Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beat the Snow Storm

Time: 37:21
Distance: 8.68km
Pace: 4:18/km

I was going to take the day off but snow is schedule to hit Massachusetts. If the mild winter trend is going to continue, then I'll be able to run tomorrow, but the natives have been telling me that there will be 4-6 inches on the ground in the morning.

Meagan got back from her pre-race workout and I had a break in the work day. I laced up the Karhu kicks and shuffled out the door to find a cool 8 kilometers. My hamstring is feeling significantly better, but there is still a slight hitch in my giddy up. I think it's a weakness in my glute or back. I see the chiro on Friday for a little bone bending and ART.

I was home for about an hour before the flurries started. We'll see who is right this time... the natives who watch the news or the California kid who believes the mild trend will continue.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

OK Runner's Rebel: Scotty D

Updated: 2/28/12 6:37 PM to include Deadspin Article

If you happen to find this site looking for the OK Runner store that is located in Norman, Oklahoma then you're probably  looking for more information on my buddy Scotty D. Sorry to disappoint, but this is not the store website, but it will have my thoughts on that rebel Scott Downard.

However, OK Runner is where I got my start in the running industry. I worked there while doing some graduate work at the University of Oklahoma. The Thompson family who started OK Runner in 1995 is one of the most genuine group of people I know.

I ran with the OK Runner singlet for many years and Oklahoma is where I started this blog. The blog has morphed into much more as I've since moved on to North Carolina and now Massachusetts. I decided to keep the name for simplicity's sake and now say the blog is named for me being an "okay runner." I'm not good, not great, just okay.

Over the weekend, Scott Downard (aka Scotty D.) ran the Cowtown Marathon, won it, and was subsequently disqualified. For additional details on why read a Deadspin articleYahoo article, a Star-Telegram article, the thread, and rumor has it NY Times is inquiring for quotes. I say "ran" because Scotty D. toed the line on a whim and was, more or less, out for a good hard long run. Before I give my impression of Scotty D. or opinion on the matter, I suggest you read his blog about the weekend.

Scotty D. and I trained countless days during my time in Oklahoma. I am also good friends with Jerry Faulkner (aka Jerry's Kids, a nickname I gave him) whose bib was used at Cowtown. We were all at 2009 Oklahoma City Marathon wearing the OK Runner kit. It was a great time, great team and we enjoyed representing the local running store that provided us with the opportunity to work, train and race.

It's completely understandable that Scotty D. had to be disqualified from the race and I won't try to justify his actions. There are rules and they have to be followed. Yes, maybe he should have looked into getting a bib transfer. Yes, maybe he should not have toed the line in the first place. Yes, this whole thing is being blown out of proportion.

However, you have to understand that Scotty D. is the most laid back person you will ever meet and is not one to look for attention. That's not to say he won't get fired up if provoked as I've seen him yell at plenty of drivers who pass too closely. On a couple of occasions I was nearly dragged into an unnecessary scuffle, but that's Scotty D.

He loves to run. He loves following the sport. He loves to drink and brew beer. He loves to travel. He loves to help and pace others. He loves to race. The Cowtown Marathon was just an excuse to do all of these things.

I think it's great that his rebellious actions are being talked about because it continues the Oklahoma Sooner tradition. I can picture Scotty crossing the line, explaining that he was not registered, being told he was disqualified, saying "oh well" and then asking where the beer tent is.

He has run faster than 2:31and won a marathon before. I think this is where all of the attention is coming from as many individuals can never imagine running 2:31 or winning a marathon. It must be so heartbreaking to have those two accomplishments removed for not registering like everyone else. Think of all those hours of training wasted! Think of all that pain endured! All of it was for nothing!

Yes, that is all unfortunate, but not what was important for Scott. Rather, for Scotty D., Cowtown represented the opportunity to do everything he loves. Run. Travel. Pace. Race. And hopefully enjoy a pint.

My congrats go out to Scotty D. and OK Runner for getting some nice publicity!

 Before the 2007 Brookhaven Run sponsored by OK Runner
 Starting the Brookhaven Run
 We cleaned up nicely for Cat and Stu's wedding
Being rebellious and crashing a wedding. Meagan was there too.
 Doing the other thing we like to do.
Solving all the world's problems with Spencer.

Running with Green Lightning

Time: 51:13
Distance: 11.43km
Pace: 4:29/km

I picked up Meagan from the airport last night. She was down in Charlotte shaking up the running world with Karhu. We are releasing a new geometry of our fulcrum March 1st and some lucky individuals got to purchase them a few days early.

This morning we set out for a loop around the Marblehead neck. Since I'm not running much I got to choose the loop and I always pick the neck. I felt alright, but can tell the right leg is still not 100 percent. It's getting oh so close and I hope to be running full force soon. The hamstring continues to improve as I've been good about doing drills and exercises to stretch and strengthen.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Portsmouth to New Castle

Time: 35:33
Distance: 8.01km
Pace: 4:26/km

I was in the office most of last week and needed to get back out on the road. I decided to make a route that would take me to all three of the Runner's Alley locations in order to share my love for Balega socks. They are awesome! No really. They are.

My day ended at a coffee shop in Portsmouth which is a town I would consider living in if it were so far away from a major airport. The downtown area is filled with locally owned shops, art galleries and restaurants. It's fun making trips up to visit our footwear developer's office because I get to enjoy the Portsmouth buzz.

At the end of the day I parked near the library and changed into my running costume. I wanted to put in a few kilometers to kill time before driving back to MA in order to get Meagan from the airport. I ran from near downtown out to New Castle which was founded in something like 1623. I did the run a couple of years ago during a winter sales meeting. I'll have to come back fully healthy and complete the loop.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Windy Sunday in Marblehead

Time: 52:18
Distance: 12.03km
Pace: 4:21/km

I got out the door looking to put in about 10km but wound up with 12km. I was feeling pretty good and closely monitoring my banged up right side. The hamstring is starting to feel a bit better, but I can tell there is still some scar tissue in there. I've been working hard to massage, stretch, strengthen as much as possible these days. The discomfort only comes when I am running right when my right hamstring extends and is about to hit the ground.

It's a bit strange because I can do drills will no signs of any discomfort. High knees, butt kicks, skips don't cause any awkward sensations. It's just when I drive up my knee (lift), extend my hamstring and start to snap my leg back toward the ground. Just before my right leg makes contact with the ground, I feel the "difference" in my stride. At this stage in the game it's not really painful, just not "right." I'm getting there...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Testing the Hammy

Time: 36:23
Distance: 8.21km
Pace: 4:26/km

Today's run was crazy windy! I witnessed garbage cans being blown everywhere (for some reason Marblehead does Saturday pickup?) screen doors crashing and white caps out in the harbor. I started my run by heading over to the 1974 Argosy trailer that Karhu purchased for a launch of shoes. Keep an eye out for it at the Boston Marathon.

I then headed back around the to the trails and wound through the neighborhood looking for about 35 minutes of running. It felt good to be out and open the legs up. I tried doing some drills at the track, but the wind kept blowing me over while standing on one leg. I opted to head back to the fort and finish with some light dynamic stretching.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day Two

Time: 23:23
Distance: 4.99km
Pace: 4:41/km

I didn't I run .01 farther!? This was my second consecutive streak of running which puts me at 99,211,458 on the list of US citizens tracking their consecutive days of running. In 20 years maybe I could be in the top 100. The thing is, I don't care about the streak. I want to run fast. Running fast means pushing the envelope and experiencing high levels of discomfort. However, I often confuse pain and injury with discomfort.

Today I jogged from our offices over to a field behind a school, but soon left because it was filled with goose shit. It was everywhere! I didn't feel like driving home with shitty shoes, so I opted to run loops around the Beverly High School track. The facility just got a nice upgrade with a field turf grass infield. The track surface is firm but mostly intact. It will make a nice venue for spring/summer workouts.

My hamstring today felt a little better. It's still tight and restrictive, but I'm able to jog with less discomfort than last week. What's strange is that I can do high knees or butt kicks with absolutely no pain. But, if I extend my leg to engage my upper hamstring, I'm immediately reminded of why I can't resume training. My normal stride is a little hampered just when I'm about to plant my right leg. I'm no physio, but that's when your upper hamstring/glute is activated which I can feel.

I'll be getting ART tomorrow to further loosen up my tight leg. I'm taking this one day at a time...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Right Direction

Time: 21:21
Distance: 4.51km
Pace: 4:44/km

Hey, hey, hey... I ran today. It wasn't fast or far, but it felt fantastic. (How's that for some lame alliteration)?

I laced them up this President's Day and set off for the only track in Marblehead. It didn't take long to get there but it gave me enough time to take an evaluation of how I'm feeling. I want to run more. I didn't have that awkward sensation that you get after a long layoff. I felt good aerobically (granted I was running slow) and coordinated the entire 10 minutes to the track. After some light drills to help loosen up my hamstring I shuffled home to do some more drills.

The injury is definitely improving, but not at the point where I can resume normal training. I hope to start jogging lightly this week in order to increase blood flow. I'll get ART again this week to assist in the mobility.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paragon Sports Run Group

Time: none
Distance: none

This morning Meagan and I headed over to Paragon Sports which is a NYC institution for sporting equipment. If you're ever in New York and find yourself near Union Square, stop in to check it out. We were on hand to chat with their run group training for 13.1 NYC and raffle off some goodies.

The weather was perfect and the crowd was enthusiastic in anticipation for a great run along the West Side Hwy. I was bummed to not be running with everyone. Instead I walked over to Starbucks and slurped the black stuff, walked through the farmers' market and chatted with people in Paragon. Meagan got to run with Jay Holder who was finishing up a 22 mile run. At least someone from Karhu can represent.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Travel to NYC

Time: none
Distance: none

I traveled from Marblehead to NYC today making several stops along the way to visit accounts. I can't really tell how my hamstring is doing having not run in a few days. I think it's getting better with my rest and massage balling. The plan will be to run early next week. I purposefully did not pack running shoes or gear in order to keep me from running with friends this weekend. Sad, but true.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

City Sports & Balega

Time: none
Distance: none

Surprise, surprise... Today was another day off due to a nagging hamstring. I'm trying not to stretch it, but rather massage it with a firm round object. I drive with a Trigger Point massage ball placed underneath my upper hamstring, right where it meets the buttocks.

My travels today took me to Spark Bike & Run Sports in Taunton, MA and City Sports corporate. I like hanging out at Spark because the owner is good guy. His store is new, he's making connections with his community and he's interested in learning more about the industry. He also carries BMC bikes (repped by my buddy Liam) and will soon have Karhu.

The City Sports visit was mainly for Balega which I was fortunate enough to pick up recently. Everybody loves a good pair of socks and Balega has the best ones out there. It was the first time I had a chance to visit with the sock buyer. She was cool, British, and likes coffee. The headquarters are in the North End where the streets are narrow and it's impossible to find parking. I managed to find a spot and leave the neighborhood with no scratches on my car. The only bigger win would have been to lace up the kicks and get out for a run.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Trivia in Rhode Island

Time: none
Distance: none

Today was day off. Lame.

I drove down to Providence, RI to spend some time at a Winter Rep Show. The foot traffic wasn't fantastic but I got to hang out with the Moving Comfort and Craft reps. They know the business and all of the accounts in my territory so it was fun to pick their brain. They also have house bunnies. Yes, rabbits that are basically cats, but related to Roger Rabbit. Earlier in the day one nearly got locked in the closet which wouldn't have ended well for anyone. True story.

After the expo, I met up with my former teammate Ryan Graddy. He's in med school at Brown and invited me to play trivia with some of his classmates. I was next to useless but I did know the final questions which ensured us a third place showing. The answer had to do with 80s music, Billboard Top 100 and pop music... not my strongest category. I would have excelled at rap music by Bay Area rappers in the 90s who were signed to either Death Row or Bad Boy. However, I somehow came up with the answer of Prince. Yes, the artist formerly known as Prince. I knew it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hurting Hamstring

Time: none
Distance: none

You're going to be seeing a lot of the above as I try to get caught up on my blog. Pretty depressing and I apologize if you're reading this in a RSS feed for a multitude of recaps as they are not going to be entertaining.

Since it's Valentine's Day and Meagan is out of town, could there be a better way to celebrate the evening than drinking a beer, rubbing arnica on your hamstring and alternating between heat/ice? I think not! I'm probably negating any benefits of my hamstring recovering by enjoying this Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, but it's delicious.

I started the day off positively by going to see Dr. Anne Gilbride who is the girlfriend of the Karhu CEO. It's unfortunate that I can't pay her in shoes. She did ART and adjusted my hips which weren't too out of place. I'm battling a really tight right hamstring that shoots signs of discomfort every time I plant and pull on my right side. Not good.

The good news? My SI Joint no longer hurts. Keep reading the catch up (ketchup?) posts to find out why my hamstring is hurt.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Schenker to the Front

Time: 38:20
Distance: 7.11 km
Pace: 5:23/km

This afternoon Meagan, the Craft/Karhu GM (@CraftSportsGM) and I left the office for a little jog around the lovely town of Beverly, MA. It's a busy time of the year as people on the Craft side of the business are making the official "buy" for next year. That means if you want to be rocking the coolest baselayers, tights and jackets next fall, then the "buy" must be forecast according. Tension, tension...

We suited up in our running costumes and headed out the door in mild February conditions. I, unfortunately, could not enjoy the run as my hamstring is absolutely killing me. I have a decent range of motion on my right side, but every pull through hurts while weight bearing. The discomfort is high up near the insertion point to my butt (not what you're thinking). I will be getting treatment tomorrow, but I now recognize that this is a little more serious than I thought.

If you're on the Twitter, please follow Eric (linked above) because it's pathetic how few followers he has! (I hope he reads this).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sir Charles of IKEA

Time: 39:39
Distance: 7.30 km
Pace: 5:26/km

This morning I drove into Boston with the Karhu CEO to run along the Charles River. Our goal was to put in a few kilometers and then scope out a few parking spots near the Boston Marathon finish. I don't want to ruin any brand activation events in April, but we are going to be doing something pretty sweet involving a 24 foot Argosy.

I never really fell into a rhythm on the run for various reasons: (A) it was really cold and windy, (B) we were running slow, (C) my hamstring was hurting as if it were really cold and we were running really slow.

After the run we toured Comm. Ave, Newbury and Boylston Streets, grabbed a coffee and headed to IKEA. I got roped into the Swedish furniture behemoth part, but it was okay since I got breakfast out of it. Did you know they serve breakfast for $1.99!? Free coffee too! I'm not a fan of IKEA, but after learning of their food offerings for rock bottom prices, I could become a convert.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lazy Sat.

Time: none
Distance: none

I decided to take the day off and spend the day nursing my hamstring. After the lousy feeling run yesterday, I thought it would be best to take it easy. Meagan is out of town in Birmingham, AL working the Mercedes Marathon Expo so I had the task of updating the Karhu Facebook page. Like it!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lunch Run

Time: 52:06
Distance: 9.71 km
Pace: 5:22/km

This afternoon I got out of the KNA offices to put in just under 10 km with the Karhu CEO and inventory manager. The pace wasn't fast, but the company was nice running around the streets of Beverly. My hamstring did not have a good run as I kept massaging my glute to relieve some of the discomfort. I thought taking yesterday off would help my cause, but apparently this is going to be a nuisance.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ME > NH > MA

Time: none
Distance: none

Today I traveled down from Maine back home after a few days of being on the road. I opted to not run as the hotel I stayed in wasn't the greatest and my hamstring is not in the best of shape. I hope by resting my leg I'll be able to have a decent weekend of activity.