Ruminations 2021

Up, Up, Damn Hill* (#46: Published in 1/9/21 RUN REPORT)

The unequivocal, unimpeachable, non-partisan, non-sectarian, geological science of Shawmont Running Club

BB Betsy, CtCloser, HalfCaff^, $teve, and Ying1 stood at the bottom of Shawmont Avenue, unmotivated to start the ascent. Even the pleasure of trying to beat up everyone else seemed inadequate catalyst. HalfCaff started first, but Ying1 commented bleakly, “That damn hill just keeps getting higher.”

There may be more to that than emotional friction. Various sources indicate that Mount Everest increases in elevation ¼” (4 mm) to 2” per year because of regional tectonic activity. While Philadelphia isn’t known to be the locus of tectonic activity, there are still a lot of cyclists that traverse the bottom of Shawmont from the Schuylkill River Trail to River Road. And the ground compression results in expansion somewhere. This is solid SRC science: Who squeezes a tube of toothpaste and doesn’t expect something to come out somewhere else? That’s the assertion, anyway. It’s time for the researchers to get to work confirming. In the meantime, we’ll keep ascending with the confidence that as the elevation rises, we’ll keep running better because everyone knows that “hill work is speed work in disguise.”

-CtCloser #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶*Thanks to $teve for the title. ^HalfCaff=Howard, per his Twitter handle and used with his endorsement. Thanks for the heads up on Everest growing. ¶Based on true events.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

Double Entendres II (#47: Published in 1/16/21 RUN REPORT)

Here’s another linguistic entry. It’s been a while. Check out Fine Print for others.

  • “Quietman Tom’s a sweater. Preferably cable-knit. He likes to be warm on top.”
  • Starting from the foot of Shawmont Avenue to BB Betsy: “Let’s beat Ying up.” Ying: “Damn you! You’ll have to beat me up first!”
  • On the road passing a probable mom w young daughter calling ahead to probable dad w another child: “Runner up!” Me (in my own head, but still): “I’m a winner in my book.”
  • About race cheer-zone members (with apologies and in the spirit of double entendre as risqué utterance): They’re my best athletic supporters.

-CtCloser #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶Likenesses used with permission. ¶Double EntendresLogophilia

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

Change of Pace (#48: Published in 1/23/21 RUN REPORT)

The benefits of shaking up the routine

Last week I skipped out of the traditional SRC run to join the Blue Bell contingent. I hadn’t seen them in a while and joining would break up the usual Saturday routine for me. It turns out that having me join broke up their routine, too. The Blue Belles were Kaycee, Kelee, and Tina. (That made me the Blue Beau.) When Christine hosts the group, it might be more appropriate to call them the North Wailers. Or maybe the Center Squares. Anywho (nod to zen yanni, our illustrious editor), Kaycee strung together a bunch of small and large pearls that she hasn’t even run in a while. That was great for Tina who readily admitted she needed to run anything different from the usual. Kelee especially loved the little sylvan diversions. And the side benefit was that everyone ran our on-the-road 13 just a little better. Change is good.

-CtCloser #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶Likenesses used with permission.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

You Can Go Your Own Way* (#49: Self-published with 1/30/21 RUN REPORT)

It’s called Shawmont Running Club for a reason

So the group is called Shawmont Running Company for the 1-mile 6%-grade Shawmont Avenue stretch, beginning mile 9.5. Not everyone does it every week. There are people who are more sensible and do shorter runs, many never leaving Forbidden Drive. In the run report, those will be dubbed an “on-the-trail” whatever distance. For last week’s run, the majority of the runners were successfully brainwashed to do Shawmont Ave. Once one reaches Roxy at the top of the avenue, there are still many options for completing the run, depending on your druthers. Greg, HalfCaff, and Teddio did the traditional Ridge Ave return for a total of 14 miles. No one did, but if you wanted to, you could hit Northwestern Ave early and return via the trail for a Shawmont Short (or Vanilla) and 13 miles. Art, BB Betsy, CtCloser, and Ying1 added on Eva Rd for an extra mile. And Gene was JustGene because more roadwork simply wasn’t calling his name, so he returned solo via Wises Mill Rd and Forbidden Dr for his own 13-miler. Even brainwashed, you can still do you.

-CtCloser #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶*Thanks to Fleetwood Mac.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

Are You Sure? Positive. (#50: Published in 2/6/21 RUN REPORT)

Running builds characters

Forbidden Drive didn’t look inviting on Saturday, 2/6. Most everyone who showed up took to the streets. As it turned out, the run for $teve and me was an exercise in positivity.

It was excellent for neck strengthening…looking down to evaluate the rutted, crusty, icy snow. Outstanding for strengthening leg stabilizers…negotiating the uneven terrain transformed from gravel and pavement to the equivalent of a rocky trail. Superlative for developing observational skills…determining if there’s enough space and time to wend a path between snow-covered shoulder and oncoming traffic and deciding when just to stop and step off. And nonpareil for expanding diagnostic abilities…after jamming shoulder during fall on black ice.

Currying negativity was an option, but who would want to quash the opportunity to build character? After all, SRC needs all the characters it can build.

-CtCloser #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

What Goes Around, Comes Around (#51: Published in 2/13/21 RUN REPORT)

It’s not my fault. Really?

