Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 SYTO 5K Virtual Race Report

Time: 29:18 pace 9:27
Location: Sedona Arizona High School track (Home of the Scorpions)
My witness
I really wanted to be down in Phoenix for the 2nd annual Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K to ensure that Adam is not cheating and is fully clothed run with friends, but this vacation is too necessary for my health and sanity. So I decided to run it virtually along with many of the other thousands of participants. We got up early and headed over to the track. I didn't know if it would be open and the backup plan was to run the race on the trails just to the West of where we are staying. The crime rate in Sedona must be low because the entire field was wide open. There was plenty for Harrison to do while I huffed around in circles. He played in the sand pits, jumped on the mats, and spray painted "Fuck you Principal Skinner" on the front door of the school.

The temperature was about 75 or 80 degrees when I started and the track is new, cushiony, and otherwise yields no excuses.
stretch like this daddy

We stretched a bit and then I started. I ran the first mile at just under 9 minutes, the second at a plodding 9:45, the third somewhere in between, and the final .1 at about 8:00. There was nobody else on the track. The salient question is, "Did I Sweat?" Yes indeed. I always sweat and today was no exception. I have to say that I hope I never have to run a race on a track again. It was really boring, and I had to consult the Garmin to check distance because I have trouble counting to 12. Not much else to report for this race, so here are some gratuitous photos of my 3.5 year old.

Thanks Adam and everyone else who helped organize this event (Lauren, were you the cornstarch girl again?). 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Challenging Technical Climb

I went out this morning to attempt the summit of a local Sedona peak. I wanted to attempt this rigorous climb without all the spikes, ropes, oxygen, and other apparatus that separates novice climbers from pros like myself. The name of the mountain?
Teacup, as in K2 Teacup
Th entire route was about 3.5 miles, and most of it was spent gaping at the scenery. In addition to the Teacup trail, I navigated the daunting Sugarloaf path. There is almost no one out there early, and the trail was mostly in the shade. These trails meander up and down and there is a spike to the summit that takes about ten minutes at an easy climb. The views are spectacular of course. I ran some, walked some, and stopped to pick some magic mushrooms to slip into Harrison's juice.
summit views

coffee pot
You really can't lose your way; there are cairns about every 30-40 feet that look like this:
If you still insist on losing your way, then go die quietly away from the trail where you won't bother the rest of us. This trail kinda reminded me of Southeast Utah: lot's of red dirt, rocky trails, slickrock runoffs, and Mormon girls showing their ankles to passing hikers.
I was thinking about using this route for the SYTO 5K this Saturday, but there is also a track down the road. Hmmmmm, flat, measured and fenced from predators vs. hilly/rocky and possibly Grizzlies........

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Vacation (?)

We drove up to the Sedona house on Sunday for couple of weeks, and Norman the dog finally decided that his neck problem needed to manifest itself in a big way. He looked like Stallone and Mike Tyson teamed up to pummel his jaw. He was so swollen and infected in his neck area that the vet said he would only have lived another three days or so.
Someone please fill this radar dish with hotdogs.


We submitted him to their surgical care and they found foreign objects lodged in his tonsil area. He chews on everything so it wasn't a total surprise. One of the objects was a piece of blue plastic and the other two were barbed seeds of some sort. They installed drainage tubes for the abscess and packed the area with antiseptic. So that has kind of thrown a damper on things but he is on heavy duty antibiotics now and is mending rapidly. The vet said that he is not allowed to run, jump, splash, or do anything else you would normally do her in the northern AZ area (he is already trying to do all of those things and trying to yank out his tubes and stitches). Crap. There are really beautiful trails that start out right at the top of our street. If you ever need a vet in Sedona, we have a great one.
from the patio

Coffee Pot in the distance

some crappy weeds that I need to get poisoned and bulldozed

Feeeeeeeeeeeel the crystals glowing in your vortex (twss)

I'll go out tomorrow and take some photos from a runner's perspective. Everything here is super hilly so the Garmin will have some elevation recording to do, and I'll be running the SYTO 5K from here on Saturday so there will not be a 5K PR this weekend, but I will be running it at temps 15 degrees cooler than Phx! Who cares about that because we all know Adam is going to win his precious little race again because Adam always gets whatever Adam wants! My route will incorporate some roads and some trails and did I say hills?? At elevation??? Enough excuses, you get the idea.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Accelerade Review

That's the culprit on the left
I bought a canister of Accelerade sports recovery powder and have now had 5 RTP servings. Yuckity yuckfuckingyuck it tastes awful. I have the lemon lime flavor and I mix a half scoop into about 32 oz's of water which is about 4 times diluted. I can't even imagine full strength. When I run, I sweat like Klinger on a Texas rooftop, and like the idea of replacing salts in my system, but I am hesitant to take salt pills. I'm not sure if I sweat enough to warrant the pills. This powder gives me one more excuse to drink water so that's my option.

Here is the nutritional information which you can also read without the aid of a telescope on the website:
Quite a bit of sugar, but it's definitely offset by the Potassium and Sodium, and the sugars miiiiiight be the 'good kind of sugar'. Magnesium isn't listed but somehow you get 30%. Someone in the know can hopefully supply a better analysis.

And now the nitty gritty:
It kinda tastes like when you chew a vitamin. No no.... it kinda tastes like when you fill your mouth with tempera paint powder and then chew a vitamin. No wait, I have it now. It tastes like when you chew a vitamin and chase it with tempera paint and then bite either end off of a pigeon embryo. Yes, that's it! Maybe not that bad, but without a doubt you are not drinking Gatorade. Hopefully someone else can give better information about the nutrition. For instance, is sucrose a bad thing? It's the first ingredient listed. WTF is sucrose? I know it's table sugar, but is that bad? They include yellow and blue food dyes to make that green color most people associate with Martian squeezings. Do I feel better and more recovered after I drink it? Who the hell knows. I usually drink quite a bit of water and then coffee after a morning run, and sometimes a coconut water or choc milk after an especially long run. This stuff might be helping, but I'm not sure. The can cost $23 which comes out to about 38 cents per serving if you are following the 1 scoop per 12 ounce suggestion. With the RTP dillution, it comes out to about 8 to 10 cents per serving which should please some of the cheapskate runners out there.

Overall RTP Rating:

Fig Newton = it's good for you and tastes ok, but who really wants it? Survival food.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A New Age Bracket

I turned 45 on Monday. Yep, 6/6/66. Now I'm in this 45-49 age bracket which is full of mid-life crisis-enduring speed demons intent on retaining/regaining their youth of 20 years ago *. Thankfully this is a passing phase and most men move on into acceptance by about age 73 or 74. And this cohort conveniently lies on the boundary where a fast race time equals an assured 'fountain of youth' return to a time when everything looked like a Prefontaine movie, while a plodding ass-strained limp through mile two of a community 5K fun run can be tossed away with a casual, "All these kids with their flashy smiles and bandanas!! I couldn't get a rhythm going and the damn music is melting my ears!"
Seattle's Prefontaine Building. Thanks for nothing Google!
I'll tell you what else has been melting some ears - the sound of me yelling "I'm rich!!" Generous relatives sent me $150 in Roadrunner Sports gift cards. I think they want me to run myself into the ground so I'll stop impregnating Maria. I perused merchandise obsessively online, then headed over yesterday to claim my looty. Within a few minutes of entering the store, I figured out that they do not carry nearly as much stuff in the store as they advertise online, and the employees are hopelessly tuned to the beginning runner. Samples of parlay (as overheard)....
"you have a slight pronation on the left that is causing you to push that foot further out as you run. It may result in strained running and injury. I recommend these pronation-reducing inserts" Hey Dr. Scholl, stop screwing around with people!  or check out this priceless bon mot "I've been running nearly three years so I decided to get a job here and eventually run in my first marathon"

My salesperson received free one on one coaching by yours truly: I helped her locate the Scape sunscreen, identify its purpose, and discern that there is no difference except there are two types of packaging. I also helped her understand that the lip balm is not a child-sized sunscreen container, but meant to be applied to the area that surrounds a persons bubble gum hole. She then showed me the two racks that hold visors. I patiently showed her that one rack holds nothing but full hats while the other is reserved for the visors. I didn't see the Asics visor that was advertised on the website, so I asked her, and she said that she was pretty sure Asics only makes shoes. I met up with Suzanne right then (she was buying winter close-out stuff) and the sales person wandered away, I'm sure she went to read Teen Beat or Twitter or some such crap. I found an RRS visor, some RRS shorts, and settled on the el cheapo Nathan 10 oz handheld. It was between that one and the Fuel Belt, and have you seen the Fuel Belt 10 oz? POS. So is the Nathan, but the gift cards were burning my ass and triggering all my purchase peptides. I also got 6 packs of Gu, some running socks, some Accelerade and went past the $150 mark without breathing hard. I had to put back the Salt Stick tabs because I was over my limit. Holy batshit running stuff is expensive.

So tomorrow morning is ARR Summer Series race #2 on what looks like a flat course as seen on satellite. My PR for a 5K is 27:30, but it was run at the FYTO 5K in January. There were several things wrong with that race:  Garmin only measured 3.03 miles, it was Directed and WON by Adam, my calf blew up in the last quarter mile, and Adam was the Director and WON the fucking race. So tomorrow I want to try for a sub 27:00 which is 8:41/mile. I'm going to try a warm up 3/4 mile pre-race, and also be a bit more awake than usual for the first mile (coffee and race atmosphere). I want to hold 8:50 for the first two miles and drop the hammer in mile three. I've prepped today by only eating hint-o-lime Tostidos( I would pay extra for Tostidos that were dripping with lime powder. Don't you just love that one chip in the bag that got stuck on the conveyor belt and was sprayed with lime chemical for 45 minutes? I want a whole bag of those!) and drinking expired Cytomax. I also pinned my race bib with only three pins a la Nitmos (2 diagonal and one smack in the middle, all three under the shirt ninja-style!!!), and I'll sleep in the park tonight a la Runlaur. If none of that works, then I'll claim my social security and refuse to vote for anything that doesn't directly benefit my senior living community.

* To be fair, it is also almost exclusively comprised of men and women who have been running most of their lives and have worked hard to get to this level. Almost all of the people out running at 6:30am in sanctioned races are serious runners.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What Time Is It?

Those bells remind me of....
Cupcakes. There are three times for me to run: When I want to run, when I don't want to run, and 5:15 am. My brain thinks about running differently at different times of the day, and if I listen to my brain, all kinds of trouble comes my way. So I need to run when I can, and the most open time of day is early morning. It's optimal for weather, open schedule, and empty streets. It is not optimal for mental preparation. All I want to do at 5am is sip coffee, watch SportsCenter, and critically review yesterday's Daily Mile submissions (No effing way could Adam have run that fast!!). My brain craves running at around 2:30 in the afternoon and again at about 8pm. Neither of those times ever fit into my schedule. I go out early anyway and feel fine after about ten minutes of learning how to run all over again.

This year, I set a goal to run with a partner and/or group. Suzanne has been meeting me for most of the morning runs. We used to run almost the same and she was edging ahead of me on just over half of the runs, but lately she has been plagued by cardio, calvio, and other legio problems. Plus I have been pushing myself a bit and I'm faster than I was 6 months ago. The past few mornings, we have started at my driveway, but I pull away after the first half mile of warm up and run at my pace. I finish a few minutes ahead of her which gives me a chance to pee in her gas tank get water and pop a nitro pill. Afterwards we talk about gardening and European economics (will their outdated shadow pricing policy ever come around to the 21st century? Dirty-footed peasants!) So while we don't trot along together at a 7 minute pace chatting like Paris and Nicole, we do retain our commitment and accountability - and that is partner running. Running with a group has not happened consistently, though we have gone out a few times with the Runners Den group. They go out each Saturday at 6:00am and run in a variety of distances and pace groups. Good times, and I'm going to go with them more often.

This summer we plan to stay around Phoenix most of the time with one vacation planned to the metaphysical crystaline hills of Sedona. We got a great deal on a house up there (eff R double E), so there will be a couple of weeks of creekside runs with Norman the dog (and others from the valley who invite themselves up) and some cooler weather. The rest of the time will be spent trying to force the geometry of our office/computer room into a nursery. Baby girl coming in August and we still don't have a name picked out. I like Nitmos, but Maria wants to 'keep thinking about it'. The nursery is little room in an already little house, and I'm not sure how we are going to make it work without me setting up camping gear in the back yard.

I enter the 45-49 age bracket Monday which means increased head-shaking shame when looking at race results. Those guys are fast. There are almost always 3-4 guys from that bracket in the top five, and usually many more in the top 20. Inspiring!

Are you signed up for the SYTO 5K? Get your info in to Adam, we need some fast runners this year to replace the current champ. There will be shared loot giveaways for those who show up in person and a heck of a good time!