Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beaver Freezer Triathlon Registration - Feb 1, 2013

OK, this is your final warning.

Head over here tomorrow if you want to participate in the 2013 Beaver Freezer Triathlon on April 6th.

It will sell out, so don't dilly dally.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beaver Freezer 2013 - Three Day Warning!

You know the drill. One of the first triathlons of the year. Well-run, organized, good competition, and a chance to support the OSU triathletes who organize the race.

Oh, and don't forget...

It sells out. Always.

If you want to race in the Freezer, you've got to sign up. Usually, right at 8:00am. No later than 9:00am. If you're signing up at 10:00am, you're taking a chance. If you're waiting until noon, it's likely trouble. If you forgot on February 1st, and come back on the 2nd, just forget about it.

The race is on April 6th...sure to be a glorious, sun-shining, birds singing, spring day.

So sign up this Friday, the 1st, at 8:00am. Do it!

Right here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar

February, February, February...

Please bring on the Spring already. Let's get some sun. Let's get some dry roads. Let's get some half marathons and some full marathons, just for fun. Let's get some triathlons.

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


February 22nd / This Little Light of Mine Night Trail Run 5k / Bellingham, WA

February 24th / Lord Hill Trail Run 50k, 20m, 10m and 5m / Snohomish, WA

February 23rd / Resolution Run 15m and 15k / Steilacoom, WA

February 23rd / Snow Joke Half Marathon / Seeley Lake, MT

February 23rd / Fall Creek Run Around 20m, 15k and 5k / Lowell, OR

February 23rd / Tri-Cities Half Marathon and 5k / Richland, WA

February 24th / Hazel Dell Half Marathon and 8k / Vancouver, WA

February 23rd / Run to D.C. 5k / Albany, OR

February 23rd / LEAP for Special Olympics 5k / Kirkland, WA

February 23rd / Smelt Run 10k and 5k / La Conner, WA

February 24th / Coast Festival 5k / Newport, OR

February 24th / Seward Park 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

February 24th / Hatley Castle 8k / Victoria, BC

Photo by Tim Wilson, who looks ready for Spring as well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Amby Burfoot says You're Not Good Enough to Understand Lance Armstrong


So Runner's World writer Amby Burfoot basically says in his latest article: you can't blame Lance Armstrong for doping because you don't know what it's like to be that talented yet not be able to win.

Well, la-di-da...

What a steaming pile of bullshit. I don't think you have to be an elite athlete to realize that losing isn't that fun. I've been losing races for 30 years now and I still don't have the desire to use steroids. Amby says you have two choices as an elite athlete: dope and win...or quit. Wow. With that attitude, I'm not surprised Amby never achieved his running goals.

When you're done digesting Amby's article, please scroll down to the comments and be sure to read Pete Magill's thoughts and then Lauren Fleshman's thoughts. Now, there are two elite athletes that actually get it.

If only Lance and Amby "got" it.

Photo of Mint Chocolate Clif Bar - as close as I get to "doping" - from Bicycling Magazine.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Northwest Triathlon and Running Race Calendar

Let's get muddy!

A huge number of trail runs this week. And considering we're in the middle of February...and we're in the Northwest...there's definitely going to be some mud. Enjoy it - get out there and get messy!

Not to mention, we've got our first triathlon of the year this week, albeit indoor!

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


February 16th / Hagg Lake Mud Run 50k / Hagg Lake, OR

February 16th / Edge of Hell Trail Run 8m and 4m / Lewiston, ID

February 16th / Woolley Runs 50k, Marathon and Half Marathon / Sedro Woolley, WA

February 16th / Mason County Cross 6k / Shelton, WA

February 17th / Fragrance Lake Trail Runs 20k and 10k / Bellingham, WA

February 17th / Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Runs Marathon, 20m, Half Marathon and 10k / Coupeville, WA

February 17th / Hagg Lake Mud Run 25k / Hagg Lake, OR

February 17th / Bristow Trail Run 50k, 25k, 10k and 5k / Dexter, OR

February 16th / Rogue River Half Marathon and Alyssa Watson Memorial 5k / Rogue River, OR

February 17th / Birch Bay Marathon and Half Marathon / Blaine, WA

February 16th / RainMain Indoor Triathlon Sprint / Issaquah, WA

February 16th / Wurst 5k / Mount Angel, OR

February 16th / Run for Chocolate 5k / Sunriver, OR

February 16th / Knock My Socks Off 5k / Gig Harbor, WA

February 16th / White Center 5k / Seattle, WA

February 16th / Magnuson Series President's Day Weekend 15k, 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

February 16th / Two for the Road 5k / Bellingham, WA

February 16th / Run for Ronda 10k and 5k / Puyallup, WA

February 16th / Couples Classic 5k / Eugene, OR

February 16th / Jillie Jog - The Road to Remission 5k / John Day, OR

February 17th / Snow Warriors 5k / Bend, OR

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Headphones Review

OK, so for years now...years and years...I've been buying headphones to listen to music while I hit the treadmill. Not always when I run outside, but always when I'm on the treadmill. Just too boring otherwise.

And these cheap Sony models have been my go-to headphones for a long, long time.

Are they cheap? Yes, but that's the point. They'll set you back ten bucks at most. Are they flimsy? Yes, and it's a problem. You have to baby them because the wires like to come loose from the headphones (not hanging loose, but loose inside somewhere that you can't see it but only one side plays music). This has caused me to buy approximately 800 pairs of these headphones over the last ten years. Seriously.

Now I know what you're thinking - "The R's is not too smart" - but no, listen for a second.

First, these cheap headphones actually have OK sound. Better than almost every other pair of "running" type headphones I've ever used. And second, and this is important, they STAY IN YOUR EARS.

I know, you're still thinking, "But there are eight million other kinds of headphones out there..." Believe me, I know. I've tried most of them. Up until two weeks ago, all the types I'd tried fell under three broad categories:

a) fall out of ears when running
b) horrible sound
c) both

If you're looking for a poster child for "c" please look no further than the Phillips blah blah blah 3000.

Wow, what utterly worthless pieces of crap those headphones were... Literally, two soup cans and a cotton string would have provided better sound clarity.

Anyway, we were talking about the Yurbuds, yes? Well, not yet, but I'm getting there. So I head to Target, one of the few places you can find the cheap Sony headphones, and they don't have them. They don't even have a hook for them. Looks like they're gone and never to return. Sigh...

So I check out my other options. Well, there are about a thousand little earbuds that I know won't work. Then quite a few huge, Jay-Z Beats types that weigh more than my head. Those won't work either.

Then there's the Yurbuds. Now obviously I had heard of Yurbuds before. I had even considered buying them before. But they're expensive. And I'm cheap. Long story short: after wondering why the hell the women's sized Yurbuds were half the cost of the Ironman Yurbuds, I bit the bullet and laid down $50 for headphones. I know, it isn't really that much, but, as I've mentioned, I'm cheap.

So I ended up with the Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Performance. It's quite a mouthful...sounds like it's worth $50.

It's also apparently a Exclusive Product Found Only at Your Friendly Neighborhood Target Store! The only thing on the Yurbuds website close to what I bought would be the Inspire Pro at $59.99. It's got a fancy volume/mic thing deal for using with a phone. Mine has no such fancy gadget - use with a phone at your own discretion, I guess.

What I do have is a pair of headphones, two sets/sizes of silicone earphone covers, super-long four foot Kevlar cloth wires, a clip and a little carry pouch. The Kevlar wires seem like overkill, although I must admit I like the feel of them. Not waxy and plastic like most headphone cords.

So after trying really hard to make the smaller-sized silicone ear pieces work, and knowing that the bigger ones would be WAY too big, I just couldn't keep them in my ears. Not again?!?

But then I finally tried the bigger size ear pieces. What do you know? They fit pretty good! OK, so maybe I have big ears, I don't know. I'm wondering how the silicone will age, but I have to admit, right out of the box, they're smooth/sticky and do grip your ear pretty well once you've got them in place. They say to "rotate" the special "twist-lock" ear pieces and I'm not really sure I've got that part right, but they're not falling out, so I guess close enough.

So far, so good - they stay in your ears.

Now what about the sound?

Well, it's not great. I'd say it's not quite as good as the $10 Sony headphones. But it's not bad either. Miles ahead of the Phillips headphones. Overall, I'd give the sound quality about a 7 out of 10. You're losing some of the highs and lows, but they don't sound small and tinny like some headphones do.

The guys at Engadget also did a little comparison between Yurbuds Ironman and Skullcandy Fix. Check it out here.

Here's Huffington Post with another review...well, sort of an ad almost, but informative.

I've only had these for a couple weeks, so it's early. Still, overall, I'd say these are winners. Not cheap, but they do what they promise: they stay in your ear and they play music.

Thumbs up.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Best Running Song for January - The Naked and Famous - Young Blood

Well, I didn't really plan it, but we're on a bit of a theme here. Like last month, this month we have another band that trades off on the lead vocals between the male and female singers.

May I present The Naked and Famous.

Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, The Naked and Famous haven't been around all that long, but they're pretty popular with the TV shows, so you may have heard them on Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Chuck, The Cabin in the Woods, and Elementary. Plus a few commercials and video games here and there. Hey, more power to them. It's a new world for music out there - you can't survive on your album sales anymore, that's for sure.

For a band that relies on the electronics quite a bit, Young Blood has some real kick and passion. A lot of that passion comes from the amazing vocals by Alisa Xayalith (good Scrabble name).

Live version done for a radio station - probably accounts for the slick production on the video.

Another great live version.

Rock that Run!

Past Best Running Songs: December: Of Monsters and Men / "Little Talks" 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"

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Race Calendar

It seems like this year is taking a while to get going. We've got another slow week of races here, and we're almost to the middle of February! Ah well, almost to the Spring marathons in March, then we'll have the early triathlons in April and before you know it, it'll be summer!

...did I mention it's 21 degrees outside right now?

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


February 10th / Fishline 50k and 25k / Port Gamble, WA

February 9th / Heart Breaker Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Hillsboro, OR

February 9th / Million Inch Run 15.8m / Tukwila, WA

February 9th / Heart and Sole 10k and 5k / Longview, WA

February 9th / Run 4 Her Heart 5k / Puyallup, WA

February 9th / I Heart Lilly 2m / Selah, WA

February 9th / Love 'em or Leave 'em Valentine's Day Dash 5k / Seattle, WA

February 9th / Catch Em If You Can 5k / Missoula, MT

February 10th / Cedar 12k / Cedar, BC

February 10th / Truffle Shuffle 8k / Eugene, OR

February 10th / Valentine Fanconi Anemia Run 12k, 8k and 5k / Portland, OR

February 10th / Partners in Pain 5k / Spokane, WA

photo from The Local Elite blog.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Injured Trail Runners Sue Race Organizers

And unfortunately, it's happening right here in the Northwest.

See the article from KOMO here.

So I actually feel very bad for this woman. I mean, I wouldn't wish a severely broken ankle on anyone. I know how small injuries affect me, not to mention one bad enough to possibly hurt my career.

And yet...and yet...

You've got to be responsible for yourself to a certain extent, yes? I've run a few trail runs and there are always spots where you think to yourself, "Whoa, that's (steep, muddy, wet, dangerous, fill in the blank)" and you immediately have to gauge your concern and take the appropriate steps. Right? I mean, you're running along a steep drop-off, does anyone really think, "hey, the organizers wouldn't have put the course here if there was any chance I could fall?" Of course not. You move away from the edge and pay attention. Maybe slow down just a touch.

Or not. But then you must decide to face the consequences of your decision.

That said, I'll be the first to admit that the new wave of Adventure Races seem to actually put runners in peril of injury or, at the very least, brief pain. And you know what? I don't like those races. I've never done one and never will. But the people that do them - they have to know there's a slight chance of getting an injury, don't they?

Take some responsibility for yourself.

And be careful out there.

photo from the Feld Thoughts blog.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book of 2012 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Seems odd that I'd finish reading my pick for book of the year for 2012 on January 6th, 2013, but there you go.

Let me just say this: if you have not read The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, yet, please stop reading this blog immediately and go pick up a copy...I'll wait.

Hold on...I don't think everyone is finished reading yet...

OK. That was amazing, right?

I'm hardly the first to heap praise on this novel. After all, TIME Magazine named it the #1 fiction book of 2012. It also sold out its 150,000 first printing after Green promised he'd sign every single copy with the Sharpie color of your choice. Still, I was totally unprepared for the feelings this book brought out from me. It's been a while since I was moved to tears from a book, but the characters here - Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac - had me outright crying. And not just once.

But don't think this is a book of sadness and pain. Well, it is, but it's also a book about life and how to be remembered. By someone. By anyone.

It is, more than anything else, a book to make you consider your own life. Why are you here? Will you be remembered? Will your life matter?

I simply can't recommend this book highly enough. Read it now.

"I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Johanna Olson Passes from Brain Cancer

If you've been following Johanna's blog, you probably knew this was coming soon...Johanna passed away yesterday after a long fight against brain cancer.

A tribute to Johanna from Runner's World.

I had the opportunity to interview Johanna a while back for RaceCenter and found her to be a wonderful, polite and, of course, a great and knowledgeable runner!

Go out on a run, appreciate that you can, and give Johanna a good thought while you're running.

Northwest Triathlon and Running Race Calendar

Apparently, Groundhog's Day just isn't a big running holiday...who knew? Anyway, we've got a pretty short list this week, so choose carefully.

Although this week does include the Zena Runs, one of the oldest races in the Northwest - this will be the 45th running! If only I had started when I was one year old, I could have run every one of them!

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


February 2nd / Roaring Run at Roaring River Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Scio, OR

February 3rd / Geoduck Gallop Half Marathon and 10k / Olympia, WA

February 2nd / Worst Day of the Year Run 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

February 2nd / Frosty Four Miler / Yakima, WA

February 2nd / Yawp and Howl 5k / Coeur d'Alene, ID

February 3rd / The Outback River Run 15k, 8k and 5k / Springfield, OR

February 3rd / Zena Road Runs 15k, 6m and 3m / Salem, OR

Awesome running groundhog photo from Beyond My Garden.