Answers : How Was My 2013 Running Year?

Running coach and author Miss Zippy has encouraged all runners to evaluate their 2013 Running Year. You can read her blog post here. So … here’s my evaluation of my 2013 running year.

Best Race : Planet Adventure’s Winter Trail Marathon. This race came in January and even though I raced in other events, this one is my best race for 2013.  I only ran in the Quarter marathon but it was a fantastic time. The race was staged at night and it was my first trail running experience. To add more excitement, it snowed the day before so there was about 3 inches of slippery snow and ice on the trail. There were about 400 runners with head lamps and reflective gear running in the dark over snow-covered trails. What a sight … so very cool!

Best Run : The Windmill Run. I ran 5 miles on country roads through a windmill farm in north central Indiana. It was a breath-taking experience to run underneath these huge windmills.

Best New Gear : The Go Pro Hero 3. I love the extreme wide-angle of this camera and the fact that it’s small enough to attach to a head strap and record the sights and sounds of a run. I posted my first 90 second running video here.

Best Piece of  Running Advice You Received : “Just Finish”. I know this is simple and we hear it all the time … but sometimes my ego gets too big to hear it. Too often I’m more concerned with how I measure up that I forget that finishing is most important. When I ran in the Muncie Mini Marathon (October ’13) I had not trained enough and I knew my finish time would be about 3 hours, which really depressed me (my half marathon average is 2:10). I thought about not showing up for the race but someone told me to show up and just finish the race regardless of the time. It was my absolute worst half marathon performance at 2:41 but it was a great run and great event. So very happy that I took the advice and showed up and finished.

Most Inspirational Runner : The Thin Lady Inside. She’s running, shares her struggles and stays the course. Ever since I came across her blog I’ve been inspired.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Mixed. I wish 2013 was a better year for me. I had that heart issue in July and August and couldn’t run and lost two months of running. My domestic life is in a tail spin so I was too depressed to even get out of bed at times. The really only success I have during the year was I lost weight and reached my goal weight. But, I quickly lost focus and regained much of that weight back. It was a mixed year and I’m looking forward to 2014.

Onward … !

Weekend Miles and First Go Pro Video

An arctic cold snap has settled on central Indiana so I awoke to 16°F this morning! Wow … that’s cold. Thankfully, it was a very bright and sunny morning. So, I decided on a run and headed out for a few miles. I ran 6.2 miles in 1:00:10 for an average pace of 9:40 per mile. Although I didn’t feel like I was running at an average pace of 9:40. I felt like I was running at 10:00 or slower. On Friday night (11/22) I ran 7.15 miles at an average pace of 10:02. Strange how two runs can have completely difference results yet I feel the perceived effort was the same for both runs.

The Go Pro head strap finally came via Postal Mail. So, this morning, I decided to video tape the run with the Go Pro strapped to my head. This morning’s video weighs in at 6.62 GB for about an hour’s worth of video. Wow! It took over an hour to input the video from the Go Pro into iMovie. Then I was able to edit the footage into a 90 video with I posted on You Tube. The video was a bit bouncy even when I used the head strap. I’m not sure that can be overcome? But overall, it’s not bad considering it’s my first attempt.

The video is here!

My experiment with the chest harness resulted with useless video. It was too shaky and bouncy. Since I ran at night, every street light, house light, car light and every other light source is captured as a bouncing streak of colorful light. It makes for great abstract art (if you are into that) but it makes awful video. Unless I can figure out how to adjust the Go Pro’s shutter speed, I don’t believe is worth while to run with the Go Pro at night.

I signed up for the Jingle Bell Run in Indianapolis on December 15, 2013. I plan to run with the Go Pro and the video should be better. Running in the midst of a field of other runners makes for interesting video. Running solo on the street doesn’t make for interesting video. Unless, of course, it was running though a scenic forest or mountain valley. Then it would be interesting.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Cameras and Running

My Fuji XP and Go Pro Hero 3 cameras.

My Fuji XP and Go Pro Hero 3 cameras.

My favorite hobby is photography. I love taking pictures with any kind of camera, whether an Iphone, point & shoot, 35mm film or a DSLR. I own several cameras but my primary camera is a Nikon D-600. I take all the Company’s product photography with that camera and all of my pleasure shooting. It’s a great camera and it’s the absolute best camera for me. It’s way ahead of my old Nikon D-70 and light years ahead of my very old Nikon 6006.

But, if there is anything I have against the D-600 … it is the weight. It weighs a ton (not literally) but it is heavy. I carried it on a 8 mile hike through Brown County State Park and by the time I finished, my neck and shoulders were in pain from the load.

I take the Nikon to every running event but I usually leave it in the car. It’s too heavy to carry and run at the same time. I usually believe that there will be enough time after I finish the event to dash back to the car and grab the camera and dash back to the event to take photos. In the dozen or so running events I’ve done in the last few years, that has happened only once.

I thought about taking my Fuji point and shoot camera on event runs to take photos of the runners and spectators. Even that camera is heavy to hold while running. I’ve never tried it but I’m sure the shutter speed isn’t fast enough in the programmed setting to overcome the natural rhythm of running.

Recently, I came across this web site. The site features photos from a variety of running events. What sets apart this site is that the photos are taken in the midst of the event and not from the side lines. The photographer is running with the other runners and taking photos at the same time. There is a lot of action and movement in the photos.

I’ve always wanted to take photos while running. There is more energy, movement and life to be seen in the midst of the running pack than on the sidelines.

As I was thinking about cameras and running, what came to mind was this small Go Pro Hero camera that I have. I bought it in October 2012 but haven’t really used it for much of anything. I intended to produce all sorts of time-lapse videos (and I did a few that I posted on You Tube here and here). Recently, my son has used it on his RC cars. It’s lightweight and the video quality is excellent.

Maybe I’ll use the Go Pro instead of the Nikon or Fuji.

Someone said that running with a Go Pro camera strapped to your head will make you look foolish and silly, if not outright goofy. Geez. I have enough issues when I run in a staged event. Thoughts like … is my running attire of the latest fashion or do I look silly in these old shorts and shirt, I’m too fat to be a real runner, do I sweat too much … and on and on these thoughts swirl through my head. Now, if I want to time-lapse running events for the fun and novelty of it, I need to add … “and I look silly, foolish and goofy because I have a Go Pro camera strapped to my head”.

I’ve seen all sorts of uncommon fashion and gear at running events. Although I’ve never seen a Go Pro on someone’s head, I’ve seen people walking in full fire fighting gear (complete with O2 mask), people carrying flags on poles, people running in their underwear, people running in skirts and dresses with make-up, in wild costumes, wild hats and wild hair. I’ve read about people juggling while running a marathon and running backwards. Why would a Go Pro camera be such a foolish thing?

I’m sure that no one would give it a second thought.

So maybe I’ll chase down my son’s RC car and dig out the Go Pro and run with it at my next running event!

Stay tuned.

P.S. In my post about running across Golden Gate Bridge and how I would like to do that on my next vacation (whenever that may be) … well, here’s a Go Pro video from a runner who did it!