Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Sleepy Monster Attacked Me Today while I was Running!

Here of late, I have been trying to juggle running into my schedule. If sleep were an option, then I would be okay.'s not. This week is my easy week (as to not burn out) so I am "taking it easy". I have the attitude that if I run, great, if not, great. I need some time to catch up on about 10,000 hours of sleep that I have lost in the past 10 years. I will just do some easy running to maintain my figure and in the meantime, listen to Dimension X.

This leads me to today's episode. I was planning on running a long run today because yesterday I was in the mood for one. "Yesterday's mood is today's imagination". I headed out with 3 hours of sleep last night and the night before thinking I was going to accomplish some awesome feat. After .4 miles, I felt like a boulder landed on top of me. I was attacked by the Sleepy Monster. I have been running on little sleep for the past year with no problem but today, the Sleepy Monster got me. I stopped. I went home. I felt attacked and violated. I will get some sleep tonight because I am off today. I will just relax today and drink some sleepy time tea and read the paper thinking about what I can do to fit more sleep in my schedule. I have no problem fitting running, but running with out proper sleep is making me feel like the guy on the right here.

I want to thank every one that left a comment or read the last post. I am late of reading a lot of my blogs, please excuse me. I will get around to it soon. For now I am going to sleep and dream about running and doing *core exercises as I need them badly. .4 miles, good heavens man.....I was thinking on not even logging it, but hey......4 miles is .4 miles right?

* Take note of the EOR Running Man on top............Sleep Running!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finding Time to Run

Most runners have full time jobs. Some of us have full full time jobs, and even full full full time jobs. The bills have to be paid some how, right? Being a runner and working full time while juggling an array of other tasks and errands can be a daunting task. Some might work 40 hours a week, while others work 70 hours a week. In either case, getting in runs can be quite burdening, especially the long ones. Training for a marathon or an ultra marathon can be quite the challenge. Because of my work and running schedule conflicts with each other.

I am off 2 days a week, which are Sundays and Wednesdays. I will go into work around 3pm, and get off anywhere from 2am - 6am the next day. I am in the Transportation field. I am glad that I am not over the road going state to state, but the hours of service are still the same. They expect 70 hours a week, 14 hour shifts, and a 10 hour break between each. So, for example, when I get off (not counting the time it takes to travel back and forth to work), I have 10 hours to sleep, run, get ready, do errands or whatever, and go back to work. **note - this post inspired me to write what I did up top there. I am too tired to sleep, therefore....I run. This is literal.

Many of us runners have this same type of situation, some less severe than others, but still the same nevertheless. Being a runner enables us to manage and cope with any situation life throws at us, whether it is on the race course getting through those last few miles, or life in general.

Over the past year, I have been able to fit my runs in accordingly. Now, I am logging 30 + miles a week, and can do a lot more if needed. Some days I might get 2-4 hours of sleep. I wish I could average 6 hours a night but that is impossible. When I get enough sleep I do my long runs, usually the day after I am off, or later during the off day. When I do not get a lot of sleep, I do my shorter runs. Either way, I run, no matter what. If I do not run because of lack of sleep, I reschedule for the next day, or go back to the drawing board. Sometimes, I find myself sleeping while I run. Sleep running, not walking. It is a lot of shuffling, but that is what being a runner is all about. Meeting life's demands, and moving on, pushing ourselves to be better.

This post is dedicated to all of those who work hard, whether it is at a job, or being a full time Mommy, Daddy, or whatever. Being a runner is more than just running. It is being able to plow through life at full speed and not letting anything or anyone get in our way, including time. If any one knows anything about "Time Management", it is a "Runner". So when us runners hear people say, that do not exercise "I don't have time", it is really amusing, to me anyways. Aren't you glad that you find the time?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Running Anywhere / Trail Running

