Can't wait to see how everyone does at the St. George Marathon today.
I hate 4:33 in the morning. Why do I set my alarm for that time? Oh well. I went to Usery Pass this morning with Glen. I forgot my Garmin. I'm pretty sure Glen was disappointed because he just started using Endomondo on his smart phone. I know he wanted to see how it compares to Garmin, and I would have like to have, also.
Anyway, we started running, and immediately I was falling behind. I so needed this hill run because I'm not in very good shape. At one point Glen stopped so I could catch up. Then he took off like a gazelle. That's why we call him Glen the Gazelle. There were a lot of cyclists out this morning. I mean a lot. There were easily over 100. A group passed me and caught up to Glen. Glen did his best to stay with him. And he did stay with them for probably a mile. He got to the top and kept going. I got to the top and went a bit further. Then I turned around. That's when I saw most of the cyclists.
My 5th grade teacher once told the class that a study was done proving that even though siblings often fight, they spend most of the time not fighting. We vehemently disagreed with her. But it's probably true. Anyway, I thought about that while I was running down. I had to move over off the road for the cyclists. And even though it was annoying that I had to run in the gravel, I probably spent most of the time on the shoulder. It just seemed like I spent more time off road/fighting with my siblings.
As I was running down I remembered that the St. George Marathon was going on. So in spirit I was with you bloggers. I specifically thought of seeaprilrun. I don't know why. Maybe because she traveled so far and I want her to do well. I finished up and Glen wasn't too far behind. He really pushed it. We're both going to feel it in the morning. Oh yeah, it is morning.
My wife finally wore the shoes I got her to go walking. She's lost 9 lbs so far on her diet, so maybe once she gets consistent at walking it will really start to come off. We walked the girls to school, but when we got more than half way there we realized that my daughter left her new glasses at home. So I ran back to get them. I met them at the corner where the crosswalk guards are. From there my wife continued around the block, and I went on my run. I knew I was running at under an 8 min. pace to get the glasses and wanted to continue doing it for the first mile. Just to make sure I could still do it. It's been a while that I've even tried. I made it and decided to try and maintain a 8 min. pace for another mile. The second mile was a little slower than 8 min. but they averaged 8 min. exactly. After that my left foot started to ache, so I ran the last mile slow.
Splits - 7:53, 8:07, 8:54, 0:21
Temp - 60 (We had a nice rain and thunderstorm last night.)
I didn't get out the door this morning 'til 9:40am. It was 80°out. But when I finished it was 70°. Byooteeful. I ran passed an old man coming out of the corner Walgreens'. He was wearing his old man white cotton shirt with a Whataburger cup in one hand and his prescription drugs in the other. I called out, "On your left", and "Good morning!" as I passed. He replied, "Okay man! Go for it!"
Another run with Glen the Gazelle up Usery Pass. I'm feeling better about my six mile climb up 1283 feet that I have to do two weeks from now in the Vegas Ragnar. I brought my Garmin this time. Glen was glad. I told him we had to run the first mile together to see how Garmin compared to his smart phone app. We did run the first mile together, but after that he gazelled off. There weren't nearly as many cyclists this time. I counted 8 that came zooming by me as I went up and 37 that crawled by me as I went down. At one point Glen stopped, picked something up, and came running back to me. It was a set of boat keys. Someone's not going to be happy when they get to the lake only to find they lost their keys. The tag on them said Abilene Texas. So, Joe, if you're missing boat keys, I know where to find them.
My goal this week is to run 3 easy in the morning and 3 easy in the afternoon except for Tuesday and Thursday when I think I'll do Plyometrics X. This morning before I turned to run along the canal I saw a guy riding a bicycle. He turned up the canal and was riding slowly. I was probably running a couple of hundred yards behind him when he turned around for no apparent reason. This got me wondering if maybe he was looking for the dead body of his latest victim. Right before we passed each other I got passed by a big brutish looking guy wearing a wife beater tank top. He was trucking along. I said good morning to him, but he had his head phones on, so all he could do was clap. I noticed that shortly after passing me he wasn't putting anymore distance between us. Then Br. Inglish came running by. I talked to him at church yesterday because I passed by him last week in the same place while he was walking. I think he felt bad that I caught him walking so today he made sure he was running. I would have like to have slapped him a high five, but the big brute forced him to the other end of the dirt road. When I got to the magic water fountain I saw the big brute stop and walk around to the other side of the canal. I realized he was using me as his goal to pass up. I felt quite cheap. By this time the guy on the bicycle had turned around again. It dawned on me that the murderous fiend was my vagrant friend. No words were exchanged as I finished my drink and stretched out a little more. Where did he get that bike from?
Three miles this morning. Again, nothing fancy. I had to stop and stretch a couple of times because of a twinge in my hamstring. The magic water fountain wasn't too magical as I had to lift the cover by hand. Anyway, this entry is boring. Let me liven it up with a random video clip.
This is what I'll say when people try to pass me at Ragnar.
I felt a lot better than last night. It was 83° out and actually felt pretty good. Lately I've been running with my new QuickGrip Camelback® just to practice running with it. I plan on carrying it with me on my Ragnar legs. But I didn't bring it today. So I stopped at the magic water fountain and there was a guy fishing in the canal. I think you're allowed to fish in that canal, but you aren't in the RWCD canal which is two canals over. At mile 4 I stopped at the corner gas station to blow my nose and get a drink. When I went in the stall it looked like the toilet had been used 5 times without flushing. Oh my gosh, it was so nasty! It was like a porta potty. So I left as soon as I entered. But when I got to mile 5, I started thinking about it again and started dry heaving.
I forgot that I was going camping this week, so my week's plan of running doubles didn't work out. We went up to Camp Geronimo late Thursday night. That meant we were pitching the tent in the dark. But with the full moon and our flash lights, it wasn't that bad. So we slept in until breakfast time Friday and were so busy all day that I didn't get to go out for a run on Friday. This morning I knew I had to get up early and go or I would hate myself. My phone (alarm) was dead. But I managed to get up at 6:30am. I saw a trail on one of the camp maps. It looked like a good option. I wanted to bring my phone (camera), but it was dead. That's too bad, because it was really pretty. I stopped a just before a mile in a little grove to soak in the beauty. Then I said a prayer of thanksgiving for such a beautiful world we live in. My thoughts have been on all the troubles I've been going through lately, but I couldn't help but think that there are those that have it so much worse than me.
I kept going with the thought that I would run at least two miles (if the trail went that far), and then see what I thought from there. Right about the two mile mark, the trail split. I followed the BSA Lookout Trail to see if I could make it to the Lookout. At this point it was a little too steep to run anymore. So I hiked for a while and finally saw a nice break in the trees with a gorgeous view. Alas, no camera. At 2.25 miles and 1200ft of climbing, I decided that was far enough.
The way back was a little faster, but a bit technical. There was a lot of rocks, fallen trees, pokey bushes, stream crossings, and steep declines. But it felt really good to get the run in, and I don't hate myself. I did manage to get one picture before my phone died.
I haven't run since Saturday so today I thought I'd feel all refreshed and ready to go. That was not the case. My shins were so tight and took all three miles to warm up. This cold 60 degree weather is killing me.
Avg. pace 8:49
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Team Running on Empty was really running on all cylinders. (I was just trying to be cliche for allie.) Well, last year I totally fell in love with the Vegas Ragnar. This year, the honeymoon is over. There were just too many non support legs. There were too many out and back dangerous areas for running. It was very hot. They changed the finish line location from the Red Rock Resort to a park. Despite all that, it's still a good time. Nothing like spending 30 hours with five other sweaty people in a van.
My van consisted of two time former teammate Michael Cottam, one-time former teammate Nate Jacobs, his wife and two-time former teammate Bethany, one-time former teammate Marci Young, and first time teammate Shannon Downs. It was cool to be in the same van as Michael since he usually uses his suburban, and I use my van when we run Del Sol. It was also cool to be in the same van as the Jacobs. Even though they've both been on my teams in the past, they've never run it together. Anyway, everyone did great, and I'm so proud of them.
My van stayed at my uncle and aunt's house the night before. It was nicer than a hotel. They bought us donuts and milk. I also got to sleep in my cousin's old room complete with a poster of a bootylicious girl draped over a car. The caption read: 'Race Hard!' Very ominous. We were able to sleep in and fill the gas tank up in the morning so we wouldn't be Running on Empty. Then we decorated the van windows with our red and yellow window markers while we waited for Marci to get there. (She didn't stay the night with us because she's highly allergic to pets.) We had no problems getting to the first Major Exchange and completing our safety training.
