Last week I posted about my new running coach James and his strategy of kicking me outside of my comfort zone. Well, I got to execute this strategy for the first time in a race with this past weekend’s Lexus LaceUp Half Marathon.
Let me lay down the game plan and tell you how it went.
The goal of this race was not to shoot for a PR. In fact, James didn’t even give me a finish time to shoot for at all. Rather, I had three things to focus on…
- Change my run/walk ratio from a 4:1 to a 9:1 (this would cut my walk breaks in half).
- Start slow and increase my pace with each mile… with a speed bump at mile 10 if I was feeling good.
- Keep my overall effort at around an 8-8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.
This week, just a brief post about a particular “zone.”
I’m not talking about “time zones,” those things that drive us insane with jet lag when flying cross-country.
Nor am I talking about “The Twilight Zone,” that crazy place stemming from the marvelous mind of Rod Serling and the reason why you should always have two pairs of reading glasses… just in case of the apocalypse (TZ fans know what I’m talking about).
Nope, today I’m talking about a much more popular and destructive zone… The Comfort Zone. Read the rest of this entry
This past weekend I experienced a pair of “byes” and it gave me a strong moment of clarity to reaffirm why I love distance running and races.
Let me ‘splain.
My main college team, the Wisconsin Badgers (Go Bucky) were on a bye this past Saturday and while I did keep tabs on my other alma mater Florida State (Go ‘Noles), I kind of felt disinterested in college football for a weekend. It was similar to how I didn’t really care so much about pro football last weekend when my Green Bay Packers were off. A little bit of out of sight, out of mind.
Now also this past weekend I didn’t run a race. I’ve got a half marathon in two weeks, the Lexus LaceUp Ventura Half Marathon, so I was just doing a long run in preparation. Believe it or not, most weekends I don’t run races (only about 12 out of 52 weekends annually am I actually on a bling hunt). Read the rest of this entry
Just a quick post today and a nice last bit o’ runner’s swag from the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.
For each REVEL race, you can add photos (with captions) from your individual run into a video montage highlighting the entire event. The gang at REVEL puts it all together and sends it off to you to share with family and friends.
So I chose a quartet of images that best showed off my race face from amongst the whole batch of race photos. As you know, not every race photo is a winner.
And this weekend the video went up, showing off Big Cottonwood’s beautiful course and the spectacle surrounding the 5th running of the this great race.
Now if you look closely at the 1:55 mark of the video, you’ll get to see me clomp across the finish line. Enjoy… and Run on!
One thing that many notable athletes have in common is a great coach/trainer behind them.
- Tom Brady has Bill Belichick.
- Rocky Balboa had Mickey.
- And “Daniel-san” had Mr. Miyagi.
Yeah, I know the last two are movie references. Still works.
Basically, any athlete (real or fictional) can benefit from the wise words of a good coach, someone who can identify your shortcomings and give you advice to help you become better at what you do.
I wholeheartedly agree. And that is why after seven years of running, I’ve finally decided to hire an individual running coach.
While I’ve certainly improved since the first day I laced up my running shoes back in the fall of 2008, I feel I’ve kind of plateaued on my own in the last few years and some outside help might be just what I need to keep getting better and stay motivated. Read the rest of this entry
In the fall of 2008, when I was at a particularly low point, I made the decision to push myself to do something I thought impossible… I was going to run a marathon.
With very little running experience (just a smattering of 10Ks in my entire life) I had no real idea how I was going to make this crazy dream a reality. I needed someone to teach me how to run. I looked around at a bunch of LA running groups, but they were either expensive or located too far away for me to be confident I wouldn’t give up.
And then I saw a pamphlet for the AIDS Marathon Training Program (Team to End AIDS) and read how they’d train you to run the LA Marathon in exchange for you raising funds to help their charity APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles). Cool.
And they trained in Griffith Park, which was a 5-minute drive from my apartment. Super cool. Read the rest of this entry
As we runners know far too well racing can get expensive, especially when you do a lot of ’em. Those registration costs (and convenience fees) can add up pretty darn quickly and that’s even if you just do a local race and don’t have to worry about transportation, lodging food and all of those other incidentals that inevitably pop up.
Now, there are cool race sites out there like Raceshed (and even Groupon) that help you find discounts and give your wallet a little bit of a break. And when you come across a good ‘ole fashioned “cheap offer” why not jump and give it a whirl.
That happened to me this week and it turned out pretty well. Read the rest of this entry
The old saying goes “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.”
But exactly how many “tries” should one attempt? I think I might finally have an answer to that question.
You see, back in February 2009 I ran my very first half marathon (Surf City) and crossed the finish line in 2:36:01.
No sooner had I received my first ever piece o’ bling, then I challenged myself to one day run a sub 2-hour half marathon.
I thought it was happen sooner rather than later.
That would be a big ‘ole nope.
It didn’t happen on my 2nd half marathon, nor my 3rd.
- 10th– afraid not.
