Saturday, December 30, 2006

MapMyRun reminder

While out of town and visiting friends, MapMyRun comes in handy to figure out how long our walking route is. Turns out this particular one is 3.6 miles.

A good walk.
Rolling hills.
Ripe earthy farm smells.

The sky is gray and overcast so it is not a good picture day. The forecast is for more sun tomorrow so hopefully it will be a better day for picture taking.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Covey:Blogging :: Sherlock:Coaching

From Mike Sanders who is also reading The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey, I find this posting on the whole person paradigm.

While Mike has made the analogy of Covey to blogging, I will extend the analogy to coaching. I think I used the proper analogy reference markers. If I did not, please feel free to correct me.

A coach needs to deal with the whole person to be successful. I will continue this line of thought specifically with reference to athletic coaching but I believe it can be done as well for personal coaching.

Mike writes: "The Whole-Person Paradigm recognizes that people are four dimensional - body, mind, heart and spirit. He maintains that all philosophy and religion, both Western and Eastern from the beginning of recorded time recognizes the same four dimensions physical/economic, the mental, the social/emotional and the spiritual."

Every athlete should be seen by the coach as a whole person. They come to the track, the field, the court, etc. with some basic talent or ability. They have an endowment of genes that can not be changed but can be developed to its fullest. There are physical limits to an athletes' development and the gene pool brings the primary one.

The capability of the athlete to accept advice, to set their own goals, to execute the plan (their training routine) is next in line. Their willingness is paramount. You, the coach, cannot motivate them. The motivation needs to come from within the athlete. The coach can develop an understanding of what is possible and help the athlete to work towards that goal but if you (the coach) think your going to motivate the athlete, or you (the athlete) think that the coach will motivate you: you both have the wrong idea.

The relationship between the coach and athlete needs to be open and honest. The world outside of the gym, off the track, wherever you are developing the physical part needs to be dealt with as well. This is part of the holistic approach. If something is going wrong elsewhere, it will affect the performance in either the practice or the competition. A careful balance between the inside (athletic world) and the outside (real world) needs to be kept. Ignoring this relationship will mean eventual disaster for the athletic relationship, if not also for the real world.

The holistic approach for coach and athlete can bring great satisfaction.

Note: this was found in draft and originally set for publication on Steve's 2 Cents on 12/26/04. Yes, two years ago. How embarrassing? On the one hand, I thought I managed my drafts well. Clearly this one slipped through. On the other hand, still a valid posting. I moved the draft to post here as this is the more appropriate place. Passionate Runner did not come into being until March 12, 2005.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Adjust the schedule

Our normal walk won't happen this morning.
The rain is more than on the plains in Spain.
It is all over New England.

No worry, it is not the end of the world!
We can walk later this afternoon.

The forecast says the rain should clear by then.
So sitting here on the 3-season porch, reading and writing now,
I am getting ready to walk later.

Read John Bingham's inspiring story on
It may provide that extra incentive to change your schedule to get out the door.
The schedule is in your control. Make a good choice!

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Green light


I received the green light to run again today. I'll start slow and come back easy. I'll pick up the exercise/walking effort over the next week or so and officially start with the new year.

Anyone in the Franklin area, particularly those in the Norfolk County Pacers, you can "Run with Steve" to start the new year. Whether you are starting from scratch or just trying to get back into it, join the group and we'll get there together.

I'll be using the 3-day FIRST program. I'll work out the details over the next week or so and have that ready for anyone who wants to run along.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Good for breakfast - pancake & waffle mix

The most important part of any day is breakfast. Especially for an athlete, a good breakfast will set you up for success during the day. Pancakes can be made quickly and will provide a good solid base for the runner's diet. When growing up, my mother had found a "Make A Mix " cookbook which provided recipes for how you could make your own mix that was normally bought in the supermarket. Yes, while DIY is something of a rage today, it is not new. This cookbook goes back to the 1960's!

The "Make A Mix" cookbook had a recipe for Bisquick. It was easy to make. I ended up modifying their recipe with some concepts from an old Runner's World Cookbook where they made an enriched bread dough. The result is a hearty bisquick good for pancakes and waffles.

This makes a good amount and it can be stored in plastic containers. We had a pair of Tupperware containers that worked very nicely for us. If we made a batch of pancakes with the results of the mix, the two containers stored the remainder of the mix for pancakes or waffles the next time.

4 coups of unbleached wheat flour
3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of corn meal
1 cup of wheat germ
5 tablespoons of baking powder
1 and one third cup of powered milk
4 teaspoons of salt
1 and 1 half cup of vegetable shortening

Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to combine the ingredients.

Add the shortening in chucks on the top. Use a kitchen mixer to incorporate the shortening into the dry ingredients. The mix will change from a powdery look to tiny clumps as the shortening is mixed in.

