Friday, July 31, 2009


I am anxiously awaiting my WRIGHTSOCKs. Thanks the Runner's Lounge for the opportunity to test out some socks for the month of August. It's like Christmas in August...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

16 excruciating miles

2 weeks ago I ran 14 and had a great experience running through the weeds, roads, golf course, back of people's yards, etc. My knees felt good after the run and I was excited for 16 today. I'm glad I am getting up earlier to run because I didn't check the alarm to make sure the "weekend cancel" setting was off. I woke up in a panic at 5:30 thinking I had missed the run. Good thing I packed all my gear the night before.

The route for today connected to a trail I had run previously under the shadow of the mountain. It was overcast and cool (a first in over a month) at 6:00 am. There were only 4 of us running. One lady was only doing 10-11 while the other 3 of us were doing the full 16. About 3 miles into the run, the trail veered off in a few directions so we chose one that looked the most promising. Turned out also to be the most hilly and grueling. The weather gave us a break and even rained on us a little. But those hills were not fun. I have discovered that there comes a point in any trail run uphill where power walking is faster and more productive than running. There were several of those hills.

We finally got reconnected with the main hill and turns out we had gone more up into the foothills. The good news was that the first two miles back were mainly downhill. The switchbacks were tricky to maneuver, but I only lost my footing once and luckily didn't go over the edge. It gave me just enough pause to wonder how I would get out if I fell and broke something.

The end of 16 couldn't come soon enough. When it was all said and done, it took us just under 3 hours at about a 11:00 min/mile pace. A normal long run and we'd be at 9 so you can see it was a tough run.

One thing I have noticed after my long runs is that I can't get enough to eat and my energy levels are in the toilet all day. I get to figure that one out.

I took a picture of my shoes so you can see what shape they are in after today's run. My socks may not come clean.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Over the river....and through the weeds

I took up running with a buddy of mine down the street. We've been prepping for the Top of Utah Marathon and lately i've been wondering why I am going through all this torturous training. 2 weeks ago, we opted to go south on a favorite trail of ours. It's a popular biking/running paved trail that goes for miles and miles. The ultimate goal is to connect the major cities along the river and have over 100 miles of trail. We discovered that our trail south wasn't as well developed as we thought.
2 miles into the trail, it disappeared and we were running onto gravel, then weeds, then the street. We kept going then ran into a marker for the trail continuation. A mile after that, the trail became part of the golf course, then it disappeared. All in all the 14 mile run included a golf course, a gravel path, paved trail, pavement through a neighborhood and weeds as high as my waist. I'm still pulling stickers out of my shoes.

So, why am I putting myself through all of this just so I can say I've run a marathon? I've obviously lost a few major brain cells along the way somewhere because the thought of running 26.2 miles is daunting. Tomorrow calls for a 16 mile trail run with small hills...small hills! I run hills every my area there are no other choices and the group run organizer chose hills? Glutton for punishment.

This morning as my friend and I are pounding out a quick 4 miles, he starts telling me about hotel options for the race in September. He then goes on to tell me that he's reserved two rooms for us...i'm like, what the #$#$@@! He just laughs at me because he knows I'll do the race, it's the mid training slump I go through. Now that I have a hotel room, I guess I get to suck it up and do the race...dang!

Hey, the good news lately is that the Runner's Lounge sent out an e-mail asking for volunteers to test some Wright Socks and blog about them. Free stuff? Sign me up! I look forward to posting my reviews coming up in August.

I'll have a 16 mile run recap after the weekend is up and I'm able to walk again. Oh, the wife has painting scheduled for tomorrow post run. Nothing like standing on a ladder with a paint roller after a 16 mile run... have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What started as a great run week has quickly deteriorated

Last Saturday I went all out and did 14 miles. It was an awesome run. We started at 6:00 am because we are now in the heat of summer and it's unbearable to be out in the middle of it. The 14 miles were fabulous. It got me excited for the September marathon. Someone asked me if I was going to run in the SLC Deseret News 24th of July marathon and I actually paused. No, I have desire to see if I could do 26.2 when my longest run thus far has been 15.

This week started out fabulous. I took Monday off because my schedule was just too packed to put in 2 hours. Tuesday I did 8 1/2. It felt great. The schedule was to run this morning, then my running buddy texted me last night to tell me he had a 6:30 meeting and wouldn't be able to make it. I planned on going this morning for a short 5 miles with my iPod and a casual pace. Instead, last night we went to Home Depot to get the trim for my office and didn't get home until later. Then the wife still had some points left on the week for her Weight Watchers so a trip to McDonalds for ice cream happened at 11:00. The post McDonalds vegging in front of the tv went until 1:30 am...get the picture. My morning run didn't happen. Tomorrow I'll get in 5 then Saturday maybe 8. I guess this week is my off week.

