Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nigerian Prince needs help!

The titles from this point forward may or may not have anything to do with the post.

Today's run was brought to you by the fine folks at Achin' Left Knee. Yesterday's run was partially sponsored by ALK, but their investment didn't warrant a full blown mention as they just sponsored the last two miles or so.

At mile .8, I stopped and tried to address the more active elements of Achin' Left Knee; my efforts were met with minimal success. Since ALK was sponsoring a four mile run, I decided to go ahead and plod on. The stretching seemed to help a bit as pain did subside a little.

Once again, no pace alarms to goad me on; I'll let you all know when I decide to turn them back on. It probably won't be any time soon. Also, I ran in a different area than I usually do, and this route included some very tiny hills. If this weren't Indiana (where the topographical map has two colors), it wouldn't even be worth mentioning, but it is Indiana, so I mention it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still no pace alarms, and I tried not to look at my pace. I did keep a rough track of my mileage as I ran a route I don't normally run, but other than that (and sneaking a peek at my time for my first mile), I just ran.

I love the way that I naturally do negative splits! I can say that without feeling narcissistic because I have no cognizant part in doing them. Go legs!

I also am happy that I was able to maintain the pace that I did without straining anything. I paid attention to pointing my feet straight forward and maintaining a comfortable pace. The last two miles were slightly uncomfortable, but far from huffing and puffing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Story time!

Way back in Aug of 1990, two buddies of mine (John and Eric) decided to go out to the hottest club in Anchorage for a night on the town. We all wore our trendiest clothes which included horizontal stripes and cool jeans.

Soon after arriving and setting up our corner, Eric started dancing with this girl named Cindy. So, I took a look at the girl that was with Cindy and decided to ask her to dance. Much to her later regret (I'm sure), she agreed.

We danced a bit then we went back to our separate tables. After an appropriate time space (can't look too eager, ya know), I asked her to dance again. And again...

Eventually, we all moved our stuff over to their table to hang with them during dance breaks. And to ward off any other potential dance partners.

By the end of the evening, Eric and Cindy were sucking some serious face, while my dance partner and I were much more...reserved.

As we walked the girls to their car, I asked if I could have Brandy's phone number; she declined. Instead, she asked for mine, and while I figured she'd make a nice bonfire out of it as soon as I was out of sight, I gave it to her anyways.

To my great surprise, she called me the following week and asked if I'd be interested in going on a double date with Eric and Cindy. Woot! I mean, I said that I would love to. We ended up going out to Red Robin and seeing the movie "Flatliners."

Eight months later, Cindy and Eric had been quits for quite a while, and Brandy and I got married. March 29th, 1991.

So, twenty years of marital bliss for this nutjob, and I couldn't be happier. I love my wife tons more today that I ever have during our time together and am looking forward to the next 20 years!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cue favorite "I'm back" song...

Whether it's "The boys are back in town", "Back in Black", or "Back in the Saddle (again)", or another song that talks about returning, they all describe my current status!

I have a better understanding of what is going on with my strain. When I was born, my feet were turned sideways, and when I lay on my back, my feet naturally fall toes pointed out with my little toes touching the ground.

Stay with me now, that information is important! Ok, where was I? Oh, yeah, my frog legs. So, anyways, while frog legs are great for some things (like the foot trick...yeah, yeah, I know, I still need to post a photo of that), those same legs aren't so good for other things if the proper form is not maintained. running has not been keeping in good form. I tend to have my toes pointed outward, which uses my inside leg muscles (no, not mussels...that's only on Facebook) and strains them.

So, on this run, I concentrated on keeping my feet pointed straight forward. I also kept the pace slow and measured to help me with my form. I also took my dog, Denali. And a hat.

Yes, Denali made it back onto the running team, at least for one run. We'll see if she comes with me on Wed. After the first mile, she realized that I wasn't going to let her sniff around and wander, and she pretty much just trotted along side me.

The plan: endurance. Just endurance. I'm not worried about speed. I'm not worried about finishing my mini marathon under a certain time (although I'll be extremely disappointed if I get picked up by the sag wagon or what ever it's called.)

I really want to run for a long time and hurting myself is not compatible with that goal. So, the name of the game is take it easy. No pace alarms either! At least not this week. 8-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Dang, it's been over a week since I posted. Sorry 'bout that; I know that regular Rusty updates keep you all regular.

I've been in Minnesota this week for training on a scope washer. Plymouth reminds me a bit of Anchorage in that there are bike trails all over the place; unfortunately, I've arrived here just shy of spring time, so I wouldn't have gotten out on them if I were running.

I've been able to reconnect with a buddy that I was stationed with in Alaska, before I met my wife. We've had a good time talkin' about the old times and catching up with what's been happening the last 22 years.

I don't like these training trips as I usually don't get to bring my wife with me, and let me tell you, hotel rooms can get pretty lonely! The one upside is that I've been able to hit a couple of nice restaurants for dinner.

