Friday, March 31, 2006

Good & Bad

I did not have a good run today. I struggled to get past the first mile and then cut the planned course to run only three. I don't know what is up. I know I have not been stretching like I should and that at least accounts for the IT Band recurring in the right leg but the overall tiredness and lack of energy is currently unexplained.
Rest is best for this...
Fortunately while I did have a "bad" week running, I did have a good week at work so all is well with the world.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Then there were three

Some days are great days to run. Like Sunday, I had something left at the finish of our 10 mile run.
Some days are just not meant for running. Like today, even after the warm up; even after the 1st set of hills, just couldn't get the legs going.
I am not sure what it was (or is). Did not spend a whole lot of time trying to figure it out. Just called it early and instead of doing the 2nd and 3rd set, did the warm down to call it a night.
Then there were three.
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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Good 10 Miles Today

There were a decent number of Pacers out today for our morning run. Some for the ten mile, a couple for some brick training (bike for 10 miles, then run for 3) and a couple of others for the normal 3 or 4-5 miles runs. As mentioned previously (but in case you are new here, we have a staggered start for these Sunday runs but they are timed to have us all finish about the same time). Another set of four runners were reported to be off on a Boston prep run with the Hopkinton Runners doing 24 miles on the course.
I was in the 10 mile group and we did well; managing to keep a conversation going most of the way and finishing in under 85 minutes.
The post-run conversation over Gatorade, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. at Dunkin Donuts helped to wind us down and get ready for the rest of the day and week to come.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Saturday, March 25, 2006

CoComment Problems

I was wondering what happened to CoComment. When I pulled up my own pages, the CoComment section did not fil in. When I tried to use CoComment, I got nothing in response. No error message, no nothing.
Now, I finally find this posting on their own blog:

We current face massive DNS problems to We are currently hosting our DNS as and they issued the following statement currently experiences massive distributed denial of service attacks against nameservers.
This affects DNS resolution of itself, and also domains which make use of nameservers.
We are very sorry for this issue, but we are working hard for a permanent solution.
Thank you for your understanding.

Unfortunately, we are also affected by this and is thus often not reachable from various locations. We are currently trying to move our DNS to another hoster, but that unfortunately takes time and as joker is quite busy it’s probably even harder than usual.

We are really sorry about this and apologize for any inconvenience you encounter. We hope the situation goes back to normal soon.

They have my email address. They could have sent me and each other user an email. Email is still functioning.
Maybe next time. (Oh, and while I hope there won't be one soon in this technical world, something will happen.)
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Friday, March 24, 2006

Foot strength + Flexibility = Improved Running

Speed is the calculation of stride frequency and stride length. There are critical factors in this calculation: (1) your flexibility, the ability to move easily in this running motion, (2) the amount of time actually in contact and the push off from the ground. At the USATF Level 1 Class recently one of the key takeaways was the question: "What brand of shoe do the Kenyans use from age 1 through 10?" Bare feet!

Foot strength is key to strength all the way up the leg.

Russ Ebbets provided a set of five foot drills that help to strengthen the foot. 4 of the 5 drills are done barefoot. The distance covered for each drill is about 25 meters. Each drill is done once a day. Each drill is recommended to be done on grass but any flat clean surface will work. The 5th drill is done with your shoes on. Total time shoes off/on, etc. about 5 minutes. Quick and easy with a big payoff.
  1. walk on the outside of your feet
  2. walk on the inside of your feet
  3. walk with a toe in or pigeon toe gait
  4. walk with the toes out (a la Charlie Chaplin)
  5. and with your shoes on, walk on your heels.
Doing this regularly will improve the strength of the feet and enable optimization of the stride.
For flexibility, a few key static stretches can be found in this Active.Com article by Reece Haettich. These stretches should be done after running. It is good to note that the standing quad stretch is usually done improperly. I'll confess that as I reviewed this text, I have committed the error.
You'll often see athletes make the mistake of trying to accentuate the stretch by leaning forward at the waist and pulling the stretched leg behind the opposite knee, at this point you've crossed into a different stretch in a poor postural position to do so. Stay straight and maintain a normal lumbar curve for best results.
Combining the foot drills and the stretches (post run) you should be able to improve your running stride and your overall performance.

May the roads/trails be kind to you!

