Saturday, March 20, 2010

Your Own Natural Form

I noticed it last Fall, as I was watching my son Jake run.  He was out running around the yard, in his skater-boy shoes, and landing on the balls of his feet as he ran.  I thought to myself, "i used to run like that when I was younger, but now that I am older, I have learned the proper heal-strike, let-your-shoes-do-the-work-for-you technique".  Ironically, I was thinking this as I was takiong some time off from running to let my Achilles tendon heal.

I was one of them.  One of the dumb masses who believed what I heard and tried to correct my natural running form.  I had read shoe reviews that emphasized how the support in this model will help your foot go through the "full, natural motion" of your foot strike.  I was further influenced by a person at my Chiropractor's who insisted that custom-fitted or orthotics.  I had flat feet, and she commented on how developed and strong the inside muscles had become because of there having to deal with this flaw.  I had gone there because 13 miles into a 15 mile run, the inside of my right knee gave out and I could not put any pressure on it.  Knowing what I know now, I should have worked on strenghtening my legs, not adjusting the mechanics of the whole thing.  But, I digress.

As I was running the 3rd workout of the 1st week of the C25k plan, I realized it was easier to focus on and maintain my natural mid-foot /strike form if I picked up the pace a little bit.  Last Summer, when I thought I would just run through the little pain in my Achilles, I focused on heel-striking, to let the shoe and orthotics work their magic together and ran at a slower 11:20 pace to make it easier to maintain the heel-first form. 

In the 2nd running segment of today's run, I noticed that it was easier to maintain the mid-foot/front-foot strike if I ran a little faster pace than before, around a 10:15 to 10:30 pace.  I will try to maintain this as I progress thru the C25k pace.  Since I am not starting from square 1, like I did in January, 2007, whne I became a runner again, I should be able to do that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Tuesday was gonna be the official return of me to the world of runners, but I am thinking that tomorrow morning might be the actual start dae. I don't have to go into work until 10 am, so I could sleep in. then on Wednesday, I have the day off to march in the St Patty's Day Parade in S t. Paul with the Taffes. I can get up a little bit later that day, too. I also may not be in condition to start the program on Thursday morning, 5 am.

Going to bed soon...back on the road soon...<3 running

Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting Back At It!

One thing that I enjoy doing, but have not been able to do in a long, long time is running. I have tendinitis in my Achilles Tendon and the damn thing is taking it sweet ole time healing. I haven't done enough to help it heal, but I think I have the plan that will get me back on the road on April 1st. No foolin'.

OK, so it isn't my plan, but I figure it is a way to slowly expose the goddam thing to the road a little at a time.

I tried running through the injury when I first felt it. I thought I'd be able to just do long slow runs with no speed work. The problem was that I kept running, not resting and beat the shit out of it for four months. On top of that, I was wearing these hard, custom-fitted, $250.00 insoles that the chiropractor assured me would be just the thing my sore knee would need. Needless to say, they weren't made for running and I am still suffering the effects from their abuse.

I am watching what I am eating, not eating at night and not drinking as much as I was in the past. I am hoping that all of these will add up to a smaller version of me that will put less strain on the tendon. I have also been going to the Y, although not as often as during the past few weeks. I am also trying to go to bed earlier, so I can get up earlier, and eventually use that time to get in my daily runs.

Progress has been good, the heel feels better after walking the dog in the a.m. two of the last three days. I have lost 12 or 13 lbs since the beginning of the year and I have cut back on my imbibing. I had two tonight with Chris, and certainly could have had 5 or 6 more. More on this subject in the future.

Well, it is 10:30 and time for this old fart to get to bed,so I can get up way too early on a Saturday morning and walk the f'ing dog. What I won't do to get back out on the road. Gotta turn off the TV, that dumbass Jay Leno is on. I can't stand him.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Change always happens, sometimes it is welcomed, sometimes not. Sometimes it is expected, sometimes not. Many times my initial perception is completely off the mark and other times it is right on the nuts. Sometimes the change cannot happen fast enough and sometimes I don't want to ever show it ugly head.

