Not a SweetH2O race report

May 2, 2008

Last weekend, I didn’t run the SweetH20 race. Not the 50K, not the 1/2 marathon. However, looking at the history of visitors, a number of people fould me because they were looking for that, and I mentioned it in my post about the ChickEkiden.

However, in honor of those that did run it, I made some SweetH2O Whole Wheat Beer Bread. And man, was it good. Here’s the recipe (originally found at

    • 1.5 cups All Purpose flour
    • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
    • 4.5 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1.5 teaspoons salt
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 bottle or can of beer (12 oz)
    • Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Grease a loaf pan (i.e. spray with non-stick spray) and heat the over to 350
  • Combine dry ingredients.
  • Pour in beer. Enjoy the fizzle it makes. Stir until a stiff batter is formed. You may mix with your hands to do a better job of it.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 5-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now, I used a bottle of Sweetwater 420 beer. It’s one of only a couple local microbrews, and is pretty good. (As everyone knows, although I’m not a big drinker, I do enjoy good beer. Coming from Seattle, I miss the locals. I’ve even thought about becoming a beer seller just so I can get myself some Mac And Jacks African Amber and maybe a bit of Pyramid or RedHook. But I digress…)

This is a pretty hearty bread, dense and a bit chewy. Worked well warm with butter or with peanut butter. I think after a good run, it would probably hit the spot. Matter of fact, I may go make some just to bring tomorrow to find out…

Now, who’s going to bring the coffee? Have I mentioned I moved here from Seattle, where there is a Starbucks on every corner? And plenty of other coffee shops? Hmmmm…..


Other peoples blogs…

April 18, 2008

Okay, I admit, I enjoy reading other peoples blogs. Maybe it’s the voyeur in me…or maybe its because sometimes I come across little nuggets of virtual gold. It might be a sentence, it might be a paragraph, but it’s a little piece of wisdom gained. What’s that people way? Better to learn from others mistakes than make them yourself.

Just recently, I ran across Donald at Lucky him, he’s currently training for the Western States 100 and in preparation, last weekend, he ran the Mt. Diable 50 miler. In reading his race report, his last couple paragraphs are great:

For the most part, being able to spend an entire day running around on a mountain is a better time than most can dream of. Especially considering that most of these challenges take place in the most beautiful locations in the world, it’s a privilege to merely participate. There are countless people who would love to have the time, determination, ability, and resources to do the same. Truthfully, we have it better than the best – and I think that’s precisely how we pull on through.

Whatever tears at us, whatever holds us down or batters our bodies or bruises our spirit – those are the things we actively seek, if for no other reason than because we hope to be fortunate enough to find them. And when that is our mindset, all those hours on the trail aren’t primarily about trying to tick away the miles as quickly as possible (although make no mistake, I’ll always prefer to go faster. I may be Zen, but I’m not a masochist.) Rather, they are about simply enjoying each mile as it comes, and realizing that – as I wrote in the last post – each and every step of the journey is the journey.

Besides the sentence about being zen, which made me laugh out loud, the whole things speaks well of the pleasures of being out on the trail.

So thanks Donald, and all you other people out there in on the internet. See ya out there…I’ll be the masochist going really slow.

Funny story of the day (April 16th edition)

April 16, 2008

As y’all know, occasionally I am caught up in something that strikes me as funny. Today, another one of those moments happened.

On Monday, a coworker mentioned he signed up for a sprint triathlon. “Cool for you” I said. He’s a big biker…brought his own trainer into the gym to use all winter and goes out whenever the weather is good. So the swimming and running will be new for him. He was getting ready to head out for a run. I went back upstairs and had lunch.

Today, I was getting dress and he comes in:

Him: “Rahn, I don’t know how you do it?”

Me: “Me neither. What are we talking about?”

Him: “Running! I ran 3 miles, and I felt worse than going on a 60 mile bike ride.”

