Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sort-of Hill Work Prep for McDonald Forest 15k - Week Three

Still prepping for the McDonald Forest Trail 15k on October 27th. The plan is to do a good, hilly trail workout every weekend until we hit the race date.

Unfortunately, the huge storm that Washington and Oregon have been fighting through made that difficult for me today. Basically, there are no trails right now. There are barely roads. We've had a lot of rain over the past few days. A LOT of rain. Read all about it here.

So that meant I was on the roads today instead of the trails. And man, was it ugly. Driving rain, 20-30 mph winds, massive puddles every 10 feet. I was one drowned rat by the end of this one.

Still, the run was pretty good. Definitely not hilly enough.

I wanted to get it slightly over the 15k distance and I was fine there, measuring in at 10 miles exactly. My pace was even pretty good, after I got warmed up a bit in the first mile or so.

And miles three and four were during the only decent hill of the day, so I'm pretty happy that I kept a nice pace through that section.

We're supposed to dry out a bit by the middle of the week, which would be very nice so I can get back on the trails next weekend.

So you out there.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - October 2013 - Halloween Races!

Hey, one of the best events in Corvallis is coming up: McDonald Forest Trail Run. This is my next race and it should be yours too. It's a great course and a fun race. Check out my race review of the 2011 race right here.

Another great choice for the week would be the ORRC Autumn Leaves Ultra 50m and 50k. Why? Well, they have perhaps the greatest swag in trail racing history: one person will have THEIR VERY OWN HONEY BUCKET ON THE COURSE!!

Yes, you heard me correctly. If you sign up early for this race, you have a chance to win your very own portable rest room on the side of the course...that no one else can use but you! Man, it's like Christmas and your birthday all wrapped up in one!

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


October 26th / Halloween at Hells Gate Trail Half Marathon / Lewiston, ID

October 26th / ORRC Autumn Leaves Ultra 50m and 50k / Champoeg Park, OR

October 26th / Trail of Terror Trail Run Half Marathon and 5k / Athol, ID

October 26th / Dawn of the Dead Dash 5k / Portland, OR

October 26th / A Very Poplar Run 10k and 5k / Boardman, OR

October 26th / Red Lizard Stumptown Cross Country Race 8k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 26th / Pumpkin Trail 5m / North Bonneville, WA

October 26th / Pumpkin Run XC 6k / Leavenworth, WA

October 27th / Lutherwood, Wouldn't You? Trail Run 10k and 5k / Bellingham, WA

October 27th / McDonald Forest Trail Run 15k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 27th / Spooky Trail Run 12k / Port Gamble, WA

October 27th / Cougar Mtn Trail Run 50k and 20m / Bellevue, WA

October 27th / Run Wild Whatcom 10k / Bellingham, WA

October 26th / Grants Pass Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Grants Pass, OR

October 26th / Rush Creek Stampede Half Marathon and 5k / Cambridge, ID

October 27th / Tri-Cities Marathon / Richland, WA

October 27th / Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half Marathon / Hood River, OR

October 27th / Snohomish River Run Half Marathon and 10k / Snohomish, WA

October 26th / Issaquah Highlands Green Halloween 5k / Issaquah, WA

October 26th / Halloweenathon 15k, 10k and 5k / Aloha, OR

October 26th / Monster Dash Run for Education 10k and 5k / Ashland, OR

October 26th / North Plains Pumpkin Run 10k / North Plains, OR

October 26th / Fall Classic Fun Run 5k / Monroe, WA

October 26th / Halloween Run 5k / Boise, ID

October 26th / Magnuson Series Halloween Run 15k, 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

October 26th / Pumpkin Push 5k / Seattle, WA

October 26th / Freaky Zombie Run 5k / Federal Way, WA

October 26th / Haunted Hoquiam 10k and 5k / Hoquiam, WA

October 26th / Run the Logger 5k / Tacoma, WA

October 26th / Monster Dash 4m / Bellingham, WA

October 26th / Pumpkin Pacer 5k / Deer Park, WA

October 26th / Monster Mash Dash 10k and 5k / Nampa, ID

October 26th / Run for Project PINK 5k / Kirkland, WA

October 26th / Skagit Valley Zombie 5k / La Conner, WA

October 26th / The Farm Man Challenge 5k / Meridian, ID

October 26th / West Seattle Monster Dash 5k / Seattle, WA

October 27th / Woodland Park Zoo Pumpkin Dash 5k / Seattle, WA

October 27th / Monster Mash 5k / Eugene, OR

October 27th / Monster Dash 5k / Spokane, WA

October 27th / Run Scared 5k / Seattle, WA

October 27th / Monster Dash 5k / Bend, OR

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Best Running Song for September - Daft Punk - Get Lucky

Yes, I know everyone in the world has already heard it...but I couldn't NOT pick it as a Best Running Song of the Month! I mean, it's funky fresh! The song, in case you've been in a coma the last six months, is "Get Lucky" from Daft Punk.

Of course, the youngsters out there don't realize how much this song "borrows" from the great disco hits of the 70's and 80's. It doesn't hurt that the guitar track is laid down by none other than disco god Nile Rodgers. The song is also driven by the smooth disco-style vocals from Pharrell Williams. Pharrell, of course, has had a Best Running Song here on the R's before.

If you're ready for some other great disco hits to run to, step right up!

Here's Chic with Le Freak...and yes, that's Nile Rodgers in that song as well!

Need more? How about some Kool and the Gang? And Celebration...obviously.

Still need to boogie?! One more...Earth, Wind and Fire, with September.

Rock that run!

Past Best Running Songs: August: Pogo / "SquareBob SpongeMix" July: Fitz and the Tantrums / "Out of My League" June: Atlas Genius / "Trojans" May: The Mowgli's / "San Francisco" April: Spacehog / "In the Meantime" March: Youngblood Hawke / "We Come Running" February: Yolanda Be Cool / "We No Speak Americano" January: The Naked and Famous / "Young Blood" 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"

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Every Young Runner in America is a Slow, Spinless, Soggy Piece of Milk Toast that Needs to Quit Playing Video Games and Get Tougher Like Us Old Folks!

Or so I gather from the articles I've been reading lately...

First, we've got Kevin Helliker from The Wall Street Journal: The Slowest Generation.

Yes, another "You kids, get off my damn lawn!" article from the mainstream press. I also enjoy how Helliker throws in a stealth-brag about his recent time at the Chicago the first line of the article!

I'm not even sure where to start with this mess. First, there's the fact that the entire article is built from a couple of cherry-picked quotes and the fact that running is more popular than ever! Yes, when you have more runners, whether they're running a marathon, a half marathon, or a color run, then the average times will go down. More first time and/or less experienced runners means slower times, that's clear. But why is that a bad thing? Getting people off their fat asses and running is a good thing. It's a great thing! You don't like that they're running mud runs or color runs? Get over yourself!

And then there's this gem, "...America hasn't won an Olympic marathon medal since 2004." Wait, you mean America hasn't won a marathon medal in...the last two Olympics?!? You know what else? Neither have about 200 other countries!

I've got to post one more quote. Helliker actually went out and got the founder of the Spartan Race to give a quote about one of his competitor's races. Wait! Might he say something bad about them?! Yep..."If you can pull the wool over your customers' eyes and convince them that communism is better..." I've got to stop there. Yes, he was talking about a running race.

I just can't...please don't put any credence to this type of garbage. It just feeds people that love to denigrate anything different than themselves. Don't fall into that trap.

Unfortunately, this kind of attitude is not that hard to find out there in the running/writing world. Toni Reavis also took a turn at bat on the topic lately. And while he tries to weasel out from his entire premise at the end of his post ("hey, these kids don't mean to be so damn sucky - it's not their fault!"), he still wants to believe that his generation was...just...better.

It wasn't. You're just getting old. It happens.

Two notes:

1- check out that amazing punctuation in that sentence just up there! I actually put these together,


I don't even think that's legal.

2- please take the time to check out some of the reader comments from both of the linked articles. There are both smart, thoughtful statements and the kind of idiotic mouth-foaming that articles like this promote. Have fun.

Monday, September 23, 2013

McDonald Forest Trail 15k Prep

The next race on the schedule is the McDonald Forest Trail 15k, so I've spent the last two weekends trying to hit the hills a bit. Yesterday's workout is above. I ran basically the exact distance, a 15k, and nearly the exact elevation gain that we'll be running on October 27th, so it was a good workout. I pretty much had done no hill training while I was training for the Skagit Flats Marathon, so it's been quite a while since I struggled up big hills like this. The downhills are proving to be the biggest issue so far though. My left knee has not been real happy with the sudden pounding I've been inflicting on it. Hopefully, it will come around as I spend a little more of the Autumn on the trails.

See you out there.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - October 2013 - Halloween Races and the Beaver Fever!

For the first time ever, the late Fall Beaver Fever Duathlon will now have a Triathlon as well!

Wowza. That's pretty late for a tri. I can't think of any other triathlons in the Willamette Valley (or in the NW?) that take place that late in the year. Can you? The swim will take place in the Philomath City Pool and there will be both a road bike division and a mountain bike division (although this year, everybody will ride on the roads) and the run leg will be on a XC course.

This should be a fun one...but it's almost sold out, so get on it 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


October 19th / Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon / Bellingham, WA

October 19th / Run with the Kokanee Trail 10k and 5k / Issaquah, WA

October 19th / YMCA Extreme Ravine Challenge Half Marathon / Twin Falls, ID

October 19th / Dawn of the Dead Dash Trail Run 5k / Seattle, WA

October 19th / Mount Erie Road and Trail Runs 3.6m and 2.5m / Anacortes, WA

October 20th / SD's Down and Dirty Trail Half Marathon and 10k / Bend, OR

October 20th / Ft Steilacoom Trail 50k, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Lakewood, WA

October 19th / Hayden Lake Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Hayden, ID

October 19th / Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon / Lebanon, OR

October 19th / Dog Lake Marathon and Half Marathon / White Pass, WA

October 19th / The Salty Half Marathon / Seattle, WA

October 20th / Run Like an Animal Half Marathon and 5m / Billings, MT

October 20th / Run Like Hell Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 19th / Fall Triathlon Sprint / Boise, ID

October 20th / Beaver Fever Triathlon and Duathlon Sprint / Philomath, OR

October 19th / Airport Run for Hope 10k and 5k / Arlington, WA

October 19th / Black Cat 5m and 2.5m / Tacoma, WA

October 19th / Chelan Chase 5k / Chelan, WA

October 19th / Howl and Scream 10k and 5k / Richland, WA

October 19th / Sacks of Love 5k / Puyallup, WA

October 19th / Walla Walla Crush 10k and 5k / Walla Walla, WA

October 19th / Monster Dash 5k / Salem, OR

October 19th / Regatta Run 5k / Tualatin, OR

October 19th / Run 4 Uganda 6m and 3m / Jacksonville, OR

October 19th / Zombie Chase 5k / Rigby, ID

October 19th / Push 5k / Boise, ID

October 20th / Pumpkin Run 5k / Missoula, MT

October 20th / Hospice Run to Remember 4m / Springfield, OR

October 20th / Work Opportunities Run 5k / Bellingham, WA

October 20th / Goblin Gallop 5k / Redmond, WA

October 20th / Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k / Everett, WA

October 20th / Dawg Dash 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

October 20th / Portland Parks $5 5k / Portland, OR

Friday, September 13, 2013

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - October 2013

Wow, good week for marathons and half marathons! Lots to choose from here: a couple big ones, some smaller ones, flat, hilly...and all over the NW. Get going already!

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


October 12th / Zombie Apocalypse Trail Run 5k / Dayton, OR

October 12th / Detroit Lake Mud Run 10k / Detroit Lake, OR

October 12th / Le Grizz Ultramarathon 50m / Hungry Horse, MT

October 12th / Canfield Mountain 9'er Trail Run 9m / Coeur d'Alene, ID

October 12th / Red Lizard Stumptown Cross Country Race 5k / Portland, OR

October 12th / Trail Run 4 Life 6m / Salmon, ID

October 12th / Elk-Kings Mountain Traverse Trail Run 15m / Tillamook, OR

October 12th / XTERRA Saint Edward Harvest Half Marathon and 10k / Kenmore, WA

October 12th / Defiance Trail 50k, 30k and 15k / Tacoma, WA

October 12th / The Soda Screamer Thirteener Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Soda Springs, ID

