Tuesday, May 31, 2011

National Running Day is June 1st!

That's right - today is the day: National Running Day!

So get off your fat butt and go for a run already.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Heart of the Valley Triathlon Review!

And so we came to the 12th race in the EPIC 2011 series: the Heart of the Valley Triathlon. Just a sprint tri, but with a much longer swim than the first tri in the EPIC run, the Beaver Freezer, and a much, much hillier bike.

But the first worry, as with every race this Spring in Corvallis: the weather. The forecast was for some clouds, but mostly sun and little chance of rain. Well, that would be a first. But waiting for my swim heat to start, the sun was indeed breaking through and it looked like it would be a nice day for a race.

The HOTV swim took place at Osborne Aquatic Center (just recently spared from a death sentence by a passed City of Corvallis levy - yay!). Osborne is a nice change for a triathlete that enjoys the swim. First, it's a 50 meter pool, so you can actually stretch out the stroke and not worry about spending half your swim making turns. Second, the HOTV has a 750 meter swim leg, half again and a bit more as long as the Beaver Freezer swim.

They were using both the indoor and outdoor pools to speed things along and I was in the third heat of the day in the indoor pool. Six people in my lane, which seemed like a lot to me, and I was the second to go out in my lane, with ten seconds between swimmers. The risk with indoor swim triathlons, of course, is that people have to estimate their swim times and they're rarely exact once it comes to the actual race. And so it was in my heat. I caught the person in front of me by the end of lap one, which was actually nice since it opened up the water for me. I felt very good in this swim, never too tired, and caught the last swimmer in the lane by about lap six. I got around him then finished strong to the end.

There I am checking the watch right as I got out. It read "12:02," so I hit the wall at about 11:58 or so. I wanted to get under 12 minutes, so good enough there. Please notice that there's no one else on the carpet with me. That's right...first one out of the pool! Well, in my heat anyway, and good enough for 12th overall on the swim time out of 210 racers. Sound like I'm bragging? Good! The swim is the only place I can ever brag, so don't think I won't do it!

So I hit the doors and run outside...downpour. I mean, it was just coming down! What happened to my sunshine?!

I jogged to T1 and tried to get my clothes on over my wet body with a hard rain falling. Nice. Sort of a slow transition, but I got out and started pedaling. I'm still on the mountain bike and those fat tires were just kicking up the water right in my face. On a couple of the downhills, I was leaning to the side to try to keep the water from washing over my face like a waterfall.

As I mentioned, this is a hilly bike course, although for the first time, the race organizers took the bike leg down from 12 miles to 11 miles. And they did it by taking one decent sized hill out from the middle of the course. Fine by me. The shorter course helped me to a time that was five minutes faster than I rode two years ago - and I had a tri bike then!

Headed into T2, always fast when you're riding a mtn. bike with your running shoes already on, and I had one serious issue. My shoes were sopping wet. And that would be the negative about wearing your running shoes on the bike leg; if they're wet, you're running in them anyway.

That's me yelling at the wife that I could use some dry shoes. Alas, there were none to be found. So off I went onto the run leg. Sort of a strange course, running the exact same loop twice before finishing on the Linus Pauling Middle School track, but it's totally flat, so I'm not complaining. I felt a little off at first, but soon got into a decent stride and actually finished the run exactly three minutes faster than in 2009. Only about a minute off my recent 5k race times, so I was very happy with the finish here.

Overall, 1:25:30. Clearly not fast, but much faster than two years ago, and with a slower bike, so I'm very pleased with the race. Check the results right here.

Onward! The EPIC rolls out two races next week: the Girls on the Run 5k on Saturday and the Run for the Hills 8k trail run on Sunday. Woot.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Historical Running Weekend

Wow, this weekend has some of the all-time great races in the Northwest. Just check out this lineup:

Fremont 5k / 27th Annual Race!

Shore Run / 34th Annual Race!

Helvetia Half Marathon / 11th Annual Race!

Clear Lake Memorial Runs / 33rd Annual Race!

March Point Run / 17th Annual Race!

Sound to Narrows / 39th Annual Race!

That's some history right there, my friends. Be part of it.

Let's race!


June 10th / Fremont 5k / Seattle, WA (Friday Night Run!)

June 11th / Blue Lake Sprint Triathlon / Fairview, OR

June 11th / Kootenai River Run 10k and 5k / Bonners Ferry, ID

June 11th / Helvetia Half Marathon and Drop Top 10k / Hillsboro, OR

June 11th / Granite Man Sprint Triathlon / Jacksonville, OR

June 11th / Run for Ohm 10k and 5k / Roseburg, OR

June 11th / Vasque Cougar Mountain Trail Run 7m / Issaquah, WA

June 11th / Che-che-op-tin 5k / Beacon Rock State Park, WA

June 11th / Moses Lake Family Sprint Triathlon / Moses Lake, WA

June 11th / Sound to Narrows 12k and 5k / Tacoma, WA

June 11th / Tesoro March Point Run 10k and 5k / Anacortes, WA

June 11th / Strawberry Festival Berry Run 5k / Marysville, WA

June 11th / Teton Dam Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Rexburg, ID

June 11th / Adoption Run 10k and 5k / Snohomish, WA

June 11th / Tumbleweed 5k / Pomeroy, WA

June 11th / Family Tree River Run 10k and 5k / Albany, OR

June 11th / Prineville Hotshot Memorial 8k and 5k / Prineville, OR

June 12th / Clear Lake Memorial Half Marathon and 5m / Clear Lake, WA

June 12th / Furry 5k / Seattle, WA

June 12th / Shore Run 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

June 12th / Rock n' Soul for MS 5k / Bellingham, WA

June 12th / Run for the Love of Dove 5k / Portland, OR

June 12th / Foot Zone Dirty Half Marathon / Bend, OR

June 12th / St. Joe River Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k / Saint Maries, ID

June 12th / Blue Lake Olympic Triathlon / Fairview, OR

June 12th / Granite Man 10m Mountain Trail Run / Jacksonville, OR

Friday, May 27, 2011

New RaceCenter Article Out!

I know, I know, the first "R" of this blog takes over for long periods of time, but the second "R" fights back every once in a while! So today, the Two R's announces the latest writerly masterpiece: No Better Time to Tri.

The new article focuses on, yes, triathlons. Mainly, beginners just getting into tris. What to work on, what to look out for, where to find help...that kind of thing. And of course, RaceCenter now comes in a very cool web version, so check it out immediately!

On the cover of the new issue is Christian Isakson of Portland, the crazy fellow who did five Ironman tris in five days in Hawaii. Yes, five Ironmans in five days.

There's also a good article on how Triathlons can literally save a life, as in the case of John Howe, who overcame drug addictions by focusing on tris, among other things.

If that doesn't do it for you, there's a trail shoe review.

Still not happy? Well, there's a big ol' photo of Kara Goucher, looking as fine as ever, just a few months after having her son. If that doesn't do it for you, then I got nothin'.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mad Scientist 5k Race Review!

Well, it was just a little 5k, but it threw me for quite a loop, so let's review...

So I was one week removed from the Mac Forest 50k, you know...this one, but EPIC 2011 was calling, so I had to line up at the start line of the Mad Scientist 5k exactly seven days after a 50k.

I had absolutely no desire to do anything but finish on this one. Just stretch out the legs, nothing more. I conned my son, Payton, into running with me, so we stood together on the start line on a strangely warm and humid Saturday morning (the race started at 11:30!). This was going to be my third race of the year on the Midge Cramer Path at the Benton County Fairgrounds, so I shared my course wisdom with Jr. "There are a couple of rollers, but nothing serious. They'll take us out on the path for about a mile and a half and turn us around. We finish on a nice downhill."

God, I'm a naive idiot sometimes.

The race director said start and Payton jumped out quickly as per his usual tactics. To his credit, he tried to reel it back and we crossed the one mile mark together at about 8:20. Perfect. Just what the doctor ordered for my tired legs.

There were only 30 people total in the race, and only about six or seven in front of us, so I didn't panic when I looked up and didn't see anyone on the path in front of us. I did, however, panic when I saw the volunteer pointing us off the bike path...and onto a trail...up Bald Hill.

You've got to be kidding me!

All of the sudden, my easy 5k took on ominous, dare I say sadistic, overtones. Now this isn't a long hill, but it's fairly steep, and I was SO not mentally prepared for a hill. Frankly, Payton wasn't in the mood either, so we took our time going up, then raced on the way back down. That boy can run downhill!

Finally back on the bike path, I sneered at every volunteer I saw on the way back to the finish. Payton and I both managed to squeeze top-10 finishes out of it. Payton took 3rd in his age group, with two 19 year olds beating him (doesn't seem quite fair for an 11 year old to have to race against adults, but there you go), while I took first in my age group...as the only old man out there.

