Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Black or White

Trying to decide whether to wear my standard white running socks for RnR San Diego or to go with my untested, though I'm sure they are lucky, black running socks.

Ebony or Ivory? Which part of the Zebra will it be? While you contemplate this deep cosmic challenge, also consider entering Adam's contest for some sunscreen. Adam is a really entertaining skinny blogger who sweats like a bad junkie in solitary confinement.

ooops, now I can't stop thinking about Oreos. Did you know that Trader Joes has a Peppermint Oreo? Killer!

and speaking of Thorlo giveaways, check out Jamoosh's blog for a well-designed contest. Oh please, some lime Thorlo socks to end the madness of my digital choice!

Can't figure out where you stand on the sock issue? Wondering who you are in this divinely inspired universe? It would be a lot easier if you simply looked down at your Name/Rank/SSN tattoo on your belly. If you haven't impulsively had that done, you could, instead, enter a contest to win a RoadID The aforementioned Jamoosh is starting a string of contests. He knows who he is, and he knows a LOT about beer. Check him out for more info and a really entertaining, gorgeously designed,  and frequently updated blog.

Ok, a little over one week to decide. I'm not panicking, just a little verklempt. Randy or Simon? Salt or Pepper? Day or Night? Your thoughts?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2 Weeks to San Diego

Well this was not a productive week for running. I may have to soon invoke the Couch to Marathon 5 Day plan. I got some kind of funky Phoenix head cold around Thursday and it settled in my head and chest. I've been on OTC meds but the crud remains.

Also, some family visits and a 3:30am run to the school to see 75 8th graders off on a trip to Magic Mountain. And a fitfully sleeping 2 year old. Have I listed enough excuses? And crap----this was one of surely the last cool mornings we will see for many months, a primo running day.

Adam says it's better to be 90% ready and 100% healthy. I'm going for 70/90 and hoping it doesn't decline any more than that.

I just want to finish the damn thing and still be able to walk and then I want to get in a better routine and build base mileage and go for it again in January. I think I can get a free entry for RnR AZ through PCH Kids Rock. I also don't want to get picked up by the golf cart!
Oh, to come in 6th out of 6 and to be a chicken on top of that!! I'll be the rhino, I don't need to be the pig --really! And Sandra Boynton always draws pigs like their nose was cut off by a band saw.

The picture isn't doing it justice, but the 2nd toenail is actually doing ok though black. The third toenail is the troublemaker. After this photo was taken I peeled most of it off AND THERE IS NO NEW TOENAIL UNDER THERE!!!!! Under where? (I made you say underwear!) So, right foot fine, left foot having nail problems but it doesn't affect my running. Time for toe socks? Toe covers? Can a person get size 10 for the left foot and size 9.5 for the right? Hmmmm. If I am not hammering out miles, do I need to taper as planned?

One more week at the schoolhouse then the kiddos go home for the summer! Cue Alice Cooper....

Everyone have a great week!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

20th Follower Contest Results!!

The contest was a success! The objective was to gain at least one more follower to take RTP to 20 followers. My blog now has 20 followers, though a couple quit me (I can't quit you!!)

 and 2 added. C'est la vie -- and a boring blog.

In honor of the contest, I ran 20 miles this morning. A first! 34 for the week.

I also took an ice bath afterwards -- another first!! No photos. If you want gratuitous and exhibitionistic photos, go see Steve in a Speedo's blog.

I almost had another first (and would, no doubt, have been the last) along the route but there was a golf course bathroom that came to the rescue.

The run was uneventful. I ran the first 4 miles, then ran/walked the remaining in a .9 run/.1 walk. Around mile 15, I started to walk a bit more and got nervous about my water supply. I did have several sources planned out and they were all available, so no hydration problems. I started at 5:30 am and it quickly became hot. Nice and salty hat!

I was out there almost 4 hours. The salient question in my mind is: Can I extrapolate success for 26.2 from relative success in 20? Answer is yes with lingering doubt. My feet really swelled up in my shoes and two toes took a bad beating, but otherwise I'm 'normally' sore. Cardiovascular stayed strong, form began to break down a bit after 15, and I ran much faster than I planned while walking slower than I planned. The plan calls for 3 runs this coming week and another long run next weekend (22?), then taper and San Diego RnR Marathon on June 6. The fallback plan is to downgrade to the 1/2 and set a PR, though I really want a marathon on the books.

I hear you, I hear you --get to the contest! The winner (randomly selected from a hat by a trustworthy 2 year old)  of the 20th Follower to Running Through Phoenix is..... Runlaur! You most likely know her and her blog, but if you don't, check her out. She is an awesome blogger, and person, and is running in the Bob Potts marathon (her first marathon) this weekend.

That's her on the Phoenix map pin. She wins a $20 GC to Zombie runner and some bragging rights. See ya when you get back Lauren and we will work out the exchange. There were some interesting entries and the contest was more difficult than I expected. I'll re-tool for the next contest. Thanks again to all my followers and have a great running weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

20th Follower Contest

"Hey 19" is the only song I can think of with 19 in it.