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This posting was also part of the Passionate Runner podcast series and can be found here.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

New Route

Tried a new route tonight. Normally don't do a new route in the dark without having run it during daylight first but made the exception tonight as I was able to drive over a portion of it before hand. The portion that I was not already familiar with. I was alone for the run so it also made it easier to try and go exploring, less risky.
The route worked out nicely. It varied in some ups and downs early, nothing major just some nice rolls. The course settled in for a bit before making a gradual incline. The heights all came down rather quickly about 3/4 mile from the end before going up for a quarter mile then down for the last quarter mile. Always feels good to finish on a decline. Less effort to really pick it up for a good finish.
5.1 miles in 43 minutes, in the dark, alone: nice run.
Also nice because the temp was 52 F to start so I was able to wear a cotton long sleeve shirt on top and my yellow running shorts (for visibility) and not have to bundle up like I have been doing most of the winter. (Carried my little flashlight and wore my reflective vest to ensure I was about as visible as I could be.)
The route in Franklin for anyone interested can be found on MapMyRun at
May the roads and trails be kind to you!
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Guest blogging today at Time Goes By

I have the honor to be blogging today on Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By.

What you'll read is one of my longer story posts, my version of the 37Days challenge.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Map Comparisons Due

If you did take time to do your map comparison as outlined here and here, please submit your feedback to me via email (shersteve at gmail dot com) or via comment.
Send it in as soon as you can.
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Two Steve's - American Runners

This story out of is a good one. I remember watching Steve Scott run. He was exciting to watch. I wondered where he was, what he was up to. He is still running and that is good.

What follows here is the outline of my story, the other Steve, the less famous one. Over the coming months, I'll flesh out details into individual posts to cover each of the major periods of my running and accomplishments.

I guess I am in the historical mode recently. Run to Remember triggering my journey back through my first log book. I did not keep records during high school but I do have records from the summer before college (1972) through to current time. I kept a log of each day I ran, where or how far, sometimes including the weather and who with.

The first log is a small lined brown notebook. I used to see these frequently in the drug store stationary section. This log book lasted from 1972 through to 1980 with the exception of 1979. I have a notation that "the records will be kept in the new log until that is filled" and then the next entry in this book is January 2, 1980. I need to dig into other archives looking for this single year log book. It is probably one from Runner's World.

Most of the records for the 1980's I kept on a computer database. Yes, I had gotten my first computer in 1982 for use during my MBA studies. I still have the system and have the floppy 5 1/4 inch diskettes but have not turned the system on to get into the program to read the entries. I do know that most of the 1980's and 90's were weeks of 1-3 miles a day, no more than 9 - 15 miles per week. A few races here and there. My married life, new job, MBA during night school, and then the birth of our two daughters took priority over my running time.

The girls grew up and became active first with soccer, then swimming, and finally in high school switched to running. Only when they switched to running did I get a chance to do more than the minimum. I volunteered to help the middle school team learn the baton pass. I continued volunteering with this coach when he (and my daughter) moved to high school, actually getting an honorary letter for the help I provided.

Over time as our computers changed, I realized that if I really wanted to keep a log I would have to do better about transferring the data from one system to another. In 2000, I started an Excel file to keep the numbers on the days and miles, along with a hand written log to record the weather routes, etc.

As you may recall in the fall of 2004, I joined a local running club, the Norfolk County Pacers and began running with them in earnest. The girls no longer needed me to be home after supper to help them with their home work. Allison was away for her first year at college, and Carolyn was a junior in high school. I switched from running alone in the mornings to running in the evenings with the Pacers. This schedule evolved into Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with the 3 day FIRST program and with a few exceptions is the norm today.

So for my historical running periods, I have no records of what I did during high school (other than the school yearbook). I have good daily records for college and the six years after that I was teaching and coaching. Once I switched to the business world, got married, etc. the miles tampered off but the 3-4 days per week activity was kept up. Then in 2004, I got into running with the club and am making progress in getting into something like the shape I had once upon a time.

