Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hip Flexors - I'm Benched

It is official - I’ve decided to bench myself. Minimal running yesterday (3 miles, 8:08 pace) and no running today. No longer will I be able to sweat away my dreams, issues, fears, or super size fries. For that matter, no longer can consume around 2800 calories a day.

The reason? My crotch**. More specifically, my hip flexors. Even though these muscles are small, just like most other muscles, they serve a very important purpose. In addition to general hip stability, those tiny muscles assist in controlling the rate of leg decent and ascent.


See how good I was there? Instead of that very official looking medical diagram, I could have put a picture of a scantily clad swimsuit model. In fact, as I was prepping to write this post I did the following google image searches: Swimsuit, how do I grow more chest hair, Kara Goucher, can I buy friends?, Borat swimsuit. Fortunately, my voice of reason prevailed. I hate it when she*** does that.

So much for voice of reason prohibiting horrible pictures
I’ve been dealing with some minor knee pain for the past two weeks. I could never feel it when I wasn’t running and honestly only ever felt it immediately after I stopped. I’d half heartedly ice it down and all was right with the world. However, this weekend during my crazy hard death march progression long run I either screwed with my stride a little too much or I over stretched my hip flexor afterwards. So now, even when I am just walking to the bathroom I have discomfort.

With Rock and Roll Denver coming up in 2.5 weeks, Rock and Roll San Antonio in 6.5, I really need to focus less on squeezing out one last tempo run and being 100% healthy when I toe the line. Since my stress fracture, my mantra has been “Better to be 90% ready than 50% injured”. It is a hard pill to swallow, but it has done me well thus far.

So, I rest. Don’t cry for me though**** – I have a feeling that this is only a day or two max.  Honestly, I feel a lot better even today so I can't think that I'll let this go on for too much longer.

Does anyone ever NOT have a hard time taking a break? I feel like us runners are a pretty determined bunch.


**And not because it burned when I peed! Heyooooo
***Obviously all the voices in my head are female
****Send me free stuff instead!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Daddy Bootcamp

Billy Cosby has an entire standup comedy album on parenting. One of the stories he tells is about getting ready for the birth of his first child: “I do what every educated person does…I buy books” I’m sure that if Daddy Bootcamp existed when Bill Cosby was studying to become a father he would have went to that as well.

On Saturday morning, while most men were watching ESPN fist and chest bumping, I was hanging out with 15 or so of my other petrified fathers-to-be learning the ins and outs of what we’re in for. (Turns out, mostly in for full on poop diaper blowouts.)

Daddy Bootcamp was not clinical, but instead consisted of two dads talking through the ins and outs of the first few months of being a dad. Fortunately, there were no feelings, no crying, no talking about how you were scared, and no women to laugh at you. It was all practical information – including the two additional new dads who brought their 4 month old babies to be passed around.

Overall, I liked it. It is honestly a bit hard to pinpoint exactly what I learned, but I am glad I went. It wasn’t all new information – but some of it was. Some of the highpoints were:

  • If you faint in the delivery room, they will take you out and they will not let you come back no matter what (VERY Good info for me to know. Must.hold.strong.)
  • Under no circumstances what so ever, do NOT laugh at the mesh underwear that the mother must wear after pregnancy (My plan: Never look at them)
  • Boobs leak. When you squeeze them? Leak. When they are too full? Leak. Even when a random baby cries!? Leak (Sounds like a challenge to me)
  • Everyone has a different opinion on which baby paraphernalia is “good” vs “bad”. E.g. I’ve heard more than one person say that a bottle warmer is a must, but during the class they said that they weren’t worth it
  • Babies pee at the most inappropriate times – always keep your mouth closed while changing a diaper (learned that one the only other time I’ve babysat an infant)
  • After the pregnancy, people are going to want to help with anything. Take advantage of it! Have them vacuum, mow the lawn, or (no joke) clean your garage (score!)

Now, as much as it hurts my soul, it is time to get serious
In all honesty I’ve got this whole parenting thing down. There are two reasons for my optimism. First, I know that there are millions of more unprepared moms and dads who do just fine. They make mistakes along the way just like we all do. The trick, of course, is limiting the long lasting impacts of those mistakes. That is, screwing up teaching the rules of baseball vs screwing up whatever eventually causes little girls (or highly attractive boys) to grow up to be strippers.

Second, I know that I’ve got a good teammate in my wife that will help guide me along the way.

And, I guess if that doesn’t work, I’ll email Cosby and see if he can recommend any good parenting books.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Progression Long Run - FAIL

I'm always amazed at magazines like Runners World, Marathon and Beyond, or even Mens Running (where the tagline is "for runners with balls" - literally).  I'm amazed at their ability to turn what is a pretty simple task, running, and turn out monthly magazines filled with enough unique content to have circulations in the hundreds of thousands.  I think that is a fairly common statement from non-runners: "How can you talk so much about running!?  How can it be THAT different!?"

I'm a creature of habit.  I like my beer cold, my wine red, my blog posts funny and irreverent, and for the most part my runs the same flavor each week.  However, I'm always open to new experiences (chocolate AND caramel on ice cream!?).  So, when a blogger buddy suggested a completely new type of long run, a progression long run, I was on it like Justin Bieber on a hair dryer sale.

Like all really good ideas, the concept is actually really simple and something that I wish I would have thought of myself.  After running a few 16+ milers, you swap out a regular long run for the following: 4 miles warm up, 4 miles marathon pace, 4 miles half marathon pace, 2 miles 10k pace, 1/2 mile 5K pace, 1.5 miles cool down......likely followed by puking.

The run does a number of things.  It really simulates the fatigue in the last 4-5 miles of the marathon, it trains your mind to push harder through increasingly stronger loads, and it trains your body to continue to push even though you're legs are tired and burning.  I still need a lot of training. Here is where I ended up:

4 miles warm up: 7:58 pace (7.55 mph) Good
4 miles MP: 7:32 pace (7.95 mph) Good!!
4 miles half MP: 7:02 (8.50 mph) Good, but tired
2 miles 10k: 6:35 & 7:25 (8.6 mph) Blah
1/2 mile 5K: 6:03 (9.9 mph) This suuuucks
1.5 mile cool down: 1/2 mile walking 1 mile jog

Everything was going well through 12 miles when my wheels fell off.  During the first mile of my 10K pace, my MIND, not my body, said that it had enough.  I had to take a breather and catch my breath.  I ate a gel and pushed onwards.  But, then about 1.5 miles later, another wall.  My legs and lungs were burning with the sum total of the miles and the increasing load placed on them.

Ultimately, I had to walk / take breaks twice - once in the middle of my first 10k mile and once in between my  10K and 5K paces.  So, overall the run was a fail.  To be a win, I would have had no walk breaks.  However, the run was not totally without value.  I learned that I really need to train myself for miles 22-26 of the marathon.  Those miles when your body is screaming to slow down and your legs either hurt or have gone completely numb.  So, I'll do this run again in a few weeks to see how much I have improved.

Has anyone else tried any new or different runs lately?

Finally, to be fair to the ladies and balance out my Kara Goucher Runners World cover above, here is the Josh Cox runners world cover with his famous 8 pack.  This cover always makes me wonder - how far down do those abs go!? how much of that is real vs airbrushed.  Either way, he's bachelor-tastic!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Boys vs Girls

Tomorrow I have "Daddy Boot Camp".  From what I understand, this is a survivor style event with contests involving diaper changing and eating various foul tasting ointments.  It all culminates with everyone sitting naked around a campfire singing songs.  At least, that is what I heard.

I'm going to be a great dad.



Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Traveling Woes and Running

Bullet point style today.  Lots of updates, less time to update:

I've been traveling for work pretty much non stopped since I started (going on 8 years). You'd think that I'd be pretty good at the whole travel thing, right?  Well this week seemed to buck the trend.  Examples included:
  • When I called to book a taxi on Sunday night at 8pm, I didn't have a flight booked (I had been drinking, but no NyQuil so I am not sure why I forgot). So, I immediately scrambled to get one of those squared away.
  • No later than 10 hours after I booked my flight, on the way to the airport my cab blew out a tire on the Interstate.  I'm not talking "oppsies kind sir, it looks like I might have to pull this motorized carriage over"....I'm instead talking "oh shit!! **sound of blown out tire scraping the car fenders**".  Luckily my driver was able to call a different cab and I made it on my flight on time.  No word on if the cab driver was able to push his car to a mechanic.
  • When I went to put on my running clothes Monday night, I realized that I forgot t-shirts to run in. So this week I am using dirty undershits.  As much as I hate wearing a shirt while running, I refuse to be 'that guy' on the treadmill, chest hair flapping with every stride.  Besides, I have no chest hair anyway
  • And finally, the piece de resistance (triple word score!). For the first time ever, I brought two pairs of shoes to run in this week: my normal stability long run shoes and my lightweight trainers. Unfortunately, the pair of stability shoes is a "pair" of TWO LEFT SHOES. It seems that my pack-rat nature with old shoes has caught up to me.

Not me, but exactly what I look like:
Old shoe / new shoe - both left
In spite of myself, I have been able to get quite a few runs in this week.  Overall they were just OK.  I'm still battling with busy work schedules but I seem to be able to find somewhat of a groove.
  • Monday was a 5 mile recovery run with some coworkers at 8:40 pace.  It was at a relatively leisurely pace, but it was nice to dodge the skunks knock the rust off.
  • Tuesday I took an unplanned rest day partly due to crazy work schedules and partly due to feeling under the weather.  Obviously I need to take more vitamin C (that based on her blog comment, my sister thinks is likely compressed wood chips).
  • Wednesday: I was finally able to do something that resembled speed work.  7.5 miles overall at 7:08 pace with 6 miles at tempo pace of 6:50.
  • Thursday was an 8 mile marathon pace run @ 7:34 pace.  The miles seemed to slug along, mostly because I felt like I was running behind schedule.  Turns out, I was!  I rolled into work a pretty solid 20 minutes after I wanted to today.

Tomorrow is scheduled to be a track day.  My knee and quad are still a bit sore, but I'm hoping that they'll just figure shit out on their own.  Good strategy, right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Try it Tuesday: Pills


Yeah, you heard me. Pills. **Insert Lindsey Lohan substance abuse joke here** (Sometimes they are just too easy – like Lindsey Lohan! Heyooooo)

Each day, I take this 6 pill concoction that I feel helps me stay strong and virile….for when the time is right  healthy and wise. Each pill has a specific purpose that I read about on the internet at one point or the other.  Some are to keep me from getting sick while others are to keep me healthy while running.  The damage:

Apologies for the green matrix style picture, still no iPhone


Here is what I THINK they are doing for me
  • Claritin D: This one is a must. I have pretty bad allergies to all things….earth
  • Fish Oil: Helps my brain create these witty blog posts as well as lubes up my joints
  • Vitamin C: Fights colds (see below for very important info on this)
  • Multi-Vitamin: Gets me the good stuff that I don't get from a diet rich in Chipotle and McFlurries
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Helps my cartilage / ligaments absorb more water thereby providing more cushion
  • Calcium: Helps keep my bones strong (a hold-over from my stress fracture)

If you get nothing from this post, please read this A recent study has found that the 36-48 hour immune system dip after 90+ minutes of hard endurance activity can be significantly reduced by 200 mg daily of vitamin C. Unfortunately, the study showed no immunity boost for non-endurance athletes for taking daily vitamin C. Suckers. Here is the clip from NPR’s Fresh Air:

DAVIES: If you're just joining us, we're speaking with science writer Jennifer Ackerman. She's written a new book called "Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold."


So let's talk about remedies and cures. Vitamin C, for years and years, people have sworn by it, both to ward off colds and to fight its symptoms when infected. Anything to it?


Ms. ACKERMAN: Well, unfortunately, you know, Vitamin C has been the subject of study for years and years and years. And the bottom line is that when it comes to preventing the common cold in the general population, Vitamin C gets a grade of about D.


If it's taken on a regular basis, it really doesn't help to prevent colds in the general population. If you take daily Vitamin C, it may reduce the severity of symptoms but only very slightly. It has this ability to dry nasal secretions a little bit. So there is some positive effect when you have a cold. It can actually shorten the duration of a cold just a tiny fraction.


There is some preventive benefit for people who are engaged in endurance exercise or people who are exposed to extreme cold. The studies suggest that for these people, these sort of - in these extreme environments or doing this extreme exercise, a daily dose of about 200 milligrams actually reduces the incidence of colds by half.


DAVIES: So if you're a marathon runner or work on an ice-breaker, maybe, huh?


Ms. ACKERMAN: Yes.

I don't think I need any more evidence than that!  The radio said it, so it has to be true.

Pros:
  • Placebo effect. I think they are working, so they're probably doing SOMETHING
  • I can eat like crap. Sure, getting all of these vits/minerals from food would be good, but it sure is nice knowing that I don’t HAVE to if I don’t want
  • NPR says so


Cons:
  • When you are taking them a handful at a time like you're popping peanuts at a bar, people look at you like you are a heroin addict trying to get by on pain meds until your next hit
  • While not horribly expensive, these things aren’t not cheap. I am not sure what I spend a day, but I honestly don’t want to find out

The verdict? I still take them. I’m sure that 90% of their effects are mostly a placebo sugar pill effect, however the other 10% probably is actually doing something. And for that, they get my seal of approval:


Of course, as I type this, I’m a bit sniffley and my throat is sore. I’m getting a cold. SUCK. As much as I would like the pills to counterbalance the 5 hours of sleep I’ve been getting and the high stress of my job, I know better. So for that, my pills get the FAIL killer whale eating my seal of approval:


Does anyone else take this many pills every day?  I am sure that at least some of you have strong opinions about this one.  Anyone know of any good seal eyeballs, whale penis remedy that will keep me potent until I'm 90?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall is for Football

Phoenix has no fall. Other than the drop in temperatures, the only way that one can tell of the seasons changing are the frequent Christmas tree vendors setting up shop on the sandy vacant lots – and even they have shorts and flipflops on. However, Phoenix does have one thing that screams of fall no matter where you are: Football.

Often I long for the crisp fall air and the trees changing orange and red. I miss fall. I’ve found that in the absence of tranquil mornings on the patio with a cup of coffee in hand watching the leaves fall gently to the ground, I’ve come to celebrate fall a slightly different way. I celebrate by watching 22 grown men bash each other’s brains in, while wearing tight pants, waiting for the quarterback to put his hands on the center’s crotch….all while wearing a giant foam “We’re #1” finger…..and wearing flip flops. No matter how hot it is, fall is for football.

This weekend I hopped on a charter bus with 50 of my closest friends and headed down to Tucson to watch the Arizona/Iowa football game. Along for the ride were 12 cases of beer, 16 cases of water, 2 gallons of vodka and rum each – and we had to make a beer run on the way home because we ran out.

Here I am with my wife before the trip. We are both still smiling because it wasn’t yet 105 degrees (the high of the day) and she wasn’t feeling the effects of being 7 months pregnant (everything swelled up like sausages).


Note however, that no matter where you are there isn’t a picture that I can’t ruin


Since I had just ran 20 miles 90 minutes before (read about it here), I wasn’t so dumb as to not work on a little hydration and compression before I hit the ‘good’ stuff. My brother in law was not amused by my early morning sobriety. My argument was that Iowa’s colors are Gold and Black. I matched!


A few more pictures to show you how we do. TV? Check. Random beer bong? Check (well, not me……seems like a great way to catch the mouth herps.) Random dude painted completely red? Check. Ummmmm, mariachi band? Check??





Mothers look away for this one At one point, the football the group was playing with got stuck on the roof of the camper beside us. Solution? Stack 2 coolers on top of each other, hop on top of the coolers, and boost your 5 year kid on the RV to grab it. If you can think of a better way, I’d like to hear it.