Quaker Race Trail, Gifford Pinchot State Park

I hope that those of you that read my last post enjoyed the video that went along with it. It was a lot of fun doing that. My wife was there with me on that adventure. That means lots of pictures. lol. Being a runner now for over a year has been a blessing. Meeting people here has been even more of a blessing. I would like to take this moment to thank all of you that read EOR and place comments, for they mean a lot to me. I enjoy the feedback, as do all of you I am sure, so thanks.
Running on varied surfaces and different places has several different benefits. For starters, the boredom factor decreases dramatically. Finding new places to run might require a little research and getting out there, but it is worth every second. Here of late, I have been doing exactly that. So far, I have found two trails not very far from where I live. Gifford Pinchot State Park and the Appalachian Trail are among those on the list so far. Gifford Pinchot is roughly 10 miles drive away, and the Appalachian Trail is about 5 miles away backing Lake Tuckahoe. The park ranger there created a trail leading up to the AT. I will be doing some reviews on those in the future. Along with my regular running, I will be introducing trail running into the scheme of things. The one thing I am liking so far with the trails is that they really give you a great work out of all sorts, both physically and mentally. You have to be mentally prepared to watch where your feet land at all times. The physical aspect is daunting in comparison to road running, for you are strengthening both your major leg muscles with the inclines and declines as well as your stabilizer muscles for balance. I am also finding out that total body strength along with a very strong core are not optional, but a requirement. I will not be doing Trail Running full time, as the risk of injury escalates, but will not doubt enjoy it more often than not as a way to break out of the every day norm of running relentlessly down the pavement. Running is running, no matter where and how, be it treadmill, asphalt, gravel, roots, sand, water, whatever. The important thing is to get out there and run, run, run.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Trail Runner

A Trail Runner's Epic Run. Join the Trail Runner on the 365 day journey across time and space and roots @ 253 miles a day to total 92,345 miles. Watch as the drama unfolds, but keep your seat belts fastened, for anything can go wrong, anything. He isn't sponsored, and no, he does not have a fan club, but his sheer will and determination will drive him far beyond the galaxy. My name is Scott Taser, and I had a chance to get out with the "Trail Runner" yesterday as his journey began somewhere in Tatooine. I had a chance to get a few words out of him. I was relieved he decided NOT to wear the new tron suit he ordered off of ebay.

** This humorous post and video is an introduction of better things to come with Essence of Running. Just a way I thought to break the ice into the world of Trail Running. Stay tuned for upcoming adventures and (videos).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Long Runs Last Month Become this Month's Tempo Runs

Last month my Long Run was up to 10 miles. This month, my longest run is somewhere between 12-13 miles. This week is my easy week with today being my long run. I either do them Sunday night or Monday morning depending on what my Sunday looks like. Last night, my wife and I went to see Clash of the Titans in 3D. We both enjoyed the movie and it is worth seeing. With that said, I did my 9.3 mile (15k) tempo run today. I was going to run it just normal and see where things take me, but after the 10th km, things started to kick in, and my speed kept getting faster and faster. (I did this thing I saw on a video with Josh Cox. I mixed my GU gel in with my sports bottle so I wouldn't have to mess with the gel packet while I run. Needless to say, it worked.) So I get done with my 9.3 miles feeling great. The last time I did just the 9 miles, I did it in 1:41:40 [11:17 permile], Today's time on the 9.3 (15k) was 1:38:01 [10:32 per mile]. So, now I am down about 45 seconds on my pace per mile in one month. When I get home I noticed something very funny that I have not seen before. In my eyelids are white I guess from the salt in the sweat dripping down. And, while I am thinking about it, I have decided to try out another running club that is actually closer. The first run is this Wednesday and that works out great for me. They host a lot of races. And have clinic like practices for beginners. I would like to thank every one that commented on the last post. Thanks. I will have to check this out. I learned one thing. All Running Clubs are not created equally, and have different agendas. The trick is to find one that best suites you, or create your own. The picture to the right here is dedicated to a frequent commenter and who will be running the Boston marathon. Meg from Megrunsalot. Check it out when you get a chance.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why did I Join a Running Club

Last year I was excited to join a Runner's club that had group runs and all that other fun stuff. I showed up for the first run and every one was aloof. They were a bunch of stuck up snotty people fidgeting with their whatever they had to fidget with. When the director of that run introduced me to the group as a new runner, I was in the blue Porta Potty doing my thing (great timing). Needless to say, my experience with a running club was bad, as they even spelled my name wrong on their online site for the race/run times. Geeeeez. I contacted the admin with a polite email requesting that my name be corrected but no response. So there are all of the bad things that I experienced with joining a running club. I did 2 runs and never went back, plus they are on Sunday morning, out of all days.

So I am thinking to myself why did I join? Oh yeah, that 20% discount at the local running store. Yeap, that is looking on the bright side, because for my $20 membership fee for the running club, I already made that up in savings at the running store. Also, I learned some new running routes I probably never would have found on my own. So there were some good things about it.

