Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's This?

Today I got up and the weather was lousy. Ok, it was lousy last night. The winds were upwards of 45 mph, the neighbors trampoline decided to reenact the LA riots as it flew over their fence, smashing their car and snapping in half. I would post a photo, but I used a different app on my iphone to zoom (curse you apple for not putting a zoom or a flash in the iphone). Today though, I was scheduled to do a 3 mile run and get back on track for the Salt Lake Half in 3 weeks. The weather is scheduled to be somewhat clear on Friday so I'll do some P90X yeah right! until then.

Instead of running, I decided it was time to work on the blog redesign. When I started the blog, I didn't spend a whole lot of time into the look of it. I just went with it. This time around, I actually put more than 5 minutes thought into it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Riverton Half Marathon Report

Here's the play by play...

• Pick up my race bag, shirt and supplies. 
• Go to a Utah Flash game with the kids.
• Get a plate of chicken nachos to split with them.
• Realize after devouring the plate of nachos with a medium salsa that maybe that wasn't the best night before a race choice.
• Get home and set out two clothing options depending on what the weather decides to do. The race starts at 9 am. 

Saturday Morning:
• Get up about 7:00 am, shower and have some breakfast. I opted for the bowl of Wheaties Fuel and a PB sandwich. 
• Take an Immodium because the last thing I want is the nachos from last night reappearing at mile 7.
• Look out the window to see that it is lightly snowing. Maybe the cold weather choice is better than the warmer one.
• Check the iPod to see if it is still far so good. 
• Say goodbye to the kids. They want to stay home for the neighborhood easter season sugar high festival (aka easter egg hunt) to begin rather than come see me finish "...another race."
• Drive to my sister's house in Riverton

At the Starting Line:
• I'm undecided on the weather. It is in the low 30s currently and I'm freezing. I throw on my Mizuno gloves knowing that I can stow them in my jacket if I get too warm. I move to the front of the line next to my friend Supercords. 
• The sun comes out and the temperature jumps 5 degrees. The gloves get stashed and now I'm wondering if I should stash the jacket too.
• I reposition the iPod from my shirt to my shorts so that there won't be as much jostling.

The Race
• Gun goes off or the siren or whatever it was...all I remember is that people started running so I obliged. 
• I start off faster than I anticipated and wonder if I can hold this pace. At mile 1, I realize there is no way I can hold that pace and I slow it down. 
• Mile 3 and the first uphill portion begins. Mile 3 is always where my thought process always wonders why I am doing this. I remind myself that I'm almost 1/4 the way finished with the race.
• My pace is right where I want it to be...hovering a little below 8:00 min/mile. 
• Mile 4 and I'm beginning to warm up. It's not uncomfortable, just warm.
• Mile 6 and we've descended to run along a trail system next to the Jordan River. The new light rail line is being constructed in this area also and a portion of the course is unpaved. The ground is a little spongy from the rain/snow the day before, but it's not muddy. 
• Mile 6. I debate whether to throw my jacket at the aid station coming up. I'm warm, but I don't want to lose the jacket. I opted to just tie it around myself. 
• Mile 7/8 I take part of a gel as I approach and aid station and wash it down with a little water. 
• Mile 11 there is a hill they call the "S" hill. It is a steeper incline that switches back and forth. My pace slows and I actually paused for a second at the top to catch my breath. 
• Mile 12 I realize that I am on track to not only reach my goal, but if I keep the current pace I could actually beat my goal time. 
• Mile 13 I turn onto the street for the finish. 200 yards before the finish I see my friend Supercords who despite his knee problems still is able to kick my butt. I'm thinking that maybe I need to get me a pair of knees like his. My parents and nephews are near the end. I look up to see my time as I stop my Garmin. 1:43:33. 

Finish and Post Race
• The timing crew gives out a printout of my race time and placement before I finish exiting the chute. I don't have to fight my way to the wall where they are posting times.
• The finish medal is nice and they also gave out a hand towel with the logo on it.
• Post race food is standard fruit, bagels, water, hot chocolate, gatorade
• A massage therapy school is giving free massages to the race participants. After cooling down and stretching a bit, I head over and get a massage. 

in the end, the race was well organized. I had a good time. I'll definitely put it on my list for 2011.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

McGyver or Red Green

A few weeks ago the armband that holds my ipod disintegrated. It's been in a state of steady decline for a few months now. Luckily it fell apart just after I left on a run a couple weeks ago so I was able to drop it back off at home rather than running with it. I've been running sans music on many of my runs since then. On the short runs I have no problem, but on the long solo runs I need the extra bit of music to drown out my own thoughts.

