RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 28

Welcome to today’s post in the continuing saga of Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life.  If you are interested in listening to this, please click on this link:

I’ve been running competitively, off and on, ever since Junior High School.  I’ve probably had a bit more than my share of successes, some colossal failures, and several injuries, with some muscles and tendons breaking down more than once. 

The most recent have been calf cramps in both legs which I have had before.  I did rest, but even after a few weeks of rest and then gentle running, I experienced occasional twinges in both calves.  But when we left for a Stanford Study/Travel Tour of Italy a few weeks ago, the twinges had not occurred, and I planned to do some running, interspersed with touring.

Alas, that was not to be!  This turned out to be a “cross-training” trip.  I had failed to catch this fine print in the tour brochure:  “You must be capable of extensive walking-two to four miles-in historic centers, in museums and on city tours, as well as extended periods of standing on excursions.  Participants will encounter uneven terrain, including some dirt and cobblestoned paths, and must be able to walk at least 20 minutes up and down hills in the Tuscan towns and at Gargonza.  At the Palio, participants must be able to sit outside for several hours on metal bleacher seats with limited legroom.”  I really should have paid attention to this last bit about the Palio, but more about that later.

SANTA MARGHERITA PANORAMA FROM OUR ROOM AT THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL
SANTA MARGHERITA PANORAMA FROM OUR ROOM AT THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL

On the first full day of the tour we took the train from Santa Margherita in Liguria to the coastal town of Camogli, part of the Italian Riviera.  We toured the town, had lunch overlooking the beach, and then took the ferry to the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Fruttuoso.  I had planned to participate in the 3 hour walk, up and down the mountains that separated Santa Fruttuoso and Portofino, the most famous town on the Italian Riviera.  I took one look up at the steep inclines, my jet lag exhaustion kicked in, and I decided to save myself for the famous Cinque Terre hike the following day.  I joined the majority, who took the ferry from Santa Fruttuoso to Portofino.  I was glad at the time I had chosen that option, because the one hour tour of hilly Portofino pretty much wiped me out.  We saw lots of yachts, and while Portofino was pleasant, I wouldn’t call it trending!

PORTOFINO ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA
PORTOFINO ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA

We then took the ferry back to Santa Margherita, and it sure was a long, uphill walk from the pier to our hotel, the Continental.

That brings me to the next day.  It began with a near debacle of us getting on the semi-express to Monterosso by mistake (it was late), rather than the local, which we had tickets for.  The conductor removed most of us at the next stop, but some did not get the message and remained on board, including one of our guides who was looking for those still on the train.  We ultimately did get on the local, and were joined further down the line by the rest of our group.  One of our group said conductors do this regularly to collect extra money for their own pockets, but I only know he said it would cost an extra 11.50 euros to stay on the semi-express.  You can decide whether or not the allegation is true.   

During the brief tour of Monterosso, my right calf began to twinge.  I looked up at the steep climb up out of the town; the trail appeared to go straight up, not switched back and forth, the way the path was cut, rising out of Santa Fruttuoso the day before.  I was on the verge of bailing out of this hike as well.

Then, a tiny miracle happened.  The pain in my calf vanished.  I felt a surge of energy.  It was game on.

It wasn’t easy.  We did climb straight up for about the first twenty minutes, but then the trail swung to the left, along a ridge which had a lesser incline, leading further inland.  We began encountering lemon trees and grape vines, planted into the terraced mountainside.  We stopped and our guide, Marco, gave us a short history of the rise and fall of the lemon industry over the last 800 years, which was replaced eventually by the current wine industry.

OLD LEMON ORCHARD HIGH ABOVE MONTOROSSO
OLD LEMON ORCHARD HIGH ABOVE MONTOROSSO

 We moved on, and then mounted a series of very steep steps, until we ultimately reached the peak of the highest mountain.  From there on the bias was down, but there certainly were more steep ups as well. Along the way, we stopped at the “cat feeding” station.  As you can tell from the picture, this cat may have been past saving!   