Luckily, there was one saving grace at the finish - a periodic table of elements...made out of cookies! With frosting matching the different groupings of the elements. They said to grab your favorite, so Payton took Uranium and I grabbed Californium. Good cookies too, nice and warm in the sun.

Until Memorial Day, when the EPIC train rolls on with the Heart of the Valley Triathlon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Best Running Song for May!

Mixing it up a little here. This one is much slower than my usual. It's also, frankly, much hippier than my usual. But wow, the energy of this song is just great. It just makes you feel good. It's definitely not a "run angry" song. It's a "run happy" song. Big time.

It's Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (I know, right?) with 40 Day Dream. Regular version here and awesome live version right about here.

This one is just right for a longer race like a marathon or half marathon. It was perfect as a pick-me-up in my recent 50k...and I needed a pick-me-up in that one, so trust me here.

These guys could be straight out of the early 70's, with every friend they could find in the band, playing any instrument they found laying around. Just awesome.

"I inhaled just a little bit,
Now I got no fear of death."

You can't argue with that.

Past Best Running Songs:
April: Foxy Shazam / "Unstoppable"
March: Pharrell / "Fun Fun Fun"
February: Puff Daddy / "Come With Me"
January: We Are Scientists / "The Great Escape"
December: Cee Lo Green / "F**k You"
November: Tokyo Police Club / "Breakneck Speed"
October: Two Door Cinema Club / "Something Good Can Work"
September: Stone Temple Pilots / "Cinnamon"
August: Louis XIV / "Guilt by Association"
July: Devo / "Fresh"
June: Saliva / "Your Disease"
May: Metric / "Gold Guns Girls"
April: OK Go / "This Too Shall Pass"
March: The Hours / "Ali In The Jungle"
February: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs / "El Matador"
January: White Rabbits / "Percussion Gun"
December: Deftones / "Knife Prty"
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"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Choose Your Own Route Racing!

I love this idea! The Three Towers Run in Olympia on June 5th plops everyone into a start area (which they haven't announced yet) and tells you to run to three different towers...on any route and/or order you want!

I love it. I'm not running it this year, but I'd love to next year. If you run it this year, let me know what you think.

Let's race!


June 1st / Grand Ridge Solstice Trail Runs 10m and 5m / Issaquah, WA (Wednesday Night Run!)

June 4th / Sun Valley Half Marathon / Sun Valley, ID

June 4th / I Topped the Rock 5k / Castle Rock, WA

June 4th / Subplot Trot 5m / Richland, WA

June 4th / Reardan Mule Days 10k and 5k / Reardan, WA

June 4th / Issaquah Sprint Triathlon, Duathlon, 10k and 5k / Issaquah, WA

June 4th / Girls on the Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

June 4th / 3 Rivers Race Against Domestic Violence Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / La Grande, OR

June 4th / Waterfront Festival 5k / Edmonds, WA

June 4th / Timberline Marathon and Half Marathon / Mt. Hood, OR

June 4th / Starlight Run 5k / Portland, OR

June 4th / Three Sisters Marathon and 5k / Redmond, OR

June 4th / Lake of the Woods 15k and 5k / Klamath Falls, OR

June 4th / Santiam Memorial Hospital Fun Run 8k and 5k / Stayton, OR

June 4th / Sherwood Run for the Roses Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Sherwood, OR

June 4th / Glenrose Mountain Goat Challenge 10k / Spokane, WA

June 4th / Silver Falls Challenge Trail Run 5k / Silverton, OR

June 4th / Race Beneath the Sun 5m / Bellingham, WA

June 4th / Newport Marathon / Newport, OR

June 4th / Mud and Chocolate Trail Run 4.5m / Redmond, WA

June 4th / Sisters Try a Tri Sprint Triathlon / Sisters, OR

June 4th / Goldsborough Creek 7m / Shelton, WA

June 4th / Sweet Home Dam Run 5k / Sweet Home, OR

June 4th / Leaping for Literacy 5k / Bellevue, WA

June 4th / Flight for Sight 10k and 5k / Everett, WA

June 4th / Rainier to Ruston Trail 50m and 50k / South Prairie, WA

June 5th / Red Devil Challenge Trail Run 20k / Cashmere, WA

June 5th / Pine Hollow Olympic and Sprint Triathlon / Wamic, OR

June 5th / Run for the Hills Trail Run 8k / Corvallis, OR

June 5th / To Hill and Back 8k / Gig Harbor, WA

June 5th / Chum Run 5k / Langley, WA

June 5th / Heaven Can Wait 5k / Bend, OR

June 5th / San Juan Island Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / San Juan Island, WA

June 5th / Hockinson 5k / Brush Prairie, WA

June 5th / Amble and Skedaddle 10k and 5k / Beaverton, OR

June 5th / Komen Race for the Cure 5k / Seattle, WA

June 5th / Duvall 10k and 5k / Duvall, WA

June 5th / North Olympic Discovery Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Sequim, WA

June 5th / Cougar Prowl 5k / Silverdale, WA

June 5th / Mud and Chocolate Half Marathon / Redmond, WA

June 5th / The Three Towers Adventure Run 11m / Olympia, WA

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Garmin vs. Nike+

Head to Head.

Mano a Mano.

Well, actually it was the Garmin 110 watch on my left wrist and the Nike+ plugged into my iPod Nano on my right arm.

So more like "Mano a Nano..."


Nevertheless, they both made the entire 50k trip with me last Saturday as I ran the McDonald Forest 50k. So let's check the numbers and see which one we trust.

Well, officially the McDonald is a 50k. I'm guessing the course was actually just a touch short, but I can't confirm that, so we'll just say it's 31.4 miles. And what did the competitors say?
Garmin: 30.76 miles
Nike+: 34.23 miles
Yeah, the Nike+ wasn't even close. Admittedly, that isn't the right kind of course for the system it's using - it's better suited to nice, smooth roads and even pace, but it's got to do better than that. The Garmin looked to be a little short, but it matched the race mileage signs perfectly through about 25 miles, so I'm wondering if the course itself was a touch short.

Now, they should both keep time, but I've complained about the Nike+ here before, so let's check.
Garmin: 7:16:19
Nike+: 7:16:23
Close enough. I actually turned off the Garmin first, then the Nike+, so that's probably pretty good.

Garmin: 4115
Nike+: 4993
I don't know how they each figure the calories, but since the Nike+ had me going four extra miles, it's not a surprise that it thinks I burned 800 more calories.

Garmin: 14:11/mile
Nike+: 12:45/mile
Again, the Nike+ thinks I went over 34 miles, so clearly the pace is going to be way faster than the Garmin.

Well, the Nike+ doesn't have elevation readings, but I must mention that the Garmin found 8202 feet of elevation gain on the course, while the race directors said it was 6700 feet. That's a pretty big difference. Is the Garmin off by that much? I hope not, but I don't know for sure.

This is where it gets scary different. The Nike+ is just old technology. That said, it's also around $30, while the Garmin was $200, but here are some screenshots and you can decide for yourself.

If you've got the money, it's not even a contest: the Garmin leaves the Nike+ in the dust.

McDonald Forest 50k Playlist!

As promised, here's the iPod playlist that carried me through the long, long hours of the McDonald Forest 50k Trail Run. It runs about four hours, so yes, I definitely heard a few songs twice. But this is quality stuff.


Changing The Airborne Toxic Event
One Month Off Bloc Party
Love, Reign O'er Me Pearl Jam
Cinnamon Stone Temple Pilots
Knife prty Deftones
Talons Bloc Party
Twist and Crawl The English Beat
Weapon Matthew Good Band
Bacchanal Lady David Rudder & Charlie Roots
Guilt By Association Louis XIV
Ain't That a Shame Cheap Trick
Sugar And Stress The English Beat
Gamma Ray Beck
Mirror In The Bathroom The English Beat
L.E.S. Artistes Santigold
Lisztomania Phoenix
Here It Goes Again Ok Go
Hush Kula Shaker
Inside Out Eve 6
Save It For Later Harvey Danger
Sweet Al George Brad
1901 Phoenix
Rexall Dave Navarro
Pardon Me Incubus
Head Over Heels Tears For Fears
Lift Brad
Oh Lucky Man The Grapes Of Wrath
Something Good Can Work Two Door Cinema Club
Bones + Joints Finger Eleven
Pictures Of Matchstick Men Camper Van Beethoven
Bohemian Like You The Dandy Warhols
So Here We Are Bloc Party
Bawitdaba Kid Rock
Daylight Coldplay
Luno Bloc Party
Luchini (A.K.A. This Is It) Camp Lo
Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars) R.E.M.
Jeanette The English Beat
Clocks Coldplay
The Pioneers Bloc Party
While We Go Dancing White Rabbits
Two Weeks Grizzly Bear
Crosseyed Imperial Drag
Like Eating Glass Bloc Party
Scaredy Cats and Egomaniac
Imperial Drag
Daylight Matt & Kim
Helicopter Bloc Party
Day By Day Generation X
Gold Guns Girls Metric
One More Time Full Time Men
Bandages Hot Hot Heat
Help I'm Alive Metric
Fun, Fun, Fun Pharrell
Back To School Deftones
I Confess The English Beat
Banquet Bloc Party
This Modern Love Bloc Party
Stepping Out Joe Jackson
I Got Wheels Full Time Men
Low Cracker
40 Day Dream Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Golden Age The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Sunday, May 15, 2011

McDonald Forest 50k Trail Run Review!


-Goodbye toenail, it's been nice knowing you.
-It's nothing personal quads, I still love you.
-His father was a mudder, his mother was a mudder. His mother was a mudder? What did I just tell you?!

OK, the Mac 50. Wow. I'm so sore I can barely sit here and type. I should be in a tub full of warm water and crushed ibuprofen. But I care too much. The R's readers come first!

Well, I arrived at the start, the Forestry Cabin at Peavy Arboretum, just before 7:00, so I got to see the early starters. You could take an hour head start if you didn't care about your time. That's probably where I should have been, but I wanted the pomp and celebration of the regular start. Anyway, there were more people at the early start then I thought there would be - probably around 50, including the bride. The groom took the regular 8:00 start. Yes, you heard me right: the bride and groom. Read about it right here.

So after the early starters took off, I just hung around in the Forestry Cabin with the rest of the Trailers and waited for the start. Yes, Max King was there. He always looks normal-sized on the magazine covers, but seeing him in person made it clear that he has one evolutionary advantage over me in the sport of running - he's tiny. I could pick him up and carry him around like a suitcase!

At about five minutes before the start, runners started mingling, loosely, around the start area. Definitely a trail race. Definitely an ultra. Nobody crowding the start line and bouncing up and down waiting for the gun. It's just a different crowd.

The bell rang and we were off. I started in the back of the back. I didn't want to be anyway near the front of the crowd - or the middle for that matter. Any minute I went too fast in this one would be a minute I paid the price toward the end, I knew that. It went pretty well to start. You'd think they'd give us a little chance to get our legs under us before the hills started, right? Yeah, think again.

By mile three, we were headed up. And it wouldn't stop for the next 28 miles. This course goes up or down. It never has a flat section. Never.

The first aid station, at Lewisburg Saddle, came up pretty quickly, about seven miles in. I had already downed one GU on the way, and I grabbed a quick Heed and a few pretzels at the stop. And got the water bottle refilled. Don't forget about that. It will come back into the story later.

Between Aid Station #1 and Aid Station #3, at Dimple Hill, we went through some serious mud. There were a number of sections where you had to slow to a mincing jog just to stay on your feet. I slipped one time and would have been flat on my back in a mud pit but caught myself with a hand. A guy passed me on a particularly muddy single track trail, then I passed him back up about five minutes later as he tried to dig his shoe out of a mud hole. It had been sucked right off his foot as he tried to run through it. It's been a wet Spring and it showed in this section.

So we hit Aid Station #3, Dimple Hill, after an absolutely grueling, slow climb. And man, it was festive up there! The wedding was just wrapping up and the crowd was pretty big. The bride and groom must love "Fletch," as there were numerous signs with quotes from the movie around the aid station. My favorite, "Yes, charge the whole thing to Mr. Underhill." Runner up: "Sure, give me a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich...and a steak sandwich." I grabbed what was quickly becoming my favorite aid station pick-me-up: Coke and Oreos! Probably the first full-strength Coke I've had in literally 20 years, but man, that sugar rush hit the spot. The pretzels started getting drier and drier at every aid stop and I couldn't do them after the third stop. I was drinking half of my water bottle trying to choke them down. I needed salt, but not that bad.

After Aid Station #3, we hit the longest downhill of the course, and it was welcome. As you can see on my pace chart, it was also the last time I had a sustained effort under ten minutes per mile. The combination of the food and drink from the aid station and the downhill actually brought a second wind for a couple miles, but it was short lived.

