Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New Things

New things can be good - not always but often. Here are a couple of new things I really like.

NB310: I bought these shoes while I was in Texas. I have never had any desire to run in minimalist shoes. I am a big guy - 190 pounds at my lightest and right now hovering around 200+. I assumed I could never run in shoes without a ton of cushion and a good solid heal.

When we went home to Texas in December I was supposed to have a new pair of trail shoes waiting for me at Tori’s house but due to shipping problems they were not there. I didn’t bring any running shoes with me because I wanted to save space so I had to make a trip to Sports Authority for a new pair. I didn’t want to spend a bunch of cash on shoes since I had a pair coming. I am cheap that way. I saw a pair of $50 New Balance MT310’s on the shelf. I would never have tried the shoes on in a million years. No heal to speak of and very little mid-sole compared to what I run in. But come on … $50.

I put them on my feet and they felt okay. I thought “I can run in these for a couple of days until my other shoes show up at Tori’s and then I will just wear them around”. Little did I know I would love them and now I do not run in anything else. I have yet to run in the shoes I was waiting for even though they showed up just before we came back to Singapore.

It took some time to get used to running in them because it changes my stride a bit. But so far it is working for me. The only problem is I cannot find them in Singapore. I will have to try to find a comparable model of Brooks. I have been a Brooks faithful for years so maybe they make something I will like. But for now I really like my New Balance MT310s!

Kent Ridge Park loop: I started running a new 5 mile loop a couple of weeks back. From my house I run past Hort Park with all of its botanical smelliness and start ascending Kent Ridge. The first 2 miles or so are really hilly. The ascent to Kent Ridge is on switchbacks and the final couple hundred meters is up steps.

It is not Colorado by any stretch of the imagination but if I run the Speights West Coaster as is the plan I will be running this and Mount Faber much more often. The course profile for that race looks pretty nasty. And running on hills will help.

The middle two miles are relatively flat under West Coast Highway. And the last mile rolls but after the previous four it is killer. I have to finish slow. I really like my new Kent Ridge Loop!

Punch Brothers – Are You Feeling Young Now: I dig the Punch Brothers. I know there are people who mourn the loss of Nickel Creek but if that band had to break up for Chris Thile to make this music with Punch Brothers then it is fine by me.

Are You Feeling Young Now came out yesterday. I downloaded it last night and ran with it playing in my head as I ran Kent Ridge this morning. The music has familiar instrumentation but defies genre. Movement and Location is the first song and I have had it for a couple of weeks - such a rhythmic song and great to run to. It just gets better from there. They cover Radiohead with Kid A. I wonder what Radiohead thinks of their music through a banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, violin and stand-up bass? It is all too good. I really like the new music from the Punch Brothers and I think the more I listen the more I will like it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Week 1

So the tattoo healed very well and I started week one of marathon training last Monday (the 6th). It went great. I ran 32 miles this week with a “long run” of 8 miles around MacRitchie this Saturday morning. I felt relatively strong and my feet are holding up well. At least three of the runs have some hills on them and I felt strong on those runs.

The problem is that this morning my legs felt full of lead. It is my fault. I went from 20ish mile weeks to 32 without much of a build-up or rest. So tomorrow I am taking off and I will take my scheduled Thursday rest break and see how it goes from there. Saturday is 9 and I will run it around MacRitchie adding miles on rifle range road to get to the correct distance.

It feels good to be training again. I just don’t want to mess it up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Realizing potential

You always hope for your kids to have a better life than you do - to accomplish what God has set out for them and to live well. I know that Tori, Jakeb, and Anna have the potential to live a very good life and Andrea and I pray for them to reach for their full potential.

In running Jakeb has already run faster and farther than me. Last weekend he ran a fifty mile race in 9:33:46. He had lots of help from his big sister. Read his report here -> link.