I have been work laid off a few times in my life. The first time it happened was in the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years at Mankato State. I was working in the "Family" Granite Quarry, running a 15-foot long blowtorch, called a burner, that burned a 10 foot deep channel in the quarry floor. Dad had lunch with my brother Rich, my cousin Wayne and me. He let us know that the company could not afford to keep the summer help over a hamburger and fries at the Cash Town Cafe.

At the time, I was young, unattached and not committed to anything but having fun, making a little money and going to school. I moved back home and got a job as a Rent-a-cop. I worked at that job for the next 2.5 years during breaks at school and over the summer.

The next time I was laid off, I was working for ITT Finance. We heard the winds of change blowing in our branch in SpamTown USA (Austin, MN). I applied for a job in the Twin Cities a the Corporate Office and got the position. I figured it was better to be in the cities looking for a job than in a po-dunk town. Chris and I just moved into an apartment and I had a 13 week severance package and very little debt.

The last time I was laid off was in December, 2008. I walked into the CEO/President's Office to see my boss, the HR Manager and CEO sitting at a small table with a blue folder that was labeled CCFCU Severance Package. My office was closing and I had the opportunity to apply for up to 3 of the 30 or so positions that were opening up. Of course there were 50 of us vying for those jobs, but the odds were fine and I was lucky enough to land a great one.

My life by, by this time, has become much more complicated. Over-mortgaged house, debt, wife, two lovely kids and a dog. Not anything like the first two times. No quick or easy outs and a lot of responsibilities to be taken care of. It is the kind of thing that makes Bruce's "Hungry Heart" sound like a welcomed, inspiring anthem.

I am praying that it will be a while before I experience this kind of change again.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 just poste a video and The runner's roundtable just had a phenominal show.

Here is my response:

I cannot wait to try to running with minimalist running shoes! I have been dealing with various injuries for the past 1.5 years and really think that it is attributed to the restrictive bricks that I have been running on for the past few years.
What is a good alternative for us northern runners? I live in Minnesota and can't imagine wearing the Vibram FiveFingers in the middle of our less-snowy, but much-colder winters.
Here is why I think the shoe myth complicated and hindered my running lifestyle.
I started running again 2.5 years ago. I tried to start running a few times before then, but it was in a pair of very restrictive cross-trainers. Each of the 3 or 4 times I tried to start, I inevitably stopped after the first or second run because the inside of my knees were killing me.
In January, 2007, In bought a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline shoes and was thrilled to discover that the extra flexibility meant no more pain!
I ran a little bit 5 miles a week or so until July of that year when a friend, Jon, and Phedipidations, inspired me to start running with a purpose. I started training for a 5K race, and upon its conclusion, decided I should train for a half marathon in January 2008. Since I was 6'3" and 270 lbs, I thought I should get a more cushioned and stable pair of shoes.
I bought a pair of Brooks Trance shoes because they would be better for me with my size and the additional miles I would need to run.
They worked out fine for that race, but I bought another pair because I expanded my goal from there to run Grandma's Marathon in June, 2008. I wanted to be sure they weren't worn out as I increased my miles.
In April, 2008, I pulled up lame 13 miles into a 15 mile run. I thought it was a result of trying to increase my mileage too quickly.
I went to a Chiropractor / Physical Therapist. They convinced me I should buy a pair of orthotics. I tried to run in them, but were too hard. I took two weeks off and ran a half marathon, focusing on landing on the outsides of my feet for the first mile or two. This worked out fine for that race.
I ended up running only my long runs every week, from May 10 until my goal race on June 21. When I ran them, I focused on running on the sides/balls of my feet to begin the run and used a Run-3, walk-1 Galloway method. this got me through my training as well as my life-long dream-race at Grandma's Maarathon.
I have decreased my my running down dramatically since then. I took a several month hiatus and started running again. My local running store suggested that I switch back from the more restrictive Trance shoes to the more cushioned Adrenalines.
his worked for a while, but I started developing tendonitis my Achilles. The only time I had experienced this before is when I got a new pair of running shoes in high school in 1980. I tried running in my Orthotics, and that stopped it from getting worse, but it has not gotten better since April.
In football and in softball, I had very little cushion in my shoes and I know I always ran on the balls of my feet. Even screwing around with the kids, before I became a runner again, I knew I ran on the balls of my feet. I thought it was just bad form.
Stupid Me!!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What is in a song?

