Tequila Shot Date

There is a type of blog post called “Virtual Coffee Date” where the blogger in semi-conversational style talks about various things of interest.  If you never have seen this style of post before, a random example of it can be found here (and by random I googled “blog coffee date”and this was the first running one that popped up).

We not doing that.  We’re doing tequila shots so buckle up because here is how it goes:

Shot 1

I am one socially awkward dude, so if you actually ever meet me in person I kinda have a deer in headlights look at first. My jokes at this point are hit or miss because in real life I tend to say the first joke that comes to mind,  instead of typing it and figuring out that it qualifies as dumb– even for me.  At this point the jokes are about myself so it doesn’t matter much that they miss.   In desperation I will bring up my blog.  I will say that on Wednesday it had the highest number of hits and I have no clue why since I hadn’t posted any new content.  Yeah, it’s that bad until…

Shot 2

As soon as this shot hits, you are in the sweet spot.   I relax enough that you will stop wondering if I am going to drop of a stress induced heart attack. I have enough alcohol in me that the jokes have just the right bit of edge to them and pass for funny.  I’ll talk about some of my racing stories and manage to make them sorta interesting.  I will engage in actually conversation.  I will make interesting observations and If you are lucky I don’t start feeling good about myself and jump to…

Shot 3

At first shot 3 may seem like an improvement or at least it does in my mind.  Unfortunately that is the only place it seems like an improvement.  The part of the brain that edits and filters comments starts to fade like a cheap T-shirt in hot water.   This means that my wit, that to this point has been taking cheap shots at myself, turns its focus to the rest of the world.  At its best, it works, at worst it looks like me doing speed work (sorry if you were eating and can’t get that image out of your mind).  Topics can range the world.  Maybe if you are lucky I will tell my worst racing experiences and it come across humorous.  Anything to keep me from…

Shot 4

Whatever logic I had pretty much is gone at this point.  This is a good point to convince me to jump between buildings, steal something from a cop, get my first tattoo or try poutine. (side note, I suspect at least one of you out there is probably taking the last sentence as a challenge).  If you ever wanted unfiltered honestly about anyone, anything, this is time to ask since my speech isn’t too slurred . This is point I will tell you about the time I helped steal an entire dorm’s toothbrushes and planted them along their walkway.  I will tell the story in a way that may make you think another shot may be a good idea.  It’s not but you already ordered…

Shot 5

By this point, if I’m not in jail for stealing a cop’s hat, the adrenaline of meeting someone new has worn off.  This causes me to be extremely introspective.  This might be OK, but its me we are introspecting (yes, it’s a word) so it mostly comes off as maudlin.  Running topics are off the table at this point since I will just whine about being old.  After a few minutes you will figure out all topics really are off the table.  You will say you are going to the bathroom, and after about 30 minutes I will figure out you aren’t ever coming back. Another blog reader lost.

Hey, I just got stuck with the bill


A flower would be better off in a different blog

Hey it’s a flower. Absolutely nothing to do with the post and proud of it.

Canadian Trivia:

If you thought Canada annexing Ohio and other areas currently in the US was the last we would fight over the border, you would be wrong.  Both the US and Canada (still under English rule) felt that Oregon was theirs.  To try to avoid another war with the US, England agreed to joint rule over the area (via the Convention of 1818 if you really want your RDA of trivia).  This worked about as well as a divorced couple living together.  James Polk (an American President for my Canadian audience  (OK, the Americans probably didn’t remember it either)) had promised in 1844 to take not only Oregon but annex all the way up through what is now Alaska.   If the US didn’t get what it wanted, it would go to war with England again.  We didn’t, the US went to war with Mexico instead and settled the border dispute to extend the 49th parallel (with the exception of giving Canada all of Vancouver Island instead of splitting it awkwardly in half).

Awkwardly split in half kinda describes this blog post come to think about it.



