Monday, September 30, 2013


The course, same as always. I really like this run... slight uphill to start and then downhill to the finish.
Are any of you surprised I ended up actually racing this event and almost PRing? No? Neither am I. I set out to "take it easy" but had a feeling that I would feel decent enough and end up running harder than I planned. That is exactly what happened, although I still felt I was only going 95%. I had no intentions of being that close to a PR. It was kind of similar to the Pints to Pasta race a few weeks ago... went in having no expectations and was seconds away from getting a new record.

So Libbie and I left around 7:20am. Last year we left at 6:55am. This year I just didn't care as much. Libbie had forgotten about the race and I basically forgot it too. I remembered early on in the week, then it just kind of slipped my mind, and then on Saturday I remembered again. The weather was (still is) TERRIBLE outside. We are in the middle of the worst rain/wind storm I can remember in years. It is like a mini-hurricane out there. Anyways, I half expected us to just say "fuck it" to the 75 minute journey each way. We ended up doing it though and I am glad we did!

We got there just a few minutes before registration was closing. After getting our bibs, I ran my t-shirt back to the car in a little warm up jog. By the time I got back to the start the race was 3 minutes from starting. Cutting it close! It was good though, I didn't have much time to think or stress about possibly hurting myself. We noticed there was no timing mat at the start line... so all times were gun times. Turns out looking back this was the case in 2012 too. In 2011 they had a mat at the beginning and chip times. Kind of weird, because the race was chip timed, just at the end though.

Libbie and I at the finish line.
When the bell went off I went into what I felt was around a 7:30/mile pace. Not surprisingly, it ended up being faster, but I was feeling pretty good. It wasn't too hard and I was in the top 15 people or so. I was paying special attention to my recent muscle strain in the buttular region. Fortunately, I couldn't feel a thing which made me feel confident. The feeling of anything being wrong down there had definitely faded the previous couple of days, so not having it feel like anything at all was great. The only real pain I was having was what felt like shin splints in my left leg. I had played indoor soccer for over two hours on Friday night and was a little banged up from that, so I believe that was the culprit.

The mile one marker came right as my phone read off the first mile time. Rarely are they synced that perfectly. 7:05 mile. Certainly a little slower than my 6:50 some odd mile last year, but right near the 7:00/mile overall PR pace. Just hold onto 7:05s and I would get about 22 minutes. Perfect. I kept running, feeling more and more confident. There are some light uphills... didn't bother me a bit. There was some puddle dodging due to the weather, but nothing too bad. Eventually I hit the mile two marker, which again, was right where my phone said it would be. 7:01. Alright!

So at this point I know I'm just above record pace and having a good race. I didn't really feel the need to push it, so I just kept my pace up. At one point there was a giant puddle in the way of the optimal course line. Everybody was running around it, probably adding 20 yards to their distance. I made the decision to just plow through it. I got wet but based on the fact I was now ahead of people who were in front of me before, it was worth it. My lungs were burning but my legs felt great, the way a 5k should feel.

Eventually there was a small hill up the Memorial Union (not a problem) and then I knew it was the home stretch. I picked up my pace a little. I tried to attack the downhill portion as much as I could but couldn't really go all out because I was scared of hurting myself, either due to over exertion or slipping on the wet ground covered with leaves. So I reeled myself in a little for long term survival. I hit mile three with a 7:00 mile on the nose. Into the finish I rolled. I couldn't see the clock until I had about 15 yards to go and saw that I would be a few seconds short of a PR. Oh well.

Depsite missing tying my PR by 5 seconds (I ran a 21:50, compared to 21:45 last year) I wasn't disappointed at all. I ran a great race and most importantly didn't injure myself. Last year I was WIPED at the finish line and it took me a few minutes to even come to my senses. This year I was pretty much fine as soon as I stopped running. Heavy breathing for 30 seconds yes, but coherent and able to thank the volunteers. Had there been no marathon next weekend and I was able to flip the switch from "Hard Effort" to "Balls to the Wall Leave it All Out There" mode I have no doubt I would have PRed.

So that was really encouraging! For doing nothing but long distance training the last 6 months I am still getting stronger in the shorter races too. Once I am recovered from the marathon I'd like to sign up for a 5K and maybe try to set a new PR. We'll see. Overall I was very encouraged with this race and glad we battled the elements to get it done! This is the race where all this running mumbo jumbo started so I always enjoy coming back here to pay tribute!

Official Results: 21:50, 7:02/mile. 16/303 overall. 11/101 all males, 2/14 M25-29.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I'll be getting the red/black one for Christmas!
I am feeling a little more positive about my butt strain (or whatever you want to call it). I ran with my running group last night, 6 miles at an 8:30/mile pace and it didn't hurt at all. It was more of a dull ache, but that was the way it felt all day. Our course at run group is pretty flat so I definitely think it is bothered by ups/downs. The minor up I did have to do to get back to the store after six miles went okay, but that was only like 10 strides or so. I could tell if it was extended my backside would have probably acted up.

Other runners at the group didn't seem too concerned with my injury. Apparently it is common and something they have dealt with. You just try not to tweak it or do activities that flare it up (hills) and eventually it heals up. I should ice it but need to buy an ice pack or something. The Portland Marathon course is pretty flat, spare a sizable hill at mile 16 and then a decent downhill around mile 22. So hopefully it'll heal up some by then and the course won't aggravate it.

With any injury though, the more exhausted your muscles become, even just those surrounding it, the more likely it is going to act up. So I am worried that even if the marathon was completely flat, around mile 16 or so that it would act up. Oh well, we'll see. Hopefully all will be well. Yesterday's run was encouraging, along with the runs in Miami where I didn't feel a darn thing.

This weekend I have a 5k. Really terrible timing, but it is the Corvallis Fall Festival run, which was my first ever race. So it is kind of a tradition to do it every year now. This will only be my third time, but it is where all this running madness started. Last year I set my 5K PR there, but this year that won't happen. I was maybe going to try to go for a PR and get a speed workout in, but with this butt injury that would be stupid. So I'll likely just run it sorta fast and shoot for 7:45/mi or so. We'll see.

In other news, my parents have agreed to buy me the Garmin Forerunner 220 for Christmas. It is their new model watch coming out in late October. Thanks to a link on RunsForCookies they were able to preorder and get a discount. I was having a hard time buying myself a watch since my phone does basically the same thing, but I am so excited to finally get a watch. Only three months away! If I were a kid, that'd be forever, but I know Christmas will be here before I know it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


So the night before I left for Miami I did a 5k, figuring I'd get my "speed" workout in. I did the 5k at 7:45ish a mile over the 5k course by my house like I had done dozens of times before without incident. Well, for whatever reason, I seem to have pulled a muscle on that run and could feel it around 1.5 miles. I finished the run because it was a pretty low level ache and honestly I didn't think much of it.

Fast forward to my Miami runs. I didn't feel the strain AT ALL. Both runs. Ran the first run at 8:45, nary a peep. The long run I didn't feel it at all. Not a twinge, not a dull ache, nothing. Honestly, I forgot I had "hurt" myself.

Okay, now last night. I go out for a 10k run at my usual 8:45 "normal speed" run pace. Feeling great until about mile 1.5. Then that muscle starts acting up again. When I first started I felt like I was flying I felt so good. It was crisp and 52 degrees out and after Miami that felt amazing. So I was in a really positive place. Then, the muscle goes "remember me?"

It seems to be really irritated with elevation change. Running uphill hurts it the most, but downhill also irks it. Flat running doesn't seem to bother it, and that might make sense because Miami was all flat. Anyways, I got through the run making sure to just take it really easy on the ups/downs and when it felt like whatever I was doing was hurting it, I would throttle back. The strain is in my lower right buttcheek. I am not sure it is a glute because it seems low in the cheek and to the outside. Maybe I should WebMD that.

The marathon is 11 days away. The good news is it seems to be a pretty low level strain and something I could run through on marathon day. The bad news is that my training will be comprimised these last few crucial days. I don't know if I should just stop running or just run and take it easy. I think I'm going to try running easy at my run group today and then ice it afterward.

Anyways, that's the update. I really hope this heals quickly. It is a low level strain but it is enough that it could really screw up my race.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


A picture from about mile 10 of my 12 mile run on Sunday. I meant to take more pictures, but I had to have my phone
in a Ziploc because it was so humid and wet. This was a really pretty run!
I'm back! My trip to Florida was successful... I had a TON of fun and also got my two runs in. It'll be tough to get back into my work/run routine, but I'll do so starting today because I have a race in less than two weeks. A certain little marathon I've been training for since April.

My flight for Miami left at 5:45am Thursday morning. Those flights always seem like such a good idea when you are booking them ("I get into Miami at 4pm!") but when the reality of a 3:30am alarm hits you in the face it kind of sucks. I ended up getting three hours of sleep and kind of nodded off on that first flight so I was basically good to go.

That first night we didn't do too much. Went out to dinner at a very good Chinese place, then did a night swim in the ocean. That was a ton of fun and my first official dip in the Atlantic Ocean. We then stayed up until about 2:30am drinking and catching up. After three hours of sleep that wasn't the best idea, but luckily the next day was just a "lay on the beach" day so everyone just got up at their own pace and wandered toward the beach. I woke up last (surprise) and then headed out for a run at 11:30am up toward North Beach.

View during the Venetian Islands portion of my long run.
The run was along Collins Avenue, then onto a stretch of paved boardwalk for about a mile, then through a park for maybe half a mile, then just a little bit more on Collins before turning around. There is a nice stretch of paved boardwalk down in South Beach, but I knew we'd be going there later so I decided to explore the northern part. It was a nice little run that clocked in at about 10k. The weather was pretty sunny and very humid but there was enough shade and ocean breeze I didn't get too overheated. I ended up averaging 8:40/mile without trying too hard. I was definitely hot and sweaty when done, much more so than a usual run.

My next run was on Sunday after a day at the waterpark Saturday. I ended up going to bed around 2:30am and woke up at 8:30am, so I got a decent amount of sleep. Everyone else stayed up until 5am(!) but I was determined to not screw my run up. I ended up getting out the door pretty much on schedule at 9am and commenced my long run.

The weather was hotter than my first run, but cloudier. I couldn't decide if this was better or worse. Overall, I'll take the cloudier weather because the Venetian Islands were pretty exposed and most of the run was near water which meant a decent breeze. I really like the route I planned out and had a really good time running in a new place. Crosswalks didn't pose as much as a pain as I thought... sure I had to stop at about ten along the way, but there was lots of jaywalking in Miami so unless it was a busy road I just crossed when it was safe. Had to dart across the road a couple times because Miami doesn't like to put sidewalks on both sides of the street apparently, but nothing too bad.

My 12 mi route. If I lived here I think
this would be a common long run.
Overall my run to the Venetian Islands and back was a lot of fun. Not to be too graphic, but this was day four of the trip and I hadn't had a 'movement' yet. I always get that when traveling and was worryed it would hit me during the long run where I didn't have a place to relieve myself. Luckily around mile 9.5 it hit right around a Shell station so I was able to stop and take the Cleveland Browns to the Super Bowl. I felt so much better after that. I felt really strong those last few miles. This 12 mile run in 90 degree weather with 90% humidity wasn't bad at all. Really encouraging! Ended up averaging a tick under 9:30/mile.

Later that day we went on a jetboat tour of Miami, did South Beach, and drove through different areas of the city. That night was the last night of the trip and we ended up staying up until almost 5am. The next morning we woke up and had a BBQ on the beach and swam before it was time to go home!

Overall impressions... being a runner in Florida would be hard! You'd have to really plan your runs at times when you wouldn't die. I feel very blessed to live in such a good running climate. I did see a decent amount of other runners, but apparently being friendly isn't their forte (East Coast thing?). I would say "hi" to everyone like I normally do, and got maybe an 8% response rate. Also, you are SOAKED from head to toe when done. I had trouble getting my shirts off they were so plastered to my body. At one time I almost panicked because it was trapped over my head and I could barely breathe. Anyways, it was fun to experience, but having to run in that full time would really test my love of running.

Amazingly fun trip! Loved Miami but still glad I live where I live.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Like I mentioned, I will be going to Miami on Thursday and will be there through next Monday, flying back at 11pm at night. I have a friend who lives right on Miami Beach in a condo. I'm not sure what exactly we'll do, I'm leaving that to him (a couple other friends will be there too) so I'm just along for the ride. Two people on the trip are pretty broke so I'm guessing just a lot of bumming on the beach during the day and partying back at his place at night. Sounds good to me. Unlike the Oregon Coast, you can actually swim in their water! Plus, it'll be my first time swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.

The challenge on this trip will be getting my runs in. I'm determined to get a six mile run, which will probably be Friday. Then, I have to get my long run in, so I'll plan on doing that either Saturday or Sunday, whichever will work better with whatever we are doing. I'll end up going 12 miles, so it shouldn't be too bad. That's probably all the runs I will do. I do have visions of doing another run Sunday or Monday morning if I do my long run Saturday, but I'm not going to force myself to do that. I'm probably not going to feel super swift in the morning, so dragging my butt out the door for two runs should be enough of a victory.

Last time I was in Florida was 2005 for FBLA Nationals.
Tubby Thomas is back right in the white shirt and red tie
I've already mapped my routes and I'm really excited! My six mile run is just a little jaunt, some along the beach, the rest along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Shouldn't have too many car distractions. I thought Miami would have a paved boardwalk I could run on for miles, but no such luck. There are small strips of paved trail, but mostly the trails are sand. Sand running is hard and can easily lead to injuries, so I'm not even going to attempt that. My twelve mile run will be a adventure off Miami Beach onto something called the Venetian Islands... they look cool, so I'll be headed there and back.

Mostly I am worried about two things. First, getting lost. I've printed maps, gave myself turn by turn directions, and will have my phone with me. So I can't get too lost. I just get really annoyed when I can't find my way though, so hopefully it won't be too hard. Secondly, I am scared of the weather. It is very hot and humid there (duh) so I'll be battling that. Even at 8am it's almost 80 degrees with 90% humidity. Being that I am from Oregon, that might kill me. I think I'll try to get them done in the morning though before it gets too redonkulous.

This will probably be my last post until I am back from Florida early next week. I'll let you know how it goes unless an alligator gets me!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Last Saturday's 16 mile route.
Oh hai. I ended up running 16 miles with the Portland Marathon Clinic on Saturday morning. I was pretty sure I'd talk myself into 20, but right before we started the run I remembered I was going to a Portland State football game that was going to compress my timeframe. I ended up doing 16 and I think that was the smart choice. My body still felt a little run down from the 20 the weekend before and the 10k race the day after. Add in 17 weekday miles, 12 of them probably ran too fast, and my body wasn't feeling 100%.

Anyways, the run went well. We started at Lululemon in NW Portland and then just ran down to the waterfront, across the Steel Bridge, and hooked into the East Bank Esplanade. Followed that all the way to the Sellwood area, then popped on the Springwater Corridor Trail. Nothing special really. It was an out and back route so there were two aid stations we were able to hit going each way, for a total of four breaks at miles 4, 7, 9, and 12. The aid stations weren't as extravagant as before, but each had water, electrolyte drink, and Skittles. I ate about 500 calories of Skittles.

The 3:30 leader wasn't there this week so we just paced ourselves as a group. Going out we were doing about a 9:45 clip, same as last week. At 8 miles some continued on to the 10 mile mark so they could do 20, while the rest of us turned around. After we turned around we picked it up as a group and those last 8 miles ended up being done at a 9:20 pace (we had an 8:58 mile... oops!). On the way back I started to feel a little sore and worn down and by 16 was ready to be done, but nothing too bad. I think it would have been stupid to go 20 though, so I'm glad I wanted to get done early so I could make the kickoff of the football game.

Me thinking about the Portland Marathon.
The marathon is getting so close. Yikes! Just TWO more training weekends and then the race. I start to get nervous and flip out if I begin thinking about it. Ahhhh, even right now typing I'm freaking out a little. I'm so looking forward to it but at the same time dreading it. I can't wait to cross the finish line and feel that accomplishment... the four hours before that though... I could do without. :)

This weekend I am going to Miami to see some friends. That will screw with my training a little bit. I'm flying in Thursday morning and flying out Monday night. I plan to run 6 either Thursday or Friday, 12 on Saturday or Sunday, and then maybe try to throw another 6 in there somewhere. I have told everyone (nobody else runs) that I NEED to run and made a giant deal about it, so they will need to work with me. I didn't train all this time to slack off two weeks before the big day.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013


My pace group rolling into the 20 mile finish. Notice me back right looking miserable.
Last Saturday morning I awoke at 6:15am in order to get to Willamette Park by 7:30am so I could join the Portland Marathon Clinic for one of their weekly free training runs. This was a special run they have each year where they bus you to a mystery location and then you run back twenty miles to the park and they have brunch ready for you.

I kind of feel like an idiot for not joining these people sooner. My complaint is their starting times (usually 8:00am, meaning wake up 7:15am), which don't jive well with me not being a morning person. However, not being able to sleep in is a small price to pay for what ended up being a really fun run. Now, I wouldn't do all my runs with them (they run every April to October), but in the summer when sleeping in just means a hotter, more painful run, they are certainly a good option.

70% of the 3:30 pace group after the run.
Three school buses were waiting for us and we left at 7:30am sharp. They ended up bringing us all the way to another Willamette Park, this one in West Linn. After allowing everyone to use the restroom if we needed, they broke us into pace groups and we started on our way. I think they had a pace group for just about every 10 minutes (certainly in the 3:XX hour marathon groups, maybe 15 minute intervals for the slower groups). Alejandro and I joined the 3:40 group and off we went.

Since the route was hilly and they are big fans of doing 'slow' long runs anyway, we were running about a 10:20/mile pace. It felt a little slow. I understand the point is to just get miles in, but Alejandro and I were both getting a little itchy to run faster. There was an aid station about 3.75 miles in where we caught the 3:30 group briefly and we decided to join them instead. They ended up running about 9:50/mile which was perfect.

A pace group enjoying the last aid station at mile 16.
The aid stations! These were awesome! There were four along the course and each was stocked with water, electrolyte drink (the brand and flavor they will be using in the Portland Marathon, so you can make sure it's okay on your tummy), candy, pretzels, etc. Absolutely amazing to run into these. At the first aid station I ate so many Mike and Ike I got a little sick to my stomach. I might have burned 2600 calories on the run, but ate 1000 back in the aid stations. Regardless, they really helped keep me motivated and were amazing to have.

Oh, the run itself? It went pretty well. The 3:30 group was full of really fun people and most the way there were interesting conversations going. Kind of kept your mind off the run. The course was a little hilly, but not too bad. We were going real easy so I was feeling pretty good until the final little part there. We ran all the way from West Linn to almost downtown Portland, then looped back along the waterfront to Willamette Park. Awesome to think we covered that entire way!

I was feeling pretty good until about mile 18 or so, when we were running along the waterfront, exposed in the direct sun, slogging our way back. Those last two miles did suck, BUT, they were the best last two miles of any 18+ mile run I've had. In terms of 20 mile runs, this one sucked the least, and each one has gotten less sucky. So I am improving! Overall the company and easy pace made this twenty mile run pretty manageable. I even almost set a 10K PR the next day, so that should tell you I didn't completely ruin my body. The brunch after was great too.

The PMC group has another free run next weekend I will be going to. This one is a choice between 16 or 20 miles. I am almost tempted to try 20 again in order to be as prepared as possible, but I think I'll play it by ear Saturday morning. I certainly wouldn't attempt it if I were running alone, but with the company and aid stations I might give it a try. We'll see. If not, I still did three 20 mile runs before my first marathon, which is more than many first timers.

20.19 miles in 3:21:38. 9:59/mile.

Monday, September 09, 2013


The race route through Portland.
Well, I just couldn't contain myself and ended up basically racing this event the day after a twenty mile training run (post to follow about that). I felt surprisingly good after that twenty mile run and when the gun went off I still thought I would just "have fun" but my legs responded well enough and there were so many targets to catch in front of me I just couldn't contain myself. I ended up 12 seconds from a 10K personal record.

My alarm went off at 6:15am, my second straight day of waking up at that time for running. If you know me, you know I am not a morning person, so the fact that I am waking up at 6:15am to run tells you how severe my running sickness has become. Thomas of three years ago would have slapped me upside the head. Despite the early hour, I was feeling pretty decent. After longer runs my legs normally feel sore and achy and completely used, but this morning they only felt "not fresh" and much better than expected.

I was running this race with Laurel, so she swung by at 6:45am and we trucked it near the Old Spaghetti Factory to park. We then had to walk a really long way to catch the shuttle to the start line, as it is a point to point race. At the start line they had drinks and food (bagels and cream cheese), which I thought was a really nice touch. I didn't have any breakfast so I ate half a bagel and cream cheese. Yum!

Before we knew it the race was starting. This race had pacers, which was kind of unique for a 10k. Like the Helvetia Half though, it wasn't implemented real great at the starting line. The pacers were all bunched together when they needed to be spread out through the whole corral so people could get in the right starting spot. I didn't care and hung toward the back of the pack. I was running this for fun anyways.

When the "gun" went off we started to shuffle forward. Some people were getting really anxious because we walked almost the whole way to the start line because it was so crowded. Normally I would have been one of those people trying to jog, getting frustrated, trying to find a hole, etc. I was content just to walk and even walked across the timing mat before I started to jog. I was just running for fun, right?

Well, pretty soon I am jogging and then picking it up into more of a run. The course goes downhill for a lot of the first mile, so it felt pretty easy. My legs are responding really well... they were not hurting at all and had more spring than I would have thought. I pass the 10:00/mile pacer. That was kind of fun. Wow, there are a lot of people ahead of me. I bet I can pick some of them off.

And so it went. The first two miles are mostly downhill and that really helped me ease into the race and the pace I wanted. By the end of the second mile I have passed the 9:30 and 9:00 pacers. The 8:30 pacer is in my sights. The only real uphill in the race is around mile 2.5. I blow up that without issue. I pass many people. I ran twenty miles yesterday. Look at me Ma!

The course then crossed the Broadway Bridge. That was fun to run on and we hit mile 3 just after we are over the river. I can't hear my phone calling out my mile times but I have passed the 8:30 pacer and can see myself getting closer to the 8:00 pacer, so I know I am sub eight. At this point the course flattens out and I kind of wished it was a 5K. The downhill part really gets you rolling and then all of a sudden you kind of have to work at it for most of the rest of the race (pretty flat from here). Regardless, I keep the pace up. My legs are tired but I can run three more miles.

Sometime after mile four I pass the 8:00 pacer. At the time I thought that would be my final passing of a pacer, but in the distance I can make out another yellow pace balloon. There is no chance I pass the 7:30 pacer, right? I figured I was running about 7:30. Anyways, the rest of the race was fairly uneventful. Just flat along the waterfront. We passed by the Portland Boat Festival, which was fun. A lot of people were cheering for us at this point.

Eventually I got to within about 30 feet of the 7:30 pacer but was having trouble passing him. All of mile six he was just teasing me but I kept my pace knowing pushing to pass him wouldn't be a good idea. Finally, after passing the mile six sign, I get even with him and pass him. He shouts encouragement to me. I can do it! The finish line is in sight. Way far away, but in sight. It seemingly takes forever to get there. I cross the finish line and see I was fairly close to a PR. Holy hell.

I couldn't believe how well I did! I grabbed water and some chocolate milk and then waited for Laurel to finish. She ended up getting her 10k PR, beating her time from last year! So a very sucessful race for both of us. Afterward we (okay, I) scarfed down the free pasta/salad/bread and our two beers that were provided with race entry. Yum!

Laurel and I after finishing!
Overall I couldn't believe how well I did, only 12 seconds off a PR after a 20 mile run the day before. I am glad I didn't PR, I wouldn't quite know how I would feel about a PR on this course. With those first two miles mostly being downhill and losing elevation on the point to point, it is not really comparable to other 10K races. Should I have been "fresh" I bet I could have gone sub 45.

Afterward my legs felt pretty good. Today I woke up and they weren't even sore like after most races. They are definitely tired and wouldn't be capable of that again, but I thought for sore they would be aching and in pain or something. Nope. I'll try to do a recovery jog of five miles or so at run group tonight and then take Tuesday off.

All told I am super pleased with this race! I'll have a report on my twenty mile long run the day before next.

Official Results: 46:07, 7:25/mile. 159/1738 overall, 119/608 male. 14/64 males 25-29.
Mile Times: 7:13, 7:23, 7:28, 7:08, 7:23, 7:15.

Thursday, September 05, 2013


I'm running 26.2 miles this weekend! The catch is 20 will be on Saturday and 6.2 will be on Sunday. So I'll still be a marathon virgin. I wouldn't go and sneak a marathon up on you. You know that.

Funny thing is, I almost completely forgot about that little 6.2 on Sunday. I'm running the Pints to Pasta 10K but it will be the day after a 20 mile training run, so I won't be able to set a PR or anything during the race.

I signed up a long time ago, maybe like six months, and it mostly escaped my mind. I didn't even consider it when planning my marathon training like I did with other races. Anyways, I'll be there with Laurel so while I've been talking to her about the race since that, it took me a while to put two and two together, and in the meantime, scheduled a twenty miler the day before.

As for the race itself, I'll just run it for fun. We'll have to see how I feel after my twenty miles on Saturday, but I'm guessing not very fresh. If my first two twenty milers were any indication, anything under 8:00/mile would be a miracle. It would be really stupid to run this hard and injure myself four weeks before the marathon, so I'll just feel it out on race day. I won't take it seriously and won't count it as an official "race" in my arsenal. It'll still be fun though.

You should have seen the celebration in the car today as I was driving home from work. I thought I had to run again today to get my three weekday runs in. It would have been the third day in a row, the third time running the same route (couldn't make run group this week), etc. I was not looking forward to it. In addition, it had been gray all day and then on my ride home it started to MONSOON and rain just a crazy amount. I thought I was going to have to trudge out there in that. When I remembered the race on Sunday, taking care of today's miles, I might have danced a little bit in my car on Interstate 5.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Often times on a recovery jog I feel like
these people could blow by me... that's
okay though!
Recently I've found out the importance of the so called "recovery jog." Before marathon training I never really took one of these jogs. Sure, I took runs easy, but rarely, if ever, did I take them easy enough. In the last two months or so I've discovered the magic and importance that is the recovery jog.

My marathon training has left me feeling sore and used many, many times. My body does not recover very fast, it often takes a few days for me to recharge after a long run or a fast race. Despite not feeling great, I still go out there and do my runs though, because I need to get the miles in. Even when I would try and take it easy though I often ran faster than I would have liked due to running with my run group. I still feel the urge to stay with my normal "pack" so I end up pushing it a little.

Take last Wednesday for example. Hood to Coast was the weekend before and I pressed it a little on Monday for 7 miles at 8:13/mile (last two were 7:51 and 7:19). So I figured I would just take Wednesday easy. Well, one thing led to another and I ran six miles at 7:50/mile. Oops! While it felt good to get that speedwork in, my legs and body hated me afterwards. Luckily I had a conflict on Thursday so I was able to rest and then I moved my normal Thursday run to my normal rest day on Friday.

I did six miles at 9:55/mile (my recovery jog speed is about 10:00/mile) and while I started off feeling sore and creaky, by the time I was finished I felt great! That is my third recovery jog to date and each time by the end of the jog I am feeling much better and I can almost feel my body healing up during the run. I know that isn't actually happening, but the movement and blood flow definitely promote healing once the run is over and since you take it so easy, you don't really tear down anything, so your body can just focus on recovery. I woke up the next day feeling fresh and like a million bucks. Same thing happened the previous two times... went into the run feeling like shit, took it super easy and immediately felt better.

Moral of the story, I need to take these jogs from time to time, especially when I am not feeling great. One recovery jog can mean many more successful and productive training runs, instead of just kind of muddling through them feeling like crap.

On Sunday, after my recovery jog Friday and rest Saturday, I ran 14 miles at 8:45/mile and felt GREAT the entire time. I set out to run 12 miles at 9:30/mile but was feeling so positive and good that I modified my route in progress to add the extra miles and just let how I was feeling dictate my tempo. I think that is the first time I ever ran a long run longer and faster than I planned. Felt really accomplished after that!