Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 December RMRR Race Report

4.5 mi road race  - 28:25 (6:19 pace), Avg HR 178

3rd place overall overall

I didn’t have a clue how I was going to pace this run. Other than my last race I hadn’t run fast in months. My last race was 9mi – 59:22 (sorry I never put out a race report). I put that 9 mi time in a running calculator and it said I should be able to run 4.5 in 28:21 (6:18 pace), I didn’t feel confident that I could run that fast at all. I haven’t run any speed work since early October and that 9 mile race in November. I have been running a ton of miles with a lot of vertical but slow.

Mile 1: 6:24 Avg HR 167
So what the hell it’s only 4.5 miles, let’s go for it! What’s the worse that could happen I run out of gas and run the last mile slow? Right off line I set into a fast pace, a little too fast. Once the adrenaline of the gun wore off I slowed down a bit but still felt like I was flying.

Mile 2: 6:29 Avg HR 176
The second mile hurt and I was staring get that feeling that I burned up all my matches (right Olu) in the first mile. I eased of the pace a bit and slowly started to feel comfortable.

Mile 3: 6:18 Avg HR 181
The president of the club caught up to me in this mile and I let him get 15 ft up the road before I decided to hang with him. I closed the gap and we ran side by side. Having someone to run will really boosted my motivation.

I beat my 30+ 5K time (unofficially), my split coming through the 5K was in the 19:30’s. More than 0:10 seconds off my best when I was only going for a 5K and nearly dead on the finish line.

Mile 4: 6:21 Avg HR 185
Still running with the club president sence we had been running toghether we had been passing a lot o people. I was feeling better and better with every step. It hurt but it was a different kind of hurt than that long stuff.

Last 0.5 mi: 5:46 pace Avg HR 190
Just after passing the 4mi mark I realized the race was nearly over. My muscles burned but I didn’t feel tired, I though “I think I can take a lot of pain for the next 3 minutes”. With that I just turned on the after burners and left the club president in the dust. I was right about the pain though I ran my guts out that half mile. All the way to the finish line was like a long acceleration.

I was feeling the runners high after that and for the rest of the day I was in a great mood. Surprisingly I was only of my projected time by 0:04 seconds.

Here I am at about mile 3.3 trying to get my kids to come give a high five

Ok Fine, I will come to you

This one is a little blurry but I still like it

Saturday, November 3, 2012

2012 RMRR November Race

9mi – 59:22 (6:36 pace) Avg HR 178
2nd place – Trophy Series, 3rd place – Men’s overall time

This was my 3rd race with the rocky mountain road running and the first time I had the feeling that I understood the handicap system. I wasn’t really focused on this race and I was planning on just going to get in a good hard tempo run. In fact I had still run my scheduled long run the day before of 15 miles so I was hoping for a great time today. Laura Peoples and I got their a little early to get out race numbers. I was surprised to find out that I had a handicap of 40:00! One the race started I stood around for a while and then started warming up when the clock got to about 20:00. I ran a 1.5 mile warm up and then did some strides after that it was nearly time to start.

Mile 1 – 6:29 Avg HR 162
I toed the line with one other person, she was probably 17 or 18 and super fast. I kept up with her for about a half mile during which our pace was near 6:00. I thought to myself I will be dead in a few miles at this pace so I let her go on ahead.

Mile 2 – 6:49 Avg HR 168
Coming into this race my goal was to run under 7:00 pace. After that really fast first mile I backed off an slowed closer to that pace. I really didn’t feel good during this mile the adrenaline from the start had worn off and I was feeling I went out too fast.

Mile 3 – 6:38 Avg HR 176
Secretly deep down I had a goal of running under 59:59 if I felt good. I knew that I need to run 6:40 pace to do that so I said to myself let’s try it on and see how it feels. It was tough and other than that girl that left me in the dust I hadn’t seen another person till near the end of this mile.

Mile 4 – 6:33 Avg HR 179
With the handicap system if you start behind someone and pass them then you have beat them for sure. During this mile I was starting to catch up an pass people but they were pretty fast and I would only slowly pass them. I was starting to believe that I could hang on to this pace. The weather was great (40’s) the only that could beat me was the course which was lots of rolling hills.

Mile 5 – 6:35 Avg HR 183
Near the turnaround we had to run a good size hill (100 ft in about 0.2 miles). I charged up the hill and then coasted down the other side. During this mile I saw tons of runners that I was about to case down.

Mile 6 – 6:30 Avg HR 181
Of Couse once we turn around we had to go straight back up that hill. Again I surged up the hill passing some runners and then coasted down the other side which was considerably longer.

Mile 7 – 6:39 Avg HR 182
Once the downhill was over and it was flat I tried to get back into my groove. The clouds had parted and the sun was shining on me and all the sudden I felt like I was overheating. I gritted my teeth and held on for dear life. The hill just kept coming and I kept on flying up them an then coasting down. I know they weren’t big hill but at 6:30 pace it doesn’t take much of a grade to put you into the red zone. This was the hardest mile of the race.

Mile 8 – 6:33 Avg HR 185
My quads were crying in pain and I was having trouble holding my pace. For the first 7 miles while coasting downhill I would see on my watch that I was at 6:15 pace and I could rest a little more. Now I felt like every up and every downhill was a struggle to keep that pace under 6:40. During this time I passed a lot of runners. They all gave me great encouragement while I went by “your doing awesome”, “you look fast today” or “go get em”.  

