stretch cold

I restarted serious running in my life in 2013, but would occasionally encounter nagging injuries. This frustrated my pursuit of running longevity, which didn’t work for me. My buddy Adam came to the rescue in late 2015 when he introduced me to ROMWOD: stretch cold, hold yoga poses longer, control breathing, listen to your body, and don’t aim for yoga purity or aesthetics. I’ve been hooked and injury free for 4+ years.

ROMWOD – I’m just a satisfied customer, this is not a paid endorsement.

Stretching was a chore in high school XC/track – something we did because coach said so. I distinctly remember thinking “this is stupid, I get no benefit from this.” My body’s a bit older than that now, so that teenage “logic” no longer applies in my case. In these past 4+ years, I’ve made stretching my secondary goal to running. I aim to ROMWOD 6 days a week, but I usually achieve 5 days.

How important is stretching to you? What style do you prefer? Stay flexy, my friend.

running foundation

Longevity in the sport of running follows good planning, but good run planning shouldn’t intimidate you. Distance running can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and health benefits. Running can be your golf, except easier. And much cheaper!

Aim for a running plan that works for you long term, but don’t demand the “perfect” plan on day 1. Strive for a routine that’s realistic for you regardless of your current fitness level. Whether you’re an advanced runner or a brand new runner who has no idea what a plan that “works” or that’s “realistic” looks like, it’s okay to develop your plan gradually. Eventually, a solid plan will help remove friction and excuses from your run routine.

Your plan need not be my plan – in fact, it probably won’t be. I’ve been running for decades, but my former plan (“go run as fast as possible today”, aka “no plan at all”) was haphazard and often counterproductive until I changed my ways relatively recently. My current personal plan derives from Hansons Half Marathon Method, by Humphrey, Hanson and Hanson, published 2014. Over a few years, it has served me very well, but there are other excellent running plans and methods out there that might fit you better.

Hansons Half Marathon Method

Align and adjust your plan to fit your running goals. A good plan might…

  • minimize your need to think about what to do each day, just go do what the plan says.
  • stress the importance of easy days mixed in between hard workout days.
  • guide you to recovery from injury or sickness.
  • prepare you for a race or event better than you could’ve by winging it.
  • provide many, many other benefits.

More generally, follow a good plan to stand on the shoulders of giants, to build on their successes, and most importantly to avoid their mistakes.

Welcome to running! Your feedback to this or my other distance running posts is welcome.

run thankfully

What inspires you to run, and keep running? Doctor’s orders, staying fit, your competitive nature, that upcoming race, desire to lose weight, quality time with loved ones, meeting new friends, injury rehab, cross training, clearing your mind, or some other reason?

My simple reason: I hope to be able to run again tomorrow. That’s it. I know there will come a day when I’m unable to run anymore. I don’t know when that day will come, or what the reason will be. So I choose to be incredibly thankful for today’s run. This mindset helps me in the long term – never too high or too low. Having a great run? Don’t overdo it, there are more runs to go this week. Having an especially moody slog? Push through it, this has happened before, and what am I going to do, anyway? Complain about being able to run? Not I.

What keeps you going? I’m interested to hear your motivations and reasons to keep putting in the miles. Whatever your reasons, try to add regular helpings of thankfulness to your runner’s diet.

thankful runner (image credit

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great run today!

tools for C++ on Linux

Big thanks to Ashish Grover for his 2012-07-18 post “10 tools C C++ Linux Programmer must know“. I was not aware of the ctags or cscope tools before reading his post, but I’m very happy to add those to my toolbox.

Ashish Grover portrait

thumb and forefinger

For distance runners, training and racing demand a relatively relaxed upper body. “Fighting” or unnecessary tension in the shoulders leads to overly labored breathing, and poor performance. I recommend dropped, relaxed shoulders, and naturally bent elbows with your hands down around your hips.

approximate recommended position of thumb on forefinger for relaxed upper body in distance running (image credit

For me, it all starts with the thumb and forefinger. When I keep those two completely relaxed, and barely touching each other as in the image above, the shoulder relaxation just “happens” for me. When I’m doing it right, each stride will cause an involuntary, tiny “tap” between my thumb and forefinger.

Run relaxed!

home security camera guidance source

In this beginning of my research into home security video systems, I’ve found Daniel Ross’s VueVille blog to be a useful resource.

Daniel’s family goals from his DIY home security camera system align nicely with the direction I’d like to go for my family.

home surveillance video tips?

CCTV in use sign. (image credit

I’m listening… Do you like your home video surveillance system? Is it DIY or pro-installed? Do you store your videos on the cloud, or do you self-host? Do you access your video feeds remotely (from work, travel, etc.?) Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.

Alan Grayson: racist liar

Yuck it up, you pond scum excrement. You accuse racism (among other outrageous lies in this short email) with absolutely no evidence at all. So you are the racist, you pathetic loser. Shut your hate hole. (image and article via Weasel Zippers).

Rep. Alan Grayson

Bill Press, authority on “evil people”

Via Newsbusters,  Weasel Zippers:

I think it’s important to vote and to vote for President Obama because we’ve got to defeat the evil people who are trying to take over America’s political system. And I’m talking about the Koch brothers, I’m talking about Sheldon Adelson, I’m talking about Karl Rove and all the money that they have poured into this campaign in the most ugly, the worst possible, disgusting tactics, trying to suppress the vote, trying to lie to people — not trying, lying to people — trying to scare people, and just pouring bill-, millions and millions and millions of their own dollars to try to buy this election.

Bill Press, faux tolerance repeat offender

Bill Press is now a repeat offender on uncleham.

tattered boots, bootstraps intact

bootstraps intact

I’m not going to sugar coat it, last night’s results were very bad at the national level. But America has persevered through tough trials before: starvation at Jamestown, seemingly hopeless odds in the American Revolution, Brits burning the White House in the War of 1812, bitter division that stewed for decades leading up to and through the Civil War. We’ve put Jim Crow laws in our past, suffered terrible poverty and the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. We’ve defeated genocidal monsters all over the world. Through each of these seemingly insurmountable challenges, we’ve emerged stronger on the other side. Chin up, young Lady Liberty. Be patient with us – it’s going to take years. But we will not let you down.

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