If I may, I would like to throw out a bit of a hail-mary pass (football reference, WIN!). My single, mostly disease free brother in law is looking for love. If you know of any anonymous ladies who like to go from tailgate to tailgate looking for free beers to shotgun, have I got the guy for you! Oh wait, it looks like he’s already found a few ladies that fit the bill. Never mind.


Finally, we actually did watch some football. Iowa lost, but it was still a really good game. (And I’m an Iowa State fan – so whateves) If nothing else, at least getting out and watching some football got me into the fall mood – even if it was about 50 degrees too hot for Irish hot coco. At least I got to wear my flip flops.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

20 Miler and Coach's Feedback

Not all runs can be awe inspiring, runners high educing endeavors.  In fact, on average I only consider 1 out of every 3 of my 18+ mile runs "good".  However, on Saturday, I bucked the odds and had one of my best 20 milers to date.  20 miles at 7:55 pace.

Honestly I wish I knew what contributed to the success of this run.  It had a few things stacked against it.  I had loaded up on birthday cake and burgers the night before while at a cousin's birthday party.  I reset my alarm from 5am to 6am because I was so exhausted - resulting in an ending run temperature of 90 degrees.  However, I DID hold off on any birthday beers (don't all 5 year old birthday parties involve drinking?) and super hydrated to the point of a stomach ache.  I did the same thing before my 5K last weekend and wanted to see if it would help on the longer runs as well.  Needless to say, I will be doing this from now on.

Here is the graph of my overall mileage.  I don't show this for you to have an epiphany about the massive quantities of data exploding into your cornea, but to show you that I really did have a consistent, solid run.  (And, Okay, maybe to try to explode your cornea)

Relatively steady pace (with spikes for stoplights)
Note that I pushed the pace ever so slightly for the last 5 miles

That said, my run wasn't all rainbows and unicorns.  When I was only two miles in, I felt the urge to......go.  Knowing that I was on a relatively barren stretch of desert and that the prospect of hiding behind a cactus didn't seem all that appealing, I decided that doing an immediate about face get back to my house was the best course of action.

I've had a string of long runs that have required these mid run pit-stops.  I really need to figure out what is going on prior to the Denver Marathon as losing an entire 5 minutes during the races doesn't appeal to me - which would likely result in a Paula Radcliffe style "break".

---------------------------------

As you might recall, I recently taped myself running to have my gait analyzed by a certified running coach. I've been given the green light by Chris @ BQ or Die to let you know that the coach (his coach) was Coach Jeff @ PRS Fit. Because I know that you are all wondering with baited breath at seeing me shirtless, here again is the video of me running, Baywatch style.


When I spoke with him on the phone, as much as I thought that he would, the coach didn't say that I ran like this guy:
In fact, the coach said that my 5K form didn't look too horribly bad.  The other speeds?  Drunk Monkey.  FML.

The good was that at 5K speed, I:

  • Landed my feet under my body with my knee bent slightly
  • Kicked my knees high
  • Minimized my bounce thereby putting my energy forward
  • Maintained a high cadence


The bad was basically at all other speeds.  The slower I became, the more my form degraded, and the more I resembled an intoxicated primate. I:

  • Landed more on my heel resulting in more man-boob inducing bounce, more impact on my legs, and almost a breaking effect
  • Landed my feet more out in front of me
  • Slowed down my cadence


Ok, that is all fine and good, but what can I actually DO about it?  What is going to keep me off the couch and out of the co-pay hungry doctors office?  That is, what kinds of things can I do to improve?  There seemed to be two major points:

  • Stay only slightly bent at the waist (if any), but bend forward slightly at the ANKLES.   This seemed to make sense, however in practice was/is very hard to do.  The reason is that when you bend forward at the ankles, you will naturally land more underneath your body, land on your mid/forefoot, and will keep the majority of your stride (kick) behind you.  All of these aim to reduce the impact of energy down and instead use it for moving forward.  Try it the next time you are out while NOT bending at the waist - it doesn't have to be a lot....just a few degrees or minutes on the clock-face.  Difficult.
  • Keep my cadence high and adjust my speed using stride length.  This was actually a little counter intuitive to me.  Jeff's thought process is that when I keep my cadence high, I will be lighter on my feet making the above adjustment easier. (If I remember right)

Thanks to Coach Jeff @ PRS Fit.  While I am not financially (babies are by far cost/weight ratio the most expensive things in the world) ready to go balls-out with a coach, I really appreciate his comments. I'm really going to incorporate his feedback into my runs bit by bit to see if it helps get my feet under me.

