Dec 30

How Fast Does the Internet Pick Up Blog Content

The internet is fascinating. I work in the internet everyday with my day job working on ChemSpider, as a chemist connecting chemists (the ChemConnector) and now with this blog. I participate in multiple blogs, wikis and many other social networks. The pace at which our creative works are moved around, cloned and copied is quite amazing, and unless there are checks being done for licenses there are likely to be millions of “content misdemeanors” every day as we use and reuse postings, images, videos etc in what we produce.

It’s the pace at which things move that continues to amaze me. I published a post on spraining my ankle at 2pm today. Tonight I checked Twitter and found that within two hours of me posting my blog post had been linked from a site about Trail Running.

Twitter record of my blog post

I am simply writing a small blog to capture my travels through exercising and even that is being discovered, lifted and reused quickly. One has to wonder how much of the web is simply lifted, cloned and redistributed now…

The Trail Runner "Paper"


Dec 30

Trail Running and a Sprained Ankle

My Left Foot after a trail run

December 30th and all set for a 12 mile run with Matt Ferris on the Mountains-to-Sea trail around Falls Lake near Raleigh. It was a drop off at one end and running to the other. The temperature was 39F and it was warming quickly. A GREAT day for a trail run. Leaves were on the trail from the fall and the trail is technical…but I’ve run it well over 50 times. So, 0.7 miles into the run when I heard a crunch followed immediately by incredible pain in my left ankle and fell to the floor grabbing for a tree to hold. Some random swearing, hobbling and grunting and I was encouraging Matt to continue running to the end and I would hobble back to his van and drive it to the end. That’s what I did…40 mins to cover 0.7 miles. Then driving home in a car with a clutch….ow,ow. The photo to the left is what I saw when I finally took my sock off. Into the emergency room, an X-ray to confirm only a sprained ankle and I likely have a few weeks before I can even consider running. That really screws up my new intention to run 1000 miles in one year. Crap.

For the time-being I am sitting with an ice pack strapped on my ankle and wondering whether I’ll be needing the vicodin tonight that I was prescribed…..

Dec 28

Do runners calf sleeves and compression socks really work

Calf Sleeves

For Xmas one of our sons bought me a pair of compression socks. They are now all the rage sold by many stores, worn by women in many special colors and patterns and by men generally in white or black. I have been wearing calf sleeves for well over a year (purchased for a great price on Amazon) and looking like those shown to the left. I chose to start wearing these because of the fact that I had a bad calf muscle injury, as described here, a couple of years ago.

Now I tend to wear them most of the time, or I wear spandex tights in the cooler weather, to provide support to my calf muscles.My problem is that my calf muscles are TOO big. I have wimpy hamstrings (way too tight and poor flexibility), I have small quads, but I have big calfs. They are not the size they were when I was lifting weights a lot and doing lots of “donkey calf raises”. But they are out of proportion to the rest of my leg muscles. Not at the extreme that Tom Platz’s leg muscles were though! So, when I run my calf muscles “jiggle”, like celullite on a belly.

The Incredible Legs of Tom Platz

As a result running without calf support was always slightly painful and after the tear was definitely a real challenge. I HAVE found calf support, whether calf sleeves or simply tights, to be of great value. I have NOT yet tried compression socks but research seems to suggest that it will help. There are a number of interesting pages here that describe the available evidence. Worth reading.

CompressLeg Sleeves and Socks Discussion

Running Compression Socks – What triathletes should know

An example comment:

“…. a study presented at the 2007 American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in New Orleans suggested there were no statistically significant differences in maximal oxygen consumption, heart rate or minute ventilation between treadmill runners who wore compression socks and those who did not. ”

My personal advice…DEFINITELY try them! Especially if you have weird legs like me!


Dec 27

Changing the Name of My Blog

I am NOT blogging from here!

Okay…so maybe was NOT the wisest name for a blog. Here I am thinking it’s amusing, witty, and indicative of my want to “keep going” as long as possible but based on some feedback some people have been misinterpreting it. Yes, you guessed it…they think I might be discussing my GI distress, my rotten-squatten, my leap to go deep, my plop to drop, my squeeze-to-ease, my motion explosion… get the picture.

So, under great duress (nay embarrassment) I am choosing to drop the blog (snicker), pick up another (ewww) and “move” on (hardy-har). ENOUGH British Toilet Humor okay!!!