Am I against Running Clubs? In no way shape, or form am I against running clubs. I've got my OWN running club. I am the director, and all of the members are the wonderful people that come check out this blog and comment. Ahh, the wonderful world of computers. I might join another running club in the future, but I am good as long as I keep getting my discounts. Who knows, I might create my own running club called "High Tech Runner's Club". You can only show up for runs and races wearing nothing but Tron Uniforms. Have you had a bad experience with a local Runner's Club? On that note, Gotta Run!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Running Changes you More Ways than you Know / 5k PR

Running changes you in more ways than you can even begin to imagine. Since I began running last year, I have found that I do things a little different than what I use to. I get a kick out of watching people at the grocery store or mall drive around for 3.5 hours trying to get a spot 20 feet away from the entrance. Do they realize that they will be walking inside the mall or down the isles anyway? I actually look for the farthest spot and park there so I can walk, walk, walk my legs out. I do not see food as something that taste good any more. (well sometimes, ok, most of the time) but what I mean is that I see food as fuel, not for entertainment purposes. I will have a popcorn and a huge Coke at the movies when I go once every few months though. When I eat, I see miles that I need to run. Like when I have a granola bar, "There is 1.3 miles I need to run now". On Sunday afternoon when I pass the Olive Garden after Church, I think "Wow!" as I see the herd of people outside waiting 2 hours for food. I go out to eat, but only when it is not crowded. You ever notice how many times you look at your Timex and wonder how long it takes for something, anything to be done. Do you time yourself doing all sorts of things, and wonder if you can beat that the next time. Time Time Time. Well, there are many many things that change when you become a runner, like talking about running all the time. What changes did you encounter when you became a runner, when you busted out of your shell and became that bird runner flying down the street like.......well, whatever?

5k PR
Wild Wood Lake 5k 11/15/2009 36:20 pace: 11:42
Wild Wood Lake 5k 04/07/2010 30:55 pace: 9:58

I have kind of completed one of my goals for the year of running at a comfortable sub 10 minute per mile pace. I was comfortable in this race. Does that count? lol. My standard was to keep this sub 10 minute per mile pace for at least 2 miles.

Progression is the Essence of Running - Always reaching further and further........................................................and further!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Iron Maiden)

Iron Maiden
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Tough of the track,
With the wind,
And the rain that's beating down on your back.
Your heart's beating loud
And goes on getting louder
And goes on even more till the sound
Is ringing in your head,
With every step you tread,
And every breath you take,
Determination makes
You run,
Never stop,
Gotta win, gotta run till you drop,
Keep the pace,
Hold the race,
Your mind is getting clearer,
You're over halfway there but the miles
Just never seem to end
As if you're in a dream,
Not getting anywhere.
It seems so futile.

Run, on and on,
Run, on and on,
The loneliness of the long distance runner.

I've got to keep running the course,
I've got to keep running and win at all costs,
I've got to keep going, be strong,
Must be so determined and push myself on.

Run over stiles, across fields,
Turn to look at who's on your heels,
Way ahead of the field,
The line is getting nearer but do
You want the glory that goes,
You reach the final stretch,
Ideals are just a trace,
You feel like throwing the race,
It's all so futile.

Run, on and on,
Run, on and on,
The loneliness of the long distance runner.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday Run, 100th Post! (running in the dark)

It is Easter Sunday. Today Christians celebrate the day that the tomb stone was rolled away and Jesus' body is Gone. He has Risen! Church Service was great. My wife and I participate in the choir and we did a special that lasted for about an hour, and then the sermon. What do most of us do afterward? My wife and I were invited over to the Anderson's for Easter Sunday dinner. We could not resist as we did not have any plans of our own. After that, we make our way to the Asia Mall to buy some filipino foods. (25 lb. bag of Jasmine rice and other stuff (every meal @ my house comes with rice, even breakfast)). I hope that every one of you had a great Easter Sunday, or Holy Week.
Now to the running part. I usually do my long runs on Monday as I am well rested. Here of late though, I am finding that I have more energy at night due to my work schedule. So 7 hours after Easter dinner, I am really craving to go running. My wife is busy watching Wowowee on the TFC, so I tell her I want to go. She asks, "How long?", I say "a few hours at least" she says "OK baby, have fun". I am fortunate to have a supportive wifey poo. (*when I got back she was sleeping, lol) Problem: It's dark outside. The gym is obviously not an option as it is closed. I go and check out Century Park (.4 mile loop) where I usually run outside. It has some lights, but the other half of the loop is not lit up. It goes by a part that has a fence with cows behind it where it is dark. Sometimes when I run I can hear them breathing and kicking and whatever. I cross this off my list too, for I scare easily as you will see later here. Third option, one that I have thought of before, but never checked out. I drove over to the high school. (I really want to burn that Easter Dinner off, and I really want to run. lol). Great I see some guys throwing Frisbee and ask them, "Hey do you think it is OK if I use the track?". They responded with "Sure, my dad comes here and runs at night all the time". Awesome! So I drove over and grabbed my bag with GU gels, water, CellPhone, etc.. I stepped onto the track and it was weird. The last time I was on one of these was in high school. I had 11 miles (17.7 km) planned to run. I did 11 miles last week, but the last few miles were a walk/run/looks like zombie walking run. I wanted to run the full 11 miles. The track itself was not lit up, but was by a road that threw some (very little) light there. I got out my water and prepared my GU gels. I warmed up with a lap of walking, then walk, run. And so off I go. I never felt any better than this. It was awesome. 4 laps = 1 mile (close to it), what I did was start in lane 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, and when I was done with lane 4 lap I would hop back into lane 1 for the second mile and so forth. After mile 6 I grabbed a GU and wow, after a few laps, I felt better. After the 9th mile, I had one more GU and I finally finished my 11 miles. I actually went another lap to be sure. (also to have 18k in instead of 17.7..... lol). As I was running, it was kind of scary as I imagined someone, or something flying down from the bleachers to get me. I was actually thinking of Jeepers Creepers. Lame, I know, but it was night, and mostly dark. I could see the lines though on the track so that was nice. So, this is the story of my longest run so far at 11.25 (18k). One mile Splits - 1. 11:31, 2. 12:08, 3. 12:44, 4. 12:05, 5. 12:17, 6. 12:08, 7. 12:42, 8. 12:07, 9. 12:01, 10. 12:07, 11. 11:41. Notice the first and last mile? lol. Total time: 2:13:36 Average pace: 12:08. Did not stop running but to take in some GU and drink water. I did stop 2 other times to......(use imagination, esp if you are a guy), but I did not walk at all. One thing I noticed was that after 8-9 miles, even though my legs were tired, my very slow running became a fluid like motion. I sort of felt like a robot of sorts. All moves mechanical, but yet smooth. I was working on my movements as to not waste energy. It felt Great! So, I am done with my longest run now. Next week I have 12 miles scheduled, and the week after. The third week out is an easy week. I am glad that I went out and ran. Nevertheless, when I was done, my body felt the effects. I never felt this way before. Besides being very tired, my body felt as though I had a fever or something, with out the throwing up. I felt chilly. So......I hopped in the shower and man, that felt great. HOT HOT HOT shower for nearly 30 minutes. lol. A hot shower never felt so good. After that, I ate left overs that the Anderson's gave us, and got ready for bed. When I did hit the sack, I my goodness. My body never felt as good to lay down. To those of you that run long distance I have to ask. Is the achy fever like symptom normal? I am feeling fine today, though not running (not even a recovery run, lol). Just last night after I ran, I felt this. Thanks. Thanks also for bearing with me as I tell this long story. I usually do not post this long but had to get this out. As my long runs get longer will they all leave me feeling like I got hit by a truck? Its funny, but as I was walking to my car (after the run), I am already excited and thinking about my next long run next week. Running long distance is certainly an adventure, and testing your self. I was determined to keep throwing one foot out in front of the other. I am learning about the long distances of running. I could read countless numbers of books, or talk to people about it, But, there is only one way to learn about it............Go Run, till you can't run anymore, until you look like a zombie walking around, then keep going, and going, and going!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Garmin 305 Forerunner / 3 Conditions to Buy

Ah Yes, the Garmin 305 Forerunner.  Right now the only way I have to measure my running pace is to check on to see what the distance is and use my trusty Timex.  I don't mind, for that is what I have been doing for the last year or so.  My next running toy (toy because you really don't NEED it) is the Garmin 305.  I would love to have one so I can, well, for those of you that have one, you know.  For those of you that don't, to make this post S&S (short and simple), click here to find out more.

There are three conditions in order for me to enable myself to buy, other than having the money to do so.

1. Must have the money by saving 26.2 cents per mile that I run.  (No instant gratification here)
2. Must be under 180 pounds (81.6466 kg) ...about 16 more to go.
3. And finally, I must run a mile in under 4:38 (just kidding)  8 minutes.

After those three conditions are met I will purchase the Garmin 305 Forerunner or other model I chose. Looks like I've got some running to do.  Yahooooooo!

March Recap
Miles Ran - 108 (174 km)  *the most so far in any month by 29 miles
Longest Run - 11 miles (17.7 km)
Feeling good now, no injuries to report, 5 distance PRs