Monday, December 10, 2012


The race route. You'll notice a little "elf shoe" at the bottom of the park... that is my GPS losing me, it didn't look like that.
This race was a later start (10am) which was much welcomed. Plus, it took place about 10-15 minutes away from home at Cook Park in Tigard, so all in all it was an easy race to do. Libbie and I got there way too early, but that was by design. Better safe than sorry! So after picking up our bibs and killing 30 minutes in the car (it was chilly outside, around 42F) we were ready to go!

It was a medium sized race. I would say maybe 350 runners? Hard to tell and the results haven't been posted yet so I have no idea, but somewhere around there. It was hand timed, which wasn't a problem when I finished as we were more spread out, but when Libbie finished there was like a person finishing every second and that makes it hard on the hand timer. Anyways, since it wasn't chip timed, there was no "chip time," so I made sure to be as close to the front of the pack as possible.

Santa came to start the race. He was in his "Sleighburu" (aka Suburu Outback) and honked to signal the start of the race. We then followed him in his sleigh for about a mile and a half through the neighborhoods before he directed us onto the park paths. Cute.
Santa! (Tung Yin / The Oregonian)
The race started by going straight out of the parking lot and up the fairly sizable hill out of the park. If you were to ask runners what the last thing they'd want to do to start a race in Cook Park, running up the hill would surely top the list. Anyways, that weeded out the contenders from the pretenders pretty quick. Not to say I was a contender, but I did my fair share of passing pretty early on that hill. My hill training came in handy and a lot of people burnt themselves out real early scaling that thing.

Once summiting that hill, we turned left into the neighborhoods and wound around a while. It was a clever course by them in order to be able to run it without special road closures or police permits. In the neighborhoods we maybe encountered two live cars but they passed without incident as we were all on one side of the road.

Going into the park required going that that ultra steep hill that I encountered in the Earth Day Run as well. I shuffled down it again, it wasn't quite as slippery this time, but no need to risk injury to get down it. Nobody flew by me this time, but I did have two or three pass me with a slightly riskier pace. Just like the Earth Day Run, I quickly re-passed them once we leveled out.

Turns out I wasn't a huge baby during the Earth Day Run, there were some pretty big "mini hills" on those park paths. Nothing more than 15 feet tall, but when you are booking it going up 15 feet at a 30% grade is hard! Anyways, my shoelace had come loose for the second straight race. I really need to start double knotting. Like last time, I just ran with it. Turns out there was still a "knot" in the shoe so my shoe wasn't loose, there was just a lace flying around like crazy.

Everything burned in this race. Lungs and legs. The nice thing about a 5k is that you know it will be over soon though, so you just kind of have to ignore it. Concentrate on keeping pace or passing the person in front of you. Find little things to distract yourself from the screaming urge to slow the fuck down. At one point my brain was thinking "I'll just stop and walk and wait for Libbie and then finish with her." Oh no you don't you lazy asshole!

Finishing chute (Tung Yin / The Oregonian)
My phone only tracked this run at 2.92 miles, so a full two tenths of a mile short. It was fairly accurate up until the two mile mark. It was shortly after though we started going off the path into weaving barkdust side trails  that my phone couldn't quite keep pace. No GPS device really can track all these fine movements and give you an accurate distance. Plus, we had a couple small loops where it cheated me too. Regardless, I was flying through this section since I knew the race was almost over.
When I went back and traced the actual route on gmap-pedometer it came in at 3.12 miles, so that made me feel better. I don't have accurate times for the last mile though, but I ran hard into the finish and it was definitely better than my second mile.

I was very tired at the finish line, gasping for air and whatnot. Not as bad as the Great Pumpkin Run or the Hot Buttered Run, but drained. I think that is the appropriate feeling after a race though, you really want to leave everything out there. There were some good goodies at the finish line, junky pastries (think individually wrapped) and Snickers Marathon bars and candy canes and brownies and hot cider. Yum! I probably ate double the calories I burned during the run.

All in all a pretty sucessful race. My second fastest 5k and within a minute of the "Miracle in Corvallis."

Official Results: 22:42, 7:19/mile. 37/399 overall, 33/152 male.

Mile 1: 7:25
Mile 2: 7:28
Mile 3: 7:03
(The times above are estimates based on a very scientific thing I did comparing the Endo time chart with the g-map mile markers to see my time when I hit the g-map mile markers since the Endo ones were off).

A pretty good recap of the race was posted online by The Oregonian.

Saturday, December 08, 2012


Quick post. I am doing a 5k on Sunday. It starts at Cook Park (like the Earth Day Run!) and that is about all I know about the route. The link to the route on the even website doesn't work and frankly it really doesn't matter. I'll just run wherever they tell me. It is called the HoHo 5k and I believe it is Christmas/Santa themed. Anyways onto my goals:

A Goal: Beat my 5k record of 21:45. Barring a miracle, this will not take place. The website does mention a lot of the course is on dirt/barkdust inside the park, which will be mushy and slow me down. Plus, I don't know what happened in Corvallis, but that magic is going to be hard to summon up again.

B Goal: Under 23 minutes. This one is more realistic. If I run hard, this is achievable in my current condition. Anything starting with a 22 would be pretty cool to be honest!

C Goal: Beat my Shamrock run time of 23:39. Really, this should be more of my "B" Goal, considering the shape I am in. Before and after Shamrock I was outside pounding 5ks at a 7:40 pace every day and making it look easy. Now, if I run a 5k I struggle to 8:30s. I would like to blame it on the hills around my place, but I think also the change to higher distances changed me too. I am still able to achieve fast times during races though.

To be honest, I don't know whether Corvallis was a fluke or not. I don't think I am capable of pounding that out for every 5k and especially this one, as I don't feel totally 100%. We'll see what happens though!

Monday, December 03, 2012


So after my performance in the Hot Buttered Rum 12k, I manged to get outside and run only twice the next week. Sore? No. Injured? No. Giant baby? Yes.

It's been very cold and wet recently. And really windy in the last week. Now, that should not come as a surprise to anyone living in Oregon from the months of October through April. However, it seems to have been extra bad these last couple of weeks.

When I first started running with Libbie just over a year ago, we didn't seem to have these problems. It was cold and dark, sure, but it seemed like it only rained a couple of times. I remember it being colder than a sled husky's nutsack, but rarely wet. It was kind of funny how Libbie and I started running during the worse possible months, however, it seems like they weren't so bad a year ago!

To be honest, the cold doesn't bother me. I can be in shorts and a t-shirt and be fine if its 32 degrees outside. Once I start running, my body produces a LOT of heat. I might be cold for the first quarter mile, but then I am just dandy. So the temperature really doesn't deter me at all. Anything above freezing is gravy.

The wetness is what gets me. Rain during the summer can be fun because it's not cold outside. However, cold plus wetness equals torture. I hate it. Plus, you add in wind (even just the "wind" of running) and its just miserable. So after I come home from a long day at work, if it is raining outside, even sprinkling, I have a hard time making myself go outside in the pitch dark. And frankly, that's fine with me. I want to run a lot, but I am not going to be someone who makes myself miserable to do it. That would make it more of a chore, and thus, lower enjoyment, and thus, more likely that I poop out on the whole idea.

