Category Archives: Thriller

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!” Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

On Iffley Road Track, Oxford 2 weeks ago

Click on this link for the Audio Podcast Version of the written word below:

Two weeks ago I stood in my street clothes on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, where Roger Bannister first broke the four minute mile. I had resumed training, and became aware that I was way past due for posting on my running, writing, and traveling blog.

Since I last posted, I have had 2 eye operations. The first one involved an artificial lens that was implanted after my cataract afflicted natural lens was removed 13 years ago.  For some mysterious reason, on the flight back home from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco,  the artificial one decided to relocate and began to wander around my eye’s sclera instead of fixed under my pupil. Here a link to an eye diagram if you may just happen to be curious: 

National Institute Of Health Eye Diagram

My good eye was still 20/20, but I quickly tired of squeezing my 20/450 afflicted eye shut to see properly, so I bought a black patch for it and spouted a lot of Pirate “Arrrrrghs” for the next 10 days.  I was pretty grumpy.

Anyway the first operation went okay and when I went to the doctor week later I could see pretty well. But the very next day the lens decided to take another hike, so they had to schedule a do-over, 2 weeks later. 

As you might expect, those 2 weeks passed really slowly. The 13 year old lens gave up the ghost during the second operation, losing its connectors, so they doctor retired it to the open road and implanted a brand-spanking new one.  This time he not only sutured it in, he glued it in!  “That lens is not going to roam anywhere,” he said. 

So far, it hasn’t even hankered for greener grass.

Anyway during all the time, the doctor prohibited me to run, lift weights, play golf, or anything more strenuous than walking. So I walked, but it was hard when you are used to running.

So I finally resumed running just over 3 months ago, at the end of June. For the first 2 weeks I did nothing more strenuous than easy runs.  Then during the next 3 weeks, I introduced a 1x 5 minute tempo run and fast striding, along with an easy run each week.  I was resting 1 to 2 days between runs, doing only push-ups and crunches on the “off” days.

Then in August, I started a few interval sessions. Here is an excerpt from one of them:

“1 mile w/u (about 15 minutes); about 7 minutes of stretching (45 second bent knee stretches each leg, 45 second straight knee, turned-in foot, stretches each leg, 20 hamstring and quad full leg swings forward and backward each leg, 20 toe liftings and lowerings each foot); 2 x 20 step fast strides (4:51 seconds, rest 71 seconds, 4:50 seconds), rested 1:31, then 1 x 22 step fast strides in 10:52 seconds; rest 3 minutes, then 3 x 200 meters (45:11, 2:00 rest, 46:00, rest 3:30-the time it took my heart rate to drop back to 120, 42:94);  about 1.25 miles w/d in 20:42  Average HR 120, peak HR 159, burned about 450 calories.  These fast strides are about the fastest yet!” Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE17

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

At San Dieguito Park-Solana Beach, California

I’ve had a lot going on with my day job since I last posted.  It appears I may have a breather as we head into the weekend, so let’s see if I can finish this and post it today.  We shall see….

While I have been busy with my business, I have been thinking about running in the spare moments – and when I have actually been running.

One major theme that has come up for me is the mental part of the entire gestalt of running.  In the October, 2013 issue of Runner’s World there is an article which places extreme emphasis on the mental side.  If you would like to read it, please click on this link:  Train Your Brain Hard0001.  For me, this is radical, not gradual.  I believe the strongest and longest lasting method is steady, gradual development, both physically and mentally.

 I recommend the book Psychocybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz to give you a better idea of this longer term approach to the mental side of life, including running.  This book was the foundation of the mental approach to training I learned at Stanford University when I was in school eons ago.  Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon who noticed over the years that many of his patients who had improved their appearance physically through surgery had not improved their internal self-image.  Negative “self-talk” continued to dominate their thoughts. 

He ultimately discovered that positive thoughts, vividly imagined in the mind’s eye, are perceived by the mind to be every bit as real as actual events.  He believed a person’s outer success could never exceed one’s internally visualized success.  From this he developed a template which his patients could customize to codify areas of life they wanted to improve.  Here are some of the positive affirmations we used on the track team:

  1. I am a relaxed, fast runner.
  2. I enjoy my workouts.
  3. I am a winner.
  4. I am a good student and I complete my assignments easily.    
  5. I focus on my breathing to distract myself from pain during strenuous workouts and races.        
  6. I enjoy doing my affirmations every day.                                         

We were instructed to find a quiet place, close our eyes, and relax.  We then repeated each affirmation aloud and focused on evoking a vivid mental picture of ourselves in action, executing the affirmation in as much detail as possible.  For example, when you repeat “I am a winner,” see yourself coming down the final straightaway, pumping your arms, legs strong and churning, then leaning forward, first to break the tape.  Of particular importance is seeing yourself enjoying doing your affirmations every day, because this ultimately overcomes the negative thought that doing the affirmations is a waste of time.

This approach is alive and well today.  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 6

Stanford University Track-Another View
Stanford University Track-Another View

This working for a living sure gets in the way of life!  I’ve been trying to start this week’s blog all last week, and the next thing I knew it was the middle of the following week.  Anyway I have managed to find time to run, but today’s comments and observations will be short.

As I have mentioned, I decided to skip this year’s Masters Nationals in Berea, Ohio and focus on a slow rebuild to avoid injury.  But I probably have been pushing a bit too hard, particularly in my cross training at the gym.  On second thought, I overdid golf at the beginning of training resumption, after the long layoff.  That’s when I aggravated my knees.  My trainer modified the glutes, hamstrings, quads, upper body, and core exercises to avoid undue pressure on my knees for several weeks.  This did allow my knees to heal, and now I experience only an occasional twinge.

Then I read in Runner’s World that strengthening inner (adductor) and outer (abductor) hip muscles would lead to a more consistent foot landing with each step.  This, in turn, would reduce the stress on your knees.  Therefore this week I did 3 sets of 15 reps each on the inner thigh and outer thigh machines, with probably too much weight.  Both my inner and out adductor muscles were sore for the next 2 days.  I probably should have followed Runner’s World advice and used resistance bands instead of the machines.  Well, live and try to learn!  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 6

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE

Third in the 800 meters – 2012 California Senior Games

As I was thinking about this new blog on Running, I wondered where to begin.  The answer fought its way up from deep in my subconscious:   “At the beginning, Grasshopper!” 

I thought about that for several moments, and then finally the ancient Latin admonition from the Roman Poet, Horace,  drifted into my consciousness:  “In medius res, or in English, In the middle of things.  So ignore these two paragraphs, and let’s begin.

I am aching from yesterday’s gym workout.  This flu is sapping my energy.  It can’t be the flu because my doctor says I had the flu shot last fall.  Must be some other flu, like STP, or some other three letter designated disease.  Anyway, I’m busy thinking up excuses why I can’t run today:  I’m still sick; my eye pressure has gone up; got to go to Church this afternoon….

Hold it!  I’ve really got to think up excuses why I can run today:  I’m feeling better today than I did yesterday; my fever is gone; I feel even better after a run.  Don’t go away; I’ll let you know which side won the argument… Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE

STANFORD UNIVERSITY STORYTELLING PROJECT

Today’s post is directed to my Alma Mater’s radio station, KZSU, 90.1 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area.  You can also find the station online at kzsuonline.stanford.edu.

This morning I received an email from Stanford, inviting me to attend the first in a series of “Big Shorts” in the new Stanford Storytelling Project.  This will be held at CoHo Café on campus next Tuesday, January 17 at 8 p.m.  It will run for one hour and feature readings by Tobias Wolff, Skip Horak, and Xandra Clarke.

KZSU also features audio podcasts on the station, and I am submitting two of my nearly 100 podcasts for broadcast consideration.  The first is Episode 1 from my thriller, Slaves On Horseback, and key parts of it take place at Stanford and environs.

The second submission is Episode 1 from Mr. Wugidgem And The Faces Of Freedom, which is Book Five in my Children’s Fantasy Series.  Our heroes, Debby and Michael, whisk away to Venezuela to join in anti-government demonstrations.

I hope to see some of you next Tuesday at CoHo at 8 p.m.

For my regular subscribers, I will post Episode 6 from my father’s autobiography, Talking To The World From Pan Am’s Clippers, tomorrow.

All the best,

Allan W. Chapman-Creative Writing Major, Class of 1964, Stanford University

A Tale Of Oil Conspiracy

EPISODE 1 SLAVES ON HORSEBACK

MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

EPISODE 1 MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM