Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shout Out to Bloomsday

I just gotta give a shout-out to Bloomsday. In a day and age where big races, such as the New York Marathon, are charging hundreds of dollars to allow you to soil their roads with your running shoes (the New York Marathon charges $255, to be exact), Bloomsday invites over 50,000 runners...and charges them seventeen bucks. Yes, $17. Unbelievable.

So support your local, Northwest races, and sign up for Bloomsday.

And tell New York to stick it.

Let's race!


March 22nd / Bring in Spring 5k / Eugene, OR (Thursday Night Run!)

March 24th / Spring Sprint Duathlon / Lewiston, ID

March 24th / Shufflin' for Shawna 10k / Corvallis, OR

March 24th / Cougar Fun Run 10k and 5k / Echo, OR

March 24th / Walk for Water Fun Run 5k / Portland, OR

March 24th / Buck Mountain Mudslinger Trail Run 6.5m / Silverton, OR

March 24th / XTERRA Fort Steilacoom Trail Run 10m and 5m / Lakewood, WA

March 24th / Leif to Leif Run 5k / Seattle, WA

March 24th / Magnuson Series - Spring Into Action 15k, 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

March 25th / Run Ladies Run Half Marathon and 10k / Roche Harbor, WA

March 25th / McKenzie River Half Marathon / Eugene, OR

March 25th / Gorge Waterfalls 50k / Cascade Locks, OR

March 25th / Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Mercer Island, WA

March 25th / Big Climb 69 flights / Seattle, WA


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shamrock Run Sold Out! Or Is It?!?

Yes, the Shamrock Run in Portland has been sold out for weeks, but as you 1%ers out there already know - those with the money make the rules!

And it's no different at the Shamrock Run. Starting March 1st at 8:00 AM, you can pay a little extra and still get in! Slap a C-note on the table and you're in. They'll even give you $10 back - what a deal!

Seriously though, this is for a great cause. As they do every year, the Shamrock Run will open up 500 extra spots, at $90 a pop, to raise $45,000 (yes - 45 large) for the Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Hey, that's a great cause.

Just so you're aware - the last two years, these 500 extra spots were gone in a little over an hour, so don't wait around to sign up come Thursday morning.

Pony up and let's run this baby!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Running Across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

And with the long run on Saturday, we're through Week Four of the Pete Pfitzinger marathon training plan. Over 42 miles last week, and this upcoming week will have over 45 miles before I get a well-earned recovery week.

My long run on Saturday was interesting for a number of reasons. First, earlier in the week, looking at my schedule, I knew my usual long run day of Sunday didn't look good. We were going to be driving from Seattle back to Corvallis on Sunday, then volunteering at the Corvallis Swim Team meet on Sunday night - no time to fit in a 15 mile run. So I skipped my off day on Friday and instead did my short recovery run, then placed my long run on Saturday instead of Sunday. Of course, that put the long run on the tail end of five straight days of running. Oof. This old body needs a day off now and then.

Then, since we were staying with the parents-in-law in Gig Harbor over the weekend, I figured I better find a running route around there. Zing! I know, I'll run across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge!

Ah hindsight. If I only knew then what I know now.

But I didn't know then! So I hunted up the Scott Pierson Trail, which runs from Gig Harbor, across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and into Tacoma. I knew it would be a little hilly, because that area just is, but hey, what's a hill or two, right?

Oof again. As you can see from my Garmin stats here, we started out pretty well, although that slow first mile is me trying to figure out where to keep my cell phone. I finally moved my GU from the pocket in my water bottle holder to my shorts pocket and put the phone there, but it took some effort. And it exposed the GU to the elements... Yum - cold, thick GU!

Anyway, the first four miles went swimmingly, then I hit the bridge. Yes, there's a good reason old Galloping Gertie fell into the Puget Sound back in 1940 - the wind just howls across that thing! On Saturday, they were getting steady wind of 20-40 mph, with gusts of 50-60! I had trouble keeping upright the whole way across the bridge, and it's quite a long bridge at that - a bit over a mile from end to end. Wow, that was a tough mile, going over that thing. And of course, all I could think while running it was "I'm going to turn around in a few miles and I'll have to run this damn thing again, going back home."

And a strange quirk with the Garmin appeared after I downloaded the stats. As you can see from the photo, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is not flat. Like most bridges of that size, it has a serious hump in the middle. You go up the first half, and down the second half. But according to the Garmin elevation, I fell off the bridge and swam across! My elevation hits sea level all the way across the bridge, which messes up the elevation in two ways: I don't get the actual elevation climb on the bridge, plus I get the bad data from dropping to sea level and climbing back up, twice.

Then I lost the trail a couple times winding through Tacoma, especially where it goes under Highway 16 and ends up on the other side of the highway. It's not marked well there, so pay attention if you're running it. And then there are a few stoplights. And the windy bridge on the way back.

Yeah, I'm looking for excuses for the slow time.

But I guess if I was looking for a tough training run just for getting ready to tough-out a marathon purposes, well, that was a good one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Newport Marathon Almost Full! Sign Up Now!

According to the registration confirmation page at the Newport Marathon site, they're really, really, really close to the 900 runner limit.

If you want to run this one - and you should, it's very flat and very fast - then get over there and get signed up today.

Lots of St. Patrick's Day races coming up. You should have absolutely no problem finding one near you - they're everywhere!

Let's Race!


March 16th / St. Pattie's Shamrock Trail Run 10k and 5k / Sisters, OR (Friday Night Run!)

March 17th / Saint Patrick's Day Run 5m and 5k / Boise, ID

March 17th / iRun for Kids 10m and 5k / Albany, OR

March 17th / Run to Get Lucky 15k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

March 17th / CWCP Shamrock 5k / Coupeville, WA

March 17th / ShamRun 5k / Lakeview, OR

March 17th / Chuckanut 50k Trail Run / Bellingham, WA

March 17th / Lucky Clover 10k and 5k / Springfield, OR

March 17th / Shamrock Run 5k / Kirkland, WA

March 17th / Rogue River Rampage 4m / Gold Beach, OR

March 17th / St. Patrick's Day Dash 3.6m / Seattle, WA

March 17th / Luckython 10k and 5k / Tigard, OR

March 17th / Runnin' O' the Green 5m and 2.7m / Bellingham, WA

March 18th / Jog Your Brain 5k / Eugene, OR

March 18th / Pacific Rim One Day Run - 24 Hr. Endurance Run / Longview, WA

March 18th / Shamrock Run 15k, 8k and 5k / Portland, OR

Photo by Jeff McKay.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Best Running Song for February!

I gotta think this is the first Best Running Song I've featured that has a Best Actress nominee in a starring role. And most likely the last. I mean, what are the odds, right?

This month's Best is a perhaps the most catchy thing I've heard in years, Don't Stop by Foster the People. And here's the video, starring the aforementioned Gabourey Sidibe, star of the movie Precious. The video also stars the band members of Foster the People in a great sendup of a cop show very reminescent of the legendary Beastie Boys "Sabotage" video.

The lyrics, and frankly the tune itself, of Don't Stop by Foster the People reminds me of a very similar song, that's now over 30 years old: Don't Cha Stop by the Cars. Here's the original and here's a great live version. Ignore the bad hair and just check out Elliot Easton rocking that guitar!

Rock that run!

Past Best Running Songs:
January: Hot Hot Heat / "Bandages"
December: Camp Lo / "Luchini aka This Is It"
November: Wolfmother / "Joker and the Thief"
October: Phoenix / "1901"
September: Matt and Kim / "Daylight"
August: Collie Buddz / "Holiday"
July: Pretenders / "Tattooed Love Boys"
June: The Wombats / "Moving to New York"
May: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros / "40 Day Dream"
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"


Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Absolute Worst Fear in the Marathon

So I did a 14 mile training run today while in the 3rd week of my training plan to get ready for the Newport Marathon. I was just trying to keep it within 10-20% of the race pace I hope to run in Newport and was feeling pretty good...until about mile five. Right around there I experienced my very worst fear in running 26.2 miles and trying to keep at a Boston Qualifying pace.

Check out my stats from the Garmin right here - it's pretty clear where I have my issue. After keeping a fairly steady 8:30 pace, mile six and seven clock in around 14:00 and 12:00, and frankly, I'm surprised they were that fast. Considering I spent a fair amount of time in the bathroom at Fred Meyer...

Yes, that's truly my worst marathon fear: trying to run fast enough to qualify for Boston and suddenly having to stop at a Honey Bucket for five minutes in the middle of the race. That can take the starch out of your race right there. Let's face it, I'm not going to have a lot of extra time to fool around with - if I make my BQ time, I expect to barely make it, at best.

I mean, we all know that 26 miles, or even 14, of hard running is not easy on the stomach. You can only eat safely for the days leading up to the race and then hope for the best.

