Sunday, December 29, 2013

What is it like to outkick Kenenisa Bekele?

This video showed up on my Youtube recommendations today. It shows the finish of a road race in Holland. At first Kenenisa Bekele unloads a massive kick to go from fourth place to catching the leader. You can sense the speed of these runners due to the camera angles and positions. Then with 300 meters to go the leader unleashes his own sprint including some nice cornering on what looks like wet roads to demolish Bekele. It is a nice short video that gives a good idea of how fast these guys can run, but there was not much information on the race at all. Watch and listen to when the runner in first, Vincent Yator, rounds the corner. The announcer is speaking Dutch, but is sounds like Yator is "tomahawking" around the corner. I am sure that is not the Dutch word, but he he really tomahawked Bekele here anyhow!

I had to do some internet sleuthing to find out when and where this race took place. I found a longer version of the race, but it is all in Dutch (I think). It was a 4 mile road called the 4 Miles of Groningen
and it was held on October 9, 2011. Here are the results and a Letsrun thread on the race.

The first four finishers were:

Vincent Yator 17:06
Kenenisa Bekele 17:11
Gideon Kipketer 17:15
Yenew Alamirew 17:22

Here is a longer version of the race and comments by Bekele and Yator in English.

Sometimes it is nice to be reminded about how fast these guys can actually move!

Jeff Bauman: Alive and Living in the Moment

Here is a nice New York Times article and video on the recovery of Jeff Bauman: Alive and Living in the Moment. "Jeff Bauman lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombings, and his easygoing manner has helped him through much of what he has encountered." The Costco where Jeff worked is the one in Nashua, the city where I live.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mad biking skills: Road Bike Party 2 Video: now someone must try this on an ElliptiGO!

This is an awesome video of some pretty intense biking skills as three of the sorld's most talented trials riders do their moves on a road bike. Martyn Ashton, Chris Akrigg and Danny MacAskill are the three guys putting on a show. My favorite is the yoga ball bounce.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sort of got racing again for the first time in months!

After 37 mile ElliptiGO ride Thanksgiving morning.
The last month was pretty uneventful, then Thanksgiving happened, before I went back to a boring routine again. Unfortunately, I have got my second major coughing thing going on. I had it for a few weeks. It went away for a few weeks, and it came back again after too much time in the cold Thanksgiving morning. It makes sleeping and training difficult.

Usually, I get in an hour of exercise per day in my "training dungeon". Most of it is on the ElliptiGO and then I may run on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes. Occasionally, I might row for 10 minutes and  call it a day after an hour of working out. This month I am also doing a 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge and am slowly building up how long I can swing as I don't think I have done more than 100 swings in a day since I last did the challenge almost 3 years ago. I need to do about 333 per day to hit 10,000.

Thanksgiving day, was my big workout day. I ran my first race since back in June when I did the Hollis Fast Downhill 5k and I fell out of love with running. It still hurt to run (slow) and I was limping for two days after that race. A week later I got my ElliptiGO.

I wanted to run the Great Gobbler Thanksgiving race as I have done each year they have held it (this year was the 11th). I decided that I was just going to run slowly since I have not run that far since June. The goal was to finish without limping or pain. I also signed my son up and we ran together (a first since I probably paced him in a couple races when he was 5). He is now 23.

Then I got an invitation to do a 50 mile ElliptiGO ride that morning with Dave Dunham. He would be starting at the same time as the race. I had already paid my money so I made an alternate plan.

The morning was very cold (in the 20s and windy). Andy and I jogged along mid- pack. The first mile was about in 10:20 and I laughed that we wouldn't even break 30 minutes and I didn't care!

My hip flexor was tight, but I wasn't pushing things and ran quite comfortably. We finished in around 30:15, but the chip time turned out to be 29:59 for me and Andrew beat me for the first time in a race by one second. We then flew out of there and I drove home to pick up my helmet that I forgot and got out to the Nashua Rail Trail (about 3 miles away) where Dave had already headed out on his ElliptiGO ride. The plan was to go from Nashua on on the rail trail to Ayer, MA where the trail ends and head home and do it again.

I was really concerned about the cold and wind, and wasn't sure how to dress, but I ended up nailing it with 3 pairs of socks and gloves within gloves. A baklava for the head and face turned out to be a must. I figured I would ride out until I saw Dave and ride back with him to do the second loop.

I was comfortable, except for cold fingers the first 6 miles when I saw Dave coming the other direction. I turned around and rode back to Nashua with him. Except for the ElliptiGO Classic race and then the group ride the day after, this was the first time I had ridden with another ElliptiGO rider. Dave's toes were really cold. He ran 10 miles on the rail trail before heading out on theElliptiGO. He decided to do 50K instead of 50 miles. He rode out on his second loop to get the needed miles in and then turned around to head home. I realized I was warm and comfortable despite the wind and temperatures so went out to Ayer and back. I got in 37 miles and realized that if you dress correctly, you can ride in some pretty cold temperatures! I also learned if you do a lot of miles on Thanksgiving morning, you feel better about the upcoming feast and make no excuses for a long afternoon nap.

Yesterday, I tried out a new Looxcie HD Explore on my ElliptiGO. It is sort of like a GoPro camera in that you can mount it to a bike. I guess the main feature that sets it apart from other cameras is that you can live stream from your camera if you have a cell phone. I don't so I just wanted to see how it works. I learned that you have to make sure it is secure. In the video below, it is not me having an accident, but that is just my camera falling off its mount. I didn't snap it properly in place.


Here are my Great Gobbler Race results over the past 11 years:

Great Gobbler race results:

2003 19:59 16th originally called a Nashua High School Alumni race.
2004 19:38 15th
2005 19:19  7th  (Awesome snowstorm during the race!)
2006 18:16  13th
2007 18:09  18th
2008  20:10 28th
2009 20:46 31st
2010 22:00 77th  (off the fumes of summer training as the labral tear kept me from running much)
2011 24:45 170th (few months after hip surgery)
2012 24:33 Chip time 24:42 Net time 166th
2013 29:59 Chip time 30:15 416th

Well, it should be easy to improve next year, but I said the same thing in 2012!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sports Action Camera: GoPro, Looxcie, Polaroid? Super Sports Camera Deal

I know I have been wanting to try a sports action cam like the GoPro HERO3 video camera. I recently won a Looxcie HD Explore Pack video cam and it arrived yesterday. I haven't had a chance to use it yet as it I need to get a memory card. I am making this post because I just saw a super deal on Amazon for the Polaroid XS100 Extreme Edition HD 1080p 16MP Waterproof Sports Action Video Camera With Full Mounting Kit  and I am going to buy one for my son to play around with. He just graduated from college with a degree in communications and his specialty is video recording and editing. He works on many sides jobs with his video skills and just bought a high-powered video camera. In the summer, he did borrow a friend's GoPro to take water shots.

