5 Years of Streaking

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So today, I ran my streak runiversary. Today along with a couple of my friends I ran a little over 5 miles to celebrate running every single day for 5 years. December 10, 2012 is when it all started when I was added to a Facebook Group that was “2013 Run Everyday”, mine just happened to continue past the last day of 2013. Here is a look at the numbers over the last 5 years of running every single day.

  • 14938.89 miles ran
  • 70 races
  • 19 races being full marathons plus an additional 3 ultras
  • Personal Best in the 5k of 18:35
  • Personal Best in the 10k of 38:40
  • Personal Best in the half marathon of 1:24:40
  • Personal Best in the marathon 3:04:06
  • 3 Boston Qualifying times
  • Ran in 14 states in the U.S. (CA, OR, WA, NC, NY, VA, TX, CO, AZ, OK, OH, UT, MA, NV)
  • 4 Countries (United States, Mexico, Canada, Ghana)
  • Shortest run 1.01 miles
  • Longest run 39.75 miles
  • Races in which Overall Winner: 5k , Half-Marathon
  • Age Group placings (1st, 2nd of 3rd): 21 races

Honestly, I never thought I would get past one year of streaking let alone to five years. So many great memories through running and the friendships I have developed through this awesome sport. Hope to continue into running more days and get this streak to 10, 20, 30, 40 years?

Race Recap: CIM35

The California International Marathon, CIM for short, is always one that I look forward to. It’s obvious that it is my hometown marathon, since it is in Sacramento. It is also the marathon which I have ran in the most, yesterday being my 10th running of the CIM. This marathon also signified my 30th marathon overall. CIM has brought so many positive memories, running it for my godson’s charity group which supports him, running it with my cousin for his first marathon, throwing down 2 BQ’s, and running a personal best (3:04:06).

Over the last year, I have been focused on this one since I decided that this was the time I was going to dedicate a full 18 week training cycle to breaking the 3-hour mark. I felt I put the work in, the time, and had a ton of support from my wife, my training partners, the companies that I am fortunate to represent (Skechers Performance, Zensah, Nuun , Inside Tracker and Science in Sport), and my running crew 9RUN6.

SATURDAY DECEMBER 2 – SHAKEOUT and EXPO

So lets start with the marathon weekend on Saturday morning. At 9:16am 9RUN6 put together a meet-up / shakeout run, which we labeled as a special edition meet-up because the crew typically meets up only on Wednesday and Friday mornings. We decided to have a 9:16 start up time because we are the 916 (Sacramento’s area code). The regular faces and a ton of new faces gathered at the corner of 10th & N street in downtown Sacramento, located on the south west corner of the State Capitol Building.

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the view from 10th & N Street

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waiting to get started

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lets get moving

After a very easy and welcoming 2-mile run around downtown finishing up through the marathon finish line area. With the shakeout run complete we took a group photo and enjoyed some raffle giveaways from Skechers Performance, Zensah and Wicked Audio. The awesome thing, everyone walked away with something! Before people left, they got their swag tagged with the 9RUN6 logo to help us represent.

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new shirts with some fresh paint on them

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The goodies people left with!

With the legs shaken out, a majority of the peeps headed over to the marathon expo just a couple of blocks over to grab all of their goodies.

Along with the normal race swag (bib, shirt, bag check), I was able to pick up my loyal runner pin and beanie for my 10th CIM celebration. Then I did the typical let’s browse around the expo with the homie RUN BMC (the dude that has probably logged the most training miles with me during this cycle). Saw some friends and family grabbing their marathon bibs and relay bibs.

With the goodies in hand, my cousin and his kids and I made our way a couple of blocks to grab some food at Pizza Rock on K Street. From there it was time to call it a fairly early night to get some rest of Sunday.

SUNDAY DECEMBER 3 – RACE DAY

The morning came quick. I woke up just before 3:20AM, got my coffee brewing and tossed down some over night oats in the belly. Got my gear on and made my way to the corner of 10th & N Street near the finish line, where the Buffalo Chips Running Club bus awaited us before taking us to the start line in Folsom.

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the start area

During the bus ride, I threw on my earbuds, listened to a podcast and took a nap while heading up to Folsom. Once we got to the start line area, it was all focus from there on out, some final good lucks to one another a warm-up and then this is where the race got sticky for me.

