Running Hazards of the Week

Pigs

…and dinosaurs.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 18, 2017 at 10:54

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Run the Axis of Evil Challenge!

For those of you perhaps too young to remember (or too old to remember anything), in 2002 President Bush referred to Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the “axis of evil.” With Saddam’s regime gone, I guess we’re down to two, and by strange coincidence both of them held a marathon within 48 hours of each other.

The marathon in Teheran made the news because the government would not allow female runners on the same route as the men. The women were also required to wear hijab and photographers were not allowed to take pictures of them.

Nothing that outrageous occurred during the Pyongyang Marathon, though I always thought North Korea’s best sport was golf.

It occurred to me that while running one or the other of these races would be enough of a conversation starter, running both on the same weekend would raise you to social media godhood.

Who’s up for it? The first runner to complete the Axis of Evil Challenge will be featured on this very page. If that’s not enough to get you to visit two totalitarian countries in two days, I don’t know what is.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - April 10, 2017 at 13:41

Categories: Outpost of the Odd   Tags: ,

Game of Strokes

We though Natalie Dormer was the star athlete of the Game of Thrones cast, but Nathalie Emmanuel, who portrays Missandei, now promotes Speedo. Here she explains how swimming improved her running.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 31, 2017 at 11:42

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The Question No One Is Asking

Why are marathon runners putting in their pouches small potatoes that they have roasted ahead of time and eat them along the way as they are running the marathon?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 20, 2017 at 11:08

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Warped, But Funny

High school runner Joran Fuller went viral when he ran 5.5 miles in order to spell out his prom proposal to high school runner Claire Short.

That was adorable, but The Daily Dot won my heart with this question:

She said yes, but how great would it have been if she had run around her neighborhood until she spelled out “I think we should just be friends”?

I’m not a bad person, but that would have been awesome.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 17, 2017 at 11:42

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RIP Ed Whitlock

Very sad to learn of the passing of running legend Ed Whitlock at age 86 from prostate cancer.

It’s normal to idolize Ed for his running accomplishments, but I also idolized him because he seemed to be such a down-to-earth human being. I’ll miss following his exploits and good humor.

By way of tribute, here’s a post from last October, titled simply enough “Why We Love Ed Whitlock.”

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - March 13, 2017 at 17:43

Categories: Columns   Tags:

Race Report: Shamrock’n Half-Marathon

Well, Plan A, B, C, and every letter up through about Q went out the window, but there are some things you just can’t account for.

It was a beautiful morning, nice and cool with a light breeze – the kind of weather you dream of when you have a time goal. Mine was to run one more sub-2 hour half-marathon, and my training suggested I could do it if nothing went wrong. The race started on time and off I went.

Mile 1 – 9:42

Mile 2 – 9:20

Mile 3 – 8:58

My plan was to hit Mile 3 at 28:21 and I actually hit it at 28 flat. I wasn’t worried that I had gone out too fast because I knew there were some hills and turns ahead.

Mile 4 – 9:08

Mile 5 – 9:10

Mile 6 – 9:00

Gave some of it back, as expected, and got myself to target pace. The plan was to hit Mile 6 at 55:21, and I actually hit it at 55:16. Things were going great. The pace was comfortably hard, and my only worry at this point was whether hills or heat might throw me off pace.

Mile 7 – 9:13

I reached the halfway point at 1:00:20 and Mile 7 only 7 seconds off pace. It wasn’t going to be easy as I knew I had to pick up the pace, but if I could just hold 9:06-9:08 the rest of the way I’d get it done.

About one-third of the way into the next mile was a 90-degree left turn. As I planted my right foot I felt a sudden pain in my arch, as if I had stepped on a large stone. I stopped for a second but I couldn’t see anything, so I continued on.

Unfortunately each push off with the right foot felt really bad. I pulled over to the side, removed my shoe and checked for a fracture, but I wasn’t thinking right. It wasn’t THAT kind of pain. In any event, nothing was broken. It just felt very sore. I put my shoe back on and started up again.

But I couldn’t get anywhere near target speed.

Mile 8 – 11:31

I wrote on Saturday that I couldn’t afford even one really bad mile, and now I had one. I was two-and-a-half minutes behind, with a sore right foot and five miles still to go. What to do?

Mile 9 – 11:21

If I could have kept running consistently, I might have had a shot at last year’s 2:04:03, but I ended up alternating a 3/4 mile run with a 1/4 mile limp. It’s best to say as little as possible about this part of the race.

Mile 10 – 11:39

Mile 11 – 11:16

Mile 12 – 11:54

We crossed the Tower Bridge and set up for the final stretch around Raley Field, into the stadium, and around the warning track to the finish along the third-base line. I just wanted to get it over with, so I clenched my teeth (literally) and ran as hard as I could for the last mile and a quarter.

Mile 13 – 9:39

Finish – 2:13:37

At an average 10:07 pace, I ended up almost exactly one minute per mile above my target. Nowhere near my worst performance, but disappointing because this was my final effort.

I’ll run half-marathons again. In fact, I already have one in mind for next year, but this was my last attempt for time. It would have been nice to reach my goal, but I believe the training I did to put sub-2 within reach contributed to my injury.

From now on, the rare half-marathon will be in the 2.5-3 hour range and only for fun. Racing (and training) will be 10 miles or fewer. That should extend my running life, keep me relatively injury-free and still allow me to compete at shorter distances.

1,426th of 3,438 finishers. 45th of 84 in 55-59 age group.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike - at 06:00

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