Saturday, January 20, 2018

This Week in Running 1/7 - 1/20 - Plus Desert Run

Looking at the Virgin River, Mesquite, NV

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday16Tough long run
Monday5Easy run tonight
Tuesday7Medium paced run
Wednesday5Fairly easy run
Thursday4Medium paced run
Saturday13St George Half marathon
Sunday9Desert run in Mesquite Nevada
Tuesday5Medium effort with some speedy parts
Wednesday52 miles in 16:05, rest easy
Thursday9Medium paced long run
Saturday5Snowy weather. Just logging miles
Weekly: ?? YTD: 115

Week's Summary

Well this past two weeks have been filled with running.  The mild winter continues here in Salt Lake and that has allowed me to continue a full round of training.

In winters past I had to limit my training or reduce the amount of miles because of icy or cold (which rarely stops me) conditions.  In fact, most days I can get away with a very light jacket, shorts and thin gloves.

This week also saw my inaugural race for 2018.  I felt there were a lot of positives but at the same time it was slower than last year.  So in that regard it was disappointing to me.  I had real hopes that somehow I'd be able to get the same or even slightly better than last year.  Hopefully this isn't a pattern for 2018.

My long run to start the two weeks wasn't the greatest either.  I started off full of enthusiasm but I really faded.  All my previous long runs have been pretty good, but this one, I was hurting midway through and it didn't leave me with much confidence.

I also didn't do a lot of speed work leading up to the half marathon.  For whatever reason, any "umpf" I had in my legs was absent.  I also felt like I was getting sick with a cold (there is a nasty bug going around that so far I've managed to dodge).  Luckily, it didn't seem to impact my race (much).

However, this past week I forced myself (I dislike speed work and would rather plod along) to get my usual 2 miles at 5K pace in.  It felt harder than it should but at least my time was reasonable and it counted as quality miles.

Desert Run

Last Sunday I decided to go on a run.  I was in Mesquite for the weekend and I wanted something to do.  I had just done the car show and sat in the jacuzzi and in my infinite wisdom I thought it would be a good time to go for a run (on half marathon dead legs no less).

So I made my way out of the hotel with 28 ounces of Gatorade and figured maybe I'd get 4 - 5 miles in.  I started off trying to find a new route I hadn't taken before and just wound up running a mile around a cookie-cutter subdivision.

I finally made my way out and found a familiar section of the Bunkerville Bike Trail.  I had done this trail before and it wasn't terribly exciting.  I did, however, see some cars coming off of a side road.  I wound up checking with some walkers and they said it was kind of a cool road that lead into the desert.

So I jumped on that.

What followed was a challenging but oh so delightful run along a dirt road.  I figured for sure I could make the Arizona State Line.  I ran 3 miles from that sign and figured I was officially in Arizona (I came to a split in the road).  Turns out, however, I was about a quarter mile shy of the official border.

None the less, it was a pretty interesting and scenic run.  A lot of the sports / desert vehicles were giving me a big wave.  I guess they don't get many runners way out in the middle of nowhere.  It also gave me a chance to go shirtless.

I barely made it back however.  Sitting in the jacuzzi and being in the sun (it wasn't super hot) got me dehydrated.  Once I hit 9 miles I walked the final half mile (or so) back to the Casablanca.  To make matters worse, I had the furthest possible room from where I was located.

I knew once I got to my room that I had a nice Coke to drink that would set me straight.  Unfortunately, my key card no longer worked.  So I had to walk all the way back to the front desk (at this point I was ready to be sick), and have security walk me back to my room since I didn't have ID with me.

To make a long story short, I didn't pass out, although for a while, I thought I was going to.  Dehydration sucks!

Here are the photos I took along the way:

Upcoming Races

Finally some races on the horizon!  They may be short (5Ks) but they are something to train and shoot for.  Definitely looking forward to them.