In Hindu culture, karma is a life-cycle phenomenon. In social media, occasionally it’s instant. Other times, it’s somewhere in between. Take Art. Please. If you were paying attention to him during fall 2020, he was prepping to run the Philadelphia Trail Half-marathon with his adult son. He’d run down with the pod to the 5-mile mark and do a trail workout on the Yellow Trail to return. Trailing, so to speak. You’d also know that when Ying1 joined him for a trail workout, she fell. Tore both brand-new tights and skin in the process. The question of how much was Art’s influence versus bad luck is rhetorical even if it was easy to pick on him and insist the former. Well, then Kristy did a trail workout with him, too, and ended up the same way. Okay, twice a pattern makes. Art is clearly a pushy guy. Running with him in late January after the race, I found out that he got his own comeuppance when he fell, too. And broke a rib. Justice has been served.*

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶*Written in the spirit of levity and affection. Note: Details and tenor used with permission. Rumination’s “antagonist”: Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

What’s with the White Stuff? (#52: Published in 2/20/21 RUN REPORT)

Usually that means snow

Aside from a pandemic, what else could upset race training plans? There are unavoidable circumstances and there are avoidable ones. Last week it was the latter in the form of a stomach virus. I should have known better when I noticed the unnatural white edging around the leftover vegetables. It’s just that the idea of throwing away food offends me. Well, apparently the food offended me, anyway. Last week was actually a planned down week for me in terms of mileage. It just turned out to be downer. Because of white stuff around the Shawmont route, the planned 14-mile run would be around a local neighborhood instead. By the 2-mile mark, that planned 14-miler with tempo segments became just a plain 14-miler. By the 4-mile mark, the 14-miler became an 8-miler. By the 6-mile mark, it nearly became an Uber call to my wife. I did survive to write this lesson-learned(?) Rumination: If it’s not one kind of white stuff, let’s not let it be another that’s the spoiler.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

Overtraining (#53: Published in 3/6/21 RUN REPORT)

Insomnia as a symptom during marathon preparation and experimenting with treatments

As I ramp up mileage and speed work during marathon training (DE Running Festival Marathon, 4/25) it hasn’t been injury or illness that have concerned me; It’s been overtraining. Over the last few training cycles, as I’ve pursued an elusive Boston qualification, I’ve reached the point when I wake up mid-night and can’t sleep again for an hour or more. With BB Betsy’s experience and insight I’ve learned that that’s a classic sign of overtraining. This cycle, I finally found just the right article with strategies to try out (Runner’s World, natch.). And stopping the training short isn’t one of them. This past week I had my first night of unexplained insomnia. Now begins the experimentation with naps and more protein at the top of the interventions list. Like any obsessive runner, the training is non-negotiable. Thankfully RW (and the wife) clearly understands that.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

Cheater (#54: 3/13/20 RUN REPORT)

Where did they come from?

The runners advanced down the course when this one appeared seemingly from nowhere in the middle of the route ahead of them. Whence had this one come with no evidence of how they got there though with abundant other evidence of having worked to do so? Worn from the exertion, the one’s presence was inescapable; in a place where they had no right to be, like a stinking, rotten cheater.

Not a runner in a race, this was a tree, which, unlike all the other trees strewing Forbidden Drive after one particularly heavy rain, wore not a single leafy branch for us runners to shove out of the way. The massive tree trunk was broken but it laid flat across the path with no top either. It demanded analysis as we ran around it, because it didn’t even have a bottom. 10-foot-length-and-18-inch-diameter of decomposed wood without even a stump in sight.

The guess was that it had died decades ago standing on the abutment overhead, giving up its grip on the rain-softened soil, and tumbling end over end to land where it finally demanded our attention: a cheater.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends (#55 Published in “3/20/21 RUN REPORT)

When dealing with numbers, always believe the numbers person

Heading off for last week’s group run, I was going on about my marathon training (DE [Running Festival] Marathon, 4/25, Sunday). My plan was to do my final 20-plus-mile long run no sooner than 6 weeks from the race. This was a strategy I got from Tall Dave that I’ve never actually implemented until this training cycle. The idea is to give the body plenty of time to rest while still keeping up the speed work and 50-plus-mile weeks. Last week, though, I was whupped. I was expecting to do 23 miles but I didn’t have much in the gas tank after doing 23 the Saturday before and 21 the one before that. At the bottom of Shawmont Ave, we were psyching ourselves up to ascend as I complained to $teve about my tiredness despite the 23-mile running goal. He said, “Mmm, you know this is 5 weeks out today.” Although I insisted it was 6, I did check my phone and confirmed that he was right! Why did I doubt the finance, numbers guy? I immediately and enthusiastically dialed down my plan for the day. In fact, I even cut myself extra slack and dialed down the total mileage for the week. This week I’m back up on the weekly mileage before starting to taper down for the last weeks. Thank goodness for friends that are more attentive than I am. I just might survive this training cycle because of them.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’13’M]

 

Monsoon Metamorphosis (#56: Published in 3/27/21 RUN REPORT)

Does everyone go through this?

What I love about publications like Runner’s World is that they tackle issues that are so particularly apropos to runners. There are a few SRC-ers who are hyperhidrotic, i.e., they can Really sweat. (I won’t name names except my own.) Last week it was a mere 55o out during a particular run but the sweat suggested something more like 85o. Google a little on excessive sweating and articles come up that don’t have as much to do with we’uns who exert ourselves. Add the word “runner” to the search and RW pops up with all its relevance.

The issue is one of thermoregulation: the body’s effort to shed the heat that comes from exertion. What even RW doesn’t get into is the transformation from non-runner to runner and the subsequent transformation from normal sweater (not the knit garment) to hyperhidrotic monsoonogen. Over the 10 years that I’ve been running, that’s what has happened. Talk? Sweat. Think about running? Sweat. Actually run? Tsunami. What I’m hoping is that my body finally figures out the difference between an effort that deserves that head-shedding reaction and one that just deserves, mm, glistening. And I hope it doesn’t take another 10 years.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. ¶See also The Fineness of Fitness (#35)

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and reference link to supplemental Rumination: 2022’06’14’T]

 

This Is the Way (#57: Published in 4/3/21 RUN REPORT)

When COVID-19-postponed race necessitate training changes

A year into this, I’m finally dealing with a pandemic-delayed race that’s left me a little a dither. Last year DE (Running Festival) Marathon was postponed from spring to fall so I could just stop and restart my training. This year I just found out it got delayed from 4/25 to 6/15. I was ready to start tapering: But nooooo! (John Belushi. Look it up.) Seven more weeks. I have no idea how the Olympic athletes have managed. I actually haven’t even heard how other runners have managed. Feel free to offer your advice. For now, the plan is to alternate double up-weeks of effort with single down-weeks to keep from burning out. This is the way. (The Mandalorian. Look it up.)

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Seems Like a Lot of Work (#58: Published in 4/10/21 RUN REPORT)

I have a better idea

With the pedestrian bridges under renovation, the trail work-around has required some getting used to. Enter Teddio, our faithful weekly census-taker, who’s not above a kvetch. The detour up to the Yellow Trail has us going up before the stone bridge and dropping back down just on the other side of the pedestrian bridges. Teddio: “I hate the idea of doing so much work just to end up where I started.” By Teddio logic, then, the best kind of race course is an end-to-end. A loop race would have to be a distant second. (The typical SRC run with Shawmont Avenue is a looped course.) An out-and-back would have to be a miserable third and a double-out-and-back a dishonorable mention. Here’s my suggestion, Teddio: You can save seats for us at Cedars House. See you when we get back!*

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Advanced Degrees (#59: Published in 4/17/21 RUN REPORT)

Oh you mean those degrees?

Shawmont Running Club offers several inviting pluses every week: a challenging typical distance (14 miles), a mid-run threshold effort (Shawmont Avenue), and other like-minded crazy runners. ‘Degrees of appeal’ I call those pluses. The more degrees of appeal an effort has, the more inviting that effort is. Mild temperature the day of a run? Add one. Moderate humidity? Add one. Rain? Subtract one. ¶As much as I love SRC, other Saturday options can occasionally sport a few more degrees of appeal. A novel location? Add one. New people to meet? Add one. Later start? Add 3. (I just thought that out loud, didn’t I?) I support higher education for many people for multiple reasons. But I also have my own way of valuing higher degrees.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

(Don’t) Look Me in the Eye When You Say That (#60: Published in 4/24/20 RUN REPORT)

Side-by-side Benefits

There’s something about being side-by-side that’s conducive to deep, candid conversation. I had one of the most extensive and meaningful conversations with my 19-year-old son that I’ve had yet when we moved him to his off-campus apartment at State College last fall. Not having to stare at each other and see every (critical? quizzical? exasperated?) facial expression helped, no doubt. Sitting face-to-face, say, at the dinner table just hasn’t been as generative. Last fall, it helped that Son and I were captive audiences to each other as we drove for 3½ hours.

Running with Shawmont Running Clubbers can be equally generative; we can even choose our running buds depending on the distance and the leg of the effort. It’s possible to get into extensive and meaningful conversations with a real variety of people. A face-to-face running conversation would be a heck of a lot briefer, if not also incredibly painful.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. See also OTOH (#62).

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and reference to supplemental Rumination: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Compulsive. That’s a Problem How? (#61: Published in 5/1/21 RUN REPORT)

Don’t we all have our weaknesses?

The DE (Running Festival) Marathon was supposed to be 2 Sundays ago, 4/18. Smaller races can do this; let you know the race is getting postponed 3 weeks beforehand. Now it’s 6/13, 7 more weeks out.

So I think the training’s been going well, but the memory just isn’t great. Where’s the evidence? It’s all in the running record, faithfully recorded every week since I started running in 2011. My last PR was during the virtual DE effort last spring, 9 minutes off my age-group Boston Qualifying time of 3:35. The spreadsheet says my highest mileage week before that 2020 effort was 43. This year I have 8 weeks higher than that with 6 above 50. If I stick to the plan, I’ll have 9 over 50-mile weeks by the time of the race; waaay above last year. Last year, before that PR effort I had 2 20-plus-mile long runs. This year I have 6. By the time of the race, I’ll have 8. Pacing? Slightly slower for medium-length and long runs, but that should catch up in the next weeks and during the taper.

So where could the spoilers lie for chipping away at a BQ? Weather and injury.

Oh, please…oh, please…oh please…

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”#dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

OTOH (#62: Published in 5/8/21 RUN REPORT)

The still-productive alternative to an SRC run

It may not be a coincidence that the Rumination 2 weeks ago came out when it did (i.e., about side-by-side conversation while bringing Son to State College). Planning to submit it for publication wasn’t particularly deliberate after it sat in my draft folder for months. It just seemed like a good time. The irony of the timing is that this week I brought him back home.

As I happily drove his stick-shift Camaro (What’s not to love?) last Saturday with him in the passenger’s seat, we had a conversation that was as generative as that first. I work with college-aged students as a university librarian and it was encouraging to recognize that after completing his second year of college, he was much further from being an impatient, over-confident, lower-level student and much closer to being a thoughtful, suitably-confident, upper-level one.

Our conversation progressed from the past semester (dual majors still good and on track, faith practice not non-existent) to the near-term future (summer jobs), then to the mid-term future (saving and spending), and finally to the long-term future (starting a nanotech business). It even finished with the immediate-term future…at which time he promptly fell asleep. That trip to fetch him came at the expense of the regularly scheduled long run at SRC. “Generative”? Not as far as running miles, but it’s a matter of perspective.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”#dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. See also (Don’t) Look Me in the Eye When You Say That (#60).

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and reference to supplemental Rumination: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Dynamic Duo (#63: Published in 5/15/21 RUN REPORT)

Weather and injury as race spoilers

My postponed-by-7-week marathon (DE Running Festival, 6/13; now confirmed live!) is 4 weeks away. With the 2 big concerns being weather and injury, the advent of some summer-like temps has provided a few opportunities for acclimating. On the injury front, Achilles tendinopathy has now besieged me full force: limping like a fiend for 2 days. I haven’t had to contend with it for a couple of years, but with so many long-distance weeks, it’s baaack like some bad horror movie. Let’s see, what do I remember about rehabbing and how well the ankle responds? Can do and very well. I will accept this as a downer week for mileage than I’d originally planned in order to give it a fighting chance. If marathon training were easy, everyone would be doing it.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”#dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

I Don’t Need No Stinking Injury (#64: Published in 5/22/21 RUN REPORT)

Reality versus desire

The concern I got from various SRCers about the Achilles tendinopathy I reported in last week’s Rumination was heartwarming. I actually showed up ready to run on Saturday and was able to complete 16 miles with very little trouble. When I developed AT a few years ago, I actually ran with it being a mild to moderate problem for 2 years. (What runner doesn’t tolerate some aches and pains?) Happily, the exercises I learned when I FINALLY went to a physical therapist have seemed equally effective treating my symptoms this episode. Perhaps they’re even more effective because I started them promptly, before it became a chronic problem. Here’s an article about the eccentric (ee-sentric, versus ek-sentric. The latter describes people, not the exercise.*) ankle drops that I’ve been doing: Eccentric Achilles Tendon Strengthening. Sooo, the race prep continues, just with some rehabbing now. Delaware (Running Festival) Marathon (6/13), here I come!

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”#dothedue

Fine Print
*Thanks to $teve for creative input. He may have been trying to make a point about me. Text otherwise by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Plenty of ARGHuing (#65: Published in 5/29/21 RUN REPORT)

Permission granted to waffle

The forecast for last Saturday and Sunday was absolutely dismal at 30-70% chance of rain for a solid 48 hours and sub-50° temps. As far as degrees of appeal for conducting a Shawmont long run in certain heat-sapping sogginess, it virtually zeroed them all out. I cast a decisive no-vote. ARGH! On the other hand, it hurt to fathom running no miles until Monday: plus 1 degree of appeal. And a standard Shawmont would be the right distance: plus another degree of appeal. Then, the majority of a Shawmont standard is relatively sheltered from rainfall. And it’s also pretty free from traffic, certainly relative to the neighborhood alternative. And there’s the chance of companionship, even if low. What do you think I did with those degrees of appeal, despite such crappy-looking weather? And with whom? Check the run report! Delaware (Running Festival) Marathon: 6/13.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”#dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Everything’s Under Control Until It’s Not (#66: Published in 6/5/21 RUN REPORT)

You can cancel an entire race that late?

The check list for the last week before the DE Running Festival Marathon (6/13) looked like this. Weather forecast: check (Actually darn good for mid-June). Injury report: check (i.e., everything under control). Taper: check (i.e., handled responsibly. Srsly! 8 and 4 miles that I ran 6 and 4 days out). But this last one wasn’t on the list. Actual race: uh, race?

Even during pandemic times who’s ever heard of a race getting cancelled 4 days before the event? Not the entire event, just one race from the festival of 5 total. Well, you heard it here. The organizers cancelled only the marathon because of inadequate traffic-control staffing and moved all the shorter events to the less populated 2nd half of the course. The alternatives offered are refund and conversion to the half marathon. This finely-conditioned running machine doesn’t like either option. So the working plan is to register for the half and just do the route again; a double-out-and-back race. Done 4, can do one again. That all could change, but just like the actual race, the decision-making process will take place one step at a time.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat”#dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Mission Accomplished, Virtually (#67: Published in 6/12/21 RUN REPORT)

One option for handling a cancelled marathon

With the cancellation of the official DE Running Festival Marathon (Sunday) for inadequate traffic-control support, I decide to do an unofficial race. I took off at the starting line of the official half marathon a little less than 2 hours early. I don’t use a heart rate monitor, so I always gauge my effort based on my breathing. For the first half of a race, I breathe in over the duration of 3 steps and breathe out over 3; a nice easy effort at a good pace aided by the training taper. Whenever I start breathing harder and faster, I force myself to go easier and slower. For the first 2 quarter splits of this virtual half, the pacing turned out to be 8:55 min/mi and 8:00.

I approached the starting line for the official half marathon a few minutes after the gun. Wearing my marathon bib as I was, the front runners figured out what I was doing and broke into applause. Pretty awesome! During the 3rd quarter of a marathon effort, I permit myself to start breathing harder and faster: in over 3 steps and out over 2. This half marathon split pace was 8:00. For the final quarter of a race, when I’m really starting to fatigue, I permit myself to start breathing even harder and faster: in over 2 and out over 2. To start the last 2 miles of a marathon, I switch to 2:1. And for the last mile, I switch to 1:1 and burn all my remaining fuel. My last quarter pace of this effort was 8:20. Coupled with the negative split training, all that was good for negative splits on the halves. Coupled with hard work and maybe a little raw talent, that was also good for a 3:39:34 unofficial marathon time which broke my personal record last year by 4 minutes! 4½ minutes to go to qualify for the Boston Marathon (before entering the next age group. Yes, I gotta try.)! I just need to do it officially. Given this race’s experience, that could still be a hard ask.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Who Cares? (#68: Published in 7/10/21 RUN REPORT)

Absence duly noted

How many times have you expected to see someone at a specific time who didn’t show? If it’s someone who you know only casually (a distant colleague? a service tech?) or who you never expect to be on time anyway, who cares? But if it’s someone you really care about, how late is too late? 10 minutes? 20 minutes? (The description of Shawmont Running Club on Facebook or the website says we wait 5 minutes, not 6. In actuality, it’s more like 8, but don’t tell zen yanni.) Whether you go in the direction of annoyance or apprehension might have to do with the reason for the delay. Some regulars are regularly late. No annoyance or anger; instead, how about apathy? But what about 2 weeks late with no word from someone who’s normally reliable? If you were apprehensive, you must really care. If angry or apathetic, I’ll have to stay off the grid in Alaska for longer and we’ll just see how much my ruminating means to you. Sorry Excuse For A FAN! Never mind. See you here next week.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Inquiring Minds Want to Know (#69: Published in 7/17/21 RUN REPORT)

Urgent priority

The sight of an emergency response vehicle with lights flashing raises questions. On Forbidden Drive it raises even more (given that “forbidden” has meant no cars for 100 years!). These questions demand answers. It turns out that the one at Valley Green was actually for a runner. And sadly, they had to get CPR. Fortunately, they were now fine. But the really important question had no answer: “Did anyone stop their running app?!)*

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
*Thanks to Just Gene.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Based on true events

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Feel the Love (#70: Published in 7/24/21 RUN REPORT)

The cup overflows

As a feature of the weekly Run Report, Rumination was never intended to be a political forum. That doesn’t mean we Shawmonters don’t talk politics. This past Saturday, 3 of us started talking about social justice and marginalized populations: Quietman Tom, Meatball (i.e., Heather Grace), and CtCloser (me). Given that we started talking after the Philadelphia Canoe Club (mile 7) and kept going until we got back to the head of Forbidden Drive (mile 14), we had well over an hour of serious platform-development work. Of those who did a full 14 plus, we avoided the exposed Ridge Ave return. I slowly lost ground to Meatball and Quietman as adrenaline got the better of them while plying Wise’s Mill Rd. Maybe just as well; there’s only so much heat this runner can take. Per usual, I caught up right at the end, but not before passing a photoshoot just below the covered bridge. Completely coincidentally, it turned out to be the engagement of a Wednesday night group-run friend. One big lovefest.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

The Finish Line (#71, Published in Saturday 7/31/21 RUN REPORT)

Of race and pandemic

The number of folks that have been showing up this summer has been exciting. Last summer when we were in the thick of an anxiety-filled, unfamiliar global health crisis, it was just a bunch of crazy stalwarts. That’s not to say that other familiar faces weren’t running; the rest of us could see many of them hovering by either close to the usual route or close to the usual time. A relatively high vaccination rate has made it possible for many people to feel comfortable about congregating again, particularly outdoors, hence the improved attendance on Saturday mornings. Sadly, if not frighteningly, an aggressive variant has been raising anxieties all over again. The old normal is still a long way off, despite the passage of nearly 17 MONTHS! And just like the diminished number of people returning to the traditional work force, it’s not going to look the same when it does. Still, we Shawmont-type long distance runners ought to be able to do this better than most. It’s just a matter of seeing it as its own kind of endurance race.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

You Mean, You’re Not Just a Runner? (#72: Published in 8/21/21 RUN REPORT)

The things some of us do when we don’t

Runners come in all shapes and sizes and professions. The latter is filled with particular variety among the folks I’ve run with. Personally, I think university librarian is noteworthy. I am one and I’ve also run with one. On Wednesday nights, I run with a small aircraft pilot, a wine distributor, and an Amtrak engineer (track, not train). I run with more than one accountant and a decent percentage of medical professionals like nurses and physicians. But the prospect of visiting LA again, coupled with its imminent launch, reminded me of the profession that stands out most notably: project manager for the James Webb telescope.* That telescope will be launched for placement out past the moon in the fall. (I met that runner again 2 Saturdays ago. He’s now working on the Chandra X-ray Observatory.^ Still VERY cool.) There are a lot of amazing people I’ve run with, but aerospace engineer just seems to be particularly, uh, out of this world.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
*James Webb Space Telescope
^
Chandra X-ray Observatory
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’14’T]

 

You Must Know Each Other (#73: Published in 8/28/21 RUN REPORT)

Socializing quick and deep or not so much

Striking up a conversation, the one runner guessed something about the second that made RunnerOne decide to probe more about faith and upbringing. Two was more than happy to go there when One asked and the conversation rapidly got into nature and the Divine. Coming up from behind RunnerThree thought, Ah, these 2 must know each other. As Three pulled even and looked at the pair, Three realized it had to be NumberOne just doing their thing: quick and deep.