Anyways, the last few weeks have made me think of a gym membership because I still need exercise. Where is the apartment workout room when you need it!?

Thursday, November 29, 2012


A 12k? Yes, a 12k. In Vancouver? Yes, Vancouver.

I forgot to do a "preview" on this one as the race kind of snuck up on me. That's been happening a lot recently. Anyways, my goal for this one was just to maintain my record 10k pace (47:30ish) for another 2k. And that happened. I'd give myself an A- for this race... I really pushed myself, no question about that, but in the end it was only good for the status quo. Which I guess is alright for now.

Rumbling into the finish line.
My last two training runs before this race were very slow for me with miles in the 9:30 range. One was a ten miler, yes, but still, that is only 2.5 miles more than this race. Plus, I was laboring on those runs, I couldn't have gone much faster if I wanted to (at least, that's the way it felt). So we were going to test the weird phenomenon again about me running way faster than I train. I used to train at like 7:40 and run a 5k at 7:20, now I train at like 9:00 and run a 10k at 7:40. Whatever.

The race was up in Vancouver but luckily it had a later start (9:30am) so it wasn't too bad in the morning. No coffee or donut for me this time. It was cold outside, we are talking see your breath type of cold. Luckily the wind was pretty much non-exsistent so it wasn't too bad.

They had a staggered start, so I placed myself in the first group (under 8 min/mile). Too optimistic? Turns out no, no it wasn't. Anyways, I did feel pretty good, my legs felt pretty fresh. There was a little bunching at the start but nothing too bad. We were on a wide pedestrian path mostly, so there was room after the first twenty seconds or so.

After a half mile or so we went over a pretty pedestrian bridge that spanned Highway 14. After that we did a quick lollipop and got to run by the Columbia River a bit. That was about as scenic as it got. After that we wound our way into downtown Vancouver and then into some industrial/shipping areas. It was kind of fun to run there, even if it wasn't pretty... a change up from the suburban sprawl I am used to.

I was feeling pretty good at this point. I had my phone with me and it was shouting out my mile times so I had an idea of how I was doing. I knew I was going at a pretty good clip. My legs felt great, if anything held me back on this run it was my lungs. Makes sense I guess, legs are used to 7.5 miles, lungs aren't used to 7:40s.
Reaching for my phone to stop it after finishing.
At five miles we started a decent climb up Mill Plain... tuckered some people out that I passed. I kept my pace up it however. I was tired, but not exhausted. My hill training prepared me well for that. After that we just kind of dumped into downtown again and then wound our way back toward the start line (Pearson Airfield).

My shoe came untied around mile 5.5 and stayed that way through the finish. I thought about stopping but it was still on there pretty snugly and I didn't want to lose time, even ten seconds. Anyways, I got a dirty shoelace as a souvenir.

The last two miles or so (around shoelace) my lungs really started to burn and my legs started to feel pretty used. It reminded me of the half marathon, but probably around mile 9 of that or so. The struggle I went through over the last couple miles in the half didn't compare to this, but the buildup to that pain did. Anyways, I powered through it, but it would have been easy to let off the gas a little.

Post race delerium
We did mix with the 5kers as usual. They blocked me up a little but nothing too bad. Maybe I am just more used to weaving around them now. At one point there was a group of gal pals in Santa hats blocking the ENTIRE width of the sidewalk, but other than that I didn't have to do anything drastic.

Anyways, I picked up the pace into the finish line... I wouldn't call it a sprint, my legs didn't have that in them, but it was definitely a quick clip. Maybe 6:30/mile pace.

Once I stopped running my body was still in overdrive mode so I didn't feel great. I couldn't do simple math or hold a conversation at this point. A great example of my state of mind right after most races is this self portrait I took. I thought it should have turned out great... this was my best attempt at taking a picture. I tried to look into the camera and smile and take a picture and this happened. Anyways, it's a good visual depiction of my state of mind (including the swirling background).

It took me about ten minutes to "cool down" and for my heart to stop racing. During this time I went to the car to grab my jacket. I returned to the finish line, watched Libbie finish, then headed off for some food and a hot buttered rum. Yum!

Overall, pretty happy with the performance. Really was a tale of two races, the first four miles and the last three miles.

Mile 1: 7:34
Mile 2: 7:30
Mile 3: 7:38
Mile 4: 7:32
Mile 5: 7:55 (hill, fatigue hits)
Mile 6: 7:41
Mile 7: 7:54
Last 1/2: 7:11 (extrapolated pace)

Official Results: 57:28, 7:42/mi, 60/595 overall, 47/205 M, 9/24 M2029.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


First, I would like to brag about my presidential prediction. Really, getting the vast majority of states right is no big deal, but getting the electoral college exactly right and getting the actual vote percentage so close isn't as easy. The "poll averages" had Obama up about 1%... I guessed he'd win by 2.5% and currently he is winning by 2.7% (and that will probably grow to about 3%). I guessed 50.7% for him and he's currently at 50.6%, which will likely grow slowly above my guess. Also, I'd like to point out I posted by prediction on Sunday, two days before Nate Silver flipped Florida to the barely blue column.

As for running, things are going well. Switching to the new shoes has definitely helped. I am no longer achey and sore after runs and feel more like my old self. I am still not in the shape I was once in at my peak, but I am working my way back up there. The weather cooling off has also been nice. It's a lot easier not to poop out when its 48 out instead of 88. Plus, I don't nearly sweat as much and my nipples aren't getting irritated. So win, win, win. Although it is hard to muster the strength to go run when it is dark and cold outside. Add in rain or a drizzle and it's easy to just say "fuck it." So that is the struggle now. If it was always light outside and 50 degrees I would be a running fiend!

Saturday's route. Ventured up 170th to Bany/Hart to add a mile over last time (between the "7" and the "9").
Nothing too interesting on the running front. I am starting to do long runs again and did ten miles last Saturday. This was the first time I had run the route up to Cooper Mountain Nature park since doing it early last June. I remembered the route by memory though and was surprised how I was still able to run up that big hill without really stopping, although at one point towards the end I was going hella slow. The fact I was able to do this route without dying made me feel fairly decent about the shape I was in.

It was my first "double digit" run since the half marathon, and while slightly sore the next day, honestly I felt great. I even did 7.2 miles at run group the Monday after and today (Tuesday) my body feels fine. So hopefully I can keep this up. As you will see, my times have slipped since the summer, this weird phenomenon where I feel like I'm running just as fast as I was then but my times are nowhere near that (although in races I am pretty much the same). I guess it was kind of weird I was training and running races at the same pace back in the day, but I would like to get back to sub eight minute miles at some point. Just isn't happening now without really pushing myself and killing me.

Here is a comparison between Saturday's run and the run from early June, at the peak of my fitness. As you can see, my times have gone down. Only the first seven miles of the run are comparable since I added a little extra spur this time to increase mileage to ten:

Mile 1: 9:09 (8:08 June 3rd)
Mile 2: 11:11 (9:55)
Mile 3: 9:12 (8:07)
Mile 4: 9:26 (8:17)
Mile 5: 11:21 (9:45)
Mile 6: 9:30 (8:47)
Mile 7: 8:56 (8:09)

Wow, that was really depressing. I didn't realize how much longer it really was until I just did that. Average on the whole run was 9:46 compared to 8:37 back in June. Sound about right, my normal runs have been around a minute slower than in June. Shows that I have work to do!

