Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Highlight of 2013... Marathon finisher!
Looking back, 2013 has been a very productive and successful year running wise. If 2012 was the year I became a runner, then 2013 was the year I became a successful and accomplished runner (in my mind). I did my first marathon (huge!), won a half marathon against an admittedly terrible field, and set PRs in just about very distance. I've kept running after the Portland Marathon despite the cold, wet, and darkness that I so hate.

2012: Ran 134 times for 704 miles.
2013: Ran 188 times for 1420 miles.

Didn't realize this until I just researched the stat above, but I ran DOUBLE what I did last year! My goal for 2014 will be to run at least 100 miles every month and beat my mileage from this year. I'm thinking 1600 miles would be a good goal, that's just a touch over 130 a month and I'll have two marathons in 2014 I'll be training for.

Almost 100 each month. February was the Las Vegas trip
where I got really sick.
Overall the highlight of my year was definitely completing my first marathon without walking or breaking down. I had a really good first marathon experience and I basked in the glow of that for quite some time. I have to say that glow has faded though and I'm eagerly anticipating Vancouver, BC so I can capture it again.

I am really looking forward to 2014. I have two marathons to train for, will be doing Ragnar SoCal with a bunch of strangers, and am traveling to Miami at the beginning of February for a half marathon. Should be an action packed year with lots to keep me motivated. Right now the cold and dark coupled with the lack of upcoming races is kind of hard, but I know in a couple months it'll warm up, lighten up, and the races will come fast. And I need to be ready!

One goal to start in 2014 is to have more effective training. I am not training hard enough while at the same time not training easy enough. I kind of keep doing my workouts toward the middle of the spectrum and the improvement is much more gradual. I am slowly getting better, but I can also see myself plateauing here very shortly. I need to really focus on some hard workouts and then make sure I am getting some easy miles in there too to. Ideally my week would have a tempo run, intervals, an easy run, and my long run.

I'll be kicking off the new year right, with a bunch of runners doing a 5k! It isn't one of those big events, like the First Run in Portland, but I am going to a party with ~25 other runners and we'll be running a 5k right before the new year, celebrating at midnight, then doing a short jog around the neighborhood for our "first run." The couple that puts it on is super nice and does it up with bibs, medals, etc. Should be fun!


9/25/11 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (28:01) - First ever race, first 5k.

3/18/12 - Shamrock Run 5k (23:39) - New PR!
4/21/12 - Earth Day Run 5k (23:41)
5/27/12 - Run Rum 10k (47:31) - First 10k
7/22/12 - Run In The Country Half Marathon (1:42:32) - First Half Marathon
9/9/12 - Warrior Dash 5k (33:37)
9/23/12 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (21:45) - New 5k PR!
10/14/12 - Great Pumpkin Run 10k (47:44)
11/25/12 - Hot Buttered Run 12k (57:28) - First, and only, 12k
12/9/12 - HoHo 5k (22:44)

2/3/13 - Zena Road Runs 15k (1:12:23) - First 15k
3/17/13 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:12:21)
4/14/13 - Corvallis Half Marathon (1:39:49) - New Half PR
4/21/13 - Earth Day Run 5k (22:33)
5/26/13 - Rum Run 10k (45:56) - New 10k PR
6/8/13 - Helvetia Half Marathon (1:40:29)
7/7/13 - Stars & Stripes Half Marathon (1:39:40) - 1st place overall, Half PR
9/8/13 - Pints to Pasta 10k (46:07)
9/29/13 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (21:50)
10/6/13 - Portland Marathon (3:36:42) - First full marathon!
11/3/13 - Rivalry Clash 5k (21:08) - New 5k PR
11/28/13 - Give N' Gobble 10k (45:00) - New 10k PR

2/2/14 - Miami Half Marathon (1:44:47) - Death march!
3/16/14 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:06:16)
5/4/14 - Vancouver Marathon (3:33:16) - 2nd full marathon, new PR
5/25/14 - Rum Run 10k (44:01) - New 10k PR
6/7/14 - Soles2Souls 5k (20:38) - 1st place overall, new PR
6/13/14 - Cascadia Beer Mile (11:04)
6/21/14 - Bald Peak Half Marathon (1:46:07)
7/5/14 - Stars & Stripes Half Marathon (1:37:48) - New PR
8/2/14 - Ladybug Run 5k (20:55)
8/2/14 - Crawfish Crawl Half Marathon (1:47:21)
9/7/14 - Pints to Pasta 10k (44:45)
9/28/14 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (20:28) - New 5k PR
10/5/14 - Portland Marathon (3:33:14) - Marathon PR by two seconds
11/9/14 - Rivalry Clash 10k (43:27) - New 10k PR

1/25/15 - Miami Half Marathon (1:41:32)
2/1/15 - Zena Road Runs 15k (1:08:42)
3/15/15 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:12:55)
5/2/15 - 500 Festival Mini Marathon (1:42:26)
5/17/15 - Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon (1:40:37)
5/24/15 - Rum Run 10k (45:40) - Not official due to route mix-up
6/20/15 - Bald Peak Half Marathon (1:49:49)
7/10/15 - Cascadia Beer Mile (9:52)
9/27/15 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (21:11)
10/4/15 - Portland Marathon (3:39:33)
10/18/15 - Detroit Marathon (4:21:00) - Second marathon in 14 days, legs crapped out
11/29/15 - Hot Buttered Run Half Marathon (1:44:22)

1/24/16 - Miami Half Marathon (1:48:12)
2/7/16 - Zena Road Runs 15k (1:13:12)
3/13/16 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:15:27)
4/10/16 - Blooms to Brews 10k (49:09) - Pacing Katie F.
5/21/16 - Rum Run 10k (55:06) - Ran for fun, undiagnosed arthritis flaring

1/29/17 - Miami Half Marathon (2:39:19) - Injured and untrained.
3/19/17 - Shamrock Run 8k (51:31) - Technically a PR! ;)
9/17/17 - Half Boring Half Marathon (2:22:45) Ran the whole thing!
10/21/17 - Regatta Run 5k (25:21)
11/23/17 - Give N' Gobble 10k (52:19)
12/10/17 - Holiday Half Marathon (1:56:34)

1/28/18 - Miami Half Marathon (2:06:18)
3/18/18 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:16:44)
4/15/18 - Corvallis Half Marathon (1:51:27)
7/4/18 - Independence Day Half Marathon (1:47:33)
9/16/18 - Half Boring Half Marathon (1:42:32)
10/28/18 - Marine Corps Marathon (3:55:54)
12/9/2018 - Holiday Half Marathon (1:48:55)

1/27/19 - Miami Half Marathon (1:56:52)
3/17/19 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:16:09)
4/14/19 - Bridge to Brews 10k (49:35)
7/4/19 - Independence Day Half Marathon (1:43:58)
10/6/19 - Portland Marathon (3:48:14)


