The week that was

A lot of things went on this week, some good some not so good.
For starters, I did not have my name drawn to run the Soulstice Mountain trail race. I am really bummed about this as I was (for some reason) fairly confident that my name would have been drawn. From the numbers of people who put their names in and the ratio of short course to long course in the past I thought that I would be good as I put in for the long course. Oh well, things happen for reasons I guess. I was just really excited to do 11.5 miles starting at 7900 feet and peaking at just under 9000 feet. Maybe next year, or maybe a slot will open from someone who cant do it.

I had a decent but not stellar week of running this week.  I need to get registered for a few races and keep motivated to push my limits.  It is hard to find races in Arizona during the summer due to the heat and race directors not wanting the liability for heat stroke, exhaustion, or even worse…death.  There is a summer series in Flagstaff but many of them are 5 and 10K’s which is a long drive to do 3 or 6 miles.  But there are others including a marathon/half marathon.  And I can always try to get out to California for a race.

Did it really hit 100 degrees on Thursday?  Its only April weather pressure controller people.

I was told that my resume was accepted for a position at work that has opened up.  I am excited for the opportunity to move up and have a job with more responsibility, but that would come at the expense of losing the least stressful, most flexible and self directed job in my organization.  We will see what happens.

In craft beer news, Oskar Blues is really pushing the envelope as they have announced that they will be producing a very limited edition of Twen Teny, a canned beer (as all of theirs are) that will come in at a whopping 20.10% alcohol.  This will be the worlds strongest canned beer!

It is only being sold locally, so that means that I need a huge favor from someone in the Lyons, Longmont, Boulder area as I would pay nicely for a few cans of this shipped to me.

I have discovered that a lot of college radio makes for perfect Sunday morning listening as I drink a coffee and do my required web browsing. Even a small station like KJACK.

In case you are not sure why African distance runners are so good, it may be in their genes.  Check out this video.

In my never ending quest to find new upbeat music to run to I have embraced the world of the mash-up and my current hotness is Girl Talk.  For a sample, watch the video below.

The local triathlon had another disappointing turn out, word is that the even twill not be held here again, which is not a big surprise as the company that pouts it on has moved most all of their races to the east valley.

Lastly but certainly not least, my daughter was chosen to represent her school in the district track meet on the 18th.  She will be running the 100 meters and be one of the relay runners for the 1600.  I hope that she does well. Then it is right back to indoor soccer and then “try-outs” for next years team and the transition to the full field and 11 v. 11 games.

Son’s football games have been fun to watch, he really thinks that he is the next great quarterback for the broncos.

Anyway, that is it for now.  Happy and safe running everyone!


My travels to San Diego

My recent trip to San Diego was filled with the usual assortment of activities at the beach, visiting local attractions, and eating the local cuisine.  I was also able to get in a few good training runs along the coastline which provided a nice, albeit short, change in terrain and temperatures.  With that in mind here are a few observations from my trip.

Running in the San Diego area is ideal, and the reason why I saw so many runners everywhere we went.  Even in laid back Point Loma I saw people out running at all times of the day and night and in all areas of town.

Stone Brewings Smoked Porter is a fantastic beer and would make one heck of a nice ice cream float.  This may be my 4th of July treat, 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, fill the glass with Stone’s smoked porter.

Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA is another very good brew, with a flavor I still can not pin-point, but desire to have again.

Lagunitas Under Cover Shut Down Ale was another great find on this trip.  For a high alcohol content beer (9.7%) it went down very smoothly with minimal aftertaste of the alcohol.  I could drink too many of these too quickly.

The USS Midway tour is worth the money, a great trip back in time on one of America’s most decorated warships.

The Corvette Diner is pretty cool.  I would like to be the DJ there.

Just because you are running near the ocean does not mean that it will be a flat run.  For some reason I was expecting a lot of flat areas to run on even though I have been out there many times before and know that the Sunset Cliffs area varies greatly in altitude change.  I was really winded the 2 times I ran up around Point Loma Nazarene University, but the return trip was awesome.  That area would make for a really nice but challenging 5 or 10K race.

Sea World.  It is fun even though we have been there several times.  This time however was special.  This time while watching the Cirque de la Mur I was picked by the little dude in green to be a participant in the show for a bit.  Thankfully no pictures of that exist. But the guys in the video were impressive.

