31 December 2011


Well, 2011 is almost over. If I managed to get the timing of this post right, it is one hour until the new year in NYc. I have mixed feeling about my running performance this year. Before we get into that, let's look back at the goals I set for myself. 1. 3:05 marathon/ Failed 2. 1:26 half marathon/ Check 3. Sub-40 10K/ Half Check 4. 2000 miles/ Check I only ran one marathon this year, Boston. I took a chance and went after a sub-3 performance. My efforts yielded a blow up of sorts and a 3:21:03 finish. I took that shot because I hit goal two easily. In March I ran a 1:24:36 at the Mercer Island Half Marathon. That is also where I earned my half check of goal number three. My 10K split there was sub-40. So I hit the goal, just not in a 10K race. Thanks to the streak, I crushed my mileage goal. I finished the year with a little over 2200 miles. While I succeeded at shorter distances (also managed 18:59 for the 5K)and overall mileage, I am slightly disappointed with my time from Boston. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change how I ran that race at all. I set a goal, made a strategy and gave it my best effort. I made the Boston-rookie mistake of taking some of the early downhills too quickly and my quads were thrashed for the uphill section in Newton. Since I started running, Boston was always in my mind, even if I never told anyone. So my finish time was a little hard to deal with at first. While I am still upset by it, I have accepted it and layed out a new plan to run sub-3. **********2011 Running Stats********** Distance: 2219.5 Miles Time: 297:34:50 Average Pace: 8:03 Days Run: 302 Average Run: 7.35 miles Now, for the fun part. My goals for next year. 1. Sub-3 Marathon 2. Sub-1:23 Half Marathon 3. 2500 miles 4. Finish a 50K The marathon and half marathon goals will it until the fall. I am spending a good chunk of the first 6 months of 2912 building a strong base. I may throw in some shorter 10K/HM stuff but just for fun. No PR attempts. The 50K goal is conditional. There is a 50k race near where I live on June 2. However, I do not know if I will still be living here then. If I am still close enough (western Washington...maybe northern Oregon) I will sign up and run the race. If DW or myself gets a job out of the area, I will be focused on getting settled in our new home and getting into a new routine. I hope everyone had a great 2011 and has an even better 2012. Run Strong!

Week Three

This week was kind of a down week for me. I had some great runs with my club but my solo efforts were less then stellar. Not that I'm aiming for stellar paces but my paces were not near what I hoped they would be at this point. A good friend of mine who is also going through this heart rate training reminded me that patience is key. In time, this will pay off and I will see improvements. And I still have some speed in these legs. After my one hour run yesterday I ran a one mile time trial. Somehow I pulled a 5:20. I think the track I was on is a little short but it still translates to about a 5:45. Anyhow, I'll leave you with the weeks stats. Later I'll do a December/2011 recap post. ~Weekly Stats~ Runs: 7 Rest days: 0 Distance: 62 (currently at 58 and planning on 4 tomorrow morning) Time: 9:11:23 (plus tomorrow's run)

26 December 2011

Week Two

Week two of heart rate training went well.

~Weekly Stats~
Runs: 6
Rest days: 1
Miles: 55.4
Time: 8:39:09

I had a great long run on Thursday. I got in 15 miles with several members of my running club, including Cat (who did my LR with me the previous Thursday). We ran the entire second half at a faster pace than we did our fastest mile last week! In all our pace was about 30 seconds per mile faster and my HR was lower! I attribute most of this to starting out more conservatively and picking the pace up versus speeding out and slowing at the end. Also, it helps to run with a group.

Saturday's club run went well too. Tom and I clocked a 6:55 last mile. That's the first time I've run that quick since I started HR training. Granted I should have been holding back more, I didn't mind letting my HR go up a little since I had a few easy miles before the club run and a few easy ones ahead of me to get home after the run.

My pace for the week was slightly slower than week one (9:23 vs 9:18). Though this is probably because week one included the initial test. I'm hoping this all pays off. It is taking a little getting use to running one minute plus slower than my average pace for the year. I'm hoping to hit 60+ miles this week. We'll see if that works out.

Santa was nice enough to bring me some new running gear: Asics jacket, a pair of Brooks PureConnect, Brooks nightlife vest, socks and a few running shirts. That makes me one happy runner :)

18 December 2011

Week One

Just finished my first week of HR based training. In all I'd call it a good week. On Thursday, during my LR with a friend from my new running club my heart rate was a bit fast for our overall pace. Other than that everything went great! I thought that I would not like running slower the majority of my runs but my legs feel fresher than they did before. My plan is to jump near 55 mpw next week and 6x mpw the last week of the year. That should set me up nicely to get in a solid base over the first few months of 2012.

~Weekly Stats~
Runs: 6
Rest Days: 1
Miles: 47.3
Time: 7:20:02

13 December 2011

Life and Such

As promised, a post to update on everything since I've been a slacker and not posted consistently in some time. Now that life is somewhat settled down I'll try to be a better blogger.

Lets start with the good. I am now married to the most amazing woman on the planet! Our wedding day was wonderful. We had been waiting for a long time for that day to come (we've been together for eight and a half years). I can not describe how happy it makes me to see her every morning when I wake up. She is everything that I am not and I am a better person because of her. Sadly, she is out of the state for work this week :(

Our honeymoon was amazing! We spent a week in Kapalua, Maui. Of course, we ran a 5k while there. The Xterra trail runs held in junction with the Xterra World Championships (triathlon) just happened to start at our resort. How can you pass that up? I could not think of a better way to start our married life than the same way we started dating: running.

Now, the sort of good. I finally have a job. Its not a permanent position/career job. Just something to pay the bills/student loans (and it barely does that). I will be teaching one precalculus course at a local community college. Still, its experience and something to add to my resume so I'll take it. Plus, only one class gives me time to look for a permanent position and run.

Speaking of running, I believe I need to give an October and November recap.

Miles: 150
Pace: 8:09

Miles: 161
Pace: 7:54

The streak ended the day of the wedding (that day was my last run). In all I ran for 811.8 miles in 125 days. I am currently running 6 days a week. I joined a new running club since it seems I'll be staying put for a little while. Its a great group of runners of all abilities. We have people who have yet to run their first marathon and one person who is competing in the Olympic Marathon Trials next month. I love running with a group!

I have also decided that if I am going to run under 3 hours and get back to Boston, I need to step up my game. For the foreseeable future, I am going to be doing HR based training. I've been studying my race results and have concluded that I have the speed for a sub-3 marathon but nowhere near the endurance I need. To work on my aerobic capacity, I did the Hadd 2400m test yesterday. I suspect my max HR is in the low 200's. However, due to my heart condition I am operating as if it is in the low to mid 190's. The test confirmed my hypothesis, I lack the aerobic capacity to meet my goal. I should be running around 175 bpm at my ideal marathon pace. The test showed that my PR corresponds to this (roughly). Anyway, the results.

Target HR/Actual HR/Pace

Needless to say, I have lost a lot of fitness/aerobic capacity since my HM pr back in March. I'll retest in 6 weeks to see if I am making any progress. I will continue this training method until my current 180 bpm pace is my 170 bpm pace. Then I will find a race and go after sub-3. Hopefully that will be in the fall. In a few hours I'll head out for my first run of the program, 50 min @145bpm.

09 December 2011

Guest Post!

Wow, it has been way too long since I posted. I'll post a few times later this week to catch you all up. Running has been good, married life is great and I found a part time job! More on all that later. For now, enjoy this guest post from Jackie Clark.

Manly Fitness for a Cause
By: Jackie Clark

Joining a group of people who are all running for the same cause, whether it be animal rights, education reform or battling mesothelioma, is an extremely rewarding way to spend your time. You’ll become part of a team and gain an immediate, build-in support system as soon as you sign up to run. Some runs are simply for awareness while others require competitors to raise a certain amount of money for the cause before being able to sign up. The combination of being motivated to meet a goal in order to race and helping others will give anybody a huge wave of satisfaction. Before the run, you should receive a kit that includes information about the charity and training advice for newbie marathon runners.

There are many reasons why someone would opt to run for cancer. You may have battled cancer yourself; you may know someone who is currently undergoing
mesothelioma treatment; you may have a soft spot for children who face cancer way too early in life. Whatever their life experience, most people can find some way in which they’re connected to cancer and a reason to support it. Plus, the earlier you plan, the more you’ll succeed - more time means being able to raise more money or get additional people involved in the run as well. But don’t let a late signup deter you from competing at all - if you don’t think you can raise as much money as the charity expects, don’t assume you’ll be turned away. Simply call the charity and explain your situation - they may make an exception and let you compete anyway. In the end, the purpose of running for cancer is to show your support and spread awareness, and most charities won’t shun that if it’s obvious you’re committed to the cause.

Of course you can always join in on a simple run for charity and cancer. But the uber athlete may want to be more challenged when racing for a cause. If you want some excitement while promoting your do-gooder side, consider getting involved in the Tough Mudder or the Warrior Dash. Not only will you have to run a long distance, but also you’ll have to overcome several obstacles by climbing or literally pushing through them. The Tough Mudder is the longer of the two races, but it has basically the same amount of obstacles as the Warrior Dash. However, the Warrior Dash is competitive, whereas the Tough Mudder isn’t timed - the main purpose is to complete the event. Beginners should kick off with the Warrior Dash and graduate to the Tough Mudder once they think they can handle it.
RoderickMeadows.com has information on both the Tough Mudder and the Warrior Dash.

05 October 2011

September Recap

Ok, so I didn't post the recap the next day. Four days late isn't too bad. And its been a busy four days. More on that later.

In case you missed the stats...
Month: September
Distance: 226.8 miles
Time: 31:07:49
Pace: 8:15

I had a great month of running in September. I only had one run that I "missed". I say "missed" because I'm not training for anything. So, even though I am following a plan for this base building cycle its not the end of the world if I don't hit the described workout. The run I "missed" was a long run two and a half weeks ago. It should have been a 15 miler. Instead it was a rain soaked 10 miler. My last two long runs have been awesome. A week and a half ago I had a 4 minute negative split, running 16 miles @8:1x pace. This past Sunday, I ran another negative split (I think 2 minutes) running 16 miles @7:58 pace.

The streak is still going on. Though it will probably be over in 11 days.

Now that I've got two consecutive months of 200+ miles, I'm thinking its time to pick the pace up a little bit. Nothing too drastic, just one fast workout a week to stay sharp. Yesterday was that day for this week. I did a 5 mile progression run starting at 8:34 pace and finishing at 6:02 pace.

Back to the last four days. The wedding is only 10 days away (Yay!!!) so the Kid and I are super busy with all the last minute details. Its looking like the next few days will be equally busy and then we'll have a little bit of down time early next week.

Ok, time to go finish the laundry and get ready for a nice 12 miler.

01 October 2011

Monthly Stats

Just a quick post as I'm headed out the door for a trip to PDX to visit my brother. I'll post a recap tomorrow.

Month: September
Distance: 226.8 miles
Time: 31:07:49
Pace: 8:15

Streak: 111 Days (June 13-Oct 1)
Distance: 694.3 miles

20 September 2011

100 Days

 I graduated 100 days ago. I have run every day since then. During my streak, I put in a little over 600 miles. Thats the good part. The bad part, I'm still unemployed. With any luck, that will change soon. I still haven't decided if the streak will end tomorrow or the day after the wedding next month.

12 September 2011


I totally didn't realize I haven't posted in a month. A lot has happened since then, but a lot has not happened since then. I'm still hunting for a job. Getting a little discouraged since I've been done with school for three months and haven't had an interview yet.

Wedding planning is going well. Its getting to crunch time, only 33 days left! Like I've said before, the big stuff is done, its just little things to get finished.

August was a good month for running.

