Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Luna time and the living is easy

Still riding the high from the victory  at Mt Dissapointment,  I found myself in need of a change.  The Vibram Five Finger's had been losing there luster.  I run to have fun and right now nothing is more fun than Running in my Luna Sandal's

But will this translate to success come race day?

If I'm going to change my footwear I might as well change my appearance to.  I was looking at some picture's of myself from Mt D and decided that I have become way too pretty.  Solution no shaving for at least two weeks.  I've always been a scruffy dude but never grown a beard. So far I'm having a fun time laughing at what I see in the mirror.  I realize that I'm a pretty vain guy which only fuels my desire to get stupider looking.  So far I think I'm doing a pretty good job.  When babies start to cry just by looking at me on a consistent basis, then my experiment shall end.

8 days into the transformation

I had some decisions too make this week.  I am registered for the Angeles Crest 100 mile foot race to be held on August 28th .  I signed up for last years race which was cancelled due to a devastating fire that completely destroyed many of trails of and roads used.  As a result of the cancelation I was automatically signed up for this year  In order to run in the race you must put in at least one day of work to help rebuild the trails.  I had not done this yet and the last oppertunity was Saturday the 14th .  It just so happens that the race falls on the same weekend as my friend's Jon's bachelor Party in Mexico.  I'm the best man at the wedding and have known the guy since I was 3.  Another friend of ours has offered to let us use his fishing boat (docked in Ensanitas) to go scuba diving, or fishing depends on whats biting.  I really would have liked to have competed in AC but  I have no crew, no pacer and my body doesn't really need that type of abuse right now.  Besides Jon will probably only get married 5 or 6  times and AC comes around once a year. (j/k Kate) Friends and family come first, and it's a freakin bachelor party in Mexico  (there really wasn't that much convincing needed.)

On Wednesday my good buddy Dan Westergaard (a man who just set a record a few weeks ago by running the Badwater course 6 times consecutively)  told me about a 10k going on in Rolling Hills.  I was already was signed up for a 1/2 marathon on Sunday.  I checked at the winning times from the past and new I would have a good chance to win.  It would also be nice to try the sandals out racing a shorter distance before doing a half marathon on Sunday.

Friday morning I had to drive down to San Diego for the mandatory pre-race check in (a two hour drive just to pick up my bib and t-shirt).  The race expo was kind of pain of pain in the butt to get to. But eventually I made it.  When I went to pick up my number I found out that Jamba Juice had signed me up twice.  I guess that means I get 2 shirts, I was pretty excited until I saw what they looked like

Good thing I don't look pretty no more. A little too flamboyant for my tastes

It was about 1:30 in the afternoon, I got out of their as fast as I could to try and beat traffic and go play some Disc Golf.  Somewhere between San Onfre and San Clamente, there was a horrific car accident on the other side of the highway, there was Helicopter parked on hwy 5 blocking all lanes going South, traffic was backed up about 10 miles and people were sitting on top of their cars. Here I was driving along zoning out. Seeing the accident made question what if that had been me?  I spent the rest of my drive thinking about the way I should live my life.  it boils down to this "Life is too short to waste it being stressed out or angry.  I need to do what I love as much as I can and love who I'm doing it with. The world is a much more enjoyable place if I keep a positive attitude and a smile on my face.".

Eventually I made it to Deerfield park in Irvine I met up with my Disc Golf buddy Jeff.  I hadn't played Deefield in about 5 years,  we played a few rounds of golf and then it was off to the OC Fair to see Weird Al.  Jeff new the area well and we parked for free in a residential area.  My plan was to eat a bunch crap and hopefully see the stage hypnotist.

Last year was my first time ever to county fair.  I consumed choclate covered bacon, (good but not as good as normal bacon) as well as a deep fried Twinkie and Oreo (both pretty tasty).  There was one item I did not get try that has been on my mind ever since.

The portion size was not big and it cost pretty heft $8.50 but I had to try it.  Pretty damn good especially when dipped in hot sauce and ranch dressing.

As luck would have right after buying the deep fried Avocado I stumbled right into the audience for the hypnotist doing his thing.  On stage was kid who thought he was Beyonce He was really working the crowd shakin his booty and getting into the proformance.  I was'nt sure a first if it was a real ugly girl or dude with a wig.

I still had some time to kill and my stomach was grumbling.

I thought it was funny to see a Sushi bar at the fair, but I guess it's to be expected in Orange County.  I didn't plan on eating there but thought I would check it out and see if they were serving anything interesting.
and that they were.

