Tuesday, July 7

Le Tour: 4

It was "deja vu all over again" at the Tour de France following the team time trial in Stage 4, as 37-year-old Lance Armstrong came within a spoke's width of going into the overall lead of the race and capturing the yellow jersey. Now the stage is set for an epic battle that looks to heat up particularly during the fierce mountain climb on Stage 7.

Monday, July 6

Le Tour: 3

After two stages, Lance Armstrong and his Astana teammates have dominated the 96th Tour de France, managing to hold four of the top ten positions. Today's stage takes the peloton the 121 miles from Marseille to La Grande Motte. It is a flat "sprinters' stage" through the beautiful Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France.

Friday, July 3

Le Tour

The 21 stage, 2,200 mile Tour de France begins tomorrow in Monte Carlo with a very challenging individual time trial. On the way to the finish on the Champs Élysées, the Tour will not only run through France but through the Principality of Monaco, the Kingdom of Spain, the Principality of Andorra, and the Republic of Switzerland. The first stage is quite technical with multiple steep climbs. It should provide a test, right from the start, for the General Classification (GC) riders. And with Lance Armstrong riding in his eleventh Tour, this could be one of the most exciting race in years.

Saturday, June 27

Sum Ergo Zoom

The SumZoom team, Franklin's "Couch-to-5K" run group, meets each Monday evening in front of Parish Pres at 7 PM for a good 45-minute training session, rich fellowship, and some personal coaching. Runners and walkers of all ages, levels, and types are welcome.

Saturday, April 18

Essential Run Gear

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8
2. PowerStep Insoles
3. DeFeet Cush Lo
4. RaceReady LD Sixer Shorts
5. RaceReady CoolMax Alta-T
6. Headsweats Cap
7. Brooks ShoePocket
8. Brooks Podium Vest
9. BodyGlide
10. RunKeeper iPod and DailyMile
11. Gatorade Rain

Saturday, March 7

RunKeeper

During my long run today, I tried the new version of RunKeeper for the first time. This is a great app for the iPhone, available in both a stripped-down free version and an amped-up “pro” version costing a whopping $9.99.

The application uses the GPS capabilities of the 3G iPhone to plot the course, time, pace, and distance of any run. It also works for cycling--a huge advantage over something like the Nike+.

The app allows a user to create a personal page on the RunKeeper.com website where all the tracking, social networking, and communicating features you might expect are available. In addition, the site provides GoogleMaps archives of each run which can be shared, linked, posted, displayed, and cross-referenced.

During the run, there are pause and lock features--both vitally important. And the display is large and easy to read. The “pro” version even has audio prompts (though unlike the Nike+ they’re not recorded by Lance Armstrong). And of course, it is very easy to toggle between the app and other iPod and iPhone functions.

The only real disadvantage of RunKeeper, is that you have to run with the iPhone in tow. That’s not such a problem in the winter with all the pockets and MP3-ready features of most jackets and vests. But, in the spring, summer, and fall, what to do with the little brick is an issue--oh sure, there are readily available arm straps, belt clips, and fanny packs. But each of those solutions have inherent drawbacks.

All-in-all though, I really like this application and will look forward to using it in my final six weeks of training leading up to the Country Music Marathon at the end of April.

Saturday, February 28

Totally Different

"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." --Emil Zatopek

Monday, February 16

Classic Run

“What greater glory attends a man than what he wins with his racing feet and striving hands?” --Homer

Tuesday, February 10

That's All

“All that running can do for you is make you healthy.” --Denny McLain

Wednesday, February 4

Jump-Start

“Running is a great way to jump-start my day, boost my energy, and have a few minutes to plan and prioritize my schedule.” --Michael Dell

Thursday, January 22

No Excuses

“Don’t use the excuse, ‘I don’t have the time.’ Getting up an hour earlier is tough for about a month; then it becomes routine, and you’ll actually feel better for it.” --Howard Elakman

Saturday, January 17

In Training

"Everyone is an athlete; the only difference is that some of us are in training and some are not.” --George Sheehan

Sunday, January 11

Schedule It

“Just as you write down other important appointments, you need to literally pencil in time for your run. The process itself is empowering. In the few seconds it takes to scribble run into a time slot, you make running a part of your life.” --Jeff Galloway

Thursday, January 1

Long Live Runners!

According to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine runners live longer, healthier, more productive lives than non-productive lives. No surprise there. But, it also showed that runners have no greater risk of injury--to their knees, their back, their ankles, or their feet. Indeed, elderly runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as aging nonrunners to die early deaths, the research found.

Every non-runner I know asks about my knees--and then marvels that I'm not more hobbled than I am. At last, I now have the empirical data for me to point them toward as I encourage them to join me in hitting the road!