Looxcie HD Explore

Here is the deal:
Polaroid XS 100
The Polaroid XS100 Extreme Edition HD 1080p 16MP Waterproof Sports Action Video Camera With Full Mounting Kit is currently on sale on Amazon for $99 down from the original price of $249.00 and the reviews compare it favorably to the GoPro cameras. It also has all sorts of mounting kits and is waterproof. Someone may want to check it out at this price.

I know I can't wait to use my Looxcie camera on my ElliptiGO and will someday post a review and videos. If you have wanted to try taking videos while doing action sports this might be just the right deal for you.

Here is one of the videos Andrew made for a summer adventure camp and the water shots were made with a GoPro.

You can no longer win a Looxcie HD Explorer Pack from Looxcie. They have a winner every day. That is how I won., but you can win another Looxcie camera here. Just enter every day and who knows what can happen.

You can also enter every day to win a GoPro camera and everything they make from GoPro here. Every day they pick a new winner. I have not won yet and it may be hard to win as this is a worldwide contest.

If you can't wait to win one, try the Polaroid one for $100.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Usain Bolt vs. a Cheetah: Visualization from National Geographic's Big Cat Week

Very cool visualizations. Don't try to outrun a cheetah!

In 2011 I went on a trip to work in the Mathare Valley slums of Nairobi, Kenyan. I just signed up to to the trip again this summer. At the end of the trip we went on a Safari on the Masai Mara. We saw these Cheetahs up close from our van. The final scary shot was by one of my friends. None of our group was in the jeep.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The half-kneeling kettlebell windmill

This is a new variation on the kettlebell windmill exercise. Sometimes I have problems with a standing windmill when creating too much torque or an improper twisting motion and not being as stable as I should be while moving on on my feet. Mitch Hauschildt of Maximum Training Solutions, discusses the 1/2 kneeling windmill as an alternative in the first part of a 3 part series on this dynamic and effective movement that forces mobility with stability. The first two parts are below. The third video has not been uploaded. These are good for hip and lower back problems, so grab a kettlebell and see how these work for you.

I see that Pavel Tsatsouline has a new kettlebell ebook out today: Kettlebell - Simple & Sinister. Pavel narrows down the kettlebell experience to two moves: the swing and the get-up and when you think of kettlebells you think of Pavel. I have been getting back into kettlebells and have been thinking of making December a 10,000 swing challenge month, something I accomplished once back in April of 2011. Another interesting kettlebell ebook comes from Sean Schniederjan,  The Missing Manual - Precise Kettlebell Mechanics for Power and Longevity (Simple Strength). Sean's ebooks are usually very simple and precise about what you need to do to be move properly.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What do you think is inside of a Hoka One One running shoe?

Over at Freakrunner, we learn what the inside of a Hoka One One shoe really looks like, when a Evo Stinson model is sliced in half. I sure was expecting a whole lot more foam inside one of those shoes! Take a look at the photos on The Secret I Learned by Cutting My Hoka Evo Stinson Running Shoes in Half. The foam going up the outsides of the shoe makes one think that it has to be inches thick. Surprise! That outer foam does rap around the foot for a bathtub-like effect and creates that impression that the foam is much higher. The Hokas still have a wide foot base and slight rocker sole, my favorite part, to go with that cushioned ride.

Meanwhile, if that still looks like too much cushioning for you, you might like the Hoka One One Rapa Nui coming out in mid January. I did get an email today that Boulder Running Company has some onsale now. What I like best is the lower price: $129.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Indoor Training: Treadmill, Rowing, and indoor ElliptiGO

Indoor wheels
Now that it is getting too cold and dark to ride my ElliptiGO outdoors, I have transitioned to indoor workouts. Over the past month my mileage was limited due to a bad viral infection and nasty cough as well as the weather outdoors. I picked up a bike trainer with a adapter kit for the 20 inch tires of the ElliptiGO (CycleOps Fluid 2 Indoor Bicycle Trainer, CycleOps Stackable Climbing Block, CycleOps 20 and 24-Inch Wheel Adapter) and took out a ceiling tile in my basement for my head and off I GO. While not the same as riding outdoors, I get some good workout time in and have started using my old Concept 2 Rower and my treadmill. I am going real easy on the running and rowing so as to not awake any muscle that wants to lock down my hip. I am very pleased to do some cross-training and light running. In the previous month I did a few 5 minute runs around my block and survived them fine, but when I tried a 2 mile run, my hip muscles locked up the next day. It was the fifth 2 mile run I have tried since June. I hope to do the Galloping Gobbler 5K Thanksgiving Day race at a slow jog. That race is the only running streak I have left. I have competed every year they have held it. Then I hope to do some snowshoe racing this winter. I have only had one enjoyable and decently hard race since my hip surgery and that was a 10k snowshoe race last March. Snowshoe racing is much more strenuous that running, but there is not so much pounding. I am hoping that will be better for me. Whatever I do, I am going to be careful and not try to tax the muscle and ligaments around my hip. Slowly, I am getting more improvement in strength and stability as well as straightening out my many compensations from before my hip surgery more than 2 years ago.

The ElliptiGO foot platforms  remind me of my racing snowshoes! Here is why.

October 14-20 ElliptiGO 20 miles and 30 miles
October 21-27 0 miles
October 28- November 4 3 X 8 miles and 30 miles

November 4-10
Monday: 1 hour ElliptiGO, 12 min. treadmill
Tuesday: 0 min.
Wednesday: 35 min. ElliptiGO, 10 minutes rowing, 15 minutes treadmill
Thursday: 0 min.
Friday: 40 min. ElliptiGO 20 min. treadmill
Saturday: 30 min. ElliptiGO, 15 min. rowing, 15 min. treadmill
Sunday: 30 min. ElliptiGO 15 mins treadmill

Total ElliptiGO outdoor miles 2330 miles (19 weeks ending  November 4)
Total Indoor workouts: 3:15 ElliptiGO, 0:25 rowing, 1:47 treadmill

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Can you keep up with Ryan Hall?

Asics has come up with a new way to get the ordinary runner or spectator to appreciate how fast a world class marathoner runs. Here is the Ryan Hall treadmill. Can you keep up?