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A coaching I will go - Updated

Completed the Level 1 USA Track & Field coaching class held this weekend on the Villanova Univ. campus. A whole lot of good ideas were captured in my notes. I have been feed plenty of food for thought on running and how to improve my own running as well as the performance of those whom I coach or have contact with.
The presenters were good. The organization of the sessions were somewhat frustrating. If the point of the class was to cover all the material to get us all on the same page, they did do that but not as consistently as they could have. One of the presenters clearly had not seen the material before hand and was unfamiliar with the format. However, he was one of the better presenters in that he just talked from what he knew and logically went through the event piece by piece. As he tried to go back to the presentation, he was able to see that, yes, he covered this, covered this, etc. If the point was to have some interactive demonstrations to answer questions on how to do this in that situation, then they were only partially successful.
It was a long weekend (class from 6:00 PM 'til 9:00 Friday, from 8:00 AM 'till, 9:30 Saturday, and finally from 8:00 AM 'til 1:00 PM on Sunday). But unlike other classes I have had, I did not feel overwhelmed or brain dead from it. I was alert through out the entire session.
So stay tuned for updates here on a variety of topics related to the class. I'll have some tips, tricks, etc, to share.
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Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

To all the Irish and friends of the Irish on this wonderful day, a Friday no less, you have an excuse to toss a pint of Guiness down.
Drink responsibly!
Love fully!
Live joyously!
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

A coaching I will go

Yes, this weekend I will be visiting Villanova to attend the USATF Level 1 Coaching class being conducted there.

I am looking forward to it. The schedule appears to have late nights Friday and Saturday so I don't know how much writing I'll get in while I am there.

I'll at least keep you posted on what happened after!

Catch you later....

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Reminder - Map Comparison

Friendly reminder that by now you should have visited about 3 of the 5 running map sites to map your run if you are going to be able to complete it all by the 19th as originally requested.

If you need more time, drop me a line.

For a recap on what we are about check out these:

Running Route Map Comparison

Running Route Software Survey

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Run to Remember

Ran Boston's Run to Remember on Sunday. 1209 folks finished in front of me and another 2800 finished after. It was a well executed event.
I was very impressed with the official pace runners. I stayed near the 8:00 minute/mile pacer and he got us to the mile right at 8, the 2 mile right at 16, and the 3 mile at 24. And this is working with the crowds through the start, multiple turns, some ups, some downs as we wound our way through down town Boston and out to Memorial Drive. I stayed on this pace but somehow ended up in front of them during one of the water stops. No matter, the 8 minute miles kept coming through the 8 mile mark at 63:50 then I started tiring.
The last five miles were where the "work" part of my long "workout" was taking place. 8:10, 8:20, 8:40, 9:10 and finally 1.1 miles in 10:00 to finish at 1:48:37. Not bad for these old legs.
The 8 minute mile pace group did pass me between miles 9 and 10 but I had to let them go.
A Norfolk County Pacer buddy came up between mile 10 and 11, and I had to let him go. He was a late entry to the race. I had not expected to see anyone from the club.
I dug out my old running log book to check on the half that I had run once before, actually in 1978 when I was preparing for the Ocean State Marathon held in Newport that year. In Westerly, RI on October 15th, I ran the half in 1:22:23. Those were younger legs!
While this will be a run to remember, I hope my legs try and forget some of this quickly. One of the reasons, I have no plans for another marathon is it simply takes too long to prepare and too long to recover. I prefer to do more frequent races (about once a month) at a shorter distance (5K or 10K). These are much more fun.
This workout showed me that I will be ready for some good runs this season. The first 8 miles were comfortable at that pace. There is some speed still left in these legs.
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Friday, March 10, 2006

Wrong turns

Running Thursday evening with one of my Pacer buddies, we did a route we had not done in a couple of weeks. I guess it felt like more than that as we took a wrong turn a couple of times. Just running along, in conversation, turning this way and that (it is that kind of a route), we turned and suddenly it did not seem right.
The first one was easy. It didn't take us long to realize where we went wrong. And how to correct it. And then shortly after that, we did it again... the fence was the key this time. We did not remember the fence. So we back tracked and turned this way and eventually it felt like we knew where we were.
Finally on familiar roads, the last one in particular, cruising along. Cars coming along infrequently to light our way. Three gentle slopes along the stretch to help us concentrate on the pace which was picking up slightly. Maintaining strides, matching strides. A shout out from one of the passing cars. This does not happen often. Maybe my yellow tights were too much for them this night.
May the roads/trails be kind to you!
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Running Route Software Survey

As mentioned the other day, here are the questions that you can provide answers for to make our comparison of the currently 5 different web sites to map your running route.

Check out the Map Comparison for the listing of the sites and introduction to the comparison.

For each site you can use the same set of six questions.
Be sure to include the site name with each set of your responses.

