Tuesday, June 29, 2010

And the Award For Best Perfor`mance Goes To.....

At Faster-Than-Schroff we write about so much more than running.  I've been pretty busy lately just getiting chores like laundry and housework done that I've not really had much time to post anything.  The readers email are going unanswered and the junk mail piling up on my butterfly fuck swing.  Time to get back to work.  Let's begin with a piece on sexual health......

Being in top physical condition requires that we take a look at all aspects of health to include nutrition, meditation and stretching but being in top reproductive condition is also important.  Weak legs can be a sign of severe genital fatigue and sap seconds from endurance events.  Whether or not you choose to have sex while training for your next big event are decisions not to be taken lightly.  Regardless, you know my positionj on being minimalist here.  By that I do advocate and insist you guys be barefoot during sex.  Pronation has no impact on this topic.  But sex has an additional emotional effect that not only effects the athlete but the athletes partner. Being in a committed and deeply satisfying relationship is a lot of work (just ask my wife).  When it comes to sex, emotions and feeling are just as important as performance.  It's very complicated.

I was reading a piece in Men's Journal last week that found most women will at some time or another, fake an orgasm.  I am shocked!  When a man discovers their partners o-face is fake it can be devistating.  I immediately began r extensive research on the internet.  After viewing what must have been hundreds of hours of film and pictures I have determined when a woman fakes orgasms it can indeed appear very realistic.   Trust me.  I looked at A LOT of sites.

 Recall how Meg Ryan's character in the film “Harry Met Sally” was able to demonstrate how well women can act at faking an orgasm. She went through the orgasm sequence at a restaurant, fully dressed, head back and moaning, so dramatically that a female patron declared, “I'm having what she's having.” Those women who know the truth laughed loud and long, while men chuckled too.

I decided interviewing my running buddies might shed some light on this most delicate subject but none of them seemed to have a clue.  Mike Srouse (I changes some letters to protect his identity) said "Rob, I don't know.  My wife's 100% totally satisfied with me.  It's just never been an issue."  Sean Robertie (also not his real name) said "Rob, i'm not bullshitting you.  In my marriage it never happens...  The wife is always so blown away by me she can't speak for hours.  Perhaps we are just fortunate.  To recover from me she finds that sleep helps.  It usually it takes 2-4 days before she's completely right again.".

'You guy just don't get it.'  Ken Heckler (again) suggested.... 'Being a physical therapist I understand the female anatomy in such detail that make the typical OBGYN asking for my advice.  It's really all about setting the mood.  I use clothing to enhance my sexuality even at work. When I put on a great looking outfit it just sets the mood for great intimacy.  I'm really happy with my official NASCAR approved Jordash jeans and my velvet thong.  They highlight the important stuff.  As for the sex event itself, I like to make really fast race car sounds right before she explodes!  VVVVVVRRRRROOOM VROOM!'

Schroff (his real name) was dumbfound.  He was no help at all.  A self proclaimed virgin. Apparently he's saving himself for his wedding night or he might be afraid the extra cardio would negatively affect his training.

Experts in the sex field (and I mean doctors guys...) say the best way for men to be totally sure a woman is not faking it is to do a brain scan while performing any sex act. Heightened brain activity in the left frontal lobe is a dead giveaway.  Be sure you keep plenty of conductive gel handy for the electrodes.  Brightly colored feathers taped to each electrode can help to keep the mood from changing while applying the apparatus.


Shev Comments: I don’t fake it. I’m real and I keep it blunt. Not only does he have to perform to the utmost standards, but he also has to entertain me. If he's not 100% on his game once we get started I’ll show signs of boredom real quick with a loud, obvious sigh or just be like ‘get off me if you’re gonna bullshit around, I don’t have time for this’   He really is faster than Schroff.

Staley Comments: My fake orgasms are practically academy award winners. I swear sometimes I get more involved in seeing how convincing I can get and watching the reaction of the “under-performer” who now thinks he is the “King of the World.” However, if with my stellar performance he takes too long to get to the point, my “go to move” is faking a charley-horse or some kinda muscle related pain. This again requires another chances to exercise my acting chops. Like the man said “All the world’s a stage.”

Beth Comments: I’ve been faking it for a while and propose that those who should continue to fake it take a two-pronged approach. Yes, the requisite moaning is necessary. If your able to speak in tongues even better. (I’ve never been able to let go and speak in tongues because I think I’m just too aware of myself.) He’ll think he’s gotcha. You want your faking to be multi-dimensional.  God I hate those jeans he always starts out in.

Amy Comments: This is not a drill! ... It's a miter saw...please familiarize yourself with my power tools! After he falls asleep I just email him my complaints so he can deal with them at work.

Doreen Comments: I try to just sort of react to his get me in the mood plot twists. Having 2 PHD's helps. I've never faked an orgasm but I think it's because I never put out if I am not in the mood yet I have learned to accept that he always will be.  Its not easy being devastatingly attractive and being married to me all of the time. Also, I think its OK to just distract him with beer.

Beth Comments: Ewwh!! Yuck!!!  I accidentally found this site in my finance's browser history. Now I think I need a shower. I feel the same about sex with David as I do about the toilet paper in the bathroom.  I go in thinking hopefully it's going to be long and useful, but it always ends at the wrong moment.  Fortunately I can bluff like a Vegas poker player.  After his 45 second performance he falls asleep and I can play my good hand.  Deal with it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Grandma's Marathon Race Report

I survived Grandma's Marathon in Duluth Minisota and ran actually faster than I planned.  I don't feel bad.  I'm ready to begin my cycle for Chicago. The guy below is Dick Wilde. I met him at the party after the race. He won the first Grandma's ever with a time of 2:14.44. He's run 76 marathons under 2:20!

I have to say the party was the highlight along with all the incredibly friendly people of Duluth, MN. In truth I'm ecstatic about how well I did. I didn't think I was in much better than 3:20 shape but I just sort of went with how my body felt with the thinking that I wanted to hit the half feeling good enough to pick it up a bit. It was a bit warmer than the weather forecast and a bit windy but overall a pretty good day for racing a summer marathon. I appreciate all the help from you guys. I'm back in a condition I can build some speed with.

Here were my Garmin Splits so you can look at HR and pace (looks like a HR of 160-165 is where my body runs best for this distance?).....I set the watch to autolap every 4 miles. In truth I didn't really look too much at my watch after the first 8 miles. I was mainly focusing on being consistent. I wanted to get arrive at the half in condition to get tougher for the second half. Miles 20-24 were the most challenging mentally for me (see lap 6 below). Perhaps adding a bit more mileage to my workouts will give me more mustard for this part of the race. Unintentionally I started to slow and my hr started to drop during this period of the race. I tried to pick it back up and dig deeper to keep it together for the last 2+.
Now I hope to extend my barefoot mileage to be able to run fast barefoot at Chicago. I have my work cut out for me.

Be Strong....Keep Thinking Those Dark Thoughts.

Research by Kurt Gray, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard, shows that a person's physical endurance increases if they perceive themselves as good or evil. "Evil" acts in particular give a person a large boost in physical strength. How cool is this!

From the article: “'People perceive those who do good and evil to have more efficacy, more willpower, and less sensitivity to discomfort,' Gray said. 'By perceiving themselves as good or evil, people embody these perceptions, actually becoming more capable of physical endurance.' Gray’s findings run counter to the notion that only those blessed with heightened willpower or self-control are capable of heroism, suggesting instead that simply attempting heroic deeds can confer personal power."

I'm now going to recommend you all start thinking bad thoughts at about mile 20.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last Night's 12 Miler (almost all barefoot) Getting Ready For Grandmas

On Sunday I received a phone call from one of race people at Grandma's.  He had noticed I was registered as Barefoot Rob and was wondering about the unusual name.  He asked if I'd just run San Diego.  I hadn't.  After Huntsville I registered under this name but as I've been struggling to get back into condition I've fallen off on the barefoot mileage in order to be able to run Greg's paces.   I told him my dilemma an asked him to switch my name to Rob Fennell so as not to offend any barefooters who see me running if I am in shoes.   Don't get me wrong.  I still run a portion of my mileage barefoot and have raced a 5k but as it's warmed in Illinois in order to run with the guys and to complete the very difficult schedule I've had to do many of the workouts in shoes or sandals.  I'm toying with the idea of running the Grandma's marathon barefoot but with less than 2 weeks to go I'm not sure I've got the foot conditioning I need.  I ran last nights paced workout barefoot or nearly so.  I used the East Peoria trail because of it's relatively smooth finish.  I put the Vibrams on at mile 8 and finished the last 4 in them.  Overall my pace was fine but my feet were hurting at the end.  I did no damage to my soles but feel I lack foot toughness.

Now for something completely random:  I found this video on youth and ageing and it speaks to me.....

Irony at BP's Gas Pump

Friday, June 4, 2010

Shrek Savvy Fancy Free

A couple of weeks ago the family traveled to Carbondale, IL for a swim meet. We had a GREAT weekend. My girls had a swim meet so we booked a cabin at Giant City State Park. Southern Illinois is like a whole other world. The park was beautiful and the cabin was quite reasonable. Two things happened that were noteworthy. First, this was the second time we have traveled to the park and this year just like last there was a Pitt Bull Association holding some sort of event. Now where I come from Pitt Bulls eat people. Being barefoot and running the perimeter of the area of the event many unsociable dogs were being kept in cages in the back of 4 wheel drive pickups that were larger than RV's.

