Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stand for Hope 5k Charity run

 Frustrated with this gimpy body of mine, I having been focusing more on speed rather than distance .  I would love more than anything to be running 75-100 miles a week on the beach, but my legs are not ready for that yet.  Lateral movement  has been causeing me grief while running on a hard consistant terrain feels fine.  Going out fast on pavement  has become very comfortable.  I can feel my body getting faster and I am trying to figure out how exactly to pace myself in a short distance race.  I've gone from being oone the younger guys in an Ultra to being the old guy in the front of the pack at a 5k.

Last week I had such a good time running in my first race for team Jamba Juice I decided I try find another endevour for the following weekend.  It turned out their was a 5k race  at the Rose Bowl on 6/26.   The  Race was held to raise money for the Padres organization, which does a lot to help families deal with childhood cancer.  It looked like fun to go run a loop around the Rose Bowl and good opportunity to maybe PR.

The day before the race my nephew's told me they wanted to come root me on.  I didn't expect this and always love having them around.  They helped me promote Jamba Juice rocking tattoo's on both of their cheeks.
A few days before the race I contacted one of my Barefoot Friends from the Daily Mile, Michael Blanchard to see if he wanted to join me.  I knew Micheal lived near the course and I could use some advice on the terrain.  I was considering running barefoot but I really wanted to PR and needed make sure the road would not slow me down if I ditched the Vibram's.  Michael informed me that much of the race would be ran on coarse asphalt which solidifiesd my decision to keep the Fivefingers on.

Micheal went on to PR barefoot with a 22:13.  Well done Micheal B

As we waited for the race to begin I started to size up the competition.  I began chatting with a young kid collegiate runner, who told me that there was a hispanic guy here who usually runs around a 15:30 and I would have my work cut out for me.  An old guy lined up next to me, he told me he ran around a 15 flat when he was younger.  Then there was blue shirt guy standing next to me who said he was also shooting for a sub 16.  Just when we thought the race was going to begin, the celebrities and poparazzi arrived.  Amongst them was  some guy from "Prison break" a hot chick from "House" plus 3 or so miscellaneous Latino Stars,  who all crowded in at the front to pose for some pictures.  The prison break dude moved in right in front of me blocking my path.  The kid who I was chatting with offered to let me move in front of him so that I would not be hindered at the start.  It was a very unselfish gesture and I happily accepted.

After the first 50 yards the Celebs were assimilated into the crowd.  I expected the Hispanic guy to take the early lead but he did not.  Instead  BSG (blue shirt guy) took quick control jumping if front of me as we exited the Rose Bowl parking lot.  It was my plan to run a sub 16 minute race, which meant I had to average a 5:09 mile or better.  One thing I never do but may try next time, is get my blood pumping before the race.  Before every short race I see the elite runner's do some short sprint's in preparation.  I often struggle finding my groove at the start of a race. 

The course sounded simple enough a bunch of left turns around the Rose Bowl.  Both myself and BSG had never ran here before.  There was a small walking path about 15ft wide  that we were supposed to follow .  Unfortunately it was not blocked off for the race.  On the right side of the path we went head on with  vehicular traffic and there was a pace police car the right side of that.  It made for an interesting run trying to dodge pedestrians, bikes and other foot traffic, while swerving into the road when there was a big enough gap between cars.  For the first mile BSG ran in the lead about 50 feet in front of me.  Just about every third step he would look over his shoulder to see where I was.  I was almost comical how concerned he was about my position.  I was not on pace for my PR finishing my first mile in 5:20.  I needed to go faster.  I charged in front of BSG at an increased pace finishing my second mile in 5:06.  I was getting closer to the time I needed but didn't know exactly where and when I was supposed to turn.  At one point I had to yell at the cop to get directions whether to turn or not.  The third mile I was starting to find a groove I finished it in 5:02.  It was time to tun into the parking lot and stride it out for the win.  There were two roads that led to the finish line I didn't know which I was supposed to take.  The cop instructed me to take the first one. (bad choice)  I had gotten to the turn before they had a chance to barricade the road.  I had to cut across a grass median and through some parked cars to get back on course.  I was concerned that BSG might catch me.  The mistake had cost me valuable seconds but I was still in the lead.

