Friday, July 27, 2012

a long long day

This is gonna be a long day....I "stepped on a landmine" yesterday, and this is how I feel now......

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Tout Le Monde---Lyrics included at the end...with translations.

On September 9, 2009 I wrote the following:
"So, this is the first post to a new blog. What is the point of this blog, not much. I will post my daily workout and my progress towards getting into shape to run as a team member for the world-famous Hood-to-Coast relay in Oregon next year. It has been a long time since I ran, and it has been a year and a half since I had hernia surgery. We shall see how my 41 year old knees and shins do. I have been to the gym pretty solidly over the last few weeks on the eliptical trainers trying to get some cardio work in and some leg strengthening in before *actually* starting in on the running. That will begin next week along with some weight training.

I hope if you found this blog looking for inspiration or training advice, I can help. Well, we shall see how that goes. I have a few ideas about how to get from 0 to 3 miles in 9 weeks, we will have to take this one day at a time and see how we do."

As the Greatful Dead once said..."What a long strange trip it's been." 

Pack a lunch...this is gonna be one for the record books in length.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Seven days

In a mere seven days I will be a retired racer.  It doesn't look like I will hear positively from the Hood-to-Coast folks, so this is it. My final race.  And taking a page from my friend, I have already picked out my "outfit" for the race.  I ran my very first race in a kilt, and I see no reason to not run my very last race in one.  As for my shirt, well, that was actually very simple, this is the inaugural Pikermi in Portland for the Rock and Roll series, so I will be wearing my Charter Member Team Pikermi shirt.  That's it..there is my outfit. Socks and shoes, of course, but hey, I'm a dude and I don't need too much beyond that.  I am completely not ready for the distance, I am gonna be slower than molasses running uphill in January in Alaska, but I'm gonna do it.  I signed up for it back in May...May 1 at 1:45 am to be exact, well over a year ago.  Before all the wheels on my cart fell off, before all sorts of things happened.  Things that have helped bring me to here...the end.  I will have but one more post after this, unless the HtC thing comes to seven days, I will fade into the recesses of your minds and become a distant memory.  I already have for many of the "34 followers" listed on the right.  Thanks to Google Analytics, I can honestly say, I am down to 14 people that read this site whenever I post anything new.  I appreciate your readership, and your support---even if none of the 15 people that read it liked my poem. 

seven days to the
end of my journey as a
running blogger.....peace

Friday, April 27, 2012

I wrote a to find music.

If you know the poem from which I borrowed heavily the ideas get bonus points...unless I have told you.  C2--I suspect you know this poem as well as I do.

Here it is in all its glory(?).  Be kind with your comments.


I am uncertain
I have no clear path
No destination decided upon

The place I want to be is denied
The home I have is desolate and alone
The friends I have are far removed
They are in their homes and worlds away from me

How far away
How near the quay
I cannot tell for the fog too thick
The water still and silent
Night and day
Is there a homeland calling me
Is there a lighthouse to beckon me

My desired place is not for me to choose
It is left to someone else to decide
It is left to the person I desire most to pick
Life with me or life without me

I am lost at sea, and trying to stay afloat
The albatross around my neck was mine to pick
Chosen and borne until I solve my own riddle
And reach the shores of my homeland

How far away
How near the quay
I cannot tell for the fog too thick
The water still and silent
Night and day
Is there a homeland calling me
Is there a lighthouse to beckon me

My boat is small and my paddle lost
I am forced to propel the craft by hand
To push with cupped fingers the waters of my soul
To find the shores where I will be welcomed

How far away
How near the quay
I cannot tell for the fog too thick
The water still and silent
Night and day
Is there a homeland calling me
Is there a lighthouse to beckon me

How far away
How near the quay

Copywrite 4/19/2012  Nat Strickland

Monday, March 26, 2012

This page will be retired soon...mkII

I have been thinking about this for a while, and I have even told a few people I know that even though I have only been running races since December of 2009, I am going to retire after the Rock and Roll Portland Pikermi.  That race report will also be my last blog entry.  I will continue to write about my trials and tribulations of running (yeah, gonna keep on keeping on with that, just no more races) in a journal that will be kept by my bedside.  Another runner I know is working through some changes in his world, and I am as well.  I have re-opened comments for the next few posts, but you have until sometime in June before I close this thing down.  The only possible other race I might do, is the Hood to Coast, and that will be only if I can get on a team this year.  I am only giving myself this year to do it.  I will likely volunteer for races, as I think that is a great thing to do, but I am not going to lace up and run one after May 20th.  So to all of you that read my blog, I think that there are 7 of you left after the year I've had, I hope that your running goes well.  I will continue to read your blogs and comment from time to time, but blogging has become tied with some negative vibes in my world, and I need to end it.  And rather than do so with no explanation to the seven of you, I am posting this "goin' out of business" post.


editied to actually allow comments...oops.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Well that was fun?

Turns out, moving is bad for all of your activities.  Work, exercise, eating, sleeping, school, yeah, all of 'em.  I haven't run much in the last couple of months, and May 20 is not staying away, so I need to start back into the routine with vigor soon.  I have moved to a farm that has NO Internet access.

I'll wait while that sinks in.  NO INTERNET ACCESS.

Oh, and if you notice, there is a new activity up there...I'll let you find it.  I will need to work on getting access soon due to that new activity, but that will have to wait a little bit.  The move ate my meager reserves entirely.  I needed to get a heater for my room.  Sleeping in a hat is only fun for a couple of days.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Yoga kicks ass......mine

Damn. So I took a power yoga class last night. The last time I took yoga I was maybe 21.  It was taught by a hippy-yippy kinda teacher at the local community college.  It was fun, I guess. I remember taking it with a couple of people, women, I knew, and they were impressed that I could bend as far as I could.  Anyway, last night's class....yeah, not like that one.  The instructor is the owner of the studio, a cool hole-in-the-wall feeling place called, Yoga on Yamhill.  As Paul puts it, that is his apex of marketing genius.  "What do you do?" "Yoga." "Where are you?" "On Yamhill."  This was his class. We talked briefly before I headed to the changing rooms and emerged a few minutes later in sweats and a bamboo t-shirt.  This is important, because it was WAY too heavy for the class.

OK, so picking up from last night...sorry I fell asleep.  My clothes were definitely wrong for the class.  I will be wearing shorts with compression shorts under them next time.  They don't really have yoga pants for men, and I'm not that dedicated yet.  I am sold that this thing is a real workout alive, my legs and back are still grumbling about it.  An hour of deep controlled breathing, with movements in sync with the breaths works for me, I do that when I am feeling out of sorts when running.  I even chuckled when he wanted us to "box our breathing"  In for a count of 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4, repeat.  This is hard to do when running, but, yeah, I do that too.  So this wasn't new to me.  What was was sitting in a squat position with my body twisting about for 3 minutes at a hit with each leg, or sitting in a lunge position while leaning backwards.  All in all, a definitely positive experience and one that I will be enjoying as life will allow.  Every Wednesdays looks like a doable trip for now.  My shirt at the end of class was dripping wet, and I was amazed and how wiped out I felt.  I was very glad for all the push-ups and crunches I have been doing.  I would have been toast going from a standing position down to a pushup position to the floor and then up to "cobra".  We did that about 100 times...arms are a little sore still.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday's Child

Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

I was definitely NOT born on a Tuesday.  I know a marvelous person that was born on a Monday....and she certainly is.  Number 1 daughter WAS born on a Tuesday, and I am hoping that she fulfills that part of the poem. She is growing up rapidly--too rapidly for dad.  We really are like Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride".  Daughter number 2 was born on a Wednesday, and she is empathetic and feels everyone's pains and joys.  I adore that about her, she will be a gentle soul and an artist I am certain.  Number 3 daughter was also born on a Monday, and she too is as fair of face as one can hope a child of mine to be.  Fortunately, she got the looks from her mother, and her disposition is as sweet as her smile.  Number 4 daughter is a handful, and she and I share the day of the week.  Thursday.  Auspicious for a runner, and I can only hope that she is as busy as her nickname throughout her life and gets to where she is going.

I am feeling a little more like the Flogging Molly song below, than I am feeling bonny and gay.  It will be alright in the end.  I know I have a long road ahead, and I am working on finding the right shoes.

Well I know, I miss more than hit
With a face that was launched to sink
An' I seldom feel, the bright relief
It's been the Worst Day Since Yesterday

If there's one thing I have said
Is that the dreams I once had, now lay in bed
As the four winds blow, my wits through the door
It's been the Worst Day Since Yesterday

Fallin' down to you sweet ground
Where the flowers they bloom
It's there I'll be found

Hurry back to me, my wild calling,
It's been the Worst Day Since Yesterday

Though these wounds have seen no wars
Except for the scars I have ignored
And this endless crutch, well it's never enough
It's been the Worst Day Since Yesterday

Hell says hello, well it's time to I should go
To pastures green, that I've yet to see

