Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Best Running Songs - Twenty One Pilots - Car Radio

It's been a while since we looked at some running music, but I'm constantly on the lookout for good running tunes, so I've got a bunch of recomendations stored up for you!

The first one is called Car Radio by a couple of guys named Twenty One Pilots. The singer has a great, odd, catchy cadence on his vocals. And it's a nice, slow-building rock song that works pretty well when you're running.

And here's an excellent live version.

Going back a few years now...I found this one while watching Slumdog Millionaire for the first time in a number of years. There is a lot of good music in that movie, but this one might be my favorite - it's O Saya by AR Rahman and MIA. Great, propulsive beat on this one.

Then the newest song from Jack White is just amazing. Lazaretto is the name of the song and it simply rocks very hard. Just good stuff.

Another old one now, and it comes from another movie. Although this one isn't even on the movie soundtrack. If you watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, this one comes on while they're in a bar in Mexico and it just plays for a second. I loved it from the moment I heard it though - it reminds me of Wapato. It's called La Receta by Kemo the Blaxican and if this doesn't get your feet moving, I don't know how to help you.

Finally, we've got Dangerous by Big Data. And besides the fact that it has someone running in the video, it's just one of those huge, bass-heavy songs that get the feet going. I like.

Now get out there and run.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy Valley 10k and 5k - Race Report, Results and Photos

Looking for some hill work? Have I got the race for you!

But first, here are the particulars:

Need to see the results? They're right here and/or right here.

Want to see photos of yourself all sweaty and sad-looking? Jake Egbert Photography took care of that for you right here and here.

So, the race.

Well, after the illness and subpar performance at the Corvallis Half, I wanted to get something on the schedule fairly quickly just to keep my training momentum going. And while it was a bit of a drive, Happy Valley is just outside of Portland, the date was about right, so I signed up for this one. Definitely sight unseen. Unfortunately.

As I drove into the Happy Valley area, I noticed immediately that there may be a problem. There's no valley. It should really have been named Happy Hills. I mean, I'm not a stickler for detail, but come on.

Yep, that chart that looks like waves on the open sea? That's the elevation profile. It was actually a 5k loop and the 10k ran it twice, so that's why the halves look very similar.

Anyway, the race started at Happy Valley Elementary and the packet pickup was inside the school. Indoor bathrooms...yes! So after a quick pitstop, about 50 of us 10k runners and around 250 5k runners toed the start line and were off! Well, actually, it was more like, Yes, we started right uphill. No messing around with a flat start, let's just get this thing headed uphill.

As you can see on the map, it was a quick uphill jaunt on King, then a left on 146th. That was a pretty good downhill most of the way, then slightly uphill at the end before we turned onto Ridgecrest. Then some zags and a hill through a neighborhood section and back to Ridgecrest. Then a odd little loop into Happy Valley Park. Downhill going into the park and uphill coming out. Once we took the left back onto Ridgecrest, we got the most brutal uphill of the course, all the way to 132nd. Just had to grind it. Once on to 132nd, it was a pretty good downhill almost all the way back to King. Then another left with some down, then up and we're back to the start and the 2nd lap.

Not sure how, but I kept a very even pace through the first three miles, at 8:10, 8:08 and 8:09. Once we dropped all the 5k runners, I had a bit of a lapse in concentration and dropped to an 8:23, but picked it back up for an 8:07 on mile five. Mile six was sort of slow at 8:23, big hill, then finished it up at about the same pace. Averaged 8:14 overall. Not great, but an improvement over my horrid pace at the Corvallis Half.

Not real happy that my Garmin read 6.44 miles at the end. I realize that kind of course can add a bit to the total mileage, but an extra quarter mile is a LOT of extra running. That's two minutes added to my time. Nope, not happy about that, Happy Valley.

Good cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest at the finish and some amazaballs bundt cake mini things that were fantastic! I think those were from this place - check them out!

Shirts were pretty cool. They had both tech and cotton, but luckily I grabbed a tech shirt before they ran out.

So there you have it. Not a bad race. Good organization and low-key, but so, so hilly. Probably would not run it again. Now I need to find one or two more of the 10k variety before my next goal half: the Eugene Half Marathon at the end of July.