Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm a runner.

I'd be a millionaire now if I had a nickel for each time someone questioned me about why I run or made some comment about it being bad for me. Quite frankly, I don't care what those people think. You see, there's something deep down inside this body of mine that knows it's right for me. You might say it sort of defines part of me.
I didn't realize this until I was out of high school. I decided after graduation that since my high school sporting days were over (baseball, basketball, and soccer), I needed to find something to satisfy my competitive spirit.
The 1976 Montreal Olympics were going on that summer and I found myself rooting for American athletes like Bruce Jenner and Frank Shorter. That summer I started to run and have been doing it ever since.

Some people say that it's just the endorphins talking when someone expresses a passion for running. I disagree with that statement and here's why. I believe there's something inside every person that drives them to do certain things. I just happen to be wired this particular way and now running is part of who I am. Running isn't just about competing and the feeling of satisfaction I get from those efforts. It has also become one of my primary stress coping mechanisms too.

Tell me about how you got started running, whether it was yesterday or years ago. When did you realize that running was an important part of who you are? I'm interested.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

While Running, Beware of Scat.... And Mountain Lions

About a week ago, a mountain lion was hit and killed by a SUV in Milford, CT. The strange thing is that the nearest population of such animals is in Florida. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has said that there aren't any such creatures in this area.  They are fairly certain that the killed lion was a captive one, not a native animal. They even sent samples of animal droppings, scat, to be analyzed to confirm some sitings and DNA to help identify where the creature might have originated from.

As someone who enjoys trail running and the outdoors, such an incident has me reassessing how aware I am of my surroundings while out in the woods. I know there are cases of people being attacked and even killed by mountain lions out west. So the next time you're out hiking or trail running, enjoy yourself, but remember to be heads up, don't step in scat, and avoid confrontations with mountain lions.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Race Recovery

The speed in which you recovery from a race depends on a number of factors like distance, course difficulty, race conditions, your conditioning and age, to name a few. One rule of thumb is you need one day of rest for each race mile. So after running the Woodstock Memorial Day 10k (6.2 miles), I should have rested at least 6.2 days before doing another hard workout. The race was on a Monday morning so by Sunday afternoon I should have been okay.
I decided to do a little experiment though to see if I could get away with a shorter recovery. On Tuesday I didn't run. On Wednesday I did an easy 5 miles, followed by a rest day on Thursday. On Friday I tried to do a hard 5 mile workout. Although I felt fairly good, my time was about 75 seconds slower than I expected. I then rested on Saturday and tried to run a medium paced 8 mile rail trail run on Sunday. But I was so tired that I only manged 7 miles at a slow pace. 
As I examined my logbook, it became apparent to me that the Friday hard workout was probably a mistake. I believe my Sunday workout would have been better if I had run easy on Friday. I plan to do some more experimenting with this rule of thumb. Perhaps I just had a bad day on Sunday, but I really doubt it.
I'm curious to know what other people do for race recoveries. Do you use some other rule of thumb? Thanks for sharing.