Cat Feeding Station Along the trail to Vernazza
Cat Feeding Station Along the trail to Vernazza

After 3 hours, we spied the village of Vernazza far below and the panorama made for a breathtaking photo.  We saw the ferry that was loading the rest of our group for the trip to Portofino, but it took us 20 minutes to get down the mountain to the dock, so we missed it.

The Ferry Leaving Vernazza With Our Group, Without Us
The Ferry Leaving Vernazza With Our Group, Without Us

Fortunately, Sylvia, another one of our guides, was hiking with us, and she arranged for a private boat to take us on to Manarola, where we met up with the rest of the group.  We had an extremely challenging hike around the uphill town, then further up to meet our bus.  We first came to the car parking area (no buses there!), further up a path alongside the very narrow road (a bus couldn’t make it), and then finally up to a wider road where the bus was waiting.  I was plenty glad they had bottles of water on the bus!

The next day we took the bus from Liguria to Tuscany, where my wife and I had been a few times before.  We stayed in Gargonza, just outside Arezzo, for the next few days, and the highlight during that time was the Palio horserace in Siena.  There are several Palio celebrations all around Italy, but nothing is quite like this 800 year old grudge match.  This is a 3 lap race, run on a trucked-in dirt track laid around the center of Il Campo, and there are no rules!!!

PALIO TRACK VIEW FROM OUR SEATS
PALIO TRACK VIEW FROM OUR SEATS

Even after I had read the warning to prepare for discomfort during the Palio, I did not expect 5 hours of regular waves of pain.  We were all packed into the stadium seats with our knees pressed against the backs of those in front of us and someone else’s knees digging into our backs.  We could stand, and we did frequently, but when the Contradas’ (Neighborhoods) parades began, with all their pomp and circumstance, we did so more sparingly because we blocked the view of those next to us and behind us. 

The worst part was waiting for the race to actually start.  All 10 horses had to be in the right starting positions before the restraining rope would be dropped, starting the race.  Believe it or not, this took over 1 hour to accomplish.  Various jockeys are paid huge sums to obstruct or facilitate the start of foe or friendly Contradas.  This was mainly accomplished by a jockey not guiding his horse into the correct starting position.  Countless times we heard the starter say, “Go out!  Go out!” and the horses would leave the starting area and circle around.  Then they would be called again, according to their drawn starting position.  And countless times, the crowd would emit its disapproving whistles, typical in Europe.  And it was getting darker and darker as twilight began to close around us!

PALIO STARTING LINE WITH ROPE PULLED TAUT
PALIO STARTING LINE WITH ROPE PULLED TAUT

Suddenly, the number 10 horse bolted into his slot, the starter dropped the rope, and the race was on!  In a matter of a few seconds the horses were in the straightaway right in front of us, and in several more seconds they flashed by and went into the next turn. 

Palio-Valdimonte (Ram) Jockey Unhorsing Nicchio(Shell) in Sienna July 2 2015
Palio-Valdimonte (Ram) Jockey Unhorsing Nicchio(Shell) in Sienna July 2 2015

Then, incredibly, the jockey riding for the Valdimontone (Ram) Contrada reached across to the Nicchio (Shell) jockey to his right and yanked him off his horse!  A roar of horror rose up in the crowd, and my mind was stunned by what I had just witnessed.  I thought, “How could this even happen….”  Then I remembered that there were no rules.  And I realized how easy it was to unseat the jockey, because they were all riding bareback, with no saddles or stirrups to aid them.  The others rushed on, including the jockey-less horse.  The second and third turns in the track were literally 90 degrees, and some of the horses actually careened off the far wall on those turns.  The pace was extremely fast and the three lap race was over before we were even over the shock of seeing one jockey unhorse another.

Suddenly a man who was sitting behind us charged down the steep steps, dashed out onto the dirt track and up to the jockey who did the unhorsing.  He and a couple of others helped him off his horse and spirited him away through a tunnel to safety.  Immediately thereafter a swarm of men from the unhorsed Contrada charged onto the track from our right and the Contrada whose jockey did the unhorsing spilled out onto the track from our left, with the abandoned horse trapped between them.  Fists flew and security forces quickly drove a wedge between the two Contradas.

