Friday, December 30, 2005

My Living Will

Someone suggested that it's a good practice to have my living will in writing, should something happen unexpectedly.

So, for the record, if I should become incapacitated in some way, I hope that there would be no attempts to unplug any wires or tubes that are in any way delaying my passage. In fact, each wire and tube should have a couple of back-up wires and tubes, and maybe some built-in redundancy.

Also, since lying in bed all day seems to be the most boring thing I could possibly imagine, I would like it if someone were to push me around town and stuff at least 3 times a day.

Additionally, I like watching movies at the movie theater, so it would be nice if someone would bring me there with all my equipment a couple of times a week. And perhaps if there is a comatose girl that I might like, ask her nurse if we could hang out, and maybe share an IV-bag.

So, I guess, I'd like it if my clothes and hairstyle were changed periodically so that I'm consistently 10-15 years behind the current fashion trends.

Also, if anyone I know is going on vacation, I'd appreciate it if you could take me along too.

And I do like rollercoasters, so feel free to strap me and my equipment in, and maybe tie my hands up in the air, because I like to do that when I go upside-down.

Also, if we go to a zoo, please make sure I see the monkeys.


Bob's "Kemah Bridge Ultra"

On Thursday morning, Clear Lake Fitness Club's own Bob Linza ran 14 laps on the Kemah bridge. He covered 26.88 miles in 5 hours 25 minutes.

Rock on like Bob.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm off to sunny Florida...

I'm leaving tonight, and I'll be gone until the 28th, and I'm not sure if I'll have regular internet access there, so you may have to go without my nonsense for a while.

I hope everyone has a nice break celebrating the holiday of your choice. If you're still undecided as to which holiday to celebrate, I suggest you avoid Christmas and go with one of the other ones. Christmas is a stressful time for people like me. I still haven't done any shopping.

You know who has the right idea, when it comes to celebrating Christmas? Old men. They don't have to buy anything, old woman does all that. Sometimes they don't even sign the cards, you can tell that old woman signed it for him. You just sit back and open presents, although you only get crappy stuff like tiny model trains or tiny model airplanes or clocks.

And it seems impossible for me to have a thoughtful gift for anyone at this point. That's why I wait until the last minute, because it's all crap, and you can't settle on crap two weeks in advance. So in all likelyhood, this is what the people in my family will get for the umpteenth year in a row.
  • Old man: tiny model, or clock, or Shnickelfritz variety sausage pack.
  • Old woman: something with a butterfly, or something to hang in the window. Also a plant.
  • Middle aged man: desktop thing that is clever in some way.
  • Middle aged woman: another bird feeder, more salt and pepper shakers.
  • Young man: video game.
  • Young woman: gift certificate.
  • Boy: video game or money.
  • Girl: money.

Those are the default gifts. If I'm unable to come up with something good.

Rock on.

I'll think of all of you when I'm running on the beach.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Kelly Keane goes 5 miles with keithrselassie

Bill Dwyer from TNT-Woodlands mentioned to me that Kelly Keane was the sweetest person on earth, and I think you'd have to agree when you see how much time she put into her responses to my silly little questions.

But aside from being sweet, she is extremely fast! Kelly is a two time qualifier to the Olympic Trials, and she WON the Houston Marathon in 2005 with a PR time of 2:32:27. She is a Woodlands native, and she is uniquely suited to answer training questions, as she is involved on the coaching side as well. Starting in January, she will be coaching alongside her current coach Greg McMillan, and you should visit both of their websites for some great training information.

I heard you recently had surgery. Are you fully recovered, or what is your recovery plan? How long do you expect it to take to return to peak form?

KK: I did have surgery 1 month ago. I was in a hard cast for 10 days, then put into a walking boot for 4 weeks. I have 1 more week to go in the walking boot. I had an injury to a peroneal tendon which just wasn't healing with rest. I basically had so much scar tissue built up, that it was restricting my range of motion. Dr Varner went in there and "cleaned it out"

I am recovering very well and am ahead of schedule. I expect to be in full form by the end of February and hope to be racing again in March.

So, no, I will not be racing Houston this year. I was really looking forward to it, but it is impossible at this point.

What is your diet like when you're training for a big marathon? Are there groups of foods you try to avoid, like fats, or refined sugars?

KK: I eat very well when I am training for a marathon. I consider my nutrition part of my training regime. But, I don't obsess over it. I eat healthy, but have an occasional beer or glass of wine, or even a bowl of ice cream!!

But generally, I do try to avoid refined sugars (empty calories) and foods very high in saturated fats.

I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, some red meat (especially if I am altitude training) lean proteins, fish, and of course lots of pasta. No secret nutrition recipes. I try to eat organic when possible, which is why my bar of choice is Clif Bar. I run twice a day, so my concern is always to make sure I get in enough calories, spread out throughout the day, so that I have constant energy through out the day. I generally eat 5 small meals a day, instead of three large ones. I always eat a healthy meal within 30 minutes of a hard long workout to replenish my stores and speed recovery.

Do you plan on returning to the Houston Marathon again one day?

KK: I hope to return to Houston again someday. The Olympic trials are coming up in 2008, so all my racing will be geared towards this. I received so much support from the Houston community and it has meant so much to me.

How does strength training fit into your training schedule?

KK: Strength training is a very important and integral part of my training regime. I strength train during the very beginning stages of my marathon preparation and later incorporate drill work/plyometrics into the plan.

For example, starting 20 weeks out from my marathon, I would Strength train at the gym (basic exercises like lunges, squats, ball exercises etc..) I do exercises specific to running. I do not use the leg curl or leg extension machine. Mostly free weights. I will do these exercises for 6-8 weeks, then progress towards plyos and drill work. (bounding, box jumps, single leg hops, etc...) I will do this drill work for 6 weeks. I usually stop all strength training 6-7 weeks out from my marathon. At this time the focus is only on running. I have to save my energy and strength for the roads.

(Plus, I am usually too tired from the higher mileage, that weights would just make me even more tired for my run workouts!)

In grammar school, they tell everybody to aim high and their dreams will come true and everything, but some dreams can be unrealistic, at least for the unwashed masses. What goals do you think are *reasonable* for a 4 - 6 hour marathoner to work towards?

KK: The last question is hard to answer w/o getting more information on the individual. That's why having a coach can be very helpful. They can help you realize what goals are realistic. The key is to always have fun, be smart with your program, work your butt off, and always believe in yourself.

A persons mind is way more powerful than any muscle in his body.

Thanks again to Kelly for her thoughful responses. You've always represented Houston very well, and I hope to see you representing our country in 2008.

Rock on.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cold rain v. Sunny Beach

Oh my lord.

The first hour was great. Nice and cool (43F), a little breezy but nice, and I felt strong and energetic. I got to the park a couple of minutes late, and missed the start of the club's 21 miler. But I caught up with many of them, and I enjoyed running and chatting with people as I tried to catch my normal training partners.

I heard stories of races past, including Austin's Capital 10,000, which draws 10,000 runners for just a 10K. And Susan told me about her 50 miler last week, and mentioned that not only did she run 50 miles on Saturday, but ran 20 miles on Sunday too, in preparation for her 3rd 100 miler early next year. She also had some good input on my foot pain.

But I mentioned the "R" word, and many people were disappointed that I did. I really should know better, because I can indeed control the weather with my mind. And it started raining just as I was about to go over the Kemah Bridge. It was that cold stinging rain, accompanied by a very strong crosswind on the bridge. I was totally soaked and the wind penetrated straight through to my bone marrow.