02/03: South Davis Recreation Center Sweetheart's Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
02/10: Candy Heart 5K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
02/17: Saints and Sinners Half Marathon - Boulder City, NV (Maybe)
03/03: March Madness Half Marathon - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: St Patrick's Day Half Marathon (6 Tunnels Half Marathon) - Las Vegas, NV (Unlikely)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon (Half) - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Monday, January 15, 2018

2018 St George Half Marathon - St George, UT

An awful picture of me but it is what it is.

Official Time: 1:54:12
Placement: 153rd Male out of 319, 14th out of 34 in the 45 - 49 age division
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: Crisp, mid 40's at start, warmed up to low 50's. Light SW wind.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
18:59Fairly flat start. Easing into the race
28:51A little bit of hill here. Did better than I expected I would
38:40A few small hills here. Seemed bigger than what they were
58:42Let the real hills begin. Eat a gel at this point.
69:07Pretty much a steady grind up
78:57Finally crest the top of the hill.  All flat or downhill from now on.
8:20130 feet of downhill
98:24Into a groove
108:39Feeling really good
119:00Don't remember much of a climb here but my pace certainly does
128:28Flat here. Really trying to push hard
138:41Not a lot left. Just kept focusing on that last mile.
Total Miles: 13.11 - 1:54:14


Each winter the race scene in Salt Lake City gets pretty barren.  In fact, pretty much from Thanksgiving until early February there aren't many races to do.

So come the second weekend of January, I head down to southern Utah for the annual St George Half Marathon, apparently the longest running half marathon in Utah.

I believe this race is also managed by the same people who do the venerable St George Marathon.  However, I don't think this course is as nearly as iconic.  The east side of St George isn't exactly known for it's mountain beauty.

The temperatures in St George in the winter are often ideal -- about 10 - 15 degrees warmer than the northern part the state.  The problem is getting down there -- if there is a snow storm traveling the length of the state can be treacherous (nearly 300 miles).  Luckily, this winter has been very light in terms of bad weather so I plunked down the money, made cancel-able hotel reservations and put it down on my calendar.

The Race

The night before the race I got off of work early and made the trip down south.  It was smooth sailing pretty much the whole way.  

Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling top notch.  All week I had been feeling under the weather.  I felt like a solid cold was coming on and on the way down I had the heat cranked up and wondering if I was getting a fever. 

The drive was largely uneventful and I rolled in just shy of 7 PM and I got to the EXPO at the Dixie Events Center -- a beautiful building.  It was easy check-in and I said hello to the Ogden Marathon people as well as the Sand Hollow Marathon people before heading out to the Black Bear Diner for dinner.

I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn -- practically in front of the starting line, which was just awesome.  With a race start of 9 AM, I pretty much slept in until 7:45, ate, used the restroom to my heart's content and then walked to the starting line.  After nearly 10 hours of sleep, I felt like a brand new man.  No lingering cold or anything.  Was it pre-race nerves?

I wore throw-away gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, sunglasses (a must!), a hat and shorts.  I should've went with short-sleeved but overall I was happy with what I wore.

The race started at 9 AM after the national anthem and within 30 seconds of the start I was running.

Almost immediately my knee felt cranky.  I was beginning to wonder if it was going to hold up throughout the race.  Luckily, it just needed some time to adjust and after about a mile I didn't feel it again.

The first 3 miles or so are in a budding business area.  So you are running by a few hotels, dentist offices, and other locally owned small businesses.

There is some budding morning traffic, but the race organizers are pros and I never felt hindered or not safe.  

After about 3 miles you dip into a well-to-do residential neighborhood.  It is all city street running here and there are some minor rolling hills.  There are also some sections that are also downhill.  I was banking energy and kept holding back.  I also felt pretty good -- not top notch but good.

Miles 5 - 7 are probably the most challenging.  While the scenery changes a bit -- you are running by a nice golf course -- you do get a little bit of the iconic red rock / nature scenery to make you forget (a  little) about the hills.  They start off innocently enough but they culminate just short of the 7 mile marker.  Luckily, once you are done with this section, the rest of the course is pretty much down hill or flat.

Mile 7 is almost all downhill and here you can really pick up a head of steam.  It also becomes the part of the course where I now have to decide if I am going to race or just finish.

I had banked energy at this point and I felt pretty good.  So I started to nudge my pace up a bit to take advantage of the downhill.  I rattled off my fastest mile as we approached the bike trail.

I love the bike trail section too -- especially seeing the valley and the mountains in the distance.  I tried to get my phone out for a picture but it wasn't cooperating and I didn't want to waste time.  Also, there is a stretch up against the mountains that was slightly slippery.  So I had to really watch out for black ice.

At this point too, you are close to the finish line, but you really have close to 5 miles to go.  It is sort of disheartening to think the lead pack is just about finishing and I still have about 40 more minutes to go (at least).

Looking at my official splits, it looks like I passed a lot of people in my age group.  I had saved quite a bit of energy and while i was hurting I wasn't dying.  Normally around mile 9 or 10 I just want the race to end -- not this one.

I truly enjoy this race.  You get so much variety --hills, bike trail, residential, city streets, etc.  And there is half way decent crowd support as well (nothing like a major marathon but people are out cheering you on).

I was pretty gassed as I was closing in.  I sort of gave up a bit when I realized I wasn't going to get below last year's time (about a 1:52).  Still, I would make a respectable showing and I was completely dead.

It was pretty awesome to cross the finish line -- a bit of redemption for doing a long after failing in Las Vegas about 2 months ago.


Overall, I was pretty happy with everything.  I wasn't dead and I held a fairly consistent pace throughout the race.  I slowed down during the uphills but picked it up when the terrain permitted.  My pace was 8:43 throughout.

I don't normally set a pace and try to run it.  I almost 100% run on feel.  I know basically what I am capable of and know the price to be paid for going out too fast.  The conditions were simply ideal and I felt like a ran a fantastic race.

After the race, I grabbed some Gatorade and some oranges (I love oranges after a race) and wound up meeting a fellow runner that runs the Murray Bike Trail. I wound up making small talk and eating a little food for about 15 minutes.

It was after 11 and my checkout time at the hotel was noon.  I still needed to shower, pack and head out.  Again, I love staying at the Hilton.  It is less than a 5 minute walk from the finish line.

I love this race and as long as I am in Utah and healthy and able to run, I'll make it down here to run it.  All told, I got a first-class race, accurate distance / timing, support (although I didn't get any Gatorade until near the middle miles -- luckily I carried my own), a very nice t-shirt and a heavy-duty medal for about $55. 

The race is one of the premiere early-season events and I was happy with everything from start to finish.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

This Week in Running 12/31 - 1/6

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday5Solid run on the bike trail to wrap up the year -- at 10pm!
Monday12Solid 10 min / mile pace. Sore though.
Thursday84 at 8:30 min / mile tempo run. Speedwork!
Saturday4Easy because it was slushy and icy out
Weekly: 29 YTD: 24

Week's Summary

This past week was definitely a cut back week.  The past few weeks I had been running a lot and so this week there wasn't a lot left in the tank.  It was also the end of the #RWRUNSTREAK.  The streak is a challenge put on by the fine folks at Runners World Magazine.  The challenge is to run from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day -- every day -- and at least for one mile.

I successfully completed it this year.  In fact, I had started a little early and the shortest run I did was 3 miles.  It was such a relief (and also kind of hard) to stop the streak this week, but I do think streaks like this up your risk of injury and burnout.

I was scheduled to do a midnight 5K on New Years Eve.  I regret not doing it but a couple of things happened:

  1. I got really anxious.  I couldn't hike, couldn't run and I was more or less resting for the race -- on the couch.  All day.  And that drives me absolutely bonkers.  
  2. The race wasn't timed or recorded in any way.  Questions like "What's the point" ran through my mind.
  3. I was falling asleep
Finally, around 9:30 I said screw it, threw on a pair of shorts and a light jacket and just did 5 miles on the bike trail.  It was such a relief to go out and exercise.  There wasn't another soul out on the bike trail and it felt "wrong" to be running that late but ultimately it was just what the doctor ordered for me.

