Friday, October 06, 2006


Will you please let me know if my writing is half as bad as my photo taking? I took 2 rolls of photos at the TCM. Only about 4 of the photos are worth keeping. Problem #1 is lighting. I need to find some shady spots. The photos in the bright sun suck, the ones that are sunny with shade mixed in are even worse. Problem #2 is angle. I need to get out in front of the runners and shoot them coming right at me, not off to the side. If anyone else has tips, let me know.

Training update; Wednesday I ran an easy 5 on the treadmill. Thursday I was supposed to run mile repeats, but I basically didn’t feel like it, so it never happened. I ran the first one, but couldn’t see my marking on the path (note to self: don’t use gold paint on a black surface) so I stopped at 7 minutes. During the 2nd rep I just said “fuck it” and stopped running hard. I slowed down and just ran an easy 10 miles. This morning I ran an easy 5 miles.

Two weeks left. I can’t lose focus now. Hard workouts in the morning don’t seem to be working. I’m going to have to find a couple of nights next week where I can get away and do some harder running.

Since it is taper time, here’s an article on the topic by Pfitz.

I just came across this post on It turns out there are some really cool projects taking place in the running community. Be sure to check out the flotrack video. Here’s a blog from the flotrack guys.

Speaking of cool projects, my other projects are gradually building momentum. I’ve got questionnaires out to 4 studly 60+ age-groupers, 3 of which have agreed to answer the questions and be interview. Also, I just found out this morning that 3 other local guys (2 who have Olympic marathon trials qualifiers) have agreed to be interviewed. Last but not least, a member of Team USA Minnesota is also up to the task. So stay tuned.

Finally, a few months ago I talked about the Nude Mile. I posted a photo of one of my favorite t-shirts here. Bear was kind enough to send me a photo of this cool shirt too.

Quote of the day;

“To keep from decaying, to be a winner, the athlete must accept pain – not only accept it, but look for it, live with it, learn not to fear it.” – Dr. George Sheehan


Anonymous said...

Chad - as far as pictures go, you should ask Evan, whose pictures from Griak and TCM were excellent. (Thanks for posting btw)

The harder/faster workouts in the last 2-3 weeks before the marathon are difficult, especially with the early morning hours being soooo dark this time of year. I remember my last MP workput last year, six miles in the complete dark on country roads. I was so glad I was done. Just stay safe and healthy...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Peter. It's been a while since I did a lot of running photography, so I've been pleased with how they came out.

YMMV, but first up I'd say that automatic digitals don't do the job as their default shutter speed is too slow. Automatic film cameras (of which I've owned a few) can work well.

So SLR (digital or film) is best, since you can control for the precise situation you're in with lighting etc. That said I prefer to go with relatively fast shutter speed (1/250 at least, 1/500 or 1/1000 if possible. I typically use 400ASA now) and then compensate for light with lower F-stops. This means you get pictures which are pretty much in focus all over. If you're going to go with a high F-stop (8 or over) you really have to be a great judge of when to take the shot. I'm often chatting to people and not focusing (no pun intended) entirely on the photography, so this is good for me.

Taking from the front on gives you a little more leeway on when exactly you press the shutter. From the side, again, you have to be a very, very good judge of when to take the shot, and have few distractions.

I find that a focal length of about 100mm is good -- you flatten out the depth of field a bit which I prefer for composition, but you don't have to worry about camera shake in the way you might with a longer lens. Though I use a 70-210mm zoom, so it will depend a bit on how far away I am from the runners etc.

Apart from those specifics: Practice does make [mostly] perfect in the end. Law of large numbers: even when you're good there will be a couple in every roll that are blurred, so don't worry about it.

Your writing is good. You don't think we'd keep coming back otherwise, do you?

qcmier said...

Been reading, just not commenting. Wanted to wait till after the Twinkies got knocked out.

Love2Run said...

Pictures, what pictures? Hard to critique what we can't see... Now your writing is another story, always interesting and sometimes provocative; enjoy the quotes; but often too busy to comment cause we're running so much and barely able to keep up with our 'reading list'. Now pop a good marathon story (result does not matter) and the hits will sky! Happy taper...

Chelle said...

Everyone has lulls in their writing. Mine feels so intolerably dull right not that I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't read it. Rather than for purely entertainment purposes, I like checking up on you here just because I like you. Plus there's just that plain curiosity to watch how someone's training plays out, for better or worse. Two weeks...I feel your pain. I'm down to just one now myself.

As for the photos. Try positioning yourself at a bend in the race, you can get closer to a front on shot that way. Also, if your camera lets you force the flash, I've found my sharpest running photos have utilized the fill flash.

Chad said...

Evan, thanks for the info. I guess there's more to good photos than a nice camera (Cannon Rebel 2000) and 800 speed film. I thought maybe you were just humoring me by continuously reading my blog.

Alan, yeah now I know what it's like to be a Cleveland Indians fan - during the regular season.

Mike, good point. It's hard to comment when I didn't post any of the photos. I didn't think they were worth the bandwidth. Maybe I'll post some later today. Thank you for the kind comments on my writing. So you don't care if I pop a good marathon, just if I have a good write-up? Hmmm, I think I'd rather have a PR and a crappy write-up.

Chelle, you're too kind too. Like you, I enjoy the training aspects of other's blogs too - along with their race reports. Can't wait to read about your sub-3 after next weekend. Thanks for the photo tips.

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents is that 800 speed film is great. For anytime between dusk and dawn. Though my camera "only" goes up to a shutter speed of 1/1000. As mentioned for the running photos I really don't want to have an f-stop of greater than 11 (and preferably in the range 2.8-8). Otherwise you're really having to take the picture right at the right time, or the runner will be somewhat out of focus. Throw in 800 speed film, and unless you have a very fast shutter speed (which is what you want for action photos) you're having to set the f-stop really high which may be leading to some of the blurry images you got.

The other situation in which I might conceivably use 800 speed (or faster) film is taking action photos indoors. But this is marathon season, so that's not an issue. Plus, I think there's still a bit of an issue with faster film appearing more grainy, though that's improved a bit over time, I think.