Saturday, January 31, 2009

London's Run - Queen Creek, Arizona

For two hundred yards we ran. Faster than we ran all day. We could see the finish line and as I ran faster, so did she. With a smile, I said to this stranger, "Are we racing?"

"Yes", was the only thing she said. We were moving fast, but it seemed as if time had stopped. I was now looking at her feet. Our legs in sync. With about 100 yards to go, I decided to go a little faster and with that I was gone. Crowds yelling for us. A run that had been going on for 2 hours and 26 odd minutes, boiled down to a 'duel in the desert'. This was how I finished a wonderful day of running in Queen Creek, Arizona.

This is a charity run to raise money for kids battling cancer. London was such a kid. There was a table (pictured) with pictures of all the kids. The race was held at Schnepf's Farm, an agritainment farm southeast of Phoenix proper. About 50 minutes from my home. I felt like I was going to the county fair as my car was in line to park in the field with less than 30 minutes until race time.

I had to make a decision. Run the 10k or run the half. I decided 13 miles would be good distance today and I had reason to run it anyway.

As you might know, I visit the Runner's World forum and leave posts and comments. There's a few of us Arizonans that do. One guy is AZ Nick in Queen Creek. We've discussed meeting at a race, but our race schedule never lined up. Lately, I and a few others convinced Nick he was ready to run a HM. He picked this race to run with a relative. Then, that relative bailed on him and he was preparing to run it alone.

Now Nick seemed like a nice guy, but I only knew him from RW and facebook. Do I want to run for over 2 hours with a stranger? What happens if we can't stand each other? One of us would have to suck it up and run away.

Nick called right as I was entering the porta potty. I told him I'd call him back. We finally met. I got to meet his wife and BIL. They ran the 10k. I told Nick I'd run with him and we decided to do his 4 minutes of running and 40 seconds of walking pattern for an 11 mpm pace. Nick's 4 minutes were long. And his 40 seconds were short. Seriously, we did skip some of the walk breaks and we settled into doing sub 11 mpm miles for the first 4 and then 11 to 11:35 miles the rest of the way.

The course was beautiful. Queen Creek is pretty flat. We had mountains to look at, but for the most part we were running in between farm fields. Lots of dirt roads and a few closed country roads. All straight aways, but lots of turns and in one section you go back and forth three times. The race started with us running past about 5 horses that were running in the pasture.

Nick and I talked the whole way. Kinda like when Karen and Lisa run. But, not about pedicures or tissue paper. We talked running. Jobs. Men stuff. After about 2 miles, I knew we would be running the whole race together and that it would be a pleasure.

I started running with my Phoenix Coyotes sweatshirt. Nick's a big time Coyotes fan, so he was alarmed that I was going to leave it road side. I did at the four mile point. Never to see it again. But, after the race as I was watching them award medals to the 10k winners, I looked down and saw a Coyotes sweatshirt. It was old and beat up and I'm thinking, "oh, someone has a sweatshirt just like mine. Wait, it is mine." The volunteers picked it up and my sweatshirt beat me to the finish line.

The last three miles Nick and I were trying to figure out if we could a) finish under 2:30, b) finish under 2:27:09 (my PR). I kept doing the math, looking at my garmin and telling Nick what we needed to do. Our start was 15-20 seconds late and we did a short stop so I could refill my water bottle. With half a mile left we knew that 2:30 was in the bag, but could I get a PR? As a side note, I wear my garmin really tight. The picture below is what my wrist looked like after the race. I mean 30 minutes after. I guess I plumped up during the race.

Back to the race, Nick and I had a final turn to make and then it was about 200 yards to the finish. I said let's go and started running hard. That's when I caught up to the 'lady in black' that was a willing racer.

In I came at 2:27:15 or 6 seconds over my best time. No PR today. But, a great run anyway.

It was great weather (60's), a great location, a great time and a great volunteer group. But, what made it best was running with Nick in his first half. It's the first half marathon I've run with someone. From start to finish. We are close to the same speed and we enjoyed each other's company. I know that if I ran this today, by myself I would have been 2:34 or more. Easy. Nick and I paced each other well.
So, there it is. London's Run Half Marathon is HM #10 and the second one this month. It's the second fastest HM I've run.
At lunch I saw this license plate:

Back in the day, when Steve Prefontaine was running for Oregon and was one of the best runners in America, a rival school had t-shirts made. They simply said, "Stop PRE".