I also did a bit of a different workout this week.  I wasn't "feeling" my normal 2 miles at 5K.  I felt like I could do a longer run with slightly less speed and that's what I did.  I suspect I had about another mile or two at that pace before it would've caught up with me but it felt incredibly awesome.

On a Side Note

I haven't reported too many gambling trips of late.  They really haven't been that noteworthy.  They have been fun, but nothing really happens that is too terribly exciting.

I did however have a short but very profitable run of luck this past weekend.

Shari and I went to Wendover -- we really weren't in the mood for it, but they had sent us a free room offer and I had booked it a few weeks ago on a whim.  I figured we could cancel at the last minute if we opted not to go.

I have a few trips planned in the next few weeks and I was worried about forking out more money and being in a deficit.  However, we pretty much eat for free out there so if lady luck wasn't on my side I figured I'd call it an early night.

So we arrived just shy of 6 PM and I dropped Shari off at the Montego Bay hotel so she could get us a table at the buffet (which usually gets busy on a Friday night).  My job was to quickly get us a room at the Peppermill hotel (about a mile down the road).  We usually like quieter rooms and your preference on a room is mostly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

So after I get the room keys, I opted to go into the casino and at least activate my player's club card.  So after doing that I saw a lone Fu Dao Le machine and figured what the hell.  I'll put $40 into it.

So I go through $40 in a few minutes and got some entertainment out of it.  I figured I'd better go to Shari who had gotten a seat at the buffet and was waiting for me.

I was like nah, another quick $20.

So I hit the machine pretty hard, opting to go for a few $2 bets.  Well one of them came in and I got a $250 bonus round.

I was pretty excited and I almost cashed out.  I was *really* hungry but I know Fu Dao Le can go on hot streaks.  So I wound up playing fast and hard again, this time going a little higher ($3.68 a spin).

I got another bonus round!

It started off innocently enough but then the babies came out -- basically an interstitial which indicates something good is about to happen.  And it did.

I didn't have time to get a picture but basically I got a 3x multiplier and the rest of the screen was filled with beautiful yellow Queens.  I figured I'd get maybe $800 - $900 for it.  No.  Try about $1600!

Let's just say I let out a 4-letter word of exclamation and I got really excited.

Again, I was hungry.  Like almost light-headed hungry.  Unfortunately, when you win over $1200 in a single pull you have to will out tax forms.  So after the bonus round finished I had to sit there for 15 minutes waiting for them to get me my paper work, and more importantly, my money.

After getting paid, I wound up trying to hit it again, to no avail.  The machine was pretty much dead.

The rest of the weekend I didn't have much luck, just the occasional $50 bonus round.  Just glad I came out ahead this trip.

Upcoming Races

01/13: St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/03: South Davis Recreation Center Sweetheart's Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
02/10: Candy Heart 5K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
02/17: Saints and Sinners Half Marathon - Boulder City, NV (Maybe)
03/03: March Madness Half Marathon - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: St Patrick's Day Half Marathon (6 Tunnels Half Marathon) - Las Vegas, NV (Unlikely)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon (Half) - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

This Year in Running 2017

Self at 10:00 PM on New Years Eve - my final run of 2017


Well last year I wrote a summary of what I had accomplished and have some thoughts and reflections on some of the highlights of the year - mostly from a running perspective.

While I am not afraid to set goals at any point of the year if I think my life needs some adjustment, it is also a time to see where I succeeded and where I failed.  It also gives me a chance to renew or set new goals for 2018.

So without further ado, let's begin:

The Numbers

Running Total

I ran a total of 1857.5 miles this year. That's down about 20% from the previous years.  I knew going into the year that I was going to need to dial it back and I didn't really put up the numbers I normally do. 

Then just before my Las Vegas Marathon buildup I hurt my knee and had an ingrown toe nail removed.  That cut my mileage by about 80% - 90% for an entire month.

So it isn't too surprising that I came up short of going 2000 miles.  Still 1850+ miles isn't a bad number, and it equates to about 5.25 miles a day.  That's more exercise than most Americans get.

