Thursday, June 30, 2011

Any plans for the 4th?

That seems to be the popular question for making small talk around the office these last few days. Either that or “Are you doing anything fun for the 4th?” I’m running the Breckenridge Independence Day 10k so I thought I was doing something fun for the 4th, but then I started trying to explain it to people: “I’m getting up stupid early to run with 300 other people up a single file trail that rises from 9,600 feet to 10,400 feet before coming back down again.” It doesn’t sound like something I’d normally describe as fun, but maybe my sales pitch just needs a little work. Those endorphins must be powerful things to make us do the things we do.

Candis and I ran this race last year and I really enjoyed it, Candis not so much. That explains why she’s sleeping in this July 4th and I’m running it by myself. I have no idea how fast I’ll be able to run it since it’s a tough course and last year Candis and I took it pretty easy, even walking through some of the steep climbs. I think I’ll be happy with anything under 60 minutes.

So, what about all of you? Are you doing anything fun for the 4th are you running a race?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

These shoes don’t need no alibi!

Somehow someone at Saucony thought it would be a good idea to send me a pair of their Saucony Hattori shoes to review. I guess they thought this would be a good marketing opportunity. They must have missed the fact that I post about as frequently as a bear poops during hibernation and the fact that most of my posts are riddled with sarcasm and scat humor, or maybe they’re just into that kind of thing. Since I’m not one to turn down a free pair of shoes, I agreed.

I missed the part of the e-mail where they told me that these were minimalist shoes and also the part where they told me that the shoes were hideous. I used to have a pair of water shoes that I wore to the beach when I was a kid that looked just like these and every time I see pictures of myself wearing them I cringe. As you can see from the picture the shoes don’t have laces they use Velcro to attach themselves to your feet. That would be really cool if I needed to get them on quickly for an emergency, like if my boat was sinking over a rocky seabed but even then I’d probably still look around to see if I could borrow a pair of my wife’s shoes first. (Full disclosure: I do not own a boat.)

I’m probably not a great test subject for these kind of shoes because I really like my running shoes to correct my over-pronation. I like the motion control, the stability and the heel cushioning that my current shoes provide and I like to feel the reverberations crash up my leg as my heel strikes the pavement first. It just feels right. I guess I’m not much of a minimalist. In fact I’d go so far as to say that I’m a maximalist; it’s the American way! I want a bigger house, a faster car, more money and bigger shoes that do more for me. More is always better! (Notable exceptions: bikinis and cavities.)

Nevertheless, I wanted to give Saucony a fair shake and try the shoes because despite the tone of this post I really do like Saucony. Naturally, before running in minimalist shoes for the first time I wanted to take some precautions so I made sure to go run when I thought the fewest amount of people would be around to see me in these disastrously ugly shoes. I also took my dog with me so that anyone that did see me would look at the cute dog and not notice my ugly, ugly shoes. Initially I felt like I was coming down hard on my heel but that went away after only a quarter mile. I went 4 miles and felt fairly confident that I hadn’t changed my stride too drastically but for the next couple of days my calves were screaming so I had obviously been compensating.

While I’m not a fan of the shoes or of minimalist running in general I am a fan of strengthening my calves so I’ll probably continue to take short sporadic runs in the Saucony Hattori shoes, but mostly after dark when no one’s around to see me.

If you’re looking for a good review of these shoes by someone who is actually a minimalist you should check out

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bolder Boulder Race Pictures!

You know what’s a good idea for your blog when you don’t feel like writing? Pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Pictures take up more space than words so they make the post seem fuller. Also, they are colorful and shiny and they distract readers with short attention spans. Should you be offended that I just suggested you have a short attention span? Probab... Look PICTURES!!

That guy in green is waving goodbye to me because that’s the last he’d ever see of me.

Sprinting, yes SPRINTING to the finish!

Congratulating the guy that SPRINTED with me.

Candis sprinting to the finish. (Lowercase ‘sprinting’ because she’s not as fast as I am… or as boastful.)

That guy in orange is directly behind Candis in so very many of Candis’s race pictures. Why I oughta’…

There’s also video of me finishing at this link here (6 seconds in, right side of the screen). It must have been slowed down so runners could pick themselves out because I know I was running faster than that, especially at the end when I was SPRINTING. I think it’s pretty cool that they’re showing that video in slo mo.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Pants, I Wear Them

Bolder Boulder 10k Race Report
Let’s get straight to the point. I’m still the top dog in this house. I’m still the hombre that wears the pants around here. I’m still the one calling the shots. I’m the lead dog, the head honcho, the big kahuna, the top banana, numero uno. When it comes to the Bolder Boulder I still finish before my wife, and yes I like to think that the clarification at the start of this sentence was necessary.

On Memorial Day weekend Candis and I ran the Bolder Boulder 10k in 57:07 and 53:28 respectively. For Candis it was a disappointing time, though still the second best time she’s posted in a 10k. For me it was a major relief, and coincidentally my second best time in a 10k. (Side note: I’m going to start using the term P2B to represent a Personal 2nd Best and I’m going to celebrate P2Bs with the same gusto that I normally reserve for PRs. After all, this is a sport in which we hand out finisher medals and that’s basically just the same as a participation medal. Maybe I’ll eventually start celebrating P3Bs and P4Bs too because that’s the kind of inspirational go-getter that I am!)

The Race
I pulled ahead of Candis in the early stages of the first mile and told myself that I would not turn and look back for her. The entire race I imagined that she was just a few paces behind me waiting to make her move but I didn’t want Candis to think that I was worried even though that’s the only thing that was keeping me going. Whenever I started to tire or slow down I imagined Candis surging past me and I found that visualization exercise to be quite motivational. In fact, I may make Candis run behind me in all my races from now on.

It wasn’t until I crossed the 6 mile mark and headed down into Folsom Field that I began to feel confident that Candis wasn’t going to catch me. I sprinted to the finish weaving in and out of slower runners until some guy accepted my challenge and we sped towards the tape, matching each other stride for stride. We crossed the line in a tie and gave each other a congratulatory handshake, and when I say that we tied I say that the same way a guy who’s just been dumped by the woman he loves says that the decision to end the relationship was mutual. I think in both situations you can probably read between the lines and see what happened but the classy thing to do is just agree with the guy that it was mutual. We finished the race mutually.

Finally, here is the updated chart of our times over the years. This is more for my enjoyment than anything else.