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.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Collapsed on grassy shade after run.
On Saturday I was scheduled to run ten miles. And by that, it meant I told myself I was going to run ten miles. I ran 11 the weekend before (supposed to be 12, but had some dehydration issues) so this was my one week "taper" before the half marathon next week. I don't even think you are supposed to taper for a half, but oh well. I am.

This run SUCKED. First of all, one of my earbuds went out so I was only getting sound through one ear. Second, while it was only 82 degrees (I went in the heat of the day, 3pm, because I am a genius) there was hella bad humidity. Well, this might be "dry" in Florida, but it was 50% humidity and it was definitely muggy. Doesn't happen very often in Oregon, but when it does, it sucks!

Fanno Creek was the destination because I needed to go somewhere and I didn't want to drive far. Plus, the paths are flat, which was good practice for the flat half, and there was some shade along the route. I carrying a water bottle with me (twenty ounce pop bottle filled with water) so as to not repeat the sprinker make out session. It was kind of annoying carrying it but I got used to it. The hand that was holding it didn't really swing like the other hand, so I had to switch back and forth to make sure both arms were getting the proper motion and didn't get sore or anything.

The trail was nearly empty on a SATURDAY. At THREE in the afternoon. With it being SUNNY. That goes to show you how muggy and miserable it was. People apparently didn't want to be outside and I didn't blame them. I saw ONE other runner the whole hour and a half. We nodded and smiled at each other, both looking miserable, but there was a kinship there.

I took it easy so the heat didn't hill me. I stopped at the water fountain about 4.5 miles in and then again at like 7.75 miles. I dumped the water over my head a couple times to cool down. I probably would have overheated if I didn't do that. I also took my shirt off about 5 miles in because it was hot and I forgot nipple protection. I was sweating a lot and they were starting to get irritated, so off the shirt went. I felt a lot cooler and hopefully my pasty white belly got some sun.

Anyways, around mile 8 or so I started to really feel worn out. The heat was getting to me a little but I pressed on. By the time I reached the car I was at 9.25 so I actually made myself run small little laps until I hit 10 miles. Normally I go a tenth or two over, but not today. Only .02 extra miles. Afterward I found shade under a tree near by car and collapsed. I spread out all my appendages as far as I could to cool off. It felt good. I laid there for about five minutes before summoning the strength to get up. By the time I hit my car I was feeling much better.

My route this fine day.
Today I felt pretty good. Wasn't really sore or anything. My legs feel a bit "used" but not bad. I'll do the six tomorrow at group run and then who knows what. I want to be really fresh for the race Sunday. I am thinking a moderate six on Thursday and then a really easy 5k on Friday? Maybe just skip Friday all together, we'll see.

Overall, this run wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. As much as I'd like to complain about the heat, I ran slow enough to manage it and it didn't seem to drag on too long. To think a marathon was doing that all over again and then running a 10k is insane.

Mile 1: 8:46
Mile 2: 8:50
Mile 3: 8:52
Mile 4: 8:44
Mile 5: 9:07
Mile 6: 9:03
Mile 7: 9:24
Mile 8: 9:11
Mile 9: 9:09
Mile 10: 9:16
Overall: 10.02 miles in 1:30:36 (my goal was 90 minutes, so pretty much yeah)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Brandon schooling some kids (and then running out of breath).
Most people who actually know me are aware by now I finally got that little brother I was always nagging my parents about when I was a kid. He's nine years old and his name is Brandon. He's a really nice kid and I feel really lucky to have been paired with him! After leaving college I missed not being part of Circle K and volunteering. And while I liked relatively annoymous volunteering (aka the food bank), I also wanted to try something a little more personal. I coached two kids sports teams in college and that was fun and my friend was in BBBS and recommended I join.

Anyways, long story short, Brandon and I have been paired for 15 months now. We have a lot in common so we get along great. Sometimes being a Big can turn into a "chore" but I have never felt that way. I know Brandon really looks forward to our outings and I am glad to be a positive role model in his life.

Backstory aside, Brandon has recently expressed the desire to run and build up his stamina. Kid has the lung capacity of a fruit fly. He LOVES soccer and is quite talented in it, however he tires really easily. I went to one of his games last summer, and while he scored twice and was the best player on the field, a couple times he had to quit chasing the ball or running into the correct position because he was out of breath. He is FAST, faster than most kids, but can't last very long. He doesn't have asthma or anything I don't think, he just needs to work on it.

Recently he joined a classic soccer team which is really awesome for him. However, part of being on a classic team is being in shape. His level of fitness isn't going to fly. His struggles right now remind me of when I joined a classic team in 7th grade. We had to run a half mile during tryouts and that about killed me. I was at the back of the pack huffing and puffing with the more generously proportioned. I was flat out of shape. However, by the time that season ended, I was in the best shape of my life (until now). We'd run 1.5 miles at the beginning of practice to warm up, and while a challenge at first, it became routine. I also ran a 7:55 mile spring of 7th grade year, a mile time that stood until last winter, when I finally beat my 13 year old self twelve years later.
I relayed this experience to Brandon and he expressed a desire to start running. He knows I run in races and whatnot and didn't seem super interested before. Now though I think he realizes it would be a great way to improve his stamina, so he's onboard (for now - you know kids).

