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Archives for March, 2010

Fuel Belt is a company well known among runners and triathletes, but I never had a need for such a snazzy product.  I see runners of all levels wearing the company’s products, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all of the fuss is about.  I initially wanted this review to be as short as possible, but had to add a bit of additional depth to cover all of my bases.

Alameda Runners will today review the Fuel Belt H20 Helium 2-Bottle Belt, one of the company’s latest and greatest products.  Based off of the company’s popular Helium 2-Bottle Belt, the H2O Collection Helium 2-Bottle Belt has a one-size-fits-all design, and is lighter than previous generations.

There is a common problem during long runs that forces runners to re-adjust the tightness of the belt, though this doesn’t seem to be a major problem with the products from Fuel Belt.  The company uses an excellent material for the waistband, and the H20 Helium’s one-size-fits-all design makes it even easier for it to be shared among different runners.

A removable race pocket also is included, which is able to hold my car keys, some spare change, and a couple of energy gels.  If you don’t feel like using it, simply slide it off the belt until next time.  The ability to easily remove the gel pack also makes it a lot easier to clean after a long run – important if you want to easily clean your fuel belt, shoes, GPS, etc. before hitting the shower.


The Benefits of Compression

A great thing about writing for Alameda Runners is the ability to share and receive information from fellow runners.  I enjoy stumbling across running-related articles — it gives me a great chance to learn — while also sharing the information found.

The following paragraphs come from “The Technical Benefits of Icing”, which was written by Kathy Weber, M.D., M.S.  (Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine and Women’s Sports Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL)

Compression is often used in conjunction with cryotherapy.  Benefits of compression include improved contact between the skin and the cold source, greater reduction of blood flow to the region, and an increased insulation effect, which may further reduce tissue temperatures.  Compression also assists with control of edema formation that may arise after injury or secondary to microtrauma sustained during a hard workout.

Compression appears to assist with cooling tissues more rapidly.  This is particularly important in the case of an acute injury in which rapid cooling is desired to minimize the extent of inflammation and secondary ischemic injury to the tissue caused by the inflammatory process.

Most of Ted’s icing products, such as the Moji knee brace, use a combination of ice and compression — to help those old muscles recover and aid injury treatment.


I use ice compression simply because it feels good and seems to help me recover.


I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think the Oakland Running Festival was a great success.  Sure, there were some things that need to be worked out in the future — but as an inaugural event — I think it was amazing.  Along with giving runners the chance to enjoy some of the city’s excellent surroundings, it proved to be a great event for the City of Oakland itself.

Here’s a brief clip from a recent N.Y. Times article (I definitely recommend reading the entire article):

At some point during the half-marathon on Sunday in Oakland, part of the Oakland Running Festival, I realized that people were yelling “Go Oakland” at me and other runners as well as the usual “Good Job” and “Way to Go.”

In other races, I don’t remember hearing “Go Wilmington, Delaware” “Yippee Napa,” “Show what you can do, San Francisco,” or “Well Done, Brighton,” as they might have said in England.

Michelle continues:

But back to “Go Oakland.” On Sunday, there was a connection between the runners and those who lined the race course. I started to feel as if I was running for a cause beyond stretching my own physical abilities. (I did the half in 2 hours 7 seconds.) Throughout the city, musicians provided a kind of fuel along with the volunteers handing out water.

I think this is something both the athletes and spectators felt as thousands participated in the first marathon hosted in Oakland since 1984.  I also heard cheers and chants of “Let’s go Oakland!” while running, and thought it was rather surreal.  I saw one lady break down in tears at the end of the event, saying she was proud of her city.

oakland running festival

We did the Oakland Half Marathon today. You can tell it was a special event for us just by looking at all of the posts. I carried a pace sign for the 2:15 group today and the turn out was tremendous. At first, we thought there were about 30 people in our group. Looking back at the pictures, it was more like 50 people. I could feel the excitement just by walking around the start/finish area. People saw my sign and ask if they could join and just talked about distance running logistics. Quite a few people saw my sign and used it as a gauge to where they should start the run. Out of the small group on the original plan, only Michael stayed with me after mile 1. The rest of the group were people who saw the sign and joined us. Read more… »

The Oakland Running Festival 3-28-10

oakland running festival

This morning was the inaugural Oakland Running Festival, and we led the 2:15 pace group (half marathon).  We have two pages of pictures (page one) and (page two) ,  with Mike expected to randomly grab pictures and write a quick note about some of our adventures today.

The crowds were out in force along the route today, especially towards the end of the race around Lake Merritt.  The Oakland Police Department and event organizers did a good job making sure the streets were closed off, so we didn’t have any problems.

Already looking forward to the 2011 Oakland Running Festival!

Time to Learn From My Mistakes

Hm.  I should have known better, but I still made one of those mistakes that seems to be a live and learn type moment.  I know I shouldn’t eat a Clif Bar without washing it down with water — but I tried any way.  (Also learned that perhaps I should wait  to eat bananas after the run is over.)

