comfortable when I get into the aero position!!!

Peg doesn't advise me to ride it around Morton. She would prefer I took it out of town - like a real long ways away.

I am at loss for a name but it definitely needs to have a female name.


Barefoot Owie? Try Gorilla Glue

I've not tried this but it sounds promising. Fellow barefoot runner Tellman Knudson sent this email in....

Gorilla Glue:
For the first few months of this run I was trying all sorts of products to protect my feet after suffering cuts and blisters. I tried this “Tough Foot” stuff meant for sled dogs (literally. I had to order it from a vet). We tried soaking my feet in an iodine/alum concoction. We tried super gluing wounds.

But finally, through much trial and error, I’ve found the ultimate solution to barefoot running wounds: Gorilla Glue.

When the good people at Gorilla Glue came across my article in Men’s Journal last month, they got a hold of us and shipped us all sorts of product. I’ve got enough glue to get me and my and feet across the country now, and Lauren (the marketing director) even threw in a bunch of hats, tee shirts and gorilla tape.

Thanks, Gorilla Glue! I bet you didn’t know how well your magic goop helps to seal up sole holes and foot woopses. You guys are helping us get across the county, and in turn helping homeless youth in America. Please make sure everyone at your company gets a big “Thank You!” from the RunTellmanRun crew.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tillman the Bulldog

Enough about pigs. Here is another example of a truly smart dog. His name is Tillman. He's an English bulldog with unique skill -- skateboarding. If you haven't seen this little guy go it's worth a minute of your time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why I don't Have Monkey Feet

Ok. I may have too much time to think about junk like this but I know why we don't have feet more like monkeys. Monkey feet are awesome and superior in so many ways! A monkey can hold food and grab branches with them. That would be very useful imo. It would be so cool to be lounging at a bar somewhere with a cold frosty mug held by my foot while my hands are free to run through my fine dew.

Realistically I doubt you’ve ever wondered why humans don’t have long, prehensile toes that would turn our feet into extra hands but i'm gonna tell you anyway -- it's because our stubby toes are custom-made for running!

If we had long toes like monkeys, although we could write our grocery list out with our feet (hey honey, you think my handwritings bad just imagine how bad my footwriting would be), it would require so much more energy to run and generate more shock than short toes. Our stubs are one of many cool adaptations that have helped our Savannah-banana dwelling ancestors chase their prey. Being the fattest back then was no doubt VERY sexy. It was a sign that you were a good provider. Hey can't see my ribs! Short toes made the blubber easier to get at (not to mention farming and then McDonald's but that's another story)

Most primates — including our closest relative, the chimpanzee — have proportionately longer toes than humans. Ours are dwarfish and two-dimensional digits are capable only of extending and flexing. Most animals that run, also have extremely short toes. Dog's and cats have paws composed almost entirely of palms.

Fat Bastard (pictured above) would have been the Bill Gates of the stone age! Today, thanks largely to McDonald's he's a dime a dozen.

The importance of running to early Homo (and by early homo I don't mean Schroff'y AM jog) is, of course, conjectural. But it does make sense: few other animals are capable of long-distance running, and none can do so under a blazing sun. (Wolves and hyenas, for example, require cold weather or nightfall for long-distance hunting; otherwise they overheat.) Endurance running might have set early humans apart from the pack.

Our anatomical stub toe features make lots of sense in the context of savannah hunts-marathons. Other advances like our achilles tendons that act as springs to store energy, our hind limbs have extra-large joints not to mention our hairless buttocks with muscles perfect for stabilization (and very sexy I might add). In addition we have regions of our brains uniquely sensitive to the physical pitching generated by the motion of running -- ahhh the runners high!

Our stubby toes must have been all the primate rage back in the day's when youtube was just a dance recalled by memory in front of a tree.

So accordingly, we humans are tricked out for endurance running. Running a LOOONG way is much of what makes the human body the sucess story it is. And running far, we are the best long distance animals, is our specialty not speed. From the animal perspective, we’re actually terrible sprinters. So don't ever try to outrun that tiger! They don't even have toes. HA --Helgeson tastes like chicken.

