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Archive for March, 2008

My world today 3/27/2008

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Lancaster SC 3/22/2008

Chai, me, and Junnah at Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, SC. Whew, I was a very lucky man this past weekend!

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My world today 3/26/2008

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These things always are pretty disruptive psychologically. Even if you try to be stoic, it will affect you as only past history and old memories will. I don’t even remember these ladies too well, but still the shared history cries out for a moment in the present. That is, to be re-hashed and reviewed. Unfortunately, memory is now faulty and many images are just beyond recall.

I did enjoy myself thoroughly. You can’t have much time to think about yourself, in the presence of so much input and activity. I can remember my stomach being slightly upset the entire weekend. Something that even multi-marathoning or ultra-marathoning won’t cause. Not even jumping out of airplanes.

They got kids that in a few years will face the independence of adulthood. I don’t know–time has passed me by it seems. My default status as an uncle has caused me much time un-lived and un-experienced. Still, I can’t say I mind the peace and quiet I’ve had all these years.

Sure, there are age-lines now. Some of us have stayed true to our early adulthood shapes and features. Some have not. But that is the true test of time isn’t it–to see if we can age gracefully but not age too soon before our time.

I face another one in late June, but in the Philippines this time. That will be more disruptive, as it involves a visit to my old school and old neighborhoods. Thirty years is just too long. Maybe, just maybe I won’t even recognize things. If a reunion of three overwhelms, I can see total chaos in a reunion of forty and their families.

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I went to the L.A. Fitness gym over in Sorrento Valley.  It was time for my bi-weekly cross-training session.

I usually turn my watch timer on.  Machines–45 minutes.  Treadmill–easy 3 miles, 30 minutes.  Laps–10, 20 minutes.  Sauna–10 minutes.  It then takes me 15 minutes to get showered and dressed.  So within a 2 hour session, I cover what I need to cover at the gym.

Since I only have 45 minutes on machines, I have to be choosy.  I hit the chest pulls, the abdominals, the lower back/upper back, deltoids, leg lifts, biceps, overhead pulls.  Sometimes, I even have time to work on laterals for my upper legs and glutes.  Depends on how crowded the floor is, and how chatty the young women are; it takes them forever to get through 12*3 reps.

Tonight, I could only muster  20 minutes on the treadmill or 2 miles.  I came in late.  But I did manage the 10 laps in the pool, by doing two sets of five laps each.  My swim endurance is coming back!  I have been doing 5 sets of 2 laps each in the last two weeks.  The two longer sets tonight felt really good!  Looking forward to getting to my previous endurance at a continuous 20 laps and up.

I envy the ladies on the ellipticals.  The motion is just so flawless and has no impact, I can’t believe I’m not on it more.  But there is never enough time in a day.  Maybe on an off-night.

Since bulk is not good for runners, I have to avoid it now.  But looking across the hall at all those free weights and contraptions, I long for those carefree days of unending hours at the gym.  Maybe when running becomes less important, I can go back to being muscular again.

Working out at the gym always makes me feel good.  If I can get away from work anyway.

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Knee pain

Given the impact forces that will transmit from the foot to the knee while running, some knee pain is expected after any long distance.  What you don’t want is for the knee pain to persist for a number of days after the race.

If the ground is hard, try to run on softer more yielding surfaces.  Asphalt is preferable to concrete sidewalks, and sometimes dirt is preferable to asphalt.  Running on grass actually exposes you to hidden dangers, because the ground underneath is sometimes uneven.

Don’t open your stride too far forward.  The foot strike moves to other zones transmitting a different sort of force on the knee.  If you have to open your stride, move your trunk forward and try to open your stride towards the back.  What this does is to put your body over your knees so that the impact will remain as consistent as you can make it.

If you are experiencing knee pain during the run, try to change something.  It’s perfectly fine to slow down and massage the area.  Try a stretch.

Some weight loss would actually help.  You have to remember that your knees are carrying your weight over the long distance.  Either lose some, or slow down.

I’m not a fan of devices that artificially prop up the knees, such as pads, wraps, tapes, etcetera.  I think these serve to weaken the knees by not giving it full motion.  Orthotics are a better solution because the cushioning disperses some of the impact forces so that the transfer to the knees is not as bad.

Know your body, and don’t push too hard.  Give your legs time to respond to the demands of distance running.

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Let’s see. What hidden enemies show up during endurance events? How can that be, when you’ve done all your training and you got your water, carb replacement, and gear ready at the start?

The first enemy is lack of planning. It is possible to wear the wrong gear come race day. It is possible to forget the sunblock lotion. It is possible to forget the many little things that are a must for your comfort on long runs.

The second enemy is inattention. I call this zoning out. Whether you are listening too intently to your music or ignoring everything around you, you invite spills and accidents. You might cause injury to others as well.

The third enemy is lack of training. If you don’t respect the distance, it will come back and may ruin your day during the race or your health in the weeks after the marathon. Here are some signs that you lack training: a) you can’t keep a consistent pace; b) your heart rate gets so high after moderate exertion; c) you run out of energy early.

The fourth enemy is over-reaching. Do you know that you can run 26.2 after only a maximum of 6 miles as a training run? Or just because you are young, that you can run the whole distance based on a whim? Here are some signs of over-reaching: a) you don’t remember running many miles in a particular race; b) you can’t finish; c) you look like you are on a march from hell.

The fifth enemy is technology. It is funny sometimes to look at runners with wires and gadgets everywhere. Most of the time, it is an inconvenience. Running is one sport where little equipment is necessary. Only one in fact–a good pair of running shoes.

Please consider these when you go out on any distance run. Run safe and be well!

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