Sunday, October 28, 2012

Really Big Free Half Marathon Preview

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Exclusive Interview with Marathon Legend Trent Lorcher

In honor of me signing up for the Utah Valley Marathon, I thought I would share this exclusive interview. My wife shot it. It's exclusive because I finished 866th and the elitist Utah sports media only cares about runners who finish in the top 865.

This video is about a minute long, which is 4 hours and 12 minutes shorter than the marathon (not shown). There is a 30-second clip of me running, but I look so stupid that I felt we'd all be better off for it to remain private.

Note how my two older kids are old enough to not want to hurt my feelings and how the younger kids don't care that I just ran a painful 26.2 miles.  The baby I'm holding is mine.  My accomplishment would have been more impressive if I'd carried her the entire distance. I did not.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Some Benefits of Getting Old

There are some benefits of getting old.  Here are my top two.
  1. I'm not dead.
  2. I no longer "need" to prove I'm a man by doing some great athletic feat, which is good because I'm not really capable and never have been.
There was a time, however, when I felt it was necessary to prove my manliness while running.

My wife is a runner. She's fast. She's also injured, which means I no longer run with her. And we have five kids. When we were first married, we ran together almost every Saturday, and by together I mean she'd wait up for me.  I, on the other hand, was racing. I beat her twice.  The first time I beat her, she thought I was hurt and ran back to look for me.  I had taken a shortcut.  The second time I chased her down at the end of a five-miler.  She didn't know we were racing...and she was seven months pregnant. 

I used to occasionally enter local races.  One such race occurred on New Year's Day. I don't recall the year. I do recall feeling a tweak in my calf muscle about half way through. I kept going. About six really old guys passed me. I couldn't hold back any longer. I just had to beat the octogenarians, so I sprinted the last mile, injured my calf, and couldn't run for another several months.

Then there were all those morning or afternoon runs in the park or on the streets where I just had to "race" everyone I saw. That's just stupid.

Those people behind me eventually passed me.
Now, I don't care. Maybe it's that completing a marathon gave me the self assurance that I'm good enough or maybe I'm an adult now.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from swimming in alpine lakes for no apparent reason. Looks like I might need to do an Ironman.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Unofficial 5-k PR

Went running the other day.  Thought it'd be a good day to set a pr, a 10-k* pr.  I'd been running slow to get fast.  Some heart rate monitor guru said so in a book, so I'd been running slow to get fast, although--to be honest, I didn't think it would work.  It sounds stupid.  Really stupid.  How the heck am I going to get fast by running slow--although, truth be told, while training for my first and only marathon to this point (I've another one coming soon.  I bet you can't wait to find out about it), I trained fast and got slow.

Every now and then, human beings lack the faith necessary to follow through on their plans.  My plan was run slow to run fast.  The theory, espoused by Phil Maffetone in The Big Book of Endurance Training, says that if I run with my heart rate in the aerobic zone, I'll build my aerobic capacity, allowing me to run faster at the same effort and to run faster at faster efforts.  As I said, I didn't really believe it, but I was actually enjoying the more relaxed paces.  It's like running was actually fun.  But I'd lost faith in the concept, despite ample evidence to support it, such as MAF test #3, the details of which I will not bore you, and I thought I'd better test the theory before my half marathon in a couple of weeks.

So I thought Monday would be a good, albeit random, day to set a 10-k pr.

I failed.

Instead I set a 5-k* pr.  It had been so long since I'd really tore loose that the concept of pacing didn't register and I ran a 7:21 first mile, which is fast (for me). Mile 2 was also a little faster than I should have gone.  It was 7:28.  Mile 3 was at 7:31.  These are close to times I was running 1-mile repeats at last January.  I realized after about 2.5 miles that I wouldn't have enough left in the tank for a 10-k pr, so I settled for a 5-k pr of 23:06 (a full 36 seconds faster than I'd ever run the distance befor), jogged a recovery mile, and called it a day.

As it turns out, you can get fast by running slow.  Who knew?

Here's part of the Sunset Dunes running trail in Las Vegas where my historic run took place.

*My current 10-k pr is 48:02.  I plan on breaking that before the end of the year.
*You could argue I actually failed since the plan was to run a 10-k pr.  I don't care.  Nobody was there but me.  Besides, in the Olympics, you can set the 5,000-meter world record during the first half of a 10, 000-meter race and it still counts.  If it's good enough for Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, it's good enough for me.