Have you ever thought about a coach?  I'm still on the fence.



Friday, September 17, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Working Hard for the Money

Wowza, what a week. As I sit on the plane Thursday night typing this, I’ve already put in 50 hours. I also work tomorrow. Things are busy, but it is a good kind of busy. Value is being added, synergies are being formed, **Insert your favorite corporate doublespeak here**

Since I haven’t posted since Monday, I’m going to combine a number of posts in this one. It is going to be part Funny Foto Friday, part innuendo, and part running update.

Running Update
Monday 5 recovery miles
Tuesday 7 miles w/ 5 at tempo of 6:53
Wednesday 7 miles at MP of 7:38
Thursday 5 miles with 5x800 at 6:29

My running has been really up and down.  I think that my 5 hours of sleep a night is really starting to catch up with me.  However, putting a sliver lining spin on it, I like to think of it as training for when we have a baby.

The tempo run on Tuesday was particularly bad.  I had a crazy side stitch that would not go away.  I tried all of the normal remedies to no avail: I stopped and stretched it out, tried belly breathing, sweared at it, tried drinking water...nothing worked!  I eventually gave in and took a 30 second breather and tried to rub it out.  Not even massaging my side worked.  So, I just grunted it out - literally.  I was totally that guy at 10pm in the hotel gym running on the treadmill grunting under my breath.  I'm sure I was a sight to see.

Funny Foto Friday
Popeye said it best. Spinach makes your thingie bigger! I yam what I yam. And, for the most part that is my motto. For better or for worse, no matter what the situation, I am the same happy go lucky guy that you read in this blog. However when I travel, I will admit that there are a few very distinct differences between my home life and my traveling life.

One specific difference are my cleanliness habits.

When I am traveling I no longer have the proverbial angel / devil sitting on my shoulders telling me what to do.  No longer do I have a nagging caring wife telling me to put some pants on and take out the trash.  You see, when I am traveling, I still have the devil and angel, but they normally say things like:

Devil: "We're in a hotel!!  Just throw your wet running clothes on the floor and at least throw your garbage in the direction of the trash - everything else just flush down the toilet."
Adam: "What do you think Angel?"
Angel: "Whatever dude, I'm on vacation"

For example, here is a picture of my home office. I had cleaned it up a bit because people were coming over but this is usually what it looks like. (As you can see, one of the guests was my wife’s aunt, doing her best impression of me “working”.) Note that everything has a place:
  • My laptop on the table
  • Notebook to one side
  • And for the record my race medals in the back. :)


My work office in San Jose is a completely different story. Where to start?
  • I count not one, two, three, or four, but FIVE stacks of papers. You know, one for old stuff, one for stuff that needs updating, one full of papers that should not have been printed but I felt guilty after I did print them
  • A water bottle that I know was at least two days old
  • A water cup that replaced said water bottle
  • If you look to the left of the water bottle, you’ll find the MASSIVE ball of cords that I refused to untangle in my caffeine deprived state as I unpacked in the morning. Somewhere in that, my cell phone charger got plugged in to the wall and to my cell phone
  • That desktop computer in the corner? Doesn’t have a monitor….and the keyboard is up on the shelf


Do you have a work persona and a home persona?  How about when you travel - do you go all Motley Crew and decimate the hotel room?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chocolate #9 Winner and 8 Questions

Finally, what you've all been waiting for:  The show Wipeout in High Definition!!!  The winners of the Chocolate #9 giveaway contest.  Remember, there are THREE boxes of the stuff and therefore are three winners.  Unfortunately, that means I'm going to have to take a 4th mortgage on my house to pay the shipping bills.  C'est la vie.

