Apr 28 2011

What about Five Trails Half-Marathon?

Last year I held this race in great anticipation and blogged about it frequently, with a nice race report and its own media page after the fact. I even had a few people here turn up for comments and information.
This year I’ve scarce mentioned it because… I will not be running it. Yes, my dream of running my hometown marathon every year from inception to my (or its) death is squashed in year two. They really upgraded the medals too. Check out 2010’s model:

Five Trails Medal 2010

And here today was posted the 2011 model:

Five Trails Medal 2011

The 2010 model seems cheap, but I can quite forgive them because it was the first one. That new one looks nice though eh? Oh well… maybe 2012’s will be nice too, and the start of a puzzle?

I took a run tonight through a nice subdivision with beautifully manicured lawns and plenty of freshly cut grass smells waving through the air. I also noticed several yard signs for the Five Trails Half-Marathon, and besides that seen a few others around town. You may also know the race was featured in the May 2011 issue of Runner’s World (hard to believe that was 2 issues ago! — it’s not May yet is it?). So they are certainly marketing it up this time around. I hope they have a nice turn out.

As to what you can expect, just read my race report, take a trial run on the course, and be prepared for hills! – and a nice run besides 🙂

Well let’s see what else? I did get that nice run in tonight… a decent 6.85 miler, so that’s an unscheduled semi-long run down, foot feeling good.

Oh and one more thing:

They even got the time wrong on the cancellation.

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Apr 24 2011

Pre-Hospital Hill: Running in Las Vegas with Plantar Faciitis

I’ve conducted a few tests with “the injury” and it seems to be going better at least. The first test I conducted consisted of going for a run and taking it easy… trying to land oh so gently on my right foot… favor the left… never break into too quick of a pace and make my foot’s landing position on up and downhills instead replicate an even surface. That’s probably a recipe for disaster going back and reading that, and subconsciously I was frighteningly aware of it anyway – highly abnormal form and an unhealthy demand of my good foot. All that aside it felt good starting — no pain to speak of  – but quickly progressed to a tingling sensation as if my foot was asleep. This alternated with a sensation of rubber bands being placed around my ankle (not unlike the bug crawling up my ankle mentioned previously) to numbness, to nothing at all.

That was April 7th – after a good week or so off. I experienced some acute pain afterwards but it didn’t stick around for long… there was mostly just the promise of pain… it constantly felt as if it was right around the corner… my ankle hanging by a thread and the slightest disturbance would send it over the edge… but… the disturbance never came.

Well that was one test down. Now I had a work trip to Las Vegas. You’d think this would be the perfect time to really take it easy with the running. Well a little known secret about Las Vegas is that it’s actually perfect for running… or at least a nice change of pace and quite accessible. I packed my running shoes and Garmin despite being given a few “yeah right” looks that I would use them there.

Well to be honest I didn’t feel like running most mornings (but I seldom do, unless there’s a race of course… I’m definitely an evening runner) but — because I packed the shoes I was obligated to go at least once! The last time I was in Las Vegas I also went running, but that time was mostly spent on the strip proper. This time I was staying on the southernmost part of the strip – and had a plan to run by the Welcome to Las Vegas sign since inexplicably I had been to Las Vegas 5 times and never seen it.

And hey – since I was taking my phone (camera) to grab some pictures of the sign — I figured I would run the Nike+ GPS in tandem with the Garmin.

So here they both are:

I headed south and with the strip behind me what lay ahead could easily just be a highway in the middle of the desert. Here’s the road ahead:

The strip from where I ran to:

the sign:

This was fairly early in the morning and already the sign was flooded with tourists. On the way down there were quite a few people there and some bicycle cops helping them take pictures. By the time I ran back by there were two big tour buses parked there.

Well being only a week later this was still a Plantar Faciitis test run. I was attempting to once again take it easy and feel I succeeded for the most part. After the run was over I did experience I nice burning sensation that lasted for a while. I still feel I’m on the road to recovery though.

Other than those two runs all I’ve done running wise has been at the gym on the treadmill. Usually only for about 20 minutes at a time, but some pretty significant effort. It hasn’t bothered me at all but I’m sure that’s from the treadmill being a lot easier on it.

Unfortunately however – it’s crunch time. I’ve barely got a month until Hospital Hill and my “long runs” have been woefully inadequate. Oh I’m sure I can finish it just fine, and well under two hours but I do have a goal of 1:45:59. That’s going to require an 8:05 pace – over Hospital Hill’s many and storied hills. Also I’ve got a 9 day vacation in Ireland to contend with. Oh I’m quite looking forward to it and I’m even taking my running shoes… but somehow I feel the two bookend weekends won’t have much of a long run in them. All that said… here’s my desperate last minute hack attempt at a (long) running plan:

Apr 23 – 6 Miles (5.5 done)
May 1 – 8 Miles
May 4 – 6 Miles
May 18 – 6 Miles
May 21 – 10 Miles
May 25 – 5 Miles
June 1 – 5 Miles

These will be inter-sprinkled with cardio 20 minute runs at the gym and whatever else I feel I might be able to squeeze in somewhere. Running 1:45:59 gets me two things – a time faster than last year and a spot in Corral C at Chicago. Right now I’m in Corral D, too slow by exactly one minute to get into C. Yeah, there’s probably no difference, but if I don’t have a prayer of qualifying for Boston – I might as well shoot for this obtainable time goal! If I can’t hit 1:45:59 — no harm, no foul… I’ll just need to run faster than 1:48:12 — my time last year. I’ve got to keep the streak alive… This will be my fifth consecutive Hospital Hill, and if all goes well my fifth consecutive faster time. I’ve delved into this ad-infinitum which can be seen here.

Well there’s another price increase May 1st. Guess I will officially get signed up! I should be running in the 1:45 pace group, so hope to see you there!

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Apr 8 2011


I hate to beat a dead horse, but there are two more projected start times for the 2011 Rocks 5k.

Hot off the presses:


So to recap:

April 14, 8:00am
April 14, 11:00am
April 16, 8:00am
April 16, 8:30am
April 16, 11:00am

Those are your choices for a start time. Statistically, looks like it probably starts on April 16.

Haha, in all seriousness though, I suppose some of the blame has to go to the paper for all of those times. They just had to have messed it up. It’s a local paper that’s published every Thursday, and they have gotten it wrong three weeks in a row.

Rocks: Rocks 5k this year, April 16th at 8:30am.
Lamp: Got it! April 14th at 11:00am.
Rocks: Ok haha you got it wrong. No 5ks start at 11… its at EIGHT THIRTY.
Lamp: Oops ok, fixed now… next edition reads April 14th, 8:30am.
Rocks: No! I guess I shoulda mentioned the DATE was wrong too. FIX THE DATE!!! It’s April 16th!
Lamp: If you meant the DATE why didn’t you say so? Ok, so I’m changing the original from April 14th @ 11:00 to April 16 @ 11:00! Happy now??!!
Rock: Fuck it. We’re changing the time to 8:00am. Can’t wait to see what you print next week!
Lamp: Neither can we.

Ok so… if you still do want to run this thing… I’m pretty sure its being run APRIL 16th at 8:00am. The Active page has been updated to 8:00am now, and I also picked up a brochure… it states April 16, 8:00am.

Will I be there? No, I’ll be traveling. But you could go. I’ll even apologize for heckling them so bad by providing a link to their registration form here. This is the only place you can get this online!! Enjoy!

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Apr 5 2011

The Memory of Running

Tonight I’m listening to The Bird and The Bee… and somewhere during Love Letter To Japan I’m reminded of Running The Psycho Psummer trail trace last year. I wonder why but I quickly figure it out. Last summer the week before I ran the race I was vacationing in Big Cedar Lodge and was at one of their pools where I heard “My Love” on the radio … I didn’t know who it was but I was intrigued by the song. Sometime later at the cabin I googled what little of the lyrics I could remember… and the rest is history… I stumbled on The Bird and the Bee and thanks to the magic of Grooveshark I was able to listen to many of their songs the rest of the week. The day after we returned from vacation I went on the run (part of my vacation was spent training for the race on the nature trails in Big Cedar) and I’m certain during the race I had their songs in my head at some point.

I think once I read Ray Bradbury say in a story that “there was a certain smell to those days” and I’ve always loved that. I have other fond memories of listening to Swati after the 2007 Kansas City Marathon and sure enough, checking my math (and last.fm’s vast history) I see that I was listening to Swati in the months leading up to the marathon. Sure enough those days have their own unique feel, smell, soundtrack and memories. It’s not every run of course… those two were a couple of the most memorable… my first marathon, my first major trail race (and huge test of endurance in each).

Another memory of running may be just that – a memory. I’m supposed to be in the heart of a huge training program and here I am laid up; fairly certain I have contracted plantar fasciitis. Huge bummer. You can’t imagine my disappointment, or maybe you can if you’ve suffered it or any number of other runner’s ailments. A few weeks ago I was out for a run in my brand new GTS 11’s and a couple of times during the run it felt like a bug was crawling up my ankle. Turns out there was and it bit my muscle tearing a hole and causing all sorts of trouble.

Well here I was taking it easy and just taking time off (as much as I could bear) and it was getting worse not better. After denial after denial – and not one but two people said – “sounds like plantar fasciitis man” – I was forced to concede that it might be the case. Runner’s World talks about stuff like that and the Internet is of course a plethora of (dis)information; I knew I had better face the consequences, suck it up (only because me doing nothing didn’t work) and do *something*. I ransacked the area surrounding the toilet and located Runner’s World March 2011 which contained quite a bit of info on plantar fuckuis. The worst news promised I would be shackled for up to a year. The good news? I could run through it anyway with little to no risk of a permanent debilitating injury.

Well the worst and best news aside there were several things I could do. Roll a frozen water bottle under my foot for 5 minutes 5 times a day, and stretch my plantar fascia (curling toes skyward and holding that position). A Strassburg Sock can also do this for you… but for $40 + shipping I’ll just grab my toes while I watch Butler implode thanks.

The article also makes mention of other culprits: big increase in mileage/training (yes) history of back pain (yes) weak core (don’t think so!). Also possibly footwear. I did just get those GTS 11s and people have talked about them messing up. That’s always an easy culprit I’ll admit but certainly a possibility. I will admit I think I liked my GTS 7/8 better than the 9/10/11. I ran TONS of miles in all those shoes except the 11s so… we’ll see. Maybe I’ll try something else.

The good news is that even for only being on the “cure” for 24 hours, it feels better than it has in 4 weeks. I even worked out tonight so that was good… but I took it EXTREMELY light on the running… just 5 minutes on the treadmill to help get the sweat going… oh and I gingerly landed on it believe me. That just means more reps for everything else, which among other things I will be paying closer attention to core.

Which reminds me. I got the little pullup/door frame thing made by Gold’s Gym. Sheesh! Don’t bother with that piece of crap. Not only was it missing pieces, the construction quality was quite lacking. Not sure how you can mess up that simple piece of equipment so badly but they sure did… that or I just got a lemon. No matter… I’ll take it back and swap it out for another brand.

Happy trails!

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Apr 1 2011

FMWR ROCKS 5k – When is it?

Rocks 5k. I can’t Ok… won’t dog the thing too hard for a couple reasons. It was the first 5k I ran in my adult life and they have persevered… running it every year no matter what.

I ran it in 2007 at the beggining of my adult running career… and it was a great race. I’m sure at least 100 people ran the thing; there was pomp and circumstance and prizes and medals, and I got one. 1st place 25-29 category (yes I was young then in 2007). The race director even shook my hand afterwards and entreated me to enter next year, to which I said I wouldn’t miss it.

Not quite sure what happened, but when I showed up in 2008 there were a grand total of 14 other runners ready to go. I overheard an MP remark at one point “There wasn’t even an OP order for this” which in military jargon basically means – “this thing is FUBAR you are DAMN lucky we are even letting you commence.” So all 8 of us (I think some people left) lined up and ran it. When I finished it in 24:06 (23:47 the year prior) my dad remarks to me — I don’t think that was 5k? And it might not have been. In about 10 5ks I’ve run on Fort Leavenworth all but one have followed the same course. Guess which one didn’t? (yes the 2008 Rocks course was different than the 2007 Rocks course).

Ok still with me? In 2009 I asked my buddy to run Rocks with me. He laughed and remarked he was getting tired of unorganized Fort Leavenworth races. Well neither one of us ran it. Most Fort Leavenworth races I’ve run have been organized… hmmm… maybe he’s a Rocks veteran.

Once upon a time (2007) I dug up some info on Rocks and past race results… so I know it was run prior to then as well. Apparently it was part of a scholarship from Rocks, Inc. This seemed quite plausible in 2007… but since then? And I can’t seem to find that same info anymore…

Ok… so great in 2007, terrible in 2008, unknown in 2009, unknown again in 2010, but I know it happened in some shape or form both years… and now in 2011.. true to form… it has been advertised thus in 2011:

Enlarging you’ll see three different ads, three different dates. So… my advice is: GO! When and where is up to you (you should probably call) and then you can tell me how much of a cluster-#$*& it is. Hey maybe it will be like 2007 and you’ll be helping someone with a scholarship — or maybe you’ll win a *gatorade bottle.


(*standard prize in every Ft. Leavenworth Race)

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