Icy, back-breaky run

Notes:  Saw Michael, just entering the PRT from Lakeshore Drive and chatted or a bit.  He saw that I was wearing my new (last year’s ‘new’) Sharks beanie and asked about it.  Turns out he’s a big Sharks fan.  We discussed the last three games and how well we think Wilson is doing with the team (not great).  Felt bad, but I had to cut off our conversation so that I could catch my train.  Cool guy, that Michael.

On this run, there were a couple of comical slips on an icy road.  Even I chuckled.  But I wasn’t laughing on Slip Three.  My left foot lost it’s…footing (seems redundant) and in order to avoid anything that would integrate my skin with asphalt, I flung my right arm up, wildly (sort of funny, I guess) and stabilized.  But not before really messing with my back.  Somehow, this motion, which wouldn’t have done a thing in my twenties, aged me another three years in less than two seconds.  I run for my health.  *cough*

Not a bad run, anyway.  Slow, because of my chat with Michael, plus took some cool pics.

A cold light.

You can see the steam coming off of my back porch light. Cold.

Location:  North boat harbor drive to the lake
Miles:  5
Time:  6:33 am
Pace:  0:9:51 with all of the breaks/0:8:30 without
Temp:  A comfortable 25 degrees when I left
Weather:  Overcast, beautiful,
People I saw:  Michael, Angela and Nichole (way up the road)



Beautiful Utah Lake


For some reason, I find snow on these docks to be beautiful.


A vile, hateful buoy, which is still showing signs of life. Would like to see it destroyed. You know why.

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Four miles with Ryan and Barry. (It was bollocks, FYI)



Was very happy to see Barry show up for this run.  His attendance was in doubt, due to some things I read in a group text (above).

The run went well, but I always prefer going toward the lake (west).  However, I have to admit, I really enjoy seeing new places and shaking things up, too.

When they finally release Run an Empire, I’ll probably venture out more, for the sake of taking more territory.  It’s like Settlers of Catan (I’ve heard; never played), so it’s the kind of thing where you can claim territory by running it out and back, or by encompassing it.  This is an idea that I had a couple of years ago, but never knew what to do with it.  From what I’ve seen, these guys have really nailed down some great stuff.  I look forward to playing it.  I’m guessing that several other, similar ideas will come from this.

Today’s Run
Location:  Provo River Trail (east)
Miles:  4.1
Time:  0:39:02
Pace:  0:9:26
Temp:  25 degrees
Weather:  Overcast.  Almost felt like snow could fall.
People I saw:  Didn’t see anyone I knew.  No runners.  A couple walkers.



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25 degrees, but still cold…

Just kidding.  I’m just trying to get my mind into the spirit of the season.  I know that it has to get to at least 15 degrees, before I start talking about how cold it is.  Otherwise, I’ll be miserable at 25 degrees.

So it was cold.  But once I get going, I seem to be able to hold my own.

Mile 1, 0:8:26:  It was cold and I was slow.  It takes longer to warm up in the winter.  Almost a mile before I feel that I’m able to get my stride underneath me.

Mile 2, 0:7:47:  This was better.  I tried to pay attention to my surroundings, to appreciate the river next to me and the yellow leaves on my path.  Didn’t feel comfortable, but was able to keep the pace.

Mile 3, 0:7:53:  I hit the turnaround at the Lake’s park gate and knew that it was going to be a struggle to keep this up.  Kept thinking of how I’m going to get a 0:7:30 pace for Thanksgiving’s Turkey Trot.  Not sure I can.  It’s going to have to be a great day.

Mile 4, 0:7:53:  This wasn’t too much easier.  Once I hit around mile 3 or 4, I can finally read my watch’s display without turning on its light.  Very difficult to keep track of my pace, when the trees keep throwing off the GPS.  I’m just going to have to learn to run a lot of this by feel.

Mile 5, 0:7:35:  I was really pushing it, on the fifth mile.  Struggled to keep my pace as I went up the little hill that takes you off of the path and onto Lakeshore Drive.  Managed to get a little faster on the last 1/2 mile, but it was pretty desperate.  Finished strong.

I have some work to do.

Location:  Provo River Trail
Miles:  5.2
Time:  6:30 am
Pace:  0:7:54
Temp:  25 degrees
Weather:  Clear and cold
People I saw:  Nichole and Angela

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A windy, hammy run

So my hamstring hurts.  Like, a ‘6’.  I can run with it, but I have to be careful, take short strides, run slower, etc.  This is due to not strengthening properly, allowing my body to heal and running a blistering 1/2 marathon on Saturday.

Today, when I ran, I started with a 0:9:10 first mile.  It was slow and uncomfortable.  After this, things felt better.

The wind was out and this was one of the colder runs of the fall.  I tucked my hands into my long-shirt sleeves and was grateful to get on the Provo River Trail, where trees tend to blog the worst of weather.

Each mile was successfully faster (not on purpose; just warming up, I think) and I guess I felt pretty decent for two days after my 1/2.

