Sunday, October 3, 2010

What happened to RunBend?

First off, my apologies to the 13 "followers" of this blog who have courageously posted their profiles on this site. I had no intention of depriving you from blog posts for the past four months. Quite simply, my life has created few events interesting enough to post. The Dirty Second Half however has provided material to at least bring a pulse back to this seemingly lifeless blog.

The second annual Dirty Second Half was run yesterday here in Bend. As I viewed the entry list the day before the race, there was some hope for a top finish as many of the local fast guys hadn't signed up. As is always the case though, come race day somebody fast shows up. This year that honor was shared by Mario Mendoza and Daniel Shaw. As I headed for the starting line, I caught a glimpse of Mario warming up and knew second place would be my new goal. Katie and I then saw a fast looking guy decked out in Brooks attire, and figured I would now be fighting just to stay on the podium.

Sure enough, when the gun sounded, the Brooks guy, aka Daniel Shaw, took off around a 5 min pace closely followed by Mario. After a 1/4 mile or so, I secured third place and watched the two gradually distance themselves from me. Behind me was a pack of 4 or 5 runners, including Sean Meissner who continued to hurl insults my way. I figured a semi-hard effort on the initial hill would distance myself from the cacophony of Sean and so put in a little surge. Sure enough, within minutes I had only the sounds of my heavy breathing to contend with.

The course gradually climbs for the first seven miles before turning around and descending. I found myself enjoying the climb in my new Inov8 190s. The shoes felt light, responsive and had excellent traction. Mario and Daniel were no longer in sight, and I wasn't being pressed from behind. This allowed me to run at my own pace and relax. Around mile 5 however, I developed a tightness in my left glute that stuck with me throughout the race but fortunately didn't worsen.

The race became interesting around mile 7, when several of us put in a little extra distance. After knocking down a gel and taking in some water, I continued up the forest service road, only to see Mario and Daniel heading back my way. I figured there was an out and back, however as they approached, they informed me they were lost. The three of us headed back down to the aid station and picked up the pack of 4 or 5 runners behind me who had also gone the wrong way. We all eventually found the single track and began our descent. In the end, the mishap really made no difference for the overall placement although our times looked a bit slow. Mario figured he added 11 minutes, I added about 5-6 minutes and the other group added a few minutes.

The single track descent on this course was fun. There were several ups to keep you honest. Around mile 12 there was a steep, quad busting climb that was enjoyable. It was fun to finish zipping around the 7th Mountain Resort buildings. As always, SuperDave had a stellar grub set-up at the end.

I'm just now becoming motivated again towards training. For the past several weeks I've been clipping along in the 40-50 mile per week range. I'm hoping to get 60-70's in over the next month in preparation for Lithia Loop trail marathon in early November. If I can stay motivated, I'll continue training through the new year and run the Redding marathon in January. I still need to run a 2:40 marathon before I turn 41 in order to maintain my goal of 2 hours plus my age each year. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"On your left" - Dirty Half Recap

If you are looking for a fitness reality check, run the Dirty Half marathon. There was no fooling mother fitness this year for me. Once again the race itself was pulled off flawlessly. The weather was perfect. This year also incorporated USATF prize money for the National Trail 1/2 Marathon Championship. The only thing missing this year, was my legs.

The race began per norm with the shotgun firing. How old is that kid getting anyway? The usual suspects were gathered up front, with a few new faces from west of the mountains. My strategy was to run controlled for the first mile, push, but not too hard ascending the canyon, recover on the cinder road, then blaze the final 7 miles to the finish. Unfortunately the only part of my strategy that worked was the first controlled mile. As we started ascending the canyon, there was a very fast group out front with Max, Mario and a couple of Eugene guys, twins I think. There were a few scattered bodies following them, then a group of two ahead of me. I was closely followed by Chris Manfredi and some others. About half way up the canyon I made a small surge to catch up with Damon Kluck and ran with him through mile three. At the aid station, Damon stepped aside and let me lead. We ran the next two miles a bit slower than we should have, but I was hoping to save something for the downhill. As we entered out onto the cinder road, several of us were strung along. Up ahead was Mike Olsen, who looked terrible. I gave him a quick atta boy on the way by, figuring he would be looking for the next available bike or car ride back. I saw Andy and Katie who informed me Paul Parsons was 1:10 ahead of me for the master's title.

At that point I actually felt like I could start to push it a bit. My next mile, which might have been short, was a 5:48. I felt the pace was good and figured I could keep it up for the remainder. After Damon and I hit the next mile at a 6:20 pace with the same effort, I knew something was wrong. Damon kindly offered to pull for awhile, which seemed like a good idea. Within 45 seconds however, I was dropped. That's when the onslaught of "on your lefts" began. To my surprise, one of the "on your lefts" was no other than a resurrected Mike Olsen.
Now I'm definitely not a chauvinist, but I do have a thing about getting chicked. I just don't like it. I generally can find some extra energy to avoid it, but today had nothing. Around mile 8, two women went cruising by me, pouring salt in my ever gaping wounds. Funny thing is, I didn't have any desire to go with them. Threw in the towel, just like that. I guess that's how it goes when you are 40.

