Tuesday, September 30, 2008

OK Runner Classic

Time: 27:26
Distance: >3 miles

In the middle of the afternoon Gus ran me over to Irving Middle School for the OK Runner Classic. I think this was the second year the store has been host to the cross country meet. Ironically, IMS is only a short walk from my apartment which came in handy afterwards as Scotty D and I enjoyed a few scoops and Chinese food before calling it a night.

Backing up for a second, Tim was the man in charge of the meet and the store's only goal for him was to not have things fucked up. Before going to events like these where OK Runner has some responsibility in timing our only goal is often to simply not eff things up. Today wasn't one of those days (one where we eff things up) which was nice. Tim did a good job and there weren't any complaints that I heard.

Scotty D had a good time driving the lead vehicle (gator) with his sidekick Gene Groff riding alongside. I was in charge of taking pull tags at the end of the hs boys/girls races which meant I didn't really have to work except for the 5 minutes during the cluster finish. Fortunately, when there were two races to go I asked Tim what needed to be done and he informed me that we were covered so I decided to go for a run. I put in a few miles on the course which was just cut into the wild grass in a large pasture/field. My legs felt good, but I felt a little weird running during the 8th grade girls mile race and 8th grade boys 2 mile race. The parents had a couple good comments about how big I was for an 8th grader. I should have told them I drank my milk as a youngster.

Random Loop

Time: 37:47
Distance: 5.62 miles
Pace: 6:44

I wanted to change things up this morning and I decided to run through the park that borders Campus Lodge and the crossed Lindsey. I had never really run in the neighborhood across the street and it seemed relatively nice, but didn't continue for very long. I had to head out Sooner Rd. and then ran on Constitution up to Jenkins. The pace was fairly decent for the hour of the day and I was feeling good. I ran back to the Lodge hitting splits around 6:15.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Brookhaven Loop

Time: 28:52
Distance: <4 miles

Ran with David Wrenn who recently took 2nd in the St. Gregory's Road Race. He's done well as of late and has lowered his 5k pr to 17:18 this summer. We went on the standard evening run loop that takes just under 30 minutes. Legs felt fine. Hip was good. Made sure to spend the time I waited for Gus doing something productive like stretching and ab work.

Campus Loop

Time: 29:14
Distance: 4.32 miles
Pace: 6:46

Got up and went out for a run from the Lodge through campus before going to the store. Nothing too excited happened. There wasn't even much of a buzz as I ran through campus about OU being ranked #1 in the current polls.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Week in Review

Time: 356:01
Distance: 51.5 miles

I'm a little surprised that I was able to put in 50+ miles this week without too much of a problem. The hip is feeling considerably better but I need to keep the mileage right around this range. I have hopefully turned the corner and will be able to start running more consistently.

Make 'em Hurt

Time: 83:07
Distance: 11.67
Pace: 7:07

I waited most of the day before heading out on a run to Kristi's new place which would be Coleman's old place. They spent most of the morning moving stuff from her old apartment to the McKinley St. house. I spent most of the morning watching Haile G set a new world record in the marathon. If you have time to watch it definitely do so, it's ridiculous to see a guy go through 10k in 29:09 and still have 20 miles to run. There is a cool article that breaks down his splits and gives what was a live analysis of the leader's progress throughout the race.


Our run was much slower than 14:40 5k pace, but it was still good. The three of us ran together on grass loop for about 3+ miles before Kristi had to stop and purge her Red Robin lunch that was mistakenly eaten hours earlier. Coleman and I continued on back to the house and we stretched for a bit before them two headed to a movie.