Plenty. I bought a CD and a christian bookstore (Northwestern Book & Bible) because it was $.99. It is called "Cheapskates Volume 2" The lyrics to one song are worth 1000 times what I paid for the CD. There are other great songs on the CD, but I only want to focus on that one.

The Artist is Ace Troubleshooter, the song is Yesterday. Here are the lyrics.

"I remember a different time
I remember a different me
When there was springtime in my heart
But it's winter
And I'm shivering with cynicism now
And I long for yesterday

Yesterday, a day of joy
A day of limitless possibilities
I remember a different boy
With love surrounding
Joy abounding, peace resounding
Where, oh where did that boy go?

What's wrong with me now, God?
My world is gray, so please help me out
I pray
Cuz I wanna live in yesterday

Take me back to a time of naivete
Neverending days
And no need to question things
Cuz I'm tired of staring out my window
Wishing I were someone I should be
I guess I remember a different me"

I love my wife, I love my kids, I am content with my life, but there are times when the world looks so gray. These lyrics hit the nail on the head.

Bruce Who?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Old Friends

Out of something bad comes something good.

I have heard that saying before and just experienced a wonderful example of how it is true.

A little more than a month ago, a really good friend of mine, El Dougo, suffered the loss of his mom. During the course of contacting old friends to let them know this, the idea of putting a reunion together came up. Apparently, the idea has come up in the past, but the ball never got rolling more that a few feet before it got tangled up in the thick weeds in the ball field of life. (Nice metaphor, eh?).

Lyssy, who lives up in Anchorage, suggested that she & I plan the stupid thing out. She was gonna be in the Cities around July 4th. We could plan the reunion around that time so she could come, too.

That made sense, but I thought it was the kiss of doom for the idea. I am such a good planner, that my wife had to plan her own 40th birthday party to make sure it got done right. No matter how good of an Cruise Director Lyssy is, getting me involved would certainly slow the process down and doom it to the inevitable "Woulda, coulda, shoulda, didn't" fate of so many other things in the past.

A couple weeks ago, a spark flared up and I sent out an email to the few Quad Squadders who I had address for, the Mamma's Boys that would maybe want to attend the event and and a few others who might also want to be there. I included an open invitation to include anyone they thought would be interested in attending. The list of names from the past is growing and I am so excited, and I just can't hide it, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it. (bad 80's song lyric reference)

I haven't seen a majority of the people who are coming in over 10 years. Imagine that, 10 years! This is the group of people where I spent almost every weekend and most of my free time hanging out with. This is the group of people I chose to spend time with when I came up to the Cities instead of weeing my parents or brother. I spent all of my 20's hanging out with them and shared a huge chunk of life's experiences with them. We suffered , discovered and celebrated life together for over a decade. The thought, back then , of not seeing them at the very least monthly, seemed impossible. They were fun, good looking and often time, way more adventurous than I was. I grew so much because of them.

The "big" event is happening. June 30, 2008. Como Picnic Shelter. A beautiful setting to get together with a bunch of incredible friends that I haven't seen in way too long of a time.

Sher Pie, Plumpke (no that isn't Morris Day, "Jerome, get me my hat!), John 1, Lyssy aka Millie aka Mildew aka Cruella DeVille), Paige aka booker, Marcia, Em, Cindy aka Happy Happy, Drainage(you gott eat me I'm a danish),Smedley, Rhonda aka Rhoda aka Road Kill, Lo, Pork Chop, Picht O'Sh!t, Stain, Beef, T-Bone, Annie, Pooker, George, Molly, Joe Mamma, El Dougo, Stooch.

Is it June, yet?