Thursday, June 30, 2011

Children's Home Update and Tempo Summer Runs

Another awesome New England day! Warm, but not humid.
We had a planning meeting at the Children’s Home yesterday and thanks to them the fundraiser is on track. Our only glitch is getting the Cromwell Schools to commit to us using the track. Once we confirm the date of October 22nd, we can move forward with the advertising. Hopefully Alex can get an answer tomorrow.
The event planning team will need to expand once we get confirmation, so I’ll be out there recruiting volunteers to help with various tasks to pull this off for the children. The run, after all, is for...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Running Spontaneity and High School Memories

Trying to beat the summer temperatures can be challenging. This morning, I dropped Evan off at camp and then headed straight to the track. I was not following the weekly schedule, but I didn’t care. I say buck the schedule once in awhile and do what you want. Being as inflexible as I am I can’t believe I considered the notion. Jenn, my wife, in her infinite wisdom about life, taught me the concept of spontaneity. I love her for that. See, today was supposed...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Running: A Good Friend

Towards the end of my 20 mile long run this morning, I wondered why I voluntarily get out of bed early Saturdays and Sundays to run, especially when it does not pay the bills. Am I insane? Normally these questions would not be on my well-rested mind. Sheer exhaustion was tainting my attitude.
My family and I enjoyed a night of socializing at a party. Most of the people at the party were not runners, but...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jim Hite's 50 Steps to a Healthier Future Campaign

Hi Everyone,

Please join me in by either donating, walking, or volunteering to support the Children's Home in Cromwell, CT. I plan on running 50 miles on my 50th birthday to support the Children's Home.

Where Does My Contribution Go?
The Children's Home hosts many underfunded or non-funded activities that go beyond what is required by agencies that refer children into their care. These include summer education and worker preparation projects, religious education, summer camps, field trips, cultural events, recreational activities, and social and life skills activities. Moreover, private funding ensures both the future and character of The Children's Home to provide the finest facilities, equipment and opportunities for our kids. Your support keeps the "Home" in The Children's Home!

Physical, emotional, and spiritual health leads to healthy souls.

The fundraising page is now ready for you to access:

For Donations:
Please consider donating to support the Children's Home in Cromwell by using the links above. Children are our future. They need our physical, emotional and spiritual support.

"No contribution is too small"

To walk/jog/run:
If you want to join me and walk/jog/run from a 1/4 mile to 50 miles and enjoy the great outdoors, the tentative date for this outstanding event is October 22, 2011 in Cromwell, CT. More information to come.

If you want to volunteer during the event click on the below link and select "Join the Team" button.


* BRAND-SPANKIN' NEW iPAD 2: Donate $26 or more between now and June 24 (THAT'S TOMORROW!)to be entered for a chance to win an iPad 2 with a special thank-you video from Crowdrise co-founder Edward Norton. Norton is fundraising for the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery. (Official rules on the Crowdrising Website)

* TRIP TO OREGON: The person who raises the most money by June 30 will win a spot on the Bart Yasso-coached Runner’s World team at this year’s Hood to Coast Relay! The race is August 26-27 in Oregon. (Official rules on the Crowdrising Website)

* OTHER FREE STUFF: We’ll give our fundraisers highly coveted Runner’s World schwag at random, and for winning mini contests.

* FIVE THOUSAND BIG ONES: Runner’s World and Rodale Inc., the publisher of Runner's World and, will donate $5,000 to the charity that raises the most money through September 5.
(Official rules on the Crowdrising Website)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oreo Meltdown

OMG! I just ate some of those new Fudge Cream Oreos. The post-lunch five were inhaled in under a minute. Guinness should have been there. Five is almost two servings. Okay, okay, I’ll round up to two servings instead of trying to minimize my guilt. I immediately regretted eating them just like I used to after...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Off-Roading Like a Kid

My left hip was sore after Saturday’s run, so I decided not do my long run on Sunday. Unfortunately this was the most important run of the week to miss, but then again it was a recovery week. Oh well, it’s best to not create a long term injury due to my lack of patience.
Today I thought that I would try a flat surface and stay off-road, so I went to the high school. I ran on the rubberized track, grass, and then diverted into the woods that the cross country team follows. I took one wrong turn, but who cares. We turned around and got back on the trail.
Now that Evan is out of school, he came along to ride his bike. Evan’s not into running...

Monday, June 20, 2011

More to Ultras Than Bodily Functions - My Schedule

There are some humorous ultramarathon quotes out there. I thought I would share a couple before talking about my training schedule.

"eat, eat, eat, eat, drink, drink, drink, drink, pee, pee, pee, pee, run, run, run, run" 
- Simon Mtuy, Tanzanian ultra runner

Here’s another one I found, but I don’t know the author:

I could follow Mtuy’s quote as a basic schedule for an ultra or subscribe to the “put the right foot in front of the other” plan as another option. These are probably too vague for me. I’m more structured than eat, drink, pee, and run, even though that’s what one essentially does during an ultra. I’m like a fish out of water without a schedule.
18 weeks until the 50 mile run. Today I thought I would share my schedule after being pampered on Father’s Day.

Okay, here is my disclaimer before I go on: The schedule is subject to change. Afterall, I've already made several changes. My schedule is a mixture from several sources:
·         Hal Higdon, a well-respected coach
·         Runner’s World Magazine
·         A book called “Run Less, Run Faster”
·         Me
I have run up to 23 miles during marathon trainings so I will also draw upon my experience.
Don’t always be a follower when training. There are many well-respected coaches we can listen to, but also have confidence in what works for you. You are your own coach. There are too many variables to consider. We are unique…
West Hartford Reservoirs: One of my favorites places to run.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day!
Before the sun was up this morning I was supposed to be out running 13 miles, but instead I decided to take a day of rest. Not because it was Sunday or Father’s Day. If anything, I really wanted to get out and experience the beauty of an early Sunday morning when there are few people out an about and I get to see some of the wildlife. When I see rabbits on the side of the road foraging, I consider asking them in a Dr. Dolittle way, if they are up to a running challenge like...


Friday, June 17, 2011

Let's Move to Good Health

Today is a rest day so I’ll take a rest from running talk and blog about something just as important.
Yesterday, our nation released the first ever National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy (National Prevention Strategy). According the government, “this strategy is a critical component of the Affordable Care Act, and it provides an opportunity for us to become a more healthy and fit nation.”
This is an enormous step for our nation to develop a comprehensive approach to encourage health prevention and access to healthcare. Let’s be proactive versus reactive and teach people how to make affordable, healthy choices so they can make better decisions and be armed with...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fartleking and My Trusty Kitchen Utensil

I’m getting very excited! The plans for the run are progressing well. We have not confirmed a date yet, but we are ever-so-close. Some paperwork needs to be completed in order to use the schools’ grounds and we need to find out the school sporting schedule. The High School Track area will be the base location since this will be where the two mile loop will start and finish. Parking would be available at the High School, Elementary School and Intermediate School; all walking distance to the main event. I just received an email from the Cromwell Police Captain endorsing the route as being safe and wishing me luck. The Children’s Home is working diligently with many behind the scene activities, getting ramped up to release the public relations’ and registration materials.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunny Days are Here Again

Finally the sun is out and it was a beautiful morning for an easy run. The morning run in the sun, watching the ABC News Report, and the Kenny Rogers Seinfeld episode last night prompted me to think about sun health hazards. Yes, I am a Seinfeld fan. If you don’t watch Seinfeld, the scene is when Jerry comes stumbling into his apartment all frazzled and hyper after losing a night’s sleep because the red light from this huge neon chicken on the roof of the building next door is permeating the room where is he was trying to sleep. Jerry referred to the room as the “red planet.” So anyway, as he’s rubbing his eyes he said, “I can’t take it anymore. That red light is burning my brain.” You can find the scene on You Tube if you need a chuckle.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sugar Hangover

Wow, another dreary day today. This weather is so bizarre. Record heat, severe storms, now it’s back to being cool and damp. After an off day yesterday, back to training. In fact, I had a “really off” day. It was Evan’s birthday and I ate way too much cake which resulted in me waking up with a headache today. I actually felt hung-over, even without drinking alcohol.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Safety First

It turned out to be dreary and rainy the last couple of days. Yesterday I completed a slower paced 7 miles and today I did an 18 mile long run. Both runs went well.
Because it was a gray, gloomy morning and still dark, it made me think about running safety. Too many outdoor enthusiasts die as a result of being struck by vehicles. Keep in mind as you’re reading this blog, outdoor safety is not limited to runners. It applies to walkers and anyone who shares their paths with cars, bikes, or rollerbladers. Here are a couple of examples of recent tragedies: Triathlete Sally Meyerhoff died after being hit by a truck while she was training on her bike. And, when I was living in South Florida a young woman who was training for the Richmond Marathon was tragically killed as she was crossing an intersection during one of her early morning training runs. The benefit of running early in the day is that there are fewer cars on the road, but be aware, drivers have a tendency drive faster when there are fewer cars. In addition, they can be driving half asleep with one eye closed and even impaired after a night of having one too many. Darkness has its hazards, but being safe is not limited to the times of reduced visibility. Even safe havens in the middle of the day have their hazards.
It’s hard to find a safe place to run these days, even running paths. Here’s an interesting experience that I had: While running on a running/bike path that was “restricted to motorized vehicles” I was nearly run down by a motorized bicycle going at a high rate of speed while the rider was texting. Yikes! Can you believe that people text and ride a bike? I am challenged texting motionless let along in motion. Granted, no matter how safe you are, tragic injuries and even deaths happen, however, there are good, safe habits we can practice to protect ourselves. I call these safety contracts.
First, run against traffic. I also do not wear an MP3 player; too distracting. On long runs I’ll bring my cell phone. Added to this, I have my favorite safety gear that’s included in my contract. The safety gear I use is not limited to runners. I encourage anyone who shares their paths with cars, bikes, and rollerbladers to give these a try. The cost of the safety gear is reasonable considering what can happen to you without them.
I always wear my RoadID bracelet, no matter what time of day it is. The bracelet is really cool. You create a personal webpage with all of your pertinent information such as home address, emergency contacts, medical history, insurance, and a photo. On the back of the bracelet is a PIN. Rescuers or the hospital can access your personal information using the PIN. There is a low annual subscription for the bracelet. In addition, when it is dawn, twilight, nights, or whenever the visibility is reduced, I wear my Amphipod reflective vest and I attach one RoadID flashing light to the front and one on the back. The vest can be found in a sporting goods store or you can order any of these items online. You can find these products through my favorite websites on this page.
Hey, be safe out there. Just like you drive, run defensively

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wandering Mind

My run today was longer than planned. When I went out this morning, the only strategy I had was to run no more than 8 miles, which included refining the route for the 50 mile run. Well, the good news is that I narrowed the route down and it’s refined. I decided to reduce the loop distance from 3 miles to 2 miles. This makes the run more fun because the time it takes to run around once will take less. This is also great for relay team members who are working towards a 5K (3.1 mile) run. I also like the loop around the track idea at the end of each 2 mile leg.  A shorter distance also means less time on the main roads and fewer side road crossings, which translates to a reduced chance for someone getting injured. I attached a preliminary Google map. I have my meeting with the Police Captain tomorrow.

Back to how my run was longer than planned; I did 10 miles instead of 8. Not that this has not happened before. I would have known how far I was from home if I were thinking and planning my next turn in the road. Well, thinking was not on the menu. I was in “the zone” when wandering minds wander. Maybe being in the zone was a result of a lousy night’s sleep or I was just looking at the brewing storm clouds; there was one clap of thunder in the distance. I was not even paying attention the GPS watch which I’m usually fanatical about. I vaguely remember hearing the beeps of the GPS at each mile. The run was relaxing. It’s good to do this as a runner occasionally, especially if you’re not training for a race and you’re maintaining fitness. Just know where you are going and don’t get lost – that’s another story for later - flashback.
My feet are a bit sore this afternoon. My shoes are getting worn now from the mileage. These are the same running shoes that I used for the Miami and Boston Marathons. I’m glad tomorrow is a rest day. After Sunday’s long run, next week is a recovery week which means about 15-20% fewer miles, then another 3 progressively harder weeks. It’s a challenging cycle but I’m up to it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Tribute to the Ones We Love

