Wednesday, October 19, 2011

100 mile Endurance Challenge Preview

This Saturday I will be running in the 100 mile endurance run from Corona to the Santa Monica through 23 cities.
The race is fundraiser for the 100 mile club, an organisation I hold dear to my heart.

Philosophy of the 100 Mile Club

Our philosophy is simple. We believe that every individual has the ability to achieve true personal success and a new level of physical fitness by Accepting the Challenge of running (or walking) 100 Miles at school during a single school year. These feelings of true personal success and fitness are ones that will carry participants to new levels of achievement in all areas: academics, athletics, and implementation of the valuable life skills identified in the bricks of Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

The 100 Mile Club is a personal journey toward a very personal goal.    It is not a race with anyone but yourself.  We NEVER compare students.  We never race or compete between classes or students to see who makes 100 miles “first”.  100 Mile Club is not an external competition. The competition is with your biggest rival: yourself. We celebrate all personal successes at the end of the school year.  100 miles or not, we award students together, celebrate together, and never separate out those that make 100 miles from those that do not. The personal successes students feel while on the100 Mile Club journey are unquantifiable but ever-present.  We celebrate those most of all.

I am raising money for the 100 mile club by running in the 100 mile Endurance Challenge.  If you would like to help donate to the organization please click HERE or check out the link on the top right of this blog.  Even a donation of $10 can pay for kid's membership for one year.  The 100 mile club often involves itself with inner city schools where parents cannot afford even a cost as small as this.  These are the same kids who's parents can not afford to put them in others sports such as soccer or basketball.

I'm not really good at begging and pleading for donations so I will end with this.  If you have a couple extra dollars the 100 mile club could sure use your help.  I have seen first hand how it can change the lifes of a child.  Last year I got my Nephew's school involved with the program and it has been a roaring success for the children the parents and even got their principal running.

If you would like to get your school involved please contact me or the 100 mile club directly and we will do what we can to  get your kid's moving

100 mile Endurance  run Race Preview

Last year at the starting line
 I had really been looking forward to the event and ran half the course over a couple training runs. I was injured and could not compete.  Leading up to the race I stillo thought there was a chance I could start the race (a really stupid idea) I drove out to wish the other racers good luck at the starting line.  Realizing I could probally run no more than 100ft  all I could do is stand on the sidelines and cheer.

This Year will be different

The course for the 100 mile endurace Challenge is pretty unique compared to most Ultra's.  It is not held in the mountains or on trails.  Instead in run straight the heart urban Los Angeles and Orange County  mostly running on bike paths and hugs the coast for over half the race

The course has changed a little from last year. I decided last Saturday to jump on my bike and ride the first 90 miles of it till I got back to My Mom's house where my car would be parked in Manhattan Beach.

One the most Awesome Ladies I know and founder of the 100 mile Club the Elustrious 
"Kara Lubin"
Kara got word of what I was doing and decided to meet me at the starting line which happen's to be the 100 mile club headquarters in Corona.  There she showed off the belt buckles finishers would be receiving next week.  I told her that she will be earning one next year.
She smiled
It was real sweet of her to meet me. Kara said she may show up in her pajamas's, when she didn't I was a little disappointed. Never the less I was stoked to see her.
Like a mom wishing her son good luck on his first day of school I was off.

I had wanted to ride my strand Cruiser but the chain was busted.  This bike has been hanging upside down in my mom's garage for at least 8 years unused.  I think it belonged to my sister an had only an 18 inch frame.    This may be my first trip on a bicycle all year.

Of course I wore proper bike atire.  My Luna Equus sandals a road I.D. and some board shorts.
After  a few miles on the city streets of Corona I was on the bike path riding west along side the 91 freeway.
I ran this exact stretch going the opposite way during the Ragnar Relay earlier in the year.

Eventually I crossed this bridge and made a turn towards the beach along the 57 freeway in Anaheim
I went straight past a place I visit at least 20 times a year.
Eventually I hit the beach in Costa Mesa.  I got a cute girl to snap this photo
 So I got one of her as well
I then Headed North to Surf City Huntington Beach

 I stopped a the pier for a mushroom  taco and some Libations 
 I want a home just like that.
I kept rolling straight through Sunset Beach and finally exited the O.C.
 As soon as I entered Long Beach a big black Chevy Tahoe swerved in front of me beeping its horn.
In it sat a 300 lb Raider fan Yelling at me "What the hell are you doing on a bike?"
It was an old Samoan  Disc Golf buddy mine who was perplexed that I was not running.
Good to so you too Rodney :)
Down into the harbour of Long Beach, I rode over the same bike lane I ran in the week prior in the Marathon
The Queen Mary is the big boat in the background
 Long Beach is one of the biggest ports in the world because of this I have always marveled at the diversity of bugs that come in from all over the world.  I wonder if they make the people around here more immune or susceptible to foreign diseases?
 Long Beach came and went pretty fast. Time to pedal through beautiful Wilmington
Where I found the perfect place to get my next quinceanera dress. 

 I got out of Wilmington as quickly as I could and straight into San Pedro
 My buddy lives about 5 minutes off the course I stopped by his house and tried to get him to join me.  Sadly Zombies ate his legs and he could no longer ride a bike.  After a quick beer I was off.
 You got to be careful in this area.
The coolest dude I saw the entire ride.  Pedaling uphill no hands while wailing out on the trumpet.

Entering Richville
This part of the course was also in the 2010 Palos Verdes Marathon.  
I wonder who won that race?
We rode straight passed my old apartment. j/k
The sun was going down fast
View looking back at PV

My favorite pic of the ride.
The course drops down into Redondo Beach and heads straight through the pier.

Once the sun set it was useless to keep snapping photos.  I kept riding through Hermosa Beach into Manhattan and then turned up Rosecrans and called quits seeing as I had no lights on my POS bike.  My body felt pretty good the whole ride and by the end of it I was moving just as fast as when I started.  I did have to make some modifications to the handlebars so I could ride it more like a cruiser.

As of right now I'm suffering from a cold but my body feels pretty damn good.  I am highly optimistic about a
great race this weekend.  I plan to go out at fairly quick pace and run each of the first 25 mile stretches at better than a 9 minute mile from there we will see where goes. I predict I will finish somewhere around 18 hours if most things go right give or take 2 hours.

 Once again any Donations for the 100 mile club will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Donate Here

The race can be followed on twitter at!/100ec

0n 10/22-10/23

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Long Beach Marathon 2011 Race Report

Long beach is my home away from home.

It started way back in 1997 fresh out of high school I was looking for somthing constructive to do with my time.
Perhaps get a corperate job?
No silly!

Play Disc golf.  A hobby quickly became a passion and nearly every spare moment of my time I dedicated to the sport.  
Where was my home  course?
If you guessed Long Beach you get a a Gold star.
(El Dorado to be exact)

Fast foward a few years.
I farted my way through Junior College and it was now time to find a University to move to.  Logically I picked the institution that was closest to the disc golf course.

What University did I choose?
If you guessed CSULB (California State Univercity at Long Beach)  You my friend have earned another gold star. Three semesters later I had my degree but still kept coming back to the city  at least twice a week.

A few years past and then in 2005 after 5 years touring playing disc golf.  I decided to start running again.
With 1 month of Half-Assed training I signed up for the 

Long Beach Marathon

Look at that young heel striker in his Big 5 Saucony specials.

At the time I was  pleased with my result and thought that 3:10 was pretty fast lol. 
Did this race spawn a passion for running?
Nope not yet,

But I did return the next year, this time with zero training.
Big Mistake!
Rookie mistake
I ran hard and was on pace to break three hours for the first time. When at about mile 20 I cramped up.  I can still remember the pain, first the right calf then the hamstring, with in minutes my other leg had also seized up.  I needed to replenish with electrolyres but when I reached out for a drink my arm spasimed coiling back becoming so disabled I couldn't grab water for the final six miles of the race.  Eventually I came to a complete stand still. At the time it was the worst pain I have ever endured. I was hobbling so slow a peg legged pirate could of beat me.  As I approached the final  mile some guy yelped out to me with a very con concerned look.  "Dude Are you okay?"
"Not really." I thought. W which point I looked down at my shirt and saw it covered in blood. (I had no clue).  Eventually I finished the race I wobbled to my car  flicking off my shoes before getting in.  My cramped up body still limited my range of motion and it took me about 10 minutes to contort my body far enough to reach the ground.  
That day really sucked!
However I would learn from my mistakes and soon after running became an integral part of my life.
Blah, Blah, Blah... Enough with the life story.
Last year I was able to garnish free entry to the event but with the injury suffered at the Manhattan 10k the week before I couldn't walk without significant pain.  Desperate to make it happen I even got cortisone shot to see if that could buy me some relief but I didn't.
I would not race (Doh!)
This Year

Well drunk in the beer garden after the MB 10k  I told a bunch of people I would be running Long Beach this year. (I wasn't signed up! My drunk ass was making claims sober Pat would have to back up.)

I made a few calls early in the week to see if I could once again get in for free. It didn't look like it was gonna happen.  I went about my usual routine of running hard each day on the sand. The race was on Sunday the week went by quickly and Friday night I made one last attempt to get in. I really did not think is was gonna happen and I was okay with that. 
Saturday afternoon  I was about to concede my chances of running in the race.  I had just put on my running shorts to go hit the beach for run when I got call telling me if I could make it down to the registration to pick up a bib I was in.
I went and watched my nephews soccer game and then zipped down to the Long Beach convention center to get registered. I was told to find some woman named Leslie.  It turns out she was one one the race directors.
She was a very sweet cute girl that went out of her way to help me out. I am very thankful for her help and impressed with how calm and collected she was the day before her race.

Well as soon as I signed up for the race my left foot began to throb for no apparent reason. (doubt can be very powerful).  What the heck is going on? All of sudden I was hyper aware of everything going on in body.  Did I make the right decision to be running this race?  On October 22nd I will be running in the 100 mile Endurance Challenge that was my real priority. Would I be jeopardizing my health by running Long Beach?

My game plan for the race was simply to listen to my body and if it takes a 4 hour marathon to stay healthy so be it.  This was only my second marathon of the year, with the other being  the L.A fiasco in the rain.  My time at L.A. was pretty lousy yet I had to use as my qualifier for Boston (which I will be running next year).   In order  to get in the front coral I needed to post a time better than 2:55 between now and February and this may be my only opportunity. to do so.
Even though I claim I'm gonna listen to my body. My hearing isn't very good.

The starting line for the race is on about 20 miles from my home I knew traffic would be a pain in the butt.  I left my house at 5 a.m. for a 7 a.m. race start.  I thought I was being pretty safe giving myself 2 hours, I had a  10 minutes to spare when I got to the starting line
I snuck up to the front as far as I could go I had forgot to try and get a little sticker allowing me into the elite coral. (lol oh well)

About 15,000 people were packed in with maybe 11,000 running the 1/2 marathon and about 4,000 doing the full.  So what if 20 halfer's and a hand full of real runners start in front of me
 (like my low blow to the lazy dude's doing 13.1)
I even saw a few familiar faces including Natalie Higley (winner of the Mb10k the prior week)and an Ultra running friend Fabrice Hardel (the shirtless dude on the far right of the picture below).

Can a dude in Luna Sandals really compete with these guys?

I decided to go at at sub six minute pace per mile and see how long I could keep it up.  My P.R. is at exactly 6 min miles and the topography of this course would be much easier.  The first 10 miles of the race both marathoners and people that can only go halfway run together, because of this I had no idea where I was in regards to my competition.  It seemed like I their were about 20 people in front of me and I figured only a handful of them would be running the whole way.
My foot that was bugging me the day before felt great and the Luna Sandals (original Luna's leather lace) felt perfect on my feet.  I hit the 10 mile mark in just under 58 minutes.  I admit I was probably going a little faster than I should but at this point I felt pretty good. Honestly didn't think I was gonna P.R. today feeling that in best case scenario I would run a 2:45 but I also felt that same way last year when I ended up winning Palos Verdes in 2:37 If I was gonna have to start fast and not let up.
Soon after I took turn off and ditched the Halfer's

I went from being surrounded by runner's to being about 200 yards behind my closet competitor.  At this point the race became a lot more fun spectators who'd been standing around for awhile were excited to see some good runner''s a few of them were also excited to see me.  Out of the crowd someone yelled  Go Pat Go, your in 5th place. (I could live with that).  My speed began to slow a little bit but I was still running hard. Just before the halfway point on a there and back portion of the course I caught side of the people in front.  The leader was about 7 minutes in front of me (on pace for a sub 2:20 finish) 2nd  and 3rd were not far behind but 4th looked with in reach. I hit the 13.1 mark on my watch at 1:16.  I was pleased with the way the race was unfolding but I knew there was a long way to go.

Soon after I moved into 4th place but could not keep this pace up for much longer. As we approached my old College my body wasn't feeling all that great.  Surprisingly I was still in 4th place as I ran downhill during mile 18.  I was striking the ground like I weighed 400 lb's, sure I was going fast but my form was getting sloppy. I've learned from experience that this is when injuries occur.  I wasn't gonna win this race and I had nothing to prove by being reckless. I deffinetly could run faster but at this point it was not worth the risk.  
I decided to dial back on my pace, shorten my stride and ran the pace my body wanted to go.

Am I getting smarter or lazier I'm not sure? 
 Honestly I don't really care, it was the right decision.

Just after passing the the 20 mile mark I relinquished my 4th place position.  I was passed by friend Fabrice and was stoked to see him doing well. A few others passed me and during mile 24 the first place woman came screaming by.  She was real sweet gave  me a few words of encouragement. At this point my pace increased maybe a little bit as I enjoyed the view :) 

 By the time the course met back up with the halfer's  (about 2 miles to go) I was moving at snail's pace. Then a familiar  foe set in . My right leg cramped up(Arg). A stupid cramp wasn't gonna stop me at this point.  The pace slowed even more and I was passed by a couple dude's at the last second as I gimped my way to the finish line.  in 2:46 the10th place male and first in my age division.
I didn't really care about my place or exact finishing time.  I had done what I needed to do to increase my seeding at Boston and more importantly my body was still in one piece and I knew I would be running the next day.   Sure I had gone out a little too fast but that's what it would take if  I wanted a new PR but that will have to wait for another day. 
Giving a 100% would have broken me! I was not gonna let that happen and I am very proud of the way I chose to run "my" race.

Well it was Sunday the sun was shining and I was in Long Beach. Here's your last chance to win another gold star.
Guess what I was doing less than 40 minutes after the race?

I headed straight over to  El Dorado Disc Golf Course since I was already in the area.  A few days earlier I was able to play back to back rounds each in under 11 minutes each. This time I played a little bit slower.

All in all it was a pretty good day.

Next up:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hometown fair Manhattan beach 10k 2011

The Manhattan Beach 10k was once the only short race I ran all year back then I really looked forward to it.

 Until last year I had only ran one 5k ever in my life and the only 10k's I ran were Manhattan and Redondo.  Of late I've been able to get into a lot of races for free and have already ran 15 this year of 10k or shorter. As a result they are becoming less fun.

Running short distances is really starting to mess with my mind. Do I taper?
It seems silly for such short distances but if I want to have a chance at winning I should be at my best, right.
 Training on the beach is what keeps me sane and it pains me to take a few days off.

Should I do speed work?
Probably but I aint in no hurry.

Should I listen to the fantom aches and pains  my body? On a normal run I don't find my groove until about the 90 minute mark and if running slow it can take over 2 hours, it's only then that I really feel 100 %. If I listened to every nuance of aggravation I'd become a hypochondriac.

I felt honored to wear the #1 bib.

For last few months my body has pretty much sucked at going fast .  I was the defending champ (that blog post is a much better read) at the race which drew over 3,500 finishers. This year I really had no desire to race for my own accolades. My 9 year old nephew Thomas was running in his 2nd 10k ever and I really wanted  to run with him so he could have some company.
 (maybe next year )

In 2010 the response I got from the citizens on the sideline was mix between astonishment and disbelief that some dude in sandal's was winning.
This time I had the support of the community behind me  (Something that really touches my heart) and if I didn't run I felt like I would be letting them down.  In many people's eyes I was the favorite to win but I new otherwise. (doh) I am much better at playing the role of the under dog.  I didn't real think I had a chance last year either.  I guess I'll  give it my best shot and let the cards fall where they may.
I woke up early race day morning made a smoothie and headed over to my moms house to meet up with my sister and nephews 
3 days before the race my nephew Lucas age 7 decided he wanted to run too.  He had never run over 3 miles and if wants to try and go farther than ever before, I was more than happy to sign him up.  My sister decided to stick with Lucas while Thomas and I ran at our own pace.
We got to the starting line with about 20 minutes to spare.  After chit-chatting with a bunch of random friends and aquaintences I gave my nephews a hug wished them good luck and told them I would be there waiting for them at the finishline.

I take my hat off like a good boy.
 I jumped out fast got in the lead for a few moments.

In case you think this looks like a lot of people starting the race.  The run has two starts, one on Ardmore and one on valley.  All the fast dudes stat on Ardmore.
From the Beach Reporter
By the time we reached the 1/2 mile mark it was clear my best efforts would most likely not be enough
The dude in the yellow I think he's a 21 year old collegiate runner jumped out in front. Never to relinquish the lead.
I got 2 words of notoriety from the Easy Reader

Last year only my friends and family were on the sidelines cheering for me.  (everyone else thought I was a freak).  This year people new the freak was and were rooting for me
 During the first mile I heard at least 10 chants of "Go Pat Go!" and I saw my buddy Tony as well as my Step mother.

I ran the first mile in 5:04 and was already in in about 5th place 7 or so seconds behind the leader.
That pace was too fast for me to keep up with on this day and I started to slow rather quickly running the 2nd mile in 5:18

During mile three I was passed by my ex roommates Husband. (small world) It seems my brain was limiting my ability to go all out.  Last year I suffered an injury that took me out of running for 3 months.  I can no longer afford to run recklessly  and finished the 3rd mile in 5:38 (Maybe my nephew will end up passing me)

During mile four I saw my mom on the sidelines twice as I ran down Ardmore then back up valley.  I gave her a wave and smile. She was disappointed I wasn't in the lead but she new how aggravating the injury was for me last year. mile four was finished in 5:29

By this time it didn't even feel like a race.  Let's hope I can a least hang on an beat the first place woman.  Mile 5 I finished in 5:49 (If I keep slowing down at this rate I probably won't)

Alright time for the home stretch.  Down the final mile along the strand I got a bunch of cheers.  For the entire race I was amazed at how support I got.  Thank you to everyone who had my back.  My performance may have been sub par but encouragement I got helped keep a smile on my face. I ran the final mile in 5:38. 

The winner later told me that he was intimidated by my sandal's before race started. When I jumped out in front to an early lead he decided he needed to take charge and try and hold on.  
(which he did pretty easily)

After I had finished I was met by my body old buddies from pre-school  yes pre-school Dilg left and Tony right .  Tony and I did quick round of collecting race shwag before heading backe to catch more friends finish and eventually my family.