Two Things Tuesday

You know it is a lot easier to do two things on Tuesday, than 5 on Friday and  I am ALL about the efficiency.  It also means the post is shorter, so I suspect everyone (OK, most everyone) is on board with my laziness disguised as being clever (which as a side note is the short summary of every note a teacher sent home with me).

1. I didn’t yet sign up for the Leesburg 20K on August 15.  I thought about it and I was somewhat concerned that I would regret it given that my last August 20K made the list of worst races for me (link Here if you want to refresh your memory or just enjoy reading about my crushing failures (well running related ones anyway)).  Of course some of the races I am thinking about are even dumber than that idea, so I hope by this time next week a plan will be in place that maximizes results and minimizes dumbness.  Probably though, it is more of a results/dumbness optimization problem.  No matter the math, I need to determine the plan.

2. The results from the Friday Five questions for you from a 1 1/2 weeks ago  have been tallied.

A. Most people said they looked at the alt text for the pictures.  Since I ran a contest in the alt text for free dinner and nobody responded, I am not sure if anyone really is reading it, but I have gone back to filling something out at least some of the time because it can be amusing to me.  As an added bonus, if anyone seeing impaired does chance upon this site, they hopefully will get a good laugh (if you really want to see the alt text you have to pull up the page’s html code or have special SW, and although I like to think my alt text is funny, it isn’t so funny as to justify bringing up html).

B. It was pretty evenly split on the reading tags and categories, but since I pointed it out, more people are reading them, so I will keep doing it (they are at the very bottom of the post in case you are curious).

C. A few people would like it if commenting was easier on the site and if the comments were better displayed.  I am considering a site re-design to make the site look like it wasn’t being run  by a three year old with ADHD.  It would cost either time or money and I don’t see it happening in the next few months, but if this blog becomes a longer term effort, I could see a site revamp being worth it and I will certainly improve the commenting capability.

D. Everyone seems OK with my switching between the serious and not so serious with no warning.  That, or no one takes any of it seriously which is OK too.

E. The Selfie vote was 2 for, 1 against, 1 death threat (which really is a no vote in my mind (and no, the death threat wasn’t serious)).  So I will continue to ponder that one.  I do realize that is hinders the connection between the me and you, but since this basically a humor blog disguised as a running blog, I am not sure to the degree it matters as long as I am not too worried about my blog stats.  Yes, selfies (even of old average looking dudes like me) help drive up traffic because it helps connect and build trust between the reader and the blogger (so I have been told).  This is a long winded way of saying jury is out on selfies (side note, does anyone use the term “short winded”).  I suspect the selfie is a fight I will lose in the end, but I am not ready to give up just yet (that statement is reason #49 of why I am not a motivational speaker).

Canadian trivia: The current Canadian flag was adopted in 1965.  It is one of the few things older than I am.

Thanks for reading.

Picture of the author in an InkNBurn shirt.  It is a selfie minus the head.  The author is a jerk

My newest InkNBurn shirt. And yes, I’m kinda messing with both the pro-selfie and anti-selfie vote all at once. If I treat my readers this way, maybe it isn’t a surprise why I only get 15 people reading my blog.  It is a cool shirt though.





Holding that Thought

For those who have been reading since early June, I have been whining commenting about my training for all my fall races being far behind due to my recent knee issues.  So I have been ruminating ways to increase fitness, or at least try and improve my shot at my year end 24 HR race, without trying to ramp up mileage too fast and giving my knee a reason to pack up and go home (which to my knee’s mind in Houston when it got the ACL/MCL torn and kneecap dislocated playing soccer).

A picture of a pig and a pink beer bottle.  Yup it is party time here at RL central.

Nothing good will come of this. Side note if you are ever in Portland, OR go to Voodoo doughnuts. It is good for a laugh and the doughnuts are pretty good.  This has nothing to do with the post, but you have to wonder if anything has to do with this post.