Book #10
On a day when I ran my 10 half marathon, I finished book #10. "Home and Away" by Scott Simon. You may know Simon from either the Today Show or from NPR's Weekend Edition. He wrote about Chicago sports and how it was a part of his life. I didn't know Simon or was interested in Chicago sports, but my BIL gave me the book. So I read it. Great chapters about the Bears when the did the shuffle and about the six championship years for the Bulls.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Joe's Farm Grill

You think I was going to run a half marathon tomorrow. I've taken two days off in a row (taper?). And I've eaten a bunch of carbs today. It started at Joe's Farm Grill. An old farmhouse converted tto a burger and shake joint. It was great. Even the bathrooms were wild(Marcy check this one out).
If you want to see more pictures of Joe's, you'll have to go to my facebook page. One final thing about Joe's in Arizona. There was one fan decked out in a Cards jersey. Six Steelers fans. Now I know that everything in AZ is better than Pittsburgh. But, I didn't know we even have better Stiller fans than Pittsburgh.

Then, my daughter made this awesome Broccoli/bacon penne pasta dish.

If you like disney and you like running, this race report is a must read.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Running Like Ralph Walker

This netflix thing is pretty cool. I got 'Saint Ralph' in the mail today. I keep telling Amy that these running movies aren't really running movies, but a cleaver disguise for relationship movies or the type.

Saint Ralph is a running movie. OK, it does have that lovey dovey crap. But, it has lots of running. It's about a boy, Ralph Walker and his attempt to win the Boston Marathon. Thinking that winning would be a miracle and that's what it would take to get his mom out of a coma. Don't worry, there's more to it than that.

Here's three things I learned about running (from the movie):

1. Keep your arms loose.
2. Sometimes you got to take a chance.
3. If your in the Hamilton, Ontario pool at the just the right angle you can see into the ladies locker room shower.

OK, that last things not about running. But, it's not lovey dovey either.

No running today. I played softball. Our team is bad and I'm not gonna talk about it (1-7).

I just want to run like Ralph Walker. Order the movie, you'll love the running parts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas

I just did the RnR AZ survey. I got a $10 discount to any RnR race in the next 12 months and it shows that I can use it on the Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Marathon in December. This is news I didn't know. Did you?

Today's a Rest Day. No running.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Arizona Cardinals

This is the practice facility for the Super Bowl bound AZ Cardinals. You'll notice it's on Hardy because until this year they were a joke (Laurel and Hardy). But, you'll also see that they are on the corner of Warner Road. I think that should be renamed 'Kurt Warner Road'.
I took this picture over the wall. It is highly shrouded by lots of walls and shrubbery.

Yesterday's Picture: That's not me. It was a big guy with an east coast accent and he was probably packing heat. Actually, he was real freindly to talk to and he was at the Arizona Cardinals practice facility. The same place that season ticket holders had to go to pick up their tickets for the Super Bowl. He was looking to buy some for his clients.
Oh yeah, I ran too. It was the 3rd day in a row. Tomorrow I'll rest. Just 3.28 miles to the lake and back. The lake looked very blue, the skies were clear. It was a bit windy and a tad cool. Maybe mid fifties (I know).
Do you know what pace you run when you are just running? Not trying to push it, but not going slow on purpose? I ran some in the 9:40-9:55 range and didn't realize it. Usually I cruise around the 10:40 range without any thoughts. This is a first. I ran about a fifth of a mile under 8 too.
Atkins Is Back!
I'm restricting my carbs again. I was around 210 when I took a break. Around Thanksgiving time. During the holidays I bumped up to 217, but mostly stayed around 214. This morning I weighed in at 210.5 and I'm heading south.
Maybe get down to 208 by the end of the month and to 200 sometime mid February. Afterall, I need to get to 162 by November 7th. Remember 48 by 48.
I'm still reading. Just haven't finished anything until today. I read 'Everything I've Learned. 100 Great Principles to Live By.' Book #9. A small book filled with quotes and principles to live by.
Here's one:
"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
-Victor E. Frankl.
Frankl wrote "Man's Search for Meaning" and was in a concentration camp. I read his book many years ago. I still have it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I ran

Got a four miler in after dinner. I felt kind of full (salad and a drumstick), so the run wasn't spectacular. That's two days in a row (darn, I'm trying not to do that).

I need a 22 mile week to reach 100 for the month.

Which might happen at the London's Run in Queen Creek. I'll probably run the 10k, but there is a HM too.

Guess what this guy wanted to buy in Tempe Arizona? Yeah, that's a lot of Franklins.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Run for the Islands

Today was the third annual 'Run for the Islands 5k and Beach Party'. It's the second year I've run in it. The Islands is a nice subdivision in Gilbert, AZ. No, there's no island, but a couple lakes.

I left the house about 40 minutes before the start of the race. It's nice to not have to get up with the Roosters to run a race. When I got to the park, I realized I didn't brink my garmin. So, no garmin, no ipod, no fanny pack for a water bottle. I ran practically naked*. The field consisted of 126 runners, so I was about 3 deep at the start line. Then I got sucked out with the fast runners. Quickly, I slowed down. I did the same thing two years ago and PR'd this race. This time I figured I might do the same. At the turn around I was tired. I walked the water stop. I was running again, but I thought it was really slow and it would be a mid 30's time for me. A little past the 2 mile mark I was walking again.

That's when I was 'Touched by an Angel' (tv show). A lady came running by and hollered 'only one mile to go, come on' at me (maybe, touched by a drill sargeant). So, I ran. I figured if she was going to yell at me, I was going to use her to distract myself. We talked. Turns out she ran the PF Chang's Full Marathon last week. I was impressed. Last year I skipped this race after running 26.2 miles. She didn't look any worse for wear. It was her second marathon. She ran the Lincoln Marathon in Nebraska last year. We talked about Nikemom. My only Nebraska connection other than, 'how bout them huskers?'. I should have told her about the Shirt That Races. Darn it. I did thank #211 after the race.

Anyway, with about 2/10 of a mile to go. I eyed the two people in front of me and decided I was passing them. Amy Williams was real close, so that wasn't an issue. Brian Watt was further up. I reeled him in and we finished 3 seconds apart. I was in front.

67/126 PAT MONAHAN 47 13/19 M 29:04 9:22 pace

My last three 5k's have been: 28:49, 29:20, 29:04.

I really do like running sub 30 minute 5ks.

My streak did end at 27 days. I didn't run Thursday, except for softball and I didn't run on Friday. So, now I'm at 1 day running in a row.
*You should be ashamed if you clicked on naked and not 'Touched by an Angel'. I'm just sayin'. Oh, and it was hard work googling naked and looking at all those pictures to find one that I could post.

30 Days of Running

My graph
Green=easy day Blue=LSD Red=Race
See the latest post below!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Three Hours until Midnight

and I haven't run today.
1. I admit I have a problem with running and I'm powerless. 2. I believe there's a power greater than I to help me. 3. I will turn my life over to Runner's World Magazine. 4. I've looked at my running and I know that a rest day is good for me. 5. So I admit to you, my faithful reader(s) that I have to run everyday. 6. I am ready to read all the articles about 'old guys needing rest' like the one in this months edition. 7. Please RW, write many more articles like these. 8. I have encourage Sumo and TnT Ken to run every day. 9. Sumo and Ken join me in a day off. 10. Oh, heck. I'm going for a run.

Psych. I played softball. Two games, we got crushed. I think our outfielders need to take a rest day now. Thought you'd like to see some pictures of my fans at the RnR Az HM. Visiting runners were complaining about the heat. My daughter, not so much.
My son really liked the runners, as you can see.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Donovan McNabb and dumb sheep

Amy and the kids met me at the 10 mile mark. Usually it's the runner that are leaning sideways.
Another short run tonight. 2.16 miles. Physically I feel fine. Mentally I'm not in to it. It's the after race blahs. I need a jump start. Maybe a day off like some of you suggested. Maybe a run in a different local. Maybe a race. I have one this saturday. Maybe that'll be the ticket. But, since I did run tonight, it's 27 days.
NRR - Ranchers rent sheep to eat the weeds. You'll see the sheep in one field one week and then across the street the next. Speaking of animals with real low IQ's (not McNabb):

Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback lives in our town, Chandler Arizona. After his team lost to the Cardinals, some idiots burned 'Go Cards' into his front lawn. They brought their arson kit in a box that just happened to have an address label on it. The police checked it out and arrested the guilty pair. Donovan was just glad he didn't live in Philly. They would have burndt down his whole house.

Other notable Chandler residents:

Dustin Predroia - AL MVP of the Boston Red Sox

Anquan Boldin - WR of the Arizona Cardinals

Matt Lienert - Back up quarterback of the Cards.

Bob Boone - Baseball legend.

Freddy Sanchez - Pittsburgh Pirates

Ryan Fitzpatrick - Cincinnati Bengals quarterback.

Ice T - TV star & rapper.

Pat Monahan - amateur runner

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Tired run on day 26

The Streak Continues
Yesterday, the day after my half marathon I got out to do 2 miles. At the end of that run I felt dizzy. Tonight I went out and did 3 miles. Not dizzy tonight, but I felt like it was all I was going to run. Hopefully, I feel better during tomorrows run.
A Private Message
I have a real close friend that got a new job today. He's not allowed to have his blackberry and he's on the other side of the US so we are going to communicate on this blog. So, if you see any messages in lite blue, please do not read them, as they are not intended for you. He could lose his job and then it would go to some Joe. We don't want that, because he has big plans. Barack, I think this will work. And don't highlight over any empty areas to read our secret messages. Barack, you shouldn't have walked outside the limo, way too dangerous. Tell Michelle and the girls, I said hi. Did the girls get those extra medals I stole from the marathon?

If you'd like to see some professional pix of the race.

Rock 'N' Roll Mile by mile

Mile 1 (10:23):

30 minutes to start and then an air horn. Not very exciting. Candace and I are running together at a 10:30 pace. Just the speed I want, but Candace is chomping at the bit. Not that she’s a horse, just using the metaphor. Lots of runners, but plenty of room to run. Some weaving, as expected. The first mile went great. My feet would hurt all day, but I expected that. What I didn’t expect was a weird feeling in my right knee. It would go away, but later in the day it was tender.