I continued back out on Lindsey and spotted a dude running at a fairly good clip about 100m in front of me. I picked up the pace and caught him by Lindsey and Elm. His name is Andres Gonzalez and he was trying to get in 85 minutes of running. I found out that he is one of the walk-ons for the OU cross country team that Coach Martin Smith needed to fill the roster. Coincidently Andres also lives at Campus Lodge and last year he ran for OCU. He was excited about getting to race the OSU Jamboree this weekend which is going to be a sick race with Ryan Vail and German Fernandez up front. Anyway, we wound our way back along Pickard where we crossed the path of two dudes that looked to be fit and true distance runners but I had never seen either one before and I was surprised because if you can run sub-7 minute pace and you live in Norman, I'll probably know your name. As we were running along Ponca, Andres starting feeling terrible and told me that he was going to stop and puke. I continued on my home proud that I had made two runners puke on the same run. I guess I'm not in that bad of shape after all.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Boomer! Sooner!

I was working at the store today when a customer who has season tickets overheard that I was going to be tailgating with friends near the stadium. After he left the store OK Runner received a phone call and Mr. Johnson informed me that he had an extra ticket to the game because his son is in the Pride of Oklahoma and gets in for free. He invited me to the game and on his way to the stadium he dropped the ticket off. Sweet!

Normally I wouldn't be too inclined to go sit with a family I barely know when I could watch the game with the 30,000 people outside the stadium on a big screen drinking all the tallboys I could handle and watch the other games on television including #3 Georgia vs #8 Alabama. (I mean I do need to get into beer miling shape). However, I didn't want to offend the customer and, besides, I had given Meagan 10:1 odds on the game straight up. She was willing to bet $5 which meant I was putting up $50 and if I was going to lose, I might as well be witness to the carnage.

I was right outside of the stadium when OU first scored and I could hear 85,000 fans cheering excitedly. The Sooners were up 7-0 only minutes into the game. However, it was soon followed by 85,000 boos as the play was called back. Only a few moments later the 85,000 fans were back on their feet when Sam Bradford hooked up with Manny Johnson for a long passing score. I quickly stashed my belongings under the track bleachers and was ready to enter the stadium.

As an athlete of a big school you are granted the privilege of sitting right behind the band, nearly on top of the field. I knew this was going to be quite different as I trekked up and up and up to section 232. It was hot, I was sweaty and now I was going to have to sit with people I didn't know in the fucking nosebleeds. I had to keep telling myself that the $63 ticket was free. As I took my seat was a little shocked at how little the players looked, but then I discovered that sitting on the south 30 yd line I nearly had a "tv" angle of the field. From our vantage point you could really see the plays develop, players getting open in the backfield, the holes open up in the line and it wasn't that bad.

Not so bad from up here.
After the first quarter the rout was on and the Sooners were on top of the horny frogs 21-3. OU had racked up 222 yards of total offense despite not being able to run the ball. The fans in our section were generally older and more reserved but they knew their football stats. I sat a few seats down from a woman who knew all of the top 25 teams and she knew TCU had the best ranked rush defense in the nation. The second quarter was rather uneventful until the Sooners took over with about 2 minutes to play before half and Sam Bradford, again, passed long to Manny Johnson for another score.

A view of the new scoreboard. (I think the track is getting the old one).

TCU's band. Meagan's pride is out there somewhere.

Since I need to wrap this up, I will only say that I am now $5 richer and Meagan is $5 poorer. OU won 35-10. The game was great and the rest of the night was fun too as it was Coleman's 24th birthday. The night was given an extra boost since Alabama beat Georgia 41-30 which ensured OU being ranked #1 come Monday. A small group of us (Scotty D., Coleman, Kristi, Spenis and Rook) ended up at on the Corner to celebrate. The first four of us started at Brother's and then were convinced to join the other two at Joe's Taverna. Good times all around.

It's Game Day!

Time: 52:30
Distance: 7.80 miles
Pace: 6:44

I woke up actually excited to run because today is game day and running through campus on a morning like this is fun. I ran in towards campus, as I normally do along Brooks, and was surprised to see that there were still parking spots available. The Soonermobile bus thing that would be an embarrassment to drive if you weren't from Oklahoma or a huge OU fan was stationed in its standard location near the train tracks. I wanted to bring my phone to snap some photos beforehand but forgot just as I ran out the door. Words will not do justice to the mural/airbrushed work on the back portion of the bus depicting former OU coach and legendary Norman, OK resident Barry Switzer barking orders from the sideline. As if that couldn't be outdone, right beside Barry is the coach Bob Stoops looking rather like a bulldog.