While the National Anthem was playing, I was making my 3rd stop to the port-a-potties. I still had to drop my gear bag to the trucks then make my way to the start line. While maneuvering my way to the crowd, I found myself behind the 3:22 pace group as the front of the group took off past the start.

The first few miles I was feeling good. Hitting under and around my paces that I needed to run, though around mile 4 start falling behind a few more seconds, but nothing I was too concerned with. Then around the 10k mark, which I look at as my first clump of miles to judge my progress in the race, I wasn’t feeling it in my stomach. This stomach issue didn’t allow me to feel comfortable in my run. I knew at this point it wasn’t going to be my day, and the goal of sub 3-hour was out of the window. Here I decided rather that trying to push everything and feel miserable with my stomach problems, it was matter of finishing.

Yes, I know the 10k mark is pretty early in the race to make this decision, but the stomach was not having it on race day, and it was literally that feeling in my gut that race day just wasn’t my day.

3 hours 36 minutes 2 seconds after starting the marathon, I crossed the finish completing my 10th CIM and 30th marathon. Even though the day wasn’t my day, it was great to see so many people along the side of the course cheering people on. I have a lot of respect for the volunteers that get out there to work aid stations early in the morning until the final runner crosses their station, as well as all those people cheering on random strangers who are running that day. The marathon isn’t just about the 26.2-mile run it has so much more to it, like the hundreds of miles of training, the support and the joys. Unfortunately, for me the “icing” on the cake wasn’t there for me come race day.

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celebrating the day with cousins

 

MONDAY DECEMBER 4 – RACE AFTER MATH

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Monday motivation in my weekly journal

So going into my final workouts and taper time, I told myself and a few of my friends, this would be my last go at sub 3 hours, the amount of time training was brutal. However, after waking up this morning and reflecting on yesterday and thinking about my previous marathons and the joys I had in training for this marathon, I realized like every marathon I have started, I have completed, that goes the same with my goal. I might be getting older with each marathon, but F@#K IT I didn’t go into this training cycle and set this goal to not hit it. Yes, I will take some time off to recover, then it is about fine tuning a training plan make a few changes and getting after it again. DID NOT FINISH, ACCOMPLISH MY GOAL, IS NOT AN OPTION! 

Until next time, have a great rest of 2017.

It all comes down to Sunday

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Photo courtesy of Fox 40 News, reported by Ben Deci 11/30/17

Well it comes down to a shakeout run tomorrow and then 26.2 miles on Sunday morning. Unlike in the past I would do weekly updates on my blog about my training, outside of an occasional Instagram post and uploading my workouts / runs onto Strava, I have been pretty quiet about my training cycle this time around, which started back on July 31 (Monday).

The build up for Sunday’s California International Marathon has been an exciting, aggressive, frustrating and enjoyable training cycle. Here is a quick snap shot of the last 18 weeks of training by the numbers:

  • 1413.28 total running miles (not counting Saturday Shakeout 2-3 miles)
  • Seven consecutive 100+ mile weeks
  • 125 days (not counting tomorrow’s shakeout meet-up run)
  • 18 weeks of dedicated training
  • 14 months since my last marathon
  • 3 week taper cycle

Hitting a lot of miles was my main goal for this cycle. Along with a lot of running, I did a lot of strength training and stretching. The more impact and stress I put onto my legs the more I wanted to focus on preventative care rather than dealing with injuries as they occurred.

By running 100 mile weeks and running on tired legs, it provided me the strength and will to work through the final miles of a workout. Let’s be honest for anyone who has ever run a marathon, no matter how fit or ready you are, the final 10k is the biggest challenge of the race. Training hard doesn’t make the challenge go away, it makes us confident when that time comes in the race.

After skipping last year’s CIM, I was set and focused on training for this one, I through down a lofty goal in my journal to run a sub 3-hour marathon, will I run it? I guess we will have to wait and see come Sunday morning. No matter what happens, I can only trust the training and throw down the hammer on Sunday and run smart but be courageous at the same time. As a side note my previous best is a 3:04:06, which was achieved in 2014 and got me into Boston 2016 (my BQ is 3:10:00).

