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monday, february 24, 2014

The Cowtown Half Marathon

Race: The Cowtown Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:54:29
Watch Time: 1:57:57

Comments: My first race in... damn, has it been ten months? This on-again, off-again training of mine hasn't been helped by skipping events over the last year. And it didn't make this race any easier. I showed up with complete confidence in completing the course but rather large doubts in what shape I would be in at the finish line.

Got up at 4:00 a.m. to give me enough time for a cup or two of coffee before heading out the door. Made it to Fort Worth as quickly as one could hope and was, once again, reminded how nice the organization of this race is. Just pulled right into the parking location, no line at the toilet and then into the building to wait. read more

posted by kleph @ 11:00 am | comments

sunday, august 25, 2013

The 2013 Dallas Marathon

I've been on the fence on whether I should sign up for a marathon or start the training and see how it goes. But the problem with the latter is it is way too easy to bail on the effort when you hit the first big patch of adversity. I've invested a good bit of time an money these last two weeks and the cool snap gave me a reason to believe I'm probably in better shape than I thought. So I gave in an registered for the 2013 MetroPCS Dallas Marathon on Dec. 8.

I did the half on this race last year and found it a pretty well done event. The corrals were a bit chaotic but, on the course, things went very well. The BIG downside of this race are the hills. There are, not one, but two formidable ascents on the course. That a total elevation gain of 443 feet. Needless to say, I'm not targeting a Boston-qualifying time on this effort. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, april 14, 2013

Big D Marathon

Race: The Big D Marathon
Official Time:5:21:52 (27.3 miles)
Watch Time: 4:49:54 (26.2 miles)

Comments: This was not my finest race effort by any stretch of the imagination. I knew going in that I was undertrained and the odds were enormously against me but I didn't realize how terrible this race was going to be.

First off lets address the issues that shouldn't have been part of the deal. The folks who put this race on, Mellew Productions, were absolutely awful. They sold this race as a smaller, by-the-basics event. I liked that. It was something I had gotten used to in Arizona where there are a number of distance races with a thousand or so entrants.

Instead of being frugal, they turned out to just be cheap. I passed a lot of it off as part of the deal but it turns out the issue extended to the way they managed the race. read more

posted by kleph @ 12:00 pm | 0 comments

sunday, february 24, 2013

The Cowtown Half Marathon

Race: The Cowtown Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:59:53
Watch Time: 1:59:56

Comments: Last week I gave a gander at the race calendar and saw this race was planned for the weekend. After my 17-miler I was intending to do a 12-mile "short" long run and a half-marathon kind of fit that bill. So I decided to take a stab at it.

Since I missed online registration I took the TRP train over on Saturday and signed up at the race expo. I've been meaning to give this service a try and this was as good an excuse as any. Despite messing up and over-paying the fares, it was pretty easy to use and darned convenient. Regrettably, I couldn't use it to get to the race itself as there isn't a Sunday service. read more

posted by kleph @ 2:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, december 09, 2012

MetroPCS Dallas Half Marathon

Race: MetroPCS Dallas Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:59:53
Watch Time: 1:59:56

Comments: With just more than two weeks training, I wasn't expecting any more from this race than a barometer for how good my chances might be for a stab at a marathon in the Spring. The good news is that's seems to be a realistic goal. The bad news is I sure as hell ain't gonna PR if I go through with it.

The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving (8 miles) was a pretty good barometer that I could survive this race but didn't give me any idea of how well I might perform. I got the hang of the DART rail service with that race so it put me downtown with a healthy amount of time to spare. They had port-a-potties in the corral so I got in line and ended up waiting until, almost literally, the starting gun. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

thursday, november 22, 2012

Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot

Race: Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot
Official Time: 1:13:13
Actual Time: 1:13:17

Comments: Once again, real life has pretty much brought my running to a complete halt. After making a game effort while in Alabama, the difficulties of work and a cross-country move simply absorbed all of my time. But, by last week, I was finally ensconced here in Dallas and thinking about re-starting the running again.

