Mountain View Trail 1/2 Marathon

October 17th, 2010

After City of Trees, I was feeling pretty good so I decided to try my hand at a trail 1/2.

Two days before, I started getting excited and thought how I would try to improve my time from the previous week.

Well, it was a lot harder than I expected. As I crossed the finish line, I thought I was going to be just over 3 hours. When I looked at my time it was 2:34:58. 2 minutes slower than last week!

Over all it was a fun run. I passed several people that looked like they were in better shape. I met a group runners that are over 70+. I passed one of them and then he passed me about 2KM later after. Then he left me in his dust. I’d say that’s a pretty good goal to shoot for. Over 70 and still running.

One of the best parts of the run was at the finish when Kyler ran out to meet me. I picked him up and ran to the finish.

Here are the details:

City of Trees 1/2 Marathon

October 17th, 2010

We did the City of Trees 1/2 Marathon on 10/10/10! Perfect weather and we beat our last 1/2 time by about 30 minutes.

Here are the details:

Tightrope and Chi Running

October 17th, 2010

Tonight Shauna and I took Kyler to his first circus. He loved it!

My favorite part was a trampoline routine they did. However, the part I thought was the most interesting was the tightrope walker.

I noticed that when they walked across the rope, they would place the ball of their foot just in front of their center of mass and then slide it forward. As I watched this I thought about Chi Running.

I thought about how it is interesting in Chi Running your stride lengthens to the rear and the tightrope walker lengthens towards the front. At first glance this is exactly opposite and it is. The interesting thing is: even though the movements are in opposite directions the reason is the same. Cooperating with gravity is the common thread between Chi Running and tightrope walking. With the tightrope, the purpose is to go forward from one end of the rope to the other without falling off of the rope. With running you move from one point to another without falling on your face.

Next time you see a tightrope walker, focus on how they balance in relation to their center of mass. Hopefully this will be a good reminder of how we work with gravity when we run. If you can begin to really feel this in your own running, you’ll be well on your way to running energy efficiently and injury free!

A dog ate my shirt!

October 17th, 2010

Okay, a dog didn’t really eat my shirt.  Here’s what happened though:

So, last week I was staying with Shauna and Kyler at Shauna’s grandma’s house in Bath, NY.  Bath is a nice little town and a great place for a run.  We started out our trip on Tuesday night by pulling an all-nighter to get from SLC to Bath.  Thankfully, Kyler slept the whole entire first flight.  Then after a two hour lay over at JFK, he slept the whole flight to Rochester.  That’s only 5-6 hours of sleep for him and only about 2 hours of sleep for Shauna and I.  So because of that, I took Wednesday off from running.

Wednesday night I researched a good long route to run.  I checked with Shauna’s grandma (Mary) and she warned me that there was a big hill.  She said it wasn’t very long so I wasn’t too worried about it.  She also warned me that it wouldn’t take me very far and I would be on roads that she wasn’t familiar with.  Since she’s lived in Bath for 58+ years, that made me a little concerned.

So my plan for Thursday was to wake up at 6:30 and run for 10+ km.  Unfortunately, I slept in until after 8:00;  I would have to cut my run short.  On top of that, when I went outside, I found that it was lightly raining.  I went back inside and got a plastic bag for my phone.  I started running.  After about five minutes, the light rain turned into a complete downpour.  It only took a few minutes and I was completely soaked.  Once you’re soaked,  you just forget about being wet and run.  It’s a pretty cool feeling.

It didn’t take long and I was at the base of the hill Mary had told me about.  It wasn’t very steep (maybe 6 degrees) and at first it did look like it was going to be a short climb.  Well, I was wrong.  It was about 1.5 km.  I kept going and going in the pouring rain.  Shortly after I left, I decided that I was going to run to the end of the street or 2.5 km which ever came first.  Funny thing is: it was almost exactly that long to the end of the street.  So I turned around and finished a wet and enjoyable 5K.

I got up the next day and started the same route. The weather was perfect and physically I felt really good. I got to the base of the hill and the pavements stops shortly after. What I thought was a small hill that leads to a road that goes around the mountain was actually a hill on the road that goes to the top of the mountain.

As I got going, I started getting some nipple chafing. I was running in the middle of nowhere so I thought it would be okay if I took my shirt off. So I did. At first, I thought I could just leave it hanging around my neck, but I quickly found that was uncomfortable. So I took my shirt off from around my neck and looped it through the bungie cords on my running belt. I kept running as the hill kept going…

As I got close to the top of the mountain and deeper into nowhere I came to a farm and a dog came running out. This dog looked like the same kind of dog that Sirius Black was in the Harry Potter movie. So kind of a dog/wolf. It was barking at me in a very mean way, but wasn’t chasing me yet. So I kept running, the dog was following me and still barking like it was going to eat me. I took my shirt off my pack and wrapped it around my arm in case it decided that barking wasn’t good enough and attacked me. Then I turned and looked at the dog and told it to go home. When I turned and looked at it, it stopped walking towards me, but continued to bark. So I started to run sideways to keep moving forward and keep looking at the dog. It would still back, but stayed put. Eventually I got far enough away that it got bored and went home. I looped my shirt back int he bungie cords and kept going.

About a mile more and three dogs came running out and barking at me. I reached back to get my shirt to wrap around my arm again, but it wasn’t there! Now what am I going to do?! I kept running and decided I’d try talking to the dogs. I started talking and it turns out they were nice dogs. So nice that after a bit, two dogs went home and the third on kept running with me. I figured that it would get bored soon and go home, but it didn’t. Eventually I had to stop and tell it to go home. It looked at me turned around and started walking back towards home. Then it would stop and look at me to see if I really meant it. I did, so I’d tell it to go home again. After three or four times of that, it finally kept going and I was able to start running again.

Now that I wasn’t worried about bringing a dog home with me, I had a chance to process that fact that I was missing my shirt. I also had a couple of miles to think about how it would be to run through town without a shirt on. I decided that all I could do was keep going and wave at everyone that drove by. And that’s just what I did.

When I got home Grandma Emmerson said, “Didn’t you have a shirt when you left?” We all loaded up in her van and I told them the story as we went back up the mountain to see if we could find it. It turns out it was only a few hundred yards away from the mean dog. When I put it back on my pack, I must have completely missed the bungie cords. (As far as chafed nipples go, I have started wearing a sleeveless Under Armor Compression Shirt.)

Later that evening during Shauna’s cousin’s wedding reception, a nice little old lady came up to me and said, “I didn’t recognize you with your shirt on! When we passed you, I said to my husband, that must be Mary’s grandson.” So it sounds like most people in Bath saw me and a good part of them probably already knew who I was!

Salt Flats 1/2 a few days later…

September 7th, 2010

It’s been a few days since my mom and I ran the Salt Flats 1/2.

It was a great run.  Here’s a quick recap of the day:

We started out by getting up at 5:30.  We got dressed and headed over to meet Heidi.  We got about half way to the Golden Nugget and came to a dead head.  We were already a few minutes late so we chugged our protein drinks and started running down a dirt road.  Thankfully we were only a few minutes late.

We loaded up the car and headed out to the salt flats.  We arrived 15 minutes before the start.  There was no line at check-in so we quickly got our goodie bags.  With 10 minutes to go, we filled our water bottles, put on sun screen and did some last minute body looseners.  I reset my Garmin just before the start…

Just after 7:00 a small group started the second annual Salt Flats 1/2 marathon. (I think there were 38 runners)  We got running and the group left us as we settled into our own pace.  After about a minute I realized that even though I reset my Garmin, I forgot to push start!  Thankfully we we had only gone a short distance…

As we ran, we watched a spectacular sun rise.  It started before the sun rose and turned the sky all kinds of shades of purple and pink.  After about 1/2 mile the sun started to come over the horizon.  Not a bad way to start a run!

We settled in to about a 9 min/km pace for the first mile.  Then we kicked it up to about 8 min/km.  We ended up averaging 8:19 min/km.  (That translates into 14.04 mile/min)

The run was a lot of fun.  The land scape is unique and really beautiful.  It’s really interesting to be running towards the horizon and realize that you’re running to a point past it.  Kind of like running to oblivion!

We stopped at each aid station and refiled our water bottles and drank some PowerAid.  At the turn around point we got some Jelly Belly Beans.  Water and fuel was not a problem during the run.  It really makes a difference when you don’t have to worry about that stuff.

So, what about my goals….

  1. Finish (Done)
  2. Finish with out walking. (Aid stations don’t count…) (Done)
  3. Do it in less than 3.5 hours (Done!!!) Our time was 3:05.  That’s close to 45 minutes faster than my last long run.
  4. Don’t be last (Done) We were able to pass 3 people.

Over all it was a fantastic race.  Looking forward to running it again next year.

If you want to check out my stats for the run:

FYI: I have my Garmin set to measure in metric. The short reason why is because I first started training for a 5K. I didn’t want to have to do translations while I ran so I switched to metric. The slightly longer reason is because many of the runs I want to do are measured in kilometers.

The night before the Salt Flats ½…

September 7th, 2010

So, I’m in the hotel doing final preparation for the run tomorrow.  I’m a little nervous, but I’m pretty excited too.

Here are my goals in order of importance and probability:

  1. Finish
  2. Finish with out walking. (Aid stations don’t count…)
  3. Do it in less than 3.5 hours
  4. Don’t be last

I’m confident that I can finish.  I did 23 km (about 14 miles) last Saturday.  So I’m pretty sure I can check the first one off the list.

I was able to run the entire 14 miles except for two times when I stopped to talk to people and once when I stopped to refill my water bottles.   But….  I over did it last Saturday and my left calf and right hip were more sore than normal.  They feel pretty good tonight, but I’m still a little worried.

This one might be a stretch, but I’m hopeful.  There isn’t an official time limit, but the organizer said they like to have people off the course in 3 hours.  I told him I could probably do 3.5. (Hope I wasn’t lying…)  I figure there is a chance I could make it in less than 3.5.  First, it’s the course is flat.  It could quite possibly be the flattest ½ marathon in the world.  Second, I’ve done 3 long training runs and for each of them I was fueling with an apple and water.  This is on top of doing the HCG diet.  So needless to say, my fuel wasn’t exactly up to par.  Lastly, I’ll be running around other people.  I think that just might give me the little something extra that I need to shave a little time off.

Not being last might be a bit of a challenge.  There will be 30-50 runners so the odds of me being the slowest are pretty good.  If it came down to it, I could probably out sprint someone at the end, but I don’t really want to be that guy.  (Especially if I had to out sprint my mom…)  That being said, there’s a chance there is someone that is slower than me, I’m not counting on it though!

Speaking of HCG, I have already made one goal.  I wanted to loose 50 lbs. before this run and I did.  As of this morning, I’ve lost 51 lbs. (After tonight’s buffet though, it make be an even 50…)

Bottom line is, I’m just excited to run.  This will be my first organized run and I’m really excited.  When I first heard about it, I thought: it’s flat, I’ll run as far as I can, then walk and then if I’m still not to the finish, they can come and get me…  I’m really pleased that I’ve gone from just hoping that I can finish the distance to knowing that I can and adding more goals on top of it.

Being able to run on the Salt Flats will be incredibly cool.  I don’t think I’ll set a land speed record, but who cares.  I’m running on the Salt Flats!  No matter how cool that will be though, the best part is being able to run with my mom and aunt.  So a special thanks to Heidi for telling us about this run.  If it weren’t for her, I’d be cleaning my garage this weekend.  (Any volunteers to help on Monday?) A huge thanks to my mom; If she hadn’t said let’s go for it when I mentioned becoming a Chi Running instructor, I’d still be dreaming about doing it “some day”.   Not only doing Chi Running, but doing it with my mom has be completely life changing!

I am so excited to be running again.  I owe it all to Chi Running and finally to loosing weight. I feel great physically and mentally.

Tomorrow will be great!