Friday, September 30, 2011

A Run, the Gym and Getting Around. September 29, 2011

Ran 4.32 miles @ 0:50:06.  Went up a large hill along the way.

  1. Short spin on an elliptical in 0:20:00
  2. Weights, free weights and abs in 0:30:00

Getting Around
Walked 3.34 miles

Guestimate calories burned:  961

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DSE Lake Merced Half Marathon Race Report: New Half Marathon PR! Event date: September 18, 2011

I set my Half Marathon distance PR a few years ago during the 2009 Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA with a Chip:  2:30:45.  It was my third half marathon ever.

Fast forward to my 31st half marathon, the Dolphin South End Runners (DSE) Lake Merced Half Marathon on September 18, 2011.  I wasn't expecting a PR this day, but I PR'd!

DSE organized the Lake Merced Half Marathon and many other low key, no frills running events.

While on my way to my 31st half marathon ever, mentally, I was iffy on the Lake Merced Half Marathon.  My wallet was very happy that my event registration fee was just $8.  But, when the gun or the start is announced, I wasn't sure if mentally I can take the event seriously.

The Big Question:  Given the low registration fee, will my legs even want to run?

When I arrived, bib pickup was smooth.

Despite the low registration fee, there were a few extra porta potties.  There were no lines when I got there.

While on my way over, I kept thinking that for such low reg. fees, I might have to make use of some bushes instead.  The bushes were safe today.

The starting line was a chalk drawn line in the parking lot.  There were no fancy banner overhead saying, "The Start."

Everyone lined up behind the chalk line, and the race eventually started.

The first mile was totally congested as the multi-use path around Lake Merced isn't very wide.

During the second mile, the faster folks were pulling away, and I started weaving in and out trying to get ahead.

I got into a nice zone during the third mile and just kept going only taking several walk breaks while downing some gels, downing some drinks or to briefly stretch.

It was an uneventful race until Mile 10 happened.

Mile 10:  The mouthpiece on my running pack broke, trapping all my fluids inside my pack.

Fortunately, the next aid station was about a mile away.

I ran over to the next aid station and drank quickly before running off.

I kept running on the multi-use path until I reached a path made by some cones, signaling it was time to the turn off and head thru the parking lot to the Finish.

When I saw the Finish ahead, I sprinted towards it.  (Note:  I took this pic after I had finished.)

 After I crossed the Finish, I stopped my clock and looked down.  I was stunned!
New Half Marathon PR:  2:25:29

I was stunned enough that I went over to the folks working the finish area and asked if their clock was accurate.  They said that it was.

Wow!!!  I PR'd.

A couple of firsts for me:
  1. A sub-2:30 half marathon finish
  2. A sub-11:00 minute/mile average pace during a half marathon

Official time and new PR:  2:25:26

My treasured bib and finisher's ribbon from the event which got me a new PR.

Post-race, there were lots of orange slices, some potato chips, some bananas and lots of cookies.

So, the answer to the Big Question:  Given the low registration fee, will my legs even want to run? is that yes, my legs will not only run but can run for a PR.

For more info. on the Surf City Marathon events, click here.
For more info. on the DSE Running Club, click here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Crazy Hilly Run and Went to the Gym. September 27, 2011

Crazy hilly run of 4.75 miles @ 1:12:03

Weights, free weights and abs in 0:30:00

And, of course, I had to get around.  Walked 2 miles.

Guestimate total calories burned for the day:  722

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inaugural Half Moon Bay Marathon Expo and Scott Jurek. Event date: September 24, 2011

What a long day!

I woke up at 4 something am to head off to volunteer at the Brazen Racing's Trail Hog running events and afterwards, made a beeline to the Inaugural Half Moon Bay Marathon Expo to catch ultra runner, Scott Jurek, speak.

Scott's running career highlights include winning the Badwater Ultramarathon twice and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run 7 times.  His race distances make the marathon distance look like a walk in the park.

I arrived at the Half Moon Bay Marathon Expo and walked thru the small shopping complex.  The expo was held entirely inside a small shopping complex which was nice.  It was cold and breezy outside from the nearby ocean.  It was also wet outside from the heavy fog.

An event flag greeted runners outside at the mall.

There wasn't a whole lot to see at the expo.  On the plus side, your wallet was pretty safe from spending too much money here.

The Fleet Feet area of the expo.