I am also married to the Jordan River Bike Trail.  I am so fortunate that I can get home, throw on a pair of shorts and within a quarter mile be on a safe running trail that goes for 20+ miles in either direction.  Throw in some bathrooms and drinking fountains and I am set.

 Racing Total

  • 5Ks -- 5
  • 10K -- 2
  • 12K -- 1
  • Half Marathon -- 13
  • 30K -- 1
  • Marathon -- 2 (one DNF)
Definitely down from previous years.  One race-heavy month -- May -- I was busy and didn't race at all.  The injury in mid August saw me limp through a race or two, but I wasn't really ready to rock out a race every weekend.

Sadly, I didn't do any new states this year.  I think the reality of me completing 50 marathons in 50 states is slowly disappearing into the could've / should've / would've bucket.  I am not totally distressed about it either.

My Cat

Things Found on the Jordan River Bike Trail

Dog I rescued

  • 1 Human saved / 911'd
  • 1 Cat Saved and homed
  • 1 Dog Saved
  • Countless animals fed (I feed homeless cats)
  • 1 Wallet found (with cash and cards) & returned
  • 1 Very nice phone found and returned.
  • Cleaned up trash along the trail preventing it from going into the river
  • Countless friends and acquaintances made.  
  • Encouraged and cheered on runners of all abilities.

This makes me most excited.  The good I've done.  I've made a ton of friends and have become even more entrenched here in Utah.  I've acquired a number of new friends simply by participating and running in local races.  Sometimes even one-off meetings have resulted in lasting friendships.  Runners are very easy to bond with as we have a shared passion for something.  This is truly one of the greatest gifts of being able to participate in this sport.

One of the coolest things that happened in 2017 is my cat Oreana (named after the rural town in NV).
I had just lost my 2 cats that I had had for nearly 20 years when I discovered this cat along the bike trail. I was "done" with cats and pets in general and thought that the next pet I'd get would be far into the future.

This friendly cat was there every day and wasn't afraid of me when I came by. I carry food for ferals on my runs and started to feed her. First I'd bring her dry food and then canned. Let's just say she devoured it and soon we were feeding her twice a day along the trail -- just like a regular cat.
She always showed a lot of affection and clearly wasn't a feral cat but she also clearly didn't belong to anyone.

To make a long story short, we wound up adopting her. As you can see she is well adjusted and never had a boo-boo. She also never misses a meal. She has been about the most gentle, well mannered cat I've had.

I am not sure who found who, but she was an awesome gift that I wouldn't have been given if I wasn't a runner, plodding along the same route day in and day out.

Successes and Failures


I had a few good races this year.  The races that I am most proud of, 

  1. The Dam Train Race 12K 
  2. Independence in December 5K
  3. BYU Homecoming 5K
All of these races I came away super positive feeling.  I did better than I expected I would.  I am also noticing that each of these races are shorter runs.  My strength these days seems to be in the shorter races.  I still get a strong pay off on the longer races but my skill set seems to be more inclined for the shorter.

I have a TON of races I am not happy with (not with organization or course -- my performance was not good).  Way way more than usual.  In fact, I'd be willing to say that about 50% of the races this year I sort of groan when I think about.  Some of it wasn't in my control: wind, heat, etc.  But these are the races that I'd like to forget happened in 2017:

  1. Las Vegas Marathon
  2. 6 Tunnels Half Marathon
  3. Sun Valley Half Marathon 
One other cool thing about the last two races -- they were brand new (along with the Lost Dutchman in February).  I had never done them before and I got to explore some completely new areas (to me).  If I wasn't a runner / racer, I would've missed those opportunities.

Weight Loss

At the start the year I was hovering about 181 - 182.  At year's end I was pushing 185 on a good day, 186 at my worst.  I went on a tear in October of very poor food choices where I ate too many of the wrong things.  I have also spent way too much time at the all-you-can buffets around town and in Nevada.

I have managed to right that ship and I think I am headed in the right direction.  I am starting to exercise a bit of restraint and have had the realization that I can't eat whatever I want and think I can simply burn it off by running more.  That ship has clearly sailed.