Running is very different from walking. During the moment of propulsion, when one foot is in the air and the other is on the ground, between one-half and three-quarters of a body’s weight falls squarely on the forefoot. When you’re walking, before you push off to start the next step, your other foot has already hit the ground. You’ve transferred some of your body weight. Your toes have to do much more work in running, to push you.

If we had monkey like feet we'd be screwed. Increasing toe length by just 20 percent produces a doubling of motor force. Think about the action of a see-saw: levering force is magnified by the distance between pressure and a fulcrum. Also the longer toes require an additional energy investment when "braking," or using them to guide the forward-falling motion that underlies both running and walking.

The additional work required by long toes, and a resulting increase in muscle stress and damage, likely made those freaky feet cousings of ours a victim of natural selection.

So how did our ancestors, those weak little primates, kill big animals?
The answer is that we chased them. We made them gallop. They can’t pant and gallop at the same time. We can run down a gazelle not through speed, but through endurance!

Of course, in the modern world of grocery stores and restaurants, long-distance running is a recreational activity, and hard-soled shoes absorb much of the shock felt by a bare foot. Freed from ancient evolutionary pressures, what will happen to our feet?

It’s too soon to tell, and nothing at all may happen, but that’s generally a question you could ask about many features of the human anatomy and I'll talk about some that perhaps in another post.

My prediction -- the pinky toe is doomed! Kramer from Seinfeld disagrees

It isn’t required to push off, there’s talk in Vegas about whether the useless toe is eventually just going to disappear. Who knows. But don't bet it all on the one that went wewewewe all the way home!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Imfamous Dreadmill Workouts By Blair and the Big Dog

Due to the nature of the lousy weather and terrible road conditions out there we’ve put together some sample treadmill workouts to keep you busy this week. Keep these in a file and use them throughout the winter. If you must go out, dress appropriately, be safe (remember the cars are much bigger and faster than you are), and if you’re running at dusk/dark, wear plenty of reflective gear.

Blair and The Big Dog


PICK-UPS—Warm up 4-6 minutes

Run for 40 minutes with a 30-second pick-up at 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 minutes. After each pickup, ease back to a relaxed running pace. Pick ups are fast, steady runs but not all-out sprints.

HILLS—Warm up 4-6 minutes

Break next 15-20 minutes into 5-minute segments increasing the incline of treadmill 3 to 5% without increasing speed. Run at that incline for 3 minutes and lower incline to 0 for 2 minutes. Repeat these incline changes 3 to 4 times.

Cool-down 4-6 minutes. Total time: 23-32 minutes.

HILLS #2---warm up as above

2 min at 3% grade, 2 min at 0%

2 min at 4% grade, 2 min at 0%

2 min at 5% grade, 2 min at 0%

2 min at 4% grade, 2 min at 0%

4 min recovery at 0% grade

Recover at slower speed/no elevation.

TEMPO RUN—Warm up 4-6 minutes.

Run tempo for 10 to 12 minutes—may want to do this tempo X 2 with 4 minutes of recovery running between each

Cool down 4 to 6 minutes.

Total time: 18-36 minutes

PYRAMID WORKOUT (keep treadmill at 1% grade throughout this workout)

Warm up 4-6 minutes

1 min hard, 1 min easy; 2 min hard, 2 min easy; 3 min hard, 3 min easy; 4 min hard, 4 min easy; 3 min hard, 3 min easy; 2 min hard, 2 min easy; 1 min hard, 1 min easy.

Cool down 4-6 minutes


Warm up 6-8 minutes

4 X 90-seconds hard (keep treadmill at 1% grade during hard efforts)—with 90 seconds recovery jog/run between each

Then, run easy for 3-4 minutes after your last 90-second interval

1 X 6 minute tempo run (approx 5K pace—keep treadmill at 1% grade)

Cool-down 6-8 minutes


Warm up 6-8 minutes

4 X 1 minute (1% grade)--- with 1 minute recovery between each

Cool down 6-8 minutes


Warm-up 6-8 minutes

6 X 90-seconds (keep TM at 1% grade) --- with 1 min recovery between each

Cool-down 6-8 minutes

INTERVALS FOR SPEED (28-32 minutes)

Warm-up 6-8 minutes

8 X 1 minute hard (TM at 1% grade) with 1 minute recovery @ each

Cool-down 6-8 minutes


While thinking about dreadmills I found this great little gem on It's a VO2 test produced by Robert Gary, coach of Brian Olinger, Dan Huling at Ohio State. I am going to set a date with Blair to have one done for myself.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Friday Morning Treadmill Workout

I did another 4 miles this morning on the treadmill keeping my heartrate below 155. I found this video when I was looking for a visual to go with this post. I couldn't find one but this IS none the less very funny. Ouch!

