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?