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.