WDW marathon

The marathon at Disney is one step closer to being filled - my wife signed up for it. It's going to be her first marathon, and she is planning on using the walk/run Galloway method. She's been waffling for months, but she ran the 5k a couple of weeks ago, and I finally talked her into training for Disney.

She's a little concerned about how both of us are going to be doing our long runs, but I keep reminding her that I'll be doing most of my long runs in July-September in preparation for Chicago, and then for Nov-Dec, I can do shorter ones or run later in the day, so that she can do her long slow runs on Saturday mornings or afternoons. (And, to be honest, if one of us is going to run outside late in the day, when the sun might be setting - it's going to be me.

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My son has a crush

The little guy has developed a crush on someone.

It's quite cute,. actually. We're going to WDW next year for the marathon weekend, and so we requested the vacation DVD. It's mainly to acquaint the munchkin to several things: (1) Goofy is huge, and even Mickey, Daisy, Minnie, Donald, et al are quite big, compared to him; and (2) what sort of things he can expect to see.

In the process of watching the video/commercial, he's become quite smitten with Cinderella. He's talking about taking pictures that he has drawn to show her, and he keeps asking when he can talk to Cinderella. Sure, it's months before we go, but it's awfully cute, watching the little guy gush over her.

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Ouch. Why don't I ever learn?

I can file that under "Bad Ideas". I just started adding a constant incline to the dreadmill again. It's not much, but a constant .5 or 1.0 degrees means that your entire run is essentially uphill, albeit a very slight one. Adding that incline is meant to simulate the effects of wind, hills, air resistance, and so forth, all of which you would encounter outside, but not in the "comfort" of your gym. I say "comfort" because, in my experience, outside is almost always more pleasant, and faster, than my runs at the gym.

Anyway, it's a bad idea to add an incline at the same time you are trying to increase your cadence. See, my cadence (steps per minute) is actually pretty low. Basically, the faster you take steps, the faster you run (in general). So, I went to a site that has podcasts you can download for free. Each podcast has a certain beat to it (ranging from 130 bpm to 181) and the idea is that you try to run to the beat. So, I've been trying to run at about the 165 to 170 bpm mark, which is an increase from my current cadence, which would be in the 155-160 range.

Anyway, last night, I quit a dreadmill run early because my legs were just heavy and sore - I've got my long run tomorrow, and a moderate workout for today planned, so I'd just as soon save some energy for those.

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We Are Not Joggers, part II

So, like so many others, I sent off my letter to Pearl Izumi. And, if they respond, I'll let my reader(s) know whether or not it is the same form letter they have been sending out, or if it is a new draft. For the record, I told the group I run with on Saturdays about the ad, and no one was supportive. They aren't fast runners (with a couple of exceptions), but that doesn't make their effort any less significant. As Bill Rodgers said "I can't even imagine what it's like to run for 5 or 6 hours."

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my concern with, and dislike for, your recent ad campaign ("We Are Not Joggers"). Although I suspect that you are hoping to spur people on to discovering their inner "runner" (so to speak), I feel that your approach is needlessly hostile, and comes across as demeaning and condescending.

For example, the ad campaign states that running on a treadmill is merely joging. I suspect that Christine Clark would disagree with that assessment. (In case the name does not ring any bells, she won the women's US Olympic Time Trials in 2000, and did almost all of her training on a treadmill.) For some of us, especially those with young children, the choices are often running on a treadmill, running well after dark, or worse, not running at all. I hate running (excuse me, "jogging") on the treadmill, but it sure beats the alternatives.

You also stated that anything you do at the helm of a tricked-out baby stroller is jogging. Aside from the fact that it is actually pretty difficult to push 50+ pounds of toddler and stroller along a road or path (even on a gentrified stretch of pedestrian walkway), you're only a short step away from saying that Dick Hoyt (of Team Hoyt) is merely a jogger. I'd love to be half the "jogger" that he is; anyone who can push a wheelchair and manage a 2:40:47 marathon deserves to be called something better than "jogger".

And running with an MP3 player makes me a "jogger"? Aside from the fact that it's on my treadmill runs (which apparently make me a jogger in your eyes anyway), if it takes music to get me through a 10 mile run on a glorified hamster pad, I'll use it. I may not use it on my runs outside, and you'll never see me wear one on a race, but apparently that doesn't matter.

Although I may not be the fastest runner, I do go through about 4 or 5 pairs of shoes per year. And, as I add more marathons to the schedule, that number is only going to increase. But, in no small part to the "We Are Not Joggers" campaign, I suspect that a pair of your shoes will not be part of that lineup.

Richard Grady

Anyway, on a running note, I did a time trial yesterday (disappointing only because I didn't start it as a time trial until I was 3-4 minutes in, and I never quite sped up enough to make up for that slow start), and a nice, relaxed 7 miles this morning. With any luck, I'll get in 12 tomorrow, and since my quad is almost back to normal, I should get in hills or a speed workout next week.


Pearl Izumi ad (and some other stuff)

OKay, I am really late to the party on this. I rarely look closely ad the ads in running mags until I need new shoes or other gear. And, in fact, unless a company stops making my choice in shoes, energy gels, etc, I rarely check out anything other than what I am using unless a problem develops. After all, I figure that if I like my shoes, there is no sense in potentially wasting $90 or so on something that might work when I could buy something that will work.

So I didn't really see the Pearl Izumi ad. Now I have.

I guess I am a jogger. I do almost all of my miles on a dreadmill, and I do like to listen to an mp3 when I am running from time to time. And I have been known to push a jogging stroller along some gentrified pedestrian walkway. (Holy cow - I just realized that Team Hoyt is technically a jogger by their standards!)

Or maybe I am a runner. Every step of a run hurts, always, and I do it anyway. (No, it has nothing to do with shoes, orthotics, pronation, supination, etc - one of my knees is rebuilt, and it hurts just sitting in a chair, or if I am standing or walking.) I took age awards in both of the last 10k I did, and I've set 2 PRs this year. Of course, they aren't fast, by PI standards, so maybe I am a jogger after all.

I am certainly not a loyal customer. Not after that campaign.

Oh yeah - race report from Saturday. I raced in a local 10k last Saturday, the Cereal City Classic. It's basically a flat course, paved trail and road, so I hoped for a good time. I took off too fast (the first mile clicked by at a sub 6:30 pace), but even with a slowing down, I still finished with a PR of 42:49. I took 3rd in my age group, and, even more importantly, when I plugged that time into the McMillan running calculator, it tells me that I might be capable of at 3:20:56 marathon. I'm starting to get close to that 3:15:59 - some more speedwork, and a lot of long slow runs, and I might make it.

On a completely unrelated note - the skunks are back. I got rid of them last year, and have to do it again. I like the bushes around our screened-in back porch, but they provide too much cover for chipmunks and skunks. So, I'll chase the skunks out, rip out the bushes, dig down a couple of feet, put up some chicken wire, add the weedcloth, and replace everything with gravel and hostas. Sounds like a fun weekend project.