Friday, June 29, 2007

Double Loop Medial Lacings

The pedorthist that I saw today showed me a different way to lace my shoes that will help stabilize my foot while running without the need for expensive orthotics. This lacing used in conjunction with tape in several key places will help to keep my foot neutral as I run. I'll make an attempt to explain both...first the lacing.

He unlaced both shoes so that the top four eyes or loops were exposed. At that point the lace that is on the outside (nearest your little toe) is taken across to the fourth eye on the medial side (nearest your big toe). In the case with my NB shoes this is a loop. Thru that loop and instead of crossing back over to the other side again, this same lace is run thru the third eye on the medial side, then it crosses over to the opposite side third eye, back again to the medial side to the second eye (from inside out) then up to the first eye (outside in) and back to the opposite side first eye. What you should have now are two loops (double loops on the medial side of the shoe. The lace that is left (should start from the medial side 5th eye that was not unlaced. This crosses over to the 4th eye on the outside of the shoe, thru that eye, then back to the medial side. Instead of going into an eye on the shoe, run the lace thru the loop that was created earlier between the 3rd and 4th medial eyes. Then back over thru the 2nd eye on the outside of the shoe, thru that eye and back to the medial side. Again, instead of using an eye, run the lace thru the loop created between the 1st and 2nd medial eyes.

Now lace the put the shoe on and tighten the laces from the bottom. When you get to the loop area between the 3rd and 4th areas of the medial side, pull this towards the center of the foot and hold with one hand, while continuing to tighten laces up the second or upper most loop. By using these loops you pull the shoe tighter into the arch area giving more support to the foot in this area.

Repeat on the other shoe, remembering that the medial side of the shoe is nearest the big toe. The loops you create will always be on the big toe side of the shoe.

The taping that he showed me involves atheletic tape. The first taping is a horseshoe tape that runs from just below the big toe, along the side of the foot, to the heel, back around the outer edge of the foot to just behind the little (pinkie) toe. Then using strips of tape he taped my arch area, starting again on the medial side, anchoring the tape on the bottom of my foot, pulling the arch up and securing the tape over the top of my foot and just under the outside edge again anchoring under my foot. This was done either 3 or 4 times, overlapping the previous area covered by half of the next strip of tape.

The taping along with the change in lacing allows me to get totally away from any orthotics at this point in time and helps keep my feet in a neutral running position and should, over time, help with soreness that I occasionally felt in my ankles, as well as my shin pain.

Eventually I'll probably switch to the Brooks Beast shoes that build up the medial area and may be able to eliminate the taping. The Double Loop Medial lacing though will help stabilize my feet regardless of the shoe I'm in.

There is also a Single Loop Medial lacing that only involves creating the loop in the 1st and 2nd eyes, but the Double Loop system gives more of an overall fit for the arch.

I'm sure my explanations are as clear as mud. I had to sit here and truly study my lacings to figure out what he had done. I'm still learning about tightening them up in the best fashion, but one thing is true, you have to get to a point where you can hold the lower loop area with one hand while the second hand works out the slack up to the upper loop then the lower area can be released. This makes a totally comfortable shoe lacing for me that fits better than the standard lacing that I was doing.

I thought about photos and may still have to do one or two if this is too confusing to everyone.....let me know.


This is supposed to be my day of rest, and it's been raining off and on. I have been to a local running store where the owner is a pedorthist, I think I spelled that right. He is not a podiatrist which is an MD. He is board certified in what he does and works with several local orthopods. He showed me how to tape my arches and ankle to give me better support and to keep things from shifting in directions that they shouldn't. He also taught me a different way to lace my shoes that helps with control as well.

Yes he did show me a new pair of shoes, but I didn't buy least not yet. He agreed I have a few more miles on my NB's before I need to hang them up. He did show me though where they aren't as good at motion-control as the guys at the NB store claimed them to be. The shoes he showed me are Brooks Beasts. I wonder who might be wearing them and can give me some feedback on them?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Finally.....Running in the Streets Again

The weather cooperated...wooohoo...we got to run outside again twice in one week, well ok the first time was just a brisk walk but still two sessions in one week that were outside on the streets...awesome. I'm so wet with sweat, the humidity is pegged I think but I don't care.

