Race Report: Bootleg Tucson Marathon

First, I’d like to thank my friend Brooke for this disclaimer which I have shamelessly stolen from her google Doc about the bootleg race: Please note that this is NOT an official event in connection with any particular individual, club, or organization.  This event has no connection to or affiliation with the Tucson Marathon, it’s race directors, or the Holualoa Companies.  This is classified as a SELF SUPPORTED group of friends choosing to share the experience of running various distances together.  Any help, aid, or supplies are being offered by individuals in a Good Samaritan capacity and said help, aid, and supplies are not guaranteed.  It is additionally stated that no individual or party participating in connection with this event is being monetarily or otherwise compensated to do so.

So yeah. I finally did it. A full marathon. I decided back in the spring that this was going to be the year I finally ran a marathon. I chose not to talk it up much because with COVID and all… well, there was no telling what the future was going to hold.

A couple of months ago, my friend Don invited me to join a running/riding social group on FaceBook, so I decided to check it out. There was a thread about the 2020 Tucson Marathon – which was scheduled for December 5 – where I chimed in that I was planning to do it but was waiting to register because there was no telling what COVID was going to do to it. (Spoiler alert: it got COVID Cancelled.) My new friend Brooke from the group had wanted to meet up for a long run since she was also training for the 2020 Tucson Marathon as her first so we did a 20 miler together, which was fun.

The race cancellation notice came out just a day or two before that run, but we decided to run anyway. It was during that run when I mentioned I was planning to run the marathon on my own anyway because I’d come this far in my training and wasn’t about to give up on it. To which Brooke said, “Well… if you’re going to do it, then I’m going to do it too! I bet we can even wrangle up some volunteers for support.” A quick poll on the FB group showed further interest, and we were off and running. (HA!)

Brooke found, mapped, and chalked markings for an out-and back 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon, and 50k route, and organized volunteers. Another group member came up with a shirt design. I coordinated with a local business to put that design on shirts and medals which interested runners could then purchase at cost. Another member of the FB group volunteered to hang out at the start/finish with her camera to take photos for us. And the volunteers provided water (individually bottled, no big jugs) and snacks at a couple of drop-tables along the route, with my dear friend Don manning a goodie table at the start/finish line.

Tucson has an amazing community, and the way everyone worked together to accomplish this was just… stunning. Thank you all!

So, the race itself. We met at the park early for a planned 7am race start. (Yes, everyone masked up and maintained responsible distancing.) It was quite the cold morning – 32°F/0°C – and because the Catalina Mountains were between us and the (eventually) rising sun, it stayed rather chilly for some time. But by the time I made my way across the finish line it was a lovely 62°F-ish/16.7°C-ish. The out-and-back route was generally uphill on the way out, with the last 4-ish miles at a more pronounced grade, then (obviously, though it didn’t feel like it many times) mostly downhill on the way back.

So, how was my experience with the race itself? Well, here’s the gist of my inner monologue.

  • Mile 1
    • ZOMG I’m doing this! I’m running a marathon! (checks Garmin) 10:00/mile? I need to slow down or I’m going to burn out WAY too early!
  • Miles 2-8
    • This is quite lovely, if rather cold. I’m not sure why I was thinking this might just be a “one and done” thing. Maybe I’ll go ahead and make an exception for a second one at a “real” event when those are happening again. I mean, I got up to a 22 mile long run in training and didn’t die. This will just be another 4-ish miles on top of that.
  • Miles 9-13.1 aka “The Climb”
    • This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. Why are the tops of my feet so sore? That’s a new one. And I’m not even close to the mileage I was making on my training runs yet. Am I doing something weird with my form? I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
  • Miles 13.2-17
    • I know this is supposed to be pretty much all downhill now, but… where the hell are all these inclines coming from??? This still sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks.
  • Miles 18-19
    • These were probably the two most difficult miles, both physically and mentally. My internal monologue said “Eff you… I’m done” and went off to smoke behind the gym, so this was basically two miles of pain and fighting the urge to break into tears for no particular reason. Much walking was done.
  • Miles 20-25
    • Having realized it was in it for the long haul, my internal monologue came back. Mostly in the form of choosing a landmark some distance ahead which I could have a walk break after passing, and chanting the name of that landmark until I got there. “Trash can. Trash can. Trash can.” Or “To the bridge. To the bridge. To the bridge.” Or “Big shadow. Big shadow. Big shadow.” I may have chanted along out loud a nonzero number of times.
  • Miles 26-26.38 (I intentionally overshot my turnaround point by a touch just to be sure my GPS wasn’t playing games with me)
    • Also, resisting the urge to break into tears of joy at the thought of finally getting to stop.
    • Also, also, I was right the first time. I don’t want to do this again.

So, yeah… that’s about how it went. I was hoping for a finish near 5:30:00 but expecting something closer to 6:00:00, and would have been thrilled with anything below six hours. And? My Garmin said 5:28:09, and Zombies, Run! said 5:37:44. The Garmin time is shorter because it auto-paused whenever I had to stop for traffic signals or to refill my water bottles. So that’s my actual moving time. Zombies, Run! is nice to have for the total time though.

When I crossed the finish line I felt terrible and proud at the same time, which I think is pretty standard for this sort of thing.

I’m glad to have this accomplishment under my belt, but these super long distances just aren’t for me. I think the half marathon will be my long run “happy place”. I can knock one of those out in about two and a half hours and be pleasantly tired but not so wasted that I can’t accomplish anything else for the rest of the day – much less being wiped out for the next couple of days.

Same, same, but different

Yeah, so…. the world and stuff. Am I right?

Still working from home and really enjoying it. I find I’m so much more productive this way. Well, aside from the daily Zoom meetings which I feel are largely unnecessary. Many of my coworkers seem to socially benefit from them, so I suppose there is a benefit. It’s just not one I’m seeing.

I take some joy in being a touch subversive with my Zoom backgrounds.

Monday begins furlough time. I have to take at least one unpaid day off each pay period for the next year, or until I’ve taken all 26 furlough days – whichever happens first. So while not great, it could be so very much worse. (And I’ve no illusions that it could still get worse.)

The garden’s footprint has tripled in size, and I think that’s as far as I’m going to take it. It has expanded to include zucchini, yellow squash, Mexican grey squash, pumpkins, three varieties of tomato, three varieties of peppers, garlic, carrots, cantaloupe, watermelon, bunching onions, basil, and chick peas. Yeah…. I think that’s everything.

Still managing to work out six days a week. Running three days, and doing my old Power Half Hour DVDs from Beach Body three days. I’d been training for the Yellowstone Double Bison (back-to-back 5k and half marathon in early June) but that was cancelled earlier this week. I opted to defer to the virtual race version, so I’ll still get some swag plus a $75 credit toward a future race.

While I do miss many of the exercises that I was able to do at the gym, I don’t really miss being at the gym. I’ve got the space in my laundry room. I think I’d like to invest in an adjustable bench (incline/flat/decline) and some weights. I’m hoping that a bit further down the road I’ll be able to score a gonga deal at a yard sale or something as people start trying to clear out the workout gear they panic-bought at the start of all this. But now is not the time for that. Not yet.

My annual physical which had been rescheduled to a phone call was eventually cancelled. (Makes sense, how do you do a physical exam over the phone anyway?) I checked in with my doctor about my blood lab results from March and his response was “Nothing of concern.” So that’s that until in-person appointments can happen safely again.

My weight progress is still maddeningly slow. I credit this largely to getting lazy at times about my calorie logging. Being in the house – where all my food also happens to live – has also made me a bit more likely to snack than when I’m at work and the only food I have is what I brought with me for the day. And there’s the part where I’m not burning quite as many calories as I was before the world stopped. I’m floating between two and five pounds away from Ultimate Goal Weight, depending on the day.

It’s frustrating to be so close and not see marked movement in that direction. Some days I just want to call it “good enough” but I’ve come so far, it would be a shame to give up when I’m so close. I’ll get there. “The body will do what the body will do.” “The less you have to lose, the harder it is to lose.” “Trust the system.” These are all the things I say to friends in my r/loseit challenge team when they’re struggling. I need to take my own advice.

The thing that has ultimately been the most difficult for me in all this is being unable to play music with my friends. Oh, I’ve got a couple of different remote projects going on with different folks, and I’ve been making music on my own to help myself stay grounded. But it’s not the same as that energy that happens when you’re in the same room as other people, playing live. Or even better, at a venue playing music with friends for a bunch of people, everyone’s energy feeding off each other… It’s something special. And I miss it so very much.

This is the playlist I’m keeping of my “Quarantine” music.

Mt. Lemmon Half Marathon: Race Report

Saturday morning I completed the Mt. Lemmon Half Marathon. It was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. My only real goal was to beat my first half marathon time from December 2014, which was 2:23:something.

I woke up with my alarm at 3:30 AM, had a quick shower to rinse off the sleep, chugged a cup of coffee, wolfed down a peanut butter filled Clif bar, filled my water bottles, then did a quick check to be sure I had all the gear I’d need before heading out to La Mariposa to park and catch the bus up to the starting area.

Scored the single-seater bench at the back of the bus!

The morning was cool – mid-50s (F) – which was much better than the week before when our lows had been in the low to mid 40s. Turns out that while I didn’t wear as many layers as I would have had it been in the 40s, I still overdressed a bit. The bus ride was largely uneventful – aside from some annoying conversation I couldn’t help but overhear floating across the aisle. Fortunately it was only about a 20 minute drive, then I was able to distance myself from those folks

Sky is getting lighter. Almost time to line up!

The first seven miles or so were super fun, mostly because as Zombies, Run! would rattle off my km times, I knew I was blowing old PRs out of the water. Granted, since the road drops something like 630 feet per mile, I had a major assist from gravity. And I’ll take it.

The last six miles or so were…. mostly just me being ready to be done. The route almost levelled out and there were even a couple of small hills to climb, which were actually a bit of a relief after all that downhill running. Though I did have to walk on the larger ones.

Me and my sweet medal!

Well, I finished. I placed 381st of 776 runners, 148th of 243 men, and 15th of 27 in my age division. So pretty strongly middle of the pack all around. Also, I blew away every single PR I had on record. Here’s the list of my new records:

  • 1 km 0:05:22
  • 1 mile 0:08:45
  • 5 km 0:27:53
  • 10 km 0:58:31
  • 13.1 miles 2:15:05.42

So yeah. I don’t feel like I’m gloating when I say I pretty much killed it. Also, pretty sure I saved the ski lodge from the orphans…. or whatever the heck that After School Special subplot was supposed to be.

And now the part you’ve all been looking for, I’m sure… the official photos!

And now for the part where I don’t repeat the mistake I made after that 2014 half marathon when I didn’t get back into my exercise and food habits after “treating” myself and “resting” for far longer than was really warranted. I’m still pretty stiff and sore now (Monday evening) but I went to the gym for Push Day today and fully intend to do a short run tomorrow. It’ll probably be stiff and slow, but it’ll be a run. Also after a weekend of “I just did awesome in a half marathon!” indulgences, I’ve been getting back into my better food choice patterns today.

So, yeah. That was super fun and I’m glad I did it. Will I do it again next year? I don’t know yet, but chances look pretty good. As always, thanks for reading.

Cinco de Mayo 10k report, Onederland!

So today was the Dr. Gann’s Diet of Hope Cinco de Mayo 10k. I always forget how much of this course is uphill – and how much of that uphill is in the first half. I did pretty well and enjoyed doing the latest Zombies, Run! virtual 10k at the same time. Made it through the first half without any walk breaks, though some of the uphill bits got the better of me on the return leg.

At first, I thought I’d done a new all-time PR. Turns out I remembered my previous PR incorrectly, and actually missed it by a good 6 minutes. But still, this was a new record since getting back into running back in the fall. Gun time was 1:10:33, chip time was 1:09:37. Placed 16th out of 17 in my age group and 313th out of 420, which is about what I expected.

Here are some photos I snapped at the race.

Oh, and here’s another thing that happened this morning:


Yup, that weight starts with a 1. I’ll likely yo-yo back and forth over that line for the next few days (at least), but I’m still taking that win.

Race Report: Old Tucson 4-Mile Trail Run

Coffee up, buttercup. This is going to be a long post.
Coffee up, buttercup. This is going to be a long post.

So this weekend was the Old Tucson Sunrise 4-mile Trail Run.  I signed up for it as a “baby step” between a 5k (3.1 miles) and a 10k (6.2 miles).  Except I somehow managed to not pay attention to the part where this is a trail run.  No wide, smooth, paved paths here.  So I also managed to get my first trail run – ever – in the books this weekend.  Is that a thing I’m interested in continuing?  I don’t know.  I haven’t ruled it out, but it also wasn’t one of those “THIS IS AWESOME AND I HAVE TO DO IT MORE!!!!” experiences.

Anyhoo.  I got there at 7am to secure good parking and get my timing chip.  Then…. I waited.  A lot.  See, because the track is so narrow for the middle two miles, they split this into two separate races by gender.  The ladies went first at 8am, then them men at 9am.  So I tooled around Old Tucson for a while taking selfies and waiting for our turn to run.

Once race time got there, things got awkward.  See, there was also a family 1-mile fun-run at the event, which did the same loop as the first mile of the 4-mile route.  And they did that run along with the men.  So there was lots of dodging around kids, but that’s okay.  At the split-point near the end of the first mile, it was off into the desert along the tracks used by the Old Tucson horseback tours.  Much of it was only wide enough to go single-file and while none of the hills were huge (I’m looking at you, Saguaro National Park East 8-miler and A-Mountain half), there were quite a few of them.  Definitely had to walk a few of the steeper ones.  But I made it through and didn’t biff it, so I’ll call that a win.

I know, I know, get to the results, already.  I finished about where I figured I would.  My personal trackers had me finishing around 43:30, but I also didn’t get to stop them right as I crossed the finish line.  I’m usually pretty good about noticing the big clock at the end of the course, but I just…. didn’t this time.  So from the official results, I actually finished in 42:08.7 for a 10:32/mile pace.  I’m pretty thrilled with that because on most of my runs lately I’ve been just below 12:00/mile.  I finished 168th out of 196 men, and 19th out of 21 in my age group.

Sitting down with coffee and a burrito. Also, TIRED.

After the race, they provided breakfast burritos which were… nothing spectacular but definitely appreciated.  Then we were free to enjoy the park for the rest of the day so I rode the train, went through the haunted mine tour, browsed a few shops which hadn’t been open while I wandered and waited for the race to start, and went home to shower and get lunch.

A finisher is me!
A finisher is me!

Then it was off to Cy’s to have her mom work on my gig vest.  About this time last year, she made us some super fancy clothes for super fancy gigs – which was convenient since we had a super fancy gig coming up.  Unfortunately, that was also when I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been.  We’ve got that same super fancy gig coming up in a couple of weeks, so I figured I should probably try on that vest in case it needed altering since Cy’s mom is in town again.  Yeah… it was a friggin circus tent, but no longer.  She was able to take the vest in by about 12 inches.  I’m excited to have a comparison photo from that gig.

Speaking of the gig and vest, that also meant I needed a new black button-front shirt to wear with said vest to said gig.  So I stopped at the thrift shop on the way home to test my luck.  Grabbed a couple of XL shirts mostly out of habit and… too big.  Tried a couple of Large shirts and wouldn’t you know they were just right!  (Last year, I had to buy a 3XL black shirt for this gig, just for some perspective.)

So then I got home and decided I should probably go through my “too small” bin again.  I tried on item after item and nearly every single one fit.  A few things even went straight into a new “too big” bin.  And my “too small” bin now consists of exactly one tee-shirt and one pair of jeans.  So that felt pretty good.

So that was Sunday.  Saturday was pretty ordinary – gym day, then lots of errands.  Skipped the ParkRun because of Sunday’s race.  (Also, I slept late so didn’t finish at the gym in time to make it to the run.  But I would’ve skipped it anyway.)

Friday was my first meeting with the cookbook club at Bookman’s.  I was really stressing about this because I just didn’t know now to make the logistics of prepping a pot-luck dish in time for it were going to work.  Then I found granola recipe in the featured book and was able to make it a couple of days ahead so Friday I just had to get home, feed the cats, get my stuff together, and get to the book store.  (Also, that granola is good!!!)  They were a lovely group of people, and everyone’s food was delicious.  I’d pretty much talked myself into bailing after this first meeting – largely because of nerves over “new people” combined with stressing over food prep schedule logistics – but I think I’m going to stick it out at least one more month.  Though the next meeting is the same evening as my blacksmithing class, so that may be a challenging schedule.  At least I have lots of time to get to know the cookbook this time around and maybe find another good make-ahead dish.

I think that’s probably more than enough for now. As always, thanks for reading.

Busting More Cycles

So I’m still over here busting cycles.  Gym thing is still going well, which is nice.

Back in December I was lamenting to some of my r/loseit friends that I didn’t have any local running friends.  They suggested I check out parkrun – a social running thing.  I looked them up and it turns out there is a group here in Tucson which meets every Saturday to run a 5k.  So I registered…. then didn’t make it to one of their runs until this weekend.  It was the most difficult 5k I’ve run in a long time – mostly because I went to the gym first.  (Saturday is a gym day, and I’m not willing to compromise that schedule.)  But I made it, I did it, and I even talked to strangers.  I finished 14th out of 25 runners, 11th out of the men, and 2nd in my age category.  (There was only one other guy in my age group and he finished like 10 minutes before me.  So that was less exciting.  But that’s okay.)

Doing that run after putting in an hour and a half at the gym really did suck, though.  Then again, a few weeks ago I was saying that the whole gym before work thing sucked and now it’s just part of my schedule.  So I’ll definitely be giving this another try.  Not sure if that’ll be next weekend or not.  It’ll most likely depend on whether I wake up early enough to finish at the gym in time to get to the park.

Then there’s the blacksmithing.  You’re probably thinking, “wait… what?!?” and I wouldn’t blame you.  A friend posted about a local blacksmithing school having their grand opening party this weekend.  Smithing is something that I’ve been kind of curious about for a while – I fully admit I get sucked into Forged in Fire marathons on the so-called History Channel – but never had the foggiest idea of where to start.  After learning about this school I signed up for one of their beginning blacksmithing sessions happening in March figuring worst case, I’m out some cash to find out it’s not for me.  Then I went to their grand opening party where I got to forge a bottle opener.  Matt was a great instructor, telling me what to do and why I should do it.  He heated the metal and held it on the anvil for me, but every hammer blow was my own.  That was a lot of fun, and now I’m super excited for my actual class in March.


Me and my bottle opener! Sorry for the blurry photo, I thought the goggles where just smudgy when I looked at it in the forge.

On trying new things…

In my last post I wrote about joining a gym for the first time.  Now I’m going to write about actually going for the first time.

Technically, I’d been in the building three times already.  First time to check it out and sign up, a second time for orientation and my first one-on-one consult with a trainer, then a third one-on-one to go over the routines she’d put together for me.

Saturday morning, I actually went to Do The Thing.  (That’s how the kids are saying it these days, right?)  I got all the way through the first day’s workout as outlined by the trainer, got into my car to head home, saw the time, and discovered that I’d been at the gym for almost two hours.  I knew I’d been there longer than I had anticipated but… the hell?!?  Later that day, I was chatting online with some of my r/loseit challenge friends about my experience.  I wrote out the routine for them and they weren’t surprised that it took that long.  That was nice to hear, because I was feeling rather negatively about myself.

Today was supposed to be Day 2, but I absolutely failed to get out of bed in time to compensate for another two hour workout.  (Seriously, it would mean getting to the gym around 4am, and that’s all sorts of NOPE.)  So I packed a bag of the essentials to have ready in my car so I could just stop and do it on my way home after work.

Which leads me to my next point:  Making this work.  I hadn’t anticipated adding 2-hour workouts to my schedule.  I’m going to see what it takes to make that work this week and maybe next week, then see about scheduling another consult to discuss possibly combining some of the exercises somehow to cut my time commitment down.  I do need to keep in mind that I’m trying to add these new routines while in the midst of the latest orchestra cycle.  That’s certainly complicating my available time pool right now.  The concerts are this weekend, so next week should give me a better feel for “normal life” with the new workouts.

The other thing I’m having to figure out is what do I really need to have in my “go bag” to be ready to work out then get on with my life?  It’s actually easier on the way home from work since I don’t have to be all that presentable.  As my r/loseit friends advised this morning, I could even just have a sweatshirt or something to put on after working out so I don’t even have to shower at the gym while not worrying about getting my coat all funky.  (At least, while it’s still cool enough for layering to be necessary.)  But I also like having my workouts done early in the day so I don’t have to think about it later.  I’d kind of like to go straight from the gym to work in the mornings, but that requires bringing a fair amount of clothing and toiletries.

So for today it turns out I really just needed my workout clothes.  By the time I was done with tonight’s routine, I just wanted to get home and get dinner into the oven.  And I’m now writing this still unshowered and in my pajamas because I’m getting up to run in the morning anyway, so why bother?  Who am I going to offend?  The cats?  (Yes, I’ll definitely shower after tomorrow’s run.  I’m not the guy who goes to the office stinky.)

Also, and this was something I did NOT see coming, apparently Planet Fitness brings in pizza for their members?  Yeah…. that just feels like bringing a keg to an AA meeting: a royally bad idea.  I don’t get it.  Though I suppose it gives their employees a certain level of job security.

I’ve also found a new running path.  Yesterday was my Long Run day, but it was also raining and had been since the night before.  I knew parts of my usual route would be incredibly muddy, but decided to go for it anyway.  When I got to my first “route decision point”, I decided to try a raised and paved path that I’d seen before but didn’t want to try exploring in the dark.  (I slept in yesterday, so it was light enough to see unaided.)  This path is in only marginally worse condition than my usual route and is on an elevated berm for its entire length, so puddles and muddy overflows are nonexistent.  And it’s further away from the main road, so traffic noise isn’t as loud.  Pretty sure this will become my “usual” path for a while.  I’ll try it again tomorrow when it’ll still be dark out to see how I feel about it.

On the importance of perspective

So I had an awful run this morning.  I think I was in the middle of a REM cycle when my alarm went off – which it’s not supposed to do, and which always seems to make exercising extra difficult.  Dragged my ass out of bed, had a sip of water, got into my running kit, and went out to do my thing.

My legs felt heavy.  My lungs felt tight.  I couldn’t seem to find a good rhythm or stride for the life of me.  It just felt. Like.  Shit.

When Zombies, Run! told me I’d made the first kilometer, I could tell I wasn’t going to last a full 5km.  My body just wasn’t going to have it.  So I told myself I’d go all the way to the traffic light – which would be just over 2km – then I could turn around and head home.  Meaning I’d still manage just over 4km for the morning.  By the end of km 3, I was just done.  My legs refused to run any further.  But since I was still basically half a mile away from home I walked it out, upset with myself for not being able to push through it to my usual cool-down walk point, and half-heartedly telling myself “It’s okay.  At least I went out and did something.”

Then I got to thinking about it.  Yeah, it sucked.  It felt awful and depressing and I hated every step.  But you know what?  74 days ago I could not have even entertained the notion of doing what I did this morning.  74 days ago I would have quit before I even got out of my neighborhood.  Hell, 74 days ago I probably wouldn’t have even managed to get myself out of bed until a second or third alarm.

So, yeah.  Shitty runs happen.  (hehehehe…..)  But I’ve also come a long way in two and a half months, and I need to remember that.

Race Report: Jingle Bell Run 5K

So, today was my first legitimate attempt at a race in… four years, I think?  (I signed up for a set of increasingly longer races as a package a couple of years ago in hopes that they’d get me running again.  They didn’t, and I ended up walking all three of those.)

Anyway.  I woke up this morning to find an email from the race organizers letting me know that since the donations I collected added up to more than $100, I was getting VIP status.  That meant access to a closer parking lot, and access to the VIP tent where they had free breakfast and stuff.  So that was cool.  (Thanks, Dad & Jen!)

Running shoes with bells and grass.

Ready to run… with bells on. Literally.

So I go there stupid early because that’s what I do.  Went to the VIP tent and had a coffee, a cookie, and a bit of lemon cake, but passed on the breakfast burritos.  I didn’t want to be too weighed down before running.  Then I pretty much just wandered around aimlessly for the next hour and a half, waiting for the race to start.  I really should find some local running friends or something for these sorts of things.  But that requires talking to strangers.

Wreaths and garland arranged in a suggestive array.

I’m… not sure this greenery placement was thought through. Because I’m 41 going on 13.

The race itself was pretty uneventful.  Course was nice and well-manned.  Pretty much flat.

The goal I’d set for myself was a sub-36:00 5K.  I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d actually make that, but I was pretty confident it would be rather close either direction.  Well, my official time was 35:27! (The monitor at the end said 35:25.4, but the results on the site say otherwise.)  I placed 64th out of 274 finishers, and 10th of 33 in my age group.  Damn straight, I’ll take that!


My chip time is a whole 1.6 seconds faster than my officially recorded time. I’m also noticing that they’ve got my age wrong. I’m not 42 for another week, still. But that’s okay.

Happy with my finish, I headed back to the VIP tent to see if they still had any burritos.  I know waiting until afterward meant they’d likely be out, but I was in luck.  They just had enough fixings for a couple more, so I got my free breakfast burrito.  And enjoyed it immensely.



So there you have it.  My first “legitimate” race attempt in a few years, and I’m happy with the result.  As always, thanks for reading!

I did it!

I did it!

C25K Report: Week 9

  • W9D1 (Mon)
    • Felt fine.  Was a little bummed that I only added a tenth of a mile to my W8 distances but then remembered that W9 runs are only two minutes longer than W8, so that’s about right.
    • Treated myself to the movies.  Decided to see the new Nutcracker flick.  Cute.  Enjoyed it, though the Mouse King was rather unnerving.  And the Mirlitons were terrifying.
      • Was planning on having a “movie lunch” of popcorn and soda.  Then I saw the calorie counts on the menu board, decided I didn’t want them that badly, and that I could wait until after the movie to get one of my favorite burgers on the way home.  Which is what I did.
    • I’m also going to take this film as an opportunity to plug my Switched-On Nutcracker album.  For those of you familiar with the old Switched-On Bach records, this is the same idea, just with selected pieces from the Nutcracker Suite.  All analog synth goodness, all played by me one track at a time, over and over and over and over and over.  No MIDI involved.  I’m pretty proud of it, even in the spots that are a little rough around the edges.  Please check it out.  And if you’re so inclined, you can even throw a few bucks my way.

  • REST DAY (Tues)
    • P90 Sculpt! Level 3-4
      • My Garmin crapped out about 80% of the way through.  Apparently 7% battery is not enough to get through this workout.
  • W9D2 (Wed)
    • COLD.  Not quite Minneapolis cold, but cold.  Wore two layers of long sleeves, wouldn’t have been a horrible idea to also wear two layers of long pants.  Note taken for Friday morning when temperatures should be similar to today.
  • REST DAY (Thurs)
    • No exercise today.
  • W9D3 (Fri)
    • FINISHED!  Mostly felt good, except for the little bit toward the end where I felt like I might puke.  Which was odd since I wasn’t pushing any harder than usual.  I suspect I was underhydrated.
    • Also, apparently the grumpy old men of my neighborhood come out to walk about a half hour after I usually finish my run.  At least, I’m assuming so given the number of them I passed on my way back home.  (Started my run about a half hour later than usual.)

This week’s rediscovered running music is…  well, there isn’t any.  Didn’t have anything come up this week that made me go, “YEAH!”

Since this marks my completion of C25K, I’ve registered for a 5K on December 1st to benefit arthritis research.  If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here.  If not, no worries.  Everyone is asking for money this time of year.