I Just Signed Up for My First 50k. I am Not a Smart Person.

Sep 09

I Just Signed Up for My First 50k. I am Not a Smart Person.

Jason the BFG has gotten into trail running this past season. He’s been on a running roll all year, really — last October, he ran a 2:57 at the Portland Marathon and qualified for Boston, and in the past year he’s podiumed at a few small trail races. He ran his first 50k, Chuckanut, in the spring, and in July he tackled his first ever 50-miler, the White River 50. So as he continues to enjoy tackling the trails, his efforts to bully me into going trail running with him have increased noticeably. This morning, Jas egged me on to sign up for my first 50k, the Orcas Island race on February 1, 2014. I plunked down the money to register and forgot about it somewhat until it dawned on me that I should check out the actual course description and terrain for this race. So I did. And here’s what I saw: I’ve been reacting like this pretty much ever since I looked at the course and read that it will be the “hardest version of the course” since it used to be 55k years ago: I’ve made a huge...

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The Ironman Suicide Pact

Aug 27

The Ironman Suicide Pact

A friend and teammate of mine just posted on Facebook that she signed up for her first Ironman-distance triathlon, Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Along with the Active.com registration link, she included an appropriate first-timer reaction of “Oh. My. God. What have I done!?” and warned another teammate of ours that she better not let her down because our teammate was planning to sign up for Coeur d’Alene, too. This, my friends, is the classic Ironman Suicide Pact. I’m a big supporter of the Ironman Suicide Pact. In 2009, when I drove up to Penticton to spectate Ironman Canada and nervously sign up for next year’s race, I took solace in the fact that my friend was planning to sign up with me so we could suffer through the next year together. Unfortunately, after she saw one of our teammates stumble across the finish line directly into the medical tent, she got nervous and backed out of the Suicide Pact until the following year. I was left standing in line next to Jason with my credit card in one hand and my heart in my throat, wondering who the hell I would train with for this ridiculous athletic feat. Of course, I had plenty of teammates to train with and┬ásurvived my first Ironman, but still, there’s some weird comfort in taking the plunge with a buddy by your side, someone who you feel is equally crazy as you are and willing to chalk up the decision to fork over several hundred dollars to propel your body 140.6 miles to temporary insanity. You form a special bond with the folks you sign up with and train with over several months. In 2011, I made another Ironman Suicide Pact with some of my teammates and finished my second Ironman a year later, scrapes, contusions, concussions, and all. I’ve sat on the sidelines this season and will watch 2013 pass by without having pulled on my wetsuit or gotten to the start line of a triathlon all year. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m happy for the time off — I needed to get my work life in order and focus on restoring a happy work/exercise/personal life balance that would recharge my mental health....

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I Hate 5ks

Jul 25

I Hate 5ks

After threatening to sign up for three or four different marathons since last fall, I finally pulled the trigger and plunked down the registration fee for the Tunnel Lite Marathon September 15th. It’s a point-to-point with a net elevation loss, so pretty easy-peasy as far as marathon courses go. My running volume lately has thus increased as Coach T has started prepping me to haul my chubby ass 26.2 miles. Fitness-wise (and weight-wise) I’m still not where I was last season, but at least now I have a race to train for. My return to a regular training schedule got my coach’s seamless, sweat-wicking undies in a twist and she excitedly instructed me to find two 10ks to run as part of my marathon training. July has been a hectic month for me — Jason and I traveled to a wedding in Philadelphia earlier this month, plus he’s racing his first 50 mile ultramarathon this weekend — so I only had a couple weekends free to find a potential race. After informing Teresa of my dilemma, she said I could find a 5k to run this month and a 10k in August. Crap. 5ks suck for one reason: they hurt. If you’re intent on doing a 5k as a fun run, that’s fine, 3.1 miles is a fine distance for a walk or a jog or a combination of the two. But if your coach wants you to “race” the 5k, you’re essentially tasked with sprinting the entire distance and are a half-burp away from horking up one or both lungs at any given moment. There’s nothing “aerobic” about a 5k. From the moment you take off to the moment you cross the finish line, you feel like you’re going to die. Another reason I don’t like 5ks is because my SALS (Stumpy Asian Leg Syndrome) don’t make me much of a sprinter. I always tell people that I’m built for duration. I’m not terribly fast, but when you stretch out the distance long enough, my sheer stubbornness pushes me to maintain a somewhat decent pace until I manage to finish. For short distances, however, I’m no Usain Bolt. Whenever we do sprint work at track, teammates who I’m...

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Why the Snohomish River Run Was (Probably) Awesome

Nov 06

Why the Snohomish River Run Was (Probably) Awesome

So in my last post I talked about how I was going to do the Snohomish River Run 10k to get back into the “hey, I should probably do some regular workouts” swing of things. Well, the race was October 27th and I missed it because I wasn’t feeling well. I’ve had a stint of “not feeling well, feeling a little better, not feeling well again” yo-yo-ing for the past couple weeks. It’s been pretty suckalicious and has dragged me further down into the post-Ironman depression dugout. But since I feel bad about not running the 10k after saying I would, I’m going to highlight why the race was probably pretty awesome. 1. The finishers were all bad-ass. I saw how pooptastic the weather was that morning (pouring rain, which is different than the standard “weak sneeze of a Seattle misting” we usually get) and think it’s pretty impressive that people still got out there to run despite the chilly temps and soaking wet conditions. 2. The awards were pretty cool. I’m a fan of races that give out unique prizes instead of the token “yaay, you did pretty well” medal. The Snohomish River Run hooked the race winners up with some nice-looking mugs: Pretty neat–I love it when smaller races go the extra mile (no pun intended) to provide a unique experience for the athletes. 3. Everyone PR’d and got free cupcakes that tasted awesome but had zero calories. I’m 90% sure that happened, I just wasn’t there to experience it firsthand. If you did the race, let me know how it went. I’m sorry I missed out and am trying to get out of this post-Ironman trip to Funkytown, so any kicks in the butt would be greatly...

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Slowly Getting Back into the Swing of Things with the Snohomish River Run

Oct 22

Slowly Getting Back into the Swing of Things with the Snohomish River Run

I’ve been trying to get back into training after Ironman Canada, but it’s been slow and infrequent. First I had to heal up from my Ironman Canada crash, and after that I’ve struggled with juggling my workouts with a demanding work schedule and the fact that Borderlands 2 came out, turning me into a gaming couch potato whenever I have a free moment. But now that I’m bigger, slower, and more lethargic, I figured it’s time to get off my ass and commit to training once again. The first thing on my schedule: the Snohomish River Run. The race is this Saturday, October 27th, at Rotary Park in Everett. There’s a 10k and a half marathon option available, but since I haven’t been running a whole lot lately, I’m just doing the 10k. I haven’t run an official 10k before but I imagine that it’s a pretty crappy distance–if the amount of misery I feel when running a 5k is any indication, the 10k should feel not-quite-as-shitty but over a longer distance. My stumpy legs and I are no good at these short-to-mid distance races. I’m all about duration: the longer you stretch out a race, the less mediocre I am thanks to sheer stubbornness. So yeah, I’m running the 10k on Saturday. I’m not going into the event with an “OMG gotta race this” mentality; I’ll likely just treat it as a training run since I’m planning to do either the Phoenix Rock ‘n Roll Marathon or the Arizona IMS Marathon this January or February. My goal at that point is to try and qualify for Boston since Jason qualified at the Portland Marathon a couple weeks ago (that way, when we travel to the race in 2014, I’ll be able to run it too instead of standing on the sidelines inhaling donuts like I did in Portland…which, admittedly, wasn’t a bad way to spend my morning, but it did make me feel like a guilty fat-ass). The Snohomish River Run is sold out, unfortunately, but if you’ve already registered and plan on running this weekend, hopefully I’ll see you there and will avoid collapsing before the race is over, gasping and asking for someone to bring me...

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