I was the first runner in our van. I started at 1:45PM. Remember when I said it was hot? Well, it was hot! I knew that every single run I had would not be easy. I had one goal. No walking. To do that I had to play it smart from the get go. Luckily my training has been perfect. I've been running slow, which is exactly what I needed to do. I carried my Camelback Quickgrip filled with Gatorade. I knew there was supposed to be a water stop along the route, but I wasn't sure where it was. There was a total of 708 feet gain and 413 feet loss in 6.2 miles. Most of the gain was in the first four miles. It was a slow climb, and the water station wasn't until the top at mile 4. I was getting passed by men, women, and children of all race and creed. But I didn't let it bother me. I was saving myself for marriage, by which I mean my third leg. It was around 90° and miserable. I kept telling myself to stick to the game plan. And race hard. My splits on the first leg were 8:55, 9:54, 10:56, 11:19, 10:13, 9:53, and 2:03.
I don't like being the first runner simply because I sweat a lot. When I sweat, bad things happen. First of all, there's the stink factor. Second of all, I get a rash in the crotchital region. I hope that's not TMI. But why hide it? We're all runners. I did get to shower in my shorts when we were all done running, but I was already a little raw. But something glorious happened. I got to meet the blog's very own Rachelle (rhymes with Michelle). I would not have guessed that she was that cool in real life.
My second leg was 10:00PM. This was a 6 mile climb of 850 feet gain and 226 loss. Sounds like it should have been harder than my first leg, but not having the sun beating down on me made all the difference. My splits were 9:46, 9:38, 9:37, 10:24, 10:53, and 10:42. It was tough, but I felt good, and my virtue was still in tact for the third leg.
The final leg, and toughest leg was a 6.4 mile climb up 1283 feet followed by 3.8 miles of 1230 feet descent. They call my legs the 'Ragnar Legs.' I wanted this leg all for selfish reasons. People, be careful what you wish for. After being passed by so many runners earlier in the race, I wondered if all of these runners would burn out, and I would pass a bunch of them on my last leg because of my wise game plan. Well, here's the thing. When you pick the hardest leg, you go up against the best runners. I love having easier legs because you pass so many more people. But my last two Ragnar relays, I've chosen the hardest legs. Anyway, I only passed three people. Everyone who did this leg was really awesome. I settled into my pace. Then I settled into a slower pace. Then a slower pace. I did stop at the three water stations to drink a couple cups of water and stretch out for about 5 to 10 seconds. But I never walked. I kept telling myself that all I had to do was run 6.4 miles up. The downhill would be a piece of cake. The real victory would be at the top. I ate 4 chocolate energy chomps every two miles. I don't know if they helped, but they tasted good. It was 8:30 AM when I started the run, so after a while it was starting to heat up. I again carried my water bottle filled with Lemon/Lime Gatorade. I would sip on it whenever I felt the need. At one point I saw a water bottle right in the middle of the shoulder where we were running. I bent down and picked it up. It was cold! I proceeded to dump it all over my head. It was divine. Shortly after that I saw my van parked on the side of the road. It was non-support so I tossed my water bottle to them to have them fill me up with more Gatorade. All we had left was Fruit Punch, but it made a good mix. Then some lung on a stick passed everyone up like we were running backwards. He was part of the ASU track team. He must've been going at about a 6 min. pace. It was incredible. I decided not to hate him and just be happy for him. I was finally getting close to the top. It was a good feeling. There were a bunch of people from other teams standing by the road. I told them I needed some love. They were all happy to give me five. Then I was at the top. I told myself it was over. The rest was just time. I would easily get to the finish line, but it would be a matter of time, not effort. At the last water station they asked if they could top off my water bottle. I said sure. Now I had watered down Lemon/Lime/Fruit Punch Gatorade®. It was good. It kept me alive. I got passed by a 13 year old Boy Scout about a half mile from the finish. He was cruising. I don't hate him either. The best part was coming into the finish line. None of the other runners had to go through what we did, but they were very appreciative of it. They cheered as if we had just finished the entire race. It was AWESOME! And I felt good that I stuck to the game plan and never walked. My splits were 10:09, 11:06, 11:18, 12:00, 12:37, 13:28, 10:46, 9:12, 9:36, 8:55, 1:22 (7:28 pace for the last 0.2.)
Kudos to the rest of my team. Even though their legs weren't as tough, they all had to run in the heat of the day. They all survived and did great. As we were waiting for our last runner to come in I saw this guy that was 11 feet tall. I knew right away that it was Rossy. We didn't get to talk long, but we finished right behind his team. I also saw Ty, but didn't know it was her until later. So I won't put her on my Blogger's I've Met in Real Life list because I technically didn't meet her. But she was cute in all her pregnant glory.
So to wrap up, not as glorious as last year, but still fun. I met two more bloggers. I had three hard legs. I love running. Why didn't I just say this for my report?
My crummy hamstring is still giving me issues. I can run. But not fast. I had to stop three times before the first mile. And three times after that.
Right before I started to run I saw a rat-like creature run across the road. It was a chihuahua or something. I ran down the street, and there were three of them. Two of them started yapping at me. I stopped and paused my Garmin. I squatted down and motioned for them to come over to me. The two yappers wouldn't, but the baby one did. Right as it got to me the owners pulled up in their green minivan. The man honked the horn like the dogs would actually know that was the trigger to go back inside the yard. I scooped up the baby and brought it over to the lady owner. She was a Mexican gal. She said, "Dat di daddy. Dat di mommy. Dis di baby." It was real cute.
On the way back I noticed one of my neighbors had their Halloween decorations out. They had some hand made gravestones. Now I'm wondering if I should go tell them that they spelled the word 'they're' wrong.
Almost a progression run. Hammy didn't bother me too much, but I could still feel it looming in the background. I stopped once at the magic water fountain and again at the disgusting bathroom. When I was almost home a neighbor girl saw me. She must be 4 or so. She shrugged her shoulders, threw her arms up in the air, and said, "Why are you still running around in circles?" I told her because I love it!
Why did I run 1.25 miles on a Sunday? I never run on Sundays. Well, there was a reason, and I'm going to write about it, but it's probably not worth your while to read. So just skip to the next one.
My brother just moved to Safford, AZ from Kingman. In order to save money, he rented a Penske truck. There are no Penske truck rental locations in Safford. Only Uhaul. So he needed me to go with him, help him unload, and bring the truck back to Mesa. The whole time he was asking me to help him he kept trying to talk me out of it. "I totally understand if you have church duties. Hey, if you have to take care of your kids, don't worry about it. Why don't I just call my friend that I think will follow me? If I have to I'll just take tomorrow off." Of course I'm going to help him. He's my brother. Had I told him that I was starting a new job in the morning at 5:30am the next morning, he wouldn't have allowed me to ride along with him. So I kept that little secret to myself until we were on the road.
My plan was to drive the truck back and run home. It would only be a 6 mile run home so it's not worth someone hopping in a car to come get me. I wore my running clothes and unfortunately I think I ruined my brand new Running on Empty shirt that I got for my latest Ragnar team. (sad face) Oh well. We unloaded all his junk into a storage unit. It didn't take too long because we got help from local members of our church. Then we went to the friend's house that he's staying at and ate dinner. After feeding me ice cream pie so that I would fall asleep on the way home, they sent me on my way. I didn't get back to Mesa until 11:00pm. I didn't feel like running for 50 minutes, getting home, showering, and getting in bed with for only 4 hours of sleep. Also, I realized I would be running right in the heart of browntown Mesa. Probably not the safest thing to do especially when I'm carrying my wallet in my hand. So I called my wife to come pick me up. I managed to run 1.25 miles in her direction before she got to me. I saw one Mexican guy all decked out in his giant white sombrero. I said, "Buenas noches amigo." He seemed kind.
I've started a new job. This week they are training me. I have to work Monday thru Thursday from 5:30am to 5:30pm. Then starting next week I will be working from 5:30pm to 5:30am for 7 days on and 7 days off. The job pays peanuts, but it has good benefits. I took it so that I will have something stable, and at the same time it will allow me to start my own consulting business that I can do on my 7 days off. So.......we'll see how this affects my running. Already I've been way to exhausted at the end of the day to go out and get some miles. Ugh. At least I have the possibility of discovering dead bodies in the canals.