Wednesday, July 31, 2013


1) Foam rolling. Would need a foam roller and the follow through to actually do it. Would help with recovery and soreness for sure.

2) Core workouts. Just in general I should, but then it also helps greatly with running. Helps keep your proper form even as you tire and whatnot.

3) Stretch more. I do stretch before and after I run, but it is very unstructured, and is mostly just me moving my body in random ways in no particular order.

4) Crosstrain. Right now all my exercise is basically running. I have a perfectly good bike I should be using.

Monday, July 29, 2013


A little slice of heaven. Our "home base" from the camping trip this last weekend.
This week was a "down" week in my marathon training, meaning I only had to run 12 miles this weekend. Wohoo! I still kind of feel like I ran 20, but I'll get into that in a little bit.

I mentioned in my last post that I felt like I was getting slower and I was frustrated with my paces recently. Most people going through marathon training probably go through the same thing. When I was just out running six miles and no more it was a lot easier to go near tempo pace all the time. Now I have long runs and need to let my body recover. Before that tempo speed was my "go to" speed when I started to run... now my go to speed is something around 9:00/mile.

Anyways, I needed to prove to myself that I still had that speed in me, so at run group Wednesday I announced I was going to have a fast run (basically, sorry, I am not going to stay behind and chat). Luckily, Alejandro was up for the challenge along with two girls from a local high school cross country team. We ran six miles and averaged 7:43 a mile. It was a challenge, but still very doable. I DO have it in me. It was a challenge but not really a struggle, if that makes sense. I felt great the next day too, no worse for the wear!

I planned to run again Thursday after work, but some stuff happened that didn't allow that to transpire. I was leaving to go camping on the piece of property my family owns on the Umpqua River with my family Friday morning and I was bringing along Brandon from Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Anyways, I ended up having to pick him up at 6pm Thursday night because there was no way picking him up in the morning would work. So that shot my run plans that night (I had him convinced to run 4 miles with me for about five minutes before TV sounded better to him).

So, anyways, I REALLY wanted to get that third weekday run in, so I ended up waking up at 7am Friday morning to run almost 5 miles. That is insane for me to wake up at 7am to run. Probably the first time I ever did that when it wasn't a race. I wish I could have enjoyed the beautiful morning more, but I slept on the floor because I gave Brandon my bed. Stupid mistake! I shouldn't be so nice, he's a kid, he can curl on the floor no problem. Me? I maybe got four hours of sleep and it wasn't good sleep. Anyways, that morning run was a death march but I got it done.

Once that was over we left to go camping and it was an AWESOME three days. Loved every minute of it. I even got a twelve mile run in along Garden Valley Road right near where we camped. The run went really well, I averaged 8:52 over the 12 miles and only had one mile over nine minutes. I didn't feel the greatest when I started the run (another night sleeping on the ground) but eventually I loosened up and had a great time. Was hitting sub-nine without too much effort.

I still kind of feel like I ran twenty miles though. Three straight nights of sleeping on the floor/ground and not a good night of sleep between them. My legs felt crampy the morning after my long run because I couldn't really stretch them out fully in my sleeping bag. Seven hours of sleep in my bed last night (heavenly!) but I think I needed about four more to feel refreshed. Anyways, my body is still kind of creaky and sore. Six miles at run group tonight. Yay?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


My twenty mile adventure on Saturday.
Well, my first 20 mile run is in the books. After doing 18 the weekend before, my legs didn't feel super fresh but honestly that was probably good training. They aren't going to feel super fresh on mile 23 of my marathon either. Just have to be careful not to overtrain and to keep stretching and doing other injury prevention measures.

The run went great for the first 18 miles. Seriously, it wasn't bad at all! Like I said, my legs weren't as fresh as the week before, but they didn't really act up until the very end. After getting pissed at myself last week for my average pace on the run I made a concerted effort to go a little bit faster this week. My average pace ended up being 9:30/mile which is just about right for a twenty mile run. In a weird twist (again), my third to last mile was my fastest at 9:06. No idea how that happened.

Shortly after that mile though it went all downhill. Not really in terms of time, those last two miles were still run at a decent clip for the run (9:36 and 9:39). I was in pain however. The run started to catch up with me around mile 16 or so, but for two miles it was just a slight annoyance, my body kind of saying "ummm, hi, I'm tired?" but I was able to run through it no problem. Somewhere around mile 18 my body started to really not like me. It was weird... my legs and muscles were sore and tired, yes, but nothing too crazy. It was more of a mental and energy break down.