Scott had 2 presentations.  Because I was commuting from volunteering at a trail running event, I missed his first presentation.  His second presentation was called, "Running Tough."

I need all the help I can get!

After his presentation, he signed copies of  Chris McDougal's Born to Run and some Brooks posters.  Scott is one of the athletes covered in the book.  He is currently sponsored by Brooks.

Pic of Scott and me.  I was awestruck.

Scott said he is currently writing a book.  I am hoping he will be back this way during his book signing tour.

For more info. on the Half Moon Bay Marathon, click here.
For more info. on Scott Jurek, click here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Giant Race Half Marathon Review: Growing Pains and Brian Wilson. Event date: August 27, 2011

This was the 2nd annual Giant Race, benefiting Project Open Hand.

Originally, I wasn't going to run this year because last year's half marathon course wasn't all that great.  I didn't like last year's course.  The intersection blocking wasn't great.  The course also was a tease, where half marathoners ran past AT&T Park on the way back only to run around in the drab areas of Mission Bay, with there was nothing much to look at and no one cheering also.

When they announced it was a new course, I decided to make a run for it.

No Pre-Race Packet Pickup.
I was disappointed with the no pre-race packet up for most runners.  New this year:  You have to purchase a baseball game tix to get into the Pre-Race Pickup.

If I paid a registration fee, I can't see why I should pay more money to get into the race expo.

It also made no sense to pay for a baseball game tix for a game the evening before a half marathon, since I have to get some shut eye and wake up early for the half marathon.

FedEx gear check and pickup was smooth.

Porta potty lines were not too long and steadily moved along.

The Race.
Getting into a corral was a challenge.  Lots of folks congregated at the coral entrances when there was plenty of room in the middle.

Wave 1 before the race started.

Getting closer to the Start.

Off we went.

The first 3 miles were congested.  Many folks were running on the sidewalk to avoid the congestion but were eventually waved back into the streets by course marshals.

Making things more congested this year for the Half Marathon distance is because they added a 10k distance this year.  They took 2 out of 3 lanes for the 10k during those first 3 miles; one lane was for turning around the 10k and the other lane was for the returning 10k folks.

Here are a few pics from the course:

The Ferry Building.

Pier 39.

Fisherman's Wharf.

Fort Mason hill.

During Mile 5, I was running along.  I saw up ahead what looked like some fan who looks a lot like the San Francisco Giants closer, Brian Wilson.

Only when I got closer, I realized it was really him.  He was standing in the middle of the street, cheering on the half marathoners.  When I got to him, he was totally surrounded by fans.

Here's a pic of SF Giant, Brian Wilson, as I went by.

The course continued past Crissy Field and back thru the following to AT&T Park:

  1. Fort Mason hill
  2. Aquatic Park
  3. Fisherman's Wharf
  4. Pier 39
  5. The Ferry Building

Returning towards AT&T Park.

The Finish is just up ahead.

Chip:  2:32:37, which I am happy with.

After I finished, I quickly realized that things were a mess.  I received my usual bottle of water and bling; this was fine.

What wasn't fine was that I was handed a yogurt but no spoon.  It was followed by being told the advertised granola had already ran out.

I followed the line of other runners up the stairs and onto the concourse.

Things then came to a screeching halt.

The Post Race Goodie Bag and Food Line Jam.

Eventually, the masses slowly moved forward.

I picked up a goodie bag, a Safeway bag, a bagel and a banana.

Next, came the Tim Lincecum bobblehead.

After the bobblehead came the T shirt pick up area.  Some folks were upset they had ran out of their shirt sizes.  Fortunately, I was able to get a Men's L.

The masses then slowly moved towards the Post-Race Expo area.

Finally, I reached the Post-Race Expo.

I made it over to the advertised chocolate recovery booth area, where there was nothing left.  It seemed they had ran out and had already packed up.

At this point, I was very disappointed.  Why advertise something when they can't deliver?

I was also disappointed that due to the start and finish times, those who did the 5k and 10k would nail all the food before some of the half marathoners even finished.

The only highlight in the Post-Race Expo area was the World Series Trophy.

Pic of the World Series Trophy and me.

Ran Out of Medals.
Afterwards, I found my friends and went to lunch.  It was suppose to be a celebratory lunch, but it didn't feel very cheery.  They had ran out of medals, and I was the only person at our table who received a medal after finishing.