So I am going to start "training" him. This weekend we are going to go to a track and I'm going to see if he can run a half mile without stopping. We'll do one mile total. He can stop and catch his breath as much as he needs, but he will complete the mile. We'll then work from there. I was going to sign him up for a 5k right away but figured we should ease him into it first (okay, well, it was full).

The plan is as follows:
  • Practice until...
  • July 28th - 2012 Kiwani's Wilsonville Kids Fun Run. Half a mile with other fourth graders.
  • September 2nd - Back to School Run Fun in Willamette Park. One mile run.
  • September 30th - Wilsonville 5k. Apparently Wilsonville is the spot. First 5k, soccer should be a month into the season at least by then so he should hopefully have the fitness.
I would like more races in August but there just aren't a lot in general because of the hot weather (also, I am restricted to Sundays becasue of his unknown soccer schedule). So we'll just have to practice on our own. I want to keep it easy and fun for him... don't want to scare him off by making it too hard too soon.

Monday, July 09, 2012


My run on Saturday ended up being only 11 miles, not 12. How did that happen? Well, it was a bunch of things.

Lately I've been really thirsty. Literally after some 6 mile runs I have consumed sixty ounces of water and still am parched. I don't seem to be peeing in relation to the amount of liquid I am consuming either. But I'm not bloated and I feel fine. So maybe the heat is just really making me sweat a ton? I dunno. Writing this is making me thirsy.

The quest for liquid relief.
I forgot about the Timbers game, which was on from 6-8pm. Originally I planned on running around 5 or 6pm. Shortly before that I realized there was a Timbers game, so there was no way I could fit a run of twelve miles in before that started. Eventually I made the decision to run right after the game. If I left at 8pm, I would be done around 9:40 or so right before it got real dark.

Originally my route had me running in the Fanno Creeks paths. I would have passed a water fountain at miles 4 and 9. That got scratched, I didn't want to drive there. Then I thought, I could just run my 10k route twice! I could stop at the house for a drink halfway through. Naw, that's boring and I don't want to ruin my 10k route. So I hastily planned a new 12 mile loop from my house. At this point the clock was ticking and the water equation left my mind.

Anyways, run was going good until about mile 8. I felt really thirsty and my body started to complain. I'm pretty sure if I would have been hydrated I wouldn't have felt this way because the run was going great to that point. Eventually I knew I would pass Conestoga Rec Center and I thought for sure there would be some sort of water fountain there. Plus, there is a school next door. Schools have water fountains.

What the fuck do my tax dollars pay for? Well, a lot, but apparently not water fountains. Complete bullshit. I stalked the grounds for a public water fountain but there were none. Not even by the sports fields. WTF? I was pissed off at this point and eventually found my way back to the road.

Mentally I was starting to lose it but only a few blocks away, illuminated by a street light (it was getting dark) there was relief. The sprinklers were going off at an apartment complex. I hopped across the road just as fast as my little legs could take me and then bent down next to the spinker and cupped the water into my mouth. These sprinklers were high pressue and water was going everywhere, making it hard to cup much of a drink, but I slurped from that sprinkler for a good two mintues. I slowly rotated hunched over with it as it turned and spat (you can see sprinkler location marked with rot dot).

Eventually an older gentlemen walked past and gave me a strange look so I decided to stop. It was too late though, dehydration had taken hold and I wasn't going to get it back. My body was hurting and it would have been stupid to push myself too hard. I run until 11 miles and then stopped and walked the rest of the way.

Really hope that water wasn't recycled sewage or something!

Friday, July 06, 2012


Before I talk about my first ever half marathon coming up in two weeks, I will give you a quick update on my run today.

Went great and followed yesterday's very successful speed run. I went out the door wanting to average "low 8s" over the 10k and did just that. 8:14/mile average. 8:28, 8:08, 8:05, 8:19, 8:05, 8:17. Felt great, wasn't a struggle at all. Really good run. Oh - and without bandaids and just Body Glide! Nary a complaint from the pair below (the top pair, get your mind out of the gutter).

It did feel like I was running faster than my times though... I thought I might be doing high 7s... I had the same experience at PRC group Monday. I didn't feel THAT much slower than yesterday. I mean my average time is like 50 seconds a mile slower. So I still need to work on gauging my speed better. I would like to run an eight minute average during my upcoming half... but without constantly looking at a watch I don't know if I will be able to manage that properly.

And with that segue, let's talk about the RUN IN THE COUNTRY in beu-TEE-ful Coburg, OR. How the fuck did I get tangled into this thing? Well, it initially started because Libbie wanted to do a half marathon in Dundee through the rolling wine country. It was going to be totally hilly and brutal and my first half. It has since fallen through (pretty sure), but at the time I was eager to do it but also wanted to see how I really stacked up in a "normal" half marathon.