Use this mix with egg and milk to make your hearty and tasty pancake or waffles mix.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Book Review --> Harriers

Harriers: The Making of A Championship Cross Country Team , by Joseph Shivers and Paul Shivers. The two boys (cousins) ran on the Salem High School Cross Country Team. They were selected as part of the 2005 Fresh Writers program . The program encourages high school students to consider literary careers and funds a summer co-op program during which period this book was created.
Harriers is a story of trials and tribulations with an ultimate success. Told from the point of view of high school runners on the team, it reads well. I ran cross country for 6 seasons (2 high school, 4 college) and then having coached at the high school level for another 6 seasons. I found that a cross country team is always a diverse collection of characters. The challenge is for the coach to harness the energy and mindset of the group to focus on the collaboration and cooperation necessary for the team success. Coach Almond was new to Salem. Like most young coaches, he was a runner and familiar with some of Salem’s history. He makes this clear in his introductory talk with the team:
“I want to take this team back to where it was in 1993. My ultimate goal is for us to win a State Championship, and for Salem to go to state every year. I don't know about this year yet, because we are starting practices so late.” Late? The first race wasn't for nearly a month. “All the good teams start in early June. That's when we'll start next year. Really you guys should be running all year. I don't want a bunch of kids who are doing others sports that are doing run cross country ‘to stay in shape’. I want you to be committed to running. Because I want Salem to be the best.“  P 7
While I understand Coach Almond's reasoning for these statements, I don't agree with it. The success of the program can be measured in championship titles or banners, or it can be measured in the number of people in the program who continue to run for the love of running. He seems to be of the first school of thought. I prefer the later. Track and field has an advantage over most sports in that it truly can be open to anyone who wants to try. You can compete in running, hurdles, jumps or any of the throwing events. While cross country teams can be diverse, everyone does one thing together. Hence, I think cross country is probably the best single team sport.
Most cross country runners perceive that the outside world does not care about their sport. Beyond the casual congratulations from a teacher or neighbor, success generally goes unnoticed. They can run through miles of stinging rain to win a meet, but they will still get less newspaper ink than the local football team. The day can be beautiful, but most potential spectators would rather spend Saturday morning sleeping in, than standing around to watch a race.  P 17
The lack of recognition is inherent in the sport and American society. A good program can use this to their advantage.
The Quaker's began jogging around the field in the center of the racetrack. A wall covered with ads for beer and cigarettes encircled the dusty oval, and beyond that stretched acres of grass. The State Cross Country Course began and finished inside the stadium, before the crowd, but most of the race took place outside in the fields. Almond had run here three times, and explained the entire course as his runners jogged sections of it. There were no wooded paths and no spirit-crushing hills, just the stadium and the rolling plains around it. The Quakers knew it would was one of the fastest courses in the state.
The course began and ended on the infield of the racetrack itself, and contained two loops that stretched outside the stadium. Only coaches, athletes, and the press could get on the field; casual fans watched from the grandstand.  These spectators would all be cheering for their own hometown runners, but Almond told his boys that during the race, it would sound as if the entire crowd was cheering for Salem. P 71
The cross country course is the common item for all teams. No matter the preparations, and there are many ways to prepare, the course is the one thing everyone will run on. The weather needs to be considered as part of the course. It can transform a nice grassy plain into a quagmire or into a winter wonderland.
Once the four of them had finished brushing their teeth and performing their other nightly routines, they climbed into bed to rest before their biggest race so far. Almond had taught them that “the night before the night before” was the sleep that mattered, but Paul still did not want to be groggy the next morning. P 77
It was good to read this line. It had been passed down by my own coaches. I have written of it before as something that you need to consider as part of race preparation. It makes a good deal of physiological sense to me.
Virtually every cross country runner opens each race with a sprint to establish position. After a few hundred meters of sprinting, he settles into his race pace, the one he will maintain until he kicks at the finish. The experienced runners at State understood this process, most of the eventual winners took the lead in the first straightaway. Accompanying the lead pack were the overeager kids who were so excited to be at State that they forgot that the race lasted three miles. These tenderfeet would fall away from the frontrunners like scrap metal from a rocket upon re-entry. P 80
The difference amongst runners is defined (for me) along these two levels. One, in understanding the race and what it requires from the body. This comes from experience. You can be told this but it really doesn't make any sense until you actually run it and see what happens. The second in running with this level of pain, really discomfort. The better runners do so. It separates the cream from the crop.
During the post workout meeting, Paul decided to take the stage. Guys, I had a terrible workout today, he said as Almond looked on with curiosity. But I saw ten other guys run fantastic workouts and kill themselves for the team. So I have to say that today was a good workout because the team improved. Almond was stunned. He had perceived the boy as spoiled and self-centered. The speech surprised Almond but it was not an epiphany for Paul. He had run for his team in the past, shared success with them, been happy with their accomplishments. But now he was buying in completely, giving 100 percent to Salem, and keeping Paul Shivers’ success off the list of priorities. Paul made the statement for Almond to show him that Paul was no longer running for himself. P 103
On each team I have been on or associated with, I have seen this occur. Running is a good sport to bring about this kind of self-realization, self-understanding.
Ahead of them, their teammates continued their assault on the front pack. As the four Quakers nears the start of the second and final lap, they saw Almond and Wilson standing several feet off the course. “Neigh-eigh-eigh-h-h-h!” Wilson let out his trademark horse impersonation sending chills through the four. He had whinnied like that throughout workouts during the season, and to the Quakers it was almost a subliminal command to run faster. “Horses don't care about fatigue,” Wilson had said one day, “horses care about winning.” P 135
Good analogy here with the horse quote made effective with the mimicking of the horse sound. The effectiveness of cheering along a course is dependent upon hearing the cheer and reacting with it. The horse sound is different enough to make it stand out in a crowd and electric enough to spur some action.
The negative thought was finally changed into an “advantage” by Almond. “Do you remember last Monday, when we ran in 35-degree rain?” he asked the boys. “Everyone went even faster than his goal times. Weather doesn't matter; I don't want to hear about the weather.” That workout had showed Almond's fanatical side, his belief that every burden a runner takes on in training is beneficial. P 145
Coaches meed to be mindful of the mental state of the runners. As much as they would like to believe that cross country is the primary thing that the runners are concerned with, it hardly is. Running is a way to get away from family, school work, and life in general. Taking the opportunity to frame workouts in a positive manner helps provide the extra spark the runners can use to be at their best when the race starts.
He often preached about synergism, and how none of the Quakers would be as good without his teammates. The boys fed off each other's energy in workouts and races, and held out their hands for teammates who had fallen behind. In the two-minute intervals between repeat workouts, they encouraged each other and high-fived. They ate lunch together and hung out on Saturday nights. But beyond actions and activities, the boys shared a camaraderie forged over the months and miles. Several were each other's best friends. They sacrificed daily for each other, and --- more importantly --- the team.  P 158
Pick up Harriers. It will refresh your memory of those cross country days, or bring you into the exciting world of high school cross country. It may even inspire you to try a run through the woods.
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Simple Living Cycle

