Monday, December 31, 2012

1500 Miles for 2012!

Well, after a tough few months of running, I came into the last day of 2012 with a short run on the schedule. I ran a four-miler at lunch and then realized just how close I was to 1500 miles for the year...I was two and a half miles away!

So I strapped the shoes back on after work and ran another 2.5. Probably not what the still recovering ankle really needed, but come on! I was so close!

Of course, the sad fact is that I ended September with almost 1400 miles in the books. I should have been between 1800 and 2000 miles for the year. Ah well, it will give me something to work on next year. And considering that I ended 2011 with just under 1000 total miles, really, 1500 doesn't sound that bad.

I'll be back soon with a more detailed year in review.

Bring on 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar

Wow, I actually did three runs this week. First time in a looooong time that I've managed three training runs in a week. Ankle still feels good. I think we might be a "go" for 2013!

Let's Race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


January 26th / Madras Mad Ass 50k and 25k / Madras, OR

January 26th / Orcas Island 25k / Eastsound, WA

January 26th / Lake Young NUTS Trail Run 50k, 19.2m and 9.6m / Lake Youngs, WA

January 26th / Rain Run Half Marathon / Redmond, WA

January 26th / Tukwila to Alki Half Marathon / Tukwila, WA

January 27th / CCRC Vancouver Lake Half Marathon / Vancouver, WA

January 27th / Off-Road Duathlon Series Sprint / Lakewood, WA

January 27th / Powder Hound Winter Triathlon Sprint / Whitehall, MT

January 26th / Freeze Your Fanny 5k / Lewiston, ID

January 26th / Resolution Run Series 10m and 10k / Steilacoom, WA

January 26th / Run Like a Dog 5k / Stevenson, WA

January 26th / Frost Fever 5k / Missoula, MT

January 27th / Jayme Biendl Memorial Run 5k / Monroe, WA

January 27th / Dash n Dine 15k and 5k / Eugene, OR

January 27th / Seattle Resolution Run Series 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

January 27th / Cobble Hill 10k / Cobble Hill, BC

Searched Google for a "back to health" photo and got a wombat...who knew?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Triathlon Clinic in Portland

Yes, yes, I know it's the off-season and all, but we're almost to 2013. It's time to get off the couch and get going again. Dust off the bike. Break out the trail shoes. Pull the wetsuit out of the closet. OK, put the wetsuit back. We're not ready for that yet.

But if you're feeling like it's time to start thinking about triathlon again, Athletes Lounge is right there with you. On January 18th and 19th, they've got two full days of triathlon goodness waiting for you.

Pro triathletes will be there to give tips, tricks and helpful hints: Chris Boudreaux, Chris Bagg, Damian Hill and Eric Lagerstrom. There will be discussions, drills, technique exercises and nutrition guidance. All for half a c-note - $50 and you're in. Not bad.

Tell 'em the R's sent you!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar

Well, I've been on the shelf for quite a while now. I'm just jonesing to get back out on the roads, the trails, the treadmills..whatever, I don't even care! I just want to run! I'll be spending much of January and February trying to get back into decent running shape, then spending nine weeks to get seriously ready for the Corvallis Half Marathon on April 14th. Looking for a new PR there.

Hope your off-season training is going well. There are a few races to choose from if you'd rather get your miles in with some other folks.

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


January 19th / Capitol Peak Mega-Fat Ass Trail Ultra 34m and 17m / Olympia, WA

January 19th / Wilson Creek Frozen 50k, 20m and 10m / Melba, ID

January 20th / Cascade Half Marathon and 10k / Turner, OR

January 19th / Magnuson Series 15k, 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

January 19th / No Sun Fun Run 5k / Puyallup, WA

January 19th / Winter Predictor 20k, 13k and 6k / Eugene, OR

January 19th / Stride Toward Freedom 5k / Salem, OR

January 19th / Frostbite Run 10k and 5k / Central Point, OR

January 19th / Freezeout Challenge 12k and 6k / Emmett, ID

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best Running Song for December - Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks

This month's Best Running Song comes from a fantastic, fresh-sounding band from Iceland. Yes, Iceland. The band is Of Monsters and Men and the song is "Little Talks."