So…giv e me some suggestions. Can’t guarantee I’ll take any of them but your input is welcomed.



Dec 26

Resolutions versus Commitment to the Long-term

Happy New Year 2012

It’s that time of the year where many of us get through the holidays, the all out potential food-fest from Thanksgiving to the New Year, and decide that “this year it will be different”. The health clubs will see a spike in attendance and new registrations. For those of us committed to long-term exercise we’ll be challenged by newbies using the equipment and locking up the treadmills. I say CELEBRATE the fact that people make those choices in the New Year and start up with a new plan for health and fitness. It’s a great START! But it’s a start. How many times have you, or someone you know, started a new exercise plan and had it fall apart in weeks, if not sooner?

Your relationship with exercise and fitness is similar to your relationship with your spouse. All those great intents to have things be different in a relationship depend on declaration, commitment and follow-through. Whether it’s giving gifts to your honey every so often to have them know you care, whether it’s giving them personal space to get things done, it’s the follow-through and long-term nature of the actions that really make a difference. Otherwise it’s just a spike…and things settle back to what they were. There are other parallels….both require both mental and physical adjustment….sometimes “doing” whether you want to or not (do the dishes, run five miles) requires mental power. I can tell you, for sure, that there aren’t many mornings in the winter when it’s cold and still dark that I really, really, really want to get on a trail and run a few miles. But once I start, once the lungs warm up, once I’m 3 miles away from my car, I am glad that I have pushed myself to run. There are very few times I regret starting a run, a ride, a race…it only happens when I’m sick.

So, if you are focused on a fitness-based New Year’s Resolution in 2012 some advice…

1) Be gentle when you start out …if you get hurt it might be over for another year.

2) More exercise doesn’t necessarily mean more fuel required. So, if you want to lose weight consider your diet of course!

3) Get a training partner or join a club. There are lots of running clubs, cycling groups, swim gatherings etc. Find ‘em. Don’t be embarrassed…they are lots of fun and being around like-minded people is a good support system generally.

4) Set a target..whether it’s a certain amount of weight, a race you want to do, a challenge you want to beat. And when you get there celebrate it! Make sure it’s a manageable and achievable challenge though. Lose 100 pounds in 3 months is unlikely unless you are on the Biggest Loser!!

There are some useful articles online already about the challenges of sticking with it. Worth a read. Happy New Year!! And here’s to sticking with it…

Make Your New Year Fitness Plan Stick

Maintaining your New Years Resolutions for Fitness and Exercise

Can you really stick to your fitness resolutions?

Dec 24

NikePlus, EndoMondo and the inaccuracies of GPS devices for tracking mileage?

I run on trails, I run on roads (but prefer trails!) and I run in various countries. I choose not, as yet, to track my heart rate while running roads, but do have a heart strap for running on the treadmill. I like to track my mileage when I run and presently use the Nike+ app on the iPhone as it uses GPS mode as well as an iPod Nano with the sensor that affixes to the shoe. I used to use the EndoMondo app but I prefer Nike+ for the reason that I don’t need GPS to track mileage and that helps in various ways, especially when I travel and I have to pay data rates in other countries (unless anyone knows different!?). I have run with various people on trails and the road and the accuracy depends on calibration in some cases, what the device is, what the app is etc. But now the news, and it is not unexpected, that GPS watches (and other devices of course) can be unreliable running partners. It makes for an interesting read. Having run what I believe was 7 miles on a trail this morning and had it logged at about 6.3 miles (and on some days the same run logged at 6.7), I know these devices are inaccurate….but still useful.

What ways do you track and log your mileage? I like Nike+ as I can sync various devices to the site and track mileage, the iPod Nano and the iPhone. I welcome your thoughts on the best app(s) that you recommend and any other guidance that you’d like to share.

Dec 12

Arranging a Date with a Triathlete

YouTube is a fun place to find stuff to giggle at…and fortunately I am not in the dating scene else it would be hard work…just to get “five minutes”.


Dec 12

ChemConnector Back with a New Blog

My name is Antony Williams, but online I am known as ChemConnector because I am a chemist and I work to connect chemists…to each other, to data, to services.

The last time I set up a blog about fitness was my 1000miles in1year blog where I was hoping to document my experiences of trying to log 1000 miles in a year. I FAILED dismally after this event….