1st mile:  0:9:10
2nd mile:  0:9:04
3rd mile:  0:8:49
4th mile:  0:8:36

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An option for handling my left hamstring issue

Start here.

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The SaltAir 1/2 marathon, or “My last race as a 30-something…”


I wonder how much longer it’ll take, before my daughters catch on to the fact that everyone who finishes these races gets a medal. They actually think I’m winning stuff. It’s nice.

I have to admit:  I’m getting a little burned out.  Today was the third weekend in a row of racing.  On the 25 of October, I ran the Howloween 1/2 marathon.  Last Saturday I ran a 10k that gained 2700 ft in elevation.  Then I ran back down that hill to get my 13 miles.  Today I ran the SaltAir 1/2 marathon.  Today was particularly nerve-racking for me…

It turns out that my brother in law, Lynn, has parents.  It also turns out that his parents live within 8 miles of the Salt Air 1/2 start, in Magna.  Therefore, I stayed with Lynn at his parent’s home, last night.  We watched some of Steve Martin’s All of Me, before we both fell asleep.

Waking up, I almost immediately ate my traditional race breakfast- a banana.  I didn’t have the foresight to have a bagel and cream cheese, which makes an excellent source of fuel for my weekend races.

Once I arrived at the race start, I ran a bit, did some sprints and tried to pretend I was an elite.  I even lined up toward the front so that I wouldn’t get stuck in the back of the pack.  I’m getting more gutsy in my almost-old age.

When the race started, my watch reported that I was going 0:7:15’s…so I slowed down to a 0:7:30 and waited to start slowing down.  But in the first four miles, I managed a 0:7:30, 0:7:35, 0:7:40, 0:7:28…so around a 0:7:35 avg. for the first third of the race.  I found the pace group for 1:40:00 and tucked in.

I started to wonder if I’d gone out too fast.  I felt good, but sometimes how I feel can be deceiving.  I concentrated on not letting little things slow me down, like side aches, ITB tightness and nausea.

For the next five miles, I managed:  0:7:43, 0:7:43, 0:7:43 and 0:7:48, 0:7:39.

At mile 10, I felt like I was getting tired, so I had to concentrate even more on keeping my pace.  Mile 10 produced a 0:7:40 split.  Not bad.  I couldn’t seem to keep my pace down in the 0:7:30-0:7:35’s, anymore.  Those days were over.  I had to accept a slower gear, so I just hanged on for as long as I could, which resulted in 0:7:43, 0:7:55, 0:7:46 for the last three miles.  It felt like disaster.  The mind is a powerful thing, but it cannot overcome poor training, nutrition, or weather.

Try as I might, I could not keep my legs turning over at a higher rate.  I watched my 1:40:00 pace group slip away.  If you haven’t earned it, you can’t cash it in.  I have work to do.  Today I proved that I’ve been running my five mile daily loop, too slow.  I need to be running at about an 0:8:00 to 0:8:15 pace, for anything under 10 miles in training.  I think that if I can run one speed workout at 0:7:30, for fives miles, once a week, I’ll be able to nail down a 1:38:00 or less 1/2 marathon.

Aside from the home-grown Turkey Trot, this year, this is probably my last paid race for the year…the last race in my 30’s…I’ve accomplished much.  So much more to do…

It’s going to be a busy winter…


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Moonrise over Y Mountain


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The Howloween 1/2 Marathon, parts one (the run) and two (the purge)

This report is one of three in a series that I should call, “Why we don’t race three weekends in a row”.

Earlier in the year I kept seeing discounted race invites in my email.  So I kept signing up.  Last night, I hit the first of three consecutive weekend races:  The Howloween 1/2.

4 pm:  I drove over to the Provo Towne Center Mall parking lot and found a small cluster of people.  This would be a small race.  Only two hours earlier, I drove my family around part of the course and noticed there were no aid stations anywhere to be seen.  I mentioned this to Wendy and some of my concern.

5:45 pm:  Went for a 1/2 mile, slow jog, to get a little warmed up.  There was only one other guy on the road, warming up- in a Where’s Waldo outfit.  Halloween.

6 pm + miles 1-3:  We line up and receive an explanation for why money won’t be awarded after the race- the race director’s bank account was charged with fraudulent expenses and he had to work for hours, today, to get it resolved.  A countdown begins at 10 and then we are off.  I immediately throw out anything I’ve learned over the last year and try to keep a 0:7:40 pace for a few miles.  Of course this will backfire.  But I ignore wisdom and go for it.  Why not PR? (The answer is upcoming.)

Miles 4-7:  It was actually kind of fun running down Geneva and toward my house.  I felt a bit comforted, knowing every inch of this road, because it was getting dark.  When we turned down 1390 North, there was a slight elevation drop, plus I could actually see my family up ahead.  So I yelled out “Roxie!  Reagan!  Lucy!”  Immediately I heard some shrieks and my kids started cheering.  It was really cute.  Chris Tubbs was with my family and I think he asked me how I felt.  I can’t remember what I said, but it was typical of Chris/Nathan banter.  It would be the highlight of my run.  My wife cheered me off and I was gone.  Running by the girls’ school and our church was fun.  It’s not often you get to race through your neighborhood.

As I ran down Lakeshore, I thought of the many times that I’ve passed through the area on a run.  It’s very comforting to be familiar with an area when racing (for me).  It feels like there won’t be any surprises and that you’ve already proven that this is doable.  At some point, I overheard a couple of guys wondering where they would turn next.  I told them that the light at the end of the road was their turn (North Boat Harbor Drive).  I’ve run on this stretch hundreds of times.

It was somewhere around this time that I wished I’d brought a light or worn a glowstick.  It was very dark and it was incumbent upon the runners to stay safe.  Then we turned left onto Center Street.  Somewhere on this mile I’d started running with two other guys.  One was dressed in a Kiss outfit (his name was Will).  He complained that his makeup was running (should have been funny at the time, but I don’t think that either of us got his unintended joke.)  He had a friend with him.  For the next few miles we would take turns leading and pushing.  I imagine that this is sort of what it’s like being an elite racer- except that you’re running much, much faster and, preferably, sans-Kiss costume.

I forgot to mention a critical mistake.  At some point down by the lake’s entrance, I hit up an aid station for a Gu-like product.  It was lemony and tasted ok, but would possibly prove my undoing (along with going out too fast for the first few miles.)

Miles 8-10:  I am strong.  I am fast.  I feel fine.  I am still running with my friends.

Miles 11-13.1:  Hmm…my stomach hurts a bit.  I’ll just keep pushing.  Huh.  I have no energy.  I’ll keep pushing.  It’ll work itself out.  (It won’t.)

I crashed at mile 11.5.  Just flat out fell apart.  The wheels came off.  The wings ripped off.  Ran out of gas.  Fell of a cliff- whatever.

From here on, it was all about just keeping my feel moving.  I kept thinking, over and over, that this was a 1/2 marathon and nothing to fall apart over.  But I was.  I watched as my pace went from a 0:7:50, down to a 0:9:30 as I crawled across the finish.  I even walked for a few seconds.  It was like I’d never trained for this (or run St George only weeks earlier.)

I gratefully crossed the finish and immediately started to feel worse.  As I drove home, I could feel things going bad.  My stomach hurt.  My brain was fried.  When I finally reached home, Wendy and I ordered some food from Wingnutz (one of my favs) and then Wendy left to go pick it up.

The Purge

At some point I fed Jackson.  At another point I ended up in the bathroom, on the floor, pleading for the sweet, sweet release of death.  It was bad.

I ended up falling asleep in my bedroom, not touching the food that Wendy brought home.  It was bad.

I don’t know what went wrong.  Was it that Gu-like substance that I didn’t take with water (a no-no)?  Was it just a bad race?  But it really wasn’t horrible, because I ended up with a third fastest time in the 1/2 marathon.  I don’t know.  I just want to put it behind me, concentrate on my next race (an uphill 10k) and get ready for the SaltAir 1/2 in two weeks.  Hopefully I can be smarter in the future.

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A run to the moon and back


So…this is out there, on the BST.

This morning, I knew I needed to run some trail and get some hills.  So off to the BST I go.  I drove over to the Y trailhead and started off, nervous that this was going to really hurt.

Almost immediately, hills were happening.  Steep, steep hills.  Stuff that I just don’t deal with on a daily basis (also, yearly basis).  Which, I’ve decided, needs to change.  I didn’t attack the hill.  I just let it come to me, as I took small, patient steps, aware of my left hamstring.  I just don’t have hill legs, right now, so it’s smart to just respect the elevation gains and drops.

After about .75 miles, things settled down and it was more of rolling hills for a while.  It felt good, the changing of speed that comes on these types of trails.  I spent some time as I’d chug uphill, wondering how elites handle these hills.  Do they slow down or charge them?  I’ll have to ask around.


I brought these shoes out of retirement, when I realized I had bought the wrong size Lone Peak 1.5’s, a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait to truly retire these poor things. They must have over 500 miles on them. Bonus: Awesome socks.

As I hit the halfway point turnaround, I noticed that I was thirsty.  On most five mile runs, I don’t need water until I get home.  But this run exerted much more from me and I actually felt like I could have gone for a drink.  Alas, no water on the BST, unless you bring it.

There was a point in the last mile of this run, where I actually stood at the top of that hill that I had to hike and wondered how to get down.  Should I walk down, slightly off the path, where there was vegetation that could give me a bit of traction in my already-worn-down Altra Instincts?  That didn’t seem right.  I thought about trying to just sort of skid down, hands out for balance.  I was definitely in the wrong shoes.  I finally decided to just try to run it out.  It’s a big lesson.  This is why people run hills, I’ve decided.  They are a blast, sort of unpredictable, and require a lot of concentration.  When my new Altra Lone Peak 1.5’s come in, next week, I’ll try this run again.

Aftermath:  Bruising of feet, from improper shoes, sore calves, sore everything.  Will be frequenting the trail, more often.

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First run with all four of my children


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