- 15th– guess again.
- 25th– that’d be a big no.
In September 2014, I literally came within 60 seconds of doing it as I ran the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in 2:01:00. Read the rest of this entry
Here’s hoping everyone had a fun Labor Day weekend doing something non-laborious.
As for me, I had fun lazing about part of the weekend. Lindy, my buddy Jeff and I saw John Williams perform his movie music at the Hollywood Bowl (an annual tradition). Lindy and I also went to a friend’s house party on Monday.
I also watched some great football as my scrappy Wisconsin Badgers shocked LSU in a showdown at Lambeau Field and Florida State rebounded from an abysmal first half to beat Ole Miss. And with the NFL pre-season over it all gets real starting next week.
And this weekend was also the start of my fall race season. Read the rest of this entry
As we sit here at the end of August, it’s clear that the “season” is upon us.
Now that season can mean different things to different people.
For my nieces, it’s means that “school season” is underway. And boy are they thrilled to be back in the classroom (cue the sarcasm). My oldest niece told me how exactly much she is digging working on a paper this weekend for her literature class. FYI, it’s not a lot.
Now, for the tens of millions of football fans around the country, college football season gets underway this week (technically it started on Friday with the game between Cal and Hawaii in Australia). And the NFL kicks off a week later. My Badgers are facing a ridiculously tough schedule this season, while my Seminoles are expected to compete for the ACC title and a spot in the playoffs.
As for my Packers (I can say “my” because I do own a share of the team)… they are one of the odds on favorites to represent in Super Bowl LI (let’s start calling it “Super Bowl Lithium”). Read the rest of this entry
The celebratory shout to the heavens of “NEW SHOES” is uttered far more often by the ladies as opposed to the gents. And having seen the closets of several girlfriends throughout my adult life, it has shown me that you ladies do indeed love you some shoes… a whole lot of ’em. One might even go so far as to say an “excessive” amount of shoes.
I know I’m sailing into dangerous waters here.
As for me, while I do enjoy a nice pair of shoes, I would happily live my entire life in a pair of comfy sneakers or canvas shoes. They really aren’t a big deal to me at all.
With one notable exception: my running shoes.
Holy Shnikes! Do I obsess over running shoes. Read the rest of this entry
Last week, in the midst of the sweltering summer sun, I started looking ahead to my fall race schedule.
I’m back this week to “revel” about another very cool race series: The REVEL Race Series.
NOTE: I’ve been a REVEL Race Series ambassador since 2014 and have had an absolute blast.
The REVEL race series features a four-pack of races each year (from April to November):
- REVEL Big Cottonwood (UT)- September 10, 2016
- REVEL Canyon City (CA)- November 12, 2016
- REVEL Mt. Charleston (NV)- April 29, 2017
- REVEL Rockies (CO)- June 11, 2017
The first thing you should know about these races is they are downhill and FAST. I mean really fast. Damn fast. If you’re gunning for a PR or Boston qualifier (all courses are USATF certified), look no further. Read the rest of this entry
It’s about a bajillion degrees outside this week in Los Angeles (and apparently other parts of the country as well). I did a four mile run this morning and it felt like I was slogging through a sauna.
That’s the joy of summer running.
But as “liquid awesome” (the happy term I use for sweat) was erupting from every pore imaginable during my run, I started thinking ahead to cooler weather and fall races. They will be here before you know it.
So here’s a fun SoCal race series to consider as you start filling up your autumn run calendar: Lexus LaceUp.
Note: I was an ambassador to the Lexus LaceUp Series in 2015 and am happy to be lacing ’em up again with them this year. Read the rest of this entry
This Saturday morning at mile 6 of an 8-mile training run I had one of those moments that every distance runner who pounds the pavement on local streets fears.
An SUV under the control of an inattentive driver turned right into my path and I honestly wasn’t sure if I could get out of the way in time.
I believed I was about to be hit by a car.
The fact that I’m writing this from my computer at home and not from a hospital bed lets you know that I indeed dodged a 3-ton bullet.
Here’s the skinny.
I was running down the bike path of Riverside Drive near Griffith Park. You have to understand this is probably the most familiar stretch of road I’ve ever run.
During my seven years of distance running and training with Team To End AIDS (T2), I’ve probably pounded this particular stretch of pavement at least 250 times. This is right by Mountain View Park, where during marathon training season The Bolivers are waiting to greet the T2 crew with water, snacks and support.
This is one my favorite spots to run… period. Read the rest of this entry
Just a quick post as I’m in the middle of a project and have been working 3 weeks straight without a day off. Oof.
Today I received my personalized video from the REVEL Mt. Charleston Half Marathon, one of the many cool perks REVEL offers its participants. It features several photos of me during the race and the video snippet as I clomp across the finish line.
A cool course and a fun run. And registration just opened for next year’s REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon/Half Marathon (April 29, 2017). Check out www.runrevel.com and sign-up.
Now back to the grind… and Run on!