In the good old days, Altman said, bikes were simple, and easy to fix. If something broke, you could find an inexpensive replacement at just about any bike shop and install it with simple tools. But over the years, he grew frustrated to find an increasing number of new parts that weren't compatible with the originals on his trusty commuter bike, and that could only be worked on with specialized tools.

"It's like rocket science," he said, "and it doesn't have to be, and it shouldn't be."

Bikes for sale between $130 and $500 dollars.
No spandex type clothing.
Just the essentials for biking.

As written up in Sunday's Boston Globe.

Not a great business model but let's see if we can help to make it work!
Why should all the big guys get the business when this guy can do it well.

I did not find a web site for Simple Living Cycle (given the hours he already works, I am not surprised). You can find the shop here:

Simple Living Cycles
Bicycle Sales & Repairs

57 Waverly Street
Framingham, MA 01702

When Googling for info I did find a good recommendation here.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

My exercise these days

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

While physical therapy is helping the knee, I have been walking and riding instead of running. My bike took a brief rest today while waiting to see if other Pacers would show up this morning.

This week I can sense that old feeling of being "out of condition". Not one I enjoy but I can't do much about it until the new year when I gradually start running again.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Long shot

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

It's a long shot but if you try you can succeed!

If you don't try there is no chance.

Looks like the choice is clear.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Competitive distance running - a dying sport?

When you read:

It is hardly difficult to understand why interest distance running has waned to the point where the appearance of a top American runner on the cover of Sports Illustrated, once a reality, is now unthinkable. The complete dominance of the sport at all levels and disciplines by Africans, especially Kenyans, Ethiopians and Moroccans, has destroyed interest in Western countries.

Every single one of the 73 fastest 10,000 metre times by men have been recorded by Africans. For marathons, the number is 45 of the top 50. At the 2005 World Championships, 12 of the 15 finalists in the men’s 5,000 metres were born in Africa. At the 2006 World Cross Country Championships, the first 16 finishers in the men’s long race were born in Africa, as were the members of 10 of the 20 teams. Many European countries no longer enter international competitions due to European dominance. African runners win races in Europe, North America and elsewhere in anonymity, known to most as a single uniform entity: “the Kenyans”.

