Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Just Like a Mini-Mall

In case you haven't seen this one yet. There are lots of variations out there now, this is the original. If you're ever in Montgomery, Alabama, put this on your list of places to visit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hammer It 5K Race Report

Let me first say that if a race runs right by your house, and your a runner, I think you're pretty much obligated to run that race. The start and finish line are less than a 1/2 mile from my house, so I was also able to walk to and from it.

This was the first race I've run since this exact same race over a year ago. Since then, I've been battling foot injuries and have had 9 months or so of not running, which means I lost much of my conditioning. I was pretty much starting over as a runner, and I started running steady again about 2 months ago. In the last two months, I've run this course 6 times during my normal weekly runs. The course was still marked out with spray paint from last year. Here are my training run times:
5/14 -- 31:45

So in about a month I took almost 2 minutes off that 5K time during practice runs. I was optimistic that I could break 30 minutes, even though there was no way I'd hit a PR (26:40 in this race last year).

The 2nd annual Hammer It 5K was much drier than last year. It was a very nice dry sunny day, which meant it was also hot. Good thing the race started at 7am, before the heat really kicked in. There were about 100 runners. I prepared mentally for the three H's--Heat, Hills, and Humidity. (yes, there are hills in Kansas) I felt pretty good and had a nice run, and finished in.....29:08! I was glad to break 30 (hey I never claimed to be fast), and nearly break 29:00. Splits were 8:58, 9:46, and 9:28. Goal completed. Now on to the next race.

I also talked to Lacy's dad, who placed in his age group. He is fast, just like her. He's a nice guy who has been running a long time. I didn't see Fair Weather Runner, though, who was supposed to show up and defend her age group title from last year.

Here are a few pics from the race:

My son holding the cool flourescent yellow race shirt!

Running past my house. My wife and kids cheered me on.I got to run with John, who I coach baseball with. He beat me by about 30 seconds or so. His 7 year old son also road his bike with him the whole way.
The line at the porta potty before the race. Lucky me, I could have just run home to use the bathroom.

Even our mayor showed up to help with the race. That's him talking on the phone in the blue shirt. Gotta love small town races.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ultimate Runner book Winners!

I hope everyone had a great father's day. I had a blast swimming with my boys over the weekend at the local pool. It has been HOT here, and it is supposed to continue to be in the mid to upper 90's all week. Definitely not ideal running weather, unless you run before 8AM or after 9PM, when it is somewhat cool. And I mean just somewhat.

On to the winners:
Lacy at Lacy's
Tim at 26.2 Quest
Tricia at Endurance isn't only Physical
Rebekah at Fair Weather Runner
Evolving Through Running

Congrats to the winners! Please email me your mailing address at and I'll forward it to Tom and Amy at the Runner's Lounge

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Salute to Running Dads Giveaway

Are you a running dad? Do you know a running dad? Do you want to join me in saluting the running dads of the world? Do you need a last minute Father's Day gift??

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then read on, I have a giveaway just for you.

The great people (Tom and Amy) from Runner's Lounge want to give you a copy of their new book, The Ultimate Runner-Stories and Advice to Keep You Moving.
5 people will win one copy of this book! You could be one of them. ( ;
To Win:
1. Leave a comment on this post about the running dad that you admire most and why.
2. Extra entry: link back to this post on your blog.
3. Extra entry: Tell us what you're getting your dad for father's day (hey, we all need creative ideas here)
Contest ends Sunday June 20th, Father's Day.

First Baseball of the Summer

Last summer, I found about 25 baseballs during my runs through the nearby baseball fields. This past week, I found my first one for this summer. And it was a nice one, nice white leather with very few scuffs, not muddy and dark like some I've found. Anyway, I've added it to my collection. It will come in handy, as I'm coaching my son in baseball this year. Oh, and I also found a Rubik's cube. Not sure how I'll use that.

I've been running about 3 times a week, and I even ran in Arkansas while on a work trip last week. My runs aren't too far, usually 3 miles. But, I feel like I'm getting back in shape somewhat and I'm getting stronger. It just feels good to be running again after such a long layoff. In some ways, it's like I'm starting all over again. I have the Park City 5K in a week and a half. It will be my first race in over a year. The last race I did? This same Park City 5K, that runs right past my house. There is no way I'll come even close to the PR time that I had last year. I will be happy to break 31 min, ecstatic if I break 30. That is just the reality of the shape I'm in right now. But I'm just taking it one day and one run at a time, and enjoying each run.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Grape Lady

Don't taunt the grapes. Keep watching until the 55 second mark.

Maybe stomping on grapes will help with my foot pain.....hmm...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lessons from John Wooden

Wooden and his wife, Nell, shown in 1970, were married for 53 years. Nell died in 1985, and for a time, Wooden became what he described as "bordering on" a recluse.

John Wooden's passing recently at the age of 99 has reminded the world of what a great man he truly was. Not just a great coach, winning 10 NCAA titles and never having a losing season in 29 years, but a great man. A man full of commitment and dedication, and passion.

As an indication of what a great man John Wooden was, consider this -- John's wife passed away in 1985, but every month since then, he wrote a love letter to her. For 25 years.

One of the best articles I've read about this man is here. It is amazing and inspiring, and speaks to his incredible devotion. Check out this short section from this Bill Plashke's artilce below:

"When I think today of the greatest sportsman who walked a sideline, I think, instead, of where John Wooden lay his head.

It was a tiny bed in a cluttered room in the dark Encino condo where he lived for the last three decades.

He showed it to me once, without a trace of discomfort or embarrassment, led me inside and pointed to the threadbare white bedspread, Coach still coaching.

"That's Nell," he said.

It was, indeed, a smiling picture of his beloved late wife of 53 years, propped up above the pillow where he slept.

In the space next to the pillow, where Nell used to sleep, there was another propped-up photo of her.

Below that photo, in the middle of the bed, was a bundle of carefully scripted letters, all in the same intricate handwriting.

"Fan mail?" I asked.

"You might say that," he said.

The letters had been written by Wooden to Nell.

They contained humble descriptions of his day, gentle laughs over private jokes, eternal promises of his affection.

They had been written once a month, every month, since 1985.

They had been written
after she died.

"I obviously don't have anywhere to send them," he said. "But I had to write them anyw

Thank you John Wooden for living a life of inspiration and devotion.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Foot Pain? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Quick poll for all you runners out there -- do any of you suffer from foot pain?

Specifically, I have been having foot pain for awhile now when I get out of bed or when I stand up after sitting for a long period of time. It isn't a sharp pain, but it is a recognizable mild pain in my foot/heel. Usually it subsides after I walk around for awhile, but it can make for some slow walking right after getting out of bid, out of the car, or out of a chair.

I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced this, and if there is any treatment to help it get better.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Running Valet

We were in Ft Worth over the weekend, and had a blast. My buddy and I went to the PGA tournament, while our wives went shopping. One night we were walking around down at Sundance Square, and I kept seeing these guys run past me every now and then. They were in a full on sprint. I thought maybe there was a race going on, but they had white polo shirts on. I probably saw 3 or 4 of these guys zipping past me before I realized that they were valet workers, running to get parked cars for customers. I snapped a picture of one of them:

Running Update -- A Slow Recovery
For one of my runs last week, I re-ran a 5K race that I PR'd in last summer (26:44). The course was still marked with spray paint so I ran the exact same course. In fact, it was raining, just like it did during the race. Only, I ran it about 5 minutes slower this time. Yes, that is how out of running shape I am right now. But, the good news is, I'm running again. Taking it easy, just trying to be smart and not get injured again. I am pretty much not wearing the $270 custom orthotics at all. Running 3 times a week, about 3 miles on my mid week runs, up to 5 on the weekend run. That same 5K race is in about 3 weeks, and I am planning on running it. My goal is to break 30 min, and right now I think I could get close.