The run was slow but it felt good. Right towards the end I could feel a bit of pain in my left shin yet again. I am going to someone this afternoon that says they should be able to help the pain.

Today's Stats:

Distance: 3.10 miles
Time: 40.59 minutes (I should have turned the watch off sooner but forgot)
Pace: 13:13 minutes/mile
AVG HR: 139
MAX HR: 163

Definitely not one of my faster times. We did run most of the first mile, and only walked twice in the first two miles, mile 3 was more walking though.

Mile 1: 12:16 minutes
Mile 2: 12:18 minutes
Mile 3: 14:29 minutes
Last .10 1.55 minutes

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gym Workout Tonight

Well, no running in the streets here today, darn weather. We did go to the gym and I worked on the elliptical machine and recumbent bike again.

Today's stats:

Elliptical: 30 min / 2.3 miles
Bike: 20 min / 4.07 miles

I do miss running outside. The clouds were low and black around tonight. Hope they hold off in the morning I want/need to get my 5 miler in.

"Un"Cooperative Weather

Well I think the weather will be cooperating this morning and will actually allow us to get in our normal Mon/Wed sessions for the first time in quite a while. We have an 8k Freedom Run coming up on the 4th of July and I can hardly wait. This is the first race that I've been able to catch in the area since Memorial Day and I am feeling a bit deprived.

I saw the training schedule for Teacherwoman and felt good about what I've been attempting. My schedule is very similar:

Mon: Easy Run 4-5 miles/1 hour
Tue: XTrain (Bike/Elliptical-1 hour)
Wed: Easy Run 4-5 miles/1 hour
Thu: XTrain (Bike/Elliptical-1 hour)
Fri: Rest
Sat: Local Race or Long Run
Sun: Long Run if not run on Sat

Well as I sat here typing this I got the call from one of my running buds that it is raining yet again. We have this agreement that if it is raining before we start to run we don't run. If it starts to rain after we start then we complete our route unless it gets to lightening too close by. Another washout morning it seems.....sigh....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I"m not Crazy!!!!! My Posts Really were Disappearing

I don't know what happened this morning....Supernatural Hyper Internet Trauma I guess...giggling at my cleverness.

The professional trainer wasn't all that great. He was a young kid, must have just graduated college since they only hire degreed folks as PT's at this gym, but he has only been working there for about a week. He was very unsure of himself and had an accent worse than folks from Arkansas. Once he found out that I wasn't interested in any other training sessions with him or in buying any vitamins or other supplements he pretty much sent me on my way. Will be interesting to hear what Bonnie thought of him as she was scheduled with him the hour after my time with him. He says that my body fat was a 35, I think that might be slightly high, my cardio workout went really good which I expected. He first tried to measure body fat using an electronic caliper that didn't work and only was successful in pinching me big time. He finally got it measured with a manual gadget. I wasn't impressed at all.

My run this morning got rained out, but I think I mentioned that in one of the three posts that got lost and then were found....hallaluah (sp).....


Is this working?

Blogger Ate My Post

Blogger ate my post it seems so I will try a "shortie". It's raining in Oklahoma, so we aren't running this morning, definite time in the gym tonight then. See...flexibility...

Rain on the Plains

It's raining again in Oklahoma. Ok so 6 months to a year ago we were in a severe drought situation and now we are having daily flash floods. Mother Nature is truly mighty and finicky.

No run this morning so that means definite time in the gym tonight. Oh yes tonight we get our complimentary hour with a Physical Trainer....male it seems....perhaps I should be jealous of Bonnie for setting this up, but I'm not.

Anyway, back to the rain, I was dressed and out the door walking to the vehicle when it started, first a sprinkle, then a drizzle, and while I was on the phone calling my running partner it started to "rain". Our weather radio went off about 45 minutes ago too so there must be some severe weather in the area but just not here yet, so we opted to not do anything this morning. We have a rule that if it is raining before we start we will run even if it starts after we do. If it is raining while we are in the parking lot we will opt out of running.

Monday, June 25, 2007

"Quickie" Update of Today's Efforts

I met my Monday group this morning in anticipation of running an hour/5 miles but one of the group had a sore back so we walked the hour at a brisk pace. I have to admit that with my recent lack of running that this was probably best for me as well.

1:03:43 3.62 miles 17:35min/mile pace

It was slow but still it felt good and the humidity felt as if it was 150% from the way I was sweating....where did the cooler weather go?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Yes I Made it to the Gym

We did make it to the gym and got thru most of an hour there. So far I've resisted using their dreadmills, not sure why. I did use the elliptical as well as the recumbent bike.

Elliptical: 15 minutes/1.03 miles
Recumbent Bike: 27 minutes/5.02 miles

I'm not sure if these miles and times are all that great or not, I did double the elliptical time and distance from last week and more than doubled the bike, so I feel good. We also worked out with some weight machines focusing on our abs mostly.

Workout Today

Today I had to work early at church, had to be there at 7:30 am so I missed a fun run with the club gang, darn. Bonnie and I will head to the gym late this afternoon or early evening and do some elliptical and bike work. I would like to get a total of an hour in.

I've got to get out of my "funk" and back into some serious running. Tomorrow morning I will be out at 4:45 am again with several of my running buddy's one of which I am going to help train for a marathon in September, so I may just decide to run the marathon with her since the Durango thing cancelled on us. I figure if I'm training with someone that will be running I might as well run too since it appears to be within the realms of my schedule. My first September....oh boy that seems like just around the corner now that I've written it here. Can I be ready? This will be a warmup for the Honolulu Marathon in December and maybe one HM inbetween in November. I'm excited about the activity, but apprehensive at the same time...maybe I will try to get a mile or two in tonight around dark, I'll see how the gym workout goes and let that be the judge......

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Durango Cancelled!!!

Darn it! I found out yesterday that the Durango Double was cancelled for 2007. Their race director has had to move on to other things, putting his family first as he should, but now they are without any guidance and so they have elected to cancel the fall marathon and trail runs in hopes that they will be re-instituted next year. I hope so.

Well, with that out of the picture I will have to turn my sights in other directions. I have a running partner that will be training this summer for a marathon in Saint Charles, MO in late September. Or, I could move the Colorado venue to Denver the second week in October and again focus on their HM. Or, yet another option my brother tells me is the San Antonio Marathon and I've not even looked up when that one is run.

The one thing that I am positive about is that I don't just want to sit on my cheeks and do NOTHING!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

More on Team Autism and the Honolulu Marathon

Some of my running friends have asked about donating to Team Autism. We are getting set up to take paypal (credit card) donations but we aren't there yet. If you would like to make a donation by check, make it out to EFCA/Team Autism and send to Randy Graves, 1624 Apache Trail, Edmond, OK 73003. Any donation is appreciated and will go far in helping the Edmond Family Center for Autism in their efforts to help families of autistic children. I am getting more and more excited about this effort and I know it is going to help me train in ways that I never would have thought be possible. I'm working on a personal website, Randy's Home Page/Team Autism where you can also go out and donate and see the progress that I am making towards the overall donations and my marathon training.

Another First

We joined a local 24-hour fitness center last night. It's getting too hot for Bonnie to run in the evenings and we felt that we needed more variety than just our treadmill at home plus the location that we joined is used by several of our running club members when we get rained out in our early morning runs so it is a good thing all the way around. They have dreadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weight machines, free weights, yoga/pilates/aerobics classes, spin classes, and they have a lap pool.

