Monday, July 14, 2008


Adding to this slew of posts I'm finally getting to putting up today, I would like to make this commentary about recent events besides being too busy at work, doing new things like a normal person, and running on my injured legs.

On the morning of July 10, 2008, my high school track coach passed on as he was on his way to teach summer school. Just a mile or so away from the school, the car he was in jumped the median and hit another car head on. Knowing how careful and reliable this man was, most everyone believes he had some sort of medical issue at the time of the accident.

That night, an impromptu candlelight vigil was held at the high school. Two of my sisters and I all went separately, along with about 350 other people. I'm sure many, many more people who wanted to attend were unable to make it. Alumni who graduated from the 80's were there, along with fellow coaches, faculty, and students/athletes he inspired.

He was my English teacher (and my Government teacher a couple of years later). He taught me most of the vocabulary I know, but just as importantly, he made me believe that I had athletic ability. I went from nothing to going to scoring points at track meets to league finals when I was a freshman. The Varsity letter sitting in my drawer at home is directly attributable to him.

When I was the first nerd to walk into his classroom, he greeted me cheerfully. I remember that the day after my 15th birthday when our team won the meet with a 4x400 relay I was in, he declared that I had a magical birthday. When I was having trouble with mythology, he stayed afterschool to tell me exactly what I could do to fix that. When I complained about the pain or fatigue of hard workouts, he made some sort of sassy joke. Years later, when I needed someone to interview for my grad school class project (this was a few months ago), he kindly volunteered. Not only did he answer my questions, he also took the time to catch up with me, hear about my life, tell me about his family and the shows he liked to watch. I even realized that he still had a poem that I had written for him still on his wall. Little did I know, that would be the last time I would hear his jolly voice.

In summary of my ramblings, that man is partly the reason I am still running today. I would have liked to post links or pictures of him, but I will just keep it at this. He was an amazing man, and if I can become even half as incredible as he was, I would have lived a good life and touched many people as he had.

Saucony Pro Grid Hurricane 10 -- mileage as of 4/29/10 = 940/500; 9/18/10 = 503.5/500 (pair 2)

About 7 months after getting new running shoes, my hurting legs were a (possible) indicator that it's time for new shoes. Some say that you can get about 500 miles out of running shoes, but I think I get about 400 (good ones) on average.

This newer Saucony shoe is a stability shoe that is significantly lighter than the previous models. I feel fortunate to have had a choice of colors - silver/burgandy (pictured, as it's the one I chose) and silver/blue (to differentiate from my other shoes).

In case you're curious, I got it at Running Expo, which offers free shipping. I probably saved myself about $10 getting it online.

As for what I should do with my half-worn running shoes, I have decided to bring one to work as my "I forgot my shoes pair," and I will probably have to start doing other things to conserve space around my cramped quarters.

These shoes are definitely light and cushiony. Saucony improved upon the previous Hurriance models by cutting away some of the bottom material to make it lighter. I only wonder if the cushioning will disappear quickly given the weight. Also, I had some weird rubbing on the back of my ankle, but I'm sure that will callus up and improve soon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

One Month Post-Donation

Exactly one month ago, I went to a local hospital to give blood for the fourth time. I give blood once a year, though this round was a bit delayed due to the racing schedule. I had just run a half the week before and had actually just returned from Las Vegas the day before. Thus, the "lucky" recipients of my donation not only received really huge, oxygen-carrying discs (RBC's) but probably also remnants of my high crepe consumption in Sin City.

Anyway, the day after I gave blood, I did my usual hour and a half of circuit-type training, which didn't feel too much worse than usual. I was also running a handful of 6-milers later in the week. Although I definitely stepped up the eating a little bit (too much, perhaps), I did not notice any side-effects of the missing blood. If my running or other workouts have stepped down at all (currently at about 20 mpw), it is because of my nagging shin pain that has not gone away since May. I know running these Monday 10-milers on it (and the other shin that is starting to feel bad) hasn't been helping, either, especially since I've been running 6-milers on Sundays also.

What was the point of this post? Oh yes... I wanted to share something I found regarding running and blood-giving. According to this, I should be benefitting from this in the long run (no pun intended). If nothing else, I'm still a proud blood donor and intend on continuing to do so (probably at the hospital again... they were so much nicer than the Red Cross).

Donating Blood and Running

1. Blood volumes. You typically donate a pint of blood (450 g) and it takes your body 2 to 3 days to recover the volume. It takes about 2 months to recover the lost red blood cells.

2. Drop in performance. When you have less blood, your body can carry less oxygen. Expect to lose about 10% of your typical performance ability. This will be most noticeable to long distance jogglers. Note some experts say it can take up to 3 months to regain total aerobic capacity. Yikes!

3. Recovering from donation. To get back in top-notch joggling form, be sure to drink extra fluids immediately after the donation and the next day. Also, make sure you are eating things with protein and iron in them to help replenish. The experts say think of a blood donation as a day of rest.

4. It’s not all bad. While you may have an initial reduction in performance, there is at least one theory that says donating may have the benefit of actually increasing the amount of red blood cell count when your body recovers. This would happen because your body might overshooting the target level. Just a theory though.