Distance: 201.4 miles
Time: 26:51:11
Pace: 8:01

I'm happy with the mileage and happy with the pace. Actually, the pace was probably a little too quick. My legs definitely enjoy the slower pace I've been running this month. So much for things that are the same. Now for the different.

We had a house fire. Kitchen fire to be specific. It was contained to the kitchen but smoke damage was spread across the entire house/attic. So, we spent a few nights with my grandparents, a week in a hotel and are now living in an apartment until the contractor finishes replacing the kitchen.

Well, time to go get ready for some wedding meetings.

15 August 2011

Running in Circles

Not literally. I haven't ran on a track in months. I did do some laps around a local lake this morning though. I feel like my life is a circle right now. Wake up, run, job hunt, wedding planning, sleep, repeat. That's how life has been lately. I'd prefer if the "job hunt" was just "go to work" but such is life. The "wedding planning" will become "spend time with the wife" in 61 days! :) I can't wait.

Running has been going well. The streak is still in tact, somewhere around 65 days I think. Anyways, since its been August for a few weeks I should probably throw up my July stats.

Distance: 178.9 miles
Time: 24:11:48
Pace: 8:07

(Sidenote: That was my first month with zero rest days) I am very happy with those stats. My mileage is getting back to normal levels. I decided that during this base building phase, I want to keep most of my runs >8:00/mi with one or two days faster. I've held pretty good to that, except for this week.

My folks were nice enough to get me a pair of Saucony Hattori's since runningwarehouse had a great deal on them. I did a nice 8 mile progression run on Friday. Then Saturday, I took the Hattori's for a 4 miler. Ended up running 6:54 pace. Had a nice easy 10 miler yesterday. Today, I took the Hattori's out again. I tried to hold back but still ran 7:28's. They are definitely going to take some getting use to. The zero-drop really makes my calves work more.

Okay, I took a break from the job hunt to write this. Time to get back to work...sort of...

26 July 2011

Getting Stronger

This month has been busy! Searching for a job is itself a full time job. Between that, wedding planning and running...I'm very tired.

The job search is slow. Lots of applying, lots of not hearing back from anyone.

Wedding planning is almost finished. The Kid and I have the major parts planned. We will mail out invitations soon and today we started registering!

Running is going awesome! I've been waking up earlier than I did when I was in school but whatevs. I found a nice base building plan that I am going to follow. I really think that lots of slow, easy miles in my legs will help in the long run.

My streak is still going (44 days/226.6 miles). Running seven days a week makes you rethink training. My recovery days are super slow. I usually have one recovery day and one fast day each week. Today was the fast day. I have been running with my old hs xc team to help them get ready for the upcoming season. Today was 4 x .9 mile repeats. We wanted to do mile repeats but the lake we ran around isn't exactly a mile. Surprisingly, I could hang with these guys. I finished 2nd for all but the first repeat and got faster each time. I started @ 5:42 (6:2x mile pace) and finished @5:14 (5:49 mile pace)! I was surprised by the speed my legs had.

The team's last summer practice is Thursday. Since the season starts at the end of August, coaches are not allowed to coach that month. So no official practices. I'm going to try and get some of the varsity guys/gals and veterans on the team to come out for a long run on Saturdays.

I'm also reading Born to Run. Great book. For those who haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

~Run Strong

07 July 2011

CityBlast 5k RR

Time: 18:59
Overall Place: 6th/574
Age Group Place: 1st/18

After the race was over, I had a lot of mixed feelings. Now that I've had a few days to think about it, I'm happy with my performance.

This was my second time running this event. I was registered to run in last year but ended up making a trip to St Louis so I missed out. It is a local event put on by my church and the local YMCA.

My lovely fiance was nice enough to come out and support me :) I picked her up at her folks' place around 6:30 and we headed downtown to the start. The race starts and finished at the local fairgrounds. The course is mostly flat with one large hill at mile 2.

I had some high hopes for this race (which lead to my original mixed feelings). As such, I lined up at the front of the field. There were only a few people who worried me at the start (as they should have, they all beat me), three high school kids and a two other runners. I really wanted to PR at this event. I made a race plan the night before and followed it well.

I went out around 5:52 for the first mile. The plan was 5:50-5:55, then hold something close to 6:00 for mile two, let the hill slow me a little on the way up and blast the down hill to the finish. So the first mile was right on. Mile two was a little slower than expected, and the hill hurt more than I had planned. I was still able to dig a little speed out and finish strong in 18:59. Here is where the mixed feelings start. My PR is 18:58. I was close, but missed it. And I placed well. I was upset about missing it by one second.

After some thought, I am very happy with my performance for several reasons:

1. I haven't done any speedwork since before Boston. Sure, I've done a few tempo runs but no track/5k specific work.

2. I hadn't really planned on running the race. I didn't sign up until the 1st.

3. It was day 22 of my streak (which is currently at 25 days). I'm sure that played into my effort a little.

For now, I'll keep working on my base hopefully getting to 50ish mpw by August. I may look for another 5k later this summer and do some speed work so I can make a serious attempt at breaking my PR.

Since the Kid was there, you all get photos :)
Pre-race photo

Starting strong

Coming down to the finish

Getting my AG (1st) award from a local State Rep.

01 July 2011

June Totals: Low Mileage

Distance: 105.6 miles
Time: 14:05:59
Pace: 8:01

This was my shortest month of running (distance wise) since May of last year. I'm just glad I made it over the 100 mile mark. Its nice to keep that streak going. Speaking of streaks, I'm on a running streak. It didn't happen on purpose. It just happened. My little brother has started working out regularly and always starts with a 1-1.5 mile run. I've always wanted to be able to run with somebody in my family so I couldn't pass it up. As of now (that is, counting today) the streak is at 19 days.

The job search is going super slow. I'm hoping that something will pan out soon.

Wedding planning is great! In the last week we've picked out a dj and most likely the bakery for our cake. Those were the last two major things we had to do!