Beer Mile
6/13/14 - Cascadia Beer Mile (11:04)
7/10/15 - Cascadia Beer Mile (9:52) **

9/25/11 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (28:01)
3/18/12 - Shamrock Run 5k (23:39)
4/21/12 - Earth Day Run 5k (23:41)
9/9/12 - Warrior Dash 5k (33:37)
9/23/12 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (21:45)
12/9/12 - HoHo 5k (22:44)
4/21/13 - Earth Day Run 5k (22:33)
9/29/13 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (21:50)
11/3/13 - Rivalry Clash 5k (21:08)
6/7/14 - Soles2Souls 5k (20:38)
8/2/14 - Ladybug Run 5k (20:55)
9/28/14 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (20:28) **
9/27/15 - Corvallis Fall Festival 5k (21:11)
10/21/17 - Regatta Run 5k (25:21)

3/19/17 - Shamrock Run 8k (51:31) **

5/27/12 - Run Rum 10k (47:31)
10/14/12 - Great Pumpkin Run 10k (47:44)
5/26/13 - Rum Run 10k (45:56)
9/8/13 - Pints to Pasta 10k (46:07)
11/28/13 - Give N' Gobble 10k (45:00)
5/25/14 - Rum Run 10k (44:01)
9/7/14 - Pints to Pasta 10k (44:45)
11/9/14 - Rivalry Clash 10k (43:27) **
5/24/15 - Rum Run 10k (45:40)
4/10/16 - Blooms to Brews 10k (49:09)
5/21/16 - Rum Run 10k (55:06)
11/23/17 - Give N' Gobble 10k (52:19)
4/14/19 - Bridge to Brews 10k (49:35)

11/25/12 - Hot Buttered Run 12k (57:28) **

2/3/13 - Zena Road Runs 15k (1:12:23)
3/17/13 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:12:21)
3/16/14 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:06:16) **
2/1/15 - Zena Road Runs 15k (1:08:42)
3/15/15 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:12:55)
2/7/16 - Zena Road Runs 15k (1:13:12)
3/13/16 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:15:27)
3/18/18 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:16:44)
3/17/19 - Shamrock Run 15k (1:16:09)

Half Marathon
7/22/12 - Run In The Country Half Marathon (1:42:32)
4/14/13 - Corvallis Half Marathon (1:39:49)
6/8/13 - Helvetia Half Marathon (1:40:29)
7/7/13 - Stars & Stripes Half Marathon (1:39:40)
2/2/14 - Miami Half Marathon (1:44:47)
6/21/14 - Bald Peak Half Marathon (1:46:07)
7/5/14 - Stars & Stripes Half Marathon (1:37:48) **
8/2/14 - Crawfish Crawl Half Marathon (1:47:21)
1/25/15 - Miami Half Marathon (1:41:32)
5/2/15 - 500 Festival Mini Marathon (1:42:26)
5/17/15 - Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon (1:40:37)
6/20/15 - Bald Peak Half Marathon (1:49:49)
11/29/15 - Hot Buttered Run Half Marathon (1:44:22)
1/24/16 - Miami Half Marathon (1:48:12)
1/29/17 - Miami Half Marathon (2:39:19)
9/17/17 - Half Boring Half Marathon (2:22:45)
12/10/17 - Holiday Half Marathon (1:56:34)
1/28/18 - Miami Half Marathon (2:06:18)
4/15/18 - Corvallis Half Marathon (1:51:27)
7/4/18 - Independence Day Half Marathon (1:47:33)
9/16/18 - Half Boring Half Marathon (1:42:32)
12/9/2018 - Holiday Half Marathon (1:48:55)
1/27/19 - Miami Half Marathon (1:56:52)
7/4/19 - Independence Day Half Marathon (1:43:58)

Full Marathon
10/6/13 - Portland Marathon (3:36:42)
5/4/14 - Vancouver Marathon (3:33:16)
10/5/14 - Portland Marathon (3:33:14) **
10/4/15 - Portland Marathon (3:39:33)
10/18/15 - Detroit Marathon (4:21:00)
10/28/18 - Marine Corps Marathon (3:55:54)
10/6/19 - Portland Marathon (3:48:14)

Friday, December 27, 2013


Christmas Eve dinner. Don't mind my mom not looking at the camera, we took another one but this one is better of me.
Had a really good Christmas this year! It landed on a weird day this year, Wednesday, so I had a half day on Christmas Eve Tuesday. Since I was off work at 2pm, I ended up taking advantage of the daylight and running three miles on what is normally a rest day. It was fun!

Christmas morning I woke up and joined a group at 9am that was running from the Starbucks in Tualatin. A lot of people ended up showing up, probably 15 or so, and it was a good time. I expected us to really not see anyone else, but it turns out there were a lot of people out that morning. Unless you have kids and are doing that whole thing on Christmas morning, I guess that makes sense though. It was a beautiful sunny day so why not get outside and enjoy it?

So another five miles Christmas morning then over to my parents' house for the family Christmas. That was a ton of fun as well. Pretty small group, but all my favorite people. We had cioppino again, which was delicious. I had complained about it on past Christmases, but I've been in love with this dish the last few years. Yum! Overall, I think I have gained a new perspective on the holiday. When I was in college Christmas had lost its magic and I wasn't a sentimental adult yet. Now, I just love being with family and the holiday is really special again.

Me at the Christmas morning run. Notice
how festive I am! (for me)
The highlight present of the year was a GPS running watch, the Garmin Forerunner 220. Yay, so excited! I now don't have to use my phone to track my runs and have that clanking around in my pocket. I kind of liked the security of having the phone with me, but I guess I'll get used to running without it. It will be so nice to be able to have "lap pace" and not have to yank my phone out to pause the run! I also received some t-shirts (Beavers and Blazers), nice gin (yum!), and some candy.

This weekend is shaping up to be busy. My goal is to run twelve miles on Saturday but I have to golf around noon. So I'll have to get up early. Since I ran Monday (5), Tuesday (3), and Wednesday (5), I'd like to run tonight but I don't want to tucker myself out for the run in the morning. I'm thinking maybe I'll just do three miles again. That combined with Tuesday's run will make the six miles I usually do during the week on Thursday.

Maybe that is a plan that will stick. Instead of running four times a week, I can run five and just break one run into two. Is it easier to motivate myself for two 30 minute runs in the cold and dark compared to one sixty minute run? I have no idea. The dark and cold is really bothering me.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Coach Jim pre-run photo. That's me on the right in gray behind that cluster of bright yellow.
On Saturday I joined the Coach Jim running group for the second straight week. Coach Jim is a free long run group that meets every weekend and does anywhere from 10-20 miles (they pick a target race and then work towards that). The last few weeks they have been doing twelve miles, which has been perfect. The weekend before I did twelve with the group and it felt a lot harder than it should have.