Me: “Oh that. Not sure what you could possibly mean.”

Him: “The pounding! How do you handle the !#)$! pounding?!? ”

Hehe, this was pretty funny, in my opinion. Since neither one of us are built like the Kenyans, of course we have these types of issues to deal with. We talked a bit about technique and getting shoes and what-not. (So, the other funny part of this is here, big guy giving running advice. Who would’ve thunk it? Especially a second time in less than a month.)

WooHoo – I’m not broken

April 9, 2008

My fears of some stress fractures are now gone. The podiatrist says it’s just tendonitis. With some good ol’ non-steriod anti inflammatory pills (e.g prescription strength ibuprofen), I’m good to start running as much as I want and can handle.

I even got a cool picture of my foot.

xray of my left foot

After Action Review-Marathon

March 31, 2008

Way back when I was in the army, after field exercises and training, we used to have an AAR, After Action Review. This was a time to review what went right and what went wrong and basically, how can we learn from our mistakes. Back then, I didn’t appreciate them too much, I think mainly because at my rank, I was very unaware of the bigger picture.

ING Marathon finisher medal and shirt

Happily now, I can do an after action review on my own stuff and since I know the whole picture, I can pretend to be objective about it and critique myself. Normally, this is an internal dialog where I tell myself how great I am and never do anything wrong. However, in this case, I thought I’d continue talking about my marathon and share with you what I thought went right and wrong.

– I don’t think I’ll do a road race again with racing flats. I think the lighter shoes made a huge difference both in this race and the 17 road miles I did on Feb 29th. I’d recommend running a couple miles in them to get used to ’em before your race, because they do feel different. (If you’re a severe pronator, you’ll have to think about how to do this since these don’t generally have a lot of medial support.) Look for them on sale, since they’ll probably only last for a 100 miles.

– Dress for the weather. I thought about wearing a light sweater I have (made of suitably breathable material and all), but decided against it because I didn’t want to overheat. Given that I was expecting to get wet, I should have worn it and either tossed it or wrapped around my waist if I got too hot. My shoulders are about as sore as my legs today, I think mainly because I spent the entire race hunched up against the cold.

– Stretching and strength training. I used to think just running is enough to train for running. But over the last couple months I’ve realized other types of training, be it weights, cross training, stretching or whatever, it makes a big difference. Likewise, I’ll probable start adding in more standard running drills, such as fartleks and speed drills or sorts.

– Long runs. As I may have mentioned before, my training this time was completely different than a standard regiment. The longest run I did was around 13.5 miles. However, I was doing back-to-back runs. This meant I’d go do 10 miles one day and 8 the next. Or in the case of my longest one, I did 8.5+8.5 in the same day with a few hours in between and 13 the next. I like this routine. Time wise it’s easier to fit in and its a lot easier on the body. However, next time I’ll do longer ones (like 13+13, or 18+10). This should prepare me for the last 8 miles better than I was prepared this time.

– Take paper and a pen. I thought about it this time, but didn’t do it. Sometimes I want to jot down names or bib numbers so when I do a recap later I can remember who I talked to. Or even just to look up someone else’s finish time…there’s probably a better way to do this, or I should just stop being so social, but it’s part of what I enjoy.

– Try to hydrate better. I need to figure out how to do gels without getting that ball of sugar in my stomach. The pretzels helped, so maybe I need to carry a small bag of them with me to eat.

– One thing I am absolutely thrilled with is ending up with no chafing and blisters! Even after soaking my feet in a puddle before the race started, I had no problems. Yup, and to me, that makes for a successful race. One thing I did was carry a tiny container of vaseline and some paper towels, just in case. I actually stopped at mile 16 to put a dab on the the ball of one foot as preventative measures, but I don’t think I would have actually gotten a blister. When lubing up in the morning, I went all out. No skimping anywhere, and I think that’s the key.