I'm really hoping that my mileage will be back around 170 this month. After I do some yard work this morning, I'll knock 5-6 of those miles out.

15 June 2011


On Sunday, I finished my career as a student. I graduated from Portland State University with my MS in math. Well, let's rewind a little.

My last final was on June 7th. It was for my Modern Algebra class. I should have had this test on lock. However, I completely bombed it. Like, to the point where passing he course was not a sure thing. Not exactly going out the way I wanted to. I walked in the commencement ceremony this past Sunday. I didn't find out until today, when grades came out, that I actually did pass.

I was actually quite surprised to see a grade already. This was the 7th class I had taken from this professor. In the previous courses, the soonest I received a grade was a week late. So I was very excited to see that B- (wow, never thought I'd be happy about a B-).

Running is going ok. I took some time off after my last race so my ankle could heal properly. Its feeling much better and I'm slowly getting my mileage back up. And I still have some speed. Two of my runs this week have been sub-7 minute pace :)

I'm not training for any races right now. Once I know where I'll be living, I may look for a fall marathon. If not that, a spring marathon for sure. There is a local 5k on the Fourth that I may jump into. For now it's just getting the miles in, looking for a job and finishing wedding planning :)

29 May 2011

Forest Park 20k

Distance: 20k
Time: 1:42:xx
Place: 11th OA, 4th AG

The weather for the race was perfect! Cloudy and 50* at the start. I felt pretty good going into the race. I've definitely fully recovered from Boston and have had some really great runs. Wednesday, my friend Aaron and I ran the course, so we wouldn't get lost today. We ran it in 1:40:55. That right, I ran slower today.

I actually lead the race for a few hundred meters when the gun went off. I knew that wouldn't last long so I enjoyed it while it did. I was still in the top 6 for the first few miles. Then the gnarly uphill section started. I knew it was coming from Wednesday but still wasn't ready for it. I even walked for a few seconds. I felt strong the first half of the race, minues twisting each ankle once.

Based on where we actually turned around (out & back course) and where my garmin turned us around earlier this week, I think the race was a bit long. I know the garmin isn't the most accurate, especially in the woods. But we ran a good third of a mile further down the trail. Its not that big a deal though.

I picked it up on the way back, since it was downhill. In a few spots this was a mistake. I twisted my right ankle two more times. I still managed to keep my position (was passed once and passed one runner myeslf). That third and final twist almost did me in. I had to stop and sit for a second. I only had about two miles to go and I've never DNF'd a race. I wasn't about to start today.

The course was not closed. So there were still regular runners and the occasional hiking family. Passing them was my favorite part. Per my last post, I wore my cookie monster t-shirt. Seeing kids' face light up when they see cookie monster running down the trail was awesome!

While I didn't do as well as I would have hoped, I still had a great experience with my first trail race. Now I'm off to ice my ankle somemore. I should probably take a few days off of running too...

16 May 2011


You know school/life is keeping you busy when you haven't written a new post in a month!

The last month has been crazy busy and it won't stop for the foreseeable future. The Kid had some informational meetings at Nike. We got to see the whole campus AND got passes to the employee store from a friend who already works there (can you say new lime-green Lunaracers?). While she was in her meetings, I got to run around the campus. They have a 2-mile woodchip trail around campus. It was really nice to run on that surface, especially knowing that many elite runners have. A week after that, she graduated with her MS! We had a lot of fun eating out with her folks and going rafting to celebrate. This coming weekend, we'll be traveling to St Louis to visit her family. Two weeks after that I will graduate with my MS. Not to mention all the homework I still need to do.

Despite all that, I've still (and always will) found the time to run. Running has been going well. This past week I put in 38.5 miles including an 11 miler @ 7:15 pace. Definitely recovered from Boston! As I am getting ready for some major life changes (graduation, finding a job/possibly moving, getting married in October) I have no races on the calendar after May. Since I do not know where I'll be living, I don't want to sign up for races I may not be able to run. That's not to say I won't race. If I hear of a 5k or 10k, maybe even a half marathon with a fairly cheap entry fee, I'll probably run it.

My next race, the last one on my calendar, is a 20k trail race. Looking at past years results, if I'm feeling really good and get a little more speed back, I've got a shot at the podium! I'm not counting on anything yet, but if I'm feeling a little better I'll go for it.

As far as training volume goes, I think I'll hold between 40 and 45 mpw. That still gives me the time I need for homework and looking for a job.

On a sad note: The running world lost one of its most promising stars, Sammy Wanjiru. He tragically died at the young age of 24. He won 5 of 6 marathons he entered (Chicago(2x), London, Beijing Olympics, Fukuoka), including a course record at Chicago, a PB of 2:05:10 and a PW of 2:06:xx. On top of that, he is a former (2x) world record holder at the half marathon distance, setting his first wr at the age of 18. All that before turning 24. We can only imagine what he might have been able to accomplish.
RIP Sammy.

20 April 2011


Rarely in this event we call life do we get to live our dreams. We often settle for something not so bad for fear of not reaching our aspirations. On Monday, I lived my dream: running the Boston Marathon. Afterall, the title of this blog is The Long Road to Boston.

Short Version:

I was not prepared for the hills. Still had a good race. 3:21:03.

Long Version:

Training went fairly well this cycle. I spent November, December and most of January building a base after the Portland Marathon. At the end of January, I began a 12 week training program of my own design. Sometime next week I'll do a post about the plan. What worked, what didn't, etc.

My paces were much faster than for Portland and my average mileage was higher. I got in three months of 200+ miles. I nailed my speed workouts and tempo runs. I only got in 3 of 5 planned 20 mile runs. The last two turned into 17 and 18 mile runs.

My one tune-up race went very well. I ran a 1:24:36 at the Mercer Island Half Marathon (a hilly course too) four weeks out from Boston. With that time in hand, I decided my goal would be 3:03:24 (7:00 pace).

Race weekend was great. My older sister and I flew to Boson Friday night. Late Friday night. Left the airport at 10:15pm, landed in NY at 6:30 am. After a 3 hour lay over, we hopped a short flight to Boston.

After checking in at the hotel we went to the expo. It was awesome! We walked around for a few hours, saw the legend Bill Rodgers and met Josh Cox. Then we wandered to the finish line, took some photos there and of the churches nearby. Then, it was off to dinner.

We ate at Paparazzi. It was a great dinner. I got to meet a lot of talented runners, including marathonmaiden, sarah, kmh and alison whom I know as members of the dailies crew on RWOL.

Later that night, I thought about going after sub-3. I know I have the speed to run that. Sunday, my sister convinced me that I've trained well and its Boston so "Go big or go home". New goal: sub-3.

Race day I was nervous/excited! I caught a shuttle from my hotel to the buses and then made it onto the third wave of buses to the athlete's village. There, I got a bagel and banana. Drank some Gatorade. Took a pic of The Sign ("It all starts here"). Hung out with kmh and marathonmaiden. Kmh left for his coral first. Five minues later, marathonmaiden and I headed out to our coral. I had arm warmers on and she was in a tank top, so I gave her my throw away sweatshirt to wear to the start. We talked strategy for a few minutes and then we were off.

I ran the first mile slower than goal pace, 7:09. It felt great to just cruise and get into a rhythm. About a half a mile later I hear "Nick?" There's lots of Nick's. Couldn't be me. "Nick *insert my last name*?" Holy crap, who out here knows me? I turn to see Geoff, an old high school friend who I haven't seen in 6 years! We ran the next 4 or so miles together. It made those opening miles go by quickly.

I sped off later to make some headway into my race. I passed the halfway point right where I wanted to be, 1:29:44. I noticed my quads getting a little tight/sore. Then I slowed a little. Then the hills came and I slowed A LOT. I basically walk/ran from mile 16 to the finish. I just plain did not do the hill work I needed to, particularly downhill work, to prepare for the course. Or, so I think. More on this later.

Around mile 18, another member of the dailies crew ran by me. Asked if I was ok. I told him I just didn't have it for the hills and thanked him for asking. He continued on to run a 12 minute PR in 3:03:xx.

As I turned onto Boylston, I saw kmh. I drew upon some well of energy, still don't know where it came from, to move my legs a little bit faster. I crossed the finish line with him. What a feeling it was to cross the finish at Boston with a friend!

I then got all the usual post race goodies (water, Gatorade, food, medal, blanket...) and my gear check bag. Then I got my phone out and called my Mom to tell her about the race. Then I called my sister so we could meet up (she was at the finish line watching me). The I called my wonderful, amazing fiancee who has supported me and my running more than I could ever thank her for.

My sister bought me pink rose (to match my pink shorts). She took some pics of me, a guy offered to take a pic of both of us. On our walk back to the hotel, countless numbers of complete strangers congratulated me. My favorite conversation:

Man: "Congrats on the race"
Me: "Thanks"
We pass each other.
Man's son: "Who was that?"
Man: "I don't know but he just ran 26 miles"
Man's son: "Wow"

Post race thoughts:

Oddly enough, I'm not too sore today. Sure, I can feel my quads and calves a bit but I have no problems with inclines or stairs. I was even able to use my foam roller today. That all has me wondering if my quads really were done, or if it was more mental than physical.

I knew that I might crash by going after sub-3. But I didn't want to settle. Often in my high school running career I would start really slow for fear of not having the energy to hold pace or finish the race. I always had a huge kick since I didn't spend all my energy on the course. I settled. As my running has continued through college and into my graduate studies, I've learned that you have to take chances. We can not reach our goals and live our dreams by sitting on the sidelines and holding back. If we don't fall, we can not learn how to pick ourselves back up. While I did not run the sub-3 I wanted, I'm happy with the way this race turned out. I met some great friends, literally ran into old ones and accomplished one of my dreams. The road to Boston may have been long, but it is not a dead end. Its just a stop sign. Now I'm making a right hand turn and hoping that I come across that stop sign again in the future.

12 April 2011

Gear Check!

Finally decided on race day gear. You know I'm reppin' the Griz!

31 March 2011

March: Short mileage, higher speed

Here's the stats for March.

Distance: 212 miles
Average Pace: 7:35
Days run: 23
Average Distance per run: 9.1 miles

I was hoping to be around 240 this month but I'll take 212 given that my pace was :11 per mile faster then February. That and I ran a major half marathon PR without tapering. Actually, considering my academic load, 212 is awesome.

Last time, at grad school...

I was working on finishing my Master's project and preparing for finals. Still don't know how I did on the final (my prof is a really really really slow grader). I did pass my Master's project! Paper and presentation=A!

Okay, back to the real reason you are all reading this blog: running. The more I think about it, the happier I am with my half marathon PR. It gives me so much hope for Boston. My training has been awesome, I've nailed my key workouts and my tune-up race. Just one last 20 miler tomorrow and then its 2 weeks of smooth sailing. Well....two weeks of less running and trying to fight off taper-madness!

I'm trying to get a post together on my thoughts about Boston. Its a big thing for me to be running it. Hopefully that will be up sometime this weekend.

We'll see you next week. Same Bat time, same Bat channel!

30 March 2011


Its been a few weeks since I've ran any intervals. Well, any short (<1000m) intervals. Maybe its been a month. Anyway, I totally nailed the workout today.

The forecast called for lots of rain so I went to the gym for my workout. True story: the rain never materialized so I could have hit up the outdoor track. Anyway, I picked a tm for my 3 mile warm up. Then I went to the indoor track for 10x800m @ 5k pace. It went well. I ran fairly consistent times...even if they were faster than 5k pace. Since the track is an odd distance, I walked about 220m between repeats. That translated to a little more than half the time of each interval. After, I hit up another tm for a 2 mile cool down.

Splits: 2:52, 2:48, 2:51, 2:51, 2:52, 2:47, 2:50, 2:53, 2:51, 2:46
Average: 2:50

The last time I ran 10x800, I averaged 2:55. Yay for progress!

Between this workout and my hm a few weeks ago, I'm totally stoked for Boston! Speaking of which, I decided on my goal, 3:03:23 (sub-7:00/mi)

19 days!

26 March 2011

Race Pics

Here are a few of my pics from the race.

Hitting the lap button, Mile 13

Cresting the last hill


21 March 2011

Its gotta be the shorts

I mean, come on. I bought these pink shorts (photos will be up once they are posted by the race) in October and haven't had a bad race in them yet. First, I ran my two best 5k's since high school, then I outright won a 10k. Now, I set a 10k and half marathon PR in the same race! Well, ok. Maybe its not just the shorts. It could be the 50-60 mile weeks I've been putting in since the year began.

Yesterday I ran the Mercer Island Half Marathon for the second year in a row. Last year I didn't know what to expect for time or the course. I ran a PR their last year (1:31:52), despite not knowing how hilly it was. The entire course is rolling hills with a few larger ones (course profile below).

Having ran the course before, this year I knew when to hold back a little and when to push. I wasn't sure what kind of shape I was in but I knew I at least wanted to run a PR (sub-1:27). I made a plan to open up a little on the down hills and just hold my pace on the uphills.

Last year, the race was just a fitness test to see what my training paces for Portland would be. This year, it was a little more than a fitness test. True, I wanted to use it as a fitness test/benchmark, but I also wanted to get a realistic idea of what I could run at Boston.

The weather could not have been better. Upper 30's/low 40's and sunny. I lined up in the middle of the 6:01-7:00 pace coral. After a few minutes in the coral, we were off. The first mile went a little quicker than I wanted but I was able to settle into a comfortable pace after that. Or so I thought. Based on my splits, me thinks someone place the 3rd mile marker in the wrong spot. Because I didn't pass many people that mile and I didn't get passed much during mile 4. Had those been actual splits, I probably would have been passed a lot during mile 4. I think its more likely that I ran fairly even splits in the low 6:20's.

Mile 1-6:18
Mile 2-6:39
Mile 3-5:29
Mile 4-7:13

Somewhere between mile 5 and mile 6 I started to pass the half marathon walkers, who started ninety minute before me. Clue number one that this was going to be a good race. Clue number two: my 10k PR mid race, 39:40. Being right next to Seattle, their are a lot of UW fans on MI. At one of the aid stations, a 12 year old boy was passing out water and telling everyone the Huskies were beating UNC. Luckily, UNC pulled it out in the second half and won (I love UW but I had UNC beating them on my bracket so...)

Mile 5-6:14
Mile 6-6:21
Mile 7-6:27
Mile 8-6:29

I noticed my pace gradually slowing and leveling off around 6:30. I was completely ok with this. I still felt strong and started passing other runners. I spotted one a ways off around mile 8 and made a goal to catch him before the finish line. On the last big climb (mile 11-12ish) I caught him. Coming up on the last uphill, right at mile 13, I was spent. I gave it everything I had to not get passed by anyone. It worked, and I came away with a major 2:54 PR! While I was getting my chip taken, the guy I passed on that last big climb came up and said he tried to catch me at the end but couldn't get there. I told him that I spotted him early on and tried to catch him. It definitely boosted my confidence that he tried to catch me and I had enough in the tank to hold him off.

Mile 10-6:29
Mile 11-6:21
Mile 12-6:41
Mile 13-6:35
Total-1:24:40 (unofficial)

My official time was 1:24:36. Somehow, I placed 42nd OA and 3rd AG! In all I am very happy with this race. I made a race plane, stuck to it and was rewarded with a great time. It also gave me a huge boost of confidence for Boston. Though now I have no idea what my goal for that race should be. Good thing I've got four weeks to figure it out!

This week is going to be a little easier as I recover from the race. Next week will be my last hard week/60+mi week before I begin my two week taper.

20 March 2011


Quick and dirty version: Two new PR's.
10K (en route to HM) 39:40
Half Marathon 1:24:40

RR later today.

14 March 2011

So far so good

This post could be much longer but I've still got some studying to do for my modern algebra final tomorrow. So its a little on the short side.

First things first, I PASSED my 501 Presentation/Thesis Defense! Now I just have to make some corrections on my thesis and I'll be able to graduate in June :)

Running is going well this month. I've got in some great tempo runs. Like yesterday, 4 miles @6:24 pace. And one good long run this afternoon, 20 miles @7:51 pace. My cycle for Boston is shaping up nicely. We'll see how nice after my half marathon this Sunday. I've got 3 goals:
1. Course PR (1:31:52, '10)
2. PR (1:27:30, '10)
3. 1:25:xx
The last one is totally a dream goal, but I'm including it anyway.

Last but definitely not least, Boston bib numbers came out today! Bib number is in the 4000's which means coral 5 since they started the numbers at 101 this year. Yay for coral 5!

28 February 2011

Recap and Stress

First, the recap. Despite being really off today (more on that in a bit), February was a great month for running.

Distance: 228.8 miles
Days run: 24
Average pace: 7:46
Average Distance Per Day: 9.5 miles

I'm happy with this, mostly. I was a few miles short of what my training plan had mapped out but any runner knows that life gets in the way and sometimes your body can't handle what you want it to. The distance was still a monthly PR by about 3 miles, was my 3rd month over 200 and was about 50 miles farther than Feb '09! The pace was probably a little quick. I hit the right paces on my quality workouts but my recovery/easy runs were a little quick.

Today was no bueno. I had a 20 miler (#3 of the cycle) scheduled for today. The weather decided to dump rain on me. So I made it 8 miles before calling it quits and deciding to get the rest of the miles in later. Sure, it wouldn't be a LR anymore but more mileage is always good. Well, my legs decided they didn't want to work and I only got in another 7 miles. I'm definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.

School is slowly killing me. I am almost done with my final diff eq assignment of the quarter. Yay! But...that just means I'll actually have time to work on my algebra homework which I am still about 2.5 sections behind in....

