Run To Win – New Site Design

Screenshot Run to WinOne of my favorite running related websites is Run to Win. Blaine has just rolled out a new site redesign. It is good to see the changes. The old site was nice, but this one brings a bit of freshness to the content. Seems to be more “social.”

Run to Win is a running related blog. It covers news and information related to runners and running. Sometimes there are book and product reviews. Blaine has been putting up more videos lately that are themselves the blog entry. He tries to inform the readers/viewers of any breaking news in the running world. One thing I like about the site is that there is not too much information. Sometimes sites are overwhelming and hard to keep up with.

Currently Blaine is running a giveaway to celebrate the new website. Jump over to Run to Win to see the details of the contest.

If you are a runner and like to keep up with major news in the running community, then be sure to check out Run to Win. There are also running related products for sale at the site.

Did I suddenly get transported back to Mexico?

Today while running in the local park, which is called La República de los Niños (Children’s Republic), I almost ran over a car. The name of the park is significant and, yes, the wording of me running over the car, instead of the car running over me, is specific.

La República de los Niños is a theme park designed for children. It has a little fairy tale town built in miniature and is geared towards teaching children citizenship and manners. There are some carnival type rides, but mostly it is known for the government type buildings where schools bring bus loads of children to teach them things like how the judicial system works. Because of the 1.4 mile track around the main part of the park, it is also popular with runners, walkers and cyclists.

This morning I was running on the 2.2 mile running trail that goes around the inside perimeter of the park. I had to cross the only paved road on that route when car pulled up to the intersection to make a left hand turn. Instead of pulling up perpendicular to the intersection and looking for crossing traffic, he pulled through the intersection on the left side of the road (the wrong side) and cut the corner driving straight into oncoming traffic. There is nothing surprising about either of these acts since that is the normal way people make a left hand turn here and he was in a very low traffic environment since he was at the park where pedestrians (many of whom are children) reign and cars are minimal.

Map and line graphic

In the picture, I am the yellow line running left to right and the car is the red line. Just based on the size of the road I had to cross, you can imagine that I had already crossed more than half way through the road before the car came up to the intersection. I thought for sure the car would yield to me since I was almost across the road. However, I gave up hoping he would stop and I pulled up at the absolute last second so that I could give his car a good whack with my knee as he ran over my toes.

Then an evil thought crossed my mind. I entertained the idea of running across his hood. Timing was perfect so that I could have stepped on his bumper and then right onto the hood. Two steps and I would jump off the other side. But then I thought that if he happened to speed up or slow down I would lose my balance and probably would do more damage to me than him. So I stopped and stood there just as he stopped.

I raised my arms out to my sides and stared at him as if to say, “Hey Idiot! Can’t you see I am already mostly across the road? Don’t you know this is a park where the pedestrian has the right of way? Why can’t you go through the intersection like you know how to drive instead of cutting through 2 lanes of oncoming traffic just so you can hit me?” However, I said nothing. I simply stepped back and ran around the passenger side of the car and on down the trail. As I ran by I heard the lady in the passenger seat yelling. I assume she was screaming at me from the tone of her voice, but she could have been yelling at the driver.

I ended up running twice as far as I intended to run this morning just to work off the steam before I got home.

When I did make my way home from the park, just 4 blocks away on residential streets, I was thinking how few problems I have had while running here in Argentina. In Mexico, this type of incidence with cars was a weekly occurrence, but here I have been blessed to have few problems with inept drivers. I know this will probably come as a shock to my Argentine missionary friends, but Argentina is not the worst traffic in the world. I have been around a bit and, while Argentina is not perfect, it is certainly not the worst I have experienced.

Here’s to hoping it will be another 7 months of running before I get my blood boiling again over a stupid driver.

Recent Projects

While it has been quiet here, I have been actively putting out content in different venues. Some are very targeted and therefore don’t really fit here at My Thought Spot. However, I wanted to share some of the projects here as a way of informing and inviting you to join in any that seem appropriate.

Deaf Ministry
First we have been busy with the deaf ministry here in Argentina. You can read about our ministry and get updates at I will be posting a new prayer letter there in a couple of days. We have started our second round of sign language classes at the church. That is going well. I am also taking a sign language class at the local deaf club which gives me many contacts with the community.

