From time to time I use this space to let you know what I’m “getting up to” in the real world, that is, when I’m not churning out contact for this here website or working for the man. I’m going to do that again today…
As many of you know, one of the highlights of my year is my once a year “bonding weekend” with my best friend, Dan. Due to him have a real job (NASA satellite engineer) and a real life (a wife and two young children) and living six hours away from me, this is usually the only time we get to see each other. That’s fine, we make it work. Except this year, in order to take advantage of the opportunity to do this, we got together in the spring rather than the fall. This meant that it was going to be about 18 months before we saw each other again (what with me going to Scotland in March and needing a few months to refill my bank account before heading off on our next adventure) and that was not okay. So, we decided we’d do a a little something this fall as a stop-gap. I’d go down to Maryland see his wife (whom I’ve known for as long as I’ve known Dan…30 years) and his kids and we’d find “something” to do. Which is why, on November 9th I will be at the 40th Annual Timonium Maryland Irish Festival (Dan is about 99.99% Irish) doing this:
Yep. We’ll be running a 5K in our kilts. Or at least I will be. Dan doesn’t own one and is “undecided” if he will be obtaining one for the occasion. Suffice it to say that I have already begun to “shame” him in that direction. I mean, he’s going to finish ahead of me no matter what (mutter…damn genetics…mutter), so the least he can do is get in the spirit of the thing! After completing the “Kilt and Craic” run the rest of his family will join us for the remainder of the day at the Irish Festival where we will…I don’t know…eat potatoes and recite the Ballad of Cuchulain? I’m sure it will be fun…ish.
Anyway, whatever Dan ultimately decides to wear/not wear, I will be racing in my kilt- and not a SportKilt™, no, I’m talking 8 square yards of mid weight wool woven in the pattern of the Clan Donald! I will also be wearing a navy blue Scottish National Team top and white Scottish National Team socks (with Clan Donald tartan “flashes,” of course!).
With all of this in mind I began training this week and am happy to report that it is going very well. I chose to do a six week “time-based” (rather than distance-based) program and I’m finding that only having to focus on the next segment is a lot easier for me to wrap my brain around than, “How many more miles?!” I think I’ll be running in the mid-20s by race day and it’s a flat course, so that should cancel out being slowed down by the blanket I’ll have tied around my waist!
Finally, before you lose all interest, a little shoe porn…
These are my training sneakers:
I’ve customized mine with some black Lock Laces to make them even more fabulous. You might wonder what an individual as ah, “solidly” built as myself is doing wearing “minimalist” running shoes- there are two answers. First, it’s the “less is more” carry over from football boots. Nobody wants to wear any more than they need to- including me. Second, there was a study done at Cornell University that demonstrated that running shoes that are structured to “fix” supination/pronation can actually cause injuries. Specifically, that your body already compensates for its mechanics naturally and that trying to force your foot back into what is considered “proper” alignment can actually cause problems. They determined that support, cushioning, and comfort were really all that mattered. Hence, this short legged, flat-footed, thickly-built youngster tip-toes around in these sweet ASICS kicks. But wait, there’s more! These are my racing shoes:
And they only weigh 4.6oz. As you may have heard, the uppers are made from Tyvek and they are only made to last 100K (62 miles). Mine have only three races on them (including one here) and a few training runs, so I figure they’re good for another 45 miles.
Oh, if you want a copy of my training plan let me know and I’ll be happy to email it to you!
ps: The kilt run is the first of four 5K races I’ll be competing in before the New Year.