This band reminds me quite a bit of a former Best Running Song winner, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Both bands have amazing vocal interplay between the male and female lead vocalists, and neither band is afraid to mix in a bunch of instruments, including horns and accordions.

Here's a live version of "Little Talks" with a bad-ass trumpet solo.

And another fantastic running song from Of Monsters and Men is "Mountain Sound."

Here's a live version. The male lead vocalist, Ragnar Porhallsson, has such a distinct and wonderful voice. I love running to these songs. Hope you do as well.

Gotta do one more...a beautiful acoustic version.

Rock that Run!

Past Best Running Songs: November: The Black Keys / "Little Black Submarines" October: Cold War Kids / "Hospital Beds" September: Bloc Party / "Octopus" August: Matt and Kim / "Let's Go" July: Gemini / "Blue" June: Joe Jackson / "Got the Time" May: Tiesto vs. Diplo / "C'mon!" April: Grouplove / "Tongue Tied" March: Foxy Shazam / "I Like It" February: Foster the People / "Don't Stop" 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, December 16, 2012

The Yearly Purge of Old, Stinky Running Shirts

Yes, it's that time of year again. The races are pretty much done for the year. Most of us in the running world are taking a little time off for the holidays before getting back into full-time training in 2013. Or we're doing some maintenance running to keep the legs and lungs ready for the planned Spring races.

Whatever you're doing at the moment, I know one thing is true: you've piled up a few race shirts over the last 12 months of 2012. I know my "running" dresser drawer is getting a little tight. So I've started the yearly purge of shirts and shorts and socks that need to go. And how do I decide what stays and what goes? Simple.

I work out like normal, and when I'm done, and headed to the showers at Dixon, I lift up my shirt and take a real good whiff. If it smells like a furry mammal crawled into my shirt and died of old age, then I just toss it into the garbage right then and there. And as much as I love tech running shirts, after a certain number of sweaty workouts and subsequent washes they just can't be saved any longer.

They acquire a true funk.

So far, I've tossed three shirts. And I've got a notion that one pair of shorts and maybe one or two more shirts will be destined to join their buddies before the winter is over.

Hey, have a good run out there...and don't forget to smell good doing it!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar

Pretty slim pickings this week...and most of them are ultras, so I hope you like running on frozen trails!

Let's race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


January 12th / Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival 50k, 10m and 5m / Kirkland, WA

January 12th / Pullman Winter Ultra 50k and 25k / Pullman, WA

January 12th / Heritage Trail Runs 10m, 7m and 3m / Vancouver, WA

January 12th / Mason County Cross Run 8k / Shelton, WA

January 12th / Nookachamps Winter Runs Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Mount Vernon, WA

January 12th / Arrr! Run Off Your Booty 5k / Albany, OR

January 12th / Resolution Run for the Heroes 10k and 5k / Gig Harbor, WA

January 13th / Harriers Pioneer 8k / Victoria, BC

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ranchero and Beluga by Rick Gavin

Yep, it's definitely winter.

I haven't run since the CIM on December 2nd. Furthermore, I have no plans to run this month. At all. Furthermore, the weather sucks. Furthermore, I plan to eat every cookie, piece of pie, Dairy Queen Blizzard, and slice of cake that I see between now and January 1st, 2013. Furthermore, once I get to the new year, I plan to be a big, fat cow, so I'll have something to work on once I'm running again.

Sounds pretty bad, right?

Well, there is one reason to enjoy the season...besides the baked goods...there's no better time to slap on your warmest PJ's, snuggle up on the couch (nearby fireplace optional, but preferred), and read a good book.

And I've got two great books for you.

RANCHERO by Rick Gavin.

BELUGA by Rick Gavin.

These are "small" crime novels with absolutely bigger than life characters. I wouldn't want to live in the Mississippi Delta area for any reason, but I wouldn't mind spending some time there with characters Nick Reid and Desmond, who star in both novels. These guys are funny, brutal, honest and all-American.

Gavin really has some talent, plenty of dry wit and can turn an original phrase like nobody's business. Here's a short interview with Gavin.

Pick these two up soon - you won't regret it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar - New Year's and Resolution Runs

It's a new year. It's 2013! Let's hope you're healthy and ready to run coming into the new year. Let's make it a good one.

Goals anyone? Same one for me this year as in 2012...Boston! My two marathons didn't work out so well last year. Hoping for bigger and better things this year.

Let's Race!

-Green Text for Trail Runs
-Red Text for Marathons and Half Marathons
-Blue Text for Triathlons and Duathlons
-Orange Text for everything else, the normal 5k, 10k, etc


January 1st / Hangover Run 3k and Beer Mile 1m / Salem, OR

December 31st / Last Chance Marathon and Half Marathon / Bellingham, WA

January 6th / GBRC Lake Samish Runs Half Marathon and 6.5m / Bellingham, WA

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

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

December 31st / Year to Year 5k / Longview, WA

December 31st / Last Mile at First Night 1m / Tacoma, WA

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

January 1st / Capitol Mile 1m / Salem, OR

January 1st / New Year's Day Run 5k / Boise, ID

January 1st / Commitment Day 5k / Seattle, WA

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

January 1st / Resolution Series 5m and 5k / Steilacoom, WA

January 1st / Hangover Run 5k / Vancouver, WA

January 1st / New Year's Day Hangover Run 9m and 4m / Lewiston, ID

January 1st / First Run 5k / Hermiston, OR

January 1st / First Run 10k and 5k / Eugene, OR

January 5th / Y2k13 20.13k and 10k / Forest Grove, OR

January 5th / Dash for Dance 5k / Auburn, WA

January 6th / Resolution Run 5k / Redmond, WA

January 6th / Resolution Run 10k and 5k / Battle Ground, WA

Monday, December 3, 2012

California International Marathon Review and Results (CIM 2012)

"Call me Ishmael."

I thought of the first line of Moby Dick more than once on this swirling maelstrom of a race course at the 2012 California International Marathon. To further butcher a good metaphor, by the end of the race, I wasn't sure if I was Ishmael or the Great White Whale...

First, let's take care of some business.

If you're just looking for results, here they are. They're only unofficial results until Wednesday, I believe, then they should get the official results up.

And here's an article on the winners: Daniel Tapia and Alisha Williams, the first two American winners at CIM since 1999 and 2000, respectively.

Wow, what an experience this one was.

First, as you know if you're a regular R's reader, I simply was not ready for this race. I had injuries. And setbacks.

And if you recall, I had wondered publicly if one could run a marathon on no training. Well, according to my personal sample size of one: yes, you can. But it won't be fast.

So let's go back about a week before the race. It wasn't a secret - the weather forecast did not look good for the 2012 CIM. But it's one thing to look at an online forecast a week before the race.

And it's another to look out your Sacramento hotel window at 5:00am the morning of the race. The rain was coming down in sheets...and the sheets were being blown sideways by huge gusts of wind. It was ugly.

Here's a photo album of the damage the storms had done in the Sacramento area in the days before the CIM.

The third and final of the storms in that series to hit Sacramento was hitting, you guessed it, on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

But what to do except run the damn thing? Well, if I had lived in Sacramento, I may have skipped the whole thing. But I already flew down, got a hotel, rental car, etc, etc...I was running it.

So I put on my finest definitely-not-rain-proof-running-outfit and headed for the buses to take me to the start line. Jen snapped a picture of me in the hotel, looking like a kid heading to his first day of school in a new town, dry and happy.

So Jen drove me as far as she could, then dropped me off. I ran through the driving wind and rain, which in the dark before sunrise, had a scary biblical quality to it, and jumped on a bus to take me to the start line. There were supposed to be tents and such near the start line, but the wind was howling and garbage was flying through the streets; you really couldn't see much of anything. I scrambled to a strip mall next to a gas station, where I actually found decent shelter from the wind and rain. I vowed to stay there until 6:55am, five minutes before the starting gun.

In this photo gallery from the Sacramento Bee, the gas station in Photo #1 is just across from where I was hiding pre-race, and the shelter in Photo #2, is where I was huddled, trying to keep warm.

At 6:55 exactly, I sprinted out to the start line and got close to the 4:00 pace group. I tried to hide behind people, but the course started out directly, head-on, into the wind that was gusting up to 40mph. There was just nowhere to hide. See Photos # 13 and 14 in the gallery just above to see what I'm talking about.

They played the Star Spangled Banner, gave us a couple "good lucks" and we were off! The first two miles were IN. SANE. The wind and rain was hitting your face like hail, so you had to keep your head down, and hopefully had a hat on, so you could keep some rain off your face. Only that made it so you didn't see the garbage bags, gloves, t-shirts and sweatshirts that were coming back like missiles, blown by the wind. Cardboard garbage cans and plastic garbage bags were flying around. People were jumping and dodging trying to miss branches and palm fronds down in the street.


The wind was coming from the South, so as you can see on my Garmin map, it was either in our faces or blowing sideways across us the whole way. It was never behind us, on this point to point course, so it never helped us.

As befitting my horrid last two months of training, I went out fairly well, then faded oh so quickly right around the half marathon mark. I wanted to stay with the four hour pace group as long as possible and actually slowly moved up with the 3:55 group for quite a while. But after 13 miles, I faded back.

There were huge streams flying down the gutters during the entire race and every couple miles, there would be lakes that covered the entire street, like this.

There were also two sections where there were rivers - I'm not kidding here, these were 4-6 inch deep rivers flowing across the street. There was absolutely no way to get around them. You had to go right through them. If you were thinking right before you got to those rivers, "well, we can't get any wetter," you were wrong, weren't you?

Lots of good signs along the way, but my favorite was "Embrace the suck." I couldn't have put it any better.

I was having trouble meeting up with my support crew, Jen, but she finally found me at around mile 18. My quads were just trashed at that point - have I mentioned I didn't train for this race - and this series of photos is me telling her "no, I won't be finishing around 4:00, my quads are done." And her yelling, "But you're doing great, you've got a good time." And me yelling, "You don't understand, I'm done. Look for me at 4:30!"

And it turns out, that's exactly what happened. I totally seized up in the last six miles and was lucky to get across in 4:28:54.

And while Jen didn't get any shots of me in the first half of the race, when I actually looked like a normal runner, she did get me shambling across the finish line like a zombie.

The course itself was as advertised: up and down, but with gentle rollers and an overall downhill slant. I could see myself trying this one again...if I'm in shape...and the weather report is better.

So of course the sun came out at about noon and the rest of the day was positively beautiful. What are you going to do, right? Since we were flying back that night, and since our hotel wasn't allowing ANY late check-outs (and we couldn't get back there before noon), we found a local YMCA and I paid the day-use fee so I could take a shower!

Good race expo and great organization and volunteers there and at the race itself. Decent swag and a good looking black tech race tee. Also got some cotton gloves, a cinch backpack, a weird handband thing, and a big ass medal (B.A.M!), that you can apparently use as a coaster. It weighs about four pounds.

All in all, the race went as expected because I didn't have any expectations coming in. Being totally unprepared will do that to you.

But I'm not giving up. I'll roll my Boston goal to 2013 and I'll be back.

Next planned race: Corvallis Half Marathon in April. See you there.

credit for the opening video of the CIM to franzevna.