Archive for category Running Free – Brooks ID

I CAN’T RUN NAKED..(The Nerdy Tech Stuff in my Running Bag)

Taking a break from phosphorus dynamics between manure and biochar (Phd dissertation) to follow up on what is inside my running bag.

As a borderline scientist I tend to be a little nerdy and want to account for all the variables if necessary.  Yet there are days when I just strap on the shoes and run.

Identification: Having been almost run over a few times I am a fan of RoadID. I try to wear it on my wrist whenever I am out on the road.  The family calls it the “death bracelet” I call it peace of mind.

Tracking Distance and Time: I have three options in my bag depending on where I am running. During long runs and all races I grab the GPS unit.

1)      Garmin Forerunner 205 – it gives me time, distance, location, elevation etc.  This unit is an older model but serves its purpose very well.  I have very little trouble losing signal and one charge last forever.

2)      Timex Heart Rate Monitor – to look at my fitness I will strap on the chest piece and track my HR throughout my run.  This gives me a good look at how hard I am working.

3)      Soleus 10k Watch – I wear this 24/7 and it gives me my times with a good basic memory package for laps etc.

Weather: I like to know what is going on weather wise when I run.  My current record is runs at 3oF and 104oF.

1)      One thing about Washington is it has an extensive network of weather stations which save me a lot of time and effort. (AgWeatherNet) gives me everything I want and more.  I happen to have two stations accessible when running at work.  Most states have some sort of free access agricultural weather monitoring system.  WSU’s site is free to everyone thanks to farmers who provide funding.

2)      I also carry a Brunton ADC-Summit hand held weather station with me when I don’t have accurate weather information available.  This gives me wind, barometer, elevation, temps and wind chill.  (NERD)

Recording Mileage: I have tried several logging options over the years.  I have used Nike’s Plus system (yes with my Brooks shoes) but when the battery goes dead in the sensor it doesn’t work.  Currently I use and the Brooks Running Club site on Facebook but honestly I do a better job of keeping a hard copy with pencil and paper.  Dailymile is a good site too if you are looking for easy.

Music: Deep down I tend to be a purest and have never ran a race with any sort of MP3 device.  I run with music about 15% of the time, and when I do I use an iPod I used to run with a Sony Walkman (Tape edition)

Of course you don’t need all the technology to enjoy the run but for me having information is good!

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When Goats Pee

Over the last two months a new running group has been established at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, WA.  On any given day there is the potential of 4 or more runners heading out for a nice lunch run around the roads of the beautiful Yakima Valley.  

 Yesterday was not one of those days as everyone’s schedules have been a little different making running alone necessary.  The thing about our running routes is the amount of dogs who like to come and greet us alone the way.  Depending on the day we each take turns yelling at or rushing the dogs giving them the scare of their lives…or at least reminding them they make us nervous. 

 Yesterday however, there was no one to help deflect the dog attacks, it was just me.  The beginning of the run was relatively calm with less then normal dog action but all of a sudden one of the usual suspects started running from the front porch to make my leg into his lunch snack.  On the normal day the 4 foot fence keeps him at bay but today (of course when I was alone) he jumped the fence without hesitation coming to hunt me down.  In that moment of panic I saw my new Brooks GTS 10’s being ripped in two and my new Brooks ID Elite shorts pulled to my ankles tripping me into ball of shame in the middle of the road.  Somewhere out of my inner most soul it came, the loudest, most gnarly exclamation I have ever made “Go Lay Down”.  The dog’s hair rose throughout its back and stopped dead in his tracks retreating to behind the protection of this fence. 

 In was in that moment of pride and relief I noticed that in the adjacent field the 15 plus goats were eyeing me down and in peeing in unison.  (As a former goat owner I have seen this response before)  The urination in fear response is a classic.  

With my Brooks gear unharmed and firmly around my waist I finished my run and returned to the world of graduate school with the ever present reminder that my voice and face are capable of making goats pee.  May my anger never reach that point with my kids because that is not how a Dad should ever be remembered.

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Run, Walk, or Crawl – Just Finish

This phrase is not original to me but I have used it during my last few marathons to justify walking after a major battle with cramps around mile 22.  When I first started running marathons 10 years ago the thought of walking was in my mind an Epic Failure only reserved for “the lesser”.  Ten years older and wiser I now realize the power of the marathon comes in the completion.  Yes, I strive for PR’s and the ever present goal of qualifying for Boston (before I hit 40) but at some point I realized that when you cross the finish it doesn’t really matter how it looked in the middle…I finished.  I strapped on my Brooks – moved forward – didn’t quit. 

Philippians 3:13-14 says Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.   The last month has been one greenhouse failure after another causing stress, frustration, heart ache and perhaps a graduation delay, but it is the past.  Now I start the process all over again, with yet another lesson learned through trial and error, but with more knowledge comes a greater chance for success.  It’s like the marathon, it doesn’t matter what the middle looked like in the end, it is finishing that counts.  Although it might not be pretty, whether I receive my doctoral hood in December or May will not matter 10 years from now…I just have to finish. 

Off I go to a committee meeting, then to prepare for replanting the greenhouse, and clean out the manure tanks.  I am straining toward what is ahead – pressing on towards the goal – to finish the race, because I have to Prepare the Soil for Harvest

Tightening up the running shoes (Brooks of Course)  I will Finish – Running, Walking or Crawling.

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Mr. Freeman’s Trail

Freeman’s trail, it is a special place hidden from the masses but open to all who ask. Created for days when you need to clear the fog and spend some time in worship.  It could be the woods, the quite, or the man who made it but one thing is for sure…Freeman’s trail will also bring you back to what is important.           

Jim Freeman, my high school cross country coach and life long friend built a running trail on his property specifically made for days like these.  (Mr. Freeman was a world class marathoner in the late 60’s early 70’s – 8th at Boston – 2 invitations to Olympic trials)  I have run this trail since 1992 throughout every season.  I have even just taken my wife for a walk around the picturesque surrounding.   Saturday was no different.  

Running along side my friend Tim we spent over an hour talking faith, life and biology.  As we ran the mud covered my shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTS) and backside.  The quick turns inside the woods laced with enormous cedars revved the heart beat into the upper 170’s.  The upper hill, which Tim insisted we run 4 times, made the calves scream with pain as only a “good” hill can conjure.  In the flats along the mowed path we would continue talking as our bodies regained the courage to run another lap.  Then as we passed by the food bank garden and pond the talking stopped, the pace increased and we pushed the hills.   It was a good Saturday run. 

When overwhelmed by the crashing wave ready to pound every once of good intention my faith solidly holds me in place.  This anchor never moves however at times my vision is blurred and I struggle to see the obvious.   Although the deepest part of my core knows it is holding firm I need a good run to sort it out.  Saturday was one of those runs. 

Thanks Mr. Freeman for the beautiful trail.

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God and the Long Run

Have you ever wondered why God brings certain things to your mind from scripture? In the last month 2 places have repeatedly been imprinted on my daily thinking process.
1) Ezekiel 37
2) 2 Samuel 23:20-24
I have been camping (as some would say) on both of these stories. What does the valley of dry bones and chasing a lion in a pit on a snowy day have to do with me? The answer is still unclear and I believe it might take a few more weeks of pondering, however here are at least a few responses.

1) When Ezekiel was taken to the Valley of Dry Bones God ask him what he saw – His response was “Only you know O Sovereign Lord” Can the bones live? What a tremendous question – can our shattered lives, dreams, situations be rescued? Ezekiel allowed his answer to be based on what God saw not his own vision.

2) We were called to trust God and living dangerously and recklessly, trusting God’s Word is not an option and this is the beauty of the long run.

The beauty of the long run. No music in the ipod just you with God. At mile 8 my mind starts to relax and open. It is then that God begins to reveal the issues. The things he wants to address in my live. The scriptures he wants me to dwell upon, the run is never easy, the pruning he prescribes is hard to swallow but I look forward to the next lonely stretch of road where God will refresh my dry bones.

When was the last time you went on a long run? If you haven’t done it lately go beyond the 8 mile marker.