Mile 9 – 6:36 Avg HR 188The rolling hill kept coming and half way through this mile I was at 6:45. I didn’t know how close it was going to be or how far off my watch would be from their distance. All I knew was that I had to push hard now. Up around the corner the final bridge where the finish we started from. I passed a few more people on the final run into the finish line.

The way the handicap system works is that everyone gets a handicap based on their speed. Regardless of where everyone starts the first person across the finish line wins the race. I started more than 40 minutes after the clock started and I was the second to finish. I won a cool ribbon and a tougher handicap for the next race.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Exploring on the highline canal

While running on my local trail I said to myself “I wonder what is down that path over there”, I have run past this turn off probably 100 times because I thought it dead ended at the pond in about a ¼ mile. So I finally took that trail and it was awesome. Instead of dead ending there was a cool rock bridge between the two ponds. Finding a new trail is like Christmas for a trailrunner.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 Rock n’ Roll Denver Marathon Race Report

3:26:55 – PR’d by 32 seconds
Really tough day
The significance of this race to me was huge

My Record at the Denver marathon
2009 – Full marathon: 5:19, First full marathon but painfully below expectations
2010 – Full marathon: DNF. My only DNF ever which really hurt and made me take an honest look at myself
2011 – Half marathon: 1:30, I did feel like I got some redemption with this fast half but still I felt like I need to get that solid marathon done.

Early on 0-10 10 miles in 1:17:40 (7:43 pace)
I came into this race with really high aspirations, I was thinking that I could run 3:15. I ran the first 2 miles in 15:03 with some very cranky Achilles. It was about mile 3 or 4 that I saw the 3:15 pacer run by (a friend of mine). After letting the idea of 3:15 go it wasn’t long before I was letting 3:20 go out the window as well. I just thought to myself “let go get a PR”. I slowed my pace to coincide with this new goal. I was really starting to get down on myself thinking that I had blown the whole race in the first few miles. Did I just mess up this race again? I kept setting small goals like “let’s get to 10 miles and see how we feel then” which really helped break this huge task into manageable pieces.

Middle Chuck 11-20 10 miles in 1:19:39 (7:58 pace)
Once I slowed down a bit my Achilles stopped complaining but my calf’s still felt off. It felt as if they could have seized at any moment. This course had a lot of rolling hills and each time on the up I felt as if I was about to go into the red for good but I always recovered just enough on the down hills. I could tell that I was riding the edge on my threshold the entire time. Heading towards mile 20 was my darkest time with miles 19 and 20 being my slowest of the race (8:11 and 8:12). I was really thinking that I had gone out to fast and now I was spiraling towards that dreaded wall. This race was different in one way, I had advertised much more than in the past. I knew that my family, friends, classmates, fellow lost it ‘ers and my cross country team were all pulling for me. It was my invisible cheering section. I couldn’t let everyone or myself down.

Last 10K in 49:36 (8:00 pace)
Mile 20 was about where let go of that pain threshold. That didn’t mean speeding up any but it did mean stopping my gradual slow down that had been going on since mile 3. Later looking back at my HR I could see this moment, up until mi 20 my HR was pretty constant increasing slowly from 150 to the high 160’s. After 20 my HR increased a lot every mile, during this time I felt out of breath like in a 5k. The end of the course had some really long straight that I could bare to look at (I got that far to go still) so I just put my head down and ran. I ran mile 26 in 7:57 with an average HR of 180, which was really good considering they tossed in a nasty hill during the last mile. I wouldn’t say it didn’t hurt but every one of my long runs was on tails with lots of hills so it could have felt worse. Somehow I did have a small kick and managed to run the last 0.2 in at 6:35 pace (all downhill).

Completing my original goal and looking back at 2009 vs 2012
The Denver marathon is very special to me for a couple of reasons. It’s quite literally in my backyard with the nearest section coming within a mile from my house. It’s also where I ran my first marathon in 5:19 which was really below my expectations. But most importantly it’s my anniversary of when I really started to pay attention to my health. The failure of the 2009 Denver marathon started the discussion with myself that I had a weight problem. The next year I lost 10 lbs but got a DNF which drove the point home, I joined lose it 3 days later. Without these failures I would probably still be in denial about my health. Every year at the Denver marathon I assess my goals and look back at my health progress. The year after my DNF (2011) I had lost another 30 lbs but had to settle for the half marathon because of business travel the week of the race. It’s been really frustrating not being successful on this course.

The weight loss was only half of my major goal that I set out to accomplish with the other being successful at the Denver marathon. Well I finally got my redemption this year and ran that same course as 3 years ago in 3:26:55 (the 40+ lbs. I lost along the way helped a bit). While running the course I kept drawing back on that 2009 experience. At mile 14 I was thinking “this is where I had to start walk last time”. At mile 19 “this is where you sat on the curb for 5 minutes”. As much as I hurt this weekend I knew that it was never worse than what I felt back in 2009.

So now I can finally say is all in one sentence:
In the last 3 years I have lost 42 lbs. and taken 1:52:00 off my marathon time.
This has been my goal for the last 3 years, 3 years is a long time.

This isn’t the end of the story, just a chapter. I still dream big and it’s time to set a new 3 year goal.

Here I am after I finished, only photo I have this year

And for the other data junkies out there

If you’re interested in reading the race reports from those failed previous years
2009 (5:19)
2010 (DNF)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Training on Green Mountain

4 weeks till the marathon and I am consistently putting in around 50 miles a week. I have been running lots of speed work with the high school kids which might actually hurt my time but I am having a lot of fun coaching. Today I ran an awesome new trail which might become my favorite in the future. There are so many different paths that it’s going to take a while to explore the whole place.

