A week ago I ran my last race of 2016, the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K. Clad in holiday colors and matching reindeer antlers (of course), I lumbered through the streets of (you guessed it) Santa Monica and Venice. I had a really good time and also finished with a pretty good time (58:41), my fastest 10K for the year.
Now that I’ve placed my last piece of 2016 race bling upon the wall (time to get another medal hanger too), it’s time to take quick glance back at the running year that was.
Back in December of 2015 I stated that my overall plan for 2016 was to “take it as it comes.” Meaning simply that I wouldn’t obsess over obtaining goals, but rather just go forward and have fun. In hindsight, that plan seems to have worked out pretty well. Read the rest of this entry
“HAVE WE GOT A VIDEO”?
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!
…RUNNING LIKE A “CHEAP” BIMBO
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
BREAKING THE BARRIER… FINALLY!
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
OFF AND RUNNING…
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
LET THE “SEASON” BEGIN…
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
FALL FUN PART 2: REVEL RACE SERIES
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
REVEL BIG COTTONWOOD IN MOTION…
If a picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, then what about a video?
Well, since a video is made up of a whole heap of images (about 29.97 “pictures” per second, depending on your choice of frame rate) wouldn’t that make a video’s value equivalent to about a bajillion words.
The one word that comes to mind then is: Dammmmmmmmmmn.
Okay, just me tossing out a silly introduction for something rather cool.
The other day I received my final bit o’ race swag from the 2015 REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.
As part of their runner perks, which also includes free race photos, REVEL allows racers to choose their favorite photos (and add captions) that will be turned into a personalized race video. Read the rest of this entry
SAYING “CHEESE” FROM BIG COTTONWOOD…
As a little bit of an “epilogue” from the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon, here are a few race snapshots.
And for those wondering, REVEL includes free race photos for all participants (and a personal video). Just another reason to lace ’em up with REVEL and take a leisurely stroll down the mountain.
Say “cheese”… and Run on!
GOING BIG AT BIG COTTONWOOD…
The other day, I mentioned that things might be a bit “iffy” at my first half marathon in five months (the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon).
As it turns out, “things” actually went pretty well.
The trip itself was a bit of a blur… I was in Salt Lake City for just a little more than 24 hours.
But the race was rather memorable. As I’ve written before, Big Cottonwood features an incredibly scenic (“nature-gasm”) course. And the REVEL gang gives their all to put on a good race.
I woke at 3am on Saturday morning (when the first of my three alarms went off). And then I quickly took care of the 3 “S’s.”
Now some people ask why I Shower and Shave before a race knowing that in a matter of hours I’m going to be utterly grubby. I think it’s because I know that I’m going to transform into a sweat monster (a frothy Frankenstein, if you will) that I feel the desire to be clean and clean-shaven… if only for a moment. And I’ll leave the other “S” alone for the time being. Read the rest of this entry
RUNNING THE “IFFY”…
Depending on what time you read this, I’m either:
- A) Driving along the 405 on the way to LAX.
- B) Getting patted down and felt up by a randy TSA employee.
- C) Enjoying a micro-sized bag of peanuts on the plane while playing Candy Crush.
- D) In beautiful Salt Lake City preparing to run tomorrow’s REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon.
Big Cottonwood represents my first race of the fall season and my first half marathon since the Hollywood Half all the way back in mid-April.
Last year when I ran Big Cottonwood, I motored my way to a PR… just 60.6 seconds shy of eclipsing that pesky two-hour mark.
After finishing that race I promised that in 2015 I’d come back faster/stronger and break the 2-hr barrier in Salt Lake.
Ah, the best laid plans of mice, men and sweaty runners.
As I stand 24 hours out from jaunting down the mountains outside of SLC, I know that I will have a fun race tomorrow. The course is beyond beautiful and the people are great (so great that I became an ambassador to the REVEL Race Series) and last year’s race was one of the best overall running experiences I’ve ever had.
As for my planned pace/finish time come Saturday. Let’s just say that it is a bit “iffy.” Read the rest of this entry
SUMMER SNIPPET #7: EIGHT (MILES) IS ENOUGH…
Last post I mentioned my chest cold was finally letting up and it was time to get back to pounding pavement (after two full weeks of inactivity).
So, I went for an short run last Tuesday to test the waters.
And it did not go well. Not well at all.
I started labored breathing around mile two and after three miles I threw in the towel. Either I was still a bit ill or my body had utterly forgotten how to run. (I hoped it was the former).
Let’s just say I desperately needed a “mulligan.”
I ended up resting another two days (to make sure the hacking and coughing were indeed done) and then doing a little elliptical work at the gym on Friday. It certainly wasn’t what I would considered an “A-level” workout (“remedial” is more like it), but at least I got through without “harfing” up a lung. Read the rest of this entry
PENCIL ME IN FOR THE FALL- PART 2: REVEL RACE SERIES
Last week I posted the first part of a story about Fall race series that I’m involved with (serving as a race ambassador for Lexus LaceUp).
Ready for part two?
This week I’m here to give a shout out about the REVEL Race series, which kicks off its second season next month.
The REVEL Race series consists of a trio of marathons/half marathons:
- REVEL Rockies (Denver, CO) – 7/19/15
- REVEL Big Cottonwood (Salt Lake City, Utah) – 9/12/15
- REVEL Canyon City (Azusa, CA)- 11/7/15
If you’re looking for a fast course, then look no further. All three REVEL races feature downhill courses with descents as great as 5000.’ If you’re in the mood to set a PR or hoping to qualify for Boston, then you should give these courses a serious gander (and yes, they’re all USATF certified).
Oh, and I should mention that the races have some incredible scenery. The courses are nestled up in the mountains, providing some vivid vistas. While running the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon last year I remember being amazed by the view and uttering “Wow” out loud several times. Read the rest of this entry
REVELLING IN 2015
Registration is officially underway for all three of the races in the 2015 REVEL Race Series.
For those of you not in the know, the REVEL race series currently consists of three marathons/half marathons:
- REVEL Rockies (Denver, CO) – 7/19/15
- REVEL Big Cottonwood (Salt Lake City, Utah) – 9/12/15
- REVEL Canyon City (Azusa, CA)- 11/7/15
And all three of these race share some great features:
They’re all fast courses. Really fast. Like “greased lightning” fast. These races all feature downhill courses, some with descents up to 5000′ (that’s almost a mile to you and me). Can you say PR? And for those of you looking to qualify for Boston, all three courses are USATF certified.
They’re all scenic courses. Since the courses are typically nestled up in the mountains, you get some absolutely wonderful vistas as you run.
They’re runner friendly. Meaning? These races have a lot of wonderful runner perks, including some unique to the REVEL series.
Check out just some of what you get:
- No silly registration “convenience” fees.
- Social media discount and discount for forming or joining a team.
- Great bib transfer and race withdrawal policies.
- Free race photos.
- Free personalized runner’s video.
- Stylish men’s & women’s tech race shirts (with ability to choose tank top, short sleeve or long sleeve shirt).
- Great finisher’s medal (these things are sweet).
- Additional runner’s swag, like gloves and a mylar blanket for race morning.
- Great food at the finish line. In addition to snacks you expect, REVEL races in the past have also had: pizza, chicken nuggets, fresh pie, soda and beer (for +21 runners).
- These are races designed for runners by people who understand runners (let’s face it, we can be scary at times).
HILL REPEATS AND “LUCKY 7″…
There’s an often used idiom, “The calm before the storm,” that I think appropriately describes my immediate running future.
My previous race was the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in mid-September.
For the last few weeks, ever since I pounded the mountain pavement in Salt Lake City, I’ve just been concentrating on having solid training runs and dealing with my troublesome orthotics. My right foot had been experiencing a sort of “blister fest” while I anxiously awaited the arrival of my new & improved orthotics.
Well, on Wednesday my new orthotics arrived and so far my right foot is “blister free.” Keeping my fingers crossed and a four-leaf clover handy.
Back to the idiom and the aforementioned pre-storm calm.
Starting next Sunday I enter my craziest running month ever.