My thesis is getting to its final stages. I turned in a second draft to my advisor yesterday. Hoping to have either that draft or draft #3 good enough to submit to my other committee member. As long as I can get him a copy this week, I should present next Wednesday or Friday (9th or the 11th). eeekkkk! Its going to be a long couple of weeks. I may be posting a little less for the next two weeks, but after that I should have more time for blogging. Time for some algebra homework!

14 February 2011

Good Weekend

This weekend was amazing!

I flew to see the Kid on Thursday night and spent the entire weekend with her. It was fantastic :)
Friday, I took a rest day and got a leg massage. Saturday was an awesome tempo run, 8 miles with 6 at tempo pace (6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:31, 6:20). Sunday I got in 5 miles with hill repeats (.25mi@2%, .25mi@3%, .5mi@5%, .25mi@3%, .25mi@2%, .5mi@6%).

Today I am taking a rest day for travel. I am currently sitting at the airport waiting for a flight back to Portland. Actually, I'm waiting for a flight to Seattle where I will then catch a flight to Portland. As amazing as this weekend was, I'm sad that I had to leave my fiance on V-Day. Such is life. Luckily, she's coming to Portland in one week! Yay for getting to see each other more than once a month!

Okay. Back to the grind of homework and thesis writing.

09 February 2011

Um....that was fast

I am really feeling like I'm developing a lot as a runner and as a marathoner. Today's workout ended up being a little over 11 miles. That included my first track workout of the cycle: 10x800m. Before the splits, some of the thoughts going through my head before the workout.

I ran a 20 miler on Monday and an easy 8 yesterday. Still, my legs felt tired. On top of that, I did not sleep much the last night (seems to be a problem lately). I wanted to hit these intervals fast but wasn't sure if my legs and body were up for it. True story: they were up for it.


That averages out to 2:56! It was definitely the hardest track workout I've done in a long time. When I got back to my place, I stretched a little and broke out my new foam roller. Man, that thing hurts! But now my legs feel way better. So glad I bought that.

Warning, the following is a rant on people at the public track. I'm glad that I live in an area with a public track that is not part of a school. I'm glad that people use that track to stay healthy and in shape. There are, however, unspoken rules that one should follow. First, don't walk on the inside lane. Two, if you are running slower, run in the middle lanes. Three, do NOT let your children who are under 10 run on the inside lane. I almost ran over a few kids because their mom told them to move when I was about 3 meters behind them. I didn't think they were moving so by that point I had started going around them. Then their mom tells 'em to move and they move right into the lane I'm in!

Okay. Thats over. Good news, I set a new weekly PR! Well, not like a Monday-Sunday PR but a 7-consecutive days PR. Last Thursday-Today I got in 70 miles! Yay! Better news, I get to go visit my fiance tomorrow!

07 February 2011

Running Long

Distance: 20 miles
Time: 2:38:16
Pace: 7:55

Wow. That was unexpected. Three reasons: sleep, fueling and distance.

I did not sleep well last night. Probably only got 5 good hours of sleep. As for fueling, in the past I've used shotbloks and water. Well, quess who hasn't made it to a store to buy shotbloks yet? This guy. So...all I had was my Nathan fuel belt with 20oz of gatorade. And distance, I only had an 18 miler scheduled but just kept going.

The route was a combination double out and back. The first part is along the Willamette River (14 miles) with the last mile completely uphill. The second part is up hill 3 miles and then back down 3 miles. I figured hitting that hill during the second half would be good prep for Boston.

I almost didn't do the ice bath afterwards. Technically I don't do the ice bath ever, just really cold water. I put my feet in today and almost didn't sit down. I convinced myself that it would feel better later in the day and tomorrow so I sat down.

Before I forget, yay for new running gear. My bday was last week so I decided to spend some of the bday money on gear. I got two new pairs of shorts and a foam roller! Should be here on Wednesday!

Now, off to do some homework...

31 January 2011

Recap: January 2011

Before the recap, today's LR was awesome! I averaged 8:06 pace with a 3:04 negative split! And...it gave me a new PR for weekly mileage! I got in 59 miles Tue-Today.

Ok, recap.

Distance: 218.5 miles (2nd longest month ever!)
Time: 28:47:21
Pace: 7:55

Really? Did I run that pace? I hope I'm able to keep that up for the cycle. Then I'll be sitting pretty for a 3:04 @ Boston. My marathoning career started in January '09. That month marked the start of my base training before my first cycle. My running has improved immensly since then.

Jan '09 = 45 miles (yeah, that low)
Jan '10 = 158.42 miles

I am very happy with my improvement. Hopefully its something I'll be able to keep up once real life starts, because its gonna start full force [June-graduate & start working, October-wedding :)]. If only my school work was going as well as my running.

My thesis is actually going ok. I'm maybe a little behind but not too bad. I haven't started my diff eq due on Thursday and I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm a a little...ok...I'm very behind in Algebra. That slightly worries me since we are getting a take home midterm soon. Now its off to the library to pick up a book for my thesis.

28 January 2011

Long Intervals

It seems like my legs can handle two days of speed work each "week"....sort of. I say "week" since my training plan has 10-day mini cycles instead of the usual 7 days.

Today's workout called for 10 miles including 3x2 miles at half marathon pace. Here's how I wanted things to go down: 1@8:00, 2@6:40, 1@8:00, 2@6:40, 1@8:00, 2@6:40, 1@8:00. That would come out to 1:11:40 or 7:10 mile pace.

What actually happened is this: 1@7:49, 2@6:45, 1@7:55, 2@6:42, 2@8:17, 1@6:37, 1@7:58. Totalling 1:13:50 or 7:23 pace. I just didn't have it in my legs to complete the last interval. I guess they weren't completely recovered from Wednesday's tempo. Even though I didn't hit my paces dead on, I'm very happy with the workout.

