Sunday, October 30, 2011

run like hell

great name for a race right? i liked it. it's meant to invoke fear of running from zombies, the theme costume for this year. it could also have meant how people literally ran, like hell. heel strikers galor. so many marshmallow shoes. bad form everywhere. i didn't even notice one pair of vff nor any other minimalist shoe. then again, i started at the VERY back.

i did pass one lady "speed" walking. she had her arms swinging far across her body with her forearms parallel to the ground. she was swinging her legs so far out in front of her she could have touched her toes with her heel on the ground. it was a horrific site. she made it her mission to tell me how i was going to destroy my feet. she kept yelling at me as i passed and once again when she was headed to the turn around. i told her my feet are fine. she kept yelling. i played nice instead of going back after her. it does no good to scream at a brick wall so why waste my energy? i was having a good time and some battles aren't worth fighting.

now that i got that part off my chest, rewind to the beginning. My friend Jen posted about running this race so she could dress up like a zombie. her and her husband would be doing it and she wanted other bf'ers to go with. i signed up as well as our friend Daniel. other people apparently went from the BRS, barefoot runners society, but for one reason or another didn't meet up with us. i'll tell anyone now who wants to find us at a race. if you don't see us before the start then you'll find us at the finish near the beer garden and if they don't have one then we bring our own beer.

i never go for a run until i finish my morning business. it took me a while this morning for some reason. it's usually two and good but this morning was i think twice more. so i got downtown a little later than i wanted. oh, this was my first road race and it was through downtown portland, near the waterfront and touching into the nw part. i parked in a my boss' parking lot since she didn't need it. the race organization recommended public transportation and carpooling saying there would be limited parking there. so i parked over a mile away only to see there was a lot of parking even closer. oh well because it was a great warm up for me. like i said i was running late so i had to run to the start, after i fixed my huaraches. it seems the knots on both luna sandals wore off at the same time. no biggie. just a five minute fix.

i was calling Daniel to let him know i would be there. we both agreed to meet in front of the bathroom. see above. when i looked for him i knew the race was about to start so i went to the bag check to drop off my backpack and clothes so i could run in "costume". i think only the tweeners got my costume. i believe i heard some girls get it right like twice. not sure but i'll stick with that number. i told myself i would run around screaming for Bella but i never did. i'm a bit shy, sober that is. i tried to emulate Jacob, from "Twilight", but as my little girl reminded me, i'm too fat, old, and hairy to look like him. doh! oh, i'm also not dark enough. damn. oh well i still did it.

when i came out of the bathroom and got into "costume" i couldn't see Daniel. i knew the race was starting as they kept announcing it. i headed toward the start and before i crossed the street the horn blew.  i didn't really panic. starting in the middle slows everything down. i ran down the side towards the front as far as i could. i didn't see him so i headed to the back. it put me nearly two minutes behind the starting gun to cross the start line.

Daniel and i were the only ones running the 10k so Jen said she's try to find us after since she did the 5k which started a half hour after. when Dan and i finished we went to the end and the 5k was still running so we stepped in the middle and found Jen and David. they had great zombie costumes. David had a baby eating his brains if you can't figure it out.

so where was i? oh yes, racing. i have recently bought a garmin forerunner 405cx so that i can use the hrm, heart rate monitor. i want to do some MAF training. if you don't know, look up Phil Maffetone. he developed a great way to build your aerobic capacity by training with a hrm. according to my zone, my aerobic fitness sucks. i wasn't supposed to race according to the training. i was planning on a different costume so i could run the race with my hrm but i swear the news said it was going to rain so i changed costumes for one better suited to running in the rain, which i love. going as Jacob i couldn't wear the hrm so i decided to run as close as i could to my zone and only pick it up if i feel i should. i ran the first 4 miles at my max zone and then picked it up quite a bit.

i was questioned by a few people. congratulated by others. harassed by the one lady. heckled by one mom pushing a stroller. only thing was i gave her back more than she bargained for. she was funny but i kept hitting home runs off of everything she threw at me. don't ask me to repeat because remember, i was at the beer garden after and had my share as well as other's free beers. yes, two free beers per racer and not everyone drinks. lucky me. if that women was faster i would have loved to stay with her. she was funny and her friend was hot. i tried to talk to the hot one after the race but she shied away from me. c'est la vie.

