Aug 14 2013

Psycho Running

Hmmm. This is a transitional time for me it seems. My disenchantment for road running and over the top costumes is matched only by my equal but opposite love of trail running that I am finding.

Oh I’m certain I will still seek out certain 5ks, certain road half-marathons (maybe?), and certain full marathons… but my current goal is now to attend each and every trail nerd event in their circuit. Not necessarily in one year for logistical reasons… sometimes I simply can’t make it.

In past years I’ve run the Psycho Psummer multiple times and their Intro 5k, but that’s been it.

This year I completed the Psycho Psummer again, but this time chose the 50k variant. Did the Psychodelic 5k Fire Version, and the 10k Psych Night. Should be doing the North Shore Trail on 9-7-13 run too for the first time.

Let me tell you the Psych Night is no joke. It’s crazy. I felt crazy running it. I was crazy. The only race report that can be said is that I madly ran like a madman into the dark and the night. I ran the last two miles by myself solidly in 10th place never seeing a person anywhere in front or behind me. I was sweating something crazy. Lots of mud thanks to a prior day rain. Lots of rocks and hills cause its Wyco. The twisty turns of the trail’s back section could throw you off the trail in a moment’s notice. I took the steep rocky descents with a reckless forward motion. I grunted up the ascents pressing on and on. I had a hammering psycho song playing in my head for some of the race which somehow seemed appropriate. I finished under an hour and was elated for my time. Never once looking back. Thankful for the great volunteers. Got to the end and drank a Coors Light in about 3 gulps it tasted so good. PSYCH NIGHT.

As for the 50k. It was quite an adventure. I trained hard for it. Consumed well. In doing so, I was entirely surprised to find that I was for the most part unfazed. I was actually astonished by how good I felt. I was super happy with my splits and my finish. It was hot and the trails were sooo rough. I hated the last 8 miles of it… I won’t lie about that. I was ready for it to be over at mile 22. I persevered though. That night even went to the Sporting KC game as planned.

I’ve been stunned with my progress. Since I’ve taken to the trails I’ve permanently dropped 5 pounds and feel good for it. Every single training run I’ve been on since that 50k has been my fastest yet. I’m humbled and amazed at my own body.

I’m just going to keep going.

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Jan 2 2013

2012 Running In Review…

Well 2013 is here, another year, another running circuit begins. It’s going to be immensely hard to top 2012 in 2013… but I think its doable.
Why will it be so hard to top? Looking back at 2012 it was a tremendous year for me… I set a PR in almost every distance I raced… and not by seconds, by minutes.

– Improved 10k time by about a minute (and did it on the toughest course possible…)
– Improved Half-Marathon time by 3 minutes (set Half-Marathon PR twice)
– Improved Hospital Hill PR by a minute and a half (yes that race gets its own PR) (weather was great!)
– Improved Psycho Wyco (20 miler) by 14 minutes (no mud!)
– Improved Marathon time by almost 9 minutes (I didn’t train enough, and earned this one on the course)

I had all of those as goals and met them all. I also just went back and read my 2011 Running Year in Review and realized I also did the 39.3 this year, as well as Hospital Hill, Psycho Wyco, and the KC Full which I’ve been meaning to do for the last three years… Wow… I did it all! I’m so proud of me. Hard to believe that 39.3 was even last spring… that seems like it was so long ago but really I suppose it was.

Hmm… the only thing I seem to be unable to improve upon is my 5k time. Maybe this year I can do that. I look back at my supposed PR though with question marks now… a 2007 run on Ft. Leavenworth before I carried a Garmin? Knowing some of those runs it could have been a full quarter mile short. Almost makes me want to pick another one as my PR… which I pretty much did… but I digress.

2013 could be looking ok I think. I’ve not slacked off this Winter as I have done in years past (although my 2012 was great and I did not slack off last winter either!). That must be the secret (and what a secret it is! not.) — to not slack off. Who woulda thought?

Now if only I quit drinking all those heavy beers too… that would probably make a difference? Nah, not worth it… and they are a great way to carb up is how I look at it! I think a few Boulevards fueled nearly almost all of those runs.

This year I may be blogging for the Hospital Hill, or I may not… I haven’t heard back from them yet. Regardless they will be employing (in the deployed since, not the check writing sense) an army of bloggers this year who should each have a different take on their train up and goals etc… that ought to be fun to observe.

Next race I am realistically looking at doing is the Parkville Trail 8k on February 3rd. I did that race last year and it was quite enjoyable. I’m also really enjoying trail running … both in official races and training. These days I’d say I do at least half, if not more of my outside runs at least partially on trails… and when I’m running “street” a lot of times I’m just running on it to get to the trail.

Here’s to 2013 and another great year for everyone!

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Nov 26 2012

Remember remember this warm November

Star date, November 22, 2012. I’ve located a new trail in Lansing, Kansas.

I suppose there were always trails of some sort here… deer trails and what not… but now it is official and WIDE! Lansing has a new trail. I’ve already run it twice now. It’s quite short… there’s a 1/8th mile concrete path that leads to the trail head, and then the trail itself is another 1/6th mile possibly… right now it looks like it leads just about nowhere, but during wetter (more normal?) times it leads to a nice waterfall. I’ve visited this waterfall a few times in the past and each time there was quite a falling of water… so hopefully its only a temporary situation with no waterfall… after all this was the year of the exceptional drought. Not bad, not worse, not extreme, not super bad, not ultra-&%$#*@$-bad, it was EXCEPTIONALLY bad…. and its still going.

This does make it nice to be able to run on the stream beds. That allowed me to accumulate a little more mileage here on the first occasion… and I made plans for wetter/more normal times.

Passing the 1/6th mile mark and arriving at the (would be) falls – this appears to be the end of the official trail. Leading off from here other than the two stream beds are several deer trails. I made the most of these and turned them into some nice running trails, even discovering a few things in this urban sanctuary.

So Lansing adds a third trail to run on… the first Kelly Grove Trail, the second, my beloved Ken Bernard Park Trail, and now Angel Falls Trail. There may be more to come on this one as I plan on blazing a few new paths there. For now here’s a rough graph of it:

I actually discovered this trail had been placed by finding a geocache here. It seems these two sports often go hand in hand… trail running and geocaching.


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Nov 14 2012

The vastly belated KC Marathon recap…

What an incredible event.

I just about wasn’t going to write up a report for this one, but after thinking it over for a while there’s just too much to say. Perhaps I’ll be able to address it all in a recap…

I showed up at around 6:10am… precisely when I meant to! Here’s a token of advice for next year’s event: If you choose to park in the garage at McGee & Pershing (it’s a rather convenient place to park) fret not finding a spot on the level you enter… simply head down to orange or up to blue. Yep. There’s all the spots.

So… I mill around a little race morning… not long as I’ve only left myself just enough time for the necessities and not much more. A quick trip to the compulsory port-o-pot, a glance around, and finding my pace group. I chose to seek out the 3:45 pace group. I was able to make my way forward easily enough and got the smart pacing armband and checked out the splits. In the corral waiting for the race to start I conversed with a couple of people… coincidentally a runner that I knew well enough – just from seeing him in race after race after race locally… (all the REALLY local 5ks (the ones in my exact town))… and I knew who he was but he didn’t me and he was quite shocked when I knew him by name. Oh well… I met another man from Oklahoma, Randy who was quite nice and had a good conversation with.

The race starts.

For some dumb-ass reason, for the first time ever, I decided to bring a cotton hooded sweatshirt with me. Oh don’t worry – I had every intention in the world of jettisoning this thing the instant it got too warm… the only problem was it was too warm from the get-go. The forecast was for 40-44 degree temps and I supposed that would be chilly enough to warrant this for a mile or two. Not so… it was way too much and I was only wayyyy too happy to be rid of it at the first aid station – which couldn’t come soon enough – for the sole reason of getting rid of this thing! My hope was that it would be donated as they do in New York… but probably not so much here… 🙁 …. I just hope it found some sort of home. Anyway — long story short: trust my own instincts and go with just a tech-t! So I guess that was my first mistake… from about 1/4 mile in it was too much, although to its credit I was absolutely comfortable (warm) leading up to that point.

No big deal! I sweated a little too much probably and I tossed that sucker at the 2 mile aid station feeling instantly better and not at all cold. Still running with Randy… saw a runner I’d met a couple of weeks prior in my hometown at a run. Had a nice quick conversation there… and Jenny – (whom it was!) if you’re seeing this I looked up yours and Jason’s results… both absolutely stellar! Two sub 2 hour finishes!!! Congrats!

The next minor incident occurs at the Liberty Memorial… an early highlight of the race to be sure but I had to stop and double knot both shoes as I’d not done so before and they were becoming undone… well there was a nice waste of time early in the race and I was thinking to myself… SECOND mistake! Seems trivial now of course. But its 30 seconds stopped and then extra exerted energy catching up with pace group… etc…

Anyway… leaving my mistakes behind I began to have a nice race. Occasionally conversing with Randy or straining to hear what the 3:45 pacer was saying… I noted quickly 5 miles. Huh… 5 miles? That first five miles FLEW by! In fact before I knew it was 7! 7 miles flew by like it was nothing… just still running… had some slow splits to start with the 3:45 pace group which were being made up for now as the splits went from slower than planned to faster than planned. I was keeping up so far but didn’t know for how long.

I alternately was running next to Randy, trying to catch up with him, or running next to other persons met on the course with light conversation through mile 16.

Through mile 16. Did you read that!!? I ran that!! About mile 15 the legs were feeling like 2 dead weights I was dragging along… this was interesting because my upper torso felt absolutely fine. Head, arms, lungs, good. Legs, bad. I ran for as long as I could which was until of course the moment of mention which is mile 16. I had to finally stop to use a port-o-pot. I told Randy “Gotta take a break, I’ll catch up” which I believe sounded like “Gotta take a break… mrphlepluff” I never saw him again.

As you could probably imagine… this was an immense relief. 🙂

When I exited and resumed the race the 3:45 pace group was fading into the distance.

I gave them chase for a while but they were pretty much gone.

Mile 18. Ow.

Mile 20. Really? 6 more to go eh?

Mile 20.2 – 🙁

Mile 21: A friend of mine, whom I’ve not even seen at all up to this point suddenly appears in front of me! A large German Shepard is attacking him! Am I delirious!? He shouts at the dog and the woman rushing up to apologize… this is all fairly surreal as I’m laboring with bemused interest. The dog shakes off and its back to the miles. Yes that was a small diversion. Now more miles.

I was really hurting here. Constantly almost stopping to walk… and once… yes… chugging it down, to … stop… and… wal… no… just keep running.

Was it about mile 21.5 I had heard rumblings, maybe even previous to this of the 3:50 pace group behind me. I didn’t see them for quite a while. I even had a brief scare as a formation of runners came up to pass me at one point, which could be nothing other than a pace group… but it was in fact a relay team.

Well by mile 22 – I think — I was nearly delirious all through here… the 3:50 pace group did in fact catch up with me. This turned out to be a wonderful thing. It was the two 3:50 pacers, and someone who had stuck with them. That was it, these 3. I can only imagine what fantastic trail of carcasses they left in their wake over the past 22 miles, and here they were with the sole survivor… were they going to pass me too? Was I just relegated now to “some sort of finish” which would not only not be 3:45, but also not in the realm of 3:50, and scarier still, not even a PR, or even under 4:00?

“Hey, what’s your name man?” They asked me… that simple greeting sparked such a friendly next few miles I couldn’t believe it. These pacers literally scraped me off of the pavement whether they knew it or not and gave me a third wind. I simply said “I’ll try to stay with you” and I did. We really hammered out a couple of those miles there too. I’m sure (even though they never asked) they knew I had 3:49ish in mind at least and they paced me! They dragged me out of the gutter yes, through pure inspiration, and through much encouragement and friendly chatter that I forgot about all my pain and knocked out a couple of miles with what I knew had to be some nice splits.

With about a mile to go, they bowed out and wished me well shouting enough encouragement to take me home. I was HURTING at this point, probably on the brink of death – but I was running it in regardless… keeping some semblance of a strong pace. They only bowed out to hit their time, and for being the 3:50 pace group… if they had a little bit of a lead on it, it wasn’t too much. I crossed the line nearly bursting into tears at 3:48:51. I’d left it all out there.

After pacing around a little I waited for the 3:50 pacers to finish (which wasn’t long… they finished right at 3:50) and met them there for a short and sweet reunion. I’d like to have possibly ran the whole race with them … but I think somehow I did it perfectly… going out just slightly too fast with the 3:45 and building a little bit of a cushion. If I’d headed out with 3:50 I don’t believe I would have had the finish I did.

We took some pictures and I headed off for Washington Park with all the goodies. The free beer… free BBQ… etc.



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Oct 20 2012

…and done…

We’ll see if this changes some (it’s changed quite a bit already from what I got this morning)… but mission accomplished! Bettered PR by about 8 minutes.

bib number: 1783
age: 34
gender: M
location: Lansing, KS
overall place: 318 out of 1461
division place: 52 out of 146
gender place: 266 out of 920
time: 3:48:51
pace: 8:45
5ksplit: 29:36.21
10ksplit: 56:31.30
13.1split: 1:56:59.98
21msplit: 3:02:53.98
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Oct 19 2012

Marathon tomorrow…

Hmmm… well here I am yet again. Marathon tomorrow. It’s really strange to think that 4 years ago almost to the day I was sitting probably in this same spot, drinking the same beer, typing on the same blog. Seriously!? When taken out of context that sounds rather boring! Well, I’m listening to some different music 🙂 Isn’t that nice? …and sure its a different computer, different running goal, different outlook… different… well…

Here was that post: “Marathon is tomorrow!!” #94… this will be #1,207 if I decide to click publish. A few posts between then and now!

Well like I said… its the same situation: it’s late, I’ve had a few beers (that’s CARBS you know!) and its time to get some sleep. Although it looks like I posted 8:30pm back in 08… its now almost 11pm! But that’s fine. Right on schedule.

ZZZZZZZ see you tomorrow.

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Oct 19 2012

3rd Annual CAC/STB FMWR Half-Marathon Results

Unfortunately these are very partial; I only have results for the top 20 men finishers in the 1/2 Marathon only.

There was a 5k and a 10k and obviously Women’s for each event — but I only got what I have! I’ve looked for the results elsewhere online… (they were supposed to have been posted on Active / FMWR) but I’ve been unable to locate them thusfar… so I will include what I have here:

Place Div/Tot Bib Name Age Official Time Pace
1 1/3 139 Brian Parker 40 1:31:12 6:58
2 1/10 121 Ivan Hurlburt 37 1:35:04 7:16
3 2/3 135 Nimrod Spilman 42 1:42:21 7:49
4 2/10 120 Sonny Hatton 36 1:43:19 7:54
5 3/10 107 Michael Buchanan 35 1:43:19 7:54
6 3/3 101 Craig Aitchison 44 1:44:45 8:00
7 4/10 137 Bob Wooten 34 1:47:34 8:13
8 5/10 122 Jarred Lang 35 1:47:39 8:14
9 1/5 116 Patrick Ginka 27 1:48:22 8:17
10 6/10 138 Matthew Ziglar 37 1:49:00 8:20
11 7/10 132 Sean Russell 36 1:49:51 8:24
12 8/10 125 Matt Molly 33 1:54:22 8:44
13 2/5 127 Christopher Ontiveros 28 1:57:04 8:57
14 3/5 141 Devon Corrias 24 1:57:21 8:58
15 1/1 134 Chez Shafer 63 2:05:25 9:35
16 9/10 102 Ed Arntson 32 2:06:58 9:42
17 ? 113 Wayne Dunlap ? 2:08:42 9:50
18 4/5 143 Justin Cox 26 2:11:07 10:01
19 5/5 142 William Ernest 28 2:16:11 10:24
20 10/10 133 Terrail Saffo 37 2:20:05 10:42

So there you have it. This is a tough course too which I think I’ve mentioned before… so each of those times should be a little more impressive than normal!

If I ever locate the complete results I’ll be sure to post them and/or link to them. If you locate them yourself, you could let me know in the comments too!

As for a race report for this one… well… there was a 5k, a 10k and a Half-Marathon. There were maybe 50-55 people total across all three? It was an enjoyable cool, rainy morning on a tough hills which was basically a solo run.

On the way out it was cool, not raining, and so quiet on top of Brunner Ridge (save my own footfalls) that I could have been miles and miles from civilization… a very enjoyable run.

On the way back it was raining quite steadily, and I had donned my headphones which were blasting very coincidentally appropriate tunes which really helped me charge it home.

There’s plenty more to say – including such unfortunate faults as the 5k route being incorrectly described and the ‘ol 360 spinning race arrows which pointed every which way at times… but despite these things — it was a nice time and a welcome and conveniently scheduled measure of my readiness for the KC Full tomorrow!

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Oct 16 2012

2012 Kansas City Marathon

The deadline to sign up online for the Kansas City Marathon was yesterday October 14th – and that’s when I finally made the commitment to run the full 26.2. I’m quite excited about it as I haven’t run the KC Full since 2008 and in 2009 just completed the half… I quite remember though that this is one of the absolute best races around for a multitude of reasons and just being part of it is a tremendous experience.

This blog was actually born in support of the 2008 KC Marathon – a training log which strove for the eventual attained goal of a sub four hour marathon. These days it’s mostly a useful tool for me to go back and see when and where I was ailing, winning, or just rambling…

As of late…

I returned to the Haven’s Trail run as the defending champion… ran about a minute faster and earned 3rd overall. I was pleased enough with this.

Ran a half-marathon on whim this past Saturday supposing that it would be a decent metric for ascertaining my ability to complete this coming Saturday’s Kansas City Marathon; as you may have surmised from the opening sentence of this writing it was a resounding success. The affectionately named CAC/STB FMWR Half-Marathon is actually a decently tough course which contains one of if not the largest hills in Leavenworth County. This monster which I have referred to previously as “Murderest” is indeed a beast but I was quite ready for it and even sprinted this one home finishing 7 minutes faster than my previous best. I’m quite happy to now run just about any half marathon in the “140s” instead of “150s”… I’m a 140 guy now! The next goal of course will be 130s 🙂

So what do I do about being a 3:57 marathon guy? Shoot for 3:45 of course! I felt really good at the end of this most recent 13, but as any marathoner knows… 13 miles is only half-way there. Shit can really start to hit the fan at about mile 18 for me… so we will see how it goes. I’m going to line up with the 3:45 group and see if I can hang on – the smart pacing may just allow me to do it as I have failed in pacing myself in some previous marathons. If all else fails I’d be pleased enough to run it in with the 4:00 pace group… led by Al Murano who helped me back in 2008 achieve the sub 4 marathon.

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Aug 13 2012

Ken Bernard Park Trail

Should you go running on the Ken Bernard Park trail?


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Jun 9 2012

Army Birthday 10k

I meant to post a couple weeks ago, a warning about the Army Birthday Marathon if you are planning on doing the full. Murderest will do it’s best to kill you. Of course, some of us like that sort of thing anyway… so what good’s a warning?

I am running the 10k which I have smartly decided on for a multitude of reasons which I have based on several predictions – which, if they run their course, I will happily clue you in on later.

Of course, should they falter… I can always just delete this post…

And by the way… I’ve been watching Radiohead on this live Bonnaroo concert on YouTube for the past couple hours. Great show! It has really delayed – my already and often delayed – Hospital Hill Run Race Report 2012 which you should see below… Can’t believe I actually managed to get this year’s done… but er uh… if the last bit sounds rushed or makes no sense — that’s why… just trying to get it done.

So… Army Birthday 10k tomorrow (Sat)… On the Run 5k (Sun)… and I think I might try for a race next weekend too. I’ve also got a race lined up while I’m ON an upcoming vacation… then plan on the All Star 5k with my son, and THEN the 20 mile PSYCHO RUN. That sounds appropriate right?! Maybe I’ll take a break after all of that… or maybe not. Kansas City Full this fall sounds like it could be happening too… so… for now… zzzz….

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