So, without further grandstanding, out of the 125 entries, the winners are:
BerryFine @ Fat to Fab
Karen @ 21st Time
Zaneta @ Runners Luck

Shoot me an email at TheBoringRunner (at) gmail.com by Friday 9/17 and let me know where to ship your chocolaty loot!

---------------------------------------------

Andrew at Running Man Wannabe tagged me to answer 8 questions about my running (and I believe my bedroom "business").  Andrew is prepping for his FIRST ever 5K in TWO weeks!!! I've tried my best to answer truthfully and honestly.  Here goes!!

1.  What is the best 5k time you have had in the last 9 months?
Is it sad that it took me just a bit to realize that when you said 9 months you meant 2010 thus far? 19:42 during the First Annual Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K. I WILL beat this by a solid 20 seconds on Sunday.  Well, since I delayed this post for a day, my NEW fastest was the 18:50 I ran during the 9/11 Memorial 5K!

2.  What was your body weight (with clothing, water, stuff) at this 5k time? (Guess is acceptable - but should be accurate!)
Fortunately, just like every time I get together with Jeff, this event was clothing optional When I run in 5Ks (and 10Ks for that matter):

  • I do not carry any water – so no extra weight there
  • I also don’t eat breakfast before a 5K race – so no extra weight there
  • However, I don’t crap before races either – probs 10 pounds gained there **Insert foghorn sound while pumping fist**  Craped for the first time before yesterday's race - that is probably how I got my PR.
Wait, what was the question? Oh right – 150ish. I’m up about 5 pounds of baby sympathy weight and plan on dropping it prior to my “A goal” marathon – Rock and Roll San Antonio.

3. Did you run a negative split during this 5k?
Nope. I very rarely negative split when I run (I can only think of once during a race). Just like the herps – some people got it and some people don’t. Know who you are as a runner and plan your race strategy around that. I know that I am not a negative split runner so I don't plan to be. *shrugs shoulders*

4. Did you fartlek at anytime during the run?
I try to fartlek 2-3 times a day. When I am traveling and am away from my wife I always seem to do it more. I mean, I’m in the hotel room alone, the pay per view girlie movies are a few button clicks away, the movie titles don’t show up on the bill….wait, what does fartlek mean again? (I only run specific intervals on Thursday during normal training. I’ll fartlek 2 times during a mile warm up before a 5K)

5. What is your age or age group?
I’m 29. 310 days until I turn 30 and will no longer be able to get by on my boyish charm. Not that I am counting.

6. What is your sex?
Didn’t we already talk about fartleks? They count right?

7. Have you ever run to a metronome?
I did, but between the weight of the metronome and the piano that it was attached to, it seemed to slow me down a bit. (Never. Sometimes you just have to unplug and go by feel.)

8. What is your stride length running at a 5k pace?
What do I look like?! Some sort of math guy? (Could have received a math minor with an addl 9 credits. LAME) I would like you to know that I ran with a tape measure like some sort of sadistic multitasking construction worker to do this. 3' 7.5" (or, 110.5 cm). I think that it is also valuable information that I was running at a 6:10 pace and I am either 5’9” or 5’8.5” depending on who I am trying to impress.

 You know what they say about guys with large strides……


Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11 Memorial 5K Race Report - I won!

Yes, you read that right - I won. I can only assume that all of the REAL fast runners were too busy memorializing 9/11 and were still hungover on 9/12.  That is what I am assuming at least....

I think that this race could be summed up with one of my favorite statements: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.  Today, was my day - I was that lucky squirrel.

Distance: 3.10 (Garmin said 3.15)
Time: 18:50 (47 second PR!!)
Pace: 6:04 (Garmin said 5:59 due to long distance)
Place: 1st out of ?? Probs 200ish.  Will update when posted.

Early this morning, while most were in bed and not even an early morning runner had decided to brave the morning air, I was driving to my first "A goal" race.  50 miles.  Each way. Blah.

Instead of sweating my man-bits off running long this summer, I've been sweating my man-bits off running around the track.  I really wanted to focus on speed instead of distance to minimize the time I spent in the 100 degree heat.  So, while I have a marathon in 5 weeks, I have 5Ks scheduled every other week from now through the middle of October.  Great for setting 5K PRs....walk of shame inducing during marathons.

As soon as I found Glendale AZ's Remember 9/11 5K, I was looking forward to it.  While I am not a super patriotic guy, there is definitely something to be said about September 11th.  This race featured a memorial including everyone's names who perished on that day:

As well as a firefighter who ran the entire race in FULL gear.  He was dripping wet with as much sweat as you would expect as he finished:

The race itself was a bit interesting.  It was around the Arizona Cardinal NFL football team's stadium.  By around, I mean like 95% in parking lots. I am trying to think of a less scenic race but I can't really think of one.  Possibly a race where everyone is blindfolded?  Maybe a type of "Run the Sahara" desert race?

Phoenix Cardinals NFL team's stadium at the bottom
Phoenix Coyotes NHL team's rink in the middle


Mile 1: 5:46
As everyone was milling around for the race, I did my usual "book by it's cover" scan of the field.  I've found that before the race, I look for a few thing to gauge where I should be lining up.  Lots of singlets and those shorty slit leg shorts? Move back a bit.  Racing flats? Move back a bit. High school cross country kids? Laugh at them because I can buy beer and they can't and then....move back a bit.

However, for this race - I saw none of those (again, they were all hung over from celebrating life on 9/11).  I saw a few people in racing flats, but I flat out asked them how fast they thought they were going to go out and they all said around 20:00.  I started on the starting line and lead the entire way.
Mile 2: 6:07
"This suuuuuuuuuuuuuckkssssssssss".  For me, mile 2 is always that middle ground of exhaustion: I'm breathing like a porn star (and my legs burn just as bad) and I'm not half way done yet so I can't start counting down the minutes.  It was the same for this race.  I was really starting to feel the dry desert air in my lungs and towards the end of the mile was just starting to feel the faintest hint of lactic acid buildup.

Mile 3: 6:04 & Last 0.15: 0:52 (5:52 pace)
The last 1.1 miles sort of went by in a blur.  It was an out and back race (sort of), so I got to see quite a few of the walkers who gave me a few "looking good"s.  I assumed that by "looking good" they meant, "wow you look like shit, but you're not dead yet so you must be doing good?".  The good thing about the parking lot and super curvy race was that I could see how far the people behind me were at every turn.  The only thing that kept me going here was the fact that the #2 kid really tried to put on a push at about 2.1 miles.  I squeezed every last bit of go-juice I had and probably secured my sub-19:00 as a result.

I had a number of firsts during this race:
  • 1st time I've went #2 before the race (Thank goodness!!!  Whew - what a load off...literally)
  • 1st time that I've finished top 10 in a race
  • 1st time I've driven this far in town for a race (50 miles each way)
  • 1st time I've ran a race that was 95% in a parking lot
  • 1st time I've had to pay attention to the markings to know where to go (This was huge....being in the front is a big responsibility!  Luckily the course was REALLY marked well and I only had to ask once where I needed to go.)

The Race Director and I....and my sweat towel to dry off with.  MMmmmmm


The shirt and 1st place medal.  One of my most favorite shirts to date - medal, not so much

Overall it was really fun race and a truly memorable experience.  My wife wasn't able to attend, so there aren't any actual pictures of me running.  However, there were a few official photographers there so I am hoping on getting some of those pictures soon.

I know I owe Andrew @ Running Man Wannabe some answers to his questions as well as I need to announce the winners of my Chocolate #9 contest.  I have the post written, but wanted to post this first!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Funny Foto Friday: Old Facebook Feeds

Facebook is everywhere. My mom, dad, and even my grandpa have a profile page. So, it didn't surprise me when The Readhead sent me these VERY early Facebook profile update feeds. I think I laughed so hard that like 2 drops of pee came out.

Happy Friday!