What does that do for you?
Read the full article to get the whole story.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Physical Therapy Status

The knee seems to be making progress. It feels more normal now that it did a couple of weeks ago. I got to do 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer tonight. It was good for the first time. I am not sure I could do it for much more than that but currently I don't think that will be necessary.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Friday, November 24, 2006

Hyannis Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & Marathon Team relay

From the Hyannis email:

Registration for the 2007 Race is 200 ahead of last year at this same time for the 2006 Race AND the Four Points by Sheraton Hyannis Resort Hotel may sell out before the end of November 2006. It closed out the last week of December in 2005 for the 2006 Race.

The 2007 Four Points by Sheraton Hyannis Marathon, Half Marathon, 10Km & Marathon Team Relay will take place on the weekend of February 23-25, 2007 in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The Registration for all four races has officially opened up as of September 1, 2006.

There will be a Friday night fun run with 4-Time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers as your special guest including a post fun run cash dinner at the British Beer Company in downtown Hyannis, a Saturday Race Exposition at the Four Points by Sheraton Hyannis Hotel featuring many sports related vendors and associates as well as a Saturday night pasta dinner featuring Bill Rodgers as our special guest speaker and to cap off the weekend of running there will be four fabulous races on Sunday that offer something for all with a fantastic post race awards ceremony and party.

The event web site can be found here.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006


No turkey day run for me today.

I am thankful that the knee injury is not serious. The physical therapy sessions seem to be helping.

I am thankful that Carolyn wants to continue the new "tradition" of running the Best Buddies 5K in Brighton today.

We are both thankful that the weather is not as bad as they forecasted. It will be cool (but good for running) and damp (but not a down pour).

Last year, we left home in a snow storm to drive to the race thinking we would run in the snow. Alas as we got closer to Boston, the precipitation had changed to misty rain.

What are you thankful for today?

May the roads/trails be kind to you

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Embracing the dark side

Mark Iocchelli has a good essay on using the dark side to provide the motivation to develop and follow an exercise program.

How to Turn the Dark Side to Your Advantage

The secret—the “force” that will get you exercising is to embrace your fear of the dark side—the knowledge that by not acting today, you put your future in dire straights.

From the dawn of time we've been afraid. Afraid of starving, afraid of the elements, and afraid of being eaten up by stronger, faster predators. Fear is not a bad thing if it's harnessed properly. Fear helped us survive in the past, and it can help you survive in the future. Fear is the strongest force a person struggling with motivation will ever find.

Fear is your ally.

Read the full essay here and think about using fear as your ally


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Running with headphones - Yes or No?

Great summary of both sides on the debate over should you or should you not run with headphones?
My preference is not to; I prefer to listen to what's around when I run. I know of many who prefer to listen to music when the run, and run better when they do listen (than when they don't).
Join the discussion!
What do you think?
Should you wear headphones when you run?
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Knee update - there is an injury

The first physical therapy session today was a relief. While the previous doctor visits were short and perfunctory: X-rays - negative; MRI - negative. There wasn't even a confirmation that there was something there.
But there is, she saw and showed a slight swelling (fluid) not enough to do something about but there was an injury, more likely caused by the knelling than by running (which I suspected and expected).
The balance between the legs seems good, the left is slightly off from the right but that may be more due to post injury than to something that contributed to the injury. Whee!
So I have some exercises to do, four of them. A couple I am familiar with. One I actually can do while sitting at my desk at work. So we'll dig into those tomorrow.
In the meantime I am relieved. I really didn't expect it to be major but the two sets of negatives got me concerned.
Now, I can safely say I will concentrate on strength and stretching for the balance of this year, and look forward to getting back on the roads in January. That's my plan for now. We'll see how it goes.
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Revolutionary lessons for success

Frank Dell'Apa has a good article on Steve Nicol and the diverse team he has got together in the New England Revolution to bring to the MLS Cup Championship game today for the 3rd time in five years. The 29 players represent 12 states (within the USA) and 10 countries. Some of them do not speak English well. Steve Nicol is quoted:

"They talk about one language of soccer," Nicol said. "The common denominator is the game itself. The best way to communicate is by passing the ball well. Even if you have 11 players and none of them can say one word in the other person's language, they can all try to keep possession of the ball. You need finishers and someone to get tackles in and get the ball in behind the defense, but if everyone is passing the ball they will have an understanding."

Read the full article in today's Boston Globe Sports section here.

How did he do it?

"The really good teams have a core of guys and they pass that on to the others," Nicol said. "That is what we used to do. Each year they might bring in one or two new guys. You don't bring in a ton of guys, you have a core and add to it and go from there."

Craig Thornburg, the general manager for the New England Revolution says:

"What the players who have succeeded here have in common is that they love to play the game, and we have an amazing locker room. The players who haven't lasted usually don't fit into those categories. We used to hold on to guys even when the chemistry didn't work, and those issues have been well-documented."

