Showing posts from June, 2009

If You're a Runner, Buy This Book...

Hardly a out-on-the-ledge pick, as Born to Run , by Christopher McDougall is currently ranked #61 on Amazon. Still, the PR department at Knopf can't take all the credit. This book is insanely good. Here's the deal: The author stumbles across a mysterious trail guide who takes him to see the Tarahumara, the famed reclusive Mexican runners of the Copper Canyons. While there, he learns the secrets of their injury-free (and FUN!) running. You could stop the book there and still have it be a good read, but noooo.. From there, the author returns to the Copper Canyons to compete in a 50 mile race against the Tarahumara, Barefoot Ted , Scott Jurek , Jenn Shelton , et. al. Not convinced? How about cameos by Joe Vigil and some of the best theories of Why We Run sprinkled in for fun? Oh yeah, there's nutrition, too, as evidenced by the two bags of chia seeds I just bought. It's been a quiet summer for running books, but this one makes up for it. It's truly 2 (or 3) great bo

Tiny Post....

I just got my Spi-belt and will never wear another belt for running again. Simply put, they're ridiculously better than anything on the market: 1. When nothing's in a pocket, the elastic pocket is sleek and small. 2. When putting things in the pocket, it expands quite wide (enough for my BlackBerry storm in one pocket and my DexCom in another) 3. It doesn't bounce. At all. Big fan. You need something to carry your stuff? Look no further. I've used a couple other belt/bag combos but previously tended to favor my RaceReady shorts over belts and bags. I'll still use the RaceReady shorts sometimes, but a BlackBerry and a DexCom are a tight fit and you get a little bounce in the RaceReady. You get none of that with the Spi-belt, plus the feeling that everything is safe and secure. And for the fashion conscious, the Spi-belt looks way cooler than the RaceReady shorts. I'd expect to use the Spi-belt for my average runs, and a combo Spi-belt and RaceReady shorts for th

Chasing Ghosts

"Time and tears ago, I chased my dreams without a single fear That I'd ever miss the treasures of my youth. But recently I thought I'd take a trip back through the years And it hurts me just a bit to face the truth." - The Rarely Herd. Part of Growing Up (That Gets Me Down) Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Solanco Alumni XC Meet (which I also waxed poetic about last year ). Highlights: 1.Last year, I lamented the fact that I was one of only 2 guys from the White Snake era. This year, we had four additional runners from my time, 3 of which I can take credit for (though Facebook certainly helped). I cajoled local legend Connie Buckwalter into coming, as well as Chris McAndrews and Alan Martin - the two guys who handed me my hat week in and week out during the late 80's. Just seeing Chris for the first time in twenty years was a HUGE highlight. It sounded as if he hadn't changed a bit and that's one of those things I say as a sincere compliment. He cracked me

Dexcom CGM - 1 Week Later

So yesterday the DexCom sent me a few warnings telling me I'd need to change the sensor soon. Hmm... I thought. I have more than a day to go. I guess that's nice to get a 24 hour warning?? Turns out I forgot that I was off work last Friday so I was on my 7th day. After three more warnings, the sensor turned itself off at 11 last night. There's plenty of Internet chatter about restarting Dex sensors and getting 12-13 days out of them, but I opted not to for the following reasons: 1) It was 11pm. If I did a restart then, I'd need to calibrate at 1am. 2) I'm running a 5k race tomorrow and one of the main reasons I'm doing CGM is to monitor myself better doing races. Using a sensor for a race beyond the FDA recommendations didn't sound bright. 3) Insurance is paying 100% for sensors, and it's not like they're going to cut me a check for spending their money better. Taking off the sensor at bedtime was interesting. First off, not having something else on

Recovery Socks - Need a New Brand

Summer is here and the running is... well, heavy. Four weeks into the marathon season and the miles are adding up. Last year, I become "compression crazy" and used Zensah recovery sleeves and Skins all during the fall. In a nutshell, I found the Zensahs to be superior for recovery but too warm for running and I found the Skins to be cool enough for running, but they lost their elasticity within a month (which pretty much rendered them all but useless). Research is sketchy on the power of recovery socks while running but from personal experience I can tell you that wearing them after running helps BIG time. But I'm wondering if I need to put up with sweaty calves all summer long from the Zensahs?

First Long Run With the Dexcom 7

On Saturday, I took the DexCom with me for a 14 miler. My biggest fear about using the Dex (instead of Medtronic) was having a second device and a relatively big one at that. The DexCom receiver is actually a little taller than my BlackBerry storm and is exactly as wide at its widest point. My idea was to put the Dex into the big pocket of my RaceReady shorts, but once the Storm was in there, that wasn't happening. (Side note: I love my BlackBerry Storm, but it's not good for hauling around on the roads.) Instead, I decided to use the DexCom holster and just clip it to my waistband. Surprisingly, this worked like a charm. In the end, what I didn't realize about the Dex is that while it is every bit as big as a cellphone, it's not nearly as dense. It's a relatively lightweight device and with a secure clip in place, it doesn't bounce at all. When I hit the road, my blood sugar was 125. I didn't want to obsess about it, though, so I decided to check it every 2

DexCom 7 - The Insurance Story

So, I'm currently rocking the DexCom 7 and have been for 4 days. I love it, love it, love it. For most of the posts, I'll likely be talking about how I use it for running, but this time around, I'm going to tell the insurance story, because I wouldn't be using it if insurance didn't pay for it. Not that my health isn't worth the $140 a month the sucker would've cost me, just that... well just that I guess I didn't think it was. To recap, this all started late last fall when I met with my Dr. and asked them if my insurance was approving CGMS, yet. Without asking me what insurance I had, the doc pretty much dismissed it, saying that with my good A1C's, it wasn't happening. About a month later, I was talking to a co-worker who told me his wife just approved on our health insurance. At the time, I was actually on my wife's health insurance. I'm incredibly blessed to have two wonderful insurances to choose from. The wife's is a teeny bit w

Marathon Consolation Prize...

Earlier in the year, I'd planned on running a spring marathon this past weekend, but after I lost my peak 8 days of training, I bagged that idea. All of which meant that I'm pretty fit right now, though not peaked for a marathon. As I wrote last week, the goal for this year's Red Rose Run was to beat last year's time of 33:48. I felt I was in sub-33 shape, but not in this course, which is far from easy. Still, I surprised myself. The plan was to go out with two 6:20 miles and then hold on. Last year, I'd run a 6:55 3rd mile, a 7:21 4th and a 6:59 5th. This year, I did a 6:18 and a 6:15, but then only slowed down to a 6:47. The true torture mile of this race is mile 4, and I slowed down to a 7:13. Surprisingly, I had a nice 6:32 5th mile, so I came in at 33:04, a real shock. I'm crediting a good chunk of the time on the weather, which was much milder this year. But I was pretty pleased with coming in 69th out of 1100 (last year I was 71) and 13th out of 140 in my