i felt great through the run and somewhere around mile two i felt something on my left pinkie toe. i looked later and i got a big blood blister. i was able to adjust my form and ran comfortably. it's made me aware that i land on the very outside of my left foot and roll in and that's what caused the blister. i had never run more than four miles bf on pavement but i think i did well. like i said at mile 4 i had decided to pick up the pace and felt great. i usually race on the trails and always go out too fast. i end up chugging along the middle and finish at a leisurely pace. this time i did it different and i'm glad i did.

my friend's wife had posted on fb that she was doing the 5k. i had planned on looking for her after. my buddy saw me cruise to the finish line and has a picture of me from behind. he had no idea i was there, or at least was unprepared to see me. if he ever gets me the pic i'll post it. he said i was booking even though i felt like i was just coasting. hung out with them after the race also. he also took one of me with a guy dressed like a spartan who ran the half marathon with a heavy ass shield. couldn't believe he did that. and people think bf'ers are crazy. oh well. at least Jen got this pic of me with officer Dangle.

i saw many costumes during the 10k. i made fun of gumby. he said he was fine in that thing. i laughed at a guy in a dog suit. many zombies including this group here. we kept passing each other until mile 4 where i left them behind. i was kind of annoyed but one girl was hot. she had an amazing ass so i kept my mouth shut and just tried to follow her. sadly, she wasn't in this pic taken by the local big paper. there were quite a few fine asses there. i'm going to do more road races for sure since there are more women there than at trail races. i think the stats at the end had twice as many women as men. love those odds.

i ended up finishing the race in 1:06:23. not fast but i finished strong. i'm happy with the results as my energy was great the whole run. i never slowed. didn't hit the wall. i could've sprinted to the finish if i wanted but there were so many people walking to and after the finish line i just took it easy. they gave me an official pace of 10:41 m/m. i had to have started at about 13 m/m then picked it up to 9 m/m. i came in at 968 out of 1425. slow, i know but i'm doing MAF training. not like i would have finished much faster if i had ran and i would have been wiped out from the effort. the way i ran left me feeling great.

since it was early, the day continued from there. took the kids, Jen, and another friend to a pumpkin patch. good times.

i can't forget to post some pics of Daniel. i laughed hard when i saw him. i looked for him when runners passed by me at the turn around. i was totally shocked when i saw his costume as it was a bit out of character for him. it's no wonder i didn't notice him. warning, the last shot is what was underneath the grass skirt. i laughed even harder when i noticed his speedo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tahoe Rim Trail

a few weeks ago i took a trip to Reno to vacation and visit my brother. i only had two weeks off between terms and i needed a good break. i believe i did my first post about how my plans were all changed because my girls were still in school when i got out. so i went alone.

i left my dog Mury with a friend. my brother's german shepherds scare the crap out of him, well, urine at least. he's squirted at least once when fat boy Bear growled at him. another time i watched Bear growl and Mury and he dropped like a fainting goat. i laughed so hard and still laugh when i talk about it. hell, i'm smiling and laughing now. it was something i will never forget. then there's River. she doesn't like anything that moves thats smaller than her. if it does she jumps on it to stop it. she has poor Mury petrified to move. i have to stop her so that he can get around. my brother thought it was funny once to pick my dog up and dangle him in front of River. it was but it terrified the little guy. he's so insecure i always to push him to be friendly with strangers and other dogs but he won't do it. so i left him instead of torturing him.

the problem for me to leave him behind is he's my running partner. i can always count on him. there's been maybe two to three times max when he didn't want to run with me. he's a stubborn little dog so he tries to get his way with me a lot. he will stop and not move until i either pull him or change directions. those few times i couldn't get him to move at all.

so i made do by running with the shepherds. the first day i took them both out while i was bf. no problem but i got a crack on the side of my left toe. it was a big crack. the skin was thickening up like a callous and split open like a muffin top. it didn't feel nor look too good. i ran the rest of the time with my huaraches on.

now came the next to last day in Reno. i had wanted to go see Tahoe and run there. supposed to be some beautiful trails. 168 miles to be exact. i didn't need that much. i found a stretch of 6 miles that would work out for me. the map description said it had a waterfall.

i knew to leave Bear at home. fat boy would just be too much for me on an unfamiliar trail. he likes to pull and if i went bf there's no way i could slow him down and enjoy my run. it was a good call. the trail was nice soft sand with lots of rocks on it. not too bad but with a 100 lb. beast pulling me and watching River as well, i couldn't do it. not alone at least and for this run i would be alone.

i found the parking lot that i needed for the trail. i started with my huaraches on. i met some people who were coming down the trail. they confirmed i was on the correct one. i took off the sandals and put them in my pocket. i then let River off leash and watched her run around. she had a blast. she is an amazing dog. one day i will get my brother to you tube a video he made of him training her. apparently everyone at the dog club stops to watch those two work since they are so insync and she is super athletic.

every chipmunk or bird she saw, she was off chasing it. she once took off some 50 yds downhill chasing something. i called her up to me and she just kept running along the hill. i was afraid i was going to have to call in for a rescue. lucky for me she came back up charging full speed. that was the only problem i had with her. whenever we came up to other people, even if they had a dog, she would stop immediately and stare at me. that's a damn good dog and hard to teach.

we made it to this beautiful waterfall where i made her go in and take a drink. now this is a really tiny stream. i'm used to seeing Multnomah falls. they are huge. this was like a garden hose in comparison. it worked though and was still a beautiful sight.

we went up the stone stairs and continued on the trail. about 3/4 of a mile we came to a fireroad. it looked like it went all the way back to the beginning. there was no way i was going to go down this bf for some 3 miles. it wasn't soft sand and it was littered with big rocks. we turned back instead and came back the way we came.

once at the car i went to the lake. it was huge. i mean really big. i didn't have all day to drive around since i was likely going to pick up my niece from school. i found a dock in the nearest town. River jumped in the water no prob. she loves to swim. i found a stick and was trying to teach her to jump off the end like they do on ESPN. she was scared! after a few tosses she was jumping by the end but not nearly what she's capable of.

i had had enough and was ready to go. i was bout to drive back to Reno and just get some IN n Out there but didn't make it. i was starving. i went slow and saw this little taco shop on the side of the road with some tables outside. mandatory when you have a dog with you. especially a beautiful one like River who someone might steal. she might bite them but she would be worth more than they could imagine.

once fed we drove back to the house. i didn't pick up my niece because, well, she's being a teenager. other than that it was a good day. Bear didn't even throw a fit when we got back. i thought he might attack River out of jealousy for being gone with me all day. thankfully he didn't.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Warrior Dash

this is three weeks late. like i said, i'm always late. it was three weeks ago today i made my way to my second consecutive year at the northwest warrior dash held at horning's hideout in north plains, OR. as much as i tried both years, no one wanted to run it with me. all too scared i guess of a little 3.2 mile run with military type obstacles, beer, music, women, free stuff, bbq turkey legs and lots of people.

the WD is just a huge party. it's not like any other race i've been to. there's not much competition going on here. there's a lot of out of shape people and everyone is looking to have a good time. there are many groups of people who go in matching costumes. (hint to whoever wants to do it next year). being a huge party with groups of people going alone last year, i didn't want to go alone again this year. i talked a friend into going with me. only stipulation was i had to stay the night at her place since she didn't have a car. i wouldn't ask her to take the bus that early, my heat was at 10am, and i didn't feel like driving so much. so i slept rather well on the floor with little mury at the bottom of the futon.

these are a couple of pics of the henna my friend was nice enough to do for me. it was a total fail. even though i slept with it on it didn't stain dark enough to see. i wanted everyone to know for sure that i indeed ran the WD bf. if i got questioned i just wanted to show of the henna and also promote the barefoot runners society.

so off we went. i stopped at my place to make myself my morning herbalife shake and drop off mury. i didn't want to and was upset that other people brought their dogs. damn, should've brought the little guy. next year. 