So for starters I did the following:

Elliptical: 6 min - .52 miles
Recumbent Bike: 10 minutes - 2.07 miles

Not great but it is a start.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Honolulu Marathon

I've agreed to run the Honolulu Marathon on December 9 this year with a friend that is trying to put together a team to run on behalf of children's autism. They have a son that has been diagnosed as autistic and they have gotten a commitment from a local family center for autism to sponsor us if we can raise $5,000 each in donations before the race. I think it is doable and it would be fun to run with him and his wife. They are pastors at one of our church campuses and have been friends with us since just after we joined the church two years ago.

I will have more details soon and will post a link on the blog to show how I'm doing in finding donors and sponsors. It's a great commitment I think and I'm looking forward to the run. It will take the place of the Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon in December for me, I need to update my list of races after this I know.

Wow I've Been Shangied By Work For Eternity It Seems

I was working 12-14 days from June 5-13 living out of a hotel, having to eat out every night then too tired to do much else but hit the bed, only to be woke up at 4 am the next day to start it all over again.

I apologize for not logging on but I was just too tired to do much more than eat and sleep when I wasn't working. I appreciate everyone checking on me.

Over the weekend I got rested up again. I ran on Monday morning (4.27 miles) at a 14:25 pace I think. Today we got rained out, too much lightning hitting the ground in the area.

Now I need to go and re-read my own posts to figure out what I had been doing before all that weird work schedule.

I did make a commitment last night to something very interesting that I will share with everyone either later today or tomorrow sometime, so stay tuned.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Good Grief!!!!! When Did I Write That Book

Wow I must have been on too much caffeine or something. I had no idea I was rambling as much as I did in writing that race report. I guess we had more fun than I gave us credit for. I'm going to try and do a link later to photobucket so that I can share all the Colorado photos, there are some great mountain shots and some close ups of elk and moose that we saw up in the Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as some colorful flowers in the Betty Ford Flower Garden in Vail.

Well today I didn't drag my butt out of bed until it was time to go to work....shame on me, but after 775 miles yesterday I was pooped I guess. Maybe after I take Bonnie out for her birthday dinner...and she sees her presents....maybe we will do a short run then....maybe...maybe not...

Here's another pic from Vail...of me clowning around on the stage when no one was looking.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Here's the Gory Details of the Mud Run

First off, it's been reduced to just the Teva X-1 Mud Fun Run, instead of a 5k. Three loops around the course might have been 2.0 - 2.25 miles...maybe...but that is ok...for an old fart like me two loops were plenty.

I've got to give alot of credit to my brother for finishing all three loops and Teva says his time was 22:25 which at that elevation between 8,100 and 8,450, he did great for a flat-lander from Houston. He told me several times that once he was "up the hill" the rest was a piece of cake, all downhill. What he fails to mention are the rocks and boulders and uneven surfaces and other things hidden in some of the taller grass.

There appears to have been 144 of us mountain crazy people that entered the event. The timing is a bit skewed because they apparently show the time that you decided to quit, be it after three loops, or two loops (like me), or maybe after 1 loop. So as an example they indicate that my time was 19:27, ok enough with the giggles. That is what it took me to do 2 of the 3 loops. Adding another 12 minutes had I gone around again, mostly walking and maybe doing a breast stroke thru the mud pit on the last effort thru it, I would have finished somewhere in a 31 or 32 minute time frame, no way this was a 5k event, but at this point who cares...WE HAD FUN!!!!!!

Up to just before the start of the race I was skeptical about whether I would run or not because I had a gear bag with me that I didn't want to leave just anywhere. Finally I heard a lady asking one of the officials if this was where the Mud Run would start, so I asked if she was just going to watch and she quickly said oh yes, no way I could run that. So I asked if she would watch my bag for me, then it was her turn to ask if I was a runner, and I said yes, crazy but a runner. She agreed as long as I could assure her that the bag was not a bomb and that I wasn't a terrorist, posing as a runner. I did what I could to reassure her that I would have looked for a better event than a mud run to inflict pain and mayham if I were a terrorist....perhaps I can accuse the race officials of that title as there was certainly some pain associated with the run and mayham...well it was there from start to finish....