Today is another milestone in my personal life. I am celebrating my 26th anniversary with Jenn. Where does the time go?  In celebration, I wanted to dedicate this entry to my wife, my pillar.
Jenn puts up with an awful lot. She has had to live with a person who became addicted to running. Let’s call this person “me.” We usually assign the word addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc., however whenever we become dependent on something, it can become an addiction, even good activities such as exercise. I consider myself driven. I dive head first into anything I do. I have benefited from being driven both personally and professionally. However, on the flip-side, being too driven to the point of addiction can be detrimental to the ones we care about.
Jenn has always supported my running. I began running again in February 2009 after a 29 year hiatus. I became so obsessed with running that I qualified for the Boston Marathon within 8 months. Jenn and Evan, my son, would be my pit crew every Sunday during my long runs, sacrificing their personal time so I could achieve my goal of finishing the Hartford Marathon. Jenn also sacrificed her gym time so I could go out for my evening runs before dark. I was truly blind to what I was taking from her as I became immersed. Jenn’s support was not limited to these selfless acts; there are many examples. She has always been there for me during my professional ambitions, including an opportunity resulting in her quitting a job she really liked and moving to Florida. Based on her desire to help others, when I approached her, asking if you would help with this next challenge of running 50 miles, there was no surprise that she agreed. I can only hope that I listen to my heart and do a better job at balancing my goal with the relationship.
For anyone out there who has a passion, be aware of your actions. Whether it’s running, golf, fishing, or your job, be sure you temper yourself and pay attention to the ones you care about. Note to self: Don’t become obsessed with training for 50 on 50.
Thank you, Jenn for all of your love and support.
“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”
            -Judy Garland

Here is a good article on running addictions: “Confessions of a Running Addict”.

Nice slow 5 mile run today. I got out early to beat the heat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

For a Day That Begins on the Wrong Foot, It Evens Out

Boy, was I cranky this morning. My family can attest to this. That's what a short night’s sleep will do to you. I did not want to run this morning. As much as I love to run, today was not it. I knew I needed to go. For any of you runners out there, when you are having a mentally painful day - you know, the days when you just sit and look at those running shoes with disdain, wanting them to get back into the closet. Do yourself a favor and just slip the shoes on, tie those laces and move. That's what I needed to do today. Once I was out there, I felt great. I ended up running a 7 mile tempo and an easy mile. For the non-runners a tempo run is when you run a certain distance at a steady, relatively fast pace; usually 70-80% effort. There's a calculation for this, but I won’t put you through that pain. 

On the fundraising front, I briefly met with the Cromwell Police Captain today. We are scheduled to meet this Friday so I could go over the route with him and explain what we are doing. Right now it still looks like the run will be on October 22nd. We are waiting to hear back from the High School to see if there are any events using the track that day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Meeting with the Children's Home

This is the first posting of my quest to achieve running 50 miles on my 50th birthday. Wow, 50 this year! 20 weeks until the run, but who's counting? My birthday is on October 21st. The run won't be exactly on my birthday since my birthday falls on a Friday and I have decided to do it as a fund raiser. I am a firm believer in keeping children physically and mentally healthy so I am supporting the Children's Home in Cromwell. Pay them a visit to see what they are all about.

Today was an off running day after the Students vs. Teachers 5K on Saturday and a 15 mile run on Sunday. Hill work tomorrow. Those hills hurt in a good way. Hot weather coming this week so I'll need to get out earlier.

Today was exciting! I had my first meeting with the Children's Home planning team. We are looking at having the event on October 22nd. The route will be a continuous loop of approximately 3 miles and will include a single loop around the track. Anyone who wants to join me for part or the whole run is welcome. I'll love the company and chat time. My family will be my pit crew. Hopefully I won't need a tire change; I certainly will need fuel.

Of course the route will depend on the discussions we have with the police and school. Fingers crossed.