Friday, July 27, 2012

It's hot and other news

It's hot, folks. Running at night is the rule rather than the exception these days.

I decided against entering the duathalon two weeks back when I took a look at the race fee. Yes, there's the mild curiosity and the chance to have something interesting to blog about. But we're talking about 60 dollars for a course that I bike and run daily! And while we're on entry fees, I'm done with 5ks that cost over 30 dollars. This weekend I'm doing my own personal time trial and hope to cut a nice chunk out of my 5k PR. Say hello to the race director and her assistant.

And then my focus will be exclusively on Flatrock and Pumpkin Holler. I'm going to run up and down every stinkin' hill this town has to offer before the end of September rolls around.

This weekend should be a good one for race spectating. There's the Olympics, of course, for those who have cable or who can find their way around the restrictions on live streaming via the Internet. The Speedgoat 50k is packed with some of the best ultra- runners on both the national and international scenes. A deep field on the men's side should keep things pretty exciting until the end. I'd like to see Anton win it, coming back from over a year of various injuries/complications.. Getting injured frequently is the one thing we both have in common when it comes to running.

It was time for a break from the quaffable lagers and pale ales of summer; time for something a little more substantial and yet still refreshing. On a whim I decided to try Boulevard's Tank 7 Farmhouse (Saison) Ale, a well regarded representative of a style that I'm not too familiar with.

Tank 7 is packed full of aroma and flavor. Tangy, citrusy and spicy. I have to say that the sourness is a nice change and I'm warming up to that characteristic Belgian- style spice. Very dry on the finish. At 8.0 ABV, you want to be careful with this one, especially after a run! Cheers!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Realistic goals

Wednesday morning was the Firecracker 5k, a well attended run through the Blue Dome and Brady districts of downtown Tulsa. It was nice to be part of that general excitement at the starting line that you just don't get at most trail races. I felt strong and pushed it hard, reaching for a sub- 21 minute finish or at the very least a new PR. I was a bit disappointed at the finish, however, when I saw the clock at 23:16, three seconds slower than my PR from over a year ago!

Now in retrospect, my goal for this race was unrealistic. 21 minutes was an arbitrary number not based on any actual measurements from training (I don't use a Garmin or watch). But I also had no real reason to expect that a few weeks of 5k specific training would result in a new PR. That PR comes from a time when I was doing shorter races on a more consistent basis. I may be stronger overall and a better runner at longer distances, but that does not translate into faster running at shorter distances. Duh.

In other words, if I want a new 5k PR, one that I can live with for awhile, I'll need to give it more work and have another go at it. So I'll probably do another 5k instead of the duathalon before my focus shifts to the Fall races. I'll be honest, the duathalon sounds like more fun than another 5k, but I'm at a point where doing what "looks like fun" doesn't cut it anymore. I actually want to see growth in my running.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Bob

Ran with the fam on the river trail this morning. Sophie slept soundly as I put in about four miles.

My illustrius pacer pushed me on.

The Bob Revolution is freaking awesome! It works as a walking stroller but is really designed for runners. Compared to other "running strollers", the Bob is rediculously expensive, but in this case the added price is worth it. You can tell that the quality of the parts are top notch. The large wheels keep the stroller moving forward with minimal effort. It takes little time or effort to get the hang of the bar without messing up your form. Rear suspension keeps the ride smooth for your passenger. There's even an adapter for an infant car seat.

I was initially reluctant to take her running while so small, but a practice jog revealed that she stays happy regardless of the speed. The paved trails along the river are so smooth anyway and I don't intend on running anywhere else until she graduates to the big seat. Man, its going to be fun to go on longer runs when she gets bigger.

Now, time for a beer.

It's pretty damn hot in Oklahoma, my friends. Tis officially the season for simple, crisp ales that go down easy. Thankfully Marshall's summer seasonal, Arrowhead Pale Ale, fits the bill.  This was my go-to beer last summer and I think they've actually improved on the bottled version. There's grapefruit and sweet malt followed by a drying grapefruit rind/ lemon peel bitterness that's less in your face than last year. Wow.