October 12th / Lewis-Clark Half Marathon and 5k / Clarkston, WA

October 12th / Fall City Half Marathon and 10k / Fall City, WA

October 13th / Poulsbo Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Poulsbo, WA

October 13th / Walla Walla Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Walla Walla, WA

October 13th / Sun City Half Marathon and Barry James Memorial 5k / Yakima, WA

October 13th / Spokane Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Spokane, WA

October 13th / The Biggest Loser Half Marathon and 5k / Seattle, WA

October 13th / Victoria Marathon, Half Marathon and 8k / Victoria, BC

October 13th / Girlfriends Half Marathon / Vancouver, WA

October 13th / City of Trees Marathon and Half Marathon / Boise, ID

October 13th / Albany Aquatics Last Chance Triathlon and Duathlon Sprint / Albany, OR

October 13th / Padden Mt. Bike Duathlon Sprint / Bellingham, WA

October 11th / ColorRama 5k / Middleton, ID

October 12th / The Great Bacon Race 10k and 5k / Vancouver, WA

October 12th / What Women Want Fun Run 3.5m / Great Falls, MT

October 12th / ORRC Blue Lake Runs 15k and 5k / Fairview, OR

October 12th / Friends of Jordan Memorial 5k / Forest Grove, OR

October 12th / Rotary Run for Literacy 15k and 5k / Lebanon, OR

October 12th / Fall Fest 5k / Richland, WA

October 12th / Glow in the Dark 5k / Olympia, WA

October 12th / Mount Vernon High School Band Aid 10k and 5k / Mount Vernon, WA

October 12th / Nut Cracker Dash 5k / Kalama, WA

October 12th / Pierce County Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k / Tacoma, WA

October 12th / Whatcom Race for Education 5k / Bellingham, WA

October 12th / Make a Change 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 12th / Domestic Violence Awareness 10k and 5k / Salem, OR

October 12th / Accelerate the Pace 10k and 5k / Redmond, WA

October 12th / Airfield Estates Vineyard Run 5k / Sunnyside, WA

October 12th / Crab Fest 5k / Port Angeles, WA

October 12th / Monster Mash Dash 5k / Shoreline, WA

October 12th / Hermiston Education Foundation Fun Run 5k / Hermiston, OR

October 12th / All Women's Diva Day 5k / Missoula, MT

October 12th / Raw Deal Run 3m / McLeod, MT

October 13th / Great Pumpkin Run 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 13th / Sweat for Pets 5k / Gig Harbor, WA

October 13th / Jog the Bog and Beach 10k and 5k / Grayland, WA

October 13th / Great Columbia Crossing 10k / Astoria, OR

October 13th / Foster 5k / Seattle, WA

October 13th / Fitness for Vitality 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

October 13th / Young Life Seattle 5k 4 Kids 5k / Seattle, WA

October 13th / Free Flight 10k and 5k / Newport, OR

October 13th / Apple Cup Rivalry Clash 10k and 5k / Redmond, WA

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Skagit Flats Marathon Review and Results

Let's start it off right. Those six fine folks above all qualified for the Boston Marathon at the Skagit Flats Marathon on Sunday. So it was possible! Check them out on the Skagit Flats Facebook page here - nice photo by Ashley Degen.

If you're just looking for results of the race:
-here are the marathon results.
-and here are the half marathon results.

Also, if you're looking for photos from the race, the link at the Skagit Flats Marathon page is incorrect. Here is the correct Jon Brunk link. It doesn't look like the photos are up yet, but I did see at least one guy out there taking shots, so I assume they'll be up soon.

Now to the gory details...

My Skagit Flats Marathon Experience!

Due to some bad luck and timing issues with family and work, I headed up to the race on Saturday. It was about a six hour drive and I was on my own. Not a great way to prep for a marathon, but you do what you have to do. I picked up my number, chip and shirt at about five, had some dinner and then headed back to Seattle to stay the night at my brother's place.

