Tuesday, December 04, 2007

12/02/07 California International Marathon - NEW PR!

The California International Marathon took place on Sunday, December 2nd in Sacramento. About 6,000 runners and 3,000 relay runners participated. This event is known for being speedy since it starts in Folsom at 338 feet above sea level and finishes at the Capitol Building in Sacramento which has an elevation of 21 feet. However, there were lots of short rolling ups and downs, including a bridge over the American River at Mile 22. The weather was about 39 degrees at the start and around 52 degrees at the finish with some breezes. In other words, we went from "Way too cold to do anything except stay in bed" to "Perfect weather for running!"
The night before the race, I ate my usual white rice in the Sheraton Grand hotel room with Mom & Lorenzo. My fortune cookie note stated: "Tomorrow will be a happy and memorable day for you" which sounded too good to be true, but I tucked the slip of paper into my racing shorts, just in case... Sure enough, sometimes the cookie writers are suprisingly accurate! I finished in 3:17:51 feeling better than I can ever remember feeling, considering I was running a marathon. (Previous PR was 3:19:17, Detroit, 10/17/06). I attribute that mostly to Coach John for bringing me so very close to death during my track training sessions, thereby making the marathon seem somewhat easy in comparison; to my training partner Lisa for being "anal" about training, and to Lorenzo for his terrific impersonation of Governor Arnold saying "Ah'll see yoo aht da feenish line" sometime during Mile 22! And of course, to Mom, for being at Mile 7 and the finish! CLICK ON PHOTOS TO SEE THEM BIGGER.
Mom waving at Mile 7.

Autumn in Sacramento.

It looks like we are running right into Denny's during Mile 9!

Beautiful colors along the course...

More amazing colors!

Plenty of aid stations, great volunteers!

I did not make that mess!

Rare sight: Runners running away from a bagel shop!

Another strange one: Running towards the bulls!

Somewhere around Mile 20.

Up the bridge at Mile 22.

Racing my shadow across the American River.

The downhill after the bridge was "lucky and memorable" - just like the fortune cookie predicted!

Friend and Sacramento local runner - Michael Farrell at Mile 25.

Just two more left turns to finish at the Capitol!

I was thinking that this was a pretty long campaign trail!

Feeling pretty good at Mile 26.

Last turn before trying to "sprint" to the finish line!

Thanks Mom!

It "SHER" felt great to finish!

Angela's height + Mom's height = Michael's height!

Michael had a great race considering he ran at high altitude!

(get it, "capital" Christmas Tree!?! Ha!)

After the photo, we rang the doorbell and then ran away before Arnold could answer the door!

Terrific event, nice town, great weather, and lots of fast finish times! Definitely was "happy and memorable!" Thanks Fortune Cookie Writer!

For results, click HERE.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

What is a Bozzee?

First let's define some basic vocabulary needed to understand this post...

Nike+ iPod Sport Kit: The geniuses at Nike and Apple have created this 2 piece combo which includes 1) a sensor that goes into a hole in the insole of specially built Nike shoes, and 2) a receiver that plugs into your iPod Nano. The kit costs $29.95.

Nike+ shoe: Shoes that have a special hole in the inside of the left insole where the sensor goes. These shoes start at about $85.00. And there are NO TRAIL models that support the Sport Kit combo (which is why Bozzee is so great!)

Sensor: About the size of three stacked quarters. It magically sends information to the receiver attachment to your iPod so your mileage and other data can be seen on your iPod display. The sensor is the orange thing below that has an apple and a Nike swoosh on it.

iPod Nano: If you don't know what this is, ask the nearest 12 year old kid and they will show you theirs. It is like a "walkman" only way cooler. The iPod Nano is the white thing below with a display screen and a gray dial. The receiver is the smaller white box attached to the iPod Nano.

Okay. Now what is a Bozzee?

It is this cool little plastic carrier that holds your Nike iPod chip on any shoe you want. Now you don't have to only use Nike+ shoes in order to get your cool Nike+ iPod Sport Kit to work.

Now, I am not much of a gadget guru, and it shames me to admit this, but at first I was honestly confused by the Bozzee instructions. For some reason, I thought that the "sled" was encrypted with the same information as the sensor that goes inside the bottom of Nike+ shoes. So I put the sled on my shoe, plugged my Sport Kit receiver into my iPod, then jogged around my living room waiting to hear Lance Armstrong's voice. In other words, I thought the "sled" was a REPLACEMENT for the sensor. In my defense, nowhere in the directions does it state "Place the sensor ON THE SLED." But luckily, I'm not just a pretty face and eventually, I figured it out. Wore it trail running on Saturday for an 8 mile run in the Santa Monica mountains. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. Used the "timed workout" feature because I already knew the distance of my run ahead of time. Also think it's great because Nike doesn't make any Nike+ trail shoes so the entire Sport Kit is useless you want to run in Nike+ street shoes on trails (and enjoy your iPod while being treated in the emergency room). Other "run-nerds" have started noticing it and getting extremely jealous. One of them had previously tried duct taping the sensor to the laces of their shoes, but it didn't work and he had to buy a whole new Sport Kit when his sensor fell off the shoe and got lost.
For more information on how to enjoy your Nike iPod Sport Kit in your trail shoes, or any other pair of Non-Nike shoes, visit http://bozzee.com/
Happiness & Health to you in the New Year!

Monday, October 15, 2007

10/14/07 Long Beach Half Marathon

The full marathon course is yellow and red. The half marathon is just yellow.

It looked like a nice day for a run. There were 2,340 marathon finishers and 5,967 runners finished the half marathon. Both events started together at 7:30am on Shoreline Drive. I ran the half marathon. It was humid. Although it was sunny, temperatures were pleasant and there was a slight ocean breeze. It was quite humid. For the first half of the event, we ran directly into the sun. Did I mention it was humid? For the last three miles of the half marathon, we completed the loop by running away from the sun down Ocean Blvd. Every so often, someone would cheer, "Come on Runner's High!" I'm a big fan of 'runners high' so I cheered for it too. Who doesn't love that feeling of delirium that often occurs after a run?

His sign said "Last Mile - All Downhill From Here!" I guess he didn't think we could handle the truth: "Last Mile - All Flat From Here!"

The goal for my "training run" was to run at 7:30 pace. I finished in 1:37:36 which was about 7:27 pace.
Well organized, fun bands, aid stations with cute themes, and nice weather - especially if you like humidity! Click HERE for results.

As always, thanks to Lorenzo (see the lower left corner of this photo) who told some great jokes to keep my spirits up, took amazing photos while riding his bike alongside me for much of the course, and picked up my extremely sweaty clothes afterwards!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

09/30/07 Subaru Urban Assault Race

What a great way to disguise a 30 mile bike ride: place a few checkpoints in between where the riders have to perform whacky stunts which actually make the ride seem easier and more fun.

Edward & Rebecca were named "Whole Wheat Two Wheeled Ninja Warriors." Even though our team name was somewhat less extreme, Lorenzo and I were called "Team Extreme." He was right at home on his triathlon bike and I just took the training wheels off my mountain bike. Quite a mismatched team, but we both like whacky stunts, so at least we had that in common. The course took us on a tour of Long Beach that included downtown, the Aquarium, Cal State Long Beach campus, Belmont Shore and the ocean.
Zo, Edward & Rebecca. They may look tough now, but just picture them on Hippity-Hops...
Beautiful day for a ride near the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The first challenge, hippity-hopping up and down a hill. Not easy, but definitely funny!

Next was the wheelbarrow run at Cal State Long Beach.
I laughed so hard during this part that I almost fell out!

A few miles later, Lorenzo carried a tired Angela through a slalom maze of cones on a kid's bike. His knees didn't like it nearly as much as I did.

I hadn't ridden one of these since I was a kid! I wasn't very good at it then, and haven't improved much with age. But still had a ton of fun!

Results and more photos are HERE.

At one point near the end, I told Lorenzo that my GPS watch said that we had covered 27.92 miles. He asked, "What's the farthest you've ever ridden a bike before?" To which I tiredly replied, "Twenty-seven point nine two miles." Although he coasted through most of it and I struggled, we both still had a great time and would gladly do it again - especially the parts where he did all the work!

Click the play button below to see a video of this crazy event!