Funny Treadmill Faceplant Fail - For more funny videos, click here

Bobby McFerrin Is Effn Awesome!

It's really cool to see someone with a command of his audience. Enjoy and follow along -- out loud.

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Seasonal Poem: Winter by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre

by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre

Shit, It's Cold!

The End

I love this poem for all it says with so few words. Its starting to snow and it's not going to stop anytime soon. Good luck to all my friends going to run with Mickey. I know of Dawn Helgeson, Ed Simon, and Mindy Elliot. Rock the magic castle! I did 8 easy on the treadmill tonight trying to keep my heart rate under 145 bpm. I had to wind the pace all the way down to 9:40 at the end. I felt like I was crawling but its just what I needed. I might have the HR wrong. I won't know for sure till I get tested by Blair. Greg and Blair are working on our plans for the coming season. Last night we all gathered at One World and enjoyed a great evening together. I'm getting excited about making some breakthroughs. My next marathon will hopefully be Grandma's with a pre-race focus on Delavan. I'd like to take my barefoot running to the next level and BQ at Grandmas. One step at a time it's really all about the journey. Stay warm and give yourself some extra time to shovel tomorrow!



Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thinking About Trying Barefoot Running?

Whether you want to try to run barefoot, in minimal shoes, or you just want to know what all the fuss is about you might check out this for starters. If you are interested in going barefoot you might want to start with 30 minutes of barefoot running / walking each day to allow for a thickening of the sole and to develop the foot muscles and allow the tendons and ligaments to adapt. Begin with walking barefoot at every opportunity and when you find time to jog barefoot gradually increasing the time and pace. At first, I would not rely too heavily on the minimal shoes such as the Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) until you get a base of barefoot running. Then use them only after you've gone a few miles completely barefoot even if its cold. The VFF's can give you a false confidence and you can easily overdo it so be cautious. Don't get me wrong they are a great piece of gear. If your one of the Peoria natives help support the local running scene by getting them only from Running Central. After 3-4 weeks, the plantar skin will become sufficiently robust letting you go longer and more frequently barefoot. You'll be able to run a bit faster. To facilitate adaptation, do some strength drills for the foot and ankle, including foot inversion, toe flexion, and walking on the balls of the feet. Walking on uneven surfaces will also help stimulate the plantar surface and provide increased sensory feedback.

Good luck! Enjoy your barefoot running.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Running Goals for 2010

I am thinking about 2010 and what goals I hold for this year. This year I hope to finish my barefoot transition such that it becomes second nature to run without shoes. A couple of barefoot milestones I would enjoy this year would be:

Lose 10 lbs
BQ at the marathon distance
Run an 18:30 5k sans shoes
Complete the IVS 1/2 without shoes (very tough course for bare feet)
Run freely through the rough roads of Holly Hills and Boredom
Finish the season with no injuries

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

No running for me today but I may find motivation to do some core work (MAYBE). I had a great time celebrating new years with the Krauses. Shev and I went to their home with with the kids to celebrate the last hours of 2009. I finally got to see Schroff again. It had been quite a while but he's doing great and seems really happy with his new girlfriend. Mike's brother John is the most amazing cook. He made us fish tacos that were awesome. I Being the designated driver I focused my zone on the kitchen crowd enjoying these amazing dishes being prepared. In addition to the tacos we had sushi, hummus and baba ghanoush with garlic pita chips. The owners of the Coffee Hound Steve and April were there as well and brought a couple pounds of esspresso blend. Bar none, Coffee Hound beans are among the very best you will ever find. They have 2 shops in Bloomington/Normal Il. The picture above is actual latte art from the Coffee Hound. The make an art of coffee regardless. None the less, I over did it with the espresso. It was special for me as my girls experienced their very first new years eve party (my daughter lambasted me for telling people). At midnight fireworks were brought out at the kids lit sparklers. Fun fun.