I wanted to do at least 18, although I had considered doing the full 21, just as long as the group was going farther. But the course loops back around by the park at mile 15, and I thought that was enough. I'm going to be in Florida next weekend, and the idea I had to kill this run at mile 15, and then run a nice long run on the beach in sunny Florida is about the greatest idea I've ever had.

I'm going to go down to the Seabrook trails tomorrow, probably around midday, for 4-6 miles. If anyone wants to join me for a slow and easy recovery run, drop me a line, and we'll set it up.

Rock on. Keith.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

You can have my code. You can have any of this crap if you want it.

If you want the code for the blogger menu I wrote, you can have it. I posted a page with the minimum necessary elements on this page right here, so you can just view the source of that page. I'd post it here, but there's always some extra formatting stuff that happens, and it would be harder for you to just copy and paste it.

There's two parts to it, that should go in different places. There's a section of code with a few javascript functions that should go just before the closing </head> tag of your template. And the other part is the HTML code that goes in the <body> of your template. You shouldn't have to mess with the javascript part at all. The HTML part is a table with a bunch of images, and you can change who's on your blogroll by deleting the whole <img ... > tag or adding more.

Those tags look like this:

<img vspace="0" onclick="window.location='';" title="Keith" alt="link" height="0" src=""><BR>

If you wanted to add another link, you have to change:
  • the URL within the 'onclick' event,

  • the 'title,' which is the text that pops up when you hover over the image,

  • and the 'src,' which is the location of the image.

  • new links all have to have the 'alt' attribute set to "link" for that image to expand and contract with the others.

Those images are on my earthlink webspace, and it shouldn't be a problem if you just wanted to keep them there, or you could copy them to your space and link to them there, either way should work.

You should know that it looks a little different on Netscape/Firefox, where there's a little bit of space between each of the images. It still looks okay, but it's not exactly how I wanted it so it bugs me.


Oh, by the way, I ran 2 miles. No time trial today, I was very tired and the track was wet. I'll do that next week.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

4 miles on a route I haven't run in a while

4 miles, just like I promised.

I had a goal to break 7 minutes for the mile this year, and even though training hasn't been going perfectly, I think I'm going to the track to take a crack at it tomorrow night. I probably shouldn't even mention it. What if I don't do it? It would be mildly embarassing. Actually, forget I said anything.


Monday, December 12, 2005

3 Mile Monday

3 miles easy. I'm still a little bit sore from this weekend, but everything kind of loosened up after I warmed up.

So, maybe, some people hear the bridge calling them. It would be fun to do, we could meet down by the Seabrook trails and people could either run on the trails, or head down the road about a mile and take a lap or two on the bridge. I live down here so I could do it whenever.

And since I'm so jealous of Cassie's new redesigned site, I've been kicking around the idea of redesigning this old blog. Check out this idea, tell me what you think.

And I forgot to mention yesterday but I saw Jessica and I on Channel 26 News as they were covering the Jingle Bell Run. They were showing two women who were dressed as christmas presents and you could see us in the background laughing at them because the one woman had just fell down and her box was all dented up.

Okay, sleepy time.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Jingle Bell Run + Running Week in Review

I ran the Jingle Bell Run this afternoon in about 46 minutes (9:12m/m). I didn't bring my watch because I wanted to try to run just by feel, but I didn't really like not having it. Plus, there wasn't anybody calling out our times at the splits so I was pretty clueless as to how fast I was going. I did hear somebody say they had run about 7:30 for the first mile, so if that's true, I may have started out a little too fast. I missed the mile markers for 3 and 4 as well, which added to my confusion.

I had to stop and walk twice in the first half so that I can use my inhaler, because as you know, geeks are required to have asthma, and it bothers me most when the air is cold. I saw Jessica twice during the race, and it was nice to have someone cheer me on. I saw Sarah too, but she was focused on taking photos and missed me. And of course there's Jon, who was running "to pace Waverly," but she had already dropped him and JoePa whe I saw them after the turnaround. And we met up with Lisa after the race, and we all got a picture together - Jon, Waverly, Cassie, Me, Lisa, Jessica, Sarah, and of course Joe Paterno.

So, this week, I ran 5 days, about 28 miles, which is the most I've run since before the NYCM. And I had absolutely no trouble with my foot either yesterday or today, so I'm pretty optimistic about my running. My races weren't PRs, but they were both pretty strong efforts. There was an article in Runner's World a few months ago that compared running to bull riding, and that dude said you should get points for your time on the course, and for the conditions surrounding your race (i.e. the ferocity of the bull), and since I don't feel like I could have run either race very much faster than I did, I pretty happy with it.

3 miles3 miles3 miles13.8 miles5 miles27.7 miles

So, 28 miles this week, and I feel pretty good, so I'm going to try to get back into a decent training schedule, and I hope my foot problems are behind me. I STILL haven't decided on the Houston marathon situation. In some ways, I feel like a marathon would really disrupt my training, and I'd probably have to recover for a month afterwards instead of being able to train that month.

Anyway, here's my plan for this week.

3 miles4 miles2 miles5 miles on the bridge2 miles18 miles4 miles38 miles

That's right. Running everyday.

Rock on, Bloggers. It was great meeting you. You should come down (or up) to the Clear Lake area and we can take a run (Pasadena sucks, Clear Lake is better). Does anybody want to take on the bridge?


Saturday, December 10, 2005

10.7 with TNT then the Blogger 5K

Is blogging really necessary if all of you were there?

With the help of Jon, I got in touch with Bill Dwyer, from TNT-Woodlands, who was extremely nice about sending me maps and organizing my visit.

This is me and Mike who was my tourguide for my 10.7 mile run this morning. If it weren't for him, I'd have had to make like 200 loops around the parking lot at Barbara Bush Elementary. The Woodlands is a great place for runners, much better than Pasadena, but Clear Lake is pretty cool.

Then I met the bloggers and ran the Woodlands 5K, as you know, and then we went to Jon's house and had a mess of burritos and kolaches and such, as you know because you were there. I finished in about 27:52 which I was pretty happy with considering the early mileage too.

I still plan on doing the Jingle Bell Run tomorrow, I just hope I'm not too stiff. Really, I just want the antlers.

Keith out.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Three miles and it's soo freaking cold!

Three miles and I ran the whole way. I only mention that because I had been mixing in some walking breaks as I break in my new shoes. Running in flats is very different for me than running in my old cushion shoes, but I'm getting used to it now. And actually I go significantly faster with the flats. I don't think it has that much to do with the shoe weight, but with the different running form it requires. I feel like I have a much faster top speed with the forefoot strike than with a heelstrike.

But it was too cold to be taking any walking breaks out there tonight. And just a few days ago I felt like it was too warm. I was hoping we'd have a month or so of transitional weather before it gets too cold. But maybe it will warm up a little bit this weekend.

Here's a fun poll. Winner gets a free something! I haven't decided what yet. Probably something that I have too many of, or maybe something that doesn't work anymore.

Guess my time for this weekend's Blogger 5K. (Keep in mind: My 5K PR is ~24:00, but this race will be the last 3.1 miles of a 15-16 mile run)
less than 22:00 (don't pick this one)
22:00 - 24:59
25:00 - 27:59
28:00 - 30:59
31:00 - 34:59
35:00 - 39:59
greater than 40:00

Free polls from
Rock on. Keith.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dan Browne goes 5 miles with keithrselassie

I emailed these 5 questions to Dan Browne, and asked if I could post his answers on my silly little blog, and wouldn't you know he was gracious enough to accomodate. I greatly appreciate that he would take the time to address my questions. I didn't even have to trick him, and say that I had a lot of readers or anything!

Dan Browne, if you don't know, was one the U.S. marathoners in the 2004 Olympics, and is the reigning U.S. Half Marathon Champion, a title he won here in Houston last January. You can get some training tips, and read his journal on his website, and apparently he even reads the emails from random fans on the internet. He's currently training under Coach Alberto Salazar as part of Nike's Oregon Project.

What workouts do you think provide the most benefit to your running?

DB: It depends on the distance. Mile repeats for the 10k and 1/2 marathon.
400's for the 5k and tempo runs for the marathon.

What is your training like right now? What is on the horizon?

DB: Training is getting back on track. I'm up to 80 miles a week. Hopefully I'll be there in Houston competing!

To what extent do you think performance enhancing drugs are used by elite distance runners?

DB: I have no idea really on that one. I've really tried to stay out of thinking about that stuff.

Will you continue running and racing even when you're really really really old?

DB: I'll run as long as the legs let me!

Do elite athletes feel a connection to the mid-pack marathoner, like we feel towards them?

DB: Yeah, definitely. We all go the same distance! That's the most important thing after all.

Thanks again to Dan Browne for his generocity. We'll be rooting for you when you come back to Houston to defend your title!

Rock on.

Monday, December 05, 2005

3 miles while I enjoyed the Christmas lights.

There is a suggestion from my foot, that perhaps everything isn't as it should be. It's rather subtle. Or perhaps it's my imagination.

I ran 3 miles this evening around my neighborhood. It's so cold out there.

I'll keep it short, because I needsy my sleepy.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Two miles: In the rain. - And a poll question

Well, I waited a bit too long, and had to run in the rain. Cold rain.
But I've recovered well from yesterdays run, so that's a good thing, and these two mile daily runs hardly seem like enough anymore. I think I'll bump it up to three.

I like the idea of getting up to the woodlands early next Saturday and running 12 or 14 miles before the 5K. That way I can get my long run in, and I can hang out with everybody. It might not be the ideal way to run a 5K PR, but I'm not sure I'm up for that anyway.

So, does anybody have any good running routes for 12 - 14 miles around Barbara Bush Elementary? (I'll post this on the messageboards too)

Anywho, here's a poll question for you.

The winter olympics will begin 10 February 2006. What are your favorite winter sports? (You may choose more than one.)
Ice Hockey
Speed skating
Figure skating
Free polls from

They unveiled the medals yesterday. Click the image for the full story.

Rock on.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Distance is relative

"I guess you went running this morning?" said my neighbor, as he was walking his little dog "TJ" around my complex.
"Yeah, 12 miles."
"12 miles! Without a lion chasing you?" he chuckles, "and, what time did you get up to run 12 miles?"
"A little before 4:00."
He laughs again. "You know, you sure know how to make a guy feel bad."

I think it's a funny conversation, because I was already feeling kind of bad, because the full marathon group at the club was going 18 miles, and I only went twelve. But, I guess, even if I went the full distance today, I would still have room to feel bad, because there's a group of people at the club that are racing in Huntsville next weekend. Two people (that I know of) are doing the 50 miler, and I think a couple others are only doing the 50K. There's one guy that is planning to run a full marathon distance entirely on the Kemah bridge. And I'll bet even they know people they are impressed by too.

My twelve miler was a little rough today, and I was very tired, although I had no trouble with my mystery foot pain. I have lost fitness these last few lazy weeks, there' s no denying that now. I had considered doing the full 18, but it was apparent early on, that even 12 miles would be a worthwhile accomplishment at this point.

But I have to make these long runs a priority again, which means, I think I'm going to have to miss next week's Blogger 5K, so that I can get in another long run. I'm upset about that, I was looking forward to meeting everyone. Maybe some of you will be at the Jingle Bell Run, on Sunday, I think I can still make it out to drag myself through that one after a long run on Saturday.

I'd like to do something around 16 miles next weekend, and hopefully get up for the club's 21 miler on Dec 17. So that's the tentative plan as it stands right now, provided that I don't have a reoccurrence of my mystery foot pain.

Rock on.