As I approached the finish line I thought I had the win but new it was not the PR I had wanted.

My Garmin clocked my run at 3.14 miles a 5:08 pace I had ran the exact speed I needed just a little bit to far. 
Official time 16:08
Upon further review I did not have the fastest time.  This picture clearly shows my Nephew Lucas clocking in at 9:09 running in his Crocs.  Lucky for me he wasn't he was not a payed entrant.
A minute after the finish with the family.

The week prior I raced in my Jamba Shirt  and shorts and felt very restricted.  This week I decided to back to my USTAF shorts (I am undefeated while wearing them) and lose the shirt.  The CEP Sleeve's felt good on calf's and the Vibrams with Injinji's held up well.

 I'd like you to meet our new friend Jose.
My Nephew with his new best buddy.
Before the awards ceremony they had some live music.  All of the Mariachi band members wore giant belt buckles.  I envisioned them all crossing the finish line together at Western States, while rocking some tunes.

I happily excepted my trophy.  On the way back to my seat a gentleman asked me "Are you a professional runner?"   my response "No,  but I drink Jamba Juice."  (what a sell out)

Before the awards ceremony a very sweet hispnic lady took the stage to thank the Padres Foundation for their support.  Her son is in dire need of a bone marrow match and she pleaded with crowd to register to be bone marrow donor's.  Although she spoke in Spnaish my sister and I were both almost in tears.  Joining the registry was easy, all I had to do was fill out a few forms and swab my mouth for some DNA.  Hopefully I will be a match for someone.  If you would like to join the registry please go to marrow.org
Probably the nicest trophy I ever won.  It weighs close 5 pounds

Life is good.

If you have been reading this blog for the past month or two you're probaly thinking Pat neesds to do some more drinking and less running, after all the blog is named Bourbon feet.  If this It what you are thinking I agree. This  July forth I will be competing in the Hermosa Beach Iron Man. which involves running 1 mile, paddling 1 mile and drinking a six pack of beer.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Team Jamba, Culver City 5k

About a month I got an opportunity to join team Jamba Juice and represent them this summer. Father's Day  The Culver City 5K was the  first event In the Los Angeles market.  It sounded like fun and best of all it would be free.  I had the option to run either in the 5k or 10k.  With my body feeling gimpy I decided I would be better suited for the 5k but would run the 10k if they wanted me to.  If they had extra spots open I would be willing to run both events although my10k would be pretty damn slow..

Fueling up
My sister and I
My father passed away a few years ago.  Since then my sister and I try to celebrate each Father's day together doing fun things while sharing memories of the old man.  I convinced her to get up early (yep real fun) and be my photographer for the event since Jamba wanted me to send them a race report.  Before the Race I checked In with the Jamba booth drank a Super Fruit Smoothie  and then went on to peruse the race expo.  First stop was the CEP compression sock booth.  The guy working there was pretty cool and was excited to see me wearing their calf sleeve's.  I told him they need to change the name of the sizing from womans small (what I wear) to men's "Men's Elite"  anyway I ended up with his business card after the race he said he would do his best to try and hook me up with some product.  I'd be really stoked if he came he came through for me.

Fellow Ultras runner and very cool guy Christian Burke was kind enough to give my a free bottle of Supermulti

The next Stop was the Supermulti Vitamin slash Noon booth.  I ran into a fellow Ultra-runner who I had I last chatted with when we both ran the Palos Verdes Marathon.  He is one of the founders of Supermulti vitamins and thought I should give them a try.  I have never been much of a vitamin guy but I do enjoy the glow in the dark urine (it never ceases to amaze me).  It was an offer I couldn't refuse and I shall take them everyday and report back how it goes.

