Friday, November 9, 2012

Magnificent Mile 2012

Well this is an old update but here it goes.

Way back on Sept. 16, 2012 was the Magnificent Mile race in Raleigh, NC. I wasn't expecting much since I have not been, nor ever have run for speed. With me, it's more like can I make it to the end. No worries here, it's only a mile and I regularly run 5. My goal is around 7:30, since that was roughly my time last year.

Onto the race. After they announced the 10 or so elite runners the gun fired. We are off. I settle into a quick for me but manageable pace. As we get near the Capital I notice no quarter splits (they had them the last 2 years), Hopefully, they have the half split. Soon I see that they do, I'm around 3:30 at the half way point. I think for a split second I might go sub 7. I guess the fast cats are sprinting to home. Not me, I slow a tad to catch my breath (and sub 7 vanishes) some as its getting beyond what I want.  Anyway, soon I see the finish line and gradually pick things back up and finish pretty strong. I actually passed several people on the home stretch and finish with a chip time of 7:26.  Hit my goal, so pretty cool with effort.

A picture from the home stretch.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Assault on the Col De Lystra

My Assault on the Col De Lystra on 6-30-12. It all started with a search of cycling places in the Raleigh- Durham, NC area. I kept seeing people reference this hill climb in the area. So I researched, located it, and planned my assault.

Before my assault on the Col De Lystra I needed supplies. See I have a Cannondale CAADX (cyclecross) not the best suited steed. I had an easy fix in mind, some decent road tires. Also, it is triple digit weather this weekend so I needed an extra water bottle holder. The Friday before, I installed the extra bottle holder and tires, 125psi, this should roll smoother than the knobbies at 80psi. Went for a quick test spin, nice, this baby just wants to roll now.

The day of the assault is here, I am psyched, and couldn't sleep much due to the excitement. I loaded up the truck and headed over to my start point, a place I park often when I run, a parking area for the American Tobacco Trial. I get there and it was packed, great, hope there is a parking space. I find one! Guess these cats want to beat the heat, they were calling for 106 degrees. I pulled the bike out of the truck, put on the helmet, took a swig of water, started STRAVA (track the details), I'm off!

The Col De Lystra is about 8 miles or so away so I have a bit of peddling to reach the beast. I was going pretty good for awhile and was averaging around 20mph. As I neared the beast I slowed to 15mph to conserve what little peddling engine I have. The turn onto Lystra, another mile and the beast appears, I'm here, let me stop and take a picture of the very start. Not good to stop at the base but this was my first time here.

Turning onto the famed road:

The hill coming into view, it real pitches up around the bend at the far end of view:

The hill itself. As I get going again the hill starts to rise but I don't fully see what I'm up against until I fully get around the bend. This sucker goes up and up fast. My GPS has the grade at 12%, it goes like this for about .3 miles then levels off, maybe even downhill for a couple of ticks, but it's hard to tell after going straight up. There is a second part, great. It might be steeper, I push ahead, gasping for air like there is no oxygen left on earth. I make it to the top. Average grade for the hard part (including the flat part) was 4.6% and I achieved an average speed of 8.7mph. I continued all the way to 15-501 and turned around, the climb up the Col De Lystra was complete! All the uphill of Lystra was 3.2 miles at 11.4mph, now for the ride back down.

Back down the hill was fun and fast. The steep parts I hit 44mph with little effort other than gravity. It was like a free fall and I kept a finger on the breaks just incase, but doubt they would of slowed me up.

Eventually, I made it back near my truck and the Peloton cought me after my epic solo up the Col De Lystra. I have never ridden in a Peloton and with the same effort I gained like 5mph, guess I need to find a group to ride with in the near future. Overall, my ride was 26 miles with a 15.7mph average on a 93 degree morning. NICE!

The profile from STRAVA, the spike in the middle is the Col De Lystra:

Wet-N-Wild 5K 2012

The Wet-N-Wild 5K in Knott's Berry Farm (California) 6-16-2012. How did I end up doing a race on the west coast you may ask? Well, I was there to visit relatives and wanted to run and thought entering an event would be fun.

What an event I found while doing an internet search. How about a 5K with the last 500 meters in knee deep water. Well this is Southern California and it seemed like a good fun time. Also, this place is 20 minutes up the road from my Aunt's house in Huntington Beach, CA. I checked with my aunt and I signed up.