Knowing I would struggle to a two hour plus finish in Dundee, I didn't want that to be my half marathon PR for the forseeable future. Plus, I had worked my way up in distance, going from the 5k to a 10k to long weekend runs in the double digits, so it was time.

The hunt was on. I need a race that wasn't too expensive, that didn't conflict with previous plans, and didn't have the word "Girlfriends" in it. Surprisingly, in event filled Portland, where it seems like there is something every weekend, there was only one half in the months from July to September that worked. Enter the Run in the Country.

It was a flat course (check), low entry fee of forty bucks (check), had a tech tee (check), had a small field (check), and was professionally timed (check). While it was two hours away in Coburg (basically Eugene), I could incorporate it into a day down in Roseburg on the Umpqua. What could be better for sore muscles than the sweet, cool caress of the mighty Umpqua?

So the plan was on! Wake up at like 4:30, head on down to Coburg, run my ass off, then make a day of it at the Umpqua. Hopefully the car rides after the race aren't too painful... we can stop at Rice Hill for an ice cream break though! Yum!

Thursday, July 05, 2012


So one of the worries I've been having lately is that I am losing my speed (not that I had much to begin with). As I've increased my distances my mile times have naturally gone up. This is normal and quite expected. You can't run a half marathon the same pace you run a 5k. When training for a longer distance event you kind of have to give up being "fast" for a while.

How I picture myself
Well, I am not going to go down without a fight. I've felt slow the last few weeks, ever since 1) moving into the hills, and 2) recovering from my 15 mile expedition. I am happy to report right now I feel GREAT and injury free. Left calf is completely healed. Nary a peep. If I had to pick a "problem" muscle at the moment, it would be my right quad, but it just feels "worked." I think by babying my left calf I overworked it a little. Honestly though, it is not a problem and that is if you put a gun to my head and made me choose a muscle that was 'off.'

Anyways, today I decided to run a 5k as fast as I could. Shake off the slowness. Originally I was going to do a 10k, but it was like 80 degrees and I knew I would flame out in my quest to be fast if I tried going all out on that. Plus, with an easy 10k tomorrow and 12 miles Saturday, I would be at 28 miles for the week, within my 25-30 range goal.

The run went great. Really, it was awesome. I felt great and totally nailed it. 7:08, 7:15, 7:26. I ran 3.22 miles according to Endomondo in 23:30. My record 5k was the Shamrock Run at 23:39, and that course was 3.15 miles. The Earth Day run was 3.25 miles at I ran that in 23:41. So really I was right at my record pace. For having no competition and a comparatively hilly course, that is great. I think the hills are really paying off, my legs felt strong and I could push up the inclines. I was tired at the end, but hey, I left it all out there.

Mission accomplished. I am still fast. I'll have to throw in a fast 5k every two weeks or so, it was kind of fun and a nice break from the usual routine.

You'll also be happy to know I ran the whole thing sans nipple protection other than Body Glide. No issue.

Upcoming posts:

- Half Marathon in Coburg (I SWEAR it'll be soon!)
- My Little Brother Brandon wanting to do a race! <3

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


Well, I thought it would never happen to me. I would watch the "Fun Run" Office episode in glee, laughing at Andy as he explained his sensitive nipples. And while his is definitely overplayed, especially on a 5k, there is a lot of truth to it.

I have never bled through my shirt.

I don't remember exactly how it started, but I think it was on one of my longer runs, maybe something around eight miles or so. Let me backtrack, they've only bled ONCE. But they get irritated and sensitive before that. Most times when it would happen they've just get raw and irritated feeling and then would sting in the shower afterward. It wasn't until the 15 mile run where they actually BLED.

As it stands today, I could totally run 5k without problem. Even six miles is fairly safe if I apply some Body Glide. Anything above that though and I'm risking some major irritation. Like Andy says in the episode:

"I'm petrified of nipple chafing. Once it starts, it's a vicious circle. You have sensitive nipples, they chafe. So they become more sensitive, so they chafe more. So I take precautions."

Very true! You rub them raw one day, and then run the next, they are going to bug you way faster the second day because they are already worn down from the first run.

"Solutions" that don't really work:

- Body Glide (maybe delays the onset, but this wasn't the miracle cure I hoped)
- Tech tees (maybe slightly better than cotton, but certainly not a solution as I wear them a majority of the time when running)

 Solutions that have worked:
- Band aids. Yes, band aids. Plus, a fellow runner at wears bandaids all the time and he's a super serious runner, so I don't feel so stupid.

This I may or may not have done this before...
So I am now wearing bandaids over my nips on most runs. I won't do it with shorter runs, but anything above 5k and I want to cover up. I hope by doing this I'll allow my nipples to heal, thus allowing me to run 10k again without bandaids. I used to be able to do that no problem! I just irritated them that one day and then the cycle started. So maybe soon I'll try a run sans band aids with Body Glide. I accidentally did 5 miles and was fine last Friday, so I'm almost there.

Overall, I guess I am scared to try without protection because I don't want to start the cycle again. I'll just have to put on my big boy pants.