Sunday, November 04, 2012


So far I am 1 for 2 (50%). My predictions from 2004 and 2008.

In 2008 I was pretty much spot on, only missed Indiana and I got the final vote percentages pretty damn close. In 2004 I was just hopeful.

Final electoral college (the one that matters):

Obama: 332
Romney: 206

If I had to hedge, I would say FL and CO could go Romney. I suppose VA too. But the one that matters, OH, is going Obama and that's curtains my friends. Obama had to scare us after that 1st debate, but the GOP is just fucking insane and eventually people go "oh yeah" and remember that.

Final national popular vote (this one doesn't matter but shhh don't tell the media):
Obama: 50.7%
Romney: 48.2%

Here's to hoping that's in the ballpark. The media is stupid and really wants the "horserace" image and FoxNews is really presenting this alternate reality where Romney is going to win (maybe in a landslide!) so it is going to be HILARIOUS to watch their world crumble on Tuesday night. I will LOLOL all the way to the bank. Almost wants to make me upgrade to a DVR so I can record FoxNews all the next day.

Friday, October 19, 2012


So after my surprisingly good race on Sunday I definitely came up lame the next day with a strained left calf. This is the same left calf that gave me trouble after my 15.4 mile expedition early this summer.

This led to me missing run group on Monday and Wednesday and taking all the way until today, Friday, to heal. I am going to go for a run tonight because it feels 100% better. I hate not being able to run... I feel all lethargic, my body hurts, it feels like I have arthritis, etc. Maybe that is just the cold weather coming on, but this always happens when I stop exercising.

Running may not be "great" when you are in the middle of a run bored out of your skull, but it makes your body feel so much better. The difference between being in shape and out of shape is very noticable. So anyways, I really want to get back to 25-30 miles a week, running 5 times a week. I think with the new shoes and allowing myself to heal properly I can do it. I've stopped and started a couple of times now so hopefully I can get out of pit row this time. I can't bullshit my way through many more races - or a marathon.

Up next will be the 12k Hot Buttered Run in Vancouver... it is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The distance is unique so I am looking forward to that. Right now a 10k is a "long run" for me, so I have to get that back to being my "normal" run. Long runs should be 9 miles or more! Depending on how much time I have on Sunday I would like to go on a long run, maybe do 8 to start? Sunday I'm busy all day so I'd have to do it Saturday.

Anyways, that's my boring update.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Today's jaunt through the park.

Today I woke up at 6:40am to truck my ass down to Corvallis for another race. It was the 10k Great Pumpkin Run, something I signed up for about a month ago, feeling a lack of races and something to train for. And while my lack of training has been documented, I was still happy to just have a race. Races are fun! Except during the race, that sucks, the actual running part.

Anyways, I had a Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte and a glazed old fashioned before the race. The breakfast of champions! And also a magical combination that tends to result in good times. And apparently sharp stomach pains today, but nothing too bad.

We started at the Benton County Fairgrounds and had to dodge some horse poop at the start. Oh Corvallis. Anyways, out to 53rd we went, south for just a little bit and then we turned up a bike path and run along that. It was really pretty, if I were a runner when I was in Corvallis that would have been my bitch because I lived right nearby. Anyways, eventually we hit a country road and the 10Kers turned north to do an out and back.

Pre-race (I did NOT look this good after)
At this point I was definitely breathing heavy and not having a great time. I shot out of the gate pretty good but I could tell I just didn't have as much in the tank as I would have liked. The whole thing was a giant struggle but I set a pace and tried to keep to it. My legs felt a little "worn" and I think they were still recovering from slant shoes and my run on Friday. My breathing was pretty labored too... I don't train much at this pace at all, so I was sucking wind.

Despite the coffee and doughnut I didn't have to poop or pee or anything. I did get a couple of pretty bad stomach cramps but they passed quickly and didn't really pop up in the 2nd half of the race. The turn around seemed like it took FOREVER to get there but finally I reached it. It was fun to run back and see all the people behind me. It put a pep in my step for a little bit but eventually wore off and I went back to hating life.

I had waves of "this isn't so bad" during this race where I would feel really good for like 15 seconds. I would start to think of sprinting the last half mile and shit... quickly though my body would resume with reality. Anybody else have this? Also the course was pretty flat, a few tiny rolling hills to keep things interesting but very manageable.

The last mile or so had two features. One, lots of slow ass 5k walkers in my way. Really annoying because they weren't getting out of the way and there was live traffic. At one point I had to jog slowly behind a group waiting for a car to pass then dart ahead on the road. Reminded me of dodging the 5k people at the Rum Run.

Second, people were passing me up. I figured my pace really dropped and I felt like it did. I was running on empty. I probably had about six to eight people blow by me. Not a good feeling. It turns out I was keeping a pretty steady pace though, so they must have just been saving some energy in the tank. I did not have that energy.

Lib at the finish line!
The finish line took FOREVER to get there. That last mile was torture. At the mile five marker there was a guy reading off times and I could tell I had a chance at a record if I went really fast. I didn't really have it in me to sprint though, so I would just keep my pace and continue to charge ahead.

Anyways, I pulled a Libbie by JUST missing out on a certain time. 47:43, thirteen seconds off a record. I let out a big "FUCK!" as I rounded the corner and saw the clock. I knew I couldn't get there in time. Family event you say? Oh well.

I finished, grabbed a water, then collapsed in the grass and eventually found the strength to watch Libbie finish.  My body hated me and the only other time I felt worse was after the half marathon. So despite the lack of training, I am still posting good times. Imagine if I trained properly!

Official Time: 47:43.8, 7:41/mile. 21/120 overall. 3rd place males 20-29.

Mile 1: 7:19
Mile 2: 7:31
Mile 3: 7:49
Mile 4: 7:47
Mile 5: 7:33
Mile 6: 7:48
Final .22: 1:47 (7:35/mi extrapolated)

Saturday, October 13, 2012


So, since the run where I pulled up early I mentioned in my last blog post, I haven't run much. I did one 5k a week later and it wasn't very fast. I was just sore and running didn't seem to help.

Looking back, I feel like a total idiot for not knowing why. Anyways, I ran group this Monday but was sore afterward. Most the soreness was in my hamstring area, but more low and to the knee. Like a tendon or something. Felt like someone smashed me in the back of the leg with a club. Anyways, the soreness kept lingering and I would rest up to the point where I could run again, but then after I'd be sore!

Well, I figured out what it was. Look at my fucking shoe:

Yah think that might have fucked with my stride a little? No wonder I was so fucking sore, I was basically running on a slant. I had noticed the shoes deteriorating but they must have really gotten bad in the last few weeks. My legs are hurting just looking at this picture right now!

Anyways, that was my left shoe and my left side was always way more sore than the right. My right shoe is also really worn down but not quite as bad. So it all makes sense. I do pronate, which means I land on the outer edge and roll in, so I guess this really shows that in action. Needless to say, the shoes are retired now.

I won a pair of Brooks Adrenaline shoes at run group a few weeks back and moved into those. I ran a 10k last night in them, my first ever run in them, and they felt GREAT. Seriously, normally breaking in new shoes sucked, but these felt like they were made for me. I wasn't sore today either! So I think I can get back into the groove. And I'm not going to let the shoes get this bad again!