Part of what I have been doing is adding mileage before and after my run with my “speed/race” walking.  By speed I mean something better than 20 min/mile.  So far my best mile is 12:44, but I haven’t been able to consistently keep my walking pace high (or at least as high as I would like it).  I have thrown in a few sessions (and need to throw in many more) of walk only, but I am looking for ways to run/walk and keep my focus on both.  I my mind tends to wander when I run (and unfortunately for all of us, it usually finds it way home (not that you could tell the difference, but I can)).  A wandering mind isn’t a big deal in and of itself, but it tends to cause a drop in pace both when I walk and when I run.  I think the reason  is that since my speed (at least in running) is so cadence dependent that I have to actually pay some attention or my cadence drops  (my monster knee brace makes it hard to swing my lag back very well which is why even at slower speeds my cadence runs 170-175).

So I put on my thinking cap (which has an odd resemblance to a dunce cap now that I think about it) and decided that I need to find some summer races (despite my tendency to have a sweat rate that makes me look like a walking Niagara Falls minus the natural beauty).  I am thinking about running the Leesburg 20 K in August.  Yeah, 20K in Virginia in August while being under trained, what could could wrong?  Well, being me, tons can can go wrong, but it would give me some practice throwing in some speed walking with running.  (and give my fellow runners a good laugh watching me trying to speed walk).    My current training plan won’t have me at 20K, so it will force me to practice walking (yes, my life has sunk to the point where I need to practice walking).  The question is if I want to run even more races (and drive up my blog stats because nothing drives traffic like race reports).  They tend to take more out of me (and I got hurt during my last one) but I find it easier to focus on the task at hand.

So that is what I am pondering.  Renewed my passport so I am ready to go for Ottawa and the Army Run in September, all that is left is that whole training for a half marathon part (and packing which if you remember the post on what I took to Philly is no small task).

Time for the Canadian Trivia segment (or time to stop reading depending on your tastes).  Two pieces of trivia for you.  During the American Revolution the Americans captured and occupied Montreal in Nov 1775.  However after a failed attempt to capture Quebec City, General Arnold (yes, that one) ended up having retreat to Montreal and eventually gave up in the city in June1776 when British reinforcement arrived to take back the city.

Oh, but that isn’t the only time we occupied parts of Canada.  During the War of 1812, we captured the poorly defended York (now Toronto).  As part of the British retreat they set their gun powder stores on fire and killed 40 of the 200 people that died in the battle.  The American’s promptly burned any public space, like the Legislative Assembly building, to the ground.  We ransacked York for 6 days and then left.  We also stole the The Parliamentary mace of Upper Canada which only returned in 1934 as a goodwill gesture by President Roosevelt.  No apology quite like “Sorry we burnt your city to the ground and looted it a 100+ years ago, here’s your mace back”



(I am almost used to typing that)

A picture of the author's shoes

Me, my knee brace, and InkNBurn shorts. You can tell from this shot how I have difficulty keeping my feet straight (and torquing the crap out of my knee). This picture almost has something to do with the post, so #improvement

Inspiring? Award Winning? Me????

Well they say if you live long enough you will see just about everything.  Although many of you are still waiting for the day of a decent blog post out of me, I now have lived long enough to see the day this blog got an “Inspiring Blog Award”.

Stephanie Wattenbarger at her blog http://joyinthefire.com was kind enough to nominate me this award.  Go check out her blog, I’ll wait for you to get back.

However, unlike most awards this one has rules associated with it (and you don’t have to be a long time reader of this blog to guess how I deal with rules).  But I have completed task one by listing the blog above.  See, no wonder I am award winning.

Picture of award

Rule 2, check

Now here is where things get tricky.  I have to share 7 things about myself.  I am guessing that telling you what I am wearing right now is a serious violations of the rules (and some of you may be eating), so here I go.

1. I am named after my grandfather and father.  So yes, I am the 3rd.  Someone once asked me if it was a family name.  I told them no, my parents just thought it would make me sound rich.