Dork wearing Free vibram shirt
The 3rd stop was the Sporteve booth.  They were the main sponsors of the event.  Sporteve is a local running store that has been selling Vibram Five Fingers for the last 3 years.  The owner of  Sporteve was a real spunky lady who was also wearing her VFF's (she's the one waving the flag during the national anthem in the pic below).  They were giving out free Vibram shirts to any runners who raced in them.  It was pretty interesting to see the diversity amongst fivefinger crowd we deffietly came in all sizes, ages and ethnicities (quite a motley crew).  I came across about 15 people wearing them and of the 6 I talked to none of them had ran in them before. (I bet they have some sore calf's today)
National Anthem

Funny shoe's

At the Start line I was visited by Future Pat from the year 2040 (ala "Back to the Future") He told me to take care of my body or else this could happen.  I took one look at future me and decided I need to get my butt in gear and create my own destiny.
After 4 seconds i felt like I was 5 seconds behind
From the start the eventual winner took command and never relinquished it after about 200 yards he was leading by least 50.  I have no clue how to run a 5k.  I came out strong at about a 4:30ish  pace for the first half mile which put me in second place.
Eventually 2 kids passed me pretty easily and a third was right on my heels.  At the turnaround of the there and back course I was about 50 yards out of 3rd and and 5ft from being in fifth.  I really wanted to catch the guy in front of me but my legs wouldn't let me as he extended his lead to at least 100 yards.  I did not like having someone right behind me, my pace was still decent and eventually was able to distance myself from him.
The second half of the race was pretty cool.  It was first chance to see my fellow Jamba Juice runners in their red shirts.  I got some nice hollers of support from my team members.  I also got some props from the other Vibram runners in the race, which there were quite a few of.
About a 100 yards from the finish my body felt pretty decent .
I ended up finishing 4th overall with a new PR 16:05 in my 4th 5k ever. I have ran 2 barefoot and 2 with fivefingers.  My 1st mile I ran a  4:57  followed by a 5:10 2nd, a  5:28  3rd and  a :30 .1m to cap it off.
Garmin stats on race
Official results
Although I was nearly a minute off the win.  It pays to be old the three guys who beat me were all in a younger division.  That equates to a first place medal for the old guy.

The winner of the race was a pretty damn good runner 15:13 and a nice guy
My Jamba Juice Rep congratulating me after the race
Drinking some "Yumberry" jamba smoothie's with a fellow team member.

All in all it was a good Father's day morning. Thank you Jamba Juice for the support it was a pleasure being invited to participate in this race for free.  The body currently feels fair.  I really want to start clocking some miles again but that shall be a day to day decision. The next day I went for a few fast miles wearing a pair of custom Barefoot Ted made "Luna Sandals" he wanted me to try out.  I can run fast in them and they really hugged my feet well.  I just need to learn the proper tightness of the leather and grow some calluses next to my big toe.  After that I went to the beach for some lazy barefoot soft sand miles (not as many as I had hoped for) but good to make to my native habitat..

Currently I'm trying to get into the San Francisco Marathon for free as an elite runner.  It's along shot but worth a try.  The race Is on July 28th and is also a Jamba Juice event.  Jamba may also get me in but I don't think they would grant me the privilege of starting in a coral near the front.

I just found out there is a Stand for hope 5k at the Rose bowl this Saturday.  Entry is only $20 and the money goes towards helping kids with cancer.  I think I'll run the race in the morning and then watch how the Western States 100 miler unfold's online.  I tried to get in in the lottery but got lucky and didn't make it.  I got quite a few friends running in it and wish them the best of luck.

Friday, June 18, 2010

San Diego 100 (spoiler alert BONKED)

My body felt perfect,  I had been training hard and I was ready for an awesome 100 mile race.  Too bad that was 3 weeks prior to the San Diego Endurance Run.  Sometimes the stars align a little early.   My body fallen  apart and I could not put it together by race day.  The entry fee was already paid and my crew (Mom, Sis and Nephew's) were ready for a San Diego weekend vacation.  What the hell I was ready for an adventure and curious to see if I would listen to my body if things went a rye.