My new place is near White Rock Lake where running trails are plentiful but I couldn't seem to get the motivation to get out the door. So, since I knew I would be doing the Thanksgiving holiday solo this year, I decided to sign up for a turkey trot race. And, since the one in downtown Dallas was close, it seemed logical. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

saturday, march 31, 2012

NABI Chasing the Sun 10K

Race: NABI Chasing the Sun 10K
Official Time: 46:15
Actual Time: 46:21

Comments: Since January, I've been doing a race each month and extending the distance each effort as well. So I was due for a 10K and this one in central Phoenix fit the bill nicely. It's the third running of this race so it wasn't too large a field (151 runners but you had to deal with the slower 5K folks at the end) and the course was pretty darned flat too boot.

I didn't sleep well at all and was woken up at 3 a.m. by the asshole kid down the street riding his motorized scooter up and down the block. So I ended up just getting up and getting ready for the race since it started pretty early. The downside was I had that unpleasant overtired feeling all the way up to the start. read more

posted by kleph @ 5:00 am | 0 comments

saturday, march 10, 2012

The South Mountain Challenge

Race: The South Mountain Challenge
Official Time: 48:04
Actual Time: 48:05

This was my week to do the South Mountain trail loop for my long run but when I saw this race advertised I thought it would be a nice change of pace.

It was a five mile run up Telegraph Road to the summit of South Mountain. The organizers did it in conjunction with a biking event and that meant it started at 2 p.m. rather than the early morning. While temperatures are still very mild in the Valley, it was pretty warm with the usual unrelenting sunshine.

All that added to the real challenge of this event -- the ascent. The route involved more than 1,000 feet of uphill with just one half-mile downhill section. read more

posted by kleph @ 1:00 pm | 0 comments

saturday, january 28, 2012

The Retro Run 5K

Race: The Retro Run
Official Time: 24:41
Actual Time: 24:41

Comments: I kind of signed up for this one for the hell of it. I certainly am not in even remotely good enough shape to do an actual race effort but I figured doing an even might help me get some enthusiasm back for the thing.

The primary reason I picked this run was because it was pretty nearby and next on the calendar but the "retro" aspect sounded pretty cool. The theme of the thing was "The 80s" and so I just cut the sleeves off my retro looking Alabama t-shirt and bought a pair of over-the-calf socks and was ready to go. I figured wearing pretty damn much what I did when running 25 years ago would be authentic enough. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 0 comments

monday, june 06, 2011

Mount Lemmon Marathon

It struck me the other day that I haven't run a marathon in quite some time. In fact, the last 26.2 mile race I ran was all the way back in 2008. Injuries, scheduling and just bad luck have kept me from doing one ever since.

To address that I figured, this year, I would abandon my quest for Boston in order to get a race under the belt. Looking around for one in the right time frame produced this interesting opportunity: The Mount Lemon Marathon here in Arizona on Oct. 23. It's relatively close, at the perfect time and certainly scenic.

Of course "scenic" is race organizer code for "hellishly hilly" and this race abides in Dante's ninth circle of marathon perdition. It involves almost a complete mile of ascent on its course and ends somewhere above the 8,000-foot level. read more

posted by kleph @ 3:30 am | 0 comments

sunday, february 20, 2011

IMS Arizona Marathon

Race: The IMS Arizona Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:37:56
Actual Time: 1:37:59

Comments: The original plan was to make this race my BQ effort but the problems with the calf pushed things back a bit. So I opted to switch to doing the half in this one. This turned out to be a fortuitous decision due to the weather.

Turns out a front is passing through the region. Heading out to the West Valley yesterday for the race expo I got treated to a pretty violent wind storm and intermittent rain. It rained on and off all night and the temperatures got on the chilly side. Not cold, just damn uncomfortable for standing around in the dark waiting for a race to start. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, january 16, 2011

Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Race: The Rock 'n Roll Arizona Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:38:50
Actual Time: 1:38:53

Comments: The initial plan for this race was to run it as a goal pace long run and get a little race day experience in as well. Then the calf injury struck and I've essentially spent the last week doing incrementally longer goal pace runs to see if it can handle the strain.

So I went into this with the hope of a sub 1:40 run but, more importantly, the hope of finishing without aggravating the problem that sidelined me for the start of the year.