Hurry back to me, my wild calling,
It's been the Worst Day Since Yesterday

Oh, I ran 4 miles this morning...I guess that is actually the point.  According to Nike, my 2011 stats show that I run on Tuesday mornings about 60% of the time, and almost always EARLY in the am.  Something about Tuesdays have always worked for me.  Guess I should just rename every day of the week Tuesday.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Wow, I can tell I spent a few weeks not running.  The six miles I was thinking I should be able to do; yeah, I got through four.  I was tired--staying up to 4:00am shouldn't have hurt, right? I am a little out of shape--I blame the barefoot fad.  And together they combined to beat me down.  I got to the corner where I could keep going and do 6.5 miles or turn and do 4, I was gassed and turned.  I had a mile left, and got through it and felt like I had just summited Mt. Washington.  We shall see what this week has in store, but I am going to add yoga to the mix on Wednesday.  Tonight is weights and crunches. I'll be sore tomorrow, but it is getting better.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bag that barefoot stuff

For now anyway.  I looked at the calendar and kinda freaked.  I have only a little over 15 weeks to get ready for the inaugural Rock & Roll Portland Pikermi.  OK, so they don't call it that, they use the OLD term, HALF a 5K is a HALF 10K.  Anyway, I realized that I need to just get back into my Pegs and get some real miles in, so I went out the door this crisp morning and knocked out a quick 4 miles.  I don't know how long it took, I ran with just the radio on, and didn't even check to see when I left or when I got back.  I don't care, it doesn't matter.  I think I might do the next 16 weeks just like today.  It doesn't matter. I get up at 4:00 and get out the door when I do, and get back in when I do.  This might be just what the doctor ordered. (No really, I'll ask her on Thursday) I'm betting she will be on board with this from a mental health stance.  It is funny that when I don't run, I don't feel like doing crunches, or push-ups or lifting weights, so this will be a very intense 16 weeks.

Zombie Survival Training Camp starts today.  Ask yourself, are you a "Zombie Killer"? Or are you Zombie Filler?  Rule number 1 is Cardio, so I have to get back to where I was a few months ago.  Along with that, I want to be lean and lithe, so the crunches and push-ups and dumb bell drills will all start in earnest.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grumble grumble...hurt foot

Pretty much, that is all.  Dammit.

Friday, January 20, 2012

W3D2---Starting Over Barefoot

Ok, today my feet were not happy and that was after giving them a couple of days off.  Lazy buggers.  The tops of my feet were hurting, and, being the crazy runner that I am, did I stop?  NO, kept on keeping on, and ran through it.  Now that it has been about 5 hours since my run, the left foot still is complaining a bit.  I'll give it some TLC in the form of a lacrosse ball later today.  I'll rub the little doggie and see how it feels after that.  My legs feel pretty good, and I can knock out 30 push-ups pretty easily now.  I need to get a good time management set up for adding in the weights, but that is just a matter of getting used to the extra activity in the evenings.

Monday, January 16, 2012

W3D1---Starting Over Barefoot

Today I awoke to well below freezing temps and none of the snow they had predicted.  Since running how I used to run on ice was bad, I figured I would eschew running this morning and hope that one of two things happened today. Either, we would get the snow they kept saying was coming, or we would get just enough of a warm up that the ice would melt.  Either way, my little dogs were gonna be cold.  I got home to a balmy 34* and no snow, just very cold wet pavement. I changed my clothes, slipped on my monkey feet and out the door for a nice 90 seconds run/walk 3 minutes run/walk repeat.  Since that is only 18 minutes, and ends on a walk, I added in another 90 second run and called it good.  My legs are getting used to this nonsense, and the feet are starting to as well. But, DANG!!!  My feet were bright red when I took the ol' VFF's off when I got back in.  I picked up a weight set yesterday, so I will be adding in some weight stuff as I go along to add to the crunches and push-ups.  I also bought a GoogleOffer for 20 visits to a Yoga Studio to add a little stretching and stuff to my weeks.  Since I can only swing one visit a week, this will be like a 20 weeks class for $20. I couldn't pass that up.  Also, the guy that owns the place answers e-mails before 9:00 am, which I was not expecting.

I will let y'all know how that goes...who knows, I may have to change my Couch Yogi.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

W2D3 --- Starting over barefoot

Ugg, and no, I'm not talking about my comfy slippers. Today was not easy to do. First, who wants to get up on a Saturday after a long week and go run?  Now I know why Sunday long runs work for me.  And since I plan on running every other day, I "get" to run every other Saturday.  I did get up, and I did get the run in. I will spend some quality time with my foam roller tonight as my right knee is telling me it wants some lovin'.  The calves feel pretty good, but I did have to back off the throttle on one of the legs this morning. Clearly I am a bit tired, and with my knee complaining, maybe was pushing too hard.  My feet aren't bothering me much, so that is good.  The left one feels like I need to pop the knuckles of half of it, but other than that it is all good.  Monday brings 3 minute sustained intervals, so that might be fun to see if I can hold this pace for that long each time.  They say speed kills, and my legs might agree, but then again, they might be getting stronger inspite of their protestations.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Starting over W2D2...going barefoot!