Next up my good Firend Kate Nutting (the bride) of another friend I've had since I was a rug rat. She joined our group to root on nephew's and sister.

More important than the results of the race is the comradery it inspires.
Who really cares what happens in the race (said begrudgingly with a good bit of honesty) It's nice to see old friends and awesome to share the morning with my family.

It was my nephew Thomas's 2nd 10k ever and his first one in MB10k. I headed back about a 1/4 mile from the pier so that I could watch him finish.  After a little while he came moseying along.  When he saw me cheering he busted out into a fast run.  His smile was huge and couldn't resist jumping out on the course to join him.

Way to go Thomas!
It's proven fact that if you run with flames on your shoes and your hands pointed down it's impossible to go slow?
Just before the finish line I headed off to the sideline.
A keen eye will notice me in the background looking like I'm about to eat some asphalt.

About 10 minute's later it was time for my other nephew to finish the race.
Way to go Lucas!
He had no idea what he was getting into.  My sister later told me he was done within the first mile.  Together they walked, ran and skipped their way to the finish line. He was exhausted but he finished and I was proud.

My nephews had soccer games in the afternoon and wanted to go play around at the fair first.  My mom picked us up at the pier we cleaned up at her house and were back in less than an hour.
I've been coming to this fair all my life and it's beautiful to see my nephews having fun the way I once did
All the kid's were jealous of Thomas's Luna Sandals tattoo.
Guess who's nephews were the only 2 kids doing the obstacle course Barefoot?
If you guessed me you were correct.
(what a freaking genius you are, time to pat yourself on the back.)
Water balloon toss
I love them to death but they make a horrible team in an event like this.  Lucas is a really hard thrower and Thomas is a horrible catcher.  They didn't last very long.

My Sister and I also make a horrible team (or so I thought).  We entered the adult division. Eventually we were so far apart my sister had to throw over hand with all her mite.  The water balloon divided into two segments, looking more like a bolas by the time it reached me.  I tried to catch each side with one hand at the same time, my timing needed to be precise but was a little off and ended up soaked with water finishing in second place.  I think my sister was the real winner not only did she stay dry she got to nail her brother with a water balloon.  We also won a free pizza for our efforts.(which I'd gladly trade to soak my sister with another balloon.)

Once the kids bailed I headed over to the adult playground
 I've been comming here since I was old enough to pretend I was 21
The weather was beautiful and I garnished a handful of free drink tickets from a booster.
(good thing I'm not in the NCAA)
What I learned in the beer Garden?
I am pretty damn spoiled by the Stone Breweries. The fizzy yellow beer at the beer garden would suffice while eating food but drinking just to get drunk isn't all that great. Eventually I switched to wine which was a smart/ dangerous solution when then filled my 16oz cup to the top.

Posing with one the best female runners/drinkers in the south bay.
All in all it was pretty good day the weather was beautiful and it was nice to see a bunch of friends.
The next day I came back to check the official results.  I ended up 3rd in my age division and 9th overall.  This year had some of the fastest times in last decade.  For the last few years my sister and I have fared decently in the brother sister division but this year we were a few spots out of placing.

I was a little bummed until I found out my nephew's scored tenth in the Brother /Brother division. Pretty awesome considering they are 7 and 9 years old competing against dudes of all ages.  I was very stoked to  give them their metals later in the week.

For at least 10 of last 14 years I have competed in the ping pong tournament against my good buddy Radke. (I think I play pong about 2 twice a year) Although I rarely see my friend we always seem make it to the fair.  He has maybe 7 wins out 14 years and I think I have 3. Well this year he kicked my butt, but I did win another pizza.  We also competed in the adult obstacle course in which I won lunch at some bar and he won a couple rounds golf.  We decided to share are spoils and had a good Tuesday afternoon.
(where I kicked his butt on the linx)

The Hometown fair and it's 10k have been part of my life as long as long as I can remember.  I'll be back next year.
My best is yet to come!!!