I decided to do the RnRAZ half because it fell in the right place on the calendar and it's been awhile since I ran something that I got a medal for. But, just like the last time I ran this race, I woefully underestimated the chaos involved with the event. The race expo was complete chaos (although I did get to hear Frank Shorter speak) and it was even more insane on raceday. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 0 comments

wednesday, november 24, 2010

The Sam Lapidus Montclair Run

Race: The Sam Lapidus Montclair 10K
Official Time: 45:08
Actual Time: 45:04

Comments: Since I was spending Thanksgiving in Alabama by myself, I figured I'd look around for a holiday race to run and found The Sam Lapidus Montclair Run after a pretty quick internet search. At first I thought I would just make it a goal pace run but since my football activities over the weekend are likely to preclude a long run, I decided to make a serious stab at it.

So I got up at 5 a.m. and drove up from Tuscaloosa. The traffic on the highway was spare as you might expect for Thanksgiving morning but every damn car had to driven by a drunk. Between weaving across the lanes to the inability to hold a consistent speed, it was pretty hairy for me. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 pm | 0 comments

saturday, october 16, 2010

South Mountain Classic 20K

Race: South Mountain Classic 20K
Official Time: 1:43:34
Actual Time: 1:43:33

Comments: When I signed up for the Arizona Road Racers South Mountain Classic 20K, I thought it would be a reasonable test of my conditioning. A bit less than a half-marathon and a bit of hills to make it a challenge. Well, it turns out the "bit of hills" were something more than a "bit."

I got out to the South Mountain Activity Center a bit late. Although I left the house in plenty of time, I got confused on where the race was, exactly, and had to retrace my tracks down the interstate to find it. Of course once I got there I recognized it from the Phoenix YMCA Half Marathon I did in 2008. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:30 pm | 0 comments

sunday, september 13, 2009

I Did A Green Run 5K

Race: I Did A Green Run 5K
Official Time: 21:26
Actual Time: 21:29

Comments: This was my first race in quite some time. Initially, I didn't even plan to do this one but when I was cleaning up the website a few weeks ago, I realized I didn't have a 5K personal best time. Hell, I can't even remember ever running one. This one, part of the Arizona Road Racers summer series fit well into the schedule so I signed up.

I got out there about an hour early and Rob met me. He later blamed me for making him do this race but I have a hard time believing he wouldn't have been out there anyway. We got the chips and numbers and then headed out for a warm up run around the course. This turned out to be a good idea since the course was mostly a kind of trail run with small washes and lots of sandy dirt. read more

posted by kleph @ 5:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, february 15, 2009

Running Log/Fartlek

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 40:00

Comments: I was supposed to be a non-combatant today but things didn't work out that way.

A few weeks ago the specter of overtraining led me to pull out of The Inaugural IMS Arizona Marathon out in the far west Valley.

So, I showed up this morning to offer moral support for the three members of the RXRunning making the Boston Qualifying effort - Lahcen, Taissir and John (Rob nixed the race last week and was with me on support crew duties).

I spent the first half of the race following along and grabbing photos of the guys for posterity. Which worked fine till Mile 18. Taissir came around the curve solo and said Lahcen had dropped out and John was struggling with cramps. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:00 am | 0 comments

wednesday, december 31, 2008

Midnight Madness 3 Mile Run

Race: Midnight Madness 3 Mile Run/Walk
Official Time: UNK
Actual Time: 19:20
Garmin link

Comments: Another year, another NYE Midnight Madness run at Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix. This even has become a downright tradition with me since I did it in 2006 and last year.

Happily, each time I've run it I've been significantly faster as well - cutting 50 seconds off last year and a solid half-minute this year. But there was a lot of work behind that achievement - a total of 519 miles run in 2007 and a whopping 918 miles last year. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:59 pm | 0 comments

sunday, december 07, 2008

Holualoa Tucson Marathon

Race: Holualoa Tucson Marathon
Official Time: 3:24:48
Gun Time: 3:25:04

OK. The first point to address is the unvarnished fact that this race was a major disappointment. The goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I missed it by three minutes and forty-nine seconds. To get that close and come short was a massive gut punch and I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

Now, aside from that there was a lot of progress here. I bested my previous PR (set at the Sydney Marathon last year) by 6:49 - an improvement of about half-a-minute per mile. More importantly, despite my knee and hip problems this year, neither was a serious issue during or after the race. read more

posted by kleph @ 3:34 pm | 0 comments

friday, december 05, 2008

Raceday Weather Forecast

Now we are within the 48-hour window till the race, it's possible to give a bit of credence to the weather forcasts. And, according to the good folks at the National Weather Service, things are promising.

For Oracle - the start of the race.

Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 40. West wind between 5 and 8 mph becoming calm.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. West southwest wind between 5 and 11 mph.


For Oracle Junction - near the midway point of the race. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 1 comments

thursday, december 04, 2008

Race Reconissance

With three days until the race I got in the truck and headed down to Tucson to see what this bad boy is going to look like. The reason we chose this race to qualify for Boston is that it's fast - way fast. Almost the entire route is downhill and, after seeing it, all I can say is the diagrams don't do it justice.

The start is up at the 4,800-foot level in the town of Oracle north of Tuscon. The start is through a bunch of pretty narrow asphalt streets that have a lot of steep dips and superelevation. It promises to be lotsa fun in the early morning darkness.

These widen out within the first two miles and, given the relatively limited number of runners, shouldn't be too much of a problem. If nothing else it should help us keep the pace slower in the early miles we might be inclined to push it. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

saturday, october 25, 2008

Phoenix YMCA Half Marathon

Race: Phoenix YMCA Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:37:24
Watch Time: 1:36:33
Garmin link

As I mentioned before, today was slated as a 16-mile long run with 12 miles at goal but I decided to do a half marathon race as a means to achieve it. Good thing, too. Cause it was a bit tougher than I expected.

I put in a three-mile warmup run along the start of the course before the race itself. This felt pretty good but I was still a bit antsy about the goal pace goal. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:30 am | 0 comments

sunday, august 31, 2008

Nike Human Race 10K - Lima, Peru

Race: Nike Human Race 10K - Lima, Peru
Official Time: 44:38
Watch Time: 44:38

Well, to kick off the real running portion of my training I decided to run this big race production Nike put on this year - The Human Race. These have been more common in recent years but I guess Nike decided to kick out the jams and make this one one of their bloated advertising crossover productions.

Whatever, it promised to be a decently organized 10k with lots of people - exactly what I need to get myself motivated for the next three months.

So I went and watched my beloved Crimson Tide wipe the field with Clemson last night and slept a glorious sleep of the righteous. I got up at 6 a.m. - about three hours before the start - because I wanted to at least mimic my marathon preparation. read more

posted by kleph @ 4:22 pm | 0 comments

sunday, march 09, 2008

Valley of the Sun Half Marathon

Race: Valley of the Sun Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:32:05
Watch Time: 1:32:09

A really good little race. I took five minutes off my last half marathon and a full ten minutes off the one I did in January. More importantly, I achieved my dual goals for this one - I reeled in another negative split and I bested my ideal half-marathon time.

The breakdown of my times suggests I slowed somewhat over the course of the race but not a great deal. My 5K split was 21:27 (6:55 pace), my 10K split was 42:38 (6:52 pace) and my 10 mile split was 1:09:57 (7:00 pace). read more

posted by kleph @ 6:53 pm | 0 comments

sunday, february 17, 2008

Lost Dutchman Half Marathon

Race: Lost Dutchman Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:37:10
Watch Time: 1:37:09

For a race I swayed back and forth over the past week over if I was even going to run at all I had a phenomenally great finish.

It turned out to be a personal best for the race (besting the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon by half-a-minute) which is somewhat even more astounding given the hilly layout of the thing.

But, actually, that's probably not the most important achievement for me today. I reached the halfway point at a bit past 50 minutes (forgot to record the split as I passed it) which, in light of the 97:09 finish, means I ran my first reverse split race. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 2 comments

saturday, february 02, 2008

London's Run 10K

Race: London's Run 10K
Official Time: 42:57
Watch Time: 42:55

I went in to this one with a target pace and target time. While I wasn't expecting to blast through my 'ideal' times I was hoping to show some progress in terms of getting back into running form. Needless to say, I haven't.