It was about a year before I could work out really well but I’m pretty much back in shape again (with an aching calf if I road run). I am a pretty regular trail runner, 5ks once in awhile (especially with our twin boys), LOVE trail running, and I am married to a woman who is also an athlete, is a great model for our boys fitness and runs a website for athletes called WeTriSports.

So, this time around I am going to capture some of the fun events that I do, share tips and tricks from an “aging athlete” (I turn 48 in 6 months), and generally pass time with interested readers, family and friends.

If you want to know a little more about me in the rest of my life I’m here…

My Other Blog:
My Total Impact:
SciMobileApps Wiki:
Amazon Author Page: Follow Link to Author Page
Google Scholar Citations Profile: Antony Williams Citations

Dec 12

Running the Medoc Trail Race


A few months ago I signed up to do the Medoc Trail Run and all of the other training this year, the triathlons, long 150 mile bike ride, long swims and so on have all been to help get me into shape for this 10 miler in the mountains. This past weekend I finally did it. I had set my heart on a sub-2 hour run as there were some good slopes, a lot of tree roots and rocks to run over. I went into the race with my right calf still hurting from the tear in January. My left calf muscle got pulled in a 5km race in Wake Forest a few weeks ago. The night before the race I was icing and warming the calf muscle.

I headed out from the house at 5am after a 4:30am wake up and was at the race nice and early after a McDonalds power breakfast…2 hash browns and a large coffee. The organization was superb, there was a marathon (2.5 loops) and the 10 miler that I was up for. I was feeling low energy and not in the best of shape for the run but that’s never stopped me before so when we started at 8:30am I led off with a normal pace along the road that was about a mile to split up the pack.

I ran as ChemSpiderman..I would have loved to have a ChemSpiderman T-shirt to run with (free advertising in the trees but more important when I’m running in the Chemistry 5km races at the conferences!!!) but I’m thinking of rebranding myself as the ChemConnectorGuy  :-)

When we got into the trails it was much gentler on my legs running in the trees and I could kick a little harder. A couple of trips over the roots work me up pretty quickly as did some of the slopes up the “mountain”. I was feeling the pace at 4 miles, hit the “it’s all down hill” feeling at 5 miles because I had crossed half way. By mile 8 when Medoc the Mountain Man was looking at me from the trees (really!!!) I was feeling confident that finishing was no issue, and maybe with a good time. I didn’t wear my Nike Plus as I wanted to run blind without a time as every time I have run against the clock of late it’s been bad for the mind…

At mile 9 I got a major cramp in the right calf despite taking Calcium Lactate before the race to stop the cramping. I ran through it, as I had run through 3 side stitches, and saw the line with 1hr 37 mins on the clock. I ran pretty hard for the line and was really happy to cross in less than 1:38. I’m rarely impressed with my performance in these races and always expect more from  myself but this one put a REAL smile on my face. It was a great race and I was very happy to have run it. It started COLD, was warm when we finished, they fed us well, we all got medals and nice Finisher vests. All in all a grear day at Medoc Mountain State Park and home for lunchtime to hang out with the kids. Hope they do it again next year!


Dec 12

Training for the Medoc Trail Run


My calf muscle still hurts after tearing it earlier this year. But I am still running…I’ve knocked off a couple of sprint triathlons since then and feel a lot fitter since combining swimming, running and biking. Overall I am in better shape for combining the three and tomorrow will be doing a 1 mile open water swim with my good lady Sharon…not bad for someone who struggled with just a few lengths a few months ago. But running is great for me….love it…makes me feel high…a much needed body stimulant and good for the mind. I am now in training for the 10 mile Medoc Trail Run in October. I am doing my weekly combined trainings logging miles on the bike, on the road/treadmill and in the pool/lake. I am not getting as much weight training in as I would like and have been losing muscle size in preference to weight loss for t run…..dropping ten pounds in weight for the 10 miler is going to be a lot easier on my knees and back so that’s where I am…down from 180lbs to 170lbs, loss of muscle in the chest and arms but more able to sustain a good running pace….

Today I ran 5 miles on the Mountain to Sea Trail in less than an hour and could easily have kept going. it was 75F and much easier on me than the 95F of last weekend that was PAINFUL. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a lake swim with my lady Sharon who is also in the shape of her life prep’ing for a sprint tri at the end of August. It’s good to be alive!!!

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