I wondered if there weren't a few overly enthusiastic owners who held a higher sense of confidence than they should and also wondered whether one of their dogs would see me, instinctively know I wasn't one of their kind and eat me. Then I heard a loud snarl and low and behold a dog at full speed launched across the yard and attached a guy in a rubber suit. It was a demonstration of how to use your pet as a weapon. All this was happening while a few feet from them their kids were laughing and playing on the swings. Thankfully I went unnoticed. I think I could hear banjos and I started having flashbacks from that movie Deliverance......

On Saturday we decided to go to the stables to get in a family horseback ride. Too cool I thought. We get to the stable and filled out the waiver. My girls were saddled up on beautiful but smaller horses and my wife was given a horse named Playboy (well endowed I might add). Then I got a look at my horse.....er well. Kaila was giggling to her sister. "Look dad's getting Shrek! HHHHAAAAAHHHAAAA!!!!!". I quickly corrected them. "She's not a DONKEY shes a mule!" It was no use. Its very hard to look cool on a mule I found. I think its the ears.

Anyway, this morning, I opened my mailbox and find this letter. Evidently I impressed somebody.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chilli 5k -- 19:43 (I'm happy)

Being barefoot only cost me about 15 total seconds. Mile 2 was a 6:30 (had a gravel stretch that I danced around) but I finished my last 1+ at 6:15. It's a great course for barefoot running. Smooth. In addition to the 5k completely au natural, my warmup and cool down were done in the sandals. My age group was wicked fast. It's not often that a guy like Pat can go sub 17 and get 3rd in his age group and 5th overall. That was pretty cool for me to see all those fast over 40 guys go at it.

It was fun watching my daughter run her 5k. She was a very nervous 10 years old. She had the goal of not stopping to walk and ended up winner her age group. She's a great kid. These are pretty long distances for young kids. She doesn't train and I think that's best. At her age it can be damaging for her to run too many miles plus you want her to develop a love for the sport.  Her goal was 30 minutes and she came in about 15 seconds short.  The great thing was that she won $125 gift certificate to Running Central.  Thanks Adam & Marie!!!!!  She's stoked to get some new gear.  Running Central did a great job of supporting this race as they do all things running in town.  We are so lucky to have a store of this caliber in town.  Not having to go to a big box retailer to find some crappy gear in a store that mostly caters to golfers, camping and basketball is really nice.  Running Central focuses on running and track and field and they get the right gear with the knowledge to use it correctly.  I highly recommend them.

Race conditions were warm. The upside is these early warmer races and test runs will be helpful for Grandma's if it turns out to be warm. The heat wont be a surprise.

Sunday I ran my 16 on the East Peoria trail at about 9am. It was pretty warm, about 85 F. I thought it would be good to get some more hot weather running in. I developed a couple of hot spots on both feet during the run. It's the second time these darn Huaraches have done this too me. It could have been the cumulative of running fast barefooted yesterday or it could be what sweaty rubber does to feet. My feet are not fully conditioned/toughened to the point where I can handle this much back to back volume and intensity in these shoes. I tend to have bad judgment of what I should be wearing on my feet. In hind site, I probably should have worn shoes and gotten the distance at pace in. I wanted to push the limits of my minimalist shoes to ensure I was ready both physically and also from a foot toughness standpoint for my marathon. The two goals sometimes work against one another. Because of my choice, I'm nursing sore pigs. Nothing serious. I had to walk an aweful lot of the last 6 this morning. I was so disgusted I turned off my GPS watch and cursed the path back to the car. This walking bugs me more than the sore feet. I was on a 7:50 pace till mile 10.

Having a 20 miler scheduled for next week makes me VERY happy. I feel it will give me much needed confidence that I have gotten enough cardio base running in. I'm not so concerned about having a perfect taper because I am looking at Grandma's as a building up for the fall marathon(s). If I do Huntsville, I'll evaluate after Chicago, it will be in shoes. I think I'll run this marathon more conservatively than some of my previous attempts. I'm just fit enough to think I can run faster than I am really capable and then be upset with a poor showing.

I don't think I'm believe yet I am as fast as I can be. I've been making lots of progress but I had lost a bunch of fitness from where I was trying the barefoot experiments. Although I enjoy this part of running, I am not ready yet to concede the seconds to father time. The great thing is that my knees and IT bands are in excellent shape. I know it's very odd but it's fun for me and that's what it's all about in the end for a guy with my mid level running ability. I'm never gonna get paid for this so I'd better be having fun or why bother :-)!