Runners just love talking about their running and comparing notes with other runners. But running is only one facet of a runner. Profession is another. Social circles is yet another. But if you really want to get to know someone and their drivers, get to learn their convictions: their values, philosophy, and essence. That takes depth. And, given, the typical segment of a Shawmont run, about 20 minutes, you’ll have to do it quickly. Or just stick with the easy stuff: paces, distances, and races. Quick and not-so-deep does work for getting to know another runner.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

The Men- Means Month, Not Males (#74: Published in 9/3/21 RUN REPORT)

Come to speak to it

Somewhere around 50% of the people that anyone has ties to has to experience a phenomenon that the other 50% doesn’t. If you’re in the doesn’t half and you have a close relationship with someone in the does (significant? spouse? offspring?), you really ought to have gotten used to dealing with it by now. I’d like to believe that you can stand in the checkout line to buy phenomenal(!) products with aplomb.

One of the Shawmonters is a period warrior who’s not afraid to talk about it. It is a fact that, like an Olympic athlete featured in a Washington Post article*, those in the does population have to deal with how the phenomenon affects physical performance. That means that those in the does population are also regularly dealing with it during a Shawmont run. Those in the doesn’t population should be mindful of that possibility. If you’re running with our resident Shawmont period warrior, you might even hear about it during a Saturday run. I know I have. It’s fine. I more than survived. I’m married to someone in the does population and I’m parent to one. And I can now quote one as an authoritative source in that WaPo article who was citing that conversation with me and other doesn’ts. Yeah, our resident period warrior was a source! Read it. You’ll be a better person for understanding, and even discussing, the reality; whether you’re a doesn’t or a does.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
*An Olympic runner was open about her period. More athletes should speak out, women say.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Copy! Right? (#75: Published in 9/11/21 RUN REPORT)

Some rights reserved to CtCloser

I’d like to think that I can craft a line or even draft an entire thought. As of this Rumination, I’ve crafted 75[*]. I know that not everyone reads them at the end of the weekly Run Report. Those who do and have said anything about doing so have been positive. I guess those who aren’t aren’t telling me. I’d like to think that one day, someone might even want to quote or reprint one of these Ruminations in full. Guess what? That person could. First of all, quoting is no problem. US copyright law permits that as a fair use. That person could even reprint an entire one. Without my permission. I know that because I teach on the subject of copyright. Under US copyright law all rights are reserved to the owner of the work. That would be me as the author. But my Ruminations aren’t protected under US copyright law. I deliberately use a Creative Commons license that legally permits me to release some of those traditional rights. The evidence is in that enigmatic “CC BY-NC-SA 4.0” in my Rumination’s Fine Print every week. It’s a legal license. Just google it. The top search result will take you right to creativecommons.org which will then inform you that all the person needs to do who wants to reprint one is give me appropriate credit (“BY” or “by attribution”). That person needs to share it under the same license (“SA” or “share alike”). They just can’t make money off of it (“NC” or “non-commercial”). After all, if I really can craft a line or draft an entire thought, I want to be a good capitalist and milk any commercial value from it that it might have. Might.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
[*Previously “74”]
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and erratum on incorrect number: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Dueling Banjos (#76: Published in 9/25/21 RUN REPORT)

Dueling ruminators

This ruminator has been writing for over 2 years now, since 9/12/2019. But before this’un, there was that’un—RunAnon—doing the ruminatin’ for who knows how long? And every so often RunAnon makes another showing. Now, that legacy ruminator might be trying to pull this ruminator’s leg (or both of them!) even if the title of last week’s Rumination was “Haiku Homage.” After all, that one seemed to be doing some clever mimicry of this one’s style. There was that one’s street tag “RA (RunAnon)” that was suspiciously like this one’s “CtCloser (Calvinthe).” And the “Negative Spelt or Positive Spelled” was equally suspiciously like this one’s “Negative Split or Positive Splat.” “#dewthedoo” compared to “#dothedue”? And how about the Fine Print in the same writing style, complete with Creative Commons license.

In 1972 there was a classic buddy movie called Deliverance. You can look up the movie details at your own leisure, but there was a scene* in the movie between two pluckers, 1 of the 4 buddies and a local to the town they’re passing through. Both wielding their instruments of choice, they face off competitively, trading stringed jibes until they fall into a comfortable duet, riffing and roughing with each other until they conclude in mutual admiration. Mutual admiration. Is that what we’re doing, here? Yes, yes, it certainly is.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) “Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

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*Deliverance – Dueling Banjos (HQ)
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]

 

It’s All Fun and Games Until… (#77: Published in 10/9/21 RUN REPORT)

A traditional SRC run has more than one downside

I’m sure you’ve heard me say before that I love Shawmont Ave. It builds character even while it’s building quads. I also discovered something else about it when I was running with the Blue Belles during a recent break from the weekly SRC routine. The recon on the route through North Wales from KC and Christine was that it was basically flat. When you’re accustomed to the 6%-grade, mile-9½-to-10½ incline of a Saturday SRC run with Shawmont Ave ascent, flat sounds easy. But it wasn’t. In fact, it was a reminder that any run with the Blue Belles has been work. It was a reminder that so many [non-SRC] long runs have been tiring, period.

It seems that the problem with Shawmont is the getting-to, not just the going-up. Surely every other Shawmont runner has noticed that the first 6½ miles (from The Cedars House to Philadelphia Canoe club) is downhill, a net loss of about 200 feet; about a 0.6% decline. (Compare that to Broad Street Run’s 0.3%*.) Do that every week and even a level workout will feel like more work for the first 6 miles. One solution is to start doing fewer Saturday SRC runs. Another is to recognize it for what it is and its effect on the perception of level workouts. See y’all soon at the fence at the top of Forbidden Dr.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
*Avril, Tom. The Broad Street Run Is Mostly Downhill, But How Much Does That Really Help? Philadelphia Inquirer, 29 Sept. 2021.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Based on true events. Likenesses used with permission.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption, bracketed edit, dated reference, and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Believe It Or Not! (#78: Published in 10/23/21 RUN REPORT)

How much should you believe researchers and publishers?

I’m a runner by night, but by day I’m a university librarian; to the sciences, no less. So it seems like my running would be driven more by data then by instincts, but it’s just way too much work to find the data. It’s not like I’m getting paid to do the research or getting a grade for the effort. So like so many Shawmonters (it seems), my running goes by individual experimentation.

The biggest descriptor of my running style is negative splits. It’s in the name, CtCloser. Close strong. Negative splits means running the second half of an effort faster than the first. Split the run in half and subtract the time of the 1st half from the second. A negative split will result in a negative number. Some analysis confirms it’s the strategy to use. But that’s based on elite runners, those who win marathons or finish in the top set of competitors. Consider this article (that I did find by doing some research!): Why Negative Splits Are Ideal on Race Day

But the fact that the top competitors ran negative splits doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to run. It just means those who won happened to negative split. Credible?

Finally, what does it mean that Race Grader republished an article that was originally in Competitor.com that isn’t even available through that website anymore? Seems kind of incredible to me. More to come.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Training to Negative Split (#79: Published in 10/23/21 RUN REPORT)

Training to do then doing

There are so many factors that can contribute to race pacing: fitness, training quality, course terrain, the competitive field, mental state, pacing strategy, weather conditions, etc. Everything being equal, my goal has long been to race pace for negative splits by training that way (running the second half of the effort faster than the first). The reason for this longstanding goal is because I started my first marathon too fast and ended up positive splatting the halves…by 34 minutes, 50 seconds. I was just so sure that my training had prepared me to run a sub-4:00:00 marathon that I started running with that time as the target. Instead I finished 24:22 over. It’s just really hard to gauge what the right amount of effort is at the beginning of a race when you’re all tapered and hyped up.

I started training to do negative splits because I figured the best way to avoid going out too fast was to practice going out slower. In the 18 marathons (in which I’ve monitored my split times) out of 19 that I’ve run since 2013, I have now run half negative splits and half positive splats. Experience is an important factor in achieving that number of negatives (as are all the factors I mentioned, I’m sure), but my confidence in executing a negative pacing strategy came when I figured out how to accurately gauge my effort during each segment of a race. More to come.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

My Favorite Source of Running Information (#80: Published in 10/30/21 RUN REPORT)

Not necessarily the usual suspects

The New York Times happens to be one of my favorite sources for running writing. It helps that someone on the editorial staff decided that running is a popular enough pastime and that a significant enough percentage of its readers care about it to justify it featuring articles regularly. The New York Marathon may be a factor. But note that the Boston Globe doesn’t have nearly as much about running. Nor does the Philadelphia Inquirer. Of course, the number of subscribers is probably a factor. Still, it’s pretty cool for subscribing runners who like to read good writing also to have some of it be about running.

The other great thing about NYT is that I subscribe to it and read it daily. Given that it features running articles every few weeks (seemingly), I virtually get those good articles spoon fed to me. And being the lazy researcher (though less lazy runner) that I am, I could hardly ask for anything more.

Runners World is also a great source of running information, natch. It and other websites offer a great deal of free information for anyone doing internet searching. With NYT, though, you can only access a few articles as a non-subscriber before you get locked out. Interestingly, when I google about running, NYT articles often come up among the top search results. Since I subscribe to it and read it daily, no problem. For me, it’s worth the subscription price to get both general and running information.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption: 2022’06’14’T]

 

They Didn’t Say (#81: Published in 11/6/21 RUN REPORT)

Evidence-based research so that someone can say

So, about training to do marathon negative splitting, I’ve been researching it on and off for quite a while, now. The problem is that master runners have lots of opinions but don’t point to a lot of evidence. People have a way of doing that, whether about politics, COVID-19, or running. In the world of healthcare provision, there’s the concept of evidence-based practice that puts empiricism—numbers and hard facts—behind diagnosis and treatment, not just opinion. Call what people often really do “practice-based evidence.”

The issue is that running and training is complex. I’ve long argued that negative splitting makes sense because that’s what world class athletes do. Hal Higdon begs to differ. Like so many runners I’ve argued with, he thinks that running slower to start means the runner is leaving money in the bank. Hal thinks runners should be targeting even splits. He doesn’t cite evidence.* In fact, no one seems to be talking about pace training one way or another; even, negative, or positive. I’ve looked and found nothing so far.

The solution is to launch a research initiative that involves a cohort of runners willing to engage in a variety of specific training regimens and that compares the results over the same course under the same conditions. Now where could a researcher find such a group of runners? Where, indeed?

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
*Higdon, Hal. “Choosing a Marathon Pacing Strategy.” TrainingPeaks, n.d.
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]

 

Hometown Marathon (#82: Published in 11/20/21 RUN REPORT)

Oh the faces where you’ll go

So, who else ran Philadelphia AARC Marathon? There wasn’t much heads up in this here run report’s “Who’s Doing What?” segment over the last weeks. I didn’t let editor zen yanni know until last week, myself.