For $1 you could spin the wheel and recieve whatever food item came up, either Rocky Mountain Oysters, Deep fried Ball of Wasabi, Alligator, or a Hand roll of your choice plus drink in a souvenir cup. This was right up my alley and I was ready to spin.  I payed $2 and bought my buddy a spin as well.  Jeff spun first.
It landed on Aligator but they had run out so instead he got "Rocky Mountain oysters"  Jeff was a good sport and chowed it down.  He actually said it was pretty good.  If you don't know what it is do a quick google search.

Now it was my turn to spin
Spicy salmon roll

Free hand roll and a drink.  I'm not a soda drinker and I already had a IPA in hand.  The lady behind me asked if she could have it, I made sure it was okay with guy working and the lady offered to buy me another spin.
Spicy tuna roll

Again free hand roll and a drink.  I was breaking the bank.  Maybe it was the ale talking but I felt bad for the owner of the sushi booth I gave him a few more dollars and asked to try the Oysters and the deep fried Wasabi ball.  I was at the fair to have fun and try new things and this was a perfect opportunity
The Rocky Mountain Oyster didn't have any distinguishable taste other than deep fried goodness.  I was little worried about how strong the wasabi fireball would be.  It turned out be pretty damn good, spicy but not spicy enough to even need a sip of beer.  I was having fun and decided to up the ante. I still had a little bit of beer left and decided to eat another wasabi ball, but this time I would eat a huge chunk of wasabi added on top of it.
I really wasn't sure how well I would I take it.
(kid's don't try this at home, I am a professional dumb ass)

It wasn't too bad after a few involuntary tears, some cleared sinuses and a couple sips of beer I was back to normal. Am I stupid enough to try that again? Indubitably  

I was pretty full and the concert was about to start. I thought I might as well have some dessert
Perfect fuel for racing.

Side note:
 My ordinary diet is pretty healthy.  I try to consume between  3,500-4,500 calories a day (up to 5,500 when training hard)  mostly whole grains (especially Quinoa), fruits and vegetables.  I cook almost all my own meals and rarely eat at restaurants.  I am not a vegetarian but I only consume meat maybe once or twice a week.

I asked a few girls if they wanted to go see Weird Al with me?  It's every girls dream date to go see Weird Al, right? Each one of them shot me down with different lame excuses. Am I really that repulsive of a person? (probably lol)  Do I have no clue how women think? (most definitely) Do I care? (I wouldn't have it any other way.  Like Popeye without the muscle's "I am what I am." )

It was time for concert.  I'm not really that into concerts in general.  I have pretty eclectic taste in music and have always been entertained by the musical stylings of Wierd Al (who doesn't love the accordion?) I was pretty amped for the show. Another golfing buddy and his wife were planning to meet us there.

My buddy Tim doesn't usually look that much like a yokel.  
(I think he was trying to blend in)
The show was Awesome, I had a smile on my face the whole time.  It amazed me how much energy Weird Al had.  He played for about 2 half hours and every song sounded like a studio recording. I kept looking at my watch knowing I needed to get home and rest for my race in the morning.  After an about a 30 minute Encoure rendition of Aniken guy (American pie) and Yoda (Lola).  the show was over and it was time to head out
On the way out I passed a vendor selling Tiki's and skulls.  I am a fan of both but too poor to buy either.  I figured I could just take a picture blow it up and put that on my wall instead.

It was about 11:30 by now I thought I was done at the fair but as I was walking out. The damn hypnotist was giving another performance and I could'nt resist I sat down for a few about 15 minutes before making one of the few rational descisions of the night, time to go.  I got home and in bed by 2:00 a.m. alarm set for 5:30.  The race was 8:00 I still needed to sign up and figure out where exactly it was.

I was up at 5:30 a little sleepy but excited about the day ahead.  Earlier in thee week I put in a few some good miles on the track wearing my Luna's I ran a few sub 5 minute miles and some sub 6 min ones but I wasnt stacking them together.  Going fast was not a problem and the Luna's felt good on my feet but I still didn't have the confidence in them that I was looking for.  I finally figured out a lacing method that works for me and felt ready to win a race.
The Hill's are Alive 10k

I was one of the first people to arrive.  I got signed up no problem and was chatting with some other runners about the course.  It turns out most of the route is on horse trails. (I had no idea) I saw a couple runners with Vibrams on they were both nice guys and one of them even told me he had read my blog. (that's me locally world famous). My buddy Dan Westergaard  was running it as well but as a pacer for his 10 year old daughter who was doing the 5k.  His daughter looked fast and I was wasn't sure if he could keep up. (he did) From the info I gathered up i found out the course was all hill's but nothing too steep.  I guess that it is too be expected when you run a race In town named Rolling hills. I was told by a couple of good runners that I should expect to add 2 or 3 minutes to my PR if I ran good race.  Little did they know I've never ran a fast 10k and that my PR is garbage.
The race starts and finishes on a horse trail.  I lined up in the front and jumped out to an early lead.  I felt like rabbit being chased down by dog's.  I was curious how fast the kids behind me would push.  My plan was pretty simple run fast and if anyone starts to catch me, run faster. (makes sense right?) Within the first mile I took a comfortable 200 ft lead while climbing some hill's. While the pack was battleing eachother behind me  I was off in my own world amazed at well the sandals were doing.  The horse trail was in nice shape, it was very soft and sandy.  I thought getting sand in the sandals might be a problem but it did'nt faze me one bit.  By about the half way point I new I had good chance to win.  I could no longer see the runners behind me yet I still sensed there pressence.  My body was strong and my feet felt great.  During the last few miles the course migrated with the slower 5k runners I was flying down the trail sounding like a broken record player "On Your Left." "Thank You" "On Your Left." Thank You" "On Your Left." Thank You".
Pic taken before race (that's why you don't thousands of beautiful women holding Go Pat Go signs)

 As I sprinted into the finish line I saw Dan and his family there to cheer me on.  I flew through fishers coral and into the parking lot before my brakes finally kicked in.  The race director did a double take when he saw that it was me.  I had told him before the race that I was going to win (not sure if he believed me) and I came through with my prediction.  First place in my first race wearing Luna sandals. 36:16 a new pr  that shall only last till my next 10k.
Official results

After the race I got interviewed by a couple local T.V reporters and the local paper.
Article in the Daily Breeze
PV News Article
Showing off the hardware with living Ultra Legend Dan Westergaard.
Garmin data 10k

After the race I came home rolled around on the floor with most consistant female  in my life Layona (pronounced Lay"on"a" pretty clever huh?)
We have msochistic relationship but she is always there for me after tough day training or racing.

No matter how much massaged my calves they still felt pretty tight.  I went to the gym and sat in the sauna for about 90 minutes and soaked in the tub for another 1/2 hour.  I came home cooked up a homemade pizza at about 5 p.m.pounded a bottle red wine and was asleep by 8 p.m. (life of the party right?)

My alarm was set for 2:30 a.m. but I didn't need it i was up at 2 a.m I took a quick shower, looked online to see where I had to go, had a couple cups of coffee, took my Sport Multi's ate 6 pieces of cinnomin toast, made a couple peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the road, rolled around a bit with Layona, hydrated with some NUUN and I was ready to go by 3:00 a.m.(right on schedule).

The drive down to San Diego was pretty uneventful.  The course was a point to point race.  This meant that all racers had to arrive at the finish line between 4:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. to be shuttled to the start line. (a pretty impressive feat when there are 8,000 racers).  

I saw a fellow team member in the parking lot.

I arrived at the parking lot at 5:a.m. got my gear together and was off to find the bus line.  I was walking around barefoot with my sandals in my hand, seeing that I had no shoe's on a couple of people asked me if I was going to run barefoot.  I think they were even more surprised when I showed them my Luna's.  Ieventually found the buses and off to the the starting line.  
The race started at Point Loma.  We were at the top of a Peninsula with a great view of San Diego.  They must of had 200 porta potties and each one had a 10 person line.  It was now 6:00 a.m. race starts in one hour.  Although I didn't want to I decided I would wear Jamba shirt for this race.  It was pretty cold sitting around waiting  I was thankful to have it.  I made small talk with a bunch of racer's. People were genuinely enthusiastic all be it a little puzzled when they saw my sandal's (I get the puzzled looks even without the sandals). I was able to weasel my way up towards the front of the starting line, I saw a few people wearing five fingers and a bunch of people wearing Newton's. 
.  (none of them would be the guy in sandals.)
 There were about 30 elite runners in their own coral about 40 feet in front of the masses.  This was my first time ever running a half marathon and my legs were a little sore.  The course record  is 1:02 (which is freaking ridiculous) Winning was not likely to be in the cards but that didn't mean I wasn't gonna give it my best shot.  My goal was a sub 1:15 and hopefully in the top 20.

On you marks get set GO!

The elites were off and flying almost out of site in with in a few minutes.  I was hoping to start off with 4 our 5 sub 5:30 miles but couldn't get my legs into a rhythm.  My calve's were real tight and it would take a little while for me to find my stride.  I was probably running in about 60th place.  through the first mile or two.  Eventually I started picking people off one by one.  There were some really fast girls running in this race  I found myself stuck between a few of them who were battling it out for a paycheck.
I hit the 10k split in 34:23 (a little faster than I expected) I was running well and once again the feet felt great.  In no way do I think I was sacrificing time running in my Luna's rather than the Five Fingers.  My legs were getting tired but my pace was staying close to what I wanted.  My shirt was driving me crazy, at about mile 8 I took it off and carried it in my hand (It felt like it weighed about 3 lb's soaked with with sweat and condensation) I kept pounding the pavement.  One thing that really kept me going was the look of bewilderment and positive vibes I got when the spectators when saw my footwear.  I was having fun, doing what I love, making people smile, while being chased down by close to 8,000 people.
Around mile 11 the race started to climb into the city.  Normally this is where I excel,  I'm a good climber, decent on flat's and mediocre on the downhill's (but getting better everyday).  Today however my legs didn't have the drive in them I was hoping for.  My pace rose above a 6 min mile and my goal of sub 1:15 was slipping away.  Saturdays 10k had taken away some of my strength and it was starting to show.  I fought through my limitations.  I was not passed the entire race and persevered my way to the finish line in a time of 1:15:38.  (a little slower than I wanted but I was proud of my efforts) As I crossed the finished line they announced my name and hometown. followed by, in an astonished voice."Is he wearing Flip Flops?"

The runner's who finished before me looked pretty beat up and spent.  I  didn't really feel like running the course again but felt pretty darn good.  I jogged down to the race pavilion go my picture taken and said hi to my Jamba Juice brethren, and thanked them for their support.

Dude your shirt's backwards
(I didn't realize till I took it off)

It was fun to run the race, but would I do it again? I don't think so.  For me I ended up having to drive for over 8 hours just to run for an 1:15 minutes (doesn't really make sense)  I was happy it was done and now I have an established 1/2 marathon time that I hope to beat very soon.

I was freaking cold.  I had just pounded three frozen Jamba Juice smoothies and was desperate to get warm.  I had no clue what place I finished, (my guess was somewhere between 20 and 30, I finished 23rd 2nd in age division)  Over a loud speaker I heard that awards would be presented in an hour.  Not sure If I had won an award or not I was ready to bail but I had no clue where my car was either.  I started walking up some hill then began jogging to keep warm about a half mile later (taking the right route ) I finally made it to my heated car seat.
I jumped in my car I drove directly to Escondido about 20 miles inland to play some Disc Golf.  Thankfully the the marine layer did not stretch that far inland.  By the time I go to the course it was sunny and warm.

It was my first time at this particular course and I was in a hurry it was about 9:30 in the morning I had tickets to an Angel game about 80 miles away for a 12:35 start and it would be best to get there by 11:45 if I wanted to park for free. This meant I would have to jog the course.  As much I enjoyed racing in my sandals is was nice to have them off my feet.
The course was pretty nice.  I had a good time although my game was very mediocre.  My legs were tired but functional and the 2 mile jog felt good.

I made fast time on the freeway to Angel Stadium the weather was beautiful and I was ready to kick back and relax for a little while.  I met up with a buddy who brought a few 22's of Stone Brewery's "Arrogant Bastard Ale" (one of my favorite's).  People kept telling me all morning that I should run in the San Dieguito 1/2  sponsored  by the hash house harriers and Stone Brewery.  The race is cheap to enter and from mile seven on, they serve ale at each water station and free beer garden afterwards.
(I will be there next year)

The Angel's got there butt's kicked but I was having a good time.  The highlight of the game happened when a girl in the row in front slipped a little and flung her shoe about 25 rows down to the next level of seats and nearly over the edge of the View section down to the field level.

After the game I headed to El Dorado park for some Disc Golf (I'm there almost every Sunday) I played another three rounds of barefoot golf (even won a couple bucks).  The Sun was setting my body was spent. and the weekend was coming to close.  The plan was to come home cook dinner for this girl I just met and see if there was any sparks in the air.  I got home around 9 p.m. after waking up at 2 a.m. poured myself  a glass of wine  ate a rosemary dinner roll and passed out with the lights on. Romance will have to wait for another day.

Next up Mud Run at the Rose Bowl this Saturday


  1. Hey Patrick - I really love your blog! You always have a good fun time. So can you tell me how you laced (?) your sandals? I have the Lunas and also an old pair of huaraches from when Ted first started making them. Thanks! Keep up the good fight! Oh yeah - your playlist is awesome!

  2. Funny stuff, Bro! First time reader. I'm glad I checked it out though, Barefoot Ted posted a link on 2 your blog Facebook.



  3. Loving the beard!
    Great post :)

  4. Never mind - I figured out the tying. Much better!!

  5. Good stuff bro. I enjoyed the read.

  6. Great post! I'm excited to try out my own pair of Lunas... I just got a kit, so mine depend in part on my craftmanship. :-)

  7. Ha ha - love reading your blog, you are a nutter! We're going to include your Luna race victory and link to your blog in our first Barefoot Running UK newsletter and will email you a copy. Happy running!