Sounds easy enough.

  1. Love of the game
  2. Common language
  3. Build around a core group
  4. Respect for each other

Have you tried this with your team?


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Club runner question

For any of the readers who may be running for their club, what workouts do you hold during the week if any? How many nights do you get together?
Discussion is underway amongst the Pacers around the question: If we reduce the nights we run, do we see an improvement in attendance?
I think if we provide an option of two nights to run, folks (mostly 30-somethings with family commitments) will make one more than another. If you have only one choice, you may get some attendance but you won't guarantee an improvement.
And if someone is running a particular program and the day/night chosen doesn't fit their plan, you won't see them.
So there is a dilemma.
Can you help us decide?
I would appreciate your input. What does your club do?
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3 Pacers 4 Quarters

Three Pacers showed up for the track workout tonight. The penultimate track workout for the season. Next week will be the last Thursday on the track. The week after is Turkey day. The week after that, we start at Tri-County High School and do our "hill" workout through the winter.
The three who showed up tonight had not got together in a while so they had plenty to talk about and the warm up mile went quickly. The quarters were pretty much on steady pace except for one who wanted to bust it out a little. He got a gentle talking to as they warmed down.
The lights went out on the field as we finished the workout but before we finished our warm down, so the warm down got shortened.
A good night to run. Thanks for the company Pacers.
PS - I only did some walking and then kept their splits for the quarters.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two down, PT Next

Well, let's recap quickly.
The left knee cap feels like it is slipping.
No pain but clearly it should not do this.

Rested full two weeks, no improvement with the next try at running.
See doctor, he orders x-rays.
X-rays show nothing unusual.
He orders MRI.
MRI shows nothing unusual.
He orders physical therapy (PT) as opposed to going in with a scope to find out.

Well PT is better than the scope for sure, but two tests show nothing.
I am not imagining my knee.

PT is scheduled for next Tuesday evening.
Same time I would have been running but I figure, since I am not running,
might as well use the time to help get back to running.

So we'll see how it goes.

Stay tuned for the knee saga!
Who knows what plot twist will occur next.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Exercise your right to Vote!

You can record it in your running log with double points for exercising your civic duty to vote!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Heart Rate Calculations, Continued

Mark Iocchelli continues his series on heart rate calcuations continued from parts one and two with this posting on how to calculate your maximum without killing yourself.
Keep up with this series, this is good stuff!
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

My kind of coach!

Yes, it is heartening to hear of a high school coach where the kids say:
"We have a really big team and everyone on the team is really enthusiastic, no matter how good they are," said senior co captain Chris LaPlante. "That makes it really fun."
Glowing praise comes from the Athletic Director:
Jon Kirby praised Kraemer for encouraging students to participate in a difficult sport.

"He's kind of the pied piper of it," he said. "It's a grueling sport and he just gets the kids to come. They work hard for him, and do well."

But the best one from me is not in the record that has been accumulated (it happens to be quite good in dual meets) but the following:
Whatever the final results of this season's championship meets, both Aigler and LaPlante said they want to continue running in college and beyond. "I think I'm a lifelong runner," Aigler said.
Aigler and LaPlante are the co-captains of this year's boys team at Medfield High School.
I have seen too many coaches go for the record and run their athletes to the ground. I would much rather see the record be whatever it is, and athletes develop to be their best and run forever.
Way to go Coach Kraemer! Keep up the great work!
The quotes are all from an article in the Boston Globe West section by Charlie Russo. Thank you Charlie for sharing this with the Globe readers.
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quote & Link

From Mark Iocchelli at Complete Running Network
Let’s talk more about the very important connection between RHR and over-training. The lesson here is that you could be running better than ever, be well hydrated, getting lots of sleep, and still see your RHR rise. If this ever happens to you, it’s time to look at your training regimen to determine whether you may be over-doing it. A rising RHR could be an indication that you’re piling on too many high intensity workouts causing your body to fall behind repairing itself a recipe for poor performance and injury. That’s right, if your RHR is rising at a time when it should be staying constant or falling, you might be over-trained.

Read the full posting here.