With the half marathon this weekend, i've been working on finding a new solution to my problem. I own a generation 2 ipod nano. I remember having to search long and hard to find the armband that just fell apart. I bought an armband for a generation 5 ipod in January hoping that it would work. It doesn't cut it. I've spent at least 10 minutes surfing the web  gone to great lengths searching for a replacement without success.

A solution came to me yesterday as I was running while holding my ipod in my hand. It must have been the flash memory that is installed in it that spoke to me. I remember the thought came to me "If only I had a clip, then I could clip it on like a shuffle." That was pure inspiration right from Apple HQ itself.

Today I set out to implement the plan myself. I was going through my list of required items: Sturdy clip (probably something out of metal), adhesive of some kind...hmmm... duct tape, super glue, Liquid Nails, Epoxy, Might Putty. With my adhesive choice narrowed down I was off to find a clip around the house. After another 10 minutes great length of searching, I stumbled across an old name badge that had a magnetic back instead of a pin.

Two minutes of working with it an my hands-free ipod is now in business. In fact, I don't even have to have an armband. I'm definitely feeling this was a McGyver fix-it. If I had used duct-tape, a used tired and some bailing wire then for sure it would be Red Green.

Just so you put your minds at ease. The warning on the magnet covers my bases on a couple issues.

1. It is a Green Magnet (it even says so on the green label) so environmentalists should be happy with my choice.

2. The caution on the magnet says that I shouldn't use this with a pacemaker. Since I am Pacemaker free there should be no interference with the electrical field around the iPod or the manufacturers would have said something, right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Race Day Countdown

Saturday marks the official kick-off/return to the racing circuit. The Riverton Half Marathon occurs this Saturday at 9:00 am. I'm excited for the race and to see where I am in my running. It's been a tough off season. Training has been a challenge, nutrition has been an even greater challenge, but I'm ready to be back in the regular training/running routine.

I knocked out a 5 1/2 mile run today in a 42 minute time. If I keep my pace at an average 8 min/mile then I will definitely PR this race. The course has enough hills that I will have to run faster than 8 min/mile on the flat and downhill sections to make up for the hills.

I have a couple options for the race.
1. PR in 1:45 or less
2. Finish close to my 1:49:52 that is my current PR
3. Find my sister, stay with her and then hit Carl's Jr. after the race

The weather is supposed to be clear. Friday a storm will pass through and cool things off, but Saturday race time will probably be 40 degrees or a little warmer if the sun is out.

I've not heard much about this race. They cap it at 500 and as of Monday they had 325 signed up. With that many signed up there opens a possible age group award. It all depends on who shows up.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One More Thing to Be Careful of When Running on the Beach

Did you read about the jogger on the beach that was killed by an airplane? A couple thoughts come to mind when I read that story.

1. Man I'm glad I don't have any real beaches around here and of the ones we do have, like I'd drive all that way just so I could run across them.

2. Like we don't have enough things to worry about when running: cars, pedestrians, moms with strollers, crossing guards, etc.. now we have to worry about airplanes? It's getting dangerous out there.

3. At least the person was just a "jogger" and not a "runner". Yes, that's splitting hairs, but it offers me that level of separation so that I don't get overly paranoid so I can rest assured that planes only hit "joggers" not runners like me.

The paper called the plane a "stealth aircraft" because the plane had lost all power and was just gliding. The report wondered why the pilot didn't do something to notify the jogger. I'm sure if the plane had a horn he would have, but this was a home made model rather than the high-tech commercial ones that come with horns pre-installed. I guess the pilot could have opened up his window and shouted something like "plane" to the jogger similar to courteous bikers. I would probably have been like "what? Did I just hear 'plane'" Then I'd turn around and there would be a plane in my face.

There is also always the conspiracy theory that the pilot was a disgruntled runner who had narrowly missed placing in his age division by this jogger and so he thought he'd narrow down the competition.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Free Shirt...But Only If You Stink

If you're anything like me, after a season of wearing the same running apparel the clothing starts to take on a life of it's own....literally. It seems that no matter how much I wash my workout clothes there is an underlying odor that stays with them. Now that my outdoor training will be moving into higher gear, that means I'll be looking for new clothes to wear for the summer. I know that I will be getting plenty of shirts from races, but the shirts never seem to fit really well.