This the Run with Ryan Hall wall from 2011.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sporting Greats: Haile Gebrselassie documentary

Here is a recently uploaded documentary from Australia on the great Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie. His story has been told many times, but it is still fun to see some of his first major races such as when Joseph Machuka of Kenya hit Haile with his fist as Haile went sprinting by for a win or another sprint win against an angry Moses Tanui and his shoe. It is nice to hear Haile's inner voice and thoughts and to hear about his race tactics and injuries as he narrates the film.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rare old video of Abebe Bikila running the 1969 Seoul International Marathon: Bikila's last marathon

Here is another wonderful vintage video which was just uploaded to youtube. It may be the last ever video taken of Abebe Bikila running as he finished 2nd in the 1969 Seoul International Marathon. The race was held in March of 1969 and it was on March 22, 1969 that Bikila was paralyzed in a car accident. The winner of the marathon was Song Keum-Yong of Korea in 2:20:28. Bikila finished in second place and it looks like he ran the race barefoot.

Rare old video footage of Frank Shorter winning the 1971 Pan Am Games Marathon in Columbia

In the year before winning Olympic Gold, Frank Shorter won the Pan Am Games Marathon held in Cali, Columbia. Frank had won the 10,000m race a few days earlier and was facing stomach problems throughout the race (see what he does upon finishing), but still took home the gold in 2:22:40. The video shows some of the congestion and conditions which is mentioned in this 1971 Sports Illustrated article. As usual Frank looks as smooth as silk!

Rare old video footage of Amby Burfoot winning the 1968 Boston Marathon

I just noticed this video that was uploaded to youtube today. I have never seen much footage of Amby Burfoot running in the 1969 Boston Marathon. That 1968 race was the first time I decided I wanted to be a marathoner. I was in third grade.

Here is an article where Amby describes his Boston Marathon win.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ElliptiGO End of Summer Classic aerial drone video

Here is a really neat video of the End of Summer Classic races held in August, including the first ElliptiGO race ever held on the east coast. Dragonfly Aerials used an aerial drone to take some of the shots for this video. After the ElliptiGO race is shown, the video for the running event has some wonderful shots where the sky is reflected in the water which when coupled with the sharp shoreline makes it appear to be filming the edge of the world. Here is my race report on the End of Summer Classic with another race video. You can also find out who won this race. In the photo and video, I am on a green ElliptiGO with a gray shirt and a light blue helmet. It was a fun event and I have been looking forward to seeing this aerial drone video. Pretty soon ElliptiGOs will be everywhere and everyone will want their own aerial drone video cameras. Just wait to see what happens when moms and dads want to video their kid's soccer games! Anyhow there was some cool technology both racing and filming that evening!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Attacking Pack Monadnock on the the ElliptiGO

Last Saturday, I decided to ride my ElliptiGO up Pack Monadnock. I had been thinking about trying this all summer, but my thoughts were more about riding out to the mountain from my house on my ElliptiGO and then going up it before heading home (maybe a 5-6 hour day). Then I saw that the new ElliptiGO convert and running beast Dave Dunham rode the Pack Mondanock 10 mile road race course to the top a few days earlier on his GO and I was inspired to try it myself. I set a goal of trying to beat my best time in the race set back in 1996. Coincidentally, Dave won the race that year, but he has won tons of mountain races including Mt. Washington three times and has a recent 11th place finish in the Masters World Mountain Running Championships held in the Czech Republic back in September. He is also frequently injured, hence the wise choice of getting an ElliiptiGO.

I had three things I was worried about before attempting this challenge: number one, I might get lost and take a wrong turn on back roads I am unfamiliar with: number 2, I might not be able to make it up the mountain (the last 1.3 miles are as steep or steeper than Mt. Washington), and 3, riding down the mountain might be treacherous. I decided to dive in anyhow and parked at the base of the auto road to pay the $4 to climb the mountain. Then I took a set of directions I had printed and rode the course backwards trying to navigate and remember all the corners for the return.

I thought I had the course correct, grabbed some water and started where the 10 mile road race starts. When I used to run this race, I always ran it as a tough 8 1/2 mile road race. I would ignore the thought of running to the top and ran as hard as I could knowing that the last bit would be slow going anyhow. I used the same tactic on my ElliptiGO. The first mile is hilly with some uphills that sent my heart rate soaring where it stayed the whole ride. I tried to look at my route directions, but had to rely on my memory due to the effort I was putting in (for the same reason, I drank no water). Unfortunately, at around 3 miles I came upon an intersection and realized I had added some extra distance to the ride as I entered from a different direction. I thought about turning around and starting again, but I was already using up my energy and didn't want to face the beginning hills again. My enthusiasm was dulled a bit because of this mistake, but this was supposed to be fun, so I just soldiered on.

There were a few dirt roads to navigate and I kept on the course expect for one bad turn and I had to go around an island in the road to turn around and lost about 20-30 seconds. From there on it was just keeping going as hard as I could until I made my way to the parking lot at the base of the mountain. I rode right by the gate and started heading up. After a few minutes a car went by and I heard someone cheer, "Go Jim!" I couldn't tell who it was, but I knew it was a runner due to the stickers on the car. Now I had to make it to the top. At first it was easy going, and then I hit even steeper sections.

I don't know what was worse the steepness of some of the road or how hard my heart was beating. As I neared the top to the steepest part (over 20%) I could barely move. I looked up at the wall of road ahead and above me and nearly died thinking about getting up it. After awhile I had to stop and walk part of the steep section due to my pounding heart more than the slow progress. Still I broke my best running time on the course from 1996 by over 6 minutes, which was my goal. GPS says 11.10 miles in 1:07:18. If my GPS is correct I added an extra mile to the course. I found an old running friend Chris Poulous at the top and it turned out the Ranger taking money at the bottom was a former neighbor from years ago. Chris was paying money to her when I went by and in the ensuing conversation, she figured out that she knew me. As I had feared, I got lost and also had to walk. On the other hand the ride down was a blast!

When Dave did the ride a few days earlier, he started before dawn and the road was dark. He rode out on the course and back and then did the whole thing over again on his mountain bike. He called it one of his hardest workouts. This coming from a workout king. I just did the ElliptiGO portion. It was tough, but I don't think I completed my mission. I need to get to the top without walking next time-if possible. I may even ride a dual assault on Pack Monadnock with Dave real soon early one morning if the weather cooperates.

This week is the ElliptiGO World Championships. They ride up Mt. Palomar in California. We need an east coast version. Pack Monadnock would make a killer course!

