Random Thursday: Let’s talk about poop

As the title suggest this entry will be about poop. The other day, I was at a bar (shockingly, I know), and a couple of runners were talking about their most embarrassing running related-poop stories. We all know that runners love talking about poop. Unlike the runners at the bar, I’m lucky that my incident did not happen in public. Here’s my story 

After a 16-mile summer run this past June, I stopped at a 7-11 to get a delicious Slurpee. I think the Slurpee was Sour Patch Kids flavor. Actually, I guess the flavor doesn’t matter. Anywho last summer I used to take ice baths after my long runs, which I stopped because I did not really notice any difference in recovery. 

While sitting in my tub, I noticed that my stomach was feeling very weird. I just assumed it was the effects of the ice bath. Since I did a long run, I had not eaten for a good 3 hours and figured there wasn’t anything in my digestive system to pass. Yeah. . . I was wrong. After passing what I thought was a simple fart, I saw the appearance of brown water surrounding me in the tub. I could not believe that I actually sh*t myself. I guess technically it was a shart. But still. I was left with a couple of questions: 

  1. Do I finish taking the dump in the bathtub?
  2. Do I hop out of the bathtub and finish the dump on the toilet? 

I went with option #1. I figured that since I was already sitting in my poop, it would be easier to clean poop-water (and myself) in one location rather than getting poop-water over the bathroom. Also, it was really coming out at that point. 

Funny thing with this disgusting story. The shart smelled like the Sour Patch Kids flavored Slurpee. Gross but at least it did not smell too bad. 

Any funny poop-related running stories?

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Mini Book Review: Idiot

Idiot

by

Laura Clery

I learned about Laura Clery’s comedy from her Facebook videos. Often I would watch another person’s video, and one of Laura’s would pop up afterward. The first video of Laura’s that I saw was her going back and forth with her British husband about the differences between American English and British English Christmas terms. 

Here’s the story of how she and her husband adopted their first dog.

Let’s get into the book.

Basically, this book goes into great detail about the idiotic, hence the title of the book, things that Laura has done in her life. Some of these things include: chronic drug and alcohol abuse, shoplifting, randomly hooking up with dudes, staying in a physically and emotionally abusive relationships, screwing up multiple job opportunities . . . and doing it all over again. I will say that I appreciated the fact that she took responsibility for the many bad decisions that she has made in her life. She does end the book on an empowering note saying that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Ummmm ok. I gotta say she’s lucky that she is tall, blonde, pretty and white. Just saying.

Sometimes when I read books by authors who were addicted to drugs, I tend to side eye them a bit. I don’t side eye them regarding their addiction, which is a real and serious issue, but I side eye about their recollections of events. I mean this is the second book that I’ve read where the author remembered every single aspect of their life during a cocaine or crack binge. Also, some tend to tell the story in a way that makes them victims. Actually, Laura does not make herself the victim too much in this book. Also, I’m not sure that she gave us the entire story about her parents’ role in her life. I know some parents like to parent by the ‘I’d rather be your friend than your parent’ method. However, I find it a bit odd (and unbelievable) that her parents were like: Yeah, it’s totally fine for you to move to NYC at the age of 17/18 with some random guy you met in California. A random guy who has been calling our house multiple times a day for a few weeks looking for you. Then again, she did say that her father used to give her money to buy weed for him. So, I guess that could happen. I did find myself rooting for her throughout the book and feeling disappointed when she fumbled. I felt like Tyra when she yelled at Tiffany on America’s Next Top Model.

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Although she made MANY bad decisions and wrong turns in her life (like agreeing to drive to Mexico with some random dude she didn’t know), I’m glad that she managed to turn her life around.  

I found ‘Idiot’ to be a quick, easy, fun read, which does not take itself too seriously. 

