Just Plain Dave is a middle of the pack runner and endurance athlete in Southeastern Massachusetts, sharing thoughts and observations about endurance sports and training while keeping up with regular life (work, family, and the real world). If I learn something interesting, I plan to share it with you.
Spring has arrived in New England. We are along for the ride as nature cycles through a season of rebirth. I’ve had lots of time in nature. And that is a very good thing. I reflect on my DNF (did not finish) at the 2015 Providence Marathon. I learned more lessons from that failure than from many successes.
Hiking at Swansea Village Park with my Brown Dog on a cold clear Spring day. I recently tweaked my back and am in recovery mode. The most important aspect of success in endurance sport (and life) is consistency in practice and training. I learned that most of our skeletal system training benefit is in the 1st ten minutes of exercise. And a highlight in the forest is that the evergreens and Holly trees are showing the first signs of Spring.
A meandering conversation about 5 flavors of snow, the miracle that ice floats on water; and why does melted cheese taste 100-times better than just plain cheese? Chemistry in real life is interesting and cool. The last chapter is about Emil Zatopek, the Czechoslovakian Locomotive. He was one of the greatest distance runners of the 20th century. He innovated interval training. I read an August 1952 article after his three gold medals in the Helsinki Finland olympics. The AP re-released the article when the 2020 Olympics were postponed. Happy trails!
Thank you for your time and attention. Just Plain Dave shares three chapters recorded across the month of January 2021: 1st his experience with the CV19 testing process; 2nd a sunset trail run that got a little spooky in Massasoit State Park, and 3rd a run that finished in a heavy snow squall. I am staying healthy and well, and am very grateful for you all, my friends and family. Happy trails!
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas. First, a random interaction with my neighbor Edith, with “see you tomorrow” familiarity. Second, a random act of kindness on the Wapack Trail and the pleasant neurochemical boost from helping a stranger. Third, a flashback to November 2018 when international travel seemed normal. This 2020 holiday season has me thinking about travel and family, and creating great memories. My trip to Israel in 2018 is a big highlight for me. The recording includes a 20-sec call to prayer, a sound that transports me back to Jerusalem. Happy trails, my friends.
The EDS project took 36 days of consistent effort and big logistical challenges to try to map a route with minimal duplication. Lots of cul-de-sacs and private roads. I am very fortunate for my health and well-being so that I can attempt crazy challenges. /-/ This episode and my whole EDS Project are dedicated to the memory of my Uncle John, who crossed the final finish line in the Ultramarathon that we call life, Rest In Peace.
Update on my “Every Damn Street” running project. 17 runs complete, about 60 percent of the 170 miles of roads in Rehoboth. Comments on some of the critters I’ve seen while out and about. And Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friends.
New goal for the last two months of 2020: “Run Every Street” in my town. 170 miles of roads in 47 square miles. /-/ Does it feel like the world is out to get you? Hanlon’s Razor says that it’s more likely that they just don’t care. Incompetence and apathy are more frequently the explanation for misfortune than bad intentions.
October is a great time to go to the beach in New England. There may be a gale force wind on the Sakonet River (Little Compton, Rhode Island) or glassy smooth conditions on Vineyard Sound (Cape Cod) but life is good when you can enjoy the sun and sand. My brown dog and I enjoyed a long walk at Horseneck Beach in Westport (Massachusetts) while I recorded my recap of the Falmouth Unofficial Road Race brought yo you by the Flying Quahog Running Club.
D&D attempt the 43-mile “Wapack and Back” trail ultramarathon. The adventure was a success, even if the total miles run was “only” 31 miles (50 km). Eight lessons learned to increase the chance for success on your next adventure. Plus some musings on history and perspective, and points of reference. I think it is human nature to think that the world as we see it now is “normal.” It’s always been this way . . . . (This episode dedicated to my Uncle John, who is demonstrating many of the strengths of an ultra endurance athlete in the 1,000+ days since his cancer diagnosis)
Putting to the test, the Ultimate Ultrarunner skill: Dealing with change and adversity with a smile. Join my real life running friends - - the Flying Quahog Running Club - - for an Ultra Grand Adventure. A 41-mile run from my house in southeastern Massachusetts to the beach in Narragansett RI. Adventures are better when shared with friends, even with (especially with) social distancing in the time of Covid. Four friends joined Just Plain Dave for a sunny, summer trek through west bay Rhode Island to spend some time TOGETHER at the beach. Key words: Friends & Together. /-/ FQ is a noncompetitive and inclusive group, most of whom run a little, some of whom run a lot. In a different time or place we would be Hash House Harriers. /-/ A Quahog is a salt water clam, usually not harvested till they are larger than your fist. And it’s pronounced: KO - hog
Run training, using elevation gain as a metric during marathon training. Summary of vert - - elevation gain - - during 2020 monthly training. Feedback from Coach Chris Twiggs on potential benefits of hill training. And Just Plain Dave’s discussion of seven reasons why he includes hill training in his running program. Thank you to Kevin Gwin (The ExtraMile Podcast) and Coach Twiggs (Jeff Galloway training system).
Meandering thoughts from a couple of very long runs. A brief recap of a solo self-supported 50 kilometer run and a Patriots Day hike on Mt. Greylock. Seth Godin commentary on people being bad a making predictions. And a 10-minute recollection about marine geology research from my graduate studies at the University of Hawaii. A simple sound triggered the memory from more than 25 years ago. Happy trails and Aloha.
There are lots of stresses piling up. Too many things asking for our attention. I gathered a Top 10 list of action items to prioritize mental health and mindfulness. 1. Sleep; 2. Eat well; 3. Curate your attention; 4. Structure your day; 5. Manage stress; 6. Exercise; 7. Don’t overdo it; 8. Refuel properly; 9. Gratitude; and 10. End your day with a smile. Happy trails. Thank you got your time and attention.
Getting out in nature has tremendous value. Doing something (run, hike, watch a movie) with people you care about is also very important. Amid the chaos that is crisis planning and crisis management, I’d like to share some thoughts. Sometimes it’s more of a challenge to stay positive, and that’s okay. We are all in this TOGETHER.
Three thoughts while out for a walk with the brown dog: the importance of sleep; the mistake that is multi-tasking - we should focus on what we are doing; and it is better to be “different” than it is to be better. Reference to “The Knowledge Project” with Shane Parrish with guest Neil Pasricha, and “The Happiness Lab” with Laurie Santos.
No New Years’ resolution for Just Plain Dave. Pick a goal. Make a plan. Then breakdown the process into bite-sized pieces and get it done. Planning,Persistence, and Patience - the 3 Ps of endurance sport. This approach works in real life, too. Happy Trails!
Sharing stories and details about one of my favorite running companions. She’s brown, trim, happy to go for a run or walk no matter the time of day or weather. My trusted canine companion. In spite of my trust, she may be a little devious. Happy trails and happy New Year!