Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's does it all.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dewey, Dew, Do

The Jenny Kuzma Bergen race now has the distinct honor of being the only 5k that I was forced to walk part of in order to finish. At race start, 8:30am, it was already 81 degrees with a dew point of 74. At the second mile water stop I stopped and walked for about twenty seconds. My first mile was a decent 7:35, my last mile must have been around 9:00 and that was a struggle.

I think a lot of runners were suffering in the race. The weird thing is, despite the slow race, I finished sixth in my age group, earning some valuable Rochester Runner of the Year points. Mike W also finished sixth in his age group, Pete was third, Eileen second and Jan sixth. We all moved up in the standings, so it was a good day after all.

Jan has moved up to 8th place (top 5 receive honors in each age group at the end of the year). Eileen is tied for 5th, I am in 6th, Mike in 8th and Pete in 2nd. There are five races left in the series and you must race a minimum of four with the best six counting for points. Personally, I will be skipping the half-marathon as I am not in shape for that distance. I hope the temperatures and humidity levels go down so we can all do some great training and race well beginning in October.

September 4Oak Tree Half Marathon 13.1 Miles
October 15 9.3 Miles
October 22 Scare Brain Cancer Away 5K 3.1 Miles
November 5 East Avenue Grocery Run 3.1 Miles
November 24 Race with Grace 10K 6.2 Miles   

Friday, August 12, 2016

Women's Olympic 10k 2016

Mr. Cynical finds it difficult to believe anymore in amazing world record performances without PED’s, but I'm trying. Over 30 women began the race, it was ridiculously crowded at the start and then the lead 10 or so had to constantly weave in and out of slower runners for five miles when they began lapping people.

Almaz Ayana from Ethiopia won handily, breaking away from the the leading 8-10 women at 5k and clicking off consistent 68-70 second laps. She broke a long-standing world record (set in 1993) by 14 seconds winning with a time of 29:17 (4:42 per mile) only her 2nd 10k race ever. She ran negative splits and won by 15 seconds. Ayana has run a 5k in 14:12, so running the first half of this race in 14:46 was not extreme for her.

Second place was Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, 29:32, third Tirunish Dibaba 29:42 (Ethiopia), fourth another Kenyan in 29:54. Only 5 women had gone under 30 minutes in history before today. Fifth place, in 30:07, was another Kenyan.

Molly Huddle set the American record, 30:13, finishing in sixth place. Huddle ran a great race. She went through the first 5k just 13 seconds slower than her American record for that distance.

So maybe conditions were right, and not drugs. Lots of fast times. If it’s on tv tonight watch it, though I'm sure NBC will cut away during significant times in the race.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Semenya and Too Much Testosterone?

I find the controversy over Caster Semenya fascinating. I remember her bursting onto the scene in the 2009 World Championships. Jan and I both thought, by looking at her and seeing the dominating performance, that she was a he, or at least doping.

It turns out we were/are wrong. Now I'm not sure how to feel. If I were a competitor of hers I might be upset or thinking I have no chance to win. But the same could be true with many athletes who have natural, physical gifts. Some people want to have female athletes who have "abnormal" natural levels of testosterone to take a drug to lower it back to "normal" levels. Is that really fair? Semenya surely isn't the first female athlete who had a naturally occurring high testosterone advantage. Authorities either looked the other way and didn't want to deal with the issue, or didn't have the tests that would accurately monitor a person's levels.

Even if an athlete were given drugs to lower their level of testosterone, would they have to take it constantly throughout their career or just when nearing competition? How would the drug effect their long-term health? If the athlete only took the drug close to the Olympics, say, but didn't have to use it during training, wouldn't they still have an advantage? The high testosterone would allow them to train harder, lift more, run more, than competitors, so they would still arrive at the event with an advantage, similar to the PED users who try to come clean right before a big competition.

Someone will have to explain to me why an athlete such as Semenya really needs to be given drugs to lower a natural occurring substance in her body. Right now I say leave her alone and let her run.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Went to the Doctor and the Doctor Said....