I was shooting for a 6:45 per mile pace and a sub 42:00 race. Not even close. I stumbled across the finish line at almost 43 minutes with a pathetic 6:55 per mile pace. I don't think I'm progressing, I'm regressing.

And it certainly isn't the race's fault. It was a bit chilly this morning getting up but not bone cold like it has been. And for the event itself temps were pretty much ideal. Moreover the the flat dirt course should have made for an excellent showing. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, january 13, 2008

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon 2008

Race: Rock n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:41:53

I was considering the idea of bumping up to the full marathon if I was on the ball training-wise. Well, I wasn't and though I pondered it back and forth quite a bit over the past few weeks, I decided to play it safe and stick to the half. In the end it turned out to be the right choice but it certainly wasn't easy (I know I could have survived the full but it would have knocked me down for a few weeks as well).

Anyway, my running companions all flaked out on me and I ended up going solo. That made the pre-race logistics kind of a problem - I was resigned to driving myself and heading out hours early to get parking - but my dad eventually offered to drop me off and pick me up. This actually worked like a charm. read more

posted by kleph @ 3:00 pm | 0 comments

monday, december 31, 2007

Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk

Race: Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk
Official Time: 20:10
Actual Time: 19:50

I ended my running year last year with the Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk. It was a fun little diversion and given the way things turned out for both the year in general and my running specifically - it seemed kind of obvious I needed to repeat the race again in anticipation for 2008.

Instead of just a diversion of a race, I had a specific goal going in - a sub-20 minute three mile. That would be significantly below the 7-min-mile pace I'm trying to get a full marathon in. It would be a solid bellweather of the work I have in front of me. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:30 pm | 0 comments

sunday, september 23, 2007

Sydney Marathon

Race: Blackmore's Sydney Running Festival Marathon
Official Time: 3:36:59

The second marathon effort this year turned out to be a world of difference from my first disastrous venture back in January. Instead of pushing myself for a specific time I concentrated on building strength for the race. The result was a much stronger effort than I had any reason to expect.

My final time was 3:37 (chip time later proved to be just under that bar), well below the 4 hour race I was expecting and positively obliterating my horrible 4:20 from January.

I started out a lot faster than I expected pulling in a 1:44:40 half. That put me dead on for a 3:30 marathon and I made a bit of an attempt at it but the long, long inclines on the second half of the course got me and my reverse split blossomed to a 1:52:18. There just wasn't anything left in the tank at the very end. read more

posted by kleph @ 4:00 pm | 0 comments

saturday, september 22, 2007

Race Reconnaissance

In anticipation and preparation for tomorrow's blessed event, I took to the roads of Sydney today with my good friend Dave to look at what this fair city has in store for me. The good news? It's a picturesque route. The bad news? Hills.

The first is, by far, the worst. The Sydney Harbor Bridge. But running over this glorious structure is part of the point so I don't intend to complain. Moving on...

The route then dips into downtown Sydney via Macquarie Street, passing the hospital and then veering east just prior to the cathederal to head back toward the harbor. read more

posted by kleph @ 4:00 pm | 7 comments

wednesday, may 09, 2007

Sydney Marathon

There comes a time you have to just accept there is a higher power at work pushing you to a destination. Today, that became clear to me during my run.

I have been wanting to go back to Australia for some time now and I cleared a spot on my calendar this year for it but didn't totally make the commitment. In the back of my head the Sydney Marathon was a possibility as well but, given the amount of pain I was in after the Arizona race in January, I felt it wiser to leave it there.

But, as I've been running again it kept nagging me and I was at least thinging about it this week. There are 19-and-a-half weeks for the thing, just enough to get a training regimine in. But not enough to build a solid base before hand.

Anyhow, I said I would run this week and, if I felt good I'd make a decision. So I got ready to hit the pavement this morning with that in mind and found my running clothes were still at the cleaners. So I had to put on my RnR Marathon training shirt to go run. read more

posted by kleph @ 5:43 am | 1 comments

thursday, january 18, 2007

Fellow Travelers

Over the past few days while I have been laid up trying to recover from my race I have spent a bit of time online searching out the stories of other folks who suceeded in crossing the finish line of the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon and 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.

