It took me decades to write my first novel, Slaves on Horseback, a Thriller. It features Stanford, terrorism, arrogant corporate and political power, world domination, and personal relationship devastation. Sound familiar? Here’s what I’ve written on the back cover:
“Nick Shepherd rockets up the UNRC Oil Company corporate ladder at warp speed. As he nears the highly coveted and competitive top spot, terrorism, marriage trauma, and an oil glut divert his trajectory. Nick loses his focus, discovering what used to work for him no longer does. Longevity runs in his family, and he wonders, “Is that all there is?” This leads him to take irrational risks. Or are they so irrational? Nick had lost his way. This is a tale of mystery, leading Nick on a new path which stretches him beyond his imagination.”
Please go to my Amazon Author Web Page for complete details, including a review. It’s available this week in Paperback at this discounted price of $12.76. It’s also available in electronic format at $9.99. Here is the link:
Today I’m posting the audio podcast of Episode Ten of Mr. Wugidgem And The Faces Of Freedom. If you’re joining me for the first time, please scroll down to Episode One.
Last week we marched with Debby, Michael, Emily, and Mr. Wugidgem around the Miraflores Palace. Then we watched soldiers kidnapped Emily, as the children and Mr. Wugidgem lay helpless, with guns trained on them. Today we’ll be with Debby, Michael, and their mentor as they launch an attempt to rescue Emily.
If you would like to receive these podcasts regularly, please supply your email address in the box below. Also I would appreciate any feedback you have about these posts and podcasts. I am particularly interested in knowing if you are interested in my lifelong running experiences.
The special e-book pricing on my Thriller, Slaves On Horseback, is now live. It will run from today, July 29, with a 40% discount price, increasing each day at 8 a.m. by $1.00 until it reaches the list price of $9.99 four days later.
Next week I will also be audio podcasting Episode Three from my Young Adult Magical Reality Thriller, Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces Of Freedom. It’s free, and the first two Episodes are already posted. Let me know if you would be interested in a discounted version of the e-book. Please reply in the comments box below. If I hear from some of you, I’ll create the special discount program for Faces Of Freedom the following week.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 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:
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:
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!
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 duringthe 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 : www.createspace.com/4138227
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: