A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Map of the Upcoming Race

Here's a link to the 5k race route.


I may try to run the route Sunday if my knee is OK this evening.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Test Run

Just a short run this evening because I got out of work late and it was getting dark pretty quickly.

Mainly a test run for the new knee brace. Seemed like it did help. I ran my short circuit which is 1.400 miles in 11:26. That was four seconds quicker than my best time from about 19 months ago before my broken ankle and when I weighed about 15 pounds less, so I'm pretty happy about that.

The knee stayed basically happy and I was able to vary my speed from a 7 minute to a 9.5 minute pace without the usual discomfort. Hopefully this will keep helping. If it seems decent on a longer run, I think I'm going to order a better quality brace to improve the comfort factor.

So far, so good.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Geared up and headed out for my run this morning. (I have the day off.) Only managed to get about .4 miles in and my knee was starting to act up. I tried about everything I could think of to get it back to happy to no avail. So, I walked back home and started looking at braces.

I picked up a hinged brace at Walgreens and will try that to see if it will help stabilize the joint. If that doesn't do anything, I'll have to find something else to do. This race is not worth messing up my knees.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


At Penny's Diner in Livonia. Strange little stainless diner. Seems decent
so far.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Data point #3

Went out this evening even though I didn't really feel like it. Tried to run the same pace and form as last time. That resulted in a lot of running interspersed with fits of walking to recover once my heart rate exceeded 185. I seem to be able to maintain about 178 without too much difficulty, but once I push it into the mid 180s I get tired quickly.

In any case, the upshot is that I was able to complete 3.147 miles in 27:58:05. That's the first time I've been able to hit my target on the street. (Although, given the condition of the roads in my neighborhood, I might as well be running on baby-head gravel.)

My knee is doing OK, although as I tired towards the end my form went bad and it started to ache a little, but I was able to reset and get it back to workable.

So, it continues.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Clean Windshields

I am not a fan of smeary, foggy windshields. One of my grandest peeves is for someone to put a finger or toeprint on my usually clean glass.

I have a standard regimen for getting wind screens clean and keeping them that way. For the worst of the worst, that usually involves lacquer thinner with a Windex chaser and a buff with a cotton rag.

The new (old) Ford nearly had me thwarted, though. I've never had any deposit resist my efforts more steadfastly than whatever the hell is built up on that truck's glass. I've been trying for the last six weeks to get that glass to come clean. Multiple applications of thinner, windex, glass plus, vinegar, different cloths, two brands of paper towels, nothing could stop the crap from streaking and smearing.

I finally got it last night. I hit it with the lacquer thinner again, and then as a last resort smeared the whole thing with Goo Gone. Then, after that dried, I hit it with the windex and buffing cloth one last time.

This morning, finally, the section I did last night is streak and smear free.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Data Point Number Two

Did a bunch of reading about stride and proper running form today. Came away with the thought that it's not necessarily the stride length that matters, unless you are seriously over striding and hitting the ground with your heel and a locked knee, (I'm not.), but rather the turnover of your stride that is important.

Coaches seem to agree that a turnover rate of about 180 steps per minute is optimum. I started counting mine after I got comfortable this afternoon and found I was running at about 150. So, I upped the turnover to about 170 and found a comfortable pace that allowed me to run without any knee pain.

Unfortunately, that turnover rate and my natural stride end up being fixed at about a 6:55-7:10 pace. I cannot run more than about a mile at that speed before I have to start walking intermittently.

In any case, even with about a mile of fast walking to rest during the run, I was still able to cover the 3.145 mile distance in 29:04 without any noticeable knee pain.

So, I now have interim goals of increasing the distance I can run before I have to start walking to rest. At least, I've potentially found a form that may allow me to be pain free. (Because the last thing I'm going to do is run if it screws up my knees.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Well, that's one data point.

First run, 3.145 miles in 30 minutes and 1 second. Gps tracking was helpful as it showed me that I usually start out at about a 7 minute pace. That explains why I usually die in the first mile.

I slowed the pace down to about 9 and was able to run the first 1.8 miles with no real issues until the meniscus in my right knee started acting up again. It hasn't done that since I was fitted for these running shoes. So I ended up walking most of the next mile while attempting to run after the knee calmed down.

Since it wasn't getting much better, I started stretching it out by really increasing my stride length and kicking a bit on liftoff. Strangely, the pain went away. (I'm sure the 40F temps didn't help it too much either.)

I guess I need to start using a much longer stride and a lower turnover rate rather than the short stride and high turnover that has seemed to be the most efficient as far as energy conservation goes.

That's why I'm practicing, I guess.

Training to Commence.

So. I've entered myself into the local "Corporate Cup".

Link to site here

Main reason for me entering this is that when I hit 39 last October, I determined that before I turned 40, I was going to run in a 5k race and finish in under 28 minutes.

That probably doesn't sound like much if you're a runner, but I'm not one. That will require maintaining a slightly better than 9 minute mile pace for a little over three miles. I've done it a few times on hotel treadmills, but never really pushed myself to see what I can do on the road.

My training aid arrived yesterday in the form of a Timex Ironman Global Trainer GPS watch with heart rate monitor. When the temps get up into the 40s today I'm going to give it a test run.

Hopefully, it will allow me to learn what pacing I can maintain versus what I need to maintain in order to be able to complete the race as I'd like to.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Feh. Doesn't look like too much so far. I'm getting ready to head out to training. Going to have to take the back roads as the highway is blocked by a couple accidents. Not that it matters much, but so far the airport is running on time except to PHL. They have a ground stop in place.

My flight tomorrow is at 0605. Hopefully they can get the equipment into the airport this evening.