Race day is here. Well I woke up early, that was easy I was still on east coast time. Once I got onsite, I got my packet, everyone must have arrived at the same time, a bit crowded. I dropped off the stuff from my packet back at the car and headed to starting line to chill for 20 minutes. Eventually, they had some singing and a prayer and then the shotgun was fired to take off. I didn't see the shotgun but the cat on the PA said they were using one. Southern California I expected an uzi or a glock. Once we started running, weaving, and just dodging stuff I settled into a comfortable pace. I knew I wasn't doing a 25 minute 5K since 500 meters would be in the water. This was a pretty relaxed event. The course took us down every street and passed every ride and stand in the amusement park. It was a nice run. I realized I either lined up with the correct crowd or we are faster on the east coast. Eventually, I made it to the water. I just walked thru it as most of the people around me were doing the same. More races should be like this, it was nice being in pool water for a bit. After a few minutes I was out and running the last bit with light legs. Felt like a champ and crossed the line in 31.31, finished 327 out of 2551 finishers.

Overall, I would rate this race as very fun must do race if you live nearby or happen to be nearby while on vacation as I was.

A few pictures:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Run For Hero's 5K and a PR!

Well, I should of updated this a long time ago but I've been a blogging slacker.

The Run For Hero's 5K went down on the way back  on April 28, 2012. I'll keep this short and sweet. Last year I did this race in 31 minutes and change, this year I was just looking for sub 28. I'm lighter and run more now. Early on I knew I had a sweet pace for me and did the first mile and a half in 12 minutes and change. After that split, I knew I needed to pace an upcoming hill and just push to the end no matter how tired I was. Boy was I tired after the hill.  Anyway, I'll cut to the chase, I ran a 25:34 for a PR big time for me. On another positive, the had Monster Energy and Ice Cream at the finish!

Here is a pic near the end of the race

More info here:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cary Short Course Duathlon 2012

Well well well, time for a new event for me. What type of event might that be? Well the Cary Short Course Duathlon. It consists of a 2.5 mile run, a 17.65 mile bike ride and another 2.5 mile run.

How did I get to this point after starting to run 2 years ago for the first time? Well I bought a bike back in January (a Cannondale CAADX) and I'm on the mailing list. See, they have many multi-discipline events. I found one close to home and signed up. I figured I had 4 months to to get okay at riding a bike.

What did my training consist of you may ask? Well I had the running down, I run anywhere from 12 to 20 miles a week, I just had to get the bike thing down. I really didn't work all that hard on the bike but I did put in focused time. I started with a ride a week, usually 15 to 20 miles but I wasn't going all that fast, say 12-13mph. After about a month I got a Kinetic Trainer so I could spin in the house. This worked good as it came with Spinervals 27.0 Suffer and Threshold. This pushed me a bit and seems to of improved my cycling quite a bit.

Packet pickup time as its race weekend, I get to go to IOS Cary, that place always intimidates me but they were very helpful and answered my newbie questions. Here is a pic of my socks, bib, and shirt.

Well onto race day, I know attention spans can be short. April 7, 2012 I woke up, dragged the lady out of bed, after all she was my pit crew/cheering section for the day. Once we arrived, I set my bike up in transition area, knowing nothing about this I chose the worst spot. I was wondering why the cats with super expensive aero bikes were looking around like they stole something as they put their bike into the rack at the other end. Oh well, this is my first Duathlon and I was just soaking it in and learning. Per my research I laid my stuff out on a towel, had my water, a gel (never used it) my sunglasses, and my helmet. My transition was laid out, now time to use the porto a few times (race nerves) and watch the people, Stephanie enjoyed the people watch a little to much.

Putting the finishing touches on my transition zone

What in the heck caught my eye

My bike all set with everyone else in out rack

Oh, the pre-race excitement

Now to the race itself. It started with a pre-race meeting, where the mic died and all the racers basically had a pre-race group hug. The first to go off was the long course group, they said 15 minutes and then we would start, it was only 12, the leader in the long course had already run his 2.5 mile loop and had started his second. So we were off and I settled into a comfortable pace. Since I was a Clydesdale entrant (200lbs+) I scouted the larger people in hopes of putting some hurt in them early. I thought I did a number on one of them as I passed him on the little hill at mile 1.75 and prolly hit transition 30-45 seconds before he did. My run time was 21.27, 8.35 min/m. Now off to transition.

Transition is where you switch disciplines. I don't use clip pedals, as I'm a newbie, so all I had to do was put on my helmet and glasses and drink some water. Well being my first time I gave a race report and took a few pictures and was on my way to the bike. My transition time was 2 minutes. Now time to test my bike training.

Me just relaxing while all those people in the background are frantic
 And I'm off

Before actual pedaling you must push your bike to the mount zone and then take off. I knew from what I read, have your bike in an easy gear, so I pedaled away with ease. I later learned from Stephanie many people didn't do this and struggled with their early pedal strokes. Anyway, back to my ride. I wanted my own data so I fiddled with my phone but could not get the app to track my cycling data to start, oh well at least I have a speedometer on my bike. Early on the person I wanted to put hurt in passed me, he was on one of those multi-thousand dollar aero bikes, those things sorta make a whirl sound as they go by. Once I settled into a pace I started picking people off pretty good. After about 8 miles I was on a hill and tried to get water, not I good idea and I about fell over. Also, this hill zapped my energy but I still was going around 20mph when I was on the flats. At this point, it seemed the only people that passed me so far were the ones on the expensive bikes. At about mile 10 I out thought myself and took  a wrong turn, just meant I had to re pass people but I was tired and needed to chill for a few anyway so I took my time. About a half mile later (Lake Jordan all around) a truck pulling a large boat and oncoming traffic played chicken, I thought this was the end and I slowed a bit to play defense. Now we are past Lake Jordan and fighting a head wind for the last 5 or so miles. I'm still trying to rest and just follow people I know I can pass. Eventually, I just picked it up and passed the people around me and caught up to another group. About 2 miles out I made a move and passed the one other person I had a chance to pass and put some time on them. All to waste, I had to stop for an ambulance about a 1/4 mile from transition back to run. The person I had passed had better timing and rode pass me as I was starting to get going again. When I got back to transition some cat had fallen and was being placed on a board and being hauled away by that ambulance. My bike time was 1:02:59, 16.8mph.

Transition number two. I unmounted from my bike and re-racked my bike. What do I see, a used gel, I didn't see my gel and was like SOB. My towel had flipped up and covered mine, funny. I took my helmet and glasses off and took a few pictures and was out of transition in 1 minute 49, wow a 11 second improvement, I'm on a roll.

Me rolling into the dismount/transition, the emergency vehicles in the background and the muscle girl that timed it right
 Ah, trying to walk post ride
 Trying to be cool as I enter transition
 I don't feel good, please don't take a picture. In the background ZIPP wheels, that's 2 grand someone spent, of course they beat me back to transition
 And I'm off on a run, sorta, check out that calf muscle

The last run, well if you want to call it that. See I didn't really practice bricks and knew from my one practice the weekend before this run was going to be very hard. After about a 1/4 mile my jello legs turned to lead. I was getting tired fast, just no rhythm at all. I made it a mile in, the water stand and started a brief walk. They gave me some weird liquid but I drank it, sure hope it picks me up. I keep chugging away and pass this older cat (age 62 per his leg markings) but as the hill climbs to the next water stand I walk again. Still walking after the water stand the old guy taps me and says its all downhill now, sure it is I think but stay within a few seconds of him till we cross the finish line. What do you know, as I get close to the finish line I get my run legs. I'm done my first Duathlon and I feel pretty darn good about myself. My second run 24.21, 9.41 min/m and my overall finish time was 1:52:40.

Me charging to the line
 All finished, literally
Text is sorta small but my race details, I finished 89th, I will top 50 next time at this race

All I can say about my first Duathlon is sign me up for another as I had a blast. I know several ways I can shave significant time and hope next time I will see a nice improvement.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tobacco Trail Half Marathon Report

Well 2.5 months ago I decided to run my second half marathon. It was sorta last minute but it was local to me and didn't require travel plans, a plus. So the race I chose, was the Tobacco Trail Half Marathon in Cary, NC. It all went down on March 18, 2012.

My lead up to the race was not conventional. See, I figured my running had gotten good enough that I will just wing it, maybe not the best idea as you will see later. My overall training was my normal, every other day 4 mile run, with some Spinervals on my Kinetic Trainer mixed in. I have a duathlon coming up in a few weeks, so that's why I'm spinning, plus, "I like to suffer a bit." (Lance Armstrong) Additionally, I have had a couple 10 mile runs and a very hilly 7 miles in the last month. So overall, I was feeling like I could beat my time of 2:12 in my first half.

