Limiting races in downtown Austin

September 30, 2008

Yesterday was the first meeting after last weeks 12 to 0 vote by the Task Force to limit events in downtown Austin. I posted details on all the discussion on the keepaustinrunning.org site so please feel free to discuss the topic there: http://www.keepaustinrunning.org/forum/topic/show?id=2213086%3ATopic%3A2205

Let’s just say it was an interesting meeting. One thing that did come out of it is that members of the Task Force recognized that a vision and objectives are needed instead of focusing on specific items and voting on them. There were a couple of task force members that said we seem to be in the details and have missed step A and step B.

There were also some good points about impact on churches and examples where events like the Capital 10k have done a good job with addressing access and traffic for people attending services at churches. There were also some choice quotes:

Paul Carroza in reference to the 12-0 vote last week – “The vote bothered me and it bothers me that I voted for it.”

John Conley while discussing the need for fewer races – “There should be some rules and reasons to limit them, having said that I don’t know what they are. Having three races at the same time what does that mean? If I had my druthers I’d only have my race so I don’t have to compete.”

Now of course don’t take the quotes out of context. I brought up the 12-0 vote being an issue, the task force did bring up that this is only the first reading but my point was that if you don’t believe in something you shouldn’t vote in favor of it even if there is a second reading. When you vote you’re supporting it as stated. Similar to zoning cases with three readings before city council, if somebody is against it their vote is how they express it in the first reading.

John’s comment was related to a discussion about needing fewer events and then races specifically. There’s probably some truth to what he’s saying but the broader point is that only so many races can really be supported on a given weekend. The big question is how it’s decided which ones. You can see some of my commentary on the forum post: http://www.keepaustinrunning.org/forum/topic/show?id=2213086%3ATopic%3A2205

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Sandpaper and running surfaces

September 27, 2008

Today was an interesting day of running, 4 miles on my own, 12 with the group and then 3 for the Taco Run. But what does that have to do with sandpaper and running surfaces? During the taco run I was running with some “young runners” (recent adopters of running) and the route went along 4th and then up Congress and back for a 3 or 5 mile option. There were time when we were north of the capitol where there were few cars on the road and one of the runners was running on the concrete and I suggested he try running on the road since it has more give. He was wondering why that would make a difference. On a short run probably not too much but as mileage and intensity builds up it does put on more pressure.

I tried to draw an analogy to sandpaper. On average each foot strikes the ground for most of us 90 times a minute. On a long run of 2 hours that’s … over 10,000 steps per foot! Like I said it adds up. Now take that across all the training during a marathon and the running surface does make a difference.

Of course that was a very simple way of looking at it, there are lots of other factors. What should I do if there’s a really bad slope on the road and my IT band hurts but the pavement is flat? … um, I don’t know. At some point we all need to use our best judgement. If I training for a trail race, well then the trail, if for a road race well then only running on trails doesn’t make sense … of course just running on the road is also harder on the legs. All a matter of balance.

Current Wins: No longer an ACL virgin, another trip to the lake in the works, good news that friend doesn’t have a stress fracture

Current Losses: Nutrition, iphone coverage at ACL


Businesses that are good to runners

September 25, 2008

With all the annoyingness of the Task Force trying to kill races where they can I thought some positivity was in order. There was a recent survey that Rogue did on this and I thought, who are all the businesses that we go to that are runner friendly … I don’t mean running stores or training groups but businesses who’s business really isn’t running.

I started a discussion on keepaustinrunning.org on this: http://www.keepaustinrunning.org/forum/topic/show?id=2213086%3ATopic%3A2101

I listed the Starbucks that a few people mentioned on our long runs as well as Russel’s bakery on Hancock. I would probably add Juan in a Million too, they put up with all the smelly runners, have great service and the food comes out quickly and consistently.