The next twenty minutes were super-tense.  A groom kept the horse moving back and forth between the opposing forces who continued to scream at each other, while some tried to breach the security line to get at their enemy.  Nobody actually got through, but the security line appeared to be weakening.  Finally the Carabinieri National Police forced their way in, with full riot gear.  Gradually they pushed each Contrada further and further back from the other, giving more room to the horse and the groom.  Eventually they reached a space where they could leave the track for the safety of the stables.  We then made our way down the steep steps of the stands, out onto the track, and through the closest exit, thus ending our long summer afternoon of discomfort.  I’m glad we had this incredible experience, but I don’t believe I’ll do it again!  This must be an example of what people mean when they say, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience!”

The balance of the tour lacked the excitement and tension of the Palio, but certainly worth visits.  We toured the Etruscan Hill Town of Cortona which predates the arrival of the Romans.  The Etruscan Museum is comprehensive and demonstrates the power of women in their culture.  Much of their sculptures, ceramics and other art were copied by the Romans. 

ETRUSCAN POTTERY AT THE CORTONA MUSEUM
ETRUSCAN POTTERY AT THE CORTONA MUSEUM

Their tombs were reminiscent of the Egyptians, filled with possessions from this life for use in the next one.  On the day before we left Italy we did visit an actual Etruscan Burial Ground in Cerveteri, about 50 miles north of the Rome Airport.  It was an incredibly peaceful spot and several of the tombs were filled with hunting tools, beds, tables, chairs, pots and several other useful items.  It was well worth the stop.

INSIDE AN ETRUSCAN TOMB NEAR CEVETERI
INSIDE AN ETRUSCAN TOMB NEAR CERVETERI

Another very interesting stop was the medieval town of Lucca.  It is the birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini. There are several good restaurants, including Ristorante Puccini nearby.  The food is good and moderately priced, but they accept cash only. We also dined at the excellent Buca di Sant’Antonio which is premium priced, but worth it.  It’s a wonderful walking town, but take your map; it’s easy to get lost in the oval-walled town.  The wall is a good landmark, but it is, after all, round.  It all looks pretty much alike, particularly at night.   

The final tour stop that lingers in my memory is the gargantuan scale of the marble quarries at Carrara.  This is where Michelangelo found the huge slab of marble with which he sculptured his famous David into a figure way larger than life.  I can pull this mine into my consciousness readily.   A few pictures will do a far better job with this image than my mere words can do.  These remain captured memories in my mind’s eye.

I would like to share the good news with you, here at the end.  The rest and the “cross training” walking while we were in Italy, plus slow running when I returned home, have resulted in recovery from the calf injuries!  I am back up to my normal training regimen of running 3 days a week and walking and other cross training 2 days!!

Please let me know if you would like to know anything more about this monumental trip.  You can send a note to me in the Leave A Reply Box below.

Thanks for traveling with me in this vicarious way.

 

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Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 27+Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom-Episode 10

Welcome to the latest post of Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life.  I am also continuing to include another Episode of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  If you would like to listen to this Running Post, please click on this link:

DIRECT LINK TO PODCAST OF RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE

Since I have injured myself last month, I have been exercising no more than just walking, that is until the end of last week.  On Friday I ran so slowly that I could have walked faster!  Just kidding.  But I did walk 60% of the time, however, especially going uphill.  During the 40% of the time that I did run, I felt a few twinges at the bottom of my Gastrocnemius Calf muscle and the top of my Soleus Calf Muscle, which connects to the Achilles tendon.  Whenever I did feel a twinge, I stopped running, and walked for a while.  At the end of the 3 mile run I felt very good.  It was great to be back running again!

On the following day I only walked, and then repeated the 3 mile easy run the next day, Sunday.  That time I walked about 55% of the time and ran easily for 45%.  On Monday I only walked again.  But I did another easy 3 miler on Tuesday, and that time I ran 60% of the time and walked 40%.  On Wednesday I played 9 holes of golf and was pain free.  On Thursday, I went to the track, warmed up well and then did some “speed play”; i.e. 8 alternating medium speed 100 meter strides, with 100 meter fast walks between.  I did not feel any twinges in either my right Soleus or Gastrocnemius Calf muscles.   Surprisingly I felt an occasional twinge in my left Soleus Calf muscle during the last few 100 stride repeats, which had not been bothering me at all!  I rested one day, and then did an easy 4 ¼ mile run.  This time I was totally pain-free!

I had remained injury free for over a year, focusing on long, slow runs and plenty of rest and cross-training (i.e. walking, stretching, push-ups, crunches, and golf) between the runs.  It was only recently that I added more than 10% to my long runs every 2 weeks, and I was running 2 days in a row, without resting or cross-training between them.  And the worst thing was when I did feel that first pain in my Soleus Calf Muscle last month, I did not stop!  I kept running up that hill at my tempo pace!  Just plain pig-headed…..

This brings me to my writing.  I have published and podcasted a Thriller and 5 Children’s Fantasies.  I have been including podcast links to the first 9 episodes of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom, the last Fantasy, in the posts over the last few months.  Today I am including Episode 10 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  Here is the link:

 DIRECT LINK TO MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 10

If you want to order the entire book, please go to:

DIRECT LINK TO MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

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DIRECT LINK TO ALL ALLAN CHAPMAN’S BOOKS AND PODCASTS

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RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE EPISODE 26+MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM EPISODE 9: CLICK HERE

Thanks for joining me today.  In case you were missed or were unable to download the spiritual, meditative, haunting flute atop Warrior Rock in Sedona, Arizona, I have converted it to a YouTube format.  Here is the link: 

Also, if you are interested in listening to this post, please go to this link:

Once again, I have not responded to pain during a workout and have paid the price of injury.  My training had been going well after having been sick last month, and I was nearing the end of my tempo run over a hilly course.  I felt a twinge of pain below my right calf at the beginning of the last big hill, but I kept going.  The pain persisted as I climbed the hill, but I wanted to make it to the top, so I kept on pushing, although at a slower pace.  But this wasn’t the worst thing – I kept going on the flat, thinking the pain would subside.  It didn’t, but I kept going, wanting to complete the tempo time.  I walked the normal jog/walk 1 mile warm down, but the damage was done.  My leg was sore for the next 3 days.

It felt better on the 4th day, so I played 9 holes of golf, walking, without any pain.  I rested 2 more days, and on the 7th day, I decided to go for an easy walk/run.  I walked for the first mile, and then started to run slowly up a long, steep hill.  I felt a twinge of pain right below my right calf and slowed to a walk.  The pain eased and the hill flattened into a shelf which I walked as well.  Then the next section of the hill ascended even more sharply, and about halfway up this final part of the climb, the pain returned, so I walked the rest of it.  I jogged on the next section which was flat, and I was relatively pain free.  The rest of the run was downhill, but I walked most of it.

I made a fruit and protein smoothie right away and then elevated my legs.  I felt better about an hour later, so I decided to do my normal post-workout stretching.  I was fine doing the hamstring and quad high kicks, forward and back on both legs, and also with the bent-knee stretches on my left leg, but after a few bent-knee stretches on my right leg, I felt a severe cramp in my right calf, totally unexpected, because this was above where the pain has manifested itself.  I iced the calf area, with my leg elevated, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  The pain did abate, but I had to hobble around for the rest of the day and evening.    

I went to sleep early and slept late, trying to give my body and the protein I had eaten a chance to repair the damaged tissue.

This morning the pain was about 90 percent gone, but I continued the 20 minute on, 20 minute off icing.  I also focused on eating protein.  With any luck I will be able to resume walking by the end of the week and start jogging on the flat (no hills!) the following week.  When I do that, if I experience any pain at all, I will stop immediately and walk back home, or call for a ride back, if necessary.  I need more time to heal as I age.  Maybe I will learn, one of these days. 

Please stay tuned for the next exciting Episode of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom!  Click on the bar below:

 

Thanks again for joining me today!