Well, if I thought I was tired on alive, I did NOT want to get out of bed this morning. But, kick my butt out of bed I did, and pulled on the tights and thermal shirt, slipped into the VFF's and out the door I went.  Another 2 miles, plus a little bit, this morning.  The legs are not happy with the rapid rotations, I am definitely moving at a faster tempo and at a higher rate of foot strikes per minute.  Over all this experiment is going well.  I do feel like I might be getting faster, although I am VERY aware of how long 90 seconds is right now.  Next week will be interesting with its 3 minute run/walk sections.  Not going to worry about it right now though, I still have one more day of this week to get in, and that will be on Saturday.  That is the other part of this experiment, can I actually get into an "every other day" rhythm with my running.  So far, this week, so good.  Keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Starting over W2D1...going barefoot!

Today was tough...seriously tough.  It was really hard to get out of bed at 4:00 this morning.  I went to bed kinda later than I had wanted, but that can't be helped at times.  Then I woke up at 2:30. Great, and to make matters worse, I had Metalica's "Enter Sandman" running through my head.  This was rather odd, since I haven't listened to Metalica in a while, let alone, that particular song.  But there I was, laying awake, with "sleep with one eye open, Gripping your pillow tight" running through my head over and over.  So, yeah, 4:00 am came a little earlier than I wanted.

I drug my butt from bed, got dressed and hit the road though.  Yea me.  My legs were a little stiff this morning as well, but I did manage to equal the distance I covered on Sunday, so that is a plus.  I figure if I am running the same amount of time, or there abouts, I should finish about the same point, and that was the goal this morning.  I will be looking for adding in some weight stuff soon, as I really want to get that moving forward soon.  I am also consciously working on my posture.  I need to stand and sit straighter so as to force my core to work during the day, so no more slouching.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting over W1D3...going barefoot!

So, there was an interesting little side effect noted during Sunday morning's little jaunt.  It turns out that when you are an established runner (if you have run a handful of Pikermis and a couple of marathons, you are established in your running) and you "start over" with the Couch to 5K deal, you are signing up for 9-ish weeks of speed drills.  Think about it, in week one you are running for 60 seconds with 90 second recoveries repeated 8 times.  Sounds like speed drills to me.  And they have been, I covered about 1.7 miles the first two days, but Sunday, I covered 2 miles in that same time.  Now, I know, quick math says, "big deal, that is 10 minute miles. You were doing that for an entire 26.2 miles before." Yup, you would be correct, but when you add in that 12 minutes of that time is walking, then you start to see the deal.  Next weeks, starting tomorrow, is run for 90 seconds, walk 2 minutes, run for 90 seconds, etc.  I will be interested in seeing how much ground I cover in the 20 minutes of this cycle.

Anyway, the calves are starting to get used to the work, that they are now having to do, and the push-ups and crunches are coming along.  Next is to get some dumb bells and add in some actual weight training to see if I can improve the rest of the upper body.  Don't think I want to look like the guys on the cover of the weight lifting magazines, but I wouldn't mind a little extra mass.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Starting Over -- Week 1, Day 2

And going into W1D2, my calves were not very happy with me.  Oh well, sucks to be them.  They will just have to get used to it.  Took a day off from the crunches and last night gave the belly a working over...heh.  I'll get something resembling a stomach if it kills me.  Today's little run went well, though I am noticing that I am running a wee bit faster in these short bursts than I normally would.  That may adjust how I approach the latter weeks, I may stick with running for time versus distance.  I will know if I am faster by the distance I am covering by week 5, so that will be an extra thing for me to pay attention to.  Anyway, push-ups and crunches every night, or nearly so, I might start adding in lunges and the like, just to be clever...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, new goals

I have had my VFF's for a while now. They mock me, often, rotten little pieces of rubber. They sit there as though to say, "You *thought* you were runner enough to try barefoot."  I have actually, a few times, but each time there was a race too close to get in the time to develope the needed strength of leg for this. So they got used as gym shoe more than running shoes.  That is all gonna change. I don't have any races scheduled until late May. I got lots of time, and today, thinking this might be the best way to do it, I did Week 1 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K program. I am gonna stick with this little project as I hope the benefit is longer shoe life and better form and thus less injury.  Also, my abs hurt, crunches every night, and not just straight crunches, but a mix of regular and side and reverse. Hopefully, I will have a six-pack to go with the new legs in May.