Missionary Talks
Missionary Talks is going well. While I have not had a lot of interviews lately, I have been very encouraged by the feedback I get from some of the recordings. The most recent interview was with a family who is currently raising their support. God used a Missionary Talks interview to teach them of a ministry where they could be involved.

If you are on Facebook you can join the Missionary Talks page by clicking the “Like” button at the top. You will be informed of all future episode releases right in your Facebook news feed. I also post short clips from interviews that are interesting, but don’t seem to fit with the rest of the show. Consider the Facebook page to be like the bonus features on a DVD.

I use my @DavidPeach account on Twitter to share ministry related news. That would be our personal ministry, or information about Missionary Talks.

Missionary Geek
I started a new website a few weeks ago intended to share news and information from the technology world that would be of interest to missionaries. It is called Missionary Geek. Missionary Geek also has a Facebook page that you can join. I look forward to sharing things through the website itself as well as news and information links via @MissionaryGeek on Twitter.

Discover Spanish With Us
While our Spanish vocabulary site, Discover Spanish With Us, has been sporadic since we left Mexico, I have been trying to keep it updated recently. It is a website where my wife and I type up an occasional new word that we learn. We tell how it is used. These are usually not normal words. The purpose of the website is not to teach a person how to speak Spanish, but how to use certain words (as we understand them) that may not be as common. The secondary purpose is that people would leave comments and tell us how we might be wrong on the usage, which then helps us become better speakers of the language.

Info Barrel
I have been writing articles at Info Barrel that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. I mentioned this in a previous post. I was planning to give a weekly update with a list of all of my articles that I wrote. However I probably will just highlight certain ones on occasion. My articles range from beekeeping to podcasting. There are also articles on riding bikes and taking pictures.

On top of all this, I am getting my running back under control. I have had a pretty miserable year since September of last year. I was plagued with different injuries dating back to October, 2008. Everything seems to be back in order and I am bringing my mileage up again. I am almost back to running as much per week as I was when I was in my best running shape.

Thanks for checking out the projects I have going. Join me in the different communities if they are appropriate for you.

Race Report: 2010 World Wide Festival of Races

Yesterday I ran the World Wide Festival of Races half marathon. This is my 5th time to “run” the half marathon distance in this event. In a nutshell, the WWFoR is a series of races from the 5K to the half marathon where the participants run in their local area, but with the idea that we are running as a group. Thus the tagline, “Think global, run local.” Your event can be an organized official race, or just a run around your neighborhood all by yourself. With the exception of 2008, I have always run these events alone on a course I marked out myself.

I have not been getting in the long miles that I needed for a 13.1 mile run. Previous to last week (a 9.5 mile run) my long runs had been 6.5 miles or less. And those that were “long” were many weeks apart. Because of that I considered running the 10K, or even the 5K version of the race this year. But I have run the half the previous 4 years and I did not want to break my streak.

Previous Half Marathon Finishes
In 2006, the inaugural event, I ran around the neighborhood. This was actually my second half marathon distance. I ran that one in 2:39:24. I did not completely stick to my plan and therefore was a bit disappointed with the result.

In 2007 I ran it in 2:16:28. That year everything seemed to fall right in place. I had a goal time that I trained for and finished the race 32 seconds faster than my goal. It was a good run.

The 2008 race was the first half of my marathon. I ran that half in 2:11:16. My focus was on the marathon distance and did not give much thought to the half other than I noted my time so that I could report it later.

A week after the 2008 run I was surprised by severe pain in my right foot. I never had it x-rayed, but felt like I was probably dealing with a stress fracture. I let it rest for several weeks and then trained for a half marathon which I ran in just under 1:58:55. A week later I was dealing with the same pain in my left foot.

The next year, 2009, I was training for another marathon and got another stress fracture in the left foot. This was just a few weeks before the WWFoR. I ran the first 7 miles and walked the last 6. It was a tough day, but I could not bring myself to not finish the distance. The final time was 3:18:04.

2010 WWFoR Half Marathon
Map of my runThat brings me to this year. Though I wasn’t as well trained as I had been in years past, I felt obligated to myself to do the run. I planned to do it as entertainment, not as a race. The goal was to alternate running a mile and walking a minute. Since I didn’t actually plan out my mile markers, I just ran 10 minutes and walked 1 until the distance was covered.

