Sunday, October 31, 2010

Running Style: PAMI, VAMI, PASA

The following information relates to the Running Style Survey (a total theft of a 4-question Myers-Briggs test) that we all started doing last Wednesday.  You are welcome to invite your readers to complete the survey as well (the more the merrier!)  Here's some general information so far.

55 people completed the survey with the following results:

TypePeopleper centTypePeopleper cent

In the next few days, I'm gonna try to write some B.S. reasonable stuff about each running type.  Of course this will be theft as well (from the Keirsey Temperament Sorter) with some stupid clever deviations.

PAMI - The Champion Runner
Java Joggers
Champions are very individualistic and they feel a need to experience significant social events like the opening of the new Walmart or the latest Justin Bieber concert. Champions are keen observers of the people around them but can often be confused for stalkers. Champions are good with people and usually have a wide range of personal relationships with other runners different from themselves.

Champions are constantly scanning the social environment, and no intriguing character or silent motive is likely to escape their attention. All Champions believe I think they are cute and am flirting with them. I'm not! Champions can be tireless in talking with others, like fountains that bubble and splash, spilling over their own words to get it all out.  Champions will be told to "shut the f*** up" several times during long races from tired people behind them.

Champions strive toward a kind of personal authenticity, and this intention always to be themselves is usually quite attractive to others (especially to me).

Well know champions are:
Some champion quotes:
Character is much easier kept than recovered. - Thomas Paine

VAMI - The Healer Runner
Johann, Forward Foot Strides
Healers present a calm and serene face to the world, and can seem shy, but inside they have a capacity for personal caring. Healers care deeply about the inner life of a few special persons (and when they comment on your blog you feel very very special).  Healers have a profound sense of idealism that comes from a strong personal sense of right and wrong. They conceive of the world as an ethical, honorable place, full of wondrous possibilities and potential goods.  They foolishly think that all races are fair, water stations are in the right spots, aid stations are properly manned and the RD measured the distance correctly.

Healers can feel even more isolated in the purity of their idealism or even run slower that they can, just to be alone at the back of the pack!

They have a natural interest in scholarly activities and demonstrate a remarkable facility with language (especially words that begin with the letter "g"). Frequently they hear a call to go forth into the world and help others, a call they seem ready to answer, even if they must sacrifice their own comfort or a PR.  Seeking therapy can limit hearing these calls (or un-listing your number).

Well known healers are:
Some healer quotes:
To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

PASA - The Fieldmarshal Runner
Kovas, Kenley, Raegun
The Fieldmarshal runner always has a route B (C, D or even E) if route A is no longer good.  They are great at situational organizing.  They are the first to suggest an umbrella when it rains.  From an early age they can be observed taking command of groups: organizing children's unions in day-care, being elected class president in kindergarten.  They have a strong natural urge to give structure and direction wherever they are and if you run with them, no need to ask as they will tell you where to go right away!

When reading a map a Fieldmarshal runner may need to turn to an Inventor or Architect to provide information about how to cross a river (it's called a "bridge" by the way), how to find out what tomorrow's forecast is, or how to convert kilometers into miles.

For the Fieldmarshal, there must always be a goal-directed reason for doing anything, and people's feelings usually are not sufficient reason. So don't tell them you need to walk out the cramp because you don't like how it feels.  Tell them your goal "is to walk out the cramp and then catch up".  Fieldmarshals root out and reject ineffectiveness and inefficiency, and are impatient with repetition of error.

Well known fieldmarshals are:
Some fieldmarshal quotes:
But I'm not using those lessons just for theorizing about the future, I am betting on it. - Bill Gates

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Graduation Day ....

Thanks for the awesome response on personality style.  I'll actually write up some things about each profile and it looks like I have material for about 6 or 7 years!  I also enjoy your jokes and ribbing.  So much humor in 20 characters!  And a great shout out to my VESI twins, Adam, Patrick, Goose, Marcia, Rio, Staci, Quinton!  (Will give you proper link backs when I log back in after I get back from the Ceremony.

The survey will still be here for people to do!

Some pictures from the start of the day:

Some of you think I'm off in London England ... not really.  It's London Ontario.  But it looks pretty English, no?  English enough for this son-of-immigrant's eyes.

Spencer is where we spent the beginning of each semester during our EMBA studies ... it was donated to the university by a WWII General, Alexander Charles Spencer.

Off for lunch, then my ring ceremony with a secret initiatory rights involving birth-marks, hand-shakes, and paddling.  "Thank you Sir, may I have some more!"

Then the convocation with the dean - then dinner, then PAR-TAY through the night .

P.S. got my run in, but left my HR monitor handing on a door knob at home!!


6:42 - back from convocation - I graduated "with distinction"!!!!!  I was the last in the group 86.68% average!  There's a cutoff to only top 10% plus ties in the class for this honor.

The ring ceremony was awesome!  We are actually the first school world wide to install a code of conduct pledge for business managers - even before Harvard!  The pledge is cool - so I will post it - there are of course many parallels with running.

I'm off to be seated for dinner now.

Love you guys!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's your Running Style?

Please take this survey and let me know what four letters you get from your running style. This is more fun than anything, but there is some serious psychology behind this.

Q1. Which is your most natural energy orientation?
Steve Prefontaine Characteristics
  • Sign up for a race and then reflect later if you should actually run it?
  • Go running just because you feel like it
  • Feel deprived when people don't post on your blog and you can't read other blogs
  • Motivated by the knowledge that people are reading your blog
Lasse Viren Characteristics
  • Think/reflect first, then Act
  • Regularly require an amount of "private time" to recharge batteries
  • Motivated internally, mind is sometimes so active it is "closed" to outside world
  • Prefer one-to-one communication and relationships, stay up all night talking

Choose which best fits:Steve Prefontaine (P)Lasse Viren (V)

Q2. Which is your most natural way of understanding?
 Eckhart Tolle Characteristics
  • You watch your pace while you are running to stay on target
  • Watch your running style and look for opportunities to improve your posture and stride
  • Using common sense and creating practical solutions is automatic for you
  • You use your past experience as a starting point to find new ways of running
  • You like clear and concrete information
Alvin Toffler Characteristics
  • You keep figuring out your final time from your current pace
  • You think about how this run will help you in the next race
  • Using imagination and inventing new possibilities is automatic for you
  • You like to buiild your running style from common understanding about running
  • You are comfortable with fuzzy information
Choose which best fits: Eckhart Tolle (E) Alvin Toffler (A)

Q3. Which is your most natural way of forming judgements?
Mr. Spock Characteristics
  • Instinctively search for facts and logic when I need to make a decision situation during a race or while running.
  • Notice things that need to be done in my running form and in race tactics
  • Easily able to provide an objective and critical analysis
  • Accept conflict as a natural, normal part of relationships with people - I am running against the pack
Dr. McCoy Characteristics
  • Instinctively employ personal feelings when commenting during decision situations
  • Naturally let others pass me or cut me off (and then get angry)
  • Naturally fit into where there is a hole in the running group
  • Unsettled by conflict - I am running against myself really - the race is about running against yourself
Choose which best fits: Mr. Spock (S) Dr. McCoy (M)

Q4. What is your natural action orientation towards the outside world?
Judge Lance Ito Characteristics
  • Plan your running in advance before moving into action.
  • You have a coach.
  • Focus on tasks and complete meaningful segments before moving on.
  • Naturally use targets, dates and standard routines to manage your running.
Amazing Kreskin Characteristics
  • Comfortable moving into action without a plan or plan on-the-go
  • Don't need a coach telling me what to do
  • Like to multitask, have variety routines that I can do whenever I want.
  • Work best in training as a race approaches.
  • Avoid commitments since they interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety
Choose which best fits: Judge Ito (I) Amazing Kreskin (A)

Your 4 Running Personality Type Letters

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

x400 Intervals and Election Results

Actual pace graph from today
Here's today's plan for my running:

  • Dynamic Stretching
  • 1.5 mi wu + 6x400M @ 3K w/3 min recovery between sets (walk or jog lightly, do not stand still or your legs wil get tight) + 1 mi cd
  • weights
  • HCC
I'm going to warm-up and run at a local school - I wonder if I will have any problems ... if so I will run on the road coming back!  These will be my first real track repeats!


This lady won as Mayor of the city I live in - it happens to be the 6th most populous city in Canada with about 730,000 people.  It's a suburb of Toronto, but it has it's own little center of life as well.

In politics AGs don't matter.  This lady is 89 years old and she won with over 75% of the popular vote!  She supports sports and fitness.  And she wants to run the city as a business.  When she was a kid, she played on a professional women's hockey team.

Probably the most amazing thing is that she's been re-elected for her 12th (twelfth) term as mayor!!!!  She's been mayor for 31 years!

Her name is Hazel McCallion, but we all call her Hurricane Hazel! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Saint Ralph and the Curious Church Readings

So we had a chance to watch Saint Ralph, and I'm still stuck on who the target audience was meant to be.  It's set in a Catholic School in 1950s Hamilton, Ontario.  It's a good film, but the beginning of the film had a little too much rascally attempts at "touching yourself in an impure manner"!  Regardless, once the activity is discovered the penance assigned by Fr. Fitzpatrick (played by Gordon Pinsent) is to have Ralph join the Cross-Country team. From then, a chain of events happens and he decides that winning the Boston Marathon is the best way for a miracle to happen and for his mother to come out of the coma she has fallen into.

There are some interesting parallels with Ralph's young faith (Catholicism) and running.  One striking thing was that for a miracle to happen, the participant had to be pure, prayerful, and have faith.  Regardless of the fact that we don't make miracles happen, Ralph begins on his quest to win Boston.  On the way he finds Fr. George Hibbert (played by Campbell Scott) who promises to train him if he doesn't talk about miracles. For me this parallel means, dedication, training, and trust.

There was some good training, and a number of really interesting (if fantastic) quotes from an invented book by Simon Longboat.  I'm guessing they took the name from Tom Longboat a Canadian Runner, Marathoner, and Olympian of the early 1900s.  I like the fact that it seemed to be filmed in Hamilton, and used the local names (plus Ralph runs the Around the Bay race - that predates Boston by 3 years).


As you know, I day-dream about running in Church often, but it's the readings that are doing it!

Last week Moses went to a game of British Bulldog between the Israelites and the Amekelites.  Every time Moses cheered with the staff he got from God, the Israelites would start winning, every time he got tired and dropped his hands, the Amekelites would start winning!  This only shows how much cheering helps people who run - we really really need you!!!

Then this week began with this reading from Paul:
"Beloved: ... I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance."

My conclusion is that our history, faith and running are so dependent on each other that there's no way to fight it!


I leave for London on Wednesday evening for my graduation ceremony.  I'll probably continue to be AWOL as I have been for the last couple of weeks from the blog world (with timed posts), but once I get back my schedule may clear up a bit.  BTW if you get a chance on Thursday please save me a copy of the Globe and Mail.  Our graduating class will be announced in it with our pictures.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Five Things Thursday

1. I haven't posted a lot about my running, cuz I've been trying to figure out my Rocky-Mountain-High Coach, and to start eating as directed, and figuring out how to manage my HR on the run and all that stuff.  But I've been running to plan about 4 to 5 times a week with a long run of 10k (6+ miles) every weekend.

2. One thing that has really shocked me is that it is very cold when I start running in the morning.  Ok, I threw in the "very" for my American readers.  It's chilly.  Today it was 6°C (42°F) with a 28 kph (19 mph) head wind.  I'm getting way too sweaty with two shirts on, so I'm running with my one long-sleeve technical.  I think light gloves are in order though.  My little finger tips are getting pretty frosty!  I can feel every sphincter in my body tensing up when I start out the door though!!

3. I've rented Saint Ralph.  Set in 1954, the movie tells a story of a 9-year-old boy who thinks winning the Boston Marathon will be a big enough miracle that it will cure his Mom who is dieing in the hospital.  Apparently the movie is written and directed by the 1985 winner of the Detroit Marathon and is supposed to be very realistic in terms of training and presentation of the running ethos.  I'll review it soon.

4. My thinking goes this way: if you can spring for a health club membership or even a personal trainer to boot, you should be able to spring for a running coach.  The biggest problem with that is that if you start seeing results - you're sorta hooked!  I think I am hooked!

5. The Leafs are at the top of their division, I am exercising regularly and loosing weight, the local elections have only serious candidates still in the race, the municipality has decided to lower taxes in our area, and work is getting less busy.  These things point to only one thing: the end of the world!  It was nice knowing you!  :D

Monday, October 18, 2010

Waterloo 10k - Race Report

Race: Waterloo Oktoberfest 10k
Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010
Location: Downtown Waterloo, population 121,700.
Weather: sunny,  8°C (46°F),  28 kph (19 mph) winds from the North West
Scheduled Start Time: 9:30
Runner: Andrew Opala
Information: 45, Male, 260 lbs.