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 25+EPISODE 8-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

This blog post is also available in and audio and part video Podcast.  You can listen (and view part of) this by clicking on this link:

LINK TO RUNNING, WRITING AND RUNNING FOR LIFE +MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREECOM PODCASTS

A couple of years ago my brother, a cousin, and our spouses took day trip to Sedona, Arizona.  We had lunch at The Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon, and then toured the complex.  The food and service were okay, but the grounds, villas and surrounding mountains were spectacular.  We knew Sedona was a special place and vowed to return one day for a longer visit.

The opportunity arose this month for my wife and me.  We had swapped a time-share week for one at Sedona Summit Resort.  It is a large complex, with several two story buildings which house the units.  Our 1 bedroom suite was spacious and included a decent-sized kitchen and living room.  The only real drawback was we could hear the footsteps from the unit above us when the occupants walked around.  If you go, request a second floor accommodation. 

We had heard that Sedona was a spiritual area, and I noticed in the literature we received when we checked in that there was a talk about vortexes encasing several summits in the Sedona Area.  We attended the presentation, liked what we heard, and decided to hike up to a few of them.  The presenter was Barbara Korte who is an accomplished Spiritual Practitioner.  I have experienced some Shamanistic and Lifespring Meditations and have come to believe “Non-Ordinary” Reality can be real.  Some of Barbara’s experiences really stress my rational mind, but my intuitive self believes extreme experiences are possible.  For more information, visit:

BARBARA KORTE’S WEB SITE

 

Over the next couple of days we climbed trails to various heights, up Cathedral Rock, Wilson Mountain, and Warrior Rock in Boynton Canyon.   I felt serene and very “present” during these adventures in the rugged, beautiful, and rocky environs, and perhaps sensed a “spiritual electricity” in some instances.  I felt the force more strongly as we approached the base of Cathedral Rock, manifested in my vision; the two spires in the center seemed to radiate against the sky in a surreal fashion.  I had not stopped and adopted my meditative state; it just happened as we were walking along.  Later, we ran into a lady who explained that the “force” was the result of lightning hitting sandstone and fusing it into silicates, which become positively charged. What tends to happen when lightning strikes ground, is it fuses dirt and clays into the silicates, one of which is quartz.  Perhaps this does logically explain why people feel an energy in Sedona, but it seems like “Non-Ordinary” Reality to me.

However, when we climbed the base of Warrior Rock and reached the beginning of the pinnacle, we did stop, and sit, and meditate for a while.  Then along came a friendly person whom you might call a Spiritualist.  He welcomed the two of us, and then gave each of us a hand-carved red rock, in the form of a heart.  Then he climbed the last 50 feet to the pinnacle and began playing his flute.  What emanated from that flute was hauntingly beautiful and we continued our meditations.  My wife and I did capture some of this magic on our iPhones.  Please listen to these now; perhaps you can burn them onto your own DVD, if you are inspired by them:  

This was the absolute highlight of our spiritual search in Sedona.

After a while, we descended, and then headed back to the parking area.  All the way back we could hear the melodic flute.

We then drove the short distance to the Enchantment Resort.  We had made a lunch reservation and, unlike our experience 2 years ago, we were seated right away, and we thoroughly enjoyed a garden-fresh chicken salad and a hearty beef-burger with French fries, both of which we split.

In fact, we enjoyed our entire experience in Boynton Canyon so much that we decided we will stay at The Enchantment Resort when we visit Sedona again.  If you are interested in further details, please open this link in another window:

LINK TO THE ENCHANTMENT RESORT, BOYNTON VALLEY, SEDONA, ARIZONA

I had been fighting the flu, complete with aches and runny nose, and the altitude ranges from 4,000 feet to 6,500 feet at Sedona, so I limited my exercise to the hiking.  I felt mostly healed when we returned home so I did a tempo workout, rested one day, and then did a long run the next.  The runny nose returned with a vengeance, so I began allergy medication, which I believe is beginning to work.  The nasal flood has slowed to a drip.   I’m hoping to begin running again this weekend.

Now please go to the link below for the next exciting Episode of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom:

 

 

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 24+MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 7

Stanford University Track
Stanford University Track

For three months now, I have incorporated a long run in my weekly training. In the past I would include easy runs, but they were not generally long. My focus was on short, fast workouts to increase my speed. More often than not, I would incur an injury sometime during the year, probably because I wasn’t allowing my body to fully repair muscle tissues broken down during the speed sessions.

I believe the long, medium and slow (including walking) runs over these past three months have boosted my fundamental muscle strength to the point where I can change my intervals distance from a minimum distance of 400 meters and higher to 300, 200, and even 100 meter repeats. I will pay particular attention to being sufficiently recovered over the next day, or more likely the next two days, before doing the next running workout.

This week I did pay attention to getting sufficient rest between my runs. On Sunday I went for my long run, with plenty of walking breaks. On Monday I walked for 33 minutes, going 1.6miles. On Tuesday I did a Tempo run. On Wednesday I played 9 holes of golf. Thursday I did 200 meter speed intervals. Friday I walked for 35 minutes, covering 1.55 miles. Finally, on Saturday I walked for 31 minutes, up a steep hill and back down, 1.5 miles.

The highlight of the week was Thursday. After the golf on Wednesday I was quite tired and my lower back was stiff. I’ve been playing golf weekly with some stiffness and fatigue afterward, but this was more than normal. I had more than a little misgiving about transitioning to faster speed intervals the following day.

I felt better in the morning, although I did not feel fully rested. But I did finally convince myself to go to the track, warm-up, and then decide if I felt up to it. I started with my slow walking and jogging 1 mile warm-up, followed by 7 minutes of stretching, and then two wind sprints. I felt pretty well, so I decided to start with four repeat 200s, and then see how I felt after those.

The workout went very well. I felt relaxed from the very first repeat, with my core relaxed, good leg turnover, high-pump arm action, and full toes push-off. I did the first four repeats at my 800 meter race goal pace, and then decided to do at least two more repeats, and perhaps two more after those. I continued to feel good, so I completed four more. I had done 8 x 200s twice earlier this year, but this workout was the fastest and my maximum heart rate was 21 beats per minute slower than during one of them and 15 beats slower than the other.

As I have mentioned before, this year I am focused on having one long and slow run each week, building slowly and resting sufficiently between running workouts to minimize the risk of injury, all too common in my past.

I would say now, “So far, so good.”

 

Iffley Road Track-Oxford University

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 23 PLUS MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 6

DIRECTLY BELOW IS THE AUDIO PODCAST LINK TO EPISODE 23 OF RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE, PLUS EPISODE 6 OF MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM:

Four weeks ago I rested between my intervals day, my long run day and my tempo day, for the first time in many weeks.  During those prior weeks I was running two of those three workouts without a rest day between them.  I felt alright during those back-to-back workouts, but I really felt exhausted for two or three days after them.  Three weeks ago I rested two days between the long run and the tempo run and one day between tempo and the intervals, then 2 days between the intervals and the long run again.  I was gratified that I felt much better during the whole week.  Two weeks ago I rested 1 day between the long run and the tempo run, and 1 day between the tempos and the intervals and found it wasn’t quite enough rest; I felt more tired during the intervals this week than last.  My conclusion:  there aren’t enough days in the week!

Just joking!  Two weeks ago I rested in the same manner as three weeks ago:  1 day between the long run and the tempo run, and 1 day between the tempos and the intervals.  But that time I felt better during the intervals than I did three weeks ago, and I ran the 400s 2 seconds faster than three weeks ago and had a lower maximum heart rate.  I’m guessing that’s because I was still tired three weeks ago after several weeks of no rest between two of the three weekly workouts and it took another week with rest between each workout for me to fully recover.

Four Seasons Manele Bay
View of Manele Bay

Early last week I did a Tempo run, and then mid-week we traveled to the island of Lana’i, in Hawaii, which is undergoing major development under the tutelage of Larry Ellison of Oracle.  He’s already refurbished half of the Four Seasons on Manele Bay and has closed the Four Seasons at Koele, up the mountain in Lana’i City.  He’s also considering building a third hotel on the undeveloped side of the Island, facing Maui, but one of the local residents mentioned it would be too exposed to the elements.