Turns out there were a lot of people from all walks of life who showed up for both the races - a total of 36,617, to be exact. These folks went out, did their best and then quite a few of them sat down and posted an entry about it on their websites.

I'm sure every runner will be able to relate with the tales of triumph as well as heartache to be found in these many entries. But if you haven't run a race yet you should really take some time to go through them all. There is one that will resonate with you, I promise. I wish I had found blog entries like these to inspire me during those long months of training. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 0 comments

tuesday, january 16, 2007

...and what came after.

Arriving home after the race meant facing my last huge challenge of the day - the stairs. It's just two short flights but it was like climbing a mountain without the benefit of porters. I did it on my own but every one of the 16 steps was as hard as the final mile of the marathon. Especially after sitting down for 45 minutes on the ride home.

But I made it. Under my own power. And somehow found a little extra strength to crawl into bed as well. Dad had bought my ice for my ritual post-run bath. I told him not to bother. I certainly couldn't handle any more pain and I was more than a little worried I would pass out due to the extreme level of fatigue.

Mom had a few pain pills left over from an operation she had last year. These turned out to be my saving grace. I'm not really big on self-medicating oneself but these worked to cut the edge off the agony so I could at least approximate comfort. The pain didn't go away, but it stayed in the corner on the other side of the room for a little while at least. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 2 comments

sunday, january 14, 2007

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon 2007

Race: P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
Clock Time: 4:20:22
Chip Time: 4:20:02

After almost a year of preparation, effort and worry raceday finally arrived. The good news - I was able to finish my first marathon. The bad news? It was a complete and total disaster.

My hope had been to at least get in spitting distance of the Boston Marathon qualifying time for my age group of 3 hours 15 minutes. I came in almost a full hour behind that at 4 hours 20 minutes and change.

The mile splits tell the story. I stuck with the pace group starting out which had me reeling in 7:20 min/mile for the first six miles or so. I got to the halfway point at 1 hour 41 minutes which put me at a 7:44 min/mile. By the 20 mile marker, which I crossed at 2 hours 55 minutes, that had slid to 8:46 min per mile. The final tally was 9:55 min per mile. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 0 comments

friday, january 12, 2007

Marathon Eve

"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience another life, run a marathon." - Emil Zatopek

Sometime after 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning I will begin an adventure that I have prepared almost a year for. It's an endeavor that has consumed hundreds of miles, countless hours, six pairs of shoes and an amount of fortitude I'm surprised to discover I actually possess.

There have been long days when I lay aching on my bed wondering if the race would ever arrive and other days when the pain made me question if it would arrive too soon. I have pushed myself about as hard as I have for anything in my life and put almost everything else aside to do it.

Of course the question is "why?" I'm not sure. It seems to be a lot of things.

I greatly enjoy the sense of achievement when I have pushed myself on a hard run. It only makes sense to test myself to see how far I can do. read more

posted by kleph @ 8:00 pm | 9 comments

friday, january 12, 2007

Race Expo

My sister and I went over to the Phoenix Civic Center for the race expo this afternoon. It's where they require you to pick up your bib and timing chip. And then walk through a packed mass of vendors trying desperately to get your attention.

So I got the bib and then I changed to the faster corral for the start. I moved up from corral 10, for five hour runners or worse, to corral 1, for 3 hour 20 minute runners or faster.

Then on to the commercial crush.

I was a little irked at the race organizers. When I registered, I ordered additional shirts thinking I was getting the marathon shirt. Nope. That turned out to be one of the dozen or so training shirts they sell for this blasted thing. You only get one official shirt and it is, to be honest, rather underwhelming. read more

posted by kleph @ 10:00 am | 1 comments

thursday, january 04, 2007

Marathon Route Reconissance

My sister and I took a few hours today and drove the race route as part of our preparations. It was... somewhat intimidating.

The organizers of the Rock n' Roll marathon have this cute little race route drawing (see above) that shows where al the bands are and everything and makes it seem pretty simple. But take a look at a more realistic map and you start to get a sense of how damn huge this thing actually is.

The plus of the route is that it ain't too steep. It has a couple of rises, notably when it heads toward Camelback Mountain, but the biggest obstacle are freeway overpasses that are thrown into the mix. They aren't huge but when your legs are shot they look as tall as Mt. Everest.

The start is near the Capitol in downtown Phoenix. You take a left turn and it's he longest straight shot of the race, a five mile leg up Seventh Street. read more

posted by kleph @ 12:00 pm | 0 comments

sunday, december 31, 2006

Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk

Race: Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk
Official Time: 20:45
Actual Time: 20:38

The idea was to get in a nice relaxed little run here a fortnight prior to the marathon. No pressure. No strain. Just enjoy the thing.

So, of course, I found myself pushing it. The pace works out to 6:40 per mile or so. The first one was relatively slow so I'm a bit nervous to think what the mile two split actually was.

I headed out a bit early due to my uncertainty about the New Year's Eve traffic and unfamiliarity with the location. It turned out to be no problem at all so I got there almost an hour before the race. I got my bib and my t-shirt and just sort of waited around. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 pm | 0 comments

thursday, december 14, 2006

Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk

Just for the heck of it I signed up for the 17th Annual Midnight Madness 3 mile Run/Walk to be held Dec. 31 in Phoenix. This is a night run for New Years Eve that I actually signed up for last year but skipped.

I hate New Years Eve. It's a depressing holiday where people drink to excess in order to cover the depression it seems to bring with it. That said, not doing anything for it can be just as much of a downer in a different way.

So this run is a nice alternative plus it should be a good motivational boost for the pre-marathon taper. That last two weeks before the big race are critical for success. Doing a low-key run like this should be a good way to keep things in perspective.

And they serve ya chili after the race. What's not to like about that deal?

posted by kleph @ 4:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, december 03, 2006

Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon

Race: Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon
Official Time: 1:37:56
Actual Time: 1:37:38

After going back and forth all week on whether or not to run this thing I finally decided to do it on Friday.

The plan was to head out and take it easy - putting in an 8 minute mile pace or more. And that's how it started. But at about halfway I felt pretty good about the effort and tried to turn in a strong reverse split. And that's pretty much how it turned out.

There was no chip timing so the time on my watch is what I'm relying on. Doing the math, it looks like I averaged 7:27 for each mile over the whole race. My first mile was at just more than 8:30 and my last one around 7:00 even. Extending that time out to a marathon would put me at right at a 3:30 race. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 0 comments

monday, november 27, 2006

Week Startup: Marathon Training Week #7

With the Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon next Sunday I am in pre-race mode for the next six days.

This is an unsual race in that it is the longest distance I have ever tried competitively but I'm not planning on running it with a peak race effort. I have to get right back into training next week so I can't push myself to the point I have to take significant recovery time.

That is not a problem since this race is more important as the dry run for the big show in January. So my intent is to overconcentrate on the details so I don't have to for the marathon itself. So, over the next five days, I'm looking to focus on diet, conditioning runs and mental focus. Trying the track workout may be in the cards as well. read more

posted by kleph @ 5:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, november 12, 2006

Phoenix New Times 10K

Race: Phoenix New Times 10K
Official Time: 41:52
Actual time: 41:57

My first race here in Arizona and it went quite well, in retrospect. I didn't hit my goal of breaking 40 minutes but I was well under the minimum limit of 45 minutes I set for myself.

Most importantly, I bested my last 10K time by almost five minutes.

Progress. There you have it.

I took my dad to the airport this morning and then went to the location of the race right after. I was almost two hours early so I took my time getting my gear in order and put down two energy bars while waiting. read more

posted by kleph @ 7:00 am | 0 comments

tuesday, october 03, 2006

Week Startup: Marathon Training Week #15

The off time following my long run was pretty much crash and burn. I took a three-hour nap on Sunday and then slept ten hours each night after. I made it a point to stick close to home on the off day so I stayed off my feet.

But I woke up feeling pretty good today and feel ready to start another week of work. Obviously I don't think repeating the distance of last week is very advisable so I'm going to try and focus on speed a bit more.

I'll stay away from hills and try and get solid times on my runs all week while making the mid-week speed day a priority. The key isn't to break any land speed records over the course of the week, but to put in solid runs with a respectable pace each day.

In other news, I got my 'official' confirmation of my entry for the 2007 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon by e-mail today. While I know I have been signed up for a few months now it's just one more thing making the race a bit more real in my mind.

posted by kleph @ 3:00 am | 0 comments

sunday, september 10, 2006

Phoenix New Times 10K

Well, after heming and hawing for a few weeks I finally put my money down and registered for the 2006 Phoenix New Times 10K in downtown Tempe on November 12.

Although I am still a bit apprehensive about running the race so near the half marathon I've signed up for, there doesn't seem to be another one anywere near it time-wise.

But it's a pretty big race in the metro area so it will be a nice preparation run for the marathon. Just figuring out the logistics of the damned thing will make it worth the effort.

posted by kleph @ 6:57 pm | 0 comments

sunday, august 20, 2006

Week Wrapup

Distance: 56 kilometers (34.77 miles)
Time: 4 hours 47 minutes

Comments: The best laid plans... I wanted to make this week a mix-and-match week where I played around with different running workouts but it 'gang aft agly' pretty quick with a horrendous effort on Monday. So, after that, I just made it a distance week and concentrated on putting in the miles.

It is starting to look like folks are getting interested in the race. The race website has been updated with the course schedule and info (although it is a bit buggy at the moment). They are estimating 15,000 entrants this year in both the marathon and half-marathon. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:30 am | 0 comments

monday, august 07, 2006

Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon

I signed up for the Runner's Den/Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon in Scottsdale on December 3. This will be about six weeks before the marathon and an ideal time to get one last competition-level run in before taking on the beast.

There were about 2,000 entrants last year so it will be a good sized group to get ready for the big boy. Since I am pretty much training solo I need to make sure the transition of being in the middle of a huge crowd doesn't mess with me too much.

posted by kleph @ 2:10 am | 0 comments

sunday, may 21, 2006

Raceday: RbK 10K

Race: Carrera RbK 10 Kilometros
Start: 9:00 a.m.
Location: Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Weather: clear, sunny, cool, 60s
Official Time: 46:52
Actual Time: 46:15

Well, it was every bit as tough and grueling and nasty as I expected. It was awesome. This was a great race for me; I had everything I needed in the tank, the blisters didn't act up and I came in with a slightly better time than I was shooting for. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 0 comments

tuesday, may 02, 2006

RbK 10K

I was putting the Peru Runners link onto the blog here last week and saw there is a 10K race being held at the end of the month. This will be run pretty much on the roads I do my training so I really can't think of a better race to get started with.

The RbK 10K is another one of those region-wide races that the major shoe companies have been pushing down here. Nike had a pretty popular one last year that I wanted to run in but I was travelling to Colombia when it was held.

It has been almost six months since I started trying to get this training thing started again so it is high time to get back in the race cycle. After yesterday's run, I know I could crank out a 5K no problem but the 10K is a bit more of a challenge. The race is on May 21, so I have three good weeks to get myself ready so lets see how good a shape I really am in. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 0 comments

wednesday, april 26, 2006

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon 2007

Well, I certainly am feeling the miles of the 2 hour run today. Despite the aches, the fact is that I completed at least a half marathon yesterday. It is the first time in four years I have run more than 10 miles and, likely, the first time since I was 18 that I have run that far.

So, I think that I can consider being able to complete a marathon in just more than six months a realistic possibility. With that in mind, I put my money where my mouth is and got online this morning and registered for the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon. read more

posted by kleph @ 6:00 am | 0 comments

thursday, january 26, 2006

The Starting Line

Klephrun is a daily diary for my running as I try and get started doing it again this year. My goal is to run the PF Chang's Rock n' Roll Marathon in Tempe, Arizona on January 14, 2007.

I have tried to prepare for a marathon several times in the past five years but kept running into one big obstacle - my left knee. The problem is classic Iliotibial Band Syndrome acerbated by two things, scar tissue in my left thigh from a car wreck years ago and my abysmal posture.

So, in this trip home I have taken a few steps in the form of prevention, picked up a couple of remedies and tips and am going to set out and try this yet again. This blog is simply a simple way to keep up a runners diary on my progress and shame me into sticking to the thing.

posted by kleph @ 5:00 am | 0 comments