I didn't hit the wall  but I certainly didn't fuel myself like I should have. Enough liquids, yes, but not enough calories. I only ate two packets of Gu and that is just not enough for 20 miles after a light breakfast. I need to buy some Shot Bloks or something, because those packets of liquid are just not appetizing more than two on a run. I had another one with me but couldn't bring myself to eat it. Another mile or two and I think I would have hit the wall. I just felt very tired and worn out.

The other part of the 'breakdown' was mental. I have never wanted to cry on a run before, but I did the last two miles of this run. I even tried to cry, thinking it would make me feel better. I couldn't though. I would just have a swell of emotion that would take ever and no way to really channel it. I did moan and grunt and be altogether unattractive though.

Anyways, when I hit 20 miles it was such a relief. Those last two miles SUCKED. I ended up sitting on a fire hydrant to rest a little bit and everybody driving by was looking at me like I was really weird. The .75 mile walk home seemed to take an hour. God that was torture. FINALLY I got home and went upstairs to take an "ice bath," which was just me filling the tub with as cold of water as it would give me. I always think about taking one but never do, so I guess me actually following through with it should you how unique this run was.

My legs hurt and the "ice bath" really did help them feel better. I am glad I did it. After grimacing in there for ten or fifteen minutes I drained the tub, stretched a little, then took a hot bath. That felt amazing. Overall I felt pretty good afterward. The next day I felt pretty good. The legs were definitely tired, but a good tired, not a pained or injured tired. Yesterday at run group though I definitely was still recovering because my average pace was 10:06/mile. It was a shuffle and I told myself to be okay with that. A "recovery jog" if you will.

Now I am going to start obsess about myself getting slower. All this marathon training and long runs mean I never feel very fresh and never really do many fast tempo runs anymore. I need to run marathon pace for an extended period of time, but I can't find a run where I feel good enough to do it without fucking up my next run. Really, my first marathon needs to be about building my mileage base and finishing. Once I am in marathon shape I can worry about speed training for a marathon. Still, I'm getting antsy.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Good picture posted by the race organizers of Brandon's finish last Sunday (and me trailing behind).
Last weekend I ran 18 miles on Saturday. It went GREAT. Seriously, it was one of those runs that you wish they could all be like! I mapped out a route from my house all the way to Tualatin Community Park and back. It's pretty cool to be able to run through four cities on your run, but I was able to do it (Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin, Durham). Just really funny to find myself in downtown Tualatin after starting at my house... you really can go far on your feet!

Overall the run took just slightly under three hours (without stoplight/water breaks). After starting in the 9:40s around mile 12 or so I found my times over 10:00 for consecutive splits, which is just too slow. If I am trying to run a marathon at 3:30 or 3:45 my long runs are going to have to be faster than that. Anyways, I kind of got frustrated at my pace and took it up a notch. My fastest mile was mile 16 at 9:09. Miles 15 & 17 were 9:23. So I picked up the pace and felt great. Really the whole run felt good.

Different sides of the sidewalk... totally a loop!
I only started to feel tired around mile 17 once I realized I had taken a wrong turn and was running away from my house. As soon as that happened I suddenly felt a lot more tired and achey. Kind of goes to show you there is certainly a mental part to this whole running thing. I ended up having to walk two miles home, but I think it was actually good for me. It was a nice warm down walk and likely helped in the recovery process because the next day at the 5K with Brandon I felt pretty dang good for running 18 the day before.

This weekend's "course" is an extension of the 18 I did last week, stretching it to 20 by going further south in Tualatin (to my parents' house actually). I was able to set aside my neurotic need for a "clean loop" (a pure loop where I never cross my own path) to take a stroll through Little Woodrose Nature Park, a park I used to run through back in the day before I was really a runner. I suppose I can suck it up and run that 100 foot trail into the park twice. Funny, I don't mind out and backs or crossing my path on most runs, but if I get the idea of a loop in my head, I really like to make it happen, even to the point of running on the other side of the road to avoid ground I have already been on. Sigh.