Next review

Running to the Edge

by 

Matthew Futterman

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Next book on the docket

Actually, I’m not sure which one I want to start first. I started reading ‘Americanah’ back in graduate school, but I stopped a few chapters in. I’m not sure why I stopped reading it . . . Maybe I had graduate school stuff to do like going like all you can drink draft beer for $10 night at the (now defunct) Hook & Ladder. 

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Race Report: Valentines Day Half Marathon

Date: February 14; 10:00 am

Distance: 13.1 mi / 21.2 km

Place: Beach 116th street, Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY

Weather:  19 F

Finishers: 69  

Offical time / pace: 2:11 / 10:01min/mi

Rockapulco Half Marathon

As some may know, I made a New Year’s resolution to run a half marathon every month during 2020. We have half marathon 2 out of 12 now completed. Yay me. I’m proud of myself for finishing because boy this was a cold one. 

One can clearly see that this was a super small marathon, which had a different type of vibe compared to the regular races that I run with the New York Road Runners. Also, it was very low key; the runners met at a bar, headed over to the boardwalk, and the organizer (after explaining the prizes) was like AND, GO!

Rockapulco Half Marathon

The pack

Getting there was a complete sh*t show. A subway ride that’s supposed to take about 1.5 hrs ended up being a little over 2 hours. 

Rockapulco Half Marathon

The commute

  • I almost missed the start. 
  • I had to pee for the last 40 minutes of the subway ride. I’m so lucky that there are restrooms in the subway station in the Rockaways. 

Internal Race Goals:

  • Run 2 miles of fartleks
  • Run at least one mile at a sub 9:45 min/mi pace

Miles 1 – 4 

The beginning of the race:

Rockapulco Run

A mile into the race:

Rockapulco Run

For this portion of the half, I was more or less trying to get my sh*t together. Since I arrived at the bar after all the folks were escorted to the start, I had to stop for a little bit to get my music going, put things in the correct pockets (I’m very particular which pockets hold which things), and have a quick stretch session. 

During the third mile, I felt a weird burning sensation in my right hand. This has happened once before while running an outdoor track workout in 18 F weather. It was kind of concerning because this happened only in my right hand. I actually feared that I would not be able to finish the race because of this. I was not wearing gloves the first time this happened a couple of weeks ago. For this half, I wore TWO pairs of gloves and an athletic sweatshirt with sleeves covering my hands.  I rubbed my fingers together like I was trying to get some money, and that seemed to work.Phew giphy (2)

Yay. I would not get a DNF . . . at least for this reason. But . . . yeah, I need to figure out what’s going on with the circulation in my right hand. 

Miles 5 – 8

Since the course was two loops around a section of the boardwalk and my hand issue was behind me, I really got into my groove.  I managed to do my two-mile fartleks during this portion of the race and started to catch up to and overtake some folks. 

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Miles 9 – 13.1

Maybe I was getting tired or maybe I was hungry, but I slowed up during Miles 8 and 9. Not really sure what happened. Perhaps, I was saving myself for the final push or maybe I was distracted by taking pictures or getting the right music going. At least during Mile 10, I managed to push hard and ran that mile in 9’30”. I have it in me to run faster; I just have to push myself (and maybe do more speed work). At mile 11, I really wanted to catch up to one more person because I think she was running and walking. During this point, I noticed that someone was passing me (more on this below) so I wanted to give myself one last push to stay with him. Well . . . that did not happen until mile 13 with a 9’21” mile. Although I did not catch the two people (I finished about 10 seconds behind them), I was glad that I was able to make myself push twice in the last third of a half marathon. 

All in all, I had a nice race experience. And, I finished this one about 8 minutes faster than the Fred Lebow Half in January. The improvement was not super exciting for me because the Fred Lebow Half is a bit hilly, and this half marathon was very flat. 

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Postrace Stuff: 

There was a little post-race celebration. Registration included a small brunch and a free drink at Rogers Irish Tavern.

Rockapulco Half Marathon

I ended hanging out at the bar for about 2 hours drinking and chatting with some other finishers and folks who live on the Rockaways.