I'm fat.
Not quite, but when I had my annual allergy doctor checkup the nurse took me in one of their examination rooms to take my vital measurements. She asked me to step on the scale and I asked if I could remove my shoes. She said it wasn't necessary. I assumed she would make some kind of adjustment for shoes and clothing.
Nope. And I had work shoes on, not lighter weight running shoes.

She marked my weight at 187 lbs! Around Christmas time I had "bulked" up a bit, to 189 actually (naked). Now I am down to the 176 range, about where I would like to be. It helps for running, I can feel the difference. But the allergist will have me at 187, totally inaccurate. Why bother taking my weight?

And have high BP. (no, I really don't).
Then she put the blood pressure cuff on me, the modern kind that the nurse doesn't have to pump by hand. These devices consistently say I have high blood pressure, though they have ranged from 118/80 to 160/90+. Ridiculous. Of course there can be a variation due to stress, but also due to incorrect settings on the machine. How often do they get checked for accuracy? This time my BP was 140/78. She asked if it was always that high? I told her only when someone uses that type of equipment. She didn't appreciate my comment and wrote down the 140/78 numbers. Great. Another mistake. Thanks for that.

Many times the doctor (never a nurse) will look at the BP number and ask me about it. Usually he will get out the "old" sleeve and take it manually and it always comes back normal. Then he adjusts my chart numbers. I appreciate doctors like that. My allergist, who is a nice guy, a runner/bicyclist, didn't even question my weight or BP.

Really, though, why bother with the measurements if you aren't going to attempt to have them be accurate?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New World Record

From FloTrack running website:

"At 85-years-old, Ed Whitlock is leaving world records in the dust. Whitlock's most recent age group world record took place on Saturday (July 30) when he ran 24:03.99 in the 5K. He broke the men's 85-89 age group world record at the Ontario masters outdoor championships in Toronto, as reported by Canadian Running.

Whitlock already owns a handful of age group world records. His most recent 5K performance broke the previous mark by almost 50 seconds."

In my continuing comeback I'm going to try and run as fast as Whitlock in my next road 5k, forget that he is 25.5 years older than me.

Pushup Challenge - Did You Begin?

Yesterday was the first day of our August pushup challenge. If you forgot about it just start today and move on from there. Don't give up because you missed a day.

I do mine in the morning so I don't have to worry about it anymore. I also posted the schedule on our refrigerator as a reminder.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fall Racing Schedule

So many races in our area, so little time. The competition for attracting runners is heating up. This Wednesday (Wednesday of all days!) there are three local races. Saturday, August 13, there are 6 races, one of which is a Rochester Runner of the Year Race (Bergen 5k).

I'm not sure how well all of these races do financially, but if they keep holding them year after year I guess the race organizers must be happy with the final results. I know sometimes scheduling of parks, lodges, schools and wherever else a race is held can be difficult. Some newbie race directors just don't know any better or won't listen to people with experience, even the timing companies. Those are the races that usually die after a year or two.

In September there is a 5k race in my hometown. I considered doing it for about 2 minutes. It's $25 to register and prizes are given in only three age groups, to first place only, with the oldest group 40+. That is crazy. I seldom win an age group award, but it's nice to have a chance. Usually there is a big difference between a 40 year old runner and 55+ runner. I also worry about races that don't tell you who the timing company is. One, you don't know if the results can be trusted, will be available fairly quickly or the course is accurate. Two, the race loses out on a lot of publicity the timing company would provide through their web site. It makes no sense.

My tentative racing schedule is;

August 13: The Bergen 5k (RROY race)
September 5:  Maybe? (Summerfest 5k@Mendon Ponds, a Fleet Feet race)
October 15: Finish Strong 15k (RROY race)
October 22: Scare Brain Cancer Away 5k (RROY race)
November 5: East Avenue Grocery Run 5k (RROY race) I skipped this race last year and it cost me a top five finish for the year in RROY.
November 24: Race with Grace 10k (RROY). A tradition in our home. I may also be the youngest runner in a new age group for this race, with a birthday 2 days prior to the race. 

Let's hope we all stay healthy and can race well!