A link to the route I plan to run can be found here. This is my first ever twenty miler. This is the legendary mileage, the long run everyone dreads, the common "wall point," the reason people tremble when they first look at a marathon training plan. So this run will be one for the record books! Overall I am not too worried about it, it is just two miles more than my run last week and that went great. My legs do feel tired and not as fresh though, so I expect this run might be a little bit more of a struggle. We'll see.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Me, Brandon's Dad, and Brandon before the race.
Yesterday evening was the Outdoor Sunday Evenings 5K put on by the church by my house. The point of doing this race was to have my little brother Brandon from Big Brothers, Big Sisters do the race. Not only did he do it, he did awesome! I was (still am) very proud of him! His dad also did well for his first 5k but far below his expectations.

I picked Brandon up around 1pm Sunday, making sure he was in appropriate running attire. I could tell he was kind of nervous all afternoon with this giant three mile run looming ahead of him. To his credit, he took the race in stride and didn't complain too much. I got him to agree to a 5k in one of his better moods a few months ago, but I could tell it wasn't something he was necessarily looking forward to. The goal was to make it as fun as possible. Even walking a 5k is an accomplishment, so I let him know beforehand we were going to walk and that was okay. We'd just do our best!

About a quarter mile into the race... lookin' good!
We got to the race about an hour early and checked in. Turns out there were 180 runners, really the perfect size. Not too small, not too big. After that we just kind of hung around, checked out the final 500 yards or so of the race, and stretched. His dad was prepared to win the race and was trying to play it cool but you could tell he was nervous. Brandon admitted to being pretty nervous too. And despite not really running this race hard, I was nervous too! I usually get nervous before a race, but I wasn't really racing this one. I think I was just nervous because I wanted Brandon to do well and not have a negative experience.

Eventually we queued up and the "gun" went off. Brandon's dad had lined up in the front and shot to the lead. He led the race for the first 3/4ths of a mile or so before pulling a muscle and having to let up. Honestly, it was kind of what I expected. He had run the Thursday before with me and we did 10k at a 9/min pace. He did really well for not ever running for sustained periods of time. However, that was nothing compared to the 5:30/mi pace he tried running at the race and predictably he couldn't maintain. He was really down on himself... not sure if running is his sport just based on the fact he is one of those people that has to win. He ran/walked it in for a 26:25. Still, not bad!

At the beginning I warned Brandon to pace himself and he did a pretty good job of that. He still darted out a little fast and I had to reel him in a little bit. As planned, I paced us at about 9:00/mile. Brandon wanted to run 8:00/mile but I knew 9:00 was more realistic. Later on in the race I was probably doing 10:00/mile, just to keep him running as much as possible.

Anyways, he did really well for a while and we passed Libbie taking pictures about a quarter mile in without walking (thanks Lib!). Brandon needed his first walk break at about the half mile mark and that was more than okay with me. After about twenty seconds we picked it back up.

Almost to the finish!
The rest of the race was challenging Brandon to run as much as he could. We never ran another half mile without taking a break. We might have barely made it a quarter mile. I encouraged him to "attack" all the downhill portions and we did that pretty well. I had to restrain him from running up one hill... apparently at that moment he was feely spunky and started to bomb up it but I had to tell him to walk. That would have tuckered him out for a while!

We stopped at the aid station halfway through the course and had water. At one point Brandon thought we were almost in last place because he couldn't see many people behind us, and I had to explain how the race spreads out after a while and there were plenty of people behind us. It was funny how tired he was (he was really sweaty and panting) but then he'd have bursts of energy to jump and try and touch tree leaves and stuff. Kids.

Anyways, the kid was a champ. He had to take a lot of walk breaks but he always kept running again. I'd set little challenges ("let's start running at the stop sign and not stop until that big tree up there") and he met all of them. Eventually we found our way through the neighborhoods and back close to the church. The lure of the finish line was motivating for him and that last half mile or so had the least amount of walking since the first half mile.

Brandon burning me at the finish line.
Eventually we got near the finish line and he took off like a bat out of hell. He SPRINTED that thing in. I was behind him but he finished four seconds in front of me. Really impressed with him! He got a 36:49, and I was officially clocked at 36:53. We were 113th and 114th of out 180 respectively.

After catching our breath we got in line for food and got our free cheeseburger and a bag of chips. The cheeseburger was burnt to hell, but oh well, it was fine. We each ended up getting seconds too. A great deal for $10. Dad was still pretty perturbed at his performance and kept lamenting about the muscle he pulled. He vowed to heal up, practice, and do another race at some point.

The best part of the night? When Brandon was asked if he had fun. "Yes." Would he do it again? "Yes."

Mission accomplished.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


On Sunday I will be running a 5k but I will truly be taking this one easy. For reals easy. Swearsies. How am I going to restrain myself, you ask yourself? Simple... I'll be running with a 10 year old who has the stamina of a ninety year old emphysema patient. Okay, maybe it's a little bit better, but we aren't finishing this thing in less than 35 minutes. I will guarantee you that.

The race is the "Outdoor Sunday Evenings 5K" put on by a church right by my house. The ten year old is my Little Brother Brandon from Big Brothers, Big Sisters. You can read a little bit about him here, and then also read about the half mile race he did last year on this old post.

I signed up for this race about two months ago. His dad had seemingly taken an interest in my running and was always asking me about my upcoming races and how I was doing. He is a soccer player and very fast so I could tell he was curious to see how he'd stack up too. When I asked him if he wanted to do a race, he sort of lit up and said he would like to try. So the search for a 5K was on... the requirement... cheap. I was going to pay for all three of us, so I was lucky to find this little gem. $10 gets you the race, chip timing, and a free BBQ dinner afterwards. Score!

Proud after the Kid's Fun Run last year.
So I signed all three of us up. I signed Brandon up as well... while he doesn't want to dedicate himself to running, he has mentioned at times that he had fun at the Fun Run last year or that he'd like to try again. I realize he is not going to run the entire 5k, and probably won't even run half of it. I have been busy letting him know it's okay to walk and we are just doing it for fun. There should be plenty of people approaching it this way so he won't feel like a slacker at all. I just want him to have a good time and see how much fun races and running can be. His dad, meanwhile, has plans on winning the thing or at least placing in his age group. I don't know how realistic that is... he just plays soccer and hasn't ran for a sustained length of time. He'll probably shoot out of the gate and have problems pacing himself, but we'll see.

I thought a good goal for Brandon and I was under 40 minutes. That is about 13 min/mile. I figure we'd walk at 15 min/mile and run at 9 min/mile. We'd need to run 36% of the time then to hit that goal. Optimally we'd run the whole thing at like 12 min/mile, but I don't think he has the stamina or patience to shuffle along at that speed, but I'm going to really encourage him to take it easy so he doesn't burn himself out. The course is pretty hilly, so we are definitely going to walk any inclines and run the downhill portions. I'll have Endomondo going and be encouraging him... hopefully finishing in the goal time will be motivating to him.

Anyways, I'll post a report on that early next week. On Saturday I need to run 18 miles. That is going to suck. Good thing I'll be taking that 5k easy the next day! I'm also about in line for a new pair of shoes. My current shoes now have more miles on them than the first two pairs of running shoes I've tracked. They've held up a bit better than the last pair, I think because I'm running slower and longer on average. I have also concentrated on improving my form and not being such a "heel striker" like I have been. Anyways, I think I still got a couple weeks in these shoes. I can then switch to my new pair and then they'll have about 200 miles on them come marathon time.

Monday, July 08, 2013


Picture with some of the other half/full marathon finishers.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd ever win a race. Certainly not now, running a half marathon at 7:36/mile. Well, it happened. I just won my first (and probably only) race. I'm trying not to gloat too much because if you win a half marathon with a 1:39 obviously the field isn't great. You know what though? I won. I realize the field sucked, but hey, I won!

The race was the fourth and final marathon/half marathon of a four day running event dubbed the Quadzuki/Quadzilla. With the Fourth of July weekend being four days long for most people this year, it gave you a chance to run marathons or half marathons on four consecutive days if you wanted. That was a little crazy for me, so I just signed up for the one race on Sunday.

This meant 26 out of the field of 66 was running their fourth half marathon in 4 days. So obviously I was a lot fresher than those people for certain. Not sure if any of them would have beat me on fresh legs, but that is something worth mentioning. The rest of the field (40 people) apparently wasn't faster than me either. I didn't even really hit the goal I set for myself for the race but I ended up winning. So you know what? I get an A+. :)

I woke up around 6:15am for the 7:30am start. I only got about six hours of sleep after about three the night before so I was pretty tired. I think if I were more well rested I could have done a little bit better, but by the time I swung by Seven Eleven and bought a donut and Gatorade I was feeling pretty decent. After arriving packet pick up was a breeze and I was able to cheer for the start of the marathoners at 7:00am sharp. After some stretches and chatting with people I knew it was time for the race to start.