Elevation Profile, 2 climbs of about 700’ each, my really tough trail does 1700’ in one 3 mile climb. This trail is nicer because I can run 80% of the time and if it wasn’t hot I probably could have run all the way to the top without stopping.

Here is the trail on my second climb near mile 7. Gorgeous blue sky today!

Here is the top of both climbs I went out over the mountain and down to the bottom on the opposite side and then ran back the same path.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heart rate data over the years

A lot of people have commented on my low my heart rate while running. I was telling Gregg that my heart rate used to be much higher and I thought I would create a report to see exactly how much it has changed. 2006, 2007, 2008 had a combined 97 runs with a HRM while 2011 had 212 days with a HRM data.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

5K race report
3.1 miles - 41:30

So last night my sister calls me as says her friend couldn’t go run the race. The race was at 6:30 pm which was in about 2hrs. I had no intention of running fast because I had plans for a lot of miles over this weekend but I decided it would be a good chance to run with my sister for the first time. She is a new runner and she is around here but never posts anything.

Her PR is around 39:00 but it was 95 F out and the starting line so she settled on the goal of running 42:00. I figured out that we needed to run a 13:30 pace to make it to the finish in this time. We went out way to fast running the first half mile at 10:30 pace which was probably my fault. After that we settled into a more comfortable walk/run routine. Our first mile was still too fast at 12:28.

With the heat and the fast first mile we lost pace in the second and third mile running 14:07 & 14:18. Luckily for us they didn’t tell the race origination that they were going to be watering the grass. The last 0.1 mile section of the park was run through the sprinklers. I felt like a kid again for that short section. I don’t know what was in that water but we hauled ass that last 0.1 mile, my watch said we did it at 7:48 pace!

We finished the race under our goal in 41:30 which I think is Laura’s second fastest 5K. Good job sis.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mt Falcon

Yesterday was my return to the mountain running I haven’t been up in about 2 months. So I went to my favorite trail (mt falcon) where I spend most of my time running when I do get up to the mountains. The course is tough with about 1700’ of climbing in the first 4 miles (see profile below). These 4 miles feel like a tempo run in slow motion. During this climb I typically average 13:00 pace and a HR of around 160. On flat ground 160 HR would put me at about 7 min miles. Altogether I ran 10.3 mile in just under 2hrs.

Here is the profile of MT Falcon Park. I run a lollipop route so the last few miles are the same as the first few miles. Although my legs are so trashed by then the best I can run down is at 8:30-9:00 pace.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

2012 RMRR Club 2 mi Race

Our running club has a handicap system were the faster runners start farther in the back. The first person across the line wins regardless of start time. For this 2 mile race my handicap was +7:49 and my proposed finish time was 12:49.

Mile 1 – 6:09 Avg HR 176
I started with one other person, I think about 10 or 15 were still waiting to run after us. This guy looked to only be about 16 and he took off at a crazy pace which I followed. We immediately were catching groups of people in front of us. I passed in at about 0.5 miles and never saw him again. But we had run the first half mile in about 2:55 (where is Olu with his match analogy) I was toast with 75% of the race left to run.

Mile 2 – 6:28 Avg HR 187
I ran the course for my warm up and I knew that the second mile was very muddy. It had been raining for the last few days which was great because half the state was on fire. I expected to run a slower second mile but not this much slower. Basically for me the race was over and I was just coasting into the finish line. Even though I was dying I was still passing tons of people and ended up finishing 14th with a time of 12:37, I beat my proposed handicap time of 12:49 so that was good. Every race your handicap level is adjusted so next time I will have to run faster. Still this small race was a lot of fun.

Post race
After the race I had some snacks and drinks and then I went for a 6 mile run. All I could think about was my future of running and what I wanted to accomplish. For the same effort (training wise) I think I could take a few seconds off my 5K time (or not even get close) or with that same few month train for another marathon farther which sounds like a lot more fun to me. Nearing the end of the run I feel like I came to the conclusion that I have accomplished what I want in distances shorter than 10K. These shorter races just don’t appeal to me like they did before. I am still planning on running the next Club race which is a 5k but treat it more like a hard run from my marathon training.

I am in the blue shorts about to jump that puddle

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Back Injury Update

So I think my back is finally recovered at least for running purposes.  Doing daily chores my back still gets tired quickly.  Today was my first run in 9 days since I hurt my back.  I was using the memory of the original injury as my guide.  If I got anywhere near that pain level I would stop and get a ride home.  The first few blocks were tough and my back hurt a lot but not as much as yesterday when I did the dishes.  After the first mile I said to myself if this gets any worse I am going to call it a day.  But I got better as the run went on and I the rest of the day I felt better than I had since the injury.