  1. Beautiful baseball stadium
  2. Finish on the field of a beautiful baseball stadium
  3. Tim Lincecum bobblehead
  4. Post race, everyone can pose for a pic with the World Series Trophy
  5. If you didn't have a camera with you, they had photographers who can take a pic of you and the World Series Trophy.  A print:  $20.  Digital download:  $30

  1. No free Race Expo.  If you want to attend, you must purchase a baseball game tix.
  2. Scheduling the Half Marathoners to run into the back of the 5k, including those pushing strollers
  3. Only 3 corrals.  They really should have more.
  4. Ran out of some shirt sizes
  5. Ran out of medals
  6. Congestion on the course
  7. Congestion during the last mile or so
  8. Congested post race areas

Would I Run it Again?

I really wanted to like this one because I love baseball and love finishing on the field of a baseball stadium.

On one hand, it is only the 2nd annual running of this event.  It has growing pains that needs to be worked out.

OTOH, however, if you see a race event schedule the start of a 5k event 1 hour and 30 minutes after the start of the Half Marathon event and they both share the same finishing course; common sense would tell you that it's going to be a mess.  This is poor planning, and it's an event to avoid until their bugs are cleaned up and their race reviews are better.

The Bling that Got Away: Trail Hog Event Volunteering. Event date: September 24, 2011

This year, I told myself to run in less races compared to previous years and now look what happened...

I let a gorgeous bling slip away.

Over the weekend, I volunteered at the Brazen Racing's Trail Hog trail running events instead of running in it.  I was so envious of those folks who had finished their events and have blings hanging around their necks.

Gorgeous trail hog blings.
If the bling is similar for next year, I am not letting it get away from me.  That hog will me mine.

For more info. on Brazen Racing, click here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Short Spin on an Elliptical. September 23, 2011

Sometimes, I get pressed for time in between things.

Today was one of those days.

0:20:00 on an elliptical with arms

In addition, I walked 1 mile trying on a bunch of errands.

Calories burned for the day:  276

Friday, September 23, 2011

Went for a Run and then to the Gym. September 22, 2011

4 miles, including 2 crazy hills, some headwind and a trail section with lots of sand.  Each time I run thru a trail section with that much sand, it reminds me why I don't like trail running.

0:30:00 weights, free weights and abs

In addition, I walked 2.34 miles.

Guestimate calories burned for the day:  842

Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Workouts Post-Race. September 21, 2011

I'm trying to get back into the saddle after the DSE Lake Merced 1/2 Marathon, which was on September 18, 2011

For today:  0:20:00 on an elliptical with arms and walked 2.29 miles.

Guestimate calories burned:  335


I tried to put up some pics for my Giant Race Half Marathon Review the other day, but blogger or Picasa's Web kept freezing up on me.

I am hoping to try again this weekend and will see if it will work.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So Relieved! My New Bladders Had Arrived.

A couple of days ago, the mouthpiece on the bladder of my running pack broke during Mile 10 of the DSE Lake Merced 1/2 Marathon I was in.

Mile 10 equipment failure:  a broken mouthpiece.

After I made it home, I immediately canvassed high and low looking for a replacement mouthpiece.  I found plenty of Camelback parts but no Nathan parts.

So, I clicked a few buttons and ordered new bladders with new mouthpieces.

So Relieved!  My New Bladders Had Arrived.

Shipping was lightning fast and free from Running Warehouse.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

So Glad Not to Be Sick Before a Race

Very cold next to the beach!  Brrr...

Today, I am so relieved that I am not sick.  I will be running in a local, no frills half marathon around Lake Merced tomorrow.

I had been very concerned.  The other day, I volunteered to help Nike with a timing test for an Internet project they are working on.  The location was next a beach.  There was a lot of down time for us volunteers.  It was very windy and incredibly cold.  Near the end, my nose kept running; I felt cold; and I was losing feeling in my fingers.

So, glad not to be sick before a race.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pay $10, Get $20 at Whole Foods Market

Pay $10, Get $20 at Whole Foods Market

Some Fine Print
  • Limit 1 per person.
  • Promotion Value Expires on:  December 13, 2011 (last day to use at Whole Foods Market)
  • Not available in all markets.

To get in on this deal, do the following:
  1. Click here
  2. To check to see if this offer is available in your area, go to the bottom of the right side of the screen.
  3. Click on "Looking for Another City"
  4. Click on the city location closest to you to see offers available.

