Running with the Gods

training to run the half

It’s All About the Road Bling


So what is your favorite part of the race? I know some runners who run just because they enjoy it. Other people join up for the social good that the race supports. But for me, I have to say it’s the cool tech shirt and with luck, a medal.

I was introduced to the tech shirt at the Free Press American Home Fitness 5K last year, and since then I have been hooked. No more ordinary cotton shirts for me. It must be that super lightweight, made for a superhero-like fabric that just makes you feel like being a runner, and yes, dare I say it, one of the cool kids.

I have said from the start of this blog that I am not a runner. And occasionally when I am bold enough to post my running times, you know that that is true. In fact if the 5K were in episode of Marlin Perkins’ Wild Kingdom, I would no doubt be the struggling wildebeest being devoured by the lion– but I’d be the wildebeest wearing a really cool tech shirt.

Let me know your thoughts about how important a cool shirt is for you as part of your race experience. If you are in Michigan check out the Wicked 5K on October 28 in Plymouth. I dare you to find a cooler looking shirt than this.



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The Next Two Races

I have signed up for my next two races. There is 5K and April and a 10K for May. if the court town 5K is any indication, boy do I have a lot of work cut out for me.

I know that form is important in running, but so is body mechanics. I have started seeing a holistic chiropractor which is a chiropractor that does traditional bone manipulation but uses other energy-based techniques in the assessment and application of the adjustments. I had my first adjustment the day before the court, race and I have to say what a tremendous difference it made to run and walk with my body in a reasonably good alignment.

I still have my pain in the piriformis and almost a sciatic like burn but it is much better.

I also signed up on for their membership advantage and him trying a beginners strength training program. I believe that consistency is more important than intensity. However, I am consistently having trouble keeping to a regular schedule.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and a great chance to start the week on the right foot so to speak. I am setting my intention before I go to bed to wake up early and have my dogs walk me in a nice 5K just for fun.

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Corktown 5K – Finishing With the Luck of the Irish


Today was the day of the Corktown 5K. Corktown is a historic Irish district of Detroit, Michigan. There were approximately 7650 runners participating in this event. My goal, as always, is just not to be dead last.

 This was a very fun event. The course ran from Michigan and Werner in front of the old Michigan Central train station down to Campus Martius and back.

Michigan Central must have been such a beautiful building in its day. I tried looking for photos of this gorgeous building in its full glory but couldn’t find any. For anybody interested in Detroit and the architecture look at these links:;;;


The weather was absolutely perfect. And part of the route on Michigan Avenue is paved with bricks so that made it a little fun as well. They say that on St. Patrick’s Day everybody is a little bit Irish. The same holds true for this race. There were green shirts O’ plenty, along with green hair, red hair, kilts and bagpipes. This event involved a costume contest as well and the winner was Mr. potato head. But this was no ordinary couch potato. The man created a papier-mâché potato costume complete with root tubers. He won. He also ran in that costume. And, yes, even he beat me.

I am very pleased however of my performance. I came in at number 6535 or thereabouts, with the time of 41:46. Now while that is by no means an earth-shattering record, it is for me and represents my best time yet.

ImageThe first 7,000 finishers receive medals. Afterward you could see everybody and their green shirts milling around. Does the fact that everybody in that crowd had a metal diminish its importance? Absolutely not!

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Day 1 Week 2

I did it! Day one, week two, with much less mental fight to start.
It is bitterly cold and windy outside so I used the treadmill. I started with a few minutes of dynamic stretching.

My stats are:
Total: 29 minutes; 136 cal; 18:32 pace; 140 bpm; 1.57 miles
Lap1&2: 18:01/.19 ft
Lap: 14:37/.1
Lap: 20:00/501 ft
Lap: 17:03/498 ft
Lap: 19:38/504 ft
Lap: 15:50/501 ft
Lap: 19:30/.1
Lap: 15:09/508 ft
Lap: 19:25/.1
Lap: 15:14/516 ft
Cooldown: 19:49/.25

Hmmm, slower compared to yesterday, but this involved 90 seconds of running/2 minutes of walking.

Week 1: Total: 163 calories/28.30 minutes/1.6 miles/average pace 17.47/Max 10.35
Week 2: Total: 136 cal/29 minutes; 18:32 pace; 140 bpm; 1.57 miles/Max 13:59

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Shouldn’t I Vacuum Today?

My first week of focused training for the half marathon has proven to be not so focused. Too many things get in the way, but they are all excuses. No time, too tired, it snowed outside, and hmmm, perhaps I should vacuum now.

I’ve never had an exercise first mindset. For that matter, I’ve never had an exercise second mindset either. It is amazing the other undesirable things that pop into my mind that clamor for attention before trying to train for this darn thing. I need to research some more about stretching. Maybe there is an even better training schedule than my phone app. Oh, darn, it snowed today, I can’t use my app because it doesn’t work on my treadmill. Oh, hey, what about a 5k treadmill program. (30 minutes later) I found a few, but nothing better than what I’m doing. So, I could have put in my 30 minutes and been on to something new.

OK, I did it. Found my Garmin foot pod to work with my Garmin 305 so I can still track time/distance. Unfolded the treadmill, and voila. Stepped on the treadmill. No power. Could this be a heavenly sign not to exercise? No, it was a sign the plug jiggled out of the wall socket. Ok, plugged in, and ready to go. Warm up is easy. then 8 ntervals of 60 seconds of running; 90 seconds of brisk walking. Yea Made it half way. Sweating like I ran a full marathon. Rep 6, oh, God, when will this torture be over? Rep 7. Ok, I can make it. J-u-s-t one more. Sweat stinging my eye. Cool down! oh, man, and these were baby steps compared to actully running one mile. But, I did it.  Here are my stats with the garmin:

warm up: 21.06/.23 miles
Lap1: 15:40/332 ft
Lap3: 18.08/435 ft
lap4: 15:05/347
Lap5: 19.22/408 ft
lap 6 12:46/411 ft
lap 7: 19.37/419 ft
lap 8: 13.21/384 ft”
lap 9 18:38/420 ft
Lap 10: 11:13/460 ft
Lap 11: 18:3-/4:32
Lap 12: 13.22/408 ft
Lap 13: 21:05/369
Lap 14: 15:10/354
Lap 15: 20.19/385
Lap 16: 15:37/354
Cooldown: 20.22/.25

Total: 163 calories/28.30 minutes/1.6 miles/average pace 17.47/Max 10.35

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6 weeks to my next 5k


Six weeks to my next 5k. Providing I keep to the training schedule, I should have a significantly improved time. Did the second day of training yesterday, only the phone had a glitch and I lost the data before I could record it. Disappointing. One 60 second run, however, did register a 10 minute mile. Of course, it was on flat sidewalk. The better test will be when I go back to the park and run the same route as the first day.

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Motivational Infographic

When my eyelids finally rolled open like window shades, the first thought on my mind was, “oh, man I don’t want to exercise today”. I’m pretty sure I subconsciously sabotaged myself by dragging my feet this morning. After all, I really didn’t need to watch that 6 a.m. episode of the Patty Duke Show, or the first half of Mr. Ed on a retro channel.

 I spent a good part of the day justifying how I didn’t have time, telling myself things like I shouldn’t start training too hard. Those rest days are important. My mile and a half endeavor yesterday barely produced a sweat. I don’t think I’m training too hard.But, just the same, I better not risk it.

Then I started thinking what is the least possible thing I could do to still say that I’ve put in some level of training. I came across this infographic  and, inspired by the section on injuries, decided that stretching was the way to go, especially since I still had that pain the piriformous.

  I found the stretches that didn’t even feel good 20 years ago and brought back some post traumatic stress from high school gym class. You know the ones, sitting with the souls of your feet together (think cobbler’s pose if you do yoga), then bouncing your knees and thighs wildly as you feel the exquisite pain for groin muscles ready to snap like an old rubber band. I believe it was called the butterfly–sounds delicate and peaceful, doesn’t it? Try it sometime. If you’re not limber, you’ll think it should be renamed “The Scream“.

My search finally took me to something called “active, isolated flexibility”, and it has a video—essentially you use a rope to gently stretch muscles into a new range of flexibility.  Yep. That’s what I was looking for, something easy that I can so tonight that will support my daily training goal. I’m going to try the exercises now. If you hear a loud S-N-A-P, I may have stretched too far.

PS: The infographic is very cool. Look at it in full size if you get the chance. Complete with its own training calendar for 2012-the only thing that would make it better is to list the Free Press Marathon in October.

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Beginning the Journey-Training for a Half Marathon


Photo Credit: Sysiphus by Chuck Schultz, on Flickr

First, let me start by saying emphatically that I AM NOT a runner, never have been, never thought of becoming one. In fact, it would be very easy, using your Sesame Street skills of “one of these things is not like the other” to pick me out of a crowd of regulars at a running store.

Emboldened by making it through a few 5ks last year, in a combination of walking and running like a wounded antelope, I set my sights on an intriguing goal.Lured in by the shiny medal at the Freep 5k, and the ultra cool tech shirt, I signed up to run the Free Press half marathon this year.

I called my blog Running with the Gods because I see this journey putting me somewhere between Hermes, the Greek god known for his swiftness and athleticism, and Achilles, the Greek god vulnerable at his heel. Right now, at the start of this journey, though, I feel more like Sisyphus, the guy in Greek mythology who spends all day rolling a boulder up hill, only to have it roll back down and have to start all over again.

I rolled my first boulder today by doing day one, week one of a couch to 5k app. Thoughts of Hermes’ victory raced through my head as I approached Brys park, and quickly, I was humbled by the difficulty of the 60 second run/90 second walk intervals. For my effort, I got a huge pain in the piriformus (coincidentally the muscle in the area prominently displayed in the above photo) and the following results:

1.18 miles/15:39 overall pace/18:30 time/fastest interval 11:48/longest interval .1 miles.

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