 While we’re on the subject of injury… 

 My worst injury:  One day at the end of practice in college I was running my sprints just like every other day.  I heard a loud pop from my knee and I thought let’s just call it a day.  I realized in the next few steps walking back to the school that something wasn’t right.  My knee popped loudly with every single step.  The next day I went for a run popping with every step but the overcompensation cased my other knee to hurt really bad and I never ran at the college level again.  The Dr. thought I tore my meniscus but I wasn’t in all that much pain so I think it was my IT band snapping.  I didn’t run for 3 months (mainly because I was sick of it from the 70+ miles a week) anyways it was fine after some time off.   My knee continued to pop while walking around campus for the next 2 weeks.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Saturday I ran 7 miles without any problem.  Sunday I went out for a 14 mile run and was feeling fine in the early miles.  I ran the first 8 in about 1:06 when suddenly my lower back started to feel funny.  I thought to myself better slow down (mi 9 – 9:30) but my lower back kept getting worse.  I thought to myself better start taking walk breaks (mi 10 – 15:00).  I stopped my watch at 10 miles and then walked very slowly 4 miles back to my house.  I spent the rest of Sunday lying down but it didn’t help and I wasn’t able to sleep very well over night because I woke up every time I turned over.  This morning I hurt so bad that I went to go see the Dr. He said that I have some strained muscles and sent me on my way with Vicodin that hasn’t seemed to help.

On the upside the Dr. said that I should be able to run (short distances) in a couple of days.  He said “Your back will let you know what you can do” which I thought was cool because most of the time the Dr. says no more running for X weeks regardless of how you feel.

Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 Sage Burner Race Report

Quick Stats
25K Trail race(actually 16.5 Miles)
2:38:40 (9:37 pace) over challenging Terrain.
Avg HR 162 (Averaged 158 HR in my 3:27 marathon)
17th place overall, 4th in my age group

Mini Vacation Summary
Monday - 25K Race
Monday – 12,300 Summit
Tuesday – 12,000 Summit (twice, once on the way out and once on the way back from the 13,000 ft peak)
Tuesday – 13,200 Summit

25K Trail Race
On Sunday night I drove up to my friends place in Gunnison Colorado. The next morning we got up early and I was very surprised that it was only 27F outside. By the time the race started it had warmed up to about 30F. I striped off all my extra clothes and started the race in shorts and short sleeves. I knew that I would be warm in a mile or two.

I may have started too fast on the first climb. I was quickly in the red zone and spent most of the first downhill recovering. During the first downhill was the only time I was passed in the race. I was still not sure how well I was going to feel since I had run a great marathon just one week ago. I was taking the race more as a fun training run and I was just out having a good time and the views were amazing.

I took it easy till about mile 9 when I took my only gel of the race. I ran the first 9 miles at about 10:00 pace mostly because I wasn’t sure how I would feel on this terrain. But mile 9 was a huge turning point in the race for me because that’s when it became a race and not a training run. It’s a good thing that I felt really good too because starting at mile 9 we had to climb 1,300 ft over the next 3 miles.

I ran the last 3 miles (lots of downhill) as hard as I could and I passed a ton of people. The entire race felt like a long acceleration. Some of the downhill were so steep I was afraid of falling on my face but I was just in mad man mode. My watch said I ran the last 0.5 mile at 7:00 min pace.

Monday after the race
My friend that I was staying with won the race and set a course record. We ate lunch and then went to the next town over Crested Butte to see a movie (Gunnison doesn’t have a movie theater). After the movie we decide to go hike Mt Emmons (12,392 ft), we parked at about 9,000 so we ended up climbing 3,000 ft and adding 6 miles round trip to our day. The hike was really tough on my battered legs. The last bit of this climb was really technical and steep. There were sections about 5 feet tall of vertical rock that we had to climb. In between these verticals it was so steep that I only felt comfortable crawling. The view on top was really awesome view but the wind made really cold. The sections that I thought were scary on the way up were terrifying on the way down. Nearing the car my knees and feet hurt so much, Tim and I had cover 22 miles on foot for the day.

Tim and I were both feeling a little beat up so we called off our original plans of hiking a 14,000ft peak for an easier hike. The easier hike was actually 2 peaks Terrible Mountain at 12,012ft and Fairview Mountain at 13,214ft. Terrible was an easy climb that we had to pass on our way to Fairview. It wasn’t much of a climb except we had to climb it on the way back to the car too. Fairview was an awesome climb and much easier than yesterday’s crazy technical climb. I didn’t feel like I was in danger at any point on this climb. The last few hundred feet looked like we were on a giant pile of rocks, it looked really bizarre. On top was another awesome view of the neighboring mountains. Again the top was so cold that we didn’t stay long. The hike back to the car was pretty painful my quads were shot and I could feel my toes hitting the front of my shoes with every step. This hike ended up being about 5 miles round trip and another 3,000 ft of climbing. Every time I visit Tim we have had similar endurance adventures.

That was my weekend of attempting to keep up with an elite ultra-marathoner. Tim has won some prestigious ultra-marathons including the
Leadville 100. And now time for some pictures.

Me near the end of the 25K race

Tim and I after the race

Tim with 12' snow behind him, on Mt Emmons

On top of Mt Emmons, Crested Butte in the background

Tim on top of Mt Emmons

Climbing down the hardest section of Mt Emmons

Near the top of Fairview. We are headed towards that fire lookout that you can barely see

Top of Fairview

Top of Fairview

Last one of the view from the top of Fairview

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Colfax Marathon Race Report

I woke up at 4am and had my banana, coffee and oatmeal.  This race starts earlier than most at 6:00 am but I was particularly happy because we would be out of the sun an hour earlier.  I had to walk about a mile to the starting line, I arrived at about 5:30 and spent most of that time waiting in line for the bathroom.   I was unable to find the bag check so I left my bag under a tree near the start which was gone when I came back.  At the start it was about 45 F and still dark.  The day before it had rained all day and never hit 50 degrees, today the weather would be perfect.

0-13.1 miles 1:45:18 – 8:02 pace, Avg HR 150
My plan was to toss out my conservative instincts and start the marathon off fast.  My goal was to go out at or near 8:00 minute miles (in my head this felt like a suicide mission).   Because it was so crowed at the start I just went with the flow and ran the first mile in 8:22.  I didn’t know till after the race while analyzing the data that mile 1 was my slowest mile of the day.   Once traffic thinned out I settled into a faster pace near 8:00.  My HR was pretty calm staying in the 140’s for most of the first half of the race.  I felt like I was working much harder than my HR was showing.   I clicked off many miles just under 8:00 pace, I felt really good and I was passing people nonstop.  They had a big clock and banner at the half way point and I was pretty surprised to see 1:45 (fast enough to be my second best HM).  I thought to myself maybe I could run 3:30 today.  My only worry was my calf that sort of felt tired or just off, I wasn’t sure.  I’ve had a lot of calf problems mostly minor but I don’t like them feeling weird at all.

13.1 -20 miles. Avg Pace 7:51, Avg HR 161
 Shortly after the highs of crossing the 13.1 mark I hit some rough patches in mile 15 and 16 which had a long steady low climb (not steep at all but tough at 8:00 min pace).  My HR exploded into the 160’s and my pace slowed back above 8:00/mi.  I thought to myself “that’s it my HR going to skyrocket until I slow into the 9:00 -10:00 pace”.  I tried to keep that in the back of my mind and I knew that miles 17-20 were mostly downhill (out and back course).  Also my family was waiting for me at 20 so I clawed out of my funk and returned to a pace just under 8:00.  I hit 20 miles in 2:39 which is my fastest 20 ever in any race or training run.  Once again I was feeling really good. My calfs were still my only worry they didn’t feel great but they were still holding.

Mile 21 – 7:50 – 168 HR
Seeing my family and my 20 mile time changed my state of mind.   “I want 3:30 I am ready to hurt” and hurt I did.  I wasn’t the only one either people around me were starting to break down.  I was passing people like crazy, I looked at my watch and I hadn’t speed up at all.  I can remember a single person passing me again not even relay runners that had just stared their leg at the 20 mile mark.

Mile 22 – 7:46 – 172 HR
At mile 21 I was supposed to eat my last gel but my stomach was starting to feel queasy so instead I went without and only had some water (couldn’t even look at Gatorade).  My calf continued to feel funny, I hoped it would hold a little longer but I tried not to think about it now.  My calfs have always been my week link and if anything is going to cramp or get injured it will be my calf so it’s hard to ignore their complaints.

Mile 23 – 8:02 – 173 HR
Coming off all that downhill was a hard transition now I had to work for those 8 min miles not just coast and get them for free.   Last year in this exact spot my calf started cramping and I was scared it would happen again.   I decided to not worry about pace and just get through this section.   Which was good because my watch started acting weird so I couldn’t tell how fast I was running (because of the downtown buildings).

Mile 24 – 7:23 – 174 HR
My Garmin was really going nuts and it was telling me I was at 8:40 pace.  But maybe it wasn’t messed up, I sped up to try and get my pace under 8:00 and when I came out of the big buildings my watch corrected itself from 8:00 pace for the current mile to 6:50! And then I hit a huge hill.  I went way into the red zone from going too fast and then climbing up this hill.  I spent the rest of this mile recovering at what I think was about 8:30 pace.  On my overall summary my watch said I max out at 193 HR and I am pretty sure it was during this hill after running 6:50 for half a mile.

Mile 25 – 7:55 –  174 HR
This mile really hurt, I was still in pain from that hill but I couldn’t let up.  I crossed 24 at 3:10 I knew I could get 3:30 if I just run the last 2.2 in 20 minutes.  I tried to do the math but failed to figure out the pace I needed.  For the first time in the race I was feeling too hot, in reality it was only about 55 F but I was sweating like crazy.

Mile 26 – 7:33 – 177 HR
12:00 to run 1.2 miles which now I can easily see is 10 min pace but I failed again to compute the pace needed and just kept pushing.   With about a mile to go we entered the park where we started and I just took off.  This is the first time I ever had a marathon kick.  I got some great comments from fellow marathoners as I passed them “you’re kicking ass” and “finish strong”.

Last 0.2 – 7:20 pace – 186 HR
Crossing the 26 mile marker felt awesome and suddenly the pain dissipated (runners high).  I continued to speed up as I charged towards the finish line.  I have never felt this good coming into the finish of a marathon it was a wonderful feeling.  I would have sprinted but I didn’t trust my “no pain feelings” I knew my body was really hurting and my calf was near failure.  Wasn’t worth a few more seconds and I already had a huge PR.  I couldn’t see my family but they could see me finish strong.  I usually look like I am about to die at the finishes.

A Few Fun Stats
- This was my 7th marathon (8 if you count the 50K)
- First time I ran negative splits in a marathon. First half 1:45, Second half 1:42.
- Fastest miles: 7:23 in mile 24 and 7:33 in mile 26
- Slowest mile: 8:22 in mile 1 
- Average Pace 7:55, Avg HR 158, Max HR 193 (second highest Max HR for the year)
- Miles between 7:45 – 8:05 = 17, Miles between 7:35 – 8:15 = 23

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Cheyenne Mountain 50K Race Report

Here is the short version if you don’t have time

- Finished my first 50K (31 miles) in 5:55:30
- Crossed the finish line with my kids and a smile on my face

Now the long version. I am going to break this up by the 4 major climbs (see pic below) and then the finish. Hopefully it goes well.

0 - 5 miles - Average pace during this section 10:52
The race start was slower than any race I have ever run.  I could have owned that race for a few miles but that wouldn’t have helped me accomplish the goal of finishing my first Ultra.  The super slow start went through the parking lot and we ran through a tunnel of 25K racers (they didn’t star for another 30 minutes) and spectators cheering us on.  Then we took a turn and went straight up the mountain for the next few miles.  I think I ran faster than I should have in this area but it was weird at the start.  No one wanted to be the first to walk.

5 - 11 miles - Average pace during this section 11:01On the way down the first decline I made sure to keep myself in check. I wanted to fly but I held myself to running 9:40 pace for the next 3 miles. The downhill seemed short lived and soon we were headed back up the mountain. Near the top of this climb I logged one of my slowest miles of the day 14:01, ouch. Overall I felt pretty fresh still and ready to hit the next the downhill.

11 - 20 miles - Average pace during this section 11:13
Coming down that major climb I again went under 10:00 pace for about 4 miles.  That would be the last time I ever saw anything close to 10:00 pace.  At a little over 15 miles we were at the bottom of the hill back at the starting line, one more lap to go.  It was getting warm out now but the breeze felt great.  Going up this climb I lost it, heat & exhaustion hit me hard my HR was in the 170’s.  I decide to take a long walk and eat my apple.   Miles 17-20 were dark times, I never felt more tired during the race. Mile 19 I completed in 15:12 the slowest of the day.  But quitting never crossed my mind, my kids were waiting at the finish and I wasn’t going to let them down.

20 - 26 miles - Average pace during this section 12:31
That apple did wonders and I felt a lot better running down the mountain.  Except one difference this time, it was hard to not walk even on the downhill sections now.  The downhill seemed so much shorter and soon I was on my way back up the hills.  Last lap this particular climb kicked my butt and this time I was much more tired and my quads were starting to cramp. I doubled my sodium intake and kept chugging up the hill with my quads in shambles.  Miles 23-26 were extremely painful and I averaged 13:00+ min miles topping out at 14:15 for mile 26.  During this time quitting again never crossed my mind this was just another obstacle.  

26 - 31.2 miles - Average pace during this section 11:20
Surprisingly my quads got better.  I remember looking at my watch and seeing 26.2 – 4:59:40.  Not a person in sight not a marker nothing, it was important to me because I was officially an ultra-marathoner, all that was left was 5 miles of mostly downhill.  There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t finish.  These last few miles were like my victory lap.  Near the finish I watched my garmin like a hawk for another mile stone 29.8  29.9 30, I don’t know why but it was really cool seeing  that big 30 on my watch.  It hurt a lot but I ran nearly all the final miles, slowly. I couldn’t wait to see my kids.

I saw my kids about a 100 ft from the finish line and I went straight to them to get hugs (time be dammed).  I grabbed their hands and said “finish with me” and we all ran to the finish line together.  My 5 year old couldn’t run because she had flip flop sandals so I put her on my shoulders.  I felt no more pain and I was so unbelievable happy. 

Final thoughts
- Scenery was beautiful if l lived here I would be on this trail all the time.
- My mind was much tougher during the race than usual, I was 100% focused.  Quitting never crossed my mind.

Mistake #1 - I forgot sunscreen but I didn’t get burned (37F at the start about 70F at the finish)

Mistake #2 - I forgot body glide but I didn’t chafe once (I was afraid I was going to finish and have shirt that matches Trevor’s)

Mistake #3 – Didn’t bring extra shoes.  The race was about a 90 min drive from home, I was wearing the same shoes from 5am – 4pm. It would have been nice to have some fresh shoes for the drive home.

Huge Mistake #1 – a few days before the race I went to the website to get directions to the starting line. I noticed something odd, the race was until next weekend.  This was on April 18th and I had already been tapering for two weeks. Didn’t freak out too much and went with the super long 3 week taper.

My family and friends are already asking when I am going to run Leadville.  Which is about the same as asking a first time 5K finisher when the plan on running the Boston marathon.

Elevation Profile

First major climb

Around mile 16

I will post a finish line Photo as soon as I can. I hope they got a good shot of me crossing with my family.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Down but not out

On Saturday I had on the hardest run of my life. 20 mile trail run with 3900’ of total climbing. On the final climb the wheels fell off and I spent the last few miles questioning my sanity. I worried that I would not make it back to my car. I found out that when your legs turn to mush they don’t like running downhill. This 20 mile run took me 3:56:37 which is about 2 minutes on my feet more than my last marathon all while averaging a HR in the 150’s. I was ready to give up on my next race (switch to the 25K).

Mental Recovery in 3 steps:
1. I took Sunday off and didn’t think about running
2. This morning I had a redemption run 10 miles at 8:15 pace, my legs felt fine
3. Made the graph below to see the elevation of this training run vs. the upcoming race (red was the tail run this Saturday and blue is the race in a few weeks). The trail that I have been running is way tougher than the race will be.

I got kicked off the horse but I am back on board, confidence slightly bruised. Already looking back I can see a few mistakes I made that I can improve on for the race

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A birthday present to myself

For my birthday I went up to mt falcon and got a nice view of the city. This trail  climbs 1700’ in the first 4 miles which took me just over 50 minutes (12:30 pace). After that I did a nice loop on top that isn’t to hard and then ran back down to the car.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A long run above Waterton

The last few weeks my back has but hurting. I did figure out that the problem was how I was sitting to work on my laptop. Since I changed how I sit in the last couple days it’s seemed to hurt less but all over instead of a lot in a single spot. I think it’s getting better.

Today’s Run: 20.4 mile trail run earlier today. My total time was 3:40:19 or about 10:48 per mile. My avg HR was 154 which is a pretty high heat rate to have for almost 4 hrs. On some of the climbs my HR was in the 170’s and I was a little worried I wouldn't have any matches left for my long decent. The first 6 miles was a pretty easy climb. After that the next 6 miles had 3 very mean climbs and then I had long 8.4 miles decent. On this run I saw it all pavement, dirt, sand, mud and snow.

Food on the run review: Every weekend I have been experimenting with a new food. Last week was apple slices which worked so well I took them out on this run (mile 6 & 13). The new food I tried on this run was beef jerky. I ate some at mile 9 and mile 16 and the results were different at those two spots. At mile 9 it was a perfect salty treat that I enjoyed but at mile 16 it didn’t taste as great and I had to force it down and drink a lot get the taste out of my mouth. Functionally it was great both times I felt better and I got some protein in my system. It didn’t cause any stomach problems either.

Post run funny story: This trail is about a 30 min drive from home so I filled up on gas and bought a bottle of chocolate milk for the dive home. I was dehydrated and hungry and it tasted so wonderful that I drank the whole thing in no time. When I got home I went to log my food and discovered that I drank 880 cals of chocolate milk on the drive home.

Here is the profile map of my run and the avg pace for different sections. Worked out to about 2,400 ft of climbing. The last downhill destroyed my quads, 8.4 miles and 1,300 ft of downhill.

Here is the Dam at about mile 6 after this it gets really ugly.

This is a picture of the top of the mountain at about 8 miles, I ended up running both of these trails

On the back side I hit some snowy sections

and a few water crossings

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2012 March RMRR 3mi Race Report

3 miles – 19:45, Avg HR 175 

Pre-Race: zero race preparation My friends talked me into doing this race Saturday night, it was only $10 so what the heck. Except earlier on Saturday I had done a hilly 4 mile tempo run at 6:49 pace and my quads felt a little beat up. Also I ate pizza for dinner which I wouldn’t have if I knew I was going to be racing the next day.

Race Day: Windy! The sun was out and it was around 40 degrees which would have been perfect race weather except the wind was blowing like crazy. The wind made it feel much colder so I actually wore my jacket in the race. Since I ran a speed workout yesterday and the wind was wild I decided to lower my goals and have a pressure free race fun race with a goal of running 7:00 minute pace.

Mile 1 - 6:50 Avg HR 165
We ran with the wind at our backs for about ¼ and then the rest of the first mile was into the wind. Even running into the wind I felt really good and was able to run a little faster than my goal pace. I was really surprised that I was running so well on somewhat tired legs in the wind.

Mile 2 - 6:35 Avg HR 178
This race was set up with a handicap system, I started 11:00 after the gun went off. In the second mile I started catching up to big groups of people. Passing people felt good for my confidence and propelled me even faster. This mile had lot of turns so the wind was on and then off the cycling of the wind kind of felt like running hills.

Mile 3 - 6:20 Avg HR 185The last mile just I felt awesome and took off, running negative splits feel great. The last ¼ mile was a long stretch straight into the wind. I felt like I was sprinting but it probably wasn’t faster than 6:00 min pace. This race it was put on by the local running club and I joined the club and signed up for the whole year, 12 races for $35! (not $35 each $35 for all 12 races)

I don’t know what happened today I ran great with really poor race preparation. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I think that I would have put in a really awesome time if it wasn’t for that wind. But still I am happy with the time and effort I put in today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It glows

Here is a better shot of my Las Vegas Marathon metal

… And it glows in the dark

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines 5K Race Report

2-12-2012, 10:00 AM, 12 F
5K – 19:47 New 30+ PR!
9th overall, 4th in my Age Group

Mile 1 – 6:16 Avg HR 175
I got off to a screaming start. An elite group of 8 quickly distanced them self and me on one other dude were in no man’s land for the entire race. We were the only 2 finishers in the 19’s. Of that group of 8 the slowest was 18:50 I think. The weather was freaking cold (12 F) I spent most of this mile freezing.

Mile 2 – 6:28 Avg HR 185
Running out of gas already, quads back and butt muscles were tired. I held my pace and ran with the same dude this whole mile. It was good that he was here to help push me or I would have dropped off more than I did. I finally got warmed up in this mile. I was wearing a long sleeve tee, shorts and a ski hat.

Mile 3 – 6:25 Avg HR 188
I felt a little stronger this mile but my back and butt were still really hurting. My coach in HS always said this was good thing one of my favorite quotes of his -“you butt is sore because you ran your ass off”. Towards the end of this mile my race buddy got a little distance on me and I could bring him back.

Last 0.1 – 0:38 Avg HR 190
The last 0.1 a switch flipped in my head and started my kick. I was making ground on my race buddy but I ran out of road before I could catch him. He end up in my age group and took home a nice 3rd place metal. If I could have run 10 seconds faster I could have had that metal. As you can tell my age group was pretty tough, I think I was the top 10 finisher to not bring any hardware home.

Post Race
I ran a new non teenager PR by 0:09 and I was happy about that but I was too happy about the race. My performance didn’t match my effort. I was planning on running in the low 19 area. I think my head just want in it today and I wasn’t able to push that little bit more that I could have. Next race in 3-11-2012 (St Patty’s 7K) and I will be using this as race a fuel. I ran home after the race to have some time to myself, 6 miles.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weight loss success with Lost It (iphone app)

I started lose it in October of 2010 almost a year and half ago. Earlier that year I had lost about 10 lbs on my own 222lbs down to 210 and to prove to myself that had made a positive change I decided to run a marathon (not my first). I failed, I was dead meat at 10 miles and ended up walking 3 more just to pickup my jacket near the finish line. My family and friends where waiting for me at mile 20. It was heartbreaking to let them down and waste half their day. The worst I ever felt was my 3 year old asking “daddy why didn’t we see you at park”, she was actually mad that my wife made her leave before she could see me run (Ok typing that seriously just made me cry… at work in front of my coworkers). A few days later I joined lose it with the goal of getting serious about my health.

When I started on lose I was 210 with a goal of reaching 180. I steadily increased my running and was very strict with my diet. Every day and every week it was a battle of calories in vs. calories out (nothing special). I stepped up my efforts in both exercising (added swimming) and eating healthy. I hit my goal a few days before my birthday in March. 30 lbs in 5 months but looking at the bigger picture I had lost had over 40 lbs in the last 12 months. The support here on lose it was tremendous, which was huge factor in my success. I ran my redemption marathon in April 2011, it truly was a personal victory, I was all alone and in another state. Not a single person I knew went to this race, I just couldn’t take that pressure.

Since March 2011 I have been on maintenance, allowing my weight to fluctuate from 180-185 (10 months now). Switching to maintenance has been a challenge of its own, but it freed up my diet a little and those extra calories eaten meant I could work out a little harder. From their fitness level really took off. In the past 10 months on maintenance I have done many things I would have never thought possible including 3 more marathons. Stick with it and work hard, you can reach your goals!

Before (218 -222 lbs) Left: Christmas 2009, Right: Company picnic summer 2009

After (178 lbs) Left: May 2011, Finish line of a marathon - Right: March 2011, on my birthday.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Frosty’s Frozen 5mi Race Report

I ran this race with my wife’s work our team had about 15 people in the 5 mile race at 9 am and (me and the CEO) in the 10 miler at 10:30 pm. So when I showed up the CEO dude came up to me and said that he was going to switch races to the 5 mile so he could take every out to breakfast right after the race. This was at 8:40, I decided to switch races too but that meant it was time to warm up right now and I didn’t even have my bib yet.

A crazy start
I tossed my clothes in my car got my bib, I only had time to get in about a half a mile warm up. I did a few sprints and then lined up for the race literally seconds later bang the race was off. 10 seconds into the race a car pulls into the race course. The car was confused and just sitting there so I was one of the first runners to go around on the driver’s side. The car then flips a uturn and almost runs me over, to avoid the car me and a few other jumped off the road and ran through the bushes. When I popped out on the other side my adrenaline was pumping and I was flying. I looked around and I was probably in 10th place. I looked at my watch and I had run 5:50 pace for the first 0.2 miles.

Mile 1 – 6:20 Avg HR 177
The rest of the mile I tried to relax and find a sustainable pace. A lot of this mile was slightly down hill and this was an out in back course so I knew that I would have to run back up this section to finish. The course for the most part was clear but every once in a while patches of ice reached across the entire path. 6:20 pace over ice is a scary proposition given my recent track record over ice. Most of this mile I was getting past by people since I went out to fast.

Mile 2 – 6:24 Avg HR 183
By mile 2 all the passing was over and I was now with the people I would run the rest of the race with. I was feeling pretty tired already and this mile really hurt. My breathing was still out of control and I was afraid that I had ruined my race by going out to fast. My foot that has been having problems was starting to complain, not good. I seriously felt like the train was about to come off the rails.

Mile 3 – 6:32 Avg HR 184
As you could probably tell things were still getting worse. We turned around at 2.5 miles which didn’t do much for my mind. I kept thinking only half way done… that first half really really hurt. This was the low point of the race I felt like I was about to turn it off and jog back at 8 min pace. We crossed the creak and started heading towards the finish. Not much longer and I could hear yelling “Go Allen!”, “Your doing great keep going!”. It was coming across the creek from my teammates. I was exactly what I needed when I needed it.

Mile 4 – 6:27 Avg HR 188Remember when I said we had about 15 people running the race. Well each one of them was yelling and cheering for me from across the creek at various locations. My mentality flipped and I was thinking only 2 miles left no big deal. My foot was hurting a lot and my quads felt destroyed but I knew I could hold the pace. My breathing was out of control but still it didn’t matter I was a man on a mission and that mission was finish the next 2 miles under 6:30 pace.

Mile 5 – 6:26 Avg HR 188Coming into the last mile I was actually on 6:10 pace for the first half of the mile but this section had some up hills. All my friends were gone now and I was on my own but their encouragement was still propelling me to the finish line. When I came around the last turn I could see the finish line about two blocks away and I sprinted to the finish (see pic below). My wife and some coworkers that weren’t running the race cheered me across the finish.

Post raceI have purposely stayed away from this distance for a reason. This was not a PR but I am going to call it a non teenager PR or post weight loss record (still working on the name) any ways in need to have two sets of PR’s. I believe that this was mostly likely my best race of my adult life.

Official time 0:32:09 (6:26 pace, Avg HR 183 Max HR 194)
24th place overall out of 700
2nd in Age group out of 36 ($15 gift card to the running store)
1st finisher on our team and made them proud, they paid for my entry and I wore their shirt (I am sponsored!)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What do you do with your marathon metals?

Xander  Displaying my metals,  he thinks I have won all of those races.