Weekend Recap (4/13)

This past weekend my rugby club traveled to Detroit to play the Detroit RFC for our first league match of the season.  The weather was perfect and and withe a later start we did not have to leave Pittsburgh before the sun came up.  Our women’s team kicked off before we arrived and beat both Detroit and cinicnati’s women’s teams.  Our team also beat the Detroit RFC’s men’s team 45-26.  Unfortunately our D3 team lost to Erie, or we would have had a nice little sweep. While we won by a decent margined still have a little to work on if we are going to do well in playoffs this year.  We also need a win this weekend against Cleveland.  2 more practices to work out some minor issues before then.

Sunday I had scheduled a long run 11 miles, but after getting home at 2 am,  I could not drag myself out of bed for a run.  I had hoped to put this off to the afternoon but yardwork and spring cleaning got in the way.  Before I knew it 5pm was here and I did not get my run in.  Looks like that means a nice 11 miles after work today.  Now I just need to figure out where to run, I don’t feel like 11 hilly miles by my house.  I did manage to get a decent amount of yardwork done, so I don’t exactly look like that house on the block any more…though there is still a lot more work to do. 

I finished off the weekend by firing up the grill for some burgers, followed up by the season premier of Game of Thrones.  Leaving it at that because I know I have a few friends that did not get the chance to watch last night.

Stretching

I have always been someone who has had very tight hamstrings; however, it has never been too much of an issue…until recently that is.  The last few weeks the have been both tight and sore.  It is starting to get to the point where I think it is starting to affect my runs and other activities.  I know my gate has changes slightly (at least based on blisters in places I normally don’t get them), this has had an effect on my speed and stride, and overall tightness in my back.

While I said that my tight hamstrings generally do not cause issues, it would not be the first time.  Back in college when I was on the Rowing team, there was a period where I as having knee issues.  By the time i went to the trainer to see if there was anything that he could do, i was told two things. First was that the knee issues were probably being caused by my hamstrings, and the second thing was that I probably had the tightest hamstrings that the individual had ever worked on.  I was given some stretches that helped and was told to come back if the issue persisted.  After a few days of doing these stretches the issues with my knee seemed to go away.

Fast forward to today.  I still do most of those stretches, and I have added in a few others over the years…and recently I have found the foam roller.  The only real difference recently is that i have not been getting in my normal morning run, or gym workout.  While I do stretch out a little before a run or workout, I have never been a person to stretch out before a workout or stretch cold for that matter.  I just do not feel like I get a good stretch unless my muscles are warmed up first.  that being said i do get in a light stretch when I wake up and before I go to bed along with after any workout.  Now that my schedule has gotten back to being a little more normal, I am starting to get back into the morning runs/workouts.  I’m hoping this helps as I get a really good stretch in after these runs.  If not I could be in a little trouble as the weather is becoming nice again and I am looking forward to building up the miles to catch up for a rather disappointing January and February.

Does anyone else deal with Extremely tight hamstrings?  Other than stretch more, what do you do to help keep the hamstrings loose?

The Joys of Remodeling an Older Home

I have an older house, built somewhere before 1922.  My tax assessment say 1922, however I have seen a plat map from 1902 that looks like it has this house on it.  That’s not the point of this post however, anyone who has an older house can probably attest to the fact that even small projects can turn into much bigger projects than you may have hoped…and whit that can take a bit longer than intended.  One of the many projects that I am currently working on is a bathroom.  I hoped to have this done by now, but 100 year old plumbing can take a little longer to figure out.  Especially when it is threaded and soldered together.  An older picture is below.  (Note: that is a cast iron bath tub that previous owners for some reason saw a need to enclose.) 

IMG_0662

I hoped to have this done by now, but 100 year old plumbing can take a little longer to figure out; especially when it is threaded and soldered together.   I started out by gutting the floors and ripping out some of the plaster walls that were not in the best of shape.  This was the easy part of the job.  Once this was done i realized it was going to be a bit more work that I had hoped to remove the bath tub so I could work on the walls behind the tub.  I should have just figured out a way to work around the tub, but I decided that it would be much easer.  Lucky I have a friend that is a little better than I am with plumbing work, though I should have put more into the fact that the first time he looked at this project he said none of this looks to be standard sized.  Fast forward to today when my friend it actually disconnecting the plumbing, it took a few hours and some interesting connections, but the tub is finally disconnected and I can get to work on the rest of the bathroom.

 

IMG_6457

I am planning on keeping the old claw foot tub, I just want to clean it up before I put it back.  It also looks like I may end up redoing a lot of the blurbing in the bathroom, including what is under the floor.  Of course that means that I will be ripping up most of the subfloor.  Looks like it is going to be a bit more work than I had hoped…and most likely a bit over the budget I had hoped for.  But at least I can get moving on this project again.

 

Weekend Recap

This weekend was much colder than I had hoped.  Especially Saturday When my rugby team played in the Mountain Ruckus tournament in West Virginia.  When we arrived at the pitch at 9:30 the cars thermometer was reading a nice and warm 16 degrees.  Lucky for us a few people on the team were smart and brought tarps, tents and propane heaters.  We started by setting up our own little tent city; this helped with the wind, though it was not enough to actually warm up.  At least it took things from freezing to cold.  I was hoping to have some pictures and actually do a nice little recap of the games, but it was too cold for my phone and it shut off shortly after putting it in my bag to go warm up.  As for a recap I am not even really sure of the scores of the games; it was a good day and we won all three matches, putting us in first place at the tournament.  It felt good to get out and play, to mer we looked and felt like we were playing a little more together than we did in the fall.  Hopefully that carries over to our next two league matches in a few weeks.  Two more wins will put us in a decent seeding for playoffs.  Hopefully I have better recaps for those last games. 

