Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blue Bell 10k

Every time I comment on EMU's blog, I always get a lot of people reading mine. So I figured I'd post something recent, however it is rarely as informative and much less frequently updated.

Last year my wife and I, plus a group of friends, ran the Blue Bell 10k. The Wifey and I had a great time pushing the baby and running together.

Since my recent moral defeat at the Bandera 50k, which I haven't talked about yet because I'm still stewing with the disappointment, I've really struggled for which race to sign-up for. I enjoy shorter races and like them because you get to run faster. I like fast. I really enjoy 1 mile races but something about the challenges you face during a distance race makes me want to run the 10k or really just rerun the Bandera 50k.

Right now, I really just want to be successful at the race. Which means winning something. Prior to my wife having a child and us adding a little one into our family, we actually had won a few races or age groups at smaller 5k's like the Blue Bell. Those were the days where I could expect to average low 6min/miles or touch into the 5 min/mile range for the whole 5k. Those were the days indeed and now I'm happy to average low 7 min/miles for the whole race. But I know I'm capable of more.

SO I've decided to run the 5k. It is a good quick race, I get to run fast. There is not a lot that can go wrong during a 5k versus a longer race so it could be a good moral booster. I'm going to set my goal for a nice conservative pace of under 21 minutes. I have 12 weeks until the race. I will be using this FIRST's training (Furman Insititute of Running Science and Training) plan. I am looking forward to it. I've used these plans for about 3 years and have really seen amazing improvements. If you want to get faster this is the plan for you. Also, I've lost 7lbs since the first of December and have about 10 more to get to a good competitive weight. It is amazing how much easier it is to run and run fast when you've lost 20lbs. Hopefully, by triathlon season the wife and I will be at a much more competitive place, she'll just say healthy place.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I can't imagine living in a place that doesn't get 100 degrees. This cold snap that has come upon Austin really makes me start thinking about moving to Hawaii. There is a Whole Foods in Hawaii and they have plenty of jobs available. Now, I might be broke living there but at least I could enjoy the weather all year round and some of my outdoor hobbies are virtually free.

It is 31 degrees this morning. I've mentioned earlier it could be a lot worse. I have woken up to colder temperatures, but the event that starts my mind thinking about warmer climate is when the mercury doesn't go up with the sunrise. Today to add insult to injury the temperature actually went down with the sunrise. It is now 29 degrees!!!

My mind wonders, why someone would want to live in a place where a significant part of the year is filled with weather you could die in if you accidentally lock yourself outside as you went to check your mail or where you could slip and fall and die from brain injuries as you walked your dog OR where you just have to spend most of your time inside because come on lets face it playing in the snow gets old. As an adult you're going to work and snow adds traffic delays, not to mention the risk of car crashes, power outages from falling trees, etc etc. The cold weather vastly increases the chance of static electricity which can be a fashion pain!

Right now I'm having a hard time remembering that Summer is coming. Next week it might be in the 80's again but it seems so far away to me right now, that I might as well move to a place where the inhabitants are currently strolling happily down the street in shorts and a t-shirt.

The temperature is supposed to climb into the low 40's but yesterday it was supposed to be in the 50's and it never even made it to the 40's and today is looking the same way. Tomorrow morning the forecast calls for 21 degrees in Kyle. This is TEXAS!! Come on now, geez. Northern birds fly here for the winter and this is what they get? I bet they're pretty upset right about now. I hate cold weather.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My blog

I started this blog as a way to document my training for the Bandera 100k with my wife's cousin.

We ended up choosing the 50k instead and I struggled mightily during the last half of the race. I learned so much about distance racing in this race and I learned so much about myself that I would recommend it to everyone. This year I chose to do the 50k again because I want to make sure I've been successful at one level (in this case distance) before moving to the next. I'm excited. I think I know what works and I think I know what tools I need to be successful during this race. I will miss the fact that this year the starting temperature will not be 10 degrees with a wind chill of 7. It is only supposed to be in the 30's this year although this morning it was 28 degrees and we're supposed to be getting a cold front on Saturday night.

In all my goal is to finish in under 7 hours, although I would be happy with anything under 8. Some people read that and think, "that's only 15 min/miles" but I've learned to excuse that line of thought which was once previously mine. Turns out it isn't the distance that makes this race hard. I like to tell people if they took every hill and put them back to back and the race was only 5 miles long it would be 98% as hard as the full 31 miles. Last year I remember watching this old man (60+ yr old) scale, climb, or something down this hill all the while thinking, "I'll let him go first so that if he falls I know not to try and go down that way." It is steep going up, steep going down, very rocky and in some places probably qualifies as light rock climbing. I forgot to mention the beautiful views of the hill country. God's creation demonstrates it majesty, there is a place I would have asked my wife to marry me if I knew it was there and knew how to find it.

Speaking of finding it. There were several points last year where I didn't see anyone for a while 30-45 minutes and wasn't exactly sure I was still on the trail and was mostly sure I was lost. Just about the time I was going to whip out my cell phone, and pray it found signal enough to send a text message, I would see someone or some marker reassuring me that I was in fact not lost.

The Bandera course is a great experience.