Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bike Love worries about the shoes...definitely tongue in cheek with that post and I'm happy with the trade for the bike! My bike is currently getting some love at Cyclepath - one of the sponsors of the Ironheads so looking forward to picking her up soon.

In other bike news, I've lined up a SERIOUSLY AWESOME deal on some ZIPP race wheels (Thanks Matty!!!) so just need to decide on a wheelset and pull the trigger. I keep flip-flopping between a deep-dish rear and a disc and don't even get me started on how the 808 front option gives me a headache....decisions, decisions. If anyone has any experience with the front 404 vs. 808 would definitely appreciate the input. I haven't had any issues riding the 404 / Disc on my Kestrel so I'm leaning that way but the 808 front throws another option into the mix.

If you have a few minutes, sit back and let Ben and the Blind Boys of Alabama get a bit of your mindspace on this beautiful Saturday...this one touches me everytime.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sneakers Ruined My Life.....

Ok sneakers didn't ruin my life but that mantra is often thrown out,only half-kidding, by the sneakerheads who've spent some serious time and $$$$ chasing their own individual holy grail of shoes. I guess it's like anything else right? You feed your passions. I definitely fed mine as my love of sneakers grew into a pretty nice collection of rare kicks over the years. With the purchase of the new bike, though, something had to give and, sadly, the sneakers were at the top of the list. These are my "Jimmy Choos" and It was a bit tough to let go.


I'll miss babies. I'm now a recovering "sneakaholic" and quitting cold turkey was tough. I still love sneakers though....I'll forever be staring at feet and what people are rocking. But my new mantra will be tied to my new frugal ways! If I can't buy'em at the employee store, I ain't buyin'em anymore!!

But let me give a proper goodbye to some of my faves.....

The SB "Calis" and "Heinys" in the following pic. I'm actually packing them tonight for their trip back to Cali tomorrow. Who am I to stand in the way of a guy in SoCal who just HAD TO HAVE THEM!!! These are definitely in my top 10. Notice a resemblance to a certain state flag and a certain beer? Nike actually got into a bit of legal trouble with the beer any case, not too many authentic pairs of these floating around although you can buy a ton of fakes on Ebay.

The SB Dunk "Tiffany"....get the reference with that colorway? These have really shot up in value over the last year...just nuts!! Maybe not one of my faves but I like the use of color and the interesting mix of materials. Anyone wearing these will definitely be "breaking necks" as people take a second look at the shoes.

I've ended up covering the cost of the bike and feel good about letting go a bit. Maybe the shoes will end up getting a chance to break out of their boxes and actually see the light of day vs. spending more time in some collector's dark closet. At least I'd like to think that's the case now that they're gone...


Monday, February 19, 2007

No sympathy, the pain is self-inflicted....

Since the marathon on 2/4, I've kept it rolling in the running department without any break. Granted some workouts felt like "work" but not too bad. I figured recovery....fuggedaboudit, that's for the birds right!?


So I was running with my favorite fast-footed friend, Steven, at Hagg Lake on Sunday....we were cruising the Hilly loop around Hagg for a 12-miler. We were clicking off 7:30's and all systems were go...feeling good, no issues until about 10.5 miles into the run when i got a sharp pain in my right heel. F&$^#%! I ran through it but the last mile was not fun. We ended up finishing the 12 HILLY miles in 1:31 and change so around a 7:35'ish pace overall...not too shabby.

The rest of the day was not good though. I was reminded of my stooopidity for not taking a break after the marathon with every step. Step *ow*, Step *ow*, Step *ow* Running errands was not fun with my right heel protesting on every step. Why do I have to learn the hard way people!?! I guess it is a good idea to take some time off after a race. I have another marathon in less then 2 months so looks like I need to shift focus to the bicycle......

But no sympathy....because the pain is self-inflicted....

Now, speaking of bikes,...aaaah, bike porn...running into some slight technical difficulties there as well but she is coming along. The problem with having a friend who owns a Scott Plasma, thanks again Steven, is that the bar is set pretty darn high for what is truly considered LIGHTWEIGHT. I am working on a diet for my new girlie in the form of a Reynolds Ouzo Aero fork and some Zero Gravity Brakes...that should get me closer to Plasma territory....oh and some new Zipp race wheels. The bummer with switching from a 650c Kestrel to a 700c bike is the whole chunk of change I need to drop on new wheels....ugh.....

Without any further she is! Now how's that for a HUGE dose of carbon fiber sexiness!?!? ;-)
Don't be a hater, I know she is only in her "casual attire" sans race wheels but I'll have to post other pics once she is ready to race!!

Hope everyone is having a great Presidents' day!


Friday, February 09, 2007

2007 Pacific Shoreline Marathon

I hope life has been treating you all well out there! I seem to constantly be in the mode where I'm trying to cram 30 hours of activity into a 24 hour day...can you relate!?
I thought I'd better turn the lights back on in my blog before its too late!

Sorry, reeling a bit from catching a Wendy's ad with a muzak version of "Blister In The Sun" by the femmes...oh the horror!! Don't you all remember wearing out your tape deck playing that femmes album!?! ok...maybe not but that ain't right!

Sooo, I ran a marathon last weekend. I'm really glad that it's a done deal at this point, I was really getting antsy in the last few days leading up to the marathon. Did I hit my goal? No. But it was a PR and noone likes to hear anyone whine about a PR so I'll try to keep that to a minimum. But may I whine a little? No really is that cool? Ok, thanks. Based on my workouts in the last month leading up to the race, I thought I would have no problem running a sub 3:05. I did all the distance, I was running 8 - 10 mile runs in the 6:40 range, shorter stuff faster and a 7 minute pace felt pretty comfortable. I even told one of my friends, half-kidding, that if I didn't break 3:05, I would quit running.

*Yes, I am an idiot* and of course, I love running too much to ever quit!

Race day I woke up early and downed two Ensure drinks and a banana to get in some solid calories before the race. The legs were feeling pretty good. I ran a two miler the day before at a 6:50 pace just to loosen them up a bit and my goal was to run right around a 7 min pace for the marathon. This is small marathon field (965) so I lined up right at the front. I ended up running into a buddy and his friend that were running the race so chatted a bit before the start. Once the gun went off, I was immediately buried by the 1-200 people that chose to hit the gate running a sub 6:15 pace...NUTS! One thing I noticed right from the start was that a sub 7 pace felt like work today. Not a good sign when you have 25.5 more miles to go! I had some magic workouts in the last month where 6:40 pace felt really comfortable and at mile 1, running a 6:50 did NOT feel "comfortable". I dialed it back slightly and just focused on staying smooth through the early miles. One thing that was pretty funny early on is that I was running right at, or slightly under, a 7 min pace in the first 4-5 miles and I didn't catch the 3:10 pace group until around mile 4!! I rolled up to the group and took a spot check and there were some guys clearly running too hard. The pace leader was just cruising but probably not a good thing to run the legs off a group that should be running closer to 7:15's rather then the sub 7 pace he was maintaining...OUCH! I hung with them until they slowed a bit and pushed on.

Miles 5 through 14 were pretty uneventful, It was nice to see Deb and my sister out on the course giving me a shout early on here. I focused on running right around a 7 pace and was pretty much on track. I think I went throught mile 13 in around 1:32 and was feeling good. I was staying hydrated and was taking in one gel an hour in addition to my malto drink (I carried a bottle).

The marathon went south for me right around mile 14. Up to this point, the full marathoners were pretty much running alone but we merged back onto PCH with the back of the pack 1/2 marathoners at this point and I had a hard time maintaining my focus and pace. It was a major energy suck for me. I respect everyone that toes the line for any race but this course was set-up horribly dumping marathoners into a shared course where, due to the wave and later start, 1/2 marathoners were running / walking at a much slower pace. The majority of these runners were oblivious to the marathoners trying to run along the shoulder of the course since they took up the entire road due to their numbers (over SEVEN THOUSAND 1/2'ers). They were definitely in party mode and it really put me in a crap mindset for a few miles. I think I ended up stiff-arming 4-5 people who just walked right in front of me between mile 14-17 so glad I was able to stay on my feet each time.

**Again, nothing against the runners since they were out there doing their thing and I totally respect that. The greedy organizers either need to change the course or cut the 1/2 field in HALF to make things more manageable out there. ok off my soapbox**

The course turns inland and a bit hilly at the mile 16-17 point. I'm really glad I put in some seriously hilly runs with Steven at Hagg Lake during the marathon build-up. The hills weren't a problem. We finally split off from the 1/2 marathoners at this point for a 3 mile loop thru Central Park for miles 18-21. This portion of the course was AWESOME! The course was lined with kids who were manning the aid stations as well as the directionals on the course and they were providing some serious vocal support. It's always welcome at this point in a marathon. My legs felt great. I am usually running scared beyond mile 19 waiting for the familiar twinges in my calves as they start cramping but nothing this time. It was getting seriously hot at this point also. I am used to training in Oregon with temps in the 40's-50's so was a shock to the system as the temps were getting up in the high 70's at this point. Miles 18-21 were 7:06 / 7:08 / 8:09* / 6:47. *I'm thinking the markers were off for 20-21 but I didn't drop off pace too much in this later stage of the race. Mile 22 includes a monster hill...ok maybe not a monster but at mile 22 pretty darn tough. I ended up walking the hill last year but ran right up the hill and limited the damage in mile 22 to a 7:31. The remaining miles were pretty much a blur. I realized I wasn't going to go sub 3:05 but was very glad to finish, regardless of time. I ended up finishing in 3:07. Check out these strange splits..who does a 5.6 or 20.5 mile split?? It has me running 5 minute miles between 20.5 - 22.5. I don't think so!!

Race Splits
5.6 Mile: 38:29 Pace: 6:53
14 Mile: 1:39:57 Pace: 7:09
20.5 Mile: 2:29:34 Pace: 7:18
22.5 Mile: 2:39:49 Pace: 7:07
Finish: 3:07:39 Pace: 7:10

Overall I'm happy with my time. It was difficult with such a small field where you can't jump in with a group running a similar pace to help push each other in the latter stages of the marathon. I was pretty much alone from mile 17 forward. I seriously think I had the fitness to go a bit faster but just not my day and the course logistics were horrible. To add insult to injury, I placed 7/99 in my age group and the awards were 5 deep. I missed the awards by 1:23..aaaaaah!!!! Based on the experience this year, I'll probably find another course to run next year. The good news is that I definitely feel that my running has hit another level so I plan to maintain that momentum as I dust off the bike and swim gear and start a more balanced training regimen for the 07 tri season.

Also want to thank Steven and Deb (love that girl) for giving me a serious attitude adjustment about my bitching after the race.....they are both right. No one wants to hear someone whine about a PR. Regardless of what is thrown at you race day..regardless of how you feel, give it a 100% and be THANKFUL for the opportunity. We are all blessed to be able to push our truly is an amazing thing.

It's all about chasing PR's this year. It felt really good to edit the Race PR's on the blog FINALLY. I'm hoping I can edit that a few more times this year! ;-) To that end, I should have some Bike Pjorn to post in the next week or so once I get "her" ready! ;-)

Aaaah, new year and endless possibilities.....I am loving life people!!