Mile 2(10:15):

I shed my sweatshirt onto the sidewalk. Then Candace points out the guy collecting the clothes for Goodwill. Oh well. The run is going well. We are still doing 10:30 miles, but everyone once in a while I see a 9:xx pop up and I have to slow us down. It’s Candace’s first half, so I try to be the sage and not let us flame out in the first half of the race. I was glad we were banking some time. 11 minute miles was the plan and I knew I would need these seconds later on.

Mile 3(10:18):
I suggest to Candace that we take a walk break. I know I told her that was my plan before. She says she plans to maybe take a break at 4 and 8 miles only. I’m thinking, why didn’t you mention this before today? We agree to part ways and I tell her I’ll catch up later. I’m sure she thought, “right, like that’s gonna happen.”. I knew it too. Good luck, Candace and God’s speed. She finished 5 minutes ahead of me in her first half marathon ever.

Mile 4(11:01):
I did take about a 20 second break at the 5k water stop. I’ve been doing 10:xx miles and haven’t been spending time taking in any of the scenery. Just running. Said, “Go Boilermakers” to a West Lafayette runner. He appreciated it. Then a little while later I saw a central Ohio runner and said, “Go Buckeyes”. She appreciated it too. Saw a Michigan runner and resisted the idea of tripping her. This was the first plus 11 mpm due to the walk break.

Mile 5(10:20):
Back on track. Running by myself. Two years ago I remembered checking out all the buildings along McDowell. This year I don’t remember doing that as much. I still saw the weird ‘Chinese lettering’ over the street. It’s not really kanji, but everyone thinks it is.

Mile 6(11:38):
I get to the half way point and I don’t remember any of the bands, except for the Buddy Holly tribute band and the one band that was on break. I’ve passed 8 bands at this point. None of the water stops volunteers had any crazy costumes. At the full marathon last year, the creativity was great. Water stops and cheer squads had themes. Not so much on the half course this year. My pace has slowed and is up in the mid 11’s. This was to be the first of six straight miles over 11. Don’t know why I didn’t do a little self coaching at this point.

Mile 7(11:30):
Turning off McDowell onto 44th. I do remember seeing the Chinese Cultural Center. Throughout the entire race the Team In Training fans cheered long and loud. I wore my TnT shirt from the 2007 race when I was a member. Now as an Alum, I appreciate them yelling my name, which was printed on the front. This will probably be the last for this shirt. It’s a bit big on me.

Mile 8(11:16):
Gu city. This is where they hand out packets of Gu. The volunteers do a great job of yelling out the flavors. I took a vanilla and a tri berry. Ate the tri berry and I still have the vanilla. I had a mint chocolate that I didn’t eat either. For the race I had 5 pieces of Power Bar Gel Blasts. I really like them. One Gu. Half a Gatorade before the race. Seemed to be the right amount. Anyway on mile 8 the road is littered with all these gu packets, then all the water cups. I thought about picking up the packets, because Gu will give you free packets for every so many you mail to them. Gu’s attempt at cleaning up the environment.

Mile 9(11:35):
Van Buren Street. Or the hill. Think of the crookedest street in the world. You know, the one in San Francisco that all the tourist go to see that’s very steep and very crooked. The Rock ‘N’ Roll HM hill isn’t. It’s a nice incline for a quarter mile or so. It’s one of the few spots on the course where you can see the backs of runners in the distance. I ran some of it and walked some of it.

Mile 10(11:48):
The race director needed to added some mileage to the course when they had to detour out of downtown Tempe. They did this by having us go down a street and up a parking lot (Oakland A’s stadium lot). It’s a small hill with a band and bathrooms at the top. My family was at the bottom, so I got to spend a couple minutes chatting before I made a bee line for the porta potties. I do appreciate them coming out to the race to see me for less than a minute.

Mile 11(11:19):
You’re in Papago park, but on a road in an industrial section. Not very scenic. In the distance I could see ‘A’ Mountain. Or the mountain next to the finish line. It looked so close, but still 2 miles away. It seemed it wasn’t getting closer. It’s a slight incline too. I was passing quite a few runners at this point. Seemed like a lot of folks were walking and in the ‘getter done’ mode. Two years ago, I was one of them. I was cramping and miserable. I stopped at a porta potty with no success. It was probably the most miserable I have ever been running. That was then. On this day I was starting to get my groove back.

Mile 12(10:59):
Up and over the Tempe bridge. All I saw was the pavement. I don’t remember the decorative stone sides. I don’t remember the lake below. I’ve run over this bridge many times and it’s beautiful. Today it was just ground to cover and I needed to run if I wanted a PR. All day I was looking to my garmin to keep pace. I needed 11 minute miles. I’d do the math at every mile and I was ahead for the longest time. Here, on the bridge I knew that if I ran I had a shot at beating 2:27:41. My pace was slightly over 11 mpm, but I knew I had a small cushion. Not enough to walk, however.