Pack Monadnock
Miller State Park

September 23-29
Sunday: 0 miles
Monday: 8 miles
Tudsday: 20 miles
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 30 miles
total 72 miles
total ElliptiGO miles: 2031 miles (14 weeks)

Sep. 30-October 6
Sunday: 0 miles
Monday: 30 miles
Tuesday: 20 miles
Wednesday: 0 miles
Thursday: 30 miles
Friday: 0 miles   (92 seconds of running)
Saturday: 21 miles  (5 minutes of running) Pack Monadnock
total 101 miles
total ElliptiGO miles: 2131 miles (15 weeks) 

October 7-13
Sunday: 0 miles (5 minutes of running)
Monday: 30 miles
Tuesday: 20 miles (5 minutes of running)
Wednesday: 15 miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 30 miles
Saturday: 0 miles
Sunday: 0 miles (fighting a bug)
total 95 miles
total ElliptiGO miles 2226 miles (16 weeks)

Most of my weekday rides now are about getting home before it gets dark. I am starting to run (patiently). I have only run a total of 8 miles since getting the ElliptiGO. I did four 2 mile runs. Each run felt OK except for twinges in my glutes and muscles around my hip. Each run left my left side sore for a couple of days. My new goal was to only run until the muscles in my hip rebelled. I made it 92 seconds the first day and then the glutes started clamping shut around the hip joint so I just stopped). The next runs I got to 5 minutes (around the block) and stopped with no problems during the run or after.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 Seacoast Century: Tragedy on the Bridge

On Saturday, I participated in the Seacoast Century. Things did not go according to plan all day after a tragic fatal accident on the course changed the complexion of the day and event.

Leading up the doing the century (100 mile ride) I had one goal: to break seven hours on my ElliptiGO. According to the ElliptiGO site the fastest three centuries (that are official times- I am sure guys have gone faster in training or other centuries) are 5:50, 6:36, and 6:57. I am still not sure what makes a time official, but I wanted to get under 7:00 and break that third fastest time on the list. 

Thursday night I had my fastest ElliptiGO ride yet. I did my 30 mile rail trail course and just felt like my ElliptiGO was leaving the ground and flying at times. I realized how fast I was going, but kept pushing it as I was having so much fun exploding on down the trail. I decided to try to break 1 hour 45 minutes for 30 miles, which is probably about 10 minutes faster than my best time. I was doing great until I took a sharp corner to get off the rail trail and back on the main road to head home with 3 miles to go. All of sudden my Go felt sluggish. It just wasn't the hills, but it felt like my brakes were rubbing or something. With one mile to go, a heard a loud "whoosh" and my rear tire immediately deflated. I had averaged 17.2 mph for 29 miles which I hit in 1:40:45. I had to call home for a ride and missed reaching that 1:45 goal. My legs though felt great and full of snap like I was hitting a peak for the century.

My tires had nearly 2000 miles on them and were ready for a change, but now I had to teach school on Friday and somehow and somewhere find a new 20 inch tire as well as figure out how to remove the wheel on the ElliptiGO that night so that I could do the century on Saturday.

Eventually I found a tire at a bike shop in Milford, NH, but they didn't have the proper tubes. I had to drive to Manchester, NH to get them and arrived just as they were about to close the store for the evening. I was able to change the tire (not easy on an ElliptiGO) with the help of online videos, but was not able to test out my tire in the dark.

I got up real early on Saturday and drove out to Hampton Beach hoping to be ready to start at the first chance: 7:00 am. Unfortunately when I arrived, I noticed that if I rotated my rear wheel, I would get a slight rubbing of the brakes. I tried every adjustment I could to fix it and nothing worked. After about 1/2 hour of frustration, I got a mechanic to look at it and he adjusted a tiny screw to loosen up the brakes and I was good to go.

I decided early in the morning to bring a flipcam to document my times. I have my old running GPS, but can't find the cable to hook it up to my computer. In the rush of fixing the rear tire, I forgot to find a replacement water bottle cage holder for my handlebars. Mine broke last month. I did get a new Camelbak on Thursday, but hadn't tried it out yet. I had it filled to capacity with 50 ounces or water. I threw two 16 oz. bottles of Gatorade in the space between my rails to drink along the way. I also had a handlebar bag where I opened up about 5 packages of Clif Bloks and placed them in a resealable bag so that I might be able to eat a bit while riding. I figured I would make quick stops at the rest stops to refill like I did at the Tour of the Litchfield Hills Century back in August.

I started later than I would have liked but eventually headed south to complete an 18 mile loop to Massachusetts before heading north to Maine for the main loop of the century, I was feeling good and feisty. I would look down at my GPS and see speeds much faster than I usually roll. I was passing cyclists all along the route and was thoroughly enjoying the morning.

As I was nearing the bridge near the MA/NH border, I heard lots of sirens and had all sorts of emergency vehicles go screaming past. A couple minutes later I was stopped by a policeman about 100 yards before the bridge. About 20 other cyclists were already stopped and more were coming behind us. At first you get a bit angry at the inconvenience, but then you realize that something bad had happened on the bridge and you start wondering and worrying. I recorded my time at 15.88 miles in 53:15. An online calculator says this is 17.9 mph(faster than my pace on Thursday) . When I won the 5 mile ElliptiGO race last month, my average speed was 18.4 mph. I still had 85 miles to go and I was speeding. While we were waiting I drank one whole bottle of Gatorade (I was thirstier than I realized) and a handful of  Clif Shot Bloks. The accident seemed bad. The rumor was that 5 cyclists had been hit by 2 cars. The nearest way around the accident was about 9 miles through some heavy dangerous traffic. Everyone just milled around waiting. Finally someone said the police had said that it might be a couple of hours before they reopened the bridge. We had already been stopped for about 15 minutes. I found the first group of cyclists headed out for the detour and joined them. It was slow going as they stopped at times to check the GPS and we had to wait at intersections when we hit traffic lights. Because of how fast I had ridden the first 15 miles, I felt that I could still get under 7 hours, but I was going to have to work a bit harder. Nine miles later we got back on the course, but with heavy feelings about what happened on the bridge. I kept thinking about the violence of a car hitting cyclists and with the sounds of such a long delay at the bridge, I was nervous about possible fatalities. 

Despite the worry, my legs felt fantastic and speedy. It was a misty/cloudy cool morning with little wind: perfect conditions. I was keeping up with most cyclists, although pacing on an ElliptiGO is somewhat different than on a bike, so I would be passed and then later find myself repassing cyclists. We had to stop at some intersections and walk our bikes the length of one bridge. I can get off my ElliptiGO and easily walk in my running shoes. Stuck behind cyclists in their cleats on the bridge, it was slow going. Not only was I still going fast enough to be under 7 hours, I was also on pace to break 6:10 (despite losing about 20 minutes to not riding- I was keeping an elapsed time on my GPS). We hit York Beach in Maine and I felt great. Whenever we went on back roads with hills, I would challenge the cyclists around me, who picked up their pace not to be passed by me. It was fun to be killing the hills at 50 miles in which I hit  in 3:09:52. Take off the 20 minutes of delay and I was riding at a pace rivaling the world record for 100 miles on the ElliptiGO. I decided not to stop at the rest stop and kept going. I hit the turn around at Nubble Lighthouse right at 60 miles with a time of 3:45. 

I knew I was bound to get tired soon as I was riding way over my head, but decided to soldier on to see what I could do. Unfortunately,  when we hit the long straightaway at York Beach there was a very severe headwind and the sun came out from behind the clouds. My speed started slowing a lot. You can't go aero on an ElliptiGO and I took the full force of the wind. I also can't seem to draft cyclists, but many cyclists thought I made a great wind break so I led a small parade down along the shore as I pushed as hard as I could even when it felt like I was running in loose sand.

I realized I was tiring, even at the times we were riding away from the coast and the heavy winds. I tried sipping what I could out of the Camelbak and hoped there was enough in there to keep me watered. At 75 miles I blew right past the rest station. I figured I could survive 25 more miles to get to 100 miles and then I would look for a store or something and stop and get something to eat or drink. I went down a hill to an intersection about 100 yards beyond that aid-station and had to stop to check directions. I bent down and drank the last few ounces of Gatorade in my second bottle and started up again and started feeling a bit light-headed for awhile. Oops, not wanting to turn back, I thought to myself that this might be a good chance to see how hard I can go while depleted and tired.

At 81 miles, I went for a sip of water from the Camelbak and it was empty. I just thought to myself that 19 more miles was not that far. I knew my time was slowing and I might not break seven hours, so I just kept going instead of doing something smart like buying a Coke or Gatorade somewhere. When we hit Portsmouth, the ride got very dangerous. We were routed through some winding roads through an old section of town and traffic was backed up. Cyclists were getting off their bikes or riding 1-2 mph behind slowed cars. I got off and walked a bit on a sidewalk, but it was busy with people. When I stepped back on to my ElliptiGO, my calf started cramping up. When I got back on the road, cars tried to pass and a couple cars moved in cut me off and press me into the curbing. I had to yell a couple of times at some drivers. This was really not safe! Soon the traffic ended and I was back on the course. I felt very depleted like I was hitting the wall in a marathon.

Then we hit the New Hampshire coastline and more headwind. I was having a hard time putting energy into my stride. Muscle memory kept me moving, but it was not with power. Eventually we hit a loop off the ocean road and got to some back roads again. I would crawl up the hills and even found myself wanting to coast on slight downhills before even getting some speed going. I was counting miles and was getting close to 100 where I promised myself to stop.

Finally I hit 99 miles and I started recorded times. I got to 99.88 and in the woods the GPS was lost. Finally it kicked back on at 100.3 miles. I did it in 6 hours and 47 minutes beating my goal time easily despite all the stops. As I was recording my time, the memory on my Flipcam was filled and I missed the exact seconds. It was just that kind of day.

I found a stone wall and sat down. I emptied some memory and started recording my thoughts. I got a bit emotional as all day I had been thinking about that accident. I was very concerned about what had happened and knew I would soon find out. I didn't stop long as I had to find water. I ate some more of the Clif Shot Bloks, which I hadn't touched in 40 miles or so. Hey, they weren't bad and I could eat them without water. Maybe I should have been eating these over those last miles!

I got back on the the ocean route and the headwinds and at mile 104 found my first bathroom since the morning and a water fountain. I filled up my empty Gatorade bottle twice and swigged down the water before heading for the parking lot at Hampton Beach. I finished 109 miles (the last 9 miles were casual) in 7:37:03.

It was there that I heard that two cyclists had been killed on the bridge and two more were injured by a car that drifted over the center of the road and hit them head on.

As the days unwind since the event, we have learned that the 19 year old driver, who may have been texting, had been stopped by the police for speeding (59 mph when the limit was 30 mph) just eight hours earlier on the very same bridge! She does not even have a driver's license. The police waited until someone else drove the car home. That was all they could do besides giving her a court date. She was a druggy/party girl. I saw her Facebook page on Sunday before she took it down. A police eyewitness to the crash said she was speeding so fast over the bridge that he thought she was being pursued by a police car. Now it turns out that the lady who picked her up that night (it was her car) was a major heroin dealer and sold her drugs and gave her the keys to the car to drive home that morning knowing she did not have a license. Such a tragic accident from such a self-absorbed girl. The story is still unfolding, but that won't bring back the lives of the two wonderful sounding ladies who died on the bridge that morning.

This event is not really a pleasant memory. The deaths hit too close to home. When you are that close to an accident, it changes your thinking. I did enjoy riding very hard for 60 miles. I learned that I need to be more careful about feeding and drinking on a long ride, but I think as the day wore on, that it became more of a chance to test some boundaries. I knew in the end that I would just feel some discomfort and I didn't mind a bit of personal discomfort as I thought about the possibility that other people who trained and got pumped up to complete the Seacoast Century on such a beautiful fall day just as much as I had, may have lost their lives that morning just for being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. That is what happened, all because of some self-centered girl who had no concern for the law and for others.

Here is a short compilation of the few videos I took on the FlipCam throughout the day. I am holding a cheap camera and was not filming for anything but record keeping purposes. My son is a professional videographer, my video is as bad as they come. It does document short slices of the day, including the bridge and and various mile points. It also records me hitting 100 miles and talking to myself at that point when I was very tired and a bit emotional about the accident knowing that I was to soon find out what had happened after thinking about it all day. I can't say you'll enjoy my video skills, but it does provide some documentary evidence of this ride and day. A couple of other times on the course I recorded by hitting the pause button when I meant to record and record when I thought it was paused, so I missed some more discussion at the bridge.

ElliptiGO miles September 16-22
Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 8 miles
Wednesday: 0 miles
Thursday: 29 miles
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 109 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
total miles: 146 miles
accumulated miles: 1959 miles (13 weeks)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happy Anniversaries!

Exactly 40 years ago this week, I signed up for the cross-country team as a freshman at Falmouth High School. It was the first year of the then new high school in Falmouth with a new track (both have since been refurbished). The track is the same place that the Falmouth Mile is held every year in conjunction with the Falmouth Road Race. The first day I ran was an early release day with a dual meet race. My buddy, Stu and I, ran the entire 2.9 mile course as a warm-up with the team as well as laps around the track jogging the straights and sprinting the corners. We ran about 1/2 mile out on the course to cheer the varsity team on and then ran back for our race. We ended up taking a wrong turn and getting lost in the woods a mile into the race. No one even noticed us missing, even though we returned long after the race was over. They were worried about two lost girls from the other team who followed us off course, however. I could barely move for days after all that running. Boy were my legs sore!

1983 Cape Cod Endurance Triathlon
30 years ago this week, I competed in one of the first Ironman distance triathlons held outside Hawaii: the first Cape Cod Endurance Triathlon: results and video here. I had only been cycling and swimming (training myself) for a few months and the race was my longest swim (by almost 1 mile) and longest bike (by over 40 miles). I was very tired after all those miles. Boy were my legs sore!

2003 Kickbiking

10 years ago last month, I rode my Kickbike 127 miles from Nashua to Falmouth, Ma. That was my longest Kickbike ride by 65 miles. Boy were my legs sore!

I am not sure what I did 20 years ago. I was transitioning from bike racing back to being a runner. Somewhere around that time I became a Gate City Strider.

On Saturday (or Sunday), I hope to complete my 2nd century on the ElliptiGO at the Seacoast Century . If all goes well I hope to do it under 7 hours. I don't expect my legs to be that sore! That is what I love about the ElliptiGO. I can go out and bash 50 miles, like I did on Saturday, and feel really good once I am done. No joint pain and just a good tired muscular feeling!

I wonder what strange type of thing I will be doing in 10 years time?

Here is the mileage for the last two weeks on the ElliptiGO. School, rain, and earlier sunsets are cutting quickly into my ElliptiGO fun!

September 2-8
Monday: 24 miles
Tuesday: 8 miles
Wednesday: 30 miles
Thursday: 20 miles
Friday: 15 miles
Saturday: 50 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
total weekly miles = 147 miles
total ElliptiGO miles = 1675 miles (11 weeks)

September 9-15
Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 30 miles
Wednesday: 20 miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 8 miles
Saturday: 50 miles
Sunday: (2 mile run) 30 miles
total weekly miles = 138 miles
total ElliptiGO miles = 1813 miles (12 weeks)

total running miles: 2 miles
total summer running miles 8 miles (12 weeks)

Well, I tried running again today. I have run 2 miles four times since getting the ElliptiGO. I do not feel ready to run, just yet. I get a tightness at the top of my femur/hip joint in the rear. I don't feel it at all on the ElliptiGO, but when I run and as I land on my left foot it is not a pleasant feeling, I feel it as well as when I move over my foot. I am starting to wonder if it might be that the labrum is too tight now, rather than a muscle? I am sure I could continue running for a few more miles, but I am waiting it out to see if it ever goes away.

Slow Motion video of mile 12 of the 2013 Bupa Great North 1/2 Marathon: Farah, Bekele, and Geb

I added this to my previous post, but just wanted to highlight the wonderful running strides of these three great champions! Kenenisa Bekele, Mo Farah, Haile Gebrselassie all in slow motion, but still looking fast!

Watch this finish: 2013 Bupa Great North Run: Mo Farah, Kenenisa Bekele, and Haile Gebrselassie

Three great runners. Who will win?

You can watch the full race here.

Here is a slow-mo video of mile 12. Wow!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ten weeks on the ElliptiGO: Over 1500 miles

After 10 weeks on the ElliptiGO, I have to consider it an overwhelming success. I have averaged 150 miles/week and have enjoyed every single mile.

August 26-September 1
Monday: 8 miles
Tuesday: 30 miles
Wednesday: 19 miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 36 miles
Saturday: 13 miles
Sunday: 0 miles
Total weekly ElliptiGO miles: 106 miles
Total ElliptiGO miles: 1528 miles  (10 weeks)

For ElliptiGO riders, here are some things I have found can help you as you ride:

Toe Cages: You don't need to use toe cages on the ElliptiGO, just like you don't need clip on pedals for road biking. I did over 1000 miles without them and was just fine. I bought a pair two weeks ago and they do help you with power on the uphills (reminds me of snowshoe racing), as well as help you accelerate when you want to pick up speed quickly. I will keep them on my Elliptigo.

Carrying things on the ElliptiGO shouldn't be difficult as there is a lot of space to attach water bottles and gps devices to the handlebars and there is storage areas between the tracks of the ElliptiGO. At first, I just attached a couple of old bike seat bags back there for tools, extra money, and a cell phone ( I got my first cell phone (just a cheap tracfone) after I got my ElliptiGO so my wife could know where I am or I could contact her if something went wrong on a ride. I still haven't used it when riding, but it is safety thing).

While I was at the Falmouth Road Race, I picked up a SPIBELT. This is a little belt that goes around the waist with an expandable pocket for keeping the cell phone, a few dollars, keys, or anything else at waist level. I don't notice it at all as I ride and it is nicer to access the phone for quick photos from the belt as well as being easier to put on then trying to fit the cell phone into a small bag near my feet. I don't know if I would ever run with it, but maybe it is just as easy to use and comfortable when running as it is when GOing.

I also improved my carrying capacity when I was given a rear storage bag specifically made for the ElliiptiGO at the End of Summer Classic ElliptiGO race last week. It was provide by Stand Up and Ride. This bag fits neatly onto the ElliptiGO and holds a lot more stuff then the makeshift bike bags I had been using.

Here is my new Recover Your Stride Hero: a neighborhood squirrel. I was putting a new gas grill together in the front yard yesterday and I heard a branch break off a tree. I looked up and saw a small branch descending to the road from about 50-60 feet up... along with a squirrel. They both landed and the squirrel just lay there with no movement at all. I watched for over a minute then went inside to tell Sarah what I had just seen. She saw the squirrel just laying there. All of a sudden, after a few minutes,  the squirrel just jumped up and ran off into the neighbor's back yard. Best recovery I have ever seen!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Trail Climbs Sharply: A Running Documentary on the USATF-NE Mountain Running Series

Here is a just released short running documentary by Filmmaker Ian MacLellan, followed some of the USATF-NE Mountain Circuit runners through the six races. It is called Trail Climbs Sharply: A Running Documentary. I see a lot of familiar faces and teammates in the race videos and one of the featured racers is Jim Johnson, who also wins most of the snowshoe races in New England. While I enjoyed the video and scenes of the races, I particularly liked the last words of the runner at the end who says he will keep racing until the day a doctor tells him to stop as his body may fall apart. That resonates with me, as I have hit that point except I want to outsmart the doctors eventually!

Trail Climbs Sharply | A Running Documentary from Ian MacLellan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The 2013 New England ElliptiGO Summer Classic


Before I tell the story of the first ElliptiGO race ever held on the east coast, I need to thank some important people. Number one is my wife who encouraged me to get an ElliptiGO ten weeks ago, even while knowing the expense, but also knowing that I needed to exercise. In fact she said she knew I would get one as soon as showed her what an ElliptiGO was (she knew right away that it would fit my personality and my need for exercise).