Race Times

Almost across the board I came up slower this year.  Father time keeps taking away from me.  My times, however, didn't plummet from my injury.  In fact, I felt a lot stronger when I came back, probably because I had been doing my exercises.

I just wasn't putting in the real, unpleasant work -- namely speed work to maintain my blinding speed (or what I have left of it).  I have noticed, though, in the closing months of 2017 that I have been doing more "hard" workouts.  2 mile time trials and striders -- at least once a week -- are helping.  I have a long way to go to get to where I want but the speed work will pay off.  It is like going to the dentist -- you know you need to do it, but it isn't fun.

I just need to remember how elated I feel upon crossing the finish line with a time I am proud of, versus a time where I get in my car and feel like I've let myself down.  

Looking to 2018


I hate setting goals.  I have them in the back of my mind, but putting them on "paper" is sort of scary -- as it means a bit of a commitment.  Having goals is important -- especially if you care about your running.

Here are my goals for 2018:

Get Faster -- Take at least 1 minute off my 5K time

  • Speed Work -- at least once a week.  Keep the easy days easy and short, but really dial in the hard days.
  • Drop the weight.  Every extra pound is like carrying a hand weight.

Do at least 3 races I haven't done before and at least one new state

  • Have fun doing something you haven't done before.  New experiences breed excitement and passion

Have some restraint at buffets

  • If I leave a buffet feeling sick, I've eaten way too much
  • How much I can eat shouldn't be a contest.
  • Stop eating out as much at work.

Cross Train

  • Hike / power hike
  • Maybe it's time to join a gym

Run Numbers

  • Hit 2000 miles again
  • Run at least one marathon, even if it is the last one I do.
  • Enjoy running and treasure every mile.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

This Week in Running - 12/24 - 12/30 + Desert Run Photos

Me post long run

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday7Easy run for the most part
Monday9Desert run on the Utah / Nevada border
Wednesday52 miles at 5K pace. No garmin but it was around 16 minutes
Thursday7Easy to medium
Saturday19Long run at 9:45 pace

Weekly: 56 YTD: 1852.5

Week's Summary

This week was actually a very solid training week.  Whatever race I am ramping up for is looking to be a good one.  I got in plenty of miles, including some hill training on the trails outside of Wendover Utah (pictures below).

I also managed to get in a 2 mile time trial -- sans a watch.  I wasn't expecting to be able to run hard -- I just didn't feel like it --  but once I got warmed up I turned on the jets.  I wish I had my watch so I would know how fast I ran, but it certainly felt like 16 minutes-ish.

I did a little bit of experimenting with my long run on Saturday as well.  I have read that the walk-run method works well in that you'll be able to maintain your average pace longer as it gives your running muscles a break.  Right before Vegas I ran into a runner who really liked it and since then I've been meaning to try it.  My plan was to run about a mile and walk for 1 minute.

First off, I had to put my ego in check.  Even my long run training runs I run too fast.  Mostly because I post the times and there is a sense of pride.  Ultimately that makes me race my long runs, which is a recipe for pace mismanagement and burnout.  Doing the walk run method forced me to sort of put the time on the back burner.

Secondly, I really looked forward to the walk break.  It seemed sort of weird after 1 mile to take a break and walk, but it kept my mind occupied.  I'd glance down at my Garmin and at my specific and get a break.

Third, during my breaks I could fiddle with my phone or drink.  90% of the time I have a hard time staying hydrated on my long runs.  Having a 1 minute walk break allowed me to ingest more hydration.

Fourth, I found that my running paces were faster.  I think part of this was I was trying to make up time for the break as well as my legs having a bit of recovery. 

So was it a success?  For the most part it was a success.  I felt like my average pace was more sustainable.  Looking at my splits, I was holding a pretty consistent pace for 18 miles.  Once I hit mile 19, I was pretty gassed.  I suspect I could've done another mile at that pace, but I think I was hitting the wall. 

I definitely want to continue this experiment.