The rest of run was rather uneventful as I continued down Jenkins and cut across near C.O.R.C.S. to Chautauqua ran back near the OU law school and back in through campus and home. Early afternoon games provide for better morning runs through campus because the barbecue smokers are already going versus today when they were just being set up for a 6 pm kick off. The #2 ranked Sooners play some joke of a school down near Dallas and if they win they will most likely be ranked #1 since the USC Trojans got smoked by a bunch of pussies...I mean Beavers.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Same Ol' Loop

Time: 35:18
Distance: 5.09 miles

Woke up and discovered one of my roommates' buddies was sleeping on our couch which caused me to grind my coffee in my bathroom so as to not wake him up. I enjoyed a few cups of Frenched pressed (plunged?) Ethiopia Sidamo coffee by way of Skolnick (Andrew Call) and Starbucks before heading out the door for a run. I ran in along Brooks, took a right on Pickard and came back Boyd. Pretty boring loop, but it gets the job done. The hip also felt fine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Time: 40:50
Distance: 6 miles

I woke up still feeling full this morning and decided to postpone my run until evening. I was hoping to get in a few miles before heading to the store. When I was at work I was still full but had wisely brought along some green tea to drink which provided me with the only consumed product in the 9 hours I was there. Gus and I went for a run around 7 pm and I still wasn't feeling too great. Damn you Olive Garden. I felt decent on the second half of the run but sluggish coming up the hill on Rock Creek.

After making it back to the Campus Lodge I proceeded with my liquid diet which consisted of three Pig's Eyes. If you think the beer is shitty, then check out the website. I'm pretty much following Rick Fuller's dieting plan which consists of three things: water, coffee and beer. I didn't have much water today and had to substitute tea for coffee, I had my share of beers. Now I just have to do this for the next 5 days and run 140 during the week and I'll be set.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Morning through Campus

Time: 36:09
Distance: 5 miles

Woke up and got out the door for an easy run in the morning. I kept the pace pretty casual as I ventured through campus along Brooks. Students were just starting their classes while I was running and the streets were busy with commuters. I hooked a right on Pickard and another one on Boyd and returned to the Lodge. The hip continues to feel good which is a good sign.

In the evening the Breadsticking Crew went to the Olive Garden mainly for the 'never ending pasta bowl.' It was certainly worth the wait. I had bed Meagan that I could eat more than two bowls of pasta which might have been a mistake. Never one to pass up free breadsticks or salad, I must have had 6 or 7. That would be on top of the three bowls of pasta I enjoyed (not so much the second half of the third), and we got to take a fourth bowl home. Needless to say, the food coma was pretty real around 10 pm and I passed out watching CNN.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Easy in the Evening

Time: 38:48
Distance: ~6 miles

Got out the door shortly after 7:30 pm after working at the store and was hoping to get in 35 minutes. I ran in through campus along Brooks feeling pretty good and wanting to go longer but it was getting dark fast. By the time I hit Pickard it was nearly dark and I didn't feel like running back along Boyd so I ran across the street and up to Symmes. I navigated my way back through Campus Corner and back to Campus Lodge. The pace was kept at a decent clip, but it was hard to judge since it was dark.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Almost a Runner...

