Walking on…

May 17, 2008

Bet y’all thought I’d have nothing to say about walking? Well, there is plenty to say, but I’ve been a bit busy.

I’ve headed out a few times during lunch this week and managed some miles walking. It’s definitely a different pace than I’ve been doing. I’m doing 13-14 minute miles, in sort of a not-quite-trot/not-quite-walk gait.

I forgot that this uses a completely different set of muscles. The first day out, my shins hurt a bit, which is pretty common for walking. Its from stretching the shins a bit and foot flex, and will go away in a while. The second day, I mainly worked on using my abs. Oh, I felt like I got a bit more of a workout there than I have in a while! I’m guessing that if I keep this up, I’ll be looking good by next summer.

As I mentioned in my last post, a few years ago, I walked the NYC marathon. As I was preparing for that, some people online mentioned I should go to the NW Annual Race Walking Clinic, put on by Erofit, in Portland Oregon. It was a 2.5 day event, where Phillip Dunn, a member of the 2004 Olympic team, was a guest coach along with a few other very talented walking coaches (Kelly and John). (If anyone is interesting, I have a recap of the retreat somewhere.)

One interesting side note is that although the marathon gets most the attention, the 50K race walk is the longest distance event in the Olympics. And unlike running, the participates are scrutinized by judges almost every step of the way. (Well, maybe the runners are scrutinized too, but there are no rules like the race walkers get.) And, as you can see from reading Phillip’s journal, all this walking really is good cross training for running.

So, although I’ve never become an expert at this, at least I have some knowledge of the sport and what I’m doing. After this first week, I’m still excited by changing to walking. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow when I try to get some distance work in. (After all, I am still planning to do a marathon in a week.)


ChickEkiden 2008

April 26, 2008

Last year, I heard about a run that sounded like a lot of fun, but for various reasons, I couldn’t do it. However, this year I was determined to make it onto a team and do it. Today was this day! The 2008 ChickEkiden, part of the Gainesville chicken festival. It’s a marathon length (26.2 miles) relay with a team of 6 people. The best part? The relay baton is a rubber chicken.

Our group was able to come up with 12 people, so we entered two teams: “Runners Fit” and “Runners Not So Fit”. The “fit” team was made up of the fastest people, and the rest of us, who weren’t so fast, were the other team. Needless to say, yours truly is not so fast…

Each of us had was responsible for approximately 4.3 miles. I was a little worried when Ryan told me the last mile was tough. Of course, I asked him if that meant it was his-tough or my-tough. It took him a moment to think about, but decided that it was his tough. Uh-oh, that doesn’t bode well.

Starting off, there were a lot of big rolling hills. Running next to a lady, whom I ended up doing almost the whole leg with (Coach Carmen), we joked that if this wasn’t considered the tough part, we need to really worry about the last mile!

Well, we ran. Without going through the boring step-by-step of the entire route, it was a good course. I actually didn’t think the last mile was that bad at all. The thing that makes it tough is just that you’re tired. Especially me, since I was like white lightning, running 2 minutes faster than my average. And yes, that’s two minutes faster per mile! I finished my leg in 37:50, when I was planning for 45 minutes. WooHoo!

Doing the chickendance after the handoff

One thing that may have slowed me down just slightly is I did what was appropriate: At each mile marker, I had to slow down to do part of the chicken dance. And of course, after I did the handoff, I did it again.

A shout out goes to my wife who came out to take pictures and support us. (She acted as the “team mom” for us, although she drew the line at holding our used Kleenex.) The rest of the team was great to hang out with and we all got our fill of chicken jokes in.

And for the record, this race gets a big thumbs up! The course was good, a lot of support and volunteers. The post race food was good. (I’ll let other people give their comments, but I liked the Panera breads.)

Afterwards, we planned on going to the chicken festival, but ended up shooting up to Brenau Academy, a girls school associated with the university there, where Dianna graduated from. We thought we’d take a picture of her there, but turned out they were having an open house. We ended up spending plenty of time talking to a lady who was touring it with her kids, and talked to the headmaster and a couple other people there. We also got to wander around and see the rooms and classes and stuff. It was a lot of fun.

We then stopped at RunnersFit for their spring sidewalk sale. Turns out that a number of people from our group was there, so we hung out a bit. (Felt sorta like going to Cheers, where everyone knows your name.) I met David, who ran the Sweet H2O 1/2 marathon this morning.

Note for team members: The pictures are uploaded to my gallery: photos.gonesomewhere.com. Go to the races folder, and choose the Chickekiden 2008. If you want full size shots, let me know so we can figure out how to get them to you.

I lost game!

February 19, 2008

Tonights bowling was pretty bad. This entry is nothing but me whining. I threw a 100, 98, and 116. At least the last game was over my average.

Although to late into the night, I found out I wasn’t keeping my shoulders square to the lane, which was causing my whole throw to be off. And I was getting no hook until the last game.

At least I didn’t mess my knee up, which I’ve been doing a lot lately by over rotating my sliding foot.

But the good news is my sister-in-law gave me my birthday present-a bowling shirt! Yay. Ever since joining the team, I’ve been complaining that we don’t have team shirts…after all, I always thought that was the point of being on a bowling team was to get cool shirts. Well, now I have a shirt, even if the rest of the team doesn’t. She also said she’ll get my name embroidered on it if I want. Cool, just need a good bowling nickname now. (“Big Ball” and “Dead Wood” were thrown around. Hey you! Get your mind out of the gutter. That’s bowling talk.)

Guess that’s about it until the next time I get to talk about having gone somewhere.