Race Week Prep:

Thought I would take my cellphone with me, a hand-held bottle of water and music in the week before the race, but the bottle was dropped from the list when they said there would be 3 water stations on the course.  Then music dropped because I recall my experience from the 5k where is was as much of a distraction as an aid, and the phone dropped from the list race morning when I jogged a bit with it in my shirt-back pocket and realized I didn't want to hold it nor have it bounce around at the back.  OMG I thought, now all I have to do is run!!!

Race Day:

Was a little less nervous for this race at start time - did some drills (quick feet, goose step, butt kicks/high heels, high knees) and jogged for about 1/2 k at around 8:45.  My wife left the start area to drive 15 minutes to the finish area before it was closed to cars, so it was me alone in the running universe for an hour of waiting!!!! (Peed 4 times in honor of the occasion.)

There were over 1700 sign-ups for the combined start of the 10k and 5k race.  10k racers had orange flared bib numbers and orange ribbons pinned to the back of their shirts. It was a mass start with two separate routes to the joint finish line deviating at about he 4k mark.  While I stood in the pack I thought of my wife and how great it will be to hug hear at the end, my deceased parents, my family, Jill my coach, Adrienne who said she would pray for me at Church, EMZ and number 161, everyone who was sending me "rock it" and "you'll do awesome", and those running in the Toronto and Denver Marathons.  I felt so great knowing how much my life had changed in the last 5 months!!!  Since I felt this was a training run I didn't want to have a lot of people from the family here so my wife and I had a Sunday morning date.


I started near the back of the pack - the race was going to be fast up front (at least twice as fast as I could run) so I chose to run in a group running near my speed.  The first 1/4 mile was wonderful.  With no music to distract me, I heard the gentle tapping of hundreds of feet as people jockied the turns from the Conestoga Mall onto King street and under the parkway bridge.  I was jogging with the pack and was running sub-6-min-ks(sub-10-min-miles).  The feeling was exhilarating - I had killed a lot of the panic breathing with my warm-up and the body was performing!!!!. The first 3 miles put me in advance of schedule below my 7 min k (11 min mile) pace.  At about the 1 1/2 k (1 mi) mark people began to settle in to small talk.  I could hear very loud music coming from some people's ear plugs!

From mile 3 to mile 4 was a 70 foot climb, but it was complicated by a 28 kilometer per hour (19 mph) wind that would be our friend for nearly the rest of the race.  At the 4 mile mark I was just faster than my pace that my coach and I had chosen.  There was a very pleasant down hill at mile 4 that gave me a burst of energy and confidence, but where I should have had a complete mile of consistent striding I slowed down for water.  

The views were wonderful, the last part of the run was through an old residential neighborhood of early 1900s homes with old mature trees, and lots of yellow and red maple leaves rustling on the road and lawns.  The volunteers really kept us going at each turn and intersection cheering us on and clapping.  That looked more tiring than what I was doing.  We went through the campuses of the Universities of Waterloo, and Wilfred Laurier.

Making the final turns ... there was a simple climb to the finish line and then a sudden burst of that wind again.  I wanted to run faster - really.  But I had no energy left!  None.  I was even passed by someone in their final kick (wearing lulu lemon!).

Chip time: 1:09:45, beating my training PR (set one month ago) by 5 minutes.

I'm finisher 671:

I was pretty much last in my AG, sex and weight groups - and I'm very happy!

Post Race:

There was a rock band, fruits, bagels, hot dogs, pizza, soup and lots of water and sport drinks for participants and cheering squads!

Key Lessons:
  • managing  a race and running it according to plan maximizes results
  • driving performance through uncomfortable times can only be done with desire and an eye on the goal
  • trust your coach, trust your training follow the Ω-logo-wearing runners
Thanks for your support.  Having those messages pop up on my blackberry while I was getting ready for the run was great!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10K update - New PR

Best training PR: 1:14:45
Gun time: 1:10:55
Chip time: 1:09:45 (Beat old PR by 5 mins.!!!! - Thanks Coach!!!!)
Garmin time: 1:09:45

I'm finisher 671:

I'll have a full report on Monday.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

10K Race Strategy

Wannabe: What's my strategy for the 10k?
Coach: Run as fast as you can.

Wannabe: How fast is that?
Coach: 10:37 average pace for 6+ miles

Wannabe: I'm afraid - that sounds very fast. 
Coach: Ok, run 10:58-11:05. [wuss]

Wannabe: What was that last word?
Coach: What I was going to say is run that pace for the first 4 miles and then see if you can speed up the pace 10-15 sec for the last 2+ miles.  BUT, make sure your HR does not reach 90% because you won't finish with a new PR and everyone that knows you will disown you.  Let me see here ... do you owe me any money? ... not yet ... ok, so I will disown you rather than sue you as well as disowning you!  No pressure.  Remember runners are made of flesh and bone and that magical thing called courage!

So I went to Garmin, took all my level spits where elevation gain and elevation loss was zero.  Then I correlated all my average HRs with my average Paces and ran a correlation and fit a trend-line.  The correlation is pretty strong at 57%, so there is something valid about this graph.

So the Coach's pace is actually doable for at least one split (which for me is .5k).  It shows that a 11:00 mins/mile (or 6:52 min/k in my graph) means that my heart rate should be averaging about 141 BPM.

Ok, so my coach is pretty smart - what can I say?  I shouldn't be afraid as it is in my comfort zone to run this fast over 2 to 3 miles ... 4 miles should be a push from training, but with adrenalin and lulu-lemon in front of me I might be able to keep my running form and finish strong!

An elevation map of the run (in metric of course) so at 4 miles I be just around the 6.5k mark:

One final thing - I'm seriously thinking about running without music.  Last night there was 1377 people signed up for this combined 5k/10k race - there will be more than enough activity around me to keep me distracted, and if I have a music malfunction Mr. Bigglesworth will get upset.  And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset ...!

Thanks all for the well-wishes.  This run, BTW is a long-run for this week moved from Saturday.  It is part of my training for improving my 5k times near the end of the year.  So I will wear a boring technical shirt from the Running Room for this race.

So on the Garmin my display will be: Current Pace, Avg Pace, HR

When you speak of me ... speak kindly!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday By the Numbers

number of olympics at which tug-o-war was considered an olympic sport:
number of olympics at which plunge diving and live pigeon shooting
was considered an olympic sport:
the number of events in the first olympics in 776 B.C.
the length of the only event (a sprint) in those first olympics 776 B.C.
210 yrds
number of NFL teams named after a charge card
(the Diner's Club Carte Blanche):
1 (San Diego)
number of feet, over which a human can outrun a Formula 1 car,
both starting from a complete stop:
number of cows needed for all the leather footballs used in the NFL for one year:
% of high school atheletes that play their sport in college:
2% [src]
average time of finishers of the 2009 NYC Marathon:
% pace decrease for every 5 degrees increase in temperature over 60 degrees:
maximum amount of water (in ounces) the largest human can hold:
maximum amount of water (in ounces) the average human can hold:
% of the population that is above average anything
% of the population that is below average anything
average life expectancy of a Star Trek red-shirt crew member (in seconds)
after landing party:
Average miles per gallon you can expect if a car maker's ad says "30 mpg, city":
average miles per gallon for off-the-shelf gatorade that a jog burns:
for a hard run:
Usain Bolt's top speed (in mph) during his 100 m Olympic sprint performance:
27.79 [src]

Good luck everyone with races! I have my 10k on Sunday and am pumped!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Prefontaine vs. Without Limits

I had a chance to sit down and watch a couple of films this weekend.  I watched Without Limits (1998: Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter) and Prefontaine (1997: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill).  They both cover the life, struggles, defeats and triumphs of Steve Prefontaine - an Oregon runner who died young in a car accident in 1975.  I believe that at the time of his death he was the national distance record holder for several races of distances between 2000 meters and 10k.  Both movies also present the iconic running-shoe-making Bill Bowerman (eventual co-founder of Nike) as coach of the Oregon athletics team.  Both movies talk a little of Pre's earlier days, his acceptance to Oregon, his training with Bill Bowerman, the Munich Olympics and the terrorist attack that resulted in the death of several Israeli team members, Prefontaine's fight with the American Athletics Union, and his romances.

Although each movie covered the same subject matter, the two movies could not be more different.

