Monday, February 28, 2011

Scout Trail Run Race Report

Just a short race report for a short race. This was a 3.8 mile trail run located on the Scout Trail at Burns Park in North Little Rock, AR. The race was supposed to be a 4.2 single loop run, but due to some construction on the upper parts of the trail it turned in a two loop run.

The day started off a little cool around 45 degrees but by race time the temperature had warmed into the upper 50's and sunny. We were informed that the trail did contain some muddy spots which would make for an interesting race. I decided that I would be conservative on the first loop and then run harder on the second after learning the course. The first mile of the course was pretty much a very large uphill before heading back into the flats that were muddy. The hard part about the flat muddy section is that had some switchbacks and turns that if you were not paying attention you would fall flat on your face. I went through the first loop feeling pretty good. I continued to take it a little easy until I got to the top of the hill and then I turned it on on the last section of flats. I almost busted on one turn. I decided not to turn to quickly when I realized I was going to fast into a turn. I ended up with a time of 30:45 which was good for 3rd in my AG, but it was small race with 37 runners. Looking at my splits from the 310xt show, 1 mile @ 8:20 min/mile which was most of the uphill, 2 mile @ 7:45 min/mile mainly flat, 3 mile @ 8:35 min/mile back uphill, and final .8 mile was 7:23 min/mile, flat.

Again, I thought this was a great race put on my DLT Events. I would hope that more runners in the future take advantage of these races. The other great thing about small races is you have a better chance of winning door prizes at the end of the race. I didn't this time, but you never know for the future.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

It appears that the Conway area was rattling again last night. A 4.7 earthquake was centered near Greenbrier, AR. Of course, I was sound asleep at the time and did not feel it. I haven't felt any of the quakes that have been centered in the area recently. I even slept through the thunderstorms that hit last night also. Sounds like I needed that sleep.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More T-Shirts Please

I was doing laundry today and was putting up a couple of T-shirts and thought about how many race T-shirts I have. I'm sure I don't have as many as some people, so I decided to take them out and see how many. Well I have 25 race t-shirts or t-shirts from martial arts. This still does not include a few others that I didn't lay out. Most of them stay hidden at the bottom of the drawer. There are probable about 10 that wear frequently, but even that may be pushing it.

So what do you do with your t-shirts?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back in Conway & Prediction Run

Well I've had a busy two weeks. Last week, I went to Syracuse and Orlando and returned to Conway on Wednesday. In between, Syracuse and Orlando, I saw it snow 8" in Conway. In Orlando, I set up a convention show for a customer and worked 12 hrs Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday! I didn't get much running in, but I think standing on your feet and working should count for something right! I'm glad to be back in town for right now and get things back to normal.

Sporty Runner Prediction Run
This was a fun run put on by a local running shoe store here in Conway. This was a two mile where you predict your time. You run with no watches. I couldn't decided what to pick, so I went with a slower time. I figured going easy would be easier to pace than faster. The time I selected was 18:15. The run started and off we went. The crosses railroad tracks twice during the run. I joked before the start, how do we figure our time if a train comes! Of course, just as I was approaching the second crossing, I hear a train horn blowing! The question becomes speed up or slow down? What's my time? I decided to hurry up and cross the tracks. Once across I slow down because the finish is approaching. I head towards the finish and cross in 16:46! Oops, guess my prediction was wrong. The pace felt easy throughout, so I did as well as I could! The winner was off by 1 sec.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Arkansas Snow Run

Ok, it's not to often that we get snow here in Arkansas. Well today was one of those days. I started the morning with a short run, but then it started snow. I knew I had to go to the airport, so I cut the run short. As I head down to LR, my flight is canceled, so it's back to Conway I head. I'm at home, it's snowing heavy, I make the decision. I'm going for a snow run. I gear up, put on my trail running shows and off I go. I thought it would be slick, but since it was a dry, powder snow, it was lick running on a cushion. It was awesome running through the snow. It was snowing heavy and I was moving along. I'm sure the people passing me thought I was crazy! I took pictures along the way and just took it easy. It was a great idea. I will not get that many chances to do that. I'm glad I did.

Monday, February 7, 2011

One Day in Syracuse

My work requires me to travel and sometimes I visit for a brief period of time. Syracuse was one of those cities. I arrived in at 12:30pm on Monday and left at 5:30 am on Tuesday. Monday afternoon, I went through my routine of surveying stores for a customer and then had time at the hotel. The one thing about Syracuse is there is snow everywhere. It's been awhile since I've been in a city with snow that is piled up everywhere. I could barely see over some of the snow when I was trying to turn out of businesses. I'm thinking I shouldn't go with a car next time I am in town. A cool thing that I saw where ice sickles that could kill. I was surprised that people would let them get so big off their homes. I think some of them would hurt you.

Usually when I go travel, I always try to eat somewhere that I can't find everywhere. Syracuse had a couple of options. I was thinking about the show Man vs Food and looked to see if they had filmed a show in Syracuse. They did and one of the restaurants that he went to was Heid's Hotdogs. I decided that this where I would go. It's not to often that you can just go to a straight hot dog place. Another choice was a bar-bq joint, but I wasn't feeling up for BBQ. The place had a classic dinner feel and I decided that I would get two hot dogs. I went went with a plain frank and chili dog. I would say that the hot dogs were pretty good but not great. It was still nice to get something different. Below I present my meal..

Other notes - My rental car was VW Jetta. A good car. I thought it would hesitate a little when I pressed the gas. Also, I stayed at the Hampton Inn in North Syracuse. A nice hotel, but not much around the hotel. The gym also had only one treadmill but I was able to get on it early.

First Three Races Report

I figured I would go ahead and just have one post for the first three races so far this year. I'm looking to build fitness at this time and didn't expect to see any PRs. I will also call this the tale of three different weather runs. One Hr track run was around 40 degrees with rain, the trail run was 60 degrees and sunny when it started, and the 15k had to be delayed for 3 hrs due to snow. The 15k was 35 degrees and sunny when it started. It was awesome running with snow on both sides.

One Hour Track Run

This run takes place in Russellville at Arkansas Tech. The point of this race is to see how many laps you can complete in one hour. This was my first time to run this race. I haven't raced since December when I ran the Memphis marathon and have just started training again. The race weather was wet, cold, and 40 degrees. I started with the 7:30 mile/min and above group knowing that I couldn't hold that type of pace at this time. I ended up completing 30 laps and 361 ft. I was able to run 7.56 miles. My splits were pretty consistent with the last three pretty fast and approaching a 7:38 pace. I was happy with the 7:56 mile/min pace, but hope to see improvements in the future. The key is slow improvements over time.

This event had 172 runners. I was able to finish 42nd out of 172. I would say 172 is a pretty good showing for the cold wet weather that we had for that day.

Cadron Trail Run

This was a 4 mile trail run at Cadron Settlement Park in Conway, AR. This was the first race of a new 4- race trail series in Arkansas put on by DLT Events. I have not run any trail races before, so this was going to be an experience. Race morning started in the 60's. The weather was awesome. Around 40 people lined up for the start of the race which was (2) 2-mile loops through the park. The race started with a big climb right of the start and continued with plenty of ups and downs throughout the course. My first mile was around 7:34 min/mile. This would soon come back and bite me. By, the time, I got finished I would be closer to 8:34 min/mile. I was able to finish the race in 34:31 which for my first trail run I was happy with. This got me 4th in my AG and 11th OA.

I really enjoyed the trail run and will have to head out to the park more often to run. I knew the park was there, but never had been out there. It will provide a challenging workout for sure! The next race in the series is in Arkadelphia on 2/12 in Arkadelphia. I will be out of town for the one in Arkadelphia, but will be running the one in North Little Rock on 2/26. For more even information go to DLT Events.

River Trail 15k

This is probably one of my favorite races. This is the third year that I've done this race. It is run in Burns Park and along the River Trail. There was some concern that this race may not go due to snow the previous day. However, they delayed it for 3 hrs to allow the snow to melt off. The snow melted off the trails and off we went around 12:15. My hope for this race was a pace of 7:50 which was similar to my pace for the hour track run. I started off really well and pushed thru the first 5 miles averaging 7:42. I was able to hold this pace throughout the 9.3 miles. I crossed the finish line in 1:11:38. This was about a minute slower than last year, but I was really happy with what I averaged for the race. I'm thinking that my fitness is starting to come along slowly which is good.

The next race for me will be the Trail Run in North Little Rock on Feb. 26th.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Bags Are Packed!

I saw this article on that talks about why Americans don't travel abroad - Why Americans don't travel abroad?

After reading this, I want to go travel somewhere.

A couple of the first points that they brought up did not surprise me.

1. Only 30% of Americans have passports. I have known plenty of people who didn't have passports and the reason most of them got them recently is so they can go on a cruise to Mexico.

2. Most Americans are comfortable. That statement is true. It's amazing that I've met people
here in Arkansas that have barely traveled outside this state. I think some people are just happy with what they have around them and don't look elsewhere to explore.

3. America is diverse. Yes it is. There are areas of the country that I want to see, but I have been overseas more often. The places that I want to see are more the wilderness. I want to see Yellowstone, the Pacific Northwest, Yosemite, etc. I don't have the desire to go to LA, what kind of history is there. I just consider it a large city. I would like to see SF. I think it has a different culture and vibe to it, plus many things to see. When I think of Europe, I think of the history that goes back 1000's of years. When I think of Asia, I see the cultures and also the history.

4. The point of skepticism and ignorance is good. Most people don't know about the country, so they make general opinions such has the French don't like the Americans. That place is dangerous, etc. These are normally untrue. I think it's just an excuse that people use. I find that people can't believe that I would travel to a foreign country by myself, but it always ends up being a great time.

5. Work Culture - Sure the US doesn't encourage a gap year, but it's also hard to get away for longer than a week. I have a couple of trips that I would need about 3 weeks off for to really get a feel for the areas that I want to visit. Most of the tours that I've looked at are at least 2 weeks.

6. The article is right about cost and logistics. It can be hard to plan and it isn't as expensive as most people think. The plane ticket does end up being the most expensive aspect of the trip. Your best bet is to try and go during an offseason.

Never be afraid to travel and always try to step outside your comfort zone. You'll never know what you find once you leave. If you can't get out of the US at least try to go somewhere here that you've wanted to go or think you would have never enjoyed. EXPLORE, EXPLORE!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Going Downhill & Groundhog's Day

Happy Groundhog's Day to everyone out there. The weather prognosticator did not see his shadow and looks like winter will end early! Of course, over half the country is buried in snow right now, so they probably think the groundhog is on crack. Let's hope for warm weather!

I was looking through some stuff that I had on my computer and I ran into this article that I saved from last year. It profiles some downhill descents in Arkansas. I have not ridden all of them but have gone a couple. Don't worry they also make for good uphill climbs also. So, if you are looking for something that is fast down and challenging up here are a few for you. Click on each image to view.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Interesting Articles

Here are a couple of interesting articles that I ran into.

One deals with whether or not humans have peaked - Peaked Performance
The second article deals with endurance sports and relationships - A Workout Ate My Marriage

The second could bring up the most discussion. It deals with a man in his mid-40's who is now training 20 plus hrs a week and seems to ignore his family. The second part of the article does mention a husband and wife, one who is a couch potato and the other who works out, but the relationship is going well. The one thing I hate about this article is that the two families are completely different. The first family is family with 3 kids. The other is just a husband and wife. This article seems to take both extremes and makes them seem standard. I'm sure there are families that are able to handle the endurance sports well. Everything is always about setting priorities and sticking to them. Family should comes first.

A Debate Between a Cyclist and a Pedestrian on the Big Dam Bridge

I made this just to say that we as cyclists, drivers, and pedestrian need to all get along while using the roads, the trials, and anywhere else in between. Can't we all just get along.