The problem with the group is they meet at 8am. Ugh! So it is a miracle that I have got my ass out of bed for TWO straight weekends to go running in the cold. So pat on the back for me. Today they were doing "twelve plus" which ended up being 12.75 miles. I knew I wanted to do more than that so I had plans to run more to hit sixteen so I don't fade too much from marathon distance shape.

Two loops of fun!
What was nice about this weekend's run was that it was in my old stomping grounds of Tualatin where I was born and raised. Part way through we crossed into Tigard and basically ran a bunch where I used to run when I lived in the apartments off 99W. So it was a very nostalgic run. I have to say these twelve miles went by a lot easier than the weekend before. It was a fun run and went by pretty quickly.

Once that portion was over, I had made plans to drive the five minutes to my parents' house and then run the old three mile loop I used to do from there (way before I started running seriously, when I'd do fits of running a couple weeks at a time to try and lose weight). Alejandro ended up joining me because he is always up for a challenge, so why not do 16 even though he just planned on 12?

So the nostalgia tour continued! Around mile fourteen I started to get really sore and those last couple of miles were painful. But we got them done and I had a lot of fun running my old route. After I was done I hung out with my parents for an hour or two. I was pretty sore and my legs honestly felt like I had run twenty miles! The next day I felt much better though. I just always get really sore for some reason. Old man syndrome.

All told I ran sixteen miles at a 9:39/mile pace. That's 2 hours and 34 minutes on my feet starting at 8am. I think a screw is loose in my head.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Bad news: Brandon is a quitter.

Good news: I can go to run group!

I actually feel bad for Brandon. He had a little (read: biggest ever) meltdown yesterday when I tried to pick him up to go to basketball practice. He absolutely refused to go and after about fifteen minutes of campaigning by his mom and me nothing changed. I've never seen his resolve so high on anything. He just stared out the car window and refused to acknowledge us or answer our questions other than one or two word replies, haha.

Apparently he thought he would know people on his team (his team was all kids from different schools he didn't know) and the coach was a flake and never called us so he missed the first two weeks and just felt stupid. I know after a few practices he'd get to know the kids, even become friends with them, and have fun, but none of that seemed to matter.

Came a little out of nowhere because I took him to practice Monday and afterward he didn't seem to completely hate it. Was much more rational then, but I guess he was dreading this next practice all Tuesday and Wednesday and then had a complete mental shutdown. Whatever. I hated running around that indoor track anyways (did seven miles inside on Monday... not fun!).

Anyways, I missed run group last night and then didn't get outside to run after the whole Brandon thing because it was cold and rainy, so I have some catch up to do. I was almost temped to stop by the rec center and run inside again, but I figured I'd just force myself out there today and then see how I am feeling on Friday. I am planning sixteen on Saturday, so I want to make sure to rested for that.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Not his only sport anymore!
For the next three months I'll be running in circles inside on Mondays and Wednesdays instead of going to running group at PRC. I'm super bummed about this but it will only be a temporary setback. Let me back up though. Brandon had talked about possibly wanting to play basketball. His father is all soccer all the time. His mom really wants him to play another sport other than soccer (dad can get a little too into it). I remember playing lots of different sports growing up as a kid and loved the change of pace each provided. I'm afraid Brandon will get burnt out on soccer so I really wanted to give him the opportunity to play something else.

Anyways, I volunteered to sign Brandon up for basketball and drive him to all practices/games. Transportation can be an issue at times for them and I knew the only way he would be a reliable teammate is if I were to spearhead the entire thing. So I signed him up. And the second I did that I just KNEW practices would be on Mondays and Wednesdays just to fuck with me. That's how the world works for me.

Long story short, I get the news that practices are indeed on Mondays and Wednesdays and start at 5:30. Which means I have to get into work an hour early so I can get off an hour early to truck my ass over to Hillsboro to pick him up in rush hour traffic. A few dozen swear words later I accepted my fate. The coach neglected to call us so Brandon already missed a week of practice. He's also never played basketball or any other sport other than soccer competitively. So he's afraid of being the new kid and starting a new sport and tried back out and say it was okay, he didn't need to play, etc.

My new home for 12-14 miles a week. I wonder if
Endo will be able to track me decently in here?
Don't want to count laps.
Oh, no you don't! One, you are going to have a blast after one or two practices when you are no longer the new kid and basketball isn't scary and new. And two, we don't quit! If we sign up for something, we follow through. Believe me, I wish I could have just said, "you know, you're right, that will be a giant pain in my ass, let's scrap it." However, that would be the wrong reply. I will miss my PRC running buddies but come March I'll be able to go back running with them and Brandon will have had a hopefully rewarding season in basketball!

Luckily, his practices are at the main THPRD Sports Complex, which consists of six indoor basketball courts and an INDOOR TRACK circling above. So, on the bright side, I get to still run and it will be inside during the cold and often wet winter months. Plus, I'll get to watch him in practice a little bit as I circle the track. I'll miss the scenery and friendship of the PRC run, but I've already decided I'll load podcasts onto my phone and listen to those as I circle to hopefully break up the boredom. I'll also maybe try to convince mom or dad to give Brandon a ride from time to time so I can check in with my PRC peeps.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


My name is left front wheel. I took the brunt of the impact
with the curb and now I'm totally fucked up.
Thomas plus ice plus car equals crash. For the second time in about five years I've fucked my car up. Going to work yesterday I hit a patch of black ice rounding a corner at about 10mph and slammed into the curb. Wasn't going that fast but it was enough to fuck my steering up (wheels locked) and cause me to need a tow and have the car in the shop for a couple weeks. Yay! Initial estimate from Geico is $2,500 of damage, thank goodness for insurance (although the $500 deductible right in time for the holidays sucks).

About five years ago in my old Protégé when there was maybe an inch of snow on the ground (but apparently ice underneath it) I was going like 5mph around a gentle curve and lost control and slammed into the curb. Same thing happened, wheels got fucked up and the car had to go into the shop. That one was only like $600 but not covered by insurance.

I really hate this stupid ass freezing weather and driving in it. Anyways, yesterday I didn't run with group because my whole day was kind of fucked up from that, so I'll head out tonight. I might just toss that run and do only two this work week... we'll see, I might get the other one in on Friday. Just in a bad mood and going outside in the cold and dark to run alone doesn't sound the greatest.

Looking to do 12 miles again this weekend and then hopefully sixteen the next. We'll see, no solid plans really. I had visions of traveling to Detroit or Chicago for a marathon this fall but I think this recent car incident ate up my funds for that. Maybe I'll feel different in a few months, but this month I bought a new phone and tablet (to my credit this was before carmageddon), will spend hundreds on Christmas presents, need to sign up for the Vancouver Marathon, will pay Libbie $365 for Timbers season tickets, and probably other crap I forgot. December is going to be in the DEEP red.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Running through the neighborhoods in 18 degrees. Isn't this fun buddy?!?
This race kind of snuck up on me. Libbie and I had talked about doing it but both of us neglected to register until a few days before the race. When I went to register, I noticed kids were only $8. I was supposed to hang out with Brandon on Sunday and the race was a later start (10am) so having him tag along wouldn't be an issue. Hmmm, idea forming!