On the good side of this...the wife's work is hosting a Harry Potter showing on Saturday. Free Movie!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

TIART: My Running Soundtrack

If MGM Studios ever decides to do a documentary on my running life, I will be ready with the soundtrack to go with it. I've decided that in honor of the Runner's Lounge doing their Take It and Run Thursday on running playlists, I'll contribute a few choice songs from my soundtrack.

As the picture begins, the screen is dark. Then you hear the melodius sounds of my clock radio going off at 6:04 am (I calculated exactly how long I could sleep and still get up, get dressed, get some toast or a bagel with peanut butter, get a drink and still get out the door by 6:30 am.)

The Play and the Fight from the Finding Neverland Soundtrack starts. You'll see me putting on my socks, lacing up my shoes, running my hand through my thinning hair and battling the ever present tug to just go back to bed. It's a struggle every morning to get out the door.

6:30 comes and I'm out the door. My neighbor and running partner is just coming up the street. He's always in a great mood and the music that follows him is Get on Your Feet by Gloria Estefan. The music following me is more like The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks as I once again convince my body that this really is a good thing.

Once I hit the pavement and my feet start moving the music switches to Magic by the Cars. After a few minutes of casual chatter, we fall into a rhythm. The magic of running builds and I forget that less than an hour ago I was deep in my dreams. One to two miles in, the muscles are loose, it's just me and the pavement.

Today I am running hills. This particular 8 miles has a good amount of hills of various shapes and sizes. The first one is known among the runner's in my area as "Death Hill" because by the time you go down and back up, you feel ready for the shovel and grave. Miley Cyrus is at the top of the hill singing The Climb (this must be a nightmare–and yes, I own this song because of my two daughters that have learned that if they buy their own iTunes gift card, I have little say in what they download.)

I reach the top of the hill. I have vanquished it once again. The adrenaline rush has kicked in and New Divide by Linkin Park. I am the Man! I just conquered Death Hill and now I am ready for anything. I tackle the remaining hills and laugh at their petty attempts to slow me down (I didn't say that this movie soundtrack was non-fiction.) The guitar solos from the song echo as I finish up the last few miles of my run. I finish up my run with So Alive by Love and Rockets. It was good to get out. My mind is more clear, my body is ready for whatever the day brings. I do some light stretching before going in the house. As I walk in the front door, At the End of the Day from the Les Miserables soundtrack plays and the show ends.

Obviously this was one of my better runs.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Kings are Dead, but We Still Have the Boss

If you haven't heard, the King of Pop is dead. If you truly haven't heard, where are you? With every radio station and TV stations covering every bit of coverage how could it be missed?

As I was out yesterday morning, I got a bit of a panic attack as I was contemplating Michael Jackson's demise. The King of Rock n Roll is dead and now the King of Pop is dead. Is this the end of music as we know it? Will we be forced to listen to talk radio all the time? Will the itunes store turn into podcasts and country? It's a scary proposition.

As I was slowing in my pace and about to stop and sink into the pavement, a warming sensation came over me. I double checked to make sure that my bladder control was still in check. After reassuring myself that I was still in control of my bodily functions, I discovered where this sensation came from. You see, we may have lost the King of Rock n Roll and the King of Pop, but we are not left alone. We still have the Boss.

Like any good Monarchy, the line of authority has now been handed to the Boss. He will see that the music word still continues to churn. My runs will continue to have my custom built soundtrack to accompany them and the balance between talk radio and music will remain. Whew...that was close.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time for some new shoes

It's time to start breaking in some new shoes. First I get to buy another pair. Since this weekend there will be no time for a long Saturday morning run, I took advantage of a break in my workload and ran this morning. By the end of the 11 miles, my feet felt like they had been flattened like in the cartoons where the coyote gets his foot run over and then it is 3 times as wide. That's what it felt like this morning. I bought my current shoes off the clearance rack. They were the 2008 Mizuno model. They have been fabulous shoes and will probably make some great everyday shoes, but they have seen better running days.

I could go back to Asics which have served me well in the past, but these Mizunos have also been fabulous. The one thing I will do different is get one with just a bit more support than my current model. I'm not looking forward to going shoe shopping. It's not that I dislike shopping, but I struggle with shoes. They have to be just right and I tend to be a creature of habit. I can't just go into a store, find my fit and then buy, they have to connect with me. I went to get some casual brown shoes a month ago. We went to various shoe stores, but there wasn't the selection I wanted so we went to the mega shoe store. I found one pair I liked, but decided I really should get two pair. I got a pair in a contrasting style and went over to assist my wife in getting her a pair of shoes. In that period of time, I put down the pair I first chose and wandered back to the men's section. I found a different pair that I liked better so I put the original second pair back and picked up the new pair. When I got home, I took the shoes out of the box and sure enough, I bought two pair of shoes with almost the identical style, just different brands.

So, this weekend I will start my quest for new shoes.