Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Archive for May, 2009

4 mile tempo run – felt great!

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 27, 2009

I dashed out of the office at lunch time today and ran a 4 mile tempo run. The weather was fabulous and the sunshine felt sooo good! It almost feels like summer already. Anyway, I began the run with a 5 minute warm-up at a slower pace and then maintained a challenging pace (ranging between 7:30 – 7:50 minutes/mile for the remainder of the run. It felt good to run faster but I sure felt it afterwards. As I sit here writing this post I’m still attempting to cool down.

I am also breaking in a new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 10’s. I normally run in Kayano’s for the extra cushioning and stability, but I decided to experiment with some shoes that are more neutral in design since I”m not a heavy pronator. I may not have taken a big leap between these two models, but I’ve worn the Nimbus model in the past and liked them. I’d like to find a comfortable shoe that is about half way between the Kayano and my Nike Free 3.0. Something maybe around 9-10 ounces or so. Anyone have any suggestions?

Cheers

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6 miler wearing my Nike Free 3.0

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 26, 2009

I finally mustered up enough courage to take a longer run in my Nike free 3.0’s yesterday. I love wearing these shoes around the house, and I’ve also done some short runs on my treadmill with them, but I’ve been so worried about injury or soreness that I haven’t used them for my longer runs.

It has been a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, with amazingly warm temps and plenty of sunshine. This is unusual for Portland this time of year. Everyone knows that it always rains over this holiday weekend. I took the opportunity to run one of my normal 6 mile loop routes and I have to admit that the shoes felt great during the run. I did end up with a small blister on the outside of my right big toe, but nothing major. 

It is now 2 days post-run and I can assure you that my legs are very, very sore, and in places that are not normally sore when I run. It is clear that these shoes are designed very differently and call into action a number of leg muscles that don’t normally see action when I run in my Asics Gel Kayano’s. This is a good thing.

I found that actually feeling the pavement surface beneath my feet with each step was wonderful. I also felt my feet and legs using those new muscles for balance and push-off, which is not true with my Kayano’s. Imagine running in a pair of thin-soled slippers or moccasins and that is the NIKE Free experience.

I’m excited about strengthening my leg and foot muscles by using these shoes occasionally for a short to mid-length run. However I’m not planning to try running longer distances with them quite yet. I may look for another light-weight running shoes that bridges that gap between these two models though.

I think NIKE has a potential revolution building here. Partly because people need to actually try this shoe to see how wonderful it feels, but also because I believe studies will show that the increasing level of “technical” features (i.e. cushioning and stability) going into most running shoes is not a good thing for most people.

I realize that this shoe has been around for awhile now – but I don’t have a sense for what percentage of runners actually use it as their primary shoe. I would love to eventually switch over but it will take time and hard work before my body can use them consistently.

Do yourself a favor and try the NIKE Free. It is truly a new running experience!

Cheers

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Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 21, 2009

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Abraham Lincoln

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New Blog for THUSC United Sodium

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 21, 2009

The THUSC United Sodium team has a new blog site for this year. Check out the new graphics, great information, and of course the always-inspiring discourse.

Thanks Ed!

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I just bought a used Sole F63 treadmill

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 21, 2009

I scored a great deal this week on a slightly used Sole F63 treadmill. I finally realized that a treadmill is the easiest way to keep up my mileage during the cold, rainy winter months here in Oregon. It will also come in handy when its dark outside, or if I am short on time.

I set it up in my garage a couple of days ago and just used it for the first time last night. I cranked out a quick 3 miles, which felt good because I wasn’t able to run earlier that day. It was hard to justify staring at my garage wall for almost 30 minutes since the sun was shining outside. However, I cranked up my stereo and enjoyed the classic rock. I look forward to the bump in weekly mileage, and hopefully I’ll be able to improve my speed a little as well.

Cheers

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Book review – Once a Runner, by John L. Parker Jr.

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 21, 2009

Once a Runner 1I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to share my thoughts on it since. I can confirm that all of the wonderful comments I had read online about this fictional running story are absolutely dead on! I really loved this book!

I’m a voracious reader with interests in many genres, both fiction and non-fiction. I’m also a runner (although not at all hardcore like the central character in this book), so I jumped at the opportunity to read a real novel about running (there aren’t that many). The story was interesting from the beginning and all throughout, ending with an exciting and inspiring finish.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you are a runner or not. You won’t be disappointed. Buy the book and/or read 144 more reviews on Amazon here.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Cheers

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8 miler on Sunday

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 18, 2009

Wow, what amazing weather this weekend. I ran 8 miles on sunday and it felt like the middle of summer. It was already in the 70’s during my morning run, and the temp made it well into the 80’s by afternoon. I actually had to use sunscreen.

The run felt pretty good, but I’m still having trouble with my right leg. A sore knee and sore shin have kept me off my normal training schedule. Easing back on my mileage so far hasn’t helped much. I’m afraid my next option is to stop running altogether for a week or two (ugh).

I’m planning to run the Helvetia Half Marathon in June. Hopefully all will be resolved before then.

Cheers

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Yep, I’m backing out of the Eugene Marathon

Posted by bunchgrasser on May 1, 2009

Well, my disappointing news of the week is that I won’t be able to run the Eugene Marathon. I’d like to cite my ongoing challenges with sore feet and sore knees as the reason, but in reality it is because my daughter’s soccer team (THUSC Sodium) has advanced to the semi-final bracket in the Oregon State Cup.

This may seem like an event worth missing for some, but being my daughter’s biggest, and most dedicated fan – I am simply unwilling to miss her normal season games, let alone a State Cup semi-final game. I should also mention that my daughter’s team is shooting for their 3rd straight Oregon State Cup championship this year in the girls U13 age group. They are a very talented team.

They will be facing some strong competition this weekend, and hopefully next weekend as well if they advance to the finals. Seriously, you should see these 12-13 year old girls when they have their game-faces on. There are bodies hitting the turf with regular frequency all game long.

The decision to opt out of the marathon was somewhat difficult for me, given the many, many hours of training over the past few (Winter) months. I’ve been hampered by minor injuries and the constant cold, wet weather has affected my motivation at times. The end result is that I don’t quite feel ready for this race, and I’m concerned about the potential for injury if I ran it anyway.

A couple of years ago, when I was…let’s say…a less experienced runner, I would have probably just ran the race anyway. But I’ve learned a few things and one of them is to listen to your body. I’ve been nervous in the weeks leading up to Eugene and I realized that it was because my body was telling me it is not ready to run 26.2 miles.

So, my plan moving forward is to continue my training (easier now that the weather is warming up) and run a couple of half marathons between now and October when I will (hopefully) be ready for the Portland Marathon.

Good luck to all of the Eugene runners, and wish me luck as well.

Cheers

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