Dawg Dash (or Huskies don’t know what “10K” means)

Yesterday I ran the Dawg Dash put on by the UW Alumni Association. It was a joint 10K run and a 5K run/walk. I was going for the 10K run, along with Jeff, Jonobie, and Adam. Jess and Kaitlin did the 5K walk. Zach was slated for the 10K but wasn’t feeling well.

It was a sea of purple. Lots and lots of purple. Just last Thursday I was bemoaning that I didn’t own a purple shirt to wear for Spirit Day and thanks to the race swag, I now own one. I, however, showed up in a red shirt not at all thinking about the UW / WS rivalry. Whoops!

It was slightly overcast and earlier it had rained making for a wet route, but overall it was perfect running weather. The 10K and 5K racers all started out together. Jeff and I started out in the 7- to 8-minute mile pace group and maybe for the first time in a race people were pretty accurate: we didn’t have to dodge people who were obviously overly-optimistic about their pace time.

The course itself was very pretty and winded through the UW campus. I’d never been to the UW campus before and was impressed with all the green and the architecture. I was distinctly unimpressed with the hills (my glutes are killing me today). The course was odd as towards the beginning it doubled back on itself with signs to stay left on the first pass and right on the second then the 5K and 10K separated, then later joined back together, separated again after running down a short set of stairs (on which I almost bit it as I hit the split wide, planted my foot to aim for the other route, and watched my right floot slide 3 feet on the wet concrete before catching myself), and joined back together before crossing the finish line.

All of this joining and splitting must have confused the poor Husky race designers, because the 10K wasn’t the expected 6.2 miles. Instead it was somewhere around 5.75 miles. The official results were reported assuming a 5.77 mile course although given they don’t know how the course got shortened, I’m not sure there’s a lot of confidence that is the right distance.

I didn’t do as well as I wanted (which was to maintain my best 5K time of a 7-minute mile or 43 minutes for a 10K; 40 minutes for 5.77 miles) but considering the course was much hillier than any of my other training runs, my finish was pretty respectable:

  • time: 43:43
  • pace: 7:35
  • 199th overall (out of 1372)
  • 46th in my division: Males 30-39 (out of 196)
  • 158th in my gender (out of 635)

For this distance, this is a new personal record. I feel confident that I could have maintained that pace for the last 0.43 miles of a real 10K, so I’m marking this up as an overall success.

Congrats to Jeff, Jonobie, Adam, Jess, and Kaitlin for finishing and thanks to Chris for coming out to cheer me on!

Maybe next year those Huskies will learn what “10K” actually means.

ADC: AT&T Marathon

Tomorrow is the AT&T Marathon, and we’re not running it.

After not training for the past couple of months and after already being out of the ADC due to us not running the 3M Half Marathon, we had originally decided to just run half of the AT&T Marathon. We’d been talking about it for a week or so but decided for certain just 5 hours after the cutoff to switch from the full to the half. Not that we needed their permission to stop half way through the full race so that wasn’t a problem. Far better to just run the half marathon and feel good about it than run half of it and be miserable for the second half.

Fast forward to today when Benjamin has come down with some bronchial junk. He’s been coughing up crud since yesterday afternoon. (We’re guessing this latest illness is courtesy of the new FSR at the bank who was coughing all week long. Just another 1.5 weeks and we won’t have to worry about the bank again.) We’re both taking this as a sign that we’re simply not suppose to run the race tomorrow. Are we giving up? Probably, yes – but you know, I’m really OK with that. Ever since B applied to J&W in November, and got accepted in December, and started taking certification classes in January, we’re been going at a full tilt. It’s no wonder we are both frequently exhausted and stressed. I’m hoping things will get a little closer to normal come March 1st when Benjamin is no longer working.

We’ll be cheering for Matt () even if that means we’ll be doing so virtually if we can’t make it down to the race itself. Go Matt, go!

ADC: 3M Half Marathon

Yesterday was the 3M Half Marathon, the 6th race in the Austin Distance Challenge and we didn’t run it.

Saturday early afternoon we went downtown and picked up our racing packets. Man – 3M sure knows how to pile stuff into those bags! That night Benjamin was having massive stomach issues, reminiscent of those that almost put him in the ER about a month ago. We set our alarms in the hopes he would be better Sunday morning.

Sunday morning he was better but not in a position to run a mile, much less 13. I put him back to bed and decided what I should do. Could I run? Physically, yes. Should I? B and I agreed from the beginning that we would run the races as a team, to the point of slowing down for the other person during a race if they weren’t up to snuff. I also knew that if I went and ran the race, B would understand but be really bummed. After weighing everything I opted not to run and thus have both of us forfeit the ADC for this year.

B felt almost back to normal Sunday evening. The last time he got his acid reflux prescription filled they gave him the generic form of his usual meds and he’s been having some issues ever since then. We’re thinking Sunday’s episode may have been related.

None of it is Benjamin’s fault, obviously, but to be honest, I’m bummed. I keep asking myself “did we give up too easily? should we have tried to run it anyway?” Looking back on it I can say I would make the same decision so I suppose that says something.

The next race in the ADC is the Freescale Marathon. We’re still hoping to run it.

ADC: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s

Benjamin and I finished the the fourth race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) today. In truth, we were both idiots for running it given how we felt just a few days earlier.

Wednesday evening Benjamin’s stomach was being odd. Things must have gotten worse overnight ’cause he called me just as I was leaving the gym on Tuesday morning (I leave the house around 5:30am so he was still asleep when I left) asking me to work from home as he was feeling really bad. He was throwing up and having diarrhea attacks every five minutes or so with major periodic stomach cramps thrown in for good measure. We ruled out food poisoning since he and I had the exact same thing for dinner Wednesday night and I felt fine. At 1:30pm when we couldn’t get him to keep anything down I called and got him an appointment with our PCP, Dr. Steve Loeschen, for 2:20. The doctor took one look at him, asked a few questions, and said ‘we need to get some fluids into you or I’m sending you to the ER’. Yikes. Dr. Loeschen tried to start a saline IV but was unable to do so (said he only starts an IV once every two years or so) and said that he could either give B an anti-nausea med and B would have to rehydrate orally or he could send us to the ER. B opted for the anti-nausea meds and we went home to gradually bring him back to normal. By Friday evening he was feeling well enough to eat a full meal although he still looked pale. Saturday morning he felt back to normal, enough that he went to work in the morning and went shopping with Nicole that evening. As a side note, Dr. Loeschen is awesome and I would recommend him to anyone. While in his office he gave us his after-hours pager in case things got worse. He called Thursday evening and again Friday afternoon to check on Benjamin and see how he was doing.

I, on the other hand, came down with something Thursday evening. No clue what it is/was (still note quite over it). It may be allergies, which would be reasonable given the massive cold front that blew in on Thursday, or it could have been a bug of some kind. Regardless, it was a nose/respiratory issue which comes free with a hacking cough, runny nose, sore throat, and feeling like blah. I felt ‘ok’ but not actually well Saturday night and this morning but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a respiratory problem stop me from missing a race and thereby forfeiting the distance challenge! (Insert: you’re an idiot here.)

The weather today was cold (in the mid to upper 30s) and windy. Between the cold wind, airborne allergens, and my compromised respiratory system it was a very hard and painful race. We had to stop and walk at least every other mile for many yards – sometimes at every mile. Once I got into the flow around mile 4 things seemed to improve a bit but I felt like I was only able to make use of 50% of my lung capacity. To make it all worse, the last 0.25 mile, when I could see the finish line, I got a major, almost incapacitating, stitch in my side that B encouraged me through (poor B, I don’t think he’s ever heard me cuss like that in quite some time!) B on the other hand, felt pretty good. He had some knee and hamstring pain in the last mile of the race but otherwise felt pretty good. He was a phenomenal encourager to me through the entire race and I couldn’t have made it to the finish line without him.

In short, we really shouldn’t have raced but we did at my insistence. We’re both really glad to have completed it (and with a time that isn’t too shabby either!) but if we had to do it over again knowing how I would feel — I’d say screw it.

On the positive side of things, B and I individually confirmed how we need to dress for this kind of weather – something we didn’t do right last year in the marathon. The race itself was much better coordinated than it was last year. Parking went smoother, the race started on time (neither early or late), the route was improved (no out-and-back), they didn’t run out of sports drink afterwords, and leaving the venue was simple due to how the course was set up (no need for cars to dart through runners to leave the parking lot). Minus the health issues and the wind (neither of which are really controllable) the race was great.

Race: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s

Overall position 803 out of 1238
Class position (M 25-29) 51 out of 67
Chip time 1:58:50.3
Pace 9:41/M


Overall position 802 out of 1238
Class position (M 20-24) 19 out of 21
Chip time 1:58:50.1
Pace 9:41/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 8:32/M
2 9:14/M
3 9:29/M
4 9:37/M
5 10:32/M
6 10:11/M
7 9:51/M
8 8:42/M
9 10:10/M
10 9:29/M
11 9:25/M
12 9:30/M
12.4 9:15/M

Next race: ARA 20 Miler – January 7th

ADC: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon

Benjamin and I finished the the third race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) last Sunday (Nov 12). The weather was nice although we over-dressed for it (at least I did). The weather was cold in the morning when the race started but warmed up after the sun rose. Luckily, there was no wind.

B and I felt pretty good at the end. B’s knees were hurting him a bit which mirrors the longer runs last year too. We’re going to have to figure out how to fix them, and soon.

Race: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon

Overall position 1036 out of 1778
Class position (M 25-29) 64 out of 99
Chip time 2:05:33
Pace 9:35/M


Overall position 1035 out of 1778
Class position (M 20-24) 27 out of 38
Chip time 2:05:33
Pace 9:35/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 8:54/M
2 8:40/M
3 9:27/M
4 9:19/M
5 8:00/M
6 11:22/M
7 10:12/M
8 9:18/M
9 8:58/M
10 10:20/M
11 8:44/M
12 9:39/M
13 10:04/M
13.3 11:59/M

Next race: ARC Decker Challenge 20K by Hoover’s – December 3rd

ADC: Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler

Benjamin and I finished the the second race of the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) today. This one was the Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler which replaced the Pervasive 10 Miler from last year. The weather was cold which wouldn’t have been so bad except there was a 15 to 20mph head wind at the start of the race. The wind died down a bit when the sun came up but when we finished running the temprature was still only 51 degrees.

Don’t let the name fool you, the “Scenic” 10 Miler was 100% not scenic although we can both attest to the 10 Miler part. The course this year was on the new Toll 1 and Toll 45 roads. Yes, on the not-yet-opened roads themselves. The start of the race was between where Toll 1 crosses Wells Branch Parkway and where it crosses Shoreline Drive. The race went up Toll 1, on the flyover to Toll 45, across IH-35 and to near the Sears Telecenter, then we turned around and ran back the same way. Yes, it was an out-and-back which B and I both despise. Everything was fine until we got to mile 3 when the lead runners started heading back. Even that wasn’t too bad ’cause B and I both know that we’re not professional runners but it all went downhill from there when we started to see a bulk of people around mile 4 on their way back. The only two redeeming qualities about the route were 1) when you got to mile 5 you could see that you weren’t at the very end of the pack and 2) you didn’t have to dodge any traffic. Speaking of traffic, they had to delay the start of the race by 15 minutes (while we were stuck in the cold wind waiting) because parking was so bad. In fact, it reminded us of the parking before the Decker last year. Overall, I have to give the “Scenic” 10 Miler a ‘C’.

On the flip side, B and I had a great run and felt good at the end.

Race: Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler

Overall position 641 out of 1198
Class position (M 25-29) 41 out of 62
Chip time 1:28:10.7
Pace 8:49/M


Overall position 643 out of 1198
Class position (M 20-24) 18 out of 20
Chip time 1:28:13
Pace 8:49/M

Paces for each mile according to the Garmin:

Mile Pace
1 9:20/M
2 8:58/M
3 9:01/M
4 8:59/M
5 8:39/M
6 9:23/M
7 8:42/M
8 8:41/M
9 8:30/M
10 7:54/M

Next race: Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon – November 12th

Edit @ 18:56 – thanks to Matt for letting me know the results were up!

ADC: IBM Uptown Classic 10K

Benjamin and I are running the Austin Distance Challenge (ADC) again this year. The first race of the season was the IBM Uptown Classic 10K that was held earlier this morning.

When we ran the ADC races last year we didn’t train consistently for them like Jeff (jeffford) and Jonobie (jonobie) did and we really felt it in the Freescale Marathon at the end. This year we’ve been very good about following a training schedule for the past three weeks and it paid off in the race today.

Without further ado, our results:

Race: IBM Uptown Classic 10K

Overall position 912 out of 1945
Class position (M 25-29) 81 out of 139
Chip time 55:05 (personal best)
Pace 8:52/M


Overall position 914 out of 1945
Class position (M 20-24) 27 out of 36
Chip time 55:07
Pace 8:52/M

Our Garmin Forerunner 201 reported the following paces for each mile:

Mile Pace
1 8:34/M
2 8:38/M
3 9:12/M
4 8:36/M
5 9:10/M
6 8:39/M

Next time we’re going to try to start out slower as I think we started out a bit too fast. Overall, we were pretty happy with our results.

Next race: Girl Scouts-Lone Star Council’s Scenic 10 Miler – October 22nd

Marathon Results – Take 4

Three weeks and 4 emails after the fact and I finally have official results for the Austin Freescale Marathon. As I mentioned in a previous post – the point of having an official time was to enable me to have a placing in the Austin Distance Challenge.

After some digging I found my splits. It looks as though they have my halfway time (2:42:34) and my 30k time (4:08:25) but not my 10k time and obviously not my finish time. I need to see about getting my chip checked out as I’m thinking it is defective.

Finally – closure!

Marathon – revisited

So now that I’m well rested and (slightly less) pissed, I thought I would try a more objective posting about the Freescale Marathon.

First the objective bitching: I still adhere to the mentality that the race was the most miserable 6 hours that I have ever spent but that is almost entirely due to the weather and not the run itself. RunFar has still not corrected my time. I sent them another email on Wednesday just to make sure they haven’t forgotten about me. I also sent the ADC folks an email to let them know the situation. I’m far more interested in “proof” that I finished the ADC rather than knowing what my actual time was as I suspect that information is not going to be available. If they don’t get it resolved I will be giving preferential treatment to races that do not use RunFar in the future. And yes, I can hold a grudge for a loooong time (ala Casey vs Whataburger – ~9 years and counting).

On the positive side, I am incredibly proud of Benjamin. Even though he was in pain for the last quarter to half of the race, he finished; he gets uber-mega-points for that. As both of my fellow ADC runner friends (jeffford, jonobie) have mentioned, we ran a total of 101 miles just in the official ADC races, not including any of the training runs. Take a look at your odometer sometime – that’s a long way. Benjamin and I couldn’t have finished the race without the people who cheered us along. It may seem like such a minor thing to an onlooker, but to a runner – the people who came out to cheer for you is like an illicit drug.

We’ll very likely run again at some point although we haven’t made any plans yet.