Woke up early Sunday morning and headed back up to Burlington. The weather looked just about perfect: fog and/or low clouds seemed to be the order of the day.

Of course, with that kind of weather, you also usually get some high humidity. My Garmin said it was right at 100%. So, yeah, that's pretty high. It felt good standing around, but once we got going, the sweat came out pretty fast.

I went to hit the Honey Buckets about 30 minutes before the start, then remembered that they were going to open up the high school locker rooms for showers after...might they be open before for bathroom use? Yes, they were! So I walked in to the locker room and just off the entrance door, there was the toilet. No, I mean it was right there. It had a wall around it...about 3 feet tall. And there was a guy sitting on it. I sort of nodded at him...I'm not sure what the correct greeting was for saying "hello" to a guy on a wide-open toilet in the middle of a locker room, but I really didn't want to get into a full-blown conversation. Then I quickly decided that I was going to have to put up with the Honey Bucket after all. Anyhoo...

So the Full and the Half started off at the same time, which wasn't a big deal as there were only about 700-800 runners total, so it wasn't crowded at all. We took off right beside Burlington-Edison High School and meandered north and west toward Padilla Bay on the lonely farm roads that run around the town.

A couple of notes about the course. As the name of the race suggests, this is a flat course. It doesn't go up much and it doesn't go down much. It's just flat. And frankly a little boring. This is farm country and you're pretty much stuck looking at fields and cows and dirt and road. Once in a while, at the few road intersections, where people could find parking, you would have a few people cheering on the side of the road. But if you're looking for crowds and/or interesting sights alongside the course...nope, this isn't it. This is where to come if you want to try to run fast on a flat course. Period.

Here's the elevation profile from my Garmin:

Because of a strained and sore quad muscle in my right leg, I hadn't really run in about a week before the race. It felt OK during warmup and really, during the first 10 miles of the race, it felt pretty much fine. So that was not an issue. Well...the not running may have been an issue, but the muscle was fine.

I fell in with the 3:45 pace group, thinking I could hold that pace. Maybe a mistake, but I had done the first three months of my training program working on a 7:50 pace, so I didn't think an 8:30 pace would be a killer. I was wrong. I only made it about 8 miles before my pace started to fall off. At first I thought I was just sort of tired and would come back around with a second wind, as I sometimes do in training runs. Instead, between miles 8 and 12, my legs tightened up horribly and I slowed and slowed. I tried slowing the pace, stretching a bit, and finally walking breaks, but by mile 16, I was getting cramps in my quads and in my calves. I was even getting cramping in my toes! By mile 18, my legs felt like boards and I was having a lot of trouble running at all. Of course, that's about the time that the fog and clouds lifted and all of the sudden it was HOT and I was looking at trying to finish the last eight miles without being able to do much more than walk and shuffle/jog once in a while.

Check the mile by mile carnage here:

Why the cramping? At first I wanted to blame the humidity, but I was taking in water and sport drink pretty well and I had four GU gels during the race. Besides, newer research says that heat and humidity are not usually to blame for cramps. The more likely reason: my last month of poor training (vacation time plus injury time) left me undertrained to even go out at an 8:30 pace. I really didn't think I'd lose that much fitness that fast, but it's the most likely cause.

If you want to see what it looks like to walk a good part of a marathon, here you go:

So I struggled, STRUGGLED, in to the finish line with a 5:04:13. My slowest marathon ever. Wow.

The worst part, for me, is not the bad experience or the bad result - it's just one more race, after all, there will be plenty of others - but the fact that I wasted four months trying to gauge the effectiveness of the Hansons Marathon Method and pretty much didn't learn anything about it. So does the Hansons Marathon Method work for the Average Joe? Will it get you to Boston? Probably, I don't know, maybe. And I'd love to be able to say, "let's try it again!" But that just isn't going to happen anytime soon. I'm thinking I'll concentrate on some shorter races for a while and have a little fun before heading back to the marathon.

The shirt is nice, you don't see a lot of green shirts except for St. Patrick's Day races, so that's cool. The fit is a little small and the neck hole is tiny, but I've said many times before, the sizing on different brands of tech shirts are an absolute mystery. You get what you get. This one may end up with Payton as I'm not sure I'm fitting into it.