Bryan Pate and John Childs before the Saturday morning group ride.
That leads me to thanking race director John Childs. He is the guy who put together the New England ElliptiGO Classic. I saw a post on this race right before the Boston Marathon this year and was immediately intrigued. I was somewhat curious about the ElliptiGO, but did not find elliptical machines very satisfying and they sometimes hurt the muscles around my hip from my surgery two years ago. I made a point at the Boston Marathon Expo to seek out the ElliptiGO booth and rode the ElliptiGO set up on a stationary stand while I talked and asked questions about it with Steve Burton from ElliptiGO. I found the motion very satisfying and more like running than an elliptical machine's motion. I was intrigued enough to ask Steve about who I should contact about renting an ElliptiGO so I could just do the race for fun (I thought my running was moving along enough at that point that I would be able to do 50 mile weeks all summer and was pointing towards a trail marathon as my summer goal). I contacted John Childs and he mentioned that he was an ex-runner who rides an EllliptiGO because he could exercise pain-free from his knee and hip problems (something similar to what Steve Burton had said about his ElliptiGO riding while at the marathon expo). Of course, I signed up for the race and put my name down for renting an ElliptiGO. I then found that my running was not progressing and I was very limited in what I could do and that is when my wife encouraged me to get the ElliptiGO. I did a few days later and cancelled my rental with John. I was now an owner and the fun has just not stopped all summer long. If John had not put on this race, I may never had been encouraged or curious enough to become an ElliptiGO owner and I do not for one second regret that decision.

Bryan Pate and I having brunch at a beach house
in the middle of our group ride.
The third person I want to thank is a guy named Bryan Pate. He is a former cyclist and Ironman triathlete who could no longer run because of hip and knee injuries. He envisioned an elliptical bicycle and became one of the inventors of the ElliptiGO (history here). Bryan came down from California for the race and it was a pleasure to meet and thank the guy who was the catallyst for creating the ElliptiGO. It was fun to hear his stories about how the company came to be and to have him show us how to fix some issues that might crop up on the ElliptiGO. After the race on Friday, he mentioned that my chain was very loose and showed me how I could fix it. The next day on our group ElliptiGO ride along Boston's south shore, my loose chain popped right off when I stopped at one point. That would have been a disaster if it happened during the race. Bryan then fixed it for me and gave me some pointers on keeping my ElliptiGO running smoothly. How often do you have the chance to meet and thank the guy who invented something that gives you so much joy?

Bryan giving a lesson on ElliptiGO repairs.
So thanks to Sarah, John, and Bryan as well as a big thanks to all the ElliptiGO racers who came out to the race and to the group ride along the south shore the next morning. What a great group of people. The only racer I had met before the race was Matt Byrne from Extreme Fitness Equipment. He is the guy who sold me my ElliptiGO and it was good to see him racing too.After the race, I got to talk with many of the other ElliptiGO riders (there is a friendly debate about what to officially call us: ElliptiGOers or Elliptians?), I am not sure how to describe them: originals? pioneers? visionaries? or what, but I found all the ElliptiGO riders to be both  fun and enthusiastic, and those are some of the best types of people to be around. I was thrilled to make many new friends through this shared experience!

The Race:

First off, heavy weekend traffic almost kept me from getting to the race on time! I had wanted to ride the course few times before the race, but that was not to be.

Start of the ElliptiGO Summer Classic (photo by ElliptiGO)
When I did get to the starting line, I saw a lot of young (and older), fit, and strong looking athletes ready to race. I immediately thought, I would be happy to get top five in this group and probably would be lucky to be in the top ten if all went well. I wasn't even sure if I was going to get on the front line, until they moved us up past a barrier and I was able to squeeze in on the right side. Having never raced an ElliptiGO before, I wasn't sure how chaotic the start might become or even if it would be crash free. At the starting horn, I and everyone else got off safely, I found myself in fourth place. There was a lead rider and two ElliptiGOs side by side following right behind. I thought this would be a fine place to be and was curious to see if you could draft on these things. After about a minute or two, there might have been a short uphill (things were happening quickly) and I went left by the two ElliptiGOs just to see what might happen. Then I noticed I was slowing just to stay behind the first 'GO so I sort of drifted right to the front and from that point on, my race demeanor changed. No longer was I wondering how this thing might work out, but I was in the lead. I half expected a lot of surging and jockeying of positions to happen real soon, but I just started grinding away as hard as I could.

There was (thankfully) a motorcycle up ahead guiding the race and after a less than a minute, I noticed it was a bit quieter behind me. I stole a glance back and saw I had about a 30 yard lead. Due to arriving close to the start of the race, I didn't have time to ride the course except for the beginning and end to see what it was like. I had previewed this video and knew the course would be confusing and I also knew that at the one mile mark we would hit an off-road quarter mile section over a rocky fire road.We had been warned about this section and were told to take it easy here, but I was in the lead so only backed off a small bit, but made it through OK, except for a jangling sound near the back of my ElliptiGO that had me worried that something was loosening or maybe a spoke was broke (it was the loose chain I later found out).

Here is a video of the race course:

Exiting the fire road safely, I glanced back again to see that I had extended my lead. From there the race went quick. I am not a sprinter and this felt like a sprint. I just followed the motorbike. I got a little cheeky and almost caught it on one downhill as I surged to see if I could. The course had a lot of turns and had somewhat of a rough surface, but it was nothing that shook the ElliptiGO too much. I looked back every once in a while and at times could see my pursuers and at other times they were out of view behind the corners. I may have had about a 100 yard lead, but it seemed like a safe enough distance and I just wanted to make sure someone didn't have an incredible last half of the race. I went on the short up and downhills and around the swooping corners as I kept the motorcycle in sight. Without that guide, I am sure I would have been lost. At one point after about 4 miles, it got ahead around a corner and there was a road going off to the right as well as the road continuing straight. I couldn't see the motorbike on either road due to the curves and had a moment of panic, but I chose correctly by going straight. At this point I started being a bit more careful so as not to make a mistake by crashing and eased up just a tiny bit to preserve a win. Pretty soon, I saw the finish and sprinted on in. I got off my ElliptiGO quickly, thanked the motorcycle driver and went to cheer on the other racers. They came in fast and furious and kept going riding beyond the finish line. I had a momentary panic that maybe I didn't finish the complete course and it might be further up the road where all the other riders seemed to be going. Nope, I had finished at the correct spot and calmed back down.

Here is a video taken at  three parts of the race. The start, the halfway point, and the finish.

It was a thrill to win the first ElliptiGO race held on the east coast. It was a bit of an unknown as to how it would pan out, but in the end, it was a supreme and total blast. I was at full intensity the whole race, something I can no longer do with my running body and that felt real good. It was fast. I did the 5 miles in 16 minutes and 21 seconds. The race had me spinning my legs as quickly as I could go while pushing over the undulating course which made it seem somewhat like I was riding in a go-cart style race. It very much reminded me of doing triathlons in the 1980s with all the unknowns of a new sport and the faster speeds of cycling.

After the race, I finally got a chance to meet and talk with other ElliptiGOers. The first people I talked with were the older riders like myself. It was funny because we were all comparing hips: operations on the left or right? contemplating surgery or has surgery already been done? arthoscopic surgery or replacement surgery?What does that tell you about the ElliptiGO? It is the tool for broken down athletes. The places that people traveled from to get to the race was amazing: Texas, Mississippi, California, Arizona, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and other locations that I am sure I missed. I guess I could be considered a local guy as I live only an hour and 1/2 away. Anyway, everyone was smiling as like-minded ElliptiGO enthusiasts and pioneers had a chance to get together for a truly fun event.

The next day many of us got together for a wonderful ride along the south shore of Boston. It was amazing to finally see other ElliptiGOs in action and to be part of a historic east coast event and get-together.

Not a sight you see every day, but maybe in a few years this will be normal!
(photo by ElliptiGO)
ElliptiGO brunch and rest stop on the beach!
(photo by ElliptiGO)
I hope to be able to put up some aerial views of the race in a couple of weeks as Dragon Fly Aerials had flying drones on hand to videotape the race. Here is a Runner's World article on the drones being used at the race and a humor piece on the topic.

Meanwhile, if you haven't tried an ElliptiGO yet and it intrigues you or injuries are preventing you from running, then you might want to check out the ElliptiGO website and find out where you can take a test ride. And then, some day you can thank me! I can't begin to tell you how much fun you can have riding an ElliptiGO.

This was my first week with mileage under 100 miles as I tapered a bit and spent a couple of days on vacation in the White Mountains with my wife.

August 19-25
Monday: 20 miles
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 12 miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 24 miles
Sunday: 20 miles
total miles this week 88 miles
overall total ElliptiGO miles: 1422 miles in 9 weeks

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just run through the finish line

I have never understood the need for triathletes to showboat before the finish line as they slow down and celebrate a win before actually winning. Here is the Ironman 70.3 race held in Brasilia, Brazil and it shows what happened when the lead triathlete celebrated his win a little too soon! Jérémy Jurkiewicz (FRA) JUST edged out Igor Amorlli (BRA).

3ZONE - IRONMAN 70.3 Brasília Chegada MASC PRo - Ago2013 from 3ZONE on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Training miles on some beautiful courses

I have really enjoyed just training this summer. Sure it is on an ElliptiGO and not running, but for the first time in a few years, I can get out the door just about every day and work out to my hearts content without feeling pain at night. I have enjoyed every ride I have done on the ElliptiGO. What a great tool to just get out there and have fun while working out!

I hear from many friends, some long time runners like me, who keep getting injured and have to take time off from running, I would like to recommend the ElliptiGO as a workout tool to them. They are doing all they can by doing pool (or lake) running, using the ellipticals at a gym, and doing anything else they can to stay fit. I would say try the ElliptiGO. Now here is an idea I have. Running clubs should buy one or two of these and loan or rent them out to their injured runners. I bet they would be constantly in use and the injured runners would be much happier.

All good things must come to an end. Next week I will be tapering a bit for my first ElliptiGO race (and the first ElliptiGO race in New England). I have no idea how this will work out. All that I know is that it is going to be fun and I will see how hard I can push things.  I will also enjoy meeting other ElliptiGO enthusiasts. Then is is back to school next week and I will have much less free time. Hopefully I can still get my daily fix in!

I tried running twice this week. It went a little better than last month (I did one 2 miler in July). My pacing is slow, my hips are stronger, but still lacking symmetry in how they work. I was not sore after the runs, but did have some tightness that went away by the next day. I am being patient. I will not run with pain or imbalance. Give me a year, I will be back!

Last week I traveled down to Falmouth on Cape Cod to visit my parents and to watch the Falmouth Road Race. It was fun riding my ElliptiGO on the Cape Cod Marathon/Falmouth Road Race course. I took these pictures on a drizzly day two days before the race. It turned into a downpour one mile before I reached home.

The Road Race starts on the other side of this draw bridge.
Woods Hole Harbor
Nobska Lighthouse
Surf Drive Beach looking towards Falmouth Harbor and the Heights Hill.
Falmouth Harbor. I used to have a paper route that ended across
the street from here and then I would park my bicycle here and check out
the yachts.
Going up Heights Hill. I used to run a 3 mile route from my house
going up this hill and then going back down in front of the
wooden sidewalk in front of the Casino. I would do 2 or 3 loops.
It was one of my favorite running routes and you can see why.
The finish line for the Falmouth Road Race. As I kid I played baseball
games on the ball field.
Here are some photos I took while I toured the Falmouth Road Race course shortly before the race. I rode out to Woods Hole and then rode the course in order to watch the race near the finish.

Woods Hole Harbor before the race.
About 30 minutes before the start 
This road will soon be filled with 12,000 runners.
Nobska Lighthouse
My viewing spot at the base of Heights Hill. 
Runners going by during the race.

August 5-11
Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 31 miles
Wednesday: 19 miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 27 miles Cape Cod Marathon/Falmouth Road Race courses (rain)
Saturday: 26 miles Cape Cod Marathon/Falmouth Road Race courses
Sunday: 13 mile Falmouth Road Race
total weekly ElliptiGO miles 116 miles
total ElliptiGO miles 1168 miles 7 weeks

August 12-18
Monday 2 miles running 17 minutes
Tuesday: 31 miles ElliptiGO (4 pigs wandering the rail trail)
Wednesday: 30 miles
Thursday: 31 miles
Friday: 2 miles running 17 miutes 20 miles ElliptiGO
Saturday: 30 miles
Sunday: 24 miles
total running miles 4 miles (double July- who hoo!)
total ElliptiGO  miles 166 miles
total ElliptiGO miles 1334 miles 8 weeks

Here are a couple of pictures I took when riding my ElliptiGO through Hollis, NH and Pepperell, Ma this week. It may not be the ocean, but it is a beautiful place to ride just the same.

I always get inspired by this sign for some reason.

Nearing the end of this summer, I can say that it has been one of the best ones in years. I am so glad I took a chance on the ElliptiGO as it has been a long time since I have been able to workout so much without pain and to enjoy my surroundings so much as I train. It is good to be finally getting myself back, even if I took a different route than most injured athletes!