i wanted to get there early because when i went last year it took over an hour for me to get in and park. i missed my slot by two hours and ran it with no energy. this time i had it worked out better. so did the WD crew as when we left at noon there wasn't a traffic jam like the prior year. so in quickly and to the registration table. all i had to do was find a zip tie for my timing chip. i left my stuff with my friend and got into the chute.

i had planned on walking around or running a little so i could be properly warmed up for the race. oh well, can't follow through on every plan. at least i wasn't late. people were starting to notice that i was bf but no one was talking to me. too scared i guess. then the announcer starts picking on people in the crowd. first calling all of us crazy for coming out to run the course. then he picked on muscular guys, one in the front, about how he was going to burn out and get passed by all the women.

then he sees me and asks where's my shirt. stupid me just points to the crowd and say over there. later of course i realized i should have said "don't worry about it, it's too small for you." then the women next to me start yelling he's bf and he has no shoes on. the guy was like "what?" he asks "what are you doing without shoes?" then he walks to the timer's table and says "hey guys i'm going to go run a race without shoes." he's lucky i decided to keep my mouth shut. or am i? i had planned on saying, but didn't, "hey this is the WD so why would a REAL warrior need shoes?" sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all.

some guy in five fingers came up to me and started talking to me. i should've got his name and pushed the BRS but didn't. nerves, excitement must have gotten the better of me. i just stood there kind of swaying from side to side waiting for the heat to start. 

finally start it did. fire went off and the horn blew. off we went. i was in the middle to keep from being stuck behind so many out of shape people yet they managed to be in front anyhow. if you're out of shape, why are you starting a race at the front? just a few feet into the run i let out my battle cry. scared everyone. some guys says "there's the bf yeti." i just laughed. i may have said something but i can't remember every smart thing that comes out of my mouth.  

the course started out exactly the same as last year. going around with numerous hills. of course i got passed uphill by strong runners only to pass them on the downhill. that's a big advantage of being bf. going downhill is easy. you just have to relax and let go. i think it was here on one of the first sets of hills that i got passed by batman and the flash. both in their underwear and capes. funny.

we hit the water and from here i knew i had an advantage. no waterlogged shoes. the only thing i was worried about was getting out of the water. last year i ran with bikilas and was slipping. i had to crawl out because it was so muddy. that's why i picked an earlier time this year. less mud. i was right. i made it out easy and upright. last year this is where i lost all my adrenaline and had absolutely no energy left in me. i went too long without food and was pretty dead after hitting the water. a volunteer told me i should go take a break at the aide station and drink some water. of course i didn't and pushed on. this year i had planned it better so when i got out of the water i was able to keep my pace.

next obstacle was a two for one. tires, junk cars, then more tires. easy. i had no worries about broken glass cutting my feet. with people likely to slide over the cars there was no way they would leave sharp objects exposed. i was right. then it was a small stretch downhill. i zipped down and to the bridge. this is where i had my first energy drop. i start races too fast. i will learn to race better sometime in the future. on the other side of the bridge was the first water station. they had two since it was the hottest weekend predicted for the summer. this is where the volunteers started noticing me running bf.

a short flat stretch and then i hit the wall. no, a real wall with a rope to climb up it. it was easy. made it up in a second. getting down, that took me longer. i didn't want to drop and hurt myself. i think when i ran it last year and hurt my right ankle when i jumped in the water. as my ankle still hurts i wanted to make sure to not land on it. i made sure to take it easy coming off of each obstacle so that i didn't re injure or hurt something else.

i made it through a few more obstacles no problem. more volunteers and runners making comments. a few volunteers said "wow, bf, that's a real warrior!" i agreed. one guy called me crazy and i yelled out just a little. another girl who passed me uphill asked how my feet where holding up. i said "fine, how are your water logged shoes?" she laughed. i think i said something after that but can't remember. this is where i paid the price for the running i did earlier in the week.

i hadn't been running most of the summer because of advice from Michael Sandler and my foot. i had tried running a couple of time but my foot hurt so i stopped. with a week to go i decided to go for a run. my friends had wanted to do a 10k on labor day because it was on the stretch of wildwood that we always run. there was no way the three of us are going to allow a race on our trail and not be a part of it. so i took mury out on sunday and did a long slow run to see the course. it was all downhill. unfortunately for me, i went backwards this day and ran it uphill. nine miles. not too smart. killed my quads for the race the next day as well as the WD. i tried to run more to work out the legs but it didn't work. they were not cooperating.

i wound up walking the few uphills they through in at the end. last year they had one steep uphill at the end. this year there was more with different obstacles that were more challenging. they had a new one of staggered table tops. i blew right through those. then towards the end was some downhill. i had some kid right by me. we had been passing each other all throughout the race. he saw me land on a pine cone with my left foot and roll on it. i hit the ground with a flat foot and bent knee and kept on going. he said "nice recovery." thanks was all i replied. i should have said more but saved the smart ass remark for the wrong time. right around the corner there was a girl on the ground holding her ankle screaming. paramedics were on the way and volunteers surrounded her. it was then i made my comment which i realized as soon as i said it made me look like an ass. "that's why i don't wear shoes, always rolling my ankles." doh. wrong time Michael. too late.

then came the end. i hit the mud pit face first and pulled myself through on my elbows. it worked great. they warned us at the beginning not to dive or jump in as it wasn't deep. of course i didn't. i'm crazy, not stupid. so at the end i come right behind this girl who starts to climb out. i came up to her so fast i could only yell out "don't kick, don't kick my face." she looked back and i then had room to go to her right. the same announcer was here and he saw me again. he asked me what happened to my shirt. i just smiled at him and lifted my foot out of the mud. i don't think he saw it, at least not until i tried to get out of the mud. i have to say try because my lord this stuff was slick. i tried twice and just lid back down. then he noticed me and said " hey everybody, this guy just did the whole race bf! let's give it up for him!" the crowd went wild. i moved to the right edge of the mud pit and was able to get out. almost forgot to say he told me not to let the girl pass me. i'm thinking, why not? did you see her? what's wrong with getting passed by a woman who's in shape and beautiful? i see no downside, just a nice backside. much better that looking at some guy.

from here everyone slides out because it's so slick. i slid on my butt and i wound up on my back since bf don't have any traction in that slick of mud. i almost hit the girl who was about to kick me in the face. lucky she saw me coming and moved to the side. i felt like a fool here. i had no control. i got up once i hit the hay bale. i started running for the finish and slipped on my knee. everyone was in shock and i was just laughing, hard. it was funny. i ran the whole thing no problem only to slip right at the end where all the spectators were? doh! had to laugh.

i crossed the line and they put a medal around my neck. everyone gets one. they tried handing me bananas and water. i didn't want any of it. i was screaming asking for a knife. no was was answering. finally a woman asked me why. i showed her my zip tie on my ankle. my foot was going numb at the end of the race and i realized i put it on too tight. i wanted it cut off and she did. relief. 

i found my friend and she told me how long it took me. i was in doubt. i didn't want to believe it. i was in better shape than last year. there was no way it took me almost ten minutes longer. last year i did it in 29 mins and some change. this year was 38 mins and some change. aagghhh! oh well. i had killed my quads  and paid the price in the time. i later looked at the results online and saw that i was in the 16th percent. last year i was in 20% of the finishers. did i get faster or did the field get slower? more it turns out. the course was harder and times were slower from the previous year. last years best time was 15:09. yes. 5:03 m/m. amazing. he was 36 and beat the next time by more than two minutes.

the day was done. i had my beer and relaxed. my friend was freaking out that there was no cell signal and couldn't reach her daughter. so i decided we should just leave. i had wanted to run it again for fun instead of trying to beat my time. which i failed. i was burnt though. i knew huger would kick in, it always does. so we left to get some lunch.

i will be signing up again next year. they already have the dates and times posted. the sooner you sign up the cheaper it is. it's not cheap but it is a blast. if you're undecided, just watch this video. i'm not in it but this guy ran the same course. he has the best video out of Oregon. he cut quite a bit but you get a good feel of how it is. i would also watch his video of Washington WD. enjoy.