Mile 13(10:42):
You come off the bridge and make a left hand turn onto Rio Salado Av. Lots of fans to run past. It’s my favorite part of the course. You know you are close and you can feed off the cheering. I picked up the pace and was under 10 minute miles, but had to slow down. I still had a ways to go. I kept running. I think I ran the last mile as strong as I could.

The last .1(8:40):
Off the road and into the parking lot. Lots of fans and cheering. Knowing it was going to be close, I was running in the 8’s. I was weaving around folks and I didn’t care about the finish photo or anything but the time on my garmin. I did see the gun clock read 2:5x:xx. My garmin read 2:25:xx and I knew I had a PR. As I’m walking after I got my medal, it hit me. The garmin didn’t account for my family visit or the porta potty. I must have missed the PR. What did the gun clock say. I think it said 2:59, minus the 30 minute late start and my time will be 2:29. No PR. I stopped in my tracks. NO PR! I missed it by a few minutes. I recalculated. No way I spent 4 minutes with the family and in the porta potty. It would be close and I’ll find out at home.

The Ride Home: I thought about the race and how I felt like I ran a smart even race. I was ok with it, regardless of the PR question. I planned to stop at Firehouse Subs to get a sandwich and then go watch the Cardinals play for the NFC Championship(on tv). Then I realized the sub shop has tv’s and they’ll be watching the game. I dvr’d it and didn’t want to know the score. I ended up going to Baja Fresh instead. Got home and immediately went to the computer where I learned that indeed I PR’d by 18 seconds. The fish tacos I had couldn’t have tasted better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona

I didn't want to miss the game, so I decided not to run.

Really? In the age of DVR's? I ran.

I ran for a Personal Record. I got a shiny medal.

I wear my TnT shirt for all the RnR AZ races. This shot was taken with my camera phone.

2:27:23 (2:25:21 Garmin time).
18 seconds better than my best.

The 2 minute and 2 second difference was due to visiting with my wife and kids at the 10 mile mark and a short potty break. My garmin stops when I stop.

The day started off at 7 am with me meeting friends at the shuttle stop. Karen, Lisa, Candice, Caroline, Mary (Denver), Christina and I loaded up on a old school bus to head toward downtown Phoenix. The emergency alarm was going off for most of the trip.

We got down to the start and I got to meet Eileen and her dad. He came out from Boston. Then we all went our separte ways to the various corrals. Candice and I started in 16 and about 30 minutes after the first group took off. The leaders were probably close to half way at that point.

Candice and I stayed together for the first 5k, then as I took a quick walk break she moved on. Not to be seen again. She ran a great first half marathon and beat me by 5 minutes. Below are my splits. Not counting the 2 minutes of non movement. My best mile split was 10:15, my worse was 11:48. Usually I throw in a couple 12's or 13's, but not today. I ran 94% of the race, with only 12 minutes of walking .78 miles.

10 Things I liked about today
1. The weather was great. Cool to begin and I didn't think it got to hot at the end.
2. Lots of friends. I even saw Geri from softball. But, I missed CJ.
3. My last 3.1 miles were progressively negative splits.
4. I PR'd
5. all the Team In Training fans.
6. Seeing my family at the 10 mile mark.
7. Completed my 9th half marathon.
8. I wanted to average 11 minute miles and ended up with 10:58 (not counting the pit stop).
9. Feeling pretty good six hours later.
10. The Cardinals game was awesome and they are going to the Super Bowl.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Twas the night before. . .

It's 8:30 pm, just 12 hours before the start of the 2009 PF Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon and I just finished a 1.2 mile run at a 10:41 pace.

I think I'm ready.
Pat, Candace, Christina, Caroline, Karen
all running the half.
Early I enjoyed a great italian meal at Candace and Johnny's cul de sac. Yeah, we had a wonderful carb fest the night before the race, Arizona style. While the kids played in the cul de sac, Johnny 'better than Carrabas' C made three different styles of pasta. We ate on picnic tables in the driveway. The weather was perfect and the night was filled with marathon talk.
I think I'm ready.
Tonight was the 23 day in a row of running. If I can run 13.1 miles tomorrow like I ran one tonight, I'll be on cloud 9. Here' I come half marathon #9

Friday, January 16, 2009

P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Expo

I went to the Expo earlier today. I'm always amazed by how expensive the stuff at the expo is. I spent less than $10. Not gonna spend $24 bucks or more for a tee shirt. Not gonna spend $98 for a jacket. I'm just not gonna do it.
I did like the race tee. But, I wouldn't spend $24 for it. At the Expo I got to say hi to Bart Yasso. I haven't read his book, so I just had him sign my race bib and didn't talk to him much. I would have sat down for his talk, but I didn't want to bore Amy.