Last night it was pouring ran and low 50s when I ran. It was sort of fun but sort of annoying. I couldn't decide. At the end though I was soaked all the way through and my shoes were drenched as well.

Anyways, I have a 10k race tomorrow, the Great Pumpkin Run in Corvallis. It starts at the Fairgrounds and I think is fairly flat. I am not in near the shape I'd like to be because of my soreness stupidity, so the chances of me setting a PR are probably low. However, I did set a 5k record a few weeks back after not training great because of soreness (hmm) so who knows. The goals:

A Goal: Set a 10k PR record. This would be 47:30 or less.
B Goal: Under 49 minutes.
C Goal: Just do my best. Honestly, I wanted to train more but couldn't. Before my run yesterday, I last ran at least 6 miles over a MONTH ago. Six miles is long to me now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


So I am pretty sore. Let's run down these last few days:

Saturday: Help Libbie move. Legs and arms slightly sore after that.
Sunday: Run 5k and set a PR. Was a little sore to start but once I got moving felt great.
Monday: Run group. 5 miles at a pretty good clip. Last two miles I started to feel really beat down but powered through it.
Tuesday: Sore as a motherfucker. Walked like an old man. Again, just like after my half, I think the Monday night run is what put me over the top. I need to rest after race days.
Wednesday: Tried to run last night. Was sore but a lot of the time I am sore, I just start running and it goes away. Thought that would happen again. Not so much. Just got worse and worse. Pulled up after 5k and called it good.

Pretty sore today still. I am going to rest today and maybe tomorrow. I hate doing that because I am trying to get back in the swing of things, but with running you have to be patient. Hopefully I can go on a long run Saturday and take it nice and easy.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Same route as last year (no surprise).
Well, it had been a whole year since my first ever race and it was time to see how I stacked up in that very same event. Frankly, while it was a given I was going to crush my 5k time from the year before (28:01), I wasn't very confident I was going to be able to set a PR or even really be in the ballpark. As I've described in earlier posts, I feel like I have gotten slower. Plus, this week, I really slacked off. After run group on Monday I ran just once more, on Wednesday, and that was after a few beers so the quality of run there wasn't so great.

Oh well, off I went anyways. Laurel was doing the race with us this year so she crashed on my couch so we could have a quick exit the next morning. Libbie stopped by at 6:55am and off we went!
Laurel and I post race, reliving OSU times.
We stopped at Starbucks on the way out for some coffee. So I had a Tall Venti Skinny Pumpkin latte and a chocolate old fashioned glazed doughnut. This is very similar to my pre-race breakfast before the Earth Day Run, and as we'll discover, there could be magic in this combination.

Anyways, the drive down there was uneventful. I was pretty awake because of the anticipation, so the drive went smoothly. Once there, we parked, picked up our t-shirts, and then stashed them back in the car. No hiding them in the bushes this year! They did change the order of starting times though so the 10k actually took off after the 5kers this year. Probably smart, only the really fast 10k people would have to deal with the 5k runners this way.

Before we knew it the race was about to start. I was excited to get going and see just how far I had "dropped off." I expected this race to be somewhat of a wake up call for me for slacking on training a bit. I tried to line up more towards the front this year. Last year I did quite a bit of weaving and wanted to avoid that this time around. They even had a guy on a megaphone trying to get people line up according to speed. Anyways, well it wasn't quite "Shamrock corrals" it seemed to be a little smoother. That, coupled with the closer starting position, led to less weaving... although I still had to do some - guess you can't really avoid it.

The girls after the race.
Once it had cleared a little bit I started pacing myself at a pretty decent clip. I would have guessed it to be 7:15/mile or so. I wanted to push myself but I didn't want to burn out. My lungs were burning but it was a comfortable burn, I didn't feel like I was going to die or anything. The legs felt good, so I just kept chugging along.

Through the OSU Campus we went, it was the same exact course as last year. At mile marker one I could hear them reading out the times... as I was still a distance away I heard "*mumble* thirty *mumble*" so my initial thought was "holy crap, I'm over seven and a half minutes already!" However, as I got closer, I could hear it was instead SIX minutes!

I crossed their mile marker at 6:46, easily my fastest mile ever. Really didn't feel like it. My phone didn't hit a mile until 6:57. Don't know which is more accurate, probably their measurements. Their course is officially measured and whatnot for 3.11 miles, my phone said the whole thing was only 3.08, so my phone short-changed me a little.

At this point I was pretty excited. Not only was I running fast, I felt like I could maintain it. It was a struggle, that was no doubt, but I just told myself I would be done in 15 minutes at the most. It was just a 5k, I could keep this up for two more miles! Probably not sub seven miles, but hell, just keep it within reason and my PR was in the bag.

My breathing got a little labored at times, my lungs were hacking up stuff, but I kept chugging along. Funny to think last year nine minute miles were doing the same thing to me, now I was running seven minute miles. Along the way I did a lot of passing and got passed very few times. Turns out I ran a pretty even clip, so I was passing a lot of people who went out too fast and couldn't maintain.

Me, shortly after setting a new 5k PR!
Like last year, I got some inspiration from kids in front of me and not wanting to let them beat me. While I did pass a number of kids who were running really fast, there were two in front of me I could never catch up to. But they were motivating at least.

At the two minute marker the times being read were "thirteen forty" something, so I knew I had done the next mile in about seven minutes. At this point, I had just a mile more to go so there was no slowing down or turning back now. I could sense the finish line. I skipped the water station again and powered small hill by Dixon Rec Center, passing a few people there.

After that, just the homestretch remained. Those two kids in front of me shot off like a cannon (they were racing each other) and I tried to follow up I didn't have quite the giddy up. I still came in pretty fast to the finish line. Looking at the clock as I passed I could believe what I had just done. 21:45! Really?!? I was too exhausted to think really, so I stumbled over, got my shoe tag off, grabbed water, and then tried to come back down to Earth. I was really spent, Earth Day Run spent, but a few splashes of water to the face and pacing in circles eventually brough me to the point of coherence again.

I wondered over to get position so I could watch Libbie and Laurel finish. I looked over at the clock to see how much time I had and I saw it pass 23:39, my old record. The fact that I had finished, got my tag off, grabbed a water, stumbled around and poured water over my head, just stood there breathing trying to catch my breath, and then wandered to watch the finishers only to finally see my previous PR roll by was amazing. I absolutely SMASHED it!

Libbie did great, not a PR for her but still an awesome time. Laurel did great also, finishing way faster than she thought she would and setting a PR for herself in terms of an actual event (she may or may not have ran faster during training).

I just missed out on awards for my age division (4th place), so we wandered around a bit then went to Blue Sky for lunch. Delicious!

Overall a very succesful race. Shattered my expectations! Apparently the long distance training strengthed my cardio and leg muslces or something and the speed was there when I needed it. I have no idea how this happened, but I am thrilled with the result!

Official Chip Time: 3.11 miles in 21:45, 7:00/mile pace. 34/427 overall, 4/20 M2029. Split times 6:57, 7:07, 7:09. The last .11 miles was ran at a 5:18/mi pace via extrapolation.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


So the Corvallis Fall Festival Run is tomorrow, in about 10 hours, and I'm not so sure how good I am going to do. This race was my first race ever 365 days ago, so it will be fun to return to it as a better runner. I do feel like I was a better runner earlier this year though, I've fell off a tad, but oh well. I should still be able to post a good time.