So they counted down from three to one and we were off....right away we were climbing, I actually ran half way up the trail on the first loop before my lungs took over my thinking and I was reduced to a huff and puff walk, at this point I was dead even with a woman that...well....was fluffy and she was taking the hill pretty hard....but we got up to the top at about the same time. Then down we started.....after a couple of winding turns we run thru a tunnel. Why is there a tunnel located on a ski resort? I have no idea and don't know if they ski thru it or not...but none the less the runners and the bikers were all using it. After the tunnel there were more winding turns as we descended back towards the completion of the first loop. As we got lower we got treated to some awesome bike acrobatics, but I was too busy watching for boulders and holes to give them the attetion they deserved. They did take time to cheer us on as we went by though.

Around the final corner of the descent and up ahead there was something blocking our path...oh good was a child's delight..a HUGE mud hole. Over the top of the mud hole was laced yellow barricade tape from one side to the other that was about 3 feet above the gooey, mucky, sticky, wet, mud. So we had to go under the tape which worked fine for me doing a duck walk until I lost my balance about half way thru and I went down on all fours. I managed to save my bib, for anyone wanting a photo opportunity. After crawling out of the mud bath I had a choice to either finish then, or go around again.

Something said do it again, adn it certainly wasn't my lungs speaking. As I started up the mountain again my lungs took over again and I walked most if not all the way up this time and even walked on some of the descent this time....I know, I know...what a wimp. While I'm walking up I'm spitting mud out of my mouth, not sure how it got in there, but it wasn't about to go down and there were no water stops on the course. I was also trying to get the face of my Garmin cleared so I could see it as well. NOTE: As of now it still appears to be working....we shall see...but yes a lesson learned....never take your trusty Garmin on an advertised mud run...especially where ZEST is one of the major sponsors....they wanted us dirty from head to toe for a reason...I'm sure there was a Candid Camera pointed at us as we publicly bathed after the run was over and it looked like at least 100 bottles of ZEST bath soap was put to the test and mostly one.

Anyway back to the run as I approached the mud the second time...I had pretty well decided that I was a two lapper and would call it quits. So with that in mind...I thought surely there is a way around the mud to quit...but no there were fences up and the crowd was cheering and heckling on either side so there was no choice but to work thru the mud a second time....this time a bit more carefully and I didn't fall....but someone behind me got a tad too close and caught my heel as I was exiting the mire and she went down face first...but came up laughing...and I still apologized to her.

We tore off the lower part of our bib, that part that I've seen used for gear drops in the past and somehow they came up with our times from that. I had to get someone to get the lady's attention who was guarding my bag as I was so muddy I didn't want to get her white blouse dirty by tapping on her shoulder. She turned around to me and said that it looked like I had a great deal of fun...I laughed with her and said more than I had imagined.

Now here comes my brother on his third loop and I'm scrambling to get my camera out of the double ziplock bags in my fanny pack, yes it stayed dry along with my phone. I did get a couple of pics of him at the finish line but wish I had seen him in the mud pit with the three girls who decided to start mud wrestling in front of him. He gets all the luck. I was headed towards him when another woman walked close by me and suddenly realized how muddy I was...and she jumped...oh please no was good for another laugh.

Standing in the shower line was fun too, rubbing against others that were as muddy as we were, even touching a few bystanders that got too close....oh well....and then the cold....cold...cold...cold...shower, actually it was more like a drenching. I'm a former volunteer fire fighter and I never had as much fun as these guys were having. The lucky one that got the great show that I mentioned earlier was all grins and seemed to be enjoying the "work". Our robes from ZEST turned out to be nice and very appropriate. Another piece of the great SWAG that these Teva Mountain Games served up to the crazy participants.

To answer several questions from the earlier post...yes I do believe my Garmin survived....perhaps a testimonial for shoes....well they went from white to black to white again...I'm sure there is mud still imbedded in them...and they were a former pair that caused my planter's faciitis so I've not been using them at all.

