Saturday, January 31, 2015

Arizona Desert Classic Marathon Quick Post


Well, this morning I did do the Arizona Desert Classic Marathon in Surprise Arizona.  This was a "day of' decision on account that the Phoenix area has been having a bit of rain. I don't mind running in drizzle but I did I want to run a full marathon in pouring rain?  No. 

I am happy to report that while the skies were cloudy I was able to complete the marathon and had my best time in a LONG time.

The Race

First off, I ran a 4:07:10 or so.  It was a small race and I nabbed my first age group award in a marathon.  This is positive because I also ran 8 minutes faster than I did in Vegas on an arguably much tougher course.

I will do a full write-up once I can pull the garmin data and get everything together.

But in short, I did do the marathon and had a pretty good race.  While I didn't hit the 4 hours I was shooting for, this course was a lot tougher than anticipated.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Packed and Set to Go!

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 4 Easy. Did walk another 6 later in the day.
Monday 5 Felt drained today
Tuesday 4 Medium pace. 55 degrees out!
Wednesday 3 Too short. Why bother, but I got some exercise in.
Thursday Off Off
Friday Off Off
Saturday 26.25 Arizona Marathon?
Total miles for the week: 41.25 - YTD: 215

Ready for Marathon #15

Gels, check. Garmin, check. Vaseline: check.  Clothes for any condition: check.  Breakfast food for the morning of: check.  Looks like I am all set!

Problem is the weather forecast.  Who would've guessed that it actually will likely rain on Saturday?  I am not registered for the race and I'll pay for the day of, assuming that it isn't a downpour.  The current prediction is light rain, which I can tolerate, but if it is bad?  I am out.

Also Shari has had a cold for the past week and I am hoping I don't get it.  If suddenly I wake up Friday morning with a scratchy throat: I am out!

I want to do the race and will look at every possibility to do, but I do have a bit of cushion here.  If it isn't in the cards, it isn't in the cards.  But I definitely want to knock Arizona off my state's list.  So if all systems are go on Saturday morning, I'll be off and running.  So think positive thoughts for me.


As some of you know, I love all things Nevada and often times spend my time reading the Nevada newspapers.  I don't care how small the town is, I'll read your newspaper just to catch up on local politics and such.  

Of late, the Elko Daily has had a contest where they take a picture of a letter of the alphabet on a sign somewhere in town and invite readers to identify where it was taken.  So far, I am batting about 50%.  I've been to Elko twice, so I kind of know my way around and with the help of Google Maps and even my blog I've managed to get many of the signs. 

Either way, I've always sent my submissions in and if you are one of the first to guess the sign you get your name printed in the paper the follow day. 

I am happy to report I've gotten my name printed for both "N" and "H" (you may have to complete a small survey "ad" to see my name).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Week in Running Jan 18 - Jan 24

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday Off In Wendover for the day
Monday 7 5 Miles at Tempo Pace (Half Marathon Pace)
Tuesday 9 Solid
Wednesday 5 Felt good at the start then got exhausted feeling. Not a good run
Thursday 7 8 x .25M (roughly - no Garmin) Quality speed workout.
Friday 5 Primarily Easy miles
Saturday 10.5 My long distance run for the week, 8:50 avg pace, Fast finish
Total miles for the week: 43.5 - YTD: 172.75

Week's Summary

A pretty good week of training, if I do say so myself.  The mileage is a little high for two weeks from a marathon (at least if I compare myself to some of the Hal Higdon Plans), and I got in a lot of quality miles.  A long run, a tempo run and a speed work session.  That's about a perfect week in terms of what I want to accomplish.

The weather here still remains fairly mild and I've been out in shorts and a wind breaker every outing.  The trail is clear with very little snow to be found so thank goodness I am able to get in good runs without the monotony of running up and down a 1 mile stretch of road like I did last year.

My long run today went extremely well.  I started out at a good clip and I kept it up and got progressively faster.  The last mile was me pushing it as hard as I could.  I did just shy of 10.5 miles in 1:30, which puts me at roughly a 1:55 half, assuming I was racing a half.

I felt terrible on Wednesday however.  Faithful and regular readers may recall that I was battling with wilting fatigue this past summer and last winter.  It was the exact same feeling.  I suspect that this was caused by 2 things:

1) I don't think I had eaten enough quality food.  I had a lot of candy but even that I just felt like I was under fueled.

2) I had slept really poorly the night before.

If I plan on really racking up the miles, I'll have to get more dedicated to eating right and getting a solid 8 hours a night.  Of late, my sleeping has not been good.  I usually fall asleep within 3 minutes of hitting the pillow.  These days, it is taking a lot longer and I am resorting to using over the counter pills to help.  I am still sorting out why this is happening.

Arizona Desert Classic Marathon 

I am ready!  For the first time in a while, I feel like I have put in a solid training base to have a successful marathon.  I just need to stay 100% healthy between then and now.

So, next week at this time I should be running marathon #15 and I think state 5 or 6.  "A" race is sub 4 hours, "B" race is under 4:15 and "C" is under 4:30.  Those grades could be adjusted by weather and other situations.  I am really looking forward to this race and long weekend and I hope to have a ton of new blog posts as a result.

Plantar Fasciitis Relief?

One thing that I've been doing fairly religiously after my runs of late is stretching my calves.  At Winchester Park, there is a tree root that comes out of the ground about 3 inches.  I am able to put the top of my foot on the root and bring my heels down onto the ground.  This causes a very nice foot fascia stretch as well as giving my calves a good lengthening.  I more or less stand like that for a good 30 - 45 seconds.  I've noticed that since doing it, the amount of discomfort I have in the morning has drastically reduced.  You may find it useful to do the same if you are struggling with morning plantar fasciitis and general calf / leg stiffness.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 18th West Wendover Trip


We had been planning a quick, one-day West Wendover trip for quite some time.  There were a variety of reasons why we wanted to go:

1) It was 7x comps
2) I had to pick up my slot tournament winnings within 30 days of Christmas ($15 free play)
3) We needed something to do that weekend.

At first, I thought this wasn't going to happen.  Shari got my flu on Saturday and she spent the night huddled over the toilet.  Once I saw that happen, I figured the whole Sunday trip wasn't gonna fly.

Sunday morning rolled around and I checked with the mother-in-law and she felt we should stay for Shari's sake.  However, Shari insisted and begged us to go.  I think she honestly wanted to spend the day in peace and quiet.  It didn't take much arm twisting for us to get into the car and take off.

The Day Trip

We started off a bit later than I had hoped we would: about 9:45.  Luckily there was hardly anyone on the road and about 125 miles later we arrived in Wendover (about 11:30).  My mother in law (aged 82) was good company and we generally get along pretty well and the trip went by really quickly.

Montego Bay was pretty crowded.  The first order of business was me to activate our cards so we could earn the comp bonus.  Unfortunately, the line was pretty long and there was a drawing that day, which meant people were registering for it.  Each person in line probably took at least 2 - 3 minutes and I had a good 6 people in front of me.  

15 minutes later I activated my mother in law's card and mine.  When I swiped mine, though, I was greeted with a cool surprise:  the screen said "Congratulations lottery winner $50 in free play"  I was like huh?  I figured it was some gimmick, but it printed out a voucher for me.  Then I got my $15 slot tournament winning, a 2-for-1 buffet pass and finally my bi-weekly $10 free play coupon.  I also registered for that day's drawing.

I waddled over to the player's club counter and showed them my free play vouchers.  I asked how did I get the $50 voucher.  They said back in December they had a drawing and my name must've been drawn and therefore I had 90 days to pick up my free play.  How cool was that?  I hadn't even gambled yet and I was up $75...

My mother in law and I had a good buffet.  I love their cheese blintzes.  They've also changed the recipe of the french toast, for the worse.  My appetite still hasn't returned from my flu but I still ate well.  I definitely couldn't put it down like before, and I paid $18 for the two of us to eat.  

We had until about 2 to kill at Montego Bay.  They were having a 2pm drawing and you had to be present to win.  So my mother in law found some machines she wanted to play while I cased the joint looking for my favorite Fu Dao Le.

The casinos were jumping; lots of Packers and Seahawks fans betting on the game and with the 7x comps, people were there in droves.  I managed to find a vacant Fu Dao Le (no matter how many they put in, people seem to be drawn to them) and I jumped in and loaded it up with my $75 in free play.

I was betting semi heavily, on account it was "free" money and I had to play it.  Instead of my cautious 38 cents a bet, I was doing everything from 88 cents to $1.28.  At first the machine sucked it up greedily until I finally hit pay dirt:

Sweet $100 win
Suddenly, I had about $175.  I was even more jazzed.  I also got lucky and hit a pair of pick 'em bonus rounds.  Since it hadn't been hit in a while, the minor paid off at $42 and the second for $20 or so.

Eventually the machine started to get cold, so I wound up scooping with about $120.  I played some 25 cent video blackjack, mostly to kill time.  I circled the casino looking for any other vacant Fu Dao Le's but people were glued to them.  I didn't win or lose much and finally the 2pm drawing came around.  They were only drawing 3 names, 2 for $500 in free play and one for $1000 cash.  As expected, our names weren't picked.

The mother in law wanted to go to the Rainbow so I got the car and we headed down there.  The police, however, had barricaded part of the road.  There was also a thick plume of black smoke coming from the Montego Bay's adjunct parking lot.  What the heck? As we drove by I saw a large pick-up truck whose engine had caught on fire.  2 foot flames were shooting out of the engine compartment.  Just as we passed the fire trucks had arrived.  If it had been just me in the car, I would've stopped and snapped a picture.

We arrived a few minutes later at the Rainbow.  I had a handicap parking placard thanks to my mother in law and I got the best spot in the house.  I sort of wonder what people thought of my car in the handicap spot sporting a marathon runner bumper sticker, though.

We wound up killing close to 3 hours there.  I had mediocre luck, as usual at the Rainbow.  I did get a few decent bonus rounds, including a nice bonus on Super Red Phoenix but nothing worth taking a picture of.  It was hard getting on any of the fun machines there on account it was so busy.

I had put $20 on the Packers at +8.5.  Normally, I loathe the Packers (and I loathe the Seahawks too), but I figured the Packers wouldn't get trounced.  Despite their gaffes, they did keep it close and I finally won a football bet (although I gave it all back when I bet it on Indy at +7),

We hung around for the end Packers game and the 4pm drawing.  Neither of us were winners.  We tossed around the idea of staying for dinner, but I think we were both tired and to be honest we were both pretty full from the noon time stuffing.  Also, we wanted to leave winners and best of all, I have a cash stash for my upcoming Vegas / Phoenix road trip.


Both of us had a good trip.  I am not sure if they turned up the "win" meter at the casinos but I wound up coming home with about $100 more cash than I left with.  Shari's mom also had several huge wins and she came home with over a $100 more too.  

It was really nice to have an additional $75 on the casinos to start with.  It just gave me a lot more to have fun with.  Thanks to amount I gambled, I have another free meal coming my way next time I go there.  

Another good trip.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

This week in running Jan 11 - Jan 17

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 11 Incredible run despite having run 20 the day before
Monday Off Sick
Tuesday Off Sick
Wednesday Off Sick
Thursday Off Sick
Friday 5 Easy
Saturday 14 Tapering long run
Total miles for the week: 30 - YTD: 129.25

Week's Summary

I meant this week to be a rest week, but not that much of a rest week. In reflecting back to what happened, I really think that my illness started from bad shellfish.  While I don't want to cast erroneous accusations, I think you'll find the exact culprit to my condition exactly two posts ago -- including the photo of suspect plate.

Hey, eating raw shellfish has its risks and while I don't know for sure, I'd be willing to bet that was the culprit.

Sadly, I was all set to run a 5K this morning but all throughout the week, I never felt 100% (I didn't go to work until Thursday).  I am told, generally, that it takes a good week (or two) before you feel fully recovered from gastroenteritis and so far I am going to have to agree with that sentiment.

Does that put my Arizona marathon at risk?  Yes, it does. While I am 90% sure I can and will do it, if I continue to feel flat and in general just weak / unmotivated, I may punt on it.  Sort of sad; all that awesome training and peak mileage and it all comes crashing down.

Long Run

Saturday's long run went reasonably well.  I was hoping to feel better but honestly it felt like I was starting over in terms of long distance running.  This doesn't bode well for what I hope will be marathon #15 in exactly 2 weeks.

My average pace was in the low 9:30's and I started out too fast.  Part of me wanted to prove to myself that I "still" had it and was pushing the pace at 8:45 - 9:00's.  I wasn't carrying any gels, but I did bring some Gatorade and the trail was slippery in spots.  I guess looking at my average splits, I should be reasonably happy, but I didn't have much left in the tank when I was done.

Garmin is Here

My Garmin Forerunner 305 arrived the other day.  The buttons all work and all is good.  If you are looking for a place to buy a Garmin, cheap, check out:  I love my 305, despite its bulk and heaviness.  While it is discontinued, they still had them in stock and only for about $100.

Bike Trail Video

I don't own this video but I found it on YouTube the other day.  If you want to see the route of my long run and what the Jordan River Bike Trail looks like, spend a few minutes checking it out.  The guy who took this video follows the route I do, starting at Winchester Park and continuing north past California Avenue.  He goes a little further than I do (I turn around at the first traffic light) but I think after checking out the video you'll realize why I like the trail.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An Interesting Night in the Emergency Room

After getting fluids and on my way out


I don't get sick very often, but when I do, I get really sick, to paraphrase the beer commercial.  Normally I get one minor cold a year, but every now and then something really sneaks up and kicks my butt. 

The Start 

The beginning of 2015 started out with a bang, when I was at work and just started to feel "off".  As the day wore on, I started to feel progressively worse.  My stomach seemed to be in knots and just "sour" feeling.  Also, I was starting to get that feverish feeling.  Just shy of 3pm, I let my boss know I was taking off and somehow managed to get myself home.

Upon arriving, I threw off my shoes, tossed them in a corner, and hustled as best as I could upstairs to the spare bedroom.  I dove under the covers and just started shivering.  I hadn't even bothered to get undressed.  I had beat Shari home, but when she did get home, she managed to get me all the trappings one needs to fight a flu: a thermometer, Tylenol and a Ginger Ale.

I hadn't drank much that day and I tried to get down some of the ale, but it was a major effort and I just wanted to be warm and not leave the comfort of the bed. My temperature was just hovering over 99, so nothing too serious. I turned on the TV and tried to sleep a but part of me wanted to stay awake.  It was too early to sleep and I didn't want to be up at midnight bug-eyed.

Things Got Worse

Around 6pm, I got up to the use the toilet.  I hadn't been going to the bathroom much, but I had acquiesced and decided I'd just go to sleep so best to take care of business. I retook my temperature and it had skyrocketed to 101.3, still not insanely bad, but I was clearly going in the wrong direction.

I waddled into the neighboring bathroom and barely went before I started to feel really off.  I tried to wash my hands, when the room started to fade out.  I yelled out to Shari that I needed help and according to her, I was yelling "I am dying, I am dying".

I made it about three quarters of the way back into the bedroom before blacking out and bending the crap out of my new glasses.  I laid sprawled half way in the bedroom and hall.

I came back to in about 5 - 10 minutes.  I was drenched in sweat, all the way through my tech running shirt and sweatshirt.  They were literally soaken wet.  I had no idea where I was or why I was laying on the floor.  Shari was on the phone with 911 people and they were sending out paramedics.

I've had an episode like this before.  Early in the 2000's I had a bad flu and I had gone to the bathroom, only to collapse on the bathroom floor.  I suspected this was the same deal.

I was really woozy and fairly incoherent.  As I lay there panting and trying to get my faculties about me, I realized I had to go to the bathroom extremely bad.  I did manage to hold it back.  Just as the paramedics were arriving, I summoned the energy to go to the bathroom.  It seemed like my stomach had opened up its contents but I felt a bit better.

By the time I got out the paramedics were there and I started to feel hazy again, despite just simply sitting on the edge of the bed.  I had to lay down for a while as I started to feel like I was blacking out.  They did the usual tests: heart, glucose (normal), temperature (back down to 99), etc Shari and her mom were insistent I go to the ER as were the paramedics.  I didn't really think I needed to go, but I was clearly outnumbered.  And the last thing I wanted to live with was if things got worse and I hadn't gone to the hospital, I would've NEVER heard the end of it.

Emergency Room

I live really close to the hospital -- about 5 minutes away and I vaguely remember the ambulance ride there.  I do remember joking with the paramedics that I was an Emergency Fan and when they started an IV I mentioned that it should be TKO.  They had a good laugh over that one as I had gotten it right.

The paramedics were pretty secretive about my heart condition as I was worried that wow, I might have a heart defect and I'd never be able to run again.  However, I think they were concerned with my blood pressure.  I am usually about 110 / 70 but I was 95 / 55, which is fairly low.  I think I got as high as 112 over 72.  Shari kept telling them that I was a marathon runner and it was impossible for me to have a heart condition (being a runner doesn't guarantee you anything).

They did have to shave my chest a bit to get some electrodes on me.  For those that know me personally, I am on par with Chewbacca as far as body hair goes.  In fact, the worst part about the whole experience was pulling the darn things off.

I don't really remember being gurneyed into my room but they gave me some anti-nausea medicine, did more heart tests and the usual battery of stroke tests.  I took a urine culture as well but that turned up negative.  Also they wired me up with not one, but two IVs.

One of the worst fears as I had, as I sat there watching the Oregon / Ohio State game was my upcoming marathon plans and whether I'd even be able to run again (if I had a heart defect)  Luckily, no issues there.


From start to finish I was at the hospital for about 3 - 4 hours.  I am fortunate that Utah / Salt Lake has a very good medical system.  The university is a medical school and they supply the area with a good group of doctors (I couldn't believe how young my doctor was).  I think I just needed to be stabilized and given fluids. I left the hospital just shy of 11 under my own power.

I slept pretty well last night at home other than having a serious case of Montezuma's Revenge, I am feeling pretty good.  I am just trying to keep up with my fluids and take it easy.

There is a weird stomach flu going around and with all the running I had done the previous week, it is probable that I might've weakened my immune system.  Also, I could've picked up a germ this week from all the dirty air.

I'll be fine though and I am already on the mend and hope to get back to running / training soon.  I don't think I have a temperature today, but I need to be close to a bathroom at all times. I am told this virus could last a week or two -- which I hope it doesn't.  Either way, time to take it easy.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

King Buffet in Taylorsville Utah

Look mom, they named a restaurant after me!


If you've spent any time on this blog, you know I like to eat.  And I certainly like to eat buffets.  In fact, where I live, I am within 5 miles of two Golden Corrals, one Chuck A Rama and now King Buffet (which is about 2 miles away).  

They've been airing commercials on most of the non-prime stations and they make it look like a huge buffet with lots of freshly made stuff.  I've been to quite a few Chinese Buffets in my life and I usually jokingly call them "All You Can Stands" rather than buffets.  However, this one is REALLY good.

King Buffet

I had just wrapped up my 20 mile run when Shari said she and her mom were going there.  I was thinking I'd go to Golden Corral or Sweet Tomatoes, but Shari insisted I come.  For $9 (plus $2 for a drink) I got a pretty darn nice buffet.  

I was expecting warmed over food that was going to not taste good, but this place kept up with their food and in fact, is somewhat on par with something I'd find in Wendover.

They had a Mongolian Grill where you get to pick you ingredients and they fry it up for you.  There were some American food selections as well as your typical Chinese food.  Dessert was good and included a variety of fruits, ice creams and cakes.  I definitely had my way in there... especially with my ravenous appetite.

Service was also rock solid, with preemptive fillings of my Pepsi -- that I was gulping down non-stop.

The place is absolutely huge too.  There was plenty of seating and just about every seat in the place was full.  Big screen TVs were also on some of the walls, so I could definitely see myself coming there and still managing to watch a game.

I was really disappointed with the shrimp though.  It was peal and eat.  While they were huge and looked great, they had NOT been deveined.  I saw a lot of people just peeling and eating them, which I thought was gross.  I wasn't going to devein them either, so that is a big negative.

However, the rest of the buffet was really good and reading the reviews online and seeing at least a dozen to two dozen people just waiting to get in and seated makes this place a joint I'll likely visit again.  Finally, a restaurant worth going back to in Utah!

This week in running Jan 4 - Jan 10 - New Personal Record

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 18 Mostly 9:45's - pretty good for running on tired legs
Monday 7 Easy miles. Enjoying warm weather
Tuesday 13 Effort between marathon and half marathon pace
Wednesday 7 Legs are dead. I feel sore. Slow miles today
Thursday 11 Loping along in the polluted air. Still sore
Friday 7 Pretty decent run for being tired.
Saturday 20 Another long run. Who spiked my Gatorade? Kick-butt run. In just over 3 hours
Total miles for the week: 83 - YTD: 99.25

Week's Summary

Ladies and gentleman, I did reach one of my 2015 goals for the year: geek out with over 80 miles in one week.  For those keeping score, it also means I have run 92 in 8 days.  In two weeks, I've run over 140 miles.

That is the MOST I've ever run in that period of time.  I had visions and hopes of perhaps cracking the mythical 100 mile week, but I think to cross that barrier I need slightly warmer weather and the ability to run a few two-a-day's. I hate running in the early morning, especially in the winter.

So how do I feel?

1) I am HUNGRY all the time.  Seriously.  I am ravenous.  I was a permanent fixture at Golden Corral - in fact, for the first 4 days of 2014, I had a meal in 3 different Golden Corrals.

2) I am the sorest in the morning.  I gimp like an old man.  It really isn't plantar fasciitis but just general soreness.  After moving around, though, I am fine.

3) My calves are tight, but not dangerously so.  I also gimp when I get up from desk at work.

4) I really have to be extra diligent about form rolling and stretching at night.  Makes a HUGE difference.

5) I feel like my legs are more fatigued proof.  They know how to run when tired and in the past I've had my BEST marathons when I go over 65 miles in a 7 day period.  I don't think I am necessarily any faster, but I just feel like I am a much stronger runner.  My gait just seems to be a lot smoother and I can tolerate going longer and not feeling like I am going to die.

6) Mentally, I feel incredible.  There's just something personally rewarding in knowing I can eat up the miles.

Long Run

Saturday's long run went awesome.  I ran the first 10 miles in a reasonable pace and then turned on the jets.  While my Garmin quit after 18 miles I was on pace for roughly a 3 hour, 20 mile run.  

I ran into a friend, who is MUCH faster than me, as he was heading out and I was heading in.  In the past he's always caught me and when I saw his distant form tailing me about a mile away from my finish, I decided to let pride get the better of me.  Suddenly I was running at near 5K / 10K so I wouldn't have to face my crushed ego.  Thanks Jonathan!

I also took the opportunity to circle Decker Lake in West Valley City.  I've noticed there was a lake / pond along the side of the 215 freeway and always wondered how one got there.  I studied Google Maps and figured out the way there, which was a a short jog off the bike trail.  It really isn't a lake but a huge water retention pond with a dirt jogging trail circling the perimeter.  All in all, about a 1.5 mile loop.

Decker Lake

I wound up making a wrong turn on the way back and went by a homeless camp in the middle of the bike trail.  Sad to know that people are out there living in camping tents and squalor.  It doesn't take much that close to the city to get into some "iffy" areas.


A dirty secret (pun intended) about Salt Lake City is that in the winter we have terrible air.  The mountains on the east and west hold all the pollutants in the valley.  It is also sealed in with a cold layer of air at the top.  At this time of year, the air is usually the worst in the nation.  I've even seen some people running in protective masks.  Last year I could practically taste it.  Here is a photo from this week that shows the air quality.  You can barely make out the mountains a mere 10 miles away:

Inversion Layer


Things are definitely on for a full marathon at the end of January.  I am 90% chance of doing the Desert Classic in Surprise (a small 100 people or so marathon).  I'd like to do the one in Sedona (a little bigger and more scenic from the looks of it) but logistically that is going to cause a LOT of problems for other people.  I am catching enough heat from family members as it is in doing the one in Surprise and having to duck out for the greater part of day to do Sedona would piss a lot of people off and likely mean I'd be walking home from Phoenix to Salt Lake City.

I am also toying with doing a 5K in Provo next weekend.  Something to do, I suppose.  I'll have to check the weather and if it is clear, I am in!

February also has a bunch of local 5K races and I am hoping to jump into a few of those.

I was VERY tempted to do the St George half marathon next weekend.  Given, however, we are doing Vegas and Arizona at the end of the month, I decided to punt on it again this year (/cry)

Also, Shari is off from work in early April and suggested a road trip.  I am therefore looking at the Reno Marathon.  That would give me the ability to do that race (I've wanted to do, for a LONG time) as well as visit the state capitol, Tahoe, Fernley, Sparks, Carson City, Battle Mountain, Winnemucca and a maybe another night in Elko.  I am a total nerd when it comes to Nevada and this would mostly be all new territory for me.  While this wouldn't knock off another state, it is something I want to do.  Stay tuned.


More gorgeous sunsets this week.  I am (over)due for a phone, so I am hoping I get a good phone that can really capture the beauty I experience on a nightly basis:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

This week in Running Dec 28 - Jan 3

Day Mileage / Workout Comments
Sunday 15 Marathon pace (roughly 9:30's), survived in shorts (28F)!
Monday 7 Medium start, but faded
Tuesday 7 Tough on the way out into the wind, kicked it in on the way back. Solid Effort throughout
Wednesday 13 Hauled ass for 10 miles, died the last 3. Cold and miserable
Thursday 7 Nothing but easy easy easy
Friday Off Walked about 3 miles though.
Saturday 9.25 10K Race with 1M warm up, 2M cool down. Nice day.
Total miles for the week: 59.25- YTD: 1913.75 for 2014 / 16.25 for 2015

Week's Summary

Another super solid week of training.  Impressive I was able to knock out 59 miles despite absolutely frigid temperatures.  This is where the tough get serious and the serious get tough.  Luckily the bike trail has been pretty clear so it makes it easy to get the miles in.  This is also very promising for my marathon plans.

I also got in a very positive race experience on Saturday.  Certainly not my best 10K time, but I didn't feel like it was a disaster.  Just bummed there wasn't any post-race swag (i.e. awards).

Good News

Well, I bought a new Garmin -- well it is on order.  It is the exact same model as the one I am replacing.  Faithful readers will remember my trusty Forerunner 305, which I've owned since 2008 or so, can only hold about 3 hours worth of charge.  I was tempted to buy another model, but I really love my bulky 305 and found a factory outlet place that was selling one for about $110.  Being on a budget these days, I opted to play it safe and get one.  Other models that I was interested in were well above $150.

So far I have also been diligent on doing some core work, stretching and foam rolling on a nightly basis.  Hopefully that too will be dividends down the road.

Bad News

On my long run on Sunday it was icy.  I know where the icy spots are too and I was running by the Fairstone Apartments in Taylorsville on the bike trail and there is a section of the trail that routinely ices up.  I thought I had gotten over it but I miscalculated and went shoulder first into the concrete and landed right on my ancient phone.  So now I have a cracked screen.  The phone functions and everything is okay but the fall looked spectacular.  Luckily I was able to rub some dirt into my wounds and carry on for the remaining 11 miles. My phone is way way overdue to be replaced so it isn't a huge loss.

Also my calf is still complaining.  It smarted on my New Year's Eve run and during the race.  It seems if I push the pace it hurts more but if I lay off and do a shuffle, it is fine.  Time for some KT Tape.  Amazing that even after nearly a year something can still complain.


I don't think there are any races until the end of the month, where I'll be doing a full marathon down in Arizona.  There are a few in February that I've penciled in however.

I am tempted to go to St George for their huge half marathon in 2 weeks.  I am waiting to see what the weather does, if I feel like making the nearly 4 hour drive, and if I want to pony up for a motel for the weekend.  It would be fun and give me a chance to thoroughly explore St George (which is on my list of things to do), but I am trying to sort of save a few pennies so I can afford more extravagant marathon trips elsewhere.  Stay tuned.

Photo of the Week

Well, on Christmas we got our first healthy dose of snow as well as below freezing temperatures.  I snapped the following photo on Sunday's long run (with my much wounded phone) about 6.5 miles into my run.  The Wasatch Mountains are pretty and everything is blindingly white.  My long run went very well too.  I think I am sold on the Gu Brew stuff and I plan on buying it once my sample runs out.

Resolution Run 2015 10K Race Recap

Official Time: 49;16
Placement: 7th male out of 22, 2nd in the 45 - 49 age group.
Results: Here
Race Website:Here
Weather: Mid 20's, negligible wind

Mile Time Comments
1 7:53 A little faster than I wanted, but felt good
27:48Moving along, on the bike trail now. Flat as a pancake
37:37Last bit on the bike trail and then residential streets, mostly downhill
48:22Nearly a 100 feet of climbing here. Was starting to worry here.
58:01Hauling on the bike trail
67:57Trying to catch the guy ahead of me, reeling in the 5K racers
.171:.27No chance catching the guy ahead of me (maybe if I had another mile)
Total Miles: 6.17


With my goal of running more races this year I opted to sign up for the Kaysville Resolution 5K / 10K run, in Kaysville Utah.  Located about 40 minutes from Murray, it is a straight shot up the 15 freeway and for $35 I figured, why not see where my speed is at.  Also, the weather looked respectably clear: no wind, no snow or storms, so it made it a no brainer to satisfy my need for a race.

I've run south and north of Kaysville, but never in Kaysville, so I got to see another section of the Davis County bike trail.  Sort of interesting on the way up the freeway seeing all the places I've raced along the way.  For having been here only 2.5 years, I am really starting to get familiar with Northern Utah.

The Event

The race was held at Boondock's Fun Center, a chain of Dave and Buster's-like entertainment zones primarily geared for kids and their families.  They do have a bowling alley, laser tag, and tons of video games.  Looked like fun and it was a great place to host a race.  Warm, clean bathrooms and a place to kick back.

Pre race hang-out zone

I got there fairly early and wound up warming up for about a mile.  I opted for tights (plus shorts under it), a tech shirt, my Las Vegas Marathon windbreaker jacket, heavy-duty gloves (I don't mess around with cold hands) and a tech skullcap.  I was a little warm, but I had no major complaints throughout the race.

The Race

I didn't eat a lot before hand, just a few oranges and a PowerBar.  I am glad I brought a caffeinated GU with me and I sucked half of that down prerace.  I think it helped.  Just a bit of caffeine and I was set to go.

The race started promptly at 9AM.  Me and about 50 other people took off (the 5K started later).  Combined, both races totaled about 120 people, so definitely not a big race.

The race started off on the residential streets of Kaysville.  It was open to traffic, but the roads there are super wide so I didn't really worry about getting hit. The area where we were seemed to be filled with classy houses but the area was devoid of trees -- probably an old farming section of town now converted to houses.

After a mile it jumps onto the bike trail.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bike trail was as clear of ice and snow.  The roads, not so much, but on the flat bike trails it was great running.

I wound up tailing the #6 guy for a while until he pulled ahead of me mid race.  I was content holding near 8 minute miles.  My goal was simply to finish strong and run sub 50 minutes.

I had a moment of worry when I got to about mile 4 and my pace dropped precipitously.  Had I gone out too fast?  No, I just had to content with about the only hilly section of the course and once I was back on the bike trail I was cruising again.

Also, my calf, which I had hurt back in April 2014 started twinging again.  It would get really painful for about 5 - 10 seconds and then relax.  I've found if I adjust my stride a bit that it will go away, but I really hope it doesn't go nuts like it did where it practically crippled me last spring.

The last mile I was starting to close the gap on the #6 guy but he turned on the jets in the final half mile.  I did finish pretty strong though in a time of 49:16.

I took these pictures post race:

Horses and horse pastures were pretty common

Finish Line

LDS Bread and Pasta Storage Mill (Yeah I could use some of that)

Looking at the Mountains to the East

LDS Church in Kaysville

The bike trail is ahead.


After the race, I cooled down with an easy 2 miles.  I thought about running the race again but I was pretty trashed and didn't want to aggravate my calf anymore.  I snapped a few pictures and went back to the race headquarters.

This was a well run event.  It started off on time and the race headquarters were pretty nice.  I was really disappointed they didn't have any awards (other than for the top finishers).  They didn't get the numbers they were after, apparently, so I was left wanting.  They had a nice spread of food at the end, mostly bread (plus PB&J fixings), bananas, plenty of hot chocolate, and water.  They had two water stops on the course but no mile markers (luckily I hadn't forgotten my Garmin).

They had a nice swag bag filled with stuff I'd actually use, mostly supplements and protein stuff.  The shirt is your basic cotton one.  It was nice, with no advertising on it, but normally I don't wear the cotton ones for very long and they get relegated to be donated.

I was very happy with my performance. It is a far cry from my 40:41 (or so) personal best but I ran nearly an even split (about 24:20 for the first 5K) and I didn't crumble on the course.  I still need to get my base mile speed down.  I also had plenty in the tank to go another mile or two.  All in all, a strong tempo run.

After the race, I headed north to the Layton Golden Corral which, in my opinion, is the best Corral in Utah that I've tried.  Despite my best resolutions, I've hit 2 Corral's since the new year started, so I suck.  But at least I got in for the breakfast price and got a bit of breakfast AND the start of lunch / dinner and I tried to eat mostly good stuff.

I left and made it home pretty quick after putting myself into a food coma.  Overall, a good experience and I'd likely do this race again next year.