Well, there I was in the race on Sunday (only my 2nd time out of 20 marathons!) turning onto 4th St approaching mile 2, when along came Doc running with his daughter Desmond for her first marathon effort. We ran together for a while and she ended up finishing super admirably. I know this because of Strava, the running social media app. If you haven’t started using it on your own smart device and looking up your fave SRC runners, then you’re behind the digital times! Aside from the ones I’m not yet following (Sorry! Nothing personal) were also Vel and Howard the Younger running on Sunday, them both also doing incredibly admirably. That also doesn’t include the SRC groupies who weren’t runnin’ but spectatin’ like Katrina and Jo and Greg! The point being that there sure were lots of SRC folks hangin’ around the Philly Marathon race course in some fashion or another.

I don’t plan to do Philly regularly, but I know when I do, there will be SRC well represented all over the place and Strava helping to reveal all and contribute to the celebratory messaging.

BTW, I didn’t do such a shabby time myself with minimal training and speedwork. And I negative split.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Based on true events.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]

 

SRC Celebrity Geezer (#83: Published in 11/27/21 RUN REPORT)

By SRC, mild-mannered JustGene

One of my smartphone’s news-feed channels is called Running. The fact that I get excited about the stories is telling. One week I got even more excited than usual because there was the name and face of our fave #ultrageezer plastered across the screen: How Gene Dykes Became the World’s Fastest 70-Year-Old! We don’t always get to see JustGene at the fence, given all the racing he does. So, it’s nice to read about his accomplishments and escapades as written up by none other than celebrated runner and author Amby Burfoot. Maybe others of you already know what I didn’t, that JustGene has a lot written about him. In fact, he even has his own website: UltraGeezer. In it you can find all the latest records by and articles about him. He’s fast but also humble. Two details on the website are telling. First, his name doesn’t appear anywhere but in the titles of the articles listed on the news page. Second, this prominent quote: “I have this deeply embedded belief that I am just an ordinary runner.” Did I not say deluded, too? He can hold that deeply embedded belief, but that “ordinary runner” is pretty extraordinary.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) Negative Split or Positive Splat” #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’14’T]

 

As Natural as Breathing (#84: Published in 12/4/21 RUN REPORT)

Gauging effort based on breathing and using breath play

A lot of runners use heart rate monitors to help them gauge their effort during runs. As someone who has a lot of ways of making life more complicated than necessary, it’s a practice I’ve never embraced. I have enough trouble just keeping track of distances per workout and week. But I do have a way of gauging my running effort to keep me from going out too fast during workouts and races that I use every single run: rhythmic breathing. Bud Coates and Claire Kowalchik write about this in Runner’s World in a free-access article: How to Breathe While Running Using a Rhythmic Method. It’s based on breathing in rhythm with your footfall, something we all notice when everything synchs up nicely.

The two have a good take on the topic, but I came up with my own strategy that uses rhythmic breathing more systematically. Coates and Kowalchik recommend picking an odd-number pattern of breaths per step eschewing the even-number pattern that most of us notice when we run. They talk about engaging in breath play, shifting breathing patterns, to accommodate different intensities of efforts in a given run. My strategy takes advantage of both odd and even-pattern breathing; starting out with more steps per breath when effort is easy; 3 steps while inhaling and 3 while exhaling. Then it decreases the number of steps per full breath as effort increases. It sounds more complicated than it is. Here’s a link to my take: Soothing the Savage Breath, Part 2. More to come on what this looks like in a race.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlinks: 2022’06’14’T]

 

A Better Mouse Trap (#85: Published in 12/11/21 RUN REPORT)

Making rhythmic breathing work during a marathon

I claim that I’m a lazy marathoner who doesn’t like to think much about my running. That belies that fact that I’ve had to work and think hard over all the years of my running (9, since 2012) to get to that point. One product of that is my “Wäng Way to Breathe” mixed-pattern, rhythmic-breathing technique (Soothing the Savage Breath, Part 2). For me, the technique achieves its optimal value in gauging effort for marathon racing. Here’s how that works: During the first half of the race, I keep my effort at the 3:3 level. That’s 3 steps per inhale and 3 per exhale. That’s the easiest effort I use in training and racing. Assuming I’ve trained well, that’s also the slowest pace I’ll be doing. If I catch myself speeding up and switching to the next higher level of breathing, I moderate my effort down a little. Once I reach the half-marathon point, I let myself go to that next effort level with its faster breathing pattern (3:2, 3 steps per inhale and 2 per exhale). Because of my negative-split training, that means I’m speeding up a little. When I reach the ¾ point (20-mile mark), I move up to the next effort level (2:2). At the 7/8 point (23-mile mark), I move up to the penultimate level (2:1). At the 25-mile mark, I move to the highest effort level with its 1:1 breathing pattern. As complicated as that all sounds, adoption progresses easily enough through training: Monitor your breathing to identify any pattern you have. Then practice odd-pattern breathing relative to even-pattern breathing. Next, identify and practice the different patterns in your running and train with them. Finally, practice and apply them during races. There you go. I’m waiting to revolutionize the running world with this effort-gauging technique, no heart rate monitor or pace-setting device required.

-CtCloser (Calvinthe) #negativesplitorpositivesplat #dothedue

Fine Print
Text by Calvin Wang (Wäng), CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

[Original version in Facebook. Republished with caption and embedded hyperlink: 2022’06’14’T]