Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I've never been much for resolutions - I mean, if you're going to make some fantastic change in your life, why wait until Jan. 1? What's wrong with November 14th? Or September 3rd? Or June 24th?

I don't know, if you're serious, Jan. 1st is as good as any other day. Hey, who am I to judge.

But personally, I'd rather skip the resolutions, and sign up for a Resolution Run!

Let's race!


December 31st / First Run 2010 5k / Portland, OR

December 31st / First Run 2010 10k and 5k / Eugene, OR

January 1st / Capitol Mile / Salem, OR

January 1st / Resolution Run and Polar Dip, 2.6 miles / Bellingham, WA

January 1st / Resolution Run and Polar Dip, 5k / Seattle, WA

January 1st / Pooch and Pal Run, 5k and 1.5 mile / Pasco, WA

January 3rd / ORRC Y2kX, 20.20k and 10k / Forest Grove, OR

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Man, I feel like I've gained 10 pounds in the last two days! It's a good thing I've got a long run coming up tomorrow...I've gotta burn some calories here.

Hope you had a great Christmas. Now tomorrow, get out there and run!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho

Hey, it's Christmas week - no one expects you to kill yourself this week. Get in the spirit! Have an extra helping of pie!

And run a race! Well, maybe not. You see, there's only one race in the NW on the week of Christmas. If you're not ready to travel up to Rochester, WA...then you're out of luck.

Go ahead...have one more piece of pie instead. I won't tell anyone.

Besides, there are lots of races next week during New Year's!


December 27th / End of the Decade Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10 miles, 10k, and 5k / Rochester, WA (They say it will be run once a decade...I'm not sure if they're kidding or not)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Best Running Song for December!

Hey, I know you're happy to be out there running, right? Happy, happy, happy...who isn't happy?

Well, once in a while, when it's about 14 degrees outside and the wind is howling right into your face, and you're heading uphill (the first uphill of seven total on your route), well, right about then, happy just doesn't cut it.

But you know what does absolutely cut it? Yeah, the Deftones. Sometimes you need to run angry. Sometimes you need a song to just, well pardon my French, but you need a song to kick your ass to get you up that hill.

This is that song. It's called "Knife Prty" and of course it's from the amazing band, the Deftones. If you want to scream out in the middle of your run, in your best Mojo Jojo voice, "I rock SO hard!" Well, really, this is the only song that works for that.

And for something completely, utterly, and fantastically different...check out this acoustic version of the same song.

Get out there and rock those trails hard.

Past Best Running Songs:
November: The Kooks / "Always Where I Need To Be"
October: At the Drive In / "One Armed Scissor"
September: Silversun Pickups / "Lazy Eye"
August: Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros / "Johnny Appleseed"
July: Deathray / "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)"
June: Raconteurs / "Salute Your Solution"
May: Tea Party / "Save Me"
April: Bloc Party / "Like Eating Glass"
Ever: The English Beat / "I Confess"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Race T-Shirt Review!

Yep, it's that time again. Race T-Shirt time! And we've got a winner today. The race shirt from the Sacramento Cowtown Half-Marathon (yeah, I know, I'm a little late here) is N-I-C-E, nice! First, it's a nice, neutral color, sort of an off-white. Hey, that's all good. Second, it's a quality New Balance tech shirt...and short sleeve. YES! Third, it's got cows. No, really...cows! I don't care what you say, you just can't go wrong with cows. Sort of busy on the back with sponsors, but hey, they're paying good money for this nice shirt, so live with it.

Overall grade: A

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Manny Runs for Another Record!

My cubicle-mate, Manny, ran in the inaugural Rock n' Roll Marathon Vegas today. And he once again, for the fourth straight race, lowered his marathon PR. That's all you can ask for, right there.

It's nice to see a professional group come into Las Vegas to put on a marathon. There have been so many that have come and gone there; hopefully, this one will stick.

Might as well go to Vegas...runs are pretty slim around here this time of year. Ah well...

Let's run!


December 19th / Santa Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10 miles, 10k, and 5k / Rochester, WA

December 19th / Santa Runs Tacoma 10k and 5k / Tacoma, WA

December 20th / 12k's of Christmas 12k and 5k / Kirkland, WA

December 20th / Winter Solstice Run 5k / Eugene, OR

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy 25 Years to a Great Run!

Wow, the Seattle Jingle Bell Run is 25 years old! I've got a lot a memories from that race. I've probably run it somewhere between 8-12 times. That was the race that taught me how loud jingle bells could be if you multiplied them by 20,000 or so.

It was also the race where we were hiding in the McDonald's by the Seattle Center, trying to get warm and waiting to meet my brother: he came running in, yelling at us, "I forgot my race number back at my house, we need to go get it!" I looked down at my feet for a moment, then back up, a horrible thought just coming to me. "Hell," I said. "We forgot ours too!" Thus began perhaps the fastest, most dangerous, lunatic, drive from downtown Seattle to Northgate and back in the history of the Puget Sound. We ran from our car into the already started race with our numbers waving around in our hands.

Good times. Goooood times.

And if you're really adventurous, you can run the Bellingham Jingle Bell run on Saturday (I've run that one about 5 times), then turn around and run the Seattle Jingle Bell Run on Sunday.

Hey, why not? It's to fight Arthritis - get out there and run!


December 12th / Jingle Bells Run 8k and 5k / Eugene, OR

December 12th / Solstice Run 5k / Bainbridge Island, WA

December 12th / Girls on the Run 5k / Seattle, WA

December 12th / Christmas Rush 10k and 5k / Kent, WA

December 12th / Run Rudolph Run 5k / Edmonds, WA

December 12th / Jingle Bell Run Against Arthritis 4 miles / Bellingham, WA

December 13th / Jingle Bell Run Against Arthritis 5k / Seattle, WA

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Trot Race Review!

Just for a little fun, and as my first official effort back since my time off to rest the hurt quad, I participated in a little Turkey-Day 5k in Gig Harbor, WA yesterday. We were in Gig Harbor to visit Jen's parents for Thanksgiving, so why not.

That's what I thought when I signed up anyway...

When I woke up on Thanksgiving morning, on very little sleep, I checked outside real quick and, oh yeah, we were definitely back in the Puget Sound. The rain was coming down furiously. Uh oh...I had barely talked Jen into the race in the first place - she wasn't going to be happy about the rain.

So we suited up: me in shorts, a tech shirt and a light jacket. Jen in sweat pants, t-shirt, hoody sweatshirt, and puffy down vest. Yeah, she was ready. As we stood at the start line waiting for 8:00 am and the start gun, our clothes soaking in pound after pound of rain, I asked Jen her race plan.

"No plan," Jen said. "I'm going to run very slowly. I'll be lucky to beat a half-hour. You just take off and I'll see you at the finish."

Yeah, right. I had heard this before. "You know as soon as we start, you'll be trying to beat me and everyone else within striking-distance."

"Not this time, I'm not in good enough shape," Jen said.


So after a few more damp minutes, we started and I moved ahead as fast as my stiff little achilles would take me. I felt like I was moving along pretty well, even though I was shuffling along and not really striding out.

Still, I felt all right. I was passing up a few people. I felt like I was pulling away a bit coming up on the mile one marker. Then...

"Wow, I almost lost you on that first hill. I barely caught back up," Jen said.

And then you can picture me with my ego deflating like a popped Macy's parade balloon. Somebody grab a mop.

"Oh hey," I said. "Nice to see you."

And of course, from that point, there was no way I could lose her. Even though she had to take off her vest, then her hoody, then tie the hoody around her waist, then put the vest back on...still couldn't lose her. She even sprinted away from me on the last uphill to finish three seconds ahead at the finish.

"I KNEW it," I yelled after crossing the line. "The old bait and switch again. Just like always."

Jen just smiled. When you finish in front, it's easy to take the losers' complaints.

Grrrrrr, when's the next race?

Thanks to KOMO for the rain map.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


How lame would I be if I used moving into the new house as an excuse for not doing Jack in Nanowrimo?

So we've been moving into our new house for the last week or so and consequently...I didn't do Jack in Nanowrimo. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I don't know, there were other issues, I suppose. Like, say, the fact that I had about 30 pages of plot and I needed 200. Or the fact that the 30 pages were highly derivative of one of my favorite novels from Pete Hautman.

Yes, I was massively underprepared.

But mostly it was the house.

As far as you know.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Trot Dead Ahead!

It's been awhile since I've done a true Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day itself, but I'm signed up for one this Thursday in Gig Harbor. Just a 5k, so not much, but enough that I won't feel bad about slamming some pie later in the day!

Let's race...and eat!


December 5th / Turkey Trot 5k / Rexburg, ID (Odd, a week and a half after T-Day...)

December 5th / Civil War Relay 55 Miles / Albany, OR

December 5th / Beaver Fun Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

December 5th / Shellburg Falls Trail Run 10k / Lyons, OR

December 5th / Holiday Fun Run 10k and 5k / Ridgefield, WA

December 5th / Toys for Tots Airport Run 10k and 5k / Arlington, WA

December 5th / Fairhaven Frosty 10k and 5k / Bellingham, WA

December 5th / Skagit Jingle Bell 4 mile Run / Mount Vernon, WA

No runs on Sunday this week. Hmmmm...run to church, I guess.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nike+ Drives Me Crazy!

Now don't get me wrong, I love the Nike+...when it works! Which lately has been infrequently.

If you don't already know, the Nike+ has a little transmitter that slips into a hole in the insole of your Nike shoe and a sensor that fits into your iPod. Working together, they keep track of your distance, pace, calories, etc of your runs. Well, in theory. And I freely admit it - I like the thing. I like watching my totals add up, I like the corny little challenges against other runners, I like the website with the nice graphics.

I DON'T like the fact that it tells me I've gone 2.14 miles when I've actually gone 3.5 miles. I don't like when it tells me I've gone 5.3 miles when I've actually gone 3.5 miles. And yes, it's done both of those things in the past week.

Why don't I calibrate it, you ask? Yeah, I've done that. And done it again. And again. It doesn't matter. Sometimes, it just doesn't want to work right. And you'd think it wouldn't matter what kind of Nike shoes you had, as long as they were designed for the Nike+, right? Wrong. My old Moto's seemed to work pretty well with the Nike+, but then I went to the Tailwind and it wouldn't work at all. I finally got it close by shoving the sensor under my shoelaces instead of under the insole where it belongs. Now I'm back to Moto's again...and it's not working right in the laces or under the insole. Grrrrr...

And please don't tell me to get a Garmin watch. Yes, I love the technology and I'm sure I'd be happy with that side of it, but...I've got these skinny little girl wrists. That thing makes me look like I'm heading to the Ben 10 convention. No thanks.

Nike...please get the damn Nike+ in the shop and fix the bugs! Thanks.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yes, We're Back...And No Worse Than Ever!

Sorry for the long absence, but we just closed on our new house last Friday and we've been moving and shuttling back and forth and moving and washing clothes back at the apartment because our new washer and dryer for the house won't be delivered for two more weeks and moving and getting ready for Thanksgiving...

And did I mention we've been moving?

But man, what a relief to finally be out of that cramped apartment! I had a great run tonight and I think it's partly just because we're finally all living and sleeping in the new house and my stress level is just dropping daily. And I don't get stressed easily, but the last few weeks, with Wells Fargo taking every opportunity they could to delay us from getting into our house (we ended up closing a week late because of them), has been enough to stress Gandhi himself.

But all better now...

In fact, things are going so well at the moment, the worst thing I have to deal with right now is my balky Nike+ unit...GRRRR. More on that soon.

I've even got a new run coming up for the first time since the Cowtown Half way back on October 4th! Let's celebrate with a run!


November 26th / Oregon Mid Valley Road Race 5.2 and 3.75 miles / Albany, OR

November 26th / Clark County Turkey Trot 10k and 5k / Vancouver, WA

November 26th / OAC Turkey Trot 5k / Corvallis, OR

November 26th / Turkey Trot 5k / Tacoma, WA

November 26th / Red Cross Turkey Trot 5k / Kennewick, WA (Thanks for the Turkey Photo!)

November 26th / Mosier Twin Tunnels 12k and 5k / Mosier, OR

November 26th / Turkey Trot 10k and 5k / Gig Harbor, WA

November 26th / Give n' Gobble 5k / Sherwood, OR

November 26th / Turkey on the Run 12k and 5k / Wenatchee, WA

November 28th / Seattle Marathon 5k / Seattle, WA

November 29th / Seattle Marathon and Half-Marathon / Seattle, WA

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Eatin' Turkey and Watchin' Football

Now that's my kind of holiday.

Lot o' Turkey Runs a comin' up!

You know you're going to be stuffing your face big time on Thanksgiving Day, so sign up for a race right now to make up for it.

Let's race!


November 21st / EWEB Run to Stay Warm Half-Marathon, 10k and 5k / Eugene, OR

November 21st / Turkey Trot 5k / Vancouver, WA

November 21st / GBRC Turkey Trot 5k / Bellingham, WA

November 21st / Jingle Bell 5k / Spokane, WA

November 22st / Wild Turkey-Rooster Run Cross Country 8k / Corbett, OR

November 22nd / Green Lake Gobble 5k / Seattle, WA

Yeah, it's an old photo, but I like it. That shot is overlooking the Skagit Valley. Very pretty up there in the summer.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November Running Song of the Month!

Let's get kooky!

If this month's song doesn't get you moving (and singing along with the "do do do" sections) then you might as well be dead. This is just a song to make you feel great. So let's head back to England and meet up with the young lads from the Kooks! They've got a bunch of good tunes from their first two albums, but you just can't beat the energy of "Always Where I Need To Be." This one is a 5k song for sure. Just put it on repeat and go bust that sub-20:00 PR!


Past Best Running Songs:
October: At the Drive In / "One Armed Scissor"
September: Silversun Pickups / "Lazy Eye"
August: Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros / "Johnny Appleseed"
July: Deathray / "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)"
June: Raconteurs / "Salute Your Solution"
May: Tea Party / "Save Me"
April: Bloc Party / "Like Eating Glass"
Ever: The English Beat / "I Confess"

Friday, November 6, 2009

No new posts?

Yes, that is correct. I'm trying to write a novel here, remember!?!?

I'll be back...

Monday, November 2, 2009

"It's On!" - "Get It Started!" - "Pump It Up!"

...and other vaguely inspirational slogans!

You see, I actually went for a run tonight. My first run in about three weeks. Man, I was just jonesing. I needed to get out there...or in there, as the case may be, since I just ran on the treadmill. No matter, I popped off a nice little run, didn't feel too bad overall, and my quad actually felt fine.

Life is good!

Let's Run! No, for real this time!


November 14th / Lifeforce Challenge 10k and 5k / Eugene, OR

November 14th / The Dirdy Birdy - Portland's Muddiest 5k / Portland, OR

November 14th / Turkey Trot 2 Mile Run / Enumclaw, WA

November 14th / Kevin's Cup 8k / West Linn, OR

November 14th / Fowl Fun Run 10k / Mt. Vernon, WA

November 14th / Columbia River Classic 10 mile and 2 mile runs / Richland, WA

November 14th / Snoqualmie Ridge Turkey Trot 5k / Snoqualmie, WA

November 15th / Fitness for Vitality 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

No, the comic up there has absolutely nothing to do with running nor writing...it's just funny, dude! Please, do yourself a favor and head over to Natalie's and laugh a bit...and buy a shirt while you're at it, ya damn cheapskate! And yes...I do have a big head...

Friday, October 30, 2009

One Stinking Day Until Nanowrimo...

Yes, tomorrow would be Halloween. The last day of freedom before you need to literally chain yourself to your computer so you can pump out 1700 words a day for NaNoWriMo. I, on the other hand, have still not finished my article for RaceCenter magazine that's due in a couple days, or the multi-part Christmas story that needs to be ready to mail out on November 25th.

I'm in so much trouble...


November 7th / Zeitgeist Half-Marathon / Boise, ID

November 7th / Just Cuz Half-Marathon / Pocatello, ID

Aaaaaaand...that's all I got. No, really. Apparently, Idaho has been declared the running capital of the first weekend of November. Hang out in other states at your peril.

Go Idaho!

I have no idea who took the photo of the spuds - it's from the Crop and Soil Sciences Department at OSU though. Go Angry Beavers!

Man, now I've got a hankerin' for some tater tots...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

One week to Nanowrimo!

And only one week. Next Sunday, November 1st, is the day to have your pencil sharpened. Your plot, obviously, is already ready to roll. Your characters, clearly, are fully-fleshed and ready to step onto and then off of the page. Your finale, without a doubt, is nicely formed and ready to be put to page right around November 25th.

Or you'll just plagerize the latest lame-ass Vampire or Zombie book that's hit the best-seller list.

Hey, whatever works for you.

Head right here to see how I'm doing after November 1st!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shutting it down...

Is there anything worse than a nagging injury that keeps nagging? After a few months of a strange quad/groin thing that just wouldn't get better - but never really got worse either - I've decided to completely stop running for a few weeks to see if I can heal it up. It's one of those injuries that didn't keep me from running, even running long, but it did stop me from running fast. Any time I tried to turn it up a little, it started to flare up. And hey, running long is good and all, but getting faster is what it's really all about.

So here I sit.

But you! You go run! Git!


October 31st / Doc Sears Fall Classic 4.5 Mile Run / Lewiston, ID

October 31st / Run Like Hell Bend Half-Marathon and 5k / Bend, OR

October 31st / A Step Ahead 10k and 5k / Eugene, OR

October 31st / Fall Classic 5k / Monroe, WA

October 31st / Run Scared 5k / Seattle, WA

October 31st / Pumpkin Pacer 5k / Deer Park, WA

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A New R in Print...

Seems like it's been a long time, but I'm finally on the newsstands again. The new issue of RaceCenter has my latest article, titled: "Strands That Connect." And it's about...Strands.com. Man, I'm so creative when it comes to titles, right?

So anyhoo, Strands.com is basically a site for athletes that like Facebook. If you can't stand the world not knowing what you're doing this very day about your running, or biking, or swimming, or whatever, then Strands is the site for you. I'm actually not much of a Facebook fan, and I'm not sure how much I'll use Strands either, but if you take the time to set it up right, you really don't need to do a lot. It will grab your workouts from Garmin or Nike+, it will grab your blogs from Blogger, it will grab your routes from MapMyRun and Garmin...so really, you don't have to do much once you're set up.

If you're one of those people though, Strands can really be a time-waster. You'll be on there posting about how you just walked 1/32 of a mile coming back from the fridge.

Let's see, what else? It's actually a pretty thin issue - Brook must have been working on the upcoming 2010 RaceCenter Event Guide. That one is always thick! We've got the usual training and nutrition columns and "Vive La Marathon" from TV Weather Dude Matt Zaffino plus "What Can XC Skiing Do For Me?" by J.D. Downing. I can tell you it won't do anything for me because I'm not doing it! I don't like the cold, and that's that.

There's the Cliff Notes for this issue. See you next time!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Human Race Redux...

Nike had grand plans for the Human Race in 2008: 25 cities, 25 big bands, and 1 million runners! Well, they tried. And I'm sure not going to knock them for trying.

But in 2009, Nike is toning the Human Race 10k back a bit. There are official races only in three locations in the US. Closest destination for NW runners...L.A. Hmmm...probably not going to make it.

So Nike is also promoting that you run a 10k on October 24th, anywhere in the world, and record it with your Nike+. And there you go - you've participated in your first highly organized one-person race!

Whatever works for you. If you're looking for something a little more traditional, keep on scrolling!


October 24th / Columbia River Power Marathon and Half-Marathon / Umatilla, OR

October 24th / Prison Break! Half-Marathon, 10k and 5k / Boise, ID

October 24th / Strands 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 24th / Monster Mash 5k / Eugene, OR

October 24th / Pumpkin Push 5k / Seattle, WA

October 24th / Nike's The Human Race 10k / Somewhere Outside of Your Front Door, Anywhere

October 25th / Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half-Marathon / Hood River, OR

October 25th / Run Like Hell Portland Half-Marathon, 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 25th / McDonald Forest Cross Country 15k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 25th / Spooky Trail Run 12k / Port Gamble, WA

October 25th / James Cunningham Seawall 9.5k / Vancouver, B.C.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maybe you can judge a book by the cover...

Verily, it has come to pass...two weeks until Nanowrimo.


I don't know what I've been doing these past two weeks, but I haven't been spending a whole lot of time thinking about my novel. I need to get serious. Oh, and I've got a Christmas story to write and a RaceCenter article due the first week of November.

I could be in trouble. It's not even November, and I could be in trouble.

But hey, at least, if I somehow finish my novel, I might not have to worry about whether to use 24 or 36 point font for the cover page and fret over what color yarn to use to tie the manuscript pages together.

Forget all that! Get a bitchin' professional cover for your novel right here!

Very nice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Best Running Song for October!

Make it plural!

Now, as a wannabe writer, I must say that plagiarism is usually a bad thing. However, if you're just needing a good song to get your feet moving on your next run? Well, I'd have to say "copy away!"

So October is a Two for the Price of One Sale Month.

First up, the original in this duo, is "One Armed Scissor" by At the Drive-In. They've since broken up and a couple of the guys are doing some very trippy stuff as the Mars Volta, but it's a little too odd for running. "One Armed Scissor", on the other hand, is perfect. Fast, energetic, and tough - it's got everything you need to help you through a long run. Plus, just think of running your next marathon with a afro like the At the Drive-In guys! Those are the biggest white guy 'fros I've seen this side of Wolfmother. (Wolfmother for November...hmmmmmmm?)

The second half of the two for one, the cheater half, if you will, is Billy Talent with "Try Honesty." Same great energy, same great speed, same great hook...these Canadian boys might be taking NAFTA a bit too far. Still, it's all good when you're out on the trail.


Past Best Running Songs:
September: Silversun Pickups / "Lazy Eye"
August: Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros / "Johnny Appleseed"
July: Deathray / "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)"
June: Raconteurs / "Salute Your Solution"
May: Tea Party / "Save Me"
April: Bloc Party / "Like Eating Glass"
Ever: The English Beat / "I Confess"

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Need a Race!

Yikes, I'm without a race to look forward to for the first time in months - I've got to settle on something quickly here. My worst fear is not having something to look forward to and work toward. I've got to have a race with a set date so I can say, "THIS is what all my hard work is for".

This weekend, I'm going to nail down the next race. Let me know if you know of something good coming up.

Let's race!


October 17th / Pre's Trail X-C Challenge 7k, 5k and 3k / Eugene, OR

October 17th / Chelan Chase 5k / Chelan, WA

October 17th / Hood River Harvest Dash 10k and 5k / Hood River, OR

October 17th / Stanfield Fall XC 5k / Stanfield, OR

October 17th / Catalyst Challenge 10k and 5k / Tigard, OR

October 17th / Lewis-Clark Half-Marathon and 5k / Clarkston, WA

October 18th / Beaver Fever Sprint Duathlon / Philomath, OR

October 18th / Run of Hope 5k / Seattle, WA

October 18th / Dawg Dash 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA (Go Dawgs!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sacramento Cowtown Review

Ah, there's nothing like being done!

Yes, that was my first Half-Marathon in five years. Five. Years.

That's a nice feeling.

So here's the blow by blow:

I woke up in from a poor night of sleep in the downtown Sacramento Hotel at about 6:00. If I'm not at home, I just resign myself to the fact that I won't sleep well the night before a race. I just can't get a good night's sleep before a race if I'm away from home. Nerves, strange bed...I don't know what it is, but if I get four good hours, I'm happy.

So I stagger out of bed and peer through the curtains...well, at least that's good news. It's yet another gorgeous Sacramento morning. No clouds in that sky.

A quick shower, a quick Clif Bar and Diet Pepsi (it's a ritual - just go with it) and I wake up my phototographer so we can get going.

A short drive down to William Land Park (right by the zoo!) and we head to the starting corral...MOO!

We were a touch on the late side, so I didn't have a lot of time to warm up, but staring 13.1 in the face, I didn't feel the need to go on a long warm-up run anyway.

OK, where's the 2:00 pace group? Ah, there he is. Our pacer looked like a linebacker. I like that in a pacer. You know what you're getting. A guy looks like that, calves like tree trunks, big ol' shoulders - you know he's good to go for at least 13.1. No offense, but I don't want some 90 pound waif for my pacer.

So I mosey over and get in a few rows behind the 2:00 pace group, don't want to crowd anyone, and POW, we're off. Wow, no standing around today; it must have been later than I thought.

So we're off! It feels a little slow to me, but probably just because we're a bit crowded right at the start - around 5000 or so runners out here. We hit the first mile marker just a touch slow - about 9:30 - and we pick it up just a touch for mile 2.

There's a good core group of about 20 or 30 runners around Mr. 2:00 Linebacker, plus a few that come and go from in front or behind. I can't believe the pacer's have to hold that stinking sign up for 26.2 miles! I don't think I could do it.

I actually have a tough patch around mile four, when I get sort of tired for some reason. I was thinking, OK, this really is not good. I'm barely past a 5k here! But it passed pretty quickly and I felt really good through the 8 mile mark. In fact, I was ahead of the group for a while, but kept telling myself to calm down and ease back to Mr. Linebacker because I knew I wouldn't feel as good at 12 miles as I did at 8 miles.

And lo, it came to pass. Shortly after coming off the running path that skirted the River, we hit the 10 mile mark and the wheels started to come off. I walked for a bit at the water stop and my crew got about a minute out in front of me. No problem. At that point, I only had three miles left, and I quickly figured that we were a touch ahead of our 2:00 pace. So I recalculated and decided to bring it home on my own. I just wanted to get in under 2 hours!

Thank goodness we were in Sacramento and not Seattle. That course was flat. I couldn't have taken a hill right about then. Coming back into the park, I saw I was going to make it, no problem. Although, it actually turned out a little closer than I wanted...but I did it!


And I got my cowbell medal!

Now the only problem is...I've got to find my next race.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sacramento Cowtown Results!

Yes, the results are in! Check them out right...about...HERE!

What do you mean you don't see my name. Scroll! I'm not at the top, for gob's sake.

Let me help...go to the Half-Marathon results...there were 2863 of us out there for the Half...well, that finished anyway...keep scrolling...keep scrolling...THERE...yep, that's me...finisher 933...just under two hours, baby.

Back tomorrow with a Race Review!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cowtown Half-Marathon...Here I come!

We're about four days away. No sense killing myself now. I know I'm not really ready, but I'll get out there and run it. I think I'll hang with the 2:00 pace group for as long as I can...and just hope for the best.

Do I sound fatalistic? Because I'm actually very excited about it - I haven't run a half in years. I mean YEARS! I just don't want to get ahead of myself because I know it's going to be very tough for me.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Race T-Shirt Review!

So the Good Samaritan Challenge 12k T-Shirt from last weeks race...I like it. It's a nice heavy material, it's a decent shade of blue, it's got a fair art design. What's not to like?

And for those "too good for cotton" runners out there that complain about all non-tech shirts - what is your problem? Don't you people ever do anything but run? Don't you mow the lawn? Play basketball? Go to the mall with the kids? There's nothing wrong with a cotton t-shirt every once in a while.

I give it a solid "B".

Let's race.


October 10th / Domestic Violence Awareness 10k and 5k / Salem, OR

October 10th / ORRC Blue Lake 15k and 5k / Troutdale, OR

October 10th / Hoquiam Invite Open 5k / Hoquiam, WA

October 10th / Frontier Round-Up 5k / Graham, WA

October 10th / Bill Hamilton Memorial Street Strut 5k / Edmonds, WA

October 11th / Gresham Jazz Runs Half-Marathon, 10k and 5k / Gresham, OR

October 11th / Hack n Dash 5k (sort of) / Junction City, OR (Speed Golf! Run a 5k and golf at the same time!)

October 11th / Runningshoes.com Offroad Sprint Duathlon / Bellingham, WA

October 11th / Run Vera Run 5k! / Seattle, WA

October 11th / Sun City Half-Marathon and 5k / Yakima, WA

October 11th / Royal Victoria Marathon, Half-Marathon and 8k / Victoria, B.C.

October 11th / Spokane Marathon, Half-Marathon and 5 Mile / Spokane, WA

October 11th / Haunted Hustle 10k and 5k / Puyallup, WA

October 11th / Bog Jog 10k and 5k / Grayland, WA

October 11th / Great Columbia Crossing 10k / Astoria, OR

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Water Bottle Ahoy!

So I opened up the mailbox this morning and there was a long, skinny box sitting there. Oooohh, and it's got my name on it! I love packages in the mail!

I give it a little shake...clank, clank, clank. Hmmm...sounds like metal.

I check for a return address. It's got a Portland address, but it doesn't say who sent it.

Oooohh, I don't love pipe bombs in the mail!

Hey, you know the blogging upper crust, of which I am surely a member, does draw some strange stalkers...maybe somebody out there doesn't like running. Or writing. Or AMERICA (wave flag in background now!)

Well, I don't like shrapnel, you pinko commies!

Drawing on my years of experience watching bad cop TV shows, I smack the box against the mailbox three or four times, hoping to dislodge the yellow wire...or maybe the red one...I don't remember which one you're supposed to cut.

Anyhoo, it didn't blow up, so what the hey, I opened up the box, and HEY, it's a Portland Triathlon stainless steel water bottle.


There's no note or explanation of any kind. Just the bottle.

You know, I sort of remember some people walking around with these after the race. I figured they bought them or something. Now I'm thinking the, ahem, late-arrivers to the finish line didn't get one because they had run out for some reason.

But I've got one now, baby!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm back!...like maybe 73% back!

OK, I'm back from the sickness, but I'm not 100%. Not even close.

I headed to Dixon for a quick run after work today because even though my cold is lingering, and I felt pretty meh, I hadn't run since Saturday and I've got to get two or three or four runs in this week just to get some rhythm back before I head to the Sacramento Cowtown Half-Marathon next Sunday.

So I went to Dixon. It's getting crowded even though classes don't start until Monday (the dreaded "free" week at Dixon...ugh).

Did I feel good? No.

Did I run good? No.

Will I be tearing up the course in Sacramento?

Dude! Quit hounding me with all these questions. I'm still sniffling over here!

I hate colds...

Oh! The photos. Yeah, those are all from Google Images when you type in "Scott Running"...strangely enough, none are of me, you know...running.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This. I do not need.

Two weeks from the Sacramento Cowtown Half-Marathon. The first day of Fall...with the Corvallis weather in the 90's. Fresh off a strong outing in the Good Samaritan Challenge 12k.

And I'm sitting at home in my PJ's because I've got a brutal cold.


For the record, I hate these "cat wuz" things...but I'm too sick to find something better.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Invited My Sherpa to the Race...

So, the Good Samaritan Challenge 12k. Well, that's what I ran...there was also a 5k.

Let's see what the brochure has to say: "The 5k and 12k courses start and finish on 45th Street between Sunset and Starker Arts Park. The 5k course is mostly flat with one short but steep hill challenge about half way. The 12k covers the same route as the 5k for approximately two miles, before continuing on toward Philomath where the 12k participants will be challenged by Neabeack Hill."

Now I've been around, and I realize most race directors would tell you that a race up Mt. Hood would be "short, but steep" and a race up Mt. Everest would be "challenging," so I felt prepared for what was ahead of me at the start line.

Still, about 3/4 through the race, I realized, "Wow, this mother is challenging!"

But back to the start...

A brave and hardy 20 or so people lined up for the start of the 12k in Starker Arts Park. That's what happens to a small race when there's a driving rain coming down an hour before the start time - you don't get many day of race registrations. The weather at the start was nice though; overcast and cool, but not raining. Better yet, Starker Arts Park is about two minutes from the apartment - I walked over to the start line!

Since there was a very small crowd of runners and a 5k that started right after the 12k, I knew that everyone in the 12k would be a "real" runner and I'd be finishing toward the back of the pack. No problem there. I really just wanted to have a good, strong race as I barrel toward the Cowtown Half-Marathon that I'm not nearly prepared for...if I ran anything under a 1:15, I would be happy enough. Slow but steady was the order of the day.

And we're off!

I immediately drifted to the back of a very short line of runners as we headed off down Country Club Drive. There were maybe one or two runners behind me and a few in front of me that were only going slightly faster than me, so I settled in to my pace and waited for the first mile marker, so I could adjust if needed.

The clouds were making it pretty humid, but the lack of sun was actually nice and the first mile-marker came up fast: 8:30. Hmmm, not bad, but I was looking more for nines. I wasn't sure I could hang with 8:30 on a "challenging" course. I throttled back just a touch and came to the first hill. Ah, this must be the "short, but steep" guy here. I hit it pretty good and the top came up fast. That wasn't so bad. I was feeling good about that first uphill - I was right over that baby.

I came around the next corner and realized why I felt so good...there was the "short, but steep" hill still coming up! Yep, that's why you should always run the course beforehand. Ah well...

Oof, that one was "steep," and I'll reserve judgement on the "short" until I see the rest of the hills on the course. After we split from the 5k course at mile two, we hit a nice, long flat stretch as we headed into Philomath. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. Yowza, where did these hills come from!?! I thought these Philomath people liked the flat country so their cows could wander around without getting tired.

Coming up to the top of the first part of a very long hill, I looked over to my right and checked out my plot if I couldn't make it to the top. Nice spot for a cemetery - nothing like pondering your morality while you're struggling up a steep hill. Then we hit a few switchbacks on our way up a very steep road through a nice neighborhood of Philomath. Made it to the summit and the mile five marker and water station, where a volunteer told me "you're almost there!" Yeah, well unfortunately, I know my metric system and five miles sure isn't almost there for a 12k.

Nice view of the church steeple as we came back down from the highlands into Philomath and then suddenly we were on the paved running trail that goes between Corvallis and Philomath. Hey, this is the trail I run all the time - it goes right by our apartment. Suddenly in familiar territory and knowing exactly that we had two small hills left, then a nice flat stretch to the finish, I nuzzled behind the only two runners in my view. After getting over the the hills, I gave a slight (very slight) burst and moved in front of the two and tried to remember how to close to the finish.

I somehow stayed ahead of them and hit the line at 1:07:51 for a 9:05 pace.

Hey, that's about what I was looking for and I felt pretty good the whole way through, even though I could have used a Sherpa at the four-mile marker...

At least it's something to build on as I head to Sacramento for what looks to be an extremely flat Half.

Oh yeah, I took 2nd place in my age-group...but for all I know there may have only been two of us.

OK, I know you're thinking, "that doesn't look cloudy and overcast to me - that looks like Phoenix!" Hey, I didn't stop during the run to take photos! Those were taken the day after - not a cloud in the sky.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another Race in the Books for 2009!

Today was the day for the Good Samaritan Challenge 12k, my 6th race since April (3 triathlons and 3 road races). When you're an old man like me, it takes a while to round into shape and I came into 2009 in bad shape. But I'm starting to actually feel pretty good now. I felt strong, if not extremely fast, all the way to the end of the 12k. Race Report coming tomorrow!

Next up: the Sacramento Cowtown Half-Marathon on October 4th!

Let's race!


October 3rd / Missoula All Women's 5k / Missoula, MT

October 3rd / Leavenworth Marathon and Half-Marathon / Leavenworth, WA

October 3rd / Soroptismist Intl. of Albany Run for a Life 5k / Albany, OR

October 3rd / Baker Lake 50k / Concrete, WA

October 3rd / Race for the End of Domestic Violence 10k and 5k / Bellingham, WA

October 3rd / Mighty Oaks Acorn 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 3rd / Walla Walla Crush 10k and 5k / Walla Walla, WA

October 3rd / Autumn Leaf Run 10k and 5k / Omak, WA

October 3rd / Clackamas YMCA Fun Run 5k / Happy Valley, OR

October 3rd / Habitat for Humanity Run/Walk/Ride 10k and 5k runs and 28 mile bike / McMinnville, OR

October 3rd / One Meal, One Hope 5k / Seattle, WA

October 3rd / Fallen Leaf Run for SIDS 5k / Spokane, WA

October 4th / Cougar Fun Run 10k and 5k / Echo, OR

October 4th / Rotary Run at Salmon Days 10k and 5k / Issaquah, WA

October 4th / Portland Marathon and 5 Mile run / Portland, OR

October 4th / Sacramento Cowtown Marathon and Half-Marathon / Sacramento, CA