Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Day, Another Canal

Today I ran the Crosscut canal in Mesa. It passes the Mesa City Cemetary and Hohokam Park (this is where the Cubs begin their yearly journey toward medocrity). But, maybe not this year with Sweet LouPinella at the helm. I ran east to the South Canal and then north a bit.

5.06 miles in 59:57. An 11:49 pace. I think I ran better today because I was thinking about baseball. It sure wasn't because of the wind that was in my face the whole way back. I don't remember it helping me as I ran out.

Nike Ipod: A couple people questioned how the Nike Ipod works. When you hit the center button on your run it will give you your realtime pace. If you run real fast for a few seconds before you hit the button, it will tell you a pace of 7 or 8 minutes, even when you are running an 11 minute pace. When you go online it will tell you what your pace was at the mile splits, but not for that mile. Only for that precise moment when you reached the mile interval. I added up my splits for three different runs and compared them with the total time. These times should equal if the Nike Ipod was recording splits. I had a difference of 10 seconds, 46 seconds and 1 minute and 28 seconds. The last one I calculated gave me my pace at mile two of 16:26. I was walking at the time, I'm sure I ran that mile faster than 16 minutes. Try it yourself and see if I am right. The next time you are running, just before you reach the first mile (maybe at the .85 of a mile spot) walk until you pass the 1 mile mark. It will give you a reading of 15 minutes or more, but you'll see your time is much less.

Softball: I forgot to tell about our softball game. We played Verizon Wireless, my cell phone provider, and we won. I was the coach for the evening, which I prefer not being. We won 18-8 in 7 innings. Scoring 13 runs when there pitcher couldn't pitch a strike. He walked in 5-6 runs that inning. Now we are 3-1 with 3 games to go. But we have to play the top team and the next two teams under us. Hopefully, we'll do well.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

18 days and counting

It's 18 days until the Valley of Gold Half Marathon in Tucson. This is a marathon put on by John 'the penquin' Bingham. He's a columnist in Runner's World Magazine and author of several fine books on running. I hope to start this run with Javamom. We started the New Times 5k together back in November and she's been training really well for this. If you haven't read her blog, I would encourage you to do so.

Today, I have a home inspection to attend to in Mesa, which is conveniently close to a canal. I plan to do 6 miles on the canal after the inspection. The weather should be ideal. 65-70 degrees and clear skies. This is a canal I haven't run before, so I'm excited about that. Hopefully, I'll get some interesting pictures.

Update: As I was getting my gear ready in the Fry's Parking lot and worrying about my left knee, it dawned on me that it's not the time to be adding mileage. So I decided to do my normal 5 miles. The canal path was in great shape. The weather was perfect with a slight breeze. Lately my legs and knees feel tight for about the first 1/2 mile and then I start to get into the run. My Ipod Nike + doesn't record splits, so if I want to know my splits I have to memorize them. Fortunately, this is a good way to while away the time during the run. I finished the first mile in 11:30 and then the subsequent miles were run in 11:50, 12:40, 12:20 and 12 minutes flat. I ran 5 miles in 1 hour, 13 seconds for a pace of 12:01.

Here's some pictures I took.

A view of the canal from Broadway looking south.

A large backyard with their own horse riding arena. You can see 3-5 jumping fences.

A very large fish. They place them in the canal to eat all the growth that they don't want. I believe this one is taking a siesta on it's back. Or maybe it's just dead.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Pictures are In

I just looked at the pictures from the Lost Dutchman Half Marathon. I'm a bit of a ham, so whenever I see a photographer, I always run a bit harder and try to be presentable. I remember Jenny, the learnedfoot, saying that the ultimate picture is when you arn't touching the ground. I got some of those in this group of pictures.

Now, which one's should I buy? Let me know.

Thanks for the words of wisdom everyone. I did respond to some of you, so you may want to re-read the comments.

500 Miles and I'm still going

When I first started running I wanted to get to 100 miles. I got there and then it seemed like 200 came quickly afterwards. So I thought to myself I want to be somewhere neat when I reach 500 miles. Today, February 25th, 2007 Ireached 500 miles and when I turned around this is what I saw.

My car is at the other end of this road. Actually, only 2.5 miles away. Parked at the Dash In Gas Station. Thanks for not towing it. I was at the base of the Superstition Mountains. I'd love to tell you I celebrated at this point. But, the truth is I was in the middle of my run and I forgot that I had reached a milestone. Today I ran for 5.31 miles in hilly conditions. I had to wander thru the desert, at times on unmarked trails and up and down hills on mostly dirt roads. I had a blast.

Some of the run was on the very same roads I ran the half marathon on just a week ago. It took me 1:10:18 to do this run. I had a major walk in the middle as I was in the desert looking for a road. I wasn't lost. I knew to keep the Superstitions behind me and to walk in a NW fashion and I would either hit the Lost Dutchman Boulevard or Idaho Road. Either way, I could get to the Dash In from their.

It was nice to be back running in Apache Junction just one week after the half marathon. What brought me back? Work. I found a great condo for a client of mine. They needed a home to stay during the winter. They live in Payson, AZ up in the mountains and had lived in AJ before. We met and looked at this condo. They loved it. We needed to write a contract on it, but where? They suggested the Apache Junction Dog Track. So we ended up there. There are no races anymore, but they do have a lounge and they do similcast other races. We had plenty of room to make an offer, then we parted ways and I went to get my run in. Here's some pix of the former race track.

Those are bleachers on the roof. We were inside, but didn't bet on any of the races.

The infield is back to desert, but the track looked pretty good. You can see it in the foreground with the scoreboard further back. When I get more time, I will get some better pictures. It's a pretty cool place.
Just another day in my life. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some Runs are made in Heaven

Today was one of them. It is beautiful here in Arizona. Right around 70 degrees, sunny without a cloud in the sky. I took a long lunch to run on the Western Canal up to Ken McDonald Golf Course and then back to the parking lot. It's funny, the parking lot I run from has a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill. They serve single, double, triple and quadruple bypass burgers and the waitresses are scantily clad nurses. At least they're dressed like nurses. I like to say I'm running from a heart attack when I run this route.

I ran along the Western Canal. It is nice and quiet. It runs thru a typical neighborhood and I only have one major street to cross. After I've crossed it, I get to run along the golf course. The first have of the course, I am enclosed in a fence to protect me. The second half, I have to watch for flying golf balls and those mean golfers.

I got out for 2.5 miles, turn around and head back to the Heart Attack. I never ate there until today. The single bypass isn't any worse than a big mac, calorie wise. It tasted ok. The burger was wrapped in paper, so I saw more of my waitresses buns, than I did my burger. I was too shy to take a picture.
Pictures: I hope you like the pictures. I took them with my new Treo mobile phone. My new toy is great, but I have it because of work. It has a palm pilot inside it so I can store all my clients info, open lockboxes to enter homes for sale and play games when I have nothing else to do.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lost Dutchman Photos

These are the beautiful Superstition Mountains. I feel priveldged to get to see them on most days. I'm gonna have to run near them more often.

This is the view of the lead runner. If you've never lead a half marathon, you've never seen this. I got to for less than a minute. Then over the next 2 hours, 544 runners passed me by.

These are the runners behind me when I took the lead. As you can tell, all the faster runners took the wrong turn. We were just fortunate enought to be pointed in the right direction.

This road is only about 35-45 minutes from my house. I will diffently run it more often. At this point it's a dirt road and the traffic is sparse.

Here I am around mile 8 or 9. The lady with the lobster hat is from Las Vegas. I joked that the best part of the picture was that I was ahead of her, so she took off and I never saw her again.
Unfortunately, some of my pictures did not develop. I had a great picture of me with Teton, the prospector, his big ass (mule) and his dog. I'll have to get it again next year.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lost Dutchman Half Marathon

I have to go show homes this afternoon. A Realtor's job is never done. I will do a race report later. But, just to wet your appetite, I was leading the half marathon just past the 2 mile marker. That's right. Every half marathoner was behind me.