We stayed at Manele Bay, and there really is no flat stretch to run 400 meter repeats.  The best I could find was a stretch that was mostly downhill in one direction and (obviously) mostly uphill in the other, along the access road to the Four Seasons.  Running downhill was great!  I shortened my stride and increased my turnover with the greatest of ease!  But it was a totally different story going uphill.  I expended more effort, but my time was 10 percent slower!

The tempo and the intervals were the only running I did for the week.  My cross training consisted of 2 rounds of golf, one at the Kapalua Plantation Course, annual site of the year-opening PGA Golf Tournament, with its magnificent views of the ocean and the mountains.  The second round was at the Ka’anapali Royal Course, a flatter tract, but still has some nice ocean views.

KAPALUA PLANTATION GOLF COURSE VIEW OF THE PACIFIC

KAPALUA PLATATION GOLF COURSE VIEW

This week was the second consecutive one of only two workouts, one of intervals and one long run.  The intervals seemed more difficult, partially because of jet-lag and partially because I ran them at a faster pace.  The long run came after a two day rest and I covered the 6.15 miles easily.

My plan for next week is to get back up to three workouts, with at least one day’s rest between each one.  Let’s see what happens. 

If you are tired of waiting for the next podcast episode of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom, you can purchase the entire exciting book by going to:

 http://www.createspace.com/4138227

Thanks for logging on today!  Please join me again for my next Blog on Running, Writing, and Traveling For Life, plus Episode 7 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.

 

 

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 22 PLUS EPISODE 5-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

DIRECTLY BELOW IS THE AUDIO PODCASTS TO EPISODE 22 OF RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE, PLUS EPISODE 5 OF MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM:

Welcome to a “Double-Header” today.  First up is Episode 22 of my regular blog, Running, Writing and Traveling for Life.  Then stay tuned of Episode 5 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.

Over the past 4 weeks, I have done 1 day of interval training, followed or preceded by a long run, with no rest day between.  I felt fine during each of the workouts, but I was exhausted on the third and fourth days.   I only felt ready for my tempo run after resting on the third and fourth days.  This week I will rest one day between the intervals day and long run day, and then see if I can handle the tempo run after only one or two days of either walking or resting.  In fact, since I started writing this, it’s now later in the week, and I have done my intervals, rested one day, and then done my long run yesterday.  I feel much better this week than last.

There are some of us among the Masters Runners who can run every day and be able to handle the work load.  My guess is that they have been running daily for decades, and they’ve learned to stop running at this first hint of injury.  I have been running for decades, but have had several layoffs, due to injury or burnout, during those years.  For me, from time to time I feel tired and need to overcome inertia to actually get out there and run.  The majority of the time when I do don my running gear and do start putting one foot in front of the other, by the time I am warmed up, I feel good, and I do my workout.  There are times, however, when I don’t feel good, so I end the workout and surrender to recovery.  It is hard to truly discern when your body actually needs a rest day and when your lazy mind is playing tricks on you.

As I have mentioned recently, I am using the winter to focus on slow, longer runs to build up my strength.  It seems to be working, based on slightly improving interval training, with more reps, faster times, and lower rest times between the reps.  I have also adopted Jeff Galloway’s (www.jeffgalloway.com) exhortation to weave walking breaks into the normal running periods, particularly in the beginning and middle parts of the long run.  This way I feel I am able to actually run further and, of course, with less effort.  There is one route I run that has a steep uphill, six-tenths of a mile long, about 1.5 miles from the finish, and I do insert walking breaks here as well.  These walking breaks have also enhanced my enjoyment of the long runs, if only being able to absorb my surroundings more fully.   

Once again I want to encourage you to sit down in a quiet space daily to do affirmations, if you have not started to do it already.  I have seen some of the 22 affirmations become part of my automatic behavior already.  This is a slow process and is most effective if you repeat the affirmations at morning and at night.  If you would like to see my earlier comments on this powerful process, please click on:

https://allanwchapman.com/2013/12/19/running-writing-and-traveling-for-life-episode-12/

https://allanwchapman.com/2014/05/26/running-writing-and-traveling-for-life-episode-15/

 

Please leave your questions or comments by clicking on the “Leave a comment” link at the bottom of the page.  Thanks!

