Adventures of Medusa #4
Medusa is a runner. She only runs 3/4 marathons. She always runs alone and never carries any mace, pepper spray, knife or gun. She was running in the wilds of Colorado the other day and a dog jumped out of a whole in the ground and tried to attack her. It didn’t end well for the dog.
Drawing © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
Available for purchase | Print | Original |
The author of this quote, David Brooks, is one of my favorite authors and commentators on modern life. He is contemporary and current in politics but can also take a longer view of society and civilization. He wrote a great book called ‘The Social Animal – A Story of How Success Happens’. It was an examination of both the definition and course of success in American life. He told the story using two fictional characters as seen at various moments in their life. But the essence of the book was the philosophical evaluation of success itself, and how the understanding of success changes over the course of one’s life.
One of the take aways of the book was that to be successful you need to grow and learn from your experiences. This will make you adjust, adapt, mature and become wiser about gaining and maintaining success.
It’s what I find grossly missing in the world of the Orange Man.
“The incompetent person is too incompetent to understand their own incompetence.” – David Brooks
Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
High Heat Training Camp
If you remember, last week I attended a High Altitude Training Camp (read – vacation at Sister-in-law’s house). This week I attended High Heat Training Camp (read Tulsa, Oklahoma all summer long). When I came back a number of people asked if it was easier to run now that I was back closer to sea level (700 ft vs 10,000 ft). I said ‘uh….no.’ as sweat poured down my face and body while running under a blazing sun at 96º with 103º heat index. That was the average day this past week in Oklahoma, and pretty much will be for the next month.
Mr. Gray (Coach Joe) and Mr. Neon after a VERY hot and humid run in Broken Arrow!
Luckily I am a pretty good high heat runner. I can go a long time as long as I keep a sustainable pace. But being good at it can be a problem. I can start to think I don’t need to do the basic things one should do, like hydrate! I haven’t had an issue yet this season but what I try to remember is I am not training for a training run, I am training for a marathon. That means the more I do in a training run what I would do in my marathon (proper hydration, nutrition, pacing, etc.) the more automatic and natural it will be when I am running my race. The other thing I have to remember is even if I can run 12 miles without hydration (I did it once, years ago) that doesn’t mean the next 14.2 miles would turn out to be good. I stopped after those 12 miles and drank a lot of fluids. But in a marathon I won’t be stopping in an air-conditioned home for a break to regain my strength and rehydrate. That means I need to be fueled up from the beginning of the race and not let my tank get empty.
Did I mention we got caught in another downpour this week? We loved it!
We talk about training runs but I sometimes like to think of them as practice runs instead. Just the same way a football or baseball player practices a play again and again, I want to practice all the elements of a real race again and again so when the race comes I can do it all without over thinking it. So this past Saturday I made sure to do nutrition and hydration like I would in a race. I took Endurolyte tablets (for electrolytes/minerals) before the run, ate a Huma Chia Energy Gel at mile 4 and a Gu Roctane Energy Gel with Caffeine at mile 10. I also drank Nuun Electrolyte drink and water at the 0, 4, 7 and 12 mile mark. It was probably more than I needed but much better to have too much than not enough in your tank. This is especially true when you are sweating profusely!
I also found another Fleet Feet runner this week who is doing the Marine Corps Marathon. I think he is close to my pace so we should be able to get in extra miles in together as needed. I will keep you informed.
Fleet Feet Full Marathon Program – Fall, 2017
Fleet Feet Half Marathon Program, Fall 2017
The other thing going on this week was the start of the Half and Full training program (called HIT and MIT) at Fleet Feet here in Tulsa. I am a co-coordinator for it, in charge of all the weekday maps and activities. It made for a very active and fun week. I was required to be at each location early to answer questions, introduce people, clear up issues about who is coaching where, who is running in which group, etc. I also made sure to be at the TU Track on Tues. to introduce new people to how we do track workouts and to help them figure out their pace group. But even with those obligations I was able to get extra miles in before or after most of the runs and meet my mileage goal for the week. Turns out I ran 45 miles, by far the most I have run in a week. I have already passed my May mileage and I am just barely half way through July. And the best part is, besides being a little sore after the long run yesterday (14 miles), my body is responding well to the increased mileage.
Half-Marathoners warming up
If you are interested in half or full marathon training, be sure to contact me. The program has just started and there is more than enough time to jump in and get ready!
That is it for this week. Feel free to ask me any questions or give comments.
See you running,
The original drawing or a print is available for purchase here.
When I was a kid growing in Los Angeles we were die-hard Dodger Baseball fans. The announcer for the games had a lot to do with that since we listened to most of the games on the radio. His name is Vin Scully and he started broadcasting for the Dodgers when they were still located in Brooklyn, New York. That was before I was born. He came with them to LA and announced their games until last year, 2016. That was 67 YEARS of broadcasting. I mean really, that is a ridiculously long time. That is 3 broadcasting careers, not one.