Weeks before race day I thought my co-worker was gonna do the full marathon but he got hit with bad luck. On a positive, I got his parking pass and that worked out like a dream. Always next year when bad luck hits.

Now to race weekend, first the Expo. This was a very nice expo, easy to get packets, I picked up 2. Plenty of people to answer questions, had a good open flow, and as always plenty of stuff to buy. As usual,  I bought nothing. Time to go home and get more and more nervous as Sunday approaches.

Saturday night and what to have as a pre-race dinner. I really suck at at food choices and tonight I made the worst. I had a burger and fries from Red Robin, it was good but I knew I would probably pay a price. Now off to bed, I guess this was around 11PM, I had a 4:30 wake up time. Not a lot of sleep but usually enough for me. Not so fast, big thunderstorm and I was wide awake at 2AM, this is really gonna suck. I laid there dozing in and out till 4:30. I woke up, got dressed, gave my lady a kiss, grabbed a bite, took the doggie out and headed to the USA baseball facility where parking and race starts at. By the way, this place is really nice.

Once there, it was time to chill, I had and hour or so till race time. I used the porto, I used the woods, I paced and I chatted to a real runner, a sub-7:30 minute per mile dude. Finally, It's 7AM and time to run.

Quick Banner picture when I made it to start area

The crowd as we are about ready to take off

The gun goes off, and it's time to see what I got. My goal was to go under 2:10 so I found the 2:00 pace guy and figured I'll hang with him for 8 miles. After a few hundred feet I just wanted to run to my truck and go back to bed. This was not gonna be my day, no sleep, poor food choice, and humid post thunderstorm weather was not treating me well. Nothing I can do now other than hope after a few miles I will feel okay. After about 2miles we hit the trail and I was still on pace, I began to think maybe it will all be okay. The number of water and GU tables they had were great but I skipped the first few, figured it was to early. After 5 miles I was still ahead of the 2 hour pace group but not for long. The soft trail, humidity, lack of sleep, maybe lack of being prepared all caught up to me around mile 6, which I hit at 55 minutes, just after pace group blew by me. The half way turnaround was 1:02 and change, still well within goal but I was feeling bad.

Onto the second half of the half marathon. This was a battle to just survive. There were a few of us suffering together, walking/running/praying  as we passed each other 50 times before the end of the race. Somewhere around the 10 mile marker the 2:10 group past by, I thought maybe try to keep them close and catch or pass in the last mile. Not to be, I just wanted to quit, I did not. Time to knock out these last couple of miles.

Around mile 11.5 there was this kid playing the trumpet, It made me laugh and sorta helped give me a last bit of go, a weak go but it was go. At mile 12.5 I was passed for about the last time, and I picked it back up to my earlier pace, figured I could go a tad over a half mile pretty strong. I did, and finished in 2:14:50, not exactly what I wanted but not so bad considering how poor I felt from the moment I started running.

Post race, I got my medal, skipped on the shinny wrap (what is that used for? Guess I'll google it), found some food and just chilled for a bit. I then went back to the finish to watch the fast marathoners finish. Seems like they made a wrong turn based on later reports, and the fast ones actually came is a 2:40 and change, still wicked fast in my book but probably slow to them.

An official picture of me crossing the finish line

Me after the race, you would think it was pouring down rain as wet as I am.

My time, thats my time with the highlight

Overall, despite not quite hitting my goal, this was a great, well run event that I will for sure do next year. On to my first duathlon in April!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Krispy Kreme Challenge 2012

The Krispy Kreme Challenge finally came and went, this is my little update.

Since last years failure, I have wanted to redeem myself and run the distance and eat all 12 of the doughnuts in under an hour. What gave me confidence this year even with the longer 5 mile distance, I run a heck of a lot better than this year.

So here are the details. On February the 4th of 2012 the Krispy Kreme Challenge went down in Raleigh, NC. The race starts at the NC State Bell Tower. I got there a bit early, but I had to get my shirt, since during my packet pickup they were out. After I got the shirt, I jogged about a 1/4 mile back to my truck, hoping to warm up a bit and to unload the shirt. After getting back to the Bell Tower I ran into my co-worker Jason who is quite good at this race, he finished in the 45 minute range last year. In comparison, it took me 1 hour and 17 minutes. This year I will complete the challenge of running 5 miles, eating 12 doughnut in an hour or less!

So now its 8:30 on a 40 degree morning and the horn goes off. Hey everybody lets run 2.5 miles to the Krispy Kreme and shove a dozen doughnuts into our pie holes.  The run there was straight forward and my Nike+ GPS was telling me 8 minutes per mile, I started to get a good feeling. After about 20 minutes I made it to the doughnuts. One thing I learned last year was to run around the traffic jam at the first table so I could get my doughnuts quick. Once in hand I quickly ate 2 and looked for the water table and grabbed two cups which fit nicely in the spot where the first doughnuts were. You need water to wash them down, especially the last six. After the first 2, I started eating 3 at a time. Soon I ran into my coworker again, I was at 5 left, and he had 6 left. He blew by me and finished his 12 and took off thru the challenger chute. About 2 minutes later I made it thru all 12 of my doughnuts and left the transition with a time of 33.38. At this point I knew I had this done in under 1 hour. One funny thing after finishing the doughnuts, there was this kid offering everyone one more, the way he said it just cracked me up.

After finishing the doughnuts the big deal is running back without loosing your sugary goodness that has rejoined into one giant mass in my belly. Overall, I felt pretty good at this point, but soon saw others that obviously were not. This year the carnage was much greater than last year, maybe it was the longer distance, who knows, but there was lots of vomit. Running back is pretty simple till the hill at St Mary's St. This is were a lot of spectators talk smack as they know a tough hill and 12 doughnuts only leads to one thing. Not me, I was rolling and passing way more people than I thought was possible because I'm not the fastest runner. Once at the top of the hill we had about 3/4 miles to the finish. Here I thought I saw my co-worker, I pushed it some, it wasn't him. Oh well, I finished and reached my goal of under 1 hour. I frigging completed the Krispy Kreme Challenge in 52.34, woohoo. Does that qualify me for Boston?

My official time:

My shirt and bib:

I can not wait till 2013!!!

Here are many links to pictures:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Running Plans

Wow, a whole month into 2012 and this is my first blog post. Yep, I'm a slacker.

My plans this year consist of stepping it up a bit. I started the year with a sub 27 minute 5K, that is fast for me and my 220lbs (was over 250lbs in the summer). The main step up is: I bought a Cannondale CycleCross bike, with the plan of, doing some bike races this year along with running. So what are my plans so far?

Here is a pic of me in the Run For Young 5K, I'm in the background, the one in blue without the wheels (the sub 27 minute one):

Well the first race is the Krispy Kreme Challenge this Saturday (Feb 4th). If you have never heard of this race, it is a blast, but not your usual endurance event. What you do is, run from the NC State Bell Tower to the Krispy Kreme (2.5 miles away), eat a dozen glazed doughnuts and run 2.5 miles back to the Bell Tower. I've signed up as a challenger, so the goal is to do this in under an hour. Last year it took me forever to eat the dozen doughnuts (total time 1:17) but this year I run much better and I hope to sneak in under an hour, maybe by 1 second but under an hour is what counts. I'll post my results next week.

Here is my BIB:

The next event I have planned is the Tobacco Trail Half Marathon on March 18th. This was sorta last minute, but I did get signed up before it sold out. Parking passes were already gone which is sort of a bummer, as I have heard the buses are not run well. Well, I hope they have it figured out this year. As for training, nothing plan, just doing my normal with a few long runs mixed in. What does that consist of? I run 4 miles every other day, sometimes every day. Also, this past Monday I ran 10.4 miles on the Tobacco Trail. So I'm ready as I'm gonna get. Hopefully, I will improve over my last half but we will see.

The only other event that I'm signed up for is a Duathlon in Cary on April 7th. I signed up for the short course. You can sign up too at The short course starts with running 2.5 miles, bike 17 miles and the run another 2.5 miles. Good thing I bought a bike. So far I have done a few 4 mile runs followed by a 20 mile bike ride. I wasn't flying but I can handle the distance just fine.

What else? Well, I hope to get into the NYC Marathon and have entered the lottery for entry. All I can do at this point is run and keep my fingers crossed that I'm picked. I don't have a big ambition for marathon but would like to do one and why not do the biggest one?