Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Garden of the Gods 10 miles

With a day off today, I did the G.O.G. 10 mile course - with 12 days to go till the day of the race.  First run of any decent distance since the marathon.  A bit rough on the knees Very easy on the eyes.  Lots of folks out enjoying the weather and the views, for many a day off I hope.  Drove through to get these photos on my way to the start line......

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Barr Camp hike

My son and I hiked up to Barr Camp today in preparation a reality check for him so as to see what to expect fear for the Barr Trail Mountain race coming up in 7 weeks.  Seemed like every man, woman, child and their dog(s) were on the Barr Trail.  Parking, as always, was a distance from the trailhead.  Took our time, hiked / walked the whole way - stopping plenty of times, including almost a 1/2 hour at Barr camp.  Total round trip time was just under 6 hours, 13.6 total miles.  3700 ft up & back.  Gave him plenty to think about as to what to expect for the race.  We will do this again, hopefully a few times before the race.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Easing back into it

First run this morning since Saturday's marathon.  I did do 10 miles on the Stationary bike on Tuesday and have been feeling like I could start back up running again over the last couple of days.  So, 4 miles at a super slow pace around the neighborhood - which is dirt roads, mix of hills and flat.  Felt okay, certainly feeling the effects of last Saturday still.  Will likely do 6 miles tomorrow evening, probably on Spruce Mtn which is becoming a favorite place to run.

Saw this news story yesterday.   Poor guy became a human balloon.  Wonder if when he pees now, he pees bubbles.

Need to buy some new trail kicks.  The trusty Brooks Adrenaline's (I think that is what they are) have a inch long hole / tear on the side, near the bottom of the big toe - think that happened at the Greenland Trail 25K.   Some reading and research the next few days.  Any biased or non-biased input I'll gladly take. 
The leader in the clubhouse so far

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 Ogden Marathon (aerial) photos

Photos from the race website.  At the start a helicopter was flying overhead, guessing these are photos taken from there.  Last 2 are of the reservoir and looks like they were taken soon after the time of the 1/2 marathon start.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Well, the marathon is over, what's next?

The Peak today - seems like more snow now than in Winter
The Pikes Peak Ascent is the next goal race.  That will certainly be a TALL TASK - pun intended.  I've been to the top via the Cog Railway and driven up the Pikes Peak Highway each several times.  The only other way up is to take the Barr Trail - which is the route for the Ascent race.  I've never gone the whole way up.

To prepare of the Ascent, several races are planned.   The Triple Crown of Running culminates with the Ascent (or Marathon - the day after: up to the top, then back down the same way).  The other 2 races are Garden of the Gods 10 Miler - less than 3 weeks away.  I did that last year and was not happy with my effort or result and hope to plan on beating that time this year.  This may prove to be difficult due to just coming off the marathon.

The TCR race in the (Chronological) middle of the GOG 10 miler and the Ascent is the Summer Roundup 12K trail run.  This will be my 3rd year for that.   Last year I improved my time of the previous year by 7 1/2 minutes and would like to better that by 4 minutes or more this year to get under the 1 hour mark.

4 weeks before the Ascent is the Barr Trail Mountain Race.  Did this last year, was pleased with how I did.  This year is different, my 12 year old son and I are going to run this together.  We have set a goal - try to have him beat the 10 - 14 year age group record (2:42:52).  It may or may not happen.  We are going for it.

We will be (weather permitting) hiking the course this Saturday and in 3 or 4 weeks trying to hike to the top of the Peak - also weather permitting.

Taking a few days off running this week, marathon recovery mode, will ease back into it so as to be as ready as possible for the GOG 10 miler.  I am looking forward to the Summer, to the races and training ahead, especially with my son.