The course I did four times.
LAP ONE - THIS IS EASY! (24:38, 7:31/mi)

If you didn't read my preview of this race, you might not be aware the course was actually a 3.28 mile loop through Greenway Park on the Fanno Creek Trail. I run through there all the time so I was very familiar with the terrain. I'll just give my time for each lap and then post the actual mile times at the bottom.

The race started and I was stuck behind a clump of people right at the beginning. We were all clumped on a sidewalk so I just kind of shuffled along at 9:00/mile biding my time. Eventually after twenty seconds or so it opened up and I was able to get the speed I wanted. I settled right into my goal speed pretty easily (7:30/mile) and was feeling pretty decent.

I ended up working my way to the lead after about half a mile. At least, I thought I was in the lead because I didn't really see anyone in front of me except marathoners already on the course. Unless a fasthole really shot off at the beginning (again, I was stuck in the clump) I was probably in first place. Yes, the thought of winning the race did cross my mind. I knew the field was smaller but I thought for sure some fasty would have to beat me.

A woman I assumed was in her early thirties ended up catching up to me about a mile in (turns out she was 45... super impressive!). We get to chatting and she's wondering if we are at the front and I respond that I think so. She asked me how fast I planned to run it and I said 7:45s just to be conservative. She said that's about what she was planning too. Anyways, we exchanged a few other items about the course layout and whatnot and eventually she settled into a step or two behind me. I had competition.

The first lap really flew by and before I knew it we were headed back to the start line to complete the lap. The race ended up being chip timed so it was really easy, no tag to pull or lap to mark, just run through the sensors. I ran through it without issue. I hear the lady slip and fall behind me when she runs through. It didn't sound too bad and there were a ton of people at the start/finish line to help out so I just kept running. I kind of felt like an ass, but I was running my race and there were plenty of people to help her.

LAP TWO - STILL PRETTY EASY! (24:47, 7:33/mi)

Random picture someone else took
during the race.
After the lady fell I was more or less by myself the rest of the race. I was passing people all the time, the course had a couple out and backs and you shared the trail in two directions at some points, so I was always passing someone and saying hi but for the most part, I was on my own and still feeling pretty good.

About 4.50 miles in I saw the lady who fell on an out-and-back portion and told her something to the effect of "glad you're okay!" as I passed her. She yelled back "Yup. I'll catch up to you in a little bit!" which played with my mind a little bit. A small part of me took it as trash talk even though I KNOW she didn't mean it that way. I knew that, but I used it to try and motivate myself to keep my pace up and not get complacent. I knew she was back there determined.

So the next nine miles or so were me neurotically looking over my shoulder and having visions of her blowing by me at some point. I have to admit, I was scared she was going to catch me and kept envisioning her back there, plotting my demise as she closed in. Yikes! Through two laps I was still feeling pretty good. I knew if I kept this pace up she'd have to be running sub 7:30s to catch me. She was probably 200 yards behind me on this lap.


I started to feel the pace catching up with me on this lap. Somehow it ended up being faster than lap two though. I was really pushing myself at this point and I began to feel worn down a little bit. Nothing too bad, but it wasn't the free and easy feeling of the first two laps.

First of all, at that same out and back where I saw the lady before she was now CLOSER to me when we met up again. A couple "good jobs" were exchanged but nothing else this time. She had definitely made up about 50 yards and ate into my lead. I think I was starting to slow down at that point but seeing her inch up made me put my foot on the gas again. I busted it for a couple miles. I was starting to get really tired but kept reminding myself she would tire too and I had a chance to win a fucking race.

After eating a Gu at the end of lap two I had planned to eat another one at the end of this lap. I didn't end up doing it. I was in full on "hold on and beat the girl that is stalking me like a lion stalking a gazelle" mode. I started to run all sorts of scenarios during the lap. What I would do if I won the race? Would I fist pump? Would I do the 'airplane' through the finish? What if she caught up to me? Did I have it in me to sprint? No, no I didn't. She better not catch up or I'm fucked. If she beats me, no shame. I'm still first place male. There's a plaque for that right?