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Unstoppable – Rabbit Tales #1

vwThis morning I was empowered – I was unstoppable by any form of human intervention. The world had nothing on me as the super poopsmith himself opened the shop door, what had previous housed a broken van, now housed the master piece. The stuff legends are made.

As the door was opened a cloud of blue smoke rolled through the alley revealing the 11th wonder of the world in all it’s sputtering glory. It’s dull grey and rusted shell trying to not stop because of lack of compression. Then in a heart beat (seemed like an hour) the fuel, pistons, glow plugs and injectors all started to work as an almost fine oiled machine. I hopped inside and pulled this grey mini beast into the street gloating in my awesomeness. Playing one of the only two English channels receivable on the radio I almost hit 55 on this beautiful sunrise of a day. It didn’t die at the stop signs, didn’t need to be plugged in at work, and no need to lock the doors I feel safe no one will steal my beauty.

Not a truck, not a van, not even a DeLorean (however going down hill I might hit 88 MPH) but a 81 VW Rabbit with 332,325 miles on the engine. This champ has been passed down from Bruland to Bruland and now to me…The girls won’t ride in it, the boys think they have died and gone to heaven.

Thus begins a series of post describing the world of the Rabbit…until it won’t start again at least. However today the beast was UNSTOPPABLE!

Written while sitting in a mandatory seminar on Organic Intercropping Systems.

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For the Record…

Since 1999 I have recorded my thoughts for the new year as a way to at least think ahead on purpose. Although if you look at last years list I failed at my goals but I was at a 50% so I won some and lost some.

For the record…

Read through the Bible

Take my wife on a date at least once a month

Play a game with each of my kids once a week

Pass my Preliminary Exams

Complete 2 chapters in my dissertation

Run 650 miles

Run marathon 6, 7, and 8

Stay within budget

Reduce my consumer depth

Upgrade to Extra class license (Ham Radio)

Make 100 different contacts

Read 1 book for pleasure

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Not Cold Enough

Last years run almost 1 year ago todayI have missed 1 week of running in the last year (at least 1 mile, it was the 2nd week in March) however the last couple weeks of the semester have killed my MOJO on the running front. After a rough summer of running I was on track for a 500 mile year which was to slowly build to next years 1000. In order to accomplish this wonderful goal I have to hit 4 miles a day until the 31st starting Monday yes, two days ago.

It has been snowing and 0 degrees over the last couple days and the paper is not done but today I have to get out and run! I don’t care how cold or snowy I must get out and let my lungs freeze so my head can be clear and relaxed. To hold back tonight will destroy any hope of momentum to finish the paper in timely a manor.

I have to run…


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A Graduate Student’s Life

A Graduate Student’s Life

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No Time for Dogs

If you keep track of my mileage you can see it has been an Ok, yet not stellar year for running.  The other night I was running just before sunset as the wind was blowing the leaves to and fro when out of the shadows came a group of nasty looking dogs hot on my tail. 


The number one question I get ask by non-runners is “what do you do when a dog chases you?” I learned a lesson a long time ago while running in high school with my Coach Jim Freeman.  (former world class runner and holder of the US marathon record in the 60’s)  Mr. Freeman is the softest spoken humble guy you will ever have the privilege of meeting.  We were running in the city of Snohomish around his old training grounds when out of no where this huge dog starts to run down the 4 of us.  Mr. Freeman turns around kicks the life out of the dog and then starts running again as if nothing ever happened.  The youngsters, all sophomores, pale face and stunned heard the gentle voice we have all known say – I have no time for dogs, you show them who is boss. 


So what do I do when a dog chases me? I take the advice from Freeman – I generally turn towards the dog – yell in the biggest voice I can find “go lay down” – which usually works but on the occasion it doesn’t I prepare to defend myself.  I have been heard telling the dogs: “you bite me – I will shoot you and leave you for dead for the other dogs to feed on your remains” or “go home I have killed for less” 


When running at twilight in rural Whatcom County where cougars are known in the area I have been known to carry a .357 Mag…you don’t yell at a cougar you just shoot it.  


I have no time for dogs – I handle them aggressively – now if only I could tackle my homework with the same aggression.  


If you are a runner – what do you do to handle dogs?

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