Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Giddy Up!

The thought was planted by reading the Rooster Slam.

Pretty much an impulse buy after thinking about it for 3 weeks.

I was driving back from taking Trisha to the airport heading to a meeting downtown with Ward and Bjorn (good thoughts, food and weather).

As I always do, I got lost driving downtown. Suddenly, I am stuck heading over a bridge...the Morrison Bridge.
The bridge dumped me out directly at Portland Running Company.
From my experience living in Portland, Paula and Dave have been great for the running community so I pulled in, parked, and decided to give them some of my money. Like I really needed an excuse! The store running expert took his time, brought me out about 5 pairs of shoes. I took them all out around the block for a trial run. I quickly narrowed it down between the Asics DS trainers and the Sauconys. Since I was going for fast and light, I ended up with the Sauconys.

With Trisha off to present Seven Years of Teaching Online: Fact and Fantasy at her conference in Minneapolis (or visit friends...I am not sure which) I could even justify buying the shoes to help make me miss her less :-)

They are things of beauty and power: Fast Twitch 2 Endurance

So why racing flats besides the look. I did a little research.
Race flats are exactly that...more flat than regular shoes. The heel is smaller.
This has:
4 principal effects: weight reduction, better foot to ground power transfer, providing less support and giving less cushioning. These features allow a runner to race more efficiently.
The common rule of thumb is that you can expect to drop 1 second per mile, for every ounce you shed on your feet.
So my trainers weigh 13.1 oz. and I will race in 7.6 oz. flats, I can hope to run about 5.5 seconds a mile faster for 26.2 miles.

Doing the math: 5.5 * 26.2 = 144 seconds or 2:24.
My current marathon PR is from Boston 2005: 3:02:33
Look at that...remove 2:24 and I am only 10 seconds away from 2:59:59.
Man, I love math, you can make it say anything.

Eugene is flat compared to Boston. There is those 10 seconds. On paper it is a sure thing :-)

On the bottom of the shoe it says "Giddy Up!".
That will be on VISA, please!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Friend Lief

With some quick thinking from Trisha and help from our friends the Gerkmans, Trisha and I were able to hit the Lief Erikson trail around 3 pm today. I do a lot of my training on Lief and it is kinda like a training partner. I like the terrain, length and that every quarter mile is marked.

Heading out I felt tight, sluggish and a little grumpy. It was great to have Trisha along on the bike to keep my butt moving and push my pace up the hills.

The trilliums were still in bloom and the sun even peaked out a few times. I was quite surprised at how few people were out on the trail. We are lucky to have such a great run just 20 minutes from the house.

This is the last of my long runs before Eugene and I am happy with how all of my 20 milers have gone. All were around 2:23 (7:10 pace) so my legs are ready for the distance and pace on April 29th.

Flowers of Spring

I love spring and I love the spring flowers. This is a sampling of the flowers in our yard as it wakes up from its winter nap.
I have entered my taper for the Eugene marathon so you could say I have stopped to smell the flowers. Trisha and I are planning to head out for a 20 on the Spring Water corridor this afternoon. Please no RAIN. Please lots of flowers!

Sunday, April 8, 2007


The casual, slow recovery run.
Running along Fanno Creek with Trisha, the kids tagging along on their bikes.

The deep soreness in the muscles gradually weakens as I realize yesterday's race has made me stronger.

Today was also the day I received the good news that I am one of the lucky runners who gets to do the Mckenzie River 50km in September.

The eternal Good News of Easter started the day.
Then the afternoon was filled with eating, some gardening for stretching, and then we hit the trail. I had my warm, satisfying muscle fatigue to help me think about racing again soon.

It does not get better than this.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Good things come to those who wait

Today was the Vernonia 1/2 marathon.

After the amazing weather record temperatures we had yesterday I had images of a great run in the sun down some back country trail.

I did get to run a country trail but the weather was crappy. To be totally honest the rain was of little issue as the temperature was close to perfect with little wind.

The race went well. I placed first in my age group (after they bumped me up for the other guy placing 2nd over all) and sixth over all: results.

I started out slowly where we did a little out and back up to the lake near Anderson Park. Then, after the 2 mile jaunt, we headed out on the Banks-Vernonia Trail for 11.1 miles of fun.

5 guys headed out really fast. Two of us looked at each other and said, "hey, if they can hold that more power to them!".

I ran with a group of four for about 4 miles. Then two of the guys dropped another gear and took off. I hesitated and they were gone. I think they we just basically sandbaggin' training for something else as they did not seem to be working hard enough for what seemed like a fast pace to me!
I hung out with another guy for about 2 miles and then I noticed that our splits were slowing....time to pick it up. So I pushed hard for a while and soon was on my own.

I knew that 7 people were in front of me. Good place to finish.

Then the pavement ran out and it got harder to maintain the pace as the gravel was too large and hard to keep the running groove.

Then we hit the "hill". A trestle was no longer functioning, burnt down I believe, on this old railway line. So you had a hard downhill to Hwy 47 then a hard uphill back to the railway line frontage. I tried to pound down to the highway but was a little leery of the rocks with Eugene only 3 weeks away. I hit the highway, said a thank you to the Sheriffs directing traffic, and faced the uphill. Now my ultra friends will laugh, but this seemed pretty daunting during a half marathon.

I thought again about the 7 people that were in front of me. Good place to finish.

Then I saw the poor "road" runner ahead. He was walking up the hill.
Then a little voice started in my can get him. You can pass him!
Wait...those are my words haunting me from when I pace my wife Trisha or my friend Ronda.

Well, today I practiced what I preach!
I ran up that hill, not fast but fast enough.
Rested about 10 paces back from the guy in front for about 1/2 a mile.
Then there was a little down hill.
He never had a chance to hitch up with me...straight on through with no pause.

Suddenly I was in 6th...wahoo!

Energized, I finished strong in 1:25:56.

Not my fastest but I really felt pretty good and the last 4 miles went by really fast.

All my previous halfs have been death marches for the last 3 miles so, again, I believe in my training. I had two miles where I let my mind wander and the pace showed it...focus, focus, focus! Good lesson for Eugene.

The race is well organized and the course easy to follow. The awards were a little slow in coming but they had to wait for the buses that take back to the start. Good soup!

One more week of training and on to taper time!

(by the way I did the race in all black in honor of Black Saturdays :-) )