Agion Active is giving away free shirts that are treated with an odor eliminator. All they ask is that you wear the shirt and then give them your feelings on how well it performed.

A free shirt is a free shirt and one less that I have to buy.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Runner Pops

I experienced my most difficult 20 mile run today. This is a long post, so I won't feel bad if you just skim it and move on.

Saturday 8:00 am- I'm just filling up a couple bottles for the upcoming run, grabbing a couple gels from the cupboard and a granola bar.

Saturday 8:10 am-I glance at the forecast and outside. Overcast, but not too ominous. The forecast calls for rain turning to snow continuing into Sunday. I check the radar and it's clear. Maybe we'll be able to get the run in before it starts.

Saturday 8:30 am-8:45 am I'm pulling into our meeting place. We're at the point of the mountain and rather windy. I choose to keep wearing my Pearl Izumi Jacket and running pants. No rain, but the clouds are getting thicker. It's just two of us. My friend from Supercords and I.

Saturday 9:30 am-We make it to the 6 mile mark at the city park. The library is not open for another 1/2 hour so no drinks. I'm glad I brought a couple bottles.

Saturday 10:15 am-We're at the 10 mile mark. The wind has been to our back most of the time which has been nice. The temperature is starting to drop. I break open a gel–I like the citrus flavor.

Saturday 10:25 am-Mile 11 the rain starts. It's a light rain and we're praying that it continues just light.

Saturday 11:00 am-the rain is really coming down. We can now see our breath. My friend has no feeling left in his hands. We stop at the Library to warm up, get a drink, and eat a granola bar. The rain is coming down pretty good. This isn't looking pretty. We ask the librarian if by chance they have any plastic bags or sacks we could have. The librarian looked a little confused at these two dripping people in running clothes standing at her desk asking for plastic bags.

Saturday 11:20 am-The wind has really picked up. We are climbing back up the mountain and there are no houses to block the wind. The rain is starting to turn to sleet. A few minutes later the sleet is now snow. Earlier at a trail break we came upon a dispenser for small plastic bags to pick up dog poo. I took one set, my friend takes two (did I mention he's just in shorts and short sleeve t?). My jacket and pants are soaked. I cinch up the draw string as tight as possible so they won't fall off.

Saturday 12:15 pm-The snow has been with us for the last 4 miles. I pulled out my last gel 2 miles ago just to see if it would give me a little didn't. I can no longer feel my face. My left eye is so cold that snow flakes keep falling on my eye and temporarily blinding me. I look like a runner who has had too many beers on the course. We come over the rise and there are the cars. I can make it...I can make it...why am I slowing down? "KEEP GOING" my friend says. My face is probably frozen in a grimace that is akin to The Joker from Batman. I get to the car, throw open the door, fumble for the keys to start the engine. I've never been so grateful for my beat up van in all my life. I take off my shoes and wring out my socks. I remember not caring about the puddles the last 1/2 mile.

Saturday 12:45 pm-I pull into the driveway. I've stripped down as much as I can and have warmed up enough that I am shivering uncontrollably. I fill up the bath and just sit. The warm water is slowly moving into the parts of my body that are numb. The tingling hurts, but that is good. After about 20 minutes I am once again feeling like I will survive this ordeal.

Saturday 2:00 pm-Finishing this post while the experience is still fresh.

I finished the run and survived. Enough said. Definitely will go down in the books as the most grueling 20 miles I've done.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Apologies to Japanese Spammers Everywhere

I would like to extend my apologies to all the Japanese spammers everywhere. The comment on my one year anniversary post was actually posted by a Chinese spammer. Once again Google came through and made a thorough translation of the post...what did we do before Google?

Here is the translation of what was posted "Excellent blog worthy of a postponed again and again to support you." I don't quite get the 'postoned again and again' thing...maybe I'm just not popular enough to get regular spamming from chinese spammers. That just brings back a whole host of memories and insecurities from growing up. Da**n you chinese spammers. This was just a courtesy spam in honor of my one year blogversary. I haven't been accepted into the Chinese spammer club.