About 4.5 miles into the run I got a bit lost. I dropped into a butcher’s shop and asked for directions to get me on the right track. I told him the road I wanted to be on and asked if he could help get me there. He said that it was not hard to get there, but that road was all mud and I would never be able to drive to it. I told him I was running so the mud didn’t matter to me. His reply then was, “in that case, where you want to go is way too far away. You will never get there running.” Little did he know by the time I got to where he was directing me I would only be half way through my run.

I got back on track and continued my run. At mile 7 I realized that I had not been wearing my sun glasses. I knew I picked them up before leaving the house, but where were they now? I had put them up above the bill of my cap until I got outside the house. Since it was overcast throughout the run, I never did put them on.

At mile 9 I stopped at a little corner store and bought an apple and a Gatorade to refill my CamelBak. When I took off from the store I wanted to make up a little of the time lost (not that I was in any hurry) so I buzzed out of there quickly. From the sudden burst of speed I was out of breath about the time I took a big bite of the apple. That made it much harder to breath. Lesson learned. Small bites for the rest of the run.

Because I did not know where the mile splits were, I did not know what my pace was either. But I guessed that the time I spent lost had added a bit of distance to the run based on my time. I decided that it was safe to take a chance and drop out 2 of the blocks from the end of the run. The final distance was 13.72 miles.

I took the average pace for the total distance (11:55 per mile) and calculated what 13.1 miles would be. I guess my official time should be 2:36:07 for the 5th annual WWFoR. Out of 5 runnings I have run it faster 2 times and slower 2 times. Not too bad with absolutely no preparation.

I am going to use the last 2 weeks as the springboard I need to start building my mileage again. I have slipped into a comfortable 10 miles per week routine. A couple of years ago I was running twice that much. After my 2009 injuries I have never even put forth the effort to build my miles again. Now is the time to start. Now I am 2 weeks into working on a weekly long run. Time to keep the momentum going.

Last long run before my World Wide Festival of Races Half Marathon

Yesterday I did something I have not done in over a year—I ran more than 7 miles in one run. I went out for an 8 mile run and ended up with 9.5 miles under me.

I can’t believe that it has been so long since I have had a good long run. I hurt my foot in marathon training last year and had to back off considerably from the long miles. Since then I have never built up my distance again. Because I want to complete my 5th consecutive running of the Phedippidations World Wide Festival of Races Half Marathon I knew I needed to get a long run in to test the waters for a 13.1 mile run. Yesterday was the day, though I should have done it earlier.

I mapped out an 8+ mile course which took me into new territory that I had not seen in my neighborhood. I actually ended up running completely around the town next to us (City Bell).

I decided on a run/walk. Usually when I do this I try to cover a mile and then walk a minute. Since I didn’t know where my miles would end, I just ran 10 minutes and walked a minute. Then after that I walked for a minute when I got to minutes 20, 30, 40 etc.

During the run I listened to As the World Cheers (MP3 file). This was the 2010 “Shouts of Encouragement” episode from Steve Runner. He puts one of these together every year to allow his listeners to shout encouragement to the other runners in the group. This year’s episode was really cool since he, and some fellow runners, put together a song. In it he gave a hat tip to those running at the River Plate. I am the only one registered from the Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay section where Rio de la Plata (what we call it down here) runs. That was pretty cool to hear.

When I got to within a mile of my house I was feeling really good and strongly considered just knocking out the half marathon all at once. I did end up running around the park once, which added 1.4 miles to my run, but I did not do the extra 5 miles I needed to finish up the distance. By not doing it all yesterday I am forcing myself to get out there and do another long run this week to get my half marathon completed.

NOTE: I don’t recommend going from 4 and 5 mile runs to a 13.1 mile run. It is probably not too wise to jump up to a 9.5 mile run. Doing the run/walk helps considerably. Knowing how to fuel properly for a run of that distance is also a big factor in being able to do that type of run without worrying about injury. And, finally, I certainly wasn’t going very fast. I never felt like I was pushing myself too hard. Just a casual run around town.

Now to get the legs rested up for a casual half marathon next week (though this weekend was race weekend, the actual date is a bit flexible). I have no time goal other than to complete it in less than my 3.5 hour crawl last year.