Time: 69:19
Distance: ~10 miles

Yesterday evening I made the commitment to meet up with Scott Hollingsworth along Brooks street shortly after 8 am. Meagan and I awoke to an early alarm and made it out the door after watching FloTrack's coverage of the 5th Avenue Mile. (It's pretty sweet check it out). We headed out of the Lodge and down onto Brooks where we met up with Holly just west of the train tracks. When we came to the intersection of Brooks and Jenkins we had a key decision to make...left? right? or straight? Holly mentioned that running through campus was packed, so we opted to not go straight. Right would take us up to the GT and North Base while left would take us south on the same loop Meagan and I always run. Since she enjoys mundane runs, we hung a left (mainly b/c there is a bathroom along that route) and proceeded down Jenkins and over the dirt path to Chautauqua. Near the turn we three ran into Stephen Pile who was out for a 20 miler. We recently met in OK Runner when he was picking up his packet for the Brookhaven Run. Stephen is running the Chicago Marathon in a few weeks and was getting in 150 minutes of running. If I had known earlier, or had his phone number Meagan would have been able to run with him.

Anyway, we dropped Holly off at Symmes and continued back towards the train tracks. I was dropped off at the Lodge just under 70 minutes where Meagan took a Clif shot and some water before heading back out for another 60 minutes. I stretched and did some situps to strengthen my hip.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lazy Day

Time: 65:44
Distance: 9 miles

After waking up a little late, I texted Kristi and Coleman about the possibility of a run. Meagan's goal for her 18 miler was to run it with the 3 of us at various points, but since they weren't up until noon that idea got shot to hell. Instead Meagan and I sat around drinking French pressed coffee and watching Meet the Press like grownups do. I watched a little football, Meagan took a nap and then around 3pm she made the decision to not run the 18 after all.

We finally got out the door and ran 9 miles nice and easy and she moved the long run to tomorrow. I felt pretty good out there and didn't feel my hip pain at all. After getting cleaned up we made a quick stop by the Midway Jam and then The Library for a few scoops.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Norman Flats

Time: 43:36
Distance: 6 miles

This is the first run that I have personally timed in quite some awhile. Meagan and I ran from OK Runner through the Brookhaven neighborhood and out to the flats. I am still trying to run with as little leg lift as possible which makes me feel like I am shuffling. Clearly it's not a shuffle like Meagan or Jilane, but it feels that way. Since Team OJ is one step shy of admitting defeat, Team MJ shall be nicknamed Team Shuffle. They should make a shirt with a deck of cards on it or something like that.

After the run we came back to the store and I did some lower ab work which I still believe has been key to my recovery. Meagan and I made a quick run back to the apartment, showered, changed and met up with Craig and Carolyn at Gaijin Sushi. The Devil's Advocate was quite good as was the Asahi. Good night all around.

Friday, September 19, 2008

OU Track Time

Time: ~38-39 mins
Distance: 6 miles

This morning I drove over to the OU track where I met Meagan for her workout of 6 x 1.5 miles in 6:15-6:20. Since I didn't want to put too many miles on my hip too early, I decided not to warm up and just start running on her first interval. It felt a little odd having to run 6:15 pace off the line but after 300m I was good to go. Our splits for the first 4 were:
9:23 (6:17 at the mile), 9:28 (6:17), 9:24 (6:17), 9:18 (6:10).

She had 4 minutes of jogging rest between intervals but I opted to do situps instead. Overall, the workout went well. My hip felt good, Meagan ran fast and I caught the bus barely on time. My fastest interval of the morning included a 300m spring from the track to the corner of Brooks and Jenkins to catch the bus to OK Runner. I was hauling ass with my sandals and backpack on, but I managed to maintain my form and flag Rick the Busman down.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Easy Tester Jog

Time: ~42 mins
Distance: 6 miles

Meagan arrived in the great state of OK and hung out at the store during the afternoon. Around 6:10 she left to start her run, but returned 30 minutes later to pick me up. We ran out ~22 minutes to the corner of Rock Creek Rd. and 60th before turning it back. My hip is feeling quite decent these days and wasn't a problem this evening. Put it on the board...

Latest and Greatest

Time: Meh
Distance: Trial of miles...