My goals are:

A Goal: 5k PR. This would be 23:38 or less. Not sure I can do that. I've lost a lot of speed with my distance training, but if I'm feeling great, who knows. I would be ECSTATIC if this were to happen.

B Goal: Sub 24:30. With my current conditioning I feel like getting within a minute of my PR would be pretty good. Frankly, anything in the low 24s or high 23s would be gravy.

C Goal: Sub 8:00 average miles. Not sure what this works out to, probably 25:30 something, but as long as my mile times are 7 something and I try my best, not much more I can ask for. I would be disappointed to run an 8:01 average or something.

Anyways, we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


When I first entered the trail. Very pretty!
This week I traveled to Roseville, California for business. That is where my work headquarters are and I went there to do some training for three days. Anyways, that part was fine, nothing interesting, but I wanted to post about my run while I was there.

Bridge over small stream that ran nearby.
I ran in the middle of the three days after a happy hour "Oktoberfest" (yes, in September) get-together. In full disclosure, I had three pints of beer before running. So, despite that making the run a burping acidy adventure, that third beer probably got my ass out of the door. And I am glad that I went!

Roseville has some really nice running trails. They pretty much kick the ass of Fanno Creek or anything else here in the suburbs. They were paved and nice and wide. There was a variety of people out... runners, bikers, and walkers.

Anyways, I knew there were trails near the hotel, so I just wandered in the general direction, found them, and then explored a little. My goal was just to run a 5k but I ended up running almost 4.5 miles. I wasn't able to run as fast I as I would have liked due to my stomach contents and sobriety, but I still managed to run sub 8:30 average.

Eventually I popped onto a residential street and did a little detour...there were some damn nice houses I was running past. I found out later that a lot of them were like over 4,000 square feet. McMansions indeed!

The sun set on my run.
The scenery reminded me of Roseburg, Oregon, which is pretty much my favorite place on earth. It even smelled the same. So it got a lot of point for that! I liked how the trail just ran under the major streets though, no need to cross on the surface with a light or anything. Beats the heck out of the always flooded Scholls crosisng or the Hall light any day.

To sum up, it's really fun to run in new places. I wish I had a couple weeks there just to explore all the running trails. They have one that goes all the way from Roseville to neighboring Rocklin and apparently it goes through a quarry or something. The weather would be dreadful to run in during the summer, but from October through April Roseville would be a pretty damn good place to live in as a runner!

Back to my boring 5k tomorrow. :(

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Next weekend is the Corvallis Fall Festival Run. It is a 5k, and, as you might remember, is the first event I ever ran just one year ago. My time last year, 28:01, won't be a problem for me to beat. That is in the bag. I would like to challenge and possibly set my 5k record but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

In training for the half marathon, I started running slower and longer. Instead of going out and pounding out a 5k every time out like I was doing, I was running longer and a little slower. Anyways, it appears this summer between the slacking off and change in training distances, I've gotten slower. Noticeably.

First of all, 7:30/mi now feels like almost a sprint. It didn't used to feel that way. It felt like I was running fast, yes, but not a sprint. Anyways, the last two days I've gone out and pounded out some 5Ks as fast as I could... 25:04 on Friday and 24:49 today. Just a LITTLE off my 23:39 record! Like over a minute!

To my credit, this course is a lot hillier than any of my competitive 5k courses have been, but still. Oh and it was hot. Any other excuses? Ummm, can't think of any. Seriously though, I can tell I am not as fast. I just have this week to correct it... I am going to try to run a couple more fast 5ks and then hope for the best.

How the hell I ran a half marathon at a 7:50/mi pace I'll never know. Today's 5k at 7:56 was brutal.

Eventually I want to run a marathon though. So really, should I care so much about a 5k time? Well, I do and I can't help myself, so I'll try to cram for the test!

Tomorrow is the Komen Race for the Cure. I'm shooting for under 90 minutes in that cattle call of an event! ;)

Monday, September 10, 2012


Over the wall and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go!
I don't believe I wrote in the blog before about this, but yesterday I did Warrior Dash in North Plains, Oregon. Warrior Dash is basically a 5k with obstacles thrown in. Because of these obstacles, you can't really consider it a "normal" 5k, your time is going to be higher and the challenges are different. In light of that, I didn't really train at all for it and it kind of "snuck up" on me. It was kind of like, oh crap, Warrior Dash is this weekend.

Anyways, I was kind of nervous and semi-not looking forward to it just because I knew I was going to get all muddy. In retrospect that was stupid and I am glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and did it!

After climbing a large cargo net.
Libbie and I got there pretty early, but it gave us enough time to pick up our shirts and whatnot and put them back in the car. It was nice not to be rushed. I bit it and fell in the dirt near the tent where you signed a waiver. Ironic and also my worst "injury" of the day. How I ate it there and not on the course I will never know.

I forgot to eat before leaving so I was glad they were handing out free samples of Naked Granola. I had two packets of that and was good to go. The breakfast of champions!

Anyways, eventually we lined up in the corral and waited to start. I started feeling nervous with about five minutes to go, knowing that soon I would be getting wet/dirty/possibly injured.Eventually the gun sounded and off we went. I had to weave around a lot of people at the beginning and the trail through the forest wasn't super wide, so that kept me on my toes. It was over a mile to the first obstacle, so eventually we spread out and I was able to go my own pace.

I am not a trail runner and this was definitely trail running... up and down hills, slippery slopes, etc. I can't believe I didn't bite it during some of those downhills. I was really going fast and pounding it, and the number of times I slipped to the point where my arms flung in the air into that "falling motion" exceeds the amount of fingers I have to count on. A fall on some of those would have been really nasty with the speed I was going, but miraculously I was able to stay upright.

Mid-air leaping over fire.
The first obstacle was a small pond you had to walk/swim through and hoist yourself over a couple of floating obstacles. While a challenge for some, I went over those with ease. You had to time it right and be okay with getting fully submerged and "face planting" on the other side, but I was able to do so. I ended up swimming a lot here even though I could touch because it was faster.

I thought the water was going to be cold but it wasn't bad, getting in wasn't a problem. It was muddy and when I got out I looked down at my wet, now brown (originally white), shirt and thought "here we go." The rest of the time I was running soaking wet, but I didn't mind at all.

After the small pond immediately there was another challenge, this time you had to pull yourself over a four foot wall and then duck under barbed wire on the other side. Repeat five times. Not bad at all.

After that I don't remember the exact order of things, there was a lot of running on trails through the woods, some really steep uphill portions that I walked, which was actually good strategy. One guy who was pacing with me for a while decided to run up, which he was able to do. But I absolutely burned him on the backside and I am pretty sure he depleted most of his energy chugging up those things.

Trudging to the finish. 33:37!
Obstacles in the way included: a really tall wall you had to climb over with a rope, vertical cargo net climb, horizontal cargo net climb, running through tires, crawling under logs, jumping over fire, weaving though a bungee cord web, etc.