Site name:_____________________

Q1 - How easy was it to create your short (1 - 5 mile) run?
Easy, Okay, Hard (select one)

Q2 - How easy was it to create your long (6 - 26 mile) run?
Easy, Okay, Hard (select one)

Q3 - Can you name this route?
Yes, No (select one)

Q4 - Can you share this route?
Yes, No (select one)

Q5 - Would you recommend using this site?
Yes, No (select one)

Q6 - Why?
(please add some specifics that you liked or did not like about this site.)

What are the five sites?
USATF's "America's Running Routes"

Please send all responses to me by March 19th!

I'll compile the results and publish them before the end of March.

Thanks for your help in this!

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Half mile workout

I was running alone tonight so I opted not to do the hills but take advantage of no snow on the track to do some half mile interval work out there for a change.
It was dark on the track, no lights but those cast towards us from the middle school near by. A few clouds overhead but mostly stars in the sky. Too bad it wasn't a full moon.
Running in the dark was good. I was able to concentrate on pace and breathing. I have not thought about my breathing much. It just happens. Since my stride and rhythm seemed to be doing well, I decided to take note of my breathing pattern. For awhile I was able to. Kept drifting off to think about other things, could not stay with the breathing for too long.
Mile warm up, mile warm down, four times half mile with a quarter mile jog between. Clocked them at 3:35, 3:28, 3:32, and 3:34. Felt good. The second one felt fast; the breathing was heavier. After that I concentrated on keeping the pace steady and the third worked out perfectly even at 1:46, 1:46.
May the road/trail be kind to you!
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Monday, March 06, 2006

Einstein Endorsement

I do not recall hearing about Albert running something other than multiple calculations but this was on the internet so it must be TRUE!

Thanks to Phil for the linkage.

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Map Comparison

If you have visited here previously, you may be aware that there are at least five different sites that all you to map your run. All five are mashups of Google maps. While all five are based upon Google there are significant differences in how you do the mapping and what the output is. I have played with the five thus far and have my likes and dislikes. I think it would be a good idea to try and do a comparison of these sites with your input.
What do I need to do?
Try each site. Map a short run (1-5 miles) and a long run (6-26 miles). See how it works for you.
When do we do this?
You can start now. I think two weeks should be sufficient time to do the mapping for the two runs (short and long) on each site.
How do we provide our input?
I'll provide a set of questions to answer and a scale for you to rate each site.
I'll the questions and scale posted by Wednesday March 8th.
You send your input back by Sunday March 19th.
You can email the input back to me at shersteve_@_gmail_dot_com. I'll compile your input along with mine and publish it before the end of March.
All those who provide input will receive recognition.
What are the five sites?
Have fun mapping your routes! Keep notes as you do and we'll share them here.
PS - There is a blog devoted to Google Maps, check it out here.
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FeedBurner issue/Resolved

You may have noticed if you visit Passionate Runner or Passion for the Good Customer Experience that the Feedburner headlines for Steve's 2 Cents is stuck.
The date keeps changing but the posting is stuck on "Watch this space for future items".
I have tried to troubleshoot my feed but it seems to be beyond me at the moment.
The capability to click through to the site works fine but even though I do post almost daily, it does not seem to reflect that.
Hopefully, I'll have some resolution soon.
Thanks for your patience.

Updated- thanks to some guidance from Rick Klau, the issue appears to be resolved! Thanks Rick!

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First Milestone This Year

I made it to 200 miles this year a week quicker than last year and I ran less days to do so. This time last year was averaging 5+ miles per day. This year I am averaging 7+ miles per day on the three day FIRST Plan.
A good ten mile run today with the Pacers closed out the week. Next week I run Boston's Run to Remember. On St Patrick's day, I drive down to Villanova to participate in a Level 1 coaching certification course with USAT&F.
The month is just starting but feels like it is almost over already!
May the roads/trails be kind to you.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006


Routine disrupted with busyness.

Carolyn had her high school indoor track team season closing banquet tonight, a pot luck dinner event with lots of pasta (all kinds), some awards, a slide show and video highlights of the just completed season.

Missed my normal running night to attend, but with no regrets. The snow took care of that. A good couple of inches of white fluffy stuff dropped quickly on the area from about 4:00 - 7:00 PM making the roads nice and slick for the commute home. Would not have been a good night to be out on the roads in that mess anyway. I can make it up with a run tomorrow night instead.

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