Decent medal. Nothing too exciting, but it fits the race. And I'm not saying that in a bad way. I think this is the perfect marathon for one thing: running fast. It's small, it's low-key, it's flat, and judging from the results, most people had a pretty decent race here. Unfortunately, not all of us, but I may return at some point to try to fix that.

So that's that. We're just not going to think about Boston for a while. Not going to think about marathons for a while. I think I'll let the desire come back on its own well and good time. For now, I'll just concentrate on the shorter races that are in front of me. Moving on!

Next up: McDonald Forest Trail 15k on October 27th.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Worst Race of All Time?

Was the Skagit Flats Marathon my absolute worst race ever? Yes. Yes, I believe it was.

I'm still processing. I'll have a full race report tomorrow or the next day.

Friday, September 6, 2013

My History in the Marathon

So two days away from my running of the Skagit Flats Marathon, I've been pondering my strange history of my love/hate affair with the 26.2 mile distance.

I've run four marathons so far. The Skagit Flats will be the fifth. That's not so much, of course, but it seems like so, so much more. Maybe it's just the horribly long training periods that make it seem like I've done more than four of these things. I mean, I've been training since May 6th for the Skagit Flats. May 6th!! So it really shouldn't be surprising, with such a long training period, and then with the race itself being so disturbingly long, that some bad luck might occur during the prep and/or race.

My first marathon was in 1997. Wow. That was a long time ago. I was all of 30 years old, but in distance running years, I was just a little bouncing baby boy. I was all about 5k's and sprint triathlons back then. That marathon in 1997, the Seattle Marathon, was a total fluke. Jen and I somehow decided to try one and just did it. I was in no type of shape to run a marathon and my race time shows that. The Seattle course was not fun, I hated just about every rainy minute of it and it's really no great shock that it took me 13 years to try again.

My second marathon, in 2010, was the Eugene Marathon. I'll blame my friend Manny Balesteri, from Springfield and the UofO, for getting me back into the marathon after such a long break. He was, and still is, seriously into the distance and his love of the race made me wonder if it was really as bad as I had remembered it. Yeah, it probably was. I was in OK shape at this race, but still had not committed to the training that's required to actually race for 26.2 miles. I was well trained for a half here, but definitely not a full.

The third marathon, in Newport, was where I thought it would all come together. I trained hard for this one, following Pete Pfitzinger's marathon plan to the letter. I thought I could get a Boston time here, but after about 10 miles realized that was not going to happen. A very short time after that, I had the worst GI issues I've ever had in my life. And that was that. Somehow, this one is still my PR.

The fourth, and latest if not for long, was the CIM in Sacramento, CA. I hurt my ankle a number of weeks before the race and basically did no training at all for this one. Plus this was the Hurricaine CIM of 2012. I'm lucky I made it to the finish line.

Which brings us to the present day. And the Skagit Flats Marathon in two days. I've had three pretty good months of training for this one, over 600 miles total in June, July and August combined, and then two pretty bad weeks heading to the start line. I pulled a muscle in my leg and have just been nursing it along for about 10 days now. How much will it affect my race? Only time will tell.

Eventually it will all come together. The training, the nutrition, the race...everything. Not in two days' time and maybe not in the next race or the one after that. But I'll get it one of these days.

See you out there.

Northwest Running and Triathlon Calendar - October 2013

Ah yes, the Condor 25k.

Otherwise known as the exact moment my CIM plans went right in the bucket. Hey, just watch your footing and you'll be fine. It's actually a great race for a good cause.

It did get me thinking though...about my "luck" at marathons.

It's too much to go into here. It's going to be a whole new post. Come back in a bit.

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


October 5th / Condor Trail Run 25k / Corvallis, OR

October 5th / Mt. Spokane Trail Run 50k and 25k / Spokane, WA

October 5th / Sekani Trail Run 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

October 5th / Baker Lake Ultra 100k and 50k / Concrete, WA

October 5th / Castle Rocks Trail Run 10k and 5k / Almo, ID

October 5th / Yellowstone Teton Endurance Races 100m and 50m / West Yellowstone, MT

October 5th / Run for the Hills Half Marathon and 5k / Fruitland, ID

October 5th / Orange Chicken Run Half Marathon and 6.55m / Wilsonville, OR

October 5th / Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon and Half Marathon / Leavenworth, WA

October 5th / Colbert Classic Half Marathon / Colbert, WA

October 5th / Run Like a Girl Half Marathon / Bellingham, WA

October 6th / Wolf Creek Canyon Relay and Solo 28m / Wolf Creek, MT

October 6th / Portland Marathon and Half Marathon / Portland, OR

October 5th / Panther Pride Run 5k / Portland, OR

October 5th / Fife Harvest 5k / Fife, WA

October 5th / Harvest Classic 10k and 5k / Longview, WA

October 5th / Apple Fun Run 5k / Onalaska, WA

October 5th / Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k / Richland, WA

October 5th / Care to Share 10k and 5k / Pullman, WA

October 5th / Celebrate Schools 5k / Lynnwood, WA

October 5th / Dash for South Sudan 5k / Tacoma, WA

October 5th / Everett's 5k-9 5k / Everett, WA

October 5th / Fall Flash 10k and 5k / Moscow, ID

October 5th / Fife Harvest Festival 5k / Fife, WA

October 5th / Run Wild 8k and 5k / Eatonville, WA

October 5th / Two Dam Punks 10k / Stabler, WA

October 5th / Little Steps, Big Dreams 5k / Milton, WA

October 5th / Eastern Oregon University Homecoming Run 5k / La Grande, OR

October 5th / Lee Farms Mud Run 5k / Tualatin, OR

October 5th / Run or Dye 5k / Redmond, OR

October 5th / The Neon Run 5k / Portland, OR

October 5th / Barber to Boise 10k and 5k / Boise, ID

October 5th / Farmstead Challenge 5k / Meridian, ID

October 5th / Run for the Cure 5k / Idaho Falls, ID

October 5th / Opera Bozeman Run 10m and 5k / Bozeman, MT

October 5th / Stillwater River Run 10k and 5k / Absarokee, MT

October 6th / Push in the Woods 10k and 5k / Banks, OR

October 6th / Super Hero 5k / Langley, WA

October 6th / Shuck 'n Run 5k / Shelton, WA

October 6th / Issaquah Run with the Fishes 5k / Issaquah, WA

October 6th / Komen Race for the Cure 5k / Eugene, OR

October 6th / Oktoborfest NW Stein Dash 5k / Puyallup, WA

October 6th / UCAF Peach Run 5k / Spangle, WA

October 6th / Magnolia 12k and 5k / Seattle, WA

October 6th / Burien Brat Trot 5k / Burien, WA

October 6th / The Run About the World 5k / Seattle, WA

October 6th / Team Luna Chix Lunar Run 5k / Seattle, WA

October 6th / Haunted Hustle Fun Run 10k and 5k / Puyallup, WA

October 6th / Run for the Angels 5k / Coeur d' Alene

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hansons's Marathon Method - Review in Progress - The End Days!

And here we are. Are you ready? Am I ready? Well...

No, I'm still not running. But I will be on Sunday, I can assure you of that.

So, if you're still following along:

Thursday: 6 miles easy

Friday: 6 miles easy

Saturday: 3 miles easy

Sunday: Skagit Flats Marathon

Mentally, I'm feeling good. Physically? We'll see. But I'm excited to run. I can't wait until Sunday.

Let's go.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hansons Marathon Method - Review in Progress - Day 117 of 123

And we're less than a week away from the Skagit Flats Marathon. Yikes.

I skipped Monday's workout today as well, which means I have not run since Friday. My leg feels better, but I can tell just from walking around that it is not right yet. So...I'll wait.

The new goals for Skagit Flats are as follows:

-try to enjoy the race

-run consistently; start at a smart pace and follow through with a good pace in the second half of the race

-Run a new marathon PR

The Boston goal will have to wait for another time. I'm a patient guy. I'll get there.

Monday's workout, for those still following along with the plan, was 6 miles easy. Tomorrow, Tuesday, will be 5 miles easy. I doubt I'll run it, but I have not decided for sure.

Go buy the book: