Saturday, September 26, 2020

"Beat the Blerch" Virtual Half-Marathon

Yesterday, I ran the "Beat the Blerch" virtual half-marathon. Normally this is a low-key fun race in the Seattle area directed by The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman). With COVID-19, it went virtual this year. Got a great packet of race swag: tech shirt, medal, sunglasses, decal, squeeze toy, snacks, magnet, headband, pin, and nice race bib! 100% of proceeds benefit charities. What's not to like? Even my wife was like "Hey, that's a pretty nice packet of goodies!" 

So, how did the solo virtual race go? I woke up early on Friday morning, went to my local rails-to-trails path (Kickapoo Rail Trail) and ran 13.11 miles. Finished in 1:36:22. If interested, check out my full Strava stats for the race. My best time in 6 years! It was odd trying to run hard without race support or fellow competitors, but I managed OK. The second half was particularly rough. Lost motivation to push the pace. Very happy with the finish time, but I think I can do better. More even pacing would help. And I need to incorporate more tempo runs (30-45 minutes slightly slower than lactate threshold pace) into my routine. I'm pretty good at easy endurance and fast intervals....not so much the stamina needed for extended medium-hard efforts. My sights are set on breaking 1:35 in the next 2 months. I have two more half-marathon virtual races--October "Half at Fort Ben" and the November "Indianapolis Monumental." 

When I was done with the virtual race, I jumped in may car, drove home, and started a full work day. Simple life. Run and work. And eat. Blerch! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

2 (more) New Personal Bests During COVID!

Kickapoo Rail Trail
I've been knocking out some nice time trials over the last 4 months. No races with COVID-19? No problem. This past weekend, I tried to run a fast 1-mile solo effort _and_ a 5km solo race. And I nailed a PB in both distances! Ran them both on a flat, packed dirt trail (Kickapoo Rail Trail). Did a warm-up, then "raced" the 1-mile event, cooled down and grabbed a run gel, then raced the 5km event, then cooled down again. 5:51 for the mile and 19:52 for the 5K. Here are my updated PBs during this pandemic period:

DistanceTimeAge Graded EqualAge Graded %HR AvgHR maxAvg Power
15.514.5775%160174349 W
3.119.5216.5777%163176325 W
6.241.1635.2875%157169317 W W

That half-marathon time is looking ripe for a new faster PB. Only 69% age-graded equivalent? That will not do! Before the end of this month, I'll lower that to about 1:35. Promise.

Over the next 2 months I have several virtual races: half marathons in September, October, and November, plus a 5K in October. Sure seems like I should attempt a marathon before the end of the year. I can't promise anything fast, and I have not been training for long distances (beyond the half-marathon), but I'm capable of ~3:45 finish time. With endurance training, maybe a 3:35? That's my target Boston Qualifying time. Would be bitter sweet to clock a BQ time in a solo, non-official, event. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

My Favorite Running Shoe (that i have never worn)

I have a new favorite running shoe: Atreyu

One caveat...I have never worn these shoes! Never touched them. Never seen them in person. Why are they my new favorite shoe? They are an extremely light weight (5.6 oz), moderately cushioned, inexpensive, minimalist, neutral road running shoe. Atreyu is a new running shoe company out of Austin, TX that has a subscription model for shoe sales. You sign up to get a new pair every 1, 2, or 3 months. Each pair costs $55. They do have a buy one now (no subscription) for $95. Subscriptions start in late August and I will be signing up! Only one model now, but they are working on a racer (with a plate) for spring 2021. It should be available for under $100 (subscribers only). 

Check out shoe reviews of Atreyu here:

Triathlon Taren:

Seth James DeMoor:

Road Trail Run:

Believe in the Run:

Runner's World:

Once I get my hands, and feet, on a pair, I'll review them. Can't wait.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

If I Could Only Have One Running Shoe (or running shoe brand)

I have been buying and running in lots of different shoes over the last few months. Well, actually the last few years. I'm not that guy that buys the Nike Pegasus over and over again. Some shoes have worked, others have been big failures. Some just blah. But I always keep thinking, dreaming, of that "next best" shoe! Seems us runners can never settle on one good shoe (or shoe brand). We always want that next better shoe. Many times it isn't better! Often simply best to stick with a shoe that works for you. It's good enough! I've been thinking a lot about what I would select as my ONE running shoe (if I had to pick just one).

If I could only have one shoe for my running, training, would be the Skechers GoRun Ride 8. I've run in this shoe since it was version 1. I assume version 9 or 10 will be just as good. It is not the best at ANYTHING, but it is really good at almost EVERYTHING. Not the lightest shoe, but it's not heavy either. Cushioned, but not soft. It can be a daily trainer, but I've also raced in it. Tempo runs? Sure. Long? Yes. Durable too. And pretty comfy. It is a jack-of-all-trades shoe. It would be my pick if I could only use one running shoe for everything. It would suffer on trails, but is still OK on groomed dirt and grass trails.

Instead of one running shoe model, what If I could pick one running brand? I think I'd select Hoka. I do love me some Skechers, but they do not have very good trail options. Hoka has many models for racing, trails, roads, and ultras. Imagine a rotation of the Clifton for daily training, Rincon for faster tempos, Challenger ATR for basic trails, EVO Speedgoat (or Torrent) for trail racing, Carbon X for road racing, and Bondi for recovery or super long runs. Not too bad!