And hope there's a Fred Meyer close by!


Friday, February 17, 2012

What the...? I don't even...? The Color Run...?

Don't ask me to explain the Color Run, because I can't. I mean...ok, here, I'll try: The Color Run is a 5k race where people on the side of the road smack you in the face with dried paint at five different points on the course.

Ummm, what?

I know, right? Yet, as weird as it looks...I sort of want to do it.

And they're holding races in Seattle, Portland, and Boise, so basically anyone in the Northwest has a decent chance to get to one.

Reminds me a little bit of the Holi Festival of Colors in India. Hey, they seem to love it in that country, so maybe it can work here as well.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want!

Well, apologies to Morrissey, but what I really want is some good weather to run in. And daylight, don't forget the daylight. It's not easy to do a 10-mile run on a weekday when it gets dark by six. I'm not sure what will come first, turning my ankle in the dark or getting run over by a car in the dark, but man, I'm ready for Spring.

And looking at the upcoming races below, we're slowly but surely getting there. There are a few more races every weekend, which means the sun and fun can't be too far away.

Right? Right??

Let's race!


March 10th / Spring for Kids Run 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

March 10th / Tillamook Trail Run 10k and 5k / Tillamook, OR

March 10th / Run for the Shamrock 10k and 5k / Eugene, OR

March 10th / Grin and Bear It 10k and 5k / Bend, OR

March 10th / Lake Sammamish Half Marathon / Redmond, WA

March 10th / Dirty Duo Ultra 50k, 25k and 15k / North Vancouver, BC

March 10th / Run of Two Cities 10k and 5k / Coos Bay, OR

March 10th / St. Patrick's Day Foot Race 10k and 5k / Richland, WA

March 11th / Redmond Watershed Preserve Marathon, Half Marathon, 10m and 5m / Redmond, WA

March 11th / Stewart Mountain Trail Run 15k and 5k / Bellingham, WA

Speaking of the Smiths, and we were, if you haven't seen (500) Days of Summer, you need to do so immediately.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Want to Earn $1000?

The hard way?

Sorry, slipped into my Rodney Dangerfield persona for a moment there.

Actually, you can earn $1000, cash money, by designing the 2012 Peachtree Road Race T-shirt! Nice, right?

You've only got two weeks though, so you better get moving. The official rules from Peachtree are right here.

If you ever wanted to be known by a large number of people, this is your shot! Your design would be on the backs of over 60,000 people! Peachtree is one of the biggest races in the world, so you'll never have a better chance to impress people than this.

Last year's winning time at the Peachtree 10k was a 28:05 by Sammy Kitwara. A fairly quick 4:31 pace. In other words, getting your design on this guy's back will be the best chance you'll ever have of going that fast! If you want to know what kind of race Peachtree is, please note the results page from last year - two-thirds of the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Team raced last year, Abdihakim Abdirahman and Ryan Hall, and only finished 9th and 17th respectively. And multiple-time Seattle Marathon winner, Uli Steidl, could only manage 53rd. Yikes!

Good luck!

Awesome T-shirt at Zazzle right here.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Lance Armstrong Takes 2nd in Half Ironman!


I mean, it's pretty clear that the guy knows how to pedal, and he was a competitive triathlete in his younger days, still...dude's 40 years old. And trust me, the body doesn't always cooperate after 40, so this is a pretty impressive finish.

And as you can see from the writeup on Slowtwitch, this race had some talent going up against Lance, including winner Bevan Docherty, Chris Lieto, Richie Cunningham, Matty Reed, and Rasmus Henning. Plus, it was in the heat and humidity of Panama (the country, not Florida).

All in all, an impressive race for Lance as he builds up for his effort to win the Ironman Championships in Hawaii.

Photo: yes, that's actually Lance...a long, long time ago.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Get Your Daughters Running!

Yes, it's that time of year - time to get your kids active! And nobody does it better than Girls on the Run. This is a great program that's available in a number of different cities across the NW. It mixes social fun with exercise, which is perfect if you've got a daughter who is a bit "meh" about exercise, e.g. my daughter.

Get those kids out there and get them active while they're still young. They can start a mindset that can help keep them healthy for the rest of their lives.

Let's race!


March 3rd / Run for the Honeywagon Half Marathon and 4m / Everson, WA

March 3rd / Mountain Marathon and Hilly Billy Half Marathon Trail Runs / Olympia, WA

March 3rd / Winter Triathlon / Winthrop, WA

March 3rd / Champoeg Park 30k and 10k / Champoeg Park, OR

March 4th / Lincoln City Half Marathon and 10k / Lincoln City, OR

March 4th / Fort Vancouver 15k, 10k, and 6k / Vancouver, WA

That photo was taken about 50 feet from my office on the campus of OSU. Go Beavs!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rest Well, Jingle

Hopefully, you can go for a nice run up there...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Day Sale for Seafair Benaroya Triathlon Registration!

And it's today!

Hey, if you're interested in the Benaroya Seafair Triathlon, which will take place on July 22nd, in Seattle, then head over to their website and sign up! Like now!

For one day only, February 8th, you'll be able to sign up at the cheapest rates they'll have all year. It will just keep going up and up after today.

There's a Sprint, Olympic, Kids, and Relay triathlons offered, so you should be able to find something you like.

Hit it!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Nice Running Weather? Already!?!?

Yes, it's true. I ran a nice, easy four-mile recovery run on Saturday, in shorts and a t-shirt! It was in the mid-50's! Check my Garmin stats on the run here.

Then on Sunday, I ran a medium-long aerobic 12-mile run, finishing out my first week on the Pete Pfitzinger 18-week plan. Again, mid-50's, and again, shorts and a t-shirt...and sunglasses! Amazing for the first week of February. You can see my Garmin stats for this run here.

Both runs were at 10-20% slower than my goal marathon pace, which will be 7:45-7:50 at Newport in June (knock on wood) by the by. Actually, felt pretty good on the 12-miler - so far, so good.

Let's race!


February 25th / Crazy Eight 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

February 25th / Fall Creek Run-Around 20m, 15k and 5k / Lowell, OR

February 25th / Resolution Run Series 15m and 15k / Steilacoom, WA

February 25th / River Rush 5k / Auburn, WA

February 25th / Smelt Run 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

February 26th / Fitness for Vitality 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

February 26th / ROAD-odend-RUN 6m / Olympia, WA

February 26th / Tacoma RainMan Indoor Sprint Triathlon / Birch Bay, WA

February 26th / Lord Hill Trail Run 50k, 20m, 10m and 5m / Snohomish, WA

February 26th / Coast Festival 5k / Newport, OR


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time to Start Training for Your NW Marathon!

If you've got a marathon coming up in the spring or summer, you better get the training cranked up. I personally have the Newport Marathon on June 2nd, and just started my 18-week training plan this week. So if you're shooting for pretty much anything between April and July, it's about time to get serious on the training.

And looky here! There are plenty of marathons to choose from:

Yakima River Canyon Marathon - March 31 - Yakima, WA
ORRC Vernonia Marathon - April 15 - Vernonia, OR
Whidbey Island Marathon - April 15 - Oak Harbor, WA
Wenatchee Marathon - April 21 - Wenatchee, WA
Eugene Marathon - April 29 - Eugene, OR
Lake Lowell Marathon - May 5 - Nampa, ID
Tacoma City Marathon - May 6 - Tacoma, WA
Vancouver International Marathon - May 6 - Vancouver, BC
Famous Idaho Potato Marathon - May 19 - Boise, ID
Windermere Marathon - May 19 - Spokane, WA
Capital City Marathon - May 20 - Olympia, WA
Coeur d'Alene Marathon - May 27 - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Run for Water Marathon - May 27 - Abbotsford, BC
Green River Marathon - June 2 - Kent, WA
Newport Marathon - June 2 - Newport, OR
Three Sisters Marathon - June 9 - Redmond, OR
Timberline Marathon - June 2 - Government Camp, OR
North Olympic Discovery Marathon - June 3 - Port Angeles, WA
San Juan Island Marathon - June 3 - Friday Harbor, WA
Bear Lake Idaho Marathon - June 8 - Fish Haven, ID
Edge to Edge Marathon - June 10 - Ucluelet, BC
St. Joe River Marathon - June 10 - St. Maries, ID
Winthrop Road Marathon - June 10 - Winthrop, WA
Vancouver USA Marathon - June 17 - Vancouver, WA
Pacific Crest Marathon - June 23 - Sunriver, OR
Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon - June 23 - Seattle, WA
Bellevue Ghost Marathon - June 24 - Bellevue, WA
Foot Traffic Flat Marathon - July 4 - Portland, OR

Whew! And that's just through July 4th! Find a race, find a training plan and get running. Let's go!