I’m wondering what the other places are you’ve come to appreciate for their running friendliness. Share yours on this forum link: http://www.keepaustinrunning.org/forum/topic/show?id=2213086%3ATopic%3A2101

Todays Run
4 Mile Tempo (6:33, 6:25, 6:33, 6:10) – (3:00 marathon pace target today of 6:30)
4×200 (38s per 200) – (Too fast for 5k pace)

Current Wins – Leisure reading, Able to complete workouts with breathing issues, Not Working

Current Losses – Breathing issues during workouts, delay to core work because of back/chest issues


Task Force getting on my nerves

September 23, 2008

No vision, no goal. Enough said. They just voted to limit events in Downtown Austin: http://www.keepaustinrunning.org/forum/topic/show?id=2213086%3ATopic%3A1981


A new ailment and a good workout

September 23, 2008

I’ve been struggling since I got back into the swing of training after the 2 weeks off related to my foot sprain. This run this weekend was no exception, with discomfort in my right side in the mid chest area the entire run. I finally listened to a good friend and had it checked out. Saw Lisa yesterday to get work done on … well a new area for me, not my legs but my upper body. Found that my abdomen was abnormally tight and had some areas in between ribs that were tender. Most of the issues are related more to twisting, things caused by two monitors and not looking straight ahead etc. My sitting arrangement at my job wasn’t the best when it came to posture and angle for my head so that has something to do with it, I remember that at my last job I’d taken some time to get the right tray for the keyboard and had the monitors setup so I’d generally be looking straight ahead. All these things weren’t an issue 6 years ago but they are now. C’est la vie.

Today is the 4th and I think final week for our hill phase and we did the same workout as two weeks ago. I was a minute faster than last time on the way out and 40 seconds faster on the way back, probably a little too fast on the way back but I was glad I managed to push the 1 min on 1 min off on the way out for the 2.9 miles. The most important thing was that the work yesterday that Lisa did seemed to loosen up my upper body so breathing was much easier and there was little to no discomfort. I just need to keep an eye on things, stretch and watch my posture.

Current Wins – Heroes season premier, started a new book, upgraded to leopard

Current Losses – Friend still dealing with injury, need to hold ab-work till chest issue is under control


What I do when I don’t run and work

September 20, 2008

Well, most of that time is spent sleeping, eating and watching TV. I’ve also been invovled with a non-profit, Community Partnership for the Homeless, for going on 5 years. This Thursday we had a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new development we just completed.

These are near the East Side track, on that steep hill that was part of the Go for the Gold 10k. The houses are for single parent families with one family member that has a mental or physical disability. You can click on the picture to see more of the houses, the first family should move in on the 25th.

CPH has a number of other houses in Austin that provide transitional housing for homeless veterans. We build and manage the properties and partner with other agencies that specialize in social services. In the case of the veterans program the VA and Caritas. In the case of this development SafePlace.

I won’t make any running analogies for now.


Got Soul?

September 20, 2008

Today was the “Soul Buster” as Steve calls it and “Soul Maker” is what Mike prefers. The run today was 24.1 miles for me. The run started at Runtex at Gateway and ended at Rogue on East 5th. The “Soul” part of the run has to do with how it started … it was 1.5 to 2 miles to a track. At the track we were supposed to go all out and then finish off the run. The goal was to get some lactic acid into the legs and feel the fatigue at the end of the run that we all do at the end of a marathon.

I’ve been struggling since I got back from my foot sprain with breathing and side stitch problems (here’s a 3 mile run I didn’t manage very well and here’s a 14 miles that pretty much sucked). Today was unfortunately no different. After we crossed 183 and before we were on Mesa I started getting tight in my right side and almost felt like I needed to start walking. It was mental games from hell at that point and the discomfort was there until we hit the track, slowing down, going faster, relaxing the shoulders … nothing seemed to help. Then on the track and I was with the first set starting off, first lap at a 1:18 and then the mile at a 5:30 (ended up slowing down). The pain in the side was there but luckily the pain in the chest with the fast pace drowned it 🙂

Then it was 21 to go with hills waiting at the end. As I kept running, I realized I couldn’t really get rid of some level of discomfort and also running too slow seemed to make my breathing worse. It was around 9 miles, at the Burger King off 35th St, when I decided I needed to just run at whatever felt natural. Jim and I ended up running the rest of the time together and were consistently between a 7:30 and 7:45 pace. Our overall run was a 7:45 pace, which includes the 5:30 🙂

After the run Laura reminded me that I need to go see a doctor since this has been going on so long, of course I would be in between jobs right now. I think my insurance goes through the end of the month so I better do it soon. I did notice that my right side of my back is more tender than the left when I press it so something is aggravated. Let’s see how it goes.

My legs were feeling a little tiered at the end of the run, not sure if that’s the 24 miles or the mile on the track. It was fun none the less to have that mile to change things up.

Current Wins – Managed 24 miles after almost walking at 1.5, new battery for the mac

Current Losses – Schedule doesn’t seem to match up with people I’m trying to hang out with.


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