Why do I mention him? Because his magic was in never being cliché. Yes, he might repeat himself in describing a play on the field, but over the course of a game or a season he would pull out of his original mind a connection, or a word, or an analogy he hadn’t used before and give it to us in telling the story of the games. It really was incredible. I loved him as a kid, as a young adult and as an older man. He truly was an artist with words. Always unique and compelling.
Political and PR Speak
This happens all the time in politics. Politicians are pointedly bad at saying something original since they are constantly trying to make sure they don’t offend anyone or misstate something. They end up spewing clichés that no one is really listening to. That is why Trump garnered so much attention, because he didn’t say clichés. He spewed disgusting stuff in my opinion, and still does, but he can never be accused of being cliché.
The same thing holds true in corporations and their communications. The PR and Legal teams go over pronouncements with a fine tooth comb to make sure nothing will make them liable or unlikable in the marketplace. The end result is cliché patter that is not listened to and means nothing. It is the exception to the rule when a company leader steps out and actually says something real and original.
The clichés in life blind a person from seeing the beauty in life. That is why being you is more important that trying to be someone else. Be you or you won’t be seen. And that would be very sad.
Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
“Beauty is a brief gasp between one cliché and another.” – Ezra Pound
Last week I went to ‘The Hills’, an elite high altitude training camp in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was there to train my lungs, legs and mind in the thin air of 10,000 feet. Ok, I actually went with my wife to visit her sister, Cathie Hill and her family, who live in Breckenridge. But it is at 10,000 feet and I did go for a number of runs so I am going to stick with the training camp idea.
We had a fantastic time with family doing all sorts of fun activities. We rafted down the Colorado River one day and hiked 6+ miles up to a magnificent waterfall and back another day. We went to a cookout in Denver, then to a Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball game. And we witnessed and worried about a threatening forest fire near their home. There was also a fair amount of cooking, eating, game-playing, singing and general fun. In addition I read about 100 pages of my current book, Alexander Hamilton. However, I still have close to 600 pages to go so I definitely need another vacation.
4th of July Spirit!
There is anxiety for a runner when they face a new challenge. My worries up that high were simple: ‘Will I collapse and die?’ and ‘will I get eaten by a bear or stomped by a moose?’ I can safely report now that none of those things happened. But, when we got to their house and had to climb a flight of stairs I definitely thought any running would include a collapse. It’s SO easy to get out of breath in the mountains! But because the air is so much thinner, high altitude running is fantastic for building lung capacity and oxygenating the blood. It can be done, it just takes patience.
Plans and Expectations
My plan was to acclimate gradually by going a short distance the first day, then increasing that each successive day. Day one was a 3 mile run. I took a walk break after the first mile, then each half mile after that. I felt good at the end but it felt more like I had done 6 miles, not 3. Day two was a 5 mile run. I took a walk break at mile 2 and 4. Day three was 4th of July and I skipped that day.
The scenery made the miles easy
At this point my plan for day five was to do 7 miles and day six I would do 9. As I started my 7 mile run I definitely thought I was not going to make it 7 and certainly wouldn’t make it 9 the next day. It was tough, even when I tried to slow my pace. I took a walk break at each of the first four mile markers. Then I turned around and instantly realized I had been on a very slight but insistent uphill grade for those 4 miles. Once I headed back I felt great and didn’t stop at all, stretching the 7 miles to 9 miles! I was acclimated!
“I am NOT impressed!”
Day six we decided to do a rigorous hike. Because of that I didn’t want to wear myself out beforehand and decided to skip the 9 miler (since I had done 9 the day before anyway, right?). The hike was more of a challenge than the runs because it was a 1,000 ft climb over mostly rocky terrain. That pushed my Achilles and my legs in ways my running does not. I am not a trail runner but I took the opportunity to run a few times during the hike anyway. I loved the hike and it made me want to do some trail runs in the future.
WAY high up!
We got home late Friday and the next morning I was ready to lead Pathways and do extra miles to get in my scheduled long run of 12 miles. But, it was storming quite a bit and we were only able to get in about 3 miles, 2 of which were in a pouring deluge. It was invigorating and exhilarating (I love running in the rain) but it wasn’t 12 miles! I could have just let the long run go but as I mentioned before my goal has been to hit at least 30 miles a week running. So I did my 12 miles Sunday morning before church. It was a solo run, probably the longest solo run I have done in 3-4 years. I took a unique route along a busy street so that I could pass a pharmacy and get some hearing aid batteries I needed. It all went great and I averaged the pace I wanted (9:30). I could have gone longer even as the day heated up so that was a good sign.
This coming week will be filled with leading the start of the Fleet Feet Tulsa Fall half and full program and continuing to coach the Pathways group. Getting in my miles shouldn’t be a problem since I have a lot of running to do just covering those groups.
That’s it for now. Feel free to ask questions or give suggestions about running, training, etc.