My recent running has taken a turn for the better as I have been able to put in 30-45 minutes of easy mileage for the past week. I have been incorporating more lower ab work to my routine in hopes that it will strengthen my iliopsoas. I had been reading a lot more about hip injuries and learned about this iliopsoas business rather late in my recovery phase. There is a lot of information on the Internet about hip injuries but none of it is too helpful. From what I can surmise is that there is so much going on in there that any one little element can cause pain. My hip pain has become more localized and I know believe I have iliopsoas tendinitis (aka snapping hip syndrome, aka dancer's hip syndrome).

Now that I am running a touch more I will begin to start blogging more. Hopefully... I had to clear my watch that contained some runs with Meagan that last time she was in town. Since, that was weeks ago it just goes to show how poor my running has become.

On another note, Mike DeCoste '04 has started a training blog which can be found in the training blogs column of my page. I first met Mike on my recruiting trip to Brown the fall of my senior year of high school. He was one of my hosts for that weekend and is largely responsible for me attending Brown. Not really, but we'll let him think that. Actually, Eamonn O'Connor is the reason I went to Brown, mainly b/c I couldn't understand a word he said all weekend. I also was able to spend a few days out in Eugene the summer after my senior year with DeCoste and a crew of other Brown dudes (not skintone). We had a great time which is why a few summers later a group of guys returned to Tracktown, USA. That certainly is a Boring Story of Glory Days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's Been Too Long...

I haven't posted in quite some time, but thought I would give a general update as to what I have been up to... nothing. Well, at least not running. In the past few weeks I have started seeing a physical therapist over at the Physical Performance Center in order to get a better diagnosis on my hip. Jimmy Robinson is the PT who is working on my hip and during the first appointment he was very thorough when he watched me stand, walk and while observing my flexibility. He noticed that my forefoot on the medial side is varus (maybe it's valgus, I get them confused) which means that it drops lower than the rest of my foot. As a result, I could be placing more stress on that side which radiates up to my hip. A likely story? Probably not, but perhaps.

He wants to fit me for an orthotic that will provide a touch more stability in the forefoot, which I'm not too thrilled about, but neither is he. I'm not a big fan of orthotics because they bind your foot, you have to keep track of it whenever you run and they cost too much, however, if it gets me back to running I'll give it a shot. Speaking of shots, that's what I think I really need. A nice cortisone injection deep in my hip. Voila. Problem probably solved. I'm will to try anything at this point. If an Asian acupuncturist offered me three beans to be exploded like fireworks near my hip which would result in a magic stalk growing out my hip that would reduce the inflammation, I would try it. Ask Tom about that remedy, he tried it once in Korea.

* I think I am going to try and update some other days of the blog going backwards. We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 1, 2008

One Year Anniversary

Time: ~35 mins (untimed)
Distance: 4-5 miles

Today marks the one year anniversary of my blog. Yay! I celebrated by actually running. I ran from my apartment to Campus Corner to check and see if Buchanan's Bikes or Take Five were open. Neither were so I ran to the track and did some drills before heading home. The hip didn't feel too bad. Actually it felt pretty good. I think I have some new insight on it though. It might be a result of weak abs or a strained lower abdomen. I really don't know what I'm talking about but when I go and see the PT on Weds. I will ask him about it. I also found this article that popped up in my RSS feed suggesting it has relevant material to my interests.

A year ago today I started with a post about the Brookhaven Run. I wish I could say that I was as fit if not fitter than I was then, but unfortunately I cannot. I am still hurt with a nagging hip injury that I can't shake. My immediate goal is to get healthy and then work back into steady, respectable mileage.

Some things about blogging about running:
  1. nobody reads it unless it's your mom behind the screen
  2. it's easier to blog when you are healthy and actually running
  3. it probably won't get you a job
  4. pictures help
  5. nobody reads it
The blog has been fun and a relatively good use of my time. I have had the opportunity to run in some pretty sweet locations including Tokyo, Izumo, Mexico (kinda), Palm Springs, Providence, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Cincinnati.