It was a fun run, it was a muddy run, it was a tough run (at least the uphill part), it was a trail run (of sorts), it was a good experience and I'm glad I participated. Next year....I think if I go back I would opt out to do the 10k Trail Run...a true timed event.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Fun in the Mud - My First Trail Run

A muddy rat, that is what I think. Wow what a run. They did a man-made mud hole that was about 40 feet long then they strung yellow barricade tape over it about 3 feet high and said that we had to go thru the mud and stay under the barricade tape, what an experience. Even though it rained and sleeted earlier in the day, it was dry, sunny and almost hot by the time we raced. The course was supposed to be 5k, and was a 3 loop thing, howeve, they admitted that it wasn't exactly I'm unsure of the results. Plus I'm not sure of the final numbers from my Garmin as it took a pretty good hit in the mud when I stumbled on the first run thru it. Oh I almost forgot, the two guys to my right are modelling the last of the SWAG that we got...the Zest Bathrobes for finishing and getting doused to get some of the mud off. We got ours just a bit later....I got to watch one of the females that finished give a wild show to one of the firemen that were soaking all of us down...she must have fallen face first and got her top soaked in mud...he was focusing attention there...and she pulled it down to let the water work from the inside out...and showed off a bit more than she wanted....or maybe she thought he was single...anyway it made for an interesting finish to the run and made it worth the time to wait on the cold water shower.

Here's my brother, the Aggie hero. He actually finished all three loops and was one of the cleanest runners to get thru the mud hole three times. He would have been cleaner but was caught from the rear by three women that decided to have a mud wrestling contest rather than finish the race and they hit him with quite a bit of mud. His time we think was around 35 minutes for the three loops.

We Found the Mud Run Course

Here is our start/finish line for the 5k Mud Run. It turns out the course is on a part of the lower ski slope and runs thru a tunnel beneath one of the ski lifts. At this point we aren't sure of the condition of the terrain in the tunnel. There was a 5k bike race on this same course this morning and then about an hour later it started to rain and sleet so we should truly have a full course of mud. If it hadn't rained the only deep mud that we should have experienced is pictured below.

That manmade bog hole is a part of the finish of each of our 3 laps and for some reason I want to believe that there will be alot more water added to it sometime this afternoon. Plus if it continues to rain, as it is predicted to do, the entire course will be alot of fun. The first quarter mile is all uphill, but then from there it appears to be downhile back to the finish. I'm considering taking my digital camera long in my fanny pack stored inside of 2 ziplock bags that I have in case I had needed to ice my leg before now. I so want some quick photos after the race...and maybe even during the race. I do have a disposable camera that I can snap photos along the race I suppose. I'm getting excited, but also apprehensive about losing a shoe in the mud hole.
Going to lay down and maybe take a nap for now.

Still No Mud - But Here Are Some Photos

Here I am at one of the entrance gates into the Teva Mountain Game areas in Vail. They have done a great job in setting things up and there are a number of booths, sort of an outdoor expo style thing. The SWAG continues to grow, yesterday on Friday, I got another T-shirt, water bottles, key chains, beach towel, even a pine tree seedling to take home and plant. It's been awesome so far.

This is my younger brother, Ben, at the Betty Ford Flower Garden in Vail. Some of the flowers are in bloom but so many of them are still maybe a month away from blooming and it will be more fabulous probably by the end of June or early July.

This is one of the female kayakers "practicing" for a rodeo like competition where they are in a timed event and have to perform a number of moves, some more difficult than others and worth more points. The water temperature was said to be around 40 degrees F. That is a bit too nipply for me. I don't even think I would want to put my leg in the creek to soak after a run, much less intentionally dunk myself as she was doing. Some of the other events this week include mountain biking, trail running, fly fishing, rock climbing, and even a photography competition.

Oh, and we did take a side trip on Thursday to the west side of the Rocky Mountain National Park and saw quite a few elk, and these two bulls were nice enough to pose for us...I would call this "I've Got Your Backside". We even saw several moose, something I had only seen in Wyoming in the past.

And then to close things out some pretty purple wild flowers again from the Betty Ford Flower Garden here in Vail.