Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shins be damned. I'm still going to run 20.

That pretty much sums it up. Three weeks before the Salt Lake City Marathon. I'm committed to making this last week of training a solid one before I taper. I put in a 20+ mile run at the beginning of March, then had two half marathons and now I'm almost tapering. Yesterday I went to the Gym to do a tempo run on the treadmill because the weather was so lousy and cold. I ended up doing intervals on the track. Today, my shins have been really sore.

I've never had shin problems before and it's really bugging me. Tomorrow I am running the route that has twice kicked my butt. I'm feeling a bit masochistic that it's time to beat this route once and for all. My Saturday and Sunday are booked so there will be no time to get in a 20 mile run. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous Friday and Saturday so i'm taking advantage of it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Weekend in Bright Colors

My next race after the Shamrock Half Marathon was to be the Salt Lake City Marathon. Last Saturday was supposed to be my last 20+ mile run before starting a taper this week. All this changed last Wednesday.

I slowed down at the end of the race
to finish with my sister.
My sister called me and asked if I would pace her for the Riverton Half Marathon coming up 3 days later. She was hoping to beat her time from last year, but wanted someone to push her along. She offered to pay my entry fee if I'd just stick with her the whole time at her pace instead of my own. Since I have three weeks to the Marathon, I agreed to run with her.

The course has a few steep hills but for the most part, it is a relatively fast course. Our pace was slow compared to what I am used to, but she enjoyed the opportunity to shower with me with awe and praise pepper me with questions about training. I went into the race trying to bring the essence of Bob and Jillian from The Biggest Loser into my encouragement to her as we ran. I wonder if the other runners in the race wondered why this guy kept yelling "Come on...bring it...last chance workout" and "1 more mile! Just give me one more MILE!"

We finished the race in 2:49:47 which was about a minute short of her time from last year, but she was happy with her finish though. It was fun to run the whole course with her and to add another medal to my board.

I think I may be missing
a little orange

Nephew with oldest daughter
Following the race, the wife and I decided to take the kids to the Festival of Colors which was happening at the Hari Krishna temple about 20 minutes from our house. Because there was an expected crowd of 30,000 people, we had to park a few miles away. It was either walk to the event or ride the bus. We opted to walk to the event which was a nice way to keep my legs loose.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Biggest Medal Ever Marathon

In my office, I have a board with my race medals and many of my bibs scattered around the board. My wife was admiring my board the other day and told me that my Ragnar medal was by far the biggest of the medals. I agreed with her assessment and mentioned that because I'll be running both the Wasatch Back Ragnar and the Las Vegas Ragnar that I'll be getting two medals instead of the usual one. Why am I excited about the idea?

Because it's all about the medal.

After my legs recover and i've tossed the promotional material that comes in the race bags, the only thing left is the t-shirt, the bib and the medal. T-shirt goes in the drawer and will be used occasionally in training runs. The bib will become a background element or go in the other drawer.

The medal on the other hand......the medal is the center piece on my board. It is the holy grail of running. I'm in it for the medal...the bigger the better. It's my belt buckle, my olympic medal, my reason for dragging my butt out the door.

I'm throwing off the misconception that I'm running for fitness, for the thrill of competition, for the excitement of pushing my limits for anything other than the medal at the end of the race.

My idea of a good race would be "The Biggest Medal Ever Marathon." This would be the race for me. No illusions over what I'll be getting at the end of the race.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shamrock Half Marathon Race Report

If you look at my March racing statistics is similar to a no. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament. Last March, I almost froze to death on a 20 mile run and I also got my current 1/2 Marathon PR. The race could go both ways.Chances are that they are going to crash and burn when going up against the no. 5 seed, but if there is going to be a breakthrough performance, this is where it is going to happen. Despite the overwhelming odds, the 12-seed is not going down without a battle.

This is what I was envisioning my race would be like.
The goal going into the Shamrock Half Marathon was to take on the course and get a new PR. The Shamrock course is not an easy race. It starts with hills, it has hills in the course and ends with hills. I've run the course twice in the course of my coaching and individual training. In perfect conditions, this course is tough. Saturday, however was not perfect conditions.