Its going to be a looooong weekend. I've got my usually diff eq homework and thesis work. And I'm two sections behind in my algebra homework. And I'm heading up to my folks' house after my club run tomorrow. We're having our yearly bday party for my grandma (Jan 20), my cousin (Feb 1) and myself (Jan 26). Here's hoping that I actually get work done!

26 January 2011

Return of the Tempo

Today was the first run of my Boston cycle. It was awesome! I hadn't ran a tempo run in over a month. Even though my pace has been coming down for my easy and general aerobic runs, I was not sure I had the speed for a 6 mile tempo run. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Total Distance: 8 miles
Time: 53:27
Pace: 6:40

Tempo Distance: 6 miles
Time: 38:46
Pace: 6:28

For those of you keeping track, that's about 10 seconds per mile faster than my 10k PR. I know that my 10K is a soft PR (since it s only 3 seconds per mile faster than my HM pace) but I didn't think I'd be that quick on the tempo. The splits were: 6:14, 6:34, 6:35, 6:24, 6:36, 6:20. Oh, did I mention I was shooting for 6:4x's? I was totally stoked! If this is any sign of how this cycle is going to go or how the race is going to go, I will be very happy :)

24 January 2011

A New Hope

I think the title of this post is fitting for three reasons. I'll let you guess what they are.

This past week was my last week of base training before starting my Boston cycle! Here's the breakdown:

Mon-16.3 mi @ 8:10
Wed- 8 mi @ 7:37
Thu- 5.4 mi @ 7:35
Fri- 10.4 mi @ 7:43
Sat- 4.8 mi @ 8:23
Sun- 7 mi @ 7:21
Total- 51.9 mi

That gives me over 50 mpw for the last three weeks and 40+ for the last six weeks. Pretty good considering the base I've gone into my previous cycles with (literally 25mpw for a month before my first, somewhere in the 40's for my second, but nothing for the three weeks prior to the start of the cycle). I'm really hoping (hint) that this will allow me to run well at Boston.

Usually I do my LR's on Monday. I'm one of those marathoners who needs to do their LR the same day as the marathon. So today would normally be a LR. But, today will probably be a rest day. My fiance was having a rough time this past week so I decided to go visit her this weekend. After getting off the phone with her on Friday morning I packed a duffel bag, jumped in my car and drove the 5.5 hours to her university. I had a great weekend there with her. I took her out to a movie on Saturday to take her mind off of things (you should all go see No Strings Attached, hilarious!). Later that day, things turned around and she is now feeling much better about it (hint #2). I made the drive back to PDX this morning, hence the rest day. I'm not worried about it at all since I still have seven runs of 18-20 miles coming up.

Well, that's all for now. My next post will probably be a monthly recap in a week, though I may get in a fly-by post during the week. "But wait" you say. "What about the third reason?" There's a very strong chance I'm going watch that movie later tonight.

And since I know you're reading this, I love you Kid!

17 January 2011

Fly-By: +Distance

So far, 2011 has been awesome! The past two weeks were 50 miles and 51 miles. Today I cranked out my longest run since PDX back in October.

Distance: 16.3 miles
Time: 2:12:58
Pace: 8:10

I was very happy with this run. I started out very strong. This was good and bad. Bad becuse it meant I sped up too much on one of the downhills, clocking a 7:22 around mile 5. So...I faded a little at the end. Still, a run I am very happy with.

Today has been a great day too! I started off with that run and then have been very productive with homework. I've worked on my algebra a little, did laundry and typed a bit more of my thesis! The only thing I have left to do is work on diff eq a little and find some job postings I might like to apply for. Its shaping up to be a last great week of base building!

10 January 2011

Doin' Work

Its been one hell of a week! Classes started up again last Monday. Thankfully, I only have class Tuesday and Thursday. And I only work Tuesday through Thursday. Yes, that means a four-day weekend every weekend, but it is something I need. There is this silly thesis thing I need to write so that gives me the time I need to do it. I've already had one assignment due (last Thurs, the second day of class!) and have two more that I'm working on.

Somehow, I'm still finding time to run. Lots of time. Last week I put in 50.3 miles. It was the first time I've ran 50 miles when not in a training cycle! Its looking like I'll be able to throw down 200+ for the first three months of the year in prep for Boston!

Today's run was a blast! I wanted 14-15 miles but my route was a bit short. I ended up with 13.6 @ 7:18 pace, the last half @7:06 pace! I don't know how but it felt like cruise control. Which is good. That means I'm in better shape than I think. I definitely want to get in a 15 miler this week and somewhere around 17 next week.

Well, its back to the books. But first, this song has been stuck in my head for like a week.

Peace out cubscout!

04 January 2011

Over Due

Well, this post probably should have happend a while ago. First, a recap of 2010.

I PR'd at almost every distance!

(Previous PR/2010 Best Time)
5k-18:58/18:59 (so close!)

I credit my improvement to all the miles I put in. In 2009, I ran 875 miles. In 2010, 1800 miles. For the other stats/numbers nerds (I know you're reading this) those 1800 miles were at an average of 8:06 pace, spread out over 241 days or 7.4 miles per run. Another part of it was the motivation/advice/support from my rwol friends. Can't wait to finally meet some of you at Boston! Speaking of...

I finally finished my Boston training plan. Its 12 weeks long, averaging 56mpw peaking at 67mpw. Its not a traditional 12 week cycle. It consists of 7, 10-Day weeks and a 2 week taper.

My 2011 goals are almost non-existant and (the last one) is very flexible. As many of you know, I will graduate the my M.S. degree in June and am getting married in October. So...I have no idea where I will be after graduation. Whereever work takes the Kid and myself is where we'll be. Anyway, here are the goals:
1. 3:05 Marathon
2. 1:26 Half Marathon
3. Sub-40 10K
4. 2000 Miles

As of now I only have 2 races scheduled: Mercer Island Half Marathon (3.20) and Boston (4.18). Well, thats all for now. I need to go do some homework/work on my thesis...something I did not do over my winter break...oh well.