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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

MRI on Halloween

I went to Milford Regional Medical Center for my scheduled MRI tonight. It was smooth and uneventful. Pre-registration worked via the phone with a couple of forms to sign upon arrival. The only "surprise" occurred as the technician and I walked down the corridor to the unit and we went out an exit door. It did say for exit only, alarm will sound but she seemed quite confident in what she was doing and indeed it was a portable unit pulled up alongside the building. The space between the unit and building was heavily draped so she was joking that they should have decorated it for the evening, it did seem like a "haunted house".
Laying down, knee propped for a good picture, headphones on with piped in music, also heavily cushioned to drown out the noise of the unit itself. It does make some funky sounds. So funky, briefly talking with the other technician as I was leaving, she acknowledged that a couple of teens like the sounds so much that they wanted to come in to do some recording. She had to explain to them, that due to the magnetic field generated, they would not be able to record it. They were disappointed. I can see why. It was some funky sounds.
I wonder if they are necessary to generate the field, or some sort of signal noise to provide assurance that the machine is working? I recall hearing about a vacuum company that tried introducing a quiet vacuum and although they could prove that it did pick up more dirt and material it did not market test well. Introducing some noise back into the unit improved its sales. As if it wasn't working unless it made some noise to show it was working.
Next visit to the doctor is Monday. As I was walking out the technician said that the images were already posted to the web and he could view as soon as he wanted to. Ah, the wonders of technology. Now, let's figure out what is wrong with this knee!
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Happy Halloween

Some quick work with the sharp knife and a pumpkin is now a Jack'o Lantern.
With both girls away this year at college, I get to have first crack at the pumpkin seeds.
Wishing a safe and fun Halloween to all with plenty of treats and no tricks.
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Sunday, October 29, 2006


Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Do you have lightining like feet?

Or do you have to work consistently?

Either way, to repeat the line

today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement!

Hopkinton - Pacers Joint Run 10/22/06

Originally uploaded by nc_pacers.
A little late getting to this but there were a couple of photos taken at the mini joint run last week when a few of the Hopkinton runners came to the Big Apple to run with the Pacers.

Post run the conversation circle was a combination of standing talking and stretching talking.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Proper Heart Rate Calculations

The Complete Running Network has been highlighted here previously for being a good source of information on and around running. You can get there easily clicking on the CRN logo located in the right column. Today, there the is a good article by Mark Iocehlli on how to calculate your heart rate and level of effort. Mark writes:

Wikipedia does an excellent job of describing the Karnoven Method:

Target Heart Rate = ((Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) × %Intensity) + Resting Heart Rate

So, for someone with a Maximum Heart Rate of 180 and a Resting Heart Rate of 70 we have two examples:

For A 50% Target Heart Rate: ((180 - 70) × 0.50) + 70 = 125 bpm
For a 85% Target Heart Rate: ((180 - 70) × 0.85) + 70 = 163 bpm

Read his full article for all the details. He will come back with more

... next week we’ll talk about the basics around Resting Heart Rate, Maximum Heart Rate and how to measure them.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Knee Update

The MRI is scheduled for Tuesday evening.
Yes, I wonder about going to the hospital on Halloween but that was the next available time.
May the roads/trails be good to you!
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knee update

Visited the doctor today and the quick summary is the x-rays don't show anything, the exam didn't find anything, so it is on to schedule an MRI to determine what might be the matter.

Stay tuned.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Joint Club Run today

The Norfolk County Pacers hosted a joint club run today the the Big Apple. It was well attended by Wampanoag Road Runers, Hopkinton Runners Club, and some Tri-Valley runners, over 50 in total. It was a great day to run. A little cool but the sky was clear blue.

Here the runners head out to the road:

Here the runners have finished their routes and are replenishing their fluids and calories.

Additional photos are available at the Pacer's Flickr account.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Running Update

My running is still on hold. My knee does not feel normal. I have an appointment soon with some xrays to be scheduled to prepare for the visit.
In the meantime, I'll spend my "running" time providing support to the Norfolk County Pacers.
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Easy Mile

First time running in about two weeks. The knee does not feel "normal" but it did not hurt or 'slip' when taking the easy jog on the track tonight. I'll be happy with little steps.

It was dark as I arrived and I expected to be running with my flashlight but the lights came on as a girls team gathered for soccer. It was eerie as the lights gradually brightened up the field spreading from the sidelines into the center and covering end to end, where just seconds before, it was pitch black and dark shadows.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Runner's diet

Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Mostly a reminder to myself this time but as I write and you read, you can pick up the reminder too.

Running regularly means you need to get proper fuel to power the body. Yes, your diet, what you eat is important.

There are many diets, some fads, but also some basics. One the of the most basic facts comes down to a little math. If you eat more than you burn (with exercise) you wil gain weight.

Hence, when you stop running to rest your knee, you also need to start cutting back on your food intake (right,Steve) so you won't put on any weight.

This was part of the discussion amongst the Pacers who gathered for the Cole's tavern run last Thursday. I went for the company and stayed for a drink or two but did not run.

At the Dodge Poetry Festival, I'll need to get some walking in and been mindful of the food intake.

Can't wait to be back running. Less worry about food then.

