Posts Tagged ‘Boise’

I hadn’t run a 5k race since the same event last year, and hadn’t raced a distance shorter than a half-marathon since June. I have been training steadily and with purpose, for 4 months now following the McCall Trailrunning Classic, and have managed to stay healthy running six days a week. The bulk of my training mileage is very slow; my goal is to keep my cadence up (over 175 steps/minute) and my heart rate in zone 1 or zone 2 (50-70% of heart rate reserve).  This works out to roughly a 10 – 11 minute per mile pace. I am only doing speedwork every two weeks or so, and most of those runs are lactate threshold runs near my 10k pace (8m:20s/mile).

All of that prologue is just a really long-winded way to say that I haven’t run fast in a long time. I was actually starting to miss it, and I looked forward to this race to see if I had gotten faster even while not training for speed.

My strategy was to run the first mile strong, take it slightly easier for the second mile, and then close out strong, with a finishing kick for the last 400 meters. I think I nailed it – I had so much energy left for the finishing kick that I actually surprised myself a bit.

Mile 1 – 7m:30s
Mile 2 – 7m:39s
Mile 3 – 7m:17s
Last 400m – 1m:23s (5m:32s/mile pace) (more…)


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Very happy news to report: I’m “back” from my calf injury! Lots of foam rolling, stretching, and rest did the trick, and I was able to start training  again about a week and a half ago.  Just in time, too, (more…)

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I really wanted to write something long and poetic about this race, but it’s just not there.  I’ve stalled on writing it for far too long, though.  This race was in October, and it’s January for crying out loud! So I’m going to just get this out there. I’m sure I’ll get lengthy and poetic on something else, later.

It was an important race for me, a milestone of sorts. After my first two half-marathons didn’t go so well, this became my goal race for the season, and it went really, really, well.  I have decided that I’ll never catch the euphoria of the experience in words.  So with less pressure on, here’s what happened:

  • The weather was nice and cool: high 30s at race start, low 40s  at race end, partly sunny, and a light wind.
  • I met some buddies from my running meetup group before the race and exchanged mutual support, but I resolved to run this one on my own, and in my own head.
  • The race was medium sized and well-organized.
  • My food/bathroom strategy before the race, and my fueling strategy during the race (shot bloks every half mile from 6-12.5) worked really well. No gastric distress on the race course!
  • Tapering before the race paid off in a big way, and I got stronger through the first 5 miles.
  • There was a big climb at mile 6, and while I took it easy on the climb, I passed a whole bunch of people there for a morale boost.
  • Miles 7, 8, and 9 were gently downhill and the race had spread out quite a bit at that point. It was just a matter of keeping the feet going and grabbing a shot blok regularly. I started getting less hungry here.
  • Miles 10 and 11 were the hardest. I knew I was close to making it in under my stretch goal time of 2 hours, but never saw the 11 mile sign and was doubting myself- plus I was starting to feel like my legs didn’t have much left.
  • Once I saw the sign for mile 12, I knew I had it and ran sub 8 through the end of the race. Seeing that sign was like flipping a switch.
  • I ran the final 200 yards fast enough that my wife didn’t recognize me (moving too fast, can’t be him!)- but who wants to finish with anything left in the tank, right?
  • We had a FANTASTIC breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausage, and coffee afterwards at the Griddle, one of the best breakfast places in town.
  • Somehow, finishing a half-marathon under 2 hours makes me feel like all the training was worth it, and that I’m progressing adequately as a runner. I am looking forward to my next goal race, and seeing where my running can go from here.

Here are the race results:

2013 City of Trees Half Marathon (10/13/2013)
Chip Time: 1:56:49.2
Age Group (30-39M) 38/87
Gender Place: 117/267
Overall Place: 181/716

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I haven’t done a goals post since the beginning of 2012! That one was focused almost entirely on home brewing. This one will be a bit more broad. Our little family has been through lots of changes since then- many of which I could never have predicted.  Though life is never predictable, it’s a nice excercise to lay out your expectations. It’s always interesting to look back and see where you are, vs where you thought you’d be.  Let’s start, shall we? I started this post with an overwhelmingly positive attitude and a whole sheaf full of goals for running, outdoors activity, homebrewing, and family life in the new year.  Then I strained a calf muscle running, and I’m forced to re-evaluate.  I suppose this is healthy.  Prior to my injury, running goals were at the top of my list of priorities. Perhaps now is a good time to step back and figure out where some other things fit it.

Lets break it down for 2014:

Family Life

The wifelette and I are expecting a new addition to the family around the end of March! We will get to refresh ourselves on the joys of raising a new baby and all the sleep deprivation that goes with it.  We are a little nervous, and a lot excited. That change will drive the rest of our priorities for the year. At this point, a swing and a bassinet have been purchased, and the crib is assembled.  The room is painted a lovely shade of lavender.  I’m working to repaint Wifelette’s old dresser sparkling white, and then we’ll be ready (as we can be) for the little one to show up! Anyone have a good story on how adding a second kid changed things? We’ve been practicing man-to-man defense.

Home Brewing

So… I made two beers in all of 2013.  Running ended up taking precedence over all of my brewing, especially once I started dedicating myself to long runs on the weekends.  This year I’m looking for more balance.  We have nearly settled completely into the new house, so it’s time to get the equipment out and make some beer! Goals for 2014:

1. Replace all of my tubing and cold-side plastic gear. I’m blaming old tubing and plastic for fouling my last beer, a hefeweizen that never tasted right. Replacements are on the way!

2. Brew a beer for the new baby’s arrival.  Not for the baby, of course, but for mom and dad! Perhaps a repeat of the B^4 Baby Bailey Belgian Blonde?

3. Brew at least once a quarter.  That should help me stay in practice, and have something nice to drink regularly. I missed homebrew a lot last year.

4. Enter a local contest. I had good luck with contests back in North Carolina, and It would give me something to shoot for.

5. Stretch goals- improve my mash tun to achieve 10-gallon capacity, and start kegging.

Any advice on work-life-brewing balance?


Lets not tie this up with the injury discussion; you can read all of my whining about my bum leg on twitter. I am hopeful that I can still accomplish my major running goals.  If this injury is truly a grade one calf strain, I should be back in business in 2-4 weeks. Strikethroughs used to show what’s being dropped or moved.

1. April 19th. Run The Race To Robie Creek, the toughest race in the northwest. There. It’s in writing.  If I can get in, I’m running up and over Aldape summit in April. I understand that registration can be tough because so many want to enter, but I’m hopeful.

2. January 18th. Run the Wilson Creek Frozen 10.8 mi Trail Race. Seems like a nutty fun thing to brag about, and a good way to stay in shape for Robie Creek. Cancelled due to injury. Sigh.

3. March 1st. The Les Bois 10k Trail Run. This was my first race in Idaho last year, and my first sub-1hr 10k. It’s a tough course, but if I get back on the training horse in February, I could come close to my personal record for the distance. It will be my checkpoint to see how ready I am for Robie.

4. Train seriously for Robie during the 7 weeks between March 1 and April 19th.

5. May 24th. Take revenge on the High Desert Trail Run Half Marathon.

6. Run something fun and new. Perhaps the Sun Valley Half Marathon on June 7th, or the River of No Return 25k on June 21st?

7. August 31st. Actually make it to the Payette Lake Run 30k. I cancelled last year due to lack of training from an extended fire season. Perhaps I can make it this year. If I do, it will be my first race longer than half-marathon distance.

8. October 5th. Barber to Boise.  This should be a great, fun 10k that I can walk to from the house. I didn’t do it last year because I was aiming at the City of Trees half-marathon.

9. Ski for cross-training. I have moved to a place with a real winter climate and big mountains that catch plenty of snow. On to of that, wifelette got me Nordic skiing lessons for Christmas! I’m going to take advantage and enjoy the winter outdoor sports.

10. DON’T GET INJURED (again). Enough said.

That’s enough running to get me back around to the holiday season. I will probably also work in some things that don’t have dates yet, like the Ash Dash 10k, once they get scheduled. How far in advance do you plan your running and racing schedule?

After reading through all this, I’m excited. Also, I may be certifiably insane. But I figure, as long as I’m focused on living a full life, instead of focused on being “busy”- things will work out right. Happy New Year, friends.  May you be happy, and full!

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My December running was dominated by STREAKING! Ok, no, not THAT kind of streaking.  I decided to participate in the Runners World magazine Run Streak.  You can read about it here.  A run streak just means running at least one mile every day, day after day. No rest days, days off, cross training days, etc.  Simple, right? I had been lacking some motivation, having finished my training cycle for the City of Trees half-marathon, and did not have another serious race in sight until the Race for Robie Creek in April. Completing a streak from Thanksgiving to New Years gave some purpose to my running and made it a bit easier (mentally) to run regularly during the holidays. I basically replaced true rest days with very slow 1 mile days. (more…)

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So…yeah. My 5k race from yesterday is going to beat my half-marathon from October into recap form. Of course, that’s because the half was a longer race and I have more to say about it.

Since it had been a full year since I last ran a 5k distance, this race served as a benchmark for me. My previous best time in the 5k was 27:24- and I obliterated that time this go-round with a mark of 23:54! Apparently all of my time training for half-marathons paid off here, too, and I’ve dropped my 5k pace to 7:41/mile.  I couldn’t be happier! In November of 2011, I was a couch potato with fading memories of being in shape. Two years later, and I’m in the top 20% for my age group! Very cool. More on the race below.


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Happy March! Racing season has started in Boise!

In the depths of January I sat looking at this computer screen, searching for something that would make the frozen winter easier to bear. I found… the Les Bois 10k Trail Race, which promised a run in the Boise Foothills close to home, and 600 feet of elevation gain over an out-and-back course. I signed up and paid my registration fee before I could think better of it. The race packet came with some future race info, biofreeze pain-relieving gel sampler, an organic lemon bar (Lärabar, anyone?) and a race-branded technical fabric t-shirt. Cool!


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