2. My middle name, Marsden, is a town in England.  My ancestors on that side of the family were glass blowers.

3. I once had a piece of art hang in the Houston Museum of Modern Art.  However, my artist abilities are somewhere between my running and swimming skills (which is a nice way of saying, from bad to worse).

4. I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University in Houston.

5. On New Year’s Eve last year I went for a run over midnight.  It was kinda pretty seeing the fireworks from a distance and I certainly had the trail to myself.  So for a few hours at least, I ran more mileage in 2014 than most of you.  Alas, it was a lead I did not hold on to for long.

6. I have lived in 6 states and two of them twice (VA-KY-WV-TN-TX-IL-WV-VA) and moved 14 times.  I’m overdue for a state change and a move.

7. I have visited 39 states (along with DC) and have raced in 10 states (TN,TX,IL,IN,WI, NM, WV,VA,GA,PA)  (and DC).  If all goes to plan I will add AZ to the list at the end of the year.  I have to admit although my knee is still a bit weak, I am already looking at new places to run in 2015.  So if any of my followers want me to visit, let me know and what a good race in your area would be (or conversely I can be paid off to avoid your state/country/hemisphere entirely).

So the last rule is that I have nominate 15 more bloggers for this award.  Finally, I rule I can feel good about breaking.  I’m not going to pretend I read 15 blogs on a consistent basis (including this one in case the grammar and punctuation didn’t make that obvious) . Well I may not give you quantity, but I will give you quality.  There are two blogs I would like to highlight for your viewing consideration.

@neurosciency has a blog at neurosciency a blog about science, style, and everything in between.  OK, I don’t know jack about style (and it is not her fault, I manage to screw that up all on my own) but my personal favorite part of blog is the Neurosciency Friday posts.  Take a look link at the crawfish picture, it is worth the effort in and of itself.

Stacey @RunToBeFree10 and her blog RunToBeFree10, the rantings of Stace Face  can give you the low down on almost every race in the Baltimore area because best I can tell, she runs almost every last one of them.  Her blog has a refreshing honesty to it, but she manages to keep a smile on her face (unlike me who smiles like there was a tax on smiling).

@neurosciency and @RunToBeFree10 —-Tag, you’re it.  Do with it as you wish.

Now that I have dispensed with the crap about me and given you two great blogs that will probably cause you never to come back here, I will now return you to your regularly scheduled non-blog.

Here is your Canadian Trivia for this post.  Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan were once part of Canada.   As part of the Quebec Act of 1774 someone thought it would be a good idea to redraw the boundary of Canada to take a big swath out of what is now the US.  England (who let’s face it, didn’t care, it was all theirs anyway) approved the act but the joke was on them since it was one (of many) causes of the American Revolution.  After the American Revolution, the US initially asked for all of Canada as part of the agreement to end the war (we’ll show you swath taking) but the English were fearful of leaving the French around without an English presence so they agreed to go back to the pre-1774 borders.


Would you believe one of the rules includes a pig picture?

Would you believe one of the rules includes a pig picture?

Side note, nobody won the contest (it was hidden two posts ago)  so I don’t have to buy anyone dinner.




Aqua Running Data

As most of you know (and for you new followers sorry you ended up here) I have been doing some aqua running while my knee was injured and I am still doing some to supplement my meager running mileage.

Now I could got into details about the intricacies of aqua running and the technical aspects of it, but let’s be honest, nobody comes to this blog to learn the finer points of running technique, aqua or otherwise.  But what I can do is describe the silliness in which I used my Garmin for aqua running.

Now I know what you are thinking–you swim indoors, what the heck is a Garmin going to tell you? (OK, you are really thinking, please make this stop, but you are doing this to yourself so my sympathy is somewhat limited (but not non-zero if it makes you feel better)).