The Saturday forecast called for a break between storms. A storm came through and ended Friday. Another storm was scheduled to move in Saturday afternoon/evening with the winds picking up. The temperatures were dropping faster than a Jimmer shot from behind the 3-point line .
This is more what it felt like.

The race started behind a middle school and ran for 100 yards onto the road. This 100 yards was a delight. The wind was calm, the temperature not too bad. Then the race began. At this point, the wind was at 30 mph coming from the South East. Which meant that for 4 miles the wind was to my back, but for 9 it was either right in front or coming from the side.

At times I kept wondering if I was even running. By the finish, I was spent, but surprisingly my finish was 1:47:51...only 5 minutes off a PR. My average pace was 8:13 which is only 3 seconds off my goal pace for the upcoming marathon.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reasons for Relays

Last year I ran my first Relay. I had heard people talk about them and the fun they were. The reoccurring comment has been "I had a really great time except for the running." After participating in two relays, I have to concur. The opportunity to be teamed up with fellow runners with for 30-40 hours can be a very smelly experience is a great experience. Plus, there is always great scenery involved and the opportunity to wear a costume when its not Halloween, meeting runners from all over without the seriousness of competition.

This year, I've signed up for the Wasatch Back Ragnar, Epic Relay and Las Vegas Ragnar. The downside to a Relay is the cost involved. A typical Marathon will cost between $75-$150 for the registration. So far, all of my marathons have been within driving distance so there hasn't been any need for a hotel. With a relay however, there is the registration, the gas involved, the food for the trip, the possible hotels. I spend an additional $200 on average in addition to the relay registration.

Is it worth the extra price involved? Absolutely. I'll sign up in a heartbeat.

Is anyone running an relays?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Comment Word Verification

I've gone back and forth on this, but i've finally come to the conclusion that any chinese porn spammer that wants to comment on my post is fine with me. Considering that my comment ratio is at an all time low. I'm thinking that if I get more comments it will attract more followers. I'm working on some new strategies to get more followers. More followers=more stuff for me that I can give away to people.

So, feel free to comment away. Do I care if you are a real person or not? Not anymore.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Musings for March-Because I'll probably Forget Next Week to write something

Sure enough, It's Friday. Normally I'd be all excited and geared up for today, but I'm not. You see, I get to go on a Scout Campout. I am the 11 year old scout leader for my church and while I enjoy hanging with the boys, I'm not much of a camper—especially in winter.

Two weeks ago, we were going to go on this campout, but then a storm came in and we opted out. I was praying for another storm, but alas my faith obviously isn't enough to move a mountain because all I got was some clouds and light rain. The good thing though is that the weather has moved out of the 30s and into the 50s which means it won't be as extremely cold as it would have been two weeks ago.

20 mile run
Due to the upcoming campout, I pushed up my 20 mile run to Thursday. The forecast said the temperatures would be in the 60s and there were right on. The weather was ideal. I wore a long sleeve shirt and shorts, but probably could have gotten away with a short sleeve shirt. I ran from my home to my parent's home which via the freeway is only 8 miles, but as any runner can tell you, 8 miles can easily be turned into 20 with a little work. I got a later start than I wanted because of a last minute project that needed to get to Kinkos. I wore my larger fuel belt which can hold more GU and water. It felt like I had added 10 lbs to my weight. I had three substantial hills in the route. I made it through two of the three without having to walk for any of it. The last one was just too long and steep.

My hope going into the run was that I would be able to hold my goal marathon pace for 10+ miles of the run. Alas, it didn't happen. I did get it around 8:30 pace which isn't too bad, but not the 8:00 pace that I wanted.

Today, I am feeling sore in my left ankle/shin area but glad I got my run handled. Next week is the end of my coaching with the Shamrock Half Marathon. The following week after that is my next 20 mile run and then I start a taper to the mid-April race.

Return to High School
My son registered for 10th grade last night.  I can tell he's apprehensive about it. He's been in a K-9 charter school since 5th grade so this is a big change. At the same time, he's excited to take on the High School experience. After we listened to the intro session about High School, the kids had the opportunity to go and visit clubs,sports, teachers, etc. and find out more about High School opportunities. One of the first places we visited was the Cross Country table. Two kids were there and really excited that he was interested. They said that they'll start training in June and to put his contact information on the paper at the table...tada...he's signed up. They don't have try-outs. I'm excited for him because being involved in sports in High School is a good way to pick up girls good way to round out his experience. We then visited the other areas.. debate, AP History, Orchestra, etc... they don't offer the Arabic Foreign Language option at the High School because they are lame. They offer the typical Spanish, French, German...

Monday, March 7, 2011

To Dog or Not To Dog...

As far back as I can remember, there has been a dog in my life. When I was 5 or 6, my dad owned two Irish Setters. I remember  clearly being taken for a walk by these two dogs that were taller than me and weighed more than me. The most memorable was when the dogs came running back into the yard, but instead of running through the opening where a gate would go, they both ran through the small gap between the gate pole and the fence pole, thus slamming me into the main pole.

Then there was Sara. Sara was a Golden Retriever that my dad bought for me when I was 14. Unfortunately, my father didn't take into account that the girl who lived two houses down from us was also named Sara. I always enjoyed calling for Sara just when the neighbor girl would come outside felt a little bad for the girl when I would go out into the backyard and call for Sara to go for a walk. Unfortunately, our back yard was not conducive to the size of the Golden Retriever. I came home from school one day to find out that Sara had been given to a farmer in the area who was looking for a dog and had lots of land.

I am now grown, have kids of my own who have never experienced a dog except for the occasional stray that has come over. We've had more than one neighbor dog who my children have adopted. We'll be finishing our fence this year and the next thing that comes up in the conversation is how soon and what kind of dog we'll get. I'm not sure if I am ready to become a dog owner again. I'm open to the idea of raising a dog who can accompany me on my runs. It's an appealing idea. After all, the dog would be my wingman, just like Goose and Maverik.

On the other hand, visions of Where the Red Fern Grows comes to mind, followed by Old Yeller and Marley and Me come up. How could I possibly own a dog in these instances? After all, what would I do per chance I am running and my dog has to fight off a mountain lion and ends up becoming beef jerky? I couldn't take that. At the same time, we watched My Dog Skip over the weekend and while it was heart warming and the dog didn't get run over, die of cancer or anything else like that it did in the end pass away. I had just gotten over this movie when my latest copy of Runner's World came today. What was the first article right at the front of the issue? The editor's note about his dog dying. How can I possibly compete with this? What kind of life would I bringing into my house. Not to mention, what would I do now that my back lawn is finally growing grass instead of clover.

Does anyone have a good non-dog dying story?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Recipe for Breakfast Before 13 Miles

What has 692 calories, 18 g fat, 113 g carbohydrates, 692 calories, and 28 g protein? My breakfast yesterday morning before a 17 mile run.

I like sleep. Especially on the weekends. I dislike waking up when I don't have to take anyone to be anywhere or take anyone anywhere. As a result, I wait until the last minute to get out of bed for my long run. I also wait until the last minute to eat something for breakfast. It usually looks like a Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich with a protein drink on the side. This week I purposely got up early to test out a new breakfast concept. 

Clearly this photo would look much better
had I taken it before adding the yogurt.
 I received an email earlier in the week from for an "Unbeatable Breakfast". It had a testimonial from Ironman Chrissie Wellington touting this breakfast. I was in an adventurous mood this week so I picked up the multitude of ingredients. On Friday evening, I started to put all the ingredients together. The first thing I noticed was that it can't fit in a normal size container. I had to get out a feed bag mixing bowl to fit all the ingredients. The wife and kids looked at my prepared meal calculating which of my personal belonging they would get if I died from this  in wonder at how much food was there.

It took me about 30 minutes to get through the meal because I was busy on facebook I wanted to give myself a head start on digesting. Surprisingly my body took this new meal in stride with no complaint. After the meal, I was full, but not busting at the seams. I started the run feeling no slow-down or sluggishness. Midway through the run, I did an internal check of where I was for energy and I still felt good. It wasn't until about mile 14 did I start to feel like I needed something to keep going. After I got home from the run and was prepping my ice bath, I noticed that while I was hungry, I wasn't starving.

New pre-run breakfast now on the books.