The Race Report

It was a beautiful day in Arizona, sunny and in the 60's to start. I got to the start line with more than a half hour to go, so I didn't feel rushed. The parking was great and the shuttle to the start/finish area went very smoothly. We parked in the Rodeo grounds that are about 1/2 mile away.

I got some photos on a disposable camera that I will share, once I get the pics developed. They're similar to the pics from yesterday, but with runners. The course discription is a flat course rising slightly on the way out towards the mountains and heading downhill on the way back, except for one hill at mile 10. I wasn't prepared for this kind of flat. We ran on rolling roads of asphalt and crossed rock. A bit more hilly than flat. I got to see a few of my teammates from the Team In Training program. I wore my TnT Leukemia tech shirt, so I was easy to spot.

I felt really good starting out, running just a bit fast at the start. Now I said that I was leading all 755 half marathoners at around the 2 mile mark and it's true. As we got up to our first intersection about 100-200 runners in front of me turned left. The barricades were up in front of them and they naturally thought that they were to go left. By the time I got to the intersection, the volunteers were scrambling to get us to go straight. I read the map and knew this to be correct, but I usually follow those in front of me and I would have thought there was a last minute course change. As the volunteers were getting the lost sheep turned around, I found myself about 20 runners from the lead. Some of the other runners ran 2 miles total out of their way. I joked with the runner next to me that someone should sprint to the lead. Then I thought, why not me. I went from doing an 11 minute pace up to about an 8 minute pace and took the lead. I snapped a photo of the road ahead and behind for verification. Of course, I then went back to my 11-12 minute pace and watched as 543 runners passed me in the next 11 miles. It was worth it, because it will probably be the only time I can say that I lead a race of this distance at the 2 mile mark.

The entire race we got to see the beautiful Superstition Mountains, the water stops were manned wonderfully and I just kept plodding along. I got to the turn around at 1 hour, 17 minutes and was pretty pleased. My plans for a 2:4o half were still achievable. Around mile 8 I started getting tired and was doing more walking than I had hoped. Miles 9,10 and 11 were not much better. At mile 10 we reached a pretty big hill. I got a drink at the station at the bottom and put my head down and started to climb. At the top, they have a plywood wall with bricks painted on it. It has a doorway for the runners to pass thru as a photog takes pictures. A kodak moment, as it were. That gave me a bit of adrenaline, so I ran a bit more. Towards the finish line, we had to make a turn into Prospector Park. I thought the finish line was right past the entrance and I couldn't see it, but I decided to turn up the pace. I can usually run a sub 8 minute pace for the last 200 feet or so. The crowds went wild, as I started to run faster, but then I saw the finish line and it was still a couple football fields away. I crashed. Luckily there was a gap in fans and I was able to walk until I was about 200 feet away from the finish and I then ran hard again. The fans loved it. I'm such a ham. They didn't know this was my second burst of energy to try to get to the finish.

My time? 2:43:07. This time was about 5 minutes better than my Rock N' Roll time, so it's a PR. 544th out of 755 runners and many of them ran a couple extra miles. The race director apologized at the awards ceremony and told the runners that they will make a decision, but it won't be fair. How could it? They did say that anyone that went the wrong way will get a free entry to next years event. Now, I wish I would have gone the wrong way. I could show them my time and they'd believe I must have gotten lost, but I won't. I hope no one takes advantage of the situation. I will be running the Lost Dutchman next year and will gladly pay for it. It's a great race.

Post note: Several times during this race I thought of Jenny, Thelearnedfoot in the RW forums. She is in a much harder battle, dealing with Hodkin's Disease. She has shown courage, determination and a positive attitude and I know she'll beat this disease and will be a stronger person (and runner) because of it. Take care Jenny, your in my prayers.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Half Marathon Two - The Lost Dutchman Marathon

In about 12 hours I will be running on this road in my second half marathon this year. Heck, my second half marathon ever. My bib number is 2634. I wasn't very nervous for the Rock N' Roll last month, this time I am. My left knee is still bothering me, but not when I run. I didn't get to do as much mileage between half's as I wanted to, but I did get one 10 miler in. I'm sure I'll be fine. I think.

The RnR was an in city race. The views were of buildings, strip joints and fast food restaurants. The Lost Dutchman is in Apache Junction. It's one of my favorite names for a city. We'll run towards the Superstition Mountains and turn around returning the same way we came. The view at the end is the picture above. The marathoners will join us for their final 6.55 miles to the finish. There will also be the 10k'ers and other runners finish their runs.

This is the Superstitions. The story goes that there was a dutchman, Jacob Waltz who found a gold mine in the Superstitions way back when. He would sneak up into the mountains every so often to retrieve some of the gold, but he would never tell anyone where the gold mine was. On his death bed, he told his best friend where to find the gold. Of course, that friend never could find it. Hence, the mine is what's lost, not the dutchman.

Race report to follow. Oh by the way. I ran the RnR in 2:48. I want to under 2:40 for this race.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Here's a before and after shot of me. Tyler and I went camping about 2 years ago. We camped on the Mogollon (Muggy-own) Rim in northern Arizona. It's beautiful there, but the picture of me isn't so hot. The second shot is of me finishing the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon last month. I was about 6 pounds heavier then, than I am today.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Young Pat

This is my wife, Amy and I around 1986 at the wedding of our friends, Debbie and Steve. It was in Tacoma, Washington. I don't know what I weighed back then, but I'd love to be at that weight now. I wouldn't mind being 25 again, either. Mike up in Wisconsin puts in older pictures of him and his wife and I thought I should too. Until today, I never used my scanner. It's pretty simple.

I ran today for 1 hour. I set my Ipod Nike + for an hour and ran until it told me to stop. I made it 4.96 miles. And yes, I did stop a couple times to take a drink, pee and put on a baseball cap.

Jenny, The learnedfoot.

I follow a lot of blogs. Most of them because they are runners that might be around my age, or may need to shed a few pounds, or have had success at getting healthier. Some blogs are runners that are inspiring because their fast or can run forever. Some blogs are just in neat parts of the world or the writer is just plain interesting. Jenny in Cleveland is just plain interesting. She's a great runner too. She puts up ungodly amounts of mileage every week. She's into Indians baseball (ok, we can't all be perfect), horse racing and is a big time civil war historian. Her blog is just so interesting. Yesterday, she told the world that she has Hodkin's Disease. She has a mass that has grown near her stomach, that she calls lumpy. I believe HD is a form of lymphoma, but i d0n't know much about it. My heart goes out to Jenny, because she is just so postive. The Runner's World forumites are all behind her and she has people from all over the world praying for her. I hope you all will pray for Jenny too.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the largest supporter of marathon runners in the world. They have the Team In Training program that I was a part of in my Rock and Roll Half Marathon last month. If you get a chance, please support someone who's running in an event to raise money for this great cause. Or, better yet, run with Team In Training and raise money too. We need to eliminate blood cancers as soon as possible.

On Sunday I will run in my second half marathon, the Lost Dutchman event in Apache Junction, ARizona. I will wear my Leukemia Society marathon shirt and I will run it in Jenny's honor.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

“One dropped habit alters your destiny. What do you grumble about most often? If you can give it up for the next three days, your life will change – incrementally at first, and then remarkably.” - a fortune from Angie's blog.

Becoming a runner and dropping the sedentary life has done this for me. It's touched every part of my life. I get less grumpy, have more energy, better health, and on and on.

Today I took a carload of teenage girls to Goodwill. It wasn't a donation, but half price saturday. So, my daughter and her friends shopped. And I ran. I ran from the parking lot down Guadalupe Road (noisy) to Kiwanis Park. North past the adult soccer players, past the tennis courts, past the softball fields (where we lost our game last night) and around the lake. It was lunch time and the temperature was around 70*. I got to see people playing games, feeding ducks, riding rental bicycle type contraptions, paddling on the lake and picnicing. I kept running for 5 miles in a bit over 1 hour. I felt great.