On an actual running note..I got out this morning and did 7 myself. I know it seems like lately i've become a co-dependent runner, but i've broken free of those chains and stretched beyond my sphere of influence to get out for more than 3 miles on my own. In perfect runner ego fashion, I saw two ladies running up ahead and had to win so I picked up the pace and zipped by them. It's similar to my driving on trips. The more cars I pass, the more points I get and then the Police Gods will look favorably upon me when zip by one their mortal minions. I'm expecting something similar with the Running Gods.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Jimmy! Oh wait...I'm not Jimmy

It's a birthday celebration today! No, not for Jimmy...for this blog. One year ago today I got this crazy idea that I would start a written account of my journey into the world of running and voila, Another Day, Another Run was started. In the past year, i've chronicled my ups and downs, highs and lows. I thought for this occasion I'd list a few things I've learned this year from personal experience and also from reading other blogs. Here are few of my tops with links.
  • Girl Scout Cookies make an excellent if not slightly messy race fuel.
  • Getting injured sucks. I thought exercise was supposed to prevent that.
  • Running long runs with a group is much easier than listening to my own thoughts.
  • Having a flexible schedule makes a mid-day run easier, but has the draw back of never being in a good rhythm.
  • Owning more than one pair of shoes is a good thing.
  • Trail runs actually are kind of fun.
  • Planning long runs in areas where there are restrooms or really dense wooded areas is a good thing.
  • Using key words like "wet t-shirt" really increase blog traffic.
  • POM juice is good stuff...especially when it comes free.
What can you readers look forward to in this next year? 
  • A new and improved layout...the last one took me 10 minutes. Maybe this time I'll spend 20.
  • At least a few more race reports. Two marathons are on the list and the first half for this year is in 3 weeks. Is there a BQ in my future for 2010...stay tuned.
  • More ramblings about running and running topics.
  • And much, much more....
Thank you to those who have journeyed with me thus far. I look forward to what lies ahead...oh and Happy Birthday Jimmy wherever and whoever you are.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Runner's Guide to Street Signs

Yesterday was a perfect morning for a run and a great opportunity to explore. I'm warming up to the off road runs to the point where I'm thinking my next pair of shoes will be a trail pair. I'm no where near considering an Ultra marathon or anything. I'm focused on the Riverton Half and my following runs, but adding in some trails makes it interesting.

I read signs differently now. I never knew that there was a secret runner language until I started running. Here are some examples:

• Caution Do Not Enter = If it isn't burning, exploding or caved in then by all means enter
• Private Property = I'm a private person so I qualify
• Men at work = What? Are you talking to me? You must mean that guy on the bicycle.
• Caution: Military Bombing Zone = new trail each time
• Beware of Dog = Bring a new friend and have him go first
• Road Closed = No vehicle fumes..score!

The list goes on and in 12 miles yesterday.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Do you remember those days when the only motivation you needed was seeing your running accomplishments and what you still were looking forward to? I remember how excited I was to run 4 miles. The thrill I got when I got turned around and ran 7 instead of 6 or the awe numbing sense of invincibility when I finally hit the 10 mile mark. I miss those days.

Lately though, this has been my diet motivation. In the end though, i've just pushed the whole running aside and gone straight for the reward. Forget the running, sweating, breathing hard and feeling good like accomplished something—just give me the sundae and no one will get hurt. It's time to finish off my bowl of ice cream recommit. Tomorrow I will get out of my chair, log off the computer, strap on the Garmin, and go outside and run to the store to get more ice cream

Monday, March 1, 2010

Change in Schedule–Half Marathon Option

Remember how I was lamenting the fact that I couldn't run a half in March? That all changed last week as my wife was evaluating our plans to juggle the Michigan trip, work, a leadership course and a trip to Texas all within the March/April time frame. The leadership course got bumped to September which opened up March 27 for me. When she came up with that idea, my first reaction was to jump up, run to the computer and sign up for the Riverton half-marathon on that day. Luckily, after 15 years of marriage I have learned that this would not have worked out well. I calmly and cooly said something like "I feel that your idea is a good will definitely take some stress off of your school work and finding someone to watch the kids." (notice how I didn't bring up the half-marathon at all and kept the focus on her and the kids?–That's a useful tip)

Since then I am to the point where I could successfully add the Riverton half to the calendar without anyone balking at the idea.

Am I excited? Cartwheels if I could do them excited! The side benefit to this is that my younger sister is doing her first half at the same race so it will be like a family deal. I also have a friend from my Saturday running group running it also.