Please be with me again next time when I will report on the results of the day of rest between intervals and long run, but for now, stay tuned for Episode 5 of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  Enjoy!

 

RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 21+MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 4

Mr Wugidgem  And The Faces Of Freedom NEW COVER 2048X 2048

Thanks for joining me today.  This week I would like to talk about the value of long runs.  I’ve always believed long runs are important, but they take time, and I haven’t been willing to spend that time to get them done over this past year.  Because I have been training primarily for the 800 meters, I focused on speedwork and fast tempo runs because they could be completed in less time than slogging through a long, slower run.  I had to get ready to run fast, not slow!

As I pointed out in Episode 4, New Zealand Coach Arthur Lydiard stressed what he called Marathon Training to build a strong base of long runs before you start building the faster, more strenuous speed.  You can more easily handle that build if you are constructing it on top of a strong base.  Click here to review Episode 4: DIRECT LINK TO EPISODE 4

I’ve had another good week of rebuilding my running condition.  The foundation continues to be built around 1 long run, 1 tempo run and 1 day of intervals.  I rested 1 day, and walked and played golf the remaining 3 days.  The only problem I had was a slight cramping in one of the tendons behind my right knee during the second-to-the-last interval.

I have found a running group that does intervals every week, and I recommend you find one if you don’t have group already.   My experience is that we motivate each other, even if it’s just getting us out onto the track every week.  I also believe there is extreme value in the sharing of our experiences when we talk during the rest intervals.

Today I am also posting Episode 4 from my Children’s Fantasy, Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom:

If you would like a print copy of this book, please go to a Division of Amazon  :  http://www.createspace.com/4138227

Thanks again for being with me today!

MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 3

I am reposting this Audio Podcast for the benefit of my iTunes subscribers.  If you would like to subscribe, please click on the subscribe icon on my web site, http://www.allanwchapman.com.  Here is the link to Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom:  Episode 3:

Mr Wugidgem  And The Faces Of Freedom NEW COVER 2048X 2048

Please click on this link above.

Thanks for listening!

 

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 20 PLUS EPISODE 3-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

 Direct Link to Today’s Audio Podcast:

December was a difficult month, which actually was probably a good thing.  First I had to deal with jet-lag after a down-and-back trip to Canberra, Australia.  Then I kept trying to run 200s and 400s at my desired 800 meter race time, which left me further exhausted.  After that, most of my running was easy, and the few intervals I did were at a slower pace.  And I had a lot more rest days because I paid attention to my fatigue and only walked, golfed, or rested when I didn’t feel up to running. 

Now it is January, and I feel more rested.  In fact, this week I have felt the strongest in months.  I was able to handle a long run, and then an interval workout in 2 consecutive days.  I am hoping I can build slowly, but steadily in the coming months. 

I have also been thinking about my next novel.  I have been quite disturbed by world-wide terrorism, murder, bigotry and greed, and I have been trying to understand the root cause.  I think about poverty, drugs and alcohol, insanity,  lack of education, being spoiled, sexual drive, and myriads of other circumstances contributing to the chaos in the world.

When I was doing my prayers and meditations this week, I had an epiphany that all of these heinous acts and states of being have to do with power.  Or more specifically, the lack of power.  I want to investigate further.  How does one gain power in healthy ways?  Is the best power external or internal? Is win-win really possible?

I have dabbled in this area in my thriller, Slaves On Horseback, and my children stories, particularly Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom.  I have been podcasting the first 2 Episodes on iTunes, and I am including the link to the third Episode just below.  For those of you who have listened to the first 2 Episodes already, today we will March for Freedom in Maracaibo with Debby, Michael, their mother and Mr. Wugidgem: 

 

For those of you who want to start at the beginning, please go to:

DIRECT LINK TO MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODES 1 AND 2.