Saturday, June 18, 2011

Kicks, Steps and Pops

"Kicks"
There is quite possibly no finer day in a runner's life than when he/she gets a new pair of shoes. I think that no matter how much you like your current shoes, when you put on new ones, every ache and pain seems to just disappear! The best advice for shoes is to find a brand/model that you like, and stick with it. I have done just that. For the past 1000 miles or so I have been riding on Mizuno Wave Rider 13's. Unfortunately Mizuno decided (as all shoe companies do) to sunset this model, and come out with the Mizuno Wave Rider 14's. So last Saturday I decided to go into Fleet Feet and go through the process of seeing if the 14's were still the best for me or if there were better shoes out there. I tried several of all different brands, but none felt as good as the 14's.

I started working the new shoes in this week, and its almost like getting brand new tires, everything just feels smoother. I am amazed every time this happens. The gang over at Fleet Feet were awesome to deal with (as always). I highly recommend that no matter where you live that you support your local running stores. These folks always give back to the running community and they are always willing to help. You won't find that at big-box stores! Fleet Feet did not pay me to say that, but if they want to, I wouldn't mind.

For the love of the sport...of course.
"Steps"
Also...this week, I hit a bit of a milestone. As of this morning, I have completed my longest training week EVER, just topping 34 miles in a single week. The real question will be is whether I can sustain this through the summer in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon. I've been slowly building since February, and have recently added a 4th day to my training regimen. I really hope that if I can keep this up, I'll be very strong for MCM in October.

"Pops"
Lastly, as you know tomorrow is Father's Day. I think I would be remiss in my first Father's Day as a Run Blogger not to post the following video. Older runners may think it cliche, but I hope that I can introduce Team Hoyt to a brand new crop of runners.
Amazing right? It's not uncommon. Dad's all over this world wake up before dawn to go to work for their kids. They sacrifice their lives so that their kids can have a better life. Yours probably did the same. My dad never ran a triathlon, but he did sacrifice so that I could have a better life, every...single...day. That's what makes the Team Hoyt story so powerful. It is a tangible metaphor that illustrates the lengths that good fathers will take for their children. I hope you all have a wonderful Father's Day Weekend.

Happy Father's Day Dad.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Two for Tuesday

On my run today I started thinking about the blog, and what I should write about. I'm sure that every blogger's creativity works differently, and I know of some bloggers who have five or six blogs in the hopper just waiting to launch.

Allow me to let you in on some behind the scenes information here at Coffee on the Run...what you see is fresh, never frozen ideas that usually have been in my head for less than a day. Sometimes less than an hour! Where else can you get country raised, organic ideas freshly delivered to you that fast?

Today I've got a couple of things for you...one that I hope you'll find helpful in your motivation, the other is a soapbox of mine.

First up...Never stop running on an uphill. You might think that after you've run for a couple of years you may never struggle with "Whew...I just need to walk for a bit". If you think that, you're wrong. Almost every day my mind tries to short circuit my workout and come up with some reason to stop. My mind usually kicks this into overdrive when I'm working through an uphill. It would be the easiest place to stop, and most logical....but I've found that if I can keep going.....

Choo-choo!
I'll make it to the other side of the hill, and talk myself out of quitting. If you can achieve small milestones like this it will help boost your confidence and build your endurance. Just make it to the top...then rest on the downhill. Chances are you'll talk yourself out of stopping on the downhill and flat section because you can recover. Win this battle of your mind and you'll feel 100% better about your run and yourself.

Next up is a debate that won't be settled here, but I offer it up as a Public Service Announcement. Runners, especially ladies, please do not run with headphones.   This has been a hot topic in the Coffee household for quite some time, but let me explain my experience to you and see if it matches up with yours.

Many days while running I will encounter runners on my route. Sometimes we'll pass in opposite directions and we'll do the runner's nod, or throw up a hand to say hello. But some days I encounter runners going the same direction as me and often, but not always they are women runners. Having a wife who is a runner, I want to do my best to be respectful and not frighten them by running up too fast or too close. As I close I will usually scuff my feet intentionally or clear my throat in an effort to let them know someone is behind them. Sometimes this does the trick and they look back and see that I'm not an axe murderer and I pass with pleasantries exchanged.

Unfortunately though in many cases they do not hear this because they have headphones in. As I get closer I'll try to say something like "on your right/left". Invariably they won't hear this either, and the first time they see or hear me, I am side by side with them and every..single..time they are startled. Some scream, some jump about 3 feet and some simply comment that they didn't know I was there.

I always feel like some kind of skeeve when this happens, because now this runner thinks I snuck up on her. I feel bad because I possibly ruined her run. I know that one of these days I'm going to get a face full of mace just because somebody's wearing headphones.

My wife insists that she can still hear things around her with her headphones in..and the debate rages on. The bottom line? Be aware of your surroundings when you're running. Don't get too lost in thought that someone can sneak up on you. Be safe. I'll step off the soapbox now.

Am I wrong in this? Do you wear headphones? Have you ever been frightened by a runner coming up from behind?