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Ogden Marathon Race Report

If interested, link to pre race post (getting to the start line) here.
I wanted to make sure I didn't start out too fast.  The crowd helped w/ that, took about a minute to get to the start line after the "GO!" and the first 2 miles I clocked in at 7:55 avg pace.  These ended up being my 2 slowest miles of the day.   Tried not to weave in and around other runners.  So far, things okay physically, the knees were okay, some minor discomfort, gradually going numb. 
The first 7 miles dropped 500' with the South Fork of the Ogden river running in full flood along side the road and in some places even on the road.
Aid stations were no more than 3 miles apart throughout the entire course and probably more than a dozen clumps of porta potties positioned throughout the course.  No chance of ever going off course and only 2 sections of road that had opposing traffic on it - complete w/ a police escort that dictated when vehicles could pass by.  This event was very well produced, very impressive.

After 2 miles and the first water stop where I took a shot block, I took stock of where I was physically and after driving the course the night before - having seen that the middle section was as much flat as it was both up and down in places - decided I could pick up the pace before the middle section.  Miles 3 and 4 were at a 7:45 pace, then the next 4 miles at 7:38 pace - all feeling quite good.

All the pre-race fluids caught up w/ me at around mile 8, took a 1/2 minute porta potty stop, followed by a cliff shot, powerade and then back at it.  At about mile 8 1/2 we turned and started around the Pineview reservoir where we would run around it till about 18 1/2 miles in. 
Within a 1/2 mile I came gradually up alongside a guy, ran beside him for a few minutes and asked how he was doing, he was fine, he asked me the same.   He told me this next section around the reservoir was where people get separated, was the part of the course that needed some work to get through. 

He was right, I soon realized I needed to slow down and maintain effort.  I did and yet still was determined and able to maintain a 7:50 pace for the next 5 miles to the halfway point.  Halfway split time was 1:42:30.  Tempted to stop but a big, supportive crowd there and nowhere for me to pull off and hide. 

I was especially grateful to have driven the reservoir section at dusk the night before, noticing several rollers, the biggest at mile 14, only 1/2 mile long and 100' of up, still enough to grab the attention.  Took it's toll on some people going up.

Throughout the reservoir stretch were some mental mind games.  The feet were pounded, knees were doing okay, but by no means feeling good.  I ran mostly by myself, passing people gradually, few, if any passing me.  Sun was out throughout and warmed up to (guessing) upper 50's.   Was low 60's by race end (for me).

I kept telling myself focus on getting to the reservoir dam, where after that some downhills await.  From the halfway point till end of the reservoir dam I drifted at times back to an 8 pace on the uphills, but overall pace for that 5 1/2 miles was an 7:52 avg pace.  Not great, yet not bad as the accumulated distance was starting to take a definite toll on me.   The couple of aid stations before the reservoir Dam I had resorted to 2 cups of water, 1 over the head and 1 w/ a cliff shot.  Then a powerade gulp - all while speed walking through them.

I had by this time long since given up watching the scenery, the night before the camera battery had died, so this is the best photo I have.
Finally, ran across the reservoir dam, Ogden river runs down from it to Ogden, about a 500' foot drop over the next 4 miles.  About 4 steps off the Dam, now heading downhill, the knees screamed out, most pain all day - felt like the right one was trying to jump out of the socket.  Pulled back on the effort and shortened the stride.  The feet really were hurting now so this was going to be a struggle.

I was still on track to do well though, realized if I could hold on and maintain I would certainly beat 3:30 and had a good chance to beat 3:27 = beating the PR from 19 yrs ago.  With 10K to go - I went for it, wasn't going to be easy, but I had not signed up expecting an easy run.   No-one passed me the rest of the way.

The next 4 miles I think I did w/ my eyes closed for most of it, grimacing the whole way.  Came through an aid station, entirely Military staffed - managed to say something along the lines of "thanks for all you do protecting this country and for being here today".  The guy replied "Happy to be here sir, now keep running and finish strong!"  Was certainly an encouraging boost.

Got to the aid station where the 5K started, left the road for a paved, double track bike path.  This part I had not seen last night.  I didn't know we were going to run on it, a little surprised, but no real slowing of pace.  Spectators building, passing 1/2 marathoners walking, full marathoners struggling, all of us ready to be done.  Some small rollers for this section, about 2 miles in all, mostly shady - that and now 2 cups of water over the head at each aid station kept me cool. 

Just over a mile or so to go, came off the bike path back onto the road and the last water stop - I was a wreck but no stopping me now.   Last turn onto the home stretch, problem was it was 3/4 mile long, flat and seemed like it would never end.  Took us right into downtown.  Lots of people on this last section of the course, mostly half'ers, but definitely some marathoners I was able to pass.

Took note of people ahead, targeting runners, catching, passing, moving to the next one.  Finish line was at 25th street.  At 18th street I noticed the street sign, started clicking off the blocks, gradually pushing harder as each went by. 

22nd street, crowds were really making noise.  Race bibs had each runners first name on it - so I even heard my name being cheered by some folks.

23rd street, glanced at watch, 26.2 miles - hmmmm - just go, get to the line.

24rd street I was full out with everything flailing, probably looked like the most awkward running, uncoordinated fool out there but the end was in sight. 

25th Street.  Finish Line.  I was done.  More importantly - I did it.

My watch said 26.41 miles - I know they measure the shortest distance to complete the course - Sure, I had run a little further, but I will take the official times and distance gladly.  No complaints.

Official time 3:25:34.   150th place overall out of 2368 finishers (according to chip times).  1st half 1:42:30.  2nd half 1:43:04.  Only 34 seconds slower.  20th out of 196 in age group.  Beat my last Fall's marathon time by 12:19.  Beat my first (and only other) marathon that I ran 19 years ago by about 3 minutes for the PR.  First runner to finish from Colorado (okay there were only about a dozen). 

Success.  Achievement.  PR.  And a cool medal to go with it.

Aerial photos from near start of the race - taken from Race website

2011 Ogden Marathon (pre) Race Report

Skip this if you want to read actual race report, this gets you (& me) to the start.

Approximately 200 yds from the start line, I was sitting on the pot and heard the race director announce "3 minutes to start".  The thought was already in the forefront of the mind: "this would be an easy place to hide for 15, 20 minutes - then go jump on a bus back to the finish line".

I had flown out the afternoon before from DIA to SLC, picked up a rental - was given a free upgrade to nice new Dodge Dakota 4 door pickup.  About a 40 minute drive to Ogden, went straight to the packet pick up which was an old rail station.  Huge crowds, had to park 1/2 mile away.  Got out of the truck and my right knee, which is the problem child - which had been aching all day, gave out and I lurched into the (fortunately) empty car beside me.  Took my breath away.   The pain has been more bone than muscle / tendon.  Right on the inside part of the knee, but oftentimes also on the front top, outside also has had it's moments.

Righted the ship, walked through several parking lots, joined a large crowd at the "Old Union Station".  They had a big expo going on - just wanted to get my stuff and off my feet though.  Picked up starting bib, race bag and walked straight back to the truck.  I had been trying not to walk w/ a limp but gave that up on the walk back to the truck.

Drove a few blocks to scope out where the bus pick up spot was for next morning and parked to get food.  Iggys Sports Bar it was; spaghetti, meatballs and buckets of water.  Was good stuff but I didn't want to hang around as it was already 7ish and wanted to get some things done before dark. 

Drove 1 1/2 miles to the Days Inn - checked in, the girl at the front desk welcomed me and said "we have a complimentary breakfast starting at 6:30 am".  Lets just say she was not on a training schedule - so I put a look of fear in her eyes when I said "I'll be about to start a marathon at that time - so could you bring it to me?".  That froze her for a few moments - then she told me that they will be having a special marathoners breakfast starting at 3:30 am.  I would also be able to come back after the race and take a shower before going to catch the flight home.   Really grateful that they did that - was (guessing) maybe 40 or so runners staying there that I saw the next morning at breakfast or in the parking lot.

Dropped the bag in the room, kept the race map, camera and GPS in the truck, went back out and drove as much as I could of the marathon course.  Wanted to see the scenery, take photos and scope out the course but it was getting dark and I had not checked the camera batteries.  Battery dead w/ less than 10 photos - posting those on the race report.  Got a good look at about 85% of the course - that was good for the mind, but caused some further aching on the knees.  Was 100% on paved roads, 2 of the last 3 miles was on a paved bike path.  Groan, I knew 26.2 miles was going to hurt more now.

Back to the hotel, got everything ready for the morning, showered and in bed by 10:30 - tossed and turned for a half hour then slept soundly till 3 am.  Alarm was set for 4,  no big deal.  Kind of surprised that I actually got about 4 hours. 

First few steps out of bed were careful - the knee was better than yesterday, but not great at all and at that point I was really giving myself a 50/50 chance at best to be able to complete the whole race.

Oatmeal and a banana for breakfast, plus 1 banana for the road to be eaten about 45 minutes before race start.  Drove the truck up to near the bus pick up spot and parked.  There were 4 races that day.  The full marathon, a 5 stage marathon relay, 1/2 marathon and 5K.  All running along same route, all finishing at the same spot.  All starting at 7 am.  Buses were required to get to each of the starting lines.  Over 5000 total runners for the full, relay and 1/2, plus another 800 for the 5K.  I think every bus in Utah was there, different pick up spots for the races and they started pulling out about 4:45 am for the marathon and relay. 

Waited in line for about 1/2 hr, bus trip to the start took an hour after driver took a wrong turn.   Wondered if that was not a good omen - it was supposed to be the last day of the world.

Got to the drop off point at the start line and after waiting what seemed like forever finally got off the bus.  Music was blaring out the song with the lyrics "....It's the end of the world as we know it....."  Nice touch.

The porta potty lines were long, were in a large grassy field along w/ about 4 dozen fire barrels.  People w/ plastic bags wrapped around their feet, mud jumping - I decided to avoid that and jogged 1/4 mile up the road out of most peoples view.

WARNING: TMI paragraph..... Pee'd like a racehorse and realized I hadn't taken a dump - that needed to be taken care of.  So jogged back to the start area.

Race director announced 10 minutes till start, lines at the potties were shorter, still had to wait 5 minutes before I could get in there and take care of business.
And so, with 3 minutes to go, I walked out of the porta potty and told myself this is it.  Had a shot block, finished my water bottle, shed the sweatshirt, woolly hat and put the drop bag in a pile of others and squeezed into the crowd, about 2 lines ahead of the 3:30 pacer.  

Countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 go.......

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Marathon brief report

3:25:33 unofficial time.  A new PR!!!  I think I did each 1/2 within a few seconds of each other.  Over 12 minutes faster than last Fall's Marathon.  Faster than the 1st one I did 19 years ago by 3+ minutes.  A pretty and scenic course despite all paved roads  / paths.  Very impressively organized and executed.  Camera battery died Friday night so limited photos.  Numb knees and bloody toes, actually also have a numb head and achy everything else.  Will post detailed report and photos either tomorrow or Monday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

(Almost) time to go

This time tomorrow I will be on a plane to Utah.   Ready or not, I'm running a marathon Saturday morning.  Checked their local weather and it looks okay, 50 or so at race start (7 am).  I hope to be able to have enough time to drive most or all of the course Friday after I get there.  That will be last on the priority list though.  First is get to the Hotel, next pick up race packet (Bib #3838), next carb up. 

Two things occupying the gray matter - 1) knees are bothering me today - did 4 miles at a super slow pace this morning and really was uncomfortable throughout.  Wonder if the weather has anything to do with that: cloudy and about to rain, high (for here) humidity.  Going heavy on fish today - that has seemed to help before.  Forced down some sardines an hour or so ago, so far I have managed to keep them down but it is still a little dicey.  Gag factor is a 9.95 (out of 10).  Salmon later, that usually goes down okay.  Plus, lots of carbs today & tomorrow.
2) The other thing is wondering how I am going to do.  Hard not to think about that.  That will keep me from a good nights sleep the next 2 nights I'm sure.

Overall, I am looking forward to it.  How it ends, stay tuned.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

...Get Set...hang on a moment...okay, now I'm set

So yesterday I came up w/ a plan A, B and C.  Then I ran 7 miles, followed by another 5 tonight. (One more 4 miler tomorrow then Marathon Day Saturday).  Of course just about every time I am out running the mind goes off track - sometimes leading me off also, resulting in a bruise, scratch or random bleeding.  Bet I'm not the only one - happens while I drive too.  Be driving or running along, realize I'm not paying attention and I've missed a turn, exit or go an extra mile or two, without remembering anything of the past 10, 20 minutes or so.

Bringing this thought back on track...... So I really want to do well on Saturday - and if the knees hold up - I think I can.  Sure the weather, fuel, fluids and 26.2 miles of pounding will have something to say about it.  But I think I have trained well enough to beat goals A, B, C.

So, here is Plan D - the goal, b/c I've wanted to beat Plan A, B & C all training long.

First 2 miles 8 min pace, next 18 miles at 7:50 pace.  This is doable.  Then w/ 6.2 to go if I avg 8 I will beat 3:27 - in essence a 50 minute 10K - again, that is doable - if I can do all that - then that will make me happy.  Maybe even at mile 20 or so, try to gradual increase so as to not have the wheels fall off at mile 24.

Finish strong, make the teeth sweat, forget the achy knees, make it worth it, take a shot at achieving something worthwhile, be satisfied with the results.  PR.

I like Plan D - get it Done.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"On your marks......."

4 days till I run the Ogden Marathon.  I chose to run this for several reasons. 

1) Elevation at the start line is 5400'.  Finish line is 4309'.  With the over 1000 ft drop, I figure that will help.  According to the elevation chart, Mile 20 to Mile 24 is a 600 ft drop.  By that time I very well could be ready to be a rolling stone gathering no moss.  In other words, I need all the help I can get.
2)  It's fairly close to home.  Flight is less than 1 1/2 hrs away.   After my first marathon I jumped on a plane and travelled for 2 days.  Even though that was 19 yrs ago, I still remember how painful it was.  At least this time I will run in the morning, be home later that same afternoon and can at least recouperate suffer in the comfort of my own home.
3)  I ran the American Discovery Trail marathon here in the Springs (from Palmer lake to near Downtown Springs) last Fall.   Even though I finished in 3:37:53, I wanted to and was on pace to beat 3:30 for the first 18 or so miles.  So I kind of consider that a failure and since then have wanted to beat that time.
4)  I have trained (I think) better than last Fall.  Sure my knees have not appreciated the pounding and at times I probably have either been at or crossed over the "overtraining to the point of injury" line.   But I have logged more miles, hills, used a more structured training plan - I think and hope it might pay off.
5)  I have a better race day plan this time.  That plan could also read goal.  Actually - I have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.
Plan / Goal A = beat 3:37:53.  Avg pace needs to be 8:18 min miles
Plan / Goal B = beat 3:30:00.  Avg pace needs to be 8:00 min miles
Plan / Goal C = beat 3:27:00.  Avg pace needs to be 7:53 min miles
That would give me a PR.  Sure there is the wild dream of a BQ - which for me is 3:20:59.  That would require a faster than 7:40 pace.  I can't see that happening.

So I plan on starting out at the 8 min pace, keep that going for 16, 18, maybe even 20 miles.  If I can assess at either of those points that I could pick up the pace, maintain to the end - then I will and try get under the 3:27 mark.   If not, I think (also insert "hope") that 3:30 is reachable this time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

BTMR record attempt

First of all - not for me, (no chance of that ever happening).  For my son.  Just signed him up.   We talked about it over the weekend and got permission from the boss.  I will be running it with him and training for it with him.

When I signed up a few weeks ago for it I had done so with the hope of running to beat my time from last year.  That may or may not have happened - but we decided to take what little mystery out of that to see what the kid can do.

A few things led to this......
1) He did really well on the Greenland Trail 8 mile race a week ago, improving on his last years time by 17 1/2 minutes. 
2) The training gives us something to do this Summer together. 
3) We are still planning on hiking the Peak in a few weeks - that will give him an idea reality check of what he is getting into. 
4) I ran it last year in 2:20 and change.  The age group record for the 10 - 12 age group is 22 minutes slower than what I did.  We think that is reachable for him. 
5) He is 12, loves to run and (his words) loves running up hills.
6) If he doesn't get the record this year - he will still have 2 years in his age group to try beat it.
Here he is on the Greenland Trail, minus head - removed somehow

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The week that was......not......much fun

My knees really were bothering me this week.  Not comfortable running, walking, sitting or even lying down at times.  Whether it is because of overtraining, getting older, years of hard labor (used to be a landscaper) or a combination of them all catching up I don't know.  The mind was not in gear either.  The weather sucked, or blew, or both. 

Ogden marathon is next Saturday so that got me out to run, but when out running I was in discomfort with the knees and most days the weather.  I thought I recovered okay from the Greenland Trail 25K last weekend, so ran an easy 4 on Monday.  Tuesday did 10 miles, then 8 on Wednesday in miserable weather.  That was the day the knees hurt the most.  I took Thursday off - needed to rest the legs and the mind.  That seemed to help.  12 miles on Friday was okay, mixing around 2 mile sections at varying paces. 

Woke up Saturday and could barely move.  Soccer game in Denver that morning - yet another loss although the girls played better against a team that should have crushed them.  Then a drive back through town up to Woodland Park and back.  The Donut Mill looked enticing - didn't stop.  Got home and did 6 miles in the rain, sleet, freezing drizzle around home at a slug pace as the day involved too much sitting, standing around and driving 100 miles or so. 

Had a good sleep last night, today I wanted to do a Marathon simulation sort of.  But that would have involved waking up at 4:15 am.  Didn't set an alarm, so I slept, needed it.  Did 12 miles, 2 mile warm up then 8 miles at 8 min pace, 2 miles cool down.  Bit of a struggle, wanted to go faster but because I didn't I think it was good for the knees.  Then the knees felt okay this afternoon at the last Soccer game of this season.  A 1-1 tie with my big girl scoring the team's goal.   They never won a game all year, never really came close, so to see the smiles and happiness on the girls, as well as us parents - was great.  Ice cream reward was replaced by Hot Chocolate as it was less than 40 degrees.

So now, just a few days before the marathon, hopefully this week the knees improve so I can achieve something in Ogden - more on that in the next few days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A February run in May

There are times I question my sanity, ability & common sense.  Along with those, today I question the calendar.  Wednesday morning woke up to snow on the ground.  This is the 2nd week of May not the 2nd week of February, right?  Monday, did 4 miles on the treadmill - too windy in my mind to be outside running.  This evening did 8 miles in ridiculous conditions, far worse than Monday.

Did a 4 mile out and back along the Santa Fe Trail starting at the Nth entrance of the Air Force Academy.  Started off into a steady breeze stiff wind howling miserable gale from the North, complete with sleet, snow, freezing drizzle, gropple, snizzle, snapple, schmuckel (might have made a few of those up) pelting into the face.  I don't know too many swear words, I used them all up in the first 10 steps.  Good thing I had at least brought with me a jacket, gloves and hat.

I slogged for 4 miles into it - could only manage a 9:30 pace.   The further North I went the more miserable the weather and I became.  Finally turned around after 4 miles and felt like I was done, ready to quit right there, no more running anytime soon, anywhere, anyhow.  Problem was I was 4 miles from the car.  Suck it up sunshine - well there wasn't any of that around - well then, hike up your skirt little girl and run back to the car.  I did, miserably managing 8:30 avg back.  Legs felt like crap, frozen crap at that.  Brain was no better.

One of those runs to forget.  Forget the weather, the results, the mindset.

Drove home, waiting for me was a big bowl of the wife's homemade Chili.  Good stuff, followed by a couple (maybe more) of the oldest daughter's homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies - if this Soccer thing doesn't work out for her she has a future in baking, at least for me.  Then to top it all off, my youngest daughter convinced me to join her in a bubble bath.  It has been a while (never) since I have had a bubble bath.  Actually felt nice on my achy knees.

So, the world has somewhat restored order - although it is snowing again outside.

Here are photos from Thursday morning at my house.....
Out running in it today, w/ at least 6" on the ground, is "Mr Tight's"......