As I was going down one hill, there was a lady in a wheelchair going up. One slow step at a time. I had passed her twice before on level land. This time I made a comment about the hill to her and offered my services to get her up it. She said she was fine, so I continued on. Now there was a lady sitting on a bench that overheard me and she said she wished she had a wheel chair. I thought it was strange, but before I passed her, she continued on that if she did it would be nice to have a guy like me offer assistance. I laughed and kept on running. Two things to note here. One, I think she was hittin' on me. Two, I run real slow to have a conversation with two people and not get out of range from either.

After my run I got to see some clients of mine that I haven't seen in 2-3 years. Andre and Elmarie live in Florida, but bought a place here for their daughter, while she goes to ASU. Their daughter just got back from Asia. She was paid to play golf with executives the entire time. She's a pretty good golfer. Now, that's a job I'd like to have.

Softball report: We finally lost. 9-8. We had the winning run on in the last inning, but ran out of hits. So, now we have 2 wins and 1 loss and two weeks off to rest.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

75 Fahrenheit and sunny

It was a super day today. My knee felt much better, so I got to run. Of course, it only hurts when I'm at my desk or in my car.

Today's run was 3.5 miles in 42:35.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

I haven't gotten to visit other blogs and comment on them like I have in the past. I've been busy. Sorry, but I still read all your blogs. A guy gotsta work afterall. The last half of 06 was slow in real estate, so I had plenty of time to blog, run and do other things. 07 has been very busy. I mean very busy. So work comes before blogging and running is right up there with work. Oh yeah, and the family is pretty important too.

The weekend was great. Our softball team won the second game in a row on Friday. We're 2-0 now and I finally contributed on the offense. I scored twice and hit a home run to right. I pitched, as I always do and almost lost it in the final inning. We were up by 5 and let them score 4. They had a runner on third with two outs. In coed softball the lineup alternates guy/girl. A guy was up and if he is walked with two outs, the next girl gets to go to first and he goes to second. But, we needed a force out so I intentionally walked them. It worked, as the next guy hit a bad pitch to our third baseman. Gina tagged the runner going to third and we won 12-11.

My knee has been hurtin' off and on for a month or more. It's the left knee that I hurt 25 years ago when I was a sophomore football player at Earlham College. It's the only part of my body that I have issues with. And it doesn't hurt when I run. Just when I'm sedentary. I'll sit at my computer and then can barely bend my knee when I get up. My client will go up stairs when I'm showing them homes and it'll take me forever to catch up. Today my client kept telling me to stay on the main floor. Well, I ran on Wednesday and took the next three days off. I thought it was better and I had a great run on Sunday. Ten miles, relatively no pain anywhere. Afterwards, it was if someone super glued my knee in place. Oh, the pain. But, after walking 10-15 feet, my knee would be ok. Today it was much better. So, should I run tomorrow? I've taken two days off in a row and it feels much better.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Sunday

It's a great day for a run. I did my long run right after lunch. 10 miles in 2:07:03. I like this run because it takes me thru several neighborhoods, a park with a lake and train, some homes with horses, goats and other assorted animals and past a couple gas stations where I can refuel. Today I got to race against the train for a short bit. It's one of those minature trains that the kids love to ride.

As far a the game. I'm just hanging out at home. I'll watch the game, amy will watch the ads. My son will eat all the snacks. My prediction:

Indianapolis 21, Chicago 10.

I like Peyton Manning, but I hate the idea of rooting for a team that left Baltimore high and dry. But, then Baltimore stole the Browns from Cleveland. Here in Arizona, we've been trying to find a taker for the Cardinals, but no one wants them. I'm still a Bengals fan

So here's some Bengal facts:

What you call a drug ring in Cincinnati?

A huddle

Four Bengals in a car, who's driving?

The Police

Why can't Chris Henry get into a huddle on the field anymore?

It's a parole violation for him to associate with known felons

The Bengals had a 9 and 5 season. 9 arrests and 5 convictions.

How do the Bengals spend their first week at mini camp?

Studying the Miranda Rights.

--compliments of Bill Nastold, high school buddy and Cincinnati Cop.