Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2013 DRHT Half Marathon Sweep Report

The Clean Sock Incident:
A few things to note up front. First, this was the 2013 race, not the 2011 race. Second, I'm consolidating my "Codename" portion of the report with the rest of the text here at the beginning. Thus the "fancy" new title. Now, let's get on with the show.

I arrived half an hour late and sweating bullets. I was exceeding the legal speed limit and was followed by a local police unit until I got within a block of the race start. I turned, the cop kept going. Guess I got off to a lucky start. As I was late, I missed helping out with parking cars for the first half hour. I didn't really miss that much but I still felt bad about showing up late to volunteer when I knew I should have been there earlier. Anyway, in my rush to get to work, I left my penguin feet in the car. Probably turned out to be a good thing as the parking lot turned into a mud pit after a while.

Yes, you read that right, penguin feet. You see, I figured I might as well dress like the socially awkward penguin that I am. Might as well give everyone a laugh first thing in the morning, right? At least this way they could laugh at me without feeling bad about it. So I directed traffic into the parking lot and generally waddled around like a penguin. I learned a few valuable lessons though. Some people can't drive worth shit and some people drive even worse than that.

After helping out in the parking lot, I ditched the penguin suit and got ready to run sweep. This was kind of a last minute decision but I decided I needed to get some exercise in and this was a good cause to help out with. We had an ATV that followed behind me to pick up anyone that dropped so I was the "unofficial" sweep. I cruised out after the last wave and kept a pretty nice pace for the first few miles. I'd catch up to the last person, stop and walk, then start running again. I'd repeat this process many times until about Mile 3 when the lead runners began coming back towards the finish.

Once the lead runners started, I'd stop running to let them pass, cheer them on, let them know their place, and how much of a gap they had to cover. Lots of fun, although the 7th place guy let out a grown when I told him he had a minute gap between him and 6th. Around Mile 4.5, I stopped so the lady in last place could go into the woods to go to the bathroom. From about Mile 4 to Mile 6, the last place runner put a pretty good gap on me. I'd stop for oncoming runners then dash ahead a few feet to stop again. After about the first 25 runners went by, I realized I should have been taking their pictures. This added to my time but it was no biggie.

Anyway, around Mile 6 I finally caught up to last place and slowly walked into the turn around point aid station. I refilled one of my bottles, turned around, and repeated the process all over again. From Mile 4 to the finish I picked up trash along the way. Mostly cups and gel wrappers but I also found a nice 2XU visor and a clean white sock. Not to worry, I checked and double-checked that sock for cleanliness before I picked it up.

With a little less than two miles left to go we had our first drop. The lady was pregnant and had been walking since around Mile 6. She also looked like she twisted an ankle or had blisters on her feet. So the ATV picked her up and dropped her off a bit later where her family was running an aid station.

Outside of that, I had a blast volunteering. Directing traffic in the parking lot was okay and sweeping was fun. So much fun that I'm seriously considering running sweep for the 50k this fall. Oh, and before I forget, I got to see Karyl-Lynne T. out there volunteering. Laura H. ( ran the race and claims to have met me but I'm horrible with names so I'll just say it was great to meet her so I don't look like a complete ass. Christine was there to run too. And I'm pretty sure I saw Kris D. running too. Saw a lot of familiar faces along the way and I hope everyone had a great day!

Photos by Teri Priebe are here.
Photos by Gene Martin are here.
Photos by me are here.

Other Race Reports:

Temps were about 35F when I got there but warmed to about 40F by the start. By the finish temps were around 50F. There was rain when I left home but it stopped by the time I got to the race. By race start the sun was coming out and it came and went with clouds all day. There was a light breeze that would pick up a bit by the finish.

Fluids and Fuel:
I had a small burrito and a small iced latte for breakfast. During the race I had two bottles of Hammer Fizz, one bottle of Hammer Perpeteum (with a dash of coffee), and my hydration pack with plain water. Recovery was a donut, three pieces of bagel, and Hammer Soy.

Aches and Pains:
My feet hurt a bit but I think that's because I forgot to put the rock plates in my shoes. Outside of that, I felt pretty good. My right hamstring would tighten up a bit periodically but it would go away when I drank more fluids.

For parking duties I wore my penguin suit which is really nothing more than a hoodie with a penguin head on it. For sweeping duties I wore T-Star short, pants, and another pair of shorts over top. I wore a thermal shirt and a t-shirt. Wore gloves and a winter hat. I also took along my GoPro and my hydration pack.

Mile 1 - 13:55
Mile 2 - 15:19
Mile 3 - 16:10
Mile 4 - 16:18 (average since I missed the split)
Mile 5 - 16:18 (average since I missed the split)
Mile 6 - 14:27
Mile 7 - 17:42
Mile 8 - 16:55
Mile 9 - 17:32 (average since I missed the split)
Mile 10 - 17:32 (average since I missed the split)
Mile 11 - 16:58
Mile 12 - 17:21
Mile 13 - 16:53
Finish - 3:33:23

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Run For The Dream 8k and Half Marathon Giveaway

That's right folks! I was lucky enough to be part of a giveaway for the half marathon and 8k races being held in Williamsburg, VA on June 1st and June 2nd. So, if you're interested in either winning a free entry into the race or getting a discount on registration, keep reading!

The Giveaway
I have one free entry into the 2013 Run For The Dream 8k or Half Marathon. Entering into the giveaway is easy, just leave a comment below. That's it. No special hoops to jump through, no special trivia questions to answer. There is a deadline though, so make sure you enter by midnight on Monday March 18th. That's the day after St. Patrick's Day. It gives you a full ten weeks to train for the half marathon. That's plenty of time to get your body ready for 13.1 miles of fun. And if you opt for the 8k race, that's even more time to train for nearly 5 miles. I'll draw the names on the 20th and announce the winner on the 22nd.

The Discount
The discount is even easier to use. Simply use the code BLOG2013 and get one of the following:
  • $5 off your 8k registration
  • $10 off your half marathon registration
  • $15 off your Patriot's Challenge* registration
The code is only for civilian pricing and expires on May 1, 2013.

* The Patriot's Challenge is where you run both races, the 8k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

Bonus Information
So, many of you may want to know more about the race, the expo, and what to expect in Williamsburg. I'll give you an overview here but feel free to ask questions.

First, I get nothing out of this giveaway and discount. I'm already registered for the Patriot's Challenge this year and the people from the race were kind enough to contact me out of the blue about doing the promotion. If I do get any freebies before, during, or after the race, I'll tell you about it.

Second, while I'm happy the race organizers contacted me to help them promote the race, I will do my best to keep it from influencing my future race reports. I've run this race twice and have had ups and downs each year and have always been on the fence about running it again. You can read more about that in my race reports.

Third, read my race reports from the inaugural 2011 race and last year's 2012 race. I ran the half marathon in both years and my wife and daughter ran the 8k last year. The course has changed slightly from 2011 to 2012 but should be the same in 2013 as it was in 2012. The early miles are great as you run through Duke of Gloucester Street and the section on the Colonial Parkway will eat your feet alive. The 2013 race is a bit later in the year than previous years so it may be a bit warmer. The course has very little net elevation change but the rollers on the Colonial Parkway will suck the life out of you. For comparison, I would say this is a bit harder than the Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA.

Finally, there are a ton of things to do in Williamsburg when you're there. This is very much a destination race, for those coming from near or far. With Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown within easy driving distance, your needs for history, shopping, and entertainment can easily be met. There's plenty of stuff to keep my kids, my "history is so boring" wife, and myself occupied without even going to Busch Gardens. And if you need a place to eat, Retro's is well worth your money (and they aren't snobby like some other places).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Podcast - Mile 55 - Asheville Marathon Preview

Wow. Lucky you. Not only do you get to listen to me for a whopping two miles (roughly 23 minutes), you also get an in-depth, nerded-out preview of the Asheville Marathon. The marathon that I'll also refer to as the Biltmore Marathon. Because it's held entirely on the Biltmore Estate. The race is sold out so I'll be making every attempt to finish, even more so since it's the first year for the race.

If you can survive the detailed break-down of the course, here's a link to the Asheville Cottages I mentioned. As far as I'm concerned, they give service on the level of any luxury hotel but leave you with a down-home feeling. Kind of like borrowing your best friend's house for a vacation. Anyway, lovely cottages and well worth the very short trip to the Biltmore if you're ever in the area.

Listen to this two-mile marathon episode on Podbean or download directly here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Horse Shit and Wood Smoke

Woof. This dog is tired. Work is beating the shit out of me. 10 hours here, 12 hours there, I'd rather be running that long just because I know I'll have a reason for sleeping so much.

But enough whinging. I felt tired and slow during the run. My shins were hurting. But I still tried to push it just enough to make it a solid effort. Quality over quantity I guess. My workout "plan" said I needed to do two 1 mile repeats at 10 minute pace. Well, I guess I came close to that. I know my first mile was about 10 minutes but I know my overall pace was pretty even and with a 11:29 average I was clearly over the 10 minute pace mark. Oh well, at least I'm close. Sort of.

Temps were about 45F. Winds were light but noticeable. Sun was out with clear skies.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was waffles, yogurt, and iced coffee. During the run I had half a bottle of plain water, a full bottle of Hammer Fizz, and a Hammer Gel at Mile 2. Recovery was left-overs with Hammer Soy.

Aches and Pains:
My shins were hurting but I'm not sure if that's because of the increased mileage, bad form, or better form.

Took my camera but didn't take any pictures. Instead I enjoyed the smells. Also took my knife.

Codename - Horse Shit and Wood Smoke
On my outbound leg, I got a nice solid whiff of the local horse stalls. And I didn't mind it at all. Not even on my inbound leg. I also got a nice quarter of a mile within a light cloud of wood smoke. Brought back some great memories.

Outbound - 30:24
Inbound - 30:31
Finish - 1:00:55

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Virgin Shoes

Glad I waited until lunch to run this route. Much warmer and plenty of sun. Plus I was able to eat a nice breakfast and get some work done. Lots to think about during the run. Work, home, running, racing, podcasting, the list goes on. Anyway, I had planned on doing speed work until about a tenth of a mile from the start when I was wheezing and gasping for air and decided to hell with it and I'd just run what I could. I mean, how can I seriously think about doing 8 x 800 with 1:15 rest in between? Sheesh. I'm no track star.

Temps were about 55F. Sky was clear. Sun was out. No humidity. Very light breeze.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was a homemade burrito with egg, steak, cheese, lettuce, and salsa. I also had yogurt, oatmeal, and iced coffee for breakfast. During the run I had a bottle of Hammer Fizz. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite which I'll follow with either left-over spaghetti or Hammer Soy.

Aches and Pains:
My shins, calves, knees, legs, chest, lungs, well, just about everything hurt. Nothing noteworthy though, I'm just complaining.

Wore tights under shorts and two short sleeve shirts. Wore a headband. Took my voice recorder. Took my knife.

Codename - Virgin Shoes
Wore my Silver Back shoes for the first time (Altra Instincts). I've worn the model before but I'm breaking in a new pair with some Slacklace shoe laces.

Outbound - 22:52
Inbound - 21:04
Finish - 43:57

PS - I may have some semi-exciting news coming. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 08, 2013

That's a cute.....what is that?

So earlier this week I took my pants off for a dude named Kelley. Kelley Drake is a tough dude that might punch you for thinking he's a girl (I doubt it but you never know). After he got my pants off, he shaved me. then made me lay down while he repeatedly stabbed me.

Now depending on how you read that, you may have assumed I was assaulted or I got a new tattoo. Since I made no mention of the cops, it's pretty safe to assume I did all of this willingly. Even though it hurt like a bitch and two ladies getting tattoos at the same time appeared to take the pain a hell of a lot better than me, I was a good little boy and took my lumps.

I'm sure many of you are wondering what in the world I got or why I got it. Those are easy to answer. As you can see below, it's a porcupine, tree stump, axe, and a butterfly. Elizabeth helped choose the colors for the butterfly but the rest was left up to the artist. I told him generally what I wanted and he did the rest. At first glance the porcupine may look like a hedgehog. And if you're my wife, you can choose to think of it as one. But it isn't. I got the porcupine because I saw one for the first time ever on the Oil Creek 100k race I did last October. Which brings us to the why. I told myself going into the race that if I finished and didn't die, I'd get another tattoo. I hadn't decided on anything specific but ideas began rumbling around in my head after some thinking and this was the general idea of what I wanted. As expected, it came out much better than I imagined. Oh, and the tree stump and axe? It's because my trail name is The Lumberjack. Oh, and yes, the porcupine might look a tad ugly and cartoony and to be honest I wasn't too excited about him at first glance. But every day he's growing on me. He's ugly like me, goofy looking like me, has an odd smirk like me, prickly on the outside and fuzzy underneath like me, fat and slow like me, you get the idea.

In progress:

Full view:

Finished product:

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Ugly Porcupine

Debated running a 6 mile road route then opted to get back out on the trails. Even though I picked the flat rail trail, it still felt better than running the roads. As I got on the trail and started running, I felt okay. Not great, just okay. I clicked off the first mile and glanced at my watch and was a bit surprised at my pace. Happy with what I saw, I began to entertain thoughts of stretching my 4 mile run to 5 miles. I made it to the second mile and still felt good so I went another half mile before turning around. On the way back I was able to bring my pace down even further. I began to feel pretty good so I made a conscious effort to increase my speed again for the last two miles. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by my speed.

By the time I finished I felt tired but happy. My pace was better than expected and I was yet again reminded of the fact that music makes me run faster. It's not common for me to run with music but for some reason I felt like it today. Anyway, the run went pretty good overall.

Temps were about 35F to 40F. Sky was cloudy. Wind was light.

Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was waffles, yogurt, and iced coffee. During the run I had a bottle of plain water. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite.

Aches and Pains:
I could feel the stones stabbing me through my shoes. I think I'll need to try the rock guards the next time around. I also had some pain in my left thigh but that's expected after a new tattoo. My right hamstring felt tight for a half mile or so but it went away after I chugged some water.

Listened to music, took pictures on my GoPro, and took my cell phone. I also used a hand warmer at times. Wore a thermal shirt, t-shirt, and a wind breaker (which I ditched after a mile). Wore T-Star shorts under my pants. Wore a headband and a hat (which I ditched after a mile and a half).

Codename - Ugly Porcupine
So while my wife thinks it looks like a hedgehog (her favorite animal), I think my porcupine looks ugly. But in a good way. He's fat, slow, prickly on the outside, and not pretty to look at but goofy enough to make you smile. Just like me.

Mile 1 - 12:16
Mile 2 - 12:02
Mile 3 - 13:12
Mile 4 - 10:26
Mile 5 - 11:23
Finish - 59:20

Monday, February 04, 2013

Podcast - Mile 54 - Renewed Rambling

The title says it all. I get back to my roots a bit and ramble. About lots of crap. So sit back and relax and try not to fall asleep as I drone on and on about the most minute and boring details that mimic the drabness of this insanely long sentence that doesn't really do anything and simply rambles. Just like this episode.

You can listen to it directly on Podbean or download directly here.


Just a short run that got shorter as I went further. My damn face was freezing off and I didn't have anything to keep it warm so I bailed on my 4 mile run and made it a 2 mile run. At least I was layered-up enough to keep everything else warm. Nothing exciting on the trail except for some frozen water, frozen foot prints, and frozen dog tracks.

Temps were about 23F. Wind was light. Little to no sun with  plenty of clouds and haze.

Fluids and Fuel:
Pre-run food was yogurt and water. During the run I had half a bottle of plain water. Recovery was two breakfast burritos and iced coffee.

Aches and Pains:
My cheeks and nose were freaking cold. Too damn cold to keep going so I wimped out and ran back to my warm car.

Nothing too exciting. Just lots of layers (except for my face).

Codename - Fro-Zone
Yes, I know I said it several times already but my face was damn cold.

Mile 1 - 11:41
Mile 2 - 11:33
Finish - 23:14

Friday, February 01, 2013

Frozen Face

Did the first mile of this route and decided on the spot to do some speed work since I wasn't going very far. After about 50 yards I decided speed work sucked and I'd just carry on at my own pace as I saw fit. Which means I went slow.

There was some light snow in the air as I started but by the end of the run the sun was out in full force. Nothing too exciting about today's run except for my security project which appears to have turned out some nice results. No evidence I can use to convict but at least it's a start. Outside of that, the run was just another run with plenty of stop/start sessions to clear the branches off the trail from the recent high winds.

Temps were freezing. No, literally, it was 32F out. Wind was moderate thanks to the trees but strong enough to feel it. Had light snow flurries for the first mile and strong sun for the last mile. In between was overcast.

Aches and Pains:
None really. Paid special attention to running like a gazelle through Warren's Hole  but outside of that things were fine. Although I did need to pee twice which was kind of odd. But it didn't hurt so I didn't worry.

Wore T-Star shorts with pants and more shorts over them. Wore a thermal shirt, short sleeve shirt, and wind breaker. Wore a winter hat and gloves. Took along my GoPro along with the steadicam to dork around and play with while I ran.

Codename - Frozen Face
I don't know why I didn't think about it before, but thanks to an online community I read, I was educated that I could wear shorts over my pants. Like a dumbass it's taken me years to learn this simple trick to keeping my frank and beans warm. Just wish I could find a way to keep my cheeks warm. The ones on my face.

Splits were all over the place due to photos, bathroom breaks, and clearing the branches from the trail.
Mile 1 - 14:06
Mile 2 - 16:19
Mile 3 - 15:41
Mile 4 - 12:13
Finish - 58:20