Thursday, March 26, 2009

Make-a-picture with your GPS

Anyone reading this may think this is really nerdy and we have gone off the deep end here in Columbia, Missouri. Perhaps this will be the next craze sweeping the country. So far I have not heard of it, but maybe others have done this. Hugh had this idea that people could run a route that makes a semi-recognizable picture or spells something.

He made an attempt himself on Tuesday. Can you read what he wrote between miles 3 and 4? You will need to zoom in:

Click here to see his creation

Then tonight another one of our running friends spelled something on his run.

Click here to see his creation

I am wondering if this might put Columbia on the map as the home of running art or footmanship?

I suddenly have this urge to go out and do a run and then in the middle of my run, draw a picture or spell something.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

2009 Sedalia Half Marathon

2009 Sedalia Half Marathon Select Columbia Runners Pictures taken courtesy of Dick Ross

All Sedalia Half Marathon Pictures taken courtesy of Dick Ross

2009 Sedalia Half Marathon Results

Today Hugh and I headed to the Sedalia Half Marathon. We have run this half marathon more than any other half. It is close, cheap, and a well-run fun small event. I wasn’t sure if I would be racing it this year since I ran 3 Days of Syllamo last weekend. I felt pretty good after Syllamo and even better after taking 3 days off running. I ran on Thursday and felt good so on Friday I was thinking I would attempt to break my 3 year old half marathon PR.

I ran this half last year after Syllamo and although it went okay, I was not recovered enough to attempt a PR. I wasn’t even sure I would try racing it at all last year since the warm up felt awful. This year, one week later, I felt ready to race again. We arrived about 8:30 am, picked up packets, and then I headed out for a 1 mile warm up. Warm up felt good, headed to the car to get rid of some clothes before heading to the start line. Temperature was about 50F and skies were cloudy.

My plan was to try to run just under 6:30s, and take the first couple miles a little easier at 6:40. There were fewer than 100 people at the start line this year, where normally this race attracts over 100 runners. We started a few minutes after 9 am. I started in the front and there were 3 guys that took off very fast that were clearly not in the same league as the rest of us.

Dan S. hung with me for the first mile which ended up being 6:31. This was a little faster than both of us thought we wanted to run. He let up a little on the pace and I decided to keep it steady. I found myself running with a young kid (have no idea how old he was) and kept pace with him. Then he pulled ahead a bit and I decided to hang back. On the first slight hill, I caught him.

We continued to run together and I am not quite sure who was doing the pacing but he did not act like he wanted to pass me so we ran side by side. I didn’t take water until the second water station. From this point, the run is pretty boring but I am feeling good and focused. The miles just keep clicking by one by one at a very consistent pace. Before we reach the turn around we get to see the 3 guys in the lead. We were in 4th and 5th place at this point. These 3 guys in the lead were so far ahead of us that we did not see them until they were coming back from the turn around. I took a gel at about 6.5 miles.

Right before the turn around we took water although they only had 1 water and 1 Gatorade ready so he took water after we turned around. It was nice to see everyone for about a mile on the way back. We are both still running strong side by side and I am getting a lot of encouragement as I see everyone. Then we are back to running alone. He seemed to be breathing harder than me and although I felt like I could talk I presumed that he didn’t want to or he would have said something by now. At the next water station, I let him go first and he got water. They had Gatorade in the other hand so I said I would get at the next station. My racing partner asked if I wanted the rest of his water so I took it. I am just thinking, what a nice guy.

At this point we were about 3 miles from the end. I am still feeling good but now we are running into some wind. I push to keep our pace steady and he stays right with me. I figure at some point since I am feeling so good I should probably pick up the pace and am hoping he will stay with me and we’ll finish together unless he feels like passing me. I was not planning to attempt to pass him right at the end after pacing that far with him. I just don’t want to pick it up too soon.

With 1.1 miles to go, I decide to pick it up and see what I have left. He does not stay with me. I picked up to about 6:15 pace pushing to the finish. Overall time was 1:25:04 for 13.16 miles at a 6:28 pace. I have a new PR by 1:44 and on the same course as my previous PR. I placed 4th overall and my race partner came in right behind me about 19 seconds behind me. He thanked me for pacing him although I think we paced each other at times. Dan S. finished 6th behind him setting a half PR.

Our Columbia group seemed to run well and most of us received bricks for placing in our age groups. I was first in my age group and Hugh placed second.

The event was hosted by the Sedalia Runners Club for the benefit of the Max Lewis Special Needs Trust and is sponsored by Pepsi, Bothwell Regional Health Center and County Distributing.

There is a raffle in between awards for a lot of different prizes. Dan S. had purchased 5 tickets and gave to Hugh before he left. I purchased 5 more tickets. Dan said to get him the beer clock or the Michelobe Ultra Beer mirror if they drew his name and those were left. They drew one of my tickets fairly early and I picked out the UltraMarathon Man – Dean Karnazes book since I didn’t see anything else I really wanted and had wanted to get this book at some point. The clock was the first thing to go. With about 6 items left, they still had not drawn any of Dan’s numbers, but the mirror was left. They drew another of my numbers. Nothing left that I really wanted so I picked up the mirror for Dan to add to his collection.

We had a large group that went to Country Kitchen for lunch before heading home.

Here are my splits:

Mile Time Overall Time Pace
1 Mi 6:30.61 6:30.61 6:31
2 Mi 6:30.46 13:01.07 6:31
3 Mi 6:27.79 19:28.86 6:28
4 Mi 6:27.75 25:56.61 6:28
5 Mi 6:30.76 32:27.37 6:31
6 Mi 6:30.92 38:58.29 6:31
7 Mi 6:30.43 45:28.72 6:31
8 Mi 6:28.03 51:56.75 6:29
9 Mi 6:24.89 58:21.64 6:25
10 Mi 6:26.12 1:04:47.76 6:27
11 Mi 6:29.53 1:11:17.29 6:30
12 Mi 6:31.28 1:17:48.57 6:32
13 Mi 6:16.58 1:24:05.15 6:17
13.16Mi 0:59.19 1:25:04.34 6:10

Thursday, March 19, 2009

3 Days of Syllamo - 2009

Road Trip plus Day 1 -

Once again this race turned out to be the most fun, and scenic race I have done. This is one that is just done for the pure joy of running regardless of pace. Jeff and I headed to Arkansas at 11 am Thursday. This year instead of camping I stayed in a small cabin with Jeff with a comfortable bed, kitchen, satellite TV, and more. We arrived late afternoon checked into the cabin, picked up race packets and headed to dinner for a buffet at the Pizza Inn in Mountain View. Then back to the cabin, prepared for Friday’s race, watched ER and then off to bed.

We got up at 6:30 am and arrived at race headquarters around 8 am. The race site was about 15 minutes from where we were staying. The area was hit hard by an ice storm in early February so we were limited on the trails that we could use this year. Volunteers had cleared some trails and the plan was to use trails and forest roads to make up the difference. We found Allan at his campsite and then visited with other runners before the race and I got to see Ashley, the female winner that I ran a lot of the miles with last year.

The first race was supposed to be a 50K but ended up being a marathon. We started out up a big climb which was the same as we took last year for the 50 mile. This time though it wasn’t quite as painful, but still not pleasant to start up this big climb. I never could seem to catch my breath. Maybe I should have run a warm up?

The first 10 miles were on trail and I ran with Ashley. There was an aid station about every 5 miles. At the 10 mile we ran on a forest road for an out and back. It was at this point we learned the course was not going to be a 50K. I don’t think anyone was too disappointed as it was still quite challenging. Once we got back to the trail I had Ashley run ahead of me. We ran a couple miles and then I told her I was going to stop to pee and to go ahead and I would try to catch up. I tried but wasn’t feeling a whole lot better so just kept moving.

I had been drinking Accelerade and taking an Accelerade gel every 5 miles. I used about 1 of my bottles each 10 miles. By then I felt naseous/queasy but didn’t eat any solid food which may have been my problem. Mentally, I felt good (but no speed) so I keep pushing on and about half mile before the end Po Dog catches up to me. Once he sees how close we are to the end we decide to finish together. Last year I had finished with someone each race and thought I was going to go in alone, but it was nice to finish with someone. I headed off to soak legs in creek with some other runners. Allan finished in 4:31 and Jeff in 5:15.

42K (26.2 mi) - 4:20:19
12 of 44 men
13 of 56 overall

Temp: 34 at beginning and 48 at end.

Day 2 - 50 mi

I felt pretty good waking up and didn’t need to take any Ibuprofen this year. I had no joint pain and no muscle soreness. We had to get up at 5 am since the 50 miler started at 7 am. Ate breakfast as the day before and then headed to race head quarters to check in. Today’s course was going to be 2 different out and backs. The first out and back about 10.5 miles total and then the second out and back same trail as marathon but different forest road.

Since my GPS is only good for 8 hours, I did not turn on until after the first 10.5 since there was no way I could run under 8 hours on this course. I decided to start out real easy and see how I felt. I ran the first half of the out and back with Allan and some others. We crossed a creek about chest deep and had to cross again on the way back. Once we crossed the creek, I picked up the pace. I finished this part of the course about the same time as another guy that I would end up passing back and forth for quite a bit of the 50 miles.

At the 20 mile aid station, which was the end of the trail portion, I decided to not change my shoes since my feet felt pretty good and they were mostly dry. I grabbed more gels from my drop bag, ate some peanut butter and crackers, and drank an Amp since I really needed some energy. I spent 6 – 7 minutes refueling and then headed out with one of the coed teams that had caught up. We headed up the forest road to run out 10 miles.

I didn’t stay long with this couple since I ran up the hill although slow I called it running and was faster than they were walking. It went up for about a mile until it went down and ended up being a rolling gravel road that was not necessarily easy, but easier to run faster than trail. I really had to concentrate to run faster than the trail since I was tired. Some miles were faster and some were not. I passed a guy that didn’t look like he was doing too well. I finally make it to the end and had almost caught the guy that passed me earlier until I stopped to refuel at the 30 mile aid station. I headed back out as the guy I had passed came in and asked for Ibuprofen.

I had already seen the faster runners heading back and got to see the rest on the way back. The guy that wasn’t feeling well earlier caught up to me and was feeling better. Another guy caught up too. We pass back and forth for awhile as I am not feeling well. Then I have a surge and leave them both in the dust although one of them will catch me later.

I stopped at the 40 mile aid station for more gels and peanut butter and crackers, peanut butter and jelly, and then head back out to the trail. Once I get on the trail my pace is noticeably slower. The guy that I passed earlier passes me and looks like he is running well. I have to walk up hills and have some really slow miles. I am thinking at best I will be done in 9 hrs 45 min at this slow pace. This is fine with me since I just want to finish feeling good. After about 3 miles, I manage to pick up pace a little and run more smoothly hanging on to the end. This was an okay (not great) run and I felt good at the end. I headed off to soak my legs in the creek with about 20 fish gathering around me. I had to kick them away as they got too close to my legs.

50 mi - 9:33:06
11 of 34 men
12 of 41 overall

Temp: Beginning was 43 end was 59F

Allan finished in 10 hr 25 min and Jeff finished in 10 hrs 50 min. We all took hours off our times from last year. Jeff and I headed back to our cabin and grilled steaks before heading off to bed at 10 pm.

Day 3 - 20K

I woke in the night with slightly achy knees and took an Ibuprofen. When I got up I felt pretty good and decided to take 2 more Ibuprofen just for good measure. I was feeling good and ready to run a race. I did not have that feeling the first 2 days. Last year I had felt completely beat up by the 3rd day so was happy to feel so good. I was actually looking forward to the 20K and not dreading it.

Originally, we were going to run back up the hill for the 20K, but since we had already done that twice the race director decided we would do the out and back that crossed the creek. After crossing the creek, we then had to run a short while on roads to a rickety bridge before turning around. I managed to stay right behind a group of faster runners until we crossed the creek on the way back. For some reason, the cold water must have been a shock and I had a hard time getting my pace back up to speed. At one point I did catch them later when I sped up.

As I was speeding along to catch them I fell on some rock and landed on my water bottle. The bottle sprung me right back up on my feet which was quite amazing and too bad no one could see this. I caught up to them as they had made a wrong turn. They were on fire and although I felt I was running fast I could not keep up so kept my own pace.

About 1 mile before the end a girl that had been running with us earlier caught up to me. I told her to go around and I would try to keep up. I ended up finishing with her and we were 2 minutes behind the group we ran with earlier. I was quite happy with this run and overall it went very well.

20K - 1:49:25
13 of 53 men
14 (tied with second woman) of 64 overall

Temp was 48.

Overall - 15:42:50
9th of 31 men
10th of 39 overall

2009 Results

Once again even with the lack of trails, this proved to be a fun and low-key event. There were great single-track trails with rock faces, ledges, and the not as fun forest roads. There were even a few trees to climb over but the trails we ran on were pretty clear so not as bad as last year. Also, this year we got 2 different shirts, a finisher’s glass, and coffee travel mug. I also won a pair of toe socks in the drawing. And as always there were other supportive runners that offered a lot of encouragement. I ended up feeling good and not like I had been through hell after the 3 days. My feet were in good shape as I had thoroughly coated them in Body Glide. Legs felt decent and joints felt good. Even though the course was less difficult than last year, it wasn’t easy. I am still new to this but it seems like it does get easier each year.

Other reports:

Ashley Nordell



Dave Wakefield


Adam and Dan


Saturday, March 07, 2009

2009 Run with the Eagles 5K

Run with the Eagles Race Results

Started out really fast on this course at a sub-6 pace. The course goes down and then we come back up on the way back so it is not a negative split course. I planned to start fast and then slow down a little. At the beginning I was in 6th place. I could see Bill S. ahead of me most of the way and Pat H. for a awhile. I passed one guy shortly before the first mile, passed Nicole M. at about the 1st mile, and then a 3rd guy right after the first mile. I felt confident I was running stronger and could stay ahead of all 3 of them. First mile was 5:46 which was about where I wanted it.

We turned around at a cone at the half way point. Hit second mile in 6:08. Then had a few hills to go back up. It was warm and I was feeling fatigue but kept pushing. I could see one of the guys behind me but had enough of a lead I thought I could stay ahead of him. The end was up hill so really had to push to keep my lead. Third mile was 6:33 and last 0.13 was 47 seconds. Ending up finishing 3rd overall in 19:15 and first in age group of 40 - 49. I was happy with this result. I don't think I could have done any better today.