Did you know?

Did I tell you I won my age division at the Paloma PTA 5k? I beat the other guy by over 23 minutes. You gotta love small races. Yeah, I said the other guy, as in the only. other. guy. in. my. age. group.
Did a mile tonight in a little over 11 minutes. One mile gets my streak to 22. Even Ripken didn't play all 9 innings of every game.
Two teams in the Biggest Loser are from my neck of the woods. Cousins Sione Fa of Maricopa and Filipe Fa of Mesa. Dane and Blaine are BIL's from Mesa and Gilbert. Let's see if they can do what Ali Vincent did last season.

Race Checklist:

Current running shoes
running socks
Body Glide
Running shorts
Race shirt - I wear my TnT shirt from my first half.
Throw away sweatshirt (I got it for $2 at Goodwill).
ball cap
garmin w/ strap
Gu's, gels, nourishment
salt packet for pre race
fanny pack (on short runs I like to have my own drink, on long runs I use it to keep my gu's and cell/camera.)
money in fanny pack.
Race Bib, safety pins. I put it on the race shirt, as soon as I have it.
Place timing chip on shoe, asap
two sets of bandaids . one pair gets safety pinned to the backside of the race bib.
Race morning breakfast.
Slippers for after the race (I leave these in the car)
Sweat shirt for after the race
change of clothes
Gatarade for pre race drink in large mouth bottle (in case I need to use it as a porta potty)
Gifts for my supporters (I haven't done this yet, but it would be nice if I had something small for my wife, kids or anyone else that comes out to watch me run)

Am I forgetting anything?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Too Much Taper?

How much is too much when it comes to the 'taper'? The last few halfathons I ran in my taper consisted of a short run of 3 miles followed by a day off before the race. This time I went from a 33 mile week to a 20 mile week followed by a 14 mile week this week. I still ran every day, but this week my runs have been
and then I will run 2 miles tomorrow and 1 on Saturday. So, will the extra rest pay off in a great HM? Or will I bonk at 6 miles, because I forgot how to run long?
Tonight was "Softball nite in Chandler". I ran at the park for 1.82 miles, then played a double header. I'm getting to old for softball. But, I had a good time.
My pace was 10:13 and I did it under 19 minutes. It was a good way to warm up for softball. And it was day 21 of my streak.

So how do you taper?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Having a 3 way and Bib # 32622

Just a taper 2 miler tonight. I went out at what I thought was a leisurely pace. It turned into 9:09 and a 9:38 miles. I really enjoy running 2 miles. It might be the perfect distance. Day 20 in the books.

When I was younger I had a lot of 3 ways.
Now, I get to eat some Skyline. Do you know what Skyline is? Cincinnati Chili? I grew up on the stuff. A bed of spaghetti topped with a unique chili, then cheese. That's called a three way (Cincinnati is a very puritan city, so I never heard a joke about that). Add onions and it's a four way. And of course, put it on a hot dog for a coney.

PF Chang's Rock and Roll Half Marathon 2009

My 2007 results. First HM ever.

I'm getting excited for this half marathon. Deciding what to wear, what to eat in the morning, what to carry with me and what to buy at the expo. This will be my third year running this event, time flies. It's only been around six years, so that means I will have run in half the RnR AZ years. If you are out watching the race, my bib # is 32622.

A Spotlight on Last Nights Run (day #19)

I did 4.18 miles up around the Dobson Ranch lake. I felt the same as the night before. A bit sluggish and not really into it. However, during the run I saw a helicopter overhead with a search light trying to find some fugitive. I figured, I'd either find the guy and he'd hit me over my head for my water or the copter would find me and assume (since I was running) that I was the guy. Neither happened and I returned safely to my SUV, where I waited for my daughter and read the latest issue of Runner's World Magazine.

A Challenge for you.

Chad got a letter published in RW in this issue, so I want to too. So, I'm challenging all of you to see who can be the next runner to have their names somewhere in RW. You can't pay for an ad and it needs to be your full name. If your name is Samuel Adams and they mention the beer, it doesn't count. You need to write an article, letter to the editor or do something to get mentioned. Maybe, win a marathon or safe a life on the course. I'm playing, are you?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Look Near the Mall

I haven't run with Javamom since the last Rock and Roll Marathon, but I know where to find her. Near the mall. Amy and I have run into Lisa twice. Both times, near the mall. But this time I was shopping for a replacement camera.
Tonight I got to go for a run in Dobson Ranch. Check out the map, alot of the run was along the lake. It was too soon after dinner, so my run was a slowwww one. This makes day 18.
Here's a shout out to my good buddy Chad. Page 16 of the February Runner's World has a letter from him. Now I have to get them to publish one of my letters. Guess I got to write one.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A 10:07 pace for 5 miles

I got in a good 5 mile run around my neighborhood. It's one of my original routes when I would just run, but mostly walk a mile. I like it because I can leave the fuel belt at home and a water on the hood of my SUV. Then I can stop for a drink whenever I make the round. Usually at miles 2 and 3.

You can see my splits below. Click to enlarge. Can you tell which mile I listened to "Eye of the Tiger" and Superman's Theme Song back to back?

Actually, it was mile two. I always seem to do well the last mile of a run. I guess I'm excited that I will have another run in the books. Speaking of which this is day #17

What would have happened if the ARizona Cardinals still played at ASU's Sun Devil Stadium? You know, the stadium that on the same day will have the PF Chang's Marathon and Half Marathon finishing in the parking lot. Just wondering.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Paloma PTA 5k

The 1st Annual Paloma PTA 5k was today. I, and about 30 other runners toed the line on the Paloma track. Then we hit the streets making a figure 8 around the community.

It was probably 50 degrees at the start, but dry and a good morning for racing. About a dozen runners started out quick and the winner won in about 17 minutes. A cross country kid from Desert Vista HS. My first mile was done in 9:01. Boy, would I like to keep that up for an entire race. The graph below shows my half mile splits and you can see I ran slower splits almost the whole race. Miles 2 and 3 were in 9:34 and 10 minutes flat. Still very good for me. The last mile I ran, I did not see anyone behind me. Wow, I was going to run a good race for me and finish last, or so I thought.

I poured it on at the finish, but gave the man in front of me too much of a lead. I finished at 29:20, my second under 30 5k and only 31 seconds off my PR. Turns out, after about 2-3 minutes there were more runners coming in.

To my surprise, not only did I get a T shirt, but they had finisher medals too. The same medals they give out in the school events. It was a well run event and I thank the PTA. All the volunteers were nice and helpful. The announcer was calling out names when he could. There was even a gentleman that would run down to the next runner, get the bib number, figure out the name, run back to the announcer, so that he could say the runners name. Plenty of cookies, fruit and drink at the finish line.

Yesterday's hike up Piestewa Peak looked like this:

It was a nice way to spend the afternoon after a surprise in the morning. I park my SUV in the drive way and last night I left it unlocked. In the morning I go to my truck and I see the rear door open. I look in and see the contents of the glove box and arm rest scattered on the passenger seat. What I didn't see was my softball equipment and my camera. I was burgled. Now I'm bat less, glove less and camera less. I need a camera for real estate, so that will be replaced. I'll buy a glove, but the bat was a $300 bat. I've had it for a few years, but I doubt I'll be replacing it.

Now, don't feel sad for me. I had some running clothes in the car and they left them. And I had my garmin in the house, so all is right in my world.

The Streak

Has now reached day 16.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Piestewa Peak

It used to be called Squaw Peak, but that was deemed insensitive to Native Americans (I agree), so it is now named after Lori Piestewa, the first Native American lady to die in Iraq.

Today I hiked from the parking lot way below up to the summit. 1.2 miles up winding, rock strewn path. I ran some, but most was just a slow climb.

Lots of people on the trail, The temps were in the low 60's, so it was ideal.

I wasn't moving fast enough for my garmin, so I didn't get any real accurate data. I wanted to time myself to the summit, but that was not to be.

I still needed to get my run in for the day, so I drove to the end of the parking areas and ran a mile on the black top. It was downhill from my car, for half a mile and then back up. Day 15 is in the books with a one mile run at around an 11 minute pace and a 2.5 mile hike in about an hour.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Google Reader!

Tonight was the first week of softball. We split the doubleheader, but before we did I got 1.5 miles in at Snedigar Sports Complex.

Yesterday I got 2 miles in around 9 pm. I was running in my neighborhood when I passed a parked car. Little did I know that there were two teenage girls sitting on the curb behind the car. After they finished screaming, I could hear the laughter. On my second lap they were more prepared for the crazy old man running around at night.

That makes 14 days of running.

Google Reader Wins!

In the old days(last year) I would just go visit each blog I was interested in and that would work. Then I tried hitting the RSS feed button on my google toolbar and it would create a line in my email for the blog. Then I tried Google Reader, but for some reason I went back to the email list. When I did this I started missing posts. Your posts would go to GR, when I was looking for it in my email.

Today I visited GR again and I had over 300 unread posts from blogs I haven't read in months. So, sorry if I haven't read your blog of late. I am in the process of eliminating the email RSS feed and using GR exclusively.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Just not feelin' it

My son made panini's for dinner. He's practicing for when he's away at college so that he can cook for himself. Did I tell you he got accepted to computer programming in the Engineering school at Arizona State University? Not sure how impressive that is, but I do like to say 'Engineering school'.

