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Showing posts from November, 2008

R.I.P. The Shield...

Wow, what a series finale last night. I honestly feel like I lost a good friend last night. I'm no critic, but you can read a wonderfully detailed review of the entire gut-splitting 90 minutes here.

My only critique of the review is I would've liked a bit more about Ronnie... I feel for the guy, I tell you.

The series ended with an awesome (and relevant) old tune by Concrete Blonde, which you can hear on YouTube here.

The guy who wrote the great review has an event better Q&A with Shield creator Shawn Ryan. Don't miss it.

Vibram Runs #4 and #5

What is happening is that Vibram runs are getting longer and faster. What isn't happening, so much, is that they aren't getting easier, yet.

On Saturday, I planned to run to the local pharmacy and back. I thought it was 4 miles, but it turned out to be 5.1 - the furthest I've gone "barefoot" yet.

Yesterday, I did 4 miles at a barefoot PR pace of 8:31 miles, including one of them @ 8:15. All of which sounds good, except for the fact that the soreness in my legs after four miles @ 8:30 pace is fairly equal to the day after a hard interval day in shoes.

So mostly I'm thrilled with how the transition's going, but also looking forward to having my legs completely make the adjustment.

Interesting to note: the Vibrams are AWESOME at protecting the feet. All of my soreness is in my calves and a little in my one achillies. My feet - believe it or not - feel great. Also, my biggest complaint during the first week was cold feet and while my toes are still colder than wh…

Medtronic Pulled a Fast One On Me (Again)

So a few months ago while being on the phone w/ Medtronic to order insulin pump supplies, the rep told me that my blood sugar strips were now being covered by my insurance, to which I said, "Really? Cool. Add them to my order."

Apparantly, the rep was wrong, though, because Medtronic just billed me for them - 2 orders to the tune of $612. Keep in mind, I could've run these things through my mail order Rx program for $120! But since the rep said they were covered, I believed them, expecting them to be paid at 100% along with my pump supplies.

Like most medical supply houses, the bill comes on on Saturday, when there's no one there to talk to.

But you can bet we'll be talking Monday and the first thing I'm going to ask about is that little voice that says, "Some calls are recorded," because I've ordered a lot of diabetic crap over the years and I know exactly what they said.

UPDATE: Check the comments for how this one is continuing.

Foxy Runner on Letterman

The lady who had a worse run than you last week was on Letterman (bonus recreation animation footage!).

Vibram FiveFingers - Run #3

But first, Vibram Run #2.

On Tuesday, I did 2 miles in the Vibrams, followed by 4 in my shoes... Putting on my shoes (with orthotics) was like strapping on big marshmallows... very very strange, indeed. But all went well and yesterday's rest day was barely needed.

So today was Vibram Run #3. On this one, I did 3 miles in the Vibrams at 8:40 pace (the fastest I've gone in the Vibrams, yet!). And then, I ran in my shoes, without orthotics... The transition was much, much smoother and I was pleased with the overall result.

All in all, I'm pleased with how this is working out. I'm sure things will get dicey as the mileage goes up, but it continues to be an interesting experiment in becoming a minimalist runner.

Next week, I'm hoping to bump the runs to 4 miles Vibram and 2 without.

Cure on the Horizon?

Seriously, you can google "cure diabetes" and spend the day chasing down witch doctors and herbal supplements online.

Still this video from NBC, of all places, is quite encouraging. Thanks to Kerri for posting this first. Unlike her, I didn't cry (not that there's anything wrong with that). Truth is, I don't think I waste much time on hope, going with Red's quote from Shawshank: "Hope's a dangerous thing - it can drive a man insane."


Just because I'm curious, I googled "Gleevec costs" and "Sutent costs." When treating Leukemia, it seems we're in the neighborhood of $32,000 per year (though the article does point out that the drug might not need to be taken more than a few months to cure diabetes).

But - assuming this works on people - that will be the next thing the bean counters at the insurance companies work on. Is it worth $10,000 in drugs (four months use) for an 80% chance this diabetic can be cured?

Or perhaps a mo…

This is Not How I Look in My Toe-Socks

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Perhaps the biggest problem with my Vibram FiveFingers is that toe socks are not cheap. In fact, I haven't found any less than ten dollars per pair. However, as the above pic shows, there sure are some creative (and flexible!) people marketing them.

Thus far, Operation FiveFingers is a good success. Make no mistake: after three miles in the Vibrams on Friday, I was plenty sore on Saturday. The wife asked me to join her for a two mile jaunt and I did, but not in the Vibrams. I wore the Nike Frees for that. Yesterday, I did a six mile trail run in my trail shoes. And, during all the non-running time, I wore the Vibrams, which are getting more comfortable by the hour.

Tomorrow, I'm planning a six miler over lunch. I think I'll lead off in the Vibrams for two miles, and switch up for four in my regular shoes after that.

Vibram FiveFingers - The Next Frontier

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Technically, you should conquer the last frontier before you go after the next one, but what can I say? It'll be several months until I'm ready for another shot at Boston.

What you're looking at are the Vibram FiveFinger KSO's. My goal - over the next several months - is to run in them.

There's a lot of hype about the healthfulness of barefoot running and a lot of debate, too. Quite frankly, I don't know what's correct or - more important - what'll be correct for me. But here's why I'm trying to do this:
1) Currently, I go through the outsoles of traditional running shows in 280 miles - approximately every seven weeks. That's a lot of waste and a lot of $.
2) Though I did a lot to get through shinsplints and knee pain, barefoot proponents say that eliminating shoes is a better way to eliminate pain.
3) November/December is my experimental period. I try to do something different... Last year, every run I did in December (except one race) was a tra…

2008 Harrisburg Marathon Report

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Well, this thing's overdue. Heck, I'm almost not sore now. In fact, I was 80% unsore yesterday and wore one of those detox patches on the bottom of my foot last night, and today I'm feeling near perfect. Yesterday, I even wobbled two miles. But still, there's a story to tell...

When I got to Harrisburg, the forecast was good... low 50's and "breezy." Not too shabby. The plan was to go out @ 7:15 pace until the wheels fell off. However, let's recap how I came to that decision:

* I really really wanted to get to Boston (7:26) 3:15.
* I decided to aim higher (7:18) 3:11

Before the race started, I bumped into Marc Buckwalter's wife... Marc was the fellow who I'd done my best 20 miler with a few weeks prior, and he's decided to take it easy for this race to spare his winter racing season. "Taking it easy" for him meant 3:10, so I had a bonafide pace group on my hands. In fact, here we are early on:


Now the problem I tend to have is that if…

Let's Go With Plan C

3:23:57
Exactly five minutes slower than last year.
The short version:
A 1/2 marathon PR, which probably should've been saved for a 1/2 marathon.A high blood sugar reading at mile 20 (yes - I stopped to test once I realized Boston would have to wait)A wicked cross-head wind from miles 7-12 which helped to seal my fate.There's a lot I did wrong in this one, but here's the one thing I did right: making my C goal be to finish. Without that, I'm not sure I would've. So many lessons to learn that I can't say I'm overly bummed, though I'm obviously a bit disappointed. A longer report tomorrow. For now, I'm a little obsessed with figuring out how I'll make it up the steps to bed. :)

Well Here We Go....

Three mental miles over lunch today, and that's it until Sunday's Harrisburg Marathon.

I really wish the race were yesterday... yesterday I was pretty Zen and felt like I could've done something special. Now - I'm a bit more normal for me, which isn't so Zen-like.

But the hay's in the barn, etc. etc. Nothing I can do about it now. And no matter what, it's not like I'll be running with a rabid fox on my arm like some runners do. (Thanks, Maggie)

Earlier this week, I laid out the nutritional plan. Here's my detailed pace plan:

7:15 miles until the wheels fall off. Period.

Some things I'm not good at. Some things I am. I promise you I won't come back and say I got excited and burst out of the gates at 6:55. Ain't gonna happen. I'll be close to 7:15 for the first mile and the one after that and the one after that.

Around 15, that won't be as much fun, and I'll work hard to keep 15-20 between 7:15 and 7:25.

And after that, well there'…

Taper Insanity...

This is the part before the marathon that they warn you about... the part where you're ready to lose your mind.

Ironically, you don't feel like a runner, because feeling like a runner means something usually hurts and something is stiff, but because you're in the taper your legs have none of that. An optimist would say, "I feel fresh," but since you're in the taper you're convinced all of our fitness has disappeared like a bag of Doritos that gets left on the lunchroom table.

Last night, I ran three miles. Just three miles. My wife said, "That's strange," and I said, "What's strange?" She said, "You're a marathoner. You should be doing workouts I can't do. I run three miles." This isn't the greatest thing to say to a runner five days before the marathon.

This, of course, led me to go through the stack of running books on the bed-stand to verify that I had read things correctly - that doing three miles for a r…

The Marathon Nutrition Plan...

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Here's the plan for next Sunday, nutrition-wise:

1) Powerbar for Breakfast, about two hours before the marathon. Take enough insulin to put me on the starting line with a blood sugar of 180-200.
2) Run insulin pump at .05 units per hour - the lowest setting it has.
3) Have a tangerine, double-caffeine Powerbar gel every 4 miles. I had originally planned to do one every five miles, but I've been running low on recent long runs. Turning the pump off seems to result in high blood sugars and I can't set it any lower. I also considered leaving it off for the first 90 minutes and then turning it on, but I've never experimented with this. Moreover, this only results in me having 1 extra gel in the race and 27 extra g. of carbs. *shouldn't* push me dangerously high. Finally, recent research seems to indicate that more gels might be better for you (IF your stomach can handle it. One advantage diabetes has given me is that I can pretty much eat anytime, anywhere, anything, as t…