Whiskey Row Marathon 2014

Whiskey Row Marathon 2014

Thank-you Prescott for hosting another amazing Whiskey Row Marathon for 2014. I want to congratulate everyone who ran in the races. Also, I want to extend a very special thank-you the event organizers, the aid station volunteers, and to the friends and family that supported us.

It was an exciting and challenging race this year. I felt very strong throughout the entire race and I did a great job of managing my hydration. The only major challenge I encountered this year was around mile 19. I was running quickly down a steeper part of Copper Basin road while attempting to navigate a turn. A misplaced foot caused me to slip on loose gravel. I then took a forward flip on to the side of the road into the bushes. The fall knocked the wind out of me and blooded me up a bit. :-)

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After about a 10 min break to regain my breath and work through what happened. I felt strong enough to push myself the to the finish. I got back to 100% on the last 3 miles to finish very strong.

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Lately running has really been testing me. I have recently had more than my share of crappy runs. It has been about 2 1/2 years since I started running and for the most part I have had no real challenges; things have come very easy.

As I reflect on the race and the past several weeks of runs I see that having shitty runs and learning how to work though them is teaching me a lot more about myself then any other previous running experience. It is helping me develop some great physical as well as mental tools for dealing with challenges. Tools I hope will help me on my next major challenge

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Happy Trail Running
peace50h

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Jan 27 – Feb 2

Jan 27 – Feb 2

01/27/2014
Mon-PM: 1:00, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Afternoon run up Mount Francis. Very warm afternoon, felt like summer. Was very strong and fast, shaved 8 min off my last roundtrip time.

01/28/2014 – 01/31/2014
No running, fought a tough chest cold. Really bad timing with the Sedona Marathon over the weekend.

02/01/14
Sat-AM: 2:36, Elevation Low: 4,375′ High: 4,612′, Total Gain: 961′
Sedona Marathon, still had a slight fever on Saturday morning so I made last minute decision to not run the full marathon, but instead run the half and support my wife by pacing her to shave 2 min off her last year time.

Hours: 3h36
Vert: 1746
Getting sick really destroyed my week and Sedona marathon prep, but the plus was I got to run an entire race pacing my wife, it was so much fun running together :-)

Mountain Weather

Mountain Weather

One of the amazing things about living in the mountains is how quickly the weather can change. I decided to run from my house to and up Thumb Butte. It can be reached by running up Thumb Butte Road which is a paved road that quickly climbs in elevation as it runs west toward Thumb Butte Recreation area in the Prescott National Forest.

The run started with a clear sky and warm day. Once I reached the mountain, clouds started rolling in and I was in the middle of heavy monsoon rain. The trail quickly turned to mud and the temperature dropped fast. It was so much fun running up the mountain in the rain, but was hard to see as my sun glasses were blurry with all the water.

Once I started to hear the thunder and see lighting flashes I knew it was time to head back down the mountain.

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Happy Running :)

Copper Basin Road

Copper Basin Road

I decided to take a little break from the Prescott trails with some road running to build up my capillary beds. Copper Basin runs from southwest Prescott west into the Prescott National Forest. The road is paved for the first 3 miles then turns to dirt roads as it winds up over the Sierra Prieta mountain range. This run pushes your Vo2 Max as you make a 750 elevation gain within the first 3 miles.

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Happy Running :-)

Ultra here I come

Ultra here I come

With two very tough marathons under my belt this year, I am ready for something harder :-)

I just signed up for my first Ultramarathon, the 50k Cave Creek Thriller on Saturday, October 19, 2013. I am very excited to push myself even harder with this race; which should really test my limits with the increased distance and hot desert temps, crazy it can still be in the 90’s in October in the valley :-(

I am still planning on doing some short races in Northern, AZ over the summer, but my training will be focused for this race.

Happy Running :-)

Whiskey Row Marathon 2013

Whiskey Row Marathon 2013

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On Saturday May 4, 2013 I ran the 35th Annual Whiskey Row Marathon with a finishing time of 4:52:13. It was beautiful day with clear sunny skies and cool mountain breezes blowing throughout the forest.

The race was very challenging both physically and mentally. With 16 miles of the running route being a trail race and a total elevation gain of 4,400 feet, reaching a peak altitude of 7,000 feet made this a much harder race than the Sedona Marathon .

I learned two important things from the Sedona Marathon; 1) that it is very important to focus on maintaining a consistent pace throughout the entire race; and 2) ensure that I monitor my glucose levels to prevent from bonking. This meant for this race not to run to fast early in the race and to keep my sugar levels up by consuming plenty of bananas, orange slices, and energy drinks. Both of which helped me deal with the the very steep mountain ascents, as you can see from the elevation profile below.

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My wife ran the very challenging 10k race this year and did an amazing job with a finishing time of 1:08.

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Happy Running :-)

Sedona Marathon 2013

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On February 2, 2013 I competed in my first full marathon, the 8th Annual Sedona Marathon. I placed 134th out of 258 runners with a pace of 11:20 and finish time of 4:57:06.

The Sedona marathon was a very challenging race that pushed my mind and body very hard. The combination of steep hills and trail race on a dirt roads make it one of the hardest marathon’s in the country. I ran very strong up through about mile 20, but the last 6.2 miles were a real test of my physical and mental game. I learned a lot about my resolve to set out and complete a goal. Running in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona with very cool people added to the amazing experience.

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My wife also did an amazing job by completing her first 1/2 marathon in 2:38:46.
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With my first marathon under my belt, tomorrow starts the training for my next marathon, Whiskey Row Marathon on Saturday, May 4, 2013. From the course description:

This out-and-back course is considered one of the most challenging in the United States. Starting at 5,280 feet, the elevation increases to 7,000 feet over the first seven miles, then down to 5,600 feet at the 13-mile turn around. The course is paved road for the first and last five miles, while the rest of the running route is a trail race on a dirt road maintained by the US Forest Service.

Happy Running :-)

Bye Lunas

For the past 6 months I have been running with Luna Sandals. Lunas are amazing minimal running gear, giving you as close to barefoot feel you can get with some foot protection.

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Running with the Lunas has really helped me perfect my running technique, specifically my 1-2-3 landing.

Unfortunately, with my improved technique and the 45 mile plus weeks I have been putting in on the road and trails they are not holding up to the challenge with the laces start to fray.

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I decided I need footwear that would hold up the long runs, but still give me that minimal running feel. I settled on the New Balance Men’s MT00 Minimus Zero Trail Running Shoe based on great endorsements from Anton Krupicka a serious ultra runner.

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I have clocked about 50 miles on Minimus double zeros and I am very happy with them. There has been a little chafing around my big toe, but nothing that Bodyglide Balm can’t solve.

I have to say bye to my Lunas for my daily running, but I will still wear them for comfortable walking sandals or the occasional warmup runs.

Happy Running :-)

Training for Sedona

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In 48 days I will be competing in my first full marathon, the 8th Annual Sedona Marathon February 2, 2013 in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. My wife will also be there running her first half marathon.

The nervousness combined with excitement is building everyday which is helping to motivate my daily training runs. I started my serious training preparation on Nov 1 and I have logged over 232 miles with average pace of 9:00 per mile. I am feeling very confident and comfortable running 15 plus mile long runs at least once a week. I am up to 45 mile plus weeks which I will hold that through the rest of December, then tapper down a little going into the run on February.

Happy Running :-)

2012 Northland Hospice Run for Life

Today my wife and I ran the 2012 Hospice Run For Life in Flagstaff, AZ. The 7,000+ elevation was very challenging, but a whole lot of fun. I completed with a time of 1:00:44 and my wife did amazing for her second race coming in at 1:10:36.

The event was organized well and the people of Flagstaff are some of the nicest people in the country.

2012 Whiskey Row Marathon

On May 5th my wife and I did the 2012 Whiskey Row Marathon 10k. It was very challenging and a lot of fun. The Proceeds from this race go directly into the scholarship fund at the Prescott YMCA to assist children and families in financial need to participate in child care, swimming lessons, youth sports and gymnastics classes. Prescott is my home town and most of my family still lives up there so it was great to do the run and spend time with the family. This was my wife’s first race and she did amazing.

After the race we spent some quality time at PBC enjoying some great beer. My dad also hooked me up with a pretty cool solar lite bottle opener from a local Prescott company called Solarfunstuff.

Our next run will be the 2012 Hospice Run For Life in Flagstaff, AZ on June 23. At 7,000 feet (2,130 m) elevation it should prove to be another challenging and exciting run.

Finding your inspiration

Finding your inspiration

Three months ago I decided I wanted to start running, but like many people I did not really like running. I figured the best approach was to just jump “feet” first into the idea of becoming a runner. After a few weeks I was making physical progress but, I was still not mentally into the run.

I was doing the run, but not being in the run.

Then in my quest for inspiration I happened to be reading a Runner’s World article about how Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers was inspired by the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. So I picked up a copy of the book and started reading. I was amazed how it quickly transformed by view point on running. My next run I decided to ditch the iPod and focus on being mindful during my run.

I focused on my breathing, how my legs felt, the temperature outside, how it made me feel, the trees, the wind, essentially the pure feeling of the run.

So my journey went from:

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Now with my first 1/2 marathon complete with a pretty good time,

I know now that I am just starting my journey…