Do you watch what you eat?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wil - Just wasn't her day

From Wil writing at Through th3 Wall about her DNF at the Wisconsin Ironman. As I read of her progress and preparations, she was ready for everything but the extreme weather conditions that occured on the day of the event. And so after all that, it just wasn't her day.
Moving on, I think what’s next must come with age and experience, which is also ironic because you’d think the older and wiser you got, the braver and more fearless you’d be. But you know, I think it’s the opposite. I think if you manage to find yourself on the right track somehow, sans a slew of overcompensation... the more you know, the more you have to question and even fear, and the more you need people to steady you from time to time. I suppose this is where I found myself when my invincible youth started maturing.
Be sure to read her recap in order starting here
It will take a while to read her recap but it is worth it.
One DNF does not make her anything less than the quite accomplished woman, mother, teacher, tri-athlete she is. You can do it, Wil!
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Biking today

Continuing my knee resting program, I joined a couple of Pacers for the 'brick' portion of the workout today taking the ride for about 10 miles from the Big Apple around Franklin and Wrentham. The knee felt normal during the ride. I was able to maintain contact or at least view the others for the flat and incline sections. They took off on me during the declines. Something about speed and fear of falling at my age held me back. Now, I was going pretty fast but they were going faster. One clocked 29.5 MPH on the long down hill section along Summer St.
As they were joined by some others for the short run (3.5 miles), I did another short bike ride exploring some of the side roads off Vine Street. Then camera in hand, I walked out the course to meet them coming in. These candid shots are not rotating on our Flickr photo block on the Pacer web page.
I uploaded a bunch of others to Flickr that I'll post from as the week progresses.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Big Apple Short Route Scenery

Tabblo: Big Apple Short Route Scenery

The Norfolk County Pacers use the Big Apple in Wrentham as their starting point for their Sunday runs in the Fall. The scenery is classic New England and the roads can be challenging. This is a nice combination for running a good workout. ... See my Tabblo;

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Big Apple

Originally uploaded by

The new starting point for the Norfolk County Pacers Sunday morning runs. The Big Apple is located on Arnold St in Wrentham, just over the Franklin line.

This location provides some challenging routes and gorgeous New England scenery.

Come and run with us.

Check out the schedule at Norfolk County Pacers' home page!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Resting medicine

I met the Norfolk County Pacers as they gathered for the tempo run tonight.
I did not run with them, electing instead to ride my bike over. The first thing a doctor would say is rest, so I will give my knee problem a rest. Well, from running at least. It was fine walking. I take the stairs to the 8th floor at work each day. The ride over to the starting point (4 miles round trip) was easy. So at least I feel I am doing something while taking a break from running for now.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kneeded a rest

Yes, there is a little pun in the title today. No, I am not staying away from running tonight to prepare some bread dough. As mentioned previously, my knee is acting funny and I think rest would be best.
I ran Tuesday evening. We did not use the track as there was a high school soccer game in progress and it would have been distracting to attempt a workout, never mind not too safe (with the possibility of a ball interrupting our strides).
My Pacer buddies and I opted to start easy through the neighborhood then pick it up for some half mile sections of the road where it was wide and well lighted. Yes, darkness is being a pain. Oh well, we will get used to it.
I was fine until closing out the second pick up, when the knee 'slipped'. I managed to finish without further incident but when walking around now the knee is not normal. I can feel it. Not good. Hence the rest for now. Possible doctor's visits ahead. There goes the remainder of my season. Crackerbarrell (9/16/06) and the Mayor's Cup (10/23/06) may be in jeopardy.
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Complete Running Network - Highlights

As mentioned previously, the Complete Running Network is now up and fully functioning posting good articles on a regular basis.
Here are a few that have caught my eye as worthy of paying some attention to:
And this is only a sample, add the site to your RSS Reader of choice and enjoy the running wisdom being shared.
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Running well

I guess I did not get around to updating after Tuesday's track workout. It went well. A couple of Pacer buddies joined me for some 400's under the lights. Yes, it is getting dark earlier now. The Franklin High football team was on the field doing their thing so the lights came on as it got dark. That helped us.
We did 6 x 400 with a lap half walk, half jog recovery between repetitions hitting the finish line consistently at 1:39/1:40.
Tonight we did our tempo run. Three buddies joined me as we did our normal loop through the neighborhood. Two split off to do an additional loop and the other two of us maintained contact as we came in the last mile, practice running just off the other's shoulder to concentrate on our own running and let the other worry about the pace. Makes running a little easier if you can do that for stretches. Works well with a larger group as you have more options to play off each other and share the load on leading the pace. This is one of the keys to a successful cross country team. If they can maintain contact and work with each other, they actually will cover more ground and quicker than if they each went solo. Need to put aside a little bit of ego to run on someone else's shoulder but if you can do that, it does bring great benefits.
The best thing about Tue and tonight was I felt nothing funky with the knee (as opposed to what happened last Sunday). So I am very pleased. The Crackerbarrel 5K is rapidly approaching and I don't won't to have anything interfere with a good performance.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rainy day, funky knee

Rain today. The remains of Ernesto are spreading throughout New England. The rain is more of a steady drizzle than a heavy down pour. We did catch a good heavy shower as we started our three mile loop this morning. One Pacer buddy joined me early for this loop. We got thoroughly drenched and then it was just running in the rain.
I went alone for the next loop deciding to reverse our normal 7 mile route for a change of scenery. The first four miles were good. I varied the pace, working some of the up hill stretches, taking it easier on the down slopes. The drizzle was persistent but the temp was comfortable (about 60 F) so I was fine. Cruising along. Mind wandering here and there. Started down a shaky train of thought with a sexual fantasy and end up getting a quick stop as my knee did something funky. See nothing good comes from those kinds of thoughts.
Not sure what the knee did. It felt like something slipped. Something around the knee cap slipped and I stopped. Walking was fine. Apparently whatever the slip was, it slipped back into place. No pain, no problem. Just walked for a bit and then started jogging again. Made it another half mile or so and it returned. Not good. Another mile and half to get back to the start but fortunately walking is good and the rain is still a drizzle.
I checked out the neighborhood while moving more slowly through it than I would have by running. Eventually made it back to the start with some walks alternated with some good stretches of running easy.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pace Workout

four guys, three halves, tonight
light misty drizzle, 60 degrees F
got dark early with the cloud cover helping hide the sunset
good pace work; my 800's were 3:23, 3:24, 3:21
the other three were all in and around those times and within a second or two on each split.
nice and consistent
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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Running with Steve, not!

Taking my own advice, I began to work out how to finish two books reviews that I have in progress while running this morning. One with a draft already with some words to it, the other still being drafted in the grey matter. I was alone for the first loop but a Pacer buddy apparently had just missed me at the start and ran the loop in reverse, so we caught up to each other and finished together. In the time alone, I managed to work out my approach to the pending reviews. I also determined that I need to work on one at a time. One review a week for the next several weeks to catch up on reviews that are overdue.
Back to running, with tongue in cheek, feet planted in quicksand, I joked with him that I was thinking of re-doing the link on the Pacers web site from "Run with us" to "Run with Steve". I really wouldn't do that. I like the company but am not that forward.
No one joined us for the second part of the run (maybe I should rename it) and we did have a good run together. About half way out, I remarked that my legs were not feeling great at this point. The process of saying so forced me to think about why this was so. We were doing a good pace. granted still a talking pace but quicker than other weeks. This was confirmed when we finished and I checked the watch to find I had covered the same ground quicker than I had the previous week.
Part of the benefit of running with someone, you can push each other. Subtly, I was tagging on his pace for the later half after sharing the pace for the first part. Next week, the tables may be turned. Either way, the pace was better for us than if either of us had singly gone out. On your own, you can get into a rut. You keep the pace and work at it, and think your doing well, when in fact, you might indeed be slowly down. The companionship provides the subtle incentive for the common goal, finishing together.
Help your buddy and they'll help you. Leave no buddy behind!
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh, no its dark again

The temp run tonight was a good one with my Pacer buddy. We reversed our usual route for a change of pace. The roads passed quickly as the conversation kept us going; both of us have daughters going away to their freshman year of college next week.
The other harsh reality is that it is getting dark as we complete the run now. Next week, we may need to go back to our safety vests. That means autumn is coming, summer is almost over.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Complete Running Network (CRN) now Live!

The Running Blog Family has grown up and expanded to a new Complete Running Network.
And if you do, please leave a comment to let them know you heard about it from me.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

FHS Track Workout

FHS Track
Originally uploaded by

On the track tonight for the workout with the NC Pacers. Two other buddies showed up, one to walk (Achilles problem) and the other to run.

The night was perfect for running. Sun setting coolness, temp dropping into the 60's. Plenty of folks on the track, most walking, some doing their running/jogging, etc.

Coming to the track, I was planning on 3 x 800's. As I warmed up and was the only one doing so, I decided to start with the 800 as planned and the condense the other 2 x 800's into a single mile. I had not run a mile on the track in a while and felt it was about time.

After the Pacer buddies arrived, and got ready, we determined to keep this new plan. The first half was evenly paced at 3:25. (1:42, 1:43). We did a half walk, half jogged one lap for recovery and went into the mile turning quarters at 1:42, 1:45, 1:43, 1:42 for a 6:52 (and negative splits). Not bad for an old guy!

An easy mile warm down completed the workout.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

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