I had no idea what (if any) data I would get from my Garmin, but I know the 620 is water resistant up to 50 meters (and I checked with Garmin it turns out that is depth, not just for 1 lap in the pool).  So I strapped my Garmin on, put on my floatation device (no it wasn’t water wings it was a floatation belt for used pool running) and went for a pool run just to see what kind of data I would get.  Yeah, I am a Garmin Geek.

The data was mostly garbage it turned out.  I was far away from the window, so the GPS mileage data was garbage (there is no way I pool ran for a mile).  There was one sorta useful piece of data that came out and that was cadence.  One thing I would recommend if you ever find yourself pool running is to do intervals.  Intervals have two useful effects.  First, it helps increase your heart rate which can be difficult doing a constant pace.  Second, it breaks up the total monotony which is pool running.

So below is the chart when I first started doing intervals.  Now I am in the lap swim pool because the diving pool was being used for water polo.  This means that I was going maybe 10 meters and then turning around (this is because being over 6 ft tall, I need the deep end of the pool (and you can hush on the going off the deep end jokes).  Since I didn’t change the settings to stop the Garmin if I stopped (and turning around with the shift in momentum is basically stopping) the intervals come up short.  That or my intervals were really short and I am just coming up with some BS physics explanation to try and hide it.  Either way, you can use the Garmin to get some idea of your cadence.   This was early on in my run and it lined up pretty well with my manual count using the poolside clock.  Later on I was able to get up to a 180 cadence but I suspect you aren’t inclined to believe me on  that either.

Cadence data for pool running intervals.  Really, no joke.

Pool running cadence data which you may or may not believe  This whole post has been based on this one crappy picture.

So that is the sum total usefulness of my Garmin in pool running.  More importantly I will delete this off my Garmin so it is not included in my monthly mileage because that would be cheating.  When I cheat, I prefer to use my car because it is much faster.

As may remember in my post on Canada Day (and if you live in Canada shouldn’t every day be Canada Day?) I vowed to learn more about the country I would be visiting this September.  So here is your Canadian trivia of the day: Hudson Bay is named after Henry Hudson.  Hudson (the person not the bay) was leading an expedition in the bay when his crew mutinied and set him and few loyalist adrift in a small boat (they were never heard from again and presumably died ).  Crappy way to get something named after you if you ask me.



A small dream takes shape

When you are just coming back from injury, it can be frustrating to feel the difference between your before injury running and your current state. It’s enough to cause some almost 49 year-old back of the pack type to pull his hair out.   Well, if this individual had any hair, which our hypothetical almost 49 year-old does not (except…. well  let’s just hypothetically leave it at that).

For those who have been reading this blog recently (rumor has it there are people who do that), you know that I have been sticking my head in the sand when it comes to training for The Army Run in September, MCM in October, my 50K doing the  Richmond 8K/Marathon and Across the Years 24 HR race.  I wanted to take the time to rest my knee, make sure that when I restarted that I wouldn’t push too hard too soon (well excluding the fact that I was coming back too  soon in the first place).  However, after a week of short (<3 mile) runs I finally looked at putting together possible training plans.

I’m screwed

Well that isn’t entirely true.  I’m screwed if I want to actually finish any of these races in a time that would make me feel OK (or in the case of MCM maybe finish at all given a fairly hard-ass time-cut at mile 20).   Add to that the pressure of I am tied to telling the world about how I do in all theses races in my blog and it adds up to a sub-optimal situation.   However, sub-optimal or not, I can only play the cards I am dealt and figure out what to do from there.  The basic problem is given my state of mileage (low), fitness (iffy from a running perspective) and the time frame of my races (Sept-Dec) you can’t get from here to there.  I think about how to run a 24 HR race being under trained, and it reminds me of running my first half with a long run of around a mile. (for those who need reminding, check out My Worst Races Vol 2)

So here is the current plan.  Do my best to train for the Army run, see if I can at least do as well as I did in my last half , try to throw in a in a couple of longer runs between the Army Run and MCM to see if I can get through MCM and then maybe by the time I hit Richmond in November, I can fudge my way to a 50K and then I can contemplate the agony of the jump to a 24 HR race even though I would  not exactly ready.

I didn’t say it was a good plan

But it is my current plan.  Got my “long” run of 3.4 miles in yesterday so I have started.  Run 4 days a week, 1 long run on Sat, 1 short run on Sun, two weekday runs at “goal” pace if my knee can handle it.  Up the mileage each week by a mile or two and hope that between my chiro, massages, and foam rollering within an inch of my existence, I can somehow pull it off.

This is the contest.  Provide the code 1976

Trying to lasso some training.

We will see.   I would like to go back to the blogger in April and ask respectfully to temper his goals (like pushing the 24 HR race to next year), but I doubt the blogger would have listened (and isn’t doing a great job listening now).  But I am running again, and even for a few yards yesterday I actually felt the calm that is the reason I run.  It evaporated faster than a ice cube on the sun, but I felt it, and it gives me a glimmer of hope.

Same contest code 1776

Solar Powered Pig practicing his trail running.  This has nothing to do with the post really, but hey, people love a solar powered pig with a twitter account (@AbbyAndThePig)

So there is a road ahead and I although I am taking the slow lane, its less slow than than this time last week.  So, I will dream the small dream and hope that is eventually leads to bigger dreams. More proof this blogger finds it best not to listen to himself.




Friday 5 Questions for You

OK, last week I gave out 5 pieces of info about me, and managed to live to tell the tale.  This week I have 5 questions for you.  You can respond via Twitter, via the comments, or if you want to email me at rl@runninglonely.com (no, I am not changing it to marsden@runninglonely.com). Or just ignore all the questions entirely, but just don’t say I didn’t ask your thoughts about anything.  These are just some things I wonder about my blog reading audience (yes that means you buster).

1. Did anyone ever read or look at the alternative text captioning for my photos?  I don’t know if I have anyone who is seeing impaired who visits the site, but I would usually throw in an extra joke, but I never got any feedback so I stopped doing it.  If anyone uses Jaws or similar SW to look at my blog, let me know.

2. Does anyone read the tags and categories at the bottom of these posts?  I have been playing with them for the last few posts, and wondered if anyone actually looks at them.  I kinda doubt it, but putting in tags entertains myself and heck, entertaining myself is a big part of why I blog.

3. If I made it easier to comment (and easier to read the comments) would anyone be more likely to comment on the blog?  I get most of my comments via Twitter, and I am cool with that, but I was wondering.

4. I often switch gears between the quite serious and the humorous (or what passes for humorous in my mind).  Does this make the blog harder or easier to read?

5. OK, what’s with the desire to see a selfie of me?  OK, desire is a strong word, but I have gotten more than a handful of requests.  And no the requests were coming from deranged individuals (well the requests were from blog/Twitter/Instagram followers so you can be the judge of that).  I almost did a post on my rationale against selfies, but decided against it (see I CAN use better judgement).  I won’t say absolutely no to the selfie, but you aren’t getting it in this post.

The picture is of a toy pig in front of a large cup of coffee.  Why the author has choosen to do this is beyond us to comprehend so we stopped trying.

He is SO going to need a bathroom later

6. Isn’t a question, but I thought I would show you the top 10 cities that visit this blog in the last month.  If your city isn’t on the list, feel free to hit the reload button a lot.

The blog author is informing his public that Not Set is the number 6 city that comes to this blog.

I just told you what this is, so you don’t really need a caption.



My First 5K or Are you supposed to feel like you are dying?

The year was, oh never mind, most of you were born yet and it was pre-high def so everything was kinda blurry anyway.  No, it was NOT in black and white.  For reasons I don’t remember, I was 16 and signed up for my first 5K.  I knew nothing about running races other than the generic put one foot in front of the other.  I wasn’t on the cross country team, didn’t read (or even had heard of) Runner’s World, and didn’t know crap about training.  I would do a few laps around the block.  Most of my running was running the bases in baseball.

The beauty of running is that even an idiot can do it. I’m living proof.

This 5K was at a local shopping mall and the course was basically a couple of loops around the parking lot (and as non-scenic as this sounds, this isn’t the ugliest course I have ever run).  As I have pointed out before, but will point out again, you know because I am old, is that this was in the day before chip timing or GPS watches.  Since this was a 5K they didn’t even have a person on the course telling you any split times, so basically you found out how fast you went when you got to the finish line (or at least if you were a high school student like me who didn’t have a digital watch).  About the only thing you could tell was if you were going faster or slower than everyone around you.

This turns out to be a big problem for me

I wasn’t nervous before the race (I was a 16 year old male, I was WAY too stupid to be nervous).  Everyone lined up and I figured the middle was a pretty good place to start. They played the National Anthem, and the gun went off and so did I.

You ever hear of going out too fast?  Oh, you know nothing about going out too fast.  Not knowing any better I tried to keep up with people around me.  The problem with that is that the people around me were hauling ass and I was too inexperienced (and not in good enough shape) to go out with them.  I gamely tried to keep up with them.  For about 1/2 mile I managed, but by mile 1 I could hear my heart beat in my ears.  By mile 2 my chest started to hurt and I wondered to myself if this is what a heart attack felt like.

Side note, if you wonder if time travel is possible, it’s not.  How do I know this?  Because if it were, someone reading this blog would go back in time, tell my 16 year old self not to sweat chest pains and that it was a sign to push it harder.  Since I am writing this blog, that didn’t happen, thus time travel is not possible.

So at mile 2 I slowed down and tried to ignore the wave after wave of people passing me.  There were only a few stragglers at that were coming by the time I finished.  My final time was 24:54.

I am just as happy there wasn’t a photographer to memorialize how crappy I must of looked hitting the finish line.  This was so long ago, they didn’t do race photography, they only had an artist painting everyone on the wall of a cave.

I wish that I could say that was the last time I went out too fast.  I wish that I could say that it was the last time I went out too fast in a 5K.  I also wish I was a billionaire but that isn’t true either.

I can say it was the last time I drove my self to chest pains, so at least I can say that much for myself.  Well that and I proved time travel isn’t possible.



Yeah, feels weird not to do RL.  I went back and I didn’t even start doing that in this blog until March, but somehow I still think of myself as RL when I am writing the blog.  Oh well, change is happening.  Who knows, maybe next I will get selfie happy (don’t worry very doubtful).

Solar powered pig on the other hand has no issues with being photographed

Solar powered pig on the other hand has no issues with being photographed

A knee update

Although I don’t share that much about myself on this blog (last post withstanding), I don’t even pause for a second at the thought at going into great detail about how my knee is doing.  Well, I never claimed to be the most consistent person in the world (well I am consistently bad at blind dates, but that really isn’t what I trying to get at).

So as I mentioned in my last post that I had gone on a test run on Thursday and the knee held up reasonably well.  Sure it was only a bit over a mile, but it was a run.  Then the next day I went for a walk/run of 6.3 miles with about 2.5 miles of running with the longest stretch of running of 1.5 miles.  After a day off (2.5 hour walk about 40 minute lap swim) I then hit the track for 3.5 mile walk/run with 2.75 miles of running with 1.75 miles being the longest continuous running.  This is starting to sound suspiciously like a real running blog.


I guess this qualifies for a trail run for a Solar Powered Pig.

I guess this qualifies for a trail run for a Solar Powered Pig.

Now, that’s more like it.  So where am I? (answer: on the floor of my living room writing a below average blog post, but that wasn’t really what I was asking).

Well my knee has vastly improved since I screwed it up during my last half marathon.  Bone spur or not, I can at least run a very little bit.  Of course I am wearing a monster knee brace which doesn’t lend itself to the knee being able to move laterally, but I am certainly not at 100%. The brace makes it hard the swing my left leg back very far which means I have to rely on cadence to help with speed.   There is minor swelling of the knee, but I can walk normally (and here you thought I couldn’t do anything normally) and get up and down stairs without pain with the aid of some KT tape.

Beyond the the knee itself, I am certainly out of running shape.  When I transition from running to walking my Garmin heart rate data shows a more of a curved slope to the lower heart rate than the sharp drop you would see if I was in better shape.  So I guess the high level summary is I am slow and I can’t run very far.  At least now I have an excuse.

For now I am still ignoring trying to come up with training plans for my races coming up in Sept-Dec. Although if it wasn’t for these races, and that fact that I blog about running, I would probably just take the 3 months off I need to fully heal, but for now I am going to slowly add mileage, work on my walking, and see if I can at least get to the point where I can finish the Army Run in September despite the fact my time is likely to be a disappointment (well to me, I don’t think anyone else really worries too terribly much about my times).  <side note, if you ever wonder why I take cheap shots at my blog, re-read at that last sentence.  Actually “sentence” is more appropriate>.

Slightly swollen knee.  I probably should have warned everyone in case someone was trying to eat.

Slightly swollen knee. I probably should have warned everyone  I was putting this picture in the post in case someone was trying to eat.

So there that is the knee update.  Onward to greater mileage and The Army Run (I hope).


RL (AKA Marsden)

Anyone really have a preference on how I end these posts now that you actually know my name?

Five things Friday

First, the solar powered pig with wings has a twitter account now (well, actually he shares the account with @50statecanuck’s dog Abby).  Anyway, feel free to take at look/follow at @AbbyandThePig

Shhhhh, Solar Powered Pig is taking a nap

Shhhhh, Solar Powered Pig is taking a nap

And you thought this blog couldn’t get any weirder

Well I am doing a 5 things Friday about myself so it may just get a bit odder still.  To start, I’m posting this on Thursday.  Well, here goes nothing (literally)

1. Hi, my name is Marsden.  It’s my middle name and I use it with my friends.  If you read this blog, you qualify in my world as a friend.  I don’t use Marsden at work instead I use my first name and it helps to remind me to try and keep work and non-work separate.  The fact that I use the terms work and non-work to describe my life should give you an idea of how successful I am at this.

2. I don’t get the same rush from running that most of you get.  I don’t feel better afterwards, or get runners high.  The best I can get is occasional moments of peace, but with my knee, I haven’t had any of those since April.  The reverse is I don’t get the down side of mood swings during cut-back weeks or tapering so I guess I am getting something out of the bargain.

3. I don’t keep my race medals.  I donate them.  Medals mean nothing to me.  I realize you probably think I am nuts.

4. I was born in Germany while my father was stationed there in the Army.  I left when I was 6 months old so unless you count baby talk, I can’t speak German.  I am rooting for Germany in the World Cup now that the US is out of it.  The country (other than the US) I have spent the most time is Argentina which I went to a lot in a previous job of mine.  My Spanish is only marginally better than my baby talk German.

5. My blog hits double on weeks with a race report, 60% of my traffic is from the DC area, and the majority of my audience is women.  All of those things surprise me. My race reports are not exactly standard. I don’t blog that much about DC and only one of you has ever met me so it is not like the stats are getting padded by friends and co-workers (and most of my twitter followers aren’t from DC).

As for the the last one, you can read the URL of this site to see why I might scratch my head at that one.  My current theory is that the women read this blog are trying to reinforce their significant other is a good choice, or that there are worse things than being single.  Either way, it shows why you can accomplish so much in your races, because if you can read this blog, you are tough enough for anything (which is true for the guys as well).

Me and my knee brace.

Me and my knee brace.

Next post I will give a knee update.  One short run done, but real testing will begin this weekend.