So much to Brandon's surprise he was running a 5k Sunday morning! When I told him on Thursday he moaned for a second but then just kind of accepted it. I told him it was only 3.1 miles like the last race he did and that seemed to help a lot. He thinks I am going to sign him up for a half marathon or something, haha. Right after I picked him up he was asking about his time on the last race and made it his goal to beat that time. So he ended up getting into it!

Oregon, and really the entire nation, has been in a cold snap recently, so the temperature at race time was 18(!) degrees. Holy crap! Once the three of us got our bibs we huddled back in the car and tried to stay warm. Last year it was 42 degrees and in my blog post about it I was complaining about it being chilly. Sounds downright balmy at the moment! I ended up running with a fairly heavy winter coat on since I'd be running slower with Brandon.

We call this the "walk break."
The race went really well. We got out of the car at 9:55 and were at the start line for the 10am start. Santa was there again in his Sleighburu to lead us on the race. The course was the same as last year, so flat in the park for about a quarter mile and then up that big hill. I told Brandon we could run to the hill and then walk it and that's exactly what we did. Once we hit the top we started running through the neighborhoods.

Brandon needed to walk a little bit less than last summer but we still took our fair share of walking breaks. Most breaks we'd take just thirty seconds and then start running again. Other times we'd use cones or trees as markers to either start or stop running. I never let us walk for more than about 40 seconds and we had sustained running periods of two minutes or so. I didn't want to kill him but I also wanted to make sure we challenged ourselves.

He did a pretty good job pacing himself and even ran farther than I thought he could in certain spots. At one time he starting bombing up a mini hill in the park but I just let him go. By the time I trotted up it responsibly he had caught his breath and kept running. I was super proud of him the whole time and kept shouting encouraging things.

Eventually we wound our way to the finish line and he took off like a bat out of hell once I challenged him to beat a six year old girl in a pink coat that was about 50 feet ahead of us. He ended up beating her by a good 60 yards (seriously though, freaking awesome time for that girl for her age!). He was tired at the end but not nearly as drained as the summer race, although that was in the heat. Brandon seemed to have a fun time and I am glad we brought him!

Hot cider at the finish line!
This course is short though. Somehow I convinced myself last year that it really was 3.11 miles, that my GPS lost me in the woods and cut corners on me. No. Last year I clocked it at 2.92 and this year 2.91. When I got home I painstakingly traced our route by hand and it came up with 2.9114. Brandon was faster than July, but not four minutes faster (gun time was 32:49 compared to 36:49 before).

I decided to adjust our time for the 5k distance. When he does a 5k next summer (shhh) I want his PR to be beatable, so comparing himself against a 2.9 mile long course wouldn't be fair. Taking his finishing time of 32:49, I adjusted it up accordingly to 35:12. So we will pencil that is as his new PR and see if we can go sub 35 next time!

Overall it was a really fun time and felt good to just jog a race easy after twelve super hilly miles the day before.

Brandon's Official Time: 32:49, 124th out of 202 overall.
Adjusted Time for 5k distance: 35:12, 11:20/mile.

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Yours truly appears 0:15 seconds into the video. In the bright orange shirt with blue sleeves starting Endomondo on my phone and looking a little less stiff than the Rivalry Clash.

Funny, I watched this video about a week ago and tried to spot myself but I couldn't. Then at run group Alejandro is like "I saw you in that video for Give N' Gobble you liked on Facebook" and I pretty much didn't believe him because I looked for myself and figured I was just lost in the crowd. And there I go running right by the camera! Sometimes I am not the most observant.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


Part of the barkdust trail on the Nike Campus.
After the Give N' Gobble I felt pretty good. I used to get really sore after races, even short ones, but I think I might have put enough miles in my legs that during most short races that won't happen any more. I'm sure I'll still get sore after anything over a 10k, but for now its nice to be able to crush a 10k and not be hobbling around for a few days.

While I wasn't very sore, my legs certainly weren't very springy. After taking all of Friday off and doing absolutely nothing I forced myself outside on Saturday and ran sixteen miles. I'm surprised I actually ended up doing it, I was laying around all morning thinking about how I could rationalize doing less or skipping the run altogether. The excuse that I just PRed in a 10k almost won out, but the fact I had a long weekend and had eaten way more than usual finally won out.

I ended up running a new route up to the Nike Campus. Pretty conventional way of getting there, up the powerline parks to TV Highway. At this point I didn't want to wait for that long light so I had a plan to run along the railroad tracks and use the underpass for the trains to get across without waiting.

It worked and was a fun adventure but I'm not sure I'd do it again! The threat of a train hitting me and the fact the ground was either really large gravel or timing your strides to hit the slats of the track wasn't the most fun! At one point I almost shit my pants because I started running on a bridge without realizing it. I was paying so much attention to my footing I didn't realize the bridge was coming up and then all of a sudden I'm running on a wooden bridge with large gaps down to the water! Yikes!

Anyways, that mile along the tracks took a little bit out of my legs and the trails at Nike took even more. I mixed the Campus Trail (2 miles) with the Hollister Trail (1.5 miles) and did each twice in a big loop to clock 7 miles on campus. The campus trail is barkdust and was soggy from some recent rain so that was a little more work than I am used to (almost a "trail run"). My mile times went from the 9:40s to the 10:15s just due to the change of surface.

After the Nike portion of the run, which overall was pretty fun, I just ran back straight along Murray to my house. I was feeling surprisingly good for the distance I was running and normally hate running along busy roads, especially straight ones. Something about running up Murray was fun though, I could see the top of Sexton Mountain way in the distance and knew once I made it to the top of that, it was all downhill to my house.

So I just put my head down and killed it. I wanted to make up for the over 10 minute miles at Nike so I ran hard home on miles 13-16! Last three miles averaged 9:18. I was feeling great! Was so glad I decided to go out there and run and do the full sixteen. Before I knew it I was at the top of that hill and I coasted home. I hit 16 miles right as I entered my neighborhood. Perfect!

The run did take a little out of me though. I was fairly sore and worn on Sunday and yesterday (Monday) I wasn't feeling too hot either. Ended up doing five too fast miles at run group and irritating my glute again, which had been quiet since before the marathon. My body recovers so slow, it's annoying. Anyways, I'll be more determined to run slow at group Wednesday and not get suckered into following the crowd.

Friday, November 29, 2013


"The altitude on gmap-pedometer doesn't look too bad ... Honestly, it shouldn't be a problem."
-Thomas Graf, November 27th, 2013

How wrong I was. This ended up being much hillier than I expected when I was doing the preview and setting my goals. Honestly, I picked this race because I thought it would be flatter. Instead, it was the hilliest 10k I have run to date. I did, however, set a new PR. So I did very well.

The story of this race was kind of in the flavor of "death by a thousand paper cuts." There wasn't one or two big hills that you had to contend with, it was more of a constant onslaught of up and down with very few little flat sections. And they weren't little tee hee hee twenty foot inclines either, they were 40-60 foot climbs that were just freaking annoying.

Anyways, I got over to Sherwood High School at 8:20 and picked my bib and shirt up (free shirt for donating food). It was 36 degrees but I didn't really have time to go back to my car, so I kind of just bounced around and even took a little warm up jog. I ended up just putting the shirt I got over top the one I already had on. Nowhere else to put it and the extra warmth couldn't hurt.

The race started soon enough and I was feeling pretty good. I settled into the correct pace and was handling the hills at the start pretty well. My lungs were burning but my legs felt great the entire race. The really cold air didn't help the lung situation either. The race was fairly well put on... not the greatest direction at the 5k/10k split but if you were paying attention it was pretty clear.

During the second half of the race the hills started to add up. The fifth mile is what really killed me. Mostly uphill the entire way after getting worn down on the rollers leading up to it. Not fun. After that exhausting mile I really pushed the sixth and final mile and was proud I was able to run it so hard. The 5k walkers (mostly families, which was cool) did a very good job of staying out of the way, even when we merged onto a small trail.
The "already back to my car and realize I need
to take a picture" shot.

I sprinted into the finish and stopped my phone right at 45:00. D'oh! I was hoping for some relief with the "official time" but that ended up being the same right at 45 mintues. In retrospect that is a really awesome time for the course, but at the time I was kind of disappointed. I had a really bad side ache after I finished and kind of stumbled around the finish area for five minutes trying to catch my breath and settle that down.

Overall, I did a very good job. I'd say the hills were worth an extra 30-45 seconds on my time. I really ran this race hard and left it all out there. I'll look to do another 10k at some point in the future and actually maybe try to get a flat course this time, but until then, I'll be thrilled with a 56 second PR!

Overall Results: 45:00, 7:14/mile. 44/380 overall. 28/167 male, 8/29 M20-29.
Mile Splits: 7:02, 7:11, 7:12, 7:13, 7:38, 7:06.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Real quick preview for this one, the Give N' Gobble in Sherwood. Have to wake up in eight short hours to run it! I signed up for this 10k a month or so back wanting to set a new 10k PR. To date I've ran four 10k races and I don't feel like I've had a really good shot at setting my true PR yet. The reasons are:

Rum Run 2012 & 2013 - Course is long by a tenth of a mile, which is 45 extra seconds.
Great Pumpkin Run 2012 - Lack of training, hilly course
Pints to Pasta 2013 - Day after 20 mile training run

My record at the moment is 45:56 set at a long course at the Rum Run this last spring. Should the course been the correct distance, I would have clocked in just above 45 minutes. That course is also hilly, which can lend itself to longer times. So I really feel like I have a good chance to smash my old record. I think I am faster now and I know that I am in better shape.

The course itself tomorrow looks to clock in right at 6.22 miles. So no funny business there. The altitude on gmap-pedometer doesn't look too bad. Their elevation data is always ugly and jagged, but it gives you a general idea. Looks like a 100 foot climb in the first mile, kind of rolling after that, then a downhill final mile. Honestly, it shouldn't be a problem, but the course isn't quite as pancake flat as the Rivalry Clash.

The event itself should be fun. Last year they had a couple thousand people show up so it is a sizable thing. There are a lot of families that walk the 5k but the 10k is run only. There will be an issue because both races start at the same time and the 10k course merges back into the 5k course at mile 5. So I'll likely be dodging some walkers, The Walking Dead style.

Okay, goal time! They are as follows:

A Goal: Sub 44. Honestly, I don't know if I can do this. That is 7:05/mile on slightly hilly course. McMillian says I can run a 43:53 but that was based on my Rivalry Clash 5k time on a much flatter course. Really going to depend on those hills and how I am feeling.

B Goal: Sub 45. This is going to be a challenge and my main goal. This would take 7:14/mile. I think with this course that is a good number to shoot for. I'll be thrilled with something starting with 44!

C Goal: New PR, 45:55 or less. The fact that this is so low shows how much I'm challenging myself at this race. At minimum I'd like to set a new PR. I could be satisfied with that. However, I think I can go sub 45, so I'm really going to shoot for that.

Wish I had my watch already so I could pace myself better. I might have to pull my phone out once or twice to make sure I am hitting pace. Whatever happens, an awesome Thanksgiving with the family will follow, so for that, I am thankful!

Monday, November 25, 2013


Part of the northern part of Fanno Creek I had only run on once before. To the right is the Portland Golf Club.
Remember when I said the 8am start might be the only issue with the run on Saturday? I know myself too well apparently. My alarm went off at 7am to get ready for the run. I had a text from Alejandro, confirming my area of residence so he could hop a bus and I could drive us to the run. I guess his wife unexpectedly needed the car. By the time I was coherent enough to check my phone and respond the next bus wasn't going to get here in time. Oh well, I said, we'll just do a run later in the morning.

And back to bed I went. I could hear my phone buzz about a minute later. "Hey, my wife can actually drop me off! We back on?" to which I was like "Umm, no, I am back in sleep mode." Once the decision was made to not go I was not going to gather the will to actually hop out of bed and scramble to get there in time.

Instead, I slept in until ten and then arranged to meet him at PRC at noon for a run on Fanno Creek. I took a warm bath to extend my morning slumber and invited Matt along as well. To my surprise, he came, so the three of us ended up running twelve miles in what was a really awesome day! The Coach Jim run would have been really cold (starting in the high 20s, low 30s) but by the time we got started around noon it had warmed up to the mid 40s (over 50 by the time we finished) and the sun was out shining with nary a cloud in sight. Beautiful November day!

The run was a lot of fun. I honestly don't remember when I had such a good time on a twelve mile run. We were just chatting and took a relatively easy pace (9:20/mile). Felt really easy and we ran the northern part of Fanno Creek I had only been on once before. It was much better than running alone and the run seemed to fly by. It capped a really great week for me running wise.

Rollercoaster, intervals, and long run in 3 out of 4 days did leave me a little sore on Sunday. And honestly still a bit sore today. At run group tonight I'll probably do the five mile route instead of the seven miles. I have a 10k race on Thursday (preview next post) and I want to make sure I am as fresh as possible for that. Seven hilly miles on tired legs today probably wouldn't be the best!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Can't wait for my watch! This still sort of tells the story though. First two intervals aren't as pronounced oddly.
Turns out I might have bashed Southridge High School a little prematurely. Maybe they just lock it up during the summer or were doing construction when I went there on a quest for a water fountain once. Anyways, long story short, I ended up running on their track last night.

