Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend -Pre Taper Tantrum - Seen On My Run - A Giant Chicken

Before I get into my blog post, let me direct you all to the last post and thank Tim Coughlin for commenting on my previous entry. If you ran in the Veggie Chase or had a child run in the Veggie Chase, please message him and let him know your T Shirt size as they are printing up more. Pass this along to anyone who cares!

Last night I had a pre taper tantrum. Yeah yeah I know I am nowhere NEAR taper town, but I like the term so much I just had to use it :P.  Last night I suddenly realized my training schedule and real life calendar didn't jibe, chaos ensued and I was reduced to a mess. When I calmed down, I faced the sobering reminder that more than any other activity, running is a sport where the ultimate outcome depends on the individual. It is all on you! There's no blaming anyone else for your performance come race day, or any day for that matter. If you train, stick to your game plan, stick to your hydration/fuel strategy, you have a good chance of achieving the results you want. If you skimp on training, put off planning, procrastinate on investing in yourself - you will almost assuredly face disappointment come race day. It's so easy to blame others. I am guilty, I'm confessing, I'm letting everyone know! That being said, now that I'm regrouped - I'm at the halfway point and running 14 miles this weekend, July 25th seemed so far away scant weeks ago and now it's almost here. I'd like to take the time to let everyone know how awesome my wife is for putting up with me, you'd think after one marathon she'd say 'never again!' but she's rad for still indulging me. From post run band aids in the shower, to gobbling every bit of food in sight, to the aforementioned tantrums, to sighs when Sunday long runs take wayyyyy longer than expected, I love her very much and thank her for being the best coach and partner around!

 Stuff I saw this week while running!

 An interesting bag at the bail bond place downtown. What was in the bag? I wasn't about to find out. I hightailed it out of there.

Here's another interesting one, looks like someone stole someone's luggage and went through it here :( . We spotted this debris on the Fair Oaks side of the footbridge near Sunrise blvd.

I saw this huge chicken yesterday and was so excited. I'm a huge Daniel Pinkwater fan so well, that's all I will say on that subject! This is in or around N street.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Veggie Chase Review

The Veggie Chase sucked and ruled all the same time. The race organizers failed on so many levels, but on a personal level it was so much fun to see my daughter finish her first race !

"The mission of the Veggie Chase is to create a fun and unique community event where kids and families come together in a beautiful, natural setting along the American River Parkway to enjoy an event inspiring lifelong appreciation of fitness, excercise and healthy food choices." The mission statement is great, but their execution was awful. Let me rant for just a second , a rarity for me!
  • They ran out of kids t shirts. How does this happen?! We registered weeks ago, and all they had was adult small. Colossal fail. You gear a race towards kids and then underestimate the amount of shirts to print? It's not the volunteers fault, but I overheard a lot of angry parents at the packet table complain. Luckily my daughter didn't mind but she's not going to grow into that show for another 5 years! Race organizers: print more shirts. You will make a lot of parents happy and gain free advertising when the kids wear the shirt out to the playground/school/etc.
  • The course was poorly laid out. When I mean poorly I mean, they had a flimsy bit of tape stretched over some pylons and then haphazardly positioned in a grass field.
  • Every event ran late. We are talking like 15 minutes late or so. I understand that things get crazy, sure but come on ! When you are dealing with impatient children those minutes seem like hours.
  • Running shoes + wet grass = cold kid's feet.  nuff said.
  • The announcing was inaudible and confusing. I overheard many parents venting about the announcing. The PA system was woefully in adequate and I am positive that lots of kids missed their races because the start finish lines weren't laid out clearly and the announcer couldn't be heard.

      I took this shot of the 2k, they didn't warn us about rattlesnakes either but that's a whole other story ;)

    Ok so that being said, here's what I DID like about the event!
    • Chipotle chips and guac at the farm event
    • Promoting healthy eating
    • The feeling of pride when kids complete their event and do a race "like mommy and daddy do"
    • Seeing related booths from people like REI, gymnastics, etc.
    • Having my daughter finish! She has a DNF under her belt (she was at my first half and declined to run thanks to some overzealous people in superhero outfits) now she's much more confident and had a ton of fun running with her friend and waving to mom, grandma,  and grandpa. I'm very proud of her! She told me all day "I won daddy!" and I told her "yes you did. Sometimes all it takes to win is just to try" and she did !

    Update! Lots of people are also chiming in at the forums and  more blogs discussing the Veggie Chase Shirt Situation
    Yet another update!
    So yesterday Sam McManis wrote  this about the Veggie Chase.

    Today we received a response from  the race director. Here's what he sent out to Veggie Chase  participants/registrants.

    Thank you for your patience; we are a small, all  volunteer group with a limited budget trying to provide tremendous value  for kids and families at an affordable entry fee (our pre-registered  rate for kids was only $5!) we had a hiccup with the t-shirts (of all  things!) one of our dedicated volunteers miscalculated the number of  kids shirts pre-ordered (plus registration grew by over 110% in the last  10 days) resulting in a shortage. Disappointing a kid bruises a  Veggie's we will provide rain-check shirts for those  kids who didn't get one. If your child was one of the pre-registered participants   that was not able to receive their shirt, please respond as soon as  possible with your child's name, and shirt size so we can make sure  their shirt is included in the count. Thank you for your patience.

    You all  are awesome!

    Hope you all had a blast!

    ~ Tomato  Tim  

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Training Plan - Focused on San Francisco Marathon!

    After my last race I felt a bit dejected, but after a while I bounced back looking at the big picture and counting my blessings. I wasn't injured, I wasn't alone, I have a ton of support from friends and family, and most of all - I've got more races and more time to improve on everything that made me unhappy. I've found a training plan, I'm mixing up my training, and I'm in a positive mental state now!

    I'm excited to announce I have found a race plan that works for me (so far!) and is kicking my butt but will get me where I need to go. I'm doing the Runner's World Intermediate Marathon Plan, and I love it! It only gives me two rest days but two weeks in -I'm feeling great. I also feel great knowing I'm really putting in some miles and really improving on my quest to get negative splits on longer runs. If you are on my Dailymile, you know that this has been a thorn in my side come race day. I'm on Week 6 of the training plan, have missed a mile or two here and there, and have shifted days around, but using this as a guide is so much more effective than leapfrogging from one plan to another like I did for CIM.

    To mix things up I'm also running barefoot on the treadmill, swimming and walking during the week. The barefoot treadmill runs are the shortest ones, 3-5 miles or so. It's helping me with my stride and for years I've gone barefoot at home so really it's not that big of a deal.  The swimming helps me stretch out and helps me do a bit of an upper body workout, and the walking also helps stretch during the week and sometimes we just need to push on our desk and get away from our computers don't we? Well I know that I do.

    My PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) is also due to a lot of good things happening. I have had numerous friends return from Big Sur - some as their first marathon, some as their second, but all happy with the memories. Their stories  rekindled my love for the journey ahead and got me excited to really dive back into training after the bumout of the Shamrock'n. My wife has been very supportive of me and is training for her first half this fall, which is awesome! I've also had some great runs leading up to this stage of training; trail running with a friend in Auburn, running up the steps to the Coit tower in San Francisco, and of course  seeing wildlife along the American River Parkway. Lastly, I've gotten a ton of great information, tips, and advice from other blogs, twitter amigos, and dailymile posters. You know who you are!
    Thanks for reading! More updates soon!

    The photos show my recent running routes. The top trail is my Davis 3 miler ,  the hilly one is a run I did in Auburn, CA, the bottom image is on the American River Parkway (The Sac State Aquatic center is to the elft of the trail ) right after the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.