Thursday, June 30, 2011

Its so damn hot... milk was a bad choice

For those of you not familiar with awesome movies, educate yourselves. That was from Anchorman, which is an amazing movie. Just wanted to post that its going to be 90 degrees when I start my tempo today- 2 miles @ 8:01, 3 @ 7:00, 2@ 8:01. So while you're sitting in air conditioned goodness, I'll be sweating off 15 pounds.

That is all.

Edit: Scratch that, its a 7 mile tempo, not including the warmup. f***, Its going to be a long night

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is There no Justice in this World?

I bet you guys won't believe this, but I found a pair of Pearl Izumi Synchrofuels on ebay for $60 and ordered the red/ white colorway. They came in the mail today and they were actually the yellow/ black pair. What? Can I sue them for false advertising? But its all good, I actually like that colorway. Apart from the guy I ordered them from not giving me a tracking number,it was a pretty smooth deal. I wore them the other day for a 4 miler and then this morning for a 6 miler and then probably again tonight for another 6 miler and me gusta.

Let me say this though, I'm a brooks lifer and always will be. But how can you say no to cheap shoes? I've got a good buddy who works for Pearl Izumi and he hooked me up phat, as the kids say these days. So really, how could I say no? It was like the good old days when Brooks hooked me up with really cheap shoes. Now they're kind of expensive, like $70. But yeah, I will say the Pearl Izumi seemless upper has the Brooks one beat up and down, that thing is a little slice of heaven on your foot. To counter though, I bought 2 pairs of the Brooks ST 4 racers. Those were so hard to find though, they must have sold like hotcakes- for good reason.

I also bought a baseball glove for my birthday. Its a Louisville Slugger TPS pro Omaha model, if that means anything to anyone. It doesn't to me, but everybody likes it so I bought it. I played in a beer league last year using my Rawlings Carlton Fisk model glove (it was an outfield glove, but I used it to play corner infield mostly). Toward the end of the season last year, I was playing right field and I settled behind a fly ball because I was going to run in to make the catch and use my momentum to try and get a guy trying to tag up from second and move to third. Well when I caught it the ball went right through my glove- just tore the webbing right out. So there you go, I thought I needed a new one. This one is a third base model too, so that's all good. I'm really pumped to play ball.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

NHL draft day 1 recap

So, I know my blog is mostly running, but I'ma drop some hockey knowledge on you guys real quick, so if you don't care, skip to the end- I'll add some running stuff at the end just because I'm going to throw some thoughts down there just for kicks.

So Friday I got off work to go see the NHL draft. This year wasn't very deep, although tickets were free and the Flyers trading Carter to get the 8th overall pick as well as trading away Richards made things a little more interesting.

Ryan Nugent- Hopkins was the first overall pick by the Oil. Not really a surprise there, allthough I will say if it wasn't for the late- season injury to Taylor Hall they wouldn't have had the first pick- that kid is lightning in a bottle. Anyway, this kid's the real deal- electric skater, strong on his feet and excellent with the puck. He's NHL ready, and we'll see a Nugent- Hopkins to Hall goals a plenty starting next season. The next pick I was interested in was the Winnipeg Jets at #7. I think they reached a little bit- okay they reached a lot to get Mark Scheifele. I'll be honest, he's a project- and I don't know why you would draft a project 7th overall- but he has potential to be a player in the Scotty Hartnell mold if developed correctly. And thats a big if. The very next pick was the Flyers at #8, and they could have gone a couple ways with this one. They could have gotten a center to replace Richards (which they did), or a defenseman to bolster an aging defensive corps.

The Next pick I was interested in, naturally, was the Flyers at #8, who picked Sean Couturer, who could be a big impact player in the future. He's probably going to need some seasoning in the AHL, plus he's a center and we have somewhat of a logjam there, but once he comes up I think he'll be a solid power forward with soft enough hands. Next came the Wild at #10, and these were interesting picks, and I'll get to that a bit later. Their pick was Jonas Brodin, who is a good young defenseman. He's a stay at home guy who, while not flashy, is a lock to play in the NHL. When is a point of contention. I think he can play now, but TSN and stuff says otherwise. Granted, he is undersized, but Minnesota's isn't an all star defensive corps. The Wild also had the 28th pick, and they took Zach Philips, a playmaking center. He's big, strong, and is a blue collar player that TSN compared to Adam Oates (who is one of my favorite players ever).

Then came the "blockbuster." The Wild sent Brent Burns and a 2nd round pick in 2012 for Devin Setagouchi, Charlie Croyle, and the #28 pick (Zach Philips). Their picks make a ton more sense now. Brodin was to replace Burns on an already scant blueline (part of the reason why I think he will play this year, if we don't sign a big UFA), and Philips was to dish to Setagouchi and Koivu for goals on the give- and- go.

Some other notes-
  • What are you doing Phoenix? picking a project player who is at least 4-5 years out of playing in the NHL with the #20 pick? No wonder no one likes hockey in the desert.
  • If the Leafs are trying to be a team of goons, Tyler Biggs is the right pick at #22
  • I'm pumped to see Mario Lucia, a Wayzata kid, on the Wild-- eventually
  • Steven Fogherty was the first Edina boy off the board at #72 overall by the Rangers
So, now for a little bit of running news- my run last night was 2 miles. Two lonely miles in 17 and a half minutes. It was my first run since Grandmas a week ago and while my legs didn't feel like lead, but I was still out of shape like nobodies business. I'm planning a 4 miler tonight, 6 the next day, and to rejoin the Twin Cities plan with some speed work by wednesday

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A talk with the fine folks at Brooks

On Friday before the Marathon I stopped in at the Brooks booth after talking to the guys at Pearl Izumi (I have a teammate who works there) to take a look at the pure series. I was pretty skeptical to tell the truth, but I met the guy working there- I didn't get a name but he ran XC for Hamline last year and he let me try a pair out. He hooked me up with a pair of the Pure Flow, and woah boy, those are some shoes. I thought the heel toe drop would bother me the most, but nope, its really no different than running in flats. I really like how flexable this shoe is, that was pretty awesome. Compared to the Ravenna 2's it was a huge step up and even my beloved adrenaline 11 it was an improvement. I only went 3 miles around the DECC, so I can't really say too much, but they definitely made me a believer. I'm a natural skeptic about minimalist shoes, but these aren't truly minimalist- you feel the road but its not quite to the extent that the Adrenaline 9 did, plus the smooth transition helps reduce the "road feel" a lot.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grandma's Marathon race report

OR yet another sub- par marathon by yours truly.

The Before
Our running club got up to Duluth on Friday afternoon after a three hour drive from the cities. It was cold when we got up there, probably in the low 50's. True to form, I forgot any warm clothes even though I let everyone I knew know that it was going to be chilly that weekend. But did I heed my own advice? of course not. Nice one. First thing we did was hit up green mill like we usually do. Once we did that we got our stuff in the room and headed to the race expo at the DECC. After I got my race packet I talked to the kid working at the Brooks booth for a good half an hour- more on that in a later post. Once we got bored of that we chilled in the room for a while until it was time for the 5k. We had one runner in that race, Mike Davis, who ran 17:18, good for 13th place- then he closed down the bars, of course. After the 5k we had our traditional pasta dinner in the hotel room and then watched Run Fatboy Run until we all fell asleep around 9:30.

The During:
We woke up around 4:45 AM, since the hotel's breakfast didnt start until 5. I donned my TC running company singlet and American flag shorts and, since it was raining pretty hard, a T- Shirt and a garbage- bag poncho. We hit the busses at 5:15 after a breakfast of toast and coffee where it was still rainy and cold. On the bus, I joked that it was mirroring my race strategy- we passed two or three busses at the start, but by the half marathon mark we got passed by all of the busses plus a couple. It wasn't raining when we got off the bus, but it was still cold. I almost didn't make it to the start line in time because I was in the bathroom, but I just did make it to the 4 hour pace group. In the chute I met two guys who were running their first marathons and ran with them up until 15 miles or so. We were making decent time, running 9:20's and I told them all abut the end of the marathon- its three turns to the finish, even though you think you should be done after two.

After 15, things really started turning dark for me. My pace started dropping and to compound problems I had to walk. That lasted until around mile 20, when we made it to Duluth proper. After that I ran the whole thing, granted not fast. I was hitting high 10:00 miles but whatever. Through it all I saw my tile goals go down the drain. I was on a sub 4:00 pace through 15, which was good since that was my primary goal. That went down the drain early, the same with 4:15. I was pissed. No way a 20 year old should run 4 hour plus marathons. After that little temper tantrum I figured I might as well finish and try again next time. So that's what I did. I started knocking down semi- good miles around lemondrop hill, and it was on the up and up from there, really. My times didn't improve, but my mood sure did. There was about a half mile stretch after mile 24 where a few college kids started chanting "USA! USA!" after my flag running shorts. Soon everyone started doing it- probably one of the coolest things I have experienced ever. I still forgot there are three turns to the finish and was still cussing like a sailor when I passed the finish line there. I saw my running club there (most of them had already finished already) and that made it a lot easier, but it still sucked.

At the end, I had a crisis of sorts. Should I run hard at the end or not? Last year I did kick at the finish, and looked like an absolute douchebag. I passed a bunch of people, but it really didn't matter. This year I decided not to because, really, there's no difference between 4:39:20 and 4:38:17, you're still slow as hell.

The After:
It was cold. I mean, the last two miles had the "hypothermia alert" banners out, but I didn't get it. I was pouring water on my head from the first water stop at mile 3 and was still pretty hot. After though, I was freezing. It took forever to get my mylar blanket- the dude ripping them out was a total noob scout. It was also a long walk to get my drop bag, which was totally the opposite way from the hotel. After a couple pics with the fam, I went up to shower and then "walked" over to Famous Dave's, after an hour wait, I ate a whole rack of ribs. After that, my family peaced out and we popped in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (the first one) and I took a four hour nap. After that we went to Green Mill and ate an unreal amount of pizza. The wait was pretty killer too, but that was fine since the waitress was super hot. After that everyone else went to the bars. But that waitress was super hot, so I went back to green mill and got her number. Good stuff.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

And then there were four

Only four days to Grandmas. I'm almost done with my taper too. I have a 6, a 6, and a 4 to do, and I'm supposed to be off on Friday although I think I might do a quick one or two just to stay fresh since after a day off I always feel super sluggish. A necessary evil I guess-- but not that necessary. After that it starts all over again for Twin Cities on October 2nd. I'm actually going to jump in to that training about a month late, after I take a week and a half or so off and then it starts again. I'm really pumped for Twin Cities though, especially because it runs right past my house.

So yesterday I was pissed. My lab prof made our lab group stay 15 minutes after lab was supposed to end because we were having trouble converting into hours and minutes and vice versa. Elementary stuff I know but we had to rush through it, which left us with a lot of mistakes. Anyways, that got me out of class at 9:45 and at my house at 10, so I was on the road by 10:15. 1st mile in 5:32. Whoops, about two and a half minutes fast. Though my new coach Luke Humphrey says that for a taper you should cut the distance, not to the intensity, so I said screw it and ran the 6 miles under 7:00 each.

Then today I met up with my running group because I haven't in a long while. Last week I was hoping to go, but that was the 101 degree day, so I held off until 11pm that day, and even still it was 87 degrees. Anyways, this Tuesday was a rainstorm, complete with lightning and thunder and the whole shabang. I opted to go with the racing flats today because of drainage- we weren't racing by any means, but I figured that was better than letting my trainers swell up with water. I opted no shirt and no socks since those would just get soaked anyways. So my 2 six miles for the week are down, leaving 2 4's left. And thank god for drawstrings on mu running shorts, or else they would have fallen down.

And true to form, the rain totally stopped in the last half mile.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Going off the deep end... in a good way

BAM! peak week has began. This training cycle I'm topping out at 94 miles. Why 94? Why the hell not? I mean, I don't really have a training plan, and haven't had one since like the third week of marathon training. Coupled with not logging my miles, this means two things: (1) I can kiss my BQ dreams good bye for this training cycle, at least; (2) I'll put down a ridiculous base of miles without really knowing it. My strategy is different this summer than two summers ago though.That time I ran doubles 6 or 7 days a week and ended up laid up with a stress fracture (albeit not a bad one) a month and a half in. This time I'm only going 6 days a week tops and am keeping a pretty standard mileage structure (off day Monday, mid- distance Tuesday through Thursday, short Friday and Sunday, and long Saturday).

Although maybe BQing isn't out of the picture totally. Last night after lab ended I went for a 7 miler and ended up knocking down the last 4 miles at around 6:20 pace without much differentiation in effort. 6:20's would put me at a 2:400 high marathon (I don't have a calculator on me) which would give me lots of time to hit the wall and (hopefully?) recover. But lets keep things in perspective- 4 miles is a far cry from 26 so its most likely not happening, but I'm just saying the speed is there somewhere.

This Saturday I'll be running. Typical. I work in Minneapolis Saturday, so I usually run home- take the long way and you can easily make it double digits rather than the normal weekday 7. This Saturday im going to try something different though. Instead of running, I'm going to walk to the train station. I'm going to walk to the train station and buy a ticket to Fridley, and then run home. Its only 14 miles (I think).

Sunday is Grand Ole Day as well. I was thinking of signing up for the 8k, which starts literally blocks from my house. Then I looked at the price- $20. Nope, not signing up for that. I have a policy that I won't pay more than $10 for a race less than 10k. I still might run it though, I'm getting pretty good at running races and not paying for them.

Also, Frank Shorter is speaking at the Grandma's Marathon expo. So pumped.