Face to Face with My Feral Cat

Regular readers will know that I feed the feral cats along the bike trail.  I have done so for the past 2 years or so.  Every day that I leave food it is gone the next day.  Sometimes other animals get it, including the birds, but I know most of the time the cats get it.

I've been feeding one cute cat for the past 2 years or so.  She (or he) is super skittish and doesn't like to come near me.  However, she knows my schedule and where I drop the food.

This past week she was waiting for me on a tree branch.  As soon as she saw me, I was greeted with a few meows before it dropped down and into a culvert.  I always drop food at the other end and so I deposited the daily dose of crunchy food.

I backed away from the culvert and no more than a minute later the cat came and started to eat the food.  Normally if she sees me, she'll take off but she seemed to trust me.  I didn't get too close to her, but this was the closest I've ever been.  I got some decent shots of her:

Desert Run

Finally, over the Christmas break I went to Wendover for 2 nights.  I didn't have any luck there but I did take in a nice desert run.  I went a bit further than I should've but it was such a nice late afternoon that I had to make it to the point where I could see Pilot Peak.

I've done the trail to that point before, but it never really gets old.  I got some great pictures too.  I am not a big trail runner but this one is very doable.

Upcoming Races

Some races on the horizon.  Getting excited about them!

12/31: Beat the New Year 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
01/18: St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/03: South Davis Recreation Center Sweetheart's Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Probable)
02/03: Sun Marathon (likely the half) - Santa Clara, UT (Maybe)
02/10: Candy Heart 5K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
02/17: Saints and Sinners Half Marathon - Boulder City, NV (Maybe)
03/03: March Madness Half Marathon - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: St Patrick's Day Half Marathon (6 Tunnels Half Marathon) - Las Vegas, NV (Unlikely)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon (Half) - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Monday, December 25, 2017

This Week in Running 12/17 - 12/24

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Sunday1010 min per mile pace, recovery run
Tuesday52 miles at 5K pace
Wednesday5Slushy run but fun. Medium paced
Thursday73 miles easy, 3 at tempo
Saturday16Long run at 9:30 pace per mile, Section #2

Weekly: 52 YTD: 1796.5

Week's Summary

This week was actually fairly productive. Low and behold I started it off with a decent semi-long run of 10 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace.  With the weather comfortable cool but dry, I really find myself enjoying running.  Also there isn't any pressure of a race to train for so I can sort of do what I want, when I want.

I also did a somewhat disappointing 2 mile time trial.  Before the Vegas marathon I was running it in 15:45 -- now 16:20.  Just wasn't my day and I had a bit of a head wind. However, I did feel good in that I actually did the speed work.  I generally dislike speed work but like eating Brussel sprouts, I know it is good for me.

Also on Thursday I ran just under 3 miles at tempo pace. I ran into a fellow runner on the bike trail and I know they are faster than me.  So my goal was to keep ahead of them and I imagined someone chasing after me.  The mental game worked and by the time I let off the gas I had actually put in a quality workout.

I wrapped up the week with 16 mile run.  I think I would've hit 18 but the rain / snow was coming down and I felt myself getting chilled.  As seen by the pictures below, it was just damp and I could feel my outer shell getting soaked through.  It largely went well and I felt good throughout the run.

So that leads me to ask myself what am I training for?  My training right now looks good for a build-up for a marathon.  Am I training for a marathon?  Maybe.  I may jump into something in the spring or even push the envelope a bit for a new marathon down in Southern Utah at the start of February.  I am thinking that is a bit premature but hopefully the additional miles will pay dividends on my half times.


Upcoming Races

12/31: Beat the New Year 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
01/18: St George Half Marathon - St George, UT (Confirmed)
02/03: South Davis Recreation Center Sweetheart's Day 5K - Bountiful, UT (Probable)
02/03: Sun Marathon (likely the half) - Santa Clara, UT (Maybe)
02/10: Candy Heart 5K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
03/03: March Madness Half Marathon - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: St Patrick's Day Half Marathon (6 Tunnels Half Marathon) - Las Vegas, NV (Unlikely)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon (Half) - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)