Friday, March 18, 2011

Frustrations Continue

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know how things are going. Bottom line is: not well. I thought I had this Achilles thing taken care of a week ago but this week did not go well. I am still not certain what exactly is causing it as at this point it has to be more than just running in slippery conditions like I originally thought. Unfortunately it's looking more and more like I am not going to be able to run a spring marathon as I had originally intended. All is not lost but things will need to turn around very quickly if I am going to have any chance of being ready to go. For now I am just focusing on getting healthy and I'll race again when I can. Happy running to everyone (don't forget how lucky it is to be healthy).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gate River

As you have read Gate River was very good to the BRC team. Congrats to the 2nd place men's team and the 3rd place women's team. Congrats to Ali for 8th place! Great job to Adrian, Wendy, and Stephanie for having a fantastic race. Everything was so wonderfully organized, thank you Richard Fannin and crew, and the race was a blast. This is definitely one of my favorite races now.

After DNFing at the Houston Half and having a tough few weeks of training that followed, I was very nervous going into this race and unsure of how it would go. I knew I was fit, I knew I had put in the work, but the DNF really threw me for a loop and I gained a (temporary) fear of (1) failure and (2) the pre-race meal. After hearing Gate River's special guest (Dick Beardsley) my first fear disintegrated. My second fear disappeared eventually too when I was hungry for dinner and had only one choice.
The morning before the race was so much fun. We rode a water taxi across the way as the sun rose and it was surprisingly very chilly (perfect for a long race). It was great to warm up with Ali, Adrian, Wendy, and Stephanie and catch up on life. As the race started I realized how great I felt and how focused I was. Together with Ali, Wendy, and Stephanie mile 1 came and went in 5:30. Next mile, 5:30, and the next, 5:30. I thought "well I'm a bit faster than anticipated, but I feel amazing." Unfortunately the race broke at 1.5 miles and there was a lead pack and then the rest of us strung out in a line (dumb to not run together but we all seem to do it at times), so after the 3rd mile I became focused on the competition instead of the pace. It seemed like every mile or so I caught someone and each time it made me push the pace even more. The race went by so fast, except the uphill on the bridge, and I can't believe I ran 52:13.

I was so happy with my time I didn't really think about what place I could be, so when Richard let me know I was 10th overall I didn't entirely believe him (partly because there were timing issues and also because I haven't been able to get into the top 10 in any of these races). I told the team I would believe when they announced it at the awards. Sure enough, 10th place!!
This weekend I'll be on the outdoor track in Pueblo racing the 1500 and 800...oh man, it's going to hurt. After a 9 mile race, these are going to feel crazy fast. Then in a few weeks Russ and I are travelling to Mt. SAC. I love spring time and the track!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bagpipes and Other Neato Stuff

First race of 2011 is in the bag! I went down to Wazee Street for the Running of the Green 7k last Sunday in the hopes of tracking down my long-lost Mojo, and guess what? I found him! Yes, I found my Mojo in LoDo. The rust has been busted and hopefully that was a taste of is to come this year.

So a breakdown of the race. On the start line I was scoping out the competition out of the corner of my eye, and I saw a studly looking gal in Asics stuff about whom I thought, "Welp, she looks really fit, and she looks like a wily veteran. I'll just stay with her for a couple miles then lay down the hammer like BAM!" Unbeknowest to me at the time, she was Fiona Docherty and let's just say my little plan went out the window in the first 800 meters. My bad. But I didn't really fret much about it, I really thought I'd catch up on the hills since running uphill is one of the few things in life that I do effectively. That didn't happen either though and she wasn't coming back, so I hung on for second, picked people off, and finished in 25:36, which I didn't think was shabby for a doozy of a hilly 7k. The course was very different from 2 years ago, so there were lots of surprises but it was a great race.

The only drawback to the entire race however was my failure to conquer my arch-nemesis. I've met him at several races over the years, and even in some workouts here in Springs. He can often be seen roaming the Santa Fe Trail in the early hours of the morning with a languid, loping stride like some kind of giraffe. You'd know him if you saw him, he's an absurdly tall fellow with a nasty finishing kick. We'll call him Tall Kid. I was shadowed by this cagey opponent of mine for the duration of the race. Stalking me like a praying mantis stalks a butterfly. He sat about a foot off my shoulder the entire way as though trying to draft. Who drafts off of someone two feet shorter than themselves? In any case, he employed my least favorite tactic of all: the Sit-N'-Kick. A dirty way to race. He took off with 400 to go and I didn't stand a chance. All three or four of my fast-twitch muscle fibers were in over-drive, but it was like slow motion as I helplessly watched his shadow loom larger and larger and saw him pull away. It was like trying to outrun a wall of molten magma flowing from the very bowels of Mt.Vesuvius....but no matter. Now I understand my weakness and it must be honed to the finest edge....nobody uses the Sit-N'-Kick on me without eventually suffering serious repurcussions. The gauntlet has fallen: Tall Kid may have won the battle, but I will win the war!

So yeah it was a good race but I'm getting a little bit too much into some overly-dramatic detail. Next up? The Carlsbad 5k if I can swing it, but if not then probably something shorter on the track before going to Mt.Sac to race the 10k. Great job to all at Gate River and Happy St. Patrick's day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Not alot going on right now as I have been fighting a calf injury lately. I ran the Spring Runoff in Pueblo a week ago or so. I had decided that I would run the 10 mile race this year as it would be my last time running this event. The race was very good as I ran 51:48 and won by almost 30 seconds, but everything went downhill from there. That Monday, I tried to run and made it 1 mile, stopping quite a bit to try and get my calf to feel better and I managed to fall 800 meters into that mile. I took Tuesday off, and then proceeded to try and run some the rest of the week knowing that I was going to attempt to run the St. Pats 5k. The short of the story was my first dnf in a race in the 9 years I have been running. I'm not sure what happened or what caused the problem, but I have been able to get back at it and will continue to see how things go.

Gate River

Great weekend in Jacksonville for just about everyone!

I was really happy with my own race. After taking so much time off in December and January, and mainly doing base work for the last month, I wasn't really sure what kind of shape I was in. I kept most of the race around 6:00 pace. I remember thinking after a couple miles...can I hold this for 15K? I decided to take a risk and see what would happen. I stayed pretty consistent the entire race and survived the hill at the end! I ended up at 56:43, 2 seconds off of my PR. Really great start to the year!

Other highlights of my weekend:

* Men placing 2nd and women placing 3rd
* Ali sleep walking the night before the race...I had heard that she did that every now and then, but I had never actually seen it happen!
* Fried alligator and really good food at the post race party
* All the volunteers, Richard Fannin, and all the USATF staff that gave up their weekend to put on a really great race.

Not sure what's next for me. We were waiting to get through Gate River to see where I was fitness wise. Hopefully I'll have that figured out here pretty soon!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gate River Run Results

Great weekend in Jacksonville!!! Mens team was 2nd and Womens team was 3rd! I know i'm yelling a lot, but i'm kind of like Samuel L. Jackson ( ) when certain topic come up!

So the highlight of the weekend was the team. However it was also getting to meet the some of the new guys and having a blast together. Last year my roommate at Gate River was Paul Michaels which was awesome, but this year out of the hat I drew The Red Mexican aka Micheal Chavez!

First off the Red Mexican is if i recall correctly was one of my first words i spoke to my newly found friend Micheal. Second, that boy gave me a couple of scares on race morning when he first woke up at 6.45 when our ride to the start line was leaving pretty shortly after 7. I thought I was going to have to wake the guy up when it was 6.40! No one wants to wake a gentle giant in the middle of their deep slumber; to be honest you never know what someones going to do. Then the legend him self quickly woke up and grabbed his singlet put on his adizero tempos, grab a bagel, bright yellow adios, mumbled something about forgetting a bag to put them in and was all ready to go with time to spare(yes, thats very impressive). The second scare was when we were heading to boat to leave for the line. Chavez yelled, Oh my race number and had to run back up to the room to getting and put it on! I was like a little concerned for the poor guy at that point. But he was nice, clean, cool, and collective and rocked out the race like you would expect. Ladies and Gentlemen... Micheal "The Red Mexican" Chavez!!!

Now Ian "No Pants" Burrell is for the springs and I have heard a lot about him, however what I learned this weekend that he will race in "no pants" if thats all he has to race in! So No Pants had all his stuff lost by the airport and had nothing to wear for the race until some of the Gate River guy's and the adidas rep. threw together a racing kit together for him the day before the race. I'm not a 100% on this quote, but i heard that he told some one that he would race with no pants or jean short cut offs if he had to! NO PANTS. (enough said) He also tripped up in the race, fell on the pavement, banged up his shoulder, and among all things... he's in law school! NO PANTS Burrell. Ladies and Gentlemen Ian "N0 Pants" Burrell!!!

Last but not least Ryan "Banana Hands" Hayfer is my roommate and when got home from the race this weekend... guess what i saw him doing.... yes eating a banana! Ladies and Gentleman no name needed Banana Hands!!!

Great new group of guys on the team this year and looking forward to getting to know them better in the future.

I have to put out a shout out to Gate River Run Richard Fannin for all the hard work, entertainment, guest speaker, Post race party, the post post race party(which was an absolute blast!), the post post race party shirts, and everything else that i forgot- I didn't mention-or don't even know about! Great race and if anyone has a chance you have to go out and run it. As so thanks to Bobby Green and the USATF Representatives Bob and Mary. Thank you all so much for the great time and great support.

my race was pretty good but not that good, its a step in the right direction. I was 31 overall and ran 46.12 for 15k which i was hoping to run around 45 flat. The race went out great at 4.43, i was in the pack then the opened up a small gap while i ran a second mile in 4.41, and then i had a small side stitch some time after 4 miles(19.20), 10k 30:29.

Booo Delta

I want to dedicate this blog to anyone who is going to fly Delta in the future. If you find yourself in the last “zone” to board the plane and the stewardess informs you that there is no more overhead space and you will have to check your carry-on, do whatever you can to cram that duffle bag under the seat in front of you. Otherwise, you may never see your bag again.

Unfortunately, that scenario happened to me for the 15k championships this weekend. I eventually got my bag back thanks to my mother-in-law, who used to work for Delta, however, it was not in time for the race. I also want to thank the folks at Adidas, First Place Sports and the Gate River Elite Crew for helping me put together a racing kit at the last minute. Thanks to their help, equipment was not an issue during the race.

The race itself wasn’t so hot. The goal was to place in the top 10 and at the 10k mark, I was just off a pack of runners who were in about 6-11 place. It was around that point where the wheels came off, and I started going backwards. After the finish, I was pretty down about the whole trip until I was told our BRC team had unexpectedly finished second in the team competition, which I think is a solid accomplishment for a bunch of guys that have jobs or are in school. My next race is in 3 weeks at the Cooper River Bridge 10k in Charleston. Hopefully the travel will be a little less eventful.