Felt great the entire run, but all of the chow I ate on course came very close to coming back up.  Here is a picture that shows some of my discomfort.


Turned out to be okay, but there were a couple of uneasy minutes at the end.

oakland running festival

I got out bright and early this morning to practice with the Garmin 405 super deluxe sports watch.  I set the virtual pace buddy to 10:15 then took of for a jog.  It is really odd looking down at your watch and seeing zero.  I stopped, shook the damn thing and cursed before I noticed the timer started going and the odometer started going too!  It said I was falling behind the pace by X distance.  I stood there feeling silly, cursed the damn watch again then took off to catch up to the pace.  I slowly got it back to zero.  Cool.  I picked up the pace when I approached a stop light and watched it level out while I waited for the light to change.  My next step was find an area that looked like a water stop and walk through it.  I found that walking through water stops does not hurt the overall time much.  The next challenge was the old port-a-potty break.  I was quick about it and it still hurt the time pretty good.  It set me back 30 seconds.  Lesson learned here is that walking does not hurt much, stopping hurts a little more.

I am ready.  The goal is to cross the finish line between 2:14 and 2:15:59.  Your chip may say 2:09:32 but I want to finish at a gun time of 2:15.

Less Than two days Away

The Oakland half marathon is less than two days away!  I am ready!

I’m less than one week away from participating in my very first half marathon.  I’m excited about the thought of running 13.1 miles as thousands of people around me complete the same trek (while others run the full 26.2-miles).

Since my training began almost three months ago, I’ve learned the importance of making sure I logged the necessary miles.  Each time I skipped a run for one reason  or another — most often for the dread of actually running — I’ve learned to enjoy it more than I imagined.

I don’t plan on trying to set any speed records.  A finish of 2:10:00 or less would be ideal, but I just want to make sure I can cross the finish line with a smile.  I am going to follow Ted’s pace sign that he says will give me close to a 2:10 finish.  We will see.

The excitement begins!

oakland running festival

The Oakland Running Festival kicks off on Saturday  in downtown Oakland, with the city hosting a twilight 5K, kid’s run, half marathon, and full marathon.  More than 6,000 of our fellow runners will hit the streets — an expected 5,000 will tackle the half marathon course Sunday morning — and I’m excited about the experience.

oakland running festival

Here’s a tidbit from a recent Oakland Tribune article:

“It’s something that will be there after I’m gone, and kids I’ve helped, maybe they’ll do the same,” he said. His favorite run in Oakland is along the West Ridge Trail in Redwood Regional Park. Goldman’s passion, he said, is his working with children who are getting into the sport.”I tell them running is a lot like life: You get out what you put in,” he said.

“It’s not only about how you’re going to run the marathon but about setting a goal, working toward that goal, having a plan and sticking with it.”

The trails in Alameda have seemed a bit more crowded, and I’ve chatted with first time half marathon and marathon runners (just like me).  It has been great training with some of you, and hopefully I’ll see you on Sunday!

Oakland half marathon 2:15 pace group

oakland running festival

Instructions for running a half marathon in two hours and fifteen minutes.

Alamedated, that’s me, will be running a pace group to complete the 2010 Oakland half marathon in 2:15.  To complete the run in 2:15 we will have to run an approximate 2:10 pace.  Here is a picture of me and my sign.  It is not fancy but it will work.

I will be there 30-45 minutes early.

I will be standing around mid pack.

I will be handing out pace sheets for a 10:15 per mile pace.

We will be running at approximately 10:00 per mile to make up for lost time in the crowds.

We will start out by standing with space around us. The space will close up and people will pack in ahead of us.

It will take time to get to the start line. Do not worry, we will make it up.

If you get pushed away by the crowd, just keep the sign in sight and slowly catch up. It will get easy after the first couple of miles when the crowds start to disperse.

We will be behind schedule until mile 10 or 11.  Do not worry, we will make it.  It does not matter if we are 2 minutes late as long as we finish.

I will walk approximately 15 seconds at every water station.

Do not worry about missing a station, there are plenty.

If it is hot or I notice fatigued runners, I will instruct people to drink and slow down to accommodate fluid intake at the aid stations.

I do not have a speedometer so the mile times may vary but I will try to maintain a constant pace.

If you feel fatigued, slow down to an easy shuffle. Keep the sign in sight as long as possible.

If you are new to half marathons and want to speed up, stay with the group until mile 8 then slowly speed up.

Along with my sign, I will be carrying a camera. I will take some pictures along the way. I may hand the sign off to someone then dash ahead to take pictures.

I will post all pictures that are not blurry.

Good luck and have fun. I will post more instructions as I think of them.
Mile    Time
0    0:00:00
1    0:10:15
2    0:20:30
3    0:30:45
4    0:41:00
5    0:51:15
6    1:01:30
7    1:11:45
8    1:22:00
9    1:32:15
10    1:42:30
11    1:52:45
12    2:03:00
13    2:13:15