April Runs

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Archive for the category “Juneathon 2014”

JUD13 – Friday 13th

Apparently a special day as the combination of Friday the 13th plus full moon only comes once in several decades (be prepared for the next one in 2049!).

Some arithmetic follows (thanks to Joseph Stromberg):

For a full moon to fall on a Friday the 13th, you need a confluence of three independent conditions — the moon phase (full), the day of the week (Friday), and the day of the month (13th). To get the probability of all three happening, you multiply the probably of each by each other.

On average, there are 12.37 full moons in a year and 365.25 days in a year (because of leap years). So the odds of any one day being a full moon are 3.39 percent. There are seven days in a week, so the odds of any one day being a Friday are 1 in 7, or 14.29 percent. There are 12 13th’s in a year (each month has exactly one). So the odds of any one day being a 13th is 12/365.25, or 3.29 percent.

To get the odds of any one day being all three of these things, simply multiply the percentages by each other. The result is .0159 percent. Then, to get the odds of a year having this happen, you multiply by 365.25 — so the odds of a year having a Friday the 13th full moon are just 5.81 percent. That means it happens, on average, every 20 years or so.

Eveving run: 14.5 km


JUD12 – Benefits of stair-climbing

If you borrow one element (besides running) from Rocky Balboa’s training regimen, make it stair-climbing. The plyometric motion strengthens the same muscles as lunges and squats, and taxes your lungs and heart as you power to the top. “Stairs force you to work against gravity, and this helps build two essential needs for runners: strength and power,” says Anne Moore, M.S., an exercise physiologist and running coach in Charleston, South Carolina. You need both, whether you’re kicking to the finish of a 5-K or trying to maintain pace during the later miles of a marathon. Moore adds that stair-climbing “forces you to utilize muscle stabilizers, like the gluteus medius, that get neglected during regular runs,” because you’re balancing on and activating one leg, briefly, as the other moves to the next step. Strengthen these areas and you’ll reduce your risk of injury.
Finally, stairs are much steeper than most hills: Indoor stairs have a roughly 65 percent grade, while Boston’s Heartbreak Hill is just 4.5 percent. That’s why climbing them accelerates your heart rate so rapidly and makes you breathe faster to take in more oxygen. This, in turn, improves your VO2 max—the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise. “This teaches your body to use that oxygen and convert it to energy quicker,” says Moore. A greater VO2 max means you can run harder and for longer durations.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair-climbing five days a week for eight weeks improved VO2 max by 17 percent among young women.

from RunnersWorld.com

P.S. Climbed 80 flights (1280 steps). It takes 1576 steps (and 86 flights) to get to the top of Empire State Building 🙂

JUD11 – Thunderstorm running

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about lightning. Lightning is not attracted to tall things, although it does hit tall things more often. Still, even a blade of grass can be hit. Lightning is also not attracted to metal, and it’s not attracted to water, either, although it moves quickly through it. Lightning can and will hit anything. So if you can hear thunder, you’re close enough that you could be struck by lightning. That’s the accepted practice and rule: when thunder roars, go indoors. And lightning can hit 10 to 12 miles outside of the center of the storm. To figure out how close the storm is, you can apply the rule of counting. When you see the lightning, count before you hear the thunder. It’s five seconds to a mile, so a storm is a mile away if there is a five second break between the lightning and thunder. SONY DSC The biggest thing to remember is that being indoors is always safest during a storm [How does this combine with Juneathon?]. You shouldn’t be running if you hear thunder and lightning. Instead, head to a sturdy building to take cover. If you’re near your car, head there. If you’re on a backroad or a rural road with no buildings around, the safest thing you can do is to find a shorter grove of trees. That’s because tall objects tend to be struck more often, so you don’t want to be the tallest object around, and you also don’t want to be under the tallest trees. Having said that, it’s worth saying that there is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm.

(from Boston Magazine)

P.S. Ran 6 km and then moved indoors, soaked, for some stairs…

JUD10 – A small recap

Somehow this Juneathon passes way faster than in the past years. After the first third, I have 10 activity days to report, no slacking days so far:

6 runs totaling 50 km; and

4 stair-sessions totaling 225 floors (640 vertical m)

These numbers are not to die for but what I am in particular proud of is that in the past 1.5 weeks, I have sincerely been thinking about what I eat and how, I have cut alcohol and coffee usage, did not eat white bread nor processed food and actually stopped snacking. Also, I started drinking water (generally, I am bad in drinking regime).

So here is my advice for the upcoming days:

bunny-cartoonThe one thing I was not doing enough was reading the blogs of my fellow Athoners and supporting them by positive comments :-). Hopefully I will find some time for that tonight. Keep going, guys!


JUD06-09 Hot hot hot

Summer has come in all its strength. Many of my fellow bloggers and runners spent the weekend on a 103 km (or was it 107?) ultra trail in the south of Czech. I stayed in the shadow under a pear tree and only managed some shorter runs EARLY in the morning.

Being in my mother’s house, Plesivec of course was on my list again but this time in a very slow ‘survival’ pace.

Foto0170Fresh water never tasted better:
Foto0171And it was even hotter on my way back, luckily with some stretches of shade:
Foto0194All in all, I am still on my track with healthy food, less coffee, hardly any alcohol (well, a beer or two just to moist my throat…), daily running or exercising (stairs). So far so good.


JUD05 – Fivefingers in trouble

Many articles analysing the court case of Vibram have been published in the past weeks. Here one of the few that I actually liked written by Hanaan Rosenthal for The Huffington Post.
Which reminds me, I still haven’t bought my pair of Fivefingers…

(10 km tonight – no barefoot running though)


JUD04 – Running out of topics

From what I read on my fellow Athoner’s blogs, the nightmare for every single one of us is not the lack of training and exercise but the absence of the creative writing muse. Exactly how easy is it to describe the feeling of sore legs and sweaty T-shirt for 30 days in a row?

Ran the stairs 70 times up and down again… Boring :-).

JUD03 – Regular runs

Ok, ok, staircase, exercise, healthy food… but what about good old running? Yes, it is still there, whenever I can find an hour of spare time. Most recently (today) eleven kilometers of perfect solitude, a little more than an hour just for myself, my thoughts, hesitations and dreams. I, me, and myself in a harmony. At least that is what I am striving for – with fluctuating levels of success.
DSC_0001The most important thing is to keep trying. To go out there, get moving, fight back. Just like some of my dear blogging friends write in their own blogs, as a reminder for themselves on bad days: It is important to NEVER EVER give up. Not ever.

JUD02 – Stairway to… heaven?

Well, not quite. But it is good to know that there is an alternative solution for dark and rainy days (and nights) or for the days when I simply cannot leave the kids alone: 16 steps totaling 285 vertical centimeters. Running them up 35 times brings me to 100 vertical meters. Managed 70 times today, so +200/-200 m.
Other than that, for the past two days, there was hardly any coffee, no alcohol, and almost all FRESH food. I know this is just a short start but am happy regardless.

JUD01 – A different challenge

It is this time of the year again, June. For the past 2 years, January and June didn’t merely represent summer and winter, they were the Athon months. After completing 2 Janathons and 2 Juneathons in the past, I know that I can run for 30 consecutive days (Juneathon 2012, Janathon 2014) so this June it was a bit of a struggle to find a challenge strong enough to keep me going. I was brainstorming with V for a while and then it hit me: my June challenge for 2014 is to focus on my nutrition and exercise.

Nutrition? What the f*ck is she talking about? Well, I am not as sophisticated as I may sound. I simply need to find a little enough time to force myself to eat regularly and healthy (or at least healthier). I need to re-introduce proper breakfasts, cut down number of coffee cups/mugs and fight the evening chocolate/chips cravings. In 2011/2012, merely sticking to these simple rules, in combination with running, was enough to shed an awful lot of weight. The girls are over one year now – how long do I expect to use pregnancy as an excuse?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not into dieting, not anymore. I truly believe in the combination of regular (and diverse) caloric income and outcome. Dinner should not mean vacuum cleaning the rests from the girls’ plates at 6 pm and adding a bag of chips at 10 pm. I am tired of that.

And when it comes to exercise? Boring, annoying, static, without visible results… All true in my mind today but hopefully not after 30 days when the pattern should start to change.

The thing is, for me, it is easier to run 10 km and return home tired but happy as the ‘results’ of my hard work are immediately visible (represented by the sweat drops). Exercise on the other hand is something seemingly too easy to bring results. But that is about to change in June. Happy Juneathoning!


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