I jaunted along for another couple miles before being passed again on the mile 10 uphill. Not certain who it was but just before he passed me I heard a loud thud behind me. That awful sound of dead weight striking the earth. I stopped briefly, hoping for a split second he would need medical, which would give me an opportunity to gracefully bail from the race. Instead, I watched him rise to his feet, shake the dirt off and blow by me without a problem. I looked back and didn't see any more people to let by, and figured I had my spot. I knew catching Paul was out of the question, now it was a matter of finishing the race.

The last two miles are never fun. They're even worse when someone is reeling you in like Chris Manfredi was doing to me. I caught a brief glimpse of him through the woods around mile 11.5. I didn't know who it was, but I could feel my energy being sucked out of me. I had about a 10-20 second lead on him going into the last mile, which has a gradual uphill. I finally said to myself, no more. I wasn't going to let anyone else pass me. I found a little hidden energy and surged just a bit. It was enough to hold him off. As I approached the outhouse I came upon a suffering Damon Kluck, who once again popped. I cruised past the finish line in an unofficial 1:23:17. A mere 13 minutes after the leaders and 5 minutes slower than last year. I think Time2Race was having some issues with their new timing system. I know when I saw my result posted they had me at 1:23:28, which is a bit off. Regardless, it was my slowest time since 2004 when I ran a 1:37, finishing only seconds before my wife.

So, overall this was a rather rude welcoming to my 40's. I knew I wasn't fit going in and unfortunately I couldn't fake it. I can only hope it gets better from here.

Side notes: Props to Max King for the new course record, which has yet to officially post but should be 1:10:50 something. Also props to my sister-in-law Jeannie Mikalson who has not run a competitive race for at least 7 years and 4 pregnancies. Today she ran a 1:49 and change, which is very impressive on this course. Also congrats to Ron Deems and Dave Webster for joining the sub 1:30 club. Those guys both have worked really hard and it's nice to see it pay off. Also want to congratulate Paul Parsons for winning the master's title. I believe this was his first Dirty Half and he ran it well. Finally, both Kari Strang and Jen Roberts ran gutsy races and finished in 1:44 and 1:45 respectively. Great job to both.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sharman and Semick Blitz South Africa

Congrats to Bendites Ian Sharman and Kami Semick for rocking the Comrades Marathon today. I watched the livestream video until midnight or so at which time Ian's live results put him around 305th place overall and Kami 4th for the women. There was an occasional video shot of Kami, who looked her usual strong self. I figured she would at least hold her position. I awoke this AM and was happy to see Kami did hold onto 4th, finishing in 6:32:55. I think it calculates to around a 7:02/mi pace. I was absolutely floored to see that Sharman picked off 281 runners while I was sleeping, to finish 24th overall in 6:01:13! I calculated his pace to be around a 6:28/mi. I didn't see many non-African names ahead of him. He beat the likes of Michael Wardian (6:02:36) and both he and Kami crushed Josh Cox (6:51:29), who must have had an off day. I'm very impressed with both runners. Awesome run!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

All Time Dirty Halfers

Just a mere 4 weeks of training left to get your Dirty Half legs rolling. Below is a list of the All-Time Top 10 Dirty Halfers. Could this be the year to get your name on the list? Good Luck.

Top 10 Men-Open
1. Andy Martin 1:13:37 (07)
2. Max King 1:14:22 (06)
3. Dylan Mason 1:15:00 (06)
4. Dylan Mason 1:15:49 (05)
5. Andy Martin 1:16:36 (05)
6. Santi Ocariz 1:17:08 (09)
7. Sean Rivers 1:17:21 (05)
8. Brett Kimble 1:17:26 (06)
9. Dylan Mason 1:17:58 (07)
10 Jeff Caba 1:18:00 (09) Sweet!

Top 10 Women-Open
1. Lisa Nye 1:25:08 (08)
2. Katie Caba 1:25:27 (09)
3. Katie Caba 1:27:37 (08)
4. Lisa Nye 1:27:40 (07)
5. Pam Bradbury 1:28:19 (08)
6. Pam Bradbury 1:28:49 (06)
7. Sunny Gilbert 1:28:58 (08)
8. Kami Semick 1:29:35 (07)
9. Evelyn Dong 1:29:56 (07)
10 Erica Johnson 1:30:02 (07)

Top 10 Men- Masters
1. Mark Ryan 1:22:14 (08)
2. Brian Gingerich 1:23:08 (08)
3. Kevin Hutchins 1:23:19 (09)
4. James Nelson 1:23:57 (04)
5. Tim Monaco 1:24:25 (07)
6. James Nelson 1:24:35 (08)
7. Brian Gingerich 1:24:44 (07)
8. Joel Vergona 1:25:03 (05)
9. Jim Bendis 1:25:04 (05)
10 JC Callans 1:25:06 (09)

Top 10 Women- Masters
1. Kami Semick 1:29:35 (07)
2. Dru Carpenter 1:33:17 (07)
3. Dru Carpenter 1:34:26 (06)
4. Shelly Tozer 1:35:44 (04)
5. Terry Sheasby 1:36:36 (05)
6. Dru Carpenter 1:37:28 (08)
7. Julie Downing 1:38:59 (08)
8. Chris Vergona 1:39:05 (08)
9. Amy Peterson 1:39:38 (09)
10. Terry Sheasby 1:39:51 (03)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

American 10k Record goes down.

I know this video has been circulating, but if you haven't watched it, I suggest you sit back, grab a cup of coffe and enjoy. It takes less than 27 minutes. If you are short on time, fast forward to the last mile.

M 10k F01 (**AR 26:59, 2010 Payton Jordan) 10k 2010 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on Flotrack

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hall, Keflezighi, Deems, Webster

Two big time races over the past two days. American heroes abound. For those who didn't pay to watch the Boston Marathon, it was...strange. Fortunately Andy "Deep Pockets"Martin threw down the $5 cash and brought his computer to my house this AM so we could view it. Like last year, Ryan Hall charged off the line to lead the main pack through the first 8+ miles while the rest of the pack was happy to let him take on the wind and coasted behind him. Merga, last year's winner, then threw down a 4:35 mile and Hall was suddenly dropped, barely visible on the screen. Within two miles he came charging back and took the lead. The other fast guys once again strolled behind his wind shield, running comfortably for several miles. Once they hit the hills around mile 18 or so, Robert Cheruiyot and Merga separated themselves from the pack. It then became a two man race, with Cheruiyot eventually outclassing Merga. Cheruiyot went on to run a course record of 2:05:52 and bounced around the finish area like he was ready to run it again. Merga was overtaken by Kebede, who finished second. Out of nowhere, a resurrected Ryan Hall then again entered the screen and was kicking hard, rapidly closing the gap on Merga for third. Merga had just enough at the end to finish in 3rd, two seconds ahead of Hall. Meb Keflezighi then came charging down the home stretch for 5th. Pretty sweet, 4th and 5th for USA.
DEEMS (Blogger Picture) VS WEBSTER
As sweet as Boston was, it was nothing compared to the Light of Hope 5k. While I couldn't get the live feed on my computer, I did check the results to see who took home top honors. While there was no surprise with Mike Olsen taking first overall, admittedly there was, well, shock seeing Ron Deems and Dave Webster as second and third overall. Looks like it was a battle! Way to go old guy masters! There's a new rivalry in town.
As for me, well I knocked down two maple bars and three cups of coffee during the marathon this AM. I then limped out a 5 mile run and am now eating again. Pretty typical training for me. I should be ready for barbeque season soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Tele when you can Alpine ski?

If you haven't noticed, this is slowly becoming a ski blog. That's what injury will do to a man. Two weeks ago I entered my fourth decade of life. I had been counting down this date in anticipation of becoming a "masters" runner and climbing back onto the spot if all played out to my plan. Instead, I haven't run more than 10 miles per week and am now attempting yet another rehabilitation modality with Active Release Therapy. Matter of fact, I have my second session today with Mark DeJohn. Anyhow, by great fortune, winter decided to hit the Cascades right around my birthday. Due to the influence of my wife, who practically begged me to get rid of my 1980's rear entry boots and $15 skis, I received a new setup of K2 Obsethed skis and Salomon X310 CS boots for my birthday. The kid who sold them to me described it as a "sick" setup, so I assume it's good. Anyhow, the skis have easily taken 20 years off my skiing age. Feel like I'm back in college again. Two weeks ago I had a "dad's" sense of pride skiing with my antiquated stuff, but So, because of my inherent guilt, I had to buy Katie some fat skis. I was able to justify it as her early birthday present. She wound up with the Volkl Kiku's. We just returned from the mountain today and had an absolute blast. So, both of us now are contemplating temporary retirement from running and transitioning into full time ski bums. Shouldn't be that tough for me. I already have the affinity for beer and laziness. Might be a little more difficult on my wife, but I'll work on her. Hopefully with the end of ski season, this phase too will pass. I'm sure at some point we'll be back out running the trails, but for now, well, this is pretty fun.