Monday, November 29, 2010

New Contests

Looks like Donald over at Running and Rambling is starting a month of contests. His first giveaway is a pair of VivoBarefoot Evo IIs - Pretty spendy minimalist shoes, so get over there and take a look!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Scheels Turkey Trot

When I looked at the weather on the computer this morning, it told me that it was currently ten degrees, with a low of sixteen for the day. Not sure how that works - but it sure didn't stop a whole slew of people from coming out for the 2010 Scheels Turkey Trot.

People parking, checking in and milling around trying to stay warm were greeted by a hot air balloon. Can't imagine what the temperatures where like up there, because everyone on the ground was freezing.

I took a little warm-up jog, and couldn't decide if it was better to stand still with my hands in my armpits of run around and create my own wind. Pretty soon it was time to get corralled up:

They let the mayor of Sparks do the countdown, and he gave a strange little "On three - One, two three..." Everyone hesitated a sec, then started running. The first mile or so out of the Legends parking lot was still pretty cold - I had almost a brain freeze/ice cream headache - but then we settled into a pace and warmed up in the sun. When I hit the first mile marker, though, my watch read .8, which was when I realized that something might be fishy with the course.

Now, about a month ago, Scheels ran the Spark-a-delic 10K, which they billed as being a preview of the Turkey Trot course. It clocked as right at 6.2 miles for me, so I was optimistic that the distance and timing issues that I've had at the Sparks and Scheels races might be diminishing.

The course continued further out along Brierly Way than the Spark-a-delic course had, but then didn't do the out-and back on Lillard Drive to the north of Lillard. Instead, it headed right back west on Lillard and hopped on the bike path. At the intersection with Sparks and Springland, there was a funny spur loop that only added a couple blocks, but served to tie up that big intersection.

Obviously, I'm not a race director, and I don't know what kind of decisions go into making changes to the course like this. Changes don't bother me at all, either, except when they do something like this - make the course a whole half mile shorter. Yep, at the end, my watch read 5.78 miles for a 10K, and I saw a couple other people's watches that read the same. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed.

Despite thinking I might try to break 50:00 today, my training has been going well, and I thought I had a shot to get nearer 45:00 for a 10K. So my watch time of 41:47 didn't help me with that - until I figured out that was a 7:14 mile average. Thanks to's pace calculator, I see that's a 44:56 10K time. So I'm going to call this a successful race, despite the course.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cold Turkey Run

Yesterday morning came early with about an inch of snow here in Reno, although none of it stuck to the roads. Nonetheless, it was a bit of a slippery drive down to Carson city for the Cold Turkey Run, the first in the Winter Trail Series. My wife and kids dropped me off at the start, and went and hung out with the grandparents while I was running.

The minute I hopped out of the car, a couple of people said hi - I swear, I seem to know more runners down here than I do at the Reno races. But I got signed in, dropped some stuff back at the car, managed to get my bib on right-way up on the second try, and lined up just in time for a quick briefing:

For some reason, it hadn't even occurred to me to think about what the course would be like. I had just thought "four mile trail run, no problem." I should have realized that this was pretty much all on the Escape from Prison Hill course - but with a bit of a climb to get up to it! Seriously, the first mile and a half was a 625 foot climb. I had to resort to my long-legged uphill walking pace more than a few times.

Had a bit of an issue with my Garmin somewhere in here - the GPS stopped recording right at the two mile mark. Later, I figured out what had happened - my long-sleeve t-shirt had triggered the bezel, getting into the GPS menu and setting the GPS to OFF. Guess I'll have to start locking the bezel now when I'm running with a long-sleeve shirt. At any rate, I now unfortunately don't have a course map or elevation profile to show you. Got the first two miles, at least - with the time data from the whole course. Maybe next year.

Once the course mellowed out a bit, I actually thought about taking some pictures. There was a lot of this, looking out over Carson City:

(My cell phone camera took a few of these weird stretched pictures. Anyone know why this happens? Is it because I was moving while taking it?)

Around the back side of Prison Hill, I tucked in behind Abbey and Shannon, two of the ccrunners that had come down to run the Fall Colors course a few weeks ago. I somehow managed to stay with Abbey, but Shannon kind of disappeared, especially on the downhill -

We finally crested the hill and retraced our route back down. I had to put the camera away then, because while the footing wasn't too bad, you really had to pay attention between the snow and rocks and stuff. Pounded back down to the start area in just under 45:00.

I wanted to get a bit of a longer run in, so after milling around and having some water, I headed out to run to my in-laws house on the other side of Carson. It was still a beautiful morning, and after about 5.5 miles, I reached their house. A few of the other runners that were training for a the Death Valley Marathon headed out south to add some more miles to their days.

So, a really fun race and a great start to the Winter Trail Series. I hope to get down to most of these, to run with a bunch of cool people and learn some more of the trails around Carson City. Thanks to Ascent Physical Therapy and everyone else who was out there putting this on - it was a blast.

And race results are up -

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hood to Coast Movie coming to Reno

For those of you who have done relays like Hood to Coast, the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey or the Lake Tahoe Relay, or are even curious about them, the Hood To Coast movie is going to be a do-not-miss event. It'll be at the Summit Sierra one night only - Tuesday, January 11, 2011. Here's a link to buy tickets, and a couple of teaser trailers to whet your appetites.

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer #2 for Race Website from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Marathon contest

It looks like our local paper, the Reno Gazette-Journal, is hosting a pretty cool contest. Open to people who are looking to run their first marathon, the prizes include an entry to the 2011 Rock-n-River Marathon, shoes from Eclipse Running, a training program through Reno Running and Fitness, and other stuff from Whole Foods, Scheels, European Fitness and Vitamin World. They'll follow the winner's progress in a blog and in the newspaper. If you're in Reno and looking to run your first marathon, definitely take a look at this.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Donner Lake Turkey Trot

Another fun race at the Donner Lake Turkey Trot. As much of Team Library Dork as could be mustered (Amber, Dave and I ) trekked up past Truckee - a little early, as it turned out. We somehow got ourselves up there at 9:15 for a 10:30 race, which made for some standing around time, as we aren't much for warm-ups. But we made the most of it, joking around and taking pre-race photos:

Before the 7 mile main race goes, they send the kids out for the "Mashed Potato Mile." Love watching these kids sprint out of the start, then come wheezing in a few minutes later -

Dave, is that a kid in a Bulldogs sweatshirt right in the middle? Didn't hear you cheering... ;)

I'd only run this race last year, and then they'd switched the course around to run counter-clockwise because of some icy conditions. this year they ran it the regular way, which put the hilly section first, and ended with a flat 3.5 miles heading back west to the beach. I pushed a little on the hills, and felt pretty good. After looping through the park at the east end of the lake, I fell in behind a fast older guy with a dog. I tried to stick with his pace, and ended up staying with him right until the finish, with a time of 53:30 - knocking about 4 minutes off last year's time.

Oh, funny thing about this race - I forgot my Garmin at home, and did the while thing pretty blind as to pace or timing, just on feel. Kind of a fun way to run for a change, but of course I don't have any pretty graphics of the course to put up here.

The other thing I forgot was the case that I carry my phone/camera in sometimes, and so didn't have that on course with me either. I grabbed it out of the car quickly after I finished, though, and was back in time to see Amber finishing:

Glad her knee didn't bother her too much today. Dave came through for the fist bump pretty soon after:

We hung around for the raffle afterwards - lots and lots of numbers were called, but the only one of ours was Dave's. All the yummy pumpkin pies were gone, so he ended up with a t-shirt. We also imposed on some poor guy to take post-race pictures of us with all our cameras:

We then called Gretchen to meet us over at FiftyFifty Brewing on the other side of town for lunch. Might have to find a new post race spot - despite being nice people, having good food and some pretty decent beers, we've had terrible luck with the service there. Lunch today was just a waiting game, and I ended up eating late enough that I'm not gonna be hungry for dinner.

But all in all, a great day out racing. Thanks everyone!

Race results posted here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looking Forward to Turkey - Trots!

Tis the season for Turkey Trots! A few good ones coming up around here in the next couple weeks.

Coming up first, this Sunday the 14th, is the Donner Lake Turkey Trot. Team Library Dork made a good showing at this race last year, and I like the small-race atmosphere. Interesting distance, too - a 7-mile loop around the lake. At least a couple of us should show up for it this year.

The Saturday after that, the 20th, is the Cold Turkey Run in Carson City - a 4-mile trail race. This is the first run in the Winter Trail Series in Carson, put on by Ascent Physical Therapy. Some of the Carson City Runners that I ran with last weekend turned me on to this series, and it sounds like a good deal, and pretty fun. I have a PDF of the race info and registration, and I've put it on the race calendar, but I can't find where it's available online. So, if you're interested, I can send info, or contact Ascent at the link above. The forms are available on the "Race Training Groups" page at Ascent's website.

The BIG Turkey Trot around here is, of course, the Sparks event - now apparently called the Scheels Turkey Trot. It looks like they've retained the same "wings" logo and the sweatshirt giveaway, but have moved the course slightly to the Legends parking lot in front of Scheels. I previewed the course a couple weeks ago at the Spark-a-delic 10K.) Much bigger turnout here than those other two races - So lots of walkers to dodge and people to chase. But it's usually a big, fun party.

Hope to see people out at some of these!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Route retracing

So, last Sunday I did get out and spend my free Daylight Saving Time hour (and then some) running. Team Library Dork met up with the Carson City Runners in Galena, at the Fall Colors Half Marathon course. Some people who were training for a trail marathon wanted to get a 13 mile day in, while others did a shorter hilly out-and-back. Weather was chilly and drizzly, but in never rained as hard as it had during the actual race a few weeks earlier. Here are a few pictures from the run, there are a bunch more at Picasa.

Airplane turns!

I guess it's a measure of what a good time I had that, as I was driving home, I thought "Well, the weather couldn't have been much better." This on a Sunday that was drizzly and in the 40's, the day after a Saturday that was sunny and 71. But great company will do that. Thanks to all that came out -

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What to do with your extra hour this Sunday

Fall is my favorite time of the year - crisp temps, sweatshirt-and-shorts weather, changing colors, the hint of snow in the air. Of course, some people's favorite part of the season is that extra hour they get to spend in bed on the weekend that Daylight Saving Time ends.

I'd like to offer a better idea with what to do with your "extra" hour this Sunday:


Seriously, if you're reading this, you probably would rather be out there running anyway, so consider this a challenge: Try to get out there for the whole hour that we're "falling" back. I'm sure going to try, probably somewhere down near the Fall Colors half marathon course from a couple weeks ago. Hope I see some of you out there!