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Posts Tagged ‘Running’

Well, I’m not sure what came over me, but today (this morning) I went out for my first “slog” (ssslllooowww jog) in ages.  Two(2) miles in 36m 57s.  Yeah, I know, pretty slow…  But, hey, I’m 64 years old and this is my first time hitting the pavement in ages (pretty much since last year and it is November).
 And so it goes…
Are you a runner?  Did you run yesterday or today?  If the answer is “yes”, you are a runner.  And, it doesn’t matter how fast (or slow) you did it.  (No, tomorrow doesn’t count.  We ALL plan to run tomorrow!)
Oh, and just for chuckles, 22m 30s gets me 1 (single) point (out of 100 possible points) on the Army physical fitness 2-mile run test.  Only 14m 27s to go…  I guess first I’ve got to start “running” – and then maybe lose 20 years (LoL).
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On This Day In:
2018 The Worst
2017 #DonTheCon In The Oval Office
2016 Are You Like #AmnestyDon And Sarah Palin?
2015 Begin Today
2014 Look Again (At Life’s Illusions)
2013 None Knows
2012 Yet
2011 No End In Sight
2010 Back At It…

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It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport after Roger Bannister.  I can tell people that no human is limited.  I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.
  —  Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge (the 34-year-old Olympic champion from Kenya) ran a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds, becoming the first person in history to break two hours for 26.2 miles in a special running / marathon event in Vienna (at Vienna’s Prater-Hauptallee (main avenue)) on Saturday (12 October 2019) morning.
Roger Bannister – mentioned in the quote – was the (British) runner who became the first man to break the 4 minutes for a mile record in 1954 (May 6, 1954, in 3:59.4).  Multiple individuals were close to the record before Bannister broke it and over a thousand runners have since broken 4 minutes in the 60+ years since.  Bannister’s “world record” lasted barely six weeks before it was broken and two months after the initial sub-4, two runners in the same race (Bannister was one of them), broke sub-4.  A sub-4 minute mile is now considered “routine” for world-class middle-distance runners.
Kipchoge’s run does not qualify for the world record nor will it be “officially” recognized because it was not an “open” competition and because Kipchoge was preceded by a pace car (which provided a laser path guide).  In my humble opinion, neither of these factors are significant and we have witnessed one of the greatest feats in human athleticism.
The quote was taken from the web and is available from many sources.  This image was “snipped” off the news video at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/more-sports/eliud-kipchoge-runs-1-59-marathon-first-to-break-2-hours/ar-AAIFQjT?ocid=spartandhp.  I make no claim to ownership or rights to the quote, image or video.
I AM simply astounded at the achievement.  It staggered me to wake up and read about (and watch) history in the making!  I had been hoping for it (the record) to happen, but never “really” expected to see it in my own lifetime.  As expected, it could “only” happen under ideal conditions: cool temperatures, flat course, little or no wind and only at (or near) sea level.  The course had an elevation difference of less than eight(8) feet over it’s lap distance and (I gather) the location for the course was between 500 – 600 feet in elevation.
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On This Day In:
2018 25 Days Until The November Election
Old And Young
2017 Universal Soul Sounds
2016 Not Rivals
2015 Dead Sure
2014 Are You Educated?
2013 For Myself
2012 And When I’m Gone…
2011 Complete Conviction

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The Road To Sparta” (2016©) — book review
Today’s book review is for “The Road To Sparta” written by Dean Karnazes.  Karnazes may not be the “Dean” of ultramarathon runners, but he is certainly one of the sports most famous names and faces.  Karnazes lives in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I also was raised and currently live), and, from his writing, appears to have totally adopted the ethos of being from Northern California.  Clean air, physical fitness, sometimes single minded pursuit of one’s goals, etc.
The book is another semi-autobiographical book about Karnazes.  His other book (which is reviewed here) is titled: “Ultramarathon Man“, and deals more with his various runs – particularly the Western States One-Hundred.  This book is about his being descended from Greek immigrants and him getting back in touch with his roots in his native country via participation in an ultra-run called “The Spartathlon.”  This run recreates the run which Pheidippides made from Athens to Sparta to ask the Spartans to help the Athenians resist the Persian invasion of Greece at the beach of Marathon.  Not to spoil the story (as it is ancient history), Pheidippides ran about 150 miles to carry the message (request).  He then ran a similar distance to carry the reply (“Yeah, we’ll come, but not for a few days”).  And then, … wait for it… he ran from the battlefield (Marathon) to Athens (about 26 miles) to carry news of the victory.  And then he died.
The race isn’t so spectacular.  Karnazes “only” has to run the initial portion (Athens to Sparta).  Oh, yeah.  You have to run the race in a “similar” time span to that of Pheidippides – 36 hours.
If you are a serious distance runner, much of the book will seem self-affirming as you will probably relate to the action and feelings of a ultra-distance runner.  If you are not a “serious” runner (or athlete), you may still relate, but you’ll probably also find Karnazes’ descriptions of the Greek countryside a bit flowery.  Make that extremely flowery.  Almost (but not quite) off-puttingly so.  Almost…  On the other hand, if you are just an average reader, you may really like all the verbiage.  I was kind of in the middle.  Parts of the book made we want to strap on some shoes and go out for a jog.  Others left me feeling like he had been assigned a set number of words to get the book published and he was going to reach that number with the same determination it takes to run an ultra.
Final recommendation: strong.  I enjoyed the history.  I enjoyed most of the descriptions, particularly when he was talking about the people out in the Greek countryside.  And I enjoyed the re-telling of the actual Spartathlon he ran in.  Ultimately, a good running book should make you want to lace up and hit the pavement.  As mentioned above, this book did that for me.  I picked the book up at Half-Price Books off the $3 rack.  A steal at that price.  I’ve already used a couple of quotes on my blog and I’ve got about another dozen or so hi-lighted for use in the future.
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On This Day In:
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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Anybody running beats anybody walking, and anybody walking beats anybody sitting.
  —  Tom Bunk
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On This Day In:
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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As a runner, you have to face the truth about yourself on a regular basis, and it makes you more honest.  You can’t pretend to be faster than you are.  You can’t pretend that you are better prepared than you are.  You cannot pretend to be a runner, you actually have to run.
   ―  John Bingham
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On This Day In:
2017 A Long Shadow
2016 Learning, Experience, Chances or Money
2015 The Critical State
2014 Dawn, n.
2013 Ouch!
2012 Just Lookin’ Around
Still Growing
2011 But Do You Want To?

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Suddenly, when the run itself is the goal, there are no more bad runs.  Suddenly it doesn’t matter if we don’t finish within our goal time — or don’t finish at all.  What matters is that we tried, that we enjoyed the process.  What matters is that we got out there.
   ―  John Bingham
From his book:  “No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running
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On This Day In:
2017 By Far
2016 Until…
2015 Or Infinitesimal
2014 I’ve Looked At Clouds
2013 Undiscovered Ocean
2012 Feeling Old? (Part 2)
2011 What About Freedom?

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Shoe review:  Itasca (manufacturer) Fairview (model) $25 (sale price) / $45 (current price)
I haven’t done a shoe review in quite a while.  Mostly because I haven’t been jogging much the last couple of years.  The spirit has been willing, but the heart (and various other parts) have not been entirely cooperative.  Be that as it may, this is my review of the “Itasca Fairview” hiking / walking shoe.  It can be used as a “heavy” / off-road jogging shoe if you don’t mind a stiff and knobby soled shoe.  I don’t.  I purchased this because I prefer a hard wearing inexpensive shoe.
First, the price was very good.  It was on sale at my local Big5 Sporting Goods store.  I was able to find my size (14) and it was wide enough for my “dogs”.  I have “paddles” for feet (much wider toe than heel area), so normal running shoes, which tend to the narrow fit, don’t really accommodate my feet.  As I began jogging a few years back with a mid-sole strike, my arches changed and I became no longer able to wear many of my older shoes.  My left foot (arch) in particular bars me from wearing size 13 shoes and most size 14 slip-ons.
I found these shoes very comfortable for my slow and steady jogging style.  I started off with a 1 mile jog and by the end of about 6 weeks I was consistently jogging about 4 miles a day.  Enough to get my 10K steps goal on my Fitbit.  All in all, I would estimate I jogged fewer than 100 miles during the pairs use and, if you add in another 50 (generous) miles for cool-down walks, I’d say the shoes were blown out by 135 to 150 miles of use.  By way of comparison, a good running shoe will probably cost you about $80-$120, and it is recommended you replace them every 400 miles or whenever they feel like they’ve lost their sponge under your forefoot.  So, the price I paid was about 1/3rd of a running shoe and the use was about 1/3rd.  I guess that’s considered equal value for relative cost.
Another significant factor on the shoes use is that I am extremely heavy (350+lbs) and therefore very hard on soles.  That is part of why I look for stiffer shoes with heavier tread – they tend to take a beating better than normal running shoe models.  Of course, the trade-off is you have to jog less upfront when the shoes are newer so you can break them in without giving yourself horrendous blisters.

Fresh from the box

Fresh from the box

View of new soles

View of new soles

Soles After 150 miles

Soles after 150 miles

Tops after use

Tops after use

After use:  You can’t really tell from the image, but center forefoot is completely worn through to the sponge padding under the forefoot.  The tops, on the other hand, were practically without blemish.  From the start, the shoe felt like I was jogging with a pair of wooden slats under my feet.  Again, on the other hand, the tops were very comfortable (once broken in), even when tied tightly.  Had the soles lasted another month, I would say the shoes were a very good value.  As it is, the best I could say was these would be good value (at sale price) if you were either normal weight or were only going to use them for actual hiking / path walking on the odd weekend out and about.
If you look at the “Soles after” image, you’ll probably notice a lot of outer heel wear and some “tippy-toe” wear.  The heel wear is from the daily walking where I do a lot of heel striking.  The toe wear is because I seem to push-off a lot when I do my jogging.  I should clarify.  I don’t “really” jog.  I would describe it as slogging (“slow jogging”) – basically, a little faster than walking with a jogging / shuffle motion.  In general, my heels wear out on my walking shoes, my forefoot wears out on my jogging shoes, and the top wears out if I try to get the comfortable light-weight mesh uppers common to many true jogging / running shoes.
Final recommendation: reasonable value for the price (I paid).  I went back to Big5 to get another pair.  Like most “sale” items at this type of discount store, “my” store no longer carries this model.  I also looked on-line and Itasca no longer manufactures this model.  It turns out other Big5 stores in my area do carry this model, but the current price is almost double what I paid on sale.  At that price, I leave them on the shelf…  I can find “real” running shoes for that price.
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On This Day In:
2017 Unseen Here, Too
2016 Criticized Anyway
2015 Sometimes The Truth Hurts
2014 All Agreed, Say “Aye”
2013 Two Books, Two Movies
Just Because
2012 God’s Requirements
2011 Greater Purity

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