Eventually the final obstacle came, which was a giant mud pit. It was up to my belly button and times up to my nipples. I wasn't really dirty before that obstacle, but once you hit that, there was no way to stay clean. It was fun to trudge through that, a workout for sure, and I got REALLY muddy. At the end you slid down a hill on your butt to the finish.

It was really fun! I am very glad I did it. I maybe won't do it every year, it is expensive, but every other would be fun. I had a pretty good time too, 33:37 (10:30/mi), which was good for 274th place out of 5,691 participants, top 5% for the Sunday people. For both Saturday and Sunday, I was 536th out of 11,671. Age group wise, Sunday only, I was 87th out of 769 males aged 20-29.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


So I did manage to run once on my trip. It was on the second day and I don't know what posessed me to do it. I had been drinking the night before and only had six hours of sleep but I pulled myself out of bed and into my running shoes. I think I was motivated because the other guy on the trip kind of woke me up by getting ready to go run and I wasn't going to let him go on a run and have me be the lazy one!

My vacation run.
Off I went! I plotted a course that was six miles. It was really pretty, through the country and whatnot. Reminded me a lot of the Run in the Country. Same smells and similar sights. More traffic and less of a shoulder though! Turns out one of the roads I planned on running was through a federal prison... I started running up it until signs about trespassers will be shot and whatnot... decided it was best to turn around. At that point I was starting to feel pretty tired so I ended up basically just doing an out and back instead of a loop. After a little "flair" in the parking lot I hit five miles. Good enough.

I didn't run the rest of the trip. Staying up late drinking doesn't really lend itself to going running. I didn't really worry about it though, I was on fucking vacation. So yeah.

Since I got back I've been slacking a little bit too. Hard to get back in the groove. Honestly I've been really busy. I haven't had a night where I just came home from work and layed around. I'm doing crap and not getting home to at least 9pm. Could I possibly go for a run at 9pm? Yes. But at that point I just want to settle down. Anyways, I'm planning to get LESS busy so I can do MORE running. I want to go back to 4-5 times a week and 25ish miles!

My plan is to run five days a week, four weekends and one weekend. A sample week might be:

Monday- Run Group, 6 miles
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- Run Group, 6 miles
Thursday- Run with Lib, 5k
Friday- Run with Lib, 5-6 miles
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Long run, 8-12 miles

Also, I need to train for my 5k in a couple weeks. So I will try to start pounding out some high intensity 5k runs... starting tonight!
Breaking down on a 5 mile run yesterday... it was HOT okay?

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So I've run 12 miles so far this week in an average temperature of 93 degrees. Yesterday I ran six miles in NINETY EIGHT degrees. 98!

Me getting lost on trip run (will happen)
And you know what? I survived! There was a light breeze, I took my shirt off, and I just took it slow (9 minute miles). Plus, Fanno Creek is pretty damn shady at 6:30pm in mid-August sun.

I hope to do another six tonight and then that will be all until my trip. I really hope to get some runs in - another guy on the trips runs too - but we'll see. Running in a new place far from home would be fun!

Basically, I think I am going to need some accountability. I want to go to run group every Monday and Wednesday, and then Libbie and I have planned to meet at our respective places and run as well. So hopefully pretty soon that'll all be set up and I'll feel obligated to run 4-5 times a week, whether I want to or not.

Monday, August 13, 2012


So I've really been struggling with a lack of motivation recently. After running my virtual 5k race I didn't run again until today. Nine days. NINE!

Now, I wasn't just being totally lazy. Some things came up in life that made fitting in runs hard, but I certainly could have. Also, it has been really fracking hot lately. Like pushing 100 hot. So there is really no good time to run spare the morning and you know I'm not going to wake up to do that.

Still, I could have ran slow, ran at different times, etc. Anyways, I am going to try to be good this week. The only problem is, I have an 8 day long vacation planned starting Saturday. I have plans to run during the vacation, but we'll see if it happens. Anyways, I am not going to let the fact that I have a vacation coming up to just bag this week.

I need something to motivate me! For a long time I had the half marathon, but for now, all that is on the horizon is the Corvallis Fall Festival 5k in mid September. I am not too worried about that - I'd like to set a 5k record, but it's not like I need intense training. Anywho, I should probably sign up for another half marathon or at least a 10k soon.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


Today I ran in the Sweat Your Thorns Off virtual race, put on by Adam at The Boring Runner. Basically it meant you just went out and ran a 5k by yourself but got to wear a bib and feel official! Plus, hundreds of others were doing it around the country (world?) so why not.

I run race now, okay?
Well, Adam just happened to pick THE HOTTEST DAY IN PORTLAND IN TWO YEARS. It was 90F when I started and it is now 94F. Supposed to hit 100 today. Anyways, I didn't leave until 11:30am for the run, so it was my fault I was running in the noon day sun. Needless the say, the streets were empty and I got some looks (and not the good kind).

I decided to run by my old apartments. I had a tried and true 5k course there that was relatively flat, unlike the 5k I ran around my new house. Basically it was going to be as hot as mother and I didn't want to make it any harder than it had to be. Originally I had planned to use this race to set my new 5k record, which currently stands at 23:39. I think I am faster than that now, but this weather wasn't going to allow me to show that. New goal - survive.

Unfortunately you cannot poop here.
Anyways, after putting off starting the run for about 15 minutes because it was so f-ing hot (taking pictures of myself "before"... I am not photogenic and the fact the best one I took looks like I am "challenged" speaks volumes) I started to run. I went out at a 7:30 clip... didn't know if that was sustainable but I gave it a try.

Immediately I knew it was not going to be sustainable. It was too f*cking hot and I am not used to this. I know Adam is probably used to it living down in the AZ with that crazy sheriff, but I am not. Anyways, the first mile or so I happened to be on the side of the road with shade so I was actually able to run a decent time. However, later on my last mile would be mostly in the sun, so I'd pay for it.

Really, there's not much more to tell you. About a mile and a half in I really started to feel the heat and just wanted it to be over. I was having visions of stopping my phone and taking a break in the shade (nobody would know!) or pretending to faint so someone would see and get me water. I guess these delusions kept my occupied as I plodded along. I was definitely going slower but it was pretty much the fastest I could go without fainting and shitting myself. I really don't think I could have gone much faster.

No caption needed.
Anyways, eventually I found my way back to the start and stopped my phone. 3.13 miles in 25:10. 8:02/mile. Would have liked to get under eight, but oh well. I immediately stripped naked my shirt off (that strikeout is for you A unit) and hunched over in a spot of shade. I probably looked pathetic there for about five minutes just trying to get my core temperature down. Eventually I felt good enough to trek back to my car a quarter mile away (up a hill and in the sun mind you - great planning).

So that was it! I blasted the A/C on the car ride home and then took a cold shower. I had fun, it was a good challenge to break up the summer running blehs, although I think I will like the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k better. Of course, based on the day selection for this race, that will probably be on the day of the first snow in Portland in two years.

Official phone time: 3.13 miles in 25:10. 8:02/mile. 1/1 overall. 1/1 M2529. Splits: 7:31, 8:02, 8:30.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Some pre-race coaching.
On Saturday I took Brandon to the Kids Fun Run in Wilsonville. It was a really cool event and put on by the local Kiwani's club. They had age specific races for all ages. Brandon ran with other soon to be fourth graders and their race was 2 laps around the Wilsonville High School track, which is half a mile.