Sushi on Sunday. Thai on Monday. Ribs on Tuesday. And Greek tonight! I'm not sure what I'll be doing for Thursday, but I'm sure it'll be yummy! I'm going to weigh a thousand pounds by the time I get back home!

Last night it snowed about 3-4 inches; I hope that come Friday that I won't have any problems getting out of here. I might just have to spend the night somewhere on my way back if the going is too slow.

Monday, I should be back to running, albeit, slowly. I have decided to not try to set any land speed records for my first mini-marathon. Besides, what ever time I get, it will be a PR!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Yes, it's been quiet here the last couple of days, despite all my moaning and groaning over my strain. I took yesterday off from running and plan on taking today off as well. And I might take the rest of the week off and next week.

As with most things I do, if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. And I think that I've overdone it with running at least in regards to running with pain. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt; I do believe that I've been kidding myself that I could nurse this injury along until after the mini.

When I start back running, I'll have to retool my training program to work on endurance and not worry about speed. There are many people in the running community that would advocate an easy goal of just finishing one's first mini rather than setting a specific goal (they advise the same thing for one's first marathon.)

Now, I'm just not the kind of person that wants to simply finish; I want to do well. I want to be competitive. I want to push myself to be my best. Unfortunately, in my desire to get to where I think I should be (notice the pressure I put on myself for what may be unrealistic goals), I don't take moderation into consideration.

Remember the easy run post from a couple of days ago? Yeah, I have trouble taking it easy.

Anyways, this break comes at a good time as next week I'll be in Minnesota for a tech school, and I'll be able to waste all my spare time on Dragon Age II! YEEEEHAAAAW!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Worst run ever

Why? Well, let me tell you:

1. This was supposed to be 2 mile warm up, 3 miles of 1/4 mile intervals, 1 mile cool down.

What I did: 2 miles waaaaaay too fast, 1 mile of quarters, and 3 miles of long run pace.

2. The run was supposed to be continuous.

What I did: Stopped 3 times. First for breath just before the second 1/4, second time at the three mile mark for breath, water, and change workout, and third after the fourth mile for a bathroom emergency.

3. I wasn't supposed to hurt.

What I did: Hurt. My groin strain may have turned serious as it was really sore at the start of the run as well as after. I'll be talking with my coach about what I need to do, and I'm sure the answer will be: rest.

There is no upside, but I can change my goal for my mini: 5 hours!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Change???

and more mileage! I tacked on the .2 miles to this run so that I could say I did 26.2 miles for the week. Yeah, I'm that much of a geek. MARATHON, BABY!!

I ran with Bad Brad Smith this morning and treated the denizens the Carefree subdivision to a preview of the shambling zombie apocalypse. Thankfully we didn't get shot as such; well, ok, *I* didn't get shot as a zombie. I would think that the shooters would assume that Brad was normal and that I was the threatening zombie.

Anyways, nobody got shot, and if you can say that after a run, I think you've had a pretty good run!

I just ate a Clif Builder's bar. Lemon variety. I've been trying to get some protein in my system after my runs and workouts to build muscle. I'd rather drink it in the form of Gatorade Recovery, but there's only one flavor that I like, and I can't find it all the time. Occasionally, I'll have a protein shake; it's good to mix it up. The protein sources, I mean. Well, the shake too, I mean you really need to mix that up.

Are you mixed up now? I like doing that too.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Changing it up

1. Yes, it's Thursday...and I ran. I swapped Thu and Fri so my wife and I could workout on Fridays and I wouldn't be trashed. Well, my legs wouldn't be trashed; *I* might still be trashed...

2. I ran a new route! If you're really interested in where, see under Rysteranch's runs or this link might work. I actually got to run some hills for a change.

3. In the second half of mile 5 and the first half of mile 6, I did 7x30 second Fartleks, followed by two minutes of walking.

Red Green says in the Man's Prayer, "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." And there's my inspiration. If he can change...when he has to...then I can change...if I have to...

...I guess...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

When the schedule says, "Easy..."

...I need to take it easy. So, the second half of the run, I remembered to take it easy; of course, the whole run should have been at a 10:30 pace (that Min/mile indicator is decimal, btw. 10.34 = 10:21 or so.)

SO! I have an easy run on Saturday (if 8 miles is ever considered easy...) and I need to remind myself to take it easy. Pace alarm will be set for 10:00 and 11:00 min/mile. Maybe I'll even relax it to 10:30 and 11:30 like I did for the last 8 miler I did.

Maybe. We'll see...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Intervals. I liked them!

I actually had difficulty with maintaining an 8:10 pace for my intervals (which translates to a 2:02.25 quarter mile); no, it wasn't being too slow that I struggled with, but too fast! I would look down and see that I was maintaining speeds in the 7:xx range...whoops.