Italian food made by Asian dudes can be very good.  Just try Rosaria Pizza #4 on Point Loma Blvd.  I thought I had walked into a sushi joint by the décor, but the food was very good and the staff was friendly and helpful as they gave us out of towners some coupons to use.

I would like to get out to the San Diego or Southern California area more often to run some races and hang out, sine we have placed moving to Colorado on hold for now perhaps this can be an option.  Speaking of Colorado the Denver Marathon training is coming along well.  Nothing spectacular but it is coming along.  I am ready to start implementing strength conditioning into my routine and I believe that will be a huge boost in the training as the miles start to get over 50 a week.  They have a spin class that simulates climbing mountains with short sprints mixed in for 60 minutes, which would be the class for me.

I will be running a local 5K on the morning of the 4th of July, promoting my new sponsor Jamba Juice.  If you will be around Rio Vista Park that morning stop by and get some coupons and other Jamba Juice goodies!

I’ll leave with one more picture from San Diego.

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Skirt Chaser 5K Tempe recap

If you haven’t read my earlier post about the race and want to go scientist over my Garmin stats, check this out here:

Ok, so I finally ran a race again.  Someone call CNN, it is a miracle.   It wasn’t my finest effort or even a great effort, but I was out there. Let me say before I get too far out there and forget, many thanks to everyone that sponsored this event as it was a blast. Thank you to the Skirt Chaser series, Oskar Blues Beer (like you haven’t heard me talk of them enough), Chipotle for the free burritos (there are still 3 in my fridge), XOOD sports drink (hook me up and I will gleefully pimp your product as it is very tasty and well made), and power bar for the bags I toted my SWAG around in.

As for the race, it is a good course with a few inclines that I was not expecting. In fact I came into this race with very few expectations as I decided to run this race 3 days before the event, so I was very ill prepared.  Under trained, under hydrated, and still buzzed from a few too many beers the night before.

(The culprit)

If you are not aware of the Skirt Chaser Series, all of the females get a 3 minute head start over the males, trying to make it an even race.  As I was not sure of how well my hip/lower back would hold up and I have not run a race since the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon last May, I started off very slowly with a group that consisted of a few weekend warriors, a few guys in sombreros, and a Cross Fit group that was very excited to be themselves.

We got there early which was good as it gave me plenty of time to get registered and to walk around trying to get the anxiety out of my system.  I think I had so much anxiety built up as I have not “raced” in almost a year, and I had not been doing a lot of quality training. I saw the Oskar Blues bus and wanted to get onboard to sample every can they had, but I did not.

The women had a 3 minute head start over the male, which I could have cared less about, but once they left I was thinking about one thing-how many can I catch.  Once the race got underway I felt surprisingly comfortable with the main group I was pacing with.  It took me about a mile to discover that the group I was with was doing slower than 10 minute miles.  I knew that I did not want to push things due to my hip and back, but I was feeling good and decided to pick it up a bit as long as my body responded well. I was able to get parts of my last mile to around 7:00 minute per mile pace and beat every one of the crossfit group (my real goal once I got to the start line-especially the dude with the bandanna who was apparently bumping into people at the start on purpose).

<Flashback> There are times in life where you look up and realize that there are some in this world who will dominate you no matter how hard you kick it.  One of these moments came for me early in this race. I was running on the left side of Mill Avenue over the bridge when a guy came running directly at us telling us to get over as the lead racers were coming back.  I have been in enough races and seen this scene over and over again where it takes several minutes for the lead racers to actually go past you.  Well on this day those several minutes were actually about 15 seconds as Sally Meyerhoff went blowing by.  I looked at my Garmin 405 and saw that I had eclipsed all of .84 miles.  Yeah, I can admit that.  She was less than a mile from the finish and I had yet to settle in with my pace.  Sally by the way, has won the last 2 (now 3) Skirt Chaser 5K’s in Tempe.

As for the rest of the race, I felt good for the most part.  I stopped for a drink at the turnaround point as I was so dehydrated.  Thankfully the person handing out cups felt my pain as they gave me a Dixie cup with about .80 ounces of water in it. There were a few decent uphill portions of this race, but most were followed by decent down hills.  When I got to where I could see the 3 mile sign I decided that my body felt well enough to where I could let it rip and see how many folks I could go by.  In the end I think I passed around 100 females, and felt really strong at the finish.  Having perfect hindsight, I think that I could have kept the motor hovering around 8:30 pace for the entire race…but whatever-I don’t own Madden street race ’10.

Again, thanks to all of the sponsors for making this race so much fun, I highly recommend doing one of these events if they are in your area this year. Maybe you can get some cool Oskar Blues necklaces as finisher’s medals!

Now my next big goal is to lay off the beer for a few weeks, then rip up about 10 miles per day in Sedona February 26th thru March 2nd.

And if all works well, soon I will be training and living near the US Olympic training Center in Colorado Springs!  But that is another post.

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More beer info, Draft Magazine’s The Big Pour

After the successful Brewfest in Tempe last weekend now we have Draft Magazines “The Big Pour” coming to Scottsdale. 2 of my favorites will be there.  Great Divide brewing will be there with their oak barrel aged Yeti (one of best beers ever) and Oskar Blues will be there with the magical TenFidy stout.

It is $10 for 8 pours Thursday and Friday, Saturday is $35 for 15 pours.  And if you are a high roller a VIP pass is $75 for all 3 days and access to brewing seminars and tastings not open to the public.  If this is just the VIP area, it might be worth the price.

Here is a sampling of some of the beers available in the VIP area of the main event:

  • Green Flash Hop-less
  • Alpine Brewing Pure Hoppiness
  • Alpine Brewing Willy
  • Alpine Brewing Duet
  • Alpine Brewing Captains Stout
  • Alpine Brewing Alpine Ale
  • Pizza Port/Carlsbad Twerp
  • Pizza Port/Carlsbad Chronic
  • Pizza Port/Carlsbad Good Grief Charlie Brown
  • Pizza Port/Carlsbad Plant to Pint Freshhop
  • Dogfish Palo Santo
  • Deschutes Red Chair
  • Deschutes Hop Trip
  • Full Sail Keelhauler
  • Full Sail Lumplin Fresh Hop
  • Affligem Triple Noel (Keg)
  • Great Divide Oak Barrel Aged Yeti (Keg)
  • Alesmith Grand Cru
  • Anderson Valley Winter Soltice
  • Bear Republic Racer 5
  • Eel River Acai Berry
  • Moylans White Xmas
  • Moylans Hopsickle
  • Avery Czar (Keg)
  • Avery Collaboration
  • Nogne-O Dogges Sahti
  • Fantome Noel
  • Mahrs Christmas
  • Cantillon Kreik
  • Sint Peters XMAS Zinnebeer
  • Schneider Brooklyn Hopfen Weiss
  • Redstone Nectar of the hops
  • Augustijn (Keg)
  • Petras Aged Pale
  • Blanche Des Moines
  • Scaldis Noel
  • Triple Karmeliet
  • Meantime Coffee Porter
  • Kwak (Keg)
  • Urthel Hopit
  • Sinnebrychoffs Porter
  • JW Lees Harvest Port
  • Oude Beersel Kreik
  • St Bernardus Abt 12
  • Silly Scotch
  • Silly Saison- (Keg)
  • Petrus Winter Ale
  • DeDolle Teve
  • Hebrew R.I.P.A.
  • Breckenridge Vanilla Porter
  • Breckenridge 471 Small Batch IPA
  • Hitachino Nest White
  • Harviestoun Ola Dubh 12
  • Flying Dog Wild Weizen
  • Great Divide Hoss
  • Lefthand Smoke Jumper
  • Oskar Blues TenFidy (cans)
  • Ska Modus Hoperandi (cans)
  • Ska Euphoria (cans)
  • Port Brewing Santas Little Helper
  • Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi
  • Lakefront Pumpkin (Keg)
  • Papago Oude Zuipers
  • Sonoran Cordeilla Blanca
  • McChouffe
  • Cucapa Barleywine
  • Cucapa Chucacabras (cans)
  • Steigl Pils
  • Bruery Saison Rue
  • New Belgium LaFolie
  • New Belgium Transatlantic Kreik

Who has $75 to loan me?

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