Back on topic. After dinner I just didn't feel like running. My legs felt fine. I wasn't tired. It was that "I'm full and I just want to sit on the couch, eat ice cream and watch The Biggest Loser". Bob, one of the trainers said at the very beginning of the show that too many Americans did that very thing. I laughed, watched BL and got my running gear on.

At 9, I headed out in sweats, with my gloves on. I could see my breath. It had to be in the 40's. I ran an easy 3 miles at a 11:12 pace. I ran past the really good mexican restaurant and by Red Robin and made it home nice and safe.

Day twelve in the books. I'm cutting my mileage back this week and next for the half marathon on the 18th.

Monday, January 05, 2009

11 days and counting

Well 13 days until the PF Changs Half Marathon. But, 11 days running. Today was my 'speed' workout. I decided that I would get under a 10 mpm pace and see how long I could hold it. Ten minutes plus early in the run and for 3 or 4 minutes at the end.

I had a piece of hard candy at the end of the run. Dr. Pepper flavored and it seemed to help me, just as much as a Gu or Gel would. I give it credit for my last half mile spurt.

Stats to be Proud of
Check out the pace on the far right and the improvement from August when I was just getting back from my summer slumber to this month.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Run Fast

10 miles yesterday meant a short run and stretching today. I did a mile, progressivly faster. It takes me a while to warm up, but then I just increased speed. I don't know why there was a slight rise at the end. I wasn't feeling tired.

Weather: 60*, overcast.
Distance: 1.03 miles.
Time: 9.42
Pace: 9.25
Streak: 10 days
Career Miles: 1809 (I didn't realize I went over 1800)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ice Baths

So I told Amy, after my long run today that I was going to stand in the pool for 20 minutes and she was to come out in ten minutes to take my picture. I stepped into the pool up to my knees and after a minute I was toast. Well, not toast, toast is hot. I was cold. I couldn't take it and got out.
It was more painful than the end of my run. And that was painful. I planned to do 10 miles today. The last mile and a half was done with my feet and hip protesting. I kept saying my favorite quote from Lawrence of Arabia and ran on.
I will learn to not mind that ice baths hurt.

Today was the 9th day of running in a row. I've run 49 miles in that time.
Housekeeping Issues
How do you answer questions left in the comments? Do you reply in the comments, when you doubt most people check back? Do you reply with a comment on their blog? Do you answer the questions in your next post? Or do you email the questioner?

Running Communities Online
Do you visit these sites and which one's do you prefer?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Yearly Mileage and the Gilbert Riparian Preserve

Today's Run at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve
I ran a new canal in Gilbert. It's at Ray Road and Greenfield. Park at Crossroads Park and the canal is near the back. I didn't know about this canal until I happened to see it on the internet. The best part is it runs north to the Gilbert Riparian Preserve.
Mid 60's today with clear skies. But, my legs felt tired and I just wasn't in to running hard. I was about a minute slower per mile, partly due to me taking pictures at the preserve. Partly due to it being my 8th day in a row of running.

and meeting new friends.

Yearly Mileage
My graph
This is my yearly mileage from 2006 started in June. This year my mileage was down due to injury and sluggishness after the marathon. Which means I took a longer time than was necessary to get back to running after letting my legs heal from the marathon. If that makes sense.

Book #8 - Where the Game Matters Most by William Gildea. Great book about Indiana high school basketball. My brother in law, Doug, who lives in Indianapolis gave me this book for my birthday. I started reading it on New Years Eve and finished on the 2nd. It's a great read for anyone that loves sports. It chronicles the last year that Indiana had a 'no class' system for the high school basketball tournament. That means all schools, regardless of size were in the same year in tournament.

Book #6 - Profiles In Courage by John F. Kennedy. I think I forgot to mention I finished this book. It's about Senators that have shown courage. JFK could only find a few. Just kidding. If you like history and politics its a good read. I like history and it still took me a while to finish. Amy bought it for me at a garage sale. It has the name and address of the original owner in it. I googled the info and it's a home near the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, just west of Manhattan. I'm sure, FJ Dunne doesn't live there anymore.

500 Posts - On Christmas day I posted for the 500th time. Have you read every one of them?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

If I wake up.

I said I would run a 5k if I wake up. Having two teenagers, I didn't take into account that I would be up past 2 am. My daughter was at one party until 12:45. My son was at another until 1:30. I didn't get to sleep until after 2.

So sleeping in sounded like a better ideal.

I decided this would be a rest day. So, I only ran for 1.41 miles at a pace of 10:18. It's nice to run at this pace and feel like I'm not having to push it much. A month ago, that would not have been the case. I added to the workout by doing some yard work. I removed a bush last week pulling it out with my SUV. Cleaned up yard debris this week. I'm thinking about pouring some concrete next week. Did I tell you, I hate yardwork?

I've gotten at least 1 mile in each of the past seven days and I've run every day this year. :) Did I tell you I've run 33.7 miles this past 7 days?

Hope you all head a great new years day and got in a fun run of some sort.