Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 634-637 - Mayor's Cup Challenge 2009 aka The Sweet Taste of Glory

Well the day has come and gone. The screaming fans have returned to their homes, and the city sanitation department is working to clean up the after party. The Mayor's Cup 5-k has been completed.

There were a few disappointments. Unlike when I did it four years ago, the mayor didn't give an unintelligible speech that was shouted down by runners in the back of the pack who wanted to start running. I was really looking forward to that...There was the obnoxious little ten year old punk who started sprinting at the very end, knowing that if I tripped him at that point there would be witnesses...The fact that they didn't let me give an acceptance speech was also a little disappointing, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The race was great. Beautiful weather. Everything felt great. My partner in crime, ran an awesome first ever 5-k with me in 29:42. Talk about an impressive accomplishment! Hopefully he sticks with it and signs up for the next race! There is talk of a running streak (not my idea!) which would be kewl as well...

When I was warming up for the race, teh wifey reminded me that I needed to maintain tradition and bring home the hardware in this race. In '06 when I ran it I won a sweet AG award (I took third). You know, due to the fact there were only three runners in my age group. Well to end the torturous suspense that I know you're feeling right now, let me just tell you, I took third place AGAIN! Oh yeah. The pro running scouts are so checking me out right now. Endorsements, shoe contracts, fan clubs, I expect all of this later today. How did this amazing feat get accomplished by yours truly?

By some miracle, there were only three people in my age group AGAIN!

I was notified that I have to pick up my "award" at the local running store. I personally am hoping for a check, cash, Godfather's Pizza gift certificates, or other equivalent compensation. I am expecting the same generic "you didn't win" ribbon I got last time and that I got on fifth grade field day many years ago.

Good times.

634 1.0 in 8:40 (I was jazzed for the race!)
635 3.1 in 29:42
636 1.0 in 11:32
637 1.0 in 11:54 I think according to the plan this was supposed to be 14 miles... whoops.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 631-633 The Day is Here!

Tomorrow is the big day! I and a good friend of mine will be doing the Mayor's Cup 5-k in lovely America the Beautiful park. A while back this friend started running and has just taken off! Literally! I believe he used a lot of the couch to 5-k program and he now "runs a four minute mile with an engine block strapped to his back." (bonus points for name that tune.) (The program even has sweet podcasts to listen to and keep you on track with the workouts!) I am expecting to have to use an electric scooter just to keep up with him. It should be a fun time, you know as far as actual running goes...

631 1.0 in 10:12
632 3.0 in 33:06
633 1.0 in 11:24

The kids love the fountain in the park...when the city has budget to turn it on...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 627-630 The One Ring

Right, so I'd like to talk about running. I'd like to talk about motivation, and determination, and just hauling off and signing up for a whole bunch of races (still haven't done it). I would even begrudgingly like to talk about my two hour and fifteen minute long run--err long trudge that covered barely ten miles on some hills and in unseasonably warm weather. However I can't. Not today.

The reason? The One Ring. So a new physical phenomenon that I understood before, but now know painfully well, is this: Losing 50+ lbs + putting on copious amounts of sunscreen for a long run = me losing my wedding ring. ARRRRGHUGHNGHGHEAREAHGEGHE! This is very upsetting. Of course it happened as I was heading out the door for the long run. I sort of feel naked walking around without it. Since I acquired more skinny fingers, I developed this physical tick of reaching over with my thumb to make sure my ring is still on (its been falling off on a regular basis of late). Feeling nothing there results in a very strange, unsettled feeling. I have placed an internal, family bounty in the hopes this will motivate my six year old and four year old to find it, but no success yet. I know it is a material thing, and I shouldn't get hung up about it, but doggone if it doesn't have meaning to me! This ring does have a history of being lost and found before (you'll have to ask "teh wifey" about that funny story) so there is still hope.

Until that time when I yell "Eureka" from the mountaintops, I'll just have to really live out this streak run thing, and "Run Naked".

Day 627 - 1.0 in 11:12
Day 628 - 1.0 in 10:42
Day 629 - 10.0 in 2:15:43
Day 630 - 1.1 in 13:12 (dress shoes, church clothes, in the rain, ftw!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 624-626 Today we ran

Today we ran. Today we accomplished something. Today if nothing else went right, if everything else failed, there was one thing that was successful. Today there was at least one thing we DID and didn't just think about. Today we chose to do something we didn't have to do. Today we could have given up, but we didn't. Today we ran.

To all those who ran today I say, well done.

624 1.0 in 12:14
625 1.0 in 10:42
626 2.35 in 23:15

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 623 Comparisons

In two hours and twelve minutes, Tim Parr can run to the top of Pikes Peak.

In two hours and eighteen minutes, this guy runs eighteen miles. (Though I don't think it was in this suit...)

In two hours and three minutes Haile Gebreselassie runs a marathon.

Me? I run twelve miles in two hours and eighteen minutes and think I'm pretty hawtsawss.

Simply put, being slow stinks. I think to better help my rationalization I should no longer report runs in actual mileage, but only use time. It sounds better that way.

I did have one of those classic moments during the run. On the way out, running on a sparsely populated dirt road a truck passed me. The passengers looked at me as if I was crazy to be running in the middle of nowhere and slowly passed, as if pondering whether to ask me if I needed rescue. Then an hour or so later as I was coming back the other way, the same truck passed me again! Now suddenly my crazy runner uberness goes up a notch, as the passengers of the truck recognize me and realize I've been running for all this time. The slack-jawed kid in the back was the icing on the cake.

623 12.0 in 2:18:04

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 621-622 Doing the Double (Our Great Race 5-k Race Report)

There have been other noted instances of runners doing doubles. However, I think it is clear that none have been quite so ignominious as the result I put up this weekend.

Brace yourselves now, in one simple morning, I ran the one mile kids run AND a 5-k!! Schnikes! That ultramarathon training is really paying off! /endsarcasm.

Right so the whole family jumped into our local running club's annual free race. A good time was had by all. The six year old ran an 11:45! and finished third overall. The four year old ran 12:30 and set an age-group record! The two year old, ran the whole way, waved at everyone within a mile of the trail, and set an age-group record (she was the first two year old to do it, lol) finishing in 19:11ish...

The family name and honor had been hoisted high! Then there was me. I hadn't planned to run the 5-k until the night before, but since it was free, and I do love me some free stuff...I decided to do it. Its a nice little course, and even though I had run the night before I decided to "endure a little suffering" and push the pace and race it.

Well this of course is when the humiliation comes in (you know, once I start running). I've talked before about my experiences being "chicked" but midway through the course I think I set some new records...

First of all, I got passed by the "Silver Bullet".

This is the name I gave to the 64 year old grandma that went zooming by me. You know this grandma. She is the one talking to and encouraging everyone in sight, never pausing for breath because honestly she hasn't broken a sweat yet. I tried to keep up with her. Big mistake. That lasted for about two minutes and then she pulled away. Out of sight. Its kind of like that Coors Light commercial where the train goes zooming by all those people, except instead of feeling refreshed and covered with ice, I felt more like a prune thats been squished on the sidewalk.

This would have been bad enough, but the "chicked" streak continued. A few moments after Uber Granny pulled away I got passed again. BY A NINE YEAR OLD GIRL! OK I know you are all accusing me of hyperbole now, but I looked up the race results, hoping that maybe she just looked REALLY young and was in college, you know on the track team? She's nine. (In the background behind the Silver Bullet.)

The string just continued. In succession I was passed by: The Silver Bullet, the nine year old, another grandma, grandpa with a knee brace, and the dude who alternately sprints and then walks (UGHAREARARGH!). There may have been a few other "chicks" in there as well. All of this happened in approximately the span of two minutes.

Needless to say it put a bit of a damper on the the family fun. Nonetheless it was, as "teh wifey" put it "a PR for this decade". 28:15 which was 1:20 faster than the last timed 5-k I ran. I was happy about that. At least until I'm jolted by the image of the Silver Bullet waving and zooming away....

621 4.1 in 12:30 (with the 4 year old) and 28:15
622 1.0 in 10:59

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 617-620 Challenge!

"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing. "
--Homer Simpson

I've been seing some posts on the mental aspects of running lately. The fact that I've been thinking about such topics myself only reinforces the idea that running blog-o-sphere has a hive mind and thinks about the same thing, all directed by the evil alien overlords, but I digress. Thus my mental running thought of the day and challenge appears here:

Do something hard today.


Because it's hard.

I like this idea. Its simplistic and unoriginal, but it works for me. It seems to me there is way too much stuff in our world that is soft, and easy, and mundane. I know that I get washed away in comfort and niceties that I am surrounded by. At work I sit in an $800 chair (there are a thousand of them in the building if any chair thieves are interested), I drive to work in a car that has heated seats and air conditioning, I go home to a house with comfortable chairs, nice squishy carpets, and a feather soft bed with massive pillows. For my job, I don't dig ditches, or build things, or lift heavy objects. I write emails, and I think (that is hard sometimes, really), and I stare at a computer screen. Where is the challenge? Where is the impossible goal? Where is the blind leap of faith across the bottomless chasm? Thus I say to all of this, do something hard. When I was thinking about running every day for a year, it came from asking myself the question, "What would be something that would be really ridiculously hard/impossible for me to do?" Then I came up with trying a streak. Then I said, why not run a marathon? Now I'm saying, albeit a little tentatively, why not run an ultramarathon? For those of you who know me, those are all RIDICULOUS things to think, at least two years ago.