Ok, I do not mean to sound like a hater, but I’m going to hate a little bit. 

Although I cannot prove this, I think a couple of people cut the course. Since the course was two loops B116th street -> B120th street -> B57 street -> B120th, you could see other runners to and from B120th and B57th.

Rockapulco Half Marathon

The course

Ok, there were several people who were far behind me after the first loop, and I know they did not pass me during the second loop. Could someone explain how these few folks arrived at bar WITH medals before I did? It’s not like this race really had course marshalls. There were trash cans at B120th and B57 streets, which indicated where we had to turn. I take that back because there was someone at B57th street for the first loop, but he was not there during my second loop. Ok, I don’t mind if folks cut the course. I was a bit annoyed because there wasn’t much food left at the bar when I arrived to the post-race brunch. Y’all know that I’m serious about my feedings. The brunch was self serve so the faster runners (or the course cutters) had first dibs. Eh, such is life . . . I guess.

After signing up for this race, I was a bit annoyed because there was not much information about the race itself, e.g. the course, the fluid stations (if any), or what the brunch actually included. Now that I have experienced my first Rockapulco-organized race and know what to expect, I would definitely run another one. The organizers have several races during the year, and the end of summer half (8/29/2020) looks kind of interesting. Plus, I could go swimming at the beach after the half . . . or drink at the bar. Wait? Running a half marathon in NYC, adjacent to a beach, with NO shade, in late August might literally be hell on Earth. 

At least the trip back home was not super intense. I guess it was not super intense because I did not have to be anywhere at a specific time. I even took my first trip on the NYC ferry back to Manhattan and met up with a friend to have a couple of drinks.

I was “primed” (my way of saying buzzed or semi-drunk) and wanted to keep the “celebration’ going. 

The Jeffrey NYC

Whiskey flights with chocolate. My kind of “dinner”.

Planned March half marathon: 

Lantern Run NYC, NY, NY

Training Update: Marathon Madrid Wk. 3

The theme of this training week. Rain, rain go away come back another day. It seems like we had so much rain this past week in NYC. For me, rainy days mean boring treadmill days. 

Generally speaking, it looks like my overall cardiovascular health has improved from Dec to Feb.

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Before reading Hansons Marathon Method, I never really cared about VO2 max.

Hanson

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

I knew of the term, but just never really cared about it. Probably because I did not know much about in relation to running and training.  Although it went up a bit since December, I do not know much I can trust it after looking at times from Tuesday’s workout.

Monday: Strength training

Tuesday: Mile intervals

It was one of those treadmill days, which meant that I could not hit the streets for these intervals. I learned something this from this training day . . . I cannot rely on my Apple Watch for treadmill running. IMG_2670

By no means, I am not a fast runner. But, I think that I am good decent enough shape where I would not run one-mile intervals at a 10+ min/mi pace . . . especially with my a 170 bpm heart rate. If this is the case, then I definitely need to be in the hospital and not training for a marathon. For the mile intervals, I was running a 10:00 – 8:34 min/mi pace according to the treadmill so something is amiss. Even if the Apple Watch did not accurately track my intervals, I know that I had a good and productive workout.

Wednesday: 5 miles with fartleks

I believe this was the first day without rain during the week so I made sure that could hit the pavement outside for this workout. It felt nice not running on a treadmill. I pretty much ran

Although this was an easy run, I incorporated fartleks during this run. This run confirmed that my Apple Watch is a bit off for treadmill running because, for this easy run, I ran 10:20 min/mi pace for the first half and a 9:44 min/mi for the second half.

Maybe because I had not heard the entire album in a while, but I was really jamming out to old school Shakira. Back when she had black hair in the late 90s.

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Friday: Upperbody strength day

Saturday: 13.1 miles 

I participated in Rockpulco Run’s half-marathon. I’ll expand a bit on the race in a race report. All I have to say I have my first official cold-ass race under my belt, and it felt great to complete that race. 

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Sunday: Rest day 

After being inspired by the previous day’s half marathon and reading “Running to the Edge”, I really wanted to do an easy 2-3mi run. However, after class, I experienced an intense migraine . . . the kind that feels like someone is constantly stabbing you in the eye.

Goals for the week. 

In previous marathon training plans, I liked to incorporate a couple small training or non-training goals for the upcoming week.

  • Find a podiatrist ASAP. The corn that’s in between my fourth and fifth toes of my right foot’s pain is getting a bit worse. I have been using cushion pads to separate to the toes and to relieve the pressure; however, this is proving to be like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound.
  • Run with at least ONE of my running groups.

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Food Pic of the Week

Tom’s Restaurant (***

2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025  

 

I know that I’ve mentioned this restaurant (technically a diner) a couple of times in the past. Tom’s Restaurant is the spot where Seinfield and his crew would talk about their crazy hijinks.

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On Monday, I really wanted to have breakfast for dinner. I hit up Tom’s Restaurant and went to town on some pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage. I guess being able to eat what you want (if you have the means) is one of the best parts of being a grown-up. 

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Mini Book Review: Hansons Marathon Method: Run Your Fastest Marathon the Hansons Way

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How have I been running for all of these years and never read this book? I do have a tendency to live in my own world. Blame it on being an only child. Do not get me wrong, I have seen Hansons marathon plans on the Internet, but I guess that I never considered reading the actual book. 

I have to say that I loved, Loved, LOVED this book. I enjoyed reading this book so much that I’m going to purchase it as soon as I finish writing this review. The book was written in a very logical way – almost like a textbook. Honestly, it was hard for me to put the book down. Even if you do not want to follow his plan (I do not think that I will for my upcoming marathon in April), there are so many bits of information that you can incorporate into any training plan. Since I’m a bit of a nerd, I really appreciated the numerous tables, charts, graphs, and formulas/equations. I swear, I think there was a chart for every aspect of training for a marathon. While reading, I found myself calculating things in my head, like VO2 max and anticipated finishing times.

At first, I was a bit taken back that 16 miles are the longest distance that one would need to run with this plan. However, as I was thinking about my previous marathons, I probably ran 18 miles for my longest run. I did not go into my marathon training plan with that as a goal, but injuries (and hot a** summer weather) would sideline me for a few weeks so there was not enough time to fit in two 20-mile runs. 

Since the longest run is about 16 miles, a lot of the high mileage occurs during the week, which is good and bad. It’s is bad for me because I know that I cannot commit to running this type of distance during the week. Or, maybe I do not want to commit to doing this during the week. Yeah, that’s it. 😉 I definitely would have to do my runs after work. This is a bit impossible for me because I’m usually dead tired after working. Well . . . Maybe not dead tired, but definitely NOT in the mood to run 8 miles. More power to the folks who can do that or wake up at 5 am to do these runs. 

Even if you do not plan to follow his training plan, the book provides great information about nutrition (of course, illustrated with several tables and formulas), planning your meals before races, and types of stretching before and after workouts. 

Crap, I forgot that I read another book before reading Hansons Marathon Method. I read 

Rebound: Train your mind to bounce back stronger from sports injuries

by

Carrie Jackson Cheadle and Cindy Kuzma

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I’ll keep it 100% and say that this book really was not my cup of tea. It was too rainbows, clouds, hearts, and flowers, which do not mix with my hater disposition. How does one meditate their injuries away?  I hate to say this, but the book was TOO damn positive. In each chapter, there were a few short stories about professional athletes who rebounded from their injuries. This is what annoyed me with those stories. The authors made it seem like the meditation and taking ownership helped these athletes overcome their injuries. While that may be true, we all know that these folks had teams of doctors, trainers, and physical therapists to help them rebound – something that regular day to day runners cannot afford. You cannot really compare the recovery of an average runner to that of a freakin Olympian runner. Come on!