I was so intent on not losing any ground I wasn't even going to stop at the water station on this last lap. I had stopped the previous two times (it was right by the finish) but didn't want to waste any time to let her catch up (yes, being in the lead plays with your head!). Anyways, I ended up stopping because when I turned around I still didn't see her coming up to complete her lap. So I knew I still had some time. I chugged a water down and then threw one over my head.


Much of the Fanno Creek Trail course looked like this.
After really picking it up the last lap getting all paranoid about getting caught I started to tire on the final lap. I was ready to get this thing over, winning it or not. I always break down the last two miles of a half marathon... I was hoping that would change with my recent high mileage runs, but apparently not. I still averaged 7:47/mile on that last lap though, so you know what, that's not even that bad.

At that same point in the course the stalker lady was now farther away from me that she was last time. Hallelujah! I think she was getting tired just like me. She probably picked it up a little trying to catch me but ended up not being able to maintain it. That really encouraged me at that point. I knew I had less than a 5k to go and I just had to hold on. I still wasn't 100% sure I was winning the thing... there was still a chance a fasthole darted out, but I was fairly certain I was in first.

Those last couple miles included a lot of closing my eyes for a few steps (you know, to save energy) and OCD-like checking of the course to make sure nobody was approaching me. Not that I was in any condition to out sprint them or something. Anyways, I was very much alone at this point in the race, I didn't seem to be passing many people. It was just me and my body, willing it those last few miles to the finish. I knew my speed was dropping off but I was still pretty sure I'd PR.

Finally I approached the finish, which included going up a small hill. At the top of the hill Libbie was waiting for me and said "You are in first place and are going to PR. SPRINT!" and sprint I did. Into the finish line I rolled. There was no airplane or other celebratory action, just exhaustion and relief I was done. My official time was read out to me and I was told I had won the race. Awesome!


The lady ended up crossing about a minute and a half after me. I congratulated her and asked what happened. She said the mat was wet and she slipped as she crossed after that first lap. She tweaked her knee a little and spent about a minute stretching/waking it off after falling and then it felt good enough for her to continue. Sounds like the adrenaline might have helped make it not really hurt for the rest of the race but she probably felt it the next day.

Honestly, I was lucky she tripped, because otherwise I think she more or less would have stayed with me. I think I was a couple seconds a mile faster than her, but she would have been within striking distance and if she had enough in her to sprint at the end she could have beat me. Although, I think the adrenaline of winning a race would have allowed me to really sprint at the end if I had to.

Post race with the woman who chased me all race.
I WON A RACE! It was exciting, no doubt. I got a plaque and lots of congratulations. I knew it was a crappy field, but still, I felt good. Most runners will never win a race, even if they are much faster than me. It really takes a perfect set of circumstances. I just happened to get them this day. I also PRed by nine seconds.

That's about it. I cheered on some finishers and hung around for a while and then eventually found my way home. I'd be sore the next day from the race but any pain was well worth it.

Here is a link to the official results. Just so you can see me in 1st. Pretty, isn't it?

I hope to have pictures from the actual race soon but wanted to get this post up ASAP, so I'll follow up with those later.

Official Results: 1:39:40 (PR), 7:36/mile. 1/66 overall. 1/24 male.

Mile splits: 7:34, 7:28, 7:32, 7:37, 7:24, 7:43, 7:32, 7:34, 7:25, 7:39, 7:50, 7:44, 7:54.

Friday, July 05, 2013


The 3.28 mile loop I'll do 4 times.
On Sunday I will be partaking in the Stars and Stripes Half Marathon in my current town of Beaverton. A post about how I ended up running this race can be found here. A big shout out to all my friends who ran the Foot Traffic Flat yesterday morning... I should have been there, but oh well. You all did awesome! :)

This race should be pretty flat and a great chance to set a PR. The route is a 3.28 mile loop through the Fanno Creek Trail, a place I run all the time (each Monday and Wednesday at group run, then often on the weekends during my long run). It will be a small race, I believe it is capped at 100 runners, so it will be pretty unique. The full and half marathoners will be on the course at the same time at various points in their loop journey so I'll just have to focus on myself and my own pace.

After each loop you run by the "home base" where they mark your lap down and there is also an aid station. I have a feeling this process might add a little bit of time to my race. I assume they'll be able to mark my lap down pretty quick assuming I don't come in with a bunch of runners, so hopefully that won't be an issue. Since I only get three pit stops during the race though the aid station might take a tad longer. I'll probably plan to eat a Gu as I'm rolling into the station since those always make me super thirsty.

Aside from the slightly longer and more spread out pit stops, I think I'll be able to attack this race pretty well. I'll have two days of rest before hand. I ran on the Fourth of July for 6.41 miles and took it very easy. I'll take today and Saturday off then attack the race on Sunday.


A Goal: An average pace of 7:30/mi or less. This translates to 1:38:20 or less for the half marathon. Maybe this is a bit much, but I feel like if I give it 110% I can get this.

B Goal: New half marathon PR. 1:39:48 or less. Honestly, the whole point of doing this race is to PR, so I'll be bummed if I don't get this.

C Goal: Beat my first half marathon at 1:42:32. Finish without getting hurt.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


I'm going to try to update a little bit more so every post isn't a novel. Anyways, last week I only ran 24 miles and that 'rest week' was really beneficial. I was starting to feel really run down and after taking it easy last week I have a new pep in my step, even after the grueling 11 mile run on Saturday.

Monday at the PRC Group Run I was feeling pretty good but it was 95 degrees. After taking it easy for the first five miles, Alejandro and I took off and run a 7:35 mile. In 95 degrees. It actually wasn't too bad and actually kind of fun to challenge ourselves. He is training for the Portland Marathon as well and we are pretty much matched at the same speed, so we end up running together a lot and pushing each other like that.

Today was a much cooler 85 degrees (kidding... sort of). I ended up doing the first five miles easy again before taking off on the last. 7:39 final mile. That felt much easier than the "fast mile" on Monday. That is my goal pace for the half marathon I have coming up on Sunday so it was nice to finish that mile and still be feeling pretty good and not out of breath or anything.

I'll do a 10k tomorrow on the Fourth of July (no work!) and then rest until my half marathon on Sunday. I'll have a preview of that soon!

Monday, July 01, 2013


A picture of the trail on my high elevation run on Saturday in 84 degree heat.
Last Saturday I had one of my more memorable long runs. I was in Sunriver, Oregon on a short trip with some running pals for the Pacific Crest Sports Festival. While I didn't partake in any of the events like some on the trip, I was definitely inspired to next year. This festival is amazing and is a "can't miss" type event that brings in athletes from all over the western states. It is a three day long festival with just about every event you can imagine... 5/10k, half marathon, full marathon, two lengths of triathlon, two lengths of duathlon, bike races, kids races, etc. Really, really awesome with a big athletes village hopping at all times of the day.

The challenging part of competing in Sunriver is the elevation. I didn't really think of it before I started running on Saturday, but you are at 4200 feet in elevation and man is it noticeable. I will no longer poo-poo people talking about exercising at elevation... it is HARD. My friend Matt and I set out to run on a trail near the cabin we were renting. I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised at how nice the trail was. Absolutely beautiful and it was packed dirt so it was easy on the legs. Some rocks to dodge but nothing major.

Like I said, the most difficult thing was the elevation. We were only running at a 10:00/mile pace but I was breathing like I was running an 8:00/mile. I lost my breath about a minute into the run and didn't get it back until hours after. Seriously. You'd take deep breaths and you couldn't catch your breath. You'd slow your speed to catch your breath but be unable to. It was crazy. When we'd stop to navigate I'd be gasping for air with my heart going was faster than I am used to. All at a 10:00/mile pace! It was insane. My legs felt fine but my lungs were burning and would for hours after.

"Psychedelic" asparagus we found on the run.
Not only was the oxygen in short supply (85% of what I am used to I later found out), but it was HOT. It was only 84 degrees, but I ran at 1pm (genius) and there wasn't a ton of shade on the route. Plus, this is technically a desert, so it was a really intense heat. Thankfully I had water with me, otherwise I probably would have died out there. Really intense to be in that heat and unable to catch your breath. I love me a challenge though.

Matt dropped off after one lap (5.5 miles) so I did the last half of the 11 miles by myself. The last 3 miles or so were pretty grueling as the heat and lack of oxygen were getting to me. I originally planned to "fart around" for a while to hit 12 miles, but as soon as I got to the end of the loop I stopped the watch right at 11 miles. Absolutely brutal but absolutely beautiful. One for the memory banks and a great accomplishment!

Final Run Stats: 11.01 miles in 1:50:14. 10:00/mile. First lap: 54:08, second lap: 56:06.