All Posts Tagged “Running”

Race Day: Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco Field!

Today I went and ran around inside/on Safeco Field for the third annual Refuse to Abuse 5K that’s hosted by the Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Stephanie and I ran in this race last year, too; it’s a lot of fun. Unfortunately, Stephanie has been dealing with a wonky left ankle for the past few weeks, so she didn’t run, but she still went down and walked the course.



Decked out in my finest neon. There were more than 1,300 runners/walkers and many more spectators.

Before the race, a bunch of pop music was being played (blasted) to help people get “pumped up”. Starbucks also had a booth where you could grab some water or a cup of their lukewarm Passion tea (blech). There were also a few activities for the “kids”. A station was set up with a bunch of markers and construction paper, where you could make encouraging signs to cheer people on. There was also a speed pitch booth, and the Mariner Moose was going around giving hugs and high-fives.

Mariners5k2014_pitchspeedThrowing a squishy, Nerf baseball a whopping 43 miles per hour. I’m a regular Jamie Moyer.

This year, the race was held a little later in the evening (@ 7pm) so it wasn’t as hot/sunny, which was nice. Unfortunately, it was way more humid. Blergh. Also, because there were more runners this year, they implemented a staggered start, releasing waves of ~100 people every 30 seconds, so I only got stuck behind slow pokes a few times. I hadn’t been training very well the last few weeks because I’ve been sick and it’ s been SO HOT, so I ended up running pretty slowly; my time wasn’t great, but it was still fun.

Mariners5k2014_MoosePosing with a 2-D Mariners Moose after finishing the race (image quality courtesy of Stephanie’s iPod).

After the race, we returned home, showered, changed, and went to a new wood-fired pizza restaurant just down the road. It just opened last month and we wanted to check it out. I got a small Caesar salad (which had a deliciously tangy dressing, but didn’t come with croutons??); a happy hour, personal pepperoni pizza (meat #34); and a pint of some local American amber. We were also able to catch the end of the Mariners game, and watch them beat the Angels in extra innings. Woo!

Mariners5k2014_goodiesRace day goodies.

Speaking of the Mariners… I’ve recently been given the opportunity start writing for Lookout Landing, the SBNation blog that covers the M’s. Earlier this week, they posted that they were looking to add an additional writer; I thought that that sounded really neat, so I sent them some writing samples and a resume, and they offered me a job on Wednesday. My first post went up yesterday morning and it was received pretty well. Also, Lookout Landing is currently the most popular blog among all of the baseball blogs on SBNation (I think it averages ~25,000-30,000 site views a day), so having the chance to write for them is not not a big deal. I’m excited!

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Miles run in 2014: 177.5
Books read in 2014: 48

Running Update: July 2nd

The year is halfway over!

I’ve done a good job with many of my 2014 “resolutions” (eatin’ less meat, writing more often, and reading tons o’ books), but unfortunately I’ve fallen dramatically behind on my running goals (~100 miles behind!). After two months of consistently running three times a week, my knee started feeling a little twingey, and it got a bit too easy to skip out on a run. Womp. I have been feeling better recently, and although I did run significantly further/more often in June (compared to May), my initial goal of 544 miles in 2014 is probably (realistically) out of reach. But that’s okay. I’ve certainly run more than I did last year, and I (almost always) enjoy it, so I’ll keep at it. I think my new goal will be to run at least as far in the second half of this year as I did in the first, which makes my new target… 336 miles! That’ll only get me from Oberlin to Alfred back to Salamanca, but it’ll still be more than three times as far as I ran in 2013.

running July 2I’m about to cross Chautauqua Lake! This was ~my favorite part of the drive between Oberlin & Alfred.

In other running news, Stephanie and I recently signed up to participate in the Refuse to Abuse 5K race at Safeco Field. This event raises money for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (a wonderful, thoughtful organization). We participated last year, too, and it was a lot of fun. The course loops around the outside of the stadium, goes up and down some of the ramps and along the concourses inside Safeco, and then finally circles the warning track (on the field!) to finish near third base. My finishing time last year was 25 minutes + 24 seconds. Unless it’s crazy hot/crowded, I should definitely be able to shave at least a minute off of my time this year. I guess I’ll say that my goal is to break 24 minutes, but when I set running goals for myself they don’t really seem to pan out… we’ll see!

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Miles run in 2014: 167.9
Books read in 2014: 43

Ultimate Frisbee and (Lack of) Running

The observant blog-follower will likely have noticed that I haven’t been running much over the past five or six weeks. This is due in large part to the fact that my left knee feels kinda wonky after I run sometimes. It doesn’t hurt, but it does feel kind of… sensitive? This has led me to become almost hyper-aware about the smallest little knee pain/twinge, and I feel fairly anxious when I’m running. I don’t want to explode my leg so I’ve been trying to take things a bit slower and limit my runnin’ until my knee decides to stop being dumb. I also bought a small knee brace, which I think has helped. In any case, I’ve felt much better on my runs lately.

