Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend video

Just a quick video from this weekend of jump #701, filmed from my perspective of a freefly jump with Ahmed. I ended up having to work on jump #700 since another instructor hurt his foot, so nothing too out of the ordinary on that milestone jump (is 700 really that significant though?), but this video shows us doing some head down docks, a linked transition from head to sit, and some nice solid sit docks. Overall, very happy with how far our freeflying has progressed! (Freefall doesn't sound pretty on video. You might want to turn your sound down before playing this clip.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Proof that anything is possible - Team Hoyt

My friend Brendan raced the TimberMan 70.3 triathlon this past weekend in New Hampshire. When he got back to Maryland I expected to hear stories, as I usually do, of getting kicked in the face during the swim, hellish hill climbs on the bike, hitting the wall on the run and, of course, scantily clad triathlete chicks. But Brendan came back with a different story this time. This past weekend he had the privelege of seeing Team Hoyt in action.

"Team who?" That was my response, so he showed me the video below. Take 10 minutes and watch it. It is hands down the most inspirational story I have ever heard.

Rick and Dick Hoyt, my hat's off to you. Absolutely, positively, most definitely without a doubt incredible stuff right there. Bravo to you two.

8/16-8/17 jumping and running

Ahmed freeflying over Delmarva (photo: Me)

I was finally able to get up in the sky this weekend and do some playing around! Did some fun freeflying with Ahmed for my fun jumps and countered that with 5 tandem working jumps. 9 total jumps for the weekend, bringing my total to 698 jumps. So close to 700! Gotta start planning something fun now.

I must not have been paying attention to the dropzone calendar because, to my surprise, there was a huge catfish and crab feast after jumping on Saturday. Good jumps, good friends and good crabs... gotta love it!

Crab feast (photo: Thalia)

As for running, had a nice 18-miler early Saturday morning with the XMP group, including some pretty decent hill sections to spice it up a bit. Usually I would expect my legs to be trashed, but I took an ice bath afterwards and my legs felt great, even after jumping tandems later in the day! Looks like an ice bath is going to become a usual part of my routine after long runs.

I'm in a recovery week now so I've got 2 days off and total weekly mileage should only reach around 50 miles. Remember, recovery is a vital part of proper training! Back at it next week...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Study shows running slows aging

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine just published an article in the Archives of Internal Medicine showing that running slows the aging process in those of middle to old age. The 21-year study followed 284 runners and 156 healthy control subjects who were all 50-years-old at the beginning of the study. At 19 years the mortality rate was a 15% among the runners and 34%, more than double, for the control group. The study concludes that "Vigorous exercise (running) at middle and older ages is associated with reduced disability in later life and a notable survival advantage."

Woohoo! I'm going to live forever! Oh wait, nevermind. Close enough though...

So lace up them shoes and let's all go enjoy our happy, healthy lives!

Related Links:

Abstract from the Archives of Internal Medicine

BBC News article summarizing the study

Monday, August 11, 2008

A brief weekend update

Not too much to report on from this past weekend. Got in a nice 17-miler Saturday morning with the XMP group on the C&O Canal (pictured left). Low temps + low humidity + flat route = great run. Average heart-rate was 136, so once again I'm doing well in keeping it low during these long distances.

No jumping this weekend due to a wedding of some good friends. It's probably best that I didn't jump anyways. An 18-wheeler drove off the Bay Bridge early Sunday morning and traffic was horrendous. I've been told from other jumpers that the usual 2 hour drive back home from the dropzone ended up taking 4 hours (while I sat at home watching the Olympics). Guess I lucked out on that one!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Guess who I met today?

Me: "You're the reason I got into ultramarathons."
Dean: "I'm sorry."

Talk about a genuinely nice guy! We only had a few minutes to chat, but it looks like I should be able to run a few miles with him at The North Face Endurance Challenge on Sept. 6th since we'll both be running the half marathon. You would think he would be running the 50-miler but he's the host of the event so he'll have a ton of obligations and he can't spend all day running. I'll be doing the half since it's a bit too early in my training program to be "racing" a 50k like I originally planned. Looks like running the half won't be so bad after all!

(And a shout out to Salty for making this run-in happen. Gotta love that girl!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The root cause of a national epidemic

There is a national epidemic out there people. It affects millions of Americans on a weekly basis, often striking with little to no warning. No, I'm not warning about the dangers of eating jalapeno peppers or talking about how fat our youth are getting (seriously kids, easy on the pudding pops), I'm talking about A Case of the Mondays.

Yeah you heard me. A Case of the Mondays. You know that feeling when your alarm goes off on Monday morning and you force your eyes open, you accidentally fall asleep at the traffic light on the way to work and can't believe that you're about to sit at a desk for 8 hours. Apparently this is a common occurrence for most people, but not so for me. I usually feel great and refreshed after a nice weekend of running or skydiving.

"But what is the cause of this epidemic?" you may be asking yourself right now. I'll tell you. I didn't find this out after years of painstaking research, but rather accidentally after a weekend of doing the things I love to do. The dreaded Monday morning exhaustion is caused by a combination of lots of running AND lots of skydiving. Yup, apparently millions of Americans are just as insane as I am and are running and skydiving on the weekends like there is no tomorrow. I know I did, and I am officially done for.

16 miles Saturday (after the rain passed)
woke up at 5am Sunday for another 8 miles
6 tandem skydives Sunday (oh, and 4 hrs in the car driving to and from the dropzone)

I guess hauling around 200lbs of meat (aka a person) with a 60lb backpack (tandem rig) back and forth, up and down from 13000 feet all day isn't the best recovery for 24 miles of weekend running. Who'd have thunk it?

Someone wake me up when my energy returns...