Prefontaine is presented as a documentary - it throws in lots of facts (we are led to believe are true).  These facts however takeaway from the story-line.  Having too much accuracy gives you too many characters to follow and care about - the title says Prefontaine, but there is no time to develop all the walk-on roles surrounding the main character and the main character also suffers because of this.  I felt Leto did not play his role that well; and although I like Ermey in all his war movies, he would not have been my choice for Bowerman.  It is a decent documentary of the last 5 years of Pre's life and it does show his life well (at least I believe it does).  They throw in Vietnam protests as well.  I wonder why they didn't throw in all the election results over the five years of the film and the Moon landings and everything else.  In a good documentary leaving stuff out is also important - and I think they left WAY TOO MUCH IN.

Without Limits is presented as a true sports film - where the moral and the message serve as the plot line around which the story is attached (some key things are removed from the story or changed to help the audience stay with the message).  Without Limits definitely makes a decision for the viewer.  A decision about how Pre lived his life, how elusive his goals were, and the athletics environment he lived in.  I think Sutherland was the perfect foil for Crudup and the story showed an excellent coach-student relationship.  All of the running strategy in this movie seemed well-placed, important and correct (negative splits, final kick, drafting behind the lead).  One other thing in this movie is that the romances where shown, but they also had a girl names Mary lay down the law that she doesn't want to be involved with a womanizer.  And although we see great love in the film - it is Pre's romance with running and the vibrancy of youth that is more important.  This film has lots of people teaching Pre a different way of doing things, and Pre doesn't seem to take people's advice too much.

I liked Without Limits better than Prefontaine.  Both movies being watched at the same time however, helped me appreciate the story more completely.

Both movies have jogged the idea that desire is as important for achievement as talent.  But at the elite level talent, desire, coaching, training and race strategy make an undefeatable combination.  Pre was shown in both films to not dive in to coaching or race strategy well.  A claim that I recall he made was that a true runner leads from the front and would not try to win the race with a last minute kick coming from the pack.  That's an admirable if naive comment on the facts of life.  The 5k and the 10k were always the thinking-woman's/man's races at the Olympics.  The different sprints were raw power, and the marathon was endurance.  But the 5k and the 10k had strategy, and tactics.  Better to run the tangent in last place at the back of the pack for the first half than to run on the outside tied for second last (because you run an amazing 8 yards more per lap in the second lane).

If this film was about Bruce Jenner, or Michael Phelps, it would end with a waving American flag and a big can of made-in-America whoop-a** for each movie goer to take home.  But what this film is about is how difficult it was for American athletes at this time to compete on the International stage - and it ends with a tragedy.  Perhaps that's why these two films are important - because they did not have any ultimate goal being conquered at the end. They both just glorified the courageous struggle of a runner.

That is something I wish for each of us: courage!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Jill (@ Run with Jill) tagged me with the versatile blogger award on Friday.

Here are the rules of this award:
  1. Thanks and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award to other bloggers.
My answers:
  1. Thank you Jill.  Her great twice-a-week blog with her trials and adventures as she trains for her 500th marathon, and her 50-miler, her children, and her running friends and her struggle to get insurance ... (you get the picture it's a blog) ... is located at Run with Jill ( She's also my running mentor and go-to source for training questions.
  2. Seven things about me:
    1. I believe that we can become better people by examining ourselves, our actions and motivations and working on them.
    2. I believe that if we do not challenge ourselves, life will challenge us in very uncomfortable ways.
    3. I am having a fantastic time running at my limits.
    4. I am looking at selling my company and moving into another company as COO or President.
    5. I believe these viral awards are great for filling a blog post when you don't want to talk about your training!
    6. I have 10 random things about me here.
    7. I believe that desire beats technology every day of the week.
  3. Other versatile bloggers I like to read:
    1. Lisa (@ Chasin' Bunnies)
    2. The Green Girl (@ The Journey of a Running Green Girl)
    3. Termite (@ The Hungry Termite)
    4. Goose (@ The Whole Half)

I'll have a review of two Steve Prefontaine movies in tomorrow's post! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The 10th Leper and Resting HR

Today Jesus is called by 10 lepers. Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the authorities (so that they can be declared clean).  One of the lepers, not even a Jew, but a foreign Samaritan comes back to Jesus and says thank you - the other nine are not heard from.  This is a sad story for me because I identify myself with being in the group of nine.  And I associate Jesus (and the Trinity) with great love, charity, and brotherhood towards me.  But I see the lack of gratefulness in my life for this love.

I like the quote attributed to Steve Prefontaine: To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift. This idea fits well within today's readings.  You need to know you have received a gift before you can be thankful for it.  Running is my gift!  And I am very thankful now, so many years from my birth.  And I have returned to the place where the man healed me and he is not there and I cannot thank him!  ... but perhaps the way to say thank you is to give nothing less than my best.


Today I tested my resting heart rate so that my HR zones could be setup for training.  It looks like while I was resting I started off in my tomatoes, then I walked over the fence into my neighbors wood pile, then I walked across an 8-foot high ceder hedge, then back into my bedroom, then to the garage, then the neighbors back yard, then the other neighbors back yard and bedroom!  I wonder if the Garmin can actually track the movement of my thoughts this way - I think Garmin is missing a great opportunity in not marketing to psychics, astrologers, and new-agers to track bilocation!  You can see my journey here.  (BTW, this is called drift in GPS terms, and if you use a differential base station - or another stationary receiver - you can get rid of this drift.  Cruise missiles and military planes are spot on though.)

So my resting HR is: 52.  What's yours after 15 mins of laying quietly?

I was awarded a Versatile Blogger award from Jill, plus I have both Prefontaine and Without Limits rented.  So I hope I can sneak these two movies in tomorrow and write up the award as well.

There are mighty deeds happening this weekend, triathlons, marathons, other races and I am RESTING!  I can't wait for all the great race reports!

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Everything is A OK!"

I got my clearance!

for Waterloo 5k/10k Oktoberfest Run on Sunday October 17th, at 9:30 am

And I'm entering the Clydsdale/Weight-Lifter/Fat(Big-Boned*)-Guy Category!  The slowest guy in my age group last year was 15 minutes(!) faster than my best 10k training time.

Looks like I might be able to pick up the pace for the first 4k as it's almost all down hill!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!!!!  May the Mojo be with you!

* no "running with wood" comments Matty

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I need Help!

I got this picture from our class manager - convocation is in 3 weeks.  Apparently a framed one is free with the deal!  Sweet!  I was part of a fantastic class.  See if you can spot the guy that fooled them all!


I want to run a 10k race as part of my training on Sunday October 17th, at 9:30 am.  It's the Waterloo 5k/10k Oktoberfest Run.

I have two points that I need everyone's expert help on:

  1. How do I convince, the super-intelligent and all-round-awesome Coach Parker that I can do my Saturday long run (6 miles for Elizabeth) on a Sunday - during the race? (After I spent 22 emails telling her I need Sunday's off from training to spend time with my family!)
  2. If I'm allowed to enter it, do I choose the age category or the weight category to compete for medals?  My age group would be 45-49, and my weight would be 200+ lbs.

Thanks for all the recipes - I especially like the stew with 5% alcohol.  I had 3 bowls!  hiccup! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I haven't changed my diet and I've been losing weight consistently over the last 4 months. More importantly, I have more energy and have lost about 6 inches in waistline (also about 28 lbs - but who's counting). But this fantasy world I live in had to change one day. And so Jill wrote me on Sunday evening that:

"I want to continue to see those numbers decrease about 2-3 lbs/week ... try to aim your ratios to about: 45 carbs, 38 protein, 12 fats"

I quickly summed the 45+38+12 and discovered that 5% was missing.  She replied that 5% was for daily alcohol consumption - bonus!  But then she double checked that I already own a Garmin and she distributed it over the other components for 47:40:13.  (There's absolutely no reason not to get my family drunk for another Garmin - I could always have one charged as a backup!)

I've been tracking my diet with "Lose it!" an iPhone app and I've discovered that my boring food choices have a load of fat in them. Please allow me to blame my wife for a moment (it's ok, she doesn't read this blog). My wife loves fat - she will put butter and mayo under cheese in a sandwich - and she is thin as a stick! My mother-in-law will put half a pound of butter into a sauce for two people! And they're all thin! They've got these wonderful figures - and I look at a cube of ice and I can gain weight!  When I was growing up we didn't eat lots of fat, but we ate lots of meat, carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits. And the change in diet over our married years has been stored for a rainy day - and now it's raining.

This morning for example I had 1 cup of oatmeal, maple syrop, 1 1/2 egg omelette with a slice of smoked ham for 447 calories -  50% carb: 18% protein: 31% fat.  Like I said too much fat not enough protein.

But now I'm stuck for lunch - tuna sandwich? pasta with tomato sauce? I'm home today so I can cook for myself - but going to the office means I need to think this through a bit.

What's one of your favorite foods/meals (share a recipe if you like)?  What do you do to increase the protein in your diet without increasing fat as well?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome to the big leagues Mr. Hobbs

First week under a coach [and I'm already belly aching] and I don't know where I'm going [on the clickety clack express] but I know I'm gonna get there [what the?].  I'd like to interview Coach Parker for my blog and [at no extra-charge to me] the Coach has agreed.

Did 7.3 k (4.5 mi) at base pace and then ran some 30 meter striders and then some drills.  I was surprised that I had so much energy after about 45 mins of running to run these sprints.  Ran through a wet soccer field and boy do I not like wet toes on a 4°C (39°F) morning!  The drills left me a little winded - although the high heels drill was pretty arousing!

The Garmin actually tracked the striders pretty well.  The screencap of the action is below.  I am so impressed with my Garmin 405 that I have called my lawyer and will be writing it into my will.
Of the three thousand points we will work on in our 16 [how many?] or so weeks I have to:

  • keep loosing weight
  • run with good form
  • continue to do weights and workouts
  • monitor carbohydrate:protein:fat ratios
  • eat at key times of the day
  • combine running and weights on some days!
  • monitor absolutely everything [I need to store all my poo for one week and send it to SUAR for analysis - I'm telling you this Coach is serious]
  • most importantly - run at the assigned pace, for the assigned distance

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Virtual Race Reports

Race Report 1:
October 10th is Barefoot Neil Z's (@ Because all the cool kids are doing it) birthday and he's hosting a fabulous race.  The link in brackets will get you there and explain your options for joining and the fabulous prizes.

 The race temperature was 12°C (54°F).  I ran this race yesterday and here's the messy track:

I covered the first 10k (6.25 miles) in 1:16:24 for a pace of 7:38/k (12:13/mi).  I started the race at 7:54 am, and ran it in Applewood Acres my neighborhood.  At certain times in the run, I met up with my neighbor and her dog running in the other direction.  There was one point when I was finishing the race and she past me.  Disappointingly she (and the golden retriever) were very much faster than me.  I can't even run faster than a family pet!

However the Garmin is working it's magic!  Adrienne also gave me a stern WARNING that drinking and improvements in running don't mix.  So I will not drink (alcohol) while in training!

Race Report 2: 
At the beginning of a rainy drizzly day, I started my Garmin and I was off to complete Marcia's Virtual Race (@ Running Off at the Mouth).  The race temperature was 9°C (48°F) with a mild breeze from the East.

I covered the first 10k (6.25 Miles) in 1:18:04 for a pace of 7:48/k (12:30/mi).  I was a little weaker following yesterday's 10k virtual race, but there was never a thought of giving up and not helping Marcia out and letting her know that I support her.  I actually ran a totally new route, and I need to thank Marcia for her suggestion to her blog readers.  I came a cross a lot of "yutes" on bicycles that didn't say hello, but a whole lot more pairs of power walkers and runners that were very friendly, and a lot of unaware dog walkers that stood on one side of the sidewalk while there doggies pulled the leash tight across the sidewalk as they sniffed around on the other side.  Marcia's race is still on until 10/10/10 so please go to the race link and sign up, donate, and she has a random draw so even the poorest time has the same chance of winning.
I can't believe I've trained 4 months with a stop watch and keeping track of my course on Google Maps.  This Garmin thing frees the mind up and I feel like I'm quite refreshed on these longer runs where time is a little less important than the running!

I've actually run a half-marathon in total distance these last two days. I might be saying goodbye to these longer distances for now as J.P. my coach is creating a plan for speed improvements (and I hope associated fitness).

Hoping for and sending mojo to all the people racing today, and especially those racing against tired donkeys for 50 miles!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cause and Effect Friday

Over a year ago I gave my business school this

Then they gave me a photograph of myself with watermarks
on it because they needed more money for the photo.
(That's why they're a Bidnes Skool)

On my birthday I gave my guests lots of this

Then they gave me a gift card to buy this

I got myself one of these
So I could win some of these

Have a great weekend everyone and good luck and lot's of mojo in your races!


My first Garmin-tracked Run 11.05k (6.9mi) at 7:30/k (12:15/mi) pace.