Then we began the real race. After that nice downhill, we were just past 20 miles. Two-thirds down. About 10 miles to go. And my legs were just about done. I was really starting to struggle right around the 22-23 mile point, when we started going uphill again. Plus, right about there, the extremely steep downhills had finally come to roost on my big toe on my right foot. It was hurting on all the downhills, to the point where I started running really steep downhills with a weird sidestep move instead of running straight ahead like a normal human. Yeah, that doesn't affect your pace, right?

When I had been on the course for about five hours, I thought I still had a shot to bring it home under seven hours. A number of 12 minute miles would have done it, but my legs were just gone. At about six hours, I went into the "just get to the stinking finish line" mode.

As the final injury inflicted upon me by the Mac 50 course, about a mile from the finish line, I got a rock in my shoe. It was tiny, but sharp, and of course, it went directly to the toe, where it jabbed me on every step! I hadn't taken my shoes off for rocks or blisters or any other reason the entire course - except for the one big toe, the Nikes were performing admirably. I decided just to tough it out and kept running, stopping for a second a few times to try to tap my shoe to get the rock back to my heel. Nope. It kept coming right back and jabbing me in the toe. Finally, less than a half mile from the finish, I just had to stop and get it out - I couldn't take it any more. While I sat on the log and took off my shoe, two people passed me. Ugh. Not that I was going for any awards here, but come on!

Got the shoe back on and ran through the finish line. I've truly never been happier to finish a race. I almost teared up. No, really. That was a tough haul. And all for EPIC. That kind of race isn't for me. I think I could be a big fan of the trail run, but not the 50k trail run with 6700 feet of elevation and miles of mud. That was brutal.

Max King, of course, ran the stinking thing in under four hours for a new course record. Wow. Read about it here.

Oh, the water bottle. Hey, I don't come from the ultra running school, and I freely admit that I don't have a lot of experience with it, but holy crap, does your right shoulder always hurt like hell from carrying a water bottle for 31 miles or is it just me?

Go ahead and check the results right here. Notice that stud in 159th place. Boom baby!

Stay tuned this week to see my playlist that totally carried me through 31 miles and to see how the Nike+ system compares with the Garmin system (Yes, I used them both so I could compare).

Now, please join me in two sweet weeks of rest before EPIC rolls on Memorial Day with the HOTV Triathlon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Northwest Triathlon Season is Here!

The NW Tri season is finally here in full-bloom! Lots of races to choose from, especially on Memorial Day. That's when the R's will be racing the HOTV Tri as part of EPIC 2011!

Let's Race!


May 28th / YMCA Camels Back Duathlon / Boise, ID

May 28th / Stoller Vineyards 5k / Dayton, OR

May 28th / East Oregon Half Marathon / Spray, OR

May 28th / Ridgeline Ramble Marathon, 20k and 10k / Eugene, OR

May 28th / Waterloo Team Trail Challenge 5k / Lebanon, OR

May 28th / Red Lizard 5 Miler / Lake Oswego, OR

May 28th / Monroe Country Fun Run 10k and 5k / Monroe, OR

May 28th / Run for the Son 5k / Liberty Lake, OR

May 28th / Spring Festival 10k and 5k runs / Moses Lake, OR

May 28th / Dash for the Kids 5k / Prosser, WA

May 28th / Mazama 10k and 5k / Mazama, WA

May 28th / Bridge to Bridge 5k / Bremerton, WA

May 28th / Run to the Village 5k / Battle Ground, WA

May 29th / Trail's End Marathon / Seaside, OR

May 29th / Onion Man Triathlon / Walla Walla, WA

May 29th / Forest Park Trail 50k and 20k / Portland, OR

May 29th / Good Karma 5k / Seattle, WA

May 29th / Coeur d'Alene Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k / Coeur d'Alene, ID

May 29th / Happy Girls Half Marathon and 5k / Bend, OR

May 30th / Heart of the Valley Triathlon and Duathlon / Corvallis, OR

May 30th / Run for the Memorial 4 Mile Run / Eugene, OR

May 30th / Camp Gilead River Run 5k / Carnation, WA

May 30th / ORRC Up the Lazy River 10k / West Linn, OR

May 30th / Memorial Day Triathlon and Duathlon / Elma, WA

May 30th / Spring Festival Triathlon and Duathlon / Moses Lake, WA

May 30th / Touchet River Run 3.89m / Dayton, WA

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Missing One...

Yep, the R's is going to miss the first race in the strive for EPICness: the Walk 4 Water 5k.

There's just no way to do it. I start the Mac Forest 50k at 8:00am. The Walk 4 Water 5k starts at 9:00. No way.

Interestingly, the Walk 4 Water 5k runs the exact same route as the CARDV 5k that I just ran last week.

Oh well, let's just call the Walk 4 Water a "walk" and pretend I missed it on purpose.

Forward Ho!

Monday, May 9, 2011

CARDV 5k Race Review!

Hey, any race that has Benny the Beaver at the start can't be all bad. And so it was with Race #9 in the EPIC 2011 series: the CARDV 5k. A benefit for the Corvallis Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, the CARDV 5k drew a decent-sized crowd to downtown Corvallis, but it definitely trended toward walkers - not a huge amount of serious runners. Which is fine with me - I've got plenty of races on the schedule for the serious runners (like next week, don't remind me), it's nice to have an unassuming 5k on a Saturday morning.

So for the second time in the EPIC 2011 calendar, I toed the start line next to my son, Payton. He's skinny enough to be a serious runner, but he's getting a little tall. Ah well, it never stopped Usain Bolt, now did it?

So we meandered around 2nd St and Western, waiting for the start of the race. The walkers were supposed to go at 9:00 and the runners at 9:15 (different courses), but it didn't seem to be shaping up that way. The runners were lining up in the road up front and the walkers behind. All right, fine. I punched the start button on the Garmin 110 to grab the satellites about five minutes before the start time.

About 60 seconds later, some guy came out to the front of the runners and shot off an air horn. Crap.

So for the second time this year, I didn't get my watch set up in time for the start of a race. For the love of peat!

Payton bolted off the line like a scared cat, which is par for the course with an eleven year old runner, while I tried to run and stare at my watch at the same time. "Acquiring Satellites," it continued to say.

Just like watching a pot boil.

Finally, I'm going to say about .16 into the race, the watch started talking to outer space, and I was able to look up and try to find Payton. Wow, he was really laying into it! I know my limitations way too well to take off after him. These days, I've got exactly one gear. I shifted into it and waited for Payton to come back to me.

We strolled through Pioneer Park and turned into Avery Park. The race actually had someone calling out mile times and I hit it at 7:55. Payton was still a bit ahead of me, so I figured he must have hit it at 7:40 or 7:45. Nice time, but way too fast for his first mile. He's not in that kind of shape yet. We hit the turnaround together and started back the way we came.

We stayed together for a few hundred more yards, then Payton started to fade a bit. I actually felt ok, and my splits improved a little bit on each mile, so that was nice.

Back through the same two parks and except for one woman about ten seconds in front of me, I didn't have a lot of company right around me. Ah well, at least that meant I didn't have to try to pass up little kids at the finish line like I saw some guy doing later!

Hit the line at 24:43. Not fast, but not bad for the one gear I currently use. Payton came in less than two minutes later at 26:39. Very nice run for him. Once he gets in shape, he'll be a quality 12 year old runner.

See you next week at the Mac 50!

Thanks to Carson and Jen Lommers for the photos!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Elevation Profile for McDonald Forest 50k

Yeah, this is on the EPIC 2011 calendar for next weekend.


Let's race!


May 21st / Cannon Beach Elementary School 10k and 5k / Cannon Beach, OR

May 21st / Girls on the Run 5k / Richland, WA

May 21st / Run the Trail 8k and 5k / Gresham, OR

May 21st / Keizer Iris Run 5k / Keizer, OR

May 21st / Explorer's Run 4 Fun 5k / Dupont, WA

May 21st / McMinnville Parks and Rec Sprint Triathlon / McMinnville, OR

May 21st / The Friar Trot 10k and 5k / Sherwood, OR

May 21st / Joggin' for the Noggin 3.5m / Spokane, WA

May 21st / Walk and Roll Run 10k and 5k / Arlington, WA

May 21st / City of Stayton Sprint Triathlon / Stayton, OR

May 21st / Auburn Petpalooza 5k / Auburn, WA

May 21st / May Day 5k / Garfield, WA

May 21st / Fly Day 5k / Everett, WA

May 21st / Rhody Run 10k and 5k / Florence, OR

May 21st / Girls on the Run 5k / Seattle, WA

May 21st / Born to Run 15k and 5k / Eugene, OR

May 21st / Ironheart Classic 8m and 4m / Redmond, WA

May 21st / Pompadour 9k and 5k / Ashland, OR

May 21st / Seattle's Best 15k / Seattle, WA

May 21st / Hovde 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 21st / Student Stride for Education 5k / Washougal, WA

May 22nd / Big Backyard 5k / Redmond, WA

May 22nd / NW Trail Runs Lord Hill Park Half Marathon and 10k / Snohomish, WA

May 22nd / Run Girlfriend Run 10k and 5k / Sandy, OR

May 21st / Rhody Run 12k / Port Townsend, WA

May 22nd / 10 Cane 10k Rum Run (with free Mojito!) / Tualatin, OR

May 22nd / West Seattle 5k / West Seattle, WA

May 22nd / Sun Mountain 50mile, 50k, and 25k / Winthrop, WA

May 22nd / Running Water 5k / Sherwood, OR

May 22nd / Keizer Iris Half Marathon and 10k / Keizer, OR

May 22nd / Great Kilted Run 5k / Seattle, WA

May 22nd / Hood River Twin Tunnels 12k and 5k / Hood River, OR

May 22nd / Duck Bill Thrill Sprint Triathlon / Fall Creek, OR

Friday, May 6, 2011

Race T-Shirt Review - Sophie's Run

Well, with two more races coming in the next two weeks, we need to get caught up on the race t-shirt reveiws. So let's check out the shirt from Sophie's Run 5k.

Ah, the classic gray t-shirt. That's all good. Never a complaint with gray.

Material? 100% cotton. Thanks. And the fit is very nice. Neck is normal, cut is normal. Thanks again.

Design? Big, bold, red. Not bad. There's no question about what shirt you're wearing here. It's SOPHIE'S RUN! That's cool. Let people know. That's what the race shirt is all about - you're wearing it to tell people, "hey, I ran this race!"

Sponsors? Holy spackle! Do I really count 34 sponsors on this shirt? Yes, yes I do. Now I'm all for getting sponsors, especially for a benefit run like this, but maybe we don't have to put every single one of them on the shirt?

Overall: B+

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bonk Happy with Luna Bar!

Unless you're a guy!

I gotta tell ya, I think Clif Bar is making a mistake by marketing these Luna Bars exclusively to women.

First, the reasoning: Luna Bars are high in Calcium, Folic Acid and Iron. Supposedly, women have trouble getting enough of those nutrients. Well ok, but those nutrients aren't exactly bad for men. Anybody would benefit from a decent dose.

Second, and this is a big one. A regular Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar contains 240 calories. If you're looking at that as a between meal snack, it's pretty hefty. A Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar contains 180 calories. Mainly because it's smaller. Still, if you're hitting these somewhat regularly, those 60 extra calories can add up fast. Strangely enough though, they both have 5 grams of total fat.

Third, I actually enjoy the Peppermint taste of the Luna Bar a little more than the Spearmint taste of the Clif Bar, although they're both very yummy.

Fourth, well fourth is a point for the Clif Bar. It's got 50mg of caffeine. In my book, that's a huge plus. I'm not a coffee drinker, so I take my caffeine anywhere I can find it.

Fifth, the Clif Bar has cool frosting stripes but the Luna Bar has a side frosted with white frosting and red sprinkles. That's a push.

It's a tough call, but I'll admit it: I'm not afraid to buy a bar that's labeled "The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women."

I just say I'm buying them for the wife.

Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar: 9 Bonkers

Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bar: 10 Bonkers

Bloomsday 2011 Results!

No, I didn't forget about the biggest race in the Northwest! I'm just a little late on getting to it.

So, over 56,000 runners took part in the Bloomsday race on Sunday. Yes, over 56,000. Check out the first photo of the slide show here - that's a lot of runners right there.

Of course, the fact that Bloomsday offers big prize money for the winners also means they always have world-class talent and this year was no exception: Simon Ndirangu of Kenya won the 12k race with a speedy 33:58, a 4:33 per mile pace!

Find all the results right here!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Race T-Shirt Review - OSU Pet Day 5k!

Sooooooooo, is it just me, or does anyone else think this is a bad color for a race shirt?

Hey, don't bury the lead, right? I mean, this thing is green. Not a good green, either. A bad green. A bad, bad green. Let's face it, this is an ugly shirt. No two ways about it.

Which is sort of sad, because it's 100% cotton, and while the graphics are basic, it's got a dog! Dogs are cool!

But it's green.

I don't know what else to tell you on this one - the photos say it all.

Overall? I already gave it away. Without ever putting it on. That's my take on it.

Grade: D (only the dog kept it from getting an "F")

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon Results!

Busy weekend. If you ran the Marathon or Half in Eugene this weekend - congrats.

Check your results here.