That’s about it…

Oh, if anyone is interested, I was bib 2747. (If you want to go look at pictures or anything. They’re not posted yet, so I don’t have a link.) Feel free to say hi if you recognize me. 🙂

Week Roundup

March 22, 2008

Last sunday, our group met to go run the trails at Elachee Nature center. This is a nice 5-6 mile loop that we all enjoy. Everyone wanted to go different distances-two people wanted 1, three wanted two, and one idiot wanted to do three. (Yes, you can guess who the idiot was without much difficulty.) No problem, we’ll each do our own thing and meet in-between and as we pass each other.

The trails were quite beat up from the major storm the day before, but everything is manageable. Just a few extra trees to jump over. I saw the lead group once at my mile 2, their mile 3.5 as we were headed in opposite directions. Then I saw them again as they started lap 2 and I was finishing lap one. So far, all is well. A quick stop at the car to hydrate and say hi to the two people doing just one lap. They offered some water, but I had some in my car. That’s cool.

Half way through lap 2 I scared the bejezzus out of an old lady who was walking (and looking behind her for some reason when I came around the corner). I stopped and chatted for a few minutes. Then I continue on. When I finished lap 2, everyone else had packed up and left so I hydrated again and decided what to do. As I was standing next to my car, I noticed they left me a baggie of trailmix and a bottle of water. Real nice, you may think. But the water was one of these little 4 oz bottles. Like that’s going to do any good! That’s just teasing me…

I headed out and did another 1/2 lap (about 4 miles) instead of a full and finished feeling strong. As I left the parking lot, I made a quick call to one of the group to “thank” them for the water. (and to make sure I didn’t need to wait for anyone else who needed a ride.) I ran into the old lady again who couldn’t believe I was still going. Again, we chatted for a few minutes…a while later, when I was on my last mile, I ran into her again but didn’t stop to chat since I was on a beautiful downhill and enjoying it.

Thursday I managed to hit some speedwork on the treadmill during lunch. It was a very busy week, so didn’t take much time for lunch on Monday-Wednesday. Oh well, the rest days were good, and I did get a bowling lesson in on Monday evening and the bowling league Tuesday night. (For the record, I bowled my high series of the season! My average is slowing getting larger. Another few weeks and it will almost seem like I know what I’m doing.)

Saturday, we met for the RunnersFit group run. A couple of of the guys mentioned the water they left me, and how they were disappointed that they didn’t get mentioned as jackasses on the blog. So folks, the first couple paragraphs above are for you, Jackass!

We ran the Braselton 8K course. I pushed myself a bit and managed to keep the group in sight for more than the first half. In finishing, I beat my previous time on the course by a minute and a half! WooHoo. A shoutout also goes out to Jenny, who ran the full course for the first time and came in a couple minutes behind me. (As she later mentions, she was madly trying to keep me in site so she wouldn’t get lost…and I didn’t even know, which is good since I would have slowed down.)

I also remembered to pick up the Thrill in the Hills 1/2 marathon pictures from Ryan (taken by the other Ryan). I’ve posted some of my favorites over here. Thanks Ryan for taking them.

Missed the group

March 15, 2008

Rolling out of bed this morning, all I heard was thunder and rain. So I did what came natural; got up, threw my clothes and grabbed my camera to go storm chasing.

I decided to drive to my favorite abandoned gas station, since that would give me a bit of cover from the rain, and there was a bit of a light show on the way. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, the majority of it passed by. Well, not wanting to waste a trip, I set up and started snapping away. The pre-dawn light made for a few good shots.

I like the contrast of the building in this one:
bright green building

This is the only shot I managed to actually get lightning in (just barely). It’s in the middle behind trees, so can’t really see anything besides the clouds lighting up.
hard to see but theres lightning

This one is neat because of the plane. If you look carefully, you’ll notice how the beacon on one of the wings was flashing, causing three distinct bright spots.
theres an airplane

Now that the rain has passed, time to head out running. For the record, here are some of my better storm shots.