Along with running another marathon on Sunday, this will be my 10th CIM and 30th marathon overall. The thought of attempting a sub 3 scared the shit out of me when I first started, but what is a goal if it doesn’t scare or challenge you?

Are you running CIM?  If so what are your goals? What was the most miles you ran in a week? 

Race Report: Davis Moo-nlight 5k

Last week I ran my first race in nearly 4 months, so what do I do as an encore? Run another 5k one week later of course. This time I took on an evening run in Davis, CA at the Moo-nlight 5k, 10k, 10-mile, and half marathon put on by A Change of Pace. Unlike 99% of other races that I participate in this one starts of at 7:15PM for the 5k, the other distances started at 7PM. So you can only imagine how hot it was if you were anywhere near the Sacramento or Davis area this past weekend. For those that weren’t it was about 97 degrees at start time.

Before I get into the race day experience I had grand ideas of blasting the race management on some of the pre-race organizational experiences I had along with other people around me during the race day packet pick-up. However rather than blasting them, I want to celebrate the run, the fact that I am fortunate enough to partake in races like last night and experience running on a day to day basis. Running is a gift and a few bumps in the road at a packet pick-up shouldn’t derail me from the enjoyment of lacing up the shoes for a race. That feeling is once again enjoyable for me. If you didn’t read my blog post from last week’s race check it out: Race Report: No Excuses 5k.

So I decided jumping into this race sometime mid-week when I saw it online that the race was scheduled for Saturday July 8. I had previously run this event at the half-marathon distance about 4 years ago, so I knew about it as a past participant. On Saturday morning, I saw the 9RUN6 homie Run BMC and he decided to join into the run as well.

Around 5:30PM I made my way to Brian’s (BMC) residence, picked him up and we were then headed off to Davis, about a 25 minute drive West of Downtown Sacramento. Upon arrival we ran into Kevin, another 9RUN6 crew member, who was there to pace the 1:30 half-marathon group. Along with running for 9RUN6 Kevin runs for Golden Valley Harriers (GVH), who provides the pacing for many of the Change of Pace events.

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Once we got to the packet pick-up it was like a hurry up and wait type of thing, but isn’t that how all race day events typically end up being. Get there early to wait ….

So the waiting game continued one the bib was pinned to the singlet and the gear was checked into the gear check area.

Right before the start of the half-marathon, 10-mile and 10k groups, Brian and I took for a slow and easy warm-up, though to be honest warming up probably wasn’t really needed since we were warm from being outdoors, but nonetheless it provided to kill some time for us. As we rounded back around to the start line area, the 5k group was called into the shoot for the start of the 5k.

Boom, we were off! The course had a lot of twist and turns for the short distance, about 22 different turns from left to right and right to left. Along with battling the heat, the twist and turns, there was the variations of surfaces going from cement, pavement, and crushed gravel trails. Check out the Relive video below of the twisting and turning along the run.

So after the crossing of the finish line with an official time of 20:48 (approx. 6:37/mile), I headed to give the fist bumps with BMC who crossed the line at 18:59, We then found out that he finished 5th overall and I had finished 8th overall, with a 1-2 finish in our 35-39 age division.

Now for the negative complaint of mine regarding the age group finishes … The website states the following:IMG_4274

So I guess age group awards weren’t really clearly stated? But anyways, previous Change of Pace races did award top 3 in each age group. So Brian and I headed to where the computers were set up to check out final times, and the only person there stated they didn’t have age group awards, though that part stated above makes one wonder did they not order the age group awards? Otherwise why even bother listing anything about age group awards?

Okay enough about the age group awards…

We did enjoy a post race beverage courtesy of Sudwerks which was located just down the street, at the race they offered two of the beers they had on tap in the area next to the live band.

While throwing back a beverage, Brian and I noticed that the half marathon clock was getting close to the 1:30:00 mark so we headed back towards the course standing near the 13 mile marker. We clapped people in, who were looking pretty upset, probably because of the heat.

We saw Kevin coming in but noticed he was about 4 minutes behind the clock, so a bit concerned we went over to him as he crossed the area. Come to find out the course was long … which threw off all of the pacers and the splits.

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Even with the longer half-marathon course, Kevin and all of participants in yesterday’s race did a fantastic job battling the heat and the other uncontrollable conditions.