The benefits are huge. Yes there is the feeling of accomplishment, the success, the fame, fortune, and hordes of cash being thrown your way. However I think the biggest benefit for me is that it breaks the cycle. The cycle is that moirass of mediocrity and mundaneness which creeps into our lives if we let it. Its a vicious pattern of doing just enough to get by, accepting no challenges, never risking failure, that leads us to that final destination of our will, and abilities, and muscles? atrophying so badly that we don't even have the capability or energy to try something different.

So. What are you going to do today? What "hard" challenge are you embarking on, or are struggling through right now? Don't settle for the easy, the known, the already in my grasp things. Do something hard. And enjoy it!


617 1.0 in 10:23
618 2.35 in 23:58
619 1.0 in 11:01
620 1.0 in 12:50

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 614-616 Do my good deeds count against me?

I was running an actual semi-long run the other day and a moral dilemna arose. Here is how it came to be. I had left the course choice up to a family vote. My two sons dominated the voting and chose the 1/2 mile loop around our house. They chose this because then they can watch for me out their bedroom window and cheer for me. They also like to request various headlamp settings ("Switch to the Red Light Daddy!") and I am more than happy to oblige. The 1/2 mile loop pretty much stinks for running nine miles because it is extremely repetitive (eighteen laps) and it is all up and down a hill in the middle. None the less with the aid of the most amazing "teh wifey" in the world (who actually provided an aid station for me!) I was doing well.

I had set a goal of finishing under 100 minutes which would be about eleven minute miles, and had been extremely consistent in that. However as I started the last six or so laps I noticed that a car parked on the street had the interior light on. I had noticed some guy sitting in the car and going into a neighborhood party, and apparently he had left the light on. Thus the quandry arose. Do I

A) Interrupt my run, try and figure out which house the driver is in, knock on doors, wake people up and inform the driver of his imminent need of jumper cables, the end result of which is I won't make my goal time of under one hundred minutes OR

B) Ignore this and keep running, and make my goal!

Hmmmm. I'm afraid to admit the rationalization won. I figured it was a small light, the drain couldn't be too bad, right? So I finished the nine miles, then walked up to the house, thankfully caught a few people coming out of the "party" house and let them know about the light.

Nine miles done. Goal time met. Conscience, mostly abated. Good times.

614 1.0 in 11:14
615 9.0 in 99:49
616 1.0 in 12:54

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day 613 Here it comes

Yes indeed my friends. It has been quite a while, and it is long over due. It is now officially time for a "Check It Fools!" post (read in a Mr. T voice.)

Check it foo's! I just ran me a 4 mile course that I've never run in under 42 minutes in the blazing fast, PR by approx. five minutes, 36:20 (not including 1:15 of waiting at stop lights.) That is smokin' fast! Look out Mr. Ryan Hall. Better watch your back Mr. Bernard Lagat. You better pick up the pace Col. Sanders! (just go with it) I am runnin' up your back side!!! Look out! Plus, you look mighty cute in them jeans! (bonus points for that reference...)

PLUS...my knees felt great.

It was nice.

I ran in the day time.

God is good.

4.0 in 36:20 (37:35 total)

Day 610-612 Go Lean Crunch! (it is pretty tasty)

So I was out running the other day. (Strange phenomenon, I know.) Out in the middle of the night, waddling along, and then I hear a strange noise. I would have stopped running, but that would have meant I had to start the one mile rest run again, it does have to be continuous. After a moment of analysis I realized that I was making the noise. In fact the noise was coming from my knee. The good knee. This strange phenonmenon continued the next day as well. Its kind of like a crunch, each time I take a step. I'm used to the crunch, but in this case the crunch was so loud that I could hear it over my mp3 player. Yikes. Moral of the story? It didn't happen today. Everything must be fine!

Rock on!

610 1.0 in 11:14
611 2.0 in 9:01
612 1.0 in 12:01

Yeah I'm pretty much just lazy at this point.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 608-609 Hawt Sawss!!

Yesterday was a "long run". When someone saw me limping around at work, due to the usual Achilles/heel stiffness, they commented that "eight miles should be no problem for a marathon runner!" I concur. It was also nice to be deemed a marathon runner. However, this one-time, really slow, waddling marathon runner has not run very far in a long time. He has forgotten what it is involved in running more than a few miles around the neighborhood. That fact was obvious when, directly prior to the 7.5 mile course the runner consumed copious amounts of "very hot chili sauce". You see a real marathon runner would realize the potential affect such consumption would have on the GI. The real marathon runner would have passed on the hot sauce so that during the run they could pass on waddling a half a mile in complete, mind-melting pain with his legs crossed to get to the local 7-11 and use their facilities. While this is unfortunately true, I won't be giving up my finisher's medal anytime soon.

Today, was a stroller run with the two year old riding, and the four year old running. That kind of participation actually does make running fun.

608 7.5 in 90:14
609 1.0 in 12:14