Overall, this was a great run. The intervals did not leave me as winded as I thought they would (I was still a bit winded, though), and I really did feel pretty comfortable maintaining the interval pace. Also, my 10:00 min/mile pace was sufficient to allow me to recover between intervals.




Oh, shorts again today! Yeah, it was 43 degrees, so I wore my underarmor and long sleeve shirt, but no ear protection or gloves. Mark my words, Spring is going to make an appearance this year. Guaranteed!

Now the training starts!

26 miles for the week, and I swap Thu for Fri so that my wife and I can work out on Fridays. Hey, 26.2 miles is a marathon, so I'll be running a marathon this week! Yay on me!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

10K PR...for reals this time!

Ok, the other times were for reals, but this one is in the books. I am really happy about breaking the one hour mark and absolutely giddy about breaking 58 minutes!

The forecast called for rain, and it rained right up until the start. Then it's as if God decided to give us an hour window to run because shortly after I finished, the rain started up again. Ok, it may have drizzled a bit out on the course, but it sure wasn't pouring like it was at 7:00 am.

Comparatively, with my age group and sex, I didn't do as well as I wished. I chalk it up to the wimps that didn't want to walk in the rain. Dang it, I need those walkers to make me feel good about myself!

Age Group (40-44): 48/74
Gender (M): 291/519
Overall: 388/1048

I did go out a little fast, although it was exactly on target for my pace window (9:30-9:00.) I still need to work on slowing myself down at the beginning so that I have more reserve at the end. From what I hear, that is a common problem with most runners.

Now the training begins in earnest. Michael has laid out a schedule of fartleks, intervals, and long runs that promises to either make me into a lean, mean, mini marathon machine or a quivering mess.

I hope it's the former...

Friday, March 4, 2011

All I do is run?

Nah, but if all you know about what's happenin' in my life is from this blog, then you might think so. If you go back far enough into my archives, you'll find out (or remember) that I'm also an avid computer gamer and recovering World of Warcrack addict.

So, I definitely have not given up computer gaming, and I figured I'd update ya'll (that's a colloquialism for "you all".) (or is that '.")' or '").'? punctuation is hard.)

Aside from grammar issues, lately I've been playing The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I've got the difficulty set on really super easy so I don't have to worry about dying and can just enjoy doing the quests.

And punching things.

See, I chose to have a Mage type character, but with the way the leveling works, you get bonuses to stats that you use the most. Add to that Strength determines how much you can carry and I'm a natural pack rat, and voila! you get a Mage that punches stuff to build up his Strength.

Sure, I could use a blade or a blunt instrument, but where's the fun in that? It's much more satisfying to punch out that crab than slice it up.

Occasionally, I'll use my fireball spell. I like to sneak, so it's really fun to sneak into range of an unsuspecting enemy and snipe them...with FIRE! A nice explosion usually sends them flying and the super duper easy setting ensures one shot kills. Everyone wins...well, I mean I...Win.

I pre-ordered Dragon Age II and downloaded the demo before my California trip. I got the thing installed in the Portland airport and started playing it. I wasn't too far into it before I had to call up Teurion (can I just call him David now? I mean, really...) and tell him what a blast it was. I was blowing everything up!!! KABOOM! lawls.

I much prefer DA2 to Oblivion for a couple of reasons:
1. Party Members. I like having a squad at my command and controlling the flow of battle. I usually default to the tank/healer/dps model of WoW, but I also have the freedom to try other things. One of my favorite things to do is to clear out the ranged enemies while my designated tank keeps the melee busy.

In Oblivion, it's just me.

2. Pause + Tactical evaluations. I like pausing battles and looking around the battlefield to determine priority targets and control. I enjoy using the different abilities of my party to mitigate and neutralize threats as well as assign targets and positioning.

In Oblivion, it's just me.

3. DA2 has a straight forward leveling system. I get to pick which attributes I want to directly increase with no thoughts given to playing a certain way. If I'm a Mage, I want Magic and Willpower; if I'm a Warrior, then Strength and Willpower; if I'm a Rogue, then Agility, Cunning, and Willpower.

I never become over encumbered due to a lack of Strength, although certain armor has Strength requirements in order to wear it.

In Oblivion, the leveling is more convoluted.'s just me. (just had to throw that in

Anyways, DA2 comes out on March 8th, and I'm really looking forward to getting my grubby little mitts on the thing. Oh, and the best thing about it? It has a...pause...button!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I purposed during this run to just run.

No looking at the watch.

No pace alarms.

Just run and go however fast my body wanted to go.

I am very pleased that I naturally did negative mile splits. I'm also happy that I settled into a 10:00 min/mile pace after the first mile, and I felt very comfortable at that pace.

I was going to see how fast I could do 5 miles in my run on Monday, but I ended up going to Santa Rosa with my dad to take his wookie to a vet surgeon specialist dude. Poor Lilly broke her upper right leg on Saturday and the local yokels couldn't patch her up.

Lilly...the day before the accident.

Poor Lilly...