After the race, which was odd finishing after dinner time, we opted to grab some bites in Downtown Davis before heading back to Sacramento. So there it was my 2nd race in a matter of 7 days after taking 4 months off of any races.

Race Report: No Excuses 5k

So about 8 weeks ago, I decided to sign up for a race. At that point in my running, I had not run a race since March, looking for something to run that I could “train” for put me at the No Excuses 5k. I have ran this race before and have run very well at this race, about 3 years ago, this same race was the first 5k where I ran a sub 20 minute. The race offers a fast course with some fast runners. Pretty much any race in Sacramento that is part of the Buzz Oates Run Sac Race Series will offer some fast runners in the race as teams and individuals try to collect points for overall standings.

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The one unique thing about this specific race is that it isn’t about just the order in which you cross the finish line, but it is about the age graded algorithm which makes it an even playing field as the finishing times are based on age and gender with the individuals specific finish time. For example a runner in the their early 20s may cross the finish line first, but a runner in their 60s who has a good time like an 18 minute may leapfrog that first place 20 year old in the final standings. For a breakdown of how this all works check out the final standings HERE.

Let’s rewind back a few weeks ago when I decided to “race” this race. I knew I wasn’t near my 5k shape that I was 3 years back when knocking out sub 19s were pretty regular after running my first sub 20 at this same race. Not having really trained for anything over the last 6 months, my goals were pretty lofty to try to run a sub 20. I’ll be honest, my mileage was up there (50-60 a week), but my motivation to run tempos, intervals, and marathon pace just wasn’t there. I had to get back to just enjoy running for what it was and getting some workouts in with friends.

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I started training by inviting some friends to do some “Tuesday Track Workouts” with me, this was enjoyable getting back out to run on a dirt track at 5AM every Tuesday with 2-3 people. This was part of the enjoyment of running I was missing, people around me to indirectly keep my running honest. Then I started mixing in some Thursday tempo runs, not marathon tempo workouts, but setting some times for 20-25 minutes of tempo work which had me breathing hard after getting those miles in during the middle of a run. Saturdays included some longer runs and some Sundays I would run 5-6 “hard miles”, which had me running solo as they were to be at a pace where I wouldn’t be able to hold a conversation.

Hitting 200s and 400s were enjoyable once again for the Tuesday Track workouts, the long easy with friends was enjoyable. This is what I was looking for, this is what I was missing in my running, this is what would jump start me into going after bigger and better things … well I hope it would.

So the last 8 weeks the biggest thing that came out of “training” for a race, wasn’t so much the speed and the excitement of racing again, it was the excitement of being excited to run and train again! I really loved getting to hit the pavement, the track or the trails, it was all enjoyable once again. Before even toeing the line on Saturday morning, this race and the journey to it after signing up was already a win in my book!

Now, let’s get to the race day. I shot Kevin a text message asking him if he wanted to grab a ride with me since I was heading out to Land Park (where the race was being held), he said “yes”, so I headed over the couple blocks to pick him up.

When we got to the packet pick-up area, I got a text from another one of my Tuesday Track homies, Alexia, though she wasn’t racing she was running in that area and joined in on the warm-up around Land Park.

Getting my warm-up in, I was headed to the start line where I saw plenty of familiar faces, many of them who I hadn’t seen in a while because I just hadn’t been racing. This was fun to see all these people, I really did miss all of this, but most importantly I was again excited to be in the environment of a race. I just had no interest in the last few months to sign up for anything, and I didn’t miss it. So being away from races since March was something that I needed to do.

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The goal I sought for this race day had a couple parts to it, run sub 20 and run consistent miles. Mile 1 came around and I felt good with a 6:30, Mile 2 then came about and I ran slower than that I wanted with a 6:38, my final mile was 6:33, which brought me to a fairly consistent run, though these times were not good enough to run a sub 20 as I finished with an official time of 20:22. Though I didn’t hit my time goal for this race, I know the process to coming back to finding my enjoyment in running is well worth the disappointment of not hitting my time marks.

After the race I saw the Birthday Boy Steve from the 9RUN6 crew who hit a 30 second personal best in the run. We also saw Courtney running around the area.