 However; as good as I was feeling saturday, sunday morning I could definitely tell that I had played the previously day.  60 minutes of Propping and Hooking along with staring out in the cold all day left me feeling a bit beat up and exhausted sunday morning. As soon as i got up I knew my planned long run (8 miles), was not going to happen; my legs were just a little too cramped to get that many miles in.  I am just glad my group run was not happening, I would have went and been hurting.  But I knew I needed a good stretch so I got out for an easy/light 3 miles and rolled my legs for a good while.  As much as I would have liked to get in another 5 my legs are probably better off today not pushing them that much.  I can make up the miles this week. 

 Sunday evening I got together with Lauren and Chelsea to start getting things together for our Alaska Adventure this summer.  It’s looking to be shaping up for a fun, hectic few weeks.  Though we still are trying to figure out exactly what we are going to see in a few areas, it is looking like I get to cross off a few things that I have been looking to do the last few times up there; including getting to see Mt. McKinley in Denali, and halibut fishing.  While it is still a few months off, I can’t wait.  If any readers have any suggestions of other must see/eat/do while we are up there, we are looking for suggestions. 

Five Things Friday (3-27-15)

This year seems to be flying by.  I can’t believe its already the end of March.  Hopefully that means that there is warmer weather just around the corner…I’m getting tired of running in the 30’s.  Now that Rugby is getting back to it’s normal practice schedule, hopefully I can stay on top of this blog.

1 – This summer I am going to Alaska to run in the Mayors midnight Sun half marathon.  My Friends Chelsea and Lauren are doing up as well.  At this point we have a loose agenda, but we are still looking to book things.  If you have any suggestions in the Anchorage, Kodiak, Denali area please feel free to let me know.  I’m really pushing for a Halibut fishing trip, though my travel companions do not know this yet.  After all Who does not love fresh seafood.

2 – I’m looking to become a half fanatic this summer.  After I complete Anchorage I will qualify for Neptune, but if I can find another around the end of May, I will be able to jump up to Saturn (I will have PA, WV, and Alaska in 7 weeks).  I should be able to find one in Ohio in that timeframe.  I just need to choose a race.

3 – Rugby starts this weekend with a warmup tournament in West Virginia.  Not sure I am really ready for the season to start up, but its here.  Two league matches after Easter and them playoffs.  The season will be over before I know it though.

4 – This summer I really need to get some work done on my backyard.  Even if i don’t get the patio finished, I need to get a retaining wall built and make the area more useable.  My new neighbors who moved in back in December, have been working overtime getting their yard ready.  I feel like i need to accomplish something in the backyard this summer.  Hopefully you will see some pictures of the progress as soon as the weather warms up.

5 – I am strongly considering signing up and training for the Pittsburgh Triathlon in August.  I have never done one, and really don’t know where to start training for it.  I would not do the international, but the sprint.  It would only be a 600M swim, a 20K bike, and a 5K run.  I still have some time to decide, but it I am very tempted to sign up at this point.

Running in the dark

I know I’m not always the smartest runner.  For instance monday weight training I did a high rep, medium weigh deadlift workout.  That is itself is not bad, but yesterday met fiends for a 6 mile run.  My back was getting a little still 2 miles in.  I was able to make it through, but could not push it as i wanted to.

But that is not the point of this post.  I am a morning runner.  I prefer to be on the road at 5 AM;  less traffic and less people out at that time.  I find it a nice way to wake up get my thoughts together for the day.  This time of year it is still rather dark while i am running.  I run the same area every day, changing the course up a little depending on distance i want to go.  It is in a local city park, and for the most part it is lit by streetlights.  I always make sure that I wear a reflective vest, while i don’t see many cars while I am out. I would rather be more visible in the dark.  However, one thing that I don’t use in my morning runs are flashlights.

I know there are numerous types; ones in hats, gloves, even ones that attache to the body.  I just don’t like them; Compared to other runners I see in the morning I fee that I am in the minority in this.  Of the Regular runners and walkers I see in the morning there is only one other person that does not seem to use some type of flashlight.  Personally I feel that they impair my vision more that they help me see the road.  While I can see the road directly ahead of me a little better, that is about the only place they help.  Anything outside the beam seems to be darker and I feel like I only focus on the area where it is brighter.  Similar to being in a theatre, you focus on the stage and do not notice the audience as much.  From a safety standpoint I would rather be more aware of my surroundings than have a little better vision of the road in front of me.

I know I run in the city, mostly under streetlights on paved roads at that hour.  My opinion on this may be a little different if I did not have the streetlights, but I have never had an issue running at 5 AM without a flashlight.  For those of you that run in the morning, or even after sundown, what is your opinion on this.

First Post

I have been tossing around the idea of a blog for the last few years, and as one of my new years resolutions I have said that i would start one.  It took me a month and a half, but i finally got it started.  Among my other goals for he year is to run 1000 miles this year.

At this point I’m still trying to figure this out, but once I get going I see this as talking about a few things; Running, Crossfit, Travel, and Home improvement.  But i need to figure out what I am doing first.

Hopefully its not too steep of a learning curve.