I was really NOT looking forward to doing the neighborhood intervals again so I investigated the high school a little further on Google Maps. Looks like there was a small parking lot I could park in and investigate the fence situation. On my way home from work I swung by and saw that the gates were flung open and access to the track was granted. Score!

So I got home, changed, then headed back to the high school. It is less than a 10 minute drive so not too annoying. Once there, I hopped up to the track, which wasn't lit, but had enough ambient light from other sources that I could see. Others were on the track too. So apparently people do use it. The problem was, it was FREAKING COLD. Like 38 degrees and windy. Plus, I was running hard so I was sweating, which was not fun in that temperature!

Interval 400m Time 400m Pace Rest Time Rest Pace
#1 1:38.40 6:34/mi 2:16.41 9:06/mi
#2 1:35.58 6:22/mi 2:21.10 9:24/mi
#3 1:34.47 6:18/mi 2:18.74 9:15/mi
#4 1:32.51 6:10/mi 2:24.54 9:38/mi
#5 1:34.00 6:16/mi 2:26.68 9:47/mi
#6 1:36.58 6:26/mi 2:26.43 9:46/mi
#7 1:35.00 6:20/mi 2:29.87 9:59/mi
#8 1:30.87 6:03/mi 2:31.72 10:07/mi
Average 1:34.68 6:19/mi 2:24.44 9:38/mi

After about three intervals I really wanted to quit. Intervals suck. Even though afterward you feel like ripping open your chest to reveal the "S," they suck during. Especially in the cold and dark (once it gets sunny and warm again I'll complain about the heat). Anyways, I just kept convincing myself to do one more. One more and then I can fake a hammy injury. Eventually I "one more"ed myself to all eight.

Cool to see that after only four interval sessions my average time has gone from 6:41/mile to 6:27, then 6:25, and now 6:19. Kind of like when you start running and your average mile time drops like 5-10 seconds each time out. So I'm enjoying that "massive improvement" honeymoon. I know soon those seconds will be hard to come by but for now I'll take the improvements.

Had a great run on the seven mile rollercoaster on Wednesday night. Averaged 8:12/mile. Feeling pretty dang good at the moment. Much better than last week. Fourteen miles tomorrow with the Coach Jim running group. Never been, but I feel the need for some companionship on some of these long runs so I'll be tagging along with them tomorrow. Only issue is the 8am start. Ugh.

Monday, November 18, 2013


The Hollister Trail on Sunday. Pretty? Yes. Didn't help the not wanting to run feeling though.
I've basically come to the realization that when it comes to running I have been reduced to a trained seal. Last week was a struggle on the running front for a number of reasons. It all started with being pretty tired from my fifteen mile run last Saturday. By Monday I was feeling better, but I still wasn't super fresh. I then proceeded to hit the 7 mile hilly "rollercoaster" route at run group pretty hard, which felt decent at the time but left me pretty sore and achy.

On Wednesday I took my Dad to the Blazers game for his birthday meaning I missed Wednesday group run. That was okay with me because my legs felt trashed and overall I felt tired and groggy. On Thursday I still felt pretty crappy but forced myself outside because I didn't want to slack off for no good reason. If "not feeling like it" was a valid reason, I would hardly ever run. I was dreading the run so much that I wore headphones for the first time in a long time. I needed anything to mix it up.

After falling on my "recovery jog." Sucks.
I went out there to do a "recovery jog" type run and that I did. I averaged 10:27/mile and that is the slowest I have ever run since becoming "serious" around the Shamrock Run in 2012. It didn't feel that slow, but I turned the mile time readings off so I wouldn't feel bad about myself. Going that slow also didn't stop me from falling on my ass; although, I think the slow pace contributed to the tumble. I was just kind of dragging my feet, slogging along, when I hit a ripple in the sidewalk. Oww.

On Friday I felt a lot better (recovery jog ftw!) so I went out and did that same route 15 minutes faster. Averaged 8:07 a mile. Felt really good! Was a struggle to get outside again, but once I did, I hit it hard. So after that I felt okay.

Sunday was my long run day this weekend. I ended up settling on 12 miles since I felt the need for a "down week" as I was still feeling pretty worn. I really did NOT want to run on Sunday and the only thing that got me out the door was I told myself I would get Five Guys afterward if I did the run. So honestly that is about the only thing that got me out the door. Will do tricks for food.

The run was pretty terrible but I got it done. I ran circles on the Hollister Trail at Nike at a 9:30/mile pace. Seven times around that and then some farting around in the parking lot. 12 miles overall. Felt like 18. Couldn't stomach another run from my house on the same old trail. Overall I am not sure the repetitive laps were a better option, especially with the rent-a-cop patrolling the path puttering by every five minutes, but whatever. Afterward I limped into Five Guys and got my reward. Arp, arp. Good Thomas.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


November 28, 2013 - Give 'n' Gobble 10k Turkey Trot
Goal for this race will be to set a new 10k personal record. Should be a fairly flat course and I believe it shouldn't have that extra .12 miles like the Rum Run has. So I should set a record by a healthy margin. Goal is probably sub 45 minutes.

December 8, 2013 - Ho Ho 5k
I did this race last year. Don't expect to set a 5k record on this course. It's pretty hilly and parts are on mushy trails through the park. I'll still run it hard, but this one will be more "for fun." Would like to see maybe if I can get negative splits here... take it easy that first hilly mile and then attack the final mile through the flatter park area.

February 2, 2014 - Miami Half Marathon
Doing this run to support a friend in his effort to lose weight and start running. My weight loss experience coupled with running seems to have convinced him to give it a try at least. I told him I'd run the race with him if he signed up, not really expecting him to take up the offer, but he did and I am now flying to Miami to make good on that promise. Should be a ton of fun!

March 2, 2014 - Hot Chocolate 15k
The Tour de Crazy Big NW Races begins at Hot Chocolate in Seattle. This is tentative, but I am pretty sure Laurel and I agreed to do this one together. She'll be back living in the States and we thought it would be fun for me to come up and visit and do a race.

March 16, 2014 - Shamrock Run 15k
The second leg of crazy big 15k races brings the third year of doing Shamrock and then second year of doing the 15k. Goal will be beating my time from the year before. Embrace the insanity that is Shamrock! Shoot for sub 1:10 maybe?

April 4-5, 2014 - Ragnar SoCal Relay
Hood to Coast style race with strangers! Will be on a team with readers of the blog Runs For Cookies. Basically we all signed up to get in a van with complete strangers for 36 hours. We're getting to know each other beforehand online, but it should still be a crazy, fun time.

April 13, 2014 - Corvallis Half Marathon
Looking forward to doing this race again! Would like to run this race hard and possibly set a personal record for the half marathon, however, it will be the week after Ragnar so you never know. We'll also see how it works into my schedule because I have a much more important race in three weeks...

May 4, 2014 - Vancouver BMO Marathon
My second full marathon! Alejandro and I decided to do this race after Portland. I originally planned to do Eugene, but they moved that to the summertime, so Vancouver BC it is. It will be my first international marathon and should be a lot of fun.