Friday morning we packed in the mini van and were off.  On the way down to San Diego I got a call back from an Assics ad I auditioned for the day prior.  They liked what I had to offer but wanted a smaller foot.  They asked to see me a second time ASAP in Venice presumably to cram my foot into a size 10 shoe (I wear and 11-12)  We were already on our way and this was out of the question.  The shoot was to take place on Monday they mentioned their was a slim chance I could still get a call back then but that did not happen.  In a way I'm glad they did not tell me outright I could of had the job because I really should not be passing up the nice paycheck.  Never less it was nice to know my womens small calf muscles were aprreciated over the buffed out actors who couldn't run.
Friday afternoon we Checked in at Shiners lodge and played on the jungle gym a bit at the starting line.  

Dr. Dan and I
Race day my body felt ok I tried to be optimistic.  I figured there was a 85% I would not finish but I also like suprising myself.   I decided to wear my CEP calf sleeves my Moeben's some short shorts my Injinji's and the kso treks.  Every Ultra I have ever run I have started with a shirt on and almost every race I wish it was gone after five minutes.  I met up with my Dr. Dan Lehnberg  of  South Bay Sports Medicine who was running in his first hundred and who would go on to finish 6th in just over 22 hours  (Well done Dan).  We wished eachother well and planned on having a beer together after the race.
At the last second I decided to ditch my shirt.  The two guys in front of me in black shirts I figured were the favorites to win, on the left defending champ Ben Hein and Tracy Moore on the right, unfortunately neither of them would make it to the finish this year.

My plan was was take a conservative 8 to 10 minute pace on the flats and downhill  and stay below a 12 min pace all but the steepest climbs. The goal was to try to keep this up through the first 50 or 60 miles and then somehow find my way to the finish line stumbling my way through the dark of night. From the very beginning I didn't feel that great and couldn't seem to settle into a groove.   I was running about 20 people back from the leader moving alone at my own pace.  The beauty of the course managed to distract me from my malfunctioning body. In the first 8 miles there were prairies, mountains and even a very scenic lake, not what I normally picture when I think of San Diego.  Steve Mill's the race Director had outdone himself in redesigning this picturesque course.  At one point I got into  a slight stalemate with a skunk, who was jaywalking across the trail (I gladly slowed and game him the right away before sprinting past).

Coming into first aid station was really cool.  Pretty much every crew was there.  The crowd was full of energy and excited to see each and every runner come in.  People I don't know were yelling go Pat (while probably laughing at my attire at the same time).  The vibe was really positive and made me feel like very loved.  A few friends helped me refuel and it was back to the course.  My Vibrams were holding up good, my feet felt great but my legs didn't feel quite right.  I continued running my planned pace cruising along through the second aid station.  By about mile 16 I knew it was not going to be an easy day.  This was the first time I have ever ran on a trail with this particular pair of Vibram Treks.  They were providing adequate protection, yet two holes small appeared on of the toes on my right foot.  The course was getting more technical and I was starting to stumble a bit.  I took a few fall's landing on my handhelds,  nothing serious, no blood, no bruises just some strains on random parts of the body.  I maintained a sub 10 min mile through mile 20 as I approached the 3rd aid station There were 2 beautiful girls cheering me on, they new my name and my spirits (and ego) were lifted quite a bit.  Upon leaving the aid station.  I passed the the 2 girls, thanked them for their support.  I proceeded to run about 100 feet before tripping over a rock and tasting the trail. (what a dumb ass, ego back to normal)  The two sirens turned  around to see if I was okay,  I mumbled something about  just stopping to do some push ups but I don't think they were buying it, lol.  I hobbled to the 4th aid station around mile 24 where I knew I'd see my crew.  At that point I was supposed to decide whether my pacer Dan Westergaard was to drive down from L.A. or not.  Even though my body felt like crap I didn't feel like I was causing it any damage yet and I knew Dan really wanted to get in some training miles for Badwater
As I approached  the aid station I was happy to see my family cheering me on.

I told my sister I felt like I was functioning at 15% of my potential but to call Dan and tell him to come on down anyway,  maybe Dan's support could help will me to the finish line.  I had been passing a few people here and there through the first 24 miles.  And was still optimistic that I could finish. About a mile and a half out of the aid station that all changed,  my right knee began throbbing.  I was caring IT band stabilizer on my wrist as a precaution for my left knee and now I was forced to use it on the other one.  It didn't help much.  I began one of the most technical, rocky downhill sections of the course.  I was executing very poor form and the body was going downhill faster than I could run (whatever that means)  I was In a lot of pain, going slow and getting passed.  Injury was inevitable if I were to keep this up for another 70 miles.  I hobbled to the aid station at mile 32.  Just my luck there was no crew access.  I was done and content with this decision.  The head of the aid station said the next section of the course was a four mile loop, back to the same spot followed by an grueling eight mile climb to mile 42 where I could meet up with my crew.  He didn't want me to regret my decision to withdraw and encouraged me to do the 4 mile loop.  Reluctantly  I agreed with him and stubbornly continued on the course.  My body told me to quit and I didn't. I was not proud of that decision.  The next four miles I felt horrible, however my spirits were lifted when I got passed by my Dr. Dan who looked real strong, I could tell he was going to have a good day and I was proud of him.

I got back to the aid station and my day was done.  My body felt horrible but I had not passed the point of no return.  I withdrew before injury could occur.  I was near the front of the pack through mile 30 but not in contention to win. by mile 37 I took myself out. I'll live to fight another day I thought.  I found a chair in the sun grabbed a few handfuls of peanut m and m's and waited about an hour till I could get a ride up the hill.
It was interesting watching people come through the aid station a total mix of emotions some people looked as if they were out for a walk while other's looked like they were in as bad of shape as I was.  Everyone was real nice at the aid station both runners, and volunteers were very supportive but I wanted out of their asap.

Some really really cool old dude who's wife was running in the race gave myself and Bill Ramsey another dnf'er  a ride back to the start line.  We drove up the fire road that the runners were climbing.  I got to say it felt pretty good to be off my feet.  Bill and I each were drinking Ice cold Tecate's giving cheers to our jealous competitors as we proceeded up the hill and off the course.  Maybe it was karma, but all of a sudden three bee's flew in the truck, one stung Bill in the neck one flew away and the 3rd hid in Bill's beer till he almost drank it down. (poor Bill I think the 3rd bee was supposed to sting me) I was not happy with my performance but was proud of myself for making the right decision to withdraw.  My only regret was that I would not get to run with my pacer.

Luckily my pacer Dan was able to another runner to pace.  I told Dan that I expect some ridicule when I crew for him at Badwater.
Both of my two prior races I had won.  I think my nephews expected to me to win this one as well.  I was a bit concerned that they would be disappointed with my dnf.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  They both embraced me with lot's of love and were very excited to play with their uncle at the pool that evening and then again the next morning.  As much as I would have loved to have finished the race, I was perfectly content to be spending the rest of the weekend with my awesome family (I mean crew).  I am grateful to have you guys and love you very much.

  The San Diego 100 mile Endurance Run is a top notch Ultra.  Thank you to all the volunteers and the race director Scott Mills for putting on such a spectacular event.  Although the race did not go as I planned it only fuels my desire to train harder, smarter and come back stronger next year.

It's been a week since the race.  I've ran a few times played a ton of disc golf and played a bit of Paddle tennis all barefoot.  My body still feels sore.  This Sunday I am running in the Culver City 5k for team Jamba Juice.  It will be my first race running for them and I am really excited.  I had the option of running in the 5k or 10k (I choose the wussy option) I think I can gimp my way to fast finish.  Sadly I have a uniform consisting of long shorts and a shirt (but the race is free). I pondered running In a pair of Luna Sandals Barefoot Ted Sent me but I think I'm going to with the Vibram sprints.