You could tell Brandon was nervous for the race... he wasn't quite as chatty and energetic as normal. Reminded me of how I get before a race, let alone my first race! We got to the high school and picked up his shirt and bib, making the kids feel super official about their race. This was all free, although I donated some money to the Kiwani's (one of those "donations appreciated" things).

We didn't get there super early, so only a couple of heats of kids went before it was Brandon's turn. They led the kids to a corral where they did warm up exercises and then it was off to the races!

Toward the end of the first lap, about to take lead.
Brandon started off near the back of the pack but slowly worked his way forward. By the time they were half a lap in he was toward the front. I ran across the field to that side of the track to cheer him on and take pictures as he went past. He was pacing himself decently, I knew he couldn't keep it up for two whole laps, but I was surprised he was doing as well as he was.

After the first lap Brandon was in FIRST place. I thought maybe, just maybe, the thrill of first and not wanting to give that up would keep him going, but alas, that was not the case. As I expected, he started to tire and on that second lap took a couple of walk breaks. They were probably only five seconds and piece and then he'd start running again. With half a lap to go he was still in like third or fourth place, but eventually lost some more ground.

He ran it in and ended up somewhere from 8th-10th out of 50 or so kids, so he did great! Later on in the car I agreed to let him "embellish" the story to finishing 5th out of like 100 to his parents. He also was excited to learn that word and used it a bunch later that day, haha.

Anyways, I was SUPER proud of him. He did A LOT better than I thought he would. I was very proud he never gave up, even if he had to take a short break, he started running again. It took him a long time to recover after the race, he was really drained, but eventually he came back. You could tell he left it all out there and what more could you ask?

Tired but happy after the race.
He was pretty adamant that was going to be his only race though. Maybe I can convince him to do the mile, but he really dislikes running. I am hoping when he looks back at the race he can see how much fun he had, but we'll see. I won't pressure him into anything.

As for my own running, I kind of slacked off last week. I ended up running FOUR miles all week. Eek! I was just super busy and didn't commit myself enough to work around those entanglements. I played golf on Sunday and that was a hell of a workout, so I don't feel too bad. I'll get back into it this week. Six tonight at run group!

I am now training for the Corvallis Fall Festival 5k, which is my next race. Hope to set a 5k PR in that one!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


So I have yet to run after my half marathon. Monday I was sore and thinking about doing three miles, but figured I should just let my body rest. Tuesday I went to a Timbers game, Wednesday was bowling league, and now it is Thursday. I am going to try and run a fast four miles tonight. I am going to Brandon's soccer practice, so that will screw my normal running time up, but I am determined to get a run in. Since I slacked tapered the week before the half, I haven't run much at all in the last two weeks. Gotta get back on that!

Brandon's first race is this Saturday. Half a mile with other soon to be fourth graders. He's not ready at all. We did one practice run and he ran at most 1/6 of a mile before needing a break. Like most kids, he has no concept of pacing at all.

He did start to try and weasel his way out of running, but I pretended I already signed him up for a bunch of races and paid money, so hopefully he'll keep at it. I think once he does an actual race he'll see how fun it can be. The race this weekend he'll get a shirt, a bib, free food, etc. Hopefully he won't be too discouraged by the scores of children sure to be blowing past him. Me, his dad, and his soccer coach all know his fitness is holding him back from taking the next step up in player greatness. Even he acknowledges that when he's not trying to not run. So we'll see.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Part of the run in the first few miles. Long stretches of straightaways in the country filed the route.
Well, according to the goals I laid out, I get an A+ for this race. Apparently I misjudged my abilities, although I honestly never thought I could get the time I did, even if I tried super hard. I am paying for this victory today by limping around and dreading using stairs, but I'll be fine.

Race day started out at 4am when my alarm went off. To my surprise I hopped out of bed on the first ring, took a quick shower, then got dressed and grabbed a giant muffin and headed out the door. Putting everything together the night before really helped make the morning easy. Obviously, it was still pitch dark and really weird to be up at that time. I swung by my old apartments, hopped in Libbie's car, and we were off.

Contemplating before the race.
Drive was uneventful. We saw the sunrise (that's what it looks like!) and got to Coburg an hour before the race started. The trip went a little quicker than I anticipated, but no biggie. We had plenty of time to check in, use the bathroom, and mentally prepare. It was a smaller event but not too small. I thought it was just about the perfect size and well put on.

Eventually the gun went off and the race started. My first half marathon! You could tell the field was a little more "serious" than some of the shorter races, as running 13.1 miles is a little different than a 5k! I did a bit of weaving the first half mile before settling into a group that seemingly matched my pace.

That pace was a little faster than I imagined. My goal was to run something around 8 minutes a mile, knowing I'd probably slow down and be running 8:30s or so by the end. I checked my phone once, at a half mile, and it read exactly 4 minutes at .50 miles. So I figured I was good to go. It felt a little fast, but what the hay. I never checked my phone again even though I had planned to every two miles or so. Eventually I knew I was running fast enough and it just seemed like wasted energy.

Miles 1-5 - THIS IS GREAT! (7:43, 7:27, 7:38, 7:39, 7:32)

I realized after the race even though I hit a half mile in 4 minutes, I was running much faster than that. The start was a slower slog, I was probably running an 8:30 pace for a while as I slowly made moves past people. It wasn't until things cleared up a little bit that I really got my legs. So that that point, I was making up for some lost time, and some basic math lets you know I ran the second half of that first mile in 3:43, which is about a seven and a half minute mile pace, which you can see, I settled into.

The only semi-decent picture of me.
Things were feeling good. I wasn't tired and my legs and lungs felt great. I knew I was running too fast but couldn't get myself to slow down. I was part of a small "pack" and I wasn't just going to drop out. Plus, I was feeling good. I would have guessed my pace a bit slower than it actually was, but I remember thinking I was running almost a 10k pace and wouldn't be able to maintain this for 13.1 miles. I wasn't actually going to slow down though!

This portion also included the first two aid stations. This was the first race I used these stations and I ran through both. My first attempt to drink water ended with it all down my front. The second attempt resulted in choking on half and actually getting half down. I got better as the race went along.

When I hit mile 5 I thought "Great, only a 10k left!" 5+6.1=11.1. Two miles short. I realized about quarter mile later and had a fleeting sense of desperation.

Miles 6-8 - WAIT, HOW LONG IS THIS FUCKING THING? (7:33, 7:38, 7:41)

When I hit the mile seven sign I had to confront the reality this was no 10k. The fact that I was only about half done made me panic a little. Until this point I had really just tried to remain ignorant to reality and not think about how long the race actually was. The scenery was pretty and I was feeling good, so why harsh my mellow?

You can make me out in this photo. Yes, the guy in front of me ran like that.
Anyways, the race started to fight back a little here. I still felt great but you could see my times creeping up, a trend that would continue. Again, my 7:35ish pace I started out with was unsustainable for 13 miles with my fitness, so it was really a matter of how far would I fall. Again, I had no idea on my time, so in reality I just kept chugging along. I was starting to count down the miles at this point though. While I still felt good, my body was starting to complain here and there.

Miles 9-11 - THE WHEELS ARE ABOUT TO FALL OFF (7:47, 8:04, 8:10)

Smaller road on the second half, thought that was cool. No traffic.
Around mile nine the pace started to catch up with me. The last four miles where a GRIND and I was squinting into the distance trying to make out the next little yellow mile marker sign. This was really a gut check time, I was either gonna nut up or give in.

My lungs felt fine, but my muscles were screaming at me to stop. I ignored them best I could and tried to maintain pace. It's hard to judge your pace when your legs are in pain. In one sense it feels like you are going a lot slower because every step hurts, but often times I am surprised at how I am able to keep up for the most part. As you can see, I fell off quite a bit, but not too bad.

This was really slog, I can't say that enough. The mile 11 sign took FOREVER to come, I thought for sure I had missed it and secretly hoped it was the mile 12 sign when I saw it in the distance. When miles start taking this long, you know you are ready to be done. Boy was I! Theme song for this part was Tom Petty's "Breakdown."

Miles 12, 13 - ARRRGHHHHHH MUST FINISH STRONG (8:12, 7:44)

Crossing mile 13
So mile 12 was a bitch. Really struggling at this point. Once that was done though (in 8:12) I knew I only had 1.1 miles left. After gathering the courage to pick it up, I probably picked up the pace around 12.25. Others around me were doing the same (except those completely out of gas). Hit the homestretch hard! Once I picked it up my legs actually didn't feel too bad, I think they were in too much shock to hurt for a while.

I eventually went into a full on sprint the last quarter mile, surprised I had that in me. I passed a young woman about my age along the way, which I had been jostling for position with for many miles. We swapped back and forth many times from miles 3-8 until I started to fall off and eventually she was like 50 yards ahead of me. I figured I had no chance of catching her, but in this final sprint I not only reeled her in, I burned her and probably finished about ten seconds ahead. Woot.

Stopping phone as I cross. Hallelujah!
As I sprinted in, so very thankful the race was over, my eyes glanced over to the clock. 1:42:32. WAIT, WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Holy crap! I was too tired to get too excited, so I grabbed some of the free food and sat on a bench. My body hated me but eventually it sank in that I totally smashed any and all expectations for myself. I had nailed it!


Frankly, if I had a Garmin watch I would have never ran this time. I would have slowed down to eight minute miles and maintained. I'd probably be less sore today and wouldn't have struggled so much, but my lack of knowing my actual pace really is what got me this time. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I never thought I could run a half at a 7:50/mi pace. Maybe my taper worked? I only ran seven miles during the week before the race, so my legs were fairly fresh. Whatever it was, I felt very accomplished!

The route
I was in pain though. After my little sprint finish my legs were NOT happy. I limped over to the food table for seconds and the lady looked at me concerned and asked if I was okay. I tried not to be so dramatic after that, but I definitely felt as if my legs had gone through a meat grinder.

Long story short, Libbie also had a great time, especially for not training all month because of a bum foot. So overall it was a very successful morning. Glad we did this race! It was a great race for a first half marathon and the waking up part wasn't so bad. We drove down to Roseburg to hang at the river after, and even though the weather didn't really cooperate all that much, it still couldn't put the damper on a very successful day.

I really fucked myself over for upcoming half marathons though. I am going to want to beat my time here and that will be a challenge. Oh well, as long as I keep running, I'll keep getting better.

Official results: 1:42:32, 7:50/mile, 53/196 overall.

Killed it!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Please admire the quality picture I took in low light. Thank you.
When you are as bleary eyed and foggy minded as me in the morning, you need to plan ahead. Can't forget anything this way! Everything for a day at the river is in the backpack (except my swimsuit, just realized I might need that, putting in now) and the rest is my race day get up. Can't forget to bandage my boys if the box is right there!

Race in 8 hours. Ready, go!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Last night I ran a fast 5k to work on my speed and not put a lot of miles on my legs. Unfortunately I fucked up tracking the run when I was putting my phone into my Shadow Pak. I could tell I accidentially turned the phone back on when I was shoving it in there, so I was hoping the "Pause" button didn't get brushed. Of course, it was. Normally I would have made sure, but I was already almost sprinting for this run and it would have disrupted the good time I was shooting for.

What was that time? Who knows! I started the run at 7:55pm and ended at 8:18pm. So that's 23ish minutes. But in reality it could have been as short at 22:01 or as long as 23:59. I plugged it in my log at 23:40 even though I KNOW I ran faster. Pretty sure it would have been a record fast run, but oh well. The point was I felt great and really pounded it out. I was definitely tired on the uphills but I tried to press myself as much as I could. I also pushed the downhills, so I wasn't quite getting the "break" on those that I like.

For the run Sunday I'll need to leave at 4:30am. I need to remember to band aid my nipples and grab my Gu. I am not going to listen to any music or anything so really not a ton to remember. We will be going to the Umpqua River after, so I will need a change of clothes and also my swim suit.

Other than that, Brandon is having his first official soccer games today. He is on the Westside Timbers U10 "Gold" team, which is the best, and they barely got him registered on time. But he's in! So I am really excited for him because he loves soccer and this is top level stuff!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Hard to believe my first half is mere days away! I am doing a very light week this week in terms of running, probably only 10-12 miles before the half on Sunday. We'll see how this works out. I don't think a week of "slacking" is enough to negatively affect my cardio or anything, but hopefully my legs will feel a little fresher.

Most runners seem to have A, B, and C goals. Your "A" goal is what you could hope to acheive on a perfect day. Your B goal is really more of a realistic goal, but still somewhat of a challenge. The "C" goal is what you hope you can do without feeling like absolute crap.

It being my first half, I am not going to put a ton of pressure on myself. I'm curious to see just how well trained I actually am. Given the difficulty of my last two long runs (11 and 10 miles), I am not so sure but I am hoping I can blame those on the heat. I know for a fact I can complete the distance, that is no problem. My challenge will be pacing myself correctly... going fast enough to get the best time I can, but not too fast to the point I am going to flame out with a few miles to go. I honestly have no idea what that pace is though!

"C" Goal: Finish the race without walking. Time doesn't matter, just finish the damn thing. I am going to allow myself to slow and possibly walk for the aid stations (matters what the aid is and if I can consume it while maintaining a slow jog), but other than that, I hope to not have to take any breaks. It's stupid, but even if I have to slow to a jog the pace of what I would be walking, I need to keep "running."

"B" Goal: Under two hours. This is a milestone for a lot of runners and a common goal. Getting under two hours requires a pace of 9:09 or faster. Pretty sure I can do that, but my training run of only ten miles last weekend I was running 9:03s (granted, it was hot). Honestly, if I finish above two hours, I will be disappointed. This is my main goal for this race. Sub two!

"A" Goal: Sub 1:50. I doubt I can achieve this, but I feel like I could if I had a great run. This requires a pace of 8:23 or faster. I know I could easily maintain that pace for 8 miles, the question is can I maintain it for 13? With cool morning weather and aid stations, maybe? I would be thrilled if I could get this time, but I need to be careful not to burn myself out trying for it. Frankly, as long as I am under two I'll feel good.

So there you have it! Should be an interesting day. I'll have to wake up at 4am to drive down to the race, which starts in Coburg at 7am. Fatigue could be a factor... going to have to try to get to bed at like 10.