Wow, that was more than I expected. Before I got this down on "paper" when thinking about the upcoming year I thought I had "a few" planned, but apparently it is more than a few. After May nothing is really set in stone, but I'd like to run either Chicago or Detroit in the fall... however, with the Miami race now, money allotted to this sort of thing is tight, so we'll see if I do those or just stick with Portland.

Monday, November 11, 2013


My fifteen mile route on Saturday's long run.
On Friday I had a big long debate with myself about what type of run I was going to do that night. My schedule calls for intervals but since I postponed my Thursday run to Friday, I no longer had a rest day before my long run. So, I thought about just doing an easy 10k instead. I was going to run fifteen miles the next day and I didn't want to burn myself out.

However, my goal is to set a 10k PR at the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and my focus this winter is supposed to be on speed. So I ended up making a compromise... I'd do intervals but I would only do 6x400 instead of the 8x400 I did the previous time. Honestly, it didn't make a ton of sense, but somehow in my head that alleviated my concerns of burning myself out for the next day.

They went pretty well. I wasn't feeling super great and was worn out from the week at work, but I got out there and did them. Started off pretty slow and was really questioning my abilities, but picked it up for the second half of the intervals. I didn't even make an effort to go faster, I was resigned to some "easier" intervals since I had the long run the next day, but apparently I did pick up the pace without really even putting too much extra effort into it. Maybe I just warmed up. The final interval was my first below 1:32 (barely)!

Interval400m Time400m PaceRest TimeRest Pace

Saturday I didn't wake up until about 12:15pm. It was glorious. I finally got my ass out the door around 1:40pm to run my fifteen miles. I was kind of doubting my abilities to run fifteen miles and was not looking forward to this run. I kind of worked it up in my head to something harder than it was. Once I started running I felt really good. Just took a nice leisurely 9:30/mile pace and enjoyed the crisp air. Unfortunately it was overcast so I couldn't really enjoy the sun, but it wasn't raining and it was light outside, so I'll take it.

Same old route over to Fanno Creek and then down that trail until its southern terminus past the Tigard Library. Nothing special to note really. Haven't done a long run with headphones for probably over six months now, which has been working for me, but the last few miles I could have really used a distraction. I wasn't too tired or worn out, just ready to be DONE. The last climb up Davies did wear me out a little and my last mile wasn't the quickest, but I just fought through it.

Funny to note this was my first ever 15 mile run. I did 15.4 back in June 2012, but that was when I was a long run virgin and didn't know what the fuck I was doing and didn't stop as soon as my phone logged the final mile I wanted. Other than that, I have a decent amount of 14 and 16 mile runs to my name. I know I am anal and like even numbers, but I didn't realize I had been avoiding the 15 mile run. Fives are okay! 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, and 20 are all gravy! Fuck the rest! Except 13.1... you are beautiful. I need to stop talking.

Friday, November 08, 2013


Outlook for next week.
Look at Monday. Hells yeah!
We ended up having a really awesome October here in Oregon. Normally October is pretty nice but for some reason I tend to clump it in with the "bad" months. It was a great month weather wise and I LOVED running outside during October. It was dry, the perfect temperature, the leaves were turning, it was beautiful, and so on and so forth.

Well, the honeymoon is over. Literally on November 1st it all went to shit (unlike on Halloween like when I was a kid). So for the past week I've really been struggling to get outside and do my runs. I've done them though and that is the important part. I've allowed myself to have flexibility as long as I end up doing my runs. Because of weather I switched my Monday run to Tuesday, and my Thursday run to Friday (tonight).

I've also missed group runs, which doesn't help. Monday I was late due to traffic and then just postponed to Tuesday because it was raining. And Wednesday night I had plans with friends for dinner and so I got there early and ran in circles near the restaurant until I hit five miles and then ate stinky (THAT is dedication my friends). These wet, dark runs will be a lot more tolerable if I run with other people, so I'll have to do my best to keep Mondays and Wednesdays open. That way I'll only have to do one weekday run alone instead of all three like this week.

Long run this weekend. Not feeling up to it, but I will do it. Just having a hard time adjusting to the season. Determined not to slack off because of it though like I did last year. So on Saturday I'll be doing 15 miles. I don't have anything else planned, so I'll probably sleep in, stumble out for a run around 1pm or so, then do an entire house cleaning. Should be a pretty crazy day.

Monday, November 04, 2013


Me before the race. I'm sure I looked this good after too...
Had a lot of fun yesterday at the 1st annual Rivalry Clash race. Like I said, I signed up because there was a discount on Groupon so it ended up being only $25. Normally it's $50, which is pretty steep for a 5k with no beer or medals or anything, so I would only do it again if I were able to get a discount (or they lowered the pricing).

Saturday night/Sunday morning was the end of Daylight Savings so I ended up getting an extra hour of sleep. I stupidly went to Monte Carlo bowling Saturday night and had a little too much to drink, so I was not feeling so hot Sunday morning despite the extra hour. Kind of sabotaged my changes of an amazing race right there, but I loaded up on Tums and soldiered through it. Overall I don't think it hurt me too much, but it certainly wasn't ideal.

I picked Alejandro up and we drove to the Portland Expo Center for the race. The turnout was fairly even on both sides, maybe a few more duck fans, but the Beaver fans ended up winning the event overall, so HA! In my race 5 of the top 6 finishers were Beavers (spoiler alert... one of them was me).

The race course at the Portland Expo Center.
Anyways, the organization of the race wasn't the greatest, but it was alright. The guy who was MCing the event was HILARIOUS so that made up for that in my eyes. Eventually the 10Kers went off and then the 5K race lined up to go. They had pace signs for each minute pace from 5:00/mile to 10:00/mile. There was a kid lined up at the 5:00/mile sign for the Beavers and then nobody until Alejandro, myself, and a young woman at the 7:00/mile sign. Apparently this race wouldn't have the greatest field.

Before I knew it the gun went off for our race. I was very nervous before this race and I think it was because I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to PR, which I knew would be a challenge. Aside from the Portland Marathon, most my races had been for fun recently, so while I still ended up running near PR times, I wasn't pressuring myself like this.

I didn't feel super great when the race started. Take a look at the video linked right here. I am the second orange shirt that appears on the left hand side (darker one). Notice how I am kind of running like an old man/have a limp/giant stiff? I seriously was not feeling great! I probably should have done a warm up jog or something. It wasn't the free and easy feeling I was hoping for, but eventually after a quarter mile or so my body adjusted to the fact I was going to bomb a 5k.

The course was very flat and I was grateful for that. Most my 5k races have not been flat, so this was a nice break. It wasn't completely flat, there were some small rollers of 15 feet or so, but honestly in Oregon, this is about as flat as it gets. After passing a few people in the first quarter mile I settled into fourth place. Alejandro shot off ahead with two others so I was the first person after that lead pack.

Mile number one I ran way too fast. It came in at 6:29. That is the fastest mile I have ever ran and I was certainly feeling it. I knew I couldn't maintain that for two more miles, so it really was a matter of holding on for the best time I could. I got a little caught up in the PR and trying to stay with the lead pack for the first 500 yards or so. Oh well, in a race as short as a 5k going out too fast doesn't necessarily trash your race like it could in a half marathon.

Hey look, I am on the Leaderboard!
The second mile was a struggle and part of it was running directly into the sun. That wasn't fun because despite it being only 50 degrees outside, it felt way too hot. By then I had settled into my own pocket with only me and some girl about my age 15 feet behind me. The mile time came in at 6:51, which is kind of what I wanted to run except in even splits. Oh well, as long as my overall was below that then my first mile wouldn't hurt me.

At this point I was very ready to be done. Those mile signs seemed to be coming so slow. In some ways a 5k can almost seem as long as a half marathon because the whole entire race you just feel like dying. I could tell my pace was dropping off but I didn't care too much, I was just trying to keep going as fast as I could without passing out. At some point that girl behind me passed me and I was more than okay with that. Just concentrating on running my own race. Alejandro fell off the lead pack and was now being hunted by that girl as well. He was about 45 seconds in front of me at this point.

All told that third mile was hard but probably not as hard as the first mile. I had settled into a "want to die but I can hold onto this" pace and could smell the finish line. The whole race my legs felt heavy which is not typical for a 5k. Normally my legs feel pretty good and my lungs are holding me back. My lungs were still the ones screaming this time, but my legs weren't quite there like I would have hoped. Oh well. Just keep on chugging. It was a slight uphill finish to the finish line. I picked up the pace a little and secured fifth place.

Once I crossed the finish line I doubled over and tried to catch my breath (counter productive, I know). Alejandro was sitting down near the finish line looking pretty drained. We were both exhausted. I was way more wiped than the Corvallis race a month before. I had left it all out there and was very proud of my effort. Eventually we were able to stumble our way back to the main post-race gathering area. They had laptops set up so you could look up your time right there on the spot so that was very cool. I saw that my time was 21:08, a new PR by 37 seconds. Awesome!

Overall a very successful race. I hated every second during the race, but that is typical with a 5k. Once you are done the feeling is great and I was on top of the world for the rest of the day. I had a shiny new PR by 11 seconds a mile. Improving that much in the 5K is a lot of work! I'm excited to do another 5k in a few months after more speed training and see if I can get a sub 21 minute race. The focus now is a new 10k PR at the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Day!

Overall results: 21:08, 6:48/mile. Mile splits: 6:29, 6:51, 7:09.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


Tomorrow morning is the first annual Rivalry Clash 5K at the Portland Expo Center. I stumbled upon this race because it was on Groupon for a discount, and I'm a sucker for a 5k at a discount. Actually, there was a 10k option as well, but I knew I wanted to focus on speed this winter so I went ahead and signed up for the 5k.

This race should be a lot of fun because it is all about Beavers vs. ducks (I cannot capitalize their name, it gives them too much respect). When you sign up for the race, you either have to sign up for the Beavers or ducks team. Before the race starts, each team lines up in separate corrals and then when the gun goes off you run right toward each other before merging and heading off on the same course (basically you start at a "T" in the road). So hopefully no punches are thrown! I think it should be a friendly good time.

Eventually the first 100 finishers or so score points for their team, and whichever college has the most points is crowned champion, which means pretty much nothing, but still, you want to beat them! So hopefully I'll be finishing in the top 100 and scoring points for the Beavers. Regardless, it should just be a good time and extra motivating if there is a dumb duck in front of me to beat.

The course should be pretty dang flat. It is at the Portland Expo Center and I previewed the course a little bit on Google and it will be very flat. A few tiny movements in elevation, but nothing major. Definitely the flattest 5k I have ran. My two best times so far have been in Corvallis and that course is far hillier than what will face me tomorrow.

Overall, I hope it run it hard and leave it all out there. This race was kind of a last minute deal and so I'm not too worried about it, but still want to have a good race.


A Goal: New 5K PR! 21:44 or less. I hope to achieve this, but I've only been interval training twice so I'm not entirely sure I'm any faster than before.

B Goal: Sub 22. This is 7:04/mile or less. Unless I feel like crap the morning, I think I can get this.

C Goal: Sub 24. While my main focus is sub 22, should something go wrong, just have fun and finish. While my muscle strain seems to be healing, it tends to rear up when I run fast, which I will be doing tomorrow. There is a reasonable chance it'll flair up and I'll have to ease off the gas.

Monday, October 28, 2013


The highlight of my run on Saturday. Don't act like you're not jealous.
Saturday I finally did my first long run since finishing the Portland Marathon. It seems like it has been forever, but it has only been three weeks. The weekend after the race I was recovering and just did a 10k, and last week I go busy and didn't run at all. So honestly it could be a lot worse! I had the chance to let my schedule ruin Saturday's long run, but I made it happen, even waking up earlier than I would like to get it in. So I am happy about that!

I ended up doing a half marathon for my long run. I was going to settle on 12, but was feeling guilty about skipping the long run the weekend before. I wasn't feeling super fresh and I think 15 would have been a bad decision first long run back (plus, I was pressed for time), so I settled on a half marathon. Can't do 13, have to do 13.1.

The run went really well. The highlight was running over a pedestrian bridge I normally run under. It's pretty sad how excited I was for that. So after adding the neighborhood navigation to make that happen I still had 11 miles. I was just going along at a nice pace, not too easy, not too hard. I had a football game to make at 1pm so I couldn't dilly dally too much.

Around mile six at a stop for water I made the decision to try and finish the half marathon in under two hours. I was currently on pace for about a 2:02 or so and would need to pick it up. I then proceeded to hit 5 out of the next 7 miles under 9:00 after averaging 9:15/mile to that point. I was worried about the Davies hill screwing things up but I managed to do that mile in 8:46.

The rest of the run was along the Fanno Creek Trail. I haven't run in there for a couple weeks since switching to the winter route at PRC and boy it is pretty in the fall! Shame it gets dark so early now, I would have really enjoyed running through there during October! By the time I do another long run most the leaves will be on the ground.

I was able to finish the half marathon with about 90 seconds to spare before hitting two hours. So I felt pretty accomplished that I was able to go under two hours on a relatively easy training run pace. I didn't tire too bad toward the end and certainly think I could have done two more miles without too much pain. So next run I'll shoot for 15!

After my 6:56 mile on Wednesday night and intervals the day after I have a muscle on my right butt area that is bothering me. It seems like a different one than I injured before Miami, but maybe it's the same one (both got pissed after speed focused runs). It seems to be running over a bone and almost 'catching' when I walk. I think it just got a little strained and is swollen. Should take it easy and ice it. 5k this weekend with PR as the goal!