Thanks for reading and good luck!!!

Ran 4.72 Miles. September 12, 2011

Very warm day today.  But made it out the door.

4.72 miles @ 0:54:28

Crazy me even tossed in 1 mile running up hill near the end.  What was I thinking?

Calories burned:  572

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ran, Attended a Nike Women's Marathon Event, Went to the Gym and Walked. September 10, 2011

Went for a Run
I saw Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson before my run.  I didn't have a camera on me.  Perhaps, next time.

8.09 miles @ 1:38:18

Nike Women's Marathon Event at Lombardi Sports
Then, went to a Nike Women's Marathon event at Lombardi Sports.

Nike Women's Marathon event sign at Lombardi Sports

Fun event.  Free Nike tech T's and free shirt customization with minimum Nike purchase.  Nike shoe test runs.  They also raffled off some entries to the SOLD OUT Nike Women's Marathon, which is on October 16, 2011, to some very lucky folks in attendance.

In addition, there were informative seminars from San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy and Marathon Matt, covering injury prevention and proper running form.

Played at the Gym
Afterwards, waddled off to the gym.

0:35:35 of weights, free weights and abs.

Getting Around
Also, walked 3 miles.

Guestimate calories burned for the day: 944

Friday, September 9, 2011

Walked 3.02 Miles

Errand day today.

A stop here.  A stop there and so on.

Walked 3.02 miles

Guestimate calories burned for the day:  151

A Run, the Gym and Getting Around. September 8, 2011

Crazy sized hills today along the way.  I'd consider a few blocks to be mountainous.

3.71 miles @ 0:47:25

0:35:00 of weights, free weights and abs.

2.28 miles

Guestimate calories burned:  728

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wrestling with the Tall People's Elliptical with Arms. September 7, 2011

Briefly worked out at the new gym today.

Elliptical Machine with Arms
Tried out one of those elliptical machines with the arms.

Seriously, there should have been a warning sign on this machine saying, "For Tall Folks Only."

It seemed that to use this machine comfortably, your stride must be considerably longer than the length of any of my strides.

In addition, I used the preset cardio workout program on this machine.  The resistance at times was too much.  There were times I literally had to shift all of my weight onto one of the foot levers in an attempt to get the lever down.

After my wrestling with the Tall People's Elliptical with Arms, I moseyed over to the stationary bicycle section.

Stationary Bicycle
The next machine I got on was a stationary bicycle.  Fortunately, it was for a person of my size.  But, on the other hand, the machine thought I was a ghost.  My heart rate was listed at "0" for a good chunk of my time on it.

I really wished I was at my old gym instead where the equipment ain't so odd.

Guestimate calories burned for the day:  400

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2 Days of Rest but Now Back in the Saddle. September 6, 2011

I gave myself 2 rest days in a row (September 4 and 5, 2011).  It felt strange not being active for those 2 days, but I got back into the saddle today.

Confused at New Gym
I am trying out a new gym and am just confused over the computer to machine link.  I poked around on a stationary bicycle for several minutes and was still baffled.  I tried asking the person to my left and the person to my right before we pieced together something workable.

I have a feeling I'll be confused for a couple of weeks.

0:30:00 on a stationary bicycle

Then, went outside for a run.

4.11 miles @ 0:43:52 (speed work)

Back to Old Gym
I was so relieved to be back at my usual gym near the end of the day.  More importantly, no fuss over the computer links to the machines.  Just do your workout and then that's it.

0:35:00 of weights, free weights and abs

Getting Around
Walked 3.03 miles

Guestimate calories burned for the day:  1,230

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hills and Inclines Kind Of Day

I am not a fan of hills, but on somedays, I got to try to get up them hills.  Today is 1 of those days.

6.06 miles of some hills and inclines @ 1:19:53

Afterwards went by the gym for 0:35:00 of weights, free weights and abs.

And, walked 2.79 miles.

Guestimate calories burned for the day:  973

Friday, September 2, 2011

Runned, Walked and Hit the Gym. September 1, 2011

Ran 3.04 miles @ 0:36:33.

There was 1 hill along the way, and I got blasted by strong headwinds.  Pace-wise, it was hard to tell if my legs were tired or if it was due to strong headwinds.

Afterwards, went to the gym.

0:30:00 of weights, free weights and abs.

In addition, walked 2.35 miles.

Guestimate calories burned for the day: 613