Monday, December 12, 2011

RUNNING OUT THE YEAR - OR NOT

I posted earlier that I've been getting into barefoot/minimal running, which means a lot less padding on my feet and a more natural way of running. It's supposed to cut down on injuries and hopefully correct a lot of bad running habits. I've been working the past few months on my running form and running with a lot less cushion seems to be helping. I've also been studying a lot of videos of some very good runners.

I've only been running at base pace -- basically keeping the heart rate low and working on form. With all its benefits of running slow and having better form this has caused a problem for me. I've ran in two races and ran at a 5k race pace twice for practice. The problem is, I can't control this competitive nature in me so i ran both races at a 2 to 3 minute per mile faster pace which caused me to strain a calf muscle in my last race and strain my other calf muscle in practice when I was running a 5k race pace at the end of a 9 mile run. (I really need to learn to run for what I've trained for, which has just been fast enough to work on form and a little endurance, not race pace. My legs just aren't ready for the fast stuff yet.)


My newest pair of running shoes that I'm getting for Christmas. Right Santa?

So now I'm trying to take the rest of the year off from running to heal up. The problem with that is there's the 5k jingle bells run next weekend that we do as a family every year. Hopefully since I'll be pushing Rebecca in her wheelchair and running with Karen I'll keep it slow. This last calf strain is taking a long time to heal, and I keep reinjuring it every couple of days by just stepping wrong.

I've been really working my calf muscles to break up the scar tissue from all the old (and current) injuries as well as doing a lot of strength training and stretching. Hopefully, it will all pay off once I start training seriously.

My goal is to get up to ultramarathon running distances next year as well as qualify for Ironman again.

Hope every one has a great Christmas and an awesome and fit new year. See ya out there!

Friday, November 4, 2011

BAREFOOT RUNNING

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been trying out barefoot running. Although it's not true barefoot, I've been running in home-made huarache sandals. the shoes the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico run in. And they run hundreds of miles at a time over treacherous landscape.

I've been reading a lot about barefoot running and running in general, including the book "Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall. His book is about the Tarahumara Indians andhe is an advocate for barefoot/minimal running. I've also been following Anton Krupicka's blog "Riding The Wind" . He's an exceptional ultramarathoner who lives in Colorado. Check out some of the videos of him running on Youtube. His form is awesome. No wasted motion.

Anyhow, I've been really working on my running form and barefoot/sandal running on trails seems to be helping me get to where I need to be.


These are some huarache sandals I made. The work pretty good for getting my running form in balance. Slow and easy and build up the mileage, that's the trick. I'm up to 4 miles with the sandals on trails and an additional 2 miles on the road in shoes so far.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

JUST A NOTE

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything on here. Facebook is so much more convenient for making quick notes on daily life.

Several things have happened since the last time I posted. First off, we lost our beloved Bear a few months ago. After 14 years of protecting our family, old age caught up to him. At least it was quick. He went blind a few months before, but seemed to adjust ok. Then one morning he began having what appeared to be chest pains and couldn't move so we took him to the vet who said he had a tumor pushing on his heart.

At his age she didn't think he could survive surgery so we had to put him down so he wouldn't suffer any longer.

Enough of the sad news ...

IU'm just about completely healed and I've been up and running for a few months now. My ankle (actually it's the peroneal tendon beside my ankle) is about 80 percent back to normal. I've even been trail running a few times. I've also started doing a little "barefoot running" using Huarache running sandals I've made at home.

I've been reading "Born to Run" by Christopher Mcdougall. It's a true story about the Tarahumara indians in Mexoco - the running people. They can run hundreds of trail miles nonstop and in sandals no less. It's quite an inspiring story.

We've also discovered chia seeds - the super food. We've been consuming for a bout a week now. I'll try to give a report on it after about a month. The Tarahumara use chia seeds as their source of energy for running all day.

I've decided to try to qualify for Ironman again next year. I'm not too excited about getting back on the bike, however. I haven't been on the bike on the road since Ironman last year. All I think about when I think about riding is how much my ankle would hurt. I know it's getting better but I just have no desire to climb back on, yet. I'm hoping once I actually get out there on the bike I'll like it just like I used to.

My swim times are getting much faster and that's on just swimming less than 6,000 yards a week. I'm excited to see how I'll do once I begin training seriously. I've also been working on my running form. As I said I've began running barefooted which is supposed to help you run correctly. I've also been working on running more energy-efficient.

Well, that's about all I have time for right now. So get off the couch and do something. Be safe out there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SUM, SUM, SUMMAH TIME IN HAWAII


Wow, it's been a month since I've posted anything here. That's the longest I've gone since I started this blog about 3 years ago. Well, here's a quick update on what's been happening on our tiny big island.

Rebecca had a great 5k race at the Kona Marathon last month. She beat her best time by about 10 minutes.

Rebecca working her way up Alii Drive during the race. She did a great job. Alii isn't flat at all and has a severe slope which makes doing a race in a wheelchair even harder.

Even though I'm still unable to run or bike too much I managed to do two ocean swim races in the past two weeks. The Hapuna Roughwater Swim and the King's Swim. As out of shape (and overweight) that I am these days I was pleasantly surprised at my time for the Hapuna swim, which is 1 mile. I did it in 26 minutes. The King's swim is 1.2 miles which I did last year in 31:36 and placed about 7th in my age group. This year the ocean was pretty rough with huge swells and a pretty strong current. I swam it in 33 minutes this year and placed 2nd in my age group. That's my 2nd-ever swimming award.


That's me coming out of the water and running to the finish line at the King's Swim last weekend. Thanks Carl Koomoa for the photo. That swim skin I'm wearing belonged to World Champion Ironman triathlete Chris McCormack and is the one he wore last year when he won the Ironman World Championship here in Kona. Karen won it from him in a contest he had while he was here. I thought I would see if it would help me swim faster -- no such luck, though.

Oh, the week before we were swimming this same course (Kailua Bay) for Masters and ran into three sharks. there's been quiet a few shark sightings here lately.

Not much else going on. I've been running a little but Monday I tweaked my knee some how and now I can barely walk. Old age sucks ...

On a sad note, our dog, Bear, who we have had for about 14 years (we got him when he was only 6 weeks old) has gone completely blind - old age sucks. We've been trying to help him adapt but it's been a struggle for him. He's learning to walk next to walls and feel his way around through the house. We're learning not to leave things where he can trip over them and not to leave doors open to bedrooms and bathrooms where he can get stuck and disoriented.


Bear in his younger days. Actually, this was taken just a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

TRAINING DAYS

These days training is reserved for Rebecca, not me. I'm still on the injury list. Rebecca has a 5k race coming up in less than 2 weeks so she has been hitting the track a lot. This week she'll train every day then back off next week, resting up for the June 26 race. Here's a few photos of Rebecca racing around Old A today.





OTHER STUFF
This morning at 6 a.m. was supposed to be Masters swimming at the pool but someone forgot to tell the lifeguards I guess and no one opened up the pool. So we decided to go over to the pier and do an ocean swim. It was my first ocean swim in months. Just as I arrived at the King's Buoy a huge pod of dolphins swam under me. It was a great welcome back.

While at the pier this morning I noticed the King Kam hotel is still doing repairs from the tsunami back in March. They have also placed white sand all along the grounds where the canoes are stored.



In the pre-sunrise light this morning the white sand reminded me of snow rather than sand. After jumping in the ocean that early it felt like snow weather as well. It was pretty cold until we got out past the 6th buoy.

Well, that's about it for now. Take care.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WEEKENDS IN HAWAII

First off, I've started running again. The tendon/ankle/foot still hurts but I'll see if running makes it stronger or injures it more. It's been about five months since I ran and I can tell. My pace is very slow but the good news is so is my heart rate. Swimming must be keeping me cardio fit. I'm only running 30 minutes a day on as flat of surface as I can find. I'm hoping to work up to an hour a day and then start working on gaining a little speed. That's all presuming that my injury keeps healing or at least stays the same.

It's been a while since I've posted photos so here's a few from the past couple of weekends here in Hawaii.

Aaron and Grace at the airport. It's the first time they've seen each other in nearly two years.

The walking/running path at Old A is where I'm doing my running these days.




Sunset at Honl's beach.









All the above photos are at the Hilton in Waikoloa.


Karen photographing koi at the Queen's Shops in Waikoloa.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ON THE ROAD AGAIN ...

I've reached the end of my patience. It's been around seven months since I've been on my bike on the road and it's been about five months since I've done any running on the road.

The peroneal tendon that runs from my foot past my ankle is better than it was a few months ago but is still injured and somewhat painful when I use it. But enough is enough. It's time to get back on the road so tomorrow I'm breaking out my running gear and going for a run - for better or worse. It won't be too long of a run, hopefully a mile or so but it will be a start, a new beginning.

I'll let you know how it goes.

On a family note: Aaron's wife, Grace, finally made it to America. After nearly two years of filling out paper work and thousands of dollars, Aaron and Grace have been reunited. They were married in August two years ago in the Philippines.

Things may be changing at work for me. I may be returning to photojournalism in the near future. I spent about 16 years as a photographer before moving over to page design/copy editing/graphic designer.

Well, that's about it. Take care and be safe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

SOMEWHERE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA ...

For those who do not know, our Marine is deployed on the USS Whidbey Island for the next 9 months or so. He is on his way to the Mediterranean Sea to keep an eye on Libya and the rest of the Middle East. If serious trouble breaks out (even more serious than what it is now) his company will be one of the first ground troops in to face the danger.

Well, Daniel called Monday morning at about 6:30 a.m. Satellite phone connections are terrible and we only got to speak for about one minute, maybe less before we were disconnected. In that short time I learned he is bored, very bored; he is somewhere in the middle of an ocean, and that's about it.


Daniel does have regular access to the Internet and facebook, however, so we do get to communicate with him that way. As I said he and the rest of his unit is bored and he has requested lots of movies so we are shipping him out as many movies (DVDs) as we could afford to buy. We also are sending him and his buddies some TV series since those take longer to watch than a movie.

Other News ...
Our daughter, Rachael, and her husband, Josh, and our granddaughter, Maddie moved from Oahu to Georgia a couple of months ago. Josh is in the Army and wanted to transfer closer to his family. Maddie turns 1-year-old near the end of May and has just begun to walk.

Our son, Aaron, will finally be reunited with his wife, Grace, after nearly 2 years of being separated because of the whole immigration law thing. It's taken them nearly 2 years to get through all the paper work and interviews to finally get Grace a green card so she could move to America and live with her husband. She arrives here in a few weeks.

Rebecca has decided to race in the Kona Marathon's 5K race again and will begin training next week for the end of June event. Rebecca is in a wheel chair if you didn't know and 5K (3.1 miles) on Alii Drive is pretty difficult.

I've been out all year with a split tendon in my ankle/foot/leg and will be out for a few more months. I'm on my second round of physical therapy and things are coming along slowly. I've started riding the trainer (basically a stationary bike) for 30 minutes a day and that is going well. I've had to give up swimming though because it was irritating the problem and that's been difficult.

Oh, I almost forgot, I started to learn how to play the drums. It's a lot of work and a lot of coordination and thankfully, I finally got some electric drums so no one has to hear me but me. If I ever get any good I'll post a video but don't expect it anytime soon.

Well, that's about it for now. It's been a while since I've posted anything so I'll try to take the time to write more.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

UPDATES

Well, it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been busy the past few months even though I'm not training for anything. Here's what's been going on:

SEMPER FI
First, Daniel is being deployed to the Mediterranean Sea at the end of the month to keep an eye on Libya and the reast of the Middle East. He wasn't supposed to be deployed until summer. This time he will sail to the Med and wait to be sent into the fray when needed. Unfortunately, his deployment will probably be extended to his original date and not be able to come home a few months early.

SWIM, BIKE, RUN
I'm in physical therapy for my ankle/tendon. Apparently I have a split tendon and hopefully PT will help it heal so surgery won't be necessary. It's a slow process and for the past few months and the next few months about the only thing I can do is swim and walk. No running and no biking. My first scheduled marathon for this year happens at the end of the month so that's one race I'm missing. The two I wanted to make are the Kona Marathon in June and Honolulu in December. June may not happen but my physical therapist seems to think Honolulu may work.

DRUMS
Since I can't run or bike I have a lot of free time on my hands so I decided at 50-plus years old it's time to learn how to play the drums. So for the past couple of months I've been driving Karen, the kids and the neighbors crazy with a lot of banging, quite unrhythmically, but I'm starting to get the basics down. I've even sold some of my - now useless - triathlon gear so I can buy some electronic drums. That'll make Karen and everyone else happy because the noise factor is almost zero.

HURRAY FOR KAREN
Karen finally was healthy enough to take her certified nurses assistant test and passed. She was supposed to take it back in November but because of her mo-ped accident and breaking her collarbone she wasn't able to do the test until a couple of weeks ago. Now she is working part-time at two jobs. Her regular job and now at a nursing home. Good job Karen. I'm so proud of you.

GEORGIA ON MY MIND
Rachael, Josh and Maddie have moved from Oahu to Fort Benning, Georgia. Nearly 5,000 miles away. That's a long way. Hopefully we'll still get to see them at least once a year, if not more.

AARON AND GRACE
Aaron and grace are nearing the end of all the mountains of paperwork and money and interviews and everything else so Grace can finally become a U.S. citizen and move here from the Philippines. They were married about a year and a half ago and haven't seen each other since the wedding.

Well, that's about all for now. Take care and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A TRIP THROUGH THE MAGNET

I've been having a problem with my ankle for over a year. It used to hurt once in a while on the bike and would swell up. Then it started hurting more often on the bike. After a while the swelling just never went away. Then it started hurting all of the time on the bike and some of the time on the run. Then it was hurting most of the time on the run and some of the time walking. Now it hurts all of the time.

I thought it might just be tendonitis and it would go away after Ironman but it just got worse. Some days I couldn't even walk. So about a month ago I stopped pretty much everything except swimming. No running, no biking and I try not to walk anymore than I have to.

I finally broke down and went to see a doctor. Actually two doctors. The family doc didn't know what it was and the X-ray didn't show anything so i went to an orthopedic surgeon who guessed it was probably tendonitis but wanted me to get an MRI to rule out the "Big C" and a few other things. My options will be surgery, physical therapy or both, or a walking boot/cast and physical therapy.

So this morning I went to have an MRI and as the technician was getting me positioned on the machine here is part of the conversation we had.

MRI TECH GUY: Do you have any metal in your body?

ME: No.

TECH: Any tattoos?

ME: One on my leg.

TECH: How old.

ME: Just over a year old.

TECH: Sometimes the iron in the ink can react to the magnets.

ME: Oh.

TECH: Your tattoo may tingle or get hot. But don’t worry, you’ll have an emergency shut-off switch just in case your leg catches fire.

PAUSE ...

ME: Haha. You had me going there for a minute.

TECH: (No reaction) Here’s the emergency shut-off switch Mr. Wrighthouse. Once the machine starts I won't be able to hear you so be sure to use the switch if you need it.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous as the huge magnetic machine wound up. Visions of my leg bursting into flames danced in my head as I held tightly to that emergency switch.

Well, OK, maybe he didn't really say my leg would catch on fire but that's what I heard as he explained what could happen.

I have to wait now until Monday, Valentine's Day, to see the doc and hear the results of the MRI.

Hope you all have a great week and a happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

THROWING A FIT

Karen and I have been car shopping for the past few weeks.

We've had a little disagreement on the type of vehicle we should get. Karen wants a gas-economical car and I want a Big, gas/diesel guzzling truck.

Here are our choices:
This one is what Karen wants. A Honda Fit. But just look at the one below. Ain't it a beauty?

This is what I want. A man's truck!!! I mean, just think what you can do with this. Need a mountain moved? No problem. Need a new yard, or two? No prob. Need your house moved? Shoots, you can live in the back of this thing. Just pitch a tent ...

I wonder which one we'll get??? I'll keep you posted.

10 YEARS OLD TODAY

Today is THE KONA LIFE's 10-year anniversary. Although you'll notice the web address is amilucid (Am I lucid?) which was named f...