 RTP has 19 loyal followers and I have no idea why.  And absolutely nothing comes to mind for the number 20. Hence this contest. Two things need to happen for you to be eligible to win this contest: RTP must gain its 20th follower, and you must enter the contest. The winner will receive a $20 GC to Zombie Runner. $20??!!?? What can I get for $20?? Surprisingly, quite a bit.

The contest is simple. Post a comment listing your favorite song with the number 20 in the title. If you aren't already following Running Through Phoenix, start following me. I will randomly select a winner and let you all know by the end of this week. If you enter the contest, follow me, and have a photo on your profile, you get two automatic entries into the contest. If your photo is not included in your profile, you will only get one entry. So figure it out!! Un-follow me then follow me again --whatever you need to do to make your photo appear.

Interested in another contest of the peanut butter variety? Are you excited enough to slather yourself in the stuff and rush out onto a basketball court?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010 Tempe Arbor Day 5K

 Don't hug this scary-ass tree! Have you never watched a Harry Potter movie?

31:18, 3.25 miles.

I ran in this inaugural race last night. I had no idea how many people would be in the race (neither did the event organizers), but expected about 200 or so. Five Hundred people showed up and clearly overwhelmed the event staff. Pretty soon after joining the 30 minute line to pick up bib and chip, I realized that this was going in the books as a fun run, and I would not likely compete. The number of racers combined with the narrow track made it really difficult to navigate at pace while pushing HJG in the BOB stroller. I had to start the race in a fast walk because I was all the way in the back of the pack and there were so many people walking and blocking the path.

I spent the first 1.5 miles in a slalom and start stop mode. There were also two unexpected river rock sections that did not allow me to push the stroller except at a walking pace. The course led us around Tempe Town lake, a very nice city lake that is beautiful this time of year. Somewhere just into mile three, there was a soul-crushing uphill, but thankfully it was followed by a nice downhill glide pretty much to the finish. Harrison was enjoying the race but was royally pissed off at Mayor Hugh Hallman.
Hugh, unfortunately, was handed a microphone while we were all waiting to register and he spent the next 20 minutes yelling at us. Hugh! you had a microphone and were connected to an electronically amplified public address system. We could hear you!! Mayor Hallman led the kids 1 mile fun run off and gave us play by play, and then the microphone was handed back to some other challenged announcer. Once the race was underway, HJG settled in and relaxed to sounds of his dad's labored breathing and snot-rocketing. There were water stations, but I didn't utilize them. I watched my Garmin and felt pretty good about my times despite the human obstacles.

My splits were 9:43, 9:19, 9:58(river rocks, sharp turns and a HILL), and 9:06. Total distance was 3.25 miles. Lot's of others racers were reporting similar distances. One really boring runner reported almost 3.5 miles, but he took some wrong turns at the end and did some doubling back (beer obviously trumps orange cones and race volunteers frantically waving their arms). I think he ended up in 16th place overall. Adam was standing with my wife after he finished and they spotted me from across the lake, which only means that Adam is twice as fast as me.
I finished the race but didn't have time to spend with friends because the boy had been through enough Tempe BS, and was hungry. That leads me to announce my new all-time favorite post-race meal: Pita Jungle's Spicy Mango Shrimp. That hit the spot!

Not to complain too much, because it was a pretty fun event with lots of food, drink, and lively atmosphere, but the traffic was busy, the course was not the normal Phoenix metro flat and fast, and the 5K was measured out seemingly by two teenagers who have never heard of a kilometer.

"We measure, measure, measure and check our book for metric conversions. We'll give them an extra K for their 5K!"
My bet is that next year, they will have the course smoothed out and will be ready for a bigger crowd. I like evening races, love running near water, and since there aren't too many races that have both in Phoenix, I will most likely work the Tempe Arbor Day 5+K into my annual rotation.

Foam Rolling

This is a gratuitous blog is devoted to the importance of foam rolling while exploiting the cuteness of my 2.5 year old. This Pro-Tec foam roller (about $25) was purchased at Runner's Den in Phoenix, winner of the 2010 Brooks national running shoe sales contest. Lauren helped me select the stick. She is one of their most helpful and knowledgeable staff members and a speedy runner out on the race course. The stick works wonders after a workout to relieve soreness and help muscles recover. This isn't discussed very much, but it is also great at helping to warm up and loosen muscles before a race or workout.
Now Harrison usually doesn't put in too many miles, but he knows that foam rolling is a discipline and it will pay off big time as he grows up and starts to whip his dad's fanny in local 5K's. Here he shows the proper grip on the roller.

Roll slowly and evenly to 'just' the pain threshold. The idea is to apply pressure to the sore areas in a massage. Everyone has a different level of acceptable pain, and you will find yours quickly.

Slow and even...

That's the stuff! Big time thumbs up to Foam rolling --my calves and itbs would never survive without it!

Do you like contests that are fun, competitive, have a huge prize potential? Let me know of any because I do too. If you are into boring contests, here is a nice one that is geared towards runners: