Friday, August 29, 2008

The internet is like a high school girl

Man, gossip travels fast in the interweb! I post last night and when I get to work this AM there are already comments from some super sleuths who've unravelled my little clue. I have to say, though, that I'm no Agatha Christie (couldn't think of a guy who writes mysteries. Who wrote the Hardy Boys novels?). Brian had flat out said that we were thinking of doing the Vegas marathon in his blog post on Wednesday. Next time I try to 'build a mystery' it will have to be a little tougher.
So, yeah, it's about 95% decided that I am going to switch my target race from Seattle to Las Vegas. I think what may have clinched it was the hour that Brian and I spent running in the pouring rain on Thursday morning. Imagine that, but 5 degrees. And windy. That's Seattle.
There's actually a lot of good reasons to consider Vegas over Seattle, precipitation and temperature being a big one! Average highs in Vegas in December are 17 degrees with lows around -2. That's 62 and 29 for those of you south of the 49th. Seattle doesn't get quite as cold, with an average December low of 3 degrees (37F) but it never really warms up either: average high for Seattle in December is a lowly 8 (47F). And let's not forget the precipitation. Any one who's ever grown anything in their garden, be it tomatoes or something more exotic, knows that if you want a plant to grow up nice and green you have to water it. Well, in keeping with today's theme, I'll bet you can figure out the mystery behind why they call Seattle the 'Emerald City'. Yup, it's rain. Lots and lots or rain. No wonder this is the city that brought us the world's most famous hot beverage chain. They average 6.1cm per month in Seattle in December. Compare that to Las Vegas squeezing out an arid 0.3cm PER MONTH. To summarize: Vegas, start cool and dry, finish warm and sweaty. Seattle, start cold and wet, end colder and wetter. Ummmm, right.
After round one we have Vegas 2, Seattle 0.

Plus, the course in Vegas is alleged to be a faster course. Any help in that department is welcomed.
Vegas 3, Seattle 0

Add to that the fact that Lucho is racing Vegas and I would have a chance to actually meet the bringer of the pain instead of just thinking of him as an email address with a beard.
Vegas 4, Seattle 0
And lastly, I have heard rumours of an after race party hosted by a famous reality TV contestant and the chance to win some $$$ racing against his speedy girlfriend.
Frankly I'm starting to feel a little bad for Seattle. It's kinda like picking on the slow kid. Or watching a Canadian boxer in the Olympics.
I'm still shooting to throw down a 3:10 and earn myself a trip to Boston, but it's starting to look more and more like I'm going to do it here:

rather than here:

Vegas, baby. It's on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


After a lot of discussion about whether or not my training would continue, Jamie and I decided that I should continue on with my efforts towards qualifying for Boston. I was really feeling like it was selfish of me to ask Jamie to support me in that goal given everything that's happened but she was quite insistent that I not quit now, with only 14 weeks (yikes) left. She made the great point that probably in a month, or two, or three, when I had healed up a little, I would look back with regret on my decision to stop running. And I think she's right.

With that in mind, and getting closer every day to my goal race (which may be changing!Stay tuned for the official announcement. Let's just say it's a little dryer than Seattle) I figured that I should probably switch over from base building and start adding some faster (relative term!)efforts to my schedule. Problem was, I didn't have any idea how to do that. So, after a couple emails, some begging and a very generous bribe, Lucho agreed to help guide me through the next 14 or so weeks. Just kidding about the bribe. That man has too much character to accept a bribe. All I had to do was ask. And just in time too. I can't tell you how excited I am to have a coach like Tim willing to work with me. This is a fast dude who's just geeked out on running and has some pretty impressive athletes already in the stable, including this California Speedster! I better change it up from FatDad to FastDad if I want to roll with this crew!

To get away from things for a bit, Jamie, Violet and I headed out to Saskatchewan to see Jamie's parents. For those of you who may not have heard of this extraordinary place, I've attached a map. It's the one in red with the creatively drawn borders.

The shape of the province gives you a good idea of what you should expect from Saskatchewan if you should ever go there. If you can imagine what a rectangle would look like if you could turn it into a landscape, you'd get Sask. It's one massive prairie.

Jamie's folks have a 20 acre hobby farm about 20 miles outside of Swift Current in the Southwest corner of the province and it was awesome to get out there and chill for a bit. We stayed a week and the weather was sunny and hot the whole time we were there. Early mornings even on vacation to get some running in before it got too hot.

Trip was good, and it was the first week on the new schedule from Tim. I told him I was looking forward to hurting a little and learned quickly that I need to choose my words more carefully! This definately wasn't base building anymore. 60 mile week and felt great.
One thing about the prairies in the Summer: they are a runners dream. In the morning, I walked to the end of the driveway and looked to the right:

Then to the left:

And off I went. Hundreds of miles of dirt and gravel roads in every direction. Just me, the moose,(yup, two crossed the road about half a mile in front of me. HR spiked up and I was stopped!) the antelopes, the owls, the gophers, the cows, the buffaloes, the falcons, and the grasshoppers. Oh, sweet mother, the grasshoppers. On my Sunday long run I was out for 2:30 and I saw four cars and a tractor. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Heavy Heart

It's been a little while since my last post and I wish that it was just the usual laziness/busyness that has kept me from my computer. Sadly, that's not the case.
As many of you know, Jamie and I were expecting baby #2 in the first week of November. On Thursday August 7th, Jamie had some bleeding so we went to the hospital. When we got there we found out that our baby had passed away. Our son, Oliver, was stillborn at 27 weeks on Friday August 8th at 2:11 am. He weighed just over 2 pounds and was 34cm long.It has been a long hard couple weeks with many more to come. I know this blog is usually a place to post about training but it didn't seem right to not write something about this. Thanks to all our friends and family who have offered support. Your thoughts and prayers have been much needed and appreciated.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back at it!

After a rough week and a half, I'm back at it and feeling good. Two eight mile efforts the last two days and although I can tell my fitness dropped a little and I am still sluggish from being sick, things are definitely on the upswing. My legs were feeling really springy and i couldnt help but add some hard efforts at the end of last nights session. Man, it feels good to run fast. Average HR 144, but I maxxed out during the heavy efforts at 190!
Ran another 2400 meter test and I'll post the results here tomorrow. The numbers were pretty good considering the context of the test. Thanks to Jamie for helping me keep things in perspective! Expect another old school result picture post.

Sent off my registration for the XTC Canada 10K trail race yesterday and I'm stoked to toe the line. September 6th is race day and Brian and I are heading back to pre ride/pre run the course on Monday. Last time we went it was rad and I can't wait to get back there again.