The other reason I’ve stopped running three times a week is that I’ve been playing Ultimate since the beginning of April. We have games every week, and I’ve essentially been substituting a Frisbee game for a run. Unfortunately, our last game of the season was today (sad).

Seven on the line UltimateIt was very bright today. Here we are waiting for a pull and staring right into the sun.

Despite playing quite well during the regular season and earning a #6 seed (out of 30 teams), we got a tough draw in the second round of the playoffs. We were matched up against the champions from last year, and they beat us tonight. This is particularly frustrating because they were also the team that knocked us out of the postseason a year ago! Boo. We didn’t play particularly well (people looked kinda tired), but it was still fun.

Ultimate Frisbee Deep HuckAction shot! I’m about to throw it super far to the guy runnin’ deep all the way on the right.

Anyway, now that Frisbee is over and my knee is feelin’ ~better I reckon I’ll start running more consistently. Hooray!

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Miles run in 2014: 142.3
Books read in 2014: 34

Race Day: Seahawks 12K Run!

Today was the Seahawks 12K run. It was amazing! But also not so great in that my time was kinda slow. Earlier, I mentioned some goals… but then I got a little hurt a month ago and took some time off and never really quite got back to where I was in mid-February. I peaked too soon! Anyway, I was hoping for a pace a bit below 8 min + 43 sec/mile but I ended up running 8 min + 51 sec/mile. I guess this isn’t toooooo much slower, and conditions weren’t quite ideal, but I’m still somewhat disappointed. No (imaginary) medals for me this race! Oh well.

group photo 12kPre-run group photo: some of us ran a 12K, some of us ran a 5K. The little guy ran a 0.4K (he crushed it).

Despite my somewhat lousy time, the race was still a lot of fun. We lucked out with the weather; it was warm and sunny and beautiful. The course starts at The Landing shopping center (in Renton) and goes up along Lake Washington (providing some fairly picturesque views) to the Seahawks training facility. You run around the facility, right by the training fields, and then back to where you started (it was an out-and-back race). The race was actually a touch more than 12 km… I think it was about 12.3 km. That disparity might not sound particularly significant, but when you’re running on the course it certainly FEELS like a big difference.

The only semi-bad thing about this race was the number of people who ran in it. There were ~4,000 participants at this event last year (combined, for the 5K and 12K races). But this year, because the Seahawks just won the Super Bowl, the number of folks who signed up increased to 12,000! And ~6,000 of those participated in the 12K. This 300% spike in attendance resulted in some serious foot traffic… Although they tried to stager the start by releasing people in waves, this was largely unsuccessful. The last wave (which I was in) probably had ~3,000 people in it. It was nuts! The route was super congested for the first FOUR miles. This was kind of okay in that weaving your way through the crowd feels a little bit like a game and ~distracts you from the fact that you’re running for an hour. Also, you feel super cool when you’re passing a bunch of people. Unfortunately, all that swervin’ around does add some distance to your run and can tucker you out a little bit faster. There were also several instances where I got kinda boxed in all sides and just had to go slow for awhile.

action shot 12kAction shot! Sprinting to the finish line. (I look so good!)

Another factor that threw me off a little was the fact that, for all of my practicing, I’ve been running at night. The last four months I’ve generally been out when temperatures were near 40 degrees (which I think is very comfortable). Today, it was ~55 degrees at 9 am when the race started. And sunny! It turns out that this ~15 degree difference is fairly significant… I was so hot! Between miles five and six there was a not small hill that we had to run up; I got super light-headed and I think I slowed down quite a bit (because I didn’t wanna tip over). I think that this stretch, in combination with the congestion, is probably what stopped me from achieving my time goal. But the dizzy feeling only lasted about ten minutes. Otherwise, I felt pretty okay today during the run. My hip and knee were (relatively) pain free.

post run 12kPost-run pictures are sweatier than pre-run pictures.

After we finished, I crushed some Clif bars and a banana. I don’t generally like any kind of “energy” bar, but the stuff they were handing out today was delicious and tasted like Thin Mints. After we hobbled around in the finisher’s area for a little bit, we went and grabbed brunch at the Whistle Stop Ale House (a small restaurant nearby in Renton). I got some huevos rancheros. They were tasty. Now I’m gonna hang out on the couch and read/watch baseball! Today was a good day.

*Thanks again to Stephanie for taking pictures! She was going to participate in the 5K, but shin splints have disrupted her runnin’ lately… however, she was nice enough to still attend as a spectator/photographer.

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Miles run in 2014: 124.3
Books read in 2014: 25

Running Update: March 12th

So my left knee has been hurting/feeling a little weird since I did my 9+ mile run back on March 1st. I’ve been trying to take it a little slow since then by running less often/less far, but my knee still feels twingey sometimes when I’m walking around.  I’m going to be on vacation soon for a week and a half, so I think I’ll take a brief running hiatus until I get back home (March 25th). Maybe a two week break will make things feel better. I hope so!

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Miles run in 2014: 96.4
Books read in 2014: 20