Perhaps, I could give the book another shot. After taking a quick glance at the reviews on Amazon, the book did not have a single review below four stars. Even Hanson’s book had multiple 3-, 2-, and 1-star reviews. I will admit that I rushed through this book because I really wanted to read Hansons Marathon Method. I probably did not digest the material and tips in Rebound as much as I wanted to or should have. Oh Well. 

Next Review

Idiot

by

Laura Clery

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Currently Reading

Running to the Edge

by

Matthew Futterman

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Shoot, I need some more books to read. Maybe something Black History Month related.

Training Update: Marathon Madrid Wk. 2

Monday: Rest Day (technically)

Since my beer club was meeting in downtown Brooklyn, and I finished work a bit early. I decided to hop on a Citibike and ride from work to Brooklyn, which was about 10 miles. 

Citibike

I really enjoyed my ride along the Hudson River, which is pretty beautiful around dusk. During my bike ride, I was wondering why I stopped biking. Maybe after NYC Marathon, I’ll get back into biking again. Well . . . maybe not. I think that I stopped doing long bike rides (50+ miles) because I became annoyed about constantly having to change my bike’s tires.

Of course, this is the best view. 

Circa Brewing

Circa Brewing

Tuesday: 3mi 

An easy treadmill run. Nothing groundbreaking to write about. Well . . . I think that I was supposed to run 5 miles. Oh well. 

Wednesday: Rest  

Thursday: Hill workout and x-training  

I think this workout might have screwed me up for Saturday’s long run. I probably did too much during this workout. Since it was raining outside, I decided to do my hill workout a treadmill. Note to self: No more hill workout on treadmills at New York Sports Club.

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The workout plan was to do 0.25 mi “sprints” on a 7-8% incline with a 0.25 mi cool down on a 2% incline. The workout was going pretty well until the 2nd to the last interval when the treadmill started to freak out a bit. Unfortunately, the treadmill’s speed controls stopped functioning so I had to literally jump off of the belt. The crappy state of NYSC’s cardio machines is a major pet peeve of mine. For example, on several occasions, I’ve had to move to 2, 3, 4 different cardio machines to find one that works properly. Ugh. 

From a previous post: the pedal on a stationary bike broke during my ride.

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So damn ghetto.

I have been trying to include more strength training for this marathon. Mainly, I’m doing to high rep/low weight for these sessions.  

While training for last year’s NYC Marathon, I noticed that I would have soreness in my hip abductors, especially after my long runs. Now, I have been trying to focus a bit more on my lower body. I thought that my weight training season went pretty buuuuut . . .

Friday: Rest

Remember how I said that I would not go out on Fridays before Saturday long runs? Yeah. . . so that did not happen. 

MOM Kitchen Bar

MOM Kitchen Bar – The duck’s name is Pazuzu.

Saturday: A hot mess

The plan was to run 14 miles. Unfortunately, I managed to run only 1.6 miles because my hip abductors were very sore. I figured that it would be better to reattempt the run on another day rather than struggling through the run. Also, I did not have the motivation or desire to fight through my soreness for another 12.4 miles. I think that I will have to give myself a longer recovery time after my strength workouts, especially if I’m doing anything other than easy runs on the same day. I do not think that I’m too injured because both my left and right hip abductors were sore. Maybe I just overworked the muscles on the hip abductor/adductor machines. 

At least I was in high hopes just before starting the run.

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Sunday: 4mi

At first, I was going to reattempt the previous day’s 14mi run, but I knew that I would not have enough time for the run. I’m teaching college Biology on Sunday afternoons this semester. Also, it was cold as balls outside. Instead, I decided to run a few 800m intervals on the treadmill after a 1mi warm-up. Fortunately, this treadmill did not give me any problems.  plan was to run 14 miles. 

How do you incorporate strength training into your half- and/or full-marathon training plans?

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