Sunday, July 28, 2013

Running with Encinitas Express

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to lead a few of the players from my son's soccer team, Encinitas Express, on a training run I call the Mini-Q (Questhaven) (  It's a 3.2 mile run on dirt trails with 440' of elevation gain.

While on the run, the first thing I noticed was all the boys had good form, with their feet landing on the front or mid sole - none of them were heel strikers.  The second thing was the ease in which they ran the route. When I was 12, I'm not sure I could have run it, let alone in 34 minutes.  If you want to find the next batch of cross-country runners, raid your local soccer club.

The last and most important thing I noticed, was their attitude.  The boys were not concerned about time, pace or mileage.  Rather, their primary concern was calling out all the horse and dog poo on the trails. Throughout the run, the boys cracked jokes, talked and had fun.  For example, after I told them how runners bump one another in track races, they began to elbow and push one another in a playful manner.

Next time you go for a run, run like a kid - you'll have more fun, which is what it's all about anyway.

San Elijo Hills Running Club

Monday, July 22, 2013

Running spirit animals and speeds

Cheetah - 71 mph
Panther - 71 mph
Tiger - 60 mph
Pronghorn - 57 mph
Springbok - 50 mph
Wildebeest - 50 mph
Blackbuck - 50 mph
Lion - 50 mph
Brown Hare - 48 mph
Red Fox - 48 mph
Gazelle - 47 mph
Greyhound - 46 mph
Rhino - 45 mph
Jackrabbit - 45 mph
Horse - 45 mph
Elk - 45 mph
African Wild Dog - 44 mph
Kangaroo - 44 mph
Onager - 43 mph
Gray Fox - 42 mph
Hyena - 40 mph
Zebra - 40 mph
Coyote - 40 mph
Mongolian Wild Ass - 40 mph
Whippet - 35 mph
Rabbit - 35 mph
Jackal - 35 mph
Reindeer - 32 mph
Giraffe - 32 mph
Grizzly Bear - 30 mph
Leopard - 30 mph
Cat - 30 mph
Wart hog - 30 mph
White-tailed deer - 30 mph
Human - 27 mph
Elephant - 25 mph
Gorilla - 25 mph
Panda - 20 mph
Squirrel - 12 mph
Chicken - 9 mph
Mouse - 8 mph

Running on a treadmill next to a noisy runner

I like running on the treadmill at the health club across the street from my work.  It gives me a reason to get up and drive to work super early.  There's a certain peace to the club in the early morning.  Not that many people are there.  Everyone is sorta of quiet, as they are all waking up.

I like the treadmill, because I can concentrate on one thing, speed.  The course never changes, there are no stop lights and I have to keep pace or I'll fly off the back.  I plug in a pace and I can just concentrate on running.

Another great thing about the treadmill, is that I can hear my footsteps.  Am I quiet?  Am I loud?  I try to have whisper feet, that just glide across the belt.  The quieter my steps, the more efficient I am.

However, there is one woman who runs regularly in the morning, who I will call Ms. Clomper.  Ms. Clomper overstrides and lands on her heels with noise so loud, you can hear her running on the floor below, 100 feet away.  Luckily, I wear headphones and can drown out a bit of the clomping, but I have the continued urge to give her advice.  I desperately want to tell her to shorten her stride, just a bit.

It's a bit like a Seinfeld episode, some people are "close talkers", she's a "noisy runner."  If I tell her she's a noisy runner, will she become self-conscious and stop running?  Will she tell the health club management that I'm harassing her?  Or will it just create a bad vibe, so that every time I see her, I'll feel uncomfortable.

For now, I'll do my best to keep my mouth shut and just run.

San Elijo Hills Running Club

Monday, July 15, 2013

Running Nicknames

I was looking on the internet for a list of nicknames for runners, but was only coming up with names in drips and drabs.  To remedy that, I've created the below list, in no particular order, of nicknames for runners.  I look at this as a work in progress and will attempt to add to it, as well as take suggestions in the comments section.

Galloping Ghost


Speedy Gonzalez






Flying Finn


San Elijo Hills Running Club

Friday, July 5, 2013

Running on the boards

I’m on a stop and go journey of trying to become a better person. One of the reasons I run is to keep pushing myself towards that better person off in the distance.  I lack patience, get irritable and generally want people to behave in a manner that accords with my preset notion of how people should behave.  Unfortunately, not everyone subscribes to the Book of John.  However, when I run, as the miles tick by, I find I have more patience, my mood improves and I begin not to care or be bothered by how other people act.

This week I’m lucky enough to be on vacation in Ocean City, New Jersey.  Of interest, Ocean City is a dry town, where there are no bars or liquor stores and restaurants can’t serve alcohol.  If you want a beer, you have to drive over a bridge to Circle Liquors, pick up a six pack and drink it in your house.  Since it’s a dry town, it ends up being a town full of families.

The two big attractions in Ocean City are the beach and the 2 ½ mile wooden boardwalk which abuts the beach on one side.  On the other side of the boardwalk, for about 1 ½ miles, are t-shirt shops, pizza joints, miniature golf places, ice cream stores and the like.  For this mile and a half the boardwalk has bike lanes, surrey lanes, pedestrian lanes and lanes for runners going north and south.  The lanes are clearly labeled and marked.
However, not everyone stays in their designated lanes and others drift from east to west without looking to the north or south.  No big deal, right?  Just run around them.  For Mr. Irritable, it can be a big deal and as I begin my run, my mind is besieged with thoughts like, "Why can't people just stay in their lanes".  I lose my patience and struggle to hold my tongue.  

After five days of running the boards, I've managed to let go.  I just run.  If someone is walking at me in the "RUNNERS" lane, I run around them.  If someone walks in front of me without looking, I avoid them.  I've shut my monkey mind off and let the experience of being surrounded by runners, walkers and cyclists wash over me.  Of course, now that I've let go, its time to go home.

San Elijo Hills Running Club